NEW 108

"The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever."
--Anatole France


      A relatively peaceful New Year's Day at Casa del Splut. Only some minor growling from Byron when DJ was inches away, and he watched the redhead stampede up and down the cat tree right past him with interest. Perhaps the Feliway is actually working?
      If it is, don't buy it at PetSmart! I knew it'd be cheaper on Amazon, but I didn't want to wait a week to get it. I checked today for refills. The diffuser I bought for $50: Amazon wants $22. $18 if I get it from one of their vendors. PetSmart is for people who are PriceStupid. (Although there is one in Massachusetts where you can adopt rescued kittens from Jessica)


Well, I really hope that when I have to listen to the work radio tomorrow, it's finally done with Xmas-themed ads. But I have a little Xmas non-cheer of my own to spread. Such as this!


      And Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, which you can Netflix. Like The Thing, an American corporation (whose employees have the authentic Yankee accents one would expect from an all-Finnish production) digs up something ancient from the Arctic ice: the original Santa Claus. The one that only cared about punishing the naughty children. And not with lumps of coal, but with boilings alive. A well-done, low-budget monster thriller perfect for retail workers, who already view Christmas as not a holiday, but a monster to survive.


      Things have gotten back to normal here. The new "normal," with the DJ/B hate going full blast. Feliway told me that "For best results, use for 90 days." As Feliway gave me a 30 day supply, so draw your own conclusions. My conclusion: Fuck you, Feliway. Thanks for $50 worth of nothing.
      Byron's biopsy came back, and the tumor was DUH WTF DID I ALWAYS SAY IT'D BE!! benign. First just acne, now this. Gourd, what a waste of time and money and sanity this whole episode has been. And after 6 weeks, I've given up on expecting things to get better.


      Did something just happen?
      Still anger between Byron and DJ, but today was different. DJ barely chased B. Bigfoot spent most of the evening purring in my lap, not immediately running at the sight of him. It's still tense, but...
      Let's not hope for too much. For all I know, tomorrow they'll have a gunfight. Or maybe DJ's finally getting that the way back to Byron's heart isn't by chasing him.



Sorry I dissed you, Feliway. Things are not back to normal, but at least they're moving away from the New Normal. Byron doesn't hide, he gets pets in my lap, he's even chased DJ rather than the other way around--after exchanging nose taps! "Things ain't perfect" is better than "This really sucks."




      They even touched noses this morning. We're not all the way there yet, but every day brings us a little closer.


      For those who like their cats with extra toes. Check out the one on the right!

      Yesterday was the only time I've ever sent up a post in the morning. So, of course, my host shut down for 18 hours. I'm so tired that I'm about to shut down for 12 hours myself.


      Thing that's not cool: Having to replace something, such as the slippers that lasted me a winter & a half before disintegrating, at the same time you owe the town $900 in property taxes and just spent $900 at the vet.
      Thing that's cool: Better quality slippers on clearance for 50% off, making them cheaper than the old pair!
      Thing that's cool: The cargo pants I need to replace are on clearance, too!
      Thing that's not cool: They're all either 2 sizes too wide or 2 too long. I even checked the Young Men's department for my size. They don't sell cargo pants in the Young Men's department. Thing that's not cool: Cargo pants are now for old men.
      Thing that's cool: My pet insurance just said it will cover 25% of my vet bill!

      Thing that's cool: A customer who works in a cafeteria gives you a free bag of rolls!
      Thing that's not cool: Even microwaved, they're like bread jerky.
      Thing that's cool: I can feed them to the birds in my courtyard, giving a free show to the cats! And a roll is gone just minutes after chucking it out the window!
      Thing that's not cool: Ripping up another, and having the squirrels that snagged the first one immediately grab them, and my cats are bored by tree rats.

      Thing that sucked: Why I was so tired yesterday.
      Quite simple, actually: Drunken Toddler's on vacation this week, so Friday afternoon I was told that I had to close Monday, rather than open, because the guy who closes had to open, because they won't show me what reports I have to run before opening, and the other guy, who was scheduled to close had a colonoscopy, and I couldn't switch Weds for Tues as a day off with the first guy, as he had a doctor's appointment himself, which he couldn't reschedule despite the fact he said he'd scheduled it 6 months ago, so obviously it was emergency surgery or something, because if you wait 6 months, you'll die if you push it back a week, which if it was my appointment, I'd either do vouluntarily or be ordered to do, so I had to get home at 930PM Mon in order to get up at 7AM Tues. That day, it'd just be me and a cashier and a half-dozen deliveries. That's always when it gets busy.
      See? Simple!
      I had a cunning plan. I had a sample of Tilt, which is 12% alcohol, so I'd drink that, then have some bedtime tea with a Benadryl, so that I could at least get 7 hours sleep (my normal is 9 hours).
      Said plan ganged aft aglee. The Tilt, which is pretty gross anyway, made me feel first bloated, then all burfy. Burf: a word I made up as a kid, when you burp up barf. I was so tired ahead of schedule that I took only half a Benadryl. Then, I threw up. Not a lot. Lots of blue, the food coloring in the Tilt. Fell asleep at 11:45.
      Monday night I had a dream about Tuesday day. I was at work, and we got a delivery. DT immediately left, even though it was only 9AM. Then 15 other trucks pulled up, unloading instantly, with the drivers all demanding to be checked in first, throwing their invoices at me, even a truck from Kay Bee Toys, as my worst job ever of course showed up, just as the register and lottery got busy, and the 2 foot high stack of invoices slipped away from me again and again, then a paving company decided to replace the parking lot with wooden crates full of mud, trapping my car so that I could never leave the store, which flooded with dirty water as deep as my knees--
      Hmm. Work-stress much, Bill?
      I forced myself awake from that at 4:45AM. Normally, as a lucid dreamer, I can get back to sleep by rejoining the dream, but fuck all if I was going back there. I'd be there soon enough in reality. So I laid there in a miserable cold sweat, wishing I'd taken the other half of the Benadryl that I'd puked up. And jealous of DJ, snoozing peacefully on me the whole time, while quite grateful for his company.
      I groggily went through the motions at work. Then the registers crashed. Maybe related to the fact that we are the last place in North America that still depends on Windows 2000 as its OS? Just as it at got busy at the (now-useless) registers and lottery, and I heard the doorbell for a delivery. A prophetic dream!
      Like the morning reports, telling people besides the High Arcane Priests of the Sacred Computer Rebooting Ritual how to fix this register crash is forbidden to mere acolytes who have fucking worked over 8 years here already. This required calling in the First Guy, the one who didn't want to trade days off with me. Hey, Grand Magus, you had to come in on your day off anyway! No, Oh Wise Warlock of the Ancient Windows, the schadenfreude is on me!

      Thing that's AWESOME: The DJ/Byron War seems near conclusion. There's at least an armistice. Byron allows DJ to sniff and even touch him and no longer hides. Another thing that's AWESOME: Feliway! It took nearly 2 weeks to get to this point of detente, but we spent 6 weeks in misery before its arrival. I ordered 2 refills, just in case. I hope it's not like Prozac, and I have to buy it forever to keep Toe-Boy from flipping out, but I want to be safe. And my kids to be happy.


