Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sometimes It's The Writing...

...BUT SOMETIMES IT'S THE PERFORMANCE. This is a perfect example of something that could have totally failed in the hands of a less capable comedic actor. It is also my new favorite thing.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Spam-A-Lot, Week 6

THE SIXTH WEEK OF THE WATCH was a week in which I was told "all mens need this." The "this" was of course Boner Medication, which maintained its stranglehold on the top spot. This week also featured an email from an Online Casino (cracking the Top 5 this week) which proclaimed "When YOU WIN, we win!" Very comforting words from a casino, I think. At least they're honest in telling me that they win no matter what the outcome.

Six categories dropped off the chart this week: Earn Your Degree, Legal Pot, View Your Kitty Card, Tax Refund from IRS, Bank Scam, and Holiday Shopping For Your Loved Ones, the last of which entered the Top 10 last week.

New on the chart are Would You Like to Chat? (debuting at #8 with the recurrent theme of "I'm a lonely twenty-something girl who's bored tonight"), Get Approved, The World Book Is Here and the ominous Here Is The Video which arrived with a zip file attached and a message that read, in part, "Here is the video of this patient interrogation / cross-examination. I think he doesn't say everything."

I missed my Chart!

WEEK SIX
337 emails
BMS = 53% (up 4%)

((1/1)) -- 177 Boner Medication (57 MegaDick, 39 Viagra/Cialis)
((2/5)) -- 37 Foreign Gibberish (5 German)
((3/2)) -- 30 Canadian/Online Pharmacy
((4/3)) -- 25 OEM Software
((5/10)) -- 15 Online Casino
((6/4)) -- 13 Rolex/Luxury Watches
((7/10)) -- 6 Inspecific “Look at this!”
((7/6)) -- 6 Weight Loss (Hoodia Gordonii) (2 Anatrim)
((8/--)) -- 5 Would You Like to Chat?
((9/14)) -- 4 Personal Pussy (Personal Puss!)
((9/14)) -- 4 Bigger/Better Boobs
((11/10)) -- 3 Validate Your Identity (eBay, PayPal, etc.)
((12/8)) -- 2 Stock News
((12/17)) -- 2 Stop Smoking
((13/7)) -- 1 Employee Search
((13/--)) -- 1 Improve Your Health
((13/14)) -- 1 Human Growth Hormone
((13/14)) -- 1 Porn Sites
((13/17)) -- 1 Pheromones
((13/--)) -- 1 Get Approved
((13/--)) -- 1 The World Book Is Here
((13/--)) -- 1 Here Is The Video (w/attachment)

KEY:
BMS = Boner Medication Saturation
((this week's rank/last week's rank))
-- = new to the chart this week

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Death by Chipmunk


I JUST READ that Alvin & the Chipmunks did what is known as "boffo box office" in its opening weekend -- to the tune of $45 million. Forty-fucking-five million! In real American dollars!

Earlier in this blog, I had mentioned how just watching the trailer for the movie made me feel (spoiler alert: suicidal!). Now that I've seen how America is embracing this movie, I probably should just pull the car into the garage and start 'er up.

If only I had a garage.

Somehow I don't feel like sitting in my idling car on the street in front of my apartment will have the same effect. But maybe going to see The Bucket List will be the same as breathing car exhaust.

If that doesn't do it, there's always P.S. I Love You.

Friday, December 14, 2007

There's Irony...And Then There's Irony

WHILE PUTTING SOME NEW TUNES IN MY COMPUTER, I came across this odd bit of info. One of the songs on the Rock Instrumental Classics, Vol. 3 disc I uploaded was "Rock & Roll, Part 2", the formerly ubiquitous sports stadium anthem by Gary Glitter. So I did a search on Glitter (to upload the album art to go with the song) and found something ironic.

"Rock & Roll, Part 2" was played at virtually every sporting event, professional or college level, in virtually every town for years -- that is, until Glitter (whose real name is Paul Gadd) was convicted on child pornography charges in 1999, and then (as if that wasn't enough) child sexual abuse charges in 2005. Long story short: Glitter is a totally awesome guy, right? Once those unsavory details surfaced, most sports franchises decided, "Maybe we should stop playing this song to get the crowd riled up."

Most sports franchises did that. Some did not. And here's where the irony comes in.

According to (the notoriously accurate) Wikipedia, among the teams still playing "Rock & Roll, Part 2" during games is the NHL team in Nashville. What's the name of that team?

The Predators, of course!

Go Predators!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Spam-A-Lot, Week 5

THERE IS NO WEEK 5. There never was. I don't even know what you're talking about. It's like the 13th floor of a building: it just doesn't exist. Naturally, we'll go from Week 4 to Week 6. Why would that be weird?

It doesn't mean that I deleted a bunch of spam emails and thus was unable to report on Week 5. Of course it doesn't mean that! Why would you even think that? It means something completely different. In fact, it doesn't mean anything at all.

Stop thinking about it. Thinking will just make you unattractive.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Spam-A-Lot, Week 4

SPAM IS BACK AND IT'S BETTER THAN EVER, as Week 4 of the Chart saw the highest number of useless emails yet -- nearly 500! That's a lot of crap! Several Chart favorites returned to the fold (Human Growth Hormone, Personal Pussy and Bigger/Better Boobs to name three). Holiday traffic jacked up the Rolex/Luxury Watches spam to its highest overall total (51) and highest spot on the chart (#4) yet.

New to the chart this week are Holiday Shopping For Your Loved Ones at #8 and Bank Scam (Nigerian & otherwise) way down on the bottom of the chart. Tax Refund from IRS, Improve Your Health and View Your Kitty Card were absent for the second straight week, and Legal Pot, which made its chart debut last week, albeit weakly in last place, also disappeared.

Sadly, the only notable subject line this week was “it’s not a secret that hotties are mad about strong and long sausages.” Let's hope next week brings a more fertile crop of those babies, am I right?

Viva la Chart!

WEEK FOUR, NOVEMBER 15-21
494 emails (up 52%)
BMS=49% (down 11%)

((1/1)) -- 243 Boner Medication (91 MegaDick, 68 Viagra/Cialis)
((2/3)) -- 59 Canadian/Online Pharmacy
((3/2)) -- 58 OEM Software
((4/5)) -- 51 Rolex/Luxury Watches
((5/4)) -- 42 Foreign Gibberish
((6/10)) -- 6 Weight Loss (Hoodia Gordonii & Anatrim)
((7/10)) -- 5 Employee Search
((8/9)) -- 4 Stock News
((8/--)) -- 4 Holiday Shopping For Your Loved Ones
((10/--)) -- 3 Online Casino
((10/6)) -- 3 Validate Your Identity (confirm w/eBay, PayPal, etc.)
((10/7)) -- 3 Inspecific “Look at this!”
((10/8)) -- 3 Earn Your Degree
((14/--)) -- 2 Human Growth Hormone
((14/--)) -- 2 Personal Pussy (Personal Puss!)
((14/--)) --2 Bigger/Better Boobs
((17/--)) -- 1 Porn Sites
((17/--)) -- 1 Stop Smoking
((17/--)) -- 1 Pheromones
((17/--)) -- 1 Bank Scam (Nigerian & otherwise)

KEY:
BMS = Boner Medication Saturation
((this week's rank/last week's rank))
-- = new to the chart this week

Monday, December 3, 2007

Coincidence?

I JUST SAW THE TRAILER for the Alvin & the Chipmunks movie. And now I want to kill myself.

The two things might not be related. But I'm not convinced.

Friday, November 30, 2007

We Need To Talk

IT'S REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE TO HAVE THIS TALK, but I feel like we need to. Just you and me. I think you should break up with your abusive boyfriend. I'm talking to you, America, because I'm really really concerned. I just don't think it's healthy anymore, this relationship. And, frankly, I think your boyfriend, China, is trying to kill you.

First he tried to poison your pets with melamine-laced food. Then he put poison in your toothpaste. And then he put lead paint all over the toys you buy for your kids.

Those three things in themselves seem sorta crazy, don't you think?

I know, I know, you still think he's great, and he's got such great potential, and I probably just don't "get him" like you do. I know that's how you feel. I totally understand. And no, I'm not jealous. I don't wish I was in a relationship with China. I really don't. I'm just trying to talk to you as a friend.

Because now China's coming for your kids again, wanting to smother them with adorable toy shelves. And if that doesn't work -- and I know this will sound totally crazy, but I'm really not making it up -- China wants to date rape your kids.

Yes, I realize this sounds crazy. But I am not making it up.

