NEW 118

“If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe,
then I’d have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."
--George Carlin

Jump to the Newest of the New

6/25/14

      Kev and I are planning one last RiffTrax get-together before he and Meg leave. For once, there'll be a 2nd showing, and that's the best one for me, and the only one for him. They'll be in Austin looking for a place to live 3 weeks later (yeah, no comment). But as of now, the closest it'll get to us is Waterbury, and no, that's not close enough. Unless things change, that's not happening. Just please let there be one last time I see them before they leave...

      Most of my last week could be called "getting too little sleep" followed by "getting too much sleep to make up for it." I had dinner with my Mom Friday, and a conversation.
      MOM: "Oh, did you see that dog? He's a rescue! His owners had some giant dogs, and the big dogs kept tormenting the little one. So they threw him in their backyard. For a year, no matter the weather, and eventually a neighbor called somebody and they took him away. He's the friendliest dog ever! You'd think he'd hate people!"
      ME: "Actually, I'd think he'd hate other dogs."
      "Yes, she took him to the dog park, and he freaked out, so they left 10 minutes later."
      "Oh, Jess and her friend founded their own feral rescue group!"
      "Oh! How many dogs has she rescued?"
      "Um, NONE. She does cats." Feral dogs? What, is this Sochi? Detroit?
      "Oh, we have a feral cat here. No one feeds him, but he's here every day. He doesn't rub on anyone's legs, he checks into everyone's places. I had my door open [meaning: screen door closed], and he looked in and then left."
      "Mom, that cat is not feral."
      "He looks feral!"
      "They don't look feral, they act feral. Feral cats won't go near humans, let alone a place where people walk their dogs!"
      "But he looks feral! I see him come down from the same part of the woods every day!"
      "Are there houses there? Maybe they let him out when they go to work."
      "Oh, no! He turns up around 5:15 every day!"
      "Then they let him out after work! He's not feral!"
      "Oh, he's feral. He looks it! He's all grey with no other markings!"
      WHOA all feral cats are solid grey?! WHO KNEW call the Nobel Prize Committee on Veterinary Science so they can decide where to send your Vet Feral Science Thing award!
      I love my Mom, but she does not know a lot about cats.

      My answering machine--yeah, some of us old farts still have them--told me that the caller ID was my own phone number. The call is coming from inside the house--and it's me! Then it hung up. Hey, Me Calling From The Future, leave a message next time! How else will I know how to thwart the Alien Invasion, or to not eat at bad BBQ places?
      Then I immediately got a telemarketing message, so maybe that's their new thing.

      Star Wars if it was a trailer in the Guardians of the Galaxy style:

      

      

6/26

      In the store, if you call out of work a couple of times a month and have worked there for years, you get fired. If you've worked a few months and you call out a couple of times a week, you do not.
      Why the difference? Some are black, some are white. I leave it to you to figure out which has the "automatic forgiveness" gene.

6/27

      One of the slackers was fired for his endless no-shows at work, then immediately rehired by the New Owner. He learned his lesson!
      The lesson being that he wouldn't be fired for anything he did. He now has another job, and his new reason to blow ours off is just that--even though he's on our schedule before he's on the other job's. (At least he's aiming high--he's a busboy)
      So he had somebody cover for him tonight. The other worthless sack of monkey dung just can't work that grueling 13 hour a week schedule he has. Last Friday, he came in half an hour late, due to a family emergency. He was low on e-cigarettes. Which he and the other loser are allowed to smoke behind the counter in front of customers, what the fuck. In between their real job, texting their bros. K., a guy my age, recently started, and they've both bombarded him with near-daily demands that he cover for them. After only a month, K's disgusted with them. Who wants to find out that someone wants them to work for them in an hour?
      Today Thing Two was late again. The New Owner/Enabler called him up and was told "I asked K to cover for me. Isn't he there yet?" Well, he's not here, and he's always on time. A call to K was answered with K saying "I told him no!" Technically, the Inert Blob of Protoplasm with a Phone Smarter Than He'll Ever Be wasn't lying. He said he asked him, he didn't say what the answer was.
      And I can guarantee that when next week's schedule is posted, maybe the black guy will be gone, but the 2 lazy white shitheads will still be on the schedule. They won't work what's written on it, but their names will be there, their hours getting scratched off most of their days. Fucking welfare queens. They must be the New Owner's weed connection.

      

      

6/28

      Some alternate history: How close did the world come to peace in 1914?
      I'd go with "inevitably not." World War One almost happened four times before it actually did. Every combatant thought that it would be the Franco-Prussian War, fought when armies had hundreds of thousand of soldiers, and fought 40 years earlier. War will be quick and glorious, over in months with acceptable casualties! Every war is going to be fought like the last one!
      Even though this time they had mass conscription instantly leading to armies of millions moved by rail, and also barbed wire and machine guns, and a massive industry to build them, for profit.
      If they started a world war over a minor duke basically exiled to the shittiest part of a failed "Empire," and then killed by some idiot teenager, yeah, they would've started a war over anything. Because they did. They were looking for an excuse. They would've found another excuse eventually, like "Kaiser Blames Serbs for Ingrown Toenail." You have a giant army, and what's the point of having expensive toys if you can't play with them? It'll be over by Christmas! When we get more toys!
      As I was about to upload this, iTunes just decided to play the Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime."

      

      Last line of 2014 version "Deleted all my blogposts--what good are blogposts? They won't help me survive."

6/29

      Tony Blair, dread creature of the forbidden swamp Works just as well for Americans if you replace "Tony Blair" with "Dick Cheney." Except for the part where "charm" is mentioned. Then you can imagine it being Dick's ventriloquist dummy Dubya mouthing his fed lines.

6/30

      For no reason, on Saturday I thought of an intersection in the next town over that I used to pass continually up until about 15 years ago. I remembered it as a kid because of a large and remarkably ugly brick building with something one doesn't normally see on a busy street--a grain silo. It had been a feed store back in the day, possibly extremely back, as it was built in 1888. I was really amused when for a time in the 80s it became "Clay Furniture," as it made me think of sofas made from Play-Doh.
      Today I thought of a disturbing statistic I'd read: 1 in 4 Americans couldn't afford a $1500 emergency, of any kind. If I lost my job, I could probably last 4 to 5 years with no income, thanks to my savings. Then I realized that next year, I'll have been at the same job for 12 years, twice as long as I was at the next longest. Yay for job security! At least since I deal with DT a few hours a week at most now, and the New Owner is actually sane.
      Then I said as I often do to the cats when leaving for work, "Have a good day, kids! I probably won't."
      And 5 minutes later I was back, not having a good day.
       The car wouldn't start. My Fit was throwing a fit. The engine wouldn't turn over, making a weird and colicky noise I'd never heard one of my cars ever make. Every dashboard warning light came on at once, which is like someone running down the road screaming "AIIIIIEEEE!" It really doesn't narrow their problem down. Then it would only flash the key icon. The manual said this meant the anti-theft system didn't recognize my key, and the engine immobilizer was on. The hell? The key fits and it turns, so how can it be the key? I got the spare down to the garage, and that didn't work.
      I called work, then called Passkey. I was put on hold. The music was really bad, and I got to listen to it for a long time. Eventually, a woman came on. She quickly told me that my Passkey account had expired 2 years ago. Maybe they could've told me to re-up? After 20 minutes of explaining my situation, and having to spell a lot of words for her (and she was clearly American. If I lived near "Westchester," not "Manchester," I'd be driving a car that cost as much as my condo), she told me that the problem was the key, and I'd have to take it to the dealership to fix. She'll call a tow truck and call me back "right away."
      A tow truck. To fix. A key.
      When you're trying to get to work, don't know if your car is fucking dead, and you've ordered 350 cases of beer to come in that day...a 45 minute wait with a phone in your lap isn't "right away." And she called back to ask me "Is your car in neutral?" Well...then the keys would still be in it because they won't come out except in park, but let's check. It'd sure be quicker than this. And, of course, no, it isn't, and it can't be put in it in neutral now. Because, y'know, key doesn't work. "We'll send a flatbed in case it can't be put into neutral," like I said it couldn't, "in less than 45 minutes." Given what your idea of "right now" is, I guess the truck will park on the edge of a tectonic plate and wait for continental drift to move it here in half a million years.
      So I dropped my Netflix off in the mailbox and picked up my recycling bin, because I doubt the tow truck would let me do those things. When he arrived, I tried starting the car. It gasped and spasmed. "Oh, your battery's dead!" THANKS, car! You know when my tire's air is low, but you don't know when the battery is.
      After he jumped it, I followed him to his garage, as I was going to need a new battery anyway. He ran every light, with me pretty much required to run them with him. Down a road I guess I hadn't been down in a long time, as so much had changed. And, yes, I went past that old intersection. Now the ugly, nearly-windowless 1888 brownstone was some sort of butcher's shop. It looked like you could get butchered there, anyway...Clarisse!
      I waited for my battery by a case of WWII memorobilia, artillery shells and such (I bet I was among the few who saw it and thought "So that's what a 20mm Oerlikon autocannon shell looks like. Those were badass." The case held the story of a WWII Coast Guard sailor who landed Marines on a Japanese-held island, his ships immediately called back when it turned out that there were a lot more Japanese than expected, so much so that even Marines wanted the instant fuck out of there. He got almost all of them back into the ships, but the last few were pinned down. So he pulled his ship into the line of fire and kept shooting until he was dead. The last Marines got off the island. He got a posthumous Medal of Honor.
      A worker came in with lunches for everyone, unhappy about her test scores for...something. "I got an 81!" "But that's a B minus! Why are you mad?" "Because if you get a 90, you're in the first group to be picked! And they give you 10 extra points if you're ex-military! That's not fair!"
      (Me: Looks at picture of Medal of Honor winner, who died fighting the Axis)
      Guy looking at a website: "Passing is...65?!" Passing is a D? And then I found out what it was about: a D gets you on the police force. Here's a piece of paper where you can draw your own conclusions about the police.
      The people were incredibly nice, despite having a picture of Dubya on the wall with the title "MISS ME YET?" (Me: Looks at picture of Medal of Honor winner who died fighting the Axis; thinks of how not-fair it is that Iraqi war vets get extra points)
      And it only cost me about $300. And about 15% of that more because I was late for work. sigh I can afford that. I can afford $1500, for that matter. When I got home, the answering machine flashed 3 messages over 6 minutes. All robocalls making sure I got my roadside assistance. And each began with 20 seconds of screeching, painfully flanged-out hold music. You called ME and put me on hold?!
      The closest to a plus was that I saw a seafood restaurant right up the road that I never go on anymore and thought, "Of course they'll have lobster rolls. But are they Connecticut lobster rolls, the hot & buttery ones, or those shitty cold with mayo ones?" And their website says that they do! Because driving 90 minutes to the shore seems a long way to get a damn sandwich. I do hope their food is better than their site, with a pointless strip on the right that blocks 1/3 of it. The owner's picture was taken facing east in the early morning, with the sun so in his eyes that he shrieks "AIIIEEE!" Or perhaps he's looking at his own corporate mascot. He's like American Gothic in a tuxedo with a clam for a head, but the clam head has eyes and a clam rake, as he relentlessly murders his own kind for food. Is he called Clamibal Lecter? In "Silence of the Clams"? And says "Clam-risse!" okay I'll stop now.

      SHAWT: "Remember when a nickel would buy a piece of Beluga bubblegum, with the comic inside?"
      No, I actually don't remember buying any whale-based gum. And wouldn't that be "blubbergum" anyway?
      Next customer: "Maybe she's from Alaska?"
      What is the deal with Bazooka Joe? Is he missing an eye because he didn't know which way a bazooka points? I'll bet he probably still got 81 on the test.

7/1

7/2      God, Stupidest Things Said calendar! Obviously, the warning was "Small pieces may cause a choking hazard," and the guy writing it must have tested it by swallowing a bunch of jigsaw pieces, said "PSSHSST SSSTSISS SMSII PSSTS" while choking, and died while writing it.
      ARTHUR: Look, if he was dying, he wouldn't bother to write "PSSHSST SSSTSISS SMSII PSSTS." He'd just say it!
      GALAHAD: Perhaps he was dictating!

      And now, BEHOLD! Tis a true and mighty CONNECTICUT STYLE LOBSTER ROLL!

      

      Oh. Right. The camera's lens refused to open, and these are designed to be eaten hot, so I didn't take that pic until long after it was gone. Man, I'd suck at Instagramming my food! Also missed: when I put the tray on the floor, and Killsy licked up the remaining butter and lobster bits, and tried to eat the remains of the roll.
      I've wanted a real lobster roll for years, not one of those "cold with mayo" fake-outs--that's for tuna salad, man! It was very good, but not $13 good. My daily main meal budget is in the $2-4 range. Didn't stop me from Killsying it down (as opposed to wolfing, as that's how Killsy eats food she really likes. And def not like Byroning it down, which would be eating so fast it gets thrown up). And a much better experience than my visit to Little Mark's BBQ. I called my order in to them, and 10 minutes after I was told it would be ready, it finally was, with a worker wiping blood from her nose. Without me calling it in, it was ready at Clam Diggers in 5 minutes, and the staff was quite nice. Also, no customers with a vanity plate saying "NO LIBS" glaring at me like I was some al-Qaeda terrorist/Mexican illegal/Democrat which are apparently all the same thing in their reptile brains, which you never think of as a plus until you've experienced it.

