Friday, August 31, 2012

Bachelor Life | Girlfriend Application | A Plea for Help

I've been living on my own for, oh, four days now. It's pretty brutal.

The first night was fine, there were still cats here. Then I packed all day and the cats were sent off to their new home, and I was left in the old, half-empty house. Now there's nothing to remember to feed, no little box to clean, no dark lumps on the floor in the middle of the night to avoid tripping over or squishing in a closing door.

I have no one to tell when I'm leaving or when I get home. Dear god, I joked on facebook that getting someone to pay half the rent without taking up additional space was the main reason to settle down and get a significant other, but now I'm starting to think it's because you're just bored and lonely, sitting home alone, all productive when you're trying to avoid doing other work.

I've been blogging in advance this week. I'm so busy all morning, then I work, and then suddenly I can't call realtors because it's 11:38 p.m. I'm feeling creative at opportune moments. This is completely the wrong time for that.

Worse yet, I want something I can feed and take care of, maybe pet and sleep with, except I want it to be sapient and sentient enough to be able to go out, have its own job, and stay out of my shit when I don't feel like cleaning its poop. I just ruled out pets and adopted children. All I'm left with is finding a girl to date. That is just so … blasé.

Of course now I want a place to which I can actually bring girls back, and a well-paying job to afford nice things, and I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, the thing that's been holding me back all these years wasn't a lack of any semblance of motivation, but living with my mom. Huh.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tornado Anu Chi Slipknot Vortex Language of Light | The Biggest Load of Crap I've Heard In Ages

I defy any human being capable of passing a court-mandated 730 exam to find a coherent sentence in this gobbledygook. The only things I got that made the slightest sense were complete misrepresentations of string theory and wormhole physics.

The best explanation I can summarize would be that in order to exert control over and manipulate matter, one must extend one's own electrical field, from the belly chakra, into the tornado, that the tornado will fall in love with us and "follow us, like a puppy." Becoming the tornado, we match our vibrational energies to the Anu, which is apparently the magical name for an Orion nebula space screw, named after a Sumerian sky-god, that looks pretty beautiful, actually. I'd love it if it were, you know, not photoshopped beyond recognition.

I haven't heard pseudo-meta-science parapsychology acid trip technobabble like that since I read Grant Morrison's entire run of The Invisibles cover to cover. Oh, wait, except that was

A) fiction, and

B) trying very, very hard to sound as batshit crazy as possible, since it's a comic book about distorted perceptions shaping and rejecting the reality around us.

Honestly, I just thought that was a marijuana nugget photoshopped onto a Hubble photograph.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Mysterious Continued Prominence of Pants

Yup, those are pants, alright.
Ever since I got my own place I've been confused by how often I find myself still wearing pants.

I live alone, I feel like I should be walking around naked all the time, but I've got work and more apartment hunting, and you know … life.

So I compromise; I keep pants on, but now I let my dick hang out all day.

Man, I'm getting some weird tan lines.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Eric Northman-Jespen, or: Carly Rae Northman

Somehow this was born, fully formed in my mind this afternoon. The methods by which are now lost to me. Enjoy and/or suffer it, now that it is a part of who you are.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Why There Should Never Be Another Live Batman Movie

*Trigger Warning: nerd rant ahead*

I'm currently sitting on my bed, watching Batman & Robin. Which is terrible for multiple reasons.

The situation is terrible, because, well, I'm watching the worst Batman movie ever licensed. If nothing else, I retroactively loath Warner Bros for introducing Robin in Batman Forever and then introducing Batgirl in Batman & Robin. (I understand that he chose to be Batman "forever," but B&R was still and terrible name. It has no reference to the plot whatsoever.)

Ironically, though, this travesty just explained all of the modern franchises to me. Each of the seven Batman films made since 1989 represents a different version of the caped crusader:

"Iiiiin the middle of the ni-i-ight, I been walkin' in my ca-a-ape…"

Batman was the first ttempt to bring the Dark Knight back to his gritty roots, effectively, his late 1930s/early '40s origins, hence the gangster-era Chicago vibe in Gotham. Not kid-friendly, people die. Batman avenges. Not too bad. Now, I personally think Michael Keaton was a foppish Bruce Wayne and a pathetic Batman, and Jack Nicholson's Joker single-handedly ruined/muddied the Joker's origin story for an entire generation, but since the last theatrical Bat film had been in the Adam West 1960s universe, it was a step in the right direction.

