Thoughts as I scan the bus for sex

October 29, 2008
Chinese lady I vacillate on; she slides in the seat in front of me; sits. Asian, Chinese, a plus right off the bat. She wiggles out of a dark gray coat, fringed on neck with sharp gray fake fur. The body, rail thin, nice. Very nice. Peach sweater; creamy, hugging her boniness. Her thighs must be exquisite; the tendon must poke through the skin high up the thigh. An extreme turn on. The face, though; rather protruded mouth and teeth, too boyish; androgynous, but not in the way I like. Too much of my mother in that face, somehow. Could not make love to that body staring into that face. She’s a non-starter.
Her Chinese friend boards. Far more rounded face, mouth recessed. This is better. She smiles at the other and makes straight for the seat. She is directly in front of me. Black braided ponytail flaps over seat, inches from me. My face catches the breeze. Curiously I smell nothing, not even a light oiliness. Middle-aged, still retains some youth. Soft face fighting wrinkles, mostly winning except high on the neck. I know this problem. Some freckling. Some weariness. Average body. Could be good. Friendly, slightly addled maybe. Spoke to this woman for the first time last Friday (it is Monday now); a rainy morning. Rain starts conversations. Place was a bus station shelter; both of us waiting on transfer ride. “You ride your bike?” Not in the cold rain, I say. Summer rain, yes. She works where I do, she confirms. Enthusiasm seems overshadowed by preoccupation; or maybe a communication gap. She struggles with English. I struggle to hear. I nod as if understanding. I don’t. Don’t know if there’s a vibe. She spoke to me first, so maybe there is. Don’t care much, I guess.
Older red-headed lady boards; always sits near front in perpendicular row of seats. Catty-corner to me today; affords nice view of her. Tallish, lanky. Bony. Not old, per se; a hint of Desperate Housewives in her. Always provocative shoes with her. She likes shoes, I know; remarked last week on the leopard print pattern on the ancient woman’s shoes. She liked them. So did I. The ancient woman did not ride today; very erratic appearances by her. Too bad, I like her, smeared lipstick, greasy face and all. Could be her gigolo if she had the cash. So the redhead’s shoes today are pointed black boots; very hot. Really tiny points, long tapering. Red hair, darkish, slightly unruly, matted with spray; hardish. Business-like bearing. Black skirt. Dark red nail polish. Thin, lovely fingers. Not long, not wrinkled, soft. Hand model hands. Face thin, nose thin, lips average atop slightly jutting chin. Blue eyes; blue eyes and red hair. Unusual, fascinating. Balding a bit at the parted hair, white scalp drowns out the lingering strands. Betrays age. She reads through delicate frames; blueish-tinted frames, complements her eyes. Jowlish on neck, though. Could lose this; probably unable. Can’t be helped.
Would I? With her? Probably.
Men in back, the usual group, talking loudly. Well, just one—the opinion leader. Thinnish man with golden wire specks, light voice projects well. 60, 50; he counts down the likely trajectory of oil barrel cost. AIG, rated triple A, he exclaims, who saw that coming? He wonders. Manly talk. Very important.
Much blowing of noses today. Curiously, I haven’t this problem.
Last stop before the expressway. The big boned tall brunette. The one with the baggy tired eyes she tries to cement over with makeup. Hands and face made of Styrofoam. Odd complexion, texture. Not appealing. But her sadness draws me. Hair brownish with red hints, medium length. Smart enough, doted over, but accidental enough to appeal. Pudginess hinted all over, but mostly in hands and face. Solidly built lady, not overweight though. Face canine somehow, St. Bernardish, There’s a jowl but it’s solid, not turkeyish. Seems natural with her face, somehow. Not unattractive, this lady, but something transvestite-like about her. Mannish; the beefy jaws and hands emphasize… Much eyeliner on brow to emphasize femininity. Everything on the face slightly mannish somehow, yet unmistakably feminine. I wonder if she knows? Smartly dressed. Turtleneck sweater top, black. Pearlish necklace (more than one?) A lapel pin or delicate broach, perhaps, affixed over breastplate. Can’t tell, obscured by pearls. Large ring on left hand, a blueish stone in a hefty gold mount. She clasps a tissue in those stubby, mannish Styrofoam hands. She sits next to the redhead. They do not speak; they are not friends. Both business-like ladies. Both weary. I feel for them. I want to let them know it’s OK. Maybe they know better.
She rests her left arm on a smart little black purse. Can I see a gator-skin texture on it? Not sure. The handle rests down on her hard light tan skirt. The skirt stops above large knees. Her knees out, and below the bend a tantalizing few inches of a muscular, tannish lower leg. They rise out of high black boots. Stiletto-type heels, pointed toes. All of this very intoxicating. Could stare at this for the whole trip, and longer.
She grasps a metal rail with her right hand while the other rests on the purse. She crosses her legs. Too much. Skirt hikes up on beefy hard thigh. She knows, yanks it down a bit. She thinks, stares at nothing but her thoughts. Looks up, then down. Seems dissatisfied. Her mouth seems lazy, lips pursed. Have never seen her smile, I realize. I feel for her.
I vacillate on her. Would I? Probably.
I now think of a Venus-like quality to her face; stalwart, like something on a coin or bill, or Brigitte Helm. But looser, flabbier. That Styrofoam quality undoes it. She rouges over it, slightly too much.
-Evan