      Lo-o-ong article about Eno and his new albums with Hyde. I'm of the opposite opinion that the author has--"Someday World" is only good, but "High Life," released a month later, is just awful. I won't ever buy that, unless it's for a dollar. Pro Tip from a 35-years Eno fan: Avoid any collaborations after 1995.

7/3

      I was relistening to WWUH's Sunday Ambient show, and it did a thing that it did Sunday. During a playing of Vangelis' soundtrack to Blade Runner, the music briefly paused and we were told "YOU GOT MAIL!" And not long after the hosts said that they used AOL. Haha, that's crazy! In the far-off future world of the distant year 2019, we'll have flying cars, offworld colonies, androids, overpopulated cities that still inexplicably have giant, unoccupied abandoned warehouses in their centers, but we'll still have AOL?! That's crazy!
      Next time you watch that movie, here's a fun game to play! It's called "Spot a Black Person!" It's a lot like "Where's Waldo?" without any Waldo.
      Seriously, try it. You'll see a lot more people eating noodles, but any number is higher than "none". What the fuck is with that?

      Okay, Blade Runner was a good movie. Bowanga! Bowanga! is not, despite having such a thing of a title. Can you make a 65 minute movie that still is 50% people pointing at offscreen stock footage, some of it clearly from silent movies? Can it be set in Africa, and have exactly 2 more Africans than Blade Runner? (The third one looks like a white guy smeared with shoe polish) Can you do that male fantasy of an all-woman society, starving for dick, and have it star guys who have less interest in women than a gay man's glee club? Will Africa look like as barren as--gee whiz, I dunno, Bryce fucking Canyon right outside of LA? Can you make the women not speak English, except that they can because whatever, but also make their monosyllabic "ME WANT MAN!" dialogue incomprehensible? Can they be so utterly Stone Age primitive that they shave their legs and pits with, how should I know, clam shells or something? Can you throw in some stock footage African animals such as an orangutang who literally facepalms, and a fucking moose? Can you have the men fight the women, when the women aren't fighting the women, and one takes his shirt off and he's less buff than me?! Can another be such a ridiculous Italian stereotype-a that-a he talk-a like Mario with a stutter and look just-a like-a

      

      FERRET BOY?
      Yes. You actually can.

7/4

7/5

7/6

      Angered by the Hobby Lobby ruling by the corporate-owned 5 on the Supreme Court? That's nothing. This will leave you blind with rage, sick to your stomach, and broken in heart: Faith Healing: Religious Freedom vs. Child Protection. Just say it's because of Jesus, and you get a free pass.

7/7

      I had the free coleslaw left over from my Little Mark's BBQ meal. I figured I could mix it in some tuna salad, because I like a crunch in there.
      Man, how do you fuck up coleslaw?
      The cats were happy for the tuna juice, anyway.

      Connecticut's not famous for much, at least much that's accurate. Yes, there are those rich people in Fairfield County, and there are a lot of suburbs, but it's not all affluent white people. Another thing it's unjustifiably famous for is the Amity Horror. The Amityville Hoax, really. A young couple bought a house that murders had happened in, found they couldn't afford the mortgage (on a house with murders, I mean, that's got to be a low monthly payment), so they came up with a bullshit story about it being haunted. The murderer guy was in prison, and tried to get his conviction overturned because the haunting made him do it, and the couple backed him up on his claims. That's the real horror--to get out of a fucking mortgage, these people had no problem with letting a convicted murderer get loose, because: CASPER the GHOST.
      And aided and abetted all through this was another sad reason people know about CT, beyond women's basketball and insurance companies: The Warrens. They were "paranormal investigators", meaning "self-aggrandizing con artists". They made a profitable career getting the rubes to believe idiocy, and had an indirect hand in the current fascination among the knuckle-walking fans of "reality" ghost-faking TV shows.
      Here's a a brief look at their portrayal in Hollywood, with a funny review of the lame paranormal museum in their house's basement. Oh, wait, Mr W's dead now, so it's odd that he isn't haunting it. Maybe it's too lame even for him.

7/8

7/9

      Good couple of days for free cat samples! Not samples of cats, samples for cats. Yesterday it was Meow Mix Tender Centers, a rom-com about a hard-as-claws tomcat who couldn't show his real feelings for Meg Ryan--oh, wait, no, it was a food. They loved it, but they love any food they've never had before, and then ignore it, much as one does with Meg Ryan. It was, hmm, let's see, made of--MOTHER OF GOURD! Is this an ingredient list, or the credits to a Meg Ryan movie, including everyone on the catering staff?! It's 27 lines long! It's at least 37 ingredients long! And it begins with CORN (cats' natural enemy), chicken by-product meal (what's a human by-product? I think "what I flush"), CORN, soybeans, animal fat preserved with mixed tocopherols, which I think are like gamma rays, wheat (and many is the time I have seen a kitten chase down a sheaf of wheat), animal digest, WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! Is it something that digests animals? Is it a little magazine that really old animals read on the toilet when they're shitting while watching Fox News and snarling "I'm constipated! THANKS, Obama!"
      Today was a pouch of "Fancy Feast Broth Gourmet Cat Complement." It wasn't a lot of food split between 3 cats, although a good fit when only DJ actually chews his wet food, rather than licking it into his stomach. (Quick quiz! Guess which of the 3 cats never pukes his food!) I'm not sure what "Complement" is supposed to mean, maybe "add to dry food," or "Don't blame us if it gives them the kitty shits." It's also in "a decadent silky broth" because "hedonisitic velvety soup" tested worse than that, but better than "sunk-eyed cat heroin." And it's made of "NO BYPRODUCTS" and also soy, and the starches of wheat, potato, and tapioca. HA HA HA! Tapioca, that's hilarious! My grandfather had this weird joke where at every family holiday, he'd complain "Where's the small pearl tapioca?" After many years of his joke, my mom made some tapioca. "This is large pearl, I said small pearl," he deadpanned, and didn't eat it. Months later, Mom and Grandma handed him a bowl of tapioca, with the box labelled "Small Pearl" placed in front of him. He looked at it like he'd been given a severed rat's head filled with baby spiders. My dad ate some and said "It's not that bad!" (My dad also thought the world's best candy was marzipan) Grandpa Walt ate a couple of spoonfuls, then pushed the bowl aside, and never made a tapioca joke again.

      A couple of short jokes from Something Awful:
      WootBoom's Refurbished Item Grading System
      The Left Behind Trilogy

      I had enough left on an iTunes giftcard for an album. So, after weeks of carefully not thinking about it and also hitting myself with a mallet, I bought "Best of Godzilla 1954-1975" because WHY WOULD I NOT? And then you go "But that music is goofy and loud!" and then I go "Just like GODZILLA MOVIES HA I WIN" And the you're all "Does it have the Jet Jaguar theme from Godzilla vs Megalon?" And I go "...I have no idea...what you're talking...about...sob!"

      

      I bought the album anyway. And I still have no idea what tapioca tastes like.

7/10

7/11

7/12

7/13

7/14

      I haven't written anything because I've nothing to write about (which is a good reason not to). I figured I would tmw, when Kev & I go to see Sharknado get Rifftraxed. He said he would, but so far he hasn't written back to me to firm the time. He & Meg went to TX to find an apartment, and they've been largely absent on FaceBook. Maybe they're still down there, if the search isn't going well. They are planning on moving to Austin in just 3 weeks, so that would take precedence.
      The most unusual thing to happen to me lately (Drunken Toddler being a colossal asshole isn't news) was my car's Tire Pressure system light coming on. I had a slow leak, so I filled it with Fix-A-Flat rather than replace the tire, and subsequently found out that's not really what you should do. It's worked fine for 6 months, except in our bitter winter, when it would make the car shake briefly when the temperature was below 20. All the manual said was to bring the car to the dealer so they can reset it. I don't need a light to tell me when my tires are low on air, as I've never had one before. I checked the tire, and it looked maybe a little low. I figured I'd put some air in it, and if the light didn't go off, replace the tire and keep it as a spare spare.
      On the drive home tonight, I heard a weird noise from the car next to me. No, wait, that's my car! So I slowed down to 60. I only had 6 miles before home.
      The noise kept getting louder, but the car handled fine. I dropped my speed. I hope I get home before it blows, as I don't want to try and change a tire on the side of the highway, at night, in the rain. That's a good way to get hit.
      It kept getting louder, and the car shook a very little bit, so I dropped to 45. Don't throw a fit, Fit, it's only 3 miles...Off the exit, I dropped to 35, hoping I didn't have to stop at any lights, as that might be when the tire finally goes. I made it home without stopping, and got out to check the damage.
      It was sitting only a few inches from the driveway, almost on the hubcap. And it had a huge gash in it. Did it happen when I finally stopped? How is it possible to drive any distance at any speed with no tire?
      So tmw I'll try to change it, and hope I didn't do more damage than I hope I didn't. Because I spent $300 on it just 2 weeks ago, and $1300 in town taxes are due this month. But just like the battery, it could've been worse. Unlike the battery, not "inconvenient," but "tire blows when I'm doing 75." Nothing's more inconvenient than dying.

      Study finds truth to 'friends are the family you choose'.

      I'll probably skip Sharknado, as my fourth cousins Kev & Meg have to prep their condo for a photographer in 2 days. And they hope to sell it before they leave. In 3 weeks. I think that will only happen if I win the lottery before then.

7/15

      

      I think that tire can be accurately described as "flat".
      If you follow that 6-inch gash at the bottom around the tire, you'll see more open tears at the top, and tears-in-waiting in the middle. The rubber shrapnel indicates that it exploded as soon as the car stopped moving, so, yeah, good thing I made every light on the last 2 miles.
      I got out the spare and then the jack. And said "This jack is only a jack! Where's the tire iron?" The manual said that there was a bag of tools on the tire, but there wasn't. Since I never had a reason to look in sub-trunk, maybe there never was one. So I had to call for a tow.
      I watched the Fit get loaded onto the flatbed, the back tire shredding more rubber and the hubcap screeching against the driveway. It was almost as uncomfortable as hearing a cat cry when she gets her shots. I don't want this either, but we have to do it!
      I paid him in the truck, me using my Discover card and he his smart phone, then went into Firestone, hoping I was just getting a tire replaced. They had only 1 type of tire that would fit, and only 1 of that tire.
      My car was in the bay within minutes. They have 10 bays, and all were occupied, so that's a short time. I got to ignore "The Young and the Restless" on the TV. A woman came in for some work, and complained about her Honda dealer's service. Testify, sister! She spent 10 minutes bitching about not-Firestone, so shut the fuck up already, asshole. "Well, I've taken up enough of your time!" she said finally. I've noticed that some service centers will take a loooong time to finish the work of people who whine a lot. Maybe you should have Firestone check your mirrors.
      At 1PM, a worker walked with great speed to the TV, and changed it to the (We Don't Do) History (Anymore) Channel. I guess he only watches Young & Restless. The show was about some guys renovating a geiger counter. It had some pretty obviously faked drama about one the guys, named Kowboy, being all surly about having to label some wires, whoa exciting, I could watch this show for hours or at least minutes that seemed that long. Maybe he was crabby because his parents named him Cowboy but spelled it wrong. Interestingly, many of the scenes were staged in front of Coke machines, totally coincidentally, I'm sure.
      Enough time had gone by that I was sure that there was no collateral damage to the car from the tire-grenade. Oh wait! No, "It destroyed the TPMS." And before it died, I'd never told the Tire Pressure Monitoring System that it was my favorite Monitoring System!
      "We can fix that for $80."
      "That's not a safety issue, right? It just says when the air is low."
      "...Yes, but that light will stay on."
      "I'll think about it. But I'll just do what I used to, and fill the tires every 6 months. Plus I just bought a battery 2 weeks ago, and that was $200. I need to spread the expenses out."
      He didn't pressure me, but he didn't look happy. I hadn't seen him before this point, so I guess he was the Sell You Stuff Guy.
      But the whole episode only cost me $200, as much as that battery. Even with $1300 in taxes due, I can afford that. Shift some money from savings. Always live below your means, kids.

      And the last few hours have been a true pleasure. Yesterday, somebody for some reason replaced my image files with ones about Jimmy Choo shoes. So I had to delete it all and reupload, and I really don't do this for a living, so it's been a long process. Long enough that I've given up trying for today. Let me know if you find anything f'ed up, although, yeah, it's probably nearly everything. My front page is missing a lot of images, but at least it doesn't redirect to any Swedish coat factories.

7/16

      A message was left on my machine this morning that said, in its entirety, "Your online source for Yahoo, Google and Bing." Yeah, well, I should call back and say "My page is your online source for the guy who found it using Google & looking for 'Sisto likes to suck who brothers dick inch she likes it he likes it and he comes in she thinks it is grilse she got did it because she didn't want her brother to tell tell mom she had sex with another guy'."
      Woo, hot Sisto on Brak action! Although I think I may have the only page left in the world that has never used the word "grilse".

