Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Failure of the Day: Asswipe, Texas

The stars at night might well be big and bright, but I wouldn’t know. Here in San Antonio, at night the sky is too full of screeching bats to see much of anything. Christ, everyplace other than what I’m used to is weird.

We’re here in glorious Someplace Or Other, Texas for a tradeshow that Chris is being forced to attend and that I was allowed to accompany him to. I’m telecommuting during the day and then spending the evenings trying to figure out when things are on TV in fucking Central Time. No big deal… it’s only the last episode ever of The O.C. tonight. GAH!

I tried some sightseeing last night and walked along a bit of the RiverWalk—it’s sort of a cross between the It’s a Small World ride and a really nice open sewer. They say there are bars and restaurants on the RiverWalk, but that could turn out to be one of those urban legends like the one about how birds don’t fly at night. On my way back I was swarmed by some kind of flying creatures that make a squawking sound. The bartender said they were birds but Chris says they had to have been bats.

My goals for this trip are to eat a lot of quesadillas and not see the Alamo. I am doing very well on both so far. My theory is that if I am to wander about Texas being as conspicuously Semitic as I am, I might as well bloat myself well into next week and mutter “Davy Crockett? FUCK Davy Crockett!” to all passersby.

Later tonight while Chris is enduring more salespeople telling him that the “secret” is to sell the thing for more than you bought it for, I will take a boat to San Antonio’s B-list mall and try to pass some time. Yes, we take boats to malls here. They call it the river taxi, which sounds more like a euphemism than a nickname, but I’m feeling bored and generous, so river taxi it is.

Wish me luck; we have 2 more days to go.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Failure of the Day: The Annual Running of the Millionaires

I love TV. People at work are always surprised by that because I am all literary and arty and junk, but I get all PoMo on their asses and tell them that a distinction between high culture and low culture is bullshit, man, and I’m not down with it. Really though, it’s that I like crap as much as I like art, and I like watching America’s Next Top Model as much as I like watching Sports Night. It’s not that I don’t know that one is objectively better, it’s that I don’t care.

Anyhoo, consuming the culture as I do, it strikes me that February as the month when we all pass the time by racing our rich people. We start the month with The Running of the Big Millionaires, and we end it with The Running of the Little Millionaires.

I like the Running of the Big Millionaires because watching enormous men hurl themselves with complete abandon at the earth and each other pleases me. And I have a taste for spectacle anyway—communal nonreligious events of a certain magnitude draw my attention and actually manage to hold it, even when I don’t give a shit about the event or the outcome. Plus I totally dominated my post-season fantasy league, which consisted of Chris and me. But still, I TOTALLY DOMINATED it.

The Running of the Little Millionaires is more entertaining to me because they all wear itty bitty outfits that really show off how little they are, and everyone is all excited about the outfits. And even though you can’t really shake the feeling that everyone has just vomited, the whole thing is still very shiny and diaphanous. Watching it reminds me of the old Haunted Mansion ride in Disneyland, when you go past the mirrors that show ghosts sitting right next to you. There’s not anything right next to you, but it really really looks like there is, and if you can see it, it has to be at least a little bit true. And I don’t care who wins these races either, but I’ll watch them run because it’s cold outside and February for christ sake, and what the hell else is there to do?