Daily 15: Better Than Sex Cake

Enter: Linda, Jacob, Carlos, Berenice, and Lola.

Carlos: I’m sorry I didn’t get to your red velvet cupcakes.

Linda: Oh, don’t worry about it.

Carlos: Believe me, I wanted to.  I was kind of hoping that the birthday cake would be something boring like just chocolate so I could be like “No thanks, I’m grabbing a cupcake!”

Linda: Yeah, but then you saw it.

Lola: Oh my God, that really was amazing!

Berenice: Yeah, but so rich!  I’m really full right now.

Linda: Have any of you ever tried Better Than Sex Cake?

Lola: Oh yes!

Carlos: No.  What is it?

Linda: OK, it’s chocolate cake mix, and you bake it with chocolate pudding so it’s extra moist.  Then you pull it out and you poke little holes in the cake.  Then you take a Heath Bar and crush it into little pieces and fill the holes with them.

Berenice: (laughs) Linda, the way you’re describing it with you hand motions, if I was just watching you and not listening I’d totally think you’d be describing some sex act!

Jacob: I know!  You’re going like this when you’re “poking holes” in the cake!

Linda: (laughs) Oh my, I’m sorry, but I just really get excited when I talk about this cake!

Berenice: Clearly!

Linda: OK, so then you cover the whole top of the cake in caramel sauce.  Yeah.  Then you cover all of that with whipped cream after it all cools.  Then you take more Heath Bar, crush it into even small pieces and sprinkle it all over the top.

Berenice: Wow.

Carlos: So, is it?

Linda: Is it . . . better than sex?  No.  It’s not quite that good.

Jacob: I suppose it wouldn’t be as appealing if it was called “Almost As Good As Sex” Cake.

Carlos: Or “Not As Good As Sex, But Still Pretty Good” Cake.

Linda: When I serve it to my kids, I call it Abstinence Cake.

Berenice: Do they even know what that means?

Linda: (laughs) I’m not sure!

Carlos: Here’s an idea.  You make a really, really terrible cake, like just God-awful disgusting cake, serve it to your kids and call that Better Than Sex Cake.

Linda: (laughs) Oh, OK!

Jacob: Yeah, bake it with tuna or olives or something!

Carlos: And then when they’re like, “Aw, this is terrible!”, you can say, “You think that’s bad?  Well sex is even worse!”

Linda: Yeah, that should do the trick!


Music Rewind: Rock Regalia Revisited

Recently, my dear mother decided she’s had enough of letting me treat her house like a giant storage bin for all my long-since-useful crap.  On a recent trip back home, she finally made me take away all the gawdawful CDs I bought in college (examples: The Union Underground, Powerman 5000, Methods of Mayhem . . . I am ashamed of my past) along with a garbage back packed with old clothes.

Well, in that garbage bag, I found a bunch of band shirts and hats.  Most of these I bought at concerts.  As you’ll be able to see, they’re mostly cheap bootlegs.

Sevendust – Home (album) promotional shirt.  I bought this at the Pontiac Silverdome on December 31, 1999.  Sevendust opened the show that also featured Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, and headliners Metallica.  I’m assuming that the stadium was about 1/5 full when they hit the stage, but since I was firmly packed within Metallica’s snake pit, the show was a sellout to me.  Good times.

Foo Fighters – Eponymous album promotional shirt.  I did not buy this at a concert nor at a store.  This was given to me by my college girlfriend.  This girl convinced me to fly to the Netherlands to visit her when she was studying abroad, then she dumped me a week after we got back.  I should burn this shirt.

Pantera – Reinventing the Steel tour shirt.  BOOTLEG!  I saw these guys at the Deltaplex in Grand Rapids in February of 2001.  This was by far the most violent and chaotic show I have ever attended, and also one of the best.  The crowd was in such a panicked frenzy that the mosh pits began 15 minutes before Pantera took the stage.  My friend John and I were maybe 20 feet from Rex Brown the whole show.  My favorite moment was when all the utter mayhem and violence stopped for one peaceful and transcendent moment as Dimebag ripped off the end solo to “Floods.”  Totally amazing.

Metallica – 1994 world tour shirt.  I did not attend this concert, as I was a mere 13 at the time.  I found this at a used clothing store when I was a junior in college.  It’s an XL, which is what size shirt I was buying at the time.  Too much beer and all-you-can-eat cafeteria food in college.

