Can I just say that Criss Angel kicked total ass in his guest spot on the episode CSI New York from last night? The guy is a decent magician to begin with, but who knew he could act as well? His emotionally disturbed character of Luke Blade was no easy role to play, and he managed it beautifully. Good episode. Perfect casting.
As more and more of our lives ends up on the internet, there's more and more ways to put yourself there. I've always thought that a daily update on my blog is enough, but then a service called "Twitter" comes along that allows you to put continuous updates about your life on the internet all day long. Despite an occasional trip somewhere, most of my life is pretty boring, and would end up looking something like this...
I don't know why anybody would want to read something like that, so my Twitter account goes unused. Since you can update from your mobile phone, I keep thinking that maybe I'll Twitter one of my trips or something. Travel is mostly mundane torture for me, but maybe somebody would find it interesting?
Another internet invention is a service called "Facebook" which is a kind of social-networking site. It started out for college students to maintain contacts and stuff, but eventually opened up to everybody. Once you join up, you can invite others to join and be on your friends list. Karl from Secondhand Tryptophan invited me to be his friend, and now he appears when I login...
Today I logged into Facebook for some reason, and noticed that I'm being asked how I know Karl. I click on him to answer, and a box comes up with a list of options. When I read through the list, I don't see an option for "Blogging Buddies" so I thought I'd select "Through Facebook" instead. After I checked the box, a little menu popped up asking me what kind of Facebook friend Karl was to me...
POKE BUDDIES?!? What the hell kind of stuff is going on at FaceBook? I mean, I like Karl and all... and look forward to meeting him in person and stuff... but this is a bit more intimate of a relationship than I'm ready for. I decided to go for something less dramatic and select "We hooked up" instead, but figured Karl would probably delete me for something like that. Ultimately, I just selected "Met randomly" and was able to hand-type "Blogging Buddies" which is what I was looking for all along...
Interestingly enough, Facebook won't take my word for it that Karl and I are Blogging Buddies. Instead, they are going to ask Karl for confirmation. Am I really so untrusting?
Even more interesting... I now have an option to "Poke Karl!" (with exclamation point!). WTF? I must be missing something here, so I go to the Help Center to try and figure out what all this poking is about. Here is what I found out...
What is a poke?
We have about as much of an idea as you do. We thought it would be fun to make a feature that had no real purpose and to see what happens from there. So mess around with it, because you're not getting an explanation from us.
Holy crap! If the people who created the poking don't know and won't tell... what the heck are Facebook users supposed to think? "Mess around with it?" What if I poke Karl and he explodes? And what the heck is going to happen when somebody pokes ME?!?
If you don't hear anything from me tomorrow, it's probably because Karl poked me and I exploded.
Eyes... won't... stay... open.
It occurred to me as I approached my 16th hour of work today that I need a new line of work. Preferably a career that doesn't exceed an eight-hour work day... with a three hour-work day being optimal.
Perhaps being absolute ruler of a small country might be a good job for me...
I'm thinking a typical day would include making sweet love to super-models, watching television, playing video-games, partying with foreign heads of state, walking amongst my adoring subjects, and dedicating statues, libraries, museums, buildings, and other stuff that has been named in my honor. And in-between all that I'd make time to fly off to exotic locations and visit foreign leaders so they could bask in my presence (and give me cool presents).
Sure being the exalted ruler of all I survey would be a 24-hour job, but I'd manage somehow. Probably by delegating all the boring stuff to my lackeys.
Hmmm... I have 287 blog entries stacked-up in my webfeed reader, and around 40 emails to read. That wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have at least another two hours of work ahead of me (and eight hours of television on my TiVo).
I wonder how I go about getting a lackey to read my blogs and reply to my emails for me. Is that something you can get on eBay?
Thanks to everybody who sent me e-cards and kind notes over Elizabeth Hurley's wedding today. Thirty-six of you were nice enough to send your condolences, which was a bit unexpected (that's more people than usually comment on an entry!).
In an act of sublime selflessness, I wish nothing but the best for the happy couple. If Elizabeth Hurley is happy, then I'm happy... I love her that much. I mean, it's not like I am wishing for a building to fall on her new husband or anything. I'm sure he's a terrific guy, and I'm glad she found him. I suppose I could sit around hoping that Arun Nayar gets attacked by a pack of wild hyenas, but what would be the point? Elixabeth Hurley has made her choice (misguided as it may be) and I will just have to live with it. Best of luck to the happy couple!
Okay, maybe I don't wish "the best" for them... that's a little much. But I do wish that good things come their way. Just because Elizabeth Hurley decided to marry a guy who is not me doesn't mean that she should be cursed with unhappiness the rest of her life. Does it? Maybe he's not perfect or anything, but he seems nice. So good luck you two!
Alright, you got me. Being completely honest here, wishing "good things" for Liz and Arun is probably a stretch. How about I just send happy thoughts with no well-wishing at all? Sure Elizabeth Hurley just made the biggest mistake of her life, but it's not really her fault. If she had ever met me, she would realize that I was the perfect guy for her... but since she had the misfortune to never even know I exist, well, it's hardly appropriate for me to be wishing Arun fall down a well or something. That would just be wrong. He doesn't seem like the nicest of guys, but I'm sure he's not too bad.
Okay... okay... okay... sending "happy thoughts" is probably going too far. Because doesn't Arun Nayar look like a total bastard? I've never met him or anything, but doesn't he just seem completely wrong for her? He's probably a puppy-kicker. Yep, I'll bet when he sees a puppy he kicks it as hard as he can just because he likes it. And the perfection that is Elizabeth Hurley just married him in an unholy union that will wreck havoc throughout the known universe. Why should I wish anything "happy" for their marriage when there's nothing happy about it? We're all doomed.
OMG! What has she done? RUN LIZ! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! YOU JUST MARRIED A PUPPY-KICKING ASSHOLE!! Oh the humanity! I suppose I'll just have to hope that Liz manages to break free of Arun Nayar's evil spell before something horrible happens... like her sleeping with him. Oh! Oh! Oh! That would be just terrible! Like the worst day ever! Is it too much to hope that Elton John has a gun in his purse and will destroy the Ultimate Evil that calls himself "Arun" before the incomparable Elizabeth Hurley is lost to the world forever?
Gee... I hope that nothing happens to the plane that is taking Elizabeth Hurley and her new husband to India. It would be just terrible if it crashed and Arun were to perish while Elizabeth Hurley were to miraculously escape completely unharmed. Yeah, let's all hope that doesn't happen.
Speaking of pure evil on earth...
I finally got to sleep around 2:30am. Most of my work was finished, and I simply couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. So guess who decided to come calling three hours later and wake me up? That's right. THE EVIL GEESE FROM HELL ARE BACK AGAIN!
Just look at the cheeky bastards all honking and riled up! Clearly minions of the devil.
And to make the entire situation even more scary, their numbers keep increasing. At first there were a dozen... then around 26... then about 40... NOW THERE ARE 67! SIXTY-SEVEN!! And I realize people think I am exaggerating here, but I'm not. There were so many of them that I had to take a panorama of seven pictures and then stitch them together so that all of the little bastards would fit into the shot...
Click on the image to enlarge. WARNING! May frighten small children!
(you will have to scroll to see the whole thing)
Between Elizabeth Hurley getting married and the startling increase in the goose population, can the Apocalypse be far behind? I'm telling you, geese are going to take over the world.
I, for one, welcome our new geese overlords.
Back to work...
Unexpected travel plans have decided to invade my Sunday.
Ordinarily, this would be a good thing, because I could vent all my frustrations about air travel and have them neatly aligned in bullet points. But I don't feel like writing that, let along reading it, so perhaps it's time for Bullet Stories instead of Bullet Points? I dunno... maybe it's being stuck in a hotel room with nothing good on television that's making me all sentimental.
• The Brutality Reality.
Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm the kind of guy who likes to solve his problems with violence. The kind of brute-force, don't-bother-me-or-I'll-kill-you kind of man who simply refuses to put up with the stupidity of others.
When the people ahead of me in line for airport security don't bother to read the dozen signs telling them to remove any liquids and have their ID ready, I bitch-slap their stupid asses and push my way through. When the man sitting behind me on the plane won't shut up and keeps bumping my seat, I turn around and punch him in the face. When a bitch tries to cut in front of me as we disembark the aircraft, I kick her rude ass to the floor then walk over the top of her. When some sandwich-eating hippie keeps dropping sprouts onto the floor at baggage claim, I push his face to the floor and make him lick it up, then laugh as he runs off crying with a bloody nose. When my luggage doesn't show up for 30 minutes and then appears on the wrong carousel, I climb through the luggage corridor and start beating random people with my suitcase. As I strut out of the airport, I'm secure in the knowledge that I am a total bad-ass who doesn't take shit from anybody...
