Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pantera Is Not A Breakfast Food

Whenever I hear it, I think "Pantera" is a breakfast food. Something pancake-y, or like porridge, maybe. Either that or it's a long-gone supercontinent. It broke apart in a global catastrophe brought about by too many waffles.

And now we honor its memory in song.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I Hit A Dogma In My Karma Today

"There is no temple, only Shuuuuuule."
Driving down a road I'd driven hundreds of times before, I noticed that one of the semi-local Jewish synagogues had gotten a new sign for itself, a nice electronic number with scrolling text they could just reprogram instead of putting up little plastic letters every week. It proudly professed, "SHABBAT SERVICES."

Man, I really hope that wasn't an orthodox temple. Nothing worse than trying to find a Friday night service, not knowing where to go, and realizing that in addition to a just yet somehow incredibly spiteful God, the lack of any prophesied messiah materializing, and the continuous desire to murder us throughout history, you now have to have faith that the only building observing the no-work policy on your particular holy day is actually your people.

You can only strain belief so far.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shirts-Off-Chug-A-Beer | The Tradition, The Majesty

I have a habit of telling my friends that we should not be allowed around normal people. Because we are not normal people. I'm earnestly of the opinion that we aren't even people. Most likely, we're either B-listers among the 7 billion bit players in a giant alien reality show a là South Park, or we're an outward expression of the Hologram Universe theory proving that it has a sense of humor. This week, hologram is winning.

Case in point:

On Memorial Day weekend, my friends were enjoying copious quantities of beer. This is typical of a weekend, but being a special occasion, there were a few new faces present. That said, one of these faces was a bit confounded by the act of "Shirts-Off-Chug-A-Beer." If that needs some explaining, here are the rules:

1) Someone shouts, "SHIRTS OFF, CHUG A BEER!" like a carnival barker.

2) Several key players, and anyone who would care to partake, immediately shout the same back, then remove their upper garments to the skin and chug a beer.

3) Get a fresh beer.

Now, when I said, "confounded," the precise form of consternation came at the idea that this was an established thing, that our friends had not, in fact, just that minute created this game as a means to "screw with her." Her belief in this was unswerving.

It was this precise moment at which I sauntered up the driveway with a six-pack in an effort to begin my own holiday weekend after a long workday and, spying several shirtless revelers, lamented aloud, "Aw!Did I miss Shirts-Off-Chug-A-Beer!?"

Much laughter erupted. I, personally, was very confused for a few minutes. After they explained it, I also laughed, but was still sad I missed Shirts-Off-Chug-A-Beer. It is my understanding that this is not typical behavior associated with a human being.

I hope my hologram's lines are written by another Jewish guy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Think Scary Thoughts

When I imagine jumping in front of a speeding city bus, and the notion seems an overreaction, then I know that I am not suicidal.

Today I considered becoming a functioning alcoholic. I may only have a few drinks a month, but having enjoyed quite a few more than that over my recent vacation, I find I went back to work only grudgingly, considering a shot of courage to ease the bitter medicine that is tech support.

I recognize the social frowning upon of drinking before work. Very unprofessional. And yet the thought came slowly, from the ground up as it congealed into a real possibility. If I were nervous and unhappy, why not take a relaxant? What harm is that but for the possibility of growing dependent? Truly, would drinking a beer at lunch be any worse than the Red Bull I guzzle every few days to stay awake?

And the thought frightens me, because short of seeing it as an emotional crutch, I find no qualms with this line of behavior. Mad Men may be horrifyingly excessive, but a grown adult can certainly enjoy a single beer at lunch without being called a drunkard on-the-clock. Honestly, it frightens me more that I would require such a crutch.

So I choose to neither be a drunkard, nor a caffeine addict. I choose to soldier on sober and with a bit of malice in my heart because it is a part of me not to be drowned or overlooked. If I am frightened or unhappy to do what must be done, I will acknowledge that and perform my duties regardless, because to simply complete those duties to the best of my ability without slack or chemical aid pushes my natural limits. Frightening thoughts only prove that I am still considering every possible universe in front of me, even those I and others find unattractive. It's a comfort, to meet my own rigorous standards and to find I have something more left to give.

