Cry-Baby of the Week
The incident: A family in Colorado installed a wheelchair ramp on their home.
The appropriate response: Nothing.
The actual response: Their neighbors are threatening to take legal action against them.
Vincent and Heidi Giesegh have a 16-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy. Because of this, they installed a wheelchair ramp on their home.
In an interview with 11 News, Vincent said, “We’re trying to do our best to assist our daughter with her daily needs to get in and out of the house.” Adding, “As she goes into her spastic modes, we could just tumble down the stairs and both of us could get massively hurt.” But, really, he doesn’t need to explain any of that. Having a ramp on your house if someone who lives there needs one is a no-brainer.
According to the Gieseghs, their neighbors got in touch at some point last week asking them to remove the ramp, as they were afraid it would lower the value of their property.
They said that if the Gieseghs refused, they would take legal action against them.
A lawyer from the Denver-based Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center told News 11 that the ramp is completely legal due to something called the Fair Housing Act. If the neighbors do take legal action, they’re unlikely to win.
11 News tried to speak to the neighbors to get their side of the story, but they declined to comment.
Celebrity Dogs of America
Last weekend, I attended America’s Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, California, which attracts thousands of people for a host of reasons: they love pets, they volunteer with rescue organizations, or they’re interested in buying their cats some quality business cards. One of the biggest draws, though, was the celebrity pet event—a showcase of trained dogs and cats who act in popular TV shows.
Like normal, non-dog-dominated events, the expo had its own black market: shortly after I stepped into the long admission line with the rest of the non-celebrity pets and humans, I got approached by a sketchy, nervous-looking guy who mumbled at me, “You guys want to buy some passes?” Yes, this man was a Pet Expo scalper. I bought a pass.
Although I was primarily there for the celebrity pets, there was no shortage of other entertainment. While walking through the expo, I watched several rounds of dachshund racing, pet an 18-pound rabbit, and spotted more than a few dogs who were better dressed than I was.
Cry-Baby of the Week
My Very Own Sad Mix
Working with the same little group of writers each day gets to be intimate feeling. You read their writing. You get a sense of what they’re good or bad at. Before long you’re casually thinking about what their pajamas smell like, and then you ask them to make you a mix tape. Really you could demand it, because, you know, you pay them. But you ask nicely because otherwise it would feel perverted and illegal.
William Cody Watson does our Sad-Ass music column, and was nice enough to make me my very own Sad-Ass mix. The only guidelines he was given were to make it the “saddest sad fucking sad thing you’ve ever done.” Here’s what he put on my mix, which I will now review for you all.
Alright let’s get all up in this shit.
So the world, in fact, DID NOT END on December 21. I know this because I was sitting pretty with my roommates, in the living room of our house, ripping the shit out of X-Mas gifts. We celebrated early just in case the real armageddony type shit did pop off. But guess what? By 12 AM—December 22—I was drunk as fuck watching those same roommates play in their little band with a bunch of other totally alive motherfuckers standing around me. So… Yeah, no end of the world. Hurray.
So while we’re all alive, LET’S FUCKING PARTY.
Here we go: Sad songs you could totally get away with slipping on at a party…
Now, you might think this is a cop out, but it’s not. Listen to this groove-banger and tell me it’s not gloomy as shit, while all around foxy as shit. The laid back percussion, the lush synth atmospheres, and bright and bold sax lines. All this from a main track from the motherfucking VIRGIN SUICIDES score. Sure, “Sexy Boy” is a much more frolicking, get-down-make-love type jam, but we’re attacking from our patented strong & sad angle, and “Playground Love” works much better from that position. Those Lisbon Girls…
I probably could’ve went with some other, more well-known Grandaddy songs, but really, this one’s my favorite. The whole vibe of this one, honestly, sort of just makes me want to imagine myself as a weird, fucked up soul-vampire, kind of like Sean Bateman did in Rules Of Attraction. Dawson was a stone-cold freakazoid in that movie—I never read the book, well kind of, I did read the last page to see if it really did end all abrupt, mid-sentence AND IT TOTALLY DOES! Anyway, yeah, something about the slow, pulsing organ and the droning synths, just makes me wanna roll through crowds of dumb faces and scowl. Sometimes you just got to get really weird and raw in a thick crowd of heads. I also really like when he says, “I try to sing it funny like Beck, but it’s bringing me down.” Good line.
