Sunday, December 30, 2007

Goes Down Smooth

I was having trouble figuring out what I should do with my hard-on this week. I mean, I haven't seen any good movies lately, there are no albums coming out, and I can't give my hard-on to Street Fighter again.

But then I sat down and started talking to myself, as I often do in stories. "Self, what really matters to me, self? Is it really just movies, music and the occasional hadoken? No, self. That's not right at all, self." And that's when it came to me. This week, I will be delivering my hard-on to egg nog.

How can I give your hard-on to a liquid, you may ask? Half-price after the holidays. That's how. I'm on my fourth carton today!

Cronos

Here's what I decided to do for my review of the movie, Cronos, by director Guillermo del Toro: I'm going to do this in the form of a short play.

Act I
(The curtain opens and the audience sees a young, long-haired bearded man sitting on a couch in front of a small TV. He is wearing khakis, five-year-old Vans, and a blue collared shirt over a white t-shirt. He picks up a remote control and turns the TV on.)
Narrator:
This is a story about a crazy bug-clock that makes people live forever!
Kevin: (with great exuberance) Hooray! Del Toro you make everything candy-coated awesome!
(Kevin is silent for a few moments while the movies plays)
Kevin: Wooow! The DVD case makes strawberry ice cream!

Act 2
(Kevin sits, pensively, taking notes and occasionally nodding)
Kevin:
So if the bodyguard is named Angel...the young girl is named Aurora...and the old man is named Jesus...that makes this movie about Watergate? No, that can't be right. Is Christianity the bug-clock? What is the significance of Ron Perlman's nose?
(Kevin throws the notebook in frustration)
Kevin:
English degree! You have failed me once again!

Act 3
(Kevin remains on the couch, far away from the notebook)
Kevin:
Hm...it's not nearly as good as Pan's Labyrinth...but it's still amazing and I love it!
(Suddenly, a pudgy, hairy Mexican enters the den)
Del Toro: sup?
Kevin: sup?
Del Toro: So what do you think of the movie? Won the Cannes you know.
Kevin: Get the fuck out of here. Really? Well Gui, I thought that it was really well-done and combines a lot of these brilliant story-telling techniques that you've become so wonderfully known for. In fact, I was just thinking to myself that you might be on the verge of redefining the horror genre to include macabre and allegorical magical realism, or, dare I say, creating your own--
(Guillermo Del Toro slaps Kevin across the face)
Kevin:
Ow! Guillermo, why did you hit me? Did I say something wrong?
Del Toro: No, you were pretty much spot on with everything.
(Guillermo Del Toro punches Kevin in the stomach)
Kevin:
Guillermo! Your name is so much fun to say, but I have to protest! Please, stop hitting me! (crying) Why are you doing this?
Del Toro: Because I'm Guillermo Del Toro, and you're going to love everything that I do, even if it hurts you.
Kevin: That's not true!
(Del Toro is now repeatedly striking Kevin in the face with a brick)
Del Toro: Yes it is. What did you think of Hellboy?
Kevin: Loved it. Greatest movie ever. Three thumbs up. I wish it were a burly man so it could take advantage of me.
Del Toro: See?

Act 4
(A hospital room. Kevin is covered in bandages except for two holes to see through and one hole to breath through. Del Toro is sitting by his side with a weird...fairy thing on his shoulder.)
Kevin:
Well Guillermo, you've taught me an important lesson. I shouldn't be drawn into fruitless director worship. You deserve praise when you earn it, and while Cronos was unique in its own right, it wasn't perfect and it definitely wasn't scary.
Del Toro: That's right.
Kevin: And Hellboy sucked. Big time.
Del Toro: I can see my work is done here.
Kevin: Thanks again for teaching me so much, Guillermo!
Del Toro: Anytime! Uh, hey, before I go...can you, like, do stuff with that breathing hole?
Kevin: Do stuff? What do you mean? What kind of stuff?
(Del Toro mounts Kevin's chest with his back facing the audience. An unzipping noise can be heard.)
Kevin:
Madre di dios! NOOOOOOOO!!!
(curtain fall)

Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Well, thanks to isohunt tricking me, I have just watched the remake, and not the original, of Night of the Living Dead. This means that I can't say all that I would like to say about the movie and the impact that it made, since wikipedia has kindly informed me that the two scripts are not identical (and are they ever?)

Social commentary aside, I can see why this is cited as the zombie movie of the modern era. Regardless of how it changed the definition of how we think of zombies, it is amazing at taking the mythology about zombies and why they're scary, and getting to the core of it.

There's been a lot of changes to the zombie genre, changes designed to improve upon a tired, classic idea. There have been running zombies, smart zombies, zombies with unnaturally long tongues, zombies with guns so on and so forth. This movie takes the whole thing back to formula. It is about people, in a house, surrounded by zombies. And that's it. While I was watching it, I realized that the whole thing could potentially work as a play, because the setting rarely changes, which is definitely not a bad thing in this case.

When your movie is nothing but a house, some people and zombies, the plot is accelerated by the people, since houses don't do anything and zombies really don't do much more that. I think I can state the claim that this movie isn't about zombies so much as it is about a group of panicked and scared individuals...who happened to be attacked by zombies from time to time. There should be more movies like this, that focus on the bare bones of the thing instead of putting a machine gun on their monster or whatever dumb shit Resident Evil is up to these days.

The Descent

First, I think the movie could have done very well by cutting one or two characters. In fact, most movies can benefit from this, but this one in particular seems to suffer because of an excess of people. That's not to say that there's a ton of characters in this movie; Actually, there's only six, but the problem is that the movie spends sooooo much time in "Not Scary Land" that you think you should know the characters just a bit better. It also doesn't help that they're impossible to keep track of. Not only do most of them have pretty generic names, but hardly any of them have any distinguishing features, and they're all wearing spelunking gear, all with the same hat on (can't even see hair color), and all of them are in the dark. Considering that this movie spent a good chunk of it monster-less and trying to establish character, I had to ask "Wait, which one is that again? Is she the doctor or the tall one?" And even after I figured that out, I had no idea who the tall one was, besides tall.

I think a good horror movie should slowly lead into something very horrifying. Actually, I believe the lead-in is vastly more important than the final scare. If anyone's ever seen the opening scene of The Twilight Zone Movie, directed by John Landis (glory be to Landis!), you know what I mean. The prologue is essentially, god, couldn't be more than ten minutes long and all there is to it is two nameless guys talking and some really bad monster effects. But man, that ten-minute scene could be one of the scariest I've ever seen. The script reads like an Abbott and Costello bit:

"Hey, you wanna see something really scary?"
"Yeah sure."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah."
"Are you really sure?"

And they just keep going on and on like that, and you know somebody's about to get killed. In the end, there's no "pop", no jump and if I recall correctly, barely any noise, but dammit, that $5 monster mask from Walmart still scares me.

Anyway, the point of that extraordinarily long aside is that the longer you draw the audience into something scary, the scarier it becomes, even if the thing itself is less than terrifying. The Descent (Oh, is that what we're talking about?) spends half its time in some really uncomfortable cave scenes. And when I say "uncomfortable," I mean I had a very strong desire to open a window, the claustrophobia was so bad.

