Archive | January 2013

Fuck Autocorrect

I can be a very crude person. Not in a tactless way, I’m not abrasive and violently opinionated in that trashy teenage girl way, where they just say gratuitously rude shit to people they don’t know to prove to their classless friends that they’re fucking REAL and don’t give a shit about what other people think. Those people lamentable. That was totally off point but I ran into a couple kids like that this week and I could have done without their existence and wanted to mention it.

Where am I going with this? Not sure I know I had a really good segue when I was thinking of this bit but I forgot it at some point between dinner and the third episode of Party Down I watched tonight. So anyways, I’m a crude person, and I like to say bad words a lot when I’m writing or chatting with friends. This is partly because I’m crass but it also helps lend weight to things. Did you do something, or did you FUCKING do it, man? Fuck is the ultimate modifier, basically.

Also sometimes, certain bad words are the best way to describe things, and as someone who worships at the altar of efficiency, I always prefer to use the best word possible. For instance, without the word cunt, it would be almost impossible to really describe Ann Coulter.

However, and this is the part that pisses me off, cunt is not a word, according to Microsoft word. Nor is it a word according to facebook chat – it is always autocorrected to count… As if facebook is telling me “surely you meant to say counts!” and to facebook I say, “no… facebook. I meant to say cunt, because that person is a cunt, and I am describing them.” As a corollary, if you don’t capitalize the f when you type facebook on facebook chat it autocorrects it so that the f is capitalized, which I find very annoying. Get off your own dick facebook.

Now on the one hand, this bothers me because I hate having to spend the extra second having to fix it so that cunt is written properly, and I have a similar aversion to seeing that obnoxious fucking red squiggle beneath words Microsoft Word thinks I messed up, particularly when I know that that word is actually a word and Microsoft is in the wrong. Fuck machines that think they know how to think, and as an extension if Microsoft Word green underline squiggles one more fucking reflexive pronoun because it just can’t handle the word themselves I’m going to flip (and dear sweet baby jesus, perfectly on cue it just green underline squiggled that word). That minor annoyance aside, there’s something far more sinister at play, an issue mostly of censorship.

Words that are words are words. They are in the dictionary, they have accepted definitions. They are real, they are tangible, they exist. I should be able to expect that when I use a real word on a real word processing unit, that word processing unit will not tell me that word is not actually a word. I can understand why it put red squiggly lines under cuntily, and cuntish, (something the ‘add’ button was able to correct…) because those aren’t in Merriam Webster. But cunt is in Shakespeare.

What I’m trying to get at though is that it is not their duty to play moral arbiter on bad words. My word processing units/chat mediums should not come replete with their own moral sensibilities. They are tools, and it is not their place to tell me that something is not a thing because their creator is a prude. Fuck you, fuck the horse you rode in on, and next time give me a product that doesn’t think “oh you must surely be mistaken!” when I use a word it thinks is inappropriate.


I am the coyote

Over the last several years, just about every Thursday night that I’ve been at home I’ve played indoor soccer from 9:30pm to 10:30pm with a bunch of Mexican gentlemen. I was introduced to this weekly game by one of my best friends from High School, henceforth known as Brown Bear – we used to be really into scrubs, and him being Brown helped us really get into the JD/Turk, vanilla Bear/Brown Bear mantra. BB is Guatemalan, and he was an illegal alien when he came into this country until he was about 10, when his family became naturalized citizens.

Apparently that whole process is harrowing, as basically you show up with your whole family at some very official government building, and once there, you either get the opportunity to become a US citizen and continue to live your life in peace and quiet or they deport the fuck out of you. How they make that assessment is beyond my ken, though I think having 5 kids in the family may have helped.

To make a long story short,  his mom is one of 13 children, and every year or two one of her brothers will find their way in from Guatemala (there’s four here now, and I gather they take trucks, as air travel requires a level of legality beyond their means), live in their house for a couple months until they can find work and some roommates, and then go on their merry way. Their English isn’t particularly good so they find jobs at Mexican restaurants, where they make friends with the Mexican guys who work there and love soccer, and it is in this roundabout way that I know they play soccer on Thursdays and get to play with them.