Your second-favorite vinyl woman.

Batman Returns was more of the darker Batman that crept up in the '80s, mostly because it was only made in 1992 and every action movie made between 1981 and 1992 looked a lot like RoboCop. Classy, elegant, old-timey, and somehow a horrific future run by sniveling politicians and corrupt capitalists with too much free time. Basically, Bruce Wayne without the philanthropy. This movie also ruined Catwoman. If I had to describe it as a single instance of Batman, I'd actually call it "Tim Burton did so well last time, let him go crazy." More of the same, I just never liked what they were selling.

Batman Forever continued the same theme, playing up the odder stylistic quirks of its predecessors, with lots of overt nods to '90s culture. The heavy use of black light paint just upset me, but I think it was supposed to be Joel Schumacher's attempt at making gritty, smog-filled Burton look more like The Phantom of the Opera. (Ironically, this is exactly why Val Kilmer's daughter Mercedes says it's her favorite one of dad's movies: "Because it seems like it was secretly directed by Andrew Lloyd Webber." - Chuck Klosterman, Chuck Klosterman IV)

"I am Niki Minaj, I mack the dudes up, back the coups up."

Batman & Robin amusingly pushed this trend so far it came out the other side and ended up just being a giant homage to the campy '60s Batman Tim Burton worked so hard to distance himself from. Sure, Timmy loved his little quips, but this 'film'–for lack of a more accurate term–is a steaming pile of bad one-liners, ridiculous exposition, and god-awful CGI. Several reasons this movie was thematically steps backwards.

Batman Begins is, effectively, the live-action Batman: Year One. No one would really question this. Short of cutting out R'as al Ghul's supernatural elements, all the back story was accurate, and themes and characters true to form. Basically, a solid origin story, updating the franchise to match the modern comics incarnation.

The Dark Knight: The perfect Batman movie. It's everything amazing and timeless about Batman, a little sparse on detective elements, but solid. Not over-the-top with gadgets or Bruce's ability to plan. Improvement, yes, but no rehashing of histories or thoughts for the future; Batman exists, and so does his thematic foil: The Joker. (WITH mysterious past!) It's the timeless, "modern" Batman.

The Dark Knight Rises, though I love it, falls into the trap of every other Batman venture: at some point, you either have to reboot Bruce Wayne's life all over again, or age him out of the system. With movie history behind you, there's just too much to continue and not enough left to be episodic. Chris Nolan chose to close off his trilogy, in a way that made the universe smaller, but full and contained. This movie represents the death of a Batman universe, the pre-reboot crisis where Bruce probably dies or something for about four panels/months. As we speak, DC has rebooted its entire multiverse, generally ruining everything they've ever done in the process.

While a reboot is already in the works at WB, it's my hope that Nolan's films finally get a "Dark Knight Returns" or "Batman Beyond" live-action off the ground. Since the former is getting a double-dose animated treatment, my hope is for the latter, but odds are it'll be just another reboot to tie-in a Justice League movie.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Sign of Things to Come

"Dear David,
My good friend Emily just went away. I need a new friend.
Will you be my friend? Let me know. Tell me something we can do.

*paw prints*
Your friend,
Little Bear

Dear Little Bear,

No. I do not like bears.

Your Friend,

This is what happens when you have a prodigy with a sense of humor and zero tolerance for neither busywork assignments nor ursine children's characters.

God that bear was stupid.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

If You Don't Believe In Rape Culture

I hate the phrase "Rape Culture."

It implies to me that we, as a society, even tacitly allow rape to exist through denial of responsibility and shaming; we find the incidence rate and severity of rape acceptable. I do not believe this. I believe most human beings are not essentially good or bad, but stupid.

Children are inherently sociopaths. Then they turn 5 and are inherently good, until societal norms are placed upon them. Then they forget what it's like to know the right thing to do and feel empathy.

Most people who don't sweat rape are far enough removed from the issue they forget its immediacy. They, in their ignorance, are unaware of the terror and statistics and individual violation of a person's very being. Most—like me—probably acquired most of their knowledge on the topic from syndication of Law & Order: SVU.

