Monday, December 31, 2007

I still love all my stalkees

This is Grant Miller's cat. Mine are cuter.

Hey everyone,

Just a few quick notes:

1) I have been totally remiss in catching up with all of your blogs and leaving profound comments. Not for lack of love, just for lack of time. I'll make it up to all of joos shortly.

2) As if I don't have enough to catch up on already, I agreed to guest post over at Grant Miller Media while he's out of the office. Maybe I should get someone to guest-comment on all your wonderful blogs so that you don't feel so neglected.

3) It's my birthday today. Please worship me.



Friday, December 28, 2007

Virtual Round Table, or how CP became overwhelmed

Lulu and Melinda June can attest to the fact that I'm a strange bird and a difficult person to get to know because I feel shy and awkward around people I'm not well acquainted with. When you combine that with the fact that I am both a freak AND borderline retarded, people often walk away from their first few interactions with me thinking "what the hell was THAT all about?"

It is only due to some sort of miracle that I manage to earn a living in sales. I suppose 42 years of life experience and some decent legal training have taught me a thing or two about sucking it up and just talking to people, but none of it comes naturally. I'm much more comfortable sitting at a keyboard with unfettered access to my "backspace" and "delete" keys. If only I could carry those with me everywhere I go.

All of the foregoing are reasons why, when Lulu first got together with a large group of bloggers about a year ago, I told her I wouldn't want to do that. One or two at a time maybe, but not a whole room. I'd probably freeze or start babbling like a retard when faced with having to talk to that many people.

"No you wouldn't, you'd be fine," she replied.

"Well of course I'd be fine. I'm only slightly retarded, not a complete moron."

"Yes, and your point is. . . ?"

"It's just that I would find it overwhelming to have all these people come to life right in front of me. We know each other on paper and everything seems to work well that way. Why would I want to screw it up by making them deal with me in person?"

"No one is looking to get married here, CP - they just want to talk to us. You're so uptight. Why does everything have to be some sort of religious experience with you?"

Of course, she was right. Which is why this year, when Lu and I were both planning to be in Chicago for the holidays, I agreed to accompany her to a large gathering of bloggers we've gotten to know over the past few years.

It's not that I have anything against meeting bloggers or pen-pals. Dale, Chelene, Beckeye and I have all become semi-regular real life friends and I haven't managed to alienate any of them yet though I am still working on it. And I've had great single face-to-face interactions with Wonderturtle, Hapabukbuk, Write Procrastinator and Deadspot. I just wasn't sure how I'd react to a whole room of them at once.

I was able to lay a few of these concerns to rest after last night's blogger party in Chicago. The experience was definitely overwhelming, but mostly in a good way.

This is going to sound weird, but it was kind of like how I've always imagined it would be to die, go to an afterlife and then meet your cat from childhood in person form. "Hi Tom, I think you remember me - I'm Betty."

I'd say "Betty, is that really you? Wow, it's so great to meet you in person!" And then I'd stand there and feel overwhelmed.

That is how I felt when Lu, Poor George and I walked into a crowded room last night at the Hala Kahiki Lounge in River Grove, Illinois. Within the space of five minutes I shook hands with and looked all of the following writers straight in the eye:

Grant Miller from Grant Miller Media
Chris from Some Guy's Blog
Megan from By and By
Bubs and MizBubs from Sprawling Ramshackle Compound
Splotchy from I, Splotchy
Johnny Yen from Here Comes Johnny Yen Again
Chaylene from Better Living through Bacon
Vikkitikkitavi from Bells On
Bubbles from Anonymous Blogger
Sharon from Tenacious S (though I've known her for 20 years so that meeting wasn't quite as intimidating)

Vikki's sister from Two Minutes in the Box was also there but sadly I did not get a chance to speak with her - either that or she heeded someone's sage advice and avoided me.

I don't have time to say a whole lot more about it right now except that it felt natural and easy for me to talk to all these people, which only enhances my astonishment that we have all been able to come together because of our writing. It's like a virtual Round Table, only maybe even slightly more bitchy.

Which is always a good thing.

Except who gets to be Dorothy Parker here?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Isn't that 30 years in straight time?

Happy 10 year anniversary to CP + PG.

