June 24, 2009

New Collected Posts


1) Today I'm well. Yesterday, I awoke with a throbbing headache and a cough. Headache I attributed to the bit of beer I had the night before (caught some of the Cardinals on TV at the local BWs). But the cough, that didn't make sense. The headache wouldn't go away until 9:00 at night, and since I woke up with it around 6:30 am, it was a helluva migraine. Over the course of the day, I gained a fever and weak limbs and some spots of nausea, but nothing too gross or bad. However, I was still mentally nimble so it's not like I was ravaged by illness. Though I'm at a loss as to where I got it from, and why it only lasted one day because it typically takes a lot to make me sick so one-day bugs don't get me down, though it might have been from the BWs. See the kind, but slow, waitress at BWs informed us that they now had New Belgium beers there, you know, Fat Tire. And since I like Fat Tire, I assumed I would close the evening with one, thinking they had it on tap. Nope. She comes back with a glass and one of those big bottles, something I could have gotten at the liquor store next door to the BWs for about $2.00 less. The beer smelled sour though and tasted watered down (which doesn't make any sense). So, maybe it was a dirty glass (I had two others, which were fine, though they did put a lemon in my Spotted Cow, which was strange), something in the sour/bad beer, or, you know, something else all together. I don't know. All I know is that I'm feeling fine today, ready for work. Oh, the glory of getting ill on your days off...suck.

2.) The hearing test was a strange kind of thing. First, they don't make it particularly easy to get to the joint where they have the communication disorders building. It's tucked away out by the band practice field on the UW campus in what looks like former dorms. Second, the doctor in charge mumbled a lot when he spoke, which I thought was kind of funny for someone in charge at the speech disability place, but he had a grad student with perfect diction do my hearing test. At the hearing test, they put you in a soundproof booth with a chair. There were also toys in the room, including two mechanical monkeys awith drums inside these glass cases that were labeled something like "Visual stimulation for younger people." I guess when they test the hearing of little ones, when they get something right they let the monkey bang on the drums for a little while as a reward. The booth smelled both dusty and stale because with it being a soundproof booth, it doesn't get a lot of air. Anyway, they clamp on these head phones, tell you you're gonna hear some tones in your right ear then your left ear and to raise your hand when you hear the tones. What's frustrating about it is that you have to time your breaths between the tones because your own breathing is so loud in your head, you can't hear the quiet tones, so half the trick was to find a rhythm in the tones so you could breathe. After the tones, they make you repeat these words you hear, one ear at a time again. It's this man-voiced robot saying, "You will say: Ham" and then you say, "Ham." They do 50 in each ear. Yeah, 50. It takes a long time and I lost focus for a bit, laughing at words to myself like Ham, and thinking what if I just starting saying strange words that wasn't even close like the robot says "You will say: Toe" and I say "Astronaut" what would happen? And once they said, "You will say: What" and I could only think of Lil Jon belting out, "WHAT?!?! Okay!" I sort of wish they would have shown me the monkey drums. But I passed, hooray. So I'm qualified to do a different sort of relay now involving people with speech disabilities. It pays marginally more, so that's cool, but that's about the extent of the coolness.

3.) I was at the east side Shopko yesterday, probably one of the more disgusting bathrooms in Madison. We were out that way because I have to take another written test for a potential different job. To call the testing location "way the fuck out of my way" sort of understates it. I hope the job location isn't nearby...and the employee parking lot has a locking fence around it, so I wonder what that's all about. Anyway, that ShopKo bathroom, one, the urinal is right next to the sink and there was no wall, so I could wash my hands and look in the mirror while peeing. That is no good, so I went to the stall, and while it was not poorly designed it was disgusting. I think the guy in there before me must have pulled out a handful of pubes after pissed all over the seat, like dusting a cake with powdered sugar. And naturally the toilet was not flushed as well, which wasn't that bad considering there was nothing offensive floating in it, probably because the toilet seat was bedazzled with piss and pubic hair and that certainly is an effective deterrent to deuce dropping. I don't have much else to say about it except I don't understand how guys can be so gross in public bathrooms. Really, assholery in general is something I don't understand. The other day, I ran into the grocery store to get Emily some flowers because, well, that's what I do from time to time (it wasn't our anniversary, it was just because flowers), and when I came out a person had parked next to me was actually in my parking spot with my car. A full tire into my spot. I was still able to get into the car, but that's bullshit. I withstood a lot of shit parking jobs in Mankato, but I never had someone actually pull partially into the same goddamn spot as my car before. And the night before, some asshole did about the same fucking thing to Emily and me and the grocery story, but he dinged our car with his door, though we couldn't see it until the morning (Emily and I grocery shop at night). Just, what the fuck Madison?

