Monday, November 05, 2007

Darth Mark

LJ and I threw a Halloween party last weekend. Too bad it was the weekend after Halloween, so the turn out wasn’t great, but that wasn’t the reason we threw it after all. Some of you may already know this, but for like the last year LJ has been working on a costume for me. “A year!?” you might exclaim. Yes, well perfection takes a while.

You see last year LJ made a Mary Poppins outfit that was bang-on perfect. She sewed together a skirt and a jacket. She knitted a scarf and even went to thrift stores to find just the right hat to then craft into looking exactly like the one Julie Andrews wore in the movie. It looked so good that she even got herself a parrot head umbrella to complete the ensemble. After her success with that she asked if I wanted a costume.

Seeing her prowess behind a sewing machine I knew that I could ask for damn near anything and it would be brilliant, so I asked for the best costume ever…Darth Maul. This turned out to be no easy feat. Not only did this costume require watching Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (the worst of all the Star Wars movies) over and over, it also required gathering little bits of costume data from across the net. You see while Mary Poppins was tricky to make there is about a zero percent chance that a fat, acne scared, virgin Poppins fanatic would pick apart her costume until she snapped. While Star Wars on the other hand is serious nerd territory and if I dawned this costume at any “Con” ever, or just walked past someone who knows what a Con is I would be subject to the strictest reticule. This really put the pressure on to make it exact.

Not to mention the different disciplines this costume required. There was fabric that had to look and flow a certain way. No patterns to go off of and a fair amount of leather work. Not to mention that I would have to wear full head prosthetics and make-up. LJ had to make a body mold of me to work on all the various robes while I was on my sessions. She actually got the whole thing finished the day of the party and I had a friend come over to do my make-up. We started at about 5pm and got done right at 8 (party time). The results? Spectacular. I was photographed all night and people kept asking about my costume. LJ and Nate (the friend) took great pride in this and rightfully so. For my part, I was able to sit still for three hours while having make-up applied, have the right body type, look menacing and kill people with the force.

Oh, I may have neglected to mention but my eyes weren’t photo shopped I am wearing prescription yellow and red contacts. They are great. I can drive or fight Jedi with them in. Since LJ was making the costume so precisely I felt a desire to help complete it with a perfect prop light saber. I had a guy make it for me out of condensed aluminum. Yes, it cost a lot, but damn it, if you are going to go through all the trouble of getting the make-up on, wearing special contacts and having the perfect costume why would you ruin it with some crappy knock-off, plastic toy? This beauty will be mounted on my wall next to all my other swords. Hell, the clasp on my belt is even movie correct.

So anyway, here are some of the pictures taken early on that night because we were worried about my paint coming off; it didn’t by the way.







Monday, October 08, 2007

Merry Halloween!

I am disgusted; there I said it. The feeling has been mounting year after year, until now it has come to a head. As with most things I was able to bottle up my growing rage inside so that I could release it at an appropriate moment like at a girl scout selling cookies or at the teenager handing my food over at the drive through. Yet, now I feel it’s my duty to address the problem strait on.

Christmas has crossed the line! In years past Christmas was held firmly in the later weeks of November and into December. Now though, when LJ and I went to check out the Halloween display at Target we were greeted with massive displays of tacky Santa Clauses in glittering lights situated just behind the paltry Halloween display. Like the loud drunk at a holiday party begging for your attention just behind your friend that you haven’t seen in a while. It is unbelievable to me that Christmas decorations were put on the shelves in the late weeks of September and will remain there slowly engulfing other holiday displays, like a growing cancer, until December is over. That’s over three months! More than a quarter of the year!

I can’t speak for everyone, but I love every holiday individually. Halloween is probably my favorite though. So, this is a call to arms to all my fellow Halloween’ers (that didn’t sound right). Maybe we should call ourselves something else…like…pumpkin fuckers; I’ll keep working on it. Anyway, we need to send a message to Christmas by kidnapping Santa, tying him up and taking over his holiday. Hmmm, sounds like a Tim Burton movie plot. Maybe instead we should just spray paint all the tacky decorations black and hang little jack-o-lanterns from the fake trees. We can beat the store managers with large sacks of candy or dead cats and do the thriller dance in the parking lots of all major retailers, before the cops show up.

I like that way better. Screw Christmas! We need more holidays with a tinge of the macabre. Maybe we should start hanging decorations for other holidays that have a slight morbidity. Like nooses around the necks of leprechauns or an evil looking bunny carrying severed heads in its basket. Christmas is pretty good already, though we’d have to use nailed up on a cross Jesus, instead of baby Jesus. Now that’s grisly.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Tap’s Run Dry

My mother keeps bugging me to write more in my blog. I must confess that I would like to as well, yet every time I sit down to do it I hit a block. A writer’s block. LJ thinks I’m just out of practice and maybe she’s right. She says that when I was writing every week I was brimming with creative juices. That from putting my brain in a regular creative flow kept the ideas poring from my fingers and onto the page.

I don’t really know what got me out of the routine. Maybe I got bored. Maybe my life got too hectic. Still, I can remember coming up with terrific ideas and actually being eager to sit down and type it up. I would be chilling with friends or riding in the car and I’d think, “Holy jeeze, that would make a great post.” Now though, I don’t even think about it. I might start a blog and then decide it’s not a very good subject or that I am not giving it justice on paper. So, hopefully this might start some new flow of creative inspiration.

There are just so many things going on right now. I am still saving for the gun I want. I did a civil war reenactment; as a private in the CSA. I quit my old job and went to work with my old employer and I’m getting all sorts of job offers from other archaeological firms. I started smoking again (hold your indignant harrumphing). I had TMJ and went to the hospital. And I got all my friends here into paintball. See? Lots of stuff going on.

Not to mention all the stuff going on in our country and the world. The candidates for president (pretty much all of whom I have contempt for). The housing market. Our sinking relations with the rest of the world. I mean there is some fantastic literary fodder to be talking about and still nothing.

Hell, even now as I sit here typing this up I can’t wait to be done with it. What the hell? Ya know, about once a year I sit down and flick through some of my old posts. Yeah, yeah I know; sounds a bit narcissistic doesn’t it? Honestly though, I do it to get inspiration or to see how I typed things up. It’s kinda like rereading an old diary. It gives you a feel for the time. Maybe I need to be less concerned with quality and just focus on getting a complete thought out. So, here is my promise to you, the eager reader. I will try and post something once a week until I get my mojo back. You’ll have to excuse any poor writing or not so clever posts as I’m sure it may take a while to get back into the swing, but I’ll try. So, next week…new post.

Oh, and if you guys got some good ideas on subjects then leave ‘em in a comment. I won’t promise to use them, but maybe it’ll help.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Freakin' Causes

I was listening to NPR recently when I heard a story that made me think about “causes”. It seems that Green Peace in their patchouli smelling and eco-addled brains decided to beat their heads against a wall by building a re-creation of Noah’s Ark on top of Mt. Ararat (the supposed landing zone of the “real” Noah’s Ark). Like, ya know, to like totally raise awareness of like global warming ‘n stuff…man. I just love it when groups decide they need to “raise awareness”. It’s like listening to someone telling you something everyone already knows while jerking their protester comrade off. “Hey man, did you know that like running your car burns gas. Hey, don’t get any in my dreads bro!” Nobody wants to hear it and really nobody wants to have to see it.

Kinda like how PETA has decided to spin its wheels by holding a public protest outside a fur farm in Texas. “Well, what’s so bad about that”, you might be asking; the simple fact that all of them will be naked and covered in red paint. “Again, what’s so bad about that?” Think about it. It’ll be a bunch of malnourished, aging, hairy (because as you know they are pro-fur not anti-fur), angry protesters. Probably with a good amount of dudes in there too, and no one needs to see that.

Remember “Hands Across America? It was that nationwide stunt that sparked our country into dramatic and everlasting action to fight hunger and homelessness. Yeah, remember hunger and homelessness? Whew, sure glad that we stomped those two things out; now lets all go out for free ice cream. The whole event did about as much good as pissing into the wind.

