...if this is your first night, you have to fight.

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Thursday, May 30, 2002

One Long Nightmare
Sure my life could be described as such as of late, but what's my subconscious up to?

Whelp, with my grandma's wake/funeral, the accompanying dick-headish behavior of my extended family, and the pressure of just trying to get all these stupid ducks in a row, my subconscious has decided to be a mushroom cloud layin' motherfucker, motherfucker.

So, last night, or whatever it was, 'round 2:00 am Wednesday morning, after I attempted to post to Blogger, I finally gave up and went to bed. It had to have been closer to 2:45, 3:00 when I was finally actually in bed. I had to get up at 6:00 am to make the horrendously early funeral. I set my alarm accordingly (or so I thought), and proceeded to lay there, sleepless, until about 4:30. I'm not sure why; I was wiped, but this seems to be the way of things when I know I have a long day ahead. I get insomnia.

I must have finally dropped off at some point, because the next thing I know I'm in Downtown Boston, late, wandering around lost. The city seemed uncharacteristically menacing, with large portions of roads ripped up and being worked on by crews surrounded by huge, searing, overly-bright arc lamps.

I spent most of the time stumbling around and squinting, knowing there was something important that I was supposed to get done, but not sure what. To make matters worse, it was as late in my dream as it was in real life, yet the somewhat provincially sleepy city was up in full New York swing, like it was only about 10:00 pm or so. There were just people everywhere, too damn many, which is odd because for the past few years I've been dreaming of sprawling, faceless cities completely devoid of any people whatsoever. So much for that era, I guess. Straight from depopulation to total overcrowding. Weird.

Anyway, as I lumbered around, aimless and disoriented, I passed an alley only to have a man lunge out and tackle me. He was skinny, hollow-eyed, with long, greasy blonde hair and wearing an army jacket. Despite his look of frailty, his hands were around my wrists like vise grips and he was sweating in my eyes. I twisted my head around and saw people passing on all sides, and started shrieking for someone to help me as I tried to shake him off. No one responded, and that filled me with an insane rage. I was screaming; "What the fuck is wrong with you!? Get help! Get a cop, ya stupid bastard!" and as people continued to walk by as if nothing was happening, I yelled after them "Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!"

As my anger built, I seemed to get stronger, and was finally able to wrestle free of Mr. Stringy Hair. I was still on the ground, but so was he, and I managed to get a few good kicks in around his head and face. Even in my dreams, I'm wearing my boots, which is sort of comforting. (they're Underground's "Grinders", which make Doc Marten's look like the cheap-ass, mass-produced, trendwhores they've obviously become. You can get 'em here. Mine's are the 10" black steel-toed, in case you were wondering. Which I am so sure you were.)

Anyway, I broke away, but I knew it was borrowed time, so I ran like hell. I ran smack into Lee Stewart, of all people, Boston blogger and my own personal Spiderman apparently. He asked if I was okay and I told him I just got jumped and I needed help. Lee ran with me, trying to get any of the masses of utterly disinterested people to help us find a cop. We were practically grabbing people and shaking them, but no one wanted to get involved, so we stuck to trying to find a cop on our own. There seemed to be none anywhere. Lee and I finally pooled our pocket change and found a payphone. I realized you don't need change to dial 911, and just dialed as I scanned the crowd for Mr. Stringy Hair. The phone rang and rang before finally giving me a tone and telling me I needed 85 cents to complete my call. I was practically weeping with frustration as I shoved change into the phone, and as I finished there was a long pause before the recorded voice said; "Five more cents, please." I let out a howl and began searching for another nickle, but all either of us had were bills, so we went to hunt down a change machine. Of course we had no trouble finding one, but just to prove how sick and twisted my own subconsious is, it came up with a new, unheard-of way of fucking with me. That's right, my wallet was filled with a wad of crisp $2 and $3 dollar bills! Now, that's just plain evil.

I gave the change machine a swift kick and turned, only to be faced with the now bleeding, swollen, incredibly pissed off Mr. Stringy Hair. He grabbed me by the front of my tee shirt and shoved a dull, dirty pocket knife in my face hissing; "Bitch, you're gonna' be sorry." Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of those aforementioned road crews stopping their work and leaning on their jackhammers and shovels to watch the scene unfold, one of them even turning the arc lamp in our direction like a spotlight.

Not to be outdone, in swoops Lee, like the mighty superhero I know he is, and punches Stringy right in the side of the head. Me and Lee start doing some tag-team style whoop-ass on Stringy until it looks like he isn't getting up anytime soon while another useless crowd looks on with desultory bloodlust. Lee and I head on out of there, stealing a quiet moment downwind of the scene. "Thanks" I offer inadequately, to which Lee answers; "No problem. Remember; teeth were meant to last a lifetime, now you know and knowing is half the battle, lolly-lolly-lolly get your adverbs here." and then he flies off Superman style while I turn into an anime chick and yell; "Go Lee, GO!"

...okay, I made that last part up, about the teeth, the adverbs and the flying, because I honestly cannot remember where Lee went after that. This in no way diminishes his superhero status in my eyes. After all, I know he has a lot of packing to do, what with the move and all, so he can't be hanging around fighting crime in all the wee hours of the morning, now can he?

I wonder if maybe I'm safe, or safe-ish at least, and start thinking of a way to get home. I keep glancing at my watch, knowing I have to get home in time for my grandma's funeral, and wondering what time the trains start running. So lost I was in fearing I'd miss the funeral that I never saw Stringy coming; he just had his hand over my mouth shoving me up a dirty stairwell into a tiny cramped apartment. The apartment was filled with a bunch that looked straight out of "America's Most Wanted", each looking like a serial killer in his own, unique, special way. All except for one...

