Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A New Tuesday Feature: Unconnected Tuesdays

With a recent post, Doctor Monkey Von Monkerstein has inspired me to start a new feature.

Until I get a catchier title, I'm calling it Unconnected Tuesdays.

In this new feature, I'll post two pictures that have no relation to each other. I'm going to do my best to have no preconceived connection between the images that I post. I am not intending to make any sort of snarky comment with the collision of imagery, it's just what it is - a visual non-sequitur.

Of course, I will be using my brain to select out the images for inclusion in each of these installments. I think it will be an interesting experiment if I can escape the perpetual connections that the unconscious mind makes. My guess is that there will be at least a few times that I'll make a connection unconsciously without realizing it until someone else points it out.

Hopefully, it will also be an interesting experiment for the viewer of the images. I think that there is definitely an inclination to find associations in any groupings.

Okay, enough of my ignorant dimestore pseudobabble. To the pictures!

A hippo

A fluffy cloud

What The Shpx

A list of ROT13-encoded swear words.

Pop them in the Input box to the right and hit the "En/Decode input" button. I personally prefer decoding the words one at a time, as that adds to the excitement and sexual tension.

I suppose you could try guessing them first, if that's your inclination, but this post is more about the swearing than the quizzing.

1. fuvg-sbe-oenvaf
2. crapvy-qvpxrq zbgureshpxre
3. phag
4. cvff
5. pbpxfhpxre
6. nffung
7. qvpxurnq
8. tbqqnza
9. fbahinovgpu
10. Ohfu

Monday, July 30, 2007

Shark Mix, 'Cause I'm Just Happy With How It Turned Out

So, I'm happy to report, the mix tape is alive and well.

I have a couple things in mind to post regarding the magic of mix tapes, but this one is just a throw-off 'cause I'm happy how my latest mix tape for the kiddies turned out.

This is the 8th mix tape I've made for the kiddies, which I started making for them sporadically after the initial "Birthday CD" for the twins' second birthday.

After the Birthday CD, there was the Super CD. And then the Rainbow CD. Then, we moved into the world of the "Mix." There was the Monkey Mix, then the Lemur Mix, the Hippo Mix, the Tiger Mix.

Which brings us to the Shark Mix.

Here it is (just song and artist names at this point, but I could post the actual songs at some point if anyone's innerested).

01 - R.E.M. - Stand
I have heard this song so many times, but it's still damned good.

02 - Captain Groovy And His Bubblegum Army - Captain Groovy And His Bubblegum Army
It was on a 60's bubblegum music compilation. My kids heard it, and immediately started saying they were the Bubblegum Army. How can you fight a Bubblegum Army? The answer is, you don't. Besides, they let me be Captain Groovy.

03 - The Who - I Can't Explain
I always loved this simple pop song.

04 - Can - Moonshake
Sneaking in a little Krautrock.

05 - The Stooges - No Fun
I played this for the kids a few times recently. My wife informed me when I got home from work that our two year old, after being told not to do some mischief, loudly stated "No FUN!" to her. What a damn punk!

06 - Clarence Frogman Henry - Ain't Got No Home
This one was courtesy of Johnny Yen. Thanks again!

07 - Donovan - There Is a Mountain
Kinda profound and childlike at the same time. And it mentions caterpillars and butterflies!

08 - Everly Brothers - Illinois
My kids are going to know about the Everly Brothers.

09 - Velvet Underground - Sweet Jane
And this is the full version off the somewhat recently-released Loaded double-disc, by golly.

10 - David Bowie - Heroes
This song is great. And it really fits after Sweet Jane. It's one of them magical mix tape transitions I never question, I just accept.

11 - Shonen Knife - Top Of The World
My kids loved the Shonen Knife song I put on from the Powerpuff Girls album. They recognized the band when they first heard this song.

12 - The Pogues - Gartloney Rats
My elder son in particular goes freaking crazy when this song comes on. It's like he is being possessed by the Lord of the Dance himself.

13 - Smiths - Ask
Another sweet song, and a sweet mix tape transition. I played the video for the kiddies before, and they liked it.

14 - CCR - Bad Moon Rising
I played the hell out of a 45 of this when I was a kid. Hopefully they'll like it too.

15 - Some Ridiculously Long Artist Name - Bubble Gum Music
I'm too lazy to look for the real name of the artist of this song, but it's the same guys behind Ohio Express. I am a total sucker for 1960's bubblegum music. And yes, "Chewy Chewy" was on the very first mix CD I made for the kiddies.

16 - Beastie Boys - Shadrach
I don't think there are any swear words in this song. I don't think there are. I hope there aren't.

17 - The Primitives - Crash
Great 80's pop song.

18 - Pylon - This,That
Continuing with some more catchy 80's pop.

19 - Jimi Hendrix - Crosstown Traffic
I'm wondering if this will be too heavy. Hopefully not. I have had to re-edit some of the later mixes, mostly due to my daughter having a severe reaction to a song or songs on the mix (note to self: NO MORE SUFJAN STEVENS).

20 - R.E.M. - Disturbance At The Heron House
Prolly my favorite R.E.M. song. I don't know why. It just clicks for me.

21 - Method Actors - Halloween
I have thought about including this on a mix for a long time, and finally broke down.

22 - Buddy Holly - Learning the Game
A mix tape for the kids, without Buddy Holly? Surely, you jest. Holly got a lot of play in our house when the kiddies were younguns, but this track wasn't on the CD I had. This was actually put together posthumously -- Holly's bandmates laid down some tracks to complement the original recording which just had Holly and his guitar.

23 - Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman
My daughter is going to love singing with the chorus kicking in at the end, I'm certain.

24 - Weissberg, Mandell & Brickman - Dueling Banjos
I was thinking the kids might not like this in the thick of things, being an instrumental where the first large chunk of the song is just a slow buildup. Thought I'd slip it in at the end.

Thirty And Counting!


Thirty actors have been adopted thus far in the Adopt An Actor campaign.

Details here!

You are all wonderful people! Wonderful, I tells ya!

The Victim Of A Tagback

Tim was kind enough to answer five of my questions, but unexpectedly slapped me back with five of his own.

Okay, I'll answer, still smarting from the tagback.

1. What is a long time?

I don't know. Two or three, I guess. The unit of measurement is relative to your circumstances.

2. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

None, for me at least. I chomp right down to the gooey, pseudochocolate center.

3. Who am I?

You are a sentence phrased in the form of a question, to which I am the answer.

4. Is there a God? Yes or no or...?

I'll do the same thing for this question that I did when a girl gave me a note in 5th grade asking me, "Do you like me, Yes or No? Circle one!" I circled the "or".

Sheesh, that sounds dickish, but I wasn't trying to be. Sorry, potentially-existing God!

5. What is calculus?

It's the stuff that you get on your teeth when you don't brush well. Apparently, there are some scientific and mathematical enterprises dependent on this stuff, which boggles the mind.

The Hardest Questions Of The Everyday Blogger

Your or You're?
Its or It's?
There or Their or They're?