Korn – Sick & Twisted tour shirt.  BOOTLEG!  I picked this up outside the Palace of Auburn Hills after I saw this show in April of 2001.  It was Korn and pre-wussified Staind.  This show happened on the same night that MSU won their last national championship in basketball.  If I could do it all over again, I’d have watched the game.

The Rolling Stones – Bridges to Babylon world tour shirt.  BOOTLEG!  This was the biggest show of my life when I saw it.  It was our senior year in high school.  Me and two friends went with my friends mom (she rocks).  Just a purely ridiculous stage setup.  But I’m glad I caught the Stones before they got old.

Everlast – Whitey Ford Sings the Blues album promo shirt.  Not a bootleg!  I got this at the State Theater (now the Fillmore Theater) in Detroit the winter of my senior year in high school.  It was Everlast and Sugar Ray when they still rocked (which did in fact happen, if you can believe it).  After the show ended, my buddy’s car wouldn’t start.  I had to call up my uncle who lives in Detroit to come pick us up and drive us two hours home.  Love your family.

Stone Temple Pilots – 1994 world tour shirt.  I did not attend this show.  This was actually the very first band shirt I ever owned.  My folks got it for me for Christmas when I was 14.  I was stoked, even though it looked goofy on me.  Some shirts just don’t site well on me.  I think I have a weirdly curved spine or something.

Soundgarden – Pretty Noose promo shirt.  I pick this one up at Kohl’s, because I really rock that hard.  I think I got it my sophomore year of high school.  It got kind of uncomfortably tight, probably because I was getting so ripped or something.  So, I ripped the sleeves off and this became a gym shirt.  See, I rocked out even when I was in gym.

Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness tour shirt.  BOOTLEG!  It was the fall of our sophomore year in high school when we all piled in a van and caught this show at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.  I remember in the break before the Pumpkins took the stage, two dudes who were sitting by us starting swinging at each other.  One dude hit and ran down the stairs, so the other guy started mocking him for being afraid.  So, the dude slowly turns around and walks back up the steps, and the entire arena goes nuts!  Clearly, we were starved for entertainment in mid-Michigan in the mid-90s.

B.B. King – World Tour promo hat.  I saw this guy for my birthday my senior year of high school.  There’s no year on the hat, because . . . does it matter?  The guy hasn’t stopped touring since the 60s!  He was 73 when we saw him, and I was thinking we were lucky to catch him before he hung it up.  He’s 86 now and he’s still out there.  I hear it’s still a good show.

Metallica – Garage, Inc. promo hat.  My friend Jacob bought this same hat for about $30 at the Silverdome show we went to.  I found it a few months later at Spencer’s in the mall for about $5.  Sorry, Jacob!  I’m not sure I ever actually wore this.  I mean, look at it!  FUG.

Metallica – some random promo hat.  I’m not sure, but I think that same money-draining-then-dumping girlfriend bought this for me.  I wore the hell out of it.  That is not bad lighting.  That’s what used to be a black hat.  I hate to say it, but I doubt I could put it back on without looking like a total redneck.


That is all.  Not sure why I shared all this.  Just some blasts from the past for you all.

What Happened, Part 1: Training

“Welcome to the office!” he exclaimed with genuine excitement in his voice.  But this same person, along with each of the other six attorneys who interviewed me ten days ago, had told me that there would likely soon be cuts for the first time in years.  People would probably have to be let go, and being the last one in, I would be the first one out.  This could happen as early as April.  I bought a ticket for a sinking ship. 

My first day.  It’s a Monday, the last Monday in January.  I leave the house at about 7:45.  The sky is grey and there’s snow and ice on the ground.  Certainly, it’s cold.  The wind stings any uncovered skin.  It’s the kind of day where it almost doesn’t matter whether it’s day or night, because the sun ain’t coming out regardless.

I drive downtown via the highway and park in a spot that is marked for 30 minutes max, but I know from experience that they never ticket there.  I’d park closer or in a lot, but the County doesn’t cover employee parking.  So, I take advantage of this freebie rather than pay $3.50-6.00 every day.  It’s about a ten minute walk from there.

