Thursday, July 29, 2004

My Name's Ken... and I'm a snorer. ("Hi, Ken!")

So, it pains me to say this.

... and I really don't have to, now that I think of it...

But Vicky told me the other day what I never wanted to hear. I mean, for years, I've gotten by with sleep disorders no more embarrassing than driving on the 15 freeway in my sleep.

Now, Vicky tells me that I snore.

Can I tell you just how wrong that is?

I roomed with Tim - he never told me I snored - and HE WOULD KNOW! That man's snores could peel paint!... in another building!!! Of all the women I've slept with - and there are so many, me being the world's greatest (and least known) lover - none ever told me I snored.

So, great, you know? Just great! The woman I want to marry brings out the snorer in me!

What am I going to do? Try stuffing coffee grounds into my nose? No, that might keep me awake. Remove my nose with a rusty band saw? No, that might mess up the sheets. Oh, there are other methods. I could get a nose ring. That would be good. Right?

Hey! What am I thinking? I'm not the only one who snores!

That's right. We are, as a couple, two for two when it comes to snoring. So, we can torture each other. And, if it gets too bad, Vicky can point me to the car and let me drive out to the middle of the desert on the I-15... where I'll bother fewer people...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Twelve things to think about as you hold your nose to vote...

Okay, so I've been staying away from politics lately. I've been busy. With the Dem's convention going on, I felt it time I weighed in and, now, Nader's provided something to weigh in on... in...

First, let's keep one thing in mind: Kerry is a better choice than Bush. Like him or not, Kerry's less likely to do that damage Bush has already done and will continue to do. Let's not call this a choice between the lesser of two evils. Let's call it what it is: DAMAGE CONTROL.

That said, though, Nader brings up some good points you probably won't hear either of them address:

  • You won't hear a call for a national crackdown on the corporate crime, fraud, and abuse that, in just the last four years, have robbed trillions of dollars from workers, investors, pension holders, taxpayers and consumers.

  • Neither convention will demand that workers receive a living wage instead of a minimum wage.

  • John Kerry claims that he will call for a review of all existing trade agreements, but he will not call for a withdrawal from the WTO and NAFTA.

  • Kerry may suggest that President Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy be rolled back, but he will steer clear of any suggestion that our income tax system be substantially revamped. Workers

  • There will be no call for a single payer health system.

  • There is no reason to believe that the Democrats will stand up to the commercial interests profiting from our current energy situation.

  • Democrats will not demand a reduction in the military budget that devours half the federal government's operating expenditures at a time when there is no Soviet Union or other major state enemy in the world.

  • You won't hear a clarion call for electoral reform.

  • You will hear John Kerry speak about his "tough-on-crime" background as a federal prosecutor, but you will hear no calls for reform of the criminal justice system. Our nation now holds one out of four of the world's prisoners, half of them nonviolent. While they attempt to counter Republican charges that they favor criminals over victims, Democrats will say nothing about a failed war on drugs that costs nearly $50 billion annually.

  • Democrats will ignore the Israeli peace movement whose members have developed accords for a two state solution with their Palestinian and American counterparts.

  • The Democrats will not call for the United States to begin a military and corporate withdrawal from Iraq.

  • Democrats will not stand up to business interests that have backed changes that close the courtroom to wrongfully injured and cheated individuals, but not to corporations.

Snugs and Drugs...

I have a new girlfriend. Her name's Suki. She's Vicky's dog. Whenever I go to Vicky's place, the dog goes nuts and follows me everywhere and gives me lots of kisses. (As a side note, Vicky calls her dog "Suki" and me "Schmookie". I'm tempted to tell her that there's no such word in the English language as "Schmookie"... but, then, that didn't stop her from using "Suki", either...)

Oh well. Can't have too many girlfriends, I guess........

I made an interesting discovery this morning. ... actually, I've been making it every day for a week but this morning there was no denying it.

I have two St. John's Wort pills left. As you know, I started taking them back after I tried to commit suicide, and again after the nightmares, and again after the sleepwalking nightmares.... okay, so I haven't been really disciplined about taking them. The thing is, I'm almost out - and Vicky didn't even know I was on them. We never got around to talking about it. Now, I'm running out and, they being "mood balancers", my mood may not be quite so balanced.

Nervous? Of course, not!

... I'll be nervous once the last of the St. John's Wort wears off...

Questions... I have questions...

This entry is going to be peppered with assumptions to spice up the questions at the end.

... All right?

I'm assuming everyone reading this is alive. I figure that's safe.

Being alive, you probably sleep. If you sleep, you will, most likely, dream.

Most people report, at one time or another, dreaming of flying. So, I figure it's safe to assume that just about everyone reading this has experienced dreams of flight.


Now, my questions...

Not being creatures of the air, how is it we know what flight feels like?

Do we all experience the same sensation?

What if it were different for each other us?

How would we find out? How would you explain the sensation you dream??????

Monday, July 26, 2004

If you read only one comic today...

Why Bush? Why Kerry?

Why not Aaron McGruder???

What really happened... Two days of my life inside my head...

Friday afternoon, I left work early, intent on making it to San Diego before traffic hit... at least, before it hit me. Little did I realize that it would all hit each other (a plural reference to a singular pronoun? just roll with it) around San Diego. Still, I made it to Tim's before too late and, soon, my drink was in my left hand and a Camel was in my right hand. Ahhh... 'twas livin'!

Of course, I had to call Vicky when I got in... and then I thought of something funny that I wanted to tell Vicky... and then, as I finished my 5th or 6th drink, I realized I really missed Vicky and decided to call her... and a few drinks later, as I was passing out, I called Vicky...

I awoke the next morning halfway off the bed, with my brains halfway out of my head. I did my best to push them back in, rolled over... and called Vicky! She wasn't home - she wasn't at her home, at least. She was at my home - and she was CLEANING MY HOME! It was 10am and I'd barely opened my eyes. "You don't have to do that," I told her. (Clean the stove.) "I want to," she said. (Get the refrigerator!) "I feel so guilty," I complained. (The cobwebs! Clean the cobwebs!)

Look. I didn't start dating her to get a housekeeper. (The bathroom! Clean the friggin' bathroom!) I'm with her because I love her and I want to be with her. (Lots of dust bunnies under the bed!) She should never feel as though I need her to clean up after me. (And now, change the catbox!!!!)

I just know I'm going to get emails now, saying what a bum I am. Honestly, though, I asked her to stop. She didn't. My place wasn't a sty before she started. She's anal. I love her... but she's anal.

By noon, Tim was back from work and I was nearly awake. I didn't take long before Axel was ready to drive us to the Convention Center and, what with Axel's San Franciscan driving style, less time before we were there. It's a miracle we made it in, considering all the geek jokes I was making, and that we weren't killed and sacrificed to the spirit of Jack Kirby. (Yes, I'm one of them.) The next four hours, Tim and I looked at all the strangest people in the world, gathered in this place. We also spent a lot of time looking at half-dressed bodies; Tim took care of the men and I took care of the women - well, not completely. I mean, I do have a girlfriend, right? In the midst of the ogling, we also picked up some DVDs and shirts. I bought Vicky a tight, little top (okay, so I'm a pig) from Happy Tree Friends but the highlight of my day was buying a DVD from Bill Plympton. Amidst all of the crowds, he reclined at his booth and I got several minutes to talk to him! (Mind you, he's an animator and not a half-naked woman... so there might have been a reason why he had no crowd.) He was very nice and autographed by DVD - it was swell. I also went to the Adult Swim section, where they were selling framed animation cels. I'd gone to look for some magnets or decals or stickers for Tim but quickly turned away. One (rather large) woman in line for a cel yelled to a bystander, "Hey, pal! You wanna get in the back of the line like everybody else?!" When she found out he wasn't cutting into the line, she made one of those sheepish comments, like, "I was just asking..."

After four hours, I knew I couldn't go back another day. Imagine thousands of people in a barely-ventilated convention center! I'd smelled enough butt sweat for, at least, a few months... Tim and I took a cab home and grabbed grub to gobble. During dinner, I told him I'd be heading home early and, indeed, left that night.

I spent a bit of my drive feeling guilty for leaving early... after all, I was supposed to hang out with Tim for the weekend... but then... I remembered something... something I haven't thought of... in years...

October, 1985. Tim needed to move north, to Sonoma, where he was going to live with his grandmother. He was returning to his roots but worldly belongings don't move themselves. We filled my 1981 Mustang and, at 5am, hopped in and drove north. I remember that we had yet to reach LAX before I started to tell Tim how guilty I felt over Rosa. You see, I'd dumped Phia to date Rosa - and things with Rosa had not been peaches and cream. I felt guilty because I had once, only about two years earlier, dumped Teresa Alaniz for Cindy Wilcox... and what a mistake that had been.

We made it to Sonoma with me falling asleep only once... which was enough! While we were up there, I missed Rosa so much, I kept calling her. Finally, after being there less than a day, I turned around and headed home. I got on the wrong road and, rather than driving east, I drove west until I hit the 101. Fortunately, I knew to take that south until I found the 80, which I knew would take me back to the 5 and, then, home.

How ironic, I thought, that I'd felt so guilty about the beginning of my relationship with Rosa, considering that it, too, would end with a girl named Cindy. And I was glad my relationship with Vicky had not ended on the broken back of another relationship. Perhaps, I thought, I've grown up a little.

