Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006
Despite working my guts out over the holiday weekend, I still made time to go see Memoirs of a Geisha at the movies. As a Japanophile, it was an absolute necessity.
But make no mistake that I wanted to see the movie because I was a fan of the book... nothing could be further from the truth. I positively despise the book Memoirs of a Geisha on which the movie is based. It is a highly fictionalized crap-fest that shits all over the secret "flower and willow world" of the geisha and is an insult to Japanese culture on several levels. I am positively horrified that the book is the big success that it is, because it propagates stereotypes and false information that go against everything geisha are supposed to be about.
No, I went to see the movie because I am a mega-huge fan of Michelle Yeoh. And also the incomparable Ziyi Zhang, who I fell in love with ever since watching the sublime Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon...
But here's the problem. Neither Michelle Yeoh or Ziyi Zhang are Japanese.
Sure their performances weren't terrible, but they should have never been cast in the first place. They were hired for the job solely because they have name recognition (no matter how vague here in the US) and because Western audiences won't know or care that they aren't Japanese. They look "Asian" and that, apparently, was enough.
Unless you appreciate Japanese culture, in which case they are about as Japanese as I am. Seriously, I could have been cast as the geisha, and it would have been just as "authentic"...
The word "geisha" literally means "arts person" in Japanese. Geisha are not prostitutes, as most Westerners would think, but living, breathing, moving, works of exquisitely beautiful art. Sex never enters the picture (which is not to say that geisha don't have sex, it's just that they do not have sex as geisha, which is a big difference). Geisha are highly trained from a young age to sing, dance, play instruments, compose poetry, facilitate conversation, and dozens of other art forms... like gracefully pouring tea and making ikebana (interpretive Japanese flower arrangements). They are entertainers of the highest caliber, and respected artists both in action and appearance.
Which is why the movie and book sucks ass. in order to appeal to the tawdry nature of Americans, everything is infused with sex. You've got geishas having sex (in their okiya!)... geishas selling their virginity... geishas having their clothes ripped off... all these ridiculous things which are included solely to sell books and movie tickets. Obviously I can't say that these things never happened to a geisha in real-life, but they are in no way indicative of what geisha represent, and it saddens me to think that this is the image Westerners will have of them. I mean, sure it's one-step above the prostitutes that most people have in mind now, but not much of one.
Putting the true nature of geisha and reality aside, the film still fails in my opinion. It was beautifully shot with capable actors, but that doesn't compensate for the uneven pacing that's paired with a poor (and somewhat pedophile-freaky) story. Unlike The Last Samurai, which I was able to buy into as fanciful Japanese fiction, Memoirs of a Geisha never managed to absorb me. Too many flaws kept getting in the way.
Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2006
After receiving not one, but TWO emails from Memoirs of a Geisha fans railing on me for my less than flattering review of the crappy book and soulless film adaptation, my mind turned to happier times. Times where I feel safe. Times where I felt unthreatened. Times where I am in control of my own destiny in a world gone mad....
Times spent wiping my ass.
And from there it was only a small leap to the horrifying realization that I am nearly out of toilet paper and will soon have to be making a trip to Target to re-stock up on critical household supplies.
Now, as I have mentioned here many, many times... I loathe shopping. Totally can't stand it. And to avoid shopping for as long as possible, I always buy in bulk. When I need a new pair of jeans, I don't just buy the one pair, I buy five. When I need ketchup, I buy three jumbo bottles to be sure I won't have to buy ketchup again any time soon. When I crave a Tootsie Pop, I buy an entire 100-count carton... I just don't mess around when I am forced to shop.
So understand that when I buy toilet paper, I am looking for maximum wipe-age. And when you want maximum wipe-age, there's only one thing to do... buy the Charmin Mega-Roll Mega Six-Pack...
It's the Cadillac of toilet paper. And I must admit that when I saw the words "CHANGE THE ROLL LESS OFTEN" on the package, I broke down in tears of happiness. It's a dream come true for non-shoppers everywhere.
But there is a problem.
Target doesn't have a shopping bag big enough to hold a Charmin Mega-Roll Mega Six-Pack.
When you make your purchase, you have to walk out the door with this big-ass package of toilet paper where everybody can see you holding it. And that's when you realize it...
EVERYBODY IS GOING TO KNOW THAT YOU WIPE YOUR ASS!
And that bothers me for some reason.
What are people thinking when they see me walking through the parking lot with this Mega Six-Pack of toilet paper I wonder. "Boy that guy sure wipes his ass a lot!" Or perhaps "That dude has serious bowel issues!" Or maybe "Whoa, he must look at a lot of porn!"
I dunno. I don't want to know.
But it does kind of freak me out seeing all these condescending glances as I make my way to my car. "I JUST DON'T LIKE TO SHOP!" I want to scream at them. "DON'T JUDGE ME, LOVE ME!" I want to cry.
Why does buying toilet paper have to be such a traumatic experience? Shouldn't you be PROUD that you wipe your ass? I mean, it is a good thing compared to the alternative of NOT wiping your ass, isn't it?
Maybe it's just me. Perhaps I have wiping issues or something.
Posted on Saturday, January 7th, 2006
I swear, I do not make this stuff up.
Yesterday morning as I was walking out the door to work, I got a wrong number phone call from some older guy. I seem to be a magnet for these kinds of things.
Fortunately, this time I resisted the urge to be a smart-ass, because something tells me the repercussions could have been particularly strange...
Caller: Yeah, I was the guy that gave you $20 last night.
Dave: Uhhh... no you didn't.
Caller: Yes, I gave you $20.
Dave: I think you have the wrong number, because I didn't get $20 from anybody last night.
Caller: Well this is the number he gave me!
Dave: Then he must have given you the wrong number, because I don't have your $20!
Dave: Sorry, goodbye!
Naturally, my mind is abuzz with wonder over why somebody would give a stranger $20 in exchange for his phone number. And since he thinks that stranger is me, I've got these disturbing images running through my head.
Most of them involving me being naked or dressed naughty...
Please. Make it stop.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Mr. Bread
BLOGDATE: February 8, 2004
In which Dave explains the photos of himself that preface each entry, and wins a coffee mug for drunken bread carving.
Click here to go back in time...
Posted on Monday, January 9th, 2006
I love getting mail.
Which is one of those paradoxical things in life for me, because I loathe going to the post office to actually pick it up.
Fortunately, I have a billing service that collects my monthly bills and allows me to pay them online, or else I'd be in never-ending peril from bill collectors wanting to break my legs. But everything else... magazines, exciting offers from select retailers, free samples, cards, letters, and all the rest... it just collects in a bin until I get off my lazy ass and do something with it.
Faced with a huge pile of mail, I finally decided to go through everything on Sunday.
Turns out I got a lot of nice cards from Blogography readers for the holidays, so I first want to thank everybody for that. And, while I'm at it, thanks for the well-wishing emails, e-cards and stuff everybody sent as well. I appreciate it all, and cannot help but be touched that so many people spent their valuable time thinking of me.
Which, of course, makes me feel like a total bastard for not reciprocating... but that's my problem, not yours.
But hey, I make a special Blogography delivery every day just for YOU (yes, you!) so it's not like I don't care or anything...
Speaking of mail... let's catch up with a few emails I've gotten lately, shall we?
Council: Probably my favorite email in the past several weeks was from a woman who was absolutely outraged after having read my entry on Seattle's new insanely stupid strip club laws. She found it reprehensible that I could possibly be so crass as to tell elected public officials to kiss my ass... IN A PUBLIC BLOG THAT ANYBODY... INCLUDING (gasp) CHILDREN... CAN READ! The word "disrespectful" kept popping up again and again, and she wondered how I felt about inflicting such horrible, uncivil values on my readers. My response, of course, was that she could kiss my ass too.
Pivot: Speaking of ass-kissing... another email came from somebody wanting to collect "Pivot Questionnaires" published on the web. After Googling, they found mine, and wanted to know if they could add it. For anybody not familiar with The Bernard Pivot Questionnaire, it's the final questions that James Lipton asks when he interviews guests on his show Inside the Actors Studio. The show is fantastic (if you can get over what a total kiss-ass Lipton is... he just doesn't kiss ass... he FRENCH kisses ass!), and so I was happy to contribute. The Bravo website has a cool "Personality Profile Game" where you can see which actor you most closely relate to personality-wise (for me, it's Benicio Del Toro).
Suggested: One email was a bit surprising in that it was just a big list of suggestions of things that the guy wanted me to write about here. Oddly enough, I had already written about most of them, which now has me worried that there's nothing left to talk about, and I should just close down my blog.
Prayer: After telling Pat Roberston to "shut up and die" I got a rather nice email from somebody telling me that this wasn't a very "Christian" thing to say, even if I disagree with the guy. My reply didn't bother telling him that I'm not a Christian in the first place... but I did write back and ask if he had written to Pat and told HIM that it wasn't a very "Christian" thing to ask God to make people dead (which Robertson has done on more than one occasion). This, apparently, was not the response the guy was looking for, and I got a nice long lecture on everything from school prayer to internet porn (sadly, no links were provided).
Privacy: Last, but certainly not least, was an email I received last month which asked a series of highly-personal questions which I would be hard-pressed to talk about to even close friends... let alone a complete stranger. The sad thing was that this person had put a lot of thought into what they were asking, and I felt bad having to tell them that I wasn't comfortable discussing those areas of my life. Over the past couple of weeks, the whole situation has been really bothering me, and I cannot figure out why. Surely it's not wrong to want to keep some areas of my life private... is it? Why would anybody want to know such things in the first place? Does EVERYBODY wonder about this stuff? Hmmm... every once in a while I get the sense of just how weird it is to have a blog.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Kiwi
BLOGDATE: October 20, 2004
In which Dave ponders the eternal mystery of Kiwi (and Photoshops a cool picture of it).
Click here to go back in time...
Posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 2006
For those of you not lucky enough to be at MacWorld for Steve Jobs' keynote presentation... no worries, Blogography has you covered! I'll be regularly updating this page as events unfold.
Hmmm... I guess this means the keynote is over.
I must say, this was one of the most exciting SteveNotes ever, and I can't wait to get me an iToast!
Thanks for tuning in to Blogography's MacWorld SteveNote coverage! See you next year.
TWILIGHT ZONE UPDATE! I am just now watching the MacWorld streaming keynote, and have gotten to the part where his Steveness is making his own podcast in Garage Band. And what does he add to the video portion? An iPod toaster! I just know that Apple Legal is going to be sending me a cease and desist any minute now...
Posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2006
I confess that I am a geeky nerd.
But you probably already knew that.
My geeky nerdiness is multifaceted in that I am part sci-fi dweeb (thanks to Star Trek) and part comic book dork (thanks to Batman). And, in-between all of that, is a love of Japanimation, Macintosh, Curious George, video games, and blogging. All I need is an inflatable plastic girlfriend, and I think I'm set...
But no matter how much of a geeky nerd I am, there's always somebody who's a step ahead of me.
Like Bill Gates, for instance.
Bill is the ultimate geeky nerd, and the fact that he has billions of dollars makes him a geeky nerd to be reckoned with (not to mention exceedingly generous, since he's giving away huge amounts of money to charitable causes). Here's a dweeb who has amassed a fortune of such huge proportions that there is literally nothing he can't do...
...except get a handle on cool new trends.
He was late to graphical interfaces. He was late to the internet. He was late to video... He's always one step behind what all the cool kids are doing, and the list goes on and on. If it doesn't involve Windows or MS Office, he's out of the loop.
As a current example, here's an excerpt from an interview he gave over at Engadget regarding the new Microsoft/MTV online music store called (=snicker=) URGE:
Bill Gates: "With music, having MTV as a partner is a great thing. We think they can get the word out, do some neat things. We're also doing a lot in Messenger to make it so you can share playlists, so you can listen to different things. The next version of Messenger has music as one of the big breakthrough scenarios."
Yeah. Right. Except partnering with MTV for music expertise is laughable and so very, very lame.You can't even FIND music on MTV anymore. In checking their schedule just now, I see a show called Next, followed by three episodes of Real World/Road Rules Challenge, followed by There & Back, followed by My Own, followed by another episode of Next, followed by Room Raiders, followed by Punk'd, and topped off by SIX episodes of Viva La Bam.
These are all reality-based television shows.
WHERE IS THE F#@%ING MUSIC?!?
Teaming up with MTV for music is like teaming up with McDonalds for tacos, and I just don't get it. Sure if this were 1984, partnering with MTV would be totally sweet. But in 2006 it's just sad. Once again, Bill is behind the curve. Apple is flying high with iTunes, so now Microsoft has to do yet another "me too" by making their own music store (apparently MSN Music didn't work out?)... except they team up with a has-been and give it a lamer name like "URGE" (which could only be more lame if they called it "EXTREME URGE" or some crap like that).
When is Microsoft going to stop being the bloated whore of the tech industry so they can be lean, hungry, and bleeding edge? When is Bill Gates going to understand that these sloppy-seconds "partnerships" are just not relevant when we're talking about a ship that's already sailed. I'm tired of Bill being late to the dock, then renting a little rowboat thinking that he'll be able to catch up... all the while screaming to the media about how Microsoft is doing all this cool shit that, in reality, is only cool to him.
Total crap like "URGE" is a waste of money and makes us geeky nerds look bad. Even worse, it stifles REAL innovation by distracting attention from things that actually ARE bleeding edge and cool.
BILL... YOU HAVE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS!! MICROSOFT IS ONE OF THE WEALTHIEST COMPANIES ON EARTH!! You don't NEED venture capital to finance something new... YOU'VE GOT MONEY COMING OUT YOUR ASS! STOP DICKING AROUND AND GET TO WORK!!
Build a flying car. Come up with wireless electrical power. Figure out a way to keep Golden Grahams from going soggy in milk... I don't really care... just do something NEW with your money for a change. Reclaim the geeky nerd you used to be and stop trying to play catch-up with the crap we've already got (seriously, "URGE"? WTF?!?). If you can't make it BETTER, it's just a waste of everybody's time.
In conclusion... wouldn't it be cool if McDonalds really did sell tacos?
McTaco they could call it!
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: DaveXP
BLOGDATE: March 6, 2005
In which Dave finally figures out a way of fixing all the bugs in Windows XP.
Click here to go back in time...
Posted on Tuesday, January 17th, 2006
I've officially become the worst possible kind of blogger.
I'm now one of "those guys" whose blog has started to intrude into Real Life.
This morning a guy I work with emailed me about what a pain in the ass it was to get his father signed up for the new Medicare Drug insurance plan. Without even thinking, I replied back and said "yeah, I had a tough time helping my grandmother get that figured out" and then pasted a link to a Blogography entry where I had written about it.
Five minutes later I'm sucked into an Instant Message chat...
Chet: You have a blog? That is so gay!!
Dave: Yes. You are right. Blogs are totally gay.
Dave: Which makes it easier for me to tell you something...
Chet: NO SHIT?!?
Dave: Yeah. I've been living with this secret for a while now...
Chet: YOU'RE GAY?!?
Dave: Yes, well, no... uhhh... kinda. According to this online quiz I took, I'm 20% gay, which I guess means that I'm only 80% not-gay.
Chet: What test? Where?
Dave: Here: http://www.channel4.com/life/microsites/G/gayometer/gayometer.html
15 minutes later...
Chet: Shit! I'm gayer than you!!!!!
Dave: So when can I expect to see YOUR blog online?
All of this is kind of strange to me, because I work so hard to keep my Real Life separate from my blog. I mean, sure... a lot of real-life people I know read it... but there's no overlap. I don't initiate a conversation around something I've written, and I absolutely don't point people to my blog as an alternative to talking with them about something.
At least I didn't until now.
I suppose my next step is to hang a flat-screen monitor around my neck, put a wireless antennae on my head, and just point people to Blogography entries instead of actually having to talk to them. Then I could wander around with a look of total disinterest all day, ignoring anybody I should run into...
I mean, hey, I'm coming up on my three-year blogiversary in a few months... I've pretty much said it all, haven't I? What else is left to say?
And speaking of blogging milestones - it would appear that I'm rapidly approaching my 5000th comment! I wonder if I should have a prize for whoever leaves comment #5000? Just my luck it would be some lame comment like "YOU SUCK, ASSHOLE!" and I'd have to reward that kind of troll behavior with a prize.
Or do I?
I mean, in the past, I've approved ANY comment, no matter how lame. So unless somebody was selling something or shilling for their site, I've just let it go through. But why should I? I mean, I don't care if somebody wants to call me an asshole (I'm getting used to it), but I think they should at least have to tell me WHY they think that before I publish their crap.
I dunno. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think this is unreasonable. I wonder what other bloggers do about abusive comments by random 10-year-olds and comment trolls?
Sweet! I've just put a disclaimer on my comments form telling them not to bother.
Hmmm... I guess I really AM an asshole.
Why am I not surprised.
Posted on Saturday, January 21st, 2006
You just figured out Blue's Clues! You just figured out Blue's Clues! You just figured out Blue's Clues because you're really smart!
I don't think it will come as much of a shock to admit that I was a huge fan of the Nickelodeon Kids television show called Blue's Clues. Back in my pre-TiVo days, I'd set the VCR to record the show so I could have something to watch after work. A simple show that I could just sit and decompress with. There was something about the oddly-rendered, superficial world of Blue's Clues that I found calming.
For those of you who have never heard of it, Blue's Clues was about a guy named Steve and his pet dog Blue. Each episode, Blue would wander around leaving paw-prints on three different items in order to give Steve "clues" as to what she was wanting. With each new find, Steve would draw a picture of the clue in his "handy dandy notebook" and then go sit in his big red "thinking chair" to try to solve the mystery. For example, Steve might find clues of an alarm clock, a blanket, and a bed... then come to the fabulous conclusion that Blue wanted to take a nap.
It was good clean fun, and along the way Steve would play games, dance, sing songs, and do other educational activities like read a book with Julia Louis Dreyfus...
The show was awesome, and I so totally wanted to be Steve when I grew up because he was always having such cool adventures...
Well, I guess "grow up" is a kind of relative term, because I started watching when I was 30... but still. I wanted to be Steve.
Anyway, eventually Steve left the show and was replaced by this guy "Joe" who wasn't nearly as cool. Since Joe totally blew chunks, I stopped watching and went back to reruns of Teletubbies for my entertainment. The last I heard was that the reason Steve left the show was because he had a heroin problem and eventually died of an overdose.
I was kind of sad about that.
So imagine my surprise when I was goofing around the internet this morning and ran across a web site called "Steve Burns Rocks" which showed me that not only had Steve not died, but he eventually went all gold-tooth "cronk" and became an indie musician...
Did Steve fake his death so he could escape being linked to a children's television show and instead be reborn as a "serious musician"?? I just didn't know. So I did what I always do in these cases... I wander over to Snopes to find out if they've got anything on the rumor. And they did.
So Steve was never dead, though the heroin addiction would certainly explain the gold tooth.
Personally I think the new and lame Blue's Clues host "Joe" is behind the rumors. The bastard.
And now, before I go enjoy a lovely Saturday afternoon at work and see how many emails I got from people outraged by my "Bi-Curious George" cartoon yesterday... one last question...