Ok, ok, fine. Don't believe me. And just keep believing that China is still good for you and believing how great this relationship could be. But don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mmmm, Coffee

DISCONTINUED STARBUCKS COFFEE FLAVORS
Shrimp
Taco salad
Perfume
Pennies
Newborn baby
Tea
Water
Loneliness

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dick Problems

BIG NEWS FROM WASHINGTON TODAY, Vice-President Dick Cheney was taken to the hospital for an irregular heartbeat. Which is a little confusing, isn't it? I thought you needed a heart for that.

Oh no I didn't!

Oh yes I did.

I just snapped the VP.

Take that, O Dark One!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Spam-A-Lot, Week 3

EXCITING MOVEMENT ON THE SPAM CHART this week. Not in the top four, which stayed exactly the same, but elsewhere on the chart. Ten categories disappeared off the chart altogether, leaving only a dozen categories of spam in my inbox this week. The number of emails dropped back down to 325 this week, but the BMS skyrocketed to 60%, leaving little room on the charts for anything else really. In fact, MegaDick emails alone outnumbered the total emails for OEM Software and Canadian/Online Pharmacy, #2 and #3 on the chart, respectively. And perennial #5 on the chart Weight Loss lost weight at an alarming rate, losing 90% of its chart power by dropping to a unhealthily skinny two emails (both for Anatrim) and ending up at the #10 spot.

Most notably absent in Week 3 were Human Growth Hormone and Personal Pussy, both recent Top Ten Spams. Also surprisingly missing, Bigger/Better Boobs. I guess I just don't believe that America is finally happy with the size and quality of its boobs. View Your Kitty Kard went unrepresented, which was fine by me, because I never knew what the fuck that meant anyway.

There were two new arrivals this week. The Inspecific "Look At This" emails debuted at #7, which simply said something like "You won't believe THIS" and included a link to click on. Also, Legal Pot debuted in the #12 spot with two emails encouraging me to try "Buddha Bud".

It was hard to choose a favorite phrase from this weeks emails, since there were three awesome candidates to choose from. While I really liked the broken English of “increase easily your power in the eyewink!”; “fungo bat in your pants” and “vagina destroyer” also won my heart through repetition, arriving in five (fungo) and three (destroyer) separate emails.

Love your chart now!

WEEK THREE, NOVEMBER 8-14
325 emails
BMS=60% (up 21%)

((1/1)) -- 194 Boner Medication (72 MegaDick, 61 Viagra/Cialis)
((2/2)) -- 35 OEM Software
((3/3)) -- 34 Canadian/Online Pharmacy
((4/4)) -- 32 Foreign Gibberish (3 German)
((5/11)) -- 7 Rolex/Luxury Watches
((6/9)) -- 6 Validate Your Identity (confirm w/eBay, PayPal, etc.)
((7/--)) -- 5 Inspecific “Look at this!”
((8/17)) -- 4 Earn Your Degree
((9/17)) -- 3 Stock News
((10/5)) -- 2 Weight Loss (both Anatrim)
((10/16)) -- 2 Employee Search
((10/--)) -- 2 Legal Pot (Big Buddha Bud)

KEY:
BMS = Boner Medication Saturation
((this week's rank/last week's rank))
-- = new to the chart this week

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Brain No Worky

IT SERVES ME RIGHT for making fun of the thing my wife said a couple of days ago. It only makes sense that I too would fall prey to the same "bran flavor".

Just yesterday, I found myself hungry almost all day and when I tried to tell my wife that I was like a bottomless pit, instead I said: "I'm like an endless hole."

Which doesn't communicate the same thing really. In fact, it's a little upsetting.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Everything I Know, I Learned From The Simpsons

IT MIGHT BE TIME to officially declare Heather Mills "bat-shit crazy." Up to this point, I've just thought she was kind of a mean lady and left it at that. And like most people, I watched her on "Dancing With The Stars" sorta, kinda hoping to see her high-kick her prosthesis into the crowd. Sure, who didn't? And of late she's said some weird-ass shit regarding her split from The Cute Beatle. But this really takes the cake.

Are you ready? I'm not sure you are, but here goes.

In order to combat global warming, Heather Mills, a vegan, wants people to drink rats' milk or dogs' milk.

Wha?

I mean, what the?

I mean, wait a second, this is straight out of a Simpsons episode. The one where Homer becomes a bodyguard for Mayor Quimby and finds out that Quimby is allowing Fat Tony to supply the schools with rats' milk, instead of milk from cows. It also features a hilarious turn by Mark Hamill playing a sad version of himself singing "Luke Be a Jedi Tonight" (to the tune of "Luck Be a Lady Tonight"), but I digress.

Here's the logic from the crazy lady herself: "Eighty per cent of global warming comes from livestock and deforestation. I'm not telling people to go vegan overnight. But if they stop drinking their cows' milk lattes, maybe this sort of thing won't have to happen."

Okay. I can be on board with this so far. At least theoretically. But there's more!

"There are many other kinds of milk available. Why don't we try drinking rats' milk and dogs' milk?"

Hmmm. Why don't we try drinking rats' milk? Wow. First of all, I think it is fan-fucking-tastic that someone actually said this and meant it. But let's just address some of the really crazy aspects of all this.

ONE: This is being said by a VEGAN. Normally, vegans aim to move people away from using any animal products at all. Instead, this one is suggesting we shift from cows to rats...and dogs. It's a little bit like a vegan saying, "Don't eat a hamburger! Eat a kitten instead!"

TWO: Global warming comes from livestock and deforestation. So, let's turn rats into livestock so that we can harvest and process their milk and save the planet? I mean, her idea might work...if there were giant pools of naturally occurring rats' milk and dogs' milk just lying about. (And who hasn't had that magnificent dream?)

THREE: Why am I even breaking this down? Holy shit! Rats' milk? Are you fucking crazy, lady? Wait! I know the answer to that. Yes! You are!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Regarding the Size of the Potatoes

MY WIFE IS ON THE PHONE, and I just overheard something she said. Normally, I wait until nighttime, when I review the surveillance tapes and pore over the transcripts made by my midget assistant who lives under the floorboards. But this time I was actually doing some real-time eavesdropping. And I heard her try to say, "I know it's small potatoes."

But what she actually said was, "I know it's no great potatoes."

Which is now my favorite phrase. It has replaced "Hey! Bingbong! You got your emails!"

At least for the time being.

Hooray for the Bible!

WHILE DRIVING YESTERDAY, I saw a bumper sticker on this beat up pickup truck that read: Don't Let My Car Fool You, My Real Treasure Is In Heaven.

So, like anyone else, when I got home, I Google'd the phrase (in case I wanted to buy, let's say 24 of them to send as holiday gifts) and one of the top hits on Google was this guy's blog. Specifically, an entry titled "Bumper Sticker Theology or BST for Short," where he listed his favorite religious bumper stickers. About a third of the way down the list was this little gem. Let's see if you can guess which phrase I'm talking about.

Do you have a guess? I'll give you a clue. It's the one that's not really about God at all. It's the one about feminism. I know, awesome, right?

I immediately told my wife about it, and she, naturally, fell in love with the man behind the blog. It's no surprise, he's got it all: he's married, he's religious and he's Canadian!

I may as well pack my bags.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

1-2-3-4, I Declare a Donut War!

AS MEMBERS OF THE WGA, the wife and I have been walking the picket lines since we got back from our New York vacation on November 6th. We normally picket in the mornings, since it’s been in the upper 80s in Los Angeles lately (just like mid-November oughta be!) and a couple of days ago we decided to bring some delicious donuts to our fellow strikers. Inadvertently, while choosing our two dozen donuts, I started a Donut War.

The wife and I were taking turns choosing donuts, and during one turn, she chose cake donuts with white icing sprinkled with coconut. In my estimation, a very unpopular donut choice. And I said as much, admittedly with a total lack of tact. I said, “No one’s going to eat those.”

Once on the picket line, I was called to task regarding my poo-pooing of the coconut donut, and also for the jerky way I poo-pooed.

“Well, come on, honey,” I said. “Let’s face it, coconut is not a popular donut flavor.”

“I like coconut donuts,” she replied, pointing out that one of my choices, the chocolate iced donut with chopped peanut sprinkles (third from the bottom in the accompanying photo), was an equally terrible donut.

“You’re crazy,” I said, again with an awesome amount of tact. “That’s a way better donut choice than a coconut donut. I guarantee you that at the end of the day there will be two donuts left: the two coconut donuts.”

And thus the war was on. It also prompted a $20 bet, with my wife insisting that no one would so much as sample the peanut-covered donuts. “Who wants a crunchy donut?” Whereas I was certain that the coconut donuts would be the fat kid in gym class, last in the box, totally neglected.

We marched and marched for a time, making small talk about other things, both of us stealing surreptitious glances into the donut box with each pass. Then my wife said, “You can’t just eat part of the peanut donut in order to win, you know.”

