Dec 25, 2006

Spider Man 3 Trailer

Not to be a blog-hog, but the new, NOT teaser of Spider-Man 3 is out on the internet - namely Yahoo! Movies - and, I've got to tell you, it looks to be maybe the best of the three.


There is one hokey element to the story. Apparently, it's Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) who killed Uncle Ben, not the guy from the first movie. I don't know how I feel about that, because it seemed like such a necessary catalyst for Peter Parker to become Spider-Man in the first movie. Don't you think?

I'm not downing the movie - I think it's going to be good - but I'm reticent to acknowledge a revisionist history of the Spider-Man movie world. That sounds nerdy, but it seems to work counterpoint to the entire idea of the franchise. I don't know. Drop a comment and tell me what you think. Please.

New Transformers Trailer

There's a new Transformers Trailer out on Yahoo! Movies, and I'm now undecided about it. I am more convinced that it will be somewhat more cool than what I originally thought, but I still have my reservations. It still seems as though it will try to be too much. "Independence Day 2", if you will.

It's time that we let Michael Bay in on something: G.I. Joe was the political cartoon of the 80s, Mike. NOT Transformers. We don't need to turn such a fun franchise into some half-assed political statement about Iraq or the Middle East or whatever it is that is plaguing the world in your mind this time.

All right. It's Christmas. I didn't intend for there to be any hostility in my mind, but sometimes Michael Bay makes m'so mad, you know?

Either way, the trailer is pretty cool, although you are able to see the Bots transform in the trailer (sort of). I thought one of the things M-Bay wanted to do was not allow them to be shown transforming before the release of the movie. Oh well. I knew that wouldn't last. It would be like showing clips of Rocky's dialogue only in the previews.

Also, there are previews for Jamie Foxx's new movie, Kingdom, the QT/RR slasher double feater, GrindHouse. Now I ain't no action movie expert, like my buddy Mike Swartzwelder, but Kingdom looks like it's going to kick ASS. It's directed by Peter Berg - Friday Night Lights - and it's also starring Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner and Jeremy Piven. It's about a group of FBI agents working in Saudi Arabia to stop a bomber from killing a group of people. It sounds like high-concept and no story, but I think that P-Berg will be able to balance the two. Hopefully he will.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Dec 24, 2006

Do Nothing - I'm a Do Nothing

As promised, I have done absolutely nothing today, except play video games and watch crappy videos on the internet.

The Colbert Report is great for this kind of day. Also, the Masters of Horror series from Showtime works, too, as I have watched one of those - Joe Dante's The Screwfly Solution - and the first disc of An Evening with Kevin Smith 2.

But I don't feel that bad. I wrote 16 pages today, although I haven't read anything. Tomorrow, I believe, will be the day to finish Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I might need to eat something today, as well. Oh, but I'm starting to get sick, and I'm in the state of the sickness where nothing really tastes good, or really tastes like anything at all. That really sucks, but whatever.

Have a HAPPY HOLIDAYS, guys. Or whatever you want to say.

From the Vault

I found this video of myself playing drums when I was four. I'm way better now, but it does show where I was at one point in my life.

No, but seriously, this kid is awesome. His name is Igor Falecki, and he's a four-year-old drum prodigy (obviously). I just expect a drug overdose any day now, though. Boom. Keith Moon & John Bonham joke in a single sentence. I'm sorry. It's really not that good. The joke. Not the kid. He's awesome.

I'm just surprised to find that he doesn't have his own Wikipedia Page yet, although it shouldn't be too far into the future, should it?

Dec 23, 2006

Please Stay Home for Chistmas

Several of the strangest events in recent memory have converged to cause me to miss my first Christmas ever. Well, I'm not missing Christmas - Christmas is inside everyone, like undigested red meat - but I will not be spending it at home.

How sad, huh?

Oh, well. I guess I'll just get even more time to look at nonsense on the internet, like old SNL skits on YouTube (if NBC doesn't take them away from me) or videos of cute/horrible/disgusting/pornographic/dumb things on Filecabi.Net. It's not my way, but it's the American way.

But I have a few logistical questions in spending Christmas alone:

What restaurants are open on Christmas Day? Will it have to be like A Christmas Story? I actuary think I'd enjoy some stereotypes of Asians singing Christmas Carorrs with no Rs. Get it?

I'll do some reading (play Guitar Hero/Manhunt), work on the second novel (watch the entire first season of Dexter on OnDemand), participate in a BumFight or two, and so on and so forth.

I hope that all of you have as awesome a Christmas as I do.

Dec 20, 2006

War on X-Mas Nonsense

I know you can't wait to burn the Yule Log, have some egg nog, sing some songs about old Saint Nick, and maybe slip under the mistletoe to celebrate CHRISTmas this year, but do you really know about the conception - er, excuse me, inception - of CHRISTmas?

Not to wage a war on CHRISTmas, but I'd just really like to share a few things about the holiday before I went to bed:

* Did you know that CHRISTmas was once celebrated on January 6th and coincided with many pagan holidays, mostly fertility rituals? Most educated people don't actually believe that Jesus was born on December 25.

* Mistletoe and holly - also the Yule Log - are in reference to pagan superstitions, also regarding fertility. CHRISTians only co-opted them for CHRISTmas in the late Middle Ages.

I don't believe people shouldn't celebrate CHRISTmas and everything, but I think that the "War on CHRISTmas" is ludicrous, making people pick sides over an effing greeting. It's stupid. That is all.

Dec 18, 2006

The Exception Does NOT Prove the Rule

I did not think that I had it in me, but I just finished my application to the New York City Teaching Fellows Program.

And you know what? I'm pretty excited about it.

I'm not guaranteed a spot in or anything, but I feel like I'm finally taking a step forward in my life. It's not easy to compoe a letter of intent, especially when you've never really thought about why you would like to teach.

But I got through it, and I'm actually kind of proud of what I wrote in the letter. It wasn't a bunch of crap that I thought I could say to get into the programs, as I imagine some people have probably tried. What I said was closer to the truth than maybe I had expected, and hopefully it will come off in the right tone to the people choosing over the thousands of applicants.

But it's not over yet. It's not like you apply and are just swept away to sunny New York City. Nope. Even if I get accepted in the application process, I still have to go for, like, an 8 hour interview in a month or two, and even then I might not make it. Fine. But if I make it through that process, I'll have to go for an eight week orientation in the middle of June, with only a 2,000 dollar stipend to tide me over. That's not bad money, but it's a little less than I'd make in an eight-week period.

Either way, it was a good, positive experience, and, even if I don't make it, at least I'm getting into the habit of applying for jobs.

For example, last night I found a web site for people looking for jobs in New York, and one of them was in sports radio at ABC. The thing is, I'm totally - or at least almost - qualified to do it. If only I had a little more experience in the booth, then I think I'd be perfect for the job. What's funny is that I'd probably be more worried about my sports knowledge than I would about my Telecommunications knowledge, and that's trivial. At least I hope that's trivial.

Dec 17, 2006

1. Three things that scare me:
the fear of death
people who don't fear death

2. Three people who make me laugh:
David Cross
The old guy from Stevie B's, whose pants fell down when he got up to get pizza.
The redheaded kid who fell down at Movie Stop

3. Three things I hate the most:
People who hate reading unless it's Harry Potter
service at fast food restaurants
Bud Light

4. Three things I don't understand:
The popularity of Ug Boots and Crocs
How some people still think W is still a great president
The humor of Dilbert

5. Three things I'm doing right now:
Deciding if I want to stop this to go Duece
Watching my German Shepherd chew on the cat
Checking my MySpace

6. Three things I want to do before I die:
Walk out on a check at a restaurant
Eat something so big that I get it for free
Kick Bono in the face

7. Three things I can do:
Be more vindictive than anyone in the room
Flummox Christians
Play the Daily Show Theme on guitar

8. Three ways to describe my personality:
With big hand gestures
By writing them down
Talking about those ways

9. Three things I can't do:
Spare your feelings
Keep my big mouth shut
Get the solos 'just right' on Expert in Guitar Hero

10. Three things I think you should listen to:
Your gut
Klyde's mother
My advice

11. Three things you should never listen to:
Your parents fighting
George W. Bush
Morning radio talk shows

12. Three things I'd like to learn:
Who killed JFK
How to read Melville without wanting to strangle myself or someone near me
Intestinal fortitude

13. Three favourite foods:
Pizza & Wings (It's like mashed potatoes and gravy)
A Heavy D Tofu Burrito from Barberitos
Cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch)

14. Three beverages I drink regularly:
Sam Adams
Green Tea

15. Three shows I watched as a kid:
Tales from the Crypt
The Wonder Years

Tis the Season!

1. Favorite seasonal movie?
Nat'l Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

2. Song you most enjoy this time of year?
Please Come Home for Christmas
3. "Holiday Greeting"?
Happy Holidays - Last time I checked, Chanukkah and New Year's counted too.
4. Decorate, inside? outside?
No. It would only be tacky if I did.
5. Do you make a list? If so, how many people are on it?
Yes, a naughty list, and everone's on it.
6. How up to the last minute do you shop?
Christmas Eve at 9:30 or 10 o'clock.
7. When do you open your gifts?
Christmas Eve at LP's place, and Christmas day at my mom's.
8. Holiday food you most savor?
All of it, EXCEPT fruit cake. Does anybody like that stuff?
9. Favorite holiday book?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
10. New Year Resolutions?
To not be so cynical next year.

