When the person accusing someone of inappropriate behavior has a history of being wrong (and is a total douchebag), why do people continue to listen to them?
Perhaps because the evening news has to compete with Jersey Shore, so propagating lies, fabrications, exaggerations, and bullshit is considered "journalism" now-a-days. I honestly don't know.
What I do know is that Bad Monkey's favorite feature of the iPhone 4 is its front-facing camera. This makes it easier than ever to get your junk perfectly centered within the frame...
Adding a 3-D camera to mobile phones seems like a natural.
I fear the future.
Sometimes when the sheer vastness of my greatness overwhelms me, I like to stop for a minute and get grounded. I look past all the amazing things that make me "me" and take notice of those little things that make me feel less "me."
Which would be a humbling and amazing experience if I could actually think of anything like that. But I can't, because I am overflowing with awesomeness right now. Not much can bring you down when you're high on being me.
Which is not to say that people haven't been trying...
Maybe tomorrow the assholes, dumbfucks, trolls, losers, morons, and haters will take me down a notch...
...but not today.
"Well, technically she was correct..."
"Technically, you're an idiot."
If there's one universal truth you can count on, it's that anything... no matter how outrageously stupid... can be spun. Anything.
It's a Saturday night...
It's a Bullet Sunday alright...
• Stevenote Tomorrow is the kickoff of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. But it's not just developers who get excited, because this is when Apple customarily unveils new and cool stuff. And since nobody know what new and cool stuff there might be, Apple Whores such as myself tend to get a little bit excited. Will there be a new iPhone? What's this "iCloud" all about? Will the latest Mac OS (codename "Lion") be released? Will we finally get iToast?
Only Steve Jobs knows for sure. The rest of us have to wait until tomorrow. I'm counting on it being fabulous.
• Nutritional Redux. It would seen that the US government is going to take yet another stab at promoting healthy eating. Since their previous "pyramid" attempts were stupid as shit, I had high hopes that they'd get it right this time...
And while I'd argue they didn't "get it right this time," I can say it's an improvement...
The previous schemes wanted you to eat tons of breads and grains. The new scheme wants for at least 50% of your diet to be fruits and vegetables. That's very smart. What's less smart is saying that fruits and vegetables are exclusive of protein content, which appears to be discouraging a vegetarian diet. The dairy being on an optional saucer is nice... but I dunno. a part of me is wondering how much of this "new and improved" meal plan is geared towards supporting American farmers over promoting good nutrition. Of course, it's fairly obvious that a growing number of people are ignoring nutritional advice of any kind, so I guess this is all kind of a moot point. In any event, speaking design-wise, it sure looks better... and is a lot easier to understand. I guess that's something.
• Scarry! One of my favorite series of books when I was a kid came from Richard Scarry. In celebration of what would have been his 92nd birthday, Google was nice enough to use his "Busytown" characters for their search page today...
Very cool! What would have been even more awesome would have been if you could zoom in and search for "Goldbug"... which was kind of a "Where's Waldo" search that Scarry worked into his storybooks.
• Who? I had exactly two guesses as to who the mysterious "River Song" might end up being on Dr. Who... one of my theories was right...
A part of me is very unhappy about that, because it would have been a lot more fun if they had come up with something totally out of left-field that I wasn't expecting. Oh well, the show is great fun, as usual.
Annnnd... that brings this episode of Bullet Sunday to a close. Now I get to spend the next several hours preparing for one of my busiest work-weeks of the year. Yay.
Well smack my ass and call me Sally... it's Bullet MONDAY?!? Given all the crazy crap that's gone on since yesterday, I guess it's going to have to be!
• STEEEEEEVE! I don't know what it is about a Steve Jobs keynote event that brings out my maternal instincts, but every time I see one I end up thinking about how much I'd like to have Steve Jobs' baby. Today's spiffy keynote from Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference was no exception. So much cool stuff in the pipeline for all my Apple Whore toys... including Mac OS X Lion... iOS 5... and the all-new iCloud service...
I could spend the next half-hour writing about the many new features which had me soiling myself with happiness, but that's a full-load in my pants that nobody wants to hear about. Might be better if everybody just watched the Stevenote for themselves and decide which features are worth freaking over.
• WEEEEEEINER! And so Representative Anthony Weiner now admits he's a freaky-ass pervert who likes to send shirtless photos and pictures of his schlong to young ladies. A few thoughts...
If I was in this good of shape, I'd send photos like this to everybody I know. Everybody.
So... to sum up... whatever. Color me disappointed, but not surprised. These asshole politicians don't seem to know how to act any other way. About the only positive thing I can say is that at least he wasn't a total hypocrite here. It's not like he railed against homosexuals and was then caught trying to hook up for gay sex in a bathroom somewhere. In any event... way to stay classy, Representative Weiner.
• LEEEEEE! In much sadder news... Lee J. Ames has died. You may not know who he was, but I assure you that you've undoubtedly seen the result of his efforts. In fact, since you are looking at this blog, I can guarantee it! Mr. Ames is famous for his art instruction books, of which I am a massively huge fan...
