Have you ever lent a hand to someone who asked for your help and then they criticized the way you helped them? They remind me of a having sex with a whore. At first you’re happy to be getting laid, but by the time the burning sensation sets in you’re wondering, why did I do this again?
The bad thing is I knew that this person would bitch no matter what I did. First of all, he’s a former Marine. “There’s no such thing as former Marine,” he’d say, “Once you’re a Marine, you’re always a Marine,”; except he was in the Marines twenty years ago and still is hanging on to it.
So knowing this, I decided to take the hard-line, which was difficult because the guy is the person who trained me for his old job. But because of this, he calls me every other day with some random request that has nothing to do with me. So I said, “No, I won’t look for the file that you saved, ‘Sometime last year.’ You can come down here and look for it yourself if you want,” and I then literally hung up on him.
I knew that all I had to do was type in the name of the file he wanted into to search bar and in a minute or so, I would find the document. So blind guilt led me like a Seeing Eye dog down this path of an evitable argument.
I printed up the document that the guy asked for and rode the elevator up three stories and handed the document to the guy. He looked at it and said, “What happened? Don’t you have a color printer?”
I knew the lack of color was going to be an issue, but since I never use color for any documents, I’ve never changed the cartridge. So I said, “I don’t use color.”
He then began to tell me all the documents that I have to use color for. When I kept saying, “I don’t use color for that.” He said, “Well what about…,” and he began rattling off other documents. “I don’t use color for that,” I kept saying, but he was like a pit-bull who latched on to a bone.
I finally lost my patience and yelled, “God damn it! I’m taking time out of my fucking day to give you this shit and now you’re chewing my ass for not having it in color! Fuck that shit,” and I turned and started to walk away.
He said, “What? I’m trying to say thank you.”
I thought to myself, that must be the way a Marine says, “thank you.” First he asks you (or the Navy) for help, then chews your ass for not doing it his way, and then gets offended that you didn’t know that’s his way of saying, “Hey buddy, thanks. Thanks a lot.”
Americans will celebrate anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s Super Bowl Weekend when you don’t watch football all year or St. Patrick’s Day when you’re not Irish, most Americans don’t need much of an excuse to throw a party.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, which translates to “Fifth of May” in Spanish, and marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The way that it is portrayed here in the U.S., you would think that Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican Forth of July, but I can tell you from experience, it’s not.
My wife and were married on May 1st six years ago and we went to the Mayan Riviera for our honeymoon. On the fifth of May, we decided to take a collectiva—or taxi, up to Playa del Carmen to celebrate the holiday. We assumed there’d be drunk Mexicans shooting guns in the air and yelling, “Andale, Andale, Arriba, Arriba,” like Speedy Gonzalez. We were disappointed to find out that most Mexicans don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo like we do in here in the States.
Five years later, my wife and I went to San Francisco to celebrate our fifth year anniversary. We stayed in the Mission District, which is a predominantly Mexican area in San Francisco. I was excited to see if it would be different this time. When night rolled around we walked down to Mission Street, and there was absolutely nothing going on. We walked a few blocks further to a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant and it was packed—with gringos.
So to all you folks would plan on going out and getting, “drunk as a Mexican on Cinco de Mayo,” you may want to re-think your plans.
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Coming up with new material everyday is harder than trying to understand Stephen Hawking after he’s had a few drinks in him. When I started this blog my goal was to come up with new material for my site at least once a week and even then I have to be on the look out for new material. I never know when inspiration is going to hit me like a Louisville Slugger to the cranium. So when I saw Daryl Cagle’s Political drawings on MSN.com I thought I’d give him a shout-out. Plus it makes it makes my job a little easier.
Cagle’s topics range from Wall Street Reform, to the volcano in Iceland, to Mother’s Days gifts for your oil spilling ass. Check him out.
I’ve had the entire week off, and now that it’s Friday, I’m already dreading the alarm clock Monday morning. This week has gone by in a blur and I don’t even drink anymore.
I had jury duty Monday. There were people there who I wouldn’t want deciding my fate no more than I’d want to play Russian Roulette with five bullets. Put it this way, I’m pretty sure that I saw Quasimodo’s long lost twin sitting in one of the jury boxes waiting to be swore in.
My mother-in-law fell and broke her foot, so I watched my daughter part of the day Tuesday, most of Wednesday, and a good deal on Thursday. I’m not complaining, believe me. It was nice not having to drag my ass out of bed like an old muffler sparking off the highway at five am.
It was also a special treat to be able to hang out with my little seven month old sack of shit’s and giggles. But for the record, I’ve never had the aspiration of being a stay-at-home dad. After a few days with the girl, which is what I usually call her, I can say that staying at home with your kid would be much harder than working a full-time job. For sure, it would be a lot harder than working my full-time job.
At my job I have a little time to write at least a few days a week. At home with the girl? Nothing. I wasn’t able to get in one single sentence. I had to time everything I wanted to do, including taking a deuce, with the girl’s sleep schedule. At least at work I can up and go to the bathroom whenever I want.
