Saturday, December 12, 2009

Yet Even More Additional and Awesome Poetry!

So here again my friend Tommy “The Bee Keeper” Rhoads has written another Breakfast by Association poem for your enjoyment! Isn’t that nice of him! You should read it and then write your own and then send it to me!

Rock on Tommy. Rock on with your bad bee keeping self.

Breakfast by Association
By Tommy Rhoads

break fast
fast pass
pass gas
gas bill
bill pay
pay day
day light
light speed
speed trap
trap door
door man
man cave
cave man
man love
love you
you tube
tube snake
snake bite
bite me
me time
time machine
machine wash
wash cloth
cloth diaper
diaper bag
bag lady
lady Jay
jay walk
walk way
way cool
cool down
down town
town hall
hall pass
pass time
time warp
warp speed
speed freak
freak show
show girl
girl car
car pool
pool side
side table
table top
top dog
dog park
park pass
pass word
word up
up front
front door
door knob
knob hill
hill valley
valley oak
oak tree
tree top
top flight
flight school
school day
day break
break fast

.
.
.
.
.
.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Even More Awesome Poetry!

My friend Mike “The Director” Ervin went and wrote himself his own Breakfast by Association poem. You should do it too! And send it to me!

Party on Mike, party on.


Breakfast by Association
By Mike Ervin

Breakfast
break slow
break dance
dance party
party hard
driving home drunk, its all so blurry and something runs out from the darkness
Brake Fast
Breakfast

Also, i think i killed a homeless man


.
.
.
.
.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Awesome Poetry!

My friend Tommy “The Bee Keeper” Rhoads went to town on my association poem below (Poem #3) and scratched out his own. You should try one too! And send it to me!

Rock on Tommy.



Breakfast by Association
By Tommy Rhoads

Breakfast
cereal
serial killer
Ted Bundy
Al Bundy
Al Davis
Miles Davis
Miles per Hour
Speed
Keanu Reeves
Christopher Reeves
Superman
Dean Cane
Jimmy Dean
breakfast

.
.
.
.
.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Poem #6

Urban Battle Ax
By James Bezerra

That ax you have is very shiny.
And heavy.
And bloody.

But maybe
you shouldn’t have brought it on the subway.

It makes you look a little crazy.
And loony.
And violence-y.

Perhaps maybe
you should put it away.

Then we can go to dinner.
Or the theater.
Or your therapist.


.
.
.
.

Poem #5

Solve for X
By James Bezerra


Solve for X:
Booze ([me + you] + her) + bed = X

X = ____

A) Awesome!
B) The end of our relationship.
C) Something we will awkwardly avoid talking about the rest of our lives.
D) Youtube fame.

.
.
.
.

Poem #4

Complicated Rhyme Scheme about a Girl on the Bus
By James Bezerra

The sunlight in her skin
&
the ash in her eyes
&
the craving in your gut.

It makes you think of sin,
makes you think of her thighs
but

you stop, your fingertips not
quite
touching her
just lingering in the air.

You can’t touch her here,
but you want to touch her there.
but you don’t want the fight
that will start if you’re caught.

.
.
.
.

Poem #3

Breakfast by Association
By James Bezerra

Captain Crunch
Lieutenant Dan
Sergeant Pepper
Private Ryan

Jack Ryan
Ben Affleck
Harrison Ford
Alec Baldwin

The Hunt for Red October

Sean Connery
George Lazenby
Roger Moore
Timothy Dalton
Pierce Brosnan
Daniel Craig

Craig Ferguson
Jimmy Fallon
Jay Leno
David Letterman

Letter bomb
Unabomber
Ted Kaczynski
Teddy Bear

Teddy Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt
FDR
JFK

Kevin Costner
Kevin Bacon (A Few Good Men)
Kevin Pollak (The Usual Suspects)
Kevin Spacey

Seven
Serial killer
Cereal
Captain Crunch

.
.
.
.

Poem #2

Party in the Bathroom
By James Bezerra

The handicap stall
is like a VIP room,
but with fewer celebrities
and more shit on the wall.

For a good time call:
858-525-3950
and you can come to my parties
in the handicap stall.

Or do you think it’s a bad idea
to party in the bathroom?


.
.
.
.
.

Poem #1

Trivet
By James Bezerra

Why a trivet?
On your wedding registry?
I used to clean the kitchen
after you cooked our dinner.

Big messes
but
small dry chicken.

You never used a
spoon rest
a sponge
a Brawny paper towel
or a trivet.

You couldn’t make
a cake, a cookie or a casserole.
Just chewy chicken.

But there it is-
the trivet-
right between the his & her towels
and the ice cream maker.

Maybe he cooks for you,
right before he listens to you
and gets along with your friends.

Maybe you were right,
maybe I never did those things right,
but I’m not going to
spend my money
on your god damn trivet!

.
.
.
.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is there a doctor in the house?

Am I the only guy who wished that Dr. Seuss was still around when a guy named Barack Obama meets a guy names Hu Jintao and they talk about the Dalai Lama?


.
.
.
.

Quick Flix Review.

So the other day I finally got around to watching that WATCHMEN movie.


Eh.


.
.
.
.
.

Scarlett Fever.

Since it has been awhile, here is a picture of Scarlett Johansson (who is madly in love with me).


Songs For My Band's Next Album.

As you may well know, I keep a running list of song titles for my (not real) band’s next album. I’m often coming across great little phrases and while I have no intention (or ability) to write any of these songs, I am more than happy to list their names.

Oh, just an FYI for all of our fans, I have been able to convince two actual people from school to be in the fake band! Big awesome to David and George! David is going to play the drums and George is going to play on the internet during our shows. So far it looks like, in addition to coming up with song titles, I will also be playing my variable speed blender. Yeah, we’re that kind of band. We’re like Beck used to be, only more so.

The titles:

Turn Her Brights Full On Me

Try the Albacore Tempura Rolls

The State of Hip Hop in Armenia

Finger Prints Grow Back

God is Not a Wishing Well

Angry, Homeless Hurricane Bees are Pissed

This is for the Girl with All the Problems

Jews of the Chocolate Trail

The Master of Sonorous Prose

The Greatest Romancer of the Machine

Chronic Sense of Cultural Inferiority

The Pulse in Her Bones

The Whole Galactical Thing

.
.
.
.
.
.

Always Just the Best.

From Postsecret.com still the best site on the internet.




Fun With Fotos.




See, it is funny because this picture makes it look like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s head is on Violet’s body!

It’s not, she’s just reading a magazine.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Note to Self ...

This is a note to me because I am always forgetting: that wine that Ariela always has is called Bartenura Moscato. It comes in that pretty blue bottle with a picture of Italy on it and it is wonderful. It is like wood nymphs made wine by squeezing all the juice out of magical fairies.

Life + Insurance = Funny

So at work today I learned that our company funded life insurance is voided by, among other things, “Active participation in a riot.”

When I asked the insurance lady how they would know if I was actively participating in the riot, she seemed a little flummoxed, but then politely responded that the medical examiner would be able to determine that. I think that that is probably a pretty standard answer if you are the life insurance lady, which has got to be kind of strange for her. Also, it plays into the weird idea that CSI has given us that these forensics people can figure anything out, which I’m pretty sure is untrue. Because they haven’t caught Dexter yet. Although, since Dexter is one of the forensics people he knows what to do and not do.

You know what else would void my health insurance? If my death resulted from, “War, declared or undeclared, or any act of war.”

And don’t even get me started on the stipulations about suicide. According to the literature, they will pay some portion of the life insurance if you’re a suicide, but only if the event takes place more than one year after enrolling. So I guess the expectation is that if you sign up for life insurance because you are planning to kill yourself, then maybe after a year you will have thought it over a little more?

Anyway, good times.
.
.
.
.
.

You got a problem?

I’m so excited! Right now I am downloading a new driver so that my scanner will work and then I can start scanning stuff for you to read on my blog! All my doodles and pictures and drawings and scribbles and stuff!

My life is very eventful and awesome!