      I find it funny that the Republicans pretend that they're not the party of bigots, while thrashing around desperately to find an electable nominee who isn't a SCARY MORMON.

      6 Things I Learned From Watching Ancient Aliens: "To bolster its claim that ancient astronauts visited, colonized and/or tagged earth, the show features a panel of experts one can only amass by placing a 'Help Wanted' sign outside a methadone clinic that reads 'Will pay you in craft service food.'"


      I hereby declare the Byron/DJ War...ended!
      I think that they signed the treaty on the battleship Missouri yesterday, when I put a box on the floor. They investigsted together, taking turns batting at each other through a hole. Just like the old Partners in Crime they always were.


      A long time ago, I pointed out that there are things you know must happen all the time, but never actually see happen. Such as pay phones being emptied of coins. Then my shift at the mall coincided with the guy who emptied out the 4 pay phones, and found out why. He turned a key, and the coins fell into a bag he was holding. It took him seconds. Today, of course, you don't see it happen because you don't see any pay phones.
      My other example was "You always see big chunks of shredded truck tires on the side of the road, but you never see it happen." I can scratch that off my list as of today. I was directly behind--way behind, fortunately--a car carrier. Its tire detonated with a sound like a cannon burst, erupting in a light brown cloud (of dirt?) with the flying shreds of rubber. Me, I'd be "OMG GONNA DIIIE!!" but he just turned on his hazards and pulled onto the shoulder. Like it happens to him all the time.


      The Colbert Report on Mitt "I love to fire people" Romney.
      Wait, he killed Kay Bee Toys?! I may have to vote for him now!


      Jeez, Internet, you have to have your SOPA/PIPA blackout protest on my day off? Not yesterday, when I was barely online?

      I wasn't home because after work I went over to Kev & Meg's, to eat Indian takeout and watch a movie. I think I haven't seen them since September, which was caused by conflicting schedules, the OctSnowber power outages, their Cancun vacation, his work-and-take-online-classes-both-fulltime life.
      It was Movie Night, and Meg ruled out anything along the MST3K route, so we winnowed the list down to either Another Earth or Cowboys and Aliens. Yeah, it could only have been choices from more different ends of the spectrum if it was between My Little Pony: The Movie or The Human Centipede II. I cast the deciding vote,or at least made the deciding comment "Another Earth was filmed in Connecticut." New Haven, to be precise, and set there. At one point, a character reads the Arts section of the Hartford Courant.
      It's a low budget indie that got national release to the art houses because, well, it turned out to be that good. A high school senior fascinated with astronomy celebrates being accepted into MIT with a party and underage drinking. The radio station she's listening to on the drive home mentions the startling fact there is an Earth-like planet very close--close enough to see! She peers out of the car window
      BANG hits another car, killing a mother and child and leaving the husband in a coma.
      This is a touchy subject for me & Kev, having lost a friend to a drunk driver 20 years ago. He got community service, because he had a very locally famous (and RICH) family's name, and the cops waited almost 4 hours to give a breathalyzer test, by which point he was below the legal limit.
      (His rich family's name? Cheney. No idea if there's a relation to another rich criminal bastard who got away with murder, but it wouldn't surprise me)
      Four years later, she's released from prison for vehicular homicide, her name unknown as she was a minor. The new planet nears Earth, and is so Earthlike that it's an exact mirror of the Earth. No one knows what exactly is happening--surely, an Earth bigger in the sky than the full Moon (with its own Moon) would wreak havoc gravitationally. On the anniversary of the Other Earth's discovery--and that terrible car crash--she visits the site, and sees the surving husband place a memorial at it.
      So torn apart by her guilt over that one fleeting moment of bad judgement, she tracks him down in order to apologize. But...
      Well, now you'll have to rent the movie. It's no laugh fest, but it's far less dark than that description of the first 20 minutes makes it sound. You'll be thinking and talking about it long after it's over. Thumbs up, if you don't demand that all your movies have Michael Bay-level IQs.
      Also, the credits feature a crewmember named Flint Beverage. The only zero-calorie, high-fiber soft drink that's made from rocks!


      Oh boy, NEW WORK SCHEDULE! Two full timers get THREE DAYS OFF A WEEK, with a similar cut in pay, and I get a 12 HOUR SHIFT!
      Guess which I would've picked for myself! Hint: the "Bill doesn't get FUCKED" option. I could use an extra day off. If it hurt my bank accout, it sure wouldn't hurt my sanity.
      I managed to bargain it down to a mere 10 hours Saturday. And began looking for another job. I can't take that fucking nuthouse much longer. I've hit the point where I'd be happy to be laid off and collect unemployment and worry about the future when my savings run out and with no about 5 years. I seriously have spent a lot of time today thinking of just walking, and living off my savings.

      I did finally get my comp day for the extra one I worked a fucking month ago. And it's a Saturday! One thing I won't be listening to on Saturdays 11AM EST is the classical request program on Wisconsin Public Radio (link autoplays, so warning! if you hate good music) I emailed a final request:

      It should be interesting to see which they play. If either. My luck of late isn't that great.


      A Pronouncing Gazeteer for Non-natives Visiting Connecticut:
      Sigourney Weaver is from Hollywood, CA. Sigourney (SIG-er-nee) Street is in Hartford, CT.
      Berlin is in Germany. Berlin (BERL-in) is in CT.
      The River Thames is in London. The Thames (THAMES) River is in CT. Pronounced the way it's spelled, none of this "Tems" shit. LEARN ENGLISH, England!

      Saturday is National Hugging Day, and who couldn't use a hug right now? Especially from LOLCats!


      Extra reason it's good that I have today off, for once: 6 inches of snow that I'd otherwise have to drive in both ways. After being inches from a likely fatal car wreck coming home in a storm a few years back, I'm not that interested in testing my Fit's anti-skid technology.
      The DJ on WPR's classical program started her show with my request! She gave a short version of my note from above, wished me the best of luck, and played Smetana's Bartered Bride overture.
      Two notes in, I thought "This isn't what I wanted! I must've given her the wrong title!" As my luck of late hasn't been that great.
      The overture was by turns somber (like the mood that I was trying to lighten), plodding (like a day at the job that's the source of the mood), and pompous (like my boss). After about 5 minutes I thought, "This doesn't sound like an overture to a comic opera." At 20 minutes, I thought "This doesn't sound like an overture!" And it turgidly ground on for another 10. Can you imagine going to a movie where the opening credits go on for half an hour? I went to YouTube to find it. And in 2 notes knew that the dj was playing the wrong thing.
      I lost the stream just as it ended, so I have no idea what it was, but got it back just as she personally apologized to me. The CD went to the wrong piece, she said, "and it just kept going on and on." But later she played it for me. Here it is, if you're interested:


      I wrote back on the request widget thanking her for playing my piece, and she just emailed back:

      How nice! Now I'm really going to miss her show!