He has an uncanny knack of being able to effortlessly break down objects to base elements, and his "Draw 50" series of books taught me to see things this same way. Lil' Dave... Bad Monkey... and most everything I've ever drawn here... it's all using techniques I first learned from studying Lee J. Ames. As with all things which are done well, his books still hold up even today. If you know a kid who is interested in learning how to draw, you could do a lot worse than to track down these wonderful publications at your local library or art store. Rest in peace, Lee... and thank you.
• BULL SHEEEEEET! So much for the separation of Church and State. Such fucking bullshit.
• SLAAAAAAAAYER! It's the International Day of Slayer today!
♫ The root of all evil is the heart of a black soul... a force that has lived all eternity! ♫ A never ending search for a truth never told... the loss of all hope and your dignity! ♫
Annnnd... now I have to spend a couple of hours preparing for another long, hard day of work in the morning.
I'd add a long, hard photo here to drive that point home, but I think we've all seen enough wieners for a while.
Last night while wandering around downtown Seattle so I could find something for dinner, a nice young lady outside of Pacific Place was gathering signatures in support of Planned Parenthood. With a smile on her face she would politely ask passing people if they supported Planned Parenthood so she could get them to sign. Most people were ignoring her.
Except the man walking ahead of me who decided to be a total dick and scream "NO!" at her so loudly that she was startled.
Naturally I decided to be a bigger dick and scream "YES!" at the back of his head, followed by "YEAH, PLANNED PARENTHOOD... YEAAAAAAHHHHH!!" And to totally drive my point home, I was fist-pumping and waving my arms while continuing to scream YEAAAAAAHHHHH!!"
Because, seriously, what is it with people?
Did he really have to be such a total asshole to scream at the girl? Couldn't he just have said a polite "no thanks" or even ignored her?
The polarizing politics of this country have created such overwhelming hatred in our daily lives that just walking down the street can be both horrifying and depressing. People aren't even pretending to be respectful, kind, and decent to each other anymore. Even the smallest disagreement seems to be grounds for all-out assault.
I try not to care, but I'm so damn tired of being caught in the crossfire.
Work managed to crush me today, so I decided to step away for a while and recharge. The plan was to go back to my hotel room and read a book, but I knew if I did that I'd just end up checking email and getting sucked back into work all over again.
So I decided to go to a movie.
And despite my raging hatred of the first three crappy X-Men movies, I went and saw X-Men: First Class.
I thought that the "first class" in the title was referring to the first class of students in "Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters" from the comics... but it would seem it's actually referring to the movie itself. Because this film was one classy affair from start to finish.
I loved it.
From the retro 60's styling and amazing cast to the cohesive story and terrific special effects... this movie has it all...
The plot revolves around the formation of the mutant super-hero group, The X-Men, and the initial friendship of Charles Xavier and Erik Leshner, who would eventually become deadliest of enemies as Professor X and Magneto. The story begins with Xavier working with the US government to help mutants help humans so they can be better accepted by humanity. Along the way he meets Leshner, who is tracking down the Nazis responsible for the death of his mother in a Polish concentration camp. This eventually leads to a confrontation with The Hellfire Club, who is attempting to kick-start World War III during the Cuban Missile Crisis and rule the earth.
What made the previous three X-Men films fail so stupendously, was that there was ZERO attempt to make any of the characters kick the copious amounts of ass that the X-Men are known to do in the comics. They were just pathetic dumbasses who wandered around in lame stories and not really doing much of anything.
In the original X-Men, there are minor scuffles between the team and Magneto's henchmen, but the only real "fight" the X-Men get into is fighting army men. Lame. In the sequel, X2: X-Men United, the filmmakers make a half-assed attempt to start up the "Dark Phoenix Saga," but failed on every possible level. Even worse, the only real "fight" the X-Men get into this time is with water. Yes, fucking water! Super-lame. After watching the previews, I thought that finally things were heading in the right direction with X-Men 3: The Last Stand. They hinted that there would be an all-out battle between mutants, which would have kicked all kinds of ass... if it would have actually happened. Instead they pussed out again and gave us a watered-down fight with mutants mostly just running around. Not only did we get no fights worth watching, but there wasn't a decent story either. Hella-lame.
X-Men: First Class isn't overwhelmed with the mutant-on-mutant special effects battles I was hoping for, but it does do something we've never seen before in an X-Men film... have compelling characters and a good story. And when it comes to ass-kicking, Michael Fassbender's brilliant portrayal of Magneto delivers the goods. I can only hope that if (when we get a First Class sequel that they continue with the brilliant set-up in this film and add tons of cool action sequences that will finally depict the X-Men the way we see them in the comics.
That would be a movie worth waiting for.
In the meanwhile, there are a lot of potentially awesome comic book films in the pipe, so it's a really good time to be a fanboy right now.
After I got out of the movies last night I was wanting ice cream, but it was really late and so I decided to ignore my craving for the vile stuff and dream about it instead.