HOW MANY F#@%ING TIMES DO WE HAVE TO F#@%ING KILL THE F#@%ING "BROADCAST FLAG" SHIT BEFORE IT WILL STAY F#@%ING DEAD AND DUMBASS POLITICIANS WILL STOP TRYING TO F#@% US OVER WITH THIS F#@%ING BULLSHIT?!?
This is an abhorrent piece of legislation that has already been killed a half-dozen times, but now I am reading over at Boing Boing that it has once again been drug to the floor by the mentally-challenged Oregon Senator Gordon Smith, who is hereby invited to lick my balls.
Seriously lick my balls.
Once this draconian shit gets started, it will never stop. Never mind that you PAY for your television cable or satellite hook-up... that you PAY for the music and shows you enjoy... politicians want to be sure that you only enjoy them when and how THEY want you to. Flying an anti-piracy flag here is ludicrous, because there will ALWAYS be a way to pirate the crap... legislation only hurts honest consumers... not the pirates they claim to be fighting. And Hollywood should KNOW better. The more you treat honest people like criminals, the more of them will actually become criminals.
If you even remotely care about your right to watch and listen to content YOU pay for in a way that YOU want, read the article on Boing Boing and visit the EFF so you can send an email to your Senator. Then go encourage others to do the same. If you don't, it may only be a matter of time before you have to kiss your TiVo and iPod goodbye (and just forget about any cool new technologies that allow you to enjoy media in a way that's convenient for you).
Once this Bill is killed off (again) can we please just shoot the next dumbass Senator who is corrupt and stupid enough to bring another piece of "Broadcast Flag" legislation to the floor? That would be great.
Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2006
The blogosphere is abuzz with the story of how the government wants Google to hand over search records so they can see how often porn is returned in the search results. Apparently having this information will protect kids from internet porn, which is much like trying to protect orange juice from being the color orange. Of course Google is going to sometimes return porn in search results because 90% of the internet IS PORN! Oh well, it's not like we've got health care and unemployment problems to worry about. Watching people's kids so parents don't have to bother is so much more important.
But after the government gets a look at the porn we're searching for... what's next?
I worry that Homeland Security will start wanting Google search records next. Not because I have anything to hide, but because search records are not always what they seem.
For example. I LOATHE Jared Fogle the Subway Sandwich whore.
Every time I hear how Jared "inspires people to eat better and lose weight with Subway Sandwiches" I want him dead. Because all he really does is inspire sales of Subway Sandwiches from people too stupid to understand what a fraud he is. Do you know why he chose Subway when he decided to try and lose weight? Because it was next door to his apartment. It was convenient. It's not like he went out and did a bunch of restaurant research for his diet. He was a lazy turd that ate at Subway because it was closest to where he lived.
He could have had salads at McDonalds and lost weight. He could have had sandwiches at Quiznos and lost weight. He could have eaten ANYWHERE and lost weight if he made healthier menu choices. There is nothing magical about Subways... it was because he decided to stop eating mass quantities of high-fat foods that he lost the weight. I could go into Subway twice a day and order up a sandwich loaded with extra cheese and a bunch of sauces and mayonnaise and GAIN weight. But you won't see a commercial for that. Does it really take Jared the Subway whore to tell people that eating a veggie sandwich with no cheese instead of three Big Macs will make you lose weight? Well, DUH! It's just common sense! When are people going to realize that Jared is not this altruistic prophet here to help you... HE'S JUST A WHORE SELLING SANDWICHES FOR MONEY! It's his JOB.
So that's why when I see commercials with Jared comparing a veggie sandwich with no cheese to a Big Mac, and telling people that they should eat at Subways because it's so much healthier... I want him dead. Why not compare a veggie sandwich to an Arby's SALAD you stupid f#@%?
And because I loathe Jared so badly, much of my free time is spent fantasizing of ways the whore can die. Sometimes it's pretty basic... I just walk up to the dumbass with a gun and shoot him or something...
Jared says: "I am such a whore that even I hate me!"
But on days where he is really pissing me off (like he comes out with a new idiotic Subways commercial), just shooting him isn't good enough. I want something much more elaborate and painful.
And that takes a lot of Google research.
Because it's not like I know how much battery acid it takes to melt somebody's head... I have to Google it. And when I need to know if it's possible to drown somebody in low-fat mustard... I have to Google it. If I am curious as to how many volts it takes to electrocute somebody through their testicles... I have to Google it. All this stuff has to be researched.
And what happens if Homeland Security sees this stuff that I'm Googling, decides that I'm some kind of sadistic terrorist, and then ships me off to have MY testicles electrocuted??
That would be bad.
Not to mention grossly unfair, because getting rid of Jared is more like a public service than an act of terrorism.
Anyway, that's why I think that Google shouldn't have to hand over any records. It can only lead to innocent people like me being shocked in their balls.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find out if low-fat turkey slices are still flammable once they've been shoved up somebody's ass.
Posted on Thursday, January 26th, 2006
My chapped lips rub roughly against the blanket as I awake with too little sleep yet again. From under the covers my arm reaches out to the night-stand, groping blindly for Chapstick. In darkness the lip balm burns with a kiss of peppermint, but my eyes have yet to open. I lay there clutching the small tube because it's too cold to return it to the night-stand. My mind goes cloudy and I start to drift. It's warm under the blankets and I'm in no hurry to leave them...
RRRRRRRRING! RRRRRRRRING! RRRRRRRRING!
While the number of calls I get have dropped drastically since the "National No-Call List" was enacted, they have not stopped completely. This time it was a travel club offer or some kind of crap like that. I don't really remember, because I was screaming "PUT ME ON YOUR DO-NOT CALL LIST AND NEVER, EVER CALL ME AGAIN!!" at the top of my lungs.
I spent the rest of my morning wishing that it were possible to shoot a gun into the phone and have an explosion come out the other end, just like in Bugs Bunny cartoons...
Maybe not a gun, that's kind of violent, but you should at least be able to bitch-slap somebody through the phone.
Although if you could shoot into your computer and have it come out and explode all over a spammer, I would definitely do that. The only thing I loathe more than telemarketers is spammers.
In better news, MRK over at Itch & Be Merry has finally figured out why I keep getting Google search referrals for "penis salad" out of the UK. Apparently the phrase was used in some kind of risque sitcom. At least I think it was a sitcom. The video clip MRK found was a bit vague, but I would certainly hope that any use of "penis salad" would be for comedic effect.
Eww... what if it was a reality TV show??
Posted on Friday, January 27th, 2006
Here is my one word review of Brokeback Mountain from last night...
It was boring. Beyond boring. The cowboy love story was not enough of a story, and everything in-between was so mind-numbingly, coma-inducing, kill-me-now, BORING that I found myself counting ceiling tiles. Yes the cinematography was first rate and the scenery was pretty... but that doesn't excuse this long, drawn-out, snore-fest of a film. I remain positively dumbfounded that Brokeback Mountain is getting such critical acclaim. Between Heath Ledger mumbling every word of his incomprehensible dialogue and having to sit through long stretches of NOTHING, I can honestly say that this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
I never thought I would find myself looking forward to watching some hot man-on-man action but, since that was the only action to be found, there was nothing else to do. The story tried to show how society was so unforgiving of their love that they had no choice but to enter into straight marriages that neither were happy in. But the result was cliched and felt tacked on... as if stereotypical screaming babies and an unapproving father-in-law were supposed to be some kind of excuse for them to keep having feelings for each other. In the end, the wives who were being cheated on for the sake of forbidden romance were the more sympathetic characters. I always felt that Ennis and Jack's marriages should have been a sad result of something both wanted but weren't brave enough to have... but this didn't come across in the film. At least not to me.
On a more positive note, I'll bet the porn remakes are going to be entertaining...
The thing that surprised me most was not the actual movie, but that there were so many people there to watch it. Despite this being 2006, I live in a somewhat redneck area of Central Washington. To have a fairly good-sized audience of mostly older people at a 4:45 showing is remarkable. I can only hope that this indicates society is becoming more accepting of gay cowboys having sex. It would be nice to live in a world where consenting adults can have love and happiness wherever they are lucky enough to find it, and not have to worry about being judged or killed for it.
Overheard in the parking lot after the movie was over: "I nearly choked on my popcorn when that boy took that other fella from behind like that... heh heh heh, homos!"
Errr, well... maybe there's a ways to go yet, but at least the guy had a mind open enough to go watch a Western where the cowboys had been all homosexualized by the homosexualizations of those homosexualizers in Hollywood. That's a start.
Anyway, the night wasn't a total loss. Thanks to Michelle leaving me a hot tip in a comment, I was able to drop by Safeway and pick up a couple boxes of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch cereal for the bargain price of 2 for $5... score!
I wish I could quit you, Captain Crunch.
Posted on Monday, January 30th, 2006
I don't really care about football because I'm more of a baseball kind of guy with an occasional basketball infatuation (college ball only, because pro basketball doesn't seem to be about basketball anymore). But even then, it's just entertainment and not a reason to go insane.
And yet if you live anywhere in the vicinity of the Pacific Northwest, odds are you are going out of your freakin' mind right now because the Seahawks have finally managed to make it to the SuperBowl. It's a pretty big deal here, or so I gather.
All I know is that every time I turn on a local television station lately, I've got to watch everyday citizens dressed up like clowns and acting like obnoxious douchebags...
People with blue hair. People with green hair. People with painted faces. People yelling and screaming... "WE'RE NUMBER ONE!!" and "STEELERS SUCK!!" — It's kind of like what I envision armageddon is going to be like.
Don't get me wrong. It's not like I have anything against people being all excited and having team spirit for fun... but the idiots that they're always showing on television act like rabid freaks who are in desperate need of therapy. I'll be very glad when football is over, though a bit frightened at the possibility of Seattle losing. I envision the Space Needle on fire and the city engulfed in chaos... the WTO riot of '99 is still fresh in my mind.
Anyway, for the sake of all my fellow Washingtonians who are dying to win the SuperBowl, I'll shout out my obligatory "Go Seahawks!" for the Showdown in Motown.
That's about all I can do, considering that winter storms have caused multiple avalanches on the mountain passes, and westward routes to Seattle are closed until further notice.
In even more disturbing news... whilst flicking through channels last night, I noticed that sicko pervert Pat O'Brien is back to hosting one of those boring Hollywood gossip shows. It is impossible for me to even look at the freak without having those disgusting drunken answering machine tapes playing in my head.
Was it too much to ask that he quietly disappear after being released from rehab?? As annoying as he was before all this, he's just plain creepy-scary now.
In other words, he's perfect for politics.
Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2006
Last night I got an instant message from a guy I used to work with asking me if I remembered "the movie with that crazy singer who tore the panties off the blue woman that had Flash Gordon in it." I get asked bizarre movie trivia questions like this all the time, and am no longer surprised by them (the answer, of course, was My Chauffeur featuring Sam J. Jones, Deborah Foreman, and an appearance by Penn & Teller). What surprised me more was what came next:
"So, did you watch the State of the Union Address?" he inquired.
Uhhh... yeah... this would be me watching the State of the Union Address...
Once the blood stopped gushing from my eyes, ears, and rectum... and my brain stopped melting... and the screaming died down... I'm sure it would have been great fun. But, alas, I had a lot of really important things that needed to be done. Like walking my Nintendog and cleaning out the lint trap in my dryer.
Actually, that's a lie. I just don't want to admit that I'd rather light my pubes on fire and watch every Pauly Shore movie ever made while eating raw sewage than have to listen to President Bush (or most any other politician) speak for more than five minutes at a time.
I tried to at least read through the bullet points of the speech... but once I got to the line "America is addicted to oil" and thought back to how oil companies got 14.5 BILLION DOLLARS in government subsidies, then went on to report record profits... the screaming started again.
This annoys the neighbors, so I decided to give up.
Besides, I really do have to clean that lint trap.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Inaugural
BLOGDATE: January 21, 2005
In which Dave reviews the president's inaugural address, and notes some surprising omissions.
Click here to go back in time...
Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2006
At some point in my childhood past, I had come to the conclusion that I was going to be a doctor.
But then I quickly realized that there is no way I could be a doctor because I didn't have the balls for it.
And when I say "balls" I am not trying to be all metaphorical... I am talking literal "balls". As in my testicles. Because any time I so much as hear somebody talking about blood or injuries or surgery or anything like that... my balls shrivel up and disappear. I think they're allergic to blood and gore or something. In any event, my testicles killed my medical vocation before I even got started. And you can just imagine how traumatizing it is for me to watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy, Nip/Tuck, or CSI.
But just because I abandoned my otherwise promising career as a doctor, I'm still not out of danger.
For instance, my mother had to call and drop this little bomb on me: "I sliced open my finger and had to go to the doctor to get stitches.
To understand how this simple sentence affects me... let's take a little field trip to Dyersville, Iowa, home of the Field of Dreams movie site. For the sake of this demonstration (and to avoid being tagged as a porn site), the role of my testicles will be played by these two baseballs in a GLAD brand jumbo-sized food storage bag (with the "yellow and blue make green" zipper closure, so you KNOW it's closed!)...
Once I hear the words "sliced my finger", my baseballs start shivering...
And once I hear the words "stitches", my GLAD brand jumbo-sized food storage bag starts to shrink in horror, taking my baseballs with it...
This leaves me with a pair of baseballs the size of marbles...
Obviously this affliction is a major inconvenience. Doctors have to look at blood and gore all the time, which would traumatize my balls quite badly. So badly that I would worry about them disappearing permanently. And as any guy will tell you (or, if you are a guy, you'd tell yourself) having something happen to your balls is a frightening prospect indeed.
Oh well. This is not the first time that my testicles have made a decision for me.
I'm relatively certain it won't be the last.
Anyway, speaking of balls (you just knew there was going to be a point to all this, didn't you?)...
How big of balls does it take to sell an episode of the TV show Survivor for $1.99... but then have the episode expire after 24 hours? For the answer, let's take a look at what Larry Kramer, President of CBS Digital Media, has hanging...
Yep! Those are some enormously huge balls! They'd have to be huge, considering that the $1.99 episodes you buy from Apple at the iTunes Music Store don't have an idiotic "self-destruct mechanism" that will destroy your purchases the day after you buy them. Once again, clueless people are making stupid decisions that will turn potential customers into criminals. Seriously... who is dumb enough to want to BUY a video that's only good for 24 hours when you can download the Bit Torrent off the internet for FREE that will last forever? The entire point of selling your show legally is to give honest people an alternative to illegal downloading... not ripping them off! Classic.
Congratulations Larry, my hat is off to you and your huge, huge balls!
This entry will self-destruct in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...
Posted on Saturday, February 4th, 2006
The fact that I am vegetarian is a source of curiosity for many people. I suppose this is mostly because I am not a "militant" vegetarian who is hell-bent on making everybody else a vegetarian too. It's a choice I made for myself, and I don't force my dietary habits on other people. Since many vegetarians do feel the need to preach their views, this makes me a bit of an anomaly.
I first flirted with vegetarianism 20 years ago as a New Year's resolution in 1986. I only really liked hamburgers, bacon and pepperoni growing up anyway, and so it seemed like an easy step to take. Unfortunately, the local burger joints kept tempting me back to the life of a carnivore, and I never made it more than three months at a time. Come Thanksgiving, I had given up completely, because I wanted a slice of dead turkey pretty bad.
Fast-forward a year-and-a-half. I was dating a girl who was a vegetarian. She was very vocal about animal rights, and made compelling arguments against eating animals. After a couple weeks of pestering, I finally kicked the meat habit on Earth Day, March 1988, because my girlfriend promised to make it worth my while. And while she lived up to her promise, we only lasted another couple weeks before breaking up.
But the diet has stuck ever since.
Part of it is for health reasons, but mostly it's because I can't make the leap from this...
And I have to wonder how many other people would continue to eat meat if they had to slaughter it themselves. It's easy to become detached from where meat really comes from when it comes so nicely packaged at the supermarket. I also wonder if people would be willing to pay the price to eat meat if the US government were to stop subsidizing the industry. Without billions in taxpayer dollars, a hamburger would cost around $14.00... would people be willing to pay it when suddenly a veggie burger was so cheap by comparison?
Anyway, vegetarianism fits neatly into my Buddhist way of thinking, so I am quite happy to stay the course. And while I am (unfortunately) still eating unfertilized eggs, milk, cheese, and other dairy, I can safely say that I won't be eating meat ever again. I seem to be much healthier because of it, and am happy to contribute to a diet that's not destroying the planet.
So while I don't begrudge people who choose to eat dead animals, eating less meat or becoming a vegetarian is easier than ever. Why not give meat-free options a chance next time you're at the grocery store or eating at a restaurant... you might be surprised.
On the other hand... boy do I miss pepperoni pizza.
Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2006
I honestly try not to repeat myself whenever it comes time to write something new... but every once in a while, I just can't help it.
Such is the case with the idiot in Louisiana who is suing Apple because "listening to an iPod with the volume too loud can cause hearing loss". I've already ranted about it, but the story keeps coming up in the news and, every time it does, I just keep getting more and more furious. The fact that somebody can sue over something so incredibly stupid causes my blood to boil, and I cannot let it go. I want very badly to bitch-slap somebody, but society has made stupid shit like this acceptable, so what can you do? I mean, if a woman can be awarded millions of dollars because she wasn't careful with a scalding-hot cup of coffee, then nothing surprises me.
Pretty soon, everything is going to be plastered with disclaimers and those little "NO" illustrations, which I like to call "DUMBASS PROTECTION". You know, those little pictures with the slash through them that you see everywhere...
And why stop there? I mean, if you don't know any better than to not play the volume on your iPod too loud... then other sublimely obvious crap is going to need Dumbass Protection as well...
And the list goes on and on.
Just take a look around the room you're in, select an item, come up with something insanely stupid to do with it that might result in injury, then SUE LIKE A MUTHA-F#@%A!! Apparently, it's the American way: baseball, apple pie, and frivolous lawsuits.
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: All-American Booty Call
BLOGDATE: July 4, 2003
In which Dave questions how 6 grams of fat on some daft bitch's ass could possibly be worth fifty million dollars.
Click here to go back in time...
Posted on Monday, February 13th, 2006
Most everything I buy now-a-days is purchased online. And one of my most favorite places to shop is Buy.com.
They're a solid, reliable company with a huge selection at very good prices. I like that they make it easy to manage my orders. Their shopping cart is great. They accept PayPal for payment. They ship quickly. Their policies are fair, and most of the time I can count on everything going smoothly when I place an order.
All-in-all, Buy.com is a great place to buy stuff.
Unless something goes wrong.
Because if something goes wrong, you will inevitably have to contact Customer Service. And Buy.com Customer Service sucks ass. Every single time I have had to deal with them, I end up so enraged that I want to kill somebody. If you ever hear in the news that I've gone on a murderous rampage and then locked myself in a donut shop somewhere, it's Buy.com Customer Service that's probably the cause of it.
And the reason for this is because the only thing they ever seem to do to service their customers is to send out piece-of-shit generic responses that usually have nothing to do with the question you asked. I've come to the conclusion that there can be two reasons for this...