Dec 12, 2006

How to Play Glasses?

Tonight during the Nip/Tuck season finale, there was a Tanqueray commercial in which an old man plays martini glasses like an instrument. I have never seen it done in real life, so I wondered if it was actually possible.

Only, I have no idea how to search for it. What is it? What is the act of playing half-full glasses called? I don't really want to lear, but I would at least like to know how it is done and what logic lies behind it. Also, the history would be coold as well.

Anyone out there an expert on the subject?

Bad Food Nation

Eric Schlosser, author of non-fiction book Fast Food Nation was on Countdown with Keith Olberman tonight, and he mentioned just how deregulated our food system in America has become.

Apparently, during the 1970s, there were more than 34,000 health inspections in restaurants per year, which is horrible compared the the less than 3,500 that are going on each year now.

He hinted at the idea that our food system has been weakened by the big food lobbies, especially the beef and chicken lobbies, and - I would guess - the onion and scallin lobbies.

That's a load of crap. How are we supposed to trust these restaurants (especially one that I like so much, Taco Bell) when so little regulation is going on. I mean, I know a lot of the right-wingers out there are saying that the federal government has no business telling a company what it can or cannot serve, but this is ridiculous.

When it involves the public's safety, then I think it becomes an issue for the government. I'm sorry, guys, but it's just what I believe. It should absolutely be in the government's interest to keep harmful food off of the shelves.

Now, these attacks - is that the right nomanclature? - are few and far between but that is not the issue. We should still keep a very close eye on the quality of our food. It's just that simple. I don't care if there is a government committee or whatever to keep up with it, but we can't let our food get back to the pre-Upton Sinclair days simply because a few Honkey, Cracker, WASPS want to make a few million dollars on skimping regulations.

Dec 11, 2006

So the Magic Couldn't Last Forever...

So, I'm sitting on the computer at LP's house, waiting for her TiVo to delete everything on the hard drive.


Because the guys and gals at TiVo have no idea what in the Hell is wrong with the box she got. Simple as that.

As a last resort, they had me delete everything on the hard drive, including the stuff we haven't watched, just so we could see if that would *fix* what is wrong.

And what is wrong? The channel line-up is all wrong. All Effed-up. It sucks, but if deleting everything and restarting the system will work, then I'm all for that. If it doesn't, then TiVo says that it will replace the box. The company damn sure better, for all of the crap that we've gone through over this thing.

But anyway, I'm stuck in that Purgatory of "Well, will it work? When will it work?" It never seems that anything I get works to its fullest potential, and I can't stand it. I know the TiVo isn't mine, but it just seems that something I did screwed it up. That's not the truth, but my touch does the opposite of the King Midas thing.

Other than that, life is grand.

The Beetis

This is one of the best videos I've seen on YouTube lately. It doesn't deserve the wall (yet) but it's still pretty good.

Actually, I was surprised that most people don't even know who Wilford Brimley is. He was in John Carpenter's The Thing, people! And Cocoon! You should at least know him as the Quaker Oats Guy! Come on.

I have to disavow any connection to Liberty at this point. The above video is in no way an endorsement of the service. Thank you.

Dec 10, 2006


Okay, so last night was not my best night, first off. After work, LP and I met my roommate, Laura, and local raconteur Dee Wheeler at a restaurant (which, for the parties involved, shall remain nameless) for some pizza and, for those who drink, drinks.

And, before I finish, let me explain something: each of the guys in the group has a "thing" that sets him off.

Mine is the awkward exchange with members of the wait staff.

So, anyway, we go to said establishment and find that there is only one seat available at their booth. We walk over and the man running the place - a very old gentleman - told us that we may not be able to put a chair at one end of the booth because of fire hazard concerns. They could be fined, he tells me. But, he says that he would go check.

Poof! he's gone to the back.

I assume that I could sit there for the moment, while we waited for our answer, and as soon as my ass touches the forbidden seat, a waiter taps me on the shoulder.

"I'm sorry, sir, but you can't sit there. It's a fire safety concern, and the Fire Marshall can fine us for this," the waiter tells me.

And then he just stares blankly at me. I can feel a female waitress on the other side behind me, and something - I cannot tell you what it is - rose up in me like vomit.

"There's a guy checking to see if we can be seated like this," I tell him. "I did not do this of my own accord," I continue. For some reason, I can feel anger flashing inside of me.

"I know, but you are still going to have to get up," he says, and continues staring blankly at me, a deer in headlights.

Maybe he is shy. Perhaps he sees in me the hatred that is clawing to get out, but his eyes are wide, like a deer's.

I stand up and say something. I can't remember exactly what it is, but it is something virulent and robust. It is also very loud, and everyone is staring at me as if I have just gone on a Michael Richards-style rant at this waiter.

I stand back, holding my head down because I know I have just embarrassed everyone with whom I'd been sitting, and wait for the aftermath. Initially, I expect to get kicked out. I don't think it's far from the truth, but I don't think anyone had the gall to kick me out at that particular moment, not with the look in my eyes.

"Whoa, what's with all the tension?" the waitress says, cleverly trying to diffuse the situation. "I just want to take some orders!"

So, there you have it: the rare, but existent, explosion in polite society, as best I can remember it. I don't do things like this often, but they do happen. It's like I need to do something embarrassing once every other month or so just to keep up a nice average.

The fallout from the incident was that a friend got embarrassed and left and I ended up leaving after ordering only a water.

I have more stories from that night, but this post has already dragged on too long.

Should I go on David Letterman and use Jerry Seinfeld as a human shield so I can apologize?

Dec 7, 2006

A Big Ad

Why not?

Dec 6, 2006

Britney's Spears (Thanks, Drew!)

Oh, by the way, I finally saw the "Britney" pics everyone's been talking about lately, and man, what a non-story. I always imagined her Kibbles N Bits to be much more dramatic. She looks like a Shar-Pei. All I'm sayin'.


I finished Augusten Burroughs's memoir, Dry, today. It is the post-Running-with-Scissors tale of Burroughs's battle with alcoholism.

Uh, I don't know if the word "harrowing" can be used here, but I'll say that it's more horrible than anything James Frey could ever make up. But I really liked it, and, even though it's weird to say it, I think I can identify with him a little bit, even though he is a gay recovering alcoholic who spends a good bit of time taking care of a friend named Pighead who is dying of HIV.

You can watch a Fishbowl interview him him on

If you've never read anything of his, you should. Burroughs's memoirs read like fiction, and he has a real ear for these sorts of tales. It's almost hard to think of it as real life as you read it, and I think that's another reason it's so good. You go, "I can't believe this is actually happening! Jesus!"

Which brings me to my next point. I've read a few memoirs in my lifetimes, and they all seem to be these larger-than-life pieces, and I guess they're supposed to be. No one wants to read about the most boring person on Earth. Well, maybe that's not true. But when it comes to alcholism, it's always these over-the-top stories that make the reader think, "Hey, I'm not as bad as that guy, so I must not be an alcoholic." When, in truth, probably a good bit of those people are alcoholics and just don't realize it. The stories have fooled them. You don't have to lose your job or kill someone to realize you're an alcoholic, and that's a notion most people don't understand. A working addiction is one that lies just beneath the surface but is killing that person nonetheless.

Oh well, I guess I've gotten off on a tangent right now. But, if you get a chance, you should read some of Burroughs's stuff.


Okay, so the movie that got sent to me was The Break-Up. I find it ironic that THIS was on the cover of the New York Post today. (It's coverage of the Vennifer Aaughn breakup).

If I Were Michael Vick...

I can kind of understand Michael Vick's actions right now. Well, no, I can't, but I thought that it would be a good title for a post. Sorry it's been so long since I last posted, but you know how things go sometimes.

So, today's angry letter to the world is about a certain DVD club. Okay, here's the scenario: I joined this "club" with the intention of buying great new DVDs to add to my collection. I was like, "Yeah, I can do that. 2 DVDs in two years. How can I not."

Well, I was very sly at the time and decided to just use the default paper system - you send me a sheet of paper and I check "No I don't want this selection" and send it back to you - so that I wouldn't have to use the online system and thus let that "club" have my credit card number. No, I'm not a Luddite. It's how they get you. If you get sent a movie you don't want and you have your credit card number up there, then by the time you get the movie your card has already been charged. My way is easier because even if Ii forgot to check the box and send the paper then it wouldn't matter, because my card would not have been charged.


So I forgot to check the box several times and have been sent several DVDs over the course of the last six months. Which is okay, because I would promptly return them and not have any sort of flux on my card.

Well, two days ago I receive a movie I don't want and today I check online to see what my status is and, guess what, they've cancelled my account and won't let me do anything but pay for a movie I don't want! Lady Protocol already has the movie anyway!

