Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Love Your Thursday

Variations...

I put too little cream in my coffee.  And I ran out of clean underwear this morning because I haven't done my laundry since before Christmas.  Also, I really could've used gloves today.  Other than that, there's more important things to fret over.  Like Pastene tomatoes.  I found a recipe that calls for a can of Pastene tomatoes, which is a name of a brand, and the recipe explicitly says no other brand of tomatoes will do, but my local grocery store does not sell them.  I'll eventually use a different brand, but I will always wonder...

I also need to find some bucatini pasta. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Life After (Christmas) People

Of course I'd much rather be at home playing with all my new toys, but I'm also giddy during these precious moments when the world stays home and allows me to be the only rider on the bus and one of five commuters on the train.  The walk from the McPherson Square Metro station to work, which is usually three blocks of get-the-heck-out-of-my-way, was today more like hello-where-the-heck-is-everybody?  If not for the pervasive stench of the Occupy DC tent city I would've felt like Will Smith in I Am Legend.  Though, with the temperatures as low as they were this morning I can't imagine a drum circle not moving at the speed of zombie. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Merry Merry Christmas!


I hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas and a splendid New Year.  Lynette and I will be celebrating two 2011 miracles this holiday season: The Amazing James and Grammy Eileen's spectacular recovery from her diagnosis of cancer just over one year ago.

No offense, Illinois, but this Carlock family is grateful to be in our Virginia living room this Christmas knowing that everyone back home is safe and healthy and still smart enough to operate Skype on their computers.  Chicago hospitals are the place of miracles, but not spending Christmas in one will be one of the things we thank God for this year moments before digging into our Christmas goose.

I truly hope all of you who read my blog are blessed with the luck of tripping over all the happiness that is always in your path.

Good Luck.  Godspeed.  Go Bears.

 


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Hobbit trailer is out!

Drop whatever piddly thing you're doing right now and watch the new trailer for The Hobbit in all its glory!  Oh my!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Indie Game, The Movie

This documentary about independent video game developers looks really good:

Fingertips

I said hi to a lady on the elevator and she said nothing.  What kind of person does that make me?  I don't know her, I don't give a rat's ass about her, I'll probably never see her again.  And yet there I go, "Hello."  *Crickets*

And that, boys and girls, is how nice guys finish last. 

Actually, that's not the attitude I'm going to have about this.  I said hello because I'm a fellow citizen in this thing we call a society.  I'm polite and generally friendly.  But honestly, blatantly not reciprocating an elevator hello is the same as replying, "Piss off."  And that's cool.  Because if this lady whose face I've already forgotten is ever dangling from the edge of a cliff and desperately needs someone to pull her up I would reach down and pull her up to safety. 

And that, boys and girls, is what Christmas is all about.  Pulling everyone up who's dangling from the edge of a cliff- even bad guys.  Merry Christmas, jerks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It took me three and a half years

to convince my sister in law that there are no whales in Lake Michigan.

Music Appreciation: Cults

Lets get Merried.

I'm a liberal guy.  I think abortion lies solely on a decision made by a woman.  I think homosexual people (or as Republicans like to call 'em, The Gays) absolutely should have the Constitutional right to marry each other.  I think money spent on wars (and all its related war-mongering enterprises) would be better spent domestically, (AKA Given to families who are barely making ends meet, or used to make EVERY school look like the one you see in wealthy neighborhoods.  While we're at it, let's build a few less bombs and use that money to give teachers a raise.  In fifty years when we're pledging allegiance to our Chinese overlords you're going to hear me say, "I told you so!"  The true defenses that our country should be building up is making our children the smartest in the world.  Instead, we squabble over whether or not it's feasible to fix the gaping hole in the social studies room, or if gym fits into the fiscal year budget.)

Now that I have painted myself pink, I'd like to say Merry Christmas.  Not Happy Holidays.  Not Seasons Greetings.  But rather Merry Christmas!  People (and businesses) that refuse to use the phrase Merry Christmas are cowards. Cowards!  We all know what you mean when you say, Happy Holidays.  It's like replacing fuck with fudge.  They mean the same thing.  In fact, the choice to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas communicates to the world, "I wish you a Merry Christmas, but I'm afraid of offending people I do not know, or offending people who don't believe in God or Christ, but are probably celebrating the holiday anyway." 

Look, it is what it is.  It's Merry Christmas.  It's true that the holiday has nearly lost all religious meaning for many people in this country.  That's okay because Christmas is still meaningful for everyone.  It's a time to come together as friends and families.  A time to give each other gifts.  A time to step out of our daily routines and appreciate what is grand in the world.

Yes, historically (a few thousand years at least) Christmas has been considered the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  We've all heard about how the original celebrations occurring around the same time were pagan in nature and stolen by the Romans, etc. etc. etc.  If you're a Christian you need no get defensive on this subject.  No one is taking your holiday away.  Likewise, non-Christians need not try to diminish the holiday's namesake.

So I'd like to wish all my Christian and agnostic friends a very Merry Christmas.  (And if y'all can't get along Santa Claus is going to pee in your stocking.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Making of Skyrim

For my gamers - Here is a magnificent 40 minute video about the making of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  My favorite part was the "barbarian choir" which was literally a large group of large, hairy men singing the theme to this game.  Seeing the amount of work that went into this game's enormity is awe inspiring.  

Music Appreciation: The Cure

Timeless.


From Bestival Live 2011

Office Baum

If you don't like Christmas then you can go to Hell.  You go to Hell and you die!  If you don't like Christmas then we can't be friends.  Stop knocking on my door.

I walked into my dark office this morning using my body to turn on all the lights via the motion detectors and I discovered that one of my coworkers erected a full-sized Christmas tree in her cubicle.  I stopped to give my mouth enough time to gape open with adoration.  Seems I've been dethroned as quirkiest person in the office.  Touche, coworker.  Looks like I'll be wearing my Santa Claus suit to work tomorrow...

Because tomorrow is our Secret Santa event where we awkwardly exchange gifts with the people we kind of know but don't really know (limit $25 please).  Fortunately, I pulled Greg's name.  He's an older gentleman who loves the Washington Redskins.  (That Secret Santa gift almost buys itself!)

I overheard someone complaining about the person they pulled for Secret Santa.  I hope the person who pulled my name thought to themselves, "Yes! I got Jason!"  Reality:  My coworkers hardly know me and have no idea what to get me.  I'm predicting a hat.  Or a gift card. 


Monday, December 12, 2011

An Open Letter to the Spike VGAs

By Jason Schreier

Dear Spike VGA Producers,
I get it. You’ve got obligations. You have to appeal to a broad audience. Your references can’t be too niche or obscure. You have to keep people watching. You have to appease advertisers and wrangle exclusive deals out of game publishers. I don’t envy your jobs.
But after watching the 2011 Spike TV Video Game Awards this Saturday night, I can’t help but wish you’d try a little bit harder not to embarrass the people you’re trying to entertain.

