The amount of hate-mail/hate-comments dropping on my blog have reached new highs lately. It had died down to one a week for the longest time, but now I'm getting at least one a day. I'm guessing it has to do with Washington State getting ready to pass marriage equality and the court decision coming up on Prop 8, because most of the mail/comments are from entries where I talk about that kind of stuff.
Not surprisingly, nothing I've been getting adds anything remotely interesting to the conversation. Instead it's just anonymous profanity and/or insults directed towards me, which is immediately deleted.
The thing that upsets me about all this is not that people are compelled to toss a little hatred my way... but that they're so bad at it. Their profanity is just pathetic and funny, and their attempt at insults aren't even vaguely insulting. It's all just so amateurish and lame.
So, in an attempt to improve the level of hate-mail/hate-comments on my blog, I've decided to help out the haters by giving them some tips on how to hate better. First I'm going to list the five most common "insults" they use... then I'm going to give them a far more insulting alternative...
I can see how bigoted homophobe guys might take it as an insult when somebody calls them "gay" (or some slang approximation thereof) but, since I'm not a bigoted homophobe, this has zero impact as an insult. You might as well be calling me "left-handed" or "short" or "blue-eyes"... they're all wrong, but it's not like I give a shit. On the contrary, being called "gay" is pretty much a compliment in my book. Many of the gay dudes I know are some of the most kind, strong, interesting, hard-working, honest, decent people I've ever met. They also tend to be better-looking and better-groomed than me. To be lumped in with a group like that (even mistakenly!) is not something I mind one bit. No, I'm not into guys, but I have plenty of gay friends that mean more to me than any crap I take for standing with them. So unleash whatever homophobic bullshit on me you want if it makes you feel more secure about your own sexuality. I'm here to help!
MORE INSULTING ALTERNATIVE: "Ur Thoughtless." The very foundation of my beliefs is based on being thoughtful towards others... even if they're being assholes towards me. I am not always successful (especially when I am angry) but I do try. Being told that I'm not trying hard enough is about the most hurtful thing somebody can say to me.
I get labeled as a "liberal" all the time. I'm the first to admit that my political sensibilities do tend to fall in the liberal spectrum, but it's almost always having to do with human rights and environmental issues. Yes, I think the very poor (particularly children) shouldn't have to go hungry or be denied medical care. Yes, I support humanitarian foreign aid efforts. Yes, I am 100% onboard for citizen equality issues such as same-sex marriage. Yes, I believe in a woman's right to choose (even though my personal beliefs may be otherwise). Yes, I am totally supportive of anti-discrimination legislation. Yes, I think the government should have some oversight when monitoring food safety, education, and environmental matters. Etcetera. Etcetera. And if somebody wants to call me "liberal" or "progressive" or "socialist" because of my beliefs, then so be it. But even though I don't consider myself a "liberal," that doesn't mean I'm going to be gravely offended in being labeled one.
MORE INSULTING ALTERNATIVE: "Ur a Hippie." I value hard work highly. So having somebody equate my humanist beliefs with a drugged-out, love-bead-wearing, guitar-strumming, ponytail-bedecked, do-nothing hippie squatting in a park somewhere is pretty damn insulting. I'm about as far away from a hippie as I can get considering I'm not a millionaire but, when it comes to unfounded name-calling, this one gets me riled every time because I Just. Loathe. Hippies. So. Darn. Much.
I get labeled as a "conservative" more often than you might think. Usually by "liberal" friends who simply don't understand how I could possibly agree with anything that any conservative might ever say. Ever. But... there are areas where I absolutely do. Usually when it comes to fiscal responsibility, the folly of entitlements, the one-sidedness of subsidies, and the overall concept of getting government the fuck out of every aspect of our lives. True conservatism promotes personal freedoms as a cornerstone of our society. The fact that so many self-proclaimed "conservatives" completely ignore this fact is not the fault of conservatism... but the hypocrisy of morons who don't know what they're talking about. So go ahead and call me a conservative, because I actually do know what I'm talking about.