I have my best suit on, a Jos. A. Bank charcoal grey.  It’s the only suit I have that isn’t starting to fray a bit.  I like this suit.  I feel professional in this suit.  I wore it once for every multi-day trial I did in Tucson.    It’s the best I have to offer my new employer.  I carry with me my Coach file bag that my parents gave me as a graduation present two and a half years earlier.  It’s starting to look worn and the strap is about to break at the clip.  There’s nothing in it save for a pen or two and a legal pad.  This is the Milwaukee DA’s office latest hire in all his glory.

I’m nervous.  I have serious trepidations.  What if this isn’t going to work out?  What if the judges all have unbearable god-complexes?  What if I don’t like my co-workers?  What if I made a huge mistake by jumping back into prosecution?  What if the move was God’s way of getting me out of that line of work, and here I was spitting at His grand plan by sprinting right back into it?  It’s the first day of summer camp, and I don’t want to go!

Come on, get over it.  What a whiney tool.  It’ll be fine.

There’s only one entrance I can use right now, in the basement of the garage.  I get in the security line with a handful of civilians.  It takes about five minutes to move through.  I don’t know anything about the people I’m standing and waiting with, but I can’t help but figure that at least some of them are criminals.  Why else would they be coming to the DA’s building at 8 am?

I go through security as a civilian since I don’t have my credentials yet.  I wait in line to put all my effects into a bin and walk through a metal detector and then get wanded when the detector buzzes as I pass through.  Probably my shoes.  It was always my shoes.  The wand goes up and down my body.  Yep, the shoes.

I watch several ADAs stroll right past this line with just a quick flash of their badge.  This is one of the perks that you don’t realize how much you love until you don’t have it.  The world stands and waits to be frisked while you step on by without breaking pace.  But I don’t have an ID badge yet, so belt off, pockets emptied, prepare to do the turn.

I wonder if I’ll work closely with any of those passing ADA’s.  Will they be easy to work with?  Funny?  Do they like to chat about sports and music?

I get in the elevator and head to the sixth floor, the main home of the DA’s office.  I arrive in the office about ten minutes early, as I’m prone to do.  I let the lady at the desk know that I’m there and she calls for the man who is to train me.  The waiting area is old.  It looks like it hasn’t been updated since the 50s or maybe 40s.  There’s a long bench if you want to sit.  It’s old and it’s hard wood.  It’s not comfy, so I stand.  On the wall there are photos of every DA in Milwaukee’s history.  I read their names to pass the time.  A defense attorney comes in to pick up disclosure for a case.  I try to stand like a professional as I continue to read the names in case he happens to look over and wonder whether I’m a lawyer or just some kid nobody.

About 15 minutes later, out comes my trainer, a veteran who’s worked in the office for 27 years.  He was the first person I met during the interview process.  I could tell that he’s good-natured, but grizzled.  This job is what he does and what he does well, but it’s clearly gotten to him a few times over the years.  His sighs betrayed him during the interview.  He’s ready to retire.

He greats me warmly with a good handshake.  He introduces me to the secretaries up front and then takes me down the hall.  My God, this place is old.  The carpeting is old.  The walls are old.  The desks are old.  The doors are old.  It doesn’t feel classic.  It feels old.  He introduces me to a few more people: the file clerks, the IT guys.

Then he stops introducing me to people.  He talks to people about work as we’re walking by without even mentioning who I am.  I just stand there.  It’s awkward.  This happens more than once.  I guess they’re used to new faces, because they don’t enquire about the new guy.

He leads me into the DA’s office (as in, the actual DA). It’s time for me to be sworn in.  I like the DA a lot.  He’s pretty young for having such a powerful position; I peg him in the 44-46 range.  He comes across as extremely genuine.  He’s a guy you’d love to have as a neighbor.  He’ll talk to you about your likes and his likes.  He’s not trying to sell you anything. He’s not trying to earn your vote with every encounter.  He’s a political office-holder, but he isn’t a politician.  He’s a prosecutor.  He’s a good guy.  He might be the best boss I’ve ever had.

I get sworn in by repeating a few lines with my right hand raised.  I actually fudge a line a little but keep going.  I finish with “So help me, God” and I get a great handshake, a warm smile, and a hearty “Welcome to the office!”

Welcome to the office . . .

