I have never told the whole story of how my blogging mascots, Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey, came to be. I thought perhaps I would save it for their tenth birthday in 2012, but something has come up to change my mind. Thanks to an offer too good to refuse, I managed to purchase a custom Gowalla stamp featuring the DaveToon Duo. For those not familiar with Gowalla, it is a location-based social networking game where you can follow where your friends go, collect location stamps, find interesting new spots, and keep track of the places you've been.
Until recently "custom stamps" were only available to "landmark" spots like The Eiffel Tower or to spots that the Gowalla Team liked (usually in Austin, where they are based). But there was an entry-price stamp test program I signed up for and, voilà, Blogography has it's own stamp...
My logo on the left, the Gowalla stamp interpretation on the right (enlarged 250%).
And now the story of how I cam up with Bad Monkey and Lil' Dave. So I can do a good job of it, I've got back through all my old file archives and pulled out all my early sketches and drawings, so you can see how things came together from the very beginning.
Surprisingly, Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey were not created for Blogography. They were originally drawn up to solve a problem at my other blog, DaveCafe, which is a travel journal and review site for all the Hard Rock Cafes I've been to.
The problem was that I love the Hard Rock, and I felt really terrible when I had something bad to say about one of my visits. Trying to distance myself from my own criticism, I came up with the idea of having an alter-ego who would talk about anything "bad" which would leave me to be the hero and talk about all the good stuff from my visit. Since I've long been fascinated by monkeys, I thought that it would be cool to have a kind of "Curious George" sidekick... but wicked-crazy instead of curious to deliver the bad news.
And thus the idea for "Dave and Bad Monkey" was born while I was in New York on July 13th, 2002.
When starting out on a project like this, I often fill an entire page with a "base" element (in this case, a head-shape) then draw up numerous variations around it. At this point, I was mainly concerned with getting the hair right, but was also working on the eyes and nose. The mouth was always going to be a simple slit from the very beginning, as the Dave character was supposed to be "neutral" when delivering his review...
As I drew more and more variations, I was refining the hair to be more styled. In the beginning, it's simple shapes and pen-tool scribblings, but ends up having curves to look more realistic. Once I got to the last head, I thought the hair was getting a little too perfect. Which doesn't really look like me at all. My hair is a perpetual mess, and so I went back and redrew the last row to have a more spikey look in the bangs.
Below is a close-up of some of the characters above. Originally, the eyes were all round, but I went back and started trying ovals. I wasn't sure of the right size so I played with that as well...
After filling the page and getting to a hairstyle I liked, I realized that my head-shapes were too vertical. Computer screens are wider than they are tall so I wanted a character which would economize height. Working on a copy of the file, I turned all the heads horizontal and rearranged the hair and facial features to fit...
The wider head made Dave look much, much younger, so I toyed with the idea of adding a five o'clock shadow so he'd look more like an adult.
At this point, I thought the round eyes made Dave look stoned so I changed everything to ovals. Then I became convinced that the oval head-shape was lazy, and started playing around with the idea of using more of a squashed-egg look instead. Once I did that, the rounded hair was starting to look "over-styled" to me again, so I went back to my original concept and started messing around with simple pen-tool spikes for hair...
After a number of head-shape iterations I decided to go back to an oval. The egg-shape made his cheeks look pudgy, and I liked the simplicity of an oval better. Wanting to simplify things further, I removed the lines in the ears. I had abandoned the five o'clock shadow for a while but eventually came back to it because I thought it made my character more unique...
It was around this time that I became obsessed with the nose. Up until this point they had all tapered at the bridge in order to add depth to the shape. But I disliked having something so pointy on the face. The only thing spikey was supposed to be the hair, and so I re-drew the nose with a consistent pen width. It still bothered me, but at least it looked "right" on the face now. The last thing I worked on was the hair. Since Dave was flat I liked the idea of making the hairstyle two-dimensional. That way I could just flop his hair to make him point in the other direction.
After roughly two hours of sketching across six Adobe Illustrator pages, I had narrowed down the design to two choices...
At this point, my decision was easy. The rounded hair looked like a strange comb-over and seemed a bit ordinary. The spikey hair was more cartoony, interesting, and reminded me of one of the greatest cartoon characters of all time, Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. So all that was left was to create a Bad Monkey sidekick. There was no sketching this time around. I removed the hair and face from Dave, shrunk it, then just drew a monkey face on it. The total design time for my monkey pal was probably five minutes...
The problem was that he didn't look very "bad" and came across as kind of sedate. I thought the beady round eyes would add a little crazy, but it wasn't enough. Thinking I was over-thinking things, I went ahead and published the cartoon heads at DaveCafe and went to bed.
Then couldn't get to sleep. It really bugged me that Bad Monkey was getting short changed, since using him as a scapegoat was what caused me to create the cartoons in the first place. Rather than do variations of a dozen different monkey heads, I just kept tweaking and fine-tuning the drawing I already had. I remember adding spikey fur on his head, but he looked too much like Dave. Eventually I thought I'd just draw him screeching with his mouth open because it was the only way I could think of to make him look a little insane...
And just like that, I had found Dave and Bad Monkey!
Except not quite.
When I reduced the heads down to size, Dave's mouth looked a bit like a grimace, so I redrew it as a smile. And hated it. His nose, which had always bothered me, looked like a blob when outlined in black, so I changed it to something more subtle. I wasn't terribly happy with the end result, but it was getting very late, so I went ahead and published them anyway...
And that's how the characters would stay for nearly a year.
Tune in tomorrow for the exciting finale...
Can you feel the excitement? Can you? Well I'll see you tomorrow then!
Here it is... PART TWO of the story of how my DaveToon blog mascots came to be! If you haven't read Part One yet, you'll probably want to do that first.
Right off the bat, I'm going to have to apologize for lying to you yesterday. I had promised that I'd be sharing NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN images of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in 3-D but, alas, I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow so I can get a few problems with the 3-D to 2-D rendering sorted. It will be worth the wait though, I promise!
Anyway, getting back to the story... Bad Monkey and Lil' Dave had been languishing on my Hard Rock fansite, DaveCafe, for just over a year. Then, in September of 2003, I was preparing for a trip to visit Hard Rock Cafes in Reykjavik and Stockholm. A fellow Hard Rocker in Japan had once given me his "Hard Rock business card" and I decided that was a handy thing to have. I could put my email and website address on it and hand it out to Hard Rock fans I meet. My cheap-o ink-jet printed cards ended up looking like this...
At this point, the DaveToons had (literally) become my calling card for DaveCafe. But it was this humble blog where most of my time and effort were going. Finally, inevitably, on February 11th, 2004, worlds collided. I had written a Blogography entry where I mentioned a monkey showing up at work with an ebola virus, and it occurred to me that I could make Bad Monkey be that monkey. But he and Toon-Dave were only heads, so I had to slap together some bodies for them. Since I thought it was important for people to know where they came from, I put the DaveCafe logo on Toon Dave's shirt...
You'll also note that I had to figure out how to make Toon-Dave's head turn, which was a lot more complicated than you might guess. It took hours for me to figure out how that might work, since he's so firmly rooted in two dimensions. Eventually, I just slapped an ear on the side of his head where I thought it should go, then worked the hair around it.
Now that Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey had more than just heads, it was time to redesign my DaveCafe site. I announced the coming change around the end of February, 2004...
And the site went live in April with Toon Dave doing all kinds of interesting stuff...
For the next couple of years, Toon Dave continued to make dozens of appearances at Blogography. Bad Monkey made zero appearances. He was meant to embody negativity over at DaveCafe, and I made a conscious effort to keep him there. About the only thing new to happen was that Toon Dave got a very important addition to his anatomy in January of 2005 (I thought it was pretty impressive, but Avitable would take it to an entirely new level a few years later)...
While not really "new," in June, 2005 I decided I wanted to try my hand at animating DaveToons. With absolutely no experience, I started studying what it would take to make them speak. The idea was to create a cartoon talk show called Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show...
The following month I played around with the idea of making them move using Flash...
It was a fun experiment, but proved far too time-consuming for me to take seriously. Maybe one day I'll find the time to actually make a complete animation. Maybe.
2006 was the year things started changing. First of all, Bad Monkey made the first of many, many appearances in January. I finally found a use for him where he could be as bad as he wanted to be...
Granted, it was a pretty crappy appearance. Bad Monkey's body was just Toon Dave's body colored brown. Still, it was a start.
And then things really changed.
When DaveToons first started appearing in Blogography, they were specifically designed to be as fast and easy to draw as possible. Toon Dave didn't have hands, he had mittens. Fingers take time to draw. Bad Monkey didn't look like a monkey, he looked like a person dressed as a monkey. Lanky limbs and tails take time to draw. Everything was colored flat and boring. Shaded color takes time to draw. I was perfectly happy with all the DaveToons looking crappy because they took almost no time to slap together.
But eventually it started to reeeeaally bother me. The more appearances they made on my blog, the more upset I'd get that they didn't look as good as they should. So on May 6th, 2006, I spent a couple of hours and started over from scratch. With a DaveToon I titled Best Friends, Toon Dave and Bad Monkey were reborn...
It took about a year for the transition to fully take effect, but the look had finally been fixed. Now that the look was fixed, it was the name "Toon Dave" that was bothering me. Toon Dave was no longer just a toon version of myself. He was an entirely different character with an entirely different life. Fortunately, when I guest-blogged over at Hilly's Snackiepoo blog in August of 2006, the solution was at hand. She called her mascot "Lil' Snackie" and so "Toon Dave" became "Lil' Dave" and the name stuck...
After that? Well, I briefly played around with animation again...
...but Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey would stay pretty much the same throughout their many new adventures over the next two years.
The next "Big Thing" wouldn't happen until the end of 2008.
And it was SO big that nobody ever saw it. Until tomorrow. Tomorrow, at long last, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN images of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in 3-D! And exactly WHY were Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in 3-D two years ago? Well, that's a very good question. And I'll explain that tomorrow too!
I have to warn you though, it's a very sad (and very expensive) tale, so bring a hankerchief.
At long last... PART THREE of the story of how my DaveToon blog mascots came to be! If you haven't read Part One yet, you'll probably want to do that first... and then Part Two is right here.
Okay. Okay. I know. I made a promise that yesterday I would reveal for the first time anywhere NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN images of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in 3-D. But, because of some kind of technical problems with a software upgrade, I couldn't render them into 2-D pictures. So last night I made a few phone calls to get that sorted, and here we are.
But before I reveal the images, you're probably wondering exactly WHY Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey would be rendered into 3-D in the first place. That's a very good question. There's actually two reasons...
Now, you have to admit that either of those reasons were awesome enough for me to want to get 3-D models made. Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey dolls? AWESOME! A Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey video game? AWESOME!
And so I paid a very talented computer animator a lot of money to make the models.
Unfortunately, neither of these awesome projects came to be. I'll explain what happened in a minute, but let's get to the 3-D renderings, shall we?