I think Trent’s written a lot of somber, distressing tunes that have been heavily disguised as something perhaps a bit more flustered, pushing towards angsty, unnerved, and chaotic; when they’re really just tales of desperation, isolation, and a sense of full-bore uneasiness. “Somewhat Damaged,” sounds pretty fucking vicious with lines like “lick around divine debris, taste the wealth of hate in me” and “tear a hole exquisite red, fuck the rest and stab it dead.” So yeah, OK, Trent is pretty pissed, I get it. What we’re really dealing with here, is a tale of loss, a change for the worse. “How could I ever think it’s funny how everything you swore would never change is diferent now?” Trent’s screaming about how fucked it is that everything he had come to know and have faith in has changed abruptly; guess it could be a lovey-dovey kinda thing, or who really knows. That’s the way it speaks to me and most every other human that’s had a relation-SHIT go sour, right? So how well would this go over at a party? Well as long as your partygoers don’t masturbate to the Garden State soundtrack on a regular basis, all heads are gonna burst into headbang city when this heavy pummeler charges out of the speakers. Get wild. TOO FUCKED UP TO CARE ANYMORE!
Girl News - Girls and Crying
The apocryphal idea (APOCRYPHAL? HAAAA) that crying is for girls is extra-dumb (like in addition to just being regular-dumb) when you consider how everybody is mad at guys for being Xboxy thumbsuckers, right? (PS: guys, girls are mad at uuuuuu.) Boys cry plenty, and I like it. I like it better when a boy’s penis cries right into my hands, but it’s nice when an adult man cries (about something other than an occasion of retarded, internalized sports-team dramatics) and you are allowed to be there for him for a half second. And when you’re in a fight and a guy cries “YOU’VE WON IT! Shake my hand!” Nah. But really men crying is just as complexy sexy and responsible for turning pussies into fresh-out-the-box Creamsicles as the attractive sadists on TV who we can’t stop talking about.
And yet. Girls and crying is just a canon of its own, a subdivision of girl-activity in the same way that I guess guys shop for stuff (apparently? You’re wearing stuff, items, somehow?), but they could not possibly understand the capital-X-shaped full-systems flush of Shopping, which is also the reason why “acquisitiveness” should be recast as a necessary sexual macaroon rather than symbolic of dumb sluts in the grip of capitalist overlords/patriarchy/Transformers, or whatever. (Here is the part where, if you’re like “I don’t understand this bitch,” you retire to your mud room to do a job because I don’t even want you here, OK?)
Been doing a lot of crying lately. It’s fine, it’s fine. I’ve found out new ways to cry and be crying and stop crying. One of them is, you might remember this from the toddler era, is the back of the fist tear wipeaway? I’m vaguely curious about why that’s been my move during a tough time (eight months!) and is always the move when I’m in front of my mom. NEVAH MIND I just figured it out. Oh hey, did you know that when you hear your mom’s voice it makes you want to… go? My friend told me that.
WHAT IS CRYING?
I don’t really know. The closest I can come to it without broaching gross science is when a firmness of purpose in any direction is interrupted. Also, PMS.
If you listen to drone music and also think about your throat, it is like that. It is of you and not up to you. It’s better that a cry be as natural as possible, all road-trip colors and moving through heavy air, because the alternative is you hopping around on one foot and whine-sobbing because you’re too frustrated to do anything else. Knowing you might cry, considering it, and beginning is a hazy extra-reality where your doll-eyes slide shut, big lashes side-by-each like windshield wiper blades at rest until they bloom with water and red vines, is actually really beautiful.