It felt a bit awkward at first for me, since I’m the only white American guy who plays with them on Thursday nights. Of the 15-22 guys that show up every week, only perhaps four speak English well enough to say anything other than hello or pass, and despite playing with these guys for years the only interaction the majority of us have is the traditional good game fist bump. In keeping with this, despite playing with them for years, I know almost none of their names. I know one guy, Kris, partly because he’s the one everyone gives the game fee too, but mostly because he’s the only one who speaks English well enough to complain properly when I trip him. There’s Wilmer, Brown Bear’s cousin, but everyone calls him Cabanas, with the n having that squiggly thing that changes the way you pronounce it. And Raphael, who is about my age but always brings this 4-5 year old girl, which makes me think he’s either a really helpful uncle or made a horrific mistake.

After that though, I’ve got nothing. They call this one guy something that sounds like Weedle, which I hope is actually his name because I love nothing more than people who don’t know their names are also Pokemon. The fat kid I thought was named Albert they always shout “Chivas” at, so I’m going to assume that’s his name but will continue to call him Albert in my head. One of Brown Bears other uncles is called taco, make of that what you will.

Despite this utter lack of common language, communication problems aren’t that big a deal, and Spanish is starting to slowly creep into my lexicon. I never shout time anymore, it’s “tiempo” and faster has become “rapido.” I will refrain from a cheap “pass is passo, get it, because Spanish words end in o” joke because no one has ever made one that’s actually good.

Outside the language problems, there’s also a fun clash of playing style. They play exactly like I always sort of thought Mexicans would play. First, they all love to dribble. I used to watch the Argentine professional league and even the defenders there play as if they aren’t allowed to pass until they had dribbled past an opponent first, and the same rule seems to apply. That’s partly because we’re just messing around and beating people is fun, but it also just seems ingrained that they like to hold onto the ball perhaps a couple seconds longer than they should. It’s actually a refreshing change from the sterilized, serious soccer you see at club level, where it’s all first touch passing and movement and dribbling is frowned upon, but it can be annoying when you’re hanging out wide open in front of the net and they resolutely tell you to fuck off by trying to finagle their way through a packed defense all alone.

They’re also sneaky fast, and incredibly shifty. Everyone seems to have this preternatural, innate ability to turn on a fucking dime in the middle of a full sprint. They’re also great about shielding opponents from the ball and turning themselves every which way until they’ve shaken them off – they’re tricky people!

But you don’t give a shit about soccer so I’m going to get to the part that amuses me about the games, and that is that every single guy I play with is in America illegally. BB and I had been joking about it for years, every Thursday he’ll ask if I’m down for some illegal soccer action, something silly like that. All in good fun! Then one day two years ago, “gato” stopped coming. After about a month I thought it was a little weird, and BB confirmed that there had been a police raid on Acapulco’s, the restaurant Gato worked at, and he had been deported. WOW! I thought. Shit got real! Gustavo, the Brazilian kid who used to play with us had self-deported after his Visa ran out when we were in high school, but this was the first actual non-intentional country eviction I had been privy to.

Surely this was an isolated incident I thought, and didn’t bother thinking about any of the other guys’ residence status. Over the next couple years none of them disappeared that I could remember, but I was in school a lot so didn’t play for months at a time and couldn’t be totally sure, and never really paid it much attention – as I’ve stated before, being oblivious is a talent of mine.

Then, last month, Gato came back. He wasn’t as good as he had been but it looked like the same kid, and everyone certainly seemed to be calling him Gato. While the odds there were two similar looking Mexicans nicknamed cat in my area were probably pretty high, I was still confident I had found a match, and I mentioned it to BB. What follows is a pretty accurate transcript of what we said, as close as I can get wearing a wire when I wander around. “Hey is that Gato? It looks like him. He’s not very good anymore though, I don’t think prison agreed with him.”

Winnie agreed with me that Gato had indeed come back and was shittier, and I followed up with, “Hey so how many of these guys are actually here illegally? Like how did Gato come back?”

Winnie gave me the look he always gives me when he re-remembers that while I’m his friend, I’m also a hopelessly clueless and naïve member of the white establishment. “Vanilla Bear. You’re a retard. they’re all here illegally. Gato came in a truck.”

“Wait all of them? I always thought a couple of them were and we were just kidding.”

“I mean we are kidding because it’s funny but none of them are here legally.  Like, Wilmer got deported last year. They threw him in jail for a month and sent him back to Guatemala and then a couple months later he hitched a ride back up here.”

