Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hallowe'en: You Should Be Thankful

When I was a child
- uphill both ways through the snow -
trick or treats were canned beans
or frozen pot roast or
if we were lucky,
an apple
or if we were really lucky,
it had a razor blade in it!
We would sterilize and collect those blades
and sell them back to the scrap steel mill
at cost plus two over 11.
It was one of the many ways of getting by
when I was a child

Friday, October 24, 2008

Elitism, Vis-A-Vis Me

In an earlier post, I referred to elitists in a way that implied that I might myself possibly be an elitist.

I want to correct that potential misunderstanding right now. I have no truck with elitism. In fact, elitism is beneath me.

I am a melitist. I practice melitism.

Maybe there should be hyphens in that. Me-litism.

Hm. Perhaps this one needs to be workshopped a bit. Yet it would work perfectly well off the page! It's only in the written that this cursed ambiguity creeps in. It's "me LEET ism" not "me LIGHT ism" or "me LIT ism"!

Ah, what's the use. Surely some Terry Ballard out there said it first anyway.

The Precariousness of Snippets

"Patience comes to those who wait / he who's lost will hesitate"

See now, that was from a song I wrote a decade-plus ago. Yet now, I see the first part of that couplet ("Patience comes to those who wait") attributed as a quote to some guy Terry Ballard.

It doesn't usually bother me when that happens, because most of the pithy snippets I come up with are pretty butt-obvious after the fact. It's not like something anybody couldn't have said by mistake!

But it does go to show you. Something. It goes to show you something.

Who is this "Terry Ballard."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Science is always proving itself wrong. That's how it got so right!

How sweet science is. They call boxing "The Sweet Science," but I think that potentially, that sweetness can be extended to all the sciences. Not just boxing!

I can't wait to see what wild card science has up its sleeve next!

Believe me, when it comes to science, I am ON BOARD WITH THE PROGRAM!

Has anybody here ever had the scientific method explained to them? Man, it's great. Just the other day I was thinking about that.

I think one day, science is going to turn around and cut the government's funding. And on that day, the government will have to hold a bake sale! Wasn't there a bumper sticker like that?

My admiration and respect for science is entirely sincere.

Another good thing about science is, it's used in many ways to make our lives better!

As you can see, I know a lot about science. But I'm not one to lord that over people in an in any very obnoxious way. I also know a lot about grammar, but you see how I constantly down play that aspect.

It's because I hate to be accused of elitism. All elitists do.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Open Letter To My Heart

My heart,

Hearken unto a second wind beneath your wings, as the gift of a new lease on life sings within your beating pinions and sends breezes of new reasons why into your old, cracked pot of reasons why not. Take hold, with bitterly almost-frozen fingers, of the hose which surges forth new warm waters of summer onto the ice-caked frozen winter's yard of old, cold, dead regrets, punctured by black broken twigs of disbelief that poke up through the smooth brittle icing of numb white.

Command the sturdy tugboat of reassurance, as she hauls the battered, wayward tanker of lost hope - deck thick with prowling ghosts long since given up, engine room bereft of movement, engines starved, unstartable, propellers frozen silent and still, tanks empty of fuel and pep. Beat the crap out of the burglar of complacency, jimmying the door of safety with the crowbar of I-told-you-so, seeking greedily for the hidden valuables of contentment until suddenly being surprised by the awakened resident of hey-I-didn't-realize-you-were-home, and the dog of what-the-crap-they-have-a-pitbull.

Don't allow the faded symbols of whateverness to displace the metaphors of that-which-I'm-trying-to-say. You know the difference, my heart. But it is not enough to know the difference.

Now you must be the difference.

My Pick For The World Series

After extensive research and confirmation of the identities of the two teams involved, I am offering this expert analysis of the outcome we can all feel free to expect for this year's World Series of Baseball:

Phils clinch it in Game 6.

(with a win, I mean. Last time they clinched it in Game 6 with a loss!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Long-Awaited Director's Cut of My Blade Runner Post

>I thought the story was MUCH more profound than that.