Still on hiatus, a brief update

October 23, 2008

Your ole pal Gravy has been swimming with the tide lately, sopping up life’s drippings on my rickety, flimsy fragile liferaft, inadequate perhaps to the task of navigation. It’s going to be awhile longer before I can get back to this business of blogging. My life continues to be in tumult; the gravy makes for thick wading. I’m moving ahead, but the high viscosity is a challenge. Divorce looms and a rebound romance has failed, but there are other lovely people who’ve gained my eyes, ears and maybe my heart. And my existing friendships have strengthened. Everyone I know is getting the whole story, and they all have advice. I listen, and let the ideas bounce around, making echo sounds off my inner skull, because my brain has turned to mush and can’t absorb them too very well. I’m a dreamer and I hope. Romance is all that matters to me right now. All very interesting, and all very time consuming. But hey, at least it’s life, moreso than blogging, and lots more interesting, yes?

-Evan


The Lifespan of a Bell Bicycle Pedal = Two Big Weeks

August 21, 2008

A couple weeks back I posted a big tutorial on installing new bike pedals (See How He Uses a Spanner.., Gravy Bread, Aug. 5)—those pedals being Bell Universal Fit Comp Bicycle Pedals, purchased at good ole Walmart. I didn’t honestly expect these pedals to last as long as the previous ones they replaced, which made it very nearly to the three-year mark, three very grueling years. I did, however, expect the new ones to make it for at least one year. Ha! How about 18 big days? That’s right. Catastrophic failure of the right pedal—installed on Aug. 3—occurred the night of Aug.20, on my way home, and this in fairly dangerous traffic. Luckily my foot was able to grip the remaining metal shaft enough to get me over some railroad tracks and out of the way of several cars behind me as we went through a busy intersection. After traffic cleared, I rode back to the spot near the tracks where the pedal had fallen off. Examination later, as shown in these pictures, reveals a complete separation of the middle part from the rest of the pedal. How can something meant for such a serious, grueling endeavor as bike pedaling be so shoddily made? I will be taking this back with the receipt, but without the original packaging (I threw it out) I’m not sure what to expect. I’m more baffled than pissed off. A company is mass manufacturing a product so unsuited and inadequate for its purpose – on the shelves of every Walmart, and that’s a lot of stores with a lot of shitty Bell bike pedals, if indeed, they were made with the same bad plastic or design. Guess I’ll be heading for the bike shop for pedals after all. -EG


A Frivolous Posting About Kleenex

August 19, 2008

It’s a time of great jubilation ’round the office. Snot has its best friend back—Kleenex. Yep, for about four months our office underwent draconian cost-cutting measures and hygienic tissues were the first to go (the toilet paper, such as it is, was spared). Apparently money was found in the budget to bring back this great American invention. I know, as an environmentalist type, I should be appalled by the very existence of Kleenex: cut down trees and make snot rags out of them that, once used, go right back into the waste stream. I will say that, having been without them for so long, my usage of them has decreased, sort of the same way that car drivers adapted and cut back on gas usage when the cost rocketed above $4 a gallon.
I know what some of you are thinking: an employer has no obligation to provide nose wipes to its staff. But once something is expected, its taking away does seem a slight – a lowering of the quality of life; yet another cutback in a series of morale-lowering indignities. The funny thing was that people simply shifted their nose blowing from the Kleenex to paper towels in the public kitchen and toilet paper in the restroom, so I don’t know if any real cost savings was realized by the absence of Kleenex. Anyway, welcome back old friend of my disposable society. -EG


Another Cat Posting Nobody Cares About

August 14, 2008

I take a lot of pix of my cat Abby because A.) I thinks she’s damned adorable and B.) She’s a pretty easygoing subject. By relying on natural light instead of the flash I’ve gotten her to not be afraid of the camera—and the pictures look better. I’ve got a lot of pix of her, but for now I’m posting these few only, mainly just to see how they look online. Ah, the life of sleeping, eating, shitting and being loved on. -EG


Succulent ’70s Salaciousness: A Tribute to “The Gong Show”

