Early Returns

Those of you who were either in or paid attention to America the first time President I Shave My Bush Jr. was elected, pretend this post is a hand-held wipe off board, and I am the proud new owner of a green dry erase marker (yay! I've always wanted one!).

Now loose, hanging and pregnant chads aside, hand counting votes for this competition is becoming alot more difficult than I had anticipated. Not only has the entire rule structure come into question, but the quality and bearing of the judges responses. Now, I have done my best to remain unbiased, and this early return post is both a heads up to all of you, and a way of "chikketty-chekking myself" before I start to you-know-what (wrikketty-wrekk myself for those of you who live in a goddamn cave or with Fromstein's Mom).
We have returns from 9 judges.
In the order that I received them, some excerpts:

Mark Huntsman:
"Fromstein is that Most Reasonable. and therefore the winner...and i love that his blow-up doll is named Janine."

Peter Counts:
Now, here is the first anomoly. Counts was the first to point out that none of them submitted a recent photo as they were asked, and so technically, they should all be disqualified. Ooops. Sure sucks to be the Slaughterhouse Five right now. Counts cast his official vote for me, although he added: "If I have to select one of the Slaughterhouse 5, I'll have to go with Ben: his reply was first, to the point, and funniest. I mean cummon, "bristling with pine cones"! Hell fuckin yeah! Also, that little bitch-cock-grabber Big D does whatever I say when I say it, so he votes for Ben too."

Daniel Summit:
Well, I guess Big D votes for Ben too. If I hear any different from him, I will change this vote.

"My vote has to go to Michael Herman. Why? Because he made me giggle, chuckle, and otherwise "tee hee".

Ed and Carrie Wilhelme:
"Our vote goes to Lauren. We were on the fence between her and the Jew, but then decided that they were all cocky bastard kids that we wouldn't want to spend five minutes with. So, since Lauren seemed like she was the most chill we give her our vote. Nicely played Lauren, we also voted for Nader."

Petunia McGillicuddy:
"Which Declared Winner would cause the most largest amount of chaos and ill-feeling, a truly tributary end to a truly anarchic war? Lauren. Hands down."

David Hodson:
"Oh damn it, I give it to the Jew, with Herman in close second. That's my vote, I'm sticking to it!"

Erika VanDyke:
"Ben's blog was the first, and I think will continue for a long time to come. For all the said reasons, I belive that BEN should be the winner of the blog war, and he has my vote!!"

"I was going to vote for Lauren, just cause the rest of them sucked.... so i guess i go w/2nd place pick..... Ben....... nah screw it... i'll still go w/Lauren"

Unfortunately, Tomas has been disqualified as a judge. Sure sucks to be him right now. Let me explain:
1) In a post on my blog, Tomas figuratively knocks 1 point from Fromstein for disliking George Carlin. I'm sorry, but even considering the stakes at hand, George Carlin still sucks dick for Cheerio's, and that is a terrible reason to deduct points from someone. Clearly, he is not casting his vote in a solid state of mind. Everyone can agree with that, I think.
2) What I posted here is not an excerpt--THIS IS ALL HE SENT ME. No explanation, nada. I specifically asked the judges for a brief explanation.
3) His bastardization of elipses (a triple period meant to indicate a pause or change of thought process within a written sentance) just pisses me off. Both on his blog and in every e-mail I've gotten from him, there are more periods than letters. Furthermore, an elipse is three periods. THREE. Not four, or six, or nine. A nine period elipse? What the fuck is that? I mean, Chaz Christ, this man replaces every known form of punctuation with a goddamn elipse; I think he would use one instead of an apostrophe given the opportunity. Goddamn it, it just makes me mad.
Sorry about the Fromstenesque (that word is totally tits) tirade there. Point being, from Tomas, points are awarded to no one.

So the tally as of now:

I would like to take this opportunity to point out two things:

1--No one has voted for Chaz yet. Hmmm.

2--I have not voted yet. Double hmmm.

I'll leave you, again, with a quote:

But I
have never felt so alive,
than tonight,
huddled in the trenches.
Raging on the battlefield,
our rifles blaze away,
we blaze away.

--Colin Meloy

Stay tuned, kittens.


Lauren Silver

Sorry but i never had a chance to write the paragraphs. I finished exams yesterday and leave for the summer tomorrow... its been really, really, really crazy. If you want, ask Fromstein and Chaz to write something about me, it could turn out funny... all the guys know me so if you want you can do that. But ask Fromstein first if you do.

i'm really sorry, i was looking forward to this!!

have a great summer.

David Fromstein

Greetings to all spectators of the now-famous Blog War '05. My name is David Fromstein, better known as A Cranky Old Jew. I'm here to tell you why I'm the obvious winner of this war. And, if I've learned anything from watching politics over the past few years (which I haven't, since I don't follow politics), it's that it's always easier to build yourself up by tearing others down than to actually do anything yourself. On that note, I'm going to start by pointing out why everyone else in this war is probably either the cause of incest or drug abuse. Ben, the founder of our Toronto blogging community, and my best friend for the past decade or so, clearly doesn't grasp the concept of a blog. You can't just write about how your day was and expect people to care. Also, don't spread this around, but I've heard he's got a thing for sheep. You know, like more than a friend. Next there's Chaz, the world-renowned anti-Christ who's the cause for this escalating from mere boiling hatred into an all out war. While he understands that you're not just supposed to write about the monotony of everyday life, he doesn't actually write anything worth reading. Grass? Boogers? Fashion? I can trace every one of his posts to the same 2 hour George Carlin routine. For God's sake Chaz, if you're going to rip off a famous comedian, at least make it a funny famous comedian! Herman, the in-again-out-again Closeteer. He's sorta like a watered down version of me: funny, but not as funny; offensive, but not as offensive; intelligent, but still pretty dumb. Also, the scraggly hairs he grows off his chin really add to his face's already startling resemblance to a scrotum. Finally, is Lauren even in this? She's woman! Since when do we let women learn to read? This is the problem with society today.