Grown up? In our second month together, I can't spend a day away from Vicky! I'll have to work on that...

Of course, Rosa and I had been together half a year by the time I took Tim to Sonoma... I seem to remember, though, that the month prior to that trip was the first one spent without her breaking up with me, over and over...

I got home, cleaned up (didn't want to smell like cigs), and got to Vicky's before midnight. I probably wouldn't have woken her if it wasn't for Suki, her dog, who was happy to see me. I guess you could say that dog likes me. And, so, Vicky's eyes opened when I approached her. "You're not asleep. You big faker," I said.

Later, we talked, oddly enough, about holidays. She told about one holiday spent in Vegas and, when she mentioned Valet Parking, I balked. I have a real problem with Valet Parking or even the alternative that she recommended: taking a cab. And so began one of our little tiffs... and it bothered me... and it continued to bother me...

Sunday afternoon, I was back at the Laundromat, smoking one of the few cigs Tim had given me "for the road" and reading. A young man - a small boy, really - walked outside. Down at the other end of the complex, in front of a bar, two men sat. One said, "Gonna be a hot one!" A young mother gathered her brood.

And I remembered back many years, more than 30 years. My mom, in the years immediately following her divorce, used to take us to the Laundromat to do her laundry. She couldn't afford a babysitter and was stuck with three kids. When people tell me how lazy those on welfare are, I think of her. Back then, my mom was on welfare. We wouldn't have had medical care without it. We wouldn't have had heat. We wouldn't have had food if not for the baskets given us by the church. Society supported us and my mom did her best to deserve it. So, when people tell me how lazy those on welfare are, I think of my mom and hate the person telling me that. I also think about how humble my backgrounds are and how much I owe. My job should be making the world a better place, not riding in cabs or letting others park my car.

That's when an old thought occurred to me: "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

I should be helping those in need, not living like a prince. When was the last time I put my money where my mouth was? For how long had I been far too comfortable? I thought back on the last years of my marriage, when I worked so hard with the Green Party and local groups to make a difference. I thought on the new park down the street from Rosa, built, to a large degree, because of the speech delivered by me before the City Council of Orange. I had made a difference once...

Then, my life had fallen apart. Then, I'd picked myself back up again.

Then, I met Vicky and wanted to be happy. Now, another voice asks, "What responsibility do you have to her? Aren't you also responsible for her happiness?" It's not quite so easy as it was with Rosa, because she didn't want me around. Vicky tends to my happiness and I guess I need to tend to hers as well.

Somewhere in there, I need to make time for my friends. I also need to find a way to integrate my beliefs and who I am into this new life the two of us are making for ourselves. See, the thing is, I know that she wanted me to spend the weekend with Tim; she told me to stay. I also know that, deep down, she'd rather comfort the afflicted even at the affliction of her own comfort - maybe not all the time but, then, who would? I know she's good, which was why our little tiffs never turn into fights; they end rather quickly out of some unspoken trust we have that we won't let each other down.

And so it goes...

Friday, July 23, 2004

Meat hookin'!...

In case you held the false believe that things couldn't get any more fucked up than they are, people are now hanging themselves from meat hooks in the Florida Keys... FOR FUN!

Look, folks. In a society as desensitized as ours, people will go to incredible extremes just to FEEL something!

I lead a rich fantasy life...

Long time readers of My Side know by now how this works. Friday comes and I write a short preview of what my weekend holds and, then, come Monday, I drone on and on about what actually happened. We know this. We've seen it many times before.

So, I thought I'd try something different today. I thought I'd write Monday's My Side early... and then see how close I come to the truth...

My Side

Monday, July 26, 2004

The Many Loves of Ken La Salle

Well, I'm back from Tim's and boy are my arms... I guess that only works if you fly, doesn't it?
It's been a long and exhausting weekend. Let me tell you what happened.

I left work Friday, ready to hit the freeway and make it down to San Diego by 6pm.
Unfortunately, the freeway hit me - and when I pulled into San Diego at 11:43pm, I said to Tim, in a slight and exhausted voice, "Where's my drink?"
Tim and I find it very important to drink; after all, who else is going to keep Absolut in business? It's not about us. It's about a strong economy. It's about jobs. It's about giving people a better life.

Two bottles later, I fell down.

Saturday morning - hung over. Shut up. Don't say anything. Please kill me. It was about that time when Vicky called. "Hi, honey," she said in her perky, un-hungover voice. "Did you have a nice night?"

I replied something like, "Mug murmul nug."

"Was your drive okay?"

"Mug murmul nug!"

"How are you this morning?"

"Mug murmul nug!!" She just wasn't getting it.

Tim awoke around 11am and, by 4pm, we were ready to go to ComiCon! Ah, ComiCon, the trough of slop from which all geeks must, as some point in their lives, feast. (Hey, it's either that or back issues of StarLog!) It had everything from dealers of old Silver Age issues of Jimmy Olsen to guys from Escondido dressed up as Borg. (Borg being the plural of Borg.... kind of like how Shrub's single brain cell serves as...)

By 5pm, we were ready to move on.

I looked across the border to Mexico and listened to the plaintive cries of all my former in-laws. (Cause, you know, Mexico is like one, big happy family.) They had known the promise I could bring to their country. Why the money I could have brought in from their fine trade in hookers alone would bail out their national debt! Sadly, for them, it was not to be. For I have found Vicky... (Note to self: Never bring Vicky to Mexico. They could get violent.)

That night, I walked alone on the beach. I thought about all the years I spent alone, all the time without Rosa, all the many months of solitude, all the many more weeks of terrible loneliness, all the even more still many more days of sadness, all the really a whole lot more than many more I'm talking a heap more hours of - anyway, that took me about five minutes and then Tim and I got drunk.

On Sunday morning, Tim wanted to go to breakfast. But first, Vicky called. I love it when Vicky calls. She's so great. "Good morning, sweetheart," she greeted me.

"Mug murmul nug," I said.

Tim wanted to go to Melissa's for breakfast but I just couldn't. To tear a poor girl's heart out like that and smoosh it on the ground and sprinkle black pepper on it and lightly sear it with garlic while preparing the potatoes julienne style... well, it just wouldn't be right. But Tim insisted. "Ken, you must go. If not for yourself, think of the poor girl. She'll be devastated. True. Who wasn't when they first heard you were off the market. God knows the entire state of California was. But she needs to know so she can move on - like the rest of us have moved on - if only we could elect a new Governor - and get Shrub out of office -" I stopped listening at that point because it was no longer all about me.

And so, to Melissa's restaurant, we went. And when she came to our table, there was a hint of hope in her eyes... even still...

But I had to tell her. "Melissa, my darling, fear not. The world is a beautiful place, filled with flowers and birds and dirt bikes and ice cream and licorice whips and Orange Bang and spaghetti and meat balls and.... where was I? Oh yes! Beautiful! Remember that Melissa, and be happy. For the future is before you. It is laid out like a road - a road to... um... Topeka... um, with cactus and gas stations and bus stops and - look out! That guy's making a left without signaling! And, oh, can you pull over at the next stop? That Whopper made me gassy..."

"Is there a point to this," she asked.

"Ken has a girlfriend," Tim said.

At which point, Melissa disemboweled herself. Tim and I thought it best to leave.

It wasn't long after when I had to return home.

"Come back soon," Tim said, secretly thankful to have me gone so I couldn't smoke his cigarettes and drink his booze and breath his friggin air - the bastard!

I returned home and found that Vicky had cleaned my apartment and filled my bank account and made me dinner. As I watched Tiny Toons and old episodes of Fraggle Rock, she fed me a meal made of chocolate chips and ice cream and cherries and carrot cake and told me I'd never have to work again and could play video games all I want. Later, we learned that Shrub had resigned, realizing all the horrible things he did and taking his life on the capitol steps. All nations joined together to fight poverty and there were never wars again. Soon, I was worshipped for the god I am until chocolate cows sailed over the moon and magic puppies danced fairy wishes over a deep... blue.... something....

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

September 24, 2005...

There were a few things I wanted to write about today.

I was going to write about how terrified I am of dancing...

I was going to write about a dream I had this morning, wherein Vicky found a knife sticking out of my chest...

I was going to write about the invention of the urinal and how its name came about...

But you're going to miss out on all of that.

Vicky and I had a conversation today. When we talk, we never know where we're going and, very often, our subconscious minds take over and steer us in directions that are, in the least, frightening.

Such was the case today.

Vicky had called me to tell me what her mother had said to her.

"You want to get married in the fall," Vicky said in a voice a lot like Godzilla's, which was supposed to be her mom's. "That's too long to wait. Why not spring?"

"It can't be spring," I said.

"I like the fall."

"Well, maybe it can be spring but, at the very least, it can't be May." We know what happens when I get married in May.

"No," she said. "Fall's good."

"It would have to be early fall. It can't be October - that's my birthday. It can't be November - that's Thanksgiving. It can't be December - that's Christmas. It can't be January - that's New Years. It can't be February - that's Valentine's day. And it can't be March - that's not even close to fall! It would have to be September."

"You know how hot it is in September," she asked.

"Make it late September, then. What's the last weekend in September?"

She looked it up. "The 24th and 25th."