I'm really pissed, but I guess I'll just have to take my lumps and pay for the damn movie. But at least I can get a little return on it by selling it on Amazon, right?

Nov 30, 2006

Guitar Hero, Beer, and Charities

As I just learned on Penny Arcade, there is going to be a Guitar Hero competition in various cities around the US for the charity Child's Play, which uses video games to help sick and needy children in children's hospitals.

Take THAT, Tipper Gore!

Anyway, one of the events is taking place at an establishment I really want to visit when I go to New York, called Barcade. Barcade is - guess what - a bar filled with video games from years' past.

So, if you want to help out children this holiday season, give the Child's Play Charity web site a ring-a-ding. There are events going on all around the US, so make sure you can keep up.


Nov 29, 2006


Ever since reading Bill Bryson's book, The Mother Tongue, I've had an unhealthy obsession with Palindromes.

Palindromes are words or sentences that read the same way forwards as backwards.

Do you think it is a coincidence that the word Deified is a palindrome? Probably not, but that doesn't make it any less cool. Does it make me any less cool? Depends on if you thought I was ever cool in the first place!

Some Random Trivia

I'm in a playful mood tonight, so I thought I'd give a little trivia that's been on my mind lately.

Here goes:

1. What does AUV stand for? (Hint: it's a type of vehicle.)

2. Name the Dickens novel which is composed of two words and has six letters each.

3. Name the Dickens novel which is composed of two words and has five letters each.

(Hint: Neither of the novels is Great Expectations)

4. Match the famous guitarist to the famous guitar:

1) Slash a) Skull & Crossbones ESP Strat
2) Jimmy Page b) Les Paul
3) Stevie Ray Vaughan c) Dean from Hell
4) Chuck Berry d) Whatever the guy in Extreme played
5) Jimi Hendrix e) He played bass, you moron!
6) Keith Moon f) Fender Strat
7) Randy Rhoads g) Fender Jaguar
8) Kirk Hammett h) Frankenstein
9) Eddie Van Halen i) Didn't Play Guitar
10) Les Claypool j) Polka-dot Jackson V
11) Nuno Bettencourt k) Gibson ES-335
12) Kurt Cobain l) Right-handed Strat strung left-handed
13) Dimebag Darrell m) Double Neck Gibson

Nov 26, 2006

TiVo is Awesome!

I don't pretend to be a techno-ficiado, but today Lady Protocol got TiVo for her 22nd birthday, and even the setup is awesome. If only they could do that with other types of media (ahem, Charter.

I can't wait to not watch t.v. by appointment now. TiVo may be the greatest invention since Dental Dam.

Okay, wait, I have to go set some more crap up...Check ya later.


It's still booting up or whatever it needs to do, so I'll chat with you about TiVo and not so much how it works as much as how to get it to work.

The reason that LP and I didn't get until now - besides the money thing - is that I was convinced that you absolutely had to have a phone line to get started. Supposedly, it was needed to get the system up-and-running.

Myth or Factola: MYTH

You can use a Broadband internet connection to get your TiVo to set up the way that you want to. And, surprisingly, it's a lot simpler than I thought it would be. I always imagined it to be a pain-in-the-ass, but you'd be surprised how smoothly it goes through all the steps, connections, etc.

See, I come from the generation that grew up in the 80s and had the worst technology in the world (or technologies): cassette-based audio and video. VCRs and Cassette Decks were the pitts, man. The first VCR I remember getting was about as big as the television itself and, as far as I know, did not ever get beyond the flashing 12:00 clock (am or pm, I don't know).

Audio cassettes were only a slight bit less intrusive than video cassettes, but you still had the rewind-fast forward functions that drove me up the wall. You could never just start a song at the beginning. You always had to fast forward to it just right to get to the part that you wanted. That's probably why I listened to "Welcome to the Jungle" about seven million more times than the rest of the songs on "Appetite for Destruction."

The only inconvenience about TiVo is that you actually have to sit through the commercials, although I may be wrong about that. Even so, it's still a million times better than being forced to watch television at appointment. Now, LP and I can go and carouse the town of Athens while the TiVo does all the work for us. Wow, did that sound like a plug for TiVo or what?

Nov 22, 2006

Hell Hath No Fury...A Tenacious D Review

Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny is not for the casual Tenacious D fan. It seems as though the guys who made it were having a lot of fun and wanted it to be as exclusive as possible.

And thank Satan for that.

Jack Black - Jables - chews up the scenery as he and his erstwhile companion - KG - search for The Pick of Destiny, an ancient guitar pick fashioned from one of Beelzeboss's teeth.

It's not a great movie, but it is an awesome movie, if you catch my drift. The opening number, featuring Meatloaf as JB's dad and Dio as, well, himself is one of the coolest moments of the movie.

However, I think it drags for a little while after that, especially when Jack Black's character, Jack Black, learns the "Art of the Rock" from Kyle. He's too wide-eyed for it to work, I think. In Tenacious D, he always is the Coffee Shop Rock Star, vain and sure of himself despite the fact that the duo plays in coffe shops.

I really liked the movie though, especially from the point where they discover the Pick's existence on. It's a quest movie, after all, and a good third of it is spent sitting still. Once they visit Guitar Center and encounter a Jim-Martin-From-Faith-No-More Ben Stiller, everything starts to come together.

So, the verdict is this: If you dig Tenacious D or rock-n-roll, go see this movie. If your only frame of reference is Nacho Libre, you should probably just stay home.

The OJ Thing

I find it interesting that FOX is so unabashedly patting itself on the back for cancelling the OJ Book/Television deal. Does no one - including the people at FOX - realize that they originally wanted to do the damn thing in the first place!

It's like giving a rapist the Medal of Honor for not killing his latest victim. Come on, FOX. You got better juice than that.

Nov 21, 2006

How to Handle a Heckler

Okay, so we've been through the Michael Richards 'thing' so I don't want to retread that territory, but I do want to help the poor guy out. Because he obviously doesn't know how to handle hecklers. So I found someone who could give hime some advice.

Enter Bill Burr.

Burr did a set in Philly a while back, in which he taunts an unruly audience nonstop for the last ten minutes of his set, despite the fact that half the audience is booing him for the most part.

A Sad Realization About Reality

Today I uncovered a small tidbit about perception, and sadly it doesn't have anything to do with Michael Richards and Racism.

You don't have to read if you don't want to.

I like to listen to sportstalk radio. I only watch college and pro football, so its a good way to pick up all the stuff that I normally miss. Anyway, I was listening to The Herd on ESPN Radio the other day, and the host, Colin Cowherd, used some sort of political analogy to prove his point about a college football this-or-that.

It was pretty funny, but obviously the girl who was running the register - who will remain nameless (but it's really the girl from before, the "Christian as Republican" girl) - didn't get it, because her brow furrowed and she asked, "Who is this?"

"Colin Cowherd," I, handsome as I was, answered.

Her brow grew into a caterpillar-like thing and then she shrugged. "I don't know him. Is he liberal?"


"Is he liberal or conservative?"

My mind was about ready to explode. It was possible that she didn't know who Bill Parcells was, but hopefully she didn't think The Cowboys were some new form of the Bush Doctrine.

"Neither," I said and let the issue drop. I'd already given her a good political lambasting for the day.

But that story brings me to my point. And it's not that I can tell bad stories, because I can and this one is about as bad as they get, but that people who don't have any intelligence need to be told which side their opinions are on.

You know, I don't have to be told which side a guy is on to know if I agree with what is being said or not. But I think she did and, you know what, I think it's that way with most people. They need to be told which side is theirs so they'll know who to boo. Just once I'd like to see a bipartisan ticket. Well, if it were to only happen once, I'd like to see the most extreme ticket on the planet: Hillary Clinton and Strom Thurmond or something. Just to see every idiot in the country's head explode. It could work. Just re-fit Strom with his old animatronic suit and put him out there.

Nov 19, 2006

Bears and Bobcats and Eagles-that-can't-fly, Oh My

Maran, Johnny, and I just got back from Memorial Park around the corner from the house on Gran Ellen.

I've never been really an outdoorsy kind of person, but I think I'm getting more inclined to do things like that. And Memorial Park is a great place to get accustomed to being outdoors.

The best part, I think, is the Bear Hollow Animal Zoo-ish Type Thingy, which has your basic indigenous animals, like the deer, bobcat, and turkey. But it also has an alligator - Dill Pickle, sadly, is his name - two black bears, and a bald eagle. And, although the bald eagle can't fly - I found out today that he flew into a power line as a youngster - he still is the most majestic animal in the entire world. The funny this is that the people who designed the trail were smart enough to put the bald eagle directly across from the pen housing the turkeys. You don't get a sense of how badly Ben Franklin almost screwed up until you see the two birds side by side.

It's good for a Sunday afternoon stroll and there's even a dog park (not near the bears, of course) if you don't want to leave your canine companions at home.

There's a pretty informational article in the UGAzine, which you can read by clicking on this entire sentence.

