Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday List - Signs of Fall

  • Everything is pumpkin flavored, even pumpkins
  • Dogs wearing sweaters instead of tees
  • That douchey back-to-school Staples ad
  • Less cleavage
  • City gets simultaneously less annoying and douchier as the tourist herd is thinned and rich people return from vacation
  • Hot Topic selling "Nightmare Before Christmas" sweatshirts/underwear/wallets/bassinets
  • Longer, brainer list items

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to School - Science Fair Photos Again

Sorry, kiddos, but summer's almost over. That means bye-bye BBQs and beach parties, and hello schoolwork and schedules.

It also means that by this time next year, there'll be an entire new crop of science fair photos on the internet.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday Mini -- Food for Thought

Here we have something interesting. This man films his family every day, edits the footage down to 20 minute videos, and puts it on the internet. These posts have hundreds of thousands of views. This is presumably how he makes money. I don't know what to feel about this, but it's something we should all do a little soul-searching about.

This day's post is called "Chucking Children," but I have no idea if that in fact happens, because I couldn't make it through the video.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chocolate milk is bad now?

Today I saw a story about how chocolate milk is bad for children because it has too much sugar. Apparently there are groups of people calling for the elimination of flavored milk in school lunchrooms. I think the obvious response here is "what the fuck?" Especially after reading the part where it says that kids drink 35% less milk at school when flavored milk is not on the menu. If you're interested in numbers, here's another statistic: 95% of my diet when I was a kid was sugar, sometimes poured straight from the sugarbowl into my mouth, and I turned out fine.

Even more goofy is a statement in the article from a woman running a school food program claiming too much milk can make kids feel too full to eat "greens, hummus and beans that offer nutrients found in dairy products." Ah yes, I remember how I would gobble down greens, hummus and beans when I was a child, but only when flavored milk was unavailable. I don't think I tried hummus before I was 19. And then there's the even more confusing part of her assertion, which is that people worry kids aren't eating enough foods with dairy nutrients because they're...uh...drinking too much milk?

All of that is silly, but the real reason that this article rankled me is that I feel a little threatened by it. My preference for chocolate was so strong when I was a child that I considered it a part of my identity. When I was 9, it was about as central to my concept of myself as my gender or age or hometown. I drank chocolate milk at lunch the way Limbaugh listeners vote Republican; without question or logical reason. Frankly, I felt uncomfortable choosing a non-chocolate dessert in food situations that offered a chocolate option. Even if that strawberry shortcake looked really, really good, I felt I'd lose something of myself by forsaking the chocolate cake.

What would I have done if they had taken chocolate milk away? Well, I actually really like milk, so I probably would have started drinking skim. But the anguish I would have felt!

So my question is who's thinking about that issue? Who's thought about the emotional ramifications of eliminating flavored milk options? Not these sugar Nazis with their legume agenda, I'll tell you that. Fuck 'em, high-fructose corn syrup 4 life! Stand strong against tyranny, children of America! Stand strong, on the healthy bones you're blessed with because some genius laced milk with sugar so that you actually drink it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday List - Proof human society is becoming more compassionate

  • ANYONE can have a blog!
  • Homeless now politely asked to get the fuck out of society's sight
  • The brand new Times Square!
  • People taking the time to say "homosexuals"
  • More "organic" signs everywhere
  • French children no longer have to wear heavy crucifixes or hot headscarves

Monday, August 23, 2010

Awful Jobs

So I've been out of work for the past month or so. As a result, I'm spending a lot of time checking the personal ads to figure out where the opportunities are.

It's not been working so well.

On the other hand, I have gotten a sense of jobs I don't want to take. Sure, they might seem glamorous but, well... take a look.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Who wouldn't want to be a ninja? This kid's a moron, but so handsome at the same time!" Thank you for the compliment; however, being a ninja wouldn't be as much fun as you think. You can't speak, you spend all day running along rooftops, and unless you're lucky enough to be a heroic ninja, you're relegated to nameless goon territory. The only job skills you'll develop there are circling around the hero, waiting for him to beat you up one by one. Try finding a future there, man. Also, the pay is atrocious - just a rice ball a day. Can't invest that in your 401k!

