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, February 29, 2008

Thursday, February 28, 2008

They Say #1

They say the Lord works in mysterious ways, and having come to the burgeoning conclusion that the Lord did indeed make my mind, or at least, permit it to come to fashion itself in its current course, I must concede the point.

I can't figure the damn thing out.

What if it just came into being by itself, though?

I don't like to think it. But it might explain a couple things.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ease Up There, Bud.

I've noticed I start entirely too many sentences with the phrase "Anybody who fucks with me..."

Not on this blog, so much! More just in regular everyday life. And of course, sure, there's nothing wrong with letting people know what they're in for. Fair warning and all. But the fact is, nobody ever fucks with me anyway. So what's the point, right?

What's the point. Situation like that, even if it's meant as a courtesy, or a general good-natured deterrent, it almost seems belligerent to keep bringing it up.

So anyway, from now on, I'm going to try to cut way back on that. Just so you know. Anyone who fucks with me, might find they weren't adequately apprised of the likely consequences.

More Frustrated Ambitions

I want to write, produce and direct an unauthorized beer ad (to be aired on Youtube) for Anderson Valley Brewing Company's Boont Amber Ale, utilizing a remake of Tag Team's "WHOOMP! There it is!" only with all of the verses in Boontling (extolling the bahl horningness of Boont) and the refrain changed to "BOONT! There it is!" (or perhaps simply "BOONT! Amber Ale!"), the video itself to be replete with Anderson Valley locals showcasing their blings and shizzles and ottin' their oses, only I don't have any idea how to go about it.

So instead, by way of a substitute, I'll put up a picture of their beloved mascot:


Spaghetti Night!

I love spaghetti for dinner! Tonight, that's what I'm having. I used to love Spaghetti Night when I was a kid. I asked my girlfriend did her family have Spaghetti Night when she was a kid, but she said "no!"

I couldn't believe it!

Then I said, "your mom never made spaghetti?" Or her dad, I should have added - since he was quite handy kitchenwise. But she replied: "Of course, but we didn't call it 'Spaghetti Night.' We weren't all BACKWARD!"

I said to myself, that's so mean I have to blog about it. That was mean of her to say. From now on this blog is to complain about my girlfriend. That'll get her in here reading it!

I remember when I was a kid, I always pictured up in heaven that God would be eating spaghetti all the time. That would be like, all God would want to eat. It's just so good!

Wait, I lied about that. I never pictured that, as a kid. I was just retroactively projecting a metaphor onto how highly I regarded both God and Spaghetti, at the time that I might hypothetically have mused such a thing. Which I very well might have. I used to muse such things.

I was very precocious at that age.

Less so now.

I seem to have lost my precociousness, over the years.

On the Job

I come in, I get the job done - I am unstoppably competent. If I have a weakness it's that there's never enough of me to go around. The work just keeps piling up, and I just keep pushing it around. Sometimes months go by but I keep track of what I'm letting slide versus what I'm pushing into the "done" pile. I can't just prioritize whatever's in front of me, I have to do some other thing first! That's called multi-tasking.

It's kind of a vicious cycle really, because after a while people come to expect a certain standard. Then I'm the one who has to tell them, "sorry, BUD!" But I do what I have to, for the good of the organization.

The other day, I stormed straight into my boss's office and let him know who boss was. In no uncertain terms. Sometimes you just have to do that, and when I do, let me tell you: I lay it on the line. I'm not shy about it in the slightest.

That's probably the best/worst aspect of my job.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fortune Cookies These Days Suck

I don't like these fortune cookies you get these days that are basically compliment cookies. I don't need to be told, "People admire you for your integrity," or "You are smart and energetic, and have beautiful eyes." I don't need that from a cookie! I can get that on the street from anybody, or by looking in a mirror! What I want from my fortune cookie is a g.d. fortune, g.d. it!

Anyway, I was thinking somebody needs to give the fortune cookie industry a good goose right in the keyster, and who better than me right? I was thinking I might start a big fortune cookie conglomerate with actual fortunes in there on the little paper strip. Stuff like:

• “Your death will be happy, but extremely unexpected”
• “Your stony façade will turn to mud and grass in the coming storm”
• “Someone whom you would never suspect is about to surprise you”
• “Your life’s work is heading in a new and unexpected direction”
• “Your lost keys will find their way into the very wrong hands”
• “Keep looking over your shoulder pal, because one of these days, I’m going to be there”

Okay, maybe not those specific ones, but you get the idea: predictions! Good, bad or ambiguous - especially ambiguous. What good is a compliment from a strip of paper? Whereas, when it comes to a prediction, from a fortune cookie...well hell, we can all suspend disbelief for a second and drift away on the fizzy tide of an enjoyable bit of mild superstition. Can't we?

Conference Room Tips For The Meeting Group Leader #1: Avoiding Derailment

We now join a typical business meeting already in progress...

SPEAKER 1: We need to be clearer on the goals, here: the old goals won't work for this project. We need more than just hand-massaged reportage and spin. We need data that has built-in self-validation protocols that are reproducible and fully licid, capable of transposition across multiple design environments. We can't just rely on bald anecdote and idiometric measurements alone - not anymore. What I'm talking about is a fully-scaled, fully-networked, 21st century cross-bridged paradigm that will advance our prospects and serve our clients by, if necessary, dragging them kicking and screaming into the light of a vastly-improved business model.

SPEAKER 2: Idiometric? What's that?

SPEAKER 1: How's that?

SPEAKER 3: Did you just say "idiometric"?

SPEAKER 1: No, I said "vastly-improved business model."

SPEAKER 3: I swore you said idiometric.

SPEAKER 1: Either you misheard or I misspoke, because I definitely did not say "idiometric." It's not in my notes.