And I spoke without even thinking. "Well, then, how about the 25th? No, wait. Sunday weddings are no fun; everybody has to go to work the next day. So, the 24th of September, we - OH, MY GOD!" I just realized what I'd said. "Do you realize what we just did?! We set a date!!!!"

Just think about all those who stopped reading this because they found it predictable...

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Don't get cocky...

There I was, sitting at home, eating some salad and some tuna salad Vicky had made. (It was very good.) And, of course, out of nowhere, a thought occurred to me.
You know this isn't going to last.
I choked it down with a mouthful of tuna. It's only been a month.
One month and you're in love with her. You've been thinking about marriage. How long until she decides to leave you? One year? Ten years? Twelve? Fifteen? She's going to leave you and you're going to end up trapped inside a one-bedroom apartment all alone.
By the time, I was outside, smoking a cigarette... my chest was tight.
You think you made it through your divorce all strong and sure but you didn't. It broke you. Your life was destroyed. You lost everything.
And Vicky's going to do the same thing to you. You just wait.
I hate being so weak and frail.
I left and drove back to work. I was bringing back with me a picture she gave me this weekend. On the frame was written, "I Love You with all my Heart!"
Rosa loved you once and look what happened.
I tried to choke it down as I drove to work. Everything blurred around me. My chest was tight.
I walked into the office and called her. I wanted to tell her I brought the picture in. I wanted to tell her I loved her.
Before I could say anything, she said, "Sunday. August 1. Dinner with my parents."
We'd been talking about meeting the parents. It shouldn't have come as any surprise.
Her mom had picked out a restaurant but Vicky didn't know the name of the place, where it was, or what exactly they served. (We know it's Japanese...)
And there's a chance her brother and his girlfriend are going...
Let me tell you, dear friends, life does not wait around for us to heal. Timing is never right - it is timing. Opportunities are lost because we want things to be perfect. And you know what? They're never going to be.
... Stay tuned for August 2nd's My Side...

Nothing has changed...

Today marks my one month anniversary with Vicky. One month ago, we met for a two hour date that ended five hours later and where our goodnight kiss sent me wandering the parking lot at The Block. I remember thinking, when I first saw her, "That might be Vicky... nah, she's too good looking." And I remember stumbling and stammering when I found out it was her.

I still stumble and stammer... let's see how we're doing a year from now...

And I can hear what you're saying. "One month, Ken. It's one friggin' month." Ah, but dear friends, it's the best month I've had since I've had months. Big claim? Sure. But I think back on my best months with Rosa and realize that there was always that undercurrent of "What is she going to do next?" running through... which extended after she left me... which I've come to realize is something I'm better off living without. With Vicky, I can exhale. And my best months alone were filled with wonderful things that would have been better had I had someone with whom I could share them. Every day we're together, Vicky and I share our lives more and more.

Oh, sure. This could end in a month. It could end in a week. Our heads could explode. Something tells me, however, that none of those things will happen. Something tells me I'm with Vicky for the long haul.

You know this when you wake up next to someone with a hangover... and you wake up next to someone with a hangover. It was Sunday morning. Vicky had spent the night and far under the hammers that pounded my head into Quaker Instant Oatmeal there was this giggle, a gleeful, little laugh of happiness after so many mornings of waking up alone... I had to shut it up lest it tip the scales of my hangover and I throw up...

We'd started laughing Friday night... right about the time we'd decided to go to Walt's Wharf, after all. New experiences and new memories are great and all - but you try getting reservations at the last minute!

I'd picked her up wearing a tan suit with a blue-ish shirt. (What do I know from colors? I'm a guy!!) Anyway, I was looking nice. I just hoped Vicky thought so. When I saw how she was dressed, though, I quickly forgot about my own ensemble issues. She was dressed in a short black dress with black pearls and these shoes... very sexy shoes... My girlfriend is very beautiful.
It was a good feeling and one I wished had lasted - but as I drove to Seal Beach, the impulse came over me to tap on the steering wheel with the music from the cd. Just as I started to do this, Vicky said in a loud and strident tone, "Don't do that! Don't ever do that! I once dated a guy who -" and her voice dropped into and unearthly tone that echoed the churning bowels of hell bubbling with fire, piss, and 1989 tax returns...

Actually, it was kind of how I felt Sunday morning. But Vicky said, "I think Tim's up. Shouldn't we get dressed?" I struggled into something - someone had switched my arms with my legs - while she got up and dressed. Okay. Her hangover wasn't nearly as bad as mine. Then, Tim came in to watch movie trailers on my PC. All that sound and light and movement...

"That's a very strident tone," I said to Vicky, getting out of my parked car.

"Well, that's how I felt. I don't like that."

It all felt so familiar. Indeed, I'd lived through this with Rosa and with Rosa, I probably replied with something like, "Well, don't give me your shit!" This time, I thought I'd try to be better than that. I said, "I understand that other guy did that but I'm not him. You don't need to be strident with me."

"I know," she said, and took my hand. And so ended our fastest spat to date.

I'd told Vicky there was another restaurant in Seal Beach, a little Italian place, and suggested we might go there for "new memories". We checked it out, looked at the menu posted outside the door. "What do you think," she asked.

"I don't know. What do you think?"

"No. What do you think."

"Look," I said. "I drove. So you decide."...

We'd woken up too late for Sunday Brunch and my hangover wasn't tamed until after noon. Actually, my hangover wouldn't be tamed until after 6pm but, at least, I could get up after noon. But to be quite honest, everything before that is a blur. So, we decide to go to this Mongolian Barbeque place I knew of. Tim and I had gone there. It was, to use the vernacular, "da bomb".

So, we went... and they'd gone out of business so long ago that a new restaurant was already in its place. So, where to go?... Where to go?...

"If it was up to me," Vicky said, "I'd go here."



"I was just thinking I'd rather go to Walt's Wharf. I just don't know how much I want to take chances right now."

She smiled and took my hand. "Come on." Within minutes, we had our Walt's Wharf pager ("It'll go off when your table is ready.") and were headed to O'Malley's for a drink. I put the pager in my pocket and we found a seat at the bar. Vicky ordered an apple martini... and the bartender gave her a look that said, "You want what? Lady, does this look like the kind of place where people order apple martinis?" I ordered a Guinness. Thankfully, he made both just fine. So, we talked over the loud bar until, with a buzz and a start and a shock, I leapt from my barstool - "Whoooooo-owie!" - taking the buzzing pager from my pocket. "Our table's ready," I said... covering... and we downed our drinks... a good idea on an empty stomach... in fact, it kind of set the tone for the weekend...

Our favorite Thai restaurant was nearby, Thai Spice, and we decided to go there... despite the fact that I had yet to go completely through the five stages of grief. In fact, I took a wrong turn from denial and grief to Appam, North Dakota, right off Route 50. Maybe that, and Vicky's legs, was what made me forget that spicy Thai food and a hangover don't make for a day in the park... even if you're in the park! All of our stomachs were making the strangest noises, even as we walked to Target. Mine didn't have far to go, though. Stepping inside the store, I said to Tim, "I think I need to -" and ran to the bathroom...

As the waiter walked us to our table, he walked up right past the bathroom. "Better not seat us yet!" I kept thinking. He didn't. We ended up with a nice table, that led to a nice appetizer (seafood wontons!), a nice bottle of Pinot Noir, and a nice dinner. "How's the salmon," I asked the waitress. "Well," she said, "I've tried everything on the menu but I can't eat salmon." Any woman who would eat the calamari cakes with chipolte/mango salsa but not salmon was suspicious... perhaps that's why we both ordered the salmon! It actually turned out to be the best salmon I'd ever tasted, caramelized with mashed potatoes and asparagus... drool...

During dinner, Vicky was talking about her friends. Through the blur of drunken memories, I recall her talking about someone named Tommy, who she said she loved.

"You don't love him as much as you love me, though," I said.

"Oh no." I few seconds later, she caught herself. It was her first slip towards the "L" word.

Okay. So, I'm an evil man.

One dinner and one bottle of Pinot Noir later, I was happily drunk. I suggested walking on the pier (I considered walking home, hoping to sober up by then) but Vicky asked if we could walk on the beach. "I'm wearing a suit," I told her. "Take off your shoes and roll up your cuffs," she replied. Things with her are just too damned easy...

I could barely carry myself around the Target and back to the bathroom several times, seeing the pitying face of Tim and Vicky whenever I returned. We were supposed to pick up a battery for my phone but I couldn't make it any further. "Bring me home," I told Vicky. "I need to go home." Home. You know. To a familiar bathroom. So, she brought me home, and then she offered to pick up the battery for me. "You don't need to do that," I told her. "I know," she replied. She and Tim went and I staggered to my nice, cool, air-conditioned bathroom.

When they returned, I was feeling a little bit better. Vicky walked in with the battery, a battery she'd bought from Staples, not Radio Shack. I remember my brain boiling. "Are you mad, woman?" I thought. "You buy batteries from Radio Shack. You buy staples from Staples!!" But I remained calm. How many times had I blown up at Rosa for not following my rules/orders/directives to the letter. It would help for me to trust Vicky. After all, she's not an idiot... and, anyway, I needed to go to the bathroom again...

It was hard to trust Vicky's idea. If there was one thing of which I was sure it was that going to the beach at night included, indeed REQUIRED, walking on the pier. This whole "walking on the beach" thing seemed far out of synch with any reality I'd ever known. But I rolled up my pant's cuffs and removed my shoes and... we walked.