A) They don't have actual people in their Customer Service Department, but instead have a big machine that automatically generates these stupid generic responses to your emails...
B) Their entire Customer Service Department is staffed by monkeys with PCs...
Because, seriously, there is no way that real-live people could be responsible for the shitty service you get. Real-dead people maybe, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal to employ the deceased.
Take for example my efforts to pre-order a copy of Pauly's new book: The Lost Blogs.
The book is offered for pre-order at Buy.com for the bargain-basement price of $10.04. They tell you to "place your order today and be one of the first to receive this product when it arrives!" I just love being first, and so I did. I placed my pre-order, then marked May 1st on my calendar with a happy face, because that's the day my book would ship.
Except Buy.com cancels my order after a week with some generic email telling me that they can't get the item from the publisher in a timely manner. Well no shit! It says right on the site that it's not available for three months! I knew this when I placed the order!
I send an email asking why they would ask me to place a pre-order, then cancel because the item isn't available.
They write back with another dumbass generic response that just tells me the exact same thing they told me in the cancellation notice email. I respond with my question re-phrased to make it clear what I am asking, but never get a response.
Thinking perhaps there was a release date change and it's some kind of error, I place ANOTHER ORDER.
Only to have it cancelled AGAIN.
And so AGAIN I write to Buy.com Customer Service asking why the f#@% they even bother to accept pre-orders if they are going to f#@%ing cancel them before the release date even arrives.
Another idiotic generic response about the item not being available. WELL NO SHIT YOU MORON!! THAT'S WHAT A PRE-ORDER IS FOR!!
So I finally take a difference approach and fire off a fresh email asking if the reason my order keeps getting cancelled is because I am paying with PayPal. I theorize that there is probably a time-frame that companies are obligated to ship the product when they take your money, and perhaps this is the reason? Is that why? Can they just delay processing the payment until the item is available... just like they don't charge your credit card until something ships?
Same f#@%ing generic response that in NO WAY even comes CLOSE to answering my question.
Ergo, nobody reads any emails that you send to Buy.com Customer Service. It's either a machine or monkeys. And it's not that I have a problem with companies using generic responses... IF THEY ANSWER THE F#@%ING QUESTION, but how the f#@% can you possible call this kind of treatment "Customer Service?" It's more like "Customer Torture".
And so now every time I need to buy something, I have to ask myself if Buy.com is someplace I really want to shop. Sure it's great when everything works out, but heaven-help you if it doesn't. If this is the price of saving money on things I want, I'd rather pay the extra and know that I'll be taken care of when things go wrong.
Posted on Tuesday, February 14th, 2006
Last year, I made a photo Valentine greeting, and I got some nice comments and emails because of it.
I also got some rather disturbing emails because of it. In fact, I continue to get disturbing emails even to this day because of it, mostly because the image is also in my Flickr image set. I blame Hello Kitty.
Anyway, this year I decided to play it safe and draw my Valentine for everybody...
Hope your Valentine's Day is a good one!
BLOGOGRAPHY FLASHBACK ENTRY: Heart
BLOGDATE: February 14, 2004
In which Dave contemplates love, and the bitches who rip out your heart so they can watch you die.
Click here to go back in time...
Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
When you design stuff for a living, people automatically assume that you have one of the most funnest jobs ever. Probably because when you're a kid, drawing crappy pictures to put on the refrigerator is loads of big fun. But alas, like so many things, once something becomes work... well, the fun is kind of sucked out of it. The pressure to be creative under a deadline is probably one of the more stressful jobs you can have.
I'd put it right up there with neurosurgeon and bomb squad technician.
Basically, if you mess up in our line of work, somebody is going to die.
Anyway... because everybody thinks that drawing pretty pictures all day is like a non-stop party, they feel that they are doing you a big favor when they call up and say "hey, I need you to design something for me". And because I'm a sucker nice guy, I usually go ahead and do it if I can find the time. I design menus and invitations. I draw birthday banners and CD covers. I create posters and advertising. It's an endless parade of little projects which everybody tells me "will only take a few minutes" (ha ha ha ha).
The latest trend is people asking me to design their tattoos, like this one I drew up yesterday...
This is particularly painful for me, because I've always wanted a bad-ass tattoo of my own. Unfortunately, I could never manage to pull-off being "bad-ass". This is about as "bad-ass" as I can get...
Needless to say, having a cool flaming demon skull tattoo is not an option when you look like Gumby.
And so I have to continue to draw awesome tattoos for everybody but me.
Except I still want one.
So my option here is to try and come up with something that my boyish charm can pull-off. Something totally lacking in hostility. Something that is bad-ass, but in a "non-threatening" kind of way. I'm thinking that it will end up being something like one of these...
My other tattoo is a flaming demon skull. This one is pretty self-explanatory. It gives me the ability to imply that although the tattoo you are currently looking at is fairly reserved, somewhere else on my body is another one that's truly bad-ass. My only fear is that somebody will then be inclined to go looking for it.
Cartoon Skull. Though there is no way I can pull-off a realistic-looking skull and crossbones, I'm fairly certain that a cartoon version could work for me. It says "I'm bad-ass", but not so bad-ass that I have to worry about somebody mistaking me for an ass-kicking tough-guy, and want to fight me.
Bad Monkey. Because, well, you know... everybody just loves a monkey.
Garden Snake & Flaming Heart with Liz. This tattoo kind of covers all the bases. Since a scary serpent would be difficult for me to wear convincingly, I settled for a harmless garden snake. The flaming heart is a tattoo classic, but by making it look like something out of Hello Kitty, I don't risk anybody thinking that I want to rip their heart out and set it on fire. And lastly, I've got "Liz" in there so I can proclaim my love of Elizabeth Hurley and impress her with my dedication once fate brings us together.
Now if only I could decide where I want to put it after I pick the design...
Posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2006
But today everything went terribly wrong.
And I should have known that it would because I was given an Omen of Doom on my way to the bank.
As I reached the intersection, I suddenly noticed that there was nobody around. No traffic. No people. No sound. No anything. It was highly unusual. Naturally, I assumed that The Rapture had just occurred, and I had been Left Behind. Just for fun, I yelled "OH LORD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!?"
Only to realize that there was a woman standing right behind me.
I am now officially one of those crazy people who wanders the streets talking to themselves about the world ending.
I suppose it was only a matter of time...
Anyway, I get to the bank's ATM only to find out that my card doesn't work. Turns out that the credit card company accidentally released all their card numbers AGAIN, and so it had to be replaced "for security reasons". Dumbasses.
But it's when I finally get to the mini-mart that the real tragedy occurs...
THEY ARE NO LONGER CARRYING MY BELOVED COKE WITH LIME!!!
Once again I find myself screaming "OH LORD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?!?"
And so now I am left wondering if the Coke-heads have discontinued it or what. I suppose now it's only a matter of time before I become a rent boy, walking the street with the promise of sexual favors in exchange for feeding my Coke habit...
Coke bastards! The item replacing Coke with Lime is called "Vault" and it appears to be a rediculous hybrid of soda and energy drink. That's some stupid shit right there... if I want a frickin' energy drink, I'll buy a Red Bull.
In protest, I decided to skip on Coke products and buy a Dr. Pepper instead.
Except now that I've opened the bottle, I realize that it's not REAL Dr. Pepper... it's Dr. Pepper with Vanilla and Cherry flavorings. YARGH! I HATE CHERRY FLAVORING!!
I'm having a very bad day.
Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2006
And so the doctor says...
"Well, I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that your stone is very close to being passed, and you should be clear sometime today. The bad news is that the CAT-scan reveals you have another stone lodged up in your kidney. It won't cause any pain until it comes loose and passes through... but that could be 10 minutes from now or 10 years from now. We really have no way of knowing."
And Dave says...
As fun as this was, I really have no desire to ever do it again, but there you have it. I'm holding on to my drugs, so at least I can medicate myself through this crap when it happens again.
Though I am having a hard time deciding whether the nausea and vomiting that the pain medication causes is worse than the actual pain.
In other news: Little Debbie Chocolate Cupcakes are just as delicious coming up as they are going down!
Posted on Saturday, February 25th, 2006
Any minute now...
Posted on Wednesday, March 1st, 2006
Maybe it's because I've just gone through a terrible and traumatic event in my life... but I feel the need to be more active in world events. I have an urge to fight injustice and make this earth a better place for all mankind and the creatures who inhabit her. Kidney stones will do that to you.
And it is with this new-found strength that I have been given the courage to stand up for my beliefs and confront people who I feel are doing something wrong. Even people who I consider friends.
People like Karla.
For quite a while now I've been enjoying her daily exploits as a Texan living in Norway via her witty and entertaining blog called Tales of a Textpatriate. She always has a way of taking the chaos out of my day. A way of bringing order to a universe gone mad. A comforting voice of reason amongst the horrors of my existence. But today all that changed. Today she wrote about something so disturbing that I feel compelled to act.
Karla admitted that she wears fur.
And not just any fur, but the fur of the rare and beautiful faux.
Karla is a faux fur wearer.
At first I thought that she didn't know any better. I sought to educate her as to the cruel nature of the faux fur industry. But she shows no remorse. She told me to "faux off" and when I told her I would be blogging about her reprehensible faux fur wearing lifestyle... she replied in the comments: "you faux right ahead... I faux dare you... faux bitch!!"
And how can I not?
So today. Right here. Right now. I am starting a campaign to save the fauxs from their tragic fate...
It's just not right in this day and age that people are still wearing faux fur. I feel it is my duty to spread the word and help bring an end to this barbaric practice. To argue my case, I've done a little research...
And there you have it. Faux furriers spend millions to hide the true nature of their savagery by advertising that "faux fur is a cruelty-free alternative to other furs". I say ENOUGH! It's time that people learn the TRUTH about faux fur and the entire faux fur industry. I hope you will join me in boycotting faux fur products as a truly inhumane fashion accessory. I can only hope that Karla has a change of heart, and can see that faux fur is nothing more than a life of pain and suffering for innocent creatures who deserve better at our hands.
How is it that we can put a man on the moon, but can't find a way to manufacture fake faux fur??
Posted on Saturday, March 4th, 2006
Thanks to a suggestion from Rach, I decided to make my own bank checks. It's only $20 for 150 of them, and you can rotate through four separate designs if you want. Since I've already made my own stamps, I figured "why not?" I don't think that you can use photos of other people without permission, so Elizabeth Hurley checks are not an option... and I'm certainly not going to put photos of myself on them. Guess it's going to be a bunch of DaveToons then.
The hard part is trying to pick toons that will work in such a severe horizontal format. I did the best I could, and am mostly happy with the results.
Big fun! I need to start customizing everything... I want my own glassware, dinnerware, and cutlery. My own shoes, socks, and boxer shorts. My own toothbrushes, shower curtains, and condoms. I definitely want my own line of erotic sex toys (which may be considered "Not Safe for Work" and are pictured in an extended entry)...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Wednesday, March 15th, 2006
Am I the only one who delights in the misfortune of dumbasses?
I don't know what's wrong with me, because my Buddhist leanings are all about love and respect for my fellow humans, yet I just can't seem to feel badly for stupid people when they do stupid things. Can't do it. Maybe my sympathy gene was misplaced somehow?
Or perhaps it's just because I am pure evil...
This morning I had to provide chauffeur services for somebody needing a ride. After dropping them off, it was still early, and I was hungry enough to eat breakfast at McDonalds while I waited. Sure the food will kill you, but I'm facing 40 and am totally ready to die.
So there I am just pulling into the McDonalds parking area, when I see this car entering from the opposite side of the lot. Much to my surprise, they all of a sudden floor it, and come screaming across the pavement in my direction. At first I thought that I had somehow been transported into the movie Death Race 2000, but then I realized that they were just trying to beat me to the drive-through.
Except I wasn't going to the drive-through.
But they didn't know that, and decided to race me for it...
... and ended up ramming their spiffy new truck right into the curb because they were going too fast and couldn't stop in time.
After parking my car, I noticed that the driver had gotten out of his truck to inspect the damage, and it looked like one of his rims took a bit of a beating. This made him mad. Very mad. Very, very mad. He was saying words that I don't think were intended to be said at McDonalds.
I'm sure he probably blames me for this somehow... dumbasses always do.
I thought it was funny, so I just laughed at him as I went to buy an Egg McMuffin (sans ham).
Evil, I tell you.
Posted on Thursday, March 16th, 2006
When you live in a small town, your options for eating out are limited. We have a fine dining restaurant, a family restaurant, a pizzeria, a burger drive-through, and something like 37 Mexican restaurants (give or take). Unless you want to eat Mexican for a month, you only really have a week's worth of variety (and even that's pushing it, because they all feature mostly hamburgers on the menu).
And if you're vegetarian like me, only about 3% of what they serve is edible to you.
Last year a new restaurant opened up selling "Authentic Pulled Pork BBQ" which has since turned out to be a fairly popular place to eat. If you like shredded dead pig and loads of barbecue sauce on a bun, it's the restaurant for you.
I affectionately refer to it as the "Little Shop of Horrors". Mostly because of me doing the vegetarian thing, but the fact that they blast country music at full volume and have redneck decor everywhere is the real kicker...
And yet this is probably what everybody from outside of the US thinks that all restaurants here are like (at least the ones that aren't McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken). They could be right. I'm pretty sure that this is what the cafeteria at The White House looks like now.
But they make a decent potato salad and have good cornbread (with honey butter!), so I drop by every once in a while when I can't think of anything better to eat for lunch.
I just ignore the stench of roasting animal carcasses and try not to think of what goes on in that kitchen...
Or what they have to do to get their "pulled pork"...
Which ends up looking like something that dropped out of a diarrhetic yak's ass...
Bleh. It's Rush Limbaugh on a bun! Bon appetite.
Posted on Friday, March 17th, 2006
I've written ad nauseam about my profound disappointment in the United States Government to provide adequate health care for its citizens, but it's never been written from personal experience. It's always been an observation of other people struggling... elderly people who can't afford to buy medicine... people who can't afford to go to the doctor when they get sick... things like that.
Because today I received my medical bill from the little trip I took to the emergency room for kidney stones a couple weeks ago. The grand total? $2762.77, which is about the price of a brand new, top-of-the-line Apple Power Mac G5.
The good part (if you really look for it) is that I have health insurance to help out. Unfortunately, my deductible means I have to pay $1250 before my insurance actually kicks in, which is about the price of a new Apple iMac.
In order to help people like me with that deductible, the government is generously allowing its citizens to create "Health Savings Accounts", where you are allowed to put in your deductible amount each year, and not pay taxes on it. So I go to open up my HSA at the bank today, only to find that any account with a balance under $2500 will have a monthly service fee of $2.50. And since my account will have a balance of $0 after I pay out for my expenses, I will be effectively paying $30.00 a year to save any money on my taxes.
What a brilliant f#@%&ing idea.
Seriously, when are people going to get sick of this shit and start rioting in the streets? How much worse does it really have to get?
American citizens have to pay huge insurance premiums that still result in huge bills... but not huge enough to deduct from your taxes (unless said expenses exceed 7.5% of your income). Bad enough that the wealthiest nation on the planet makes us pay for all this shit in the first place... but to tax you on top of it? WHAT THE F#@&?!?
If the government is going to make me pay my own medical expenses so I can stay healthy, thus be able to work, thus be able to pay taxes on what I actually earn... why should I have to pay taxes on ANY medical expense? Would they rather we just not go to the doctor and die? How can you collect taxes from somebody who's DEAD you dumbass f#@%ers?!? Are you trying to encourage people to not earn any money so they can go on welfare and get their medical care that way? Stupid. Stupid. STUPID!!
Does this make sense to anybody? Anybody at all?
You shouldn't need to pay a bank $30 to save a minimal amount on your taxes if you need medical attention... you should be able to claim ANY medical expenses on your taxes as a deduction simply by saving a receipt. This is the least... the absolute VERY LEAST... our government can do for the people they are f#@%ing over.
Happy f#@%ing St. Patrick's Day.
Posted on Saturday, March 18th, 2006
As a big fan of the original graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, I was very nervous about V for Vendetta being turned into a movie. After all, Moore's previous works League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell were positively butchered in the translation to film, and the odds of V bucking this trend seemed unlikely.
As it turned out, the result wasn't half bad. Sure several characters and events were changed, but I think the Wachowski Brothers did capture a bit of what made the original story so great...
The problem is that the context of the book when I first read it fifteen years ago was very different than now. Back then, the Orwellian world in the story echoed a possible future... today it seems to be a likely future. Because of that, the movie seems like a clumsy attempt at socio-political commentary instead of the elegant revelation it was when Moore wrote it.
In any event, this tale of an oppressed future society and its masked terrorist liberator is still worth a look as a film or, better yet, even more amazing if read from the book as it was originally intended.
Then you can be V too...
...and understand why the ending of the book is SO much cooler than what's in the movie.
Posted on Sunday, March 19th, 2006
With tons of work to get through this weekend, I spent most of my time in front of the television with my laptop in an attempt to get caught up. I always like to work with the TV running in order to mask ambient noise, and this time I decided on a Dr. Who DVD that a friend gave me to watch, followed by a marathon of classic Star Trek episodes.
It doesn't get much geekier than that.
Until I start watching all my Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVDs.
Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006
I have wonderful, amazing news.
Incredible, spectacular, miraculous news.
As I was heading home yesterday, I stopped at the mini-mart and found out that my beloved Coke with Lime is back! Sometimes begging and pleading actually works. What I am not sure of is if this is old stock that the Coke Man is trying to get rid of... or if it really hasn't been discontinued, and they were just going to stop selling it at that one store until I complained.
Oh well, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. For now, I'm just happy I can still buy it...
Coke with Lime kicks ass.
In other news: Ha ha. HAH HA HA HAAAHHH! BWAAAAAHH HAAAHH HA HAAAAAAHHH!
Maybe they should call it "Windows VAPOR"?
For crying out loud... just buy a Mac and be done with it.
As for me? I'm going to Daveland...
It's the place to sing a happy song.
Grab your wallet and come along!
It's the place to have a great day.
Bring your money to pay pay pay!
It's the place where fun times begin.
Give us cash or you ain't gettin' in.
Dave how we love you!
Posted on Friday, March 24th, 2006
Today I am forty years old.
That's a lot of years. Where did it all go?
Still, I can't complain. I've done a lot of things in my life, am fortunate to have seen a bit of the world, am relatively healthy, and have terrific friends and family to get me through the day. I guess that makes me a lucky guy (if I believed in luck, which I don't).
But forty... wow. A pity that I still act like a 12-year-old, but everybody has their issues.
Anyway, I guess I'm ready to die now.
Not that I want to die, I'm just saying... if it happens, I'm okay with it.
And if I get to choose how I'm going to die, I think it would go something like this...
The good news is that being dead gives me a terrific new DaveToon to draw...
And just for the record, Bad Monkey did not die from a marathon love-making session with Elizabeth Hurley. He died from an overdose of Coke with Lime.
Happy birthday to me.
