I'm a fighter, not a lover.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A sad tale

If you've had a bad couple of days, consider my friend Shawn's start to his vacation.

He was flying from New York via Chicago to visit me last night. He planned to spend a few days here in Salt Lake before continuing on to the Bay Area. His plans have gone terribly awry.

His first flight was delayed yesterday afternoon. Worried that his connecting flight in Chicago would leave without him, Shawn was pleased to learn that it also had been delayed. But then it was delayed again. And then once more. Finally, he and his impatient compadres boarded the bird only to sit for a while and finally be told that they weren't going anywhere. Mechanical failure. An indefinite delay with the hope of finding a new aircraft quickly dissipated to a canceled flight. So, he spent the night in Chicago, where Shawn threatened to set the Windy City on fire.

I spoke to him this morning; it didn't sound like he even got a spark. If anything, I imagine he was up entirely too late watching soft-core on hotel room cable.

The new plan: United Airlines couldn't get him on a flight from Chicago to SLC today directly. So they put him on a plane this afternoon bound for Denver, which was, of course, late. He missed his connecting flight to Salt Lake by mere minutes.

Currently, it's 3:55 MST. The new plan has him on a plane departing Denver in about a half hour, getting here in about two -- about 21 hours later than his scheduled arrival time in Salt Lake.

I've had a shitty couple of days at work. Lot's to do in general and I've had more responsibilities added to my plate. Last night, I was tattooed multiple times by rapid, strange-hopping softballs. I've got some other distress rolling through, too. All told, a rough start to the week, but definitely nothing like Shawnie has dealt with.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Mark this in the "Scary as Hell" file.

...an audacious plan to target-market kids, as young as 16, for military solicitation.

-- so says Chris Jay Hoofnagle, West Coast director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center regarding the Pentagon's request that a private marketing firm create an extensive database of high school and college students to bolster recruitment and retention.

Check out the Washington Post's story here.

Essentially, via this giant database, military recruitment officials will be able to monitor not just personal information, but also things like grade point average, aptitude in various areas and subjects studied in school, allowing them to contact students (or potential "leads," as we call them in this lovely marketing industry) who may make a fantastic soldier, but have no intention of approaching a military branch on their own, perhaps out of sanity. Frightening.

The most frightening part of it all according to the Post's report?

The system also gives the Pentagon the right, without notifying citizens, to share the data for numerous uses outside the military, including with law enforcement, state tax authorities and Congress.

If I am reading that correctly, when a lead in the database becomes too old for active military recruitment (like, 23 years young), he or she is not removed. Instead, the information just moves to another part of the government, whether local, state or federal.

If you need me, I'll be cowering under my bed in fear.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I'm afraid of Americans

Wednesday already? Dang.

Catching up from a pretty fabulous weekend and a busy start to the workweek. This weekend included some birthday festivities and more importantly, a visit from a favorite New Yorker. She got to see the mellowness that is my life here, along with the oddities that come along with my current living situation.

For instance, remember when I posted the photos of some of the tie-dye housemate’s work where he uses our backyard as a drying operation? Well, that wasn’t a one-time thing. In fact, it’s a frequent happening. J caught sight of it Friday afternoon and seemed to enjoy it.

However, nothing could prepare us for Saturday. I swear, I wish I had pictures to prove it.

It seems that the housemate — who I feel the need to point out, is, in fact, a good person, he just lives on a different planet than I do — purchased a retail-style, open-air tent. He then went ahead and set it up in the front yard and hung various samples from it. We live on a fairly busy street, so he thought he could drum up some business, apparently. Along with the tent and his product, he moved a table and supplies so he could continue to make his art — a model of efficiency! — a small bongo and several beer cans. Love it.

He mentioned something about how he should have probably talked to my other housemate and I before having a “yard sale.” Slightly baffled, completely amused and knowing that J was hurting keeping her laughter in while being introduced to him, I did my best to get in and out of the house and back into my car as quickly as possible.

A yard sale?

On Sunday, we had another fun neighborhood experience. Returning from the grocery store, tired from a great weekend, wearing my cranky pants because my guest was leaving soon, we spotted my neighbor and her son waving a hand-colored posterboard sign: HONK IF YOU LOVE AMERICA!