My friends tell me there's a point in drinking beyond regular drunk, where you become more awake and manageable, where to stop drinking is to fall asleep. You go beyond drunk. It's the Super Saiyan of drinking. Frankly, after my BAC tops about 0.01 I want to take a nap. As much as it might help my image as a crotchety old lush/writer, I think I'm going to steer clear of the Hemmingway school of thought.

Unless I really need a nap, then I'm hitting up happy hour.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Secrets of Boston | What the casual traveler needs to know!

Secret 1: The Sam Adams Brewery actually looks like that.

Actually, it's miniscule. The front half is a museum and altar to beer, and one corner of the back is specially reserved for tours. All bottling is apparently done in two separate facilities across the country, while the flagship building is entirely devoted to small-batch brewing. It's effectively the beer hall R&D division. There's the three brass kettles you see the bearded guy, Billy, pouring hops into in all the commercials (he is one of two brewmasters there five days a week), then a couple lines of about 8 tanks for fermenting and such. Then there's the tasting bar. The tour is well worth it and you'll even get a little 7oz tasting glass. Your ticket is a different Sam Adams flavor label, and they will shuttle you to a bar called Doyle's, where you can get regional flavors and even keep your Boston Lager glass if you fork over the ticket.

[Bonus: The "shuttle" is a trolly filled with disco balls, bubble machines and blasts "Don't Stop Believing." The driver has a single-minded love of Doyle's that honestly borders on the developmentally delayed.]

Secret 2: There are no pretty people in Boston.

Disappointing, but accurate. That cute guy at the bar? He's from Connecticut. Sexy lady from the club? New Jersey. Jersey. Come on. The joggers are jogging because they really need to. Unsurprisingly, the one exception seems to be Perry Street, which is all hipster eateries, small-businesses, and what looks like college housing. If you hate hipsters, flee immediately. If you love Brooklyn and wish it was cleaner and brownstones were less expensive, move to Perry. Say what you will, hipsters are rarely overweight.

Secret 3: Bars close at 1.

Hit the brewery early and grab that uggo from the bar, because there's nothing left to do but pay $20 at the door of an 18-and-over dinky after-hours place where you can watch teenagers roll on e in a pile on the couch. On the up-side, you might actually wake up early enough for your hotel's continental breakfast.
The hotel T.V. remotes even look like sex toys.

Secret 4: The accents are real.

"Wicked" looks to have gone out of fashion, but it joins the letter R in local vernacular heaven. Try not to snicker, but live it up. "Yaw muthah," however, is evidently alive and well at Fenway, at least, though that may have been a statistical anomaly due in part to experimental base conditions.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Boston Pt. 3

Salt-a-llama-chia is not a real name. It must be a cholesterol-raising, table-grown novelty plant product. Clearly.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Boston Pt. 2

They knew.

Smiley faces in texts are like saying "I love you": never do it before the other person

Cyrano and Roxanne text messages right here. Jesus Christ.

There's a school trip on our floor. There's no way we'd get blamed for anything. The chaperones even put the little piece of blue tape on the doors to make sure no one sneaks out. Severely tempted to cut all the tape and maybe leave some empty beer cans outside their doors. Consensus seems to be only to do the cool kids' room, but I feel like making the chess nerds look baller.

"Freda's Nails and CD - Nails, Perfume, CDs, Cassettes" That's got to be a bumping business. It's located next to

"Sun Fa 99¢

(Line formatting maintained from original.)

"THIS IS A HOME" and "NOT A PROPERTY" signs taped I. The window of an apparently for sale home.

Tickets for the Sam Adams brewery are just off-season bottle labels. I love these guys.

Sam Adams 26.2: it made Murray believe in unicorns.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Boston Pt. 1

Good thing I brought my business cards. I can hand them out through all of "Call Me, Maybe." I didn't even know that was a club song. I thought it was just everywhere else.

It figures the first person any of us talk to in a Boston bar is from New York too.

Just saw some guy almost get tossed for cutting in line at the bar. This town needs to grow a pair.

I think we enforce a higher standard of beauty in New York. We tell them they're ugly and make all our women get plastic surgery.

Skinny and long college bar with a bunch of pale, thin hipsters dancing spastically to old school hip hop? My kind of place! Of course my friends would instantly detest it. There's a reason none of them have ever seen Party Dave. Party Dave only rocks out where he can hear himself talk. Specifically about philosophy and useless crap you've never heard of. And Star Wars.

