Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Anyone feeling masochistic?

This is what I've got so far.

Now I'm gonna go watch the State of the Union wherein the president will say "We are addicted to oil" and then check the weather in hell as soon as I get some shots of the pigs flying around out there.

Re: The Ads

Oh yeah. I went there.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Where have all the cowboys gone?

I'm mad busy today but I of course find a minute to blahg.

Tonight I saw Brokeback Mountain to further support the Gay Agend--I mean, because I heard it was really good. Well despite my trepidation over a movie whose themes are "gay" and "cowboys", I absolutely loved it. It should be called Heartbreak Mountain. *tear*

Jake Gyllenhal and Heath Ledger do some great acting in this film, as do the supporting characters. The cinemetography is wonderful. The direction is excellent. It is all around good and worthy of all the praise for it that's been buzzing around.

SPOILERS AHEAD

Here are some questions and comments I have on Brokeback .

I read in a (positive) review of the film that it denies its characters flaws. I'll agree with that. For one thing, it is difficult to say that they were just two gay cowboys in love with society against them, when there are real live human beings--their wives and children--involved. One of the scenes that evoked laughter from the audience I was in was when Ennis's wife secretly witnesses him passionately kissing Jack Twist. She withholds this knowledge throughout the movie, and rather than being a kind of chuckle-at-the-scandal moment, it should be heartbreaking from her perspective. Not to tell anyone how they should feel or anything...

Additionally, not to buy into this whole notion of gay-equals-lust, but there are moments when we are lead to believe that sex is a big part of why they have their rendevouz on Brokeback Mountain. When there are to be long months between their next meeting, Jack gets a male hooker in Mexico, and later alludes to this fact to Ennis, he justifies this by saying that Ennis is never around and he has to get his fill (so to speak) somewhere. He needed something to tie him over. Is romance (for hetero or homo) a factor of sex? In other words, can there be romantic feelings and romantic love without the sexual? (Personally, I think there can but this is rare and I am no measure of such a thing actually existing.)

It is interesting to note that when Jack lies to Ennis, saying that he is fucking around with the foreman's daughter (which of course means he's cheating on his wife and Ennis), Ennis doesn't seem to care and makes a joke about it. But after Jack's death, Ennis figures out from Jack's parents that the "foreman's daughter" was really a man and he is heartbroken even more. I think this is a realistic aspect of gay life in the closet, where gay men will tell their closeted partners that whatever they do outside of their relationship as fine as long as it's not with other men.

When Jack's wife describes the tire accident that she says killed him, and Ennis imagines a murder scene...what are we to believe about what happened? I think that the tire explosion was a cover story that the wife's family made up because the truth was too embarassing to them, and that they all figured out the truth because Jack was more casual about being seen with both Ennis and his new lover than Ennis was. Further, when Jack went back to the ranch that time years before and the head-honcho told him that he didn't have work for him because he knew he and Ennis were being fruity on the hill, I don't think we were to expect so much from that man that he wouldn't have spread the word about Jack. (Further, Ennis talked about how he always felt like people's knowing eyes were all over him.) In the earlier scene when Ennis flashed back to his father taking him and his brother to see the body of the man killed for being gay, he says, for all he knows his dad could have been the one to do it. Which in my opinion was forshadowing the fact that Jack's father in law was behind his murder, at least indirectly, as he always hated him--and was verbally castrated at the Thanksgiving dinner when Jack stood his ground against the mean old man--and being a gay wife cheater would be even more reason. All this and Jack's wife's attitude towards the whole thing on the phone with Ennis was emotional but distant -- like she was trying to be over it because the truth about Jack's life hurt her so much but she of course was deeply, deeply saddened by the whole thing. Maybe she even knew her dad did it -- which is more painful because she felt especially fond of Jack when he stood up to her dad.

END SPOILERS

At any rate, I think this movie is a masterpiece, and has many layers and levels to dig through. I might see it again. Which is rare.

Human Beings Are Vile, Disgusting Creatures



In order to feel like I am not completely useless, I cleaned the bathroom today. As I scrubbed the tub, I realized that we are filthy people. Not me or my roommates specifically, but people, all of us. We are little walking factories of bacteria and piss and shit and blood and guts and disease and snot and general funk. This is evident on any Monday morning Subway ride, but it became clear to me in the place where I experience two of life's greatest pleasures: defecating and showering. I believe the fact that we are nasty is the focus of much of the poetry of the nineteenth century. When we die we are even nastier than ever. For the record I want to be cremated.

What does Tinky Winky have to do with this? You tell me.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Driving Queens

As I may have mentioned earlier, last week my roomate, aka my cousin, aka Lito, took our refuge dog named Lady in a car to the Motherland where she now happily resides. Since neither of us own a car, we rented one. Lito and Sergtwana went on that long road trip from here to there, and I wish I could have participated because I do love a good road trip. Before they went, Lito and I drove down to his church on the shady part of 34th Street to drop of some clothes, cookware, etc that we no longer needed.

