If I was a psychiatrist…

I saw this photo on the Huffington Post the other day…

And all I could think to myself was, “I need to be a psychiatrist because this is the couch I would ask my patients to lay on and tell me their problems.”

Can you imagine someone going into their history with drugs while an awkward tiger face stares off into the distance next to them? I would love to get tiger-phobics in my office too. How great would that be?

My next thought to myself was, “You are a cruel human being, sir. Absolutely cruel.”

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Of Defecation and Disappointment…

So I saw this in the elevator of my building today…

It has inspired me to write a mystery novel for young adults: “Nancy Drew & the Case of the Disappointing, Wrong, & Unsanitary Dog Squeeze.”

What do you think? I am pretty sure Hyperion Press will pick it up for the Christmas season.

 

Musical Sandwiches

I got a sandwich at Subway today, and when I walked in they were playing that song from “Silence of the Lambs” where Buffalo Bill dresses up in lady clothes and hides his weiner.

All I could think was:

One doesn’t really want to associate this tune with lunch time….or huge signs that say “Five Dollar Footlong.” 

It was a little disconcerting.  I am sure if I was going to see Dr. Lecter, he’d probably console me with shit like:

“Have the tuna fish sandwiches stopped screaming, Clarice?”

Frustration is the Mother of (Improper) Invention

Being in Seattle traffic is one of many situations which can instantly put me in a sour mood. People drive way too slow, fail to use signals, and basically change lanes at will even if there is no second lane to change into. I realize people always say the drivers in their city suck, but here they really do. The only nice bone I can throw them is that they usually let you in if you use your signal (when merging). Other than that, they are oblivious to the world around them and drive like their windshield is a cloudy fishbowl.

Today, I had the benefit of witnessing some moron attempt a three-point turn in a major intersection during rush hour traffic. It was like watching a village idiot perform on a unicycle. Rather than take the logical route of completing his normal turn through the intersection and correcting his mistake by turning off somewhere down that road and coming back, he decide it was in everyone’s best interests for him to stop mid-intersection and completely change course. This wasted the green light for everyone behind him (including myself) and totally mangled the scene for people trying to go around him.

The tectonic plates of frustration were moving in my head and I felt it was my duty to call this asshole out right in public. Throughout the entire process of rolling down my window, my heart (right now a bloody beast of hatred if ever there was one) and my mind (a steely diplomat of proportional reasoning) began negotiating the slur I would use. The Beastly Heart dug through the den of vocabulary and decided that “Dumb fuck!!” was apropos for this vehicular douchebaggery. The insult was heavy-handed and had a metal club-like quality with its guttural vowel-consonant combo. The Diplomatic Brain (also incensed but to a lesser degree) thought the infraction wasn’t deserving of such harsh language and instead offered, “Jack ass!!” These two went at it for several seconds before the window was completely rolled down and I yelled:

“You goddam JACK FUCK!”

My tongue decided there would be a compromise and unfortunately, the idiocy of this exclamation resonated through the intersection. Pedestrians waiting for a hero to convey the appropriate commentary for such a stupid traffic maneuver never saw the arrival of their knight in shining, verbal armor. Rather, they got an inexperienced squire who was ill-prepared for battle. Their faces were puzzled at my choice of words. Some of them laughed at me. Others look disgusted with their faces transmitting thoughts like, “You have a golden opportunity to spank this dumb fuck, and that’s all you got?”

I sheepishly tucked my head back in my window. Inadvertently, I had made myself look dumber than this fool – an act I thought impossible.

Pepper Grenade (In My Mouth)

Had a salad for lunch today
“Delicious, it was” as Yoda would say
Full of green lettuce and yummy Caesar dressing
I may be agnostic but this salad was a blessing

But that was until the lunch hour passed
And I was back at my desk and feeling harassed
By the shrapnel of greens caught in my teeth
Enough in there to make my own Christmas wreath

As I cleaned my fangs with my trusty tongue
Something came loose, from a crevice it flung
Harmless and small I decided to bite
But, to my horror, something wasn’t quite right

You see, it was a particle of black pepper and if you’ve done this you know
This speck is a grenade with a most violent show
And now my palate feels like Full Metal Jacket (or a theater of pain)
This small piece of seasoning is the reason I’m insane

<dramatic bow>

The Secret Life of Vaginas

Apparently vaginas can puke out rapists’ sperm and only some forms of rape are “legitimate” or “forcible”. I had no idea. I wonder if I can use my garbage disposal to sharpen my knives? Join us for the answer to this question and many more in next week’s edition of “Life in the GOP Universe.”

Source: U.S. Rep. Akin (R-MO) ignites firestorm over rape comments…

No man is an island…a peninsula perhaps, but not an island.

This weekend I was reminded of how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

First, the set up: I’m a bit of a sarcastic, melancholy chap. I don’t take kindly to very many people and I think my personality sometimes resembles the more unpleasant attributes of a cactus. I am often physically tired, and as such, my temper has all the fury of a hornets’ nest struck by a wandering baseball. I am particular about who I let in to my life and I am not quick to trust. These details form the outline of a person who sometimes isolates himself in order to avoid disappointment, and let’s face it, the human race often excels in this area.

However, there are those moments – though they may be few – where your hope in people is restored. Like finding a wedding ring you are certain was lost down a drain, the feeling of gratitude you experience is both powerful and reconstructive.

This past weekend, I was coming off of an exhausting work week. I was a little depressed about being single (par for the course), and when I attempted to cook some corn bread for a fundraiser. It went badly. The result? Yellow cinder blocks. Instead of following my first reaction: “I am a failure. I quit.” I pressed myself out of that groove and into another: What is the immediate problem at hand? Cooking. Let’s break it down logically:

Do you cook/bake much?

