Harmony is Too Pretty A Word. Try “Ballswelloquent”.

NOTE:  the below post includes references to a masturbating holy figure.  Please discontinue reading if this will offend rather than amuse.

This is one of those mornings (not Those Mornings).  One where you get up, feel pretty good, have a cup of coffee, get to the gym, and then get to work, and everything is kinda humming right along.  You feel good.  You feel like you’re in sync with the rhythm of the world, like you’re circadian rhythm is lined up right next to the sine wave of the universe… like you’re in your car, and the rest of the world is in the car next to you as you both hit the red light at the same time, and you, very cockily, rev your engine.  Like you can outgun the cosmos.

That, my friends, is what I call a Good Friday.  Not to be confused with Jesus’ Good Friday… which I’m still confused about – was it the day they all decided they couldn’t abstain from whatever they had just given up for forty days?  (First, who chooses 40 days?  That’s not a clean number at all, so I don’t think it was a choice.  King James was a bit of a censorship nut, so no one knows the real story:  I think Jesus & his Lenten posse made a bet to see who could give up stroking it the longest… like that episode of Seinfeld.  I’ll bet Paul came back within 7 minutes & said “I’m out!”, but the rest of them made it forty days, and probably could’ve kept going except Jesus called it off because he rubbed one out during an especially enlightening prayer session… on a Friday, and they all went “Good!” and immediately sowed some orthodox oats.)

It’s April 1st.  It’s snowing in NJ, and I’m spending 3 hours of my day on a conference call – yes, just ONE conference call for THREE hours.  But I’m okay with that.  I’m revving my engine, toeing the line, ready to sprint.  The only word I could reasonably come up with for this feeling of “all is right with the world” is harmony… but that’s too pretty.  It lacks machismo.  It lacks bravado.  It lacks braggadocio.  It gives no sense of the up-fuckery sentiment – like it’s so good that you feel you could easily do anything, even things you’ve never done before, and it’ll all work out, and you’ll have added your own little dose of oats (orthodox or otherwise) into the mix.  You’re doing what you’re meant to be doing, and it’s changing the world.

… maybe that’s a little too far.  But harmony is too pretty a word.  We need something braver, bolder, faster, stronger.  Something with more balls.

I submit the following recommendations as terms that could be defined, loosely, as “the feeling that you can beat the world”:





Feel free to vote or contribute your own candidate in the comments.  My personal favorite is Ballswelloquent.

And Now For Something Completely F***ed

My Dad is not my biological father.

Yup.  News to me too.  And hot news; as of this writing, I haven’t even talked to my Mom about it yet, and it hasn’t been 24 hours since I found out.  I found out over a few beers with my cousin on my last night in San Francisco, my life literally re-defined by fermented oats served cold by a waitress with nose jewelry named Miranda.

For someone who’s always struggled to identify himself, this news is both completely pedestrian and entirely shattering.  OF COURSE I wasn’t actually the offspring of that asshole who, even outside of this particular fabrication, lied to me for 27 years and then refused to swallow his pride and apologize for it (which was my requirement in order to ever speak to him again-which I haven’t done for 2 years).  It makes so much sense.  I don’t look like him.  I’m not shaped like him.  My skin doesn’t burn like his.  My hair curls when it’s long.  My palate wasn’t cleft.  Clearly I’m not a fiber in his fabric.  Duh.

But wait a tick.  If I’m not actually of his ilk, then there’s SO MUCH SHIT I don’t have to worry about any more.  I’m not genetically programmed to be as unhappy and angry as he was.  I’m not at hereditary risk for nerve damage, lung cancer, breast cancer, or becoming a pathological liar.  I won’t get addicted to pain & then drown myself in 30 years of narcotics and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi.  His only (yet significant) impact on my existence was mere Nurture.

Nurture!  What a word.  I’d prefer inculcation or indoctrination for his particular brand of Terrible.  He’s a Ph. D. in Bullshit & Up-Fuckery.  And those are all things that, with time & some introspection, I can overcome.

I can be whoever the hell I want.  He has ZERO hold over me.

Do you get how significant & freeing that is?  I’m completely pardoned from my worries about repeating his mistakes, about feeling unable to control the risk of turning into someone that can literally turn the atmosphere of a birthday party into that of a funeral home without saying a word, about being obligated in any way to feel some sort of emotion for his plight.  Not my f***ing problems.

