Do You Feel Lucky?

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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Word of the Day: disquisition

I constantly look up words I love. I don't know why. I already know what they mean, right? Anyway.

I looked in my built-in Oxford American Dictionary under "disquisition" ("a long or elaborate essay or discussion on a particular subject"), and was enjoyably floored by the "use it in a sentence" example that was provided:

Nothing can kill a radio show quicker than a disquisition on intertextual analysis.

I love that sentence, for some reason. It sounds like some snarky thing that the sidekick guy interposed to the main host after he and the main guest got into some really wonky sidebar tangent for like five minutes of air-time.

But the main thing that hit me was - what do you even MEAN?? I would LOVE a radio show like that! They'd have me hooked. "Long-time listener!"

I don't think I'd call in, though. That dynamic's not for me.

Happy Halloween, Today...and For Those of You Who Like to Plan Ahead, Here's a Link!

Date of Halloween for year date 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

What a resource that is. I wish they could clear up the picture for us a bit further out, though! Maybe they'll update it.

Totally Fabricated Quote

"The future dreams backwards towards us. The great among humanity sense the future most strongly - drawn by the selfish pull of their own influence."

- H.P. Lovecraft

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everybody. It's a nice holiday! I like it.

For one gruesome moment, I tried to turn all the greens in my color scheme orange. It was only going to be for one day! Turns out it was prohibitively hideous. I had to switch it back.

It's not the fault of the color orange. Orange is cheery. But the specific oranges available in the palette, the available selection of oranges isn't nearly as good as the greens. It ends up looking like a lot of off-browns and yellows. Autumnal, perhaps! But not nearly Halloweeny enough.

So on Halloween, and on into the duration, enjoy your usual ghostly glowing green!

Hey, though, I saw where they have some nice reds. Maybe towards Christmas...stick a bit of red in there.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Unspeakably Aw, Cute!

Cthulhu used to freak me out a little. But later I found out it was fake. Now I love Cthulhu!

A Call for More Intrusive New Laws

I think that if we the public are going to support movies, and these movies are going to have these enormous budgets, which ultimately we the public are paying for!!! - then in the lower left-hand corner of the movie screen as every movie unreels, there should have to be a little digital dollar-ticker that keeps going up, showing exactly where all that money is being spent.

The counter would go faster or slower, depending on what's happening onscreen at that moment. For dialogue scenes, it'd basically just grow at a rate based on the salaries of however many actors are onscreen, and what proportion of their total salary that scene translates into. Then suddenly, the big FX scene crashes in on you and WHOA! LOOK AT THEM DOLLARS GO! Maybe the display could be green most of the time, but when it goes into budget-spend overdrive it could start flashing red for that scene. Or something.

This is about more than just entertainment. It's about transparency, accountability. These are our dollars, being spent here, and ultimately - there needs to be a way to account for it. If the film industry doesn't take matters into its own hands to implement this important reform, then I'm sorry, but it's time for Big Mister Government to step in - bat in hand, whistle perched on lips. Government should always be there with the ready threat of enforcement.

Responsibility: it's everyone's responsibility. And ultimately that means if you don't take it on willingly, then you will be forced to.

More Way-Too-Late Ideas: Halloween Costumes Pt.2

I did one of these before. High time for another! Happy Halloween, Everybody!

More Way-Too-Late Ideas for Halloween Costumes:

Ninja With A Broken Arm! This would be easy. Standard, totally normal all-black Ninja costume, augmented by an arm-in-a-sling! Just a regular, white, medical looking arm-sling. Very low-key, but it creates all this curiosity and even drama! This poor Ninja broke his arm. Is he a clumsy Ninja? Bad at fighting? Shouldn't he just lay low a little until it heals? This is one situation where dressing as a Ninja could make you more conspicuous and vulnerable. See how much intrigue that arm-sling adds? It takes just that nice touch of hapless, to redeem the hackneyed aspect and render the costume fresh anew!

Sexy Male Nurse

Kai Den-Zai'Khan from Sever Death Move! There is no such character or video game, but just come up with something outrageously Japanese-anime looking and tell people - "I'm Kai Den-Zai'Khan from Sever Death Move." Get all uppity-superior if they ask you to go further into it. If a real hard core game geek challenges you, tell 'em it's not available in the States until Christmas 2010, but you've got an in with the developers. If they ask you who the developers are, tell them "it's not pronounceable in your language." Then turn on your heel all haughty. But don't walk away! Just stand there with your back turned. That's Kai Den-Zai'Khan's taunt move.

Aggro Safety Inspector! Walk around with a lab coat and a clipboard chewing people out, criticizing unsafe costumes and trying to force anyone without a mask to don "protective eyewear" (you'll need to bring a bunch of big dorky safety goggles with you as props - depending on where you work or go to school, you may have access to these for free).

Socially Delinquent Fanboy! Your appearance isn't important. Just find anybody dressed as Batman and fawn over them. And when I say "your appearance isn't important" I mean that "your appearance isn't important" is an important part of the costume. You want to look like somebody for whom appearance has not been important for decades worth of fashion, months possibly years worth of general grooming, and days possibly weeks worth of bathing.

"Team Costumes" (you'll need several other people in on the theme for max effect):

Mariachi Luchadores!

Godzilla's Lawyers

A Whole Bunch of James Brown Impersonators!

My Spooky Etc. - Head Start on Next Year's Spooky Movie Contest!

As previously noted, I'm giving every PLENTY of notice on next year's contest, after all the controversy this time around!

The assignment: first pick one of the following evocatively spooky film titles I came up with for you, and then make a scary movie out of it! Deadline for submissions for next year's contest is midnight September 1st 2010.

Behold! The following available titles for you to choose (NO SUBSTITUTIONS!) (EXCEPT THAT ONE WHERE IT SAYS IT'S OK) (or the other one where it says it's OK - that one's OK too) (OTHERWISE NO SUBSTITUTIONS):
Death Mister

Son Of Monster-1

City Of Atrocity
(or, Atro-City: City Of Atrocity will be acceptable)

Blood Sucka

Scare The Audience

Deep Dark Medicine

Gotcher Nose

Nuclear Hoopajoop
(or, Post-Apocalyptic Nuclear Hoopajoop Blues will be acceptable)

Morgue Of The Dead

Deep Dark Sunlight

Maniac With A Brick

Alien Invasion Environmental Impact Report

Night Of The Drupes

Deep/Dark

Nectar Of The Creeps 2

My Spooky to Filmmakers Aspiring Assignment Pt.3: And the Winner Is! Nectar Of The Creeps

We here at Consider Your Ass Kicked! are pleased and proud to at long last announce the winner of this year's Spooky Movie Contest!

BIG WARNING! This movie I am about to embed into my unsuspecting blog has been subtitled "A Horror Film." As such, I would suggest that it is intended for the faint of neither heart nor mind. It contains images calculated to disturb. As if that weren't enough, there is fiddlin'.

It is therefore with completely inadequate ado that I bring you Nectar Of The Creeps, the winning entry in this year's Consider Your Ass Kicked! Spooky Movie Contest!

Nectar Of The Creeps is the work of seasoned budding auteur Lunarchick of SkyBluePink, who is hereby awarded the Distinguished Palm of the Judge and Jury Special Selection Committee.

Which brings up a certain awkwardness of situationality, vis-a-vis the presentation of the Distinguished Palm. Ordinarily the Distinguished Palm is presented in the form of a handshake (most people choose the handshake option - by far more distinguished than the other presentation options!). But as it has no doubt occurred to me by now, that's hardly practical in this case! Because - the internet. The internet makes it impractical. Yet another case of the internet complicating what should be simple. But that's me: technophobe. I blame the internet for everything, even global warming and the high cost of beer.

So for the time being, Alice, please accept my hearty accolades and assurances that you are indeed the recipient of the award, with all the pomp and half the circumstances of any comparable award. The presentation is pretty much a formality! Look at it like getting the Academy Award for Best Oscar: you are still the winner, even if for some reason you are (for example) in Baltimore, and so you can't stand there on stage, up in front of the whole world getting the orchestral bum's-rush halfway through everyone you wanted to thank.

I just hope to God you thanked me at least. I'd be a little peeved.

But leave all that aside. Me getting thanked or not would not diminish the accomplishment one bit! Congratulations, and I salute you. I for one look forward to following your career as a movie-maker with keen interest!

My Aspiring Assignment to Spooky Filmmakers Pt.2: Final Call!

I just realized the deadline for this year's Spooky Movie Contest was midnight October 30th. Which technically, happened at 00:00 AM this morning!

In the interest of fairness, and since a lot of people might be slaving away under the time-management-challenged and mathematically-inaccurate assumption that "midnight October 30th" means tonight, I'll split the difference.

YOU HAVE UNTIL 6PM. No further entries past then! Any late entries of horror movies for this year's contest will, however, be automatically considered for inclusion in next year's contest, which will have a Valentine's theme.

No, I'm kidding. It's still going to be a Halloween theme! Although, Valentine's horror movies, those might be yet more realistic. Maybe I'll run a separate contest.

SO! ANYWAY. This evening, I'll judge the entrants and announce the winning entry! Which will be screened, via embedded post, right here on Ye Olde Blogge! And in that same post, I will also take the time to announce the particulars for next year's contest. Doing it early - no excuses!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More Unsolicited Marketing Advice for Globally Huge Corporations

So, the trend in the major-label megabrewing industry these days seems to be: come out with "boutique" sub-brands, or "serious beer" offerings within their main brand, to target the microbrew enthusiast market.