First up... BAD MONKEY! Note that his tail is sticking straight out. This is on purpose, because it would be animated bouncing up and down as he walked in the video game, and it was easier to do this if it were starting from a straight position. The animator would curl it when he defined how it would move in the walk cycle...
Pretty sweet, huh? It took a LOT of back-and-forth with the animator to translate a
And then there's Lil' Dave. Who needed to start out naked with no hair for video game reasons I'll explain later...
And here he is with clothes. The hair wasn't finished exactly right at this point, but it was getting close...
So the models look great, what's the story?
The dolls were going to be very cool. VERY cool. Their arms and legs would move. They would have fun accessories. They would have awesome packaging. They would come in three versions (called "Colorways" in the biz)... 1) Classic Dolls, 2) ZOMBIE Dolls, and 3) Limited Edition BLANK "Paint Your Own" Dolls. Unfortunately, the company handling the job went out of business. My dream of having Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey vinyl dolls (along with an $800 deposit) vanished overnight.
THE VIDEO GAME.
If the loss of the vinyl dolls was tough on me, the loss of the video game was devastating. In addition to being out the money I invested in having the models made, I was out hundreds of hours in pesonal time. I wrote the game story. I helped design game levels. I designed the level maps. I drew hundreds of concept sketches. I painted hundreds of object textures. I invested time working on things like "walk cycles" and "cut scenes." Then one day I got The Call. The school was converting to some kind of learning internship agency. The theory was that this would be better for the students because they'd be getting hands-on experience at real gaming companies. The reality was that there wasn't enough internship positions to go around. So even if the guy working on my game could get an internship, he would then be working on the company's projects and not mine. Instead he lost his education financing and had to stop working on the DaveToon game so he could find a new school.
This was a real shame, because it would have been a pretty cool game. It was designed to be relatively easy, so young kids and adults with no gaming experience could play. But it was still funny enough that even a gamer would want to play to see what happened. The story revolved around Lil' Dave trying to avoid an invasion of robot monsters and solving puzzles so he could find his way home. Along the way, Bad Monkey would show up to help... and sometimes hinder... his progress. Lil' Dave replenished his health by finding chocolate pudding cups hidden around in the game. You couldn't really "die" while playing, but you could get thrown into "Zombie Mode" if your health ran out. If you couldn't get out of "Zombie Mode," you'd turn into a ghost (with no hair or clothes... just a glowing outline), fly back to the beginning of the level, grab a new body, then have to start over.
And there you have it. The NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN images of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in 3-D!
And the really sad story as to why you never saw them.
Maybe one day somebody will come along and want to work on the game again. Or maybe I'll get bored sometime and write a blog entry with the NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN sketches, paintings, bits and pieces that I spent a big chunk of my personal time working on in 2009. The good news is that you might finally understand what I was trying to say with this entry. And this entry.
So what's next for Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey?
Well... there are always possibilities. I definitely plan on new T-shirts. There will absolutely be more DaveToons on Blogography. And there are other things... secret things... I've got ideas for which may or may not happen.
When it comes to Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey, you just never know.
Welcome to a totally unexpected... PART FOUR of a series detailing the evolution of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey over the years. I say unexpected, because I thought yesterday was the end of it, but I got some emails and questions, so I thought I would extend another day.
First of all, a look at what could have been with the "colorways" of the DaveToon vinly dolls I was working on before the company closed-up shop. Here's the painting instruction sheet I made for the manufacturer (I removed the paint color notations so you can see the characters better)...
The dolls would have come as a set in a custom-designed box with a clear plastic window in the front and various "accessories" tied to a background card behind them. I hadn't actually drawn the box, because I was waiting to get the final shape, but I had sketched out some concepts based on an old G.I. JOE box I had found. The idea was to make it look slightly "vintage" and show all the features and accessories as EXCITING FEATURES on the back and sides. The box would be the same for all the versions, but a space would have been reserved to sticker the three variants...
And that's as far as I got. I was supposed to get prototype dolls and a bunch of other stuff for the deposit I payed, but I never saw any of it. For those who asked, the pricing is a tricky business, because I hadn't gotten information on duties and taxes and shipping fees. My goal was to sell the "Classic" dolls for $15-$17, the "Zombie" dolls for $22-$25, and the "Custom" dolls for $30-$35... but that could have gone up or down depending on how everything ultimately got costed out. Considering a single 6-inch doll usually sells for around $40, I thought my pricing was pretty good. The idea wasn't so much to make money, but to simply cover the costs of making the dolls... just because I wanted them! Oh well.
One of the most popular questions I continue to get is "How do you draw your DaveToons?" I had answered this question in a smart-assed way back in September, 2006 (NSFW!)... but it's probably time to give a serious answer. While I don't have time to create a comprehensive "How-To" showing every last detail as to how things are done, what I CAN do is run through all the steps it takes to draw one of my characters...
BUT FIRST, FAIR WARNING: I will absolutely concede that this will look a heck of a lot easier than it actually is. If you are not familiar with Adobe Illustrator, then you should understand that this is a program that takes years to master. I have been drawing with Illustrator most every day for over twenty years and there are still things I have problems with. I just want to be sure that somebody reading this doesn't think "Wow, this is simple! I'm going to draw cartoons too!" then run out and spend $600 on Adobe Illustrator only to find out that it's not quite as easy as all that.
With that having ben said, you can see the basic concepts that go into how I approach the "DaveToon Look" in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
ZOMFG! I am so much cooler than you are right now. And let me show you why...
This crappy photo doesn't do it justice... the printing is incredible. Bright, vivid, accurate color.
My new MacBook Pro GelaSkins arrived!
Because these things are printed on demand, I was expecting the quality to be pretty crappy. I couldn't have been more wrong. These things are super-sweet, and look just awesome!
My one disappointment is that they don't give you a template to construct your art on. I ended up taking a screen-shot of their "skin-maker" and blowing it up so I could try and get the Apple logo right. Except there was no way of getting the placement exactly how I wanted because the screen-shot is just a blurry mess. Even worse, the "screen proof" they show you is shockingly inaccurate. This is pretty harsh. If they are going to offer a cut-out design, they should provide a way of getting a decent template to work on. Sure registration isn't going to be dead-perfect, but having a LITTLE bit of accuracy would go a long way.
Because this is what I was expecting to get...
But, as you can see from the above photo, the Apple cut-out ended up being considerably larger than their website depicts... this caused the thick outline around the Apple logo to end up way too thin. I mean, it doesn't look BAD by any means... and people would probably never notice if I hadn't pointed it out... but, for a guy who is hung-up on good design, things like this drive me bonkers.
Anyway, if you are looking to skin your electronics, I can't recommend GelaSkins highly enough. They're a big pricey, but the quality is definitely there. I just wish that they offered a proper template so people can have the artwork look as they intend it to be.
Most days, I don't really have time to goof around the internet because I've got work piled up to the rafters. I do try to keep Twitter running in a corner of my desktop, however. That way when I'm on the phone or have a minute between tasks I can catch up with everybody and see if anything is trending in the world that I should know about. Today was particularly heinous, work-wise, so I pretty much ignored the outside world altogether.
Then all of a sudden I noticed that people were going nuts on Twitter. Apparently, news broke that Astrologists had the constellations all wrong, and an Astronomer was trying to set things straight. In doing so, the dates for the Zodiac had shifted considerably, and a NEW constellation had even been added! Madness!
When I went to bed last night I was an Aries... THE RAM...
But now all of a sudden I was a Pisces... THE FISHES...
That totally sucks! I don't even like fish! If my Zodiac sign simply had to change, why couldn't I get something cool like the new sign, Ophiuchus?!? I mean, seriously, just look at this magnificent bastard...
Bitchin' drawing by Johannes Kepler!
Wrestling a giant snake with your dick hanging out while crushing a massive pubic louse under your foot... all while fending off an attack by some guy with a club in a bear hat?
How bad-ass is that?
So totally me right there.
Alas, a while later it was all revealed to be a boatload of crap and a lot of gross exaggeration by the media (big surprise).
And then I remembered that I don't believe in horoscopes and Zodiac stuff anyway, and was able to move on with my life.
I mean, I was a frickin' FISH there for a few hours!
w00t! The Seattle Seahawks have made the Divisional Playoffs in the race for the SuperBowl!
Which is kind of crazy given their losing record of 7-9, but who am I to argue with the wacky rules of the NFL?
Anyway, Tacoma's Truman Middle School here in Washington State was having a "Seahawks Spirit Day" today, where students were allowed an exception from their mandatory dress code in order to wear a Seahawks jersey. If a student didn't wish to participate in the "Seahawks Spirit Day" festivities, they could just wear the regular school uniform.
One kid, who is a Pittsburgh fan, asked if he could wear a Steeler's jersey instead. He was told no, but did it anyway, then got sent home because of it.
And rightfully so.
I mean, you break the rules, you pay the price. That's the way life goes.
Even if it's a rule that's monumentally fucking stupid.
Let's break this down...
Let's say your choice is the same one given to the students at Truman. You can stick with the school uniform you wear every other day, OR you can wear a Seahawks jersey...
Well, if you're a Seahawks fan, then this is a no-brainer. Not only do you choose to wear the jersey, you do so gladly and with a smile on your face. If you're not a Seahawks fan... or not a football fan... or not a fan of team the colors... or whatever... you may or may not choose to wear the Seahawks jersey, depending on how much you hate the school uniform option.
But what if you are not a Seahawks fan?
What if you hate the Seattle Seahawks?
Well, then the choice is a no-brainer too. You don't wear the jersey no matter how much you dislike the school uniform, because the idea of supporting the Seahawks fills you with disgust. You'd rather die.
Let me try to put this in terms that non-fans can understand.
Giving a Seahawks-hater the choice between a school uniform and a Seahawks jersey is the same thing as giving somebody the choice between a school uniform and a pink bear hat with pink shoes, pink pants, and a pink shirt that says "I (heart) Pink"...
Unless wearing something like that appeals to you, in which case it would be like giving somebody the choice between a school uniform and a hat with a giant penis on top with no pants and T-shirt which says "JUICY!" on it...
In other words, no choice at all.*
And that's why the rule was so stupid. It was presented as if the students had a choice... but some of them weren't actually getting a choice. Not really.
If you're going to have a "Spirit Day" for NFL playoffs at school, then the students should be able to wear a jersey from ANY of the teams that are in the playoffs. It's just that simple. If football is "America's game" then anything less is pretty un-American when you stop and think about it.
And that just ain't right.
* If BOTH the pink bear hat uniform AND the penis hat uniform appeal to you, then there's really nothing I can do to explain this to you. Carry on.
You know you had a good time the night before when your stomach hurts from laughing too much.
And drinking way, way too much. But that's besides the point. Unless you're curious as to why this week's list of bullets is fairly skimpy... I think I might be dying.