I just feel that all these groups don’t get it. We all fucking know about “Global Warming”. You doing some stupid, ill-conceived stunt isn’t going to hammer it home anymore. We all know that you morons hate fur. But what you want is for people to join your bandwagon and not just decide that being naked and covered in paint is the surest way to have all your friends thinking you’re “special”. Finally, some notion that you are going to end something (hunger) that has been around since the earth started to spin, just by holding fucking hands is about as nuts as thinking you can slow down time by spinning. I tried that when I was like eight and let me tell you from experience, it will only work for couple of seconds at best.

Still, I felt like there was probably a buck to be made here. I mean how much do you think those Prius’s and Patagonia shirts cost? It’s expensive to be a sanctimonious hippy. So, I handed the job over to my Half-Assed Innovations crew, remember them, to see what they could come up with; and I have to admit they really surprised me.

Let me introduce “The Exercise in Futility: Exercycle”. For the angry protester who wants to fight the causes (to as much effect) from the comfort of their own home. The Futility-Exercycle comes complete with “wheels to spin” to no practical result. Other than maybe the repetitive and possibly brain damaging movement of the plate that will give you the very real sensation of repeatedly “beating your head against a wall”. And lastly, the pedal motion turns a tiny generator that will operate a small, but powerful, electric fan; so that one might bask in the spraying droplets of your very own urine whilst “pissing into the wind”! All components of the Futility-Exercylce are made from recycled nothing. That’s right none of it is recycled at all. The best part of all though is that all of the proceeds go to fighting need. My need! Of stuff like video games and guns and like sports cars.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Clint Eastwood, Eat Your Heart Out

I have been saving my pennies for a while now; ever since last year in fact. Right now I have around $600 at my disposal. That is enough to buy a Play Station 3 (the nice one) or maybe a good tattoo and even a spiffy new snowboard. However, I have fallen head over heals with the idea of getting a gun.

Not just any gun mind you. What I want is a Schofield, model 3, top-break, .45 colt pistol. This was one of the first guns to ever be manufactured to fire cartridges. Before that revolvers had to be arduously loaded one cylinder at a time with powder, wadding and shot. This gun (the model 3) was modified by General Schofield to break forward while simultaneously ejecting all spent shells to allow for a faster reload and greater access to all cylinders at the same time. Wild Bill Hickock had one; Jesse James carried two and it’s said the Wyatt Earp used one in the shootout at the O.K. Coral. Hell, my hero Indian Jones packed one in “The last Crusade”. It is an amazing gun. Enough of me blathering on though.

So, cognizant of the fact that I have never purchased a gun and that I had no ideas of what the laws were in regards to where I could carry and fire it, I decided to do a little research. Now, anyone reading this from the east coast or California needs to prepare for a shock. There are almost no laws in Nevada for guns in general. Not just hand guns, but any guns. You could buy a Tommy gun an M16 or an Uzi if you so desired. “Well maybe but you can’t carry those nasty guns anywhere” you might be thinking. Not so! I can buy the .45 caliber hand-cannon I was just talking about, load it, then strap it to my hip and go to the mall to get a smoothie! Let me tell you there is nothing as satisfying as sippin’ down a “Berry Blast with energy boost” and packing iron at the same time. Where can I fire it? Anywhere, as long as I’m a mile from any buildings and so forth.

The only stipulations on the laws that I could find was that you couldn’t carry your gun into any building that is governmental, has metal detectors, a school, or has a sign that says no guns allowed (of which I have seen none). That said; you can strap on your favorite piece, march right into Barnes and Nobel and head strait to the harlequin western novels. Oh, almost forgot. You don’t need to wait to buy a gun. If I’m out getting bed sheets at Target and decide “Shit, you know I think I should get a 50 caliber Desert Eagle at the corner gun store on the way back home”, I can. No waiting periods! God bless Nevada. I may have even enticed LJ into getting a gun for herself. She may want a colt pistol and a lever action rifle. I love that girl.

We went to In-N-Out to get a milk shake the other day and this kid sitting at the table next to us was talking to his brother. I wasn’t really paying attention until I heard him proclaim loudly “I’m the sheriff!” At this point LJ and I locked eyes for a moment. It was plain that we were both thinking the same thing so I vocalized it. I uttered softly “I’m the Sheriff.” Well maybe not yet but soon…soon.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Kill Yourself

‘Cause No One Else is Gonna Do it for Ya

Don’t think you can handle one more pointless office meeting? Co-workers really, really, getting on your nerves? Someone ate your lunch, again! Time to do yourself a favor…and die.

LJ and I were web surfing today when we came across this fun game on [adult swim] dotcom. I love the premise. You have to find a way of killing yourself before time runs out and you have to go to another office meeting. Brilliant! We spent a good thirty minutes playing. I managed to off myself in only two trys. Method? Lets just say impaled with an umbrella. Give it a quick try and see. We loved it.

Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Watch Cho’ Mouth

Now, I don’t know if you would consider me an experienced husband. I’ve only been married for about four years. Still, I feel I have seen just about everything when it comes to causes, and possible escapes from, arguments with my spouse. Even with all of my vast experience, whit and charm I still find myself tripping over an awkwardly phrased statement once in a while. Oh yes, I have enough foresight to stay away from certain “hot subjects”, unless I’m actually looking for a fight that is. However, every once in a while my internal diplomat takes leave and my personality and my mouth are left to ride roughshod over any conversational topics. I make mention of this because I got into trouble a few days ago over something as innocent as cookies.
LJ, at my insisting, made some delicious oatmeal raisin cookies. It was the first time she had ever made these particular kinds of cookies so she was a bit nervous over how they would come out.
*Note: all that follows is my uneducated, stupid, and tasteless opinion. It should not reflect on the actual yumminess of the cookies in question. I am a dumb ol’ guy with dumb ol’ guy opinions.
The first batch tasted awesome, yet they were still kinda soft (think of half baked cookie dough). She added some flour and tried again. This batch was pretty much the right consistency, if a little “bready”, but the spices were now off due to the extra flour. The third batch was adjusted to have more spices and ended up being a little overpowering. When LJ asked how they tasted I said something like “Great! I love them. Thanks for making them”. To my almost immediate sorrow this simple assertion, while well intentioned, was spoken with just a hint of falsehood.
I, like most men, can sense when I’ve fucked up before a word is spoken. It is similar to the sensation you get on a trampoline. You are headed up and everything is great, but then gravity takes hold and you start heading down, down, down. You can just feel it in your gut. I imagine ‘Scooter’ Libby felt much the same way when he was told he had to go back to court to explain some inconsistencies in his former testimony.
“What was that supposed to mean?” “What was ‘what’ supposed to mean?” I asked in the most futile of male time-buying statements. “That tone.” At this point I knew I was busted. It was time for damage assessment and control. There was just one problem though, my god damned internal diplomat was AWOL and I was on my own. “Well, the cookies are good. They really are. They’re just not the best I’ve ever had.”
Don’t start. I already know. I knew as the words were coming out of my mouth like dripping napalm. I just couldn’t stop. It was like watching a car with no brakes barreling down a hill. You know it won’t end well, but you’re on the edge of your seat to see just how bad it will be. The answer; bad. I don’t need to go into the rest. You all know. There was screaming, heartfelt reassurances, veiled and not so veiled threats concluding with an uncomfortable cease fire.
The resolution reads like a declaration of surrender. 1) I had to take all the remaining cookies to work to pass out and then report on all the compliments they received. 2) I may never get oatmeal raisin cookies again. 3) I have to be “on top” for the foreseeable future and maybe longer. All things considered I feel like I got off easy. I could be eating Ramen Noodles right now in a cheap motel room. It is just remarkable how a simple tone and then a thoughtless chain of words can lead to a total breakdown in communication. After that phrase was uttered it was Armageddon. Thing is, I’m not so sure that this will ever end. I can easily see my dad and my grandfather enduring the same reprimands to much the same effect. LJ will get pissed at me for using the wrong tone when referring to her cooking at age, like, eighty and I’ll never have stuffed manicotti again. Oh well, at least she’ll still be cooking.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Bye Bye Iraq

Ok, I didn’t wanna get into this. Really, I was trying to avoid this subject on my blog for the last, like, four years. However, with the inevitable folding of the democrats and the mountain of money they have begrudgingly handed over to our president, I feel I have to vent. Yeah I must once again shout into the wind only to have my voice met with a few sardonic replies and then be cast into the vacuous nothing that is the blog-asphere.