(Look it was a really stressful day today, alright? Sometimes a guy just wants to have a beer and blog about the software he is downloading. You got a problem with that?)

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Girl with Monet.

Here is an old picture of Violet standing in front of a Monet. This is at the Met in NY.


.
.
.
.
.

Monday, November 16, 2009

When Ugly is Kind of Awesome.

I love articles like this:

The world’s ugliest buildings!

I like to look at these buildings and imagine what the world would look like if all buildings looked like these.





.
.
.
.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Skeptical Hippo!

I’m not sure why I find this so god damn funny, but I really, really do.


.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Not Being Racist is the New Racist.

They just said that on this funny TV show called “Community” about attending community college.

A couple of characters are trying to design a school mascot that has no ethnicity and in order to do that they have made charts and color wheels of all the characteristics that are too ethnic.

And then Joel McHale walks in and says it.

And I have been trying for months to articulate that thought. Ever since they started with this Obama is Hitler stuff.

So there is it: Not being racist is the new racist.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Rush Limbaugh is dumb.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

So Rush Limbaugh quoted entirely fake information on his show. Big deal, right? Glenn Beck does it for a living. But this is especially funny because Limbaugh didn't think he was lying. Apparently he was quoting from a blog that was quoting a different blog, which started the whole thing as a joke.

So now we have qualitative proof: Republicans don't have any sense of humor. Or, at the very least, have no barometer for gauging sarcasm.


Here is a Yahoo article: Rush was punked.

TTFN.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The GEICO Hydra

*** Below is a research paper with embedded video. This is for my Polpular Culture class. I wrote about the beast that is GEICO's marketing campaign(s). This is for my professor, but you can read it if you want. ****

The GEICO Hydra
By James Bezerra

In classical mythology, the Hydra is a nine-headed creature that can re-grow each of its heads if and when they are cut off (Hamilton, 164). The Hydra was so fear-inspiring because it was all but undefeatable. It was thought that no one person would be able to vanquish it simply because the creature was able to attack from so many directions all at once. Only the half-god Hercules was eventually able to defeat it, and even he couldn’t kill it. In the modern era this strategy of the Hydra has been co-opted by everyone from American military strategists, the terrorists whom they fight, and even, apparently, the boardrooms of marketing firms here in the United States. While the GEICO insurance company did not create this multi-headed marketing strategy, the company has employed it with astounding success over the past decade (GEICO.com).

The Hydra effect of GEICO’s advertising manifests itself as a kind of multiple, independent ad campaign blitz. Rather than a centralized, single-message blitzkrieg, the advertising push is on multiple fronts, but it is not traditional niche marketing. What is happening is more complex than simply tailoring individual campaigns to individual but separate demographics. GEICO has recognized the fact that consumers have grown more savvy and discerning since the golden age of marketing and that commercials are now assessed based on their entertainment value and originality just as much (if not more) than on how well they present a product. Not to mention the fact that GEICO sells insurance, which is something of an intangible commodity. This is especially true for the younger demographic with which they have had so much success (GEICO.com). That is to say that while older consumer have likely had to deal with the frustration and bureaucracy of insurance companies, younger consumers have not yet experienced that, so to tap the younger (read: inexperienced) demographic, it is especially important to ingrain in them that GEICO is an insurance company and not just a gecko. This is one of the many reasons why GEICO’s hydra has so many heads, but there are other reasons, too.

There is a type of market saturation taking place where the assumption seems to be that the consumer has only a limited amount headspace available to store advertising information. The mind of the consumer is being treated as a random access memory of advertising that categorizes and sorts, but has only a finite amount of space available to store. This would be detrimental to a standard marketing campaign because a single logo, catchphrase, image, or spokesperson could then be neatly sorted into a folder in the consumer’s mind: ten folders for ten different insurance companies. By engaging in hydra-headed marketing, GEICO is effectively able to fill multiple folders. If a consumer will only remember ten car insurance campaigns, this strategy assures that five or six of them will be GEICO.

So the question quickly becomes, how is GEICO able to saturate the advertising market without over-saturating it and annoying its potential consumers? And why have they chosen to do this?

To answer these questions, it is important to understand the unique position GEICO enjoys within the insurance industry marketplace. While the company is quick to talk about its more than 70 years of experience in the industry (“GEICO and Warren Buffett” print ad), a history of the company is hard to come by. Why does GEICO chose to obscure its 70 years of experience when most companies go out of their way to showcase about it? The answer can be found on a page buried deep within their website on the “At a Glance” information page: At a Glance

GEICO (always shown in capitol letters) is actually an acronym that stands for Government Employees Insurance Company. Leo Goodwin, the company’s founder, as the website explains, “first targeted a customer base of U.S. government employees and military personnel”. In fact even today GEICO offers deeply discounted rates for Federal employees and members of the military (GEICO.com). This strategy garnered GEICO more than 1 million policyholders in less than thirty years and brought its net earning to more than $13 million by 1966 (GEICO.com). However, by the 1993 the company’s new chairman embarked on, what the website describes as, “… a new strategy to expand the customer base; increased focus on advertising results in higher national visibility” (GEICO.com). This new strategy made itself apparent in what we will call “The Gecko ads”. In the year 2000 GEICO began running ads featuring a frustrated computer-generated gecko whose frustration is linked to the fact that people trying to contact GEICO are instead contacting him. In this way GEICO was able to play on their own odd name rather than explain it. They were able to step away from their history as an insurer of government employees (which would have understandably forced the non-government-affiliated consumer to wonder if they could get GEICO insurance) and re-brand themselves as self-consciously witty, using simple wordplay as an excuse to introduce a lovable animal mascot. It is worth mentioning the Gecko had an English accent, which is a kind of code for sophisticated, but also funny. After making his plea to “stop calling me”.


The Gecko then licks his own eye, in a funny moment that emphasizes that while he is clearly intelligent, he is still a talking animal. Americans love talking animals. In later years the Gecko would evolve, his voice would change and he would be treated (by GEICO marketing) as a cultural icon. There is even a made-for-the-internet ad which masquerades as an episode of “E!: True Hollywood Story” wherein the Gecko’s rise to cultural prominence is chronicled.
The Real Scoop

These Gecko ads went a long way toward establishing a relationship with the young and media-savvy consumers the company was trying to capture. These are the younger consumers who did not have a history of buying insurance. Rather than competing head-to-head for market share with the insurance giants of the time (such as Allstate, which we will examine shortly), they went after an untapped market, those young adults who were media-savvy, but not insurance-savvy. By grabbing these consumers early, GEICO was planning for its future.

Now it is important to understand that these “younger consumers” are, in insurance speak, “non-standard” or “high-risk” drivers (Google Answers). GEICO was able to actively hunt for these “high-risk” drivers because of its strong base of “low-risk” drivers or, as Google Answers calls them, “… government employees and the top three grades of non-commissioned military officers” (Google Answers). These “high-risk” drivers, GEICO decided, were more apt to respond to marketing that played on the very idea of marketing it. In other words the campaigns stated, we are not your parents’ insurance company, we are not pandering to you.

This aspect of meta-marketing became even more pronounced when GEICO started running its “Caveman ads” in 2004 (GEICO.com). The original Caveman ad began as a standard, traditional (read: boring) ad wherein a middle-aged business executive was making a pitch to the camera about how easy GEICO insurance is to get and use. He then introduces the new (but fake) GEICO catchphrase, “So easy, a caveman could do it!” at which point a shout is heard off-camera. The camera pans around and we see that we are on the set of a commercial as it is being shot and the boom operator is, in fact, a caveman. The caveman is indignant, shouts, “Not cool!” and storms off the set.