Speaking as a member of that target market, I have to say, the idea is a no-brainer. But I also have to say, I'm not impressed with what I've seen so far. I'd like to see some better offerings. I'd like to be able to belly up to my local bar and order a pint of Bud Plus, or Miller Extra-Genuine.
Important Disclaimer: this post contains unsolicited advice for globally-huge corporations. None of this should be interpreted as an actual marketing plan from an actual manufacturer. But these are some pretty sweet ideas, if I do say so myself, and I wouldn't be surprised if the very quality itself, or the sharp way in which I present that quality, might not create some sense of behoovement within the concerned organizations.

Bud Plus would be a smash hit. I can't think of a knock against the concept. I've got the label half-designed already. All I need is that little bit of corporate buy-in!

Bud Plus - drink smart! Infused with ginkgo and vinpocetine, plus a few other "Plus"-type ingredients. And it doesn't stop there: Bud Plus would merely be the flagship to launch and inaugurate Anheuser-Busch's brand-new "Brewticeuticals" subline. This would be all it would take to revolutionize the industry. Think of the possibilities, folks! Brewticeuticals! Nutriceuticals you can enjoy ice-cold - nutrients brewed right in, to your healthy 2 or so beers a day! Now you can really drink to your health!

Try a Broodia Hoodia Lite Lager - crisp refreshment, as a dietary suppressant! Or a Co-Brew-10 Stout: high-antioxidant stout ale, supplemented with CoQ10! Drink hearty - for your heart! MycoMiracle IPA - a hop-intensive, flavor-intense IPA with infusions of rare mushroom, arabinoxylan rice bran and miscellaneous micellized aqueous nutrients! The FDA will not let us tell you what this one is for. But let's just say, those of you born late June - early July might give us a hint.

These are some ace ideas I have kicking around! I wouldn't be surprised if certain industry insiders wouldn't garner themselves a pretty sweet promotion for bringing a few of these maverick ideas to the attention of the King of Beers, or some megabrewery of a comparable prestige level.

Oh yeah, Miller Extra-Genuine - I don't need to describe that one do I? Kind of self-explanatory.

More Lies About What I Believed As A Child

As a child, I used to be fascinated by those crazy, complicated chalkboard equations used by chemists and physicists and such, because I thought that those equations were what caused the processes they described. Like a written incantation! I believed those formulae were used by chemists, for instance, to change one substance into another - and that they were constantly on the hunt for new and better equations to manage the physical world.

Once I learned the truth, I completely lost interest in math.

Hey, Watch the Walk!

You better believe that whether I stomp, strut, stride, bounce, skip or traipse, I am going to walk the walk as well as I talk the talk. And of course, as the needs of the situation require, sometimes that entails some deft and tricky reversals and transitions, whether verbal or pedestrial. It's a volatile world, especially with me in it! And I insist on meeting the world on its own terms, with a measured and appropriate response, totally on the fly and as I see fit. That's the standard I set.

Take today for instance. I was walking downhill a bit, this afternoon, and I noticed my shadow and suddenly became aware of my body language and the way I was kind of...mincing? Yes, mincing is the word! Now usually I don't mince, much. Words or steps. But here I was, coming down this hill, and I was really pulling off this pretty markedly effete feet feat, you know what I mean? And as soon as I noticed, I was instantly amused, but before I could do anything conscious about it my body automatically threw this awkward transition into play mid-stride, to "butch it up." Suddenly I'm taking the downhill all hard-guy implacable, with feigned unconcern.

But the sudden adjustment must have looked pretty funny, if anybody saw! I was laughing a bit about it myself. Ah, me!

More Actual Comments from Actual You-Tube Videos! #3

"AC/DC is just getting started on Big Jack (Black Ice cd). Angus and the old guys have never sounded better with age."

"Okay. But I don't get why I was thumbed down for that when all I did was asked a harmless question about how T-1000 was reprogramed."

"Johnny marr....the best rythym guitarist to ever pick up a guitar...fabulous...modest...I don't think he even knows how many lives he has narrated. Bless you Johnny, you narrated my life for one!"

"I'm bored of the usual sex... can someone come pull my blonde hair?"

"I hate how people hella hate on tight pants and shit. It's like really? Do you not have anything better to do? I mean seriously, people have their own style. Let them be, and then I hate the ones who call you a fag one day for wearing them, and come the next day with skinny jeans on too. Its like 'Didnt you just call me a fag for wearing some?'"

"Man, when he talked, he sounded so mellow and cool it pisses you off a little. He sounded like the epitome of cool."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Poems are hard!

Anybody out there try to write a poem deliberately? It's hard. Even if you don't sweat the quality! In fact, despite what you think, the crappy ones aren't any easier. The good ones are usually a little easier. But even there, it can be a real crap shoot.

I've written seven (7) poems since that post yesterday, and I have to say, man. It's getting to be tough going. I'm one hell of a hard worker, but where poetry's concerned, hard work alone isn't enough! It takes one other very important element: and frankly, I've got no idea what that is. I've been doing OK so far faking my way along, but I'm ready to admit when I could use a helping hand.

So, this is kind of a risk for me. I'm not the kind to ask for help, much. I'm putting myself out there on this one, a little bit. I'm exposing my vulnerability here, just by asking for help. But I'm doing it anyway. So go easy on me. It takes courage to help somebody, but no way near as much courage as it takes to ask for help. People who ask for help are the real heroes.

So anyway. Anybody who wants to help me out, by suggesting in the comments thread a brief idea, or concept - it could be as little as just a word or two. Any slight hint or tip or tidbit, topic-wise, that might touch off a firestorm of creativity within me, to help me meet my arbitrary and irresponsible goal of another 100 poems by midnight, December 31st of this year - well, if you'd be kind enough to help, I'd be grateful enough to say so.

Wait. That's completely confusing. I don't mean "midnight Dec. 31st" - I mean by the end of 11:59 PM December 31st. Like, 11:59:59 at the latest. For those of you who hew to military ways: 23:59:59. That's when I need to be done by, not midnight! Because at midnight December 31st, I'll still have the whole next 24 hours left to go!

Anyway, either way, you get what I mean. That's a lot of poems!

I stress, this isn't a homework situation, to give me a tough assignment when I'm looking for some easy help! I'm not claiming I'll be able to crank out poems to your exact specifications, or anything. I think the best either of us can hope for would be a situation where your cryptic hint or suggestion could serve as the jumping-off point for something greater, lesser, other, or similar from my prolific poem-zone. And if so, wow - everybody wins! And you could then feel privileged to say, "that poem probably never would have happened."

Self-Quote of the Day: a Troubling Sign

"It's not a drinking problem. It's a drinking solution."

You Know What I Should Do...?

You Know What I Should Do? Oops! Title-Caps Attack. ahem. You know what I should do?

You know all those great, cool internet thingees or dealys (to the upscale: hoopajoops) that you discovered or shared or had shared to you like 2 or 3, or five years ago? On the internet? And they tickled the heck out of you? You know the ones I mean. This or that video, or piccie, or prank or tidbit or whatever. And they were sort of hot, and had their day of fevered fun in the sun, and for some reason I'm always only ever being made aware of them now. Way past the point of immediacy.

Well, I should start a site whose whole sole purpose was to just say, "hey - let's take a moment to appreciate those bygone memes, or mini-memes, or whatever the hip called them then, that we've left behind!" Nobody would have to know that I only just got hip to them. That whole unfortunate aspect would be deftly concealed by the site's very premise.

I almost can't resist doing this! Some of this stuff is SO COOL, you have NO IDEA!

Actually...probably, I guess you do. You probably do have some idea. But you know, wouldn't you welcome a little refresher? After all, it was pretty neat, once - huh?

The Power of Just That Extra Slipped-In Bit of Positivity

Just passing a work colleague in the hall, he said "Morning," I said, "Hey, mah man."

Now, I'd meant to say simply: "Hey, man" - but I stammered a bit, and it came out sounding a like a sort of funk soul "My Man" only very evenly stated - in a tone more matter-of-fact, rather than all exaggerated put-on act like you might expect: "My Mannnn!" But despite (or because of?) the subdued delivery, the difference wrought by that simple "mah man" was noticeable. He visibly brightened from that unexpected tinge of warmth!

I don't know how I feel about that intellectually - but I do know it made me feel good to brighten someone's day. The situation isn't without its complications and conflicts. I'm not really the kind of guy to go around "My Man"-ing people, and I don't want to set up that kind of expectation. In addition, the fact that it all stemmed from a mistake, from an unintended slip and not from a deliberate expression of comraderie, makes me feel a bit false about the whole thing.

But it did make me feel good. It was what I wanted to do, even if I didn't technically want to do it. So I'll just say, sometimes my tongue knows what my heart wants better than my mind does, and leave it at that.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Western Philosophy

"Keep your hand off your pistol-butt unless you're hankerin' for a showdown."

"When you cut cards, the other players should all be about as drunk as you. A lot less drunk, and they'll clean you out. Too much drunker - they'll try to shoot you when you clean them out."

"A one-horse town's no place for a horse thief. Especially if you plan to settle down."

"The thing to keep in mind about the sheriff is, if you shoot him they may find you guilty. But if he shoots you, they will sure find you guilty."

"Gunslinging would be a hell of a lot less risky without the whisky, card games and loose women, because there wouldn't be nobody doin' it."

Doodeloo #24: Hi, Punkin!

punkin

Day 300: Dawn of Despair, or, Another Dream Bites the Dust

Today, Tuesday October 27th, is the 300th day of the year.

Which sucks for me, frankly. I was thinking I had a real shot at re-branding my poetry blog as a "Poem-A-Day (On Average)" blog. And at this point, I think I have to admit that's probably out of reach. Sucks. I thought I was really on a pace! I mean, not that I was trying. I refuse to produce art based on external pressures! At least, not since college.

