Posted on Thursday, February 1st, 2007
I had set a wake-up call for 6:00am with the intention of getting up with the sunrise and seeing a bit more of Madrid at dawn. Yesterday I had noticed that the light was really nice in the morning, and intended to take advantage of it.
Yeah, like that was going to happen. I was so totally dead from miles of walking yesterday that I barely made it out the door for my 10:00 shuttle to the airport.
After an uneventful 1-hour plane ride (assuming sitting behind a smelly, smelly man during the flight and then having to wait 50 minutes for my luggage counts as "uneventful"), here I am in Lisbon, another city I've never been to before. Since it was lunchtime when I got to my hotel, I tossed my luggage in the closet and headed out to the Hard Rock Cafe...
Turns out this is a fantastic dual-level property with really interesting architecture and an incredible amount of memorabilia stacked from floor to ceiling...
In recognition for their awesomeness in winning "World-Wide Cafe of the Month" back in November, Lisbon has the honor of getting to display an original Jimi Hendrix guitar from his appearance on the Dick Cavett Show in 1969 (previous months were won by Buenos Aires, Lake Tahoe, Dublin, Houston, and Kowloon cafes)...
With plenty of daylight left, I decided to take a walk down to the Tagus River and see the sights. One thing you tend to notice quite quickly is that the sidewalks here in Lisbon are made from beautiful stone mosaic patterns, some of which are quite ornate. I guess when you live here, it's easy to take the sidewalks for granted, but I found myself looking down just as often as up...
The city of Lisbon itself is quite nice. It has a very different "feel" to it from other European cities. Almost Caribbean or something... it's very strange, but in a good way. About the only thing that wasn't pleasant is being pestered every fifteen minutes to buy some sunglasses (Armani! Very beautiful!) or other imitation crap. But that wasn't nearly as exciting as being offered some hash every ten minutes (Hashish! Good hash!). Though all of that pales when compared to some guy who came up to me with a Canon EOS camera in a paper sack...
GUY: Want to buy camera? Very good price!
DAVE: Uhhhh... nope, I'm good.
GUY: Are you sure?
DAVE: Sure I don't want to buy an obviously stolen camera? Yes, I'm quite sure.
GUY: But I give you very good price!
Oddly enough, I was just thinking about how I wish I had my own Canon EOS Rebel with me. I left it back home because I had loads of crap to haul over for work and didn't want to bother with it. Still, my little pocket camera takes some pretty good shots...
Living the jet-set lifestyle like I do (ha!) can make for some strange interactions with people back home. Mostly because nobody is ever really sure of where you are or what you are doing. Like Bad Robert, who just called me as I was writing this entry...
DAVE: (answering phone) Hello?
ROBERT: Dude, I need to get my car to the shop. Can you bring me back home so I don't have to sit there all day?
DAVE: Dude, I'm in Lisbon.
ROBERT: Can you drop by after you're done?
DAVE: I'm in PORTUGAL... I won't be back until Sunday.
ROBERT: (dramatic pause) Oh. I thought you meant like the restaurant.
ROBERT: So how are things in Lisbon.
DAVE: Pretty good so far. I've only been here for four hours.
ROBERT: Ah. Hey... do you wanna know what Ben did to his car?
DAVE: Is it worth the dollar-a-minute this phone call is costing me to find out?
ROBERT: Uh... probably not. Oooh! Call me when you get back! I need to tell you about my new air horn!
And so it goes...
I haven't a clue what I'm going to be doing tonight. About the only things I can be sure I WON'T be doing is this...
Because the only way I could sit through The Sound of Music would be if I was doped up on hash.
Hey! Wait a minute... I might just have plans for tonight after all...
Posted on Friday, February 2nd, 2007
Lisbon is a remarkable city and I absolutely love it here. Which is why it's strange that today I got the idea to create "The International Directory of Assholes" book. But more on that later.
My day began when I took a walk through the Alfama. This is the oldest district of Lisbon, home to winding little streets and clustered houses that spill down the slope of a large hill. And at the top of the hill is the Castle of São Jorge, which is where my day of tourist wanderings began. It's not a very impressive castle, but the panoramic view of Lisbon from the top is pretty sweet...
Since I arrived early in the morning, I had the castle pretty much to myself, which was kind of nice...
As I walked down the hillside towards the river, I noted a number of churches along the way. The most famous being the "Sé"... which is fairly simple by European cathedral standards, but still worth a visit...
After I had worked my way out of the Alfama, I decided to take the bus along the shoreline to Belém. This is a district west of the city proper which is famous for being the place where many of the famous Portuguese explorers departed on their journeys (like Vasco da Gama). It is also home to one of Lisbon's most famous landmarks, "Monument to the Discoveries"...
All in all, there's 30 famous Portuguese historical figures running down both sides of the monument, each one remarkably detailed...
As you continue west, you'll eventually run across the Tower of Belém, which you can climb up and wander around. It was built to be fully-functional with canon armaments and such (despite its highly decorative nature)...
Backtracking along the other side of the roadway, I worked my way back to the Rua de Belém so I could drop by a pastry shop that's been selling little custard tarts for over 150 years called "Pastel de Belém." This is also the place you can visit the Archaeological Museum, the Maritime Museum, and the Jerónimos Monastery, which is pretty cool...
Inside, the roof of the Church of Santa Maria has a cool-looking spider-web design which is pretty slick...
Before leaving the Belém district, I was sure to stop at one of Lisbon's most popular tourist spots... The Coaches Museum. It's kind of an odd idea for a museum, but it is interesting to be able to see all the ornate craftsmanship that goes into these rolling works of art...
The remainder of my day (along with the reason for my new "assholes" book idea) can be found in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Saturday, February 3rd, 2007
So here I am in Germany again, awaiting my flight back to the USA tomorrow morning. It's a bit sad, because there always seems to be a dozen things that I would like to do in Europe every time I'm getting ready to leave it.
Though there is one thing that I will not mind leaving behind... the smoking. There's really no way to escape it and, since it seems like 99% of the people here love their cigarettes, there's not much that can be done about it. Sure many restaurants offer up a "no smoking section," but it's in name only. I can't tell you how many times I've been put in the "non-smoking section" only to have people light up at the very next table. Even at the Hard Rock, it turns out the "non-smoking section" usually ends up being just a few tables immediately next to the smoking area (which, let's be honest, is the entire restaurant).
An even better example could be found as I was waiting for my flight this morning. There I was sitting in Lisbon's airport which has signs posted saying "Lisbon Airport is Non-Smoking." But there are "smoker's kiosks" everywhere, and all the cafes and bars allow you to light up. Non of these areas are segregated or ventilated in any way, so this self-proclaimed "non-smoking airport" is filled with smoke...
By the time I boarded my flight, my clothes reeked of cigarettes so badly that you would think I had just smoked a pack prior to hopping on the plane. It's one thing to go to a bar where you are expecting people to smoke... but it always bothers me to be eating cigarette smoke with my meal or having to sit in a cloud of it while being held captive at the airport. It's been 15 years since I've smoked a cigarette... maybe I should start up again so it won't bother me so much next time?
