After the emotional devastation that was dating Depends, I decided to take half a year away from the dating game for some serious me time and focus on turning 13. During that summer, I spent a lot of time with my youth goup at church, where the Six-Day Specia (6DS) and I discovered each other. True, we had known each for as far back as I could remember, but that junior high summer opened both of our eyes to something very special. I'm pretty sure we both felt it.

I don't really remember how the 6DS and I first became aware of our untiring devotion to each other. Maybe at her 13th birthday party. I remember the highlight of the party was the giant New Kids on the Block poster someone had gotten her. We flirted that night, shared a Pepsi out of the black and neon cool cans (please someone tell me you remember the Pepsi cool cans in the 80's. They had Young MC do the commercials for these things, and some of the cans supposedly had hundred dollar bills in them that would pop up when you opened the can. If you remember this, leave me a comment and be my hero) and even exchanged some knowing looks while we watched Indiana Jones and the last Crusade on video. Probably one of the first girls I knew who really had boobs. That night I realized she was definitely the girl for me, though I'm hesitant now to attribute this decision to the boobs factor. At the time I probably didn't even know how cool boobs can be.

The following Sunday night, after youth group concluded, I garnered all the confidence I could muster and pulled her aside and asked if she would go out with me. I don't know where I found the ability to do that - I wouldn't really find that capability again until the later years of my college career - but for some miraculous reason she said yes. Then we all went to Wendys and had a frosty. And that's where my mother picked me up and took me home. Until next Sunday, I thought as she slowly grew into a little speck out the window.

I called her on the following Wednesday, mostly because I thought I was supposed to do that. (Boyfriends do that sort of thing, no?) Probably one of the sillier conversations I have ever had. Didn't know what the hell to say. The conversation probably maybe lasted five minutes and we talked about absolutely nothing. But I assured her I was excited about the idea of seeing her the coming Sunday. Then I went downstairs to watch my Saved By The Bell tape from the previous Saturday for the third time that week.

I arrived at youth group that Sunday night looking for the 6DS but only finding two of her friends. I asked them if they had seen the 6DS, and one girl, who also happened to be about six feet tall (why is is that the friends of my ridiculous girlfriends are always giants?) told me that we needed to talk. Uh oh. So the two friends and I go into the old sanctuary, and they sit me down.

"Chris," the giant says to me,"the Six-Day Special really likes you, and that's why she wanted us to talk to you. The distance thing is just too hard for her. So it's just going to have to end, okay?"

I wasn't sure how to handle this. I know I simply responded "okay" and tried to look despondent as I left the room, but my emotions were in something of jumble at this point. I'd just been dumped by a girlfriend I'd never really seen in person while we were dating (and by the six-foot friend at that) because it was too hard. The distance thing wasn't working. Even my pitiful 13 year-old brain could comprehend the fact that this whole idea was ridiculous. We hadn't even really seen each other the whole time we were boyfriend-girlfriend. I hadn't even touched her or held her hand, though Lord knows doing so would have absolutely terrified me. The whole thing just seemed silly.

The best part of the break-up evening was that I then had to sit through our hour and a half youth group meeting and see the Six-Day Special and pretend that everything was okay. And when I walked into the meeting room, I saw her sitting with the new guy in youth group, the blond guy with the gel in his hair and the earring. All the girls loved him. I hated that guy. I always have, I always will. And there's my recently ex-girlfriend, the Six-Day Special, paying him some pretty solid attention. So I just collapsed into my usual spot on the smelly couch obviously purchased by the church in 1972 and waited for the meeting to start.

I spent the whole meeting trying really hard to look depressed and upset because I guess I thought I should have felt that way or something. Maybe I wanted to make her feel guilty for breaking off such a promising relationship. Then toward the end of the meeting, I realized I didn't give half a shit about the whole thing, and that night I skipped out on the weekly trip to get frosties and waited for my mother in the parking lot.

