Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
It's 10:00pm now. I've been working since I got up at 4:30am. What is that... like 17 hours? 18 hours? Too many hours, that's for sure. I should be in bed, but the idea of missing my first blog entry in over two years compels me to forge onward. There's something kind of twisted about that, but I'm too tired to figure out what that might be.
The drive over to Seattle was entertaining because the road had a nice frost on it. Cars were sliding wide around corners, swiping guard-rails, and generally being stupid. Driving in these conditions is not rocket science, but you'd be surprised just how long it takes for people to catch on that you can't drive like a maniac and not pay the price.
Yet the highlight of my drive happened just three minutes after I pulled out of my driveway. Some moron ran the red light leading to the highway... right in front of a police officer. That alone was pretty ballsy.
But not enough for this guy.
He had a momentary delusional state where he thought outrunning a cop on an open highway was a good idea. He punched the gas for a few seconds then must have realized "uhhhhh... I'm in a beat-up old van so he can probably catch me in his shiny new police car" and pulled over.
Which is kind of a pity, because I would have loved to see that one play out. I'm not sure if that makes me a bad person, but a high-speed chase on frosty roads sounds like entertainment to me!
And, speaking of entertainment, how totally sweet was Veronica Mars last night? Her determination to get back Lilly's necklace resulted in an ending that summarized everything I love about that show. The completely detached way that Veronica drove off after everything went down just proves that Kristen Bell kicks ass in a way most actors can only dream of. You felt that one.
Now I think I'll let VH-1's "Hundred Greatest Songs of the 80's" play me to sleep...
Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
By the time I get off work here in Seattle, all the cool shops are closing up for the day. This really blows since I'm just across the street from one of my favorite comic book stores.
Because of this, I have two things I can do at night that don't involve something illegal or deeply frowned upon by the local authorities... eat and drink. So this evening I decided to go have some yummy Cappellacci di Zucca from Il Fornaio. And the only thing better than the food tonight was the view, because there was a really cute girl at the table next to mine. Seriously cute. I totally started falling in love with her as I was eating my breadsticks. At least I was falling in love with her until she opened her mouth to have a bite of her pasta... and never closed it again.
GACK!! SHE CHEWS WITH HER MOUTH OPEN!!
Gross! First I was happy that she was there, but then I was disgusted that she was there... nobody wants to see some bitch smackin' away on their dinner like that while they try to eat.
Oh well. Despite the rain, it's actually kind of a nice evening out. As I looked out over the deck, a ferry boat was passing by...
One more day. Cannot... keep... eyes... open... must... have... sleep...
Posted on Friday, November 3rd, 2006
For some reason my PowerBook is no longer wanting to charge up the battery. This is very bad news, because I'm in Seattle through Monday and need to get some work done. The plug-in port for my power adapter feels loose, so something tells me that this is a hardware problem that can't be fixed at a local Apple Store.
Oh well. Perhaps this is a sign telling me to put aside work for the night and do something more fun with my life?
Posted on Saturday, November 4th, 2006
Uhhh... yeah. Could not get to an Apple Store to have them check out my PowerBook yet, so last night became a blur of horribly unacceptable behavior that I will be paying for all day today. And probably part of tomorrow.
One does not drink eleven shots of Jagermeister, three beers, and smoke cigarettes for the first time in over a decade and not have something go terribly wrong the next day.
It sucks to be me this morning. Or is it afternoon? I don't really know.
Posted on Sunday, November 5th, 2006
Finally made it to an Apple Store only to find out that it might be my power adapter that's the problem and not my PowerBook after all. This was a big relief, because the new MacBook model that I was going to buy wasn't in stock. So all I had to do was buy a new power adapter and I'd be golden. Sweet.
Except they didn't have any of the "older" power adapters in stock... they just carry the new "magnetic" version. This is pretty f#@%ing stupid. With a laptop, the only thing you need to keep it going is a power adapter. It only seems logical that such a critical element would be well-stocked to keep PowerBook users running in a time of crisis, but no.
So now I am back to square one, which sucks ass.
With no PowerBook to work with, I've scored tickets to the first ever Pet Shop Boys concert in Seattle tonight. Somehow, in their 21 years, they've missed playing here. Hopefully the wait will have been worth it...
Posted on Monday, November 6th, 2006
Given my dead power adapter this weekend, Bullet Sunday is a day late... and this time, it's gone gay! "Queer Sunday on Monday" I'll call it...
• Neil Patrick Harris! First George on Grey's Anatomy announces he's gay, and now Barney on How I Met Your Mother has done the same. The strange thing is that it hasn't been exactly a secret. I only visit online gossip sites rarely, yet I've read the stories for years. I've just never cared...
Yeah, there's that in-between period that kind of gave it away...
He's an actor, and he's great, so he can play any character he wants to play and I'm just glad he's out there (and OUT there). This doesn't change my enjoyment of Barney on HIMYM at all, just like it didn't change anything for George on Grey's. It's called ACTING.
• Pet Shop Boys! The first ever Pet Shop Boy concert in Seattle was... interesting. Their music consists of Neil Tennant's singing, Chris Lowe's keyboards, and not much else. Because of this, a simple recital concert would get boring pretty quickly. At the other end of the spectrum, an overly-extravagant production would overshadow their thoughtful, pondering songs. Wisely, the Pet Shop Boys decided to hit somewhere in the middle with a kind of art-show performance piece. The stage backdrop is a huge white cube that can be reconfigured in a variety of different ways (and to compelling effect). Other than that, they've got a few dancers, singers, and cube-movers thrown in for good measure...
Photo taken from the very excellent Rock 'n' Roll Star!
Going to the concert was kind of a last-minute decision, so decent tickets were expensive (but the front-row, first balcony view was awesome in Seattle's Paramount Theater). I didn't want to go alone so I asked a friend to come along... she's not a fan, but had a good time (it's entertainment everybody can love!). Overall, the show was brilliant, and I am totally psyched that I finally got to see Pet Shop live. Most every song was flawless, and their only mis-step was a sappy acoustic rendition of the otherwise excellent Home and Dry (which is a favorite). The INTERESTING thing about the concert was the audience... which was almost entirely gay men. It was much like what I'd imagine a pride rally in San Francisco would be like (but without the costumes, parade floats, and glitter), and raises the question: at what point did all the 80's synth-pop I love become totally gay? I could have sworn it was only partially gay back in the day. Anyway... for more terrific photos and a nice wrap-up, head over to Rock 'n' Roll Star, who did a much better job of talking about the concert than I did.
• Midnighter! The nastier half of the very cool gay-super-duo of "Midnighter and Apollo" (of The Authority fame) has his own book! As if the awesome Garth Ennis doing the writing wasn't enough, they got the brilliant Chris Sprouse for the artwork on the new Midnighter comic...
You've been a bad, bad monkey...