It’s not hard to find the root of the problem here: You think we’re dumb. You think your audience is so stupid that they’ll be amused by YouTube rants and health potion gags. You think we get our jollies out of watching girls bite cupcakes off conveyor belts. You think videogame references make a good substitute for humor.
Worst of all, you couldn’t care less about what you’re showing us. You don’t care about the games or the people who made them. As Joystiq’s Justin McElroy pointed out on Twitter, “If they don’t give a shit about the awards, why on EARTH should we?”
When you dedicate minute-long segments to the likes of will.I.am and Kevin Jonas while breezing through 10+ award winners in a 20-second montage, it’s hard to believe you care about your videogame awards show. When you parade around more actors than game developers, it’s really hard to believe you care about your videogame awards show.
I can deal with the unfunny jokes. You want to make tired Alec Baldwin references or force host Zachary Levi to say things like “Your urine is magical,” OK. I don’t need to laugh.
But half of your show was dedicated to slapstick. When you weren’t showing game footage, you were shoving nonsensical gimmicks down our throats. You were putting the spotlight on D-list celebrities and YouTube stars. You were making fun of “social gamers” for being anti-social. You were keeping a cow backstage so you could reference FarmVille.
You had a grown man in a military outfit pretend to put his balls in a Call of Duty developer’s mouth because he took too long on stage.
So maybe you don’t care about quality. Maybe you want to stop by, show your exclusive trailers, earn some ad bucks, and then crawl out, leaving slime on the walls and bile in our throats. Maybe you just want to show five or six awards and spend the rest of the time filling space with as many cheap gags as possible.
Except you’ve proved that you can do things right. Your gorgeous, fluid Zelda montage was deftly presented and properly treated. Not only did you give us a lovely cameo by the venerable Shigeru Miyamoto, whose appearance can wrest a smile out of even the most jaded gamers, you showed him the respect that he deserves. You guys totally nailed it.
Then you had Charlie Sheen come out and ask where the chicks were.
Is this really how you see us? If you think gamers are tuning in to watch Charlie Sheen make lewd comments, you’re both completely naive about your audience and totally out-of-touch when it comes to celebrity relevance. The fact that Charlie Sheen was available to present at the Spike TV Video Game Awards should have probably tipped you off.
I am a male between the age of 18 and 30. I know many other males between the age of 18 and 30. We all fall into your key demographic. Trust me when I tell you that not a single one of us thinks it is funny or entertaining to watch Felicia Day slice fruit hurled by the cast of Workaholics. Not a single one.
Why can’t we see developers talk about the games they love? Why can’t we watch industry auteurs celebrate their craft? Why can’t we hear from people who are more interested in honoring videogames than resuscitating dead TV careers?
Here you were, Spike VGA producers, on national television, with the opportunity to show the world that the videogame industry is not solely composed of profane 16-year-olds and humorless manchildren. Here was your chance to demonstrate that videogames are culturally significant, artistically important, worthy of an awards show that lauds what gaming can do and what it can become.
Instead you just shoved your balls in our mouths.

Future Gamer

Thursday, December 8, 2011

James' Arsenal


  • Quacky duck noises
  • Juicy fart noises
  • High volume vocalizations of "da da da da da"
  • Whimpery pick me up noises
  • The Rare Cry

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gordon

I'm reading Dickens for the first time.  A Christmas Carol.  Appropriate, I thought, given the approaching holiday and all the twinkling lights in my home.  Have you ever read Dickens?  I am amazed.  This book was written in 1843 and yet the language STILL influences writers today, whether they know it or not, or whether they want to admit it or not.  I was apprehensive to read it given its age (I have a fear of too many Ye Olde Shoppes). But CD nailed it, didn't he?  I hope he was well loved in the literary world back then and not  post mortem like Van Gogh.  I can't help but dream of the quality sitcoms he would've created if he had lived today. 

Just kidding. I had a professor in college who thought Sting was the second coming of William Shakespeare.  (Ask me how many metaphors are in the song King of Pain.) But this Dickens fella, wow.  Why didn't anybody tell me?  Jerks.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

RIP Patrice Oneal


One of the funniest people on our planet and the ONLY reason to tune into the Opie and Anthony Show.

Monday, November 28, 2011

James Christmas

If Christmas Spirit was the icing on a slab of chocolate cake we'd be spending December getting frosting out of all my nooks and crannies.  I'm usually pretty excited for the Holidays, but this year I'm seeing everything a little bit differently.  The Christmas tree, which went up earlier than ever in our house, twinkles and sparkles more than ever.  The colored lights we draped around our windows warms the living room in its magical glow.  We already watched Elf and Christmas Vacation, two cinematic staples in our house.  We'll save A Christmas Story for Christmas Day when TBS loops the movie for 24 hours.

We had such a successful Thanksgiving hosting all the grandparents and one Auntie K that I wouldn't be surprised if all those free loaders came knocking again on Christmas morning. And my brined turkey tasted better than your sorry, dried out turkey-like bird.

Experiencing all the joys of Christmas through James' eyes is beautiful.  He's only six months old, but I've already caught him staring at the Christmas tree like it's the spaceship at the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, waiting for the aliens to come out of it and make contact.  And even though presents will be mostly meaningless, you better believe we'll be coaxing him into ripping apart wrapping paper, which I bet will translate well on Skype as we teleconference with the grandparents Christmas morning.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You have no idea how thankful I am

As technology evolves and we sink deeper and deeper into the shallow world of virtual connections via our computers and smartphones and tablets, I'd like to give thanks for moments unelectric.  I'd like to give thanks for surfaces not backlit. The fiction of our online relationships can be extremely comfortable, but let us not take for granted the act of sharing physical space with a complete stranger on a train, or the nod from the guy who knows I like egg sandwiches.  Let us not lose that meaningful spring to order that occurs when we line up to exit a bus or funnel onto an escalator.  Maybe I'm thankful for the absence of anarchy.  Or maybe we don't give ourselves enough credit - That deep down we're all just nice people trying to get home to our baby sons. 

This year the Carlock/White/Femali Thanksgiving takes place in Alexandria, Virginia, where the space is limited.  Fortunately, we can fashion chairs out of love which will be palpable due to the introduction of James.  After pie is served, I may suggest a fight between the grandmas who will be vying for James Holding Time. Krazy Karen versus Eileen "The Stomper" White in a no-holds-barred cage match!   (Just as soon as I move the kitchen table out of the living room to make space...)

It's easy to take for granted the people we're closest to.  This year our house will be full and ALIVE with people I don't get to see very often.  Thank God for the following things:

  • Airplanes
  • Highways
  • Chicago Bears
Amen.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Where's Jake?



If you don't watch Adventure Time you're an idiot. That's right, I said it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Night Dad and the Death of an Xbox

Skyrim is a video game five years in the making. You've never heard of it because it's a secret door behind a secret cabinet down a secret hallway in my mother's basement.  Which is where I'd be playing this game right now if I hadn't had the foresight to convince Lynette to marry me twelve years ago.  In 1999, I knew I would have to cultivate a romantic, fulfilling, engaging, loving relationship with a beautiful, caring, affectionate woman so that when the day came for me to enter the world of Skyrim I would not fear the fallout and retribution for spending all my free time slaying dragons and searching dungeons.  Unconditional love kicks ass!

Jokes, of course.  But seriously, Skyrim is probably one of the best video game experiences I have had in my moderate history of playing video games, which goes as far back as the Atari 2600. This one goes in my top five.   

So that's the set up for how awesome this game is.  On with the blog.

Friday, James stayed home because his day care was closed.  We took a trip to the local GameStop to purchase Skyrim.  Gave a fatherly nod to the other dude in line carrying a car seat which probably contained an infant child. (Gamer Dads have a secret nod. I can't explain it to you because it's secret.) Because my day mostly consisted of quelling James' various baby moods and exchanging fart noises on the floor, I did not have any time to play Skyrim. (By the way, every time you read the word Skyrim you should hear a dragon roar and dramatic music. Please scroll down to my previous post of the official trailer for a sample.)  