What kind of city has seagulls instead of pigeons?

Friday, June 22, 2012

I Hope I Become Famous | Boston | We Might All Me Murdered

Today was very much A DAY. Lots of things, all EXTREME, possibly with extra X's, none of it terribly consequential.

The takeaways:

1. I have a featured column up at Good Men Project!

Right on the front page, "above the scroll," AND IN THE SLIDESHOW!
Direct link here: Transformers as an Allegory for Transsexualism in America.
(It originally appeared on here and will likely make it into my book one day, if Michael Bay doesn't sue me or make a gritty reboot of my book.)

2. I'm Headed up to Boston for a long weekend celebrating a friend's birthday. We will be touring the Sam Adams brewery and then attending a Red Sox game. It is entirely expected for us to be molested, ejected, and hopefully respected for returning home alive. Also, we may not all return from this alive. We knew what we signed up for though.

That said, blogs are going to be sparse the next few days, but I should be posting some interesting photos, quotes, or anecdotes as they unfold. Also, I may ask for bail.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

On Bar Conversation

This post brought to you directly from the watering hole.

That's not her fault. Being a mets fan is genetic. It's an inherited disability.

Me: I'll hang one of their socks on the door. Or, just lift their wallet so they don't have a room key.
Dean: Or you could just use one of your socks.
Me: Fuck that, I have nice fucking socks.

Dean: Nah, girls in sports team clothes are cute, it doesn't matter what team.
Me: Oh please, in Boston? For you a Red Socks jersey works better than a dental dam.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Madea

I've had issue with Madea in the past, mostly for being another example of a bossy, ignorant character whose only roll seems to be the Fool archetype, saying the things societal standards would prevent those around her from expressing and ultimately working past.

That's a respectable roll, though. Really, I just hate seeing stupid characters never get punished for being stupid. Keenan and Kel still bothers me, if that's any indication of my grudge's longevity and unreasonableness. I'm getting over it.

What still bothers me is how the hell did Tyler Perry get seven movies out of "Big Momma" when Martin Lawrence only got three?

"Bitch, I ate that little Veruca Salt white girl
and took her coat. Don't cross me."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Songs About Impossible Measures of Time

25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago

9 in the Afternoon - Panic! at the Disco

Eight Days a Week - The Beatles

Technically, anything by 30 Seconds to Mars. That's a unit of time only assuming you first know both your current speed and the approximate distance to Mars. It's like making the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. We get it, but, yeah, come on.

I'm open to additions!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Please Judge A Book By Its Cover

Admittedly, there used to be quite a bit less information on a book's cover.

"Don't judge a movie by it's trailer," maybe that would be more apt. If you here a dumb joke in a trailer, you know you've already hear all the better jokes before it. That movie's probably not worth seeing.

But a book's cover? That's a pretty solid indication of crapitude, right there.

First, we put a big old title and author on it, and the rest is designed to entice you into reading it. Doesn't entice you? Book's graphic designer wasn't very good. Meaning the publisher didn't think much of it to assign someone better, meaning I–not being one to profit from this tome–probably won't think much of it either.

"But hold on," you say! "Don't judge a book by its cover!"

Well, alright. Conveniently, there's a description of the book right inside the jacket or smack-dab in the middle on the back. There's even a write-up on the author, to convince me that they're excellent at being the guy who knows the thing, for which I would be reading his book over any other.

"But you're still judging the book by its cover!"

Stop saying that. The publishers have sent advance copies of the book to famous, well-respected authors and other opinionated individuals, to print how they feel about this new work all over the cover. These people are literally judging the book, and that judgement is then printed on high-gloss laminate. You can even judge that by who said what. If one person compares it to Stephen King, and Stephen King doesn't ay anything, you can be damned sure Stephen King didn't bother to read it when they absolutely asked him.

Maybe this was all well and good when books all came leather-bound and without so much as an embossed title across their faces or spines, but since about 1970 there has been no better source by which to judge a book than by its cover.

Except Wikipedia. That shit is amazing.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Who Buys Penthouse Letters?

A man bought nothing but a copy of Penthouse Letters yesterday. Ready? Go.

