Thursday, December 28, 2006

Showtime at the Apollo

Today at 1:00 PM, James Brown will be hauled by horse-drawn carriage to the Apollo Theater to lie in state. When I passed the Apollo on my way to work this morning, there are already people lined up, and news crews staking out. My boyfriend (that is, some stranger in a hard hat that I fell in love with on the bus) commented on how packed the joint is already. There is no way I'm taking that route home from work, with all the general population not to mention celebrity entourages and security that will abound.

I have GOT to start going to bed at a decent hour.

Damn you, WoW.

In other news, I went to the gym tonight for the first time in months. Much like employment, I had forgotten how much it sucks.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I'm back.

Christmas was great at home. I love those people.

As you may or may not be aware, I have in previous posts expressed my obsession with the bedbug epidemic that is sweeping the nation. Before it became headline news, however, many people, myself included, did not even know bedbugs were real. Most of us just thought they were a fiction from the good-night rhyme.

Apparantly this store that I spotted in Ye Olde Hometown chose their unfortunate business name before realizing it is possibly the WORST name for a MATTRESS store one could ever devise:

Something tells me business is not going to be so great.

Speaking of mattresses, I told my aunt, when prompted, that I attend Saint Mattress of the Holy Posturpedic every Sunday. My dad had to explain the joke.

In other news, I'm at Bitch, PhD for a few days, pretending like I know shit. Holler at me over there.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Yeah, hi.

I am overwhelmed at work right now with a scenario that is ugly to say the least. Basically, it’s a falls-to-me mistake that has been in the making all year, and my boss –who is a special breed of boss – is going to be pissed to say the least when she finds out. It’s not the kind of thing where I will just be cupped a little; it’s the kind of thing where she will melt my face off with laser beams from her eyes. It involves non-lie statements that will now be perceived as lies. It involves reassurance and comfort that should have never been provided, given the circumstances. It involves about $15,000.00. If I don’t get fired over it, then I will never hear the end of it. I will be constantly reminded of it for as longs as I work here, and for as long as I work here I can kiss any aforementioned thought of a promotion goodbye.

Damn. If I could go back in time a few months I could save this. I’ve tried everything in my power to resolve it and it looks, now, like there is no hope. All this time I have worked so hard to get the trust and confidence of this woman, it being so important to me for her to know how much I want to be indispensable, and now this. Back to zero with the trust and confidence. I’ve fucked up before but not like this. I have to tell her, so I’m sitting here typing this waiting for the phone to ring. Kevondrala counseled me on how to approach this and I appreciate the advice and comfort. Also grateful for S.D.’s listening ear. But I don’t know how I’ll bring myself to do this, to say the words. I am in hive city right now.

UPDATE: I spoke to her. I still have a face. Everything is going to be okay...I think...kind of. Whatever happens, I feel relieved now. Maybe people will stop asking me why I'm white as a ghost and look like I've packed for Christmas under my eyes.

Meanwhile, Christmas is upon us. I have so much to do in anticipation of my journey home – I have to clean the house so Jo Jo K won’t think I am the most disgusting person she has ever known when she takes care of the cat, I have to pack, I have to finish shopping which I will have to do down there in the Motherland, and I have to brace myself for the multi-person personification of dysfunction that is my family, myself included. Anyway, I leave Friday. So, miss me, okay?

BUT the good news of the season is that, upon my return on December 26, I am honorted to be guest blogging – a first! – at the incomparable Bitch, PhD. I won a contest, see. I’m very excited…a little attention (or a lot, as the case will be on Bitch’s blog) goes a long way for me, an attention-starved self-pitying mess of humanity. She says she's going to slave me on blogging and comment-handling, and I say, I willingly submit!