• Globes. Surprisingly, I was pretty much okay with all the Golden Globe winners. Sure there were a few places where my favorites didn't win, but I can't argue that the people who did win weren't deserving (except Glee. I really, really, don't understand why people like that show). Highlights? Most of the ladies, who were looking pretty incredible. And Robert Downey Jr.'s presentation speech and Jane Lynch and Robert De Niro's acceptance speeches. Quick and entertaining is the name of the game, people.
• Seahawks. Okay. Entirely not surprising how that all turned out, but there's always a part of you which holds on to a sliver of hope despite it all.
• Schwarzenegger. And so Arnold Schwarzenegger might start making movies again. Please please please let it be true. People can diminish his films all they want, but there is no denying that they are, for the most part, highly entertaining. From his small cameo in The Expendables, it would seem he's still got it. What I wouldn't give for another True Lies or The Terminator or Predator or Commando or Total Recall or many others.
• SNL. Almost every week I find myself asking myself "Self, why in the hell are you still watching Saturday Night Live?" There are exceptions, of course (BETTY WHITE!!) and there are always bright spots no matter how crappy the show gets... but, for the most part, it's been so mind-bogglingly awful for the last several years. And then last night's Gwyneth Paltrow episode comes along and it's actually not that bad. The SNL Short with Pee-Wee Herman was awesome. Even Weekend Update was more good than bad. It would be nice to think that there's a corner being turned here... but, sadly, that's probably not the case. As usual, I'll keep watching just in case.
And now I suppose that I should try to eat something. A bit more difficult than it sounds.
Right now. Right this minute. I want nothing more than to assault a Kate...
I know this totally goes against the new anti-violence sentiment that is sweeping the Nation...
...but I've always been an aggressive eater when it comes to dessert.
And she totally has it coming for being so gosh-darn delicious.
Next week I'm leaving the country for a bit. As the clock is ticking down, I've been working day and night so that I can get all caught up before I go. This way, I avoid a bunch of last-minute stress. I also avoid having to take loads of work with me, which is the ultimate goal.
Unfortunately, The Universe is not cooperating, so I decided to bail for an hour and get my hair cut.
I wish something interesting had happened so I'd have something cool to blog about.
I didn't get a bad haircut...
I didn't get my ear cut off...
And I wasn't abducted by aliens and anally probed...
Nope. I got a great haircut with no bodily harm and no bodily foul.
Sorry about that.
Annnnnd... I've avoided it for as long as I possibly can. Time to pack my suitcase so I can get up at 3:30am and catch my 6:00am flight.
I really hate packing.
See you on the other side of the Atlantic...
One of those days...
On the bright side, even heartache means you're feeling something.
And just in time for Valentine's Day.
It's the twentieth anniversary of Twin Peaks! And it's being celebrated with an art show today in Los Angeles. Oh how I wish I could be there.
One of my favorite shows ever, David Lynch's epic story of secrets and murder in a small Pacific Northwest community was about the most fascinating, bizarre, beautiful, and altogether brilliant programs to ever air on television. While there have been a few shows that have tried to emulate its quirky genius over the years, there will likely never be anything quite like the strange saga of Laura Palmer ever again.
"She's dead... Wrapped in plastic..."
Even if the show wasn't spectacularly entertaining, I probably would have still been interested in watching it. Most of the exterior locations used in the series are about an hour-and-a-half from my home. David Lynch wanted to create a series that took a glimpse into the shady underside of small town living, and what he came up with was so convincing that I often felt that I could be living in Twin Peaks.
"My log does not judge..."
The tragedy of Twin Peaks is that it was canceled right in the middle of a massive cliffhanger at the end of its second season. David Lynch eventually released a movie called Fire Walk With Me which was eagerly anticipated by fans, but it ended up being more of a prequel than a sequel, and fared poorly at the box office. Even worse, it did very little to address all the lingering questions from the series.
"There is also a legend of a place called the Black Lodge..."
I haven't watched the full series in sequence since I revisited the first season five years ago, so I suppose it's time. The problem is that I'll just end up getting all sucked into the world of Twin Peaks again, knowing that it's going to be chopped off in middle of the story. I suppose it's futile, but a part of me still hopes that Lynch will get together the cast and wrap up what he started. Sure you run the risk of being disappointed, but at least you get closure.
"I'll see you again in 25 years. Meanwhile…"
Will we see another Twin Peaks project in 2015/2016 just as Laura Palmer promised? Who knows. That would certainly be awesome.
In the meanwhile... there's Fringe which is about the most messed-up show on television right now. Last night's episode approached a near Twin-Peaks-level of freakiness, which is no easy feat. It's so odd to me that J.J. Abrams shit-pile of a mess, Lost, got so much attention and blockbuster ratings when the real interesting stuff is happening over at his other series, Fringe.
Time for some cherry pie and a damn fine cup of coffee at the Double-R Diner.
"Through the darkness of futures past, the magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds... fire, walk with me."
Happy Valentine's Day... one way or another...
Sometimes in matters of the heart, it's best to have high-caliber protection.
For my twisted valentines from previous years, visit the Blogography Valentine's Day Cards Page!
What an astoundingly horrible day. Seriously.
No matter where I went all day long, I was stepping in somebody's shit.
Why can't people just clean up their own messes so responsible people don't have to deal with their crap?
Pig in Boots? How about Monkey in Boots?
It's on. Bring it.
My DaveToon character, Bad Monkey, was created to be the crazy-ass evil alter-ego of Lil' Dave (which you can read about here). From the beginning, he's done everything to live up to his name... he drinks, he swears, he smokes, he kicks people in the nuts, he smuggles cocaine, he smuggles weapons, he even craps his pants. And, while there's no photographic evidence, I'm pretty certain he does drugs while partying with hookers and porn stars.
And then today as I was surveying the latest damage by Charlie Sheen, it suddenly occurred to me...
Holy crap! My monkey isn't "bad" by accident... his role model is Charlie Sheen!
He's got tiger blood and Adonis DNA! And that's okay.
Because I'm tired of pretending like my monkey isn't special. I'm tired of pretending like my monkey's not bitchin'... a total frickin' rock star from Mars... and people can't figure him out, they can't process my monkey. I don't expect them to. You can't process Bad Monkey with a normal brain.
Charlie Sheen is Winning. So, hello... BANG! Winning! Bad Monkey is obviously winning. Duh!
I've to get me some of that new Charlie Sheen drug and sprinkle it on my corn flakes in the morning so I can be winning too. Apparently it doesn't show up on a drug test, so it's not like there's any down-side.
Well, unless you're a fan of Two and a Half Men.
Today started out pretty crappy at work. Then I switched to a project I actually enjoyed and things were looking up. Then I received an email with the most incredible news you can imagine and was overwhelmed with awesomeness. Which means this has ended up being one of the best days ever. Now I don't want to go to sleep and have the day end, because tomorrow can't help but be crappy by comparison.
Unless... I don't suppose it's too much to hope that this trend continues?
Because if Elizabeth Hurley shows up tomorrow morning with a million dollars and a can of whipping cream, I just don't know if I could take it. 2011 has been a pretty shitty year so far, and being inundated with amazing things makes it seem as though anything is possible...
Here's wishing you days filled with awesomeness too!
I live on a rural road with no sidewalks. It's not very pedestrian-friendly, but its home.
Tonight as I was heading home from work, a jogger was running towards me on my side of the road. Since there was a car coming in the other direction, I had two options... 1) Run over the jogger. 2) Slow down until the other car passed and I had room to get around the jogger.
Foolishly, I chose option two.
Foolishly, because as I slowed down the jogger ran by and spit on my car.
Clearly, I am doing this angry driver thing all wrong.
I don't have time to blog tonight because I have to change all my clocks as I "spring forward" for stupid fucking Daylight Saving Time...
It's the year TWO-THOUSAND-ELEVEN... isn't it time that we step out of the Dark Ages and stop dicking around with the clocks? We've got like... ELECTRICITY and THE LIGHT BULB now.
Wasn't President Obama supposed to revoke this shit?
In 2012 I'm voting for whichever presidential candidate promises to get rid of Daylight Saving Time. And I don't care if it's a stupid whore like Sarah Palin, a bigoted whore like Mike Huckabee, or a hypocritical whore like Newt Gingrich. I DO care if it's a fucking brain-dead whore like Michele Bachmann... but I'd still vote for the dumbass if she'd stop this idiotic DST insanity. Sure the country would be irreparably fucked up for four years, but at least I wouldn't have to adjust my internal clock twice annually while waiting for armageddon.
Annnnnd... now it's time to lose an hour MORE of sleep.
I've got a suitcase to pack, so this is going to be a quick one.
• Arigatou Gozaimasu Thanks to everybody for their kind concern for my friends in Japan. All but one has been accounted for, though it's likely they've got other things on their mind right now. The situation is pretty dire over the Pacific right now, as you might imagine. Fortunately, Doctors Without Borders (my favorite charity) is assisting in Japan (and around the world). If you'd like to help, you can visit the Doctors Without Borders website and donate. Even $5 will make a difference.
• Countdown. The final part of my project was completed this afternoon. Just three days until all will be revealed...
• Not a Cooking Show. The most important thing you're probably not listening to? That would be Hey! That's My Hummus! a podcast by my friends Faiqa and Shiny! She's Muslim. He's Jewish. Together they are welcome voices of reason in a world of insanity. It's well worth your time.
Delicious hummus photo by Paul Goyette
Annnnnd... next week they'll be a Very Special Bullet Sunday from Europe!
In all seriousness here, I don't know whether to laugh or cry anymore...
PolitiFact says... PANTS ON FIRE!
Don't get me wrong... if he can prove that President Obama was not born in the USA, REGARDLESS OF THE OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, then more power to him. That would be a massive lie that deserves to be exposed, and "The Donald" would truly be doing our country a service by exposing it (even though I don't really give a shit).
Until there is some ACTUAL FUCKING EVIDENCE and all Trump has is a BUNCH OF FUCKING LIES then he should probably SHUT THE FUCK UP! Because if he CAN'T produce any ACTUAL FUCKING EVIDENCE then all he's doing is TRASHING THE PRESIDENT FOR PERSONAL GAIN WITH NO CONSEQUENCES FOR HIS LIES! I mean, come on... HE'S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!
Of course, all the birther pigfuckers are defending him by saying "Donald Trump is only asking questions! " But this is a load of shit. His "questions" are just lies masquerading as questions. It would be like Bill Gates popping up on every fucking news program in existence and saying "DONALD TRUMP HAS PROVIDED NO PROOF THAT HE'S NOT A CARD-CARRYING MEMBER OF NAMBLA AND HAS SEX WITH UNDERAGE BOYS!" Or perhaps "I AM SPENDING TWO MILLION DOLLARS TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH AS TO WHETHER DONALD TRUMP IS A PEDOPHILE THAT FUCKS CHILDREN!!" Or something like "THERE CONTINUES TO BE NO EVIDENCE THAT DONALD TRUMP IS NOT A CHILD RAPIST!"
