Deus Ex Miller Faucher and Cafferty L.L.P.

Just as I was running out of money (temporarily) because the government thingy was being slow and bureaucratic and dumb, something happens that never, ever happens. I was part of the class in a class action suit against SmithKline Beecham about Paxil. They lied about withdrawal symptoms, essentially.

Based on the (large) amount of money I spent on Paxil over the years, I just got a check for $477.08.

Suck it, Smith and Kline and Beecham. That withdrawal was worth more than $477.08 in pain to me, but I’m glad to have it right now.

But he’s a millionaire!

According to the Register, a Mr. Joseph Garcia is currently in jail here on a million dollars bail for rape and sexual assault of at least three women. Mr. Garcia’s M.O. was to go on a date, take her home, and jump her. This is apparently not recommended in that he could get up to 45 years if convicted. And where did he get his dates? One just at the post office, and the others at MillionaireMatch.com!

Don’t worry, gals. Not all of the local real estate millionaires are rapists.

Edit: From the millionaire dating service site itself: “If the site is slow at this moment, come back early morning or late night. It may be due to the recent publicity about a major Hollywood celebrity having found a match here.” Yes, or…

Register story is here:

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_1328764.php

Borders on the border

I was at our local Borders bookstore the other night rediscovering how crummy it is even for a Borders. It’s also right on the east-west divide of town, where the haves meet the have-nots and a few of the latter live in desperate circumstances in motels.

Surrounded by soccer moms, clip-art cute college students, and red-faced businessmen, I looked through the map section. Next to me an undergrad-aged East Asian-American guy was thumbing through a Parisian travel book, and next to the computer books a nerd of some kind with a shoulder bag and headphones was peering at an ASP howto book.

Suddenly the bathroom door next to us burst open and out lurched the other Costa Mesa: a 35ish tweaker with long dirty blond hair, sweaty t-shirt, bad acid-washed jeans, and a wild 1000-yard stare. He looked around with that bus crazy bugeyed face that says “look me in the eyes and I own you,” so I studied a map of Turkey carefully. Without a particular victim to address, Motel Guy emitted this statement to the bookstore in general:

GOD DAMN, I HATE THE SMELL OF ASS!

He left, so he couldn’t see me giggling helplessly into the maps, or the soccer moms blanching.

you know that some day I’ll walk out of here again

It has come to my attention that I need a vacation. Alone. In the desert or up the Central Coast. I usually do this twice a year and it’s one of the things that keeps me from completing my transformation into Howard Beale.

It doesn’t have to be long or cost a lot of money. A long weekend, two overnights in a cheap motel, and a digestible series of patty melts will do if the scenery is okay. That’s great news, because I’m completely broke, too.

The Fix My Damn Brain project ate everything for a year, starting with my time. Neurofeedback, which ends at least temporarily on Tuesday, will have lasted almost 11 months straight with no breaks, twice a week with some extra days. Forty-seven weeks! No leaving town or taking time off. Plus shrink lady once a week and doctor once a month. Plus doing enough of my job that I didn’t get fired. I’m a little surprised thisl happened at all.

And it ate all my money too. In theory I’m getting reimbursed for some of this stuff at least, but out of pocket for the period since NFB start includes

Neurofeedback: $8930 <- !!!!!
Shrink: $6815 <- !!!
Drugs: $2200 (est) <- !

Oh hey look, it's almost $18,000. No wonder I'm in the hole. Must defeat ADD and get that paperwork done. If I can get even half of that back…

oh hey great

Car accident: dumb. Car accident in parking lot at 3 mph: super dumb. Car accident at 3 mph in psychotherapist’s parking lot, partlally due to side effects of therapy: dumb enough to be funny. Said accident being with therapist’s own parked car: COMEDY GOLD.

Price to fix just her car: $1200. And then I get to fix mine. Hey, this shit ain’t funny now.

What Would Amos Say?

Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares. […] The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap? — Diedrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

apostle to the dudes

From the Register article I cited yesterday about the “SWAT Team” kids preaching on the beach. Photo credit to Andy Templeton for this excellent piece of photojournalism. The other pics with the article are good also.

The perfectly scrubbed whiteness of these people — even when they’re not white — is alarming. They exist in a perfect bubble of privilege and cultural isolation. Their friends and family are all like them. Their ideal world is a kind of 1903 Tennesse where everyone is inexplicably 2006 “cool”: chastity, whiteness, conservative politics, extreme sports, rock ‘n’ roll music, TV, great new snacks, and women in their place, obediently following behind their husbands even while surfing some massive waves.

The place where dogmatic evangelical religion and cluelessly neotenized teenage privilege meet is the best-gilded turd you’ll ever see. But you’ll smell it, too. Smell is pretty strong around these parts.