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I was reading on this blog about divorce and how it is an institution just like marriage, where people fill in the roles of the ex-husband and the ex-wife, and whatnot. And what he says is true, but it could be applied to most social relationships, not necessarily only sexual relationships. You could just as easily substitute the word “roommate” for “ex-wife” and you would come up with the same truths coming to the surface.

Years ago, in another life, I lived with 3 other guys in this luxury apartment complex meant to be inhabited by, I believe, Rich Retired Couples and Young Republicans. It was a great place. And it was about 1250 square feet, so we were not cramped in its 3 bedrooms. The largest of the bedrooms was split into two sections, and two of my friends shared it. The next largest bedroom was won in a poker game by the last guy, who really did get the best end of the deal. He did not have to share a room with another person like my first two friends, and he did not have to live in what I believe was actually a closet, like I did.Granted, I picked the smallest bedroom on purpose. I didn’t really own much of anything at the time, except for a twin bed, a nightstand, and a 13-inch television set. Come to think of it, I don’t really own much more than that now. Anyway, I picked this room, knowing full well of its dimensions, and I didn’t really care. I was just happy to be out my parent’s place. The only problem I had with this room was the doors. There wasn’t a traditional door on my bedroom, it had two doors that opened inwards. This caused two problems for me the following year that I did not think of when we were playing cards for rooms. The first problem was that, when the doors opened, they swung through about 1/3 of the entire area of the room. So basically, it’s a good thing that I didn’t own much stuff, because it’s not like I could put it in this room anyway. The second problem was one of security: these two swinging doors could not be locked. At all.

After a few months, I took to placing a pair of handcuffs on one of the knobs, and securing the knobs together when I was not in the apartment. My friend with the large room to himself had a problem with this.

“Why do you have to lock up your room, anyway?” he asked me one night. “It not like you even have anything to mess with.”

He obviously didn’t see the point. It wasn’t the fact that I didn’t actually own anything of value, it was the fact that everything I did own was in that one room. And I didn’t want people messing with it.

This guy quickly became a problem roommate. We should have spotted it before. And I guess we did, but we were all so happy with having this place, that we just figured that we have to take the good with the bad. Sure, we had a pool, beautiful grounds, a nice, huge deck for barbecues, a fireplace, etc. But we had to live with this guy, too. That was our price we paid.

And just like in a relationship, being together all the time (like being married or rooming with a friend) will always bring to the forefront all of the things you really can’t stand about this person you are now forced to share a life with. If you do not have similar moral characteristics and value systems, living together will only accelerate what will almost assuredly be a messy “divorce” of this friendship. The other two roommates and I had moral values that included “not leaving your underwear in the hallway”, “cleaning up the kitchen when you cover every possible surface with spaghetti sauce”, and “paying our bills on time”. This other roommate had a value system that included “eating other people’s food when it is clearly marked”, “randomly searching through your things to find a CD that they will never return”, and “borrowing money to pay bills, and then never paying it back”. A marriage made in hell, for sure.

We served out our year sentence in that place, and then parted ways. The problem roommate went on to live with another friend, and then another; each for only a year, and each with a very different view of this person when that year was up.

The roommate and I used to be really great friends. Since I lived with him, however, I have spoken to him once. And the exchange went just like you would imagine an ex-husband would talk to his ex-wife, when they didn’t leave on such cheery terms.

We are all filling in roles in life. I’m just trying to get through my scene without stepping on another actor’s toes.


I know that a dandelion's sole purpose in the life is to reproduce and spread its seeds as far and wide as it can before it is chopped to shreds by a lawnmower. The dandelions in my yard (and all of their offspring) are leading quite productive lives. My entire yard is full of dandelions. When you look at my lawn, you don't see green as much as you see that puffy white cloud of dandelion tops hovering over my lawn. The worst part is how quickly they grow. I mowed the grass a few days ago, and the next day the lawn was covered with them. And you have to mow them down… which I realise only further spreads the seeds, but if you don't, they turn into those monster dandelions that have the spiky leaves that could actually amputate a finger if you're not careful. If someone came up to me and offered me a superpower, depending on the day, I might just say, "I'd like the ability to rid my lawn of dandelions with my mind."