Because it has been so long since I've actually owned an automobile, I take sheer joy from driving one. I was whippin' around across the Queensboro Bridge, through the avenues on the East Side, over to the church. Fun, fun, fun. The grid and grit of Manhattan, not to mention the total disregard people have for things like the lines on the roads, makes it even more of an adventure. When they got back from their road trip, I took the car one last time around Queens, just to explore the vastness. I developed an appreciation for my location here in Astoria, because "the rest of Queens" as I like to call it is more or less waaaaay out there, and places like St. Albans, Jamaica, and Flushing seem more like the rotted out ends of downtown Winston-Salem than a part of New York City.

There are these desolate parts of Queens that you come across; industrial areas with houses right in the mix, and bodegas and gas stations that seem misplaced. And then, you suddenly come up on a big ass statue, or some antique signage that still lights up, or some bus stop full of people looking at their watches, and you remember that it is New York City after all, though the side that never makes it onto Sex and the City or MTV.

My roommate-cousin-Lito is talking about moving to North Carolina where his family is, and mine, and now where Lady bird, my niece and his and Sergtwana's bastard child lives. I focused on a time-frame for this, because he has mentioned the idea before but this time he's serious as nails. Before it was an aching longing of sorts, not something he'd really ever go through with. But now, as is known to happen, he's been here long enough to have taken all the excitement with him and he has a boyfriend ready to move too, and all that a person really needs in life at the point he's reached is the peace and quiet of a rural Southern town -- not the hustle and bustle that no longer thrills one to the point of erections. I can't say that I don't know where he's coming from, but I have a few more year of the City left in me. As he might say in the voice of Stevie Nicks, "I'm a few years older than you."

I think selfish thoughts about this. What am I going to do without Lito? How long is it going to be "worth it" to him to keep paying the rent to keep his room here before I have to get a new roommate? Someone I have to adjust to when I'm already adjusted to Lito and Sergtwana, and as much as Lito here's me bitch and moan, I'd want no one else in this fucking smoke-filled apartment? No one else laying on the couch greeting me when I come in from work. No one else putting up with me drinking all his milk and constantly serenading him whether he's laughing or not?

This fortress in which we live is known as The Compound. Shortly after I first moved here, some friends moved in next door. We dominate and controll all goings on around N Hall. But the times they are a changin. Soon it will be just me up in 4B-East, or me and some stranger that will have to learn how things are done in these parts. What will I do with Lito's stuff? How will I...put bandages on the severed wound?

When Lito and I were finishing up with the car, cruising one last time before grocery shopping, we came around the corner of Astoria Park and down the park drive, against the water across from which is the skyline, and the massive Triboro Bridge. It was just then dark outside and all those buildings were lit up. I said to him, "Aren't you going to miss that? Coming around the corner and seeing the Borg Cube?"

Because that's exactly what it looked like, and almost exaclty how it operates.

borg-cube

I've been so useless lately, not leaving the house much, not really living life but rather going through it. It has to do with the winter in large part. Things start to look up in one sense and down the toilet in another. It's a seesaw. Life is a seesaw.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Native-American-Americans.

If you are from the South, you likely have a tale in your familiy's oral tradition that great-grandmother-so-and-so was an Indian Princess. Or that your grandpa was half-Cherokee. There are many variations on how White People in the South and Southwest come to believe collectively as families that they have "Indian blood" running through their veins. This is an irony because of the prejudice (to say the least) against Native Americans in this country, both historically and present day. It seems that more people would be denying any Indian lineage rather than conjuring them up, considering that while there is a fascination with them and their "traditions" there is also an n-word factor associated with them. (This helps explain why it was often a "princess" or some other higher-up rather than just your run of the mill Navajo).

The truth is that there are very, very few Native Americans left relative to the the rest of the population. Their blood does run along the stream of white people's blood (and more commonly, black people's) but most family's legends are just that -- legends.

Well in the tradition of James Frey and J.T. Leroy (which is a tradition that I have long believed goes waaay back through the genre of the memoir -- people have always made shit up to make their memoirs interesting, because who cares about your boring ass life as is?) this guy is being disputed on his claims to Native American ancestry and being called out on fake-ass memoirs. A boring whitey's life story was morphed into a colorful tale of feather headdresses and tomahawks!

The moral of all these stories is as follows: 1) Your life may be interesting, but itis boring to read about. 2) All of the sudden you are in trouble for telling tall tales in your memoirs. 3) Therefor, if you write a "memoir" call it a "novel".

I mean, duh.

Meanwhile, check out the recap of James Frey's second appearance on Oprah. Piss off the O, and she'll rip your asshole into A Million Little Pieces!