      I twice had to see the trailer for Lucy in theaters, because I went to the theater twice. It started off good, then Morgan Freeman says "It's said that we only use 10% of our brains! Imagine if we could use 100%!"
      Yeah, you know what else is "said"? Aliens landed Bigfoot to kill JFK, then disguised him as Elvis so people would think he wasn't dead. Also, smoking doesn't cause cancer, global warming is a hoax, and McDonalds is food. Point being: Yes, idiots say a lot of things.
      Where did this "We only use 10% of their brains" crap come from? No one is really sure, but my guess would be that a century ago, some scientist or doctor said "We don't know what 90% of the brain does, because we're only 20 years past the time we suddenly thought 'Hey, maybe we should wash our hands before surgery after we just did an autopsy'." And some popular magazine read that as "We don't use 90% of our brains!"
      As a kid I thought that didn't make sense. It makes no sense if you think about it at all. If I only use 10% of my brain, why isn't it 90% smaller? What are the other parts of my body that I only use 10% of? Usain Bolt should be able to run 300MPH, but he only uses 10% of his legs. I only use 10% of my stomach, otherwise I could eat a whole cow at once. Stupid hands, I only use 10% of them! Otherwise, I'd have 100 fingers, and then imagine how fast I could text! If I only didn't use 10% of my colon, I could wait months to shit, and you what would come out? What's left of that cow. Hooves, bones, perfectly tanned leather. I'm gonna need a bigger toilet!
      If 'Lucy' Was About Other Completely Wrong Misconceptions.

      DiGiorno's Pizza put a "design your own pizza" thing on their website, so of course it went horribly wrong. 90% of the abusers said "LOL me made a penis!" 10% of them used more of their brains and created something more. The big part of the fun is guessing what they're supposed to be, before finding out. Most are pretty obvious. 17.365% are not.

7/17

      The best DEVO song/video not done by DEVO:

      

      

7/18

7/19

      I have spectacular and awesome dreams, but if they go on long enough, they become Frustration Dreams. I'm trying to accomplish something basic, like exiting a building or driving my way home, and I just can't, stuck in an endless loop. I'm enough of a lucid dreamer that I can sometimes break from the loop, or at least get annoyed enough that I can wake up and get a drink of water and reset my brain to another dream.
      It's odd, as I'm not really that frustrated in my real life. Even at my job, beyond anybody's desire to not have to work at one for a living. This week I had a long frustration dream about my car, but that was understandable, given the $500 I've spent on it in 2 weeks.
      Last night was just one after another, no clue why. The longest started with me & Jessica going to college--Wait, I thought in the dream, she should be the same age as I was in college, and she was now 19 years old. (In reality, when I was that age, she was one) Also, it was 1978, but there were CDs. I was given one by a musician who turned out to hate music, and also video games (video games then were Pong; my brain didn't see the need to edit those parts), and part of terrorist group that wanted to murder everyone who liked music or video games, and I got badly shot to death in a massacre (Jess got away quickly and unharmed, thankfully) but the bullets hit the CD he gave me, so I was only partly dead, and I pretended I was a zombie and strangled a guy, then stole his gun and killed a bunch of them, and then other people fought back, except me, I died or at least was way in the background dying, and Jumpin' Jesus on a Jerboa, that was the whole damn dream, just me taking another first person's shooter POV and killing endless swarms of these really idiotic cultists in a giant video arcade, who believed that if they shot every screen it would lead to nuclear armageddon (which it would) but somebody convinced them that if they turned them off the same thing would happen (but it wouldn't) and OH GOD THIS DREAM IS BORING LIKE A BAD VIDEO GAME.
      And I don't even play video games. I woke up to reset the game, and thought "At least this isn't that stupid dream where I'm calling 911, and either my phone doesn't work or the operator doesn't care" and went back to bed.
      I dialed 911. The phone worked, and the operator cared. Not in a dream, at my job.
      A customer ran in, almost incoherent, about a man--at first I thought he stole something, but then I got that he'd fallen. An old man, and gushing blood from his head. Well, it looked like geysers at the time. A guy asked me to help him to his feet, with the victim insisting all the time that he was fine--blood running from his nose and from a good-sized gash above his eye. "He hit face first!" on the asphalt. I asked "Do you need 911?" "No, no, I'm fine!" he said. I thought "That's the exact same stupid response I'd give," and said "I'm calling 911." "NO! It'll just make my wife very upset!"
      We got him in the store to sit down and mop up the waterfall of blood with most of a roll of paper towels, all the time hearing "I'm fine! I'm fine!" After the 911 guy quickly established his condition, the next thing he wanted to know was his age (92!) and if he was lucid. "Yes, except for claiming he's fine. We have ice--should we put ice on--" "NO! Just let him sit, let him stop the bloodflow. I'll call the ambulance." When they called, I repeated everything--yeah, he's not going to die, basically.
      They didn't exactly rush over, no sirens, but with a town cop, and a paramedic and 4 members of Teen Rescue Squad. Seriously, they looked only old enough to just start thinking that Nickelodeon and Bieber weren't cool anymore. The paramedic spoke calmly, trying to get him to go to the hospital to get stitches ("It looks like you'll need 2 maybe") and him insisting he was fine. The cop--a big, shaven-headed dude who you would not want pulling you over for even a busted taillight--paced at the perimeter, with a look between impatience and worry. Perhaps he has an older and obstinate relative like this old man.
      "My wife will be very upset if I go to the hospital! She'll want to know why I was here, and what I was doing!"
      Paramedic: "Why are you here?"
      "I was buying some beer. Really, I'm fine!"
      "Oh, what kind of beer?"
      "Ballantine's Ale! That was a very popular beer in my day, and this is the only place that carries it, so I--"
      (jokingly) "And how many have you had today, sir?"
      "NONE!" (Teen Rescue Squad laughs)
      She gave a significant look at the cop, who came in as an authority figure to confirm that he really should see a doctor. The "I'm fine!"s persisted, and the cop stepped back, looking at me and shaking his head. While I'm not a doctor and not even one who watches them on TV, I was a bit frustrated and said what no one had said yet: "He could have a concussion, and he's not going to know that now!" And then my duty as a doctor called--at least mine as an unlicensed pharmacist--and went to ring people up. They convinced him to finally go to the hospital. Maybe I gave them the argument they needed, who knows.
      The cop sought me out after they took him away. "His wife and daughter are going to meet him at the hospital. I've locked his car up. Is it okay if it sits here for a few hours?"
      "As long as it needs! Did he get his beer?"
      The cop looked startled. "He--was leaving when this happened?"
      "Yeah, he paid for it. We'll keep it for him. When he gets home, he'll probably need his medication!" and we laughed.
      We mopped up the blood from the floor, which makes it sound like a Saw movie, but it wasn't that much. I was thankful that this happened when the adults were working, because the 21 year olds would've just taken pics of the poor old guy and the floor and tweeted "old fart blodd LOL!!!"
      I noticed that his license plate was something like "P353", which likely meant that he'd had that plate for many decades. (They started with just 3 numbers, then added a letter after there were more that 1,000 cars in the state) And 92! He most likely fought in WWII, when a face to the pavement wasn't a thing you complained about, not when your best friend next to you had his one removed by exploding Axis gunfire.
      I wonder what tonight's dreams will be like!

7/20

7/21

7/22

      I received a free sample of Rachael Ray Nutrish for Cats, and really, "Nutrish"? A food named that for humans I would assume would be for toddlers. It declares on the front "NO Ground Corn NO Wheat NO Soy." Second ingredient: Ground Rice. Cats, in their natural habitat, always hunt down the stealthy and wily rice. Third: Corn Gluten Meal. That corn wasn't ground, it was...mealed? Also, "NO poultry meal," so ingredient 4 is "Menhaden Meal" (it's a kind of herring) and 6 is "Salmon Meal," but no poultry meal, THANK GOD. Ingredient 5 is another of the cat's natural prey, Dried Plain Beet Pulp. Many a Russian has been mauled by a cat, stalking and then viciously attacking him for his borscht.

      At some point, Jess and I went from seeing each other once a month to once every two months. We agreed to switch back--especially as I've probably only one last chance to see Kev & Meg--and our next visit wasn't 8 weeks apart. Just 6. And we tried again, but it's been one thing after another. She had good reasons to postpone, just not for good things. She had a funeral to go to, then a week later her oldest cat Bogart developed some growth that was leaking something. (He's okay) Last week she couldn't, as narcoleptics have to budget their time. Today, I woke up after a night of awful non-sleep to see an email from her. Her husband had been up all night sick, and she sent it at 3:41AM, so she wasn't doing any better. She should be with her husband if he's sick, and I sure don't want to drive an hour on the Mass Pike on 5 hours sleep. (For those of you not from Southern New England, the Pike uses driving rules codified by the legal precepts of the Mad Max movies)
      So, yeah, 4 weeks is now maybe 9 weeks. Yes, you should feel bad. You're the one missing out on pictures of her 8 cats & kittens!

      In sixth grade, I really didn't want to participate in the Science Fair, but you had to. My friend Mark also didn't want to. Back then there was some "study" that claimed you could get plants to grow by talking to them nicely, and stunt their growth by yelling at them. As sixth graders, even we thought this was stupid, but it sounded easy. Especially as I didn't have to grow the plants.
      We had three. One we talked nice to, one we berated, and a third we left alone as a "control". Both of the plants we talked to/screamed at grew, but the abused one grew a little faster. The ignored plant--well, the only positive reaction to our lame-assed "experiment" was a teacher laughing at Mark's observation "The control plant was dug up by my cat."
      Soon after, real science said that the plants grew because we were exhaling carbon dioxide at them. Since it was more fun to yell at a plant, that one grew slightly quicker--or not; this happened over only a month, so maybe it got more light or water. Or just wasn't near a cat.
      One would think that after the conclusive 1971 Dwyer/Young study at the Ellsworth Middle School Science Fair, the books would be closed on the subject. But no! In the wake of such Nobel Prize winning books as "The Secret," it has been proved that wishing does make it so! Oh, how the beggars shall ride on the infinite ponies thus spontaneously generated by thinking magic thoughts a whole bunch. If one labels a jar of rice "Thank You!" it grows better than one labeled "You're An Idiot!" But the control jar of rice does all sad worse. The conclusion from this monumental study (by one guy with 3 jars and some rice) proves that no attention is worse than being abused all the time. Yeah, umm, sure. Who doesn't like being bullied over being ignored by bullies? And it must be true, because humans = jar of wet rice.
      As we in the scientific community say, "Well, yeah, duh!" and then point a test tube at you and mumble something about "We need a sample of derp, I think you can spare some" and then sweet-talk our soggy rice ("Only you understand me, Uncle Ben's!"). But then some buzz-kill skeptic comes along and tries the experiment with another variable: A Grain of Truth: Recreating Dr. Emoto’s Rice Experiment. She asks the question "And what happens if there's a fourth jar? And you read it quotes from Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann?" The results may ASTOUND you!*
      (*Results may not "astound," only "startle." Do not leave knives by berated plants; they may grow resentful and stab.)

7/23

7/24

      Proof that you can't find an article on Wikipedia about everything: The Dick Nixons. They're Wikinvisible. This was a band that I loved from their debut 1990 album, which is also I think the only thing they ever did. They were the world's only Richard M. Nixon tribute band, trying to get him re-elected president in 1992. Spoiler: despite their best efforts, he didn't win.
      The band sells themselves with their deep commitment to getting Tricky Dick back in the White House, as opposed to "worshipping a burning [George H.W.] Bush!" Read about them here, in this serious 1988 article.
      They sang meaningful songs about how they needed Dick, so much Dick Nixon, with utter sincerity. Such as their plaintive song of outsider despair based on the Rudolph ditty, "We're a Couple of Misfits": "Just because we like Nixon, why don't we fit in?" Nixon's the One, emo kid. Nixon is the One.
      Exactly how such extremist propaganda made its way into Sam Goody, I will never know. But that's where I was working, so maybe it found me. I've been a Nixon supporter ever since. Yes, yes, he's "dead." But there may still be a chance that his disembodied head in a jar will be mounted on a giant killer robot, as shown in the documentary "Futurama." Then whose shiny metal ass shall thou kiss--indeed, WHOSE? (spoiler: Nixon's)
      Here's a page about the Dick Nixons, with songs. While many a heavy metal song sounds like it was sung by a guy choking on a pretzel, their singer sounds like he has one jammed up his nose. You may not like them, being a Watergate-aphobic philistine, but if you open your mind, it may let you into a new realm of consciousness.
      (Or, like me, just think they're hilariously awesome. Also, is fronted by a guy named Kirk the Jerk)

7/25

7/26

7/27

      I was listening to WWUH's Sunday Morning Ambience, as I do on most Sundays that have mornings. Today's hosts play some nice music, but their on-air delivery needs work. They also have a classical show, in which the utterly murder the names of any non-English speaking composer they play. I'll growl at the radio "Saint-Saens is not pronounced 'Saint Sayens,' like he was on Dragon Ball Z!" It doesn't help when one of them tries to read an album's credits without wearing glasses.
      They have a feature of playing old vinyl LPs, which is cool. Of course, you always hear the needle hit the end of a side, and it sometimes just clicks there until they remember to flip the record. Five minutes later.
      Today, they played a 1988 LP by The Durutti Column, which was kinda low-key, but not what I'd call "ambient." And three times the group was referred to as "The Durante Column."

      

      Pictured above: A 1980s British post-punk band. And they didn't even do their hit, "Inka Dinka Do"!
      I expect in future weeks, they'll play LPs by other 80s British bands, such as "Good Night Mrs Callabash Voltaire" and "Myrna Loy Division" and "Simply Hed(y Lamarr)" and "The Jean Cocteau Twins" and...um..."Martin Landau Ballet"! Wait, he wasn't from the 1930s. Man, it's hard to link up bands most of you never heard of with stars from the 30s none of you have heard of! I hope you got a good laugh at the ones I came up with, although I think "a blank stare" would be the likelier response.
      "Siouxsie and the Van Johnsonshees"! Oh god that's just awful.

