Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2012
Happiest of New Years to you!
And I'm starting it out with Bullets on the very first day? It's almost too good to be true!
• Resolute! My New Year's Resolutions are the same every year. I passed 2011's with flying colors...
And what am I looking forward to this year?
• Travel! Where am I going in 2012? I have no idea. But I've got some ideas rattling around in my head that I'm excited about.
• Movies! In a list of things I'm looking forward to in 2012, the awesome number of cool new movies coming up is near the top. We've got the Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation with John Carter, Bitchin' Joss Whedon super-hero fare with The Avengers, Brilliant zombie apocalypse book adaptation of World War Z, New QUENTIN FRICKIN' TARANTINO with Django Unchained, The latest James Bond flick Skyfall, The final Christoper Nolan Batman movie The Dark Knight, Peter Jackson LOTR Middle Earth followup The Hobbit, the Ridley Scott "Alien" prequel Prometheus, and loads more. Good stuff, Maynard.
• Music! It ain't going to be a bad year for the music I like either. Macintosh Braun, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Matt & Kim, and OMD are all reported to be working on new albums in 2012... just to name a few.
• Fiction! I am really looking forward to putting out three more issues of Thrice Fiction Magazinethis year. To go a step further, I am really looking forward to developing a Thrice Fiction iPad app. The details are ever-changing and murky, but it's something I really want to happen in 2012.
• Comics! Now that I've managed to build shelving for my collection and get everything organized, I'm looking forward to buying all my comic books digitally. I just don't have room for any more printed books (much as I love them), and the value of any new stuff can't hold when everything new is available online at any time (presumably) forever. I am slowly getting used to reading comics on my iPad. It's not been difficult given all the great digital sales they keep having over at Comixology.
• Apple! And, of course, there's whatever Cupertino has up their sleeves this year. iPhone5? iPad3? New MacBook Airs in MacBook Pro sizes? Whatever ends up being released, this is one Mac Whore who can't wait to find out.
Here's hoping 2012 is at least a little better to me than 2011. With so much to look forward to, I certainly hope so.
Posted on Monday, January 2nd, 2012
A couple months ago I was in an auto parts store.*
While waiting in line to pay for whatever it was I was buying**, the guy behind me announced "I gotta take a dump like nobody's business, so can we hurry the line up?"
Naturally, I found this fascinating.
Not that the guy had to take a raging poop, but that he felt comfortable sharing such information. It had me curious to know why this was, and what other personal business he'd be sharing with us that day. Fortunately, I left before finding out.
And then I remembered that the internet is so much worse. People are forever talking about their bodily functions, their health problems, their relationships, and other personal crap online. I always thought that it was the abstraction... having a computer (or phone or whatever) in-between the person and their audience... that made this possible, but I guess that's not the case. People just like to share. Misery loves company, and all that.
People also love money, which explains shows like Jerry Springer, The Bachelor, Judge Judy, and the rest. For me, the bigger mystery would have to be Why do other people care enough to tune in, but whatever.
The reason I bring this up is that I am still getting email because of my "diaper problem."
Never mind that I don't actually have a "diaper problem" and it was a joke comment left on another person's site, people follow a link back to my blog, find my email address, and are compelled to write. Usually with suggestions of diaper brands... but also to share tips & tricks or to let me know about diaper support communities or (worst-case scenario) diaper fetish sites.
That's all well and good, I guess. Most of the people are simply trying to be helpful.
But today's email had photos attached.
And now that my retinas have stopped burning, I can see that there are times when the sharing goes too far. Waaayyyyy too far.
Though, now that I think about it, I really should have printed those photos before deleting the email. That way, the next time somebody announces they need to take a dump while I'm waiting in line at the auto parts store,*** I can show them a way to avoid such an uncomfortable situation in the future.
Or get punched in the face. One or the other.
*Don't ask me why. I wouldn't know what to do with an auto part. Any auto part.
**Seriously, I have no idea what I was buying. I'd say it was replacement wiper blades (that's the only thing I'd know how to fix) but the blades on my car are shit, so that wasn't it.
***Though I still have no clue why I would go back to an auto parts store. WHAT IN THE HECK WAS I DOING THERE?!?
Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
"Holy crap it's dark out tonight!" I said to myself as I strained against the darkness. This was surprising because I left work only a half-hour later than usual. I wanted to see if the moon was obstructed, but didn't want to take my eyes off the road, so I gave up. I've driven the route home hundreds of time so there wasn't a problem, but it was still kind of freaking me out. Do I have glaucoma? Am I night-blind now?
Nope. When I got home I noticed I had my sunglasses on for some reason and didn't realize it.
I wear my sunglasses at night. So I can... so I can... see the light that's right before my eyes!
And speaking of stumbling around in the dark...
Who still listens to this disgusting fraud?
I don't know what's more surprising... the fact that Pat Robertson can command "God" to show him stuff... or that he seems to feel that the crazy shit he says doesn't contribute to the "internal stress that's tearing this country apart." And, of course, "God" says it's all President Obama's fault, so there's that. Seems kind of silly. I mean, Robertson says that "God" causes earthquakes because He doesn't like the gays... why can't He just put a tornado on The White House front lawn? Robertson's "God" sure sounds wishy-washy. But fictional delusions can be that way.
I'd say when it comes to the wholesale blasphemy of putting words in God's mouth, it looks like Pat Robertson has the market cornered. What a hateful piece of shit.
He can't roast in hell fast enough.
Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
When it comes to the Republican merry-go-round of candidates, I'm getting pretty tired of hearing "THIS is the best that the Conservatives have to run against Obama?!?" And, yes, I'm as guilty as everybody else. It's a natural reaction to the buckets of crazy that the GOP has been pouring over the American populace as they attempt to get somebody elected president in November.
The reason I'm getting tired is that the answer is already very obvious. "No, this is NOT the best that the Conservatives have to run against Obama, they're just the only players willing to do so." And it's true. All the smart, powerful, respectable potential candidates didn't want to throw away millions of dollars for a loss when they'd have much better odds in 2016 once President Obama is out of the picture. They know that an Obama victory in 2012 is pretty much assured, so why bother? Besides, it just gives the Obama-disillusioned Independent populace (like me) four more years to rage over the stupid crap that clings to his presidency like a pair of Tiberian bats.
And so now the second-tier candidates (like Huntsman, Gingrich, and Paul) are starting to fall away just as the tenth-tier loser candidates (like Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum) are starting to drop... paving the way for Romney to take the nomination. Like what was supposed to happen all along.
And here's the point where all the Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum supporters start banging out emails to me saying "TENTH-TIER LOSER?!? RICK SANTORUM CAME IN A VERY CLOSE SECOND IN IOWA, YOU DUMBASS!"
To which I'd have to respond "What did you expect?" Every waking moment that Santorum hasn't been fantasizing over the cock sandwich he obviously wants so badly, he's been campaigning in Iowa. He's gone to every county in the State. He's practically gone door-to-door to every house begging for votes. He's put all his eggs in one Iowa basket, so of course he's done well. But he still lost. And now? IOWA IS OVER! Santorum has to move on to places where he's invested no time and very little money. Places where he has no real chance of winning.
Which, of course, brings us to Michele Bachmann.
I am so ready for a woman to be president. I am not lying or even exaggerating here. But I have to be given somebody to vote for who is worth a crap. That person was not Hilary Clinton. It couldn't be Sarah Palin. And it sure the fuck isn't Michele "Batshit Crazy" Bachmann. Or I guess I should say it wasn't Bachmann, because she's now suspended her campaign. For all intents and purposes, she's out of the race.
