For all things Tooks, and some things, er, relating to other people. As well as to other things. You get the picture.

23 January 2004

my apartment is one the old side (on the old side of what, i dunno--of new, i guess), and i have been trying to keep it clean to combat the depressing feeling of living in something built in the sixties or seventies. cleaning makes me think of the nature of cleanliness, and in that spirit i would like to forward the following theories:

1) the presence of a quarter, a nickel and two pennies on any visible flat surface makes the surrounding room look disorderly; and

2) any kind of hair not attached to a body, whether yours or anyone else's, is gross. in the bathroom, it is ten times as gross. on the bathroom floor, it is one hundred times as gross. in the tub, it is one hundred thousand times as gross.

i will close this somewhat random blog with a random but amusing comment. today, during the last day of a 50 hour work week, my boss told me i was stealing from poor people. why? because somebody lost my scissors.

be amused and puzzled with me,

18 January 2004

true love wears many colors, many faces.

tonight's manifestation went like this:

"i used your new toothbrush tonight," she said. "it was really nice."

"it made me gums feel great," she added.

love her more than ever with me,

14 January 2004

to all my northeast friends:

sorry about the cold. i know the kind of bitter cold you are experiencing, and i know it's no joke.

it's real.

if it makes you feel any better, although it's sixty degrees here in austin, it's cloudy. and sprinkling. so i'm suffering, too.

feel your pain with me,

13 January 2004

p. diddy's manservant is named farnsworth bentley.

he is amazing.

he has his own line of umbrellas.

watch show biz get weirder than ever with me,

10 January 2004

after spending an afternoon and part of a night explaining american football to two of my four favorite colombian women (cat and her mom; the other two are cat's grandmother and shakira), i have come to the conclusion that it is a strange and complicated game ("it" being football, not explaining football to colombian women). i feel about it the same way i feel about the english language--glad i'm not picking it up late in life, but enamored of its rough, sprawling splendor (if i may wax grandiosely silly).

yell "go pats" with me,

p.s. the debate over the instant replay rule has quietly been settled over the past few seasons, and the fact that nobody debates it anymore testifies to its efficacy. the nfl continues to be the best league out there, and football the best sport.

also, go pats.

05 January 2004

at movie theaters in texas, they sell pickles. the pickles are whole and large and come in plastic bags filled with pickle juice. they do not taste good.

i know this because i recently had a pickle at a movie theater in austin with my girlfriend.

the bizarre yet completely true story begins in the parking lot of metropolis cinemas.

CAT (my girlfriend): Hey, since you're buying the tickets, i'll buy the popcorn. Ok?

TR: Sounds good to me.

CAT: Want a pickle, too?

TR: Ha ha, I wish. You know that my love of pickles verges on the unhealthy.

CAT: They have pickles here.

TR: Where?

CAT: Here, at the theater.

TR: (After a moment of dumbfounded silence) Wha?

CAT: They sell pickles at the movie theater. Why is that so confusing?

TR: Maybe because that's the weirdest thing since Disney buying a hockey franchise and naming it after a stupid movie with Emilio Estevez.

CAT: What, they don't have that in Worcester?

TR: I've never heard of this in my life.

As the previews roll.

TR: (Biting the pickle) Ew, this is gross. It's all soft and gooey and way too salty and not dilly enough. And it's massive. And whole. I don't think I will ever try to eat a pickle in a movie theater again. I almost lost my will to live there, what with the ickiness and the weirdness.

RANDOM ANNOYED MOVIEGOER: Shut up, dork! Eat your pickle like a man!

TR: Shutting up, sir. Eating like a man, sir.