The ORIGINAL film's story (in which Deckard is human) was much more profound than that. The revised versions (in which he isn't human) take what was originally a soaringly dystopian parable on the fragile, elusive nature of humanity, and sink it to the level of a hackneyed "hey, we're all robots!" sci-fi flick with retarded film-school pretentions grafted on. You dismiss the question as trivial, but if the Deckard character is not human, that harms the film, fatally. It becomes, as you say, just another science fiction film - with nothing particular to tell us beyond its admittedly smashing yarn.

By the way, when I say "the original" I mean the one that played at theaters near you, in 1982. The film that Scott was happy to take credit for, and have his name up on the posters of - up until he decided he had sufficient clout and stature to abysmally dumb it down into a long-running franchise of hack-job do-overs.

With Deckard as a replicant the film becomes simplistic and one-dimensional. Just look at what it does to Roy's final act of mercy - which you rightly single out as the key moment of the film! But why is it such a powerful moment? There's something ineffably compelling about a robot sparing his human enemy because he has realized something essential about humanity, and has in fact become arguably more human than the human who was hunting him. Roy's mercy teaches human Deckard what it is to be human - or what it should be. It's the gap between them, and the act of mercy which bridges that gap, that makes the gesture so powerful. But there's nothing particularly interesting about one robot sparing the other robot's life because he realizes we're all robots. What's the message there, "we replicants gotta stick together?" PAH!!

With Deckard as a human the film is rich in meaning, in interwoven themes about the nature of humanity. With Deckard as a replicant it sacrifices all of its meaning and richness for the equivalent of an M. Night Shyamalan trick plot twist, becoming an empty exercise in the manipulation of audience expectation. I admit that you could seriously say, "hey, if he's a replicant too, that's kind of neat!" But “kind of neat” is as far as you can take it.

What a comedown from the original.

By the way, I may reference Shyamalan derisively, but at least he will put his twist into the movie - rather than trying to graft it on retroactively via recuts and press conferences.

God Give Us Strength

I've never believed that this world contains heavenly-directed blessings and burdens. I mean, sure, the whole life we live and earth we live on is a gift from God! Simple gratitude would suggest we be grateful for the gift, and all the blessings that flow from it. But the fact of free will and the fact of mortality (for this world is not our final home) mean that we will often have bad things happen to us as well, either through malice, negligence or nature. The tests and burdens we perceive are the natural consequence of the natural world we inhabit, and of the free will of those with whom we share that world.

I don't believe that God points anything bad in our direction. I don't believe that God sits in heaven doling out hand-picked woes. Those who say that God directs every tiny thing - that God micromanages - don't have sufficient confidence in God or in God's plan. Yes, "God is in control," but not in the sense that God sends custom-tailored catastrophes to befuddle us and test our faith. God is in control because God knows NO catastrophe can thwart God's plan for us, no catastrophe can keep us from God in the end! God knows nothing this world holds can pose a true danger to us: neither pain, nor sin, nor death itself.

Some say God does not give us burdens that we can't carry. I say God does not give us burdens. But God does give us strength. And the strength God gives is more than any burden can withstand.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Do You Ever Miss Me?

When you lie awake at night, clutching the bed sheets soaked with sweat...when your eyes fly open at a sudden sound, your mind shot shock awake wondering "is it HE? Has he RETURNED??"

Do you ever miss me?

When you find yourself finding yourself lost, rudderlessly adrift, compassless and compassionless in a trackless domain of featureless days and weeks?

Do you miss me then?

When you burst suddenly into tears while watching a puppy commercial, because it was the same puppy commercial I always thought was so cute?

Does your heart keeping finding its way back to us?

Do you see me on the street and then follow from a discreet distance of several blocks? Do you hang back as I venture alone into a curiosity shop and reemerge with a paper sack? Does it rouse your curiosity? What's in the bag, pal?

Does it tear your heart?

When your hand grasps vaguely in the direction where I used to be, seeking my hand, seeking the solace of a warm and familiar caress which will never now again be forthcoming?

Or do you not miss me at all?

Have you hardened your heart against my memory, saying to yourself "that jerk! He was in many ways my social and intellectual inferior."