“Wow! Holy shit!” this was some serious fucking news to me. “They actually put him in jail? I was just kidding earlier. Jesus that’s rough. And he just came back in a couple months?”

“Yeah they all do. It’s not that hard.” This was absolutely blowing my mind.

“Even though they might go to jail? That would be awful I would definitely do very poorly in jail.” As I thought about it, the wheels started turning in my head, because I’m always one for entertaining fictive hypothetical’s. “So Winnie, is there like a reward for turning in immigrants? Like if I called the police here one day would they give me a million bucks?”

“They might give you a sticker or a certificate or something. Definitely no money. Oh and we would all beat the shit out of you.”

“Wait you would join them?”

“Well I’m not going to help you fend off two dozen pissed off Mexicans. Especially if you’re going to pull that kind of a dick move, you would deserve it.

“Nah I wouldn’t do that, I was just wondering. What would happen though if the police just randomly cased this joint while we were playing?”

“Oh they would all get deported. You’d probably go to jail though, they would think that you were the coyote.” The coyote? Now there is a sweet term for a criminal, I feel like someone could do a lot worse than to be called the coyote. I was learning things left and right! “The coyote is the guy who leads everyone in to the country. They don’t come in blind, they need to have someone pointing them out where to go and what to avoid, all that. And as the resident white person, you would be the coyote.”

So there you have it kids. If I ever disappear for no explicable reason, odds are that haven’t been kidnapped – who would want me? – or run away, because I’m a creature of comfort, and where would I go? No, you would do well to check my local jail, because I am the coyote.

Does everyone else see this shit?

Interacting with other people can be an uncomfortable experience for me, and I’m unsure if this is because I am the reigning Lord of all things self-conscious or because everyone else is just particularly good at hiding their own social neuroses and questions of awkwardness. I think part of it might have something to do with the fact that I must have missed a lot of social awareness classes growing up, because I seemed to come late to the information party on a lot of kind of important things. Things that other kids just seemed to know I was blissfully ignorant of: For instance I had no idea what a ‘boner’ was until some kid at summer camp explained it to me when I was 9.

This is because I lived under a massive fucking rock up until I was 10 or so, and one partly of my own devising, because I don’t ask questions. You’d think if a very sensitive part of your body occasionally became even more sensitive and, like, I guess the proper term is erect, you’d ask someone a fucking question. Nope. Not me. Questioning things is not how I operate. Whether this is because I am very comfortable within whatever cocoon of knowledge I have constructed for myself and see no need in expanding it or because I am just a hopelessly unaware person is up for debate.

I’d put it down to the latter, with an asterisk, because there are always asterisks when I am involved. The reason I say asterisk here is that I am not totally unaware – I am just a very selective noticer of things. I have a great head for facts and figures and random information. I could, without consulting a wiki of any type, probably give you more information about the Game of Thrones universe (and to be fair to academic me, I could do the same for classical Greek and Roman history and a few other things that actually exist) than just about everyone not named George Martin.. I want to know who did what and why, it interests me, so I read on and find out. When it comes down to things that actually affect me, I’m sadly all too willing to just chalk it off as something that just happens and I can’t do anything but accept it. When a little voice in my head goes “Gee, why is my penis all funny right now? Sure is hard to piss like this,” another little voice replies, “Hey no biggie The Leach, that just happens sometimes, nothing you can do. It’ll go away in a few minutes if you don’t think about it or anything. Go read a book.” And that will be that – nothing to see here folks, move along.

Whether this has anything to do with how self conscious I am remains to be seen, but there’s a sense that if you get burned a few times for lacking basic information about your body/missing social cues, you’ll overcorrect to spare yourself future shame. However true that may or may not be, I have a really heightened sense of paranoia around seeing other people doing things that I wouldn’t do and not seeming to notice.

This is not the same as saying that they make me feel uncomfortable. That’s looking at something that you don’t like and having an opinion by being all “Ew, I don’t like that thing!” I am almost impossible to creep out in that fashion. Rather this is about seeing something that seems a little off, and not being sure if I’m supposed to have an opinion about it, and thinking I must have missed something if and when everyone else has, by their acknowledgement or non-acknowledgement of that difference, tacitly revealed that they have an opinion about it (not noticing something can itself be an opinion, i.e. that thing is not worthy of notice), and I’m just sitting alone unsure of what to think.