And that's the way it was. Every word of the foregoing is true, and the Random Annoyed Moviegoer can testify to that. You can contact him at

Recoil in disgust with me,

03 January 2004

"they got pigs' feet. y'all want pigs' feet?"

i swear, i swear that i actually overheard a mother say that to her children in fiesta, a local supermarket. please believe me.

also, as promised, here are my thoughts on smoking at a gas station. although i'll be the first to admit that i have very little experience with this activity, given as how i don't smoke, have never smoked, and never wish to smoke; how, if i did smoke, a gas station would be the last place i would light up; and how i have only once actually seen anyone smoke anywhere near a gas station during all my years of life. however, this brush with the phenomenon gave me pause, to say the least, and inspired me to reflect on the personality of a person who would partake in such risky business. such a person, i think, in bringing fire so near a stupendously explosive substance seems to be displaying either a tragic ignorance of or a casual disregard for basic gasoline safety measures. (i don't know what other safety measures one would really need to take with gasoline, except for the standard chemical ones: don't drink it or inhale it or douse yourself in it or get it too much on your skin. most of all, though, keep it away from fire has always been the standard line on gas). if it's the former, it's just sad. if nothing else, everyone old enough to pump gas should be able to read and heed the warning signs that are undoubtedly federally mandated on every pump in the country, spelling out what everyone should already know in big block letters: FIERY CIGARETTES CAN MAKE GASOLINE EXPLODE. however, if it's the latter, if this individual--likely an arkansanian--was aware that the whole joint could have been blown into tennesee if he had flicked his ash the wrong way, some part of me feels compelled to admire the guy's bravura. sure, he's risking his life and the lives of dozens of people around him. sure, he could carelessly cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage. sure, he knows the dangers. but he just doesn't care. it's hutzpah at its best. it's hubris and it's idiotic and i can't deny that some pathological corner of my soul eats it right up. it's probably the same corner that loves steak and firecrackers and guitar solos and those bone-rattlings hits in football where a defensive back lines up a receiver going over the middle and knocks the guy's hat off and spins him around 90 degrees and drops him like a sack of potatoes.

some part of me likes all that flash-bang, but the rest knows what's good for it, and so if i ever saw someone smoking at a gas station again, i'd drive away even faster than i did the first time. which would be very fast indeed. that way, i'd outrun the blast but see it pluming gorgeously skyward in the rearview mirror.

step on it with me,

01 January 2004

so, austin. and colombians*. and new year's.


things are fantastic, thanks for wondering. sorry for the blog silence. it's been all i can do to keep my liver working these past few days. we've been celebrating, but hard, since we got here, and that means drinking, dancing, eating, and repeating as necessary. and these colombians, from the looks of it, believe in the necessity of lots of repeating.

but i have done some more tangibly productive things since i got here on monday night. (i would take it back to where we last left this neglected little blog, in ohio on saturday night, but the drive was more or less uneventful, and thankfully more smooth than less. i will make the following comments about the drive: 1) arkansas is boring; 2) bill clinton comes from a podunk town (i know since i drove by it); 3) seeing people smoke cigarettes at gas stations mere feet from the pumps is a terrifying, startling and thrilling experience. more about it in a blog soon to be blogged on a blog near you.) we hung out at cat's house monday night, and then on tuesday went to buy party supplies--hats, honkers, banners, poppers, and the new-year's like--for the big fiesta. also, we went to sign my lease and pick up the keys to my apartment. it's small but cute. just the right size for just me, and it's in a great part of town, right by the ut (u of texas) campus. i've still got to buy furniture and stuff, but that's for today and tomorrow and the weekend. i'll probably move in (i.e., out of cat's house) on sunday, with any luck. tomorrow i've got my interview at manos de cristo, the non-profit i've been talking to for awhile now about a job, and hopefully things will stay on the right track there, too.

so you'll hear no complaints from the tooks on the austin experience so far. i'm still in the burbs right now, and so i've seen lots of freeway, but what i've seen of the city seems very nice indeed. i'll try to keep blogging on a more frequent basis to keep you all posted on my impressions of the city, and on when you should make plans to move here.

my new year's love to all, and hope you're not feeling last night too much when you read this. my phone number's still the same, everyone, so feel free to give me a holla. i meant to give you all a call last night, but i only managed to talk to marissa before my phone went all tweaky on me. but i'll be in touch during these next few days just to say hi and happy new year. here's a shout to central ma and the following families: ruderman, stein, enlow, reville/perkins, athy, huppert, rosales, braun, fishman, gemma, manasra, and de santis. let's stay together, you guys. whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.

croon al green with me,

[*for those of you not yet in the know, the colombians are my girlfriend's (whose name is cat) family, both immediate and extended. and during these functions, everyone gets down. even grandma. actually, especially grandma.]