Which is a darn shame, because her being certifiably insane made the rest of the Republican candidates seem far less crazy by comparison. No matter how much Romney, Gingrich, or Paul screwed up, they could always point over at Bachmann and say "Sure, but at least I'm not THAT hot mess over there!" But not any more. I suppose they could point at Santorum, but he's (hopefully) not going to be around long enough to be worth it.
And so now I am left with one burning question...
When people like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann who tell everybody that "GOD CALLED ON ME TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT!" end up getting dismissed in disgrace or utterly pummeled before the race even truly begins... how do they reconcile this?
Did God set them up just to watch them fall? Do they now believe that God was lying to them all along? Did they do something wrong in the eyes of The Lord to make them lose His favor?
Wouldn't it be ironic if it was their lack of support for Same-Sex Marriage that made "God" displeased with them?
The scenarios I come up with, approaching things as best I am able from theological standpoint, are as follows...
You can probably guess which of these makes the most sense to me.
Despite studying The Bible more thoroughly than most Christians ever will, I am not a Christian. But I still have strong ties to the Christian Faith because there are many people I cherish and love who are Christians. Just as there are people I cherish who are Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and other religions you might name.
For this reason, you will understand my disgust and frustration with people like Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum who make a mockery of Christianity by speaking for God. They force THEIR ideals onto other people with persecution and hate, say it comes from GOD, then use their interpretation of The Bible to justify it in a way that makes me wonder if they ever actually read The Bible in the first place.
As an outsider looking in, I can honestly say that this doesn't seem very "Christian" to me at all. My opinion is entirely supported by empirical evidence when I see Michele Bachmann giving up on her bid for president. And... until Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum is elected president in a landslide, then goes on to lead this country to its greatest period of peace and prosperity ever... well, it will probably continue to be my opinion.
As always, I reserve my admiration and respect for those who use their Faith as a way to enrich their lives and be happy while allowing others to do the same with whatever Faith they hold true. Sadly, more and more I see Faith being used as a weapon. For this reason alone, I won't be shedding any tears now that Michele "batshit crazy" Bachmann and her Jesus Sword won't be our president... despite the avalanche of material it would give to The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live.
I guess we'll just have to wait for her FOX "News" contributor gig to happen for that.
Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2012
It used to be that when I heard somebody say "I'm my own worst enemy" I would reply "THEN STOP FIGHTING WITH YOURSELF, YA MORON!"
Not out loud, of course. I'd say it in my head. But I always thought this was the stupidest saying ever because anybody who has themselves as an enemy and is still alive must be really bad in a fight. If I were MY own worst enemy, there'd be no survivors.
But lately I've had a change of heart.
Sometimes enemies are so lethal that they are at a perpetual stalemate. Which means there doesn't necessarily have to be death and destruction when facing off with an arch-rival...
That's pretty much me right now.
Except all the fight has been beaten out of me over the past month, so it's not that I'm too lethal to battle myself, it's that I'm too tired to put up much of a fight.
Which means my own worst enemy is badly in need of an ass-kicking.
If only I cared enough to give one to myself.
Posted on Friday, January 6th, 2012
I used to love going to the movies.
I rarely go anymore.
Roger Ebert recently wrote an editorial commentary called "I'll tell you why movie revenue is dropping..." In it, he dissects why people aren't going out to the theater anymore. I thought I'd go through point by point to figure out where I fit in.
I remember several years ago... like ten years... maybe more like eight years ago... I was on a movie date watching Spider-Man 2. About 20 minutes in, some idiot's mobile phone goes off... and he answers it. My date dug into my arm with her nails because she knew this is exactly the kind of situation that causes me to go off. But somebody else beat me to it. "HOPE THE MOVIE ISN'T DISTURBING YOUR PHONE CALL, BUDDY!" he yelled. The man who took the call screamed back "MY WIFE WENT INTO THE HOSPITAL THIS MORNING, SO I HAVE TO TAKE THE CALL YOU ASSHOLE!" At this point I couldn't take it any longer and screamed "YOUR WIFE IS IN THE HOSPITAL AND YOU'RE AT A MOVIE THEATER? WHAT A DICK!" This cause the crowd to start applauding and the idiot with the phone left never to return.
It was at that point I realized that movie theaters were doomed.
Moviegoers have always had to deal with people who talk during the film and smack their popcorn and kick the seats, but mobile phones? This was a disaster. Who the heck is going to want to pay a stack of money for movie and overpriced refreshments if they're going to have to listen to people talk on the phone while they're trying to watch a film? Hell, escaping from having to listen to people on their phones is one of the best reasons to go to the theater!
Clearly movie theater companies would have to do something about this.
But other than those lame "turn off your mobile phone" messages that are flashed for a second after the previews, they don't seem to give a crap.
And now it's even worse because people are texting during the movie. Theater companies seem to care even less about texters because they "aren't disturbing anybody." Except they ARE. All those glowing screens are a huge fucking distraction when you're trying to watch the film...
Though SOME theaters have the right idea about that...
...but most don't.
And since I don't have an Alamo Drafthouse nearby to kick the rude assholes out of the theater, I just stopped going. Now the only time I'll go is when it's a movie I'm just dying to see... and even then I usually go to mid-day showings and wait for as long as I can so the crowds will have died down.
So attention theater companies: Stop your whining about falling revenue.
Because if you really wanted to lure me back as a customer, you'd start doing your part to make it a worthwhile experience. Which means kicking out the talkers, seat kickers, phone callers, and texters so people can actually enjoy watching the movie they paid to see.
Until that happens, I'd rather watch a movie on my iPhone than in your stupid, annoying theater, even though David Lynch will eat my soul...
Maybe I won't be "experiencing the movie" but at least I won't be "experiencing movie theater hell."
Posted on Saturday, January 7th, 2012
For the past couple weeks I have been feeling badly dehydrated all day long. I'd say it was the dry winter air wrecking havoc on me, but I've never had this problem before. The upshot is that I am constantly drinking fluids, which means I can't stop peeing. I have to pee right now and I just went pee a half-hour ago. I'd run to the bathroom to pee, but I'd just end up having to pee again once I got back to my computer. So now I'm dancing in my chair with the hope that I can put off peeing for just a little while longer.
Except all this talk about going pee has just made things worse.
And now I'm back.
This would all be a lot easier if I just stood in the bathroom all day long while somebody kept me permanently saturated with Gatorade...
Or somebody just has to start manufacturing my Dream Bed with a Toilet...
Alas, I'm not going to hold my breath.
What I am going to do is reach for my water bottle since I'm parched again.
Drinking all this water is supposed to be healthy, but it sure doesn't feel like it when I have to go pee every 20 minutes.
Maybe it's time to start looking into those adult diapers after all?
Posted on Sunday, January 8th, 2012
It's Bullet Sunday in the middle of Winter... except the sunny days and complete lack of snow makes if feel a lot more like Spring. I'm seriously starting to wonder if we're ever going to get a winter. Hope everybody in the Valley is fond of water shortages come Summer.
• Doodle! The "Google Doodles" are always interesting, but the Charles Addams birthday doodle from yesterday hit it out of the park...
The original cartoons were genius. Still are. And this was the perfect tribute. If your only experience with The Addams Family is the old television show and the Barry Sonnenfeld movies, then you owe it to yourself to check out the original cartoon collections. Not only are they funny as hell, but the artwork is absolutely beautiful. Even the most simple drawings have lush details and textures...