Well here it is anyway; the war in Iraq is stupid. It’s dumb on so many different levels that I will surely miss some points, but I will strive to hit the big ones. Also, realize that any argument you may hear on FOX NEWS (the leader in US propaganda) about why we need to be there is based on Rupert Murdock’s perverted sense of blood lust.

9/11 was one of the worst days in American history. Many people died in a horrible attack which was carried out with guerilla style tactics that we were, honestly, just not prepared for. I don’t even blame Bush for sitting in that classroom and continuing to read to those children. None of us would have wanted to be that man, at that time, on that day. But action had to be taken, and the American people wanted retribution. The president had to do something. Unfortunately, for most of the rest of the world and especially for us, he chose to rally the troops and run strait at Iraq in a huge hurry.

Here’s where it gets weird. He had video tapped confessions (hell, boasts) from this asshole named Osama bin laden who was implicated by the previous administration and who had been in the terrorist game for a while. Yet, the president had to carefully construct evidence in the form of yellow cake, WMD’s, aluminum tubes, and an asshole dictator to coerce a war on a country that either was only loosely involved or not involved at all with the whole thing. Why? I don’t speak for everybody, and I wouldn’t presume to, but I think most everyone would have been happy to go after Osama bin laden rather than topple Iraq. Frankly, I was a bit confused when the president said we were going to war in Iraq. Didn’t we just get hit with airplanes flown by terrorists? We didn’t get shot at with WMD’s. So, after all the other trumped up crap gets defunked what was the reason for going into Iraq?

Iraq harbors and promotes terrorists.” Well what country doesn’t? Ireland has the I.R.A., Sri Lanka has the Tamil Tigers, Libya has Muammar Qadaffi, and the list goes on. Now, before you start thinking that we are any better realize that America has been using the Special Forces to train foreign nationals to use guerrilla warfare for years. We have been the most active nation in the world for aiding and sponsoring global terrorism and we have been doing it long before Al Qaeda. “Oh, but we do it for the good of blah, blah, blah…” yeah, let Sheppard Smith read you another bedtime story. What this boils down to is that we are trying to pull the strings of other governments and in the process we are killing innocent people. It doesn’t make it any less our responsibility just because someone else is pulling the trigger. I won’t even get into the whole thing with Posada. Yes America, you are as guilty if not guiltier as Iraq was supposed to be.

“Well, Leaving Sadam in charge of Iraq? That would have been a better option?” (Sigh) Ok, Sadam was a fucker, but there are a lot of fuckers out there. Have we invaded North Korea, Sudan, or any other country that has some fucker dictator? No! We made Iraq that lucky country. Now, I think we may have lost sight here. Sadam killed a lot of people and he needed to come to some sort of justice. However, now there are daily bombings in the streets. Militias are running the cities with their own brand of thug-law and death squads roam around unchecked torturing and murdering hundreds. Then there are all the atrocities our poor soldiers have committed. I’m not saying they’re all bad, but I am saying that given a crazy lawless situation where there is no infrastructure to administer any reciprocity and some bad apples are going to do some bad things. In the process they are going to make us look bad. Bam! You have just lost the high ground America. I won’t go into the humanitarian abuses at the prisons.

“Well what should we do? Stop fighting over there so they can attack us back here in The States?” I love this argument. The complete lack of logic with a sweet luster of irrationality and followed with just a hint of denial…ahhhh, like fine wine. What the hell idiot? Let me make an analogy for you. You love your back porch. It is a comfortable, pleasant place to be. Then one day you get bitten by a mosquito and it welts up and itches. Now, what would most people do? Would they buy a citronella candle or maybe put up some screens to lessen the likelihood of getting bitten again? Well no, apparently they hire some high school kids from down the street to stand around in the backyard swatting at the little bastards day and night. Oh, and best of all, you get the local retard to manage the whole operation from beside you on the porch. Never mind it is costing a freakin’ fortune and all the kids are managing to do is get tired, sweaty, homesick and lose blood. You should defiantly just keep doing it. I mean, it should work…some day…right?

Here’s the thing. England was fighting with us and they got bombed by extremists. Spain was bombed too, and I guarantee to you right here and now that some day we will be bombed again. So, there is no way that by fighting a war somewhere else, the people you are fighting against will be less pissed at you. Try and understand that when people get pissed, they are more likely to bomb you.

So, now that we are there and haven’t found WMD’s and toppled a government, are we safe? Fuck no; Bin laden is still out there Al Qaeda is still operating (stronger than ever I might add) and most of the Middle East is emboldened to fight against the western occupiers. All we have achieved is to make ourselves look dumb and arrogant to the rest of the world. Oh, and we know, for sure, that Iran and North Korea are making nuclear weapons. So, are we going to run after them now? Most of our supporters are gone and we as Americans have the “Patriot Act” to show for it. Yippy! So, in the effort to protect ourselves from some obscure group of terrorists we have metaphorically shot our selves in the foot. Now we can enjoy even less freedoms than we had before.

If you haven’t guessed it already, I support a troop withdrawal. We have to face the facts that there is already a civil war going on over there and we caused it. All that is going to happen now is that our presence is going to ensure that the war drags on and that Americans will get killed. It’s as much a meat grinder as Vietnam was. Yup, we lost. But don’t beat yourselves up about it too much. The war was lost the second our president declared it on an ideal (terrorism), especially an ideal that gets stronger with the more martyrs you create. Here’s a tip for the future. You wanna win a war, then set reachable goals. Not some nebulous idea that frankly will require you killing non-combatants and maintaining a force in a foreign nation forever. I just want to hear one reason as to why we should stay. Still, there will be fifty more reasons to leave.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Don’t Tread on Me

More and more I have noticed that our rights are being eroded away with seemingly endless litigation, new laws, or local ordinances. I guess this struck me one day while I was listening to the radio and it just leapt out at me as to how many stories involved some fundamental freedom that is, was or will soon be taken away. It kind of astounded me that we can express that America is the land of the free when there are so many laws that take those freedoms away. Now, bear with me here. I am not talking about laws that protect us from each other. Such as speed limits, and littering laws, and of course murder, arson, theft etc. What I am enraged about is the government taking away free will. It really all boils down to fear.

For instance: Same sex marriage. Now, here you have two people who love each other and want to be with each other and want the same classification, title and rights applied to a straight couple. A marriage between these two people will have no bearing on anyone but them, so why should the neighbor across the street have a say in what they can and can’t do? This legal debacle is as insane as if you wanted to try and apply the same laws to mixed race couples. Fucking ridiculous. The foundation argument I have heard against people having this right is that it would erode the sanctity of, what they consider to be, real marriage (between two straight people), as though a staggering divorce rate wasn’t doing that already. All else aside; who the fuck gave someone, not in this relationship, the right to tell them what they can and can’t do? Why shouldn’t they have the same rights as others? When did the government get the ability to restrict who we can love?

I’ve read the arguments on both sides of the issue and overwhelmingly the disinters arguments always boil down to fear. They are afraid of something they don’t understand or can’t abide. They mask this cowardice in social arguments about how it will hurt community values and the roles of family. “How might it affect children?” is a common argument. Well, I’m sure that a child being raised in a home with two parents, regardless of sex, is better off than one being raised by the state. Yes, homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt.

I believe that a government is needed to protect the rights of its citizens, even from one another. A government should only enact laws that punish those who stand in the way of someone’s freedom of choice. I’m not saying that one shouldn’t be able to effect change in laws if it conflicts with their beliefs. Yet, at the same time that person’s moral compass should not be enforced on others who may not share his view. If we really want to say that we have freedom of religion in this country then you must be willing to accept and defend all philosophies not only your own view.