Fortunately, the Park itself is publicly funded. I don't see something as wonderful as Memorial Park getting by on private funding. Just think, if Arrested Development had procured public funding, the few intelligent people in America could still be enjoying it.

Featured Link:

The Bear Hollow Official Web Site

In Honor of Casino Royale's Theatrical Release, I Divulge a Fact...

. . .James Bond was a character in a book first!

I know that most people don't really realize that, and you know HOW I know that? Most of the Ian Fleming books are - or were until recently - out of print. That says a lot about the state of the 00.

This is Why Dems Normally Lose. . .

Okay, so I've vowed in the past to keep my political leanings out of this - the Jinx Protocol Blog - but I cannot help myself.

One of two things has happened to the Democrats. Either they don't know how to run after being out of power for so long or they're letting certain predispositions direct the way that they run the government.

I think that it is a little combination of both. Let's face it, folks. The Democratic party is still in dissaray. I don't care what happened at the beginning of the month. It's a bleak picture for those guys and dolls still wearing blue.

Not even a month into victory and the backbiting has already begun...or is that just the way that the media is portraying it?

Here's an article regarding the kind of awful crap that's going on in the Democratic Party, not even three weeks into their reign in the houses of Congress.

I personally hope that things aren't so bad that a few members can't keep their mouths shut over some disagreement. If that's what we have to expect, then it's going to be a long two years, America. Even if Nancy Pelosi has made a mistake already, is it time to turn on her? She's been doing this for, what, three weeks now? Give her a break, Dems. You don't want to look divided this early, do you?

Nov 18, 2006

Tenacious D

You can see the Tenacious D movie next week, but there's a small clip of "Master Exploder" on the Amazon site. You should check it out.

And here's a preview/review of the movie at IGN.

And the official site.

Basically, everything cool. Oh, and The MySpace site.

Oh, and a Video. Also, if any of you are going to be in the Atlanta area Dec. 5, the 'D' will be playing at the Gwinnet Center Arena.

Nov 17, 2006

Just Another Friday Night...

Hey everybody. Just got home from downtown Athens, and nothing's really changed. It's all basically the same that it's been for the last several years.

But I do think that the little things change in increments.

For example tonight, the bartender at the place we went has done a spread in Playboy. I did not know this and probably wouldn't had I not been told, but somehow it's significant.

The people have changed, but it's still all the same. The lonely girls were dancing alone under the strobe lights. The guys playing pool tried to look cool and were mean-mugging everyone else (except when we played pool, and then it looked like a giant C.H.O.A.D. Fest). The bartenders were disaffected hot chicks whose only pleasures were derived from laughing at the awkward patrons of said bar.

Etc, etc, etc.

It's almost always the same thing, although it's a little different everytime. I can now understand Darwinism a little better. Incremental changes come in small fragments, like the names of a bar.

I had fun, though, and I hope you're enjoying your Friday night.

Peace and Goodwill.

Nov 16, 2006

I Always Thought Venison Was Salty But. . .

. . .I didn't think it was because the meat tenderizer was a man's gentle loving.

Okay, joke's over. This is a serious matter. It was reported on The Smoking Gun today that a man in Wisconsin, Bryan James Hathaway, is fighting charges that he had sex with a dead deer last month.

Sorry. There is no punchline (other than the one above, I guess).

But that's not the weird part. His lawyer is arguing that, since the dear was already dead, he could not be charged with - and this is the actual charge - sexual gratification with an animal.

"The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass," lawyer Fredric Anderson wrote in the motion filed in Douglas County Circuit Court.

And if you can believe it, THAT'S NOT ALL, FOLKS! Apparently, Hathaway has already served time for killing a horse that he intended to sexually assault. (Jeez, no wonder the guy in Seattle got it so bad. Sorry.) And, he's only 20 years old!

Moreover, his lawyer used "The Princess Bride" as a reference in the court motion to defend his client

"As Billy Crystal noted in The Princess Bride, 'There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.'"

That's what the lawyer actuall uses to defend the guy who (allegedly) did this. I'm so glad I'm not a lawyer.

And here is an obligatory video of a deer running wild - literally! - in Target!

Nov 13, 2006 Please Don't Do It!

Warning: I am in no way being facetious about this post. You DO NOT want to got to, not even if your life depends on it.

Apparently, goggle is a site that will destroy your computer by barraging it with Spyware and such. I just found out about it and wanted to pass this information on to everyone.

But I am the type of person who almost always has to try something to see just what happens. So I'm fighting the urge to type it in. I just know that I'll accidentally do it sometime soon. If you don't believe its power, watch the video I've provided.

Nov 11, 2006

Borat Under Fire?

It seems as though more than the main characters of Borat showed their asses, as two University of South Carolina "scholars" are suing 20th Century Fox for fraud, saying filmmakers duped them into appearing in the movie by getting them drunk.

I mean, it wasn't that big a deal. They just made a bunch of racist and sexist comments while completely obliterated. It actually sounded like hundreds of conversations I've overheard in Downtown Athens over the last several years.


You can read the updates on The Smoking Gun, but basically it's nothing unusual. The name of one of the guys suing 20th Century Fox is released and the article talks about that guy's MySpace page.

There are numerous pictures of him, if you're interested in that sort of thing. Check it out!

Real Beat Down

I found this video on YouTube because Bill Maher covered it's existence on his show, aptly titled Real Time with Bill Maher.

I don't know, but it doesn't seem like these guys are "protecting and serving." Does it to you? Even if the guy in the video has done something heinous, it doesn't take away the fact that the behavior portrayed above has been caught over and over in the LAPD. Coincidence? Maybe. Does it make it any more right? No.

They get guns and cuffs, but should cops be equipped with common decency from now on?

Nov 8, 2006


Can two dreams come true in a single day? I've often asked this of myself and of God, and apparently it can. Just look at the combination of headlines from today and what will be coming tomorrow.

All hail the end of Donald Rumsfeld.

Nov 6, 2006

Not just a Blood Ba'ath anymore

Uh, I think things just got worse for the American plight in Iraq. Only days after Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death by hanging, the newly formed Iraqi government sees members of the Ba'ath Party (also known as the Baath or B'ath Party) appointed to new jobs within that same government.

If you didn't know, Saddam Hussein was a membe of the Ba'athist Party and helped it come to prominence in Iraq.

Now, I don't know if this technically counts as Irony - situational, historical or otherwise - but I'd bet my watch and warrant that it's a hair's distance from it. Of course, I'd have to ignore the fact that it was Saddam Hussein who was the terror of the land in Iraq and not necessarily the Ba'athist Party.

You can read the article by clicking on this entire sentence.

Ah, but who's worrying about the details here?

Nov 4, 2006

The Goiter

This post pertains to college football. If you have no interest in it, then you may just want to skip on to the other delectible sections of this wonderful blog.

Frank Beamer, head coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies, has a strange discolored patch of skin hanging from his face, possibly scar tissue.

I've always wondered what it was and was just too damn lazy to find out. Well, tonight I finally gathered the courage too get on Wikipedia and find out. For those who don't know, the thing on his face is known as the Goiter.


Beamer is semi-affectionately known by fans of opposing teams as the "Goiter", a reference to the disfiguring scarring on the right side of his neck.

In 1954, when Beamer was seven years old, he used a push broom to help keep a pile of burning trash in place. When the job was done he returned the broom to the garage, not knowing that its brushes were still smoldering. A spark ignited a can of nearby gasoline, which exploded in front of him. His 11-year old brother, Barnett, saved him by rolling him around on the ground, but Frank was left with burns on the right side of his neck, chest and his shoulders. Over the next few years he endured dozens of painful skin grafts and was left with permanent scarring.

Just a Little Tidbit...

. . .George W. Bush could learn a thing about being President from Bill Pullman.

Hate the Drive Thru (with Jokes)

When you want to stuff your face with the equivalent of a heart attack with cheese, do you ever realized just how much you hate that place? I do. It's been months since I've been through a drive-thru - banks included - but I just found a Joke of the Day page on Comedy Central, and it's pretty awesome. I'm even tempted to go to McDonald's just to harrass them via drive-thru window.

My favorite:

When asked if they can take your order, tell them you are just window-shopping and drive on.

However, I feel that I must warn you: Don't try all of this stuff at home. Apparently there are some morons out there who don't see the line between reality and dumb-ass. So be careful.

Done: Dark Tower

Well, I certainly feel as though a weight has been lifted from me, because I just finished The Dark Tower Series, and I must say that it was AWESOME!

And, even though I'm tempted to talk about the many various reasons why I think that Stephen King should be canonized, if not with books like The Shining or Hearts in Atlantis, I'm not going to.

Although, I will leave you with a paragraph from a feature in the Village Voice.

People often refer to Stephen King as the American Dickens— a reflection of King's populist persona as much as his popularity. And yet, as novelist (and sometime King collaborator) Peter Straub notes, "I think the Dickens allusion is always a double-edged sword. Tremendous popularity inevitably evokes contempt. . . . [King's] real merits, which are those of a hugely talented novelist born with an instinct for narrative, great intelligence, empathic insight into his fellow human beings and a visionary imagination, often go unremarked. If he had been a crime writer, he would have been canonized long ago."