Remember those Mexican Wolf Boys? C'mon, you know you saw them on some tabloid show or another. Well, anyway, one of the guys in this apartment was similarly afflicted with hypertrichosis, probably in his 30's, head to toe in hair and strolling around the apartment shirtless. I was so weirded out that for a second I forgot to be scared. Then Stringy shoved me in a dark room and locked the door. I flicked my lighter and saw a phone in the corner, but just as I crawled over to it to dial for help Stringy kicked the door in and scared me so badly I woke up.

I sat up and looked at the clock, 5:30 am. Dammit, I've got to get up in 1/2 hour and I've probably only gotten about that much sleep. I roll over, feeling defeated, and slip right back into...

the same goddamn dream.

Dammit, I hate when that happens. Of course, it never happens when I'm dreaming of unabashedly sexing it up with some hot young thang, or dreaming of sitting down to an all-you-can-eat candy buffet, no. It only happens when I have some horrible dream that scares me shitless and I just want it to end.

Fortunately, I was no longer in Stringy's circus sideshow apartment, even though I could still feel him one step behind me at all times. Instead, I ended up in a comic book store. An apparently very successful comic book store, as it was 5:30 am and there was a line going out the door. (Geekdom knows no normal business hours, dammit.) I plowed rudely through the line and right up to a purple-haired girl working the counter. "I need to use your phone." I tell her. She gives me some jib, negotiates, and finally decides that if I need a phone that badly, I can pay $20.00 to use it. "fine" I say, beyond caring, just wanting to get some help. I shove aside a beaded curtain to the back room and hear her yell; "You better get in line! There's about 10 guys who need to use the phone before you." I get pissed immediately and yell back; "Fuck that, this is an emergency!" and yank the phone out of someone's hand and start dialing. Nothing happens, so I hang up and dial again. Nothing. I yell back out to Purple; "Your phone doesn't work!", at which point the whole crowd in line starts laughing raucously. I slam the phone down, tears of frustration stinging my eyes, and finally wake up for good.


It's 7:00 am. I should have been up an hour ago. It takes me awhile to realize this, that I have to be out the door in exactly 1/2 hour, but I'm so tired that doesn't even raise a well-deserved panic in me. What does, however, is the fact that I don't hear a peep coming from anywhere in the house. I come to my senses, such as they are, leap clumsily out of bed and go wake my mother.

"Ma, don't panic, but it's 7:00."

Commence full-on family freak out.

Somehow, with a few modifications, we managed to make the funeral on time. That, by the way, was weird and terrible and awkward in all the ways funerals with the suckier branches of your family tree usually are. Of course, the running joke of the day was the fact that I was the one that woke everyone up. Which if you don't know is one of the actual signs of the Apocalypse. And, after a long, agonizing day, I got home 'round 4:00 pm, crashed out again by 'round 5:00 for a power nap, and fell straight back into dreamland, this time, with much more amusing results. The early game-console people out there will appreciate this.

I dreamed my mom wanted me to transfer her Colecovision games onto PC, most importantly, her "Super Cuttlefish Pinball Extravaganza". The game featured a superhero with a cuttlefish head that got bounced around in a pinball machine. Of course, 'eh?

Of course.

Anyway, the graphics were kinda' good, and I spent most of my dream playing a few rounds, wondering if there was even such a thing as a Colecovision emulator out there.


posted by taiwan_on 'round 1:28 AM#
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Wednesday, May 29, 2002

enough, already.

This was written last night...er, this morning, 'round 2:00 a.m. but I couldn't post it 'cuz Blogger took a nap 'round then. Bastard.
****end note****

I'm tired.

I'm tired of being sad. I'm tired of being angry. I'm tired of being tired.

And yet I feel incredibly guilty for saying that.

Saturday night, my grandma died. She was my last remaining grandparent. Even though she's been in congestive heart failure for almost a year now, the whole thing was rather sudden, so, I've been walking around sorta' stupid and quiet these past few days. When I'm not sleeping, that is, which is a lot.

What a ballsy chick I am, huh? When the going gets tough, this chica gets going to bed. I am Taiwan_On. Hear me snore!

I think that's my favorite coping mechanism, sleep. Sleep...and...hair removal, for some reason. I was noticing this last night. I mean, I'm all for good grooming, but I'm not above letting my legs get a bit cactus-y if I think no one is going to notice. But for some strange reason, if things are getting weird, I really go for the gusto. I start to find every little folicle offensive, and go on an elimination campaign that would make even the most seasoned aesthetician wince. And I seem to have a knack for finding the most excruciatingly painful way of going about it, too.

I have this god-awful little contraption called a "Silk-Epil". For those of you who survived the "Epilady", it's a lot like that. It looks exactly like an innocuous little electric razor, only instead of blades, it has a plastic rotating cylinder with rows of metal pincers imbedded in it. You fire it up, the cylinder rotates, and these pincers act like a million tiny tweezers yanking the hair out by the roots. It feels a lot like dragging a belt-sander across your legs while someone douses the raw skin with tabasco sauce, lighter fluid and lemon juice.

You know that scene in "Reservoir Dogs" when Michael Madsen (Mr. Blonde, as if you could ever forget) chops the cop's ear off with a straight razor and then pours gasoline all over him? Yeah, well, that scene doesn't even make me flinch anymore.

So, there I was in the bathroom last night, after having blown the dust off this evil bastard (because every time I use this thing I go; "Fuck, that's just wrong." and then bury it in my closet where I hope I'll never find it again.), inspecting myself for rogue folicles. I decide that using it on my legs is just too much of a pain in the ass, because, well, you have to go over and over them to get every one of those damn little hairs, and last night I just didn't have that kind of time. I'll just use a razor for that. I am however, sick and goddamn tired of shaving my pits, so, I figure this might qualify as a temporary solution.

