Email quotes yet again…

I get a lot of emails from a lot of interesting people that say interesting and humorous things. Sometimes, I’ll be reading an email and either laugh out loud or deeply ponder something someone had just written to me. I actually think email is the great overlooked form of, dare I say, literature, in the, what do you call this decade anyway (the o-o’s?) I don’t know or care enough to name the decade, but I figured I’d compile some unique lines from some people that I’ve spoken to over email. Here goes….

I always resent the “making a living” cycle. I just want to pursue “art” all of the time. Melding the two is the key, but everytime I achieve that, it doesn’t seem to last. -Roy Christopher

It feels good to scream for sure. Opens up the chest and all that breathing so fast is definitely an intense yoga. It really, really changes the way one sees one’s fundamental core assumptions of the nature of reality. That may sound dramatic, but if you don’t believe me, try it – just breathe really fast for 45 minutes and I promise you, you will feel so high. And that’s just the breathing. Once you add the dimensions of making your breath resonate in different ways using only your body and than add projecting it as much as you can, you end up very high and strange. -Tim Kinsella

Carly Cumslut has posted a new comment about you on MySpace! -MySpace

Sorry if I’m a pain in the lower back… -Thomas Fritscher

The kids want it more than I do, I think. -Peter Hart

Life has a way of moving very slow and very fast at the same time. I blame my dog. -Jason Farrell

I went to a Long John Silvers (yes, you read correctly) in Gillette, Wyoming and I was the only male in the restaurant not wearing cowboy boots. nice. -Dan Haugh

The past is perfect in the sense that it is complete, finished- like memory. Thats what Kierkegaard thought was the essential flaw with perfection and with memory- its completeness, its likeness to death. There isn’t much you can do to alter the past, but you can always build something with your history, it can alter your awareness of where and who you are, and change you. But it will bury you where you stand if you get stuck in it. I’m not satisfied with what I have done. I always think that I have more to learn and that gets proven to me everyday and keeps me going sometimes. I’ve witnessed some great things, and none of them happened because people were sitting around smoking their past accomplishments and getting high on how great they thought they were. -Dan Littleton

The simplest questions are the hardest to answer. -Ryan Worcester

Take back your life and throw those cancer sticks away! -Huge Health Newsletter

THE INVERSE OF NATURE

Remember the house next door that’s for sale? Yeah, the one from the last story that the neighborhood kids were trying to fuck with. No, they haven’t returned to exact retribution on the house because of the police confiscating their bikes. Quite contrary to the fact, no one aside from myself has seemingly been on the house’s property since that incident a few days ago. All’s been quiet around here, but the neighborhood cats (whom we feed and generally seem to live in our garage) had their way with a few birds in said house next to us over the past two days. From what I could gather, it may have been two or three birds. Feathers were strewn throughout the front yard and in the nearby flower beds which line the front of the house. (For the story’s sake, I should note that the flower beds are separated from the remainder of the front yard by a railroad tie, which has slowly started to rot.)
Seeing the mess and knowing that the house is in fact for sale, and that it was partly my fault for the deathly display, I decided to get the blower out and clean the mess up. Normally, this isn’t a problem. Plug it in, blow whatever remnants I need to away from the house and into the grass, rake the mess into a pile and get it in the trash. I’ve done it a hundred times before. Never on the remains of birds, but I’ve done it nonetheless.
The first few tracks of feathers, remnants and leaves went easily into the front lawn, where I assumed they would sit til I could gather them (though I never get that far ahead of myself in regards to menial tasks). There were blue feathers, white feathers, and nothing that resembled a carcass, but the flower bed sat inside the rotting railroad ties was slowly becoming respectable again. The roar of the engine continued, more feathers gathered outside the perimeter of the railroad tie and I was clearly nearing the end of the 6 Feet Under moment in the yard of the house next door to us. Then, something stun my leg. I leered down and noticed a yellow jacket on my calf. I swatted it away, but it had already stung me. “Bastard,” I thought to myself, and for maybe five seconds, continued on pointing the blower towards the bed. (Note: I was going to say “Bastard,” I thought to myself, and for maybe five seconds, kept on blowing.” in the last sentence, but then I realized that if that line was ever taken out of context, I would suddenly be an outted homosexual…)
Then something stun my other calf, and then my ankle, and suddenly, I was the main target for the colony of yellow jackets living inside the railroad tie that I had unexpectedly disturbed. I turned the blower off, the swarm grew, I dropped the blower, started running to the back of our house, yelling “Ow, you motherfucker!” and getting stung the entire way. I made it to the back of our house, amid a swarm of yellow jackets still in pursuit, and started swatting the air and smashing any yellow jackets that were landing on my skin. The flying swarm relented and the landed individuals were trampled or flattened by me. When the attack was done, I think I counted six stings around my calves and ankles.
I slowly re-approached the area I was working in (Note: not using the verb ‘blowing’ again. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….) and quickly noticed the rotted hole atop the railroad tie which also served as home for the yellow jackets. The swarm above the hole was huge, encircling the blower, insuring that I get nowhere near the damn thing, and I thought to myself, “Wow, you are dumb. You should notice these things before hand….” After all, it is August and I’ve been near that flower bed enough this summer to notice something of this yellow caliber, but unfortunately for me, it had slipped by. I took a shower, rubbed a wet aspirin on the stings and decided to call it a day on the yard work.
It’s now dark out. The tools have been collected and the appropriate chemicals have been purchased to kill off the colony. Tomorrow, I get to spray the colony down with poison and kill them, allowing me to continue cleaning up the remnants of some dead birds in the front yard of the house next to me.