Besides, who doesn't love Uncle Fester?
• Taco! As the Doritos flavors keep getting more and more "extreme" I find myself liking them less and less. Nacho Cheese Doritos are so caked with cheese powder that you can barely taste the corn anymore. Which is why I'm such a big fan of the "retro" re-release of the original-flavor 1960's Taco Doritos. I thought they were going to be a temporary thing, but they keep showing up at the grocery store...
The flavor is nicely "taco-like" but not at all overwhelming. You can still taste the corn chip. They also make an incredible topper to a veggie taco salad. I have my fingers crossed that they continue to be popular so Frito-Lay will keep making them.
• Ojo! I've worn glasses for what seems like forever... but it's the "vitreous floaters" that are the real problem with my eyes. For those lucky enough not to know what "vitreous floaters" are, they're tiny particles floating around in the goo that's in the middle of your eyeball. They cast shadows on your retina which makes little blurry spots that move around your field of vision. Most of the time I don't notice them. But, as I get older, more and more of them are forming. This makes them more noticeable more often.
Every once in a while, I do an internet search to see if there's any new technology for dealing with the problem. Maybe they've found a laser than can vaporize the floaters. Or maybe there's a new medicine that can disintegrate them. But, alas, no. The only solution seems to be to suck the goo out of the middle of my eye and completely replace it with saline water. It sounds horrific. And dangerous. And I'm not nearly desperate enough to let somebody suck goo out of my eyeball. At least not yet.
But now the reality is setting in that one day I may actually be that desperate.
• Firm! I'm a fan of nearly all the early John Grisham books. They're not deep by any means, but they are darn good entertainment. The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Runaway Jury... all good fun. But it's The Firm (the first Grisham book I read) that I like the best. It was a really good story that had some genuine suspense built-in. Sure the Tom Cruise movie fucked all that up, but I still always wondered what happened to the characters in the book. Instead of that, I got this...
NBC Television has a new series called The Firm which picks up ten years after the FILM ended (not the book). And, despite starring the talented Josh Lucas, it's kind of a mess in the way it bounces around. Mitch McDeere is no longer on the run... he's just a lawyer with a sketchy past doing regular lawyer stuff (like most every other lawyer show on TV). In other words The Firm has become boring and unoriginal. Sure there's hints that things are going to ramp up, but in a totally redundant way. Mitch is involved with yet another evil law firm! Not enough of a retread? Oh yeah... here comes the mob. Again. What the hell? Oh well. It's not like I had time to fit a new show in my television-watching schedule anyway.
• Debate! The Republican Debate last night was... interesting. You get the sense that the candidates reeeeeally don't like each other. At all. Indeed the only thing they seem to hate more than each other is President Obama. I guess this is understandable, but they blow it way out of proportion. I'm not Obama's biggest fan by a longshot, but the level of blame they lay at his doorstep is categorically absurd. In many respects, President Obama is practically a Republican, so it's kind of senseless too. But I guess they gotta play to their voter base however they can, and demonizing Obama is a quick and easy way to do that.
The debate itself was pretty lame... but also a bit enlightening. Mitt Romney comes across as a huge dick when he fails at being clever, which is often. Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum bounces between being a disgruntled idiot and a whiny baby. Newt Gingrich is just plain bitter all the time. Rick Perry is just fucking stupid. Ron Paul is entertaining, but not always in a good way.
And then there's Jon Huntsman. The only current Republican candidate I can even fathom voting for. He's got Conservative sensibilities. He's got loads of experience in the international arena. He's personable and inspiring. He's smart, quick on his feet, and not overly-reactionary. In short... I honestly believe that he's the only GOP candidate that could move independent voters in a race against Obama. And yet... his own party seems to hate him. Probably because he's not Conservative to crazy enough extremes. It's a real shame too, because nobody else on that stage is going to woo the much-needed middle ground. If things keep going like they are, I guess we're getting four more years of ObamaNation.
Annnnd... I'm spent. Sometimes bullets can really take it out of a guy.
Posted on Monday, January 9th, 2012
Today while heading home from work I had to slam on my brakes to avoid being hit by somebody pulling out of a parking lot. I stopped so hard that I strained my neck. It was a crappy end to a crappy day... though, now that I think about it, there's still two hours left for something new to go terribly wrong.
In better news, today is the fifth anniversary of the original iPhone...
It hardly seems like it was five whole years ago. Partly because it still looks more beautiful and modern than the majority of mobiles on the market... but mostly because I know people who are still using their original iPhones to this day...
And I'm fairly certain I'd rather have a first-gen iPhone than anything I've tried from Android, Microsoft, or Blackberry (are they even around anymore?). Sure I'd miss the speed, the 3G data throughput, and the ability to run the latest version of iOS... but at least it's still an iPhone. Such is the price you pay for being an Apple Whore, I guess.
So happy birthday iPhone, and many more.
Now I'm taking a pill for my neck so I can go to bed. Yay.
Posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
And so this happened...
Now that Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum has come in a pathetic fifth place after Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, and Newt Gingrich, is it too much to hope that he drops out of the race?
Because please, Rick, please drop out of the race.
I am just done with your stupid fucked-up racist, homophobic, sexophobic, anti-woman, anti-college, anti-poor, anti-environment, anti-gay, anti-diversity, anti-American bullshit, and there's no place in this country for your disgusting hate-filled rhetoric.
Just be content that you took a big ol' dump on the USA and move on.
Then never show your face in public again. The only thing I ever want to see of you is the giant shit stain that's left once you've been scraped off the face of America and tossed in the garbage where you belong.
Oh, and before I forget... fuck you for shitting all over my country. That stain is not going to be an easy thing to get out. Even with some Oxi-Clean and a bottle of Clorox.
Posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
I was kinda raised Catholic. And while I had already started pulling away from the church by the time Pope John Paul II came along, I was a big fan. He spoke dozens of languages and worked tirelessly to travel the world to use those skills to build good relationships with other faiths. He had respect for all people and believed strongly in the basic concepts of dignity and human rights. And while I may not have agreed with some of his more antiquated, traditional, and fundamental views, I always admired his attempts to find common ground in the face of disagreement. He was a remarkable man and I'm still a fan today...
Which is why I am so disheartened with his successor, Pope Benedict XVI...
He's systematically destroyed much of the good will that Pope John Paul II had built up between Catholics and the rest of the world. And while I have respect for Pope Benedict's position as Supreme Pontiff, the way he's hurt the church with the crazy-ass shit he says has been heartbreaking. He lays the groundwork for abhorrent Catholic radicals to have the power they do. Even though their hateful crap contradict polls which show that most Catholics are fairly progressive on issues like same-sex marriage.
So what benefit is it to everyday Catholics when these extremists decide to force their faith-based interpretation of "morality" on the rest of the world?
When I see the news of kids committing suicide because they are ruthlessly persecuted and victimized by the environment created by the likes of Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum and Maggie "Repugnant Hypocrite" Gallagher ... my view of Catholicism is badly tarnished.
And when I see the continuous stream of shocking headlines associated with the church, I have to wonder if these hateful morons shouldn't be casting a judgmental eye on their own house before condemning the houses of others.
Headlines like this one...
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH'S PEDOPHILE INVESTIGATOR JAILED FOR POSSESSING THOUSANDS OF CHILD PORN IMAGES
The Catholics Come Home television commercial I just saw (which caused me to write all this in the first place) is supposed to be reaching out to former Catholics by letting them know that their church is waiting for them. That they are wanting to help them return to a faith-based journey of true peace, happiness, and purpose in life.
