Friday, August 31, 2007

I know you've got a new favorite

When your favorite team gets swept by the forces of darkness, and you have a REALLY crappy day at work (like today) there is nothing to do but take a cue from another blogger, and retreat to your happy place. So in preparation for my weekend, here are a few of my favorite things.

Taken while lying in my yard.

We're seeing him live on Sunday.

I'd say this speaks for itself.

Ceili the Wonder Dog.

Flavor country.

Evil Cuteness incarnate.

mmm... sweet, glorious Irish whiskey.

Happy Labor Day!

I might drink more High Life than water. Is that bad for you?

The only way to eat during the summer.

I'd post a picture of Mrs. TK, but I don't think she'd approve. But she's at the top of the list, and she has the weekend off. Let's boogie!

Oh, and Tex? Yes, I totally stole your idea. But at least I'm crediting you for it. Have a good long weekend, folks.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Long live the weekend...

Well, that was a hell of a weekend. Sorry for the incommunicado, but from Saturday to Monday we were maxin' and relaxin' in beautiful Provincetown, MA. I spent three days on the beach during the day, then sitting outside, listening to music and drinking the night away.

For those of you who don't know, Provincetown is a gorgeous little town on the tip of Cape Cod. Cute, scenic, surrounded by beaches and bars and restaurants.

Oh, yeah... it's also the gayest town in America. I mean... seriously gay. That's part of it's charm, of course. But man... whoo! Real gay.

We (Mrs. TK and I) went down there with about 8-10 friends, and had a fucking ball. We sat in the sun, we swam, we barbecued, we ate at a couple of great restaurants (including the only South African restaurant I've ever seen), we went on walks, we rode our bikes, we drank (heavily), we smoked a pile of... um...

Anyway. My cell phone battery died on the first day. There's something very liberating about three days with no cell phone and no computer. Yes, it means I neglect you mangy beasts lovely readers, but it had to be done. Some highlights:

Mrs. TK and I going on a bike ride and being happy to discover we're not nearly as out of shape as we thought we were.

My friend and I heading into P-Town on Sunday night to buy more beers and (at least we're pretty sure) being mistaken for a very busted-looking gay couple, which led to some absolutely hilarious exchanges. My favorite was this:

We walk into a liquor store. It's got a million different kind of fancy beers, and at the bottom of the case, two 18-packs of Bud. Of course, since we were drinking for volume, we buy the two 18-packs. We get up to the register. The guy rings us up, I glance at Tim, he glances at me, shrugs and says "I got no money."

Me: Of course you don't.
Store Owner: Isn't that always the way?
Tim: Whatever.
Me: I guess it's on me.
SO (to Tim): Do you make him carry them too?
Me: Very funny.
Tim: Come on, mule. Bring the booze.

We get out of the store, I look at Tim and say:
You know he thinks I'm the daddy, right?

Ah, maybe you had to be there. But we ended up having one of those moments... you ever have one of those moments when you just. can't. stop. laughing? Like, tears-pouring-down-your-face laughter? Well, this was one of those. Except it went on for about 2 hours. To the point where I think we started annoying our friends. Every time we looked at each other, it resulted in gut-busting laughter.

We also learned that... well... there are a lot (a LOT) of unusual fetishes out there. We found a card in the house we stayed in that was for um... well, I guess color codes for fetishes, so that people would know what you were into. It basically looked like this on the back, with a picture of a large man in chaps on the front. See, this is the kind of service my blog provides. Come for the reading, stay for the fetish education. Thank me later.

Anyway. I'm back, with a bitchin' tan, and miserable about being back at work. That's all I got for now. Hope you all had lovely weekends.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

These memories can't wait.

You ever have one of those days where you have a flood of random memories?

Here's one of those posts that just sort of created itself, based on what I was thinking about.

