This weekend I was walking along the coast, looking for driftwood that was dry enough and not-chemically-treated enough to burn for a fire later that night. The weather was the typical bay area coastal gloom – moderate temperatures with the sun hidden behind a gray blanket above, and a fine mist drifting on the air all around. But it wasn’t gloomy at all, I rather enjoyed it. Sharaun and I walked hand-in-hand for a bit, away from the group, and it was almost like we were alone. There was no one else on the entire beach, not a soul. At one point, the place went silent between two waves, just for a second, but it was a remarkable absence of sound. Usually it’s the constant crashing of waves, must’ve been some odd off-timing to create the gap – but it was the most memorable sound of the walk. All sorts of things flash through my mind, I play out scenarios where we’re trapped wherever we are… and being trapped on that beach at that time seemed pretty OK to me.
The men’s restroom at work has polished tile walls. Wait… wait, just stick with me here, I swear I’m going somewhere. Anyway, it’s got these bone-colored polished tiles, so polished that you can see your reflection in them when you step up to a urinal. The way the place is laid out, there are three urinals and three stalls. The rightmost stall wall is directly adjacent to the leftmost urinal. Now, if you were designing a bathroom, you would probably step back and look over your drawings and say “It is good.” However, you would be wrong – and I’ll tell you why. The stall partitions do no go all the way to the wall. There is probably a good inch, maybe more, of space between the wall of the stall and the actual smooth, polished, mirror-like wall. You see where I’m going? No? Lemme ‘splain.
I walk up to the urinal to turn back the Starbucks I rented earlier in the morning. Let’s say I choose the leftmost urinal, for argument sake. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, someone has entered the restroom earlier and chosen the rightmost stall in which to pinch their loaf. So I walk up and prepare for the pee, all the while keeping my eyes honorably focused in front of me. In front of me. Where the damn polished tile is playing a scene reflected right from the stall next to me, the horrid vision escaping through that gap between the wall and barrier that should separate our two private acts. I try to take my eyes away, but where to look? I can look down, but it’s still in my periphery. Any movement draws my eyes to the scene, unbidden by my brain. This is not some watery, frosted-glass-looking reflection that is thankfully obscured; this is a live HDTV feed of the business end of what’s going on in that toilet. I mean we’re talking I-can-read-the-tattoos-on-your-ass DVD picture crispness folks. It’s bad news, it’s bad planning, it’s just plain old bad. This is why I stay away from the 3rd urinal. Well, that and the fact that it’s mounted a good 3″ lower on the wall than the “normal people” urinals. Midget-compliant, or something. The horror.
We have nothing on our walls. Not pictures, not paintings, not even a different color than the original white that came with the virgin house. Over the course of the three years we’ve been here, we’ve spent countless dollars which could’ve instead went to put things on the walls, to make the place feel more lived in. We have no furniture in the front room. Hell, we still call it the “front room” because we don’t do anything in or with it. It has no function. The biggest open space in our entire house is nothing more than a wide, wide hallway between the front door and kitchen. I don’t know what to chalk this up to, but I have some suspects. First, laziness. We are just lazy. Second, Sharaun’s unreasonably high standards for anything which will be displayed on our walls. Honestly, I think finding one or two items every three years may be the pace at which we have to move based on her insane requirements. Third, the notion that money will be better spend elsewhere. As time passes though, I’m beginning to wish we’d spent more time “homey-ing” up the house. Sometimes it feels empty, like we’re always poised to pack up the lot of it and hit the road. I want more things on the wall, more places to sit, more color. Oh, and I want less rampant mess… but that’s a function of my marriage and completely inescapable.
You guys may or may not know that I “run” several different websites. I put the word run in quotes because I honestly do little to “run” them at all. I wrote them at some point in my life, and for the most part they are now on autopilot… their tired and trite layouts and designs in a state of atrophy, embarrassing to look at. There are sites all over this domain, those linked from the root and those not. Those that are “done” and are never touched, and those that are in a constant state of “working on it.” Anyway, the page I’m most ashamed of is my Question Mark & the Mysterians page. The thing is appalling. I think I did the layout in high school, no kidding (however, I may be wrong as the oldest copy I can find on the Wayback is from 1998 and says “since 1997” on it). I changed the layout early along in college, converting the thing to some form of CSS style management. The site is really disgusting to me, but I’m not willing to go and give it a remake. Thing is, it’s consistently one of my biggest visitor-getters, and it also generates a large amount of e-mail. And that’s what I want to talk about, the e-mail.
People are retarded. No, I’m serious. People are straight-up retarded. Sure, the site is hideous – but there is still plenty of good information to be found there, and it’s relatively easy to navigate despite it’s abominably ugly shell. Despite this, the retarded masses insist on mailing me with any question they can think of – regardless of whether or not it’s answered on the pages. I’ve long stopped responding to any mail generated by the site, but you’ve got to check out some of these gems… they consistently crack me up.
Subject: Bass player
What were the names of the musicians that help record “96” tears..
hey question mark and the mysterians you are a good group you play good music where do you all go when you all on the road do you all go to buger king do you all go to wendys do you all go to pizza hut do you all like buger king do you all like wendys do you all like pizza hut i do i like buger king i like wendys i like pizza hut at buger king i like those whoppers do you all like whoppers thats what i get when i go to buger king is those whoppers there is nothing like a whopper boy they are good
Subject: 96 tears
dude you must have gotten your hands on that song by now, if not i can give an mp3.
Subject: 96 TEARS 45
DEAR WEB MASTER , I HAVE A 45 BY ? AND THE MYSTERIANS. SIDE 1 IS 96 TEARS,BLUE “ABKCO” LABEL, MANUFACTURED BY ABKCO RECORDS INC. ,MONO , # 4020 , (XRQ-75039) , ABKCO MUSIC INC./MYSTERIAN MUSIC / ED ARGUILLO BMI , TIME 2:57. SIDE 2 IS “I CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOU , BABY”, BLUE “ABKCO” LABEL , (LINZER/RANDEL) , MANUFACTURED BY ABKCO RECORDS,INC. , MONO , # 4020 , (XQR-75040) , SATURDAY MUSIC , TIME 2:00 .
Subject: hey (same sender as above)
hey question mark and the mysterians what you all have been doing for me i have been playing with my playstation playing with my radio playing on my computer playing with my bose watching dvds on my tvo and watching tv on my tvo i am sorry i have not send you guys any emails thats because i got other rock and roll stars to send emails what bands do you all like do you all like white snake judas priest acdc van halen motley crue scorpons night ranger billy squier billy idol tom petty and the heartbreakers the cars duran duarnboston the police phil cooins bad company queen aerosmith pink floyd led zeppelin kansas foreigner black sabbath blue oyster cult bon jovi def leopard fog hat sammy hagar iron maiden kiss mega deth men at work metallica ozzy osbourne styx twisted sister stevie ray vaughan skid row def leppard quiet riot ratt poison winger guns n roses lover boy lynyrd skynyrd queen asia genesis meat loaf molly hatchet so tell me all of these rock and roll bands which one do you like and which one you dont like do you like all of them or you dont like all of them i like metallica there is not nobody out there can play like metallica because they are to good they play alot of good songs they are just to good
Subject: Your music
Please have a look at the attached file.
Viruses found in the attached files.
The file mp3music.pif: Virus identified I-Worm/Netsky.J. The attachment was moved to the virus vault.
Maybe the loud colors and disjointed layout just attract the stupidheads. Who knows.