Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another Awkward Tale - part 5

Gentle Readers,

Happy New Year and happy reading! Part 5 of my Awkward College Romance story is posted here.

It's also my birthday today. Please worship me.

Love and coasters,


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Little Coaster Punchman: A Stalker in the Making

This is my childhood ex-neighbor Jenny. She is a stone cold fox and definitely NOT a bitch!

Longtime readers of CPW remember the story of my childhood ex-neighbor Jenny, the little girl who only wanted me for my box. Back when I used to have fans and regular readers, many of said fans and regular readers rallied to support me as I relived this recklessly painful childhood trauma. But as sweet and appreciated as your support was, I now have to confess that Jenny is actually not a total bitch. Or if she is a bitch, she is only 1/3 the bitch that I am.
Hmmm, maybe I'm digging myself a hole here because being 1/3 the bitch that I am is still pretty bad. Let me rethink that and get back to you.
Anyway, later on I related to you the strange tale of how I once stalked Jenny by embroidering her a pillow and sending it to her in the mail along with a secret admirer letter. Somewhere in the comments section that followed the tale I mentioned that Jenny and I had actually reunited on Facebook. Which means that I could contact her any time I wanted.

The result of this confession is that avid commenters GetKristiLove and Chris ganged up and goaded me into confessing the whole story to Jenny while taping it live for the cringy-embarrassment of whatever readers I have left after having neglected my blog for so long.

Mainly because I love to be ganged up on (sick fetish) I took the bait and did contact Jenny. Live. On video. And confessed to her that I was the stalker who hand embroidered her the ugly pillow.

Here is the result. Admittedly, it may not be as enticing as any of the classic Mama Gin videos, but I hope some of you will enjoy it anyway.


ps: There are several cat cameos in this video. There's an especially good one near the end, where Grover pounces into my lap, demanding attention as I try to wrap up the phone call.


Meredith Baxter, my muse, as the murderous Betty Broderick

I'm almost late for work but I just had to take the 5 extra minutes to post this.

Longtime fans of Coaster Punchman's World know about my addiction to the CMTVM (Cheesy Made for TV Movie) and it's oh so important sub-genre, the CMTVMMB (Cheesy Made for TV Movie with Meredith Baxter.)

Well Gentle Readers, my favorite uber-mommie-turned-crazy-beyotch has revealed that she is a big ole' lezzie. And I mean that as a compliment.

Some days at CPW are good days, and this is one!

Love and Coasters,


Monday, November 30, 2009

Another story of my awkward youth - part 4

Gentle Readers,

Thanks for bearing with me as I continue to drag out this story, that is if anyone still cares. Part 4 is posted here on the World of Progress online magazine where my saga has been renamed Coaster Punchman and the College Boys. Please leave comments there if you don't mind, although I don't mind if you leave them here too. I'm such a whore for affection, it's pathetic.

Since even Albert Einstein wouldn't remember what this story is all about, I'll provide links to the first three installments:

Read Part One here

Read Part Two here

Read Part Three here

With love and coasters, I remain yours truly,

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Jin’s Sweet Box Contest, Or One more way CP is a freak and a total fool

I can barely even begin to explain this. You'll just have to read below.

Our pastry-chef friend Jin recently posted a contest on her blog. She wants her readers to leave a comment stating the most embarrassing story about themselves they can think of. Whichever story makes her laugh the longest and loudest will entitle the reader to one of her special Sweet Boxes.

Now I’m not all that competitional or anything, but seeing as how embarrassing stories (about myself and others) are one of my specialities, I could not resist the urge to throw my name in the hat.

I started to type my comment to Jin (wherein, as you will note below, I state for the record that I could in no way compete with her reader Jay Ferris who boasts a horrifying story of jock itch and professional nudity) but alas, the “comment” was too long for Blogger to publish – leaving me with no choice but to post my entry on my own blog.

So, without any further ado, I respectfully submit the following entry in
Jin’s Sweet Box Contest:

I would really like to play this game, but I simply don't believe I could beat Jay. That story is just so nasty.

But actually, I have thought of a story from my childhood that is just so stupid, it's more embarrassing just to think about what was going in my 12 year old pea-brain rather than the embarrassment of being discovered. (I actually never was officially discovered.)

Here's the set up: You may or may not recall a post I did some time ago about my childhood ex-neighbor Jenny. She and I had been best buddies earlier in life but had started to grow apart as we hit the tween years. One time when I was 11 or 12 I decided to mess with her and send her a "secret admirer" letter, not because I secretly admired her, but just because I was a mischievous imp and wanted to screw with her head.

But this was to be no ordinary secret-admirer letter, mind you - that would have been too normal for my pea-brain. Instead I decided she needed something homemade, something artsy and craftsy to show my fake-love for her. So I decided to make her a pillow.

Yes, that would be a pillow, the kind of thing on which you lay your head down at night to help you go to sleep. I have no idea where this random thought came from, but I took to the project with much aplomb.

I dug through some drawers and found some old pieces of upholstery that my mom had used to recover the seats of our dining room chairs a number of years before. I chose for one side of the secret-love-pillow a patterned fabric with a kind of plaid-paisley thing happening. For the other side of the pillow I chose plain green.

Why just plain green for the other side, you may ask? Because I needed a plain side so that I could do some special embroidery work on it. Just to make it extra special.

I took a needle and a spool of ordinary white thread from Kmart and carefully stitched in a large letter "J" on Jenny's pillow. (You know, so it would be an initial of her first name and all to make it really nice.)

I sewed up the sides of the fabric pieces and stuffed it with some old rags or something. The finished product was the saddest little thing I'd ever seen - like a school art project for which even a special-ed kindergartner would have received a D-minus. It was pathetic, but I was still really proud of it.

Then I proceeded to write her a letter (not even disguising my own handwriting) which read something to the effect of "I like you very much and so I made you this pillow. Signed, your secret admirer." And then I mailed it.

A few weeks later my cat had kittens, and when I saw Jenny across the yard one day I asked her if she (and her new best friend Joanne) wanted to come see them. Sure, they said, and they came in to see the new kitties.

As Jenny held one of the sleeping kittens in her hand she said, sotto voce to Joanne, "this kitten is so cute sleeping like this - I should go get her a small pillow." Joanne started snickering, and I asked what was so funny.

Jenny looked at me and rather flatly stated "a secret admirer sent me a pillow."

"A pillow?" I asked, in the sort of "what the fuck" tone that would properly befit that kind of statement.

"Yes, he made me a pillow. You should see it - it has got to be the ugliest thing ever." I couldn't tell if she suspected me, but I played along. She went and got me the pillow and the letter and we all had a good laugh. I could tell she was genuinely confused, as was I, frankly. To this day I still have no idea what possessed me to do such a strange thing.