I'm not sure what prompted me to write this post... maybe I've gotten a little weary of attempting to amuse you greedy lot (I kid out of love. Out of love!). I suppose I started thinking about this over the weekend, when a friend came to visit. We were sitting in my backyard, drinking a couple of beers, and he asked how long I was planning on staying in my house. My immediate response? As long as possible. I love my house. But sometimes I wonder - do I love my house because it is an awesome house, or do I love my house because it's my house*? And then... well, then a whole cascade of thoughts and memories began to creep up on me. I thought about moving, and not only how much I hated it, but how often I've done it. I've moved probably more than anyone I know, in fact. And each time I've done it, there's been difficulty that followed shortly after (except for the last couple, probably because I was an adult and the situations were very different). But what I've really been thinking about is culture shock. And how it took Mrs. TK and I some time to adjust to the fact that we are, in fact, suburbanites. Moving to a place as different as the Mayberry-like little 'burb that we're in took a great deal of adjustment... though you'd think I'd be used to it. So here's my little tale about culture shock.

I was born 32 years ago in Cape Town, South Africa. As you hopefully know, that was when South Africa was in even more turmoil than it is now. Apartheid was moving along at a steady clip. My parents did their best to shelter us from it, but since my father was half black, half Indian, and my mother was also a murky mix of ethnicities, it was probably a challenge for them.

We moved to the U.S. when I was two years old. Obviously, I remember little about this. Hell, I barely remember yesterday. But we moved to Cambridge, MA, and I went to a cute little "Alternative Public School", run by hippies and liberal philosopher-poets. But it was great. My dad studied at MIT, and my mom worked as an accountant. We lived in an apartment above one of my teachers, and she bred butterflies, which was fun as well. We made it through the blizzard of '78 and had fun doing it.

And then, in around 1981-1982, INS discovered that our visas had expired, and booted us out of the country. My father packed us into his rusted green wood-paneled station wagon, and drove us off to the airport. He left the car in the lot with the keys in the ignition, took off the plates and threw them in a trash can. Oddly, this would become a trend in my family - abandoning cars when we moved.

The move back to South Africa was a strange one. I had been too young to remember anything about it from before we left. In fact, I barely remembered any of my relatives. And I had a lot of relatives. All of a sudden, I had grandparents, more than a dozen aunts and uncles, and more than 30 cousins. Most of which remembered me. And I felt like a total stranger among them, with my funny American accent and incessant need to match all my clothes. Shut up. I was an unusual child. We moved into my grandmother's house, and my family embraced me. Once I learned all their names, it felt like some crazy tribe of really fun drunks had adopted me.

And then I started going to school. You want to talk about culture shock? When I left the US, I had just finished either Kindergarten or first grade (I forget which). In my hippy alternative public school, with teachers who wore beards and braids and I think they were made out of hemp as well. We called them by their first names and listened to "Free To Be, You And Me" and held hands a lot.

In South Africa, I went to Catholic school, because the public schools were AWFUL. I mean... really awful. The kind of awful that doesn't exist here. Catholic school wasn't so hot either. We played soccer on sand. The classrooms were small and overcrowded and stuffy. We had sixth or seventh generation books, that we frequently had to share. I remember there being 52 kids in my math class. Try organizing 52 8 year olds into any semblance of a learning unit. But my biggest shock, of course, came the first time I did something bad... and got caned for it. Yes, I said caned. As in hit with a lang, bamboo cane. On the hand for minor offenses, on the butt for bigger ones. Some teachers had temper problems and would just go after kids, and the blows landed where they landed. That, my friends, is culture shock. God, I remember telling my mother about it, and her telling me to be grateful that they no longer soak the canes in salt water, like they did when she was a kid. No outrage, no anger, just a sad acceptance - and telling me it could be much worse.