OK, here it is; there is no argument anywhere that is righteous enough or defendable enough to logically give reason as to why any two people should not be together in the same way as anyone else. That goes for any couple of age disparity (accepting minors), race, socioeconomic classes, or sex. The government should never have a say in what two consenting adults can do as long as it doesn’t directly hurt anyone else… ever. If you want a moral high ground then you have to be willing to live with something that you may not like. Otherwise you aren’t really an American patriot; you are truly yearning to live in a theocracy; one that aligns with your own moral idealism. America was founded on the concept of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you can’t live with what that may mean for your neighbor then move to a country that was set up to restrict people’s rights.

On a completely different subject…

I was googling the other day when I came across this picture of Robert DeNiro from Taxi Driver. Weird huh?


Thursday, May 10, 2007

At Long, Long Last

For months I had been looking forward to the trip LJ and I would take back to Pensacola for my graduation ceremony. Was it weird to finally walk across the stage? Hmmm, it was kinda like the first time I had sex. There was all this build up for years, I felt like I was the last guy on earth to finally get it, and when it was happening I was too worried about screwing it up to enjoy it… not to mention all the spectators. It was good to have everything finalized though, if not for me then for all my fans out there (you know who you are). The expectations I had, for gatherings and lodgings, activities etc., were a bit high. Still, everything surpassed what I had imagined.

It’s kinda weird how some people can make you feel like you never left. My friend group down there (my crew as I refer to them) are just that sort. LJ has the propensity to worry and fret over every little thing. It’s not her fault; it’s just how she is. She was concerned that there would be a bit of a rift between us and our old crew, but as soon as we got there it was like old times. We couldn’t have felt more welcome.

Hell, everyone reading this was there so let me just take a step back and before I make this an epic novel, let me instead just say thank you. I had a great time. When I was a child my parents quickly discovered that I didn’t do too well with big groups of kids at my birthday parties. I would get upset and run away to be alone or I would be visibly stressed, however I must feel close enough to everyone down there that I don’t have those issues. Everyone who knows me also knows that I have a problem with crowds. Still, even on the night when everyone was at our hotel and there was barely enough room to sit I was completely comfortable. That is really saying something for me. You guys are totally my BFF’s and I won’t forget it when I conquer the world.

Now its time for some thank you’s…

Let me again say thank you to Mike and Ryan (and anyone else involved) with my cartoon portrait. I don’t have it here in Reno yet, but it’s on the way. I already have a place chosen to hang it. You guys rock… (sniff)…you rock really hard…really.

And…

Though I know she’ll never read this, I wanted to thank my sister-in-law for the champagne she got LJ and I at Jackson’s. That was really classy. LJ and I were completely surprised. It also acted as a de-stresser for us. We were kinda pent up about the whole thing, but that really loosened us up.

Also…

Thanks Nana and Pa for the fancy watch you got me and have been holding for two years. Glad you could finally get rid of it and I love it. I haven’t gotten it fitted yet; however the weekend is rapidly approaching. I hope to check my watch as ostentatiously as possible, and as frequently as etiquette permits the next time LJ and I go out.

Last but certainly not least…

I wanted to thank my parents for the sword. My father had told me years before that he would get me a sword for graduating college; he made good on that promise with a real work of art. The sword is an authentic, hand made, replica of an 18th century naval cutlass. Let me just say that I have handled swords for sparring and replicas of all varieties and at all expenses not to mention more than a handful of the real deal. I won’t go too much into it, but this sword is really quality. I couldn’t have been more pleased. The inscription on the blade reads, “Life is good, Mark, and why shouldn’t it be? You’re a pirate after all.” Truer words were never spoken. I pick it up everyday, I go to Krispy Kreme with it, I check the mail with it, I have my co-workers through my lunch at me so I can slice stuff in half with it! I love it!

Thanks again to everybody, for the parties, the hangin’ out and everything else. If you feel like you didn’t get enough me time then just send an RSVP and come to Reno! Seriously, LJ and I miss all of you. Plus, I can wow you with my incredible snowboarding abilities (or falling as some would call it).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

100 Posts and still going…strong?

Well, here it is my 100th post. Wow, let me just soak this up for a second (pause). Whew, what a moment. I would just like to take some time to thank everyone who kept this thing going…namely myself. I would also like to promise that this blog will continue for as long as I care to keep posting and that it will be as random as ever, if not more so. Also, I vow that you the four people who regularly read this drivel will constantly be spoon-fed my outrageous notions, poor grammar, and ridiculous conclusions as a courtesy for your readership; good for you. Now on to the post.

Robots…Giant Robots!

Robo 1: I was reading through some yahoo headlines the other day when I saw that the trailer for the upcoming Transformers movie that actually showed what the autobots and decepticons would actually look like…cool. So I checked it out and I gotta tell you I was a little disappointed. Watch the trailer and you tell me. I guess, that to me, they look kinda too wired. By this I mean they don’t really have that definite exo-body like the original toys or cartoon. They look too much like a Disney auto matron without its skin. There are wires and hydraulics totally visible that compose most of their form. So, there is very little in the way of metal body components to let you identify what robot is what. I couldn’t pick out a single character besides Optimus Prime and that was only because I saw him as a big rig first.

Secondly, I am wondering how they are going to handle Megatron, the villainous leader of the decepticons. If you remember from the cartoon series his transformation would turn him from a menacing badass giant robot with an enormous laser cannon on his arm into a tiny laser pistol that would have to be fired by one of his subordinates.


VS.

A bit lack luster for such a cool bad guy. Not to mention the obvious physical issues like going from the size from a giant robot to the mass of a relatively tiny gun. So what are they going to do with him? Maybe turn him into a futuristic tank or something, that would be pretty cool.

Robo 2: LJ and I were driving some place when on the side of the road my nerd-eyes detected an old friend. Who was it? Why R2-D2.

Although now, apparently, he has gotten work as a postage box. Lucas must have cut his ass out of any character rights or post movie marketing deals so he is spending his days on the streets collecting mail for a living. Not too big a stretch if you consider his main roll in Star Wars: A New Hope was to deliver a message to Obi Wan Kenobi. The US postal service is running a pretty big add campaign right now to determine the choice for a new Star Wars stamp. This promises to be a bigger deal than the whole young or fat Elvis controversy (I voted young Elvis). Still, I encourage you guys to become a part of Star Wars history and cast a vote. I did. Also, look closely around town you may see R2 on some lonely sidewalk.

Robo 3: I saved the best for last. I was surfing some news blogs when a rather funny and unbelievable title hit me. “Jacko looks for a jackpot in Vegas with 50-ft. robot”. What the hell?! Let me summarize if you aren’t going to follow the convenient link I put up. Michael Jackson is currently in negotiations and planning stages of building an actual 50ft robot of himself that will wander the Nevada desert firing lasers and…I dunno…moonwalking I guess. I have one word to say about this, AWESOME! I would contribute to this project if I could. Hell, Rhodes had a colossus; New York has a giant statue in the bay and Vegas needs to have a fifty foot MJ that shoots lasers and is capable of molesting entire orphanages with a single robo-thrust. Seriously this is a really cool idea and if they could get it to work then I think they should. Japan, eat your heart out. You guys thought you had the whole giant mech market cornered; well think again.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Spoonfuls of Sugar

Mary Poppins once said “In every chore there is an element of fun. If you find the fun then snap (snap), the job becomes a game.” I have always felt that taking my dog on his afternoon walk was a bit of a chore. We have to chris-cross the apartment complex with him pulling and sniffing everywhere. The crowning moment though is his poo. He usually waits until…well forever to do his business. That is until I discovered something.

I have found that if I put a little resistance on his lease, you know just sort of pull back, his poo will start to push out. Sorry, I don’t know a better, more euphemistic or poetic way of phrasing it. I pull, he pushes. Now, bearing this in mind, picture his lease. It is one of those retracting deals with the thumb button that allows it to lock; similar to a fishing reel. There you have all the elements; and what makes this nastiness so fun you ask?