Seriously, I may need to move.

Friday, June 17, 2005


I’ve concocted what may be the best four hours of sequenced music in the history of mankind. Or, at least will be damned fine upbeat music for tonight’s B-Day BBQ. It’s 68 songs deep and includes things like:

Warren G, “This DJ”
Van Morrison, “These Dreams of You”
George Michael, “Freedom 90”
Liz Phair, “Fuck and Run”
Uncle Tupelo, “New Madrid”

Along with more contemporary references like:
The Shout Out Louds
The Cloud Room
Dr. Dog
The National
Polyphonic Spree
Brazilian Girls
Tegan and Sara
And More!

Seriously, if there was a playlist hall of fame, this sucker would reign it.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


They've gone ahead and done it. The conservative-dominated Congress and Senate have proposed a 45% cut of federal funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

45 percent!

CPB funds local television stations, all NPR radio outlets, PBS (bye, bye Sesame Street), as well as several community radio stations, including YOURS AND MINE: KRCL 90.9 FM Salt Lake City.

I urge you to sign Move On's petition here and include a note to your Senator or Congressman. (Note: While I do support Move On, I would recommend providing your junk email address. They do not spam and don't provide your information elsewhere, but by signing the petition, you will be entered onto the Move On e-newsletter subscription.)

Please sign it.

Also, you can learn more about the proposed CPB cuts by tuning into today's Radioactive on KRCL 90.9 FM Salt Lake City (or streamed live at krcl.org) today at noon MST.

Classic family movie titles that could actually be adult films:

Bed knobs and Broomsticks
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Herbie the love bug
Mary Poppins

She'll give you a spoon full of sugar, alright.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Haikus and Sergeant Slaughter

Given my recent mention of my third grade teacher, Ms. Ware, and What’s her face’s wonderful haiku post on her friend’s birthday, I thought it appropriate to delve deeper into grade three and bad, short poetry.

Let’s set the scene. I’m eight, rocking the same bowl cut I had since birth, except during the warm months, when it’s buzzed down to a whiffle. Chances are, I’m wearing sweat pants to school still and — as you might imagine — beating the third-grade tail off with a proverbial stick.

The previous year, I had begun writing creatively, which is a very loose phrase. Although a seven year-old boy can be pretty damned creative, barring him being some sort of a prodigy, his grasp of language is not very impressive. Nonetheless, my stories earned the attention of my teacher, along with my third-grade-teacher-to-be, Ms. Ware.

The man, the myth, the legend: Sergeant Slaughter.

In Ms. Ware’s class, we didn’t sit in a neat row of desks. Instead, we had tables, generally two kids per, arranged more or less haphazardly, in what I assume was a theorem regarding better learning tactics. Those same unique learning techniques gave us different texts, each of which came with a work book called a “Bonus Book” that my classmate, Billy, ingeniously deemed “Boner Book.”

I shared a table with a boy named Paul, whose Italian last name sounded similar to “Macaroni,” which was all that I called him. He was enfatuated with everything GI Joe, so much so, that if I ran into him today, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he was still battling Cobra in his free time.

In addition to passing along the wisdom of the previous afternoon’s cartoon (“… and knowing is half the battle.”), Paul would set up intricate battle scenes throughout our workspace, often times with some sort of zip-line between our two chairs and complete with the spit-ridden sound effects of anti-aircraft fire power. If I altered the surroundings in the slightest, Paul would have some unkind things to say to me. If I even breathed in the direction of Sergeant Slaughter, he’d cry.

Occasionally, we’d get downtime in Ms. Ware’s class, but Paul didn’t restrict the warfare to those times and I didn't really look forward to those times anyway. Instead of getting to enjoy the time trading cabbage patch kids or discussing Thundercats, I’d be given extra work because of a perceived aptitude in writing. Except, unlike the year before, I didn’t get to write stories; Ms. Ware preferred poetry.

Oh, no! Cobra's come to destroy my rhyming couplets!