Let’s say that for some inexplicable reason a bunch of naked dudes are milling around in a place they aren’t supposed to be and acting all nonchalant about it, like in a museum or library or courtroom, just a place where naked people generally are not to be found. Also, this isn’t a naked run, this is just dudes hanging out naked reading the newspaper. Instead of walking into the library and thinking “well that’s disgusting,” I’ll start to question whether I’m doing something wrong. “Those dudes are naked. Ok. Fact. Definitely naked. All of them, naked, hanging out. And they look like it’s normal, and no one is yelling at them. Is this a party? Naked Tuesday thing? Fuck, there aren’t any signs or directional’s, how was I supposed to know. Am I supposed to be naked too? Wait am I the weird one now? What the fuck. If I’m supposed to be naked where do I put my clothes? I can’t see where they put theirs; did they just show up naked? Should I walk to my car or something and get naked and come back in?” That’s what it’s like, every fucking time I see a bunch of people doing something that isn’t quite the way I had always assumed things were supposed to be. I start wondering if everyone is crazy or if I’m just hyper sensitive, although in this case which was sort of dramatized for effect I think being sensitive to the issue might not be a crazy reaction.

One of the biggest instances of this (Which I have since solved but confused me so much at the time) revolves around thighs. First, I used to feel really uncomfortable around public transportation when I would sit and another person would sit down next to me and our thighs would be touching while we sat there, being shuttled along to our separate destinations. I always assumed that thighs were personal space, like the castle doors to my penis, and I kept being rudely disabused of that (admittedly) idiotic notion every time a stranger sat their ass down next to me and our thighs would touch. This happened so often that I slowly realized that thighs were not personal space and that it’s ok if yours touch the persons next to you.

However I still do think that while a stranger may have their thigh space and I have my space (and our thighs touch because that’s socially OK, obviously, because people keep doing it) that doesn’t mean that you get to dominate the available thigh-space such that my thighs are squeezed into a corner so that you can sit there and gloat with your genitals the point of origin of the asshole 90-degree angle your thighs are forming. I’ve had enough of dickheads doing their best to use their thighs like the battering rams of an expansionary Ottoman horde against my tired 15th century Eastern European defenses. Would that my own thighs – sad, fightless protuberances that they are – had the resolve of Vlad the Impaler and actually fought back. Fuck you and sit properly in your seat, the limits of which your thighs may expand towards, but no further.

That seems covered, and so we have thigh related issue number one assessed. The second issue, something of a corollary, concerns how much thigh it is acceptable to show. As a soccer player this question gains prominence as I have developed not only slightly larger thighs than your average human, but I play a sport in whose very rulebook it is decreed that my thighs must be displayed, like some bizarre athletic meat market. That isn’t a joke, I am a referee and shorts must be worn, as per the rulebook I am checking on the Internet at my shitty temp job right now.

The issue of thigh showing is similarly relevant to me because different demographics seem to have very different ideas of what constitutes acceptable thigh showing. For instance it seems like from the 60’s to the 80’s, shorts were pretty much mid-thigh length, judging by what movies featuring summertime joggers and old basketball games (the only two historical records I have access to) seem to indicate. However most recently shorts have been much longer, judging by the ever-reliable trend indications of basketball games, and I guess by the slightly less reliable clothing choices of people I see in public.

However despite this kneeward expansion of general short sizes, soccer shorts sizes have been stagnant, with no foreseeable size increase in the future. So where’s the social issue? Well I’ve got all these soccer shorts, and I’m wearing them in public around people wearing shorts down to their knees, and so I’m the only non-female figure with their thighs out, and I feel fucking weird about it, like everyone else had a meeting where acceptable public shorts sizes was hashed out but I wasn’t invited and now I’m the idiot who never got the memo and showed up to school on an off day.

This problem burned at me through my prime self-conscious years (13-17), until I got to college, where I learned that thigh showing was totally acceptable, particularly in any athletic context. Why is this? No idea, but I saw so many thighs – serious kudos to rugby players on this account, y’all got mad thigh confidence – that I became totally unconscious to all things thigh related. I can’t tell if I just became slowly inoculated against the presence of so many thighs to the point where I stopped noticing, in the way that people used to build up immunities to various poisons (you are probably thinking of Wesley with his iocane powder here, though I prefer to think of myself as a slightly retarded version of Mithridates). It was either that or I just one day realized who gives a shit about thighs.