It wasn't bad.

In fact, it was kind of good.

And as Vicky and I stood on the beach in the moonlight, kissing each other, I realized that I'd stepped in a movie. I told her this - and she agreed - which was right around the time the police drove out and told us, from their loud speaker, that we'd have to get off the beach. By the time we got back to my car, I'd sobered up...

By 6pm, I'd sobered up and Tim had to leave - none too soon as he was tired of watching the lovebird show, I'm sure. Vicky and I moved the party to her place... and I brought the tape for "Dial M for Murder". It was time to start watching the plays. We were entering our fifth week of dating (Sunday was four weeks - Today is a month) and it was time for Vicky to know me for the acting GOD I am... and what better to start with than "Dial M", the shitty, little show in the shitty, little theater with a cast that was, well...

I hate reliving the past. I don't mind viewing it... but reliving it stinks! Saturday morning, Vicky and I went to Costco together. I wasn't a big fan of this idea at the beginning, even as I suggested it! I mean, I knew that it would be nice to shop together but I also knew that I was looking my neurosis square in the face - something I'm not good at! After all, this was the Costco Cindy and I had met at so often, as we tried to pursue a relationship after Rosa and I split. It was doomed, of course - but what better place to bring Vicky that the ruins of the relationship with which I killed my marriage. Let's pile defeat on top of defeat and then throw a fresh corpse on the fire!

As much as my neurosis was telling me thing, I also knew I couldn't avoid every place I'd been with Rosa or Cindy or DeAnna or anyone else. Vicky is just too important to allow that. And, so, we went to Costco...

I prefaced "Dial M" with warnings about possible health affects and flying lack of talent coming off the screen, but she still wanted to see it. Oh, god, was it bad! It took several hours before she stopped vomiting. Her dog watched a few minutes and I had to give the pup mouth-to-mouth! Her paint peeled.

She was still feeling poorly when I left. I told her that if she needed anything, she could call me and I'd bring it to her. And then, she shocked me by giving me her key. Though I was home soon, cleaning and doing ironing, I wasn't there for long. I realized that I didn't want to sleep at home. I wanted to sleep next to Vicky. So, I got in my car and drove back... and let myself in...

There are some things I've always wanted in a relationship. One of those things has been public displays of affection. Rosa hated it if I did more than hold her hand - and she sometimes hated that! Well, I found out at Costco that this wouldn't be any problem with Vicky. She has no problem showing me how she feelings in public or letting me show her. We even started dancing a little in the frozen food aisle. I said to her, "I love you," and she replied, "I do, too."

Later, she said, "I can't believe I said it for the first time in Costco!"

"Well, you didn't really say it. You just agreed." I hated feeling like I'd tricked her into it or something....

Monday morning, we awoke with each other. It felt great. It felt so good, in fact, that we promptly called in to work and said we wouldn't be in. Then, she made me eggs and bacon and pancakes. I guy could get used to this! Then, we snuggled on the sofa and watched TV. She said, "I don't want this to end. I want us to be a couple that always does this." I agreed, of course. It's what I've always wanted...

I dropped her off at her place, helping her in with her purchases from Costco. She had to hurry and get ready, though. She was meeting her folks in Vegas. I said my goodbyes, and we kissed, and she said, "I love you."

My heart leaped.

"Say it again," I said.

"I love you."

Well, there goes my plan for a lifetime of misery!

Soon, I was driving south, flying high... until I hit traffic... it took me four hours to get to San Diego...

Now would be a good time to jump back to Monday - has my lack of continuity given you a headache yet? - but there isn't much to say. We spent the entire day pretty much as any couple, newly in love. I can't tell you anything without running the risk of being indiscrete so I'll just say to hell with discretion and tell you that we pretty much spent the day making love... and, so, back to Saturday...

When I got to Tim's, I found out that Vicky didn't go to Vegas. Her whole reason for going - a $1000 Nordstrom's gift certificate she was going to spend with her mother - could be used at any Nordstrom's. So, she stayed. Tim and I returned promptly - but we didn't skip a trip to DVDPlanet. Just over $100 of DVDs later, we headed home for martinis, smokes, and, yes, Vicky. I had wanted to spend an evening being loud and gross with my best friend; Vicky wanted to see what that entailed. It entailed 12 pitchers of martinis, about a pack of smokes, and a lot of laughs.

It also entailed Vicky saying to Tim that she and I were a team, something I'd always hoped to hear from someone before I suggested it to them. And I made sure she got another martini... so she couldn't drive home...

Monday night (we're in the home stretch now!), I returned to my apartment and got everything ready. Vicky was coming over for dinner and a play. The play was "40 Carats". I told her all about it before it started. I told her about Annie and Lori being the two people who started me writing plays. I told her about what a jerk Steve's become. I even told her about the strange relationship Chris, Sherryl, and I had and how Chris and I conjectured which of us would bed her and even who was right. And we watched the play, eating salad and shrimp cocktail and sourdough bread and balsamic vinegar and olive oil. And then she kissed me and thanked me for sharing all of this with her.

It's been one month. There's a lot more to share. The fun's only starting.

I've been phenomenally fortunate and I don't know why. I do know, however, that this is not something I will take for granted. This relationship, this woman, this love - it's for keeps.

Friday, July 16, 2004

One romantic evening coming up...

Change in plans.
After reading the last entry, Vicky has suggested we find a place that's new to us. No Walt's Wharf. No old memories.
What a fantastic idea! So, here we go. I don't know what tonight will hold but I'll be sure to let you know... and bore you to tears with all the details...
(I told you I'd make you sick with all this luvy-duvy crap.)

Mistakes mistooken...

It's come to my attention that I may recently have made some mistakes. Yes, I make mistakes. I can even admit when I do. (Though it wasn't my fault.)

Vicky's been reading through the old My Sides. This has prompted me to review the old My Sides and remove all references to: crack, threesomes, hookers, B&D, that porn I starred in, mass murders, and things I do to people named Vicky...

I've also caught a lot of typos. Listen folks, I type these really fast. I'm at work. I'm looking busy!!! So, I don't always catch the typos. So, let me apologize for any typose you fidn on thes Blurg. I aslhr snadf7u e eops89dfn.

Next up, I need to correct a statement I made in the last My Side. I said that I hadn't been to Walt's Wharf with anyone but my mom. Not entirely true. You see, I haven't brought anyone but my mom there since 2002. It was then that I took my mom there for Mother's Day. She liked it... but couldn't imagine me spending that much on iced tea! So, the next year, we went to Ruby's at her behest. (Ruby's... burger joint... mascot is a waitress looking to get some action in the walk-in.)

Before I'd taken my mom, I went with DeAnna. It was our first date - the first date that ended my friendship with Essex who had given me her phone number when I'd asked if he minded if I went out with her but he certainly didn't expect me to go out with her! - on January 1, 2001. She insisted on ordering the wine and tasting it and complaining about it all through dinner, while I paid. (God, am I stupid!) Sure, I should have seen that as I sign of things to come. Instead, I figured I needed more torture and a reason to write "Atheists" a year and a half later.
Before that, I'd gone with Rosa. (Duh!) I don't remember much about our dinner there except that a waitress gave me her card while Rosa was in the bathroom. (Yes, the waitress had a card; I shit you not.) She'd scribbled her home phone number on it. I didn't tell Rosa about it and tossed it in the first trashcan on the street. What a dope. What was the waitress trying to tell me? Probably something like, "Leave her and date me before she really screws you over." By throwing away her card, I was saying, "No, I think I need a good screwing over. Now, if you're name was Vicky and it was 2004, we'd talk."

So, there you go. I can't type and Walt's Wharf is where I take all my bitches... g'night everybody!

This, That, and the Other

After reading My Side, my intent is that you'll be very impressed with the titles, if not the writing. My previous intent had been to attract loose women attracted to psychotically depressed men whose exes had babies with gay men... but I got that. (Ooooooh - I'm so kidding!)

So, let's start with a little This and That. (Other comes later.)

Last night, Vicky and I went to the Dog Park. (It had a witty name that, in my zombified state, I've forgotten.) As Suki went sniffing around (peeing around, pooping around, etc.), Vicky and I held hands, strolled with our arms around each other, and were generally a couple. It was so nice. I want you to hear something and then you'll see how very good I have it. (Yes, it entails Rosa. Just grit your teeth.) The first month Rosa and I were together, she broke up with me nearly daily. She hung up on me (on the phone) a couple times each day. She screamed at me, she insulted me... she was generally a bitch. (Richard Lind can attest. He tried to talk me out of every effort I made to make things work.) But I'd fallen in love with her and felt it could work with enough effort. Folks, enough effort got me 15 years of sporadic okay-ness, interspersed with major pain. Now, let's flip to that last month (yes, in a few days, Vicky and I will be celebrating our one month anniversary!). Vicky and I have had our disagreements and she made a serious effort for about a week to make me want to kill her but we talked things out and found common ground and didn't let ourselves get in the way of how good we feel as "us". So, holding her at the dog park, as innocuous and common as that may seem, reminded me again how good I have it.