Speaking of being held hostage...
Here at my hotel, I have three choices for internet access...
WTF?!? To use the internet in the comfort of your own hotel room, it's a minimum of $37.50. That's THIRTY-SEVEN DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS!! Holy shit! I could probably take a taxi into Cologne and get blown for that! It amazes me that Europe has such astoundingly high access fees AND puts limits on your bandwidth (as opposed to back home where many hotels offer free internet with no limits). I guess I won't be downloading any new television shows for the flight.
Oh well... my television here gets Comedy Central TV, so I'm going to watch Pamela Anderson in an episode of Stacked. Believe it or not, she's actually funny when dubbed in German.
Probably because I can't understand a word she's saying.
Bleh. I am not looking forward to a 9 hour flight, followed by an hour layover, followed by a 6 hour flight, followed by a 4 hour layover, followed by a 45 minute flight. That's almost 21 hours of total travel torture. When are we going to be able to beam ourselves from one place to another like on Star Trek?
Posted on Sunday, February 4th, 2007
It's Bullet Point Sunday at 30,000 feet as I fly cross-country for my layover in Seattle!
• Mouthy... Is there an over-abundance of loud-mouthed, obnoxious bitches in the world... or is it just my grave misfortune to be consistently seated in their vicinity during long plane flights? I had yet another one behind me for a lovely 9 hour flight out of Cologne. This woman talked CONTINUOUSLY, irritating the shit out of just about everybody. Fortunately, by the time she got to her rant about Mexico being a "dirty, disgusting, 3rd-world country that she won't visit," I was able to turn on my iPod. This saved her from my wrath, as I was just about to start screaming "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UUUUUUUP!! But, alas, I couldn't resist being a smart-ass when she was in the lavatory...
And you know what? I don't even f#@%ing apologize for saying it. Screw her and her big mouth, because NOBODY wanted to hear it. All we wanted to do was have a peaceful flight under cramped, horrible conditions, and I don't think that's too much to ask. Read a book. Watch the movie. Listen to music. Do whatever the f#@% gets you through those nine hours... AS LONG AS IT ISN'T BUGGING THE CRAP OUT OF EVERYBODY ELSE! Because blathering loudly about stupid shit while people are trying to relax or sleep or work or whatever is just making you an inconsiderate asshole.
• Vistahahaha... And while I'm on the subject of people saying stupid shit... has Bill Gates started smoking crack? I've been catching up with my news feeds, and have no other explanation for his recent bizarre comments. I guess when you are on the defensive, you'll come up with all kinds of crazy stuff to explain why a product that took TEN YEARS to release is so lame compared to the competition.
• Overhead... I love it when some dumbass comes rolling on the plane with his full suitcase, briefcase, lunch bag, AND carry-on, then starts demanding that people take their stuff out of the overhead bins so he can fit in all his crap... "IS THIS YOURS? YOU CAN FIT THIS UNDER YOUR SEAT!! COME ON! THAT CAN FIT UNDER YOUR SEAT!!" Yeah, well f#@% you buddy, I check my luggage and carry on my one measly little knapsack so I can have the much-needed legroom. Why don't you shove your massive roller-bag up your ass... or, perhaps, check it at the ticket desk so people don't have to listen to your bullshit.
• Stamp... Since my previous passport expired, I had to get a new one. Once again I have noticed how other countries have passport control personnel who carefully stamp your entrance and exit neatly into the square boxes and in sequential order. Why in the hell do USA passport control people decide to skip ahead 3 pages, then stamp your passport outside the boxes in the middle of the f#@%ing page? That page is then rendered useless, which is why frequent travelers like me end up having to purchase extra pages for our passports. I mean, you are stamping passports all f#@%ing day long, and you haven't figured out how to make it fit in the box? On the up-side, I have to say that my entry into the USA via Newark International was one of the quickest, nicest, most courteous immigrations and customs checks I have ever had. Bravo to the people at Newark who obviously have their shit together (except when it comes to getting the stamp to fit in the box).
• Security... I wonder what the penalty is for bitch-slapping a TSA agent? I don't want to end up in jail or anything, but I am getting sick and tired of their idiotic behavior. "DO YOU HAVE A LAPTOP IN YOUR BAG SIR? YOU NEED TO REMOVE YOUR LAPTOP FROM YOUR BAG, REMOVE YOUR SHOES, THEN REMOVE YOUR JACKET!!" Uhhh... okay... let me get to the table first... "YOU NEED TO REMOVE YOUR LAPTOP FROM THE BAG NOW SIR TO AVOID HOLDING UP THE LINE!!" Yeah, well, there are six people ahead of me before I can get to the table, and I'm not talented enough to juggle my laptop, jacket, and knapsack while trying to remove my shoes at the same time. If you want me to do all that crap sooner, get a longer f#@%ing table and stop riding my ass over something that takes me 20 seconds ONCE I GET TO THE TABLE.
And here I am in Seattle where I can post my entry and then sit around for four hours while I wait for my final flight home. Extended layovers suck ass.
Posted on Monday, February 5th, 2007
Last night as I was killing time before my flight home, I came to the conclusion that the vending machines offered better dining options than any of the restaurants at the airport. Once I had decided on a bottle of Gatorade and a bag of Cheddar Chex Mix, I wandered around looking for a quiet spot to eat dinner. Eventually I found a deserted area and did my best to disappear. It was nice and peaceful for about 5 minutes... but then some guy sat down around the corner to make a call on his mobile phone... apparently unaware that I was there.
Not that I was trying to listen in on his conversation or anything, but I did get the gist of what was going on... the poor bastard got dumped by his girlfriend just before he flew to Seattle to visit his parents.
He had just landed and was calling up his now-ex-girlfriend in an effort to win her back. From the fifteen-minute call that ensued, I gathered it was a futile effort. Despite professing his undying love and devotion, she was unmoved. Their relationship was now over.
Needless to say, the guy was devastated. Having been there myself, I could totally relate.
And now he had to put on a brave face and go meet his parents for dinner with a broken heart. The thought of it still haunts me, so when everything that could go wrong did go wrong on my first day back, I tried not to let it get me down.
Because somewhere in Seattle, somebody is having a much worse day than I am.
Posted on Tuesday, February 6th, 2007
Oh that's just swell... my internet connection is freaking out again. I think it must have something to do with the cheap-ass router they gave me when I signed up for DSL, because even a power-down and reset doesn't fix things. I wonder how much that's going to cost to replace?
As I sit here like an internet junkie without his broadband smack, I contemplate putting away my MacBook and unpacking my suitcase full of dirty clothes before it starts to smell. But I've got a full bottle of Febreeze under the sink, so I decide to wait for the weekend. Hopefully nothing comes alive in there in the next four days.
Instead I think I'll draw monkeys with guns...