People hear that shit... conclude that somebody with millions of dollars like Bill Gates must know what he's talking about... and suddenly people are believing that Donald Trump is having sex with their children. It's a lie (or so I would hope), but people are too fucking lazy to find out the truth, so they just roll over and believe what they think they're being told.
Look, I can't say for definite sure that President Obama was born in Hawaii like all the evidence says. I wasn't there. Maybe Trump is actually on to something. Maybe all the birther pigfuckers are right. Maybe it's all true. But I also wasn't there when Donald Trump allegedly had sex with all those young boys, so maybe that's true too.
I mean, it could be.
It's not like you need any evidence or hard facts anymore.
Just millions of dollars and an agenda to baselessly discredit somebody.
Or a blog. Same difference! It's all good!
Every time you turn around, something is responsible for turning everybody gay.
Show gay characters kissing on television, it turns people gay. Play gay lyrics on the radio, it turns people gay. Allow two dudes to get married, it turns people gay. Let gays serve in the military, it turns people gay. Anything that's gay is turning people gay. "Experts" say that this is because "validating the homosexual lifestyle" makes people think "it's okay to be gay" and, as a result, "kids turn gay because they think it's acceptable behavior."
Well okay then.
This would explain the drama unfolding over a J. Crew advertisement where a mother is having weekend fun with her young son by painting his toenails pink...
This caused a contributor over at (wait for it) FOX News, "Doctor" Keith Ablow, to declare that this kind "gender identity" confusion will require "psychotherapy for the kid." In other words, painting his toenails pink is turning him gay. Or, best case scenario, causing him to be confused about being straight.
Apparently whether he ends up liking vagina or penis is inconsequential to his sexual identity. It's the color of his toenails for one day when he's five years old that determines whether he's into clam or sausage.
Well okay then.
I guess it was a mistake to put Bad Monkey is charge of makeup around here...
Now, I'm no expert but maybe... just maybe... all this stuff isn't turning people gay at all. Perhaps they were gay all along, and seeing that "it's okay to be gay" on television and in music and in the military and in marriage just means that they can be honest with everybody about who they've always been.
Or... or... all their mothers painted their toenails pink for a day when they were five years old.
Because who am I to argue with a "doctor?"
But hold on a second...
If homosexuality is a product of gender confusion and pink nail polish, then how do you explain somebody like Gareth Thomas? He grew up in working-class Wales. He didn't have any gay influences and felt alone and different in his environment. He's a total badass in one of the toughest, most "masculine" sports on earth. He even got married because that's what was expected of him. And yet... he's gay?
Um. Yeah. Something tells me that he never got his toenails painted pink or wore a dress or played with dolls or did any of the "girlie" things that would make some poor, young, impressionable kid turn gay. On the contrary, his environment should have been enough to insure that any gay demons he had were duly excised.
So what the fuck happened?
And what about those kids who grow up in liberal hippie communes like Portland, Oregon where being gay is not only "okay"... it's embraced as an essential character trait and roundly encouraged by society? How the fuck does anybody growing up in that gay-friendly utopia ever turn out straight? What about straight kids who grew up with gay parents? Holy crap... those kids are around people being gay EVERY DAY!
Well, I'm no expert but maybe... just maybe...
Seriously. Am I the only one who goes insane when I see this stupid crap? Does logic play absolutely no part in our thinking anymore? Are people so poorly conditioned to believe the fucked up shit they see in the "news" that they will believe something no matter how outrageous and unlikely it sounds? I know I've been harping on this very subject all week... but WHAT THE FUCK?!?
I'm not going to lie. Continuous bombardment by teh stupid is really starting to mess with my head. But there's no escaping it. This is all I see anymore. At some point, I'm going to have to take a break from the news, the internet, and society in general.
Or just stay the course and end up in an asylum for the criminally insane.
Which might not be so bad, because I'll finally be isolated from the news, the internet, and society in general.
As I write this, it's 8:11pm on April 19th, 2011. Thanks to events in Terminator 2, Skynet has just become self-aware and we're all doomed. I, for one, welcome our machine overlords.
You know how when you go to eat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup how you have to go through all the hassle of removing that stupid brown paper cup? What a horrible waste of time! Who wants to mess with that crap? I buy Reese's Peanut Butter Cups because I want to eat them... not because I want to play around with stupid paper!
Well, the people at Hershey must have felt my pain and frustration, because they've released NEW Reese's Minis. Tiny little peanut butter cups that are UNWRAPPED, just like God intended...
So now there's no time blown on futzing with that stupid paper cup. You can just tear off the top and pour them into your mouth directly...
Now THAT'S how I eat a Reese's!
Annnnnnnd... SHIT! My entire website is down. Either Media Temple is dicking around with things AGAIN, or Skynet really has become self-aware, and I will never be able to post this entry!
Looks like Blogography has been terminated.
UPDATE: Annnnnnnd... we're back.
Today is Earth Day! And it's also Good Friday!
It's Good Earth Friday! And I've gone green...
Guess I'll go plant a tree or eat a salad or something.
Well whadda ya know, it's an EASTER edition of Bullet Sunday!
• Like! Bad Monkey is now on Facebook. Heaven help us all...
If you want to see the mayhem for yourself, here you go...
• Kubrick! The holy grail for Stanley Kubrick fans (outside his movies, obviously) is a copy of a book called Full Metal Jacket Diary by Matthew Modine, who was an actor in the film. The reason it's such a big deal is twofold...
Just looking at the few amazing behind-the-scenes photos on the official website should have any Kubrick fan dying to own it...
Jayne, errrr I mean Animal Mother never looked so badass as when getting light metered!
But... to do the iPad app right is going to cost a lot of money. $20,000 money. In order to fund the project, Rackoff has put it up on Kickstarter so people can donate to get the work done. Anybody chipping in $5 or more will get a 'special thanks" credit on the app's credits page. If you've got money to burn, there are bigger rewards for bigger pledges. If you're a Kubrick fan... or a Matthew Modine fan... or a Full Metal Jacket fan... or just a movie fan... head over to Kickstarter so we can get this funded!
• Blows! Microsoft has been (rightfully) bragging about crossing the 350 million license milestone for Windows 7 in only 18 months. Except... I can't help but wonder how much of the rapid adoption rate is thanks to its predecessor, Windows Vista, being such a steaming pile of shit. Even with the Service Packs (mostly) fixing all the crap that made me want to take a flamethrower to my PC, I maintain that everybody who purchased a Vista license should have gotten Windows 7 as a free upgrade. Because anybody forced to suffer through Vista after updowngrading from the (relatively) painless Windows XP experience deserves to be compensated. Instead, we were forced to add billions of dollars to Microsoft's bank account to get out of a shitty OS that was never ready for release in the first place (after SIX YEARS of development). Any doubts I had about being an Apple Whore were eradicated by the release of Windows Fucking Vista and subsequently having to pay for Windows 7. I long for the day I never have to use Windows again.
• Bunny! If you celebrate the holiday, hope it's a happy one for you!
Annnd... time to start hauling all this crap back into my bedroom. Spring cleaning blows.
When I was younger, I loved to cook. I loved to bake. I loved experimenting in the kitchen to come up with something new. But, as the years went by, I had less and less time available for messing around with food. Home-baked bread was replaced by bread-machine bread. And when that got to be too much trouble, I went back to store-bought bread. Things I used to make from scratch were soon replaced by mixes. And when that got to be too much trouble, I just started buying pre-made stuff in the freezer section. It's not as good for me. It's certainly not as fun. But I just don't have the time any more.
But then I got addicted to cooking sites like Foodiddy and baking sites like Joy The Baker, and was assaulted with goodies so amazing-looking that I simply HAD to start baking again. Last night I brought a shit-load of work home with me, but then I happened upon a recipe for Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread from Joy The Baker. It looked too delicious to ignore, so I dropped everything and baked a loaf.
So there I was, eating mind-blowingly delicious Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread while Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was on... all while my pile of work sat there unfinished. And as I thought about how much trouble I was in, I began wondering how many other lives have been ruined by people getting all distracted because of blogs like Foodiddy and Joy The Baker...
If you would like to ruin your life too, you can visit the most excellent cooking blog Foodiddy here. And if that's not enough of a distraction, Joy The Baker can be found here. And you can go here if you want to make that stupidly-awesome Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread.
I suppose it's a good thing we didn't go to the Royal Wedding...
How embarrassing would it have been when Bad Monkey showed up wearing the same stupid-ass toilet seat hat as Princess Beatrice?
Well this blows.
As I attempted to finish up my Spring cleaning, I threw my back out while moving some boxes...
Now I don't feel much like cleaning anymore. On the contrary, I don't feel like doing much of anything.
And how has your weekend been treating you?
Well... I woke up with my back feeling far worse than it was yesterday. This really blows, because I've got a long drive followed by a long flight tomorrow. Guess I'll be spending my day mostly medicated. Yay.
Of course I still haven't packed a suitcase. Given the excruciating pain throbbing in my lower back, it's probably a better use of my time to lay in bed with a heating pad all night. Which means I'll be packing when I get up in the morning. And doesn't that sound like a bucket-full of laughs and good times.
The problem with laying as still as possible for hours-on-end is that there's not much else to do except think. The even bigger problem is the stupid crap I think about, most of which makes me want to scream my head off.
Things like... how fucking bat-shit-crazy is it that the same people who freaked out and thought armageddon was nigh because two dudes kissed on Glee are all gung-ho to see photos of Osama Bin Laden with his head blown off? I mean, seriously... a sign of love and affection between two people can't be shown on television because its paramount to a complete breakdown of society if they both have a penis... HOWEVER an image of graphic violence and horror is perfectly okay. In fact, let's make popcorn and invite the neighbors over the watch!
And it only gets worse from there.
I long for those magical days of yore when I was too busy to think such horrible nonsense.
The best I can wish for now is that I fall asleep soon.
Hopefully before I start thinking about how dumb-fuck asshole Minnesota House Majority Leader Matt Dean called beloved author Neil Gaiman a "pencil-necked weasel" that he "hated" because he's too damn stupid to bother getting all the facts before resorting to name-calling and accusations of stealing. What a worthless piece of shit. Is it too much to ask that ANY of our elected officials use even a half of their brain before they open their idiot mouths?
Dang. Now I'll never get to sleep...
I always hesitate to tell people when I'm working in Hawaii.
Because nobody ever truly believes that it's actually possible to "work" in Hawaii. Their idea of "working in Hawaii" involves a Mai Tai on the beach or something. I know this, because any time I am forced to tell somebody, they always end the conversation with "Have fun!
Except Bad Robert. When I mention "Hawaii" to Bad Robert, the only thing he has to say is this...
"Dude! Hawaii? I'm never going to Hawaii. It's out in the middle of NOWHERE! Have you ever looked at Hawaii on the map? There's nothing out there, man. Just ocean. Shit could happen and nobody would know. The island could sink or get blown up by a volcano, and ain't nobody coming to rescue you, because there's nobody out there. Good luck, man. I hope you make it."