And so, for two or three years, we lived there once again. And I grew to love it. I loved the giant network of family. I loved that my uncle would take us hiking on Table Mountain every weekend, or camping. I loved the giant, raucous family gatherings, full of drinking and guitar playing and dancing and laughing. We moved out of my grandma's house, and I loved our new house. It was small, but it had trees for climbing and my dad built a fishpond out of an old cast iron tub. Over the course of those two years we had dogs and cats and chickens and frogs and turtles and ducks. My dad got a good job as an urban planner, my mom did well as an accountant. We were decidedly middle class, maybe even upper middle class. For our race, of course.

Because there was always that dark side... the side I never thought about because I was too young to really fully realize the truth about this beautiful country that I lived in. And that truth was that it was rotting, and vile, and corrupt. The truth was that the reason we never went to the nice beaches was because of the color of our skin. And that my parents had to carry "ID Books" around, which said what our racial mix was. And my father's white friends would hide their friendship with us from their families. I didn't have any white friends, because we didn't live near any white people. You didn't make eye contact with whites. You moved out of their way when they were on the sidewalk. You used different bathrooms, different water fountains.

My dad still has a sign that he stole from a beach that says "Whites Only" on one side and "Non-Whites Only" on the other. It was a singularly strange existence for a child. I remember seeing a black man get hit by a car, a brown Mercedes, and the driver (a white man) sped away. The man died, and the police barely seemed to care. The crime and poverty rates were nothing short of staggering. Almost daily, homeless people would ring the doorbell and ask if we had any bread to spare, or if they could eat the peaches that had fallen off the tree in the front yard. My dad, being my dad, would give them leftovers, and tell them to pick the ripe ones. I remember him piling me and my cousin into the car to take us to the movies, only to have a man, covered in blood and naked and wrapped in a plastic sheet, come staggering out of the bushes. He worked at the shop up the street, and three men had come in with machetes to rob the place. They'd slashed him up, tortured him, and killed his co-worker. And I remember how long it took for the police to arrive.

Things were hard for my father, being that he was a radical activist with ties to both the Communist Party (illegal) and the African National Congress (also illegal). And eventually I think he just got tired of worrying about us so much. So...

We moved again. My mom got a company in Boston to sponsor us, and at 10 or 11 years old, we came back to the U.S. And lived in probably the whitest. suburb. in. America. Culture shock again. All of a sudden I had only white friends, and only white people around me. But more so, I was old enough to realize the difference this time. And I'll never forget the cunning smile that must have been on my face when I realized that the worst thing that would happen in school would be getting sent to the principals office. I thought "I'm going to get away with murder here", and proceeded to become an absolutely awful child. Of course, when things got to the point where the school called my parents... well... if you've read this post, you can probably figure out what happened. Let's just say my behavior improved.

We moved again, to a different house in the same city. I went to junior high and high school and blah blah blah. I went to Wisconsin for college, and thought "Jesus, could it get any fucking blonder around here?" Weird state, man. Fun school. Weird state. My parents moved back to Cape Town. I moved back to the town I grew up in, and lived in a friend's basement for a few months. Then I moved to Allston, then Cambridge, then Allston again. Then Philly, and two more apartments and a new set of friends. Then back to Mass., to another apartment. Then to this house.

So yeah. Culture shock. Cape Town. Boston. Cambridge. Madison. Philadelphia. I'll never say my life's been boring.

One final note on this rambling, pointless post - several years ago, we went to Cape Town to visit my parents. It was my first or second time being back since Apartheid had collapsed due to international pressure, economics, and from feeding on it's own bloated, rotted corpse. It was fascinating seeing what had changed (and, unfortunately still, what had not changed.). But my favorite moment was my entire gigantic, coloured family going to a formerly-white beach, getting nothing but dirty looks from the old-schoolers who hadn't caught up with the new era, and having the time of our lives. How's THAT for culture shock.

*the answer, I've concluded, is both.

Listening to: Moby - God Moving Over The Face Of The World

Monday, August 20, 2007

This reminds me of that time you tried to drill a hole in your head

I'm not sure how it happened, but I somehow got sucked into writing for another blog. Which is probably a terrible idea, since I barely write for this one. In fact, I don't even know if you can call it "writing". It's more like transcribing my verbal diarrhea. But whatever.