However, even though I spent most of the movie feeling tense, I definitely wasn't afraid that a monster would jump out. Not for a second. I was afraid that the cave would collapse. I was afraid that someone would fall. I was afraid that the flashlights would go out. But the monsters are so non-existent in this part of the movie, that it was impossible to even consider it as an option. There's not even a "Ya know, they say there are cave-dwelling zombies in North Carolina." They briefly touch upon the subject of hallucinations occurring in caves, and as fun as a topic like it is, it really isn't used to its full potential. There is a scene where one woman sees a "Crawler" and everyone regards her as crazy, but five minutes later everyone sees it, so there wasn't enough "crazy factor" in it for me, and that was disappointing. Again, not even a "Hey, did you guys see a clown giving Bill Clinton head down that dark passageway? I could swear I just saw a clown giving Bill Clinton head down that dark passageway?"

And, of course, you can't mention anything about this movie without mentioning the cast. Aside from the Crawlers --who are all at least in the most ambiguous sense -- male, there is an all-female cast. I don't know how I feel about this. I think not good. The two "strong" female characters seem to be stuck on fighting over the same man, which, to me, seems to completely ruin the independent, aggressive characterization. I'm also convinced that the absence of men hasn't completely removed sexual tension from the equation. When asked if she has a man, one of the characters replies, "Oh, I'm a sports fuck like Juno." And in the next scene, Juno is showing this same character how high she can lift her leg in a very "hey, check out my vagoo" kinda way.

Ok, yes, there is a gender role reversal in this movie, but the entire cast still follows the same horror movie stereotypes we've seen numerous times. There's the hubris, the aggressive one, the baby, the one that starts out weak but ends up strong, so on and so on. Making them all female doesn't change necessarily change that. That's all I'm trying to say.

This review is getting kinda long, but I will say that there are still some very scary scenes in here, claustrophobic or not. The logistics in the movie don't really make sense, but sometimes that doesn't really bother people. The movie could've benefited from some sharp lines in the set construction. I think you either understood what I meant by that or you didn't.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Paper-Mache Puppy is Hungry!

I don't hate Seattle; I hate Charles Mudede.

New Year's Resolution #30 - Hate Charles Mudede

I don't think you people understand. This is a big epiphany for me. For a long time, I was certain that I held in my heart nothing but contempt and animosity for the pretentious, hyper-educated snobbish masses that inhabit the Emerald City (a nickname I have yet to discover the origin of. Nothing in this place is green, just wet.)

Charles Mudede is one of many film reviewers for The Stranger, a free alt-weekly around these parts. He seems like a nice guy. If I were to meet him on the street, I would politely say hello Charles, how's the weather? Rainy, he would most likely reply, and we would both cry. However, reading his drivel in The Stranger makes me want to tear out my eyes and then tear out his eyes to replace my recently misplaced eyes.

It's hard for me to fully explain why I can't stand Mudede, other than to claim that he is really, just too damn serious. Here's a review of Bee Movie by him. Here's a review of High School Musical. Please note that he claims, in no satirical fashion either, that High School Musical is destroying the planet. And not like, "haha, this movie is so bad, it's melting polar ice caps and drowning baby penguins!" No. He means it is literally destroying the planet.

However, the reason I keep reading The Stranger, is due in no small part to articles by Lindy West, another film reviewer, who is actually interesting.

New Year's Resolution #31 - Harbor a semi-secret attraction for a film reviewer at an alt-weekly

Here's one by West. Notice how it's actually funny and enjoyable to read? I'm amazed that the same paper even publishes these two people alongside one another. She's just so damn funny. I honestly think I might have a crush on her.

New Year's Resolution #32 - Force someone into getting a restraining order



Dear Lindy,

You are soooo funny. How much do you make at The Stranger? Whatever it is, it isn't enough. May I suggest that you demand a raise from your bosses? Just walk into their fancy-schmancy Seattle headquaters and be all like, "I'm Lindy West. I am sooooo funny. Put more money in my bank account!" Foolproof.
I really can't emphasize enough how hilarious you are and how much I enjoy reading your articles. Are you single? Shit. I shouldn't have asked that. Now you think I'm a crazy stalker. Hang on, I can fix this. I would just like to let you know that your film reviews and articles are very articulate and well-written, they always bring a smile to my face and make me wonder what kind of underwear you had on when you wrote them. Dammit, that's no good either. I think it was the underwear thing. Ok, round three. Sex! HAVE SEX WITH ME! There we go. No chance of anyone thinking I'm a crazy stalker if I say that.
Well, sorry to cut this letter short, but I have to go feed Lindy Jr., the paper-mache dog that I made with glue and copies of your articles. You know how riled up paper-mache dogs can get when they're hungry!


Sincerely,
Alex

Your Poetric Interlude for the Day

Disclaimer: I am not a poet. I don't claim to be. Just a dude playing around with poetic form. Please refer to this entry if you're wondering why the hell I'm doing this.

A thoUsand snowflakes-hit-the-ground-at-once
and melt
A thoUsand more strike-the-hoods-and-trunks
of a thousand cars in seattle
cOffeE is all-it-takes-to-warm-hands
for a moment
Old mEn stare out-the-window, grateful
to their beards

wind picks up. and wet noses wet faces.
and dry skin dries eyes. and a thousand people
are crying athousandsnowflakes in the winter.
in seattle.

The way I composed this experiment went like this: First, I wrote a paragraph of prose. I'm a simple guy, so as I was sitting in a coffeeshop watching the snow fall outside, it was a paragraph about sitting in a coffeeshop watching the snow fall outside. There were also two sad old men watching the snow. Next, I picked a song out of the random assortment on my ipod, I almost went with My Last Serenade by Killswitch Engage, but opted instead for the chorus of The Weakerthans' "Civil Twilight". It has that kind of light and airy beat that reminded me of snow. Hopefully you can see the relation between the chorus and the first part of the poem. It's not precise, not even by a longshot, but it's there.

Critically, I'll be the first to admit that I don't like to
look at this poem. The seemingly random placement of capital letters makes it ugly and I dislike that. Oh well. I'll try again later.

I Am Legend

I guess I were to sum up the experience of watching I Am Legend, the first movie I've seen in the theater since Shoot Em Up rocked my socks right the fuck off my feet, I would say that it was "not all bad." And that's true too. It didn't suck 100%.

While the majority of scares in the movie are of the loud-noise and quick-camera variety, something more akin to the scares in a Freddy movie than say, The Ring. Regardless, I can easily say that at least one scene towards the beginning scared me stupid. It's long before you even catch a glimpse of the zombie things, so you have no idea what to expect, and the suspense is built into the scene, not manufactured. What I mean by that is that there's no trick of the camera to manipulate the suspense (like in other scenes); Smith is walking down a dark corridor and only occasionally shines the light in front of him (presumably to avoid drawing attention to himself). Each time he shined that light, I was certain that it would be his last. I pretended like I was cold, but really I was hiding underneath my coat.

The storytelling in the first half of the movie was exceptional too. You receive the smallest of backstory, and then it goes straight into the action. The rest of the backstory is explained as the movie progresses, and once the backstory is completely filled in (again, about halfway through), it's hard to keep caring. I was disappointed that you become so readily acquainted with the zombie things (called "Darkseekers" because they burn up when exposed to light) so early on. The trailers don't reveal a thing about what they are or what they look like, and that's so extraordinarily crucial in horror movies that I can't believe they blew their load so early on, which, contrary to what all my former girlfriends have told me, is not a good thing.

The other thing is that it's completely nonsensical in some places. I don't think I'll be giving too much away if I tell you that the world has been infected with a virus, and that Smith just happens to be immune to it. Why? Nobody knows. And they don't say anything about it either. Is it genetics? Does he have magic powers? Does his superior acting ability render him impervious to harm? It's probably not that last one.

This might give a little bit away, but I'll say it anyway. The Darkseekers are not exactly geniuses, but they're a little bit smarter than zombie-smart. Actually, towards the end, I began wondering why they didn't grab one of the billions of guns floating around New York City and just shoot Smith in the noggin instead of banging their heads against a locked door.

