drinking outside, alone and to excess

Tonight was going to be the night that I got caught back up on my email, but I decided to go out and hit happy hour instead It probably wasnt the best thing that I could have done, but the sun was out, it was warm, I was driving around town with Abbey Road playing, with my window down, and I noticed that my favorite bar had an empty table outside.

I glanced at my watch, noticed that I still had an hour before beer shot back up to Ann Arbor prices, and eased my car toward the curb Within two minutes I was drinking my first 25 oz. Guinness and Bass Black and Tan.

I wasnt being a complete derelict though… I called Linette to see if she wanted to come and join me. Being both pregnant and close to deadline on a big design project though, she declined.

So, I drank a few beers and ate a burger by myself, listening in on other peoples conversations and jotting down notes for my next comic. (note to self: Fewer graphic representations of cocks.)

It was nice… I know people say that drinking alone isnt good, but I enjoy it on occasion.

My concern is that going out for a few beers might have totally reversed all the good stuff Ive been doing lately though.

Here, for those of you who care, was my self-improvement schedule for this week:

Monday Therapy
Tuesday Acupuncture
Wednesday Gym/Jogging
Thursday Drinking Alone

I was on a roll there for a few days Im not sure what tomorrow will hold. Maybe Ill be shooting heroin in an alley.

I shouldnt joke like that now that my parents and co-workers read this site.

Actually, I think most of them have stopped reading by now. (My parents mentioned a few days ago that theyd grown weary of my politics. They, Im assuming, liked it better when I focused more on Whitney Houston and ball shaving.)

My research has shown that most people eventually stop reading this site.

I dont have much more to say. I want to write letters now, but my list of unanswered emails has grown so long that I cant look at it without feeling incredibly guilty and anxious.

So, instead of sending emails to my friends, Ill just turn on the TIVO and watch Survivor. Maybe Ill watch it twice.

Maybe, if I get motivated, Ill work on a new project Ive been thinking about. Its called the Maynard Anguish Index. Its a matrix kind of thing that has anxiety down one axis and depression down the other. The idea would be that Id plot the point where anxiety and depression meet every day and share it with you kind of like how the Department of Homeland Security shares their color-coded terror assessments. I have to give it some more thought

So, I guess thats it from me for tonight. If you still feel like reading though, check out Life at TJs Place. Its a new blog kept by a fellow who manages a strip club somewhere in middle-America Its one of the best things Ive stumbled across in the past few months.

Good night, my invisible friends.

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A few weeks ago I mentioned that my band was being interviewed at WCBN, Ann Arbors college radio station. Well, for those of you who didnt hear it at the time, Ive just been informed that you can now download the interview, in four bite-sized sections, from the Monkey Power media page. (Its toward the bottom of the page.)

I am also very happy to report that, as of this afternoon, our 10th record, Hacking Through the Tentacles of Despair is available for purchase online I can say with some confidence that if youre the kind of person who likes your music to be melodic and listenable, this is the Monkey Power Trio record for you. It is and Ive never said this about anything that Ive recorded before absolutely fucking beautiful.

So, please buy it if only to look at the individually hand-colored covers. (By the way, none of them will look as nice as this one that we scanned. This was the first one we did, before any beers were opened. By the end of the night, we were just x-ing out the monkey mans eyes and circling his private area in lipstick.)

Oh, yeah, if you dont forward this message to at least ten people within the next ten minutes, you will begin to experience rectal bleeding and your eye sockets will spit out your eyeballs.

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bake back the white house

A few weekends ago, thousands of MoveOn.org supporters across the US held bake sales to raise money for the battle to take back the White House from Bush I was going to look for one, but Linette and I were visiting friends in Chicago at the time… Fortunately, though, I just heard from an old friend that wed have another chance this Saturday. Im not sure if theyre going to be held all around the US, but, if you live within driving distance of Ypsi, you can head over to 1307 N. Congress (between Mansfield and Wallace) on Saturday, May 1 (between 11am and 3pm). Im not sure how big of an event itll be, but I know that my friends Andy and Patti will have vegan goodies for sale So, if youre in the area, drop by, pick up a flax seed cookie, and help take back our country from this man.

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the wal-mart myth and lap dances through history

Wal-Mart is a favorite of Wall Street. Analysts like the way the company mercilessly drives down operating expenses in order to return greater shareholder value. The folks over at TomPaine.com and a few others, however, have begun suggesting that the Costco model (which sees employees paid a living wage, provided benefits, etc) may be the more profitable in the long run. The fantastic success of Wall Mart, they argue, is merely a myth. Heres a clip from the article:

The authors point out that Costco recently posted a 25 percent profit gain, as well as a 14 percent sales hike. Yet Wall Street punished Costco’s stock, driving it down 4 percent. What gives? As the authors report: “One problem for Wall Street is that Costco pays its workers much better than archrival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. does, and analysts worry that Costco’s operating expenses could get out of hand. ‘At Costco, it’s better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder,’ says Deutsche Bank analyst Bill Dreher.”