Then, we returned to her place. She picked up a pizza for us (we had yet to eat and it was nearing 9pm) and we ate it over "Sex in the City". After, was held each other and talked. She's been reading all the My Sides and getting quite an opinion of me. (Nuts. Crazy. Obsessive. Dangerously sexual.) (Okay, just nuts, crazy, and obsessive.) We talked about some of the pain I've been through. (All of it is too much for two people. It's a fricking conference!) I said, "This has just been a lot to get through."

"That." she said.


"That. Past tense."

Oh my god. She was right. I was past tense. I mean, pining over Rosa ended months ago and, even before Vicky came along, I was starting to get comfortable with the sadness. But we've been together a month now. A whole month. And I've been happy. It's amazing. It's really a miracle in many ways. And it wasn't that I'd missed it, I'd just grown so used to pain and sadness and loneliness that I hadn't switched my tenses.

"That." I said, correcting myself.

Somewhere between this and that, my life has changed. You never see it when it happens. Maybe I kept expecting this to end that I'd missed the part where I decided I didn't want it to end. As shocking as it may seem, I've left Rosa behind. I'm done. I only had a short time to live in the present and now I've found my future. And if you don't think that's scary...

So, I guess it should come as no surprise that, with our anniversary coming up (stop giggling - one month is cool!), I've decided to take Vicky out on a nice, romantic evening. One month happened so quickly that we have yet to do that. It was like we met and were so happy to be with each other we forgot we could do that while spending way too much on a bottle of wine! We're going to Walt's Wharf in Seal Beach, a restaurant I've only taken my mom to because I wanted to save it for the right girl. Vicky is the right girl. (And one of these days, I need to change my noun usage. At 35, she's a woman.) We'll have a nice, quiet dinner, a walk on the beach, and some smooching on the pier to make the old folks uncomfortable. (We'll show you some kissin'!) (Great. Now, I'm quoting Jimmy Stewart...)

Ah, but it doesn't stop there, folks. Tomorrow morning, I'm looking at another place. This time, Vicky's coming along. Then, we're going to Costco together! Yes, domestic bliss. (He's talking scary again...)

After that, Vicky's headed out to Vegas with her folks and I'm heading to San Diego. If all goes as planned, I'll be kidnapping Tim to forcing him to make me martinis. Ah, yes. The good life! As much as I'm loving the time I spend with Vicky (and loving Vicky), it'll be nice to have an evening of debauchery with my old friend. And, so, to all my other old friends out there who can't make it - Sean, Tim, Robert, and Richard - I'll be sure to raise a glass to you (hey, that's four martinis - SCORE!) and wish you well. (And when you want to come over for martinis, just let me know.)

Well, there you go. All that was the "Other"... so I think I've covered it all. G'night folks.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Blogging for the Neurotic...

"Now that Ken has a girlfriend, he never writes in his Blog."
"My Sides were better back when Ken was trying to kill himself."
"Who is this Vicky person, anyway? And how do we know she even exists?"
"My poney went poopey on my Barbie Malibu Funhouse..."
Yes, three out of four My Side readers agree that Ken's been a real pain with this "ain't Vicky swell" jazz. He had more bite, more grit, and 30% less sucrose when he was terminally depressed.
But what can you, the reader, do?
Well, you can stop bitching, for one. You poor dopes. You're trapped inside my little world and have to live with whatever I decide to write!
Ah ha ha ha!!!!!!
... but seriously...
Things have been going pretty well these days, giving me little to write about. So, I just thought I'd send you a My Side saying, "Screw you if you want more angst. I'm happy. You'll have to wait until Vicky breaks up with me!"
In the meantime, I'm going to try and upload a picture of Vicky so you can all see what she looks like. (See, Blogger has been making changes to the site and may finally have made it easy enough for me to use.... or maybe not.)
Now, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Vicky:
(... nope... they didn't... i'm a moron... shut up...)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Thoughts on an election that might not be...

Most of you know that I love Tom Tomorrow's site (and the awesomeness that is This Modern World). I saw this posted today by Bob Harris and wanted to share it with you. Thanks Bob!

Yes, I do believe that Team Chimpy is likely to exploit any possibility of postponing our elections in one way or another.

My opinion only, but it seems delusional to imagine they wouldn't, given the laundry list of the unimaginable we already know they're perfectly happy to do: muscle into power, steal multiple entire Congressional districts by redistricting, expose our own intelligence people for political gain, start an entire war based on obvious lies, endanger our safety by subordinating the fight against Al-Qaeda, treat our own wounded troops as pariahs, claim the right to imprison indefinitely at the president's whim, rationalize torture, try to time the arrest of Bin Laden to sabotage the Democrats, and build their entire freakin' convention around the shameless exploitation of a mass murder.

I can't think of a single damned thing that these people won't try to spin and twist and distort into a political advantage. Right this very minute, it's an uphill fight to make sure the voting machines themselves aren't simply hijacked. And you know perfectly well which side Chimpy is on.

If you truly imagine there's a line they won't cross if they can, you're not paying attention. This is not about democracy for them. It never has been. As Molly Ivins put it so well: They wish not to govern, but to rule.

I mean, what more would we need to see the utterly obvious here? Dick Cheney simply biting large bits out of people every time they disagree with him? "Go fuck yourself" replacing "E pluribus unum" as our national slogan? Karl Rove strolling down Pennsylvania Avenue drinking Tom Daschle's brain marrow through a crazy straw?

(And really, at this point, would you be all that surprised...?)

A dummies guide to the federal budget...

I thought this would be a good time to stop and talk about where federal monies go. Why? Well, I recently had yet another right wing IDIOT tell me that money should be given to the wealthy because the poor are stealing it all. (No shit. I mentioned how Shrub's tax cuts went mostly to the wealthy and he said, "That's cause there's so many lazy people on Welfare who take it all."

I would have killed him but his lapse in logic actually cut me.

So, here: Take a look at this. This is a chart brought to you by the organization called "TruthandPolitics", which shows, in very simple terms, where money goes.

The largest cut, about 21%, goes to Social Security. If you didn't know, that's not going to shore up Social Security for the future. Those are payments right now. For security in the future, you need to - you guessed it - INVEST MORE MONEY. Most of the recent budget surplus would have come from this. That's right. The "surplus" was created by not INVESTING MONEY. Shrub stole this "surplus" and gave it to his friends. Sill wanna vote for him?

The next largest cut goes to the military. Does it go to pay for the Iraqi debacle? No. It goes to pay for the weapons we already bought. Remember, this is the 2004 budget. It is money we spend to kill people. How much do we spend to kill people? Over 19%. That's right. More than $.19 of every dollar you pay in taxes goes to kill people. Still feeling righteous?

Next, comes Medicare at over 11%. Pissed off because more than $.11 on every dollar you pay in taxes goes to help heal the sick? Look at the previous paragraph. If you don't mind killing as much as you mind healing, go find a very tall building and jump off of it.

Fourth down is social welfare. $.08 on each dollar goes to the poor.

Now, is that too much?

Well, first of all, you already spent 52.7% on killing, healing, and making the rich richer without knowing you were doing that to begin with. That's $.52 as opposed to $.08.

But I can see people going crazy saying, "IT'S MY EIGHT CENTS AND I WANT IT, DAMMIT!" Well, then, I'd get pretty mad at the money stolen from social security as well as the 6.2% that goes to other and the 6.7% that goes to interest because that money is also going to the rich. It's called corporate welfare and it covers about $.12-.15. Yep, nearly twice as much as social welfare.

And this isn't including tax breaks, tax dodges, and loopholes that the incredibly rich are given so they don't have to pay taxes to begin with.

So, next time you're ranting about your eight cents, shut up.

It's too much like a man whose car was totalled, screaming that he lost his floor mats.

Home of the Brave?...

Now that we're all getting ready to suspend our right to vote in case, god forbid, the "terrorists" "attack" "us", I thought it a good time to reassess this whole idea that America is the "home of the brave". "Land of the free" has been out with the baby's bathwater a long time ago.

After 9/11, we didn't stand up to Shrub - who, let's remember, had the most to gain from it to begin with - and instead gave all of our budget surplus to the wealthy who'd helped install him into the Presidency. We allowed them to take away our rights after they threatened to attack us again. We gave them more money and our brothers, sons, and friends to send off to a patently unjust war (if such a thing even exists).

Now, please don't hurt us. We'll even surrender our meager right to vote - just don't threaten us!!!!

Home of the brave? Home of the Whopper, at best!

Laundry mats...

In the aftermath of the great toilet debacle, I had found that the maintenance guy had kindly flooded my bathroom. ("Stupid gringo! Here's some water for you, gringo!") I hadn't noticed until my bathroom carpet took on a rather... squishy texture... and off to the laundromat we went!

I actually try to avoid the laundromat whenever I can. Laudromats are strange places. I don't feel I fit in at a laundromat... though I am one of the three demographics that laundromats serve.

The first is the inbred. I don't think that needs any discussion. We know them. We've seen them. To the inbred, a laundromat is the New York freaking Public Library.
Next, those who appear to be inbred. Unfortunate as this group might be, honestly, if you're going to look inbred, that's just how it goes.
Third and finally, bachelors. Me. And so I was there.

I remember how my mom used to bring us to the laundromat with her when we were children, my brother, my sister and I. Were we the inbred or simply those who appeared so? I honestly don't know. My sister lives up in the Ozarks of Oregon and my brother has a hard time holding down a job as a security guard and my step-father was in pest control... you be the judge. I remember that my mom didn't have a car, then. It was very close to when my dad left and she was perpetually broke and he was perpetually not paying child support... we would walk to the laundromat with our clothes in a red wagon... I think if I drove by those people (my family) today, I'd think, "What a bunch of inbred, hick losers!"