They are speaking to people like me...
...who is someone that would never in a million years return to the Catholic Church as it exists today. Not when the people who so prominently represent the church are people who repulse me.
Well... not all of them repulse me.
There is at least one prominent Catholic today I admire quite a lot: Stephen Colbert. More on him in tomorrow's entry.
Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012
Picking up from where I left off in my last entry where I started talking about Stephen Colbert...
Yesterday morning I went to the Colbert Nation website so I could take another look at a particularly outrageous video showing just how huge a piece of shit Rush Limbaugh is. The footage hadn't been posted yet, but I did find something equally interesting. All of the heroes who donated money to the Colbert Super PAC could type in their name and see a video clip where Stephen Colbert thanked them on his show. Sweet! Here's me...
Oh... and last night I checked again and the video I wanted to watch again had been posted...
Yes! Such is the irrefutable integrity of FOX "News" and Rush Limbaugh. And do you think they'll even consider issuing a retraction? Or even a clarification? I suppose it depends on how big of a fallout there is from a fucking COMEDY NETWORK SHOW fact-checking the Conservative agenda at FOX. As I've said a dozen times, I don't give a shit where anybody chooses to get their news. But be honest about it. Anybody watching FOX "News" (or any network, really) who believes that they're getting a "Fair and Balanced" look at politics and current events is hopelessly deluded. Go sell that bullshit somewhere else.
In any event... I, for one, am thrilled to see that my tax dollars are actually going to a good cause for once...
Trick-or-Treat! — Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Ever since we first had a White House, our presidents have held extravagant events for all kinds of reasons. President Reagan once held a massively pricey State Dinner for Princess Diana (and invited John Travolta for heavens sake). But because this is President Obama we're talking about, first he gets eviscerated for throwing some military families a Halloween party, then gets accused with lies of having covered it up?
Spending crazy amounts of money on a visiting princess from a foreign country doesn't register outrage, but spending money to treat American heroes who have sacrificed so much for our country... well... they're just not worth it.
But regardless, you'd think that Fox "News" would have brought up some of the expensive White House events from the past in the interest of being "Fair and Balanced"... but no. And it's not like anybody would expect that sack of shit Rush Limbaugh to ever utter a single fucking word that wasn't in some way attacking this country's president. His listeners would probably have an embolism if he were to tell them that Ronald Reagan also threw expensive parties at the White House during a time of economic crisis. Even if he didn't relate LIES that the government then covered it up. Because you can make up whatever outrageous crap you want about President Obama, but don't you dare say anything even remotely disparaging about President Reagan! He was a Founding Father of this great nation and a True Christian... not some kind of Secret Muslim Socialist like Obama!
I swear, sometimes the dumbfuckery of the gullible American public is so overwhelming I have to sit back and marvel at the fact that half the populace has the brain power to even breath... let alone think for themselves. And why should they do that? There's a bloated asshole on the radio manipulating them with bullshit and lies they're too fucking stupid to ever question. Because thinking is hard.
GAH! It's enough to drive you crazy.
I really need to start drinking more.
Posted on Friday, January 13th, 2012
I don't really believe in old wive's tales and superstitions and stuff. Sure I feel that most superstitions are probably rooted in a grain of truth since they keep getting reinforced through the ages. But time has a way of warping the truth, so it's not like I think that "stepping on a crack will break my mother's back"... or "wishing on a shooting star makes your wish come true"... or that "Friday the 13th is is an unlucky day."
But boy was my belief (or lack thereof) tested today.
Because if I believed in luck, this would have been a horribly unlucky day. So many things kept going wrong that it felt as if my world had been turned up-side-down...
But now that the day is over, I've decided it was just a coincidence. Bad days happen from time to time, mine happened to be on Friday the 13th, and now I - - -
Just as I was typing that last sentence, I got a wicked leg cramp.
Guess it's probably best to stop writing... post this entry... and then go to bed before my living room explodes or something...
Stupid Friday the 13th.
Posted on Saturday, January 14th, 2012
Lately I've been looking at some of the "Voter Guides" that are put out by various organizations. They are meant to dissect the candidates on the issues so you can be "an informed voter." Some of them are kind of funny. Some of them are kind of sad. A few of them are kind of disgusting. But most all of them seem to be more "instructions" than "guides." These organizations have an agenda, and they slant everything towards their candidate of choice... all while claiming to be "presenting the facts." But whatever. If it helps like-minded individuals figure out their vote, I guess that's better than voting with no information at all.
But, thanks to the internet, there are also "Voter Guides" that are actually trying to be guides. They allow the voter to input how they feel about various issues, then calculates candidate scores based on how they have campaigned on those same issues. Assuming that the data used for the calculations is faithful to the candidates' views, it's a really helpful tool.
Like this one from Voting Aid, where you move sliders based on how you agree (or disagree) with a statement, and it finds your candidate...
Unfortunately, they show the scores as you answer the questions which is kind of defeating the purpose. This allows the user to adjust answers based on any predisposition they might have towards the candidates. I know I was certainly tempted to try and adjust my answers so that Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum got the lowest score possible.
But it turns out I didn't have to bother. Even when answering the questions as honestly and accurately as I could, the asshole still came in dead-last...
The surprising thing here is not that Jon Huntsman is the candidate who is most compatible with my views. That was totally expected. The surprise was that Ron Paul ranked so low. I'd have thought he would have come in much higher. Certainly higher than Rick Perry if I were ranking them manually. Probably higher than Mitt Romney.
My results were accurate from the standpoint that the only candidate I would consider voting for in a race with President Obama would be Jon Huntsman.
But, alas, it looks like I won't have to worry about that contest.
And since none of the other candidates have a chance of wooing the independent voters needed to defeat Obama, I'm kind of pulling for Gingrich to win over Romney because at least then we'd have some good debates.
But, alas, it looks like I won't have to worry about that either.
In all likelihood we're getting Mittens as a candidate followed by four more years of President Obama.
Posted on Sunday, January 15th, 2012
It's Bullet Sunday and I'm so happy I could crap my pants!
• That Dog Won't Hunt! So Jon Huntsman, the only Republican candidate that I might have voted for, is dropping out of the race. And since the remaining candidates will be hard pressed to sway independent voters to their respective agendas, I guess that we're in for four more years of President Obama. Unless he punches Betty White in the face while wiping his ass with the American flag during a televised White House press conference or something.
Now, if you will excuse me, I shall now go and mourn the loss of what could have been our three First Daughters...
Sadly, Mitt Romney has no hot daughters (that he knows of, I'm sure). Though I'm starting to wonder if he'll even be a factor now that Stephen Colbert has entered the race in South Carolina and these wicked attack ads are airing...
Genius. And it's funny because it's true!
• It's a Fucking Frog! Just when I think that it's impossible for nature to shock me more than it already has... along comes The World's Tiniest Frog...
Photograph by Christopher Austin, Louisiana State University
How in the hell is this even possible? That's a DIME! And that's an actual frog sitting on top... not even half the size of the coin. How does its lungs function when they must barely be the size of the air molecules they breathe in? Unbelievable. And cute. Lookat da iddybitty froggy!
• ZOMFG it's Music! After one of my favorite bands, The Shins, kind of imploded... I worried that we'd never hear from them again. Shins mastermind James Mercer appeared to move on to a new collaboration called Broken Bells with DJ Danger Mouse, so I figured that was the end of it. But lo and behold this last week I got an iTunes pre-sale notice for a new band line-up and a new album called Port of Morrow...