Better double-check the usage.
Hate making those easy-to-make mistakes.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Celebrities At Their Worst

Oh my, you are in for a treat.

Gone are the lyrics songs from the Splotchy jukebox.

Now, we focus on Celebrities At Their Worst.

The sound clips I include here are from Nick Bougas' collection Celebrities At Their Worst, Volumes 1 and 2. Many of these sound clips have been passed on from generation to generation (my dad has the Orson Welles bit on reel-to-reel) but this collection assembles all these golden boners on a handful of compact discs.

I have cherry-picked my favorites. Look for the jukebox on the right side of me blog to play.

I am including Bougas' liner notes regarding each track, with occasional additional comments by yours truly.

01 - John Wayne - The Duke was well in his cups when he lazily addressed the college R.O.T.C. group on the subject of patriotism. Even if you find Wayne's "Kill the hippies to save the country" stance unpalatable, I'll bet you'll be using his clever phrase "It's regoddamnediculuous" as soon as opportunity arises [Splotchy notes: Luke Wilson's character said this very phrase at the end of Anchorman]

02 - Col. Harland Sanders - It's late in his career and the Ol' Kentucky gentleman's brain, like his chicken, is fried... here he bumbles his way through take after take of a KFC promo spot. [Splotchy notes: Negativland would use this same sound sample in the wonderful Happy Heroes EP, a companion piece to their brilliant record Dispepsi]

03 - Orson Welles - It's three decades down the road and the creative genius who once brought the world the cinematic epic Citizen Kane is now hawking frozen battered codfish... No wonder he's so cranky! In this voice-over session, Orson angrily fixates on grammatical usage, fusses over sentence structure and easily establishes himself as the foremost menace to audio engineers everywhere. [Splotchy notes: This sound sample also made it onto the Negativland Happy Heroes EP]

04 - Mickey Rooney - Sure, Mickey may be small in physical stature, but as this string of outtakes illustrates, his distaste for recording local promo spots looms large.

05 and 06 - William Shatner - If you thought his vocal rendition of "Mr. Tambourine Man" was pretentious, wait 'til you hear this authentic slice of studio life... If a simple bit of direction as to how to render a line of dialogue truly "sickens" Bill (as he states here), he can always whip off that curly dish-shaped "tailor topper" he sports to serve as a nifty makeshift barf bag. [Splotchy notes: A homage to both sound clips appears in the film Mystery Men]

07 - Rich "Goose" Gossage - Why are sports people so hyper? They pull down tons of cash for participating in what is generally considered healthy, leisure-styled activity yet they're so often bitter, vile malcontents... wait 'til you hear "Goose" Gossage squawking at a roomful of reporters that have apparently ruffled his feathers.

08 - The Troggs - This is it folks! And what a "Wild Thing" it is, too... the very tape that provided the inspiration for the brilliant movie satire This Is Spinal Tap... In fact, it now sounds incredibly like a deleted scene from the film... listen as a group of just-past-their-prime Rock Stars bicker and harangue one another over a simple musical passage any chimp could handily master.

09 - Linda McCartney - Q: What do you call a dog with Wings? Yeah, yeah, we all know the answer is Linda Mac, but after hearing this cut you'll have to reconsider that reply... Let's face it, a dog can occasionally howl on key. Here, prima donna hubby Paul is performing a live version of the Beatle classic "Hey Jude" while tone-deaf vegetarian Linda supplies back-up vocals. The clever technician who circulated this tape has isolated Linda's sluggish droning so we can fully savor and properly reflect on her unique contribution to the world of musical entertainment.

10 - The Beach Boys - Good 'Ol Murray, father of the sun-worshipping Wilson brothers, Brian, Carl and Dennis, served as their producer in more ways than one... He aided immeasurably to their early success by driving them like a plantation overseer (even causing permanent damage to Brian's hearing with a cuff to the head). However, once the lads mastered the hitmaking formula, Dad's role was diminished (much to his consternation) as is evidenced by this remarkable session tape. Murray barges in while the group is laying down the vocal track to one of their biggest sellers. In no time at all, he manages to reek havoc upon everyone's morale, disrupt their progress with lousy suggestions and offer countless unwelcome criticisms. One highlight features a tasty retort from Brian about only "having one good ear left" when Murray starts bellowing directions at his rebellious and inattentive brood.

Here's To Music, Here's To Our Piano

We got a piano a few months ago. My sister-in-law had a friend in Oak Park who was looking to unload a piano. Our living room isn't large, but there was room enough for an upright.

In my youth, I took piano lessons for about ten years (starting around when I was five). After my piano lessons ended I taught myself how to play guitar, had a brief stint at the drums, etc., but still played keyboards in a couple of rock bands.

Since my lessons stopped, I never have really taken the time to keep up my chops on the piano (honestly, it was hard enough for me to practice while I was taking lessons, being the lazy cad that I am). After we got our house, my folks offered to give us the piano that I had practiced on in my youth, but the cost of transporting it from Springfield up to our house discouraged us from taking it.

My sister-in-law's friend was gracious enough to give us the piano for free, knowing that it was going to a loving home. We ended up just paying the moving costs, then paid to have it tuned and have some sticky keys fixed. The last time we visited my folks, I hauled back a large box of my old sheet music.

I really hadn't felt posting about the piano until recently. I have recently started digging through some easier pieces that I used to play, and am slowly feeling the cobwebs fall away from my fingers a bit.

I have been practicing Ludwig van Beethoven's Sonatina in F, and these practices have been some of the most pleasurable I have ever had.

I'm so excited about playing piano now. I'm so excited about having children, and seeing if they get bitten by the music bug. Our house is echoing with music-playing, and that's a good thing.

Thank you to my sister-in-law, thank you to her friend, thank you to Mom and Dad.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

In Regards To What Did I Surrender ?

All about the brief skirmish here.

Go for the taint, stay for the gospel guitar. You won't be sorry.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I Surrender, And T'aint Gonna Fight No More

The latest shot from the powerful, subtle taint gun of jess has mortally wounded me.

As I was cooking up a post for my response, detailing the analysis of a cat's anogenital distance (warning! animal genitalia pix!) to determine its sex, I realized the battle had already been lost.

I humbly accept defeat. Sweaty, smelly defeat.

Answers and Questions

Enclosed please find answers to the five random questions posed by Bubs:

1. You're stuck in a flesh-eating zombie apocalypse. Would you rather deal with Romero shambling zombies who are learning to use tools and weapons, or insensible but crazy fast Dawn of the Dead remake zombies? Compare and contrast.

This is a no-brainer for me (har-di-har har).

First, I have to set something straight. I'm going to have to say that if the undead that are trying to eat your brain are moving faster than an elderly woman with a walker, THEY ARE NOT ZOMBIES.

That point aside, I'd still have to go with the slow-moving braineaters.

I would probably freeze, scared witless, when confronted by some creature barreling down at me at full speed. If it was slower, I feel I could maybe handle the situation a little better.

And if zombies were starting learn how to do complex things like handling tools and weapons, perhaps they could also be reasoned with.