      And now I shall review the 1968 Roger Corman movie Psych-Out.
      It was not good. NEXT!
      It's what I guess you could call a "hippie exploitation" movie. It's about far-out hippies taking groovy drugs, then wear clothes that stick it to THE MAN while playing the flute and dancing and holding blank protest signs.
      It stars Susan Strasberg as a deaf runaway. When she speaks, you'd think that she could hear! Because they wouldn't have a deaf actor play a deaf character. In 1968, they were just figuring out that Mexicans and Asians might be better played if they weren't performed by old white men.
      And there's another problem. In this era, the slogan was "Don't trust anyone over 30!" and not "Don't trust anyone who doesn't get a discount at Denny's!" The other star is Jack Nicholson, an actor only remembered today for his role as the President in Mars Attacks. He's 31, but looks like 20 years older, with a vast forehead wrinkle that looks like it could be used as a set in the last scenes of Star Wars, if it just had some super-tiny turbolasers on the sides.
      Susan is deaf, but can read lips. Jack realizes this, and hides what he wants to say to his buddies, right in front of her, by putting his hand over his mouth. One would think that Susan would find this creepy and suspicious, but she ignores it. Because she reads lips by never looking at lips. She reads lips by looking into the talker's eyes. Of course, she's attracted to Jack, because who wouldn't want to stare into those eyes for over a second. Because when you think of Jack's eyes, it's like looking into a crystal-clear lake of the purest "HEEEERE'S JOHNNY!!!" Maybe it's his fake ponytail. All the male actors look well into their 40s, and most are balding and have fake hair. I really love the headband that holds one guy's hair extensions, but not as much as the guy with mutton chops that the filmmaker got from a hipster doing Chester A. Arthur cosplay.
      They take lots of drugs, especially smoking the mary jane jazz cigarettes, all of which are always 2-inch long roaches. If you smoke the pots, you giggle! Just like in the documentary Reefer Madness!
      Then they take the acid, and it's not good. I guess, as this is the point on Wednesday that I fell asleep.
      I turned it on today, and oh, right. Jack's throwing a party for the hippies, and Susan takes some acids and decides to find her boyfriend. He has taken too many of all the acids, and is all crazy and looks like Rasputin, the lover of the Russian queen, a cat who was really gone. He has also set his apartment building on fire. Hugs not drugs, kids! Unless it's hugs that make you an arsonist. Then, I don't know, maybe take some drugs. And then, HER ACID KICKS IN.
      Susan runs away with Jack racing his Rascal Scooter after her, hoping to save her before Denny's closes. Susan's Bad Trip is really kind of terrifying--not because that it's supposed to be "all in her head," but because of what isn't. There are constant bursts of fire, sometimes clearly just gasoline they poured down and set on fire, and she has to run through these wearing a microminiskirt. And, yes, it's actor Susan Strasberg really running inches away from open and uncontrolled flame. It's fucking Roger Corman, what do you expect?! It's pretty harrowing, and I'd sure hate to watch this on acid. Maybe that was the point?
      Jack and his elderly hippie friends rush to the Golden Gate Bridge, using his AARP discount on the senior shuttle. Susan's in the middle lane, seeing fireballs flash by her, but they're headlights of rushing cars. In a nice bit of direction, she sees cars speeding by her, although they're really moving slow, just with the film sped up. Roger Corman's always got at least one bit of "I thought about this shot" in all of his films. This is, of course, followed by Jack screaming at her to stay where she is. She's on acid! And as the movie doesn't point out for once, she's deaf! And he's cupping his hands over his mouth to make her hear him better when she can't, and also making it impossible for her to read his lips! Oh, Jack, please don't also close your eyes! Which also isn't pointed out. It's like Jack lost his ear trumpet. Then, the 45 year old teenaged hippie who gave her acid rushes into traffic, then brings her back safely!
      Safely for her! Because, in a sacrificial move NO ONE could ever have foreseen, he's hit by a Buick, flies in the air and lands on the windshield, then flies back up in the air, lands on the hood, bounces and then hits the windshield again, then lands on the pavement, bounces again, and somehow lands right-side-up with his head smashing against a concrete wall. Not even his wig could save him.
      Wait! He can't be dead until he gives his final words! "Reality is a deadly place. I hope this trip is a good one." He says this as he knows he's dying, and gives it all the emotional weight of me talking about stubbing my toe last month.
      Then it ends, because the movie's over. I don't think anyone was expected to learn anything from this immorality play. Jack, hideous demon creature, hugs Susan while we get a big closeup of the replica of Valles Marineris he keeps on his forehead. I hope he wipes it dry after every shower, because otherwise, mosquitoes will breed in there.
      Valles Marineris! That's that insanely big canyon on Mars! It was a callback to the Mars Attacks ref! I'm trying to tie this all together!
      "A-Ha-rpo Marx"! ...No?

7/28

      After a month of trying to arrange a final get-together with Kev & Meg (they leave Saturday, giving that day a good reason to have "turd" in its name), we're getting together tomorrow. For a trip to the Vernon Diner and a viewing of 1933's pre-Hays Code musical, Footlight Parade, which I love and he already wanted to see.
      Of course, after 2 months of trying to get together with Jess, you can guess which day she asked for...But there's always next week with her. There ain't that much time before K&M go from the bluest state in the country to the only one barely beaten out of redneck bottom place by the F-state.

7/29

      I would think Kev emailing me 4 days ago "We'll do Tuesday then" would kinda mean we were getting together today, Tuesday. He wasn't home, so I thought "He's so distracted by moving that he again told me to be at his condo at the time he's actually leaving work." I called, and No, he thought it was Wednesday. So I could've seen Jess today.
      I called work and, since I'm working 43 hours this week, asked if I could come in 3 hours late Thursday and not get the overtime. Since A: they love not to pay you, and B: a coworker just was given 6 days off when she hasn't worked her "normal" hours in 5 of the last 7 weeks, he really couldn't say no, because C: you only get fired there for excessive time off if you have excessive melanin in your skin. I really don't need to be there at 8AM on any Thursday, and even less when I think that even someone with my tight emotional control may have a hard time getting to sleep tomorrow.

      There's only 1 Godzilla movie I've never seen, that miserable first American one. Everyone said it was in the "So bad, it's just fucking bad" category. I checked to see if Rifftrax's take on it would be replayed on a Tuesday--so I'm not asking to come in late on another workday--and it looks like it is. It's in that little special events theater that's otherwise unused, so if they can replay it without the same fee they paid for the earlier show, who cares if 10 people turn up?
      They're showing a film called Big, Loud & Live. It's all marching band music. Yes, tuba-playing readers, I thought of you. Then I saw that it's over five hours long. I couldn't sit in a theater watching any movie that went on that long, even if it was a Dawn Wells sex tape.

      I drink Salada tea. They're known for having "jokes" on the tags. Very old jokes. Typical: "A dog that swallows jewelry is a diamond in the ruff." It's funny because people say "diamond in the rough" all the time! How about "A kitty getting dressed for bed is the cat's pajamas!" or "A social insect that owes money to the Mob is the bee's knees! (which get broken)"
      Okay, I made the last 2 up. I tried to find another of these really stale jokes, but only came across "Punctual pool players are always right on cue." I'm surprised that didn't end with "23 Skidoo!"
      I can't find old ones because suddenly, Salada is all hep to the jive. Today I saw one that said "Thoughts and photos are always better when using a filter." WTF, that makes no sense as I'm driving my flivver down to the sock hop wearing my "I Like Ike" button! That only makes sense if it's about Photoshop! The next I checked said "All birds can chirp but only people can tweet." But that only makes sense if...
      And it was. Others I grabbed have such witticisms as:

      OMG LOL WTF BBQ! Yeah, one thing that hasn't changed: these are all Dad Jokes.
      I thought that there'd be some vast online depository of these sayings, but there doesn't seem to be. In fact, about the best I could find was a 1992 Harvard Crimson article.
      I have one from c.1978. "Accidents happen. That's why there's so many kinds of salad." No, I have no idea what it means, either.

7/30

      Met with Kev & Meg for probably the last time today.
      Maybe more later. Right now, I'm kinda...just...

      

      Good Luck, Kev & Meg & Maxie & Penny & Stella, and gourdspeed!

7/31

      I've no idea when I finally fell asleep last night, but it was after 130AM. And the sleep was terrible; fitful and constantly awakening to pace around a bit and try again. A cup of very strong tea in the morning barely woke my slushy brain up at all; neither did a can of Red Bull, until I regained sentience about 3 hours later. And of course I had plenty of time to think about Kev & Meg.
      And since I have to get up early tomorrow, I'm not writing about it. I'll just get upset and not sleep again. I may never write about it. Kev talked a half hour plus about all the misery they've been going through in the last 2 weeks. Lesson learned: if you plan to move in 6 months, don't wait until the last 3 weeks to finalize everything, as people will rip you the fuck off as much as they would an illegal immigrant leaving Latin America.
      On the positive side: when I called Tues to see where he was, I thought "Why is Meg making so much noise in the background?" When he said he was still at work, I realized it was his going-away party. "Just a small pizza party," he said. But: they paid him all his owed vacation time (although I think that's legally required) and laid him off, so that he can collect unemployment. For 10 to 11 weeks, as the company does seasonal layoffs like teacher's unions do. "If you don't have a job in 11 weeks, they said 'Then just reapply. We won't fight it'."
      They still have a condo to sell, hopefully as soon as possible, without taking too much of a hit. I kept my mouth shut about Jess' condo, and how long that's been on the market, and priced at a loss. (Her biggest problem is her shitty condo association, and the fact they lived in a very upper class area, so it's not the same thing anyway)
      I'll miss them dearly, as I already do. But I hope I don't see them again, except in the "We flew up for Xmas vacation because we're doing so well now!" sense. Not the "We ran out of money, and the condo didn't sell, and it's either here or living in our cars with 2 dogs and a cat, until all our money runs out" sense.

      To end on a more positive note, here's some pictures I took of...Shit, that one of Stella jamming her head in the tiny pet door and barking down the stairs, that came out crappy. This one of Penny, also all excited that Mommy was home, yet frustrated that she was downstairs with Daddy unloading the car so she's gnawing a bone and whining--never mind. Nice layout and focus, BILL. OKAY, so I forgot that one time Jess showed me on this how to check pictures you've just taken! I should've just taken a safety photo each time. At least this one of Kev eating his gigantic Oreo pancakes (off to the left: another plate of bacon, eggs, sausage--it's what the Vernon Diner calls the "The Vernon," as he's not going to see a lot of meals named after Connecticut suburban towns in TX), and Meg's insanely huge nacho "appetizer" came out great!

      

      ...Maybe I should've taken another, or at least waited until she stopped chewing...

8/1

8/2

8/3

8/4

      I just don't have anything to post. Maybe tomorrow, if Jess & I finally get together after 10 weeks. Here's what might seem like an unusual exchange, if you don't work where I do:
      I'm in the office doing my beer orders, and the phone rings and rings. I see a coworker walk to the phone, then walk away. Another one of her many creditors, no doubt.
      Phone immediately rings again. I see from the caller ID that it's Drunken Toddler. No wonder she didn't pick up. I do.
      DT (sounding really wasted): Is this G.?
      ME: No, he's left for the day.
      Is this G.?
      No, he's left for the day.
      Is this L.?
      No, L. never works Saturdays.
      Is this L.?
      L. never works Saturdays.
      (pause)
      SHIT! *click*, hangs up
      What was that about? Don't know, don't fucking care. Just another day at work.

8/5

      I met my best--and I guess currently only--friend in lovely Uxbridge, MA, which is about the midway point between Boston (where her husband Ron works) and Providence. Since she gave me her old Garmin Nuvi, I didn't even bother to look up directions. Since she didn't give me the dash mount, it sat in the cup holder and I had it on audio. It worked fine, until I reached the most dreaded road in the world, the Massachusetts Turnpike. Once when I was on it, I was passed at 80MPH on the right. By a car driving in the breakdown lane. That then slammed its brakes on and cut across multiple lanes to a complete stop, because this was 500 feet from a toll booth.
      The only drama this time was when I left the toll, and Garmin British Lady said "Turn left." LEFT?! I just spent 35 miles driving east, now I'm supposed to drive west?! I think the audio bit has a bug, as it did this to me the only other time I used it, just as a test, to see how it talked me home from work. Yes, I could turn left here and get home. It'd just take 10-15 minutes longer.
      Other than that, easy. Some major road construction, but no delay. I passed some long abandoned structure, 2 huge stone pylons clearly made from glacial rocks from New England's old farm stone walls, topped with a pointing-out V. Too close to the road to stop and take a picture. My brain somehow read it as a drive-in theater, which is what it turned out to be. I also passed a sign for a state park called Purgatory Chasm because trust Jess to live near something straight out of a Tim Burton movie.
      It was an obviously expensive cul-de-sac, but they had the smallest house. They're not McMansions, giant houses with tiny yards. They all have good-sized yards abutting woods. Deer visit her regularly.
      I took a lot of pictures, but not as much as I should've. She's themed every room, mainly with curio cabinets filled with precisely placed tiny figures and cheap junk she's bought while antiquing, often with me. The kitchen is all Disney, the living room is cats, Ron's office all Star Wars/Grateful Dead including 2 lightsabers (all his stuff), her daughter's bedroom sunglasses and little rubber duckies (all her stuff). She's been working on the place for the 18 months they've lived there, and it's still a work in progress. She's done a lot of painting, and plans to do more, as well as some hand-done stencilling. Ron & her stepdad are expanding the deck themselves, Jess mows the lawn ("It only takes 2 hours.") They could afford to pay people to do it for them, but they don't. I like that.
      And pretty much of the rest is pictures!

