There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

la tĂȘte de fontaine

I will read most any book. If I start it, I tend to commit myself to finishing it, no matter how painful it is do so, always holding out hope that somewhere along the way it will change and treat me better. "I don't understand," I'll say, "she treats everyone else so nicely…everyone just talks about how great she is. Why must she shit on my eyeballs and make sacrifice of my rapidly disappearing brain cells to her objectivist god. Is there an objectivist god? Should I have capitalized 'god'?" What I just gave you, is a pathetic rendition of the abusive relationship I had with The Fountainhead. On a whim I decided to check it out of the library since it tends to be one of the more talked about books (some words good, some words bad), right up there with The Da Vinci Code, another book probably worth avoiding. I can't remember if my general rule is to judge things without any knowledge of them, or to judge things with full knowledge of them. Whatever the case, I feel the need to say my piece on The Fountainhead.

My first clue that I should not even have started was the author's introduction. If I've ever seen or read a person more sure of not just themself, but also the impact they have had, I can't think of it. Still, I disregarded this, separate the man from the music type of thing, art from the artist if you will. I mean, I still like Barry Bonds. I have no idea why. I loved him from my youth. I still have a poster of him hitting a home run in game six of the 1992 NLCS. It was Barry's first post-season homerun and one of his few hits in that series (this was before we had all that wild card crap) as he batted somewhat generously below the Mendoza line if my memory serves me correctly. The Braves, essentially the 1990's Bills of Baseball, went on to win the series, though, when Bonds' throw was a little too slow to beat Sid Bream. That's back when Barry could move more than his biceps. I still love him. As far as I am concerned he's Clean and Clear and under control. Slightly back on target then, despite a rather inauspicious preface, I still decided to read the book.

My next warning should have been the first page rule. This can even be abridged to first paragraph or first sentence rule. The idea is simply that a book, article, whatever the Hell, should capture your interest within that first sentence, paragraph, or page. Does my own writing comply to this rule? Probably not, but I also have never written nor published anything of alleged note. That said, I kept reading. Maybe I expected it to improve? Wrong. The characters are one-dimensional and unrealistic and the plotline predictable. I realize Rand has a philosophy. Good for her. She wrote some other books, that maybe espouse the same thing. She certainly wrote some non-fictional treatises. Further congratulations. But I can't be mad at Rand. I didn't ever have to keep reading. But I did, and I think if the book had been maybe seven-hundred pages shorter (give or take) I might have enjoyed it a little more. If Ayn Rand were still alive I would tell her that The Fountainhead was mostly a steaming pile of feces. Then, since this is hypothetical, she would respond with something like, "was, or is?" Maybe "is" should be in italics. And I would tell her that I used the past tense because the steam has mostly risen and it's more of a fossilized feces these days, which I would admit I did mostly for alliterative purposes. Maybe she would call me a second-hander and tell me that even if I thought my opinions were created in my own mind, they hadn't been, and that I was not a creationist, and just another of those that tears down the selfish creationist. And then I would tell Rand [McNally] that it is awfully coincidental to have a book titled Atlas Shrugged and she might ask me what the Hell I was talking about except if she's anything like the characters in her book she had already predicted and foreseen (don't tell me that is redundant) all that I would do and say and so nothing actually needs to be said, which is my argument for why her book did not need to be written. QED.

And in the meantime I have been trying to log in to my insurance's online navigation system for which I had forgotten both my user id and password. The user id was no problem, but the password asked me to provide an answer to a security question about my favorite food. My first effort was soundly rejected, prompting me to try another plausible response. When that was rejected, I attempted a third response only to be rejected worse than I was by Dartmouth College. That's okay, I wouldn't have wanted to go there anyway, but I did want to see if my insurance was actually paying for any of my nine thousand doctors' visits. So now I'm sitting here, not only unable to log in to my insurance navigator, but having serious doubts about what my favorite food is. "I've changed," I'm telling myself. "I don't even know me anymore."

And that's all for now while I try to figure out if I actually exist.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

tap foot for bj

My devoted readers have been asking me why I haven't been writing more. The rumors that I've already run out of material are not true. The truth is, and we deal only with truth here at Awkward Backhair, that my computer decided to self destruct last Thursday or so. I remember getting home Wednesday, I think, fiddling briefly with a few things and then leaving my computer running, downloading, I think, the soundtrack to the original Transformers movie. I chose to do so mostly so that I could get that sweet song "The Touch" . Big mistake.