But as an adult I have come to appreciate it as a kind of private performance art. I would consider doing the same to other people I know today except that technology is so much more sophisticated now - it would be much easier to sniff me out. And as an adult I could probably get arrested - or at least slapped with a restraining order - for doing something so awkward and creepy.

I've never told anyone this story, not even Poor George. Consider this my humble submission to the Sweet Box context.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Suze Orman

Hey y'all, I'm not dead. I've just been busy worshipping at the altar of Suze Orman.

I'll be back with my next installment of "Alyssa Milbert" very soon!

Love and coasters,


Friday, July 24, 2009

Alissa Milbert Can Suck My Balls - Part 5

This is part 5 of a CPW series.

Read Part 1 here

Read Part 2 here

Read Part 3 here

Read Part 4 here

Eventually I wrenched out of Lex a solemn promise that he would introduce me to Palison Yarngrim at his earliest convenience. Over the next few weeks I reminded him of his promise daily, or at least as often as I felt I could without giving him reason to have me killed.

"She TOLD you to call her!" I would lament. "She's going to think you don't like her or that you're snubbing her. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be on Jellie Joleson's bad side. You should invite her to lunch! And tell her your friend Tom is coming! See how easy that would be? Just pick up the phone! Here, shall I help you dial?"

And then one day I hit the jackpot, pay dirt beyond my wildest imagination. Just as I was about to launch into one of my irritating tirades that would invariably send Lex running into this apartment to bolt the door behind him, he said "Hey Tom, guess what? I got an invitation to Palison's house for her 3rd wedding anniversary party and it says I can bring a friend. Would you like to go? And if I bring you with me will you promise never to speak to me again?"

I was about 65% sure he was just kidding about the never speaking to him part so I eagerly agreed, ready to take my chances that I could be trading in a loyal friend for a night with a washed up Hollywood celebrity. It was an easy choice.


On the night of Palison's party I struggled to maintain my composure despite my being dizzy with excitement. "I wonder if Alissa Milbert will be there?" was one of the many recurring thoughts I experienced at regular intervals during the long, slow days that preceded the party. I knew as well as the next crazed stalker that Alissa and Palison had remained close friends ever since the TV show ended; in my mind it was more than likely that she should be invited.

As Lex and I drove up to Palison's rather ordinary house in the Hollywood hills, I made sure to note the address since it would come in handy for future stalking purposes. When she opened the door to receive us, it felt like we were going to any regular Saturday night party and not to the home of one of my childhood idols, save for the fact that Palison greeted us wearing a leather bustier and a matching skirt. It would be explained to us later that leather is the traditional gift for a 3rd wedding anniversary, and therefore Palison billed the evening as her "Leather Anniversary Party." Just another indication of her goddess-liness.

"LEX!" she cried out as she embraced him warmly. And to me she extended her hand, saying "Hi, I'm Palison!" As she ushered us into her living room I immediately resolved to put on my "normal" personality so that I could try to fit in for the evening --- at least as well as a fan-crazed stalker-in-training could try to fit into a room full of leather-clad Hollywood types.

to be continued....................................

Thursday, July 02, 2009

My monthly piece is up

Gentle Readers,

My latest piece for A World of Progress Team-Zine is up here. Check it out if you are so inclined. If you are not so inclined, that's fine, but remember you're killing me.



Thursday, June 25, 2009


I feel like we've lost a really weird family member. He's been part of our lives forever and now, just like that, he's gone. He was one sick fuck, and he will be missed.

RIP, Mikey.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Check this out

Gentle Readers,

I was invited by Lori, author of Hahn at Home, to write for the GLBTQ page of her online zine called A World of Progress TeamZine. I'll be publishing there once a month if all goes as planned.

Here is my first piece, a hysterical (as in angry) rant on Prop 8. How unusual for me!



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm still married, but...

I'm too damn mad to write coherently about this. So I'm sending you, my Gentle Readers, over to Melinda June's place for a little common sense on the upholding of Prop 8, with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. More from me later.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Update: Mama Gin 1923-2009

Poor George asked me to thank you all for your kind comments about Mama Gin. He also wanted me to post this picture of her as a lovely young woman.
George was not happy initially with Mama Gin's celebrity status on the web, but I think I've convinced him that these posts have allowed her to develop a fan base that she would not have had otherwise. It's wonderful that you all know and appreciate her as the quirky woman she was.

Although the picture below is not as flattering as the one above, it is how I - and most of you- will always remember her. Standing in our apartment doorway, issuing edicts and other pronouncements.

Mama Gin

3/25/1923 - 5/4/2009

May she rest in peace.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Why is everyone judging me?

Listen Gentle Readers,

You all need to stop judging me for my beliefs. I am entitled to them - this is a free country.

I have never said ANYTHING against black people. My beliefs have nothing to do with black people. I just think whites should have their own drinking fountains, that's all. That's just the way I was raised.

I hope we can all agree to respect each other. I have nothing against any of you.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

I need to clarify

Gentle Readers,

If you've been following the news at all lately, you might be aware of the vicious attacks on me because of statements I made during my on-stage interview in the Mr. Gay California pageant last week.

I have nothing against the Jewish people. I just think that Europe should have remained Aryan and Christian and that we took a wrong turn in 1945 by getting involved in all that. This has nothing at all to do with the Jews.

It saddens to me to see that my beliefs cannot be respected.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

CP's Blair Bitch Project: Stillwater, OK

Join CP as he explores his father's abandoned childhood home in Oklahoma.

Poor George and I stopped through my dad's hometown on the cross-country trip we took to move PG and all our stuff from New York to California.

I wasn't absolutely positive at the time of filming that I had the right house, but I later confirmed with my dad that we were on target. He is very excited to see the video, which is why we shot it in the first place. Unfortunately I would never let him see this blog, so I'll have to get it to him another way.



Saturday, April 11, 2009

Alissa Milbert can suck my balls - part 4

This is part 4 of a CPW series

Read Part 1 here

Read Part 2 here

Read Part 3 here

My friend Lex and I would invariably consult with each other before and after our respective dating experiences. Lex played Mary to my Rhoda since he lived downstairs from me and, more notably, was less sarcastic and bitchy.

"How was your evening with D.E.?" he asked me the morning after my less-than-exciting evening out with Carol Burnett's former TV movie co-star.

"Oh, your usual disaster," I replied, wearily.

"Disaster? It couldn't have been all THAT bad, could it?"

"Oh yes, and worse. I'm sure I'll never hear from him again. And why didn't you tell me he was famous?"

"Famous? He's not really famous, is he?"

"Well, he's famous enough to have worked with Carol Burnett!" Lex could be really maddening sometimes. "There I was, sitting with him in El Coyote, about to babble on like some idiot about Carol Burnett, when all the while this guy knows her."

"Yeah, so?" Lex replied with a somewhat puzzled look on his face.

"Lex, he KNOWS Carol Burnett! How could you not tell me this? How could you have let me just go out into the evening like that with this guy who has worked with the greatest comedic actress of the 20th Century? He probably has her phone number, for God's sake! Don't you get it?"