Several more commercials play on this very same idea. A caveman on a business trip sees an ad in an airport that characterized cavemen as dumb. Another ad shows several sophisticated cavemen (one is using a laptop, another is playing a grand piano in the background) sitting around a posh and stark white apartment while the “commercial” from earlier plays on the television. “That is really condescending,” one of the cavemen says (Youtube: “Original Caveman ad”). This campaign goes on and on, each one playing on the idea that marketing is stupid and offensive. It forces the consumer to identify with the maligned segment of the population being portrayed in as dumb. It allows the consumer to feel disgusted by marketing. There is a complex system of symbols and associations being used here. To cautiously invalidate the argument that the cavemen could represent an African-American population being bombarded by blackface advertising, many of the ads show them involved in activities that are white-associated. One ad features a caveman using his metal detector on the beach while another shows a caveman competing in a professional tennis match opposite Billie Jean King. Interestingly, while enforcing the idea that the cavemen are not African-Americans, that ad also asserts that the tennis match has been rigged by GEICO so that the caveman can’t win.


So why create an ad campaign that vilifies your own company? GEICO was counting on the fact that its media-savvy target demographics would understand self-deprecating meta-marketing. It seems to have worked too, because by 2007 GEICO had increased its market share to 8 million policyholders and then, staggeringly, to 9 million by 2009 (GEICO.com). There is an element of this meta-marketing in most of GEICO’s hydra marketing campaigns, especially in its “Celebrity” campaign wherein a real person is paired with a celebrity. Each commercial opens by saying, Person X is, “a real GEICO customer, not a paid celebrity, so to help tell his story, we hired a celebrity".


In another interesting aspect of GEICO’s hydra-headed marketing, it has allowed for cross-pollination between its complex television ads and its simpler print and online advertising. The Gecko often appears in print ads, but the subversive meta-marketing aspect has been dropped. In a sense, GEICO has gone traditional with its print and online campaigns, so much so that it has entire campaigns which are traditionally niche marketed. In a NEWSWEEK magazine ad from June 2008 a GEICO ad features a black and white photo of a painted VW bus and the text: “Survive the ‘60s? You deserve special treatment” (NEWSWEEK June 16, 2008). The ad highlights the aspects of GEICO’s products and services that would be appealing to the aging Baby Boomer, while participating in a generic kind of nostalgia. Incidentally, the NEWSWEEK in question ran a cover story asking whether or not the already existing economic slowdown would constitute, “A New Kind of Recession”.

This is traditional niche marketing, so much so that everybody is doing it. An Allstate print ad in the next week’s issue of NEWSWEEK highlighted the fact that teens text while driving (NEWSWEEK June 23, 2008). Clearly this is an ad aimed at the same aging Baby Boomers. Allstate’s commitment to traditional forms of niche marketing becomes even more pronounced on the internet. There it runs mini banner-ads on the popular social networking site Facebook. Some of those ads even cater to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered community, a kind of niche marketing that we be virtually impossible on television (“Equality is Our Policy” ad). GEICO does not have to engage in this kind of so-specific-it-borders-on-pandering kind of niche marketing because its hydra has probably already gotten to them somewhere else.

This subtlety vs. blatancy, has been made even more apparent advertising that responds to recent changes in America’s economic landscape. GEICO did what Allstate could not, it allowed the separate heads of its hydra campaigns to support one another. A GEICO print ad in the October 12, 2009 NEWSWEEK, demonstrated this. The ad obtusely deals with the economic quasi-depression by featured both the Gecko and the name of still-very-rich businessman Warren Buffet. The text of the ad plays up the long-standing connection between Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and GEICO (Buffet first purchased GEICO stock in 1951 while still a student at Columbia and in 1996 GEICO became a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway [GEICO.com]). Here GEICO used its (originally subversive) Gecko campaign to cross-pollinate with its Baby Boomer-focused campaign.

That other giant of the insurance industry, Allstate also tried to adapt to the current economic situation, but, unable to cross-pollinate seriousness and whimsy (as GEICO had), it brought to the foreground several things that had been latent in its previous advertising. Allstate has long featured the African-American actor Dennis Haysbert. Haysbert has long been a much-respected character actor, but little more. He has a smooth and reassuring bass voice (similar to James Earl Jones, whose voice was deemed so trustworthy that he was long the voice of CNN.

It is entirely possible that Haysbert is the spokesperson for Allstate because he is tall and attractive and inspires confidence. Those are surely the same qualities that landed him the role of David Palmer on the television show “24”. During the show’s first season, Haysbert’s David Palmer played the first ever African-American to run for President of the United States. The character was a bastion of virtue and (in later seasons) was often shown wrestling with the immoral questions that come up when battling terrorism. In short, he became something of America’s preparation for Barak Obama. Haysbert himself told The Huffington Post, "If anything, my portrayal of David Palmer, I think, may have helped open the eyes of the American people," (The Huffington Post). So in a television ad that ran in January of 2009, Allstate responded to the economy by showing Haysbert wandering through something like a Great Depression museum while extolling, “It’s back to basics, and the basics are good. Protect them. Put them . . . in good hands”. Since Allstate couldn’t get the President of the United States to endorse them, they got the next best thing, the actor who (believes he) laid the mental and associative groundwork for President Obama.

While it is arguable that Allstate’s is an effective commercial, it forced them to sacrifice that one thing on which marketing campaigns depend: slight-of-hand. The advertising industry does not want consumers to understand how they are being played upon. The consumer finds it distasteful to know that their very emotions are being used against them. As a result, the inner-workings of marketing campaigns have to be obscured. Allstate was forced to pull back the curtain on their machinations and all but spell out, everything is fine, our Presidential stand-in says so.


GEICO did not need to expose themselves in this way because they had their plucky Gecko. If that hadn’t worked, they had an entire Hanna Barbera-esque cast to roll out, which they did anyway. One of the latest GEICO campaigns features a literal stack of money (with eyes), it is said to be the money that the consumer could be saving by switching to GEICO".


In a different time, this might have been too blatant of a gimmick, however, even this has been well-received by GEICO’s audience, which is, by now, essentially a fan-base. On the website examiner.com, Marsha Hill gushed, “The Geico money bundle has no gender or race. It just has eyes and the suggestion of a nose and mouth. One thing it does have is presence. It just sits there but that's all it has to do. It's effective, relevant, likable. There is no judgement (sic) in those eyes. They are not beady or threatening. They do not mock. There is no pride behind those eyes. They are completely honest!” (Examiner.com).

In reacting to the challenge of difficult economic times GEICO’s hydra has just grown new heads. On an open forum message board called Wordforge.com, dedicated to “collective intelligence”, a woman who identifies herself only as NOVA, gave the best explanation of (and only justification needed for) GEICO’s marketing hydra. She wrote, “I approve of the variety – if I had to see any one of them as often as I see all of them I would hate them with a passion”.
.
.
.
.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Workplace Haiku!

Back by popular demand (not really)!

Downloading reports
is a kind of vacation
because the work stops.

Go little download!
Transfer your bytes like the wind!
All your info, mine!

Inside new files:
Black forests of numbers,
raw and unfriendly.

The bits of data
so small they dip way below
two decimals.

It makes you wonder
how these people get so rich
by splitting pennies.

Other people, they
wait tables or stock long shelves,
but I add fractions.

Math has been the thing
which pays my rent and my bills
but shit, math is boring.

.
.
.
.
.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Commercials Sell Things To People.

So have you been fascinated with commercials since you started taking that Pop Culture class this semester? Me too! That is so weird.

These are a couple of my favorites so far. And I’m using “favorite” as an aesthetic preference, it is not a semiotic value judgment or anything (those are words I learned in class, I have no idea what they mean).



Look at all these cool pictures!

Here is some of the supremely awesome work that Violet has been doing lately.










Check out her website.

Isn’t it time to get your headshots re-done? (Yeah, it really is. You don’t even look like that anymore.)
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

My Unfortunate Proclivity for Poetry.

So today at work I took a few minutes on my break to dash off some workplace haiku.

Please enjoy!

Looking at Excel
all day makes my eyes catch fire.
I should take a break.

How was my workday?
Numbers, oh numbers
Were bothering me.

Am I cheating at
haiku if my words are not
multisyllabic?

.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Cheaper to mail than shingles!

Check out these little flakes of awesome-ness!

