Monday, December 28, 2009

A picket to Titsburgh, please.

Curiosity once demanded that I travel to Carnegie Mellon to watch their automatics department stage a soccer game between two packs of warring and ferocious robot dogs. It was interesting. However, they were also outfitting Segways with cameras to play soccer with/against humans. Obviously, it was terrifying given that DARPA will happily replace “play soccer” with “hunt down, exterminate, render biomass for fuel and replace their cold metallic handles with fleshy hands” within the year.

The trip required a trip to the through the Pittsburgh International airport. They have a Franco Harris/Immaculate Reception statue in the terminal. And there are vast unoccupied stretches where you can sit for 3 hours and only occasionally here the irregular clack of someone’s broken suitcase wheel. But they also have a Gap and Brooks Brothers behind the security gates that don’t mark up their prices like this $11 Quizznos sub I just forced down my gullet.

And there is a Brookstone. Brookstone used to be the best store in the mall because their wares seemed to be sent from 6-months into the future. Not impossible things, but just a little sleeker than the version out there at your suburban Zayre retail store. Now it’s nothing more than a tumbled-down, terrestrial SkyMall.

Last time I came through the Pittsburg airport, the Brookstone had the massage chairs out front and were inviting weary travelers to enjoy they kneading coils. Today, they’re in the back and you need to sit through an employees pitch before you sit down.

Sir, it snowing and I’ve been in this airport for 10 hours. Please start my goddamn $3599 massage and leave me alone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No Joy

There is no more room in the house. The kitchen cupboards don’t close. The laundry is in a perpetual cycle of never making it into the drawers before the articles are worn and then put back into the dirty laundry. The cabinet on the wine rack spontaneously bursts open and not awesomely because we have so much wine but pathetically because it’s stuffed with napkins for a party we will never have. Old CDs are stored in the trunk of a car that serves less as a mode of transportation and more as test subject for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

But change is coming. Goodwill has already received a massive donation of books and men’s clothing. And the G keeps claiming she’s going to blow out her closet and toss all her Exile in Guyville era outfits in the garbage. No longer will the last place we look for our winter coats be the coat closet because we are afraid to open the door lest an Emmy falls on our heads.

There is a sad note, however. It goes “bwwwerrrthpp.” The collection wasn’t extensive, but all my old Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issues have been trashed. And that one Playboy. So long nekkid ladies. May the hobos enjoy your glossy pages.



The loss isn’t too terrible since the internet still exists and every one of those images could recaptured with a click of the mouse. But I feel bad for the future friends of any kids we may have. They’ll never be able to find my old porn collection in the basement or attic or anywhere. Now they’re going to go have to hang out with Avent’s second kid and go through his giant cache.

Bwwwerrrthpp.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

some kind of pun about autoerotic asphyxiation but i'm not that smart anymore because of shit like this happening all the time, so you figure it out

- what are the chances that you get hit 6 separate times driving the same car in a span of, I dunno, 3 years?

- what are the chances you get rear ended at a red light on your way to the bodyshop to have aforementioned car fixed from a separate accident that had occurred three days earlier?

- do you have any cars you'd recommend purchasing?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BLT Update!

Because I know a guy...



Real exclusive video of real bears and real tigers chumming it up with real lions.

i'm inventing a blahg!

new blog invention:

i want to track all the invitations I receive from elder female relatives on the ol' FB to find missing children/have a virtual hug/support breast cancer awareness/help them find a lost farm animal/hang out with the mafia.

I will also include the daily phone conversations I have with my mother when she asks how to tag people in photos and/or why she can't read my "wall."

i will post on this new invention 30000 times a day.

Friday, December 11, 2009

that horse is eating my cake.

So Matto is all hyped up about bears and lions and tigers sharing those BFF necklaces that are shaped like hearts and split apart but let's talk more about all the other insanely awesome photos on Noah's Ark's flickr feed. She linked to a few but let's discuss, for instance:

- The zebra is named "Evidence." Holy crap.

- A mass of dog butts greets you.

- The horse is eating Little Debbie Snackcakes. Neither of us can really get over this I guess.

- ! ! !

- Salad? Yes.

- THE GOAT AND GERMAN SHEPERD ARE IN THE KITCHEN. Probably making dinner for everyone.

- Also Evidence likes chillin in the backseat with his college bros even though he called shotgun first and that is unfair.

- Now you will die of cute.

- And, finally: my favorite.


Basically I want these people to adopt me. I spent most of my latenight computer allowance yesterday sending everyone freaked out IMs with Flickr links. I apologize for that. Actually, no I don't.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

plus, shatner

The wikipedia entry for "Rescue 911" lists all the episodes where people died instead of lived. Only 16 episodes! Man that really was a feel good show.

Also: in 1994, Premier Technologies (trade-name: Gottlieb), released a Rescue 911 pinball machine. It featured a helicopter that magnetically captured the ball as well as a red revolving light on the backbox.

It's things like this that really make my mornings bearable. Internet, you and I are going places.

Monday, November 30, 2009

awesome



How have I never seen 1973's Sisters before?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I don't practice Santeria/I ain't got no crystal ball (or finger lickin barf)

It’s been previously noted that our neighborhood has weird bird issues. There are always too many. They are always carrying on at the worst times of the night with impossibly amplified voices that sound like 1000 garbage trucks crashing into 1000 dumpsters. They have attacked us with their Mach 5 razor beaks and Quattro razor talons. And they are hideously deformed.

Obviously, it’s shameful that I live in a world where my exposure to wild biology is a negative one. Well, the dog is pretty wild. But when throws up for no reason other than he has a weak constitution he still does it mostly in a house in the suburbs.

This week, however, the neighborhood (as a sentient entity) finally got its revenge.



But it’s been a few days now. So if you were carrying a chicken carcass in a plastic bag and you dropped it on our street, you can come pick it up now. The dog is down with it but the rest of us find it a little gross. And flat.






HAPPY X-GIVINGS, SUCKAS!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Flickr account proves my reality

Remember when i used to have the really shittiest job from hell but one awesome thing that came out of that job was an incredibly ill-fated trip to the Carlisle, PA Bike Fest? Yes, that really happened. It wasn't just a night terror.



Hell yeah I met Brad Whitford!


Anyway, this made me think of that.

cue the digital wolves

"That was my favorite part. The screaming."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A cold and wet November dawn/And there are no barking sparrows

I found out two things about my marriage this weekend. First, my wife is the only member of her demographic who reads Parade Magazine on Sunday mornings. Any demographic she qualifies for, she is still the only one. Second, she has been tweeting the wolf-face crazy things I say. Especially the ones that make me sound brain-dead.

The tweeting thing is my fault. I am an early adapter of everything I don’t understand. I joined Twitter awhile back and was apparently following people but never actually looked at what anybody wrote because I couldn’t really noodle out what was going on. If I had bothered looking into it, I could have curbed my yammering.

So what is this all about? Me being a moron?

Close.

According to my wife and this week’s Parade Magazine, our Pilgrim fore-invaders didn’t watch the Lions lose on Thanksgiving, they played an equally painful game called Kick the Shins. It’s as it sounds. You put some straw in your pants and then kick the crap out each other’s legs. And it’s still played today! Here’s last year’s championship:



And this is timely because just last week, when I discovered my wife tweets about me, I was talking about the very same thing! And she tweeted about it! On the internet!

But I feel I need to expand on what I said.

Ladies or beta males, if you’re getting messed with and all attempts at a peaceful resolution have been endeavored, may I suggest a kick to the shins as an alternative to the cock punch. Any old asshole is going to expect a furious knee or fist to the groin and will employ a stance to protect the area. But the shin should be considered the groin of the leg. Its vulnerability has been ignored by Hollywood and the MSM for decades. Although, not in the funny pages.

Even better, deliver the assault and wait a week. Close to the bone, the bruise will swell to a degree so painful that even a bed sheet resting on the leg will cause muffled pillow screaming. Track the guy down and when he’s least expecting it, deliver a follow-up blow. The hematoma will rupture and spread instantly to the rest of his leg. He will either throw up on the spot or crumple into a howling mass.

And best of all, he will end up with those weird knobby legs that old men have. You know the kind with all these bumps that look like knee caps but start only six inches north of the foot. And their legs are mostly hairless except for around the ankles for some reason. And they’re at the pool.

Or so has been my experience in the last two weeks. And the bruising is nice down there too. In between yellow and purple somehow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

instant rats

Amanda: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/arts/television/17ober.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

me: yeah! i heard that on the radio this morning!
also he was 52
so we should all be dead soon
...
hi have you met me? miss mary sunshine?

Amanda: yeah, where can we send you? for some relaxation?

me: maybe i have a vitamin d deficiency
maybe i have delerium tremers
tremons?
which one is the beer and which one is the affliction?
wait
they are both the same

Amanda: hahahahaha

me: but i had to wikipedia that to find out

Amanda: yeah i swear, the vitamin d thing is for real. i am way less awesome in the winter

me: and have therefore stumbled upon the best wikipedia entry ever, btw
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delirium_tremens
from now on it shall be referred to as ""the abdabs"
thank you
i decree this
to all my friends
you now have the abdabs
the end
WAIT. THE RATS.