Clearly, he did not. "What does having Carol Burnett's phone number have to do with any of this, Tom? All I did was ask you how your date went. I wasn't expecting a full on interview with 'Access Hollywood.' Just calm down!" Yeah, right, I thought.

He continued. "Did you like him or not? Did you guys talk about anything besides Carol Burnett?"

The truth was, at that moment I could not have cared less what D.E. and I had discussed; the fact that he probably had Carol's phone number was all I could think about and became my central focus. "Maybe I SHOULD try to get to know him better! That way I can look inside his address book, get Carol's phone number and address and then stalk her!"

Lex looked like he was starting to grow concerned.

"Well . . . I don't think I would recommend that particular course of action. And anyway, it seemed like D.E. did like you well enough at my party. Maybe you should call HIM."

"Me? Call HIM? Are you kidding me with this, Lex? I'm not famous enough to call him. In fact, I'm starting to think I'm not famous enough to live here any more. Everyone here is famous except me. I'm a complete nobody. I'm more of a nobody than Pia Zadora even, and THAT says something."

"That's not true, Tom, you're famous to US!" Lex replied, referring to our small group of friends. Sweet as the sentiment was, it was small consolation. I was feeling downright unworthy.


A few weeks later I developed a feeling that my luck was about to change when Lex and I walked up the street to attend the Gay Pride parade in West Hollywood. Because you see, Gentle Readers, right there in the parade, on a mid-sized float, amidst the drag queens, leather daddies and dykes on bikes sat Palison Yarngrim, who had in recent years developed a name for herself as a prominent AIDS activist, but who was best known to the world for her delightful portrayal of tween bitch Jellie Joleson on "Little Mouse on the Scarie" in the 1970s. I was absolutely giddy at the sight of this fabulous, yet for all intents and purposes, washed-up TV actor. What an unexpected pleasure, a veritable gold mine of special CP Hollywood moments!

But my pleasure would soon increase exponentially, almost beyond the boundaries of the known universe. As she rode by, Palison looked our way and shouted out "LEX! How ARE you, sweetheart? Call me!!!"

My jaw dropped straight to the ground.

"You KNOW her??? You KNOW Palison?" I blurted out, incredulously.

"Yeah, I know her. We used to work together at Tuesday's Pild," he replied with a maddening air of nonchalance, referring to a well known children's AIDS charity.

"How long were you planning on hiding this from me? What other information are you holding out on?" I immediately demanded a full accounting of every famous person with whom he was on private-phone-number terms. Not that it got me anywhere. Having grown up in Hollywood, Lex was completely unimpressed by any of these things and barely even understood why I was asking.

Poor Lex, I thought. If only HE had grown up in the Midwest, he might understand my particular state of excitement.

....... to be continued ..........

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I'm just a-lovin' the new blog layout

These boys are Mormon missionaries, apparently running a mission on the moon. They also have nothing to do with the subject of this post.

Thank God Bubs asked us to help promote Nora in the Fangoria Spooksmodel Contest. If it hadn't been for Bubs' asking us to help out, I never would have tried to give Nora a perma-link on my sidebar, never would have failed miserably at it, and subsequently never would have decided I needed to revamp my blog to join the 21st century (post aught-four.)

My old template would simply not support Nora in all her nursely ghoulishness, and I so wanted to help that I actually began the arduous task of reformatting. Which turned out not to be arduous at all. And is the reason y'all are (maybe not?) enjoying my whole new look.

I lost the bulk of my regular Gentle Readers over the past months, probably ever since Proposition 8 passed when I began to spend months being all angry and serious about it, and losing my mojo for writing in the process.

But that's all water under the bridge now, Gentle Readers, and we start anew.

What has changed the most is that the new template enabled me to do that coolio link thing where I can see immediately which of my stalkees has posted. This saves me the arduous task of clicking into all 50+ of my stalkees' blogs every day to see what is going on. That is the primary reason why I hadn't been reading & commenting on your blogs - it just got too damn hard to keep up with everyone.

So now, I am lovin' the ability to keep up with y'all more easily, Gentle Readers. And I hope you love me stopping over more often now.

Oh please, like we're not all attention whores.

Love & coasters,

Monday, April 06, 2009

Some Guy's "Lose Your Shit Video" series: CP loses his shit over Margaret Cho

I know that my Gentle Readers have senses of humor or else they would not be able to deal with this blog, which would otherwise be seen as nothing but offensive drivel.

Laughter is indeed the best medicine, if I can say that without sounding trite, which I can't really, because it is trite --- but c'mon, work with me here for a minute. Chris over at Some Guy's Blog has developed an interest in those special moments in life where something not quite definable just makes you lose your shit. And he has taken to recording himself enjoying such moments, for example, as in this post.

I've taken it upon myself to find one such moment of my own and foist it upon you, my Gentle Readers. And I'm hereby inviting you to do the same. Find your special moment, record it for future generations to enjoy and post it on your blog as part of the brand new "Some Guy's Lose Your Shit Video" series.

Here's where I lost my own shit:

A few weeks ago, while I was driving to see some clients, I was listening to Margaret Cho on the car stereo. For those who are unfamiliar with Margaret's work, words can't quite describe how vile she can be. She's completely insane. Also, she and I have something in common in our taste for comedy: we both get our kicks making fun of elderly Asian women (she her mother, I my mother-in-law, the infamous Mama Gin.)

Margaret is also big on potty humor, which sometimes I find funny and sometimes not so much. But this bit she does about having to crap her pants while she's in the car just struck me as so hilarious I could not stop laughing. I laughed so hard I was practically hyperventilating and thought I might have to pull over.

I thought this was a fitting first video in this new series on Losing Your Shit, since what made me laugh in the first place was Margaret talking about shitting her pants.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

Alissa Milbert can suck my balls - part 3

This is part 3 of a CPW series

Read Part 1 here

Read Part 2 here

As fun as it was to meet all these famous people, every now and again I became self conscious because I wasn't famous myself. The last thing a mildly retarded Punchman needs is another reason to feel down about himself.

Though really, I shouldn't have worried much about it, because I found not a small number of people in L.A., people who lived, ate and breathed Hollywood, who were fascinated by me and my life because I just had a regular nine-to-five job. Something completely alien to them. I remember one conversation I had with a woman at a party:

"So, like, what do you DO?"

"I'm a computer consultant for a publishing firm."

"Wow. So what IS that?"

"Well, I visit customers who use our products to make sure everything works, and I get them to install upgrades and that sort of thing."

"Ok dude, I am like totally you like, have an OFFICE or something?"

"Yes, I am in an office when I'm not visiting customers."

"Oh my GOD, I can't even IMAGINE...."

The fact that I didn't get screamed at regularly or that I had never been fired for forgetting to put two sugars in somebody's coffee was a completely foreign concept to this woman.