Looking back, my computer had been making some pretty angry noises for about a month before it decided to literally explode around Thursday at noon. I awoke to a bit of a frozen screen and figured a good old force quit should do the trick, but lo and behold, no dice. Given that, I went straight for the forcible reboot and headed out to see a doctor, something I like to do, on average, about once a week. When I got home, there it was, the Apple logo staring at me with a bizarre handprint surrounding it, like knuckles burned into the screen and, below it, a twirling grey meter that was not the cool color wheel I'm so fond of seeing whenever shit starts running slow and you get really pissed and access the force quit menu to see that, big fucking surprise, said application is "not responding." And that's when it happened, the bastard exploded. By that I mean I wish it had. Instead there has been a slower, more painful torture (which I was about to spell torcher) process whereby I tried to boot from the system disk to find my hard drive represented by a hard drive with a question mark above it. It reminded me of those "Got Milk?" ads, only instead of being a pretty sweet campaign promoting a beverage I love, it was a bit of punctuation telling me that my hard drive was probably fucked, period, incidentally another bit of punctuation. The next time I booted it, just moments ago actually, I got this sweet square with a mock three-dimensional representation of a globe representing North and South American. Oh, and it flashes.

I tried to think what I'm going to really miss on my computer since I think it's better to assume it's lost and experience great joy should it be saved. Right then, it boils down to about this: 1)e-mails: thousands. I send and receive a pretty good amount of e-mail, as do most of you out there. Sometimes it happens to be those really useful stock tips or awesome deals on prescription drugs or, when I'm really lucky, offers to get flipping wads of cash from Africa or a bride from Russia. Those are the e-mails I keep you know, the valuable ones. All the ones from family and friends I trash anyway, or at least I would if those people sent me e-mails, but we're speaking hypothetically here anyway since there is not a one-hundred percent guarantee that my computer is in the shitter yet; 2) some stuff I wrote: I've got some crappy stuff compiled that I like to read periodically just to remind myself what a dumbshit I am. If those works are lost, I'll have to rely on family and friends to tell me that; 3) photos: some people call them pictures. Who cares? Actually, I do, not about the distinction between a picture and a photograph, but about the five-hundred or more [insert choice between pics and photos] that I have from my time in Hawaii. On the bright side, without them it will be easier to forget how beautiful it was there and I will be less likely to want to go back.

Without my computer I decided I needed to go to Buffalo. Inevitably this meant returning home and, because it's a long car ride and I am me, it also meant at least one ride on the community poop train. Do not pass go. Do not collect two-hundred dollars. Tap foot for bj. As I sat there, wondering as usual why I had pooped clear jelly, comfortable on one of those disposable toilet seat covers that have the perforated middle that will hang in the water so that it's sucked in when flushing, those were the words staring me in the face. There was a moment of indecision. I heard a guy in the stall next to me. Do I tap my foot? Which foot? Paralyzed by my options, I started thinking about all the other times I had seen this scrawled in bathroom stalls. Not only could I not bring to mind their locations, I couldn't remember if I had ever tapped my foot. Just then a busload of Japanese tourists emptied into the restroom. Frantically I looked around for a similar instruction from the bj guru on initiating a lemon party. The next thing I knew I was standing in front of a sink, lamenting the warmth of the water, having missed out on opportunities for both a blumpkin and a lemon party.

But travel and the imminent loss of all of my [in]valuable computer data has made me sleepy. Tomorrow, if I find a computer to use, maybe we'll talk restaurant ideas and New York City milieus. I always thought Macs were sort of invincible. Newsflash: totally vincible.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Once, twice, three times a turdburglar

After being informed yesterday by google that was taken, I decided I needed to check out the site myself to see if, perhaps, it had yielded to a more worthy cause. Frankly any cause would probably be more worthy than my own. When it turned out to be simply this I admit I was pretty disappointed. A "maiden voyage" in April of 2005, with no subsequent postings. At first I wanted to be angry, but then I realized the sheer genius of the man who refers to himself simply as "Conor:" he had captured the true essence of the proverbial turdburglar better than I could ever dream to by infuriating folks like myself who longed to have that web domain. Bravo "Conor," and a special thank you if you happen to be Conor Oberst as I've been alternatingly loving and hating your musical contributions for years. Also, I've been thinking that turd-burglar should be hyphenated and I probably would have avoided this entry all together if I had hyphenated it in the first place. One last homage to the turd burglar (no hyphen) and I promise I'm through.