I really hurt myself with that slow start. A 19-poem May? An 8-poem March? COME ON. Were there no cherry blossoms this year? I could have at least banged out a few haiku. Pitiful.

All told, I'm showing 258 poems so far for '09. Respectable, I guess, but no way can I hit 365 by midnight December 31st. That'd be 107 poems in 65 days! I'd have to hit a pace of 1.646 poems a day for that to...wait. You know, that's actually not as bad as I thought. That's not even two poems a day, right? Somehow it seemed like more.

I guess it's more that I'm bad at math, then! Wow. I'm practically home free on this! I can do a poem a day easy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

ow! ow! ow! ow!

I have got to stop punching my hand for emphasis. My poor hand!

Man, you know what though? I really hit hard! You know? When the situation calls for it? For emphasis, for instance.

I can pack a punch. That line of force conducted from shoulder via crooked elbow into straight-aligned wrist and forearm right through to big, bony knuckles - I press an impressively-stacked deck of wallop into that defenseless palm of mine.

My poor hand. I've got to stop doing that. If for no other reason than the fact that me wincing and alternately grabbing my hand and shaking it while making tiny distressed noises tends to undermine whatever emphasis the gesture might have otherwise conveyed.

DAMN, that smarts!

Why I Hate to Have to Kill People

I hate to have to kill people. I just do. It's not even like I have to explain that, or give reasons, is it? I can give you as many reasons as you want!

Number one, it's just wrong! I don't care about these so-called situation ethics, or moral relativism, or any of that. For me, me personally, it just feels wrong. I hate it, I hate doing it. Even in an extreme situation, let's say: capital punishment. Let's say it was hypothetical. Let's say it was a situation where it was possible to prove 100% that the guy did it, and that the law got it right, no mistakes, no takebacks no breaksies. Even in that 100% situation, where I was 100% certain the guilty party deserved it, even in that situation of pure objective certainty, it would still be wrong for me to kill him, because that's not my job! I'm not even sure I'm qualified for that kind of job. That's got to be some kind of heavy, elite, civil-service qualifications to land a job like that. I'm sure there are a ton of applicants crowding in for a shot at that gig. I don't think I could land that even if I wanted it. WHICH I DON'T.

Because, like I said: I hate to have to kill people. Even just for personal reasons - let alone for pay! Forget it. No way. It's just one of those things where I have to step back and say, "Oh I don't know, I think I'm going to have to draw the line on that one..." Only understand, my "hesitancy" there is pure sarcasm, because come on! There's no "I don't know" about it! I know perfectly well. Killing people is something I just can't get behind, for some reason.

And don't give me this whole "oh, have you ever DONE IT? You don't know what you're talking about then," bag. I call that whole line of argument a crock of intellectual cowardice. It's not like I have to kill people to hate doing it. Imagine what kind of a world this would be, if everybody had to actually go out and kill a bunch of people before they could feel entitled to say, "man...I really hate that. Ug. Not for me." Imagine what kind of world that would be! Imagine the senseless slaughter. And for what? Nothing! That's what "senseless" means, in this context.

Well, I for one don't think all of that is in any way necessary. Maybe you can disagree with me if you feel you have to, maybe you want a world like that, but the very idea of having to live there puts my heart in my stomach.

Ug. Not for me.

The Problem of Our Children

Our children are no longer busy and industrious. Well, mine aren't anyway - I haven't got any children. I guess technically I couldn't say one way or the other about yours. Do you have any children? Well look to them, then! Are they busy and industrious?

I thought not!

This proves what I've been saying all along.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

That's About It for This Week's 'Sunday God Blog'

That's about it, I think, for this edition of God-Blog Sunday. A bit disappointing for me, really. I didn't really catch fire with the spirit, or anything. Still - we can't all go around holding ourselves to that kind of standard! We'd never get ANY witnessing done!

I think instead of deciding to suddenly make the whole day God-themed, to compensate for not doing any lately, and then have to scramble through old drafts dusting off and grafting together tidbits and fragmentary ideas to fill the till to a respectable level, maybe instead of that approach I'll just make more of an effort to do what I originally planned to do in the first place: each Sunday, 1 post about God. Some good, some bad. None indifferent.

Now that doesn't mean no God posts during the week! Shoot. What kind of a world would it be if people shunted God off to only ever show up on Sundays?

FEATURED ON NEXT WEEK'S SUNDAY GOD BLOG: God's Plan for You.

Until then, stay tuned for my usual assortment of up-to-the-minute sports and music trivia.

Prophecy: Bullshit, or Possibly Not?

I just realized I should clarify - people do talk about prophecy in more than one sense. If it's just speaking the word of God - we've all heard the word of God, we can all speak the word of God. Calling that prophecy is like saying "hot enough for you?" and calling it meteorology.

When I talk about prophecy, I mean a NEW REVELATION from God. Not just the same old OLD "word of God" that's been printed in dusty books for ages. A prophet is one who delivers a NEW revelation, from God to the people. And at this point, when I look at anyone claiming to be a prophet or to have prophecy, they have nothing to back that up. What new revelations have we had? And as far as predictions...any future predictions usually amount to dire threats of hell or devastation for those who believe differently.

Well holy shit- COOL!! But - didn't we already really know all we really need to know on that score?

(and I was kind of kidding about the "COOL!!")

The answer is: Yes, we knew all of that already.

If you're going to call yourself a prophet, quit giving me old news.

Inscrutable Thought of the Day, Possibly Theological

God is the ultimate search engine.

A Bumper Sticker That I Found Personally Offensive

This was a bumper sticker that I found personally offensive:

GOD LOVES ATHEISTS

I totally came up with that! They totally stole my idea!

Sons of a bitches.

God will punish them for me. God knows who came up with what first.

The reason we can have such a great relationship with God is that God's indestructible.

The main reason we can have such a great relationship with God is that God is indestructible. There's no way we can hurt God, any more than what God already took on. But we can and do hurt each other. For that reason we need to realize that relationships with people are going to take more work. We can pretend and expect that we should enjoy the same degree of impunity in our relationship with others that many of us feel privileged to enjoy in our relationship with God, but in practice, that works better for us than it does for others. There's a difference between how a human can interact with God, and how a human can interact with fellow humans.

In some ways, we can steamroll right over God. We can take God for granted and substitute our will for God's - call our will God's will, call our imperfect understanding God's perfect plan. We can trump ourselves up to a perfect accordance with God, and God is most likely not going to complain. Maybe down the road - hopefully, every day, a little bit, our understanding changes as we learn. And sometimes we learn we were wrong. Wrong about God, maybe - and too often, wrong to others. With God maybe, we can feel already forgiven. We can feel like the wrong we did and the misunderstandings we embraced and acted on were no problem to God - because they weren't a problem to God. We lack the power to harm God, to meaningfully trespass against God. But there are plenty of people down here whom we do hurt.

God has no need of our pity or mercy, but we can't treat a person in a pitiless and merciless way. Allowances must be made for frailty and imperfection; particularly: for imperfect knowledge and imperfect trust. For the fact that another human does not know our heart directly. For the fact that another human can only take so much shit from us, before they lose their faith in what they thought we were. That's not their failing, it is ours. There are bad people in this world, you know. We believe that God knows that we're not one of them. Well, whatever the case may be, we can rest easy that God knows everything. Sometimes - one ought to admit - God knows the case better than we do.

But what about the people around us? The ones who don't know everything? What do they know? Only what we've done to them. How have we treated those who are not indestructible, but fragile? Do they think we are "bad people"?

A good way to start answering that question would be to ask another: does it matter to us, what they think?

There Is Only One God.

Infinite is sufficient.

I don't capitalize "god damn"

I don't capitalize God when I say god damn. It's disrespectful.

Unless of course I were to mean it literally. In theory, I would capitalize it then. But in practice - frankly, saying it literally is far more disrespectful. No human being has any business saying that literally. That's so far out of your jurisdiction even the Feds have better sense than to pronounce on that. And as we know, the Feds are known to just butt in every damn place!

Hey. It's Sunday.

Another sweet Sunday God post! Hey, you know what? Let's do a whole day of them. And nothing but!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oh, Awesome. The 'Search Blog' Function Doesn't Work?

What the heck is this. Wasn't Blogger bought by Google? Who of all people ought to know how to run a search function?

Type in 'tweed' and search the blog for it. 1 post! That's all that comes up!

I just tried the same thing in my dashboard, searched my posts internally, and there are four published posts that contain the word 'tweed'. I tried it with a number of other words, too! Same thing: the 'Search Blog' function (window top left of your screen) can't search for shit!

Posts including the word 'shit': 10, according to the 'Search Blog' function.

From the dashboard, I come up with 154 - not counting 23 drafts and 2 posts scheduled for future publication.

Pathetic.

Did they change it? I feel like it used to return good, comprehensive results. I used it all the time! Intermittently.

Maybe it was missing stuff all the time, and I just wasn't scrutinizing it.

Shit.

These Triscuits are AWESOME!

"Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuits"? Yeah. I guess. I guess technically, rosemary and olive oil are what causes that flavor to happen, but what it REALLY is is STOVE TOP STUFFING FLAVOR triscuits!

That's about as close to heaven as I ever expect a triscuit to get me.

Who knew rosemary was so involved in that classic stuffing flavor? I mean, I can definitely get it now, I'm tasting it out. Taste it out, like, sound it out?

When some revelation like this comes along, it makes me start to doubt my palate's vocabulary.

Yeah...I'm Pretty Secure In My Sexuality.