“Honestly, until you mentioned it, I hadn’t even considered that as an option.”

“Well, don’t do it,” she said.

Around and around we walked, watching the donuts in the box dwindle with each pass, until there were only four donuts were left: two coconut and two peanut-sprinkled.

Obviously, my penchant for the peanut-sprinkled donut was not shared by the masses, a surprise to me. And I said as much.

“It’s a terrible choice,” my wife replied.

“But I still insist that coconut is an even worse choice.”

“We’ll see.”

It is significant issues like this one that divide us. Only the most vital of international and social and moral topics demand this sort of tenacious loyalty, this level of passion. The mistreatment of political prisoners in our jails. The civil unrest in Pakistan. And whose donut choice will be least popular. These are the dynamic topics of discussion in our household.

A few minutes later, I heard my wife gasp, “Oh my god!” She was looking in the donut box. Someone in the picket line had taken half of the peanut-sprinkled donut. Conceding defeat, my wife tore off a bite of one of the coconut donuts. So, I was vindicated, if only barely. By the time we left, there was one coconut and three-quarters of a peanut-sprinkled donut left.

Two lessons were learned on this day. One: Peanut-sprinkled donuts are only barely more popular than coconut donuts. (Who knew?) And two: Nobody really wins a donut war. One can only hope to survive it and find a way to go on living.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Spam-A-Lot, Week 2

WEEK TWO OF SPAMWATCH '07 saw an increase in emails (from 321 to 404) but a decrease in the percentage of Boner Medication emails. The Top Five categories stayed the same, although Foreign Gibberish dropped from the #2 spot to #4. New to the Chart this week is Improve Your Health (which debuts at the #6 spot), Employee Search and Tax Refund from the IRS. And Poor Credit?, which barely made it onto the Chart last week with a single email, dropped off the radar altogether. The most entertaining subject line of the week: “such a bulky fuckstick Briana”.

Please enjoy your chart.

WEEK TWO, NOVEMBER 1-7
404 emails
BMS=39% (down 6% from last week)

((1/1)) -- 159 Boner Medication (56 MegaDick, 43 Viagra/Cialis)
((2/3)) -- 57 OEM Software
((3/4)) -- 48 Canadian/Online Pharmacy
((4/2)) -- 47 Foreign Gibberish (6 German)
((5/5)) -- 21 Weight Loss (7 Anatrim)
((6/--)) -- 8 Improve Your Health
((6/12)) -- 8 Stop Smoking
((6/10)) -- 8 Human Growth Hormone
((9/8)) -- 7 Personal Pussy
((9/6)) -- 7 Validate Your Identity

((11/7)) -- 6 Rolex/Luxury Watches
((12/9)) -- 5 Bigger/Better Boobs
((12/12)) -- 5 Online Casino
((14/12)) -- 4 Pheromones
((14/12)) -- 4 View Your Kitty Card
((16/--)) -- 3 Employee Search
((17/10)) -- 2 General Porn
((17/12)) -- 2 Earn Your Degree
((17/12)) -- 2 Stock News
((20/--)) -- 1 Tax Refund from IRS

KEY:
BMS = Boner Medication Saturation
((this week's rank/last week's rank))
-- = new to the chart this week

Monday, November 5, 2007

Spam-A-Lot

I WILL FREELY ADMIT THAT I HAVE A PROBLEM with spam emails. Both that I receive a shitload of it (more than 300 a week), and also that I am fascinated by it. My wife is convinced that my infatuation with spam is not only boring but possibly stupid.

I find it hard to dispute this position.

That being said, I started keeping track of the kinds of spam I receive on a week-to-week basis. Yes, I know, it's a little like touching the doorknob 17 times before leaving the house, but everybody's got their something, right?

I started this (let's call it an) experiment three weeks ago, and I would like to share the results with you. Yes, I'm talking to you Nick and Jon & Jon & Steve. And maybe also to Corn Mo. (After you guys, I don't know who else might be reading what I write.) My favorites are, of course, the boner medication spam emails, which make up nearly 50% of every week's influx. MegaDick (also spelled MegaDik) is the most popular, but WonderCum, Xtra-Size, ManSter and the Penis Patch are quite popular too. I also received one this week with the subject line "be a success in the pants." Words to live by.

Here's the Billboard Chart of Spam for...
WEEK ONE, OCTOBER 24-31
321 emails
Boner Medication Saturation (BMS)=45%

144 Boner Medication (73 MegaDick, 38 Viagra/Cialis)
42 Foreign Gibberish (6 German)
34 OEM Software Offers
31 Canadian/Online Pharmacy (non boner-specific)
17 Weight Loss (including Anatrim & Hoodia)
16 Validate Your Identity
15 Rolex/Luxury Watches
5 Personal Pussy
4 Bigger/Better Boobs
3 Human Growth Hormone
3 General Porn
2 View Your Kitty Card (including Psycho Kitty)
2 Stop Smoking
2 Earn Your Degree
2 Online Casino
2 Stock News
2 Pheromones
1 Poor Credit?

Stay tuned for weekly reports...until I get tired of it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

You're Bearly in the Black!

JUST SAW THIS CURIOUS AD while on The Futon Critic. Which really helped me understand my credit score.

But what I don't understand is why all of the bears are smiling. Even the Poor Credit Bear is smiling in that "what's up?" sort of way. He's green, the color of "go", the color of money, and for some reason that's bad. Okay, whatever. But why the smile, dude? Isn't it bad enough that my credit is total suck-town? What the fuck does that guy know that I don't?

Also, why's his smile exactly the same as the Good Credit Bear and the Fair Credit Bear? Shouldn't the various bears' expressions tell me something about my credit? Or are they all just smiling because they've had unfettered access to my personal information and now they've totally got me by the balls. Maybe they're also drunk. The more I look at those guys, the less I trust them. And the more I think they're probably high, not drunk. They do look a little like the Grateful Dead bears. Oh yeah, they're fuckin' high, man. Probably trippin' too.

A final question: Why is red the color of Excellent Credit? Red, the color of warning -- as in "a red flag", "code red" or "my spending is out of control; I'm always in the red." So, red is excellent now? I'm not sure that makes much sense. I guess it shouldn't surprise me though. Of course a bunch of stoned bears think red is a good color, they're stoned!

Save Our Kids!

YOUR KIDS MAY BE IN DANGER, and you don't even know it. According to a headline I found on CNN.com just yesterday, there's a new threat to the youth of our nation, a potentially debilitating malady called "Mira Sorvino."


I think it's Latin for "silent sight" or something like that, which sounds possibly painful and, at the very least, inconvenient. Now, I don't really know what that means, or even how this disease works, but I agree with CNN. We should totally help kids affected by Mira Sorvino. Because if they are left untreated, these kids will grow up to become Adults With Mira Sorvino.

And at that point, it may be too late to do anything for them. Or for us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We Don't Need No Water...

NOTHING MAKES A TRAGEDY SEEM MORE REAL than finding out how it affects celebrities. This is especially the case currently with the wildfires in Southern California. Just look at today's news on IMDB.com, where the top three headlines are wildfire-related. Finally, a famous face has been put on this tragedy. Now, I can properly process this information.

Before it was like, "A bunch of houses burned down." But now it's like, "Holy shit! Tori Spelling's B&B is in danger! How can I help avert this tragedy? Or should I assist the fire, knowing that it will only make for awesome future episodes of Tori & Dean: Inn Love? That is a real dilemma."

In other wildfire/celebrity news, there's this tidbit of Movie Marketing Irony. Billboards for this film are all over fire-devastated Southern California right now.

Yeah, that's a little awkward. Just a little.

But even more awkward than that is this: You just know that there's some creepy exec from that studio who is wracking his brain for a way to turn the wildfires into a "cross-platform marketing opportunity". "It's a slam-dunk, people!" he's saying in a boardroom right now. "Nothing exploitative, of course. But it seems like a natural opportunity for synergy. So keep it classy and tasteful. I want five ideas from each of you on my desk by lunchtime. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for my assistant to give me a handjob."

Monday, October 22, 2007

That's Why The Lady Is A Douche!

TONIGHT WAS MEATBALL NIGHT! And when me and the missus get the hankerin' for meatballs, we go to Maggiano's. Sure, it's not the greatest Italian restaurant in the world, or even in Los Angeles. It's probably only a couple of steps or so up from Olive Garden. But that's okay by us, because of the meatballs. Those meatballs are some good shit, people. So we make the call to pick it up and bring it home, coz tonight...we don't like other people so much. Not so much.