These are wooden postcards from the coolest restaurant supply store in New York, Fishs Eddy!



Here is their site in case you need some orange juice glasses or anything.

(Thanks Dana for sending this to me)

.
.
.
.
.

Monday, October 12, 2009

All Apologies, Dear Blog.

Oh my poor blog, I miss you. I really do. I have just been so busy! I know that’s not a good excuse, but it is at least honest. I have just been working so much! And going to school! And there has been so much else! Life has gotten busier and I didn’t think that was possible.

So I am still working everyday, pushing around large quantities of other people’s numbers.

And then I leave work at two to go to school!

This semester I am taking the college’s literary journal class, and I am senior editor so I have been spending quite a lot of time making that happen. For the longest time I thought that you, dear blog, were basically my secret girlfriend. It was you that I was thinking about during those few and fleeting private moments, but now it is this journal. I think about fonts and kerning much more than is healthy. I think about the feeling of every piece of paper I come across. I am on an endless bender of tactile gratification.

In addition to all of that, I am still going through this process of filling out paperwork for schools. I really think that this grad school application process will never end. I think what they are really evaluating us on is out ability to do endless amounts of paperwork.

And the worst part, dear blog! The worst part is that I am barely writing at all. It is awful. I knew that was going to happen this semester, but I can still be unhappy about it. And I am unhappy about it.

And what’s even worse than that? Oh, I will tell you. I have aged. I had a birthday, but not just any birthday. It was that awful, fearful, horrid number. The number so bad that I dare not type its name. It has a three in it. That is all I will say. So get used to hearing me complain, so much more about how old I am and how undignified it is to be this old. You think I had a complex before? Well just wait, we will swiftly be moving on to a whole new level of psychosis. It’s gonna be great.


But more on that some other time. What I will do now is make you this promise, dear blog, I will return to you soon and we will spend time together. Real and quality time. We will talk more about all the things that are wrong in the world (like Republicans) and I will tell you about all the things I am learning in school and about the world.

The future holds concerts and stories and arguments about fonts!

I may be indefensibly old, but I am still looking forward to all the life that’s left.

I miss you dear blog, but I we will see each other again soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Only in America . . .

Yes folks, we are running out of bullets. Read all about it!

It would be funny if it wasn't for the fact that we all know exactly what kind of people are stocking up on bullets. Its not people who are happy and get laid a lot and sitting around listening to “Give Peace a Chance”. No, these are the jackasses who fetishize their guns and pretend that an eagerness to play with them is somehow connected to their patriotism.

Happily though, this does make me think of that Chris Rock bit where he advocates “Bullet Control”. Ah, what the hell! Here is the bit so you can watch it yourself.

Enjoy!



Saturday, September 12, 2009

Should Have Called Those Shoes "Air Douche Bags"

Wow, apparently Michael Jordan is a jerk.

Normally I wouldn’t bother you with sports, mostly because I know so little about it (also, I don’t actually care), however I came across this article about the speech that Jordan gave recently when he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. So it turns out that Michael Jordon, the man that inspired a million shoes, is basically just an arrogant prick.

Now this may be old news to people who watch sports, but Michael Jordan has spent more time on my TV whoring for Hanes than he has as a basketball player, so I don’t really know.

Essentially he spent most of his speech in this vicious spiral of arrogance and anger. He called out his high school basketball coach who didn’t bump him up to Varsity as a sophomore, saying, “I wanted to make sure you understood: You made a mistake, dude.”

What the fuck is that about? Who does that?

Hey Michael Jordon, you are rich and famous because you are really good at putting a ball in basket. Oh, yeah! And you are also good at bouncing it up an down. Rock on asshole, that is quite an accomplishment!

Anyway, I just wanted to warn all of you, apparently this guy sucks at being a person.

Here is the article.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Like Money You Can Eat!

So remember that time when we were robbing that bank vault that unexpectedly turned out to be filled with cheese? And as we were filling our big canvas bags up with Gouda and Munster and Edam and Provolone and Mozzarella and Brie and Balaton you asked, “Hey, why do you think that this bank vault is filled with cheese?”

And I, my mouth stuffed with a Havarti, replied, “I have no fucking clue.”

Well, friend, after all of these years, I have finally found the answer.
Here it is!

Basically, some banks in Italy have started accepting wheels of Parmesan cheese as collateral against loans. It is an effort to keep the credit markets functioning. They are also considering accepting wine and Prosciutto.

No . . . that’s not a funny. They are actually considering that.

Oh, and if you would like to see an alphabetized list of cheeses, well then today is your lucky day isn't it!
.
.
.
.
.
.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Joe Wilson is so over.

So during The President’s speech, a distinguished Congressman from South Carolina screamed “YOU LIE!” at Obama. Yeah, it was extremely classy. That man was Joe Wilson. He will be running for reelection very soon. He is running against a Democrat named Rob Miller. Rob Miller has a website where people can donate money to his campaign. This afternoon he had about $3,000 in donations. As of right now (10.28pm) he has more than $65,000.

God bless America.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Obama Rocks the (Bicameral) House.

So I was in class during the President’s speech on healthcare to a joint session of Congress. My rockstar girlfriend however, was awesome enough provide me with real-time text message coverage of the speech. Below is her top-notch reportage.

5.26pm Obama is not laying the smack down yet.

5.28pm Wait! He just did.

5.29pm He basically just told everyone to stop fighting, this is what we were elected to do and we’re going to do it.

5.30pm He’s laying it out now. Hold on.

5.33pm Insurance companies have to cover routine check-ups including mammograms, etc.

5.34pm Now it gets vague. Sounds a little like the co-op plan. Groups insure affordability. Tax credits for insurance, based on need.

5.37pm This will take effect fully in four years.

5.40pm In the meantime for people who have pre-existing conditions and can’t get coverage, he will make affordable coverage of some kind available immediately.

5.40pm And now a little shout out to McCain bcuz it was his idea.

5.43pm Hardship waivers if you still can’t afford it. Companies that can’t afford it are also eligible for waivers. All people are required to have insurance, a la car insurance.

5.45pm Now addressing key controversy: death panels are some bullshit. “It’s a lie, plain and simple.”

5.45pm HAHAHA The Republicans just sat there and pouted while everyone else stood and applauded.

5.47pm Illegal immigrants: lots of shouting in the room now. They will not be covered. OH SHIT! Someone yelled at him.

5.47pm Abortion: no federal money used.

5.58pm Public Option: consumers do better when there is a choice.

5.50pm He doesn’t want to take over insurance, he just wants them to be accountable. We are making a not-for-profit option available in an insurance exchange.

5.52pm Only an option for those without insurance, no one is forced to choose it, and it doesn’t affect anyone who already has insurance.

5.52pm The Public Option is self-sufficient and does not rely on taxpayers.

5.54pm Its only one part of the plan, everyone needs to shut the fuck up (I’m paraphrasing).

5.54pm He said the Republicans should shut up about it and we will address any “legitimate concerns.”

5.56pm “I will not back down on the basic principle that if you cannot afford insurance we will provide you with a choice.”

5.56pm How we pay for this: he will not sign a plan that adds one dime to the deficit now of in the future.

5.57pm Then he repeated it. There will be a provision that requires more spending cuts if the savings don’t materialize.

5.58pm Oh my god, the Republicans are so pissed!

5.59 Most of the plan can be paid for by fixing current waste in the healthcare system.

5.59pm None of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for the plan.

6.02pm Medicare will not be privatized or turned into a voucher program.

6.06pm Estimated cost: $900 billion over ten years. Less than Iraq war, less than the tax cuts for the wealthy passed by the previous administration.

6.07pm Most of it paid for by existing waster money, no taxes raised. If we slow the growth of healthcare cost by one tenth of one percent it will reduce the deficit.

6.09pm He says his door “is always open.” We should go visit!

6.09pm “I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it is better politics to kill this plan than to improve it.”

6.11pm “If you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out. I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now.”

6.11pm Now a Ted Kennedy moment. He wrote a letter to Obama, to be delivered upon his death. That’s creepy, right?