SPEAKER 2: I only asked because - I like the sound of it, I think we could use that.

SPEAKER 4: As far as I know there is no such word as idiometric, however there are indications that the importance of idiometric paradigms will become more and more prominent as the meaning of the word itself becomes more defined and prevalent within the industry.

SPEAKER 3: I agree - good word.

SPEAKER 2 (to Speaker 3): What would you think it means?

SPEAKER 1: I recommend a sidebar on this issue, please. Johnson, set up a 2pm on Tuesday with the Marketing Technical Group to discuss the meanings, applications and speculative etymology of this potential word. Attendees?

SPEAKER 3: I'm there.

SPEAKER 2: Definitely!

SPEAKER 4: Put me down.

SPEAKER 6: ... [ inaudible ]

SPEAKER 5 (now identified as "Johnson"): Do you want a trademark search?

SPEAKER 1: Yes, but if it's clean we won't want to go that route. Once we have a handle on it we'll want to start promoting it to the jargon community and get it infiltrated into the literature as if it were already in use. Just a word like any other.

JOHNSON 5: Done.

SPEAKER 1: Thank you all, now I'd like to get this meeting back on track if you will. The specific parameters...

You can see what happened there. It happens all the time. An exciting idea comes up, people begin to get invested in this new line of thought, and soon the focus of the meeting has been derailed.

Don't let it happen. Call a sidebar, set some parameters, get a team together, and then TABLE IT until that time - so you can get back to the pressing business at hand.

Remember: it's YOUR meeting to run. YOU are the one in control.

NOTE: if YOU are not the one in control, just shut up and pay attention will you? You don't even...there's no reason for you to be reading this.

Haiku Time!

Hey, baby! check it -
cherry blossoms back again!
dope, dope haiku time

I Got My Mach 5!

Yeah, I forgot to tell you guys this. I picked up a copy of "Speed Racer" volume 4! Not for the episodes. Naw, I might have done that if this collection had "Car Acrobatic Team" on it. Remember that one? The Car Acrobatic Team comes out of nowhere winning races with impossible death-defying stunts, flying over chasms etc etc, nobody can figure out how they do it - until Pops rigs a spy camera underneath one of their jumps and the photo reveals the truth! Little tiny wings. Little wings sticking out of the transmission, in the undercarriage of each car. Teeny tiny little wings.

"So that's how...!"

Let's hope those are retractable wings that only deploy during jumps! Lord, you'd go flying off the road otherwise! Anybody knows anything shaped like a wing, no matter how small, has unlimited lift-generation capacity. Just look at Submariner's ankles!

Anyway, I didn't get the DVD for the episodes, no. I got it for the car: a little matchbox-sized Mach 5.

Aw yeah. I have wanted one of these for years. The Mach 5 has just the sweetest-looking car body ever designed. I wish someone would put it into production, as a full-sized road-ready automobile.

I'd get a green one. Customized with tiny wings* in the undercarriage.

The Problem with Specifics

In a lot of cases, the specifics may not matter. But as a general rule, the truths generally held true tend to hold. The entire purpose of me telling you this is to make sure we've got the whole thing under "kit and caboodle" protocols. One or the other of us may, at any given time, based on a "give-and-take" scenario, find that it's better or worse to give than to receive (or "take"), give or take a few specific instances wherein the reverse cannot be shown to be true.

But therein lies the problem with specifics: ultimately, the end result will demonstrate that patterns even out over time into a broad, smooth curve. We have neither cause, nor reason, nor expectation to expect otherwise, nor to reason without cause if it cannot be shown that we have reason or cause not to do so. But the fact of the matter is that the fact that the matter is settled need not mean that a "matter-of-fact" attitude isn't ultimately what's called for.

Bottom line:

Don't believe other sources of information. Trust your mind.

Milk: Keep It On Hand And Readily Available

There's no fucking milk! What the fuck! How am I supposed to drink milk if there isn't any fucking milk? It's absurd, it's preposterous - it can't be done!

Here I am with a slice of home-made fucking apple pie, and the only thing I could have suitable to drink with it would be if I go brew up a pot of black coffee. If it was cherry pie, that might be worth the trouble! Cherry pie, black coffee - perfect match! But apple pie, let alone home-made apple pie...really, that cries out for milk, a 2-week-old brat at four in the god-damned morning! And not only is the pie home-made, but these apples look and taste just like the small apples that come off the tree out in the back garden! I wonder if somebody gave somebody else a bag of our own apples and then she baked our own apples into a pie for us? What a sweet fucking deal!!! Or it would be. It would be if there were some fucking MILK TO GO WITH IT!!

Check me on this, but I'm pretty sure the primary purpose of a refrigerator is to keep milk cold. Well, you can't exactly keep it cold if there's none in there can you? Whoever is responsible for making sure there's milk in there really shit the tux on this one. I'm not saying it wasn't my responsibility, but I tell you what - there's always fresh milk in there, and I am never the one to put it in. So that right there looks like pretty damning evidence that I am not the one to blame for this fiasco!

Holy shit! I hardly EVER even drink milk! Maybe with a pop-tart, or pour a little on some grape nuts or to have with waffles. But all of that is pretty rare. Yet the milk never fails to be there when I don't want it! And now? When there's pie to be had????? NO MILK!!!! ARRRRRRRGGH!!!!!

We're going to have to straighten some things up around here. Shit.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Work For Tips? Here's A Tip

You know what? If you're making change for somebody in a situation where they'd be expected to tip you, try to give them change back that makes it easy (or at least, possible) for them to give you an appropriate tip. For instance, if a $5.80 tip would be 20%, and the change is $11, don't give me back a ten and a fucking one unless you're cool with me leaving $1. If I gave you two twenties, that could be a subtle hint that I don't have a shitload of ones on me at the moment. Fuck!