It is an amazing, ass-kicking read and will absolutely go on the top of my reading list each month. If Batman isn't tough enough for you, this is the book to get.
• Rev. Ted Haggard! I hope you get to burn in the hell that YOU YOURSELF HAVE CREATED for gay men and women everywhere you lying hypocrite. You've been condemning homosexuals and working overtime with President Bush to restrict the rights of gay Americans for something YOU do. I don't find the fact that you've been caught paying for gay sex ironic, "reverend," I find it pathetic you stupid asshole...
Hypocrisy, thy name is Ted...
The truly sick part of this is that now he'll go into seclusion and, with spiritual help, "cure" himself of his "sinful" homosexuality and probably make millions on a book deal where he can renew his gay-bashing on an entirely new level. Now THAT'S ironic!
Tomorrow Blogography returns to its regularly-scheduled bullet-free programming...
Posted on Tuesday, November 7th, 2006
The Pacific Northwest has been slammed with torrential rains for the past several days. In my town, for example, one of the two major bridges into the city has been closed because the river is running so high. Seattle is getting hit even worse, and the TV news is replete with scary pictures. This made driving back from Seattle a bit of a challenge yesterday, because the rain made for low visibility and the water was pooling on the roadway. Hydroplaning at high speed sounds a lot more fun than it really is.
As usual, the worst part of the drive wasn't the weather.
It was the other drivers on the road.
The remainder of this entry is brought to you by the word FRAK.
So there I was exceeding the weather-mandated posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour (I was going 55). I was passing a car that kept speeding up and slowing down, and just wanted to get by. It was then that some asshole in a dark grey Lexus LX07 came zooming up on my ass... AND STARTED FLASHING HIS BRIGHTS AT ME! What the frak? This isn't the frakkin' Autobahn, motherfrakker! I was EXCEEDING the speed limit AND PASSING SOMEBODY you frakkin' dumbass! So you can take your flashing brights and shove them straight up your frakkin' ass. This idiot had better pray that I never contract some terminal disease, because I've memorized his license plate number and have added him to my List of People I Fully Intend on Hunting Down and Killing Before I Die.
Speaking of The List, we have yet another addition...
Three-time Oscar nominee Frank Darabont, who was tapped to write Indiana Jones IV, has finally spilled the beans as to why we haven't yet seen the film... George Lucas didn't like his script. Apparently Steven Spielberg absolutely loved it (calling it the best draft he's read since the original Raiders), but Lucas nixed it.
Yes, the person whose last three films were the craptacular piles of shit known as Star Wars: Episodes 1, 2, & 3 has passed judgement over a script beloved by one of the greatest directors of all time AND the guy who wrote the screenplay adaptation for The Shawshank Redemption (not to mention having the experience of a bunch of Young Indiana Jones scripts under his belt).
Which is pretty much how one could sum up the mid-term elections here in the USA. I wonder if somebody is getting the frakkin' message?
Sigh. It's raining again, which is kind of a bummer. Though I do like the sound of it on the roof as I fall asleep.
Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2006
As I've said many times, I am not a Democrat or a Republican or a Libertarian or whatever else is out there. I research each candidate or issue and place my vote independently of which party is attached. I've done this for at least a decade, and have probably voted for an equal number of Republicans and Democrats over the years which, in retrospect, is simply a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. In truth, I think both parties are more interested in advancing their agendas than serving the people they represent. I don't know whether that makes me a pessimist or a realist, but it's how I feel so I don't really care.
This election was a little different for me because I am just so frakkin' tired of the continuous stream of shit that's been flowing from politicians lately. Democrat or Republican, it makes no difference... I'm just disgusted to the point of insanity over the mess this country has become. With that in mind, my vote this year was intended to do nothing more than send a message of my complete and total dissatisfaction with how things are being run. Apparently a lot of people felt the same way...
Hopefully he'll get the message eventually.
In the end, I try not to get political on my blog because, well, I don't really have any politics. But I feel it is unfair to be critical of something without offering an opinion as to why. So, if that kind of thing interests you, I've commented on some hot-button issues in an extended entry.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Thursday, November 9th, 2006
For as long as I can remember, I've been in love with animation. When done well, it's an art-form that's in a class all its own. The problem is that creating good animation is incredibly difficult. Every second of the project takes anywhere from 8 to 24 drawings, and each of those drawing "frames" has to transition perfectly from one to the next in order to look smooth and natural.
Sure there are computer programs that can help with some of that, but there are certain kinds of movement which look best when hand-animated, and there are no shortcuts that will give you good results. When I decided to create a monthly animated cartoon program called "Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show," I did not know this. I thought I could create a few simple images, shove them into the computer, and have perfect animation pop out. Sadly, this was not at all the case, and it will be a while before I have time to devote to a show like that.
In the meanwhile, I still have an overwhelming desire to create a cartoon of my own.
So I decided to animate a short music video. Nothing fancy, just a simple exercise to find out what it takes to have Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey running around doing crazy stuff for 3-1/2 minutes. As of today, I have been putting in two hours every night for over a week and have completed a total of 10 seconds. It would appear that even a simple music video is exceedingly time consuming and difficult.
I don't plan on posting any footage I've created until the project is done, but I do have a couple test shots I worked on a few months ago while I was story-boarding. The very first thing I animated was a jumping monkey (which I used here). After that, I wanted to do something more complicated and created a disco monkey...
He's not bad, but his left arm has some freaky jumps going on and his right hand needs to be doing something. A month after that, I was tired of monkeys and had moved on to something a bit trickier (which is here).
About a week after that, I worked on a "raise the roof" move for Lil' Dave...
This was the first piece of footage that I was fairly happy with, and the first bit to actually end up in the video (all two seconds of it). It's only eight frames, but took three hours to finish.
Tonight I plan to take a break from the tedium of animating characters and work on backgrounds. The video has eighteen locations (so far) and every one of theme needs to be drawn. I have no idea how long that's going to take.
Why couldn't I be obsessed with something easy?
Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2006
I'm not a very good blogger because I don't really write for an audience. When I sit down to create my daily entry, I just hammer out whatever pops into my head and don't really think about whether or not people will want to read it. The fact that anybody ever does is a source of constant amazement to me. That's why I never know how to feel on those rare occasions when somebody feels the need to tell me what I should or shouldn't be writing here.
Because, well, seriously... it's not like anybody is paying me for this. I'll write what I want to... even if it means there will be a periodic entry about wiping my ass or some other strange crap.
But I got a curious half-dozen emails asking me how I was creating my animation, and wanting to know everything from what tools I draw with to how I come up with my ideas. Rather than keep answering each one separately, I decided to just go ahead and answer them all at once in an extended entry. In addition, I'll post an occasional sketch, storyboard graphic, or frame of animation as a teaser for what I'm up to. It's not something I had planned on (because I don't want to spoil the surprise) but it's kind of nice to have some feedback every once in a while.