And, though I loved The Dark Tower Series - or Dark Toren, maybe? - I must take a break from the guy. It may be years before I read another Stephen King book. The whole series, over 4,000 pages in all, is simply draining. It takes a certain amount of perseverance to get through it (I only know a handful of people who actually have).

Next up on the list is The Watchmen. It's a graphic novel by Alan Moore (See V for Vendetta.

If anyone has read it, let me know how it is. I'm looking forward to a few short read before I delve into anything lengthy. I'm taaahhhuudd.

Nov 3, 2006

Who Says Fake News is Worthless?

The Saginaw Spirit, a junior hockey team in Saginaw, Michigan is reaping the benefit of one of television's least respected journalists.

Enter, Stephen Colbert.

Apparently, since Colbert has been mentioning the team in his show, sales of the team's merchandise has gone up by a good amount.

You can read the entire article here. The mascot, whose name is Steagle Colbeagle the Eagle, is named after Rush Limbaugh. Just Kidding.

Oct 31, 2006

I'll Bet Living in a Nudist Colony Takes All the Fun Out of Halloween

Today is the day for your inner ghoul to come out, as you well know. Unless you're a Christian, I guess, and then it's a battle for the souls of the wicked. Or a woman in college, and your impulse is to dress as much like a slut as you can without getting called on it.

My Candy of Choice: Snickers or Reese's PB Cups.

This Halloween the most popular mask is the Arnold Schwarzenegger mask. And the best part? With a mouth full of candy you will sound just like him.
~Conan O'Brien

The Right Halloween Movies: Halloween (obviously); Evil Dead (or any of its great sequels).

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls. ~George Carlin

The Right Drink: A Gremlin

'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
~William Shakespeare

Best game: Hide-and-go-seek in the dark.

What I propose is that you do something cool tonight, not because it's Halloween, but just because you can. It's not very often that you just get to let loose, is it? So do something you don't do very often. Have a drink, play HAGSITD, eat a whole Key Lime Pie, read a book, Go downtown, eat at a cool restaurant.

But don't do the same old thing, not tonight.

Oct 27, 2006

Donnie Darko

At one point in the movie Donnie Darko, Karen Pomeroy (Drew Barrymore) tells Donnie that a "famous linguist" once said that cellar door was the most beautiful phrase in the English language. I always wondered who in the hell it was - although I had my suspicions - and today as I watched it, I finally decided to find out who it was.

According to Stainless Steel Rat, it is - yes, you probably guessed - J.R.R. Tolkien.

Now, do you think you got that because it's the only conceivable answer? If so, then (shrugs shoulders).

If, however, you actually knew that, then congratulations. You're pretty sharp. My only other guesses would have been C.S. Lewis or Noam Chomsky.

A little trivia: What does the C.S. in C.S. Lewis stand for? You'll be surprised.

Oct 24, 2006

The One Thing Rush Limbaugh SHOULD Know...

It took over a decade, but it seems that Al Franken was right: Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat idiot.

Keith Olberman labeled Rush Limbaugh the "worst person in the world" in a segment on his show Countdown last night. And you don't just get that award willy-nilly, folks. You've got to get out there and earn it, and Rush Limbaugh has.

Here's what happened:

Rush Limbaugh criticized Michael J. Fox the other day for doing ads for a Democratic hopeful in Missouri because he backs Stem Cell Research. Sounds reasonable enough, considering Michael J. Fox has Parkinson's Disease and probably would like to see if Stem Cell Research would help cure it someday.

Maybe. Maybe not. The jury still seems to be out whether or not that sort of thing works or not. But I don't think it hurts to find out.


So anyway, Rush Limbaugh said that his listeners had called in and were telling him that something about Michael J. Fox didn't seem right, that something seemed a little off.

So Rush Limbaugh came to two very respectable - and well thought-out, I might add - conclusions: either J. Fox was "acting" or he "had gone off his meds".

Apparently, Rush Limbaugh was insinuating that M.J. Fox was using his disease to push Stem Cell Research. I don't know that I follow. Rush Limbaugh is so much smarter than I am.

Well, if there's anything that Rush Limbaugh should know, it's medications, right? I mean, how many run-ins has the guy had over the subject?

Nevermind. That has no bearing on the story.

But what Rush Limbaugh failed to realize is that people with Parkinson's - I hope that's right - who go "off their meds" don't shake more; they shake less. It appears as though the medication that most people take allows them more flexibility than normal and the shaking is just a sign of that. If they were to - in Rush Limbaugh's esteemed medical language - "go off their meds", the victim of that dreaded disease would become less flexible, and their hands would become stiff and feel as if they'd been dipped in concrete. They wouldn't shake more, as Rush Limbaugh, M.D. would have you believe.

So, in closing, thank you Rush Limbaugh>. You and Sean Hannity are great Americans.

Personal Responsibility

Hey everybody. This feels weird. I'm typing on a computer almost as old as myself, it seems, and all the icons above where I'm typing look as though they've been shaded in with color pencil. Apparently, the Pleistocene-era moniter doesn't have the right gidgets and doo-dads to allow for the millions of colors I need to feel normal in the world of web.

But I digress.

Today I came to talk to you about personal responsibility. Kenny Rogers - the pitcher, not the singer - was found to have been using pine tar on his pitching hand the other night, and though I won't go through too many of the details (they seem to be all over the news anyway), I thought I'd talk a little about personal responsibility.

Now, it seems trivial to wonder whether or not Kenny Rogers should have used an illegal substance or not. That is beneath this discussion. Pro athletes have always used nefarious means to reach good ends. Ty Cobb, after all, used to file the points of his cleats (?) down to sharp points, in case he needed to use them on an opposing player during the game.

Using pine tar, I feel, is a trivial matter, you see.

BUT, I ask, why is it all right for a pitcher to bend the rules in the World Series? As reported on ESPN, the use of pine tar is often overlooked, especially on cold nights, because it only gives the pitcher a negligible amount of "edge" against the other team. So why bother to report it at all? He washed it off and continued pitching even better later in the game. What's the big deal?

Which is fine, I guess. But I just don't understand why newscasters would explain it away, admitting such a fact on the airwaves. They admitted that it was a common thing for pitchers to used pine tar or snot or whatever to gain an edge. No big deal. It's like saying, "Oh, he cheated a little bit." You can't cheat a little bit. It's all or nothing in these cases. There is no subjective angle to this situation. There is no degree to cheating. Once you've crossed the line, it's done. You have either cheated on an exam or you have not. There is no fuzzy ground. So, in this section, I'm calling out "THE MEDIA." Don't suggest that there was an amount of cheating involved. Kenny Rogers cheated, plain and simple. He got away with it, sort of, whether or not the umps overlooked it, and that's fine too.

So did O.J.

Which brings me to my next point.

The reason that I think people are making a big deal of the Kenny Rogers pine tar incident is because the World Series looks BORING this year. I mean, come on. It's the Tigers and the Cardinals. There's no storyline there, so it's easier to jump on a story about some pine tar. You know why? Kenny Rogers is pitching as well as Orel Hershiser did in the '88 series, and that is the only worthy storyline in the entire series.

It's not the tar. It's not the cheating. And it most certainly is NOT the idea peersonal responsibility that has people in "THE MEDIA" interested. It's why people jumped on Janet Jackson's breast (not literally, though I wouldn't rule it out). The Super Bowl was boring that year. Does anyone remember what happened other than the booby? I think not.

So let's just get honest, "THE MEDIA." CONTROVERSY is the only thing keeping baseball alive anymore. Because nobody watches it, even when it's a subway series they don't watch it anymore. The Tigers and Cardinals can't bring it back, most certainly, so controversy has to. The only thing that would have played better was a player walking up to the plate with a syringe sticking out of his ass.

Oct 22, 2006

FYI: Corduroy

Up until about two minutes ago, I thought the spelling of corduroy was Cuordoroy. That just goes to show I can be as stupid as any of you when I put my mind to it.

Oct 21, 2006

Things You Probably Didn't Know. . .

...That the disease from Memento is totally possible, if Guy Pearce were continually tailgating for Georgia games.

...That we'll all truly miss W. when he gets out of office. Seriously, have we had more fun making fun of the leader of the free world?

...That forgetting to make your College Football Pick 'Em choices one week is like losing your wallet. You feel real panic at first and then realize, "Hey, there's no money in this!" Just like your wallet!

...That some people equate eating meat with rape and undermining females. No, seriously. Check out The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory.

That's all for now. But it will be back later, so ponder these things while I wash clothes.

Oct 18, 2006

Is This the Twilight Zone?

Here's the thing. I've had just about the weirdest few weeks of my life. Not only did I piss off another blogger and have him - in the words of KlydeLanta - "passive-aggressive flame" me, but I also learned something about politics that I was never, ever, ever aware of before last Friday.

It was one of those realizations that makes you slap your forehead and go, "How in the hell did I not think of this before now! Jeez, I'm stupid."

The thing that I learned:

Being a Republican is first and foremost being a God-fearing Christian, and everything else will fall into place.