The Guy Who Determines When A Video Goes "Viral"
I don't know if this position actually exists. I might've just dreamed it up after drinking an entire box of wine. But, think about it. Every day thousands of videos of groin hits, cat attacks, cute baby stuff, and deadly accidents are uploaded to popular website YouTube. How do they determine which ones go viral? Obviously some poor sap has to sit there and watch them all. The nastiest injuries... the cutest baby animals... all running together until you see this:

You then shout "Stop the presses!" and yank the Viral lever, shutting down the YouTube factory. What? You say that "viral" is a status determined by viewers? Maybe in nObama's socialist hellhole. We don't cotton to that talk here.

Oh... shit.

Guy In The Background Of A Rap Video, Waving His Hands Like He Just Don't Care

Nuff said.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Polish wisdom

A few months ago my friend's family drove into the city for graduation. The dad, quite possibly the daddiest dad in the history of fatherhood, commented that they'd gotten lost in a Polish neighborhood on the way. Not realizing I was being set up, I said, "You were probably in Green Point. How could you tell it was Polish though?" His face beaming, he replied, "Because they were hanging out the toilet paper to dry!" I'm not sure this joke makes sense, but then sometimes I can't tell between Italians and Jews. (One has a tan?) I guess in the world of cultural jokes it's enough to know that Poles are dumb, Germans are assholes, and the word "black" must be whispered.

Ex: This polar bear thinks it's Mexican.

My only Polish knowledge comes from my coworker, a tiny bookkeeper in her 60s with a 70% grasp of English. We mostly talk about weight gain, since women actually are all the same, and how mystifying it is that none of the bosses can correctly pronounce "Wanda" as "Vanda." The following are a few of her gems, although they're only fun if you can perceive them in her accent, which is somewhere between Russian and the Jamaican crab in The Little Mermaid. Enjoy the purely anecdotal, purely aural entry, guys!

While turning off the air conditioner: "I'm going to close it. All deh time I am freezink, and I am not afraid from Lou-ees!"

In reference to anything she doesn't understand, from Ethiopian food to email: "Ess crazy!"

"Heh heh, yes. Deh gay, dey are getting AIDS." (She also giggles whenever she hears someone say "faggot," which happens with distressing frequency around here.)

Wanda: You are drinkink beer?
Charles: It's green tea!
Wanda: Yeah....

On being asked whether she liked our new hire: "No. He is...he is having deh problems. His voice is ach!" [more of a Scottish "ach" than a Cathy "Ack!"]

When Bill Bellamy was performing: "Who is diss, diss Balami?" [rhymes with "salami"]

In reference to a holiday catalog: "All deh catalog of nuts for Roman."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Mini

This is what happens when you forfeit creative control to the dog-obsessed editor, guys. (For the record, I saw this days ago during the split second after it went viral and before it was "played.")

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Other Things Lisa Is Tearing Apart

  • This really crusty baguette
  • Her ACL
  • Hulk Hogan's tank top
  • The very fabric of the universe
  • The parts of the Berlin Wall that Gorbachev missed
  • Scene continuity/character development
  • These delicious Pillsbury Pull-Apart Cinnamon Rolls!
  • These tearaway windpants! Well, actually, she's tearing them away.
  • My heart, when I'm with you. And when we are apart, I feel it, too.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mark Trail Monday

Lately I've begun reading newspaper comics again, thanks to the Houston Chronicle's online comics page. One of my current favorites is Mark Trail, because... well, just read on. All images copyright their owners - I am not clever enough to be the writer or artist of Mark Trail.

"I hope this works, Mark!" thinks the small woodland creature as it ducks into a hole.
"Talk on a Turtle", on loan from the Tate Museum
look at that fukken rabbit
A nosy squirrel spies on Mark and the police. Soon he will go an report back to his master, Dr. Killtreez.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Julia Roberts and the case for euthanasia

There is no visit to my mother's house more fraught with peril than on the release date of Eat, Pray, Love. A cursory examination of her DVD collection reveals gems like Under the Tuscan Sun, Something's Gotta Give, and only those movies that didn't earn Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination. While I remember her reading the book a few years ago, it was so contrary to her possession of a JD from Cornell that I blocked it out of conscious memory. But then the trailer came out. The posters covered every flat surface in New York, with Julia Roberts' staid portrait in perfect imitation of Mao. My fate, it seemed, was sealed.

