Pondering Pool Night

I’m on a pool league every Wednesday night. It’s starting to bore me. You wait a long time to play. It can be expensive. And there isn’t all that much to do while four of your team members are playing. To be better to my heart, I’ve cut back on drinking, so that contributes to boredom. It’s hard to watch other people get plowed when you’re sitting sober.

There’s some socializing, but being social and pool don’t always work out when the jukebox is loud and obnoxious.

I end up people watching or iPhone surfing most nights. If I have a pen, I draw pictures. For a while, I was doing a series that I called, “Drawing from Boredom.” It was really popular series in Trinidad. But it never made it here.


Last night people watching was particularly interesting. We were at a bar on the far north side called Cary’s Lounge (Western and Devon).

A Horse walks into the bar …  bartender asks, “Why the long face?”

At one point, I noticed an overweight woman enter the bar. She was probably 5’9″ and if I had to guess, 400 lbs. She was young, early 20s. She wore beige, fitted corduroy pants and a tight white t-shirt with a design on the front. Her arms were exposed and she had that purply complexion that some white people have. It’s like their skin is too close to their blood and it shows through. On the bar stool, her butt was round and you could see her back between her shirt and pants.

When she arrived, everyone gave her a toot. She was obviously a regular, and everyone knew her name. I was too far away to catch what it was. Let’s call her Stacy.

I admired that Stacy was there, and I imagined I would have told her that if it wouldn’t sound douchy. I mustered a very friendly smile at one point when I got eye contact with her. She smiled back.

From a distance of about 20 feet, I kept looking over at her. At one point, she was eating a brownie and the thought that entered my head was is she aware of the image she’s conveying? A big woman eating a sugary treat. Is she trying to appear a certain way?

Later, I went up by the front door of the bar (the pool table was in the back), and I looked out to make sure there wasn’t a ticket on my car or the Canfield’s soda can I left in the dash hadn’t exploded from the cold temperatures we had last night.

A food delivery guy was coming in the bar at the same time and I followed him in as he dropped off the delivery. Stacy intercepted the man, and he handed her the bag. I saw her handing him two bills, likely a $20 and a $5, and she said, “This is for you,” in a lower-than-expected pitch. The guy thanked her and left and she sat back down at the corner of the bar.

I watched her remove a container, open it, and start forking out brown pieces of meat into her mouth. Apparently it was Chinese food. Her tongue movement was pronounced when she opened her mouth for each bite.

Paging Gene Simmons. Gene Simmons, paging Gene Simmons.

Then she transferred the contents from the container to a styrofoam bowl. She started taking a bite of meat in her mouth and forking a piece of broccoli, putting it to the side and forking another piece of meat and putting it her mouth. It was as if she was saying, “Piece of meat for me. Piece of broccoli for plate. Piece of meat for me … broccoli for plate.”

When she finished that, she put the broccoli back in the container, covered it, moved off of her stool, walked to a trashcan, and tossed it in.

I’ll save my “eat your vegetables” speech for another day.

She returned to her stool and removed another entrée. This one had rice. Maybe it was sweet and sour chicken.

I believe in a thing called “full face”. It’s that point in the meal when you should probably stop, but the damn food is so good, you keep eating. When you see someone suffering from full face, they physically look miserable, but a happy miserable. Chewing has slowed down and there’s a particular look of an imminent gag.

Stacy had full face. She had it when she was eating the brownie.

Either I got distracted or felt guilty, but I turned my attention back to the pool table. A little while later, I looked up and she had left.

I emailed myself a note to write about it. I felt guilty for a while, but then I thought, I’m going to write about it.

Why? You ask.

Well, surely I wasn’t the only person who noticed Stacy. And surely I wasn’t the only one who passed judgement on her. For the most part, I was intrigued by her presence. It was an opportunity for a character study.

Then I asked myself, “How much money is she dumping into food per day?” We know scientifically that obesity can kill a person.