Do you not miss me at all?

Do you see me on the street, looking over my shoulder, waiting, hoping perhaps for someone to follow me at a discreet distance so I can confound their curiosity with that infernal bag of mine? Do you laugh scornfully and walk the other way, saying "damn him and his bag! I need neither!"

Do you never miss me?

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I would totally have told you what's in the bag, if only you had asked! It was only a meaningless doodad, such as is displayed for sale in many a curiosity shop. What the heck were you following me for anyway?!

Actually, I'm not sure that was you. It looked a little like you. But kind of far off, hard to tell.

Anyway, that's why I was asking: do you ever miss me?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thought of the Day, Kind of a Solemn One

No other person has the power to lift your grief. The more you turn to others with that expectation, the worse the pain and disappointment will become that they can't help.

The Blessings of a Life Lived to the Full

Life is so mysterious and complicated and beautiful! I just wish there was some way to know that I would die when I was like 95 years old at least, and in full possession of my faculties, and while I was still physically fit and vigorous, and while I was saving this, the greatest country on earth, from some vast and diabolical threat that I was the only one canny enough to see and bold enough to thwart - even at the tragically heroic cost of my own life! The ultimate in self-sacrifice.

I feel like there aren't enough top-notch all-out action movies featuring somebody really elderly in the main hero role, and I feel like if my noble sacrifice could inspire a film like that, it would probably be coming out around 2076 or thereabouts. Just in time for our nation's jubilant tricentenary!

My only regret is that, with the knowledge of my heroic deeds still then just fresh in the public eye of a humbly grateful nation, I wish that there would be some way for me to attend the premier. It would be a nice touch. I'd like to see that.

Perhaps the science of that far day will render it all possible in some way. Anyway, I have my hopes!

Open Dream Journal #39: The '08 Race Hots Up!

So anyway I had a very vivid SEXUAL dream last night. I was watching Obama commercials and eating from a bag of Obama chips, drinking a tall cool glass of Obama pop with a lotta ice, when all of a sudden in busted in TINA FEY in her Sarah Palin getup, and she was all one-track mind to win over my electoral fidelity! if you know what I mean, and then you can just about IMAGINE what happened next!!

Oh okay, I lied. It wasn't a sexual dream at all. Tina focused strongly on the issues in her presentation. She sat herself down on my dream couch and talked passionately about it for hours. But if I hadn't said it was a very vivid SEXUAL dream - if I'd said it was a very vivid POLITICAL dream - who wants to read that??

Truth is, I lied about the whole dream. I mean, it's possible I didn't lie about it. I don't really remember what I dreamed, last night. I mean, I feel like when I got up, that this was probably the sort of dream that I would have wanted to have had. And since I didn't quite remember whatever I did dream, hey, maybe that's exactly what happened! A man can dream, can't he?

My apologies are once again due to Tina Fey, for whom I really do have the highest respect and esteem. She's more than just an incredibly sexy woman to me. She's a national treasure trove of truth, smarts, and humor; an exquisite beacon of sass and humanity, yet with a satiny blanket of evident humility lying clingingly over it all that's oh! so refreshing. She's also an inspiration to people everywhere who know how to make glasses sexy. And if I ever did actually have, if I ever was privileged enough to participate with her in a sexy dream of any sort, well who's to blame there? Nobody, in that situation! And I would be as tender and gentle as anything with her, and I would absolutely not tell anybody anything about it.

I'm really not that kind of guy, Tina. That sort of a dream is a precious thing between just the two people involved!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I've Noticed Something

You know what? I've noticed something. I don't like to pat myself on the back; it seems inconvenient somehow, and maybe even a bit insincere. Like I'm kidding myself.

But I have to make an exception in this case, because I have to say: I've noticed that I have quite a musical ear for the language.

I need to get to work developing that. Cultivating it.

Some Of My Most Vivid Literary Memories

The scene in Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita where as the Moscow crowd exits the Black Arts Exposé, women theatergoers find their ill-gotten gowns vanishing into thin air shamefully on the public street, while the theater manager hides in his office only to be besieged and assaulted by teeth-sucking vampires and undead nude vixens. That's literature.