She'd hand me photocopies of various poems, different genres of poetry, or writing techniques. I believe I still have them somewhere at home. I've always been terrible at writing poetry. Since that time, I've encountered enough good writers (as in, people who study poetry in college) to understand the realm of my terribleness within it. Even then, I thought I was bad.

The worst part though, was that while I was trying to come up with three brilliant, succinct lines that eloquently expressed the great mystery of the cafeteria’s bacon burgers (if they’re bacon burgers, then where’s the bacon?) while repeating “Five-Seven-Five” aloud, Paul Macaroni would be in the thick of some serious combat maneuvers, with plastic body parts, shrapnel and spittle landing all over my haikus.

While I rarely write creatively anymore and hate to call myself a professional, one thing that writing as a career has taught me is that with or without the GI Joes, there’s always a Paul to toss some saliva on your latest project.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Happy Flag Day all.

How do you celebrate Flag Day? If you don't dress up like a bloated symbol of our nation and then grab hold of this guy, you may be doing it incorrectly.

Some question its merit as a holiday. Well, if the birth of the American flag – thanks, Betsy! – just isn’t enough for you ungrateful lot, how about the birth of me? Will that do it for you?

Mid-June is a good time to have a birthday. Flag Day especially, as it allows me to make incessantly unfunny jokes about the greatest holiday, Flag Day!, when we all put on our costumes and open presents around the tree, only to close out the day with some green beer.

It was an especially cool birthday to have in grade school because there was always some crazy-ass assembly at the elementary school where we’d sing songs about the flag and what not. Of course, I always knew that the school was actually doing it all in my honor, but to avoid the fits of jealousy brought on by the other children, the administration would say it was a Patriotic celebration, not a celebration of David. But I knew.

The teachers would look at me differently that day; the principal would give me a nod; the lunch lady would generously add an extra chicken nugget to my tray -- How'd that get there! Hell, even the other kids' parents knew. They'd come to the assembly, playing along with the administration's secret, just happy to celebrate along with me and forget about their silly children’s birthdays for once. What's that Jimmy? Oh these are tears of joy. I just love the Flag Day assembly so much and don't worry, Santa is real. Really Jimmy, it's okay. I'm not crying because I wished you were more like that other boy, David. Really.

It’s true. You can ask my Mom. She works at the school and the teachers still talk about it. In particular, Ms. Ware and Ms. Diaz seem to miss that June 14th celebration most, perhaps because Ms. Ware made me write haikus at age eight while the other kids actually did fun shit. And Ms. Diaz? I’m sure it was my fourth-grade report on lasers that won her heart.

This morning, when I awoke entirely too early, I was trying to remember past birthdays. I didn’t do too well. Really, I can only remember the last six or seven, and even within that, my twenty-second birthday is pretty unclear. The birthdays of the Trahan era are really hazy, but I do remember, as mentioned above, truly thinking that the Flag Day assembly was all for me. I was most gleeful one unbearably hot day, when some school administrator opted to move the annual assembly outside and into the sun. We all sweat profusely while singing about the thirteen colonies and a kid passed out from heat stroke, right there on the pavement. That was pretty rad.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Be very, very quiet...


Me: iPod blasting particularly loud to cover up the sound of the industrial-strength vacuum sucking away at the car wash. Working hard -- $3 in quarters hard, sweating from vacuuming hard -- to get rid of the evidence that two blonde, shedding dogs had made the xA their bitch the night before.

Her: Wiping down her Pontiac two vacuum stations away, quietly minding her business.

Until I look up and notice her right upon me, lips moving fast and not at all in time with the lyrics of The National’s “Mr. November,” which currently reigned my hearing.

She had a look of concern on her face, which startled me a bit, so I pulled the buds away to listen. I may as well have kept them in.

Pontiac lady: Sir, can you catch that?
Me: What?
PL: The bunny. Can you catch it?
Me: Sorry? What?
PL: Please catch it.

Mind you, we are at a car wash. The woman begins pointing at what I assume is an imaginary bunny. The conversation goes on as aforementioned, at least three more repetitions like that, while she continues to point at the completely rabbit-free pavement. I survey the scene (thanks wilderness first aid training!). I contemplate leaving my floor mats behind, but as everything else I had in the car is also wildly dispersed, a quick get-a-way is impossible.