All drama aside, he's absolutely right. Hawaii is one of the most remote places on earth...
And one of the most beautiful.
Which is why I'm not just flying over for work, then heading right back. I'm staying the weekend and goofing off a bit. Because it would be downright irresponsible to come all this way and not try to have a little fun.
In the meanwhile, there's work. So I suppose I should try to get some sleep so I can function in the morning.
Hope your Cinco de Mayo was a good one!
For some reason I am a bit jetlagged after my short trip to Hawaii. On the surface, this seems ridiculous. It's a measly three hour time difference, which is nothing compared to a lot of my travels. My guess is that my crazy work hours are messing with my sleep schedule, and Hawaii just exaggerated everything.
If there's an upside, it's that I'm actually sleeping more than my usual 3-4 hours.
Unfortunately, this additional sleep is happening at 5:00pm.
Which means I am wide awake from 10:00pm and don't get tired again until 7:00am when it's time to get ready for work. This morning I was so tired that I forgot to zip my pants up as I headed out the door. They fell down just as I was opening my car door, leaving me pantsed in the parking lot...
Luckily I also forgot it was Commando Friday, or else I could have been arrested for indecent exposure.
All the television shows I watch have had their fate announced. Since I am a total television whore, this is important stuff. Since most people are not total television whores and couldn't care less, I've put my thoughts about it all in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
THE END IS NIGH?
The Rapture isn't one of those things I believe in, per se. I mean, I believe that it's something that many people believe in, but that's as far as it goes. Which means that I'm going to be one of the people left behind if it ends up being the real deal, I guess.
And it all happens tomorrow, if you believe the wacky secret Bible code that Harold Camping claims to have uncovered. There are different interpretations of what actually happens in The Rapture, but I'd like to believe it involves Blondie, a big party, and plenty of champagne...
Though none of those things appear in Scripture when it comes to what is supposed to happen.
THAT is something entirely different. Though just how different is difficult to interpret, even for people like me who spent years studying The Bible. The most common belief is that millions of Christ's followers will disappear from the face of the earth, then a timeline starts which has oceans turning to blood, mountains burning, the Antichrist popping up, the ultimate return of Jesus to rule for 1000 years, followed by the eventual end of everything we know... replaced by a new heaven and a new earth.
Presumably an earth that's nowhere near as messed-up as the one we have now.
Of course there are other Christian scholars who have an entirely different opinion as to what happens. Some believe that nobody literally disappears during The Rapture. Others believe that The Rapture is just a teaching tool, and not an actual event that happens in real life. Still others believe that The Rapture has already happened. Harold Camping believes that after The Rapture happens tomorrow, the earth will be destroyed five months later on October 21st. He doesn't specify a time zone (that I know of) so I have no idea when we're supposed to start drinking...
In the end, nobody has a definitive answer, just something they believe is correct.
Personally, my studies lead me to believe that The Rapture can't take place until after Oprah airs her final show on the 25th. After that, it's anybody's guess.
Anybody except Harold Camping. This will be the second time he screwed-up when picking a date (September of 1994 was the first)... so he can just go fuck off and die now. NO RAPTURE FOR YOU!
When you walk through downtown Chicago, there's yellow banners on the streetlights saying "GODO GOOD" along with giant banners on buildings... and I even saw a metal "GODO GOOD" sculpture in a sidewalk planter. It's all part of an urban art installation that's a collaboration between artist Kay Rosen, the Chicago Loop Alliance, and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago...
What's a "Gohdoh?" OH... that's supposed to be GO DO!
An unfortunate font choice... all I see is GOOO GOOO!
As an art installation, I think it's kind of boring and obvious, but I do like the overall message behind it, which is encouraging Chicagoans to do 100,000 good deeds by summer (which you can read about at their website).
The only problem is that I'm a cynical bastard at heart. So every time I see all those banners, there's just one thought that goes through my head. How awesome would it be to hijack the installation to at least try to make things a little more interesting...
It's just as fun as it sounds!
This would at least make people feel good.
Meh. I just think this sounds funny.
It's what he does.
Our country's only hope, really.
It's 2:30am and my brain is mooshy... if you can think of a better hijack with your fresh brain, feel free to leave it in the comments...
When the person accusing someone of inappropriate behavior has a history of being wrong (and is a total douchebag), why do people continue to listen to them?
Perhaps because the evening news has to compete with Jersey Shore, so propagating lies, fabrications, exaggerations, and bullshit is considered "journalism" now-a-days. I honestly don't know.
What I do know is that Bad Monkey's favorite feature of the iPhone 4 is its front-facing camera. This makes it easier than ever to get your junk perfectly centered within the frame...
Adding a 3-D camera to mobile phones seems like a natural.
I fear the future.
Sometimes when the sheer vastness of my greatness overwhelms me, I like to stop for a minute and get grounded. I look past all the amazing things that make me "me" and take notice of those little things that make me feel less "me."
Which would be a humbling and amazing experience if I could actually think of anything like that. But I can't, because I am overflowing with awesomeness right now. Not much can bring you down when you're high on being me.
Which is not to say that people haven't been trying...
Maybe tomorrow the assholes, dumbfucks, trolls, losers, morons, and haters will take me down a notch...
...but not today.
"Well, technically she was correct..."
"Technically, you're an idiot."
If there's one universal truth you can count on, it's that anything... no matter how outrageously stupid... can be spun. Anything.
It's a Saturday night...
Today is the fortieth anniversary of the Hard Rock Cafe.
On June 14th, 1971 in London, England, Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton opened up a cafe serving American food with a rock-n-roll sensibility. One day Hard Rock fan Eric Clapton gave Tigrett a guitar. When Tigrett told him that he didn't play guitar, Clapton said he should hang it on the wall. When Pete Townsend found out about it, he wanted his guitar hanging on the wall too. Thus began the tradition of adorning Hard Rocks with rock-n-roll memorabilia, turning them into mini museums with some of the most astounding rock artifacts on the planet.
With the sole exception of Apple (and possibly Sony), I can't think of a company which has had more of an effect on my life than the Hard Rock Cafe. Since 1990 I've been to 137 properties around the world. Many of those places I would have never visited if not for the Hard Rock Cafe. In addition to encouraging me to see the world, it was the Hard Rock which first got me to share my life online. It was also the Hard Rock which is responsible for Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey coming into being...
As if that weren't enough, I've met dozens of fellow Hard Rock fans from around the globe who have become my friends.
To say I owe a lot to the Hard Rock Cafe is a bit of an understatement. I quite honestly don't know what my life would be like today without the place.
Undoubtedly it would be a lot less interesting.
So happiest of anniversaries and many thanks to the Hard Rock Cafe!
"He's got a huge erection."
"Sure. Great. Wait a second... what?!?"
"He's got a huge selection."
"Ah, that makes more sense. I thought you said 'erection' there."
"I did say 'erection.' You didn't sound like you were paying attention."
Getting a call from Bad Robert during daylight hours means one of two things... 1) He's farted and/or taken a crap and/or done something so outrageous that he's dying to tell somebody about it... or 2) He needs me to do him a favor of some kind. Usually it's the former but yesterday (thankfully) he needed a favor. Since he's helped me out lots of time, I'm happy to do him a solid when I can.
Turns out his internet was down and he needed help looking up some car parts for a restoration job he and his friend were working on. The problem was that every time I'd read off the info they wanted, they'd take five minutes to discuss it before telling me the next part to look up. Since I was completely buried, I would try and get some work done while they jabbered away. Inevitably I'd miss out on some critical part of the conversation, so Robert decided to toss an erection into the equation to teach me a lesson...
A lesson about what I have no idea.
The battle for marriage equality in New York has the attention of the entire nation on both sides of the spectrum. If it passes, this will be a major step in ending the institutionalized bigotry against committed gay and lesbian couples wanting the same right to marry that everybody else has. Or the end of the world, depending on your views.
A week ago while trying to figure out a way to lend my support to such a worthy and important cause, it occurred to me that Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey were "born" and "raised" in New York. They're New Yorkers! This led to a DaveToon modeled on the "New Yorkers for Marriage Equality" campaign...
But after I finished, I decided not to publish it out of fear that it might give the appearance of mocking something I care deeply about. The fact that my gay friends are seen as lesser people in the eyes of the law and their rights are up for debate is disgusting to me. I simply cannot fathom how this is even an issue in 2011. Even more disgusting is how the people most opposed to "big government" interfering in our lives are the same people pushing to have laws which strip tax-paying citizens of their rights. I guess "big government" is perfectly okay if it's persecuting people you don't like. This is the very definition of hypocrisy. It is anti-American. It has no business being a part of a country founded on the principle of freedom. It is just wrong. If you don't believe in gay marriage then don't marry somebody of the same sex... that's your decision. But you have no right to make that decision for everybody else in the United States of America. End of story.
So as the New York Senate reconvenes today to debate whether homosexuality is grounds to relegate somebody to being a second class citizen, I remembered the cartoon and changed my mind. People can look at it however they want, but it sums up my feelings on the matter completely: Government has no fucking business telling consenting adults who they can love and marry. And it's no less true if it's coming from a cartoon.
God-like powers in some hands would be a mistake.
Not mine, of course... but in some...
This past week the Mad Magazine blog has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of their most enduring and beloved features... Spy vs. Spy! Sadly, the strip's original creator, Antonio Prohías, died in 1998, but his brilliant creations have lived on. When I was a kid, I loved Spy vs. Spy. It was clever and, even more important to me at that point, extremely well-drawn. It was also one of my favorite parts of Mad and I collected every Spy vs. Spy book, sticker, toy, and game I could find.
And last night, in celebration of the anniversary, I read through my copy of Spy Vs. Spy: The Complete Casebook. The cartoons never get old, and hold up very well from even their earliest days.
Apparently, Ron Howard is developing a Spy vs. Spy movie! I have no idea how that would work, but I admit to being intrigued. Animated? Live-Action? COMBINATION?!? Only Opie knows for sure.
I've been mostly out of touch for the past several days, which is what happens when you spend every waking minute trying to get caught up with work before leaving for a week.
So I can then get behind all over again.
Two of my favorite lovely ladies in the blogosphere are celebrating milestone birthdays!
Becky turned 40 yesterday! I first met Becky at TequilaCon 2008 in Philadelphia. Since then we've bumped into each other at blogging events such as Avitaween and ConFab (where I learned that Becky packs a knife, and will totally cut a bitch for reals). By the time we first met that fateful day in May, I had already known Becky for months (thanks to the power of the internet) and thought she was awesome. But her online awesomeness pales when compared to her in-person awesomeness. Meeting Becky is not just a happening, it's an event. An experience. You fall in love with her instantly and become insanely jealous when she's talking to somebody who's not you. Despite turning you into a psychotic stalker, I highly recommend The Becky Experience if you even have the opportunity.