6.17pm The President is sticking the landing now

6.19pm The Republicans are still pouting.

6.19pm The end!



Personally I think that you should copy and paste this and send it to all of your friends and loved ones who didn’t watch the speech.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Knock knock . . .

So here is a super fantastic joke that I came up with last night in bed. I didn’t have a pen in my nightstand, so I actually emailed it to myself from my phone, just so that I wouldn’t forget it.

The Joke:
How many pragmatists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
The Answer:
One, screwing in a light bulb is not that hard.
HA!

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Friday, September 4, 2009

These People Should Die.

I'm sorry, I don't usually call people ruthless fucking worthless cocksucking bastards, but these people are.

Here they are accusing The President of "brainwashing" school kids by - get this - talking to them.

These people are awful.

Sorry if this post is rude. Sometimes rude is called for.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Who Will Care For Muffy?

SO I know that you are always wondering, “When the Rapture happens and I go off to Heaven for all of eternity, what will happen to my beloved family pet, who, sadly, has no soul?”

Well here is the answer:Eternally Earth-Bount Pets

For a nominal fee, these animal-loving, committed atheists (who obviously won’t be taken off to Heaven) will come pick up your pet and take care of it since you have shuffled of this mortal coil.

Funny? Yes.
Brilliant? Yes.

Even Jesus is laughing about this.
.
.
.
.
.
Thanks Paul for finding this!
.
.
.
.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Put it in your pipe and smoke it!

So I heard this in my Pop Culture class:

The guy that started Starbucks called it Starbucks because he liked the novel Moby Dick, which he had read in college, and in the novel Moby Dick, there is a character named Starbuck who is always drinking coffee.

So the name “Starbucks” is a cutesy literary allusion.

Except, it turn out, that the character Starbuck is, in fact, not always drinking coffee, he is actually always smoking a pipe. The guy who named Starbucks has remembered this fact incorrectly and so the largest and fanciest and, dare I say, important coffee chain in the world is actually named for an incorrect literary allusion.

And I think that something about that is just perfect. It is sort of the perfect metaphor for the basically insincere imitation of beatnik coffeehouse culture that Starbucks has made a multitude of fortunes co-opting.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good Starbucks as much as the next guy and, for my money, you can’t find a better white mocha anyplace, but I have no illusions about it.

Anyway, I just thought that was funny in the way that only real life can be.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Why is that in your ear?

So at work I mind my Ps & Qs but this guy was wearing his blue-tooth headset around in the office and it just bothered the fuck out of me at that moment and so I dove at one of my hot pink post-it notes and jotted “…is there some as-yet-undiscovered medical or glandular phenomenon whereby the pleasure centers of your lizaed brain are stimulated into an orgiastic frenzy of self-delusional rapture when you plug one of those things into your head? Does it tickle your brain into a fit of self-important, narcissistic fantasy where women want you and men want to be you? Is it no longer enough to wear your phone in a holster on your belt like you’re Gary Cooper or a Jedi with an MBA? We all know how unimportant you are, precisely because you’re wearing the fact next to your face. Important people don’t wait for the call. You, sir, have made your life about the wait for the call and we are all a little sadder today because we had to see you do it.”

This must be why employers seem to dislike hearing that employees have blogs.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

R.I.P. Ted Kennedy.

Man, talk about a bad month for the Kennedies.

And for the rest of us. It is rare that there are any effective bulldogs on the liberal side of the fence.

Here is a story about his life and his death.
.
.
.
.
.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh good, you brought your gun.

So here we go again.

Below is the link for an article concerning the proliferation of guns at recent political rallies, including one in Arizona where a man protesting at a Presidential event was carrying an AR-15, which is basically the same thing that foot-soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan carry. Due to Arizona’s gun laws, the man had every right to prance around outside with a semi-automatic rifle.

The guy was quoted talking about his right to do that. Well, I support is right to prance.

The thing that is upsetting is that, yes, this guy has a right to do that, but he is not required to do that. There isn’t even any logical reason to do that. You and I both know that when these people show up with guns, it is because they want to look intimidating. They think that they are bad-ass patriots. They are trying to scare people.

How is that okay?

That, by the way, is how terrorism works.

If young gun-toting ACLU-members hade been parading outside of the Bush rally, how long do you think that would have lasted? Do you think that they would have been branded terrorists and disappeared from the worlds?

Sorry, I hate to sound like some conspiracy theorists.

Anyway, in the places where this is happening, these people have every right to carry these guns around. Fine. However, they have no reason to carry them around and it doesn’t help. It doesn’t make anything better, it just makes the situation worse.

So, yes, they have a right, but don’t they also have a civic responsibility to not act this way? I still like to think that in America we have an obligation to each other. Not a single great thing that this country has done has been done by a single person. This is a nation that owes its very existence to teamwork and the forging of a community. I think that we are all the caretakers of that community, and these people are failing to hold up their end of the bargain.

Here is the link.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pictures of Places.

Violet has up some of the pictures from our trip to Boston and greater New England.

Here is a very long exposure of nighttime Boston as seen from our hotel near the Commons.



Here is a shot from inside the actually awe-some Trinity Church. This is actually a must-see-before-you-die kind of place. I was amazed by it, and I have been to Big Ben (boring!) and The Empire State Building (boring!) and the St. Louis Arch (boring!) and the Eiffel Tower in Paris (snore!) and the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas (kind of awesome actually) and I have seen the world’s largest banjo and the world’s largest free-standing Taco Bell. My point is, if you have the chance, visit this place.



And below is a photo of your humble author, doing some small bit of writing in the Boston Public Library.



Check out these and more on Violet's Flickr.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Our Republican Congressman

Violet is in the other room screaming at a live webcast being given by our Congressman Buck McKeon who is, by all accounts so far, stupid.

Hey Buck McKeon, why don’t you go get Cancer and not have health insurance and then try being a Republican?
.
.
.
.
.

A New Song!

So Violet just suggested another song for my band’s next album:

You’re an Emotional Terrorist!

Wait, I just realized that that kind of makes it sound like I am accusing someone of being a terrorist with a lot of emotions. How about:

You’re a Terrorist of Emotions!

That doesn’t have quite the same zing to it, does it?

Well, maybe we will just have to put both songs on the album.
.
.
.
.
.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm Not Fat, I'm Awesome.

Here is a New York Times article that makes me feel a little more okay about all the weight I have put on over the past year.

Apparently the NY hipster crowd is packing on the pounds now too.

I have always said that I am a trend-setter (Malcolm Gladwell would call me a Maven)!

More to act superior about.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mean and Awesome!

I totally forgot about this! When Val and I were in Boston, we got a bite to eat at this little cafĂ© place on Charles Street in Beacon Hill and I picked up a copy of Boston’s free glossy magazine, The Improper Bostonian.

They have this movie critic working for them named Sean Burns and man is that guy a pretentious asshole! But in a good way!

First he did not really like much of anything, except for Hurt Locker (and even that, he was quick to point out, gets muddled in the second half). He even shrugged off 500 Days of Summer, which I disagree with (he made some good points and gave voice to a lot of the small complaints that curmudgeons like me have, but he missed the big picture, which is that it is a great movie).

However, he saved a special place in his tiny black heart for Transformers. His review spewed bile all over the movie, but I wrote down my favorite part of the review:

“… (Transformers is) nothing but the pulverizing fetishization of militaristic alpha-male privilege …”
Ouch.

Now I enjoyed the first movie, but I enjoyed it partly because it was crap. I have not seen the second one, but I bet it was just as craptacular!


*** I couldn’t find the review on their website, but the review was in The Improper Bostonian in the July 29-August 11 2009 issue on page 53 ******
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

32 Stories of Loneliness.

This is funny! Here is an article about this family in Florida. They are – completely by accident - the only people who live in a 32-story building.

So alone.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What Shitty News.

So here is a scary article. The ATF and The Southern Poverty Law Center are both saying that home-grown American militias are resurging.