Amanda: HAHAHAHAHA

me: awesome
the rats
whats wrong, you?

Amanda: the jimjams

me: i have the rats
man I should really have a blog to talk about this in more detail

Amanda: HAHAHAHA

Monday, November 16, 2009

and it's where i lock the children during the day

K & S and I were talking about bed sizes the other day. Full disclosure: pitchers of beer were involved. I think the conversation was something like oh we all have queen mattresses but that it would be fun to own a king sized bed or something; and how it's funny when big people have doubles and tiny people have california kings and etc etc.

Anyway I was telling them about my childhood art projects: remember when you were in elementary school, everyone drew like, their imaginary dream houses or dream rooms, right? And a lot of time kids constructed rooms/houses with waterslides (me too) and ponies and crap, but for a few years in a row my Dream Room was nothing but a giant mattress. Like, you opened the door and the FLOOR WAS MATTRESS.

They laughed but I still think this is genius in a sleep-where-you-fall style way, and would have come in awesomely handy say in college/my early twenties; actually okay now. What I'm saying is: someone build me a mattress room. *


Which is essentially a padded soundproof room. Oh my god?

Friday, November 13, 2009

hello.

one

two

I spent Veterans Day cleaning up copious amounts of dog shit (poop: it's coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE); BD's bowls exploded in the kid's room. It was like the next installment of the Saw movie franchise only with poop instead of blood and no weird puppets. okay, other than the weird puppet my mom recently bought, which actually is a puppet that looks just like the dog. Is crapping all over the house his way of honoring those who serve? I don't know, but it certainly just proves what a dick our dog is.

. . .

the above paragraph is why i no longer blog.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It actually turns me on a little

For those of who were South of the Border this week, here’s an update on Halloween. And not the good South of the Border in South Carolina with sombrero rides.




There’s an old Civil Was Fort behind our house that’s a good place to walk dogs on Sunday mornings because the squirrels are fat and lazy from their church pot luck lunches and there’s a good chance they can get caught and murdered in Brown Dog’s mouth. That’s right, we are back to hating squirrels.

This past Sunday, it was again an unsuccessful hunt for BD. But not for everybody. There’s some large raptor that also lives in the park and I witnessed with my own eyes it catch and destroy a squirrel for breakfast. It was Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom at its most satisfying.

Obviously, I’m still upset about this pumpkin thing from last week. While I doubt the squirrel that perished on Sunday was the one that butchered my project, I’m hoping that they were related. Perhaps a brother-in-law? But one that he had gotten really close to after his sister got married. He even asked him to be in his fantasy football league this year. And now every week there’s that painful reminder when his dead brother-in-law’s team loses because no one can figure out how to hack in and replace the players who have byes. I hope he makes the playoffs and knocks out the best team by accident even though he’s dead and in a falcon’s stomach.

---

Contrary to what some people may think and even say, AM did not win Halloween. Naturally, she had a good run even though at the end of the night she looked less like the Hipster Grifter and more like a hairy chested Spock offering oral handjobs. Up to last Saturday, she had things wrapped up. But then I got this:



I know last Saturday was technically a week after Halloween so many will argue that my entry is too late. But look at this thing! It looks like so many other things! So many other things that are not pumpkins! And I got it a place called Cox Farms!

I even saved it from a certain death. Kids were trying to throw it underneath a tractor in the hopes it would get squished. They cheered and hollered as other unloved pumpkins met their demise. But Ben and I used our magical powers to prevent it from getting slaughtered by a hayride. It danced like a wave on the ocean through dozens of passing wheels before I was able to rescue it.

Would you have thrown Klimt’s The Kiss under a tractor? No, you would have not. Especially if it looked like balls. Or boobs even. That’s why all kids are idiots.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Peter Peter Pumpkin Destroyer 2: The Inevitable Let Down

Hi there.

We’re going backwards this time.

Here is how this year’s squirrel pumpkin turned out.



I agree, it’s a little disappointing. Kinda sucks, in fact. I was even hesitant to post anything after last years astonishing debut. It found its way into the trash first thing Monday morning. Where it belongs, with the other garbage.

After action report:

First, the squirrels waited until Halloween afternoon before they even began working on their half of the project. Granted the weather was not ideal in the days leading up to Saturday but I presented the partially carved pumpkin to them on Tuesday. That means they dicked around for three entire days before getting their flea-bitten acts together. On Saturday morning, I resorted to throwing a handful of party nuts into the thing to entice them out of the trees and into my gourd. It’s why it looks rushed and careless.

Second, it’s obviously not as creative as last year. The asymmetry that made the 2008 version so fantastic was inflated to an excessive degree this year. The squirrels overstressed the right eye to the point of violating the sovereignty of the nose. And it nearly collapsed the entire face after dangerously swelling toward the mouth. And then there’s the other eye. Left untouched it leaves an imbalance too extreme to chalk up to anything except laziness. Once they were able to drag their fat carcasses through the eye and get their nuts they gave up. Very disappointing.

So who’s to blame here? Obviously, it’s the squirrels. Last year’s project seemingly garnered too much attention for their egos to handle. In the last 12 months, they’ve let themselves go and don’t even bother getting out of the way of cars. They just waddle around the streets with haute attitudes and musky odors. If our neighborhood dogs were still running free like they were before the overzealous animal control officers started patrolling they’d eaten all the squirrels by now or at least broken their necks.

Our collaboration may have come to an end. We are not enemies like we were 3 years ago but this relationship is on the brink of abandonment.

So.

Where did this start? Like everything sciurine-related it was once enormously promising. I found a pumpkin at the local patch the seemed to fit all standard pre-carving conditions. A few taps returned a solid, reassuring echo. A small child sat on it to test out its fortitude. Its stem was comically large as a way to over-compensate it smallish height and fat gut. R2 is standing in to provide scale.



I was feeling optimistic from moment one. Some animal started to dig into my gourd the day the pumpkin stork brought this bundle home from the pumpkin hospital. And since the initial gnawing seemed like an ideal place for an eye, I took a potato peeler and punched the rest of the way through. Since we had great success last year with the small holes, I decided to do the same thing with the other eye and nose.

But, damn, did it look boring. We need something magical for the mouth. But what kitchen utensil could be enchanting enough to carve something magical into this beautiful pumpkin? I’ve got it! I’ll use our

(side note – sometime last spring, we were in one of those fancy suburban stores that sells nothing but very specific fancy kitchen supplies to mostly young white folks. Because it was spring, all their Christmas goods were 75% off. This included a GIANT gingerbread house that needed only a quick and easy assembly. Or so the box said. All supplies were included! But my beautiful wife would not let me buy it, put it together, leave it on Amanda’s doorstep and run away. Instead, all I was allowed to get was a)

unicorn cookie cutter!



So if worse comes to worse and the squirrels don’t get after the pumpkin, at least it will have an awesome unicorn shaped mouth. All it took was a little delicate beating with a rubber mallet and BAM. Halloween is a go.






Well, as we all know, worse came to worser. The squirrels mangled the eye hole and absolutely destroyed the mouth. There is nothing unicorny about it. Honestly, we would have been better off leaving the squirrels out of it.

So what’s the lesson? First, don’t trust squirrels any farther than you can throw them. And I could throw a squirrel pretty fucking far. At least over that fence. Second, a unicorn makes a pretty awesome pumpkin mouth. And finally, if you have the opportunity to buy a monster gingerbread house at 75% off its retail price you better buy that son of a bitch because come Halloween you’re gonna wish you had something you’re proud to put on your doorstep.

And not some bullshit squirrel pumpkin.

The end. See you next year.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Shitoween

Dear Rudest Piece of Crap in the Entire Universe;

The risk of throwing parties is that people like you show up. It's the liability when living in an awesome house that is perfect for parties - with a big shindig, the random dregs of society filter in from the streets. People steal, they have sex in bathrooms, they eat your breakfast food, costume-less assholes no one knows attempt to sexually torment women. It sucks, but it happens. There's always a few of you to ruin an otherwise really fun night.

Let's get one thing straight. If I was around when you grabbed my partner-in-crime's breasts and said one of the stupidest things known to fucking mankind, I would have hit you and you would have deserved it. Well, truthfully probably just caused a scene verbally, because I don't know how to throw a decent punch.

And because you were a woman, it makes the whole thing ... maybe less ominous? But only maybe. And certainly more more infuriating. Perhaps you thought you were being "wacky drunk girl." Instead, what you were being was a total fucking nightmare of a human being. So, good job on being a sexual predator.

I don't know who you are. I don't know what you were dressed as, because she wouldn't rat you out (what an unbelievably kind gesture, consider it Halloween charity) which is a shame because I would love to share a few of my choice thoughts. You epically suck! How's that for starts?

Otherwise, a toast to Fickeween once more. I always love a throwdown that has Beam, 95% fantastic people, knitted Brain Slug hats, and polite and orderly lines for the bathroom.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

grumpy old woman also hates kids on her lawn

I am not alone in the dislike of the encore.

Also, my casual internet polling led me to discover others who dislike the neti pot.

