Archive for relationships

Facebook Engaged Once Again

I wrote this a month ago during a brief period of romantic uncertainty. I am once again Facebook engaged, and so I thought I would post this now.

How I came to be de facto engaged, then Facebook engaged, then Facebook heartbroken and finally philosophically engaged with plans to go traditional.

It all began months ago in a little bar off Dupont Circle in our nation’s capitol. A towering goddess of a woman saw my amazing skills on the pool table and decided “there’s a man I need to make out with.” Who can blame her really? Sometimes after a particularly masterful game even I am affected and have to go home early to spend a private moment with myself.

She played coy at first with talk of books and grad schools and whatnot, but I could tell what was what. Under the clever pretext of sharing book recommendations, I got her e-mail address and a budding romance was born.

Well, it was almost born. My girlfriend of the previous year would likely have not appreciated that particular turn of phrase.

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Food Chain

I’ve been watching TV with Jenni and as I hear her talking I realize that the experience for her is nothing but an endless string of food associations.

They were doing a piece on the air quality in China on the Daily Show, and as it’s going on, I hear her mumbling about crispy noodles.

She actually covers her eyes to hide from the pizza commercials.

She has decided that we will spend Saturday morning from 7-11am in an all you can eat breakfast buffet. I’ve warned her that stuffing yourself after a fast might cause some gastrointestinal distress, but she’s gone on record saying that she’s not going to let some puking keep her from scrambled cheese eggs, bacon, sausage, crispy home fries, hash browns, eggs benedict, waffles with peanut butter, and blueberry pancakes.

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Lemon Scented Delirium

Making it through the day fueled only by lemons wasn’t too trying. The Smooth Moves tea, did perhaps move me a bit more than I am accustomed to, but certainly with nothing near the violence that giardia loosed upon me in Mauritania.

I managed to power through the midafternoon slump with a minimum of sleeping to come home and find Jenni in a remarkably good mood. She may well have been delirious from hunger, but her mood was unmistakably positive.

Normally when a happy person and a grumpy person have to hang out in close quarters their moods tend to average out — one gets a bit happier and the other gets a bit more mellow. Her giddy confusion overpowered my grumpiness, so I guess the cleansing is working? Though I suppose the day she spent sunning herself by the pool and doing fuck all may well be working as well.

I still wouldn’t say that I’m distinctly hungry. I don’t really feel empty, the idea of eating just sounds more and more appealing. I get up and wander around as I’m writing, and if I don’t pay attention my feet carry me to stand in front of the fridge.

I’ve managed to not stick anything in my mouth just yet. That’ll be a tough decision, do I stick to my guns and spit the food out or do I just figure I’ve failed already and go ahead and swallow? Hopefully I don’t get to the point of having to make that call. ☺

(I had about six different things I intended to write here. About one and a half of them actually made it into the computer. Apparently food is a necessary part of the fixing ideas into my head. This perhaps does not bode well for my day at the office tomorrow.)

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Maple Lemon Peppers

Jenni was watching master cleanse videos last night and I learned a bit more about the theory behind the process.

After a couple of days of no food, medicine your bodies natural reaction is to stop “excreting” as it is frequently referred to in cleansing circles. To keep the excetions coming we employ some excretion aids.

Apparently there are two schools of laxitive thought in the cleansing literature. One can either go with a herbal tea or sea salt and water. The herbal tea has the advantage of not tasting like a glass of salt water, viagra but apparently onsets with a greater ferocity. The fellow in the video recommended that if you have a long commute that you avoid the tea, pills as there are few things more embarassing that dumping a half gallon on lemon juice in your drawers.

The reason for the lemon juice / maple syrup / cayenne pepper concoction is still beyond me. So far the main benefit seems to be how confusing a taste it is. While my taste buds are grappling with the infrequently combined tastes of pepper and syrup, it distracts me from the lack of any food in my stomach.

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Lemon Colonic

So, Jenni and I went grocery shopping this evening. The sum total of our provisions for the next week are about 30 lemons, a jug of maple syrup, powdered cayenne pepper, laxative tea and a carton of chicken broth.

Sometime in the midst of the sugar and dairy extravaganza that was our trip to Quebec, Jenni decided she needed some cleansing. I, faithful and ever curious companion that I am, decided that I might as well go through a cleansing as well.

In all honesty, after about a day, I think that if she didn’t bludgeon me for my supper, I’d likely end up sleeping on the couch. As a mild hypoglycemic, hunger plus Jenni equals a woman not to be trifled with (or, as I’ve discovered, joked with either).

I really didn’t need all that much convincing. “You’re going to drink nothing but lemon juice and pepper for a week and it’ll make you poop funny? That sounds… fascinating.” Am I going to pass out and hallucinate? Will the hunger go away after a couple days? Am I going to be enfeebled? Will I hate the taste of lemons by then end or will I love them as the only sustenance I get?

I’m all about experimenting. When I play guinea pig myself, it saves me the troubling ethical questions of screwing around with other people.

So, I’ll usher in tomorrow with a steaming cup of Yogi Teas “Smooth Moves” and then, if all goes according to plan, usher out the impurities in my body over the course of the next few days.

Having consumed corn before and seen real evidence of the input/output unity of the human body, I’m a bit intimidated, as I consider only putting lemon juice into myself for a week — particularly lemon juice cut with cayenne pepper. Maybe it’ll boost my energies and scrub my colon, but I figure it’s worth it for the story alone.

Back when I was in Huntsville, I did a five day Buddhist style fruit juice only fast. I was noticing that much of the time I would eat when I wasn’t really hungry — I ate mostly because of habit and stress. The fast helped me to recognize and know real hunger a bit better. I feel like I’ve lost a bit of that, so perhaps this will help me find it again.