All that in mind, I should probably cap this whole thing off with why I'd be the victor even if my competition wasn't all just a wee bit retarded. I'm the only one out there with the balls to say what I really think, and fuck the consequences. I'll tell you the real scoop, exactly how it happened, with no rounded edges. Unless, of course, I think it's funnier to lie about it. I'm also the only one who's upfront about all my "phobias" and "hatreds". If I don't like your race, gender, colour or hairstyle, you're gonna hear about it to your face, unlike the rest of our group of Hebes who are perfectly nice to everyone until they're out of earshot. Also, with the possible exception of Lauren, I'm the best looking, and have gotten more action than everyone else in our little group put together, multiplied by two. How do you multiply action? Who cares! The point is, you should vote for me, because I can find out where you live. Until next time, this is David Fromstein saying "Oh please, the term 'blow up doll' is insulting. Janine prefers 'inflatable life partner.'"


Charles Firestone

It is no secret why I am the clear victor of our now infamous blog war. As it has been said by Herman, by me, and even by Miranda, I am a deity. I am omniscient and I am omnipotent. I am the morning and evening star. And perhaps most important, I have the power to impregnate virgins. Surely you all see the implications of my awesome power, do you not? That’s right judge #4, I know about your ‘fishing trips’ away from your wife. And you, judge #6, I know all about your one night stand with judge #3’s cat. Besides, if you don’t choose me as the blog war’s champion, I can always split the ground and create one of those deep, cavernous, lava filled, uh…caverns, like I have been known to do in the movies.
But if my godliness does not suffice, which it will (or I shall smite you with a barrage of lightning bolts), then consider this: None of this would have happened without me, and I don’t just mean the war. Not only did my insane posse of commenters enrage the other members of the war, forcing to bombard me with their vicious rhetoric, but it was my comment on the four ninja food groups website that lead Miranda and the rest of Team Tenderloin to our blogs. I started this war, and now I shall finish it with either my evil commenting horde, or if that doesn’t pan out then with the AK-47 I bought with my Google AdSense earnings (and don’t forget about the smiting ability).
So you see, I can’t win the war, because I have already won it.


Michael Herman

Why I am the victor in this blogging war you ask? The question should be: "Shouldn't it be illegal to be as damn good looking as I am?", cause that's about as obvious as the answer to the original question. The clear cut winner in this blogging war is yours truly, Michael Jonathan Herman. Only this man, nay this Adonis, has clearly maintained his integrity, while still providing a humourous and unedited website for all to enjoy. He has risen above the ashes of the petty squables, and has shown himself to be the brightest, funniest, most well read, sexiest, and above all, modest...est of them all. Although the space on the internet that I will explain why this is so could better be used to look at pron, write hateful messages to Ukranian nuns, or start your own cult, I will still endevor to explain to my 'special' friends why exactally I am so much better than them.

Darwin first penned the theory of Natural Selection. This states that the weakest members of any species would be killed off, in order to preserve the genetic superiority of the rest of the group. This law was designed for you people. Chaz: Although you claim to be the most popular and the richest, due to the ad's on your site, you have clearly compromised your integrity and any small sembelence of ethics that you had in order to attain this. He has been using illegal, immoral and just annoying tactics to gain visitors to his site (I'm serious, what he's doing for his ad's IS illegal). He may have his illusion of greatness, but in reality, he is a sham, who props himself up by being an annoying whore. Does this sound like a victor to you? Ben: Like The Rolling Stones, this once great thing has turned to advertizing and Viagra to attract the masses. He, while maintaining some semblence of a blog, has further degraded into really bad poetry, and cheap gimmicks to try and gain a crowd. Plus, he too sold his soul to the advertizing devil. Again, his integrity has been shot down, AND he cavorts with the biggest whore, Chaz. Fromstein: In a different light, we could have been friends. However, between your 'on again, off again' blog, your bigorty, and the fact that you are slowly planning to ruin my friend, I can see that you too are destined for evil. And to top it off, you have also joined with the advertising group, in spite of your promise to give the money to charity. What charity, the "Beat Starving Mother's With Orphaned Refugee Minority Fund"? Lauren: If you wrote once in a while, I could clarify your existance, and maybe have something to say about you. Thus, you see the winner is clearly me, as I have transcended the materialism of these fools, not sucuming to the will of the advertizers, and still have a damn funny blog on the internet.


Ben Singer

As the obvious, hands down winner of 'Blogwars 2005', I would like to thank... me. Me, for being as above all this as I could be. Me for being so poetic and soul wrenching, yet hilariously witty. Me for not resorting to name calling, blog-whoring or qutting (I quit before this started, then succumbed to peer pressure and a couple of pretty faces and un-quit 3 days later). Me for trying to mediate the process and in the end, looking like a really reasonable guy. Me, for being Obi-Wan Kenobi to Chaz's Anakin, Herman's Chewie, and Dave's combination of Han Solo and a really angry, angry man. Bristling with rage. And pine cones.

I would also like to thank my insomnia for keeping me up enough hours of the day to have time for all this crap, and chasing Chaz around to all the blogs he's managed to piss off. And thank the reason for my insomnia, hopefully I'll have told you who you are by the time this goes up on Miranda's site. Of course, thank you Miranda, for being the weapons manufacturer to Chaz, Herman, and Dave's United States, Korea and Soviet Russia, not in that order, you can really mix it up. Actually, Chaz should be whichever's bigger, Dave whichever's angrier, and Herman whichever's further in the closet. Oh, and we're never letting Herman live that one down.


The Benjamin D. Singer Blogging Experience for the Ladies


Rally the Troops, Yo!

A long, long time ago (last week) in a land very far away (Canada), there were...


Every member of The Slaughterhouse Five has now completed thier paragraphs, and now it is time to reveal who the judges are, and thier reactions to being asked to be a judge. Note that this post will be updated as more judges are added.

  • Errant Philisophical Ramblings

  • "Of course I'd love to throw a judgement out there... let me know when you've got the final statements in."

  • My Life...and Stuff

  • "Hey!!  I'm 4sure aware of the whole arguements and everything going on...its HILARIOUS!!  I'll definentely check out ur blog when the post goes up...and i'll b w8n 4 the essays!!  Good idea to do all this...its awesome entertainment!!"

