Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Did You Miss Me?

I'm back, kinda! Except I don't have a fancy domain name anymore. Or I do, but due to some accidental meddling, it's not linked to the blog, and the way to fix it is overly complicated and boring. So I'm sure there's lots of broken links on here, and I'll fix them as I see them. 

This is assuming anyone can even find this and is reading it. I hope they do. I need to know if Lord Loser is still growing championship beards or if Trina fell through any more ceilings. (if you happen to have stumbled onto this blog for the first time, Lord Loser grows championship beards and Trina fell through a ceiling. There, you're all caught up.)

Anyway, for the past couple of years I've been working at a department store that for legal purposes I'm going to refer to as Darts, and if you clicked on that link, then you already know I've also started writing an entertainment-type blog with some friends from high school and NYPinTA called The Nerds Uncanny. It's ostensibly about pop culture, movies, tv shows, comics; that sort of thing. My first post over there, Television! Teacher. Mother. Secret Lover., (I planned on using Simpsons quotes for all of my headlines, a gimmick that lasted for exactly one post. ) is about memory and the evolution of how we watch TV, and is a lot more entertaining than I'm making it sound. Really. 

After being away from the keyboard for a few years, it feels pretty good to be writing again. And I've got to say, I miss this place. If it's not completely ridiculous to start up a dead blog after all this time, I may split my time between here and there. You know, entertainment stuff there, random day-to-day stuff here. That makes sense, right hypothetical readers?

Friday, April 29, 2011

They Said it Couldn't Be Done

You wouldn't know him, but some completely real non-made up guy bet me eight dollars that I couldn't not post for a whole year. Well, guess who's eight dollars richer this morning?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

This is All Steve Jobs' Fault

I'm working on a project for my dad. He has Thursdays off, so I brought my laptop next door to go over it with him. There's a list of names he wants in two columns, but the laptop keyboard doesn't have an "ENTER" key, which differs from the "RETURN" key in that it starts a new page or column rather than just a new paragraph. So I ran back to home get my external keyboard and realized that I have once again locked myself out of my house.

I specifically made sure the door was unlocked before I left by turning the knob both ways, and figured since it's able to turn, it must be unlocked. As you may have guessed, I apparently have no idea how doors and/or locks work. Ah, doors. My mortal enemy.

In high school, I found a locker with a broken door to use because I could never get my lock open. Jose loves to tell the story of how he dropped me off one day, and claims he watched me try to pull the front door of my house, and after several attempts, pushed it open.

That's not what happened, though. One day, my mom decided that she wanted the blue doors on our blue house to be blinding pink, so that they may be seen from space. But I think the new coat of paint made the door stick, or maybe the knob wasn't put back on quite right, but whatever the case, after that you'd have to jimmy the handle back and forth to get it into the groove or it wouldn't open. I wasn't trying to pull the door open, it was jammed, I tell you! Anyway, Einstein couldn't tie his shoes, and he seemed like a smart guy.

But nevermind all that. This particular case is about not being able to open a door because it's locked, and my keys are inside. Fortunately, my parents live next door and have three sets of keys for my place. Unfortunately, they're all inside my house, on top of the refrigerator, from the previous times I've locked myself out. I um...I meant to bring them over when I came here this morning.

This is not my finest hour.

If this stupid laptop had an ENTER key, yes I'd still be locked out of my house, but I wouldn't have realized it until much later. In fact, I might have been working over here until Michele came home anyway, in which case I would have never even known. But that jerk Steve Jobs had to get rid of the ENTER key, forcing me to notice my stupidity almost immediately. Well, that and that I'd be forced to buy an external keyboard in the first place. Or I could just hit the function key in conjunction with RETURN, which is the same as hitting ENTER, but who the hell wants to do that? That's not simpler, it's an extra step. Just like he refuses to put on/off switches on iPods. And made sure those jerks at the Apple store didn't hire me. God, screw that guy. I want to punch him in the neck.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Day That Wasn't

Yesterday morning I helped a guy named Randy get to class. He goes to a special needs school up the street, so I walked him there. When I got home, it was dark. Michele asked where I'd been all day. I told her I was helping Randy get to school; I couldn't have been gone longer than half an hour.

But it was night. How could that be? It didn't make any sense. Did I go somewhere else and completely forget about it? Had the passage of time gone wonky? I thought about the walk to the school. On the way, I ran into the woman who used to live next door to me. I used to go to school with her daughter. These days she lives in Rockland and I live underneath where she used to live (her mother lived here when I was growing up.) Anyway, she was also walking someone to the school. He was her nephew. He was probably in his mid-twenties, had long hair and was in a wheelchair. His wheelchair had fallen over and we helped him get back into it. We might have talked for a while, but it certainly didn't take all day. Something didn't add up.