MORE INSULTING ALTERNATIVE: "Ur Heartless." It's not my fault that so many faux conservatives come across as heartless bastards, but being lumped in with these people is something that truly stings. I was once called "heartless" because my lack of support for government beef subsidies "hurts small cattle ranches." But I know full well that it's the massive conglomerates with cruel livestock conditions and horrendous pollution that are the biggest beneficiaries of the billions of dollars that our government hands out. Not to mention the health risks that come from cheap beef production. But even knowing what I know, the thought of somebody thinking me heartless is pretty hard to take.
Being called "stupid" is about as popular as it is laughable. Because what I am, in fact, is a genius. Not just a self-proclaimed genius, but an actual certified genius with the IQ test scores to back it up many times over. And when one of my ass cheeks is probably smarter than the dumbass calling me "stupid," it's not like I can ever take their crap seriously. Odds are that they call people "stupid" because they're too fucking brain-dead to debate the issue with any kind of discourse. They read something here and think "I disagree with this statement, therefore the person who wrote it must be stupid!" and away they go. Want to contest my opinions and observations? By all means please do. I love a healthy debate, and think that everybody can learn from other people... even somebody as smart as I am. But call me stupid? All that does is confirm to me that you're the one that's a fucking moron.
MORE INSULTING ALTERNATIVE: "Ur uninformed." Before I form an opinion on anything, I really do try to examine the issue from all sides. I can't learn everything, obviously, but I want to at least have a grasp on the generalities before I go spouting off. So if I've overlooked something obvious and am truly uninformed on some aspect of an issue... then bringing that up is about as big a slap in my face as you'll manage (well, verbally, anyway).
This usually comes from somebody commenting on one of my DaveToons. Now granted, if my crappy cartoons were all I had to go on, I'd probably call myself untalented. They're crude, amateurish, and repetitive, so I get it. But to judge the entirety of my talent (or lack thereof) based on one cartoon you happened to run across is really shortsighted. I don't get paid to blog, so they're supposed to be crude, amateurish, and repetitive... they're designed that way so I can create them quickly and move on to something that's going to pay me! But, whatever. I do a lot of work with a lot of people and a lot of companies who like my work and respect my professionalism, so calling me "untalented" over a stupid cartoon will fall on deaf ears.
MORE INSULTING ALTERNATIVE: "Ur boring." My blog isn't always as exciting as it could be. But since I don't write about work, friends, family, or relationships, there's a huge chunk of my life that's not going to end up on Blogography, so this is something I have to live with. But just because I'm blogging about this new brand of toilet paper I bought, that doesn't necessarily mean that this was the most exciting thing that happened. It just means it was the most exciting thing which I could write about. So even though I know my blog is boring at times (and can't be helped), it doesn't make it any less hurtful when somebody reminds me.
And there you have it, haters! Here's hoping the next round of insults I get from you will be much better than the weak-ass, anonymous, pussified, dumbassery you usually send my way.
And I'm off...
And so it was that we came unto the Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam for the merriment of Bitchsterdam 3 and a grand time was had by all. The DutchBitch was there, of course, along with Breigh and her husband Xander. And I finally got to meet Invader Stu as well...
Unfortunately, the battery on my pocket camera was dead, so I only have these few photos from my iPhone. If any of us had thought to take a group photo, it would have looked something like this...
I can't wait until Bitchsterdam 4!
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Happy Super-Moon!
Today when I dropped by YouTube, I got a notification that I had Google Videos that can automatically be transferred over. I think they had mentioned sometime last year that they were shutting down their video services, so the end must be nigh.
I didn't even remember using Google Video, so I clicked through to find that I had just one... my very first vlog entry! Apparently I gave a quiz, and the video was my way of providing the answers. But it's me we're talking about, so I had to take time to be a total nut-job first...