The site is called Burt Reynolds' Mustache. Hey, don't look at me, I didn't name the damn thing. But I've learned an important lesson since being drafted into service there, and that lesson is this:

Don't respond to emails from strangers when drunk.

Although, I suppose that there are worse things that can happen should one do so. Anyway, apparently a bunch of bloggers write there, and they are each responsible for a specific day of the month. I get the 21st. The 21st of EACH MONTH. What a terrible fucking idea this was. Who knew blogging would be so demanding. I mean, if I didn't crave the artificial attention and wasn't desperate for acknowledgment by a bunch of anonymous lunatics, I might just quit this gig. But alas, I need love and attention. The attention of lying strangers is all that gets me through my day.

Oh God. Oh, dear sweet God, please stop the hurting.

OK, that took a weird turn again. Ignore that last bit.

Anyway. How was everyone's weekend? Good? I don't particularly give a shit, but I'm trying to get you to keep coming back. My weekend was lovely. Friday was the Rebirth Brass Band cruise, which totally rocked and was highlighted by me teaching a sixty-something year old man how to light a joint in high wind on the deck of a boat. What can I say. I read a lot.

A friend from out of town came in Saturday, and we had a good time catching up, drinking and laughing about how insane the Midwest is (he's a college friend).

Today I'm sleepy and can't wait until lunch.

Anyway. Tomorrow is the 21st. You'll find me over here. It's a weird site. With a bunch of weirdos writing for it. Again, I don't know what I'm doing over there. I suppose I'm just lost in a desperate quest for love and affection, wandering through these empty electronic streets, wishing someone would just cuddle with me, or perhaps rub my back a bit.

OK, ignore that part too.

Peace out, playas.

P.S. - Shut it, Red.

Listening to: Tricky - My Evil Is Strong

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fortune and glory, kid. Fortune and glory.

God, I couldn't be less inspired to do a blog posting if I tried. But it's been about a week, and a certain pain-in-the-ass is giving me shit (again), so what the hell. Let's slap a stamp on it and mail this fucker in. Before we get to the actual post (which relates to the post title), I figured we'd do a quick bit of catch-up.

Life has actually been pretty good (and maybe that's the problem). Of course, last week at work was the exception. My boss was on vacation, and whenever she goes on vacation, all hell breaks loose. Last week we had a kid overdose on heroin and die in one of the bathrooms of the developments we manage. Jesus. Talk about depressing. And now we're dealing with cops and family members and the whole mess is just sad.

Then we had the cops try to serve a warrant on one of our more unsavory residents. He ended up jumping out of a window with a gun and knife in hand, fleeing into a neighboring apartment, knocking the woman there around, and then holding a knife to his own throat to try to get the cops to back off. The cops, after he busted out the window, ended up calling in S.W.A.T., tore the place apart, and needless to say, did not back off. Cops don't like it when you run away, and they don't particularly like it when you beat up helpless women while doing so. Anyhoo, I suspect the official report is gonna say he fell both up and down the stairs, if you get my meaning. They ended up finding 120 grams of cocaine, a .380 pistol, a .45 pistol, several rounds of ammo, $20,000 in cash and a fully loaded, fully modified AK-47 in his apartment.

So yeah. How was your work week?

In more fun news, I'm going to see the Rebirth Brass Band on Friday, which should be awesome. Then Saturday one of my good friends from college is coming to visit, who I haven't seen in years. The the next weekend we're going to Provincetown with a bunch of friends, which should be a big, gay (it is P-Town, after all) blast. THEN my sister's coming for Labor Day weekend, which should be... well, we all know what happens when she and I get together.

Next month I'm doing a bachelor party/camping trip, a business trip to L.A., and then a wedding.

Jesus. I'm exhausted just writing all of that.

I figured that you all know me well enough, so it's worth noting that I haven't injured myself, nor embarrassed myself, in about 2 weeks. Except for Saturday night when I was drunk and tried to pick up the metal cover to our firepit and burned four out of five fingers. Oh, and last week I tripped on a blanket and went flying head first into my closet, ending up with a face full of shoes.


Let's finish up with a completely random and ridiculous story. Monday night, I was at a friends house, watching baseball and drinking and getting high and eating Chinese food, because that's how I roll on a motherfuckin' Monday beeotch and shut up I don't have a problem and I don't need to talk to anyone and someone please hold me oh God I just need some attention oh please someone make the pain stop...

Whoa. That was strange. Who saw that coming?

Anyway. Monday I was at a friend's house... um... discussing French philosophy and eating salads before heading home for an early bedtime. And we ordered Chinese food, and two of us got the exact same fortune. I mean, exact same, front and back. Weird, no?

Well fuck a bunch of weird, because I can beat that shit. When I was in college at UW-Madison, my friend Phil and I used to go to the same Chinese place every Friday. We never used to pay attention to the fortune cookies, and just toss them. Then one week we decide to open them. Of course, this was 13 or 14 years ago, so I forget the specific language, but we open them, and Phil's says something to the tune of "You will receive great wealth and accolades in your life".

Mine? Mine is blank. Seriously. It's a blank piece of paper. So I freak out a little, but being a naturally cynical guy, it doesn't bother me too much.

The following week we go back, we eat, we have a good time, and then we sit there looking at the fortune cookies. Phil looks at me, and tells me to pick first. I pick mine, he takes his, we open them. Again, Phil's is a prediction of prosperity and wonderfulness.

Mine is fucking blank. Again. I shit you not. It's like I'm cursed.

Now I'm more than a little freaked out. I mean, two blank fortunes, two weeks in a row? What are the odds? I mean, who among you has EVER received a blank fortune in a cookie? And now I get two in a row?

The following week I tell Phil I'm done. I'm never eating there again. He begs, he pleads (it's worth noting that the food here was really fucking good). I cave, and off we go.

Eat our meals. And then it's time. I'm actually getting genuinely scared. I mean seriously worried. We do the same thing. Phil lets me pick. He opens his. Fortune and Glory, once again.

Fortune and glory. My turn. My hands are literally trembling. I smile a shaky smile, open the wrapper, crack open the cookie and...

Nothing. No, not blank again.

Nothing. The fucking thing is EMPTY. No fortune inside.

I never went back. Two months later the place closed down.

Have a good week.

Listening to: RJD2 - Fuck A Soundcheck

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

There's an old Italian saying: you fuck up once, you lose two teeth.

I'm going to the dentist soon, and of course, that reminds me of a story...

Embarrassment seems to be a running theme through the interwebs these last few days. Pajiba asked commenters to write down their secret shame albums. No, I won't write mine here, you can dig over there for it. And then of course, there is always Meg, who has become my sister-in-awkwardness.

Now, those who have been coming here for a while know that I have a rare gift for this stuff. In between numerous (and ridiculous) injuries and my inability to keep my mouth shut, I may hold some sort of regional record for embarrassment. So I figure, what the hell. Let's give the people what they want, and give you another tale of woe. And I must warn you, it's pretty graphic.

Shortly before I went to college, I went to the dentist. I suppose I should mention (while I'm embarrassing myself) that I am notoriously bad at going to the dentist, so I hadn't been in a while. Like years. The fact that I have a strange phobia about people prodding at my face (seriously - and don't get me started on how much the eye doctor freaks me out), and I've historically had bad experiences at the dentist, I'm a little nervous. But, my dad is making me, and when my dad says go, I go.

And it turns out that (surprise) I need a bunch of fillings. And since I'm leaving for college soon, the dentist suggests I do it all at once. Fine. I come back a couple of days later, and settle in for one of the single most uncomfortable experiences of my life. Fillings, repeated Novocaine shots (in the mouth - shudder), and dental drills. Awesometown. Population: Me.

Anyway, we're moving along. I'm dizzy with pain, getting my fillings, getting the shots, etc. It's brutal. My doc gets a phone call, so he breaks and tells me if I need to use the bathroom, I can use the one to the left of the door.

He very specifically points out which direction to go. I head over there, and it's locked. So I nonchalantly go through the waiting room to the waiting room bathroom. As I'm walking through, I see a number of crying children and scared looking parents.

Weird, I think. I wonder what that shit's all about?


I get into the bathroom, do my thing, and go to wash my hands. And then... I look in the mirror.


I look like someone's nightmare. I look... words can barely describe it. The Novocaine has made my lower jaw swell tremendously. I didn't realize it until that moment, but I can't actually close my mouth. My tongue is literally hanging out, also swollen. I am wearing a bib that is covered in bloody spittle. And, worst of all, I am drooling uncontrollably. I mean CONSTANTLY. A steady stream of blood and drool is pouring out of my mouth, running down the bib and onto my pants. I basically look like Rawhead Rex.

And I just strolled through a room full of already-nervous children and their parents.

And now I have to go back through the waiting room. I open the door, and everyone in the waiting room has been staring at the door while I was in there (probably hoping that they either hallucinated me, or that I'm an extra in a horror movie). I come out, and say "Oh, I am so sorry", except that I can't actually talk. So it's basically just me going

"awg, irmf ggorf blarshie"

and more drooling.

Not my finest moment, people. Not one bit.

Listening to: Uncle Tupelo - Moonshiner

Friday, August 03, 2007

Take it easy, Champ. Why don't you sit this next one out, stop talking for a while.

Well, I suppose there was enough interest in yesterday's awesome comment section to warrant an explanation as to how the word "gangbang" made it into my meeting yesterday...

It was a meeting about community-police relations. The city councilor was recommending that after a major crime (murder or rape), the Police Dept. hold a meeting in the affected neighborhood. I was opposed, seeing as it provides no value other than to reassure the neighborhood and give them an opportunity to bitch at the cops. It's time the cops could better spend, oh, solving crime. So I said...

Well, as long as we understand that a meeting like this serves no practical purpose other than to placate the neighborhood residents. My fear is that this will turn into a giant gangbang where everyone teams up on the police... what?
stunned silence, horrified stares
Oh. Did I just...? Uh... can we just pretend that last 30 seconds didn't happen?

However. I stand by my stance, if not the exact wording. It's a stupid idea. The city I work in is a relatively low-crime city, so when a "serious" crime is committed, some people completely freak out, and frequently blame the police department. Which is idiotic. If some guy shoots his wife, or some moron stabs a kid in an alley, it's not the fault of the police. And frequently, the cops have little to work with (no witnesses, little cooperation or communication from the neighbors). While I certainly agree that there are a number of lazy, useless cops out there, I hate to see people get on their case for circumstances beyond their control.

Now, had I said that, my argument may have had more validity to it. Instead, everyone stared at me like I had taken my dick out in the middle of a meeting.

Also, I have now used the words "murder", "rape", "gangbang"," fuck", "bitch", "cops", and "stabs" in the last two posts, in the last 36 hours. Not to mention the phrase "shoots his wife". Great. Now I'm really gonna draw some freaks. They're going to make the rest of you look like a church group.

PS - I finally broke up with Hotmail . If anyone wants to email me, send mail to
uncooked.meat [at]


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

If I want you to speak, I'll wave a Snausage in front of your nose.

Um... here's a question...

Is it wise to, oh, say... use the word "gangbang"? Figuratively speaking, of course.

At work?

In a meeting?

With two members of the police department present?

And your boss?

And someone from the Department of Youth Services?

And a City Councilor?



Oh, fuck.