And finally, the movie beats religious overtones into the audience. Yeah, a touch of spirituality, a bit of the supernatural, all these things help boost a movie into a new stratosphere, but when it's too much, it gets irritating so quickly. Maybe it's just me, but I'm sick of hearing the tired old "Bad things are happening, so therefore there must not be a god. Oh wait, if I have faith, things will work out in the end" schtick. And yes, that was an actual quote from the movie.

But like I said, in the end, it doesn't completely suck. There's a few scenes in particular that I thought were amazing. One being the scary scene in the beginning, but another one I should mention is when he starts reciting -- verbatim and in perfect tone -- a scene from Shrek. You start laughing at first, because you realize that his character has seen that movie too many times. Then he keeps going. Then he keeps going after that. Then you stop laughing, because you realize that his character has seen that movie too many times because loneliness has taken away his sanity. That scene is a lot like this movie has a whole "Oh man! This is zomb-awesome! Oh wait...this is actually pretty sad. Is it too late to get tickets for No Country For Old Men?"

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Cacophony, Everyone!

Everyone has their personal traditions around the holidays. For some, it might be a particular food, and I'm sure everyone out there has their own "secret family whatever" that they enjoy. It could be a particular activity, a post-Thanksgiving game of touch or what have you. For me, for the past few years, that tradition has been to expound on the moronic display of pundits and citizens about the war on Christmas. I'm not going to do that this year.

For those of you blissfully unaware of the war on Christmas, allow me to explain in base terms. It is when certain (not all) Christians feel that with the inclusion of other religious and ethnic holidays into the winter season -- which is apparently owned by Jesus -- Christmas, and therefore all of Christianity is being attacked. This is comparable to Frito Lays making a new flavor of Doritos, and being considered racist against Cool Ranch.

Regardless, there are some facts on the situation that need to be brought into light. Most importantly, the fact that it is always beneficial to one's cause to make their beliefs feel persecuted. This is not exclusive to Christians. Muslims do it, Jews do it, blacks in America do it, atheists do it, Captain Planet did it, Al Gore and George W., fat people and skinny people, so on and so forth. The fact is, we all feel bad for ourselves at some point in our lives. Don't misunderstand this philosophy with the "poor me's" though. This is not a "woe" mindset; it is one of danger.

Nothing rallies the troops harder and more efficiently than to make them to believe they are in danger -- their lives, their beliefs, their families, properties, etc.. If you want to create an atmosphere of change, you must first eliminate the atmosphere of stability and peace. "I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator," Adolf Hitler once said, "by defending myself against the Jew." The sad fact is that this statement has been restated so many times in so many ways by so many people. The call to defense of holy justice and innocent lives, whether imagined or real, is one that few of us can ignore. What's even sadder than that is that it occurs even today, in our country, by more than one group of people. The saddest fact of them all is that I, too, am guilty of this baseless and cowardly form of rhetoric.

I could argue that in America today, atheists are one of -- if not the most -- disrespected "religious" minority, and that Christians have the least to worry about in terms of being "persecuted" in this country. I could argue that point very ardently, and have done so in the past, in fact, but someone from a different viewpoint could very easily make a case for the opposite. The only things that we would have in common at that point would be our complete inability and unwillingness to listen to what the other person had to say, and our crime of attempting to incite the masses by frightening them with boogeymen. I stand by that word, too: Crime. It is a crime.

And that is why I'll be keeping my thoughts of disgust on the war on Christmas to myself this year. But that's not enough is it? This year, I won't complain.

Like I said, typically at this time every year, I will pen the frustration and indignation I feel at being an atheist during the holidays. Yes, I was wished "Merry Christmas" a whole lot more than I was wished "Happy Holidays" (which happened once, by the way). Yes, even those who know me relatively well still neglect to recall that I don't celebrate. And a thousand other reasons why I feel "persecuted" this time of year. But you know what? I'm gonna let it slide.

Gun to my head, I'm much happier to live in a country where the cashier at Fred Meyer wishes me a "Merry Christmas" instead of one where statements like that wouldn't be allowed. Gun to my head, I'm glad that people are allowed to celebrate their holiday of choice or not at all. Gun to my head, there's not any guns to my head or anyone else's head for that matter, and that's more than some people can say at this time of year. So stop thinking you deserve more than you have, because none of us do.

Enjoy your December 25th, everyone, whatever it may mean to you. I'll be here, at the computer, working, and watching the snow fall outside my window.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Spray Paint, Pencil, Tent, Sleeping Bag...Doesn't Matter

Here's a remarkable and surprising turn of events. I'm going to offer two New Year's Resolutions of things that I actually care about. Don't worry, I'll go back to making penis jokes tomorrow.

New Year's Resolution #28 - Drive to the middle of nowhere, bring camping equipment, and sleep.

New Year's Resolution #29 - Leave poetry on a bathroom stall.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Request Lines Are Now Open

The new year's resolution section has now become so popular (and by "so popular" I mean that more than two people read them) that I'm now getting requests!

New Year's Resolution #24 - Do Whatever My Friends Tell Me To, If Only to Achieve a Momentary Spotlight and Minimal Laughter

Alright, first request comes from Alex.

New Year's Resolution #25 - Have Sex on a Horse

Hm, interesting request. Are there any psychologist in the audience? Can you tell me what it means when one of my friends wants to see me have sex on top of a equine? He also didn't tell me what I should be having sex with, which makes our friendship even more suspect from now on. Moving on!

New Year's Resolution #26 - Learn to Drink Things with My Penis

This one comes from Jeff and couldn't be more brilliant if it came from my own gloriously crafted mouth. I've tried making my penis talk before, but those results can be described as "unsuccessful" and "unethical" at best. First, I'll be drinking slurpees with my wang, then I will discover how to use it as a weapon. Next!

New Year's Resolution #27 - Stop Being Friends with Alex

Ok, I confess. That one was me. But man, that horse thing is just creepy.

Slurpee Day Fun Continues!

Just FYI, I am moderately addicted to the news. On a typical day, I'll read anywhere from 2-5 newspapers, and usually catch a BBC podcast or two. When ingesting my news content for the day, I like to play a little game I like to call, "Left, Right, Truth" or "Times, Post, BBC". On slow days, when I'm sitting around doing nothing but enjoying a delicious 7-11 slurpee, I'll sometimes catch The Seattle Times, just to see what my fellow Pacific Northwesterners are doing. You know those guys do some wacky things sometimes. (I just heard about a group of people that go to downtown Seattle and impersonate zombies. Crazytown!)

Anyway, I caught this article over at the Seattle Times' website and ended up taking the Selectsmart.com quiz on presidential candidates. The article claims that people who take the test get skewed results, but I disagree. When I took the quiz, I was matched up 100% with "theoretical ideal candidate" which is exactly who I'm voting for next year.

USA Today's quiz was a little...weird, with questions being worded in peculiar ways. Maybe it's just the very intense attention I give to words, but they sound off to me. I think the problem stems with the "Yes/no, because..." system, and not usually finding a "because" I can agree with. For instance, Question 8 is about same-sex marriage, and offers the option of leaving it up to the states, which is where is should be, but doesn't really offer a "states should decide this..." option. One choice for the question on taxes is "Simplify the current income tax system". Wow. Simplify it? Great idea.

If you're bored and you're reading this (one usually leads to the other, so chances are pretty good that you're both right now,) take the quiz and see what happens. I'm interested to see how well our personal perceptions match the documented positions of candidates. Also, I want to see who has a political agenda with these quizzes. ("You oppose the war? Vote Edwards! You're in favor of the war? Vote Edwards!")