Who says these aren’t happy times? Happy, ass backwards times….

CRIMINAL MISCHIEF

Around 2 PM today, the neighbor from across the street (Bob) knocked on the door. He asked if I had seen any kids running through our backyard. I was, at the time, upstairs in the house in front of the computer, and because of that, pretty oblivious to everything else in my immediate world.
No, I hadn’t seen any kids in the backyard, or running through it. “Why?” I asked him. He replied by telling me that four kids had attempted to enter the house next door to us. The house in question is up for sale, and empty at the present time, though the former occupant, a friendly guy named Stan, has been making daily visits to the house to empty out the entire contents.
Stan inadvertently left his front door open today. The four kids in question rode their bikes past the house, saw the ‘For Sale’ sign and the rest was history. They entered through the front door with Stan’s garden hose, turned the hose on and were attempting to flood the place.
Around the same time was also when Bob from across the street noticed the garden hose running up inside the front door and four strange kids in the driveway. He walked over the asked what they were doing. They responded by running. Bob quickly turned the garden hose off and came to see if we had heard or seen anything.
No, we didn’t see anything, but we found some cold, hard evidence from the dumb asses in question pretty soon after. In their haste to run from Bob, they neglected to escape along with the bikes they had arrived on. And scattered throughout the backyard were three bikes: two semi-new 20″ Mongoose BMX bikes from Wal-Mart, and one 26″ obviously stolen and painted over hybrid street/mountain bike. Yeah, they had gotten away, but before us, laid in the grass, were three reminders that these kids weren’t the sharpest criminals to pass through the borders of our small town.
I quickly gathered the bikes, stacked them atop each other and locked them together with my Kryptonite lock. I also placed a note on the bikes that read: ‘Hey dudes, If you want your bikes back, I have the key. Fess up to what you did and we can talk about it. We’re at #497 if you want to talk….’
The small flood was quickly mopped up, no real damage was done, and our initial plan wasn’t really marked out, but I figured it involved waiting for these kids to come back so we could talk some sense into them. Then we realized that these young teenagers in the neighborhood were also now aware that there was an empty house on the block, and that word might spread about it, possibly resulting in further vandalism. So we called the police to file a report.
The officer arrived about 10 minutes later. His name was D.J. Piro, and the only reason I remember it was because I read his badge and then thought to myself, “Yo, what up niggas! It’s DJ Piro in da hizouse!!!!” I know, that’s a really silly thought to have after reading a cop’s name badge, but at least I’m looking to the light amid a rather tenuous situation…..
Officer Piro was caught at a crossroads, and this was his reasoning. Technically, he should be confiscating the bikes as they were found property. BUT, he also thought that if he took the bikes, then the kids in question would exact retribution onto the house, possibly causing further damage. To be honest, he really didn’t seem to be in control of the situation and probably just wanted to get out of there as soon as he could. His reasoning made sense, but inevitably, it would also demonstrate to the kids (if they were in fact watching from afar) that they could do as they pleased, be dumb asses about their getaway, and still get off scot-free.
Then the kids in question poked their heads around the corner from the end of the street, and the Officer gave chase. He arrived back at the house with three of the four kids in the back of the car. Another officer also arrived on the scene, and his car boasted a bike rack. The kids in the back of the squad car pleaded that they didn’t know the fourth kid’s name, that they had just met him, and that they didn’t put the hose inside the house. The second officer to arrive on the scene didn’t seem to care about their story and started loading their bikes into his car. The kids were eventually let go, but their names and information were taken down, and their bikes were confiscated. If they wanted them back, they had to go to the police station with their parents to claim them.
They walked down the street, heads hung low, and disappeared around the corner shortly thereafter. I really wanted to follow them and ask them why they did what they did and how they could be so fucking dumb about it, but I already knew. I was that dumb kid once, unsuccessfully pulling off pointless acts of destruction, and not knowing what to do once I was caught. I never had a reason for myself aside from the fact that it was fun to do bad stuff, but now I know why I was an idiot that loved to commit random acts of criminal mischief from the ages of 14 through 19. There was risk involved, it was exhilarating, and being notorious made you cool.
When all was said and done, turning a garden hose on inside an empty house for sale didn’t seem all that strange to me. Yeah, when you step back, it does make absolutely no sense, but it is an integral part of adhering to the social parameters of teenage-hood in the suburbs, and one that I don’t see changing anytime soon.
The odd assembly of neighbors lining the street went back about their lives inside their houses. The police drove off, and all the inter-generational battles on Whittier Avenue were put to rest for the time being.
There would be most likely be some form of retribution; my only hope is that I’m around to experience it….