...at least until I put on some lip balm to protect myself from those chaffing Chicago winds and call my mommy to let her know that I have arrived safely. Suddenly reality comes crashing down as I'm crying about how I'm tired and my tummy aches and people are mean and I couldn't find my suitcase and I wish I were home in bed. But then mommy tells me everything is going to be okay now, at which time I can go back to pretending I'm one tough bastard again.
• Flexible for Money.
When you were a kid, do you remember when you dropped a coin that rolled under the table how you didn't even think about what to do... you simply threw yourself to the ground and went crawling after your money? It didn't matter if it was just a nickel or even a penny, you chased after that shit.
And now, as you grow older, do you notice how the value of the dropped coin you're willing to chase after keeps getting bigger and bigger? At one point you stopped crawling after pennies because, after all, it was just a penny. Soon after, nickels weren't worth bending over for. In no time at all, dimes are more trouble than they're worth. With age comes the realization that the time, effort, and energy required to retrieve dropped money requires careful calculation. Is the quarter that just fell out of your pocket worth the risk of straining your back while bending over to pick it up? What can you get with a quarter now-a-days anyway?
Today I dropped a dollar bill while pulling my iPod out of my pocket. As I stood there watching my money gently tumbling down the sidewalk in the breeze, it then occurred to me that I must be an old man now because I had no desire to go after it. Then suddenly, in a desperate bid to reclaim my childhood, I went chasing after my dollar. Just as I bent over to pick it up, my $180 Oakley sunglasses (one of those ridiculously expensive purchases you try not to regret) fell out of my jacket pocket and got a nice scratch on the lens. Standing there with a dollar in one hand and my ruined sunglasses in the other, I threw the dollar bill into the air and walked away having learned a valuable lesson.
Sometimes you've just got to tell your inner-child to go fuck themselves.
• The Mac Club.
It used to be that traveling with a Macintosh PowerBook put you into an elite club. You see another Mac user sitting across the aisle and would share a smirk of superiority that instantly bonded you with a total stranger. Your Mac made you special, and it was something only another Mac user could appreciate. These moments of brotherhood were a rare event to be treasured, and being a member of The Mac Club made you a better person (if only in your own mind).
Except now Macs are everywhere. As you sit in the airport looking around, nearly half of the computers have that familiar glowing Apple logo staring back at you. The Mac Club's power came from its exclusivity, and those days are fading fast. Despite your joy at the Mac's new-found popularity, you aren't feeling as special as you once did.
But then you turn on your PowerBook, see that a few people have left comments on your blog, and suddenly find yourself feeling more special than a silly old machine could ever make you feel.
• A Real Conversation.
It occurred to me this afternoon as I was ordering my veggie burger at Johnny Rockets, that talking to my waiter was about the only conversation I've had all day. I checked in for my flight this morning at a self-service kiosk. I arrived at my hotel for check-in and got my room key from another kiosk. I got my cash from an ATM. I set up my appointments via a website. I bought my CTA train pass at yet another kiosk. I traveled 2/3 the distance of these continental United States and my only interaction with a human all day was to say "I'll have a Coke please" to the cabin steward on the plane. After dinner I went to see the movie Norbit, purchased my theater ticket from still another self-service kiosk, and proceeded to get more than a little depressed about it all. People simply don't interact with each other much anymore.
At the end of the night I decided to take an expensive taxi back to my airport hotel instead of a cheap (but long) ride on the Blue Line. Thinking I'd try to put a halt to the world's effort at insulating me from humanity, I struck up a conversation with my cab driver. As the discussion goes on, I am so thrilled to be talking to somebody... to really be talking to somebody... that I almost had him circle the airport a few times before dropping me at the hotel.
With more gratitude than he can know, I hand over my fare and a generous tip to the driver. I wish him a good night and, unlike so many times I've said it to strangers, this time I really mean it.
I didn't get any sleep last night, so after my morning meeting I decided to catch up on some shut-eyet back at the hotel. This was a pipe dream, however, because housekeeping service was ramming their noisy vacuum into every wall, door, and piece of furniture on my floor.
Eventually I gave up on sleep and decided to head into the city.
Fortunately, it was another beautiful day in Chicago, with blue skies (tempered by freezing winds). This was a nice follow-up to the weather last night when the skies were clear, and the full moon looked amazing hanging over the river...
I hadn't been to The Shedd Aquarium in ages, and decided to pay a visit. After the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan in Japan, it's one of my most favorite fishy places...
But The Shedd offers plenty more than just fish. My most-beloved creatures on earth are lizards and frogs, which are nicely represented in various exhibits...
I also like snakes, and there were some exotic species hanging out at The Shedd, like these two guys who look like they're sleeping in a tree...
They also have otters, seals, a beluga whale, and even a penguins exhibit...
The theming of the various exhibits is lush and fun to look at, but the stars of the show are definitely the creatures who inhabit the place. My favorite this time around was a cool frog who was just chilling out in the water and watching people walk by...
After blowing over two hours at the aquarium, I decided to get some new footwear. My last four pairs of shoes were bought at NikeTown Chicago, so I didn't think there was any reason to break that tradition for my new pair. Fortunately, they had the shoes I wanted, and all I had to do was wait for them to be brought up. While I was waiting, a woman and her high school-aged son came wandering by. The son was interested in a limited edition pair of Nike GOLD Air Force One shoes. They come with 24k gold-plated tips on the laces, and a gold-plated belt-buckle and keychain to match...
I wouldn't wear them, but the kid wanted them. Even once he found out that they carried a $2000 price tag.
And here's the kicker... HE BOUGHT THEM!
The mother's question was "what you want with a pair of $2000 shoes? That's a mortgage payment! But it's your money, so I'm just going to sit down over here and be quiet while you spend it."
MY question would have been "where the f#@% does a high school student get $2000 to spend on shoes?"
Once I had purchased my far, far cheaper shoes, I met up with some friends who drove down from Kenosha to have dinner with me and wander down the Magnificent Mile for a while. I ate entirely too much, so now I'm taking some Pepto Bismol and going to bed.
And thus ends my last day in the Windy City.
Now that I think about it, I really should have went back and bought a pair of $2000 gold-plated shoes so I could be all cool at TequilaCon. Of course, that would just ensure that they would get soaked in beer or puked on, so maybe it's for the best I didn't.
For the past couple of weeks I've been occupying what precious little free time I have by working on my book. It's been over a year since I stopped writing Daveology, and I could never seem to get back in the writing habit. After parting ways with my publisher, my enthusiasm for the project had slowly dwindled to zero, and nothing ever inspired me to take it up again. There's also the drama involved in finding a new editor I can work with. As you have no doubt surmised from reading my crap at Blogography, having a strong editor will be essential for anything I might publish. Sure people are willing to ignore my weak sentence structure and total misuse of punctuation when they are reading for free, but something tells me they will expect all the various grammar bits to be in their proper places if they have to pay for it.
When I was originally approached about turning my blog into a series of books I had no interest in attempting it. A previous movie project (based on a comic book treatment I drafted) had nearly destroyed me. Sure it started out great, but after eighteen months and a dozen trips to L.A., all I got out of the deal was heartache and disappointment. And a fat paycheck. But when you put your heart into something, the money can't wholly compensate for the desolation you feel once everything has turned to shit. With this in mind, the idea of going through it all over again for a book deal with no fat paycheck didn't seem worth it. Much like being very protective of your testicles after having been smacked in the balls by a shampoo bottle, my creative heart is guarded.
But eventually I was convinced to give it a try. I guess this means I'm not very good at guarding things. Which is why you should never ask me to keep an eye on your stuff while you go to the bathroom. Not only will it probably end up missing, but I won't be very apologetic about having screwed up. You should have known better.
The outline for the book project seemed simple enough: repackage and expand my favorite entries with a narrative thread. But after a month of back-and-forth, it became apparent that my publisher and I had very different ideas as to how the book should take shape. They didn't want the cartoons, photos, and illustrations, just the words. This didn't make any sense to me because I'm not a very good writer... to me the cartoons, photos, and illustrations ARE Blogography. Eventually a compromise was reached, but it was just the first in a series of many concessions I'd have to make. Finally seeing the Big Picture as to how things would end up, I wanted out. If I couldn't create the book I wanted, I didn't want to create a book at all. Fortunately, my soon-to-be ex-publisher liked me well enough to end things amicably, which was pretty swell. Had I been in their position, I would have shown up in person to collect the advance money, then kicked my ass.
And that was the end of that. But with a third of Daveology completed, it seemed a shame to let all those weeks of hard work sit on a shelf. Unlike the failed movie project, I harbored an illusion that something could still come of it one day, even if I had to self-publish. I didn't care about making any money, I just didn't want my time to have been wasted. But, like so many things in my life, this ambition soon faded as more interesting projects (i.e. those that paid money) came calling.