1. Because it reminds him of sharing dirty letters from girls back home with the other boy's in the fighting 53rd, back in W-W-2.

2. Is regular porn too offensive for his delicate sensibilities? Does the sight of naked lady pictorials qualify as distasteful, but the poorly formed lies of the full-length mailbag?

3. How far do you have to be removed from modern society to continue buying printed pornography? Is this something you simply can't ask your grandson to show you on the computer? Because you can get any porn you want these days, man. For free.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

7 Things You Are Never Allowed to Say in Retail

Cancer Merchants

1. Anything to the effect of, "You can't find the price? It must be free!"

Why: Because fuck you, that's why. We're trying to get you on your way quickly, the machines aren't working right, and it's entirely possible you picked the one without the price tag just to see if it'd ring up at another price. Most likely, you're just filling the awkward silence while we try to sort out your purchase, and we don't need or want to have to respond to a joke that is, truthfully, the rotting, fifty year-old carcass of a dead horse you still insist on beating.

2. "This is probably a stupid question, but…"

Why: You're just emoting humility in an attempt to seem neither ignorant, nor troublesome. Most likely, you've got a very intelligent question and are merely partially informed. A little push and you're golden.

3. "I'm stupid when it comes to [X]."

Why: Yes. Yes, you are. We didn't need the warning. Whatever we had to explain just prior to this utterance was proof enough that you are both out of your element and just barely knowledgeable enough to be dangerous.

Bonus: Note our responses to the above. If we say the word "no," it's just a learning curve and we expect you'll actually get the hang of whatever it is you're doing. However, it's like a fat lady asking you if she looks fat. If you don't hear "no," well, congratulations, we agree that you're an idiot.

4. "I don't want to waste your time."

Why: We're paid to have you waste our time. It's part and parcel with not working in an office. Every second we're with you is just one second we're not doing something equally tedious for someone else, possibly even stupider than you. If we're making smalltalk, actually we'd rather be wasting time with you than who/whatever else is waiting for us.

5. "I'm sorry, could you just [X] again?"

… Yes, but only because we have to or we'd get in trouble. In fact, don't even use the word "just." If a request sounds like it's a lot to ask until the word "just" makes it seem less arduous, it's still exactly that fucking arduous. Accept responsibility for your requests. We are not your servants, but do us the dignity of acknowledging what it is you ask of us.

6. "I know you work for [Company I Am Standing In], but which is better: [Your Product] or [Major Competitor]? Do you gotta say yours?"

Why: I believe in this company, alright? I work here because I respect the integrity and the industry of Our Company in producing the best products and offering the best services in our field, and I wouldn't be here if I didn't truly believe this was the product I should devote my life to hawking day-in and day-out.

Nah, actually, I'd say this one even if I didn't work here. It really is the best for what you're looking for. I just got one for my mom in fact. And we don't earn commission, so you know you can trust me.

7. "Do you make commission?"

Why: No, and please stop reminding us.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Beast Boy: Poster Boy for Squeamish Veganism

Teen Titans member Beast Boy, less frequently known by his orange, lasagne-loving cat monicker "Garfield," is a vegan. His reasoning, as cited in the Cartoon Network animated series:
 I've been most of these animals.
If this is his primary reason for abstaining from delicious bacon, it is one of empathy, rather than quilt over farm conditions or nutrition. Like all vegetarianism, we omnivores have the ability and often the duty to judge this on a logical basis, on the off-chance we ever get into an ethical debate with a fictitious green superhero.

Some background: Garfield Logan got bit by a green monkey. This infected him with a terrible virus, which his parents treated with an untested serum.

Effect: totally not dead.
Side effects: green discoloration of hair, skin, and irises, ability to shapeshift into any animal, living or dead, and depending on incarnation, possibly mythical.

Fact #1 - Beast Boy's powers are not natural, and therefor any attitude resultant of them cannot be defined as "fate" or any other version of the-natural-order-of-things.

The powers themselves, allow Gar to completely change into a different form. He is a complete changeling–"Changeling" actually being one of his aliases–rather than a lesser-classed shapeshifter only capable of changing outward appearance over a human form, Marvel's Mystique, for example. Beast Boy can lose or grow extra limbs, utilize unique organs, even drastically reduce or multiply his own mass, which implies some terrifying dimensional shunting or a whole lot of shed skin lying around. (It also explains his great appetite, and provides him with an advanced healing factor.)