Wrong! Oh, christ, wroooooong! Oh, how wrong could I be? This is not a solution to anything, this is a whole new can of nuclear-powered, venom-spewing fire ants, my friends. Best just to keep a lid on that shit, in case you were stupidly thinking of trying this at home. But did this obviously bad idea deter me? I wish.

There's me, my arm upraised and bent so far back my shoulder keeps popping because you gotta' keep that skin "taut" according to the directions (which, by the way, in no way, fine print or otherwise, endorse the use of this product for underarms!), because the only thing that sucks more than this thing working correctly, is this thing working incorrectly, with a nice sized chunk of your tender underarm flesh jammed in the spinning, pinching metal teeth. That's happened to me before, I'm sorry to say, although not my underarms, thank jeebus. It was actually that skin behind my knee that got caught, and I remember yanking the cord out of the wall, hopping around and yelping because it was next to impossible to extricate my skin from it. I still have a tiny scar that looks suspiciously like a little white barcode there. I did not want this happening to my delicate little pits, nosiree Bob!

However, just because I didn't haplessly maul myself doesn't mean that I wasn't in considerable pain. I was. I was in the kind of pain that makes sweat roll down your back. Copiously. I was in that locked-stomach-muscles, trembling legs, breathing through clenched teeth, eye-watering, sweat that smells like fear-sweat pain that made me want to slam my fist into the mirror just to feel something less painful. Picking eyelash-sized slivers of glass out of my knuckles all night sounded like a day at the zoo compared to this. And as I undauntedly, masochistically depilitated, I marvelled at how tough those little armpit hairs are. Those sunsabitches don't wanna' come out for any reason. I admired their fortitude while I prayed to be born in Europe in the next life.

When it was all over and the smoke cleared, my pits looked like an extra from "Silence of the Lambs" had at 'em with a metal rasp. I wondered why I did this. But as I got in the shower to blast my poor, abused pits with ice-cold water, the endorphines kicked in and I considered a possibility...

Is this my own wacky take on self-mutilation? Y'know; pain on the outside to anesthitize the pain on the inside? I like to think I'm above all that shit, facing adversity with my usual gallow's humor and stupid hope, but I dunno. Maybe I don't use that nasty Silk-Epil all the time because I know it's a sick little implement, but I drag it out when I'm feeling a bit like a sick little implement myself. It definitely merits some self examination.

And in other cruel joke news, last night my mom says to me, as I'm laying in bed with my arms propped up because to sit naturally is too goddamn painful to my aching pits, "Are you all set? Do you have a dress and shoes and stuff?" and I go; "Oh yeah, the shoes the dress, the stockings, all covered. I'm funeral-ready at all times." And it is funny. Maybe it's funny only to me, but it's the kind of funny that stirs a humorless laugh from me every time because it's so goddamn true. I always have more than two black dresses at the ready at any given time, subdued accessories on hand, not because I'm jetting off to a formal dinner, cocktail party or black tie event as often as most lasses my age, but because I go to more funerals than Ruth Gordon's character in "Harold & Maude". That's kinda' fucked up. And frankly, I'm getting a little tired of it.

So, at the risk of sounding selfish; could everyone around me please stop dying for a minute? This is getting regoddamndiculous. I'm running out of black dresses and hair to rip out of myself.

I'd also like to apologize to everyone whom I haven't e-mailed recently. I have gotten them, I have adored them, but I have not been able to muster anything jolly to say, so I've been keeping a low profile. This too, shall pass, and I'll be sending you my usual obscenity-spattered goofiness in no time, I promise.

This has been another bummer, brought to you by Taiwan_On.

...And of course, Blogger just fell on it's ass for "routine maintainence" just as I was about to post. Oh, kick a girl while she's down, why don't you. Bitch.

posted by taiwan_on 'round 10:16 PM#
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Saturday, May 18, 2002

You Farging Ice-Holes!

Eh, that above expletive, in bold, is a little tribute to the character Roman Maroni from the film "Johnny Dangerously", a movie I loved when I was 12, but find pretty much unwatchable these days.

Well, this weekend's shaping up to be a real pissah. My ISP went kablooey Friday night, during what might qualify as the most asenine server switch in internet history. I'm still not able to pick up my mail, and probably won't be until (shudder) Monday. So, if anyone has tried to e-mail me since then... fuggetaboutit. I'll mail you people with my new address as soon as I can mail you, but in the meantime, like, don't send anything because I most likely will not get it. You can however e-mail me here.

None of this would have been too terrifying had my ISP not pulled the plug on their toll-free customer service line. There's something inherently unsettling about having your username and password no longer work, but it's full-on massive coronary time when the usual customer service line is suddenly, inexplicably, disconnected. There's suddenly no one to bitch at during all of that long, boring downtime, and that's a lonely feeling.

I called information and, bafflingly, the only number they had available was a toll call to Springfield MO, which I duly dialed. And quickly regretted. I ended up getting some hayseed who not only knew nothing about my ISP's status, but seemed completely annoyed that he had to handle tech support calls from anyone remotely affiliated with my ISP. I can't say I blame him, but really, I'm very competent about these matters, and damn pleasant to talk to, so, he should have altered his tone a little for me.

I'll spare you the details, but I pretty much gave up trying to get online Friday night, started to sweat it a little by Saturday morning, and by Saturday afternoon was in a complete panic. It was only about 10 minutes ago that I got ahold of my ISP's new, functioning tech support number and got to get my shit together. There is an amusing aside to all this, though. Seems that they've been up and running for a few hours at least, and the main reason I couldn't dial in is because the "updated" my username from "taiwan_on" to "tiawon_on". I was aghast to say the least.