Hard to Find Toys

I don't know to whom to properly credit these. I recieved them in an email forward (which I usually hate to recieve) but Kevondrala knows to weed out only the finest. These are...

15 Hard To Find Toys (It's actually 16).

ShowLetter9


ShowLetter8


ShowLetter7


ShowLetter6


ShowLetter5


ShowLetter4


ShowLetter3

ShowLetter2


ShowLetter15


ShowLetter14


ShowLetter13


ShowLetter12


ShowLetter11


ShowLetter10


ShowLetter

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Scorpion Survives for Fifteen Months Inside Dinosaur Fossil

and when they cut into the plaster mold, the little booger came crawling out.

This is nearly as fascinating as the frozen lobsters that came back to life.

Things I Did Today

*Bought an outfit.

*Diagnosed myself with bulimia, only without the vomitting.

*Started a rumor that I am a transexual; left in which direction I am "transitioning" unclear.

*Made a scene at Wendy's over resistance to provide ranch dressing for chicken nuggets. ("It's only for the salads" my ass.)

*Told my boss I have multiple personality disorder (?!)

*Printed out the Travel Advisory from the State Department on Zimbabwe. Learned there is government sanctioned killing of white people there. Vowed never to go (not that I was planning a vacation or anything to begin with). Advised my African-American boss not to wander far from the Sheraton while she's there.

*Snatched a thesis from the Thesis Room to "go by" (for format of course, I'm no plagiarist).

*Used the term "The Butch Stroll" to describe Avenue B to a former missionary who mentioned she was "uncomfortable" down there.

*Saw S.D.A. perform.

There are some things money can't buy. For everything else, there's gift certificates.

Trousers: $39.00
Sweater/Shirt thing: $29.00
Underwear: $12.00
Buying a new outfit because everything you own needs to be washed: Pitiful.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

American Trannie



My first ever graduate school class was about "transnational narratives," that is, stories where the characters are from one place but have crossed into another, and are left to figure out how to wade through the cultural differences that encompass their lives. Well, tonight I saw Transamerica which is a transsexual narrative. Felicity Huffman plays a male-to-female transexual, desperate for the final operation, who discovers that she has a son via a mysterious phone call from the New York City downtown lock up. Her therapist refuses to sign the papers stating that she is of the right mind to go through with the nip/tuck procedure until she confronts this full grown seed from the past that she never knew about. So she bails him out of jail where she discovers that he is a hustler and a drug abuser, among other things. The story goes from there with her impersonating a Christian Missionary that has come to show him some divine comfort while keeping him in the dark about her real history and her real identity. Bits and pieces (so to speak) are revealed along the way as they journey across America to L.A. encountering all kinds of characters, including her family which behaves remarkably like so many families with a "special" child...

I didn't know a lot about this movie going in, but I knew I was going to like it when I saw on the poster in the lobby that Dolly Parton wrote a song for it. I am often irrationally opposed to non-gay people playing gay roles (I havn't seen Brokeback Mountain yet because cowboys and mountain ranges do not appeal to me even in porn, but I plan to see it just to support the Gay Agenda) and I was wary of a non-transexual person playing a trannie. But Huffman was very believable, and getting to the end of the story is rewarding, though not in a happy-ever-after kind of way. Be prepared for some tasteful vulgarity, and even full frontal nudity, but do see it. I highly recommend.

"Quit" is such a strong word...

Thesis: what if I just don't write that son of a bitch?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Narnia Rap Battle

You may remember the funniest thing ever (the SNL Chronic-what?!-cles of Narnia rap), and my subsequent post that replaced it with the new funniest thing ever. Well now there is a challenger to the throne. The West Coast has stepped up with a response to the decidedly East Coastish SNL Narnia Rap. I give you Lazy Monday.

[Via Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K]


"Let's get back in the Carolla..."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Good Bye, Lady Bird


lady
Originally uploaded by butch stroll.
It seems that almost as quickly as she came into our lives, it is time for the Lady Bird to move out of our foster home to her permanent home in the Motherland, where she will have a big yard to run freely in and lots of little critters to chase.

Lito and Sergtwana are taking her in a car later today on a long, long trip. I will miss her profoundly, but the Butch Stroll ain't no kind of place for a young lady like herself to grow up. Also as she gets bigger she has increasingly irreconcilable differences with the cat. Actually, she just wants to play with the cat, but Meow Kitty is not having it and totally holds her position and makes hissing noises and bares her fang like I have never seen her do in the over five years that I have known her. Then she totally challenges the dog at every opportunity.

Now I'm going to take the Bird on her last walk here in Queens, and hopefully she will have one last happy time of butt sniffing before we put her on the puppy express to North Carolina.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Manties

For the man who has everything...except a vagina.