And then I'd probably kick myself for not thinking clearly. I mean, if someone offered you a superpower, what would it be? You really should think this over now, so that if someone ever does come up to you and offers you a superpower, you won't just blurt out an easy solution to whatever you are dealing with at the time. You really don't want to say something like, "I'd like the power to give myself a shower just by thinking about it," or "I would like to be able to make the trash take itself out," or "I'd like the power to make telemarketers hang up on me." You just don't want to waste your one shot like that. So it's very important to think of these things ahead of time.

Some friends and I were discussing what superpowers we would like to have years ago, and almost all of them picked the ability to fly or become invisible. And that would be pretty cool, I guess. But I always thought teleportation would be great. Say you were being reprimanded by your boss, and you really didn't want to be there. You could just *blip* yourself, and you'd be gone. And what's your boss going to do? He can't tell anyone for fear they would think he was crazy. Plus, you'd never have to drive anywhere again. You could wake up for work in the morning 15 minutes before you had to be there instead of an hour and a half. Think of the amount of time you would save over the course of your life, never having to travel anywhere.

The downside, of course, is someone would eventually find out. And when they did, if you didn't get arrested for teleporting out of a store with a new barbecue grill, you would probably be knocked out and taken away to a government research facility. When you awoke, you would be attached to some sort of machine, or inside some sort of box that would not allow you to teleport yourself away from there. I imagine the government is already working on that sort of thing. You know… just in case. And then they would run tests on you until you were dead.

So that would limit you to picking a superpower that would not really be cause for mass panic on the federal level. Something that could only be used as a parlor trick; to win bets from drunk guys in bars. Something not really useful in everyday life, but a superpower, nonetheless.

Like the ability to turn your teeth clear on command. The ability to make your feet glow. The ability to make pencils magnetic. The ability to rewind VHS tapes by holding them in your hand. The ability to make someone sneeze on command.

And all of the powers like that are really quite lame. Aside from the winning of bets, that is. But my fiancé came up with a unique power that would be really beneficial to anyone, and would not (in most cases) cause any FBI agents to turn an inquisitive eye towards you.

She wants the power to put her hand in her pocket and pull out exact change for whatever it is you need to buy. Just think about that for a second. You'd never have to work again. You'd never have to worry about balancing your checkbook. Hell, you wouldn't even need a bank account. The only problems would surface when you needed to buy big ticket items like a house or a car. You better be wearing big pants on those days. Also, since you had no job – but still had everything you wanted – you would probably be labeled a Drug Dealer. Unless you spent your time traveling the country and giving to charities. Then, you could just go with the story that you had a Rich Uncle who left you more money than you could ever spend, and you are now a professional philanthropist.

Yeah. I could definitely handle that.

I am an idiot. Not only am I an idiot, I am a procrastinating idiot. Tomorrow is April 15th in America. Tax Day. The day when everyone has to file their taxes or else risk being hauled away to a dank, musty Federal Prison by 4 to 6 Federal Agents who will pull up in front of your house in a black Federal car. Well, I'd been putting it off and putting it off, and then the next thing I know, I look at the calendar and it is April 14th.

I got home from work today, and pulled out my huge pile of forms, spreading them neatly across the entirety of my kitchen table. I poured myself a tall soda and sat down, looking at this somewhat organized pile of crap surrounding me. I began plugging in the numbers; doing all the calculations. Adding the total of lines 15 thru 23, then subtracting from line 12 and seeing if it was larger than line 94a, and if it is, you should fill out schedule BS and enter that total on line 97e, whereby you would need to fill out form 9843.22 which cannot be obtained, even online, unless you have previously filled out form 82835-443.23-☼£xr-2 and have gotten a positive response back on form 666, and signed by Lucifer himself.

