Thursday, December 20, 2001

Greenville, NC

This Rant was originally posted on December 20th, 2001 on Thee Loop.

For whose of you who don't know, Greenville, NC is one of the biggest cities (to use the word loosely) in Eastern North Carolina. It is located east of I-95 and north of Wilmington, NC. I know what you're thinking, "That's a pretty big area." Sure, but Greenville is all there is in this area. Therefore, let me set some definitions for you from the get-go:
  • "Big City" = Greenville, NC
  • "Greater Greenville" = Eastern NC

Now, I need to also let you know who lives in Greater Greenville:

  1. Those that were born here and will die here and don't know that there's anything better than this.
  2. Those that go to school here: i.e. ECU or Pitt Community College (~the same thing).
  3. Those that, thru stupidity or some other unfortunate incident, have become stuck in the quagmire of this God forsaken wasteland and want nothing more from their life than to leave this place in their rear view.

I fall into the 3rd category, and it is through no one's fault but my own. Let me explain (if I can).
In 1997 I was working as a retail pharmacist for Revco (now CVS). It was a nightmare and I could feel myself die a little each day I went into work. Anyway, I wanted out of retail because I figured I was on the verge of killing someone, either by an accidental misfill of a prescription or by wringing a patient's neck. I think I was much closer to the latter. I applied to several hospital pharmacies and Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, NC was the first to call me back. "Thank God," I thought, "A hospital position in an area that isn't so bad. I did 4 months of rotations down there when I was in school. Plus, my girlfriend's from that area, another plus. It's not that bad of an area, right?"

Let me pause at this point in the story to point out that, not only was Revco working me into a state of near-delirium, but, because of said company, I was HEAVILY drinking to help me cope with the fact that I might just be a retail pharmacist for 30-40 more years.

Jump forward 2 years to 1999; I've married a wonderful woman who just happens to have grown up in Greater Greenville. I have a nice house and a job at PCMH that is probably the best job a pharmacist could have. However, I've come to realize that, if North Carolina were the human body, Greater Greenville would be the asshole. I couldn't believe that I'd ever talked myself into moving down here in the first place. It is now bordering on the year 2K2 and I'm still in the process of trying to get the fuck out of here. Why? Let me tell you. (Note: This is by no means an all-inclusive list, just those things that slap me in the face each and every day I remain here)

Traffic Makes a Big City
One of the most glaring problems with Greater Greenville hits you as you travel east on HWY 264 away from Civilization and cross I-95. You hit a taint-meat of a town called Wilson. You have to drive thru this shithole just to get to Greater Greenville. Sure, they're building a bypass around Wilson, but then they've been building it for something like 10-fucking-years!!!
So, you've made it thru the 30-minute pit-stop called Wilson, to find yourself in the Big City. One thing that is immediately obvious, upon driving around the township, is the lack of right turn lanes. Whereas a normal town has these types of lanes to prevent the buildup of traffic at intersections, the Big City seems to see traffic jams at stoplights as a sign of progress. (I can see the Big City council meetings now: "Hell, iffn' we show them out-of-towners that we have traffic 'n' such, they might figger we're as important a town as Wilson!)

Which brings me to the point of synchronized stoplights. There are none in Greater Greenville! You can not drive across the Big City without stopping at every single fucking light. The point of this? Hell if I know!!!! I can only blame it on inbreeding. Try this sometime: Time yourself from my house in Winterville (essentially, a Big City subdivision) to the sign on HWY 264 West where the speed limit changes to 65mph (which marks you leaving the Big City). I guarantee that you can get anywhere in Raleigh in that same amount of time (or very damn close to it).

ECU and the Over Inflated Sense of Self Worth
East Carolina University is a great 2nd tier State University. If you think anything other than this, you are truly deluding yourself. Sure, they consistently have a winning football program (although the embarrassing 64-61 double OT "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" loss to Marshall in the GMAC Bowl on 12/19/01 was pretty pathetic), but it will ALWAYS be a second rate school. Don't get me wrong; by "second rate" I do not mean it's a bad school. I'm just trying to emphasize the fact that it is not in the upper echelon of universities in the state of North Carolina. It is the best university in Greater Greenville, though. You couldn't tell this to anyone in Greater Greenville. Even though the majority of ECU supporters did not go to the school and think education is for "those uppity types with their jobs and such", they will not listen to anything bad about their Purple Wave. I'm sure most of them still think they won the GMAC Bowl and that the final score doesn't really represent anything. I really don't blame these folks for supporting the local school. I mean, if you live here, you really have NOTHING else to support. If you're one of these folks, I understand your plight; just don't go giving me shit because UNC's basketball team is mediocre this year. Take my UNC degree and your ECU degree (or PCC diploma, or 5th grade remedial English certificate, et al) and weigh them side by side. I'll be waiting a week from now when you figure out which one's worth more.