      

      Her front yard. She did all the landscaping, all the way to the white boulders in back. The lawn was both overgrown and completely dead when they moved in. She even had to dig half the boulders out. Majoriam's Colony is her Etsy site, and named after the wandering cat who adopted her, changing her life.

      

      It's a rain gauge, but I said "Mickey with a Bong!" and she replied with a laugh "You're the only one besides me & Ron that's thought that!"
      This camera she gave me! Well, it's free, can't complain about the price. But unlike my 12 year old Kodak, it's really hard to tell if a picture came out okay. This one did not.

      

  Meet Edgar, the first thing you meet when you enter her house. My favorite poet is named Byron, hers is named Poe. He's a medical school-quality skeleton, only 3 feet tall but fully articulated. She dresses him up. In the foreground: some of Ron's old shorts that don't fit that she gave me. She also dresses me up. Hmm...
      It's Bogart! The old man of the house, and Ron's first cat. He spent most of his time sleeping, as he's 14. Killsy is 15 and a hundred times more active, but he's had health problems all his life. Petting his back is like playing an xylophone made of vertebrae.

      

      It's Ham! Extra toes? Move over, Byron, you're an amateur! Ham has extra THUMBS!

      

      Why he's named Ham, I don't know, but he is a ham, loving photo ops and attention.

      

      

      

      Part of the bedroom where Ham was sleeping, Jessie's Disney pins. Just the ones she's keeping; she trades others for the pins she wants. Also, in the left corner, some Pee-Wee's Playhouse thing. What a nerd!
       Jess has 8 cats. 9 if you count Spitz, the feral that lives in their yard. Outside of very brief appearances by Ron's girlfriend Gretel (one of the black trio she was fostering when she was fired from her volunteer job at the shelter for getting mad about kittens being left alone without food or water by the boss over the weekend), and who probably just heard a male voice and thought it was her Daddy, these are all of them I saw. "Did they run when when I rang the doorbell?" She said "No, they ran when they saw your car."

      

      Where Spitz lives. A palace for a feral! A wire enclosure extends to the right. It has a mailbox because: Jess. Built by her stepdad. The idea is to slowly encourage a feral to associate this house with her house, and safety, and then bring them inside. She's getting there. But he's called Spitz because when anyone gets close to him, he hisses and spits.

      

      Jess' elaborate dollhouse.

      

     A closeup of one tiny bit. Note the UConn banner, U2 poster, Dr Finkelstein from The Nightmare Before Christmas, the 5 cats (there were cats everywhere in her dream house), the arcade room, and the coffin. Her stepdad is building her a life-sized "coffin coffee table," because why not.
      Then she opened the last door, the only closed door. And out popped

      

      KITTENS!!!
      YES! She's fostering 3 crazy, 3 month old orange boys, who burst out of the room and began loudly purring before they even meowed! They crawled all over us, so sweet and friendly. In fact, here's a pic taken literally seconds after the first:

      

      
      She tried to get one of me seconds after that, and successfully got all 3, sorta.

      

       Five seconds later:

      

      Also: Nice shirt, nerd.

      They needed to explore! "All my other cats are probably under the beds, or in the basement--" And we laughed as a darling and daring marmalade cautiously walked under her bed, no doubt wondering "Why you down here, old cat? It's FUN out here!!"
      We left for some exploring of our own--

      

      "Squeak squeak!" went the kitten.
      ...to an antiques place in an old mill. Uxbridge is an old mill town, even far more than my Vernon is. Massive mills everywhere, either abandoned or repurposed or burnt down (shoulda got pics of that magnificent ruin). She found another shelf for her knick-knacks and cat based salt & pepper shakers. "How do we get out of this Moebius store?" I asked about the maze we were in. "Just go to the left!" she said, pointing to the right. We repeated this, and she explained that she knew her right from her left, but "My hands are full!" I asked "Did you get that from your GPS?"
      I was more interested in the old mill, where the machines were once set in the ancient wooden floors, the giant smokestack, the stream that used to run it all. I admit to being distracted, as I was telling her the tale of Kev & Meg's adventures moving to Austin. "You know what's a fun game?" I said. "Be like me and see how long you can go without screaming 'Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?!'" (Maybe I'll tell you someday soon) But it was good just to finally vent it all out after a week of stewing in it.
      We had lunch at a place called Jube's that she likes. She ordered the "house salad," and it was 2 tomato slices in a bowl of iceberg lettuce. I used to have guinea pigs that wouldn't eat iceberg lettuce. She asked to have it taken off her bill, and as she's a regular, they did. She had the Small Cheese Pizza she always has everywhere, and I had a cheeseburger club. It was a lot of food, so I took a bunch home. She told me about her personal Kev & Meg friend, because she needed to also vent.
      Her daughter Jacques came back from work at Red Robin just as I was leaving, and we talked briefly with her. And then, 2 hugs later, I went home.

      Well, that was an interesting story, wasn't it!

      

      

8/6

      I saw Guardians of the Galaxy today. I thought it was about monkeys rising! There was NOT ONE RISING MONKE--wait, was I in the wrong theater?
      It was more action than comedy, but much more comedy than any other Marvel movie. And the comedy worked! All the characters could've been one-note walking punchlines, as opposed to a walking tree that punches people. But it opens with one of the most depressing scenes imaginable in a "fun" movie. Was I in the wrong theater? But during the credits, the...main character, hero's not the right word for him at this point, infiltrates an alien stronghold while dancing to his Sony Walkman, using some ravenous iguana-rat as a karoake mike. And all the characters have tragic backstories. Well, maybe not Groot the walking tree, unless he had a year when it didn't rain. Since his dialogue is "I am Groot!" and nothing else besides "I'm Groot!" we shall never know. It's probably not worse than being an "adopted" child of Thanos.
      It's a very fun and funny movie. It's a lot like Star Wars, and I mean the only movie that should have that name. It's a space opera with lots of weird, memorable characters. Although a lot more shit explodes while CGI spaceships race around blindly. Ehh, it's the 21st Century, that's how movies are. And there is a part where "Well, why didn't the bad guy do that first?" but then the movie would've ended right there.
      But it's the actors that make it work. They're likeable, even if they spend half the movie hating each other. The jokes get funnier as the movie progresses, because they come from the characters. (Biggest laugh at my showing was a line from Drax the Destroyer) And the ending is really nice, showing everybody and what happened to them post-apocalypse. Oh, wait, did I not say "SPOILER ALERT" before saying the apocalypse is averted? Gosh darn it, I hope I didn't ruin it for you!
      Is it a must-see? If you haven't been following the trailers like me and really wanted to see an action-comedy Marvel movie, probably not. I don't watch every Marvel movie that comes out in the theater. Must-rent? Sure! If you watch it in the theater, should you wait for the trailer cookies? Well...
      The first one is totally goofy. The end of credits one--well, why do people pay to see a Marvel movie and then leave before the credits end? They usually give big clues to what happens in the next film. I really hope that it isn't, and just the movie being even goofier. I overheard people while leaving, and I think I'm the only one who knew "That was a Marvel comic first."

      

8/7

8/8

      

      

8/9

      I got an offer for a free copy of a magazine called mental_floss--that's how they spell it--that really looked like a magazine version of a website. Reading Scalzi, he coincidentally referred to it, and it is. So...why? Why is this magazine? Cracked.com started as an adjunct to a print magazine, which lasted exactly 2 issues. The .com still exists, and is hugely popular. Who are they aiming for as an audience?
      Well, me, obviously. Because I'm as old as a mummy? They obviously bought my address from some magazine, but I can't tell from whom. AARP? Funny Times? Bivalvalistic, the Magazine for Oyster Lovers?
      The site looks like linkbait articles. Interesting ones, glancing over it. But I've kinda been online for a bit. I don't know how long their site's been online, but, y'know, I've had a continuously updated site (at least in the part you're reading) for 17 years. Maybe your site could've wandered across my radar before now.
      I may send away for the free issue and then cancel, as I really don't expect to pay for it. Because how could it possibly last longer than dead tree Cracked did? Not giving you $19.98 to have you fold on issue 3.
      And your slogan is "Feel Smart Again"? Did "Holy Shit, We Bet You Think You're a Big Retard!" not focus group well? Then maybe you shouldn't tell me that the free issues are available in a "limited quanity" and tell me to "Affix the FREE sticker HERE" when there's no sticker to affix. And the reason I can't tell what mailing list they bought mine from is my street address is listed twice. Once at "20" and then at "20C".

      My favorite action movie of all time is Road Warrior. And there's a sequel coming out!

      

      I hate when the trailer gives away the entire plot!
      And, apparently, that is the entire plot. Road Warrior ended with something never attempted before, a 20 minute car chase. It's going to be a 2 hour car chase. With actual cars. Which I'm in favor of. Who gives a shit about a CGI car chase? When it's a sci-fi or fantasy movie, CGI works. When it's set in the real world--why not a scene with Tom Cruise eating a CGI sandwich? He always has to do that scene where's he's running. Why not just paste his head on a really running Smurf?
      So, yeah, I guess I maybe might see it when it comes out. But if "shit blows up for 2 hours" was instantly fascinating, the American Film Institute would consist of nothing but the Transformer movies.

      The 2014 Bulwer-Lytton Awards. There are some funny ones. (shrugs)

8/10

      I rented the big-budget movie Noah because fundies hated it, and its total distortion of that incredibly detailed fairy story that was--what, like 3 pages long? I had no intention of blogging it, but...
      "In the beginning, there was nothing," unless you count all the stars. The Apple is beating like a heart, so of course that bitch eats it. Then, Young Noah wears a hoodie.
      HE WEARS A FUCKING HOODIE. Where is his Transformers backpack? Then we learn that they don't eat plants, they don't eat meat, at least from...armadillo-scaled doggies, seriously, it's a dog in a suit, but Cain's descendant's do, so they're killed by...Noah? Is this guy Noah? His dialog is "mrrm mrrm umm," so how the fuck should I know? For people who apparently eat NOTHING, everyone sure talks like they have a mouth filled with scaly hot dogs. We are 11 minutes in.
      They live on a lifeless wasteland. Do they eat rocks? And Noah has a backpack. I am not kidding. I was joking about the backpack earlier, movie. I guess he's Noah, as he has kids named Ham and Shem, and not Moe and Shemp. Or Bacon and Bits. Peaches and Herb. Pink Lady and Jeff.
      In the Utter Wasteland, just rocks and tree stumps with the monotony broken up by really uglier rocks, they come across a bunch of (extremely white)dead people. But one is still alive! But with a gaping wound by her outie navel. And Mommy Noah places a gauze bandage on her gaping WTF, MOVIE! I still haven't been shown what these people EAT, but you have access to Band-Aids?!
      Her name is Leela! The Doctor's best companion! ALL RIGHT! And then they get chased by some guys in leather body suits, always the best choice when you live in a cool climate like the Middle East, and they run away because of GoBots.
      Yes, the Rock Lords from the GoBots are here! Unlike Transformers going from car to robot, Rock Lords went from boulder to robot-like thing shaped like a boulder. As I managed a Kay-Bee Toys back then, I can tell you which sold better--Oh, you already guessed. Noah's friendly Fallen Angels--because the bible says angels look like fucking GoBots, LOOK IT UP IT'S IN THE BIBLE, left before they became their next logical step, PoopBots. They talk like every lame movie monster today, with lots of gargling noises. Are they using mouthwash and getting ready for their dates with the KidneyStoneBots? "What are they?" asks Shem or Ham or Spam. "The Watchers!" mumbles Noah, so I guess they're some mineral-based peeping Toms.
      Ham or Beans or LL Bean is scared, I guess, as he says "marble marble!" Dad says "bloorg scrubble. I have a song my dad used to sing. Would you like to hear it? 'DON'T--STOP--BE-LIIIIEVIN'!'" Ham grabs a bong, and now he's BAKED Ham! Or named Hemp. Hmm, that's actually good advice. I'll wait for now. I mean there's only--
      --TWO MORE HOURS?! Aw, crap.
      The Watchers saw Adam and That Bitch condemned to endless lifetimes of suffering, they and all their descendants for eating that thing Jehovah put right the fuck there in front of them, so they were Angels who tried to help them, so the LORD G*D, turned them into rock GoBots with really bad backs, judging from how they walk. But one, with the voice all these movie monsters have, will help them, because...G*D's a fucking asshole? Since we already know that this movie ends with the entirety of the human race drowned-- Jehovah's better than Thanos how? Because Thanos wants to kill all life in the Universe, but he's a fictional maniac and not the one we need to worship.
      All righty, Noah meets his dad Methuselah. I should point out that the Magic Book says that at this point, Noah's 500 years old, and his daddy 900. Noah's kid is like 10, but I suppose that's like 150 in Bible years. He's prly gonna ask dad to raise his allowance to 10 cubits a week or doubloons or whatever they paid the kids back then to mumble about how they don't want to mow the rocks.
      FUCK! It's ANTHONY HOPKINS! EAT THEM, Methuselah the Cannib--umm...Methuselah the Person-Eating Enthusiast...ah? (note 2 self joke needs work) OK, we find out that the only thing they eat is berries, Meth wants some, Shem doesn't have any, so Meth then blows on Shem, and he passes out from Meth's beer breath, so...he's...going to eat the kid, right? With some berries and a nice chianti? The fuck. I'm not 30 minutes into this!
      Way to draw you into the story of how G*D is going murder everybody everywhere? Have Noah call Meth "Grampa." How about "Gra-gra"? He slips Noah some LSD in his tea (not kidding) and he hallucinates animals swimming from the bottom of the sea to a really big boat. I wonder what it's called? It's really big, so maybe the Titanic.
      But there are no trees is this desolation! (Or berries) So Noah drops a seed and then there is one, ka-boom, and then millions. These are there to be cut down and Arked. Y'know, G*D, you could've just magically given them an ark just as easy. And I will be disappointed if these trees are not of gopher wood.
      And, LO, did the land grow fertile and the doves become CGI.
      And then did thus their winged CGI brethren and sistren of the skies, robins and wrens and ravens and other birds beginning with R, didst they flock into the scaffolding of the ark that they christened "The Lusitania" and then shit all over everything for many a month. Why dost thout thou think Mrs Noah is throwing all that hay on the floor? Because I really think that's why she's doing it. There's 8 fucking million birds there!
      And then they give roofies to a woodpecker. Then to all the birds, swinging big pots of incense around (which doesn't affect humans, so fuck that), and all the birds pass out. It's IN THE BIBLE PEOPLE! I guess.
      Oh, Lord on High! This is the second sign thou hast sendest to me that I should partake of the Holy Bong! Cut it out already, dude! Not gonna!
      "All these creatures mumble mumble are now in our care" mumbles Noah in a mumbling voice. He says this over--holy shit, are those the armadillo dogs?! Where are the unicorns?
      Shem, now teen and horny, says "Father...All the birds are two. You are shmeh nazzeelah. I wanna jaffit! Wassefferus?" Did G*D give these halfwits swollen tongues? Jeemush Chrizmuh, SPEAK UP!
      And now--"Watch out for snakes!" No shit, snakes and lizards and swarms of insects and hoptoads--well, there's a lot of toad-like CGI things hopping--Okay, it's just this:
      