Also, I should probably go ahead and state for the record that if you need a color-coded chart to decide who to vote for, you probably shouldn't be allowed to vote.

The Slurpee-a-thon Continues

I am slowly beginning to realize that this slurpee is going to be the focal point for all mental activity today. I'm just that type of guy.

New Year's Resolution #21 - Redesign and rename Seattle's Roads

So when I first moved to Seattle, I had a serious problem with getting around. I mean, any kind of transportation in a new city is going to be understandably difficult, but I'm talking about serious moving issues here. And I would like to contend that it wasn't entirely my fault.

The first complaint I would like to make is that none of these streets go only north/south or east/west; they all kinda curve a smidge, oftentimes for no reason. There's been a number of times when I say, "Ok, I don't know where I am, but I know the direction that I was facing ten minutes and--what? Is that the ocean!? Fuck you Seattle!"

Second, the street nomenclature (there are some words that I just love to use, and "nomenclature" happens to be one of them. I know this makes me sound like a jerk.) For instance, I live on a street named 172nd Southwest. That "southwest" part is there because I'm in the southwestern region of Snohomish county, and there's seven other 172nds in the county. But, not only that, there's eight more 172nds in King county, which is a ten minute drive away.

Third, it's impossible to make a left-hand turn unless it's at a stoplight. Usually, in most cities, there's a big stupid curb in the middle of the road which prevents...convenience, as far as I can tell. Let's say you're a handsome writer looking for a slurpee at 10 in the morning, but the 7-11 is on the opposite side of the street. To quench your dream-induced thirst, you would either have to go to a stoplight and pull a U, or turn down the closest street and then turn right onto the street you were just on BURNING MORE PRECIOUS FOSSIL FUELS AND KILLING ORGANIC FREE-RANGE BUNNIES AND/OR KITTENS. The hypocrisy is not lost on me, as you can see.

New Year's Resolution #22 - Screw it. Just kick a city planner in the balls for this.

Not only are there immense problems with the roads themselves, but Seattle drivers are not bright, as I've mentioned before. Everyone considers those rectangular white signs with big numbers on them to be speed limits, instead of speed recommendations like the rest of the country. On more than one occasion, I have been the lone car in a three-lane road, only to have someone pull out in front of me. And, here's a good one, they stop at green lights. That's not a joke. I've seen that happen more than once.

New Year's Resolution #23 - Randomly Bitch about something of little importance

DRILL BRA

So, when I woke up this morning, alongside my dire need for a 7-11 slurpee (a need that I have thankfully filled at the time of this post), I also had something else staring me in the face, distracting me from the work I had to do, and making my clothes fit funny. That's right, it was The Weekly Hard-On, Part Deux.

This week, I'll be giving my hard-on to The Machine Girl. I've mentioned this movie in the past already, but since then, nothing more awesome has come to my attention. Why is this low budget Japanese movie so entirely worthy of my praise, you ask? Two words: DRILL BRA!

He's Got High, Apple-Pie-In-The-Sky Hopes

One of the things I like to do in my free time is peruse the collection of quotes at thinkexist.com. Sure, I've already gone through everything that Hemingway and Churchill ever said, but what really fascinates me is when I come across some nameless person that said something really cool. I decided today that my life would not be a waste if I could do the same.

New Year's Resolution #20 - Be a Quote

Alright, so here's my first attempt at a long-lasting quote:
"A writer's life should be 5% school, 35% writing, 50% traveling and 20% complete disregard for the rules of mathematics."

And if that doesn't work, I have a backup:
"Don't you hate it when you fall asleep right after masturbation and your penis gets stuck to your stomach? Owie!"

SUPERliminal

You know how in Futurama, they sell advertising space in people's dreams? Well, it's 9am here on the West Coast and I have only one goal for the day.

New Year's Resolution #19 - Buy a Slurpee from 7-11

Friday, December 21, 2007

Three Very Good Reasons Why Politics Are More Fun In Other Countries

#1 - Jacob Zuma, newly-elected party leader in South Africa, is being charged with illegal arms dealing after being in office for like, two days. Also, I would like to point out that one of Zuma's supporters claimed that he is "big enough, man enough and Zumer enough to face the charges."

#2 - French President Nicolas Sarkozy is dating a supermodel, instead of just sleeping with one on the side.

#3 - Not only is she hot, but so are her offspring. I think I'm moving to the Ukraine.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So Is It REALLY STILL Just Me....?

How convenient is this? The writer behind Least I Could Do, the webcomic based on my life, wrote a blog this evening about the writer's strike, offering a viewpoint that I didn't even think of, but completely agree with. Thar she blows.

Is It STILL Just Me...?

Astute readers of this blog may remember my friend Nicole providing me with this link, which was in response to this link, which in turn was a response of this link.

The article that Nicole sent me brings up several points, some good and some bad. First, I would like to point out that if you're trying to argue that you deserve more money, I would not send one of the writers from Crank Yankers or the Andy Milonokis Show as a representative. That's just bad PR. Yes, of course we deserve more money, look at all those hilarious prank phone calls we made! Nice try, WGA, but I'm not falling for it.

Second, they claim that being able to watch television shows online is comparable to being able to download songs, which is, uh, not correct. I would compare being able watch television shows online to something more like being able to listen to the radio online, since you're not really downloading a streaming file. However, when I steal full seasons of Scrubs and Flight of the Conchords using bit torrent, yeah, that's a lot like downloading music.

Third, this article makes the claim that much of the strike revolves around the issue that the internet is revolutionizing the way everyone is doing business, which I couldn't agree with more. However, it's because the internet is changing the way that we take in our entertainment that I think this strike simply won't work.

I pay $36 a month for my cable internet. Actually, I pay $36 a month divided by myself and three other roommates, so it's more like $9. I won't waste your time telling you about the wonders of the magical interweb, but for those nine bucks a month, I have completely eliminated the need for television, radio, newspapers, the video store, any video game consoles or games, and one could argue that my cell phone and postal service are slowly becoming obsolete.

Now, I will not make the claim that any of those things are better on the internet. An email is not the same as a handwritten letter, playing Playstation with a keyboard isn't all that great, having a physical CD in your hands is nicer than an mp3, etc., etc.. And do I think that Ask A Ninja is better than Prison Break? Well, yes, I do, but I understand that one is held up to a higher standard of production value than the other. Can you guess which one? (Hint: It's not the one with the $20 ninja costume in it.)

However, even though none of these things are better, there's a reason that the internet is revolutionizing the way we take in our entertainment. And, I would like to emphasize my opinion on this: progress always follows short-term economic benefits.

I don't think I'm the first person to think this, or at least realize that I'm thinking it. Pretty simple really: If 100 people were offered the choice between something good and something cheap, the majority will choose the cheap something, provided the level of cheapness doesn't it make it a worthless purchase. This is why we have suburbs in America. This is why we haven't invested any money to discover fossil fuel alternatives. This is why non-biodegradable products will keep flourishing over environmentally sound products. This is why sustainability will be impossible in areas where they have to cut down forests in order to grow enough food to eat. Until you make something cheaper, you can't change anything.