It seems like just yesterday I was talking about Megan Fox and that's because it was. Before I enter into a monstrous aside that might not prove to be all that large I've got to say that Transformers was a sweet movie. I can pretty much enjoy most movies…hell I was even kind of enjoying Aquamarine on TV last week and it's got stupid JoJo and that girl from one of those NBC shows that's on Sunday mornings at around noon and is labeled as educational and informative (E/I) and I think her characters name is Darcy. That show totally sucks and in five seconds I could find out what it is by the grace of the internet but I don't even want to spend my five seconds doing that. The reason I know about this show? I grew up without cable television and when I would wake up or come back from a run at around noon on a Sunday and was fiending for some breakfast cereal and television, my choices of the latter were severely limited (while my choices of the former were splendid and varied, thanks Mom). When I conjured up JoJo's Wikipedia entry I noted that she was born in Brattleboro, VT where I lived for about a year. I'll bet she was born in McNeill's, a pretty sweet local brewery, even if their beer did put spines in my turds - that's my only gripe with the place, especially after successfully achieving the ring toss. I'd be reluctant to associate JoJo with my favorite establishment in Brattleboro, but that honor is reserved for Price Chopper. Also, it's not like I have any reason to actually dislike JoJo since I can't name one of her songs off the top of my head, rare for me in the female pop arena, and anyway that's quite enough.

So Transformers, now that we've established I am not necessarily a harsh critic, was pretty well done. I thoroughly enjoyed the cartoon during my childhood and even read the comic book at times. I still own some of the toys. What I'm getting at is, this film could easily have botched one of my beloved childhood, um, things, in much the way the relatively recent Garfield film did. Now that movie was atrocious. Bill Murray, one of my favorite actors, really shit the bed on that one. Actually I'd begun to find the Garfield cartoon pretty annoying before the film, but I still had the fond memories of both the Garfield and Friends show and my dad reading that shit to me with voices as a wee lad of nineteen. Damn you Bill…But finally, Transformers. This review is late now, but as I said, good movie. The special effects were spectacular, Shia Labeouf (undoubtedly French for "the beef") came through with actual acting just as he does in his other films (including that shitty one with Robert Downey Junior based on some guys autobiography and featuring that woman I hate that's in Men in Black Two and Sin City and her name escapes me and I'm too lazy, again, to look it up), Josh Duhamel was handsome as usual, and Megan Fox, as stated priorly, was a total babe. They even worked in some corny jokes that weren't even all that corny at times. I give it one out of four stars not in bold, so three stars by the conventional four star rating system.

On to more important things, if you, like me, immediately googled Megan Fox when you got back from the theater at three-fifteen in the morning, you would have discovered the horrible truth that she is, and has been for some time, dating Brian Austin Green. I should have just said "David" from Beverly Hills 90210 since I don't think he has been in any other damn thing since then. Much the same can be said for most of the cast, sans Shannon Doherty, although I did note Jenny Garth alongside Amanda Bynes in What I Like About You which doesn't have shit on What a Girl Wants when it comes to productions starring Amanda Bynes and containing "what" in their titles. Seriously now, though, Brian Austin Green? He's thirty-two and she's twenty-one, which really isn't all that bad when you consider Catherine Zeta Jones and Old Balls' marriage, but Old Balls is pretty tight. These people are so shitty you may note I haven't even linked them, but that's actually just out of laziness.

Well I think that's more than enough as I can claim we came full circle with 90210, Ian Ziering (even though I didn't mention him), and Shannon Doherty who's in Mallrats. It's time for a few drinks. I suggest you do the same.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

It has to start some place, it has to start some time…

Since this is my inaugural entry for Awkward Backhair I feel compelled to give a brief introduction and go through the frequently asked questions. The first thing everyone has been asking me is, "Why Awkward Backhair?" I've been asking myself the same thing since I began to notice the bizarre pubic creatures creeping over my shoulders beginning my sophomore year of college…As for the url being, that primarily has to do with "" being taken. I've got a few other sweet urls in mind, but I hesitate to post them here lest I plan to change my own or create others in the future, both rather dubious possibilities.