August 13, 2008


Let us now pay homage to one of the funniest, most raucous, transgressive and subversive shows in TV history, “The Gong Show,” hosted by its shambling, shuffling, shaggy dog producer, the enigmatic Chuck Barris. There were, and are, people who don’t “get” this show—thinking it the pre-Jerry Springer version of the end of civilization—but never since has the tube been so wonderfully chaotic and, yes, off-the-cuff witty and surreal. The reactions of the panel to the infamy being perpetrated on stage were priceless, as was Barris’ stoner demeanor and saliva-soaked, ungrammatical ad libs – often punctuated by his awkward hand claps that the audience would humorously mimic. Barris often modeled an arsenal of bad hats, perched precariously over his forehead and covering his eyes, for maximum goofy visual effect. Although some people claim this is an early version of American Idol because part of the fun is watching the bad acts get razzed, that comparison misses the point. A bad act on the Gong Show was just as likely to win the prize as a good one. In fact, some talented people were gonged off the stage while some truly awful acts evaded the boot. The score an act received on The Gong Show was virtually meaningless. Top prize was $516.32 (yes, that’s right), and the winners were pretty much guaranteed continued obscurity, so nobody was taking this seriously. A guest panelist with an absurdist, wicked sense of humor might score a dreadful act a 10, while the celebrity sitting in the next chair might score it a 0 or a 2. Some real talents did appear on the show, Steve Martin, for instance. It was one big unrehearsed spontaneous party, quite unlike the slick and super-controlled production of American Idol. The infamous moment we feature here, highlighting an “act” from 1978, now simply known as “The Popsicle Twins,” allegedly led to the show’s cancellation (though in fact, the show lasted until 1980; what happened was that the western time zones didn’t see this part of the show after outraged callers on the east coast caused NBC to panic and pull the bit). Two young girls, looking way too young (they were too young, 15 and 17), fellate upon some sweet icy goodness as audience and panel members shout, “Yeah, do it! Do it!” and “all right! all right! allright!”- all contributing nicely to the delinquency of minors. Barris allegedly threw this act into the mix as a way to trick the censors, figuring if he put something this blatantly sexual onstage that the censors would cut it out and ignore some of the other presumably less offensive performances. It didn’t work—this baby went out gloriously over the national airwaves, and the rest, including The Gong Show, is history. Incredibly still, this act was not gonged, Jaye P. Morgan and Jamie Farr having absented themselves from the vicinity. One is perplexed, though, at the gall of Phyllis Diller, who at the time was hawking big girthy cucumbers on TV commercials for the now-defunct Paramount Pickle Co., of Louisville, Ky., finding no hypocrisy in scoring these phallic Lolitas with a zed. Morgan, once a ’50s torch singer who earned a somewhat lascivious reputation as the show’s humorous muse (she was the original “Girl Gone Wild,” fond of baring her breasts to the audience during commercial breaks or writing obscene notes on cards that the censors would blot out with a white bar), caps it all off with an honest observation: “Do you know that that’s the way I started?” Anyway, like her, this is something you ladies might learn from. Enjoy.

The Popsicle Twins @ YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUkzIx382mM

(NOTE: I originally posted the direct, embedded Youtube link to this video, but knowing how hamhanded WordPress is about censorship and how skittish it is about Youtube material, I’ve decided to post a link to Youtube instead where you can watch the video. This state of affairs sucks, but WordPress really seems to have no sense of humor, etc.)

Wikipedia’s entry the Gong Show does a pretty good job of separating the myth from the reality.

AS a bonus enjoy this interlude from series regular Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, whose visits occasioned unrestrained festiveness for all. Tell me what other TV show has allowed this kind of sheer joyousness to erupt?

P.S.: I understand that this show has been revived a couple of times, most recently by Comedy Central and hosted by Dave Attell. From what I’ve read, it sounds as bad as all attempts to bring back comedy intensive games shows, eg., Whoopie Goldberg’s arid revisitation of The Hollywood Squares. No thanks.


An Orgy of Tomato Goodness as the Garden Comes a Cropper

August 13, 2008

Fresh tomatoes in abundance adorn my daily table. This is my best crop ever. Fresh salsa and tomato-laden entrees are nightly dinner fare. After the backbreaking initial work and the tenacious nurturing the rewards of growing one’s own are many. I’ve been making sandwiches and tortilla wraps with Boca spicy organic chicken patties and combos of my own garden tomatoes, peppers and store-bought lettuce, ranch dressing and cheese. My fresh salsa recipe is simple: cut up a medium-sized tomato and supplement with a couple of grape tomatoes to add a tinge of sweetness, cut up a little onion (I only had some dried onion lately, as the pix attest, but they will do), cut up some of my home-grown jalapeno peppers, add a little black pepper and some cilantro (dried will do)—and that’s it. This is pretty basic, but the freshness can’t be beat, and the chunkiness and texture differ from the slimy store-bought stuff. Note that I had to use a champagne flute for my Sauvignon blanc because I finally broke the last of my wine glass set. Anyway here are some pix from some healthy, low-fat meals of the past few days. -EG


What Do You Discuss at the Water Cooler When the Water Cooler’s Contaminated?