Following such an emotionally devastating happening, I decided I'd become a total loser and never draw the attentions of another girl until my senior year of high school when I met Airport Song.

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An extremely interesting writer, sex columnist and person interviewed me last night. It was fun. So take ten minutes out of your happy day and go read my interview. Because you want to.

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I needed to leave. Had an appointment, somewhere to be, something to do. Not one of those moments where the appointment is a teeth cleaning with the dentist where just about anything would suffice to convince me to delay leaving just a little bit longer. No, the appointment had some draw - I had made it earlier that day and reworked the day around it. So I needed to leave. I knew that. But lying on my back watching a little movie in my head (pictures of red dresses and jeans with cotton strings running off them blending together with flannel pajama pants sitting on an uneven waistline) seemed so much better at the moment. Comfortable. Good. Saturday morning, and while I knew I had somewhere to be eventually, that would not be for another two hours, leaving me to lay in bed and count the dots on the ceiling. That type of comfortable.

You need to go, the little voice in my head said to me. It smiled and the light caught that corner of its make-believe eye and caused the aquamarine to glimmer for just a second. Turn off that movie in your head, it said. You're indecent. You shouldn't be thinking about red dresses and pajamas. You have a world to save. You have lives to influence. You have a blog to write.

It's true, it's true. If only I were more responsible, if that voice in the back of my head didn't tell me to be more responsible even as it narrates the sequence of images.

Put on your coat, it said. Trying to get rid of me? I shot back. Keeping you responsible, it snickered. But being irresponsible is so much more enjoyable sometimes, I thought. That's why you have me, it whispered in my ear. I thought you wanted me to be responsible. I'm puzzled, I noted. Don't be nervous, it's fine and wonderful, it said. I'm not nervous. Just a lot surprised and a lot pleased, I thought.

You need to leave, it said. So I did.

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One more excuse for me to waste time and not pay attention while I am pretending to diligently watch the books in the library: You can now Yahoo Messenger me at GooseFood. Not that you want to or anything.

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Depends was the first girlfriend I ever had. It was 7th grade and I hadn't quite become the super student who couldn't give a shit and hence was the class clown type quite yet. I was just really dorky, and my entire wardrobe consisted of tight jeans and t-shirts. Most of them were Stussy and Quiksilver shirts, and I thought I was pretty cool, but I wasn't. See picture this funky kid and how smooth he must have been with the ladies as you read this.

Depends and I met in a science class we had together. She wasn't super cute or anything, but she wasn't entirely ugly either, and we seemed to have a good time pretending to pay attention to lectures on photosynthesis and the like. But it was pretty innocent. I didn't really know anything about her other than the fact that we made dumb jokes in science class the way only dorky 7th graders can.

Then at the end of the fall our PE classes unleashed a torture on us that causes a number of junior high kids to break out in a cold sweat: the square dancing unit. Yep, for three weeks, rather than playing football or basketball outside, we had to keep our regular clothes on, go out into the gym in our socks and promenade our partners around for 45 minutes. It sounds terrible. It was beyond terrible. Especially when Mr. Coda decided to put on his Billy Ray Cyrus albums and do the Electric Slide to Achy Breaky Heart with Miss White, the 52 year-old single PE teacher. I cannot adequately describe the horror of this moment.

Anyway, you know how everyone in junior high is already trying to navigate their way through a really awkward period of life? I had that awkwardness compounded by the fact that I was extremely short. Literally, I think most of the girls I knew (and hence the girls with whom I would have been able to at least try to be comfortable dancing) were at the least a few inches taller than me. Except for Depends, who had PE the same hour I did. She and I were about the same height. We realized that this could mutually beneficial for us, so we started dancing together and it was okay, except when we had to switch partners in the square, I always ended up with some beheamoth 5'9" lady as my partner, and they often did the leading. Oh well.