  • Hello, World!

  • "Sounds great! Please count me in. I can't wait to see those essays."

  • Eggroll, Bagel, Cookie, Vengeance (Four Ninja Food Groups)

  • "I got your e-mail on the Slaughterhouse 5 and I am excited. It just so happens that I have experience judging debate competitions for the college debate circuit.  Its funny, but true. You're right, It should be fun."

  • B-Sides

  • "I'm game."

  • The Ill Quill

  • "I hate Canadians, especially Mike Weir. Fuck that guy. Y'all hosers are doomed."
    - Justice Quill

  • Deuce the Duck

  • "Ohh yes, I am in. I am in like Flynn, and I don't even know who that is. I am in like bling on your cell phone, in like a Mocha Frappuchino, in like liesure suits.....er....wait....
    Send it to me! I shall be able to spread my powerful influence even further into the internet! mwah ha ha ha *cough* ha ha ha!"

  • Kiddie Pool Depth Thoughts

  • "OK I'm in, but you should know that judging will be a collaborative effort between Carrie and me. She digs your blog but hasn't got a site of her own and doesn't want to be 'some creepy anonymous [fucker]'."

  • The Random Writings of a Redheaded Freakazoid

  • "I'd love to be a judge."

  • Beer Notes

  • "What the shit...I'm in."

  • Anonymous Midwest Girl

  • "I'm in! Sounds like fun!"

  • Playing Chicken With Marsala

  • "Thanks for the invite to join the blog wars. Sounds fun! Just let me know what to do and I'll gladly comply. Unless you want me to ride Space Mountain after eating a large pepperoni pizza and 32 ounces of Gatorade. Then I might kindly decline."

  • A Pile to Step In.

  • "Thank you so much for asking. Yes, I would love to be a judge."


  • Big D: "Bud, why are we even in this shit? We haven't even posted on our blog!"
    Counts: "Well I totally can't post on it--Slutty-Slutty Bang-Bang is always on the goddamn computer worried about her little 'Blog War' or whatever."
    Big D: "Bud, when's happy hour?"
    Counts: "What bud? Sorry. I'm kinda fucked up."

    If you have not been asked to be a judge and want to, drop me a line--but in 48 hours, I will stop accepting new applicants for judges and begin to post thier paragraphs one at a time in 24 hour intervals in the order I received them. This will give us a chance to deliberate, and also a chance for you, the reader, to come to your own decision. Final decisions will be posted within a day after the last essay is posted.

    For now, I'll leave you with this:

    Treat me so and I shall hate you soon,
    he the dead will justly hate you too.
    Say that I am mad and madly let me risk
    the worst that I can suffer, and the best;
    a death that martyrdom will render blest.

    --Sophocles, Antigone

    Same blog time, same blog channel. Stay tuned.


    The Slaughterhouse Five

    WHOA. Okay, lets recap guys.

    -Got insanely drunk with Counts and Big D and decided to create a new gang, complete with uniforms, matching tennis shoes, and a blog (visit TeamTenderloin.blogspot.com. Were still working out the kinks, however).
    -Decided to do some research into other multi-contributor blogs. Of course, I went to Four Ninja Food Groups first. Found a comment on FNFG that seemed like it might be associated with a cool blog, and that blog my friends, was Chaz's.
    -Followed some links on Chaz's blog to some of his friends' blogs. Found Fromstein, Herman, Ben and Lauren.
    -Almost had to go to the emergency room due to uncontrollable laughter, especially due to Fromstein's blog. Realized that thier blogs were more than mere diaries, but were verging on an all-out World Wide Web War.
    -Thought about how specifically Huntsman and my Australian fan Thao would think thier squabbles were hilarious too.
    -Decided very late that night (early that morning?) to post about it. I needed something fun and light-hearted to follow the insane essay I just wrote.

    I thought it was that simple. Funny. Interesting. Nostalgic. What have you. So I got up the next morning (afternoon?), dragged myself to work, came home, and checked my blog.
    There were 12 comments. 12. All from Canada.

    Now you can imagine my surprise, as I had never posted on any of thier blogs. As I've now pieced together, Ben Singer uses a site tracker that led him to me. He alerted all of his friends and...well, you can read the comments on the last post for yourself. I then began to realize that the Blog War was suddenly on my own soil.

    So? What's a girl to do?

    First, there was laughter. Then, the buds and I got into some heavy duty confrencing. I mean, I couldn't just leave things be, and I couldn't start commenting on thier blogs just to escalate it and get my jollies (I mean, they are all friends after all...). So we began to wonder, how can we ride this out? Does it have to end here?
    One of my favorite catch phrases (Ben, are you listening?) is "sleep is for the dead". Most literally it refers to my hectic partying/work schedule, but it also references that I generally refuse to stop a good thing until it's entirely unfeasable. It was on the roof of my building overlooking the hills and valleys of San Francisco, that Aaron Gerkin's girlfriend Jess had a tidbit of amazing insight.
    "Jen (my best freind, Aaron's big sister) is always talking about how you act like mom to your circle of friends, why don't you try and mediate them?"

    Fucking genius.

    And so, I sent an E-mail to The Slaughterhouse Five (as I so cleverly call them) to see what further role they might want to play on my blog. Here are some excerpts:

    To all involved in Blog Wars 2005--
    So now everyone on my end is asking me "what's gonna happen next?"  and I propose an answer to that question in the form of "Blog Mediation 2005".

    What I would need from each of you (Ben, Fromstein, Herman, Lauren and God) is two medium-sized paragraphs describing who you think is the "clear victor" as Chaz would say.  State your peace, and why you think you're right/wrong, be sure to use colorful language dotted with the air of vindictiveness.  That would be hot.
    I will post whatever you write, as long as it's hilarity is only matched by it's BREVITY.  Two paragraphs guys, TWO.  On that note, please come up with better things to call me other than "stupid bitch"--some good exaples of nicknames used recently for me are "The Moure Whore" and "Slutty-Slutty Bang-Bang".  I can't post stuff that makes you guys sound dumb.
    So anyway, I'll take all of your replys and compile them into a follow up post for "Blog Eat Blog World", and I'll give you your own section in my sidebar for links to your blogs.
    I hope you guys like the idea and are into it, I think it would be a fucking riot.