There are many subsets to that first, above-stated premise, but I will get to all of that later. This first one demands explanation, and I would not leave you hanging. That I promise.

It is generally the case that I'm in good moods on Fridays. That's just how I am. So i was having fun with the whole Mark Foley thing, talking about how ridiculous the Republican Party had become - I don't truly mean it, but I do think a lot of truth is said in jest - when I realized that a girl who works at my place of business was probably a Republican.

Upon asking her, she replied that she was, indeed, a Republican. So, in turn, I asked her why she was a Republican. Oh, that's another thing about me that you have to know for the story. I think most people have no clue why they vote this way or that, that it is mostly a function of growing up in a certain type of household, so I like to put people on the spot about their political beliefs. It makes for some pretty lively conversation.

Anyway, back to the story.

The girl tells me she is a Republican because she believes in "low taxes." I find this answer funny because it's the most obvious, thoughtless answer anyone could have come up with, but I digress.

Hmmm, I replied. Low Taxes?

"Yes," she said. "I don't believe my money should support, you know, other people." The interpretation? Black people, I'm almost certain. If you don't live in Georgia, suffice it to say that the racism is no longer overt, but sort of smugly passive-aggressive.

I took that as a fine answer, despite the implications. It's unfortunate, but not illegal, to have those kinds of answers. Not everybody can be informed, after all.

But then, oh my god, did it get better. Uh, so, I posed my next question like this (it's a bit of a loaded question, so I apologize):

"Since this administration is one of the most morally corrupt and monetarily frivolous in history, how can you possibly call George W. Bush a Republican?"

I never said the question was fair, but I wanted to test her, to see what she could come up with on short notice.

I've almost never been left speechless, but this girl came extremely close with her next answer: "I just think being a Republican means being a God-fearing Christian."

She didn't directly answer my question, but okay. For my own gratification, I had her clarify.

That's the most important thing about being a Republican, I asked. Being a Christian?

Yep. Not even a hesitation in her voice. But, to her credit, she expounded on her former answer so as not to sound like a complete moron.

"Well, who are you going to support, Tyler? I couldn't support the Democrats. They don't believe in religion. They support Atheist organizations, and I can't support them."

All Democrats?

"Yep. Republicans are just more moral than Democrats. Bill Clinton had an affair, and because he had an affair, no Democrat has morals."

Which, I thought, was kind of funny at least. I didn't feel like stabbing myself in the ears at this point, but I wasn't very far from it.

"I mean, come on, Tyler. George Bush freed Iraq." At this point, I wished I'd had a tape recorder of some sort. "Didn't you see just how happy those people are? They can vote, and that makes them free."

At this point, I fainted, falling into a deep blackness that would not let up, not even a little bit.

Upon being revived, I said, "But they don't have any power, lights, or water. They're falling into becoming an Islamic Republic. Girls will be burned alive for showing up at schools to learn."

"What's an Islamic Republic" was her answer, followed closely by "they don't still torture people over there, not since W. freed them. That's impossible."

I give up.

Oct 13, 2006

Grind House Update

Jinx Protocol hasn't been very littered with videos lately, but I thought I'd make an exception in this case. The Grind House trailer is up on YouTube, and I've just got to say that it looks awesome.

It's not going to be an extremely popular movie, and the critics will hate it, but who cares? It is going to be exactly what RR and QT want it to be, which is a violent, gory, sexually explicit niche movie for genre fans.

I wouldn't expect anything less from the guys who did From Dusk Til Dawn. Other than the fact that one movie is a slasher pic (QT) and the other is a zombie flick (RR), I don't really have much else to say.

It is good to see Rose McGowan return to the big screen after what seemed like an indefinite hiatus. She's perfect for these kinds of movies, and I can't wait to see her kick ass. Also, Danny Trejo - Machete - will be good as one of the lead guys in the zombie flick. Robert Rodriguez always seems to use him in a pretty cool way. And, if it's shot in HD (which it most likely is), then he'll look just as "real" as ever.

That's about it for now.

Oct 12, 2006

Barcade - It's Where the Gods Play

I haven't had a lot of "look at this cool site" postings in quite a while. I thought I'd weaned myself from it, but apparently not.

I was just checking out New York Metro and found a link to a place called Barcade. Barcade is a bar in Brooklyn - obviously - but here's the catch: the walls are lined with old video games, so check it out.

30 Rock Meta-Discussion

Okay, so I know I'm supposed to be the resident pop culture guy, but - and I hate this - I didn't watch 30 Rock last night. Unlike you, I had planned to watch it, not for the comedic value, but to see just how big of a train wreck it would be.

Unfortunately, I don't think that it was as bad as I originally hoped it would be. But, here's the kicker, I didn't watch it at all so I can't make an assessment about it. I will, however, watch it next week and tell you exactly what I think.

I did stumble across a discussion about the show, though, and you should check it out to see if you agree with it or not.

I think that the two opinions represent two different enough viewpoints to make the reading entertaining, though I think they're purposefully being soft on the show. I don't know. Did anyone out there watch it? WHat do you think?

Oct 11, 2006

Schemes and Schemes and Schemes

I like little schemes. When I want something and don't necessarily have the money for it, I often try to think of little schemes to get what I want, to make what I want happen.

I am the Bush Administration on a much smaller scale.

For instance, right now I am listening to a lot of audio books. However, they are extremely expensive, if you haven't noticed (and most of you, understandably, have not). Since I am a starving artist and artisty types are most definitely on the broke side, I knew I'd need a plan to get what I wanted.

I thought, hmmm, since books on CD are very expensive, why don't I downgrade to audio cassette?

I did and the experience has been good so far, although the medium isn't as portable and succinct as I would like (succint meaning that it is hard to skip around for all of the rewinding and fast forwarding and such). I bought a tape walkman online for three dollars and jumped for joy when it arrived.

However, as it turns out, those buggers need batteries to run, by God, and I don't have the liquid assets - cash - to waste on those alkaline beauties, even the cheap ones.

And, it looks quite embarrassing to sport a tape walkman in polite society. I live in Athens. It is tres stupid to not have the latest technology, and I have taken not one, but two, steps back in that regard. I have gone down from the mp3 device through the cd player to the cassette. Wow. I manage to amaze even myself sometimes.

But those are the drawbacks. The + signs are as follows:

It's cheap to buy books on tape, and my local library is full of them, even up-to-date books. Well, if Harry Potter counts.

I bought From a Buick 8 on cassette for about $.94, and that ain't half bad. Also, it's sort of fun in that not-really-cool-but-I-do-it-anyway sort of way. I don't mind, and it is sort of the uncool cool that so many people strive for. Actually it's not as cool as I would have hoped, although I think I'm on to something.

Don't be surprised if you come to visit and I'm writing with quills and watching Brian's Song on Betamax, okay?

Just a Quick Hello

I know I haven't been posting everyday, but I want to remedy that. I've just been so involved in te book - what a pretensious thing to say - that I haven't had a chance.

Uh, but other than that, everything seems to be going well in my world. And, I haven't been reading the paper(s) lately and it is for that reason that I have neglected the blog in the last week or so. I apologize grandly, but I'm going to make a greater effort, especially when the book is done.

So, HI! That's all I really have to say right now.

Oct 9, 2006


Uh, I'm having a real problem with the way the Mark Foley scandal is playing out. Because he is a Republican, lots of the wearying details of what has gone on is being swept under the rug.

For some reason, Christian leaders have not piped up about this issue. Hmmm. Doesn't make very much sense to me. What Foley did was despicable, because it is morally reprehensible to have sex or want to have sex with males under the age of eighteen. And, furthermore, it's reprehensible that he have sex with males in gender because HE WAS EFFING MARRIED.

What does Rush Limbaugh, voice - and ugly face - of the Republican party at large have to say? "It was a set-up by the Democrats."

Well, there. Good. I'm glad. Because I'd hate for a Republican to do someting of his own volition, you know? Not that Democrats are any better - they are not, not by a LONG, LONG shot - but this explaining away has to stop.

But, as long as it's a sex scandal, Rush is all for "the freakier, the better." Never mind that Foley had sex with a male page - who was legal, by the way - but he tried to start cliche e-mail sex relationships with several others.

How is that the Democrats' fault in ANY fashion? If they did set him up, then I say good! Because if not, then we have a new standard in politics that mirrors the Catholic Church.

But we can't send Foley to another Congress so he can have unadulterated sex with more teenagers and scar them for life. It's the only one we've got.

Adultery is one thing. Adultery with an underage boy is another. Come one. Do none of you watch Desperate Housewives? It always turns out badly.

And going back to the Christians, I hate to bash them, but it seems that they're a lot more understanding than they were in, I'd say, 8 to 9 years. Either MonicaGate cured them of their desire for public figures not to have adulterous relationships or - gasp! - they're trying to make sure their party wins in November! What a revelation. You know, I really do wonder WWJD in this situation. What would ole JC do if he found out his Christian brethren were pretending to be forgiving of people committing sins against the institution of marriage. Because that seems like a hot-button topic lately. I don't know. I hope he'd say, "at least you've come this far." He'd probably be a lot more "last chapter of the Bible" if he found out they were doing it for votes in an election, though. I'd bet my eternity on it. Almost.