I tried a couple of times to get this other girl to dance with me (who I realize now was really quite ugly but for some reason seemed the hottest girl in the world to my retarded 12 year-old brain), but she usually laughed at me when I asked her, so Depends became something of a go-to girl to the point that we didn't even go searching for partners at the beginning of class. We just went to our usual corner where we did some rug cutting (well, laminated floorboard cutting; it was the gym an all) and that was that. I could tell that she dug my 7th grade action, and I thought it was a kind of flattering, but I just sort of let it go. Not like I knew what to do about it or anything.

Anyway, a few weeks later, when the heavens shined and allowed us to return to our stinky gym clothes (one of my friends went through both years of junior high without washing his gym clothes once) and regular activities, but Depends and I kept up the rapport we had developed. I thought about asking her out, because I guess that's what guys did, but I didn't even remotely have to balls to attempt such a thing, so we just kept chatting in class. Then one day the phone rings, and it's Depends' best friend (one of those towering chicks from dancing, I swear she was 6 feet tall in junior high) on the line calling to talk to me about her. I'm completely embarrassed and totally oblivious to the fact that Depends is on the line also. So this friend and I chat and she convinces me that I should ask her friend out, and when I say "okay," she says "well do it now, she's on the line," so I say something like, um, will you go out with me 'n stuff, and she says okay, all the while her friend listening to the whole conversation. Absolutely mortifying.

Depends and I went to see Hook the next day with her stupid friend and her even dumber boyfriend (who was at least a foot shorter than she was). We held hands for a little while, and I think she wanted me to kiss her, but lord, I surely didn't know how to do that, so I refrained. Then the next day I had the two girls on the phone again -- stupid three-way calling -- and someone determined that Depends and I were to have a little phone kissing. And it had to be a french kiss, I remember. I had of course never done this, but I immediately started thinking of that gross scene in Top Gun where Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis are licking each other and stuff, so I figured it had something to do with that. Over the phone sounded a safe thing too, so at the designated moment, I stuck my tongue up against the receiver and held it there. It tasted like dirty plastic.

Of course, this is the exact moment that my sister chooses to walk into the room and give me one of those "umm" looks that only pass between siblings. She asks what the hell I was doing, and after I explain the situation, she says, "That's not how you french kiss!" and I respond "yeah, I know, but it had to be over the phone, so what the hell else am I going to do?" She seemed to accept this explanation, and all the while I'm thinking "so how do I french kiss someone on the other end of the phone?" But my sister let it go at that and walked out of the room. One of those moments I'll never forget as long as I live. I can only imagine what she was thinking when she saw me licking the phone.

Anyway, the next week in class, when people started to hear that we were going out, I began to get a lot of comments about how l like girls who piss themselves and whatnot. Junior high kids can be really nice and empathetic. Apparently there was a rumor going around that Depends had a little accident at school in the first few weeks and was the target of quite a lot of teasing. So suddenly I was all embarrassed to be going out with her, given the fact that she couldn't control her urges (and there was that pair of jeans that looked like they fit correctly, but had butt pockets in the front and a zipper on her ass. I could never figure those pants out. Were they supposed to be like that? Or did she just have a really weird body that could fit into pants backwards and not have any real problems with it. They were just too weird and people always tried to tell her to put her pants on right. I was also the guy dating the girl who couldn't dress herself).

Three days into this ridicule, just when I was trying to figure out how to get out of this thing (a 7th grade boy cannot be known as the guy dating the pants-pisser if he wants to preserve even a morsel of dignity), our science teacher bestowed the greatest gift upon us ever: a new seating chart. Depends and I suddenly found ourselves on opposites sides of the room. I don't think we ever really talked again. So I guess technically I'm still going out with Depends because we never broke up. Shh, don't tell her.

Anyway, that's the story of my first girlfriend. My dating adventures definitely got off to a rocky start. But withhold the Casanova comments until you hear about the Six-Day Special. She's next, and almost as cool.