Wondering what to do next, a rabbit sticks its head up and under the fence. I couldn’t believe it.

PL: See? Now can you catch it?
Me: Is it yours?
PL: No, but it must belong to somebody. It’s a bunny!

I look back down at this pathetic rabbit. The animal was less a bunny than I am. It didn’t even hop; it sort of walked in a swagger -- a piece of body language that said, “Try and catch me, esse, and I’ll cut you. I’ll cut you, fool.” Plus, it was filthy. Its coat a sort of brown-grey, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was originally white.

As I do my best to avoid rabid animals on the weekend, I tried to convince the woman that this rabbit was not a pet, and if provoked, could very well demand that we become its pet. She still seemed to disagree. Finally, I told her that I was not touching it, but if she’d like to “catch” it, I could have the paramedics standing by.

She turned back toward her car. I may have ruined her day.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Working for the weekend.

I was doing so well. Slipping into the weekday blogger role. Readership increasing. So many people learning that Finding DMo is more addictive than nicotine, caffeine, sex and cocaine combined, and here I am, letting y’all down. Sorry.

It turns out, this real job thing can be demanding. Like, some days – for instance, the last three – there isn’t any free time, let alone enough of a gap to think up something entirely witty to post on ye ole blog. It’s times like these that I wish I had invented something like breasts. People like those. Or better yet, the Chia Pet. I’d be so rich. And more importantly, I’d have a house filled with grassy-headed creatures.

I pity the fool who doesn't water my scalp.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Someone with Bravo, please invite me over!

Tonight is the season premiere of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Bravo. I haven't had many opportunities to watch the program, but the few that I have, I've laughed my ass off. And when I say that, I mean literally. Not figuratively.

Kevin Millar and Queer Eye's Carson.

Tonight's episode features several members of the Red Sox being made "better" by the Fab Five during this season's spring training in Fort Myers, Florida. I so want to watch this shit that I feel like the Sara(h)s [that's Sara and Sarah] getting revved up for the latest Fox reality series, Who wants to be the next useless puppet of the major record labels?.

Alas, I do not have the Bravo. I have, however, watched the preview video at least twice. I recommend you do the same here.

Monday, June 06, 2005

One reason why I am terribly afraid to stand still

Essentially, I am still a grade-schooler, except minus the perks of having the option of leaving the house with snot-ridden nostrils, wearing sweat pants. Like any good third-grader though, summer remains how I measure my life.

First off, given that I am a summer baby, it’s truly how I measure my life -- or my years, anyway -- but it’s more than just that. Despite being a full-fledged adult and having traded a 401K for three consecutive months off, summer remains the yardstick. Summer seems to be when things happen. Summer promises something new, different and sexy, even if that appeal loses its luster by July.

For instance:

When you’re a kid, summer is when you flee the stifling walls and tiny urinals of school to ride barefoot on spiky bike pedals, fall hard to green grass and asphalt, returning home with bloody legs, just in time for dinner and the ice cream truck. It’s when you truly test your boundaries and in some instances, learn why they’re set.

But as mentioned, I still think of my summers like that. It’s the time of road trips, baseball, drinking outside during sunset, lying with girls in the grass. I guarantee you, if you shouted out a random age from the back row of a crowded theater showing David’s Summers: A Musical!, I could easily look through the glaring house lights, make direct eye contact with you -- provided that I was wearing my corrective lenses -- and tell you quickly, without notes, several unique happenings from that summer, or why that one was one of the top five ever.

The first time I kissed a girl, summer. The first time other things happened in that department, summer. First time I fell in love, summer. Only time I’ve hiked over 12,000 feet. First time I moved more than a thousand miles from home. When I discovered that I am a tiny bit granola (but not so much so that I would sell tie-dye shirts, jesus). It goes on like this, but I’ll spare you.

I can think of summers by location, too. For Florida, I see my apartment building with my door ajar, same with the neighbors across the way, sitting on the stairs. Sophomore year of college? My ex-girlfriend’s apartment, and particularly her roof deck. Summer I lived in New Hampshire? Sitting atop the picnic tables at dusk, looking out at the northern Presidential Range of the White Mountains.