My wife drives to the Magg, which leaves me to hop out and grab the snacks. It's a plan totally worthy of an Ocean's Eleven or similar movie. If not the whole movie, at least the most exciting scene. As none of the designated "to go" parking spots were available (they never are, as they're taken, I'm sure, by the late-arriving waitstaff), my wife pulls up behind the parked cars and puts on the hazard lights. It's a classic move.

Even more classic, however, is the move made by the owner of the big black Mercedes sedan. Its hazards are on as well...but it's parked in the handicapped spot.

Classy move, I think as I go in to the to go portion of the restaurant. (Maggiano's has a separate room for to go orders. It's a tiny room with just a counter and a register. If more than two people are waiting, the third and fourth person would have to wait outside. That's how tiny the room is.) So, I know that the woman at the counter is the owner of the Mercedes in the handicapped spot. She's just getting her food as I walk in. I notice all the bling on the one hand she's using to gesture. Lots of gold. Some diamonds. She's gesturing to help her make her point.

"Can I get some marinara sauce? A side of marinara sauce?"

She accents this with pointing at the woman behind the counter and then pointing into the bag of food. And then back at the woman, then back into the bag. You know, to help the woman behind the counter, the Hispanic-looking woman who speaks perfect English, understand the complex message she's communicating. The one about sauce. And how the sauce isn't in the bag. And can some sauce be put into the bag? The woman behind the counter is a little confused. Not, as it turns out, because she doesn't speak English (as the non-handicapped woman ahead of me is assuming), but because the order in the bags doesn't come with marinara sauce.

"I'm sorry," the woman behind the counter says.

"A side of marinara," the faux-crippled lady says, a bit annoyed. "Could I get a side of marinara?"

The woman behind the counter still doesn't understand. Because of the stuffed mushrooms in the bag. That's what the annoying lady ordered. The mushrooms don't come with marinara. Not normally. But, then again, people who aren't handicapped don't park in handicapped spots. Not normally anyway.

"You know, marinara?" she says again. "The red sauce? Marinara."

She never gets really pissy. She doesn't really raise her voice or anything. She just, you know, over-explains what marinara sauce is. To a woman who works at an Italian restaurant. Like the woman behind the counter has never heard of marinara sauce. One of the three sauces available on the menu. And let's face it, who would order something as bizarre as marinara sauce? At an Italian restaurant?

When you think about it, it really is quite bizarre right?

They should probably fire that stupid woman behind the counter. That's the point of my story, I think.

Isn't it?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Is A Vote Really Necessary Now?

STOP YOUR PUNDITRY, PEOPLE! The Republican nominee for president has already been chosen. Total Gym huckster and Ass-Kicker Extraordinaire Chuck Norris has chimed in (finally!) with his endorsement of...

...drum roll please...

Ex-Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee! So far, the Huckabee camp has not responded to this certainly influential nod from Walker, Texas Ranger. You can rest assured that a press release regarding this news is imminent. Norris made his announcement last night on the World Net Daily website with an extensive piece articulating the pros and lack of cons about Huckabee in '08.

"Like most of you, over the summer and into the fall," Norris says, "I've been watching, listening, studying and praying about who could lead this country as our next president. I won't leave you in suspense."

Ever the man of his word, Chuck drops his truth bomb on America's think-domes: "Though Giuliani might be savvy enough to lead people, Fred Thompson wise enough to wade through the tides of politics, McCain tough enough to fight terrorism and Romney business-minded enough to grow our economy, I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee."

Norris cites Huckabee's strength of character, his self-made upbringing, his compassion, his membership in the NRA and, of course, his religiosity (my word, not his). "Mike is also a respected and fearless leader, and he does not cower to the cries of any majority or minority. He doesn't abandon his values for what's expedient. Like our Founding Fathers, he's not afraid to stand up for a Creator and against secularist beliefs."

Don't worry if that's not exactly how you remember the Founding Fathers. Because if you remember it differently, you are simply mistaken. Also, you will be corrected by a severe ass-kicking by Chuck Norris himself.

Now, to bring it all home, here's an awesome Walker Texas Ranger clip, courtesy of Conan O'Brien.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Come For The Playing, Stay For The Dancing!

SOME CHILDHOOD MEMORIES ARE, for me, more precious than others. Not to get all sentimental and "remember the good ol' days" about the past or anything, but I do miss simpler times. Occasionally, I pine for the days of three TV networks, not because TV was better back then, but because it was weirder. Anyone, and I mean anyone could have a summer comedy-variety show. They gave one to Captain & Tennille and to Shields & Yarnell. Also, during this era, beauty pageants still had a talent portion.


Which brings me to this bit of magnificence from the late '70s. It's a local beauty pageant perhaps from the Kansas City area (my home town!); it involves the Star Wars theme; and it involves trumpet playing AND dancing. In my opinion, that really is the magical trifecta! But wait, there's a bonus! The trumpet is horribly out of tune!


It's like coming downstairs and finding a huge present from Santa...only it's not even Christmas! Do yourself a favor and watch the whole thing. Not that she gets better as she goes along, but that she just keeps going. With more trumpeting and more dancing. It's...it's...magnificent!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Robots Will Destroy Us!

OR AT THE VERY LEAST, Japanese dancers doing the robot.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Funny Ladies of Funny-ness

I AM SICK AND TIRED of people telling me there are no great comedic actresses any more. To those people, I can only say, "Have you been to a movie lately? Have you even seen a preview lately?" I would posit that we are, in fact, in The Golden Age of Female Comedy.

Disagree with me? What about Jessica Alba, huh? Explain that, genius! In Good Luck Chuck, Jessica falls into a pond AND runs into a light pole! Funny! Also, she knocks a table over spilling stuff onto Dane Cook’s lap! I’m talking, like, ice water…on his man parts! Can you imagine the shrinkage? How funny is that shit!? For further proof, I have posted a hilarious picture of Jessica Alba.

Also, there’s that blonde lady in the new Ben Stiller film The Heartbreak Kid. At first, I was skeptical. I’m no idiot. I don’t just naturally assume an actress is hilarious JUST because she’s hot. So when I saw the first trailers for the film, I wasn’t certain this blonde lady would fall over or knock something breakable off a table. It was like the filmmakers were teasing me. “How could this be a comedy,” I wondered, “if she doesn’t stumble around?” My fears, it turns out, were ill-founded. In later trailers, the new blonde lady falls. Oh boy does she! She falls off a CLIFF! Taller = farther distance = bigger laughs! I don’t even know the lady’s name, but I’m already convinced that she is a comedic genius.

And let's not forget Kate Hudson in How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days! She’s got comedy pedigree. Her mom is Goldie Hawn (Laugh-In, Foul Play, Private Benjamin) and her dad is Bill Hudson (The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show). And how did she turn that genetic goldmine into comedy? By falling down and knocking stuff over. A lot! Have you seen that movie? Every ten minutes or so Kate Hudson is tripping or stumbling or knocking something over. In short, she is reminding us how funny she is. And don’t even get me started on the awkward dancing.

Awkward dancing is the other way to tell if you’re in the company of a great comedienne. Think of Cameron Diaz in Charlie’s Angels! She dances awkwardly AND she’s clumsy.

But I’m leaving out the most important tool on the comedic actress’s tool belt: being smokin’ hot AND nearly naked! Because there’s nothing funnier than a hot chick in her underwear. Like the aforementioned awkward dancing in Charlie's Angels. Or that moment in Good Luck Chuck where Jessica Alba gets her skirt torn off accidentally, exposing her cute underwear. Man! I mean, if that’s not comedy, maybe I don’t know what comedy is.

So, please, spare me the belly-aching, lady actors! If you're complaining that there are no great comedic actresses out there, maybe you're just jealous. Also, maybe you're just not hot enough to be funny. Did you ever think of that?

I didn't think so.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Me Answering Questions Now!

IT HAS BEEN SIX YEARS since President Bush asked America, "Is our children learning?" And it has been a long wait for the answer. But finally today in New York City, while adressing a roomful of elementary school students, our Education President, who has promised to leave no child behind, answered that thorny question.

"Childrens do learn," Bush said, "when standards are high and results are measured."

It is a relief. I am so happy for the childrens! All of those childrens! Them will be glad to find out that them's hard work were not in vain.

But don't worry. If this makes you feel a little embarrassed about our Commander in Chief, the official transcript of the event was edited so as to be grammatically correct.

See how awesome history is when you can change it?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shhh...

TINY HITLER IS SLEEPING! Or maybe someone drugged his comically gigantic pretzel? Either way he's adorable.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Why Love "The Bachelor"?

TRUTH BE TOLD, I watch The Bachelor with my wife. Mostly I just love the first episode, where the Bachelor meets his 25 Lady Callers for the first time. It's an episode I like to call "The Drunk & Desperate Episode."

Oh, the drinking. Oh, the multiple acts of desperation.

