My Bloody Bike Rampage

I just ran over a chipmunk on my bike. I was listening to Michel Thomas on my iPod when this cute furball appeared out of nowhere. ¿Maté el chipmunk? No mueras por favor, señor Chipmunk! I thought I only bumped him, maybe nipped his nail — but when I looked back, poor dude was flopping all over the place. I’ve never seen a creature convulse like that, just bouncing around on the ground before slipping into eternity with a few last desperate twitches. Upon closer examination it appeared as if he’d actually pissed himself in all the excitement, with blood splattered all over his mouth and whiskers. No other real signs of trauma; I imagine there was massive internal bleeding and/or a snapped vertebrae. Autopsy reports pending.

I have never previously entertained the notion of running over an animal on my bike, but it appears I encountered the one sorry bugger too slow to scamper out of the way of my Schwinn of Doom. After staring for ten minutes aghast at the dastardly deed I’d done, I dug a grave for Dale between two pine trees. I’m not gonna lie, I was loathe to grab his tail but this kid deserved an honorable burial. The site is marked with a rock and two twigs in the shape of a cross, held together with grass.

After the funeral I attempted to make contact with Chip, his long-time gay lover, but to no avail. R.I.P mi amigo.

Strangelife: How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Become a Porteño

Tengo un aviso emocionante: Me estoy trasladando a Buenos Aires en agosto!

In other words, I’m starting a new life in Buenos Aires, Argentina starting mid-August. I received acceptance today into a TESOL certification course and after graduating in September I will hopefully get a job teaching English in Argentina or thereabouts.

This has happened very suddenly in one sense, yet in another I’ve been preparing for this kind of thing for awhile. I looked at a number of locations around the world, but when I stumbled upon Buenos Aires things kind of clicked mentally in a way they hadn’t for other spots and I’ve approached something resembling peace about this decision. I’ll be living in a student apartment with, I think, two others and the course itself runs four weeks for a combined 120+ hours of study.

Anyway, just thought I’d share my news. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet, and I’ll feel even more excited/terrified once I book my flight (IND -> EZE for ~$450 sounds amazing, right?). I’m already brushing up on my Spanish. Wish me luck.

No Limit Kitten Hold’Em

On Sunday Scott, Kraig, & I took in a stray cat, henceforth known as Lady Macbeth. She was black & white and a little gimpy, with one deformed ear and one hairless patch on her tail. Ms. Macbeth was starved for affection and food, both of which we lavished on her unceasingly — even cobbling together a litter box and buying gourmet cat food.

She was a very cute, docile, loving feline and would’ve been welcome here indefinitely… if only her hairless patch hadn’t been identified as kitty mange. On Tuesday an open sore developed, which her biting/scratching obviously exacerbated, and radioactive tails just aren’t my thing. When sore-pus (I apologize for the graphicness) dripped on a couch pillow, I drew a line and booted Macbeth right back out the door. From catless to catfull to catless in three days ain’t no fun. 

Even worse, having Lady Macbeth around had a dramatic effect on my poker results. Below is a graph of my results for May (click to enlarge), and you’ll quickly notice that there is a direct correlation between money-won & cat-presence:

Dumpster Diving for Fun & Profit

This weekend was busy: finally graduated college, hung out with frieds & family, threw out my arm playing Wii rowing, watched Celtics mop up Bulls, then watched Manny Pacquaio flatten Ricky Hatton in under 6 minutes (“I didn’t know it’d be so easy,” said Manny before leaving for hours of celebratory karaoke). 

I also spent about 5-6 hours dumpster diving around campus while all the bourgeois students moved out. Saturday the crew included my sister, father, brother, future-sister-in-law, and our friend Scott. Yesterday Kraig, Laura, Scott & I went out again where there was essentially just one full dumpster left but it was a goldmine. Cedarville has acknowledged the typical profligacy of its students and this year filled multiple truck trailers with donated stuff — but an obscene amount was still thrown out. We’ve been inspired by international hero Micah Hans Holden, who essentially does 80% of his grocery “shopping” by rooting around in dumpsters. He would’ve gone nuts if he’d seen the Cedarville dumpster piles this weekend. It’s a great hobby that I intend to keep up this summer — it’s anti-consumerist, voyeuristic, and profitable… what more could you ask?

Here’s a bit of the haul from day 2:

  

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My Pocket Mammon Shrine

When I was finishing up elementary school, I got a leather wallet for my birthday. Fifteen years later, as I’m finishing up college, that same wallet has finally failed me. I used it every day, so now it’s immaculate seams have burst. This is obviously a monumental catastrophe worth breaking my blog silence for. Tomorrow I will break a fifteen-year ritual by padding my right buttock with a black leather wallet, not a brown one. RIP.

Miscellany

1. Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes. I am shocked to see 3-0 bearing down on me. 

2. Congrats to my little brother Kraig for getting engaged to Laura last Saturday. He will be the first Cole to get married and nobody’s surprised.