My expectations are high. Fortunately, the preview track Simple Song didn't disappoint. Can't wait until I get to hear the rest of the album in March. You can pre-order your own copy at the iTunes Music Store here.
• Eggxactly Right! Because groceries are so stupid-expensive, I find myself buying foodstuffs not because I necessarily want them, but because they're on sale for cheap. Most of the time, this comes back to bite me in the ass, but every once in a while I stumble across something so delicious that I wonder how I ever survived without it. Such was the case with Crystal Farms' "Three Cheese Chef's Omlet" from the freezer case...
Holy cow. It's the perfect omelet. Light, fluffy, and loaded with quality, flavorful cheese... from a frickin' microwave! When served on buttered toast with a little ground pepper... it's a quick and easy breakfast that's so good. Which means that it's probably being discontinued and the reason it was on sale was because they were clearing out their inventory. Crap.
• Well I'll Be! And so Washington State is dangerously close to passing Marriage Equality legislation. Color me pleasantly surprised. Despite the fact that "The Coast" is decidedly liberal... the view from Redneckistan here on the other side of the mountains is often cloudy when it comes to gay marriage. Oh I'm sure there are many people here who have no problem with everybody getting their fair shot at happiness (as promised when our country was founded). And there's undoubtedly a growing number of people here who are tired of their gay friends and family being relegated to second class citizens. And it's certain that more and more heterosexual couples are realizing that same-sex marriage has
It just comes down to whether enough politicians will do the right thing and move forward in a way that an increasing majority of Americans want to have happen. Here's hoping.
And now I have to get back to work. And Dune, which is playing as background noise here in my living room. THE SPICE MUST FLOW!
Posted on Monday, January 16th, 2012
I started today the same way I start every Martin Luther King Jr. Day... by listening to his brilliant and beautiful "I have a Dream" speech in its entirety. In my humble opinion, it's probably one of the best-known speeches that most people never bother to listen to. That's a real shame, because it's famous for a very good reason.
I spent the entirety of my day at work, so I don't have anything to blog about.
What I do have is this awesome video for one of my favorite songs from my second-favorite album of 2011... it's Wait & See by Holy Ghost!
What's so awesome about it is that band members Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel only make cameo appearances... they let their fathers be the stars of the video! That's right, they got their dads to stand in for them as aging pop stars who still act like they're in their twenties. Freakin' hilarious...
Always nice to see a music video that can surprise me.
Posted on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
I first became a fan of Betty White while watching reruns of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Her character of Sue Ann Nivens was about the most beautifully messed-up thing I had ever seen on television, and any episode where she appeared was guaranteed to be a laugh riot.
This led to me watching game shows where Betty might appear, and her guest-spots on Match Game, Password, and many others became the stuff of legends.
After that, Betty became a bit of an obsession, and I'd watch anything she'd appear on. And yes, this included 180 episodes of The Golden Girls plus twenty-some-odd episodes of The Golden Palace. Probably because of all the things Betty has done, playing naive and innocent Rose Nylund was the most bizarre. It was not only opposite of what Betty White was like in real-life... but it was also opposite from most other characters she had played. The easy route would have been for her to take the role of man-obsessed sex-fiend Blanche Devereaux (which she was originally offered), but instead she went for the role that would be more of a challenge.
Though, I dare say that playing one of the sweetest, kindest people on earth wasn't too much of a stretch. Betty's tireless efforts on behalf of animals and other worthwhile organizations sets the bar for others to follow. And despite her having always been a bit raunchy, the fact that she is so widely known to be incredibly kind, caring, and generous makes it easy for me to be a huge, huge fan...
As you can imagine, I was very happy when she made such a huge comeback in recent years. Though, in reality, she never really went anywhere (as her massive IMDB page will show). To see legions of people loving on Betty as I had for decades is pretty amazing. That this newfound popularity led to even more fantastic appearances... such as her groundbreaking guest-hosting gig on Saturday Night Live... not to mention a new television show with Hot in Cleveland... is a Betty-fan's dream come true.
So Happy 90th Birthday to one of my favorite people on earth!
Here's hoping for many more birthdays, and many more years of doing what you do best... entertaining the world in a way few people have ever done!
If you want to help her celebrate, I can think of no better way than cruising YouTube for Betty White videos. That can bring a smile on even the worst days!
Posted on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
Today my blog has joined with thousands of other sites that are going dark in protest of SOPA & PIPA legislation, both of which have the scary possibility of destroying freedom of expression on the internet.
Of course since my site is dark you can't read this... but, if you're in the future now, you can take a look at what Blogography looked like today by clicking on this link (thanks to Zachary Johnson for the awesome code!).
If you are so inclined, you can read more about SOPA & PIPA here.
If you would prefer not to get into the gory details, suffice to say that SOPA & PIPA are trying to do a good thing (crack down on internet piracy) badly (by destroying the internet). It basically boils down to politicians sucking up to lobbyists at the expense of the people they are supposed to be serving.
I absolutely support fighting piracy. I work with industries which have been damaged by people stealing their property, and I know the havoc it causes. So when idiot politicians who have been duped (or bought) to defend SOPA & PIPA are saying "we're fighting to save American jobs!"... they're actually talking about people like me. But they're not speaking for people like me. Because I would never support this kind of stupid shit which would do nothing to actually stop piracy. Ultimately SOPA & PIPA are more about censorship than justice, and I'll have no part of it.
The only internet that matters is a free and open internet.
Anything less, for better or worse, is unacceptable, and nobody should be given the power to change that.
Posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2012
ZOMFG! I have a cold y'all!
I'm fairly lucky in that I rarely get hit with colds or the flu. After going back through my blog, I see that the last time I had a cold was in February of 2009... or three years ago. Not surprisingly, everything I'm feeling now was pretty much summed up when I wrote about it then. LOL! LMFAO! ROTFL!
I say "not surprisingly" because my "cold routine" is always the same...
SYMPTOMS: Sinus tickle... beginnings of a sore throat.
DIAGNOSIS: Dude! You're coming down with a cold!
PRESCRIPTION: Overdose on Vitamin C, Spirulina, and Excederin PM for sleep.
SYMPTOMS: Runny nose, congestion, sore throat.
DIAGNOSIS: Dude! You totally have a cold now!
PRESCRIPTION: Overdose on Vitamin C and Spirulina. Take DayQuil to survive the work day. Take NyQuil to go comatose at night. Go on a Pine-Orange-Banana juice fast. Zinc lozenges throughout the day.
SYMPTOMS: Congestion so bad your head will explode, very runny nose, sore throat.
DIAGNOSIS: Dude! You are dying!
PRESCRIPTION: Same as day two... PLUS chocolate pudding.
SYMPTOMS: Minor residual symptoms... little bit of a runny nose left.
DIAGNOSIS: Dude! You're gonna live!
PRESCRIPTION: Regular doses of Vitamin C and Spirulina. NO cold medications.
Now... if I'm lucky, Day Four is the end of it. I wake up on Day Five and am pretty much cured. But every once in a while, I get "The Cold Cure Fake-Out" which means your cold comes back stronger and harder than ever on Day Five. In which case I'm screwed. Colds like that can hang on for weeks.
Right now I am at the end of Day Three. I can already feel my cold breaking, and have stopped taking all cold medication (I find it's good to stop as soon as possible, because cold meds seem to prolong a cold if taken too long). Which means tomorrow I'll start recovering. That's awesome, because two days of misery is more than enough.