Rejoice, comrades!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fin Fang Foom

Our furnace, which has been apparently operating at about 11% efficiency, crapped out for good last week. It means our house is actually cold instead of just emotionally cold. Fortunately, tradition afforded us a way to get out into the sunshine on a beautiful October Sunday: Del Ray’s annual costume parade!

Two clarifying things about that paragraph:

1. The parade starts at 2pm, about the time when two free-wheeling adults used to wake up on a Sunday in autumn. Those people are dead and their souls stripped like Black Lanterns. They now try to spend the eight hours before the parade wondering how they are supposed to entertain a tiny dragon who refuses to take naps and breathes fire.

2. The term “parade” should be used loosely. Tradition mandates at least one fire truck, a few motorcycle cops and a grand marshal. And these elements pass dutifully in a relatively straight line. Afterwards, however, it becomes impossible to distinguish the participants from the spectators as all panic breaks loose and people run willy-nilly into the street, often in the direction opposite of the official route.



The Del Ray Costume Parade 2009 was very much similar to past parades in that it was extremely awesome to the extreme. It serves several ends but is especially effective at gauging what movie studios and franchises have the best costume marketing teams. This year we’re looking at vampires and werewolves, natch, but extra glittery for some reason. Harry Potter lingers too. And it seems that no one will ever put a proton torpedo into the thermal exhaust port that is the Star Wars cultural empire.

But the biggest gainer this year (besides Max from Where the Wild Things Be Hidin’ At) has to be the costumed super-hero get-up. There’d been plenty of Spider and Super Men in the past, for sure, but this year every other kid was bedecked as an Avenger or Justice Leaguer. I think there was even a Brother Voodoo.

But Winner #1 was this kid who went as your basic Kal-El.



He was bending foam pipe insulation so enthusiastically that he received standing ovations at every block. It was pretty fantastic.

Winner #2 was a costume that I didn’t even notice at the time of the parade. It wasn’t until later that evening when I was looking through the pictures trying to find a Batgirl that I realized what I had.


Some dude actually dressed up as a White House spokesperson. Auburn pride and all.

I know, terrifying.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

GOD I LOVE STANDARDS TOM LEE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS QUICK FIX THE INTERNET

oh hey look a blog.

So someone help me out here. Why do some websites/blogs/online diaries/journals/tumblahrs/twatters/whathaveyous use the word "next" to go FORWARD in time (newer posts) and some use it to go BACK in time (older posts). Can't this be standardized?

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD NOW I'M FRUSTRATION-CRYING CAUSE I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO READ ABOUT FUNNY LOOKING CATS OR WHAT KANYE IS UP TO.

These is an attempt to push the poison ivy one further down the page.

Mark these words. In the next 10 years, Shaggy will have another top ten hit. Not in the next 5 years, though, because that’s obviously too soon. But around 2014 we will collectively realize that we have been without his honeyed voice for too long and somebody will make the effort remedy it.

He has earned that from us.

The end.*







*not the end. Need proof? In Mr Boombastic, he rhymed please, breeze, keys, at ease, please (again) ha-chum sneeze, cheese and peas, all in one verse.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Listen, its cause we dont have anything else to write about

When faced with budget shortfalls, it’s the common practice for our backwater governing council to postpone some of the normal county-wide maintenance. They don’t fire 400 teachers like they do in DC or poison all the animals at the nature center like in Arlington. Basically, it means the mayor needs to change his own goddamn desk lamp light bulb for a few weeks.

Most commonly this issue manifests itself when Fairfax County stops recreational field maintenance. When a spring seasons starts, the fields are usually a muddy slough. As the year passes, games are played on a pitch that has literally gone to seed. A kicked ball will roll about 4 feet before getting Velcroed in the long grass. Recently, having absorbed a years’ worth of complaints, the county’s park service decided it would easier to turf most of the fields so they’d never have to pay for another gallon of high-priced Herndon lawn mower gas. Sure, it cost me and your parents who still live in Vienna a few dozen bucks upfront in taxes upfront but that weed whacker string can run substantial coin of the course of a summer. And the games don’t get rained out since Astroturf holds up to hurricane force deluges.

Good right?

Almost.

While the fields are now uniform in speed, dimension and soullessness and require no upkeep, the same cannot be said about the vegetation that grows where the fun ends and the savage land begins. To borrow a phrase, the condition of the over growth is Flintstonian. For the modern tick collector, it’s a pure Eden. Chigger aficionados congregate to add specimens to their collections. And for poison ivy enthusiasts like me it’s a rashy, swollen and histamine-filled trip through the itching glass.

The only bonus is that the soccer kit regulated the effects to the area directly below my shorts and above my socks. But the two inch band circling both knees is incredibly irritated.

------


Speaking of which, I need new pants. But are we really about to do this, The Gap?



I need better access to my knees and if this is for real, then I’m on board.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Triple C

There’s a house in our neighborhood that thinks every day is that special trash day when you’re allowed to throw out huge pieces of garbage like armoires and rickety old Tony Little Gazelle Freestyle Elite workout apparatuses. Its always too much stuff for the garbagemen to take into their truck. So while they might take entire bar with matching stool set they will leave the 30 year old, 400 lbs projection TV set with matching red, green and blue bulbs. The TV will sit there for a few days until it magically disappears on non-trash days, hopefully into the sewer.

Currently there are at least 3 cords of wood and what looks to be an entire deck that’s been ripped of the back of a cheap, Reston townhouse. So, you know, if you want to host a giant bonfire that will crush some drunken Texan college students, I know a good place to start.

Last week, however, someone upped the ante.



It appears that someone is now using the corner as a drug drop point. And not even good drugs but regular drugs that can be used to make your basement explode and secure arrest warrants in 7 mid-Western states. Do people still do meth or try to get meth-like high from decongestants? Isn’t there some new rec drug now that kids can abuse?

I’m not really sure what to do about this. If this is some sort of drug drop, it’s comically inept. At the same time, though, this telephone pole is about 20 yards from a middle school. And now that I’m grown up, the idea of low-level drug dealers in my neighborhood isn’t a fun novelty anymore.

But I’m not narc, man, and I ain’t going to call no cops. So I’ll just assume that the Alexandria police will read this. And if they happen to be near Episcopal and have nothing to do, they might want to look out for this drop area. It’s near the bus stop, across the street from the house with a broken dishwasher, 500 copies of National Geographic wrapped in twine and snowblower with no wheels right there on the curb.

Monday, October 05, 2009

lives of the saints

Not to give away my Hween costume ideas, but: awesome.

Go green and gold!

I have this long-winded diatribe written out concerning a guy who approached me at Home Depot yesterday with the ol' "I need gas money to see my dying dad" spiel. It was the details of his story that made me so angry, not the thinly-thinly-thinly veiled panhandling itself. Like, be a better liar. You had a lot of time and people to practice on, so this story should be way better! Don't waste two minutes I that could be better spent contemplating what color stain I'm buying for the front door. (I went with "Jacobean." That's a color????? Apparently.)

So, Dear John, "George Mason student who is trying to get to Raleigh to see his dad who had a heart attack 20 minutes ago and is probably dying and I've asked 30 people here for a favor and none of them speak English but you do and if you could just spot me whatever you can part with I will TOTALLY find you and pay you back I swear, also could you pray for me?": Let's try this story again, shall we? Start from the top before I hand you a fiver.

Anyway. How do you respond in situations like this? I have a list of all the things I could have/should have said. I won't ruin the surprise/your opinion of me by telling you exactly how it ended up.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sorry this is so late, I was playing football under the Whitehurst Freeway in the street for 7 straight days

Back in the early 90s, cable TV provided three things well for pre-teen boys.

1. Nickelodeon
2. Scrambled pornography that resulted less in arousal and more in migraines.
3. The first 15 minutes of each pay-per-view movie for that month unscrambled every two hours.

Most of the time, catching 15 minutes of movies like The Fabulous Baker Boys did nothing but cultivate a distaste for piano bars. But some months featured awesome things like Ghostbusters 2 even though nothing good happens for about 30 minutes when they go underground to fight the ghost Metro.

Then there was Roadhouse. I’ve never seen it in its sum but I have watched the first 15 minutes perhaps 300 times. Unlike the toothless rendering I imagine you can see on cable these days, the pay-per-view version that aired in 1989 was shown in its entire R-rated glory. And do you know how the first substantial fight occurred in Roadhouse? It involved boobs.

This is the closest I can find to a transcript. (attitudes = tits, for some reason)

Ever seen a better pair of attitudes?
Fine, ain't they?
I’ll tell you what, for 20 bucks,...you can kiss 'em.
Are you kidding?
Ten a kiss. Here and now.
Go ahead. Do it, go on.
Go on. - Come on. Come on.
Ten a kiss. Go ahead.
Yeah!
Hey, buddy, what are you doin'? Are you gonna kiss 'em or not?
I can't.
What do you mean, you can't?
I ain't got 20 bucks.
Oh, shit. - Fight!
Break it up!
(glass shattering)
You son of a bitch!
Bastard!
Baby!
Havin' us some fun tonight!