2. Who's the first female cartoon or comic book character you had a crush on?

I actually had to think about this for a while. I'd have to say it would be Black Widow, primarily from her appearances in the Marvel comic Daredevil.

Here's a list of her many charms.
a) She has dark auburn hair.
b) She has a killer body in tight-fitting dark clothing (imagine that -- a comic book superhero female character with an outrageously voluptuous body in a tight-fitting costume)
c) Her real name is Natasha and she is Russian. Superman had his weakness in Kryptonite. Mine is women with eastern-European accents. And Natasha is the absolute sexiest female name ever.


3. What makes your wife/girlfriend/significant other a saint in regards to her relationship with you?

"Black Widow means nothing to me, honey, I swear!"

Well, there are many praises to sing, but to answer specifically your question of what makes her a "saint"...

She is incredibly supportive. I'll say something is important to me, and she'll be right there helping me make it happen.

As I've mentioned before, I have recurring problems with anxiety. She's very patient when I have these episodes, probably more patient than she should be.

She tolerates me, let's face it. She's a deep, good-hearted person.

4. Batman or James Bond?

Though I would hate to have my parents killed as a young child, I'd say Batman all the way. He's brilliant, moody, has a great costume, and carries just a whole vibe which is so much cooler than stupid James Bond. Plus, James Bond is a tool of the man. Batman is about doing what's right.

5. If you could do anything in the world that you wanted to do (assuming you're not already doing it now) what would it be? For a living, for fun, whatever.

a) My liberal conscience would like me to be a public interest lawyer.
b) If I could make a living doing music, that'd be nice, though I wouldn't want to tour a lot, being away from my family.
c) I'm not sure if I would like making a living doing the stressful job of a film director, but I suppose I could take a whack at that, too. Ditto about not being away from the family over long stretches of time.

Thanks so much for these probing questions! Now it's my turn to ask my own set of random questions.

1. Choose one superpower: super strength, super speed, or invisibility. Explain your choice.

2. What's the weirdest music in your collection?

3. Name a place where you never have lived, but have always thought would be a good place to settle down.

4. Have you ever seen, or been in the presence of, a ghost?

5. What should be a crime that currently isn't? What's currently a crime that shouldn't be?

I am tagging:


Bubs, feel free to answer these questions as well. I might take a whack at the ones Barbara asked you.



Things You Never See

A serial killer with a ponytail.

Goddesses Walk Among Us

You may be unaware of the fact that goddesses walk among us.

Did you know that a recent trip to the US by ten-year-old Sajani Shakya, one of Nepal's three highest ranking living goddesses, nearly resulted in her loss of stature of godliness?

U.S. trip costs girl living goddess title (July 3rd, 2007)

KATHMANDU, Nepal, July 3 (UPI) -- Ten-year-old Sajani Shakya's visit to the United States apparently tainted her purity, forcing her to give up her the title of Nepal's "Living Goddess."

Goddess cleansed of U.S. taint
(July 19th, 2007)

BHAKTAPUR, Nepal, July 19 (UPI) -- A 10-year-old Nepalese girl can retain her position as a living goddess despite having made a trip to the United States.

Sajani Shakya accompanied a documentary filmmaker to promote a movie about the Kumaris -- prepubescent girls revered by Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal as living incarnations of a goddess.

Temple elders in Bhaktapur said the trip might have made her unclean, but they later said she would return to her life as a goddess after undergoing a ritual cleansing, the BBC reported.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I Don't Know If It's My DNA, But I Like The Pretty Colors

Mouse over the different colors to see details.

Reconsidering Fantasy Role-Playing

As faithful readers of my blog will know, it is no secret that I have dabbled in the dark art of Dungeons and Dragons.

I must admit that I have been drawn again to the siren song of fantasy role-playing games (RPG).

However, I'd like to take a cautious step into the unfamiliar, blossoming world of other RPG games, to a world outside D&D, perhaps to a world without tragedy -- where a gnome thief in his underpants getting bit by a rat and nearly dying is only a troubled teen's fanciful nightmare.

At this point, I'm considering two possible options for my new RPG adventures.

I'm intrigued by RuneQuest, the RPG Royal Crown Cola to D&D's Coke.

I have taken an interest in this particular game module.

I tremble at the description of the world I may be thrust in:

"Taint is evil. It is a corruption so deep that it warps the very plane of reality."

I have one more fantasy RPG I am also considering -- Werewolf: the Apocalypse. I am having some difficulties following the elaborate details of this wondrous game, but this particular entry caught my eye in the game's House Rules:

Triatic Taint - This rule covers Wyrm-Taint, Wyld-Taint and Weaver-Taint. As described in the Player’s Guide to the Garou, Taint is a trait ranging between 1 and 5 dots. When sensory Gifts are used to detect Taint, the difficulty, normally left vague in the books, acts upon the following base of 9-Taint level. Thus a Fomor with 3 Taint is detected with a 6 difficulty unless other modifiers apply. STs and Assistants may determine what outside factors will affect this difficulty such as ambient triatic energies and assign a modifier at their discretion. Detecting a Gorgon is obviously much easier in the midst of a factory than in the middle of an insane asylum. Levels of Taint for various character types are listed in the FAQs relating to those character types, but a ‘generic’ possessed creature with no Autonomy trait can generally be assumed to have about 3 dots of Taint unless specified otherwise. Characters with the Touched Background also have one dot of Taint per level of the Background.

I'll keep you informed as to my decision. As Marachi Zed Caracas, 3rd Level Ranger of Ooln once said, "T'aint a decision to be taken lightly, me lads."

DPK On Stage

David Patrick Kelly spends a healthy amount of time acting on the stage.

Here are a few recent highlights.

Production: Snow In June
Dates: November 20 - December 28, 2003
Location: Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge, MA
DPK played: The Widow/The Doctor
More information:
American Repertory Theatre
Harvard Gazette article

The Widow

Production: Festen
Dates: April 9 - May 20, 2006
Location: Music Box Theatre, NYC, NY
DPK played: Poul
More information:
Broadway World

Opening Night

DPK, second from left

Production: The Glorious Ones
Dates: April 19 - May 20, 2007
Location: Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
DPK played: Pantalone
More information:
Pittsburgh Public Theater
Creators Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty site

The Glorious Ones will have its New York premiere at Lincoln Center beginning October 11, 2007!

From what I can tell, DPK will reprise his role in the NYC run.

DPK, seated, wearing red

Who's In Charge Here? - Rookie of the Year

Purpose: Determine a band's leader by analyzing a publicity photo.

Disclaimer: A band's inclusion on this blog reflects neither an endorsement nor a criticism of its music. This post is merely intended as a spotlight on the inner political workings of a collection of individuals who are in the midst of a cooperative, creative endeavor.

The Process:
You, dear reader, please answer the question, "Who's in charge here?"

After sufficient discussion has taken place, a verdict can then be passed based on a majority vote.

Band: Rookie Of The Year
Genre: Acoustic Rock

The Verdict (UPDATED!)

The learning process continues. I think I will definitely need to recuse myself from any "Who's In Charge Here?" votes, as my opinion is colored by the initial selection of the band photo (there will often be more than several to choose from, all with their own unique power dynamic).

