Thursday, December 25, 2008

An Important Christmas Message

Hello, and merry Christmas everyone. You know, with all the commercialism surrounding Christmas, it can be easy to forget what this day is all about. It's to celebrate the birth of someone who came into this world with a message of joy and peace. Someone who died, rose again, and will return again one day. So happy birthday, Frosty the Snowman!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In A Country Far Far Away...

Snit (aka Droopy McCool). Jabba's palace. 1983.

Sara the walrus. Istanbul. 2008.

George Lucas is like Nerdstadamus. Who knew?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Aorta Be in Pictures

Remember when I made that appointment to see if I had Marfan Syndrome? Well, I just got back. Did you know that geneticists are located in the same part of the medical facility as the OB/GYN? I didn't. And neither did the lady behind the desk at the gynecologist's office apparently. I got some weird looks when I walked in there.

Can I help you?

Um, I'm here for an appointment.

With an OB/GYN?

Uh, no. Genetics.

She asked for my name, then she looked me up and asked me to sit down. So I sat there for about thirty-five minutes as wave after wave of female patients came in, sat down, were called into the office, and left. The lady behind the desk was talking to her co-worker about David Otunga, the guy from "I Love New York" who's engaged to Jennifer Hudson.

I had already made the co-pay downstairs and this is where the woman there directed me to go. I was starting to think I was in the wrong office, but the lady behind the desk assured me this was genetics, and the doctor would be out in just a few minutes.

The doctor finally came out to greet me. She was wearing plainclothes, like she was undercover. I guess I'm just used to doctors in those white smock things they wear, with a stethoscope around their neck and that circle thing on their head. Come to think of it, I've never seen an actual doctor wearing one of those circle things. She took me into her office and I sat down. The table next to me was overflowing with toys and Dr. Seuss books, and the front of her desk was covered with large, colorful magnetic letters. Near the bottom, someone had spelled out "Youkilis" using sideways "H"s for the "I"s.

She asked for some family history, I answered all of her questions to the best of my knowledge, and then we went into another room where she measured my height, armspan, and leg length. Then we went back to her office and she explained that loose connective tissues, which accounts for my flexibility and occasional hand-popping-out-of-the-socket-ness, is also the reason I had the hiccups for five days and why my throat closes up sometimes when I eat.

I didn't have to give up any of my precious bodily fluids, which was nice. But I do have to go back on January 20 to get 2 non-invasive tests; an ultrasound of my abdominal aorta, and an echocardiogram.

That's all I got for today. I was going to write "aorta" a few more times, but I don't remember everything the doctor said about it. I guess there's medication or something that can keep it from getting too big, because that's what happens. It explodes or something, I don't know. I feel better now that I've looked into all this stuff, anyway.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wenis Envy

Every day we are surrounded by war. The war on terror. The war on drugs. The Battle of the Network Stars. But the oldest of them all, older than the bloody conflicts between Israel and Palestine or even Great Taste and Less Filling is the battle of the sexes. It's been raging for tens of thousands of years, with no end in sight.

Nowhere is this battle more prevalent than in our nation's electronic inboxes. Well, I guess it's much more prevalent in the thousands of domestic abuse cases reported each year, but that doesn't really gel with the light-hearted tone I've established on this blog. So let's stick with the annoying e-mails we get all the time that basically amount to "Ha Ha! Men don't ask for directions! Hee Hee! Women are overbearing!"

While both sides are equally repugnant, I'm inclined to defend my own gender against vitriolic anti-male propaganda, lest the Man Council have me waterborded and, I don't know, stripped of my fantasy football team. By the way, it is not cool to make fun of another man's beleaguered fantasy team. Yes, up until last week, my beloved Crusty Jugglers were 3-9 (the same record as a guy who was locked out of the league in week four due to an argument) and I'm the only person still actively playing in our 10 team league statistically eliminated from making the playoffs. But it's not like I'm the one out there not scoring touchdowns or dropping passes. (Maybe that's for the best.) I'm just having a bad year. And anyway, your team is like your kid. And it hurts when people make fun of your club-footed, droopy-eyed bald kid. He's out there doing the best he can, God bless him! With his helmet and mittens. Heart of a champion.

But back to this man-hating stuff. A list was brought to my attention that soils the pants and baffles the mind. Mostly the latter. As a goodwill gesture, I'd like to state that this list is clearly the work of an extremist, a Femsama Bin Ladin declaring shehad if you will, and is in no way a reflection of the thoughts of your average, non-insane woman. This is a person with some serious issues, who unfortunately left their name off the spiteful, humorless list so we can't all, men and women alike, laugh at how sad and pathetic this person's life must be. Just the same, let's all point and laugh, shall we? Only then can the healing begin.

Here are all the rules every woman must know about men:
1. They look at women as only child bearing flesh, and not humans
Well that makes no sense. If men only see women as child-bearing flesh, how come so many guys skip town when they find out they knocked up their girlfriends? Hmm? Answer that one, Nancy Drew.

2. Men only care about 1 thing and ONLY 1 thing
Well that's awfully vague. it football? Big screen TVs? Wait, it's video games, right? Yeah, it's probably video games.

3. Men could care less about you, his family, his children
I'm just going to gloss over the fact that she went from plural "men" to singular possessive "his". Okay? Forget about that affront to the English language. It's COULDN'T! Men COULDN'T care less! Cheese and crackers, that really ticks me off. It's like saying this person could be dumber. When in fact, this person couldn't be any dumber. See? She's achieved maximum dumbness. The intelligence meter is at zero degrees Kelvin. She's dumb is what I'm getting at.

4. Men would do ANYTHING even kill you for sex
That's right, sister. Because nothing's hotter than banging a dead chick. You caught us.

5. Men can NOT live without sex
I guess it's true. Mahatma Gandhi took a vow of celibacy, and he's dead. So...there you go.

6. Men are mindless, and useless creatures
René Descartes sounds like a chick's name, but he was totally a guy. I think, therefore I am. Suck on that.

7. Women can live without men, men CANNOT live without women
I suppose women could wipe out all the men on Earth and repopulate using sperm banks, but sooner or later, they're gonna run out of baby formula.

8. Men do not have the ability to think about anything but sex
This is the fifth one about sex, and not the last. Clearly someone can't think about anything else.

9. Men cannot love, and do not have the strengths to love. They only know sex
Jeez, change the record, lady. Maybe you should change it to, I don't know, I Would Do Anything for Love, But I Won't Do That. Know who sang that? A man. A man named Meatloaf, wearing a Klingon forehead for some reason.

10. All men should rot in hell
You know in Revenge of the Sith, when Obi-Wan was fighting Anakin, and Obi-Wan said "Only a Sith deals in absolutes," but that itself is an absolute so by his own definition Obi-wan must be a Sith? Well, that's relevant to this somehow. Maybe she forget a few words and meant to say "All men who set puppies on fire should rot in hell." I think we can all agree on that one, right?

Yes, the anonymity of the internet allows people to get away with saying just about anything, and this is probably the angry manifesto of a woman spurned one too many times. There is certainly no shortage of assholes, so a long string of failures could leave someone a jaded wreck to be pitied and/or mocked for their melodramatic platitudes. Although, this whole list may have just been meant to be sarcastic, and sarcasm, as I've come to learn, can be catastrophic on the internets if you don't pull it off.

However, I can't say it doesn't bother me that this person is walking around somewhere, completely blind to the fact that they are frighteningly stupid, and what's worse, breathing all our precious, hard-earned air. I really hope she gets diarrhea with blood in it. And it happens when she's on a bus or something and no one wants to sit next to her, not even the guy that smells like ashtrays filled with cat pee.

I think Jose was expecting me to write about Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Get It Off Me! Get It Off Me!