      YOU MUST WATCH THIS even if it's as long as the original movie. You may remember the trailer I ran here--Star Wars done in 15 second increments, in as wildly different a style as the flimmakers/fans wanted, from stop motion to sitcom.




      A highlight of my week is WWUH's Sunday Ambience radio show. One host calls himself "Mark Time," and I'm a bit ambivalent about him. He's a little overfond of the sound of his own voice--shut up and play the music already!--but he clearly puts a lot of thought in what he plays, rather than just grabbing a CD and letting it run to the end. But he also does a thing called "Story Time," in which he plays those old Windham Hill/Celestial Navigations CDs we used to sell at Sam Goody. Kid's CDs. I do not want talking in my music! I especially do not want being talked down to in my music! I usually take it as my cue to clean the litter boxes and shower.
      Today he played something I immediately recognized as one of those comic book/45RPM singles we used to sell at Kay Bee. From that classic of crap, Space: 1999! The storyline was as ridiculous as one would expect from a TV show about the entire Moon becoming a spaceship. It's a bizarre mix of black holes, time travel, and biblical literalism, and you can see the comic/hear the record here. Good thing that their computer was Y-ZeroBC-K compliant!

      And from faith-based, factless literalism we go to faith-based, factless literalism! I was going to link to this article on the bullshit that is "Vaccination causes Autism". It sums it all up nicely. And you can win a copy of the book it's excerpted from, by leaving a comment on some dumb thing you used to believe. Since the site is called "Friendly Atheist," one certain belief you've lost is taken as a given, so you have to write about something else. The responses are very interesting; mainly, the paranormal New Agey shit. I went with something a little different:

      If you leave a comment there, or just have your own story, feel free to put it in the Comments.


      Reading the Tweets from RealTimeWWII I saw this: "Among British volunteers to join Finn's war effort is 17-year-old Christopher Lee: 'I went with a group of friends & said we wanted to help. We can shoot pretty well, but can't ski. We've been thanked, but of course can't get anywhere close to the front line.'" Wait, who? Oh, there's no way that it's
      YES! It was Christopher FUCKIN' Lee!! If only the Finns had let him fight, he woulda killed STALIN! And then Hitler! Then, once he finished his breakfast, captured Tojo while holding Himmler in a headlock.



      Thing that I didn't know that you could buy at Dollar Tree: a "Drug Test/Marijuana."
      I was baffled by it. Do parents make their kids pee in little glasses? Oh, wait, it may be to check yourself to see if you're clean enough for a drug test/job interview. Weed takes 1-3 months to clear out of your system; here's a cheap way to find out if you should fill out an application or wait a month. I suppose I'd use that before I'd use what was right next to it: that old dollar store fave, the $1 pregnancy test.
      Both actually make sense. They won't be that accurate, but they at least could tell you if you need to get a real test. Although I wonder how many teenage girls use the pregnancy one, get a negative, and don't follow up.
      I didn't buy either, as I'm unlikely to get pregnant and have a pretty good idea about how much weed I use. I read the instructions on the back of the pot test: "Check strip left in pee after 5 minutes. DO NOT check later than 5 minutes!" So...4 mins 59 seconds don't check, 5 minutes yes, 5 minutes 1 second don't? Yeah, those are GREAT instructions for stoners!


      After $900 in town taxes and $900 in vet bills and also my shoes and pants deciding to disintegrate, and food gas shelter etc, I decided that I need to cut down on any unnecessary expenses for a while. Just the essentials for a while.
      Hey, guess what! I'm spending unessentially!
      Guess why!
      No, really, guess why!
      No no, a GOOD guess!


      I immediately cut the ad out the local free paper, dropping my box cutter into an inaccessible slit by the side of my car seat. Next I called my most MST3Kish of friends, Kevin. He quickly discovered that my ad, which said "Two Shows," actually meant "Two Movies." If you get tickets for both, the second show's half off! Oh YEAH we are doing both as surely as chili peppers burn my gut!
      The 2012 Live Tour, if you want to see if they get close enough for you to go. It looks like Hartford is the test audience for "Astral Factor," so that may be less funny. Who cares! Science Fiction Double Feature with Joel & (most of) the Gang!



      And what the hell was that?
      I felt fine yesterday, but about 3 hours after getting home, I noticed that I'd browsed about 90 minutes worth of my usual websites. I have a pretty good internal clock, but time seemed to moving twice as fast as it felt to me. Then I got depressed and cranky, even yelling at DJ over having the temerity to let my toes hit him in the dark. (I immediately apologized; cats understand apologies) After 5 1/2 hours, I'd read about 2 hours of websites, only finishing GoComics by skipping the political cartoons. Even though a day without Chuck Asay is like...a day without punching yourself in the throat with your nuts? Yes, I know that net reading speed is an odd metirc to guage one's health by.
      I woke up early and laid in bed for 2 hours in a cold sweat. I got up feeling vaguely sick. I almost called out of work, but I only do that when I'm not confident I can safely drive a car there and back. I was even more miserable there, as I was walking around and bringing cases of booze out. The store was as dead as it won't be next Saturday (Pats vs Giants in the Stupid Bowl, that'll be insane). At one point, I was doing 3 things at once. Not because I was multitasking, but because I kept forgetting what I was doing and starting something else. So once 2 other people came in to work, I went home.
      I feel better now, except when I don't. Probably just because I'm sitting. But I'm baffled as to what this is. The only unusual thing is that I stupidly ran out of one of my meds, and won't get more in the mail until at least Monday. But it's just something to control my elevated blood glucose, which was asymptomatic to begin with. But I'm supposed to take it 14 times a week, and I've taken it 3 times this one. I'll ask my doctor when I see him in 10 days.
      *shrugs* At least it's seeming to go away. I've got a big week of FUN THINGS coming up, antiquing with the delightful Mrs J Weds and MST3King with the hilarious Mr Kev on Thurs.
      Possibly I should point out that when I described my symptoms to a coworker, his one word diagnosis was "Stress." There is that possibilty.

      I would like to point out that my beloved niece Cassandra, who I sometimes call "Sandy Gerbil" (don't ask) is having her Sweet 16 birthday party soon. Big bash with friends and lots of gifts, right? No. She's instructed everyone who wants to give her a gift to donate that money to the Cancer's Society's Relay For Life, in honor of her grandfather/my father who died of cancer 11 years ago. Hell, if I can spend $68 to see people make fun of movies, I can give $25 to save some other child that future pain.



      I'm not sure if I should cheer that I can get shoes and pants in the exact size and style that I want over the internet, or complain that the only way I can get shoes and pants in the exact size and style that I want is over the internet.
      My 29/30 cargo pants are from the "Young Men's" department, which is oddly reassuring. I am a man named Young. The fact that they came with no less than 3 plastic bags filled with air...Yes, because otherwise, my pants might break. Cotton is so fragile!
      More psyched that my meds came with the pants. Separately, I mean. My body's elevated glucose missed you, Gemfibrozil! Thanks for getting me out of a half day of work, but no thanks for how you did it.