So, with two votes, uncomfortably squatting Ron Wood lookalike dude wins.

A Hypothetical Person Of Distinction

What the hell are you doing here?

Michael Bolton: I'm here for my quote.

Your quote?

Michael Bolton: Yeah, my hypothetical quote.

Mr. Bolton, I'm afraid, though I bear you no ill will, I don't consider you a person of distinction.

Michael Bolton: I've got stacks of awards, top-charting singles-

Yes, I know.

Michael Bolton: I'm nailing a Desperate Housewife.

Yes, well, Mr. Bolton, you see, the people in my hypothetical quotes series are dead.

Michael Bolton: David Foster Wallace isn't.

He's dead, he just doesn't know it yet.

Michael Bolton: C'mon, man, I got loads of quotes. Here, listen to this: "You know you're a twistin' little girl, you know you twist so fine, c'mon and twist a little closer now, and let me know that you're mine."

Didn't the Isley Brothers say that?

Michael Bolton: Huh?

Didn't the Isley Brothers say that?

Michael Bolton: What?

Never mind.

Michael Bolton: So can I get my quote or what?

No. I am sorry. Truly I am.

Michael Bolton: You'll be hearing from my lawyers.

Okay. Thanks for stopping by, I guess.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction

Plato: "Why am I speaking English? And, for that matter, what the Hades is English?"

Some Sobering Facts About Wine

Now that I have gotten the attention of the professional and amateur chemists of my blog readership with my impromptu quiz, I now feel I can address a serious problem.

Look at that. Isn't it beautiful?

Some people call it 2,4,6-trichloroanisole.
The kids call it TCA.
The old folks call it C7H5OCl3
I like to call it Sheila.

How could such an angelic-looking, sweet, innocent compound have such an insidious effect on our lives, on our very world?

The answer may disgust you.
The answer may frighten you.
The answer may potentially neither disgust nor frighten you.

I, of course, speak of the embarrassing stench of cork taint.

Fool's Gold

One thing leads into another. From a chemistry quiz, to iron persulfide, to a song by The Stone Roses.

I remember when this song came out in my freshman year at University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. I saw the video, then ran out and got the album.

Wouldn't you know it, the original pressing of the album was missing Fool's Gold, as I realized after I got home and was dropping it into my stereo. So, I trudged back to the record store and was able to trade in my copy for the newer pressing having this song.

This video is only a little over four minutes long, not like the nine plus minutes of goodness on the album. Still, quite hypnotic and enjoyable.

A Chemistry Quiz For Nerdy Bloggers


Here's a quiz I have created, mostly for the fact that I recently had the happy discovery that I can make little subscripts with the <sub> tag.

So, please answer with the chemical name, as well its common role or usage (include its "street" name, if one exists).

NaCl would be sodium chloride, more popularly known as salt, which is used to make things more savory and happy.

1. CO
2. CO2
3. MgOH
4. N2O
5. H2O
6. H2O2
7. FeS2
8. NaHCO3
9. KC4H4O6
10. C12H22O11

Here's Some Colorful Phrases You May Find Useful

If you're ever at a loss to describe a situation or circumstance, one of these may come in handy.

It was...

1. Like a squirrel doused in baking soda
2. As hot as a chair full of sweaty ass
3. Like a tomato f*cking an onion
4. Like a runaway vagina
5. Sadder than a Hollywood laundromat
6. Like Lorenzo Lamas on downers
7. Like the popping of a midget's elbow
8. Like a hundred dollar bill covered in ticks
9. Like kissing a fake hobo
10. As sweet as a dingleberry

How Dare You Tag My Taint

Fellow blogger jess has made the unfortunate mistake of engaging me in what can only be described as a taint escalation of mutually assured destruction (check out her comment).

This battle will make the current Doctor Monkey Von Monkerstein - Dr. Zaius imbroglio look like two monkeys trying to f*ck a football.

You want a taint post, jess?


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Two Buck Schmuck Gets Too Hostile At Hostel II

Oh, brother. Bad movie choice here. Seriously, I may get my nonexistent movie reviewing license revoked for seeing this one.

So, what were my choices?

Spider-Man 3 - Seen it.
Meet The Robinsons - Didn't feel like a kid's movie tonight.
Bug - This might sound a little petty (and it is), but I still am reluctant to see an Ashley Judd movie since my last experience with one of her movies near the dawn of the millenium.

Bug actually sounds kind of intriguing, though perhaps a little derivative of a Cronenberg movie -- characters believe there are insects crawling under their skin. Hey, an hour and a half of insects crawling under one's skin might be better than the time I spent seeing:

Hostel: Part II

I honestly should have foreseen my troubled evening when I was stopped by not one, not two, but three trains as I attempted to reach the theater. Thank you, suburbs!

It was late enough that I skipped the customary Walgreen's stop for plain M&M's, and ended up just plunking down a fiver for a large RC cola and a small cup o' popcorn. As I took my seat, I had every intention of enjoying a well-constructed horror movie.

Then the groups of high school girls and guys started filing in. There were six rows of them eventually sitting to my right, all part of the same group. And they all had cell phones. And they all were looking at their bright, bright cell phones. And they all were talking on their cell phones. Now, keep in mind that if there is any judgment passed by the patron god of cinema, it was judging me, a mid-30's guy alone with his popcorn and large soda, more harshly than them. But still, goddammit. I think a rowdy audience is great, as long as it's not a moronic, rowdy audience. Two Buck Schmuck WAS NOT AMUSED.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, someone on the other side of me was whipping something small and hard at my neck. When the first bit of gory violence occurred, I felt something bounce off me. Then when the next bit of violence occurred, bam! -- another whap, which I was able to grab before it fell. It was a small cherry. I looked back one row and saw an excessively nonchalant high schooler sitting behind a couple of girls. I promptly got up and sat in his row. I wasn't sure it was him, but the cherry-pelting did cease. It's an interesting psychology behind the cherry-thrower -- engaging in a little petty violence as some putrid excessive violence unfolds on the screen. Not to mention he was a jag-off.

This movie... this movie was not scary at all. It actually starts promisingly, picking up with the survivor of the first Hostel. But he is promptly dispatched at his kitchen table, shown with a cat licking his neck where his head used to be. And on we follow more unwitting victims we don't like, tortured by people whose motivations we don't believe, in a world we're not supposed to care about. The film was really just a boring, ugly picture of humanity, and a celebration of that ugliness. It was like nihilism and a poop-throwing monkey had a baby together.

I equate this movie with the majority of dreck that John Carpenter's Halloween spawned during the Reagan years - Friday the 13th, etc. It's dull, unimaginative, and has nothing to say. AND IT'S NOT SCARY.

The only thing different is its philosophical focus. While the 80's movies sought to inflict punishment on teens for having sex, this movie is more concerned with inflicting punishment on teens because hey, it would look really cool here if we hang this girl upside-down and have her bleed on somebody.

There have been words coined to describe this genre -- "torture porn". I dunno, that seems a bit trite. Can't we just call it bad cinema?