And there it is in a nutshell. In today’s economy (or, for that matter, yesterday’s economy), whether a company treats its workers fairly and satisfies consumers does not matter to Wall Street. Stock analysts don’t reward such a featpreferring instead that a company conform to Wall Street standards by wringing out every cent from regular people’s wallets.

But the great piece of reporting (and public service) that Holmes and Zellner perform is that they actually run the numbers and get beyond the rhetoric. They compare Costco to Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club, the unit with which it directly competes. Costco, which has about a 20 percent unionization rate, pays workers 40 percent more than Sam’s Club and gives them comparatively superior benefits (for example, health care and profit-sharing plans) to Sam’s Club.

Costco, surprise, has a lower turnover rate and a far higher rate of productivity: it almost equaled Sam’s Club’s annual sales last year with one-third fewer employees. Only six percent of Costco’s employees leave each year, compared to 21 percent at Sam’s. And, by every financial measurement, the company does better. Its operating income was higher than Sam’s Club, as was operating profit per hourly employees, sales per square foot and even its labor and overhead costs. Here’s a quote to emblazon for corporate America: “Paying your employees well is not only the right thing to do but it makes for good business,” says Costco CEO James D. Sinegal.

While were on the subject of getting screwed, heres an interesting little article on a old woman that was the recipient of some excessive force at the hands of the Portland, Oregon police department. Heres a quote:

She was 71 years old.

She was blind.

She needed her 94-year-old mother to come to her rescue.

And in the middle of the dogfight — in which Eunice Crowder was pepper-sprayed, Tasered and knocked to the ground by Portland’s courageous men in blue — the poor woman’s fake right eye popped out of its socket and was bouncing around in the dirt.

And I ask you, how could I not post that?

And, before you write me note about how this elderly blind woman probably deserved it, heres one last link. This one will take you to a story about the 328 prisoners who have been exonerated since mid 80s because of DNA evidence.

Speaking of angry letters, I just got this one today in reference to my post last night on the subject of donating to the Kerry campaign instead of sending Linette and me baby gifts when our new kid is born. It comes from a man named Mr. Nelson.

If Kerry does get elected, as you hope, you should have more pictures of war to link to your site. Only, I’m afraid, they will be pictures of Americans blown up in this country. Please let me know if people do donate in your name, so I can donate an equal amount to the RNC.

Best Regards

I just wrote back what I think was a nice note, explaining to him why I didnt think that a vote for Kerry would make us any less safe in the United States, and a bunch of other stuff And now Im pissed at myself. Ive been getting tons of good mail lately, mail that I really want to answer, and yet I spend my time replying to things like this. My priorities are all fucked up. Im more interested in proving to him that I know what Im talking about than I am maintaining friendships with people I genuinely like.

So, if I havent answered that letter you sent a few weeks ago yet, just send me a reminder, along with a sentence or two about bodies piling up in the streets. Thatll get you to the front of the cue.

And here, lastly, is something that they Ypsites in the audience might enjoy, a statistical profile of our hometown. Its pretty cool, and you can even submit photos Speaking of which, Ive got a great one of the old Ypsi-Ann Interurban (a train that used to run through Ypsi about a century ago) tracks that were recently discovered beneath the street in front of our local strip club I like the way history and lap dances collide Who would have thought?

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an unusual subject

Kevin Spaceys brother, Randy Fowler, just announced that he will, “reveal once and for all why Kevin is like he is – a bit of a weirdo. Heres a quote from the British paper that broke the story:

The 42-year-old Usual Suspects star has been dogged by rumours that he is gay but he has always kept tight-lipped about his sexuality. Spiky-haired Fowler boasts he’s been sitting on information about his brother for 25 years and has written a 90,000-word book which he plans to hawk around American publishers in the next few weeks.

“I’ve got over 1,000 photos,” he said. “I’ve been obsessive about this. I’ve got his diaries and the full story.”

That just freaks the fuck out of me, the thought that a family member could be out there obsessively working a 90,000-word book about what a fuckup I am.

I did some research and found a photo of Randy Fowler. He looks pretty much like I thought that he would kind of like an older, sadder Dana Carvey. Ive also got his phone number. Is there anything that youd like me to ask him?

Heres his blurb from his site:

Hi my name is Randy Fowler, I am the older brother of Kevin Spacey, I am looking for an agent to put me back to work. I can travel anywhere at any time, have pro drums, road cases and the look of a professional. Please call me at: 208-336-0705 or 208

I feel sorry for Kevin Spacey and all, but I wonder if his brother might be willing to sit on drums with the Monkey Power Trio next year.

On a completely unrelated note I apologize to anyone in my family who might have any cause at all to be angry with me.

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