Now I go into the wild…also known as “file cabinets”. Holla!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Freezing to Death: Surely a Horrible Way to Go Out

Just before the story of the mountain climbers lost in Oregan started, K-rock gave me the book Into the Wild. It’s an intriguing true story about a young man, Christopher McCandles, who gave his college fund to charity and then set out to be a vagabond. He was from a well-to-do family, a good upbringing, a solid education…but he abandoned it all, took on the name Alexander Supertramp, and headed out on an amazing journey throughout North America, until he finally made his way to Alaska for his “Alaskan Odyssey”. I relate to him in profound ways. Though I’ve yet to do it, I’ve said many times that I’d like to run away and be a hermit. A big difference between me and him, however, is that I’d head to tropical climates – not the frozen tundra.

The author, through conversations with Chris’s family, friends, and people he met along the way, is able to describe Chris aka Alex as someone who was deeply introspective, compassionate, and smart, yet bullheaded and possessing enough hubris that he would eventually starve and freeze to death only to be found as a 65 pound corpse in an abandoned bus in the woods. (It’s ironic that he wanted to live for an extended period of time in the “wilderness” to prove something to himself about “independence”, but by Alaskan standards he would’ve been considered only in the woods…with a number of cabins not too many miles out, and a major highways about 30 miles away.)

An old man to whom he became close said that the two shared a social need that would be trumped by a need for long stretches of solitude. I know that feeling intimately. When the author compares Chris’s story to that of other idealists and romantics, including the story of his own youth, I feel related to them, though not so much into the nature-lover aspect as the desire to be left alone so as to get used to my own loneliness and learn to love that awful feeling, and to understand the paradox of hating the social yet needing it every now and then. Additionally, one major thing keeping me from becoming a hermit is lack of hot-water-on-demand, which I need more than food. I know it’s not a realistic idea, but it is alluring.

Unlike these people, I am not young enough to retain the thought of being immortal. Rather, I am consumed by thoughts of death and mortality. I had this awareness from a young age and I’ve learned to live with it. I’m not afraid of death, I’m afraid of pain. And I’m just narcissistic enough to want not to die if only because, being dead, I wouldn’t get to see who turned out for the funeral, or, for that matter, if anybody made good on my wishes to cremate me.

Second Life and World of Warcraft

A while back at Unfogged I read a post about Second Life, which is an online "virtual reality". In the Second Life world, you can earn and spend money (lindens), which actually translate into real US dollars. In fact, a few people have become real-life millionaires by buying, selling, and building "virtual" real estate and things like clothing. I checked it out and played around with it for a little while, and though I was endlessly fascinated by the concept, I found it kind of boring. It's not really a game -- there is no objective per se -- and I sure as hell ain't going to get rich on building cyber-houses with my lack of interest and lack of computer skills joining forces. Besides, a huge number of people just want to have sex. And if I'm going to seek out some sex, it ain't going to be with a "virtual" penis. More than anything, Second Life seems like a chat room with decorated avatars. Boooring.

Scatty, hearing me talk about this, told me about World of Warcraft, which is similar in concept -- that concept being Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) -- to Second Life, but a billion times more fun. It's a game, unlike Second Life, and it's played alongside several million other subscribers who you can talk to, team up with, duel, etc. Scatty surprised me with a gift of the World of Warcraft CD's, and I'm here to tell you, at risk of sounding like the biggest geek-nerd-dork in the world, that I am absorbed in it. It's a great gift because it's something that a) I would have never bought for myself and b) I really enjoy. I've had it for two days and have had trouble breaking away. I can see how people become obsessed and commit countless hours to playing this game. I'm still figuring out the ins and outs as it is very complicated...and with all the other people online playing, and all the choices for what kind of creature you can be, and all the "quests" you can choose among, there are a seemingly infinite number of scenarios. All I want for Christmas is my productivity and good posture back.

Friday, December 15, 2006

"Them Pentecostal men is HOT"

A little gratuitous Betty Butterfield for your ass. Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bah, Humbug

I am so over Christmas and have been since late October when the madness begins in this day and age. I would boycott present-buying altogether, but I have no choice but to participate in fourth quarter retail salvation because if I don't get anything for the immediate family, my grandmother, and my little 3 year old cousin, I will be accused of Satanism when I go home. Even the going home is kind of mandatory. Can't we just enjoy the Reason for the Season? That being, time off of work and The Sound of Music on network television?