If Iggy Pop Starts Pushing You Around

Call him "Biggy Poop".

He hates that.

And Now, Sonic Youth

Teenage Riot

Bull In The Heather

The Public Shame Of Handwashing Avoidance

Has this ever happened to you?

You have just evacuated your bladder and/or bowels in a bathroom at work, and, after flushing (you're not an animal, after all), you make way for the door, just as another person walks in and sees you exiting the stall.

Spotted, you halt in mid-step, pivot, and walk back to the sink for a quick soap, rinse and dry, after which you sheepishly head out the door.

Never happened to you? Hey, me neither.

I'm From Hollywood

A golden oldie...

If there is a funnier piece of television in existence, I have yet to see it.

Accio What?

Okay, I finished the new Harry Potter book. It was good.

One thing I noticed in this book more than any other book in the series was the frequent use of the magic word Accio.

If you were to visit Becca's first installment of her glossary of "Wizarding Words", you would see the definition of Accio as follows:

Accio - Used to summon objects from a distance. Accio is Latin for "I receive."

I'm curious, if you were able to summon one (and only one -- let's face it, we're all Muggles here) kind of object through simply speaking Accio plus the object, what would you like to be able to summon?

I'm tempted to say, "Accio toilet paper!" but there have been only a couple occasions when I have realized too late I had none. So, what would you say?

How Not To Start A Research Paper

19841, in this case not an album2 by the rock group Van Halen3, nor an album4 by keyboardist Rick Wakeman5, is a dystopian novel6 (an example of which can be found in George Orwell's 19841) by George Orwell7, an English author most noted for penning the dystopian novel6, 19841, in this case not an album2 by the rock group Van Halen3, nor an album4 by keyboardist Rick Wakeman5...

1 http://wikipedia.org, "Nineteen Eighty-Four"
2 Ibid. "1984 (Van Halen album)"
3 Ibid. "Van Halen"
4 Ibid. "1984 (Rick Wakeman album)"
5 Ibid. "Rick Wakeman"
6 Ibid. "dystopian novel"
7 Ibid. "George Orwell"

Monday, July 23, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering...

If you're wondering why I'm posting stuff when I am supposedly taking a break from posting, let me just let you in on a little fact.

Blogging looks lots more like Java computer programming than reading a book about Harry Potter does.

What Cartoon Characters Am I Hating Lately?


Oh, this goody-goody who repeats things over and over and over again. I hate her!


If I hate Dora, there's a pretty good chance I'm going to hate her annoying monkey sidekick as well.


You'd think I would like Swiper, seeing as his main purpose is stealing things from Dora, Boots and the assorted other characters on the show. Well, you'd be wrong. Wrong, as in it's wrong to steal.

Swiper, no swiping!
Swiper, no swiping!
Swiper, no swiping!

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction

David Foster Wallace: "Light bandana? Dark bandana? No bandana?"

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction

J.D. Salinger: "Be right back."

Sunday, July 22, 2007

What The Frog Said

See ya soon.

Who's In Charge Here? - A Day Away

Purpose: Determine a band's leader by analyzing a publicity photo.

Disclaimer: A band's inclusion on this blog reflects neither an endorsement nor a criticism of its music. This post is merely intended as a spotlight on the inner political workings of a collection of individuals who are in the midst of a cooperative, creative endeavor.

A change in the process:
We're going to try a new wrinkle on this feature. Before today, I have made pronouncements on high as to the leader of the respective bands I have posted. I now open the floor for comments, and attempt to engage you, dear reader, to answer the question, "Who's in charge here?"

After sufficient discussion has taken place, a verdict can then be passed.

Band: A Day Away
Genre: Pop Punk

The Verdict (UPDATED!)

Well, apparently I inferred the wrong guy from J.D.'s comment, then justacoolcat came along and also submitted "hat guy", so, I am going to have to adjust the verdict accordingly.

Please bear with us. We are apparently having some technical difficulties.

If you're still seeing black shirt dude as the leader, just refresh the page. After the refresh, hat guy should be marked as the driving force behind A Day Away.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction

Al Capone: "What's a syphilis?"

Hint, Hint

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction

Henry David Thoreau: "Roughing it's a bitch."

Harvey Keitel On Nudity

This and its sister post were inspired by SamuraiFrog. Blame him.

"I've always found it not only easy, but enjoyable. It's necessary for us to reach out and I'm speaking for myself here. I certainly have a sense of responsibility to reach out to these people in the theatre who might look to someone like me for some guidance." 1
-- Harvey Keitel

1 I found this quote out-of-context on the Internet. I can only assume it is related to Keitel's full-frontal nudity in such films as The Piano and The Bad Lieutenant.

Nudity On Harvey Keitel

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction

Geoffrey Chaucer: "Ye moste fighte for youre righte to revel make."

Music To Read Lyrics By

The Gay Side Of Splotchy has been unceremoniously evicted from the jukebox on the upper right of this here blog.

Next up, I feel obliged to provide you with the songs I have been sporadically posting lyrics for. Why have I been posting lyrics from time to time?

If you don't know the drill by now, go to the jukebox to start up the songs. The links below just take you to the lyrics. If you want to read along, you'd be best served by opening the links in a new window, so's you don't kill the song playing in your current window. Got it? Okay!

1. Camper Van Beethoven - Where The Hell Is Bill?
Just a nice silly song off their first album.

2. Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart
I had this goddamn song in my head, so I posted the lyrics. Now it's in your head. How does it feel? I know, the lyrics aren't complete. What am I to you, some sort of full-lyrics-posting man?

3. The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society
This song, ahh. It's so much fun. I'd love to memorize it so I can sing along with it, but I prolly never will.

4. David Naughton - Makin' It
I think when I posted the lyrics to this, I made a lot of people confused. This is the theme song from a short-lived disco sitcom starring David Naughton, who you might recognize from American Werewolf in London and some Dr. Pepper commercials from the 70's. Mr. Naughton also sings this song. I never did actually see the show. I actually downloaded this song many moons ago from a newsgroup, where there was a competition to post the worst pop song ever written. I actually like this song a lot, but I have been known to have questionable tastes from time to time. You can judge the song for yourself.

5. Joy Division - Isolation
6. Jimmy Buffett - Cheeseburger In Paradise

I don't know if anyone got what I was doing in this post, or if they did get it, thought it was funny. It made me laugh, so I guess that's something. I felt like posting a song, then I thought I'd post Joy Division's Isolation. I pasted in the lyrics, but they looked a little serious and depressing, and I wasn't really bummed out at the time. So, I thought I'd cheer it up by interspersing lyrics from a Jimmy Buffett song. I found a picture of Buffett lookin' right, Joy Division singer Ian Curtis lookin' left, and the rest is blogging history, folks.

7. The Stooges - No Fun
If someone had a gun to your head and said, "Play me a song that is the best example of snotty-ass rock 'n roll," this song would likely save your life.

Happy Listening! Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sweet, Sweet Empty Space

Psssssst! You! Yeah, you! The clever one!

Oh, you aren't fooled by my seemingly empty post, are you?