Ok, whatever Kevin, you douchebag, but what does this have to do with the internet? Well, I guess I'm suggesting that the media as we know it is going to change dramatically over the next few years. It's already happening with print news, as it slowly begins to lose money to internet news and cable channels. If I were a more pessimistic person, I would even go so far as to say that newspapers are about to disappear forever, and someday I'll be perusing a museum with my robot grandchildren saying, "See that, Blanka Jr.? I used to read those before I discovered free things." And yes, I really will name my progeny after Street Fighter characters. But the point is that the internet will eventually, at the very least, remove profits from a lot of business models as we know them. Damage has already occurred in the music industry. It's even happened before, when the big switch from radio to television occurred. I'm guessing that I'm not the only person in the world to realize that I can save literally hundreds of dollars by splitting a ten mbps rate with three other people.

Do I think that media companies will be shutting their doors for good in the near future? No, nothing so dramatic. However, I think a strike that demands more money from a company that will most likely be losing money in the next few years is not the way to go. I hate to say it, WGA, but jump ship. Quit the strike, but don't go back to work for the television companies you formally worked for. Get your friends together and start up your own youtube channel, podcast show, myspace page, or whatever. Because if you want to make money off the internet in the future, it looks like that's going to be the way to go.





I mean, they were puppets that made prank phone calls. Who the hell thought that deserved a raise?

Tymoshenko/Knightley '12

A few news items that caught my eye today:

Miss Belgium was booed for being unable to speak Flemish. You might think that response is a bit harsh. I mean, she's just a beauty queen. But you have to realize that because Belgium technically doesn't have a government, Miss Belgium is next in line to rule the country. (The order goes: King, Prime Minister, Vice Prime Minister, Belgium's B-Celebrities, France.)

Two new species of mammals were discovered in Papua: a pygmy possum and a giant rat. Is it just me, or are these two different names for the same thing?

Why can't our female politicians be more like Yulia Tymoshenko? And by that, I mean, really effin hot.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Iambic Pentameter ALL UP IN YOUR FACE

So.
I've been thinking a lot about poetry lately.

Don't click away. This might be interesting.
Maybe.



Probably not.
You know what? Just go a different website. I'll just talk to myself.

My thoughts on poetry as of late revolved around prose, music, lyrics and...AOL? No joke. AOL instant messenger is a big part of this theory. You see, when I talk to my friends on AOL instant messenger (hereby referred to as "AIM"), I talk to them in a way that isn't wholly conversation, but isn't completely dialogue. This isn't anything special; lots of people do it. We realize that if we were to read our AIM conversations aloud, they wouldn't sound like actual conversation, nor would they sound like a conversation between two characters in a book or play if we transcribed them onto paper.

We also realize that dialogue in prose doesn't exactly sound like how someone talks, but is designed to sound like reading what someone talks like. Did you follow that? If dialogue in prose sounded like the way we actually talk, it would, uh, sound a little different, and uh, not quite enjoyable to, ya know, read. The same works in reverse; the things characters say wouldn't sound like real conversation if enacted by real people. They would come off as supernaturally articulate and manufactured. So, in summation, conversations are not prose and prose is not conversations.

At the risk of sounding redundant, music and lyrics have a similar relationship. If you were to transcribe your favorite lyrics into poetry, they end up being shitty poetry. I'm sorry, I don't care which band or musical artist you borrowed them, but the lyrics will turn into bad poetry or at the very least, fail to capture the same feelings you would get from listening to a song. Example:

Dismantle the ground they stand on
Give power a name
(Power a name)
Sad rejection
Learn to follow the wolves


Ok, on its own it theoretically works, but you're not getting the full story with just the lyrics. You can't hear Demon Hunter's singer screaming "power a name". You don't get the punc.u.ated. effect of "learn to follow the wolves." You're missing an awful lot by just reading the lyrics.

Again, the same holds true in performance poetry versus (excuse the lack of a better term) literary poetry. Some poems were meant to be read, and some were meant to be spoken. Just as songs were meant to be sung, books were meant to be read, and AIM conversations can only exists in AIM. In short, nothing is equal to anything else.

Now, here's where talent can help blur these lines. If you're reading a book, you might come across a piece of dialogue that jumps off the page, that sings to you. You can hear the character's voices and the words they're saying sound real. They are words that can never, ever actually become a spontaneous conversation between two living, breathing human being, but if you're reading them, you can become convinced that they could.

Go back to the top of this page and read those first few lines. I don't actually talk like that, but if you squint super duper hard, you can almost pretend I could say something like that, in that way. The way that you read it determines how it sounds in your head; that much is obvious. The punctuation after "So", the line breaks, the three sentences all in one line, all of it helps put together a "conversation" in your head when you read it. You can hear me pausing after "So" and you can hear my speech speed up in those last three lines. The cool part is, you did it all without really thinking about it.

Alright, but what the hell does this have to do with poetry? Well, in the same way that good prose can emulate a conversation, good poetry should emulate a song, or at the very least, rhythm. What I'm saying definitely isn't anything new, and Shakespeare was doing this long before I was even a ham sandwich. I'm sure you could even go back even further than Shakespeare and find more examples of this, but Shakespeare's easy enough to demonstrate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May

Hear it? ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum.

ee cummings is another poet I highly respect. Check this out.


and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat

Jesus
he was a handsome man


Just by reading it on the paper, you know exactly how to read it in your head. You have automatically paused after "Jesus" and you have heard "onetwothreefourfive" quick in your head. Amazing. Just amazing.

But it doesn't sing does it? It's not a song and it doesn't emulate a song. That's what I would like to do. I would like to write a song that's only pretending to be a song.

I'm not going to say that I can achieve that, or even come close. I'm no poet. But I've been experimenting by working in reverse -- taking a song and turning it into a poem that reads like a song, without changing the font, text size or colors. Just punctuation, capital and lowercase. Here's what I have so far:

The first attempt was with Anberlin's "Everywhere In Between". The link will send you to my Multiply page, and if you have an account, you can listen or sign up for free. If not, I'm sure you can google it and the streaming demo you find will give you the gist of what I'm trying to do. But anyway, the poem:

and you are my fA.ding phO.tograph.
or rippedup memory
and your bUrn.ing mEmoirs rest. here.
youknow they resthere with me

you are the noise in here. i cannot sleep without
const tant remind ders, everywhere inbetween
you are the way out of here. the grace that i have found
const tant remind ders, everywhere inbetween

i've come totellyou
i'm coming hOme tonIght
i'm on my wAy. bAck. hOme.
and your arms tellme it's been toolOng
i'm on my wAy. bAck. hOme.
and your lips tellme it's been toolOng


Ok, two things that are important here. First, don't read it aloud. It should sound like a song in your head, not in actuality. Second, I know this isn't great. Part of that is because like I said, it's hard to translate a song into something else, and the other part is because I am a shitty poet.

Also, it's important to notice the "toolOng" section. I really struggled with that part, because even though it sounds like that in the song (and I will argue that point ferociously), when you read it on paper, you probably read it just like I did: "tool ong". Am I right? Like I said: Nothing is a perfect translation.

The next attempt is Ill Nino's "Guerrilla Carnival". The link will send you to their myspace page, so now Multiply account required. This poem starts after about halfway through the song.

melt. with. me.
are you afraid. todiehere.
melt. with. me.
are you afraid. todiehere.
melt. with. me.
are you afraid
justletitgo. thisisall. gonnago. misunderSTOOD.

complicated, self-addicted, feeling like i'm twisted, but i.
fight it.
whatever it.
it.
may.
be.

complicated, self-addicted, feeling like i'm twisted. i'm gonna fight it
whatever, it may be
whatever it may be
compensated, self-sedated, feeling bored and fated, i'm gonna find you
wherever, you may be
wherever you may be


Alright, I think you get the point. I'm working on trying it in the opposite direction, writing a poem that gives the illusion of song. I encourage everyone to give me feedback on these, and to be as harsh as you feel necessary, because it's not like I'm married to them or anything.