(And now an aside brought to you by Existentialism by Sartre: Knowing this, how can I not feel a certain responsibility toward my fellow man when I was once a part of those "hick losers"? How can I now want to reach out to a hungry child when I was that same child, once?)

I hadn't bothered wringing out my carpet - what's more gross, wringing or not? - and plopped it into the washer. I also brought another basket with clothes and put them in two other washers. Around me, two children circled, running around the perimeter of the laundromat... screaming as though the were on fire. I looked over at their mother and father, who stood vacant-stared. They didn't read, speak, move... nothing. Perhaps the kids had killed them - they'd certainly deafened them.

I shouted, "Hey!" I was trying to quiet them.

They looked at me - knowingless.

Then, their father said something in spanish. They ran to him and he seemed to order them to drink their sodas. Good. More sugar. Good.

You stupid dope.

I left, taking my carpet's laundry basket - my dripping laundry basket - with me. I was going to put it in my car but I figured I'd leave it out in the sun... dry it out, you know? Then, I sat outside the laundromat, outside the screams of the hell beasts, and read.

Soon, a car pulled up. It was a very small car, like an old Toyota Corolla, but it was stuffed to the roof panels with children. A woman stepped out from the driver's side, followed by a small boy. The pile of other children in the car kind of collapsed to fill the empty space.

Then, walking across the parking lot, carrying clothes, came a creature that can only be expressed as half-man, half-elephant. I swear! He had the head of a man but the ground shook as his elephantine hulk pounded across the lot, his foul odor snaking before him, looking for those weaker to say "I am coming" or possible mates...

Next, another car pulled up and a young woman got out - a very attractive young woman. She was followed by a man who had no discernable skull of any kind. Now, I've seen people with no jaw, whose face ends at the pooch of skin just under their bottom lip, but this guy had no cheekbones, either! Under his (greasy) hair sat brow, nose, and then a sunken chest. Now I might have the most wonderful girlfriend but I still can't help wondering how he'd hooked this hot, young thing. It wasn't his looks and, from the car they drove, I could tell it wasn't his money. Some things will always be a mystery. They walked into the laundromat, used the change machine, and then left. Must be a shortage of quarters in the rest of the country, I thought.

At about this time, I moved my wash from the washer to the dryer. I knew these dryers were notorious for underdrying. So, I put in twice as much money for twice the time and started the machines. As I turned to walk away, one of the screaming, running children ran right into me. (POW!) Then, he fell down. (BIP!) I looked over at the parents. The mother was looking at me, slack-jawed, a blank look on her face. At any moment, I expected to hear her hungrily request, "Braaaiiinnnsss!"

I sat down outside again. The woman from the clown car full of kids was smoking with her one child. Then, she got up and I heard her say, "I'm going in there but you can't. It's against the law." The child followed her until the walked into a bar and then, he waited. And he was still there when I left.

Which were inbreds? Which just looked like them? (We know elephant man was probably a bachelor!)

But I was no longer a bachelor! That is, if you measure such things by being in a committed relationship... my hearted pounded at the thought. I don't look inbred. The only category left were the actual inbred!!! Had to think quickly... If bachelorhood is defined by marriage status, as does: "an unmarried man", then I AM a bachelor! No worries. I am NOT one of them!

Soon, my clothes were dry.

Wait. Scratch that.

Soon, the dryer was finished. My clothes inside were wet... but warm. I packed them all away as the hell beasts were being given change for the candy machine, knowing that my apartment would soon be festooned with damp clothes in the hopes that they would dry. The elephant man seemed to be altering his density to see how much weight a bench - a bench he filled, by the way - could take. I could hear it creaking as he rocked back and forth.

I hurried out. My other basket was dry and I tossed it into my trunk.

I can't wait to get a place so I can buy a washer & dryer!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Young, virile, talented.... and neurotic...

This weekend started with broken backs and broken toilets and ended with the new love in my life.

Friday night, started when I left work thinking, "Oh, God. Another night of arguing with Vicky." I didn't think I could take it. I was sure where it was heading - her name was DeAnna Caudillo and the play was Atheists. As much as I could use a new play and another one like Atheists, I didn't want one on the back of what is quickly becoming "Ken & Vicky". (See "Ken & Rosa", circa 1988-2000.) I'm liking the "Ken & Vicky" thing... a lot.

I had more immediate problems anyway. My toilet was broken. I went to the manager's office, filled out a form for repairs, and headed to Vicky's.

Instead of fighting, I brought a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and we watched "Lost In Translation"... and then we argued. This time, my fault. Vicky wasn't appreciating the movie as I would have wanted her to. You see, I'm one of those people who sits and watches quietly as to not miss a nuance. Vicky, on the other hand, was talking. Let's face it. It wasn't her cup of tea as much as it was my movable feast. And as much as I wanted to pound my head into the ground, it soon became incredibly clear that I was being a horse's ass. So she doesn't like the same movies or in the same way as I do - face it Ken. She's not YOU! Thank God! And it was at the point that the bickering became laughing and kissing and just in time, anyway, because her back was really hurting her.

Vicky was in a car accident some years back, which brings on back pain. By Saturday morning, she was in agony. I told her I'd be right over. Right over, she asked. And therein lay another joke. You see, I've learned she likes assertive men and she's learned... well, I'm a wuss. So when I decided I was going to be assertive and she wasn't expecting it, I had to explain to her how I was going to bring her pills for her back (someone had whiplash just last year) and then take care of her... and then hung up before she could say anything else.

Before I left, I went to the apartment manager's office. My toilet was still broken. I filled out another form for repair - and was off.

Less than an hour later, I showed up with pills (no, Sean, not Viagra), Diet Coke (her fave), and books for reading. "You didn't need to come over," she said.

"Your dog will need to go out to pee. You may need water or something. I took these pills last year and I know what they do. They'll have you flat on your back and passed out in a few minutes. Trust me."

Surely, you know what didn't happen by now, right? She took the pills, cleaned her kitchen, did her laundry, cleaned her bathroom, watched TV... and then thought she was feeling a little tired. It was either the pills or all the housework. Of course, once she was out, she was OUT. It was early evening before she got up again, actually feeling a little better. (Thank you. Thank you.)

That night, we went to Durty Nelly's for karaoke with Robert and Glenda. Robert was in "Something to Hide" with me, so I fully expected him to tell Vicky how talented I was ... you know, while I was away from the table or something. It was also a chance, since they had karaoke, for me to wow her with my singing voice.

First song, "California Dreamin'" by the Mamas and the Papas. I sang the first line, "EYEYEall the leaves are brown," screeching like an alarm. (Knew I should have warmed up.) Second song: "Desire" by U2 - my performance of this song has WOWed women around the globe and brought them to their knees. (Remember when I ruled the world for a few days last summer?)

... Nothing.

The final song was a fluke. A wedding party came in and started to do party songs, fun songs, happy songs.

I'd put in "Tears in Heaven" by Clapton. Hell with it, I thought, I'm bombing anyway. I'll do it.

She liked it.


So, by my calculations, that was a full day without neurosis... without much neurosis...

That was to end.

We had blueberry pancakes at her place the next morning. Blueberry pancakes.

"What do you miss most about Rosa," Tim had once asked me.

My reply? "Her pancakes."

And so, I ate pancakes... you know... just like Rosa used to make.

I know there are people reading this and cringing. "What are you doing?" you're screaming at the screen. "Vicky's going to read this!!!!" I know. And there's no way to explain this so just take my word for it: she's cool. She knows how terrified I am of making the same mistake twice. She knows how serious I feel about her.

When I eat Vicky's pancakes and think about Rosa, it is NOT in the sense that I wish they were Rosa's - just like how both of them have lips but I never wish I was kissing Rosa's when I kiss Vicky. So, what goes through my head? That terrible sense of how little I deserve this. That awful insistence that, having failed once, I do not deserve another chance. And I think the worst part is that, now that Vicky is in my life, I can't help but feel stupid for all the suffering I went through after Rosa. It's almost as if someone is saying, "You thought Rosa was cool? Wait until you see Vicky!" while at the same time they're saying, "You thought Rosa hurt you?... You ain't seen nothing yet."

And so I ate bite after bite of these incredibly tasty blueberry pancakes (and tried not to put too much syrup on them so I didn't look like I was nine years old) as I choked back self-loathing and regret and a tidal wave of emotions... which I guess just goes to show you that nothing will stop me from eating.

Later that day, Vicky had to get skin cancer (read as "sit out and get a tan") and I had to check on the status of my toilet. Still broken. I went to the manager's office.

"Hi," the perky, painfully obese woman in the office said as I walked in, obviously forgetting that she'd seen me twice already that weekend. "What can I do for you?"

"My toilet is still broke."

"Oh? Did you tell anybody?"

"Yes. You. Twice this weekend."

"Oh? Did you fill out a form for repair?"

"Yes. With you. Twice this weekend."

"And nobody's come by?"

"No! That's why it's still broken! It's been broken all weekend! I haven't gone to the bathroom all weekend! I need my toilet fixed!"

