I would like to send a big "thank you" to Congress, The President, and all our elected officials for their hard work on coming to a deal to avoid the so-called "Fiscal Cliff." Totally excellent work, guys. You completely lived up to my lofty expectations. That extra money coming out of my paycheck each month? Totally fucking worth it. I'd recommend that everybody involved get a raise, but you've already given yourself one.
Who says that the American government is filled with useless pieces of shit who are more interested in salvaging their cushy careers and getting their hands on special interest money than serving the American people? Not me! My confidence is running high that we're on the right track now, and everything's going to be just awesome as we barrel forward into the future...
Thanks once again to the best government money can buy! You guys rock!
Five days in, and I can't say that 2013 is shaping up to be much of an improvement over 2012. But, then again, 2012 ultimately turned out okay for me, so I suppose this isn't a bad thing.
Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I sat down and tried to figure out what I have to do to make this year something better. A lot of things were written down... people... places... goals... changes... but, in the end, everything kept coming back to one thing...
If I had more money, I could do this.
If I had more money, I could change that.
If I had more money, I could have those.
If I had more money...
...well, everything would be better, wouldn't it?
Some people say money is the root of all evil. And it's been said that money can't buy happiness. But if there is one thing I'm sure of, it's that money has no conscience and money can indeed buy happiness. And much, much more...
So, if you have a couple million dollars you're not using...
Good luck tomorrow, guys!
And... something unexpected just came up.
Instead of blogging, I have to hop in my car and drive a lot.
Let's see how many 16-hour workdays I can manage before I die... shall we?
Totally drawing a blank tonight.
Having a blog about nothing in particular means that sometimes nothing in particular shows up.
When I woke up, there was a dull ache in my frontal lobe. I thought maybe I had smacked my head on the nightstand or something, and tried to ignore it.
By the time I got to work, the pain had escalated to something impossible to ignore, so medication was in order. Alas, it was over-the-counter medication which did absolutely nothing.
I lasted three hours before I couldn't take it any more. It was time to take my head home before I puked on my desk or something equally disturbing...
And so here I am... too drugged up to concentrate on work, but not drugged up enough to sleep.
About all I'm good for is a quick blog entry, which is serendipitous, I suppose.
Ever feel like there's something missing, but you don't know what it is?
Back in 2005, I threw my tall hat into the ring to be considered for Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. I don't know if you heard, but I was not elected, despite my astounding credentials.
Instead the The College of Cardinals elected Darth Benedict XVI, who went on to disgrace The Church and worked overtime to reverse much of the good will that Pope John Paul II worked so tirelessly to build with other faiths and the world.
Well, now that His Holiness has decided to resign, The College of Cardinals has a chance to rectify their poor judgement and make the choice they should have made all along...
I hereby announce that once again I am putting forth my name for consideration to be elected Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.
Partly because I think the PopeMobile would be a great way to pick up women... but mostly because I look great in really tall hats and a dress.
And I'm already infallible, so there's that.
So inform your priest... write to the bishop of your local diocese... contact your favorite cardinal... pray to The Almighty... and tell them all that DAVE IS MY POPE!
It's been a sucktastic week so far.
I really wish I could go into a com fora the rest of it, but I'll consider myself lucky if I can just get a couple of hours sleep tonight.
And now in a totally unrelated topic... remember when Wheel of Fortune had a "Shopping Showcase" where the winner of a round could take their money and shop for absurd prizes?
Whatever happened to that? Without the Showcase thing, Wheel of Fortune is kinda boring.
CGP Grey, whose fantastic videos I have posted here a number of times, made a new video just for me last week:
HOW TO BECOME POPE!
And now that Il Papa has left the building, and the position is officially available, I thought it important that I take a look...
Okay, I'm pretty sure I can create a bishop vacancy... accidents happen all the time. Then I'm confident it's just a matter of a lot of money greasing the right palms to slide into a bishopship. No problem there, as Kickstarter was made for this kind of thing.
But becoming a cardinal?
The current Pope has to appoint me to cardinalship.
And he just retired, so that's a problem.
