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Thursday, May 29, 2003
While I usually don't review individual movies here, this one isn't so much a movie as it is a Cultural Event. Besides, if you're a blogger, writing about "Matrix Reloaded" is more or less Required By Law, so...

[ TEN THINGS ABOUT "THE MATRIX RELOADED" ]

I went. I saw "The Matrix: Reloaded".

It was a real head scratcher.

Here are some random thoughts...

1. Neo fights an ever-multiplying number of Agent Smiths. When there are, like, hundreds of them and it looks like Neo just might get his ass kicked, he flies away.

Why didn't he just do that in the first place, instead of trying to fight them for like ten minutes?

2. What's the deal with the Albino Twins? It's as if, during script writing, somebody said, "We need a villain that can out-Smith Smith." Then somebody added, "What about TWO villains? And what if we made them twins?" To which, in a stroke of genius, it was said, "I know! We'll make them Albino twins!"

Hey, don't get me wrong: Much like female nudity, I'm all for badass Albinos... if it furthers the plot.

Maybe it was just a way to balance out the larger number of black characters in the sequel. Or maybe it was a way to piss of a segment of the audience that usually doesn't get a chance to be pissed off: the "pigment challenged."

I really don't know.

3. Where the hell was 'Tank'? Instead of just dying, he pulled his bloodied self up in the first movie and saved the day. How was he rewarded? Morpheus fired his ass, evidently. Nice. (Oh wait... I guess it was actually the Wachowski brothers who had fired "Tank"... Never mind.)

As an aside, what the heck is the name of Morpheus' ship? I'm thinking it was called the "Huma-nah-huma-nah-wham-a-lama-ding-dong", but that can't be right, can it?

4. Why does anybody, besides Neo, even go into the Matrix anymore? I mean, they only manage to throw themselves off skyscrapers and get shot or else get blown up while riding on top of a semi, and then Neo has to fly in and pull their fat from the fire.

5. Why does Neo continue to take the advice of the Oracle? She talks in riddles and when he does what she says it leads to all kinds of trouble. Neo should tell that bitch to fuck off once and for all.

6. I was really impressed with the high-speed multiple car crash sequences, until I realized they were mostly created with digital computer technology.

7. I was really impressed with Keanu Reeves' subtle acting and vast emotional range, until I realized it was mostly created with digital computer technology.

8. The first movie gave us slo-mo fight sequences. In the sequel, we get a slo-mo sexy grinding rave dance sequence. I can't wait to see this filter down into other movies over the next few years. The people jumping up during the dirty dancing was a nice touch. Robert Longo would be so proud.

9. The sequel got all philosophical on my ass. It's about CONTROL, stupid. Do we control the technology or does the technology control us? Blah blah blah. Ironic that a film making an anti-tech statement would, itself, not be possible without the cutting-edge computer technology available today. Self-referential philosophy. You gotta love it.

10. I've read that to get the "full effect" of 'The Matrix: Reloaded', one should buy the animation DVD and the interactive game. Yeah, that would complete the "full effect." The "full effect" on my wallet, that is. No thanks, because I'M still in control, stupid.

Don't get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

Hey, it killed over two hours. You can't ask much more than that when it comes to entertainment

posted by Pete 1:39 PM
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
[ IS GEORGE W. BUSH A 'RAGING POWERHOLIC'? ]

"He was never an alcoholic. It's just he knows he can't hold his liquor." - former President George Herbert Bush, about his eldest son.

When George W. Bush quit drinking for good at age 40, it closed a sometimes unfocused chapter in his life and set into motion a period in which perhaps the "drug of choice" had changed but not, evidently, the associated behaviors.

That previous chapter had also, in the 1970s, included a stint smoking cigarettes and, later, chewing tobacco. Reminiscing about those heady days, during the 2000 presidential campaign, then-candidate Bush mused, "The coolest thing of all was to light up a butt."

A drug is a drug is a drug, as they say.

So, now, the question becomes: Is President Bush (or, as I call him, "Emperor Dubya") a so-called 'dry drunk'?

The definition of "dry drunk" (from http://alcoholism.about.com) reads: "A colloquial term generally used to describe someone who has stopped drinking, but who still demonstrates the same alcoholic behaviors and attitudes."

These attitudes can include judgmental and childish behavior, polarized thinking, obsessive thought patterns, and grandiosity.

In other words, behaviors in direct opposition to his claim to be a "sensitive, compassionate and open-minded leader."

As early as January 2000, during a campaign speech in which he reflected on the 'Cold War' era, Bush stated, "...it was a dangerous world and we knew exactly who the 'they' were. It was us versus them and we knew exactly who them was. Now we're not so sure who the 'they' are, but we know they're there." ("American Unilateralism is Back", Observer UK, 27 January '02)

No doubt, the early makings of "self-will run riot".

Bush's judgmental behavior, and polarized "us versus them" thinking was no more evident than in his treatment of various world leaders in the weeks after 'Iraq War II: The Mother of All Skirmishes'.

To quote:

"President George W. Bush rewarded Australian Prime Minister John Howard for his staunch support for the Iraq war with a ride on Air Force One and a prized overnight stay at his Texas ranch...

... He joins an "A-list" of world leaders in Bush's good books who have visited the Prairie Chapel ranch, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

Howard's treatment contrasts sharply with that meted out to leaders of nations which opposed the US-led war with Iraq, particularly French President Jacques Chirac.

"I doubt he'll be coming to the ranch any time soon," Bush told NBC television in an interview last week..." ("War Buddies Bush and Howard Meet", Agence-France Presse, 2 May '03)

This "all or nothing" attitude, common with the 'dry drunk', is sometimes referred to as "stinkin' thinkin'" in recovery circles. And it wasn't so much that Bush snubbed world leaders that had disagreed with him. That's just politics-as-usual. It was the rather belligerent and public way in which he did it that causes pause.