Interestingly enough, my original entry for it had a full transcript, which I don't even remember writing.
Anyway, you might want to check and see if you have any wayward videos hanging around Google before they cut off access completely.
Ooh! You can WIN FREE STUFF in this entry! Read on, fair reader...
Since starting this blog, I've refused at least a hundred offers to review crap, promote crap, or sell crap. So when a guy from Moo Printing emailed me with an offer of free business cards,. I was going to say no. But then he also offered to let me GIVE AWAY free business cards if I'd review my Moo experience. So I said "okay!" because I love my readers more than I love not lying.
And because I had a good experience with Moo in the past for my clothing tags, I figured there was a good chance I wouldn't have to say anything nasty in my review. That would be really awkward.
So I'll skip to the good part first. I LOVE MY NEW BLOGGER CARDS!
Moo makes it ridiculously easy to create great-looking cards, stickers, postcards, and other cool stuff.
Once you've selected what you want to print, all you have to do is decide what you want for a design. I created new DaveToons to upload, but you can easily import images or graphics from Flickr, Picassa, SmugMug, Facebook, and even Etsy...
And here's the thing that makes Moo so frickin' awesome... you can have a separate design for the front of EACH individual piece! Ordering 100 business cards? All 100 can have a different photo on them! If you use less images than the number of pieces you're ordering, Moo will attempt to evenly divide the cards between the designs.
What's cool about this is that I was able to make cards for both my blogs in the same box to save money over ordering two different cards separately. I made Bad Monkey cards in four different colors for Blogography, then made Lil' Dave card for DaveCafe (which I uploaded twice so I would have extra...
Then you turn the card over to design the back. You can select colors, type what you want, then have Moo do the rest... or you can design something from scratch like I did...
And that's all there is to it, really. The whole process is dead-simple, and Moo lets you see what your finished cards are going to look like before you place your order. Once you're happy with things, all you have to do is checkout and wait.
When my cards finally arrived, I prepared myself for disappointment. Because the colors never seem to turn out like what you wanted... especially with the crazy, unprintable bright colors I used. But, surprise surprise, the printing was pretty darn good. The shading on Lil' Dave's face usually comes out all banded when printed, but the Moo printing had gradients that were smooth as butter. My "impossible to print" colors turned out much brighter than I was expecting (though not quite as bright as this photo from my iPhone shows)...
What really great is the paper stock Moo uses. The "Classic" paper I selected is a really nice 16pt thick stock with a satin finish that's soft to the touch. They also have a "Green" (as in eco-friendly, not color) stock that runs a bit higher. They "feel" good in the hand, and are sure to make an impression when you hand them out.
As shown in the first photo, Moo packs your cards in a classy but sturdy black box. It has tabbed dividers for "MINE" and "THEIRS" so you can even use it as a case if you want.
About the only complaint I had was that the cards were not centered in the cutting die very well when they were punched out. They're a couple millimeters offset. This doesn't seem like a big deal but, on something as small as a business card, you definitely notice it. I would think that Moo would be a little more careful given their high-quality standards, but there you have it...
Does it "ruin" the card? Not really. I stayed within the "safety margin" I was given, so nothing got cut off. Most people probably won't even notice. But to an anal-retentive designer like myself, it's kind of a bummer. And yet... they're still the best business cards I've ever had.
Moo has generously offered to let me give away a box of 100 "Classic" business cards (a $39.98 value) plus free domestic shipping (a $7.75 value). If you want extras like "Green" paper... or the nifty rounded corners I have on my cards... or rush shipping... or international delivery... or whatever... you'll have to pay the difference yourself.
To enter in the drawing, just leave a comment telling me your favorite sandwich. I'll draw a name at random from all the commenters in one week on May 23rd (so get your comment posted by May 22nd!). Be sure to leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win (it won't be shown). GOOD LUCK! And thanks to Moo for not only my beautiful business cards, but for thinking of my readers too!
