Tuesday, August 17, 2004

be gentle, virgin post

It's about 12:30 in the morning on the East Coast, though my rapidly-wearing out Clinton-era Macintosh says it's 1:23 am. I've been up in my cubby hole of a room with painful abdominal cramps, either from the muscle-memory remnants of a torn ab of three years ago, or the slightly-less-than-awful tasting Carb Well breakfast cereal I had this afternoon. In any event, I have been waging a battle against my sense of smell over the past three hours as my G.I. tract tries to keep up with the various low-carb crap I inserted into. Low-carb cereal and soy milk - this coming from a man who's 19 meals-a-week dining hall plan at Virginia Wesleyan College could have easily been swapped with Ramen noodles, the then not-omnipresent Krispy Kreme donuts, Chanello's pizza and an ungodly amount of whatever beer was the cheapest.

Now, all I need to do is look at a McGriddle and I swell like Violet Beauregard. At least I don't turn violet, Violet.

Interesting how time and tide and an overabundance of simple carbohydrates wait for no man.

I'm still trim, mind you. Pretty good shape, actually, for a 31 year old who spent way too much time eating and not enough exercising. I mean, I'm not built like one of those mooks you see on Elimidate with the spiky gel-met hair, striped button-down shirt, jeans and sandals and more muscle tone than Jack LaLanne. Can now see one row of abs pretty well, and the faint hint of a second row coming through the fog. Got all my hair. All my teeth. Joints work pretty well. Still fleet of foot and quick of wit. Memory is pretty flaky. Can remember the name of the guy my first high school girlfriend dumped me for (Her - Becky. Him - Ed). Can't remember all the names of the women I've slept with, or even the number, but that's for another post.

You are probably asking "What is a obpopcultref?" I might tell you it's my own word, derived from the ETLA I used to use of "OPCR" when describing an Obscure Pop Culture Reference. Obpopcultref is the UNIX-ish version, and that's only because I really really really occasionally miss the Internet in the CLI days - that's circa 1994 for all you whippersnappers and your pretty pictures on the web. Some of us, though - we remember when we had no Google, only Gopher, and not that Fred Grandy bugger, either.

An OPCR was something I first identified in high school, when I first discovered the Baltimore City Paper. The BCP is a free weekly alterna-rag that is similar to other free alterna-rags found in most major and minor North American cities. They are filled with lefty-leaning articles ranging from urban decay, white flight to the `burbs, multicultural events and forward-thinkers. Really, though, most people use them for their convenient movie listings and phone sex ads. Any rate - the BCP had all of these references that I didn't understand. I had heard Dennis Miller, the undisputed heavyweight champion of OPCR, and figured he was just smarter than everybody else. What the BCP showed me through its snarky writing style and heavy use of OPCRs was that even psuedo-intellectual grad-school drop-outs who need the 150 bucks for submitting an article for pizza and pot money could pretend to be smart.

Took me a while before I realized OPCRs were the smart kid's way of separating the hip wheat from the unhip chaff. Anybody can wear a Coca-Cola rugby shirt (please tell me I'm not the only one who remembers when those things were cool) and Lord knows Vans, Op shorts, upturned shirt collars and pleated pants all had their fashionable fifteen minutes. The outward signs of upbringing, income level, relative education - those things can be faked, masked or even ignored. But world of the OPCR is very George W. - You're either for us, or you're agin' us. You can watch "Mean Girls" for the overt comedy, or Lindsay Lohan's impressive bust. A girl who can tell the weather, mostly, by feeling her boob is pretty funny. But a girl named Janis Ian - well, if you don't get that lil' in-joke, you ain't ever gonna get it.

Like in High Fidelity - the books we read, the music we listen to...these things matter. The OPCR is like the Washington Post - if you don't get it, you don't get IT.

And IT is important.

You might ask- "Why blog?" Why should anybody bother to read my mental farts when even my dog is walking out of the room with his actual farts, and the various gurgling noises from my midsection echo that of something Sigourney Weaver would blast with a flamethrower? Why bother reading the thoughts and actions of somebody who has pretty much tried to be and do everything possible, and pretty much failed or flogged at it all?

(don't worry, kids, back story is coming. this blog is gonna be written like Tarantino directs - you think that movie 'Memento' was something - wait until you see how my brain works...)

I would say "Why indeed." I'm no Jessica Cutler. I'm no Wonkette. I'm definitely no Howard Dean. I had some fun in college, but I think Cutler lapped my 13 years of sexual activity in a month. Wonkette has much better dish than I could ever muster. Yours truly, though - much better screamer than Dr. Dean. I have tried to do it all, I have failed at a lot, and I think the trying was a hell of a lot more fun than I would have imagined.

So, read me because I might scream.

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