As I've observed many a time before, I'm pretty much a lesbian in a man's body. I mean, I am all man! But I have a certain femininity of the soul, so to speak. Buried deep within my machismo is a sleek inner lesbian, and she knows what she wants: hot, female babes. I mean, she's not a pig about it! But there it is.

Like many lesbians, the idea of having sex with a dude pretty much turns me off. And I don't see anything wrong with that. Let's face it: dudes are hairy. They also have (and sometimes are) dicks. I don't want one of those things pawing and poking at me - gross.

To tell the truth, I'm not really sure how all the straight girls cope with the whole lovin'-on-dudes aspect. I don't see the attraction there. There are only like, 3 dudes* where I'd even entertain the idea, and note when I say "entertain" I don't mean cocktails and hors d'oeuvres followed by seven sumptuous courses and a string quartet. No, this "entertain" would be more like, here's a glass of tap water and a half pack of of saltines, and thanks for the interesting conversation but GET OUT. Because it ain't that kind of party.

That's not an insult to anybody who may be offended.

I mean, straight women...let's face it, I have to thank my stars or whatever that for what ever reason, it works for them. Since since I was born as a man (okay, a baby, but eventually a man), I'd be pretty much out of luck otherwise. And neither is it a case of homophobia, or even...maybe it would be technically heterophobia at that point? Either way, I ain't a phobe of nothing. It takes more than some questionable sexuality angle to phobe me out. Anybody comes around trying to phobe me will find out the hard way - NO DICE. And furthermore, not only "no dice," but just for trying to phobe me, I will knock you on your ASS for that. I am not the slightest bit phobed about any aspect of that transaction. You can't go around trying to phobe people up and expect no consequence!

Anyway. Sexuality seems to be this big complicated thing for people, but I don't get why, exactly.

word of the day: daguerreotype

The word daguerreotype always wants to make me pronounce it as: "derr-OG-o-type." As if it's an archaic process for making people look bad.

Wow, I Just Realized Something REALLY STUPID!

I just realized something really stupid. Wow. I can't believe how stupid this is, and more than that I can't believe it took me...I only realized this, just now! It took me that long to realize it! How stupid is that?

Here's what it is, basically: let's say you go out and buy a great album from the record store, with like, between 5 and 10 really great songs on it that you love instantly, and the rest of them, well, okay - maybe they'll grow on you. Well brace yourself, because HERE'S the stupid part! For much less than the same cost, you could just write those songs yourself!

I mean, not those same specific songs. That would be either plagiarism, or a violation of causality, depending on when you did it. But you never heard those songs prior to hearing them, right? And you'd never have heard the other ones you'd write prior to writing them either. So from a closed-box standpoint, the reasoning works.

More than that, supposing the songs ended up being roughly-equivalent in quality from an objective perspective. Well, you would end up getting MORE ENJOYMENT out of your own songs than these other ones! First, because of the feeling of personal satisfaction and achievement, but second and perhaps more importantly, because you'd be biased. So why go buy some other person's album, when for so much less money you can write your own? I mean, writing a song is not like hard tedious labor. I knocked out two songs yesterday and had a blast - both RULE.

DIY, man. DIYDS.

I can't believe how stupid that is! And how long it took me to go, "Hey...!" on it. I guess it must be one of those things where sometimes, what's too obvious goes unstated out loud, for fear of insulting one's own intelligence. Especially if you're basically saying it out loud to yourself - bad enough to talk to yourself, that whole stigma. You really don't need to compound it by telling yourself something really obvious.

Anyway, I'm still going to go buy some of those other peoples' albums too. I'm just trying to find ways to stretch my entertainment dollar. And yours!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It All Links Together In Somebody's Sky

The crazy thing about constellations is...they don't even know they're in a constellation. To every one of those stars, their "buddies" that we link them up with so inextricably are just a bunch of random dudes, part of the background surrounding them, scattered in various different directions.

What constellations do you suppose WE might be a part of, without even knowing?

They Say "Patience Is a Virtue"

They say "Patience is a virtue," and most people don't question that. Probably, they don't question it because they hear it so often. They've been brainwashed, a bit. Conditioned since birth by relentless repetition of that dogmatic fact: "Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue." I bet if you asked most people to name a virtue, survey says patience at #1.

I'm convinced that the reason people find it so necessary to emphasize the virtuousness of patience, so much more than any other virtue (when was the last time anyone found it necessary to point out "Courage is a virtue"?) is because, out of all the virtues, patience is the one whose virtuousness is the most arguable. A lot of people might say patience is the worser part of discretion.

That's another one that bugs me: "Discretion is the better part of valor." To hear the saying say it, discretion + courage = valor. Or possibly: discretion, plus courage, plus unspecified additional component(s), equals valor. Where the hell did they get that math? In what sense can discretion be said to be a component of valor at all? Let alone the better part?

I have to assume we're talking courage as the other part. The worser part. Because when I think of valor, or look it up in the dictionary, basically what you have is: courage. There isn't a whiff of discretion to what that word "valor" actually means. The only place "discretion" comes in is in that one saying. Otherwise, you would never even associate the two. How did that saying catch on? You really might as well say, "humility is the better part of courteousness," at that point. Or "fiscal responsibility is the better part of looking sexy no matter how you feel." These may all be virtues, but they're kind of unrelated.

So, yeah. Patience is a virtue. I'm not going to dispute it. I might qualify it a bit. Let's say: if virtues were vowels, patience is "...and sometimes Y."

The History of Sex Education

DNA. Can't make babies without it, right? Yet, back into the mists of time, people had no idea what DNA was. So to our modern scientific standpoint, maybe we might be inclined to look back upon the people of that savage day as pretty much ignorant (or if you will, innocent) of the hard particulars of baby-making. Back before it was fundamentally understood, before the discovery of Watson and Crick.

But you'd be wrong, though. If you make a study of it, you'll find that the historical record is simply littered with indicators that ancient peoples knew what was what, when it comes to you-know-what. If you're capable of deciphering some of the lewder myths, you can see they had a pretty big inkling of the all the process particulars. And taking a step back from hard science, here, why wouldn't they? After a few thousand generations of witnessing the subtle connect of cause and effect, they'd be able to put it together on a higher level than simply "hey! This feels good." Sure! At some point, they'd be able to put one and one together and be able to say: "Hey! This thing puts babies in!"

See, we try to act like science holds all the answers, but really, a lot of that stuff was figure-outable.

What the heck is DNA, anyway? I mean, everybody talks about it like they know how it works, and they show you pictures of it and stuff, but then when you look at it it just looks like some kind of weird, twisty Lego set. How the heck could that grow into a baby?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Selected Scenes From My...

From "Selected Scenes From My Art-Rock Movie":

* a minor character pours and eats an entire bowl of cold cereal in the foreground, while in the background, the two major characters bicker in voices too low to make out, all the time gesturing forcefully and moving energetically from room to hall to out of view to back again - each taking turns crowding the other, then alternately giving ground.

From "Selected Scenes From My Action Thriller":

* the main character enters a restroom, goes into a stall. As we wait for the fight scene or plot development, he sits, his eyes scan the cryptic scrawls on the door, another person enters - tension! The other person's feet enter the stall directly next to him. Our man's eyes are tense. We wait tensely for what's about to happen. He finishes up, pulls some toilet paper, carefully making very little noise. Close up on his eyes, tense. He stands, does up his pants, flushes, exits the stall, goes to the sink. He's watching the door to the other stall as he washes his hands thoroughly. Then he leaves. All he does is take a shit! Nothing else happens in the scene, really. Classic!

From "Selected Scenes From My Genre-Defying Romantic Comedy":
* actually, I've kind of got writer's block on this one. But it's the scene's fault, not mine! So far, they're arguing about the proper division of kissing responsibilities when the ninjas bust in. Now, that's the point at which the rest of the scene is supposed to write itself! But apparently, it's got writer's block. Which as far as I'm concerned is a pretty pathetic excuse.

I agree with everything you say

...minus the sarcasm.

Let's Have a Little Sympathy for the Sellouts, Please

Massive success is not earned or deserved. No matter how you might judge it on merit alone, when it comes to actually reaping the whirlwind - merit's got nothing to do with it. Massive success can come at any point really - but it is always, always a fluke.

When it comes in the push of youth's ambition and the crush of seemingly overwhelming and undeniable talent, it always seems foreordained. But far more often than not, that youth and undeniable talent are denied. People with grit press on, and then when massive success comes later, it seems like a fitting reward for hard work and perseverance. But it wasn't. Not a reward. Still a fluke, whenever it comes. Mostly, it never comes.

When something explodes - when the flickering, fickle instant of the public's attention span distractedly lets its cross-hairs settle by chance over an inexplicably perfect-for-the moment work of brilliance, and the collective mind of crap culture is suddenly, in spite of itself, blown utterly away by something great and real - we always want to say: it's because of the quality! "It would have been impossible for the public to have ignored something this good!" We always want to say that, because we're saps who wish the world worked. We wish it worked on merit. It doesn't. When success happens to get it what-we'd-call-right, you can't tell me it happened because of quality. The dominant culture shits on quality, and prefers the shit.

No, something that catches fire does so by pure freak chance. A miraculous happenstance chances into the line of a critical mass. The spark is touched off, for unpredictable reasons, and then as miracles pile up, something somehow keeps the chain reaction going - it keeps snowballing and expanding until it consumes everything! And everyone says: well, of course - it had to happen thus! Of course. Let's pretend that talent is what matters to get success. Let's overlook the incredibly talented who somehow never catch a break. Let's overlook the horrid but massive successes from the weeks before, which we were all moaning so about.

Quality and merit can sometimes be factors. But look at the vast majority of suck that gets sucked into the same blind machine to be blown up huge: it's clear that they are not decisive factors.