Then I woke up one morning around Valentine's Day and suddenly decided I wanted to try writing again. True to form, I didn't start until a week later, but the decision had been made. Whether this new-found compulsion will last long enough to actually finish the book, I have no idea. I'm fickle that way.
In the meanwhile, I blunder onward in an attempt to fill the pages of a book that may never see the light of day.
This morning I started a new chapter which begins thusly:
Do you know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you're pouring a can of Coke into a glass and the foam starts to rise up? That utterly helpless feeling when you suspect that you've poured too much soda too quickly and don't know if the Coke is going to overflow and make a mess or settle back down into the glass? That's the feeling I get at the moment I realize sex is in my immediate future.
When I'm pouring a Coke for myself, there's nothing to be nervous about because nobody is watching (at least I certainly hope not) and I can make a mess free from judgement. But it's an entirely different situation when I'm pouring that same Coke in front of an audience.
Most of the time I'm able to channel this nervous energy and put it to good use. Everything works out okay, the glass is filled to mutual satisfaction, and everybody walks away a winner (have a Coke and a smile!). But sometimes things don't go as planned, everything ends up a mess, and all you get for your embarrassment is a sticky residue that never seems to disappear off the kitchen counter entirely.
This is a grossly unfair situation because, by comparison, women have it easy. All they have to do is decide if they want to have that Coke in the first place, then leave the pouring to some poor bastard looking for a caffeine fix. Fortunately for them, men are born with a caffeine deficiency and always happy to serve up a glass. The insanity of it all is enough to make me want to drink straight from the can, but I'm just not that flexible.
...and so on.
As you can see, the book is a bit more personal than my blog ever gets. Apparently my writing is not quite so private when I know people are going to pay money for it. Well, except those cheap bastards who borrow a copy from the library.
Alrighty then! One hour until my connecting flight home, and boy am I thirsty. I think I'll go guzzle a bottle of Coke and try not to think of what that implies.
"Dude! I didn't know you were writing a book! Am I in it?"
Getting a call from Bad Robert is always an adventure because you never know what's going to be on his mind. Was his poop a funny color this morning and he's just dying to tell somebody? Did he discover a new curse word that he needs to try out on a friend? Has his Super Deluxe Girlfriend finally come to her senses, realized that Robert will never change, and moved out? You just never know.
"Oh yes, absolutely you're in it." I said. "Why? Do you not want to be in it?"
"No, that's cool," Robert said almost in a whisper. "Nah, I was just wondering what you're going to say."
This was a bit puzzling to me, as Robert is not the kind of guy to care about stuff like this. Whenever I've asked if he minds being written about in my blog, he's always blown it off as no big deal. But maybe Robert feels being mentioned in a blog is different than appearing in print, and I'm suddenly hesitant to mention that not only is he in the book, but there's an entire chapter devoted to him. I don't get to see Robert very often, but he's had a huge impact on my life. I can't imagine him not appearing in Daveology, because the stories are just too good.
"How about I promise to send you anything I write about you, and you can tell me if I can put it in the book," I say.
"Oh yeah! That would be great!" Robert says, his relief audible.
So last night I emailed him an outline of his chapter, then attached the stuff I had already written. Just in case anybody is interested, I've reprinted the first part of our Las Vegas adventure, where we've just passed through airport security at Seattle and I've headed off to use the restroom...
Completely ignoring the unwritten rule that dictates you should leave an empty urinal between yourself and any guy already peeing (if possible), Robert trotted up to the urinal next to mine and set about his business. This was a bit unnerving, but I was able to cope by amusing myself with the entertainment at hand. But since the only thing in my hand at that moment was my penis, my options were limited. I would have looked around for something else to distract me from this uncomfortable situation, but there was nothing else in my viewing angle except other men and their penises. Since amusing myself with my own penis or watching other guys using theirs is frowned upon in any public restroom outside of Los Angeles, I instead decided to concentrate on my shiny white urinal, noting how its manufacturer, American Standard, became Nacirema Dradnats when spelled backwards. But just as I was thinking how “Nacirema” kind of sounded like “Macarena,” and how I haven’t heard that song in a while, the inevitable happened.
“Holy shit!” Robert exclaimed at full volume. “Dude! There’s a pube on top of the urinal!”
Before leaving on our trip, I had worried about the strange things that seem to happen whenever Robert is around. He’s like a magnet for trouble and weird happenings, and going to a city like Las Vegas with such a person is bound to be somewhat problematic. I had consoled myself by thinking my past experiences of hanging out with Robert would prepare me to deal with any situation that might occur. What I didn’t expect was having to deal with a situation while my dick was hanging out of my trousers.
Mortified beyond my ability to express, I tried to concentrate on more pressing matters and pretend I didn’t know this deranged man peeing next to me. But such efforts are futile when Robert is involved.
“How does a pube get on top of the urinal?” Robert said, transfixed by the errant pubic hair. “Did a 10-foot giant pee here?”
“Uhhhhhhhh...” I stammered uselessly, “I guess so.”
“Well that doesn’t make any sense!” he shouted. “Because wouldn’t a giant have giant pubes? This one is normal sized.”
At this point I was considering whether I should continue to stand there urinating while an entire restroom of guys stared at us, or zipping up and peeing my pants so I could flee. In my mind both options were equally embarrassing.
“Look at it! Just look at it!” Robert cried, his face getting closer and closer to the object of his newfound obsession.
Using all the force I could muster, I managed to expel the remaining contents of my bladder in record time. Unconcerned as to what damage this might have done to my urinary tract, I practically ran to the sink so I could wash up and escape.
“Dude, this is seriously fucked up!” Robert shouted over his shoulder, ignoring the stares of guys desperately trying not to stare in a place where staring can get you in serious trouble. “Where’s your camera?”
Sweat pouring down my forehead, I exited the bathroom with my hands trembling. We were only twenty minutes into a three-day trip and I was already a nervous wreck. With an hour left until we boarded the plane, I quickly began calculating how much alcohol I could consume in the time available. The only way I was going to survive this weekend was if I were drunk or Robert were sedated.
Then this morning I get another call... "Did you read it?" I ask.
"Yeah. Yeah. But where is the time we nearly got beaten up by that trucker at McDonalds? That was pretty funny! You should put that in there too. Oh! And what about my cat? How come my cat isn't in the book? Oooh! Don't forget about the Skittles! You've got to tell the time about the Skittles!"
So I guess Robert doesn't have a problem being in the book. It would seem his only problem is that the book isn't entirely about him.
Last night I was flipping though channels and landed on the CW Network which was airing a "Pussycat Dolls: The Search for a New Pussy" reality show. I kept watching expecting to see hottie potential Pussies shaking their asses in some kind of competition... but instead was treated to a girl blowing chunks in the toilet. WTF? If I wanted this kind of action, I'd go buy a Girls Gone Wild video where I could see me some nudity with my puking!
Blargh. I miss Veronica Mars already (which is on hiatus until sometime in April).
Back on Sunday when I was in Chicago all bored and alone in my hotel room, Hilly (whom I love more than chocolate pudding) was kind enough to "keep me company" via email as I hammered away on my blog entry for the day. Eventually our conversation turned to the upcoming TequilaCon this weekend, and how much we were looking forward to the event. Though my trip is not coming together exactly as I had planned, I am still excited that I can go...
This got me to thinking about all the bloggers I've met in person, and how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to do so. While meeting bloggers in real-life has never been a disappointment, it has always been different. That's what makes everything so much fun...
That's The Kennedy School Bar and Hotel in northern Portland. If I sense your essence, I'll be sure to give you a astral high-five and buy you an out-of-body drink. But please don't drink and astrally-project home! You're more than welcome to crash your higher being in my room so long as you behave yourself (no spirit-fingering my ass in the middle of the night).
Hmmm... I should probably get some more sleep this morning so I'll have the energy to pack a suitcase after work tonight. I wonder how many pair of underwear I'll be needing for the weekend? I think I'll pack a dozen just to be safe.
With an hour before my connecting flight to Portland, I decide to grab something to eat. Wandering down the D Concourse of SeaTac, I spot a bagel shop and decide that sounds like a great lunch. I was, of course, wrong. While the "bagel" was bread-like and had a hole in the middle, it could hardly be called a bagel. For the millionth time I wonder why shit like this can legally be called a bagel when, in fact, it is not. There are no bagels outside of New York City.
After choking down as much of my "bagel" as I can manage, I'm off to find a restroom. I don't actually have to go, but figure I would go anyway as a precautionary measure. The last thing I want to do is walk up to Hilly in Portland all Forrest Gump-like and have my first words be "I gots tuh go pee."
Today is pre-TequilaCon craziness with the actual event happening tomorrow.