Monkeys with guns are funny.
Unless, of course, you happen to be anywhere in the vicinity when they are firing them off. Something tells me that monkeys would tend to be a bit irresponsible with guns.
Posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2007
This is probably one of the worst days ever, even though I got a new router and have internet access again.
For reasons I won't dwell on, it became necessary for me to have access to Microsoft Windows Vista. My POS Dell PC (which imploded a few months back) didn't seem to want to install it, so I was left with the option of either buying a new Windows machine, or installing Vista on my Mac (something I swore I would never do). Since time was of the essence, and the idea of having to buy a new PC filled me with dread, I decided to just bite the bullet and defile my Mac with Microsoft's latest abomination of an OS...
I used a Mac program called "Parallels" which allows you to run Windows right along with Mac applications on the same screen. It's not the best Windows experience, but it is the most convenient. It allows you to start up Windows and shut it down almost instantly, which is pretty slick. Windows apps even appear in your Dock...
This does nothing to make me feel better about running the Windows OS on my beautiful Mac, however. I just feel so... unclean. Kind of like I need to drink a bottle of Scotch to forget or something.
Anyway, I've put a superficial review of Vista in an extended entry. In summary, it sucks ass. If you want the details as to why I feel that way, feel free to read onward.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2007
I just knew that no good could come from installing Microsoft Windows Vista. It has set off a chain of events that will certainly lead to catastrophic death and destruction for the entire planet.
And the reason I know this is true is because I just got off the phone with the Coca-Cola bottling company of Northern California to verify that Coke with Lime has been discontinued here on the West Coast. You can still buy the diet shit, but the regular stuff is no longer available.
F#@%ING COCA-COLA BASTARDS!! Get people addicted to your shit, then take it away! I hate it when that happens!
Why, it seems like just yesterday that I discovered the joys of Coke with Lime...
And Mooselet led me to discover the sweet asses of the Coke with Lime Girls...
And I found out just how much better life is with a little lime in it...
Now that it's gone, I hope that I don't end up selling myself on the street for a taste of that sweet, oh so sweet, nectar of the gods...
I'm probably going to have to start smoking crack now in order to ween myself off of my Coke with Lime habit. Thanks a lot Coke f#@%ers! Crack is expensive, and I've got bills to pay!
Crap! I can only guess that my installing Microsoft Windows Vista will cause Golden Oreos to be discontinued next. Followed by U-NO candy bars. And those Cottonelle pre-moistened ass-wipes I like so much (wiping my ass will never be fun again!).
I WILL AVENGE YOU MY COKE WITH LIME!!
Clearly, Microsoft must be destroyed.
Oh great, I just got a call telling me that there is a safety recall notice for my motorcycle.
WTF?? I wonder what's going to happen next?
UPDATE: Well I guess I got my answer... Anna Nicole Smith DEAD after staying at my beloved Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Posted on Friday, February 9th, 2007
Will somebody please give me a couple million dollars so I can stop working and travel the earth?
Because this morning I woke up and realized that I have never been to South America and started freaking out. Will I ever get to see Rio de Janeiro's Cristo Redentor before I die? Or the ruins at Machu Picchu? The Galapagos Islands? Iguazu Falls? Angel Falls? Or even Isla Margarita? I think that I would be very disappointed in whatever afterlife awaits if I didn't at least visit Lake Titicaca. Because when hanging out with your deceased friends, I'd imagine nothing would be a better conversation-starter than "Yeah, I did Titicaca."
Perhaps I am being greedy though. I've been lucky enough to have seen more of this planet than many people ever will. Shouldn't I be satisfied with that much?
Being the greedy bastard that I am, I'm fairly certain the answer is "no." Because no matter how much I see and do, there's always someplace new to explore...
And really, when I stop and think about it, South America is only the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot of holes on my map that need filling in. A lot of places that I would like to visit. A lot of new friends to make. A lot of life to experience.
Of course, it's entirely possible that I'm just freaking out because I woke up and discovered I was out of clean underwear. I ended up wearing swimming trunks under my pants today, and I'm pretty sure this can mess with your head.
But if somebody still wants to give me a couple million dollars, that would be great.
Posted on Saturday, February 10th, 2007
Wow. I just got back from watching Guillermo del Toro's motion picture masterpiece, Pan's Labyrinth. I already knew he was genius from his works on Hellboy and The Devil's Backbone... but this film exceeded even my loftiest expectations. It somehow manages to seamlessly blend a brutal reality with fantasy in a way that doesn't totally suck. If you can stomach the violence (and don't mind subtitles), it's definitely worth a look.
Taking place in Spain during World War II, Pan's Labyrinth is a little girl's attempt to escape the horrors of war to a fantasy realm that has perils of its own. Along the way she meets some interesting friends and even more interesting adversaries...
About the only negative was having to see the film in a theater filled with idiots which included...
Whatever happened to the good old days when you went to the movies, sat down, shut the f#@% up, and watched the film?
Speaking of "the good old days" — I find it amazing how the "remastered" special effects they're sneaking into the original Star Trek series has reinvigorated the show. I just finished watching a remastered The Doomsday Machine, and it was pretty sweet! The originals could always hold their own against any of the crappy Trek spin-offs that followed, but now they're at a whole new level of greatness. And, unlike George Lucas shitting all over the Star Wars trilogy, the people working on Star Trek are actually respecting the source material. The stories and spirit remain unchanged... the show just looks fresher.
If only we could do the same for Jennifer Love Hewitt's freaky bangs on the first season of The Ghost Whisperer.
Posted on Sunday, February 11th, 2007
A long Sunday trying to get caught up with work AND get my laundry washed. The bad news is that this wasn't a very relaxing weekend. The good news is that I have plenty enough clean underwear to last me a while.
• Grammy Stupidity... I tuned into the Grammys this year so I could see The Police reunion (which was amazing, as expected) and there's an American Idol-type contest going on. Why? Why do they do this stupid crap? If it takes gimmicky stuff like this to get people to watch the Grammys, then don't bother broadcasting them anymore. I mean, sheesh, isn't THE MUSIC enough without having to resort to "reality television" bullshit? I guess since The Police were the opening act, I can just skip the rest of this joke of an awards show and read who won in the morning.
• New Kitty... I've been beta-testing version 3 of the bestest computer solitaire card game ever... Kitty Spangles Solitaire! Now out of beta, Swoop Software has upped the game count from 18 to 32, which is pretty sweet. About the only thing I don't like is the new font they're using on the cards, which I find more difficult to read than the older version, but it's still a terrific time-killer app that everybody should have on their Mac. I wrote about Kitty here (and butchered her pet pig Ferdiham here). You can get your own copy for just $19.95 here.