So, if this kind of stuff interests you, by all means carry on reading. Otherwise, tomorrow I'll be back whining about something else.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Saturday, November 11th, 2006
This has been one weird-ass day. It started out with my PowerBook totally dying and my visual identity stolen, then ended up with me running out of butter and nearly strangling a bitch at the market.
Throw in a bottle of Jack Daniels and you've got Christmas.
My PowerBook doesn't want to acknowledge that a power adapter is plugged in, nor does it want to charge the battery. I have to say, compared to my previous PowerBook (the amazing titanium model I love more than life itself) this aluminum PowerBook has been a total piece of crap from day one. Shitty stiff & "chirpy" keyboard, mooshy trackpad button, blotchy screen, aluminum finish improperly anodized and flaking off, a dented case courtesy of The Apple Store Genius Bar, and now a power problem. In my twenty years as a Certified Apple Whore who has owned dozens of Macs, it is the single worst purchase I've made. Hopefully Apple's usually spiffy repair service will fix things up for me, because this sucks ass.
So I drag my sweet titanium PowerBook out of moth-balls so I can check my email and get some work done... only to find out my visual identity had been stolen. It would seem that some dumbass took my photograph and slapped his name on it in a forum of some kind. A girl grabbed the photo, saw that the name of the file was "davehair.jpg" not "Kevin" as she was expecting, so she Googled it and found... me.
Yeah, this time it's really Dave!
So there goes an hour of my life while I get that mess sorted out. Yet it does raise the question... how desperate do you have to be to use MY picture? Sad.
Then, after several productive hours spent working, I decide to make dinner... only to find out I am out of butter. And since you can't make much of anything without sweet, creamy butter, it's off to the market I go. Within two minutes, I've got my butter and am heading to the "12 Items Or Less" lane so I can get home and eat.
Except there was some bitch complaining that she didn't get the right price on items she bought the previous day. This meant that the checkout guy had to run to the back of the store and bring back the sign showing that the "two for one" sale was for the SMALL tub... not the LARGE tub of ricotta cheese she purchased. He tried to explain it to her, but the rude whore was talking on her mobile phone which delayed things even more. To top it all off, she couldn't find her wallet and had to use a credit card for a $3.23 purchase... but had to place yet ANOTHER call to talk to somebody about it. Meanwhile, a line of pissed off people are having to wait on her stupid ass. Something that should have taken two minutes has now stretched out into ten.
And that's the thing about rude bitches... the world revolves around them, no matter how idiotic they may be.
Meh. I should have stopped off on the way home and bought that bottle of Jack Daniels.
Posted on Sunday, November 12th, 2006
Time for your bullet-proof vest... SUNDAY IS HERE!!
• Cars! I never managed to catch Pixar's latest film Cars while it was in the theater. Now that I see how beautiful it is on DVD, I'm really regretting it. Because, while I had a hard time buying into a world populated entirely by automobiles, it was just so amazing to look at that I didn't care. Every detail was painstakingly represented and, if you've ever seen a NASCAR race, the track action was superb. The icing on the cake was the top-notch voice acting by Owen Wilson, who convincingly conveys a surprising emotional range as race car "Lightning McQueen"...
Awww... cute! It's an adorable talking race car!
I still don't think that the Pixar cars are as clever as the Aardmann cars for those Chevron commercials (is it just me, or do the Pixar cars all look cross-eyed?)... but this film does have the benefit of being the only funny thing I have ever seen "Larry The Cable Guy" associated with. It's no Toy Story or Monster's Inc. but still a lot of fun (unlike John Tucker Must Die, which was a boatload of crap and one of the worst movies I've seen in recent memory).
• Stats! Last month my "unique visitor counts had dropped for the first time in years. Now they've jumped by 36,000 for late October/early November... I guess people just love a monkey eating urinal cakes.
• The Office! For a while there I was getting really tired of Steve Carell's constant idiocy in the Americanized version of The Office but, after seeing his brilliant performance in Little Miss Sunshine, I decided to start watching again. Now I'm like a teenage girl, because I find myself saying things like "OMG! Isn't Jim and Pam going to be like the cutest couple ever?!" And who thought I would ever feel sorry for Roy? Oh well... I am so totally in love with Jenna Fischer now! She was great on Letterman, and looked brutally hot compared to her frumpy character on the show.
Now I'm mad that I stopped watching! They sell episodes at the iTunes Music Store, so I'm going to have to shell out some coin and get caught up.
Awww... cute! It's an adorable talking girl!
• Lost! And on the other end of the television spectrum... I've been complaining for months about what a suck-fest Lost has become after that brilliant first season. Unlike excellent shows like Veronica Mars which wrap shit up and move on to something better... Lost just lingers on, never providing a payoff. Now I notice that more and more people are feeling the same way, including this article at New York Magazine. I don't know if it is the writers, producers, or network that are insisting on being so frakkin' stupid, but if things keep going like this the show will be cancelled before they ever bother to answer anything. What a waste of time. But that seems to be typical for television lately.
• Veteran's Day! It was my intention yesterday to write a Veteran's Day entry but, given the drama of my dying PowerBook, I didn't get around to it. Even so, there's never a wrong time to be grateful to those who have served...
Bad Monkey's new best friend: Buddy Poppy
• Sucks Less! Several people have brought to my attention that Sucks Less with Kevin Smith is now being streamed via Flash for Mac users. You can check it out right here. The Smith intros are pretty funny, though some of the actual clips in the show are kind of lame. Something that is NOT lame is Clerks 2 which is finally dropping on DVD in a mere 16 days. Time to start watching all of my Kevin Smith DVDs so I am ready to go.
And on that note, I'm off to work. Monday deadlines blow.
Posted on Monday, November 13th, 2006
I really should be afraid of flying.
Sometimes I have to hop on a plane just as something terrible is going on in the world. Last August, for instance, I was boarding a plane on my way to Asia just as Hurricane Katrina had been elevated to a category 5 storm and was preparing to ravage Louisiana. As we took off, I had no idea if New Orleans would even exist by the time I landed.
Things like this have happened more times than I care to remember, but only once have I been shaken up worse than the Asia trip. And, believe it or not, I owe it to The Pet Shop Boys for reminding me about it this past week.
At their concert last Sunday, they performed one of their lesser-known songs titled Dreaming of the Queen. It's a kind of disturbing lament about lost love and death during the height of the AIDS epidemic. For the show, however, it took on a very different meaning as they sang it in front of a screen showing nothing but Princess Diana's funeral procession in a continuous loop...
It was a somber and respectful affair, which Pet Shop performed with hats removed and everything.
And it reminded me of a trip to Orlando I was taking on the day it had been reported that the Princess of Wales had been in a car accident in Paris. I boarded the plane hearing only conflicting reports and not knowing whether she was dead or alive.