Next question: "What prompted you to start a blog?" - Tim, Wisconsin.

Well, Tim, I'm glad you asked because it isn't quite covered in my description as well as I might like. The real impetus was being trapped in a New York apartment with a small television that played only the Food Network. I use terms like "trapped," and "only" loosely here, but I'd rather not get into semantics just yet. As it was, I happened to catch Food Network celebrity Rachael Ray for the first time. I was immediately repulsed as I would expect most people are. Her physical appearance, voice, and mannerisms immediately inspired some form of hatred in me. Hate is a strong term, so I'm toning it down to dislike or disagreeance, but the fact remains that she somehow immediately inspired ire in my oft mild-mannered person. Perhaps it was my pent-up rage at the inadequacies of my own life. Perhaps it was my jealousy over not having a Food Network program (let alone the several Ray seems to have) of my own. Either way I credit her as the catalyst for my current blogging and I mean catalyst because, at the end of the day, Rachael Ray doesn't (although she should) give a shit what I have to say.

Question Three: "I thought you said you were done blogging just recently. Do you consider yourself a hypocrite?" - Katie S., Iowa.

Mostly I'm just glad someone from Iowa cares. Yes, it's true, I did recently proclaim just that. However, I never used the term "blogging" nor considered myself a "blogger." Didn't I already mention semantics? At this point, though, it seems as if I can't avoid the label of "blogger." As for the hypocrite label, I recall running fifteen miles in Iowa once, almost two years ago. I was running through cornfields at around sunrise and kept singing that Animals song "House of the Rising Sun" and I felt great and ate some waffles at the Holiday Inn or wherever I was staying and was feeling even more tip-top until I totally tore some muscle in my leg less than a week later so fuck you Iowa.

Question Four: "You're almost done with your first entry and you haven't really made too many derogatory remarks about Rachael Ray yet…what gives?" - Me, moments ago.

Well, the thing is, I had my blog all set up as and titled it "Food Networst: Putting the Kibosh on Rahael Ray" when I realized I should google "rachael ray sucks." Immediately I stumbled upon this hate community as well as a host of others and realized my services weren't really needed. I still might mention her sometimes, but it won't be the focus of the blog. I was sorry to have put my good puns to waste, but I felt it was in the blog's best interest to change the title. That said, I hope not to mislead those who google search "iced grundle" but I can't think of why anyone would google that, except if perhaps they were looking for remedies for the awful grundle cramp or, more frighteningly, a crotch-based pastry. But I'm getting ahead of myself here as I will cover scintillating topics like that in future posts.

Question Five: "I thought you were going to name this blog 'Megan Fox' to increase your chances of actually having readers?" - Stacey D., Rhode Island.

Wow, just the other day I was saying how I had forgotten all about Rhode Island being a state. I think I might be more excited that people from Rhode Island are reading than for some of the multinational readers I had on my old blog (technically a diary) who hailed from Italy, Germany, Argentina, Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden (sources tell me it was Roger Federer, even though he is Swiss and, incidentally, if you've made it here as well Roger, congratulations, though I admit I was rooting for Nadal and Safin remains my favorite player), South Africa, and even Bahrain. All of those folks probably stumbled on my site searching for Celine Dion news and photos as it was. I mention this because it is precisely the reason I did not name my blog "Megan Fox," after the retardedly hot actress currently starring in Michael Bay's Transformers. I decided I no longer wanted to increase my readership through cheap tricks and showmanship, with heavy emphasis on the former. Finally, I wonder if reader Stacey D. is in fact Stacey Dash, one of my favorite babes growing up who portrayed Dee in both "Clueless" the film and TV series. Stacey played a teenager in her thirties way better (and sexier) than Ian Ziering. Now if only I could get Donald Faison to start reading…

I've decided that, much like my friend Gill in Mallrats I won't be fielding any more questions. See you in the freezer section at your local grocer.
Thanks for stopping by…you stay classy Planet Earth.