I tried not to think about the elephant in the room.  I enjoy the moment the best I can.  At that moment, I’m a prosecutor again.  I’m a professional.  I have a job.  I have a future.

Now, it’s training time.  My trainer takes me over into their computer lab.  It’s another old room with four computers set up in a line against the wall.  These are old computers and they run slow.  On these, he’s to show me their company computer system in all its complexities.  He gives me my system login name.  It’s my last name with first initial.

They misspelled my last name.

“What?  Really?  How is it supposed to be spelled?  Oh geez.  I’ll give a call to the computer guys to get that fixed.”  He does call them.  They aren’t around.  For the foreseeable future, I have a new spelling to my last name.

We spend the rest of the morning on the computer.  I learn how to mark sick days, vacation days, personal days, yada yada yada.  It’s far from a simple system.  This is nothing I’m going to get down until I have to actually use it.  I just want to get through this painfully dull system training so I can get on to forgetting about it.  I’ll just ask someone in a few months when I want to take a vacation day.  Plus, I never call in sick, so no worries there.

We also go over the office policies.  I’m given this huge packet of policies and the guy proceeds to read them to me aloud verbatim.  It’s excruciatingly boring.  I can clearly read this on my own time.  Besides, I already know I can pretty much sum it all up already: Don’t be an unethical dick.  Thank you.  This lasts until lunch.

He lets me go for lunch at 11:30.  He tells me to meet back up with him at 1:30.  Two hours of nothing.  I didn’t bring anything because I wasn’t sure if I’d have a place to store it.  I buy a sandwich in the cafeteria in the basement of the courthouse, grab a seat at an empty table, and stare out the window into the alley as I eat.  There’s nothing to see, just the outside.

With nothing to do, I pull out my legal pad and start writing.  I write the beginning of a screenplay for a scene in a movie idea I’ve had floating around.  It’s a take on the Death Wish storyline: personal tragedy leads to distorted perceptions of justice.  I write for about an hour and a half, then I head back up to the 6th floor waiting room.

The afternoon follows the same script as the morning.  I’m at a computer and the old grump is showing me how to use it.  I’m barely paying attention.  He barely cares.  Three more hours of this, just me, him, and these old computers.

I ask him  about getting my ID badge.  He says the woman, the one woman, who handles that is out and she won’t be back for at least a week if not more.  I guess I’ll have to do the morning security dance for a while longer.

I start having really bad thoughts.  It’s been almost a whole day, and all my fears and concerns about working here haven’t been erased yet!  I start to fantasize about leaping out the window and running to freedom.  Shit.  Seriously, what if I just stood up, said “You know, I think I made a mistake here,” and walked out?

Such a drama queen.  Of course, I do nothing of the sort.  It’s just the first day of summer camp, after all.  In a few weeks, I’m not going to want to go home, so the pattern goes.

He lets me go at 5:0o.  I walk back to the car, and it’s already getting pretty dark out.  On the way home I swing by to pick up my wife from school.  She is the entirety of my support system in Milwaukee.  She’s been supportive of me in whatever I’ve tried.  She knows that I gave up a lot to come to Wisconsin, and she wanted so bad for me to find success here and be happy.  A week earlier, she had tears of joy and relief in her eyes when I told her I got the job.

She asks me how the day went.  I can only say, “I don’t know.”  I was serious.  It wasn’t a good first day.  I didn’t meet anyone I’ll be working closely with.  I didn’t even get to see where my office is going to be.  I don’t know where I’ll be working or what I’ll be working on.  It was bad, but it was just a first day.  We go home, eat some dinner, watch some TV, and relax.

I get a voicemail from my mother.  She, too, was concerned about my happiness in Milwaukee.  She, too, was ecstatic when I got this job.  Right after I told her, she posted the news on Facebook.  I think she’s only updated her status three times in the years she’s been on Facebook.

The voicemail is pure anticipation.  She’s giddy and wants to know how the first day went.  I don’t return the call.  I’m not ready to talk about the job with anyone yet.

I try to stay positive.  Starting tomorrow, hopefully we’ll surely quit with this menial computer shit and move on to training about Wisconsin law and procedure.  I’ll meet my fellow ADAs.  I’ll shadow one or more of them for a while.  I’ll set up my office.  I’ll meet the judges.  I’ll ease into handling a courtroom.  Within a month, I’ll be a seasoned veteran again.  I’ll be comfortable with my job, and I’ll be pulling in a solid paycheck.  Life will surely be good.