A telling passage, which may shed some light on Bush's actions, reads:

"Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls. Either we insist upon dominating the people we know, or we depend upon them far too much...

...When we habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires, they revolt, and resist us heavily. Then we develop hurt feelings, a sense of persecution, and a desire to retaliate." - pp 176, 'As Bill Sees It' (Alcoholics Anonymous)

The genesis of these "rages" came during the post-9/11 period, a time when a little rage was fully understandable and needed, but, alas, it never seemed to fully transform into the long-term, evenhanded resolve one might've expected.

Two weeks after the attacks, Bush stated, "We're not into nation building. We're focused on justice."

His attitude softened a bit once military strikes in Afghanistan ended, when he called on the United Nations, with U.S. participation, to take over the long term rebuilding and stabilization of that country.

Or so it seemed.

Perhaps handing over the "rebuilding" reins was part of the powerholic ebb and flow, or because there was a better "power high" to be had by moving on to the oil-pregnant deserts of Iraq.

Or it could be, with Afghanistan quelled but key members of al Qaeda having scattered in the wind, a more politically savvy target was needed. Both to quench that thirst for power and to appease the American public in order to hold onto that power come 2004.

As was stated, some 30+ years ago, in a study by social psychologists Alan Kerckhoff and Kurt Back, "the belief in a tangible threat makes it possible to explain and justify one's sense of discomfort."

Or maybe it's as simple as one particularly humorous anti-war sign stated: "Drunk Frat Boy Drives Economy Into Ditch, Starts War to Cover It Up."

Bush's "all or nothing" attitude, part of the powerholic's desire to control "people, places and things", is also affecting domestic issues.

To quote:

"A few months ago, Bush seemed poised for success. He worked to help Republicans regain control of the Senate in November and expand their slim majority in the House of Representatives...

...Yet no action is imminent on his most ambitious priorities, such as allowing investment of Social Security taxes in the stock market and giving religious groups a chance to compete for federal funds to run social programs...

Why can't the president get what he wants?

...Some Republican leaders in Congress complain that Bush doesn't seek their advice often enough. Senate moderates are frustrated that he sometimes doesn't seem willing to negotiate. Some Republicans say the president is disdainful of their co-equal branch of government." ("Tension with Republicans...", USA Today, 13 May '03)

But maybe his attitude, if his goals of "fighting terrorism" or passing favored legislation can supercede his "feeding of ego", should be more along the lines of this telling quote:

"More and more we regard all who labor (in the total field of alcoholism) as our companions on a march from darkness into light. We see that we can accomplish together what we could never accomplish in separation and in rivalry." - pp 45, 'As Bill Sees It'

However, if you were a "raging powerholic" you'd probably have a different attitude altogether.

When it comes to grandiosity, the prime example would be Bush's shift toward pre-emptive unilateral military strikes against nations that one day possibly may pose a threat to the U.S.

Again, note Iraq. Ditto Syria and Iran in the near future.

The one exception may be any country that may already possess nuclear capabilities and, by that, I mean North Korea. He may be a powerholic, but Bush isn't stupid.

On a more specific note, one only has to look at "Emperor Dubya's" landing by jet on aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in early May, in order to make a televised speech onboard.

Perhaps G. Gordon Liddy explained it best, on MSNBC's "Hardball" (8 May '03), when he said, "You know, he's in his flight suit, he's striding across the deck, and he's wearing his parachute harness, you know - and I've worn those because I parachute - and it makes the best of his manly characteristic. You go run those, run that stuff again of him walking across there with the parachute. He has just won every woman's vote in the United States of America. You know, all those women who say size doesn't count - they're all liars."

Ironically, Liddy was defending "The Emperor" who wore new clothes. But then, Liddy is a powerholic from way back. So go figure.

We went from terrorist attacks, to the war with Iraq, and in the post-war era we're back to the attacks.

After suicide bombers killed up to 10 Americans in Saudi Arabia in the first major attack on U.S. targets since the war in Iraq, Bush vowed a "relentless hunt" for al Qaeda, saying, "These despicable acts were committed by killers whose only faith is hate, and the United States will find the killers and they will learn the meaning of American justice." ("Bush Vows to Step Up Fight Against al Qaeda", Reuters, 13 May '03)

While I can basically agree with the sentiment, it is the wording that disturbs me.

It is highly reminiscent of his use of the word "crusade", in describing his focus and resolve to eradicate al Qaeda - and the "axis of evil" harboring similar "evildoers" - in the days immediately following the horrific events of 9/11. At that time, he called it "civilization's fight" between freedom and fear, and added, "God is not neutral between them."

All of which again demonstrates Bush's obsessive thought patterns. The same tape keeps playing ad infinitum.

"The positive value of righteous indignation is theoretical - especially for alcoholics. It leaves every one of us open to the rationalization that we may be as angry as we like provided we can claim to be righteous about it... When we harbored grudges and planned revenge for defeats, we were really beating ourselves with the club of anger we had intended to use on others." - pp. 58, 'As Bill Sees It'

In a very real geopolitical sense, this "beating (of) ourselves" to be orchestrated by the Bush Administration will be played out on the rest of the world stage as an ever-growing resentment and hatred of what America stands for. Is it a country that will be satisfied by taking the "easier, softer way" of only attacking the effects of terrorism, by going after specific individuals or groups, or will it be willing to also walk the harder, longer road of addressing root causes?

So what does one do with a "raging powerholic"?

Some Americans, including the peaceniks at the MoveOn.org Political Action Committee, are planning an "Intervention" for 2004.

http://www.moveon.org/pac/newpres/

By registering a wave of new voters and raising enough money to compete with "Emperor Dubya's" war chest, they hope such an intervention will be successful.

