Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I got robbed tonight

At gunpoint, outside of my home, about two hours ago (it's about midnight right now). Three guys, might have been teenage kids but were probably in their twenties. They pulled up on BMX style bikes and surrounded me after I got my mail. One pulled a gun and held it about a foot from my chest while the other two went through my pockets and got my phone and wallet. I was pretty pissed off and know how when things like this happen, car accidents for example, and time actually seems to slow down? "Great. I'll need to call the bank. And get a new drivers license. That's going to suck. The lines there are ridiculous. And I'm sure they'll take my phone. I'll need to suspend the service and order a replacement. I hope someone is still up who will let me use theirs"...until the gun came out and then. Everything. Ground. To. A. Dead. Stop.

I was utterly paralyzed. I couldn't move, couldn't speak, nothing. I held my arms up and stared at the gun while two of them went through my pockets. I hate guns. Hate 'em. After all, crime etiquette seems to have changed for the worse over the years. In the good old days, the Golden Rule was "Don't try anything funny and nobody gets hurt". Now, you hear about it all the time, bad guys are willing to kill (forget hurt) people for absolutely no reason whatsoever, whether you pull anything, funny or otherwise.

The whole thing probably took 15 seconds or less but I stood there in that spot after they rode off for, I don't know, what felt like ten minutes or more. Then I threw up. Then I went to a neighbor's house and called 911. A Hillsborough County sheriffs deputy showed up before it was 10:30 and took my info. I left and went to find a phone where I could cancel my bank card and also suspend my phone service. the first place I went was Wendy's on Himes and Hillsborough. Their dining room was closed and they wouldn't let me in. I tried the TGIFriday's next door and a manager met me at the door and told me they were closed as well. I asked if I could use his phone, that it was sort of an emergency and he told me that the only phones they had received incoming calls only. Isn't that interesting? I'm supposed to believe that an establishment that serves alcoholic beverages and prepares food for people to eat apparently doesn't have enough trust in their employees to allow them to make outgoing telephone calls. I know I found it interesting. More infuriating really, but still interesting. A lot of bullshit you hear these days isn't all that interesting. This was some interesting bullshit. At any rate, it says something about the society we've built for ourselves. I'm not sure what, but something.

Eventually, I found a gas station that kindly allowed me to use their phone and I was all set and went back to the apartment. I wasn't scared anymore. The gun was long gone and I think I handled business on the phone and with the deputy coherently. But now I was really angry. Because I had lost my stuff, sure. But mostly at myself for letting it happen in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I'm not the macho man type and I'm smart enough to know that stuff can be replaced and is not worth risking life and limb. But I pride myself on being alert and recognizing threats and responding accordingly. And I had seen these three assholes on their bikes when I first pulled up and had made a mental note to call the cops because they looked really suspicious (I have a simple theorem that anytime you see an adult riding a child's bicycle after dark, they're probably up to no good; this theorem has yet to be disproved). But I lost sight of them, thought they were gone and let my guard down. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Now, not only had they robbed me but were still out there, free to rob and/or hurt somebody else. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid!

I was also really angry because now I was a member of the Victims Of Violent Crime Club. I had never been mugged before and you'd think that now that I have, I'd be at ease because statistically the odds of it happening again are proportionately lower. But the brain doesn't work that way. Once you're a member of the Victims Of Violent Crime Club, you immediately start thinking of yourself as someone upon whom violent crimes are perpetrated. Hell, I've only been a member for three hours (it's about 1:00AM now) and that's how I'm thinking. I'm worried that the thugs who robbed me now know my address (they have my driver's license) and will break into my home. Maybe tomorrow when I'm gone. Maybe later tonight while I'm (trying to fall) asleep. I don't know. I've loved living in my neighborhood but now I'm embarrassed. There's no such thing as good and bad neighborhoods anymore; all manner of crime happens everywhere now. But still. I'm worrying if my friends are going to worry about being safe if they come over. As a member of the Victims Of Violent Crime Club I'm wondering if they should be worried.

And it's all because one of these punks pointed a gun at me. If you've never had a gun pointed at you, with or without malice behind it, I'd recommend you do what's necessary to keep it that way. It's really not a worthwhile experience. It doesn't build character, it doesn't test your mettle, it makes you feel impotent and somehow less-than-human. When someone indicates that they are willing to end your life to acquire some of your possessions, it's an indication that that person doesn't put a high price tag on your existence. Because of this, if they had just come up, demanded my wallet, maybe knocked me on the ground, I'd have given it to them and I'd still be pissed off but it would have been different.
Damn it, why'd they have to have a gun?

Monday, October 22, 2007

On the bright side...

Here's something good about self loathing: If you do wind up killing yourself, you're not some loser who committed suicide, you're the unfortunate victim of a hate crime!