No.

Well then, maybe you’re just inexperienced, which is different from just being a huge failure. Maybe you just need help.

So I phoned a friend who is an excellent cook, went to his house, and together we whipped up some deliciously moist corn bread. Actually, he did most the work. The exercise in asking for help was probably the hardest part of the entire process for me. However, I was also fortunate enough to have this cooking lesson turn into a wonderful evening of passion-fruit vodka martinis, a fantastic chicken dinner, and a thought-provoking political discourse with my friend’s husband. Although I did not fully understand immediately…getting out of my home, spending time with a good friend, interacting with people, and learning something new (how to bake corn bread properly)…left me on a great high note by the end of the weekend.

Now, I know this isn’t a story about someone donating a kidney to me, and people might say, “So you can’t cook corn bread. Big deal. Having your friend help you restores your faith in people?” but I often look for the simple obstacles and their solutions to solve larger ones. Bill Clinton taught me that. He once said that resolving the most complex issue starts with understanding the smallest part of it. I think he said it in that documentary about crossword puzzles. Anyway, it made a lot of sense and it stuck with me.

I think when people are depressed or feel like giving up on endeavors and get lost in that cloud of self-doubt, over-analysis and worry, they forget the first asset available to them: You are connected, by some means, to other people. I truly believe that whatever your tests in this life are…whether it is to become more patient, how to trust your instincts better, or pushing yourself to be more creative…you will not be doing it alone. Even if it feels like a solo flight, 9 times out of 10 it’s not. Collaboration is key. Find a harmonic that strengthens you.

If you don’t have awesome friends, get out there and make some. Keep digging through that pile of trash we call humanity until you find the diamonds. They ARE out there, and they’re worth trudging through the nasty smell to find.

If you have some already, get off your ass and call them. You might not realize it, but you probably have an army of optimism available to you 24/7 on speed-dial. Use it.

The Pressing Question on Everyone’s Mind?

So I was reading this gruesome story last night about an LGTB activist who shot someone at the Family Research Council. Take a gander at this and let me know if you think this section ends a bit odd…

Conservative, Gay Rights Groups Spar Over Shooting

As authorities revealed details about the Family Research Council shooting, the head of the influential conservative organization blamed the attack on “reckless rhetoric,” but then delivered his own politically-charged remark, saying critics gave the accused gunman “a license to shoot an unarmed man.”

Tony Perkins’ comments Thursday fanned already-inflamed statements from both sides, tapped into deep divisions over abortion and gay marriage, and drew more finger-pointing.

Meanwhile, the accused shooter, Floyd Lee Corkins II, was ordered held without bond on accusations he opened fire a day earlier inside the lobby of the council’s headquarters. Corkins, whose parents said he strongly supported gay rights, had a backpack full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and a box of ammunition when he said words to the effect of “I don’t like your politics” and shot a security guard, authorities said.

The guard was shot in the left arm but nonetheless managed to help take down the gunman, preventing what the police said could have been a deadly attack.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Corkins, 28, had the chicken sandwiches.

 

Of course. The pressing question on everyone’s mind: Why the chicken sandwiches? After all, why shoot somebody when you have a delicious blend of herbs and spices in your backpack? The horror.

When the carpet doesn’t match the drapes…

So last night, I open my Chrome browser and navigate to the Google News page. This is the image/headline I am greeted with:

Can you believe this shit?

Immediately, I assume the lottery winner is some poor woman who has apparently been involved in a domestic dispute. And then I start thinking, “Jeez, maybe you should’ve waited to claim your prize when you had access to some foundation and some blush? And even so, why doesn’t she look happy? Even with a shiner, I’d be wearing a shit-eating grin that says ‘Guess what sombitch is gon’ regret punchin’ me in the face?'”

Well, it turns out the headline and the photo aren’t related at all (no surprise). I imagine Google just has some random photo swapping algorithm which cycles different photos on the news home page. I encountered a similar situation a few months back when dictator Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed in Libya and the whole thing was caught on tape. Before the online video began, a message came up at the bottom of the window that said:

Your video: “Gaddafi Lynched by Mob” will resume in 20 seconds after this advertisement…

And then they played a commercial for Carpet Fresh.

Because, you know, there is nothing I associate with vigilante justice more than covering up the odor of cat dander.

“You really can’t pay someone to take an interest…”

One would think that writing and editing go hand in hand. No, they do not.

My regular full-time job is editing medical text (and I do a little on the side as well). I’m not really sure that I am very good at it, which is strange to me because I actually enjoy writing so much. Aren’t they supposed to be siblings? Well, over the years I have learned that “writing” is like being the basketball player, but “editing” is like being the referee. Same game, much different roles. And if you were born to be a player, you may not have the patience to watch the side lines and call the fouls.

One of my most favorite comedians, Paula Poundstone once said, “You really can’t pay someone to take an interest,” and I think she’s right. She was talking about how her psychiatrist doesn’t seem to listen to her at a therapy session, but rather seems to be doing a crossword puzzle (despite being paid by the hour). Well, this is how I feel. I am paid to perform a function that really isn’t in my area of interest. I’m expected to be the grammar police when I really should be robbing the vault for good adjectives. I must be the water in the fountain, not the boring cement holding its shape.

On the plus side, my favorite thing about my job is all the unintended humor I encounter. Today, I proof-read a sentence that said:

“The doctor may inspect your rectum (also known as the back passage).”

WTF? In what shady bar is that terminology used? It sounds like a secret trade route that Christopher Columbus would’ve used to find spices in India.