Fact #2 - Garfield does in fact become the animals he transforms into.

Now here's the kicker: within the Teen Titans cartoon in which Beast Boy was very vocally anti-carnivorism, when exposed to chemicals which made his DNA even more unstable and caused him to become highly aggressive and even predatory, the green teen began eating meat. A lot of it.

Though Garfield typically retains his intelligence when transformed, he obviously maintains the innate skills and instincts of the animals he becomes, a sort of animism tempered by rationality. When not in full control of his emotions, Beast Boy leans more strenuously on the brunt-force end of the food chain, and is desirous of meat. This implies:

Fact #3 - Animals totally want to eat each other all the time.

A simple point to prove, typically, but here a coup. If we determine that Beast Boy's powers are unnatural, as is his disdain for consumption of other animals, the only defense left to him is that he, in his "enlightened" position of being a human uniquely suited to empathizing with animals, deems meat murder, but excuses animals for not being aware enough to make this call themselves.

As it turns out, Beast Boy is a condescending speciesist, willing to exploit the talents of other creatures but always live above their ken, on a moral pedestal he has erected for himself. He cares not for the animals we eat, but, like many vegans, for lauding his superiority over anyone within earshot.

"I will eat you, Tofu! I will kill you dead and eat your beany heart."

The other possibility is he's merely incredibly squeamish about what is to him, effectively, closer to cannibalism than omnivorism.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

One Direction Has Chlamydia

There will always be boy bands, so long as there are boys and there are bands, and girls to listen to boys in bands. This is incontrovertible.

One Direction is a suddenly popular boy band after winning X-Factor. I'm assuming British Original, and not American Version or X-Men spin-off series. Mostly because the blond one doesn't shoot ice out of his hands when he sneezes.

One Direction is apparently also infected with chlamydia.

Well, maybe. Two of its members got urinated on by a female koala while doing some Southern Hemisphere public relations work. And as it turns out, more than 50% of koalas tend to be infected with the STI chlamydia. The human one, in fact. It's not like Feline AIDS where your cat has to take AZT but you're safe. No, this is the same chlamydia I A GUY I MAY HAVE KNOWN ONCE SOMEWHERE picked up that one time. And now they're scared.

So, 1) at least one member of this band skipped out on Health Class the days they talked about easily treatable V.D.

Also, 2) Koalas are all a bunch of dirty, dirty whores.

"Hey, Joe! Sucky-sucky fie dollah!…mate."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mid-Week Miscellany

In honor of my job giving me off on an idle Wednesday, I'm slacking off on coming up with a long, themed rant for today. Instead, here are a bunch of completely unrelated jokes I wrote while I was at work this past week. If there's any inkling of a thematic thread, that would be "Yes, Timmy, there really are stupid questions."

Printing out a coupon for $10 off an entire cheesecake after the purchase of a fitness book is the commercial equivalent of playing dirty pool.

I said, "Stay dry," because it was raining, but it became very awkward when I realized you were over forty and buying Fifty Shades of Grey."

I went to buy a thing online off of but instead they made me buy it "in queue."

A couple walked past me coming back from my break at the chain bookstore, and the guy asked the girl, "What's your dream job?"My first thought was, "Hey. Fuck you, buddy."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An End to Innocence

Well, it's finally happened.

Two of my friends, one I've known since middle school and her long-time boyfriend, have gotten engaged. They loved together, lived together, and now they're getting married because it's a wonderful display of grossness and affection.

Oh, and did I mention she's not even pregnant?

See, that's the deciding factor in this becoming the end of my childhood. Someone I went to school with, who is well-educated and financially stable(ish–come on, we're still entry-level), is getting married because she wants to, not because she has to, as has been the case with a couple friends and about 8/9ths of my family for the last 30 years.

Oh, sure, I've had friends do this before, but it was always someone's older sister, or a Facebook post for someone I haven't spoken to since we parted ways after 10th Grade English.

Or, like I said, BABIES HAPPENED.

No more. We are now part of the age group that has jobs and apartments and dogs and gets married because we love somebody and don't even care about the crazy tax breaks.