• HP Insanity... For the past five months, I've been fighting with Hewlett Packard to return a box of frickin' paper their web site sold me that was mistakenly listed as working on my printer (which it didn't). Well, finally, after sending emails to everybody I could find at HP, a reply was sent from the company president telling me that they would pass my complaint on to the proper person. Having heard it all before, I was ready to give up... but lo and behold, somebody did contact me. They apologized for the problem, then sent me a box of the correct paper. And so, while I have no plans of ever buying anything from HP again after how I was treated, it is nice to know that EVENTUALLY they did the right thing (even if it wasted hours of my time to get it to happen).
• Lime Hoarding... Ever since learning that the dumbasses at Coca-Cola Bottling for the West Coast have decided to discontinue my beloved Coke with Lime, I've been stockpiling the stuff. I think I have enough to last me a few months now. Hopefully by the time I've run out, I'll have found a way to make my own. I've ordered seven different varieties of lime flavoring, and have my fingers crossed that one of them will do the trick.
• Back it up... Just a quick plea to everybody who thinks that data loss can't happen to them... you're wrong. In my 25 years of using personal computers, I've never experience catastrophic failure until the hard drive in my new MacBook Pro died a horrible death (taking all my files with it). Fortunately, I maintain weekly backups of all my data, and was able to recover pretty much everything. When I think of all the precious data I could have lost... all my music... all my travel photos... all my drawings... well, it's a real testicle-shriveling experience. If you don't back-up, start. If you do back-up, make sure it's kept current.
And, on that note, I'm off to fold my freshly-laundered wardrobe before I pass out. Or maybe I'll be passing out on top of my freshly-laundered wardrobe since it's all stacked on my bed. Either way, I'm too tired to brush my teeth. I wonder if I just suck on a Tic-Tac and scrape my teeth with a fingernail if that's the same thing?
Posted on Monday, February 12th, 2007
Today I got lambasted by a friend because I am not watching Lost and Heroes.
"HOW CAN YOU NOT BE WATCHING THE TWO COOLEST SHOWS ON TELEVISION?!? she screamed at me. "OMG! THEY ARE BOTH GETTING SOOOOOOOO GOOD JUST NOW!"
Yeah, well I had fallen for that before, and swore never again, so I decided to ask a few questions about Lost...
Uh huh. No thanks. If this were truly a GOOD show (like Veronica Mars) then most of the questions would have been answered by now, and they would be moving on to newer, more interesting mysteries. I have no desire to be strung along by lazy writers who can't figure this out. We're half-way through Season 3 and monkeys are more likely to fly out of my ass than anything getting resolved on Lost any time soon...
And for Heroes, it's even easier...
Well there you go. Heroes is just plodding along with boring-ass "B-characters" like "Mirror Girl" and "Mind-Reader Guy" while everybody with interesting powers just sit around talking about boring shit. Forget it. Until somebody gets the money to make a REAL super-hero show where people who can fly ACTUALLY F#@%ING FLY and shit... it's just not worth my time. I'll read a comic book WHERE STUFF ACTUALLY HAPPENS if I want to see heroes.
Anyway... I've taken an alphabet meme from 511 and slapped it in an extended entry, because it's probably more interesting than watching an episode of non-Heroes tonight...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Tuesday, February 13th, 2007
People don't take the time to listen anymore. There are simply too many distractions in this modern world for them to concentrate on what other people say.
A prime example of this was provided to me in the parking lot of Office Depot this afternoon. As I was exiting the store, I notice a man and a woman unloading the car parked next to mine. The man said "Have you got the keys?" The woman replied "No, they're on the seat." The man then slammed the door anyway, thus locking them out. This got him the Stare of Death from the woman, to which he could only reply "What?"
And the problem only seems to get worse with each new generation.
It's for this reason that I am dreading being a speaker on "Career Day" at the local high school this Friday...
I used to do this fairly often for local schools, but then I was ignored for the past four years. I had guessed it was because the teachers finally figured out that I was the last person who should be advising today's youth on their future. Apparently they either forgot this, or somebody new was put in charge, so here I am again.
The very first time I spoke at Career Day, I dressed up in a nice suit and tie and was all professional and stuff. After my presentation, the first question I got was "What do you like best about your job?" I then realized that the best part of my job was that I didn't have to wear a suit and tie. Oops. But subsequent Career Days got easier and easier for me, and I never minded showing up when asked. If nothing else, it allowed me to dispel the illusion that graphic designers have an easy job because they just sit around drawing pictures all day (yeah, if only).
The problem is that very few of the kids that show up to learn about being a graphic designer have any interest in graphic design. They're only there because teachers force them to choose four careers to investigate, and "graphic designer" sounds less boring than say, ohhhh... "accountant" (with apologies to any accountants out there, because I'm sure it's a fascinating career to those who like being creative with numbers all day... something that terrifies me).
But the hardest part is knowing that most of the kids who show up that are interested in graphic design probably don't have the talent to be successful at it. This is because most working graphic artists are commercial artists, which is a freaky kind of mind-set to try to work within. Being consistently creative under pressure in a way that sells is not always as easy as it sounds.
So, given all that, why do I bother volunteering to speak at Career Day?
Because there might be one or two kids who have the desire, talent, and ambition to actually be a good graphic designer one day. Maybe something I have to say will be helpful to them.
If only they choose to listen.
Posted on Wednesday, February 14th, 2007
Ah yes, another Valentine's Day.
Even if I didn't know this from looking at a calendar or cruising the blogosphere, I would probably be able to guess because of the search referrals showing up in my blog stats. For the past couple of days I've been hammered by people searching for "romance" and "love" and such.
One of the more popular entries returned is from a meme question I answered back in May 2005...
How would somebody go about winning your heart? Don't try to change me. Don't lie to me. Don't make me be the one to always decide what to do. Don't smoke. Don't expect me to read your mind. Don't smother me. Don't buy me stuffed animals. Don't obsess over my every move. Don't demand to know what I've been doing every moment of every day. Don't ask me to like your friends that don't like me. Don't ask me to forgive you for making out with your ex-boyfriend because "nothing happened." Don't get upset when I don't feel like going shopping. Don't be cruel. Don't play mind-games. Don't think you can't talk to me about it. Don't get mad at me for something without letting me know why. Don't go to bed angry. Don't think I don't care. Or, if all else fails, iron my shirt and buy me a beer.
Yeah, I know... I know... I'm a total romantic. But that pales in comparison to the heart-warming story I answered for another meme back in September of 2004...
What's the most romantic gesture someone's made to you? A girl I was dating completely disarmed me once when she gave me new shoelaces. Yes, shoelaces. I was flying out on a trip, and she stopped to see me off on her way to work. After giving me a goodbye kiss, she handed me a package of shoelaces with a bow on top. She had noticed that my laces were a little "mangy," and thought I should have a new pair for my trip. The fact that she paid attention to such a tiny detail in my life really meant a lot to me. No other romantic gesture has ever come close.
Awwwww... a pity she ended up going psycho on me because, other than the feeling that she was going to kill me in my sleep one night, she was a keeper. And, on that happy note, here is this year's Valentine Card from me to you...