I told you you should've just gone to a different site.

I Really Am a Disgusting Human Being

I spend most of my day sitting at a computer. The reason for this being a combination of factors, mainly the fact that I work at a computer and that I have not perfected the ability to type with my mind from great distances. Yet.

Because I'm at a computer all day, I get into a lot of trouble. Let me explain mathematically:
Computer + Internet + Excess Testosterone + Procrastination + Morbid Curiosity = Fetish Websites.

My latest hobby these days is looking at the weirdest fetish website I can find and then asking myself, "Would I do that? If only just to try it?" I draw the line at things that are illegal, and won't even glance in those websites' direction, but the for the most part, this latest hobby of mine involves a lot of soul-searching. There comes a time in every man's life when he's obligated to ask himself, what kind of weird shit can I do with my wang?

New Year's Resolution #18 - Figure out what kind of weird shit I can do with my wang.

For instance, could I have sex with an armpit? I suppose I could; lube is cheap. Is a girl dressed as animal really that big of a turn-off? Yes. It is. But I'd go through with it for the sake of a funny story. Am I scared of whips and chains? You bet your kinky ass I am, but that won't stop me from donning a full-body leather suit. Is peeing on a girl gross? Yes. There's not even a joke here, just Yes. Midgets need loving too. So do the bald, the hairy, the amputated and those with larger than average clitorises...clirtorisi?...clitoreses? Anyway, the point is, somebody needs to take my internet away or give me more to do, because this can only end in pain -- nipple-clamping pain, my nipple-clamping pain.

Also,

New Year's Resolution #19 - Shoryuken a Volkswagon

That really doesn't have anything to do with sexual fetishes, but I was crossing the street earlier on today and thought it would be cool.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Top Twenty Albums

There are many, many things that I do to feed my own ego. This blog is a good example. Another good one would be half of my conversations, which typically begin with something like, "Oh my god, I am so funny," or "Did you know that I'm better than you?"

I also like to create pointless lists, as though I'm someone important enough to create a list that could potentially have a point. The end of the year is a good time to do this, so I got together with my buddy Jeff, who usually shares similar music interests as I do, and we created a list of what we thought the best albums of 2007 were. You'll notice there's not so much difference between our top ten, but then we go way the fuck out there with 11-20. After we made this list, we started fighting and haven't spoken since.


Kevin's List:
1) From Autumn to Ashes
2) Demon Hunter
3) The Devil Wears Prada
4) Caliban
5) The Bled
6) Drop Dead Gorgeous
7) Cry of the Afflicted
8) Haste the Day
9) In This Moment
10) Sigh
11) blessthefall
12) The Forecast
13) Anberlin - The Lost Songs
14) Jimmy Eat World
15) Dillinger Escape Plan
16) Escape the Fate
17) Hurt
18) (hed)pe
19) Atreyu
20) HORSE the Band

Jeff's Stupid List:
1) Devil Wears Prada
2) As I Lay Dying (WRONG)
3) From Autumn to Ashes
4) Haste the Day
5) The Bled
6) Circa Survive (WRONG and also embarrassing for Jeff)
7) Catherine (SUPER WRONG)
8) Cry of the Afflicted
9) Park (Who?)
10) The Receiving End of Sirens (WRONG, but easily forgiven)
11) blessthefall
12) The Dillinger Escape Plan
13) Scary Kids Scaring Kids
14) Silverstein (SCIENTIFICALLY IMPOSSIBLE)
15) Parkway Drive (What?)
16) August Burns Red (Understandable mistake)
17) The Autumn Offering
18) Inhale Exhale (I think he's just making shit up at this point)
19) Armor for Sleep (This isn't even a real band!)
20) New Found Glory

Cosmopolitan Aspirations

New Year's Resolution #17 - Learn Mandarin Chinese, so I can read Bei Dao's poetry the way it was meant to be read.


Just Say "Poor and Weird" Like a Normal Person

From the New York Times today, in an article about poor living conditions in an apartment building:

Theirs is a dismal, surreal housing arrangement that seems as much out of Kafka as Dickens.

What? What the hell are you trying to say? I have a degree in English Lit and I don't even understand what the hell that's supposed to mean. Are there cockroach people running around? Do ghosts of varying holidays visit this housing arrangement three times a night? Why are there so many street urchins with British accents running around?

I guess the Times doesn't even pretend to care about writing over the heads of the average person anymore.

Oh, and for those of you convinced that the Times has a left-leaning bias (not that I'm against you or with you,) this article was about the poor living conditions of people that don't pay rent. Yes, I guess living someplace for free would be like something out of Dickens, and by that, I mean shitty.

My Patriotic Duty

I have terrible news. America is under attack. And I don’t mean “under attack” the same way that religious nuts think that two guys kissing is destroying our country. No, I mean, we are literally being invaded.

If you haven’t heard lately, the CIA recently was obligated, nay forced, to destroy one of its interrogation tapes to protect the identity of its interrogators (which is the truth). Now, the CIA usually takes its most sensitive intelligence information and stores deep within the Pentagon’s vaults. One might think that with all the security in the Pentagon, that to actually get access to these tapes, you would pretty much be forced to conquer the Pentagon. And if the CIA has to destroy its tapes out of fear of someone taking them, it leads me to the only logical conclusion – The Pentagon is in danger!

New Year’s Resolution #16 - Protect the Pentagon!


First off, let’s beef up the security here a little bit. Gone are the days when access to the Pentagon was halted only by a screen door and an eighty-year-old security guard named Bill, who was fired from a Virginia Wal-Mart. No longer will tourists trick national security advisors into thinking that they are the ghost of Abe Lincoln with a stove-top hat and a magic marker beard. And I’ll be damned if I see yet another “Let me in or I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue” trick work.

Gentlemen and gentlemenladies of the Pentagon, I would like to offer you the latest in protection technology, starting with the Invisible Fence. Now, if I’ve learned anything from the Bush administration, it’s that all Muslims are literal monsters, with gigantic fangs and super-human hearing. The Invisible Fence will emit an ultrasonic sound that drives Muslims and other four-legged creatures nuts, forcing them away from the Pentagon, while good, Christian, heterosexual ears pass by unharmed.

But that can’t be the only recourse we have. Al-Qaeda is a beast craftier than even your average velociraptor and they hide earmuffs under their burqas, so we have to come up with more ideas. Next up, I have the newest anti-terrorist device since the invention of laser beams. I offer you laser beams with spikes attached. Now, you might be wondering how a concept such as laser beams with spikes attached actually works, since lasers are concentrated beams of light and really can’t support the weight of a spike of any size, really. Well, if you don’t understand it, then you must be a terrorist yourself then. So which is it? Are you a terrorist or aren’t you? Huh? Terrorist!?

And finally, as the last line of the defense, I’ve been saving the best for last and offer you my best invention. I call it a locked door. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’re a terrorist and you’re looking to discover the identity of two CIA interrogators who have done nothing outside the limits placed on them by the Geneva Convention. You get to the room where this one tape is kept, right next to hundreds of other tapes and information that you’re clearly not interested in, and you’re shocked to learn, gasp, the door is locked. Oh, the key! We forgot the key! Whose job was it to remember the key!? Mohamed #1, wasn’t that your job? No sir, I think it was Mohamed #4's job to bring the key. Mohamed #4, what do you have to say for yourself? Death to America, sir? Death to America, indeed, Mohamed #4. Death to America, indeed.

And that’s the story of how I saved America, armed only with a few laser beams with spikes attached, and the worldly and compassionate knowledge that the Bush administration has passed along to me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Creative Sources of Inspiration

So I was talking to my younger sister today, and I asked her if she had any ideas on a new resolution for my blog, to which she responded "Be nicer to your sister." And that gave me a wonderful idea.