      Did I mention that the RockLords are helping to build the Andrea Doria? They are, why the fuck not. Shermy, when not horny, stuffs dead leaves in trash bags, oh wait he's HAM, they have such clearly different personalities, and he meets--
      CAAAAIIIIIINNNN!
      Cain. Cain & Abel. You know! The Boss Level! What is he, like 10 thousand years old? He and his million friends walk out of the woods that appeared in the time Noah got a haircut (serious about that!), and you think that they'd be happy to have FOOD FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER BESIDES WHATEVER THAT DINOSAUR DOG THING WAS (that they didn't get to eat anyway; Noah killed them because life is sacred except when Noah feels like killing you), but they brought their own orchestra that goes "WAHH--WAHH--WAAH" like they always do in shitty blockbusters, and now it's the Road Warrior. Cain and his black-clad warriors are to seize the Mary Celeste, just like in the Bible! And, LO, didst Noah thus threaten him with his GoBots! I think they have 4 arms and 3 legs, I'm not sure, and maybe the movie isn't either.
      And now a billion ungulates appear. They all fit in the stupid ship.
      Noah says "Sher mersh da musdh." He continues his speech, never once swallowing his mashed potatoes.
      At Bad Guy camp: "EEEK OWW EEK OWW! MY BABY MY BABY!" as something evil happens, not sure what. A flung pig flies. A PIG FUCKING FLIES, people. And then the whole camp is hit by flaming meteors. G*D, I guess, murdering innocent, suffering people. And that poor, poor pig. "I'm flying! I'm the first pig ever to FLYYYYaww shit Thanks, G*D"
      Shem or Ham--look, let's just say "Sham," I can't tell one from another--is walking along a major road that abuts a deep mass grave and falls in. Seriously, it's like an inch from the main road in town, where all the fucking mass graves are. In it is a total hottie, because fuck you, movie. He offers her food, which looks like kibble minus the bits (Sham ate those). She sniffs it before eating it, enjoying the bouquet, because she's IN A MASS FUCKING GRAVE WHAT DO YOU THINK IT SMELLS LIKE? Maybe like, I dunno, the DOZEN ROTTING CORPSES? And then she eats it because, whoa, nothing piques my appetite like lunchtime in a MASS FUCKING GRAVE. NOM NOM NOM!
      "Are you alone?" she asks. He answers "Yes. And you?" and then he looks around at what they're in, which is A MASS FUCKI
      There's over an hour left of this. I don't think I can do it.
      NG GRAVE. "I can get you away!" he says. She looks around at the MASS FUCKING GRAVE THEY'RE IN and says "No." He says "We can stay awhile!" IN THE MASS FUCKI
      "They say you always remember your first date! Where was yours?" "In a MASS FUCKI
      Oh, okay, I guess that was Ham, as Shemp now looks like Aragorn. Noah tells him to go find "them," and when you have a family of like 5, names must be easy to skip. Also, Meth is back, looking for fucking berries still. What do these people eat? Hot Manna Pockets? He wants to give his hot grandaughter a blessing, which is running his hands over her genitals and now she's all horny and meets Clamp or Wormy or whoever and gets it on, I'm not making this shit up. Meanwhilst, Cain is sad that G*D doesn't talk to him the same way he does other psychopaths who hear his voice. Maybe talk to your neighbor's dog, the one named Sam? Cain says "Do I bloog like bloo, BLOOG?!" which is as compelling a speech as I've heard in this movie. Except--c'mon, man, Don't alienate people by saying bloog twice in a row. Then, he fires a bazooka.
      A fucking bazooka. With a flare. In the pouring rain, and I'm guessing flare bazookas wouldn't work then. I find this hard to believe. A regular flare gun, sure. But those weren't invented until 3126 BC it's IN THE BIBLE AND ALSO WIKIPEDIA LOOK IT UP
      Cain gives a speech which is basically "WE ARE MEN! WE ARE MEN!" Do they add "We are Devo!"? Of course not, it's 3300 BC, the fucking Bronze Age, there's no good music then! (Just listen to the soundtrack!) Do they don fedoras and whine about how about women are bitches who won't have sex with them? Of course they do, it's 3300 BC, the fucking Bronze Age! (or 2014)
      Girl and Shem run up in the torrential studio rain and Noah yells "Where's Ham?!" They look at each other in fear, neither daring to say "In a sandwich, NOM NOM!" He's being chased by a bunch of people in hoodies yelling "ARRH ARRH!" in the rain because what else is there to do, it's not like TV's been invented. And just "ARRR ARRRHHH!" nonstop, you think that'd get boring after like 5 seconds, especially when it's in the pouring rain, and then Slump's first date steps in a fucking bear trap, because IT'S 3300 BC PEOPLE, they haven't invented Hav-A-Hart traps yet. Can you have a worst first date? Right from a FUCKING MASS GR you-know-what that we never saw them escape from, and then she steps in a fucking bear trap, in a place with no bears, in the rain, being chased by a murderous mob, what could be worse? Her mom driving you there?
      How about--NOAH to the rescue! Rescuing Shampoo or whoever, and then leaving his crippled GF to get trampled to death by the stampeding mob while she screamed to be saved by the uncaring, selfish righteous heroes who a shit doth they not givest her about. I suppose that could be worse. "You want us to non-incestously repopulate the entire planet outside of members of our own family?! Stump, are you a pervert?!"
      A single person unwittingly trampled by a mob? Horror! Dozens massacred with every swipe of a GoBot's rocky arm, over and over? That's Entertainment! Let them come at you with their aluminum siding and their flare bazookas! The fallen angels/Rock Lords/whatever they ares that have protected you all movie, let them do the brunt of the fighting! Because, why not. LO! When they die, the Creator calls then HOOOOME! and they turn into Tinkerbell. But only if you die, after murdering as many people as possible as horribly as you can. Works for Noah, too, so long as you scream as you throw machetes into their faces! In fact, you can commit suicide after your mass murders and still get into whatever fucked-up heaven this universe has! What a loving G*D!
      And, then, let them all drown. Delightfully, close-up-ally, drowns to a horrible death.
      Old Meth finds a berry! Then drowns. All the people attacking the Achille Laurie: Drowned. Guy who wasn't doing nothing on the other side of the planet: Drowned. Every animal not made of CGI who didn't make it to the Ark: Drowned. Stampeded girl who could've added to the genetic diversity of the Noah family's gene pool: "Wait! I'm...not dead!" Drowned. Every person who does not worship this psychopathic, mass-murdering lunatic G*D: Drowned. Noah, who stayed off the Ark to personally kill as many heathens as he could before they all died anyway: Don't worry, he's okay.
      We then get to see the unsaved drown. Because G*D doesn't like them, according to Noah Hitler Pol Pot Mao Stalin! Which I will admit, every other character except Noah is thinking. This is the part of the movie that the Fundies objected to: not that their kind and loving G*D could exterminate every living being on the planet besides one family, and yet be considered anything less than a deranged, homicidal lunatic. This is the part where everyone besides "G*D talks only to ME" Noah tries to convince everybody else that he's the sane one.
      Oh. I get why they were mad now.
      Genesis is told as science, in brief. Big Bang. Earth formed, Moon formed. Evolution, from single cells to walking fish, synapsids to mammals. Man, from Bronze Age to World War Two and today. "Man did this this. Everything that was beautiful, everything that was good. We shattered. Now, it begins again. The Creator has judged us. Man will die." No wonder the fundies hated this. Oh, wait, he's crazy. Is this the movie's message? Man is hurting the planet, or that crazy people think so? HAND GRAB!!
      CAIN IS ON THE SHIP! Totally also in the Babble, Cain on the Ark. And there's still an hour to go. And I have to go to work tomorrow. I think I'll finish this up on another day.

8/11

8/12

      On the drive home Saturday, I passed the People's Choice Pizza Soviet and thought "It'd be great if they had another coupon for wings that could smash the Fascists with its low, low prices!" And when I opened my mailbox, the heroic mailman, whose rounds shall never be slowed by wind, rain, nor snows of Siberia while he delivers his rounds--and are any mails rounder than those delivered by the heroes of the Proletariat? Mother Russia cries No!--in my mailbox was a coupon book! The Great Leader be praised! Was there a coupon for wings? No, my heart soared on wings of joy when I saw that it was a "couponless coupon," that of the kind one can only find in a Groucho Marxist Utopia, in which one must bravely say "I'd like the wings deal, hopefully without standing in line for 12 hours, comrade!" and you get 20 wings for $14.99 in rubles, and the hottest I asked for, hot as a Sturmovik dive-bombing a panzer for glorious VICTORY of the TASTE BUDS! Also good luck parsing this MotherLanding paragraph, you Trotskyite kulak.
      I only had to pause to check the spelling of "kulak" which may or may not say something about how my brain builds and improves for a glorious Soviet future that will benefit us all. Each to one's own ability, I guess.

      Then I took a nap. Too little sleep last night, too much caffeine this morning (when it wears off, it wears off fast). So, if you were hoping for a finish to my pulse-pounding, head-pounding review of Noah, it'll be tomorrow.
      I assume at this point in the movie, there will be no reference to the Not-Lost Ark (it's right there!) being made of gopher wood. Everyone knows what gopher wood is! It's IN THE BIBLE!
      Actually, no one knows what the fuck gopher wood is. It turns up once, and only in the Bible, and only in the one fairy tale. Most likely some mistranslation of...well, no one has a real clue about that, either. Possibly gopher wood is really meant to be woodchuck plywood, or hamster Formica, or GerbiLinoleum (TM), or a million chipmunks nibbling a very large radish (that was made of wood). Maybe ferret boners, who knows? But it's true, it's in the bible, right there with a flood that covers every square inch of land past to the top of Mount Everest, then goes away after a year and the world is repopulated via every species' perfectly normal and god-approved incest, who then bans pork products. Sounds reasonable!
      Wait, "Gopher wood"? I got it now! The name of the ship is THE LOVE BOAT!
      Or: Go get the whole office coffees, unpaid intern made of wood! Then we'll build an Ark out of you! Yeah, it'll kill you dead, but it'll look good on your resume.

8/13

      After yesterday's exciting buying of wings and then a nap, you probably haven't recovered enough from the excitement that I can tell you about defrosting my fridge!
      I went to put something in the mini-freezer, and holy shit, what a stench. Did something die and rot, or is Michael Bay making a movie in there?
      I call it the "mini-freezer" because it's one of those tiny dorm fridges and only freezes erratically. The same thing can be right next to the same thing, and one will be a rock and the other mush. I think the offending item was a package of chicken that was right under the freezing coil, so--I don't know. I threw out maybe $20 of suspect food, which makes me mad, but not as mad as I would waiting and throwing out everything after eating some and then spending 2 days shitting my intestines out.