Not.  My.  F***ing.  Problems.

I don’t know anything about who my real father is, but according to my cousin, my sister & I are products of in-vitro fertilization by the same sperm donor from the same sperm bank.  My mom is actually my mom, as she did actually carry both of us.  It’s entirely possible that this guy-let’s call him Spanky to be glib-is also a ginormously horrible human being.  It’s also possible that he’s a sultan somewhere in one of those –istan countries.  In fact, as the product of his genetic material, the only thing I’m pretty certain he ISN’T is an underwear model.

Of course my world didn’t just immediately turn into sunshine sex & apple pie.  I still have to deal with the fact that at least four other people in the world have known this for quite some time & made continuous, repetitive choices not to share it with me.  I still have to deal with getting an explanation out of my mother – how this came about, her reasoning for not letting us know, how she sacrificed all of us for so long by staying with a husband with such a poisonous worldview – and figure out how to do it so that she understands that I’m actually just fine & just want to know the god**mn truth for the first time in 29 years.

And of course I have to decide whether or not I want to know Spanky’s actual identity.  If this were medieval times (or a sci-fi/fantasy genre story), I could be rightful heir to his legacy, potentially a primogenitor beneficiary of some oil field or rare book collection or ketchup recipe or Terabithia’s only unicorn stud farm.  But it’s 2010 and the likelihood of even being able to find out anything about the guy is miniscule, and I’m sure the last thing he would welcome (if I could find him) is to be confronted by the output of probably an unremarkable and all-too-brief masturbatory experience.  It would probably ruin his weekend.

I’ve told my wife, my sister, my boss, and my therapist.  I’ve also told you and the four other people who will read my blog before this posting moves farther down into the archives & no longer shows up on the first page, relegated to the thousands of “second layer” pages, like headstones with epitaphs of 1s and 0s.

As I work through this and there are further developments, I’ll come back & record it all here, of course.

They say comedy can be a sweet-smelling excrement of pain.  I may now be the funniest asshole in the world.

Except for Daniel Tosh.  That guy’s hilarious.

Sometimes You Wanna Go…

Where everybody knows your naa-a-ame (duh duh duh), and they’re always glad you caa-a-ame (duh duh DUH)…

Potentially sad, potentially heart-warming: I’m looking forward to my ten year high school reunion (which isn’t until next year, thank you). Started ferreting through some Facebook profiles of HS buddies, and saw some photos of people I haven’t talked to in (you guessed it) 9.5 years. Would just be nice to catch up with them, see how life is going… and hopefully make a few of them eat a healthy serving of humble pie.

See, I went to high school with a TON of people who carried themselves around like big fish in our relatively small pond, and made fun of all those who didn’t carry themselves at all but just were the fish they were. Then, these big fish people went out into bigger ponds, found out just how big they weren’t, and ended up right back in our small pond (or maybe the next small pond down the highway).

Be honest: you know a few of these people from your own pond, and are a little empathetic to my small yet satisfying possibility to feed them their own sack of crap. It may make me a slightly worse person, but for some of these people, it’s worth it. WORTH IT.

But on the whole, I loved my high school experience, and there were a lot of people that have gone on and done some awesome things & become awesome people (or always were awesome & just didn’t know it). I didn’t get to go to my five-year reunion (my sister’s 21st b-day in Las Vegas kept me away), and ten years is a long time for people to make progress towards being awesome. I’m looking forward to catching up with the awesome ones.

Here’s a small, somewhat confidential list of folks I can’t wait to catch up with due to Awesomeness Past, or for Awesomeness Perceived (meaning I think they’ve probably become awesome by now, based on things I’ve heard / read / seen on Skinemax).

Emily W. – Was Awesome, probably still is, but I can probably appreciate it to an even greater level now. She was my first ‘girlfriend’, at age 8. Still remember getting caught “making out” in a wee closet in her room. By “making out”, I mean talking about pay-per-view WWF wrestling and trying to kiss each other on the cheek in the dark. Man, did that make Rick’s face turn red…

Jarret B. – This guy was one of my Favorite People… then he found Ecstasy and lost his chess scholarship at UMBC. I haven’t seen him since, but I’m hoping he’ll be there.