There is no decisive factor. There are a million contributing factors, and then there is the hand of chance that somehow magically shuffles them all into a world-record run of pure sweet beautiful dumb luck. Rejoice when it happens! Whether you're the gifted performer, or simply part of a gratefully-gifting audience - thank your lucky stars, when success lands where it looks like justice. Thank your lucky stars. Because massive success is never explicable, neither before nor after the fact. Nor is it ever something one can meaningfully plan to make happen. If it were, then people would - and it would work. But it doesn't work.

So quit complaining about formulas. No formulas work, no matter how vapid and atrocious. If the willingness to cut a certain pattern or even to sell one's soul down the river could turn the trick, than truly anyone could do it! Few can do it. None can do it on demand.

And while we're at it, quit complaining about sellouts. Let them follow their muse to the music they choose to record! That should be blessing or curse enough, for them. It's immaterial whether you feel someone else is selling out "to" achieve success. It's immaterial, because they can't close that transaction. Not by planning, not by directed effort, no matter how hard they try to aim high or low. The desire to "sell out" doesn't make any magic transaction happen, so why not just credit these people with making the music they want? As atrocious as you may think it is, that doesn't mean they aren't expressing their true souls as artists.

You should bless their success, because the world is hard enough. Your own soul is the only thing you diminish, by begrudging people for following their dream and getting lucky. For every bubblegum success that you might care to complain about, there are ten thousand bubblegum failures.

It Is With Deep Humility...Pt.2: More Awards You Don't Necessarily Want to Get

"You better watch it, pal, or I will be forced to award you the Distinguished Flying Right Cross For Inadvisable Bravery."

Don't worry, you won't be expected to make a speech until later:

"When I was first presented with the Distinguished Flying Right Cross For Inadvisable Bravery, I was speechless. Struck senseless. I was floored."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Sun Came Out, and It Didn't Go Away

"...no, it didn't / it didn't go away..."

"Reptile" - 7 Worlds Collide



Far be it from me to urge upon y'all the necessity of purchasing a double-album recorded in three weeks flat by a shitload of indie rock b-listers to benefit a charity you probably never heard of (but check it out, though: Oxfam! - looks like a good cause!). Far be it from me to urge you to buy something like that, on my bare say-so.

GET IT ANYWAY.

The name of the band is 7 Worlds Collide. The album is The Sun Came Out.

I'm only on listen two all-the-way-through, and I'm so happy with the surprises still piling up. Who could have expected an album with so many different top writers and lead vocalists could be so ego-free and cohesive? No, not "ego-free." That's not right at all: this project has a huge, united ego. There's some real sass and love and cocky confidence on parade here. There is lived-in ease, but mixed in with the frisson thrill of the ground crumbling under you from the brand-new weight of a sudden, delicious crush. Wow, what a crazy...yeah, band, I guess you have to call it! Too bad they can't tour, huh?

Ah, I don't know. I recommended it to me, and when I got it I was far from merely delighted. But you do what you want, I can't be responsible. It may not be to your taste, I'm hardly a judge of that.

But I'm loving this.

When God Doesn't Think Your Joke Is Funny,

...say, "Sorry, God! Guess you had to be there."

Just make sure you keep your face straight as you say it. God likes the subtle humor.

Simplify Your Decision-Making Process!

The "Damned If You Do" vs. "Damned If You Don't" dichotomy is often presented as if it were some sort of insoluble dilemma. But really, it isn't at all. You just have to decide what your priority is, in a given case:

Choose "Damned If You Do" if the pleasure of experiencing the doing is preferred.

Choose "Damned If You Don't" if the pleasure of being able to bitch about being unjustly punished is preferred.

Admittedly, that's still a hard choice for a lot of people - but the choice is between goods, not evils. Devil's food or not, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Or maybe you can, in a given situation. But you'd still be damned for doing so.

JACK FORCE 2: The Opening Credits Montage Voiceover

"My name is Jack Force. Special Agent. Special Operative. Special Investigator. I run a hand-picked team out of a secret location. They call us: The Jack Force. We offer our crack crisis-busting services to the highest bidder of all: The U.S. Government. When no one else can seem to get the job done, they call in The Jack Force to bring law to the lawless, order to the orderless, and justice to those whose tired refrain is, 'There ain't no justice in this world, you know.' And if we see the chance, in-between the performance of our official duties, we try to bring a little help to the helpless, too. That's what The Jack Force is all about: helping people."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Now I Want to Do My Own Video Dating Video, Just to Remake This Thing Shot-For-Shot, Gus Van Sant Style

After talking all brash in one post, I like to follow it up in the next with some crappy re-post of a years-old You-Tube video. It's all about the juxtaposition.



Now, everybody wants to say this is fake, and maybe so. But if that's the case, then this guy is a better actor than Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon put together.

This May Sound Callous

This may sound callous, but I just can't fathom people who seem to feel the need for validation from others, on the art or work or output of whatever creative kind that they produce. They need what?

"Validation"...? From other people?

They must be bringing the weak shit.

My Assignment to Aspiring Filmmakers: Spooky Edition

Well, I seem to have a real theme going this October, as I'm sure a lot of people do every month. I mean, there's no shortage of month-based themes! There have got to be at least seven or eight of them. December of course brings Christmas month AKA "The Holidays." In June, July and August you have "The Month of Summer" times THREE. It's really basically all the same month, though. You can go check the physics on that if you want: it's the same damn month. We split it up in three, so we don't end up with a ridiculously high number of days. But there's no real scientific difference to that division. And then there is also of course, "Black History Month" in February - surely the most prominent of the month-based themes. I'm trying to remember a few more. That seems like only three.

Anyway, with October I try to go with the whole, "here comes the spooky" theme. I know, that doesn't sound very official, but trust me - Halloween deserves it. Because Halloween itself is in many ways, the Secret King of My Holiday Calendar. Better candy than Easter. Better parties than New Years (it's not just the costumes - there's usually a good 3-5 nights' worth of people having parties! Whereas NO-BODY holds a New Year's Eve party on any of the surrounding evenings, no matter what weeknight it falls on. Something about the automatic-next-day-off effect, turns people lazy). Better costumes than Cinco de Mayo. And unlike some holidays I could name, little-to-no pesky religious significance.

Man, I got lost on the way to the point on that one! So anyway, in keeping with the spooky theme I've been milking all month, here's My Assignment to Aspiring Filmmakers: Spooky Edition! The assignment: pick one of the following evocatively spooky film titles I came up with for you, and make a scary movie out of it! To be screened, I supposed, next October. A bit short notice for this one. Sorry about that. Here are the film titles:

Damn it! I forgot the film titles. I had two good ones. That was going to be enough for me to "go on a roll" with!

Shoot. Dang stupid introductory remarks.

EDIT: deadline for this year's is midnight October 30th. Deadline for next year's: 9/1/2010. I'll be posting the results and screening the winner on Halloween! I'll also post the available titles for next year's contest at the same time.

I Want to Be a Wife.

I want to be a wife. I want to be a MAN-WIFE. I do not want to marry a man! No. I have higher standards than most wives. I want to marry a woman. She will be my husband.

I do not mean she will be in any way manly about it. No. But that is the role she will throw herself into. She will spend hard days providing at the highest possible level, moving great levers in business and industry, wearing tweed, settling into smoke-soaked leather armchairs in the private, exclusive husbands-only clubs from which I will be excluded, and the insides of which I would never raise within myself the wish to see. I will know my place.

In the evenings I will have ready at a moment's notice, a simple but exquisite repast. My husband will close the front door, throw off her overcoat (which I, with sprightly step, will take and put in its place), and we will both sit down to a dinner that will subtly thrill each of us with a sublime appreciation of the sensual. Then, as her eyes spark with that steely glint I know so well, I crave so much - eyes locked with mine, she will rise from the table - strength and purpose in every gesture - and, sweeping me up into her arms, she will carry me upstairs and into the master bedroom, where we will spend ourselves and our evening deeply absorbed in the delights that can be shared between husband and wife - working out every possibility and exhausting them all anew!

In the morning, she will rise refreshed, and kiss my late-sleeping cheek, as she sets off again to prove to the world who's best. And I will smile, dreaming in the deep content that only a well-loved wife truly ever knows.

More Actual Comments from Actual You-Tube Videos! #2

"the worst video of all time... ninjas, football players, freaky eye people... awful."

"why's everyone talking about jesus??"

"This is the song a gay admirer used to play to me in an attempted to seduce me. If you are out there Jason B, I hope the pain has gone away now."

"Removing an idiot is pretty fast and easy. Just rip the suckers head off...done"

"There is actually more than a maybe about it. Evolution is a theory ... I don't accept any 'science' which contradicts the word of the omniscient one. Why don't I accept retardation and foolishness? Maybe because it's stupid, ridiculous and worthless? Your 'morality' is worthless. This video is retarded, and demonstrates clearly that the vast majority of people are indeed ... retarded. Please, learn how to think. Maybe then you will recognize just how stupid videos like these are."

[Ed.: had to put that together into a paragraph for space reasons - it was like, every sentence a standalone paragraph! A bit unwarranted.]

"I hate indie music."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another Finn Heard From: "Throw Your Arms Around Me," Again

Wow. I never heard this before. Gorgeous.

The static visual on the vid is a little bit unnerving, though! And the intro with its funk hard-sell voiceover is simply hilariously misplaced. Yet I'm tempted to take mr. voiceover up on his deeply-enunciated offer...

Tim Finn, ladies and most especially, ladies. Particularly she of the summer sky.

That's got to be Neil there in the background. Nobody backs Tim up like that!

