Friday AM – Most likely my only post until Sunday PM

We’ve been trying to get down to my grandma’s house for the past few weekends and finally, this weekend, it’s on. So, don’t read this entire post at once. I’m going to break it up into sections so you can spread out the goodness over the weekend. I’ll have the future phone on me though, so check out my flog for updates from the road (trust me – click over there tonight or tomorrow).

First off some nut job threatens Tony Pierce with regard to Tony’s tendency to scrutinize Bush. Retarded. What kind of blogger would bend to this lame attempt at coercion? Not TP. He remains the blogger’s blogger and invites the chump to meet him face-to-face.

Second off – on this day in 1896, F. Scott Fitzgerald was born. We know he was a drunk. We know he had a brilliantly crazy relationship with his crazily brilliant wife, Zelda. We know he’s considered a great, American writer from the 20th century. We know you probably read him in high school or maybe in one of your English classes your first or second semester of college. But have you read the man lately? Have you read The Great Gatsby in the past 5 years? Or This Side of Paradise? Or Tender is the Night? Do it. Just one. Won’t take long. Hell, you could polish off Gatz in an afternoon. So do that. Grab a copy of Gatz, pack yourself some apples and cheese, find yourself a broad, low, shade tree in a nearby park – one with deep, plush grass at its base – and read (and nap, too). Then come back to BB! and tell us what you thought of Fitz having now read him in 2004.

Third off – I hope my grandmother, the Southern Baptist one obsessed with all things eschatological, reads this article and takes the weekend off.

Fourth off – Here’re some photos of how red my eyes were the night after the eye doc incident:

Fifth off – Photoshop class #6 last night. This was a most practical class – mainly concerned with how to retouch photos – so I got a lot out of it. We also played with the Gradient tool a lot. I mutated the kitty photo we were working with once I remembered that the Liquify filter was only a click away.

Sixth off – The Death Clock estimates I’ll die at 74. The Death Clock doesn’t take into account that I have diabetes.

Seventh off – In all my 29 years, I’ve only been in one real fight. By real, I mean the shit came to fisticuffs. This one real fight scared me to death.

Third grade. 8 years old. Some kid named Luke who always wore Dallas Cowboys mesh jerseys. We lived in Cape Girardeau, MO, Luke and I. One day our class got tested to see who might be eligible for the gifted program. (Do they still call the gifted program the “gifted” program?) I made it. Luke didn’t. I’m not sure what Luke expected. Only 4 of us got in and even at 8 years old I could have told you that Luke wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Whatever he expected, the antagonizing began. Luke was athletic and had a big mouth so no one really called him on his taunts, including me. I let him talk his shit because while he was in regular class learning times tables, I was in gifted class doing fun projects like learning about the Revolutionary period in American history by making candles from scratch. So we’re out on the playground one morning, fresh from a game of Kiss Tag or something, and a game of Smear the Queer starts up – all grades can play – but only 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders play. For those who don’t remember this game, the object and rules are simple. You’ve got one red, playground ball (same ball used for kickball or dodgeball). Whoever has the ball is the queer. The queer’s job is to hold on to the ball. Everyone else’s job is to smear the queer. Literally. Until the queer gives up the ball by throwing it before getting smeared or the ball is physically removed by another player (which is funny when you consider that the game boils down to 20 or so pre-pubescent boys all vying to be “queer” while simultaneously trying to harm the current “queer”). Anyway, the game is on and it’s fun. Seriously, it’s a fun, rough game to play. But, as fate would have it, the ball flies up into the air and I catch that bouncy bastard. And I run. I dodge, jump, duck, roll, and otherwise do my best to remain queer. Soon, however, it’s apparent to me that my days are numbered and there are 15 boys closing in on me, all intent on getting my ball. Never much one for avoidable pain, I throw the ball up in the air. Now, the boys who play fair know that this mean’s I’m now off-limits. The ball is out of my hands and I’m safe from harm. But who do I see bearing down upon me? Yup. Dallas-Cowboy-Mesh-Shirt-Wearing Luke. He does a flying tackle and knocks me flat on my ass. He does a flying tackle with a smile on his face and knocks me flat on my ass. The ball was long gone from my hands. Why did he still tackle me? Luke’s still smiling as we both stand up. So I tackle him. Hard. And I straddle him, pin his shoulders to the ground, and repeatedly beat his face with my fists. I’m not punching him. Not like you would punch a bag or your kid brother. No, I’ve got my fists clenched and I’m clubbing his face with them. I raise my fists high over my head and bring them down as hard as I possibly can. I’m doing this because he didn’t play fair. Because he made fun of me for being smart. Because I hate him. I hate him. I can think of nothing but making him sorry for being alive. I can think of nothing but kil – then I’m pulled off of Luke and I realize I’m crying hysterically and have no idea what I’m doing and all the kids on the playground are circled around us and Luke is crying and Luke is crying, too, while a teacher bends over him and a teacher is holding me, shaking me, hauling me off to the principal’s office, where I got in trouble at first, but after someone told that Luke tackled me out of the blue I don’t get suspension. An hour or so later, I go back to class and Luke is there, bruised up pretty good (how hard did you think I could hit as an 8-year-old?) and glowering. But he never again talked shit on me, or anyone else, as long as I knew him.

That’s why I never fought again. I’ve wanted to. Some kid on the bus my freshman year of high school who kept flipping my hat off my head and laughing, which blew Skoal-drenched breath all up in my face. Jay, in Alameda, who threw a switchblade at Allen and me. But I never did fight them because I knew that I wasn’t 8-years-old anymore and that my bloodlust might have some consequence besides suspension.

The moral of the story: If you ever want to fight me I’ll try to eat you because I don’t like to be wasteful.

Eighth off – the above memory puts me in the mind of this.

Ninth off – Go to The Hurricane tonight to catch The Stella Link play with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum then come back to BB! and tell me how it was. We were going to go if we didn’t go out of town and I’m sad we’re gonna miss it.

Tenth (finally) off – This week’s Pitch has an amusing article about our ‘hood. People in KC have some misconceptions of JOCO that are stereotypical and as such in no way do justice to the wide variety (yes, there is variety in suburbia) of the people that live here – the main stereotype being that everyone in JOCO is rich and/or stuck up or somehow uninterested in KC as a whole. We’re not all rich, stuck up, white folks. I’m a lower-middle-class white person, as are the majority of my JOCO friends, yet we all think of ourselves as Kansas City citizens and love going all over the city (and Lawrence). Also – there’s a huge Latino population in JOCO. Huge. And finally, two of the six attorneys I work for (who are, for all intents and purposes, quite well-off) live in MO, not JOCO. (The other 3 live do live in JOCO and 1 lives in Chicago.) I’m not saying that rich folks don’t live here. I know they do because their houses surround my apartment and their big, gas-guzzling trucks and their kids’ drop-top Benzos try to run me over while I ride my bike around. I’m just saying that it’s easy and lazy to assume that’s representative of JOCO as a whole.

And that, dear readers, is what I have for you today and for tomorrow. Have a fun weekend (and remember to check my my flog:)).

Friday AM – Most likely my only post until Sunday PM

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