Sauceman – Still one of my Favorite People, Sauce was everyone’s cool big brother, even though he was someone else’s pain-in-the-ass little brother. While he never shared my past ‘bad luck’ with the ladies and would never, EVER, be described as a nerd or a geek, somehow he makes a kindred-spirit-sized hole in my brain. Plus he’s the only football team QB I’ve ever gotten to know, which makes me think there’s hope for Nerds to learn from Athletes after all. Haven’t seen him at Breakers in a while, but that’s probably because I haven’t been there in the last two years.

Drew O. – If any circle of my HS friends had a token black guy, Drew was it. In fact, I think he was the token black guy for my entire senior class. Drew was cool back then, and I’ve got a feeling the cat has only gotten cooler. People don’t use the word ‘unflappable’ very often, but that’s my word for Drew. Unflappable. Plus, anybody who spends that much time in Pittsburgh PA has to be a genuinely strong human being. Drew is still probably cooler than I am, but that’s okay; gives me yet another aspirational goal.

Bradley T. – Bradley T. was the QB of life. Brad always knew how to a) make things happen; b) have a good time without upsetting Papa Den or Mama Kim; c) get to know people in a way that was friendly but not deep. He & I actually lived down the hall from each other for a year and a half at college, but never spent nearly enough time hangin’ out. (To sum up why, he & his roommates played EA Sports games on the PS2; my roommates & I played Super Smash Brothers on the N64. Never the twain did meet…) Brad’s still one of my favorite people, but I haven’t talked to him since graduating PSU. All I know is he’s married to a lovely girl named Jen, lives somewhere near the home town, and is undoubtedly still someone you can count on for a good time.

Chrisin H. - This girl was almost in two major car accidents while I was at the wheel, but we survived, graduated, saw each other ONCE while she was at Pitt & I was at PSU, but no sightings since. She moved to North Carolina, works at Duke now & is married (may even have borne wee ones). Definitely miss Christin; hope she’ll come up from Dixie.

Hoover – Ahh, Hoover. Hoov. Hoov was the Sauceman of the basketball team (even though Sauceman also played b-ball; Hoov had a good 4″ on Sauce). Hoov was a tall, gangly, scrawny mo’fo with some bad habits that, rumor has it, got worse. Taught me a lot about humility – not that he was humble, but rather, he proved that being a little boastful and/or over-confident was sometimes a REALLY bad idea. We had English & Physics teachers that gave him hard times, but he brought them on himself. Constantly had a little bit of a pompous air about him – probably had mostly to do with bad family situations. His stepdad Clifford (CLIFFORD!) was ~45-50 years older than us and was obsessed only with his cat and with keeping Hoov from upsetting Candy, Hoov’s mom. Real Dad wasn’t in the picture much, but when he was, made Hoov feel less than good about himself, and then tried to make up for it with golf clubs & Volkswagens. I felt for Hoover, and on more than one occasion got to see who he really was – and who he was wasn’t all that bad, so I counted him among my friends. He still made jokes at my expense more often than I would’ve liked, but at least he was funny. (Hoov, if you’re reading & don’t like the details, let me know & I’ll strike it from the record. Then, you owe me at least two beers.)

JEN FRIKKIN’ MARTIN – This girl… well, this girl was one of the original Skanks (I’m picturing the photo we took of her holding a bucket of Coronas & ready to get into Danny’s hot tub), until something went awry & she stopped returning our calls. There were comments made & disagreements had, but apologies & restitutions were also delivered, so I’m not sure why we still don’t get to count on ever seeing her when we’re back home. As far as I know, she’s still not married but living with a guy, and helping to take care of his two daughters. She’s certainly got more on her plate than the rest of us, but I no longer agree that this means we can’t relate to her. So I hope we all get to catch up with her there, if not before. (Jen, sweetie, if you’re reading, CALL US over the holidays… you are missed, dear.)

That’ll about do it for now. If I see even two of the above people at the reunion, it will be completely worth the price of the flight. Hell, if even writing this post reunites me with any one of them before the reunion, that’d be the bee’s knees.

Thus ends this extra-special glimpse into my past.