One time at a party I met a guy who worked on the "Larry Sanders Show." We kind of hit it off, and spent much of the evening talking together. I was upfront about the fact that I had never seen his show, so at the end of the night he invited me to come over to watch a few episodes sometime.

"I'd love to, thanks!" I replied.

A few days later this guy called and instead of inviting me over, asked if I wanted to go to the movies.

"Sure! What would you like to see?"

He went through some song & dance about how he needed to go see "The Secret Garden" because someone he knew had worked on it and he's promised he'd take a look - or something to that effect, because as you know I don't really listen to anything a person says when I'm slightly nervous, as I was here.

In any event, I agreed on "The Secret Garden" and told him to pick me up at 5:30 - and that I would find out where it was playing. After we hung up I looked in the paper and saw it was playing at the "Beverly Center" at 5:45. Perfect.

D.E. (his initials) picked me up at 5:30 and drove us over to the theater, which was on the top floor of a shopping mall- so it took a few minutes to get up to the ticket booth. STRIKE ONE: We arrived at the booth only to find that the movie was not playing there at all.

"Oops...." I said. "It must be at the Beverly CONNECTION...." (the theater across the street.)

He let out one of those polite laughs, the kind you use when you are slightly annoyed but want to show what a good sport you are.

We rode the mall escalators down five floors to exit the building, after which we crossed the street to go over to the other theater. It was about 5:43 when we approached the ticket counter. I took out my wallet to discover I had no cash with me. STRIKE TWO.

I swear, I have no idea how people lived before ATM machines.

"Um, D, I'm afraid you're going to have to pay for my ticket," I said. "I'll have to go to an ATM after the movie to pay you back."

This time he looked downright annoyed - probably not because he had to pay for the movie, but because I was obviously a complete dingbat AND totally unprepared for the date. Oh, well.

After the movie we wanted to get something to eat. "Ever been to El Coyote?" I asked him.

"No, I haven't. But I've heard about that place and always wanted to try it." So off we went! I could feel the evening was about to improve.

Now I already told you in Part 1 or Part 2 of this series that whenever I brought someone to El Coyote for the first time, I would launch into my little story about how I hoped to see Carol Burnett there because my boss had sat next to her there once. Et cetera.

Something told me to hold off on that with this guy, though. He seemed like he might be a little too famous, or a little too connected to famous, to think this story was cute. He would probably find it annoying, or maybe even slightly stalkerish.

Thank God a Punchman knows how to follow his instincts.

As soon as we were seated and sipping on our drinks (he on an iced tea and I on a margarita, under what I detected as a subtle air of disapproval from him) we started talking about where we were from. I told him I hailed from the Upper Midwest, and he was also from somewhere "back East."

To Californians, anything East of the state line is referred to as "back East." They're almost as bad as New Yorkers that way.
"So what brought you out to L.A.?" I asked, as the obvious next question in any conversation of this nature.

His reply?

"I was working on a TV movie with Carol Burnett."


Although I was glad I'd had sense enough to hold back on my stupid "I hope we see Carol Burnett!!" story, I was mortified at the possibility that I very well could have shared that with him. I was also mortified that I was not famous enough to be there with him. I felt completely worthless.

Telling my Carol Burnett story would surely have been STRIKE THREE except that it didn't matter: the evening ended shortly after dinner, D.E. having refused my invitation to stop up for a cup of coffee.

And he never called me again.

...... to be continued ....................

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Another awkward tale from my youth - part 3

This is where I lured my date

I don't remember much about my first dinner with Jeff Henderson, except the fact that I was too nervous to pay attention to anything he said. I also ate like a bird in those days, and even more so when I was wound up (which I was about something or other, most of the time.)

Jeff and I would enjoy many more dinners together, and one time he commented on the paltriness of my food tray, which consisted of a bare dinner plate with one thin slice of ham accompanied by a side dish of about three lettuce leaves and a glass of milk.

"Is that all you're having, Tom?" he asked. I didn't even understand the question. How could ANYONE eat at a time like this? Of course it was usually a "time like this" for no one but me.

Returning to the topic of our first dinner date, although I barely listened to most of what Jeff said because I couldn't focus, I did manage to keep my ears perked up for clues to such relevant items as "does he like girls?" and "where does he spend his evening hours?" While his like or dislike for females remained frustratingly obscure to me, I did manage to remember that he worked in a small student-run snack bar on campus every Friday night.

And so of course, the Friday after I learned this precious gem of a tidbit, I suddenly became hungry for a snack at about 8:30 - or a half hour before the snack bar was to close.

"Hey, Tom! How's it going?" Jeff called out from behind the counter when I entered the all but deserted snack bar.

"Hey Jeff, not too much, how about you? Working much longer?"

"Nah, I'm just about to close this place down. Want something to eat?"

Of course I wasn't able to eat a thing, but I did stand next to the counter, making small talk about God-knows-what for the next 20 minutes. I'm actually quite proud of my ability to become social upon demand. Normally, given the choice, I keep my nose in a book or glued to the TV set or in the face of someone who's known me for 20 years. I've never felt comfortable talking to new people.

But when you're paying me a salary, or scaring me to death because I like you and really want you to like me, I can become quite the empty conversationalist. Comes in handy in my sales-related work. And it used to come in handy when I was still dating. Or trying to date.

I rambled on at Jeff about miscellaneous topics until he had his coat on and was shutting off the lights. I simply walked with him to the exit and out into the night, as if we had planned it all along.

"What are you up to now, Jeff?" I asked.

"I don't know, really, what about you?" he replied, proving to me that God did in fact exist.

"Well, my roommates are away and I was thinking of lighting up a joint and chilling out...want to come?"

I was just a little bit of a pothead in those days, which is odd, considering what a bundle of nerves I usually was. It makes me afraid to think of what the world could have been like for me without the wacky tobacky to even out the rough edges.

And although I don't remember doing so specifically, I must have vetted Jeff beforehand for his position on marijuana, or else I never would have asked a question like that.

"Sure, that sounds good!"

Off I went with Jeff to my dorm room, happy yet beside myself in the knowledge that my roommates were out of town for the weekend. be continued.......

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Alissa Milbert can suck my balls - part 2

After my boss's pronouncement about the possibility of seeing Carol Burnett there, El Coyote immediately became my favorite restaurant. (Ok, so the cheap yet tasty margaritas and kick-ass green corn tamales didn't hurt either.)

Any time I went there it was all I could talk about. "I hope we see Carol Burnett tonight! My boss saw her here once!" I would gush to every dining companion who dared join me at this trashy yet lovable L.A. standby. I never did get to see Carol, but one time I was fortunate enough to be seated in the booth opposite from Ricardo Montalban. That's some pretty damn good washed-up star viewing if you ask me.