August 11, 2008

What you’re seeing here is the aftermath of an inconsiderate bitch—the water cooler equivalent to Seinfeld‘s infamous double dip. She evidently mixes Kool-Aid in an empty spring water bottle and the purple Kool-Aid residue left inside the bottleneck after she has consumed it manages to get transferred straight onto the public water cooler spigot when she goes to refill her water bottle by sticking her bottleneck up and around the spigot—thus contaminating the water dispenser for everybody in the entire building who uses the cooler. And this picture roughly shows what it looks like. I tried to get a better picture, but was rushed and did not want to be seen taking it. In essence, this woman may as well have stuck her tongue and lips up to the water dispenser and started sucking directly off it. We get to taste her lovely germs either way. And the thought that it comes from this particular skank’s maw makes it even more nauseating.

-EG


The Valid Response You Entered is Not Valid; or, WTF is with the Louisville Free Public Library Automated Phone?

August 9, 2008

The Louisville Free Public Library has a cool service that informs you by automated phone call or email when a requested book has arrived at a branch for pickup. But when you try to end the call, you get the following weirdness:

Library robot: “Press 9 to end this call.”

Me: (Presses 9 on phone).

Library robot: “That is not a valid response.”

Huh?

-EG


Good Ole Fun With the Relatives in Fern Creek; or, Am I Really Related to These People?

August 7, 2008

This whole thing is going to sound insufferably snooty, as any story that leads off using the word “insufferably” inevitably must.

The thing is, I was pretty much dragged by my mother to a family reunion this past Sunday, gathering together those on her side of the family, of which she is now the patriarch, the oldest living survivor. There would be no avoiding this. Whatever else may have been on my calendar for that Sunday was worse than secondary – it was stricken from the record.

So I met with distant aunts and uncles and cousins several steps removed from my ability to remember, faces that in some cases I recognized but could not put names to, many of them layered with a new coating of shopworn leather wrinkles.

I mostly sat and watched heavyset adults and kids splash around in a nice big pool, while family cliques grouped off in comfortable familiarity to eat and yak. And NASCAR was revved up on the big screen TV in the basement, to one side of the NASCAR paraphernalia on wooden and glass shelves. If there was a book of any consequence to be found in this house, I never spotted it.

These were my kin, my blood, residing in a part of town that, however clean and groomed most of Fern Creek is, gets the bad rap in Louisville as the stomping ground of barbarian rednecks. That, of course, is not fair, but my overeducated, superior-feeling ass could only see in the lives of my relatives too much evidence to support the stereotype.

They were all courteous and harmless; conversations remained safe and dull. I was no help, but neither did I hinder things. I sat and ate the grub offered, happy that there was plenty enough to offset the lack of a vegan main course. Lots of bratwurst, hot dogs and cheeseburgers went uneaten. In my carnivorous days, I could have polished off at least a couple of those.

The highlight of the day, for me anyway, was when one of my distant aunts and uncles picked up one of the empty bottles of Shiner Bock I had consumed and placed on a table near them. The party was BYOB, and this slightly upscale hefeweizen was what I had chosen to bring along. The way everyone looked at it made me feel like Cinderella in rags at the ball. This was the land where watery, aluminum-tinged Bud Light ruled. “That ain’t one of those beers that’ll put hair on your chest, is it?” asked one uncle. “Well,” says I, “since I already have hair on my chest I don’t have to worry about it.” Another distant uncle picked it up and stared at it, quizzically, eyebrows furrowed in a sort of uncomprehending, baffled, slightly distressed attitude. He passed it to a distant aunt who did the same, holding it up and looking at it, like the early man in 2001: A Space Odyssey trying to figure out new uses for a bone.

I immediately was reminded of that scene in The Gods Must Be Crazy where the Kalahari man picks up the Coke bottle thrown from an airplance and wonders what the hell it is. I mentioned this to my sister, and she laughed.

Is it fair to say I’ve outgrown these people, or merely grown differently? But no, one would have to grow, period. I couldn’t see any evidence of it in their cases, and saying so here makes me sound like an arrogant upstart who’s gotten above his raisin’.

And that makes me feel guilty, but it also makes me confused. I want to be sociable, genial, open to the experiences and lives of others. But I can’t help but be judgmental, elitist. That’s just the way it is.

So, maybe my relatives are bigger than me because I doubt they harbored such corrosive, cynical, jaded, unhealthy thoughts.

And that might mean that maybe I can learn something from them. Maybe we look at each other like we would strange Coke bottles fallen from the sky.

-EG