I'm the best tipper, ordinarily. I only tip down to a flat 20% if the service was inexcusably poor. I've never stiffed anybody on a tip (unless I missed some math somewhere, which is possible). But when somebody makes me wait on the check, makes me wait before they take the check, then gives me bullshit change and makes me call them back over to break up the change they gave me, just so I can give them a damn tip, that really makes me want to go against my principles.

Which, I was wondering: when I was a kid I always heard 15% was standard. Now I always hear that 20% is standard. How was this accomplished? An act of the legislature, or some more subtle means? Perhaps it was a motion carried at a prestigious conference for service industry bigwigs.

I'm not complaining mind you. The math for 20% is much easier.

Anyway, this is just common sense more than anything else. If someone has enough change on them, then they would have just left what they wanted to leave and then left. If they have to wait around for the change, that's a mighty nifty indicator that they might be depending on using that change to make up your tip.

Making it hard for someone to give you a tip isn't in anyone's best interest.

Ralph Nader: He's Gaining On You So You Better Look Alive!

Ralph Nader is Racer X. When he enters the race, crashes happen! People try to blame it on him, but wasn't it really that sinister coalition of entrenched interests, who were out to get him but kept aiming bad and crashing the other drivers due to his wilier Racer X driving skills? You can't crash Racer X! But everybody else on the road - better LOOK OUT!

I remember this slot car race track toy we had as kids - somebody got it for Christmas one year - wait, somebody probably got it for Christmas a couple years running, we'd always trash the poor thing. But in any case, this was the one where you could switch lanes - which was awesome - and on top of that there were three cars out on the track: your car, the other kid's car, and the "crash car"! As the ad declared, "watch out for that crash car!" He's not in it to win it. He just wants to mess you up.

What all of that has to do with Ralph Nader is debatable, but I think a parallel could be drawn.

Anyway, from toy and cartoon nostalgia back to politics: Ralph Nader! What's his game? What will his always-unpredictable effect be on this volatile race? Of our fickle and extremely ticklish electorate, who will come out to support him? It's hard to spin this one. Logic suggests that the Democrat fanbase will prove most susceptible to his old-school staunch pro-little guy advocacy vibe. Yet after he hand-delivered them victory in 2000, Republicans may well feel drawn to Nader out of some lingering sense of misplaced gratitude.

The Clintons seem pretty vulnerable to me. I think that a lot of their base of support has eroded, and if they win the Dem Presidential nom, Nader will represent a major threat to their chances. Not as big a threat as Hillary, admittedly, but still a major threat.

For the Repubbies, let's face it: McCain has that nom in the bag. But does he have anything to worry about from the emerging specter of Ralph Nader's 3rd-car candidacy? Don't be surprised if the answer is "maybe"! McCain and Nader seem kind of similar in a lot of ways. They're both mavericks. They're both a little kooky, and both have mostly turned that kookiness into part of their draw. But McCain is far more a 'Pops' Racer figure: genial, edged with no-nonsense gruff. Whereas Nader has that outsider danger-seeking Racer X vibe down cold. An icy competitor with steel nerves, the safest driver on the road! - as far as his own safety goes...! Breaking into the pack with no regard for anything but the finish line! Leaving twisted wrecks and busted dreams of Presidentiality in his wake.

Which brings us to Barack Obama. We all know who he is.

Go, Speed, Go!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tough Topic Semi-Apologia

I'm not much of a fire and brimstone guy, so I apologize if some might be taken aback by the apparent combativeness of the previous post. But it's such a very serious issue, isn't it? Seems like the single worst wedge driven between Christians in this day and age. And I'm sorry, but it makes me mad. Because the truth of Christ's example has always been self-evident, and the implications of that example...well, they follow as a natural consequence!

I did try to lighten it up a little in the middle, with that joke about the rib. But joke or not, it was a true story though! When I was a kid, that's what I thought. I thought that just as the story explained why snakes go on their bellies and eat dirt, and why women have to bring forth their children in seemed like a natural conclusion to me. The story also explained why men have one less rib!

I forget which teacher first tried to tell me otherwise, but there was a little confrontation there when that happened.

The Tough Topics #3: The Word of God Versus Biblical Literalism

A schism exists within modern Christianity, between those who believe the bible in its entirety to be literally true, and those who believe that it is best understood as conveying divine truths via symbol or allegory.

I must confess, I feel the biblical literalists have gravely erred by ignoring the living example of the Word of God. Jesus Christ, as we know, is the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. The same Word that was spoken in the beginning. The same Word that has spoken throughout thousands of years of prophecy. The same Word that speaks to us throughout the entirety of scripture. This Word was made flesh, and became human in the person of Jesus Christ. And when the Word was made flesh, when the Word took on human form and undertook his earthly ministry, how did he speak? How did he teach?

To a very great extent, the Word of God, Jesus Christ, spoke in parable. Allegory. Symbol. The Word of God couched his meaning in stories and tales with a divine moral concealed therein. The Word of God made a point of doing so, even explaining to his uncomprehending disciples (Matt 13:10) that this was the way of the Word. Parable. Symbol. Allegory. Not literalism.

Does the way of the Word of God change? Is not the Word of God eternal? If Jesus Christ - the Word of God incarnate - speaks and teaches throughout his ministry via parable, symbol, and allegory, shall we expect anything different from that same Word of God which has spoken to us and is speaking to us throughout all of scripture?