Wanna Moo too? Here's a direct link to their business cards page!
Okay... Okay... Okay... THREE EPISODES of Community tonight?!?
The first of the three was my favorite episode to date, which is really saying something considering the slew of frickin' amazing episodes that came previously. Not only did they faithfully represent the Age of 8-Bit Video Games perfectly, the characterization of each cast member in pixels was flawless...
The fact that the show is only getting a paltry 13 episode order next season is a travesty. But I suppose they have to make room for what ever shitty reality television crap they've bought to stink up the airwaves come Fall. I know that television is a business, and ratings and ad revenue are the only factors that really matter... but come on. Given the quality, critical acclaim, and rabid fan base of the show, NBC owes it to humanity to at least get Community up to 65 episodes so it can be syndicated.
But the network seems intent on killing it off.
And speaking of premature deaths...
This morning I got an email from somebody who stumbled across my blog from a Google search and wanted to thank me for writing about whatever it was they were looking for. It was a really nice note, and it's good to know that this blog has useful content squeezed in-between all the stupid crap I usually write about.
The interesting bit came at the end of the email when they said "I hope you've made arrangements to keep you blog around after you're dead because it would be a shame for it to disappear."
To which I replied "Nope. My guess is that Blogography will die shortly after I do, but thanks for the kind words!"
Then I got to thinking about how I really should be more distraught that nine years of my life will soon evaporate if I get hit by a bus tomorrow. But I'm not. Not really. I've toyed with the idea of deleting my blog a half-dozen times in the past, so why should I care if it happens after I'm dead? I suppose it's a little depressing to think that a domain scalper will undoubtedly come along and grab "blogography.com" so they can use it to link to a bunch of websites selling "generic viagra" or something. But that's life... and death... on the internet for you.
Eventually I'll be gone and forgotten just like 99.9% of everybody else on earth, and that's probably how it should be.
Unless somebody wants to finance that monument to my greatness I so totally deserve...
Congratulations to Foo at Foodiddy! She just won my drawing for a pack of awesome business cards from Moo!
But don't despair if you didn't win... you can still get 10% off your first order at Moo by following this link!
I apologize for not posting this earlier, but technical difficulties got in the way when I tried to upload a video of me drawing the winner's name like I usually do (format error?!?). Rather than wasting another day trying to figure it out, I just snapped some screen captures from the movie...
Thanks to everybody who entered!
Well that was fun! Kind of gets me psyched for my TEN YEAR BLOGIVERSARY CELEBRATION next April... it'll be crazy-delicious!
Gotta have priorities, yo.
Sometimes I regret that I'm a "daily blogger."
The reason I write daily is because I know my blog would die a long, slow death if I started skipping days. First I'd skip once or twice a month... then skip once or twice a week... and then, before I even realize it, I'm struggling to write two entries a month. At which point Blogography is dead. I've seen it happen with other blogs many times before. And so I continue to post something every single day, even if I don't have anything to write about or I'm going through something that can't be blogged.
I got nuthin'...
Fortunately, I can totally blog about nuthin'. You're welcome!
The bad news is that my entire weekend was completely packed, so I didn't have any time to spend on the internet.
The good news is that my entire weekend was completely packed, so I didn't have any time to spend on the internet.
It's times like this that make me realize how much of my day I spend online. It's really getting out of hand, and I can't help but wonder what I've been missing in Real Life. Not that I want to give up the internet altogether... a big part of my life is here... but maybe I should be less obsessed with keeping constantly connected to it.
Internet addiction is a hell of a drug.
Which is a pretty deep thought considering I'm not even supposed to be here today. I'm guest-posting over at Christopher's blog...
This blog entry could self-destruct at any minute, so go check it out!
The story burning up the internets today is about a letter written by Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe in support of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (who is vocal advocate of marriage equality).