This morning when I woke up my ice cream obsession still there, so I decided to drop by a mini-mart on the way to the studio. I ended up buying a Chocolate-Almond Magnum Ice Cream Bar and a bag of "Original" Taco-Flavored Doritos for breakfast. When I got to work, I tore into them so fast that I think I broke the sound barrier...
So there I was eating ice cream and Doritos when I look up and see that a little boy waiting for the school bus is looking at me through the window and screaming "HE'S EATING ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST!!"
Soon a bunch of kids were pressed against the window pointing and staring at me as I sat there with Dorito-breath and ice cream smeared on my face. Not really wanting to be children's entertainment so early in the morning, I waved goodbye then retreated to the back of the studio so I could eat in peace.
As I was sucking the last remaining bits of chocolate off the ice cream stick and dumping the Dorito crumbs in my mouth, I was starting to feel guilty for being such a bad influence on kids... until I remembered that they were going to public school where they would undoubtedly be snorting cocaine off the bathroom toilet seats, looking at porn in the computer lab, and getting wasted off cheap liquor on the bus-ride home. I'm guessing at least one of the kids was having an affair with his teacher or had gotten a fellow classmate pregnant. All of them had probably been to rehab, and half likely had a police record.
Sure they looked eight years old, but the little bugger grow up so fast now-a-days.
Ah the innocence of youth.
After my breakfast fiasco yesterday, I decided to set a good example and have a bowl of fruit with a croissant this morning. The kids outside waiting for their school bus were not nearly as impressed and mostly ignored me. Which is probably for the best, though I have to admit that I was tempted to build a massive ice cream sundae topped with candy bars and gummy bears for breakfast just because I could.
The last day of a project is always the longest. And since I'm mentally and physically exhausted, it's also the toughest. I spent most of the time at work wishing I could curl up in the corner and go to sleep but, from a job standpoint, that probably wasn't the best use of my time. Instead I worked my guts out and just waited for it all to end.
Which it did.
But then I had to suffer through Seattle's horrendous traffic, which is like somebody kicking you in the balls after you've just been kicked in the balls.
No amount of ice cream can fix that.
Though I suppose ice cream spread on your crotch would make you feel better after an actual kick in the balls?
The healing power of ice cream is undeniable.
Home at last for another edition of Bullet Sunday!
• Debatable. I won't know for certain until I tune into the debate tomorrow night, but I'm pretty sure I'll be longing for the good ol' days when it was George W. Bush running on the Republican presidential ticket. ...
The candidates that the Republicans are trotting out for 2012 quite literally scare the shit out of me. It's so bad that I have no need for laxatives. If I'm constipated, I just envision a future where Michele Bachmann is President of the United States of America and run for the toilet. Which means I should probably be picking up some adult diapers after work, since I don't have a television in my bathroom.
• Roadshow. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Hard Rock Cafe. To celebrate, they've been traveling around the USA with a collection of memorabilia honoring rock history. This past Thursday, I was lucky enough to be in Seattle when they stopped by...
It was a lot of fun... and FREE! If you're on one of the city-stops, I highly recommend checking it out (a list of dates is here).
• Crap. When I got home today, one of the first things I did was watch the South Park mid-season finale that was waiting on my DVR. It was shockingly meta. Instead of being a brilliant commentary on some current event, it ended up being brilliant commentary on South Park itself. And it scares me because it looks very much like they're setting up the show to end. And now that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are the toast of Broadway with the nine Tony Award wins for their play, The Book of Mormon, I guess it's understandable. They've been doing South Park for 15 years, and maybe they feel it's time for something new...
Even so, I will miss South Park when its gone. It's a consistent voice in satire that never fails to entertain. As a fan, I don't think its run its course yet, but maybe that's a good thing.
• Reboot. I reserved comment on DC Comics massive "reboot" of their entire universe until all 52 titles had been announced. Now that they have, and everything DC is being reset to issue #1, all I can say is huh?
I mean, there are some things I'm excited about... Jim Lee penciling a monthly title again (Justice League) for one. There are some things I'm curious about... like the two new Legion of Super-Hero books. Other things have me intrigued... like a drastically different take on Supergirl. Still other things have me puzzled... like Barbara Gordon's return to being Batgirl. And a few things have me ambivalent... like Superman's drastically altered uniform (both of them)...
I'll give it a look... but all I can really do is wonder how long the reboot will last before there's another reboot.
And now it's time for me to reboot. It's going to be a long week.
And so tonight was the big Republican Presidential Debate.
For the most part, I thought it sucked ass. The whole format was stupid and I didn't feel I learned much of anything new. We needed fewer questions with longer, more in-depth answers so an actual debate of ideas can take place. As it were, there simply wasn't a lot I could take away from it. Except that Newt likes American Idol and Herman prefers deep-dish pizza. Or whatever.
Anyway, here's my take on the contenders...
In summary... I'm not seeing it. With the exception of some glimmers of presidential material from Romney (possibly Pawlenty)... and some ridiculous saber-rattling from Bachmann (OBAMA IS A ONE-TERM PRESIDENT!) there was nothing to get excited about.
It's still very early.
And anything can happen.
If nothing else, it will be an entertaining ride.