Until I landed, of course, because the airport was filled with the sad news that Diana had not survived.
But it didn't really sink in until I was at Disney's United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot the next day. Since the attraction is literally built and staffed to be a piece of the UK, it was almost like being there. The British workers were devastated. There were flowers everywhere. Pictures of Lady Di were displayed in all the shops. The park was crowded but nobody was speaking. Even kids who are usually running around going nuts were quiet and restrained.
It was a profoundly sad experience visiting the "Happiest Place on Earth" yet being surrounded with sorrow.
And while it may have paled in comparison with the outpouring of grief back in the "real" UK, it was nevertheless an event that's difficult to forget. Especially when you relive it at a Pet Shop Boys concert and are haunted by it ever since.
Tonight I started working on the opening for the animated music video I'm making. It forced me to answer some serious questions that had never occurred to me before. Like what does the house look like where Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey live?
Ahhhh... so that's what it looks like...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Tuesday, November 14th, 2006
Ack. I'm so tired that I barely made it through tonight's Veronica Mars. It didn't help that it was a fairly unspectacular episode... at least by Veronica Mars standards. Logan's big secret was kind of lame, and the entire "forbidden romance" crap with Keith was just laughable. All in all, it felt very much like a "filler" show to me until the whole "campus rapist" stuff is resolved. They need to bring back Wallace, Mac, and Weevil... it's not the same without them.
Microsoft released their ridiculously-name "ZUNE" media player today... along with the news that they are paying over $1 per player sold to Universal Music Group. Apparently Universal is extorting the money to compensate for music piracy on the internet...
"...these devices are just repositories for stolen music, and they all know it," UMG chairman/CEO Doug Morris says. "So it's time to get paid for it."
Oh really? JUST repositories for stolen music? I'm guessing "these devices" include iPods.
So did you just call me a thief?
Well frak you Mr. Morris. With the exception of two songs that I haven't been able to find for sale anywhere, I BUY all my music. That's TWO songs out of 5697. And when you say "it's time to get paid for it" are you talking about your greedy-ass music label or the artists who are being ripped off?
And it's not as if companies like Universal are helping solve the music piracy problem. The internet allows instant distribution of music world-wide, and yet Universal doesn't bother to distribute their artists "universally." Take the Norwegian group "a-ha" for instance. They signed on with Universal in May of 2004. In a press release, it was said that "Universal International are looking to fully exploit a-ha's latent potential in markets such as the USA and the United Kingdom." Well, their latest album Analogue was released just over a year ago... YET YOU STILL CAN'T BUY THE CD IN THE USA UNLESS YOU PAY $30 FOR A PRICEY IMPORT! And can you buy it at the iTunes Music Store in the US? No. No you cannot. Universal hasn't made it available there either.
So basically you are left with two choices: paying triple the cost of a domestic album... or pirating it. Well thanks a frakkin' heap Universal Music, you've pretty much GUARANTEED people are going to steal that album. Dumbasses. How hard is it to rip a CD and scan in the cover art for uploading to iTunes? I mean, if it's too hard to do yourself, I suppose you could always download Analogue off of BitTorrent or something.
Since I love a-ha, I paid the $30... but I was not at all happy about being ripped off like that.
And you're calling ME a thief.
What an asshole.
Wow, it's only 10:08pm? I haven't gone to bed that early in years...
Posted on Wednesday, November 15th, 2006
Years ago I was with my mother at the check-out lane of our local market, and heard the bag-boy say those classic words for the very first time: "paper or plastic?" It was memorable to me because my mother had thought they were asking if she was paying with cash (paper) or credit card (plastic). Once they explained that they were actually asking whether she wanted a paper or plastic BAG, my mother ended up sticking with the paper sack because it was all she knew. It didn't help that the plastic bags were so thin and flimsy that they looked as if they would fall apart on the way to the car.
And she was not alone.
Nobody wanted the plastic bags.
Every time I went to the store I heard "paper or plastic" again and again, but noticed that the paper sack was always chosen. This must have been depressing to the store, because the plastic sacks were so much cheaper, yet they sat there unused. But one day we went back to the market and there was a display at the checkout counter. They had a plastic bag filled with the heaviest of groceries being suspended from a hook. It was made even more impressive by the fact that they had slashed holes in the bag with groceries poking out everywhere... but it still did not break. So, even though they looked a more fragile than the paper option, the plastic was actually quite a bit tougher.
After that, everybody started asking for the miraculous plastic bags that could effortlessly hold lots of crap (and had convenient handles built-in). Sure there were people who still didn't want the "new-fangled bags" but they were in the minority, because everywhere you looked shoppers were walking around with plastic. The future of shopping had arrived.
Besides, they're fantastically useful. I'll bet there are a million things you can do with plastic shopping bags!
Paper bag manufacturers tried to compete by adding handles, water-proof coating, and other stuff... but it was too late. Plastic had won the war, and there was no going back. Soon it was increasingly rare to see any paper bags at a grocery store. Why bother when everybody is going to want plastic anyway?
It was then that paper bag fans (and manufacturers, I'd imagine) started getting upset. "PLASTIC BAGS ARE BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!" they would scream. At least they did until studies were released that said plastic bags had a slightly less damaging effect on the environment (surprise!)... but it didn't matter much because BOTH paper and plastic were ultimately a bad thing (environmentally speaking). The best solution is to re-use a cloth bag over and over again (no surprise there). Sadly, hardly anybody bothers to do this. After all, what would they put their garbage in if they didn't get their plastic grocery bags? In Ireland you have to pay a fee every time you use a plastic bag... maybe if that happened here, people would come up with a more eco-friendly solution. Oh well.
Flash-forward to today and paper bags are making a kind of comeback. Upscale markets are using them again not because they are cheaper or better for the environment... but because they're "cool." I suppose the "perceived ecological friendliness" of paper must be a factor as well, which I find kind of funny.
Especially today when I was in line behind some Birkenstock-wearing hippy bitch at the grocery check-out.
"DON'T YOU HAVE PAPER BAGS?!? PLASTIC IS BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!! she bellowed. The cashier apologized but, alas, he had no paper bags. "WELL THAT'S JUST GREAT!" she yells... her face scrunched into an eternal scowl. She then collected her shopping (which included a gallon of milk in a plastic jug, and various other environmentally-hostile containers) and went stomping out the door...
... WHERE SHE PROCEEDED TO HOP INTO HER OLD BEAT-UP CADILLAC ESCALADE, WHICH PROBABLY ONLY GETS 12 MILES PER GALLON, AND DROVE OFF INTO THE SUNSET!
I guess in this case "hippy" stands for "hypocritical?"
Sigh. Maybe it's the rain, but I really want to bitch-slap just about everybody today.