Maybe if I can just go all Mission: Impossible and eliminate a cardinal so I can impersonate him with a face-mask and get the rest of the cardinals to elect me Pope? I do look good in red...
After impersonating a cardinal with a good chance at Pope, then getting the other cardinals to vote me Pope, I can then take the name Pope Dave Two the First. THEN I can go pray in private at the Sistine Chapel, remove my disguise, and emerge with my own face. Then I'll just convince everybody that God came down and re-made me in his image. Which should be simple thanks to my God-like visage.
Easy. LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN, PEOPLE!
But first, it's time to watch more CPG Grey videos. What a time-suck his YouTube Channel is...
Okay, now let's get to work...
Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day.
Like every St. Patrick's Day, I'll find myself wanting to return to Ireland. I haven't been there since 2004 (to see the new Hard Rock Cafe), so I'm due. But I don't want to go until I have at least a week to explore the west coast, which is why that trip probably isn't going to happen any time soon. That makes me have the sads
Anyway... this is my favorite of all the St. Patrick's Day DaveToons. I'm repeating it because I doubt I could come up with anything better given that I've got about six shots of Jägermeister in me...
Hope yours is a happy one!
Time to get ready for the weekend!
If you don't hear from me by Tuesday, alert the authorities.
Today's the day our Supreme Court gets to decide whether they are going to be on the right side of history.
I find it absurd that a country founded on personal freedoms is set up so that nine people are going to tell gays and lesbians whether or not they can marry the person they love, but here it is. They'll either decide that taxpaying gay Americans are equal citizens deserving of marriage... or they'll decide that a citizen's freedom to marry should be regulated by the government and it is the law, not love, which dictates who can or cannot be married.
What a load of crap. Because, honestly, why should anybody give a shit what two consenting adults do with their relationship? Marriage equality has been legal here in Washington State for months and you know what's changed? Gay people can get married... THAT'S IT! No straight couple has suddenly been told they can't get married any more. Nobody is being forced to get "gay married." The sky hasn't fallen. Life goes on.
Unless you're gay, marriage equality DOES NOT AFFECT YOU.
But equality for every American affects everybody. Here's hoping the Supreme Court is smart enough to see that.
I guess it really is all downhill from here.
Not much I can do but try and enjoy the ride.
I'm trying not to work all weekend.
And so I broke my tooth.
I don't know how I did it, but I ended up with this sharp crag that kept jabbing my tongue and catching food. My dentist was out last week, so a stand-in dentist ground it down. This kept me from going insane while I was at Disneyland, but didn't solve the problem.
Today was the day for that.
When it comes to dental work, I can't even stand to get my teeth cleaned. So you can imagine how I react to tooth reconstruction. The stabbing. The numbness. The grinding. The scraping. It's all I can do to keep from screaming the whole time. Fortunately, I have a really good dentist, so it was over before I knew it.
The good news? My repaired tooth is beautiful. It fits my bite like a glove.
The bad news? Something is bruised inside my jaw. Once the anesthesia wore off, I was in really bad shape...
Luckily, I still have some Oxycodone left over from my last kidney stone, and it's doing a wonderful job of keeping me from jumping into oncoming traffic to get rid of the pain. I can only hope that whatever is killing me will get better overnight, because I do not have time for this...
Awwww! Who doesn't love Sweet Brown? Especially now that she's doing ads for a dentist!
And now I suppose I should take more prescription drugs and call it a day.
But first? Chocolate pudding.
After three days, I'm finally starting to feel better. Not that I'll be doing cartwheels in my living room or anything...
Happy Star Wars Day!
Which would be a lot more fun if I had internet. Oh well.
Darth Monkey would say "May the Fourth be with you"... but they don't do that on the Dark Side.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Hopefully you're somewhere drinking way too much while having the time of your life. Meanwhile I'm sitting on my couch working while the internet keeps fading in and out.
It's a real party.
Or could be, if I had some tequila...
In any event, NO BULLET SUNDAY FOR YOU! It'll have to wait until tomorrow when (hopefully) I'll have my internet fixed.