Over the course of my 5+ years in Los Angeles I became friends with a lot of "industry" people, mainly because the first few close friends I made worked in Hollywood. It was great for me to be around all these people while not working in the "industry" because I got all the benefits of rubbing elbows with the stars while not having to put up with any of the industry bullshit. (Save the fact that some movie or other would shut down all or part of our street about once a month for filming. L.A. people HATE that because it's more common than road construction.)

My friend Lex who lived downstairs from me worked at Paramount, so he would occasionally host parties where someone kind of famous would show up. My M.O. with these people was always to act as unimpressed as possible for fear of being seen as the total star-crazed geek that I was. One time I went on and on to Meri Stilpin from the show "Frazier" about my lower back problems until I thought she might want to kill herself rather than listen for ten more seconds.

(Note that I never use their real names in these posts for fear of being Googled. I am still in possession of a shred of dignity, although that is quickly wearing away.)

Sometimes this kind of nonchalantness could backfire. One time when my friend Beth was visiting me, we went out for breakfast with the gal who played Ellen Degeneres's love interest on her then-controversial TV show. I was kind of friends with Lisa already so I didn't feel I had to hide my admiration for her, and I think she enjoyed my pandering. (Who the hell wouldn't, I ask myself?) Beth, on the other hand, WAS actually unimpressed.

I asked Lisa what she had been up to lately.

"Well, I just wrapped another episode of 'Murder She Wrote,' she replied.

"Murder She Wrote???" Beth exclaimed with surprise. "Murder She Wrote??? Who the hell still watches THAT?" She was at that time a Ph.D student in English literature and as such disdained anything so vulgarly pop-culture.

"Beth!" I replied. "What is with these manners of yours?! Lisa is talking about her job, here! Show some respect, will you?"

"Well I'm sorry! But god, who even WATCHES that show? It's so stupid that even my MOM likes it! It's like mystery-drama for geriatrics!"

Lisa was shocked to the point of not knowing what to say. She just let out a little grunt of horror. "It was really fun to work on," she quietly mumbled.

"Well, I guess I just don't watch that much TV," was Beth's final comment on the subject.

"Oh my God, that's even worse!" I thought Lisa might possibly cry, although it was probably all just part of being dramatic. Actors are like that.

Our breakfast, delicious as it was, slowly disintegrated from there. be continued......

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Alissa Milbert can suck my balls - part 1

I have long been a fan of famous people. At least I've been a fan of people who are famous for the right reasons. I don't like people who are famous because they lock people in their basements and eat them. As a simple illustration, Shirley Booth = good. John Wayne Gacy = bad.

Actually, I realize John Wayne Gacy didn't eat his victims. It just sounded better that way.

When I moved to Los Angeles in 1992, I was giddy with excitement each time I saw a famous person. One of my favorite things was to go to El Coyote for trashy Mexican food because it was such a great place for star sightings, especially to view stars of the "B" variety. (Washed up TV actors being my absolute favorite genre, if you hadn't figured that out from the Shirley Booth example.)

The first time I went to El Coyote I was with my new boss, who mentioned casually that he sat next to Carol Burnett the last time he'd been there.

"Carol Burnett?? Are you kidding me with this??" I demanded to know.

"Yes, I did," Michael replied. "You see a lot of stars here. Perfect restaurant if you're into that sort of thing."

And was I ever! Seeing stars was fun! be continued.....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Go vote for Bubs' kid Nora

Hi all,

PG and I are just back from a cross country trip to move him from Brooklyn to San Diego. Our life as a couple of New York urban sophisticates has officially come to an end. From here on in we'll be floating around SoCal with the rest of the airheads. Suits me.

I have many tales to tell from our trip, but for now I want you all to follow Lulu's instructions to vote for Nora O'Sullivan, eldest daughter of beloved blogger Bubs. (Lulu already recapped everything nicely and provides the link you need to vote.)

Love and Coasters,


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Crazy Eights

Bubsicle (my new nick-name for him) named me as one of his Crazy-Eights. No one really calls it the “Crazy Eights” – I’m just being a dork as usual.

It’s just a tag game where Bubs professed his undying love for my blog (and seven other blogs) and I’m supposed to return the favor. Glad to – I have so many great blogs on my list that I can’t even keep up with them all.

I’m supposed to post THESE WORDS:

“These bloggers are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find
and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that
when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.
Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight
bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into
the body of their award.”

and the picture at the heading of this post – that is your award, bloggies. My eight are supposed to do likewise with their Crazy-Eights.

With that, here are a few of my besties, my crazy-about-ya-eights, in completely random order:

Grizzbabe’s Den – this gal has a good soul

The Pop Eye - everyone nominates her but I know she feels neglected by me so I’m hoping this will make up for it

A Twist of Lemon – I am simply charmed by his use of only partial words

Gifts from a Broad – cracks me the f*ck up

Tenacious S – another real life bestie

Prone to Whimsy – Flan and I are real life besties now

Two Minutes in the Box – she goes on great vacations and didn’t really mean to ignore me in Chicago that one time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another awkward tale from my youth part 2

This is not the old caf at St. Olaf. But it conjures up the cold, Lutheran ambiance of which I speak. I mean, write.

In an attempt not to drag this on for a year as I did with the story of how PG and I met, I'm getting a move on with this tale. See here for Part 1.


Just figuring out Jeff's name seemed like such an important feat that I hadn't even thought of what I might do with the information once I acquired it. I was always a fairly shy person and had never, at least in my own memory, manipulated a situation so that I would have a chance to talk to someone in particular. I was used to letting things happen and unfold as they may, which would probably explain the many disastrous events of my life up to that point.

I decided it was time to take control.

A few days later as I was walking toward choir rehearsal I saw him about 20 yards ahead of me. I knew I needed to get his attention and slow him down right then before he reached the choir room, depriving me of a chance to walk with him and chat him up for a few minutes.

"Jeff!" I called out. He stopped and turned around.

"Oh, hey Tom! What's going on?" I quickened my pace to catch up to him.

"Not a lot." (Yeah, right Tom.) "So how are classes?"

I was so nervous that I had absolutely no idea what he said in response. I had always been like that; it was so unusual for me just to start talking to someone I barely knew that my self-consciousness overrode anything else about the situation, including the ability to listen to the other person. Most of us shy folk can compensate by developing an ability to recognize the cadences of typical small-talk, and are able to imitate having an actual conversation with all the perquisite give-and-take.

It's remarkable how many people in life have told me I'm a "good listener." If they only knew.

I could not have repeated even five minutes later what either of us said to the other. There was just one very important part of the conversation that had to, and did take place: setting the stage so that I could run into him again and casually suggest having a meal together.

Over the next several weeks I took note of the various directions from which he approached the music building before choir practice, which was three afternoons a week, and made sure to be in the general vicinity each day so that I would be in place to chat him up. It worked.

One day, as we were approaching our rehearsal I said "So are you doing anything for dinner after choir? Want to go to the caf afterward?"