You are one of the following:

1. After visiting my blog and noticing a conspicuously empty post, you decided to drag your mouse across the screen while holding down your mouse button, thus revealing this hidden text. Wow, that was pretty clever of you. I have doubts if I would have done what you just did. You rock.

2. You look at my blog via some sort of RSS feed reader (Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.). You are one of those genius blog reader type of people. You need your blog facts *now*, from all your blog sources, and you want it all in one place! So, my pitiful attempt to mask my text on my own blog fails miserably when faced with your powerful blog reader. Kudos to you!

So, whether you fit into #1 or #2, here's what I would like you to do.

Please answer the following question in a comment on this post. Make no reference to the fact that you are answering a question put forth by the post, nor the fact that there is hidden text here. Just answer the question, and rest assured in the knowledge that you are oh so goddamn clever.

Now, the question (appropriately a space question, heh heh heh):
If you were offered a free ride on the next shuttle into space, would you go? Explain why or why not.

Boy, This Sure Sounded Dirty After I Said It

"Kids, we need to make sure we floss real good tonight, because we all have pork and corn in our teeth."

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction

Walt Whitman: "Chewing gum will be the death of us all."

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction

Franklin D. Roosevelt: "A man's character can be measured by the spiciness of his barbecue sauce."

And Now I'd Like To Pass The Mic

Enclosed please find a small trip down memory lane, and a little freestyle blrapping.

blrapping - The art of rapping via a blog. Passing the figurative mic is encouraged. (not to be confused with blapping!)

Hey, I think I have coined a word that is more unpleasant to speak/hear than 'blogging'! Kudos to me!

So, you may be happy to learn, I'm nearing the end of the musical novelties of Tim and myself. Shortly after we took the world by storm with our unique take on R.E.M., we turned our sights on the burgeoning world of rap. The song is definitely of its time -- note the Tone Lōc-inspired "Lezzzzdoit" at the beginning.

We were actually trying to be funny at first, and then kind of liked how it was turning out, then tried to make the attempt a little more than half-assed (let's say 3/4-assed).

Click on ---> Bunkatania <--- to hear the song in all its white-boy, low-fi glory. Lyrics included below!

Timeshare bider
Surrounded by spiders
And you always want to solve things
With your supercollider

Imminent danger
Everyone's a stranger
And your only savior
Is away in a manger

Bunk is the word
So kick in the funk

Saturday drivers
Sunday survivors
And problems arise
From the reruns of MacGyver

Always been wishing
But your mind's out fishing
And the guts of your goat
Have the hint of premonition

Bunk is the word
So kick in the funk-AY

Media hell shoot
They're in cahoots
They make it easy
To be led by your manroot

Faceless ballet
Endless relay
You try to make sense
As you crawl down the hallway

You've got a word face
But it ain't gonna last
Your future is present
And your present is past

And Dudes
And Rudes
And Crudes
Take Their Broods
To Find Their Food
(Sears Roebuck Montgomery
Where they buy extra cutlery)

Bunk is the word
So kick in the funk
Bunk is the word
So kick in the funk-AY

Tim and I have a half-finished rap song we started recently. I think it's actually turning out rather nice. We just have the backing tracks right now -- haven't done the rapping thang again, though we do have the beginnings of the lyrics written. I actually decided on a rap name for myself -- King Lids. This was inspired by a visit to Burger King. But wait, stop! Allow me to introduce myself:

I'm King Lids
And I don't wear a belt
I got more gold
Than Hanukkah gelt

Gold like onion rings
My rhymes are fatal
I grow rosemary, thyme
And hydroponic basil

And now I'd like to pass the mic, to my boy Tim, do anything you like!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Doctor Strange And Frank

So, one day I'm looking at what I can do with my blog, and see that it's possible to associate a picture, an avatar, with my profile.

Without too much thought, I went and snagged a picture from one of my favorite comics, Frank, by Jim Woodring.

When I was a kid, a trade paperback collection of old 1960's Dr. Strange comic books came into my possession. I was too young (well, technically unborn) to read these when they first came out, but this reprinted collection took a firm grip on my young imagination as soon as I laid my eyes on it.

There were two main Marvel superhero comic artists at the dawn of Marvel's "Silver Age" in the early 60's -- Steve Ditko, who drew Spider-Man and Dr. Strange, and Jack Kirby, who drew pretty much everything else. Apart from the fact that Spider-Man was my favorite superhero as a child, I gravitated more to the quirkier style of Steve Ditko.

His drawings of the early Spider-Man were wonderfully executed, but looking at Dr. Strange, there was truly some freaky stuff going on. Through the course of its initial Lee-Ditko run, Dr. Strange spent many a day in other dimensions. I have a sneaking suspicion that Ditko was given quite a bit of artistic license to invent these wonderful worlds. Here are just a few samples of some of his otherworldly artwork.

I thought (and still think) this stuff is amazing.

My brother has been into comics much longer than me (he's also a talented cartoonist in his own right), and has always been interested in, for a lack of a better word, "alternative" comics.

For Christmas or his birthday, I'd usually pick up an underground or non-mainstream comic for him -- for example, something by local Chicago artist Chris Ware. I noticed a Frank book in a visit to a comic store, and snatched it up for my brother. Now, I have to admit that I did not immediately wrap this gift. I read it from cover to cover.

It was reminiscent of the Dr. Strange comics of my youth in that it showed an incredible, imaginative world, but to me it seemed so much richer. The artwork was amazing. The stories were different -- the recurring characters were enigmatic, ever shifting. There was no dialogue. The stories seemed to bypass one's matter-of-factness part of the brain, plugging directly into the unconsciousness. Sometimes the stories were whimsical, sometimes funny, sometimes quite jarringly disturbing, and sometimes they were all these combined.

The stories in Frank had (and still have) a profound effect on me. Have you ever been exposed to some form of art, music, where after you have experienced it, you find it hard to believe you went your whole life unaware of it? That's pretty much what these stories are to me.

Note: the image below represents a page within the context of a larger story.

Here's a large sampling of Jim Woodring's work, much of it of the beloved enigmatic cat Frank (just follow the art show links, why don'tcha?).

Woodring also has a blog which he sporadically posts the odd piece or notion.

I actually managed to contact Mr. Woodring, inquiring whether I could continue to use the image I [ahem] appropriated for my avatar. He was very gracious and said it was okay.

I'd highly recommend you give his stuff a look-see. It's the bee's knees, dears.

Arugula Is My "I Am Deeply Offended" Safe Word

Okay, I haven't been blogging for really all that long.

Still, in this short amount of time, through various things I have written, I believe I have appeared to have taken offense to a couple things various people have said.

In these cases, I was completely *not* offended.

So, despite how much you may infer that I am offended by something you wrote, if I have not included the word "arugula" in my response, comments, etc., hey, I'm not really offended.

I realize that using arugula as my safe word makes discussing salads a little more difficult, but I am okay with this.

Dolemite, A Glass Of Wine, And Thee

I admit it. I'm a hopeless romantic.

Please be advised, the language of Dolemite is for lovers, not children.