CRAZY-ASS BECKY TRIVIA MOMENT! For years on the internet, Becky was known as "Hello Haha Narf." When she first started appearing, I remember people asking me what in the hell that meant. I told them I didn't know. But the truth is I really did. Pinky and the Brain is one of the greatest cartoons ever made, so of course I know that "Hello Haha Narf" was how Pinky started his letter to Santa in the Christmas episode. To this day I have no idea why I lied. Maybe because I thought it was Becky's story to tell. Maybe because I liked the idea that I knew something about Becky other people didn't. Maybe I thought it was funny. Or maybe in addition to turning you into a psychotic stalker, Becky also turns you into a lying liar who lies. The world may never know.
Suebob turns 50 today! Unfortunately, I haven't met Suebob in person yet. I came really close in 2007 when she was going to come to Dave L.A. but didn't for some reason. Probably because after she said she was planning on coming, she took a minute to actually read my blog and decided for her personal safety and sanity that she shouldn't. And that's okay. I totally understand. If I read the crazy crap I write on Blogography, I would be afraid to meet me too. So no hard feelings. You go ahead and have a happy birthday, Suebob, and try not to think of me sitting at Lucky Strike sobbing quietly while asking everyone that passes "Where is Suebob? Have you seen Suebob?" Because I will be okay. Eventually. =sniff!= For the past 50 days, Suebob has been featuring charities on her blog where people can make a donation in lieu of a present (including my favorite charity). They are worthy organizations all, so please drop by and donate to somebody on her list if you have a few bucks to spare.
CRAZY-ASS SUEBOB TRIVIA MOMENT! Suebob's blog is called The Red Stapler. I actually have a red stapler at work! It's a beautiful Swingline 747 stapler that I bought way back in 2002 and it still operates perfectly today. I think Swingline made red staplers specifically because Milton had one in Office Space, and it looked so cool that everybody wanted one. At least I know I did... but I had to wait three years before I could buy one.
Happiest of birthdays to you both!
Despite delays, more delays, and a 55-minute wait for my luggage... it was pretty much smooth sailing...
I love it when cool stuff like this goes viral.
Tonight's the night!
Lack of sleep is starting to have an effect...
Lack of sleep is starting to have an effect...
Lack of sleep is starting to have an effect...
Some people aren't happy unless they have all the bananas.
This kind of ambition doesn't bother me.
It's what they're willing to do to get all the bananas that bothers me.
How can it be "one of those days" if it's a Saturday?
Sometimes I just get really tired of the battle. It never ends.
But you can't win if you don't play.
The waiting is the hardest part...
I remember what it was like to sleep. Good times. Good times.
Except I rarely sleep anymore. I just don't seem to get tired...
...until the minute it's time to get up and go to work, then I'm totally tired.
But then the night comes and the cycle repeats all over again...
I really don't like taking drugs if I can help it, but this is getting ridiculous. You know it's ridiculous when you fondly remember the good ol' days when you were only complaining about getting four hours of sleep instead of no sleep at all.
Four hours seems like something from a dream now.
If I could fall asleep to have it.
If you happen to have a monkey with a sledgehammer available, I highly recommend them as the perfect solution for insomnia...
Of course, a handful of Nytol will do the trick too...
Nothing quite like losing 15% of your retirement fund in less than two months. So happy I pay a bunch of experts to manage my money! Something tells me I would have been better off investing my money in hookers. Sure it uses my long-term asset for a short-term investment with no long-term payoff... and comes with some really heavy risk factors... but at least I would be stimulating the local economy.
And my penis.
What's odd is that my retirement plan is fairly low-risk. I can't imagine how much I would have lost were I still in the high-risk/high-yield program I was in just five years ago.
And don't think I'm not grateful that I at least have something left in my retirement account. There are many, many people out there who are not so lucky. Stupid economy.
So, yeah, I'm a little worried about my retirement.
But that's quite a ways away. And, as of today, is even further away than it was last month.
The more immediate concern is my upcoming vacation. I haven't worked out all the details yet, but if the US dollar gets much worse, my travels are going to take a turn for the worse...
On the other hand, I would be meeting new and interesting people.
To the person who asked, the cartoon character you see on Blogography is indeed a visual representation of me. Or rather, a representation of my inner child. The story of how the design came about is here. But the design itself is based on a photo of me as a kid. I don't think I've published it before, so here you go...
The hair is based on many, many other photos of how it looked through most of my childhood (and a and a big chunk of my adulthood)...
And there you have it. Thanks for the email!
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But it was still a good game. You'll get 'em next time, Sox!
And, before I forget... SALTALAMACCHIA!!!
Not the best day.
And yet, I should probably be grateful because it wasn't the worst day either.
It was just long and busy and difficult and ended too soon for me to get caught up on the mountains of work that never seems to go away. This puts me in the odd position of wishing that a long, never-ending day was even longer. Which is wholly depressing and surprisingly encouraging at the same time.
I leave on vacation in a couple weeks, so at least there's that to keep me going...
Though, given the absolutely heinous exchange rate for the near-worthless US Dollar, I may have to declare bankruptcy by the time I get back. So even vacation is not exactly the drama-free escape I was hoping for.
Is anything ever?
I spent my entire day wishing it was tomorrow so it would be my last day at work before vacation. All the while secretly wishing I had just one more day to get caught up with life before I leave.
But the simple truth is that there's never enough time no matter how many days you have. Wishing for one more day would only result in me wishing for yet another day when my one more day is up. And so on. And so on. And then I'd never get a vacation. Unless somebody drugged me and shipped me off to parts unknown...
And so I've decided to ignore life and be happy that tomorrow is my last day before vacation.
I can totally ignore stuff good if I put my mind to it.
It took several hours, but I managed to un-brick my Apple TV and fix all my iDevices. There's still some issues (Apple ID is a creation of Satan... except, unlike the devil, Apple doesn't give you tech support in exchange for your immortal soul), but at least everything is mostly working as it should.
Now I need a drink.
Sometimes being a Certified Apple Whore is a lot more work than it should be.
Because you never see the other side of the story...
Seven years, six months, and twenty-six days ago, a young man wrote to a stranger on the internet out of desperation because there was nowhere else he could turn. All he wanted was a friendly ear to share his dream of escaping from the horrific life he had to endure. Escaping to a place where he wouldn't be bullied, teased, or beaten just because he existed.
And since then not a day goes by that I'm not reminded of how this poor kid woke up each morning trying to find the strength to make it through life just one more day.
How can I forget? Victims of bullying are killing themselves in record numbers because they can't see any other way to end the suffering.
And we as a society continue to let it happen.
Homophobic activists spare no expense in screaming to the world that gays are filthy perverts who are ruining civilization, destroying marriage, corrupting children, and causing God to plague us with hurricanes and earthquakes. They waste no opportunity to tell us that homosexuality is an evil abomination that should be driven from our community. They advocate sexuality to be nothing more than a "lifestyle" that only the most horrible people choose to embrace. They preach hatred and intolerance to the masses and feign shock when their words inspire an environment so hostile that people would rather die than be forced to live in it.
And while everyone is entitled to their opinion, I'd argue that such ruthless persecution falls outside merely "voicing one's opinion" and could more realistically be described as "inciting violence."
Not that there haven't been steps in the right direction.
Since I got the email that changed my life back in 2004, there have been a number of organizations started to help troubled LGBT youth find inspiration, hope, and help. The It Gets Better Project is a shining example of how people can combat the hatred, lies, and fear that the truly perverse elements of society use to make innocent kids think that their life isn't worth living. Happily, other such amazing projects are arriving all the time. Society is starting to use tolerance and truth to reclaim ground lost by discrimination and lies.
And today is Spirit Day when millions will be wearing purple as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. It's a way of telling them that despite everything they have to endure, there are people out there who care about them. That they matter. That they are loved. That there are people out there who are fighting for them...
Seven years, six months, and twenty-six days ago a young fan of my blog wrote to me because there was nowhere else he could turn. Such a heartbreaking tragedy is unforgivable. Fortunately, it's also fixable. It's just a matter of caring enough to want things to change.
Then doing your part to make it happen.
Help out when you can.
Speak up when you're able.
Create a world in which LGBT youth are celebrated and accepted for who they are.
Well, somebody backed into my car. AGAIN.
It seems like only yesterday a motorhome backed into it (actually, it was 42 days ago, but who's counting?), but at least that guy gave me his insurance card once I explained the damage. Whoever hit me this time knocked my license plate and frame clean off the car and then just left. The plate used to have a small buckle in it, but now it's completely bent to shit. I have no idea if I can hammer it out so it will fit on the car again. I don't know if I can repair the frame either, which is now cracked and warped out of shape.
Just my luck the police will give me a ticket for not having a front license plate.
Assuming they can even see it. Apparently my car is invisible.
Like Wonder Woman's plane...
Let's see if I can escape tomorrow relatively dent-free.
Hope everybody had a safe and happy Halloween!
As this is November 1st, it's time for MOVEMBER, when a lot of guys will be trying to raise money for prostate cancer research and other men's health issues. They will do this by asking people to sponsor them as they valiantly use their ability to grow facial hair for the betterment of all mankind.
Since I am already sporting facial hair out of sheer laziness, I've decided to have Lil' Dave take up the challenge, and I'll post his progress throughout the month...
But, since cartoon characters can't enter the fundraising bid, I'm asking that you please sponsor everybody's favorite sometimes-inappropriate dad blogger... Michael "The Muskrat"...
Photo taken when I went ghost-hunting with The Muskrat. He's the one on the right.
You can visit his MOVEMBER page by clicking this link. Please consider making a donation if you can... every little bit helps!
So I wouldn't have to drive home, then turn around and drive all the way back to Seattle for work today, I crashed at my sister's house last night. And while I did shave an hour off my commute, I still had to battle Seattle's horrendous traffic this morning. This meant over an hour in my car listening to the radio.
Big discussion of the day? Kim Kardashian deciding to get a divorce after 72 days of marriage...
Now, I fully admit that I don't know much about this woman. Probably because I don't give a flying fuck about the idiotic "reality television" garbage that's taking a shit all over my television. All I know is that her and her sister get paid millions of dollars to act like morons on TV, and Kim Kardashian got paid millions more for some kind of two-part "Wedding Special" that aired on the E! Network.
Then, a little over two months later, she decides that she doesn't want to be married after all. I'm assuming she gets to keep all the money from her "TV Special." I'm also assuming that this crap will guarantee that her reality show gets picked up for another season so she can whore out her divorce for even more millions.
Well, more power to her, I say. If people are so fucking stupid that they want to watch this shit on their televisions, then you go, girl. Get yourself paid. I have no problem with Kim Kardashian exploiting her excessive messed-up "life" for profit.
But what had me screaming my head off at the radio as I was driving down I-5 is how this "One Man, One Woman Union"... despite being a complete sham and a cash-grab... is considered the "only acceptable form of marriage" by hate groups like The National Organization for Marriage. Whereas a committed gay couple wanting to get married is not.