You see, 25 Lady Callers show up, and, after spending an evening hanging out with the Bachelor (and drinking 500 bottles of wine), the Bachelor picks 15 of them. The other 10, must go home, drunk and weepy.

After that first episode, my interest wanes pretty consistently. But for that first episode, I am completely transfixed. What? My enthusiasm perplexes you? What if I offered some specific reasons?

REASON #1: Actual dialog from the Bachelor to his television audience: "Walking into that room, I was literally beside myself."

REASON #2: One of the Lady Callers said she "broke her face." Twice. Not only did she say it twice, but she also claimed she broke her face on two occasions. It was, like, the first thing she said to the Bachelor after she got out of the limo. "I broke my face!" My wife's reply? "It looks like it's still broken."

REASON #3: The singing! Yes! Singing! Last year, a woman sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" from a balcony to the Bachelor. This year, a woman sang a song that...um...she wrote? I guess? It was, in a word, magnificent. And here are the lyrics:

There's a yellow rose in Texas
And that's just what I'm going to do
Nobody's gonna miss her
Nearly as much as I do

REASON #4: One Lady Caller showed the Bachelor her webbed toes. One "read his tongue". While another showed him how flexible she was by putting both her feet behind her head and then saying to the Bachelor, "You can spin me." Sadly, he did not spin her.

REASON #5: As always, one of the ladies had way too much to drink. This season's drunk lady got so drunk one of her boobs fell onto the floor. Don't worry, it was a fake boob, an insert for her bra to make her look bustier. But one of them fell out and she walked around the party for a while without it. One of the other ladies found the boob and brought it to the drunk lady's attention -- not before she brought it to the attention of a bunch of the other ladies, of course. It is the Way of the Lady Callers to turn on the weak (or in this case shit-faced). When the drunk lady finally got her "one-on-one" time with the Bachelor, all she could really say over and over again was, "When I first saw you, I thought 'sweetness.' And I think that's great. Sweetness. Very sweet. Just sweetness." Or something like that.

At the end of the drunken, embarrassing night, the Bachelor gave roses to the Tongue Reader, Broken Face, The Girl Who Sang, and also (in the least surprising turn of events) The Girl Who Put On A Bikini & Got In The Pool. He chose not to give roses to Webtoes, Legs-Behind-Head and, naturally, The Drunk Girl Who Lost Her Boob.

As with almost every season, The Ethnic Girls did not find a place in the Bachelor's heart. Because, in the world of television, only white ladies deserve love.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hi Ho The Dairy Oh!

AS IT IS, DONKEYS DON'T GET MUCH RESPECT. They're not as handsome or as graceful as ponies. Their cry doesn't sound heroic, like a horse's whinny can. Instead, when they speak, it sounds like a pubescent teenager trying to talk tough, with a wheeze and a hiccup and a crack of the voice. They have stubby legs and -- let's face it -- a slightly retarded look about them.

Poor guys. Life hasn't been terribly kind to them. Do they really need to suffer further indignities? (And, no, I am not talking about having Eddie Murphy as the de facto spokesdonkey for all donkeys.) The indignity I speak of is this:



Look at that poor guy. It might be the most heartbreaking photo I've ever seen. A donkey in a well. Oh dear. And then to photograph him. Look at the look on his face. It's like, "Yes, I know. I've done something stupid. Must you really document it? Must you?"

The good news is he was rescued from the well and was not seriously injured.

The bad news? He's still a donkey. And now he's also famous for getting stuck in a well. That will definitely not help him score with the ladies. Not a chance in hell.

Friday, September 14, 2007

More Juice Please!


"O.J. Simpson is a suspect in an alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia in a Las Vegas casino hotel room and will be interviewed by authorities later today."

So begins the story in The Los Angeles Times today. And I have to wonder two things: Why did the LAPD go all the way to Vegas to frame him for this crime? And why aren't they pursuing the Columbian Drug Lords who are obviously responsible? It's very puzzling.

Simpson, who was very cooperative with the police, explained that he was merely retrieving items known to be stolen, items that were rightfully his. He didn't break in to the hotel room. He said he was escorted up to the room (a dicey choice of words when it comes to Vegas) by an auction house owner.

"In any event," Simpson added, "it's stolen stuff that's mine. Nobody was roughed up."

Hmmm. Roughed up, eh?

I like to imagine that Simpson said those last four words with a wink and a smile. Just to let everyone know that he's still got it, and that, if push came to shove, he could still cut somebody's head off if he needed to.

You know, just for old times' sake.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

No Regrets!

THERE ARE SOME DECISIONS IN LIFE I think are solid, wise choices. Stuff that, no matter what happens later, you'll always look back on and think, "Yes, I'm still really glad I did that." It's not a long list. It simply contains facial tatoos and any fashion you gladly embraced in the '80s.


Oh yeah, and this:




It's a car I saw on the way to work one day. The driver was a 50-year-old guy who couldn't have looked less hip or less humorless. So it was easy to believe that the guy behind the wheel made this particular life choice earnestly. I'm not talking about his decision to drive a Honda Accord. And I'm not talking about the color of the car either. I'm talking about this.




Here is the story I imagined as I watched this man slowly turn left off of Barham Road, while I continued on. The story went something like this: Kevin Federline so touched this man, he could not contain his enthusiasm. On his way down to the DMV, it hit him, "Damn it! I should do something cool with my license plate! I'm tired of those old-fangled random numbers and letters. I want something that tells people who I am and what I'm about. What I'm really about!" And then he clicked on the radio, and there it was.


And it was like the planets aligned. Like everything clicked into place. Finally. "Awww, shit! That's it. That. Is. It. Popozao, bitches! Popo motherfucking ZAO! I don't know what it means, but that's me! Fuck yeah, it is!"


The ZOW didn't hit him until he was filling out the paperwork, there at the DMV. "If I spell it correctly, people might misunderstand what I'm getting at. They might mispronounce it. I don't want to say po-po-zay-oh. I want to say po-po-ZOW! As in ZOW-EE!"


There was even a moment of trepidation, after he turned in the paperwork and while he had to wait that nanosecond or two for the computer to tell him whether his choice was approved. Whether someone else had beat him to it. Did they? Was he going to have to choose something else?


No. Popozow is available. It's all yours, guy. And no one else's. Wear it with pride. You will never, ever regret this decision, sir. It will always speak the truth about you. And the truth is like a heartbeat.


Po.


Po.


ZOW!


Fuck yeah.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Cat Food

HOW CAN YOU TELL HOW A PET IS FEELING? It can be a complicated process, I think. For instance, at our house, we have two cats, Mr. Andy Chang and Myrna, neither of which can speak, write or use sign language.


I know, annoying, right?


While we're waiting for Andy to speak his first words (a theory currently popular with my wife), Myrna is finding alternative means of communication. No, she's not using the methods of the past. She's communicating through her food. The other day, after Myrna was done eating, we saw this in her bowl.




Now, if we only knew how to translate that into human words, we might actually be able to figure out what she's trying to say.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Poetry in Motion

SPAM E-MAIL ISN'T ALL USELESS. And I do mean that sincerely. For instance, I love the random and unrelated subject lines to "boner medication" spam e-mails. This morning's elusive subject line? "Saintly Chain Saw." But sometimes they're more specific than that...a lot more specific. Like one I just received mere moments ago which read: "Your orgasms will be enhanced to the point of ecstasy, and your stamina and overall sexual health will be greatly increased." Which I think, if I may be so bold as to criticize, is so informative that I don't really need to read the e-mail itself. After the subject line, I feel like I know it all!


Where's the mystery? Where's the ooomph? Saintly Chain Saw has it. "Your orgasms will be etc etc" just doesn't. Back to Advertising 101, gentlemen. You failed!


I also love the trend, which seems to be waning a bit of late (sadly), of the random word jumble that masquerades as the name of a sender. Such as the e-mails I have received in the past from Tenderhearted Halfback, Uninspiring I. Spitoons, Connective F. Amputation or -- the all-time champ -- Hitlers S. Stubbornness. Ah yes, of all the things I remember about Hitler, it was his stubbornness that was most irritating.


But most excellent-awesome is the weird paragraph of seemingly haphazard words and phrases that accompany many of today's most popular spam e-mails.


Let me just for one moment break down the content of a recent spam e-mail I received. One which was attempting to sell me "Autodesk AutoCAD 2008" for the outrageously low price of $129.95. Just how outrageously low is that price? Well, according to the email, it retails for $6620.00. Yes, that's right, the spam was offering a deal on AutoCAD for a savings of $6590.05! Or a 99.5% discount, if you prefer percentages. Sound too good to be true? Of course it is!