But then there's Day Five. Where I'm either cured or screwed.
Now there's a Saturday to look forward to.
Posted on Friday, January 20th, 2012
I love the music of Etta James.
And even though the concert I attended with Ms. Sizzle ended up being one of the most bizarre events of my life, I feel incredibly blessed to have seen her perform live. Truly, there are few talents that can even approach that of Ms. James.
My favorite song of hers is the one she's most famous for. And while I could have easily tracked down something more obscure, I wouldn't have found anything more beautiful...
Rest in peace, Etta. Your amazing voice will live on forever.
Posted on Saturday, January 21st, 2012
Last night as my cold was ending and my sinuses were draining out, I was aching too much to sleep. Instead I wrote today's blog post. This morning I went to read it and couldn't understand what in the heck I was talking about. At first I was going to try and edit it into something cohesive, but decided to delete it instead.
Luckily Kim came along with a meme to blog about this fine Saturday (which Marty also did). It's ELEVEN RANDOM THINGS ABOUT YOU!
And now I'm answering Kim's Eleven questions...
I think I'm supposed to ask eleven questions of my own now, but I'm wiped out. Kim has good questions... answer hers!
Posted on Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
THE SNOWPOCALYPSE IS UPON US! SNOWMAGEDDON IS HERE! Grab that special someone and bundle up tight, because Bullet Sunday starts now...
• Depp! People can say what they like, but nobody in cinema amazes me like Johnny Depp. The guy is absolutely talented... absolutely fearless... and absolutely brilliant. He can disappear into a role unlike anybody else, and owns any character he takes on. And this time it's yet another Tim Burton collaboration where he will be playing Barnabas Collins in the movie adaptation of Dark Shadows. This one image that's been released is enough to make me want to see this movie...
Just like it only took one image for me to want to see these movies...
I'll be the first to admit that not every film Johnny Depp signs onto ends up being great. But his performances are always interesting. It's hard to ask for anything more than that, so I'm always looking forward to his next performance.
• Sniffle! I tend to look at everything as a learning experience. Even having a cold. This time around I learned about a new tissue... COOL TOUCH KLEENEX...
It is awesome on a sore nose because it is, in fact, cool to the touch. And it feels great on your nose. I think it must be some kind of scent-free menthol-like substance that is body-heat activated. Or not. But however they make it happen, it's a pretty sweet advance in tissue technology, and the only tissue I'll be buying from now on.
I could tell you what a terrific, quirky character Walter "The Finder" Sherman is (played by Geoff Stults) and how entertaining the stories are, but all I really need to say is that it has Michael Clarke Duncan in it. If you're looking for something a little different to watch this winter, this show may be worth a look. You can catch the last couple episodes streaming on the official FOX site.
• Netflix Streaming Movie of the Month! Lately I've been on a foreign movie binge and discovering some real gems. The latest is a wonderful French film called The Grocer's Son now streaming on Netflix...
After his father has a heart attack, a guy living in Paris returns to his family home in the countryside to help his mother with their store. His job is to drive a grocery van to small villages and remote homes so that the elderly people there can buy foodstuffs. After a while he begins to form a bond with his customers and his outlook on life starts to change. If you're looking for some "comfort cinema" this sweet story is worth watching.
• Netflix Streaming TV Series of the Month! The contemporary re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes by Steven Moffat and the BBC is currently streaming on Netflix. It is beyond brilliant, and I highly recommend giving it a look if you haven't already...
Like most shows from across the pond, Sherlock has stories, acting, and production values that are leagues above what typically passes for American television. Probably because each series only has three episodes. They put all their good ideas into small number of shows rather than trying to stretch everything out over 22 episodes like they do here.
• Cinematic Anticipation! There's been a movie hovering on the horizon that has me pretty excited. Now Robot and Frank has been unleashed at Sundance and the reviews have been pretty great...
I mean, come on, it's got Frank Langella playing a retired cat burglar who is given a robot to help around the house. But Frank discovers a much more interesting use for his robot pal... crime. As a premise, it doesn't get much better than that!
Annnnnd... scene. I need toast and jam.
Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012
What a freaky-ass day.
I can only guess that this has something to do with the Chinese New Year beginning. It's The Year of the Dragon, after all. And while I don't put much stock into the Chinese Zodiac, I do think it's a pretty entertaining and well-thought-out concept. Especially since Dragons have Rats and Monkeys as bestest friends, which is kind of cool if you ask me...
My day started when I went to get into my car and drive to work. And found that I couldn't. There was a sheet of ice a quarter-inch thick covering everything... including the door. This meant fifteen minutes of scraping ice out of the door seams with the bottle opener on my keychain. Then another ten minutes chipping ice off the rest of my car with an ice scraper before my vehicle was fit to drive. It wouldn't have been all that bad if not for the fact that my bottle opener broke, giving up its life so I could go to work. I've had it for over a decade and used it often, but don't think I ever actually opened a bottle with it.
Once I finally made it to work, I was plagued with a series of inexplicably bizarre phone calls (and here I was just saying how much I hated talking on the phone!). The bad news is that it wasted entirely too much of my time. The good news is that I got to alleviate my boredom by getting caught up on Facebook and Twitter.
I also got caught up with entertainment news and learned that Seal and Heidi Klum were breaking up their marriage after seven years. I dunno why, but I was pretty sad to hear it.
And speaking of marriage... I then got caught up on news news and learned that Washington State's Legislature has enough votes to pass marriage equality. Whether this actually happens remains to be seen, but I am really happy that my gay and lesbian friends here in The Evergreen State are one step closer to being able to celebrate their relationships in marriage just like opposite-sex couples can!
Of course, all is not big gay smiles here in The Pacific Northwest...
This is Pastor Ken Hutcherson who is heading up some backwards anti-equality organization had this to say about Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire... "She might as well change her name to John Wilkes Booth because what she’s doing now is trying to put a bullet in the head of one of the greatest traditions that has ever existed and has built our society, and that is marriage between one man and one woman."
Far be it for me to speak ill of a man of the cloth... but what a fucking idiot.
What "puts a bullet in the head of marriage" is DIVORCE you dumbass. And why drag President Lincoln into this? Perhaps you hadn't heard, but the man eventually ended up fighting for equality of peoples in kind of a big way. Not really the best example you could have used.
What's important is that dinosaurs like Pastor Ken are slowly and steadily becoming a thing of the past as new generations of Americans understand that FREEDOM means that you sometimes have to accept shit you don't want to. Don't believe in same-sex marriage? Then how about you don't fucking marry somebody of the same sex?
But I guess I should know better than to try and apply logic to situations like these. To entirely too many people, it's only "freedom" when everything goes your way.
Posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
My online sewing classes have started!
I learned to sew when I was pretty young. My grandmother thought it was important that I be able to mend a hole in a shirt or hem a pair of pants, so she taught me the basics. Over the years I've made use of my sewing skills from time to time. Usually to fix a piece of clothing I've ripped up, but sometimes to do something interesting. Like make a Halloween costume...
But I've grown rusty over the years, and the last thing I want to do is embarrass myself in front of my grandmother the next time I have to use her sewing machine.
And sew (heh heh) I signed up for an e-course over at Whipstitch Modern Sewing called "Essential Sewing." It sounded like exactly what I needed to get my confidence back and hone my skills for whatever sewing-related emergencies might come up. The itinerary is surprisingly comprehensive, and takes six weeks to complete (all for the ridiculous bargain price of $179!).