And that's all I gots to say about that.
Because it's 1:00am and tomorrow I want pancakes.
Today is the day!
TeuilaCon 2007 started off early yesterday when I met Karl and Hilly at the airport for the 10-minute drive to The Kennedy School for check-in. There were tentative plans to have a pre-con meet up, so we had dinner and drinks at the restaurant while we waited. It was nice to catch up on old times, but a bit odd when you consider that I had never met either one of them before today... blogger meet-ups are like that.
Once Adena and Stacey arrived, we couldn't find a table anywhere at The Kennedy School (it's a popular place!) so we took a run to the Alameda Brew House not too far away. Then Neil and Sophia showed up for beer and big fun...
Hilly, Sophia, Neil, Karl, Stacey, and Adena at the Alameda Brew House
Then it was time to head back to The Kennedy School where we ran into Dustin (my new roommate) and went hunting for bloggers. After a while of wandering, we found Jenny, Brandon, Jill, Kimberly, Sibyl, and Vahid.
Jenny rocking the official TequilaCon 2007 poster.
This morning we're meeting up for super-fantastic French Toast at The Cadillac Cafe and then heading downtown to Powell City of Books. I'm sure there will be blogging updates as time allows.
TequilaCon 2007 has just ended, and it couldn't have been more amazing. A great bunch of people having fun (sometimes too much fun) and getting to meet the faces behind the blogs. I just knew it was going to be good, but nothing could prepare me for how much fun was to be had. Kudos to the TequilaCon Advisory Committee for their brilliant work this time around, and I can't wait to attend next year's event.
Among the billions of photos taken, here are a few random shots from my camera tonight...
Jenny's annual tattoo parlor was open for business. Mine was pretty bad-ass. "Bad to the Bone - FOREVER" with a skull and cross-bones... it doesn't get much better than that...
The incomparable Hilly and Stunning Ms. Sizzle glamming it up for their adoring fans and paparazzi...
We took a run with Portland's favorite taxi driver to the famous VooDoo Donuts. The trip was made all the more exciting when we found out that COCK-FEST was coming to town...
Our voodoo donut sacrifice to the tequila gods was delicious...
But one of the most interesting attendees for TequilaCon 2007 was the venue itself. The Kennedy School is incredibly cool, despite a number of disturbing images hanging in the hallways...
To everybody who attended, thanks for such a great time. To everybody who could not attend, I hope to see you next time!
Welcome to Bullet Sunday at Blogography, where everybody is bitchy and nobody is getting licked! Oooh... those insider-TequilaCon-jokes are going to be torture for the next week or so...
• Turbulence. I almost think that the constant problems with the flights back home (one cancellation and two delays) were devised by fate so a to spare me from that final hop to Wenatchee. The turbulence was so bad that people were being thrown about... with books, tickets, passports, iPods, and everything else not nailed down being tossed around around the cabin. I rarely get motion sickness, but things were so bad that I thought my stomach was going to leap out of my mouth. After landing, I decided the only thing that sounded good to eat was a Quizno' sub sandwich, but when I got to the restaurant at 6:00, they had just closed. WTF?!? How stupid do you have to be to close early around the dinner hour? Even if there was a reason... like a power failure... the least they could do would be to post a sign as to why they had closed two hours prematurely. Jerks. Oh well, I'm home in one piece, so it's hard to complain too much.
• Ladykiller. Yeah, this photo from Hilly pretty much sums up the "TequilaCon Experience" for me...
Yes, bitches! I am one sexy bastard! Just ask Jenny and Sass...
• Lanyards. To make sure that TequilaConners would be able to spot each other while wandering the halls of The Kennedy School, Jenny and I came up with the idea giving lanyard name badges to everybody. That way, in addition to feeling all superior while walking around in a hotel/bar/restaurant filled with non-believers, attendees would have an easy introduction to each other. A couple of people have written and asked how they can get an official TequilaCon lanyard, and I'm sorry to say the only way to get one is to have shown up. But don't be too sad if you missed your opportunity, you'll have a chance to get one all your own at TequilaCon 2008!
Photo courtesy of Hilly's mad camera skillz.
• Experience. Karl has posted his photos, which resulted in a more terrifying look at my TequilaCon experience...
Dave & Hilly get lanyardized. — Dave and Karl are TequilaCon studs.
Dave makes fun of Dustin's umbrella. — I'm a pretty pretty princess in Hilly's tiara!
Dave gives Hilly a tattoo. — Must moisten tatoo to adhere to skin!
• Powells. While Vahid, Dustin, and I were exploring the massive science fiction section of Powell's City of Books yesterday, the conversation came up about the first science fiction book we had read. I remembered mine was called "Jupiter's Song," or something like that, and Vahid and I set out to find it. After making numerous enquiries with a guy staffing the customer service desk, we came up empty. No "Jupiter's Song." No "Jupiter Effect." No "Jupiter Files." After giving up, we're walking around Powell's when we hear the loudspeaker make an announcement "Would the customer asking about the Jupiter book please see the customer service desk in the Orange Room... we've located the actual title for you." AND THEY DID! After we had left, the guy sat there plugging away trying to find a sci-fi book with "Jupiter" in the title, and had found "The Jupiter Theft" by Donald Moffitt. They didn't have it in stock, but they did have a couple other Moffitt books which I picked up. Amazing customer service, and all the more reason to patronize your local independent book store.
And I'm about ready to fall asleep, so it's off to bed for me. I'm sure more TequilaCon-related madness will be popping up for a few days yet. Sorry about that.
Continuing on with TequilaCon Week here at Blogography...
As Jenny was organizing the massive blowout that was TequilaCon 2007 PACNW, there was one concern that kept popping up in my head. What can you do you to make sure that people don't spend all their time hanging with bloggers they already know, but instead branch out and want to meet everybody? How do you make sure that those people who might be shy around groups or are new to blogging feel welcome, comfortable, and involved? The name badge lanyards were a start, but was there something else I could do to help out?
Having been to a number of Hard Rock Cafe pin collector events, I knew that most of the fun was wandering around trading pins with all the attendees. With this in mind, I decided to put my button machine to good use and make blog buttons. I didn't know everybody showing up... or even if everybody who said they were going to show up would actually be there... but I figured if I picked a dozen bloggers, gave them custom blog pins, and then brought a big bag of eclectic pins for everybody else, maybe it would encourage people to wander around so they could trade. Just maybe attendees would end up talking to more people than they usually would if they were trying to find pins they didn't have. It was worth a shot...
It seemed to work out okay, because everywhere you went TequilaConners were wearing pins on their shirts and had pins stacked on their lanyards...
The problem was that not everybody had custom pins to trade. I feel kind of bad about that, so once Jenny compiles a final list of attendees I'll fix those blog pins I got wrong, add the blog pins I missed, then build a complete set I can send out to those who would like to have them. If Jenny and Brandon end up wanting to do this again next year, hopefully I'll be better organized.
And now for a few of those TequilaCon Moments I never get tired of re-living...
Knowing my love of all things Batman, Karl surprised me with an early birthday present... A BATMAN ALARM CLOCK! It's retro cool and will look superb sitting on my Batman Lego shelf. And, as if the clock weren't enough, Karl also included a battery. The man has class, I'll give him that much (though I will always remain jealous that the bastard looks better rocking Hilly's tiara than I do).
Then, just as I was beginning to think that this was the best TequilaCon ever, Michelle shows up with another present... THE NINJA-POPE LIL' DAVE ACTION FIGURE! This means not only is she Portland's favorite taxi driver, president of the TequilaCon Doughnut Procurement Office, and somebody I love more than my Cinnamon Crest toothpaste, she's also got talent. No photo could ever do justice to the detail that's sculpted into the piece (he's even sporting his Ninja Papal Power Staff!), but he's been added to my toy shelf, right between the starship Enterprise and my Plastic Brain, as you can see here...
Pretty sweet! And if you are not reading This Fare City, you should be. In all seriousness, many of Michelle's stories are better than the rest of our blogs put together.
Alrighty then. Will tomorrow finally see an end to all these TequilaCon entries? Probably not. I've barely touched upon all the goings on from the weekend. TequilaCon was much bigger than anybody could have anticipated, and the aftershocks will be felt for days (if not months) to come!
Continuing on with TequilaCon Week here at Blogography...
While having breakfast the morning of TequilaCon, I spoke about a concept I call "Dave Numbers."
It's kind of a personal ranking scheme that determines your place in this world based on your proximity to the center of the universe (which would be me). In simple terms, I classify my relationship with other people by assigning them numbers. Called Dave Numbers, this classification system is built upon how close others are to me based on certain criteria. The further you are away from me (either physically or by definition), the higher your number...
Here is a sample list of some things that can get you a Dave Number...