I suppose I should have written this yesterday, since it happened yesterday, and because of this, I got to go home early yesterday. Sure, the power came back on right about the same time I got home, but it worked out for the best because I was still able to get my projects done on the laptop, plus I didn't have to wear pants.

But let's go back to the beginning of the day. Actually, let's go back a year or two, when I broke the zipper on my jacket. It just snapped off when I was pulling it up one day. The zipper itself still worked fine; it just didn't have the part you pull on anymore. Which, incidentally, is called the puller. You don't really need the puller, though. At first I tried to replace it with a bent paperclip, but it was way too pointy at the end, so I wrapped some masking tap around it. That didn't really help at all and looked incredibly stupid, so I just gave up trying to replace the puller and started grabbing the slider between my thumb and index finger and pulling it up and down that way. The skin on my thumb would occasionally get stuck in the zipper, but otherwise it's worked perfectly all this time.

Then on Saturday the slider got stuck midway up the zipper and wouldn't come undone. I could pull it all the way up to the top, but it wouldn't go any further down than that midway point.

Rather than trying to fix it, I switched to my winter coat. It's getting colder anyway. Okay, we can go back to Monday morning again. I put my winter coat on, walked with Brianna and Michele to the car, and bent down to but my laptop bag in the back seat. Just then I felt something land on my head. I immediately reached up to swat it away. It was long and wriggly.

"Ah!! There's something on my head! I think it's a snake!"

"A snake?"

"Yeah. Maybe it fell out of a tree."

Well, a snake could've fallen out of the tree. It's cold out. Maybe he slithered up there, hung out on a branch, but then it got too cold for him and he fell out and died on my head. Stranger things have happened. But it turns out it was just the drawstring on my coat. It flipped onto my head when I bent over.

Stupid drawstrings. I hate those things. And these ones have metal aglets at that end and they always swing around when I walk and smack me in the teeth.

So um, that's what I've been up to. Oh, on Friday, clean-cut Spare Change Guy was at Park Street station and asked me if I had any matches. I did not.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Can Finally Sleep at Night!

This had been bothering me forever: who are Huey, Dewey and Louie's parents? They always seem to be with their uncle Donald, or uncle Scrooge, who is actually Donald's uncle and their great-uncle. But if Donald is their uncle, then he must have a brother or sister, right? And for that matter, if Scrooge is Donald's uncle, who is Donald's father? And where did all these parents go, anyway? I seem to remember even Mickey had two nephews. How did Disney get this family-friendly image when nearly all of their characters' parents are either seemingly non-existent or die horribly?

I don't want to get off track, but I have to mention that friggin' song is on again. I wish Sugarland was a Disney character's parents.

Anyway, I've always thought it was weird that everyone was an "uncle" and wondered if Duckburg was populated by genetic test subjects who reproduce asexually (which would explain why so many characters walk around pantsless yet lack any visible genitalia) by growing spores on their backs like Gremlins. The truth may be too disturbing to reveal, so the elder Ducks tell the younger ones they were just left on the doorstep one night by shiftless relatives. Oops. I think I just spoiled the ending of M. Night Shyamalan's Duck Tales.

But thanks to the internet, now we know that Huey, Dewey and Louie do, in fact, at least have a mother! Check out Carl Banks' Duck Family Tree.

So now we know that Scrooge is Donald's maternal uncle. Donald's mother's name is Hortense Duck (née McDuck) and his father is Quackmore Duck. He also has a cousin named Gladstone, who was orphaned when his parents overate at a free-lunch picnic. Which leads to the obvious conclusion that Donald is part goldfish.

He has a twin sister named Della Thelma Duck, who is Huey, Dewey and Louie's mother. Finally! Well that's a load off my mind. Curiously, no father is mentioned. Could they have possibly been immaculately conceived from medichlorians? Well, according to wikipedia, there is an unnamed father, but he was sent to the hospital after the little hellspawn stuck a firecracker under his chair, which is how they fell into Donald's care in the first place.

So there you go. Mystery solved. Although none of this explains Mickey's nephews. Or why Goofy wears clothes and walk on his hind legs, but Pluto is a naked mute who drinks from the toilet. Actually, Goofy breaks all the Disney archetypes. Donald doesn't wear pants, Mickey walks around shirtless like he's Matthew McConaughey, but Goofy wears pants and a shirt. And, unlike his sterile and/or sexually repressed friends, Goofy actually has his own kid. Which means Goofy had sex. Sloppy, goofy sex.

But since it's Disney, there's no mother. She probably fell off a cliff got caught in a bear trap or something.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Faith and Begorrah! Me Poor Ears!

A couple of months ago, I got my own office under cartoonishly ridiculous circumstances. So now I'm all the way down the hall from Joe, which sounds nice in theory, but it seems like he's in my office now even more than when I was next door to him. That's mostly because the back-up computer was moved to my office. We really only use it if we need to scan something (which is maybe twice a year) or if we need to pull a job off of--or put a job onto--the archive. By the way, Joe dubbed the backup drive "Hogwarts", which he thinks is hilarious. Anyway, no sooner had I sat down in the new office, Joe's in here saving old jobs to the archive and checking every ten minutes to see if it's finished. I told him I could check for him, so he doesn't need to come down here all the time. The estimated time to finish downloading was 40 minutes, so coming in to see if it's done every ten minutes just seems pointless.

That computer also has the scanner, which we very rarely use, but when I first moved into the new office he was in here every morning using the scanner. Why, you ask? Because his wife checked a sock-knitting book out from the library and it was due back soon. I guess she liked it, but didn't want to pay outrageously inflated book-store prices for her own copy, so Joe was scanning the entire book, page by page, to make full-color printouts. You can't make this stuff up.

But I don't even care. Joe is small potatoes. White noise. The thing that's been slowly driving me insane since I moved to this end of the studio is my boss's radio. Her office is right next to mine, and she's a country music fan. And it's on all day.

I don't know a whole lot about country music, but I guess like anything else, it can be broken into smaller sub-genres. As far as I can tell, the station she listens to is soft-rock staples as sung by today's names in country music, whoever the hell they are. So far I've heard country versions of Boyz II Men songs, Eagles songs (which were practically country to begin with so it just seems redundant), Walking in Memphis, that Aerosmith song from's like they took MAGIC 106.7's playlist and twanged it all up. Oh, and every day at noon they play the Star Spangled Banner, because anyone who isn't constantly waving a flag until they get carpal tunnel syndrome is a Commie bastard who hates our troops.

It's not all national anthems and adult contemporary hits as performed by guys with giant beltbuckles. About four times a day, Kid Rock (Not country!) inexplicably shows up to sing a song about singing Sweet Home Alabama (Also not country!), sampling quite a bit of the melody from Sweet Home Alabama, and, for some reason, Werewolves of London (Not even the same country!!) But I'd cover myself in peanut butter and lie on a fire ant hill while headphones duct-taped to my head play Kid Rock singing about singing someone else's song on a loop for a month if it meant never having to listen to the most annoying, repetitive song I've ever heard. Even more annoying than Move Ya Body. Well, maybe not. But it's up there. And it goes like this:

"oo oo oo oo oo oo, oo oo oo oo oo oo, oo oo oo oo oo oo oooo"

And continues on like that for nearly four minutes.

After hearing it every day for two months, I had to look it up, just so I'd know who to direct my unbridled rage at. It did take a little work, since the wall between our offices absorbed all the audible lyrics other than the steady burst of 19 "oo"s, which came through loud and clear. What is the secret of the "oo"s? Typing a bunch of "oo"s into Google didn't really help. But adding "annoying" and "country song" yielded some results. So, I hereby direct my unbridled rage at Sugarland, and "All I Want To Do." Congratulations, Sugarland, you just made my enemies list.

