Jim Varagona

Category: Uncategorized

>I Was An Adolescent Transvestite

>I was at my parents’ place the other day. My mother had found a few photos of me that she was proudly displaying on a china cabinet. The photos just happened to be of me in drag. I’d estimate my age to be around 10. It is amazing that my parents allowed me to do such things at such a ripe age, especially my father. One can only wonder what he thought of me, or what they think of me now. Anyway, here they are…

I can safely say I was a piece of ass. My future wife should be proud. And hopefully my parents can find more of this gold in their archives, like that picture of Richard Simmons holding me as a baby at a book signing in a Venture store.

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>Make the Music With Your Pump

>Apparently diabetic art is catching on.

In November of last year, I posted about my video piece entitled “Diseased Sensations” making it to Post-VideoArt.com. During some bored browsing on Myspace.com, I found this musician, Vijith Assar. His featured song is entitled, “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bleeding Fingertips”. In his blog, he describes it as follows:

The complete title for this is “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bleeding Fingertips.” I wrote it for a computer music class I took in college. It’s a concept piece dealing with diabetes, made entirely from sounds produced by my fingertip lancing device, blood glucose meter, and insulin pump (and believe me, I was shocked when I realized that the user feedback tones for my meter and my pump were in the same key). When I showed it to a diabetic friend of mine, he nearly had a panic attack because he thought his pump was going haywire.

It starts with the sound sequence associated with prepping a blood test and lasts exactly as long as it takes to run one on a Lifescan One Touch II, the brand of meter I used for most of my childhood, before ending on the device’s distinctive confirmation chirp. In a manner of speaking, this was partially inspired by Glassjaw’s “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence,” the title track to an album which deals heavily with themes of chronic illness.

I got to give props to the fellow diabeto. The track is pretty slick.

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>R.I.P. Miss Deaf Texas

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The headline reads: “Miss Deaf Texas Killed By Train”.

I know it is sick of me to make light of such a story and make it look amusing, but hear me out. Why is this news, for one (besides how she died…read the story)? And why must we single people out by their differences, which only points out those differences more, when the whole time I figured everyone wanted to be equal. We have Miss Deaf America…wait, better yet, I just found Miss Black Deaf America. Not only are they deaf, but also black. Then of course, you have Miss Black America, Miss Gay Universe, Miss Philippines-America, and The Miss Ugly (in China), amongst countless others. I do not understand. I think it was more impressive having a deaf woman win Miss America or even a diabetic win the pageant. Put everyone on a level playing field–even the uglies.

Not the deceased, but still odd.

Inevitably someone will read this and add that we should have Miss Caucasian America and White Entertainment Television. I understand that these differences are used too much, but that may be taking it too far, especially considering a TV network called WET. I can see the Aryan porn jokes now.

If we are all equal, let us be equal. Don’t point out to me that you’re deaf, black, or gay. Either I will notice or I won’t.

If this continues, I have no choice, but to start a Mr. Diabetic America pageant.

And Miss Deaf Texas…rest in peace.

UPDATE (3/15/06): She was texting when hit by train. Technology–what a shame.

Related link: The Darwin Awards (http://www.darwinawards.com/) –“We salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who remove themselves from it. Of necessity, this honor is generally bestowed posthumously.”

>Full Moon Fever

>I’m not one to believe in cosmic mumbo jumbo. I don’t look up my horoscope and live my life in fear of “something unfortunate transpiring from a business dealing” or whatever generic BS they prescribe. However, today I found myself having one of those record breaking days that forced me to say, “is there a full moon out”?

As the day progressed and each odd occurence piled up, the question became a more serious one…not necessarily the full moon question, but more of a general “what the hell is going on here?” That is especially considering how much you can really question the phase of the moon during daylight hours.

We all have these days at some point. Nothing seems to go according to how you would assume, and not even close. As much as you think you are right, you are constantly told you are wrong. There are twists in the storyline that cannot be explained. What you think is silly deja vu is some sick joke of reality.

It’s like you’re having this great First Communion bash at your place with all the family and punch and pie, but you suddenly discover your pet guinea pig is a paralyzed bloody mess because a little cousin got ahold of it and thought it would be cool to ride it. You expect the happy happy joy joy, but all you get is an annoying rubber nipple salesman at your door. Sometimes life don’t make no sense…real good.

Out of curiosity, when I arrived home, I checked the moon’s calendar, which states the full moon for this month hits tomorrow during the 23rd hour. I was only a day off. So maybe there is some truth to all of this nonsense. Maybe there’s some kind of magnetism in the rotation that is affecting people adversely. Strange days are no good, except when they’re Doors’ songs.

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>Danno! and Lizards Throwing Stones

>This past Thursday, as I mentioned previously, The Daniel Rothstein Blues Revolution made their debut at Cicero’s to a decent sized crowd. In fact, most left after Dan’s set, which was actually the opening act. It started off rocky, but he finished off strong. I posted a live track of “Lizard With A Briefcase Throwing Stones” from this show on the band’s Myspace page. Check it out.

Diabetoboy and Daniel Rothstein (left) after the show.