But enough of the simply specious information, let's get to the befuddling data at the bottom of the email, the text below the imbedded JPEG that reads:

This drizzling three-day January thaw
Snaps of ice cracking in the hidden air
The line between the outside and this room
Will hear the storm-blast of his clarion
Brush the lone giant in that somber pall.
And trumpet at his lips; nor does he cast
Of the matter of snow here. Both of us have grasped
And he is swathed in ever-petrified dread;
To watch me watch drowned snow lift from the lake.
Among us, only Alberti, then Sangallo,
Your red cheeks radiant against the wind,
Hoarfrost is in his bones and on his head,
When Arctic winds crack down from Canada
Upon from the right by far trees, that white place
End of the comedy.
Scrawny wolves, and you,
Event, the end of the painted road ends up
Empty streets I come upon by chance,
I. Further Exploration of Spitsbergen


So, I sorta figured, "This must be a poem, right? I wonder whose poem it might be." And without even really reading the words, scanning them at best, I grabbed the first line and plugged it in to a Google search. And quickly found that it was from "Midwinter Thaw" by Robert Pack. Success! For some reason, the sender of this spam email combined the dryness of AutoCAD software (not to mention savings!!) with the austere wordcraft of poet Robert Pack.


Oh wait! That's the second line from Mr. Pack's poem. And, um, none of the other lines match. Hmmmm. That's odd.


That's when I really read the spam-poem and saw that it doesn't necessarily hang together from line to line. Not to mention the truly odd final line: "I. Further Exploration of Spitsbergen." So I Google'd that. And found it in the table of contents of a book titled To the Arctic!: The Story of Northern Exploration from Earliest Times by Jeannette Mirsky, published by The University of Chicago Press in 1970, which I found here.


Okay. That seems a bit obscure. Sure. But then, as I dug deeper, it got weird. While searching these internets for the source of the next line, I found another nonsense non-poem where "snaps of ice" was the first line...not the second. But even stranger, the "poem" included the lines:

Preface to the 1948 Edition
and
IV. The Paths to Cathay
.


Which...were also listed in the table of contents of To the Arctic! by Mirsky.


And then, when searching for the source of the fourth line, the "storm-blast of his clarion" line, I found that it was the final line of something called "A Poem in Memory of Stephan", which I found "The Grief Blog" (not as hilarious as it sounds, incidentally). But, you may ask, what's the first line of "A Poem in Memory of Stephan" as listed on The Grief Blog?


"Covering the land-- XVII. Greenland"


While I don't know where the "covering the land" part comes from, the "XVII. Greenland" is once again a reference to the Mirsky book. It's Chapter 17.


What the fuck?


Now I"m getting weirded out. But it doesn't stop there! Oh no! Randomly, I grabbed a line from the "Memory of Stephan" "poem". This line: And Mère Chose's square of world. Which I plugged into a search engine and found that it belonged to "Effet de Neige" (after the painting La Route de la ferme Saint-Siméon by Claude Monet) by John Hollander.


Published by THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO!


Wait! Hang on a second. While I'm on this UofC page, where I've found these other poems, and I search the page for "storm-blast of his clarion", the line that led me first to the Grief Blog. And what do you know? It's actually from a poem by Victor Hugo, "Archangel Winter" (from "Beyond the Earth III"). Turns out, all of the lines from the AutoCAD spam-poem can be found on this page. And at the bottom: a link to the Mirsky book! And then, when I go back to check the other lines of the "Memory of Stephan" wordpile, I confirm that all of those lines are also culled from random poems...which can handily be found on the very same UofC page.


So what does this all mean? Does it mean that the University of Chicago is using the internet to turn all of the world's poems into one giant PoemBall? Perhaps. Of course, it could be even more sinister than that.


Are you ready for it? Because I'm about to drop a gigantic truth bomb on your fuckin' brains. Here's what it means.


Nothing.


Either that or a bunch of dead poets want me to buy AutoCAD software for 99.5% of its retail cost.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Brain Hat

I REALLY CAN'T DECIDE what my favorite news story of this last week is, because there's a lot of weird shit going on right now. I do have five candidates vying for the title of Most Awesome Story of the Week. Here is but one of them.


Japanese Researchers Control Toy Train With Their Brains!
Reasearchers at Hitachi have developed an attractive new helmet they call a "brain-machine interface" that allows the wearer not only to look awesomely nerdy but also to control a toy train just by thinking. Finally! Toy trains will do our bidding! Whatever we think, they will do! It's just like that awesome H.G. Wells story. What was that called again? Oh yeah, "The Man Who Controlled Trains With His Brain (The Toy Ones Not the Big Steam Locomotives...I Mean, Seriously, Control a Steam Locomotive With Your Mind? Even I Think That's a Bit Ridiculous, And I'm H.G. Wells, I Write About All Kinds of Crazy Crap)." I used to love that story.


You're probably wondering, "So how do you make the train go? Do you think forward or go to make the train move and halt or whoa! to make it stop?" Of course not! It's so much easier than that. You either do simple calculations in your head -- 4x2=8, 8x8=64 and like that -- and the train moves forward. When you stop doing them, the train stops! You can also sing a song to make the train go. You could even combine the two and sing a song about calculations to make it go. Might I recommend "Hey Little Twelve Toes" or "Three Is a Magic Number" from Schoolhouse Rock?


My second most favorite part about this story is how the author of the article first mentions that this technology could be used to control TVs, turning them on and off or changing the channels and whatnot. You know, instead of burning all of those additional calories using that heavy and cumbersome TV remote. Only after mentioning that use does the author add how this technology could assist disabled people. Because we should keep our priorities straight people. Let's help the laziest TV watchers first, and then worry about helping those who are actually disabled (or "permanently lazy," as I like to say).



But my most favorite part of this story is how much the "brainhat," as I like to call it, looks like the crazy hi-tech colander Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) puts on Louis Tully's (Rick Moranis) head in the original Ghostbusters. Oh yeah, many Zuuls knew what it was like to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's Raining Men!

JUST THIS WEEK,Pentagon officials confirmed that, yes, they did propose researching a "gay bomb" to drop on enemy armies. A bomb that would contain, as Berkeley's Edward Hammond said, "a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down" because of the soldiers becoming so "irresistably attractive to one another."


I only wish I was making this up. But it's true. In 1994 -- one year after President Bill Clinton announced the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military -- the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, requested $7.5 million to develop a "gay bomb." Of course, the Department of Defense claims that the idea was "quickly dismissed." But Hammond doesn't really believe that.



"The truth of the matter is it would have never come to my attention if it was dismissed at the time it was proposed," Hammond said. "In fact, the Pentagon has used it repeatedly and subsequently in an effort to promote non-lethal weapons, and in fact they submitted it to the highest scientific review body in the country for them to consider."


My question, then, is about the tipping point. What happened in 1994 to finally push the military to believe in the possibility and (even better) the efficacy of a "gay bomb"? Certainly there was some combination of events, a perfect storm of gayness that made this possible. As it turns out, this is absolutely the case.


The pump was primed, as it were, by 1993, a year in which the World Wide Web (where gay images are readily available) was born, in which Janet Reno became the first female US Attorney General (a job everyone knows belongs to a man, not a mannish woman), and in which President Clinton signed the Brady Bill (if gun ownership = manliness, then it follows that gun control = gay).


Then, in January of '94, Lorena Bobbitt was found not guilty (by reason of insanity) of cutting her husband's penis off and throwing it into an empty lot. This led, as these cases invariably do, to John Bobbitt and his re-attached member starring in a porn movie titled Frankenpenis. While the movie was straight porn, it was definitely marketed to entice hetero men to ogle another man's Johnson. And intentional schlong-ogling = gay.


1994 was also the year that future celebrity boxer Tonya Harding ordered the brutal clubbing of Nancy Kerrigan's knee. This event would, in retrospect, seem a whole lot less gay if the "sport" involved wasn't figure skating, the third most gay sport in the world (behind ballroom dancing and NASCAR). It is also the year that Shannon Faulkner became the first female cadet to attend the all-male school The Citadel. Faulkner would soon drop out, leaving the men of The Citadel lady-less once again. (And what happens at The Citadel stays at The Citadel!)


At the box office, Disney's The Lion King was tops. It should be noted that The Lion King was not only a musical, but a musical co-written by Elton John, a performer known for being both gay and flamboyant! Other big box office movies of 1994 that featured gay (or sexually ambiguous) undertones or themes include Ed Wood, It's Pat!, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Interview With a Vampire and, of course, The Flintstones.


The Channel Tunnel finally opened in 1994, connecting France (totally gay) and England (72% bi-curious). And President Clinton signed the Assault Weapons Ban, a law only a total pussy could get behind.


