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Archives: Mar 2009

Golf is my anti-hurl

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

Don’t make any sudden movements, or I will hurl. That’s how sick I am right now. My body wants to throw up, and all it needs is the slightest visual excitement to cause it. The Final Four is going on right now, but I’m watching golf instead, because it’s the only thing slow enough to keep my lunch in my stomach.

I tried to watch basketball, but I’m at a stage of sickness where if someone on TV runs, jumps, or even speaks above a whisper, I will hurl a quantity of vomit that rivals the floods in Fargo. Yet if I don’t watch TV, I will think about hurling, which will also cause me to hurl. It’s only 11am, and I’m trapped. All I can do for the rest of the day is watch golf on TV until it’s time to go to sleep, and then hope that I don’t unknowingly hurl all over myself before I wake up again.

If I had cable TV, I might be able to find an old black and white movie where the characters do nothing but talk, but I can’t afford cable. So I’m forced to watch The Arnold Palmer Invitational, which is the entertainment equivalent of watching your grandmother sew a pair of mittens from start to finish. But even your grandmother wouldn’t pair ugly Nike shirts with business pants.

I hate golf. My parents call me once every few weeks to keep in touch, and whenever we talk on a Sunday my dad will ask me if I’m watching golf. It’s a mean trick. He knows I’m not, and the minute I say no, he’ll launch into a full description of whatever boring golf tournament is on TV.

I was assaulted by rye bread

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

It all started with the sharp corner of a piece of rye bread. I was in the middle of a particularly large bite of my tuna melt on rye when a friend told a joke. As I laughed uncontrollably, I accidentally pushed the sandwich farther into my mouth, jabbing the sharp corner of the rye bread into the gushy area underneath my tongue. It gave me a fairly deep cut.

This is the worst possible spot to get a cut, because it takes forever to heal. Every time you talk, swallow, or move your tongue, the cut moves as well. My doctor told me it may take two or three months to fully heal, and in that time I should avoid any food or drinks that would irritate it. This means three months without soda, coffee, spicy food, or alcohol of any kind.

“Why don’t you just chop my balls off and sew them to the top of my head like cat ears?” I said to the doctor. “While you’re at it, would you like to come to my apartment to block all porn sites on the internet and break all my video games?”

Telling me I can’t drink, eat spicy food, or have any caffeine for three months is like telling a fish to stay out of the water, or a Minnesotan to not vote for hilarious celebrity political candidates. It’s like telling my mom she can’t watch TV, or telling my dad that mom can’t watch TV and is instead going to talk to him all evening. It’s cruel and sadistic.

Mi idioma, su idioma

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

Madre de dios! Frijoles in mis pantalones! Trate de besar un asno, pero se nego porque tengo un fri­o. Tom Selleck es mas guapo que Kirk Cameron. Yo no se donde usted consiguio ese sombrero, pero usted lo debe volver. Estas tortitas van directamente al ano. Permiten ellos a diabeticos en Mexico? Este parrafo entero es justo palabras que toman espacio.

Do you know what that last paragraph says? Neither do I, reader, because I don’t understand a word of Spanish. Sure, I live in California, but that doesn’t mean I’m bilingual. The only Spanish words I know are ones that are the same in English. So I can say “no” and “fiesta” in Spanish, but that’s it.

When I lived in Minnesota, Spanish was a novelty. Every teenager in the state spends two years learning it in high school so that someday, when their friends are drunk enough, they can amuse them with phrases like “Mother of God, beans in my pants” or “These pancakes go directly to my anus”. Now that I live in California and our nation’s economy is as productive as Tarvaris Jackson, the level of jobs I’m forced to apply for might actually require me to learn Spanish.

Attack of the kittens

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

It was maybe a year ago when the kittens began appearing. I was walking home from work when I saw one – no more than a few months old – sniffing around in someone’s yard. “That’s cute,” I said. “That family must have gotten a cat.” Then I saw three more kittens in the next block, stopping and staring at me with wide, curious eyes from various spots on both sides of the street.

For a moment, I thought I was hallucinating. It’s slightly eerie to see three identical kittens, each in a different front yard on the same block, silently staring at you. It makes a person consider the positive aspects of not drinking alcohol every day. But this vision wasn’t caused by my lack of healthy brain cells. The kittens were real.

“That’s a hell of a lot of kittens,” I said, suddenly noticing another one down the street, drinking water from a sprinkler.

The next block I saw two more kittens chasing each other across the road, and another curiously clawing at plastic wrappers near a garbage can. When I tried to pet them, they scattered like fugitives, falling over each other as they raced to whatever hiding spots they could find. A few moments later they peeked back out to watch me as I continued walking home.

Drinking on the roof is forbidden

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.


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My landlord recently posted a note in the lobby of my apartment building: “Dear tenants, It has been brought to my attention that residents have been drinking on the roof. The police received calls about residents throwing beer bottles at cars driving past. Please note that this is a violation of your lease. Any residents caught on the roof, or any residents whose guests are caught on the roof, will be evicted.”

Surprisingly, this note is not about me. Most notes posted in the building are about me, specifically the ones about tossing garbage bags out the window instead of walking them down to the dumpster, damaging the washing machines with rubber bathroom mats, and “accidentally” forgetting to sign your rent check before sliding it under the landlord’s door.

I’ve never gotten drunk on the roof, though. It’s actually a little upsetting that in two years of living here, I’ve never thought to do so. I’ve been drunk everywhere else: The laundry room, the hallways, the front stoop, and occasionally the unlocked basement room where the cable TV hookups are located, but I never made the effort to climb the 60-foot ladder up to the roof.