I encourage everyone to boycott Christmas gifts! The War on Christmas starts there. Take up arms with me, ye merry gentlemen (and gentlewomen, and gentle-gender-fluids).

That said, if you MUST purchase a gift because of your years of indoctrination into the consumer culture, you can get me an upgrade on my Flickr account (screen name "butch stroll"), or purchase from ye olde Amazon Wishlist.

This can only mean that I am still in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Model

Here at the World Church of Assimilation, I recieved a call from a man I know in the communications/art department. They are looking for people "with interesting faces" to be photographed on Friday for a poster that will be distributed to all WCA affililates throughout the world to honor the last fifty years of Assimilation. And they chose me! Of course I have to have a "test shot" done today, and I am rather grizzly with my full beard (a symptom of the profound depression I experience from being so damned beautiful is that I stop shaving). So, by Friday I have to shave. If they like my test shot. Which they will. Beacause, to quote Edina Monsoon, I am thin and gorgeous! I will not let Tyra down...I will have passion, I will have hunger in my eyes.

In other news, Paris Hilton is spotted with a coke booger (and I don't mean Brandon Davis, though he was with her), and more celebrities are finding Scientology. What is it about being rich and beautiful that makes people so stupid? How anybody takes Scientology seriously, only the aliens know.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Other September 11

Allow me to step away from my recent and incessent talk of such things as Britney Spear's cootch and heinous food products to talk about an actual current event of importance.

On 9/11/1973, Augusto Pinochet siezed the government of Chile from democratically elected president Salvador Allende in a military coup, and promptly gathered, tortured, and killed a large chunk of his oponents in, among other places, the national soccer stadium. President Allende, rather than be kidnapped, killed himself with a shot to the head.
Ariel Dorfman
made his ironic escape to the United States--ironic, because as a child his parents had left the United States for Chile to escape the McCarthyism of the time. Pinochet would be dictator into the 1990's. In all, nearly 4,000 people were tortured and killed by Pinochet's regime.

Pinochet has now died, leaving the country with mixed emotions:

To his supporters, General Augusto Pinochet was a national savior who prevented Chile from succumbing to communism.

Other Chileans are expressing conflicting emotions over Pinochet's death: satisfaction that a man they regard as a murderer has perished, yet sadness that a wave of lawsuits brought against him are now moot.

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a diehard lover of this great country, the U.S.A. However, I can criticize it too, as is my right and duty. The reason "the world hates us" as we hear so often, is because of things like Augusto Pinochet's rise to power. (Yes, this "they hate us!" was going on long before George Bush and his "let's do a 'study group' after we fuck up Iraq" approach to foreign policy.) Nutcases like Hugo Chavez don't get all paranoid and start calling our presidents the devil out of the blue.

The CIA, with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, actively, directly, and not-even-so-covertly worked to undermine Salvador Allende and his socialist government. This was a government the people there chose for themselves. Elections could have had Allende removed, and probably would have eventually removed socialism from Chile. But rather than wait it out, the U.S. "stop it before it spreads" approach to communism was enacted.

Pinochet came to power and political freedom, including freedom of speech and assembly, ended promptly. A lot of people died, but communism was in fact stopped, and the economy prospered while Chile rose to one of the most prosperous nations in South America at the time. If and when Iraq becomes stable, we'll say all the "collateral damage" was worth it...just like many people say that Chile's prosperity was worth the death of civil liberties and the death of thousands of people.

More on this later, right now I have to look up pictures of anorexics and babies snatched from Africa. Oh, and by the way the dermotologist told me today I have hives. HIVES. WTF? I blame this entirely on stress and hold The World Church of Assmilation fully accountable.
Today, from Page Six, Anna Wintour enters the too-skinny model debate:

December 11, 2006 -- LEADERS of New York's fashion industry will meet soon to figure out how to deal with increasing calls for laws to keep dangerously underfed models off the catwalks.

Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour is spearheading the effort to get the session together. "Anna held a symposium on the issue, and she's planning another meeting this week," said one model agency chief. "We would much rather come up with a way of self-policing ourselves than have regulations rammed down our throats."