Posted on Saturday, March 25th, 2006
Yesterday I made the mistake of visiting Brookstone and trying out one of those magical computerized "massage chairs". You sit down and press buttons that makes the chair come alive and give you a massage. There are a variety of modes to choose from... you can get a Swedish massage, a Shiatsu massage, or anything in-between. You can get a hard massage or a soft massage. You can have a heated massage or a vibrating massage. You can even have the chair massage your ass.
I turned on everything.
It was actually painful. But in a good way.
It was SO good, that I had to resist the urge to touch myself inappropriately...
By the time it was over, I was ready to buy. But there were three problems...
After goofing around the East-side this afternoon, I said goodbye to my friends there and headed Seattle-side.
Since our Cabo San Lucas plans were scuttled, my friend and I decided to stay downtown so she could take me out for birthday dinner and we could wander around the Market in the morning. We would have taken a look tonight, but everything was closing just as we arrived. The sunset was nice though...
Our room overlooks the new Seattle Public Library. This freaky building seems interesting, and sure photographs nicely from a distance...
Unfortunately, it looks like total crap from street level. Kind of like they took six really cool buildings, then smashed them all together at unpleasant angles or something. Not a pretty picture to me, but it does have its fans.
And now, if you'll excuse me, it's ice cream time.
ICE CREEEEAM!! ICE CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAM!!
Oh yeah... thanks to everybody who was kind enough to send their birthday wishes... I feel much loved. :-)
Posted on Wednesday, April 5th, 2006
You know... just when you think things can't get any shittier, that's usually when they do.
Thanks to a lot of hard work and the kindness of one incredibly generous person, I am very close to climbing out of the nightmare of getting my blog re-hosted. It has been a totally crappy four days, but it's almost over. Then BLAM! I get f#@%ed by PayPal!
This lovely piece of email lands in my inbox...
PayPal is committed to maintaining a safe environment for its community of buyers and sellers. Our team employs the most advanced systems in the world to protect the security of your account.
During a recent review of our system, we determined that you received funds from an account that reportedly has been associated with possible unauthorized use. In accordance with PayPal's Seller Protection Policy, the following transaction has been reversed...
THEY accepted the charge, and yet it's MY problem?
And what kind of bullshit is "POSSIBLE unauthorized use"??
It's POSSIBLE that aliens have replaced world leaders with pod people. It's POSSIBLE that Elvis is still alive. It's POSSIBLE that PayPal is a giant scam. It's POSSIBLE that diamonds might shoot out of my ass...
So PayPal steals MY F#@&ING MONEY because of a "possible" problem. No proof is offered. I'm just supposed to take their word for it. No mention on whether they will reinstate my money if the charge is proved to be valid. No mention on me getting any evidence whatsoever as to this ALLEGED claim of "unauthorized use".
This is bullshit.
I wrote and asked for the evidence that this is, IN FACT, an unauthorized charge. Who knows if I will ever see it. I'm probably just f#@%ed, which is fantastic. Not only am I going to be out $12.90... I'm also out $4.05 in shipping... and $7.95 in shirt and materials.
I just had to pay hundreds of dollars to host my blog, and now T-shirts that I sell at near-cost out of the goodness of my heart, have just screwed me out of $25.
What's coming next?
UPDATE: I got an email from somebody saying: "If somebody stole YOUR credit card and bought a shirt don't you think that you should get your money back? Being ripped off by credit card thieves is part of owning a business and you need to grow up". First of all... the person who bought the shirt has no idea why the transaction was flagged as "possible unauthorized use" - NEITHER OF US DO! Even better, the buyer didn't even know that there was a problem until I wrote and told them! PayPal never bothered to contact them! So basically, PayPal says there is a "possible problem" but there is NO evidence provided to either buyer OR seller, and THAT is what I am upset about. And this is not an email scam, because the reversal of the money credit is showing up in my PayPal account. Second of all... Even if there IS fraud, "my business" WAS NOT THE ONE WHO TOOK THE CREDIT CARD! PayPal accepted the credit card! And they aren't doing it for FREE, I get billed fees every time. I mean, seriously... if I was the one who took the card and the charge was bogus... is it fair that I turn around and bill the company who printed the shirts for my loss?? No. In any event PayPal needs to provide evidence that there is wrong-doing OR GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK!!
Posted on Thursday, April 6th, 2006
LINK OF THE YEAR: I keep forgetting to mention THE TRUTH. This is where I get all my news... Ze does the thinking, so I don't have to. Somebody give him a correspondent gig on The Daily Show ASAP.
If you hadn't already guessed, I am a very self-centered person. The entire world revolves around me, and if something doesn't affect me, I really don't care about it. In order to understand the New World Order, I have made these helpful illustrations to explain it to you...
It's quite simple, really. Some people might call me a narcissist, but I prefer to think of it as "reality". Unfortunately, not everybody understands how reality is supposed to work.
Here's an example...
I am terrible at remembering dates. I can barely remember when my own birthday is, let alone somebody else's birthday. This can be quite embarrassing with my friends, and so I've come up with a way to fix it. What I do is go to the Hallmark Card Shop at the beginning of every year and buy about thirty "Happy Belated Birthday" cards. I fill them all out for my friends and stick them in my sock drawer. Then, when I find out that it's my birthday, I realize that other people have birthdays too, and so I go to my sock drawer and mail the belated birthday wished to all my friends.
It's not a perfect system, but I've been doing it for years and it works for me.
Except this year I even forgot about the cards, so they didn't get mailed until a week ago.
Then this morning I get a phone call...
Mobile Phone: Ring! Ring! Ring!
Meagan: YOU ASSHOLE! IT'S BAD ENOUGH THAT YOU FORGET MY BIRTHDAY EVERY YEAR AND SEND ME THIS BELATED SHIT... BUT NOW YOU ARE SENDING BELATED-BELATED BIRTHDAY CARDS?!? WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? DON'T YOU KNOW HOW TO WORK THE CALENDAR IN YOUR COMPUTER?!? IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK THAT YOU TYPE MY F#@%ING NAME IN SO THAT I ACTUALLY GET A BIRTHDAY CARD ON MY BIRTHDAY? WHAT THE F#@%?!?!
Dave: Uhhhh. Okay. When is your birthday again?
Meagan: AGAIN?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN "AGAIN"?? YOU NEVER KNEW IT IN THE FIRST PLACE! MY BIRTHDAY IS TOMORROW ASSHOLE!! EVERY YEAR YOU SEND ME A BELATED CARD 330 DAYS LATE, BUT THIS YEAR YOU ACTUALLY SENT IT ON TIME, BUT YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT, AND SO HERE I AM GETTING THIS BELATED SHIT!!
Dave: Yes. I can see how you might be upset about that...
Meagan: UPSET?!? UPSET?!?! DO I EVER F#@%ING FORGET YOUR F#@%ING BIRTHDAY? NO! AND DO YOU KNOW WHY?!? BECAUSE I KNOW HOW TO USE A F#@%ING CALENDAR!!
Dave: That is pretty bad. Hey, did you watch Veronica Mars last night?
Meagan: Oh yeah... can you believe that XXXX totally XXXX to XXXX and got him XXXX in that stadium? How cool was that?*
(* mad-libbed to prevent spoilerage)
I think I'm safe.
Until next year, anyway.
But here's the problem. That card was actually for last year's birthday. And so now I am confused as to what to do. Since her birthday is tomorrow, I could send a new card for this year's birthday, but it would have to be another belated card because it won't get there tomorrow. But if I send a belated card, then that means I have to remember not to send another belated card next year for this year. But if I do that, then forget to send the card the next year, then this year's card should have been for next year's birthday, but it says "belated" when it really isn't.
Crap. Maybe this actually would be a lot easier if I learned how to work my calendar.
Hopefully Veronica Mars will get a third season, because then I can worry about this in 2008 and focus on more important things. Like me.
Posted on Tuesday, April 11th, 2006
Cheaters! I have cheaters reading my blog!
Ever since moving to a new hosting company, I've been closely monitoring my error stats to see if there's anything that needs to be fixed. Today when I checked, I noticed a bunch of people typing in "lostblogs/daythree.html" and "lostblogs/daythr.html" and "lostblogs/day3.html" - apparently looking for the next "lost blogger" entry a day early (even though it didn't exist yet). Cheaters!
Ha! I can only DREAM about being organized enough to write something a day in advance.
Sorry, but everything at Blogography is baked fresh daily, baby!
Most of my entries are written first thing in the morning (like today!). I wake up, grab my trusty PowerBook to check my email, and something pops into my head to write or draw. If it turns out okay, I post it. But most of the time I let it sit until my lunch break so I can read it over and make sure I didn't say anything stupid. But since I always say something stupid, I usually try to make it less stupid and then post it. On rare occasions I can't think of anything to write about, and it's not until dinnertime that I get around to writing. In any event, I don't write ahead. Even while lost-blogging, which I'll be cooking up after this.
Oh, and before I forget... I have the bestest blog posse ever (yes, this means you!). Two days ago I was lamenting over my broken links and got a suggestion from Blogography reader Wejn on how to fix it. When I didn't understand what to do... he wrote the fix for me. I've installed it, and now my problems are solved. How cool is that? Thanks Wejn! An extra Blogography cookie for you today, fresh from the oven!
And while I am passing out cookies, I cannot forget about Bre, who left the 7000th comment here yesterday. Congratulations Bre, You just won a Blogography T-Shirt! Email me your address and the size you want to claim your prize.
And in non-baking-related news...
I am hopelessly addicted to reading all 40 participants now, and many of them are getting really interesting!
Those of you wanting to make guesses as to my "lost blogger's" identity should send me an email at the address in my sidebar. Comments with guesses will not be approved! Who knows, there might be a prize for the first person to guess correctly! But remember the rules... you only get ONE GUESS... so make sure you're sure about who it is before contacting me, because any subsequent guesses by the same person will be tossed out. Good luck!
If you want to learn more about Pauly's book (or pre-order a copy), visit The Lost Blogs site!
Posted on Tuesday, April 25th, 2006
I wish I had a dollar for every time I've dropped the F-Bomb today.
Nothing, and I mean nothing has gone right today. On top of all that, my internet connection has been flakey (at best), so being able to catch up on email and the various blogs I enjoy has been an exercise in futility. At first I was blaming my DSL connection, but now it looks like it must be my piece-of-crap DSL/wireless hub that's the problem.
I am very close to soaking it in gasoline and lighting it on fire... but I'm fairly certain that this would void my warranty.
And so I spend my time swearing instead...
And to top it all off, I get a call from Bad Robert informing me that a friend of ours whom we haven't seen in months had died back in February (isn't it time that they invent a cure for cancer?). He was an incredibly generous and decent human being, and it makes me sad to know that somebody like him is gone from this earth.
Robert then goes on a rant for ten full minutes about how he wishes that he would win a billion dollars so that he could quit his job and devote the rest of his life to hunting down spammers and killing them. It almost makes me wish that I had a billion dollars to give him.
After I hang up the phone, I call another one of our friends to let her know about the death, only to learn that she lost her job last Friday. Her position has been outsourced. This leads me to wonder if there is any job that WON'T be outsourced in the near-future. I picture a day when you pull up to a McDonald's drive-through and somebody from India answers on the speaker-box. Tech-sector jobs (which we were all told would be the future of employment in America) are disappearing at an alarming rate. Pretty soon the only job left will be for lawyers, and then everybody will spend their time suing each other to make a living. Sounds like Utopia to me.
Internet connection willing, I hope to have the Artificial Duck Store open again tomorrow night. Then everybody can pre-order their $10-off shirts and be blissfully happy.
Hey, given what happened today, I fully believe "happiness" is an entirely relative term.
Posted on Friday, April 28th, 2006
Ever since I read that Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts are being released over at Timothy's blog, I've wanted them. Days of searching at local grocery stores turned up nothing, and so I started telling everybody I know to help me look. My Hello-Kitty Pop-Tart search eventually involved a dozen people in four states. Finally, after I had reached suicidal-levels of despair that I would never find Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts, my mom found them at the local Fred Meyer (hey, you really do "find it at Freddies!").
Behold the grandeur that is Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts...
BACKGROUND: I've long held a fascination with Hello Kitty, but not in the way you are probably thinking (i.e., I don't have my bedroom decorated in Hello Kitty merchandise, nor do I wear Hello Kitty clothing). Nope, my obsession stems from two things: 1) My love of Japan from my travels there, and 2) The elegant simplicity that defines the "Hello Kitty Look". As you might guess, Hello Kitty was a big influence when creating my cartoon persona...
HISTORY: Hello Kitty was created in 1974 by Sanrio graphic designer Ikuko Shimizu as one in a line of several "characters" for the company. Her popularity eventually escalated her to near cult status, and she is easily one of the most well-known Japanese exports of the last couple of decades. Remaining popular both in Japan and abroad, Hello Kitty can be found on everything from toys and stationery to toilet paper and vibrators. There is some question as to whether Hello Kitty was inspired by Dutch cartoon icon "Miffy" (created 1955 by Dick Bruna), but most people have written this off as a coincidence.
ASSOCIATES: Hello Kitty is often found in the company of her many friends, including Cathy the bunny, Tim & Tammy the monkeys, Tippy the bear, and (ironically) her pet cat Charmmy Kitty. Hello Kitty's full name is "Kitty White", and she has a twin sister name "Mimmy".
PACKAGING: Hello Kitty "Meow-Berry" Pop-Tarts are made by Kelloggs, and is just one out of dozens of Pop-Tart flavors. They are sold in boxes of twelve and are conveniently foil-wrapped in six two-packs. They weigh-in at 22 ounces and you can buy a box for under $3.00. In addition to the front panel (shown above), there is also a game on the back...
Colorful, and well-rendered in Hello Kitty Style, it's a search puzzle to locate as many bows as you can find. The answer is printed inside the carton, and I ended up missing two because they were so small or obscured as to be unrecognizable. Faithful to the Hello Kitty brand, and an eye-catcher on store shelves, I give the packaging an A-.
APPEARANCE: From the box, it appears that Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts are decorated in her signature pink color and sprinkled with miniature candies in the shape of Hello Kitty, bows, and flowers. The reality is a bit disappointing...
Instead of a festive pink frosting, it's kind of a purple-ish pink that's not very appetizing. Instead of the icing being neatly centered on the pastry, it was smeared off to one side. The generous assortment of candy sprinkles shown on the box were nothing more than a few scattered bits. In short, the product looked nothing like what I was expecting. If it had even remotely resembled what was on the box, I would have been much happier. But, alas, I give the actual product a D- for looks.
TASTE: Pop-Tarts are an acquired taste that not everybody enjoys. I happen to love them. My only criticism is that the pastry dough is dense and gummy when chewed... forming a kind of nasty paste. You have to be careful that you always have plenty of filling with each bite so that the crap pastry doesn't ruin your dining experience. The flavor advertised is "Meow-Berry" which is explained to be a "wild berry filling". Tasting it, I get a good sense of berry flavor, though trying to figure out which berries are in the mix is fairly difficult. I definitely taste strawberry... and probably some kind of raspberry or blackberry... perhaps a hint of blueberry... but nothing definite can be discerned. Overall I give the product a B for taste, considering we're talking about Pop-Tarts here.
OVERALL RATING: This product had such high potential, but really fell short in the appearance department. This is really bad news for a food item, and cuts the final score down to a C+. If Kelloggs could find a way to improve the look of Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts, they'd jump to a B+ or A- easy. Overall, I am giving them a cautious recommendation. If you like Pop-Tarts, these are worth a try. If you don't like Pop-Tarts, the Hello Kitty Meow-Berry variety will not change your mind.
Posted on Sunday, April 30th, 2006
Most of my weekend has been spent working.
Ordinarily this wouldn't bother me, but now that good weather has arrived, I really want to pull my motorcycle out of storage. Problem is, it's going to take at least a day to rip her apart, de-winterize her, charge the battery, and clean her up. Unfortunately, I just don't have that kind of time to spare. So instead I worked, washed clothes, ate Pop-Tarts, drank Coke with Lime, and drew a "Pain Chart" for Belinda over at Ninja Poodles.
You see, during a recent visit to the ER for a migraine, Belinda was presented with this pain chart which has these goofy-looking green balloon-heads and says "If you are in pain, let your doctor or nurse know how bad your pain really is". I remember that they had something similar when I visited the ER with my kidney stones incident, but I was screaming so loud that I don't think they bothered to use it. This was surprising, because all the screaming didn't seem to motivate them into giving me any drugs until after an hour and twenty minutes had passed.
Anyway, here's the chart...
Belinda felt this was totally inadequate, and thought it would be better if I redrew it with Bad Monkey instead of a green balloon head. But since monkeys are screeching all the time and it's hard to know if they are in pain or not, I decided to use Cartoon Dave instead....
After making the pain chart, it got me to wondering what other useful charts there should be...
I was going to do an "Are You a Dumbass" chart, but that would have to be a big-ass chart to truly capture the many shades of dumbass that I run across on a daily basis.
Oh well. Back to work...
Posted on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
Posted on Friday, May 5th, 2006
Happy Cinco de Mayo everybody!
It's strange sitting here and typing that when I know full well I won't be celebrating the holiday tonight. Years ago when I was young, stupid and looking for any excuse to party, Cinco de Mayo was a pretty big event. Huge even. In fact, after having turned 21, it was probably the biggest holiday of the year for me. There's nothing quite like going to a Mexican restaurant with a bunch of friends and getting completely wasted on Margaritas and tequila shots. I have many fond memories (and even more blurry half-memories) of Cinco de Mayo during "The Stupid Years" (my favorite being a party in Maui after having just received my PADI scuba diving certification).
But, alas, to do something insane like that today would end up with me in the hospital or dead (which would come in handy for Dia de Los Muertos in November).
So what am I doing this year? I'm staying home so I can wash my laundry and work.
It's going to be the best Cinco de Mayo ever.
Posted on Monday, May 8th, 2006
Whenever I write about some of the freakier Blogography emails I get here, I'm assured of some blogger leaving a comment that says something like this: "at least people pay attention to what you say... I'd kill to get hate mail or ANY mail out of my blog". I then chuckle softly to myself knowing that they would feel quite differently if they actually had to put up with some of the crap I get.
As an example...
In an entry for last year, I had mentioned a "sex switch" (as in GENDER, you perv!) Halloween party from years ago where I dressed up as Wonder Woman. It was big fun and I put a lot of work into getting the costume right. In the comments I had mentioned that I didn't have any pictures of it, but feared that a friend might have taken photos and would post them on the internet some day. Shortly after that, a friend who reads my blog DID manage to track down a drunken pic of Wonder-Dave and emailed it to me. I got a laugh out of it, then filed it away so there will be something interesting to show at my funeral.
But then I get an email from some guy on Friday who said he was trying to build a Wonder Woman costume and wanted to know if I ever found pictures, because he'd like to see how I managed it. I wrote back and said that while I did have a photo, I'm afraid I won't be sending it, because it's personal and I don't want it posted to a pervy website or anything.
The next day I get a reply where he assures me that he won't share the pic, and he really would appreciate it if I could send it to him. I wrote back and politely declined, saying that I wouldn't give it to some of my closest friends, let alone somebody I've never met.
