Friday, August 12, 2005

Read it if you want. 

My dad turned 60 on Wednesday. It's a weird age. Not just for him, but for the whole family (you know... now that we're all 60). It's the first time the notion of him being "old" has ever crossed my mind. But seeing him when he picked me up from the airport, I was reminded that it's merely a state of mind. Strange happening: that Wednesday night, the local WB affiliate reruns The Simpsons episode featuring Krusty the Klown and his estranged father (voiced by Jackie Mason -- my dad's favorite comic). Coincidence? Yes. It definitely is. I still couldn't help but note it as being a little timely. Anyway, originally I didn't plan on coming to Phoenix at all. But as the 10th closed in, I realized that I wouldn't be able to bear the guilt of voluntarily missing my dad's 60th; especially given that I'm on hiatus. Now that I'm here, however, I feel a great deal more relaxed than if I were to have stayed in LA. Evidently, I desperately needed the change of scenery and a break from the rat race. On Sunday morning, I'll be riding up with a couple friends to Vegas for a few days, as I'm sure I've noted before. If these few days in Phoenix are my shutdown/detox/downtime/relaxation days, then surely Vegas will represent the opposite end of the unwinding spectrum. Only two things that are bad about that upcoming bender:
1. It's not football season.
2. It's not basketball season.
This unfortunately means light action (if any at all) for me at the sports book. Betting on baseball is such a crap-shoot. Very rarely can you spot a sure thing. But gamble I will. In addition to blackjack, I'm figuring on some poker. In fact, I'm totally geared up for it. Call me "Poker (alternately, "Poke-Her") Milliondollars." If I'm feeling generous, some craps, but craps scares me. Before you know it, you're $500 in the hole and only three minutes have passed.

Do I want to go back to Los Angeles? Obviously, I will. We'll see after next Thursday how much damage my vacation has done to my bank account. At least I'll be flying. The flight from Burbank to Phoenix was not without it's lighter moments. Boarding the plane, there was a guy in line who just could not stop farting. Later, while the stewardess was going through her pre-flight ritual on how to buckle your seatbelt (If you can't figure this out, you're retarded. Also, I know "flight attendant" is considered more appropriate, but I don't like it. "Stewardess" has more character, sounds less robotic. Also, bite me) she inserts this little gem when the portion about safety masks comes up:

Stewardess: If you're traveling with a small child... I'm sorry.

Who is this woman?! I'll tell you who: she's a woman after my own heart. It's unfortunate that her work schedule prevents her from ever staying in one city for an extended amount of time. Alas, I'm sure there will be others. But others that funny? And with stones like that? Not likely.

The rest of this is probably going to border on rambling, but I'm not too worried about it. This week I was subjected to the final 20 minutes of I want to be a Hilton -- the latest in tasteless, amoral bullshit. Basically, the contestants of this reality show strive to become social climbing windbags, as vapid as the show's namesake and just as classless. Here's the lesson taken from this show: You're only worth a damn if you're rich. You don't need an education, you don't need to be cultured, you don't need to worry about life outside your New York penthouse apartment. I don't know how it's ratings were, but I sincerely hope they were miserable. Who wants to be like Paris Hilton? Here's the answer: No one worth talking to. If you find the elitism in that last sentence hypocritical, good for you. Hopefully you can see the bigger issue. We're a country of ego-driven social parasites all striving to claw and whine and sleep our way up to the top while stepping on all the lesser folk around us. We're a country of Paris Hiltons, of Terrell Owenses, of wannabe rockstars who are dying to replace Michael Hutchins in INXS.

What's funny is that in spite of that, this is still the best country in the world. The possibility here is limitless and you can create a life far better than any other nation could possibly foster. That is simply the truth. I'm reminded of it every day. Hell, I've experienced it first-hand. I really should return some of those emails the relatives keep sending. Lazy ass, that I am.

I don't how this post managed to take a preachy nose-dive, but there it is. I'm glad I'm at home for a couple days... even if it is a fucking wasteland retirement community out here. I think I really needed it. Later, they're gonna give Daddy the "Rainman Suite," baby. You know, 'cause I'm going to be looking like the money - like the bomb. With these fucking bear claws and these fucking fangs.

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