When I’m at work, I can have discussions about politics, different cultures, and try to help solve deep philosophical questions like, “Do you realize that if corporations have Constitutional rights, that they are therefore considered legal beings. And if that’s true, then they are actually an evolved species who know how to make exorbitant amounts of money and we are their slaves.”
Versus, “Who’s talking to Mr. Bear? Are you talking to Mr. Bear? Yeah. That’s Mr. Bear.”
I don’t mind having the Mr. Bear conversation. I’m fine with Mr. Bear and Mr. Rabbit too. I’m just saying, maybe Monday won’t actually be that bad.
So for those of you who have jobs, appreciate them. And if it’s your Friday, and are receiving this on Saturday, have a good rest of the weekend. I look forward to seeing you Monday.
I love using quotes. That’s not exactly true because I never can remember them. There is nothing worse than somebody stumbling to remember a quote, just ask former President George W. Bush. So what I really should say is I love reading quotes.
I think it’s cool to see what other famous people said out stuff. That just makes it seem more important than if just some regular guy said it. (Noticed how I threw in other famous people? Like I’m already famous.)
“He who pursues fame at the risk of losing himself is not a scholar.”—Chuang Tzu (369 BC – 286 BC), The Great Supreme
Someone once told me that if you want to use a quote as your own, you have to credit the original author three times, “Then the quote is yours.” I think I like this rule, although I will tell you now, this rule doesn’t apply in comedy or in writing.
Most comics don’t have a sense of humor when you steal their material. For instance, one night I was with a group of friends telling a story about how I had gotten drunk for the first time and thought I was as smart as Albert Einstein. I started asking my friends what I perceived to be deep philosophical questions about the World, such as: “What is the first car in traffic doing up there? Is he just sitting there picking his nose or what? Maybe he’s getting a little road head. I don’t know, but I sure would like to know what the hell’s he doing up there?”
I was about 16 or 17 the first time I got drunk, and since I was telling a real story, I didn’t expect to hear, “YOU STOLED THAT FROM CARLIN!”
This was the first time someone had ever called me out on material stealing, although for the record, it wouldn’t even be close to the last. But the first time anything happens to you, you never know how you’re going to react. Since the rules were explained to me, and since I didn’t steal the bit on purpose, I didn’t feel that I had committed any joke-stealing crime.
“What the hell are you talking about?” I said to my 6’5”, skinny-assed comic, friend of a friend.
“Carlin,” he said. “As in George Carlin. That’s his bit. He did it back in the 70’s or at least the 80’s. Either way you can’t just take someone’s bit and use it as your own! That’s stealing. I mean, you at least got to give him credit for it.”
“First of all, who invited this guy?” I said, looking around to see who this clown was with, so I would know whether or not I was allowed to beat his ass. “Secondly I was 16! And drunk for the first time. It’s a real story! I wasn’t ‘doing a bit’. Smart ass! Besides I’m not a comic, I don’t have to live by your rules. My rules are if you quote a guy, you only have to do it three times then ‘the bit’ is yours!”
“Oh REEEALLY? Three times huh? Kind of like a joke genie? Rub it three times and it’s yours?” he said.
“That’s right! Or how Lenox Lewis knocks mother fuckers like you out: ONE, TWO, THREE!” I said, throwing shadow boxing combos at his face.
“Don’t get mad, I didn’t steal the bit,” he said.
“I’M NOT MAD!…fuck face.”
This guy totally ruined my mojo. Now I couldn’t go around saying brilliant things such as, “Don’t be afraid, the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself!” Or, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Now I understood what people were talking about when they’d reply, “Ah! JFK, 1964.” And why they’d look at me funny when I’d say, “No, Doug Wallace, right now.”
You might be able to get away with stealing someone’s quote in conversation, but once it’s in print, as I found out the hard way, you better quote it and name your source. Luckily the, “Authorities” were not called in like the publishers threaten to do in their letter. All I did was use: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” Which for legal purposes, is by Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities and is also the longest damn sentence you will ever read. If I wrote some shit like that my editors would be jumping all over my ass, “Run-on sentence! Run-on Sentence!” they’d yell.
I used the Dickens line for an opening for a story I had. I had read that line several times and figured if the three time rule applied in conversation, it applied to writing as well. Apparently the publishers of Dickens felt otherwise.
People take this writing stuff way too seriously. They expect you to go around quoting where you got your inspiration? Who does that? And it’s very specific how they want it done. You need to say first, where you got it from—a.k.a. the title, then the author’s name, then page number, then the publishers name—God forbid you forget the publisher’s name. Then Quotation Police want you to list the copyright date, and then where the thing was published—like New York needs anymore publicity. It’s all a big clusterfuck. And no, I don’t remember where I got clusterfuck; though consulting Wikipedia, cluster-fuck is defined as: “A disastrous situation that results from the cumulative errors of several people or groups. In semi-polite company this is referred to as a Charlie Foxtrot. (From the NATO phonetic alphabet)” So I guess I probably got it from Dave—my Step-dad, who was a career Navy man. Props to Dave on, “clusterfuck.” The point being, remember to quote people where you should and don’t where you shouldn’t.