Saturday night I get yet another email. This time the tone is much different. He's hostile now, and wants to know why I won't trust him. Then, as if to encourage me, he attaches some pictures of himself in various costumes... some of which I cannot even begin to describe without inviting search engine hits I really don't want. Suffice to say that this guy likes to dress up as famous women, and looks really good as Cher.
I'm kind of scared now. There is no way I am sending the photo, and yet I really would like to diffuse the situation, so I draw up a cartoon for him and say "sorry, but this is the only photo I'll be sending"...
I didn't hear anything on Sunday, and thought that it was over.
I was wrong.
This morning I get this ranting email about how I am a judgmental prick. How I am a close-minded idiot who can't accept other people. Yadda yadda yadda. After reading it, I came to the conclusion that it takes a pretty big dumbass to think this of me just because I won't share a personal photo, and deleted it. I won't even bother to open anything else that arrives from him.
So yeah, I like getting comments and emails from my readers. Always have. But when things like this happen, I have to question my sanity in having a blog at all. The more things I write about and the larger my archives grow, the more search engines are going to set me up for freaky-ass search results. Then even more crap like this is going to happen.
I guess what I'm trying to say is be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.
On the up-side... doesn't cartoon Dave look FABULOUS dressed up as Wonder Woman?
Posted on Sunday, May 28th, 2006
Ugh. Raining buckets in Seattle on a lazy Sunday. I think I'll stay in the city for another day with my friends...
Posted on Thursday, June 1st, 2006
I am of the opinion that people who suffer from road rage are probably blameless for their condition. There are so many total dumbasses on the road that it's no wonder people are enraged. By the time I finally got across the mountains I was so overwhelmed with anger that I was very close to having a mental breakdown. You know it's bad when your throat is sore from screaming at idiots for three solid hours (knowing full well that they will never hear you).
Here is a puzzle for you...
Given the above situation do you...
A: Realize that you are delaying traffic and pissing people off, so you pull over at the next turnout.
B: Think that you are the center of the universe, don't give a shit about anybody else, and don't bother pulling off at the turnout because it would be an inconvenience.
If you answered A, then congratulations! You not only know how to read, but you also know how to drive legally! This gives you a DaveQ of 1000, so please go get a badge and display it proudly!
If you answered B, then please f#@% off and die. Seriously. It's bad enough that you are going 18 miles an hour under the speed limit, but the fact that you are breaking the law and causing people to have a brain hemorrhage BECAUSE YOU WON'T PULL THE F#@% OFF THE ROAD TO LET US PASS... well, I just want your stupid ass beat to shit until you die.
DIE! DIE! DIE!!!
Ahem. But it was all worth it because once I got to Redmond it was Zombie time...
Everything turned out super-sweet (though the photos look a little freaky because I had to use a flash).
These shirts are pretty nifty because they are so astoundingly useful...
CONDITION: Hung-over on a Monday morning at work due to a weekend of heavy partying? EXCUSE YOU CAN USE: Zombies ate my brain.
CONDITION: Stayed up too late watching a marathon of old Arnold Schwartzenegger movies? EXCUSE YOU CAN USE: Zombies ate my brain.
CONDITION: Sick with the flu but can't afford to miss a day of work? EXCUSE YOU CAN USE: Zombies ate my brain.
CONDITION: Fall asleep while making love to your significant other? EXCUSE YOU CAN USE: Zombies ate my brain.
The beauty of it all is that you don't even have to say a word... just point to the shirt!
And now I'm off to Chicago...
Posted on Saturday, June 3rd, 2006
Flying Horizon Airlines with their myriad of "mechanical difficulties" has me thinking quite a lot about my death.
Not so much about how I will be ascending to a higher plane of existence from which I shall continue to bless my loyal readers... but more about where my earthly remains shall be interned. Something befitting a man of my stature and brilliance. Something with eternal flames... and a gift shop.
After thinking about it during the bumpy ride into Seattle, I finally came up with a rough concept...
I think perhaps a statue monument made out of Italian marble that's around fifty stories tall should do the trick. And it would be hollowed out just like the Statue of Liberty so visitors could climb into my head and observe the surrounding 200,000 acres of pristine wild-lands which surround my eternal resting place (formerly known as Mt. Rainier National Park).
I'll be setting up a tip jar here so that everybody can do their part to immortalize me in this nifty monument. I am pretty sure that something like this will cost at least a couple of billion dollars, so dig deep... DIG WAAAAAYYY DOWN DEEP... into those pockets for your tax-deductable* contribution.
* At least any donation should be tax-deductable. Write your legislators today!
Posted on Sunday, June 11th, 2006
What an incredibly crappy day.
Instead of spending my weekend relaxing, goofing off, and playing Xbox... I instead spent all of it working. Ordinarily this wouldn't bother me so much, but all this non-stop work is driving me insane. Literally.
Lately I've taken to talking to myself. And I'm not talking about simply reciting things in my head, but having actual conversations with myself. Like last night...
Dave: Oh crap, I have no idea what I want for dinner tonight.
Dave: A fried egg sandwich sounds good.
Dave: Hey, that does sound tasty! A fried egg sandwich it is then!
Or this morning...
Dave: I miss Chicago. I could so totally live there. Hey! I should move to Chicago!!
Dave: You don't want to move to Chicago.
Dave: Yeah, I guess you're right.
And just now...
Dave: Now that the season is over, television sucks ass!
Dave: Hey, isn't there new Entourage on tonight?
Dave: Oooh... I almost forgot about that! Thanks for reminding me!
And so on.
My self-psychoanalysis has diagnosed a mild form of schizophrenia, so I've written myself a prescription for a tablespoon of Pepto Bismol and a cold beer. I am convinced that everything can be cured by Peptol Bismol... but I hate the taste of it (hence the beer chaser). If one day they announce that Pepto Bismol cures cancer I won't be the least bit surprised, because the stuff is a miracle in a bottle. I lived on the stuff in college...
Too bad it makes your poop turn black.
And now I'm off to box up a bunch of T-shirt before bedtime...
Posted on Thursday, June 15th, 2006
The day started out with me putting both contact lenses in the same eye and only went downhill from there.
I'd go into details, but do you really want to hear it? Suffice to say that today sucked, and just when I thought it couldn't suck any more... IT DID! I don't even want to think about it.
The big news of the day, of course, is Bill Gates stepping down from the day-to-day operations at Microsoft in 2008. Helpful hint to Redmond... HIRE A VISIONARY FROM OUTSIDE THE COMPANY WHO CAN COME IN AND REVIVE YOUR TIRED OLD SHIT!! You need a Steve Jobs at the helm... not monkey-boy Balmer who will just keep you mired in the same old crap. Hire somebody like ME who will put your billions of dollars to good use and get you to innovate your way into something new! No more dumping money into duplicating stuff that's already better than what you can do anyway...
Oh yeah. I could definitely put billions of dollars to good use...
THE FLYING DELOREAN: POWERED BY MR. FUSION, BUILT BY DAVE WITH MICROSOFT MONEY, BABY!!
Seriously, who would give a crap about another stupid version of Windows or buggy MS Office update when you can make a flying car?!? Why dump money into another dumbass music service when you could spend it on developing a flying car?!? MSN? MS Publisher? Hotmail? Terraserver? WHATEVER... who really cares about that junk? EVERYBODY LOVES FLYING CARS!!
At the very least, I could have Microsoft discontinue their Windows products and license MacOS X so they could stop embarrassing themselves... they could call it "Macintosh Vista X" and finally sell an operating system that doesn't suck.
My salary requirements for running Microsoft to record profits? ONE MILLION DOLLARS A MONTH!!!
A bargain at twice the price!
Bill, I'll be expecting your call...
Posted on Wednesday, June 21st, 2006
Tonight after work I followed a building contractor's truck which had "Let Us Help You Build Your Dream" stenciled on the back. The guy was going 25 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. Well MY dream is for people to drive the frickin' speed limit... can you help me with THAT?? Dumbass.
It was the cherry on the ass of my day.
And now, since that seems like it would be a fun thing to draw, I present a visual interpretation of the above sentiment...
Next up: apparently I pulled a boner today.
Do not expect a visual interpretation of that, however, as an explanation is in order...
Out of all 64 T-shirt shipments I sent on Monday, I somehow processed five of them as "label only" - meaning that they did not have postage on them. As I was attempting to exit the post office with an armload of rejected packages, an old man comes running up to hold the door...
Old Man: Hey partner, looks like Christmas came early for you! HA HA HAAAH!
Dave: Ah. No, I'm needing to ship these out.
Old Man: Then aren't you going the wrong way with those packages? HA HA HAAAH!
Dave: Oh. Yeah. I forgot to put postage on them, so I have to go fix that.
Old Man: Pulled a boner did ya? HA HA HAAAH!
Dave: Uhhh... what?!?
Old Man: Good luck partner! HA HA HAAAH!
Dave: Uhhh... what?!?
I walked away from that conversation very confused, but fortunately Wikipedia was able to clear things up:
"A small mistake having an amusing effect?" Well, I certainly hope that's what the old guy meant.
Because anything else would be very disturbing indeed.
And I don't want any more cherries on my ass.
Posted on Tuesday, July 4th, 2006
"They can be a great people, Kal-El. They wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way."
I don't know why that famous line from Marlon Brando in Superman The Movie was echoing through my mind when I woke up this morning. Probably because I have not yet seen Superman Returns, though I want to quite badly. Perhaps that will be on the agenda in New York or Chicago, since they have far better theaters than I have here. Local cinemas are pretty much crap... with poor screens, uncomfortable seats, and sound systems so bad you can barely hear dialogue. Good movies always mean a three-hour drive to Seattle, but so few films are worth it now-a-days.
I am spending my Independence Day holiday working — but, to everybody else, have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Posted on Tuesday, July 11th, 2006
Wisconsin, for lack of a better word, is delicious.
Every time I come here, I always end up eating way too much. Unfortunately, what I eat are foods that are very, very bad for you. Things like a caramel-cashew frozen custard sundae from Culvers (which isn't bad until I tell you that I eat two of these EVERY DAY). Or cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. My latest addiction is fried cheese, which is taking something horribly delicious, doing bad things to it, and then ending up with something atrociously horribly delicious. I just can't help myself... fried fatty foods are my kryptonite.
Another problem here is that they love butter almost as much as I do.
Last night I was at the grocery store looking for snack foods to eat while I was working. I eventually ended up in the chip aisle, and picked up a bag of something called "O-Ke-Doke" because it had cool aliens on it...
It looked kind of like imitation Pirate Booty, so I was going to put it back until I heard a voice behind me...
NICE LADY: That had better not be the last bag, I was going to get some of that myself!
DAVE: Uhhh... no, there's plenty. I was just looking at it anyway.
NICE LADY: What? How can you not buy it? That stuff is addictive! Haven't you ever had it before?
DAVE: No. They don't have "O-Ke-Doke" in Washington State where I'm from.
NICE LADY: Oh you have GOT to try it then! It tastes like butter, and my kids just love it!
DAVE: Butter you say?!?
So I bought a bag along with all kinds of other snacky crap. All the way back to the hotel, I was getting more and more excited about the prospect of eating crunchy fried butter. What a brilliant idea! So I get back to my room, pull out my laptop, and rip open a bag... only to find out that it's not that great. Sure it tastes like butter (and that's a good thing)... but it's way too salty.
Except I cannot stop eating the stuff.
I ate half the bag last night for dinner, and polished off the remainder this morning for breakfast. It's like butter cocaine or something...
Damn those dirty space-alien-fried-butter-cocaine-snack-pushers!!
Who needs spaceships and lasers to take over the earth? They've got O-Ke-Doke! And with 1190 calories, 1470 milligrams of sodium, and 77 fat grams per bag, humanity's destruction is assured.
And now I have to go to the store so I can buy another bag for lunch.
Addiction sucks ass.
Posted on Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
Last night I had to go to the store so I could buy some more food and snacks. As I was walking in, a woman and her three horrifying children came in behind me... each of them yelling about something. Finally one of the kids wanted to go look at magazines, so the entire brood went running off screaming.
What happens next is not pretty, but it does have me curious...
Okay. Let's say you have three kids. Let's further say that these three kids are going ape-shit in the magazine section. They're throwing magazines at each other. They're spilling magazines on the floor and sliding around on them. They're flinging those little subscription cards everywhere. It's total chaos in the red zone...
So where are you in this scenario?
A) You are over in the cereal aisle screaming at your kids from across the store to behave or else they will be in trouble. But you don't really mean it... it's just an empty threat. Your kids know this, so they completely ignore you. And hey, it's not your magazines being ripped to shreds, so you just don't care.
B) You are all the way across the store in the produce section. You hear your kids raising hell somewhere, but this is your "alone time" so you pretend you don't hear a thing. Why not let the store staff babysit your kids... that's what they're paid for isn't it?
C) You are at the check-out counter flirting like a whore with the guy at the register. To better your chances at scoring, you pretend that the kids going crazy over there aren't yours. Maybe if you ignore them long enough, they'll just go away.
D) You are out in the parking lot smoking a cigarette. Your kids are completely forgotten for the moment... out of sight, out of mind and all that. You contemplate ditching them at the store for a few hours so you can go get a manicure.
Have your answer yet?
Well, if you were any kind of parent at all, you would answer "E) I'm over in the magazine section beating the shit out of my kids and teaching them how to behave in public."
But if you are the bitch that followed me into the store... THE ANSWER IS ALL FOUR, A THROUGH D!!
Yes, you read that right. This bitch let her kids go insane while she was shopping, smoking, and whoring it up. She made a half-hearted effort to scream at them once from the cereal aisle, but then ignored them entirely. When I left, she really was in the parking lot loading up her groceries and having a smoke. I have no idea if she ever went back in and got her kids or what.
And I'm not being sexist here... this could have just as easily been a guy. Bad parenting knows no gender boundaries.
It's times like this I really do wish I had copies of my "Dumbasses Books" to hand out to people...
Instead, my only option is to run up and slap the bitch. But I opted not to, because I have no desire to see what the jail cells look like in rural Wisconsin.
Why, why, why, WHY isn't there an intelligence test required before people are allowed to have kids? From what I have seen, it would cause quite a dip in the population (because most people are really, really stupid and should never have kids) but I would be okay with that.
Dumbasses shouldn't be breeding anyway.
Posted on Sunday, July 16th, 2006
The taxi driver smelled so bad that my eyes were watering. And it wasn't like he was oblivious to the fact, because he'd occasionally whip out some deodorant spray in a futile attempt to mask the stench. Of course this did nothing but make things worse. The guy smelled like he crapped his pants, took a bath in a urinal, and then slept in a sweaty, stanky locker-room for a week. The 100-degree heat wasn't helping much either.
By the time I got to Lincoln Square, I was inundated with a melange of horrible smells and about ready to pass out...
But I did my best to stay conscious, because I was meeting Jenny for dinner and a movie and thought she might appreciate not finding me passed out on the sidewalk.
Or maybe she would. I'm probably a much better conversationalist that way.
Anyway, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was a convoluted story filled with never-ending coincidences and lots of mind-blowing special effects. While not as good as the first film, it was still an entertaining ride (mostly due to Johnny Depp, who once again delivers out a masterful performance). The surprise was that they brought back Jack Davenport (of Coupling fame) to play Commodore Norrington. He completely eclipses Orlando Bloom at every turn, and is by far the more sympathetic character. That's actually kind of bad for the plot, but a happy accident for the movie, because it ends up adding some depth to the story.
The evening ended at a German bar full of elderly people partying down to a live band. Some of those seniors had brilliant moves ON the dance floor, which was surprising considering they could barely walk OFF the dance floor. Jenny and I were regretting that we didn't have a video camera, because this is the kind of stuff that thrives on YouTube.
Unable to find a taxi back into the city, I decided to hop on the train. Right behind me was a man trying to manage his sloppy-drunk girlfriend from falling over as she started gyrating wildly to music that wasn't there. It was amusing at first, but quickly became embarrassing. She was cursing profusely and jabbering on endlessly about stuff nobody really wanted to hear. Even worse was that she was scowling (for emphasis, I'd imagine) as she spoke, which reminded me of somebody...
I also suspect that she had head-lice, because she was forever shaking her hair like a woman possessed. I kept waiting for her head to snap off or maybe spin all the way around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
I wish I could say that this was the end of my travel entertainment, but my taxi ride to O'Hare this morning wouldn't allow it. The driver, who was talking to himself the entire way, decided to LIGHT UP A CIGARETTE as we pulled on to the airport expressway. Why he couldn't have waited ten minutes to drop me off first was a complete mystery. So instead I got to sit in cigarette smoke which pissed me off pretty bad. I hope he spends the $2 I tipped him wisely, because the idiot shouldn't have gotten anything at all. Dumbass.
What happened in the month that I was away? Did Chicago pass some kind of city ordinance whereas taxi drivers are required to make their cabs smell as bad as possible?
Oh well. I'm home safely in my sweet-smelling apartment, so I guess that's all that really counts... isn't it?
Posted on Thursday, July 20th, 2006
After yet another orgasm-inducing meal at David's Pizza, I decided to drop by The Comic Book Shop to see if lesbian Batwoman was out (heh, heh) yet. Not only was she out, but she was REALLY out, because they had three stacks of the issue piled on the shelf. Apparently lesbian super-heroes translate into big comic book sales. This has me wondering if we're going to start seeing lesbians in all the comics now. Or perhaps more lesbians on this blog! In any event, the story was kind of boring and barely hinted at any hot lesbionic action. Fanboys are going to be upset.
But not by the size of her chest...
I have no idea how she can be expected to fight crime around a rack like that, but I guess every hero has their problems. Batwoman just happens to have two of them.
This is my last day on the road for awhile. Tomorrow I'll be home and finally be able to catch up on everything that's been piling up for the past two months. I live in fear of my post box. There's bound to be quite a stack of mail heaped in there by now. Much like my email InBox...
I mean, dang, that's a LOT of email to read. My spam filter works pretty well, so most of those are going to be legit. I guess I know what I'm going to be doing this weekend.
WATCHING CLERKS II, THAT'S WHAT! Hah!
And adding more lesbians to Blogography.
Uhhh... and answering email (if I can find the time).
Posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2006
A while back I wrote an entry about how I regretted that I would not be attending the BlogHer event this weekend, and how I felt left out because I thought it was for the ladies but found out that other guys were going to be there as well. I was mostly bummed not because I would be missing out on a session for MommyBloggers... but because all kinds of people were attending that I'd love to meet and hang out with.
Much to my surprise, one lady commenter was very happy that I would not be attending, and was seriously pissed off that ANY men were daring to show up. Apparently, BlogHer is a "serious forum" and a "safe space" for women bloggers to discuss the issues that face them, and men showing up would just ruin everything.
At first I approved the comment, then replied with some smart-assed remark about BlogHer being "just like Wonder Woman's Paradise Island" because men weren't allowed, and then explained that the last thing I would want would be to disrupt the event, and only wanted to attend so I could meet with bloggers I like and read. But, after a few minutes of reflection, I deleted the comment and my reply... I was in the middle of travel, and didn't want to inflame my comments section with a totally unnecessary battle of the sexes.
