July 23rd, 2002


Smiling At Intersections.

Nothing significant happened in the past five days, other my coming perilously close to losing my faith in God. Having two little girls sexually assaulted and savagely murdered within a week of each other can do that to a person. But in each case, a suspect was quickly caught. Does it make things better? Two innocent souls still suffered horrific deaths. Needlessly - no matter how you look at it from any perspective, divine or not. Although I haven’t completely lost my faith in God, I’ve come to the conclusion that nobody is perfect. Not even him.

And on that note, life goes on.

July 17,Wednesday
Well it’s official. The T finally headed out of town. We had yet another going-away dinner for the bastard at an old favorite: JR Seafood. Back when it seemed like I was organizing 20-friend group dinners every weekend, the joint was a convenient choice, because they had these big-ass round tables which I thought were ideal for large groups of chatty Oriental people. Then we just stopped going all of a sudden. From what I remember, there wasn’t a real reason. Just got sick of the place.

Some of the people who made it to the previous week’s false alarm going away dinner didn’t bother showing up for this one; but two random faces from the past did show up. They were Nelly, a girl Chuck went on a couple of dates with two years ago, and her friend Kelly, a girl T went on a couple of dates with two years ago.

When things didn’t work out with Nelly, Chuck started to take an interest in Kelly who'd stopped dating T. When Chuck asked T if he could ask her out, however; T turned his Kelly-wanting ass down. Despite the fact that they’d only gone on three or four dates, and despite the fact that there was no kissing of lips or knocking of boots during those dates, T still had feelings for Kelly. So he refused to give Chuck her digits.

According to some male codes of conduct, Chuck was legally entitled to go after Kelly anyway. Since it was only a few dates and no fluids had been exchanged, T was being unreasonably selfish. But according to more orthodox codes of manly behavior, particularly the “Bro’s Before Ho’s” code, as long as T had a thing for the girl, her loins were a no-bone zone for Chuck’s purple womb rocket.

Most of the guys were sympathetic toward Chuck, especially because T was already dating half of K-Town. After pressure from Geney Boy, and being called “King Cockblock” by Rog, T finally gave Chuck the thumbs up.

But by then, Kelly had moved up north for grad school. Chuck eventually forgot about her, until tonight, when she told him that she’d graduated last month and had moved back down. At the end of the evening, after T had left for LAX, Chuck got her number.

July 18, Thursday
While driving home from the office, I looked at the other drivers at a red light on Sepulveda. Every single one of them appeared to be either weary or pissed off. I reminded myself to try to smile more often.

July 19, Friday
The following occurred during an afternoon meeting involving me, the art director, my boss, and the CEO of the agency…

AGENCY CEO (Pointing to layout): I want this image to be the central focus of the entire thing.

ME (Looking at my boss and art director for response. None. Turns to CEO.): This … it’s a puzzle.

AGENCY CEO: Exactly. To demonstrate how all the departments of the company fit together, like a puzzle.

ME (Looking at my boss and art director again. No reaction.): But don’t you want something more visually compelling? The puzzle idea’s been done to death. It’s played out.

MY BRAIN: Good Lord, you did not just call the CEO’s idea played out. He’s going to hit you over the head with that chair ‘til you’re dead, and then fire you.

AGENCY CEO (Pause.): You know, you’re right. It has been done to death.

MY BRAIN (Does fist pump): Yes! You the man.

AGENCY CEO: But I asked the design department for a better idea last month, and they couldn’t come up with shit. So I’m assuming you’ll be coming up with something better?

ME: No problem.

MY BRAIN: Is your muthafuggin’ ass high??? I don’t know shit about design. You only trained me to write and to handle large quantities of vodka.

ME: Don’t worry Brain, if the CEO doesn’t like it, we’ll just blame the art director.

ART DIRECTOR: What was that?

ME: Did it sound like I was thinking out loud? Because I was actually muttering the lyrics to that new Shakira song.

July 20, Saturday
Went and saw “Road To Perdition.” Heavy. Like a dark, gravy-drenched meatloaf for the psyche. Plot elements similar to “Gladiator,” but fortunately the similarities don’t apply to costumes. Come to think of it, watching Tom Hanks in a skirt would be a happy thing. ‘Cause it would mean that they finally came out with the movie version of “Bosom Buddies.”