Tomorrow I'm heading to the East Coast for one day.
Well, technically, it's three days... one to get there... one to work... then one to get back.
Or I suppose I am actually flying to the East Coast for two hours, which is about how long my work will take me. After that, I'm just goofing off to kill time.
In any event, there are some things that emails, video chats, and overnight delivery can't fix, so off I go...
And there goes my weekend.
I am not a big fan of bugs. It's not like I faint when I see them or anything... it's just that I prefer not to be around them. Unless I am at a zoo. And there is glass between me and the bugs.
So you can imagine my horror at having to research bugs when I need to draw them. And it happens more often than you'd think... most recently for issues of THRICE Fiction magazine. At first I'm always my usual squeamish self but, after looking at a few hundred photos of the little devils close-up, I start to appreciate their beauty. Often times they have features unlike anything else you can find on earth and it's not hard to appreciate this kind of artistry on such a small scale.
But I digress.
We've reached the time that a bizarre insect known as the cicada starts making one of their rare appearances. After seventeen years underground, they dig their way to the surface where they molt, eat, mate, then die... by the bazillions. We don't have cicadas here in my little corner of Washington State, but I've seen a cicada bloom before. It's pretty much "bugageddon," and the things are crawling everywhere... all while making crazy levels of noise. It's pretty creepy even if you aren't afraid of bugs. Fortunately it only lasts a couple weeks.
When my writer-friend (and frequent THRICE Fiction contributor) Susan Tepper mentioned that she was sweeping them off her home, a "Cicada Challenge" was born, and I had to draw her a picture of one.
I always thought that a poor cicada who spends seventeen years underground waiting for sex would be a little mental when it's finally time to dig his way out, so I gave him crazy eyes...
Along with the drawing, I also wrote this poem for Susan...
Fifteen years and two I'm sleeping
Dreaming of the day I'm leaping
Now it's time to start the humping
But before I get to jumping
I dig, I molt, I eat, I'm singing
Looking for a date I'm springing
Now I'm dead my shell is crushing
Susan's broom and deadly brushing
All those years of patient waiting
Biding time 'til I start mating
No chance now for happy screwing
A lust for love was my undoing
I should have stayed in bed
And now I can put cicadas behind me. Well, for seventeen years anyway.
CONGRATULATIONS BLACKHAWKS ON YOUR STANLEY CUP WIN!!
I wish I was in Chicago right now.
Oh... wait a second... deja vu.
Nope. Not yet.
Kapgar was talking about the Stanley Cup's triumphant return to Chicago in his blog post today, and it got me to thinking back to how I became a Blackhawks fan. That, in turn, got me thinking about how I became a fan of all the league sports teams that I follow.
A blog post was born. Thanks, Kevin!
Boston Red Sox Baseball
Baseball is hands-down my favorite sport. It was the only game I liked playing as a kid (even though I really could't play) and I love watching it. Baseball just seems more intimate and personal for some reason, and it's easier to feel a relationship with the players than with any other sport. When your team loses, it hurts because you're invested with those nine players. The first pro team I rooted for was my "hometown" Seattle Mariners, which were enfranchised when I was 11 years old. That lasted until I was in my mid-teens and was given an brand new Orioles jersey as a gift (probably because somebody didn't want it). I didn't know a darn thing about the Orioles, but I liked the shirt a lot. That was apparently enough for me to become a fan, and it didn't hurt that the Orioles were an amazing team back in the early 80's. But, truth to be told, I was never really into professional baseball growing up. I'd rather watch a high school game than a League team, and I was a "fan" of the Mariners and Orioles only in the vaguest possible terms.
And then it happened.