In all seriousness, I am sick to death of this stupid shit.
All these assholes who have nothing better to do than crap all over other people's happiness by dictating whether two consenting adults can or cannot get married in a country founded on freedom can just go fuck themselves. Sideways. Then die.
Nonsensical stuff like this gets me so angry I can barely see straight. I spent most of my morning in an absolute rage. While I was working I was composing a blog entry in my head... ranting endlessly about how full of crap people like Maggie Gallagher and Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum are for their hypocritical lunacy. It was going to be my most profanity-laden, explosive blog post ever.
But then I checked my Twitter feed while on a break and saw that somebody had re-tweeted this gem from Star Trek's Lt. Sulu, George Takei...
EXACTLY! Thank you Mr. Takei.
So-called "traditional marriage" between a man and a woman has been doing a great job of fucking up things for decades all by themselves. With a skyrocketing divorce rate now exceeding 50%, blaming the gays for ruining things is about the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.
Which makes sense, because the people cramming this bullshit down our throats are about the stupidest fucking people I've ever heard.
Here's hoping they all die out real soon now so the rest of us can move on.
Well today was a vicious shark extreme kind of day.
And not in a good way.
Guess I should start taking a spear gun with me everywhere I go.
And here we go again.
If you live in any of the antiquated backwaters of the USA that observe Daylight Saving Time, tonight before going to bed you get to move your clock back an hour.
And speaking of DST ending... a while back, Coal Miner's Granddaughter sent me an awesome video link about Daylight Saving Time and said it sounded like something I would make. It's well worth your time to watch...
And she was right. It does sound like something I would make. Except I would have used the word "fuck" at least twenty times. Because it's impossible for me to talk about stupid fucking Daylight Savings without going fucking insane over how fucking idiotic it is. Let's just split the difference, move our clocks back a half hour... AND THEN NEVER FUCKING TOUCH THOSE FUCKING CLOCKS AGAIN!
In other news, HAPPY GUY FAWKES DAY everybody!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to celebrate by occupying my bed for a nap.
Looks like somebody has a case of the Mondays!
And that somebody is me, which means I have no desire to blog tonight.
I do have a desire to eat crackers and drink Kool-Aid, however.
I was reeeeeally looking forward to Eddie Murphy hosting the Oscars. They might have actually been worth watching next year. Now its not going to happen.
Last night after a marathon work session, I decided to check my news feed one last time before bed. The breaking story of the night? Adobe is killing Flash Mobile.
Which is sweet vindication for Steve Jobs and Apple, who recognized a turd when they saw it. Now if only we could kill this stupid crap on our desktops and laptops, I'd really have reason to celebrate. I am beyond tired of my MacBook's battery bleeding out and the fan kicking in every time I come across a website running Flash content. I tried disabling it and using "Click-To-Flash," but there are sites I use for work which require it, so until it just DIES (or web developers wake up) I'm stuck.
And speaking of dying, the Republicans had yet another debate and this happened...
Rick Perry, who actually had a chance at one point, crashed and burned hard when he said he was going to get rid of shit, but couldn't remember which shit he wanted to get rid of. The media firestorm over this flub has been kind of harsh, but the guy is just nuts when it comes to speaking in public (in general) and debating (specifically) so I guess it was only a matter of time. He's done.
Jon Huntsman actually did quite well, I thought. But boy is he the bastard red-headed step-child of the Republican party. It's a real shame too, because he is a level-headed guy that seems to steer clear of the radical side of the GOP pool. If he had some real backing and was given half a chance, I think he might be a good opponent in the 2012 election. But he doesn't. He's done.
Ron Paul continues to alternate between insightful commentary and crazy-talk, which wouldn't be a show-stopper at this debate if it weren't for the fact that he turns into Debbie Downer every time he opens his mouth. He just can't seem to inspire people, which is kind of an important part of being president. Even worse? It's a critical part of winning elections. He's done. Unless he is tapped to be the Vice Presidential candidate on the ticket. As Joe Biden has repeatedly shown, inspired leadership is apparently totally irrelevant to the VP position. Plus... Paul has a fanatical following which could make him an asset to the race.
Michele "Bat-Shit-Crazy" Bachmann and Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum were always done. Their continued presence is turning the GOP into more of a joke every minute they're allowed to have a seat at the table. I can only imagine that this is some kind of strategy by whomever is running the show. No matter how badly The Chosen One (=cough= Romney =cough=) messes up, people can still point and laugh at Bachmann and Santorum's ridiculous antics. Talk about the living embodiment of a lightning rod... they make excellent distraction fodder for Democrats to focus on. But what happens when they go away?
Newt Gingrich continues to impress me despite the fact that I still disagree with most all of his politics. And the reason he impresses? The guy is a top-notch politician. And I think he is absolutely correct when he says that he would be lethal in a debate with President Obama. But, as much as I would love to see that, I just can't imagine it actually happening. Gingrich keeps holding on because he's garnered a lot of respect in his arena. But he can't hold on like that forever. Ultimately, he has to sway his party and, despite having one of the more articulate, non-wavering, clear voiced visions I've seen here, he's not doing that. Maybe it's his numerous past scandals holding him back. Maybe it's his reluctance to speak in 30-second soundbites. Maybe he just isn't what the majority of Republicans want in a candidate. I honestly don't know. He's almost done. Personally, I think he's make a good choice for the VP slot (can you imagine him debating Vice President Biden?).
Herman Cain keeps losing ground with me but, not surprisingly, he keeps gaining ground in his party. Even putting aside the current sexual harassment scandals swirling around him, I just don't get it. Tonight he proved that not only is he crazy, he's also a disrespectful piece of shit (and quite possibly a sexist asshole...Princess Nancy?!? Seriously? THIS is a presidential candidate?). Look, you will get no argument from me -none- that our tax system is fucked up and needs a complete overhaul. But this
Mitt Romney is all but assured of the nomination. He would have to kill a puppy with his bare hands while receiving oral sex from a donkey during the Super Bowl Halftime Show in order to be passed over at this point. A part of me gets it. The guy feels presidential. He may actually have a decent shot in the election. But what the hell? The Republicans crucified... crucified... Barack Obama over his occasional flip-flopping, yet Mitt Romney is the fucking king of flip-flops. You literally never know what the hell the guy stands for because the only consistent thing about him is his inconsistency. Even worse? He then proceeds to lie about it. Badly. It's as if he doesn't realize that people record everything he says. As if all that weren't enough, he's a Mormon, which would usually be the kiss of death. A lot of Christians refer to Mormonism as a cult for heaven's sake (Google it and stand back in awe!). Given the Christian Conservative backbone of the GOP, Romney's high standing in the race is surprising to say the least. In all honesty, I don't think he's a challenge to President Obama in 2012. Well, unless Obama kills a puppy with his bare hands while receiving oral sex from a donkey during the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Then he might have a chance.
My hopes of a candidate emerging to present a serious challenge for the presidency are diminishing quickly. The last thing I want is for President Obama to go unchecked and win the election in a cake walk. He's caved or backpedaled on a lot of things I really care about, and my frustration levels are growing (despite progress made in other areas I also care about). I want his feet held to the fire on his continuing lobbyist connections. I want answers on what happened to this "transparency" we were promised. I want some of his decisions challenged in a way that only a strong opposition candidate can provide. I want a real debate.
Apparently, I want too much.
How is it I can work 13 hours straight and not feel like I've accomplished a dang thing?
And now it's time for a MOVEMBER UPDATE!
If YOU would like to support research for curing prostate cancer and other health issues affecting men, won't you consider making a small donation to The Muskrat's Movember Fundraising Page? Every little bit helps, and you'll help justify his burgeoning porn-star looks to his wife...
And now I suppose it's time to get back to work.
But first? TACOS!!
Thanks to my Mom, Dad, and all the other veterans out there! Your service to your country, whether past, present, or future, is greatly appreciated!
Wah. I have a stomach ache this Bullet Sunday.
• Treat? I realize I'm probably late to the party on this one, but I am just now hearing about Pox Pops. Apparently, some parents are so opposed to vaccinating their kids against chicken pox that they are going to extreme measures to purposely infect them. They do this by having the parents of pox-ridden kids lick a lollipop and mail it to them... SO THEY CAN HAVE THEIR KID SUCK THE POX OFF OF IT! The idea being that once you get chicken pox, you're immune for the rest of your life...
I don't pretend to know about the benefits/dangers of vaccinating children (because I don't have any)... but this sounds pretty fucked up to me. Gawd only knows what was sucking on that pop before your kids get their hands on it.
• Leat? I can't adequately summarize the horrors of this story I just read about growing laboratory meat (leat?), so you'll just have to go read it for yourself...
Photo by Francois Lenoir of Reuters
As a vegetarian, I honestly can't say which disgusts me more... dead animal flesh... or this abomination of nature. Holy crap. Is a soy burger really that awful an alternative?
• Sweet! After his surprisingly brilliant appearances on Saturday Night Live, I've become a bit of a Justin Timberlake fan. He's incredibly talented and funny as hell. But it's good to know that he's a nice guy on top of it all. Earlier this year, he received a public video invitation from Corporal Kelsey DeSantis to attend the Marine Corps Ball...
Much to everybody's surprise, he agreed to go...
And then... he actually went! And if there were any doubters out there thinking that he was going as some kind of publicity stunt, he wrote a really nice recap of the experience on his blog they should read...
The lucky bastard! Justin ended up with a sexy Marine that can kick his ass. Talk about your dream date! Semper Fi, Marine. Semper Fi.
On that happy note, my stomach demands I call it a night.
I hate snow.
Actually, that's not true. Snow is pretty. And you can do fun stuff in it.
What I really hate is the people who make me hate the snow. Which is just about everybody... but mostly the people who are driving in it. Like the moron I followed home after work who was driving 5mph in a 25mph zone. Never mind that the snow wasn't even sticking to the road and the biggest danger was getting your tires wet... IT'S SNOWING! SO YOU HAVE TO DRIVE 20MPH UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT OR EVERYBODY DIES!
But worse than those people are the people who drive 45mph in a 25mph zone when the snow is falling like gangbusters and the road is so slick with ice that it's all you can do to keep from sliding off it. Inevitably these are the assholes who end up behind me, grinding on my bumper as I try to survive the drive home.
Too slow for conditions. Too fast for conditions. You just can't win when it comes to snow.
Anway... can you guess what happened today?
Couldn't this have waited until AFTER I fly out on Friday?
Of course not! You just can't win when it comes to snow.
I'm in Atlanta 3-5 times a year now, so I stopped doing the whole "Davelanta" blogger meet-up thing. I was getting paranoid thinking about everybody going "Shit! Dave's going to be here AGAIN? Wasn't he just here a couple weeks ago?!?" So instead I just Blog/Tweet/Facebook when I'm going to be in town and let people "opt-in" if they feel like meeting up... or "opt-out" by pretending they never saw it.