Today is the fortieth anniversary of the Hard Rock Cafe.
On June 14th, 1971 in London, England, Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton opened up a cafe serving American food with a rock-n-roll sensibility. One day Hard Rock fan Eric Clapton gave Tigrett a guitar. When Tigrett told him that he didn't play guitar, Clapton said he should hang it on the wall. When Pete Townsend found out about it, he wanted his guitar hanging on the wall too. Thus began the tradition of adorning Hard Rocks with rock-n-roll memorabilia, turning them into mini museums with some of the most astounding rock artifacts on the planet.
With the sole exception of Apple (and possibly Sony), I can't think of a company which has had more of an effect on my life than the Hard Rock Cafe. Since 1990 I've been to 137 properties around the world. Many of those places I would have never visited if not for the Hard Rock Cafe. In addition to encouraging me to see the world, it was the Hard Rock which first got me to share my life online. It was also the Hard Rock which is responsible for Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey coming into being...
As if that weren't enough, I've met dozens of fellow Hard Rock fans from around the globe who have become my friends.
To say I owe a lot to the Hard Rock Cafe is a bit of an understatement. I quite honestly don't know what my life would be like today without the place.
Undoubtedly it would be a lot less interesting.
So happiest of anniversaries and many thanks to the Hard Rock Cafe!
For people like me who believe that everything happens for a reason, life can be a bit puzzling from time to time. Especially when something bad happens. A part of you is going "Well this sucks! But it apparently needed to happen, so here we are." While another part of you is going "What the fuck did I ever do to deserve this shit?"
Today I was saying "What the fuck?" quite a lot.
Which is to say that I understand that everything happens for a reason, I just refuse to accept it (albeit temporarily).
Hoping for a better day tomorrow.
So the reviews are in and Green Lantern sucks. Crap. I was really looking forward to it.
Almost as much as I'm not looking forward to buying new headphones to replace my recently trashed pair of earbuds.
Which brings us to the top three things I most hate to buy...
So I guess my nightmare scenario would be having to prepare for a night of protected sex in the back seat of my new car while listening to music in my new headphones.
But how often does that happen?
Not nearly often enough.
* Hey, it could be true**... according to Debbie Downer, feline AIDS is the number one killer of domestic cats!
** Except for the fact that I don't have a cat.
One thing I've been noticing lately is a lot of cars being pulled over by the police. In an age of labor cuts and dwindling budgets, it seems like even the cops are having to justify their jobs and increase revenue. This means a lot of tickets are probably being issued where they once were not. Because of this, I've been driving a lot more conservatively over the past year or so... but not everybody has gotten the message. When I was driving over to Seattle last week, I was twice passed by cars going way over the speed limit, only to catch up with them down the road after they had been pulled over.
Today it happened again. The police are not playing around. At least not in Washington State.
A part of me is happy about this, because there are people on the road who are downright dangerous and should be pulled over. But another part of me is concerned at the thought that the police may be going too far. If people are being pulled over for going 65 in a 60, for example, I don't consider this to be ticket-worthy. Even a temporary passing speed of 70 in a 60 should not be a ticketable offense if somebody is passing safely. Hopefully, things are not getting out of hand, because there's a fine line between "To serve and protect" and "To humiliate and harass."
Personally, I'd rather pay more taxes to the police so that they don't have ticket quotas and can focus on public safety and dangerous drivers... like the assholes who are slow-driving in the passing lane AND AREN'T PASSING ANYBODY! It may cost us more money, but at least it's not affecting our insurance rates, so we're saving in the long-run.
In the meanwhile... watch your speed, citizens!
Oh... for those of you who were asking which headphones I ended up with after my rant yesterday...
Blogography's Bose AE2 Audio Headphones Review
Bose is one of those companies that usually gets massacred at review sites because most everybody seems to think they are overpriced and have poor sound. This is kind of surprising because every time I've stopped at a Bose kiosk and given them a listen, I've been relatively impressed. No, they're not going to win in a contest against $1500 studio reference cans (obviously) but, for the most part, I think they're worth the money they charge.
I have four sets of earbuds, with my favorite being the Klipsch S4i. The problem is that earbuds become uncomfortable for me after a while, and I was wanting something that went over my ears like a traditional headset. Unfortunately, the three pairs I tried at the mid-low-end (JVC, Sony, and Skullcandy... each $50 or less) were not at all comfortable. It finally got to the point that I didn't even care about the sound, all I wanted was something that didn't squeeze my brain or dent the top of my head. A Google search for "most comfortable headphones" eventually led me to Bose. Target had a listening station and AE2's in stock for $20 off ($130 total). They were about $60 more than I wanted to spend, but oh well.
My thoughts on my new cans can be found in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Oh look... it's I Don't Give a Fuck Day!
Which is kind of uneventful, because every day is "I Don't Give a Fuck Day" to me.
So Vancouver made a good play for the Stanley Cup, but ultimately lost to the Bruins.
This, of course, was reason to riot in the streets... demolishing everything in sight and setting everything else on fire. In other words, to be complete and total dumbasses trashing their beautiful city. It's kind of difficult not to give a fuck about that, because I love Vancouver.