In other news, I won't be going back to the doctor to settle this whole Marfan Syndrom kerfuffle until next month. I suppose it could be worse. I could have Foreign Accent Syndrome.

Don't laugh. There are dozens of them. Dozens! Did Madonna suffer so kind of massive head trauma we don't know about? I wonder if Trina's got an Irish brogue now, since her little accident. The thing I don't understand, you know, beside the fact that they start speaking in a different accent to begin with, is why they can't just switch back. Have you ever seen a movie where you didn't realize the actor was British until you hear them use their real accent in interviews? Well, if you can "do" an accent, couldn't you just "do" your old voice if someone threw a toaster at your head one day and you suddenly sounded like Colonel Klink?

I'll bet the dozens of people with Foreign Accent Syndrome get asked that all the time, and it probably ticks them off. It's like when you lose something and everybody says, "Where was the last place you had it?" Wow. Why didn't I think of that? Another mystery solved there, Encyclopedia Brown.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

They Should Call this Blog Johnny Deformed

You know how people ask how do you know if the refrigerator light goes off when you close the door, and they think they're being clever or something, but it's a stupid question because there's a button that switches the light off when it's pressed, and since it's right in the door track, the weight of the door turns it off? You can press it with your finger when the door is open, for crying out loud. I don't know where I was going with that. I think it had something to do with what I do when I'm not blogging. I'm not some monkey here for your amusement, I've got a lot on my plate right now. It's not like when I'm not posting here, I go into stasis or anything, in a giant, hermetically-sealed Tupperware container 300 feet below the surface of the Earth, where an advanced society of mole-men monitor my vital signs and flood my mind with gamma rays encoded with subliminal messages, effectively making me a sleeper agent in their quest to take over the Topside. That's just silly. How could these mole people even survive up here, what with their poor vision and their photo-sensitive skin?

No, It turns out I've just been on Facebook really busy at work. For like, months now.

But I'm giving you an update, not just because I've been nominated for something, but also because I got myself all freaked out last week about some genetic defect thing that I may or may not have.

It started last Monday. With so many sto---HOLY SHIT! Sorry. They're doing something to the roof at work. We can hear banging and whirring power tools all day. Just now a big piece of...something...just flew past my window, like a big chunk of Styrofoam or insulation. I don't know if they dropped it by accident or threw it down to the dumpster, but it hit my window ledge, a piece broke off, and it continued on the the ground seven stories below. For a second I thought it was a person. Crap, that was scary.

Alright, what I was saying was, with the election dominating the news pretty much since 2006, there were hundreds of weird little articles coming out that somehow involved presidents or elections. For example, do you know why elections are held on Tuesdays? One of these articles was about Presidential diseases. Michele sent it to me because some people believe Abraham Lincoln had Marfan Syndrome, and from the description, it seemed like I might have it, too. Here's some of the symptoms:

Tall, thin stature with long limbs. Check.
For most people, armspan and height are roughly equal - in people with Marfan Syndrome, armspan is longer. Check. 73" height, 76" armspan.
Long, flexible fingers and toes. Check.
Easy dislocation and loose joints, as well as scoliosis or abnormal side-to-side curvature of the spine. Check and check. When I was a teenager, they told me I had Kyphosis (From the Greek Kyphos, meaning hunchback. Fan-friggin'-tastic.) I had to wear a back brace, which didn't really help my already unnecessarily low self-esteem.
Sunken or pushed-out breastbone. Check.
Vision problems. Check.
Weak blood vessels (especially the aorta) and abnormal heart valves. Um...I don't know. But I did have the hiccups for FIVE DAYS.

Anyway, it was all actually pretty interesting, until I got to the "Prognosis" part, where my life-expectancy was basically halved. So, yeah, it rattled me a bit. It shouldn't have, first of all because I can't even confirm I have this thing, and even if I do, it says with proper medical treatment, the AVERAGE lifespan is increased to about 70 years. 70 is the average, so half the people must live longer than that for it to be the average, right? Isn't that how math works?

Well, it's better to get all worked up over nothing than to suddenly drop dead in ten years, so I did something I hardly ever do: I made an appointment to see a doctor. I figured since I was going to be there anyway, I made sort of a Top Ten list of "ailments" or whatever that I've had for years, but were really too small to go see a doctor for on their own. I don't know, I'd feel silly setting up an appointment to tell a doctor that, despite my narrow build, I constantly smash my shoulder on door frames that I have more than enough space to walk through. But if it's thrown in with a list of other stuff, that somehow makes it easier. So, under threats from Michele and my boss, I made an appointment for last Thursday.

The medical center I go to (which I hadn't gone to since the hiccups incident), is right across the street from the Braintree train station, so I took the train from work and walked over there. On the way, I saw a woman walking ahead of me fall to the ground. It's always tricky when someone falls, because if they're hurt, they're going to need help, but if they're not, the last thing they want is for anyone to draw attention to their hilarious pratfall. She had pretty much gathered herself together by the time I reached her, but to be safe I asked if she was okay. The woman turned around and just gave me this blank, eerie stare. She looked like Morton Downey, Jr., with big coke-bottle glasses. I thought maybe she didn't hear me, so I asked again. Still nothing. Well, nothing but an evil, ungrateful death-stare. Amazingly, though her ankles are apparently made of spaghetti, she managed to hold on tightly to her lit cigarette the entire time. I should have pushed her back down, the crazy broad. I only offered to help in case someone I knew happened to drive by and I didn't want to look like a dick. Jeez. And that face is going to haunt my dreams.

After that, I got to the building and checked in. There was some kind of scheduling conflict with the doctor, so they sent me to a nurse practitioner rather than waiting hours to see my primary care physician, who I couldn't pick out of a lineup anyway. It was a good meeting, but unfortunately I don't have much else to report about it for the moment. She took my list, made a photocopy of it, and said while you can't just look at someone and say they have Marfan Syndrome, it looks like I have Marfan Syndrome. I have another appointment coming up, but it hasn't been scheduled yet. The next one will be with a geneticist. I guess I feel better now. I'm not freaked out anymore, it's not really a big deal either way. It just explains my creepy wizard fingers. At least Michele will stop nagging me about going to the doctor. Now all I have to do is go to the dentist. I may have cracked a tooth last Wednesday. I've been avoiding anything hard or crunchy and chewing with the right side of my mouth since then.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It Puts the Dring in the Basket

Apparently more people read this thing than just you guys. I guess that means I have to update more. Lousy new people.

So here's one that's been in the queue for a while, because I couldn't really think of a good intro. All you need to know is Brianna's school had a fundraiser, so she brought home a catalog for us to bring to work and see if anyone sees anything they might want. There was actually some pretty cool looking things in there, not the crappy magazine subscriptions we were forced to shill. My mom bought a trivet. Here are the instructions that were printed on the back of the box.





600-900W 3-5MIN

1000-1500W 2-4MIN








Now I don't know how to wrap up. There's not really a whole lot to say, I guess.

Oh wait, I found virtually the same description online, except "dring" now says "drink" which is only marginally more coherent. It still says "If the warm plate do not hot enough..."

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Just Blew My Mind

For some reason, Saw V is coming out this week. I guess they're just going to do that every year. The only Saw I ever saw was Saw. Whoa. That's weird. That's a lot of saws. Also, saw spelled backwards is was. And saw and was are past-tense verbs, of see and is, respectively. Si is Spanish for yes, and si spelled backwards is is, the present tense of was, which is saw spelled backwards.

Dick York, Dick Sargent, Sargent York!

I think I need to lie down.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Theological Entomology

Bugs have a considerably more advanced society and social hierarchy than most people realize. Which makes me wonder, do insects have a religion? Do they see the crumbs and scraps left by humans as gifts from the Gods, and fly swatters and magnifying glasses as the wrath of God? Are there stories that get passed on from generation to generation about great bugs of the past, or even heavenly bugs that promise salvation?