I understand if that’s hard to follow. Basically some redneck with a hot girlfriend allows another redneck to fondle her tats with the understanding that he will fork over more money for more access. But the jokes on Redneck #1 because Redneck #2 ain’t got no $20! OH TWIST!

Then there’s a fight, obviously.

I don’t exactly know how old I was in 1989. But it was an age when seeing boobs every two hours was the most important thing in life. My friends and I would stop whatever we were doing that summer, find the TV that was farthest away from our mothers and watch this scene every time it was on.

I have never seen Ghost. I have never seen Dirty Dancing. But I still believe this is the greatest thing Patrick Swayze ever contributed to mankind, ever.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Filling your head with lies and your pants with hands

This is how Celebrity Jeopardy ended tonight.*



How is it that one of these people has their own show and the other doesn’t?


Now go watch an old episode of Andy Barker P.I. on Hulu and feel bad about yourself for not watching it when it was on TV. Go on, it has a one-legged Amy Sedaris in it.





*Technically, the one on the left finished final Jeopardy with $2000 since they give celebrities at least $1000 to play with, even if they finish with -$4600.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This is what Democracy smells like!

Distressing news has been filling my in-box for the past two days. Our two starting flag football offensive linemen have dropped out for the season because they are giant babies. Actually, that’s not true but it’s what I will call them to their faces. The real reason they dropped out is because they are giant fatties.

That is 100% true. But it’s the reason they are offensive lineman. It’s harder for punk-assed GW frat guys to run around these two fatties and sack our quarterback than it is to run around me with my bad knee and soft, excellent hands. However, being that big means your body isn’t always going to do what you want. Especially if what you want is to not blow out your Achilles and go to the emergency room and end up bankrupt because you don’t have insurance.

I don’t want to stray into the health care debate because I don’t understand things like that and stuff. But the real reason our two linemen have dropped out because they have no insurance and don’t want to risk injury in our full contact, no pads league. Unfortunately, it’s a legitimate concern and it puts our ability to repeat as divisional champions at risk.

So I’m starting a movement.



We need Congress to draft bipartisan legislation that will guarantee out nation’s offensive lineman health insurance. Actually, scratch that. We only need wording that pledges coverage for sports related injuries. Treatments for pig flu or monkey pox or whatever that one was you got from eating civets in China are not covered. Nor is anything that would assist in losing weight or encourage healthier eating. The only things to be covered are medical treatments in the emergency room, ice, pain and anti-inflammatory medication, crutches and maybe a soft pillow to prop your leg on to prevent swelling.

So call your Senators and Congresspeoples today. Tell them that only they can save my flag football season. Unless, of course, you live in the District because you don’t have representation and are a giant sucker. And have fun getting your bike stolen for the third time and riding the metro, you train-loving hump.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

and the summer comes undone

august/september accomplishments:

- eaten unidentified parts of a whole suckling pig (it was dark out. brains on toast!)

- used the term "avatar" as a verb

- IM'd with AMattos about "Guiding Light" plotlines (I've never seen this show but it sounds awesome?) Actually most of my summer has been spent coming up with crazy awesome ideas with Amanda. It's amazing we aren't famous/rich/both yet; or quickly becoming less famous/rich because we're blowing our money on cocaine and bentleys. ("15 to 20 cars???? We only need 3 or 4.")

- threatened to create a totally for real food blog called "justmicrowavethatshit dot com"

- watched a lot of "Ghost Hunters" on youtube thanks to a friend's recommendations (it's incredibly stupid awesome)

- drank a LOT of blue moon

- played softball very very poorly; let strangers comfort my offspring as I failed to field grounders

- read a few music websites thinking "who the HELL are these bands?" and then given up completely on identifying any modern music i like. i feel like my mom.

- fantasy plotted the of elaborate homicides of people (old dudes) who have treated me like some sort of 1950s era secretary

- finished Infinite Jest (or will have by tonight)

- Cheap pitchers of beer at the Knights of Columbus pool (important: befriend the Catholics!)

- have read a Curious George book aloud 5600 times & counting.



So I'll cap off a pretty great summer by going to Chicago then going to the beach to watch the sibs gets hitched.

Also, did you hear about Jason Biggs getting attacked by a monkey? I know, right?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The only thing people hate worse than looking at your vacation pictures is being told about your dreams

I don’t really like doing this but I had a dream last night that was so upsetting that I woke up at 5am and couldn’t get back to a sleep state because I refused the potential of revisiting it. I was working for a Chinese local TV station and we had to break into live coverage after Wesley Snipes was killed. Apparently, this was big, breaking news in China and I had to dictate an obit live into the reporter’s ear.


優秀美國演員 Wesley Snipes 今天死了. Snipes 為他的在展示他的love of Asian culture 和unremarkable martial arts skills 的动作片的角色是最響譽. 他的最著名的影片是 Passenger 57Blade trilogy 為時也擔任主角 Kris Kristofferson 和 Patton Oswalt. 最近, Snipes 與 IRS 衝突,並且他被判了刑對 3 年徒刑,雖然他保持自由,當 the case is being appealed. 他继续行動,但是大多他的影片是 straight to DVD 包括最近 發現的西部 Snipes fighting zombies in Africa. 詞組在美國高中一瞬間成為了普遍的口頭禪 "Always bet on black."


I can’t remember if I’ve ever discussed this here but I few years ago I was hypnotized on stage as part of a comedy routine at the Improv. Among other embarrassing things, I made some incredibly racially insensitive remarks. I think this dream is related.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Or maybe in the car with the windows rolled up?

Imagine you went to a nice, classy New Jersey wedding and they had a college sports-themed ice luge with 6 different kinds of vodka and you eat so many hor d'oeuvres that you split your tuxedo pants while dancing from the zipper all the way to the belt in the back. (Good thing you paid the $1 tuxedo rental fee! Suckers tuxedo rental place!) That would be a fun wedding.

Now imagine that you went to a much less fancier wedding in New Jersey and the most exotic alcohol related stunt was a crappy champagne glass pyramid fountain. But then suddenly you were required to take that fountain to a baseball game! In fact, you have to play in that game! But you must keep the fountain safe or the bride and her mother will get so angry that their combined rage will gain sentience and attack an out-of-the -way Antarctica research facility six days before the next supply cargo plane is scheduled to arrive.

Do you leave it on the sidelines where a foul ball could hit it and knock all the Korbel goodness to the ground? Or with a player on the other team who has little to no champagne glass pyramid fountain tending experience and may resent being asked? Or maybe behind a fence but also next to a hornets’ nest?

Upon further reflection, I still think my decision was the right one - take the fountain out to left field with you. If the ball comes near you – which it will obviously will on the very first pitch – you are in the best place to protect it. You can judge the trajectory better, the speed better and, unless you completely useless outfielder, throw you entire body onto the ground to prevent the ball from rolling into the fountain.

Sure, it may cry some when you leave it to chase a grounder that slips past the shortstop and its mother will furiously shoot daggers with her eyes at you from second base. But that champagne glass pyramid fountain made it home a-okay and slept for 10 hours that night. Just like a baby, in fact. The champagne fountain was a person. A tiny, fragile person.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Escalators are death traps anyways

See this banged up piece of precision electronics?



Now that my Ipod’s flywheel no longer spins and its insides are filled with saliva and my camera is in 6000 little plastic pieces, this little radio is the most valuable piece of technology I own. To be exact, it’s a Sony SRF-M37V TV/Weather/FM/AM Walkman. It’s small and light weight. It gets great reception. And it’s worth a fortune on the black market

I use the FM function to listen to NPR.

I use the AM function to listen to Nats games.

I’ll use the weather band function to protect myself from rogue Hurricane Danny waves that wash through the Tidal Basin and sweep all softball players out to sea.

The TV function is a non-function since the digital television transition wiped those bits of the spectrum out of the sky and gave them to the NSA so they can weaponize them and read my dog’s thoughts. But it used to be great.

I lost this little radio a few weeks ago and while trying to find a replacement discovered they are no longer produced. No one listens to the radio via a walkman unless they are weirdo nomads. And since this little guy was one of the best made portable radios in the last two decades, it’s highly valued on the Ebays by those same weirdoes. Top dollar, I’m told.

The single negative of this wondrous device is that the clip designed to attach it to my utility belt is inadequate for my active lifestyle. Many an evening finds me chasing the radio over red Metro tiles as it goes in one direction and its lone AAA battery goes in another.

This was the situation I found myself in on Monday night after a brisk jaunt down the Foggy Bottom escalator. The clip again malfunctioned and while the headphones remained in my ears, the radio tumbled down the stairs. I barely saved the battery before it got sucked into the gears. Unfortunately, while bending over to collects the pieces the dangling mini plug end of the headphones got caught in the grate and began to grind its way under the escalator. I jerked my head back and the last 3 inches of broke off, rotated under the mechanism and met their demise. The still-in earbuds and wire swung uselessly against my chest.

Damnit.

Ah well. What’s the worst that could happen? I can’t even listen to the radio underground anyway.

Oh.

My bad.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why would a mockingbird even try to eat a piece of cheese?