Tips On Cutting Onions

The next time you're cutting onions - don't cut your finger while you're at it! The reason?

Onions are loaded with powerful onionic acid. This is the same stuff that - in vaporized form - gets into your eyes and can make you cry. So that's last thing you want to get into a cut!

Watch the lemons, too, while you're at it. Lemonic acid is almost as bad.

Doodeloo #23: Curse Of The Vampire!!

CURSE of the VAMPIRE

Game Development Pipeline: Term Life Pt.2

Other aspects of the game. If you survive long enough in the game to where your children are all grown and your spouse is dead, and you've got grandchildren and stuff, then the game starts pitching you funeral insurance instead. There will also be a special parking meter you will have to keep going to, to keep pumping quarters in there and live forever.

This really only works if your character in the game is female - only grandma types ever appear in those ads guilt-tripping the elderly over sticking their descendents with the tab for a pine box and a plot of dirt. As if those punks can't foot that one lousy bill for the person who put them here! Shit.

You never see an old coot in those ads. It's always a biddy. Perhaps coots are less susceptible to giving a shit? I picture if gramps was in that ad, it wouldn't be "How I hate to think of leaving the burden on my children." Naw, he'd be all "After everything I sacrificed for those ingrates! They damn well better have enough socked away to send the old man off in style! My dad raised me up enough to be able to bury him right and proper, didn't he? Did I do such a shitty job on these kids, they can't do the same?"

All things considered, I think maybe guilt trips probably just sit that much sweeter when laid down by granny instead of pop-pop. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they have studies to back that up.

I've always taken a keen interest when it comes to these subtle distinctions and shades of demographics.

Game Development Pipeline Update: Spooky October Edition!

Trying to keep it a little spooky, a little creepy this October, and suddenly I realized - I've got the perfect post for that, sitting right under my nose ready to go!

So I've been working on developing a scary, spooky, puzzle-based video game where you are seemingly a regular person working on an ordinary life, trying to get by and provide for your family and kids, but you have a secret: you are able to periodically glean clues from the future as to how you might die. The goal of the game is twofold, one: to try to change what you're doing to prevent the deaths you can foresee, and two: since in this game, death is ultimately inevitable, to make sure that you have sufficient life insurance coverage to protect and care for your loved ones if, no when you do pass on.

Once you die, then you continue playing the game only from an altered viewpoint. You witness your funeral, and then you continue watching over your family and loved ones through the vantage point of the coverage and policies that you were able to put into place while you were alive. The stronger and more vigorous coverage you put into place, the more you can look after and take care of those who were closest to you in life.

The game is called: Term Life

I can picture landing some serious corporate sponsorship on this one.

By the way, anybody know any programmers?

I Almost Lost a Leg! Pt.3

The other interesting aspect is, that title would probably be completely true and accurate. I did almost lose a leg! Probably. And so did you, if you think about it.

For me probably, and probably for most people probably*, if we could be aware of the many horrible things that almost befell us and - owing to the timely intervention of chaos - did not befall; if we could but glimpse the huge web of interconnectedness that we traipse through obliviously each morning and on through the day, it seems likely to the brink of certainty that each of us could look back on our lives and see many, many instances where we - all unknowing - very nearly did lose a leg.

It's to do with the intersection of the infinite with the mundane. Anything can happen, and almost did. And if you're honest with yourself: that leg of yours isn't so secure and invulnerable as you'd like to think.

Reasoning from a Position of Weakness

My mind is weird.

I bet all minds are weird.

I Almost Lost a Song! Pt.2

I can't help but feel that the below long post would come across so much more dramatic with a better title. Something more grabby.

I was thinking something like: "I Almost Lost a Leg!"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Almost Lost a Song!

Here's an ironclad rule for you, from the master of ironclad rules: always, but ALWAYS record a quick snippet of each bit of the song you're writing, as you go. Because here's a little snapshot for you of the near-catastrophe that almost happened to a great new song I was writing just now: "Hey, Trouble!" (no relation to I guess there might be either a song or album called that already).

Anyway, this was a near-death experience, for the song at least. I came in with the refrain, which had already written itself as I was trying desperately to memorize it on the way back from grocery shopping. And putting the groceries away, I sing that bit of the ditty into the recorder. Then, grocs put up and away, I grab my mirror-black Fender Acoustic (my prime writing engine) and bang out an absolutely neat-a-riffic verse. The words, a perfect hit on the concept. Direct hit! The melody, great fit with the refrain. Chords chug together choppy-smooth chooglin' like the train metaphor I employed. All in all, a winner! But suddenly, something about the verse melody bugged me.

See, this happens to me all the time: I'll get a verse 1 and a refrain, and then for whatever reason, me and this proto-song will really "hit it off" and I'll play the progression through about a half-dozen times. Maybe two. Sometimes this process alone will generate the words for verses 2 and or 3, or a sudden tangent will wrestle me sideways into a good bridge. Usually though, I'm content to let the rest of the song percolate and take shape over days instead of minutes. So usually at that phase, I'm just grooving on what's already there - playing it through as a "whole song," but with verse 1 in place of every verse. Today I was just grooving. And then suddenly it struck: the dreaded brand-new-song deja vu. After about a half-dozen or two repetitions, the song inexplicably ("inexplicably" I say!) seemed strikingly familiar. Now how could it seem familiar? Because I'd been repeating the same verse 2, 3 times a song and playing that same "song" over and over? Or...because I must have ripped something off from one of my other songs! Off I went on an Odyssey, or if you prefer, a Ulyssiad, to track down which song of mine I'd subconsciously cloned the exact melody line from, and duplicitously pasted it into this new one.

This sensation doesn't happen a lot, ok? Still, it has happened before. Enough times that I ought to know. But for some reason, it never strikes me as telling that #1 the melody doesn't seem at all familiar until I've played it a million times, and from there, it never occurs to me that maybe #2 the reason it does seem suddenly familiar is that I just played it a million times.

Anyway, whew! I checked pretty exhaustively through all or enough of the possible suspects - songs with a similar key or vibe or tempo or length of line - and finally, I have finished reassuring myself that once again, I have thwarted my inner self-plagiarist. Off I go, happy as a clam to go out and about my day.

Except: I never recorded the damn melody.

I went to go play it now, and I rewound to play back the snippet as a refresher, and...there was nothing there! I hadn't bothered recording it, because it clicked so sweet straight off, and I went straight to playing it so many times, I forgot I hadn't nailed down the usual taped tentative initial melody.

The refrain was no problem. That was perfect and intact in my head, in fact, can't get it out. And the words and chords were of course written down, but the melody was a faded palimpsest. What I tried to recreate sounded nothing like the joyous effect I'd originally had in there. It went with the chords, but it wasn't what had been. I couldn't go forward with such a comedown as that.

So I went back to one of my old songs, and ripped off the melody from that one. Works fine.

Celebrating 100 Years of Shiner Bock

Who?

Shiner Bock, man! Hey! This is a good beer. I like it! Just had my first one.

Sometimes my mouth wants bam, and I know where to go for all kinds of that - but other times, hell, I'm just as big a fan of a smooth-drinking beer when the taste for something lighter hits. So I was just picking up a six of Bear Republic's Racer 9 IPA (more bam than which it is not advisable to try to get), when the clean and classic, yellow-gold friendly label and "100 Years!" display caught my eye and made me want to try a Shiner Bock. To give them their due, for keeping it real and keeping it right there in Shiner for all those years (per the label: "EVERY DROP OF SHINER...IS BREWED IN SHINER"). So I picked up a six of theirs, too - and glad I did!

Let me tell you about this beer: it has a good-tasting flavor to it! Good body! But the aftertaste is IMPOSSIBLE! It's just...gone. Poof! Like Keyser Söze. You're savoring a golden taste of good bock-style lager, and then the finish hits, and it's just - the vanishments. Damn, that's clean. That may be the cleanest finish I know. That's cleaner even than some of your major-label beers that taste like water to begin with!

Whereas if I didn't mention it: this one tastes pretty nice. Okay, it's not going to be elbowing aside one of my big, bold faves, but that's not where it stakes its game, either. This beer is a real winner in the light-to-middleweight category. Good job, Spoetzl Brewery, Est. 1909 in Shiner, TX.

Prohibition never quite entirely made it down to Tejas, apparently.

A Nice Turkey Sandwich: Always a Special Occasion

A turkey sandwich for me is always a special occasion, because how boring. Normally, I don't bother. So it takes something special to get me to want one of those.

Ordinarily, you see, I'm a ham sandwich man. And so is everyone else, as far as I'm concerned, unless they are either a) stupid; b) ham-abstemious for religious reasons such as kosher, halāl, or vegan; or c) not a man. There's no other legitimate excuse: when it comes to sandwiches, ham is the meat most amenable to helping those two bread slices and the other assorted fillings and condiments reach the fulfillment of the form's artistic and culinary possibilities.

However, part of that may be a matter of preference on my part.

Also, for the purposes of the above remarks, indeed, for the purpose of any remarks I may ever have made: a burger is considered to be its own entirely separate (and in terms of potential, superior) category, which is distinguished from the sandwich proper.

Given how I see it, though, through a ham-colored lens, it's easy to get that I'd hardly choose a turkey sandwich, were it not for something special! Some out-of-the-ordinary inspiration, and here it is:

Beaverton Cranberry-Mustard

I was browsing the aisles of Johnnie's Super when this curious condiment caught my ever-inquisitive eye. My immediate and almost violent reaction: "WOW! If that's anywhere as good as the phrase 'Cranberry Mustard' would seem to claim, then it falls to me to prove it upon a turkey sandwich of my own creation!" Those were my exact words! Thought, though. Not spoken aloud. Please: I am not a loo-loo.