      You may have recently heard of East Haven, CT in the news, as 4 police officers were arrested by the FBI for either "racial profiling" or "discrimination." If that's what you call "pulling over minorities for minor traffic violations and then beating the fucking shit out of them." You may have further heard of the so-not-racist mayor's quote on what he would do to address the problem: "Maybe I'll have some tacos..."
      We in the Nutmeg State find this SHOCKING! Shocking that anyone finally DID ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I thought that they'd ignore it until I was dead of old age, still buying cargo pants online. Fucking East Haven, Cheesus, who the fuck wants to live there? Jerks with pickups flying giant Confederate flags? Here's a Tom Tomorrow comic from 15 YEARS ago on the subject.


      Between Mrs Jessica tomorrow and Cinematic Titanic the next day, followed by long hours of horrible horrible Work...I wouldn't expect a lot of updating beyond the Stupidest Things Ever Said calendar quotes here for a while. There will be plenty of stuff for me to talk about, just not enough time for me to type it. We'll see how it goes.


      For Byron, every day is Thumb Appreciation Day.
      I made today Feliway Appreciation Day, taking the empty diffusor out. We'll see if Byron misses it.

      I guess I'll write about my antiquing visit with the resplendent Jess, as, um, not much happened. We caught up on kittens and cats, her daughter and my niece who we are both proud of (Her Jacques is a leader in her school's Straight-Gay Alliance/Anti-Bullying group, among others). I didn't buy anything, as I've spent so much money lately, although I was tempted by those little ashtrays from the 1930s celebrating the Post Office's new air mail service--by dirigible. She bought a little, some tiny ceramic cats, a Minnie Mouse pin and some Disney World postcards (she was most enthusiastic at finding an Epcot one).
      We went to Someplace Special, a restaurant that needs to change its name to Somewhere Slow. 45 minutes for a small pizza and a chicken wrap? But one doesn't really notice the service when the company is good. After she told me about a friend caught in an abusive relationship with her husband, I finally told her the story of how I came to meddle in her relationship with her evil ex Charlie. We worked together 14 years ago, and I quickly learned not to question their awful relationship. She once replied to a friend who said "You could do better than him!" with "She doesn't know him like I do! He really loves me!" WHOA, line straight from Dysfunctional Relationships 101. Saying things like that just made her defend him, so I tended to just agree with her.
      Then 1 day she was mad, and told me why. I said "That's wrong! He shouldn't say things like that." as noncommittedly as I could. After 10 minutes, I said "I'm going to go front the cooler." Inside where she couldn't see or hear me, I punched and kicked boxes screaming "DADDY should not be calling MOMMY the C-WORD in front of their TWO YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!" Then I came out all "La-dee-dah, the cooler's done now." And 20 minutes later, "I'm going to go front the cooler. ARRRGH THAT FUCKING ASSHOLE!!" kick punch kick! This went on all night. Outwardly calm, inwardly raging.
      And even at home, I was still mad. I finally said to myself, "She's a coworker! She's not your friend! I have no right to mess with her life! Mind your own business!" (pause) "ARRRGH She IS my friend! How proud will I feel when he starts beating her? Or her DAUGHTER? I'm MAKING this my business! " And the die was cast. We worked together 20 hours a week, so I decided "This is my new part time job!" And I subtly, passively-agressively went about my demolition work. Because if she didn't think it was her idea, it'd never happen.
      Took 9 months, but it happened. I knew coworker Ron would be the first to step into the vacuum, but I figured he'd just be Boyfriend #2. I wasn't sure if he wanted her for her or just her looks, and I sure didn't think he was mature enough to be a surrogate father. They broke up a few times over that, but always got back together. I think after 10 years of marriage--and her daughter recently asking Ron to legally adopt her!--he stepped up to the plate, big time.
      I don't believe "We all have a purpose in life," in the "Fate" sense. But if I have one, it was getting Jess & Jacques out of one man's life, and into the life of man who treated them the way they deserved. I did my small part, but Ron did the real work.

      Fox News vs the Muppets: Kermit and Miss Piggie Respond. Watch the brief video at the end.

      A link of no interest to people to whom the phrase "Manos: Hands of Fate" means nothing.


      TV's Frank: "I'm in Hartford! On a Thursday night! Well, I can cross that off my bucket list."
      Cinematic Titanic was awesome. But went way past little Billy's bedtime. More tomorrow.

      A Guide to Pairing Your Superheroes With Your Beer.


      I had 45 minutes from getting home from work to leaving for Cinematic Titanic. As soon as I put my coat on, Killsy stormed off to hide under the living room coffee table. Cats get mad when they sense you're leaving them too much.
      Kev and I got there early. We discovered at the merchandise table that the very nice, theater-card sized posters for sale would be signed between shows. We each bought a different one, Kev getting one of the first movie, Attack of the Insects, and I got "Movie TBA" one for the second, The Astral Factor. They both had the day, time and theater of our performances on them, which is very cool.
      The theater filled with people of all ages, maybe 500 total. Not bad! They opened with Mary Jo doing a brief intro, then some guy named Gruber came on, who Kev had earlier pegged as the "cool teacher" on "Freaks & Geeks." He was backed by J. Elvis (self-described as "also known as the guy people called 'the Tom Servo I didn't like as much'") on bass. Gruber gave his own version of the history of Connecticut, then did some more stand-up--quite funny. Next, Frank read some poetry and letters from his present self to his past self (who wrote back). Trace came out, did his bits about Hartford ("I always wondered where my insurance checks went"), then fielded questions from the audience. Lame questions; seriously, "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck," dude? Mary Jo came out and read "some words from my book," such as "The." Finally Joel came out, out of breath, and and said a little about the movie, which was originally titled "Genocide." "They retitled it 'Attack of the Insects,' because what would the reviews look like? 'Critics LOVE Genocide'?"
      It was a 1960s Japanese thing about killer bugs, featuring a guy who started insanely overacting in the very first scene and never stopped. The ending smacked of "writer doesn't have an ending, so KILL EVERYBODY!" It's a movie they've done before, but they clearly were adapting it with references to current events (lots of disparaging jokes about Republican presidential candidates) and the occasional quip for the local audience. Excellent riffing; too many jokes to even remember one.
      We were near the very start of the signing line. They each shook our hands and said hello. Just as Kev had placed his poster down to be signed, some jerk threw his over Kev's and said "Can you autograph my BACK?!" lifting his shirt to reveal the Joel & the Bots screen logo tattooed on his back. BIG on his back. "I'm going to have your autographs inked tomorrow!" Trace and Frank reacted with..."wide eyes" is a good euphemism. They hurriedly signed. When I made it to the the other end of the table, I sarcastically asked Joel and Mary Jo if I could sign their backs. I could tell from their wide eyes that they thought I was insane. "Just wait a minute," I thought, "and you'll get the joke."
      The second show had maybe 300 people, with a show of hands indicating that the majority of them had not seen the first one. Really? J. Elvis did a version of the MST3K theme in the style of his namesake (Costello, not Presley), with the audience supplying the "la la la"s. Joel, arriving out of breath again, started the second show right around my usual bedtime, and I found myself getting quite groggy. The Astral Factor was a 1976 "movie" about a teleporting serial killer who kills people with his sparkly eyes and invisibilty powers. His nemesis is a police detective who smashes furniture at crime scenes a lot. He finds the guy's hideout, and breaks stuff and doesn't bother to ever go back. It was terrible, and apparently so forgotten that they could only find what Kev IDed as a "work print." The colors faded in and out, there were scratches on the print clearly made intentionally by hand--"LOOP" said one. He said that work prints were done by editors, before putting the real film stock through all its expensive final work. I didn't LOL as much as the first movie, but I was really tired. This was apparently their first live riffing of it, and they all flubbed a line here or there, but that just made it more interesting. Oh, during the first film, the DVD played malfunctioned, slowing the movie to a stuttering stall, and they improv riffed that, and quite well!
      Both shows were great, and well worth the experience (and expense), even if we were the first to leave after the end, as I was REALLY SLEEPY and wanted to beat the exit exodus. Also: hipster between the shows using your iPad and iPhone AT THE SAME TIME, you really impressed us. "Pretentious douche" was what you were shooting for, right?
      I got home at 11:45. DJ ran to greet me, but B & KK sat sullenly in the living room, mad that I'd left them for a second 6 hours in 2 days. Since he is prone to peer pressure, DJ joined them. No cat joined me in the main room for an hour. Yes, they will do that. Amazingly, I was exhausted but not sleepy, and didn't collapse into bed until 245. Glad I came in late to work today; I needed it.
      Until next time: Watch out for snakes.