Global TransPark and NC Money Drain
According to the NC Global TransPark Authority's website:
The North Carolina Global TransPark is being designed as a unique multimodal business center designed to support manufacturing, distribution, agribusiness, and transportation-related companies. A comprehensive planning effort has fully integrated air, rail, road and nearby sea transportation capabilities to serve the logistics requirements of industrial and distribution tenants and users of the Global TransPark (GTP).
This is an utter bullshit definition for the money hole in Kinston (another Greater Greenville suburb). According to a recent News & Observer article, TransPark dying a slow death (link no longer availabe), $42 million of your taxes have been wasted over 11 years on this project. It was basically designed to get investors into Greater Greenville. It hasn't worked yet, but the NC General Assembly (with the urging of the numerous Greater Greenville representatives) wants to keep throwing good money after bad to attract people to the asshole of North Carolina. I'm sorry, but you can put a pig in a dress, but that don't mean I'm takin' it to the prom! This kind of fuzzy logic typifies the thinking of everyone east of I-95. They just can't understand why anyone who's not from here doesn't want to live here. Also, if you see anyone on the road with a license plate beginning with "GTP", make an effort to point and laugh at them; they paid extra for those letters on their plate, and the money is going to this sinkhole of a program. Bwah-ha-ha-ha.

Update (6/27/10): Yeah. They're still giving money to this piece of shit. No wonder the Great State of North Carolina is in a hole. That's what happens when you chase good money after bad....FOR DECADES!!!!!

Unwed Pregnancies and "Trailer Syndrome"
This area suffers from what I like to call My-baby-daddy syndrome. For those of you not familiar with the term, "my-baby-daddy" refers to the father of an unwed mother's child. This term is becoming more popular in the Greater Greenville area. If you really want some more info on this term and what it means, just run out and rent the movie Baby Boy and you'll get the full meaning. But don't say I didn't warn you what an awful movie it is.
This invokes a profound since of horror in me and I want to get my unborn daughter out of this area ASAP before this kind of mentality seeps into her brain, making her think that such a thing is commonplace and accepted. According to figures Prepared by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, August 1999 (link no longer available), Greater Greenville is a hotbed of unwed pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, teenage pregnancy can be directly traced to the parents not educating them on the dangers of premarital sex and responsibility. In fact, in Greater Greenville, this is a vicious cycle; teenage moms having teenage moms. Kind of like the Orioles' tendency to pay washed up baseball players millions, lose, get rid of these players to free up money to sign more washed up players... you see where I'm going. What I'm saying is that this seems to have become a status symbol for women in Greater Greenville. You're nothing unless you have a baby by your drunk, out-of-work, abusive boyfriend who could give a lesser shit about you or the baby you're gonna have. This is a trend, not just in the young, but in every age group. It's just a sad state of affairs and I want to be away from it.
(Editor's note: Since this writing, it has been pointed out to me that I did not properly distinguish between Teen Pregnancy and the Unwed Pregnancy that runs rampant in Greater Greenville. Check out the Feedback section of this site for more info.)

Soon to Be "Formerly of Greater Greenville"
Because of these reasons, and many more, I will be leaving this area soon. My job here is great, but that's about the only positive in an angry sea of negatives. My goal is to get "West of I-95", preferably in the "Greater Raleigh" area (read: Zebulon, Johnston Co., North Raleigh). Like I've said, it was my decision to move down here in the first place, so I'll lie in this bed I made until I get a chance to get out of here. My current plan is to begin building a house in "Greater Raleigh" by this time next year. Wish me luck and don't let what I've said keep you from visiting me between now and when I move.

Tuesday, January 09, 2001

Women Should NOT Cut Their Hair

This Rant was originally posted on January 9th, 2001 on Thee Loop.

Just to let you guys know, this topic has been bothering me for quite a while now. Also, I've had about 5 cups of coffee and I'm prone to wandering off the subject. Now, with that obligatory disclaimer out of the way, I can continue my psychological profile of women who cut their hair short and the men who like it.
For those women reading this, know that no heterosexual man likes a woman to have hair like a boy. Very few women can pull off this look with any measure of success. Meg Ryan is one of these women. You do not, nor will you ever, look like Meg Ryan. Therefore, getting a "Meg Ryan" ("Jennifer Aniston", etc.) will not make you look like a multi-gazillion-dollar-a-year actress. Don't even try. Shoulder length hair and longer is fine. Do not get it cut shorter that this. That is, don't cut it unless you want to turn off all attractiveness to the male species.