These social confusions aside, I’m still coming to grips with the latest issue, namely, how much (penis related) bulge is acceptably visible in the crotch region? This isn’t a “how big is a normal penis supposed to be” question – trust me I’ve done all of that relevant research. Rather, regardless of how big one’s penis is, how much of its accompanying bulge is acceptably visible in public?

I ask because I was out playing indoor soccer last week and one kid had, to my eye, far more bulge displayed than should be allowed. I’m not sure if that’s some sort of weird clothing malfunction or if he just had a monstercock, but I felt like something was wrong. I’m not sure what he could have done; like I don’t think people should be walking around hunched over or anything to spare me a bulge sighting but I feel a smart person could figure out how to help all parties here.

Which then brings up the first question, do other people even notice those things in the first place? I’m not saying I walk around with my eyes permanently at hip level trying to check out how prominently the men around me are displaying their dicks but it’s something that I do occasionally notice, and I feel like it’s one of those things that most people would notice. And if you do notice those things do you bring it to the relevant parties attention? Like, ‘hey dude, great cock but can you keep it out of the limelight?’ That question was superfluous actually; I doubt anyone has ever considered alerting the offending party.

But then, once we’re off the question on whether or not this is a notice-worthy issue, arises the other question, namely, even if you do notice it, is this an issue or not? Is it just something that one notices, like different skillsets, e.g. when I’m watching a sport and notice someone is a particularly good shooter or passer or whatever, or that guys tall, and the issue of someone having a noticeable dick-bulge in their pants is just on that level, something that you notice because it distinguishes them from the rest, but nothing more? I don’t know and consider the jury is still out on this issue. Not that I’m not going to keep losing sleep about it, and a thousand other weird things that I notice.

Stop being a dick

I wrote this after people broke a lot of my shit senior year. I couldn’t think of a way to properly mass-distribute it so I just put it away in despair of ever catching my latest enemy.

This is not a matter of respect. It is hard to respect me, because I do not invite respect or ask for it. I don’t respect you, you don’t respect me, and we don’t have to meet in the middle because I don’t care. What this is about is not being an asshole.

Who goes to a party and brings a tree into someone’s house? Why is my bathroom completely fucked up? Can you not break my razor blades because you are a dick and drunk? It is not hard. I don’t break things all the time. It’s a conscious decision. Make that decision. Also why would you break them? Razor blades are expensive. TAKE THE RAZOR BLADES. Be a better criminal.

I can’t lock my door. The lock was kicked out. That happened Saturday night because someone sucks. You could have just walked into my room. My alcohol is out and my grades are above my desk, perhaps to remind me how bad I am at my major. Sit on my bed and read my thesis; drink with me, you’re invited. There’s no need to kick my door down, it’s never even locked in the first place.

This open door policy does not mean you can steal my shit. I woke up and my wallet and teddy bear were under a tree. My 2-liter bottle of green apple vodka is gone. I mix that with apple juice because I drink like a child. I can’t do that now because some kid took it. Why would you take it? I hope centaurs gang rape you. I had a bottle of American honey whiskey on my desk that was in open view that you should have stolen because it is amazing, but you’re an idiot and took the Smirnoff. BE A BETTER CRIMINAL.

So enjoy the vodka. I honestly hope that you die. If someone gave me a gun with 4 bullets and put me in a room with you, Ann Coulter, Hitler and Stalin I would shoot you four times and beat Coulter to death with their mustaches. This is not an “oh please return my shit,” thing. Drink it. It cost $20. I have cost myself far more buying the wrong flights and being drunk and getting roped into jewelry sales at Kmart. I could burn $20. Money is fictive.

Don’t return to my house. You are a thief and not invited. I understand that you were partying. That does not give you an excuse to be a cunt and break things. I don’t really consider what I do to be partying, but I certainly don’t break other people’s shit when I go out drinking. Say stupid things? Yes. Break my own things? Sadly on accident yes. Cost other people money in property damage? No. Because I am not an asshole.

Being alive is hard. You likely have enough on your plate without me hating you. I get back at people in oblique ways that are generally disproportionate to the wrongs I have suffered. Just ask my sister. In No Country for Old Men, Llewelyn Moss says [sic] ‘ever step you take is forever.’ You made that step. I will not forget.