However do not construe this possibility as a refutation of the victim shaming or perpetuation of lackadaisical attitude surrounding rape as a whole. It is an alternate explanation, not rebuttal.

Ignorance can be fixed.
Apathy can be roused.

Still, there's a point where through either malice or sheer blithering stupidity, laying blame upon the victim starts hurting everyone and public opinion must shift in order for even the most mainstream, average American to feel safe and righteous again.

And more often than not that point will involve their goddam iPhone.

"Oooh! You see that little pink Speck case that 4S was wearing?? She was so asking for it!

Friday, August 24, 2012

We Got A Joker In the Audience

We found this little guy closing up at work last night:

Her little brother I found tucked into a bible:

Tired as I felt, it was a good night, suddenly.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Of Living Up to High Potential

It occurred to me that I have really attractive friends. Which is pretty cool. It means I could easily be on TV. Even accidentally. You want to put hot and interesting people on television, and whoever's standing next to them gets on TV too. At least a shoulder.

There's a dark side, though. My closest friends are also some of the prettiest. It's kind of weird, truthfully. Somewhere there's a graph with a positive incline on it.

Sadly, I'm a gentleman, and when I let close friends stay at my house, I give them my bed. If they're women, I mean. The guys can fuck off to the couch for all I care. I'm not uncomfortable with sexuality, I'm uncomfortable with smelly men in my bed sheets.

Ladies? They smell great. Have at it. I'll grab a sleeping bag.

Herein lies the dilemma. You see, I will quite possibly never have a prettier girl in my bed than some of these women. It's a little upsetting. It's a lot to live up to! I'll have to start dating models eventually, and there aren't many short models to begin with.

This should not be taken as a slight to any other women I've had in my bed. To the contrary, I am quite thankful to you for a great multitude of reasons.

Think of it more as a challenge. To me. And a compliment to you, future ladies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On Taco Bell

That Spanish people work at Taco Bell does nothing to instill
me with confidence. They also work at McDonald's.
Black people working at KFC just makes me self-conscious.
It's a little unnerving to realize the brand of permanent marker I use at work smells like Taco Bell.

What the hell do they put in my Crunch Wrap Supreme that's also used in making indelible ink? Is it just one of those cure-all chemicals used in everything these days, or is it something more innocuous than meta-MSG?

I've had scented markers before, most of them are disgusting, but every second grader got high and nearly passed out trying to inhale red and purple. This ain't that. This is the smell of whiteboard and ink and plastics.

And somehow it also smells like seasoned ground "beef" and imitation cornmeal.

And the toys, I bet.

Ah screw it, it just made me hungry for tacos, I don't care what's in 'em. I just wished I hadn't had Taco Bell two days only earlier. I could have rationalized that as anything other than jonesing for another sour cream fix.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NBC's Community | I Hate Loving Joel McHale

Yeah, I abandoned the Friends theme. Who would you rather
look at, this guy, or David Schwimmer?
I watched the first episode of NBC's Community a few weeks back for the first time, at the behest of many, many people telling me that I in particular would appreciate so much about it.

While I ended up watching all the paintball episodes in series and raucously laughing alone in m room to each, the pilot itself left me, well, offended that my closest friends had such a bare understanding of my tastes.

There's not a single character in Community I want to see more of, no character development, noting to push the plot forward. No plot, really. Best I can tell, it's a slice-of-life satire that devolved into an homage to homages as time went on. Still, one thing struck me from the end of the first episode: the line
Part of the trouble with being a smart guy is I never learned how to study.
I never really got that either. Somewhere along the line I developed some cramming abilities, to combat calculus and the dreaded Spanish. Don't get me wrong, I aced those classes, but I can barely remember the quadratic equation and all I can say en español is "Hand me a hose, my cow is on fire."

Damn you, Joel McHale, for making me empathize with that dastard Jeff Winger.

All the more upsetting, I find it, having just discovered that I've miraculously started developing a work ethic.

At least I think it's a work ethic. I've always done my work and done it well, but it was something I loathed. I am lazy by nature. I'm a hypothesist, damn it, not an actionist. However now I find myself going to bed earlier and waking up earlier, working longer and more satisfied, spending more of my free time productive, searching for homes, and careers, and evaluating my self-sufficiency.