Being an actor is great. I kept a straight face and everything as this incompetent (and let's not forget incomprehensibly dense) worker bee... elephant, made a quick call to maintenance. Just the right amount of rage of pathos, I thought.

I called Tim from my patio and, when I was done, my toilet was fixed.

... I'd like to thank the Academy...

Then, I went to Sean's for some pool. Ah, pool. What finer sport is there? Well, plenty, but I can kick Sean's ass at pool, so there you are. Later, Vicky joined us. Sean loved her as I knew he would. Sean couldn't join us for dinner, though, and Vicky and I went to Souplantation.

Okay, wanna hear how weird Vicky is? She's never been to Souplantation!!! Weird, I'm telling you. (I love weird.) Once she understood that you didn't go there for great food, but for inexpensive fairly decent food, I think she liked it. After, and stuffed, we went to Barnes and Nobles, gazing longingly at books we couldn't afford. We did the couples walk around the store - her walking and pulling me along from embrace to embrace - annoyingly lovey-dovey to all but ourselves - as we talked about books, and kids, and picked up a wedding planner book and talked about bet you can't guess.

She makes my head spin. She's so lovely and emotionally open and honest... and a lot of other things that would bump this Blog into a heavy "R" rating...

In the interests of discretion, however, I'll jump right to today and my first doctor's appointment in five years. Of course, I didn't want to go. Rosa's career in medicine and my career in suicide (one moderately successful and one quite the contrary) had kept me away from anyone who wanted me to live longer. With Vicky in my life, though, I tend to want to be around. On top of that, there's that ritual that comes with being in a relationship after 1979, the STD tests... and so I was at the doc's office. They took my temp, which came out to be 83 degrees... huh? 83?! The nurse just shrugged it off, though. Not to worry. I'm probably dead with a temp like that but whatever! (Honestly, I haven't a frikken clue.) My blood pressure was 128/82, just a little high but not catastrophic. They took some blood. They did an EKG. Then, the doctor - the WOMAN doctor asked me to disrobe for the next part. I knew what was coming. "MOON RIVER!" I didn't want that test. Not on the first date - I mean COME ON!

It's the immortal question: Would you prefer a female doctor or a male doctor doing that?

But she didn't do that. And I love her for that... until she does it, that is. (Stay tuned for when I avoid that office visit!) We wrapped up the visit and she told me I was perfectly healthy. Lungs sound good. BP's good. (No mention of the graveyard temp.) And my heart is very fit. "Very fit," I asked. "You have the heart of a 20 year old," she told me. Good, I thought. Knowing Vicky, I'll need it.

"Now, about STDs," she said, starting in on all the things they'd test for and... well, I lost track. Up until that point, I was sure all I'd get from those blood tests was an order to stop eating ice cream. The issue of STDs was a non-issue.

But wait... I started thinking about the people I'd had sex with... and started worrying...

But I've donated blood - they check for HIV in the blood.

Maybe... but HIV often cannot be detected for 10 years. You've had sex in the last 10 years. You could be infected. Infected! Infected!!!!

"Great. Okay. Thanks for your time," I said, rushing her out so I could put back on my clothes. My HIV infested clothes. In my HIV infested car. Driving back to my HIV infested home. To smoke an HIV infested cigarette.

Jesus, I thought. I've been incredibly safe and more cautious than a Buddhist monk - they won't find it.

They will. You're being tested for it. They'll find it.

It was obvious that the only way this dilemma would be solved would be to ignore it - and ignore it fast.

I called Vicky.

And she talked about going away for the weekend. Maybe in October. Maybe to Napa Valley. Maybe Sonoma.

Sure. Right. Sonoma. Where Tim used to live. Where Rosa and I would go... together...

And so ends our little story with proof positive that the blood test will come out positive when tested for neurosis. But as I told Vicky, I'm not going to let that stop us from our happiness together. I'll just do what I've been learning more and more to do and what I've been getting better and better at - telling it to shut the hell up.

Election cancelled for our own safety. Bush crowned king.

Okay, maybe not yet, but if Tom "Code Red" Ridge and Shrub have their way, we could be looking at a continuation of this nightmare. You see, according to them, terrorists are going to attack on election day and, FOR OUR OWN SAFETY, the election must be postponed.

Folks, if this doesn't scare the hell out of you, nothing will.

Did he say Buddhism???

Yes, he did.

So, I was looking at's journal and he has a great entry about basic Buddist thinking, which I thought you might be interested to see, if only to know more about my philosophical leanings...

"Mindfulness" is simply one way Buddhists put their philosophy in practice. The idea is to incorporate these practices in your life. If you can get through the first, go to the second, and so on. "Mindfulness", or "Right Thinking", goes with "Right Actions" and "Right Speech", and so on...

The First Mindfulness Training
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life.

The Second Mindfulness Training
Aware of suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing and oppression, I am committed to cultivating loving kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants and minerals. I will practise generosity by sharing my time, energy and material resources with those who are in real need. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. I will respect the property of others, but I will prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species on Earth.

The Third Mindfulness Training
Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families and society. I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without love and a long-term commitment. To preserve the happiness of myself and others, I am determined to respect my commitments and the commitments of others. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct.

The Fourth Mindfulness Training
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am determined to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy and hope. I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain and will not criticise or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break. I am determined to make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.

The Fifth Mindfulness Training
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family and my society by practising mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I will ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being and joy in my body, in my consciousness and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programmes, magazines, books, films and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger and confusion in myself and in society by practising a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self transformation and for the transformation of society.

A test to take before election day...

Here's a little test for you to send out to all of your friends before election day. If you still think they'll be voting for Shrub, perhaps they're a bit misinformed (cough *stupid* cough). Thanks to's journal:

isn't there a basic test that can be administered to people before they vote to
figure out if they're actually aware of the issues?
1-george bush created the largest deficit in the history of the united states,
true or false?
2-there were weapons of mass destruction in iraq, true or false?
3-there was an al qaeda presence in iraq, true or false?
4-iraq was involved in 9-11, true or false?
5-george bush has taken more vacation time as president than any other president
in the last 100 years, true or false?

1-t, 2-f, 3-f, 4-f, 5-t.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Proof that Vicky is weird...

Having failed to impress her with my writing, acting, singing, juggling, and general ability to goof off with no sense of, oh, a goal or anything... I brought it up with her today.

I told her how often I've dazzled people (not women who would want to date me, just people in general) with my acting, writing, singing, mental scuba diving, etc... and how strange it seems that she's so unaffected.

She said, Other people can be into "Ken the Writer" or "Ken the Actor" or "Ken the Singer"....I like my Ken....

Do you realize how disconcerting this is? You get used to your tricks, what you're good at - that thing that gets you your attention/fulfillment/luvin'/whatever... and now this woman just likes me for me...


It's this kind of shit gets me called an "Atheist"...

You ever get in one of those moods where you want to pull out some Biblical inconsistencies but you just don't have the time/interest/desire to be bothered to do it.

"I'd show you but that would take effort!"

You know what I mean?

Well now, you don't have to - thanks to the Skeptics Annotated Bible. Oh, sure. You could fall for all those great lines most "Born Agains" choose to spew - "God wants us to pollute the earth and kill all hippies/homosexuals/democrats/darkies!" - but now you don't have to with the Skeptics Annotated Bible.

(Hey, I have to uphold my reputation as a sower of dissent!)

"It's a darned shame," says Shrub...

Darn! It looks like all of Shrub's payroll records have been accidentally destroyed! You know? Those records that would finally prove what the hell Shrub was doing all that time in the National Guard - they're gone! You know? Those records that would show that Shrub's been a liar for decades - they've been destroyed - WHOOPS! - by accident! Who would've thunk it? How could such a terrible thing happen?

Pardon me while I fall down laughing...

It's the Anti-Women My Side...

Recently, we at the My Side Foundation did a study of my reader's demographics and it was determined and twice as many women than men read this Blog. Yes, that's right. Twice as many readers are innies (genitalialy) and not outies. (That's as close to a dirty joke as you'll probably ever read here... sorry...)

That said, it seems about time I complain about how all women are psycho. That's right. All women. Actually, Essex and I used to have a saying, "All women are psycho if you know them long enough." All chicks are nuts - just give them time. Say what you want about men - at least you KNOW they're crazy.

So, what am I talking about?

Let's start with my neighbor at work, Becky. Becky is a liberal. She likes to believe she's more liberal than me. She says that because she thinks I don't hate Shrub enough. I don't insult him enough and call him ugly. I don't call that liberal. I call that childish. There are plenty of other reasons to hate Shrub. Yesterday, she found a website and sent me the link. The website had a picture of Reagan with his eyes gouged out and talked about pissing on his grave. "Isn't that great," she asked. No, I actually found it very offensive. "I guess you're just not really liberal," she spat. Political leanings, I told her, have nothing to do with it. As vile as Reagan might be, he was still a person. Attack his politics all you want but he still felt and bled and hurt just like you and I. For that matter, let's remove any empathy we may have for our fellow bipeds. Try this: Being rude and insulting only makes a person less dignified and damages their own positions, not those who he chooses to insult. Of course, she didn't buy any of that. Perhaps it just goes to show how common decency has suffered at the hands of rabble-rousers - a critical loss, I think. Then again, maybe it just goes to show that all women are psycho.