The head of another modeling agency said, "Everyone should take a look at it, and if there's a problem, let's fix it."

Italy's government and its fashion chiefs said last week they're working on a plan to crack down on ultra-thin models who appear to be suffering from eating disorders.

The move came three months after Spain passed a law requiring that every model have a body-mass index of at least 18 (a measure of body fat). Last month, Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died at age 21 from anorexia.

Besides the beauties' health, the fashion honchos fear they'll be blamed for promoting unhealthy body images for generations of teenage girls.

Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan says many models today are "pale, almost to the point of translucent, and astonishingly thin. They look positively rickety. Seeing one in a swimsuit can make you shudder. They are not sexy or even particularly pretty. How can they be when they look as though the life has been sucked out of them?"

The skinniest seem to come from Eastern Europe. Givhan names Snejana Onopka, Vlada Roslyakova and Sasha Pivovarova.

"Over a typical runway season, the same models appear so often on different runways that it is easy to become immune to how shockingly thin they are. After a while, it seems normal that a model's thighs are the same circumference as a 12-year-old's upper arm," Givhan wrote.

"If the industry does not think carefully about the current aesthetic," she warned, "what comes next could be truly ghastly."

It's considered a delicacy in China...

I love me some Dim Sum. It is a highlight of my weekends, wherein the Council of Divas Subcommittee on Dim Sum gathers at Evergreen Cafe on the UES to engourge our fat asses on a large variety of food. The girl who pushes the cart sees us coming and starts filling up our table right away. She knows how we roll. Where most people might order a sticky rice for the table, we order a sticky rice for each of us, for example. We eat a lot. When done properly, no further meals are required for the day.

S.D. is not a fan of dim sum. I joke with him about being the pickiest eater to have ever lived (yet he somehow enjoys crazy shit like the jalapeno flavored candy sold at Margaritas, not to mention the dubiously sanitary or tasty pudding cups made in-store). That's fine, you can't help what you like and dislike. S.D. jokes back by telling me to enjoy my "chicken feet" at dim sum.

Now I need you to understand that as a vodoun master and very able conjurer of the darrk tricks, I know of the power of a chicken foot. However, I'm not into eating them.

Yesterday before I left for dim sum, he said just that, and I laughed, and told him that in all my journeys to dim sum I have yet to see an actual chicken's foot. Though we are truly on the the butch stroll in the dim sum situation, I think they still keep certain items hidden low in the cart from the Western eyes that might find them particularly gross. (Once my former boss, who is Korean, took me to a Korean restaurant for lunch and, knowing he was One of Them, they strait up put a dish of crickets on the table. I think he was a little embarassed, because he pretended like he didn't see them. So did I. But I digress.) Having learned how we roll, I think the young lady put them towards the top to tempt us...

Anyway, we're ordering and Jo Jo K spots the chicken feet in the cart and orders them. Kevondrala warned her that they are nasty -- he is the one who knows about all these mysteries of the orient in the first place -- but I somehow missed all this taking place, and went in for one with my chopsticks, thinking they were spare ribs until I realized there were four prongs on the fucker which are in fact toes.

Jo Jo tried to eat one -- sincerely wanting to just "try" them -- but couldn't bring her self to eat much of it. It's mostly fat that you suck off the bone. At any rate, nasty.

So there in front of me for the rest of the meal is a metal bowl of chicken feet. As the staff came around to take dirty dishes away, they repeatedly ignored that one. Kevondrala kept insisting that we're insulting their culture by making fun of the chicken feet, but there was not much we could do. I trid to stack another bowl on top if it but the man came by, removed the top bowl, noticed the bottom bowl was still full (of chicken feet) and left it there again. I was not permitted to request that he remove them. They were with us, and they were going to stay. Like the crickets, the uneaten chicken feet were the elephant in the room.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

How Cocaine is Made

Fascinting, to say the least.

[via Left Behinds]

America's Next Top Travesty of Justice

Melrose was robbed.

We'll see though. I bet she ends up with more work and name recognition than ole what's-her-face.

Monday, December 04, 2006

First they came for the hotels...