B-b-b-but wait it gets worse! After I had resigned myself to being offline on Friday night, which really is not as tragic as I'm playing it up to be, I decided I'd get an early movie night in.

I couldn't decide if I wanted to watch "Ghost World" on DVD or "Spiderman" on VHS. I loaded them both up, rewound where applicable, crawled into bed, and decided to decide while watching the tail end of a stand-up comedy showcase on TV. Well, somewhere along the lines I dozed off for a bit. Okay, it was more than a bit. About an hour and a half later I awoke, with still some nightlife to be had, but laying on an uncomfortable lump. I rolled over and found my trusty universal remote to be the culprit. I sat up, rubbed my eyes, and wondered what snacks and choice of beer I should arm myself with while enjoying my movie. (I had, apparently, decided in my sleep that I really wanted to watch "Spiderman".)

I grabbed a frosty Helles Lager, a can of Torengos, 4 Lindt truffles, and climbed back into bed. Just as I was about to thumb the "play" button, I noticed the red "record" light on the VCR was lit up. A chill raced down my spine. Oh, Jesus, no. noOOOOOOOOOO!!! ARGH! As if I didn't already know the outcome, I stupidly pressed play anyway and found, in place of my beloved Tobey Maguire in tights, a cheaply produced round-table discussion on the art of scrapbooking.

Do you hear me? No Spiderman. Scrapbooking. Motherfucking scrapbooking, people. Does it get any worse?

Look, I simply cannot adequately convey the horror of this moment to you, so you'll just have to trust me that it sucked. Real bad. And because I cannot always immediately accept reality, I had to rewind the whole thing and start at the beginning just to double check. Yep, the whole fucking thing was trashed. Probably not all scrapbooking, but certainly nothing that lives up to the spectacle that is Spiderman. I sighed, I groaned, I had lost my appetite for Torengos and truffles because I was now nauseous with despair. Very sad.

I sulkily sipped at my lager, half-watched Ghost World, and recalled, much to my chagrin, that I had been thinking in the shower that very night that I should get around to snapping off the little bits of plastic on that particular tape to keep it from being recorded over. But see, I've never accidentally recorded over any of my tapes thanks to my obsessive labelling and cataloging fetish. While it was not impossible, it was so highly improbable that the thought must have just slipped my mind. Call it a premonition if you will, but that won't make me feel any better.

So, after all of this I'm wondering; did I somehow piss off the gods? And if I did, how? What'd I do? Damn!

posted by taiwan_on 'round 10:59 PM#
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Monday, May 13, 2002

"This Monkey's Gone to Heaven!"
rock me, Joe!

Oh, thank you Jebus! Actually, thank you bitter-girl.com, who provided the head's up to an online test I'd have felt utterly screwed if I'd missed! This is like, a test custom-made just for me or something!

Where is my Mind?
You're smart, shy, and often nonsensical. You have dreams of being famous, and you're quirky enough that you just might pull them off. Some would call you a genius, others would call you insane, but in reality you're pretty well-adjusted. Take a vacation once in a while- it'll help take your mind off of your troubles.
Which Pixies song are you?

"With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind,
Where is my mind,
Where is my mind?"

Yes, this is my final fucking answer. I couldn't be more content with this result if you paid me, which, incidentally, is about as much work as I'm willing to put forth for a paycheck these days. Anyone hiring? Seriously, I'm really good at being content; I'm the best in my field. And, if for some reason, I am not content, I can do a damn fine imitation of it. You won't be able to tell the difference OR YOUR MONEY BACK! I'm even better at that than pretending to look busy when my boss is watching. Please call, operators are standing by.

As much as I love "Monkey Gone to Heaven", I love "Where is my Mind" just a little bit more. Why? Because it is one of the best songs ever to scream in the shower. (along with Duran Duran's entire body of work of course.) Try it if you don't believe me. It works especially well if you have a truly hellacious singing voice, as I do. There's just something really satisfying about belting out that last; "Whaaaaaaaaaare is my mind?" with your head thrown back and the shower spray shooting right into your mouth, reducing it to a long, loud, incomprehensible gurgle. Who needs Paxil when you have the Pixies?


...Alright, I'll stop now before I succumb to the (nearly overwhelming) urge to write some pseudo prescription medication rhetoric mentioning "oily discharge". I'm always looking for an excuse to work "oily discharge" into the conversation, and frankly, my friends are all sick and tired of it. They'd threaten to stop hanging out with me if they hadn't made us sign those release forms after the experimental drug trials swearing we'd never assemble, en mass, after the "treatments". Whooo believe me, after that whole debacle, "oily discharge" would be the least of our concerns. But I'm not really at liberty to discuss the matter until the investigation is wrapped up, so that's a tale for another day I guess.

And speaking of threatening, I've just visited sweat flavored gummi and that's the filthiest fucking language I've ever heard.

I think I've found a soul mate.

Until next time; congratulations people, you just survived Monday. Here, have a cookie.

posted by taiwan_on 'round 10:11 PM#
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Friday, May 10, 2002

"Mixed Message"
because I'd be remiss if I forgot to share the love after all that anger.

I'd just like to say that Lee Stewart is "da balls", and even though I don't know him personally, he can make fun of my shoes anytime because I love him.
(how's that for stalkerish?)

And I'd also like to thank my #1 movie-dude (you know who you are) for so generously providing me with the hook-up and getting me a copy of a certain movie that everyone wants. I won't tell you what that movie is, but it has something to do with the current "Cupcake".