What the hell is wrong with me, Joel?

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Life's Calling

I want to make people laugh.

I always thought I was just a sarcastic little twit. I thought I was lazy and flippant, juggling at work and cracking jokes through the mouths of tiny hand puppets I find strewn about the kids department.

I thought constantly retelling the same long, drawn-out stories trying to perfect the delivery was just compulsive behavior, playacting at stand-up to a crowd that had long grown weary of hearing the same jokes.

Today I realized that I can have a fantastic workday, where everything goes right, and I can still be bored and listless if I haven't made someone laugh by the time I get home.

Today was an unending nightmare. It just dragged from the get-go. And yet all I did for the last couple hours was entertain my coworkers and cause a couple of gut-busting chortles. That made everything worth it.

God damn it, I'm a performer and I love it. I wonder if I can make a career out of voice acting. Sitting around all day telling stories seems like a pretty sweet gig, for a lousy puppet jockey.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

On Receiving Pghone Calls from Bygone Eras

Let's see if I can use pictures with the rest of the
cast of
Friends this week.
A guy came into the store today with a Flock of Seagulls haircut. It looks a little weird on someone with a receding hairline, but he still rocked it hard as possible, considering the three intervening decades.

However as he endeavored to leave, I felt the need to inform him that I had received a phone call intended for him. It was the eighties.

Contrary to what you might think, they were not–truthfully–calling because they wanted their hair back.

More to the point, they wanted this man to keep rocking their haircut, as they felt it would better serve their goal of desperately clinging to relevance.

The odd little man listened to all this and gave a knowing smile, before turning around twice and then moonwalking out the door.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Of Rachels

It is a horrible thing that I'm about as old now
as the entire first season cast of
Here is everything I've personally learned about Rachels:

1. I went to high school with one. We did not like each other, I think because she felt empathy for Holden Caulfield and I thought he was a whiny teenager who learned nothing. She thought I was an ass, I thought she was a little naive. We were both right, which is pretty surprising for 17 year olds.

2. My friend Dean dated one. Once she cold-called him for their college alumni money-grubbers scam, without realizing it was him. That was pretty funny. Recently, she applied for a job where I work, I believe.

3. If I had been born a girl, the plan was to name me Rachel, except both my parents hated the name by the time I was actually born.

4. It was at one time a haircut I actually kind of like.

It also means something in Hebrew, but all my grandfather ever said was "Shayna bubby," and later some sounds like a happy Boris Karloff Frankenstein, when his mind started to go. But the point was I know nothing of Rachels, really.

However, my mom just came back from her study-vacation at what is–essentially–Comic Con for psychics. Apparently, there's a girl named Rachel in my life, in such a way as to illicit a "Nudge nudge, say no more" winky face.

I'd say it's a load of bunk, but the same guy who said that drew a picture of my other grandfather without knowing he even existed, so … yeah.

Any Rachels looking for an asshole who hates Holden Caulfield, apply within.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots … In My Heart

I recently read that musical group The Flaming Lips is finally getting the musical based on their album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots off the ground. I read this, and was a little surprised by how happy I was when I announced it to a room full of people who could not possibly give a smaller increment of a crap.

I'm not particularly a Flaming Lips fan, nor to I have a terrific affinity for much of their discography. I truthfully only know the "Yoshimi" title track, and I'll often confuse The Violent Femmes tracks for theirs. Sorry, I just wasn't hip in 2002.

But this is a Broadway musical about a Japanese girl who works for the government, taking suspect "vitamins" to help her destroy giant, evil, pink robots, and the hapless boy(?) who loves her and basks in her protective wake.

It's Voices of a Distant Star, Battle Angel Alita (sorry, Jim Cameron), Saikano, Vision of Escaflowne, to a lesser extent Evangelion, and about 19,000 other Japanese shows/comics. The point here is not that it's a trite, worn, or even time-tested story.

The point is it's a musical about a kickass girl fighting giant robots.

Remember when I said Green Day's rock musical American Idiot was the thing that could save Broadway, being all things rock and roll and no things H.M.S. Pinafore? This is an extension of that. It's taking something beloved and interesting and shoehorning it into a faded and failing shell, hoping that the seams will tear apart and we'll be left with an original work, more like its inspiration than the factory-fresh commodified artworks we've grown used to.

