Dreamhost takes an afternoon off and I hang with a bunch of chubby people to kill time

Special note: The internet host for “An Unmarried Man” experienced severe problems with a database housing this blog today. They are restoring databases as I speak but it appears that any comments and/or posts made after Wednesday are gone. Recreating these should be no problem, but it will take a considerable amount of time. I should have this finished up by tomorrow. Sorry for the lost comments!

An internet host is like a landlord. Your blog is your “unit” to decorate and personalize nicely and delicately as you choose, but ultimately you’re at the mercy of the reliability of the apartment building’s infrastructure. There are so many internet hosts to choose from that ultimately you end up choosing the one that has the best word of mouth in the cyber community. The internet host for this blog, Dreamhost, has proven somewhat reliable in past years, but the decline has seemed to accelerate recently. The arrow of progress points downwards for Dreamhost. This blog’s first year on Dreamhost (2009-2010) was nearly perfect. There was no downtime that I can remember. No major issues afflicted this blog when it was young. It was great ride. Then year two (2010-2011) saw the beginning of a year-long series of outages. I experienced Dreamhost outages during the second year of this blog as I never had before. Then the third year (2011-present) saw the dawning of a new drawback: very slow speeds. I’ve tried most suggestions and advice from techs and uncovered on Google searches. Some have worked; but the speeds for this blog lag in comparison and I’m not thrilled with Dreamhost’s performance. It doesn’t help that I’m not the most technologically savvy blog owner and much of the nomenclature and technical management involved in running your own domain eludes me. I figure a lot of problems out on my own, but it takes time and lots of painstaking trial and error. For instance, after I converted to my new theme a few weeks ago, I discovered that I had lost all ability to display photos (granted, this has nothing to do with Dreamhost, but I’m making a point). I searched and dissected every Word Press FAQ I could dig up. I even visited the website of the theme designer and asked my question there, but the dude (he’s a furrener) never answered. I finally deduced that a plug-in was activated with the theme installation that was not showing up in my dashboard plug-in list. I found that the plug-in lived on my site because I found it sitting there, plump and troublesome, via ftp. Bastard! I deleted the plug-in folder from my ftp tree. My photos have displayed normally ever since. Apparently, the plug-in was interfering with the photo link. The mechanism behind this snafu is still a mystery to me, but I don’t really care because it’s fixed. That’s the kind of grueling self-discovery required of me to make any headway in disentangling much of this blog “operation.” Managing my own domain is nice because I am able to use a URL that is owned completely by me and displays without the obligatory .wordpress or .blogspot attached to the tail-end of the web address. This really means nothing other than it’s a cheap vanity stroke for my technological ego. Big fucking deal. Really.

So this morning, I discovered that the MYSQL database server had stopped working, at 0815 apparently, but I didn’t notice until after 0900 when I clicked on my homepage and got this chilling screen.

It seemed this blog was down for the count. Bastards. Don’t they know Saturdays are my post prolific day? This is when I have time to actually respond to comments and don’t have to worry about work interfering and I can focus on the matters at hand around here. Wasn’t meant to be. I have a hard time dealing with unforeseen crap like this. I run my life tightly. I run a tight ship! My day is essentially planned out before it begins. My database taking a Dreamhost dump was not part of the plan. What do I do? My whole morning was spent obsessing over this. I kept refreshing the screen like a mental case. No updates from Dreamhost. There was merely a message on the Dreamhost dashboard that mentioned lethargically that they were trying to “resolve” the issue. I finally dragged myself out of the house and went to pick my son up. We drove back here quickly and I dashed to the computer. Still down. Still no updates. OK. I forced a smile, took a quick shower, dressed, clipped coupons. During this entire time I continued to refresh my dashboard screen and kept an eye on both email accounts linked to my Dreamhost site. Still nothing. OK, that’s fine. I’ll do something else. No use fixating on the millions of AUM readers who are clamoring at my blogwalls chanting my name in the heat of a sycophantic ardor. I’ll step out the apartment and lead a…normal life. For a few minutes. I’ll forget about this shit. It will be OK.