While I was in college, I had to read the book Shoeless Joe for some class or another. It provided an insight into baseball and the love of the game that completely captivated me. A key story-point to the book was the "Black Sox" scandal that rocked the world of baseball in 1919. It was such a fascinating story that I became a little obsessed with it, and ended up reading a lot about the sport. Fortunately, there were no shortage of books about America's favorite pastime, and one book lead to another... then another... then another... until I landed on a Ted Williams biography. This lead to a run on Boston greats, starting with Cy Young, which lead to Smoky Joe Wood, which lead inevitably to Babe Ruth... and his infamous trade from the Red Sox to the Yankees, which caused a curse that plagued the team for over eight decades. This eventually led me to become interested in pro baseball, in general, and the Red Sox, in particular. Then the movie Field of Dreams (based on the novel Shoeless Joe) was unleashed, became my favorite movie of all time, and instilled a love of Major League baseball in me that I never had before... but felt as if it had been with me my entire life. I've been a die-hard Red Sox fan ever since. I love the team. I love the history. I love the fans. I love Boston. And I love Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (probably a little too much). SALTALAMACCHIA!!!
Chicago Blackhawks Hockey
Hockey is not a big sport where I live, so I never really "discovered" it until I started traveling to Milwaukee for work in the mid 90's. I went to a couple Admirals games and was instantly hooked. The problem being that the Admirals are not a NHL team, so they were kind of hard to follow when I was not in Wisconsin. Eventually my fandom traveled down the shore of Lake Michigan to the Blackhawks when I started traveling to Chicago for work in 1998. I've been a fan ever since. I don't really keep up the League standings, but I have news alerts set for the Hawks so I can watch games and keep up with the team. Hockey remains one of my favorite sports to watch, so a Stanley Cup win for Chicago is a big deal to me after following the team from afar for 15 years. GO HAWKS!
Seattle Sonics Basketball
Sonics mascot SQUATCH!! Photo credit unknown.
Basketball is another spectator sport I enjoy because, like hockey, it's fast-paced and action-packed. The only team I've ever rooted for is my "hometown" Seattle SuperSonics, and I have more than a couple fond memories of traveling to Seattle Center Coliseum (later named Key Arena) to cheer on the team. Of course we all know how that turned out. Our team was sold to Tulsa and basketball died in Seattle. I haven't bothered to find a new team to follow since. INTERESTING FACT: Seattle Center Coliseum has the dubious honor of being the only venue where a basketball game was rained out. Back in 1986 a rainstorm was so severe that water started pouring through the roof and the game was forfeited. It's also the venue where The Beatles played in their two tours of Seattle in 1964 and 1966.
New York Liberty Women's Basketball
I'm not going to candy-coat this... for the longest time, I had -zero- interest in women's sports, thinking that they would be a pale imitation of the real thing. That all changed when I was taken to a New York Liberty game in Newark. These ladies played their guts out, and I got to see a fantastic game that opened my eyes to the fact that women can bring it to the court every bit as dedicated as men. I am not an avid Liberty fan, but check in from time to time to see how they're doing and what's new with the roster. Since the Sonics are gone, I keep hoping I'll find time to take in some Seattle Storm WNBA games and maybe get interested in pro basketball again, but no luck so far.
Seattle Seahawks Gridiron Football
I find football kinda boring, so I'm not invested enough to have a team. If I were, it would be my "hometown" Seattle Seahawks. Probably because I was there in the beginning. Back in 1976 the NFL expansion granted Seattle a team, and it was an exciting time to be a Washingtonian. Seahawks were everywhere, and I remember collecting player posters from the backs of Lay's potato chips boxes (yes, potato chips used to come 2-small bags to a box back in the day). Players like quarterback Jim Zorn and wide receiver Steve Largent that were elevated to local heroes, and their charisma and enthusiasm for the team made it impossible not to root for the Seahawks. But, as I said, I'm not a big football fan, so any love I have for the team comes out of nostalgia more than anything else.
With apologies to my friends who are either Manchester United or Chelsea fans... Nick Hornby's novel, Fever Pitch, got me rooting for Arsenal first. The ultimate irony being that when the American movie version of Fever Pitch was made, the sports-obsessed character was a Boston Red Sox fan. Whenever I can find sports highlights for Arsenal, I'm sure to tune it, and I follow their stats every season.