Then they came for apartments. Then, my sources have it, they came for the Museum of Natural History (which I havn't seen reported in the news, but is no doubt related to the school-age sleepovers they have there in the summer). Then they came for Ralph Lauren. Then they came for the public schools.

I have two friends who have two friend each who have documented bedbugs in their living quarters. Can we please bring DDT back and stop these motherfuckers? With all the afflictions that have come upon me lately, I'm bound to be next, and I'm not having that.

Can no one make a sandwich like McDonalds?

If you're looking for a definition of "corporate arrogance", or maybe even "corporate ridiculousness", here you go.

Meow Kitty, Mad Max, and More

I am at the lowest point I’ve been in years. My self-esteem is like at zero and the stresses and mistakes and afflictions of this life ending 2006 on a less than positive note. Hopefully in the New Year I’ll have a rebirth. In the meantime here are some trivial observations and fun facts from The Butch Stroll.

First: Why I Should Not and Will Not Ever Have Children, Example 16,249. Meow Kitty (the demon beast pictured) has taken in the past month to a new behavior, where rather than run back and forth from the kitchen indicating that she is hungry and needs someone to fill her bowl with food, she now HOWLS noises unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, until you acknowledge her and, well, fill the bowl. She’s also taken to demanding MORE food than usual since her Father has been gone, because she has learned that I will giver her more than she usually gets. (The reason we have to feed her regularly, rather than just leaving the bowl full, is because she has only one tooth and therefore cannot eat dry food. We have to scoop her nasty ass wet food as needed. Seriously. One tooth.)

So the noises are irritating as all hell, they are ungodly and start without fail right when I am falling asleep, or right before I have to get up when I’m savoring the last few minutes of sleep I have before a long workday. Today was not a good day for me, however, and I gave her the last of her food I had on hand, so of course a few hours later she starts with the screeching. I try to explain to her that I have not made it out of the house yet to purchase her more food, and that I have to do some things and then take a shower before I will be able to go out, but of course she does not understand this because she is a cat and her brain is the size of a cherry tomato.

I get in the shower, and mistakenly leave my door open. Meow Kitty knows that she is absolutely forbidden from entering my room. But when I come out of the shower, homegirl is in there chillin on my couch with her nasty ass, and I about lost it. I yelled at her, and she ran out, and as she scurried past me I gave her a hard shove with my flip-flop. Then she came back for more, so I turned the vacuum on and in a Penny-gets-burned-with-the-iron moment, I vacummed her tail for a minute and she freaked. She ran into her father’s room and was silent for a long time. I felt so bad about it I even petted her and begged her to forgive me. Good thing she can’t call Child Protective Services. At any rate, I eventually got her some food and she was over it upon my return – back with the noises.

On another note, Scatty and I watched Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome last night, which I have to say is one of my favorite movies of all time. “You think I don’t know the law? Wasn’t it me who wrote it? And I say that this man has broken the law! Right or wrong, we had a deal. And the law says, ‘bust a deal, face the wheel.’” What’s brilliant about that scene is that Aunty Entity is actually the one who has broken the law by setting up Master Blaster for a battle in Thunderdome, but like the true politician she is, she spins is around to make Max the one who has broken the law…a different law even. But I digress.

In light of the recent controversy surrounding Mel Gibson, I couldn’t help but expect him every now and then to blurt out some old-fashioned Jew hating. Like when he is being hired to kill Blaster, instead of saying to Aunty, “Real civilized!”, I think he’s going to say, “Bartertown is run by JEWS!” Or when he finds the children, and the tell him their primitive legends about their origins on the edge of the desert after a plane crash, I expect him to be all, “The JEWS caused the Poxyclipse!” It sucks that Mel had to be exposed as an anti-Semite, because I really love that movie.

More later.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Getting Around Government Internet Restrictions

You may have noticed and/or, which are websites that allow people in India and Pakistan access blocked sites.

The latest in anti-censorship technology is Psiphon which is

a web-based utility [that] lets individuals in a country that censors the internet sign on to a server that gives them secure access to web pages anywhere, bypassing government restrictions.