Seems like simplicity to me. I was aware from a very young age that certain bible stories were expressing deeper truths, truths whose validity did not depend upon the factuality or historicity of the narrative. God's truth was independent from and transcended such mean, petty considerations. By the age of 9 years old, I had already come to realize that the story of Eve's creation was probably true, but that it was also was there to explain why men have one less rib than women do. I figured that out for myself. No one had to tell me that.*

There is truth, and then there is truth. Divine truth does not live or die by the historicity of the story that is used by God to convey that truth. The Word of God has spoken divine truths to us in many ways. From within historical stories, certainly. But also through symbol, allegory, parable.

So how do we know which stories are which? A better question would be: why does it matter to us? Whatever way God's Word chooses to speak, the truth value is not the story. The story is a mere happenstance. The truth value is in the greater moral truth that uplifts one's soul. It doesn't matter if there was a historical "good Samaritan": the truth is to recognize you do not hate based on the group a person belongs to. Even the damn Samaritans! It doesn't matter if there was or wasn't a "Prodigal Son" in history who corresponds to the one in the story Jesus told his rapt listeners. The truth is that love forgives, without begrudging: love celebrates the return of one lost.

Early Christians understood and accepted spiritual truths. They knew the importance of sacred mystery, they knew that it was not necessary for us to have a perfect understanding of all facts and facets. Only we - we who have grown far from God in years and in our hearts, we who have grown proud in our insistence that we can indeed know the bald facts of all things - we have retreated into a stubborn, defiant insistence upon the literal truth of each story the Word has ever told to us. We insist upon this, because we have lost our spiritual certainty, and our faith in God's divine truth. We seek to yoke and bind God's truth to a mere pedestrian factualness.

Yet this is not the way of the Word of God, and it never was. No, this is our way, the of the stubborn, proud, uncomprehending human mind. We seek to confine God's Word within the limits of our own dim and literal understanding.

It simply will not fit.

Those who claim the Word of God speaks to us in limited terms of literal fact, eschewing all symbol and allegory - these literalists defy Christ's own explicit word and example. I won't go so far as to say they are blasphemers - pronouncing on their soul or state of sin, this is not my call. But I can pronounce on their view. Their view is ignorant. Their view is small-minded. But it is not merely ignorant, and not merely small-minded: their view is biblically untenable. It is contrary to scripture. Biblical literalism is unbiblical.

A follower of Christ ought to know better.

Sundays: It's All About God

Taking my cue from the previous post, I think I need to do a little more than my part or at least, a little more than my part has previously evidenced* towards the worthy not to say lofty goal of bearing Christian or at the very least theistic witness. And why not? So from now on, I'd like to take it on myself except during the football season to limit my Sunday posts to one topic: that's right: God.

And that's a pretty dang capacious topic. As I said (again, in my last post), an infinite topic.

So there's that to look forward to, Sundays.

Do I Believe In God?

Some have asked: do I believe in God?

And it's a legitimate question. I mean, on the evidence of this blog at least, surely. The question could easily be asked. I pretty much put anything out there that comes into my mind, and not always or even usually in my own voice either. Different characters, or perspectives, or whatever you want to call it. Writing practice. And quite a few posts on some aspect of the infinite topic of God - not always pitched from my own, deeply religious perspective. Sometimes (God forbid) a post may be pitched from the standpoint of an Atheist perhaps, or at least an Agnostic - but always with evident sympathy on my part, I hope! Because, how could I not sympathize? That would go against all common sense and reason, and my Christian duty as well. But what I'm getting at is, it is a legitimate question, and in case there was any doubt, the answer to the question is most definitely and most defiantly:


Saturday, February 23, 2008

God Is Dead?

"Gott ist tott," as famed European thinker Freiederiech Neietszchiee put it, and a lot of people have since taken him literally on that one. "God is dead," they say. But why? Why say a dead God?

If one finds oneself an atheist, surely one can have some courage of convictions about it, or courage of the lack thereof. Why a dead God? Why not simply say, "no God"?

Why this infinite corpse, clogging up the universe?

The Beatles: a Reconsideration

So I went to the Bagelry in Soquel - yes, the Bagelry, a treasured Santa Cruz institution since 1977, now with three locations to serve you (down from four, I think?) - to pick up a couple bagels for a quick brekkie, and the girl behind the counter was wearing a Beatles t-shirt.

It was an appealing shade of classic brown, with a large oval like a window showcasing The Beatles and the words "THE BEATLES" 'blazoned across the top of the design. The Beatles took on a sort of a cartoon form, but not the Yellow Submarine version. They were posed looking stately, dignified and whimsical, as befits their unique legacy in the annals of rock.

This was a great-looking shirt. Never before would I have considered the idea of owning a The Beatles t-shirt, but this was one fine-looking garment. It cost me a considerable effort not to keep staring at it as I gave out my very detailed order, but I had to make that effort because among other things, the shirt was pretty tight and there might have been some doubt in the young lady's mind as to what the real attraction was.

A doubt with ample underlying basis, I must admit! But then, she was the one who knowingly chose that particular shirt. She knew how tight it was. Still, as a bonafide feminist I have no patience with such "her fault" arguments!

Now previously, I have mused to the effect that even with full respect and regard for their bounteous musical gifts, I've always enjoyed The Beatles more as actors than as musicians. But today, I am forced to reevaluate. I find myself having to reconsider them in light of all their manifold aspects, and say that overall I find them most appealing as a t-shirt.

Wow, what a great-looking t-shirt that was!

I wish I could have gotten a better look at it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Wine Appreciator

Good evening and welcome to this edition of The Wine Appreciator. When it comes to wine, first of all, the cork industry can kiss my ass. Cork? Like I need that stuck down the neck of my wine bottle! What - to hold the wine in? SCREW THAT!