Oct 6, 2006

What Bitterness Can Do to a Person

I've honestly always thought of Stephen King as one of America's best writers. He's a lot of other things, too, admittedly, but he's also fantastic. It's a little bit of the fanboy coming out in me, but I think it's also the truth. He IS a great writer, a great weaver of tales, and really that's all I think that matters. That and being snide. Just kidding.

So it was with great pleasure that I read this guy's blog over at a place called YourHub.

Apparently, he met a very unenthusiastic Stephen King before a Rock Bottom Remainders gig - the band King was in, along with Dave Barry, Amy Tan, and Mitch Albom - and took offense to the author's demeanor, which was an aloof sort of unapproachable-ness.

Anyway, you can read the story at the above link, but I just wanted to talk a little about this subject. After I bash the guy a little more.

He's devoted his blog to 20 authors to read (other than Stephen King). Which is fine. Nobody said that everyone had to read the guy, but I don't think an opinion based on bitterness - the guy said he formerly worshipped King - has any value whatsoever. NONE.

So what, you meet a famous guy and he turns out to be uncool, so you bash him? What a gyp. I've met several famous people in my life - I have never paid 300 bucks to meet them, as this D.B. did, but that's another story for another time - and I'd say that 99 percent of them were unapproachable D.B.s as well. I kind of expect it as a matter of course, not as an exception to the rule.

The guy said that he also met Dave Barry and Mitch Albom and that Mitch Albom was a great guy. Well, I've got some news for you, my friends. Fred Toucher, former DJ for 99X, worked for Mitch Albom in Chicago and said HE was an asshole. Does that mean I should go out and burn all of Albom's books and create a "20 Authors Who Aren't Rude to their Employees" blog? No. Because that's childish. So what if Stephen King was rude to one guy? I've been rude to plenty of people and I'm not famous.

If you somehow think that being famous makes you responsible to bow down to the people who read your books, you shouldn't read this blog. I don't believe in that whatsoever. I like most everybody who reads JP and I like talking to them, but I also have bad days. I wouldn't want somebody to judge me on the basis of a single encounter. That's snotty-nosed, reprehensible solipsism at work, and it should be avoided.

Oct 5, 2006

Westboro Baptist Church & MySpace - Who Woulda Thunk It?

What do Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have in common? Neither of them has a MySpace Page.

BUT - and this is a big butt (ha ha) - FRED PHELPS OF WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH has his own MySpace Page!!! OH MY GOD!

Check it Out. Oh, Jesus Almighty, this group of people sucks so very bad. They actually protest funerals. Not just the funerals of dead gay people, but funerals of straight U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq. Uck. And why? Because they believe that God is punishing America and that it's good to have all these people die. It's GOOD to them, because somehow a God of hate is the God of their bible.

It's horrible.

No News (would be) Good News

Did you ever get the feeling that either the world is, if not going to Hell, already in Hell or that "The News" just making it all up? I mean, how many threats can we get from North Korea and Iran before we just go, "Bomb us already! Jesus, the suspense is KILLING ME! (no pun intended)"

It's like Bill Hicks said:

I don't understand anything, so there you go … you know what my problem is? I watch too much news, man. That's my problem, that's why I'm so depressed all the time. I figured it out. I watch too much CNN, man. I don't know if you've ever sat around and watched CNN more than, I don't know, 20 hours in one day … I don't recommend that. Watch CNN Headline News for 1 hour, it's the most depressing thing you'll ever fucking do. "WAR, FAMINE, DEATH, AIDS, HOMELESS, RECESSION, DEPRESSION. WAR, FAMINE, DEATH, AIDS, HOMELESS …" Then, you look out your window … [makes cricket noises] Where's all this shit happening? Ted Turner's making this shit up! Jane Fonda won't sleep with him, he runs to a typewriter: "'By 1992, we will all die of AIDS.' Read that on the air. I don't get laid, no one gets laid!" I'm writing Jane Fonda: "Will you fuck this guy so we can get some good news, please?" I want to see a well-laid Ted Turner newscast: "Hey, it's all going to work out. Here's sports."

I mean, I'm as scared as anyone that this administration is going to amble right into some kind of nuclear holocaust, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms altogether. It's almost disheartening to know that my fear may be for nothing whatsoever, you know what I mean? I'm not being cute either. The morons in Washington are so worried about one pedophile who likes adolescent boys that they're ignoring the overseas threats, or what I once thought was threats.

It may all just be one hell of an Orson Welles impression we're getting these days. And, by the way, if Foley had really wanted to sleep with little guys he would have flown to Thailand. You don't need e-mail to get underage, confused boys to have sex with you there. Hmmm, maybe somebody should check his junkets - that's not in his pants - to see if he's had any trips overseas.

Sorry, My Time Hates Me!

I don't like to update "slice-of-life" things or post "here's what's happening with me" sorts of gibberish. I know, it's a blog, but my life just isn't that interesting.

However, I am getting toward the end of the novel, and that's all I've had time for over the last two weeks or so. I know it's supposed to already be done, but I've been put in touch with a few agents and just wanted to run through it and crease out the wrinkles before having anyone else look at it.

So, "normal" blogging for me may not come for a few weeks now, at least until this FINAL draft of the book is done. Until then, You can read over all of the great posts on the sidebar


You can become my friend on MySpace and become more Zen. Cool?

Oct 3, 2006

The Big Things - or the Little Things?

A woman came into my place of business today and bought 170 bucks in unnecessary UGA trinkets and such. My point is not to argue whether the stuff was necessary or not, but to wonder whether or not buying big stuff is as good/bad for your soul as buying little stuff.

These are the things I think of when I'm alone.

You see, the lady in question didn't seem to have a lot of money, if I can be so forthright and arrogant as to judge a person by her appearance and demeanor. She could have been an award-winning journalist, but let's not quibble over that which simply does not fly.

She seemed like the type of person to fill her house with loads of little things, though she is merely an archetype for the college fan. It could just about be anyone in the state of Georgia who shares her affliction.

I wondered, Does it matter if we buy little things or big things? Her house, no doubt, is filled with trinkets and doodads of various shapes and sizes. I didn't quite scoff at her purchases - at least not to her face - but I thought she could have used her money more wisely somewhere else or doing something else.

I am in debt. I can make no assertions of taste in spending, though it does open up the discussion. Would it have been better for her to buy a big screen television? Or a car? Or maybe a table and some groceries? That's big stuff, but it still would not raise her level of affluency in the long run. Is it because she is poor that she chooses to buy more small things than one big thing?

Is it a sociological - or perhaps a psychological - affliction to buy trinkets? Maybe it is, and it's only end of to have a house full of stuff. Perhaps it makes her feel as though she is more complete than before with a small figurine of UGA hanging from her rearview mirror.

But I don't necessarily think that it's about completion. That's a hard distinction to make, because people who buy big things aren't necessarily more complete than those who don't. But does the woman not know what saving money is? Does she expect to sell those little treasures upon reaching retirement age? Will that work?

Maybe she does save, but I know the type of person who saves, and she is not it. To avoid criticism for being snide, I grew up around an entire family of people who did not and still do not save money, as if money is somehow a quickly fading commodity to be used at the soonest behest of its owners.

But it does not change the question: Are you a big buyer or a small buyer? As much as I'd like to say I'm a big buyer, I must say that I'm a small buyer. i tend to spend money on small things instead of getting one big thing, and it's sort of saddening.

Oct 2, 2006

A Little Lesson in Customer Service

The other day - it was Friday, actually - I picked up an order of chips & salsa from Loco's Deli and Pub - because I love that place - and a sandwich from a place to be named later. I'll call it Timmy Tohms. I do such a thing because the C&S from Loco's is 2.99 and the (*sandwich*) I get from TTs is 2.99, so it comes out to about 6.40 with tax.

Anyway, I get my C&S and I'm feeling good about my Friday ritual. I pass by the Jimbo's on Baxter and stop in to TTs, which is between Domino's Pizza and Wing Nuts, across from the Barber Shop and Beat the Bookstore.

I stand in line, my mouth watering at the idea of my favorite sandwich from there, which is a tuna on white bread. Yum yum dim sum.

When I order, the gentleman behind the counter begins my sandwich. I'm happy, I'm pumped, and I'm thinking about how my weekend is gonna rock. Because that's what I do on Fridays.

Unbeknownst to me, a BITCH who works - or hopefully worked - there walks up as the man is making my sandwich and opens her dum mouth, saying, "Ew. I hate when you guys open up that container. Tuna fish smells like cat food. Gross. I don't see how anybody eats that!"


Flustered but still all right, I walked back to work and began work on my sandwich. It was tasty beyond the crappy, crappy 'tude of the dumbass working there.

And then I start to think about it, and it's almost like my GF has cheated on me. I felt betrayed by one of my fav sandwich shops - not cool, Timmy Tohms - and so I called, just to get the manager to commiserate with me and say, "yeah, that was bull. [speaking to someone near the phone] You're fired!!! Our tuna smells like petunias!"

