And it happened...

I've been dreading this day since my 22nd birthday. I knew it would come, but never did I imagine so quickly. Age is a sensitive issue for me, and aging is a scary thought. Perhaps it's a manifestation of my fear of death. Perhaps it's an unwillingness to accept my immaturity. Whatever the case, aging is something I've tried to avoid, ignore, and prevent at all costs, sometimes going as far as lying about how old I am. I've been trying to get away with being 22 for 3 years now. Well, deep down, I knew that one day I wasn't going to be 22, or even 25, and that I'd actually have to (pretend to) be an adult at some point in my life. What I didn't foresee was how it would come to its eventuality. This is the story of how it happened.

Last night I went to a party. I even drank a little. I actually drank more than a little. Ok, I had a lot. "But Jeff, it seems you're always drinking. What does this have to do with you growing up?" Good question. Follow along, it'll become clear in a moment. First of all, I didn't drink a 40 oz. Nope, no St. Ides, no Old English. Not big news, as drinking 40s has become rare (even if Oldie and I are trying to bring them back into style). But, it is symbolic, however. The point is, I didn't drink the cheapest beer that I could buy en masse. Secondly, I didn't binge drink. No shotgunning, no chugging, no beer bongs...none of that. What I did do, though, was sip my alcoholic beverage. To go further, I even savored my drinks. I let the taste linger in my mouth; I tried to enjoy it. Lastly, I did this with other adults (who apparently don't share my intense age-avoiding tendencies). And when I say adults, I don't just mean peers. I'm talking about people who ranged in age from their 20s to their late 30s. Not your ordinary just-out-of-college crowd. Normally I wouldn't be caught dead with such a group, for associating with such people might reveal my secret: I am, indeed, an adult.

Now if it hasn't become clear, I'll make it simple. I'll let you know how I crossed over from a young, immature 20 something, to a mature and sophisticated geezer. I drank wine, and I did it at a wine party. Ok, there, I said it. I went to a wine-tasting party. I even bought my own wine to bring to this life-altering affair.

Here is how the party was organized. Everyone was to bring two bottles of the same wine. One bottle would be opened and used in the taste testing. After all wines were tasted, partygoers would then vote on their most preferred varietal (ugh, I said varietal). The winner would then be the proud recipient of all the unopened bottles, free to take them home and drown themselves in liquid sophistication and pretense.

To be honest, it's a great idea for a party. If it were beer we were tasting, or even whiskey, I would have never thought twice about participating. For some reason, though, wine-tasting proposed a whole new boundary for me to cross. In fact, it was the cause of much anxiety from the day I got the invite. It could very well be that I got myself all worked up over nothing, and that drinking wine is not really a big deal. But the stereotype surrounding wine drinkers was just too much for me to ignore. I nearly gave myself an ulcer when I went to Freddie Meyers to buy my wine. I know nothing about wine and I had to ask the wine steward what to buy. I ended up buying a wine from Sonoma County, just to represent Cali in good taste.

When I arrived at the party, it was if I was staring death right in the face. I was in the process of crossing a mystical plane into adulthood, a place where hip and cool were foreign concepts. I was losing an edge and conceding my youth. I saw my life unravel into a downward spiral of paying bills, reading boring books and drinking fine wines, all the while wondering what happened to my hairline (wait, I already do that). When somebody turned to me, just after tasting a wine, and stated "this wine's fermenting process was flawed...you can tell by the metallic taste," I knew that things would never be the same.

Waking up this morning, I do feel different. Looking back, it was all so surreal. Do I feel that much older? Actually no, not really. I do feel like I've been corrupted, though. I feel like I've been unfairly subjected to a whole new world where the subtle difference between a hint of cedar and a hint of oak makes or breaks a wine; a world where a wine's quality can be determined by the slick residue it leaves on a glass while swishing it around, taking in its aroma. It is true, I may be getting older. But I see this as no reason to abandon my 40s and pick up a wine glass, all in the name of sophistication. Fuck that. I may order a wine from time to time, yes, but I'd rather judge the quality of a beer by it's creamy froth (think Guinness) and the buzz it produces.


I Hate Working

I've been unfaithful to you all lately, and have created another blog elsewhere to get my rocks off temporarily. The first half a dozen posts consist of emails that I sent to my family and buds while traveling in Mexico for several months with my wife a few years back. These represent my love of the lazy life, for I hate working, and think of traveling every single hour of every single day I'm in the office.


I may add to this other blog (by the way, that is a stupid name for an online journal/web log...blog...is it even remotely possible to not come off as a total fucking tool for saying/typing/reading that word) occasionally, possibly ranting about my current workplace, complaining about my lack of ambition for success and riches, or just posting pictures of my penis I took with my cell phone 'cause I have nothing better to do with my "time" at work (which I don't get adequately compensated for anyway).
I wish I liked my job...but in the end, this work thing is for the birds.

Cell Phone Souffle

Can someone please tell me if this works.
I'd try it myself, but I dislike both the taste and smell of eggs.


Imagine what these things are doing to our brains. Scrambled neurons anyone?
Give me a call on my cell, and we'll chat about it for two hours.


Farting in your sleep

It's 12:21 AM, and while reading Old's latest blog entry (below), I hear Eileen (my landlord and housemate), deep in her sleep, bust out the loudest fart I've heard in three weeks. It echoed through her closed door and into the dining room, where I sit typing. What's more, I heard this fart over the sound of her snoring. Just to emphasize how loud this was, one should know that it was her snoring that woke me up and dragged me to the computer, as I couldn't sleep.
Maybe the fart woke her up, as the snoring has now stopped. Perhaps this is my chance to go back to sleep.


Bloodletting is all the rage.