The next day, catastrophe.  I sneaked in a few moments of Skyrim early Saturday morning when suddenly my Xbox 360 froze.  FROZE!  As with the occurrence of most tragedies in my life I spent most of the day in denial.  I kept restarting the system only to have it freeze over and over again.  (Blowing into the Xbox did nothing!) Soon the realization came: My trusty, white Xbox (that I purchased at the launch of the console back in 2005) was a "brick."  Dead. Gone. Game over.

Lynette had plans to attend a baby shower Saturday night which meant I had no time to go out and buy a replacement Xbox.  Plus, who's got an extra $300 laying around for these types of emergencies?  Not me.  The world was darkening and closing in on me.  Sweat beads emerged on my brow.  My hands began trembling. 

I ran to the comfort of the internet for help and discovered several similar stories.  "Skyrim broke my Xbox!"  Apparently, my version of the Xbox 360 was too old to handle the power of Skyrim.  Like playing Lazer Tag with grandpa.

Later, after Lynette left for her party and I fed and bathed and got James to bed like a Dad Boss, I realized there was another Xbox in the house... Lynette's Xbox, which was hooked up to the TV in the bedroom.  It was Saturday night, Lynette was out, and James asleep... Skyrim began taunting me.  "JC, use Lynette's Xbox... She won't mind..."  Of course I had to risk breaking her Xbox if I inserted Skyrim into it.  It was a risk I was willing to take. 

Lynette's Xbox ran Skyrim like a dream.  I imagine this is how an NFL team feels after winning the Super Bowl.  It was certainly a victory for me.  I felt like THIS.

On the Cusp of Mobility


Friday, November 11, 2011

New Chucks

Are the worst! Too white and that rubbery flicking noise with every step! (First World Problems)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mr. Orange

I knew it would happen eventually... James had a minor medical emergency Tuesday night.  But it might as well have been the loss of a limb or a gunshot wound because suddenly the world and my perception of it changed drastically as I sped my son to the doctor late into the evening.   

This was the first time James has been sick in his five months of existence.  And I know it certainly won't be his last, but I guess the first time is always the hardest.  James' breathing had become labored and there was loud wheezing.  At times it seemed as if he was gasping for air.  The diagnosis was croup.  After an injection of steroids and a Nebulizer treatment James came around and shook off his strained breathing.  By the way, being the Carlock Champion that he is, Master James never once stopped smiling and flirting with his young female doctor and nurses during this ordeal. 

After things settled down and James and I spent the day together to regroup our mental facilities, I realized how during the frantic, troubled breathing moments Tuesday night nothing else in the world mattered aside from making sure my boy was going to get healed.  Nothing.  All of life's trivialities and inanity fell away and my true purpose in this world revealed itself.  "Keep the boy alive."  I have one task to complete in this lifetime.  One.  Keep my boy alive.  I say it as generally as possible because that goal encompasses many aspects of James' world, which includes safety, happiness, and a well rounded experience on this planet. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Skyrim! 11-11-11




!!!

Almost Paradise

I didn't turn around (Never turn around!), but someone (Someone!) was listening to their music on the train this morning very loudly.  So loud that I was able to hear that they were disturbingly listening to one song over and over and over and over...  The song: Holding Out for a Hero, by Bonnie Tyler. (I looked it up when I got to work in the hopes that educating myself on the song would alleviate the constant loop the song continues to be on in my head.)

Occasionally, you run into these people.  These loud music people who give zero fucks that everyone on the train can hear them rocking out to the Footloose soundtrack (1984, thank you very much).  And I think to myself: How do I become like them?  What kind of person must I be to walk through life giving zero fucks.  These are the people that grow old and eventually block an entire aisle in Target with their empty cart.  I envy them.  I envy their obliviousness and the obvious bliss they must experience on a daily basis. 

Maybe later today I'll practice by making a right turn in the car without using the turn signal.  No! I can't! I can't!  That's too much too soon.  I'll start smaller... a fart in the elevator maybe? 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We Need More More Plots

I got caught in literary limbo this morning.  I abruptly came to the end of a book I was reading and then it ended just like that.  I was so involved and invested in the characters of this book that I paid no attention to the end which was apparently coming fast. And I use a Kindle which actually tells me in specific terms how far I've come in the book.  I'm not complaining, just pointing out one of life's little pleasures: Getting lost in a book.  On the train.  On a Thursday morning. 

Then I sat there doing my best not to make eye contact with a stranger fearing they'd think I was staring at them, and yearned (yearned?) for more.  It was a good book, yes, but I want this feeling to come from more arenas of my life.  I'm pretty sure it has happened after I cooked something surprisingly delicious (like the biscuits and gravy I made a couple weeks ago from scratch).  Or after kick ass sex (the kind that stays with you the next day and gets in the way of all your spreadsheets and fax cover sheets).  Can you imagine what a commute on the train would be like if all the riders had just gotten laid thirty minutes prior?

I guess that's what finishing a good book feels like.  Or maybe finishing any book, good or not.  You work to get to the end and then bask in it for a while.  Is the larger message here about appreciation?  Do we need more appreciation in our daily lives.  It's easy to take for granted little things like operable escalators, or an unbroken shoestring, or a kiss.  Have we forgotten, or were we never taught, that epic stories start with a kiss?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Winner

A bunch of us here at work pooled together and bought 24 lottery tickets.  I guess the jackpot is some obscene amount of money beyond 200 million dollars.  Assuming we already won, we've been making plans for our winnings.  I already stated that I'm going to move to LA for a few weeks and live like Entourage.  Then after some hard core partying, after emerging from the Nevada desert lost, confused, and wearing only my pants on my head, I'll come back down to Earth and do right.  Maybe it's time for my coffee shop, Coffee Shop, to become a reality...

First, I'll need to choose three friends to come live like Entourage with me...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Week with Marilyn

Sweet Theivery

There's loot everywhere!  Bags and bowls of candy culled from children's trick or treat bags strewn about my office.  (Always grab the Bottlecaps! Those are rare and delicious.)  I'll go out on a limb and assume the children who did the legwork for these offerings have not realized that their stash has decreased by 30% overnight.  If I find out that my mom did this to me there will be Hell to pay!  **Best to confront her over the Thanksgiving table.  Good idea.

Speaking of Thanksgiving... How about that kick ass green bean casserole!  Yeah!

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Music Appreciation: The Pixies

"I wish someone made music this good nowadays."



Off Load Your Soul

If you ride the Washington DC metro train long enough you'll become familiar with the term "off loading."  It's what happens when you're completely immersed in a really great book and the train operator says, "Sorry, folks, we're going to have to off load this train."  And then all of us spoiled, grumpy, entitled commuters have to exit the train like babies being woken in the night and rudely taken out of our warm, cozy cribs.  It's at this moment you see people for who they truly are. Watch their faces. Listen to their grumbles.  Without context, you'd assume the train operator just asked us to get down on the tracks and push the train.  Thanks.

These are the moments I relish.  Simply because I use these instances in my life to remind myself how fucking great I've got it.  After four years I'm still able to maintain a mortgage on our lovely condo; I have a woman in my life who STILL, after witnessing all my faces, loves me unconditionally; I have a beautiful son who can't be anything less than a messenger from God (or a message from God); I have feet and legs and vision and hearing and taste buds and a mind that never allows me to feel satisfied; I have vehicles in the garage; I have comfortable shoes; I have a job that affords me silly dalliances like video games and comic books; and I have a seat on a heated train car speeding me into our nation's capitol twice a day five days a week.  I know there's more, but I didn't have enough time to think of them because another train arrived to pick us up three minutes after we off loaded.  Interestingly, my fellow off loaded passengers were still angry.  The ones with the shiniest shoes always seem to be the most put out. 