If your Dave Number is 0, you ARE Dave (lucky bastard!). Dave Numbers can be negative (e.g. a Dave Number of -1 implies you've had sex or some other very naughty contact with Dave, a -5 means you've performed open-heart surgery on Dave). Some other known number assignments follow. Note how drastically things decline once you get past the point where you don't even know who Dave is...
Base Dave Numbers range from 1-500, whereas 500 is reserved for inanimate objects not capable of being aware of Dave at all (or anything else, for that matter... kind of like a cheese sandwich or Dr. Phil).
Sometimes Dave Numbers are assigned arbitrarily. For example, I have not had sex with Elizabeth Hurley, but she still rates a Dave Number of -1 because I feel her deep inside my soul. Sometimes Dave Numbers are arrived at by averaging. For example, if you have touched me (2) but you drive in the passing lane without passing anybody (220) your Dave Number would be 111 (2+220 divided by 2). This may seem harsh, but your not knowing how to drive properly makes me feel that much more distanced from you. In some rare cases, Dave Numbers are reached through cumulation. For example, if you hate pudding (22), are Jarod the Subway Sandwich Whore (163), and you drive in the passing lane without passing anybody (220), your total Dave Number is 405 (22+163+220). With a number like 405, you might as well not exist.
That's why events like TequilaCon are so special when I am in attendance. Just walking through this door is guaranteed to significantly decrease your Dave Number...
This photo shamelessly stolen from Postmodern Sass.
Since a low Dave Number is highly coveted, I live in constant fear of random people running up and talking to me or sticking their finger in my ear in hopes that their number will go down. One time a guy who wanted the bank to give him a better mortgage interest rate had knocked me down, farted in my face, then ran off declaring that he now had a Dave Number of -2 because I had "breathed in his essence." Unfortunately for him, he didn't realize that his Dave Number actually increased because that -2 had to be averaged with 496 (You cause physical, mental, or spiritual damage to Dave), which resulted in a 247. Not only did the guy not get a better interest rate, but the bank then refused to give him a loan at all, he was fired from his job, his wife left him, and he ended up being forced to live the rest of his life alone in shame. It's sad, but that's the price you pay for having such a high Dave Number.
This is why you should be clearing your calendar for TequilaCon 2008... since I am planning on attending, your happiness in life may very well depend on it.
Continuing on with TequilaCon Week here at Blogography...
Dateline: This past Friday.
"Dude! Three hundred!" is screamed at me as I answer my phone. "THREE-HUNDREHHHHHD!!" Thinking that Robert is playing some kind of Price is Right bidding game with me, I shout back "THREE TWENTY-FIVE!"
"Dude. No, dude. 300 opens this weekend." He is, of course, referring to the bad-ass Frank Miller comic book turned kick-ass movie, which I had completely forgotten about for some reason. It's about 300 Spartans running around half-naked trying to battle an entire army of Persians against overwhelming odds...
"It's TequilaCon this weekend!" says me. "I'm leaving for the airport in a couple of hours."
"Dude, you were serious about that?" Robert says in disbelief.
"Well, yes I was serious about that. What did you think?" (whenever I don't understand what Robert is talking about, I find it helpful to ask point-blank... this seems to save a lot of wasted time and embarrassment).
"You had blogged about astrally projecting yourself or something, so I thought this was just one of those imaginary things..." His voice is kind of trailing off now. He's already mentally running through a list of other people he can call to watch the movie with him. But he must have came up empty, because the next thing I hear is this...
"But what if everybody who shows up at the tequila thing is a douchebag?"
"They're not douchebags! I know these people." I say.
"No you don't. You just read what they tell you. You don't really know them at all."
And there it is.
With the exception of Jenny, I truly don't know who any of these people are. I'm not worried, of course, I have met plenty of other bloggers and always end up having a great time. Sure there might be a few people who get drunk and try to spread peanut butter on my ass (or something equally bizarre), but past experience has taught me that most people who show up at blogger functions are genuinely good people who just want to meet other bloggers.
"There's always a douchebag that shows up. Maybe you'll get lucky and the only douchebag is you." Robert says laughing, just before the line goes dead.
Now that TequilaCon 2007 is over, I'm relieved to say that I did not run into any douchebags. If Robert's theory is correct, this means it was me after all. Sorry everybody!
Continuing on with TequilaCon Week here at Blogography...
On this penultimate day of TequilaCon Week, I had thought I would sit down tonight and blog about the host city to this year's event... Portland, Oregon. Given that one of my best friends had lived there for eight years, I have a number of interesting adventures from my visits to the "City of Roses."
But my beloved Veronica Mars (the best show on television) looks to be cancelled now, so I just don't feel like it.
CW Network fuckers. I'm just dying to know what pile of shit you're going to get to replace Veronica, and will laugh my ass off when it turns out to be yet another CW turd that gets cancelled after three episodes.
If no other television disasters happen between now and tomorrow, I'll finish off TequilaCon Week and start getting ready for Blogography's Blogiversary 4 Celebration next month. Wheee.
This is the conclusion of TequilaCon Week here at Blogography...
Gee, can it really have been a week since I flew off to Portland and the wonders of TequilaCon? Apparently so.
One of the hazards of attending a blogging event packed with talented, clever, interesting people is that you leave with a big pile of new links for your blogroll. This is a happy event if your blog is new and your blogroll is empty. But if you've been blogging four years like I have, odds are your blogroll is already stuffed to overflowing.
Time to move my blogroll to a separate page.
Now I've got room to keep a running tally of all the bloggers I've met, but it seems a shame that I can't promote those many bloggers I enjoy but haven't met on the front page. Looks like it's time to look at finishing up my BloggerPeeps project.
The original idea of BloggerPeeps was to create an "blogger anti-network" and offer a visual directory of bloggers I read. One of my favorite parts of the project was the idea of creating a little "Peep Popper" widget which would randomly cycle through all of the BloggerPeeps members... kind of a compact blogroll with little Peep-Heads that shift in and out...
I built the Peep Popper in Flash so it could do all the nifty things it needed to do, but could never get it to work right. I've made a temporary non-working widget, but still want to find somebody who knows how to program Flash ActionScript so I can have a real one.
In the meanwhile, the BloggerPeeps site is here, and there are already two amazing bloggers listed there from last year (which was when I started this project). To keep things interesting, I'll be adding a new Peep-Head every week.
Okay then... until TequilaCon 2008, I guess that's all she wrote.
As a possible side-effect of the insomnia I've been suffering for the past two decades, I don't dream like "normal" people do. To my knowledge, I never have. Whenever somebody tells me that they had this great dream where they ate chocolate pudding at the Eiffel Tower and then ended up having a sex orgy with a half-dozen movie stars (plus Angeline Jolie) at the Louvre, I just nod my head appreciatively as if I know what they are talking about.
But I don't.
My dreams are very different. For one thing, I always know that I am dreaming because I am never actually in the dream. Instead, I am merely an observer... kind of like watching a movie. For example, if I am having a dream where a naked Elizabeth Hurley is laying in bed reading Batman comics to me as I'm being given a full-body massage by Princess Jasmine from Disney's Aladdin while floating in a cloud castle... it's not really me. It's just somebody who looks like me. In the dream, I'm the one floating outside the window watching it all.
Yeah, dreaming pretty much suck ass for me. The bastard...
So when somebody sends me a meme that's asking about my dreams, I cannot help but be a little depressed.
Because it's not like I can whip out some great dream about the time I went skydiving with Halle Berry and ended up landing in a giant ice cream sundae where we made sweet love on a bed of chocolate fudge brownies while SpongeBob Squarepants dances around blowing bubbles out of the whip cream. That would be cool, but it just doesn't work that way.
Oh well. My feeble attempt at the "Dream Meme" is in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
It's Bullet Sunday with the lights out! Problems with the electrical power have wrecked havoc with my work plans today, so here I am blogging on my laptop where it's safe.
As a side-note, I should mention that I am aware that Blogography has been having problems recently. My web hosting company, Media Temple, has been having serious issues with their new "Grid Server," and being able to access my site or comment on entries has been hit-or-miss as of late. Media Temple is supposedly working on the problem, but these issues have been going on for months now, so I'm not sure how much faith I can put in that. All I can say is "sorry" and please come back later if you're having problems.
• Disappointment! There's a dilemma I like to call "The Reese's Gambit." It hinges on the mysterious Russian-Roulette game you play every time you buy a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup candy bar. Will the peanut butter in the center be deliciously moist and tasty... or will it be all dried-up, powdery, and disgusting? There's no way of knowing, so you just have to buy one and find out what you get. When the center is good, there's very few candy bars I like better than a Reese's. When it's BAD, however, it usually pisses me off so much that I will go months without eating one again. Today, after a suitable three-month mourning period following a crappy Reese's experience, I tried again and got a good one. Yay me. Thinking I'd hit the jackpot, I went running back to the mini-mart to buy more... and was horrified to find that all of them had gross dried-out centers. So now I'm thinking it will be a while before I'm willing to play the Reese's Gambit again. I guess I'll just have to live off the memory of that yummy first Reese's for a while, and that sucks ass.