Well, it requires some skill, those poo’s don’t just line up and jump out like army parachuter’s out of a plane…no, no. It’s like fishing. You know, he’ll pull and I’ll give some resistance, he’ll turn in another direction and I’ll give him some line. Pull-give, stop-reel in, and so forth until I have caught a brown trout. I consider myself a rather accomplished Turd Angler. It is like watching one of those fishing shows on ESPN 8 (the ocho), except way more fucked up. The weirdest thing; you can tell if its gonna be a big one on the line. LJ was quite amazed when I showed her. She will stand there with the net (dog-bag) and I will yell directions. “Get ready! Whoa! This one’s a fighter” and she will reply with “Keep it down.” She’s like my assistant. Now, if I could just find a taxidermist with a sense of humor.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Retirement might just KILL me!

Admit it. Most of you are staying in some crap job, that you hate, or are striving to attain some job with a good pension or 401K for that one shining prize…retirement. This last week I have had nothing to do. What can I say, archaeology is slow right now. I have been sitting at home, watching unhealthy amounts of Net TV and sleeping. It is MADDENING! I am going slowly insane, and honestly that’s a pretty short trip for some of us. The real kicker; its only been a week. I don’t know what I’m going to do come, like what, eighty I guess; that’s when retirement will be for my generation right? If this week has been any indicator I will be full-on nuts within a month. You want a somewhat accurate glimpse at what that will be like; just watch The Shining with Jack Nicholson. I mean I may even still be writing this freakin’ novel, only it won’t be as coherent and as well versed as ol’ Jack’s.

You know, I used to have this neighbor at the end of my street. This dude was an old man that scared all the little kids to death. I swear to you that he sat by his front door windows, in the shadows, and waited for someone to set a misplaced toe on one blade of his grass. He would run out of his house screaming like you had taken liberties with his wife while shitting in his cereal. This guy threatened to take my bike away and crush it in the garbage truck one day; I was terrified. Now though, I realize that this guy merely had nothing else to do. The poor bastard probably had to choose between daytime TV and waiting to scare the souls out of little defenseless children. Not much of a choice really. After this week I have to almost admire the guy’s dedication to his unwilling past time.

I just don’t know how some people do it. Honestly, I look at the situation with my distant Uncle. The guy got up every morning and went down to the Y and did laps in the pool. Then he went to work at his gear manufacturing company (think Spacely Sprockets, only he was Mr. Spacely). He would work ‘till like noon when he would go do executive lunches and meetings. Yet, he would still have time to get ripped like an Irish sailor with my then young adult dad at night, before driving home and passing out in his mansion. The next day the cycle would repeat. Now, he turned his company over to his board of directors at the age of eighty-five and died two days later. Some would look at that like my uncle worked himself to death. Personally, I think work may have been making life worthwhile enough to keep on going.

I might enjoy retirement if I could find something cool to do with myself. My wife had an uncle who raced stock cars on the weekends. Well, one weekend he wins this really big race. On his victory lap, after he has crossed the finish line, he has a massive heart attack and dies in his moment of sweet glory. Hands down the best death I have ever heard of. My wife thinks it was horrible because he was still relatively young. My opinion, what if the rest of that guys life was nothing but a gentle downhill slide into senility and regret? I like the whole idea of going out on top.

I guess the role model I should really be looking at is my grandfather. The guy retires from the air force and what does he do? (Throat clearing) He builds a house, gets a masters in education, studies to take the BAR exam, gets a real-estate license, goes on virtually pro-level seniors golf tours, learns about computers and the internet, takes piano lessons and is still finding more and more things to occupy himself. The guy is squeezing more life into what most would consider the finale days than some people ever do…ever. Inspiring stuff.

Still, I don’t know if I’m that much of a self-starter. Maybe…naw. No, I think, if this week has been any kind of indicator. I am going to have to find myself a good comfortable chair to sit in while keeping watch out my window, and waiting for some little bastard to set foot on my property. Only there will be less bluster and more actual bike smashing I think. People hate empty threats.

TV and Ice-Cream

It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been saving creative energies for the book I’m writing. Yeah, I decided that turning an idea directly into a screenplay might be harder than developing the plot, characters, and clever dialog in an honest to God novel. I don’t have any grand desires though; I think this will be a short story…maybe a full-on novel by the time I’m done. Not to mention that being my first effort it may stink on wheels. It takes for freakin’ ever to get the dialog right and convey what is going on through action and descriptive narrative without repeating yourself. Anyway, I hope to be done with the first chapter by May. Also, I have decided not to publish it online without any copyright protection. I will let any interested friends read it when I’m a little further along, if they so desire.

On to the post…

I was watching the HBO series “Carnival” the other night with LJ when I started getting a little pissed-off. I started feeling like I was being strung along (if you haven’t seen this show then think of the show “Lost”, same basic idea). The thing about both of these shows is that they want to keep their mystery, and that’s fine. Yet, in doing so they never answer any fundamental questions or situations they pose.

For example (and I’ll use Lost since it’s a network show and more people are likely to be familiar with it) at the beginning of Lost’s season one the audience was shown the activities and aftermath of some unseen monster. At the end of season one you still had no idea what the monster was, why it was doing what it was doing, or what its origins were; hell, you never even saw a good long glimpse of it. The writers revealed nothing. There was never a resolution to any of the fundamental mysteries only some resolutions to the mini-dramas that the characters brought about themselves. This actually caused a bit of a backlash in the form of outraged emails and letters from fans. So, in season two they tried to have more resolved while preserving some of the mystery.

My friends this is crap. The writers or producers will throw their characters in to wild situations that may or may not lead to someone getting killed while only lightly touching on the paramount concerns that originally lit your interest. I hear that season three is basically just a hostage situation. What about the “Dharma Initiative”? What about the monster? What happened with that static discharge at the end of season two? The series Carnival is much the same. The lead character goes on some winding path that could go on for as long as they need it to while never making any tangible headway towards the original goal.

Then it came to me, just as it did the night that I waited in shaking anticipation to catch the first episode of Beverly Hills 90210, this is a God damned soap opera! Oh, the window dressing is better, but still there it is. These shows could go on forever and never have any resolutions. This is why I am a big believer in limited run series. Think about it. If the writers, producers, studios, etc. knew that they only had three or four seasons to develop the characters and get the plot wrapped up the stories would be way more cohesive; the shows that much better. As it is you see more and more zany situations and characters sliding in and out of cheesy soap-opray romances and affairs. C’mon we’re too smart for that…right?

I know I am sounding like a broken record, but honestly some of the best shows I have ever seen were the ones whose production team didn’t think they were coming back next season (almost any show on [Adult Swim]). The stories are so much better and progressive. Anyway, I guess America isn’t ready for that. We are a nation that has allowed SNL to stay on the air WAY longer than it should have. Should I throw The Simpsons in there? Yeah, I think I have to. I guess the only point I can make here is don’t get too involved with any one show for too long. After all isn’t getting that one great ice-cream flavor for a short time, way better than always getting the same flavor all the time?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I’m a Quitter

Well, it’s been a year and I did it. I have not touched a cigarette, cigar, pipe (of any description), joint, bong, hookah, etc. for one whole year. Thus proving, once and for all, that I could quit any time I felt like. Now I will be able to enjoy as many cigarettes as I wish without any feelings of dependency because I never really had an addiction. I can blow smoke in the face of any mother giving me the evil eye while shepparding her precious baby away. I can flick ashes on any up-tight Californian with a sanctimonious attitude. I can finally hold my cigarette high and pronounce to the world that though I enjoy the smooth refreshing feeling of my first morning drag I am not an addict. Take that Rob Reiner.

Seriously though, I feel good about it. I had been a smoker for a while and while I may not been as heavy a user as some or for as long as others, it was still very hard to give up. I think the most difficult thing wasn’t any kind of real addiction, but the association I made with everything over the course of smoking. I got into routines like; between shifts at work, or after dinner, or during sex. It was more habit forming due to my own mental associations with smoking than any nicotine fix I needed. I kinda think that the patch or the nicotine pills are placebos. I just don’t see how someone could really develop a dependency on something so gentle. Maybe hardcore drugs, but I think smoking can be as habit forming as McDonald’s food, alcohol and network television.