Go with a screw-cap closure instead. Better seal, no cork taint. Cork taint is a bigger problem than we wine aficionados (or "winos") like to admit. Incidence of cork taint may be as high as approximately 8% according to Chehalem's Harry Peterson-Nedry. And if you don't know who that is, trust me. He gets all the ladies.

Speaking of ladies, I admit it's kind of nostalgically romantic to jab into that cork with the screw, plunge it in, twist it down in there, really work it all the way into that sweet spot (but not too far though - the sweet spot, I said! Didn't you hear me?), and then kind of shimmy push shimmy shimmy pull it out and *doink!* your wine is open! That's always a sweet moment. I don't know why. It's just kind of something maybe subconsciously romantic about it.

But I've become a little disenchanted, even with that aspect. For one thing, the wine opener I currently use sucks. Maybe if I had a better one. For another thing, as with much in life, that sweet spot can be tricky to hit. A lot of the time you may screw it in it too far and the point comes out the bottom (bits of cork in every glass!), or else you twist it not far enough and when you swing the arms down for the extraction - dog gone it - you swing 'em all the way down, and that dang cork is only halfway out to where it needs to be! Still plumb stuck, in other words.

Sure, a powerfully-muscled brute like m'self can always finish the job by dint of main strength, but in terms of suave, the moment is already lost to you by then.

Tonight's wine is a 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, by Goosecross.

It's a little sweet.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence

The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Most of our efforts along these lines consist of us sitting back, pointing gigantic dishes or very large arrays at the sky, and listening. Listening for some signal. A message from them.

But I bet there's some guy, some misfit, some rogue-minded individual somewhere on Earth who has taken a more proactive approach, and is sitting in his little corner of nowhere with a powerful radiotransmitter pointed at the stars pumping out a mathematically-coded challenge, broadcasting in all directions: "COME AND GET IT! WE ARE THE EARTH! WE WILL DESTROY ALL COMERS! YOUR CIVILIZATION IS WEAK! YOUR INTENSITY IS FOR SHIT! STEP TO US AND YOU WILL GET HANDED A PAN-GALACTIC ASS-WHUPPING!"

I think we better devote at least some of our resources to finding that guy, and shutting him the fuck up. Fast.

My Standard Disclaimer

The above statement represents the author's gut opinion, and may not reflect the views of the eyes or head.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So Apparently You Can Add a Video

I'm going to test this out. See if it works.

Okay. That should be it. Let's see if it worked.

EDIT: damn, it worked. Easy!

This guy's damn catchy. Those interested can send click here to send him their BIRTHDAY WISHES.

Okay, I have a joke.

Okay, I have a joke.

Two guys walk into a bar.

The one guy says to the other guy, "have you seen the bartender who works Tuesday nights? She's HOT!!"

The other guy says, "No I haven't."

The bartender says "What'll it be?" The two guys order different beers on tap.

Then some more people walk in.

Pretty soon it's a pretty jumping scene.

Next these two beautiful women walk in. One says to the other "hey it's a pretty jumping scene in here."

Indeed it is.

So the bartender says to the ladies "what'll you have?"

The other woman says "I'll have the same."

The one woman says "I'll have a Tom Collins."

Next the two women start playing pool.

Holding his beer, the other guy comes over and puts his quarters on the rim of the table. "Hey," he says.

The two women don't acknowledge him.

The other guy walks back over to the one guy, standing near the bar. "Think we can take these two?"

"Whaddya mean, on the pool table?"

"And anywhere else they'll let us! HAW! HAW! HAW"

The two men laugh at their little joke.

The women continue playing pool. The shorter one with the larger breasts wins. As the one guy walks over to deposit the quarters, the two women finish their drinks and leave. The one guy looks after them.

The one guy looks up at the other guy.

The men begin playing pool. The one guy wins each game. No one else seems interested in playing.

"This place is a joke!" says the other guy.

"This whole night is a joke," says the other guy.

Neither man laughs.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Not Entirely Sold on the Title of That Last Post

"The Current Phase of Environmentalism Is Anthropocentrically Selfish In Nature."

Is it?

Are we sure that's what we want to say about it? Are we sure that's how we want to put it?

Are we sure it isn't that The Current Phase of Environmentalism Is Selfishly Anthropocentric In Nature? Or perhaps The Current Phase of Environmentalism Is Selfish and Anthropocentric In Nature.

That "In Nature" is a bit confusing as well. It sounds like we're talking about the environment. Which, needless to say we are. But not in that sense, not the word "nature" as used there. It's more like "in essence", "at its core."

The Current Phase of Environmentalism Is Fundamentally Selfish and Anthropocentric.

Ooo! That's nice. Except "Fundamentally" has the perfumed incense of religion wafting about it. Which is fine - I'm quite religious! - but it doesn't fit the post, really.

The Current Phase of Environmentalism Is Essentially Selfish and Anthropocentric.

Accurate. But sounds a bit weak.

The Current Phase of Environmentalism Is Totally Fucking Selfish and Anthropocentric.

Hm. Strident, maybe. A bit strident.

Ah, I'll leave it as it is. For now.

EDIT: No I won't. I changed it.

The Current Phase of Environmentalism Is Essentially Selfish and Anthropocentric.

EDIT2: But wait, "The Current Phase of"?? When has it NOT been? I should just take that out. Environmentalism Is Essentially Selfish and Anthropocentric.

Except, I don't feel like environmentalism must needs be selfish and anthropocentric. That's just they way we've always done it, but it could be done in other ways that are not selfish, or not anthropocentric. Not that I'm advocating that! I'm just saying.

Aha! I have it: Our Supposedly Altruistic Environmentalism Is In Fact Selfish and Anthropocentric! Or maybe...Our Environmentalism Is...