Apparently these people are all stirred up because the economy is bad, Obama is black, because they are largely uneducated, but also because there is a rumor going around that Mexico is secretly trying to re-take the Southwestern United States by sending illegal immigrants in. Yeah. That’s how stupid these people are!

And this is a day after some lunatic man wore his handgun to an anti-healthcare protest in New Hampshire. That was totally legal, by the way, because of New Hampshire’s gun laws. Yeah. Sure. Why would that be illegal? It is not as though it was an blatant attempt to intimidate. Good job jack-ass! Good going introducing a gun into a situation that is already getting out of control.

That guy’s name is William Kostric.

William Kostric, on the off-chance that you are a reader of this blog, I would like you to go away. Just leave. Just get yourself in a red-white-and-blue canoe and paddle off into the ocean or something. Everyone will be better off.

Anyway, here is the militia article, thank god these guy's aren't well-organized (that's a Second Amendment joke!): Militias.

Here is an article about William Kostric: Idiot.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Empiricism. Dumb People. Health Insurance.

Oh! One more thing. This morning CNN was showing live footage from one of these town hall meetings that Senators and Congressmen have been enduring as of late, and as you might have guessed, there were a bunch of the anti-healthcare crazies there. It did not (or has not yet anyway) degenerated into a middle-aged-bald-pot-bellied-white-man riot, but I think t has some potential.

Seriously, these people are acting like idiots.

One guy wants a rule that requires all Federal legislation to be written at a junior-high school reading level. And he was angry! He was angry that it wasn’t already being dumbed-down for him!

Man, I say give these fuckers their own country. They will never be able to built a nuclear bomb or a helicopter or a sewage treatment plant. They will die off in a couple generations, victims of their own stupidity.

And just to be clear, I am not wishing death upon them. I am not trying to deport them. I’m just saying, they are dumb.

And I don’t consider this to be me asserting my superiority. I think that really anyone who watched these people would have to agree that they are dumb. In this case, dumb is an empirical measurement.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Sleep is Good.

So after writing that big long thing last night, I ended up falling asleep. I slept until Violet made me go get in bed. That must have been around ten or eleven.

At one point I thought I was dreaming about Jon & Kate Plus 8, but later Violet eased my pain and explained that it had been on the TV while I was sleeping.

So after like twelve hours of sleeping, has anything changed? You know what? I do feel a bit better. I’m not so worn out.

Well, perhaps I will still have some energy left after work today.

It is so easy to come home from work and sit on the couch and be all like, “Done!”

Anyway, I have to finish getting ready for work.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Life Is So Hard!

So I have been having the worst time lately. Maybe it is because I am getting old, but lately I have really been wanting to write, but it just hasn’t been happening. So I have been doing that which is very unlike me and I have been opening myself up to take advice from the world. I used the google-machine and found a couple of blogs about writing and I read them a little. One said that the best way to overcome writer’s block is to buy a brand new, totally blank notebook. Well I have done that. Another said that the key to writing is to sit down every day and write something. This is Flannery O’Connor’s thing about, “ I sit down at my typewriter everyday so that if inspiration comes, I am there to receive it”. Well, here I am, at my keyboard waiting for a signal.

Honestly, I have never liked the term “writer’s block”. It seems like one of those fancy-pants mental conditions that can be cured with aromatherapy. Yet, here I am. All blocked up. And I don’t expect you to feel sorry for me or anything, “Oh, poor dear, your life is so hard!”

I own precisely one book on writing (I have generally avoided buying such things because they always struck me as kind of lame, ego-centric navel-gazing) and I pulled it off the shelf recently and I flipped through it and it said (and every other book on writing says) to have your own little fortified space. A place just for writing. Like your own little secret garden. Well, I usually write at the dining room table (and I have done some good work there) but I went and cleaned up our spare bedroom (Violet and I have a two bedroom place because she scored us an amazing deal on Craig’slist a year and change ago – it’s not because of all the money I make at the coal mine) and I moved my crappy desk into a better writing spot with better light and a more prominent place in the room. I staged it so that if some stranger peeked in they would be all like, “Oh, this must be someone’s writing area, what with the prominently places desk and all the bulletin boards.”

Anyway, immediately after I moved the room around, Violet and I went on our trip and so this is really the first chance that I have had to sit at he desk and try to blow the dust out of the creative parts of my brain.

As you can tell, it is not going well so far.

I even bought a little plastic cartoonish Virgin of Guadalupe and put her and the bookshelf behind me, yet still, no dice.

One of my biggest problems, I think, is that I tend to have a lot of things going all at once and so whenever I feel blocked, it makes me feel guilty, because I have no excuse, because I have so much to be doing.

But, if I can be honest with you, I think that my biggest problem (and this is as a person, as well as a writer) is that I am constantly stressed out by the fact that time is passing. I have no illusions about the fact that I am pushing 30 and not published. I have now spent more than half of my life smashing words together like physicists do with particles, hoping that something meaningful comes out of it, and I am still not a real writer.

This is when Violet always tells me that I have been published like sixe time sin the last year and that I have had plays performed and scripts produced, and then I make some irrational argument about how I don’t have a published novel. Then she gets frustrated and tells me to go finish the one I have been working on and then I start to feel guilty again because I should be.

So now that I’m sitting here, at my writing desk in my writing room, why don’t I just do that?

I don’t know. And this is going to sound like a cop out, but I just don’t feel like I have the words in me right now. I feel tired and fat and old. I don’t have the zest and zeal that it takes to write well. I know what it feels like when the writing is in my body, and I just don’t feel like that right now.

It is quite sad. It feels like being abandoned by your lover.

So anyway, I will continue to sit here for awhile and type things and erase them. If I sit here and don’t get anything written, is that better or worse than not sitting down here at all?

Oh, and I’m not trying to feel all sorry for myself and all whiny. I’m just feeling a smidge out of sorts. Though I see now that I have writer 800+ words since I sat down, though of what quality I can’t say.

Anyway. I think I’m just rambling now.

Sorry.
.
.
.
.
.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Band's Next Album.

So I have no band. I don’t play an instrument. In fact, I am uniquely un-gifted in the realm of music. I enjoy music, but I do not understand it.

Nevertheless, I have a rich inner-life and I often conceive of song ideas and the names of songs. I find fodder for these songs everywhere. Often these titles derive from a couple of oddly matched words in a magazine article (the August 3rd 2009 NEWSWEEK was a particularly juicy read this month) or a really good street sign, or prominent words that sizzle out of competing conversations in a restaurant.

Anyway, here are some of the only recently-conceived songs that will be appearing on my band’s next album:

Polish Poster School
Disappearing Rabbit
Somali Gunboat
The Honeybees of Paris
Sasquatch Picnic
Vanishing Snowshore
Stickiness Machine
The Accidental Parachutist
His Poodle Carino
Horton Hears Some Hubris
Concrete Honey
The Ducting Effect
The Ultra-Sonic Bowel Spasm Device
Bovine Fascination
Amateur Taxonomist
My Radar-Activated Hail Gun
Joy is a Well-Made Object
World Seed Bank
Sweat ‘cause it’s Hot
Alexander Stchukin, the Peanut Specialist



Me and my band, we are cool like The Who, only cooler.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Should Have Thought Of This Movie.


.
.
.
.
.

Fight Global Warming With Prayer!

This is from Reuters:

ZURICH (Reuters) - After centuries of praying for a local glacier to stop growing, Swiss villagers are now seeking an audience with Pope Benedict to get his blessing for prayers against the global warming that is causing it to recede.

In 1678, the inhabitants of the Alpine villages of Fieschertal and Fiesch made a formal vow to live virtuously and to pray against the growth of the Aletsch glacier, Europe's longest, which had caused a lake to flood into their homes.

To reinforce their prayers, they started holding an annual procession in 1862, when the glacier reached its longest during the mini-Ice Age Europe suffered in the mid-19th century.

But the villages now want to seek permission from Pope Benedict to change their vow as the glacier is melting fast due to climate change and have requested an audience with him.