According to the moveon.org press release:

"President Bush believes he doesn't have to listen to the American public -- which, even during war, has overwhelmingly been skeptical or strongly resistant to the idea of an American empire. He has decided that his faith in the military takes precedence over his faith in democracy. The election in 2004 is our chance to take our democracy back. Polls show overwhelmingly that Americans do not trust President Bush to revive the failing economy. They're just as concerned with the Administration's assault on civil rights, civil liberties and the environment. Last week in New Orleans, Presidential Advisor Karl Rove said that this will be a "close, competitive" race. If all of us get involved, it won't just be tight. We'll win."

As much as peaceniks sometime irk me and my granola-hating self, I do believe they may be onto something here.

Perhaps America DOES need a common cause to bring us all together.

And maybe that cause isn't the "war on terrorism."

You know things have gone from bad to worse when I'm even considering voting for the Democratic presidential candidate in the next election.

Whichever candidate is nominated.

Except Howard Dean.

Like that's going to happen, right? Thanks to Dean's far-left political suicide, at least that's one less thing to worry about.

But I digress.

And I didn't even have time to get into Bush's alleged "energy plan", the jist of which is "more" - more oil and gas pipelines, nuclear power plants, refineries, and public land used for industrial services. This despite the fact of diminishing natural resources and 'global warming' (which Bush finally conceded "maybe possibly" is true, but wants to study the issue further.)

That's what we call "denial".

So the title of this entry was, "Is George W. Bush a 'Raging Powerholic'?"

Gee, you think?

[]

CITING SOURCES:

Some of the quotes herein were originally published in:

"Ambling into History" by Frank Bruni

"As Bill Sees It" by Bill Wilson

"Fortunate Son" by J.H. Hatfield

And some material was informed by my reading of:

"The Culture of Fear" by Barry Glassner




posted by Pete 5:25 AM
Sunday, May 25, 2003
[ DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL... OR SOMETHING TO THAT EFFECT ]

Have you ever had one of those nights when you can't seem to catch your breath, and the pressure in the back of your head is so great you fully expect your eyeballs to be bulging out of your head but you don't want to check in the mirror to see if they are because you know nothing good will come of that? In any case, you're too dizzy to stand so that, as they say, is that.

You feel overwhelmed and can't concentrate enough to watch TV or read so, instead, you lay in the dark and concentrate on being overwhelmed.

You're waiting for Death to come but he's evidently taking his sweet time.

Damn that no good Death anyway.

"Don't call me. I'll call you," he says.

That fucker.

Then you hear quiet sobbing coming from your darkened bedroom and you wonder what the hell is going on in there, until you realize you're the only one in the bedroom but, since it's dark in there and you want to be sure, you give the room the once over.

Yup, you're alone. Never a good sign when sobbing is involved.

Pretty soon, you get tired of waiting for Death to arrive so you get dressed and go out walking.

It's 2AM and nobody else is on the street, except some homeless drunks.

No, they haven't seen Death lately either.

So you can't find Death. He doesn't have a permanent address, which makes him kind of hard to pin down.

Death is like a homeless drunk in that respect.

Eventually, hours later, you end up back at home. You don't know where you've been or how you got back.

The last thing you remember is feeling a bit overwhelmed and then all hell broke loose.

Finally, you're exhausted and go to sleep.

The next morning you feel much better.

You wonder what the heck you were thinking the night before.

To the first friend you see, you answer, "I'm feeling much better today. Thanks for asking." even though what had actually been asked was, "Did you watch the game on TV last night?"

So the friend just shakes his or her head in the affirmative while smiling way too big, figuring you're in no mood to be trifled with.

In retrospect, you wonder if this is what St. John of the Cross had in mind when he wrote 'Dark Night of the Soul', and you'd ask him but, of course, he's dead.

The lucky bastard.



posted by Pete 9:58 PM
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Various and sundry people have suggested, for some months now, that I post this to the blog. I've been a bit hesitant because, hey, many think "death" is kind of a downer. But what the hell. This entry may go a long way towards explaining my "quirky outlook" on life.

Yes, it's my recollections about...

[ THAT TIME I DIED ]

In short, I had an adverse drug reaction, which caused my heart to stop. Suddenly, I was no longer sitting amongst friends, but found myself... elsewhere.

There I was, floating in an ink-like murky nothingness. However, it was a nothingness that surrounded me. Caressed me. Enveloped me in an unconditional love and compassion the likes of which I had never felt -- not to my recollection, at least -- before or since. Looking down, I saw that my body -- that is, my heavy flesh of a body -- was no more, in its stead was a translucent, yellowish-white outline of my previous self. My projected self-image set into an exquisitely crafted, self-illuminated glasslike sculpture.

So there I was, standing in the proverbial vestibule of death's dark house, when what should I hear -- allegorically speaking -- but a-knockin' at the front door.

Nobody else was coming, so I had to answer death's door. And who should be on the front porch, but the very face of God! Yes, the Holy Ghostest with the Mostest. Mr. "G". (Or is that Ms. "G"?)

The old adage, "Look but don't touch", went right out the window; I instinctively touched the face of God.

And God said unto me, "Hey, hands off the face, pal!" No, I jest. In all seriousness, I understood God to respond, although non-verbally, with what roughly would translate as, "Let there be light."

And so it was, but in this instance, "light" was knowledge. What followed was a rapid, ever-evolving, series of images, the meaning of which was instantly known as I witnessed each. Kind of like seeing, "Life, the Universe and Everything -- Explained!" as if it were a foreign film with (in this case, subliminal) sub-titles.

In the beginning, God was a point of light, matter, consciousness -- everything that was, is, and ever will be -- compressed into this finite being.

But God craved experience, and had the drive -- whether by need, desire, or willingness; mere words are left lacking when it comes to defining the motivation of the finite turned infinite -- to make it so.

And so it came to pass that God transformed from a finite point into the infinite, through a single conscious act.

This act is what scientists call "the big bang".