    The replys were almost instantaneous.

    From David Fromstein:
    "As for the thing, I find it demeaning and offensive, but I'll do it if the other boys threaten to beat me up. They have sticks. Big sticks. But no one speaks softly anymore. It's a shame."

    From Ben Singer:
    "Miranda, unfortuantly, a lack of time may keep me from writing those two paragraphs, as I'm in the tail end of exam season, and I leave for Montreal 15 hours after my last exam. I'm gone for two months, and I'm a very stylish kinda guy, so packing could take a while...I'll try and get that 2 paragraph dealie done, but no promises... You may have to wait two months :-("
    (This was shortly followed by an e-mail entitled: "So I lied..." which contained the first of five said two paragraphs.)

    From Charles "Chaz" Firestone:
    "I accept your proposition, on one and a half conditions: 1) I am quite sure that I have more readers than you do, and than all the other members of the blog war. So, my request is that you put up a real link, not one plugged in to the post. 1.5) This one isn't really concrete, but I would also appreciate it if you and your blog team clicked my ads once in a while. Heh heh. I'll send you your paragraphs, just you wait..."

    From Michael Herman:
    "This is Herman writing (my real name is Michael, by the by). Thank you for taking our petty squables, and letting the world know about them. :P As for my two paragraphs, I will send them in a day or two, as I am currently mirred in exams. Good idea though."

    And Finally, from Lauren Silver:
    "Fromstein sent me the e-mail already, but i'm in!!  I'm just still finishing up exams, so it may take another day or two for me to send you the stuff."

    So who will be the victor of Blog War 2005? Well, a team of experts and I will decide that upon the receival of eight more paragraphs. Good luck to the combatants, may Chaz help us all.

    Stay tuned.


    "It's a Blog Eat Blog World"

    If you have ever wondered what happens to a group of sixteen year olds armed only with blogs and bloodlust, finish reading this post.

    So, in the wake of starting our new multi-contributor blog, TEAM TENDERLOIN (starring Poser Counts as The Jedi, Big "Oh, you know why they call me that" D as The Pirate, Boy "With a U" Wunder as the Ninja, and me, Slutty-Slutty Bang-Bang as the Robot) I've been doing a little blog-hunting trying to gain some knoledge as to how to have a really rockin' team blog. In my perusal of the many fine blogs abounding the blogspot circuit, I came across, tucked in the farthest recesses of Ottowa, a full on blog war between a group of highschoolers.

    Now, from what I can piece together, one kid Ben started a blog, and the rest of his friends followed suit. It was apparently shortly after when the whole thing started falling apart; what started as a fun activity between friends began to turn to a full-on HTML competition involving many different levels of cheating, lies, subterfuge, backstabbing, advertising, profits, and even one kid, Chaz, professing to be a blogging deity. By the way, the deity thing is %100 true.

    The best part is, this is all unraveling as we speak-slash-type (that one's for Mark.)

    If you thought Eggroll, Bagel, Cookie, Vengeance was funny (which it fucking is) then these kids will give you a goddamn annurism. These kids are operating on a level where Hackers and Cruel Intentions converge, and they are abso-fucking-lutely-we-don't-give-a-damn-take-no-prisioners serious. Blogging is thier livelihood. I swear to Chaz.

    Highlights include but are not limited to:
    -One of the kids names is David Fromstein. That in and of itself is funny, for as a self professed "Jewey Jew", David, by my standards, has the Jewiest name I've ever heard in my life. I thought it was fake at first.
    -Chaz gets called "evil" more times than I can count on his friends blogs.
    -Chaz also has let the popularity of his blog move him to litterally compare himself to Jesus. He has also been known to comment that he "won the gold in the blogging Olympics."
    -Ben, the originator of the trend, acts as Obi Wan to Chaz's Annakin. He's not only strangly absent from the whole debate, but only grudgingly agknoledges Chaz's decent into the dark side of selling his blog to Google advertising. I think Ben still thinks that Chaz can be saved. Maybe he should cut his legs off and call it a day.
    -There's this one girl, Lauren, who I think is sleeping with one of them. She just started her own blog a couple days ago (Gosh Lauren! Finally! You're always like, hella late and stuff), and the description of her blog reads: "A day without sunshine would be like...night." These kids are regular Pablo Fucking Nerudas.
    -There's another kid named Herman who seems kind of unimportant, but I'm sure he fits in there somewhere. The cool thing about his blog is that you can totally tell that he's a closeted fag. It's funny because his friends can tell too.

    All of this is culminating in Mr. Jewey Jew professing that he's done with blogging. From his blog, Fromstein's Modern Life:

    "Alright, fuck this, and fuck you. I'm sick of this stupid blogging bullshit, I knew it was retarded from the start, and anyone who's ever visited this site is legally retarded. Go to the chemical testing facility nearest your house, they're looking for people like you.
    Best of luck to the rest of the morons who still maintain blogs. If I ever pussy out and decide to start this shit up again, please beat me with hammers until I am physically unable to type, that oughta take care of things.
    So, until next time, this is David Fromstein wishing that you'd stop looking both ways before you cross the street."

    All of this within the inaugural days of our new blog and I think to myself, "could this happen to us?" Of course, then I remember, we have better things to do like get laid, and rid the world of hangovers. TEAM TENDERLOIN FOREVER!!!

    p.s.--seriously, this is real, see for yourself:
  • Fromsteins Modern Life

  • The Chronicles of the Ben D. Singer Experience

  • Chaz Firestone, In Blog Form

  • Half My LIfe, In a Third of Its Insanity

  • Laurenism

  • also see:
  • and special thanks to Nicholas "I would highly consider driving to Oakland for you" Mathisen who gave me the title for this post.