Look at these responsible bastards.

I thought I was done with all that "So when are you getting married??" B.S. after my younger cousin got knocked up and the line of succession skipped me.

Jeeze, I think I need to go lie down. And then go eat about four boxes of Cocoa Puffs out of a salad bowl and throw water ballons at passing cars or something

Monday, June 11, 2012

Just Why? | Bailey's Non-Alcoholic Coffee Creamers

A commercial for these randomly accosted me while I was innocently attempting to watch The Parent Trap.

Perhaps I feel more strongly about this issue because I don't actually drink coffee, but correct me if I'm wrong: the very purpose of Bailey's Irish Cream is to make coffee and other brewed beverages subversively alcoholic.

Why wo-

Um, wait. Hold o-

Wha- No.

Okay, I've had Bailey's on-the-rocks and in chocolate, mostly hot but I think I've done a Nesquik here or there. Predominantly, it's been mixed in equal parts to Jameson and dropped down a half-a-pint of Guinness to create the nefarious "Irish Car Bomb." (Officially taboo of in Ireland. Unsurprisingly, they're a bit touchy on the subject. Er, digressions….)

I get it, you're trying to branch out into the mainstream coffee creamer industry. Fiscally, and easy transition and a cool bump in profits. That's cool.

And Sasha Grey is going to have a spectacular career in Hollywood now that she's retired from making porn to focus on legitimate acting.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

7 Reasons to Watch SyFy's 'Jersey Shore Shark Attack'

  • You can root for the sharks for most of the movie.
  • Vinny Guadagnino, original Shore housemate, plays a TRL-styled reporter/V-Jay who functions essentially like the Greek chorus, providing information otherwise difficult to show with the pacing of the story.
  •  The cliched vernacular is actually accurate, rather than outdated or laughably unhip. I mean, the dialogue itself is laughably bad, but that's really more an issue of source material….
  • Besides a few cartoonish industrialist/industrialist's son villains, every character is pretty believable. I'm not really sure which people were guidos-turned-actors and which were actors portraying guidos. Except the two who were in an episode of Bones. They've at least ridden this one-trick pony once before.
  • The SFX. I'm serious, actually. The CG sharks were terrible, but it's almost like whoever directed this watched Jaws and Jersey Shore before filming this. And took notes. ost of the effects are off-screen, or simple prosthetics when possible. Minimal animation, and ridiculous science-babble to explain why they're poorly rendered.
  • There's about nine drinking games here.
  • Joey Fatone.
I defy you to find anything here less realistic than reality T.V.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

On Pregnancy

Met a woman today buying three books about pregnancy and a copy of "The Vow." Let's just take an inductive leap and assume she's going to skip straight to the "Hormonal" chapter.

Honestly, I was surprised she didn't grab half a pound of Godiva and a jar's worth of fried pickles.

Of course, we don't sell fried pickles, but I'd eat enough to get sick if we did. Probably best we don't, then. Chocolate and pickles are good together too. Crap, I think I've been pregnant for my entire life. Like Godzilla.

"Ugh…I think my ankles are swollen!"

Friday, June 8, 2012

Spring Cleaning | It's not Summer until June 21

When you feel like you need a change in your life, and it's 11:00 at night, start with your bookshelf and your closet. That's where I go.

Reclassified a bunch of ratty old t-shirts as pajamas, and some nice-but-itchy pajamas as "guest pajamas," like that'd ever happen. Oh yes, I have so many lady guests clamoring to sleep in nothing but the oversized It's Nerf or Nothin' ringer I picked up at Comic Con. Maybe the Boondock Saints shirt. I had some luck with that one. But not Nerf, no. The ladies do not appreciate a small, floppy cylinder to the face, Go figure.

Hit up the bookshelf, threw some finished books on the main shelf, moved around the on-deck nightstand rack, moved a short story collection I'll never bother with to the living room shelf. Then I realized I've got a lot of bibles for a guy who doesn't like organized religion. I've always found that. Non-religious people always have the most reading material. Part of me wants to say it's because we shopped around a bunch trying to find something we liked, like buying a new washing machine.