But the more I thought about it, the more pissed off I got. How in the heck would me showing up to BlogHer suddenly cause everything to be ruined? No longer safe? No longer serious? It was so ridiculous as to be absurd, and so I decided to send my "virtual self" to BlogHer and show that I am all about supporting the ladies, and would absolutely have something to contribute...
FIRST of all, I'm guessing that whoever is giving the keynote would be brushed aside because, let's face it, who wouldn't want me to keynote their event? My speech would be filled with all kinds of encouraging messages to women about how blogging allows their voices to be heard as never before in history... I would wax poetic about female empowerment in a so-called "man's world"... I would praise the progress of females in blogging and pay respect to the many ladies who have made me a changed man by their blogging efforts. When I left the podium, there would be thunderous applause and not a dry eye in the house...
I can only guess that such a stunning performance in my keynote would result in my being asked to chair a few sessions about how to make a totally awesome blog. Since Blogography is the awesomest blog ever, it's only natural. I could do all kinds of sessions, but I think that one of my best-received would be how to improve your blog by adding photography...
Or maybe a session about banding together and creating group blogs...
There's just so many things I'm good at that I'm sure to be an amazing asset at any event! I mean, who needs Arianna Huffington when you've got Dave?!? Sisters may be doin' it for themselves, but is that any reason to exclude your ovary-challenged counterparts in the blogosphere? I think not!
So ladies, please... leave your preconceived notions about the smellier sex at the door and embrace your fellow bloggers without prejudice. After all, we guys may have penises on the outside, but we're all about the vagina on the inside.
See you at BlogHer 2007!
Posted on Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Driving over to Seattle is a two-and-one-half-hour endeavor that I have done so many times that I barely notice it anymore. One minute I'm leaving my driveway, and the next I am pulling into the city... everything that happens in-beween is nothing more than a blur. About the only thing I usually remember are the dumbass drivers that piss me off, but today I didn't even remember much of that. For some reason this time was like the trip wasn't even real. Like a video game perhaps.
And that got me thinking about how cool my life would be if it were a video game all the time.
It would probably start off with Elizabeth Hurley appearing before me in a cloud and giving me some kind of quest to complete...
Then, like most adventure games, I'd be dumped in the middle of a forest with only my monkey companion to keep me company...
But eventually I'd slay a bunch of monsters and find treasure so I could upgrade to a Pirate Warrior...
And then I could battle big-ass boss monsters like Jared the Subway Sandwich Whore...
Then I'd become King of the World and marry Princess Elizabeth...
Yeah, my life as a video game would kick ass!
Posted on Friday, August 4th, 2006
Wow. I got so caught up in work today that I totally forgot about my blog! That almost never happens.
Oh well. I guess it's a little late to do anything about it now.
Posted on Saturday, August 5th, 2006
Sometime back in 1979-1980 I ran across a comic strip called "Garfield" about a total bastard of a cat who tormented his dorky owner Jon. I really liked it because it was a little more sarcastic than "Peanuts" and the rest of the funny paper offerings. Since I didn't get the strip in my local paper, my grandmother was nice enough to clip them out and send them to me. Every couple of weeks I'd look forward to getting a fat envelope filled with Garfield strips to read, which was pretty sweet!
But, after a couple years, I couldn't help but notice that the strip was getting repetitive and boring. Rather than come up with something new and interesting to talk about, the team of writers and illustrators that Jim Davis hired to do the strip just maintained the status quo (about the only decent thing to happen since then was the Garfield cartoon show, which was far more interesting than the strip). Eventually I lost interest and moved on to more "cutting edge" humor like my beloved "Calvin & Hobbes" and "The Far Side."
Well, today I ran across something rather cool... the people behind Garfield actually realize that the strip sucks, and have provided a tool to let you create your own!
I need to make a tool like that for my DaveToons. It would be a heck of a lot faster than having to draw them.
Posted on Monday, August 7th, 2006
I am a huge fan of animation and have done my fair share of goofing around using both traditional hand-drawn and 3-D computer techniques. The problem is that animation is hard to do well, so I usually get frustrated and give up. Still, it's proven to be valuable experience, because it has made me better at story-boarding and character design (which is work I really enjoy).
Recently I've fallen in love with the idea of making my own animations again, and have decided to see what I can do with the hefty DaveToon library I've accumulated from my blog over the past couple of years. At first I was going to do everything in 3-D, but that quickly fell through because the 2-D nature of my simple drawings didn't look very good when translated. So now I've been messing around with 2-D cell animation and find that it isn't much easier. The characters were never intended to be animated when I first created them, so everything looks a little strange when I attempt it.
But, after a drawing up a few dozen pages of movement animatics and character structure, I'm getting much closer to being able to make DaveToons come to life. Here's a page showing the frames of a simple head-turn...
And here's an attempt at restructuring Bad Monkey for movement...
At this point I still don't know if it's going to work. Hopefully I'll get it figured out after another two dozen pages.
Fortunately, Steve Job's keynote speech at Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference didn't result in me going bankrupt. No widescreen Video iPod. No super-cool iPhone. No iPod Car Stereo. Just the release of the impressive new Mac Pro machines and a peek at the X-Serve server specs. This really makes sense, because consumer devices like iPods and iPhones don't really belong at a software developer's conference anyway.
The highlight of the keynote was, of course, a sneak peak at the next version of the MacOS X operating system, code-named Leopard. Steve was very clear that they would only be showing a few of the features that they have planned, because they need to have a few surprises left in store for the product launch.
If THIS is the cool stuff that they are willing to show us, then heaven only knows what else they're going to pack into the OS when it ships next Spring! Once again Apple totally blows by Microsoft Windows, which is still trying to copy the previous version of the MacOS with their ever-delayed "Windows Vista" OS (which, in my mind, is rip-off because it's mostly a bunch of security fixes that SHOULD have been put in Windows XP). Why anybody would still want to cling to that lamer imitation is a complete mystery to me. Every single time I am forced to use my Windows PC, it's like stepping back in time... even when I am using the "Windows Vista" beta. Apple revolutionizes their OS nearly every year, whereas Windows just continues to lag behind and stagnate. "Vista" ain't going to change that, because paying for a bunch of security fixes and an outdated GUI simply isn't worth it. I can't help but wonder how many people will switch to the Mac after seeing what a total disappointment "Vista" is turning out to be when compared to how rippin' cool Leopard is.
All I can say is that I am amazed at the new "Time Machine" and "Core Animation" tech built-in to the new MacOS, and am thrilled that virtual desktops will finally be built-in as well. Everything else is just beautiful gravy, and I can't wait to see what else we're going to get with MacOS X v10.5!
Posted on Saturday, August 12th, 2006
I'm minty fresh!
One of my most favorite internet phenomena would have to be Where The Hell Is Matt... a guy who got famous for traveling around the world, dancing in exotic locations, and filming it so he could turn his trips into an amazing video. It ended up being such a big hit that the people at Stride Gum decided to sponsor a second world tour so Matt could dance in all new places. This resulted in yet another sweet video, and gave me a scorching desire to support Stride Gum because they were so cool to do this.
So I bought a pack of Peppermint Stride. It's pretty tasty gum and, just like it advertises, the flavor lasts a really long time.
But it reeks.
This tiny pack of gum has a massive stench that infects everything which comes in contact with it.
Yesterday I put it in my backpack which has now been permanently infused with essence of peppermint. It smells like a tube of toothpaste exploded inside. I thought it might be the confined space, so I tossed the gum on my night-stand. Turns out that the minty odor is so strong that it woke me up in the middle of the night! Now my nostrils are burning and my entire apartment smells like somebody farted a pack of breath-mints while drinking mojitos and then tried to cover it up by smashing candy canes into the carpet. It's like a frickin' mint julep jungle in here...
I've since got the gum DOUBLE-SEALED in a plastic baggie. From now on, whenever I want to chew a piece, I'll go outside to open it so as not to completely kill my sense of smell...
I now worry that I won't get my cleaning deposit back because it will take a team of those meth-lab detox workers to disinfect my apartment. They're going to have to rip up the carpet, strip the paint off the walls, and replace all the curtains. They may even have to tear out the doors, because I'm pretty sure the mint smell has soaked into the wood.
All things considered, I've come to the conclusion that Stride's flavor doesn't actually last longer than regular gum... the persistent smell just makes you think it does. I read somewhere that 90% of taste is actually attributed to smell, so the big secret mystery of this miracle gum has been solved! I could chew a pencil eraser right now and it would taste like a fresh piece of Stride.
I'm going to go shove a couple of coffee beans up my nose to mask the mint odor so I can get back to sleep.
Now you know I'm desperate, because I don't even like coffee.
Posted on Wednesday, August 16th, 2006
Long-time Blogography readers will know of my good friend Bad Robert. He was one of the earliest supporters of my blog, one of my very first commenters, and has been providing fodder for my entries for years. If you don't know Bad Robert, then you should read my infamous "Blue Balls Button" entry to get a feel for what I have to deal with (metaphorically speaking).
For the past few weeks, Robert has been calling me up at random times during the day and night... screaming "SNAKES ON A MUTHERF#@%ING PLANE!"... then hanging up. To say he is psyched to see this movie is an understatement of gargantuan proportions. I can only guess that this kind of insane behavior will escalate until the film actually drops in two days.
This morning as I am getting ready for work, my mobile phone rings and I see it's Robert calling. I prepare myself for being screamed at, but the actual conversation was quite different...
Robert: Did you know that you came up with the idea for Snakes on a Mutherf#@%ing Plane??
Dave: Errr... no? What are you talking about?
Robert: I was Google searching and your blog came up. I clicked on it, and there it was... YOU came up with the idea for Snakes on a Mutherf#@%ing Plane back in 2004!
Dave: Wow. I'm going to have to hunt down Samuel L. Jackson and get my mutherf#@%ing check!
Robert: No doubt. And don't forget who told you about it when you get mutherf#@%ing paid.
I had no idea what he was talking about until I looked through my archives.
And there it was...
Bad Robert was right. I DID come up with the idea on mutherf#@%ing July 19th, 2004. Don't believe me? Then go and read it for yourself!
Somebody is getting mutherf#@%ing sued.
UPDATE: Turns out Robert wasn't the first to bring this to my attention... I totally overlooked the comment from Cat that was left earlier this week! Great. Now she's going to want to get mutherf#@%ing paid too!
Posted on Monday, August 21st, 2006
Today was "International Crap on Dave Day" and nobody bothered to tell me in advance.
Instead, everybody just started piling the crap on me until my lovely day was all covered in poo.
Ordinarily, this wouldn't bother me. It seems that "International Crap on Dave Day" comes along at least once a month, so I'm used to it. But today's figurative crap was supplemented with actual crap, which is why I was not okay with it. And I still have no idea what I did or ate that gave me such a bowel-draining case of diarrhea in the first place. All I do know is that it took two hours and a half a box of Imodium before I was able to leave the toilet for more than two minutes at a time. Sure it wasn't the best way to spend my morning, but the up-side is that I beat my high score on Mario Cart DS.
The smoke filled skies that plagued my trip back home yesterday seem to have followed me. This morning things were looking a bit hazy and, by the time I left work tonight, things had gotten much worse. I suspect that when I wake up tomorrow, I'll look out my window and see flames.
Though as long as it's a poo-free day, I'm strangely okay with that...
Posted on Saturday, August 26th, 2006
There are movies that entertain, and then there are movies which actually have something to say.
Little Miss Sunshine actually has something to say.
On the surface, it's just a funny movie about a family with major issues that's fun to watch. But when you dig a little deeper, it's a brilliant commentary on just how messed up life is and all the crazy crap we have to put up with in order to make our way through it. By the time they finally reach the Little Miss Sunshine Pageant, the absurdity of it all is in vivid relief.
Hands-down the best movie I've seen this year...
Basking in sunshine has never felt so good.
Posted on Monday, August 28th, 2006
I fully admit to being a smart-ass bastard.
It's almost impossible for me to be anything but a smart-ass bastard considering how totally brilliant I am. In fact, I'm so smart that I can't even pretend to be a dumbass. I'm just not that good of an actor. Coming to terms with the fact that even my ass is smarter than 95% of the general population has saved me from a lot of heartache and grief. If I didn't have such realization about my talents, I would probably break down and cry every time some idiot decides to berate me for my pointing out their intellectual inadequacies.
I was at the mini-mart picking up my Coke with Lime this morning (on sale: Two for Two Dollars!) when some stupid bitch pulls up next to me... IN THE HANDICAP PARKING SPACE!! She doesn't have a handicap parking permit, and obviously doesn't have a physical handicap...
DAVE: It must be mental.
STUPID BITCH: Sorry?
DAVE: Your handicap... it must be mental.
STUPID BITCH: I'm just buying a pack of cigarettes and'll only be a minute so why don't you mind your f#@%ing business! Are you the f#@%ing retard parking police? Who the f#@% are you?
DAVE: Oh good, so you you do realize you're parking in the wrong spot then.
Yeah. And knowing that she has the mental capabilities of a piece of navel lint, here is my reaction to her rantings...
Seriously, how else could I possibly react? Like I give a crap about anything this white trash dipshit has to say?
I know people who have to use handicap parking since it's very difficult for them to walk even short distances. When some lazy whore takes the only handicap parking spot because she doesn't feel like walking an extra twenty yards, that means she could be causing physical harm to somebody who needs it more than her lamer ass.
I think it's only right that she be made aware that she's an ill-manered bitch.
Being a smart-ass is such a thankless job.
Posted on Saturday, September 9th, 2006
You know how when you get smacked in the balls there's that fleeting state of euphoria where you think "oh jolly good... it's not going to hurt after all" — until a second later when the overwhelming pain surges through your body so badly that you throw yourself on the ground and beg for death to take you? Not that I'm in the habit of getting smacked in the balls on a regular basis, but the few times it did happen left a real impression.
Anyway, this is the exact same feeling I get when I use Microsoft Windows.
At first I get that slight tinge of euphoria and think "it's not going to hurt after all" until a second later when I realize that a drive letter has been mysteriously re-assigned by the OS, and all my links are broken. Then I'm down on the ground begging for death to take me as I scream "Argh! My balls! My precious balls!"...
Ah yes... kicked in the nuts by Windows... AGAIN. This happens so often that my testicles start aching every time I hear that annoying Windows startup sound (much the way I have an orgasm when I hear the Mac startup sound).
When Vista is released, I'm investing in an athletic cup.
Posted on Thursday, September 14th, 2006
"I Can Forgive Her, But I Don't Have to Because She Screwed with My Chickens."
Woo hoo! Let the Fall television season begin!
Posted on Friday, September 15th, 2006
How is it that people can live as if they will never grow old?
I'm walking over to the bakery and end up crossing the street opposite an elderly lady who is having a bit of a tough time walking. But, to her credit, she's slowly making her way across the street with a smile on her face. I cannot help but admire her fortitude in bypassing a scooter cart in favor of walking when it's obviously difficult for her (though, given the criminal state of healthcare for the elderly, maybe she can't afford a scooter and has no choice but to walk).
Sadly, not everybody feels the same way.
There at the crosswalk inside a giant redneck pick-up truck is some ass-wipe revving his engine at her.
If it weren't so sad, it might be funny. I mean, she can barely walk... the only way she could possibly move any faster would be if the dumbass were to hop out of his truck and carry her across. But there he is, revving that engine up as if the old lady will suddenly start running to get out of his way.
Out of respect for the woman, I didn't scream obscenities at the f#@%er, toss a garbage can through his front windshield, then slash his tires... but I sure wanted to. A pity I didn't have a knife on me or I definitely would have thought twice about ruining his shit.
And because of all this, I've decided to embrace my Scottish Heritage and start wearing a kilt...
As a descendant from Clan Munro of the Scottish Highlands, I've got my own tartan pattern and even a bad-ass Clan Badge...
Look at that golden eagle... doesn't he look like he's about to kick some ass? And what about that motto... "Dread God"... that's pretty serious (meaning "Fear God"). Clan Munro has some hefty balls to be flashing that around!
But, back to the point, the reason I want to start wearing a kilt is that part of the ceremonial kilt dressing is what's called a "Sgian Dubh" which is Gaelic for "Black Knife." It's a totally sweet pointy dagger with a bitchin' black handle that you tuck in your sock. If I were to start packing that around, I'd always have something handy for slashing the tires of inconsiderate rednecks who rev their engines at old ladies.
As a side-benefit, you also get to have a "Sporran" hanging from your belt to put stuff in. Yeah, it's pretty much just a man-purse... but I figure if you're already wearing a skirt, what have you got to lose? It looks big enough to hold my Nintendo DS and a pack of smokes* along with my wallet!
* Okay, I don't smoke, but anybody who goes around slashing tires of rude bastards should probably at least act like they do. Being a bad-ass tire-slasher looks so much cooler when you have a cigarette hanging from your mouth.
Posted on Sunday, September 17th, 2006
Yes, my header graphics have been redesigned. I was quite happy with the old "look" but, for reasons I am not going to elaborate on just yet, it was time for a change. The random DaveToon in the corner is meant to give visitors something different to look at on each visit. But now I'm finding that there a lot of people who just continuously refresh the page until they see them all, so I figured I might as well save them the trouble and post all twenty of them here. Spoilsport.
Speaking of DaveToons, I got a terrific email from a guy who got in trouble at school for printing out the one where Bad Monkey is smoking cigarettes and pasting it on his notebook...
How cool is that? I'm corrupting American's youth!
Well, if it's any consolation, Bad Monkey is chewing ten sticks of Nicorette gum and burning through a dozen nicotine patches every day in an effort to quit...
See kids, it's best to just not start in the first place.
Posted on Tuesday, September 19th, 2006
Avast ye mateys... 'tis "Talk Like a Pirate Day" today! It be a proud day indeed for we pirate-lubber folk. Me an me monkey be drinkin' grog and pillaging the worthless bilge rats of this shanty town. 'Tis only a wee matter of time afore we be claiming our treasure and sailing the high seas...
Whilst we be out seeking me fortunes, I be givin' ya a new port of call. One of me favorite bloggers, Peggy Archer be havin' a beauty of a new site for ye all to plunder! It be called "Abandoned Couches" and she be usin' a fine treasure of a couch from Blogography's home port here! So shiver ye timbers and be payin' a visit smartly to this fine pearl of a site before me be dropin' anchor in yer scurvy lagoon, ye sea dogs! AAAAARRRRR!
Aye! Me barnacles need a scrapin' so I be off!
Posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2006
Some total f#@%ing douchebag threw five kittens out the window of a moving car in Kirkland. One died at the scene, two were rescued, and two others are missing (and probably hurt, scared, or both). I am of the opinion that anybody this f#@%ed up should be shot in the head because, let's face it, if you torture innocent animals for kicks then you have no business living. Those who have no respect for life... any life... doesn't deserve it for themselves. If there is any justice in this world, this total loss of a human being will be tracked down and tossed out the window of a moving car into the path of an oncoming truck.
Anyway, before I go tearing off to Seattle, I thought I would post my entry for the day because I don't know if I will have internet access. And since I've gotten quite a few queries as to how I go about drawing my "DaveToons" I thought I might as well write about the creative process that goes into each drawing for anybody who's interested.