Anyway... by now the entire world has seen the striking photo of two people kissing in the middle of the Vancouver riots. When it was first released, the general consensus seemed to be that these two crazy kids got horny by all the violence and destruction then decided to drop in the middle of the street and make out...
Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images
Personally, I was thinking "Now there's a guy who has his priorities straight!" The world is going to hell around him in a maelstrom of stupidity, and he decided there was a better use of his time than smashing a window or smacking a police officer!
Eventually the couple was tracked down and told their story. Turns out they weren't making out in the middle of a riot. They said that the police overran them, beating them down to the ground with riot shields. The girl was hurt and understandably freaked out, so the guy laid down next to her and gave her a kiss on the cheek... assumably to calm and comfort her. If you can get the image of a total player out of your head, it's actually kind of sweet.
The internet, skeptics all, decided they were horny liars. Some were saying the entire thing was staged. But eventually the CBC released footage that showed they were telling the truth. the police actually did beat them down and overrun them on the street...
Naturally, this is the internet we're talking about, so people started Photoshopping the kissing couple in all kinds of outlandish situations. I decided to take another approach. Since the riots were so fucking stupid, I decided to Photoshop them in other incredibly stupid situations...
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images
Photo by CNN Images
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to not giving a fuck.
It's a busy busy Bullet Sunday!
If I were smart, I'd blow off blogging today so I could get caught up with work. Oh well. Blogging is a tough habit to break. Even when it's bad for you. Especially when it's bad for you.
• Holiday. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! Including mine...
• Cheesy. I think it aught to be a law that companies who make low-fat and fat-free cheese products should be REQUIRED UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH to label their products with giant warning labels like they put on cigarettes...
I am tired of accidentally buying the wrong cheese at the store because I'm in a hurry and don't notice the beautifully-integrated low-fat declaration. If there were an offensively large warning label requirement, I'd be less likely to mistakenly purchase this crap.
• Batmobile. Batman is my favorite comic book hero. By far. He doesn't have any super powers, so the stakes are always higher for him than say.... Superman. How Batman compensates for being merely human is those wonderful toys he uses to fight crime. The most famous of which would have to be the Batmobile. As Batman's vehicle of choice, it's taken a lot of different forms over the years. Some good. Some bad. Some meh. Kind of like the latest Batmobile designed by Gordon Murray(!) for the new Batman Live touring show. In the right light, it's kind of sexy...
But in the wrong light... such as, say... DAYLIGHT... it looks kind of boring and lame...
Still, it is a step above the massive tank-like "Batmobile Tumbler" from the current Batman films, I guess. I mostly didn't care for the theatrical and goofy nature of the Tim Burton movies, but I think he had the best Batmobile on the big screen so far.
• Flush. I am sick of all these commercials touting "Flash" as an awesome "feature" on the Android Tablets. Flash sucks. It's battery-draining, crash-happy, annoying bullshit and I hate it. Apple choosing to dump the buggy shit from its iPhone, iPod, and iPad was one of the best things to happen to the internet, because it's forcing web developers to stop using Flash and turn to modern HTML 5 elements instead. I am reminded of just how smart Apple is every time I visit a Flash site on my MacBook and it either crashes or sucks my battery dry.
My favorite thing to do is fill out crash reports whenever Flash crashes (which is a lot)...
Not that it's any news to Apple... hell, they're trying their best to kill Flash. But I'm easily frustrated and a total smartass.
• Cloudy. Speaking of Apple competitor suckage... why is buying music from Amazon such a frikin' joke? It's an awful, awful experience. It's so mind-boggling horrible that I'd rather pay $1.29 for a song from Apple than to suffer through buying the same song for 69¢ from Amazon. And now that they force you to go through their "Cloud Drive" for everything, a bad situation is even worse. Partly because their "Cloud Drive Player" is shit and stutters and stalls every time I try to listen to a song. But mostly because you can't just download your music when you want. You still have to use Amazon's unbelievably crappy downloader utility, which is just fucking stupid. Apple's iCloud service won't be ready until July (Mac) and September (iOS), but it's bound to be worth waiting for given Amazon's terrible solution. Guess I'm in no danger of turning in my Certified Apple Whore credentials any time soon.
And now I think I'll eat cookies and watch episodes of The West Wing. After all these years, it remains some of the best television ever aired.
Now that groceries are so obscenely expensive, I'm far less confident and creative in the kitchen. I follow recipes exactly as they're written because I'm too worried about something turning out bad and having to throw it out. I just can't afford that kind of waste when a sack of food costs $50.
So when I got a hankerin' for potato salad this past weekend I needed to find a recipe because I've never made it before. After a recommendation and research, I settled on "Myron Mixon's Killer Potato Salad." Apparently the guy is a famous chef and his potato salad is award-winning and stuff.
Anyway, as I was following the recipe to the letter, a number of questions popped up.