Below is a list of things typed into various search engines that have led people (maybe you) to this blog. Most I understand, others I have no idea what they have to do with what's here. I also don't know what, if anything, this says about me (or maybe you) or this blog, but a lot of people seem REALLY interested in Randy & Paula White, the AC Nielsen Company, Paul Newman and butt plugs and vame here looking for more info. Who knew? So here's the list. Any one of these would be An Excellent Name For A Band, if you're so inclined (I especially like "Barcode Sex Slaves"). Have at it.

three quarters, two dimes, a nickel, and four pennies
ac nielsen
clearwater mattress company
custom butt plugs
nick esasky
orama massage
clearwater mattress commercial
ac nielsen scanner
fiction about being in prison
hate mars volta
conor timmis
what does ac nielsen do?
custom butt plug
free nigerian celebrity naked pictures
skier collision protocol
amazing animal facts
you pass me on the street and sneer in my direction
what do i do if my car has been towed tampa
forget how to read
nick esasky 2007
butt plugs in 24 hours a day
being in prison
consciousness and steroids
what does ac nielsen do
proud to be white-someone finally said it
diner elvis booth tampa
nicko's tampa
what happens when the skin gets burnt
willie sword child florida
ac nielsen blog
lingerie modeling studio
worlds wildest train wrecks
interesting facts about constellation cancer
superman score-you tube
i got a box from ac nielson what is it?
cubs suck merhcandise
a c nielsen blog
vanilli half breed or mongrel
crazy facts about magna charta
hypothetical questions funny
proud lion pub tampa menu
tampa space odyssey 2001 strip club spaceship
inconsistent wear in every fair
what is orama massage
mustang sally gentleman's club
custom butt plug -dvd -video
butt plug walking
the paula white saga
thunderbug on the roof of the forum and ice girls photos
paul newman's email address
butt plugs custom
butt plug and beyond
lingerie tampa drew park
paula white in a bathing suit
nielsen shopping scanner
ridiculously inconsistent ocd
florida survivalist
marilyn manson defecated cross
ac nielsen barcode
karmic questions
brian baschnagel's accident
yoplait pink lids rip off
nontraditional holidays
automatic toilet lid closer
serenade paranoids
aren't you glad to be free free
randy white saga
paul newman(today)
i hate jeeves
nontraditional holiday dinner
inconsistent bumper stickers
tampa news randy white and paula white
brian baschnagel selling boxes
tv for men
charley horses and sodas
amazing lobster facts
cashiering at walmart
do they actually count the pink yogurt lids yoplait
what happened to nick esasky
paula white
emailing paul newman
don't work with children
why we need tabloids
paul newman's email
prostitution tampa bay
roy leep radar
paul newman email
short animal facts
inconsistent toilet flush
can i walk around with butt plug
non traditional ministry homeless
barcode sex slaves
facts about the constellation cancer
randy and paula white saga
dealing with assholes
macaroni noodles clog sink drain
blog working at ac nielsen
70's roller girl shorts
a.c. nielson scanning groceries
tv commercial jump mattress won't spill wine glass
o'rama massage
facts about the dolphin constellation
deep voice monster truck ads
white pride racist e-mail
yoplait pink lids donation thousand

Sunday, October 21, 2007

So I've been feeling kind of down

Let's just say that I was putting lists together of pros and cons and one list was easier to fill in than the other and leave it at that.
Anyway, the point of this story is that I went looking for assistance on the web and found several sites that offer it, many of which have chat rooms. I thought it might be good to talk to somebody so I went to one of them. I logged in and got hit with a private message immediately, that went like this (my commentary in italics):

med_man: hello and welcome (Wow, that was prompt! I'm already speaking to a medical professional!)
med_man: what brings you here today? (I answered that I was feeling out of sorts and was hoping to talk with someone about it)
med_man: age, sex and location? (Nothing weird about that; all pertinent info a medical professional might need, so I answered. That was followed by this...)
med_man: are u cute? (uhh...what?)
med_man: wanna see me on webcam? (uhhh...)