STEP ONE: ROUGH SKETCH...
Once my entry has been completed, I determine if I need a toon to make my point, and decided how to best capture the imagery of the story I am trying to tell. I then rough out some sketches so that I can best make a selection. Usually this is a single toon, but sometimes more. For this example, I've selected the DaveToon which appeared here on August 3rd...
STEP TWO: RESEARCH...
With my initial rough sketch drawn out, I then scour the internet looking for photographic references so that my illustrations will be as accurate as possible. Since the toon I'm working on in this example shows an idiot getting a pole shoved up his ass, I'll spend considerable time hunting for photographs of street signs and asses so I can have a starting point from which to start drawing. Research is a critical step, and can take several hours if not days...
STEP THREE: COMPUTER RENDERING...
At this point, I often consult with a special effects house like LucasFilm's Industrial Light and Magic or an animation studio like Pixar for some computer-aided design work. This allows me to examine the scene from all angles and select the best vantage point to depict the action. This step usually costs tens of thousands of dollars, but the expense is well-worth the price because of the valuable insight I get out of the process. How deep does the pole go into the ass? At what angle does Lil' Dave have the best leverage? All of these factors are easy to calculate with a good computer model to work from...
STEP FOUR: ILLUSTRATION...
Using my notes, sketches, photo research, and computer renderings, I then begin the actual drawing process using Adobe Illustrator. Every detail is painstakingly recreated using simple shapes (squares, circles, etc.) that are combined, stretched, warped, and sculpted. I then use the pen tool to redraw those areas where simple shapes don't properly construct what I am trying to draw. As an example, the ovals I used to illustrate the ass did not look as good as the photo reference I researched, so I have to redraw each cheek by hand...
STEP FIVE: COLORING...
All that's left to do is pick colors for each part of the drawing and add any needed text. This is usually done as I go rather than waiting until the very end. That way I can be sure that colors which end up next to each other are distinct and work well together. Sometimes I'll use gradient shading to get a more 3-D look, but usually I don't have the time and have to resort to flat shading like I did this time...
And there you have it! The actual drawing part takes about 5 to 10 minutes per toon depending on how much material I was able to re-use from older drawings. But once you factor in the research, computer design consultation, and brainstorming, the average DaveToon takes about three weeks to complete.
And why do I take such time, care, and expense to be sure each DaveToon is the best it can be? Because my readers demand it, that's why... the bastards!
Errr... except YOU. I'd never say that about YOU, because I just love YOU!
Posted on Monday, September 25th, 2006
I don't know if it's because I've been in pain and have had an overwhelming work load or what... but lately I've been wanting to destroy quite a lot of people. It seems that just about everybody I meet is in desperate need of dying and I have no idea what to do about it.
Except kill them, of course.
But, in addition to laws that frown upon such activities, I also try to live my life according to Buddhist principles which are opposed to killing for any reason. Even if the person is incredibly stupid and deserves it. Stewie on The Family Guy always makes death and destruction look like so much fun, so perhaps I should give up my beliefs and get into politics?
Something has to be done.
Because this morning I woke up very early, worked for a while, then decided to take a nap before going into the office. It was a great plan which, unfortunately, was foiled by the dumbass geriatric husband & wife neighbors who like to scream at each other. Usually I can ignore them, but this time they woke me up up and I was furious. I tore open the window and screamed "SHUT THE F#@% UP!" in their direction, hoping that they would at least have the decency to go inside and tear into each other like normal people.
Little did I know that some of my elderly neighbors were observing the mayhem directly under my window.
All of a sudden I was the new topic of conversation, which hasn't happen since my car alarm went off eight months ago. This opens a new can of worms that I really don't want, so I decide to give up on sleeping and hop in the shower before one of them decides to come knocking.
When I leave, the old couple has found something new to yell about, and one of the neighbors is waiting. "Was that you with all the screaming this morning?" she asks. "No ma'am" I reply, "I think you have me confused with our neighbors." This is not the answer she wanted because, of course, she knows it was me but, short of calling me a liar, all she can say is "Well, some people around here need to be watching their mouth!"
Yeah, she needed to die quite badly too.
Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2006
I read a lot of blogs... according to my feed reader, there's 326 of them. You'd think in all those blogs I'd run into other people who have to deal with the freaky crap I seem to get on a regular basis. You'd be wrong.
Take this morning for instance. The first thing I do each day is grab my laptop and check my email. Much to my surprise, there were around thirty messages from people with subject lines like "TMX Elmo HELP PLS!!" and "want to buy TMX" and "NEED 2 ELMO NOW!"—a further check of my spam filter turned up another dozen or so. "WTF?" I said to myself.
Silly me, I had no idea that there is a ten-year anniversary release of that annoying "Tickle Me Elmo" doll from a decade ago. Apparently, just like the first time, these things are in short supply, and people are going ape-shit trying to find one to buy...
After reading through a few messages, I figured out that somebody had accidentally used an email address from one of my unused domains to try and sell a batch of Elmos. Not knowing what else to do, I wrote a script to automatically reply to any mail I got saying that the guy made a mistake with the address and I don't have any Elmos. Then the message is deleted and I'm not bothered.
Fast forward to this afternoon and I get an email from the guy who placed the ad. He tracked me down by doing a WHOIS domain search, apologizes for the mistake, then asks me to please forward any emails I had received. I write back and explain that the emails are automatically deleted, and I'm sorry I can't do anything to help.
So what does the guy do? He places another ad blaming me for deleting emails that were his "personal property," tells everybody they have to send another email, and then posts my actual email address so people can send complaints!
AND THEY DO!!
Not many people, but enough to piss me off.
How is any of this my fault? At least I was nice enough to tell people about the mistake. I could have just deleted the emails and said nothing! It takes all my will-power not to write back to these morons and tell them to kiss my ass. If I DID have a stupid Elmo TMX doll, I'd put a video of me tearing into it with a chain-saw on YouTube and send them the URL...
Bitter much? Yes. Yes I am. Any time some dumbass decides to post my email address and then invite people to send me complaints, I get a little upset. I'd return the favor, but he did remove it after I asked him to, so I'd rather just let it go.
I should come up with a "Tickle Me Lil' Dave" that pisses on you when you try to tickle him. I'd sell millions.
Posted on Friday, October 13th, 2006
It's apple harvest season in the valley, which means that it must be time for the annual gnat plague which descends on us like the wrath of Lindsay Lohan's crotch.
The tiny bastards only live for a few days, but they make the most of what little time they have by being as annoying as possible. Just walking out to your car results in your being covered with bugs that can't be brushed off without smooshing their little carcasses into your clothing. Don't even get me started about the perils of breathing... having a gnat fly in your mouth or up your nose causes a major freak-out that'll ruin your day in a hurry.
I spend most of my time screaming like a little bitch and waving my arms around whenever I go outside...
Gnats suck ass!
Much like the television show Lost, but without the benefit of a short life span. Quite the opposite really... the shit just drags on and on and on. After giving up on the show, my friends kept insisting that things were different this third season and it's totally great now.
I believed them and watched the current episode.
My friends are lying bastards.
RULE TO GOOD TELEVISION #1: When you come up with a plot twist, the final result had damn well be better than the red herring you discarded. Back when I was watching, there were polar bears on the tropical island. It was strongly alluded to that the strangely misplaced bears were created by the mental powers of creepy little Walt. That would have been cool. But it turns out that the bears escaped from an old zoo on the other side of the island. Yeah, that's kind of lame.
Just like everything else on the show.
Two years later and nothing has really been wrapped up (except the polar bears, of course). They've just added more crap to an already convoluted mess. At its core, Lost is still the same mix of boring flashbacks (Sun and Jun had a terrible marriage... WE GET IT!!) and plot points (Dharma Project, The Others, Will Kate Choose Jack or Sawyer?) and stuff they've forgotten (smoke monsters, giant tree-crushing monsters, and just about everything else).
Want to impress me? WRAP IT UP! Answer ALL the questions and tie up ALL the loose ends... then come up with something that's MORE bad-ass and mysterious to keep the show interesting. Because hey, it works for Veronica Mars. Of course, with Veronica Mars, even THAT isn't good enough... they have to go back into already solved mysteries and make it so that everything you thought you knew was wrong! Genius!
But since that doesn't seem to be an option for this hideously bad show, I won't be tuning in to Lost again (nor any of the lamer next-gen imitators like Heroes, The Nine, Six Degrees, and whatnot). Large casts of inexplicably-connected people trying to solve mysteries that are never actually solved is not good television, it's just annoying.
Like the gnats.
I'd scream like a little bitch and wave my arms around if I thought it would help, but blogging about it is so much easier.
Posted on Tuesday, October 17th, 2006
And it's not the kind of hungry where you just eat something to make it go away. It's the kind of hungry where you are more interested in the experience of eating than just having a full stomach. At times like this my mind starts racing with memorable culinary experiences I've had, followed by an incessant need to list some of them (which I will, in an extended entry), followed by the sadness I feel over writing about food I've enjoyed when so many people in this world go hungry... really hungry... every day...
My McChicken reminder of Happy Meals and hunger.
Hmmm... errr... uhhh... if anybody knows of a good way to seamlessly transition from talking about food to talking about urinal cakes, please let me know. In the meanwhile, I'll do what I usually do, and use the "blunt force" method which involves simply starting a new paragraph.
What is the deal with urinal cakes being PINK? And it's not even a manly kind of pink... it more of a feminine pink that you'd find on panties (not that I am claiming to actually own any of these panties) or a little girl's bedspread (not that I am claiming to be uncomfortably familiar with little girl's bedding preferences)...
Every time I step up to a urinal and find a little pink hockey puck floating in the bottom, I want to scream at the injustice of it all. Urinal cakes should be BLUE... or maybe even GREEN... but not yellow and certainly never, EVER, pink. If I were forced to choose between a bathroom which smelled like rancid urine and one that had pretty pink pellets in the urinal, I'D CHOOSE THE RANCID URINE SMELL EVERY TIME!! It may be unpleasant, odor-wise, but at least I won't have to suffer the indignity of having what little manhood I posses assaulted by girlie urinal cakes.
Anyway, if you have any appetite left at all, a partial list of favorite food experiences are in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Wednesday, October 18th, 2006
Fun! On the way home from work I was nearly run over by a stupid bitch who thought that talking on her mobile phone was more important than watching the road. I almost wish that she had, because having to come home and watch @%^#*!'s collection of complete crap win Project Runway had me praying for death.
This morning I received an email from a nice reader who has spent the last month reading Blogography ("a monthly archive every morning!"). After saying some very nice things that I am too modest to reprint (summary: I totally kick ass!), this reader asked a question I found quite interesting: "How did Bad Monkey lose all that weight?"
Because, if you look at the DaveToons over the years, it's quite a change...
The answer can be found in Bad Monkey's new book...
It turns out that Bad Monkey owes much of the success of his astounding weight loss to Jared Fogle.
Yes, that Jared Fogle... the Subway Sandwich whore.
But not in the way that you think.
You see, what Bad Monkey did was record all those stupid-ass Jared commercials, then mount a television and video player on top of his toilet tank. That way after every meal he could run to the bathroom, watch Subway commercials, and puke his guts out.
Because every time Jared comes out and compares an anemic Subway sandwich with NO mayonnaise and NO cheese to a Big Mac or something, I know it makes ME want to puke. It would be different if Jared were to simply say "I lost a lot of weight by eating right & exercising, and Subway was a part of that" — but he doesn't. Instead he comes out as a prostitute for Subway and and slams other restaurants like a whore. Why don't you compare a crappy Subway sandwich to a McDonalds salad? Or an Arby's Market Fresh sandwich with NO mayo and NO cheese? Or even a Quizno's sandwich with NO mayo and NO cheese?
What a f#@%ing tool.
And then the douchebag writes a "motivational self-help book." I haven't read it, but I sincerely doubt that it says "be a total whore by taking money to say whatever the company paying you tells you to say." Jared ate at Subway because he lived above a Subway restaurant. The fact that he decided to lose weight had nothing to do with Subway. It had everything to do with finally deciding to eat right. Because I can go into a Subway right now and order a sandwich with triple cheese and extra mayo just as easily as I can order one without.
I've taken some crap from people who think that I'm a dick for picking on somebody as "inspirational" as Jared. Well I think he's a dick for bashing other restaurants with nonsensical comparisons because somebody pays him to, and then acts like he's a hero by trotting out his old big-ass pants and telling people the key to losing weight is eating at Subway.
The only thing Jared inspires me to do is buy his book so I can wipe my ass with the pages.
Bad Monkey doesn't wipe or he would too.
WARNING... Project Runway season finale spoilerage in the comments...
Posted on Saturday, October 21st, 2006
I live in constant fear of cauliflower.
And broccoli too, but mostly cauliflower because it looks more like a human brain. Although if I stop and think about it, broccoli should be more scary because it's like a green alien brain or something.
Every once in a while I have nightmares where I am being chased by a head of cauliflower which has grown to a giant size by sucking out human brains. Eventually the evil cauliflower traps me in a dead-end alley and there's nowhere to run. I pull out a gun and start firing at the vegetable hellspawn, only to find out that he is bullet-proof...
Then, just as the cauliflower is about to eat my brain, I wake up.
And I smell cauliflower.
But then I realize that I farted in my sleep, and that's what caused the nightmare.
Which makes me wonder why people would eat something that smells like farts in the first place.
Tonight I was watching a Steven Wright stand-up special on Comedy Central. The final break had a new Subway commercial where Jared the Subway Sandwich Whore trotted out subs with 6 grams of fat each and compared them to a "Burger King Stacker" which has 54 grams of fat because it's piled high with beef and bacon. FOR THE LAST TIME YOU STUPID F#@%... IF YOU WERE CONCERNED ABOUT FAT WHILE EATING AT BURGER KING, YOU WOULDN'T BUY THE FATTIEST THING ON THE MENU!! Why doesn't Burger King have a commercial where somebody comes out and compares a BK Veggie sandwich with 8 grams of fat to a Subway Spicy Italian Sub with extra cheese and mayo which has 305 grams of fat?? F#@% Subway. And double-f#@% that moron Jared Fogle. He has got to be the biggest douchebag asshole on the face of the planet. I'd like to strangle the idiot with his giant pair of f#@%ing pants and then deep-fry his f#@%ing head...
Then I'd make my own television commercial where I would compare Jared's fat head to a Subway Meatball Sub sandwich. They appear to be equal in brain cell grams.
Posted on Thursday, October 26th, 2006
This morning a piece of spam somehow managed to get past both my spam service and my local spam filter. This happens every once in a while, but usually not when it has a subject line that reads "Make your penis the happiest penis in the world with Penis Adam & Eve Penis Pump!" I guess that the overuse of the word "penis" must have crashed the system or something.
I don't know which is worse... that spam is intruding on my inbox, or that my penis may be unhappy because I haven't purchased him a penis pump. And since my penis and I stopped speaking months ago, I don't really know how to inquire about that...
But I can't think about my penis just now, because I just retrieved a very disturbing voicemail from my parole officer today.
Apparently, I have 24 hours of community service left to turn in or else I won't be released from probation, and she's going to recommend that my term be extended six months to a year! This upsets me quite a lot because I've been so busy lately, and haven't had time to put in any community service hours. She then goes on to tell me "you need to call me TOMORROW, Jose, or else we won't have time to resolve this before your court date."
My name isn't Jose. It's Dave.
And then I remember that I don't have a parole officer, nor am I under a community service order. I've never been caught for any of my crimes.
I guess I should call Jose's parole officer tomorrow and tell her that she left a message at the wrong number or else Jose is going to be in trouble... errr... going to be in more trouble.
In better news today (not involving my penis or a parole officer) my copy of Depeche Mode's Touring the Angel: Live in Milan arrived. I managed to snag the digipack version which includes a DVD of the concert, CD of selected tracks, and a bonus DVD for $8.79 at Half.com, a total bargain! I then did what I always do when I get a new Depeche Mode DVD... I watched ALL of my DM concert videos in sequence so I can listen to how their performance changes over the years. Touring the Angel is pretty darn good (I went and saw it live in Chicago with Kapgar last year), but not quite as good as 101 and Devotional which are tied for my all-time favorite.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to sit down and have a talk with my penis before retiring for the evening.
Posted on Tuesday, October 31st, 2006
I have mixed feelings on Halloween.
On one hand, you've got little moron children dressing up in costumes and losing their frickin' minds. I'm sure this has been true since Trick-Or-Treating was invented because, well, children + free candy... you do the math. The problem is that now-a-days parents don't seem to give a crap about watching their kids. They're too busy talking on their mobile phones to supervise anything (not that they seem to give a crap in the first place). Usually you can do your best to avoid it, but on Halloween the little hellions show up on your doorstep. It's not like you can avoid that (at least not without having your car egged).
On the other hand, this is the one day I can be quasi-evil in public and get away with it.
In celebration of the day, I'm going to eat a bowl of candy for breakfast.
Posted on Thursday, November 9th, 2006
For as long as I can remember, I've been in love with animation. When done well, it's an art-form that's in a class all its own. The problem is that creating good animation is incredibly difficult. Every second of the project takes anywhere from 8 to 24 drawings, and each of those drawing "frames" has to transition perfectly from one to the next in order to look smooth and natural.
Sure there are computer programs that can help with some of that, but there are certain kinds of movement which look best when hand-animated, and there are no shortcuts that will give you good results. When I decided to create a monthly animated cartoon program called "Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show," I did not know this. I thought I could create a few simple images, shove them into the computer, and have perfect animation pop out. Sadly, this was not at all the case, and it will be a while before I have time to devote to a show like that.
In the meanwhile, I still have an overwhelming desire to create a cartoon of my own.
So I decided to animate a short music video. Nothing fancy, just a simple exercise to find out what it takes to have Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey running around doing crazy stuff for 3-1/2 minutes. As of today, I have been putting in two hours every night for over a week and have completed a total of 10 seconds. It would appear that even a simple music video is exceedingly time consuming and difficult.
I don't plan on posting any footage I've created until the project is done, but I do have a couple test shots I worked on a few months ago while I was story-boarding. The very first thing I animated was a jumping monkey (which I used here). After that, I wanted to do something more complicated and created a disco monkey...
He's not bad, but his left arm has some freaky jumps going on and his right hand needs to be doing something. A month after that, I was tired of monkeys and had moved on to something a bit trickier (which is here).
About a week after that, I worked on a "raise the roof" move for Lil' Dave...
This was the first piece of footage that I was fairly happy with, and the first bit to actually end up in the video (all two seconds of it). It's only eight frames, but took three hours to finish.
Tonight I plan to take a break from the tedium of animating characters and work on backgrounds. The video has eighteen locations (so far) and every one of theme needs to be drawn. I have no idea how long that's going to take.
Why couldn't I be obsessed with something easy?
Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2006
I'm not a very good blogger because I don't really write for an audience. When I sit down to create my daily entry, I just hammer out whatever pops into my head and don't really think about whether or not people will want to read it. The fact that anybody ever does is a source of constant amazement to me. That's why I never know how to feel on those rare occasions when somebody feels the need to tell me what I should or shouldn't be writing here.