Like... the recipe says to boil the potatoes whole, then cut them up after cooking. This sounded silly to me. Potatoes are oddly-sized and cook unevenly. Wouldn't it be better to cut them into uniform pieces BEFORE boiling so they all cook at the same speed? But I didn't want to goof up so I did as the recipe instructed. The bigger ones ended up a bit tough in the center and the little ones were a bit mooshy, but whatever.
Like... the recipe says to add a tablespoon of salt to the dressing. This seemed excessive for two cups' worth of dressing. But, I didn't want to question an expert on how to season potato salad, so I did as the recipe instructed. My expensive potato salad ended up tasting like a salt lick, but whatever.
I spent a lot of money on the ingredients ($6.79 for a tiny bottle of dill alone!) so I didn't want to throw it out. But eating it was out of the question because my lips were burning from all the salt. My solution was to make another batch of salt-free potato salad and mix the two batches. But this time I cut the potatoes before boiling. And I seasoned to taste instead of by measure. Now it tastes great!
And now I've got a shit-load of potato salad in the refrigerator. I'm going to be eating the stuff every day for a month. And yet, I'm okay with that because I didn't have to throw anything in the garbage...
I guess sometimes when the ingredients are expensive, it pays to question the recipe.
I guess sometimes when the stakes are high, it pays to break the rules.
I guess sometimes when the situation is bad, you have to start over.
I guess sometimes I need to be reminded of that.
Yesterday evening I managed to find some falafel at Costco, so I needed to drop by Safeway and get some pita bread. For whatever reason, Costco doesn't carry pita bread, which is probably for the best since I didn't need 150 pieces of the stuff.
So there I am walking to the bread section when some asshole comes whipping around the corner pushing a shopping cart without looking. I literally had to jump out of the way to avoid getting nailed. Of course I didn't get an apology... I barely got an acknowledgment... but whatever. That's modern society for you.
After finding the pita bread, I headed to the check-out counter where the guy ahead of me was unloading his shopping. The last item he put on the belt was a sack of limes...
CLERK: How many limes you got here? Do you know?
DUDE: Six. There's six.
CLERK: (holding up a big bag of limes) This looks like a lot more than six.
DUDE: THERE'S SIX!
CLERK: (counting out limes) No... there's thirteen!
DUDE: Yes, that's what I said... thirteen!
Now, in his defense, he might not have been a dumbass scammer... he could have very well been incapable of counting to thirteen and was embarrassed about it. But, whatever the case, it was a little bit awkward for me to be standing there watching it all go down. Then it was my turn, and here's what actually happened...
CLERK: Is this everything for you?
DAVE 2: Yes, ma'am, thanks.
CLERK: That'll be $2.99. Do you want to make a donation to fight prostate cancer?
But this is what happened in my head...
CLERK: Is this everything for you?
DAVE 2: Well, that and the twelve other packages of pita bread I've got shoved down my pants.
CLERK: (chuckles) Ooh... sorry, but I can't give you Safeway Club Card Points for that!
DAVE 2: Not even if I whip it out?
CLERK: Depends on whether I get dinner first.
DAVE 2: You just made yourself a date!
CLERK: (swoons) I get off at 7:00.
And this is what probably would have happened had I actually pulled a stunt like that...
CLERK: Is this everything for you?
DAVE 2: Well, that and the twelve other packages of pita bread I've got shoved down my pants.
CLERK: Security... SECURITY!!!!
Because life isn't like the letter columns in Penthouse Forum, much as we might all wish otherwise...
"He's got a huge erection."
"Sure. Great. Wait a second... what?!?"
"He's got a huge selection."
"Ah, that makes more sense. I thought you said 'erection' there."
"I did say 'erection.' You didn't sound like you were paying attention."
Getting a call from Bad Robert during daylight hours means one of two things... 1) He's farted and/or taken a crap and/or done something so outrageous that he's dying to tell somebody about it... or 2) He needs me to do him a favor of some kind. Usually it's the former but yesterday (thankfully) he needed a favor. Since he's helped me out lots of time, I'm happy to do him a solid when I can.
Turns out his internet was down and he needed help looking up some car parts for a restoration job he and his friend were working on. The problem was that every time I'd read off the info they wanted, they'd take five minutes to discuss it before telling me the next part to look up. Since I was completely buried, I would try and get some work done while they jabbered away. Inevitably I'd miss out on some critical part of the conversation, so Robert decided to toss an erection into the equation to teach me a lesson...
A lesson about what I have no idea.
The battle for marriage equality in New York has the attention of the entire nation on both sides of the spectrum. If it passes, this will be a major step in ending the institutionalized bigotry against committed gay and lesbian couples wanting the same right to marry that everybody else has. Or the end of the world, depending on your views.
A week ago while trying to figure out a way to lend my support to such a worthy and important cause, it occurred to me that Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey were "born" and "raised" in New York. They're New Yorkers! This led to a DaveToon modeled on the "New Yorkers for Marriage Equality" campaign...