Uhhh... you'll have to forgive Bad Monkey. He's been kicked in the teeth by love one too many times.
Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day. My cards from the three previous years are in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Thursday, February 15th, 2007
A couple years ago when they were electing a new Pope, I decided it would be a good idea to sign up for the position. It seemed like a sweet career move and, if nothing else, I thought it would be cool to drive around in the Popemobile and pick up women.
I don't know if you heard, but I didn't get the job. The Catholic Church instead decided to go with somebody who has a little more religious experience (as in 78 years old experience). This is a darn shame, because I think I would look most excellent in that Pope hat...
Well, today I discovered yet another reason that I really need to get that job the next time around... as Pope, you have the ability to render a decision as infallible. According to a Wikipedia entry I found, Popes rarely exercise this privilege. It is an extremely uncommon event, and one that the Pope (and the Church) take very seriously.
This would not be the case if I were Pope.
If I were Pope, ALL OF MY DECISIONS WOULD BE RENDERED AS INFALLIBLE!
Maybe it's because I'm a certified genius, but I think it's more likely because I am never wrong*. I have a track record of being infallible already, so why not take the logical next step?
It would also be incredibly handy for those times that people argue with me for no reason other that to be irritating. As Pope, I would simply decree my decision INFALLIBLE and that would be the end of it. No more arguing. No more drama. No more wasted time. Just the bliss that comes from being inarguably correct in every way, all the time.
In the event that (heaven forbid) a new opening becomes available, I'll be sending my resume off to The Vatican tomorrow.
* Misunderstood, perhaps, but never actually wrong.
Posted on Friday, February 16th, 2007
Despite the fact that I have to teach classes and speak publicly from time to time, I don't consider myself to be very good at it. It's one of those things I would probably avoid at all costs if it were an option. But showing up for career day at my graduating high school seemed like the least I could do, so I bit the bullet, slapped on a name-tag, and off I went.
As expected, it seemed as if only a handful of the students who showed up had any real interest in graphic design, and I doubt my presentation was going to win any converts. I can barely explain what I do in 15 minutes, let alone answer questions or offer advice. To compensate, I had hand-outs to give away that would (hopefully) tell everybody what they needed to know for filling out their mandatory questionnaires...
Anyway, I was anticipating a major disaster because, well, it's me we're talking about here... but the audience was attentive and thoroughly nice throughout the entire ordeal, so it was relatively painless.
I mean, hey, I didn't get shot at, wet myself, puke, or die, so I guess that's about the best I can hope for...
Still, going back to my high school is a strange experience.
Mostly because I have mixed feelings on having served time there. The best I can say about high school is that my experience was "average." I didn't love it. I didn't hate it. It was something I had to do and so I got through it the best I could. Sure I had friends, participated in extra-curicular activities, and somehow managed to get good grades... but 90% of your time is spent in class, and I always found the classes to be incredibly boring.
Being a computer geek back in the early 80's didn't help much. Personal Computers were so new that most people didn't know what to make of them. I was just another one of those freaky nerds who liked sitting in front of a glowing green screen at the library all day long punching buttons. And, despite what college recruitment ads like this say...
...girls only dig "guys that code" if the guy in question A) Is a millionaire, B) Looks like a Greek god, or C) Has an 11-inch penis (and is preferably possessing a combination of all three).
Setting aside my own massive penis-size for a moment, I'd have to say that there is no "little known secret" in the fact that the hottest girl in school is far more likely to be dating the captain of the football team instead of some geeky nerd who likes computers.
They may have changed the carpet and the paint on the walls of my old high school, but I'm fairly certain this universal truth still holds.
Posted on Saturday, February 17th, 2007
Yesterday I was at the library to drop off some videos when I saw a children's book titled Airport by Byron Barton. "Wow" I said to myself, they did a book adaptation of the movie Airport for kids? That's pretty f#@%ed up! There's no better way to terrify children about flying than to tell them a story about a plane bombing!
But when I picked up the book, I saw that it wasn't a movie adaptation of Airport after all. Instead it's a book to tell kids what happens when you go on a plane trip... standing in line for tickets... boarding the plane... how to buckle your seatbelt... and all that stuff. I thought that was a pretty cool way to prepare a child for their first airplane ride.
It was cute and everything, but I think that it was pretty sanitized. There's a lot of stuff that was left out, and it got me to thinking that perhaps I should write my own children's book about the reality of air travel...
A pity that I'm already half-way through illustrating my first children's book, because this is a kick-ass idea. Oh well, on the bright side I've already got an idea for my second book.
Sigh. I wish there were books like this when I was a kid.
Posted on Sunday, February 18th, 2007
• Lost is Lost... This morning I awoke to find a couple of emails from people pointing me to a story in The Washington Post about how Lost has plummeted in the television ratings and may be facing cancelation. I could try to act surprised, but what's the point? The show sucks ass. It was a brilliant concept that started out as a lot of fun, then disintegrated into boredom when the writers were either too stupid or too lazy to try and come up with cool new mysteries, choosing instead to drag out the same old shit... FOREVER. I mean, holy crap... I was pointing out this problem ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO, and I'm not even in television! Are the people running the show on crack? It's like a lesson in what NOT to do, where everybody sees the wreck coming except the people driving the bus. Next up... Heroes! Or will they learn from Lost's mistakes in time?
• Best Breakfast Ever... Snack-Pack Chocolate Pudding, five Golden Oreo cookies, and a glass of chocolate milk.
• Spirit of Vengeance... One of the cooler comic book creations, Ghost Rider, has finally been given the movie treatment starring long-time comic fan Nicholas Cage. And here's the thing... despite the shitty reviews, I enjoyed this film. Cage totally had a handle on the character, injecting humor where appropriate and not taking the role too seriously. The special effects were kick-ass. The story was entertaining. But, most importantly, there was enough action to keep things moving and the film was fairly faithful to the comics. What's not to love? It amazes me that reviewers are going to a movie about a flaming skeleton riding a motorcycle thinking it will be about something else, then are disappointed to find out it actually IS about a flaming skeleton riding a motorcycle. Well, duh. It's not supposed to be Shakespeare, it's just a cheesy popcorn flick. Taking it for what it is, I found it brilliant, and will be buying it on DVD.
• Not-So-Daily Show... Whilst clearing old shows off my TiVo, I ran across the October 26th, 2006 episode of The Daily Show which I've saved because it is one of my all-time favorites. Remembering that The Daily Show can be purchased at the iTunes Music Store, I thought I would just buy the episode so I could free up some space on my TiVo box. Well, it was a good plan, except that you can only purchase the last 8 episodes and nothing before that. WHY? I would think that one of the benefits of selling shows online is that you have a library of archived shows to offer for sale. Both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have segments and guests that demand future exploration... why not offer them? Once again I am put in a position where my only option is to acquire the show "unofficially" — not by choice, but by stupid circumstance.