And as for the rest of you lot, the ones that don't suck, anyway, have a fully excellent weekend.

posted by taiwan_on 'round 11:34 PM#
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"Scummy, White-Trash, Ugly-Ass, Skank!"
I hate you, and I hope you get cancer of the cooch.

Fucking bitch! What the hell is wrong with you? How can someone be so rife with evil that they suck all the joy out of the last 15 minutes of my shift on Friday? Really, that last 15 minutes is probably the most euphoric 15 minutes of my week. I love all of my co-workers a little more, even the ones who have spent the whole rest of the week prior to it being a pain in my ass. I spend a few extra minutes tidying up the department so it's pleasant for the poor bastards who have to suffer the weekend in it. I pick out my junk-foody late-night snacks. I get a giddy thrill when I know any second I'll be punching the little button on the time-clock that says "end shift" that makes me smile until my face hurts. I wish customers a good weekend so fervently my voice almost breaks with emotion. It's beautiful, really. So how can I go from this to a red-raced, trembling rage in minutes?

I'll tell you how; I have seen the face of pure, undiluted, mindless evil, and her name is "K.E.". K, if I knew your first name and your address, I would post that here with no thought to the consequences, because you fucking suck, and I would invite anyone with the free time to stop by and take a shit in your mailbox. (do trailers even have mailboxes?) I'm sorry that I didn't bother to write down your phone number so I could go and post it in alt.obscene.phonecallers (if such a group even exists outside of my elaborate revenge fantasies). I guess I'm going to have to wing it this time, and refer to you from now on as Kunt.

Kunt comes in pretty often to have her photos done at Drugco. I'd probably not even be aware of that fact if it weren't for her unforgettable, hatchet-faced ugliness and the way she consistently figures out a means of either getting her order for free, or at a discount that even the homeless would find beneath them. At first I used to be just embarrassed for her. Really, one cannot have much dignity if they are willing to pull a fast one on the same person every time, even after that person makes it clear they are aware of the scam. The other photoprocessors have even nicknamed her "the grub", which is a pretty humilliating moniker if you have even the barest shred of dignity.

I won't get into the details of every time she's done this, because I just simply do not have that kind of time, but I'll give you a quick rundown of this time:

I see her coming, and I'm bound and determined not to give her a reason to be a scrub again. She asks for triple prints, and index and a picture disk. I tell her that this order will take about an hour and 15 minutes, as opposed to an hour, because an order like that takes a lot longer and there are five customers ahead of her. She slurs dumbly; "So it won't be ready in an hour?" And I answer; "No, it will be ready in an hour and 15 minutes, is this alright?" she reluctantly agrees and I make it a point to type it in on her envelope label "customer has agreed to a later pick-up time", because I can see this coming. She haggles about the various prices and which is cheaper and finally fucks off. I flag down a manager as I begin Kunt's order and warn her about her, reinforcing the detail that Kunt has implicitly agreed to a later pick-up time.

Bottom line is that I got Kunt's order done in 40 minutes, well before the promised time and as fast as the machine will allow me, because I bumped a couple of orders from customers who, thankfully, couldn't possibly suck more than her.

45 minutes later, Kunt showed up looking for her order. We happened to be in the middle of a shift change, and I smiled a little knowing smile to the new clerk, because she had been briefed about Kunt also. I figured I had won already.

Silly me.

Five minutes later I hear the new clerk calling me over the store's P.A. system. Sure enough there's Kunt with her shitty pictures of her ugly, scabby kid laid out all over the counter. Before I even get involved with the situation I grab the manager who I warned earlier and head over. Kunt is wildly waving two of the pictures and saying "What is this white thing over in the corner of the picture here?" I study the picture, lift the negative up to the light and answer; "That's the wall, ma'am." Kunt looks temporarily defeated and my manager is barely supressing a smirk. The game is on. "Well, what's this red mark on my daughter's forehead here?" I stifle the urge to answer "Scabies?" and instead point benignly to its mirror image in the negative and suggest that maybe it's a little abrasion from the hairdresser (the photos were taken in a filthy, run-down hair salon). Kunt goes back to the "white line" in her photo, insisting that the image of the wall was somehow placed there by our photoprocessing machine. When we assure her that this is impossible, she counters that everyone in her pictures has terrible red-eye and that must be our fault as well. My manager is beginning to get pissed as she explains the rudimentaries of flash photgraphy, and is no longer making much effort to hide it.

When it becomes clear that no one is prepared to hand her the order for free simply because they are of a bunch of crappy, red-eyed shots of her ugly, inbred, crotch-dropping and she doesn't want to pay for them, she begins to madly rifle through the pile going; "wait a minute, wait a minute" which in white trash language translates to; "I'll think of some way to screw you if you give me a second."

She says; "Well, why is she so much pinker in this picture than in the other ones?" Of course, I can't see what she's talking about, but I offer "Lighting?" and explain that if it was an issue of film needing color correction (which it wasn't), then every picture would look "too pink". At this point another manager has wandered over, simply out of morbid curiosity, and the original manager, who has become to frustrated with the scene, hands it off to her. Then comes the last straw. Kunt begins to demand color correction on the picture saying: "The other girl, the one who knows what she is doing, fixed the color for me the last time."

Now, I don't want to imply that I shit ice cream or anything here, but I have never had a complaint about my work. It's pretty blameless. I have certain commercial accounts that will not hand over their film to anyone but me, insisting that I'm the only person there that can "do it right". Believe me, this isn't rocket science, this is simply a nagging attention to detail I was cursed with. My philosophy is this: when I do someone's film, I do not want to see that same roll of film ever again unless it's for reprints. If it comes out looking shitty for some unknown reason, I'll redo it then and there with no other motivation than I simply do not want to hear someone fucking complain. That's all. That's the only reason I do a job right the first time; because I will do anything to avoid your annoying "complaint face". And there was never, ever a more horrifying"complaint face" on this godless earth than Kunt's. But I somehow got it anyway. Ain't that about a bitch?