    The Curse Of Great Beauty

    I think the first thing I noticed about the café, the first thing that truly struck me was the efficiency. Absolutely nothing is wasted, and labor is stretched thin enough that you notice—you actively realize that you are quite possibly doing the job of three or four people. By ‘you realize’, of course I mean I realize. I realize because I am the one who decided I wanted to manage the café. Sometimes I wonder if this is sane.
    I once estimated that I spent between ten and fourteen hours a week grooming myself. On any given day, a regular day, I’d take a twenty minute shower. This is not any ordinary shower but rather one carefully choreographed to perform many tasks at great speed and everything was always done in the same order. That twenty minutes was a race to shave, exfoliate, wash, rinse and repeat. I’d brush my teeth in the shower to save time, and I was oft known to have a cup of coffee resting in the soap dish. It took me six products and three pieces of hardware to take a shower—Shampoo, conditioner, face wash, face scrub, body wash, shaving lotion, pumice stone, exfoliating gloves, and razor. This is also three products and one piece of hardware less than at other points in my grooming history. Every product used in the shower had a specific scent carefully chosen not to clash with each other or any of my post shower products that I would order and have shipped from Canada. I was always teased about my long showers, but thankfully, I could usually use my gender as a crutch, saying something along the lines of “we don’t wake up looking this beautiful, you know.” I like believing this.
    I estimate that I spend between 55 and 65 hours a week at the café. On any given day, a regular day when I get to work, I have twenty minutes until the owner leaves, putting me officially in charge of the store until the end of the day when I will close the till and turn off the lights and put my key in the lock of the front door to shut it tight for the night. I know the alarm code. This is comforting to me. Everyday when I get there I use that twenty minutes to put the store back in order after the ravages of the morning. I can restock lids with one hand and scrape lactic acid buildup off the steam wand with the other to save time. The coffee grounds must be wiped from the drip tray. Shot glasses and pitchers must be rinsed, dried, and put back in proper order. Milk must be returned to the fridge. The sugar and creamer on the condiment bar must be refilled. All the dishes should be cleared of the bus tubs and washed. Sometimes the register tape needs changing and this is my new grooming regimen. Most days though, I’m almost relieved when she actually does leave even though I would welcome her help. When she’s not at the café, everyone has to order from me; they have to talk just to me and I know all of their names and sometimes I pretend they are all my friends. Sometimes, I pretend they wish I was their friend. It’s a neighborhood café, and the same people come in every day, and all of these people who’s names I know and drinks I make live in the neighborhood too, and we all do, and when all of us are not at work, we all go to the same laundromat and grocery store and bar. My café is on Haight at Fillmore, and in the neighborhood, like some sort of Hollywood microcosm, I am famous; I am the best supporting actress, and when they all leave my café remarking on my politeness and perfect milk foam, I always say something like “Hey thanks for coming in [insert name]! I’ll see you tomorrow darlin’.” I like saying this.
    In Seattle I hang out at a bar like this, a neighborhood bar, and like me my bartender there has a nearly unrivaled penchant for remembering peoples names. He remembers everyones name and their favorite beer and will run ten or twelve tabs at a time in his head. It’s phenomenal. He’s one of those really excellent bartenders, the ones you like to watch work just because you love to see the grace and humor they bring to an otherwise thankless job. He would toss a coaster in front of you as soon as you sat down to the bar. Many bartenders do this, but not many are as skilled as he who could flick his wrist and careen them onto the table top as one would a boomerang; they would slide a couple inches toward you spinning, then suddenly return the other way a few millimeters and eventually come to a stop right in front of you. It was beautiful. After he served you a beer, he’d always tap the counter with two fingers or two knuckles and say “cheers”. I remember these things about the bartender because I wanted to believe that he was my friend. He was everyones favorite bartender, and sometimes when he was drunk he’d say that I was his favorite customer, and he would miss me when I left for California. I liked believing I was the favorites’ favorite—meaning I, like everyone, wants to be special. He was famous in our neighborhood, and I liked to believe I could ride the coattails of his pseudo fame, through him I could be assured that I would not be forgotten when I left. When I would leave the bar, he’d leave the enclosure of the counter to hug me goodbye. Sometimes he’d catch a sniff of my carefully moisturized and perfumed skin and remark “you smell good.” I like hearing this.
    I used to shower once a day, sometimes twice. Total time spent in the shower a week only brings my grooming regimen time to about three hours, but immediately following every shower though, there were a whole host of products that must be carefully applied and a number of tasks that must be completed before I can dress myself. If nothing is omitted, this takes forty minutes, and includes but is not necessarily limited to cleaning underneath my finger and toenails as well as the inside of my ears and bellybutton, moisturizing every exposed part of my skin, applying deoderant and dusting powder, touching up my eyebrows, medicating my face, and styling my hair. This takes an estimated six hours a week. On any given day, a regular day, this includes the use of 14 products and 6 pieces of hardware—body lotion, foot cream, deoderant, dusting powder, leave-in conditioner, wax-based pomade, styling gel, hair spray, facial wash, facial toner, facial moisturizer, a mild acne medication, eyebrow gel, nail file, q-tips, comb, brush, bobby pins, and tweezers. All of this is topped off with exactly two spritzes of perfume made with extract of Jamaican ginger and rose oil. It’s supposed to smell sexy so that boys want to have sex with you. This of course validates both the time and money spent on a grooming regimen. Hopefully boys appreciate this—I mean, hair removal alone can take two to four hours a week, depending on who you’re trying to impress. Sometimes boys will comment on all of your effort, saying something like “your skin is so soft.” They like saying this. I like being beautiful.