It goes on like this. Until now, that is.

The idea of settling anywhere long-term makes me anxious. It’s just not something I have done and yet, I’ve been here in Salt Lake for a long time and I worry, that while last summer was great -- maybe top five -- I’m going to repeat it. Then what? That’s one less summer to collect.


Ben Fold’s latest Songs for Silverman made its way into my iPod -- seriously, like, it’s inside the fucker -- over the last week and track four, “Landed,” has hardly left the Now playing screen.

Why? Perhaps personal timing, but mostly I think it’s because few (cool) pop stars can write something so damned sappy and still make it so damned cool. Nearly every cut can be classified as a ballad, but instead of being cliché, they somehow speak to the listener in a way rarely seen on a pop record, let alone one released by a Sony-owned label. (See also “Bastard,” “Time,” etc.)

So come pick me up/I’ve landed.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Surely, you must be joking.

Oh, I see. You thought I was kidding.

There's such tie-dye-demand that his work has taken over our backyard.

Some more recent work.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Super Secret Spy Cam, part II

Today is a fantastic day for the Super Secret Spy Cam (SSSC). Why? Because I’ve caught you!

Although I only use the freeware version of a very basic statistic tracker, I am able to see a fair amount of information. If I paid a fee, I'd be able to see what specific keywords folks use to find the site, along with lots of other minute information. Sometimes though, and especially with sites like Google, Yahoo, Alltheweb, and others, I’m able to see the search terms anyway. This makes me happy.

While most searches are simply “Finding DMo,” there are also several music-related searches. In particular, several readers have made their way here looking for info on The Sun, or Sufjan Stevens or Say Hi To Your Mom. Occasionally the search terms are just freakish.

The relationship between blogs and search engines is very different than one of a commerce website and search engine. On the most basic level, it’s because of the excess amount of content on the average blog page; search engines enjoy wordy people such as myself, so they’re more apt to place my weblog higher in search listings for various keywords than they would be for my commercial site, simply because it has about a tenth of the copy on it. And because a search engine will often look at a whole page instead of simply a blog entry, it’s pretty easy to come up with some unusual word combinations, as you might imagine.

Two of those interesting word combinations brought people to this site.

“Baby Daddy smokes” and “roommate wet her pants” have brought readers here. The worst part: “roommate wet her pants” has brought at least two different people here. This week. Yikes.

You people are lucky I don’t ante up for the paid version of the SSSC; if I did, I could probably tell you your favorite color and when your last trip to the bathroom was. Or, the last time your roommate wet her pants, as it were.

Muhahahahaha. (Sinister laugh.)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

They don’t make them like they used to.

Memorial Day weekend found me in New York once again and mostly in Brooklyn in particular, hanging out with college friends once again and with one Jess in particular.

I want some more.

Saturday was a good lazy day for exploring and given my absolute need to eat pizza at least twice a day while in NY --the $5 pie from Little Caesars in Salt Lake just doesn't cut it-- Jess and I set out on an adventure for slices. We ran into her roommate and cool, but eccentric, landlord, Hiram (check out hystyleweb.com). , who happens to be long-winded and prettyopinionatedd when it comes to pizza.

When Hiram learned what our mission was for the afternoon, he became very adamant that we head to DiFara's, not being frugal in his description of the pizza (It's so good, no slice will ever taste good again.), the general environment of the place (It looks like a dive, but you have to go in anyway.), and his experiences there (It's so light, I always wish that I had ordered another slice. I could eat a million of those slices.). In fact, if he didn't have an errand to run, he assured us that he would have driven us there himself. Hiram didn't let us leave until we agreed that we were going to DiFara's -- "Say hi to Dominick for me."

Despite the pizza-ganda, my stomach was growling and the thought of needing a car ride to pick up a slice was not appealing. Sure enough, we took a bus from J's Kensington neighborhood and further into the heart of Brooklyn (Midwood, I think?) to reach this fabled restaurant. Finally, several hunger pangs later, there it stood, like a dilapidated beacon.