Posted on Thursday, November 16th, 2006
My new MacBook Pro has arrived, so any time I would have spent blogging tonight was consumed with installing my software and making sure my data transferred across okay. Fortunately I have a .Mac account, so most of the configuration and settings were adjusted automatically, but there was still a few hours of work to be done.
The good news is that everything is up and running just fine...
I kept notes on my thoughts, impressions, and complaints as I went along and am putting them in an extended entry. Mostly boring stuff, but I like to keep a record of things like this for future reference.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Friday, November 17th, 2006
We interrupt the regularly scheduled programing here on Blogography to bring you an important message: You get no points for trying.
You either do something to meet the exacting expectations and desires of every single person on earth, or you get sued. Apparently, it's the American Way, because we're an all-or-nothing kind of country.
Today Boing Boing has regurgitated a story that involves a lawsuit filed against my local library here in Washington State. For those who don't read it, Boing Boing is one of the most popular websites in existence. It's a site I read regularly, and enjoy quite a lot. But this "story" simply goes to show that any purported "news site"... no matter how popular... doesn't always know what the fuck they are talking about.
The deal is basically this...
All 28 branches of public libraries in the North Central Regional Library System provide public internet access so that those who can't afford a computer or don't have access to the internet have the same opportunities as those who do. But things are never as easy as just trying to do something helpful, there are always people who are intent on spoiling things for everybody. In this case, that means people accessing porn and other material in full-view of anybody (including children) walking by. Even worse, kids being the crafty buggers they are, will gladly surf for porn on their own without having to look over anybody's shoulder.
Of course, exposing minors to porn is illegal.
By trying to do something good, the library gets in trouble. And you get no points for trying.
So the library attempts to address the problem by contracting with a "filtering service" which attempts to block porn and other age-inapropriate sites so that the library can still provide free internet, but not get sued for doing so. The filtering service is not perfect... some sites that probably shouldn't be blocked end up getting blocked... but the library is trying their best to service as many of their patrons as they can with what they have, and you simply cannot make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time.
And have I mentioned that you get no points for trying?
No. Instead you get sued by the ACLU and bashed with snippy inane comments by internet legend Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing.
There's so much wrong with all this... namely that nobody has their facts straight... but I think I will start out with explaining something to both Boing Boing and the ACLU that they are apparently unaware of: THIS IS NOT OUR LIBRARY...
That stunning, multi-story, high-tec structure with space-age capabilities and an entire team of librarians and technical staff belongs to Seattle. No no... the libraries in rural Eastern Washington look like this...
These tiny libraries sometimes have no more than a single room and are staffed by one or two librarians who may have been working there for decades.
Now imagine this... you are a small-town librarian who has given years of faithful service to your community. Your daily tasks involve arranging books, checking out materials, and helping people the best you can to find information they are looking for. It doesn't pay a lot, but it's a job you love and trying to help people is something you feel good about.
Then one day you find out that you have to clear out a corner of your small building so that you can make room for a public internet computer. This allows you to even better serve the community you love, so you do your best to accommodate the new technology and offer internet access to people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to use it. You may not have ever even turned on a computer before, but you try your best to learn how things work so you can do your job.
But you don't get any fucking points for trying... haven't you been paying attention?
Instead you get sued for "refusing to honor requests by adult patrons to temporarily disable the filter for sessions of uncensored reading and research" (among other things).
It's all a crock of shit of course... you didn't "refuse" anything... you just weren't able to comply with a request. But fuck you... the fact that your filtering service keeps me from looking at monster trucks with naked chicks painted on the hood means I'm going to SUE! SUE THE LIBRARY FOR TROUNCING ON MY RIGHTS, DAMMIT!!
Give me a fucking break.
The simple fact is that providing 100% unfiltered browsing in a library so small that you're unable to keep people from observing said browsing is impossible. It just can't happen. Otherwise some kid is eventually going to see something fucked up and some parent is going to sue for a million dollars on the grounds of child endangerment or something like that. So while the library may like to give you unfiltered access, they just can't. It's as simple as that.
The best the library can do is try to come up with a solution that helps as many people as possible without getting sued... either for providing too much access... or not enough.
And, dammit, they DO try.
The North Central Regional Library System knows there is a problem with the filtering service and has spent a year researching alternative while waiting for their filtering contract to run out. And now that the contract IS running out, they have been spending the past two months switching over all 28 branches to a new solution... it's a centrally managed system that will more easily allow a librarian to have a site unlocked for viewing. It's not 100% unfiltered because, I say again, that's simply not an option here, but it's an honest attempt to better address an unsolvable problem.
But did the ACLU bother to call the library and learn this before they filed their lawsuit and wasted tax dollars on total bullshit? No. Did Cory Doctorow bother to call the library for a response? No. Heck, even if Cory Doctorow didn't know that the filtering software was being phased out in favor of trying a different approach... did he at least call the library to see if he might help-out or suggest an alternative to filtering before bashing them with his article? Of course not! That doesn't attract readers and increase ad revenue! Far more fun (and profitable) to attack a small-town library that is just trying to service their patrons the best they can... because THAT'S WHERE THE MONEY IS!! Well, if Doctorow feels like using some of that Boing Boing cash to build us bigger libraries with secluded "adults only" rooms so they can provide unfiltered access, more power to him. But who is going to be responsible for cleaning up that room knowing what crazy shit is bound to go on in there?
How did America get this way? Nobody wants to try lending a hand or helping people to help others... they just want to sue and attack them every chance they get. BECAUSE YOU GET NO POINTS FOR TRYING!
The insane thing here is that the libraries are being portrayed as these evil entities that want nothing more than to violate taxpayers by limiting their access to freely available information. It's categorically absurd, of course... especially considering that the mission statement of the NCRL is as follows: "The Mission of the North Central Regional Library is to promote reading and lifelong learning."
You will note that nowhere... nowhere... in that statement does it say that the mission of the library is to keep adults from performing research... or reading Boing Boing... or looking at works of art that contain nudity. Seriously, why would they give a shit? But it makes for a flashy lawsuit and good drama to say otherwise, so that's what we get.
I wonder if the ACLU and Boing Boing would be happier if libraries were to rip out internet access entirely rather than to try and come up with a solution that addresses both the threats of being sued for too much access and being sued for not having enough access? What other option are these libraries going to have? It's a no-win scenario because they're going to get sued no matter what they try and do.
And you get no points for... well, you get the picture...
We're rapidly becoming a country that's going to be afraid to TRY anything... who do I sue for that?
Posted on Saturday, November 18th, 2006
w00t! VERONICA MARS SEASON THREE HAS BEEN EXTENDED FROM 13 to 20 EPISODES! That's two less than a "regular" season, but far better than not being extended at all. Now if only they would offer the episode for sale at the iTunes Music Store.