    At the café, I can wear what ever I want and show all of my tattoos and play my own music. I usually wear jeans and t-shirts with chuck taylors as this costume is suiting to the type of work that I do. I don’t have time for my grooming regimen anymore, and so I have to rely on my personality to make people like me. This works fairly well. I remember the bartender and I try to be like him but of course more feminine; I flirt and smile and am overly accommodating. I tap the counter with two fingers after serving a drink. I make a point of remembering everyones’ name because most of them don’t realize that I do it to everyone. Each one in turn thinks that they are special, that they are my favorite. I have my favorites, yes, but I by no means have a hundred. Mostly there is one—one boy that I wait for everyday and suddenly when he’s there I never know what to say. When he is there, I begin to pace in my all-stars, suddenly very aware that my hair is not shiny, my skin is broken out and I have no extract of Jamaican ginger to make him swoon in my presence. Somehow with him and all of his dark shaggy hair and perfect build and even white teeth and reflective aviator sunglasses I forget all of my perfectly rehearsed niceties and can barely mumble a “hi Eric.” He likes that I know his name, and I know other things about him like that he drinks a large unsweetened iced coffee, he lives upstairs, he just earned a degree in mathematics, he’s going to begin teaching at Berkely on June 24th and most amazingly, that his last name is Miranda. I know these things because he is my favorite customer, I remember these things about him that he lets slip, I take it as some sort of sign that Eric Miranda and I share a moniker. I wonder if he realizes that I know this stuff, I wonder if he cares. It always goes like this: I get to work at two, the owner leaves at two-twenty, at three I change the specials on the board, and between four and four-thirty, Eric comes. He comes once a day with his dog, Floyd, and gets his coffee in a to-go cup. He drinks half of it on the back patio and chain smokes, and then when he leaves he always says “Well, I’m off. See you later Miranda.” I like that we share a name.
    When my girlfriends and I really want to impress someone, we perform an almost ritualistic and extended form of grooming that we’ve dubbed the “uber groom”. We used to do this about once a week or so, always on a day off work and in the anticipation of seeing a boy that we’ve been eyeing. The uber groom usually entails a bath, a shower, post shower regimen, costume decisions and makeup. This could take anywhere from two to four or more hours depending on the extensiveness of the groom and on the method of hair removal chosen. Waxing and shaving are not equateable when it comes to measuring them in terms of time. This has always struck us as unfortunate. The number of total products and pieces of hardware used varies, but the total number is usually somewhere in the mid-thirties. This makes us feel more attractive to boys. An uber groom is usually planned to happen a couple of days in advance, and is carefully timed to end immediately before leaving the house armed with cellphone, cash, condoms, and the confidence that comes from knowing you spent four hours making yourself beautiful that day. A night out after an uber groom is one to be seen—there is something about such and extensive beauty regimen that makes one drink much more than otherwise. We, my girlfriends and I, have a specific way of referring to the act. We’ll hang up the phone with someone remarking “I gotta go—I’m gonna go rock an uber groom.” We like saying this.
    The bartender is very attractive, but most of the time I think he wouldn’t seem so hot if he wasn’t a bartender. He’s very fair with green eyes, he has blonde hair and long girlish eyelashes, but when he’s behind the bar, he’s a man. He’s the man. He’s famous. He commands your love and respect with the arc of his carefully tossed coasters and his extensive beer knowledge. There are fourteen rotating taps in his bar that he keeps carefully stocked with hand picked beers that he admires and that the many beer distributors that frequent his bar sell to him. On Monday afternoons when the bar opens at three, half the stools are filled with beer distributors. I think they all think that they are the bartenders favorite, that they sell him the beer that the bartender likes the best. Choosing new beers is an art to him, an art the bartender foolishly thinks his patrons appreciate. Most of us don’t, but prefer to pound whatever can is on special for two dollars until two o’clock rolls around and we are booted from our stools by the time. He, like me, works very long hours. From three in the afternoon until two in the morning three to five days a week he is there, one block of highway 99 looming outside the picture window a few feet from the counter. Outside there is a convenience store and a fruit stand, and this is what he sees all day, every day from behind his bar. Sometimes when everyones beer is poured and every ashtray is empty, I catch him staring outside at nothing in particular. It makes me wonder who his favorite really is, if he even has one. One day he told me “Miranda, everyday I stare out this window and it’s always the same view. Day after day, eleven hours a day, I see the same block of this highway. I think when I die, they’ll autopsy my body, and when they cut open my eyeballs they’ll find a tiny picture of this block upside down and backwards burned into my retinas.” I like thinking about this.
    Eric came into the café the other day, Floyd in tow, looking as graceful and beautiful as ever wearing a black hoodie under a dark brown blazer in perfect San Francisco style. He perched his aviators atop his perfectly mussed hair as he came through the doorway, and smiled at me as he approached my counter. He asked how I was doing and if he could please have an iced coffee. I like him because he is both beautiful and polite. I crossed the space to the freezer to retrieve the ice, then to the fridge to pour the pre-chilled coffee over it. I grabbed a lid, but didn’t place it on the cup until I was back over at the counter. My head bowed over his coffee, I can’t see his face but can easily see the coffee grounds under my fingernails. I wonder if he notices. I wonder if he thinks of me every time he signs a check or fills out a form or flips through his mail; If he at all equates himself with the girl who works at the coffee shop downstairs. I wonder if when signing his own name at the bottom of the resume he used to apply to Berkley he thought of me or his last name or my iced coffee or our conversations or how much Floyd loves me--or if he'll remember my dirty fingernails. When I finish, I tap the counter with two fingers. I smile and say “cheers”. I like saying this.
    We have beer at my café too, draft beer in kegs of all different sizes from all over the world. We have six draft beers—Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Guinness, Hoegaarden Wit Bier, Stella Artois, and Speakeasy Prohibition. I like pouring beer for people because it makes me feel like the bartender, and because I have to turn from the customers to do it. I can actually stop smiling for a minute if I want to. When I pour a beer, I get a moment to myself, and the bustle of the café seems to fade away. Sometimes I pour beers and think about how many hours it would take to make myself beautiful enough for Eric. Sometimes I wonder if that much time exists.
    Once, my wondering went a bit too far, and I was shaken from my trance by a keg exploding all over me. I had tapped my keg of Prohibition, and I’d have to change it. I open the fridge and it’s all aluminum cages shaped like barrels and plastic hoses and these big canisters that hold C02 but remind me of helium canisters you might see perched next to a clown selling balloons at a fair. I smell like beer and I’m tired and there’s a line and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to do it. I do the only logical thing I can think of. I call the bartender in Seattle.
    “Duck Island.” That is how the bartender answers the phone at the bar.
    “Jeremiah? Hey. It’s Miranda. Are you busy?” I probably sounded frantic.
    “Miranda! What’s up dude, how’s my favorite girl doing?” This makes me smile briefly.
    “Actually, I’m at work and I blew a keg, and I gotta figure out how to change it. There’s beer all over and a there’s a line and I need your help.”
    “Anything for you. Don’t worry, it’s simple. I’ll talk you through it.”