But after I finished, I decided not to publish it out of fear that it might give the appearance of mocking something I care deeply about. The fact that my gay friends are seen as lesser people in the eyes of the law and their rights are up for debate is disgusting to me. I simply cannot fathom how this is even an issue in 2011. Even more disgusting is how the people most opposed to "big government" interfering in our lives are the same people pushing to have laws which strip tax-paying citizens of their rights. I guess "big government" is perfectly okay if it's persecuting people you don't like. This is the very definition of hypocrisy. It is anti-American. It has no business being a part of a country founded on the principle of freedom. It is just wrong. If you don't believe in gay marriage then don't marry somebody of the same sex... that's your decision. But you have no right to make that decision for everybody else in the United States of America. End of story.
So as the New York Senate reconvenes today to debate whether homosexuality is grounds to relegate somebody to being a second class citizen, I remembered the cartoon and changed my mind. People can look at it however they want, but it sums up my feelings on the matter completely: Government has no fucking business telling consenting adults who they can love and marry. And it's no less true if it's coming from a cartoon.
I apologize for those who feel offended. I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is, the same rights that I have with my wife."
—Senator Mark J. Grisanti, New York State District 60 (Republican)
And so, on a weekend where many cities are already celebrating for Pride, New York goes and legalizes marriage equality! Congratulations to all those who fought so hard to make it happen... may this be the first of many victories for freedom and diversity across the nation!
As happy as I am to see the tide of bigotry and hatred turning at long last, a part of me is heartbroken that there are so many who didn't survive to see this moment. Too many kids whose only crime was existing in a world where being different is cause to be persecuted...
Though it has sadly come too late, this win is as much theirs as it is anybody's.
And now, the future...
Sunday is the word, Sunday is the word, is the word that you heard. It's got bullets it's got meaning. Sunday is the time, is the place is the motion. Sunday is the way we are feeling...
• Pudding. A couple of people on Twitter were nice enough to let me know that today is NATIONAL CHOCOLATE PUDDING DAY! Not that I really need a reason to celebrate. For me, EVERY DAY IS NATIONAL CHOCOLATE PUDDING DAY! It has been for as long as I can remember...
And doesn't look to be changing any time soon...
Even Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey love chocolate pudding...
But really, who doesn't? Here's wishing you chocolate pudding dreams on National Chocolate Pudding Day!
• Columbo. As a huge, huge, massively huge, mega-fan of television's Columbo, I was very sad to learn that its star, Peter Falk, had died. For anybody who hasn't seen it, Columbo was a murder mystery show with a twist. The twist being that the audience knows exactly who the murderer is and how they did it. The fun was watching Lt. Columbo putting the pieces together. It was formula, but it worked. And the reason it worked was because Lt. Columbo in his rumpled trench coat and simplistic manner was never taken seriously by anybody... even though he was always the smartest person in the room...
Several episodes are available on Netflix via Instant Watch, and I can't recommend them highly enough. Many of them are quite dated, but still a fun watch. For an even bigger treat, rent the DVDs of the television movies that came after the show ended. Columbo just got better and better as Peter Falk got older. A part of me was always hopeful he'd do another movie one day, but, alas... rest in peace Mr. Falk.
• Cap. I swear, the more I see of the upcoming Captain America film, the more I want to see it. The latest trailer is beyond epic...
Between the awesomeness that has been Iron Man, Thor, Incredible Hulk, and now Captain American... the very idea of the upcoming Avengers movie makes me giddy as a schoolgirl. Why, why, why can't DC Comics get their shit together like Marvel has with their characters?
• Colan. Speaking of death and comics, I was also very sad to learn that longtime comic book artist Gene Colan had died. The man had drawn dozens upon dozens of books over the years, but the one I most associate him with was a short-lived series called Night Force. It was just so... different... from other comics of the day, and everything about it was interesting...
Colan was probably best-known for being the artist on Tomb of Dracula and Daredevil, but it's Night Force which I liked best. Rest in peace, Mr. Colan.
And... I've still got bullets, but it's time to get back to work. Hopefully bullets don't spoil and will keep for a week? Otherwise, look forward to stale bullets next week.
God-like powers in some hands would be a mistake.
Not mine, of course... but in some...
Despite the bad reviews, I simply had to go see Green Lantern after checking into my hotel.
The reason I had to see it was because Green Lantern is one of my favorite super-heroes (after Batman, of course). In fact, an issue of Green Lantern was the first comic book I ever bought. I've been a fan through thick and thin ever since...
Sadly, the movie itself is pretty bad. Several elements are good, but the big picture is a hot mess with too many inexplicably boring bits. Since I really have no idea how to review such a scattered film (let alone attempt to sum up the story!), I guess I'll just run through the bullets...
• Casting. Ryan Reynolds was perfectly cast. He captured the cocky charm of a fearless test pilot effortlessly. Likewise, Peter Skarsgard playing Hector Hammond and Mark Strong's turn as Sinestro were shockingly good. Blake Lively as Carol Ferris seemed a little forced and awkward at times... and her character had really lame similarities to Pepper Potts from the Iron Man films... but it wasn't as disastrously bad as say... January Jones in X-Men: First Class.
