Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#091 In which our hero loves his porn, er, wife.

Every once in awhile, I'll actually look at the contents of my spam email folder before deleting it. This is only because very occasionally there has been mail I actually wanted to read that was mistakenly identified as spam.

By and large it's all junk -- herbal Viagra, continuing education, nice Nigerian gentlemen that want to give me several million dollars. I rarely open any of it, but sometimes a subject line catches my attention and I do. Last week, I got a message with the subject line: Would you like a fuck-friend?

And I thought, why, yes, I would like a fuck-friend!

Naturally it linked to a personals website where you could post your photo and look at the photos of others, blah, blah, blah. All for $20/month. I looked at the preview section, and there seemed to be no end of willing, attractive naked women that wanted to meet ME. After I left the site (and honestly, I lingered longer than I should have) two distinctive thoughts crossed my mind:
  1. Where the hell where these sites when I needed them? and
  2. Jesus, I suck
Where the hell where these sites when I needed them?

Seriously, where the hell were you, hook-up site, when I was in college? Huh? How about after that big break-up with my live-in girlfriend? Why weren't you offering me commitmentless sex when I really needed it?

How many girls could you have spared from my pseudo-stalking? How many late night drunken phone calls could have been avoided? How blue would my balls have not been if you were there with your promise of easy sex?

Jesus, I suck

The thing is, I love my wife. Very much. So how much do I suck for trolling a hook-up site? Why would I even look at something like that? The easy answer is that I'm a guy, I suppose. I like looking at naked women. But I still feel a little guilty about it. I mean, I would never cheat on The Scientist, and for three very important reasons:
  1. I'm a good liar, but not to my wife. She'd see right though me and know something was up.
  2. And when she did figure it out, she would pack up my children and leave me. That night.
  3. I would be devastated. Not just in losing my wife and children, but I would be so unhappy with myself that it would pull me down and break my heart.
However, the truth is that the vast majority of the guilt I feel is alleviated by how secure my wife and I are in our relationship. She doesn't care if I look at crap like that, and I don't care if she looks at porn or whatever. I've never been in a more secure relationship in my life. So, honey, this is how I express my love for you... by looking at porny sites on the Web.

Aren't you glad we're married?


#090 In which our hero takes his vitamins.

As regular readers of this site know, I have many high-ranking connections in the world of entertainment. So it should come as no surprise that I was recently able to sit down and have a conversation with the hot topic-maker of the moment, Tom Cruise. We met at a chic bistro in Century City where I had a cappuccino and Mr. Cruise drank organic Chai with a double shot of oxygen.
SCRIPTURIENT: Hey Tom, thanks for sitting down and speaking to me.

TOM CRUISE: Craig, you know it's always a pleasure to speak with you.

S: Thank you. So lets get right to it: you've come under a lot of criticism lately because of your comments about Brooke Shields and her use of anti-depressants. What's your problem with someone taking a few legal drugs?

TC: I care about Brooke, I want to see her do well. I'm an empathic person, I know when people are hurting. And she's hurting. I mean, did you see the last season of Suddenly Susan? Jesus Christ, that stunk on ice. If she had only taken my advice and adopted a routine of vitamins and exercise, she could have gotten that turd into syndication.

S: So it wasn't so much the crappy writing, it was her --

TC: Craig. Craig, Craig, Craig, Craig, Craig, Craig. You're being glib. You don't even know what you're talking about. Look, you have to understand the history of television. You have to do the research. I've done the research, I know. Did you know that the original Carol Burnett Show pilot was titled The Karol Wazzenstraum Show, and that it was co-written by Adolph Hitler?

S: Really?

TC: Yes, really. That is the kind of information that I know, and you do not. [At this point, Tom leans forward and levels a steely glare.] Get it, man?

S: I had no idea.

TC: That's because you humans don't have access to the resources I do.

S: "You hum --"


S: Um, right. But did you just say --

TC: She's my one true love, man. My widdle pootie-pie. I love her so much, I just want to eat her up. [At this point Tom jumped up and began to do an interruptive dance to the Muzak. Twenty minutes later, he returned to his seat, winded and sweaty.] See? She's the best thing that ever happened to me.

S: More so than Nicole Kidman?

TC: I love Nicole. We're still great friends. But she wouldn't take the fucking vitamins, y'know? How can a relationship continue to grow when you don't share common interests? Plus, she didn't have a penis.