I go to bed that night, and I sleep.  I sleep like I had slept every other night, fine.  I sleep all the way through the night.  It will be the last good night’s sleep I’ll have for weeks.

Day Two.  I put on my second best suit, a Men’s Warehouse navy blue pinstripe.  I park in the same place and make the same walk.  I get in the security line with what might as well be the same group of criminals, and I do the security dance.  I go to the same waiting area and wait some more.  I don’t have an ID badge so I can’t just walk in, and I don’t have an office so I wouldn’t have any place to go if I could.  I read the names of the past DAs again.  I wait for about ten minutes.

My trainer comes out and takes me back to that damn computer lab.  More computer training!  Wow.  My name is still wrong for my login.  It will fortunately be fixed by the end of the day.  They get my name down.  At least that problem is over with.

I learn about charging a case and putting it into the system.  It’s another unnecessarily complex system.  I’m certainly not going to get it now.  How about I team up with another attorney who is currently charging cases and watch and learn from him/her and maybe do one or two myself with him/her watching?  How about no.

I enter a fake case into the system.  In doing so, I get a look at their files.  They are disgustingly disorganized.  Papers just tossed in with no order.  It’s the same whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor file.  I am not used to this.  It just doesn’t make any sense.  Wouldn’t somebody have come along by now and said, “Hey, we need to have more organized files around here”?

Computer training lasts all morning again.  I welcome the lunch break like a dying man welcomes a paramedic.  I get another sandwich, find an empty table, and let the negativity consume me.  I think for sure I made a mistake.  I shouldn’t be here.  They’re going to fire me in three months anyway.  What’s the point?

I think about it logically and try to mentally slap myself in the face.  Snap out of it!  You’re such a baby!  So what if this is boring!  So what if the place is old and disorganized!   You’re going to prosecute again!  It’s what you do!

The negativity doesn’t go away, though.  I start to write again.  I start another movie scene, but I preface it with a cry to the gods for help.  I beg the universe to let this writing be a ticket out of this path that I’m on.  Let me write a best-selling novel.  Let me write an award-winning screenplay.  Let me write a hit song.  Just let me go.  I’m feeling desperate.

After lunch, my trainer shows me around the 8th floor, where many ADA offices are.  He introduces me to a few of them and the legal secretaries.  We walk by an empty office.  He stops, and looks in.  I look in, too.  There’s a desk from the 60s, a wooden chair from the 40s, a small shelf, and a phone.  That’s it.

“Well, I guess you can take this office.”

Wait, that’s it?  There wasn’t an office ready for me, so you “guess” I can take this one?  “There’s not much left in here.  All the others must have gotten to it.  That’s usually how it goes: when an office clears up, people scrounge for the stuff inside it.”  HUH?

He checks the phone.  “Nope, that doesn’t work.”  Then what is it doing here?  “I’ll give a call to the computer guys about getting you a computer in here.”  So until then, I do . . . what?  Stack matches?

I start to wonder if the office is this disorganized for every new hire, or if it’s just me.  It seems at this point like they told me I had the job, and then completely forgot about it until I showed up.

He takes me down a few flights to the charging offices.  The ADAs give up their courtrooms and regular offices for a week every five weeks and work solely as case charges in specialty case-charging offices.  I follow him as he talks to a few more people, forgetting to introduce me some more.

He takes me into an office where four or five ADAs are hanging out talking.  He starts up a conversation with the oldest of the group; a woman of about 50.  They’re chatting about whatever, and she starts swearing.  She uses profanities like they were commas.  I’m just standing there listening.  Nobody even acknowledges I’m in the room.

Finally, he’s done talking and walks out.  I start to follow.  I hear from the room, “Wait, why is the new guy following him still.  He’s supposed to stay here, right?”

I stop in the middle of the hall.  My trainer continues to walk away.  He continues down the hall, turns through a door, and he’s gone.  A day and a half of  computer-system tutelage and  policy-manual-reading later, he’s done.  Nothing on Wisconsin law and procedure.  No observations.  No oversight.

I’m supposedly ready to work now.