I hit a major snag in animating my music video last night. I was playing test footage and suddenly realized that I was very unhappy with the composition of the clips. The characters are all kind of short, so I always ended up having to zoom way into the scene in order to avoid having big gaps at the top and bottom of the frame. This has everything looking claustrophobic and makes Lil' Dave's world seem so small...
This is very bad, because there's no way to center in on the action when the entire screen is moving. At first I was just going to reduce all the elements by 85%, but that was even worse. The action was just a blob in the middle of the screen.
It was then that I decided to just bite the bullet and recompose every shot in HiDef...
Suddenly all of my problems disappeared. Not only that, but widescreen allows so many more interesting options for scene composition... clips that were kind of boring and hard to follow actually end up looking interesting. The bad news is that all the work I've done so far has to be thrown out, recomposed, and partially re-animated. This was upsetting at first but, after I realized it was an opportunity to make things better, I was okay with it.
Except for the jungle scene. The thought of having to go back and re-draw those backgrounds fills me with dread. Just one of them took five hours, and now they're twice as big.
Argh. When did having fun become work?
Posted on Sunday, November 19th, 2006
Gaaah! It's the revenge of the bullet points!
• ZOON DOOM! Uh yeah... saw Zune, played with Zune, pitched Zune to the curb. The iPod has nothing to worry about here. The only thing that I'm envious of is the larger screen, everything else... from the clunky looks to the crappy software... sucks ass. Once Apple finally gets off their ass and gives us an iPod with a decent size display for video, Zune will be nothing more than a bump in the road. Yet another failed catch-up effort that doesn't measure up. You'd think with billions of dollars in the bank, Microsoft could innovate rather than keep imitating. Badly.
• COUCH BANANA! Scene No. 4 has been animated. Bring on the dream sequence...
• MEEEEEEEEAT! Many of the vegetarians I know (and all of the vegans) are sickened by the smell of cooking meat. I don't have that problem... I'm totally indifferent to the smell, though I'd rather do without if given the choice. On the way home from work tonight, somebody was barbecuing steaks and the aroma filled the air. Much to my surprise, it smelled so good that I very nearly had a carnivore relapse. It was all I could do to keep from running off howling into the night, hunting down that grill so I could tear into yummy cow flesh. Instead I had a can of Coke with Lime and some Pop Tarts. Yeah, that hit the spot.
• GOLDEN GLOBES! Elizabeth Hurley was looking her usual perfectly hot self in Berlin this week...
• WII-DUNDANCY! How sad is it that people stand in line to buy Nintendo Wii consoles and Sony PlayStation 3 consoles so they can sell them on eBay instead of letting the people who actually want to play them buy them? Though it's hard to blame anybody for doing it... a PS3 can net you $1000 minimum profit, whereas a Wii gets you double your investment. I wish that manufacturers wouldn't launch until they have plenty of supply built up so this crap could be avoided. Now I'm going to have to wait until I hear some kid bragging about getting a Wii so I can break into his house and steal it.
• BROTHERS & SISTERS! Tonight is a fresh episode of a show I never thought I would watch called Brothers & Sisters. When I first heard of it, I was intrigued because of the amazing line-up of talent behind it. I'm a sucker for good acting, even if it's in a weepy family melodrama...
The show revolves around a woman (Sally Field), her dead husband (Tom Skerritt), her brother (Ron Rifkin from Alias), and her five children... Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal), Balthazar Getty (also from Alias), Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under), and two guys I never heard of. When I first saw the cast, I thought "who are the two poor bastards who are going to try and hold their own against that kind of star power?" Turns out exactly the opposite is true. The two unknowns (Matthew Rhys and Dave Annable) actually have the best characters. But it's Annable's totally f#@%ed up "Justin Walker" that is the most challenging role on the entire show. Last episode he reached the breaking point, and I've been waiting all week to find out what's going to happen next. I hope it was worth the wait.
Now can somebody please tell me where I can buy a Mayor Adam West Cat Launcher? Seth McFarlane is genius.
Posted on Monday, November 20th, 2006
I very nearly just died. I think I turned blue and everything.
All because I was stupid enough to attempt drinking a Coke with Lime while watching How I Met Your Mother when Robin's dirty secret was revealed. Seriously, for everybody who has ever wanted me dead, your wish nearly came true as I choked to death watching Robin Sparkles GOING TO THE MALL! Best. Video. Ever. My apologies to our Canadian neighbors, but this is about the funniest thing I've seen all year. Could this show be any funnier? This second season is even better than the first, but I will absolutely be buying the DVD set when it hits tomorrow. Suit up!
The good news here is that if I had died, I would have done so wearing my totally awesome Milwaukee Admirals Limited Edition Custom Hockey Jersey which arrived today!
I used to think that my red leather thong was my favorite piece of clothing... but this is SO much cooler than that! If it didn't smell like toxic fumes and need to be washed, I'd wear it to bed.
Now that I know I'm not going to die tonight, can I just say how disappointed I am that the only thing that went through my mind as I was laying on the floor gasping for breath was "holy shit... if I die, I won't get to see Veronica Mars tomorrow night!" — how sad is that? Though, I suppose if you turn it around, you could say that my desire to see the next episode of Veronica is what got me through this.
I'll bet that's not the first time Kristen Bell has been responsible for giving a guy the will to live.
Posted on Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
My hand reached out to touch it and I was pleased to see that I was not trembling. There could be no mistakes. There was no room for error. Things would never be the same again and my excitement was palpable. With nothing left to lose (and everything to gain) I swallowed hard and took the knife.
The blade was cold against my hand as I stood mesmerized by the light glinting off the edges. Something primal was in control now and, despite my better judgement, I liked it. A pang of regret swept through me but I dismissed it immediately. There was no turning back. Not now.
I thrust the knife forward. It went in much easier than I expected. There was no resistance at all. Just for kicks, I stabbed it in a few more times. This made was a lovely squishy noise that sent tingles down my spine. But enough playing around, it was go time.
I smeared the soy tofu "cheese spread" on my cracker and stared at it.
It kind of looks like cheese. It's certainly better for your body than cheese.
And, though it didn't taste much like cheese, it still beat eating a plain cracker.
Plain crackers suck ass.
If only they made tofu Pop Tarts, I'd be able to eat a lot healthier.
Posted on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006
Strange. I got all ready for a bullet-point entry because I thought it was Sunday for some reason. I wonder what that's all about? Oh well, it's not like I haven't got a million other things to blog about. In fact, I never understand how bloggers get writer's block because surely everybody has a more exciting life than mine? Today I sat in an office almost all day, and yet I am still having to decide which thing I should write about... The bitch who flipped me off on the way to work? Nearly breaking my arm trying to get Chili Cheese Fritos out of the vending machine? Having Robert iChat me from his toilet to tell me he got a new MacBook with iSight camera? The inexplicable hate mail I got this morning? My new — hey, wait a second, yes... let's go with the hate mail...