If bugs had a Messiah, would he be the Anty Christ?

If Jesus was an ant, Christians would wear asterisks around their necks.

Think about that.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Babar, the Possibly Sinister Disappearing French Elephant

I was about to check my email on Yahoo just now, and I saw an article about the biggest box office bombs in history. So I had to look at that. Just like he does in most of his movies, Eddie Murphy plays more than one part in this list, appearing in both Meet Dave and The Adventures of Pluto Nash, which had the biggest budget vs. box office intake deficit of them all. But the lowest-grossing movie ever is Zyzzx Road, starring Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore. It cost 2 million to make and did a grand total thirty bucks in theaters. Or, the one theater it played in. Thirty bucks. No wonder Sizemore's a crackhead.

Anyway, after that I spent three minutes trying to explain to a co-worker who Katherine Heigl was, and another ten minutes trying to remember who I always confuse her with. The other one was in Knocked Up, right? No, that was Katherine Heigl. Oh, so the the other one was in that movie where the French guy that looks like Anton Chigurh is her dad. No, that's Katherine Heigl, too. Whatever. It was Jessica Biel. Yeah, I know they don't look anything alike, it's just their weird last names, I can never remember which one is which. Now I know who Jessica Biel is but couldn't tell you what she's been in.

After all that, I still hadn't checked my mail, so I got back to the task at hand. But just as I clicked on my mailbox, out of the corner of my eye I could have sworn I saw a headline that said something like "A New Revelation in the Babar Conspiracy" and an accompanying picture of Babar, King of the Elephants, with his green suit and crown everything. Of course I had to find out what that was about, but when I clicked back to the main page, it was gone.

That happens all the time. I see a headline just as I'm leaving a page, think, "Wait. What the hell was that?" and then go back to where I just was and the mystery headline is gone. I hate that! The newfangled Yahoo page cycles through stories, so I clicked on a bunch of different tabs trying to go back to find out what this new revelation was in the Babar conspiracy. Or what the Babar conspiracy was for that matter. Seems like a pretty obscure reference to bring up all of a sudden. But I couldn't find it. I even went to the wikipedia page to check for anything current about a plot or conspiracy, but all I found under "Criticism" was postulation that the children's books could be seen as a justification for colonialism.

I know I just saw a Babar headline, dammit! Where did it go? This is gonna drive me nuts.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Same Crap. Different Day.

Yeah, I know the last thing a wrote about was a giant floating turd breaking loose and wreaking havoc, and I'd really rather not have two back-to-back poop stories, but remember when Shaun the Homeless Black Guy and Sandra Bernhardt left a present in front of our office? Well, it happened again. Of course, we can't be certain exactly who's been laying bricks out there, since everyone's a suspect.

But somebody did it. And it's been there since Monday. That's not really a smell that you want to start your week off with. The guilty party did have enough shame to cover it with the foil wrapper from a burger. I didn't really examine the thing to see if it was from McDonalds or Burger King, but regardless of what the wrapper said, underneath was definitely a Whopper.

Again, in addition to our little graphic design outfit, this building houses, an art gallery, two salons (one of which is called Isoci, which I guess is pronounced EE-SO-SEE, but I always say it as i-socky) and whatever the hell they do on the fourth floor. Those places rely on walk-in business. Well, you probably have to get an appointment first, but you still have to literally walk in, and an unholy smell emanating from a lumpy burger wrapper plopped right by the front door just might dissuade you from going in. You'd think a building manager would want to do something about it right away, right? But after several calls made throughout the day to inform someone about the situation, all that happened is someone came and dumped some water on it. Which made it worse, because now it's all mushy and spread out! You've got to scrub that stuff, man! Then, they just dropped a stack of magazines on top of it. Even today, three days later, the streaks are still there. And this morning, on the sidewalk just a few feet away, there was more! I think this latest batch came from someone's dog, and some poor sap stepped right in it so it's smeared all over and there's chunks shaped like faint footprints. I don't want to go outside anymore.

I guess I'm fortunate to be gainfully employed, and, same as last year, I'm trying to get a second job. Still no luck, though. I went to a few places last night, so hopefully something will stick. Why the hell can't I get hired? Come to think of it, I'm not even sure how I got my current job. I started as an intern, then everything went black, and then it was this morning.

I want to be Billy Mays, the bearded screaming infomercial guy. That guy never needs help finding work. And I could totally do his job. I can yell at the top of my lungs about Orange Glo. I have a blue shirt. What else is there? I guess I'd have to grow a beard. And smile a lot. Actually, I don't want to be Billy Mays at all, I just wanted to talk about how he's branched out from shilling Oxi Clean and Kaboom to inexplicably pitching health insurance. It makes sense. Why not get your health insurance from the same guy who sold you Zorbeez? But wait, there's more! In his newest commercial, he's plugging windshield wipers called GatorBlades (not to be confused with the Gator Mulcher Blade, a lawnmower blade that's home page is To demonstrate the awesome wiping power of the GatorBlades, the amazing new wiper blade that outperforms others, guaranteed, Billy whips out this thing that looks like a leaf blower/Supersoaker and yells, "THIS IS A BUG BAZOOKA! INSIDE ARE HUNDREDS OF BUGS!" Then he pulls the trigger, and bug guts splatters all over the window with an extremely satisfying THUD. "THEY HIT THE WINDSHIELD AT OVER A HUNDRED MILES AN HOUR!!"

The commercial then goes on and on about the secret of GatorBlades clean-sweep diamond technology that cleans and wipes at the same time. But screw the GatorBlades. They're just windshield wipers for Christ's sake. Where can I get a bug bazooka? That is possibly the greatest and most important invention in the last 500 years, if not all of human history. How many people do you just want to shoot in the face with hundreds of bugs at over a hundred miles an hour? I can think of a few. I'd keep one at my desk and every time Joe clomps in here to say something asinine, BLAM! Face full of bug guts. And maybe our mystery pooper would think twice about dropping trow in front of our building after getting their ass tattooed bugshot. I guess the only downside is everyone knows the bug bazooka's only weakness. GatorBlades.

Watch Billy Mays fire the bug bazooka into a windshield here

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Giant Poop Terrorizes City

No, not this, it's a story in today's Metro:

BERNE, SWITZERLAND. A giant inflatable dog mess, the centerpiece of an exhibition at a Swiss museum, broke free of its moorings, brought down a power line, smashed a window and landed in the garden of a children's home. The wind carried the house-sized fake poop 200 yards.

Forget the creepy eggman, this is the now the best thing ever. I especially love how every news outlet that's picked up this story has used different euphemisms for "dog turd." But I am disappointed that no one referred to the escaped crud balloon as "loose stool."

Here's some more about the incident, which happened July 31 but is only being reported internationally now, from the UK's Guardian:

...The exhibit, entitled Complex Shit, is the size of a house. It has a safety system that is supposed to deflate it in bad weather, but it did not work on this occasion...

The installation is part of an exhibition called East of Eden: A Garden Show, which features sound sculptures in trees and a football ground without goalposts. The exhibition opened in May and is due to run until October.
The centre's website describes the show as containing "interweaving, diverse, not to say conflictive emphases and a broad spectrum of items to form a dynamic exchange of parallel and self-eclipsing spatial and temporal zones".

Because I love you, here is a picture of the giant pile of dog crap.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Hometown: The Good, The Bad, and the Completely Made Up

Every kid that ever went to elementary school in Weymouth has been to Abigail Adams' house. They also went to the state prison for a ninth grade field trip for health class for some reason. I think the moral was "Be sure to wash behind your ears, or a big guy named Angel with a giant crucifix tattooed on his chest will do it for you." Anyway, I'd imagine the the Abigail Adams house has seen a spike in attendance since HBO aired it's critically-acclaimed John Adams miniseries. There's no way to tell for sure, short of looking it up, and I don't feel like doing that. But they must be keeping busy, otherwise they would have had time to update their website. When was that thing designed, 1996? Get with the times, Abigail Adams' Birthplace and Museum! Book Laura Linney to give some tours or something.