It is what Christians refer to as "genesis".

Going from one point of light, matter and consciousness; exploding, expanding, transforming infinitely and forever -- becoming what is commonly known as "the universe". (Our concept of which is, in itself, limited by our narrow vision. But that's another subject for another time.)

And, it was shown that each and every far-flung piece of matter -- from a dusty grain of rock on an asteroid, to a blade of grass on Earth, to every soul inhabiting a "fleshy container" called a body on a multitude of worlds -- was, in reality, a little bit of the infinite.

That infinite we call "God".

Separate, yet still connected. With each experience it's own, but also experienced by God.

For us here on Earth, it was revealed, our souls -- independent, yet part of God -- manifest in the physical plane for two distinct purposes. It was in the phrasing of these purposes that "the voice of God" actually spoke, rather than by the instant understanding that accompanied the visions to that point. And what God said, as it applied to each one of us, was this:

''Your purpose here on Earth is two-fold. To learn to love, and for the love of learning.''

And with that, I knew it was time to go, even though I didn't want to leave -- ever -- but somehow knew I must.

Then, I awoke. Back in my body. Later finding out I had had CPR performed on me during the three or four minutes I was gone.

Obviously, from then on, things were never quite the same. But that, too, is a tale for another time.


posted by Pete 11:36 PM
Monday, May 12, 2003
Some recent true stories, and observations, in a continuation of The Saga of Pete. If you've read the first six installments of this regular feature, then behold...

[ RANDOM BITS SE7EN ]

= Passerby =

I was headed east down the sidewalk, alongside a large building to my right.

A smartly dressed woman rounded the corner of the building and, as she did, a rather unkempt homeless-looking man on the street corner took two steps toward her.

He still had about ten feet to go before reaching her, but she stopped him dead in his tracks when she snapped, "Don't you be approaching me, or I'll cut your ass!"

A moment later, she had rounded that corner and was going west.

She was now walking in my direction.

I was headed toward her.

We were approaching each other.

"Oh, shit!" I thought. I stopped dead in my tracks.

I took a few steps back and, waving my hands back and forth in front of me, loudly said, "I'm not approaching you! I'm not approaching you! Please don't cut MY ass!"

She looked up at me, while still coming toward my rapidly retreating form, and mumbled, "Ahh.. No, no..."

"I don't want no ass-cutting, lady. Leave my ass be," I said.

"I didn't mean... uhhh..." she added.

She quickly walked past me.

Evidently, she was no longer in an ass-cutting mood.

Wotta Beyatch.
-

= Coffee Cup Philosophy =

I bought myself a cup of coffee this morning.

Printed on the side of the Styrofoam cup was the phrase:

"WHEN I AM EMPTY PLEASE DISPOSE OF ME PROPERLY"

Some days, I know exactly how that cup feels.
-

= Ninety-Nine Cents, More or Less =

It used to be, when you bought the 99-cent "Hot & Spicy McChicken"(tm) Sandwich at McDonald's, it came with a slice of tomato.

Then, it no longer came with tomato but you could request that a slice be added. There was no extra cost.

As of a few weeks ago, McD's started charging an additional 15-cents for tomato.

As it so happened, this last time I ordered a McChicken with tomato, I also wanted a "Big 'N Tasty"(tm) hamburger that I special-ordered with 'no ketchup.'

When I found out they were charging me $1.14 for the 99-cent McChicken, due to tomato, I asked if I'd then be getting the special-ordered "Big 'N Tasty"(tm) for only 84-cents, since I wanted it without ketchup.

"No," the McAutomaton behind the register grimaced, "because tomato is different than ketchup."

And ketchup is made out of WHAT, exactly???

You'd think not only would I get the discount, but also I'd get a bigger discount since there's an additional cost to process tomatoes into ketchup.

Not to mention the cost of putting that "different than tomato"-type ketchup into those tiny plastic packages.

Damn greedy clowns.
-

= The Games Boys & Girls Play =

Sometimes, in the dating game, boys and girls play games with each other.

And not a good kind of game, I might add.

Metaphorically speaking, in these instances, girls excel at chess while boys have mastered checkers.

Suffice to say, it's no contest.
-

= Burning Heart =

My friend, The Artist Known As Jake Martinez, started taking Dexatrim a week ago to lose some weight.

The other night, when we were getting ready to go out for some coffee, he had a headache so popped a couple of aspirin.

Soon thereafter, outside the local coffee house we began to drink our respective cups of "caffeinated courage."

Then, The Artist Known As Jake Martinez threw his arms straight out and put his head down on the table.

He sprang to his feet, mumbled something like, "Blahblah emergency blah", and began sprinting across the street to the nearby fire station.

After about ten minutes, he sheepishly returned.

He said he had gone into the station and asked to be checked out, thinking he had inadvertently taken a lethal dexatrim-aspirin-caffeine combination and had induced a heart attack.

They had told him, "We're not a hospital. This is a fire station. We can't help you. But you should be fine."

Upon hearing this, I then told him, "I guess you should've lit yourself on fire. Then they would've had to have helped you."
-

= Dateline: Poison =

After much deep thought, I've come to this conclusion:

"All Women Are Poison."

At least to me.

And I have yet to discover the antidote.

I'm beginning to think I need to fire the various and sundry "girlie cast" in my life.

I need to hire some fresh female faces - local talent only! - for a whole new show.

This current show of mine, it just ain't working.
-

= To Smoke or Not to Smoke, That is the Question =

When you start getting "winded" when walking across the room to answer the telephone, that might be a sign that, yes, it's time to quit smoking.

Lately, some of my friends who used to smoke, but later quit, have been trying to get me to join the "Non-Smoking" Team.

The other day, I saw my neighbor out on the apartment balcony. She was smoking a cigarette. It was a 'Lucky Strike', for any tobacco company marketing-types keeping score at home.