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>The Bargaining Practices of the Pinoys

>Yesterday, the Pinoys at work told me that on the way home they would be stopping at the junkyard. These boys love their vehicles, so it makes sense that for after work recreation they’d want to go to the junkyard instead of say the local watering hole or an amusement park. You can’t beat the price either, at a buck a head.

I was told it was a weekly activity for them, which made me feel priveleged that they would bring me along for such a thing; although I was pretty much obliged to go since they were my ticket home. During their last visit, they spotted a treasure of a back seat of a jeep. The only drawback was that there was a petrified piece of crap on that prize seat. These boys are smart though, so the poo became their bargaining point.

I took a walk through the automotive graveyard with one of the Filipinos, while the other two extracted the seat and removed the excrement (believe it or not, I can identify with the excrement removal process). It was a sad place. I knew there was a story behind each of the skeletons of a car that remained. We found a football helmet, one out of two fancy Nike boots, and the precious poo. One man’s trash is another’s treasure–I believe the saying goes. I was told to snap a photo of the evidence to verify its existence, and then we ventured back to the gate to negotiate.

The man at the gate was kind, but was not familiar with the turd discount. Another filthier gentleman had to step up and confirm this markdown. It is true that bargain basement prices can be attained through petrified poop. It’s a lesson for us all.

>We’re Here to Revolutionize Blues…and We Have a Web Page

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Dan performing at my dog Sadie’s birthday party a few weeks ago

This week, my best man and good pal, Dan Roth will debut his newest musical incarnation as The Daniel Rothstein Blues Revolution. I have been assisting him in writing some songs, which is a scary thought, but nonetheless enjoyable for me. It may even mean a guest vocal spot for myself when he hits the stage this week as the opening act for the Eric Tessmer Band at Cicero’s in the U-City Loop. The show starts at 8:30pm with a $5 charge.

To prepare for the inevitable craze to follow, I have created a MySpace page for The Daniel Rothstein Blues Revolution. Check it out. The only recording we had was a test that we made for his song “Run!”, but we plan to add more soon.

>Winners of the Retail Servicing Cup!

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The Retail Servicing Cup

To the doubters of the power of retail servicing: maybe you just don’t realize how much we do as Retail Service Representatives. Look, the people you put down are the people you depend on. We fix your barbeque grills; we arrange your pots. We display your worm poop fertilizers; we build your patio displays. Do not…fuck with us.

At least the Midwestern Legion of Retail Service Representatives recognized us this week as Retail Servicing group of the year. Our head Filipino accepted the Cup awarded to us. We celebrated by eating 4 fresh fish that he killed with a homemade bamboo blow gun. It was enough to bring leftovers to his starving family.

Here comes dinner!

This week was rough. We had to team up with others from the establishment we were working at. Some old man that let the power get to his head got to the retired pro wrestler we work with. He lost it and ended up climbing one of the steel shelving structures and elbow dropping on the old man. Never underestimate our power. Remember…those fancy Christmas tree setups you see during the holiday season…those are our gnomes that put those together.

  • If you are wondering who’s behind the setups at Danny & Clyde’s Food Service in Mandeville, Louisiana, it’s not us…look to these guys.

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>We Don’t Get Mad, We Get Italian

>As Retail Service Workers, we do not get much respect. People do not understand the behind the scenes work we do as “gnomes” to make stores look presentable and the workload we take off of actual employees of stores, so that they may be even more invisible when you come-a-shopping in their establishment. Even those employees sometimes cannot give us props for doing our job.

For instance, recently a worker in one of these stores approached one of my supervisors complaining of how dispicable we were for leaving such a mess for him to stare at over several days. As he badgered my co-worker, our boss, The Don, stepped in to make some sense of this. If anyone else were to attempt to make sense of this retail anomaly, it would hurt their head worse than receiving a blow to the cranium from one of those keen Ludell sledgehammers that we service. He did this in a calm, yet stern manner, comparable to Al Pacino in The Godfather films. Rather does he lose his cool, but his words speak volumes, and if one were to not listen, they would experience his wrath.

He asked this fellow how he knew it was his boys leaving this mess. No answer. He asked how a “responsible and upstanding” employee could pass such a mess up so many times and only complain about it. No answer. By feeding the nonsense back at this man, our boss defended our honor and converted this numb nut into a bumbling idiot. Then in one swift motion, as the man walked away, The Don, ripped one of our wired book racks off the wall and slammed it into the idiot’s calves. The whole scen reminded me of Joe Pesci losing it in Casino.

You have heard of “going postal”, but this is an example of how an IRS worker goes Italian. We can stay so cool and calm until an eventual breaking point. It’s bound to happen.

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>The Filipino Fans Have Spoken

>It’s amazing how much of a response I have gotten for the way I treat the Filipino Mafia. By no means do I hate the boys. On the contrary, I have much respect for them as brethren in the Order of Retail Service Workers. My only beef is how they treat my boss, the Don of the IRS (Italian Retail Service) Workers division. Things have improved though, as we have joined forces to take on Knorks.

The cracker girls really eat up the Pinoys. I’d like to refer them to clothing that they may express themselves through. T-Shirt Hell has these great shirts that are available in various styles that may be of interest. Ciao!

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