Pat Freestone

2003--A Look Down

January 5, 2004

Well, well, well.

Pardon my crankiness, as I have spent the recent holiday season camping out in the store room of Big Screen Video and sleeping on a pile of theater-sized bags of Jolly Rancher candies. Jolly Ranchersóbig on fruit flavor, not so big on lumbar support. Anyway, welcome to


Big Story #1 Ė The War in Iraq

After several months of verbal warnings and military buildup, president Bush officially declared war on Iraq in March. Less than a months later, Baghdad was overtaken by US and British forces, and on May 1st, Bush announced the end of major combat. Ultimately, on December 13, Saddam Hussein was captured and taken into custody. But the question still on everyoneís mind was, "Ashton and Demi? Are you serious? I mean, sheís like 45!"

War is hell.

Check back all week for more of


Pat Freestone

January 6, 2004

If itís important enough for the cover of Time, Newsweek, or U.S. News and World Report, but not sexy enough for the cover of People, Us, or Black Tail, then youíll probably find it here in


Big Story #2 Ė The California Recall Election

On October 7, Californians decided to make the Terminator their new governor, ousting unpopular Democrat Gray Davis. Naturally, the late night talk show hosts had a field day. Gray! Get it? Thatís his name, but itís also his hair color!

Hey, Gray!

See you tomorrow.

Pat Freestone

January 7, 2004

Welcome back to the self-inflicted nostalgic agony known as


Big Story #3 Ė The Northeast Blackout

On August 14, one of the nationís major power grids unexpectedly shut down, leaving millions without power and jeopardizing the northeastís vast stockpile of Hot Pockets and Marie Calendar frozen entrees. New Yorkers took the disaster in stride, except for those employed in news radio, who immediately and completely lost their minds. For you see, traditionally, Americaís disasters are recounted through sloppy and repetitive 24-hour live television coverage. But this time, it was all on the shoulders of the radio people. And unless you like hearing a stuttering, stalling, shaky but otherwise velvety-smooth voice saying,

"um...itís dark here...itís been dark for some time...weíre, um, not really sure when this darkness will end...this street used to be lit up but now itís pretty dark...I would say itís darker than even on say, well, Christmas eve, for example, when all the stores are closed...but of course you donít have the Christmas lights lit up because, um, it is completely dark, but I do see someone with a flashlight in one of the store windows down the, but it could be an apartment or some sort of private dwelling...itís hard to tell because itís so dark,"

then you probably just did what I did. You turned off the radio, lit an old candle, and drank yourself into a more appropriate sort of blackout.

Faithfully recorded,

Pat Freestone

January 8, 2004

And now, more of


Big Story #4 Ė I am Attacked by Bees

On June 8, while returning from my lunch break, I was accosted by several bees who had been hovering over the top of a nearby garbage receptacle. Apparently, they were drawn to the floral print on my necktie. After attempting to shoo them away with the Quiznoís takeout menu I happened to be carrying, one of them stung me in the forearm. It was quite painful, and in general, a frightening ordeal.

Yours truly,

Pat Freestone

January 9, 2004

Weíve reached the final installment of


Certainly one could argue that no list of 2003ís top news stories would be complete without a mention of the California Wildfires, or the Great White Nightclub Fire, or the SARS Epidemic, or the Bush Tax Cut, or the Deadly Flu, or the Democrat Hopefuls, or Elizabeth Smart, or Laci Peterson, or the Columbia Shuttle Disaster, or Jessica Lynch, or Martha Stewart, or ImClone, or Michael Jackson, but for my money, it doesnít get any more serious than

Big Story #5 Ė I Vow to Destroy All of Earthís Bees

On June 9, in response to the Bee Attack of June 8, I decide to eradicate the world of all bees. My first strike is a brazen daylight assault on the garbage can at 8th and Vermont Street. After killing at least six bees, I then move on to the daisy patch in St. Anthonyís Park. Fourteen bees are systematically executed. The next morning, I attempt a pre-dawn raid on an organic honey bee colony located off of route 45, but a large dog barked at me and I got scared and pulled back. Then, for the next few weeks, I would regularly spray insecticide into the dumpster behind Big Screen Video, a known haven of bee activity. Now, I just kill them whenever I come across one. They are a threat to my way of life, and they must all die in 2004.

Happy New Year!

Pat Freestone

January 12, 2004

Last night, I realized something. It was one of those moments of clarity that can forever change a personís outlook. It was an epiphany, the likes of which I have never come across. It filled me both with fear and excitement. It was this: I am living in a store room.

That is why itís time to unveil the

Pat Freestone 2004 Game Plan!

Itís a simple, 5-point plan for getting my life back in order. I scrawled it down in complete detail on the back of an old Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom poster, but for now I will just give you the bullet points:

POINT ONE: Secure Quality, Affordable Housing.

POINT TWO: Define Career Goals

POINT THREE: Develop Lean, Sculpted Body

POINT FOUR: Improve/Refine Social Skills

POINT FIVE: Send Thank-You Note to Aunt Helen for Lovely Sweater Vest

Letís do this!