THE AIRPORT PICK UP

For what might’ve been the first time ever, I had detailed plans of what to do once I arrived into Los Angeles International Airport a little over a week ago. Normally, I just hop in a taxi, call a few numbers and hope for the best, but last week, it was different.
I was ready. I had a printed itinerary of where to go and what to do once my bag arrived in the baggage claim area. Those instructions included: “Go to the courtesy hotel shuttle area located outside of the terminal, wait for the Sheraton Gateway Hotel Shuttle, take the short 5-minute jaunt down Century Ave. to the hotel, and then, just do whatever might be necessary to relax after a 5-plus hour flight from there.” “Simple enough,” I thought to myself as I exited the baggage area and located the Courtesy Hotel Shuttle Area. I rolled my baggage across the street and through the bustling traffic, positioning myself curbside at the allocated area in which I was instructed to wait.
In the distance, quickly approaching, I spy the shuttle marked ‘Sheraton Gateway Hotel.’ It had been maybe 2 minutes since I had arrived in the area, and just as I thought to myself, “Well, that was easy,” the shuttle quickly made it’s way past the courtesy hotel shuttle area without a hint of braking. It didn’t seem to be overrun with passengers, which I would’ve understood. Instead, it made it’s way anonymously past me at the allocated area and away from the airport. I wasn’t crushed, but I also wasn’t happy. The surrounding traffic and hubris allowed me to mutter a “What the fuck!” without appearing to be outwardly pissed off, and from there on, I assumed it was simply a matter of waiting for the next shuttle. I began to rationalize the first shuttle’s non-stoppage in my head: “It might’ve been lunchtime.” “Maybe the van wasn’t running well.” “Was I standing in the wrong area?”
My final reason appeared the most logical, so I used my cell phone to call the hotel’s front desk, which was also on my neatly printed itinerary. They assured me that I was in fact standing in the right place, and that I should simply make myself more noticed if another shuttle appeared to be casually driving by without any indications of stopping. I asked what the waiting time between shuttles usually was, and was told that it would be no more than 10 minutes. “Fine,” I thought to myself, “Nothing major, just a slight understanding.”
The next few minutes are a blur in my memory and life. Yeah, I was standing up with my luggage propped against me, fully cognizant of my surroundings, but I may as well have been passed out drunk. The intensities of travel, the quickly moving automobiles all around me, the surrounding inter-family bickering, the engaging sounds of life in constant movement; it was slowly numbing my insides. ‘Going Postal’ has entered into the English language as standard vernacular, ‘Going Airportal’ doesn’t seem to be far off…