Or it'll be a wildly entertaining piece of garbage and we'll just get a few good chuckles out of it. I'd still call that a win.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Internet Stand-Up | Relationships

Comparatively functional, I'd say.
I apologize in advance to any and all of my friends who'll tell me after this that they're in a healthy relationship.

I have never seen a healthy romantic relationship.

I'm sure I've past one on the street, maybe sat next to one on a bus…. Alright, you've never sat next to a healthy anything on a bus, but maybe somewhere I met one without realizing it. Maybe.

Couple people will be quick to jump in, but someone's always churning out a stomach tumor in a relationship. Somebody settled, somebody's doubtful it was them, somebody's worried they have enough of a drinking problem to be a bad parent but not enough of one to get into a program. Maybe one of them's just an asshole. Maybe one of them secretly doesn't want kids

As an aside, it's worth mentioning that anal sex is a nearly fool-proof method of birth control; no one ever got pregnant fucking an asshole, unless you ask my mother.

When you tweet that last one, add the hashtag "haiyo."

And also "HappyFathersDay."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On the Failings of Memory

Maybe a year ago one of my best friends and I created a series of hilarious summations of famous novels and other stories, boiled down to the perfect, single sentence, usually a pick-up line.

We never wrote them down. To this day, I only remember something about the bible, and that all of Jane Austen's works can be summed up by the single Who Framed Roger Rabbit? quote:

[Massive surprise] "A MAAAAAN!!!!"

As much as I loved the Jane Austen one, I can only lament the dozens of other quotes we lost to the fallibility of organic information storage. If we ever manage to reconstruct the list, oh man are you all in for one hell of a post. But until then, I'll just have to treat this like any other lost love:

Drink, pass out, and pretend like you'll be blissfully happy with any other for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Famous Literature As Carnival Rides

My friend Carolyn just told me that she went on an amusement park ride called "Moby Dick." To my surprise, it was a kind of roller coaster which went side-to-side and up-and-down fairly constantly, such that you very quickly become acclimated to the movements. This is wrong.
  • The Moby-Dick - The little train that drives in a circle, slow but persistent, as death itself, taking forever to finish but never really getting anywhere or showing you anything. The man beside you is yelling angrily the entire time.
  • The Catcher in the Rye - The broken spin-car ride all the teenagers congregate and drink under. Later, one of them coincidentally tries to murder John Lennon.
Surprisingly, one centrifuge is all you need to
keep a carnival goldfish alive for more than a week.
  • The Jungle - That tilt-o-whirl placed immediately next to a hot dog cart.
  • The War and Peace - The one with the longest line.
  • The Lolita - The cute pink merry-go-round with a creepy old guy always watching it.
  • The Great Gatsby - Trick. Actually the carnival barker in brightly colored pants. 
  • The Brave New World - The first rider you were tall enough to go on alone.
  • The Awakening - That wave pool somebody drowns in each year.
  • The Great Expectations - The coaster that looks amazing but then is just awful and disappointing.
  • The Jane Austen - Kissing booth. Obviously.
  • The Chuck Palahniuk - The mind-eraser.
  • The Mary Shelley's Frankentein -  The last wooden roller coaster that appears to be coming apart at the seams.
  • The Heart of Darkness - Tracking down that one friend who wandered off.
  • The Twilight - The broken-down haunted house missing half its mannequins.
  • The Fifty Shades Trilogy - The log flume, because it gets all the ladies wet.

Yeah, that's how we're ending it, tonight. On a classy note.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Run for Your Lives! Um, no, no thank you please

Screw you, Jesse Eisenberg. I love you, but screw you.
I hate running. Really. Utterly and outright, with a passion typically reserved for aging white southern grandmothers still having a hard time not always getting the front seat on the bus. It is irrational, unwarranted, and–frankly–even I'm starting to get a little uncomfortable with it.

TLDR: Running is my least favorite human activity next to anything typically considered a war crime.

Still, my friends are thinking of going to Run for Your Lives. It's a 5k obstacle course where you're chased by "zombies" the entire time.

I love zombies.