      Which is as good a segue as any into finishing Noah, directed by...Darren Aronofsky. Who also co-wrote, always a good sign, just like when Ed Wood did it. He also did, hmm let's see...The Fountain?! I loved that movie, even if/or because it was nuts. Also Requiem for a Dream, which is in my Netflix queue, and Wait, What? Wasn't that was the movie with all the drugs in the world in it? And they decided "Now here's a chap who should direct our bible epic, forsooth!" Aronofsky also directed Black Swan and Pi and only 6 movies in 18 years. Wow. I was thinking that the movie was nuts because it was bad, maybe it's nuts on purpose. And now, "Once more into the breach, my friends!" (1 Kings 3:15)

      After eating most of the leftover hot wings, of course! That was in Leviticus! "Eateth thous not of the pig or the oyster, instead, devourest thou the..." eh, I forget. I'll just click on one at random. It sayeth "Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When any man has a genital discharge, he is thereby unclean. Such is his uncleanness from this discharge, whether his body drains freely with the discharge or is blocked up from the discharge. His uncleanness is on him all the days that his body discharges or is blocked up from his discharge; this is his uncleanness." Well...that's a bit of a buzzkill.
      Where were we...Ham/Shem/who cares who has let Cain onto the Ark! I suppose that Cain will try to take over the ship, making this the--No! That joke is just so super hilarious that I'll use it later!
      Okay, I have now finished ROFLMAOWPM (the last letters are "While Peeing Myself") at my own hilarious joke I made up, why did the stupid kid let Cain on the boat? Because Noah left that kid's GF die in a trample. Remember that Meet Cute? When she danced and sang "I feel pretty! I feel pretty, and witty, in this Mass GRAAAAVE!" and then got tap-danced to death? Cain tells him "You want revenge!" while patting his dewy hand and thinking about cole slaw, because revenge is a dish best served with a side.
      Noah and Mrs Noah are on their (so far remarkably free of any animals) Ark. It rains, as it does during Great Deluges. "G*D has what he wants," says Noah, actually enunciating his words for once, "a world free of Men!" Mrs Noah tells him how super awesome he is. Movie, you have failed the Bechdel Test.
      Cain is weak. He must get his strength back before the--HAHAHA, it's too funny to say right now!--so he grabs a somethingish critter and eats it head first. I think it's the iguana-rat from Guardians of the Galaxy. "The beasts are precious!" says that sweaty kid. "And there are only 2 of them!" "But there is only one of me!" he counters, so I guess his descendants are Daniel Inhofe. Then he eats Groot. "I AM GROOT!" "No, yer fucking BRUNCH!"
      Okay, maybe this is where the fundies got mad? Cain gives a speech about how G*D gave Man dominion over all the creatures of the Earth, which obviously means Kill 'Em. Which really, truly is a thing Republican politicians quote whenever an enviromental regulation might reduce a CEO's bonus by a dollar. Maybe this movie has a secret liberal agenda! Maybe the scene just makes you wonder "Then WTF IS everybody eating?! ALL MOVIE?!" Are they giving the lions and bears circus peanuts?
      And Shem's GF is pregnant, so Noah will kill her child if it's a girl. Because Noah's insane now.
      I just checked. That's not in the bible. On the other hand, it is in the bible that it was only 2 of every kind of unclean animal, and 7 pair of all the rest, so keep those filthy aardvarks away from me. And it rained, then it didn't, and after 150 days (not 40), and then after another 40 days, the mountains dried off, and then more days, and then G*D said:

      Yeah, that's pretty much it, in a book that made sure to specify twice that crawly things crawl. The Goldilocks story had more of a plot, and let's face it, G*D is fucking stoned.
      "So, like Noah, MMM, sweet odors, man! I'm starvin' for some endangered species! And, you know, I'm a little low on th' Holy Stash, ya think you can spot me some, bro?"
      I'm just saying that exactly NOTHING in 90% of this movie appears in the bible, not even the part with the house made of candy. It makes one doubt the truth about the Holy Trinity, namely the Three Billy Goats Gruff.
      And, in fact, the next thing we see is the raven going to Noah's Carnival Cruise ship, which came right after the part I quoted above. The raven's feet have no mud, so there's either no land or it had a pedicure. It's hard to tell with ravens. They're so raven!
      Shmeggie has built an escape pod, right in the water-filled middle of the Ark. Because crazy Noah wouldn't notice that, given that it's made of the only stuff anywhere on the planet, his stupid boat. You'd notice how absurd this was, if you didn't notice long ago that we have not seen one animal on the Ark, except the one Cain ate.
      And what is Cain doing? Or plotting? Or eating? Seaweed! I'll bet the herbivores eat seaweed, and the predators fish! Cain, he's a devoted BadCGI'dWhatevervore. The answer to such thorny questions (as Cain just et him a porcupine) is plotting. Cain's plotting to kill Noah. He gives Humpty a paring knife, "Just in case." In case of what, he's attacked by a carrot?
      "I--I don't know if I can!" says Hurl, "I really couldn't hurt a carrot!" Cain says, "Then pretend he's a potato. Go for the eyes!" "What, potatoes? They don't have ey--" "LOOK--" "How? They're potatoes, they're blind! How can they look?!" "What I meant was--" "I mean, a poor defenseless blind potato? What, should I steal the pencils from his tin cup first?!"
      Cain pulls out his weapon of choice, that Really Big Rock. "You know what my middle name is? 'THE GUY WHO INVENTED MURDER (c) LLC! I incorporated, saves on taxes! So when me, the guy who fucking literally invented mur--" "Murdering a potato?" "WE ARE NOT TALKING AB--[deep breath]. Your dad. We're going to kill your dad, me with my giant rock, and you with--" "This paring knife!" "Wait, what? I thought that I gave you this HUGE knife!" "...This one rather looks like an emory board." "YES! That fucker, he trampled your hottie, SAND HIM TO DEATH!" "Who, the potato?" sigh "Let's start again, and I'll go slowly..."
      Meanwhile, Shem, the most manscaped guy of 3022BC, prepares to escape the Ark, and then NOAH turns up. He throws a Molotov cocktail at their escape raft, which bursts into total flames, having been waterlogged to the core so much that it should barely even...float...da fuq?
      Yes, Noah has a Molotov cocktail. A bottle full of instantly flammable--bird poop? Cow farts? Who knows? Again, this is the least animal-centric Noah story ever. I guess that one unexplained scene where they gave the birds knock-out gas, they gave to every animal? Because, they'll sleep the whole time, and as science has proved, if you're asleep, you do not need to eat for a year.
      Aaaaand if you had "this exact moment" chosen in the "when the GF gives birth scene," well, you win. Of course, so did everyone else who picked it, who would be everyone else.
      The fact the incredibly burning escape ship is still burning in the center of the Ark, where it never had anywhere else to go anyway, they just let it burn, right there. Too bad there's no water around to put it out!
      As screaming birth happens, Shem prepares to fight Noah. With a boathook. Not a harpoon or a tire iron! That'd be ridiculous! An ice axe, sure, that's pretty much the same, I'd buy that. A club, sure, but it'd be a piece of soggy driftwood. The Club? They don't have cars yet or TV infomercials, that's crazy! Molotov cocktails, flares, bazookas, sure, but can you imagine Shem with a sword? That'd just be stupid!
      "FATHER!" says other kid. "They're AWAKE! They're eating each other!" Whoa, I was right about the roofies they gave them! But, of course, this is really when Cain tries to take over the ship! Yes, it's the
      CAIN MUTINY!!!!
      AHHHH--HAHAHAHA! OH G*D I AM SO FUNNY
      No--fuck you.
      Cain has killed a kangaroo--well, those are extinct now--and unfairly attacks Noah with his rock, which is now attached to a stick. Or is that a folding chair? He's brought a foreign object into the Ark! Blood magically appears on Ham's face, unless it's the strawberries! Oh, fuck you again. The fight has less choreography than a preschool production of "The Nutcracker," just flailing and "YAARRH!" Where are you, Yakima Canutt? Noah and Cain and Ham and Shem with his mighty boathook, and I guess Ham stabs Cain at the last second? The sound effect makes it seem more like he rips Cain's rock-poundin' arm clean off and beats him with it, which would much more entertaining. And apparently Ham have enough time to wipe his face clean of the strawberries, the strawberries!--WHOOMP! Oh, yeah, the Ark of the Incontinent has landed on a mountain.
      Hey, the ladders on the Ark--they're made of bamboo! Better keep those pandas asleep! Mrs N tells Noah that "It's a boy!" when it's really twin girls, so Twice the Murders, G*D Wrote! (actually--didn't. As crazy as the real bible gets, this is the writer/director's fanfic) Murder Noah comes, knife in hand, to murder with death his grandchildren and the only hope of repopulating a world currently running low on maniacs like him. And the Olsen babies cry, but mom sings to them the lullaby of her people: "Do...not...stop...believin'! Born and raised in South Ark Detroit!" Noah raises his blade, and in a scene as tense as anyone has ever been briefly stuck at a red light knows--Gee Whiz! He don't actually kill him no babies onscreen! WHEW! Killing babies is for USA drones and the IDF offscreen! Golly gosh, almost saw something unpleasant there!
      And of course, that's wonderful! Because YOU WANT THAT PSYCHO AS YOUR GRANDPA AND TOTAL RULER. He's normals the now!
      And then--it comes! Flying across the sea! The sign of deliverance! White as a dove, it's a TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bomber!! and it sinks the fucking Ark, asshole humans and invisible, stoned animals alike.
      Ha ha no. Noah gets drunk in a cave after inventing wine in like an hour, Ham sees his naked ass, Ham gets exiled, no wait, that's too crazy! okay, that part actually is in the bible. Noah sobers up and his daughter gives him and us a speech about how totes awesome he because he did not murder babies, as if that's something a sane person should be praised for. Deers and birds and bears have babies, apparently while she's still talking. Which is weird, as she does not praise the animals for not committing infanticide. Then Noah tells them to be fruitful, and fuck like fruit flies, and infest the shit out of the Earth. Not sure with whom, what with the 6 of the same family being the only ones alive, but whatever. Perhaps the holy mountain they've crash-landed on is in Appalachia.

8/14

8/15

      After many years, I bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. It was on sale for $5, which is a good price for 2 meals. I hadn't bought it because Killsy and Byron wanted some (while DJ was baffled by it; the only human food he likes is bits of bread) and got some. They also got feline acne, so I passed. Until now.
      I was in & out super quick, and grabbed the BBQ flavored one. It wasn't until driving home that I thought that the cats might not like that flavor. It turned out not to matter. It didn't taste like anything but chicken, so Killsy and Big B loved what I gave them. Even DJ had a little piece, despite asking "Is this gluten-rich?" And while $5 is a good price for 2 meals, not so much for one meal with a little drumstick and a scrawny, gristly wing left over. They've shrunk the portion since I last bought it. Except that they did give me a free side!
      The neck. The fucking chicken's neck. I suppose it's hypocritical to think "That's gross!" while eating a corpse, but WTF am I supposed to do with a fucking chicken's neck? Throw it at people I don't like? Nah, there's not enough neck for that! Feed it to the cats? I suppose that's what goes into chicken cat food anyway. Try not to think about it, like I can't not do now that I have?
      I don't believe I'll be buying the rotisserie chicken again.

8/16

--written by a prospective juror on his juror information form (Dallas District Court)      Hmm...Next time I get called up for jury duty, I must remember that. Also add "And shrinking!"

      How Many English Words Do You Actually Know? They alternate between words that everybody should know if they read, and WTF?! ones no one has ever used since Victorian times, or just have maybe been used once somewhere. Seriously, "lubatorium"?
      I got 27 out of 30, and was told "Wow, You Vicious Vocabulary Viper!" How do they know what this page is called? And also, that's stupid. "Verbose" would work better than "Vicious," so I don't think the survey's author knows as many words as he's pretending. Off the top of my head (but beneath my hair), I know that the plural of lacuna is lacunae. It's a gap, and not the one at the mall.

8/17

      In the Comments, Lilly says "If you wanna talk buzzkill, then Requiem for a Dream is the movie for you. Seriously, only watch it if you're in an incredibly good mood, because it is going to take your soul and bum it silly into next week. I know that it was critically lauded, but I cannot recommend it to anyone but the stout of heart." And guess what was already waiting in my mailbox!
      It's famous as "the movie where the director took the drugs the characters use to recreate the effect on screen." Except for the one scene that looks like "pot makes you hallucinate," I'm just gonna take him on his word about uppers, downers, heroin. Seriously, you want to scare kids straight? Don't send them to D.A.R.E. (which actually causes kids to experiment more with drugs, in the same way "abstinence only" programs cause them to have more sex and pregnancies), just show them this movie. I think it kinda gets it wrong at the climax, in which we learn that the only 4 possible outcomes of using even prescription drugs are jail, prostitution, electroshock therapy and amputation. But it's also one of those movies where you pause it and walk around the house a while before restarting it, then lie down for a while afterwards, hopefully, like me, with a purring DJ snuggling you.
      Also: Yes, the refrigerator scene is pretty much--it's the refrigerator scene, it's of itself, sui generis, sweet mother of Maytag, get thee hence.
      And this was made by the guy who 14 years later farted out Noah? Maybe drugs do give you brain damage.

8/18

      We have a customer who sometimes comes in with a beautiful green parrot on his shoulder. A parrot with clipped wings, because he doesn't want it to fly away. Well, you can probably guess my opinion on cat declawing or any animal mutilation. Maybe keep the parrot indoors then, asshole. How would you like it if I kept you from running away by cutting your hamstrings? It's for your own safety, you could jaywalk into traffic!
      Then I saw the big pile of parrot shit on our floor. So I got the mop, and then thought...and yes, the guy had a huge shit stain down his back. Instant shoulder karma.

      I had to transfer $1200 from savings to checking. That perfect storm of property taxes, the car (battery, tow, tire, insurance due), and just the general bills all coming due at once. I thought the day before that at 5 years, this is the longest lasting of any computer I've owned aaaand you know where this is going.
      I got up after leaving it on all night, clicked a few things, went into the shower, and when I came out, it had frozen up. No, I did not take it into the shower with me. I rebooted, and it came back worse. Even iTunes stammered ridiculously. I turned it completely off and then on again, and it sorta worked, but in slow motion. I unplugged the filter and plugged the modem line directly into the jack, and that made it worser. I put it back the way it was, and it worked perfectly, after 35 minutes of struggle. I left it on when I went to work, which I rarely do, and it works perfectly again. I think I have to start looking at Best Buy fliers again, and watch my expenses...
      I did a back-of-envelope estimate of my savings when I did the transfer, and based on current basic expenses, I could likely live without any income for 5 to 6 years. This is because I don't spend a lot, of course, and it'd be even less without a job. But cutting expenses doesn't mean not taking my Mom out to dinner this week. Especially after seeing the awful mother-son dynamic in Requiem for a Dream. After the lonely "Now I'm a somebody!" speech, I paused it and emailed her. I was planning on doing it in the next week or so anyway. It just seemed like a good time.

