American Ritual:
Young couples going to Blockbuster to rent movies. Perhaps they just finished fornicating and, wanting to remain in each other's company for several hours, they decide to watch a film. Or perhaps they have yet to complete this night's fornication; a film being an excellent starting point. Characteristics of this ritual include much petting and holding while in the sterile well-lit rental store. The man often walking behind the woman with his arms on some part of her body. The female seems to be leading the expedition gabbing about various films, actors, actresses. Oftentimes the men and women are wearing loose fitting, extremely casual, unflattering gym pants--further proof that they are in a post-fornication stage--they just threw on the easiest, quickest fitting clothes. This seems especially cogent an argument with regards to the women. The couples fancy themselves in their own world, populated only by them, with all others irrelevant. They draw out the ritual as long as possible, spending perhaps thirty minutes milling about the video store.

I know this because I am notoriously indecisive and must spend an equal amount of time mulling over different film possibilities. But I must only reach a consensus with myself as to what film to watch--as I invariably perform these rituals in the company of loneliness. That distract unstoppable, everpresent stream taking up precious conscious resources.

In the battlefield of emotion, the sober sergeant sacrifices his troops for nominal gains.


Jose Canseco

His identical twin brother Ozzie, with identical DNA

(Need proof?)

Jose hit 462 homeruns at the major league level. Ozzie did not hit any. One cannot say that Ozzie's career was a failure--he DID make it to the big show, which is more than most professional baseball players can say. But when compared to Jose, Ozzie's career was remarkably disappointing.

A picture of the two boys

Jose is listed as 6'4 240 pounds and Ozzie as 6'2, 220. This most certainly is imaginative measurement on Jose's part. I've also seen his height listed as 6'3 and maybe even 6'2. Jose is 6'4 the same way that Sylvestor Stallone is an even 6'.

So Jose lifted more weights early in their careers. How else can you explain the vast difference in their performances? Take a look at what a regimented weight training program has done to Barry Bond's career--he went from great to the best-hitter-ever after adding 20 pounds of muscle. But Barry did it towards the end of an incredible career at an age (mid-late 30s) when a man's body type changes (bulkier). Plus Barry comes from a baseball family, and has been a prodigy of sorts his entire life. Not exactly great comparison material. Ozzie Canseco is most certainly the same size (or thereabouts) as Jose was in 2001. How come Ozzie didn't get considered for a big league team so he could poke 16 homeruns or so?

Jose and Ozzie may not be so different after all. They ARE both baseball players. They both had very successful and long careers (when compared to the average pro ballplayer), playing into their late 30s. Both of them played in the Major Leagues--something to brag about at the next family reunion. But Jose will be considered for the Hall of Fame and Ozzie will only be known to a select few as Jose's twin brother. Does Jose prove that great success at the highest level relies on something more immaterial than DNA. The DNA was the foundation that gave them athletic figures, great hand-eye coordination, perfect vision, a strong work ethic, and maybe enough of an inflated ego to keep them in the weight room, but when DNA and reality convened, Jose had something that Ozzie did not--maybe it was just a smigden of swagger to believe he was 6'4, or maybe just a touch more competitiveness. Either way, conditioning HAS to have played a role in their different success rates. Notice that Jose is Jose Canseco Jr. and Ozzie is just Ozzie Canseco. Perhaps Jose came out first and for that, or some other unknown reason (a chance twinkle that caught his father's eye), he was dubbed Jose Jr--the first moment when the bat hit the ball in perfect alignment producing one of Jose's 462 moments when everything came together.

Some people look at Jose's success early in his career and then his injuries and off the field problems later and call him a case of wasted talent, certainly not worthy of the Hall. I look at his brother's lack of success as proof that the difference between decent and great is as intangible as the human soul.


I have been wearing duct tape the last four days to see if, in addition to removing warts, it also removes negative thoughts.

Lots of people look funny.

I have never been complimented on my ears. In fact, I have not received a compliment in over four years.

One benefit to come from all these sniper shootings: They are canceling Halloween this year.

I hope I don't contract cancer of the adams apple.


I have movie star good looks. Like Danny Devito.

Behold eyes to be beauty.

Dangling Modifiers:

I told you to speak in a patronizing manner.

Seated across from me, I view an attractive woman with a scowl.

I took a backpack on the plane stuffed with my favorite books.

Paco saw Luis driving his Chevy.

Lt. Comish battles with his men.

She only likes me.

She likes only me.

A kilo of salt only weighs 2.2 pounds.

Present participle: running water.

Past participle: polluted water.

Hopefully, Umass will change its signs.

I asked him not to stand steadfastly.

I hate when people wear too much cologne. They smell like frosted flakes.

Freckles are skin-cells that are depressed.

Excuse me ma'am, you spilled bleach on your pants. You look careless and like crap and this is positively inadmissable. Would I spill paint thinner on my pants, and then wear them to school?

You have ink on your skin Sir. It seems as though someone has spilled it on your arm. Do you need to go to the bathroom to wash that off? I paint too, but I usually clean it all off before I finish work.

Pardon me, but I believe the cologne you're wearing makes you a fire hazard. Do you mind?

Someone seems to have put stilts underneath the soles of your shoes. What will happen when that guy spontaneously combusts and we all have to run for our lives. I'll certainly make it up the stairs and to safety before you do.

I seem to have misplaced my chin.

We should set traps about the city--the kind that looks like crocodile jaws, and snaps when stepped in. We could hide them in corners, outside of doors, under desks and around bends. Just to keep people awake and on their toes. Trap doors would be cool too.

Some hair care products should contain glue. One out of every hundred or so. That way vanity will have a price. People will be much more cautious and appreciative of different styles. I believe sales will also increase--most people will buy two, in case the first happens to have glue.

Like an eyebrow, it's starting to come together.

Culture is the conflation of all things human.

"Don't be ripped off. Theft has been reported in the library. Watch your belongings at all times."
Multicolored signs with this message adorn the magnetic security posts at the library's entrance. I felt like ripping off one of the signs, showing it to the librarian and saying, "common usage dictates that people GET ripped off. The verb to be is used sometimes in the preterite tense. I WAS ripped off. But clearly, the sign should state: Don't GET ripped off. Please have them redone."