The description of the guy drinking a thermos of cold coffee in Crane's The Red Badge of Courage. It was a big influence. The main reason I enjoy not hot coffee to this very day.

I can't remember the name of the book or the author. Maybe somebody can help me out here. It was in my High School English class curriculum, Junior year I believe. Set mostly in India, with a chick protagonist on some obscure pilgrimage of self-discovery. At one point there is a detailed description of the bald berobed faux-buddhist horndog dude's wang. I remember thinking, did I go to Catholic school for this? Anyway, if anybody knows what book that was, give me a hint. It bugs me, not being able to remember things.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I can't recall exactly what happened in this book, but I remember being pissed off by the injustice of it all. Which I think was what the teacher had in mind. He seemed to fancy himself a Miss Jean Brodie type. If you know what I mean by that.

Who's Got the Apple by Jan Loof. This was the first book report I ever wrote. I wasn't too clear on the concept of what a book report was, but the book itself was pretty good! It was one of those books with a big, funny illustration on each page, and one sentence underneath the picture to kind of move the story along. For the book report, I just copied each of the sentences down - wrote them down one after the other as one big paragraph. An adequate job, I thought. The teacher had some problem with it, I forget what her deal was.

Man, I could keep on going and going with these. Maybe I'll make it a regular feature!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

An Open Letter to the American Heritage Dictionary

Okay, first off: I own your product. I bought and own the book. The hard copy. The print edition. I swear by it, in fact - I am constantly singing the praises of the American Heritage Dictionary! I have been doing so for years. I appreciate the plain-stated accuracy and exactitude of the definitions, without all the namby-pamby editorializing Webster's puts into theirs. I laud the clear-eyed and unsentimental inclusion of words like "fuck" and "shit" - since way back in the day when such words simply were not found in dictionaries.

Or at least, they weren't found in the other ones mom kept on the bookshelf. But they sure were in that big ol' American Heritage! That meant a lot to me, as a kid.

So I'm not just some Johnny El Cheapo come-lately, trying to surf in on the e-version and snap up a lot of free definitions at your expense. I'm a customer - more than that, I'm brand loyal. But just because I love my big blue book with the gold gilt pages and the fat physical heft, doesn't mean I don't appreciate the ease and convenience of the online version as well, from time to time.

If it had any ease and convenience, I mean!!

Search Results for “whom”

Out of 91,890 "relevant results" returned in a search for the word "whom", where would one expect the actual word "whom" to place? First? Fifth? Within the first hundred pages of results, certainly?

Well, no. Such a one would expect wrong.

Past a long, long series of alphabet soup abbreviations for things like "able-bodied seaman" or Plank's constant, and a plenitude of obscure Latin terms. Past an otiose assortment of definitions for things like:

277) frost heave.

291) Graafian follicle.

321) affenpinscher.

339) batgirl.

Yep, that's right. Batgirl.

399) chylomicron.

433) corn snow.

472) dab 3.

You'll think it's going alphabetically, but then it'll start skipping around!

474) cyan.

478) Fathometer.

501) dum-dum.

533) heliolatry.

I just want to point something out here: the word I am trying to look up is "whom."

564) intestinal fortitude.

606) logic operation.

661) nombril.

That's the point on an escutcheon between the fess point and the base point. Look, I'm not saying that organizing your search function this way isn't a vocabulary-building exercise! But be that as it may, it's damned inexpedient for the searcher's purposes.

713) pooh.

No! "whom"

788) -sepalous.

Now there's a useful suffix.

859) trackless.

As in, "the trackless stretches of this search function result."

871) unperson.

Does this really need a separate entry? Seems like a simple note under "un-" would cover you. I mean, there's no entry for "undog" or "unbird" is there?

893) whippoorwill.

"Whippoorwill"! Whoo hoo, must be getting close!

894) white leather.

So close!

895) Williams, Roger.

Or perhaps not.

900) witch moth.

No, definitely not. No "whom" in sight.

908) XY recorder.

914) zero copula.