Except I found out that some people never saw it for reals and got left out, so I feel bad. Maybe if I sent out an email telling people when I'm here and asked them NOT to come, they wouldn't feel obligated to show up, but would come anyway if they really wanted? I dunno. Miss Manners doesn't offer any advice for this kind of stuff.Anyway... I did end up having a terrific evening with The Muskrat, Whipstitch, and Coal Miner's Granddaughter tonight. We did the usual catching up and talking about what's going on in our lives, but this time there was an entirely NEW activity... reading aloud your favorited tweets. That ended up being good for all kinds of laughs because, apparently, the tweets that most people mark as a favorite are the funny ones. Good times.
Muskrat, that magnificent bastard, showed up sporting his Movember mustache. This means it must be time for an update as to how Lil' Dave is doing...
As always, if you can donate a few bucks to a very worthwhile cause, please visit The Muskrat's Movember Donation Page. Every little bit helps!
And now, I get to revel in the joy of doing nothing, because my work has been moved from Sunday morning to Monday night. Sweet! Doing nothing is one of my most favorite things to do!
Though I think everybody knows the odds of me actually doing nothing are fairly slim.
Sometimes I hate being me.
Except when I get to have dinner with awesome blogger friends like tonight. Then it's pretty awesome being me.
And so this happened...
Sitting next to a gum-smacking whore for 5-1/2 hours is the flight of my nightmares.
When the Delta Airlines Lady in the safety video is telling everybody what to do in case of emergencies, somehow this wasn't covered.
This is it! The final stretch of Movember is upon us!
First I'll update with how Lil' Dave is doing, then I'll tell you how you can enter to win AMAZING PRIZES for a mere $5.00 donation to help fight prostate cancer!
Hey! That filled in there pretty good! Surely that's worth a donation to The Muskrat's Movember Page, right? AND IF YOU DONATE NOW, YOU CAN WIN AN AMAZING PRIZE PACKAGE!
All you need to do to enter is go to The Muskrat's Movember Page and donate $5 (or more if you want!) and leave a comment either below or on the original contest page letting us know you contributed. That's it!
After Movember has ended, we'll draw a winner for the following prize package worth well over $100...
• A CUSTOM DAVETOON and AVITATOON!
That's right! If you're our winner, Adam and I will each draw a cartoon just for you! Both toons will be printed on high-quality paper and sent to you ready for framing! ($ priceless!)
• A 12-MONTH AVITABLE WALL CALENDAR!
Adam has filled a calendar with twelve whole months of Avitable hotness for your monthly viewing pleasure! Contains profanity and partial nudity, so you know it's good! ($12)
• ARTIFICIAL DUCK CO. STUFF!
I've still got some hats, T-shirts, and playing cards left... and I'll assemble a nice selection of Artificial Duck Co. merchandise chosen especially for you! ($50+)
• THRICE FICTION MAGAZINES!
As if all that wasn't enough, you'll get two beautiful printed copies of the first two awesome issues of THRICE FICTION magazine! ($15)
Whatever gift package you choose, it will be shipped free of charge within the USA. If the winner is outside the USA, they are responsible for any shipping charges over domestic shipping costs (you can just PayPal it to me after I get the pricing from the post office and email it to you).
And there you have it! Please donate to this very worthy cause and you might just win!
REMEMBER! All you need to do to enter is go to The Muskrat's Movember Page and donate $5 (or more if you want!) and leave a comment either below or on the original contest page letting us know you contributed. That's it!
A second blanket has been added to my bed today. A third is probably not that far off. It's December now, so this is to be expected... yet I find myself wishing that winter was ending instead of just beginning. I suppose I could turn the heat on and pretend that winter has abated for some reason, but the illusion would be shattered the minute I walked outside tomorrow morning. And not just because I'll be attacked by geese in the parking lot.
By choosing harsh reality over fantasy, I'm probably not doing myself any favors.
That day will come when I finally break down and buy an electric blanket.
In the meanwhile I'll keep bundled up at night and think warm thoughts...
...assuming I can find any warm thoughts to think.
Dear Pizza Hut,
I love Pizza Hut breadsticks.
When I travel, I often times go from Pizza Hut to Pizza Hut so I can have your delicious breadsticks with their oh-so-crusty buttery tops covered in parmesan cheese that I love to dip in that rich, thick, sweetly flavorful red sauce. It's deliciousness I can count on no matter where I go... from London to Sydney to Tokyo to locations all over the good ol' USA. I write songs with Pizza Hut breadsticks in them. Most days I can honestly say that I'd rather have an order of Pizza Hut breadsticks than chocolate cake...
I wish I had Pizza Hut delivery in my small city, but I don't. My local Pizza Hut is thirty-five minutes away. I don't eat there very often because it's inconveniently located and usually requires a special trip. But tonight I was craving breadsticks, so I made a detour to get some.
Let me start out by saying that my server was excellent. She didn't just make me feel good about eating at Pizza Hut... she made me feel good about life. She was capable, friendly, helpful, energetic, enthusiastic, and knew exactly how to provide flawless, attentive service without being smothering. It was delightful.
But then the breadsticks came and I noticed something was wrong.
The sauce wasn't that luscious rich red color. It was kind of brownish-orangeish-red. It looked sad.
Then I went to dip a breadstick in it, and saw that it was thin and watery... not thick at all. This had the disastrous effect of turning my crispy breadstick soggy in the middle no matter how fast I took a bite after dipping.
And then I tasted it. Bland, uninspired, boring.
Are you now serving regular-old pizza sauce with your sticks instead of that sweet, succulent, scrumptiously zesty red sauce I know and love? Is that what's happening?
I sure hope not.
I hope this was just some terrible, terrible mistake. A temporary lapse of judgement, perhaps.
In this world gone mad, there's very few things people can count on. Delicious Pizza Hut breadsticks with red sauce is one of them. If that's no longer the case, then shame on you for taking a little happiness out of the universe at a time when we so desperately need it.
Right now all I can think about is my next visit to Pizza Hut and whether or not my beloved breadsticks will come with that wonderful sauce that makes life a little more bearable. I'm actually scared to go to Pizza Hut again in case it doesn't.
In happier news, there was a wonderful Google Doodle tribute to one of my all-time favorite artists, Diego Rivera, today...
If only I could Google up some real Pizza Hut breadsticks. Instead I'll just have to dream about them.
Unlike most every other day, I didn't bring any work home with me tonight. I'm dangerously close to a major case of burn-out, and just needed one night... one night... away from work. And so I took it!
And then spent all night worrying about the work that I'm not getting done. I knew I should have picked up a fifth of Jägermeister on the way home.
Last night on the way home, I went to Costco and bought cheese. There's not a lot of foods I eat enough of to buy in bulk. Cheese and chocolate pudding are about it. Though, thanks to Costco contributing
I think we can all look forward to that.
In the meanwhile, I think I'll eat some cheese.
In other news... Bad Monkey has a new job opportunity...
Granted, the scientists are only trying to find out if the radiation from the Fukushima meltdown is having an effect on the local wildlife, but it always seems so unfair that innocent animals have to pay for the mistakes of humans.
Though sometime, humanity manages to help out our furry friends instead of harm them.
A couple days ago there was a story about four deer being rescued from freezing waters by an Alaskan fishing charter. I can't get it out of my head, because it's such a great story...
If you haven't heard about it, you can find the story on Facebook. It's a heartwarming tale and well worth your valuable time.
And on that happy note...
May your holidays bring you peace and good cheer.May your holidays be forever lazy and filled with hot cocoa.
For those who only read one of my posts each year... or anybody wanting a recap of the past year here at Blogography... this post is for you! I've jettisoned loads of the usual junk so this entry is "mostly crap" instead of the "total crap" they usually are.
Overall, it was an okay year. Launched a new magazine. Got to escape the country and go to Venice, Spain and Australia. Got to meet one of THE BEST BANDS IN THE WORLD, Matt & Kim, in London. Didn't kill anybody. And any year you don't have to kill somebody can't be all bad, right?
• Did a three-part series on the evolution of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey, including a look at what could have been.
• Wrote an essay on Violence and America.
• Decided that I needed a new zodiac sign.
• Explained why it doesn't suck to be me when it comes to travel.
• Had an amazing day in Marbella, Spain.
• Ate some PATATJES MET!!
• What the world needs now is Unity and The Golden Rule.
• Had to take an unexpected detour that ended up being worth the inconvenience.
• Was horrified by the monsters who believe that a child lucky enough to have two daddies who will love and cherish him forever is unacceptable... but a child who is orphaned, unwanted, or unloved is somehow better off. Little Samuel is home at last.
• One of the biggest events of my year: launched Thrice Fiction Magazine.
• Took a break for a vacation in Venice, Italy.
• Had the absolute best birthday of my life when I got to hang out with Matt & Kim in London!
• Oh yes. Now that he's home, it sure looks like having two dads for parents is ruining poor little Samuel's miserable life.
• As if meeting Matt & Kim wasn't amazing enough, I got to see OMD in concert AND got to attend their rehearsal before the show!
• Found out that Donald Trump is nothing but a big liar on the Pee-Wee Dave Show.
• Gave a behind-the-scenes look at how the cover of Thrice Fiction came to be.
• Speculated that I'm not the only one whose life has been put in danger by a baking addiction.
• Went to Hawaii for work... and my Puka Dog addiction.
• Wondered for the hundredth time why Americans aren't rioting in the streets when they have so many good reasons to do so.
• Everybody panic... IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD!
• I'm corrupting America's youth, one breakfast at a time.
• Had some Photoshop fun in the face of a riot on "Don't Give a Fuck Day."
• Showed some love for National Chocolate Pudding Day.
• This year, a Very Special Davelanta.
• Went ghost-busting at the most haunted place in America.
• MEGA CAVERN AND HOT BUTTERED BALLS!
• Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum loves cock.
• My sleep routine leaves a lot to be desired.
• Decided to help out the Republicans with political advice via Happy Endings.
• Was traumatized to find out THIS happened to one of my favorite restaurants on earth.
• Took a short break for some hero worship.
• Saved a baby and pondered the fickle finger of fate.
• Finally managed to take that Trip to Australia that I always wanted.
• Hiked around Uluru (Ayer's Rock) as the Lord of the Flies in the Australian Outback.
• Fulfilled a life-long goal of diving The Great Barrier Reef.
• Got to spend the morning with Mooselet and Koalas.
• Um, yeah... went sailing in Fiji.
• Took time out for some EXTREME snorkeling with sharks and sea snakes in Fiji... then hung out with dolphins.
• Went purple for a very good reason.
• STUPID DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME explained on Guy Fawkes Day.
• DEATH TO THE WILHELM SCREAM!!
• A deer tale... a feel good story if there ever was one.
And that about wraps up 2011. Not a bad year, I guess. And you?
Hope your 2012 is a good one, and thanks for reading!