The legend goes something like this. Dominick DeMarco has crafted thin Neapolitan pizzas for more than 40 years --and has the picture of himself to prove it attached to the side of his oven-- and while he has others working for him (allegedly his own family members), none are allowed to prepare the pies but him. Instead, the other employees do prep work and make the other menu items.

Without even tasting the pizza, it's clear that Dominick is the draw to this joint. He moves at his own pace, deliberately and regardless of wait, and is more apt to stop what he's doing and take an order from a pretty face, like Jess', than from someone whose look displayed such hunger, like mine, that it threatened to snack on the odd piece of furniture in his restaurant.

When Jess asked him if the photo was indeed him, and it was obvious that it was, Dominick acknowledged her with a smile and said, "They don't make them like they used to." Hell, even if that was a dig at her male company, that's still pretty damned cool.

A Google of "DiFara's" taught me that it is often regarded as some of the city's best pizza. It also let me in on a few of Dominick's tricks, like that he uses three cheeses, including an imported buffalo mozzarella, and that he springs for the extra-virgin olive oil to sprinkle on every slice. The kicker though, is the pieces of whole-leaf basil placed on each slice, grown right there in the sunny window.

And my verdict: It was damned good and a fine way to spend an afternoon; on a stranger's stoop about a block away from the restaurant, enjoying two thin slices on a sunny day and walking it off all the way back to Kensington.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Play some Fifty Cent, boy.

The buzz is wearing down, but I am fresh from a cheap-ass night out, mid-week/Salt Lake-style.

Long overdue in taking up Sara's advice, a few of us headed to the Skatin' Station for dollar night. That's right, Skatin' Station. For those not in the know, it's a public skating joint, where on Wednesday nights -- and apparently every night through August now -- one (1) American dollar gets you through the door and a pair of rental skates. As in, roller skates. Not that inline bullshit.

There is something very intriguing about hanging out with junior high kids and families while accompanied by a couple of 25-year-olds and a 30-year-old. And I couldn't tell you the last time I had a pair of legitimate, old school roller skates on my feet. It was odd. I expect my ass and quads to be sore tomorrow, especially on the left side, since you can only make left turns at that joint.

The highlight of it all... a young dude, let's say 11-ish, in pink Lacoste polo shirt and matching pink hat cranked to the side shouting from the corner of his mouth, "Play some Fifty Cent, boy," as he rolled past the D.J. booth. The D.J., incidentally, was several years his senior and seemed to only be playing tracks off what I assume was the Beegees Greatest Hits.

Then, it was off to the Desert Edge Brew Pub, where with a flashing of Matty's expired University ID, we received half-off pitchers of good beer. Love it.

Open for business

Last week, I noticed that my eccentric nocturnal housemate seemed to be home an awful lot when I was returning from work, which is odd, as that’s about the time that he is just arriving at his job. He was stepping up his amount of tie-dye production, mostly from our garage, backyard and a giant trash barrel conveniently located immediately outside my bedroom window. I was out of town this past weekend, but was giving him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he’s just on vacation, I thought.


I learned from my other housemate, the upstairs/day-time one, that he in fact quit his job, which of course begged the question “How will he pay rent?” Apparently, he’s got that covered. He’s just upping the production of tie-dye t-shirts and tapestries, as it is, after all, a growth industry. He’s managed to land two retailers who are buying from him and is also selling “freelance,” as well. It seems like a sound business model.

This new information makes last Thursday’s interaction with him all the more clear: When returning from work, there he was in our backyard/driveway area, classic rock on the radio, beer can in hand, various tapestries being hung dry. It was maybe the third conversation we’ve had and it was brief, but he did mention something about having “a big order” as he pulled a couple hundred plain white t-shirts from the back of his shady van. Because I had no idea what in the hell he was talking about, I simply smiled. Later, I heard him on his phone describing the quality of the shirts. “I mean, these are pretty heavy-weight t-shirts, you know?”

Last night, when our landlord’s landscaper came by to set up our sprinkler system, housemate asked him for advice in starting up his business. I nearly choked when he started talking about creating a website for it.