He he, the caf. It still makes me laugh today when I think about the caf, as we called the dining room at St. Olaf. Having a companion at meal times was crucial in the caf because it was this large room with two separate entrances, filled with long rectangular tables spaced out in perfect symmetry. It was a cold, glaringly lit stark room with a decorative motif that would be best described as "church basement pot-luck industrial."

No one ever wanted to sit alone in the caf, especially not at dinner time, because there were no safe corners in which a lone diner could tuck him or herself away to hide. If you went to the caf alone, there you were for the entire student body to see, pathetic and friendless under the glare of the unwaveringly Lutheran interrogation lamps---I mean, white lights.

In other words, asking someone to eat with you was a foolproof way of getting face time with the object of your interest. No one in modern history has ever turned down an invitation to have a dining companion in the St. Olaf caf, at least not until the college upgraded its facilities long after I graduated.

"Yeah Tom, that sounds great! I'll meet you at the door after choir?"

SCORE!! An actual dinner date!!! I thought. And I even had the rest of choir rehearsal to think up things to say to him! be continued.......

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm like totally freaking out

I'm totally freaking out because I'm getting ready to go meet Poor George in Chicago so that I can drive with him back here to San Diego. My excitement and anticipation of my road-trip vacation was interrupted this morning when I got pulled into a conference call with the VP of my division and Human Resources so that they could tell us my boss is being laid off.

My boss just lost his job. This is not good.

Then when the VP doing the call said "are there any questions?" I asked about the proverbial elephant-in-the-room: "Are you anticipating any reduction in his current staff?"

"No, we are not," the VP replied. Then came the sounds of muffled voices and a lot of paper shuffling and other related noises. Followed by the voice of the HR rep who was in the room with him:

"Well, no one can ever promise there won't be staffing changes. None of us has a guaranteed job in this environment."


But anyway, I'm not here to talk about that. I'm here right now at the request of Melinda June, who told her readers to ask me to blog about a book we both just read. You can click over to her post to see what book she's referring to; I don't want to be Googled and then found by the people I'm about to malign.

The book is a fascinating read, so I won't give away too much of it in case you want to "enjoy" it yourself. I'll just tell you it's about a particularly insidious form of child abuse, and that two of the offenders (the parents of the author) are going to rot in hell. At least if I have anything to say about it.

Of course, simply thinking these people are evil was not enough for a mildly retarded and often crusty Punchman. I decided to put my cyberstalking skills to good use by hunting down the address and phone number of said parents.

And then I called them.

I got their answering machine, upon which I left the following message:

"If this is Dr. and Mrs. Beers, I just wanted to let you know you should be asking God's forgiveness every single day for what you have done to your children." And then I hung up.

Mindy thinks this is one of the funniest things she has ever heard, although she also says she is glad I did it.

Next, I went to the author's website, got her email address and wrote her, asking about her current relationship with her parents. Not surprisingly, the author wrote back and said she doesn't speak to them any more.

(Well, maybe it's surprising that she wrote me back, but not surprising that she has cut her parents off. Well, actually, they probably cut her off. She didn't say.)

If you decide to read this book (whose title rhymes with the words "Beezus Hand") let me know what you think.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Another story of my awkward youth part 1

I have no idea who these guys are. I just did a Google Image Search for "Cute College Boys" and theirs was the first fully clothed picture I found.

Quite a while back I wrote about my more significant childhood crushes and in doing so promised to tell you a certain story from my college days. No one can ever accuse CP of not keeping a promise, even if it takes me three or more years to deliver.

Well Gentle Readers, today is your lucky day because I'm going to tell you a story that has kept many a friend on the verge of his or her seat when I've told it in person. A story of early 20-something romantical suspense, one that is sure to melt your heart. Or melt something.

In college I was just barely out of the closet - I had only told three or four people about my feelings for other guys, and most of these friends didn't live anywhere near me. Lulu was one of the lucky ones who knew, partly because I considered her "safe": she lived far away and didn't know any of my other friends, so there was almost no chance of her being able to rat me out inadvertently.

(As an aside I will note that while I was close to Mindy June, she and I weren't super close at this particular time because she had just abandoned me by transferring colleges, and besides, I feared she would judge me for having dated one of our mutual female friends just a few months prior to all this. She told me in later years that I was cracked to think she wouldn't have sided with me, although it's always easy to say that in retrospect.)

The year was 1987, and I was especially touchy about anyone at my college knowing about me because, above all, I feared scandal in my dormitory: I had three male roommates, not to mention a whole floor of guys I had to share a shower with.

Although I'm sure it still happens today in some parts of the country, back in those days it was par for the course that if a straight person found out their roommate was gay, they would raise a stink, go to the housing director and demand that the gay person be removed. This chain of events would result not only in the serious upheaval of one's routine, but also public shaming and involuntary outing. And trust me, being outed involuntarily as a gay person in 1987 was not what you wanted.

It distresses me to this day that so many of us had to live in that kind of fear during our most formative years, years that are supposed to be filled with the magic of youthful self discovery, first kisses, heavy petting (and, if you were a girl, seat-wetting).

Oh, well.

So to summarize our story thus far, we've set the scene with a 21 year old gay boy living with a bunch of straight guys, afraid to be discovered yet starved for affection and also in possession of the normal 21 year old boy hormones. In other words, quite the dilemma.

My 21 year old boy hormones led me to take an acute interest in a certain guy who sang in the same choir I did. I didn't remember where I had met him, but I must have met him somewhere because several different times he walked by me and said "Hi Tom!"

"Hi Tom!" Wow! What on earth could this MEAN????

I had no idea who he was or even what his name was. But I kept a close eye on him for weeks, until one day I noticed him wearing a monogrammed crew neck sweater. (Parenthetically, should I actually have been wondering if this guy in my choir with a monogrammed sweater was gay?)

So that day, after memorizing the initials on his sweater, I went up to the music rack where each choir member was given a shelf to store his or her music, and scanned all the names on the rack until I found one that matched his initials. This uncannily brilliant detective work on my part led me to the irrefutable conclusion that name of the object of my interest was Jeff Henderson.

(For the record, Jeff Henderson is not this person's real name. But I hope you can sense in this story the first stirrings of a first-rate cyberstalker in the making!)

to be continued........

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Four years without Jacob

I can't believe it's been four years (yesterday) since Jacob's death in Iraq. In some ways it feels like just yesterday, and in other ways it feels like a lifetime ago. But no matter how long it seems, we will never stop missing him.

My sister found this picture of Jake and me the other day - I don't think I'd ever seen it.


Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm due for a new phobia

Gentle Readers,

I was going through some old posts because I had to remove one in a random fit of paranoia. I didn't delete it, but just saved it as a draft so that one day I can repost it. (As if anyone would go back and find it.)