And then I got to work and opened the newspaper and got reminded of even more things I'm thankful for, like not having a bomb detonate near me on 15th Street, or having an empirical country's soldiers occupy my country because they want access to our oil.  Maybe it's time more people in this great country of ours got off loaded in the middle of their routine, mundane lives so they can think about how fortunate they are.  Maybe the fresh perspective will help someone somewhere like it helps me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dare to Get Closer

Please watch this video.  It's important to me.

Kinky Koffee

The cream in my thermos of coffee decided it doesn't want to meld into/mix into/merge into what I typically drink every morning, that being a brown-colored concoction sweetened with sugar.  Instead the coffee is still black with millions of floating particles that I assume was the cream.  I'm drinking it anyway.  I'll probably be sitting on the toilet later.  But I have to have my coffee.  And Starbucks coffee is awful, which sucks because there's four of them in every direction in a one-block radius from where I'm currently sitting.

Why does the coffee at Starbucks Coffee suck?  Am I the only person to ponder that question?  Or, am I the only person who walks in asking for a simple cup of coffee?  Are the barristas even trained to pour a simple cup of coffee?  "Are you sure you don't want whip cream or caramel goo squirted in that coffee?"

I'm going to open a coffee shop.  And the only way to get a cup of coffee is to belly up to the counter and sit on one of those circular, spinny stools.  And the coffee will be served in an actual coffee cup on a saucer.  And we only serve coffee.  Black.  The ball's in your court when it comes to adding cream and sugar.  No muffins, no tea, no juice, no anything other than a cup of coffee.  But there will be free wifi and ample electrical outlets to plug your laptops into.  And the waitresses will be topless - only women with symmetrical areolas will be hired.  Just checking to see if you were paying attention... there won't be any tits.  But you might see an attractive person hanging out writing a script for a play that might make it to an off-Broadway production someday.  And maybe that person is into the same sexual deviancies you are.  Only one way to find out... come on down to my yet to opened coffee shop.  I think I'll call it Jason's Coffee Shop.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Stubby the PIg

Saying "I stubbed my toe" does not do the act justice.  It's not like we're dipping our piggies into a tepid pool to test its temperature.  We violently kick dresser corners, table legs, and coffee tables so hard that stars blot out our vision for a few seconds before the pain surges in waves like an unforgiving tsunami of torturous agony.

My toe is purple.  Purple!  I accidentally "stubbed my toe" on James' baby swing and now my blessed toe is a shade of purple my body has never been.  If it's broken I'll never know, because I refuse to sit in an emergency room for seven hours.

Which Lethal Weapon movie was it where Riggs was tied up and some thug was hammering his toes?  THAT'S how I felt!  Just like Lethal Weapon!  And now I have a purple toe like a bad ass.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Skipping

By Robert Morgan

A carburetor skips, and rocks
will skip along the surface of
a pond. A fugitive will skip
the country if he can, and crooks
will skip the payment of their debts.
And one can walk content or run
with joy across a summer field.
But why omitting steps is such
a sign of pleasure's hard to say,
as if the gap and shift, the quick
eliding interruption of
a stride, reflects the shiver jolt,
releasing dance; accentuates,
as heart is said to skip a beat,
the lift, arrhythmic, breathless gasp
and rush and reach of crossing first
one threshold then another in
the vivid hop from foot to foot,
the hurrying toward and with delight.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Let's Chat"

Sometimes my friend Ross likes to post the transcripts of instant message conversations we have on Gmail.  Here is the one we had this morning: LINK

We think we're funny and contribute to each others delusions of grandeur. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Indiana Jones + Nathan Drake = Awww Yeah!

Wanna watch Harrison Ford play video games for seven minutes? YEP!



He's playing Uncharted 3, the follow up to last years Game of the Year Uncharted 2.  It's being filmed for Japanese commercials, but you can tell his reactions to it are real.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tour de WTF

It happened again last night - a man cycled by as I was walking Leia and said something to me in a different language.  I think it was Spanish.  And it's not a greeting like Hello, because I know what hello is in Spanish.  No, this is a full sentence.  Maybe four or five words.  And it happens to me at least once a month.  The same dude riding by saying the same Spanish sentence to me.  The tone of his voice is positive and happy, so I'm pretty sure he's not insulting me.  If he is then he's the most passive-aggressive Spanish speaking bicyclist I have ever seen.  Eventually, I started putting my hands up every time he cycled by giving the international gesture for "What the fuck are you saying to me?"  Last night I yelled back to him, "I don't understand you!"  But he keeps cycling away.  I'm this close to staking this guy out.  Hiding in the bushes maybe.  Because I got questions.

Moral of the story: Life is a strange man saying something to you in a language you can't understand as he speeds past on his bicycle.  Once a month.  Forever.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Music Appreciation: Mother Love Bone

Here's some stuff

My bus was two minutes early this morning.  I ran to catch it successfully.  But two other people weren't so lucky.  I suppose if the zombie apocalypse were upon us we'd be down two more humans. 

I watched Cameron Crowe's documentary Pearl Jam Twenty on Saturday night.  I'm not a big Pearl Jam fan, but holy shit this movie was fantastic.  I was transported back to the early Nineties.  The story of Pearl Jam and the birth of the Seattle grunge sound was surprisingly enthralling.  I suppose it helps that I was coming into my own regarding musical tastes during that time period, but if you care about music at all I highly recommend watching this movie.

We shopped at Whole Foods over the weekend and spent gobs of money on meat.  Honestly, if you like meat you really can't do better.  There comes a time in a man's life when he has to ask himself: How important are my meat purchases?  Am I satisfied with the shitty normal grocery store fare? 

We tried shoving solid food in James' mouth yesterday.  Nope.  Not ready.  He had the same look on his face as me when I ate eggplant the first time. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lament

I'm finding it increasingly difficult to maintain this virtual personality with people spread across the country who could give two shits about what I had for dinner or what TV show I think is best.  Facebook has taken something away from me.  But I can't figure out what that is.  Yet. What I do know is that I miss the way people sound when they talk.  I miss eyes and lips and hair and shoes and music.  When did we start losing conversations?  Can I blame Facebook?  Am I allowed to blame Facebook?  Guns don't kill people...

There's experiences we're missing out on.  There's facial expressions we can't see.  Music heard as a collective group carries so much more water.  So much more.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wayne

Good news: I have a new comic book shop.  Aftertime Comics in Old Town Alexandria.  Got off the train one stop early and walked, with the help of my iPhone GPS, three blocks until I came to the old store front.  The store was tiny with worn carpet and that musty smell that says, "You found it."

Wayne, the enthusiastic clerk, tested my comic knowledge with a series of questions about what books I read and what books I used to read.  According to him, there's much I don't know.  But I think that's how you pass the test.  Allow Wayne to think he is better than you.  Let him be your guide and teacher of this pulpy world.  Wayne and I talked for an hour. Many people entered the store and left while I was in there.  Some people came in for their "subscriptions" and left.  Half of them were girls.  Wayne tried to include them in our conversation regarding the recent movies Thor and Captain America.  Most agreed that Thor was the better movie which goes against everything I heard.

The meeting ended with a handshake and the standard tattoo everyone gets when they become exclusive members of a comic shoppe.  Metaphorically speaking.  

Funny Pages

Terrible news: My comic book shop is closing.  Where the heck am I supposed to buy my comics every week?  I feel like my favorite uncle died.  You know, the one who always got you the best Christmas presents.  Now I'm on a quest.  The Journey to Find a New Comic Book Shop! 