New Year's Resolution #15 - Kill my little sister

Whoa there, Kevin. Isn't that a bit harsh? I mean, this is your flesh and blood we're talking about here. Is this really necessary?

No. But it is funny. And that's more necessary than necessary.

Here's how I would do it:

Is It Just Me...?

Am I the only writer, nay only person, in America that thinks this writer's strike is a bunch of bull? I just read an article by the venerable Clarence Page, and he dropped this little gem:

"Gone are the days when Hollywood lured literary giants like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker or William Faulkner to give the place a little class. With notable exceptions like HBO's "The Wire" or NBC's "30 Rock" (which satirizes its own employer), writers are the Rodney Dangerfields of the TV and movie industries. They get no respect. The rest of us walk out of theaters, for example, wondering why some more of the big money that we see up on the screen wasn't spent on developing better scripts."

Um, I'm sorry, but it doesn't work like that, Mr. Page. Throwing more money at a script won't make it any better. Sure, it might make them work a bit harder, but passion and talent are things that can't be purchased.

I think that if you're really dedicated to seeing your work on the silver screen, you've already accepted that you're totally ok with being paid diddly squat for it, because if you're not, there's a bajillion other less talented writers willing to do so. The issue comes down to what you're willing to sacrifice for the sake of being able to show off your creation, and the guy that will take a pay decrease just for the sake of seeing his screenplay made, probably has more talent and passion then the jackasses that fucked up the Beowulf movie to include a sex scene. Yes, those guys are asking for more money for their brilliant works. And would you believe that it took two people to come up with "Hey, let's have Beowulf bone Grendel's mom." "Duuuude! Awesome!"

For these writers to ask for more money while the vast majority of them produce garbage (you're aware that reality tv shows have writers, yes? The writers of reality tv shows are demanding that they be paid more for their services. Wrap your mind around that one.) simply astounds me. And yes, there definitely exceptions to the rule. Members of the WGA that have produced quality writing certainly deserve compensation for their efforts, financially or otherwise. If F. Scott Fitzgerald asked for four more cents for every DVD he sold, I think he should get it. Let's go back to Mr. Page:

"There were certain unions that struck terror into the hearts of TV management. The Writers Guild was not one of them. Still isn't."

Because they're not very good. If you have someone with talent walk off the set, then you worry. But right now, the only thing Hollywood lost is the dynamic duo that brought you hot Beowulf-on-monster-milf action.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holy Hadoken!

Here's what I would like to start doing: There are times when I come across something that I feel is noteworthy or "awesome" to the layperson. Actually, those times happen quite frequently. And I would love to share these things that I come across with everyone, but I'm afraid I'm going to get too carried away or, through the content of what I think is cool, let everyone know that I am a complete nerd.

So, to slow myself down and also to avoid inundating you with tons of pointless crap, I'm going to give you all a taste of whatever is giving me a hard-on this week.

To begin with, I would like to remind everyone that I am a huge Street Fighter fan, and offer you this Street Fighter IV Debut Trailer, which is "awesome". And don't worry if you're neither a Street Fighter fan nor a video game enthusiast, because I'm pretty sure the video is sweet in its own right anyway.

And maybe next week, something a little less nerdy. I'm thinking Machine Girl, but we'll see what I'm in the mood for.

Expansion!

New Year's Resolution #14 - Expand the blog a smidge

Alright, here's a few new things I'm going to start adding.
1) Weekly music reviews, every Sunday
2) The occasional illustrated blog post (starting soon)
3) The Weekly Hard-on (more on that later)
4) Put more fiction up here, because seriously, that shit is just lying around at this point
5) Quit copping out with New Year's Resolutions.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why I Didn't I Think of It Before?

So due to a very inconvenient back injury, I've been laid up in bed all day. Don't worry, I'm not trying to score pity; This is going somewhere. Anyway, while I was there, I had an electric heating pad wrapped around me, the kind that plugs into the wall. Because of this, I was pretty much confined to the three-foot radius surrounding the wall outlet, which blew. I started thinking, as I often do, "wouldn't it be neat if this thing didn't have to be plugged into the wall," and from there the insanity just multiplied. "Wouldn't it be neat," I found myself saying out loud, due to the lack of a brain trust, "if this thing didn't have to be plugged into the wall AND it had rocket wings AND it shot pokeballs at my enemies AND fought crime?" Don't think for one second that I didn't transcribe that sentence exactly as I spoke it this afternoon.

New Year's Resolution #13 - Become a Cyborg

Ok, yes, I know what you're thinking. "Kevin, I may have believed that you've dedicated yourself to the goal of eating a homeless person within the next year, but this? Now you're just making shit up."

And that's entirely true. I am just making shit up. But I always follow-through on my wacky ideas, no matter how wacky they get. And that's why I owe Alex $5 for winning a dating site bet. That's also why I made out with a fifty-year-old woman once (just once), and why I pulled my back yesterday by trying to find out how many times I could masturbate in an hour. (I won't tell you how many times. Comprehension would blow your mind.)

The point is, within the next year, I will make it one of thirty-four goals to become part-machine, and also to make sure that the definition of "part-machine" is very loosely defined. For instance, I could craft a chainsaw onto my severed hand (Oh my god are you as excited about Machine Girl as I am? DRILL BRA!) or, I could get a pacemaker. I might end up donating my brain to become the new generation of crimefighter ala Robocop, or I could just use a wheelchair every day of my life for no reason. Actually, there would be plenty of good reasons to use a wheelchair, like using those ultra-big stalls in the mall. Sucks to be you, cripple! I got here first! Anyway, what I'm trying to say is this: It's not that hard to become part-machine these days. And if something isn't hard to do, I'm all over it, like a fat kid on the last cupcake, or a handicapped person who likes to wait on me while I use the biggest stall in the bathroom.

Monday, December 10, 2007

So I Can Seduce Blonde Doctor


New Year's Resolution #12 - Form a Brain Trust

Because talking to myself is getting creepy. Also ineffective.

Diablo Cody and the News

I'm going to attempt to make this point as quickly and as efficiently as possible, because it stirs up a lot of feelings about a unified theory of literature that I tend to live by, and I don't want you people to get bogged down in the details. Here goes.

If you haven't heard about the film Juno yet, I'll fill you in with as much I know: It's a black comedy about an unwed teenage mother seeking an adoptive family for her unborn child. A few of the things I've read about the movie indicate that it's both "heart-breaking" and "hilarious". Not only that, but it's won a few awards and been around the independent film festival block. Having not seen the movie yet, I can only assume that it's pretty good, or at the very least, noteworthy in its own right.

The reason, however, that this film has garnered media buzz as of late, is not because of the quality of the film, but of the past of the screenwriter, Diablo Cody. See, Cody has lived the life of the writer, which means that instead of dumping needless amounts of money into superfluous schooling, Cody has done the things that people do, worked a number of jobs and wrote purely for the sake of writing. It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that a person who has seen a large enough scope of life would have the experience to write a "hilarious" and "heart-breaking" black comedy, because only people with experience can tell a joke or a sad story.

Instead of focusing on this women's apparent talent and determination as a writer, they have decided to draw attention to job as a stripper at one point, which, by the way, was, like, ten years ago.

I'm not even going to get started on how angry this makes me. I guess if I would to put my feelings into a two-word response to the media's shameful display of journalism it would be "No shit." So you're telling me a former stripper is actually more knowledgeable about hardship than an MFA holding screenwriter who spent 3/4 of his life in college? No kidding?