Training is over.

The Daily 15

The challenge: Take 15 minutes every day, preferably at the same time, and do something creative without consequence.
Write something you hadn’t written before.
Draw something you hadn’t drawn before.
Sing something that’s never been sung.
Don’t do it with the hopes of creating a project out of it. Just do it for the moment. Do it because it pleases you, not in the hopes that it will please others.
Fill those minutes with whatever you want. Use every last second. Do it without worry of what happened before or will happen after. Once those 15 minutes are up, stop. Put it away. Tomorrow, come back and do something different.
These are 15 minutes carved out just for you. It’s your adult play time. Go play.

Of course, I’m talking to myself. This idea comes from a book about living a creative life. This is Step 1. I’ve got to find out what I really want to do with my 15 minutes. I fear that I’m going to be tempted to turn what I make into a project, thus making it more work than fun. I’ll try a few different things and give them each a week and see what works. I’ll probably start with creative writing. It’ll probably be crap starting out, but that’s not supposed to matter. Can I fight through that need to only make good stuff?
This is change. This is what I need.

Unsolicited Commentary: Gay Marriage WTF?

In the wake of North Carolina becoming the 30th state to put a ban on gay marriage in its state constitution, President Obama finally “came out” and expressed his support for gays having the right to marry, while concurrently expressing his belief that states should maintain the power to decide that they don’t, thus making his endorsement about as profound as if he had come out with his support for butter pecan as the best ice cream flavor.  I wonder if gays in North Carolina were able to find anything to be grateful about within all that confusing double-talk.

And so we trudge on with this issue.  It’s a civil right.  It’s not a civil right.  It’s an abomination.  It’s beautiful.  It’s natural.  It’s a choice.  People say it’s an issue that states should not be allowed to vote on.  Others say it’s something only the states should be able to decide.  Still others say it’s an issue for the states IF the states agree with their side.

Of course, you know what I say.

What the f***?

First of all, I’m far from an all-knowing wisenheimer on all issues gay . . . . (pause so you can look up the definition for “wisenheimer”) . . . (Ready?  Good).  I grew up in a Catholic community in smallish Midwestern town in the 80s and 90s where the subject was rarely broached.  I don’t really even remember it coming up in church or religion class, although admittedly I usually wasn’t paying attention.  There were a couple of times when gay characters popped up in TV shows I watched.  I don’t remember how I reacted to those characters, but I do recall being weirded out when a character came out in the comic strip For Better or Worse.  Yes, I read that strip.  It was somewhere on the page in the vicinity of Calvin & Hobbes as I recall.

In middle and high school, I sometimes used “gay” and “queer” in place of “stupid” or “lame,” and “fag” as a malicious way of putting our (presumed straight) cohorts down.  We all did.  As it turns out, I did know some people then who turned out to be gay, but I had no idea at the time.  I’m not sure when I actually made my first openly-gay acquaintance.  Probably college.  I don’t think I had any gay “friends” in college, though.  Not because I was avoiding the possibility.  It just didn’t happen.

When I did AmeriCorps after college, I got to know and hang out with more gay people than I ever had before.  It wasn’t weird.  I got along with just about everyone there, regardless of their sexual orientation.  I made friends there that were gay, and I’d still be friends with them to this day if they were around here.

I don’t think I ever had any really close friends that were gay, though.  They were in the friendship zone, but I don’t think any gay person ever made it into the inner-circle.  I can’t say why.  It just didn’t happen.

I’ve never been to a gay wedding.  I haven’t been invited to one.  I haven’t been to a gay couples’ house.  I haven’t been invited to one.  That might say something about unnerving about my general pleasantness.

I stopped using gay slurs years ago.  I get the chills whenever I hear someone use them now.

So, that’s where I’m at now.  That’s the crux of my experience when it comes to gay people.  With that, I’m supposed to pick a side: pro gay marriage or anti gay marriage.  Here’s what I can deduce:

Am I anti gay marriage?  Yes.  In the sense that I don’t want one.  OK, I’m already married, so I don’t want another marriage to anyone.  But if I was single, I still would not want a gay marriage.  I mean I REALLY would not want one!  I don’t think I would do it for $1 million.  Probably not $10 million . . . probably.  Not that anyone would want to gay marry me anyway.  I’d be a terrible gay groom/husband!  Why?  Because I’d be majorly creeped out about the whole thing!  Me standing up there and looking at another dude and saying wedding vows?  And then “You may kiss the . . . groom”?  Which one of us is he talking to?  Awkward.  And then afterwards, we’d go off and do . . . you know, that stuff that gay guys do?  Uhhhh, really, no thanks.  Whatever.  Not for me.

