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Yahoo News Tidbit

Thursday, January 11
The day after President Bush announced his plan for a deeper U.S. military commitment in Iraq, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters the change in reserve policy would have been made anyway because active-duty troops already were getting too little time between their combat tours.

The Pentagon also announced it is proposing to Congress that the size of the Army be increased by 65,000, to 547,000 and that the Marine Corps, the smallest of the services, grow by 27,000, to 202,000, over the next five years. No cost estimate was provided, but officials said it would be at least several billion dollars.

How To Undo A Unicorn With A Hacksaw

Thursday, January 4
It’s 6:12 AM. I stepped outside to get a CD from the car, and the moon is still out – full. It looks like a beacon. There are only a few clouds in the sky, transparent and passing it by. I’m remembering yesterday – the talk with Mom. She told me about the 12-year old that lived across the street had shot out the front window with his BB gun. How when the police came, he pointed his rifle at the officer, only to put it down when the officer drew his taser gun. She said, “I miss the old neighbors.”

Then we started talking about marriage – not as it pertained to me, but how it pertained to others, specifically women that we both knew. I had a friend. She was older, like a big sister, and I turned to her for everything in regards to advice. She was brilliant, and when people ask me for my advice. I think her – what would she say? We had these talks about religion, how we could be Buddhist, and because of that we could be Catholic [Christian in a sense]. But it didn’t work in the reverse, meaning being Catholic [Christian] didn’t leave room for anything else. She said she was lucky enough to be born that way. She and I believed Buddhism was about the now, doing good for its own sake, instead of gathering good deeds like dollar bills to buy yourself into heaven. Do this, do that, don’t do that – it will be a demerit. At the end, have you garnered enough good deeds on the checklist to be near God? These were the types of talks she and I had – just over coffee and cake.

She had endured a lot. She dated a Mr. Universe contestant for nearly ten years. Looking at her, you’d understand – she was strikingly beautiful. You’d have to stare, and it was beyond human – creature like. As if you were there to bare witness to something mythical like a unicorn. Even after years of knowing her, becoming accustomed to how she looked – I still found myself in awe, staring from time to time. But her father didn’t agree with her dating someone white, someone American. The older Vietnamese generation is afraid of integration, and I don’t blame them. They are afraid we’ll lose the ideals, the customs, but more importantly – the language. But what do they expect – we live in America, grew up with Vietnamese ideals at home, but we were taught American ideals in the classroom. We don’t live home forever.

I digress. She couldn’t marry him, so she they parted ways but secretly they dated for ten years, and then he told her the truth. He was married. She was older and had money. She was a woman that he worked for as a physical trainer. She was devastated and began dating a man that either sounded like a gigolo or a male dancer. They saw each other at night, but eventually she broke things off with him and began dating another man. White and an independent businessman, who at first she didn’t like but maybe like most of our relationships – we grow accustomed to, and that is what we like, then we learn to love it. She married him. It was a small service. And now, now – she and I don’t talk. Not because she’s married, but because she is so very different. The talk isn’t insightful anymore. They’re about yachts and country clubs. It’s about her moving away and not working, because he doesn’t want her to. It’s about quoting him and being obedient. When I ask her if she is happy, she hesitates, and guesses that she is. Marriage made her retarded.

I remember a quote, as off base as it sounds, it’s from Spiderman 2. Aunt May tells Peter Parker, “I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most.” Marriage, the union of two to become one, and the question is sacrifice. What do you give up? I say time. I say dreams, but your character? When I think of her, I think of a how someone took a hacksaw to the unicorn and turned it into an ordinary horse. I’m disgusted. But I try not to think of her as she is now. I think about what she used to be.

How Do You Pronounce Charlotte? Correctly

Wednesday, January 3
While driving back to the apartment, John says, “Oh God. Did you see the name of this town?”

”Yeah, how could you forget. We’re in Shay – Lot, Michigan.” Al says.

”Yo, do you know how it’s spelled?” John asks.

”How?” Al says.

”It’s spelled like Charlotte, like in North Carolina. God, these people are retarded.” John says.

While Standing in Line at Wal-Mart

We were standing in line, and Al asked some girl what town we were in and she said, “Shay – lot.” Al says over and over again, “Here I am, shopping in a Wal- Mart in Shay-Lot, Michigan, shopping for black towels.”

In line, we start talking, and then John disappears and brings back a calendar and hands it to Freeze. He says, “Yo, this would look great in your place.”

It’s a calendar of young naked men posing.

“Look at that, they diet. They’ve got great abs, and look how intently they’re staring at you Freeze. It’s like they’re in ‘L’ with you?” I say. We’ve grown accustomed to not saying love, so we’ve replaced with just “L.” Ironically, it may be one of the few words we find taboo to say as a group, because we use obscenities as if they were prepositions.

“I’m not getting that” Freeze says.

“Stop thinking of yourself, Dickhead. Give it Kelly. For God’s sake, give her something to look forward to when she comes over. After all, all she has to look at is you.” Al says.

“Al should be a NASCAR driver.” I say, because transitions are unneeded.

“Yea, he should. Are there any Middle Eastern drivers?” Freeze asks.

“No.” John says.

“You’d be breaking the race barrier, a pioneer, Al. Who’d be your sponsor?” Freeze asks.

“Camel.” Al says.

Are You Crying Over Ricky Bobby's Dad?

It’s the next day, and we’re watching Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and then there is a scene where his father finally picks up these tickets at the box office, which have been left there for years. He turns around and then scalps them for $60.00. Freeze says, “John, are you crying – over the movie?”

“No, no, no,” John shows Freeze and I the phone. It’s a picture message of his wife’s sonogram. We congratulated him, but God, we felt like dicks.

John's Text Message

We pull out of the driveway and then head towards Novi [pronounced No – Vie], but all day long we’ve been arguing that it should be pronounced No- Vy, like the name Lori. And Al is driving, and he passes Freeze and John, and then in the process passes up a black Lansing police cruiser. He gets pulled over in less than a minute of leaving Freeze’s abode. “Shit he got me,” Al says. “Fuck, I hate Michigan. This state sucks.”

The police officer asks the routine questions, and then walks back to his car to write the ticket. Then I get a text message from John. Al asks, what did he say? I hand him the phone and it says: lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol.

The Underwear

John stood naked in the kitchen, smelling his underwear, “Good God, these stink. I haven’t changed my drawers since Christmas.” Then he smelled them again, and his head whipped back as if the underwear and smelling salts were the same thing. He turns to the guys and asks, “You wanna smell?”

”Let’s not do this, let’s not play the smelling game.” Jay says.

”Yo John, those are the ugliest pair of shorts I’ve ever seen, “Freeze says, standing in the hallway in his black jockey underwear.

”No, they’re underwear, and they’re comfortable. They’re designer – Perry Ellis.” John says, then smelling his underwear again, and again whipping his head back at the stench.

”Yeah, are they?” Al says.

”Like you have any room to talk, Freeze. You, Mister I buy black underwear because it takes longer for the stains to show.” I say.

“Hey yo, why do you think I picked up those black towels today?” Freeze says, giggling.