Making a long story short, Maryland Democratic politician Emmett C. Burns asked the Baltimore Ravens football organization to make Ayanbadejo shut up about marriage. Kluwe (also a supporter of marriage equality) thought this was bullshit, and decided to write an open letter to Burns to tell him how he felt.
The letter is sheer genius. Go read it immediately.
I'm guessing this image of Kluwe is a team photo, courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings?
As you might have noticed, the letter is filled with colorful language which has raised some criticism of Kluwe's choice of words.
This really hit home with me, because I struggle with whether or not I should use swear words most every time I write in this blog. When I first started blogging I swore constantly and didn't think anything about dropping
It was a practice that was destined to be short-lived. I use swear-words in real life when I'm fired up. So it's unavoidable that I'm going to use swear-words on my blog when I'm fired up. For a while I tried to disguise it... typing out things like "F#@%!" and "B#LL$H!T!," but comedian Suzy Soro commented that this is kind of stupid. Since absolutely everybody knows what you're trying to say anyway... why not just come out and say it?
She was absolutely right, and I've been cursing in my blog ever since.
Though I admit that most times I do regret it.
Somebody once told me that swearing is a sign that the writer is unintelligent. They don't know how to express themselves properly, so they foolishly have to resort to curse words to make their point. In some respects, I agree with this assessment.
In other respects, I'd argue that there's no word that can adequately take the place of "fuck."
And so I use it. Probably more often than I should... but definitely not as often as I want to. "Fuck" (and dozens of words like it) are forms of expression that I find helpful in communicating exactly what I'm feeling in a way that "shucky darn" doesn't quite reach.
Today I managed to get in my essential visit to America's Dog so I could get my Veggie Chicago Dog...
It was, as always, delicious.
Oh... and speaking of delicious food... I never check a bag when flying into O'Hare so I can grab a veggie burger at Johnny Rocket's before I exit through security. But yesterday as I approached the restaurant, I was horrified to see that IT WASN'T THERE!
WHAT THE FUCK?! Shucky darn!
I hate it when that happens.
They say that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but in my case it's just not true.
The batteries in my Mickey Mouse wall-clock at work died at 7:28 while I was in Chicago. And since I arrive both after 7:28am and before 7:28pm I don't see the clock being correct even once. And since I don't even know if my office exists when I am not there, I'm not going to make assumptions about what happens when I'm gone. Logic would dictate that the clock does indeed read correct at 7:28am and 7:28pm, but I'm not going to drive to work to find out.
Because I have more important questions on my mind...
Which means nothing has changed, because that's what I'm going to be doing right now.
Well, that... and planning a trip to Bahrain.
This morning I boarded a plane for Cincinnati, Ohio so that I might rent a car and drive to Lexington, Kentucky. I would have flown to Lexington directly, but the cost of the ticket was hundreds of dollars more expensive, so I took a pass. The two-day car rental was a fraction of the price and a much better bargain.
The reason I was off to Lexington was to attend a party being thrown by The Couple Formerly Known as Mr. Fabulous and Turnbaby. I hadn't been to the previous two parties (despite having a fantastic time at their ConFab event back in 2009) so I knew I had to get to this one. Because, hey, how many parties can you go to where snorting heroin off of Secondhand Karl's ass is a topic of conversation?
Well, okay, lots of them. But not in Kentucky.
The theme of the party was "Hollywood Nights" and every attendee had to show up dressed as a recognizable movie character. As I was trying to decide what in the heck I was going to be one night, The Princess Bride was playing on television. So... The Dread Pirate Roberts I was to be...
As you wish! Photo by Adam Heath Avitable
I bought the head-scarf, mask, gloves, collapsible sword, and boot toppers... but sewed the shirt myself, and it turned out great. Luckily I had taken a sewing e-course from Whipstitch, so I already knew how to do the tricky bits required for constructing a poofy shirt. Good thing too, because you never know when that kind of knowledge will come in handy.
Anyway... it was all worth it, because the party was great and a good time was had by all.
And I got to dress up like a pirate.