• Destroyer! I watched Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins on DVD for the hundredth time last night, and wondered for the thousandth time why somebody hasn't made any more movies based on the series of excellent Destroyer books. Sure the original film (starring Fred Ward and Joel Grey) wasn't much of a financial success, and Destroyer fans disliked it because the story didn't follow the books closely enough... but I loved the movie. I still love it. And now that Tor Books is reviving the book line again with a series of "New Destroyer" novels in May, isn't it about time somebody step up and revive the movie franchise as well? The series really has it all... action, drama, intrigue, humor, and some of the most brilliant characters ever written. With the right director and cast, a Destroyer film would kick ass.
• Deception! Back in 1994 there was a radio hit called Touch Me (All Night Long) by Cathy Dennis. The vocals were quite good, Cathy was suitably hot, and it had a sweet Europop electro-beat I liked. After a couple of listens I decided to run down to Hastings so I could buy the CD, which was titled Move to This (I was going on a road trip, and wanted something new to listen to). Imagine my surprise when I found out that the Touch Me song they were playing on the radio was not the same song on the CD. Instead of that kicky Europop beat driving the song, the CD track was all boring and shitty. I have a running joke with my friends about kicking the crap out of Cathy Dennis if I ever see her for betraying me this way. It may have been a dozen years past, but I just can't let it go. And then this morning I check my email to find that my friend Meagan had gifted the crappy song to me on iTunes... presumably as a joke. Well ha ha, the joke's on her because, as I was claiming the song, I noticed that iTunes had the REAL version of the song for sale off of a compilation called 100% Pure Dance. It's a mix that runs a little long, but it has the proper beat and I've been rocking out to it all morning. I think that I am finally... finally able to release my rabid hatred of Cathy Dennis now.
Photo swiped from Virgil LaFerney's EXCELLENT Hard Rock Dallas Page.
• Dallas! I've been meaning to write about the sad closing of the Hard Rock Cafe Dallas since it happened two weeks ago, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. The pet project of Hard Rock co-founder Isaac Tigrett, the Dallas cafe was a special property indeed. Originally a Baptist Church, 13 million dollars was spent renovating the building and creating the cafe, which finally opened on November, 1986 (the fourth Hard Rock in the US and ninth world-wide). There were many features that made this cafe unique in the chain, and the property quickly became one of my favorites when I first visited in July, 2001. Hearing about the closing was painful, and I feel terrible that I didn't manage to get back once I heard they were shutting their doors for good. It's things like this that really have me questioning why I care about the Hard Rock anymore. If the owners can't appreciate the chain's history, why should I? Oh well, at least I got to visit this one before they dumped it... nothing is more frustrating than having a cafe close before I have a chance to visit.
• Downey! How is it that Robert Downey Jr. can steal every movie he's in... even if it is a relatively minor role? Sure Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo were excellent as the driving force behind David Fincher's latest film, Zodiac, but it's Downey who makes the film truly interesting to me. Playing seriously flawed reporter Paul Avery, he just blows everybody else off the screen. Suddenly a film that seems more like a crime reenactment than a cohesive story comes alive because Robert Downey Jr. just sucks you into his character. My only real criticism of this beautifully-shot movie is that it didn't have enough Downey in it. Well, that and the really bad toupee that Anthony Edwards was forced to wear throughout the film. Holy crap did it ever look like a ferret died on his head. Why why why couldn't they have just left his character bald so as not to distract the audience and embarrass the actor?
Oooh... the power is back on again! Guess I'll save my remaining bullets for next Sunday, because it's back to work for me...
Yaknow how you get that feeling in your nose and down your throat just before you're going to catch a cold? It took me a minute to figure out what was happening, because I get maybe one cold every three or four years and forget. Well, today at around 2:15, I got that "feeling." After screaming for a few minutes, I choked down vitamin C in quantities that are equivalent to the Recommended Daily Dosage for a small city, then shoved so much Zicam up my nose that I thought I was going to drown. When this happened a few months ago, it turned out to be nothing. It had better be nothing this time as well, or I might be upset.
Yaknow how you're washing clothes and you've run out of soap, so you put water into the soap bottle and swish it around to make more soap? But you forget to buy a new bottle of soap, so you keep trying to get more soap out of the empty bottle with even more water? Then suddenly you realize that you've been doing this for three wash-loads, and there just isn't anymore soap in that bottle? So then you add dishwasher soap in the hopes that it will be good enough to clean the underwear you so desperately need? Uh huh. Well, I hope I don't have an allergic reaction on my happy bits tomorrow, because that would suck ass.
Yaknow how you're blogging about maybe catching a cold AND possibly having an allergic reaction on your crotch, then realize that tomorrow might not be your day?
Yaknow how you look at your blog stats to make sure that you're not going to run over your bandwidth limit, then happen to notice how almost NOBODY visits your blog on the weekend? And then you start to wonder if perhaps Kevin has the right idea, and maybe you should just start skipping the weekends? Yeah. But I am so undisciplined that if I did start skipping weekends, I'd probably start skipping every day and never blog again. Why do I ever look at my blog stats? No good can ever come of it.
Yaknow how you've been craving taco pizza all day, so you get home and toss a frozen cheese pizza in the oven, then get out the lettuce, the tomatoes, the hot sauce, and grate the cheddar cheese that goes on top? But then you see that the lettuce has gone all brown and squishy, and you don't actually have any tomatoes? But since you've already grated the cheddar cheese and still want that pizza, you decide to just have a pile of cheese on top of your cheese pizza for dinner? This can't be healthy.
Yaknow how you've got a dozen things you want to blog about, but you're tired and don't feel like it so you just stop?
One of the horrible things about having a blog is that you meet new friends who like nothing more than taking up your time and ruining your life. But in a good way. As an example, I met up with Vahid and Dustin for a while at Powell's during TequilaCon, and suddenly I have a list of 20 books I want, but won't have time to read. But I'll end up making the time anyway, hence the "ruining my life" part. It's the same for most bloggers I keep tabs on... they're always recommending a book or movie or food or something cool that I'm dying to see/read/experience, but just don't have time for.
But the worst offender would have to be Avitable. The bastard regularly throws out questions, comments, or recommendations which waste hours and hours of my valuable time. He'll drop a Buffy reference, and suddenly I'm consumed with watching all 144 episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer on DVD. He'll start talking about Warren Ellis' blog, and suddenly I'm clicking over and wasting precious time going through his extensive archives. It's like I'm on remote-control or something. I don't know if it's because Avitable and I have similar interests (scary), because we're on the same mental wavelength (terrifying), or because we are somehow sharing the same brain (explains a lot), but the guy is responsible for more lost time in my life than the next ten people on my list combined.
A few days ago he sends me off an email asking about a few comic titles, wondering if I read them. On the list is Robert Kirkman's Invincible, which happens to be one of the greatest comic books ever. Since I only buy the trade-paperback collections, I haven't read it in a while. For some reason, while trying to fall asleep that night, I'm remembering what a great read Invincible is and pondering why in the heck I haven't looked at it recently. Next thing you know, it's 1:00am and I'm digging through my comic collection trying to find my Invincible trade-paperbacks. Then, because they are so damn amazing, I spend the next five hours reading them until I realize that it's time to get up and get ready for work.
Naturally, I'm practically useless all day while trying to operate on no sleep, which only means I'm that much further behind in my work. Even worse, Avitable has to tell me of another Kirkman creation, The Walking Dead, which he assures me is fantastic. So now on top of ruining an entire day of my life, he's intent on ruining future days as well (since I've just ordered a crap-load of Walking Dead books).
Not content to contain the destruction to myself, I'm spreading the love by adding Robert Kirkman's Invincible to my Dave Approved list. It's fresh. It's funny. It's shocking. It's invincible!
Even if you are not a hard-core comic book geek, this is one book you really need to check out. I'd highly recommend starting out with the Ultimate Collection: Volume One hardcover (which collects the first 13 issues/3 trade-paperbacks). On top of containing some of the best super-hero comics ever printed, it also has the totally mind-blowing issue #11, which reveals one of the biggest plot-twists in comic book history (seriously, I'd stack it against Watchmen any day!). It's Sixth Sense good, and blew my mind so badly that I probably read it a dozen times before I could wrap my head around it.
I remain hopeful that Invincible will be released as a movie one day (I think it was optioned by Paramount last year?), so experiencing the book before the film happens is an absolute must. Even if you don't want to buy it, request it from your local library and prepare to be amazed.