I actually found one fairly close to my home in Old Town Alexandria.  But this whole debacle got me to thinking... I should open my own comic book store in Alexandria.  With the closing of Nova Comics I know there would be a market... The only problem would be coming up with a catchy, clever name.  Like The Wizard's Spaceship; or, The Dragon's Lazer.  Jason's Basement... sounds like a creepy place to buy men's underwear. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This is a Georgetown Cupcake

If you're a fan of inane reality television this will mean something to you. How'd it taste? Like dense hype. Rich dense hype.

Manifest Density

How do I describe the way I feel when no one sits next to me on the train?  It's not like I'm a jerk - I often hold doors open for strangers and wear that closed-mouth smile while walking through a group of people.  It's just... damn, I love having the whole seat to myself!  And if I'm lucky enough to score the seat that has no bench in front of it, holy shit heaven. 

You see, I'm a large man.  Large and tall.  The Metro seats are too small for me.  My knees always (painfully) press against the seat in front.  And if someone sits next to me, forget it - discomfort. 

So this morning my commute felt like a high speed Asian train.  Why do the good things go so fast?  Typically when I'm jammed against the glass, knees afire, the train feels like a creeping wagon train being pulled across rugged terrain by elderly mules.  Before I knew it my luxurious commute was over and I had to come back down from out of the clouds.

By the way, I'm reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.   For ex-English majors and literature lovers it's a must read.  Recommendation made. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy This

There's a tent city in the park across the street from the Metro station I use on my way to work.  There's a very nicely painted sign that reads "Occupy DC."  Aside from being harangued by dirty college girls and men who look like every college professor I ever had, it looked fun.

Or maybe I was just gazing among the strewn tents and camping gear longing to go camping myself.  Of course my camping experience has deer lazily strolling through my field of vision, as opposed to the homeless men eyeballing fancy REI water jugs.

Which brings me to my point: I certainly hope all these white people leave something behind for the homeless people whose land they're "occupying."  As far as demonstrations go, the clearest perspective I had was a clear division between the white people and their expensive nylon tents and the homeless (black) men in desperate need of a jacket.  A perspective, mind you, I was able to have on my way to WORK.  A job I obtained by putting myself through college, all while working full time in between classes so that I could pay my rent and buy groceries.

I do think it sucks that the government bails out corporations, but when it comes to putting food on the table for my family and keeping a roof over our heads I'll be working whatever job I can find.  And trust me, if I were in a situation where I suddenly lost my current job you better believe I'll be working somewhere. 

Yes, there are injustices in the world.  And often people born on third base think they hit a triple to get there, but it's no reason to stop moving forward and point fingers.  I'm no sympathizer of either side, but there's only one person who gives a fuck about you and your family.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Invisible Train

I can't think of a place that renders its occupants more invisible than the inside of a subway train.  Or, actually, it's more like we each independently think we're invisible to the world, but won't or can't tell each other that no, you're not invisible like me.  Kind of how we all agree on what red looks like even though its impossible to know if my red looks the same as your red. 

Today I looked up from my book and discovered a woman looking at me.  Typically, eye contact on the train is strange territory and usually accidental.  But this chick was looking at me.  Was she thinking, "Does he know he's not invisible?"  Or was she thinking, "Wow, that guy hasn't looked up once during this entire trip." Or was she thinking, "Red hoodie was a good choice, dude. Roll on, righteous man."  Or was she thinking, "I'd do him."  Prolly that last one.  Yeah.

S'morning

S'like every other morning.  Except I think I need to educate myself on this whole Amanda Knox thing.  Firstly, Why does TV want me to care so much about this girl?  Wait a tick... sex game gone wrong?  Do tell.

Secondly, Occupy Wall Street, I'm not going to be a prick and say protesters are wasting their time, because hey this country was founded on nothing but protesting, but aren't there gobs of people who'd love to be there if not for the fact that they need to go to work so that they can pay the bills and feed their families?  And what is it they're protesting?  Capitalism?  Good luck with that, unemployed cute college chicks.

Back to the sex games, so let me see if I understand this... American girl and Italian boy convince British girl to participate in a sex game. British girl somehow (accidentally?) dies and the other two get charged with murder.  But wait, British girl had her throat slit.  I'm confused.  We've all had our sex games scares, but none of us has ever accidentally cut anyone's throats, am I right?

I obviously don't know all the facts.

Also, if I were a young Italian boy who somehow convinced two young girls to participate in sex games there is no way in hell I'm going to condone the murder of either of the girls thereby ending the sex games arrangement.  There has got to be so much more to this story.

TV made me care about this story and I ain't gonna get any closure, am I?  I'd appreciate a TV movie or something ASAP.  Thanks.

UPDATE: The sex games was merely a theory.  One of many in this very peculiar crime.   

Friday, September 30, 2011

Look what my friend Andy found...


The Genius of Adventure Time

I can't imagine any excuse anyone would use for not watching this perfect show.

Flashdance on 15th and K

The cute jogging girl concerned with keeping her heart rate up while waiting for the light to turn was very enthusiastic about it.  I don't leer, but this chick demanded it.  I tip my hat to you, scantily clad "running" in place girl.  I'd love to hear the soundtrack of your life.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Norman

Replicants

There's this dog in our building - his name is Popo.  He's a tiny, yipping, yapping dog.  One day we saw Popo and his owner and said, "Popo looks a little different." The owner said, "Popo died."  After a few seconds of condolences, we asked, "Well then, who's this?"  And the owner said, "Popo." 

Yes, Popo is dead.  One week later a new identical dog was acquired and named Popo.  People fucking do this. 

When I was a kid, my friend Andy had a yellow Labrador named Maggie.  Maggie got hit by a car.  Soon after a new yellow Labrador was obtained and named Maggie. 

People do this.  I don't understand this.  Why do people do things I cannot understand? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ice T unboxes GoW3

Way to state the obvious, Lunch.

REM

If you were alive and driving a car between the years 1988 and 1992 then there was probably a copy of REM's Green tape somewhere in your messy car.  I wasn't a huge REM fan, but I did wear that cassette out.  Green absolutely is included on any musically discerning list of albums that made a difference in the evolution of music.  Plus, we have REM to thank for the progression of what was/is commonly called "College Radio."  After three decades of influencing most of the music world I thank REM for their contribution.

Molecules

By Jason Carlock

The train odor
is a fight between
Burning rubber and
Sweat.

Danger and
Reassurance

Death and
Chemistry.

Tonight we'll eat hamburgers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Swell Season

 From Geeks of Doom:

If you’ve never seen the indie hit Once, it’s a movie you simply have to see before you die. It’s a beautiful film with one of the greatest soundtracks ever made that tells the story of two musicians falling in love despite the complications in each of their own lives making things very difficult. And the reason the soundtrack is so good is because the two stars of Once, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, aren’t actors at all but actually very talented musicians, who were each awarded an Academy Award for their music in the film.
What those of you who have seen Once might not know, however, is that a real–life romance sparked and faded between the two and a new musical venture called The Swell Season was born.
Now it’s time for that story to be told in the new musical documentary also titled The Swell Season, which is making the festival rounds. You can see the trailer below now!

And the trailer for Once:

Them!

Random men have no qualms asking me about sporting events from nights previous. But the minute I approach someone in the men's room and say, "How about that awesome audio remastering on the new Star Wars Blu Rays?" I get tackled by the Normal Police and labeled "nerd' and "outcast."