S: She didn't have a what?


S: I understand that you've bringing Katie into the Church of Scientology.

TC: Oh yeah, she digs it. She embraced it, once she understood the core principle.

S: What's that?

TC: If you want to marry Tom Cruise, you have to embrace Scientology.

S: How do you answer critics that say she has some gnarly toes?

TC: Craig, I've never cared what other people have said, you can't. I'm just living my life. And yeah, she's got some butt-ugly feet, but Scientology will fix that.

S: Scientology can fix hammer toes?

TC: Hell yes. Scientology cured my dyslexia, it can grow her some new toes. And the sooner the better. She could drive ten-penny nails with those fuckers, ugh!
Many thanks to Tom Cruise for the interview and the sample pack of "L. Ron's Virtuous Vitamins - now chewable!"


#089 In which our hero finally talks about the new office.

So, the new office.

When I drove down here for the interview, my first reaction was, "Wow, what a cool little building." First, you have to understand that this agency is located in a quaint little middle-of-nowhere town in Ohio. Driving down the main street (and it's only apparent that it's the main street because it's named "Main St.") all you see on either side is antique shop, antique shop, residential house, antique shop, residential house, antique shop. And lots and lots of old lady tourists/antique hunters. The building itself was built in the 1800s, and was apparently a bank. Not that it looks like what I expect a bank to look like today, it's clear that it was one of those tiny mom 'n pop operations.

But there are nice big windows out front (including some cool stained glass), and a very cool iron spiral staircase leading to a loft. It's right next to a ravine, and the trees and river next door all combine to create a rather idyllic setting. While I was waiting in the front, I said casually to one of the employees, "Wow, this is a really cool space." To which she replied, "Uh, yeah, I guess so."

Now I understand why her response was less than enthusiastic.

Now that I've been here for a bit and have had a good look around, it's apparent that this building has been many things in its life. A bank as previously mentioned (even thought there's no outward signs of that era remaining), a bookstore, and apartments, judging from the added bathrooms in the loft and in the basement. Walls have been cobbled together, making for some odd twists and turns. And it has all the problems of an old building, including leaky roof and termites. In short, the place is a shithole.

But, it's certainly a shithole with character. And while this might bother some people, I have to say I embrace it. Here's the thing: my first job in Cleveland was for a big agency downtown. At the time, they were the biggest agency in Ohio. Their offices were the top three floors of an office building -- I'd say skyscraper, but remember, this is downtown Cleveland, not downtown New York. Everything was resplendent in polished wood, steel and glass. Everyone had their own office -- and I mean that literally. Four walls, a desk and, in my case, a great view of the river and Gund Arena. It was pretty amazing, actually, considering that I had just moved to Cleveland from Columbus (where my work space was a tiny cubicle) I thought, "So, this is how they play it in Cleveland. Rock."

Naturally, it all went to hell. I was laid off after two years and spent the next year and a half desperately searching for a new job in the industry. To this day, I have to wonder: how much did those lavish digs contribute to my downfall? I mean, it couldn't have been cheap to maintain that agency, I'm sure my salary didn't come close to even covering the rent alone.

So, now I'm working in this dingy little building, and I know for a fact that the yearly rent is less than a third of my salary.

So I'm more than happy to work in a ramshackle building in exchange for continuing to have a job. A big blue tarp over the roof to keep out the rain? A layer of dust in the back room due to termites in the ceiling? Air conditioning that only works periodically?

It all sounds like job security to me.


#087 In which our hero takes an easy shot.

Michael Jackson vows to find the "real molesters"

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Now that Michael Jackson has been acquitted of all charges, he has promised to conduct a thorough and wide-reaching investigation to find the person or persons that molested the young boys in question, even if he has to "meet with every smooth-bottomed child in the state."

Moments after the verdict was read, Jackson announced his intentions to find the "real molesters."

"I love children," Jackson stated to the crowd of more than 100 journalists from news outlets around the world, "and I cannot bear to spend one more night in my hyperbolic sleeping chamber knowing that even one child, one precious, lovely child, is being touched in an inappropriate way. Because there are appropriate ways -- safe, evidence-free ways -- of touching a child and showing the depth of your love."

Jackson punctuated his remarks by repeatedly grabbing his crotch and screaming, "Oo-hoo!"