Story of my life. No, I'm kidding. It doesn't even mean that (sounds like it though, huh?).

917) zygomatic process.

The ever-popular zygomatic process! Or as I refer to it, the Bessemer Process.

918) AAF.

That will bring us back to Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do! With still no sign of the simple ONE WORD we have been searching for in the first place!

Is anyone else seeing a problem with this?

1053) crazy quilt.

Well, I'm glad that's in there at any rate. Shit!

I still can't find it. I'm giving it up. I'm giving up the search. Ask not for "whom".

374) B-s particle.

Indeed. An understatement.

The Latest Thinking On The Environment

I think 60% of the problem is this whole top half/bottom half confusion. Half the time the earth doesn't know which way is up, or whether it's coming or going! We need standardization.

To standardize the problem, we should institute uniform seasons across all halves of the globe, whether Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western. We can't have every half off doing its own thing while the other halves suffer! It's absurd to have snow in July, in Australia, while meanwhile the top portion of the globe is behaving properly!

That's what I think. For far too long, things have been going on long enough. And now it's time for a change - and the change we need is to make everything the same! That's just what's fair for everybody. And while this is not at its core a religious issue, CHRISTMAS SHOULD ALWAYS BE IN WINTER, DAMMIT.

Did God pick the wintertime to be born into Bethlehem, only to have Australia say, "Uh-uh, God! Santa wants to deliver our presents on a surf-board while the sun is shining - not on a sleigh in the icy dead of winter's night!"? Such a view is confused at best.

It also denies the legitimate function of reindeer in Christian mythology. When I get to heaven, I don't want to have to be the one to have to look St. Rudolph in the eye and tell him that I could have done my part to battle the marginalization of his bright-nosed namesake, but I chose not to get involved. What will YOU say when that day comes??

Now, I'm pretty sure there is a St. Rudolph. I'm not saying I know what his area is or anything. But the name itself has a faintly saintly ring to it. It would be pretty sweet if he turned out to be the patron saint of illumination or something along those lines!

Although wait - come to think of it, that might have been the Archangel Lucifer's province. Which...if so, I can see how they might want to just...leave that post vacant. It'd be a little awkward.

Regarding Privacy, I Have One Rule

I won't be offended by you politely asking the question, as long as you aren't offended by me politely declining to answer.

"We Three Kings Of Orient Are" Is Racist

You know what, in this day and age? I don't even think I need to substantiate a claim like that. I think any non-racist would be totally prepared to accept that claim at face value, saying "you know what, I don't even want to hear your argument, I'm sick of it already, I concede the point."

And that's the proper attitude. I think it's a great stride against racism that we've finally reached a point where that's the case in a lot of cases.

Now, I'm not prepared to say that anyone who would dispute my claim is a racist. Thar would be rash. But if it walks like a racist, and it talks like a racist, and it quacks like a racist...well...what that let you know?

Now some might dispute that last part - "quacks like a racist" - by saying "racists don't quack. Quacking is not a stereotypical activity in which racists are known to engage." Well that's where they'd be wrong and I'll tell you why: because ducks are racists.

That's right! Ducks are racist.

Think about it. They are. The earmarks of racist behavior in duck society are practically obvious! Think about the last time you saw a gathering of ducks, at a pond or wherever other areas their kind congregate, the different groups of duck races with their various racial traits - the really drab ducks, and the other ducks with the bright shiny green heads - all eyeing each other, profiling each other...?

And then, when someone comes along and starts tossing bread, the ducks all totally fight over the food, right? And here's the clincher: which group of ducks ends up with the least food? That's right: the smallest group. The minority.

I can't speak to it any plainer than that. Their racist duck actions quack loud enough.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Tough Topics #7: Hard Drugs

I am an antiprohibitionist, so I may be biased. But I don't see them expanding prohibition to include tobacco. In fact, I see it going the other way.