But to get back to that shitty comment, that "the one who knows what she's doing" thing. Kunt spits that one out and it's clear she's stepped over the line. My manager reels back as if struck and gives Kunt an incredulous, wide-eyed stare. A laugh barks out of me, unbidden. Kunt immediately starts back-peddaling and goes; "Oh, no, I didn't mean it like that!" I sneer and archly counter; "Oh, of course, how could I find a comment like that offensive?" and my manager, who is the balls, by the way, says; "Clearly you did mean it like that" and then looks over to me and says "I apologize for that, by the way." glances sharply at Kunt and says; "Excuse me", and pulls me out of ear-shot.

"You need to get the fuck up on outta' here, girl, 'cuz this bitch is psycho. Go outside, take a deep breath, and relax. You've got 5 minutes left before you cash out and you shouldn't have to deal with this...this...bullshit." I swear, I loved this girl so much at that moment I wished her nothing but love and total happiness for all time, forever and ever. I wisely took her counsel and spent the rest of my shift shopping and regaling my curious fellow employees with "the scoop" on Kunt.

Apparently 50 minutes and 22 "waste prints" later, Kunt had her 2 "too pink" pictures color-corrected to her discerning, white-trash arteur standards. But she paid full price for her fucking order, and at least in that I found some small comfort. I found relief, too, in the discussion I had with my 2 managers, my "witnesses", who suggested we take the whole exhausting tale to the store manger on Monday in an effort to have her account cancelled. Need I say I am 200% behind this idea? But my goddamn store manager is so pussy-whipped by our customers it's unlikely we'll be able to get him to see past his corporate programming to the simple fact that the customer is not always right. No sir. Sometimes the customer is a trash-scrounging piece of shit that, while we can't outright kill, we can make it impossible to get any more freebies. My tactic is to point out the amazing amounts of money we've wasted keeping her "valued patronage". Pppppht!

Anyway, I unfortunatley left so pissed-off that all the fun was taken out of hitting that "end shift" button and I had to race straight to B.J.'s Wholesale Club to buy a huge plastic cylinder containing 48 packages of "X-treme Pop Rocks". In "Savage Sour Apple" and "Sour Berry Blast" flavors, respectively. After devouring one package with a speed that threatened to make good on that urban legend about Pop Rocks blowing your head off, sans carbonated soft drink even, I decided that this was just too damn much Pop Rocks for one person. This was an impulse purchase bought under the most extreme circumstances, and I am suffering a painful case of buyer's remorse right now.

See what ya' made me do, ya' bitch?

So, be thankful, everyone, that I wasn't carrying a gun today. I am, however, in posession of a suspicious quantity of Pop Rocks and enough cans of Pepsi Twist to blow this motherfucker sky-high...

...and don't you think that I won't do it.

posted by taiwan_on 'round 11:08 PM#
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Tuesday, May 07, 2002

"Send Me An Angel..."
right now.

Even though I write this blog almost exclusively for my own purposes, without much thought to who's reading it, I promised I wouldn't let it degrade into a depress-o-fest. Who wants to read a whiny blog, anyway? Certainly not me; not even my own. I get enough weeping and bitching from other people, thank you very much.

But my heart is breaking into a million tiny pieces right now, and to avoid the issue would be utter bullshit.

This is my dog, Jude.

I had to have him put to sleep today. Or, more to the point, my parents had to take him in to be put to sleep, and I had to stay home intermittently crying, vaccuuming, mopping and crying, because I simply couldn't bear the thought of going along, and I feel compelled to clean when things go wrong.

I know that makes me a wuss; I understand death, don't really fear it, but I have been known to avoid open-casket funerals and most hospital situations where someone is down to their last minutes. I get death on an intellectual level; it's an unavoidable fact of life. Hell I could handle a funeral at fourteen with more stoic composure than someone that age should be capable of. I've been to waaaaay too many of them. But I don't want to see the dead, I don't want to see the dying. I just don't want that image to be the last I see of someone, be they human or animal.

Imagery is powerful for me, and I'd rather have an image of my dog nearly tipping over while he was trying to take a piss because he got distracted by a nearby fluttering butterfly. That was just the kind of dog he was.

I got him about six years ago. He chose me. A stray dog bumbling around my old neighborhood with a dry-rotted leather collar and a length of ratty rope dragging behind him. I figured he was just lost, picked up his leash, and started walking him around randomly hoping one of the areas looked familliar to him. Nothing seemed to ring a bell, but he seemed happy to have the company and thrilled to just wander around with me. I took him back home, gave him some food and water, and figured I'd put him up for the night until I could get him to the shelter in the morning to locate his owners.

Five days later the very same shelter became his kidnappers when they called me up and said if I didn't come up with $200 the dog was going to get it. (You just can't trust the MSPCA - believe me, I've had a long, similarly fucked-up history with them.) So, I sprung him, and I was now the proud owner of a Doberman/Sherpard-or-whatever mix, age indeterminate.

I cannot tell you how glad I am that the owners, assuming they even wanted him, were never found. This was one of the most abused dogs I'd ever seen; skinny, jumpy, mistrustful, scarred all over and suffering occasional seizures from a blow to the head. If he got ahold of something he wasn't supposed to have, he'd sooner tear your hand off than let you anywhere near it. (I have a few scars of my own to prove it) Raise your voice anywhere near him and he would hit the deck shivering and snarling. When I took him out for walks or had people over, I felt compelled to advise them that they'd do well to keep any limbs or appendages away from the business end of him, which was always vaguely emabrrassing. I wanted to qualify the warning with; "But I didn't make him that way."