      Yeah, not a lot going on here. Not unless you'd like to hear the story about how I stopped my toilet from running by using the top part of a pint water bottle! (SPOILER ALERT! Here's the story: I stopped my toilet from running by using the top part of a pint water bottle)
      I had a visit to my doctor and imparted my various physical woes. Also my psychological ones. Or one, as it's my job. Busiprone 5mg, to be taken like aspirin, only when it hurts. Cool by me--weakest dose of the weakest mood med. I have enough of an addictive personality that I really don't want to add anything new to it.
      Somehow this eventually lead into a conversation about savings. I have about $55K. I don't think I've told this story before:
      I got new glasses years ago at Sears. $110! A coworker said "I need new glasses!" $55K is her credit card debt. Check the Sears and JCPenney ads for sales, I said, and get the better one.
      Two months later, she said "I can't wait to get my new glasses!" I said "Why don't you have them?" She said "I have to pay for them first. They're $400!"
      "WHAT?! Why did they cost so much?"
      "I wanted to get the designer frames! They're by that designer...(pause)
      "...I forget his name."
      Now there's a good investment.



      The 10 worst states for retirees: WE'RE NUMBER ONE WE'RE NUMBER ONE! Actually, if you're in New England, you're half of what's listed. It's based entirely on cost of living and taxes, so, kinda one-sided. Is your state listed too?

      I Netflixed The Island of Lost Souls, the legendary 1935 version of The Island of Dr Moreau. While I knew that this was where "ARE WE NOT MEN?" came from, I did not expect the extras to include seperate Casale and Mothersbaugh interviews (guess which one's ageing Grecian Formula not-gracefully) and TWO Devo videos!


      I took one of my mood meds Tuesday and yesterday, to see how it affected me, and to see if there were any of the threatened side effects (dizziness, drowziness, lycanthropy, grow-an-extra-headiness). There were no side effects. Or front or back effects, either. I felt the same as I did before taking them. Which Kevin said is what they do, make you feel normal when you're upset. I guess the real test will come when I'm next stressed, which is a test that can take its time to arrive. "Never" would work.

      Speaking of mood meds, I got my shipment of Way of Cats Royal Nip today. Yes, there was much anticipation and then much revelry among the kids. They go nuts for this nip more than than they do for any other. Memo to myself: Stand up next time you open a fresh batch, so that Byron and DJ aren't clawing my hands in junkie desperation.

      And in hopes that it might remind me why I go to my crappy job every day, I printed out this mood med and posted it on the inside of the door I leave through every morning:


      Also, there is this:




      Also, this:




      The work radio DJ kept announcing that tomorrow, the temperature would be "In the upper 20s, but the wind will make it feel below freezing!" What, did the USA finally catch up to the rest of the planet and start using Celsius since yesterday? Upper 20s, that's downright balmy in Kelvin.

      What�s in my cat: Fur. Um, well, yes, fur there certainly is! But it's a post from the always awesome Way of Cats (try the posts, stay for the Royal Nip!) on whether cat color relates to personality--y'know, tortitude, calico craziness, sweet orange boy loviness. I challenge her science in the comments, and Pammy soundly defeats me! And yet the bobcat-like traits of a certain digitally-enhanced bigfooted boy elude science still.


      Are you stoned? No? Watch 5 minutes of The Wonder Three and you'll feel like you are:




      I finally took a mood med at work. I should've taken one yesterday, when I became stressed as soon as I literally crossed into my job's town. Right at the border, a dead cat in the road. Too well groomed and fed to be a feral. How do people let their pets out alone, without worrying themselves sick when they don't return on time? And work only made me more stressed.
      But instead it was today. And, as Kevin said, it just made me feel normal. Instead of saying "I'm stressed because I hate my job!" after taking it I only said "I hate my job."

      Also, coworker who has been talking about what a fake and meaningless holiday Valentine's Day is, always mentioning "my ex" to every customer who will listen, one after another since Thursday...shut up already! I think I'll spend the next week whining about President's Day. "WTF has Lincoln done for ME lately?!"

      The Alternate History Theme Park Where Dinosaurs Fought in the Civil War. Dinosaurs, they LOVED the slavery!

      Also, this:


      Also also this this:




      I checked my online ASPCA pet insurance account, wondering how soon I'd get the check for Byron's Big Biopsy Adventure. It said "Printed." No, I want to see "Mailed." Or even "emailed," just to let me know it was being paid. It took a week, but they sent an email, saying that it was paid and explaining the delay:      ...Apparently I mailed the claim during the late Holocene Epoch. I'll bet one of those giant sloths punched out the postman! Next time, I'll send it via UPS! (Upper Pleistocene Sabertooths)


      I was ringing up customers with a coworker, who put her foot on a low shelf to tie her shoe. I think that this, plus 7 years of holding up the weight of a computer, its backup, and a receipt printer and a bunch of bags, while being held up by tiny plastic/metal pegs is what caused it to snap and fall. (OK, she's also rather overweight, to the point where her doctor told her that she needed to lose 125 pounds, at least. The next day, she had a bacon cheeseburger. For breakfast) No injuries except for some ripped and bleeding skin on my finger, fortunately, just fallen paper bags and 7 year old dust bunnies everywhere.
      Everyone behind the counter tracked dust bunnies over the store. At one point, my boss Drunken Toddler said "Something fell out of your pants! CACKY!" Meaning...poop. Then he laughed hysterically at his witticism. "I just had to say CACKY!" he roared.
      Of course he did. Do you get where the "Toddler" part of his nickname comes from yet?