I have abysmal eyesight. Mostly because my vision got very bad, very fast when I was young. The good news is that once my eyesight plummeted to a -6.75, it stayed there and never really got any worse (thankfully, or I would have gone blind years ago). I've been fluctuating between -6.5 and -6.75 for the past 25 years, and seem to be stuck there.
I started out in glasses. But when my eyes reached their apex of badness, I switched to contact lenses because the glasses were just too thick to be comfortable. I had what were commonly referred to as "Coke Bottle Glasses," and hated them. Soft contacts had just come out, and they were fantastic. I felt transformed...
Well, not THAT transformed. I still had years of fashion therapy, braces, and vats of Clearasil before that would happen...
But lately my contacts have been increasingly uncomfortable. Where I used to be able to wear them for days at a time, I'm lucky to make it 9 hours now. I've thought about having that laser surgery where they slice your eyeball open and then zap your vision to perfection, but then you end up with reduced night-vision and problems seeing things close-up. On top of all that, I've got lots of little floaty things in my eye, and laser-zap-o-fix-a-vision might make them noticeably worse.
So now I've come full-circle and will probably end up wearing glasses again.
Getting old sucks ass.
And I'm totally pissed that my optician just laughs at me when I demand a prescription for Retinox 5. Where's Dr. McCoy when you need him?
This morning I woke up woefully behind in my email. As I'm pouring through it all, I quickly notice a bunch of comment notifications on several different entries left by the same guy. This isn't terribly unusual, because every once in a while somebody discovers Blogography for the first time and gets a little excited about leaving feedback. It's actually kind of nice when it happens.
Except this time. The first comment was about how this guy had a blog for a year, but finally gave up on it because nobody was reading. "If I had known I needed to draw cartoons and write nonsense to build an audience, I would have never started in the first place" he said. Things just got stranger from there. Comment #4 was a rant about how "nobody is elevating blogs to their potential for serious discourse" and then "crap like this (i.e. Blogography) should be deleted for clogging up the internet with stupidity." Comment #5 was priceless, because he stopped slamming me and my blog, and decided to turn on my readers (this means you). "Why in the hell are you people wasting your time with this crap?" he ponders. "42 comments about Vanna White on a mattress? Are you all insane or mentally deficient? How many comments would you leave if somebody wrote about cleaning the grout in their bathtub or wiping their ass?"
An aside here... If he had dug a little deeper in the archives, he would have found out that an entry about wiping my ass resulted in 27 comments. I'm still working on that bathtub grout entry.
But it was comment #7 which stole my heart. After blasting away at me, my blog, my readers, my genealogy, Google, The New York Times, a few A-list bloggers (like Dooce, Robert Scoble, & Perez Hilton), and the entire blogosphere in general, he decided to unleash his wrath on... wait for it... Farrah Fawcett??
Yes. You read that right. Farrah...
And no spanking my monkey in front of the Farrah poster!
Don't ask me why. I'm assuming Farrah doesn't have a blog, so maybe she set his computer on fire or something. Let your imagination run wild. All I do know is that Farrah is somehow partially responsible for people not reading the guy's stuff, and he is kind of upset about that.
Usually I delete comments like this and don't mention it, because the last thing I want to do is encourage this kind of behavior. Nasty comments which do nothing to contribute to the conversation simply aren't worth the trouble. If you want to disagree with me (or give me a verbal spanking) for something I've written, then more power to you. I have no problem approving comments like that. But I refuse to waste my time and energy on comment trolls who want a soap box for their wacky crap. They can start their own blog (or, in this case, un-delete their old blog) and leave me out of it.
But the idea of having Farrah Fawcett in one of my blog entries proved too compelling, so here we are. I understand she did very well with her recent medical treatment and is now cancer-free, so way to go Farrah. Maybe now we'll get that original Charlie's Angels reunion people keep talking about.
Anyway, there was no email address or link left with any of the comments, so I guess this is the end of it.
Ironically, if the guy's comments are any indication of what his blog was like, I would so totally have read it.
The ripples from the sensory utopia that was TequilaCon3 PACNW 2007 continue.
First there was TQ3.1 Seattle, whereas Dustin, Karl, and Ms. Sizzle kept the magic going. And last night was TQ3.2 Wenatchee, where Brandon, Shari, and I met up for dinner in the one-time Apple Capital of the World.
I brought a box of Aplets & Cotlets for Brandon (read this to find out why), Brandon brought a bottle of laundry detergent for me (read this to find out why), and Shari brought her entire family (for protection, obviously, which is self-explanatory considering she was meeting up with crazy bastards like Brandon and I).
The bad news is that everything went great, and I have no exciting "Brandon took out a gun and shot up the place" stories to tell. The good news is that we came up with a terrific list of possible locations for TequilaCon4 2008 that we'll be suggesting to Jenny...
Okay, I made up that last one because I've always wanted to visit there, but the remaining four locations actually came up in conversation. There were a number of other cities tossed around, but I forget what they were (Las Vegas maybe?). Naturally I'm pulling for Kansas because I've never been there before.
Hmmm... I'm taking the day off today. I wonder what kind of trouble I can get into?
Oh look, it's my birthday today.
This year I give myself the gift of a day off from writing in my blog...
It would be hard to top last year anyway.
It's Bullet Sunday and I'm another year closer to death!
• Thanks! Well, shucks. Thanks to everybody who was nice enough to leave birthday comments. Thanks to everybody who sent birthday emails and eCards. Thanks to everybody who called and sent birthday text messages. Thanks to everybody who sent me birthday presents and cards. Thanks to everybody who wrote birthday wishes to me in their blog entries. I am so very grateful to everybody, and am most pleased that I seem to have fooled so many people into thinking that I am somehow deserving of such kindness and generosity.
• Behind. The bad thing about goofing off all weekend is that you get behind on email and blog reading. The bad thing about drinking all weekend is that you have no desire whatsoever to get caught up on your email and blog reading once you get back home...
• Panera. Living in a smaller city is kind of sad in that your dining choices are so limited. As an example, there is no place to get Indian food in the entire valley. We have fifty Mexican restaurants, but not one Indian restaurant. We are getting a bit lucky that some of the better chains are making their way to Wenatchee... there's an Applebees and a Red Robin here now (in addition to all the usual fast-food shops). But there are restaurants I really like which have not yet arrived. I'd kill for a Johnny Rockets. I'd love a Chili's. And then there's IHOP, Olive Garden, and TGI Friday's, all of which I would enjoy as dining options. But my latest obsession is Panera Bread. This weekend I was able to eat at their Alderwood location, and had one of the best sandwiches ever... the Panera Mediterranean Veggie which is described as "zesty piquant peppers, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cilantro hummus on our Tomato Basil bread" (I hold the cucumbers). To say it was "delicious" is an understatement of massive proportions. Now I'm going to spend the next month craving another one. In some ways I dread the idea that Wenatchee will ever get these restaurants, because I'd probably weigh 500 pounds from eating at them all the time.
• Manning. Who could have guessed that Peyton Manning would be so good hosting Saturday Night Live? I just wish that they would give the President Bush impersonations back to Will Forte (instead of Jason Sedakis). It's not that Sedakis is bad, it's just that Forte offers a more sympathetic blundering to his parodies which I find funnier...
Photos swiped from WillForte.net
• Done. Argh. I was going to write more bullets about being gifted the latest iTunes episode of Lost, running across somebody whom I thought was dead, planning my first real vacation in 10 years, finding $40 I didn't know I had lost (in a very unlikely place), why aquamarine is a crappy birthstone to have, and a meme about magazines, but it's 11:55pm and five minutes isn't enough time to do any of that. So I guess it will all have to wait for another time. Though I have about 120 blogs to read and 211 emails to look at, so I have no idea when that might be. Probably never. I need to hire a blog ghostwriter or something.
As I was pouring through the hundreds of emails piled in my inbox, Hilly emailed me to ask if I had watched The Simpsons last night, which I had not. After she mentions that Betty White had a cameo, I became obsessed with seeing it. A quick trip to the iTunes Store reveals that episodes aren't sold there, so BitTorrent it is. I remain dumbfounded as to why television studios are this fraking stupid. Here I am gladly willing to pay money for something that they have, and yet there's no way to buy it. I will, of course, buy the Season 18 DVD set when it becomes available (I buy all The Simpsons DVDs) but this is ridiculous. I cannot help but wonder if the execs at FOX Studios get together with Matt Groening at the end of each week and burn a big pile of money, since they obviously have no interest in maximizing their acquisition of it.
In any event, Betty has done it once again. Her brief appearance on the show after Homer has become one of the paparazzi was priceless...
Speaking of priceless, my beloved Elizabeth Hurley is making waves because of her stunning appearance at Elton John's birthday party...