• Un-Trekable... Speaking of the iTunes Music Store... I was thrilled that the new "re-mastered" episodes of the original (i.e. "real") Star Trek were being offered for sale. Now, for reasons unknown, Paramount has withdrawn them. Which means last week's brilliant update of The Doomsday Machine and this week's beautiful tweaks to the classic Amok Time are nowhere to be found. WTF?!? So here I am, again, perfectly willing to pay money to get something I want, yet my only option is to hope somebody has uploaded it to BitTorrent. Oh well, T'Pring is a total bitch hottie at $1.99 or $0.00, so it's all the same to me. The only loser here is Paramount. Dumbasses. They will, of course, blame internet piracy for lost profits when it's their own stupid asses who are refusing to take my money.
• Six Meme... After avoiding the "Six Weird Things About You Meme" like the plague, Kyle descended like the Black Death and infected me with it. So here goes... 1) I don't like coffee or coffee-flavored products, which I don't think is weird, but others sure do. 2) I am perfectly happy watching the same movies over and over again... I've seen such films as EuroTrip, The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Fifth Element, and Bedazzled dozens of times. 3) I have written exactly one fan letter in my entire life... it was to 80's Atari Computer game programmer Tom Hudson, and I still have his kind reply stuffed in a box somewhere. 4) My love of all things Betty White is not a joke... I really do think she kicks ass, and am a huge fan. 5) I am a total comic book geek, and own over 12,000 of them. 6) Weirdest of all? I write in my blog every day and this is the one-thousand-six-hundred-and-thirty-fifth time I've done so. FINI) I'm breaking the rules by not tagging six people now, but I don't tag.
Three weeks until TequilaCon...
Posted on Monday, February 19th, 2007
I am a total mayonnaise whore.
I will put mayo on anything. I heap it on French fries. I pour it on sandwiches. I drench my potato salad. I cover my vegetables. Whatever. Sometimes I think the only reason that I eat veggie burgers is so that I have an excuse to dump obscene amounts of mayonnaise on them. I'd probably eat it straight out of the jar if I wouldn't die from the massive amount of fat it would introduce into my system.
The only thing I don't eat mayonnaise on is a VBLTCC. Whenever I eat a VBLTCC (Veggie Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Cheddar Cheese sandwich on toast) I use Miracle Whip. Don't ask me why.
Because I use Miracle Whip so rarely, a small jar lasts me a very long time. The stuff usually expires before I have a chance to eat it all up. When my previous jar of Miracle Whip expired, I bought a new jar and found that it wasn't the same... it kind of soaked into the toast or something. I figured it was probably just a bad jar, but didn't toss it out since I don't use it very often. Well, that jar recently expired, so I purchased a new one. Then today I go to make myself a VBLTCC and find out my new Miracle Whip also melts into the toast and sucks ass. Refusing to believe that I got yet another bad jar, I decided to Google it...
The primary ingredient is no longer oil, it's water. WATER!!
WTF?!? No wonder the crap falls apart and soaks into my toast, IT'S BECAUSE THE SHIT IS MADE OUT OF WATER!! How incredibly stupid. If they want to cut corners to save money, that's fine... but call it something other than Miracle Whip, BECAUSE IT'S NOT MIRACLE WHIP ANYMORE!
This kind of idiotic crap drives me insane. Did they learn nothing from the "New Coke" fiasco?" Oh well, the original REAL Miracle Whip recipe is available at Top Secret Recipes (for free!), so I guess I'll have to start making my own.
Miracle Whip bastards.
Posted on Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
I hate to sound like a broken record, but mobile phone idiocy is getting completely out of hand.
There was a time when people at least tried to be discreet and polite when talking on their mobile, but most of them just don't give a crap now-a-days. These idiots talk at FULL VOLUME while discussing stuff nobody wants to hear. Even worse, they seem to have absolutely no qualms about screaming profanity or discussing intimate details of their life. It's as if they think nobody around them can hear what they're saying, and I don't know why that is.
Today I was treated to some moron laughing it up while screaching "SHIT YEAH!" over and over again as he yelled into his Bluetooth headset... WHILE STANDING IN LINE FOR LUNCH... WITH CHILDREN PRESENT!
It's times like this that I wish I carried a baseball bat with me at all times...
Why? Why? Why would somebody act like this? And I'm not talking about me smashing somebody in the face with a baseball bat... I know why I would act like this. I'm asking why somebody thinks it's okay to scream profanity in a public place just because they're talking on their phone. Why does having a phone stuck in your ear suddenly make this okay? If the phone wasn't there it wouldn't be okay... would it?
Maybe from now on when I see such a serious breach of etiquette, I'll commit a breach of etiquette of my own.
Like farting in their face or something...
Sure it's smelly, but it's a lot more convenient than carrying a baseball bat around all day.
Posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
"Well aren't you a whiny little bitch in your blog lately" she says in a tone of distaste.
Nothing like having a friend ring you up first thing in the morning so she can call you names... "Ooh look! Mayonnaise! You are whining about m-a-y-o-n-n-a-i-s-e now!" she cries, drawing out the word "mayonnaise" to an impressive 30 seconds. I act quickly to defend myself, but to dubious effect: "Uhhh... actually, I'm whining about Miracle Whip... see, they changed the recipe and it's melting into my toast..." I hear a huff of disgust followed by "Oh? Miracle Whip? Well that makes a BIG difference!" I then envision her eyes rolling so far back into her head that they get stuck there. "Maybe you shouldn't read my blog anymore, because whining is what I DO there," I offer helpfully. But she doesn't hear me... "HA! HA! The monkey is smuggling heroin up his ass?! HA! HAAAAAAA! Where do you come up with this stuff?"
Having friends and family reading your blog is a mixed bag.On one hand, when I'm traveling or doing something interesting, everybody can see what's going on in my life without having to ask. In many ways, this is why I started blogging in the first place... it's easier than having to send a bunch of emails that all say the same thing, or having the same telephone conversation over and over. It also has the benefit of giving me a record of what I was doing two years ago (driving from Birmingham to Nashville with stops at the Hard Rock Cafes in Nashville and Gatlinburg) or even just two months ago (puking my guts out), which is kind of nifty.
On the other hand, much of what I write in my blog is stuff that I would never bore somebody with in "real life," so it can be confusing to people who know me (and even more perplexing to those who don't, I'm sure).
Such is the hazard of blogging from a small town where nothing very exciting ever happens, and all you do each day is work. You end up whining about a lot of little things (like Miracle Whip) because there's nothing else going on. I've toyed with the idea of only writing when I have something interesting to say, but what's the point of having a blog with only ten entries per year?
It makes me jealous of bloggers who live fabulous lives in the big city, because they almost never post an entry featuring a cartoon monkey smuggling heroin up his ass (and, when they do, it's bound to be much more entertaining and better-drawn than what you'll find here).
Which puts me in kind of a dilemma...