      It's actually illegal in CT for a liquor store to have a public bathroom. Sounds arbitrary, but it's because people might buy a pint of booze, drink it in there, then drive away. Obviously, they can still do that without a bathroom, but they're more likely to be caught.
      But we do let people in our bathroom occasionally. Generally, the decision is made on how many diseases or perversions we think someone might have. (The first day we opened our new building, a customer asked to use the new bathroom. He pissed on the floor and shit on the seat, and don't tell me that wasn't some personal kink of his) I grudgingly told a guy today that he could use it, which was okay, as he turned out to be a regular customer I've never seen before. And, as always, I said "It's the white door in the back," so, as every other person has done in 7&1/2 years, immediately went through the black door in the back. The utility room, with the vacuum cleaner and the ladders and the disused display racks and the pail of ice melt and lots of dust and dirt. There is a mop bucket, if he wanted to make cacky there.
      Rolling my eyes at his difficulty to see the difference between black and white but glad that he could understand that "ice melt" isn't "fistfuls of delicious candy," I brought some empty deposit bottles upstairs. I saw through the window a guy walk up to a car next to mine to the passenger side, then stop. He eyed it suspiciously, as I started doing to him, as he looked like he might be thinking of breaking into it. Then he walked into the driver's side. It was his own car. He'd forgotten which was the side the driver gets in. Good thing he didn't want to use the bathroom. He would've ended up on the roof, trying to pee into the ventilation ducts.


      The latest in the series of really long but fascinating Kliph Nesteroff articles that's not on the dark underbelly of old show business, but the grimy, slimy snake-belly of its less evolved cousin: The Comedians, The Mob and the American Supperclub.


      Thing that liquor store workers will barely note: You buying the biggest bottle of the cheapest bourbon we sell.
      Thing that liquor store workers will note: When asked "How are you?" your answer is "REALLY SMASHED!"
      Thing that liquor store workers will really note: You said this at 830AM. And then can't figure out how the door works. Hint: opens out, not in!
      Thing that will stop the liquor store workers from calling the police who are literally across the fuckin' street: You having a designated driver.
      A designated driver. At 830 in the fuckin' morning.


      My first-gen iPod has become an important part of my commute. So when my computer told me there was an iTunes update, I downloaded it. Later I plugged the iPod in to listen to all the music on it (about half the music came preloaded from its previous owner, the ever-cool Kevin). It gave me some sass when I tried to eject it. Took multiple attempts, but it did.
      This morning, I plugged it into the car and hit play. It did not. It said it was playing, but it just displayed the title and left the song at zero seconds. Skipping songs didn't help. The last title displayed (dis-played?) was one of those really short ones from the end of TMBG's Apollo 18. The lyrics are      I plugged it into the computer once home and launched iTunes and gaaah! I couldn't even look at iTunes without minimizing every window, and...WTF, the iPod's moving?!
      The drive went whirrrr then clicked as something physically moved inside it. And I couldn't eject it. So I eventually tried downloading iTunes again. And it works fine--until the iPod's connected. Then nothing related to it works.
      I'll coincidentally be seeing Kev tomorrow, so I'll see what he says. And it's not like I can't afford the $230 it would take to get a new one with 8 times the storage, it's that I don't want to spend it.

      Mysteries abound! Coworker L yelled "There's something leaking down this pole! Did something break up there? It looks like Bailey's!"
      It didn't just look like Irish cream liqueur, it smelled like it. And it was running the support pole down in a torrent! But there was nothing above the pole, certainly nothing wet. What was it, where was it coming from? The roof? Did someone get drunk on Bailey's and the throw the bottle up there? Or were they still up there, passed out? Is the building HAUNTED?
      Coworker Y eventually asked M "What did you do with that old cup of coffee you found in the microwave?" She'd thrown it in the trash, right above the pole and a 3-way joint in the floorboards. If only my iPod mystery could be solved so easily by those meddling kids!
      ...Or I could just reread the "Reset" instructions, DUH. First song: Beatles, "Don't Pass Me By." Yes, free iPod, I would hate to see you go! Sorry that I doubted you!
      Oh, It only works when it's not synced to the computer. Wrong iTunes download? So long as it works in the car, I don't care.


      I had a coupon for a free can of a new kind of Meow Mix, which the kids love. The grocery store just got it, and it was on sale! (for 2 WHOLE CENTS OFF) so I bought some more.
      I scanned the UPCs from my purchases. Wait, I thought that I bought 4 Meow Mix--oh, here's the fourth, at the bottom of the grocery bag. I then put them back in the bag to move to the fridge.
      Four went in, but 3 came out.
      Wait, what?! Where is the fourth one? NO. WHERE. Not in the fridge, the bag, anywhere. I retraced my steps--which were 3, in a straight line--about 10 times. I checked every logical place. I checked every illogical place. Well, I'm glad that it was free, because it teleported itself to Dimension X pretty efficiently.
      I imagine that it'll reappear someday. Hopefully before I spend days trying to track down "Where the Karl Fuchs is that horrible stink coming from?"

      Two things to remember in November: Current President can sing.


      Last President could barely speak English.


      There's been a sign on a display of wine coolers in the store for, dunno, 3 or more years? It's in Spanish, but even I understand it. "[Name of Drink] Made Easy." Today I noticed that one side says "Sangria Hecha Facil" and the other "Mojito Hecho Facil." So, sangria is female, and mojitos male? Based on what, fruit vs mint?
      In English, we don't have those weird gender-based verbs. We have all sorts of other weird things other languages don't have. And in the USA, only women drink mojitos. And only men drink whiskey and bourbon, so are those male? Old males, as nobody below the age of 50 buys them? Is there an age-based verb form? What about vodka? Is that gender/age-neutral? How about decent vodka, vs Dubra and Bukoff, the swill only drunk by college kids, is there a "I'm a young drunk with no taste" form? Are there seperate verb forms for Bud and Smirnoff Ice? Coeds buying Arbor Mist, and delibilitated old drunks buying Wild Irish Rose? One for women buying moscato, and another for guys buying it to get their girl drunk?


      I was going to crab about something DT did today...but then I had dinner with my Mom and completely forgot what it was! Friends and family work better on stress than Busiprone!


      I would just like to add that my niece Cassie's request for donations to a cancer charity in lieu of her birthday presents raised $700!


      After dreams of getting pneumonia, I awoke all sick. With just a cold, I sure as hell hope. Sit away from your monitor, I don't want to give it to you!