So now I’m trying to decide what to do with all the fat cash I am saving every month. I am in the process of saving for a PS3 and I’m almost there. Maybe I can mail it to the poor tobacco execs who seem to always be shilling out money to an overbearing government or some whinny ex-smoker with “cancer”. Or maybe I can put it into my newest fixation…chewing gum. Yup, I’m already a pack-a-day man with that habbit.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Fine, Die.

A little while back I got into a discussion with LJ about how we might do things differently if we were running our own Airline. Her position was that she would design airplanes with more amenities and comfortable seating. I said that if people knew that these planes were way safer that tickets would sell better. Things got tense; we can really get into it over these hypothetical situations. Anyway, the conversation got pretty heated and its times like that that I need vindication. Most of you already know this, but for those who don’t, when I can’t convince someone all on my own I call my buddy Courtney and if that doesn’t work then I start to call everyone.

The question we posed? If you had to buy an airline ticket and you could only choose between airline A and airline B which would you purchase. A is offering roomier seats and more leg room; while B has the same seat configurations as now, yet it also has a safety feature that would make your chances of surviving any mid-air catastrophe greater than 50%. What was the consensus? Most of you would rather be comfortable than have less the chance of dieing. So, with LJ’s agreement I decided to up the percentage in my favor to a 90% chance of living. This didn’t affect the outcome in the slightest.

A lot of you wanted to add caveats or addendums to the question like “How long is the flight?”, or “Well, flying is already the safest way to travel” and “How would I know that this safety feature would work?” To that I say, how many of you people wear seatbelts or expect that cars should have airbags? The planes that you fly in are pretty damn safe, yes, however why do a flight-check every single time before it takes off? I mean that only increases the safety by a small fraction right? These planes are still REALLY safe without a flight check every time. To me it seamed that people don’t really care about safety until it is imposed on them or available without the cost of comfort. Maybe I’m just sour grapes. Still, I think Darwin would have something to say about this. In fact, the only people who sided with me were those with little children or a fear of flying.

My Opinion:

What this tells me is that people have a complete disregard for personal safety as long as they feel safe. I have done a lot of hobbies that some would consider thrill seeking or inherently dangerous, yet in doing these hobbies one has to take a lot of measures to prevent disastrous outcomes because if anything goes wrong there is little to no redundancy to ensure survival. You know, an ounce of prevention…To me it seems like a car has all sorts of safety measures that go from crumple zones, seatbelts, airbags, safety glass, and antilock brakes. Not to mention that a car never really exceeds 100 mph. Most collisions occur below 50 mph. Oh yeah, and if a problem occurs you can always pull over and stop, in lieu of falling out of the sky. An airplane, on the other hand, is an incredibly complex device that can be in a lot of trouble if there is any kind of mechanical or human error. Where does an airplane go when it has trouble? Strait down, man. Eh, you can’t win ‘em all though so I’ll concede this victory to LJ. Until, that is, she dies in horrible fiery and completely pointless plane crash. Then I win by default.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Greatest Movie Ever

I just got back from another out of town job so that’s why I haven’t posted in a while. So, in the last exciting episode I issued a personal challenge to write a screenplay that was better than the crap in theaters now and for like the last year or so (with some exceptions of course). At first I was thinking I needed to keep any ideas I might have on this as hush-hush as possible, yet I reconsidered for a couple of reasons. First being that I want this to be as original a concept as possible and I don’t want any of my vast archival memory of movies slipping into this through my subconscious. That said, I also want everyone who reads this to understand that some basic principals of story telling still apply. There must be a protagonist and an antagonist. There will be familiar story concepts and motivations. However, I don’t want it to be a blatant copy of another movie, vis-à-vis Little Miss Sunshine. I want to throw every part of my working story ideas up on the net so that as I go people can critique or make suggestions etc.

Second, I really don’t want to spend like the next year working on something in my free time to find out that it sucked worse than what I was ripping on. So, please feel free to blast any shitty ideas. For the sake of not ruining the ending I may withhold some of the climax stuff, but we are a long ways off from that.

There is a great literary quote I took to heart before starting this that goes “Write what you know.” With that in mind I thought about what my favorite movies were and how I might write given the opportunity and my overriding personality. I think for these reasons my movie would be an action/adventure (duh). So, let me just give you a really bare bones plot concept I came up with and you tell me if you think its any good.

The story would start in the American past and follow a guy or small group who finds or is led to a valuable item that he or they decides he must protect or steal for some reason of ethics or greed. I’m thinking a train robbery where the loot is a little too valuable to leave in the hands of whoever it is in possession of or something like that. So it is stolen and the guy or group makes a spectacular getaway.

Flash forward to modern times where a mixed group of (you guessed it) archaeologists, out in some remote area, stumble across an item or journal that convinces all or some of them that this item is hidden somewhere they could find it.

The truly interesting concept that I liked was that there would be a flip-flop between the two times so that you could see the adventures and struggles of both groups as they go on their own yet connected adventures. A problem for one may present similar or completely different struggles for another. For example hiding or traversing something in the past may present certain logistical, geographical or time related problems for those in the future. Also, the story would be shown in such a way that though you may be stumped as to how either group may proceed or escape the previous story clip from the opposite time would guide the audience as to what may happen next. Yet the story won’t be completely obvious as to everything that will happen.

Of course as with any story there will be a love interest and some characters you will hate and some you will like. I was thinking that there needed to be a somewhat obvious similarity between two of the main characters, one in the past and one in the present. As far as the conclusion goes; I have some pretty good ideas so far, but I need to flesh out the rest of the story first.

So, there you have it, a very basic plot outline. Now, tell me what you think. I promise I will be open to any constructive criticisms and recommendations. I will start working on actual story and post that at some point in the next few months as a downloadable word file or something.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Hollywoooood!!!!

...You've screwed with the wrong dude.

I went to see Ghost Rider today with a buddy. The movie was a flaming pile, but that isn’t the point of this post. I was watching the previews when a romantic comedy trailer came on. Halfway through I recognized something that seemed rather familiar…

Check out the trailer then read on (anyone without high-speed Internet, too bad. I told you to get it and that it was cheaper than the dial-up you have now)

Did you see it? About two thirds of the way through? He’s sitting in the playhouse and playing fetch with the children. Now, where o’ where could I have seen that before? Hmmmmmm, perhaps right friggin’ here a few years back! I swear to God if they had been swinging Boxaboo's© at the begining, I would have the right to sue. Hollywood, you thieving unoriginal assholes! If there is one thing I’ve learned from the past couple of weeks its that I can do it better…and I’ve decided I will. That’s right you fat cat jerks, I’m gonna write my own screen play and its gonna be great. I mean it too, no jokes. I am pissed as hell that crap factories like Ghost Rider and Little Miss Sunshine get all sorts of praise while other great movies like Sin City and Foxy Brown get snubbed by the Academy. Incidentally both those directors got together and are coming out with Grindhouse; I can’t wait.

So there you go. Do I know what the story is gonna be about? Not really. Do I have a premise, plot or budget? No. Will it ever hit a major studio? Well only if it is flung from my car as I am driving by screaming obscenities. Still, that is the way Evil Dead was made and many others and by God I can do it too. So if you want a part you better start sending me head shots and bio’s cause I got a feeling the roles are gonna fill up fast.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

This morning I was at work listening to NPR when a story came on about the up coming Academy Awards and one of the nominees for best picture Little Miss Sunshine. The interview was full of softball questions and arrogant comments made by the writer/directors. During the entire interview something was nagging me at the back of my consciousness. It finally came to me around the time one of the co-directors was likening the scenes with the family pushing the car to a start to a big Hollywood dance number; this movie has been done before.

I then began to recount through my mind the plot and individual characters and scenes in the movie National Lampoon’s Vacation. Tell me this plot summary couldn’t be for either film.