Or, perhaps Jenni will eat me.

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Malleability of Cognition

Imagine if you will someone who just grates on you. I personally don’t have to look far. There’s a guy who works in my community garden and he went on a tirade about “foreigners” the other day, and as I listened to him rant I was thinking, “why the hell are you like this?”

Then I stopped and thought about that question, because he is theoretically the highly refined product of millions of years of evolution. At each generation the pair of individuals that went together to form his line were theoretically fitter than at least the bulk of all those that died out. Even controlling for a whole bunch of accidental suboptimal pairings he should still be a fairly lean mean surviving machine.

So why does he have this tendency toward overgeneralization and narrow-mindedness? How do these characteristics serve to keep him alive and breeding? They’d sure not be encouraging me to propagate his line if I had the equipment to do so. Hell, at times I’m encouraged to hit him over the head with a box of pansies and end his branch of his family tree right there in the garden.

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Daddy Dearest

I spent a week with my dad over Thanksgiving and while doing so we conflicted over moral issues in a way that we haven’t in quite a while.

Right before the last election he went on a bus tour around Tennessee as the author of the gay-marriage ban that passed almost ten years ago. He spoke about his previous work as a child psychologist and how he helped to cure abused children of their homosexuality. All in all his stumping wasn’t really necessary since amending Tennessee’s constitution to disallow homosexual unions passed with the strongest support of any state in the union: four out of five Tennesseans voted for it.

I talked to him some and told him essentially that I thought he was a hateful bigot. I drew frequent parallels to censures taken against the black population fifty years ago, but I was working at a disadvantage. This is a big issue for him, and he might be bigoted but he’s not dumb. He knows more about the studies than I do and I really like having the majority of the facts before attempting to discuss something.

Part of the issue is that this is a matter of faith for me. Not faith in God, but faith in myself and the clarity of my perceptions. I know some pretty neurotic and emotionally damaged people, and I have gay friends who seem mentally sound to me. Either I’m correct and they’re of sound mind or I’m wrong and homosexuality is a purely psychological issue with no biological component. I trust my perceptions.

Today I got an email from my dad with a link to the San Francisco Aids Foundation on transmission rates. It shows from 1981 to the present 89% of HIV transmission in San Francisco has been from male homosexual contact. 1% has been from heterosexual contact. It included a little note saying, “Let your friend know that his sexual life style is a dangerous one.”

His premise is a bit flawed since the heavy infection rates among homosexual men in the early years of the epidemic skews the numbers. According to the CDC about 60% of sexual transmission cases in 2004 involved male homosexual contact.

Something I was wondering about in responding to him though was good counter examples. Ideally, I’d like one where a lifestyle choice my father would think is positive put a person for a natural environmental risk. Christianity and Judaism would be good examples except Romans and Nazis aren’t really natural environmental features. Buddhist or Hindu vegetarians and malnutrition are also a possibility, but I think he’d respond better to an example with more white people. Any ideas?

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Yesterday, in early celebration of my birthday several of us went out to Fogo de Chão. It was sumptuous.

The basic idea for the restaurant is there are men wandering the floor at all times bearing skewers of freshly fire seared meats. They purport to have fifteen different sorts, but the ones I saw were:

  • Filet Mignon – tenderloin wrapped in bacon
  • Costela – beef ribs
  • Costela de Porco – pork ribs
  • Linguica – pork sausages
  • Beef Ancho – prime rib
  • Alcatra – top sirloin
  • Fraldilnha – bottom sirloin
  • Cordeiro – leg of lamb
  • Frango – chicken wrapped in bacon
  • Picanha – sirloin seasoned with sea salt and garlic

You have a little colored disc by your plate and you just flip it from red to green to send gauchos descending upon you to whack off a tasty chunk of meat. It was so good. The meats were wonderfully seasoned and so soft that I didn’t so much cut them as have them fall to pieces when I tried to cut them.

There’s also a huge salad bar, but I didn’t go to it until I’d already eaten about three platefuls of meat. There were some cheeses and whatnot, but few things that seemed worthy of depriving stomach space to more delectable meat. ☺

Also at the table there were cheesy mashed potatoes and some sort of little bread puff filled with cheese and fried plantains. The whole experience was amazing and I am really thankful to my friends for doing it with me.

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House Hunting

I got an email from my landlord a couple days ago telling me my rent was late and that I owed him a $25 late fee. At first I kicked myself for having forgotten to pay my rent then I remembered that I hadn’t. Not only had I told my shitty bank to send him a check, I had seen it in the mail at the house. I went online and verified that the check wasn’t a figment of my imagination. Sure enough there was a $650 debit on my account July 31st.

I emailed the bank and asked them exactly what I could do. The thing is I know the check arrived at the house. Someone in the house took it. Well, actually my landlord has had people wandering through continually for the last month trying to fill rooms. I suppose anyone could have taken it. I just need to get out of that damned flop house.

I went today to look at a place about ten blocks from my office (I currently live two blocks away). The cool bit is there are two big ol’ golder retrievers who live there. I really like real dogs and not the creepy overgrown rats that are all the rage with these sissified city-slickers. The main issue is the commute. A whole fifteen minutes of walking to get to work. I dunno if I can take that. ☺

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So, I’m an uncle now. Little Finn Lawson Holcomb was born 8lbs 5oz yesterday. I’d post a picture of him, but the Verizon people are bitches and have disabled OBEX on their Razr. They want to force me to pay them to get pictures off my phone and add ringtones. Greedy fuckers.

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