So I brought home the groceries and then went out and about my day. All day long, I began thinking about that sandwich. And when I got home, I made it as follows, from top to bottom (I always try to describe a sandwich by the layers, since what's next to what makes a deal of difference):
  • the top half of a toasted Beckmann's sweet deli roll (mayo on)
  • 2 fat-sliced tomato sections (tomato ALWAYS goes next to the mayo!)
  • 2 slices of cheese (specifically: horseradish white cheddar)
  • one Polish dill pickle spear laid lengthwise (optional)
  • between 4-10 slices of HAM (depending on how big a slob you are!)
  • red onion (IMPORTANT)
  • the other half of the toasted Beckmann's sweet deli roll (with plenty of cranberry mustard on).
Hey, I'm just kidding about the ham. That's turkey in there! That was the whole point.

Delicious.

BWOW!!

BWOW!! Right in the fuckin' clock with a jaw! I beat hell into that guy, for what he just said to you! What he said that I or any reasonable person who heard it, construed as being deserved of.

I turn toward you as he sways backward into the tell-tale first phase of crumple and collapse, and I glory in your shining eyes - shining with a feeling that I can't identify but do not hesitate to describe as: LOVE. Ecstatic pride! Bliss, at your own good fortune. You love my violent ways, brought into play to defend your honor constantly, always a threat, ready at the drop of a remark to lay waste to some fool dude who thinks the lax codes of relaxed modern chivalry apply, even while I'm clearly standing right here.

They don't.

I believe what he said was, "What are you doing hanging out with this guy?" I'm not 100% sure on the quote - as soon as the implication hit me, the red I saw wiped the words away! But the implication was clear: that YOUR intelligence might somehow be drawn into question, for hanging out with me! Well I always say people can say whatever they want about me, but leave you out of it, and whatever this guy said it definitely broke the code.

Then I broke his code for him - the code of his FACE! And as he comes back to earth, I turn to face your shining eyes, and await the reward of your grateful embrace.

The Algebra of Shame

Where N is an arbitrarily large number representing how many times you turned on me and burned me: burn me N times, shame on you. Burn me N+1 times, shame on me.

Predestination? Handy! Convenient!

See, I don't see much if any problem at all with the idea of predestination, the idea that our fates are already set and our futures are immutably written. The problem isn't that! The problem is that there isn't sufficient awareness and understanding, of the details and implications.

For instance. I went out to a eat, at a restaurant. I had no idea what I was going to order, and it took me forever to decide. This inconvenienced not only the person I was with, who was hungry, but also the wait staff, and even (since the restaurant was busy) the next couple for that table, to whom the delay filtered down.

But if universal predestination were true, and most importantly: if it were known - then the kitchen would have had our meals going already as we walked in! Our appetizers would be delivered to the table as we were seated! They would have known already what we would have inevitably ordered, and there would our own chosen choices be. Presto, Geronimo - bon appetit!

I don't see it as a free will problem. I mean, the kitchen didn't coerce us. Those were the menu choices that we would have always made. Foreknowledge doesn't necessarily entail coercion - not unless you know the mechanism by which the foreknowledge is acquired, and can show that it is a coercive mechanism.

So since we can't know how it works, I say: don't sweat the mechanism! Just dig in and enjoy the potential benefits.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Listen to Your Body.

Listen to your body. Learn from the messages it sends. Do not ignore your body's cries in an attempt to transcend them; enlightenment is not to be gained through self-willed obliviousness. Give your body your attention: do not block it out.

But don't let it boss you around, either. Don't be a slave to its blind pangs and needs. You must demonstrate to your body who is in charge. You must show it control. Your natural urges are important, and you must attune yourself to them, but you must not let them rule you. Don't be a puppet, springing to obedient action at the twitch of nervous strings! Instead, listen patiently to your body's feedback - but then when it is time to act, make sure your body knows that you set your own course.

Sleep when you're hungry, for example. Eat when you're tired. Cry, when you have to take a shit. When you're thirsty, get laid.

You must teach your mind to break its cycle of enslavement to biological imperatives, if you are to be a master of you.

Sweet mother of excess. Six dudes? Count 'em! Six dudes in a band?

This band is like totally full of people, there are like, it looks like six dudes in this band, I am trying to count up the possible necessary instruments in a rock band and give 'em one each, and see how many dudes are left over, my guess is: several. Man. Six dudes, in a band - nice work if you can get it!

Six dudes!

What the heck was Buddy and the Holly Crickets doing at that point, there were three of them were they not? Yeah, that sounds about better, doesn't it? Please somebody break this band in half and put out twice as many albums with 50% less duplication of effort for sake's sake, what on earth. Six dudes in a band. Even U2 has only four dudes in it and Bono does not play a damn thing. What can be the purpose of six dudes in a band.

Lead tambourinist, rhythm tambourinist?

Sweet mother of excuses. It's got to be somebody embarrassed to fire their old college dorm room buddy who has been along for the ride or something. "Just stick him behind that organ-looking thing. No, don't plug it in, he won't notice."

SIX DUDES IN A BAND. Please.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm Like a Big Kid!

But that's not any kind of excuse, or cop out. As if, "oh, I can't change how I am, I'm just that way." No, it's quite the opposite in fact. I'm like a big kid deliberately. It's a lifestyle choice. But more than that: it's a rational decision, based on various environmental factors, personal hopes and goals, a careful consideration of my freely-accepted obligations to others, and a frank assessment of how my native talents and interests intersect with what I can reasonably expect to accomplish in life.

So, anyway, yeah. Just in case you were wondering about that. That's why!

Man, that is the FIRST TIME that has ever happened to me!

I bit off more than I could chew!

Wow, what an eye-opener. You go around saying something your whole life, and while it makes sense on a mental level, it's never more than just a metaphor to you. But then suddenly - it hits you! The POW! of experience!

The whole saying just comes home to me in a very vivid way, now. It's not just a metaphor!

I think it could be improved, though. The saying might pack a little more punch if instead of "he bit off more than he could chew" it was "he bit off more than he could chew of food that was way too hot to be biting into in the first place."

Still, though, even that - I don't think I'd have been able to get that real, visceral appreciation without having actually had the literal experience.

These are some gooood quesadillas.

Without Dreams, Without Ambitions, What Then Is Life?

I want to figure out some way, some kind of way that I could work out an arrangement to live in a sort of miniature castle, in the middle of a zoo.

I'm willing to make substantial accommodations. For instance, I would be willing to wear a gorilla suit when I went out to get the paper.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

OK: www.FallOnYourSword.com Is Fleapin' Awesome.

It just is. I wish I could tell you why.



I wish I could tell you why.

I wish I could tell you why.

My Favorite Genesis Song

My favorite Genesis song, and it pretty much always has been no contest: "Home By The Sea."

I love it for the rough, jagged forward thrust of its insistent tempo, for its supple melody lines caressed by Phil's ever fluid and fluent larynx, and for its some unspecified third, equally-pompously-described, impressive-sounding aspect. You will have no problem filling in that blank yourself (put it in the comments!). But most especially, I love it for its creepy story...! Very apropos, as October swings into full underway.

It's a strange tale, and grippingly so. As near as I can make it out, in the dead of night a guy breaks into a nursing home and is mobbed by its inmates who swarm him like zombies and then drain his vital essence by regaling him with boring stories of their salad days. That's as near as I can make it out.

This song is quite typical of the sensitivity displayed by Collins et al in their capacity of "meaningful song purveyors" (see also "Illegal Alien" from the same album - truly this was a major big important band at its height of influence and puissance).

And now without further ado or adon't, please, by all means, WELCOME TO THE HOME BY THE SEA:



Do not say that you were not warned.

Dare I Look at the World with the Eyes of Love? Dare I Avert My Gaze?

An odd phenomenon, recently. Every cute girl or woman I take notice of, lately, if I stop to take a moment to ponder what it is about her exactly that strikes me so, it keeps coming back to something about her that reminds me in some way of my sweetie. In a shockingly high percentage of cases.

This is very unsettling! Alarming, even. Very strange. Very unusual, for me. Because my whole life, when it comes to attractiveness - historically at least, I have very ecumenical tastes. My proclivities are so broad as to defy any attempt on my part to describe what my so-called "type" even is. When I think of those with whom I've spent the most good time - those with whom I've felt (at the time, at least) the most well-matched - when I run them through my mind in terms of how they put themselves forth, appearance- and style-wise, why my goodness! These ladies have been all over and on both sides of the map. And so it goes for the everyday passing fancy, with just the people in general who catch one's eye, so to speak: it's always something different about any given person that makes her stand out. Right?

I mean, it used to be. And it still generally is something different. But lately, the differences begin to share a certain disturbing commonality between them.

So what the heck is the deal here, then! What - am I unhealthily fixated, or something? And if so: sweet! I love it!

Anyway. No offense to these various other ladies - each of whom I sincerely assume to be a decent and true person, well worthy of respect in her own right - but the little resemblances that strike me in so singular a fashion are really all, in the final analysis, pretty trifling. Let's be realistic, here: even if I'm chugging along in my cartoon choo-choo and all the trees look like delicious tootsie rolls to my eyes, I ain't about to pull the train over, break off a branch and chaw down. I know it's just going to be a disappointing, dry mouthful of bark and splinters. I know where the real Tootsie Roll's at!

And again, no offense! But there's really no comparison, toots.

Even More Things You May Not Know About Me

I am notoriously intolerant of perfection.

A Lot of Short Ones, Lately!

A lot of short ones, lately. A lot of short posts. But as is said of such things: quality is more important than quality, and brevity is the soul of proofreading.