We drove to a nearby hamburger joint. What better way to cope with an MIA blog than eating greasy and salty food? I can’t think of any other way. Some people prefer sweets for this; I like salty. Food as a narcotic to suppress reality’s unsavory foils. It’s the American way. While driving, the dead database burrowed into my mind and wouldn’t release. We reached the hamburger joint and it was more crowded than I expected. It is the archetypal hamburger joint you think of. Everything they serve is plain fattening and artery-clogging. Vegetarians vaporize in a plume of tofu’d self-destruction if they step too close. Diners here laugh at broccoli and other verdant forms of nutrition. We eat real food there! Burgers, pastrami, steak, big fries. I’ve noticed that most of the diners at places like this are plainly obese. I’d estimate that 90% of the diners this afternoon were slightly to very obese. Just my visual survey. Pot bellies, jowls, chub rub…yeah man, these people were fat. I’ve noticed this at some pizza joints too. The customer base is grotesquely overweight. Due to my weight-training I can never use the word “skinny” to describe myself, but I don’t have a pot belly and my arms and legs are thin enough to display vascularity. My son has that skinny jean skateboarder thing going. We were thin in this land of whales. There were very few people in the restaurant who were noticeably thin. They just weren’t around. It’s nothing like a Yogurtland in Orange County or a Trader Joe’s in South Pasadena where all the people are skinny. The demographic of this hamburger joint, incidentally, is about 99% Hispanic. People who love food come here, and by all appearance, people who don’t love starving. I don’t think the surprise lies in the fact that fat people comprise such a large proportion of the diners. This is a given. No, what surprises me is how few thin or fit people there were. It’s as if thin and fit people have an absolutist perspective when it comes to diet. There is no happy medium. If thin people were truly healthy in mind, I think you’d see more of them here. Being thin as a lifestyle should not connote complete deprivation. It’s about balance, but judging by the fact that thin people are not to be seen at greasy joints like this, something tells me they avoid this type of food altogether and subsist solely on bok choy and veggie patties. Eating badly once in a while is fine but you’d never know it judging by the way some dietary nazi’s go on. They are absolutists and will not even be seen in the same room with bad food. It’s a vanity game. It’s as if eating a french fry will instantly lead to their demise, like drinking a cup of arsenic. These people need to loosen up. I hate being the only thin representative when I go out and eat very bad food. If utter deprivation is the method for people to stay thin, they are doing it the wrong way.

And speaking of thin people at the hamburger joint…

About halfway through my steak sandwich (it was delicious), I saw a bunch of things flying through the air out the corner of my eye. I looked and saw an old man (70ish) walking away from a bunch of spilled fries while carrying a full tray of food. In his blundering senior manner, he had dropped a whole bunch of precariously balanced fries on the floor. To a fry lover such as I, this is sacrilege! There were a lot of lost, uneaten fries. I watched him and assumed he would join an elderly wife at a table, but instead, he sat across from a very pretty guera chick who had her young daughter with her. She was about 35ish. He appeared to tell her what had happened and she laughed. I found it cruel she made the old guy get the food, something he proved inept at. She sat there and laughed while commencing to dig into her lunch. As Mexicans go, she was definitely on the far end of fair. The Mexican coloring ranges from the very dark, deep black-haired, broad-featured Indian types through the predominant lukewarm middle lightly tanned ground of the Mestizo right up through the very fair people with light skin, hair and eyes. This girl was on that end of the spectrum…even her features were uncharacteristically aquiline for a Mexican. She did not look Mexican at all. The oldster she ate with was clearly Mexican, so I assumed she was his daughter. She finally got off her lazy ass to get some ketchup and napkins and I saw that she was unusually slender and curvy. She even had that very nubile White low-hipped slenderness. Wow. By the way, there is a major difference in the bodies of women as contrasted among races. It is very noticeable. Hips, butt, breasts…these are heavily influenced by racial genetic heritage. You can see this if you look and notice. This girl indeed had a physique I would expect to see at Trader Joe’s, not some greasy spoon in the barrio. I couldn’t figure out why she didn’t get the tray herself instead of making unsteady father get it. She was clearly able-bodied and fit. What the hell chivalrous bullshit code were they abiding by? Dumb. I was mortified at by the behavior of this entitled little princess. Believe me, she was groomed to be a princess based on her appearance which is just as lusted after and rewarded in the Mexican community as it is in the Anglo community. She made the old unsteady guy get the food because after all, she is a lady. Isn’t there a subsection to the rules of common chivalry that dictate special situations whereby a woman will do the brunt of the retrieval work if the only other adult present is elderly and less physically able? Seems she twisted the old adage of “age before beauty” around.