I get excited when I wake up in a cold sweat from a zombie dream. I'm sad that I haven't had one in months, even though they're getting monotonous; all I ever do is run and jump and slam doors, and maybe hack with a rust shovel once before realizing I have not the strength to puncture a torso, let alone sever a spinal chord. Blessed Romero, the last two I had were all just running until I got tired.

I woke up tired for George's sake. From running in a dream. Have we discerned the problem?

Unfortunately for me, there seem to be "health packs" but not "spray-painted Nerf guns" in this event.

Well if there were ever a reason to get back into working out, the zombie apocalypse is the best I'm gonna do.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

5½ Rules for Making A Happy Roommate

1. Never, ever have sex with your roommate, your roommate's significant other, or anyone closely enough related to sit at the same table with your roommate at Thanksgiving.

2. Don't do the tacky sock-on-the-doorknob trick. You're an adult. Be classy. Buy a placard that says, "The penis is in." And if I can hear your music, I can hear why you put up the placard. Food for thought.

3. Do the dishes within one hour of finishing your meal. It is permissible to let large cooking apparati soak no more than 24 hours.

4. Always lock the bathroom.

    4.A. Maybe invest in some extra-long towels. With clips or ties or something.

5. Buy your own everything. It's just easier.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

On Confidence

Today an old man shuffled in where I work with his wife, also shuffling and shambling and wearing what was apparently an ill-fitted, red Rocawear t-shirt. They walked right up to a table, examined what was on it, and as I walked past the old man loudly farted.

My search for "grandpa shorts" was both unfruitful,
and disturbing. So here's a puppy instead.
Yeah, it's one of those posts.

After the requisite held breath and a mental, "Ew, Gross," my first thought was, "How comfortable that man must be in his existence."

I wish I was that comfortable with my life. I mean, not as flatulent, but comfortable. That guy knows exactly who he is and–through nirvana or a life of crushing hardship and agony–his exact place in the universal machine.

It then occurred to me that perhaps this man were partially deaf and had no idea how loudly he had just methaned all over the local area. Or he was incontinent. These are both distinctly possible. I don't think the latter, as we did not have the close the store and I surmise an adult undergarment would have muffled such a mighty toot.

Alright, he could have been deaf, though.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Even Juvenile Fiction Gets Ruined by Sequels

Shortly after starting work in a book store, I learned that Margaret Peterson Haddix's 1998 kids sci-fi classic Among the Hidden had sequels. Actually, it had six of them.

A pretty decent run, truthfully, and one that made the smart decision to mature as its readers did. By the end, half the characters are hardened killers, army deserters, and revolutionaries. Sounds pretty great for kids.

Today I learned that another dystopian dream novel from my middle school years had a sequel of sorts: Lois Lowery's The Giver. No one believed it. A quick Wikipedia search revealed that Lowery wrote a book called Messenger, a sort of loose sequel taking place in the same world as 1993's Giver and also her 2000 novel, Gathering Blue. She even has a fourth book coming out this year.

How did we miss all this? I loved The Giver as a kid. It was the only book with such  a down, ambiguous ending we were forced to read, completely unlike the horrifying, survivalist literature we'd been spoon fed the last five or so years. How did I never find out that Lowery wrote a sequel?

Because it came out in 2004. I hadn't read The Giver in probably six years. I was applying to college. Young adult fiction was not on my plate. However one coworker was still confused. Surely we had at least known about Gathering Blue, having obviously taken place in the same setting and being by the same author.

No, I certainly wouldn't have. Still, my comrade's head cocked to one side.

"It came out in 2000," I said.

"I was seven."

I- Ah … no … I … No.

I just sort of removed my glasses and double face-palmed for about two minutes while our third bookseller explained my horror and sudden incapacity for rational communication to this boy. I don't often feel old. I'm 25, I shouldn't. But something to universal as being forced to read The Giver in school, that was an unexpected turn for me. I was twice this boy's age when Gathering Blue came out.

I asked him when he watched "Power Rangers" what type of things were the Zords, animals or cars?

He lulled me, he really did. He said animals, then crazy beasts. He said he loved "Power Rangers" and the movie, and all of it. Then he forgot Zordon's name–which I myself have done many times, sometimes genuinely and other times feigned to save face amongst normal people–but then I realized his timeline was all off.

"Wait, were you seeing reruns or new episodes?" I asked.