• Scope.I really enjoyed that they went a little "cosmic" with the movie. Green Lantern is at his best when he's out amongst the stars, and having him mixing it up with aliens and other worlds was a very good thing. If, by some miracle, a sequel happens, I hope that they ignore earth completely (especially since that's where most of the boring bits happen).
Parallax. As far as villains go, Parallax was probably not the best choice. His comic book back-story is rather long and complex, and the way they dumbed it down to fit in a movie was kind of lame and dismissive. On top of that, he just wasn't very compelling an opponent in the film, because his powers weren't really defined. He could be almost god-like one minute... then surprisingly weak the next.
Pacing. As I mentioned, there's unnecessary stretches of sheer boredom plaguing the film. It's totally amateurish, and I'm guessing the writer(s) simply didn't know how to edit for a streamlined story... so they just threw in as many bits as possible in the hopes that something would gel together and "stick." It doesn't.
• CGI Uniforms. I understand the logic of the Green Lantern Corps uniforms being pure energy, and the concept of computer graphics being the best way to show this is sound... but it failed on every possible level. Ryan Reynolds looked like he had been Photoshop-painted, badly in every scene he's Green Lantern, and it took me completely out of the movie. You can tell that the effects team knew the uniforms looked like shit because they went back and added "energy crackles" and "energy glows" here and there in an attempt to camouflage them. If anything, it just ended up making things worse by drawing attention to how tragically bad they looked. I simply cannot fathom how anybody could look at test footage and decide this was the best way to go. I mean, they did render test footage of the uniforms, didn't they?
Case in point... ONE of these photos is fake. I spent two minutes slapping on some green pixels in Photoshop. Can you spot it? Guessing isn't as easy as you'd think since they're all pretty shitty...
• Internal Logic. I understand that you have to suspend disbelief in order to accept a movie universe where people are flying around playing super-hero... but, even so, there has to be an internal logic to the story and plot so you can suspend disbelief. Green Lantern has so many inconsistencies and gaps of internal logic that I found it impossible to get into the film. There was this whole deus ex machina thing going on where plot points existed not because they made sense, but because it was the only way the writers found to move the story forward. This caused me to constantly question the characters, which is a very bad thing from a story standpoint.
• The Story. Green Lantern has a classic origin story... dying alien gives hotshot test pilot Hal Jordan a ring with amazing powers and inducts him into the Green Lantern Corps, which is a kind of intergalactic police force. This part is handled fairly well in the movie, but things go off the rails really quickly afterwards. The problem is that there's just not a story you can grab ahold of and be taken away by. There's only fragments of different stories woven together seemingly at random. This didn't hold my interest because my attention was never focused on one thing long enough to give a crap about the stuff happening on-screen. For me, at least, the film can never overcome this deficiency, and comes out totally mediocre because of it.
And this updates my whole "Y2K Super-Hero Comic Book Renaissance" scorecard as follows...
Batman Begins... A
Batman Dark Knight... A+
Blade 2... B
Blade Trinity... B-
Daredevil (Director's Cut)... B+
Fantastic Four... C
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer... D
Ghost Rider... C
Green Hornet... D
Green Lantern... C+
Hellboy 2: Golden Army... A
Incredible Hulk... B
The Incredibles... A+
Iron Man... A+
Iron Man 2... A
Jonah Hex... F
Punisher War Zone... C
Spider-Man 2... A
Spider-Man 3... D-
Superman Returns... C+
X-Men 2: United... D
X-Men 3: Last Stand... F-
X-Men Origins: Wolverine... D
X-Men: First Class... B
Things did not go especially well for me today.
It all started this morning when I woke up and realized that I had packed my reading glasses instead of my glasses glasses for my trip to Spokane. Blind as a bat, I stumbled to my suitcase for a fresh pair of disposable contact lenses only to find... nothing.
My worst travel nightmare had just come true.
I was sure I had packed a bunch of lenses, but they were nowhere to be found. This meant I was, for all intents and purposes, blind. I would be unable to drive. Unable to work. Unable to do much of anything. About all I could do was call my office back home and have some lenses FedExed to me, then sit in my hotel for another day waiting for them to arrive.
How in the hell could this have happened? I travel professionally! I am way past this kind of amateurish bullshit!
Except I have been working day and night for the past two weeks and am completely exhausted both mentally and physically. Something eventually had to give and, unfortunately, this was it.
So what do I do now?
The only thing I could do... completely disassemble all my possessions. Unpack every last item from every last piece of everything I had. Sometimes I stick a spare lens somewhere "just in case," and now was the time to hope against hope that a stray contact would somehow be found. And it was. At the bottom of my suitcase rattling around with an old camera memory card.
Half-blind would have to be good enough.
But luck favors the foolish, and I managed to find another stray lens tucked in my notebook pocket after I got to work.
So it's all good, right?
Of course not. Work was extended another day. And while I had extra clothes packed "just in case"... I was fresh out of lenses. Which meant I had to go buy a lens case and some saline so I could re-use my only pair. All I can hope is that I don't accidentally drop one down the sink or something.
But it wasn't all bad news today. I did get to have the best pizza on planet earth...
That just about makes up for everything.
Even when the power adapter for my laptop blew out.