Multiple Jewish prayer books, a Torah, two Book of Mormon (off-Broadway),
the Apocrypha and alternate gnostic texts and gospels, two King James,
a Necronomicon, and an interfaith minister's manual. And holy water.
… and three Jesus action figures. I may have a problem.

"Oh, don't touch that pile. I know, it's a mess, but I've been photocopying thirty years worth of Consumer Reports to track trends in the structural integrity of washing machine drums shipped from Italy. But only by riverboat."

Really, I think it's that agnostics and atheists love to have all these arguments loaded up beforehand on little index cards, highlighted and ready in case they ever get into an on-air theology battle with devout born-again-and-raised hardline Christian scientist creationists. Prepare your arguments, kids, we'll be discussing this later on in the semester. I'd donate my extra bibles, but for fear of spreading dangerous notions. Feels wrong to throw it away, though. It could help someone, I guess? Maybe I'll just carry it with me on vacation and swap it for another Gideon bible out of a hotel. They want you to take theirs, anyway. Or maybe I could just leaves copies of Eastern philosophy and A Brief History of Time. That would start some discussions!

Except I've never met anyone that I've felt it necessary to debate in public. Mostly, it's just my family, and I know that if they're right about religion, they're also definitely going to hell. In public, all you'll ever find is a bunch of atheists agreeing with each other. Loudly. It's the same as meeting vegetarians. All the ones I've ever met were super-nice about it. We just get separate meals and don't split the maple-bacon ice cream.

You mean I get ALL the maple-bacon ice cream JUST FOR ME?? Man, I love vegetarians.

Oh, and I neatly folded a few dress shirts and put them in a Good Will bag for the tax write-off. There's nothing funny there, I just started paying a little more for better fitted shirts and I make the difference up at the end of tax season. It's smart budgeting, really.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

On Meeting My Perfect Woman

I met my perfect woman the other day, and–from the back, at least– she looks fantastic.

  • First off, she drives an Outback. Clearly, this is a woman who is more than comfortable taking what she can get. That's definitely in my favor.
  • Beavis and Butthead bumper stickers.
  • Next, zombie family/pet decals in the window, "Warning: Zombies Ahead," and "Support Zombies" bumper stickers. Great taste in villains: mass panic, lemmings, consumerism, mankind as a whole; none of this evil machine garbage.
  • "Guns don't kill people. People with mustaches kill people" sticker says "I remember The Simpsons making fun of Death Wish, but am too young to actually remember Death Wish. Also, it makes my own 'stache appear dangerous.
  • Pink Hello Kitty window decal says "I'm still a girl, despite all my other vehicular accoutrements."
  • There's a large, half-drunk Snapple classic in the trunk of that hatchback.
 I may be in love.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On Sandwiches

I'm not particularly proud of this sandwich,
as I made it to-order, rather than being trusted
to make the best sandwich, however the eater

take a photo of it and praise it to this day.
So, I'll take that one.

Me: Getting tired of those Make-me-a-sandwich jokes. Like I'd ever trust a woman or anyone else near my sandwiches.

Mike: Yea I never got that either. Why would I want anyone else to make my sandwiches? Even if I'm acting purely chauvinist/stereotypical, what is it about the female sex that means sandwiches?

Me: The first guy to make a sandwich was the Earl of Sandwich's chef. A man. I make vegetarians envious of my sandwiches by description alone. Men angrily demand I stop describing them out of Pavlovian salivation and spite. I don't want anyone near my meat shingles.

Mike: Mine are better.

Me: Every man things his is best, bigger and badder, more satisfying than any other. And any woman that truly loves us would say nothing different. I will not get into this argument.

Mike:  Are we still talking about sandwiches?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Money, Prostitutes, and Taylor Swift

Context: I let myself into a friend's house to leave him money to buy baseball tickets. (I'm essentially paying $91 for a Fenway Frank, and I'm told the privilege of likely being ejected within the first 3 innings. I have taken the over-under and bet on four.)

In defense of The Hangover,
I didn't like it back when it was
Very Bad Things either.

Me: I considered hiding the money in one of your shoes to make you look for it, but instead left it in your computer. Much less work. (Ryan has many, many shoes.)

Ryan: Thanks, yeah. Did you leave the computer open?