"The residents of Fiesch and Fischertal hope that this will happen in September or October and are optimistic that the Holy Father will decide in their favor as he has repeatedly spoken out about climate change," they said in a statement.

Switzerland's glaciers shrank by 12 percent over the past decade, melting at their fastest rate due to rising temperatures and lighter snowfalls, a recent study showed.

Glaciers are a key source of water for hydro-electric plants in Switzerland as well as an important tourist attraction.

Researchers are predicting that the temperatures in the Swiss Alps will rise by 1.8 degrees Celsius in winter and by 2.7 degrees Celsius in the summer by 2050.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Jon Boyle)




Click here for the link.

These People Must Be Stopped.

These people would like to put logos on the moon.

Someone should probably consider telling them that that is kind of an awful idea.

Here is their website.




.
.
.
.
.

Rachel Maddow = Awesome.

If you have about ten minutes, Rachel Maddow will explian how the entire anti-health care movement is fake and how these awful human beings (see the post below) are liars.


.
.
.
.
.

Republicans: Liars or Just Stupid?

I hate these people. Below is a link to an article quoteing Sarah Palin. She describes the President's healthcare plan as "evil". She also invokes the completely bullshit term "death panel".

These people are absolutely shameless. I hate them.

Palin on healthcare.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Three things about me you couldn’t possibly know:

Three things about me you couldn’t possibly have known:

I’m getting a blister on my foot.

I had a really good glass of sangria with dinner.

I love subways. They are one of my favorite things.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Ferrari Snow Day.

Stephen Colbert was just talking about the song “Birthday Sex” and he said that all you need to ensure a hit song is a title that combines two things we already like.

He suggested: Ferrari Snow Day.

I think that that's funny.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Stuff in Boston, like Giant Freaky Baby Heads.

So Violet and I are in spending a week bumming around New England and today was our only full day in Boston. I love Boston.

We slept through the rain this morning and then got up and went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It is one of those museums that is basically just some dead rich person’s house. I love these kinds of places. It is apparently okay to be a horder as long as you horde Greek statuary.

Anyway, it was a wonderful and beautiful museum. Here is their website:gardnermuseum.org

One of the cool things about the museum is that it was built to look like a Venetian palazzo, so it has this tall and beautiful courtyard in the center. You’re not allowed to take pictures inside the museum, but Violet snuck this one on her camera phone (which she was supposed to have turned off, she's so bad):



One of the other interesting things about it, in 1990 thieves stole several paintings and sketches, including Rembrandt’s The Sea of Galilee. Well they still have the picture frames hanging on the walls, empty. In the spot where four Degas sketches were hanging, the nails are still there, waiting patiently. That's pretty cool.

This is The Sea of Galilee, if you see it, email that website I just posted!
If you show up with it on Antique Roadshow the FBI will be all over you.

The museum is down in an area of Boston called the Fenway, it is kinda pretty - Northeastern University is down there - and we wandered through the Kelleher Rose Garden (there are more kinds or roses in the world than are dreamt of in all of your philosophy) and then we stumbled across the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and while it might be a world class museum, it has creepy, giant baby heads in front of it! Here is a picture of one:


Freakish, right?

So then we went up to Trinity Church, which is just amazing. It really is something that you should see. A hundred years ago (or so the literature says) it was considered one of the ten most (architecturally) important buildings in America. It was still on the list ten years ago too. It is one of those places where that pictures can’t do justice to. Like this one:


It was too dark inside. Sorry about that. Here is a picture of the outside:


Then we walked around the Boston Public Library, which is a lot like the New York Public Library, but smaller (you could say this about Boston itself too).

Then we went on over to Harvard, it looks like Hogwarts, but with more brick. A lot more brick.

Then over to a fun and fancy part of Boston called the North End, it is the kind of place with a million Italian restaurants and dessert places with lines out onto the sidewalk.

Then back to the hotel (which I got on Hotwire for an outrageously awesome price).

Tomorrow we will ride the train down to Brown to bum around. Pray for good weather.
.
.
.
.
.
.

William Shatner Reads Palin's Speech.

So you have probably seen this by now, but here is William Shatner reading Sarah Palin's (nonsensical) resignation speech in the style of beat poetry.

It totally makes sense now!

I saw this the other night while I was on a JetBlue flight to Boston. It came on while we were at 36,000 feet up, southwest of Colorado Springs, CO.

(I had to repost the video because YouTube removed it because NBC blows).


.
.
.
.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Things Disappearing . . .

Here is an interesting article from Yahoo about things that are disappearing because they are being phased out by, you know, technology.

Disappearing things.

It will totally make you feel old.


Oh yeah . . .

P.S.
I'm not a Star Wars dork or anything, but I am still totally upset about number 81.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Kind of Mood I'm In ...

I'm in a Grosse Pointe Blank kind of mood.

I want so say, “I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How have you been?”

Sadly, I do not own this movie.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

BLOW-Y STUFF UP FANCY SUPER AWESOME JETS GO ZOOM! AWESOME!

This post is for my Mom, who asked.

This is the F-22




This is the F-35



They basically do the same thing, they are more stealthy than either of the Stealths and both of them can shoot down other planes (from over the horizon) and blow up things on the ground.

The top one costs about $350 million each.

The bottom one costs about $135 million each (and it is more versatile and adaptable).

The top one was has parts built in 40 different states (so that it would be cancel-proof) while the bottom one does not. The big difference is that the F-22 has always been one of those super fancy military projects and the F-35 has quietly been developed to actually fulfill practical needs.

And why do we need either one? Some people will say we don’t because we are never going to have to dog-fight the Soviet air force, and they are right, but while it is really expensive to have an air force, it is not really that expensive to get a good radar and some missiles. Basically all American military strategy relies on the given that we will be able to establish air superiority, planes like these are how that is done.

And anyway, as far as I'm concerned, the F-35 is way cuter!
.
.
.
.
.
.

Obama: Enjoys Wearing Pants.

The funniest thing I have read on the internet in just about forever:

". . . marks the first time a sitting U.S. president apologized for not wearing tighter denim . . .”

Here is the article on Yahoo about the President's pants.

Thank god for that man. And for his ability to put up with the fact that he is governing an unruly nation mostly full of idiots.
.
.
.
.

Etiquette and the Instant Age.

So this girl I have known since grammar school recently Facebooked me, which is cool, but she has now recommended that I friend my seventh grade teacher Mrs. N.

Now, I loved Mrs. N. and I still do. She was a great and wonderful teacher and she should really be commended for the things that she did and tried to do: she had us sit at tables instead of at desks (to foster a sense of community, I think) and she made us actually read books and she showed us movies like Casablanca, she directed West Side Story (for a lot of the kids I grew up with in the dusty farming country of California, this was the only exposure that they would have to things like old movies or musicals or poetry). So all around, she was just a wonderful teacher and sometime when I was in high school she moved away and I figure that I would never see her or hear from her again.

But now, what with Facebook all connecting people, it would be like three clicks to locate her and be all like, “Remember me? And stuff?”

But then, every time I want to post a Facebook update that’s all, “I fucking hate everyone who has ever existed!” (I don’t. Or rather, I usually don’t), then I will have to be all like, “Hmmmmmm, how will Mrs. N. feel about this?”

Anyway, what is the etiquette?

I think the Facebook/Twitter/instant-feedback world is deeply in need of a new Miss Manners.
.
.
.
.
.

Cover Your Peephole!

Here is a very scary story about a female sports reporter named Erin Andrews who I have never heard of.

The Scary!

Basically someone filmed her in a hotel room through her peephole! You can do that! I’m totally freaked out now!
.
.
.
.
.
.

Blogger's Guilt.

Oh hello poor, sad, lonely, neglected blog. How I have missed you.

I have been really busy the past couple of weeks, though I can’t really tell you why. I think work has just been burning me out lately, so I get home and just collapse into a lump on the sofa. I have actually been falling asleep lately. I’m so old. It is actually sad.

Anyway, I will try to do better by you poor blog!