3. Kraig & I took the GRE on Wednesday. That test is hard as hell. I had two goals: get a 700 on the Verbal section, and/or a combined total of 1200+. I made one of these goals. Kraig and I were both happy with our scores so that’s excellent news.

4. It’s -10° outside. My moustache instantly freezes if I venture out.

5. Please remember that my phone does not have texting capabilities. I’ve gotten a couple messages recently and, alas, cannot read them.

6. Win Butler and his crazy band put out a DVD called Miroir Noir that is pretty awesome. It’s mostly Neon Bible material with 2 Funeral songs. I highly recommend this if you can get a copy. Here’s a teaser:

The Culture of Fear

I read Barry Glassner’s The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things about a year ago. It comes in handy when I read things like this:

Tragic Mistake in Halloween Shooting
SUMTER, S.C. (Nov. 1) – An ex-convict who thought he was being robbed gunned down a 12-year-old trick-or-treater, spraying nearly 30 rounds with an assault rifle from inside his home after hearing a knock on the door, police said Saturday.

It’s a terrible story, of course. But what also saddens me is that more people will read that article and think “OMG trick-or-treating isn’t safe!” than will read that article and think “OMG letting citizens have assault weapons isn’t safe!” I’m sorry, there’s no justifiable reason to let a populace own AK-47s. The poll on AOL confirms my suspicions: Do you think we should ban semi/automatic assault rifles? Do you think trick-or-treating is safe? The majority, at 58%, said no. Which is moronic. Trick-or-treating is safe. Assault rifles are not. Please let your kids beg for congealed sugar. Please do not let your kids think guns are cool.

Also, polls open in 5 hours.

Dear Barack,
Please do not lose.
Love,
Kevin.

Lastly, thank you for praying for me and my family over the weekend. The viewing was Friday, the funeral Saturday, and then we returned Sunday afternoon.

Oh, one more thing: please stop texting me. Whomever you are. My phone does not have texting capabilities anymore since it’s almost 5 years old. So stop. It’s only making me curious. Bi-curious.

Donk me

Work saps my energy to blog. This is unfortunate. I watched Helvetica the other week which was funny because I work at a very Helvetica-esque company. Trust me… it’s hard to keep my credentials as an anarchist when I’m working as a corporate drone. Plus, not being a bum means I have to pay taxes. So far I’ve contributed $56.95 to our military, which is enough to buy nearly 200 M16 machine-gun bullets to help kill Iraqi children.

In other news, I played a $4 Minesweeper tournament on Friday. By dodging all the bombs of 179 opponents I ended up sweeping my way to 1st place for a solid $216 payday.

Don’t Blink Now

Don’t blink or you might miss this: I’m actually kind of happy right now.

I got the job with Exel (pays $11.75/hr) and I start training Monday @ 10am.

My replacement motherboard arrived and my computer is back up with almost full functionality — I lost 1/4 of my memory sticks, and my onboard ethernet port isn’t working, but that’s relatively minor.

My kitten is also OK, though he’s now a pothead.

And lastly, tonight I played in a few Sudoku tournaments with Remy. In one $2.22 tourney, there were 996 entrants and I puzzled my way to 4th place for a $232 prize. I made $33/hr.

Michael Dell Owes me $72.99

So, awesome: a lightning storm stole my megahurtz last night. And fried my motherboard in the process. Wish I were in Dublin with a broken heart.

There’s a strong possibility that when the replacement does arrive, it won’t work. Or it’ll work, but my memory will be shot too. Bad news comes in threes, so I’m now also fully expecting not to get the job with Exel & get my kitten run over by a  truck. And I don’t even have a kitten.

The Gospel from Outer Space

Back to our regularly scheduled programming. Here’s an excerpt from Slaughterhouse-Five by the inimitable Kurt Vonnegut:

…The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low.
But the Gospels actually taught this:
Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn’t well connected. So it goes.

The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn’t look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought:
Oh, boy – they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!
And that thought had a brother: “There are right people to lynch.” Who? People not well connected. So it goes.

The visitor from outer space made a gift to Earth of a new Gospel. In it, Jesus really was a nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections than he had. He still got to say all the lovely and puzzling things in said in the Gospels.

So the people amused themselves one day by nailing him to a cross and planting the cross in the ground. There couldn’t possibly be any repercussions, the lynchers thought. The reader would have to think that, too, since the Gospel hammered home again and again what a nobody Jesus was.

And then, just before the nobody died, the heavens opened up, and there was thunder and lightning. The voice of God came crashing down. He told the people that he was adopting the bum as his son, giving him the full powers and privileges of The Son of the Creator of the Universe throughout all eternity. God said this: From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections!

Moral of the story: don’t be rude to the bum-looking old man eating alone in McDonald’s, because he might just end up giving you $20 to help you hitchhike to Seattle and then you’ll feel like an asshole for traveling 2000 miles and yet still being a shallow narcissist.