'Cause I'm a Blonde

I know blonde jokes are tired cliches, but Beth Quick points to the best blonde joke ever at her site.

Friday, January 20, 2006

"Lose that Icelandic Cool"

This is an oldie but a goodie, wherein Bjork totally loses her cooks and intends to kill a reporter.

In other news, the government is trying to get Google to hand over records of internet searches, claiming that Google is ivading privacy. But doesn't that sound backwards? I mean the government wants all those records, right? :|

Meanwhile, the best Google search that has lead someone here in a while is: "cheerleaders trying out for cheerleading squad but in order to join the squad they have to fuck the coach". I get a lot of searches for hot lesbian action too ("butch").

Anyway, that's it from me for a while. I'm riding the train this weekend, as the kids say. Holla!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Food Chain

Have ya heard about the snake that made friends with the feeder hamster yet? This is a relationship destined to end in tragedy.


Much like this picture, wherein the animals "will gladly kill each other once grown," there is tragedy on the horizon.

It all has a very "Fox and the Hound" feel to it if you ask me.

Remember the story of the scorpion who convinced the frog to let him ride on his back across the river, because if he stung the frog they'd both drown, so why would he do such a thing? In the end he does sting the frog to death, thereby drowning himself...because he couldn't help it. It's in his nature.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Not a big fan, necessarily, of dog ownership


HOUND OF HELL?
Originally uploaded by butch stroll.
but it is nice to have someone who is always quivering with excitement to see you. Of course she quivers with excitement over any stranger on the street too, but I know that she's sincere nonetheless.

I have been coming home kind of looking forward to taking Miss Girl for a walk. Because just as every office building has its cult of smokers, every neighborhood has its cult of dogs. I kind of like being in the cult of dogs. Lady totally held her own with these two big ass huskys--boys!--and made two new friends. Awww...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

She wants to be the girl with the most cake...

Courtney Love
Love Warms Up the Globes

God, Hurricanes, Rubik's Cube

It seems that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has come down with Pat Robertson Syndrome. Like Robertson, he believes natural disasters are happening because God is punishing us, and in Nagin's case, punishing America and black people in particular. Havn't these people read the Bible, wherein God says he won't flood the world again? Yeah, yeah...hurricanes and worldwide flooding aren't the same thing, but jeez.

In other news (kind of old news now, but the NY Post just ran the story) some kid beat the world record time for solving the Rubik's Cube. I, too, hold a record: 20 years, 17 hours, 43 minutes and 10 seconds and I still havn't solved the fucker.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Though I never really had much interest in JT Leroy, or even read any of his books, the news that "he" is making now is fascinating to me and has me digging.

Dennis Cooper says it's a scam. He's a good authority on the matter, but....there are plenty of people who say they have met JT Leroy, even spent extended periods of time with him (more than a handshake or a small talk moment in person). Someone explain this to me.

On an entirely unrelated note, in the vain of the Chronic-WHAT?-cles of Narnia from SNL, I give you someone's animation to the Incredibads' The Heist. Replaces the previous as funniest thing ever.

And on another unrelated note, this (not safe for work, depending on where you work I guess) truly frightens me despite my will's desire to see humor in it: Lady Goes Crazy on Trading Spouses. When she keeps screaming about how "dark sided" everything is, I can't help but wonder, doesn't she know that the "Dark Side" is from Star Wars, a decidedly occultish and unChristian movie? As someone in the comments section there puts it: "Dance certification: $5,000...New home for Ashley and April: $10,000...Gastric bypass surgery: $20,000...Realizing that your mother is completely batshit: Priceless." [via Helpy Chalk]

MLK Day

Every movement has its icons, but there are no icons without the movement. On this day let's remember an icon who changed history but also the people whose names history does not remember that backed him up.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Clash of the Titans

Just as many children have sibling rivalry, our two girls have some trouble getting along from time to time.

It has been said that curiosity killed the cat.

However, in this house it is the dog that is the curious one.

Risky Business

She has yet to learn her lesson about getting in Meow Kitty's face. Meow Kitty is quick to settle any debate about who's runnin' shit around here.

Clash of the Titans

After a long day of going all over town in the pouring down rain, I had to sit down with these two for a little conflict resolution. "Girls, we have to learn how to love one another."

Conflict Mediation

Please do not notice anything particulary dirty or disgusting in these pictures.

Angels of the Love Affair

I just took a long walk around Astoria, to buy the dog a new leash among other things, and I am a soggy mess now, as it has been raining on and off all day. Lito is sitting in there drinking a cup of coffee, Meow Kitty and Miss Girl are stepping their Clash of the Titans up a notch, I'm typing this while I smoke a cigarette and contemplate what I will wear now that my original outfit for the day is wet, and waiting on Scatty Damn Arbuckle to holla so we can go the Queens Center Mall of all places. And I'm pissed because my gift certificate did not come from the Ebay seller, so he was sent a gentle reminder rather than the threat of negative feedback that all Ebayers dread! This is just a day in the life of nobody.