Other possible contributing factors include the deaths of former president Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon, Charles Bukowski (a poet) and comedian John Candy (not gay but Canadian); the multiple Grammy wins for "I Will Always Love You", the theme from The Bodyguard; and the multiple Emmy wins for Frasier, the hilarious TV show about two gay brothers who are in love with each other and fight with their gay dad. Also, the Tonys were handed out yet again in 1994.


So maybe it was inevitable that a homophobic entity such as the Pentagon would try to build a "gay bomb," but I feel it's obvious from looking at the year in question that events beyond anyone's control forced the gay bomb into existence.


Oh, did I say it existed already? My mistake. Of course it doesn't exist. And likewise, the government probably stopped trying to develop it. Shhh. Go back to sleep. But don't come crying to me when you wake up gay.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Worst Case Scenarios: China Edition

SO WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN if you're a top drug regulator who takes a bunch of bribes to approve substandard medicines? Is it that you'll actually kill a bunch of people? Are you sure that's the worst that could happen? Because it's not what's happening to China's former head of the State Food and Drug Administration. After being found guilty of taking bribes of cash and gifts totalling more than $800,000, 62-year-old Zheng Xiaoyu was sentenced to death.


To death. This is China we're talking about. They're not what you'd call real big on the human rights, so death it is.


One of the products Zheng Xiaoyu allowed through was a toothpaste, found on Central American and Caribbean store shelves, called Mr. Cool. Along with its cavity-fighting fluoride, Mr. Cool also has a special ingredient: diethylene glycol, an industrial solvent used a lot in antifreeze. The New York Times has referred to it as a "syrupy poison." Well, I guess that's bad on Zheng for allowing diethylene glycol to be packaged and sold as ordinary glycerine. You see, it's cheaper than glycerine and sweeter than glycerine. So you could see how it makes fiscal sense...except for the "more poisonous than glycerine" part. This on the heels of the melamine-tainted pet food business.


Not what you'd call a banner year for Zheng. Even so, a death sentence? Wow, China, that's hard-core.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another World Series

IS THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER not exciting enough for you? Then maybe you should try this on for size...



Friday, May 4, 2007

Get Professional Help!

WHEN IT COMES TO PUBLIC RESTROOMS, you just never know what you'll find inside them. Even if that restroom is contained in the offices of a big corporation. While working a little freelance job recently, I stepped out for a moment to use the restroom. Not the one on the floor I work on, but the third floor bathroom: much cleaner, quieter, less trafficked, far less stinky. And when I closed the door to the stall, I saw this sign taped to the back of the stall door.




Notice the exclamation points. Notice how thoroughly the note is taped to the stall. If you look closely, you can see that it is fully covered in wide, clear packing tape, as if laminated to the stainless steel of the stall door. While I cannot in good conscience take the side of the toilet stuffer, I find it hard to get fully behind the person who wrote the note either. He seems to have a completely different set of compulsions. Not that I'm convinced that either of the participants in this little dance are actually mentally ill, but they just don't seem like they'd be cool to hang out with.


One should also keep in mind some of the weird characters at this particular job. Like the executive assistant on the fourth floor who puts paper towels on her hands to touch almost anything. This same executive assistant also cleaned up a co-worker's messy desk while the messy co-worker was out of town. The messy desk in question was around the corner and completely out of sight. It's not like she had to stare at it. It's more like she could hear the mess calling to her from down the hall and around the corner and couldn't resist going to clean it up.


I feel I should also pass on a story a female co-worker, let's call her Vera, told me. Vera walked into the women's bathroom in this same building and saw that some woman had brought her tray of food straight from the commissary and left it sitting on the counter by the sinks. She was stunned and stared at the tray for a moment until the owner of the tray came out of her stall and said, jovially, "I see you staring at my food! You can't have any." To which Vera replied, "I don't want any of your bathroom food."


Finally, I must add that I once saw a male co-worker (in the unpleasant second floor bathroom) standing at the stall, urinating. While eating an apple.


Mmmm, bathroom apples! Delicious!

File Under: Countdowns, Final

THE THING IS THIS: your band isn't that bad. I mean it. You're not. I don't know you. I've never heard your band. I don't even know what your name is or what music you play. But, trust me, you're not that bad.


You might ask how I know this. It isn't because I am psychic or anything even remotely science-fiction-y. It is solely because I have seen this band.




So, like I said. Your band's all right. You guys are doing just fine.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sexy Toddlers!

I READ A DISTURBING THING while casually skimming from blog to blog on these Internets. Only, it wasn't really treated as if it was disturbing. In the context of the article, the following information was contextualized in sort of a "isn't that cool?" or "she's so fascinating!" way. Here it is:


Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has confessed to being "very sexual" in kindergarten, even creating a game where she would corner the boys and strip off their clothes.


Now, here's the game I like to play with stuff of this nature -- and by stuff of this nature, I mean, instances where sexualizing children is treated capriciously -- just switch the genders (and remove the celebrity, if necessary) and see how comfortable that statement makes you feel. It's fun! It's what I did during the Michael Jackson trial. You know, if you imagine it was a middle-aged woman who invited a bunch of 11- and 12-year-old boys to her house for a sleepover where she would serve them wine, then it still seems TOTALLY innocent, right?


Or if you imagine that a middle-aged male celebrity (your choice! Howie Mandel, Brian Williams, Yao Ming, anyone!) was having little sleepovers with 12-year-old girls, it would also seem TOTALLY innocent. In both cases, the problem would still be with the media wanting to tear that famous person down. See? It totally clears up any confusion.


When I was working at a video store in the '90s, we would have movies playing in the store at all times. And since they had to be safe for all audiences, one day we once put on this seemingly harmless Disney film called Blank Check, about this 12-year-old kid who finds a blank check (thus the title), fills it out for one million dollars and starts living high on the hog. Naturally, the check belongs to the mob, so they come after the kid. And naturally, since the mob's involved, the FBI comes a-calling too: specifically, and agent played by Karen Duffy, at the time 32-years-old.


Naturally, the kid has a crush on Duffy's character, and hits on her. And even though she does not agree to go on a date with him, she does agree to kiss him in the end. Cute, right? Unless you imagine the movie re-made with, let's say, Dakota Fanning as the kid and, oh let's say, any male actor in his 30s. It's sort of a little creepy then. With a 30-year-old man flirting, as Duffy's character does in the film, with a pre-teen of the opposite sex.


Which takes me back to the Angelina Jolie quote. And how it sorta sounds like she's proud of being so sexually aware as a 5-year-old. And how the "journalist" writing about it seems to think that's pretty fucking cool. Like, wow, that's so awesome that you were a sexy toddler! It's sooooo you! Why wasn't I in your kindergarten? We could have totally gotten busy during nap time! Is it really cool to brag about being "sexual in kindergarten"? It's not that I don't believe that kids sometimes do just what she's talking about -- chasing members of the opposite sex and either kissing them or wanting to see their junk -- it's just that I think it's not exactly normal to want to retrofit "sexuality" onto it. In fact, looking at that behavior as sexual behavior seems a bit fucked up to me.


The weird thing about this story is the ad that breaks up the copy. It's a little Flash animation ad with pictures of young children accompanied by phrases such as: "Do you care if I need help? Do you care who I am? Do you care if I'm left behind?" And when you click on it, it sends you to an Irish children's charity site called Barnardos, where "no child gets left behind."


Which is either the world's darkest joke or the most awesome bit of irony ever.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Goodbye Blue Monday!

THAT'S THE SUBTITLE of Breakfast of Champions, the first Kurt Vonnegut book I ever read. I don't recall who tipped me off that I should read it. It was in high school, or maybe junior high, so it might have been my good friend Skap. He seems a likely suspect. Either he told me to read it, or I told him to read it, one way or the other. After that point, we both consumed Vonnegut's books as if they were candy.


Other than Harlan Ellison, I don't think there's another author who influenced my early years of writing as much. It's funny to look back and to re-read Vonnegut and Ellison, their styles almost antithetical to one another, and to try to see what it was that put those two writers at the top of my list. I mean, they couldn't write enough books to satisfy my appetite. But where Ellison's prose is more ornate or florid, Vonnegut is spare, unadorned. Both can be hilarious -- I'm sure that appealed to me -- and both can be heartbreaking. But it was Vonnegut's prose I first emulated. It was Vonnegut I most wanted to be.


I read nearly everything he wrote, my enthusiasm only waning about a decade ago when I read Timequake, his self-proclaimed "final novel", when it was obvious that his colossal talent as a novelist had faded. It made me sad, of course. You never want to see your heroes become human, I think. It's also, in a way, unsurprising. (Far less surprising, in fact, than a life-long smoker like Kurt to have made it to 84.) Vonnegut admits in the prologue to Timequake that the novel as it exists is cobbled together from the first stab at the novel, comparing it the marlin in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea: "My great big fish, which stunk so, was entitled Timequake. Let us think of it as Timequake One. And let us think of this one, a stew made from its best parts mixed with thoughts and experiences during the past seven months or so, as Timequake Two."