Still though, it was clear that he loved us. As much as he was Cujo at all the wrong times, he was Cujo at all the right times too. After a few misguided attempts at ringing my doorbell, I never got another Jahova's Witness asking me if I've been saved. When there was a murder literally 50 yards from my backyard, my dog knew about it before the cops did. (though that isn't saying much) And when there were a rash of break-ins in the area, my home remained curiously unmolested. Having an 80lb. dog snap into psycho mode at the drop of a hat tends to lend you that kind of cache. Even though he wasn't (yet) the most cuddly or even trustworthy pet a girl could ask for, a better protector I could never imagine.

Well, after about a year, I guess he realized that we'd never in our wildest dreams raise a hand to him, and he decided to lay off the whole Cujo act. I'm sure it happened before this, but I seem to remember one particular night, the night before Halloween, actually, when I attended a party in a pixie costume. I was on my way downstairs to take a shower and wash off the tons of glitter I had smeared myself with, and the white sparkly stockings I was wearing proved to be my undoing. I slipped on the top stair and went down the whole (long) flight, mostly on my tailbone, but I managed to bruise and shred my hips, ribs, elbows, head and back along the way as I tried to stop or at least slow my rapid downward trajectory. It was one of those things that happened suddenly, but along with the sound of my glittery pixie body being thrashed, I could hear Jude's nails skittering on the linoleum racing to get to me. He was the very first on the scene, and proceeded to huddle over my battered frame whining and howling in a way I had never heard him do before. And even though my injuries, while extremely painful, didn't merit a trip to the hospital or anything, he spent the whole night laying beside my bed, whimpering every time I moved. From then on I never saw that dog's extremely humbling teeth unless he was playfully snapping at the bubbles I blew.

That was one of his favorite games, actually. He was just a big silly. He liked to chase bubbles and pop them, he liked to stop and smell flowers on his walks; just dig his snoot right in there and sniff, and he played the worst game of fetch of any dog I knew. You'd throw a tennis ball, he'd retrieve it, and then it would turn into "yank the ball out of my crushing jaw", which was impossible to win unless you cheated by asking; "want a cookie?" He also liked it when you'd hide the tennis ball somewhere in a room and he'd go in there, tail wagging madly, and find it. This too would turn into the "yank the ball out of my crushing jaws" game.

He understood that small animals were fragile, and would bark wildly whenever my neighbor's evil, murderous cat would stalk birds in my yard. One day, when the sonofabitch got one, I raced outside and managed to get him to drop it, and as I cupped it in my hands, a tiny finch no bigger than a field mouse, Jude cried and cried frantically.

He was good to my cats, too, sighing tolerantly when they'd get overbearing, as well-loved housecats often do, headbutting him repeatedly and trying to snuggle him out of bed. They'd sometimes dive right into his big, satellite-dish ears to offer a good scrubbing, and when he thought no one was looking, he'd thank them with a big, sloppy kiss on the head.

He loved to eat, but microwave popcorn was the pinnacle of culinary delights. We often made it specifically with him in mind, particularly if he had just suffered one of his seizures, or was still working through the usual hurt feelings that follow a routine trip to the vet's office. All you had to do was just say the word "popcorn" and he would go completely insane. First he'd run to the cabinet to make sure you remembered where the popcorn was, then he'd sit riveted in front of the microwave, occasionally getting up on his back legs to check the status of the bag, all the while going through a lengthy repetoir of absurdly excited, extremely loud noises.

In fact, we made popcorn for him just this past Saturday night. See, about a month or so ago, he was suffering from some aggravating, but generally uneventful medical problems. But as is often the case with a small medical complaint, they led us to the discovery of some much larger ones. After some tests, we found that there were some clear liver and kidney damage, most likely caused by a previously undetected tumor in his abdomen. His age, which was much more advanced than we ever knew given his mysterious history, made surgery or any other aggressive treatment impossible. Chances were that if he survived the surgery at all, which was unlikely at best, he would only succumb to his failing liver or kidneys. There was no winning. The best we could do was just wait until his quality of life became compromised and then put him down humanely. I thought that would take much longer.

A week later, this aforementioned Saturday night, he suddenly, inexplicably looked bad. We contacted his vet, who set us up with a refill on his antibiotics, but we could only stare helplessly as, in a matter of hours, his eyes got redder and more swollen and his heartbreaking groans of complaint grew more frequent. Around 11:00 PM or so, as we contemplated the inevitable and whether it would be tonight, he seemed to rally somewhat and we decided to keep a watch on him until tomorrow. Fearing the worst in the morning, we decided to do his favorite thing; make popcorn. Watching him gleefully lose his shit over it, like always, I felt this was a right descision. Sunday morning he was just as inexplicably fine, doing wonderfully, in fact. I just figured he'd have his good days and bad days from here, but there would still be time.

This morning, however, I realized I was kidding myself. Around 6:30 AM, my mother woke me in a panic, saying that he couldn't get up. I got up and ran out there and found him sprawled on the floor, completely unable to get his hind legs to obey his obvious desire to get the hell outside for his morning pee. I won't got the obvious logistical nightmare of trying to lift an 80+ lb. dog and get him outside, but it's gut-wrenching to watch a dog in that position fight his natural urges in an effort ot keep the floor clean. No amount of old towels and assurance that he had special clearance could convice him that it was okay this time. He held out until my dad rushed home from work, which amounted to nearly two hours. He was too damn good for his own good.