"You saw new episodes??"

Quintuple facepalm.

Bitch, I had to wait for the movie because it was the first thing the Americans filmed entirely on their own, and I was let down by parts. I was old enough to be let down by parts of a movie. I had to watch episodes of "V.R. Troopers" and "Beetleborgs" and "Superhuman Samurai Cyber Squad" while I waited for them to overdub more Japanese episodes. I watched the bug-based "Kamen Rider" for godsake.

"Teenagers with attitude." These kids will eff you up
to an Edgar Winters soundtrack, turtlenecks and all.
Everything you loved as a child gets ruined eventually. Just pray you're the one who gets paid to do the ruining and you avoid ever meeting anyone more than four years younger than you.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Apartment Hunting for Hoarders and Madmen

I'm encountering the two classic problems of apartment searches everywhen:

1. I cannot find an apartment cheap enough to live in on my own, and

2. I cannot find someone to pay half the rent on a larger place.

Basically, I'm in that opening season of FRIENDS,where Rachel has no money, no marketable skills, and no place to stay. Except I'm also experiencing problem number 3:

3. I have way too much furniture.


I've never encountered this problem on television. FRIENDS did nothing to prepare me for this. Over-sized couch stuck in the stairwell? Sure thing. Hilariously wide entertainment unit blocking your bedroom doors when you could easily just put it against the exterior wall by the bathroom? No problem whatsoever.

But how do I handle actually having furniture? And pots and pans and forks? I know how to live in a hole with nothing but three shirts and a computer, I've seen WB sitcoms with young female leads. But I have, like, thirty shirts. And pants? I've got like a bunch of pants! I can get rid of my mannequin torso, I guess, I've got other conversation starters enough, but come on, guys, where do the couches and recliners and love seats and dressers and hampers go in the $600 studio world?

Best I can tell, they just miraculously show up after I inexplicably become a professional chef.

Goddamit, I'm such a fucking Ross. I wish I was a Chandler.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Name is Emerson: On Awesome Middle Names

"Why would you do that??"

It's something that comes up rarely, usually after you've known and worked with a person for a while, or you've had several sit-down meals together already and are running out of polite, idle chitchat. Likely, you've probably slept together before engaging in this level of intimacy:

The middle name exchange.

I always used to make people guess. It was a fun game. But then I had to keep it a secret so the game wouldn't be spoiled for others. Then it became something tantalizing, something to be horded and lauded over me. And it was certainly worth remembering.

You see, I couldn't spell my middle name until I was about seven, and until I was twelve, I thought one was supposed to sound more like a surname than a personal name. It was odd to discover my friends were "Daniel Thomas" and "Dean Thomas," but, then again, I just thought their parents were highly uncreative. Or maybe it was a Catholic thing, they both had confirmation names as well, and Dan had a second middle name besides that was his mother's maiden name, sans-hyphen.

My middle name is Emerson.

I was named after an existentialist, and possibly the electronics company. Narrowly, I avoided "Thoreau" and "if the Rangers make it to the [1986] Stanley Cup, whoever scored the winning goal."

My brothers are Sam and Jake (both names my father rejected for me), and their middle names are "Rosedell" and "Wilson." The former is an amalgam of the boy's two great-grandmothers, Rose and Dell. He has a fake name. Made from two girls' names. They also gave him "Zachary" as a back-up, so he's got five names, really. "Wilson" I imagine is from Woodrow, but that's always been just a guess. Honestly, he didn't know he had a middle name until he was 15.

All these names are fantastic, weird, iconic, unique. They'll look great on book jackets.

However being seven? Not so great. It's embarrassing. If we're doing that to our kids anyway, why aren't we having more fun with it?

Danger. Subtle. Fun. Classy.

Who wants to be names "Howard" when they can be "Jackson Classy Bartlett?"

Or why stop there? If we're making our kids feel awkward and not caring about how much ribbing they take, let's roll with it. Call them Awkward or A.K.A./Alias or for the R-rated classroom Motherfucking.

Motherfucking. That's biblical, you know. It was Jesus' middle name. Either that or Harry, there's some non-consensus in Luke.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Their Name Is Jonas

They have an "autographed" picture of Nick Jonas hanging in the back room at work. I wanted to mock it one day. This is what my brain immediately came up with, and I instantly regretted not living in the one universe among the infinite where Disney takes risks and pays for music rights and is just generally more awesome than it is here.