8/19

      I wanted to see Rifftrax take on the only Godzilla I've never seen, the "so bad it's bad" 90s American one. But I really didn't want to see the live airing, as I'd need time off at work the next day. Was my local theater showing the rebroadcast on Tuesday?
      I checked the regular online listing Saturday, and, No. But I decided to check again Monday night, as I hadn't checked the special events list on another site. And there it was! And also on the regular list!
      12 hours later I checked, and, No. Not on either one. For some reason, I checked again an hour later, and, Yes. I went old school and called the theater, knowing that they have 18 movies and "Rifftrax" was going to be listed aplhabetically. And, No, it was listed first! Maybe they were sick of getting calls asking actual humans if it was playing. So as of now, I'm going. When I finally found out it was playing, guess what was playing on iTunes: the theme to the first Toho reboot, "Godzilla 85".
      Then I went hiking in the state park, for the first time in...2 months, 3? It's always raining or humid on my days off, or I have something better to do, such as see Jess for the first time in 10 weeks, or Kev & Meg for the last time. "I know you from somewhere!' said some guy I had no desire to talk to. "Maybe the airport?" "If it's not from a liquor store, then no."
      "Oh, right! I delivered for [a very small wine company]! I quit because [10-plus minutes of incredible detail that I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT, right down to how much he exactly got paid by the delivery's weight]..." Man, was I glad when his cell rang and I could escape from the jail cell of non-versation I was one-sidedly stuck in. May not go back there, if that's what awaits me. Like I love my job so much I wanna talk about it on my day off.

      Codex Seraphinianus: A new edition of the strangest book in the world. According to the author/illustrator, telepathically dictated to him by a white cat.

      There's no reason for this video to be funny, but it is. It's the suspense what gets me!

      

      One giant radioactive lizard later:
      Who knew Tuesdays were such a big night for movies? The cinema's never been that crowded at any of the Rifftrax films Kev & I ever went to on Thursdays.
      Maybe because it's the last few days before school starts. I heard somebody talking about TMNT being sold out, so he took his kids to Lucy, and a worker kept yelling "NINJA TURTLES 7:20 IS SOLD OUT!" I should've left earlier--I made it to Rifftrax, but I missed the fake RT "movie facts" jokes they show beforehand. And it sure wasn't sold out--maybe a dozen people. As it's all digital, I assume the theater gets a buy-one-showing, get-the-next-one-free deal, so all they have to do is unlock the door and sweep up afterwards, as it's in the tiniest theater that's only used for--well, when I saw the last Captain America, school buses were loading in front, and the marquee said that the movie was "Field Trip".
      Like Starship Troopers, I was constantly distracted from the jokes by the absolute terribleness of the movie. I can't remember the jokes--they come so thick and fast that if you try to, you just miss the next one. I think I was the only person in either my audience or the onscreen one that got the references to Ignatius J. Reilly or the comic strip Crock. I'm pretty sure at the last one, it was also Kevin who said "This is almost as depressing as Funky Winkerbean!" which also got a baffled reaction. I think he may be a reader of Comics Curmudgeon.
      The movie, holy lizard shit. I knew about Godzilla changing size in every scene, 10 stories tall in one and 2 in another, and sometimes within seconds. He can jump on buildings and they support his weight, but it only takes 2 little rockets fired from helicopters to completely destroy the Flatiron and Chrysler buildings. I'm pretty sure skyscrapers aren't made out of particle board. He can headbutt his way through the Brooklyn Bridge, but he can also run, jump and do vigorous dance routines on it. And, of course, it's always night and raining, to disguise the shitty 1998 CGI. Good thing we've moved away from that cheezy trick, eh, Pacific Rim? I think that if that much hurricane-level rain fell on New York City in a week, the angry shape-shifting iguana would be the least of their problems. And oh yeah, he's a mutated iguana. Terrifying for all of you iguanophobes, I'm sure! It's too bad that they were years away from the Geico Gecko, because what perfect product placement would that be for buying insurance! Unless they don't cover Acts of Godzilla! HA HA H oh you saw that one coming.
      One thing I forgot about this movie I've never seen: Mayor "Ebert" and his lackey "Gene". Did you get that? It's very subtle. Gene's a wimpy doormat and Ebert an angry egomaniac, just like on At the Movies and the voices in director/writer Emmerich's Scooby-Doo lunchbox. I'm surprised that he didn't have Ebert done like a grade school drawing of the kid who pushed you at recess, with stink lines and flies buzzing around him while saying "I SMELL LIKE DOG POOPS". (RT's Mayor Ebert to Gene: "You're fired! Get me fake Richard Roeper!") Oh, and the Mayor eats candy all the time, because--he's fat!! Comedy as done by an adult with $130 million at his disposal, people.
      Ebert's 1998 review, and Wikipedia's summary of the critical response. I like Rita Kempley's line: "It might well be titled Iguana Get You Sucka."
      Also, size-changing Godzilla, last seen 10 stories high, now fits in a sewer, and bursts out covered in shit. Movie reviewing itself.

8/22

      Yeah, running a bit behind on the updates here.
      A customer asked for "that really good beer, one of the best you can get" that began with a C. Well, there's not a lot beginning with C--Corona, Carlsberg, CT's City Steam, that's about all I can think of. "I'll know it when I see it!" And it was Bud. AKA Cudweiser, the Cow of Beers!

      I took my Mom to dinner tonight. She wanted to go to...something beginning with T followed by "Montana" in the name. (I didn't pay close attention to the email, so feel free to make fun of me just like I did that customer) It was Ted's Montana Grill, the Ted being Turner and not, thank Gourd, Nugent. "We slaughter the cows right in front of you! Not so they're fresh, but because we love slaughtering!" I was hoping that it was called Tony Montana's Grill, where instead of a basket of breadsticks, you get a complimentary pile of cocaine. And then, some slaughtering.
      I had a messy bison burger and onion rings, my Mom a fish sandwich and some limp sweet potato fries. She offered me one, but fries should not be flaccid. What an insult to the sacred YAM!
      She told me about my youngest sister's new dog, Jimmy, or as Mom described him, "A small pony." He was on her daughter's lap when she came home one day, and both daughter and dog got up at the same time, and he gave her a head butt. The daughter got a concussion. Literally. Big dog, and also MATCH POINT TO: CATS. And imagine picking up a "small pony's" shit.
      It reminded me of something I'd forgotten to mention from our last visit, also involving dogs. A nephew adopted a dachshund, which I don't particularly like, as they got him from a breeder. 50% of dachshunds are put to sleep after birth, as they're so inbred. Mom was annoyed that they named him "Bruin", because they're fans of Boston hockey. Mom also said "Why can't you name her something nice, like Snowball or Whitey?" I said "No, I'm not naming her something lame, I'm naming her Kill Kill!" I think it's pretty funny that they named a tiny weiner dog after nature's most vicious of carnivores, giant bears and hockey players. Mom said "Why can't they give him a good name, a German one, like Otto, or Adolph?"
      "Mom, I don't think Adolph has been a good name for anything for about 70 years! How would they call him home, jab their right arm in the air and scream 'HI ADOLPH! HI ADOLPH!'"

8/23

      DJ pestered Byron in his Fortress of Solitude tonight, and Byron chased him to the floor. Then realized he was on the floor, and ran back to his Tower after a few feet. Interesting. Does this happen when I'm not home, or was it the first time? Is DJ coaxing him off? Interesting...

      Reuben Bolling's "Tom the Dancing Bug" is one of the funniest comics around, except when it's serious. I would totally buy a big book collecting his "SUPER-FUN-PAK COMIX" if it was available. It's usually a big page of a bunch of them, which makes them funnier and more absurd via contrast. I just discovered that he's been cutting them up and posting them individually. It undercuts the dadaist satire of the comics medium that way, unless you read a bunch at a time. I guess any point is a good starting point, but try here and just click the Back button by the calendar-looking thing. (Note: goes back to May 12, so it doesn't take forever to read them all)

8/24

8/25

      The "I Must Always Be the Center of Attention" coworker J and the "Not Very Bright but Likeable" one Y had a conversation today.
      J: I'm going to make some kick-ass guacamole tonight!
      Y: Could you make me some? Just don't make it too spicy.
      J: You don't make guacamole spicy. Unless you put, um, spices in it.
      Y: But what's that green stuff you get with Japanese food?
      Me: Wasabi.
      Y: Isn't that made with guacamole?
      Me: No, horseradish.
      J: Peas. It's, um, made from peas. Ever hear of wasabi peas? That's what they make it from.
      Y: Oh, they just mash the peas up?
      J: Yeah, that's what they do.
      Me: It's horseradish. Japanese horseradish. They sometimes coat peas with wasabi.
      J: Oh, um, yeah, that stuff's what they make it from.
      Personally, I find "I don't know" to be a perfectly legitimate response. "Let me make shit up" isn't. He then told us of a friend who ate the one Buffalo Wild Wings wing that was made with their hottest sauce--he says they'll do that, an order of one wing--and it was so hot that he began guzzling milk, then poured the milk over his head because I guess his friend is a fucking moron caveman ("Mouth hurt! Mouth in head! Hair wet with cow juice make tounge not hurt!") and then added ""He did it in the bathtub", possibly because I had a "WTF?" look on my face.
      Y: Why didn't he just drink water?
      J: Um, well--milk does that thing--what's the word I'm looking for--while water just exacerbates the pain!
      Bonus points for the proper usage of a polysyllabic word! But "Because we were drinking milk at the time" makes more sense than "He wanted to throw all his rancid, stinking clothes away the next day." I think the guy's stories have a germ of truth, but then as he tells them, they detour into "LOOK AT ME TALKING!"

8/26

      7 Gross Foods Your Grandparents Ate (That We Taste Tested) As you are among the last humans on this planet who hear "InExOb" and not think "Wait, wait--that Australian band that did 'Suicide Blonde'?" some Cracked writer found a few of those horrific recipes from old cookbooks, like I used to do on that thing. Except that then he made them and he et 'em all up.
      6 of the 7 are Jell-O based (the first two being tuna jello) Sadly, he does not make
      
      Tonguey.

      His cousin stars in this, shopping for the Jell-Os.

      

      

8/27

8/28

--sermon title in a church bulletin

8/29

      I have a friend, Scott, who we call "the Gruntled Postal Worker." Despite his armory of handguns, he's the most laid-back person I know. Our store's mail guy is angry all the time. I hope he is not armed.
      He's really good at reading a number or letter or 2, and then deciding "Close enough, deliver here." Since the store is a giant freestanding building, maybe we shouldn't get the hair salon across the parking lot's mail. Yesterday, we got the magazine TPO, and the only connection to us was the number 29.
      Yes,we sell rotgut liquor, but should we really be getting a magazine called "Treatment Plant Operator"? We don't actually sell raw sewage from the treatment plant here. There might be some point late tonight or tomorrow morning when are customers are adding it to their toilet flows, but it's not our only job.
      The cover story was about some treatment plant in the midwest making profits from compost, AKA your diarrhea. I only flipped through it to see if there were ads. And, hell yeah! Magicking poop back into water is a big business! But it's a holiday weekend, so I didn't have time to tell customers "I'll ring you up in a second, I'm busy reading about what happens to your bowel movements before you drink them again!" The one that caught my eye was from Trojan, and given the logo, yeah, the same as the sperm trapping company. I suppose that if you can filter out that, you can do it with shit.
      Thirsty for a glass of water now?

8/30

      A music video for Brian Eno's [=x]est vocal song! I've seen it before, but it turned up again today. I thought "King's Lead Hat" was his best, but the few other people who heard it thought that "It sounds like Devo!" As if that's an insult.
      It doesn't to me. But 1977 was the year Eno produced both the first major label debuts of Devo and The Talking Heads. So who influenced whom? Both?
      Also, I don't think that this is actually a video from 1977, when they didn't have music videos. Also, sorry, it's as bland as modern music video, so maybe don't watch anything this predictable.

      

      

8/31

      Some funny bad English.
      Are there lists like this of bad translations of English into not-English languages? I assume so. But since English became the lingua franca of the world, due to the imperialism of Britain followed by the imperialism of the USA, maybe not. At least that we'll ever see, here in the land of the free to buy worthless crap until you bravely die of no health care.
      Also, don't call English a "lingua franca." Call it a "lingua freedom fries." Sounds less socialist.

9/1

      I should buy a collection of Cordwainer Smith stories. I've read maybe only 2, but for an American guy in the 1950s, he sure loved him some cats. His description of Lady May's thoughts when she sees her telepathic human are what I think my cats think when I get home from work. It sure is how they act. It's more than what the Dog People say--"Cats don't feel affection, they just want food!" Yeah, because dogs don't. Ever move a cat's food bowl when they're eating? No problem. Ever get near a dog's when they are? Then you are lucky to have all your fingers and toes. Cats, like the best type of humans, are individuals. Dogs, like the worst type of humans, can lose their individuality and disappear into a mob mentality.
      The Game of Rat and Dragon. It's short, but damn straight I'd read an entire novel based on this.       
      

      


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