We had to wait around for a long ass time while the local vet's office rallied, and while I wouldn't go so far as to say the time I spent with him was "quality time" per se, I had plenty of time to just be with him, scratching his ears, rubbing his neck and listening to him grunt appreciatively as he licked my hand. I feel horrible that he suffered at all, but I just never saw that coming.

He was the best dog I could ever have asked for, maybe better loved because he was so hard-won, and I'm missing him horribly already. The house, though home to three people, and, well, a helluva lotta' cats, feels incredibly empty right now. No one to snoop and see what late night snack I'm going for, no one to whine annoyingly while he waits for his cut of said snack, no one to lay on the floor with and watch TV, no one to nag me to get outside for a few minutes after I've spent too much time in front of the monitor, no one to admire butterflies with, no one to blow bubbles for. What am I going to do?

I know I should be grateful and all; he had a tough life and maybe we made it a little better for him. I should feel fortunate that we gave him a few good years, and that, more importantly, he gave me a few good years. But mostly I just feel gypped. I feel cheated. The last dog I had, an amazing german shepard, my parents had about six years before I was born and lived until I was about 13. Thirteen years spent with a dog seems like a good run, and I guess that was what I was expecting this time around. But I only got six.

So, yeah, sorry to lay that shit on ya' and all, but, I'm feeling a little unfortunate right now. So, if you see me around, be gentle. It's not often I get to feeling so vulnerable, but this is one of those times. So, until next time, whenever that is (because I'm not going to post another bummer), be kind to humans and animals alike, for as long as you can stand it at least, and take care, y'all.

Love you, Jude-Dude.

posted by taiwan_on 'round 12:06 AM#
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Sunday, May 05, 2002

"Major Overhaul"
Beware of falling objects...

So, here's the new new layout. This one's site-wide. Certain things are fatally knackered, but I'm getting to them. Please stand by. ;-)

posted by taiwan_on 'round 11:15 PM#
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Wednesday, May 01, 2002

"Lipstick, Dracula and David Weinberger"
Hmm? Sorry, must be my ADD acting up again.

You are a David Weinberger.

You are smart, savvy, interested in why people do what they do,
enjoy questioning yourself and are not balding.

Take the What Blogging Archetype Are You test at GAZM.org

So as I sit here, fiddlin' and diddlin', I have "Dracula 2000" on in the background. This has to be the most disappointing vampire movie since "John Carpenter's Vampires". And we all know what a misogynist piece of shit that one was. Seriously, John, problems with women much? Was the divorce that rough? Did she make fun of your peen or something? *Sheesh*

Anyway, "Dracula 2000", (a.k.a. Drac Lite) had so much going for it. I like Johnny Lee Miller and plus, "Seven of Nine" is in it, for chrissake! How can you fuck up a movie with Jeri Ryan in it? I'll admit, when I saw the trailer for it, the Dracula character didn't set off any sexual bells or whistles for me. But context is everything, and I never met a bloodsucker I didn't like (hubba hubba). Well, after seeing the movie, I like him even less. Just another one of those tepid "dudes" that Cosmopolitan magazine tells me I'm s'posed to be attracted to, but never am. Like George Clooney or some fucking thing. Give me Clive Owen any old day.

Oh sweet Jeeeeeezus, Clive Owen as a vampire. Uhngh! I think I just had a spontaneous orgasm. Now there's a casting idea to ponder. For hours. I think that one might replace the elaborate chauffer fantasy I always cast him in. Eh, temporarily at least.

And to top it all off, Margaret Cho's "I'm the One That I Want" was on another channel during this cinematic suppository and I missed it. Son of a bitch.

Speaking of Cosmo and misogyny, I think I finally found a lipstick I like. I mean, I like all kinds of lipstick, but I buy them, try them on, pout appreciatively in the mirror for about five minutes, wipe it off, slap on some cocoa butter lip balm and go. I never wear the stuff. I'm famous for buying makeup and never wearing it. I like the way it looks piled in my funky corrugated metal train case, especially if it's glittery and/or comes in a pleasing package (I'm a sucker for a pleasing package, uh-huh.), but makeup seldom goes beyond the "play stage" with me anymore. And if it does, then it never goes according to plan. It ends up being a source of awkward discomfort and unaccustomed primping. These days, makeup's just something I gaze at wistfully and smear on the back of my hand from time to time. But this lipstick might be different.

The color is called "Rose Quartz" and it's not quite red and it's not quite pink and it's got tiny little sparklies in it. It's the closest thing to pink I've ever been able to wear without feeling too "Malibu Barbie". It's not too prim but it's not too slutty either; it makes my face look fragile and girly, which is a nice contrast when I have to sneer "Suck my left one!" every time the man tries to keep me down.

Just kidding! The man never keeps me down, I just like to tell people to suck my left one as often as possible. It keeps me sane. Or a reasonable facsimilie thereof.

Thank god, Atom Agoyan's "The Adjuster" just came on the Sundance channel. All is not lost. Notice that this is the only movie I linked to in this post. There's a good reason for that. Wait, I'm going to link to another one, actually, because if you've never seen an Atom Agoyan movie, you should start with THIS ONE. I personally think it's his best. Although the former is nearer and dearer to my heart than the latter, because it's just so goddamn freaky.

Cripes, I'm all over the place tonight. There's a good reason for that, too. But stay calm, everyone, the weekend is on its way. Ta-ta.

posted by taiwan_on 'round 10:29 PM#
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The WeatherPunkAss

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Female/26-30. Lives in United States/Massachusettes/Brockton/North Brockton, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes Film/Writing.
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Brockton, North Brockton,
English, Female, 26-30,
Film, Writing.

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