This morning I was approached and asked if I "caught the game last night."  Even though I'm baseball fan I went ahead and assumed he meant the football game.  "Yeah, I saw a little bit of it."  And then the dude started dropping names of players on the team like he was their dad.  "Fuck, I didn't watch it THAT closely!"  (I didn't say that.)

But if you're going to ask me about Player A and Player B and what they had for breakfast and if I think Player C likes cats, I'm going to come back with "Those new Tattooine landscapes in the Blu Rays are really nice, huh?"

One more thing:  If it's acceptable for an adult to wear a football player costume (AKA jersey) any day of the week on any day of the year, I should be allowed to wear my Stormtrooper costume to the store.

Oh, and one more thing... you Fantasy Football players are only one D20 away from evolving into a wicked game of D&D. And if that happens please call me.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rare Nirvana Concert to be aired!

As part of the celebrations surrounding the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind album VH1 is airing a rare concert from 1991, on Friday, September 23 at 11:00 PM EST. If you miss it it's your own damn fault.

A 7-Year-Old Girl Reviews Justice League #1

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Music Appreciation: Summer Camp

Music Appreciation: Mr. Little Jeans

Music Appreciation: Lana Del Rey


Whatever, Trevor

There's two kinds of people in the world: People who eat disgusting green bananas, and people people who wait until they've turned a delicious speckled brown color.

There's two kinds of people in the world: People who know who played the lead in Teen Wolf Too, and morons.

There's two kinds of people in the world: People who talk on their cell phones in public, and those of us who play out fantasies in our heads where we beat the crap out of the douchebag blathering on his cell two feet away from me on the bus.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

All Aboard the Garbage Train!

What kind of person are you?

When the garbage train creaks slowly by while you're standing on the Metro platform waiting to be zipped into the city for your new day of trivialities, encasing you and everyone else within its moving radius of stench far more awful than the new car smell you're accustomed to, do you

A.  Say something loudly (and annoyingly obvious) as if the world needs one more arrogant person's commentary on what we're all painfully enduring; OR

B. Shut the fuck up and deal with it like an adult.

Yes, I recognize the irony of this post. But seriously, it's like God placed these people in my way like obstacles I have to hurdle.  Yes, we get it, you don't like the stink.  Guess what - none of us do, jackass.   Also, this is probably the first time in my ten years of using the Metro that I have experienced watching a garbage train pass by.  I think the garbage train ruined some people's days today.  "I spent too much time growing up in my affluent neighborhood and worked too hard in my expensive college earning my way into this white collar job to have to stand here and smell garbage on a Tuesday morning!" 

It's times like these, Universe, when I revert back to my mantra:

No matter how bad or rough or annoying  I think things are in life at least I haven't been floating on a life boat for thirty days fighting off sharks with an oar as they jump into my boat and try to eat me.  (Read the book Unbroken if you want some perspective in life.)

If you've had to do this at any point in your life, then please by all means complain about the smell of garbage as it's magically whisked away from your dainty fingers far, far away into a land you don't even know exists, through neighborhoods you couldn't care less about.  Assholes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Selling Terror

I did my best to avoid media coverage of 9/11 over the weekend for personal reasons.  Unfortunately, I also wanted to watch football.  The honoring that occurred on the field and whatnot was fine and dignified.  It's the commercials from giant corporations pretending to care that bothered me.  Specifically, Verizon and Budweiser. 

Who would've thunk that ten years later beer and cell phones would be utilizing one of the darkest days in our country's history to sell their product.  Actually, I expect that kind of behavior from beer.  But cell phones?! Shame on you.

If you thought for one moment those were truly sincere "messages" from our dear friends at Budweiser and Verizon you are sadly naive.  Those spots were created by advertising departments and were in fact COMMERCIALS. 

Like I wasn't bombarded enough with vivid reminders of how terrible that day was for those of us living in New York and DC on that day, I have to watch HORSES BOW and say to myself, "Wow, Budweiser cares...  Somebody hold my legs while I do a keg stand!"  I guess the fine people at Budweiser and Verizon figured, "Heck, Bush used it to win a presidency... might as well see if we can use it to sell some phones."  Disgusting.

Want to show how much you really care, giant corporations?  Instead of buying time slots during NFL games and spending money to create those lavish commercials, why not give that money to someone hurt by 9/11.  Give it to a kid who lost his dad.  Give it to a husband who lost his wife.  Someone's daughter died that day at the hands of terrorists... Bowing horses?!  Come on.

Norm!

I'm sure there's a mathematical formula for it, Pythagorean's Theory maybe, or is it Avagadros' Number which says:

If the dog AND the baby are up, then Mom and Dad are up, too. 

All for one and one for all?  Last night the fucking fire alarm went off in our condo building at 2:30 AM and we shuffled outside with some pissed off pets and offspring. Forty-five minutes later the fire department showed up to tell us we could all go back to our "rooms" as if we were living in a hotel. Of course that wasn't the end of the ordeal in our house.  Leia brings herself to the brink of a heart attack anytime the fire alarm goes off.  In her defense, it's REALLY loud. Borderline ear-damaging. So Leia spent the rest of the night pacing and panting and making sure I didn't accidentally doze off during her "watch." 

I did manage to catch a bit of an early Cheers episode when Coach was still alive.  That was nice.  I miss the Coach.  He was funny.  I miss Cheers.  Why won't TV make more shows like Cheers?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Generations

My Nerdish readers already know that this is an eventful month in the comic book world. DC Comics (of Superman and Batman fame) decided after 70+ years of existence to reboot ALL of their titles. So, all of the big name DC Comic superhero comic books start over at #1 this month. As you can imagine, collectors (and fans) are frothing at the mouth to get their orange-dusted fingers on these (hopefully) soon-to-be valuable comic books.  (Of course, we might have to wait another 70 years before we can cash them in to buy that houseboat we always dreamed of living on...)

Yesterday I picked up "my comics" for the week which included Action Comics #1 (Superman) and Detective Comics #1 (Batman).  Those two books sold out early in the day, but I had the foresight to add them to my "pull list."  (Pull List = If you pledge to become a regular at a comic book store they will reserve your favorite comic books for you to pick up at your leisure. It also earns you the perk of being addressed by name when you enter the store. "Norm!").

Coincidentally, I took James to the comic book store last night and wheeled his stroller into the crowded mob of young and old alike, all feverish to get their hands on some #1's.  From what I could gather, only the guy with the baby stroller (me) was smart enough to reserve these books in advance and I walked out with the highly-sought after comic books. 

Then suddenly as I was leaving the comic book store, the nerd mob began yelling, "There he goes! Get him!" and they started running toward me.  Fortunately, James' stroller is a 'jogger' and I started pushing him at a full sprint as the torch-wielding mob (where'd they get torches?) closed in on me.

"Burn in Hell, nerds! You won't get my Action Comics #1 and my Detective Comics #1!"  James dutifully held on to my comic stash as we made our way to our trusty Camry and sped off.

None of that happened. Actually, a very nice, overweight, ironic t-shirt wearing high school kid held the door open for me as I pushed the stroller out of the store.

I've always been proud to say that my dad took me to see Star Wars when I was 4-years-old even though I don't remember it; likewise, James can maybe someday say, "My dad took me to the comic book store the day Action Comics #1 was released."   


Even the Smallest Paradise

By CJ Evans


The women in pencil
skirts spill from towers
and let down all
their disarming hair.
They hold caramel
glasses of whiskey
with sweet vermouth
as men with undone
cuffs speak something
secretive into the felt-
lined boxes of their
ears. The thunder
of planes is ignored,
and the four o'clock
flowers are fully
open. Their laughter
is a siren, echoing
among the buildings.
And they don't look
as the white parachutes
drift down to them
like dandelion seeds.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Welcome Back, Comics!