Because, well, seriously... it's not like anybody is paying me for this. I'll write what I want to... even if it means there will be a periodic entry about wiping my ass or some other strange crap.
But I got a curious half-dozen emails asking me how I was creating my animation, and wanting to know everything from what tools I draw with to how I come up with my ideas. Rather than keep answering each one separately, I decided to just go ahead and answer them all at once in an extended entry. In addition, I'll post an occasional sketch, storyboard graphic, or frame of animation as a teaser for what I'm up to. It's not something I had planned on (because I don't want to spoil the surprise) but it's kind of nice to have some feedback every once in a while.
So, if this kind of stuff interests you, by all means carry on reading. Otherwise, tomorrow I'll be back whining about something else.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, November 12th, 2006
Time for your bullet-proof vest... SUNDAY IS HERE!!
• Cars! I never managed to catch Pixar's latest film Cars while it was in the theater. Now that I see how beautiful it is on DVD, I'm really regretting it. Because, while I had a hard time buying into a world populated entirely by automobiles, it was just so amazing to look at that I didn't care. Every detail was painstakingly represented and, if you've ever seen a NASCAR race, the track action was superb. The icing on the cake was the top-notch voice acting by Owen Wilson, who convincingly conveys a surprising emotional range as race car "Lightning McQueen"...
Awww... cute! It's an adorable talking race car!
I still don't think that the Pixar cars are as clever as the Aardmann cars for those Chevron commercials (is it just me, or do the Pixar cars all look cross-eyed?)... but this film does have the benefit of being the only funny thing I have ever seen "Larry The Cable Guy" associated with. It's no Toy Story or Monster's Inc. but still a lot of fun (unlike John Tucker Must Die, which was a boatload of crap and one of the worst movies I've seen in recent memory).
• Stats! Last month my "unique visitor counts had dropped for the first time in years. Now they've jumped by 36,000 for late October/early November... I guess people just love a monkey eating urinal cakes.
• The Office! For a while there I was getting really tired of Steve Carell's constant idiocy in the Americanized version of The Office but, after seeing his brilliant performance in Little Miss Sunshine, I decided to start watching again. Now I'm like a teenage girl, because I find myself saying things like "OMG! Isn't Jim and Pam going to be like the cutest couple ever?!" And who thought I would ever feel sorry for Roy? Oh well... I am so totally in love with Jenna Fischer now! She was great on Letterman, and looked brutally hot compared to her frumpy character on the show.
Now I'm mad that I stopped watching! They sell episodes at the iTunes Music Store, so I'm going to have to shell out some coin and get caught up.
Awww... cute! It's an adorable talking girl!
• Lost! And on the other end of the television spectrum... I've been complaining for months about what a suck-fest Lost has become after that brilliant first season. Unlike excellent shows like Veronica Mars which wrap shit up and move on to something better... Lost just lingers on, never providing a payoff. Now I notice that more and more people are feeling the same way, including this article at New York Magazine. I don't know if it is the writers, producers, or network that are insisting on being so frakkin' stupid, but if things keep going like this the show will be cancelled before they ever bother to answer anything. What a waste of time. But that seems to be typical for television lately.
• Veteran's Day! It was my intention yesterday to write a Veteran's Day entry but, given the drama of my dying PowerBook, I didn't get around to it. Even so, there's never a wrong time to be grateful to those who have served...
Bad Monkey's new best friend: Buddy Poppy
• Sucks Less! Several people have brought to my attention that Sucks Less with Kevin Smith is now being streamed via Flash for Mac users. You can check it out right here. The Smith intros are pretty funny, though some of the actual clips in the show are kind of lame. Something that is NOT lame is Clerks 2 which is finally dropping on DVD in a mere 16 days. Time to start watching all of my Kevin Smith DVDs so I am ready to go.
And on that note, I'm off to work. Monday deadlines blow.
Posted on Wednesday, November 15th, 2006
Years ago I was with my mother at the check-out lane of our local market, and heard the bag-boy say those classic words for the very first time: "paper or plastic?" It was memorable to me because my mother had thought they were asking if she was paying with cash (paper) or credit card (plastic). Once they explained that they were actually asking whether she wanted a paper or plastic BAG, my mother ended up sticking with the paper sack because it was all she knew. It didn't help that the plastic bags were so thin and flimsy that they looked as if they would fall apart on the way to the car.
And she was not alone.
Nobody wanted the plastic bags.
Every time I went to the store I heard "paper or plastic" again and again, but noticed that the paper sack was always chosen. This must have been depressing to the store, because the plastic sacks were so much cheaper, yet they sat there unused. But one day we went back to the market and there was a display at the checkout counter. They had a plastic bag filled with the heaviest of groceries being suspended from a hook. It was made even more impressive by the fact that they had slashed holes in the bag with groceries poking out everywhere... but it still did not break. So, even though they looked a more fragile than the paper option, the plastic was actually quite a bit tougher.
After that, everybody started asking for the miraculous plastic bags that could effortlessly hold lots of crap (and had convenient handles built-in). Sure there were people who still didn't want the "new-fangled bags" but they were in the minority, because everywhere you looked shoppers were walking around with plastic. The future of shopping had arrived.
Besides, they're fantastically useful. I'll bet there are a million things you can do with plastic shopping bags!
Paper bag manufacturers tried to compete by adding handles, water-proof coating, and other stuff... but it was too late. Plastic had won the war, and there was no going back. Soon it was increasingly rare to see any paper bags at a grocery store. Why bother when everybody is going to want plastic anyway?
It was then that paper bag fans (and manufacturers, I'd imagine) started getting upset. "PLASTIC BAGS ARE BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!" they would scream. At least they did until studies were released that said plastic bags had a slightly less damaging effect on the environment (surprise!)... but it didn't matter much because BOTH paper and plastic were ultimately a bad thing (environmentally speaking). The best solution is to re-use a cloth bag over and over again (no surprise there). Sadly, hardly anybody bothers to do this. After all, what would they put their garbage in if they didn't get their plastic grocery bags? In Ireland you have to pay a fee every time you use a plastic bag... maybe if that happened here, people would come up with a more eco-friendly solution. Oh well.
Flash-forward to today and paper bags are making a kind of comeback. Upscale markets are using them again not because they are cheaper or better for the environment... but because they're "cool." I suppose the "perceived ecological friendliness" of paper must be a factor as well, which I find kind of funny.
Especially today when I was in line behind some Birkenstock-wearing hippy bitch at the grocery check-out.
"DON'T YOU HAVE PAPER BAGS?!? PLASTIC IS BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!! she bellowed. The cashier apologized but, alas, he had no paper bags. "WELL THAT'S JUST GREAT!" she yells... her face scrunched into an eternal scowl. She then collected her shopping (which included a gallon of milk in a plastic jug, and various other environmentally-hostile containers) and went stomping out the door...
... WHERE SHE PROCEEDED TO HOP INTO HER OLD BEAT-UP CADILLAC ESCALADE, WHICH PROBABLY ONLY GETS 12 MILES PER GALLON, AND DROVE OFF INTO THE SUNSET!
I guess in this case "hippy" stands for "hypocritical?"
Sigh. Maybe it's the rain, but I really want to bitch-slap just about everybody today.
Posted on Saturday, November 18th, 2006
w00t! VERONICA MARS SEASON THREE HAS BEEN EXTENDED FROM 13 to 20 EPISODES! That's two less than a "regular" season, but far better than not being extended at all. Now if only they would offer the episode for sale at the iTunes Music Store.
I hit a major snag in animating my music video last night. I was playing test footage and suddenly realized that I was very unhappy with the composition of the clips. The characters are all kind of short, so I always ended up having to zoom way into the scene in order to avoid having big gaps at the top and bottom of the frame. This has everything looking claustrophobic and makes Lil' Dave's world seem so small...
This is very bad, because there's no way to center in on the action when the entire screen is moving. At first I was just going to reduce all the elements by 85%, but that was even worse. The action was just a blob in the middle of the screen.
It was then that I decided to just bite the bullet and recompose every shot in HiDef...
Suddenly all of my problems disappeared. Not only that, but widescreen allows so many more interesting options for scene composition... clips that were kind of boring and hard to follow actually end up looking interesting. The bad news is that all the work I've done so far has to be thrown out, recomposed, and partially re-animated. This was upsetting at first but, after I realized it was an opportunity to make things better, I was okay with it.
Except for the jungle scene. The thought of having to go back and re-draw those backgrounds fills me with dread. Just one of them took five hours, and now they're twice as big.
Argh. When did having fun become work?
Posted on Friday, December 1st, 2006
Posted on Saturday, December 2nd, 2006
Thanks to a diet consisting largely of butter, cheese, Coke with Lime, and Little Debbie snack cakes, I've managed to pack on ten pounds in preparation for my winter fast. I'm sure a week in the midwest eating Chicago pizza, Johnny Rocket burgers, Pasta Salvi, and Wisconsin cheese will get me the additional three to five pounds I need. I don't want to end up in the hole after fasting, because the last thing I feel like doing is trying to regain weight afterwards. The only downside is that getting into my pants each morning is more of a struggle than usual. Maybe I should spend the next week in sweatpants? There's a lot of room in sweatpants...
After a morning tying up loose ends at work, I needed to hit a cash machine so I'll have "airport blueberry muffin breakfast money" tomorrow. It's cold outside, so I'm bummed to find out that there's somebody at the ATM ahead of me. Even worse, she seems to be having problems because she stands there for quite a while beep-beeping the buttons. Eventually she gives up and walks away from the machine with a handful of receipts (no money) crying. I would have asked her if she needed some help, but she never gave me the chance. The next thing I know she's in her car tearing off into the cold winter's day.
I've now spent the better part of my afternoon wondering what the deal was.
I think I've narrowed it down to this: she contracted a rare blood disease while building schools for orphans in Africa and found out this morning that she only has 6 months to live. This tragedy was compounded when she discovered after the doctor visit that her husband has been cheating on her with her best friend while she was abroad. Then, just as she was coming to grips with the horrible turn her life had taken, her pet puppy Barnaby became violently ill. A trip to the vet revealed that Barnaby was near death and needed medicine to survive. Wanting to do one good thing with her life before she dies, the woman bundles up her puppy and heads to the cash machine so she can buy the medicine, only to find out that her cheating husband had cleared out the account.
Either that, or she spent all her money getting drunk last night and didn't have any cash for cigarettes.
No matter which scenario, I feel bad that I didn't act faster to give her a fiver. Now Barnaby's blood (or her nicotine withdrawal) is on my hands.
Posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2006
This has not been my week.
And just when I think that I'm back on track, something happens to let me know that this simply is not true... usually first thing in the morning. Yesterday I wandered into the shower and absent-mindedly ripped into my freshly-electrocuted face with Apricot Exfoliating Scrub. You'd think that this is about the worst thing that could happen to you in the shower... but you would be wrong.
This morning I was washing my hair with Philosophy Strawberry Milkshake Shampoo when I decided that my head wasn't bubbly enough, and reached for that big 10-pound bottle to squeeze out some more.
This was a mistake.
I must have still been half-asleep or something, because when I grabbed the bottle it somehow slipped and ended up cracking me right in the balls.
The incident ended up looking something like this...
This woke me up very, very quickly.
And now, even though it's almost five hours later, the pain still lingers.
Those of you who have balls know exactly what I mean. Those of you who don't should kick a guy in the nuts sometime and have him explain it to you (but please do not mention my name... the last thing I need is to be chased down the street by a mob of guys with aching balls).
I am beginning to think that this kind of crap happens to me because I have a blog.
Subconsciously, I must be setting myself up for horribly embarrassing tales of woe so that I have something to blog about. No other guys I know have ever mentioned accidentally smacking their own balls* with a big bottle of pink shampoo. Though, now that I think about it, what guy would ever admit to something so stupid like that?
Would it help to say that after this incident I shot a grizzly bear, drank a six-pack of beer, then skydived into the Playboy Mansion where I had a three-way with playmates of the year Tiffany Fallon and Kara Monaco?
I have got to find a new hobby.
* Note that I have plenty of stories of guys smacking some OTHER guy's balls with a big bottle of pink shampoo... those post-game locker room celebrations are "c-r-a-z-y" crazy.
Posted on Monday, December 25th, 2006
Posted on Wednesday, December 27th, 2006
Why is it that every time I really want my camera, I've left it at home?
Since I haven't been out of the country for over a year, I didn't realize that my passport had expired until I looked at it this morning. This really sucks ass, because even if you pay the "expedited handling fee" it will still take up to two weeks to get your renewal. Since I am leaving in three weeks, I had to FedEx it out TODAY in case something gets screwed up along the way. This meant a trip to Wenatchee so I could have new photos taken at the AAA.
Because of the recent heavy snowfall, all the snow from Wenatchee's streets is piled up three feet high in the center turn lane. This is kind of a pain in the ass, because any time you want to make a left turn, you have to keep going until you find a plowed intersection, then do a U-turn and backtrack to where you needed to turn. This has been going on for the 20+ years I've been driving, and everybody just deals with it the best they can.
Except one crazy bitch who thought her little Nissan Sentra could break through a wall of snow three feet tall and make that left turn. Needless to say, this wasn't going to happen. Not only did she screw up her front bumper, but she high-centered herself on the snow. Since she was blocking the lane, two guys from a truck ahead of me decided to get out and see if they could push her off. The entire time she was screaming her head off and, when I rolled down my window to listen, this is part of what I heard...
Of course, being the stupid f#@%ing dumbass that she is, she naturally decides to blame everybody except herself. I find clueless morons like this highly entertaining, and I was cursing myself for not having my camera with me because I would have totally posted a photo of the hilarity that was ensuing.
But, after a minute or so, the two guys managed to push her off the snowbank and she sped off... still screaming at nobody in particular, but mad at everybody except herself.
Anyway... my new passport photo sucks ass, as usual. I look even more like a terrorist than last time, which is bound to make for some exciting new memories to treasure as I pass through Customs for the next ten years. Of course, like anybody who travels extensively, I'm sure that I've already got a lovely profile on record with Homeland Security. Hopefully it only says nice things about me, because I always try to be nice to everybody when I enter or leave the country.
Of course, if I ever DO get detained, I now know exactly how I should act...
Yes. From what I see on a daily basis, raving like a complete idiot seems to be the American Way now. I can totally do that. US Customs agents would be disappointed if I didn't act like a fool... after all, I'm sure they find clueless morons highly entertaining as well.
Except clueless morons, of course. They just don't know any better.
Posted on Friday, December 29th, 2006
Every once in a while I get an email asking me questions about the DaveToons I draw for Blogography. Usually it's asking which program I use to draw them (Adobe Illustrator) or how long it takes to make one (about 5-15 minutes depending on difficulty) or how I animate them (Toon Boom Studio) or how I learned to draw them (I'm self-taught). A more extensive explanation of the awful, semi-fictional PG-13 truth is here.
But today's email asked a question I've never received before... what cartoons do I like, and where do I get my inspiration for the Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey toons I draw?
Hmmmm... where to start? I have loved cartooning and animation for as long as I can remember. Disney, Looney Tunes, and Peanuts were an obsession in my formative years, and led to a life-long love which has expanded to include new favorites, like Katsuhiro Otomo and Hayao Miyazaki.
But when trying to trace what inspires Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey specifically, I can narrow it down to three sources (that I am consciously aware of, there are many more I'm sure)...
Calvin learns why Dave is afraid of cauliflower...
CALVIN AND HOBBES
Bill Watterson's master work Calvin and Hobbes is simply the best comic ever created. It's all at once riotously funny, touchingly poignant, and wonderfully life-affirming. How Watterson managed to pack all that into a strip about a little boy and his stuffed tiger is nothing short of miraculous. I wouldn't presume to think that Lil' Dave is on a level even approaching Calvin's brilliance, but I do like to think that he shares the innocence and imagination that made Calvin's world so much fun. If I was stranded on a desert island and could have only one book to take with me, it would be The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. There's a part of me that will always be hoping that Watterson will one day release a new Calvin project, because reading it is an experience you never want to end.
Bad Monkey meets GIR from Invader Zim
It is always a source of great sadness that the wacky and wonderful world of Jhonen Vasquez's Invader Zim was cancelled way before its time. It was a cartoon series that actually seemed to be heading somewhere, and the sheer insanity of it all made me fall in love with the show from the first time I saw it. But, as great as the character of Invader Zim is, it's his malfunctioning robot sidekick GIR that I liked best. He's an irritating, bungling, inept, and totally insane little companion... but Zim loves him anyway. Much like Bad Monkey's naughty, drunken, and totally inappropriate behavior is likewise irritating to Lil' Dave, but he loves him just the same. If you've never experienced Invader Zim, it's kind of hard to explain... but you can buy the show at the iTunes music store (or rent the DVD) and see for yourself. Most people are probably not going to dig it, but it's one of my favorite cartoon series of all time (followed by Batman: The Animated Series, Pinky and The Brain, Family Guy, and Top Cat).
DaveToon homages to South Park pop up from time to time. Here there are FOUR!
If there is one show that has forever changed the landscape of cartoons as a medium for adult entertainment, it would be South Park. Sure The Simpsons revived the genre of more mature-oriented cartoons that hadn't been seen since The Flintstones, yet it was South Park that shattered the genre completely. But, to me, even more important than what the show does is how it does it. The first incarnation of the show was crudely animated by hand as a school project for Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They didn't have a studio, massive funding, or anybody telling them what they could (and couldn't!) do... yet look what came of it. This is inspiring to anybody who dreams of creating animation of their own, and has certainly inspired me to goof around with it.
Argh. I have the sudden urge to watch Invader Zim and South Park while reading Calvin and Hobbes. I'm never going to get caught up with my work now.
Posted on Saturday, December 30th, 2006
Oh how I dread the drive home from work each night. There's just too many idiots on the road. Last night was particularly nasty, because I ran across somebody in the ditch who apparently thought that his 4-wheel drive made him immune to sliding on ice. I stopped to make sure everything was okay, only to find out he had already called somebody with a winch to pull his truck out. "Heh heh... watch out, it's slippery out there" he says.
Uhhhh, yeah. That's what happens when water gets cold.
But before I drove home from work, I put on my gloves and wondered for the millionth time why glove manufacturers are so frickin' stupid that they consistently make the thumb and little finger too long. Every pair of gloves I've ever owned has had an extra inch of fabric flapping around on my "hang loose" digits. Very annoying. I mean, seriously, just LOOK at this lunacy (thanks to the "X-Ray" attachment on my Epson scanner)...
GAH! Dumbass glove manufacturers!! Surely I'm not the only one who notices this stuff?
HOLY CRAP! It's me, isn't it? I'M A MUTANT!! Somehow my mutant super-power is to have a thumb and little finger shorter than everybody else! THAT'S why gloves never fit me...
Or maybe it's my middle fingers that are longer. Who knows. I wonder if this is a good enough mutant super-power to get me into the X-Men? Probably not, but it might get me into a cheap horror movie...
Of course, Lil' Dave only has four fingers.
Not because he's a mutant, but because he's a cartoon.
Oh well. I try not to feel too badly for him... he can still flip-off people who irritate him. That's all that really matters, isn't it?