      You can get a FREE engraved beer glass from Stella Artois, but it requires some not-free doing. A 3x5 index card mailed to them. What would happen if you sent them a 4x6 piece of paper, or a 7x2 piece of monkey hide? Or an engraved set of hippo tusk dentures? George Washingtn had those, not wooden teeth. Why would you have wooden teeth? They'd rot in your mouth like in a month. Or grow branches. George lost all his teeth but one because he opened Brazil nuts by biting them, LOOK IT UP IT'S TRUE.
      Do I sound like a person who just woke up from a 2 hour nap while sick? My Stella Artois glass will be engraved with "BILL the SPLUT" because there's a secret code I found inside a 12-pack of beer I opened to make 6 packs. Not with my teeth like George. At work. What, does that sound like my leisure activity, making 6 packs? Do I need to go to bed and sleep for many hours because of the sick? In Spanish, would I be "sicko" while Kill Kill would be "sicka" wait that's just weird to even bring up. Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity is a less funny title than Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid or Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog.
      I think I will go back to bed and sleep for 12 hours. And then go back to work and REALLY feel sick.

      Who sold the first sausage? His selling point had to be "It's ground up PIG ANUS!" And who was the first to buy it, some guy who thought "anus" was a fancy name for "steak"? Y'know, "black anus beef"? And if it was pointed out, did he fall back to "Well, it's also includes INTESTINES"?
      Sleep. Yes, right. Sleep would help.


      I felt even worse today, but still went to work. I had orders to write. And that was it. Exhausted and barely mobile, I asked DT if I could leave a whole whopping huge gigantic ONE HOUR early. Sure, he said, as he was planning on leaving early due to his cold (which, as far as anyone could tell, manifested no symptoms). Of course, the store's number 2, BUHAM (Bug-Up-His-Ass Man) soiled his nappies because WHO would go to the BANK?! Umm...You? Anybody else? You just stand there while they count the deposit; if you can operate a motor vehicle to get there, you're capable. But, oh! He was so disgusted! Yeah, and I came to work sick, and hope you spend your next 2 days off with my cold, asswipe.
      DT kept muttering "I wish I new who gave me this cold!" Why? Do you think they did it deliberately, like throwing rotting animals down a besieged castle's wells? What will you do, challenge them to a duel?
      The inmates run the asylum I work in.

      I remember the non-troversy stirred up by Fox "News" over a movie that "Spreads the LIE of global warming, and makes HUMANS the villains!" It was Happy Feet, a cartoon about dancing penguins. And there wasn't a single mention of global warming in it. It was about overfishing, but the second humans found out about it, they stopped it, just like would never happen outside of a cartoon. But here's "a story you won't hear anywhere in the liberal national media--or anywhere in the national liberal media!" How about the "media nationaliberal libernational media," can I hear it there? Colin McEnroe titled it "Lou Dobbs thinks 4-inch-tall people are trying to subvert American values":

      The "Occu-toddlers" guy is awesome! Pay for the tickets, then buy a ton of popcorn, then throw the tubs on the floor! THAT will send Liberal Hollywood a message about how much you paid for their movie! Because the real power comes from the ushers who clean up after a movie's over! I'll bet that jerk verbally abuses every retail worker he meets because he's so much better than them, due to their relative paychecks, and constantly demands to "SEE YOUR MANAGER! I'LL GET YOU FIRED!"
      Interesting how that they can all divine the hidden agenda of these movies...from just the trailers. Seriously, "The Borrowers"? What do they think kids want to see, "ATLAS SHRUGGED II: Thomas the Tank Engine Goes Galt"?
      Dobbs should have BUHAM on as a commentator, and they could whine about the cartoon characters Liberal National Diaper is putting on the Pampers that they constantly fill.


      Things guaranteed to turn up in next year's Stupidest Things Ever Said Calendar: Cooking with Poo in running for strangest book title of the year




      Yeah, that's still going on. I hoped to be rid of the cold by sleeping from 7PM to 7AM Monday night. But despite being constantly tired, it won't let me sleep much. I slept from 9 until 4AM, and then just laid there, basting in my own cold sweat for 3 hours. I was awake for almost 20 hours, but didn't fall asleep any better last night. The "waking up feeling like I'm being stabbed in the throat" pain 3 times didn't help, as now I had to worry if I had strep and had to go to the doctor during a snowstorm. But it went away.
      I had a dream where I worked in some office with the world's biggest 3D printer, which took up an entire wall, like a 1950s computer. It didn't just make models from paper, it made them from metal. An employee giving me a tour of the facility said "I wish there were vending machines down here! There's always quarters on the floor!" I picked 2 up, and immediately noticed that they had the same year, and were scuffed identically. Someone was using the 3D printer to replicate quarters! A brilliant scheme! If they duplicated paper bills, they'd all have the same serial numbers, but coins would be untraceable! It must be the start of some adventure, either Holmesian or 007ish!
      Even in a dream, my Skeptic-sense went off. At $10 a roll? How would you get them out? You'd need a rolling suitcase and hope it didn't jingle on the way past security. And of course, there would be someone tracking how much metal got used. They'd be caught as quickly as that stupid coworker of mine who thought that she could support her crack/Oxy addiction by stealing scratch tickets. What a stupid plan!
      THANKS, brain! I wanted to be Sherlock Bond, and you gave me LOGICAL THINKING!

      It is snowing. I did something that I never would've intentionally done before a storm: I went grocery shopping. It wasn't that busy; no panic buying of milk and eggs. After losing power for 7-10 days during OctSnowber and throwing the contents of their fridges in the garbage, possibly people have learned that stockpiling food before a storm is really stupid.
      This flash of insight will last until next winter. Then we'll be back to "BUY ALL THE FOOD!!"

      Hey, it's music time!




Crazy Watering Can from vania heymann on Vimeo.

      Maybe...the counterfeited quarters were made of platinum, or something even more vaulable, so that you only needed a pocket's worth of them before you disappeared? Maybe a dropped one was found stuck in the vending machine? Damn, if I had an ounce more imagination, I'd be writing my Sherlock Bond story in my head right now.


      "Dogs have masters, cats have staff."
      No, they each have the same thing:
      Dogs and cats have us--as friends.


      GO AWAY ALREADY, COLD. My diaphragm hurts from the coughing. It slows when I sit down, but that's not in my job description. And tomorrow, I work 10 hours.

      I remember the very brief ads for The Green Slime when I was a kid, as they scared me. The scary bit turns up in this trailer, when the guy screams as green slime drips on him. That was it. If the ad had shown more--such as the fact that the Slime wasn't slime, but midgets in little suits, complete with visible feet--I don't think it would've scared me much. It was an Italian/American/Japanese coproduction, produced by the poor man's Toho, Toei.


      I finally saw it on TV as a young teen, and the thing that most impressed me was the terrible theme song:




      Outside of the dumb lyrics ("Will you believe it when YOU'RE DEAD?!"), I like the Green Slime's psychedlic theme. If you want the really worst theme ever, it'd have to be from one of the world's worst movie-like-objects, Monster-A-Go-Go. It's one of my favorite MST3Ks, but I was irritated that they talked over the lyrics. And musically it's like toddlers throwing instruments down the stairs. Oh, and that's the exact same muddy sound quality the "film" used.
      The Monster-A-Go-Go theme.
      I saw that once in the pre-cable era of TV, and spent years finding no evidence that it ever existed--or, for that matter, people who believed from my description that such a terrible waste of camera stock ever existed.
      Listening now to my 1986 Rhino cassette "The Golden Turkey Album." Songs from Plan 9, Eegah! Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Terror of Tiny Town, among the better known bombs.