    Eric came in a bit later. I saw him first through the picture window in the front of my café, and pretended I hadn’t noticed he had just walked in until he was much closer to the counter. He looked gorgeous. I asked him if he was having the usual.
    “Not today. I kinda feel like a beer. You guys have Prohibition draft, right?”
    “Yeah, totally,” I replied calmly, although I was suddenly very aware of the frizziness of the hair framing my face and dry patch of skin near my elbow that I had been scratching all day, “and there’s plenty ‘cause I just changed the keg.”
    I searched the freezer for the frostiest glass, as if my amazing pint glass chosing abilities could somehow win him over. I briefly thought about the retardedness of this. I poured his beer, set it on a coaster in front of him, tapped the counter with two fingers and said “cheers”. He liked this a lot.
    “I love Prohibition,” he said after a sip, “It’s my girlfriends favorite beer too.”

    Right then, there were four products that I could think of off the top of my head that might make my skin clearer and six brands of hair gel all in different and oh-so-aptly named levels of hold I could buy and apply to make my hair more manageable and coiffed. I thought of the hundreds of dollars of Canadian lotions I could order that would soften and perfume my skin. I thought of all of the brushes and combs and tweezers in this world that might just make Eric take back those words and change them to “do you wanna go have a beer sometime?” I would love to hear that.
    That evening the café was very slow. When all my sidework was done, I caught myself staring aimlessly out the big front picture windows. Outside, on Haight at Fillmore, there is a grocery store and a bus stop, and all of the kids of the neighborhood are out in their finery, perfectly groomed and beautiful in all of their hipster glory. They are getting off work and going to work and shopping for groceries and doing their laundry. They all know me, and I know all of their names. They all come see me at some point for their coffee and many of them believe that they are my favorite. There is this one block outside the window of my café, and ten to fourteen hours a day, six days a week, day in and day out I see them all. Sometimes they wave to me as they walk by. Sometimes they come in just to say hi to me. They love me, they all love me, and they all look like these perfect little people in their perfect clothes and hundred dollar haircuts and I know that as much as they accept me, I would never fit in with them. But they don’t know me, they don’t really know me, and it’s fucked up because they want to know me, and furthermore, they should want to. They only know the Miranda who makes perfect milk foam and taps the counter and is fast and efficient and when something is funny she laughs so loud the whole café can hear. Just once I want them to see what I am really capable of. I mean, if they think I can manage a café, they should see my amazing ability to pair tennis shoes with pinstripe pants or layer moisturizer under foundation. They should see how indie I look in my earmuffs or my legwarmers. They all think I’m cool and well traveled and funny and intelligent, but mostly I want them to know that once I too was beautiful. Before the cafe, I had time and energy for such pursuits, I could have fit right in, mingled amoung them all without getting found out.
    Sometimes I wonder why I want them to know I was beautiful. Sometimes I wonder if this is sane.


    Pirates Apparently Suck Ass

    Please, for the love of god, do yourself a favor and go to this blog. It's the funniest thing I've seen since I saw a Korean girl whip out Peter's wang-chung-and-naughty-bits in Daniels' basement.

  • Four Ninja Food Groups

  • This blog has the official Miranda Moure seal of approval, which means alot because as I was explaining to Poser Counts earlier today: "I have like a grillion friend points."

    Also, it has been brought to my attention that Daniel is apparently pissed at me because I said earlier in this very blog that he was hitting on a sixteen year old girl. Apparently, I have a huge apology to make because as Poser Counts has informed me, "dude, that wasn't Daniel, that was totally me!"

    Oh, and also--been to RCU's blog lately? Do youself another favor and take care of that one. I mean, of everyone on my blogroll this one's not just interveiwing rappers and quoting Mike Tyson. Much like my blog, it's all about the quality. You know what I mean? Were talkin' 100% tit and/or ass discussion.

    Oh, and also, new piece in the next couple of days. Seriously. Well, if I can come to grips with how much I dislike it. Also, Grant, the bartender at Molotovs gave me two PBR's, a Steam, and a Makers rocks for five bucks last night. I have the best job ever.

    Okay, wait, one more thing. This is THE LAST update to this post. I promise. The thing is is that Nick pointed out that some of you may not know who RCU is. Well, RCU is a clever nickname that Jen gave to Mark Huntsman many a moon ago. That is all.


    Ye Olde Warehouse Party


    But seriously guys, this party I went to was worth losing my phone--as was the one brief moment at about four in the morning when I turn a corner and make eye contact with the most beautiful bartender I've ever seen. I had been looking for him the whole night.

    As he's walking over, Violet is next to me, hugging a half rack of MGD and squealing.
    "You made it," he says, one hand on the small of my back, several inches of his 6'4" frame bent over and speaking into the crook of my neck, "There are so many people here, I can't believe I ran into you."
    "Yeah, this party's great." This was my reply. This party's great? What? I'm fucking retarded.
    "Cool leg warmers." he says, pinched my side, and walked away. After I realized I lost my phone, I found him again making out with some little blonde thing, and Violet and I drove back to the 'hood in the brightening daylight.



    For Sammielu

    From this weeks SF Onion:

    Entire Napoleon Dynamite Plot Pieced Together Through Friends' Quotes
    AUSTIN, TX—Although he has never seen the 2004 indie hit Napoleon Dynamite, Michael Osman, 23, has cobbled together its entire plot via his friends' endless quoting of the film. "Well, Napoleon's brother said, 'Don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day,' and then got a visit from his Internet girlfriend," Osman said. "Then Napoleon told his Uncle Rico that he could make 120 bucks 'in like five seconds,' and went to work on a chicken farm. Then Napoleon gave Trisha a drawing, said, 'It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip,' and asked her to the dance." Osman added that he has a pretty good idea what a liger looks like.