So here's a poem that kind of honors this day. It is from "Angels of the Love Affair" which is really like four poems in one. This is the first section.

ANGEL OF FIRE AND GENITALS
(Anne Sexton)

Angel of fire and genitals, do you know slime,
that green mama who first forced me to sing,
who put me first in the latrine, that pantomime
of brown where I was beggar and she was king?
I said, "The devil is down that festering hole."
Then he bit me in the buttocks and took over my soul.
Fire woman, you of the ancient flame, you
of the Bunsen burner, you of the candle,
you of the blast furnace, you of the barbecue,
you of the fierce solar energy, Mademoiselle,
take some ice, take come snow, take a month of rain
and you would gutter in the dark, cracking up your brain.

Mother of fire, let me stand at your devouring gate
as the sun dies in your arms and you loosen it's terrible weight.

Friday, January 13, 2006

"He used a lot of Powerpoint."

If you're at all familiar with the aforementioned James Frey and a Million Little Exagerrations "scandal" that has sucked in the likes of Oprah and Larry King, then this is pretty funny.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Survival of the Quickest

I would never make a good Muslim for one reason. Okay, thousands of reasons. But one of those reasons is that I am so fucking claustrophobic, and during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, hundreds of people are routinely stomped to death in stampedes. Mama ain't goin' out like that.

Look for Pat Robertson to chime in here.

My university is close to the Macy's flagship on 34th Street, the Empire State Building, Penn Station, and countless other tourist draws. Between the hours that I used to arrive there (4:00 and 6:00) there was absolute chaos on the streets, throngs of people moving in and out of the streets and sidewalks, herds of humanity running for trains or busses, and lost hordes of tourists looking up completely oblivious to the fact that people are everywhere and trying to move. I've often thought to myself as I try to manuever through that mess to 36th street (a less populated route), "What would happen if there was a gun shot, for example, and everyone tried to flee the area?" I'm sure the answer to that question is: several people stomped to death.

Truth and Fiction

When I write my autobiography, entitled "How to Make a Dollar out of Fifteen Cents", it will be full of lies and fabrications, but only the ones other people have lead me to believe.

You've probably heard about James Frey's "memoir" A Million Little Pieces and how The Smoking Gun has exposed it as a bunch of fabrications and embellishments! Now even Oprah herself has had to get involved (on Larry King, no less) defending the reputation of Frey and his book. Frey himself has admitted to embellishments but says "the emotional truth still resonates" or something like that. Whatever. People liked the book when they thought it was true, but now they suddenly don't given that some of it was made up? Is truth stranger than fiction, or, in this case, is fiction more entertaining than truth? It's not a history text, after all, it's the man's "memoirs". Personally, I think he could have saved himself all this hassle by calling it "autobiographical fiction" rather than a "memoir" or that term that I kind of deplore, "creative non-fiction". And at any rate, did The Smoking Gun need to do a six week investigation into the details of a book about which any dope-fiend or frequent-flyer would like say in parts, Give me a break?

In the meantime, there is increased scrutiny as to J.T. Leroy's identity and whether "he" exists or not. As Gawker points out, however, The Village Voice has been on this case for years. So who is J.T. Leroy? Does it matter that the it-boy with a celebrity support network doesn't really exist, that in this case the "autobiographical fiction" might not be "autobiographical" at all?

All of this slipperiness has led some early supporters to wonder if they've been played. As [Mary] Gaitskill put it, "It's occurred to me that the whole thing with Jeremy [J.T.] is a hoax, but I felt that even if it turned out to be a hoax, it's a very enjoyable one. And a hoax that exposes things about people, the confusion between love and art and publicity. A hoax that would be delightful and if people are made fools of, it would be OK—in fact, it would be useful."


I liked that quote, and I agree, though I think his fanbase would likely be hurt by his non-existence. Anyway, here is J.T. Leroy's website. Note the picture on the main page.

A commenter on Dennis Cooper's blog entry where he talks about the J.T. Leroy scam says,


Do you think Laura's books would have made it to press had they not come with her elaborate story? And, would you have read her stuff and given it the same attention had she been Laura Albert instead of JT LeRoy? Yeah, that's a mean question, but I only ask it because I STILL don't know if I would have read his books had I known the truth. It makes me worry about the my own perceptions, like I can't see things for what they are.


T
I've tried to use pregnancy as an excuse to bypass the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) requirements too. I could've told that lady: It doesn't work.

In other news, I feel like a million bucks:

Full body massage.
Facial.
Pedicure.
Manicure.
High colonic.
A little botox around the eyes.
Teeth whitening.
Make good on my yoga gift certificate.
Retail therapy.