Since today was yet another boring day, should I talk about Britney Spears' continuing melt-down? Or how awesome and surprising Veronica Mars was last night? Or about that scary video of Anna Nicole Smith in clown makeup talking to a doll? Or maybe I should blog about the world's tiniest prematurely-born baby getting to go home?
I'm sure any of those topics would make for a most excellent blog entry.
But I'd much rather whine about people who over-fill their gas tanks and spill petrol all over the place. Don't you just want to roll them around in the spill until they've mopped it all up and then set them on fire? Because I am getting really sick and tired of getting out of my car to fill up, stepping in a puddle of gasoline, then having to smell it all day long. I've spent the latter half of my afternoon debating as to whether the fumes I've been inhaling are better or worse than the smell of the men's public toilet at an outdoor concert during the middle of 110-degree summer heat after two hundred drunken guys urinate on every available surface. Since I loathe both smells equally, you can see what a challenge this is for me.
Except now that I've gotten that off my chest, I feel a little better.
Isn't whining about your life what blogs are for?
Posted on Thursday, February 22nd, 2007
I must be doing something right, because the volume of hate-mail I've been getting lately is five times what it was a year ago (I started keeping count after the Scary Clown Incident of 2004). February isn't even over yet, and I'm at a record-breaking 14 hateful emails/comments for the month! I always try to respond to people who have the balls to sign their name and give a valid email address... but all the anonymous crap is deleted with such speed that one could say it never existed at all (except as a tally-mark on my hate-mail count sheet). And since 90% of the stuff is from anonymous pussies who actually think I give a crap, hate-mail and hate-comments are never much trouble.
I suppose I should be crying on the inside, but my inner-child seems to be sleeping at the moment.
I wonder how much trouble I can get into today?
I am blessed with teeth that are naturally white. Since I don't drink coffee, don't smoke, and brush them three times daily, they tend to stay that way. And when I say "white" I don't mean "literally white" because they are actually teeth-colored which, in fact, is kind of an off-white color. But ever since I switched to the delicious Crest Whitening Expressions Cinnamon toothpaste, I've noticed that my teeth have been getting even whiter (whoa... the shit actually works!). They're now more white than off-white, and I am quite pleased about that.
Unfortunately, I have an addictive personality and never seem to be content when something better is on the horizon.
Having mostly-white teeth simply isn't good enough anymore. I find myself secretly wanting brilliant-white teeth...
When I smile, I want anybody not wearing sunglasses to be temporarily blinded.
So when Crest sends me a $7.00 coupon offer that can be applied to a box of Crest White Strips, it's like offering a crack-addict a vial of cocaine. I clicked that link faster than Britney checks out of rehab, and have my credit card ready.
At least until I find out that the retail cost of a box of White Strips is $39.99, which means my desire for brilliant-white teeth requires an investment of $32.99... PLUS TAX!
Holy crap! For that kind of money I can buy the biggest Maglite flashlight they make (for temporarily blinding people), and still have money left over for a couple bags of Golden Oreos! I don't mean to sound cheap or anything, but $35 for whiter teeth? Maybe if my teeth were brown this would seem like a bargain, but I can't fathom paying $35 when my teeth are already mostly-white. I guess that I'll keep brushing with my whitening toothpaste and hope for the best.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Friday, February 23rd, 2007
Why is it that crazy crap always seems to happen on my birthday each year? Sometimes it's a good thing... the first version of MacOS X was released on March 24 back in 2001, for example. But usually it's bizarre crap like a fish-painting festival* back in 2000, or the Jonesboro Massacre back in 1998, or the Exon Valdez oil spill back in 1989. Not the best birthday material.
Today I find out that this year, March 24, 2007, it's going to be INTERNATIONAL SHUTDOWN DAY. The idea is that this will be a global experiment to determine whether or not people can cope without computers for just one day. They ask you to "shut down your computer and find out!"...
To which I reply "go frak yourself."
Seriously. What kind of stupid-ass shit is this? The entire world is run by computers now-a-days. Are air-traffic controllers supposed to shutdown their computers for the day to see if airline pilots can "cope" with crashing into each other? Do hospitals shut down the computers controlling heart monitors and crap to see if patients can "cope" with going into cardiac arrest? Even if they are just talking about shutting off your personal computer for the day, what is this going to prove? Could I go a day without my computer? Of course I could. Would I ever want to? No. What would be the point? To find out how many people can manage to be computer-free without going insane? Who cares?
I mean, I suppose I could spend my birthday getting drunk off my ass so I wouldn't care about turning on my computer, but it would be kind of rude to ignore the thousands of birthday wishes emailed to me that day. Besides, some of my best blogging is done when I am drunk off my ass, and I can't imagine denying my millions of fans such a treat. It happens all too rarely.
This year it's "International Shutdown Day" — what's next? International Don't Eat Tacos Day? International Don't Flush The Toilet Day? International Eat With Your Feet Day? Who comes up with this stupid crap, and why does it always seem to happen on my birthday?
I feel very strongly that March 24 should instead be "International No Stupid Shit Day"... in perpetuity... so I never have to face this ridiculous dumbassery on my birthday ever again...
That would be the best birthday present ever!
Of course, the one benefit to not turning on your computer for a day would be that you don't have to hear about stuff like "International Shutdown Day." Maybe I've acted too quickly here...
*At first I thought it might be kind of cool to have a painting created by a fish from the fish-painting festival. You'd take a fish, dip him in water-soluable, non-toxic paint, then let him flop around on the canvas to create art. After he had created something suitably interesting, you'd wash off the fish and release him back into the wild. Unfortunately, this is not quite what the organizers had in mind. They were quite adamant that the fish used to create the art would be DEAD. Oddly enough, you do not paint ON the fish as the name implies, but instead use a dead fish to paint WITH. Why anybody would want to do this is beyond my ability to fathom, however.
Posted on Saturday, February 24th, 2007
After two weeks of relatively sane weather, I had packed away my gloves and coat in anticipation of Spring's imminent arrival.
Given that five inches of snow decided to drop this morning, I can see that this was a stupid move. And, as if that weren't scary enough, the killer geese decided to pay a visit as well. I think the snow only made them more angry than usual, because around twenty of them were honking around the building for an hour or so... presumably out for blood. Fortunately, they left before I had to go to the movie theater (Kapgar was totally right, Breach was a pretty good flick... AND it had Jaye in it!).
In other news, here is me sitting on a pile of money...
Apparently, this is what some people think my life is like after I started blogging. I received another email today asking me about all the money I'm making off of Blogography, and what my secret is to being a successful blogger. Like last time, I remain dumbfounded as to how people could think that I get any money from doing this when I don't have advertisers or membership fees. I guess the money is just supposed to fall from the sky or something.
So as not to disappoint those people who think of me as some kind of millionaire blogger, would y'all mind sending me a couple thousand dollars? I think if everybody pitches in, I can start living the fabulous and excessive lifestyle that is expected of me. That would be great, thanks.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, February 25th, 2007
It's Bullet Sunday on Oscar night!