Anyhoo, in reviewing some other old drafts I had sitting there I found this one and figured it was time to post it. Sometimes I start to write something but get tired and plan to finish it later -- but never do. That's what alcoholism and drug addiction have done for me. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

In any event, as mentioned in the post itself, this little story was inspired by the now-defunct blogger "Pink Fluffy Slippers." I hope she didn't actually get cancer. But her link is defunct so don't even try it.

Love and Coasters,



Our friend Pink Fluffy Slippers recently posted her Five Random Things, wherein she confessed that she's afraid that she'll get cancer and have no one to drive her to chemo. (I guess the whole hair-falling out and dying thing is merely a secondary fear.)

This reminded me that I'm about due for a new phobia.

I spent most of my childhood and early adulthood being afraid that I would develop schizophrenia, because I have a brother who has it. Not only did the genetic factor frighten me; being told that "you're acting just like your brother" was always my mom's favorite method of trying to control her other children.

While this issue with my mother still plays a role on my parental grudge list, my fear of schizophrenia subsided more and more the older I got, and was almost gone by my mid-thirties. (Schizophrenia usually strikes in the teens or early twenties.) This fear was then replaced by the fear of Tourette's.

I haven't read up extensively on Tourette's, but I'm pretty sure I don't want it. I have a hard time resisting my strong urges to talk to myself, and sometimes wonder whether I may actually already have a mild case of Tourette's that might get worse as I age. The last thing I need right now is an affliction that will cause me to shout obscenities at strangers.

But if you ask me, I think the best thing that has happened to Tourette's patients is the advent of cell phone Blue Tooth technology, which involves those wireless ear phones that you're seeing more and more cellular customers using. At least once a day I see some guy walking down the street, talking to himself. I used to assume a guy like this was just another crazy until I could actually see that he was talking on a wireless cell.

But now my default belief in such situations is exactly the opposite. When I see someone who looks like he's talking to himself, I automatically assume he's using a wireless headset on his cell phone. In other words, a high percentage of the crazies (i.e. the ones who aren't totally dishevelled looking) now have a free pass because everyone just assumes they're saying "cunt!" to someone over the phone.

Which makes Tourette's seem a lot less scary, now that I know it will be so easy to hide.

Guess I need a new phobia. Got any ideas for me?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Facebook is Dead to Me, and other tales of woe

Well Gentle Readers, it's official: as far as fun on Facebook is concerned for me, les jeux sont faits. Most of you have already seen my tales of high school woe as awoken anew in my prior article about Facebook.

(Note how I get all fancy by using the word article to describe the drivel that I publish on this blog. Oops, now I said publish. Hee hee.)

Well as of about 23 hours ago, Facebook became officially dead to me, at least in the sense of my being able to share anything pretty personal on it. Because due to my prior stupidity of letting ONE WORK FRIEND join my group, my former BOSS is now my Facebook friend.

Fuck fuck fuck.

Not that it matters, really. So far on Facebook there is really nothing to hide. A few of you who are on Facebook do call me "CP" there, but that in itself is not enough to out me as the world's crabbiest blogger who maintains the warmest and most welcoming webspace on the Internets.

My beef with my prior boss joining my little Facebook universe is that it completely kills off any possibility of being my true bitchy self on that forum. And what's the point of that?

Not that I wasn't bitchy to his face when he was my boss; far from it, in fact. I regularly bullied him into meetings and conference calls with all the enthusiasm and aplomb of a guy completely unafraid of ever losing his job. On more than one occasion I even berated him publicly for interrupting me and/or not letting me talk enough during our team meetings. I think he may have been a little afraid of me. No one really knows what to do about such a loose canon.

But, because I'm not as retarded as I sometimes pretend to be, I was always careful to preserve my crustiness to in person contacts and NEVER to memorialize my virtual hemmorhages in writing. My pretend life online is where I get it all down on (virtual) paper, for the sick pleasure of my Gentle Readers.

Anyway, I can't exactly drop out of Facebook now, but I'll have to be doubly, no, triply extra careful of anything I decide to put up there now.

Crustily yours,


PS: "CP" is fine, Facebook friends, but if anyone accidentally calls me by my full blog name, "Coaster Punchman," while on Facebook, I may have to go up the river and take names. And you should all know what that means!

Friday, February 13, 2009

13 random items on Friday the 13th

Random fact: This is a map of Balboa park, which is a few blocks from our house. PG and I got married in the Redwood Circle.

1. I love reading everyone on my blog roll, but I haven't been doing so for a while. When I start to think about logging on and catching up with all of you, I get overwhelmed and then I don't do it. I am starting to understand why some of our blogging friends have closed up shop. But I simply refuse to let CPW die.

2. I am having dinner with Tanya Espanya tonight. She is here with Rowbear and spawn, and after threatening to cook for me has now decided to take me out for Mexican.

3. My friend Sarah and her husband and two spawn are coming to my house tomorrow. I'm supposed to feed them drinks and then take them somewhere local for dinner. I've considered cooking but I get frustrated when I think of things to make and then realize 3 of the implements I would need are still with Poor George in New York.

4. Poor George plans to be here next month, with the rest of our stuff. Except that he's decided (with my approval) to give my piano to some good friends of ours. Because we want to buy a grand piano, so why pay to move my console across the country? I have mixed feelings about this because I don't want to live without a piano for too long, yet I don't know when we'll be able to afford a grand. Poor me.

5. 30 Rock is the funniest show ever. Except for The Office. But 30 Rock may even be funnier. I can't decide, and you can't make me.

6. Our bedroom is lavender and purple. Is that really gay or just a little gay?

7. I love my job. I don't make enough money, but it's the perfect job for me. The only downside is that since I'm no longer a Strategic Sales Executive I don't have as much to bitch about, which makes for much less entertaining reading for you. Suffer.

8. My life is so quiet compared to living in the big city. It's strange. I like it, but it's strange.

9. I go country western dancing every Thursday now. I've been toying with the idea of having a country western wedding reception, since PG and I originally planned on having a "big" party to invite our friends and family to with more than a week's notice. It would be really fun. We could have an instructor for a few hours to teach the novices how to do the steps. Help me sell PG on this.

10. [deleted by the censors]

11. My friend Shelly and I got really drunk at a work conference a few weeks ago, and decided (while drunk) that it would be a good idea to go into a video booth and make a tape of ourselves drunkenly pitching one of our products. We both had remorse the next morning, but even more so a day later when they decided to play it in front of 2,000 of our colleagues. Apparently we "won" second place for the "best pitch." We each got a $250 gift card as a prize, but I asked my boss if I could be fired instead. I looked like a TOTAL dork.

12. On the same night that I made the drunken pitch video, I told my work friend Lori over and over how much I loved her. I think I've become too isolated in this job because I don't go to an office, and the only people I talk to during the day are my clients. I'm getting weirder by the second.