Before Prince Charming swept her off her tiny, delicate feet, the Governess lived like a terrible hobgoblin under a haunted bridge in Central Arlington. Her roommates were vermin and the building’s square footage would shrink every day as the building gradually collapsed in on itself. The backyard was completely overgrown and sheltered the entire cast of the Secret of NIMH who attacked any passerby with glowing red eyes and terrifying hisses.

As a good faith gesture I bought some rat traps in the hopes of eradicating the collective scourge. I’m not talking about the humane ones rat traps for do-gooders. I bought the ones that’ll snap a finger clean off and cauterize the wound because they generate so much heat.

But it was wildly unsuccessful.

I caught zero rats. The rats in Arlington attend those Northern Virginia high schools that are regularly listed in the US News and World Report list of best in country. One with a GPA of 3.20 wouldn’t crack the top 100 of its class. And the ones that don’t get into college still go on to run successful garage door installation businesses and live in Great Falls.

The other animals are not as smart and chose their own execution over their bucolic, carefree lifestyles. I caught squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles and mockingbird, for some reason. After the bird, I gave up my campaign to rid the house of these pests and just elected to marry the G and buy her the castle where she still lives to this day. It was cheaper and easier on my conscience. I haven’t dabbled in pest control since.

Recently, I bought some new rats traps and the clerk asked me if I had some sort of infestation. Mindful of my past failures, I truthfully told him no. I bought them for possibly the best reason anyone has ever bought rat traps and I told him this directly.

“They’re for teaching someone a lesson.”



Look out world, I'm coming. Don’t stick your hands into dark places.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More weird mail

Has anyone else received a letter from someone claiming to be Katie Sackoff from Battlestar Galactica? I got this in the mail a few days ago...


Dear Mr Nabob,


It’s been too long.

By now you’ve probably heard the good news that I’ve been cast in some upcoming episodes of the hit FOX’s series 24. I’m excited to play Dana Walsh, a computer expert at CTU’s New York branch who’s got something sinister to hide. My character will also be romantically involved with the show’s other new cast member, Freddie Prinze Jr! You may remember Freddie from Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed and She’s All That.

But that’s not why I’m writing.

I want to talk to you about the BSG series finale because something needs to be cleared up. There have been petabytes of theories written on the internet about my character. Some speculate that I was a Cylon. Some say I was a ghost or an angel. Or maybe the whole thing was the dream of one of the lesser characters after the initial Cylon attack on Caprica put them in a coma. Hot Dog, for instance, since there was no sign of him once they got to Earth.

Here’s what really happened. If you remember, I was talking to Apollo in the long African grass about our past relationship. Then there was a flashback about a pigeon or some bird trapped in my old apartment or some jazz. I said to him "Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Lee." And then he went on about wanting to climb mountains and explore and when he turned around I was gone.

So what happened? When the final set of DVDs come out, it will include the script from that final episode. But I wanted to give you, one of the shows biggest fans, a preview. It turns out that Starbuck was really tired of Lee. His whole whiny act had become old and I realized I was trapped with him on this new Earth because Anders flew all the spaceships into the sun. So when he turned around, I just laid down in the long grass. He couldn’t see me when he turned back because the grass was so tall. And then I snuck off to try my luck with some cavemen.

Unfortunately, that weak-assed pigeon metaphor put all these crazy theories into people’s heads. How could I be a ghost? Or an angel? Come on. Had there been any precedent for that on the show? Sure, there had been episodes of mass hallucinations and acute delirium but angels? The only real explanation was the Cylon one and even that was a stretch.

So there you have it. That’s what happened. Go on your blog and explain it to the world. I’ve moved on, so should everyone else.

Take care, Nabob, and thanks for watching.



Katee




PS - I’ve included a copy of The Last Sentinel so you can get your Sackhoff fix until the fall when I get my Jack-Bauer on.




Anyone?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

'Course it's boring, that's the point. Write it down.

one of my all-time favorites, Bull Durham, was on some terrible ALL DUDE CABLE WOOOT TESTOSTERONE channel last night. Regardless, I sat my ass on the basement floor and watched the whole thing. This bit of trivia (5th bullet) alone should explain the weird soft spot in my heart for Costner, even after years of suckitude.

Monday, August 10, 2009

so long as you endorse sound urbanist principles

By no means do I advocate the creation of human corpses. But like everybody else in this city, there are times that require the discrete disposal of them. That’s why I find this opinion by MY baffling.

The best place to hide a body that you secretly want found because latent feelings of guilt may subconsciously motivate you to leave telltale clues for the police to uncover is either a seldom used public park or an abandoned building. A multiple-use commercial/residential development is harmful to this end. The city needs to turn these spaces green or let them rot in peace.

Also, does anyone know where we can stage a casual pickup softball game? There aren’t enough Metro-accessible parks in the area, for some reason.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Knowing is 49.9% of the battle

Full disclosure: After plans fell apart, I saw the second Transformers movie by myself on a Tuesday night while my family slept is their beds with blankets and flat frog stuffed animals. It stunk out loud on ice in a hot tub.

Also, my wife is seeing
(500) Days of Summer by herself AS WE SPEAK! Or at least AS I WRITE THIS! It is our way seeing as we are scary loners.




The G’s been badgering me about my intentions on seeing the GI Joe movie. There are none. First, it’s got a Wayans in it. Second, Cobra Commander’s mask is Tampa Bay Buccaneers-throwback-jersey dumb.

But the real reason is this line muttered by Stormshadow toward Snake Eyes: "You took a vow of silence... Now you will die without a word." I don’t know if that verse appears in the film but I do know it appears in the novelization of the movie. And I am aware of this because I tracked the book down at a Borders and read almost the whole damnable thing. The chore came about after the G alerted me to this io9 article that indicated that not only has Snake-Eyes taken a vow of silence but he also sends a text message, for some reason.

Who cares asks 50.1% of the population Well it matters to the other half of this country because whatever floating wisp of teeth and cat dander that wrote this twaddle of a script erased the coolest thing about Snake Eyes in its entirety. Snake Eyes doesn’t speak because he chooses not to. Snake-Eyes can’t talk because he’s bad-ass.

A quick IM poll of knowledgeable individuals responded to the question “why doesn’t Snake Eyes speak?”


DG: he's mute
his face is disfigured or something

JL: A helicopter crash destroyed his voice box

TL: As far as I can recall something bad happened to his face, which either was so physically traumatic that he can't speak any more or so emotionally traumatic that he's just too sad to talk

CY: he hurt his throat somehow - I think in an explosion

JW: i prefer to think his voice sounded like Bobcat Goldthwaite, so he just went silent as to not spoil his image
me: thats probably right



It turns out no really knows why he doesn’t talk. Ret-cons have rendered even the Wiki entry incomprehensible. But he sure the hell didn’t opt to be mute for some lame ass vow of silence. Snake Eyes was doing something really awesome, probably saving a really hot girl or possibly a dog from a helicopter explosion. Vows of silence are unacceptable.


But this does raise another question. Actually several. If Snake Eyes has taken a vow of silence how is he then permitted to send a text message?


Again, the internet is incredibly unhelpful in this regard.
  • Can you text during a vow of silence? Maybe.
  • Can you blog during a vow of silence? Unfortunately, yes. And people have for some reason.
  • Can you tweet during a vow of silence? Unclear.
  • Can you sext during a vow of silence? Unclear.

I hoped this cleared some things up for ya.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I like beer and I like Skittles but that doesn’t mean I’m going to like Skittlebraü

Somewhere in the skies over Des Moines there’s a mystical realm accessible only by an enchanted rainbow bridge made from stimulus dollars and trollwife tears. It’s like Valhalla, except you don’t reach there by dying in battle but by expiring from heart disease or hypertension. And if you lose a foot to type 2 diabetes, it’ll be waiting for you when you get there.

Accordingly, many of my ancestors were proudly looking down from this hallowed cloud city last night as 8 of my old roommate’s best friends honored the finish of his terrible, terrible independence with a diner at this city’s finest non-Renaissance themed German restaurant. You’ve probably passed by Old Europe dozens of times without entering and therefore you have made dozens of mistakes. You want to know how awesome it is? It is 8 different kinds of sausage on one plate awesome.



That isn’t some sort of meat sampler appetizer. That’s my entree. To be exact:

Debrizener
Bratwurst
Knackwurst
Weisswurst
Pork loin
Sautéed chicken quarter
Frikadeller


A few years back I went to a wedding, got completely plowed and woke up at a petting zoo.* I’ve since peddled back on the amount of alcohol I drink when celebrating. I only had two beers with dinner last night. However, it’s almost 6pm and I still feel Petting Zoo Hung-over. Apparently ingesting that much sodium in a 40 minute sprint dehydrates you to a level that even two gallons of Smart Water cannot alleviate.




*this is 1000% true

Monday, July 27, 2009

They also recycled the President's Race where Teddy cheats by riding a moped.

A little history:

For the first time in history, three grand slams were hit in a major league game -- a phenomenally bizarre 13-11 Texas Rangers victory over the Baltimore Orioles tonight in Memorial Stadium. They came off the bats of Toby Harrah of the Rangers (who went five for five for the first time in his career) and Larry Sheets and Jim Dwyer of the Orioles.