The point is, every kid growing up here knew the wife of the second President of the United States was from Weymouth. And thanks to Johnny Depp and Blow, we know major cocaine supplier George Jung hails from here, too. So are Daily Show correspondents Rob and Nate Nate Corddry. There's a little sign near a house were Hal Holbrook grew up.

On a more serious note, in 2001, after the Fourth of July fireworks display on Wessagusset Beach, a kid named Matt Nagle was involved in a huge brawl and was stabbed in his spinal chord and paralyzed from the shoulders down. He volunteered for groundbreaking medical procedures and in 2004, became the first person to control an artificial hand using a brain-computer interface. Basically, he had a chip implanted in his brain, and the hand was controlled by his thoughts. That's freaking crazy. Unfortunately, he died last year, three years after getting the implant and over six years after he was stabbed. He was a year behind me in high school, but I didn't know him.

But there's more. You know "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you," the first words ever spoken on a telephone? Mr. Watson was Alexander Graham Bell's assistant, Thomas A. Watson, born in, you guessed it, Salem MA! Um, but he's buried in Weymouth, and that's all that matters, right? In 1883 he founded the Fore River Ship and Engine Building Company, on the Weymouth Fore River, which is actually in Quincy, near the Braintree town border. Over the years many warships were built there, especially during World War II. The shipyard closed in 1986, and the 328 foot tall Goliath crane, which always looked like one of those Imperial walkers from Star Wars to me, was sold to Daewoo and as of last month, is being dismantled to be relocated to Romania. I probably should have taken some pictures. I wonder if it's completely gone now? Nuts.

Hey, know who else I just found out was raised in Weymouth? Creepy Saw actor Tobin Bell. That part is completely true. Now for something completely made up, I direct you to the bastion of accuracy, Wikipedia, for Mr. Bell's entry:

In 1991 Bell opened "The Tobin Bell School of Acting" in his home town of Weymouth, Massachusetts. Among the more famous alumni are Ben Affleck, Michael Clarke Duncan, Keanu Reeves and Jenny McCarthy. Tara Reid was also a student at the school but failed to pass the rigorous six-month course. Tim Curry is known to be a generous backer of the school and an admirer of Bell.

Zing. Well played, Wikipedia editor All Hallow's Wraith. It seems that's gone undetected since May 2.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Why, Lord? Why?

This picture is on my server. I vaguely remember making it, but I can't remember why. I'm sure there was a good reason for it at the time. Anyone from the old days have a better memory? I think it had something to do with NYPinTA.

EDIT: Um...found it. Turns out it really was to torture NYPinTA. Sorry about that...

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Real American Hero

I got an email this morning, purportedly from "Allah Stemple," with the following subject line: Fat Chinese Man Kills And Eats Brother Because He Was Hungry. So did lots of other people. I was then encouraged to watch the video. Given the recent horrific events in Canada, using this as a subject line for spam is probably in poor taste. Actually, under any circumstances this as a subject line is in poor taste. Still...what could possibly be the point of sending something like that? And what did that video link lead to? It almost certainly wasn't a fat Chinese guy eating his brother. Hmm, now that I think about it, it doesn't say "his brother," just "brother." Maybe he was eating someone from a religious order, or a black guy. I'd like to think that the video link contained a massive virus, that would have caused my computer to implode and emit a terrible sulfuric smell that lasts several days, but I was too crafty to fall for the old bait 'n switch. Haha, Allah Stemple, hoist your trickery on some other rube! But more than likely, it probably doesn't lead anywhere or do anything or have any point whatsoever. After hours of soul-searching, I ultimately decided against clicking on it.

Hey, wait a minute...Allah Stemple...Allah's Temple! It's like Topsy Kretts! I think I got spam from terrorists! And by not clicking on a fat Chinese guy video, I may have very well just saved America.

So, you know, you're welcome.

Friday, August 01, 2008

My Left Foot

I started to write this over a month ago, then thought better of it and let in languish in Draft Hell, then later thought, this is a perfectly good post. There are some people that don't have any posts. So here you go...

I noticed something this weekend that somehow went undetected for 29 years. Something that shocked and horrified me and left me completely confused as to my very existence. The middle toe on my left foot is the shorter than the rest of them. Well, not the pinky one, but the two on either side of it. It looks like one of the bone segments is missing. This is messed up.

Is it possible that I've somehow overlooked this my entire life? Feet fall slightly above the veiny backside of the wrists as my least favorite body parts, so I suppose my conscious effort to avoid looking at them could have kept me from discovering the horrible truth. The even more unsettling question is this: what if this is only a recent occurrence? What if at some point I actually lost a bone? For two consecutive summers after I graduated high school, I accidentally smashed my bare left foot into the coffee table while turning the corner from the living room to the dining room. Both times, the doctor said you can't exactly put a tiny cast on your toes, so each time it just sort if healed on it's own. Maybe it got smashed so hard and so repeatedly that it's now permanently stuck in a "shy turtle position." I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to make of all this, I'm freaking out.

Well, not long after that, I looked again, and the toe was normal sized again. That makes even less sense than when it looked like a bone was missing. This has left me with an interesting theory and a solid conclusion. The theory is that due to previous damage, sometimes the middle toe on my left foot inexplicably regresses into my foot. And the conclusion? Feet are gross and should not be looked at or thought about under any circumstances.

Missing bones or not, I've always had problems with that foot. Despite my best efforts, the shoelace on my left shoe always comes undone while I'm walking. It's untied right now. On every pair of shoes I've ever had for as long as I can remember, the left lace always comes undone. Double knots do nothing! Occasionally, extra long laces prove to be the culprit, as my right foot will inadvertently step on the excess lace and pull it loose. But I have actually witnessed the lace shake itself undone entirely on it's own, simply by the movement of my foot walking forward. It's maddening.

On the other hand, err, foot, The right shoe is fine. Laces don't magically untie themselves, and the big toe is the largest, with each of the others progressively smaller, just as God intended. So why does my left shoe refuse to stay tied? Does the size-changing toe have anything to do with it?

Zig-zagging up my body, I get pains in my right hip sometimes, but not my left. I guess that's because when you walk, one foot is working in conjunction with the opposite hip. Isn't it? I think my whole body is being thrown out of whack because my left foot is all weird.

And now, in an amazing feat of showmanship (feat...hehe) I will now predict not only who will post the first comment, but what it will say:

Michele said...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Obligatory Catch Up Post

I've been a little distracted lately. It's been known to happen. But I'm back now, and nothing is going to, holy crap, what's that little music icon? Is that a new Blogger feature? Oh. Nevermind, it's a Foxytunes feature. I can now insert current track as my signature. But I'm not currently listening to anything, And since you most likely can't see the icon I'm referring to, this entire paragraph probably hasn't made any sense to you. Suffice it to say, if you use Firefox and have Foxytunes, you'll see a little G-clef icon just below "Preview" when you're creating a post in Blogger.

I actually almost posted something over a month ago, because something happened that scared the crap out of me. Or, I thought something happened, but it turned out to be nothing. It's sort of embarrassing, actually. Maybe we should move on to something else.

A lot has happened in the past few months. Michele finally got the new job she's been trying to get for nearly two years. Some places have very strict rules about blogs; some say you aren't allowed to have one, even if only post during off hours; some are so strict that you can't even have one in your household. I don't want to get Michele in trouble at work, so I won't say where she is now. But it rhymes with Barvard Bedical Bool. There. Let's see them crack that code.