Eat, Pray, Love is like the Rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail; it seems harmless until it ravages your jugular with sepsis-inducing fury. This analogy carries the essential incongruity: My mom happens to love Monty Python. She owns Blade Runner, despises John Mayer, and calls Nicholas Sparks "white bread." How can a woman with such an acute cultural lens have a blind spot for concocted, saccharine romantic comedies?

Inevitably, she'll appeal to my physiology. "You have a uterus, right? You're going to love Georgia Rule!" I did, mom. I loved that it unraveled when Lindsay Lohan's character began accusing people of child abuse. Next she'll ply me with free dinner, a weakness she exploits with great frequency. Cursing myself for my love of fire-baked tilapia, I'll surrender to the inexorable pull of the movie theater. A scrolling marquee describes the terror that awaits, frantically blinking a warning of "EAT PRAY LUV...7:05PM." As the gaping black hole laughingly accepts its sacrifice, I will my lobes into two-hour dormancy.

Sitting at Cheesecake Factory in the aftermath, my senses are dulled. Everything I see is in soft focus, and when the waitress arrives I search weakly for a menu. A wickedly coy phrase goes through my head. "On August 13th, let yourself go." The utterance that escapes my mouth comes as from another entity. "Give me...a starch."

I love Big Brother. Calgon, take me away.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things I wanted to say to people at work this past week

"We don't carry many films that delve into the existence of the Loch Ness monster, nor any other similar creatures. You may want to just get a cable subscription and tune into the History Channel."

"9-11 was not an inside job, since that seems to be what you're curious about. I'm just letting you know you can stop your search for the truth, since I know the truth and just told it to you. But if you've still got a hankering to watch footage of the towers falling down over and over, yes, we have a DVD about it."

"If you're functionally illiterate, how could you possibly need us to send you a catalog?"

"Look, stop yelling at me. If you don't want people throwing screeners of films across your lobby at Daily News reporters, maybe you shouldn't have been so wildly unreasonable and allowed me to walk across the barrier and 10 feet into the elevator bank where he was waiting, unable to walk on his broken ankle. I don't even look like a hobo, I wore a skirt today for Chrissakes."


As a result, my post was a little late this week. Excuse me, I need a drink.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Low Impact Mondays Present: World Leaders Blingees

barack obonga

george w kush

hamid karzaiy

"Fuck this. I'm not going to be any part of this shit."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday started early!

In honor of today's hangover, I've created a game. I've provided a list of things that a blacked out person might wake up to discover, and you get to guess which ones have actually happened to me. The answers might surprise you!

"I mixed gin and whiskey last night and this morning I found..."
- myself in a stranger's bed
- that I'd lost my keys
- that I'd lost my wallet
- that I'd lost my cell phone
- that I'd lost my anal virginity
- that I'd stolen a street sign
- that I'd stolen a pint glass
- that I'd stolen a whole bunch of sports drinks and left them all over the counter
- a falafel or slice of pizza from the previous night, and finished eating it
- that I had a black eye
- an El Salvadorian man with his arm around me. Also that I'd fallen asleep on the subway.
- myself in a puddle of vomit
- blood all over the floor and walls
- that I'd set off fireworks on the NH highway
- that I'd slept in swim suit bottoms
- Obama won!
- that I owed a lot of people cookies

Send your submissions to the comments section! TGIF, kiddos!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Poorly Photoshopped covers: An epidemic

Is Jennifer Hudson's left breast a swirl? You tell me.

**Technically it's her right breast, but since neither one is real I think to say that would be splitting hairs.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The screenplay writer's inner monologue as she adapts the climax of Breaking Dawn

Great, this is going to be a piece of cake. We'll start with this wedding and they'll be staring into each other's eyes and then we'll have intense staring and sparkling on this honeymoon and more staring and...oof, and then she's knocked up, and then....uh. Hoo boy. Huh. So what if:

INT Love Nest Bathroom-- Night

JACOB watches while EDWARD cradles the bleeding, screaming BELLA in his gleaming arms and places her gently on the floor. Bella is really gushing now, blood everywhere. EDWARD leans down towards her visibly moving pregnant belly, holds her down and begins to tear her flesh with his fangs --

Alright, so maybe not. Maybe not that. What if it's just this:

INT Love Nest Bathroom -- Night

JACOB watches while EDWARD lays BELLA on the bathroom floor and hastily closes the door. BELLA's tortured screams can be heard through the door, as well as the "crunch" sound of a number of her bones breaking. JACOB paces outside until finally the violent sounds subside, and EDWARD emerges, holding his bloody, fanged daughter as she tries to tear apart everyone she sees. The emotion in JACOB's eyes is visible as he falls in love at first sight with the howling monster and makes plans to raise it to be his bride --

Okay, so that got just as weird. Alright well I could just try this:

INT The House of Charlie, Bella's Father, Forks, WA -- Day

BELLA and EDWARD step out of their car onto CHARLIE's driveway, looking nervous. BELLA is holding her fanged newborn who is aging quadruple the normal human speed and looks like a toddler already. The knock on the door and CHARLIE lets them in.


Well hey there, I didn't know you guys were coming!


Dad, I had a kid.


That's interesting, because you didn't look pregnant when you guys got married a month ago.


Well, the child was unusual, because, you know, the vampire business.


You suddenly are a stunning, graceful woman!


I know, Edward turned me into a vampire to save my life.


Come again?


Well, the vampire-human hybrid baby was tearing her apart from the inside, so I performed a cesarean with my teeth and then injected my venom straight into her heart. To save her.


Oh, sure. Well anyway, about this werewolf business --

Jesus Christ. I'm not sure what eles to do other than this:

INT Love Nest Bathroom -- Night

EDWARD looks panicked as Bella screams and the monster infant inside her visibly writhes. He sets her down gently on the bathroom floor as the sounds of her ribs and pelvis shattering become more audible. He leans down, a resolute look on his face, and reaches out to touch her stomach when suddenly --

EXT Little Hangleton Graveyard -- Night

CEDRIC's eyes open to see HARRY standing over him, looking worried, but then thrilled as CEDRIC stirs and rubs his forehead.


Merlin's Beard, Cedric! I thought you were done for!


What-what's going on? Oh the tournament! Harry, is it over yet? I had the strangest and most terrifying dream! I was a vampire and there was this very plain girl...


Forget all that rubbish, let's get back to Hogwarts!

The two mount broomsticks and fly off into the stars. The End.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Art For Art's Sake

The two men sat, staring at the table in front of them. On it lay two pieces of cardboard and two pens. To find such pristine materials was, in the minds of the men, a stroke of luck that could only be matched by winning the jackpot at a fancy Vegas casino.

They'd never been to Vegas - in fact, all of their knowledge of the city came from reruns of CSI they managed to see while loitering in laundromats. Even those scraps, though, were enough to confirm how they felt about their haul.

The wind picked up and rushed past their tent. The city had discovered the wire running from the street lamp to their encampment and had cut it off. The candle they were using wasn't very good for light and perfumed the tent with a sickly smell that apparently mimicked the breeze off the Alps. It might have been exact replication of the smell, but when it mingled with the aroma of unwashed men and the bucket they used to piss and shit...

The flame flickered and went out. One of the men got up and used their last match to relight it. They knew that it was time to create, to make their art. If they let this flame die, then they'd not have a chance until the sun came up tomorrow. By then, it might be too late.

The skinnier of the two men pulled the milk crate he was sitting on towards the table. He looked at the meager materials spread before him, but did not despair. Man had once painted on cave walls. Compared to that, the cardboard was a luxury.

He grasped the pen in his hand. Slowly he pulled off the cap, the chemical aroma of the permanent ink reaching his nose. The other smells faded away. It was just him and the pen.

But what to write? What to create?

Martin Luther's 95 Theses. Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son. Monet's Water Lilies. Van Gogh's Starry Night. St. Augustine's Confessions. These were the works he called forward in his mind for inspiration. But none of them were good enough.

He needed to create something personal, something that would bring forward the cultural moment in which he stood. Something that future generations would look back at and say, "Yes. I remember that time. This is how it was."

He hadn't realized his pen was moving until he glanced down. What he saw on the cardboard made him smile. He continued on, not guiding the pen as much as allowing it to move freely.

When he finished, the night was almost gone. Garbargemen had begun driving their trucks down the avenue. The other man in the tent came over. He had sat still as a rock throughout the entire process. He took a look at the message on the cardboard. Without a word, he grabbed the other pen and began to write on his own piece.

By the time both works were complete, it had been light for almost three hours. It was a gray, cloudy day. The two men looked at each other and nodded. They grabbed their art and began exiting the tent. It was time to show the world what they had created.