But then I thought, “What’s the equivalent of a alcohol full face?” I mean, just because someone is of average build, glassy-eyed, red-nosed and red-cheeked male doesn’t make that person any less subject to scrutiny than Stacy. But when everyone seems to be drinking, people make less of an effort to criticize. Or do they?

We know, scientifically, that alcohol can kill a person. I once sat in on a Drinking Skeptically where everyone was talking about how alcohol in excess is proven to be bad for you. So why do skeptics drink?

And I say, “Pass me that bottle of Jack and I’ll tell you.”

At what point do people say to their neighbor, “Hey, I think you might be hurting yourself.” Or do they say it at all?

From an outsider’s perspective on this blog, someone might say, “Hey, you’re telling the world that they have a religious full face.”

And maybe you’re saying, “Hey, Jeremy, you have an atheist full face.” Or a “fool face.” Or whatever joke you’re thinking of.

There are some certainties in the world: Lots of people love religion. And lots of people love things that are bad for them.

Atheism might be bad for me. But religion might be bad for you. Have you ever thought about that?

Religion is a big business. I know people in religion don’t like to call it a business, but it is. There are very few situations in which people will pay hard-earned money toward something invisible. There are lots of people who pay hard-earned money for a few dozen drinks or a few entrées. While it may seem superfluous, at least it’s something. But 10% of your income over your lifetime is hard to stomach when the invisible god of the universe is involved. Surely there’s something superfluous that he can give you in return.

Have you ever asked yourself, “What does my full face look like?”

Would you be upset if someone told you it was time to cut back on something?

I just wanted to ask you that. You don’t have to answer.


WTF: Male babies are disarmingly cute, but they grow up to be monsters

Holy crap, Riverview Center, did the idea for this advertisement look good on paper? What the hellfire were you thinking? Someone is likely going to take this down, but the video shows a few phrases of text saying, “He’s Tough. He’s aggressive. He’s Strong. He’s Powerful. And … he raped his girlfriend. What are you teaching your son? Ending Sexual Violence ends with him.” Toward the end, pictures of a really cute diapered baby fade onto the screen.

Via The Daily Wh.at


One Starapalooza!

I wasn’t going to call attention to the one-star mobile running amok on the blog lately, but then I thought, what the hell.

Somebody’s giving one-stars to posts, which is awesome. Please feel free to keep that up. A star is a star and it shows that at least one of you had an opinion enough to rate the posts.

But surely there’s an issue when even a photograph of “Rock and Roll” is given one star.

I’ll make this a rhetorical question for Mr., Miss or Mrs One-Star Machine. “What is your criteria for one star versus say two stars or more?”

I vow to do a better job blogging if you vow to do a better job deciphering what is worthy of what kind of rating.


It is my duty and honor to repost this

Representative Christopher “Craigslist” Lee resigned yesterday after the news of possible infidelities.  Resignation implies culpability, doesn’t it?

In Lee’s spare time, he was fighting to keep “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and redefining “rape.”

Republican Party, wholesome family values are yours!

From ABC News:

Congressman Chris Lee Resigns After Shirtless Photo Posted on Internet


Rep. Christopher Lee, R-N.Y., abruptly resigned from the House of Representatives Wednesday afternoon after a report emerged that he had sent flirtatious e-mails, including one with a bare-chested photo of himself, to a woman he met on Craigslist.

Lee is married and has a young child.

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Western New York. I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents. I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness,” Lee said in a statement Wednesday evening.

“The challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, and so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately.”

On Wednesday, the gossip website Gawker posted a story that included the e-mails allegedly exchanged between Lee and the unnamed woman. According to the story, a single 34-year-old woman from Maryland posted an ad on Craigslist’s “Women for Men” section on Jan. 14. Soon afterwards a man named Christopher Lee replied, identifying himself as a 39-year-old divorced lobbyist.

In the exchange that followed, Lee reportedly sent the woman an e-mail including a photo of Lee with his shirt off, flexing his arms and chest. The woman later broke off her correspondence with Lee after she did an online search for him and determined that he had lied about his age and his job, the Gawker story reported.