"What're you doing?" I asked her.

"I'm smoking," she gravelly answered in her unnaturally low smoker's voice.

Then, as if to accent the point, she raised the cigarette to the small hole in her throat and took a long drag.

Soon, the smoke slowly billowed chimney-like out of that hole in her throat. It lazily floated up past her chin and along either side of her face.

She smiled a big yellow-toothed grin.

I would like to quit outright but, it would appear, I'm in the death-grip of a nicotine buzz kill.

So, the next day, I switched from "Full-Flavor" to "Light" cigarettes.

No need to go overboard, I thought.

Before too long, I soon realized that - in order to get the fullest flavor possible from these "Lights" - I was smoking twice as many cigarettes per day than I had been before the switch.

And I was still running on empty.

Maybe I had *cough cough* better rethink this whole *hack hack* plan. I think I need *cough cough* help.

[]

posted by Pete 7:17 AM
Thursday, May 08, 2003
[ WELL, SPANK MY MONKEY... IS IT "MASTURBATION MONTH" ALREADY? ]

From the "Is a Holiday REALLY Needed for THIS?!?" department...

In a stroke of genius, May has been declared 'Masturbation Month' by a whole handful of apparently sexually frustrated folks.

Well, whack myself with a big stick and paint me horny!

Yes, in case you were wondering, I *am* going to work in as many self-love sexual innuendos as humanly possible.

Why? For much the same reason people masturbate in the first place.

Because I can.

On May 3rd, more than 100 men and women gathered in San Francisco for what organizers said was the city's second annual public "Masturbate-a-Thon." The event was a fund-raiser for the local Center for Sex and Culture, a non-profit organization that provides sex education. Close to $1200 was raised. So to speak.

While that particular event is pretty much spent, don't worry - there's plenty more where that came from.

On Sunday, May 18th - because Sundays aren't just for resting anymore - the Oakland CA-based business Toys in Babeland will be sponsoring an event to raise funds for the Audre Lorde Project and the People of Color Against AIDS Network, two projects supporting HIV prevention, safe sex outreach and sex positive health care.

Yes, most of these events are for a good cause. Beyond that of self-gratification, I mean.

As with some of these Masturbate-A-Thons, participants need sponsors in order to raise funds.

Some items to note, to make sure one pulls this thing off successfully because - as we all well know - if you don't it'll only led to disappointment and, eventually, self-hatred...

"* Get your friends to sign the sponsorship form and sponsor you for every minute you masturbate on May 18th.

* On Sunday, May 18 treat yourself to a day of self-love. How you do it is up to you - it's all on the honors system. Take note of how much time you spent masturbating and write it down on this form.

* Tally up how much your friends owe you based on your pledges and collect the donations."

Obviously, before collecting those donations, wash your hands thoroughly. Please.

The nifty sponsorship form has columns for "Name of Sponsor" (it doesn't say if using the name "Anonymous" is acceptable, for those who're a little nervous about having their ACTUAL real name recorded), "Dollars Per Minutes Pledged", and "Number of Minutes", so as to avoid any sticky situations later.

Another adult shoppe, 'Come As You Are' in Toronto ON, is hosting a day of solo sex on May 24, to raise funds for Voices of Positive Women - a community based, member driven agency which provides free and confidential support and advocacy to HIV positive women.

According to its website, "The event will be held on the honour system and you decide how long you want to masturbate in the privacy of your own home. The top fundraisers in each category will win some wonderful prizes."

It doesn't say what first prize is, but my suggestion would be this: an actual living sex partner, so the winner can - ahem! - stop talking to the hand.

This month of frenzied, yet pleasurable, activity can be satisfactorily concluded with a Portland OR-based event, which has been sub-titled a "hand orgy".

No, I'm not making that phrase up.

Admittance cost to this RSVP-only night is on a - gulp! - sliding scale, and the evening will include "fun masturbation games" and, for those who work up a powerful hunger, a "potluck and full kitchen."

Yes, don't forget people - you must keep up your strength.

And, for god's sake, pace yourselves.

For the sexually repressed who don't wish to participate, but still want to show their - ahh! - support, you can simply donate to the "CamLives Celebrity Masturbate-A-Thon". All monies go to the Feminist Women's Health Center. However, before you go beating a path to the nearest search engine to find these brave gals, please note: It's not an "on-cam" thing.

Awww, where's the fun in that?

Of the four contestants listed, poor pink-haired and pierced Ellen has only raised a paltry $42 as of this writing. So get your freak on, people. Show her some lovin'. Hell, she's a cutie. I'd do her. If she weren't so busy getting her hand "caught in the cookie jar" and all.

Yes, it's about fuckin' time we stopped being "the master of our domain." If anything proves that, it's a recent article from 'New Scientist', published 02 May '03, which reads in part...

"A horrific venereal disease is preying on baboons in eastern Africa. An estimated 200 animals have been infected and scientists are scrambling to identify the mystery microbe that is attacking them.

The disease targets the reproductive organs of the primate. The consequences for male baboons are particularly gruesome, says Elibariki Mtui, of the African Wildlife Foundation in Arusha, Tanzania. "The genitals kind of rot away, then they just drop off," he told New Scientist." (end quote)

When I saw that, I couldn't help but think of a BBC article (01 Feb.'99) about the origin of AIDS, which read in part...

"The origin of the main HIV virus that causes Aids in humans has been discovered by an international team of scientists.

A chimpanzee named Marilyn enabled them to confirm that the Aids virus first passed into people from a particular sub-species of chimp in the Central African rainforest.

Infected chimps do not develop Aids and it may now be possible to learn why. This would greatly help efforts to prevent and treat the disease in humans.

Human infection occurred in the first half of the century as a result of people hunting and eating the chimps, the scientists believe. This practice continues today.

