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.
.
.
.
.
.
.