Our Ostensibly Altruistic Environmentalism Is Essentially Selfish and Anthropocentric? Which Makes It No Less Virtuous.

Hm. Too much editorializing. I'll just go with the first part.

Environmental issues have never been more complicated than in the present day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Our Ostensibly Altruistic Environmentalism Is In Fact Selfish and Anthropocentric

What species are we trying to protect, exactly? What climate are we trying to preserve? Only the range of species and conditions that happened to prevail coincident with our own flowering as a species. We don't want to save nature, we want to arrest it. We don't want the progression of nature - we want the status quo to be unnaturally prolonged.

There is a viewpoint which regards humanity as outside of nature. How pompous. How self-aggrandizing. How deluded. "But humanity is out of control! We're not in balance! We're out of harmony!" So were the first hugely successful Precambrian organisms, living in an anoxic environment and multiplying out of control until the accumulation of their waste product (oxygen) made their environment hostile to them - but opened the way for oxygen-dependent life forms to proliferate. All life succeeds to the greatest extent that it possibly can within the given conditions, until it is either crowded out by more successful organisms, or its own proliferation undermines the environment it needs to succeed. Equilibrium happens, but it is only one of many natural states. Extinction is the norm. During the course of this planet's history, far more species have gone extinct than have survived to surround us today.

Yet just because we happened along when we did, we look at the world as it has been over the past 5,000 years or so and say: this is how it should be. This is the world's natural state. Familiar animals. Polar icecaps. The stately procession of seasons in temperate zones. The sea level set at yea high. This is nature.

Well, yes. Yes it is. But nature is also the frozen winter that never ends for centuries, thick sheets of ice covering all the land you know. Nature is also the hellishly hot, muggy summer that never lets up, and Wyoming submerged. Nature is not simply the world we know from the songs of poets and the beauty of landscape paintings, nature is not simply the familiar wonder of our current happy medium as our cultures and societies have perceived and celebrated it. Nature encompasses extremes - bitter and suffocating global extremes, lasting centuries and millennia.

Our happy medium today is an anomaly. Even if humanity had never arrived on the scene, it would nonetheless still be passing, swinging towards a further, natural extreme - from our standpoint, an uncomfortable extreme - soon enough. The happy medium, the "natural state of things" as we hubristically view it, is a relatively brief transitional state. One that we merely lucked into inhabiting.

And THAT! is what we want to preserve. What we want to unnaturally prolong. Not for nature's sake, no. Not for nature!

For us.

I'll tell you what, too: we're smart enough to pull it off. I say let's do it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dining Out

So sometimes I'll be enjoying a fine meal at a multi-star cuisine eatery, and I'll be chewing a delicious mouthful when suddenly I'm chagrined to find hard bits of bone mixed in there! I know! Disgusting, right?

But then only to find out later that it was actually just pieces of my teeth. So that gives you a lesson, right there: don't judge.

Bitter Recriminations Against The Blameless #1

Dr. Seuss LIED to us about how fuzzy and rhymey everything was going to be when we grew up.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Hello" and Goodbye: Nostalgia for the Age of the Music Video

Isn't it funny how back in the Age of the Music Video, the plot of the video would end up getting inextricably woven into the perceived meaning of the song? "Oh, I love Lionel Richie's 'Hello'! You remember - that song about this teacher who has a huge crush on this blind student, who he endlessly fantasizes over, and then she sculpts his head?"

It's kind of a shame that MTV turned suck, forgoing videos in favor of "programming." They had created this wonderful social commonality, via a resource that could be shared by all - Music Television! Tune in anytime to see music videos! A mishmash of all the most popular acts of the day, plus a liberal salting of oddballs. You would always be happy to sit through the one you didn't like, because you knew something good would be not far off. Meanwhile, your tastes were being broadened through the exposure to the stuff that you wouldn't have otherwise sought out. Insidious! MTV was responsible for the erosion of genre boundaries across a whole generation of kids.

Then they gave that up. They turned away from that unique role, that they themselves had pioneered. For what? Game shows. Reality TV soaps. Nowadays when they play videos at all, which is rare, it's gentrified genre-specific blocks. It's like they gave up on the idea that music can transcend boundaries.

Well, I guess they knew what they were doing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Acacia Season

The acacias are back at it again. Blooming. Just starting to bloom, really. Soon there will be seas of yellow trees along Highway 17, and yellow pollen sifting down thickly onto parked cars where I work.

I can't even decide if it's pretty, really. Part of me considers that these trees are just great big weeds.

But some weeds are pretty I guess. So they can't be ruled out on that basis.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Actually Heard Someone Say This

"I have nuzzled a bosoming viper!"

The Tough Topics #5: Prayer In Schools

This is a controversial proposal, but the time has come to throw open the suggestion box on this issue. People want Prayer in Schools. But it has to be fair. It has to be fair not only to all students, but to all gods.

If there is to be Prayer in Schools then children must be forced to pray to all gods on an equal-time basis. There shall be a rotating schedule with all feast days honored and observed on a basis of strict and perfect equality, with equal time given to all past or present systems of belief irrespective of whether anyone does now or ever did take a given belief system perfectly seriously. It is, after all, the spirit of the thing that counts. The ancient Greeks - hey, maybe they didn't believe in their wild and capricious gods as literal beings! But they recognized the value of the public spirit of the thing. It is in this sense that religion can still be important to us today.

Children who refuse to pray on religious grounds shall be sent to special detention cells where they will fast and abstain as a special penance - and in extreme cases, be mortified of the flesh. This will serve them as an adequate prayer substitute, and indeed, will allow the little snots the chance to play martyr (which is so obviously what their parents want anyhow right?).