And while I am not a big fan of the Oscars (they never seem to award the proper films), I am a huge fan of movies, so here we go with the big four...
• Best Picture... Who should win: Little Miss Sunshine. Who will probably win: The Departed. Martin Scorsese, who has done some amazing work, will probably be given the statue for The Departed as a gimmee for being passed-over all these years... even though I don't think it is the best picture this year. I honestly feel that every other film nominated is more deserving to win, with Little Miss Sunshine topping my list.
• Best Director... Who should win: Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima. Who will probably win: Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima. This astounding film had some incredible artistic choices in direction that nobody can deny... Clint totally deserves to win for his hauntingly beautiful picture, and undoubtedly will. No other direction on a film comes close.
• Best Actor... Who should win: Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson. Who will probably win: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland. I am sure that Forest Whitaker turned in a wonderful performance as Idi Amin (I haven't seen the movie yet), but I find it impossible to believe that anybody topped Ryan Gosling's mind-blowing performance in Half Nelson. I had mixed feelings on the film, but there's no denying Gosling's brilliance in it. As an aside here, if I could pick ANYBODY to win this award, and not just a nominee, it would be Ken Watanabe for his work in Letters From Iwo Jima. This actor puts more into every amazing performance than any other actor I know, and this role was no difference. It's pretty criminal that he wasn't nominated.
• Best Actress... Who should win: Helen Mirren, The Queen. Who will probably win: Helen Mirren, The Queen. Probably the best performance in a movie this year. She WAS The Queen in this film, and humanized a very real person in a way that few actors could have managed. I would be shocked if she doesn't win.
And now, I have about six hours of work to do yet tonight, so I'll be signing off. If you hear screaming, it's because Pan's Labyrinth didn't win Best Foreign Language Film...
Posted on Monday, February 26th, 2007
I don't know what happened.
Last night when I went to bed, everything was okay. It had been a good weekend. All the various problems that had been thrown my way during the week had been handled. I was... dare I say it... "happy" with the world and my place in it. None of the dread that usually overwhelms me on Sunday nights could be detected. When my head hit the pillow, a rare sense of optimism had settled into the core of my being and all was right in my world.
Then I woke up.
I am used to everything going wrong on a Monday and having to dig my way out. I can handle that. But I quickly found out this morning that "everything" is a relative term, and there is a certain level of "everything" that simply cannot be dealt with. Overwhelmed with one horrific dilemma after another, I was assaulted on all fronts. My telephone. My mobile phone. My work phone. My email. My mailbox. My car. My work. My life.
The entire universe decided to rain shit down on me for some unknown reason.
I don't know what I did to deserve it. I can only guess that this is some kind of retribution for going to bed happy on a Sunday night.
It's at times like this that I feel the need to develop a line of T-shirts to explain my life in a way that can be easily understood. Since I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in being shitted on at one time or another, I can only guess that this is my ticket to making a million dollars. My advertising campaign would feature myself wearing T-shirts with various slogans while standing in a pool of some kind of unsavory substance... like urine or raw sewage or toxic waste or something...
Things can, of course, always get worse. It's as if the laws of physics demand it. There's probably some Einsteinian theorem floating around describing how once you start sliding in shit, you will continue to slide in shit until you land in a big pile of it.
The question then remains... is today my "pile" or am I still sliding towards it?
Posted on Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
It would seem that I'm not quite finished with being karma's bitch yet, because the horror show that is my life lately continues. I just got off the phone with somebody I don't even know who has apparently made it their mission in life to irritate me as much as possible. This leads me to wonder... since dumbasses like this seem to serve no useful purpose, shouldn't Darwinian evolutionary theory dictate that they should be become extinct? And, if you don't believe in Darwin, and instead believe in some kind of divine architect, isn't the creation of dumbasses a waste of materials?
No matter what your belief structure, the existence of dumbasses simply makes no sense. Yet they're everywhere and their numbers are growing. Even worse, they're getting even more stupid. It's getting so bad that I'm almost thinking that I need to release one of my Dumbass Books so that those idiots who aspire to be a dumbass have a place to start...
As an example, since complex thoughts like "drive right - pass left" are simply too difficult for a prospective dumbass to grasp, I'd fill the book with handy flowcharts to explain the process...
Such a chart, naturally, would be preceded with 40 illustrated pages explaining what a "passing lane" is, because I understand how some dumbasses might get confused about such things if they are driving down a one-lane road or, heaven forbid, they try to look for a passing lane at a McDonalds drive-through or while parked or something. Dumbass books work because they assume nothing.
In an valiant struggle to cling to anything good that might be happening in my life, I was very happy to get a thank-you letter from a soldier who got one of my care packages for AnySoldier.com. I never expect this (let's face it, they've got a lot more important things on their mind), but it's always a real treat when it happens...
Yeah. I don't care how bad of a day your having, getting something like this in the mail is an amazing experience. I think I must have read through it a dozen times, because it has such a wonderful way of putting things in perspective. Sure my life may be shit, but this guy is stuck in the middle of Baghdad feeling lucky just to live another day. It's not like anything I've got going on can really compare to that.
As the end of the month approaches, I've already got most of the items for my next round of care packages to send. If you are able to help out, here's all you need to know.
And who knows what tomorrow will bring...
Posted on Wednesday, February 28th, 2007
After two days of life beating the crap out of me, today there was finally daylight... both figuratively and literally (so THAT'S what the sun looks like!).
The good news is that I no longer want to microwave my head. The bad news is that the events of the past two days will take weeks... perhaps months... to resolve. I'm a fairly private person, so I won't be going into details, but suffice to say that absolutely everything that could possibly go wrong in all aspects of my life decided to happen over the course of 48 hours. It was like experiencing TWO seasons of "24" but without the benefit of having Jack Bauer around to kick some ass. Just a lot of things around me going terribly wrong and shit exploding every fifteen minutes.
One thing I will say is that I have come to really, really hate my car.
If I was any sort of wealthy, I would crash my car into a gas station so it would become soaked with gasoline, toss a lighted match on top so I could watch it burn, then throw a massive party where everybody could hold hands and sing songs while urinating on the smoldering remains. Once the auto was thoroughly destroyed, we'd watch Elizabeth Hurley's masterpiece Bedazzled on a big-screen TV and eat chocolate cake...
Amazing-looking chocolate cake recipe can be found at Southern Living Magazine.
Because it's not really a celebration unless there's chocolate cake at the end.
In other news, "massive penis" has entered my top-ten search referrals for 2007 despite the fact that it appeared only 12 days ago in my blog. Helpful hint for blog traffic whores: nothing will service your needs better than a massive penis. This does present a dilemma, however, because I don't know what the female equivalent should be. I would hate for it to appear that my blog is sexist, and want to be sure that filthy Google Search Results at Blogography aren't gender-biased. I'm leaning towards "tasty vagina" but think it might be difficult to work that into a popular blog entry without supplemental video of some kind.
Not that I'm unwilling to try, mind you.