If I had my druthers, all currently-illegal controlled dangerous substances would be legalized. Manufacturing contracts for each "hard drug" would be strictly controlled by the government, and awarded to pharmaceutical companies on an incentive basis. The details would be public, not negotiated behind closed doors. Let's face it: the product is not medicine. It is poison, acknowledged just as alcohol is an acknowledged poison. It requires zero research, so the would-be manufacturer just has to deal with a known commodity with known ingredient costs and known overhead to put it together. The pharmaceutical company that puts in the best bid in the public interest gets the contract!

Bids would involve structuring a percentage of profits to subsidize prescription drug benefits, or insurance benefits, or research, or whatever. Let them get creative if they want that fat, lucrative contract! Government taxes on consumer purchases would go towards addiction and recovery programs for drugs of all sorts, including alcohol.

Marijuana would not be in the "hard drugs" class. It would be regulated about the same as alcohol. Details for that can be easily worked out. Does anybody care about marijuana? I mean, come on. It's not "hard drugs" by any stretch. It should probably be regulated less stringently than alcohol. Just keep the smoke out of my face is my main stipulation.

Hard drugs, on the other hand. They would then be available much cheaper than any illegal product could be, with purity and quality controls in place like any other FDA-regulated item. As far as restrictions on sale or use, they would be treated similar to alcohol in many respects, but not in all respects. There would be a new "class" created, with certain rules to deal with the specifics of the problem. Hard drugs would be available to recreational users through approved channels. They would be theoretically available to anyone over 21, but anyone who wants to use legally would be forced to apply for and receive a "User ID" like a driver's license. So that in order to buy, you'd have to make the choice to be a registered hard drugs user, and that choice would be a matter of public record.

The current draconian anti-drug laws would remain in force. But going forward, they would be applied solely to those who attempt to illegally buy, sell, distribute or use. Since legalization and regulation would cut most of the profit out of it, most of that problem would wither on the vine.

Arguably, having a legal option available would render the draconianness of our anti-drug laws almost justified.

Now like any proposal, this one has drawbacks. For one thing, the drug companies would probably rename everything: "Feeling a bit bored? Depressed by your life circumstances? Try Crackosil™. Side effects may include high blood pressure, addiction, paranoia, heart attack and occasional psychotic break."

A Recipe For Revenge

Revenge is a dish best blackened on a red-hot skillet with cajun spices.

After that, served cold is fine. Hot is also good. It doesn't really matter - those pan-seared spices are what pack the punch!

Do I Stink Like BOOZE?

It's weird. I haven't had anything all day. To drink, I mean. And what am I talking about - I never do! I don't drink in the morning. Sheesh! I don't even drink in the afternoon!

Okay, admittedly - weekends are different, I may have beers in the afternoon, at a cookout, playing chess - football season especially, that throws a whole wrench into my "not in the morning" claim now that I live in California. Games at TEN A.M.! And it's kind of nice to have a brewski in that case, but that's the exception to the morning rule. NFL Football = "Beer-Thirty," and no sane person would claim otherwise. That's a perfectly decent and upright exemption.

On weekdays though, like I said, I don't even take a nip until the evenings. I'll have a couple with dinner maybe, or one when I get home. "After a hard day of work..." You know. An ice cold brew or two fits the bill.

Or if I'm out shooting pool, I'm good for my share of the pitcher. Sure.

But just in general? To just walk around with one or two on board? Yuck! To feel the least bit tipsy or buzzed in the daytime, when I'm trying to WORK? PUKE! NO WAY!! That's not how I operate. I'm clean. Strong. Bright. Tall. Inspirational.

So what's the deal with this very faint, perhaps imagined on my part, but otherwise distinct smell, then? That's what I want to know. Do I STINK OF BOOZE? Faintly or otherwise? Maybe I'm just imagining it.

It's kind of a nice smell, honestly. I kind of like that smell. It subtly exudes warmth; luxuriance. There's a sweetness to it, but also a tang, a musk. A taint of wordly responsibility - lightly soaked in naughty knowingness, like the fingers of a tiramisu.

Wait - is this my new aftershave?! Jeesh, if so - all this over that! When I get home, I better go try it and see. Take a little swig, maybe. A little nip of that ol' aftershave.

It smells pretty tasty.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hearken Unto The Glorious Summons!