For the fifth time in major league annals, one team hit two grand slams in an inning. The team was the Orioles -- little good it did them in the end. The homers by Sheets and Dwyer torched a 6-0 Texas lead as Baltimore scored nine runs in the fourth inning.

If you think that was the key to this game, dream on. The Orioles built their lead to 11-6, thanks to Lee Lacy's two-run homer in the sixth. Those 11 runs were managed on just four hits as Texas issued 11 walks. Baltimore also was aided enormously by a two-out error by third baseman Steve Buechele immediately before Dwyer's grand slam.


Above is an account of the August 6, 1986 American baseball match between the Baltimore Orioles of Maryland and Texas Rangers of Texas as printed in the following day’s Washington Post. It was a remarkable game for two reasons. For one, it was the first time three grand slams had been hit in the same game (although the feat was duplicated the next year by Chicago and Houston). Second, it was the first baseball game the G had ever attended.

Her father was worried that his kids would become accustomed to the excitement and high scoring fireworks provided by that game. But since then she has literally been to dozens of other baseball games and they were all as boring as baseball should be. And then the Nationals moved to town! Going to baseball games has become the unpleasant chore that everyone expects from the former Montreal Expos.

Still, though, her first experience was extraordinary. She saw feats that usually awe the most dedicated of baseball fans and few can claim to have seen a more memorable game.

Sunday was Grendel’s first game. And like the G he can brag to his friends that he saw an amazing exploit. Perhaps even more stupendous that three grand slams in one game. He’s going to be able to tell his drunken college roommates that he went to a Nationals game and Austin Kearns didn’t completely shit the bed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Third Edition is actually a used book store

Way back in the very last moments when we were still a couple but before we were a family, I had access to an oxygen machine. Actually, the G had access to the machine but used sparingly where as I used it for nearly every breath I took during that blessed ordeal. “Look at me,” I’d say after sucking down some sweet, sweet air. “I’m John Riggins and I just won the Super Bowl!” Then I tackled the epidermal man and everyone yelled and I had to go sit in the waiting room. The end.


---

Unrelated, I am in the market for oxygen machine. Also, other light medical supplies. Accordingly, I punched my address into Google maps followed by the search term “medical supplies” and got a list of all the places in DC where I could buy those La-Z-boy chairs that lift up and dump you on the floor automatically. But look at the third returned result.



At first I thought perhaps there was a medical supply store in Georgetown coincidentally called Smith Point. Or maybe Smith Point was a small region of Georgetown I was unfamiliar with. Nope. It’s that Smith Point. They have somehow managed to qualify themselves as a medical supply retailer.

I assumed this was some coding error on Google’s part. However, it pops back up with other similar search parameters. And considering how many people have gotten violently ill by visiting the place (including this associated review) maybe the error isn’t that it’s wildly mischaracterized bar but actually a vaguely mischaracterized free clinic.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

girls guide to rocking

I am making K go explore her new town by seeing J. Hopper do her thing tonight at AS220. Then she can tell me what questions I should ask at Comet P-P in August (if I wanted to appear to be awesome and 10 yrs old and a Mac owner into Garageband and talented; instead of 31 with a baby dude on my hip and an ancient Dell desktop that is usually so swarmy with porn viruses I can't read gossip websites let alone construct sweet musics.) But whatevs, I'm a supporter!

Small dude can't actually come with me cause it'll be past his bedtime, but I am going to see her (alone?) anyway on the 23rd (24th?) here in districtville. In case anyone wants to join. Also, pizza and beer. Also, I need to buy this book before then.

In Providence tonight? You should go too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

bitches come, bitches go

Jeff Simmermon, (who it frankly is kind of weird I don't know/have never met, since I think we went to the same college and have mutual friends and even majored in the same thing, [and actually now that I think about it have probably been at parties together] but the world is weird like that) has a pretty great story on This American Life. Suggested listening if you haven't done so already.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Just stop blogging me around

There used to be a time when someone could walk to his local Borders, crawl down to the basement, grab a graphic novel and quietly read it in the Spanish-language self-help section in peace. Sadly, those days are gone. It’s not because they’ve removed the chairs from the Spanish-language self-help section. (They’ve actually removed all the seats from the basement because while I would use them for reading comics, the teenagers and weirdoes would abuse them for reading manga) The reason no one does this anymore is because you cannot approach the Borders at 18th and L without being accosted by a 20 year old with a clipboard. The want support for their cockamamie causes and schemes. And worse, they want your time.

The most common ways to avoid engagement with these children all involve being angry* so I won’t bore you. But if you do get stuck talking to one I’ve found the best response is to indicate that whatever they are peddling is a conflict of interest to whatever it is that you do. Usually that’s an adult enough reply to put them off their game. But if you get pressed you can borrow some business cards I’ve made up.



Most of these groups lean toward port so someone who’s sold enough of their soul to perpetuate Japanese whale harvesting usually doesn’t have any more room in their black heart for whatever they’re advocating.

But that doesn’t get to the main issue. Why the hell are there so many of these people lingering around that part of the Golden Triangle? Is there a sale at the Tiny Jewel Box? Do they need the perfect off-color gag gift from the Chocolate Moose? Was the line at the Greek Deli too long?

The answer is actually pretty simple: Laziness.

I have in my possession a big book that lists all the special interest/lobbyist/advocacy groups in the Washington DC region. From that book, I have randomly plucked the names of six organizations that sound like they would send interns into the streets to collect pledges or signatures in support of their world-saving, likely arboreal embracing causes.
  1. International Humane Society
  2. Peace Corps
  3. Ocean Conservancy
  4. Friends of the Earth
  5. Legacy Foundation
  6. Wilderness Society
(The Legacy Foundation is probably the only one on this brief list whose cause isn’t immediately clear. They’re the group that, with enough funding, would position someone outside the exit nearest every high school art room in America in order to smack cigarettes out of kid’s mouths. They are anti-American and need to be reminded that without Pocahontas and John Rolfe and tobacco this proud nation wouldn’t even have the fine system of roads and trails that they use to ride their high horses.)



Obviously, interest groups have offices all over this fair city. And I have no proof that any of the above are the ones canvassing. But isn’t it a big coincidence that the corner 18 and M looks like its right in the center of these 6 randomly chosen organizations? And if I was a lazy intern and had to gather signatures on a hot July mid-day, doesn’t it look like a good place to station myself? It’s close enough to the office that I can get there without breaking a sweat but far enough away that the bossman can’t see me out the window. Especially when I start forging names or throwing all the forms down the storm drain. Why did I even take this job? I love smoking.

There you have it. Faultless reasoning to why there are so many clipboarders preventing me from reading the Walking Dead series in its entirety during lunch. It’s junk science at its most quotable.




*Fortunately, as has been pointed out by my family, if not actively expressing an emotion my face naturally reverts to “mildly pissed.”

wknd

- After a few months/years of not seeing movies, because of life-things and also because movies lately? total shit - I am looking forward to 500 Days of Summer, An Education, and Big Fan, even the AtHackerMan-approved In The Loop. Please, cinema gods, don't let these movies suck and send me back into my dark hole in the ground for another year.

- I'm reading Infinite Jest, me and the rest of the world. It's fun hard, not homework hard. Like many things, it gets easier the more you do it. I'm up to pg 430. After this I may read something like the Host just to give my mind a break, and also because my friend Cindy recommends it unironically, something I find hilarious and strangely soothing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

it's Internet Asshole Tuesday!

Hey, kids! So who wants to hear me rant maniacally about small businesses who need to get their shit together and not cross me, especially when I'm in a bad mood? Show of hands.

red n green

h/t tom and unfogged. Idaho, you have some serious self-esteem issues.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The worst thing I have ever done

Repeat – This is the worst thing I have ever and am not proud of the following:

I go to Tyson’s Corner Mall once a year. I get a note from my parents to miss school on a December weekday and do all my Xmas shopping in one majestic sweep. So a few years back I was riding the escalator and began to feel an uncomfortable rumbling in my stomach. It all happened so fast. A silent, relieving wind was broken. But good lord was it was deadly. Embarrassed, I glanced around hoping no one was nearby.

Unfortunately, there was. A five year old boy was on the step directly behind me. His head was right there. Directly in his face.







I’m no prude. But the City Paper putting that headline in newspaper boxes around town is worse than an adult farting in the eyes and mouth of a five year old boy.

hello world.

things K and I have IM'd about today:

- skunk calling/skunk population control
- tent cities
- rigging mailboxes to humorously snap on postman's fingers/potential of being sued for such a prank
- tiny dogs
- Family Guy stereotypes
- Marion Barry
- how to spell "ecstatic" correctly
- lawless hobo wars
- Danish pop stars from the 90s AND Dee-lite
- Jewish weddings
- Mail fraud

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

really tempted to use some sort of fleetwood mac lyrics for a title here

Coming back from the beach, we had a brief conversation re: Infinite Jest:

The G: You should really read this, it's pretty funny.

The N (glancing at my book): I've already gotten to that part.

The G: Oh. Huh. Well, let's talk about it. Tell me about the characters.

The N: Well, there's a son. And he has problems with his parents.

The G: How many sons?