We've also got into discussions about the candidate's wives. You know, Missus Pooch and Madame Ketchup - if I might be so bold. Personally, I don't pay any attention to such qualifications as "character", religious beliefs, or choice of spouse... or spice. But Becky says, "I think it says a lot about a man if he's willing to have a strong woman by his side or someone like Laura Bush." Again, good thing she stayed well away from personal judgments. My response was that you can't control who you fall in love with. You can fall in love with a complete psycho (as opposed to other women) or a squirrel. You have no more choice over that than you do the color of your hair. Oh sure, you could dye it, but it remains that same color underneath. Perhaps that just goes to show how well we've been bamboozled into believe that so many other things are important rather than how well a man (and I really hope this will one day be changed to "person") will perform as President. After all, didn't Shrub run on "character"? Then again, maybe it just goes to show that all women are psycho.

Hey, I mean, look at the women I've loved. More specifically, look at Rosa. Complete psycho. Rubber walls, long-armed jacket, pump her full of drugs, foaming at the mouth, have a baby with a man who doesn't love her and let him take over her life PSYCHO! True enough. But I loved her. She was everything to me and I nearly jumped into a huge pit as a result. That doesn't make me a rotten person; it just makes it harder for me to claim cynicism, that's all. Then again, maybe it just goes to show that all women are psycho.

And that only brings me to the current love of my life, who I'm really hoping to be the last, Vicky. First of all, what kind of name is Vicky, anyway? Those names that start with consonants, vacillate between vowels and consonants and then end in vowels - what does that say about a person? Huh? I mean, isn't Rosa the same kind of name? .... Isn't Kenny? What does "Vicky" mean, anyway? According to bubbaboo (a baby name site), it means "from Victoria". I happen to know that Vicky was born in Japan - so she's a LIAR!!! And then there's that who deep-fried turkey thing! That's just gross! I would never eat anything anyone found gross! (Would you like some peanut-butter and jelly ice cream?)(How about some top ramen?) Finally, there's this whole "taking things slowly" thing. Hey, Rosa wanted to take things slowly and she ended up having a baby with - well, you get the picture. And Vicky has a gay friend named Jeff... NEED I SAY MORE?? By my best guess, she should be pregnant in a few hours! She says she needs time to think and to sort things out. What's there to sort out? A completely life-altering decision that could mean the end of everything you thought was going to happen and the start of something completely new and pretty scary? Is that all??? Psycho, I tell you! Psycho!


Okay, so I guess you've figured by now that this whole thing was written with my tongue WAAAAAAY into my cheek, right? What can I tell you? I couldn't help it.

I've done a good job hurting people's feelings this week. It started with my entry about the barbeque held by her friends. The point of that was to show how pre-judging people is a bad idea and how our views need to be fluid to keep up with reality. I don't like it when people judge me based on one thing and I shouldn't do that, either. Only as the evening progressed and I saw more sides to these people did I realize how wrong I was to cast my initial judgment in stone.

Then, I said I was a snob - something I'm sure plenty of people have been wanting to call me but didn't have the guts... or were just too nice.

Now, Vicky wants to take some time to slow things down and think. She wants to try to think about this love thing logically. I can't understand this because I'm one of those "surrender whole-heartedly" kind of guys, and I have surrendered. I haven't felt like this about someone in a long, long time. As I said before, there are many ways in which I don't think I felt this way about Rosa. And she wants to think about this logically. And why wouldn't you? You meet a guy who you like, who starts telling you how much he loves you within just a couple of weeks... it's got to be a little overwhelming, I guess. So, I suppose I have to applaud her. I tend to apply logic to all parts of my life and leave emotions to my emotions - my "logic free" zone. If she wants to infuse it with a little logic, more power to her. I love her. I tease her, yes, but this is too important to me not to give her whatever time/space she needs. We'll have plenty of time later to fuck it up, right?

Oh, and as for Becky and Rosa. They are both psycho loonies and should be locked up... which maybe goes to show that 2/3 of women are psycho.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Fast moving thing slows down - film at 11

What can I tell you? It couldn't last forever. I'm talking about how fast things were moving between Vicky and I. She's asked to slow things down.

I guess that means we won't be getting married next Thursday.

It also means you'll be hearing a lot more from the Ken you know and love - you know, "old Ken", bitchy Ken.... Ken.

Now, things aren't terrible. We're not breaking up... I don't think. If we were, then you'd really have a great big ball of despair to chew on. Right now, it's just an appetizer.

More to come...

It's enough to make one sick...

I don't know how it happened...

It might have happened at the gym. I've run into sick people at the gym before. Last night, while I was on the bike, an incredibly stinky guy got on the bike next to mine. I could barely breath! In less than a minute, I jumped off my bike and went away.

It might have happened before I headed over to Vicky's. I got to her place around 7pm, and so looked forward to seeing her that I missed her freeway exit completely. There it went as I sped down the 22... time to turn around...

Of course, if it did happen before then, the temperature didn't help any. Vicky likes things nice and cold in her apartment and I'd come with shorts and a t-shirt... freezing. And the fighting began almost as soon as I got there. Somehow, our idyllic world was being royally reamed by reality - or whatever you choose to call it. It seemed that I couldn't say anything without insulting her. Then, when I asked her if she wanted to talk about anything she said that everything was fine. Things weren't fine and she got rid of me by 9pm... highly unusual for us - and leaving things extremely arctic.

It probably didn't help that Neurotic Ken had reared his ugly head. Vicky's not used to neurotic people and I don't know how people can survive without a little neurosis - which left us at an extreme impasse. That said, I get sick of me when I'm neurotic; I can just imagine how much she must have been wishing I'd leave! (... speaking of neurotic...)

It might have happened as the result of depression. I could barely get out of my car when I got home. I laid down on my sofa, quickly covered in cats, and felt on the verge of tears.

And this morning... I was sick. Just freaking great! So, today I OD'ed on vitamins. I'm going to chow down zinc lozenges and down OJ and water and hope for the best.

I'll hope the best for Vicky and I as well. I know you will, too.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

If Rummy says it ain't torture...

What with Donald Rumsfeld's recent help with our national humiliation over torturing those we conque - er, liberated, Terry Jones has been kind enough to help put it in layman terms:

I currently have a lot of my son’s friends locked up in the garage, and I’m applying electrical charges to their genitals and sexually humiliating them in order to get them to tell me where my son goes after choir practice.

9/11 Commission calls Cheney a Big, Fat Liar...

I know. We're all horribly surprised. Who could possibly have conceived that anyone in Shrub's administration could possibly have lied to us???

Hi... I'm dead...

Let me start with saying that I DO NOT have an obsession with death. Okay? We clear on this? I don't.

... Death has put a restraining order out on me but that proves nothing...

So, I found this new web site. It's called MyLastEmail and is used for emailing your loved ones, hated ones, other ones after your demise. After you've passed on. After you've ceased to be. After you've expired and gone on to meet your maker...

... the punchline? It has a 30-day free trial! (Timing is everything!)

If I was a "writer", I would drink...

So, what has been happening in my life other than this Vicky person who I love?

My boss has hired a new marketing writer. He decided that, though I was hired as such, I had no qualifications as a marketing writer since I didn't come from an ad agency and, thus, needed to hire someone else. That person just came out of his office. For half an hour, they talked about promotions for wireless products. If I had been in that meeting, I probably would have recommended such phrases as "Smarter Wireless" or "Faster Wireless". This new lady (and, no, I don't think she's useless because she's a woman) thought of such profound phrases as "Better Wireless" and "Richer Wireless"... because it has more fat content or something. After a bit more talking, they decided on the phrase "Wireless Made Better". Obviously, I'm not cut out for this "writing" thing and should avoid all use of "words" in the future...

Keith has disappeared on me and I'm left wondering if I mind. Let's face it. He lied when he went back east, while I was here rooting for him, and he knows I know. He probably also knows that there will be fireworks when next we meet.

My mom has officially given up on her PC. I got tired of fixing it repeatedly and, I suppose, breaking it repeatedly was wearing thin for her as well. At least, I tried.

I need to start getting out copies of the "Something to Hide" DVD... because people cannot live without watching me, right?

When was the last time I sat down with a half dozen pitchers of martinis? It's been far too long, I tell you! This past weekend, I drank like a normal person - a few here - a few there - never getting more that a mild buzz... But there's something very wrong with that. I seriously need to catch up on my drinking or I'm going to lose my membership card, blazer badge, and that nifty "Drunks Decoder Ring" that came in that bottle of Gibleys...

... and update on the new "writer". As I was typing this email, Mike came to me.

"What do you think of the phrase: Wireless Made Better?"

My bad habit is honesty. Can't kick it. I've tried. "It sounds subjective," I answered.

"It's supposed to. It's marketing," I told me as though I was an idiot. Why does he even bother to ask my opinion???

"No," I came back. "It's too vague. Better than what? By who's standard? See? It sounds like we've just decided that willy-nilly."

"So, what do you think it should be?"

"That depends on which way we want to go. We can't say we're making it better unless it is better. That means we'll actually need to make our products better. But better isn't good enough. It doesn't say anything to the consumer with any meaning. Since everyone is simplifying, why not go with easy? Wireless Made Easy? And if you go with that, actually make the products easy to use."

"I didn't ask you to redesign it." he said, shutting me down.

"I just -"

"I've got your opinion." he said, and walked away.

Yep. Love it here.

Where's my drink?