But, alas, that did not happen. A (*gentleman*) answered the phone, CLAIMING to be the manager, though sounded younger than me and half as confident. I told him that I didn't want a refun or anything, but that the service sucked...and stuff.

His reply?

"Yeah, I'll talk, um, to her, I guess. That, uh, it won't happen again."

You know what was missing? An apology. Or anything.

I was pissed, filled with unbearable anger after being smited by a lowly sandwiche shoppe and then getting my travesty thrown in my face for having the courage to talk aloud about it.

Guys, I wouldn't go to Timmy Tohm's. It's a horrible fictional restaurant.

Oct 1, 2006

Abyss of Oblivion - The GI Joe Movie

G.I. Joe was one of my favorie television shows - and toy lines, coincidentally - in the 80s, and I'm watching the movie right now. As we speak, if you will.

Something struck me as funny. I know you know what I'm about to say, but I'm going to say it anyway.

Why in the hell did the makers of the movie have such a ham-fisted, half-assed "He's gone...into a coma" storyline?

For those of you who don't know, one of the main characters, Duke, is struck in the heart with a snake-stick - I know, but you don't have to laugh - and drops to the ground before giving a soliloqy and sighing out what is thought to be his last breath. Instead of letting him die, Scarlett pronounces him "in a coma" and later he's said to be "recovering".

Those who know are already jumping up and down about this subject, saying, "Transformers! It's the Transformers movie! That's why they did that!"

And that's partly true. The Transformers movie had the main character, Optimus Prime, killed off in the first ten minutes and public - mostly "mommy" - outrage gave it a bad name, and the makers of G.I. Joe certainly did not want the same firestorm. Because it was a toy franchise first and a cartoon (or piece of "art") second, public opinion would play a definite role in the outcome of the movie.

Which brings me to the real, first reason that Duke was to be killed off. The toy company had planned to discontinue the Duke line of toys and wanted to pass the reigns off to Falcon, the saucy newcomer in the movie. When it became obvious that parents thought it horrific to kill off characters, they caved in and came up with the cheesy coma angle. The parents obviously were not aware of the irony in demanding that a show about war and terrorists not kill off any of the characters. I mean, what did they think it was? M.A.S.H.?

Which brings me to the next point. Another reason that the creators wanted Duke to get the axe was that the show had received criticism (?) for its cartoonish depictions of violence (?). Okay, that sounds ridiculous. And, well, it is. But the guys at whatever studio decided that they wanted to shed the kiddie violence angle and really kick some ass. Which is, I guess, why they included the uber-creepy Cobra-La storyline. Um, but my problem with it is that, if they wanted real violence, why did they continue to use blue and red lasers instead of real bullets? It would make sense, wouldn't it, to have something like that, right?

Which brings me to the NEXT point, and I have to give credit to Johnny for this one: Why were there different guns? Think about it before you answer. Is there a need for an uzi, a submachine gun, a pistol and a shotgun if they all produce an unrealistic ray of light?

Nitpicking? Okay, I'll move on.

Sep 29, 2006

Sci-Fi Cliches

Even if you don't know, read, respect, or care about Science Fiction - and I border on not really caring - the article I found, which lists most to all of the horribly overused science fiction cliches is pretty kick-ass, going so far as to add symbols to let you know to what extent it is hackneyed. Honestly, though, even if you've never heard of Battlestar Galactica and you think Star Trek is a new exercise machine, you might still enjoy the list itself.

Okay, so I'm a nerd about this kind of stuff, I admit. But it IS entertaining, whether you think it is or not.

And I think that cliches teach us a lot about ourselves, because it's funny to laugh at all of the dumb and ridiculous plot ideas that are outlined in cliche lists, but the truth is that it only applies to really uncreative people. I'll call these people "movie executives."

Anyway, people still take hackneyed, cliched, and just downright dated ideas and turn them into something interesting. Stephen King's Dreamcatcher, for example, works completely, despite the fact that it's a how to stop aliens from taking over the earth sort of story.

The truth is, as long as you move beyond the basic gist of an idea, you should be safe creatively. The Shining - the movie, not the book - is a good example of a play on the "Haunted House" idea.

And don't even get me started on zombie movies and Shaun of the Dead. It was great; so great, in fact, that Lady Protocol, who's afraid of just about anything that does or doesn't move, could watch it all the way through. And that's saying something.

It's only when people who are in charge of selling things - movies, books, tv shows - to the public for massive amounts of money that it becomes sort of, well, disgustingly homogenous.

Let me make something extremely clear, though: it's not completely the TV network's fault or the producer's fault. TV and movies take a lot of money and you've got to have an enormous set of balls to think outside of the box. That's why you get The Ring, The Grudge, The Ring Two, The Grudge Two, White Noise, Pulse, and several other movies with similar ideas come out at approximately the same time.

It's hard not to become cynical, but we get stinkers because no one wants to take a creative chance. The people who are just starting out want to stick to overdone models of expression because they want to make it. And people who have already made it want to stay on top, so they produce whatever is popular. Being completely out of touch with the viewing or reading public has no bearing on with what's going on. Why do you think we have approximately thirty-five thousand CSI shows? It ain't 'cuz they're gettin' any bettah, I coulda told ya that.

That's why I'm a proponent for independent-based media, even though independence is quickly becoming an outmoded idea. Sundance, for example, is a film festival in name only, since most of the movies have big-name stars in them. They're just doing their art-house picture or whatever, trying not to seem like a high-paid douche bag.

Oh well.

Also, here is a list of the horror cliches that piss MAXIM off. Enjoy.

Have a good weekend. I'll post again tomorrow.

Sep 27, 2006

TODAY is an interesting day

Instead of focusing on one thing that's making me mad or talking about a quirky issue, I think I'll just talk about how random today's news is...

A Gunman has taken several people hostage at a school in Bailey, Colorado. Do they just grow them crazy out there or is it a cultural thing, you wonder? The good news is, a few of the hostages have been released to the custody of the SWAT officers who have the building surrounded. A good question is: how far away is Columbine from this city?

California today became the first state to pass a bill which will cap greenhouse gas emissions overnight. Wow! And this overnight emission restriction will only take another forty-six years! Apparently the cap won't be fully realized until 2050, when gases will be reduced by 80 percent. Not that we'll have oil then anyway. Just kidding! I can't really complain. It's better than proposing legislation to torture people we haven't even indicted yet, I guess.

It's Google's 8th Birthday!

Steven Tyler announced that he has overcome his struggle against Hepatitis C. I don't know...I've never understood why anyone would announce being done with a humiliating problem. Unless there's an album on the way. Sorry. I just had to be cynical there. But it's a strange thing to say, "Hey, I'm done!" I guess it's better than dying with the damn disease. Oh, and a little tidbit I was not aware of...if the disease spreads without you knowing, you may have to go through chemo to get rid of it, if at all. If you refuse, then you can develop cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. Just remember thatthe next time you're randomly sharing needles with some guy at the sock hop.

Microsoft's XBox will be releasing an HD-DVD player later this year, beating both Sony and Nintendo to the punch.
The problem is that the machine will be $200 bucks. Couple that with the XBox and you'll be rockin' a $600 bill. Also, HD-DVD is fighting with Blu-Ray technology - which will be included in the new PS3 - to see which DVD format will be used in the futuer. SO, who do you go with? The most popular computer company in the world or the company that has been producing electronics for decades? It's tough, especially if you pick the wrong format or machine. Everyone in the audience who still owns Beta-Max will agree. If you don't know what Beta-Max is, you should probably just wait to see which side wins. Trust me.

Sep 26, 2006

And in Today's "Who Cares" News...

I don't have anything against Mel Gibson, so if you think it's going to be a rant about him being a crazy Catholic, change the (blogging) station...

Who cares if Mel Gibson criticizes the War? Well, let me scratch that. I mean, celebrities are given a medium to bitch about just about anything the want to, so it's not a big deal that he's criticizing the war.

And that's the whole point: why is it being reported - over and over again, no less - that Mel Gibson "criticized the war?" Is it news that anyone criticized the war?

Now, let's split hairs, shall we? I'm not concerned with his criticizing the war; in fact, I agree with him. I'm just sick of it getting reported. It's just getting old, that's all. Who cares anymore? We've had so many people - ahem, celebrities - tell us how awful war is and so forth. It's just hackneyed now, that's all. There's nothing fresh about some guy talking about the war.

It's not really changing anything to be against the war these days. And while we're on the subject, that seems to be the standard in the strange times of 2006. Celebrities - and others - are just "against the war." That's it. It's just so...unimaginative. And it doesn't do anything. I'm against Paris Hilton getting endorsement deals at burger joints, but that I don't actively do anything kind of...makes it a moot point, doesn't it?

If they reall wanted to impress me, they'd run naked through the halls of Congress, screaming, "I hate the war! I really hate clothes! Now am I important?"

That would be worth the Mastercard priceless third thing marketing tool thingy. Thingy.