21 November 2009

Missed connections

I have done a craptastic job of blogging lately. I can think of a number of reasons for it but none of them are very good.

In the time I have spent online not blogging, I have been indulging a guilty pleasure. I am slightly addicted to the "Missed Connections" section on Craigslist. Have you ever looked at Missed Connections?

The concept is a simple one. You're out somewhere - a club, a grocery store, a gas station. You see someone, you make eye contact, maybe you say hi. And then the moment is gone, and so is the person you connected with. So you go to Missed Connections, write up what happened, and see if that person responds.

If I'm honest, I don't read Missed Connections because I have missed any connections. My purposes are much more nefarious than that. I do it for entertainment. Because there are an awful lot of idiots in the world, and these days most of them have internet access.

I stick to m4w, Men for Women, because I've found that men tend to be a bit more ridiculous and maudlin in their posting. I've only gotten a laugh out of Women for Men once or twice. M4w? The world is a scary place, ladies and gentlemen.

I am slightly worried that so many men seem to find "hot" women shopping at Wal-Mart. Especially West Valley Wal-Marts. The West Valley is where 99.9% of violent crimes in Phoenix seem to occur. And Wal-Mart is ... well, have you been to the People of Wal-Mart website? It's a leper colony.

But overweight hoochies aside, there is a sort of poetic stupidity in the subject lines I've encountered. I've been collecting them for a while, and I'd like to share my favorites with you, faithful reader.

I think my favorite so far is "You returned a Derek Jeter Halloween Costume." Brilliant, isn't it? There'll be no mistaking that one. How many people returned Derek Jeter costumes? Actually, I'm not sure, but I think this one is still brilliant, and I never even read the posting, just the headline. The headline is all I ever read, if I'm honest.

Equally brilliant (in its stupidity, anyway) is "You startled me in the alley while I was peeing." Kind sir, while I don't doubt you may have been stumbled upon by a beautiful woman in the alley, do you really think that said woman is going to be interested in a man who urinates in public? Is she going to be sitting home, thinking to herself, "You know, that guy who was peeing in the alley was pretty hot. I wonder if he noticed me?"

There has to be a story behind "I can't believe you bossed your grandma around" and I, for one want to know what it is. I read the listing for this one and I'm still not sure what was going on. Or why a man would be interested in a woman who bosses her grandma around.

"No Tip was big enough, Emily." Was it because Emily was beautiful or because Emily was an unusually competent waitress? The world will never know, because I never read the posting and the listing's expired. Alas. Rest assured, Emily, your efforts didn't go unnoticed.

I have a few questions for the man who posted "T-BIRD ER WAITING ROOM." Sir, who sits in an ER waiting room and checks out the women there? Especially T-Bird. Their patients are either criminals or the elderly. I realize you're stuck there for four or five hours, but maybe you ought to let the doctors reattach the woman's severed hand before you attempt to hit on her. Just a thought.

When I read "I bought eggs from you =)" I sincerely hoped it wasn't from the same people who post every day offering 8 grand to a Jewish egg donor. Perhaps it was a trade, as the same day, posted in w4m, was "to the kind stranger who bought my pumpkin."

Ah, Craigslist. You give so much and ask so little. Idiots of the world, post on. And please be specific.

16 November 2009

You Can't Say I Didn't Get Something Out of It

In mid-October, my mother and I attended Kendall Summerhawk's Money, Marketing and Soul Intensive, or MMSI for short. My mother was excited to learn about how to grow her business and market herself. I was excited to get a facial at the hotel spa. But my ticket was dirt cheap owing to a great deal my mother got, so I went along to the workshop as her personal assistant.

I don't know if it was the stress of travel or the fact that I sleep poorly in hotel beds, but I had the attention span of a fruit bat during the event. I could not pay attention had my life depended on it. I tried very hard to pay attention but failed miserably. I thought that perhaps if I took notes, I'd do better. I was wrong.

The notebook wasn't lined. I can't write in an unlined notebook. Not only that, I can't stop myself from drawing in an unlined notebook. Never mind that I have little to no artistic ability to speak of. So while my mother and the rest of the crowd were excitedly learning about money archetypes and branding and seeding and all sorts of strange verbs, this is the sum of what I accomplished in four days.

I showed my mother my work. I'm not sure if she was horrified or amused. I like to think she was amused. And my facial was awesome.

04 November 2009

Baseball Will Kill You

I mentioned on Twitter the other day that when the Yankees won the world series 11 years ago, my father killed a man.

This is a true story.

But lest my father's memory be tarnished with a half-truth, I feel I should clarify what exactly happened in 1998. Although my father hated the Yankees, he certainly didn't mean to kill anyone. Especially not Leo Larson.

Leo was my parents' insurance agent for around 25 years and a friend of my father's. Despite a near lifetime in Arizona, Leo was a big, big fan of the New York Yankees. In the mid-90s, Leo took on a position of leadership in our church. My father was the executive secretary, so he attended every Tuesday meeting the church leaders had. Leo and my dad used to talk baseball, because my father couldn't stand the Yankees and because Leo loved them.

I should mention here that Leo was diabetic, and there were complications. His health was poor, but his spirits were good. Leo, busy with work and church all day, missed game 4. My dad saw the game before he left for the church - a bit later than he'd have normally left, but he was hoping the Padres could pull it off and force a fifth game. No such luck, however, as the final score was 3-0.

The meetings proceeded as usual that night and, my father later said, if Leo was a bit quieter than usual, no one noticed. He looked a little pale, but that was typical given his health. When the meetings were over, everyone left but my father and Leo, waiting to rehash the game.

"Well, Leo," my father said, eying the man's Yankees necktie, "The Yankees won it. You can die a happy man."

And he did, late that night or early the next morning. I never heard for sure when it happened. But my father said later that he was pretty sure he was the last one to see Leo alive, and that other than a goodbye, "die a happy man" were the last words anyone ever spoke to him.

Last year, a month after my father died, I was watching the Dodgers lose the NLCS, and I remembered that world series ten years ago, and I smiled to myself for a minute, thinking that when my dad ran into Leo in the next life, perhaps Leo would reassure my dad that he had indeed died a happy man.