Apparently, this is what all chat rooms are now. So the moral of the story is there's help out there if you need it...if you're cute.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Mint condition

After about a month of hard work, every baseball card I own is now put away and organized neatly in 3-ring binders. They had kinda been all over the place, in different storage boxes and whatnot and that was bugging me something fierce. As hard as it may be for some people to believe, I really do have some level of OCD that seems to occur randomly (as I mentioned here previously) so between having every single piece of laundry I own done, every dish clean and put away and the baseball cards situated, I feel pretty good tonight.
Like almost everyone else who collects baseball cards, especially if they have all of theirs from when they were kids, going through my old cards brings back memories, the three most traumatic-yet-ultimately-sort-of-rewarding-in-a-strange-way of which I will share with you now...
  • 1976: I was 12 years old and had bought several packs of cards at Angelo's at the Fairplain Plaza. I was really excited because in those packs I had finally gotten a Graig Nettles to complete my Yankees set (I didn't hate them yet). A bunch of high school kids jumped me behind Goldblatts and I was terrified they were going to take the Nettles card. But all they wanted was money, which I didn't have, having spent it on baseball cards, so they punched me in the stomach and left. (Note to those delinquents, if they're reading this: I still have that Nettles card, you bastards.)
  • 1976 (again): My next door neighbor, Robert, swindled me in a trade, taking Johnny Bench and Nolan Ryan in exchange for Carlton Fisk and Luis Tiant. You could probably call Bench for Fisk a wash now but Ryan for Tiant is ridiculous. It wasn't so much that he was slick and conned me, it was that he whined and whined and wouldn't shut up so he just wore me down. I was pretty mad at myself for letting that happen and really regretted making the trade. An old lady who lived in our apartment complex, Florence Stokes, found out about it and she was pissed too. All the kids in the complex called her Grandma because she took care of everybody; being our guardian at the pool, giving us lunch and dinner and buying stuff all the time. So anyway, she took all the kids, except Robert, downtown to Barentsen's Candy Company and she bought me a whole box of Topps wax packs. It took me the rest of the day to open them but I got both Ryan and Bench back out of it, plus I still had the Fisk and Tiant I had gotten in the trade. (Note to Robert Graves, if he's reading this: I still have all four of those cards too, whiner.)
  • 1980, Fourth of July: I went over to Victor Kulich's house because I knew he had a Dave Parker rookie card and I wanted it. Victor was (and probably still is) an asshole. He didn't even like baseball and couldn't care less about Dave Parker but he wouldn't let me have it. I offered trade, money, all kinds of stuff but he enjoyed not letting me have it. Once, he threatened to rip it in half in front of me. Yeah, that kind of asshole. Anyway, I was over at his house trying once again to get that card from him and he was fooling around with things in his dad's garage that parents aren't supposed to let their kids fool around with. Yada, yada, yada, I wind up with a hole in me. Writhing on the ground in his front yard, screaming in pain, he thought I was kidding. He figured out real quick that I wasn't. He gave me the Parker card in the hope that I wouldn't tell anybody and he wouldn't get in trouble. Not that I could have kept it a secret even if I wanted to, but I didn't want to. So he got in trouble and I still kept the Parker rookie card. (Note to Victor Kulich, if he's reading this: I still have that Dave Parker rookie card. And scar tissue. Asshole.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Burn, baby, burn!

The Bronx may not be burning, but some asses there are going to be. Because the New York Yankees are just about finished for the 2007 season (and may in fact be officially done before I finish typing this) and I'm absolutely lovin' it.
How can you not love the fact that a team that spent $199,229,045.00 on player salaries (that's a lot of commas, isn't it? If it's easier, think of it as almost 1/5 of a billion dollars) played exactly four (4) more games than the Devil Rays, who spent $24,124,200.00 (or $3,584,325.00 less than the Yankees pay ONE third baseman, Alex Rodriguez). That's a disparity of $175,104, 845.00, or $43,776,211.25 for each of those four (4) games. Cha-CHING, indeed. Was it worth it? I'm no economist, but I'm guessing not so much.
What could be better? Not damn much. Well, I suppose if the Red Sox and the arrogant, self-righteous snobs who comprise their fan base were out of it, that would be pretty nice too. Those people are just as obnoxious as Yankees fans, maybe even a little more so since they won the World Series a couple of years ago. A while back, I was wearing my "YANKEES SUCK" t-shirt to Skippers when a Sawx fan came up to me and told me how great my shirt was. I said "Thanks, but don't get me wrong; I hate your team too. I can only wear one shirt at a time though".

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Open For Business

I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a brand new company, Clark Brooks, LLC. That's right, I am officially in business as a business owner. That means YOU can now actually hire ME, via my company, Clark Brooks, LLC, to work for YOU! What a fantastic opportunity! By the same token, you could find yourself working for me, or more accurately my company, as an employee of Clark Brooks, LLC! This is totally true!
And what exactly are some of the goods and services provided by Clark Brooks, LLC? Well, uhh, I'm glad you asked. I guess you could say I'm in the business of business. That's right, I make and do business things. I shake hands firmly, I wear shirts (sometimes with a tie) and I have lunch. At lunch, you and I will talk about business. By talking abut business, we will actually be doing business, which I believe means the government pays us back at the end of the year with taxes or something. I will ask a lawyer or accountant about it. Does this sound as fantastic to you as it does to me? Of course it does! It works like this:
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Is it paid for by the government?
Why yes, yes it is.
Well, come on in then! You're helping me eat for free, which is something they used to do in the bible, which is a very fine business to be in indeed!