Although this picture was not taken at our celebratory dinner last night, it sums up how the two of us feel about each other: happy, full of love and always ready for another meal.

We celebrated here last night. Food was good, but the service was a bit lacking considering the exorbitant prices we were paying for the whole experience.

This place is about the same price as where we went last night, but ever so extra special, and worth every penny. We celebrated PG's birthday at Chanterelle a number of years ago. It's one of those places where the waiters don't hover over you but you know they must be spying because the second you act like you need something they are there faster than a whore changes bedsheets.

Anyway, I'm very proud that my Poor George has stuck by me all these years - and hope he'll have the stomach for ten more before he finally shoots me.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Newhanakwanzmas!

I like Christmas as much as the next guy. I also appreciate the fact that the vast majority of the traditions and symbols we use during our end of year celebration have their roots in various forms of paganism, and have very little to do with the birth of Jesus.

What we now call the "Christmas Tree" was originally used by Germanic pagan tribes during their winter solstice celebrations, which occurred during the darkest time of year, now know as the end of December. Other traditional "Christmas" symbols such as the yule log, Christmas ham and others derive from similar origins.

As Christianity spread northward and started to engulf the pagan tribes, one of the bargaining chips in the whole conversion process was that these winter solstice symbols and celebrations would remain, just with a new "Christian" angle.

So, on a personal level, I have no beef with us wishing each other a "Merry Christmas" since in my mind all this stuff is just American tradition that really has very little to do with Christianity. On the other hand, can I just say that I am SICK of all these jackasses who talk non-stop with their verbal diarrhea about "the death of Christmas?"

These are those poor souls, those poor Kristians who feel oppressed when people have the audacity to wish them "Seasons' Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" instead of a hearty old "Merry Christmas."

Poor, poor Kristians. It must be just terrible for you that large segments of our society still view your sacred holiday as a symbol of oppression, not to mention outright genocide. Those damn Holocaust survivors and their families should just get over it and suck it up when Christmas is constantly thrust in their faces, using their tax dollars to finance manger scenes on public property.

Or those silly Indians (or "Native Americans" as they like to be called) who STILL complain that they were being massacred by the thousands while the Europeans simultaneously shoved Christianity down their throats. (Just doing them a favor in attempting to save their souls, I know, but still.) And I won't even talk about those damn African slaves and their descendants. Christ was the best thing ever to happen to them, chains and all!

I have a message for you Kristians who are so fed up with having your holiday diluted by all these "politically correct" kinds of people who are trying to be sensitive to groups who have suffered great injustices at the hands of Kristians throughout the ages. Go and have yourselves a merry little Christmas. I certainly will.

As far as I'm concerned, you can wish the entire world a "Merry Christmas" if you really want to. If someone acts offended at these seemingly innocuous words, you are free to apologize and/or walk away. But PLEASE, whatever else happens, just do us all a huge favor and shut the fuck up about your so-called "oppression."

As you are crying real tears over your lonely, neglected manger scenes, may I remind you of the wise words once shared with us on this very blog by the immortal Vikkitikkitavi?

To take the attitude that you are beleaguered members of a disenfranchised sect is neither attractive nor accurate.

Ho! Ho! Ho! and Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 07, 2007

Here's an idea

Let's continue to make the recent shopping mall shooting incident front-page news for the next several months. Let's spend a bunch of time leading every TV newscast and talk show with more and more eyewitness accounts of the tragedy. Let's also get a bunch of experts from various fields to sit on discussion panels to hash out all the problems in American society that would cause a troubled young person to act out in this way.

After all, it's way more interesting and compelling than, say, the fact that we're on the brink of bombing the nads right off of Iran. Or that our economy is in the shithouse. Teenage shooting sprees are way more fun.

Maybe if we talk a whole lot about this shooting, we'll encourage other troubled teens to act out in similar ways! Wouldn't that be great? A lot of troubled people have a morbid fascination with macabre forms of celebrity, like this mall killer and the Columbine kids. If we play our cards right and continue to obsess over this in the media, we might get lucky and enjoy a few more sensational stories of this ilk before the '00s are up!

And as a bonus, maybe we'll even get to have metal detectors installed in every shopping mall across the country to protect ourselves from this ever increasing phenomenon. That would be awesome!