The Amazing Spider-Schmuck!

Just as Jack Kerouac feasted on Benzedrine as he produced the large paper roll that became On The Road, so too does Two Buck Schmuck sit, a large RC and bagful of plain M&M's in his gut, mulling over his latest opus to the cinematic arts... oh, I'm sorry, didn't see you there. I was just self-mythologizing a bit.

Here's the movies I had to choose from at the LaGrange (or as I like to call it, The The Grange):

Georgia Rule
Delta Farce
Spider-Man 3

Georgia Rule? Nah, I still don't need the stink of Garry Marshall upon me.

Disturbia? Nah, that's okay. I have Rear Window on DVD.

Delta Farce. Delta Farce. Oh, I think I just pulled a brain muscle. I see that as of this writing, on the IMDB page for this movie, the user rating for this film is 2.0 out of 10, with a total vote count of 2,148 thus far. When you're feeling down, be comforted in the knowledge that the moviegoing public can recognize a cinematic dookie. Well, I guess you can still be depressed that over 2,000 people actually saw this movie. I noticed the poster for Delta Farce, which parodied the poster for Full Metal Jacket, had a slogan that said, "War Isn't Funny...but this movie is." Perhaps they should have put quotes around the word "is", as in "that depends on what your definition of 'is' is."

So, I saw Spider-Man 3. This was kind of an unusual situation for me. I have already seen Spider-Man 3, paying full price. I was a little disappointed the first time around, but felt like seeing it again. I'm a former superhero comic book collector, and Spider-Man is still near and dear to my heart. I'll be giving away a plot point or two for this movie, so's you have been warned.

First, the good things about Spidey 3.

1) The Dark Spidey-Suit
I loved what they did with the dark Spidey suit. It was different from the comics (which I liked as well), but it just fit really well -- I can't imagine it any other way, which is a compliment to James Acheson, the costume designer.

2) Pretty much every scene with Harry Osborn
The first action piece is a really personal fight between Harry Osborn as the new Green Goblin, and Peter Parker (in his civvie clothes). A lot of neat things happen -- Parker gets thrown through the corner of a glass skyscraper, Harry gets clotheslined, etc. The later fight scene between Harry and Peter is also nice, and more than a bit vicious. The tender scenes between Harry and Mary Jane are great. I don't even mind the kind of cheesy Marvel Team-Up Harry and Spidey do at the end to fight the combined forces of Venom and the Sandman.

3) Some small character moments
Just some nice flourishes with actors that had small parts in the previous Spider-Man movies. For some reason, it makes me happy seeing actors in small roles pop up again in later films of a series. I think the various cast disappearances of the Back To The Future series (Crispin Glover, whoever Elisabeth Shue replaced) left a bad taste in my mouth. When I see an actor again, I breathe a sigh of relief, thinking "Well that's nice that everything worked out with that actor and the film production."

Bruce Campbell *again* has a cameo that's great, but it also works seamlessly within the context of the film. The manager of Peter's building, as well his daughter, show up again. The manager actually gets a nice quiet moment with Pete, which I appreciated. Even Flash Thompson shows up in a very brief, non-speaking cameo at Harry Osborn's funeral. It was a small little detail, but appreciated.

4) Venom
Venom first came onto the comics scene a few years after I stopped collecting, but I have read a few of the comics, and thought they were kind of cheesy. I liked him much more in the film.

And, the bad things...

1) Why did you people bring in your three toddlers to see this movie?
Seriously, it's 10:00pm now. What were you thinking? I remember going to the Davis as a childless young man. A large family with screaming kids would be sitting in front of me. I would be pissed, but back in my mind, I would think, "Well, it's gotta be rough having a family. I know they must want to get out and see a movie once in a while, and maybe they can't get a babysitter."

Well, I have three kids now. I can safely say, without a doubt, these people are nimrods. They were sitting in the back of the theater, apparently under the assumption that sound does not travel through air-filled space. It does, however. The screaming of children died down in the last hour or so of the movie. I looked and they were mysteriously gone. I guess someone complained. Oh no, it wasn't me. Sure, I turned around in my seat and gave them the stinkeye a couple times, but I was about twenty rows in front of them and silhouetted by the screen.

2) Jesus, when is this goddamn movie going to end?
There was just too much damn movie to get through here. I loved Sandman in the comics, but I think he didn't really belong in this movie. And Venom didn't even come onto the scene until the very end of the movie. If it would have been possible, I would have cut Sandman and moved up Venom earlier into the film.

3) Cheesy, cheesy character moments
  a) Oh, crap. Stan Lee makes a cameo.
A SPEAKING CAMEO. His lines, as he (as a complete stranger) walks up to Peter Parker and says, in reference to Spider-Man -- "I guess one man *can* make a difference. [beat] 'Nuff said." OH CRAP. I wanted to rip my eyes out of their sockets. "'Nuff said" is a well-known Stan Lee catchphrase, but here are a couple other phrases I would have preferred to have him say:

"Say, could you squeeze my balls?"
"Do you think I need a boob job?"
"Hail Satan!"
"I'm Stan Lee. Did you recognize me? Here's a little fact. A Marvel Comics movie's crappiness is in direct proportion to the size of the role given to me, Stan Lee."

  b) J. Jonah Jameson
I love J.K. Simmons, and I love him as J. Jonah Jameson in the first two Spider-Man movies. But here? It's like they didn't know what to do with him. They had a running gag where his secretary buzzes him, and the buzzing is so jarring it startles him, makes him spill a bottle of pills, etc. Why is the buzzer so loud? I have no clue. It's just a gag, but a completely ludicrous gag. It would be like Ted Raimi's character Hoffman popping in randomly into Jameson's office, mentioning an old bluesman's name, then leaving. Sure, it's funny, but what the eff?

Jameson also has a completely lame scene where he buys a camera off a little girl, who is snapping pictures of the climactic fight. After he gets the camera, he realizes the camera is missing film. One, would the girl be using a camera that uses film? Two, would the girl, if she had film on her person, be shooting pictures knowing that her camera was not loaded with film?

  c) Sam Raimi's kids
Speaking of that little girl, hmm, she looks a lot like two other boys in the crowd watching the climactic fight. Oh, I see. They are all Raimis. And, how shall I put this? They are not actors.

Two Buck Schmuck would like to thank his daughter for the loaning of the Spider-Man mask in the above grimacing picture.

Monday, July 16, 2007

This Post Contains No Harry Potter Spoilers

Frevbhfyl, V unira'g gur snvagrfg vqrn jung'f tbvat gb unccra.

Who's In Charge Here? - Dikta

Purpose: Determine a band's leader by analyzing a publicity photo.

Disclaimer: A band's inclusion on this blog reflects neither an endorsement nor a criticism of its music. This post is merely intended as a spotlight on the inner political workings of a collection of individuals who are in the midst of a cooperative, creative endeavor.

Band: Dikta
Genre: Indie

The Verdict:

Interjections I Vow To Use Before The End Of The Year

1. Zoiks!
2. Homonym!
3. Yapple-dapple!
4. Oh crystal skull!
5. Rightly!
6. Oh no you hadn't!
7. By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!
8. Cancer!
9. Opie Taylor!
10. Drizzle!