The e-course started with an intro video yesterday.
It's nothing like I thought it would be.
It's actually fun.
That's because Deborah isn't content to just throw out instructions, her videos are all about getting everybody excited about sewing. And she's funny...
NOTE: Deborah doesn't actually say this. I'm paraphrasing.
Students started out by introducing ourselves, talking about our sewing experience, then telling everybody our "sewing fantasy"... what we aspire to do once we've completed the course. My fantasy is to be able to neatly extend sleeves on shirts and jackets when I can't find them in "Tall" sizes (which is all the time). Fingers crossed that Deb will make all my fantasies come true!*
Tonight was the second video where Deborah starts digging into the tools you'll need. Like scissors...
NOTE: Deborah doesn't actually say this. I'm paraphrasing again.
Apparently, when it comes to scissors, ideally you want eight long hard inches of steel. I was kind of embarrassed when I had to tell everybody in the class that I'm packin' two inches of soft aluminum... with pink plastic handles...
What I didn't have the guts to share is that my grandmother's sewing machine is like... sixty years old or something. Oh well. It totally works...
From there we went on to learning about irons...
NOTE: Deborah doesn't actually say this. She SHOULD though, right?
When I signed up for the class, I was excited about becoming a better seamstress seamster(?), but kind of dreading having to do the work to actually get there. But now? After only two videos, I am completely psyched to dig in and learn to sew stuff good!
I've decided to post my progress on Tuesday of each week. THAT aught to be interesting.
In the meanwhile, if you want to join in on the class (or take a look at the classes offered for all experience levels)... click here to visit the Whipstitch e-course page! Then prepare to have your world rocked**.
*I'd be dubious, but she wouldn't be the first woman putting videos on the internet that have promised to make my fantasies come true, then delivered on that promise!
**Or at least nicely tailored.
Posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
When you wake up to the sound of snowplows scraping the street, it's more difficult than usual to get out of bed. Obviously it snowed last night, could still be snowing, and that means the roads are going to suck.
Except it turns out it wasn't snow, it was rain. Which was freezing over the snow and ended up creating an icy crust all over the roads... and my car. This made driving to work a bit of an ordeal because everybody was sliding on shards of ice...
Tonight it's snowing again, so tomorrow there will be snow on ice on snow.
That's something to look forward to.
In other news, I've put my good-bye letter to BlackBerry and RIM in an extended entry...
Posted on Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Newt Gingrich is a moron and let me tell you why.
At a campaign stop at Florida's Space Coast, he promised that there will be a permanent American lunar colony within eight years if he is elected president. As if that weren't bad enough, people seem to be crazy in love with the idea.
Putting aside where we're going to get the money to pay for all this when taxes are going to be cut to the bone under a Gingrich presidency, I have to say that this is one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard.
HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING FROM SPACE:1999?!?
For those not in the know, SPACE: 1999 was a 1970's science fiction show that told the cautionary tale of what happens when you build a lunar colony on the moon.
In the series, the founding of Moonbase Alpha leads to earth storing their nuclear waste on the far side of the moon. One day, a strange magnetic radiation causes the waste to go into meltdown and a massive thermonuclear explosion ensues...
And do you know what happens next?
THE MOON IS BLASTED OUT OF EARTH ORBIT AND HURLED INTO SPACE, that's what!
Never mind that having our moon gone missing would be devastating for all life on earth because of it fucking up the weather and tides and stuff... that's not even the worst part. No, the worst part is that the humans stuck on the moon will eventually encounter freaky-ass space monsters... freaky-ass space bitches... AND freaky-ass space bitches that turn into freaky-ass space monsters!
And there you have it. Vote for Newt Gingrich if you must, but only if you want to lose our moon and have American citizens face space bitches that turn into space monsters (which, admittedly, would be a terrific candidate for the fourth Mrs. Gingrich... COINCIDENCE?!?).
As for me? I choose to REMEMBER MOONBASE ALPHA! SAY NO LUNAR COLONIZATION! SAY NO TO NEWT GINGRICH!
It's at times like these that I truly fear for this country. Spread the word. Save us all.
Posted on Friday, January 27th, 2012
I think most everyone has experienced a time when they feel very small and alone.
The last time I remember truly feeling that way was in the 1990's when I was doing a lot of traveling by myself. Nothing makes you feel more small and alone than wandering in a strange country where you don't speak the language and don't really know what you're doing. Many times it was just me, my backpack, a map, and very little money.
It was a different time. Blogging hadn't quite arrived. Social networking as we know it now didn't exist. Sure the internet was around, but it wasn't something you carried around in your pocket like today. The way I can best describe life back then is disconnected.
Now I'm never alone. Not really.
Even when I'm alone.
Thanks to the internet, I have friends around the world. Somebody I know somewhere is online at any given time and all it takes is a Tweet or a Facebook update to reach them. I'm hardly ever disconnected... even when I'm traveling in foreign lands far from home. I just pull out my iPhone and the entire world is at my fingertips.
Feeling "alone" for me now-a-days has radically changed.
It's no longer so much about me so much as it's about things around me.
Last year a movie came out called The Eagle. It was roundly savaged in the reviews. People really disliked the film. This was disappointing to me because I'm a fan of Roman Empire era books and movies and was looking forward to it. But I ended up skipping it. Who has time for bad movies?
Tonight I wanted some background noise while working so I turned on the television. As I was whipping through channel after channel of nothing, I saw that HBO had The Eagle playing, so I left it there and went back to work. At least I wouldn't be distracted.
But slowly the movie sucked me in. I ended up really liking it.
And knowing that so many people hated it suddenly made me feel very alone.
I just didn't get it. Yes, the story was simple and straightforward, but it's well-crafted. It's beautifully shot. Good and evil aren't spelled out in black & white, but are subjective and interesting. The film is entertaining overall and even a bit touching in places. So... what's the problem? In an effort to understand what I had missed that was so loathsome, I started reading the bad reviews. I didn't agree with much of them.
A big deal was made over how Romans were played by Americans speaking English where the Brits were played by actual Brits speaking Gaelic. I guess it's odd, but it had an internal logic that was consistent, so I wasn't bothered. Many reviews criticized Channing Tatum's performance as "uninspiring." This was puzzling to me. His character at its core was disgraced and dejected, and I think that came across. Maybe he could have been a little more passionate as his quest came to a head, but even then I though his emotional detachment worked in the context of the character...
Tatum plays Marcus Flavius Aquila, a Roman Centurian whose father disappeared with the famous Ninth Legion in the wilds of Scotland, taking the the famed Eagle Standard (a symbol of Rome) with them. Aquila chooses to be posted in Britain in the hopes that he can regain his family honor there. But his military career is cut short when he is badly wounded by a hoard of invading Celts. While recovering, he hears rumors that the Eagle Standard has been seen in the North in the hands of the enemy. The film then becomes a buddy flick as Aquila and his British slave Escra (Jamie Bell) go on a quest to recover The Eagle so Aquila's family name can be cleared and Rome's honor can be snatched from the jaws of defeat. Some fighting and an encounter with "Seal People" ensue...
So I liked the movie and I'm pretty much alone in that.
Maybe I can commiserate with fans of the television show Chuck which aired its last episode tonight because not very many people liked it*.
Being alone together makes being alone not so bad!
*Including me. I frickin' hated the show Chuck. The only thing that could get me to watch an episode would be if the whiny little bitch Chuck Bartowski was killed in some horribly gruesome manner.
Posted on Saturday, January 28th, 2012
There's new products.