I'm gettin' there, anyway.

To quote the woman who did the mani/pedi special: "The life, it is too short."

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Am I on the Road to This?

BITCH & MOAN

I have to face the facts.

I have been in this major, wierd funk since before Christmas. I think it may have something to do with the fact that it gets dark now at 5:00 PM and, although it is warming up as of late, it has been the Frozen Tundra of Death out there and even inside it's been fucking cold cause the landlord is stingy with the heat. I go to work when it's dark, I come out of work and it's still dark, and I'm cold all the time. I do not like the winter at all. I am self-diagnosed seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

In addition to the wintery weather and lack of sunlight in my life, I just went through the stress of Christmas. Let me tell you that right after Christmas is not the best time to try to blast off that one last time--if there are bad habits you have that comfort you from all the anxiety of the world, you're going to be wanting to do those things for a good while after the most stressful twelve day period of the whole year. Suddenly, you're supposed to give up all your bad habits and start making good habits, but the indulgence of Christmas, not to mention the anxiety, still abounds, and it's time to go back to work and fix all the mistakes that other people made in 2005. I just get home lately and poke smot, chill with Lito in front of mindless sit-coms, and stuff my face full of food. I am like a sloth. Hibernating. No exercise. I'm falling apart at the fat, greasy seams. I'm like a bulimic, only without the vomitting.

Further, I am having a silent war with my thesis. In re-reading what I have written and reviewing my notes, I'm terrified that I have no idea what I am talking about. I'm afraid my advisor is going to think I've just faked it up to this point. I'm in over my head. I refuse to write anything on it, it refuses to pull itself together for me. I'm a semester behind. I have made exactly zero contact with my advisor, the department head, or the assistant to the department since I registered "Maintenance of Matriculation" and I'm not even sure if that's all I'm supposed to have done. It is a real tragedy that I have come this far and only have this one last thing to do. Yet I have not just sat down and started doing it. The tragic part is that I don't care about these concepts anymore. I have to stop telling myself that. I have to find the will to be interested and figure out what the hell I want to write about is, exactly.

Then there's work. Is there ever work.

So to alleviate all this stress and officially start the New Year -- the Strollian New Year which falls whenever I say it falls -- I have created a plan of action for stress relief and rebirth, from the point of which's completion I will be rejuvinated and ready to face these...challenges. The master plan is:

Full body massage.
Facial.
Pedicure.
Manicure.
High colonic.
A little botox around the eyes.
Teeth whitening.
Make good on my yoga gift certificate.
Retail therapy.

I figure one solid week to complete the plan of action. Then I shall return, reborn, with purpose, and I will write a baffling thesis and grab physical fitness by the balls.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Psst...

Can anybody with a password get me a cut-and-paste text of this here article?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Public Service Announcment: Reminder


By The Associated Press Sat Jan 7, 8:07 AM ET

It will cost Americans 2 cents more to mail a letter starting Sunday. First-class postage rises to 39 cents for the first ounce.

The increase follows legislation requiring the Postal Service to place $3 billion in an escrow account this year. Another rate boost is likely next year to cover rising costs for the agency. Stamp prices last went up in June 2002.

Many rates, such as parcel post and advertising mail, vary by distance or whether the material is presorted. Rate changes taking effect, including some estimates for typical mailed items:

_Post card, and each additional ounce in first class, up 1 cent to 24 cents.

_Letter to Canada or Mexico, 1 ounce, up 3 cents to 63 cents.

_Letter to other foreign countries, 1 ounce, up 4 cents to 84 cents.

_Priority Mail, 1 pound, up 20 cents to $4.05.

_Express Mail, 8 ounces, up 75 cents to $14.40.

_Certified mail, up 10 cents to $2.40.

_Money orders up 5 cents to 95 cents.

_Delivery confirmation, up 5 cents to 60 cents.

_Weekly news magazine, 5.8 ounces, presorted, up 1 cent to 18.5 cents.

_Household magazine, 13.8 ounces, presorted, up 1.5 cents to 28.9 cents.

_Small nonprofit publication, presorted, up 1.4 cents to 28.3 cents

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Lady is a Tramp


Lady
Originally uploaded by butch stroll.
I want to put her in an oversized tea cup and send it to Cute Overload.

Burn Baby Burn

It's one of those things, the cliche goes, that you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family. I love my family dearly, including my brother, but we have never gotten along. Since we were babies, we were at each other's throats -- literally. Even as grown ass men, I sometimes worry that our interactions will become physically hostile.

Again, I do love my big brother--let's call him Steev. When shit hits the fan, I know he'd be there for me. He hates the fact that I'm gay and in that small town world where my parents live a real, live homosexual is still the talk of the town -- though I've been gone for 12 years. Last Christmas my brother said, "Mike asked me about that shit," to which I replied, "Who the fuck is Mike?!" Seriously, I feel so bad sometimes that I'm the scandal of my parents who are the most not scandalous people ever to live.