And photos of her Indian wedding ceremony have finally surfaced...
Elizabeth Hurley... delicious on any continent!
Speaking of delicious, is it wrong that I actually want to see the latest Will Ferrell comedy, Blades of Glory?
Every time I see the previews, I laugh. And tonight I watched the Comedy Central "inside look" on the movie and want to see it even more. This is quite disturbing to me, because I'm pretty sure that I would normally avoid this kind of crap like the plague.
I don't get sick very often, for which I am most grateful. On those rare occasions I do get sick, I don't like to talk about it. I can't stand listening to somebody else's health problems, so why would anybody want to listen to mine? I've just never understood these people who like to get together and discuss all the bizarre crap that's wrong with them. Especially in public. I'm always the guy wanting to scream "NOBODY CARES IF YOU HAVE HEMORRHOIDS, BITCH!" whenever I come across these absurd conversations which people happily have in restaurants or the mini mart. Some things should be kept private.
But I just can't help myself.
Last night I had the worst case of flaming diarrhea farts ever...
Seriously. There were moments I didn't know what was going to happen, and other moments where it felt like my ass was on fire. The entire evening is a blur of one horrible moment after another. And the worst part is that I have no idea what caused it. Nothing I ate could explain the drama going on in my bathroom. No Super Bean Burritos. No Cabbage Milkshakes. No Double Prune Danishes. No Pints of Guinness. It was a total mystery. My ass was rebelling against some unknown offense that I still don't understand.
When I finally went to bed, it was because there was nothing left in me to expel. The only thing I was filled with was dread at the thought of waking up and having breakfast the next morning. What if it started all over again? As a safety precaution, I consumed a bottle of Pepto Bismol and a half-box of Imodium.
But everything turned out akay in the end (heh heh). I woke up, had breakfast, and my day was pretty much normal.
If only I could erase the memories.
In less nasty news, OMFG! Geeks of Doom is reporting Variety as saying that we're going to be seeing a Lego Batman videogame in 2008! Just when I think that the Lego Star Wars videogames were about as cool as things can get... this happens. The Lego Batman toys are super-sweet (combining two of my favorite things ever!), and I can't wait to see how they translate into a game. Just hearing this makes me want to start playing Lego Star Wars all over again.
I mean, holy crap! It's Lego F#@%ing Batman... IN A VIDEOGAME!!
And that's all she wrote.
Unless you want to read about how confused I am by the configuration of Adobe's new "Creative Suite 3" bundles, which I've put in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
I'm running out of ways to say "kiss my ass."
And it's a darn shame too, because there are some people I know right now who are in desperate need of a nice "kiss my ass" shout-out. But I've found that there's only so many times you can say that in a day without starting to sound like you are, in fact, wanting some lip-action on your posterior. In some cases, this may be true. But, in general, most of the people I'm telling to kiss my ass I don't really want anywhere near my butt.
In lieu of a good "kiss my ass" replacement, I suppose I could just skip the verbal assault and go around bitch-slapping the idiots...
Alas, physical assault is frowned upon by the police, and I'd imagine that there's only so many times you could go around bitch-slapping people before you're being hauled in for your mugshot...
And since the idea of somebody arresting me while I'm eating my Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes is not cool, restraining myself seems to be a good idea. No matter how much the moron deserves it.
Eh. Maybe I'll just start telling people to "bite me" instead.
Last night was worse than most in that I didn't get ANY sleep. I had taken a quick 45-minute nap before The Daily Show & Colbert Report, and that was enough to totally f#@% up my sleep schedule. Since my poop schedule had already been messed up by my flaming diarrhea farts from two days ago, I can only assume that all my bodily functions are now attempting to sync-up again... badly.
After having "woken up" (ha ha ha) I had a raging headache and decided to take an aspirin. I stumbled to the kitchen medicine cupboard and downed a couple Excedrin, then went to the bathroom so I could put in my contact lenses. Once I could see again, I went back to the kitchen and noticed something very, very wrong. The Excedrin bottle I had left on the counter was not actually Excedrin... it was Excedrin PM, which is a combination pain reliever/sleeping pill.
Great. So now, on top of being exhausted from lack of sleep, I had just taken some sleeping pills...
Red pill? Blue pill? Whatever. Am I in the f#@%ing Matrix or something? Holy shit, Morpheus... I just took the blue pill! Now I won't get to have sex with Trinity in the sequel!
The day was getting off to a really interesting start.
On the way to work I had a panic attack thinking that I would fall asleep at my desk, so I decided to stop at the mini-mart and buy a 4-Pack of Red Bull. Perhaps drinking a bunch of energy drinks would counteract the sleeping pills? It was worth a shot. As I was paying for my Red Bull, I was exactly $2 over the total, so I decided to do something I never do... buy a Lotto ticket.
It may be the combination of the Excedrin PM and Red Bull talking, but I am feeling very, very lucky.
I have decided to win the Lotto.
I'M GOING TO WIN THE F#@%ING LOTTO!!
Maybe if I win the 2.7 MILLION DOLLARS, I won't have to worry about my poop and sleep schedule being all f#@%ed up. With 2.7 MILLION DOLLARS, I can poop and sleep whenever I want! And I certainly won't have to worry about people making fun of my new Sanjaya haircut...
Bleh. My head is feeling all mooshy. I wonder if it was a lethal combination of Excedrin PM and Red Bull that killed Anna Nicole Smith? I had better take some Pepto Bismol so I can get this all sorted out.
Because is there anything that Pepto Bismol can't fix?
A couple of days ago, Karl had written about running across an entry by Alissa about an NPR show entitled This I Believe, where people get air-time to talk about their personal beliefs. Well, Karl went ahead and typed out what he believes, and it was a fascinating, beautiful read. I left a comment saying "I wish I had the guts to do this," and then moved on to the next site on my blogroll. It's not that I don't have the guts to write my beliefs, I'm just not comfortable sharing them on my blog.
But then last night when I was at the grocery store, something happened to change my mind.
I was walking down an aisle looking for microwave popcorn, when I spotted a Hispanic woman shopping with her two children. She was carrying her youngest child, an adorable girl with wide eyes in a cute little sun dress. Trotting along ahead of her was an equally adorable young boy wearing khakis and a bright blue button-down shirt. His hair combed, belt buckled, and shoes cleaned, he looked like he hopped out of the children's section of an Eddie Bauer catalog. As the little boy walked down the aisle, he would point out objects and speak its name in Spanish and English. "MAÍZ! MAÍZ!" he would shout, quickly followed by "CORN! CORN!" It looked to me like he was teaching his mother English, as he was constantly looking back at her as he pointed and spoke, but he could have just as easily been practicing his own English skills. Whatever he was doing, it brought a smile to my face, because he showed such enthusiasm in his never-ending task of translating everything in the store.
The moment was too good to last, of course.
Coming from the opposite direction were two skanky bitches who took great delight in giggling "UNEMPLOYMENT! UNEMPLOYMENT!" and "WELFARE! WELFARE!" as they passed.
I was immediately consumed with rage, and was about to point at them and scream "BITCH! BITCH!" and "SKANK! SKANK!" but realized that this would only bring myself down to their level, and ultimately accomplish nothing. Instead I stood there fuming as the boy, only temporarily interrupted, continued on with his efforts. "JUGO! JUGO! - JUICE! JUICE!"
It was then I realized that what I BELIEVE is that nobody should be looked down upon or thought less of because of how they look, where they come from, what they believe, or who they love. And anybody who would persecute somebody for any of these things... particularly a child... is pretty pathetic. Who knows what the future may bring? Assuming that his intellectual curiosity isn't crushed by redneck racist bitches at the grocery store, this little boy could grow up to become President of the United States one day. His potential is limited only by the confines society would choose to place upon him. Knowing this disgusts me to my very core, because I've just witnessed first-hand the adversity he will be facing every day of his life. Everything else aside, this little boy... so happy in a world full of possibilities... can be dismissed, ignored, crushed, or tossed aside based solely on his heritage, without so much as a second thought.
What a waste.
It's not that crap like this is something new to me, it's just that seeing such a vivid example of this despicable shit really puts a damper on your day.
It also makes you want to blog about what you believe, even if it is in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
I've recently started re-reading the Tarzan novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Despite being a hardcore ERB fan, I avoided the Tarzan books for years because I assumed they were as crappy as the movies. I loathed the way Tarzan ran around grunting like a moron in the films, and always thought that's just the way he was. But the "real" Tarzan in the books wasn't stupid at all. It turns out he's a genius who speaks a dozen languages, runs a financial empire, AND happens to be Lord of the Jungle...
After a while, the books get a little repetitive, but the earlier stories are brilliant.
Right now I'm trying to finish up Book #4, The Son of Tarzan, so I am going to stop blogging now...