I was at the end. I only had a few more of those damn little boxes to fill in. And then I would be free. Free for another year. Free for the rest of the evening to play videogames and not worry about my stupid tax forms. Just a few more boxes…

And then it hit me. I had filled out my schedule D, just like a good little taxpayer should, filling in my Capital Gains and Losses for the year. (Because I take my investing advice from the fortune cookies at Shang Hai Bistro, I had a lot of losses this year.) Anyway, I'm filling in this form, and then I realise that I have not received a form that I needed from my broker. I have one form that tells me all of the total amounts, but not the cost basis (or whatever made-up-just-for-kicks word the financial gurus use), so I cannot complete this form. Therefore, I cannot complete my 1040. On April 14th. A Friday night.

After panicking for a bit too long and looking up what you had to do to file an extension, I call my father, who informs me that we actually have until April 17th this year to file. So, basically, I have to make a bunch of stupid calls Monday, to fill in a bunch of stupid numbers, so I can re-do the entire stupid form again, and all of this because someone never mailed me the stupid form that they are legally obligated to mail you… and also because I am so utterly stupid that I wait until the last stupid minute to do my stupid taxes.

I could just cry. 

I really do love spring. I love that smell of freshly-mowed grass, even though it makes my sinuses clog up. I love the way the trees look and the way everything around me seems to be coming back to life. I love the sound of children playing. I love the way my cats go crazy, darting back and forth from the front door to the back door, watching every bird and squirrel that may or may not be encroaching on their territory. I love the way you can prop the windows open, lay on the couch and be happy.

The bad things about spring, of course, are those idiots who drive around playing "music" that you can feel in your colon.

I was sitting outside today, on break, and I swear… there were about 19 cars in a row who drove through the parking lot of my shopping center blasting rap music. Booming this shit so loud that they were actually rattling windows and setting off car alarms. What a bunch of assholes.

Now, before you go off and label me as a complete prude who simply doesn't "get" the kids of today, just wait. I really do like loud music (sometimes) when I'm driving. But I also have the common courtesy to turn down said music several notches when I pull up to a stop light, or drive through a parking lot. I figure that if other people wanted to hear my music, they would be in my car. And I really don't want them in my car, so I don't make my music interfere with their lives.

I'm not going to take the low road here and say that all rap music is nothing but an angry dude rhyming over un-inspired samples and canned beats. I won't even mention the fact that, out of all 19 of those passing cars today, there was only one song that sounded remotely different from the other 18 songs. And I most certainly will not go on a long diatribe about how people who choose to put that much money into a sound system for their car probably owe several months' worth of late utility bills. But I will say that it is just a matter of common courtesy.

The other problem I have is that any music, be it rap, rock, country, or classical, is supposed to contain a mixture of Treble and Bass. If you turn up the Bass high enough to drown out the higher, clearer Treble tones, you are really only getting half of a song. Just the awful booming. Over and over and over. I don't get it. Music contains a whole range of sounds, or at least it should. You would be surprised how much more you can pick up from a song if you listen with higher mid-range and raised treble, as opposed to simply bumping up the bass so it rattles your car.

And maybe that's the point. Maybe there really is nothing else to hear in rap songs other than the words and the beat. Most of the stuff that passes for rap today is just a sample continually looped over one of about 5 different drum beats, generated by a computer. There are no drum solos in most rap. There is no bridge, usually. So maybe that is the only type of music that really doesn't lose anything from having too much bass. Maybe that's why it's so popular. Because it's simple music.

Whatever. It would just be really damn nice if you could keep it to yourselves.

This is my “Blog”

If you aren't completely appalled, then you aren't paying attention.

This Month on Tacofish

April 2006
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Public Discourse

The Humans in the Wa… on Detached
Jonathan Woolbright on Preparing For War
Jonathan Woolbright on Amateur Hour
Jonathan Woolbright on Suicide in the Morning
Craig on Unfaithful