Sunday, May 30, 2010

Disappointment, it's not my cup of tea

So, JennAdventures, a dishy Bostonian gal, memed me this here “Happiness” survey, and even though I don’t want to do it, I’m a weak-willed ladykiller, who can’t stand the thought of disappointing a woman (Vertically, that is. Horizontally, it’s every man for himself (“man” meaning “humanity,” not two dudes. (Not that there’s anything wrong with two men horizontally disappointing each other. It’s just not my cup of tea. (When I say “tea” I, of course, mean coffee, not tea or gay sex. I don’t drink tea unless I’m trying to quit coffee, which is about six times a year, and gay sex just isn’t my cup of coffee (unless it’s two gay women on the feminine end of the lesbian spectrum; then, I drop in two lumps and raise my cup in appreciation.)))))*

Anyway, I’m supposed to list ten things that make me so happy that if I were to fall into a vat of cow manure, I’d remain in its muck until said happy thing passed. However, since I independently came up with six in a previous post, I’ll list only four here, which will complete the ten but still make me feel like a rebel for doing it on my terms. On second thought, I think I’ll change the four to things that don’t make me happy. My mood is evenly dark right now and happy thoughts will only conflict with the stability.

1. Movie theaters are one of the only places on Earth that make me want to commit mass murder. Matinees are the way to go. Typically, the only other moviegoers in the mornings are single men or the elderly. Either way, both categories are deathly silent. They don’t answer their cell phones and text messaging is practically rocket science for people who wear their pants pulled to their chests. In the event I’m stuck in an evening show and surrounded by assholes, I take an unusual pleasure in appearing crazy-eyed and confrontational when hissing for quiet. It’s my road rage.

2. Sensational news media pretty consistently makes me hate as do the buffering commercials between segments. As far as I’m concerned, news has become gossip trash that does more damage than good. Case in point: When Michael Jackson died, guess what lost total news coverage. The Iranian protests. That was a sad two weeks to be an American not ‘cause MJ died, but because as a nation, “we” clearly chose the obsessive looping of a high-profile and scandalous death over the rape of democracy. It still bothers me. Commercials piss me off on general principles, but since I can’t make my case without sounding like a dissenting communist, I’ll just end my second bullet by saying that America is the devil.

3. Free samples at grocery stores are a mild pain in my ass. Like commercials, I don’t like being solicited to buy product, but because the solicitors are just peasants like me, how can I do anything but politely decline? It’s an elaborately contrived catch 22, and dumping a busty woman at the sample booth won’t change my mind either, you tricky marketing bastards. Granted, I’ll creepily linger for an extended period of time and maybe even flex a bicep or butt muscle a little harder as I read the expiration date of, say, a gallon of milk, but I won’t buy your product.

4. People who read (and enjoy) this blog but don’t leave comments make me want to grab a sickly child by the ankles and swing him around until the centrifugal discomfort spews his Spaghetti-Os like a goddamned tomato sauce sprinkler. I’ll do it too, silent readers. Is that what you want? **

*If you are a scorned woman with whom I've had carnal knowledge, please keep your fury in Hell where it belongs. This is a family blog.

**I encourage those of you who haven’t read my positive post to go there now. It’s my manic to this depressive, and I feel I’ve lost a little credibility by somewhat reverting to darkness in this one. Do it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Captain America’s shield, a 2010 penny

Have you noticed the shiny new “tail” of our great American penny? I know what you’re thinking; “What’s a penny?” but I still a carry a small amount of cash on me in case the stock market crashes again. That way, I can still buy a couple more cups of coffee before I take to the streets and riot for them. Anyway, I isolate and save old and sparkling new coins like a hoarding squirrel.* Did you know that in 1943, the government stopped minting pennies in copper? True stuff. They started stamping out steel pennies so our nation’s supply could be routed to make copper projectiles, the only thing Marvel Comics fan Franklin Delano Roosevelt thought would stop Nazi Germany’s Red Skull. I made that last part up, but pennies were really made of steel to help the war effort. Three mints. One of them had an accidental copper pressing that’s so rare it’s worth pant-loads. If you were to come across one of these ’43 copper beauties, it’s likely a Chinese fake. Damn dirty commies.

Coins not made of their current bullshit composition even sound different. I was once at the checkout of a Whole Foods when I discovered a silver treasure by sound alone. The cashier dropped my change in my hand and I heard an alien clink that used to be commonplace. I must have looked like an obsessive-compulsive maniac poking through the coins in my cupped hand and then showing the silver dime to the unimpressed girl. You have to enjoy life’s pleasure when they come. If you can’t differentiate the sound or remember that the US stopped minting silver quarters and dimes after 1964, look at the rim of any “silver” coin and you’ll see a darker stripe sandwiched between the junk metal of the front and back. Damn dirty capitalists.

So yeah, I’m a geek. A few weeks ago, I was passing around a penny at work, celebrating the new design to people who wouldn’t validate their interest by taking it from me for a closer examination. The one guy who did immediately pinned down my enthusiasm and shat in its face. See, the front of the new penny still has old Abe Lincoln’s gnarly profile but the back has replaced the traditional Lincoln Memorial (if you look close enough, you can even see a faint outline of the seated Great Emancipator) with a union shield that, at first consideration, is pretty awesome. It reminds me of Captain America’s first shield. Perhaps that’s the appeal. Finally, the US Mint received my suggestion of combining my love of coins with my love of fascist superheroism. What had not occurred to me was that not only is the removed Lincoln Memorial a symbol of freedom** but the architecture itself is an homage to ancient Greek democracy. A shield, as my coworker pointed out, is defensive.
Chew on that national mood.