We're also without Brianna for the summer. She stays with her grandparents in South Carolina during summer vacation, but with Michele just starting her new job, we weren't able to go down there to drop her off. So her dad suggested we take a weekend trip and meet them halfway, in Maryland. We stayed in Hanover, which has this enormous mall with a Medieval dinner place and a 24-screen movie theater shaped like an Egyptian temple, with a giant Anubis statues and everything. We weren't there long enough to actually go to any of these places, but we'll be back Labor Day weekend, and we should have an extra day, so maybe we can go check them out.

One week after we got back from halfway-to-South-Carolina, Jose packed up and moved all-the-way-to-South-Carolina. Before he left, we got together one last time at my parents' house (my family went to Maine and we were watching the dog, the birds and Glenn's iguana). We didn't really do much, except talk and watch something about 80s songs on VH1, but that was enough. Even Hedie showed up, and explained a cryptic text message I'd received a few days earlier. (By the way, come down to Hajjars in Weymouth for wiked [sic] [expletive] awesome karaoke night) It was kind of sad, (Jose leaving, not Hedie's text message) especially since we could have at least gone with him half way if he had left a week earlier if if Michele's parents were able to take that weekend off from work, but he's happy and I'll probably still end up seeing him as much as I have been recently anyway. And I'm assuming we'll be doing Fantasy Football again this year, so I'll be beating his ass from eight states away. I think it's eight. Do you count the state your in? Well, anyway, I'll be beating him from as few as seven or as many as ten states away depending on your counting system. I think.

What else happened? Oh, over the past few weekends, Michele and I had some mini-vacations, just the two of us. It's been great. Weekends are that much more enjoyable when you actually go out and do something instead of sitting at home catching up on your DVR and recuperating from five days' worth of Joeisms. And we haven't had to spend too much because we saw The Dark Knight for free (two complementary tickets when you buy ten General Mills products, thank God we love cereal) and last week we went to the Harvard Natural History Museum, which was all free because Michele is an employee of um...Barvard. We walked around Harvard Square and took a nap under a tree in Harvard Yard. This weekend we're going on a sunset cruise on the Charles River.

Sunday was Michele's birthday. It was also annual Black and Orange Flying Bug Thing Orgy Day. There was a big group of them on the walkway leading to our house, all clustered together. At first I thought an ant was bringing in a big haul. You know how ants can lift many times more than they're own weight, and sometimes I've seen them carrying of much larger insects. But this group, they were all black and orange beetles. And a few inches away, there was another group of them. Still a bit further away, one black and orange beetle all by himself. That's rough. I got to the car, and two more orange and black flying bug things were on the front windshield, one on top of the other like on the Discovery Channel. Another exhibitionist couple was doing it on our back windshield. Michele doused the ones on the front with washer fluid and tried to flick them off with the wiper blades, but they were just out of reach and kept going at it like champs. Then it rained. A lot. And all the orange and black sex beetles most likely all died. I think that might have been Asop's lost fable.

Well that's it for today. Come back tomorrow to see if I can keep this going. I'm sure I have at least three more in me before I lapse again.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Greatest Thing in the World

I will now attempt a transcript.

Unholy Humpty Dumpty Mutant Eggman thing is sitting on a wall...

Kinder...yibbo shaky!
shakes smaller, non-mutant egg

Me unscrabbly.
unwraps foil cover to reveal chocolate egg inside.

Choca Doobee!
opens chocolate egg to reveal yet another egg, this one made of plastic

Doubly Choco Doobee, ops wubbo! (laughs)
opens yellow plastic egg, tiny plastic man which could possibly be a soldier but on further inspection he's got a red chef's hat on and holding a wooden spoon (also inexplicably red)

Mutant Eggman has apparently just eaten some of the chocolate

Yodel yum and choco scrum with multi-pumfabo toys!
picks up a small toy airplane from assortment of Kinder Surprise toys next to him

Oh, grobelee!
moves arms in circular motion; raises eyebrows. outside in the cold distance, a cuckoo cuckoos

Me scooble now. Nogo. Wheee!
Mutant Eggman does the "redrum" finger thing, and freefalls backwards of the wall. Proper British Announcer says "Kinder Surprise from Ferrero."


Monday, May 12, 2008

But I'm Your Density...

Why didn't George McFly divorce his wife when his son came out looking exactly like the guy that "helped" him get her to go out with him high school? Once Marty hit puberty, George should have been a little suspicious of the striking similarities. As if that wasn't bad enough, she named the kid after him, just to rub it in!

Maybe he just decided to let it slide. Why let one little indiscretion ruin a good thing? Maybe he thought, "It could be worse. At least he doesn't look like Biff."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Nonfiction Books: Why I Hate Them, Why I Think Every Nonfiction Author Should Die A Horrible Death, And Why You Should Think So, Too

Why does every single non fiction book include a colon followed by a friggin' paragraph-long subtitle? That ticks me off a lot more than it probably should. It doesn't help that the two biggest offenders, political hit jobs and and self help books, are the two most deplorable genres anyone could ever write about. It's bad enough they're blood-sucking leeches, but do they have to be so obnoxious about it?

One of these days someone is going to write "CHAMPION!: The true story of how I overcame adversity, and against all odds, wrote a book with the longest subtitle in history and scored a bunch of chicks and a sweet movie deal, so look for Champion!: The true story of how I overcame adversity, and against all odds, wrote a book with the longest subtitle in history and scored a bunch of chicks and a sweet movie deal in theaters this Summer.

If I ever write a nonfiction book, The title will just be something short, followed by a colon. And the entire inside of the book will be the subtitle. Beat that, you stupid jerks.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Coming this Summer

Daniel Day Afternoon

Today I learned that if you put Daniel Day-Lewis' head on Will Smith's body and tint the the whole thing orange, you get Vin Disel. I also learned Daniel Day-Lewis makes a great evil Grimace.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Majority of People Are Unusual

This lands in my inbox every once in a while, but for some reason, this time I started thinking about it, specifically the first paragraph:

Fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

Okay, it says that only 55% of people can read this, but then it explains that it doesn't matter what order the letters are in, the human brain will still be able to read them. So shouldn't anyone be able to read it? Wasn't that the point of the second paragraph? Also, 55 out of 100 is the majority, so wouldn't the 45 who couldn't read it be the ones with strange minds? Why would the majority, who's brains work just fine according to the Cambridge University study sited in email, be the one's with strange minds? I knid fo gte hte isrimeposn ttha eht 55% nebmur wsa peluld uto fo sooneme's sas.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This sucks. where the hell is my website?

Edit: Okay, some of it's back. But where's the masthead? And Amazo? I guess it's a start...

EDIT: Gah! All the images are gone!

EDIT: Hold on, I think everything is back know. I had to switch from posting everything via FTP from my own server to publishing from Blogger using a custom domain name. I don't know what any of that means, but I think it's working again. Except now I've got that stupid Blooger toolbar think at the top of the page. How do I get rid of that?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Who Am I? Why Am I Here?

I've lost my memory. Well, half my memory. Well, it's not technically my memory. Let me start over.

I'm typing this on my company-issued Powerbook G4 with 15-inch screen, two RAM ports, a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time. This particular model has a defect that can render the lower RAM port unreadable, cutting the speed of the machine in half. When this happened to a couple of the computers here a few years ago, they were taken to the Apple store to be repaired and we checked the rest of them to make sure they were using both RAM slots. Mine checked out all right, so I thought I must have gotten lucky and didn't get one of the defective ones.