Each of us, buried in our own concerns, burns in his own way the bridge of opportunity as the golden chance looms, passes by, and is forgotten beyond recall. How long must we look back in despair, grimacing with chagrin over glory spurned and life unlived - the true life of strength and courage exemplified by our father's fathers, forsaken by us for the sake of some momentary excuse, some inconsequential injury, some dull pedestrian responsibility? Fie upon such foul sport!

I say thee nay.

The plaintive spectre of dispassion and noncombativeness calls weakly to claim its weekly victims; I reject it utterly. The time has come. Each of us must now rise up and claim the task that is ours by right: the time is set. The cue is straight. The ball is round. The hall awaits!!


That Can-Do Attitude!

I'm looking for the impossible. Now what do you need from me to make that happen?


Ever notice that an awful lot of newborn babies look a little like Wallace Shawn? And that's probably an understatement. Some of those little dudes, that resemblance is just about dead-on.

Now don't get the wrong idea...I'm not implying anything. But if what I'm not implying were actually the case - HOO BOY that's one busy actor!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Road Safety Corner #12: If You Absolutely Have to Crash, Take Out As Much Shrubbery As Possible While You're At It

That's pretty self-explanatory I guess.


As you can see, I don't beat around the bush and I don't mince words.

However, I make up for those virtues by failing to identify the specific targets of my venom.

Considering that they are in fact fools and weaklings, that could make me a coward. In the eyes of some. But I prefer to think of myself as simply one who prefers not to tread on the already downtrodden. I'm kind of a nice guy like that.

A nice guy or a coward. Same difference, some might say.

A FOOL might say!

I Keep Having these Vivid Premonitions of One Foot Slipping and My Whole Balance Shifts Out From Under Me and Then CRASH!

I keep having these vivid premonitions of one foot slipping and my whole balance shifts out from under me and then CRASH! I fall hard and break something, and forever afterwards I have to walk like an old man instead of my trademark strut.

Actually, I only had that vivid premonition once, but once was enough.

Although really I'm not sure I should call it a premonition since, I was actually in the process of slipping and falling at the time.

Perhaps it was more of a pessimistic presentiment.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Satan Hates Puppies

It's true. Satan HATES PUPPIES.

But you know what? That's just about what I expect from that guy.

Here's a few other little-known-facts about Satan:

• In hell, Satan prefers to go by not "chief" or "boss" or some such, but "Sug'". Like as in short for "sugar", but how a Southern person might say it. Anyone who addresses him otherwise gets a swift crack of the whip and a shouted growl from a helpful Reminder Demon: "YOU SHALL ADDRESS THE MASTER AS 'SUG'! NO OTHER FORM OF ADDRESS! YOU UNDERSTAND!"

• Satan was a big fan of the Sci-Fi Original Series “Earth: Final Conflict” and is still bitter over its cancelation. Satan blames God directly, for the fact that it was canceled. Even though Satan knows how it works.

• To this day, Satan considers his expulsion from heaven as ultimately down to his simply being “too sexy for heaven.”

• Satan has a number of secret dossiers about some of the other archangels from “way back in the day” – but has refused to reveal their contents to the tabloids, even despite a pretty frenzied bidding war a few years back.

• Satan is not a fan of any college or professional sports franchise in any organized sports league, except for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer.

• Satan is a voracious reader, who is absolutely not to be disturbed when he’s reading. Upon penalty of...well, best not to get into those things.

• Satan reads the bible all the time! No one in Hell knows why (and it's a little unnerving, frankly!). Perhaps he’s looking for loopholes.

Stupid Thought of the Day

Sometimes smart people pretending to be stupid works out well for them. But stupid people pretending to be smart never really seems to work out.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Pondering That New-Car Smell

Yeah, so I've been saving up for a new car. I've got a ways to go.

I think I've been sabotaging my efforts subconsciously because I love the car I've got: my 1990 Toyota Tercel. My Bad Sweet Ride.