Am I pro gay marriage?  Probably not, because if I qualified as that, I’d be the worst pro anything ever!  Imagine me in the stands at a Cleveland Browns game.  I don’t hate the Browns, nor do I like them.  But if I’m at a Browns game, I suppose I’d want them to win, kind of.  The Browns are down 21-17 with 3 seconds left in the game and they’ve got the ball on the 4 yard line.  The person sitting next to me turns to me and says, “Would it be great if the Browns scored here and won?”  My response: “Sure.  Whatever.”  That’s the metaphor.  That’s how pro gay marriage I’d be if I in fact qualified for that side.  I’d be a passive Browns fan for gay marriage.

“Look at that cute gay couple.  Wouldn’t it be great if they got married?”

“Sure.  Whatever.”

I’m not going to pretend that I can look at two dudes kissing and find beauty in that.  I don’t.  It’s just weird to me.  Perhaps two dudes can really love each other as deeply as I love my wife.  I have no reason to doubt that idea.  But damn it, it’s still freaking weird to me.  I don’t know if it will ever not be weird to me.  I doubt it’s important one way or the other.  So yeah, I’m never going to be the one gleefully jumping up and down at the thought of two gay persons getting married.  Can I really be in the pro category then?

I think I can tell you what I am for sure, though.  I am anti wasting everyone’s time and energy on inconsequential matters.  OK, this is far from inconsequential to gay people.  But to straight people, it is extremely inconsequential.  And yet it’s straight people who are indeed wasting everyone’s time and energy trying to keep gays from getting married!  This is what keeps you up at night?  Not the economy, or terrorism, or children starving in Africa, or shitty school systems, or gang violence, or drug cartels, or global warming?  You’re worried about the fact that two guys who you’d never hang out with want to engage in a state-recognized contract that ensures them certain rights in each other’s probate matters and health care decisions?  That’s so damn important?  What the f***?

Is it really going to tarnish or destroy the institution of marriage?  Come on.  Last I checked, the U.S. has the highest incidence of divorce per capita of any country in the world.  We didn’t need gays to get to that!  We did that on our own!  (pause for applause)

And look at some of these people who are contributing to that statistic.  We’ve got a thrice-married politician who will allegedly discuss divorce terms while his cancer-ridden first wife is in the hospital, and then ask for an open marriage from his second wife before ultimately marrying his 23-years younger third wife.  We’ve got a celebrated talk-show host who works his way through eight wives (and counting).  And of course, we’ve got “Ms. 72 Days” herself, Kim Kardashian.  Are any of these people publicly lambasted for tarnishing and destroying the institution of marriage?  Are people trying to push though constitutional amendments barring these people from marrying?

Of course not.  Because in the end, these people can’t hurt the institution of marriage.  Marriage doesn’t need protection.  It was around for thousands upon thousands of years before this country came about and it’ll be around for thousands upon thousands of years after the Chinese-Canadian conglomerate of tyranny and misery takes over.*  It doesn’t need protection from these jerks, and trying to create such “protection” would just be a colossal and fruitless waste of time.  You think it’s any different when the subject is two guys wanting to get married?

(*You watch.  Chaninda is not to be taken lightly.)

What I also am.  I’m anti-bigotry.  It doesn’t take much for me to see that a lot of people on the anti side (the real anti side, not the one I made up a few paragraphs back) are just hateful bigots.  They, like me, get weirded out.  But they use that as an excuse to spew hatred upon a significant portion of the population.  People they’ve never met, yet they hate.  I don’t know if it makes them feel better about themselves, or if they actually hate themselves and this is a mass form of projection.  Regardless, it’s sickening.

I don’t think the anti crowd is made up entirely of these people.  I know some people see the entire anti crowd like this, but those people are usually too terribly unpleasant to ever converse with anyway.  You know, the people who will constantly act like unbearable choads in the name of love and acceptance?  Those douchebags that are so vile and annoying you’d gladly give any minority or majority group anything they want if in exchange you can kick all those asshats into the ocean?  But I digress . . .