    Found, Built, and Associate Family

    Following this very cryptic and anonymous post on my blog:

    Anonymous said...
    Looked at the artists you like...I think you should check out my band, [rap-core band]... Kinda along the lines of Soul Coughing, Mike Doughty. Sorta. Kinda. A little more (and how do I know you'll hate this word?) "pop". Why am I writing this? Who am I? Long story... Anyway, check it out. http://www.[rap-core band].com

    ...I received this much more telling e-mail:

    Ok.  Where to start? 

    First of all, I stumbled upon your blog yesterday, and was pretty suprised by having found it.  Even more suprised when I started reading it, and getting the inth of a grasp that one can get from a blog on who you are as a person.  Now, the question at hand, I guess,  would be why I care at all, and who I am.  Hmm...  Let me ramble a little more before I get to that? 


    I happen to be married to a kind, sweet, intelligent, passionate woman that has spent her entire life searching for a little bit more of her identity.  A part of her identity that's been missing for almost her whole life, because she's disconnected from a huge part of her past and her history.  Her search is something that I've only taken a small part in, but something that I've borne witness to in several steps, several phases, over several years.  Without becoming overly superlative, I'll simply say that this search has led to (among other places), you.  Yup.  You...Miranda Moure.

    First off, I need you to please, please disconnect with any feelings that you may have about where this person comes from, and instead concentrate on the human being that she is.  A sorta scared, highly intelligent, funny, athletic, talented girl , that like yourself, grew up in Seattle.  And with whom you share...well...a liiiitle itty bitty bit of DNA.  (Sorry, trying to add levity to an otherwise lead-heavy situation - insert nervous chuckle here).

    In terms of familial relations, there are a couple of words I didn't want to use, because I thought they'd freak you out (even further than receiving such a deep e-mail from a total stranger ).   But anyway...I suppose that it is what it is. 

    My wife's name is Roxanne Francis (formerly Roxanne Singleton), and I'm writing this on her behalf, because we weren't sure she'd ever be able to finish the letter.  She never knew her father, though she knows of and about him.  And she doesn't want to quiz you about her past, or his past, or yours.  She simply feels a sense of loss and regret that she has a sister in the world that she doesn't know, and to whom she's never even said 'hello'.   So here we are. I found your blog on the net, and told her about it.  It was my idea to extend an olive branch on her behalf, because she's quite nervous about the whole thing.  She's tried to find you and contact you before, and it was never certain whether you knew and decided not to respond, or rather she was unsuccesful.

    Again...I know this is super heavy...and more than a little weird.  And that you may not even want to know any more about her or this situation.  But I can tell you with 100% certainty that she would like to know more about you, and would love nothing more than to hear something - anything - from you.

    As someone who knows and loves Roxanne, reading your blog was interesting and strange.  I think you guys could probably have some really interesting conversations about the Dark Crystal (a movie that she loves, but which I find completely creepy and dark).  Or  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (a film that we watched 3 times in a row on DVD because the first time just wasn't sufficient).  And a lot of other interests that you guys may share.  She's a pretty complex person, but driven by simple needs.  One of those needs is to be more connected with other people...  Blah blah blah.   Either way, this is pretty deep.  I know.

    Worst case scenario, I think she'd just be happy to know that you know that if you ever ever EVER wanted to contact her, she has opened the lines of communication, and has let you know that she would really like to hear back from you.  Not to form an instant, false sense of "family", but to get to know someone who might turn out to be a friend, and with whom you happen to share one important commonality.

    Sorry, I know it's a lot to think about.  Sorry to drop so much on you.  And I'm aware of how difficult this must be for you, from the little that I do know about things.  Still, I hope that you  consider shooting Roxie an e-mail, or calling, or anything.  It would really mean the world to her.  And hopefully, it would also open at least a small door in the world for you...

    Thanks for your time,

    Thanks for listening.

    [member of rap-core band] and
    Roxanne Denise Francis.

    Roxanne Denise Francis is my sister.

    Top 5ive

    Spurned both by M. Huntsman (both recent and past events), and R. Bergamino's most recent post, I've decided that in addition to my soundtrack listings from each month, I should, as it is mid-year, explain to the populace the top 5ive most influential songs to me (right now).

    The Beast and Dragon Adored--Spoon
    Where you been for so long/I went to places unknown/Rented a room/And I forgot my pen/Shook my twin/And I had to find the feeling again.
    San Fransisco has offered two very striking and unforseen challenges to me--1) I have a much harder time being away from Sam than I ever anticipated and 2) I have written one piece worth putting on this blog since I've moved here. I've had one good Idea since I've started my job--and it has to do with my grooming regimen vs. time restraints. It sounds retarded, but it's the best idea I've had.

    Grace Cathedral Hill--The Decemberists
    And the world may be long for you/But He'll never belong to you/But on a motorbike/When all the city lights blind your eyes tonight/ are you feeling better now?
    Yes, I understand the world is long and huge and vast and what have you--and yet I am constantly pissed off that people refuse to let me own them. Of course, it's because I refuse to belong to anyone.

    White Lexus--Mike Doughty
    Please, show me how to live/Please, show me how to have a day.
    For the simple respect that these two lines kill me everytime. Absolutely kill me. You can hear so much desperation in the brief pause between "please" and the request that it makes my eyes involuntarily shut to contemplate the importance of these words everytime I hear it. Every single fucking time.

    Touch, Feel and Lose--Ryan Adams
    I just wanted you to love me/Touch, feel and lose/And cry, cry, cry.
    I printed lyrics from this song and taped them to Sam and I's refrigerator before I moved; I meant it to be for her, and yet it seems to now be for so many that I've left in the wake of my instability.

    and...ummm...damn it. The last one is hard, you know? To pick just one more? Okay, how about

    The Israelites--Desmond Dekker
    Get up in the morning slaving for bread sir/So that every mouth can be fed
    Mostly because this song has been stuck in my head for MONTHS, I've never really gotten it out. Also thoug, because I like how it speaks of meeting basic needs--the grind and the lives we lead, the neccesary 'Rock and Roll' (sound familiar?).

    That's all for now. Thanks to Rae and Mark but also to Nick Hornsby.