Steev has always been bitterly jealous of me for all the wrong reasons. I was the one who made good grades, went to college, lives a fabulous (if I do say so myself) life in New York City, and moved out of my parent's house where his old ass still lives. I never got in trouble, not because I didn't do trouble-making things, but because I never got caught. He can't even turn right on red without getting pulled over. I had embarrassment issues about him dating from years back, and as I have told him on occasion his redneck ass is more embarassing to me than my faggot ass could ever be to him.

In fairness to him, I was always a little jealous of him too. He was the one that was good at sports, popular, and new how to do things like shoot guns* and talk shit with our uncles. He got into drus at 15 and it's been up and down with the booze and coke since. Myself, I've always been able to handle my drugs and alcohol, which may have something to do with the fact that I was a late bloomer in that regard. Anyway, he always won in competitions from sports to playing "pencils" to fucking Nintendo.

There are countless occasions, however, when I was about to beat him at something and he would somehow sabotage the game.

Well once upon a time we were playing down by the pond at the end of the yard and the edge of the field behind my parents house and Steev produced a pack of matches. Good old fashioned stick matches. We're about 9 and 11 respectively. G.I. Joe was there. Forts for said G.I. Joe were built. Matches. G.I. Joe. Lots of wheatgrass. Dry summer. Long story short, the G.I. Joes escaped into the pond on a raft, fleeing the fire that had started on the riverbank.

Before we were fully aware of what was going on, and before the flashbacks to Smokey the Bear kicked in, there was a HUGE blaze in the wheatgrass that began to spread...and spread...

The father from two doors up (we never really like him or his kids) came running out with a wet towel (?) trying to slap the fire out with the fucking J.C. Penny collection. But the fire had grown to too big of proportions.

The fire department came, and by the time they got the fire it, its blaze had moved a long way back, almost to the barn at the top of the slopey field. The fire department left, the neighbors went back inside and that the end of it. Steev and I talked little about it between us as we didn't really didn't get into trouble over it and didn't want to jinx that anomoly in the system. Even when our dad got home from work, there wasn't much said about the charred ash of a field behind our house. My mother, however, was deeply embarrassed that this had happened and gave us the silent treatment for days. The silent treatment includes a stop on services rendered as well.

One of the neighbors kids did try to console me with some explanation about how sometimes farmers do set their fields ablaze so as to change the soil somehow -- not too clear on the "science" behind this. I think he was partially right however, because from the tragedy of the field emerged, over a period of years, a thick wood of evergreen trees filled with deer and other little forest creatures. Genesis, like the Phoenix from the ashes?

Friday, January 06, 2006

God's Will

Seriously, how is it that millions of Americans take Pat Robertson (and the like) seriously? Most recently, he's claiming that God has struck down Ariel Sharon for dividing God's land. Similarly, the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and other bad things are claimed as acts of God by Pat.

There is an excellent article entitled "The Punishment Concept of Disease" (Kopelman, Loretta. 1988. "The Punishment Concept of Disease." In AIDS: Ethics and Public Policy, ed. Christine Pierce and Donald VanDeVeer. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 49-55). God shold make Pat Robertson read it. The idea that when bad things happen it is God punishing us goes back to before Christianity, before we were even fully fucking human-beings even.

Has Pat "Perfect Health" Robertson considered that maybe Ariel Sharon had a massive stroke because he is almost 80 years old, 300 pounds, and under intense stress from every person in his country and the world?

Also, has Pat considered that "the chosen people" he's so fond of don't even believe in Jesus?

You know, it will be really mean of me and against everything I stand for, but when Patty Robertson is stricken with a health problem I'm going to gloat.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Don't Hate The Doll!

Don't Hate the Doll

The Guardian recently ran an article entitled Barbie in the microwave about the supposed craze of girls torturing their Barbie dolls. I have to say, I agree with the author of the article entirely--it's not indicative of some social revolution among little girls rejecting "idealized" femininity.

When I was a little boy, my best friend (let's call him Cody) and I were constantly involved in elaborate stories with enacted with toys playing the parts. Of course these were all tragic tales, culminating in the death or deaths of innocent characters. His sister had this doll with a tiny little body and a giant head who we named Mrs. Killer. She was usually the star of these plotlines. His sister also had millions of Barbies, with which I was obsessed because I would never have been allowed one. (I once tried to get away with asking for he Jem & the Holograms dolls--they're not Barbie dolls after all, they are concievably "action figures"--but no dice.)

One day, Mrs. Killer decided put two barbies up to luring Barbie herself out into the woods.

"Where are we going, Mrs. Killer?"