Bigots.  That’s where I was at.  I don’t care for them.  And I don’t like any side on any issue that provides a safe haven for them and actively panders to their intolerant nature.

Look, I get the religious aspect of this whole debate.  I completely empathize with that.  But this isn’t about your or my religion.  Nobody is going to force any religion to partake in a ceremony that runs contrary to its teachings.  If they tried to do that, I’ll jump right to your side on the front lines, dude.  But it ain’t happening.  These things are taking places in courthouses, gardens, country clubs, and maybe some churches (the ones you and I don’t attend anyway).  Your church, your religion is left unaffected, like everything else in your life.

So where did I end up with this?  Hell, I don’t know.  Bottom line: I’d eventually like to see all the states take those gay marriage bans off the books.  I’m thinking that a year, five years, ten years, 100 years after that day comes, things around this country will still be pretty much the same.  Lame.

Just kidding.

I really wish Bill Watterson had thought to address this issue.  He would have settled everything.

New York Knicks Pointlessly Win a Playoff Game For Some Reason

New York, NY – In a shocking and controversial move, the New York Knicks delayed the inevitable last night by defeating the eventual series winners Miami Heat 89-87, thereby forcing their fans to continue paying attention to the hapless team for a few more days.

“I can’t tell you what happened,” said Knicks coach Mike Woodson.  “Things were going as planned, and then Carmelo [Anthony] just starts hitting his shots from all over the goddamn place.  When we went on that run to take the lead in the third quarter, I shouted to my assistants “We’re really dicked now!’”

Carmelo Anthony was apologetic in a radio interview after the game.  “I’d personally like to apologize to our fans for my performance tonight,” said Anthony, who finished with 41 points.  “I’m sure they were all ready to move on with their lives, and because of us they now have to wait and watch us play some more.  I know, it’s so damn pointless.  I assure you all, this is not what we wanted.”

Knicks beat writer Thomas Janorus was less than forgiving in his post-game writeup.  “Just when you thought it was mercifully over, the agony continues,” writes Janorus.  “This team has put its fans through so much shit this past decade, and you’d think that they’d do one kind thing for us by putting us out of our misery quickly.  But nooooooo, they just couldn’t do the right thing for once.  This is like watching a straight-C high school student study really hard for his very last final.  It’s like, dude, you’re never going to accomplish anything.  Just give up!”

Despite the bleak reality of having to play another game, Anthony remains confident in his teams lack of a future.  “I guarantee to all of our fans right now, that we will lose Game 5,” said Anthony in his radio interview.  “You will not see another game like this last one again.  The long struggle will soon be over.”

Local Man Hears the Most Ridiculous Thing He Has Ever Heard In His Life

Albany, N.Y. – At 5:37 p.m. on April 23, 47-year-old Ryan Kyzinski heard the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard in his life.  Kyzinski was caught off guard when the moment came.  “I was just flipping through the radio stations in my car and I came across this news interview,” says Kyzinski.  “The interviewee was some hack shill for the governor who said something about cutting retirement benefits for some state workers being good for the state in the long run.  And there it was!  The most ridiculous thing I had ever heard in my life!  I even said so out loud.”

Kyzinski’s wife, Karen Kyzinski, was riding as a passenger in her husband’s car at the time.  “He said it was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard in his life,” says Karen.  “I was floored!  I was like, ‘Really?  Are you sure?’  He said, ‘Yeah.’  So I made note of the time, because . . . wow, what an historic moment!  The most ridiculous thing he had ever heard in his life, and I got to be there to share the moment with him!”

Kyzinksi’s family is already planning a large-scale celebration to mark to occasion.  “This is will be bigger than our wedding,” says Kyzinski.  “It only happens once.  You have to celebrate it!”

UPDATE: Jerry Wozniak, next-door neighbor to the Kyzinskis, is refuting Kyzinski’s claim as to the reported radio interview being the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard in his life.  “Just last week, we were arguing about the [Buffalo] Bills,” states Wozniak, “and I said they should think about drafting another quarterback, and Ryan said that was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard in his life.”  Investigations into this claim are still ongoing.