Resistance Wasn’t Quite Futile, but I Have Succumbed To the Tag

21 October 2008

I have resisted every tag to date – mostly because I generally get a bit ornery when asked to conform.  However, my most recent tag came at an opportune moment.  I choose to ignore the structure of the Meme and craft my own questions – some decidedly silly, some intriguing to me, some explanatory.


Name a song you are embarrassed to like:

At the risk of losing all of my musical street cred, I will admit that when I hear Toxic, I cannot resist the urge to bop my head (double entendre intended.)


If you could be interviewed by any journalist (any media,) who would you choose?

Print journalist is an easy call for me.  Maureen Dowd because she writes so beautifully and because of the wicked crush I have.  Television would have been Ed Bradley (R.I.P) because he always seemed to be the coolest and smartest person in the room but carried those characteristics without lording them over you.  I also might have selected Tim Russert just to see if I had the gravitas to handle the toughest interview in the land – I am fairly sure I don’t.  As I am restricting myself to living humans, Bryant Gumball is my choice.  Despite how annoying he can be, there can be little argument that he is a journalist of the highest order.


Shamelessly borrowing from James Lipton, what is your favorite word?



If there is a hell and it were to take the form of you being trapped in a room with four people and one musician’s music playing, name the people and the band/musician.

Rachel Ray

Rush Limbaugh

Paris Hilton

Anyone from the cast of The Hills

This will shock no one: in my private version of hell, Kenny G is on the stereo


Opposite ends of the Bell Curve: name something you do so poorly that you are an outlier to the left and something you do so well that you are an outlier to the right – assume a normal distribution; therefore the outliers represent the worst 2.5% and the best 2.5%

I suck at Advanced Math – don’t let that slightly technical jargon in the question fool you.

I think that I am pretty good at throwing a party


Gimmie a couple truly Pet Peeves – nothing grand like intolerance or people who kick puppies; list something rather trivial that irks you way more than it should.

Sentences that end in prepositions make me want to throw things.

Often times I am not content to ignore calls from people who have blocked their Caller ID and have been known to occasionally remove the offender from my phone book too.


Share a secret: tell everyone in the blogosphere something that might surprise even careful readers of your blog.

I have dealt with Clinical Depression for more than 20 years.  The specific diagnosis is Conditionally Acute Clinical Depression; it is a relapsing-remitting disease.  It is an illness like any other and occasionally requires medical attention from professionals who are trained to treat it.


To those I will be tagging momentarily, feel free to ignore this, and should you choose to respond please do not think that I expect any disclosures as personal as my last one.  It was written – as is this entire teeny slice of the internet – for my benefit.

The seven people I would most like to answer the previous questions are:

Skrinkering Hearts

Who Invented Roses

Me, My Thoughts, and I

Fearless in Toronto


The Foggy Dew

B from It’s Toasted – yeah I know you’re on vacation but consider this a welcome home present; and J, feel free to answer too or for B in his absence.

Again, feel free to ignore – my feelings won’t be hurt – but for now, you’re it.


Fisticuffs on Columbia Road

21 October 2008

Casual man of the people that I am I like riding the bus. Fortunately I usually only ride during the non-rush hour periods – one of the great benefits of not having a regular job  – and have plenty of room when making my way around the city.  One random afternoon last week I didn’t have that luxury and found myself on a crowded  bus during the traditional post-work hour.  My displeasure about being confined so closely to my fellow common man was heightened by sitting next to a member of the Homopolitical Assholesapian species.

HA was blathering to another of his kind using an iPhone – of course he was too cool to have a Blackberry. Over the course of eleven excruciatingly long minutes, I gleaned the name of his lobbying shop, the names of three United States Senators he thinks are assholes, a smattering of House Members who are “dumber than CVS workers*,” their next two duplicitous lobbying efforts, the Political Action Committee that will give then cover. 

As I stood to alight, HA ended his conversation and followed me through the rear exit.  In retrospect, this was clearly a moment to keep my pie hole shuttered, however I saw the words hanging in the air before the brain-mouth filter could catch them.

“Pardon me.  Not for nothing, but in a city where you never know who might be sitting next to you, you might want to be a little more discreet.”  I was really trying to be helpful and I thought my tone reflected it.

His extremely eloquent response: “Fuck you, dude.”

The universe was offering me another opportunity to display my ability to be silent – I rejected it.  “I’m sorry, I was just trying to be helpful and I must have mistaken you for an adult capable of accepting friendly advice.”

I know – I shouldn’t have escalated the situation with an insult – I blame it on the filter.

HA continued to display his mastery of the King’s Language by replying “Yeah, well fuck you and your advice, asshole.”

Another opportunity, another rejection – “You have both the manners and vocabulary of a spoiled toddler who lost his rattle.  When someone offers you advice, they’re probably just trying to help.  Accept it, reject, whatever, but don’t be a dick about it.  You’re the reason people hate DC.”

I knew that I had crossed a line of civility, but the look in his eyes demonstrated how small that line was getting in my rear view mirror.  He threw a right hook towards my jaw.  I leaned away from it but his punch still made some contact.  I threw a left fist squarely at his windpipe. 

The rules of a street fight are simple:

  • Avoid them – that ship was no longer in the harbor
  • A man that can’t stand can’t hurt you – sweep the leg like Cobra Kai
  • A man that can’t breathe can’t fight – especially if your foe has a height advantage, hit him in the neck

HA was on his knees searching for air when the Police Cruiser chirped its siren.

“Gentleman, do we have a problem here?” the MPD officer calmly asked in a tone one can only use if you have gun and the power to strip freedom.

As HA was still not quite able to speak, I answered the officer’s query with my brief synopsis of events.

“I offered this gentleman some friendly advice; he profanely rejected it.  I thought that he needed a manners lesson, and now you’re here.”

“Was that punch the manners lesson?”

“No, the manners lesson came first followed by his punch to my jaw.  My punch was the logical response to his” I replied.

Having reclaimed his voice HA protested “Officer, that man assaulted me; I’m a lawyer and I want him arrested.”

Of course you’re a lawyer I thought but my filter caught it before the words escaped.

Fortunately there was no need for comment as the Officer dead panned “I am sure you are an attorney, sir, but I saw you throw the first punch.  If anyone’s getting steel bracelets today, it’ll be you.”  Turning to me he continued “Would you like to press charges, sir?”

“What, I’d really like is to go get a beer” I replied.

“Well it looks like this silliness is settled then.  You’re going to walk this way, and you’re going to walk that way and both of you are going to think about how stupid it is for grown men to be trading punches in the middle of the sidewalk.”

A piece of friendly advice that I hope we will both accept.


* As obnoxious as I found this publicly shared tirade, the CVS line was damn funny.