Love that car. I've gone into it in detail in past posts - feel free to search the tag ("My Toyota Tercel") for more in-depth introspection on the topic of my blessed little gray metal turtle on tires. I was even planning a sweet multi-installment photo essay, with my then-girlfriend to be draped artfully across the hood, sides and hatchback of the car, modeling a selection of tasteful swimwear in front of various spectacular California coast settings, but then she broke up with me for some reason and it kind of fell by the wayside. Her loss!

But yeah. Eventually...even though I can probably squeeze another 2 years out of her - these things are just so damn well-built! - but eventually, she's going to give up the ghost. Alas, my good and faithful steed!

I need to clarify here, I'm talking about my car in the above paragraph. Not my ex-girlfriend.

But yeah, I need to save up now, so that when that happens, when my car finally gives up the valiant fight, I can get -


...insert triumphant "The Price Is Right" music...

Some people say it's asinine to get a brand new car. Some people say the value of that car drops like six thousand bucks the second you drive it off the lot!

In fact, I used to run a pretty slick operation doing exactly that. I'd buy a brand new it off the lot, and then turn around and sell it to some chump for $6,000 less! It was a pretty sweet scam until my accountant blew the whistle on me. Said he was trying to help me. Can you believe that? Jerk.

Well anyway. I wonder what I'm going to end up getting. What kind of cars will even be available then? Two years from now, do you think they'll have re-introduced the Tercel hatchback? Because what I really want is another one of those.

I hate the crappy Prius thing they have now. No visibility to the rear!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Football Needs A Theme Part 2: Football Still Needs A Theme

(sung to the tune of "Good Times")

FOOTBALL!!! And you're tryin to get a first down

FOOTBALL!! And you're tryin to get upfield

FOOTBALL! And you're tryin to score a touchdown

Not gettin tackled

not makin' fumbles

Stretchin' your time of possession!

Makin' a play when you can

Tryna make the Playoffs! Foot ball!

Way to fake the hand-off! Foot ball!

Catchin' and colliding! Foot ball!

Out on the gridiron!!! Foot-ballllll!

Ain't that what we rely on??



Addendum to my Tom Swifty List

Addendum to my previous Tom Swifty List:

"You miserable S.O.B.!" Tom sobbed miserably.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why I Am In Favor Of College, Big-Time, Pt.2

A college degree is an elaborate and self-perpetuating workplace hazing ritual. Those who are already in got spanked. They already took their licks, and they now have first-hand knowledge of how pointless it was. BUT! They're going to be gosh-darned if the up-and-comers don't have to get their stripes as well!

But I am sincere about loving academia. I love learning for its own sake, and I love those who make that quest theirs. I just don't believe for a second that a tenth of one percent of high school graduates going straight into college are doing so to accumulate a store of knowledge for its own sake. YEAH RIGHT.

They're doing it because it's the respectable next step to life, or to postpone real life another 4 years, or to sprout wings away from the home environment, or to party (or all of the above). But MOST of them are also doing it to get a degree that they believe will help them get a better job.

And yes, on average, it will. THAT'S THE SCAM. Because it shouldn't. It shouldn't help. It only helps because a false value is being put upon it. In the overwhelming majority of instances, the actual education that that degree represents will be almost wholly irrelevant to the workplace.

If that degree were truly looked at in terms of applicability to the workplace, for most jobs that degree should be worthless. And yes, admittedly a few sneaky career-seekers do get in over the wall, but it's a huge setback not to have that scrip from the ivory tower. It offends my sense of fairness that something as generally irrelevant as a college degree is elevated to the status of gatekeeper to the promised land of white-collar wage slavery. White-collar wage slavery should be wide open to ANYONE WHO CAN HACK IT!

Which...admittedly, not everyone can. Nor would everyone be sane to want to.

Big Number Nine

Big Number 9 ain't got no problems
Nobody gives him any.
He walks around like he owns the place
like maybe he does own the place
like he knows who owns the place
and maybe it's him.
Yup. Big ol' Big Number 9.

All leaned-back strut
with his chest puffed out
like a big ol' barrel
in a tight white tee
with a big red 9 on it.
And who's going to mess
with that?
Nobody's gonna mess.
Not with Big Number Nine.