Then I started to wonder what my old neighbor was even doing there. If she moved, why would she be taking her nephew to the school right up the street from my house, and why didn't she drive there? And why had I never heard of this nephew until just now? Come to think of it, there's no special school up the street from me. And who the hell is Randy? That's when I knew it. I was dreaming.

Yes, anyone reading this knew it was a dream as soon as Randy showed up, but it all seems perfectly natural when you're actually dreaming them. My parent's dining room is in my old junior high school? Of course it is! People displaying human remains on their lawns? Why not?

It seems like it should happen more often, but realizing you are in a dream is a rare and beautiful thing. Lucid dreaming. My in-dream self thought I had uncovered a massive conspiracy, which may have had something to do with my watching an X-Files marathon on Netflix, but nonetheless I was convinced that the world was trapped in a dream state, and I was the only one conscious of it. I promised myself to write down as much of the dream as I could when I woke up, and in the meantime, just repeat the events that had happened so far over and over in my head.

Later, I was at Nick's house. He had a medieval passageway with a large fireplace as the centerpiece. On the fireplace was a bust of half a face. When you pulled it, another room came out of the wall. Wah Kee was there with us, and he told me something...I can't quite remember. But it was about the room and how something highly unprobable was about to happen. I remember Nick replying "He knows."

When I finally did awake from the dream, I asked Michele what time it was. Two O'clock. Damn. There's no way I was about to scribble all this down at two in the morning, so I just continued to keep as much of it as fresh in my mind as I could until a more reasonable hour. I slept for several hours after the dream, and was awake for several more before I wrote anything down. What was once a rich, vivid world was whittled down to a few vague memories and a game of fill-in-the-blanks.

Ironically, it's the later portion, after I figure out that it's a dream, that is the haziest, perhaps due to my persistence in remembering the earlier details so specifically. The whole part with Nick and Wah Kee is fractured at best, and I can't help but wonder if the parts that I do remember weren't tainted by the several hours of consciousness after the dream ended. I'm certain that Wah Kee was trying to amaze me by showing something that could only happen in a dream. I think it may have been the weird medieval room itself. And Nick's response meant that he knew I was aware of the dream. But that contradicts my earlier assertion that I was alone in the knowledge of the dream; of The Lie. So did my brain create false memories of Nick and Wah Kee being aware of the dream after it had ended, or were they agents of the dream, disguised as people I know for the purpose of containing me and separating me from the rest of the populace, lest I tell them the Truth? I guess it doesn't really matter, but I kind of feel like I let my dream-self down.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Art Attack

When I was younger, I had this book, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The stories weren't remotely scary, but the pictures, sweet Jesus, the pictures haunt my dreams to this day. If you've ever seen this book, the bride chick with the hollowed-out eye sockets probably came screaming back into your memory just now, so it's perfectly fine if you may have wet your pants a little. If you've never seen it, basically the illustrations made otherwise idiotic stories kind of terrifying. If I remember correctly, one of the first stories was about a kid who found a severed toe sticking out of the ground, and then some giant tracks him down and says "You have my toe, now I'm going to eat you!" or something equally asinine. But then there's this picture of a gross little homunculus thing that looks like Quato from Total Recall in overalls and suddenly you sleep with the lights on for a month. Screw the giant, I was afraid the creepy farmer kid was going to dig up my toe. That's one of the strangest sentences I've ever written.

Anyway, there was a painter, Francis Bacon, who specialized in Scary Stories-style grotesquery. Here is one of his works from 1954, Figure with Meat (Head Surrounded by Sides of Beef), part of his 45-painting series "the Screaming Popes," based on a portrait of Pope Innocent X by Diego Velázquez in 1650.

Good old-fashioned nightmare fuel.

Okay, so that may not be your thing, but he's one of the most sought-after names on the market. In fact, in 2008, one of his paintings sold for $86.3 million, making it one of the most expensive painting ever sold. Even Sotheby's was surprised by the winning bid, as they had feared the recession would hurt the art market.

And actually, they were right. The collector who bought the painting initially had his eyes on several other pieces as well, including two by Rubens and three of a series by Edouard Manet. But even a filthy rich art collector couldn't afford all of that, so he finally decided on the Rubens, with Bacon, hold the Manet's.

Well, I hope you rubes learned something today. Not just about art, but about how far I'll go for a lame joke. Because as scary as the eye-socket bride chick is, she's nothing compared to the depths I went to just so I could work "hold the Manet's" into a post.

Speaking of art, check out my buddy Neil's blog. He does comic book art.