And then there's dangerously new products.
After I got home from work, I saw a commercial for "Krave," which kind of blew my mind...
Because, seriously... IT'S CEREAL FILLED WITH CHOCOLATE CANDY! Isn't it glorious?
Pour a shot of Jägermeister on top, and you've got a party.
My work Mac has been dying for a while now. It's been in near constant use for six years, so this isn't surprising. I'm just happy that it has worked so well for so long... and especially pleased that Apple supported it all this time. So far as I know, you can still run all the latest software on the latest version of MacOS X, which is pretty remarkable. Sure it runs slow, but not prohibitively so. If the video and hard drive controllers weren't flaking out, I probable could have gotten another year or two out of it. But, alas, the video gets jittery even when I replace the video card, and I keep losing files and having crashes, soooooo... I guess it's time.
At first I was looking into getting another Mac Pro. But then I noticed that Apple seems to be distancing themselves from their desktop computer line. It's rarely updated and no real innovations have been happening there for a while. Where the action is at is in the iMac line...
The top-of-the-line iMac is over twice as fast as my current computer. That's not as nice as a new mid-level Mac Pro, which would be four times faster, but an iMac is half the price, so there you have it. It's also pretty. So I ordered a tricked out a 27-inch iMac and we'll see how it goes.
Nothing quite like adding even more profit to Apple's bottom line to make you feel alive.
Posted on Sunday, January 29th, 2012
Buckle up and strap in, another edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Fight! As Florida's Republican Primary draws near, the battle between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney is really getting nasty. Partly because the attack ads flying back and forth are pretty harsh... but mostly because nasty-ass Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum is still hanging on the election like a nasty-ass used condom stuck on the side of a nasty-ass trash can...
Heeeeeeere's Santorum! — Photos by Scott Olson/Getty and ABC
I wonder how Gingrich and Romney are going to get rid of him? Maybe they could look into how to get shit stains out of underwear and give that a try.
• Hobbits! LEGO announced that they have a license for new sets based on The Lord of The Rings. I dare say that I am actually more excited about this than I was when they got the Batman license (if such a thing is possible)...
Photo taken from Brickset!
When the LEGO Lord of the Rings video game comes out, I will be deliriously happy.
• Noooooo! It's not all good news in the world of LEGO though... the incredible LEGO UNIVERSE massive multi-player online game is shutting down at the end of the month...
The game is really well done and a lot of fun but, unfortunately, I rarely had time to play it. I wish that they would take all the game assets and release it as an offline adventure game, because there was a lot of good stuff in there.
• Mode! A friend sent me this video of a guy and his two kids performing Depeche Mode's awesome song Everything Counts. So epic it hurts...
Here's hoping that they take on People are People as a follow-up.
• Render! My work requires that I be able to render 3-D images from time to time. 3-D itself is fairly easy, and there are apps that make it dead simple to do basic stuff. Where the challenge comes is doing 3-D rendering well. This requires some very good tools that usually come with a steep learning curve. I started out with a program called Electric Image Animation System to render, because that's what Industrial Light and Magic used when they re-did the special effects for the Star Wars films. I needed a 3-D modeler, so I had to learn Form-Z. Eventually EIAS got its own modeler, so I learned that. After a while EIAS dropped their modeler. This pissed me off, so I dumped EIAS and learned Cinema 4D. But Cinema 4D didn't render as nicely as EIAS, so I went back to EIAS and learned how to use modo for my modeling. Eventually I got sick and tired of jumping back and forth between EIAS and modo and dumped both of them for NewTek's all-in-one package called Lightwave 3D. Lightwave was moving to a cool new technology called CORE, and I wanted in. But then NewTek dumped CORE so I dumped Lightwave 3D. Not wanting to start all over again, I went back to EIAS and modo. But then modo started adding its own rendering and animation tools that were really sweet, so I dumped EIAS. Now I use modo for everything and love it.
Except... in the background there has always been Maya, a hideously cool 3D package that I've always lusted after but could never afford. For even a basic Maya setup, you're paying $3500 minimum (and the license upkeep is equally pricey). But yesterday I was offered a Maya license for a project that's coming up. So now I'm torn. Do I really want to take the time to learn a new program all over again? The answer to that is ABSOLUTELY! I have never shied away from learning something new, and this is a dream come true. The problem is that I don't have time to take the time to learn Maya, so I had to decline this most generous offer.
Nothing quite like watching Reality walk into the room and crush a dream right in front of you.
And on that happy note, the weekend is over.
Posted on Monday, January 30th, 2012
My lunch today consists of a 5-Hour Energy Shot and some oatmeal-raisin cookies. I'm hoping that they will keep me awake while I make my way through the heap of emails that took a dump on my in-box this morning.
One of the emails I got was regarding my mention of traveling in the 1990's, and was asking if I had photos of what I looked like back then. I suppose I have lots of them. But that was from the pre-digital era, so I don't know where the photos are. I do have this one of me from 1994 stuck on my bulletin board though...
And here's one from 1992 that I had posted earlier...
Yes, yes I know... I was so damn hot back then! What happened? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'm willing to bet that Jägermeister is involved.
The strange thing about looking at these photos is realizing how different things are for me when I travel now vs. how I traveled twenty years ago. I've hinted about it before, but back then I was redefining the meaning of "budget travel." All my money went into just getting there. I remember times of having to decide between such luxuries as "eating" or "having a place to sleep at night." Heady days of having $25 to last three days, so I'd sleep in a train station and try to find a bakery selling day-old bread for cheap so I could eat... then rationing the loaf so it lasted for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Absolutely every move I'd make would have to be weighed against the cost, and many days were spent just scraping by as I went from place to place.
Looking back, I should have been miserable... but I truly wasn't. I wanted to travel to as many interesting places as I could, so I'd take a new trip the minute I had enough money for airfare. I didn't care that this left me with nothing to live on once I got there, I was compelled to go. And being hungry and trying to find a safe place to sleep because I blew all my money on a museum ticket was just the way things were.
Yet... I was having the time of my life.
And nothing anybody could say would convince me otherwise.
Of course today I look back on some of the more dicey days and am both horrified I put myself in those situations... and amazed I survived them... but that's youth for you. I can honestly say I wouldn't change a thing. Life is good.
Now I should probably get back to work. The rest of these emails aren't going to answer themselves.
But one more thing before I go... congratulations to one of my favorite people on earth, BETTY WHITE, for her SAG win last night! Big buckets of awesome...
Photo from Kevin Winter, Getty Images
I wish Betty had time to do a guest appearance on Raising Hope, Happy Endings, or The Finder... her cameos are always legendary, and it would be sweet to have her appearing on my favorite shows.
Posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
I thought I lost my passport, so I'm recovering from a total meltdown right now. I hate it when I misplace important stuff like that.
But enough about me.
And so, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, Mitt Romney won the Florida Primary in a cake-walk. Congratulations, Republicans! You might as well have selected President Obama to be your candidate...
In all seriousness, Hello Kitty would have a better chance of winning against Obama than Romney...
The only way Romney is going to win would be if President Obama punched Betty White in the face while crapping on a bald eagle and then wiping his ass with an American flag during the Super Bowl half-time show as he denounces NASCAR and declares himself an atheist.
And with that mental picture firmly implanted in my brain, I'm off to bed. I probably won't sleep much (as usual), but I've got an incredibly busy day tomorrow, so I might as well pretend to get some rest.
Right after I make sure my passport is still where I think I left it...