The N: Well, two maybe. Two sons. Right! And, uh, a daughter!

The G: Two sons and a daughter, okay. What are their names?

The N: Junior. And they have a dead dad.

The G: Right. Where do they live? What country do they live in?

The N: All over the place! They live internationally! And one of them lives with their mom on a tennis..... ranch. They ranch. And play tennis!

The G: Right. Ranching. And what else happens? What's the major underlying, recurring plot point?

The N: Um, that parents and children don't get along.

The G: Right, right. Let's pick a random character, shall we. Who's Poor Tony Krause?

The N: He's a dog.



. . .




Next week, we ask the N to elaborate on Sophie's Choice.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

no disrespect to your wife, buts its amazing you ever got that oven jockey to uncross her honeysticks for you

Once upon a time, our house was a regular deathtrap. You had yourself two sets of stairs of regulation height, knives of various lengths, ceiling fans spinning at unpredictable speeds, boiling pots of tomato sauce, 20 pound mirrors insecurely positioned in showers so they easily fall and impale feet with their sharpened corner, etc. You know, the standard bunch of ways your average homeowners could kill or maim themselves.

When we got BD a few years ago, we automatically added the very real possibility of severe animal poisoning. Especially since our dog exhibits the shark-like curiosity of exploring the world with his mouth. Unfortunately, he also exhibits the dog-like tendency to swallow everything that he puts in his mouth. Mostly, its garbage. That’s not a weak metaphor. Our dog eats a ton of garbage and most of it is made of stuff that the canine digestive system isn’t designed to dig handle. Like plastic or fireworks or two entire boxes of frosted Mini-wheats. But we adjusted and got safer. These days, our trips to the vet are by appointment and not the type that required stomach pumpings.

Now, though, every goddamned thing in the house is a giant fucking red flag hazard* and will cause instant death or hugely debilitating injuries. Electrical outlets? Let’s lick our fingers and put them in there. Bookshelves? Paperback are boring so let’s pull these hardback copies of Gravity’s Rainbow and Infinite Jest on our heads. Scissors? We should put them in our mouths and open and close them quickly. And who made irons extremely hot, heavy and pointed with a convenient chord to pull?

And then there are peanuts. Obviously, humans have known that peanuts are the deadliest substance on earth ever since the first caveman stuck a sharpened stick into the Georgian soil and it detonated like Petersburg. We measure radioactivity in units of Carvers in honor of George Washington Carver and his tireless attempt to discover a way to make x-rays out of peanuts. Every schoolchild knows he died after absorbing a fatal dose of Carvers when inventing the peanut butter bomb that latter flattened Tuskegee, Alabama. It’s the reason that we, as a nation, worship Ronald Reagan since he was the only man capable of driving that terrible peanutmonger Jimmy Carter out of our nation’s capital.

We roll the dice everyday by even having that single jar of peanut butter in the house. But I have a wife who is forever falling asleep while chewing gum and we need the peanut butter for Bubble Yum hair extraction. It’s a risk we take to live in the modern world. (we also store our bleach in brightly colored sippy cups.)

But now it’s “news” that if you feed someone small bits of peanuts over the course of a few years they will develop immunity to the poison. Isn’t this the standard operating procedure for minimizing the effects of harmful allergens? I’ve been ingesting little bits of iocane since 1987 and have successfully warded off every poisoning attempt by my enemies. Or so I assume. I don’t see why peanuts would be any different.


*I’m aware there should be a comma in there somewhere. But I’m content with the thought of a giant being fucked by a hazardous red flag.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Nationals Paaak

Besides the time I got to play Guitar Hero with Aerosmith, all my run ins with the city of Boston have been negative. It’s mostly due to the entirety of the city’s highway system being underground causing one’s GPS to be less than ineffective. This arrangement has caused many a visitor to that fair city to get lost on the way to the airport and miss their fantasy football drafts. I think that’s why the Feds demanded an investigation into the Big Dig. Or at least why I demanded one.

On Wednesday, we went to the Fenway-on-the-Potomac to see the heroic Boston Red Sox play our local minor league team for charity. We’d been warned that the crowd at Nationals Park would be 10-1 in favor of Boston fans but that may be an understatement. There were a lot of pinkish, heavy-set woman with thick-necked boyfriends in Celtics jerseys. It was fantastically difficult to listen to.

If my calculations are correct, 30 years of ballpark visits has allowed me to see every team in the league. Boston was the last on my list. And it afforded me a chance to see Kevin Youkilis up close.



Yep. There is no other ballplayer in America that looks more like Wooly Willy, the magnetically-powered beard toy. You can get yours today at your favorite Cracker Barrel waiting area.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Also, why is the Dupont Circle stop so much better lit than the other stations?

I rode the red line 6 times yesterday. Three things to note:

1. Tourists are actively avoiding the last cars in the trains. I overheard them acknowledging out loud that it makes them uncomfortable. It’s most obvious at stations like Gallery Place-Chinatown where the escalator deposits riders at the end of the platform and forces you to walk the length of the train to get to the front.

2. It may have just been the series of trains I was on, but now that WMATA has temporarily suspended the automatic train operation system I find the ride to be much smoother. Twice, while engrossed in the babyish pages of Infinite Jest, I hadn’t even realized we had pulled into the station until the train stopped. The manual drivers seem to have a more controlled style of gradual braking. It was like flying a Thai Airways, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

really enjoying

- funny women

- this, which i think i've mentioned before but is cool enough that it deserves a second look.

- june

Friday, June 19, 2009

And Bill Cowher?

What are those toys called that are made of metal shells and have mashable buttons that cause those shells to spin so quickly that they reveal a little plastic chick or snowman or leprechaun inside depending on the holiday? They’re neither tops or דרײדל. But whatever they are, they're terrible toys.

Apparently, the NHL makes giant versions of them and hand em out to unsuspecting Russians as MVP awards.

----

It’s Friday. So make sure to finger yourself before you go to bed tonight. Magically. Purely out of respect, of course. But make it count.

----

BD Wong was at the White House today, for some reason. I saw it on the TV. I’m not sure why but Tony Hawk was there too. That’s him at 0:43. In front of Bobby Flay.

What the hell is going on over there?

get a GRIP cusack. pull it TOGETHER man.

"2010" plot summary by The N:

John Cusack is trying to save the world in a movie called "Independence Day Stood Still." Him and his alien child are trying to outrace a tsunami on a plane filled with convicts so he can make it to his high school reunion on time. Something explodes. Oh, and Annette Bening is his mom who he sleeps with. The end.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

cathy cartoon, kind of

Do you ever have one of those days where you spend a significant amount of your desk time orbitzin' tickets to London just because you know their candy is SO FAR SUPERIOR to what is offered around here, say especially on K St?

Fuck yes you have.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

little thangs

I'm looking to make friends with some Hip Girls between the ages of 24-28 who will come to my house to party. The kind of party where I throw open my closet doors and say: "here, fix this" and they are given full permission to throw away anything dorky (ie my entire wardrobe.)

In other more hilarious news, K. just told me she's "hiding her good TV" from the cable guy in case he decides to come back to rob her later. Man, do I miss her.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

huge Mexican hats

Would you, dear reader, believe that there was once a Mexican restaurant in Arlington called El Sombrero that delivered orders of chips and salsa in a sombrero? Silly, but believable, right? How about if the chips were scattered around the brim and the salsa bowl was nestled into the top? Okay, sure. But what if I told you the entire appetizer arrived at your table on the head of a midget?

No one ever believes me.

Obviously, the final aspect of that story is the one that most often gives people pause. It’s also a FACT that only my immediate family is willing to recognize. As a child, my sister, parents and I were all served chips and salsa in a sombrero by a midget. Does a photograph or a film or any other piece of evidence corroborate this memory? Unfortunately not. But I doubt all four of us are suffering from a strange and acute delirium that would cause us to recall this event in the exact same manner. It happened. It is fact.

The closest thing I can find as proof is a paragraph out a 1977 Washington Post restaurant review.
The restaurant, which has been at Lee Highway and N. Harrison St. in Arlington for eight years, is spacious and hospitable. The decor is rather plush - thick carpets, Mexican art work and huge Mexican hats.
Note the reference to the “huge Mexican hats.” May I argue that they were actually regular Mexican hats but were distorted because they were worn by tiny Mexican people? I may.

Of course, by the time I had dinner at this restaurant it was no longer called El Sombrero. In 1982 it was going by the name of Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant. It was pretty much the same place just a different name. But that too lasted only a few years.

I say “of course” because the building that housed both Miguel’s and Sombrero is that one building in every town that can never hold a business for more than a few months. It’s snake bit. It can be at a great location (which this one was) and sell a great product (which this one never really did) but it will never last. In my memory, it’s been five different restaurants, a movie rental store and most recently a business that sold used baby clothes, for some reason. It’s also the building that the hillbillies set their fireworks trailer up in front of every June 25 – July 5th.

It could be haunted. It could be cursed. It could have once been a skating rink where 12 sexy teens were murdered 100 years ago. On this very night. Bottom line, the term FAIL was designed for 5401 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA.