About a month ago, I noticed my laptop was running ridiculously slow. Every command was followed by a lengthy appearance by that stupid spinning rainbow. My browser quit constantly, and even the simplest tasks were met with resistance. Clearly, I needed more memory, 512 MB is much too small these days, especially in the graphic design business. I went online and looked for the best deals on memory cards. I found a place where I could get a 1G card for $87, with free shipping. But Joe, who actually speaks in all caps, said "GOOD LUCK GETTING THEM TO BUY IT FOR YOU. THEY ALWAYS TURN ME DOWN WHEN I TELL THEM WE NEED BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH" Interestingly, when I first mentioned finding a cheap place online, he suggested I email our IT guy to see what I should do. I told him I was pretty sure we get charged every time we email him with a question. Joe said he didn't think so, which explains why our employer is always griping about the exorbitant IT bills.

Still, I knew it would be a hard sell to ask for more RAM, since everyone else was getting by with what they had, but my computer was barely functioning and affecting my work. Then, by chance, last week I clicked on "About this Mac" and discovered that my computer wasn't running slow because it only had 512 MB of RAM, but because it only had 256 MB of RAM. 256! It's like I'd been transported to 1997!

Checking the system preferences confirmed that the lower port was shown as being empty. After all this time (and after the warranty conveniently expired) the defect finally kicked in. Super.


The Apple Care card, which is expired, wouldn't have done me much good anyway, since all it does is bump you up to the front of the line if there's a wait. But I did go to the Apple Store on Friday. I was hoping they would fix the problem for free, since they did that for the other computers a few years ago and there's a whole page about it on Apple's website, but no dice. They said that the warranty on the laptop had expired which voided whatever free stuff I would otherwise be entitled to. They did offer three solutions. The first was to get the motherboard replaced, which would set the company back a grand and leave me without a computer for a couple of days. The second option was to send it to their "depot" for at least a week, during which time they'll fix any and all problems with the computer for a flat rate of $320. The final option was to say, "Screw the lower RAM slot!" and just put more memory in the upper one. I went with that one.

So I reported my findings when I got to work Monday morning, and given the other two options, my boss was happy to go with option 3. So I went back to the website I found that had the memory for $87 with free shipping, but Joe, well, Joe orders everything from our sales rep at a certain retailer, thinking the guy gives us deals. He kept saying "I'LL SAVE YOU THE HASSLE OF USING THE COMPANY CREDIT CARD! I'LL JUST CALL WHAT'S HIS NAME BECAUSE WE HAVE AN ACCOUNT!" I was too busy and tired to object, so Joe made the call. In the end, going through what's-his-name we have an account with cost about $150, versus the $87 I'd originally priced out. Good thing we have Joe and his connections to help us save money, am I right?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Nothing Can Kill the Grimace

We were talking about the Bourne movies at work and somehow that led me to Yoda backpacks, and then to the Wikipedia page for McDonaldland characters. I don't know how exactly, but I do know that what I saw there confused and frightened me. Tacked on to the last line of the write-up about Grimace, the lovable purple blob that's supposed to represent milkshakes, was the following epitaph: "The character was retained after the streamlining of the characters in the '80s, but was dropped in 2007."

What? What?!! Those sons of bitches! They killed Grimace! And by extension, Uncle O'Grimacey! But that wasn't even the worst of it, apparently Early Bird, the McNugget buddies, the Fry Kids, and even poor, mentally disabled Hamburglar have been raptured up into McDonalds heaven. Leaving only Ronald to traverse the desolate wasteland, alone and broken.

Some may have seen these characters as cold, heartless corporate mascots that contribute to America's growing obesity problem, but screw them. The rest of us saw our childhood; memories of a simple time when Saturday morning was the highlight of the week. Commercials debuted between our favorite shows, revealing what the new Happy Meal toys would be for the next few weeks. They were almost as enthralling as the shows themselves. Sure, most of the time the toy was disappointing, I think one time I got a stencil, but the excitement, the mystery of what would be the next promotion was the driving force. And the "off weeks" when the toy was something lame like a single-color lump of plastic shaped like Ronald McDonald flying a helicopter, only strengthened our interest and wishes that in just a few weeks time, a cooler new promotion would take it's place. Maybe it'd be a tie-in to the latest Disney movie, like Little Mermaid bath toys. It seems like it was usually Disney movies, but I remember (and still own) American Tail Christmas stockings, which never really occurred to me until just now as sort of inappropriate (why is a Jewish mouse on a Christmas stocking?) Sometimes the toy would be McDonaldland-specific, such the Changeables, cheeseburgers and milkshakes that transform into robots accented with late-eighties bright green and purple trimming, or the adorable yet slightly disturbing when you think about it McNugget Buddies.

But before the big reveal for the latest Happy Meal, we'd get a little slice-of-life vignette featuring Ronald and any combination of characters from the McDonaldland stable. Some characters were phased out before I was born, or shortly after, so I never got to see Mayor McCheese, the Professor, or talking, paper-eating trash cans(!) in action. And I wasn't around for Grimace's debut as an evil, six-armed shake snatcher. But the McDonald's near my house did have a hollowed-out fiberglass Big Mac, the beloved constable and best friend of Ronald McDonald, that you could climb into and peer out of his giant burger-shaped head.

I can still remember Birdie learning to fly, Grimace's epic adventure to regain his voice, or the McNuggets taking on Ronald in a sporting event. Those were carefree times, times of vaudevillian puns and talking food who seemingly had no fears of being devoured. Whether they were oblivious to their fate, exempt from it on account of their sentient nature and giant eyeballs, or masochistically looked forward to the day they were chewed into pieces was never really made clear. What is clear, is that those Halcyon days are over. McDonaldland is no more. Queue the sad montage of characters being forced from their homes, as McDonaldland itself crumbles from Utopian magical kingdom to harsh, boarded-up ghost town.

Now Main Street's whitewashed windows and vacant stores
Seems like there ain't nobody wants to come down here no more
They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys
and they ain't coming back to your hometown...

With his friends and home ripped away from him, good-natured oaf Grimace could very well revert back to his evil nature. In fact, last year a police sketch artist released a picture of someone who'd been attacking women in the North End, and I couldn't help but think he looked awfully familiar...

Thanks a lot fat kids, you've ruined McDonaldland and precious childhood memories for everyone. I hope you choke on your Apple Dippers.*

* I don't actually hope anyone chokes on anything. Things change, circle of life and all that. But if someone gets the runs because of all this, I wouldn't mind that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You Want One!

Gee whiz, it's Wuvums, the adorable, marketable rodent thing! Wuvums! Shouldn't he be emblazoned on t-shirts and other cash-flow generating materials? Isn't it an injustice that he isn't? He's so damn cute! His big doe eyes are crying out, "Please slap me on a canary yellow onesy. With feet!"

Like last year, I made Valentine's Day cards for Brianna. This time, they feature Wuvums, and more horrible puns. The pirate one says " gonna be my Valentine?" That's probably my favorite.

I guess if I had any forethought, I could have drawn them weeks or even months ago and try to sell them in time for Valentine's Day. There's always next year, right?

He's Toying With Us

It's been over a year since Joe mentioned Captain Nice. Or Mr. Terrific! I'm a little concerned.

Yes, he does still end sentences with "Arrrurrghrgrurrgh!" when he thinks he's said something particularly goofy, or when he's frustrated, or whatever the hell other reason he makes that stupid noise. And he still somehow manages to to add extra syllables to both "hello" and "you" in his stock greeting "Hello-o. How are yew-oo?" when he's making personal calls. I'd commend him for finding a way to stretch "you" into two syllables if I didn't want to hit him repeatedly with my stapler.

He even threw a "Holy D'Artagnan, Batman" or two at us recently. I think I heard Hassan chop not too long ago. "There you go thinking again," is another one. Oh, and "They always spoke so highly of you" is another old standby; he even uses it when referring to inanimate objects.

Joe's old gems never fade away, they just lie dormant until you've let you're guard down. "What if I don't want to" is still as strong as ever, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. It's almost enough to make me open the windows and shout "Shoot me now and get it over with!" But I mustn't stoop to his level. Mustn't I?