*Note: Video is blocked in Germany due to international copyright restrictions. To my Deutch readers, sorry, and I hope you can proxy.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Creepy Thought of the Day

Have you ever stared down a fish?

I don't just mean get into a contest over something stupid, I mean looked down through a fish.

You can see into it. Look down a fish's mouth, and it goes all the way back. It opens it's mouth and you just see a cavernous salmon-colored maw. At some point you know it has to hit a stomach, but you never see that, you just see what is, presumably, the back of the fish.

There's a reason I don't eat seafood. And that's that I can't stand the smell. But also fish are creepy.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

If Carly Simon Had the Internet in 1971


And then she'd tell everyone to stop commenting on her private feelings, but leave all the posts as "Public."

I'm sure she'd also post a scathing private entry on Xenga, then Tumble a few dozen sepia photographs of passive-aggressive, sad, couple-y stuff.

Friday, August 3, 2012

On Cable Television

Probably the best cable box replacement for your buck.
Love this little guy.
I'm trying to cut back on watching cable television. I was out of the game for a while, and then I discovered The Hub, which, late at night, is pretty much every badass cartoon show I watched from ages five to fourteen. It's a better way to fall asleep, even compared to dozing off to Food Network, dreaming only of eating bacon and beef.

See, I'm in the process of moving, and one of the easiest ways I can save money is to not pay out the colon for cable T.V. I'm not going to watch, except for a few hours a night and maybe one weekend day. Frankly, that's why I have internet.

Fiscal Planning Blog!

There is no reason to have cable T.V. A family splitting streaming-only Netflix and Hulu+ pays $15/mo. for a ton of movies and 90% of cable television, with backlog. I watched ExoSquad for god's sake. And you can get it on your T.V., your computer, or your phone/tablet. I'm tossing in Amazon Prime, and now I can rent/stream damn near anything for free or cheap, for only $39. (Amazon Student gives you free shipping but not streaming for a year, however it discounts the normally $79 Prime membership after that for up to three more years.)

So, basically, the only thing I can't watch is HBO, which my family never had anyway.

Oh, and of course there's still the wonderful Bangladeshi black market that is the Internet when I'm otherwise out of luck.

Oh, where will I get my local news?? I live outside New York. My local news is FOX 5. If I'm worried about the weather I'll look outside, check to see if I have a sinus headache, and maybe go to the local radio's website. I get my news from the BBC, tech blogs, and Jon Fucking Stewart.

The important part of the blog:

Not including my DVDs an Blu-Ray, I now have about four different ways to watch Firefly.

"You can't stop the signal, Mal."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

World Wildlife Fund is Missing a Golden Opportunity

I can't stand commercials for dying tigers or beaten puppies, and I don't think anyone else can either.

It doesn't spur me towards giving money to save these animals, if you'll pardon the horse-abuse vernacular. What I think should be done, in an attempt to actually save animals, is switch the W.W.F. and other quadruped charity organizations to an app-style business model.

Saving animals should be subscription based.

Let's get one thing straight: I do not mean the type of "Hey! We saw you donated last year, so how about doubling your contribution this year! No?? Well then how about the same? After all, we know you don't want to go back to letting innocent [fuzzy baby somethings] get [horribly mistreated and/or murdered] right?" Insert elbow jab there.

You should get something for donating your time and effort, and not just a tiger tote bag or the satisfaction of donating to a charity that may or may not put actual donation proceeds towards the cause de nome.

When you donate to save the animals, you shouldn't have to see another commercial about it for 6 months.

You put down $50 to artificially inseminate pandas? Awesome. You don't have to see scratched up and beaten pit bulls on T.V. unless you turn on Animal Cops, and your a masochistic bastard if you do anyway.

$100? You just earned yourself a year of abuse-free animals. You won't see anything worse than Jake Busch pushing baked beans and old Alf reruns until mid-2013.

And for $250, you won't even have to listen to Sarah McLachlan. Ever. We'll make sure of it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Walkward - adj. That awkward moment when you suddenly realize you are walking the exact same way as the person you just said goodbye to.