"Just on a little walk to discuss your performance at the office, Barbie," Mrs. Killer replied. Before she knew what happened, the other two barbies cracked her over the back of the head with a twig, causing her to fall, unconcious, into a shoe box. Mrs. Killer proceeded to douse her with lighter fluid and before there was any trace of a crime having been committed, Barbie was melted into a charred puddle of molten plastic. There were so many like her, no one ever missed her. To this day, her disappearance remains an unsolved mystery...until now.

Further, all of my G.I. Joe's--and I had hundreds--were maimed in a horrible napalm attack on their plastic fortress. This saddens me, cause those things are worth a fucking fortune now.

And I turned out normal, right? See, nothing to worry about with the kids torturing toys.

In an unrelated story, my brother and I once set fire--like, wildfire--to the field behind our house.

The Miner's Notes

Regarding the tragic death of the miners in West Virginia, I have to say the notes they left really touched my bitter, icey heart.

Rather than being terrified of death, they were worried their families would think they suffered.

My Bad Taste Exposed

Rob Helpy Chalk tagged me. I've done something like this before but as Rob himself said of his tagger, "it's so nice when cool people acknowledge your existence." :)


Seven things to do before I die
I should point out that I am going to die young -- so it has been fortold.
1. Go back to Costa Rica.
2. Finish that fucking master's thesis that haunts me.
3. Become debtless.
4. Own my own business.
5. Own a house.
6. Be happy with myself.
7. Find the love of my life.

Seven things I cannot do
1. Write that fucking master's thesis that haunts me.
2. Quit smoking.
3. Give my attention to anything for more than twenty minutes.
4. Give myself a little credit.
5. Be mean, or at least be mean for long.
6. Resist indulging myself.
7. Stop worrying about everything.

Seven things that attract me to blogging
1. Mindless self-indulgence.
2. Exhibitionism.
3. Anonymity.
4. The opportunity to express my righteous indignation.
5. The adoration of countless millions of readers.
6. What better way to procrastinate than to blog?
7. The opportunity to make one million dollars like I did on Epinions.com.

Seven things I say most often
1. "Who you tellin?"
2. "I know that's right."
3. "Looord..."
4. "World Church of Assimilation, Stroll speaking..."
5. "Are you kidding me?"
6. "What happened?"
7. "What kind of world is this?"

Seven books that I love.

1. The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
2. White People by Alan Gurganus
3. Grendel by Joseph Gardner
4. The Farming of Bones by Edwige Danticat
5. The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton
6. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, still the only book that gets me misty.
7. Lovely Me: The Life of Jacqueline Susann by Barbara Seaman

Seven Movies (or Series) I Watch Over and Over Again (or would if I had time)
1. Mommie Dearest
2. Hedwig & the Angry Inch
3. I Heart Huckabees
4. Portrait of Jason by Shirley Clark, starring Jason Holliday.
5. Desperately Seeking Susan (Cigarrette girl: "Susan, we thought you were dead!" Susan: "No, just in New Jersey.")
6. Sunset Boulevard
7. There is really not that much that I would watch "over and over again".

Tag seven people
1. Anne Arkham even though she don't do memes. ;)_
2. Snow, even though she's prob'ly already done this.
3. Mike Hunt, even though Mike prob'ly won't do it.
4. The other four of you who read this!
5. and YOUR MOMMA!
6.
7.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Bitch Is Back

Well, happy New Year! My roommates got a dog (long story). She's intermittently here; she was at one roommate's family's house, then at our house, then at a co-worker's house, now back here. No one seems to want to keep her. They are trying to find her a new home. She's cute and all, but sadly, there is only room for two bitches in this house.

Besides, Meow Kitty is insanely jealous.
Meow Kitty

Just kidding, of course. She is actually completely disinterested, maybe a tiny bit curious. Overall I think, as Lito said, she just wants to know what it is and then for it to be gone.

I was highly highly praised at work today. GO ME. Meanwhile, one of the new secretary's is being fired tomorrow, and while several people around her know this, she has no clue. She was overall useless, but I still feel bad for her.


By the way, I'm about three months pregnant.
Pregnant

No I don't know who the father is and yes I've been trying to get ahold of RUD487. I've also tried to flush it out with a "vinegar tsunami" to quote Edwina Monsoon. All I know now is I'm going to have to exercise this baby into labor, and then drop "it off at the pool" where some boojhee white lady can adopt it like in "Losing Isaiah".

If you remember, my first baby was 8 months premature:
Plastic Fetus

He's healthy and happy, though he remains forever a fetus.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Reverse Psychology on Myself

I resolve to eat more, drink more, smoke more, and to have more sex.

You only know yourself.

New Year's Wisdom: No matter how well you think you have someone figured out, you can always be surprised by things about them that become apparant.