Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
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.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
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
Thursday, December 15, 2011
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
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
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
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.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
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
Monday, November 28, 2011
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
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:
- Chicago Bears
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
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.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
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
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
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
First, I'll need to choose three friends to come live like Entourage with me...
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Speaking of Thanksgiving... How about that kick ass green bean casserole! Yeah!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
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
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
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, 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.
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
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
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
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.
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
Thursday, September 29, 2011
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
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
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:
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.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
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.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
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
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.
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?
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
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."
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
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.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
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
- 1 earthquake
- 2 hurricanes
- 1 terrorist attack
- 1 serial killing sniper
- 2 presidential elections
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
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
Saturday, August 20, 2011
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
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
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Sunday, August 14, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
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
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
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
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
|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
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
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
Sunday, July 31, 2011
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
minute i was back in neutral tried and
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on
brakes Bothatonce and