      I looked up something from this page 6 years ago, and now hey! It�s retro links time!

      The Interweb Mix. I love that song! It reminds me of...dancing chipmunks, somehow...

      eBay feedback from surrealist poet Andy46477



      Something's in the air tonight, or maybe the water: Phil Collins thinks he's a reincarnated Alamo survivor. Because he loved the TV show Davy Crockett as a kid, and Crockett's last, gasping words were famously to his wife: "Susan!...oh, Sue... sudio!"
      "Collins remains a little defensive about his reincarnation, telling Rolling Stone magazine he was not a �weirdo� for believing it was possible, and producing pictures showing orbs of light, claiming that it was paranormal energy." It's in the Daily Mail, it must be true!
      "A few years ago, Collins bought into 76-year-old Jim Guiman�s History Shop on the edge of the Alamo. He tunnelled under it looking for relics."
      Yes, Phil was looking for...the Alamo's basement.


      Alive at both ends but a little bit dead in the middle, eh, Philbert?


      I'd totally forgotten about weird video maker Cyriak! Here's a recent Escheresque short from him. Arachnophobes may want to pass on it.


      Sure, a big space rock killed the dinosaurs. But what killed the saber-tooth tigers? Only thing cooler than a T. rex: SABER TOOTH KITTIES!

      As I wrote 10 days ago about "The Lorax," "Dobbs should have BUHAM on as a commentator, and they could whine about the cartoon characters Liberal National Diaper is putting on the Pampers that they constantly fill."


      My Endless Cold is seemingly ended! Except for the occasional barking cough. And the crap in lungs the cough won't completely dislodge. Other than that, I'm free and clear--
      Wait, now? A constantly-sinus-filling cornucopia of snot? Where the hell does it come from? I blow my nose here at the end of this cold, and minutes later it's like some bottomless buffet of phlegm. Endless Cold II: Electric Boogerloo.


      Oh, yeah, and if you've never been too lazy to update your page before, it's only because you don't have a page to update.
      To make up for it, here's Melies' 1902 hand-colored A Trip to the Moon with a soundtrack by Air. And the aptly titled little montage Old Cartoons Are Crazy.


      One of my favorite weekly reads was Don Markstein's Toonpedia, an awesome and entertaining encyclopedia of even the most obscure cartoon and comics characters. He stopped updating a year ago, and I really missed the site. But as I always say, if you're reading something for free, you can't complain when the person doing it tires of doing it.
      I guess he had other reasons to end it. He was dying. And now he's gone. You'll be missed by many people you never met, Mr Markstein.

      Okay, okay, I'm late. But I didn't see anyone else linking to the Beast's 50 Most Loathsome Americans either.


      The Cat Organ has been perfected!


      Don't worry; no cats were harmed. It's not the Mouse Organ.







      Just haven't had anything to say, y'know?
      Recently watched: Okay, I can't say that I didn't know what I was getting into when I Netflixed Transformers 3: Dumb of the Moron, except that Mr Ebert declared it the best of the movies. Damning with faint praise? No, it was the worst. T1: every fourth scene seemed to be missing. T2: every third scene. T3: every other scene. Oh, the 2 Decepticons destroyed in the last movie are now back halfway through the movie, with no explanation at all? And Shia LaBeefhead is even more the sexiest guy on the planet? T4 will be the opening credits immediately followed by the end credits--if we're lucky.
      The Adventures of Tintin went from theaters to DVD in about the time it took Spielberg to wave off the guy who, when he heard the proposal, said "What's a...Tintin? Is it about cans? Noises in your ear? I'm American, I never heard of a Tintin!" I read Tintin in some kids' magazine as a kid reading magazines, but a monster-budgeted movie based on him seemed even more absurd than spending $150M on Speed Racer. Like T3, the movie looked great. Unlike T3, it made sense. Like T3, it was just AAAAARRRRGGGGHHH!
      Was that annoying? Screaming at the same high pitch, without stop? Like Transformers, it was ALL EXCITEMENT ALL THE TIME. Think now of a boring day at work. Same old same old. Nothing exciting happens, but do you want armed gunmen to invade and take you hostage? AARRGH, NO! But imagine the opposite of a boring workday, in which armed gunmen charge in every other minute, but, like an average workday, you were certain that you'd live to see tomorrow? That's the boredom of endless false "excitement." Your job is just there, just to get through, whether or not it's selling booze or insurance or whatever, just like Tintin's job is battling villains. Even the actor they mocapped seemed about as enthusiastic as I do, going through the motions and filling the beer cooler. Hey, Herge! Grab those 30 packs and forget about your legacy!

      Lyme Disease Surge Predicted for Northeastern US: Due to Acorns and Mice, Not Mild Winter: Wear long socks all spring, New Englanders!


      St Patrick was English and converted Ireland to Catholicism, thus making the Irish less Irish. No wonder they celebrate by getting drunk.
      I'm half Irish, but that half's as Irish as it can get. If my mother Mary Torphy was born a day later her birthday would be 3/17, and while your Irish ancestors may have come over during the Famine, that was because they were all starving and not because of the bounty on their heads due to their hobby of exploding English tax collectors.
      Today we sold lots of Irish beer, because of St Paddy's and people are predictable robots. The radio station played a tribute to Ireland by playing music with "green" in the title or artist's name, because people are robots. What name screams "IRISH" more than "Norman Greenbaum"? They played Paul McCartney, and did they mention he's Irish? No. So they played "Give Ireland Back to the Irish"? No, they played "Yellow Submarine," duh! Because of "Sea of Green." Why not John's "Jealous Guy," as he's green with envy? Or George's "Something," as the way she moves may be because her foot has gangrene? Ringo's "Photograph," after he blew his nose on it?


      Last Day of the Winter That Was That One Day in October in New England, and it's 76 degreesF! THERE IS NO CLIMATE CHANGE EXXON LIES NOT.
      Heil Hollywood: The Los Angeles bunker from which Hitler planned to run Nazi empire after the war (Well, kinda sorta but also notta. It is the Daily Mail)

      I think that this should be a test, given at puberty. For one, you have to click "Watch on YouTube," no I don't know why. There's no win or fail. There is just information you can use. And it should only have one question: Who in this film clip of the greatest musical number ever made do you want to have sex with? Repeatedly?


      Since I went with MISS FRANCES GUMM, that means I'm straight. If you went with "that guy with the squirrelly hips near the end," you are either straight or you are not, gender-dependent. Yes, I know that Ms G was not all that straight. Shout Hallelujah anyway! Come on--watch it and get happy!
      (Also--where do the drumstick things the guys are beating on the floor near the end disappear to? It must be 1950 CGI!)




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