Gringo Manaba

Adventuras y Fantasias or Fantastical Adventures


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Archive for April 4th, 2005

Expensive Name Dropping

Posted by glasscastle on 4th April 2005

Just when you thought the Federal Election Commission had it out for the blogosphere, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it up a notch and announced yesterday that it will soon vote on a city ordinance that would require local bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate.

Blogs that mention candidates for local office that receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a registration fee and will be subject to website traffic audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco City Attorney.

This is certainly a bizarre development.  Why only local candidates? Does it apply to blogs hosted in Timbucktu as well as SF? Does an inspirational sack of the Kind constitute a “blog related expense”? Are they supplying their own free traffic meters? If you mention the names of all five candidates to a local office, do you have to pay five registration fees? Is this the wave of the future?

from Personal Democracy Forum

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Paternity Trials

Posted by glasscastle on 4th April 2005


Having kids changes everything. While we try to digest the blockbuster news from Dowbrigade, Jr., down here in Lima, Peru, a massive city redolent with memories from our formative years, when we were the age of our son, our thoughts have been turning to Number 2 Son, back in Boston after a year of helping his brother get their Eco-tourism hotel off the ground. More on that soon, including the Grand Opening of the Villa Maria Eco-Hostal Web Site.

But back in Boston, our second son is embarked on one of the crucial rites of passage in our modern transient society; fucking up your first apartment, and the inevitable disasters attendant on learning to live on your own, on a fixed budget, in a society where financial overextension is always as close as the daily mail, telephone cold calls, or in-store shills offering plastic manna from the financial offices.

At 20, armed only with his high school diploma, a spectacular wardrobe contributed by his paternal grandfather, a trial lawyer who restocks his suits with every change in the seasons, and words of encouragement from his father, he began the bitter, soul-sapping process of getting his first “real” job. He was further motivated by “Tough Love” advocate and step-mother Norma Yvonne, who let it be known that should his efforts fail to bear fruit, in terms of a real job and his own apartment, his options were basically, live with his mother in Atlanta (which he hates), go back to South America, or join the Army. In other words, continuing to camp out in the living room of our one-bedroom apartment in Watertown was not an option.

To make a long story short, with considerable help from the Dowbrigade, he managed to get a job and a one-bedroom apartment of his own, which, by splitting the rent with the latest in a long string of neices from Ecuador who have come to visit Aunt Norma and end up staying to work or study, he could just afford on his sparse salary.

Few young couples in the history of the world have been so mismatched and unprepared for the reality of living on their own and creating a viable lifestyle. Their misadventures were immediate and legendary, and the situation, during my current absence in Ecuador and Peru, is appearntly approaching meltdown.  One more delightful crisis to be dealt with on our return later this week.

As an example of what we are talking about, let us offer the above photograph, and the story behind it. During the third week of his new life as a phone agent at a downtown talent and modeling agency, once he got over his disbelief that he could actually do a real job and that his being hired was not some kind of cruel joke, he decided to go for a new look.

In an attempt to garner a certain kind of attention, one day after work he dyed his long, curly light brown locks an eerie phosphorescent orange color.  All the more surprising since, as opposed to his older brother, who is rapidly covering his entire young body with tatoos and piercing, second son has so far eschewed all body decoration or sylistic embelishments. Working at a modeling agency must have inspired him.

Unfortunately, his boss was not as taken with the new look. In fact, our son was told in no uncertain terms that if he returned to work the next day with orange hair, he should look for another job. As soon as he got out of work that day he went straight home and had Marcella, Norma’s neice, shave his head completely bald.  Including his eyebrows (which he had also meticulously dyed orange). Athough unable to get a shot of the breif orange phase, when he visited the following day with his bald pate we snapped the above photo.

The boss was chagrinned, but what could he do? He HAD told my son not to come back with that hair. Since said son is now sort of scary looking, he has been instructed not to come out of the back room when there are clients in the office, until at least his eyebrows grow back.

Were we ever so clueless and starry-eyed? It doesn’t seem so, but perhaps our parents would have a different opinion.  Meanwhile, we will try to just guide him through the next few steps in the process of becoming a functional cog in the great American economy without self-destructing or being driven into institutionalization.

More shocking revelations on the Dowbrigade Boys coming soon…..

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