I pulled myself from the mind-numbing experience I was, well, experiencing, and told myself that I had better pay attention to the fast-moving array of taxi cabs, late 80s model Toyotas and hotel shuttle vans making their way past me. And just as I did, I spied the Sheraton Gateway Hotel shuttle in the distance. My borderline bout with airport rage was about to end. But as I gathered my belongings and made my way even closer to the curb, this time vigorously waving my hand at the driver, the shuttle drove by yet again! Yes, it was only a hotel shuttle from the airport, but it was the one time I actually had confirmed plans of what to do once I arrived at the airport, and those plans were falling apart amid a sea of smog, denim miniskirts and traffic. I was at a loss, and now, pretty pissed off. I called the hotel once again, who informed me that shuttles were running late and that it was best for me to simply take a taxi to the hotel. They assured me it would be no more than a $10 trip.
So I maneuvered myself and my baggage through the sea of curbside stragglers also waiting for courtesy hotel shuttles, and located the line for taxi cab rides. I was situated with a taxi upon arrival in the line, and loaded my belongings into the trunk.
When I seated myself into the rear of the cab, I informed the driver that I was an easy fare. “I’m just down the road at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel on Century,” I said.
The driver, a middle aged Mexican American, replied, “Are you serious? There’s hotel shuttles right there. You’re wasting my time!”
To which I replied, “Well, this is what the hotel informed me to do. Is that a problem for you?”
To which he replied, “Yeah it is! This is a waste of my time for a $5 fare!”
At this point, we were already moving, so yeah, he may have said it was technically a waste of time, but he was still accepting me as a paying customer, so I shut up and tried to make the best of what would only amount to a 10-minute cab ride at most. Then he made a wrong turn, and then another wrong turn, to which I interjected.
“Man, we’re going the wrong way,” I said. “Don’t tell me you don’t know where the hotel is!” He was trying to run up the fare so that he’d make more money off of me than what he should’ve. It was a sneaky move, but I had caught him on it.
“Fine, take two dollars off of whatever the fare is then,” he replied.
We arrived at the hotel. The fare was $10, so I gave him a $10 bill and asked for my change. He got the $8 he deserved and I unloaded my belongings from the trunk. Intentionally, I neglected to close the trunk all the way.
As I made my way to the hotel door, he beeped his horn and yelled at me, “Get back here and close the trunk boy!”
I turned around, with my bags in my hands and said the first thing that came to mind. “Fuck you! Close it yourself!”
“Fuck me? No, fuck you!” he replied.
And so I addressed the issue. “No, fuck you!” I replied.
He got out of the car, walked towards the trunk, closed the door and then sped off.
As I turned to walk into the hotel, which ended up being rather upscale, I noticed the bell hops, business men and women and valets all staring at me in disbelief. Our verbal “Fuck You” battle had been heard by all those surrounding me.
I entered the doors of the hotel, made my way to the front desk and checked in. All was in order. Sure, it took me two generous helpings of “Fuck you,” along with a 10-minute lapse in time that my life will never get back, but for now, all was in order.
Next time though, I’ll know better. Skip the itinerary and go straight for the chaos. Don’t wait for it arrive in whatever twisted way it pleases…