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Location: Long Beach, California, United States

Music Geek - Rock & Roll Jeopardy Champ Certified!

Poop Culture

Visit my other blog, Lost in the '80s - do it now, dammit!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Two Things

1. Lost in the '80s has been updated.
2. If anyone knows of a simple way to convert .vob files to QuickTime compatible video on a Mac, let me know and I'll so make your day.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Weirdness Magnet

If I were to join the X-Men, my mutant power would be the ability to attract all sorts of weirdness and freaky people to me. Not exactly a useful power, but it seems to be something I’ve been cursed with. Strange, random shit seems to happen to me on a regular basis. And it’s not imagined. Friends that have known me for years have noticed this, too, often remarking “John, this shit always seems to happen to you.” None of us can figure out why, either.

I’m polite, I follow rules, I hold open doors for ladies, I smile and say “Hey” to strangers. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I look like an easy mark.

Take last night at the gym, for example. I grab a flat bench press, lay my nice, clean, freshly bleached towel down, put my weights on, and do my first set. I then get up, leaving my towel on the bench which is the universal gym sign for “Someone is using this bench,” and get a quick drink from the water fountain. When I walk back, I see a strange, Borat-ish Israeli or Paki type guy wearing a grey tank top, hideous gold chain and ‘70s style short shorts sit on my bench, look at my towel, give it a disgusted look, THEN SWEEP IT ONTO THE FLOOR. He then begins to Not Do Bench Presses, but faggy triceps dips, using the bench for support.

There are five empty benches next to this one.

There are not one, but two dip machines nearby.

This man is in his early 40s, about 5’9”, maybe 140 pounds. Maybe. His overly hairy shoulders and back are exposed by his gross tank top. He carries no workout towel with him. He sees me out of the corner of his eye in the mirror as he takes his time finishing his grand total of 14 dips. I stand patiently, waiting for him to finish. As he does, he stands up, walks over to me and actually gets in my face.

“Just because you leaf towel, does not make YOURS!” he yells in my face. The entire weight room freezes and looks on.

There are five empty benches next to this one.

There are not one, but two dip machines nearby.

Everyone in the weight room is watching this strangeness play out. Me, I’m used to it. Like I said earlier, I’m a Weirdness Magnet. This is my mutant power. Freaks are drawn to me, always confronting me for some imagined slight, yelling random shit on the street, taking weight benches from me, that sort of thing. I calmly explain to Borat that actually, it’s proper gym etiquette to assume when a towel is left on a piece of equipment, someone is in the midst of using said equipment. If he would like to work in, I’m more than happy to let him in between my sets, although, there were, say it with me, five empty benches next to this one.

Borat’s eyes blaze. “YOU WANT TAKE OUTSIDE??”

With this line, two guys using the cable pulldowns began laughing out loud. Borat doesn’t like that.

“What so funnee?”

“Dude, have you seen yourself? Look at you, then look at him. I wouldn’t be getting in his face.” Awww, how sweet, I thought to myself. They think I’m big!

At this point, Borat is finally humiliated enough to walk away and go to the triceps pulldown machine, where he can continue working on his angel hair pasta-like arms. I sit back down on my bench, replace my towel, turn my headphones back up and do my second set. When I sit back up, I’m greeted by Borat’s eyes from across the room boring a hole thru my skull. His gaze is so evil, psychotic and hate-filled I have no other option but to begin laughing out loud.

Uh, oh. Borat didn’t like that, either. He trudges back over to my bench and begins yelling something, gesticulating wildly as he does so. Everyone’s watching us again, but I don’t hear a thing because I’m too busy listening to the Brothers Johnson “Strawberry Letter 23” in my headphones. I say, “Dude, I can’t hear you. I’m wearing headphones.” This doesn’t stop him. He’s still saying something, who knows what.

Now, at this point, Old John would have gotten up pushed him away, took the bait, etc. Current John is older, smarter and more in control. Basically, Current John does the exact opposite of what Old John would do, much like George Costanza in that classic “Seinfeld” episode where everything goes right for him when he begins fighting his first instincts. Current John gets up, walks to the front desk and explains the situation to the gym manager.

The manager and I walk back to the weight room. As we approach, Borat sees us, walks to the rear emergency exit door, kicks it open and runs out into the night, leaving a wailing, beeping fire alarm in his wake.

Actually, Borat helped me out a bit. I’ve been trying to get back to where I was workout-wise since my layoff after the mugging back in November, and the adrenaline our little tiff caused helped me match my weight and rep counts for the first time since then. Yay, Borat!

Weirdness magnet. Can’t wait to go tonight!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Dear Dan Savage...Again.

Well, it's nice to see my earlier advice to you seems to have had some effect. In your column this week,a young man writes:

I am a 15-year-old boy and I've never had a girlfriend and I wanted to ask you personally, how do you get girls? Like the best way to get them, so they think I am interesting. I await your orders.
Teenager Going To Waste

Hire a hooker! Oh, wait. No, you answered:

...don't despair, TGTW. Your awkward/ repulsive stage will pass. In the mean time, here's what you need to do: Worry less about getting your 15-year-old self laid, and start thinking about getting your 18- or 20-year-old self laid. Join a gym and get yourself a body that girls will find irresistible; read so that you'll have something to say to girls (the best way to make girls think you're interesting is to actually be interesting); and get out of the house and do shit—political shit, sporty shit, arty shit—so that you'll meet different kinds of girls in different kinds of settings and become comfortable talking with them.

Great advice. My only question now, is why does the straight kid get this advice, while the gay kid gets told to just hire a fucking escort?

Dan, Dan...oh, Dan.

I'm here. Run these things by me first.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Earning my salary

During a long conference call, a co-worker mentioned to me that he missed last night's episode of "24". To bring him up to date and not interrupt the call, I proceeded to create "Last Night on '24', presented by The Stick Figure Reporatory Company."


Monday, March 14, 2005

so, if it's written by a lesbian, does that make it "dyke-ku"?

i have to say
that trying to
rosie o'donell's blog
makes my head

"Your knuckles white as your fingers curled..."

For no other reason than I'm on a major Human League kick this weekend/week:

The Human League, "Seconds"

...or as the majority of people would know it, The Song On the B-Side of "Don't You Want Me" That I Never Listened To.

Fine Folks

"...and by hubris, I mean overweening pride!" - Johnny's Greatest Hits

25 Year Loop
Fucking Woof
David Live
The Night Before
Jobriath Was First
She's in Parties
She's in Parties Pt. 2
Tales From the Dragon Club
Tales From the Dragon Club Pt. 2
Okay, California...You Win
How to Sell Used CDs

Previously on "Johnny Is a Man"...

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