With this history in mind, when T&D wanted to build a new bank in the area they decided to tear down a perfectly good gas station across the street instead of moving into this vexed structure. So for a few weeks, the once-Hollywood Video was nothing more than a staging ground for heavy earth movers.



And that’s why I failed to notice there was a new tenant.


I can’t tell you who’s going to win the primary to be Virginia’s Democratic candidate for Governor on June 9. But I can tell you that Brian Moran is going to lose. And it’s not because he’s raised the least amount of money of any of candidates. Or that his brother is Jim Moran. Or that the Post has endorsed Creigh Deeds. Or that Terry Mcauliffe wields the power of heterochromia.

It’s because the Brian Moran campaign has moved into the most foredoomed building in all of Arlington. And it doesn’t help that his campaign workers spend their entire day with giant wall murals of Batman Forever Two-Faced Tommy Lee Jones and a Riddling Jim Carrey grinning down on them all day long. It seems that when you’re last in fund raising, you can’t afford to paint the walls of the former Hollywood Video you now work out of. Having decade old movie murals as decorations also speaks to why Hollywood Video is no longer in business.



See, you can even make out an Eraser-era Arnold actively endorsing Brian Moran for Governor.

Like any sporting event I don’t have a vested interest in, I was just hoping that this race was going to be a good, clean game. That's not going to happen now. I hope the Vegas oddsmakers have taken this self inflicted handicap into account.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

beezers

I had a long post all set to go about Scrippsin' It '09 and the bets I have placed with my brother (over/unders for prepubescent moustache notwithstanding, I'm pretty confident in my pick for champion) but can we talk about something real fast? The semifinalists were just announced.

Alex Wells????? Serena Laine-Lobsinger?????

Way to go cool kids. Way to show up and co-opt what the nerds like and ruin things, as usual.

I'm going with number 3



Where did he just deliver that last speech?
  1. Tron
  2. The Matrix
  3. The Holodeck

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm a stripper and a poet; my name is Sidell but they call me Ecstasy

Via Hopper: How much do I love public access TV?

Also, please note the ripoff of "Around the Way Girl." He needs a plus size around the clock. I'll break it down to you on the physical aspect. Daaaaaamn.

For those of you who aren't reg'lar tinylukcygenius readers, let this be all the motivation you need. Do RSS!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This site’s content basically comes down to two things. First, posts directed at one specific person, usually my wife or her husband. Second, posts about things that no one gives a shit about. This is one falls under the latter.

I recently came into possession of this incredibly awesome phone.



It’s a Swisstel, 9 inch, yellow wonder speckled with blue confetti. It has a flash button for call waiting, a redial button for calling back the Ghostbusters, and hold button that doesn’t actually put anyone on hold since you have to keep it pressed to maintain the muting function. In an effort to boost voice clarity, the bottom 3 inches impressively curl toward the mouth like an armadillo shell.



It’s a marvel of plastic and science.

However, I don’t know anything else about it. I casually mentioned that it was a Swisstel phone like that was supposed to mean anything to anybody. But a google of Swisstel produces absolutely zilch. So what can we learn of this phone? To the library! With our library cards of learning!

According to a 1988 press release, this phone was Switzerland’s first foray into the vast market of America’s Debbie Gibson-inspired Electric Youth youth.
Swisstel (US) hopes to achieve US telephone market penetration of 3-4% by end-1989. The company is a unit of Ascom Hldg, Switzerland's largest and the world's 11th largest telecommunications concern. Swisstel's 1st product, a lightweight, futuristic phone offered in 10 colors is currently being marketed in the US, which the company plans to use as a base for worldwide market expansion.
But sales didn’t take off like the Swiss had hoped. And it didn’t help that the initial price for this fantastic piece of junk was $70. A second press release the next year reveals that they may have over-estimated the phone’s appeal. According to the Swisstel president,

"The result of those earlier miscalculations was that while we met our fiscal goals, we didn't achieve our sales expectations."

It went on,
Taking a corrective course, Swisstel has made a $ 30 price cut on its unique line of slim-line phones effective in September. The retail price has gone from $ 59.95 to $ 29.95, while actual retail selling prices could be as low as $ 19.95.
By 1990, there were no more mentions of Swisstel selling phones anywhere. In fact, I don’t think they even existed anymore. A $50 phone made from $3 worth of plastic was too much for even the likes of that handsome rich kid Steve Sanders. The Swiss tucked their tails between their legs and limped back to the Land of Chocolate to make army knives and Papal bodyguards.

But that’s not where this story ends. The point of this post wasn’t to brag about my awesome new phone that no one else in the world has. This post is intended to draw attention to the fact that Carnegie Mellon University maintains one of the largest collections of Swiss graphic design and poster art in North America, as far as I can tell. Perhaps the world? But by browsing their extensive assemblage I came across a second confirmed image of this phone. Then even more.



I don’t understand how these things, even at their ridiculous prices, didn’t achieve 50% market penetration. But I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact it looks like a giant wang when you turn it over.



Wang.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Set Phasers to Fail

(Let me preface this by saying that I once lived in an apartment addressed 1357 Lois Lane.)

In the case Star Wars v Star Trek, I have traditionally found in favor of Lucas. Star wars was always inescapable. But my only real exposure to the world of Roddenberry was through the terrifying reruns of the Star Trek cartoon on Nickelodeon. The color palate they used on the show featured a lot of harsh reds, oranges, and yellows and I was always a little uncomfortable watching it, for some reason. Seeking out the real show was not a high priority. And Star Trek didn’t feature action figures with easily swallowed tiny, plastic blasters.

I did get into TNG. So I do know a little something something about dilithium crystals and can hold my own with The G’s Trekkie coworkers. So when I passed this street sign in very rural Virginia a few days ago, I thought to myself “NERDS!”



Isn’t trillium from Star Trek? Isn’t it some mineral like dilithium or something? Maybe not, I can’t remember. It’s no glitterstim.

But the very next street sign was this.



Clearly, a family of geeks has settled in SW Virginia and named the streets after Star Trek. This has to be documented, the world must know.

But I dug around and couldn’t find anything. No references on the internet, no newspaper articles, no message board missives. What’s going on? Shouldn’t Trekkies be all over this shit? This would be a perfect setting for a Star Trek/Civil War re-enactment. Unless…

Doubt started to trickle in. This couldn’t be a coincidence, could it? There couldn’t be two Star Trek related street 30 yards apart in the middle of the boonies, could there? This had to be planned. By nerds, no less. I recognize their work.

Alas, the nerd was me. Trillium is in fact an obscure Star Trek mineral. But a quick wiki search show it’s also a beautiful flower. And Tribbles? They plagued Kirk in the classically campy episode 44 in “The Trouble With Tribbles." But according to a quick search of Montgomery County, VA public records, the Tribble family has also been living on Tribble Road for 30+ years.

So there isn’t some nerd paradise outside of Christiansburg full of contraction-less androids and rubber-suited aliens. It’s just full of chickens.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Sports Authoritarianism

Of all my grandfathers’s grandchildren I am the only boy. That makes me his favorite grandson. And it means that when attention is doled out, I always receive something different. For instance, a few years back all the granddaughters received sizable cash gifts. I got his 1986 Jeep Cherokee with wooden side panels and a sticker on the back that alerted police officers that he was a member of their law enforcement fraternity. (Although pulled over several times, I never received a ticket driving that car.)

At some point in the mid-80’s he traveled to Asia and brought back gifts. The girls got fancy umbrellas or something. I got an olive green, brimmed cap with a plastic red star on the front. I loved that hat and wore every moment outside of school. I wore it as bike helmet. It was sweat stained. The cheap stitching rotted until the lining fell out. It was a gloriously ridiculous hat for a 12-year-old to wear.

One summer day, I was wearing it at the local comic book shop when one of the older CBGs who liked to harass the young kids grilled me about the hat’s meaning. It was clear I had no idea. And it was also clear that even after he explained to me what it represented, I still had no idea. What does a pre-teen know of communism and the Vietnam War? (Except it’s where Frank Castle learned his trade. And Iron Man a little bit too. ) But I did know that this guy had a problem with my hat.

Since this guy got off on hassling kids and I didn’t want to be a target, I stopped wearing it to the comic book store. Eventually, I stopped wearing it altogether. And then mom got a hold of the thing and threw it away. So long novelty Chairman Mao Tze Tung Revolution Communist Red Army Cap: size 58cm.

For me, Communism died that day.


-


Last weekend I went shopping for a new pair of running shoes. This routine outing quickly became a chore since I seemingly have the most common shoe size in the region and all my option were hideous or out of stock. Eventually, I made my way to the Sports Authority on Jeff Davis Highway where I again struck out in the shoe the department. But in the hat department I found this:



Strictly from a marketing point of view, this seems an odd product for Adidas to sell. I get that Soviet nostalgia will manifest itself in a variety of ways. And I get that most people walking by this aisle won’t take a second look. But it can be argued that several million people died under the image on this cap. (To drive the point home, CCCP was printed on the back) The hammer and sickle still represents something powerful to a lot of people so I can see it being used to deliver some artistic message. But from Adidas? At Sports Authority? I’m not seeing how that works.