I Pretty Much #1

I pretty much make myself at home, everywhere I go. It has to do with a little thing people call, confidence.

Also it has to do with a little thing people call, never leaving the house.

Drat The Elusive Subconscious Pt. 2

You know, Drat The Elusive Subconscious would be a kickass title and main character for a children's book! The main character would be a subconscious. Its name would be Drat. It would be elusive. The dang thing practically writes itself! Wow, like everything else I write. The subconscious, man! I'm telling you.

I believe it would be beneficial and educational to start in early on getting kids used to how elusive those things can be.

Drat The Elusive Subconscious!

Sometimes I wonder...do I say things that are deliberately intended, or do I just, you know, interpret them that way after the fact?

And how could it ever be possible to know for sure?

I Am Extremely Prolific and Loquacious! Pt.2

Nahhh, I'm just kidding! Ain't no "Pt.2" about it - pshaw!

Last post pretty much said it all.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Am Extremely Prolific and Loquacious!

'Nuff said.

True Story!

And then I died!

Wow. I've been walking backwards from that moment ever since.

It's been long years walking backwards out of dotage and solitude, until finally I get to where things get a little more interesting. But I'm not sure it's worth it! I keep fighting with those I can't stand, then in the middle of the fight I really love them, and it's awful to be fighting! Then it's before the fight, and I'm not even expecting a fight - why would there even be a fight? And everything's perfect, perfect with minor bumps, perfect for a long time. Until it gets towards the beginning and it becomes a little awkward getting used to the daily realities and peculiarities, but it's totally worth it to get to the sweet crush and thrill of the very start! Oh, the starry eyes and idealized sighs! Oh, the first...everythings, leading rapidly back up in a rush to the first kisses. And then the uncomprehending surprise as she asks me out! And then, the contentment at being alone, being self-sufficient, slowly building up in the background to a feeling of mild boredom, irritation and loneliness, as the cycle unspools itself: staying home, going to work, hanging out, looking around. Then a growing depression, and sadness, and shock - and another fight!

The cycle repeats, but does not really change. Each time I'm less good at it, the end hurts more and I'm more confused at beginning. I let go of wisdom, leaving experience behind.

Soon I'm back in school again. Oh, God FUCK THAT, there is no way am I dealing with homework again - I kill myself!

Oops.

Um. Time paradox!

Man, I should have seen that coming.

And Then There Are Those Other People...

You know how there are some people who maybe you don't even really know all that well, but you see them around, and every time you see them you get this feeling of feeling unreasonably happy for no reason?

I love that. There's just something about those people!

I don't even know what it is.

Sick of the Accusations: There Is No Damn Horseradish In My Deviled Eggs!

I am so sick of these accusations! There is no horseradish in my deviled eggs recipe, OK? It's just that I use the good mustard. A quality mustard can have some real bracing heat to it, alright? And that's all that you're tasting!

Except for this one time, when I only put the horseradish in there to see what that would be like. Since I keep getting dogged by these accusations of spiked eggs, it's pretty messed-up for me to have to live under the pall of presumed guilt and never get to sample the benefit! Plus I was out of the good mustard. So that was a 1-time exception, and if you missed out - other than that, there absolutely is no horseradish in my eggs. GOT IT? Quit the innuendo!

I hate to admit, but those eggs turned out pretty good with the horseradish. Maybe I should just do it that way instead. That good mustard is so expensive.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Will Critique Your Blog

Yes, I will critique your blog. That's a service I am willing to provide. At some point, maybe provide for a fee, sure. But to start out, though, maybe a little pro bono work just to get my foot in the door.

Anyway, how it works will be: post a comment here on this post asking me to do it. If you've got more than one blog, please pick one and specify. And it's got to be something that links from your profile! I don't want any of you pranksters siccing me on the unsuspecting. But barring such chicanery: post your comment, then I'll go over to your blog and critique every post there for the past month, or 30 posts, whichever comes first.

Now by "critique," I don't mean I'll just go to town on it with insults, or be witheringly, devastatingly negative. No way! I mean a real critique. Pointing out formal, aesthetic and thematic aspects, and such. Something like:

(sample comment of me Critiquing Your Blog):

dogimo said...

Nice build. I like the way you develop your two primary themes, and then introduce the thesis almost as if in counterpoint.

OCTOBER 13, 2009 11:11 PM

Heck. I like that quite a bit! I'll probably find a way to work that particular critique in on at least one of your posts.

But hey hold on there! I don't mean to give the impression that it's going to be all soothing salve and rose water! If I have some on-point suggestions of things that maybe could have been done differently, I will not shy from shooting from the hip on those! Let's revisit the above example with that in mind:

dogimo said...

Nice build. I like the way you develop your two primary themes, and then introduce the thesis almost as if in counterpoint. It might have had a bit more impact if you recapitulated the initial themes again at the end, but in a way that illustrates how our changed understanding of them has transformed the entire nature of the question. Maybe try to develop that angle in a followup post?

OCTOBER 13, 2009 11:11 PM

There. Now that's a bit more of a balanced picture. After all, it would hardly be a worthy service if I stinted on the actual pointing-shit-out aspect!

So! Who's up for some constructive criticism? Any critiques I make that you don't care for, I won't be the slightest bit offended if you delete 'em. I'm an artist, after all. I understand the sensitivity involved when you really get ripped on an incisive and exceptionally valid critique that's a little bit truer and more close to the bone than maybe you were ready to handle just then. But if you do delete a given comment? Save it. Copy paste it someplace. For later. That's a favor from you to you, for the future.

CAVEAT: of course I am aware that if I just show up, critiquing a whole slew of your blog posts right straight out of nowhere, any regular commenters you may have are probably going to think I'm Captain Dick Phallus of the Right Cock Brigade. If you want to set 'em straight, or if you want to just leave it hanging out there unaddressed, I leave that to you. Now, I won't take it too kind if you yourself retort with abuse after asking for my help! But as far as any bystanders go, I can take the heat.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLOG! Pt.2

Well, as usual, somebody beat me to it on the Happy Birthday Blog idea. Since 2006, it looks like, the estimable Camille has been running happybirthdayblog.blogspot.com, and I for one am a big enough man to give a tip of the hat to the one who got there first, on this sweet idea I had! It's a great idea no matter who had it.

Since I can't do it, at least I'll do my part to promote it. I encourage everyone to please, click through and 'Follow' Camille's Happy Birthday Blog! Let's do our part to support a sweet endeavor that by all rights, should really have been mine to execute but let's have no sour grapes about that now, shall we?

I'm not sure I'm completely on board with the direction she decided to take it. I don't mean this as a quibble. It's just a little minimalist for my tastes. But then, in 2006 minimalism was quite the haute height of style, so far be it from me to question someone for sticking to her guns on a matter of aesthetics!

It's kind of a principled move, really. Which has gotten rare.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

I had an idea. I should start a Happy Birthday blog. In fact, this is potentially a momentous enough idea that rather than "start" a Happy Birthday blog, I believe I should say that I should found a Happy Birthday blog. I think that would be very sweet, and I think I'm just about a sweet enough guy to pull that shit off in fine style.

Each morning, I'd post a post wishing a sincere "Happy Birthday," to people whose birthday it was. And then, as word got around about this sweet Happy Birthday blog of mine, next thing you know, anybody could swing on by on their own special day, to be greeted with something heartfelt and handcrafted that they would know I had posted especially for them and anybody else born that day!

How potentially thoughtful of me! That would be a very kind and sweet gesture! For me to do that. It's kind of an investment, though. Kind of a commitment. I don't want to undertake it lightly. For instance, you just know that if one day I missed a post, all these pissed-off people would be coming through all "HEY!! You FORGOT MY BIRTHDAY!" It would be a mob scene, with neither ice cream nor cake to placate the restless and discontented rabble.

This could be another case where one needs to balance the benefit to the public at large against the risk of it backfiring.

Oh, yeah, by the way..."Ratings and Reactions Enabled"

I forgot to specifically announce this. But last week or so, back when I was trying to figure out that label snafu, which resulted in me discontinuing the use of labels going forward, I figured out how to enable Reactions and...whatever the other one is called. Ratings? Yeah.

I couldn't announce it then, because technically I was on strike against posting anything that would ideally require a new label. Which, a post like this - it would have needed two new labels: ratings, reactions.

But what's done is done, what's past is past, and here's your belated chock-full-of-yay announcement: yay, Ratings and Reactions!

Now if you want to "sound off" on a post, but you don't necessarily have anything to say about it (in the comments), you can still make your voice be heard, with two primo options. You can 'Rate' the post by how many stars (it's a five scale, which personally I find distasteful, but whatever). Or! You can click the 'Reactions' check boxes: to give a little more specific indication of your take on that post.

I didn't want to go overboard with any real extreme superlatives or loaded epithets on those Reactions, so your choices are: hard, hurt, odd, fine, sharp, and fun. Which should all be pretty self-explanatory.

Bunch of Hypocrites.

People are a bunch of hypocrites. First they say one thing, then they do something else! First they'll say they want change, next they want to put things back how they were. Or they'll say peace, but then they'll be all like "GO TROOPS!" Which is it huh?

Last year I heard all these people talking about Obama. Now they're talking about Obama, only in the exact opposite sense! Well come ON, right? WHICH IS IT? Can we have both? No! It's one or the other, people.

Or what about the illegal immigration thing, right? People say no to that, right? But then: YES on foreign aid? How does that work?

And then you hear all these people talking big talk about the environment, saying it's something we have to protect - oh, yeah? I just saw some woman driving by in a very blatant SUV. Can we practice what we preach please, folks?

I swear. People: BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES.