Saturday, March 29, 2008

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

OK, confession time. I had to do something today that I am truly embarrassed about.

I had to go to traffic school.

You see, in Massachusetts, when you have 5 traffic violations in three years, traffic school is mandatory. And through a combination of a lack of patience, carelessness, and a little bit of bad luck, I managed to rack up those five violations. Your options are either go to traffic school, or have your license suspended. Obviously, I opted for choice #1.

It was a complete and utter shitshow. From the moment I got there and sat down, I thought to myself, "I am so going to write about this." It was a nightmare. It was awful. And as with all awful, nightmarish things, I present it to you folks for your own amusement. Because I love you all that fucking much.

First of all: It started at 8:00 AM on a Saturday. And lasted for 8 & 1/2 hours. 8 & 1/2 hours of being locked in a teeny-tiny, poorly ventilated room at a crummy Holiday Inn in an absolutely dreadful town with a group of reprobates the likes of which I've never seen in one place ever before. If I knew then what I knew now, I would seriously consider just taking the suspension. It was that bad.

When I was on my way there, I was thinking, "well, maybe it'll be like The Breakfast Club! You know, none of us will have anything in common, and we'll work on each others nerves, but by the end we'll come together! And learn to love each other, and gain valuable lessons about people and our differences and traffic... and become friends, and maybe some of them will even fall in love!"

Not quite.

Yeah. . . Not so much. 8 & 1/2 hours later, one person had stormed out, one person was literally drunk after taking breaks at the hotel bar for shots, and one fist fight had broken out. I'm not making this up.

But I digress.

The teacher was actually not a bad guy. He tried his best to get the group engaged, but... given his audience, he had limited success.

Allow me to introduce the highlights of the class:

Me. Your friendly neighborhood blogster. I was there for basic stuff - one speeding ticket (60 in a 45), a ticket for changing lanes without signaling (which was bogus because I totally did because I always do), a ticket for crossing the yellow line when driving around someone who had stopped, an accident and a failure to stop ticket. Relative to this group, it was pretty vanilla.

Other guy kind of like me - the other "normal" person there. A couple of minor speeding tickets, a busted tail light, other minor crap.

Loud and whiny princess who wouldn't shut up: Hadn't had a license in 10 years, but has been driving the whole time. Got pulled over for speeding, running a red light, had two outstanding warrants for possession, and had weed IN HER PURSE.

Stupid kid #1: Just a dumb kid. Probably 21 years old. A DUI, a speeding ticket for doing 110 in a 55. ONE HUNDRED TEN MILES AND HOUR, y'all.

Stupid kid #2: More of the same. DUI, and a suspended license for speeding (while drunk) and then RUNNING FROM THE COPS.

Random Vietnamese kid who couldn't really speak English. I have no idea why he was there. He slept through the entire class.

Scary Ukranian guy: 3 DUI's. Resisting arrest, followed by assaulting a police officer and kicking out the window of the cruiser. Serious facial scarring. This guy scared the fucking hell out of me.

And. . . the Monkey Boys. A father and his son, who were there together on separate lists of violations that included running stop signs, rear-ending a state trooper, cocaine possession, resisting arrest, speeding. . . it was astonishing. They were like this pair of primitive cavemen who'd accidentally been given drivers licenses. They spent the entire session cackling like hyenas, throwing balled-up paper at each other, and gratuitously hitting on the Princess, who for some reason was amused by it (even when Cletus Jr asked her if she'd go down on him during lunch). It was like watching a nature show filmed in Hell. Why the teacher didn't toss them I'll never know. The best part about the Monkey Boys? Apparently, the other brother was supposed to be there as well, but couldn't make it because he'd been arrested the night before and was in jail. Sweet mercy. They were like a criminally, insane version of the Spuckler family.

Needless to say, it was a disaster. The Ukranian guy kept taking breaks and would come back smelling like brandy. The Spucklers got more and more obnoxious, and things really came to a head when Cletus Jr. called another attendee a "darkie" during the lunch break. . . aaaand hence the fistfight. Fortunately, Cletus Sr. had the wisdom to have them take it out to the parking lot to settle their differences.

Sweet Heavenly Humping Buddha on a Unicycle. This was seriously one of the most surreal days of my entire life - and that includes the time when I dropped acid and a dwarf licked the back of my head when I wasn't looking (some other time, I promise).

But I survived it. And I can tell you this - I hereby vow to drive more carefully, partly because of an increased understanding of the importance of safety, and partly so I never, ever, EVER have to set foot in that room again. Because those people terrify me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

This Is What It Sounds Like When Worlds Collide

Watch the skies tomorrow, people. Look for the signs. It would be a good day to stock up on dried goods and ammo and lock yourselves in your basements/fallout shelters.

Because tomorrow, two of the most awkward, clumsy, and dangerous people in the known universe will meet... for lunch!!!!

Who knows what terrible fate will befall them. Who knows what disasters will occur. The universe might implode. It may rain toads. We may get ketchup in our eyes.

Yes, tomorrow marks the meeting of myself and A Lover and A Fighter. Mrs. TK will be there to witness, and perhaps clean up/put out any accidental fires.

Don't say you weren't warned.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I look at the TV, your America's doing well. I look out the window, my America's catching Hell.


To: America

From: TK

Re: American Idol

Dear America,

Listen, can we talk for a moment? We have much to discuss. I know I'm sometimes awfully critical of you, and I know you maybe think I don't appreciate you. I mean, considering I've lived here for over 20 years and I work for the government and yet I'm still not a citizen... I can see how you might feel that way. Especially since you have this weird habit of electing absolute assholes for President, which is a little irksome.

But let's not dwell on the past, OK? I'd like to talk about more pressing issues. I'd like to talk about American Idol.

Seriously... could you stop? Please? I mean, let's be honest here - this show is not about finding talent. It should be noted that I haven't watched any of this show since, I think, Season 1 when Mrs. TK was marginally interested in it. But I've read a great deal about it, and my morning radio show talks about it a great deal. My understanding of it, based on that small amount that I've watched, is that it's basically broken into two parts:

Part I - The Trainwreck: This is the part where you show a bunch of no-talent halfwits who will do basically anything simply for 60 seconds of fame. It's the most degrading, demented and embarrassing thing I've ever seen outside of a Mexican donkey show. It's an orgy of distaste. You get a group of desperate, neglected mouth-breathers who've probably failed at everything, and put them on national television so that they can be relentlessly mocked by three of the most venal, unpleasant people you could possibly put in a room together.

You've got a drugged-our has-been pop star, a snide, not-nearly-as-clever-as-he'd-like-to-be British dickhead, and a bloated, obnoxious, wanna-be-street jackass who thinks saying "Dawg" a lot gets him some sort of credibility, when in fact it makes him look like a moron in blackface. For fuck's sake, you played Bass for Journey - AFTER they were good!

All of this put together makes for an hour of some of the basest, most depressing television I've ever seen... worse than watching lions eat their young, footage of roadside bombing victims and The Simple Life.

Part II - The Popularity Contest:
Theoretically, this could be the part of the show that is vaguely tolerable. However, it's ruined by a number of things. Allow me to elucidate:

1. It's hosted by a no-talent, saccharine failure of a human being, who thinks that hair gel and a rictus, corpse-like smile somehow makes him appealing.

2. The band just sucks. 'Nuff said.

3. The judges are still there, and while they aren't as disgustingly vile as they are in The Trainwreck, let's be honest - they have one main objective, which is to make people cry. Don't give me that bullshit about inspiration and constructive criticism - these "judges" wouldn't know constructive if it fucked them. They give absolutely no practical, useful advice, instead trying to one-up each other so that they can be the focus of the next Entertainment Weekly article. And I can't begin to tell you how completely and utterly disturbing it is for someone to strive to be in a brainless rag like that.

4. The music. OK. OK. I am willing to admit that sometimes, the performances can be quite... decent. But the song choices? We need to talk about the song choices. First of all, let's put aside the fact that the singers are, at this point, generic, cut-out caricatures of pop-stars ("The Rocker", "The Country Singer", Go Fuck Yourself). Why do you have to completely abuse perfectly good music? And don't give me that bullshit that the singers are trying to "express themselves". Bite me. I don't believe for a moment that they are in any way responsible for those arrangements. There's no way that shark-mouthed, helmet-haired asshat came up with his arrangement of "Imagine". You know how I know that? Because Eva Cassidy performed it the exact same way years ago, and did it with more soul and beauty than every Idol contestant put together has ever had.

And now... now they're steadily devouring The Beatles catalog? Is nothing sacred anymore? John Lennon is, as we speak, abandoning his peaceful ways and staging a riot in Heaven.

[deep breath]

OK. So anyway, America. Can we stop with the American Idol? Because its popularity really concerns me. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that it's the most popular show, since this country also elected George Bush... twice. But the truth is that Americans will watch anything that you hype up, that you saturate them with. And I can't help but feel that if you gave a really good show the same amount of promotion and production and advertising and hype, people would watch it. And then... you know what you'd have?

You'd have millions of Americans watching something good. Something important. And maybe, just maybe, that would get them to start paying attention to other interesting and important things. Just think what would happen if you really, really tried to popularize some of the great, canceled shows like Firefly or Veronica Mars. People would get into them. And that would lead them to other, better things. And maybe they'd want to learn more.

Maybe, you could make people want to be smart, instead of sitting slack-jawed in front of the TV, wiping the drool from their chins as crying, no-talent howler monkeys screech in front of a group of has-been, beastly judges.

Maybe you could do something useful for a change. Instead of trying your damnedest to make people stupid.

Anyway, it's just a thought.




Listening to: The Clash - Career Opportunities

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Well the devil's bleedin' crude oil, from a hole in his chest

Click here if you'd like to read my latest movie review.

If not, go to Hell.

Peace out.

Listening to: Murder By Death - The Devil In Mexico

Monday, March 03, 2008


(Mrs. TK's knitting gets mauled)


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Good night, kitten

Dear Sophie,

I know this is a little late, but I suppose you shouldn't be surprised. I know we've never really gotten along... you were always a little resentful of me - you always preferred when it was just you and your mom, before I came along and mucked it up. Not to mention the fact that you seem to have some trust issues when it comes to larger people and males. And I guess I was always a little annoyed by you, since you required extra care, and, well, you shed a lot.

But that doesn't mean we never had our moments. I remember years ago, the few weeks when you had to stay with me, and you would sneak into my room at night and curl up pressed into the small of my back. I know you're your mom's favorite, and despite the fact that I have a favorite (and he happens to be something of a big, rowdy boy), I still cared for you. You were always very sweet, and it was cute and funny the way you'd beg for cheese. I mean, seriously, who begs for cheese?

Anyway, I don't know what happened last night. I wish I hadn't gone out after work, so I could have gotten home and realized you were sick sooner. I got you to your mom's hospital as soon as I could, and I tried my best to comfort you in the car ride. I even sang to you at one point.

So I just wanted you to know that we'll miss you. Hope that wherever you are, there are lots of baskets and blankets to sleep on, and no loud noises to startle you. And, of course, cheese.

Rest in peace, Sophie-pie.