He mentions that he spent a decade on the book before finally realizing it didn't work. Timequake, such as it is, isn't bad. It's just not the fitting finale for a career that includes Slaughterhouse-Five, Sirens of Titan, Cat's Cradle and, of course, Breakfast of Champions. But the great thing is this: Those books still exist, and re-reading them is no less amazing than reading them the first time.


So that's what I'm doing.


I pulled my Vonnegut books off the shelf and started re-reading them. Hadn't really read him, I think, since Timequake. For whatever reason, I started with Galapagos (1985). And I'll continue to read them in whatever order strikes me, not because I've become unstuck in time, but because it seems fitting somehow. Or maybe I just think it'll be fun to read whichever novel next appeals to me. Who knows, I may read Timequake next.


So, Kurt Vonnegut has, in his own way, come unstuck in time, passing away on the same day as the great black actor Roscoe Lee Browne. Don't know if that means anything. I also don't know if there's any significance to the fact that it is the same day in history when Napoleon was exiled to Elba (1814), when the ill-fated Apollo 13 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral heading for the moon (1970) and when Harry Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of his duties in Korea (1951). It's also the day Scott Joplin died (1917).


There's a great quote that someone else pulled apparently from Timequake (although I have no recollection of it, but I'll find out sooner or later if that's where it's really from). And instead of signing off with "So it goes," I will sign off with this:


I spoke at a Humanist Association memorial service for Dr. Asimov a few years back. I said, "Isaac is up in Heaven now." That was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of Humanists. I rolled them in the aisles...When I myself am dead, God forbid, I hope some wag will say about me, "He's up in Heaven now."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Another Reason to Love 30 Rock

THE TWO BEST 30 ROCK LINES from last night's show. Both of which were spoken by Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin).


1) Sometimes I wish I was a horse. Strong. Free. My chestnut haunches glistening in the sun.

2) Lemon, I want to kiss your boyfriend on the mouth.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Beards for the World!

BEARD TEAM USA IS GETTING READY. That's the electricity you can feel in the air. If you were wondering why you've felt so anxious lately, that might explain it. What with the World Beard and Moustache Championships coming up in September. Dude, everybody's getting ready! It's like the Super Bowl of hair growth, only it's world-fucking-wide, bitch. And if you don't have your beard in halfway decent shape now, it's probably too late. That shit doesn't just happen overnight you know. Not a world champion beard and mustache. Fuck no. Those take time and effort. So, don't try to start now and think you'll be all ready to face the London Handlebar Club on their home turf. (That's right, the WBAMC is being held in Brighton, England this year.) I'd just wait for the home field advantage in Anchorage 2009. Because, like the Olympics, the Beard Championships don't come around every year.


And this year Beard Team USA is totally fucking serious, man. In previous years, the team has simply stressed individuality and self-expression, but this year, the team is gunning for victory! And guess what, bitches: Their formula for victory just might include YOU! Do you have a kick-ass moustache? And do you also love America? Well, what are you waiting for, Jack? Don't keep that lip-warmer to yourself. Go trans-Atlantic with your moustache rides T-shirt, and maybe also help BTUSA bring home the gold...or whatever the hell the awards are. Because they really need moustaches this year. They really want to beat the Handlebar Club, but even more so, they want to beat the Germans (stand in line, right?), who started this whole World Beard and Moustache Championship.


What's that? You're not familiar with the history of this awesome event? Let me quote the WBAMC website:


In 1990, the First Höfener Beard Club (1. Höfener Bartclub) organized and hosted the first World Beard and Moustache Championships in its hometown Höfen/Enz, Germany, a small village in the Black Forest. In 1995, the same club hosted the second World Beard and Moustache Championships in the nearby city of Pforzheim.


In 1997, the championships moved to Trondheim, Norway, where they were organized by the Norwegian Moustache Club (Den Norske Mustaschklubben), headquartered in Trondheim.


The Swedish Moustache Club (Svenska Mustaschklubben) followed in 1999, organizing the championships in Ystad, at the extreme southern end of Sweden.


In March, 2001, the Swabian Beard and Moustache Club (Schwäbische Bart- und Schnauzerclub) celebrated its tenth anniversary by hosting the championships in its hometown of Schömberg, Germany.


After that, I think we all know what went down. The WBAMC came to America in 2003 for the first time ever, as part of the annual Nevada Day celebration in Carson City, Nevada. Then back to Germany (Berlin to be exact) in '05. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. And it's going to be another two years before we get those international beards on our own turf. To Alaska, where everyone has beards. It's a law there! Grow a beard or get the fuck out. It even says that on the license plates. It's like their version of "Live Free or Die." So, if we're really serious, as Americans, about winning some serious recognition in London, we need to show everyone -- Brits, Germans, Poles, Czechs, Russians, all the famous beard people -- that we can grow it with the best of them.


And if we need any inspiration, all we need to do is visit Beard Team USA's blog, or even the all-encompassing beard-cyclopedia known as All About Beards. How serious are they? They're a dot-org, man. That's almost a dot-edu and wayyyyy better than a dot-com.


Fuck yeah, dawg! Get yer beard on!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Soothing Organs

WHAT ARE THE FOUR LEAST SOOTHING WORDS in the English language? It could be debated, I suppose, but my candidate would be: but mostly his organ. As in the following image I totally stole from The Wheezer Society, a blog I have only recently stumbled upon.




So, if it's not "but mostly his organ," what then is it? Seriously, what?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Classic Confrontation

ADORABLE FAT-FACED BABY VS. THE CHEERIO: It really is the classic confrontation. You'd think a baby would have a distinct advantage over the tiny, defenseless Cheerio. But you'd be wrong, friend. Oh yes, you'd be wrong.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bathroom Crazy

MENTAL ILLNESS DOES NOT RUN IN MY FAMILY, so my fears are probably baseless. But I have this recurring thought in my head of exactly how I might go crazy, how it will first manifest itself. It's ridiculous, I know. Like the weird fear I have that I will suddenly, capriciously, put the end of a power cord into my mouth. It's not something I want to do. It's just an odd recurring thought. Like the thought my friend Skap has when he's somewhere high (like a balcony or at the edge of a canyon) that he might just jump off, just for no reason.


So my future (and totally make-believe) madness will manifest itself this way, I think. Instead of putting toilet paper in the toilet where it would belong after using it, I will just put it in the trash can. The latest wrinkle on this is that I might, instead of putting it in the trash, hang it on the towel rack behind the toilet. Given those two options (and assuming I'm not going to put it in the toilet where I should) I'd hope that I'd put it in the trash can. That would be, I think, much less crazy. At least, much less disturbing.


I think if you behave like that, you are definitely crazy. So, maybe it's good that I'm making a mental note so that I can recognize my craziness when it manifests itself. Not that it will, because, like I said, crazy brains don't exactly run in my family.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Terrorists vs. Bananas!

PROTECT YOUR BANANAS, PEOPLE! And I mean that literally. It's not some goofy slang for "wear a cup when playing sports" or anything. I'm talking about bananas, and the cost of protecting them, and that Chiquita was just found guilty of paying about $1.7 million in protection money to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (or the AUC) one of Columbia's biggest paramilitary groups (referred to by the press and the U.S. government as a "terrorist group"). Me, I'm not so smart. So I really don't know whether they're "terrorists" or just misunderstood. I'd like to just think of them as "gun-friendly". Here's a quote from today's AP story:


The AUC has been responsible for some of the worst massacres in Colombia's civil conflict and is responsible for a sizable percentage of the country's cocaine exports. The right-wing group was designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization in September 2001.



Prosecutors said the company made the payments in exchange for protection. The company also made similar payments to the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, according to prosecutors.


Chiquita will pay a $25 million fine, but get a load of this weird tidbit: Colombia's banana-growing region is a zone that has been viciously fought over by leftist rebels and far-right paramilitaries.


The whole thing reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Marge starts selling pretzels from a pretzel wagon, and Homer tries to help out by paying Fat Tony to ensure that Marge's pretzel endeavor is successful. ("The Twisted World of Marge Simpson", season 8, episode 11 -- an episode which came up in conversation during our regular Tuesday Poker Night last night.) Eventually Fat Tony confronts Marge and says to her: I'm afraid I must insist. You see, my wife, she has been most vocal on the subject of the pretzel monies. "Where's the money? When are you going to get the money? Why aren't you getting the money now?" And so on.