My romance with craigslist

[Adult Language]

I love craigslist. I hate craigslist. But I love it more than I hate it. I only hate it when I don’t love it, which isn’t very often, as I love it most of the time.

How did I decide on this topic tonight?

My brother from another mother, Josh of Joshland, emailed me and asked me what I had been up to lately. I’m been absent on Twitter and haven’t tweeted about McGriddles and the Broncos and other fascinating topics. Nice of Josh to check in.

And my answer to him about what I have been up to was craigslist, or one of the things I’ve been doing, along with searching for a used car, which I’ve been using craigslist for (and if the 2002 Volvo V70 had had leather seats and not fabric, my search would be over).

I can’t remember if I’ve written about craigslist here in the past or not. If I have, you can stop reading now, which you may have already done. I don’t care. That’s not that I don’t care about you – I do. I don’t care if you continue reading or not. Well, I do, but I like sounding like a tough guy tonight, hard on the outside and inside. No Jay Cutler softness here – my skin is thick like an alligator’s.

Back to craigslist. I’m a huge fan of it. And my OCD makes me a pro when it comes to hunting down items I want. I’ve furnished most of my house with furniture from craigslist. It’s one of the reasons my wife thinks I’m crazy, but she likes the thousands of dollars I’ve saved. And though I like chasing down the perfect item, the money saved, and being “green,” I also like the “meeting interesting and cool people” part of it – most of the time.

There have been a few odd individuals and people who tell you the item is in great shape but it’s not – like the elderly couple who told me the red leather Pottery Barn chair only had “minor wear” and a small hole. When I got there it looked like a cat had fucked it a thousand times over. There were scratch marks everywhere and rips. And it smelled like cat piss. It was all I could do not to let loose on the two geezers and give them a little cat scratch fever of my own. But I didn’t. I was polite and drove the 20 miles home fuming about the waste of time and misrepresentation of the item.

The good and kind and friendly people have outweighed the not so nice and bad. I have this fantasy of writing a book about all of the people I’ve met. I think I remember most of them. That’s another part of craigslist I really like – the items I buy have a story behind them, like the dining room table and chairs I bought from a famous disc jockey, a total L.A. story. I have a signed headshot from him to show my friends when I tell the story of the table, though they’re all tired of hearing it. I look at the different things I’ve bought and they say something about my life and the lives of others and the moments when our lives intersected. It doesn’t get better than that.

That’s all for tonight. I have some searching to do.

Stay well.

Homage To War of the Worlds

Yesterday, I held my own Twitter experiment, sort an homage to Orson Welles and his War of the Worlds radio broadcast. I tweeted all day as if I were outside Walmart, then Target, waiting in line for Black Friday deals. I was not there. I hope I never wait in line to do that – never say never. Twittering was my way of counteracting the forces of Black Friday.

RIP, Creative Genius

I am tired of hearing about Black Friday (BF). If the Charlie Brown special were made today, half of the show would be about Charlie and his friends waiting outside a store to buy BF deals. Not only that, BF deals started Wednesday this year and some stores opened on Thanksgiving night (Toys R Us). This year the amount of coverage got under my skin.

I’m not here to give a lecture. My house is full of gadgets. But I feel manipulated by these BF ads and companies and the compulsion to buy. Not only that, it feels like our economy is held hostage to the peaks and valleys of how much or how little we buy. Worse, and this is where I agree with, our happiness is tried to our consumerism.

So, I tweeted all day and had a really good time doing it. I laughed at my own tweets and tried to give hints regarding whether I standing outside of Target – free crock pots. I really don’t know what you cook in one, but my tweets were a crock so it seemed like the perfect product to give away.

Thanks for the tweeted replies. Some knew I was making it up; some came close to wanting to call me a loser for standing in line, which may be true about being a loser, but I wasn’t a loser standing outside of Target with a coupon for a free crock pot. However, if they did give away free crock pots, I probably would stand in line for one. I’m sure it’s the best way to cook squirrel. God knows grilling it doesn’t help kill its gaminess.

The disease formally known as . . .

Lawyers often say that you should only ask a question you know the answer to. I’ve decided to ignore that advice with the following: What if we renamed cystic fibrosis and called it something else?

What if we used a symbol instead? We all know how that worked out.

This is a question answered by other questions. Can you change the name of a disease? Would you want to change a name of a disease? Would lighting strike for doing such a thing? Is it a crazy idea to contemplate? Where did the idea come from?

I can answer the last question. I hate having cystic fibrosis. I hated the name growing up. I still hate the name. That’s where it came from.

I’m tired of having cystic fibrosis. I’ve been embarrassed to speak the name all of my life. It doesn’t roll off of my tongue. It feels foreign, alien, like it has nothing to do with what I have and explains nothing that I go through. Sometimes it elicits a blank stare when spoken to others. So, this idea of a name change must spring forth from my unconscious and conscious minds and their desire to shed cystic fibrosis from their lexicon. Would it feel like a victory if I no longer had “cystic fibrosis,” but a disease of another name?

I have no idea what we would change “cystic fibrosis” to. I only wonder if we could and what would happen if we did. Web sites would have to change, as would stationary, history books, medical texts and the minds of E.R. doctors who know nothing about cystic fibrosis and who would be even more confused by a new disease. It would be easier to move the Empire State Building three blocks than change the name cystic fibrosis. At least it feels that way. And it probably is as pointless as moving the ESB three blocks. A lot of effort and what’s the reward or payoff.? Is there a reward other than saying you did the impossible? We moved that building, damn it. It can be done. Now let’s move it back to where it was.

I know it’s a silly question. It’s an impossible feat. But something inside me says “what if?” What if I no longer had “cystic fibrosis”? Even if it’s in name only there would be something really nice about that. I’d never again have to tell anyone that I have it. The words “cystic fibrosis” would never again leave my lips. Of course, I’d have to tell people I have a disease and that would require a name. And, as a I mentioned, I have no suggestions for what that name would be. I only wish George Carlin were still alive and I could ask him. I know he’d have a great name. And I know you’d never be able to say it out loud in public or on television because it would be X-rated and censored. But that would make me love it even more. Every time I coughed and people stared at me, I’d just say, “It’s okay, I have f**king *$#*&%# *&#$#** and there’s no way in hell you can catch it, Jerk-off.”

Perhaps, I should contact Prince for advice. He’s been there, done that. But even he knows that sometimes a name is difficult to escape no matter how hard you wish it away.