Look, there are some things I can't stay away from. And I should at least be given some credit for trying to eliminate this hobby from my life...

Over the weekend I went back to my local comic book store and rejoined my nerdy brethren after a hiatus that lasted a surprising two years. I feel no shame or regret. I love everything about comics.

Here's my over-simplified justification for getting back into comics (AKA spending the money on comics) (in case someone I'm married to happens to be reading this):
  • I rarely drink alcohol. Imagine the money saved there.
  • I no longer smoke cigarettes. The cost of my old 2 pack a day habit would be astronomical today!
  • I don't golf. I'm not knocking golf, but I know it can be an expensive sport/hobby.
  • I don't want/need to drive an expensive car.
  • I make my own coffee at home every morning and take it to work in a thermos. 
  • I take my lunch to work every day. (With lunch and coffee I'm already saving hundreds per month!)
  • The only tropical vacations I take are the ones in my mind when I'm staring at the Islands 2011 calendar in my cubicle.
  • I plan on giving all my comic books to my son, who I hope will also develop an appreciation for the genre.
  • I use public transportation for my daily commute to and from work saving money on gas and parking.
  • I read e-books which saves me money on buying physical copies of books. 
  • I fashion all my clothes from leaves, sticks, and grass I gather from the forest floor.
  • I build my own electronics from paper clips, rubber bands, and anything else I find laying around on the floor at work.
  • Instead of buying new shoes I target unsuspecting people on the street and mug them for their shoes.
  • I operate a meth lab in an old RV in the desert of New Mexico.
So as you can see I have been saving money in various ways in my life and the re-introduction of buying comic books shouldn't have that much of an impact on my wallet. Also, comic books are cool, duh.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lynette's New Toy

Lynette treated herself (rightfully) to a new camera yesterday.  She wanted something more substantial than her old Elph, but not quite as "big" as a DSLR.  So she choose the Canon SX30 IS

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Music Appreciation: Adele


Get More: 2011 VMA, Music, Adele


Yes, MTV is a mockery. Personally, I think the M should be removed from the channel name. Or replaced with an S for Shit.  And then there's the Video Music Awards which the channel still clings to for some reason given the blatant absence of "music" or videos from their channel. I won't lie, some special moments have happened during past VMAs, historic moments. But as I attempted to watch this year's "show" I couldn't help but feel embarrassed for poor MTV.   What a joke our "music industry" has become!  When Lady Gaga carted out Brian May during her opening number I thought to myself not only do the kids watching this have no idea who this geezer is, but probably neither do their parents! (He was the guitarist for Queen. Kind of a big deal.)  Performer after performer sang their current hits and danced some choreographed ditty with fire and lights and explosions and tits and ass and hot lava and not a single one actually meant anything.  Not to me, at least. Not until Adele sang. Please note the gregarious omission of special effects and gimmicks as you allow this song to penetrate your soul and break your heart.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Scorecard

Since moving to the east coast we've endured
  • 1 earthquake
  • 2 hurricanes
  • 1 terrorist attack
  • 1 serial killing sniper
  • 2 presidential elections
Ironically, the biggest thing I miss about the Chicagoland area is pizza, and the food in general. Oh, yeah, and friends and family. They're important, too. (Wink.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fortune

The hurricane is coming!  I don't know how much time I have left before the power goes out.  But in case I don't make it through the storm I wanted to tell you where I've hidden the secret treasure. I put it underneath the

Thursday, August 25, 2011

For a good time call Irene


You know what, this whole internet thing is really starting to mess with me.  Due to flooding in Puerto Rico someone captured on video a freaking SHARK swimming down the STREET.  

Shark. Street.

Goodbye. I'll be holed up in my second floor condo for the next few days.  Of course I'll be safe from sharks, but EARTHQUAKES, not so much.  Come on! If a fucking snake slithers out of my toilet I'm gonna lose it, man. Or if a single frog falls from the sky, it's over man. Game over. 

I'm not done reliving the experience of an earthquake yet.  And now there's a HURRICANE on its way.  Where the hell do I live?!  I'm still trying to figure out how to pick up my son from daycare in a timely manner every night... and now I have to worry about sharks in the street?  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Shaky Weather

On Sunday, Leia acted peculiar. Panting and trembling like she does during a thunderstorm. Except on this day the skies were blue and the Sun was shining like it does on any typical beautiful day. I figured she heard some heavy truck rumble past the house or had a nightmare and dismissed it.

Then on Monday, she did it again. Panting, breathing hard, tail between her legs, fearful. I got worried. She's eight years old and I got worried that she was having heart problems or worse. We contemplated making an appointment with the vet.

Yesterday, at about 10:30 AM she was lying on the floor shaking.  This time I knew something was definitely amiss with my dog. I readied my mind for the harsh realities of life and began to assume she was having some serious health issues.

Then at about ten minutes to 2:00 PM, the house started shaking. The walls made a series of booming, banging noises like one hundred children were running in the halls above.  Then the floor shimmied like the rug was literally being pulled out from under my feet.  I noticed the water in our aquariums sploshing out from side to side. A picture fell from our wall and crashed to the floor. The best description I can come up with is bouncing.  Our building was bouncing.

Thirty seconds later it stopped.  Immediately I got a text from Lynette: "Earthquake!"

After my adrenaline settled and I got my bearings I looked down at Leia and realized she knew it was coming.  I said to her, "You knew."  And she wagged her tail.

Morale of the story: Listen to your dog, man. She knows a hell of a lot more than you do.

Monday, August 22, 2011

King of Pain

Photo by Chris Buck, Life Magazine

Tommy Boy was on TV over the weekend. I can't watch it without getting angry at how many Farley/Spade movies we've been robbed of.  Sometimes death really sucks, man.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sometimes it finds you

While adding more items to the remote storage unit to make more room for James a copy of The Beat Reader fell out of my trunk and opened to this page. (I see what you did there, Universe.)

Food Fight!

In the war (war?) between Anthony Bourdain and Paula Deen (There's a war between Anthony Bourdain and Paula Deen?) I wholeheartedly side with Tony.

My hatred (hatred?) of Paula goes back a ways. One only has to be in my home when her show comes on. I can't turn the channel fast enough. Yes, her food is dangerously unhealthy, but that's not my problem. It's her "personality." Acting like a drunk Southerner ain't funny and it ain't cool. (You know she lives in upstate New York, right?)

Anyway, Bourdain is a bit of a douche, but he at least acknowledges the ridiculousness of the recent crop of food celebrities that the Wal-mart crowd has exalted. Are there any shows left on Food Network that's actually only really about the food?  Alton Brown's contribution maybe. But his show has ended. (Not enough butter, I guess.)  Sure Rachel Ray is nice and cute and all, but do we really have to call sandwiches "sammies"?  Did that word need to be shortened?  Really?  If I hear one person in real life call it a "sammie" they're going to get one heck of a stink eye from me.

I like food and cooking shows. I have an interest in learning how to cook better food the right way. Dear Food Network: I do not own a deep fryer. And I can give two shits about motherlovin' "cupcake wars."  Just cook some freakin' food and end these lame "cake challenges" and competitions where a couple of poor fools have to impress some snooty judges that they were able to make a dessert out of eggplant and peanut shells.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Yes, I am an English Major!