13. It's Friday the 13th, so I think I'll end on 13. Anyone have any good tips on how to stop procrastinating? Or how to treat a harelip?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Reliving High School Trauma (Or, How Facebook is Ruining My Life)

I think most of my Gentle Readers are familiar with Facebook. If not, just Google it and send in any questions you have in my comments. I'll probably ignore them because I'm lazy and self-centered, but maybe another Gentle Reader will help you out.

Facebook started out as a fun little thing where I was able to touch base with people from college and other past lives - people I hadn't invited into the Blog World, either on purpose or because I didn't know where they were.

Occasionally I am friended by someone whose name sounds vaguely familiar but that I wouldn't know from Adam if you mentioned it to me in passing. And then when they friend me and I see our mutual friends, it all clicks into place. In one example I've enjoyed a lovely online reunion with someone I knew only marginally at St. Olaf but whom I always liked a lot. It turns out that he had grown up in my Brooklyn neighborhood before moving to Minnesota for college.

(Insert audible "oohs" and "ahs" of the excitement from among my Gentle Readers.)

I still maintain that Facebook is a silly, fun little thing to pass the time and mess around with, whereas blogging is for the big guns, people who can and do take the time to write thoughtful essays rather than just doing a bunch of dumb quizzes and telling people what they are doing every given moment. I had a show-down at my wedding with an old friend who mocked my "blogging" as if it were some stupid teenage chatroom hobby.

"I don't see how you have time for that," she said.

"Time for what? You don't think writing is a commendable hobby worthy of an intellectual person's time?"

The fact that I am not an intellectual person was irrelevant, of course. In any event, I think she came around a bit after I tied her down and bitch slapped her for being so ignorant. Blogging is for writers. The rest of it (MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Twitter, and God knows what else) is for hacks.

But all of that was just a silly prologue to what I really want to talk about tonight, Gentle Readers. For it is now a fact that I opened my Facebook door to one person I adored from high school, a person I have not otherwise kept in touch with. A person who adored me back, and who, in addition to befriending weirdos like me, was a cheerleader and ran with a very popular crowd.

A crowd that, well, let's just say they didn't all think much of me.

One of the problems with Facebook is that once you friend somebody, you are subjected to seeing little blurbs flash across your screen about who else they are friending, who is commenting on their wall, who is tagging them in old pictures, and on & on.

This became a problem because Popular Mary is regularly friended by all sorts of people from the crowd that didn't think much of me. And even though it's been 25 years since I left that place, it still stings when I see some person who wouldn't give me the time of day popping up all over my screen when they comment on Mary's page.

I was marginally friends with a few of these really popular people, so I decided to friend them. Jared, Janie, Lorrie, Shawn and a few others. They all replied and made me their friend - but no personal response at all. No reply to my little messages when I sent them my friend requests. "Hi Janie, wow, it's been a long time! How are you?" Nothing but a generic "Janie has accepted your friend request."

Like I'm supposed to be so fucking honored. Grrr.

The last straw came this weekend when Jared, Janie, Lorrie, Shawn and others were all sending each other that stupid "25 Random Things About Me" thing. They were all writing their 25 things, mentioning each other, tagging each other and I'm still sitting here like some loser wallflower.


It's not to say that I have to be friends with everyone. I also had a lot of my own friends in high school, not to mention college and later years, and I wouldn't trade any of them for the world. Furthermore, I'm very comfortable in my misfit station in life.

But there still remain a few high school memories that are a little painful to relive. Maybe I'll write in more detail about some of them as part of my letting go process - "give til it hurts posting" as Dale calls it.

But for now, suffice it to say that this whole Facebook experience is making me feel like sh*t and I've decided to go up the river and take names. No one who makes me feel like shit gets to remain my friend on Facebook.

And while I still adore Popular Mary and will keep her as a FB friend, I have now officially unfriended Jared, Janie, Lorrie and Shawn. And because of a special test that Mindy June and I ran to examine the consequences of unfriending someone on Facebook, we know that the website is subtle, i.e. FB does not alert the unfriendee that they have been dumped.

So, the only way Jared, Janie, Lorrie and Shawn will know I've unfriended them is if they notice that their number of friends has decreased and they go on a fishing expedition to figure out why. Which I know they would never do, on accounta they are all popular and shit.

I don't know how all this Facebook crap will play out at the end of the day. But I do know one thing, Gentle Readers. And that is that you can all look forward to more painfully awkward posts on this and related topics.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

This time the meme's on me

I just made up this meme to pass the time while I'm tired. If you read my blog, you are tagged but you should comment to make sure I pop over to read up.

1. How old were you the first time you had sex? Were you alone?

2. When is the last time you threw up? Bulimic episodes don't count. But tell us what happened, how long you felt sick before you gave it up to the porcelain god, and what color it was.

3. Describe the meanest thing you've ever done. If you could still get arrested for it today, you are excused. But then you have to tell us the second meanest thing you've ever done.

4. Have you ever told a complete stranger something pretty personal about yourself and then later had about two hemmorhages apiece because you were embarrassed? Describe. And be sure to tell us the pretty personal thing or you don't get credit for answering this question.

5. Have you ever picked up a trick at a bar and then when you got him or her into clear light you thought "oh God, no!" and then told him or her that you had to leave to drive your parents to the airport, knowing full well he or she wouldn't believe you?

6. Tell us about your experiences with re-gifting. Were you on the giving or receiving end?

7. Poor George says he actually remembers being in Mama Gin's womb as a fetus. Should we believe him or not? What is the earlist memory you have?

My answers are below.

Love and coasters,


1. 16 was my first time with a person. It just sort of happened, and I regretted it. Still do. Things were very awkward after that and we never spoke again.

2. This is a gross. What a disgusting question. Why on earth would you write something like this, CP? Anyway, the last time I threw up was a few years ago when I ate some cheap Chinese take-out. I didn't feel sick for very long - all at once I was in the bathroom blowing major chunks. It was nasty. So nasty that I --- well, never mind.

3. Too many mean things to count. One mean thing I still feel bad about was when I made fun of my younger cousin in front of all her friends at her own birthday party. She had been crying a few days before that because one of her friends had called her a "dumb dumb" and I thought it was really funny so I kept imitating her crying and saying "Kathy called me a dumb dumb!" I was only 10, but still, what a complete little shit.

4. One time in law school I told a complete stranger this barely relevant story about how one time I was late to kindergarten and we had a substitute teacher that day and I got all upset because I thought I was in the wrong classroom. I told this story in front of about 10 other people, and no one made any reply at all. Then I felt shame.

5. No, but there have been too many times when I wish I had done that.

6. Just recently at an office party where we had a grab bag, I loudly proclaimed the one I received to be a re-gift based on the age of the box it came in. Someone groaned, and now everyone thinks I'm an asshole.

7. I think Poor George is making it up, but if it is true we should offer him up for medical experiments. My earliest memory is sitting on the couch eating toast. I kept saying "I'm two and I'm having toast."

Wow, that was all really stupid.