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I fully expect every last one of you to laugh at me for this, but this story actually brought tears to my eyes. Los Angeles Kings: Stanley Cup champions? I don't really think it will happen, but if it did, I could die happy then and there. And you think I'm kidding.

The NHL season kicks off tonight. It's been a tough summer without hockey, but with my favorite sport returning tonight and league play in college football heating up, all is well in the sports world in my eyes.

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The voicemail light on my phone was blinking this morning when I got to the office. I hate when that happens, because I usually spend the bus ride into work flipping through my Newsweek and mentally planning out how I am going to allocate my work for the day. Then I get to the office and find someone tried to get a hold of me last night at 11:30 with some crisis or another, and unfortunately, everyone else who could help is in Pittsburgh at a training meeting, so I have to table all my work for the day to run around with my head cut off for 9 hours, forego lunch and receive the offer of a cup of coffee from Starbucks and a thanks as my only remuneration. But it's not a bad life, all in all. Gives me something to do during the day and helps build up money in the "Vegas 2003" war chest.

"Yeah, um Chris..." this from the voicemail left for me by my boss, "I had a discussion with the president last night about the creative direction of the Hose Monster blog. We should probably talk this morning so we can figure out how to address his thoughts."

Great. I had planned to conquer level 31 of Doom this morning.

"The president has decided," my boss tells me as I walk into his office, "that October is Self-Indulgence Month at the Hose Monster blog. So we need to think about how we're going to be even more self-indulgent this month than ever before. Since you are our top writer, project manager and all around super guru, I'm going to give this project to you. I expect you to dedicate a good portion of your days to this effort."

Looks like my online Christmas shopping will have to wait as well.

"And there's a nice tall mocha frappuccino for you in it if you are successful."

Hooray. I hate coffee.

Two hours later I had it. Chronicle my dating history. Tell funny stories about girls who have had the great misfortune of holding the label "my girlfriend."

I set down some ground rules. Only real girlfriends, ones who were "official," or for all intents and purposes, should have been official. No random hook up stories. No compromising information unless I'm sure the information will not get back to them (business ethics and all). Make as much fun of myself as possible.

So in the coming weeks, be sure to look for tales on the following ladies from my past:

  • Depends
  • The Six-Day Special
  • Airport Song
  • Going Away Present
  • The Six-Day Special version 2.0
  • Mrs. Robinson
  • Summer in the City
  • Tempus Fugit
  • Rubber Ducky

So stay tuned for Self-Indulgence Month at the Hose Monster blog. Good times, good times.

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Hey blog.

'Evening Hose Monster. Or should I say morning? It's rather late on a Monday for you to be blogging, no?

I suppose so.


I'm not ready for bed yet. I have this very pleasant feeling washing over me at the moment, and I want to give it enough time to keep causing that smile that I sometimes feel in my gut late at night at the end of a good day.

It seems you're doing okay then.

Life has settled into a routine. You know how after a major upheaval, the resumption of a routine can be very cathartic, even if it's not the greatest of routines?

Sort of like that feeling you get when you always know where you're supposed to be and what you're supposed to be doing? No time sitting around thinking "What do I do with myself?"


So how is the new routine?

It has its moments. Not enough sleep, too much work sometimes, petty things to take care of here and there. It's challenging and very rewarding at the same time. And I'm actually surprised that I have found as much time to kick around as I have. Comes at the expense of sleep, but at the moment, I am enjoying the sacrifice.

It's nice to hear about good things. Indulge me.

I've learned that I am pretty decent at darts. Not something that will get me sleeping with supermodels, but hey, you take 'em where you can get 'em. And between white softball pants, dirty dealers and mirthful laughter, I have a lot to smile at and ample material for ridicule. Then there's the fact that I am suddenly spending all this time with the hottest girl I currently know, and while she's got the hots for someone else, it's still a lot of fun. Makes me look good.

Softball pants?

Trust me, something better left alone. Focus on the other good things. Darts. $4.50 pitchers of beer. An apartment with central air and heating and a dishwasher. Simple things.