Me: It was half-open, half-fallen diagonally inside a half-closed drawer. I more just threw the money into it like a spent and malaised prostitute after a business transaction.

Ryan: Nice simile. I was downloading a file, so I left it open.

Me: Thanks. Yeah, I killed my battery the other day downloading Taylor Swift. I'm … not proud.

Ryan: We all have our guilty pleasures.

Me: That's just the thing. I can't tell if I get any pleasure out of it. She's like the tween country equivalent of S&M. Catchy bitch.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gender Equality in Pseudo-Cyber-Warfare

If I may use the parlance of the communities in question:


Do you know why women are verbally abused and sexually harassed while gaming online? It's because men are verbally abused and sexually harassed while gaming online. Or during high school sporting matches. Cheerleader? "Kill the other team" and all that jazz? It's to get in your opponents heads and hurt them emotionally. You're trying to crush their spirit. It's Tokyo Rose and antisemitic leaflets dropped over the Ardennes. Break the fighting spirit and you break the army.

Ladies, please, play the online games. We love "gamer grrlz," because they are essentially men wrapped in sexy, sexy lady parts. They'll not only get our CoD references, they'll laugh at them and then call in a nuclear strike on our wing-wangs. We're okay with this.

But, Jesus, get with the program. They let you into the army. This is the same emotional toll. No one's going to baby you when you get called an "Ass-faced sperm-dumpniggerfaggotkikespic" by an eleven year-old with ADHD who took the day off from gym class to eat Cheetos and play Modern Warfare in bed all morning.

We've all been there.

His name is Chris and we've all agreed to kick his ass when he turns 17. Just deal with it and sign your RSVP card to The Gathering.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Today Was a Day for Idle Thoughts

And yet still pretty masculine.
RE: Alan Scott, Earth 2's Green Lantern being retconned as homosexual
  • Whatever, man. Northstar was gay in like EVERY Marvel universe, well before a burly bear in pirate pants and a bright green cape with ENORMOUS LAPELS hopped out of the birdcage.

RE: The Rebirth of "Oprah's Book Club 2.0"
  • Come on, lady. So you liked "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. Did you really have to reinvent your book club and demand that millions of women everywhere read it so you can all talk about it together? Most people would just write up a very approving blurb on GoodReads, you know.

RE: Dated AM Pop Radio
  • Gavin DeGraw, what ARE you trying to be, lately?

RE: Self-Help Guru Wayne Dyer
  • Hey, Wayne, how about "manifesting" yourself some hair?…Alright, that was a little low. But dude, you've got a scary name, for a guy who's supposed to be where the meek and beaten-down turn. And you've got like a million books a guy has to keep in stock, which just makes him resentful. It's not your fault, it's my hangup. I'm gonna go read some Louise Hay.

Also, there was a lot of puppetry. It was a … fun week, all-in-all.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Juxtaposition! Or: Just Foolishly Hypocritical

Generally, the fun of working in a book store comes from mocking the customers. It's retail: functionally, you're living inside an early Kevin Smith film. I mean, face it, odds are in favor of the employee serving you having a humanities degree and a minimum of 15 I.Q. points on you.

Alright, sometimes it's more like 40 points.

Case in point: today a woman bought 50 Shades of Grey. Taken alone, this sentence is like saying, "Today, some things happened and people were breathing a bit," but this is one of those And Then What Happened stories.

She bought 50 Shades along with Heaven Is For Real. For the unaware, this is a book written by a pastor, who claims that his then-4 year old son had an extended near-death experience after emergency surgery. It's a big, yellow book with a picture of a kid who kind of looks like Forrest Gump on the cover. He's missing a tooth, he has no idea how to dress himself or where to put his hands. He's a kid. And he, along with a certain shade of yellow, is now an iconic image for the Christian faith and the power of the love and innocence of Jesus Christ.

This is a wonderful companion to the poorly-written schlock that has been frequently described as "Mommy Porn."

But to be fair, the character's name is Christian Grey, so I guess the Bible Babes Book Club is off the hook this month.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Further Nerd Poetry


There once was a young merc named Deadpool
Whose enemies thought him a great fool.
But while out slaying some goons
He thought, in yellow balloons,
"Not since smoking has cancer been this cool."


"I'm the best there is
At what I do, and what I
Do ain't very nice."