Is there a name for what I’m feeling? Blogger’s Guilt? Which is totally different than Blogger’s Remorse, which is when you really regret having posted something (sure, you can take it down, but it was still floating around out there for awhile).

Anyway, I miss you blog. I will return again soon.

.
.
.
.
.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Massachusetts: Legal-Genius-Land

So Massachusetts is suing the federal government over gay marriage. This is the smartest thing I have ever heard! The State of Massachusetts is making the case that the Defense of Marriage Act (which is the federal law that bans same-sex marriage) violates the right of the state to define marriage however it wants.

Since the Constitution says that powers not expressly given to the Federal government fall to the states, I think that this might just work.

I am just so very impressed by you Massachusetts. Good work and good thinking.

So once this is done we will just have to fix this whole thing state by state. I think that can be done. Eventually.

Anyway, here is an article about it from CNN.com.

I can’t wait to see what all the bullshit “small government” Republicans say about this.
.
.
.
.
.

Some Phunny Fobias.

Verbophobia Fear of words.

Venustraphobia Fear of beautiful women.

Theophobia Fear of gods or religion.

Sesquipedalophobia Fear of long words.

Pogonophobia Fear of beards.

Ophthalmophobia Fear of being stared at.

Macrophobia Fear of long waits.

Heliophobia Fear of the sun.

Dendrophobia Fear of trees.

Bibliophobia Fear of books.

Apeirophobia Fear of infinity.

Allodoxaphobia Fear of opinions.

Check out these and more at phobiaguide.com.

Does the "T" in t-shirt stand for AWESOME!







I wish I had the money to blow on these awesome t-shirts.

YOU should go buy one of these awesome t-shirts! Right now!

behance.net
.
.
.
.
.

Heavy Weather.

So I was just watching the national weather report on CNN and the guy indicated the upper Mid-West and said that there is a "slight chance of severe storms" and I thought that was odd for a whole lot of reasons.

First, it is kind of non-comm ital in a bait-and-switch kind of way. It is as if to say, "Well, there won't be any storms, but if there are storms ... shit, you had better get out of the way!"

Also, is there no middle ground with this weather man? It has to be all or nothing? Why not a good chance of light storms? Those nice kind of storms that make you want to sit on the porch with a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa? Well we just can't have that! No! it must be severe storms, or nothing!

Finally, it would just ruin my day if someone was all, "Yeah, there is a slight chance that we are going to have these terrible storms later today," I would end up looking over my shoulder all day, just waiting for them. The sense of dread would ruin my whole day because I would just KNOW that as soon as I stopped lokking for the severe storms, that's when they would pounce and ruin my day.

Man, weather is stressful.
.
.
.
.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

DRAW! STRING! DRAWSTRING!

Check this shit out!

It is some sort of 3-D line drawing spinning thing! It is really cool!

String Spin.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Walking Robot Prevents Me From Sleeping.

Freakiest thing ever! Have you guys seen this thing? Boston Dynamics built this nightmare creation machine ... wait ... what? Oh. Apparently this is not a nightmare creation machine, it is some sort of walking robot. Maybe they are planning to replace horses as our primary means of transportation ... wait ... what? Oh. Apparently horses are no longer our primary means of transportation.

Well anyway, they built this thing and it is creeping me out.

The Proliferation of Suck.

That awful Heidi Collins woman on CNN Newroom just described nuclear proliferation as “a very serious topic.”

Really? Really Heidi, is it?

I am so thankful that you get paid a salary to be on television and to school me on such serious topics.

I really need to find something else to watch in the mornings.
.
.
.
.
.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Teenage Vampire Steampunk (Lesbian) Love-Triangle

So I have had that one idea that I will make my fortune off of. The idea is so great that I am not only going to write the book, but also play on the album and write the movie. The idea is this:

Teenage Vampire Steampunk Love-Triangle.

“How awesome is that?” I ask.

“Very,” you answer.

Violet even suggested ramping it up and going with:

Teenage Vampire Steampunk Lesbian Love-Triangle.

And maybe that is even better!

Anyway, this is my idea, you can not have it. Sorry.

Man, I am going to be so rich.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wow.

Holy hell! Look at this!

I know that this picture is probably not real, but wow, right?




I found the picture using stumbleupon.com and I wish I could give somebody credit for it, I think it belongs to this website: leprosorium.com
.
.
.
.

Virtual Robbery = Real Money.

Okay, so figure this shit out. Some Australian guy who ran the virtual bank for some online role-playing-game stole a bunch of virtual money from said virtual bank and somehow managed to cash it in for real money so he could pay some bills.

I don’t even understand this. And I don’t quite know how to feel about it. Is it funny? Lame? Ingenious?

The article is on BBC’s website, so it is probably not – you know – a made-up lie.

Billions stolen in online robbery.
.
.
.
.
.

Sarah Palin 2012!

.

So I know I’m a couple of days behind here, but Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska, apparently because having that job was interfering with being a celebrity.

She seems to be doing that thing where she thinks she’s being coy but in reality she is just being obnoxious and lame. She is not talking about her plans, but she is spending all day talking around her plans.

Well all I can say is pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease let her be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012! PLEASE!

Any smart Republican knows that they have no chance of defeating Obama in 2012 (unless he does something really stupid, like eat a child on television) but they can’t just not run anybody. They can’t just throw their arms up in the air and be all, “Well fuck.”

And I find it hard to believe that there are any serious, grown-up Republicans who believe that Sarah Palin is a real candidate or that she even possesses the intellect to do the job.

So …

Since sacrificial lambs are hard to come by, the Republicians should run her in 2012 because it gets her out of their hair and her stunning and complete defeat might exorcize their party of all the Rush Limbaugh/Sarah Palin/Bill O’Reilly crazies.

AND! The best part?

We get to watch the Presidential debates between President Obama and Sarah “What-the-fuck-am-I-talking-about-does-anyone-know?” Palin!

I would pay so much money to get watch that in a movie theater with popcorn.

Let’s all keep our fingers crossed!

Here's an article about Palin's "higher calling".
.
.
.
.
.
.

Michael Jackson Misses You Too.

So if you are like me, you have been using this long Fourth of July weekend to reflect on the meaning of Michael Jackson.

No, just kidding.

But I actually saw that on a magazine. The cover was all just a giant picture of Michael Jackson and then it said: The Meaning of Michael.

What?

I don’t even know what that means.

I know that he was hugely important to the African-American community, given the status he achieved and the time when he achieved it, and I know he created some barrier breaking music, but come on, is that why he’s on the cover of TIME Magazine? I kinda think that his hugely bizarre and disappointing train-wreck life is why he remained on the radar screen at all.

And I don’t mean to be all raining on anybody’s parade, but I think that this is what our weird TV culture does and it is annoying. The day before he died, Michael Jackson was basically a punch line and the day after he died, he’s a musical genius. That’s the part that bothers me. It isn’t you Michael, it is us, that annoys me.

When I heard that he died, I immediately posted on Facebook that I would like to be the one to start the rumor that he faked his death. Other people were posting about: “We love you Mike, and we will miss you” or “Thank you Michael”. And I was all what the fuck?

Does the fact that he made some good music excuse all the other things that he did?

How does his dying transgress those things? And would we let it if he hadn’t invented moon-walking?

Maybe I just don’t get it.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

100 Books, in List Form! You Love Lists!

So click this link to go to NEWSWEEK.COM'S list of the 100 greatest books of all time. I love lists like this. This one should actually be called, “100 Books You Need To Read In Order To Live In The World”.

Since I’m basically an English Major, I have to listen to people talk a lot about “the canon of English literature!” but no one exactly maintains a list or anything. English professors seem to feel that they are specifically tasked with carrying the burden of maintaining the canon. They seem to feel that they have some almost divine responsibility. And maybe they do, but they should relax about it.

Anyway, sorry about the digression.

The point is that I wish that this list could become the list that English professors the world over used when assigning reading. This list has Winnie the Pooh, among others.
.
.
.
.
.
.