Apologies are in order. I recently purchased a new computer, but as of yet haven't hooked up to the internet yet. The reason for this isn't sheer laziness, but the fact that I don't know how to get my computer connected to the internet outside of the free AOL discs that plague our mailboxes. I have to let you in on a dirty little trick of mine...I have been using the internet for close to eight years now without paying a dime for my service with American Online. You see, I load up those "Free 30 Day Trial" CDs, then call up to cancel a day or two before the trial period expires to avoid the monthly charge..."Why are you wishing to cancel you AOL membership, Sir?" "My wife is in the hospital...I lost my job...I was recently in an accident...I'm the victim up identity theft and someone cleared my bank account out...I was recently abducted by Secret Service agents who pulled out my fingernails and now I can't type...etc." Anyway, without fail, the phone representative gives me an additional two free months to get back on my feet financially. Sometimes they cancel my account when I call up, but then I just pop in one of the dozen or so extra trial discs stored in my computer desk and get another month free. They never caught on that I was sticking their company for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in free internet access. I'm not sure whether it's my conscience finally catching up to me (not likely, 'cause AOL can go fuck themselves in the face for making billions off of their shitty service and mucking up the environment with all of their junkmail), or the fact that my last computer died a sad death due to all the spyware and trash that AOL installed on my computer each time I downloaded a new disc. To make a long story short, due to never having paid for the internet, and not wanting to use AOL ever again now that I have a brand-new bank account-breaking computer, I don't know how to sign up for any other type of access to the internet...and the blog has been neglected as a result, for which I am deeply sorry. Like anyone but Green and I actually read this crap. So I find myself sitting here in the Library, stinky and unshaven, encased in my writer's bathrobe.

Little tidbits:
-Last weekend after an exciting scoreless seven innings of Beavers baseball (fuck the Padres farm team housed here in Ptown...we went to watch the opposing Fresno Grizzlies, the Giants minor league team...oh, and FUCK THE DODGERS while we're on the subject), Jeff, Kes and I were heading back to NE Portland on the MAX (Stumptown's version of the Yay's BART) when I found myself blowing my nose. Just to be funny, I made a pained screeching honk sound mid-blow that came out a lot louder than I had planned. The whole car stared at me for the next 20 minutes holding in giggles, while Jeff and Kes laughed their asses off...I know, it's not funny in the slightest, but Jeff insisted that I write about it for some reason.
-A few weeks ago, Jeff and I were enjoying a crisply-carbonated beer beverage bubbler at Beulahland, the local hangout for alchoholic fiends and trivia buffs. We both happened to be repping our Frisco hats, when this skater comes up to us and starts throwing up signs. This dude was like 3 foot 4, looked like he had had a few too many cases of beer. Neither of us recognized any of the signs he was tossing up, when it hit us...this dude was deaf and wasn't trying to initiate a fight of any kind. Busting out a pen and sliding over a napkin, we initiated a brief conversation about the Bay Area and S.F...he missed it "Big Time" (I still have the napkin...I collect random useless shit like that all the time) and hailed from the Mission District. I think we were best friends for those five minutes. He then abruptly got frustrated with our lack of deaf language skills, threw up some more signs, and bounced, dragging his skateboard out with him.
-I was in Kaiser Permanente the other day for a physical (really it's just an excuse to get my nuts jostled by my elders once in a while), and while in line, the guy in front of me says "I'm here for the bloodletting." I don't think I even have to comment on that.
-I recently watched a film called Half Japanese, a "documentary" about the indie band of the same name. For the life of me I can't tell if this is a mockumentary or a serious documentation of the prepping of this midwestern band for the next Beatlemania. Somebody please go rent it and let me know what the hell is going on here. A challenging film, fo' sho'...it's truly good to not know whether or not you're being fucked with sometimes.
-I had been putting in office supply requests at work for black ink pens several weeks in a row, with no results. Finally I went directly to my supervisor, a complete limpdick who goes home "sick" each afternoon or hangs out looking at porn or playing mine sweeper all day because he isn't qualified to do much else. I asked him why I haven't recieved my pens, to which he replied "Due to cost issues, I'm denying your request for black ink pens." I instantly desired to put my thumb through his Adam's Apple, but instead calmly asked "When did black ink begin to cost more than blue or red ink?" He dodged the question by stating that the he can't tell if my requests for reimbursements (forms we have to fill out for out-of-pocket expenses we incure on a near daily basis, because he won't pre-approve any funds for our client's needs, i.e. state ID cards, work clothes, etc.) are originals or copies if I write them out with black ink. Okay, I left the issue alone...on my way out, he had me sign and copy some paperwork that he had filled out...in black ink. I need a new job. These people are fucking nuts...I'll write more about my work another time, though.
-Did you know the War on Terror is costing this country $5.9 billion dollars a month. This means that the average monthly cost to each U.S. citizen is $989. I want my money back, you shits. I recently read that the homeless populations on the West coast are rising dramatically, and yet the state of Oregon can't grant new Section 8 housing until the year 2011, due to reduced Federal funding. Taking care of our own, or destroying one of the most ancient and civilized cultures in the Middle East...seemed like a no-brainer, even for a no-brainer like Dubya.
-I appeased my inner-nerd today by visiting multiple local comic shops participating in the national Free Comic Book Day...shook hands with a Storm Trooper, got winked at by a woman dressed up like Trinity from the Matrix (don't worry Kes, I didn't wink back, as I'm saving mine for you), laughed at the sheer dorkiness factor of my fellow cheapskates, and picked up a slew of free comic books to geek out at home with.

The sun is shining, it's the weekend, and as Ice Cube would say, "Today I didn't even have to use my AK/I got to say it was a good day."