Yes, she used to be a stripper. So what? I'm sure that after writing an extremely successful screenplay after no formal training and working two jobs while doing it that the first thing she wants everyone to know. This woman has done something that deserves praise, and yet the only thing that the media can focus on is that she used to take off her clothes. This is what we call the news, ladies and gentlemen. This is what we call the news.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Lesson in Advanced Biology

Now, I'm a pretty weird guy. This shouldn't be news to anyone. Unlike most weird people however, I'm weird due to my competitive nature; I'm constantly trying to out-weird both myself and the people around me, just to be the best at something. Also, because it makes me laugh.

The other thing I am is profound. This is part of that whole writer territory. Writers can create powerful insight even where there really isn't anything insightful about what they're talking about. I've seen people write an entire thesis about a supporting character's shoe color and how it relates to communism versus capitalism. No, I am not making that up. I don't even think I could make up something like that.

Put both of these things together, and you have all the ingredients necessary for a fortune cookie-like piece of wisdom that makes you confused and uncomfortable.

New Year's Resolution #11 - Say something fucked up

So we're all aware that embryos are created from sperm and ovum. Semen is primarily composed of protein, which, like all of the body's nutrients, is created primarily through the digestion of food. So, technically, I used to be a ham sandwich.

Ok, that's not bad. I'll keep working on it.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

All About Me

In case you're just joining us, let me sum up this little corner of the internet. For the most part, this blog is about two things. The first thing is me. Me me me me me me me me I am awesome me. The second, much less important thing is how crazy Seattle be. And trust me, it be crazy. For instance, Google "USB Greenhouse". A Seattlite came up with that nonsense.

Here in Seattle, everyone is very, very concerned with their own bodies. Their daily lives are a testament to Narcissus himself (a.k.a. ME). If there is something bad that can be put into your body, a Seattlite has nailed it to a cross and then burned it, while jogging. Every piece of food here is open-range, no anti-biotic, no growth hormone, no taste, no blah bloo blee blah. You get what I'm saying.

However, I'm an open-minded individual, and I will admit whenever Seattle comes up with a good idea. For instance, while taking care of their bodies, Seattlites (are you as sick of that word as I am yet?) are also very keen on communicating with their bodies as well, which gave me an idea for my next new year's resolution.

New Year's Resolution #10 - Burn down a Starbucks

No, wait, that's not right.

New Year's Resolution #10 - Burn down a Starbucks
New Year's Resolution #10 - Communicate with my body




Dear Hands,

Thank you for doing all the work, just about all the time. Without you, I would be very, very poor, unless they invented a keyboard large enough for me to type with my wrists, in which case, fuck you, you lazy bastards.

Sincerely,
Kevin Warzala





Dear Eyes,

According to Wikipedia, human beings have been evolving for the past 200,000 years, and our ancestors for millions of years before that. Evolution has allowed humans to become the smartest, most advanced creature on the planet and possibly even the universe. It can be argued that for our all faults, biology and the genetic lottery has blessed our animal species with the tools necessary to not only benefit all of mankind, but all living creatures and even the earth itself. One could even go so far as to say that the evolution of human beings is the greatest thing that has ever happened on this planet. Every beautiful piece of art, every scientific fact and every thing good in this world can be attributed to human beings evolving into the genetic powerhouses they are today. Now, having said that, explain to me why I can't see two inches in front of my face without glasses. I hope you feel bad about that. You just disappointed evolution.

Sincerely,
Kevin Warzala





Dear Brain,

I AM YOUR LORD AND MASTER! YOU WILL OBEY ME! DO MY BIDDING, PEON!

Sincerely,
Kevin Warzala





Dear Left Ear,

Don't let the other guy know, but you're my favorite. Kisses!

Sincerely,
Kevin Warzala





Dear Penis,

Can't you like, take a break for two seconds so I can get some work done?
Oh. Wow.
No, no I guess you really can't take a break can you?

Keep up the good work.

Sincerely,
Kevin Warzala

Friday, December 7, 2007

Catch Up

Dear Friends,

You may have noticed that the blog was not updated this week. And for that, I half-assedly apologize. You see, a combination of factors kept me from being able to post this week, namely my own laziness, my own apathy and my own I don't really give a fuck.

But not to worry! Today is the day when I catch up on all the blog work I've missed out for the past few days. Now, don't start thinking that just because I'm doing four new year's resolutions in one day that each one will be short and crappy, because then you would be absolutely right! And nobody likes a know-it-all.

New Year's Resoluiont #6 - Learn what homeless people taste like

New Year's Resolution #7 - Discover through the use of mathematics what the smallest hole I can have sex with is, instead of the guess-and-check method I've been using

Nw Yar's Rsolution #8 - Svr all tis with my last favorit lttr

New Year's Resolution #9 - Never be late with blog posts again, because no good can come of it

Monday, December 3, 2007

Daring to Dream

New Year's Resolution #5 - See a sunrise at the beginning of my day instead of at the end of it. (sleeping at night is hard!)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Also,

Happy Birthday, Woody Allen.

Extending the Corn-Flavored Olive Branch

I sleep on a futon mattress on the floor. Haircuts have become a luxury. And at one point, I found myself thinking, "If they just took out the superfluous flavoring, Ramen noodles could be five cents cheaper." It was at that point I discovered, "Wow, I am very poor."

Writing is great. Don't get me wrong. At a time when most people my age -- even those with degrees -- are working whatever damn job they can find (not their fault, usually. I know some people that are more industrious and much, much smarter than I am, who can't find a job in their field. Damn you baby boomers. Fucking retire already!) I'm in a position where I get to do what I've always wanted to do, and I couldn't be more happy. It does, however, come at a steep price, and that price is eating solely inside a food group that consists of Ramen noodles, 25-cent mac n' cheese, and the occasional 44-cent can of corn. You may think that all corn tastes the same. Let me assure you, my friends, you are mistaken. You are sorely mistaken.

And so, while I was watching the cars pass on my sleepy street in the suburbs of Seattle, it occurred to me, "Ya know, a few extra bucks wouldn't be too bad." I don't need golf money, but maybe a little frisbee golf money would be nice, which is when I thought of my latest New Year's Resolution.

New Year's Resolution #4 - Create a profitable business


Dear Seattlites,

Are you retarded? Of course you are. But it's not your fault! Driving in snow is hard, and your Honda hybrid just wasn't made for moving through territory that wasn't your own pretentiousness and hipster attitude. That's why when it comes time to drive in the snow, you seem to only be able to go at idling speed, brake with severe intensity, and endanger the lives of the hippie children you've spawned that are playing in the streets.

But we can help! At Midwest Snow Drivers Inc., we'll take this relatively simple task and do it for you. Let us drive you around through the snow. We'll even handle tough situations, like accelerating, decelerating and maybe even a turn or two! (Turn fees will be applied.) And, if you're lucky, you can stop listening to Coltrane on your ipod and learn a thing or two! Ha ha ha, just kidding, Seattle! We know you can't afford to stop looking cool for that long! (The baristas from Starbucks might be watching.)

But you might be wondering, "Won't all that gas hurt the environment?" Not to worry! At Midwest Snow Drivers Inc., we use only the most organic-est ingredients! That means that our gas was raised out in the open, not in cages, and comes from only the finest natural resources nature has to offer! Our gas hasn't been injected with growth hormones, antibiotics or preservatives. It's the same gas Al Gore uses in his SUV!

So what're you waiting for? Pick up the phone right now and dial 1-800-INO-SMRT and let us handle the simple tasks that inexplicably perplex you!