The team said that genetic tests show the main human virus, HIV-1, is closely related to a virus that infects chimps but does not make them sick." (end quote)

Lord knows I don't want MY penis to rot and drop off in a few years, just because some baboon can't keep it in his pants today.

So, that's why I'm supporting this annual self-love event. That, and the fact that I only masturbate once a year on average anyway.

I swear.

Also, I'm doing it because, hey, I'm a Blogger. Since much of the blogosphere is more or less about masturbation anyway - of the mental variety at least - I'm sure this month-long event will find much support among my contemporaries.

Now I must be going. For some reason my eyesight is failing, and I must shave my palms before going completely blind.

Thank you. (No, thank YOU, Pete!)

posted by Pete 3:27 AM
Tuesday, May 06, 2003

And now for something completely different...

[ THE 'ALL FICTION' CHAPTER ]

= The Magician & the Proctologist =

Having toured the country for months now, performing at county fairs and the occasional business convention, the magician had been short-tempered and irritable for days.

Finally, his female assistant told him, "I don't know what's up your ass, but if your attitude doesn't improve - and quick - you'd better see a specialist."

The assistant was half-kidding, of course, but the magician - being as irritable and short-tempered as he was at the time - didn't realize it.

So, during a stopover in the next small town, the magician went to see an old country doctor.

After hearing about the symptoms, the doctor had the magician drop his pants and bend over.

"Let's have ourselves a little look-see," the doctor said.

He pulled on rubber gloves, with a snap, and dabbed a little Vaseline on his forefinger.

The magician's ass was thoroughly inspected.

"I think I see the problem."

With a firm grip, the doctor pulled a glass coca-cola bottle out of the magician's ass.

"If I had five-cents for every bottle I returned, after pulling it out of somebody's ass, I'd be a rich man indeed," he commented.

The magician started to reach for his pants, but the doctor stopped him.

"Keep bending over," he said, "I think I see something else." He got out his penlight and probed a little deeper.

He began pulling a red scarf out of that ass, but soon found it was tied to an orange scarf.

He kept pulling.

Soon, he had pulled about eight feet worth of scarves, all tied end to end, out of the magician's ass.

It was like a magic trick gone horribly wrong. All the colors of the rainbow were there.

The magician, for his part, sheepishly grinned.

"I better make a closer inspection," the doctor said, as eight feet of scarves lay about his feet.

"Oh Lord," he added, "I think something's moving up there!"

He held the penlight in his mouth. This job was going to take both hands.

He dug deep and, soon, gingerly worked a small white rabbit out of the magician's ass.

"I guess you just tumbled onto a magic trade secret," the magician said. "Now you know where we keep the rabbit before pulling it out of the hat. I hope you can keep a secret, doc."

"Hippocratic Oath, and all that, my boy. Your secret is safe with me. As long as you pay your bill on the way out."

The doctor placed the rabbit on the floor. It gently hopped to and fro.

The rabbit, for its part, was quite bewildered. It was expecting to find itself in a hat and, now, this had happened.

It liked the hat. The hat was comfortable and roomy. Much more so than that ass.

But this room it now found itself in was, quite frankly, a bit much. Too roomy, in fact. It made the rabbit nervous and confused which, as far as hare behavior goes, is pretty much the norm. But this particular rabbit was more so than is usual.

"And that," the doctor muttered, "is that."

He took off his rubber gloves and fished a pack of cigarettes out of his front shirt pocket. It was against the rules to smoke in a doctor's office but, the old country doctor figured, it was his office and he could do as he damn well pleased.

As the magician started to pull up his pants again, the doctor was looking around for the lighter. It wasn't in his shirt pocket, nor his pants.

"Wait one cotton-pickin' minute," the doctor ordered, placing his hand squarely on the magician's back and pushing him back down.

The doctor reached his hand back up the magician's ass, and soon produced the lighter.

"Dadgummit," the doctor said, "I'm always leaving that thing lying around and end up losing it."

He then hung a cigarette from his lip, lit that "bad boy" up, and took a cool drag.
-

= One-Fisted Tales of Love =

Late night at a bar, close to final call, the men mused and mumbled about all the women they'd known and loved. Reminiscing about those few brief moments of attraction, and comfort, in their otherwise lonely lives.

"That last dame I nailed was my neighbor, Karlotta, down the hall," Carl started. "I had just polished off two bottles of whiskey. I was feeling pretty good. She came in, without knocking, and began strutting around my room. She pulled up her skirt past her thighs, sat on my lap, and asked me what I had to drink. She wasn't the best-looking woman I'd ever seen, but not bad either. Mostly it was her deformed left ear. It looked like the ear of a boxer on a really awful losing streak. Cauliflowered and jagged....

...We downed another bottle of the hooch between us. She started to look real fine. Hell, *I* started to look good too. The next thing I knew, she's literally ripping the clothes off of me. I'm returning the favor. Soon we're on the bed, going at it like a pack of hungry wolves. She's screaming, "Do me, daddy! I've been a very bad girl!" Quite frankly, boys, although I'm ashamed to admit it, it kept me hard a lot longer than usual....

...Later that night, while we were smoking some Lucky Strikes, I pushed her hair back and gave her ears another gander. The right one was pierced multiple times, and an assortment of brightly colored beads and loops were in it. The left one was unadorned. So, while gently stroking her cheek I said to her, "You should put those beautiful earrings in your other ear, instead. It needs all the help it can get, sweetie.""

Kenny interrupted, "Dude, I met this one chick at the bus stop, if you can believe that shit. Mona was her name. She gave me her phone number and asked for mine. I told her I'd call her the next day. She called me that night; you know what I'm saying? Three times. The last time was at 1AM. We talked until the sun came up. At some point, what we liked in bed came up. I was honest, for once; it must've been the late hour and total lack of sleep. I don't know what the hell I was thinking; you know what I'm saying? I told her I liked handcuffs and a blindfold. As soon as that came out of my mouth, I figured she'd just hang up. Did I mention it was really, really late? Anyway, she replied, 'I prefer ropes.' That was the moment I fell for her. It was true love, you know what I'm saying..?