The _____ family embarks on a hilarious cross-country trek
in their broken down vehicle. Along the way the grandparent dies, the father comes to grips with his life and the mother tries to keep the family together. There are run-ins with cops, several life lessons and colorful characters. Finally, the family makes it to their destination only to find it isn’t what they expected and that only by coming together as a family can they salvage the trip.

I thought best picture was supposed to be about originality and so on. It is unbelievable that this movie was accepted as a nominee. Now, I will admit that the characters are darker (the suicidal uncle, overly angsted teen, and the drug using grandfather), but damn it, those are new modern day stock characters. The mothers even dressed virtually the same in both films.

If you don’t believe me then rent both and tell me they aren’t the same picture just separated by a generation and rewritten by some preening ass, who would pass off a work of comedy as his own “art”. Son of a bitch. Personally, I felt that national lampoon did a better job of making the film entertaining.

There you have it kids. Great things can be accomplished through plagiarism. Don’t bother writing your own reports just change some words around, dress it up differently. You never know you may just win a prestigious award someday off of someone else’s back.

*This post not plagiarized. Not even the picture, though I know it looks totally awesome.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

And Then...

Now that I’ve officially graduated I have found myself at the center of a torrent of activity surrounding the day of the, long awaited, graduation ceremony. From the very morning I found out LJ called me five times from her cubical to get my input on airline tickets. Calls were made; people informed and out of it all an avalanche of bluster. It is kinda weird; for so long now getting gradated seemed like this nebulous thing floating somewhere just out of reach. When the time actually came the moment was sort of a non-event. Yet, now I find myself having to make to-do lists to keep up with it all.

Let me share:

· Arrange for lodging

· Get Cap and Gown

· Frame Diploma

· Rewrite my falsified Resume

· Write derogatory and hate filled letter to High School Science teacher who said you’d never get a degree

· Call friends to arrange good times and drinking

· Make reservations for the swanky restaurant that I always promised myself I would eat at for graduation

· Come up with brilliant last prank to pull on my now alma mater

The thing is though that for years and years the top of my big “Life’s To-Do List” was dominated by graduating from college. Now that I’ve done that it just doesn’t seem right replacing it with the next thing down, winning a pie fight. So I’m struggling to figure out what my next big thing should be.

When I was 12, and I went to my fist SCUBA class, there was a poster on the wall. It showed the progression one could take in the many certifications of diving. At the pinnacle of the list was SCUBA Instructor. Most of my teen years were spent in motivation from that poster. I always imagined working up toward the next level and dreamed of someday reaching the top. Then, at age eighteen I achieved it. I never did teach any classes, but it did help me get into the field school at my university which led me here. Long story short; I am wondering what the next big thing is going to be.

Of course there is always graduate school; however it seems sort of dumb to finally get out of school just to jump right back in. Plus, it also feels like delaying the real decision. You know, what do I really want to do with my life, decision. Yeah, I like my job ok, yet there are and always will be things about it that I don’t like. Paramount among those things being that I am not using all of my potential. So, what now? I made a new years resolution to make twice as much as I am now, but maybe that isn’t the rout I should go. I dunno. Maybe an elected office, I know there is some sort of primary coming up next year.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Education Smeducation

For like the past year I have been playing this strange cat and mouse / telephone tag game with my University in Florida. I have been slowly, yet steadily, been making progress toward graduation. Well, the day finally came and it was a lot more unceremonious than I figured it would be. Some office peon just asked me for my social before she could talk to me further, probably to look at my GPA to see if she should be rude or not, when she got back on the line her exact words were “Oh, you’ve graduated”. “What?! Seriously?” I inquired. “Yep, you’re done”. As simple as that. LJ and I were on our way to work when I made the call; I guess it didn’t really sink in till later. So, now I am in the throws of planning for the graduation ceremony.

I must say this has been a looooooong time coming. Yeah, it has taken just under a decade to for me to do, but what can I say? Life, to me, has never been about competing against others as far as timeframes go. I had a really hard time with…well everything when it comes to school. I look at this more like me topping Everest rather than me coming in last in some “race”. Besides, I know a lot of people in my program who are waiting tables or doing other jobs that frankly are beneath their talents, who graduated on time and with a good GPA, yet I’m the one working in my field. Anyway, my diploma is on its way as well as my transcripts. Inconsequently, my middle name on the diploma will say “Danger” so that everyone will know how I live my life…Dangeresque.

On a completely different subject, someone from my old high school class just contacted me through myspace to send me an invite to our ten year reunion. Now, my question is, who really goes to those things and why? LJ and I talked about it and I came to the understanding that if you were raised in a small town where you literally knew everyone it would kinda make sense to go. However, I felt that the people you met in collage or in other places might be more important to you. The only reason I could figure people would go would be to measure themselves against others from the same origins. So, like if you became a celebrity or really successful you might want to go. Or maybe if you wanted to get one last shot at that girl (or guy) you always wanted to sleep with, then I could see that. Otherwise it kinda just seems like masturbation. I dunno, you tell me what you think.

Also, give me kudos on graduating…you ignorant plebs.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Dumber Days

LJ and I watched a movie tonight that set forth a series of events that led to this very post. The movie was Idiocracy, written by Mike Judge. It was one of the most horrific and terrifying movies I’ve ever seen. The premise is based on a man of totally average intelligence from our time getting frozen and reanimated in the distant future. Normally this wouldn’t be so bad, normally, but in this future everyone is an idiot. The reason is, intelligent people get bread out of existence while idiots of every creed, race, and socioeconomic class breed like jackrabbits. In 500 years the entire population is somewhere within the realm of 60 to 80 on the IQ charts.

After watching it LJ and I embroiled ourselves in our favorite pastime…arguing the same point but at different degrees. She believed that the population was probably doomed to such a fate while I believed that people will probably keep on as they have for thousands of years with equal numbers of intelligent and not so intelligent people roaming the Earth. At the end of the debate I decided that I needed to take an IQ test*.

Let me just sandbag for a moment. I took an IQ test at the age of like eleven and scored 111. It was explained to me that the average IQ fell somewhere between 90 and 110, putting me juuuuuust above average. So, I took an internet test to get a quick gauge and scored 131. “Hurray”, I thought before reading the next line down. Average has moved apparently, as the graph indicated that average falls anywhere between 70 and 130. “Crap”, I thought again, statistically sucker punched. At least I am still one point above average though.

So, I asked LJ what her IQ was and was answered with somewhere between 140 to 147. I also remember my brother taking an IQ test and getting like 138 or something. Let me put down my usual cloak of total intellectual superiority for just one moment and tell you all something serious. I have always felt that any friends worth my time were as smart as or smarter than me. There are a lot of people out there that I could never befriend due to the imbalance of conversational intelligence. I’m not trying to come off as pompous, but according to a free internet test that consisted of 50 questions and took less than 30min to complete, I am smarter than most of you out there…seriously. I admit that I feel that most of my friends are smarter than me, (revel in this moment it may be erased the next time you read this post) but that is what makes it fun for me. I feel that I can converse with those that can digest what I say and form a well thought out and concise reply. There I said it, ‘course how many of you think you are what I would consider a friend…let that roll around in your head for a while.

Back to topic: there are a lot of things out there that annoy people. For some its how people dress, for others it’s what region others may be from. Me, I get annoyed with stupidity. I hate it like a militant lesbian hates men. I look at so many things in our society that are just dumb. And I’m not just talking about what everyone considers dumb like Paris Hilton. No, things like organic food markets, ear candeling, the acceptance by Webster’s of the word irregardless, sending more troops to Iraq, network television, and so many others. Thomas Gray was right “Ignorance is bliss”, because if you’re halfway intellectual you live in a world of dumb-asses.

*I do NOT believe that the results of an IQ test does a smart person make. IQ tests are merely a standardized test that gauges how quickly one may learn something or the aptitude for learning. It isn’t even proven to be totally and completely accurate. At best it’s a ball park figure.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Myspace Must Die

…so that my intelligence may live.

Maybe a year ago I begrudgingly signed up for a myspace account. It didn’t really work for me at the time due to my slow-ass internet connection. The reason I even signed up was due to a huge shift in my actual friend network. You see all of us had what I consider actual blogs through blogger or other providers. Then everyone went to myspace. The question on my mind is why?