Pat Freestone

January 13, 2004

The Pat Freestone 2004 Game Plan is on.

POINT ONE: Secure Quality, Affordable Housing.

By "Quality" I mean clean, dry, and well appointed. By "Affordable," I mean somewhere between $700 and $703 per month. Iíll go to $705 if they throw in shelf paper.

Looking through the real estate section, I already see several places worth checking out. I like the 1BR W/D A/C reno kit w/ gar and the Conv 2BR elv & xl vus, but the StdAlc with the DM, DW and the FP sounds kind of weird. I mean, why would you put a FP and a DW in a StdAlc? It must have a MphBd, otherwise, there wouldnít be any room for your Tb and Chs. And whatís up with the DM? Do I have to tp hm @ xmas? Will he hlp me chop FW 4 the FP? Whvr.



January 14, 2004

While I continue my search for quality, affordable housing, itís time to move on to the second phase of the Pat Freestone 2004 Game Plan.

POINT TWO: Define Career Goals

Some of you may recall that prior to having my apartment overrun by homeless people, I had, through a variety of complicated particulars, gotten myself a full-time job at Kinkoís. You may also recall that I have been employed for some time as Assistant Night Manager at Big Screen Video. Now although I find my double career rewarding and certainly challenging, extenuating circumstances have rendered it impossible for me to continue on in the photocopy industry. And here is why:

As you surely have heard by now, the privately-owned Kinkoís company was recently purchased outright by shipping giant FedEx for 2.4 billion dollars in cash. Among the announcements were plans to improve FedExís document management, and to offer new or expanded Fed Ex services at all 1,200 Kinkoís locations. What does this mean for you and I? It means this is just another case of the friendly little Mom & Pop on the corner getting bought out by the Man.

I want no part of it.

Pat Freestone

January 15, 2004

POINT THREE: Develop Lean, Sculpted Body

Statistics show that almost half of Americans are overweight, and Pat Freestone is no exception. So, to get myself to my goal weight of 165 pounds, I have invested in a piece of equipment known as a BodyBlade.

I might look like Iím shaking a plastic stick, but Iím actually targeting and toning.

Feel the burn,

Pat Freestone

January 16, 2004

The 2004 Game Plan is on track.

POINT FOUR: Improve/Refine Social Skills

I took a moment to jot down some of the lessons Iíve learned about navigating social situations, as a refresher course to help me get back out there on the scene. I want to meet new people! I want to make new friends! I want to be the "it" Pat!


1. When someone is discussing a recently deceased loved one, or other painful personal tragedy, avoid rolling your eyes and repeating the phrase, "yeah, yeah."

2. Do not use your salad fork to pick your teeth in a restaurant. Most restaurants have complimentary matchbooks, which are much more effective at dislodging wedged-in shards of partially chewed food.

3. When meeting someone for the first time, look them in the eye when you shake their hand, unless of course they happen to be a member of an aboriginal tribe, in which case you should not look them in the eye when you shake their hand, unless you want to send the message. "hello, I am about to kill you."

4. When entering a roomful of strangers, remember the three Sís: smile, socialize, and stop staring.

5. If you have trouble remembering peopleís names, make up fun little mnemonic devices to help you. Clever rhymes that say something about the person can be helpfulólike "Dianne Who Thinks Sheís as Smart as a Man," or "Lou the Neurotic Jew," or "Shawntay Whose Father Probably Didnít Stay."

6. Current events make great ice-breakers; if conversation stalls, just start yelling out the names of all the Reality-TV shows you can think of.

7. Become familiar with the various wines. Not so you can order appropriately from the wine list, but so you can talk loudly without feeling your usual inhibitions.

8. If you smoke, make sure to find a suitable place to light up. And if you donít smoke, you should start. Because everybody knows that only cool people smoke.

9. Most importantly, just be yourself. Or, if you want to be liked by others, be something much easier to tolerate.

Have a good one,

Pat Freestone

January 20, 2004

This weekend, I attempted to put the final phase of my 2004 Game Plan into effect by tackling the last item on my to-do list:

POINT FIVE: Send Thank-You Note to Aunt Helen for Lovely Sweater Vest

Unfortunately, I suddenly realized that all of my thank-you note cards and matching stationery were still back at my old apartment. I decided to go retrieve them . It was not an easy decision to make.

However, to my surprise, my apartment was no longer a urine-flooded playpen for dogs and deranged street people. It was instead a modestly pee-scented squat for two. And there they sat on the couch, watching A Few Good Men on TBS. On the left was Sonny, the homeless Desert Storm veteran to whom I had offered my help, and on the right, Clicky, the odd young man who was allegedly abandoned as an infant and raised by termites. Sonny looked up at me, his eyes filling with tears. Clicky scurried under the couch in self-defense.

After a long silence, Sonny wiped his eyes and cried, "I knew youíd come back some day!" He stood up and threw his arms around me, and began apologizing for being unworthy of my extraordinary kindness. At least I think he was apologizing. I got a bit caught up in the whole "you canít handle the truth" scene. Youíre damn right he ordered the code red! And youíre under arrest, you son of a bitch!

I guess Iím home.

Pat Freestone