I usually don't share viewer hate-mail because, well, it's not like I want to encourage these people... but today's rant was so utterly bizarre that I feel compelled to share. And the reason I say it's bizarre is because it wasn't complaining about the usual stuff like my imaginary abuse of clowns, my support of gay marriage, my assertion that Pat Robertson is insane, or my thinking that I'm God. Oh no. This time it's about chest shaving.
Yes. You read that right. Chest shaving!
While reading the email I was all WTF? Because I didn't remember ever having taken a stand either for or against shaving chest hair. Why in the hell would I care what a guy wants to do with his chest? I don't even care what I do with my own. So there I am ready to delete the email as a total nut-job when I decide to Google myself and find out if I had inadvertently insulted chest-shavers along the way.
It turns out that I kind of did.
But not really.
Last year I wrote about walking into an airport bathroom only to see a dude shaving his chest with an electric razor. Needless to say, I was freaked out about it, and decided to write about the horror of it all in my blog.
How could I have forgotten something like that?
I must have been blocking it from my mind.
Anyway, the email rambled on a while, but could ultimately be summarized in that I'm an asshole for calling the chest-shaver guy a "prissy bitch" and I shouldn't be critical of somebody else's grooming choices. Or something like that. But that's where the email hater was wrong. You see, the prissy bitch option was Option B. As I explained in the entry, I did not choose Option B... I selected Option F. I did not call the guy in an airport a prissy bitch at all. So this time the hate mail wasn't even justified, because the writer jumped to a conclusion before reading to the end of my entry.
Who's the asshole now? Huh? Huh? Huh?
Hmmm... maybe I should have written about the Chili Cheese Fritos incident after all...
Posted on Thursday, November 23rd, 2006
Gee... I could write just about anything today and it wouldn't make a lick of difference. Everybody is eating turkey instead of surfing the internet and reading blogs. I, being a vegetarian, don't eat turkey and so I've got nothing better to do.
Neil has declared today as "Thank Your First Commenter Day" which is kind of nifty. Truth to tell though, I had no idea who my first commenter might be. Turns out that once you get rid of the back-and-forth testing between Bad Robert and myself, my first "real" commenter is Kazza. That's cool because, while commenters come and go, Kazza is still around. The fact that she's still blogging is kind of a bonus...
Awwwww... it's Lego Lil' Dave!
Well, one good Legofication deserves another...
And now I'm off to finish some work so I can watch tonight's special edition of Grey's Anatomy. I'm hoping somebody dies...
Posted on Friday, November 24th, 2006
I don't like to shop. My dislike for shopping only increases as the crowds get bigger, so going to the mall on Black Friday would be the equivalent of torture. Thankfully I had to work today. Because when people call and say "could you pick up something for me while you're out" I'd much rather be able to say "I'm sorry, I'm working today" instead of saying "FRAK OFF AND DIE BECAUSE THERE'S NO F#@%ING WAY I'M PICKING UP ANYTHING FOR YOU ON BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND!" I dunno. I guess it just sounds nicer.
All that being said, I'd rather be in Bali laying on Kuta Beach...
I'd write about how the occasion arose today where I used the word "frolic" in a totally justifiable context, but it's 11:15pm and and I have to be to work in five hours and forty-five minutes.
Two hours of that will be spent trying to fall asleep.
Posted on Saturday, November 25th, 2006
Shortly after managing to get to sleep last night, I was awakened by a noise so loud that my teeth were rattled. I was all groggy, so at first I didn't know what had happened. I thought maybe there had been an accident in the parking lot or something. But just as I was going to get out of bed to see if anybody was in trouble, I heard the sound again and realized that it was a neighbor slamming their apartment door.
It would be easy to assume that they didn't realize throwing their front door closed like that at 1:30am would wake everybody in the entire apartment complex... but I think it's more likely they are just so f#@%ing stupid that they don't know how to properly close a door.
Time to write a new book.
I had no idea such a basic skill required a manual, but I'm here to help.
Thanks to this idiot, I barely managed to get three hours of sleep. This made for a very long day at work and now I'm pretty much dead. It's probably a good thing too, because it means I might actually get some rest tonight.
At least I had better.
If there's another door-slamming incident, somebody is going to get my foot up their ass.
Posted on Sunday, November 26th, 2006
It's another Bullet Sunday, but I'm shooting blanks.
• SNOW! Shortly after waking up, I was in bed checking my email and heard somebody outside stomping their feet. This could mean only one thing... the day I have been dreading has finally arrived. Our first snow. I am not a fan of the snow, and never have been. Even when I was a kid. It's cold, it's wet, and it's no fun if you don't ski or snowmobile. And did I mention that it's cold? A quick look out my back window verifies that six inches have fallen overnight and it's still coming down...
The horsies must not mind the snow, because they seem perfectly happy to be standing outside in it.
• DEPOT! Despite the crappy weather, I was needing some ink for my printer so I drove to Wenatchee over hazardously icy roads to get some. When I arrived, there were three employees but no customers which should mean that the service would be excellent. But the entire time I was in the store trying to find the correct ink cartridge, not ONE of the three asked if I needed any help. They were too busy talking about how slow business was. After five minutes at the ink counter followed by another five minutes in the paper section, I didn't find anything I was looking for and left. Customer service is dead.
• WARE! The incredible Chris Ware (whose Chicago exhibit I visited with Jenny and Gary) had created four amazing Thanksgiving covers for The New Yorker this past month. Fortunately, the magazine has graciously posted them online (with enlargements) so anybody can see them. It's well worth checking out...
• MADONNA! While working yesterday, I had Madonna's "The Confessions Tour" concert running in the background off my TiVo. I was not impressed. Madge seems to have forsaken the music in favor of being an over-indulgent, annoying, foul-mouthed bitch. She's come a long way since her "Who's That Girl" and "Blond Ambition" tours... and not in a good way. Kind of a pity, because I actually liked the album.
• CUPID! Today I decided to have something I know I would enjoy playing in the background while I worked... the best show ever to air on television: Jeremy Piven's Cupid. The complete series is being seeded on BitTorrent, and so I grabbed it. The quality is crap, but the show is absolute genius. This is probably my twentieth time watching all fourteen eps they made, and my love of the series has not diminished (I'm not an overly-emotional kind of guy, but when I get to the end of the "Heart of the Matter" episode I get a lump in my throat every time). I remain infuriated that it has not been given a DVD release, and am still fuming that ABC cancelled it seven years ago. Dumbasses. How hard would it have been to give it a decent time slot and let it find an audience? Of course, after they did the same thing to Sports Night, you have to wonder if that's something they are even capable of.