"To find these real molesters I will start at the source, the children themselves," Jackson continued. "I will conduct closed door interviews at my Neverland Ranch with a large number of children to determine if they have experienced molestation, by whom, and in exactly what fashion. I will not rest in my tireless pursuit of justice, even if I have to meet with every smooth-bottomed child in the state."

However, Jackson later indicated that his search may take him outside of the borders of California.

"The real molesters know no state lines, and neither shall I. If it means visiting every pre-school, kindergarten, halfway house and Chuck E. Cheese's in the nation, so be it. Wherever young, impressionable, fair-complexioned children are to be found, that's where I will be, too."

Jackson then fled the courthouse to his limo, falling into the welcoming arms of Macaulay Culkin.


#086 In which our hero has his good mood diminished.

A short interlude before discussing the new office situation.

To recap: The Scientist and I are expecting our daughter to arrive, literally, any day now; I found a new job that seems to be promising; I was unemployed for only a month, meaning that we didn't have to dip into the savings at all, and are practically none the worse for ware; now that I'm employed again we can move forward with buying me a much-needed new car. With all this seemingly good news, what could possible break my happy mood?

The dog, of course.

I don't know why I'm surprised. Things had been going far too well with him recently... after he was so sick and lost a bunch of weight we were able to tweak his meds and change his diet, which has both firmed up his poop (much more important than you will ever understand) and put weight back on him. And like I've said before, my life will be much simpler when he dies, but I don't want him to suffer.

We had corralled him in the tiled laundry room/foyer with a clever combination of Invisible Fence, warning flags, a door-stopper and a literal application of cookies. All seemed to be going well, and we were even able to lower his drugs.

Well, a week ago he decided to start chewing on the doorframe. Now please remember, Tucker weighs 90 pounds, and when he wants to chew something, he chews it. Wire cages have fallen to his mighty jaws in the past.

Now, I guess I can understand chewing on the door-jab... this leads outside. Well, it actually leads out to the garage, the door of which would be closed if we weren't home, but I'm sure he hasn't planned that far in advance.

But what gets me, is he also chewed the door between rooms. This door is already open, I mean, we have it propped open so he can't accidentally shut it. I don't see how this benefits his escape plan in any way.

He has also chewed a random corner.

But the real capper, is when we came home to find this:

Yep, he managed to pull the molding completely off the wall. Needless to say, The Scientist and I are at a loss as to what to do. We can't leave him outside, we can't kennel him, and even leaving him in a reasonable spacious area with water and a soft bed don't seem to be cutting it. I think we just need to come to the realization that the dog is going to destroy small portions of our new house on a regular basis until he dies. Of molding overdose, I'm sure.

PS: To any amateur dog behaviorists out there... save it. I know that the dog is exercising nervous behavior with his chewing, that he's not necessarily trying to escape. Know that we've talked to experts and will probably continue to do so. If you really have a solution, I'd love to hear it. But if you just want to just call me an idiot... take a breath, count to 10, and change the channel.

#085 In which our hero finally catches a break.

Charge your glasses, lift them high
Let your spirits be buoyed
Our hero's bad luck is stemmed
He is again employed!

Amazingly, after little more than a month, I have a job again. This is most amazing because last time I was laid off it took me a year and a half to find work in my field.

Being that The Scientist is going to have a baby literally any day now and my '95 Neon threatens to die for good every day, everyone in the family is breathing a collective whew!

As you may recall, I had three leads on the table:
  • More than a little greasy spammer
  • Large furniture manufacturer
  • Web company
These were only "leads" in the broadest sense of the word. I had met with two of the three, and done some spec work for the third, but none of them seemed to be in a big rush to hire me (or anyone, far as I could tell).

That is to say, until the Web design place made me an offer the day after I met with them.

I've always interviewed well, and this one was especially good. That odd, indescribable thing that happens when you click with someone happened, big time. I was all but offered a job on the spot. This was on a Thursday. I was told that the two principals I met where out of town on Friday, but they might be contacting me over the weekend. Then, first thing the next day, I get an email offer to start the following week.

The best part is that out of the three, this place was the most attractive to me. The company sounds dynamic and creative and, perhaps most importantly to me right now, financially stable.

So, I've gone from "copywriter" to "Web copywriter." Personally, I see no difference. Good writing is good writing, regardless of the media. However, I am keeping this opinion to myself for now. Oh, and since you hired me, I'm really sorry about the anal beaching comment last time. No hard feelings, okay?

Coming up next: first impressions of the office!