One place you are not supposed to quote people is in the middle of your conversation, “with your fingers.” That shit drives me crazy. You’re sitting there talking to someone and they say something like, “Politically Correct” and then they throw their fingers up in the air while they’re doing it. I hate that shit…“HEY! Wait a minute! YOU STOLED THAT FROM CARLIN!”
Senator Gaylord Nelson organized an “Environmental Teach-in,” the week of April 16 through April 22, 1970. (I’ll forgo any Gaylord jokes.) Earth Week focused on environmental teachings that climaxed on April 22, 1970—which became known as Earth Day.
Today, Earth Day is more than just some event created by a Gaylord. (I couldn’t resist.) It’s about taking notice of what we are doing to the Earth. I’ve heard that American-Indians used to plan their actions toward the Earth, mainly hunting and fishing, for ten generations. These days’ corporations don’t even plan what they’re doing to the environment for the next ten years. It’s been Environmental Activists that have been bringing what corporations are doing to the environment to the forefront of public awareness. With the invention of the Internet, activists are getting more organized every year.
But even with all the strides that we are taking to save our environment, there is a bigger culprit than all the polluters combined. This polluter is so big that it’s taken over an entire continent and we have to do something to stop it. Who is this polluter who’s messing up our Earth at a speed that would take ten Earth Years, not Earth Days, to fix? It’s the volcano in Iceland. If you haven’t seen the eruption yet, here’s the video: http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15749633/19168040
I think we need to start a “Stop the Volcano in Iceland from Polluting our Earth,” Group on Facebook. All the hard work that generations of environmentalist have been doing for the years, Eyjafjallajokull has destroyed that in a few days. Besides, if you’re going to be the World’s biggest polluter, you need to have a name that’s not impossible to pronounce. So I’m going to start another new Facebook group today. It’s going to be called the “Rename Eyjafjallajokull Volcano to something the rest of the World can pronounce,” Group.
Remember, Earth Day is about changing the World for the better. Yes I understand we can’t stop a volcano from blocking out the sun and stopping air traffic and possibly killing crops in dozens of countries around it. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t throw your recyclables in a recycling can or use a refillable container instead of drinking bottled water. And yes, it may feel like you’re just pissing in the ocean when Eyjafjallajokull is dumping so much pollution into the atmosphere. But just imagine if everyone in the World was pissing in the Ocean at the same time. Oh wait! Please don’t do that either.
So this week I may be taking a little break, or apnea, breather, breathing space, caesura, downtime, hiatus, interlude, intermission, interval, lacuna, layoff, letup, lull, pause, recess, respite, rest, suspension, take five (days), time off, or time out from writing my blog. I’ve got a lot going on this week and I probably won’t have a lot of time for writing. So if I do get a story in, expect it to be short and sweet.
BTW, need to figure out an alternative word for break or any other word? Here’s a link to http://thesaurus.com/.
Today is Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. Who is he, you may ask? He wrote stories and fairy tales 200 years ago. A few of these stories are: The Little Mermaid, The Little Matchbox Girl, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Princes and the Pea. Besides writing stories starting with the word the, he also wrote Thumbelina. (Maybe he had a thing for the letter T.)
So how do I know it’s Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday? Google told me so. I think Google’s Daily Logo sets what was once an obscure reference, and makes it the top five most searched term of the day. Take for example, Topeka, Kansas. Topeka, Kansas changed their name for a few days to Google, Kansas as a publicity stunt. It worked. Then Google took notice and changed their name to Topeka on their home page for the day.
I wonder whose job it is to change Google’s Daily Logo from day to day? They probably have some title like “Creative Director of Google’s Daily Logo.” Actually, Google would probably come up with a much cooler name than that. The guy would probably have some crazy Google acronym like G.O.O.G.L.E.—Gee, Optimizing and, Organizing, Gets, Lots of Earnings.
Google’s motto is, “Do no evil,” which is why they felt as a company they had to pull out of China because of censorship issues. That move cost them billions of dollars and sent stock prices tumbling.
Google is so big it’s become a verb—“Just Google it.”
But the coolest thing Google ever did for me was indexing this site. Believe it or not, it’s not as easy as you think. And after two or three months of writing consistently, I felt a small sense of accomplishment when you, the searcher, could type my full name in, without the .com and without having to type it in directly to the browser and have the site pop-up as #1 on the first page.
So here’s to you Google and Hans Christian Andersen, if I get 1% as big as either one of you, maybe some year on August 27, my name, Douglas Thomas Wallace, will be a Google logo of the day.
I remember the first time I watched Scarface. I was six years old and I went to watch it at the theater with my dad and my little sister. My sister, who was four years old, kept leaning over and saying, “Doug, they said the F-word.” Then every twenty seconds she would say, “Doug, they said the F-word again.”
About ten minutes into the movie I leaned over and said, “Dad. I don’t think we’re supposed to be watching this movie.”
He looked over at me and my little sister and said, “Ok, let’s go.”
Well this week a kid’s version of the movie was done and here it is for your viewing pleasure.