I also have a number of pens. Blue and black ones! You'll notice that many of these pens have the names of other businesses (not Clark Brooks, LLC) on them. Pay that no mind. Rest assured, these are definitely my Want one? I'll sell it to you for a nickel. Look at that, now we're in retail sales! Is there no limit to the business functions that Clark Brooks, LLC offers? Who knows? Seriously. I honestly don't know at this point. But I am going to get myself some file folders, more pens and a coffee mug. After that, I'll just let all the other details sort themselves out as I go. In the meantime, here is a short list of things that I (as Clark Brooks, LLC) am willing to do for money:
  • Write something funny
  • Feed your cats
  • Grow a mustache
  • Write something serious
  • Vote
  • Sincerely apologize to your grandparents
  • Write something that was supposed to be funny but was actually just kind of weird and while you could see where somebody might laugh at parts of it, you wouldn't exactly describe it as funny
  • Cook a meal
  • Wrestle a giraffe
  • Write something (ads, letters, stories, scripts, texts, tomes, etc.)
  • Place and collect your Jai Alai wagers
  • Eat a meal
  • Accompany you to a modern art exhibit, ballet performance, poetry reading or hockey game
  • Pretend to be from a foreign country
  • Something else? Sure, you name it and we'll talk about it...over lunch

Where Euphemisms Come From

The other night, one of The Girls got sick (non-drinking related, in case anybody cares) outside my apartment and threw up in the parking lot. The next morning, we noticed it was all gone. There had been quite a lot of it but not a single trace to be found only a few hours later. Now, there are a whole bunch of ducks that live in my apartment complex and, disgusting as this sounds, the only logical explanation as to where it all went is that the ducks ate it.
Anyway, as a result, from now on getting sick and throwing up shall be referred to as "feeding the ducks".
feed·ing thuh duhks
1. to eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth; vomit; regurgitate; throw up.
"Oh god, this sausage is spoiled. I think I'm going to feed the ducks."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Last Man Standing

Life is so transitory; restaurants come and go on a weekly basis, stadiums and shopping centers are built to last only about 20 years or so, and even countries change names and borders. It blows my mind when I hear about people who live their entire life in one place. My best friend throughout school was/is one of those people. We’ve lost touch over the years but the last I knew, he was still living in the same house (same bedroom) he grew up in. That creeps me out a little. I can't imagine living as an adult in the same place where I played with toys and baseball cards. Ok, I still play with toys and baseball cards, but I’ve moved around quite a bit over the years, with stints in Indiana, South Carolina, New Jersey, Kentucky, Germany, Michigan and here in Florida, so it's different. And even though I’ve spent the last 20 years in the Tampa Bay region, I’ve moved around a lot within that area. I think that’s normal these days. For example, I’ve lived at my current address for 14 months now and as of this morning, am now the longest-tenured tenant in my four-unit building. Here’s a brief history of the comings and goings:

  • Across the hall from me when I moved in was family of about 26 or so. At least it sounded like that. They used to keep garbage out on their patio. The highlight of our time together would be the exchange that took place right outside my door last Thanksgiving morning: “Fuck you, you whore. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck yoooooouuuu!!” “Oh, that’s really nice, mom! Happy Thanksgiving to you too!” I think they got thrown out because they just disappeared one day. Two girls who attend Hillsborough Community College and call me ‘Doctor Rockstar’ replaced them. They call me that because my job has me coming and going at weird times, so their theory is that I am either a doctor or a rock star. I don’t bother to clarify for them. At any rate, it’s a definite upgrade.
  • Downstairs and across the hall was a woman who I heard singing scales one day when I passed by her door after I had just moved in. I remember thinking, “how nice. I like music, she seems to be a musician, at least a singer. We’ll probably get along fine.” She moved out soon after and I never even saw her. She was replaced by a Cuban family; mom and son. The kid (a smartass) and I have had encounters, including the time he helped me carry up some groceries. He apparently reported back to his mother that I had lots of beverages but not much food so sometimes she cooks food and has the kid bring it to me. The kid’s ok, as far as kids go I guess, and I love Cuban food so this works for me.
  • Downstairs below me, the unit that just moved out was an older guy who rode a bicycle and (I think) his adult son who played a lot of video games, judging by what I saw on their television when I’d walk by. I said hello to them a few times but that’s all I really know about them. But they’re gone now and I don’t think it really matters all that much that I didn’t say good-bye. Somebody else will be in there within a week or two.