Cronulla Sharks Australian Water Polo
When I was traveling around Australia, I saw a T-shirt for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Football Club. The logo was awesome (SHARK EXTREME!!!), but the shirt didn't come in my size, so I was bummed. When I got back to my hotel I Googled the team to see if there was a way to order a shit through the mail. Somehow, I ended up NOT on a Cronulla Sharks football page, but a Cronulla Sharks water polo page. Other than a vague recollection of water polo being an important Olympic sport, I didn't know much about the game and was curious. After some digging, I ran across internet video and was amazed. Water polo has to be one of the most difficult and grueling sports in existence. It's also a lot of fun to watch. And so I tune into water polo from time to time whenever I run across it on my television. I also keep up with both the Women's and Men's Cronulla Sharks teams because they were what started it all for me.
Sadly I haven't decided on a professional curling team to watch, so I guess that's the end?
I'm now mostly dead.
Which is understandable considering I just got finished with a seventeen-hour work day.
What I need now Is a vacation.
But that's a few weeks away yet. Darnit.
Time to pick up that mint julep... because Bullet Sunday starts now...
• Gone! For my first bullet, I'd like to thank Google for the big "fuck you" they drop tomorrow when they kill off Google Reader. It's great how you blow into town with some essential tool and dominate the entire market after killing off the competition... then abandon that market when you can't exploit it for millions of dollars. Way to be "not evil." Next up... Feed Burner?
• Gone Too! Just to show that Google doesn't have a monopoly in killing off services... Yahoo! is killing off a dozen products, including Alta Vista on July 8th, which was my go-to search engine back in the 1990's. Yahoo! says that you should now "Please visit Yahoo Search for all of your searching needs"... but my guess is that this will actually mean more search traffic for Google. Oh well. Another piece of internet history to be gone and forgotten.
• Schadenfreude! I try to be respectful of other people's beliefs and opinions... honestly I do. But the outpouring of hand-wringing over the repeal of DOMA and striking down of Prop 8 is just too delicious to ignore. Because, seriously, if you don't accept same-sex marriage, THEN DON'T MARRY SOMEBODY OF THE SAME SEX! There's really nothing more to be said on the matter, BECAUSE WHETHER OR NOT OTHER PEOPLE GET MARRIED DOESN'T AFFECT YOU! Apparently Justice Kennedy agrees, having denied an application to halt marriages in California.
The people yelling the loudest seem to be the people who make money from fighting against equality, which isn't really surprising. When you fail utterly in your job... bigoted as it may be... I suppose you have cause to be upset.
• Haunted! As a huge fan of visionary musician Trent Reznor (aka Nine Inch Nails) and visionary director David Lynch, the idea of them teaming up for a music video seems too good to be true. And now, after having seen their effort for Come Back Haunted, I know it was too good to be true. What a boring, predictable, and sadly expected video. Rather than looking like something cutting-edge and new, it reeks of all the "nihilistic" videos that were unleashed after the amazing opening credits for the movie SE7EN happened. This is made all the more sad when you consider that the song used in those opening credits was Closer... by Trent Reznor. So I just don't know. Was this meant to be some kind of homage? A parody perhaps? Some kind of commentary on all those who think intermixing shaky camera moves with disturbing images is still edgy? Lynch had a real opportunity here to take us in a new direction, and we get something that would have looked dated ten years ago. Maybe in another ten years he'll go techno-speed-nihilistic and give us a parody of the US credits from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?
• Here! And now we're to the part of Bullet Sunday where I offer up this bit of 80's Thompson Twins genius, courtesy of Sixteen Candles, just because it's there...
They don't make teen angst movies like that anymore.
• Rest in Peace. As somebody who lives in a fire zone and has been threatened by wildfires more than once, my heart goes out to the friends and family of the "Granite Mountain Hotshots," 19 of whom perished in a horrific fire northwest of Phoenix...
UPDATE: The Free Republic has an article remembering this elite team of firefighters.
And... back to work. I think I can still get in another two or three hours before I pass out.
Ooh! Today was Canada Day!