As far as I can tell myspace is a fancy, template based, way of posting stupid pictures linking dumb-ass youtube videos and sending ridiculous amounts of chain mail. Everyone who knows me knows that this particular post has been a long time coming. So, here we go.

I want you all to know that I intended on keeping my very blank myspace account, but that it will remain blank for freakin’ ever. I am doing this only so that I can read the two posts that my friends write a year and so that they can send me useless crap that I will not read or even open. I would now like to share with you some of the dumber chain-letter crap that I have received.

  • From my brother and sister:

THiS IS SO SAD...

I BET THAT 97% OF U WONT REPOST THIS!!!

When Jesus died on the cross he was thinking of you!

If you are one of the 3% who will stand up for him then repost this w/the title:

I LOVE U AND IM SORRY!!!

If you know me, you know that I have a complete disregard for the words "love", "sorry", and "repost". I'm also sure that Jesus is pleased as punch that all of you are remembering him through a crappy virtual hands across myspace, instead of going out and doing actual "good works" or whatever.


  • From my friend Beth

(random questions taken from one of like ten questionnaires she’s sent me)

Ever punch someone in the face?

Have you ever wished someone dead?

Ever seen a corpse?

Again, anyone who knows me knows that the answer to all of these questions are yes and if more of these things get sent to me the answer will become an emphatic yes.

Now, lets talk about the friggin’ pictures. Do I really need to see the picture of Johnny Cash flicking off the camera? What does that picture have to do with you? How about all the pictures of God damned Bam Margera. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’ll spell it out for you. Bam is a tool. A tool used to sell deodorant and other such items to stupid young morons. He is only famous for the same reasons as Tom Green. Hold up, I’m getting off track; this could be a whole nother post. You aren't clever for putting these pictures up, you are a tool like Bam is a tool. It adds nothing to your image and says nothing about who you are.

All I’m saying is if you want to keep in touch with your friends then the technology has been around since the advent of the cell phone. The cell phone market has allowed losers to use such things as text messaging (which is also a huge waist of time and energy), and ring-back tones so that everyone will know that you love the show Knight Rider…or Ludacris...or whoever no one really cares to hear. Also email allows you to send stupid messages to everyone at the click of a button. So why waist time on a psudo webpage if you could do it just as easily through email. Finally, IM. IM was and is the basis for all of this crap. When some genius decided he could make funny looking smiley emoticons he opened the friggin’ flood gates. From smiley’s to pictures of Bam it was a process that took less than five years (a single tear rolls down my cheek). I’m not saying IM was bad. I’m only saying that the invention of fully colored and moving emoticons changed everything.

Now, to the point. I just want you all to know that I literally check my myspace account once every week, sometimes less, and I rarely if ever check anyone elses account unless prompted to by email or cellphone conversation. I will NEVER respond to anything that even resembles a chain-letter. And finally, my myspace account will be the blandest and most void area in all of the myspace…space. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you want a website then have a reason to have it. Put something out there. Be interesting; don’t just slap the equivalent of virtual bumper stickers all over it. Quality over content people, quality over content.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jelly Stains & Farts

I was out surveying at work today when I noticed that my fingers were sticky. I did the inevitable look down and saw that during lunch I had dripped some delicious blackberry jelly all down the side of my shirt. I had then subsequently gotten it all over my trusty GPS (no, not my new sporty personal one; the $3,000 one from my office). As I was using my fingers as a squeegee and savoring the sweet, slightly gritty leavings of my lunch I came to a revelation.

When I have kids I could totally blame shit like that on them! “Hey buddy, you’ve got some brown stuff on your shirt.” “Oh, yeah that’s chocolate. My kid was eating a Snak-Pak and some must have gotten away from him… (sigh)…kids.” Or better yet; “Honey we need more Snak-Paks, it seems Billy went through all of them.” “In only three days?!” “Yup, that little sucker loves pudding. Heh, like father like son I guess… (sigh)…kids.”

Then I really got to thinking about it. A few years ago I got really bad heartburn while LJ’s parents were over one night. Her mom suggested that I mix some water and baking soda and that that would take care of it. I skeptically gave her home remody a shot and it worked, it actually worked. Unfortunately though, much like a fourth grader’s papier-mâché volcano science project, my stomach acids reacted to the baking soda with all sorts of fizzy fury. I started laying down some incredibly foul belches. They were so heinous in fact that at one point my mother-in-law commented that my completely innocent dog must have been the culprit of the horrific odors. In my awkwardness I immediately joined in and blamed him as well (sorry Zeus). Well, thinking about this I immediately came to the conclusion that I could easily lay the blame for any nasty belches or errant farts on dirty diapers. Brilliant.

I’m in no way saying that I won’t love my children. I just think they will be a rather convenient scapegoat until the age they can rebuff my accusations with a well formulated and concise counter argument. So, ostensibly never. I can see it now. There we all are in the family room. LJ wrinkles her nose in disgust and asks who disrespected her house. At that point I quickly chime in with “Billy must have. You remember how he was as a kid.” “Dad please stop doing that. I’m 26 now and have full control of all my bodily functions. Besides it was never me growing up it was always you. Don’t you think its time you started taking responsibility for your own farts?” At which point I respond, “Your argument is flawed from here to next Tuesday. Let me just break it down point by point…” Until, everyone is too tired and confused to assign blame. God, I’m going to love having kids.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Happiest Holiday

Hello all. LJ and I just got back from our trip to Atlanta for the holidays. “Was it fun?” Yes, faithful reader it was fun, but then LJ and I are fun people. We could have fun at a sponge museum. “Was it stressful?” Yes, again inquisitive reader. As most holidays are and as it is when time is a limiting factor it was stressful. I felt that LJ and I did rather well though. She was even brought tears at the thought of leaving.

So what did we get, well there were so many great gifts that I am only going to list a few. First I got Karaoke revolution for the PS2 from LJ. So, now instead of just busting my mad dancing grooves with DDR, I can bust my even awesomer vocal grooves to such classic hits as Everybody Wants to Rule the World, (She’s a) Brick House, Sweet Caroline, and much much more! (upstairs neighbors beware). My parents got me a super sweet GPS. We all went geocaching for the last few days; a new outdoor hobby I am getting into and whole heartedly endorse. It’s like getting to find buried treasure everywhere…I love it. My grandparents got me the first four Dark Tower novels by Stephen King. I have wanted those for like forever. Oh, and LJ got me those rubber band-gun armatures. I can’t wait to start designing my rubber band weapons (upstairs neighbors beware). My sister got me a pirate shirt that I have been wearing since I got it. My Brother gave me like the best and most thoughtful gift he has ever given me, The fourth season of Futurama (a show LJ and I just love), but unfortunately we already had it. So, I exchanged it today for two movies I have wanted for years but could never justify the expense. So Yay!

But Christmas isn’t about just getting awesome gifts despite what any eight year old may tell you. Some of the gifts that we gave that I am most proud of include a “Noseometer” a set of ceramic noses cast from LJ’s and my own perfect beaks. It’s going to be too hard to explain this one so we’ll just leave it there. An “E-ticket” from the olden days of Disney World that we gave to my grandparents.

The best though, or most sacrilegious…depending on how you’re counting, was my gift to Mike and Courtney. Now, when I give a gift I don’t just like to give some bauble you can fawn over for the requisite minute or two before tossing it into the back of your closet never to be seen unless re-gifted some day. No, I like to give powers also. This year I bestowed the power of the clergy to my unsuspecting friends. Through the looseness of our laws, the freedom of religion, and the ease of the internet I was able to ordain my buddies. Now, with their beginners clergy packs including an ID card, an embossed frame able certificate, and a blank marriage certificate that is legal in 45 states (FU Arkansas) they have all rights and privileges of a man of the clothe. They also have the right to use clergy parking at any facility that has such. Like hospitals, religious institutes, and the Republican Party’s national headquarters. Now that is one hell of a gift.

We had a great time though, and can’t wait to go back. So, did you guys have a good Christmas too?