4.) Speaking of that, I think I saw three potential shoplifters maybe escape from a Kohl's on the West Side. We went there for Emily to get a skirt or two and me a new, smaller belt. There were two police cars parked out front. One of us said, "Oh, somebody got caught shoplifting at the Kohl's." As we were walking toward the store, this one black woman walked out kind of quickly. She turned around and hollered "Come on!" and two other black women followed after running, sort of. They had on flip flops, so it was more like a fast shuffle. Oh, and one of them was real fat, had on a tank top that didn't go all the way over the belly and wore way too-short shorts (BTW, when did the fat and pregnant decide it was okay to have their guts poking out from their shirts? That shit looks awful. Cover it up.). I remember the fat one was laughing the whole time she was shuffling. They all three piled into a beat up dark red/brown boxy Chevy Caprice style car from the 80s and booked it out of there. A bit after that, when me and Emily were walking through the doors at Kohl's, one of the police officers ran by out the door to his squad car. I don't know if he caught up with them or what happened next. Part of me was thinking, dammit, I should have looked at the license plate of that car and told someone. I could have helped solved a crime, been a community member that stood up, and so on. But that immediately bugged me because at the time, all I saw were three black women hustling out of a store with police cars in front...what's wrong with me where I would assume that I should have gotten that license plate...why did I think they were the ones the police was there for...because they were black?... That wasn't right of me at all and it's that my Granite City upraising coming out? Don't I know better? What's wrong with me? But at the same time, if it was three trashy looking white girls bustling out of a Kohl's, piling into that model and condition of car, with a cop trailing behind them, I would have assumed they were thieves as well and felt guilty about not getting the license plate down...I just wouldn't have such weirdness attached to the guilt.

5.) I'm kind of afraid of where I live now. In Madison, there have been 22 shootings so far this year. Not only shooting deaths, just street gunfire. Some with deaths, sure, but some with woundings, some with just bullets in buildings. And of those 22, most of them have happened around where I live. Like there was that one murder I talked about before in my complex. There was a driveby a few blocks from here in the middle of the day a couple weeks ago and another with a guy shooting a car about 4 blocks or so from here. And then on the radio, I hear the alderman from this district complaining about how the mayor won't listen to her about her concerns, and was actually teased for her Vietnamese accent on the alderperson floor, or whatever the hell it's called where alderman get together like congressmen. The alderlady went on about how unsafe the area really is, and the host of the show chimed in that Madison is becoming a some kind of landing spot for violent Chicago offenders because of lax housing laws allow them to move in without much issue, and it's becoming no better than Rockford or Milwaukee and "Rockford sucks," according to the radio host. The radio program said the police chief is saying a lot of the shootings are gang related, which makes me think, "Wisconsin gangs? Really?" Nothing worse than thugs with something to prove about their thugishness. And they also talked about how the area strip mall is having trouble getting tenants due to the conditions, and that's pretty close to here, and that the Walgreens there isn't that safe of a joint to be at because of all the hoodlums that hang out in front harassing people. Also I guess other crime in this area is spiking as well, according to that radio show. I can take a little comfort in that it was probably a right wing radio show, so making me a little scared is what it's supposed to do, but, you know, it's not like they're wrong. The news has reported all this stuff as well, except the bits about the alderman, but the shootings get play. To say the least, my simple suburban midwestern attitude is certainly shaken, especially since when you drive around here in the day, you wouldn't think it was bad enough to make you worried and actually looks like a nicer neighborhood than where I grew up, so it's not the easiest puzzle pieces to snap together in my head. And it makes me rethink wanting to move to a larger city because I couldn't handle the constant worry, especially with kid(s) in the future eventaully, so I would have to live in the suburbs, hopefully a nice one. No matter the situation, Emily and I are living here for her last year of school, so let's just hope the neighborhood doesn't go completely in the pissed-on, pube-covered toilet in that time frame.

6.) You know how pooping is called Number Two? Well, why haven't terms for throwing a curveball, typically signified by a cather with the number 2, been conflated with pooping? There's a lot of potential there. Yacker and Uncle Charlie are ones that I think would work pretty well. Like, "Whew, that Uncle Charlie was pointy."

viva el mustache

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