For the men reading this, you know what I'm talking about (if you don't, I'll talk about you later). Most men cried when Melissa Stark chopped off her hair. Thank God she's growing it back out. (Could this be why she's leading the Playboy poll for the newscastress that most folks would like to see naked?) Most men, at some point, have had a girlfriend/wife that has pulled this shit. They come home with a bobbed hairdo (or, as I like to call it: a Bob hairdo), and they want us to tell her that it looks good. Lie, and you'll have to live with the image in the back of your mind of making love to a dude. Tell the truth, and you'll end up in the doghouse for a month (if you're lucky). I try to tell the truth. Somewhere between "Damn, did you just enlist?" and "It looks OK, but I think longer hair looks better on you." Either way, she's going to be pissed that she spent $50 on a new doo that her man didn't like (the difference between the price of a woman's and a man's haircut is a Rant for another day). My point is this: Most men find women more attractive the longer their hair is. (This is only to be taken to a point. If the hair is too long (past the bottom of the ass), men will start to wonder "How the hell does she keep from flushing her hair in the toilet." This will only cause issues).
Women participate in this self-mutilation for several reasons: Self-esteem issues, wanting to be noticed, emotional changes, etc. However, I think the main reason is to establish an emotional dominance over their partner. All women know that men find longer hair more attractive. Yet women continue to chop off their locks. Sure, some of this is perpetuated by the salon industry. They'd lose business if they told the truth, "Don't cut your hair. It looks better long." But most women do this out of maliciousness. They want to see their man squirm over the choice between telling them they look like shit and lying so they can get laid. Don't get me wrong, most women don't even consciously realize that they are doing this to their men. But the harpies in their subconscious know this all too well. They know that this will give them a bargaining chip to use in the future (Filed in the Harpy file cabinet under "Reasons not to give Him Sex").

I'm including 2 long-haired photos of semi-famous women who currently have short hair. One is on a show that I do not watch, Felicity, and the other is on the show Titus. Keri Russell (Felicity) has realized her mistake and is currently growing her hair back out. How did she realize this? No, she didn't come to the conclusion on her own. It took a 50% drop in her ratings before Warner Bros management said, "Beeotch, grow your hair back NOW or we're canceling your sorry-ass show."

Unfortunately, Cynthia Watros (Titus) has not had that light bulb go off yet. The problem is that Titus is actually a GOOD show, unlike Felicity. The only reason I would stop and watch a minute or two of Felicity was so that I could fantasize about those long, curly locks gently touching the small of her arched back as she.....well you get the idea. When she cut her hair, she looked like a 13 year old boy. Titus, on the other had, has Stacy Keech and funny scripts.

I couldn't find any pictures of these 2 ladies with short hair. I have a theory about that, and here goes: All of the networks know how horrible these chicks look with short hair, so they only release press photos of the long-haired versions.

One of the common expressions you will hear from a chick who's just maimed herself this way is that her hair's "so much more manageable now." Bullshit. What she really means is that her man is more manageable (because of the aforementioned bargaining chip). The other thing that you will hear them say is that, "_____ (insert female friend's name here) thinks my hair looks so good." If she doesn't tell you, you will probably hear that friend say it in front of you. You will never hear a man say that a short haircut looks good on a woman and mean it. Yes, he will say it, but this is only because he wants something from her (sex, her to shut up about her hair, food, money, et al). There is a reason why women tell other women that short hair looks good on them. It goes back to primal mating responses. Make yourself look as good as possible to attract a mate. We are, however, the most evolved species on the planet. We take this "Mating Game" to a new level: Make others look as bad as possible. This is why women support their friends when they cut their hair; it makes them look better.

The last group I'd like to psychoanalyze is the group of guys who actually like it when women get a short haircut. These men are the saddest. They don't realize that they're going to all the wrong clubs and they just can't explain why Steve Kmetko from E! News Daily fascinates them so. I pity these guys most of all. They haven't realized yet that the reason they dig their woman's new doo is because a part of them really wants to bang a guy. These men need to come to terms with their bi- or homosexuality. Here's your chance. I have just explained to you why you have those conflicting feelings when watching porn ("Am I supposed to be looking at this part of the screen?"). Come on out of that closet. It's a new decade and millennium, folks are much more tolerant now. Don't be afraid to admit that you like the image of having sex with a boyish looking woman.