A Quick Request For The Computer-Minded

I apologize for the brief Information Technology (IT) interruption.

If anyone personally knows any person or persons behind the JSF framework, please do me a favor and punch them in the stomach.

Not a crippling blow, but something that will make them double over in pain, wheezing out a feeble "why?"

Be sure and tell them Splotchy sent ya!

Thanks a lot!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hypothetical Quotes By People of Distinction

Will Rogers: "The nice way of talking is through your mouth."

Here's To Complex Emotions

Language is wonderful, and I'm all very fond of the English language, it being the most familiar to me, but language doesn't always do justice to our experience.

There have been rare occasions, for example, when I'll experience an emotion that a single word cannot describe. It will be complex enough that I'll have to stop and think about what in the hell *am* I feeling at that point in time. These are pretty interesting moments, and I hope to have other people share one or two of their own personal "complex emotions."

So, here's one of mine.

I was just out of college, and there was a low-budget independent feature film being shot in my hometown of Springfield. For the most part, the cast and crew were from LA and New York.

I moved back in briefly with my parents, and managed to get on the film, working for free as a lowly Production Assistant. When one of the electrician crew got a little too wasted (wasted enough to get fired), I was given the opportunity to take his place.

I worked very hard for the rest of the film, learned a lot, etc. The director and the cinematographer of the movie had a history -- they had done a couple movies before, and though they clashed once or twice during the production, one could see that they were very close.

So, the shooting of the movie finishes, and they're having a wrap party at a local bar in Springfield. I was in a very good mood -- I had feature film experience under my belt just out of college, and the film's production company actually ended up paying me for my electrician work (which I hadn't really been expecting).

So, I wanted to go up to the director during the wrap party at some point and express my sincere gratitude. I was getting ready to leave the party, and spotted him. At this moment, however, he and the cinematographer were talking. As I neared the two, I realized they were bonding over finishing yet another movie together. They weren't crying or anything, but I could tell it was an emotional moment.

So, their moment ends, and then the cinematographer walks off. I walk up to the director, and say, "Michael, I just want to say how much I appreciate you giving me this chance. Thank you so much." I can't remember exactly what Michael said, but I do definitely remember he never looked at me while I was talking or while he responded. It felt like he was still in that other moment, and I seriously doubt if on the following day he would have remembered talking to me.

The thing was, I thought it was incredibly funny that he was ignoring me in my attempt to give thanks to him -- that I was on the ass-end of someone else's meaningful moment.

I guess my best attempt at describing what I was feeling would be "gloriously inconsequential."

So, any of you out there care to share a sample of your own complex emotion?

Or am I just the most fragile, sensitive flower in the blogosphere?

For Those Who Can't Say It In Person

A relatively old clip, I know, but still relevant today.

And how about that headline, too?


As inapplicable to Iraq now as it was to New Orleans and the surrounding areas post-Katrina.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Who's In Charge Here? - American Hi-Fi

Purpose: Determine a band's leader by analyzing a publicity photo.

Disclaimer: A band's inclusion on this blog reflects neither an endorsement nor a criticism of its music. This post is merely intended as a spotlight on the inner political workings of a collection of individuals who are in the midst of a cooperative, creative endeavor.

Band: American Hi-Fi
Genre: Power Pop

The Verdict:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ham You Beer Me?

I've been tagged with a laser-pointed, one-blogger-at-a-time meme by SamuraiFrog.


1. At the bottom of your post, include your version of the statement, changed or not.
2. Pass it along to one single blogger.
3. Link your post back to the original here.
4. Link back to the person who tagged you: SamuraiFrog

The frog must have been gargling styrofoam popcorn while speaking with me, because it was a bit difficult to make out his message. I did try my best I to decipher it.


Jesus hip and dice cards, yo' thighs man, your claws would accept two to win my hand. I won't wear your warm cereal until I warm you the red fins or be some dumb thing-a-reeny in a monkey, okay?

Bubs, you have been tagged.

Splotchy, The Prototypical Simian Swing Voter

As far as the current political scene goes, my opinions probably most likely do not vary greatly from those who occasionally read my blog. Like minds attract like minds, I suppose.

Having said that, I must state, as a matter of conscience, that I am thoroughly undecided regarding the latest brouhaha developing between Dr. Zaius and Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein.

They are both vying for the highest level of office of these grand United States.

I must mention that I have added Dr. Zaius, Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein as well as Dr. Von Monkerstein's advisor and/or puppet Samuarai Frog to my blogroll, in my attempt to see all sides of the Simian issue.

Now, Dr. Von Monkerstein and Samurai Frog have graciously added *me* to their blogrolls. And as for the blogroll of Dr. Zaius? The tumbleweeds blow there, having not felt the life-giving moisture of Splotchy.

Why, do you ask? I do not know. I *do* know that in a hotly-contested political race, all votes are precious. Perhaps even more important than my vote is my influence. Dr. Zaius, do you want the full force of the Splotchy apparatus upon your simian head? For example, do you want me training my ample resources on investigating the status of your US citizenship? I think not.

There is an easy remedy to the sticky wicket you find yourself in, Zaius.

Add me to your blogroll, and I promise to advocate fairness and reasoned discussion, and will represent the views of both yourself and Von Monkerstein honestly.

If not, you're in for a big shitstorm.

Best Regards,


Struggling Through Summer School

From today's Chicago Tribune:

Sober report on Iraq
Progress review mixed; Bush says 'surge' needs time

Wistful president talks of politics, principles

By Michael Tackett
Tribune senior correspondent
Published July 13, 2007

WASHINGTON -- He rode into office on plain speech and core conviction. In the years following the Sept. 11 attacks and throughout the Iraq war, that persona of tough resolve had only hardened. But on Thursday, President Bush found himself almost wistful, conjuring a rocking-chair moment at his Texas ranch when he will reconcile his unpopularity with the knowledge that he honored his principles about the war.

In a notable departure from his typical approach, during a White House news conference beamed out to the world, the president acknowledged the personal toll of sticking with his beliefs when they were so profoundly in opposition to those of the American people.


Like students complaining about the questions on a test, the Pentagon tried to help the president, arguing that the benchmark tests set by Congress were in effect designed in such a way as to ensure they would not be met.

The full article is here.

The print article actually has an accompanying image that its online version does not. It's pretty much the same kind of image I'm including on this post.

The inclusion of a picture of a sober, tight-lipped Bush alongside an article about how something he was involved in went horribly wrong is getting a bit old for me.

I think it's very appropriate that the author of this article makes the analogy of Bush needing help in school.

When I see these kinds of articles + images, Bush reminds me of a lazy-ass summer school student, who you, as his teacher, are admonishing for his poor performance on a test. He is wearing the expression for your benefit, so you'll feel that he is listening at you, and in the future will be determined to do a good job. However, in reality, he just doesn't give a shit, and will just muddle through your class without the slightest bit of effort.

I'd say flunk the bastard, but I'd rather just have him out of my school system.