*If I were to tell you that in person, I wouldn’t look you in the eye.

**My use of “freedom” here is appropriate and not at all related to the political machine that has made the term a weapon. In fact, I’ve already made a personal commitment to vomit on myself and call it perfume whenever I hear someone say America stands for “freedom.”

Sunday, May 16, 2010

White Trash Cans and midgets at the Black Sheep Lodge

True story:

Wednesday night. Black Sheep Lodge. $1 “White Trash Cans,” also known as Lone Star and Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboys, Schlitz, Pearl and such.

Chris: “I haven’t seen any midgets around lately. Did they find a cure?”
Carlos: “I’m pretty sure it’s a genetic condition, not a disease.”
Chris: “Yeah, but I thought there was a procedure now to . . . stretch out their chromosomes.”

Joel: “I don’t think so, but a mother’s diet plays a role.”
Ryan: “Sure, they’re not supposed to eat certain things when they’re pregnant. Like shrimps. Or baby carrots.”

If you didn’t find this amusing, you’re either overly sensitive toward “diminutive” people or you’re a little person yourself, in which case I apologize profusely. I apologize anyway. I gush with apology. This posting is in poor taste and the illustration, an embarrassing emphasis of my depravity. But . . . I . . . can’t . . . stop. If you think about it, though, Chris, Ryan, and Joel are mostly to blame. I’m not abstract enough to associate short chromosomes and baby carrots with dwarfism, and had it not been Joel’s birthday, I wouldn’t even have been out “on the street,” as my girlfriend would say, in the middle of the week. I’m a victim. C’mon, Munchkinland? I love midgets for Christ’s sake.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Iron Man 2 is capitalist propaganda for the zombie hordes

I watched Iron Man 2 this morning. Matinee. It was okay but upon reflection, I mildly resent myself for perpetuating shit art. I mean, how lazy is it to call a sequel “2”? Whatever happened to epic movies taking pride in their successful continuation? Spielberg and Lucas did it with Indiana Jones and Star Wars, and even though they’re just as irrelevant as Iron Man 2, you can still refer to “Raiders” or “Empire” as favorites instead of “the first one” or “the second one,” as I do with Back to the Future (which I hate to love).
I’ll get over it.
It’s not like I didn’t enjoy my two hours of escapism, but the pleasure is just as cheap and gratifying/pacifying as a fat man gargling a fried Twinkie. It’s without sustenance and in the long run, it’s toxic. I didn’t learn anything about being human by watching Iron Man 2 and I wasn’t moved by explosive aesthetics. I didn’t expect to be intellectually roused, of course, but after not having to think for two hours, I feel a little robbed of humanity. Hence, from this day forth, I’m going to avoid what I consider “movies” over “film” and ideally, I’ll seek out more active forms of entertainment (e.g., strippers and/or films that require content deconstruction over passive participation). I did that about a decade ago with books but even now, I can’t help but feel as though the damage from all the Stephen King and Anne Rice “Twinkies” I devoured is done.
Iron Man 2 did, however, have an interesting line by Mickey Rourke’s Russian character that I found wonderfully Cold War-esque. It was in a brief debate over the superiority of manned iron man suits versus remotely controlled ones. And I loosely quote: “Drones are better. People mess things up.” It was such a profoundly literary statement that it interrupted my mindless captivity and inadvertently had me siding with the impoverished communist villain over the decadent capitalist hero. See what happens when you write in a little brain food for a zombie audience? They turn against you.

On a mostly unrelated note, I had a very long zombie nightmare last night, the second in four days. I welcome any exorcising suggestions you have to offer.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Austin, a Pictorial (The Critter Edition)

This here’s a Texas Spiny Lizard. I saw it outside Mozart’s, one of the coolest coffee shops in Austin. There I was, clicking in my sandals back to my car, To-Go coffee in hand, computer bag on my shoulder, when it scurried across my path. Had I been a lesser man, a girly shriek might have accompanied my defensive leap from the 7-8 inch beast, but I’m exceptionally macho. I fearlessly snapped these pictures instead. It’s only natural to dash from sudden creatures, no? I once blasted through a waist-deep tributary when I heard thrashing in the tall brush beside me. It turned out to be a beaver but I didn’t know that at the time. Hell, I’d probably still run from a beaver. It’s a beaver for Christ’s sake. Those things chomp through whole trees. You think our superior opposable thumbs are any match against X pounds of pressure from a beaver bite? I stand by my cowardice. What if it had been a stalking cougar? You would have run too. Or what if it had been a javelina protecting her baby pigs? I’d be dead, that’s what. All you jerks who stand unmoved by surprises would be naturally selected off the goddamned planet if the apocalyptic shit were to hit the fan tomorrow and animals were to regain control of the planet, so why don’t you stop acting like a bunch of badasses and do your little ballerina kick like the rest of us when a lizard unexpectedly runs in front of you. But I digress.

Addendum: Inspired by this lizard encounter, I’ve decided to make my Halloween puppet, “Crippling Hatred Dressed as Sarah Palin,” one of the lizard people. It’ll all make sense in time. See previous post if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
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