In order to give equal time to those of the Atheist faith, it will be necessary to create an Atheist God to Whom the Atheist allotment of prayers would be addressed. This Atheist God shall have the following dread attributes:

· OmniNonexistence

· OmniKnownothingness

· OmniImpotence

The Atheist God shall be addressed as either:

· Gad,

· Gosh,

· Gol,

...or else simply as "Thine Nothingness," if the adevout wish to avoid invoking any particular dread name.

And I think that's pretty DAMN fair all things considered.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fly On The Wall

Such a great album. Maybe the second greatest of the Brian Johnson era.

Just great.

"Back In Business" is criminally underrated as a song. I mean, "Like a cannonball / rollin' down the track / I need good lovin', but I want it back"

Come on! That's good stuff. They don't write lyrics like that anymore...nobody does.

I was born in trouble - they gave up on me. Teacher preachin' - what not to be. Call me dirty. Trash my name. Just tell the boys, that I'm gonna BE! Back in business again!

Back in business again.

Back in business again.

Back in business again.

Back in business!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pro Bowl Fever!!

Can't blog. Gotta watch the game!

I thought it was next week for some reason. This hotly-anticipated contest between the all-greats of two mighty conferences! How could I make a mistake like that??

I couldn't have. They must've switched it up on me.

Pinback, MC Chris Feb. 9th at the Catalyst

I dunno. I'll get back to you on this one. I'll come up with something.

Not that it was a bad show, or uninspiring or anything! Shit, that reminds me I still have to write that Klaxons review from way back. What an awesome show that was. Which is just to say, just because I may be a little procrastinative on the review, doesn't reflect on the quality of the show itself!

Friday, February 08, 2008

The 10 Greatest Albums of All Time (and who won the Grammy that year)

Rolling Stone recently put out a list of the...what was it...FIVE HUNDRED GREATEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME?

Yeah. Something like that.

Anyway, here are the top ten from that list, plus the winner of the best album for that year as per the Grammys:

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles. GRAMMY WINNER: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles.

2. Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys. GRAMMY WINNER: Sinatra: A Man And His Music, Frank Sinatra.

3. Revolver, The Beatles. GRAMMY WINNER: Sinatra: A Man And His Music, Frank Sinatra.

4. Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan. GRAMMY WINNER: September Of My Years, Frank Sinatra.

5. Rubber Soul, The Beatles. GRAMMY WINNER: September Of My Years, Frank Sinatra.

6. What's Going On, Marvin Gaye. GRAMMY WINNER: Tapestry, Carole King.

7. Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones. GRAMMY WINNER: The Concert For Bangla Desh, Various Artists

8. London Calling, The Clash. GRAMMY WINNER: Christopher Cross, Christopher Cross.

9. Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan. GRAMMY WINNER: Sinatra: A Man And His Music, Frank Sinatra.

10. The Beatles ("The White Album"), The Beatles. GRAMMY WINNER: By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Glen Campbell

I have to get that Sinatra album. It's gotta be some kind of POWERHOUSE!

A Friday Thought of the Day

"If every day was Friday, the weekend would never come. If every day was Saturday, we'd never get paid."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Open Dream Journal #20: Attack of Tyrannosaur

I had a dream where I was being chased by Tyrannosaurus Rex, but unfortunately for him the presence of living dinosaurs is a BIG tipoff that it's "only a dream," and sure enough, pretty soon I realized that and immediately 1) stopped running 2) turned around 3) jumped back just in time as his big head snapped down rightinfrontofme to swallow me whole, and 4) with a mighty karate yell I punched through his poor skull, rooted around for a second, then grabbed and pulled out his walnut-sized brain at which point he 5) keeled over mighty thunderously.

I felt bad for him, but hey. Sucka forgot whose DREAM he was in.

I will say this, though. It's a good thing I realized when I did, because he was right on top of me, and I don't think I could have eluded him. And as we all know, if you die in a die for REAL.

Which makes me wonder about the real reason for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Why am I being thanked by a recording?

There isn't even any way I can say "you're welcome."

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Inadvisable Rejoinders

Her: "I'm sick of these wait and see, maybe it's for real maybe it isn't relationships. I want someone I can grow old with!"

He: "You're half-way there!"

Monday, February 04, 2008

Bond Vs. Bourne

I hate to say it, but as much as I loved that last Bond flick, which all and sundry have hailed as by far the best recent Bond and which none have failed to observe must have been inspired to shoot for a greater sense of realism by the success of the stylized brutality and almost witty humorlessness of the Bourne films...which, hold on there, the very idea of a franchise being inspired to shoot for GREATER REALISM by The Bourne Supremacy is hilarious! But I digress. I loved Casino Royale, but the more I thought about it, and as much as I hate to say this, I honestly don't think it topped any of the Bourne outings.

And the implications are frightening. Prior to jumping to the comparison, I'd been prepared to rank Casino Royale as one of the top 3 Bond films. The other two being From Russia with Love and Goldfinger. But that top 3 is in no particular order...I can't rank anymore within that stratosphere. And that leaves the question open: is it possible that Bourne beats Bond?

I don't mean in a fight. My girlfriend and I have already agreed and established that in unarmed combat, Jason Bourne takes Bond down 5 out of 7 goes. 6 out of 7 if there's a phone book in the room.

Bourne also takes down Bruce Wayne. Even Christian Bale Bruce Wayne! But only if Wayne is in a tux, and not that damn trick suit of his.

There's this person who...

There's this person who, we used to have a really good rapport and I thought of her warmly as a friend. We'd interact all the time, back and forth, repartee and such. And I believe she also felt quite warmly towards me. But now I think she doesn't. I have the idea that she feels coolly towards me. I think it's my attitude: brash. Unrepentantly brash. Unapologetically brash.