• SLEEP! Ah, I almost forgot... there's a new all-natural sleep aid on the market called "Midnite." I've heard it doesn't work for everybody, but it sure does a great job for me. I've been consistently falling asleep in about 15-20 minutes after chewing a tablet. The beauty of it is that it only stays in your system for three hours, so you can take it in the middle of the night if you wake up. Of course, if somebody likes to slam doors in your apartment complex and you don't have the three hours, there's unfortunately nothing Midnite can do for you.
And just like that, Sunday is over.
Posted on Monday, November 27th, 2006
Crappy weather continues to pummel the Pacific Northwest. Seattle is particularly scary, as the news is showing people abandoning their cars on the highway rather than attempting to drive on the icy, snow-covered roads there. A fly-over shows dozens of cars spun off the road and others that have been trapped in traffic for hours. This is not encouraging news given that I'm flying out this weekend.
My TiVo is still grabbing The View every day, and every once in a while I am desperate enough to watch.
Today on the show they had Amy Holmes guest-hosting. She is the former speechwriter for outgoing Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and was also a strategist for his office, despite her not being a Republican (she's a registered Independent).
As if all that weren't impressive enough, she's cute as hell...
On the Elizabeth Hurley Scale of Hotness... where 0 is depressingly not at all Liz-like and 10 is the sublime perfection that is Elizabeth Hurley... she's a solid 9. And it's not just looks. When Joy Behr attacked her almost immediately, she responded with a grace, poise, and warmth that had a beauty all its own. If they don't make her a permanent host on The View, there's something terribly wrong.
But, then again, we're talking about ABC. This is the same dumbass network that cancelled Jeremy Piven's Cupid. So it's not like I haven't already been conditioned for disappointment.
Bleh. Now it's starting to snow here again too.
Posted on Tuesday, November 28th, 2006
So there I was killing time while waiting for Veronica Mars when The Daily Show comes on. I totally love The Daily Show and quickly became engrossed in the "fake news" of the day. Then the guest for the evening shows up and its Tom Waits. I've heard of him before, but don't know that I'm familiar with any of his music. I think there was a time I had him confused with Paul Young or something, but other than that I have no idea.
Waits is being interviewed and seems a decent guy and everything, when John Stewart announces there's going to be a song. "Oh goodie" I say to myself, "he's supposed to be good."
Worst. Singer. Ever.
Seriously, it was so bad that at first I thought it was some kind of joke. I kept waiting for John Stewart to pop up and they'd have a laugh. But Jon Stewart never came. The tragically bad "song" just went on and on. It sounded kind of like a dry heave taking place during a case of chronic diarrhea. If it weren't for Veronica Mars later that night, I probably would have tried to microwave my head in hopes that dying would somehow erase the memory of the horror.
And yet there are people who pay to listen to this stuff?
If you're one of them, I apologize and everything, but holy crap.
Of course it's not like I could do any better. I am a lethally bad singer myself. But at least I realize this and don't inflict my damage on others (unless its karaoke night and I'm really drunk)...
Okay, that's a lie.
There are also those few songs that come on the radio which compel you to sing along, but I don't really have any control over that. Who does? Songs like Bon Jovi's Living on A Prayer. Or Billy Idol's Rebel Yell. Or AC/DC's Back In Black. Or even something totally inexplicable, like Hall & Oates' You Make My Dreams. It's this last one that caused one of my most embarrassing moments ever. There are many, but this is one of those that you keep replaying in your head while saying to yourself "WHY? OH LORD WHY?!?"
It was four years ago and I had just returned from a trip abroad. I don't really get jet-lag anymore, but I was incredibly tired. Since I had to be in San Francisco the next morning, I didn't bother flying home, but instead decided to stay at a hotel at Seattle's airport. This was when the iPod had just been released, and I had made a habit of listening to my brand new toy as I fell asleep. This was kind of lame, because I only had a few old CDs from my car ripped into it, but it was something new and I was having fun with it. A scant four hours later, I wake up and rush to the airport. Since this was a just 6-months or so after 9/11, security was ridiculous, and I had to be there something like 3 hours before take-off.
And so I make it to my gate. With nothing better to do, I take out my iPod so I can look all cool listening to those same old crappy albums... and proceed to fall asleep.
It's then that I have one of those delirious moments where you wake up without really waking up... all the while thinking that I'm still back in my hotel room because I'm completely mentally drained. Hall & Oates' You Make My Dreams has started to play and, for reasons totally unknown, I start to sing along.
In an airport waiting area full of people.
People I have to get on a plane with for a few hours.
And it was HALL & OATES!! Not something cool like AC/DC... but HALL AND FRICKIN' OATES!
It was right in the middle of one of those "You Hoo... Hoo Hoo Hoooooo" moments when I realized where I was and what I was doing. "Mortified" doesn't even begin to cover how I was feeling.
But, as bad as it probably was, I'm pretty sure I must have sounded better than Tom Waits did tonight on The Daily Show.
Posted on Wednesday, November 29th, 2006
GAH! The roads here are beyond nasty. My car handles fairly well in the winter months, but when you have ice on top of ice on top of ice, it's pretty harsh for driving. Even if your tires grip on the top layer, you slide on the layer beneath. Winter blows.
• Funniest moment of my day...
I decided to watch Law & Order: Criminal Intent off my TiVo when I got home from work. It featured guest appearances by Bob Saget and Catherine Bell as husband and wife. Eventually Bob's character finds out that his wife is having an affair. There's this dramatic pause and then he cries "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!??
I started laughing uncontrollably.
Suddenly I couldn't see these two actors as their characters.
All I wanted to hear her say was "Because I'm CATHERINE F#@%ING BELL and you're just BOB SAGET! That's how!"
I mean seriously...
The episode also featured Bernadette Peters with her Kewpie Doll lips as a tough-talking defense attorney, which was almost as funny. Don't get me wrong, I like Bernadette Peters okay, but she was horribly miscast in this role. If she's going to do television, can't her agent find her something that will play on her strengths?
• Second funniest moment of my day...
I received a spam email with the subject line "A man with a small penis is like a butterfly without wings." This moment of poetic zen was so beautiful that I was very nearly brought to tears. Laughing. I suppose this means a man with NO penis is like a cockroach without a... uhhhh... I dunno. I hate roaches anyway.
• Third and final funniest moment of the day...
After my "Tom Waits Sucks Ass" rant yesterday, a kind reader gifted me his first album "Closing Time" which I thought was some kind of torturous revenge or something. Gritting my teeth I pressed play...
...and my head didn't explode as expected. The album is not really my cup of tea, but it ain't that bad either. It's wholly listenable, and even enjoyable in parts. I have no idea what in the heck happened between this album and his appearance on The Daily Show last night, but I'm guessing it involves being declared legally dead and being brought back to life by a voodoo ritual gone horribly wrong. I find the thought of it funny for some reason.
Yeah, I guess it wasn't a very humorous day after all.
Posted on Thursday, November 30th, 2006