I'm glad to hear you're settled.

So is my mother. She worries a lot about me. It happens when you're the youngest child and a boy.

I know. My sister bitches about all the advantages I get as the youngest, and while I will never agree with her, I know it's true.

Blog, I never knew you had a sister. What's her name?

Not something I'm allowed to disclose at the moment. But I will tell you it's the blog your mother warned you about.


Anyway, let's save this conversation for another time. It's late.

But I still feel like smiling, not brushing my teeth and taking out my contacts.

I know, but remember how when you stay up late, you always complain the next morning about how tired you are? You should think about taking better care of yourself. Sleeping is important.

I guess.

You don't guess. You know.

You're right. I'll go to bed.


Thanks for looking out for me blog.

That's why I'm here. Sleep well.

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After four months, I have learned that some of the most random stuff I throw up here garners comments and most of my favorite things that I do post generate almost no comments, if any. But I am okay with that; I repeatedly say that while I love having you come here every day and read these words, and my eyes sparkle a little bit every time I see a comment left on this page, I would keep writing this blog even if I had only two readers and they both had the same surname as me.

After four months, no one has ever wanted to interview me. I suppose I could feel somewhat excited about that, time being so scarce and all, but I think it might be fun once or twice. On the other hand, with an interview, I can tell random stories and all the crap that I normally do in this space, but someone else will bring it up and I'll just ride it out. It might be on the same level as Alfred's wanting to make the Up Yours blogroll. Just something fun to say, "hey, this happened." Actually, I wonder would it be like if Alfred interviewed me. Even though we seem like peers, we don't know much about each other at all.

It might be interested if Sarah interviewed me too, because she's one of the most interesting person I have never met, but I think she already knows a lot about me, because we talk now and again.

I would go way out of my way to make an interview with Meesh happen, because I think we'd just end up talking about sex the whole time. Sounds like fun to me.

Oh well. Maybe some day someone will say "put on your jammies and sit down at your computer at 10 pm tonight and we'll shoot the shit." In the meantime, this blog will just keep on rolling.

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I want it to rain every night from now on. It didn't actually rain tonight. But here it's been pouring for days. Thunder and lighting, window panes rattling in the darkness and cars driving down the street at 10 miles an hour because the drivers don't want to be splashing too much water up into the engine block. The rivulets of water streaming down the window stand in sharp contrast to those beads of sweat that form in a V just below your clavicles. My kind of rain.

We decided to just stay in bed all day, knowing that the minute we stepped outside, we'd get soaking wet, and if we had a secluded place to go, we'd just say to hell with it and go outside naked and laugh at each other as the rain water plastered our hair against our faces and we'd pretend we knew how far away the center of the storm was by counting the seconds between lightning flashes and the subsequent rumble that always made you jump just a little bit. It would be dark enough to the point that our nakedness would just be fun, instead of stange looking, especially when you jump with every crack of thunder and I laugh with my whole body at your little jumps, things that would look rather unattractive in an everyday situation under normal lighting, but with us being as drunk on the experience as we would be, this would just be part of the memory and the smile.

But we don't have a secluded place to go, so we decide to stay inside and get soaking wet there. And the windows keep rattling and we hear the cars slowing cutting their way through the 10-inch deep water in the street, but we stop noticing it after a while. And it just keeps raining and raining, really coming down, and I keep thinking, I hoped for this kind of rain for weeks and then it came, and I hope it never leaves. I love the rain, I love the things the rain makes me do, and I stare straight up at it and try not to close my eyes, even though the drops keep pelting me directly in the face and my natural instinct is to shut my eyes and find the nearest shelter. But no, for the moment I want to keep staring up, drinking in it and swimming in it and remembering that I had hoped for rain like this for some time.

Today was bright and sunny. Not a cloud in the sky. But the rain washed all that away and satisfied a thirst, one that nevertheless grows stronger as the rain keeps falling.

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