Well, I'm not sorry. This is me, this is WHO I AM. If you want to be friendly with me in a passing, casual fashion, then THIS is what you are going to have to ACCEPT. That's the price of acquaintanceship with a guy like me. I don't do anything by half-measures. You need to be willing to give a 100% commitment to occasionally chiming in on one of my remarks, or making a humorous allusion to me where I can hear it and respond knowingly, or spending time in company with me and others, passing the rich banter around like a platter laden with scrumptious and sumptuous dainties, or even just occasionally giving me a "that's a reasonable point, I agree with that" or a "Here's where you're wrong...", or even just wondering silently to yourself about the state of my head - but caringly, always caringly.

If you can't commit to me at that level, then at least be up front with me and say so. Don't keep me on the string, here.

I won't travel into the straw daylight desire.

I typed that. Some kiwi gave me the line.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Stunningly (If Not Moronically) Obvious Observation

The phrase "drop you like a bad habit" makes no damn sense! Those things can be wicked hard to drop.

Okay. Time for some flapjacks.

Dark City: An 8.934th Anniversary Appreciation

I love the movie Dark City, but I wouldn't consider it one of the greatest rock albums of all time. I'd say it's roughly as good as Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ozymandias" - bearing in mind that I have some sympathy with Shelley's opinion of that work.

Still, it is undeniably a dark, paranoid little paranormal thriller, with an off-kilter sense of what works that works wonderfully for it; its suspense unspooling tick by almost-missed tick like the beating of a clockwork heart whose gears were designed to skip and catch. You're never quite sure why the film pulls you in - very little that's happening onscreen bears any relation to waking logic - yet if this is a dream, it's a dream with all the fever drained out, and replaced by a cold, clammy sense of some mad ritual being enacted. Like a gothic costume drama séance gone horribly real.

What a load of foaming gibberish that paragraph turned out to be. Listen, I'm sorry.

Anyway, it's a pretty decent flick. Nifty, I call it.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Top H List #1: Things To Shout Out When You Sense You May Be About To Be Oppressed

Today's Top H List, the top H things to shout when you sense you may be about to be oppressed:
h) "Hey watch it!"

g) "Fools! You're all of you pawns in the greater game!"

f) "My rights as an individual outweigh your puny laws!!"

e) "Prepare to receive the full brunt of the wrath of my conception of God!!"

d) "I am a full Citizen of the Galactic Empire! Thwart me at your peril."

c) "I will deep tongue kiss any who dare lay hold of me!"

b) "Wait! Stop! Look at yourselves. You don't have to do this."


Actually that last one is pretty great to shout any time.

Books I Just Got

The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw and Never Will See in The New Yorker - edited by Matthew Diffee. I heard about this one. Glad my eye chanced upon it.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Having seen The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I jumped at the chance to thrill to the original adventures of Dorian Gray - the amoral two-fisted indestructible scourge of Victorian England!!!

Jacob's Ladder by Bruce Joel Rubin (illustrated screenplay with commentary). Now I own the movie, the screenplay, and the t-shirt. And the funny thing is, the first thing I got was the shirt. Hadn't even seen the movie yet. But those commercials used to freak me out.

The Varieties of Scientific Experience - Carl Sagan. I kind of wish that "The" wasn't in the title. Doesn't it seem a little too much like a claim of comprehensiveness? Which...yeah right! I mean, come on. Not in this slim volume.

Amphigorey Too - Edward Gorey

Disputed Questions - Thomas Merton.*

Everyone's Fucking Wonderfu Part. 2

Apologies for the previous post. I was drunk. Semi-drunk. I won't admit to drunk as far as I'm typing half-straight.

Oh, okay: quasi-drunk.

Everyone's fucking wonderful. People want what they love, they love what they want, and for the most's just the human basics! Love. Enjoyment. Sustenance. Surcease of sorrow. It's not that hard to relate to!

I live my life feeling imprisoned in a cage, of feeling like there is no one who feels like I do, or that other people motivate on a different basis: one that I do not know and never will be able to relate to. But that's fucking HUBRIS!! On the inside, on a level that I can't reach and that I will never be able to prove extant or understand, everyone is basically just like me!

Right?! RIGHT? I mean, I stumbled across this other guy's blog, based on...did you know you could go to your profile and click on one of your favorite movies and see all the other people who've also selected that movie as a favorite? Anyway, I read some of his stuff on there, and, admittedly, some of it was pretty disturbing (I should have clicked on a different movie, maybe), but a lot of the key themes resonate.

I'm not some weird, unusual, interesting, strange person at all. Practically everyone else is just like me on the inside.

Just like me.

Fucking wonderful.

Everyone's Fucking Wonderfu

Friday, February 01, 2008

Rock Of Love Represents The Final, Decisive Victory Of Feminism.


Or is it in fact perhaps, an insidious undermining of the various hypothetical gains hard-won over the years by the combined dint of the sweat and toil of the united brows of the feminist movement? Could this show in fact be cloaking an almost subliminal objectification, degradation and

Bret Michaels. Sure, on the surface, the guy knows how to rock a bandanna:
But just what exactly is he doing, in a house with - wait, I just noticed I left that paragraph up there hanging mid-sentence. "Could this show in fact be cloaking an almost subliminal objectification, degradation and"...then nothing. Must have lost interest or something! What happened was, I got distracted trying to find a jpg of the REALLY COOL bandana Bret keeps sporting in Season 2. You know the one! Vivid red paisley, with a couple bold blue patches.

That bandana is Nice. The one I have posted here...not really on that same level. And Bret kind of looks like he knows it.

Anyway, getting back on the post, I get a sense that I'm just never really going to do justice to that awesome post title I came up with. Maybe it's better to simply leave it at that.