Peaceful Tunneling

I got to the train early this morning. Predawn.  It was beautiful. I got to see the sunrise over National Airport. And the people on the train at 6:00 AM are different... Lovely maybe. Content. Happy. Grateful to be alive and carried to their job in a big metal tube while no one tries to smoosh them up against the window like those 7:00 AM heathens like to do.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hipster Ipsum

Squid salvia master cleanse brooklyn, raw denim aesthetic blog iphone fixie. Farm-to-table scenester VHS next level, biodiesel vice twee stumptown hoodie helvetica cosby sweater trust fund. Cosby sweater artisan sartorial etsy single-origin coffee art party, pitchfork cred stumptown skateboard readymade mlkshk ethical terry richardson. Vegan VHS skateboard raw denim cred. American apparel tofu iphone homo. Brooklyn 3 wolf moon keytar skateboard leggings. Sustainable scenester gluten-free, thundercats gentrify put a bird on it mlkshk 8-bit stumptown viral wayfarers cosby sweater wolf mcsweeney's food truck.

Mcsweeney's hoodie raw denim wes anderson, biodiesel readymade scenester you probably haven't heard of them lomo carles skateboard mustache leggings ethical. Retro carles wolf, dreamcatcher marfa butcher skateboard. Brooklyn seitan american apparel twee leggings. Chambray you probably haven't heard of them PBR, biodiesel tumblr gentrify next level sartorial whatever. Thundercats keytar put a bird on it ethical sartorial, jean shorts chambray high life synth stumptown food truck 3 wolf moon quinoa. Food truck readymade wayfarers, art party banh mi blog cardigan letterpress scenester shoreditch squid four loko quinoa brunch helvetica. You probably haven't heard of them vinyl irony brooklyn hoodie, +1 carles cred bicycle rights wes anderson viral high life shoreditch mustache.

Create your own HERE

Sunday, August 14, 2011

SW on BR

There's only one way you can prove your love to me...

(Cine)

The Dreamers directed by Bernardo Burtolucci with Eva Green and Michael Pitt. Trailer:



This came on IFC very late last night and I instantly fell into it.  I remember the controversial NC-17 rating is received in 2003, but never realized how great this film is.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

What my coffee barista drew on my coffee this morning...

LINK

38 Special

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

Today is my 38th birthday.  Though I will not be giving any speeches or attending any parties in my honor.  Just once I'd like someone dressed in a wizard outfit to light off fireworks on my birthday! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Ladies

The gal on the left is mine. Won her in game of poker in Cody, Wyoming, 1996. If you look close you can still see the blood stains from that night and harrowing escape I made with this beauty under my arm. No, wait. I bought it from my pal Marx for $25.

Five A M looks like

That stingy sensation in your eyes when you've only gotten three and a half hours sleep because you had to wake up to drive your mother and sister to the airport so they can finally go home after having their flight cancelled yesterday due to mechanical problems.

Upside: I dug out an old guitar from storage last night and Kristin restrung it and we discovered it sounds great. (Marx, if you're reading this I bought this guitar from you for $25 back in 1996 and you said you'd give me my money back if I ever 1. wrote a song, and 2. performed it in front of an audience.  Start saving your money, Marcus, because JC's coming for you (with a six string on his back).)

Upside #2: While driving to pick up last night's dinner, Lynette and I decided to make Kristin (aka: Auntie K) James' Godmother.  It was a no brainer after witnessing how those two connected this week. The announcement was made over lo mein and rice noodles.  Tears were shed.

None of this would have happened if Friday's plane hadn't malfunctioned. Just sayin.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Headless Fridays

Shirt's too big.  Hopefully, that'll be my biggest problem today.  And honestly, it's not really a problem. Because anyone who's ever worn a big shirt will tell you, it's pretty gosh darn comfortable.  Right now I'd settle for, "Wow, that guy looks comfortable," versus, "Wow, that fat guy's shirt is too small!"  It's my current shape so I've got to make it work somehow.  If it were one of the colder seasons I'd go with a closet full of hockey jerseys. 

Remember when I told you my boss quit about a month ago. Well, now my boss's boss quit yesterday.  I'm this close to standing on my cubicle desk and declaring myself emperor.  Gonna usurp this bitch up in here.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Music Appreciation: Richard Buckner

Richard Buckner holds a dear place in my heart for reasons I don't have time to explain. His new album "Our Blood" came out this week and as expected it's hauntingly beautiful.  Have I ever told you about the time I saw him play at Iota (Arlington, VA) and was transported to a different plane of existence? Or when I got to see him open for one of my favorite bands (Son Volt) in St. Louis?  Here's a video of him covering an eternal Joy Division song: 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Carnal Apple, Woman Filled, Burning Moon

By Pablo Neruda

Carnal apple Woman filled, burning moon,
dark smell of seaweed, crush of mud and light,
what secret knowledge is clasped between your pillars?
What primal night does Man touch with his senses?
Ay, Love is a journey through waters and stars,
through suffocating air, sharp tempests of grain:
Love is a war of lightning,
and two bodies ruined by a single sweetness.
Kiss by kiss I cover your tiny infinity,
your margins, your rivers, your diminutive villages,
and a genital fire, transformed by delight,
slips through the narrow channels of blood
to precipitate a nocturnal 
carnation,
to be, and be nothing but light in the dark.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Topography

By Sharon Olds

After we flew across the country we
got in bed, laid our bodies
delicately together, like maps laid
face to face, East to West, my
San Francisco against your New York, your
Fire Island against my Sonoma, my
New Orleans deep in your Texas, your Idaho
bright on my Great Lakes, my Kansas
burning against your Kansas your Kansas
burning against my Kansas, your Eastern
Standard Time pressing into my
Pacific Time, my Mountain Time
beating against your Central Time, your
sun rising swiftly from the right my
sun rising swiftly from the left your
moon rising slowly form the left my
moon rising slowly form the right until
all four bodies of the sky
burn above us, sealing us together,
all our cities twin cities,
all our states united, one
nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Beer Bottle

By Charles Bukowski

A very miraculous thing just happened
My beer bottle flipped over backwards
And landed on its bottom on the floor
And I have set it upon the table to foam down
But the photos were not so lucky today
And there is a small slit on the leather of my left shoe
But it’s all very simple
We can not acquire too much
There are laws we no nothing of
All manners of nudges set us to burning or freezing

What sets the blackbird in the cats’ mouth is not for us to say
Or why some men are jailed like pet squirrels
While others nuzzle enormous breasts through endless nights
This is the task and the terror and we are not taught why

Still, yes still, it’s lucky the bottle landed straight side up
And although I have one of wine and one of whiskey
This foresooth somehow a good night
And perhaps tomorrow my nose will be longer
New shoes
Less rain
More poems

Sunday, July 31, 2011

She being brand new


By e.e. cummings

she being Brand
-new;and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having
thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.
K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her
up,slipped the
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
kicked what
the hell)next
minute i was back in neutral tried and
again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my
lev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
second-in-to-high like
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity
avenue i touched the accelerator and give
her the juice,good
(it
was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on
the
internalexpanding
&
externalcontracting
brakes Bothatonce and
brought allofher tremB
-ling
to a:dead.
stand-
;Still)





Thursday, July 28, 2011

Okayfellas

I didn't think I was in the bathroom that long, but when I came back to my desk there were two bootleg movies of some recent theatrical releases sitting next to my keyboard.  I quickly slid them into my bag and looked around.  No one made eye contact with me.  I have no idea who put there here.  Is this a turning point in my life? Am I starting down that shady road of back alley dealings and quick hand-offs in a crowded food court?  Will the made-for-TV movie of my life decide this was when it all started going downhill?

I wonder who will play me...