...The next thing I knew, I was banging her all the time, dude. I was calling in sick to work, just so I could bang her. I lost my job. I didn't care, cuz I was getting laid, you know what I'm saying? But before too long the relationship was suffocating me. After only two months, Mona wanted to get hitched. I didn't want to be tied down. No pun intended, guys."

Well," Tom interjected, "I was married once. To my high school sweetheart, in fact. Her name was Kelly. I used to call her my "little kelly bean." Her eyes would light up when I'd say that....

...Somewhere along the way, things went horribly wrong. Maybe I was working too hard. Maybe it was having kids. Maybe I don't know what the heck it was, but it sure was something. One day, out of the blue, Kelly asked me to move out of the house. It hit me like a ton of bricks; I don't mind telling you that. We tried counseling, it didn't work. We separated. I sent her gift after gift, trying to win her heart again. Flowers. Chocolates. Even a puppy at Christmas. She always liked dogs, you know. I pretty much threw everything I could think of against that wall, just hoping to heck something would stick and she'd take me back....

...Then I heard she had a new boyfriend. I went over to the house. Boy, was I pissed. Her living in my house, with my kids, and some snot-nosed punk. I probably shouldn't have broken the front door down. Looking back now, I realize that was my first mistake. My screaming at her didn't help either. That was probably a mistake too. I remember Kelly standing there, her eyes wide and her body shaking. Then she turned tail and ran into the bedroom. I chased after her. That was mistake number three...

...When I awoke in the hospital, I was told by the doctors that I had been shot four times at point-blank range. I didn't even know she had bought a gun. I don't remember being shot. The divorce was final a week later."

All three men looked up as the perky, young waitress came by.

"Last call, boys," she said, leaning over the table and smiling. All three men simultaneously eyed her ample breasts.

"We're ok, thanks," Carl muttered.

After she left, the men played a game of Roshambo ('paper - scissors - rock') to see which one of them would get to ask her for her phone number. It was best two out of three.

Those were the best odds any of them had seen in quite some time.

[]

posted by Pete 12:16 AM
Saturday, May 03, 2003
A new video clip has been added under PETE MEDIA. It is an actual TV news clip chronicling my misadventures with the Virgin Mary. (See other link, "Pete Vs. Virgin Mary" under same header, for the full story first, if you weren't a reader when it was originally posted.) Thanks for forwarding the video link, Kale! You swing, pal. For going above and beyond, I've ordered you up 72 virgins. They are waiting for you in heaven even as you read this. And the best part is, you don't have to blow up jihad-style to earn them. You've more than earned the honor by unselfishly making the vid-clip available. So, after you die, have at it. And now, on with the show...

[ LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING... YEAH, RIGHT! ]

1. The Girls I've Known

More rambling ruminations about one of my favorite subjects:

As the late Elvis Presley would've said, "Girls, Girls, Girls."

Actually, he also might've said, "Them girls in this here porno magazine sure are purdy... Oh, my heart! My heart!" before taking a header off the Graceland master bedroom toilet, but that isn't relevant to the story I'm telling.

So let's move on, shall we?

I met a real purdy grrl via our respective web logs. That should've clued me in right there. Two words: "blog romance". Or the possibility thereof. When your life starts to turn into a 'hip' news headline, it's probably time to run screaming. But, obviously, I'm none too bright. Add to that, I have a tendency in life to step off the precipice into the abyss with my eyes closed, going on little more than faith that the landing will be a soft one. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

It was all light-hearted banter and humorous Tete de Tete, with a subtle undercurrent of sexual tension. After a few days, she invited me to come visit. We both agreed it justf elt "right". She - and I - wanted to see what, if anything, could develop. Oh, did I mention she lives hundreds of miles away? In any case...

Her friends thought she was a bit nutty. My friends told me I was "entering the danger zone". Blah blah blah.

Neither of us seemed to care, as we're both the "outrageous and impulsive" type.

But, when push came to shove a week or so later, and I suggested some definite travel plans, she seemingly back pedaled so fast that her ass all but left tire tracks in the road. (Well, at least that's my interpretation.)

Her final excuse for nixing the plans? "Oops, I just found out, my housemate has the exterminators coming out that weekend, and she asked me if I can stay with friends for a few days, so your visiting won't be possible." (This after she had informed her housemate four or so days earlier that I'd probably be coming then.)

In the lameness-to-plausible excuse spectrum, everybody I've told the story to has placed this one squarely at the "lameness" end of things.

Unless, of course, the house is so overrun by vermin and insects that extermination just can't wait. I received no confirmation on such a large infestation, so can only wonder.

Other weekends in the foreseeable future just aren't workable, for a variety of reasons. Details aren't important. Just trust me on this point, ok?

And so it goes. When I emailed to ask just what the heck was going on, I didn't hear back. As of this writing, I still haven't. So it's time for the ole "vent and purge" routine. Please excuse the mess, readers. I am truly sorry for the spectacle that is my love, or lack thereof, life.

I don't know. Maybe she met her "outrageous and impulsive" match in me and, quite frankly, it kind of scared her. From what she said, most boys tell her she's "too much" just prior to dumping her. Personally, I found her kind of charming.

Or maybe she's not as "outrageous and impulsive" as she'd like to think. Perhaps, coming off a decade-plus marriage just over a year or so ago, this recently divorced grrl is just "sowing her wild oats" through massive partying and drinking. Oh, and by inviting this 'blogger bad boy' to come visit, even if he is apparently the one guy that seems to "get" her, despite only talking (via email and by phone) intensely over the course of a couple of weeks.

Who the hell can say? I can't and she's not talking. First she wants to meet me and now it's as if she doesn't even gno me. Perhaps she's just Shy And..?