Apparently "Canada Day" is declared as such because July 1st is the anniversary date of the day when three North American colonies were super-glued together to form "Canada" in 1867. It seems a little unfair that there's no USA Day today. Instead we get Independence Day in three days and a newspaper called USA Today. I guess that's a fair trade.
In honor of The Great White North's special day, I've decided to re-print my "Canada Travel Journal" from 2009. Which, in turn, is a re-print of a guest-post I made for my Canadian compadre, LeSombre (whose blog is apparently down right now?).
And so, without further ado, here's my trips to Canada...
I've since been to Canada a few times. That I can remember. The latest being a cruise stop in Victoria in 2009... and TequilaCon Vancouver in 2010. Good times. Good times.
So congrats to our neighbor to the north, and here's to many happy Canada Days to come.
The past several days have been extremely difficult for me on many levels.
Which is why waking up to a very nice email first thing in the morning was enough to have me walking on air all day.
The letter was from "somebody you don't know" who wrote to thank me for keeping Blogography going, then tell me that today he removed a DaveToon from his cubical at work that had been hanging there ever since I first posted it to my blog over four years ago.
I was a little confused as to why he would write to me about REMOVING a cartoon I made... until I followed the link in his email and saw this...
All I could say in return was "Thanks so much. I'm sorry you had to wait this long... even sorrier I had to draw it in the first place."
Which is hardly adequate, but I meant every word.
Happy birthday you big, beautiful, crazy bastard.
Thanks for the apple pie.
Probably not a good idea to watch a documentary on germs, viruses, and diseases before traveling.
And... back to packing.
I woke up underwater this morning.
Well, not really... but for a second as I awoke I thought I was underwater.
Specifically, I thought I was underwater in Fiji. And when my eyes opened I fully expected that I'd be surrounded by dolphins, which is my strongest memory from visiting there.
Alas, I wasn't in the South Pacific after all, which started my day on a depressing note. And then I noticed that the finger I stabbed a couple days ago was throbbing and the area around the wound was swollen. Oh yay, an infection. Nothing quite like going from thinking you're in Fiji... to slicing your finger back open so you can clean it out and pack it with antibiotics.
Unless it's going from thinking you're in Fiji... to slicing open your infected finger... to eating the wrong combination of foods and ending up battling diarrhea all morning...
Good times. Good times.
Needless to say, my work day was severely hampered. Instead of going into work I ended up attempting to work from home all day, barely making a dent on the pile of crap I have to get done.
Now I'm exhausted and needing to get some sleep. Not willing to risk a night of insomnia-as-usual, I decided to take sleeping pills.
Thank heavens the fires didn't start in June.
This is so not fun.
You'd think after the years of non-stop summer fires there wouldn't be anything left to burn.
I've written and re-written a blog post in a futile attempt to sanitize it enough for public consumption, but it just ain't happening.
Everything starts out okay, but ultimately degenerates into a profanity-fueled tirade where I go completely off the rails.
And so I'm giving up.
Throwing in the towel.
Taking the high road...
No guarantees for tomorrow.
The stupid. It burns.
But not if you burn it first...
At this point I pretty much want to set the entire world on fire.
The weather here has reached a transitional phase between Fall and Winter. It's not cold enough to snow so you get this kind of dreary, cold drizzling rain that makes your days depressing and grey. Add that to the fact that it starts getting dark around 4:00, and it's not a happy time of year for me. Today was even more of a bummer than usual because there was a fire somewhere that filled the air with smoke.
Not a great start to my Tuesday.
But don't worry. Things got much worse.
Not a good day to be a tasty bird.
But is there a good day to be a tasty bird?
And, to my Jewish friends... Happy Hanukkah!
Stay safe out there everybody.
If you celebrate the holiday, I hope you have a Merry Christmas!
If not, have a great December 25th!
And no matter what holiday you call your own this season, thanks for dropping by!
Happy Boxing Day to all who celebrate it!
I'd wish you all a Happy St. Stephen's Day, but why should the "War on Christmas" stop at Christmas? Surely we can drum up enough imaginary drama to drag the battle out a few more days?
And now? Pudding time.