Which brings us to a segue point into the next disaster.

It's Mia the Web-Cam Girl, whose exploits I've noted previously. (See "Web-Cam Fun!", 3/25/03, and "Dreaded R-Word", 4/14/03; in "Random Bits" IV & V columns respectively.)

She's what I call a "friend with privileges", which is just a politically correct way to say, "Sex but no strings attached."

I hadn't seen Mia for about three weeks. She had been busy with her business and that husband of hers and such. But she called me one day previous to the aforementioned "visit cancellation due to extermination notice" routine. I said we should get together, "over coffee or something", to talk.

"Or something?" she hinted.

"No, just coffee." I replied

I had planned on telling Mia that the sexual hijinks were off, because I'd cyber-met somebody else, whom I planned on visiting. Just to see what might develop there. Yes, I was hip to the possibility of development.

So, over coffee in a public place, I thought about how I'd pull all this off. Without sounding like a jerk or a complete nut, I mean. But before I could start, Mia says:

"I've made a decision, and you probably aren't going to like it..."

As it turns out, Mia's husband "accidentally" found all the email exchanges she'd had with past "friends with privileges" on her computer. He then "accidentally" read about a year's worth of these saved exchanges.

Note to all married people: If you're going to have cyber-affairs, never ever save the evidence on your hard drive, because - after all - "accidents" do happen.

In any case, one "friend" in particular had sent Mia nude web-cam shots of himself and, obviously, her husband was a might more upset over this fact than he was over the simple email exchange with the others.

When the exhibitionist in question found out (Mia emailed him to tell him, even though they'd been out of contact for over six months), he came back into her life.

And now, as she was telling me, Mia was all too ready to leave her husband for this particular friend. It just felt "right". There was a connection between them that she said she didn't really have with the hubby.

In one respect, I was relieved. By her speaking first, I went from "dumper" to "dumpee" which, considering what I had planned to say wasn't too bad of a deal.

But, in another respect, it really irked me.

I thought to myself, "Why can't I meet a woman who is so intensely interested in ME that she'd be willing to move heaven and earth just to be together?"

Oh sure, I'm urbane and witty and such, and fun to hang around with - a regular "good time Charlie" - but, hey, when it gets down to brass tacks... bump bump bump another one bites the dust, as Freddy Mercury would say if he wasn't, you know, dead and all.

End chapter two. But that's not all!

Late last night - that is, 12:30AM - somebody I dated for a couple of weeks in February called me out of the blue. That would be Shelley. (See "The One About the Sleep Over", 3/4/03, in 'Random Bits III' for back-story.)

She's been sick lately, and wanted somebody to talk to I guess. In the course of the conversation, she mentioned she is now dating a musician-type. I don't know why she called me instead of him. After all, he IS a musician-type, so chances are he'd be up at 12:30AM, right?

My best guess? Slow torture. Of me. But what the hell do I know? It is only a guess on my part.

So that's the story of my supposed alleged love life in the last two weeks.

Ironically, I'm really not a "player". If I'm single then, yes, I play. But if I get into a relationship (Big-R relationship, as in boy/girl-friend type), then I'm honest and loyal to that woman. I'm like a goddamn dog in that respect. I never cheat on girlfriends. Ever.

Yes, my cynical and sarcastically hard exterior hides my rather sensitive nature. Or some shit to that effect.

So, thanks for reading. I'd rather "talk" to you than a professional. First, it's a lot cheaper than the $100/hour some of these fancy-shmancy psychologists charge. Second, by blogging it, I don't have to hear the suppressed laughter my lovely tales of woe engender.

Earlier this evening, I went to the big monthly downtown Phoenix "First Fridays" unguided tour of the art galleries. All the hipsters and shysters were there to see and be seen. While hanging out, a girl kissed me tonight for no other reason than she found me cute. It was some intense kissing, and not half bad either. What with the kissing and the intensity and so forth.

So maybe there's hope yet. Not so much for the possibility of anything meaningful, obviously, but at this point I figure I can do one of two things:

a. Even though I detest them and don't have them, try out the "one-night stand" thing I've heard so many wonderful things about. Or...

b. Become a born-again Christian, and join a monastery until I'm old and gray and, finally, die.

It's a tough choice.
-

2. Girl-to-Boy Translations

As most boys already realize, girls speak a foreign language. They hide the "Girl to Boy Translation" Dictionary from us. Yup, we've pretty much been on our own.

Until now.

A few passages have surfaced and, thank the Patriarchal God, us boys got a hold of them. Here's what was found:

"It's not you. It's me."
Translation: It's definitely you, pal!

"I hope we can still be friends."
translation: I hope we can be friends. The kind that never speak to each other again. Ever.

"I like a sensitive man."
translation: Sensitive to my needs and desires. But if you actually start crying, I'm so out of here.

"I don't want to hurt you."
translation: When I cut your heart out, I'll do you the courtesy of not handing it to you while its still beating. I hope you appreciate my kindness.

"I don't mind if you go out drinking with the guys, instead of spending the evening with me."
translation: If you actually go, you are so dead.

"I'm going to do (fill in activity here)"
translation: I'm really going to do (fill in complete opposite of activity listed above), and then fully expect you to be understanding when you find out the truth.

"I've never faked an orgasm with you."
translation: Not only have I faked them plenty of times, I'm faking one right now even AS I SPEAK.

When given these translations, most boys shook their head and said, "I really didn't want to know that!" They then both spit and grabbed their crotch in public to emphasize the point.

The girls denied the authenticity of the purported translations, and immediately changed the subject by complaining about their finding the toilet seat left up AGAIN.

(Note: Some of my translations first appeared in one of the 'Comments' sections on the Gnome-Girl blog @ http://www.gnome-girl.com)

[]

posted by Pete 5:04 AM



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