He still lives and dies by the word of Howie Carr, still hates the font Palatino because it has "Latino" in it (speculation, of course, but still, I'll bet he avoids using it) and insists there are "Asian Agents," a secret organized union of illegal Asian pan handlers in New York City. Asian Agents. Really.

He still has a grotesquely forced laugh that makes you want nothing to be funny ever again, ever. He still stands unimaginably close while he talks to you, and absolutely cannot walk past your desk without commenting on what's on your screen. It's usually a drawn-out "Oooohhh, pretty", or, "Oh, that looks really good." To be fair, he's trying to be nice, but many times the layout you're working on was designed by someone else in the office, or even by a third party, so his praise without the slightest knowledge of the history of the project rings hollow. He still lingers too long after awkward pauses, seemingly unsure when to clomp away. He still hovers around your desk asking personal questions all day, and just doesn't understand the concept of personal space in general.

He still doesn't wash his hands after he uses the bathroom. He'll still lie about it if confronted. He still can't go a day without exposing us to lethal levels of hairy butt-cleavage.

But he hasn't brought up Captain Nice or Mr. Terrific. Not since last January. He started rambling on about old TV shows a few weeks ago, and I thought for sure they'd be peppered in there. But, hold on, sorry, he did his idiot machine gun laugh while I was typing. Anyway, he was talking about some old show, and my ears perked up and suddenly I got all excited, just waiting for him to say "Hey, here's one, Meeester Tay, do you remember Captain Nice? But it never happened. But the fact that it didn't, and that I was actually disappointed about it, kind of horrifies me.

What have I become?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ode to Kimmy

Ahora que es un wenis.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Indian Burial Ground

I always like to check out statcounter to see what kind of weird crap people search for to end up on this blog. This morning, someone in Tamil Nadu, Chennai, India, found their way to the page about my creepy dead people on the lawn dream by doing a Google search for "composting human corpses." Well, that's...unsettling.

Sure, maybe someone was searching for a non-traditional, eco-friendly way of putting their loved ones to rest, or perhaps they were even planning for their own final arrangements. But just to be on the safe side, the Tamil Nadu authorities might want to check and see if they've got any missing persons cases open. Someone might have a body they're trying to get rid of.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Trip (And Fall) Down Memory Lane

You know what's fun and not a cop-out at all? Copying and pasting Revisiting old stories from the FMD days. Since Sean and Sandra Bernard took their hump'n and dump'n act to more hospitable doorways, and the Metro doesn't have any blatant mistakes today, let's take a look back to another time, when cataloging every single event in my life was a suitable, if temporary, distraction to the ad nauseum blather of Joe.

Back in December of 2004, we had only just recently moved into our new office on Newbury Street, and most days I walked from Park Street Station to work, via Boston Common and the Public Garden. Let's have a look back at one such cold, December day, shall we?

The past couple of days I've had a few close calls with icy patches on the sidewalk, so I guess it was only a matter of time before I finally ended up sprawled out on the pavement. This morning I slipped in the park and landed on the right side of my back. I got up after a few seconds, but my chest, back and right knee are sore. Also, I kinda dented, the company's laptop. But it works fine, since I'm using it.

Over three years later, and it's still working fine! Just a little dent. Woot! And my chest stopped hurting after about seven hours. I can't remember, but I'm sure Michele sent me 700 emails telling me to go to the doctor. Well, I'm still here, aren't I?

Some Asain guy was doing kung fu or something and saw the whole thing, but he didn't help, he just kept swinging his arms around and making weird noises.

Yeah, I know. He was doing Tai Chi. There's a bunch of people who do Tai Chi every morning, usually led by a little old Asian guy that shouts "Hup!" or something. They're out there every day, no matter the weather.

Since I was up all night watching football, all I can think of is having my fall replayed over and over with commentary by John Madden and Al Michaels...

Michaels: There appears to be a man down on the play. It looks like generic_screenname.

Madden: You hate to see that happen to young graphic designers. Let's see the tape again. Oh, look at that. Here's the fall right here. (draws circle on screen)

Michaels: Looks like he's able to get up on his own.

Madden: Yeah, and I tell you what, he's lucky. You have to look out for those ice patches. See, right there. His foot is just touching the ice, but it's enough for a down.

Michaels: That was a close call.

Madden: Yeah, I tell you what. They used to put stickum on their cleats, but...

Michaels: Wait...what? When did they ever put stickum on their cleats?

Madden: Well...see...the, um...(waves hands at Al) FOOTBALL!!!

(read the whole dang thing here.)

And speaking of football, this Boston vs. New York stuff is getting old real fast. The fact that neither Boston nor New York City actually has a football team doesn't seem to register with the idiotic reactionary newspapers of said cities (That would be the Boston Herald and New York Post, respectively.) Why are the mayors of Boston and New York making the traditional "friendly wagers?" I wonder if the comptroller of Spokane, WA and Prime Minister if Sri Lanka made a friendly wager on Sunday's game? It would make about as much sense. Yeah, yeah, Boston vs. New York plays out better in the media than Foxboro vs. East Rutherford, but it just seems like these city wankers are riding the coattails of other people's success. If I was whoever the hell is in charge of Foxboro or East Rutherford, I'd be pissed that someone else came in and ate my breakfast. Foxboro is practically in Rhode Island, and the Giants literally don't even play in New York state, let alone New York City. Give it a rest. Wankers.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Whatsa Mata?

As I've mentioned before, the Metro is my favorite paper. Both ironically and non-ironically. It's free, it's exactly the correct length to read cover to cover from Braintree to Park Street, and when they run out of space for an article, it just ends mid-sentence. I come for the free news, but I stay for the hilarious typos.

While not technically a typo, one thing that always gets me is when a story reads "on yesterday" as opposed to just "yesterday" or "on Monday/Tuesday/Whatever day preceded this one." I don't know if "on yesterday" is grammatically correct (although I'm almost positive it isn't), but it definitely I can only assume all the "on yesterdays" are the result of a computer program that automatically changes the name of a weekday to "yesterday" if it falls on the day before the story was written. My favorite example of this, and the best proof I have that it's the doing of a cold, emotionless computer program and not a living human being that just happens to think "on yesterday" has a certain ring to it, came a few weeks ago. It was the day after Martin Luther King Day, and the article explained that "King's birthday is Jan. 15, but the federal holiday bearing his name is observed on the third yesterday in January."

For the record, the third yesterday in January is January 2.

Today's top story was that crime on the T is down from last year. Or, violent crime, anyway. Less people are getting shot, stabbed or robbed, but weird old guys are still coping feels at their usual clip. Anyway, the first line of the article is "Violent crime on the Mata hit a 10-year low in 2007." What the hell is Mata? Did they mean MBTA? Mata shows up four times in the article, each time with only the M capitalized. Mata. Mata! I thought that maybe Mata was a separate entity from the MBTA, and it just so happened that I'd never heard it mentioned until now. But a much better and more accurate thought would be that the Metro editors take the short bus in to work. And good for them, working in a real office. God bless those goofy bastards.

Meanwhile, everyone's favorite ebony and ivory ragamuffins, Shawn and, um...Shawna, have been sleeping in front of the door every day this week, staying later and later each morning. This morning I walked by the door and saw the familiar gray hump obstructing my path, so I decided to go get some coffee instead of trying to do that weird dance to get past them and open the door. I went down the street, got a coffee and donut and leisurely read the Metro. After twenty minutes or so, I headed back to the office, thinking I'd given them enough time to either get up on their own, or be kicked out by one of the less passive occupants. But no, there they were, still blocking the door, still smelling like urine.

A guy from the sixth floor had some clients with them this morning and couldn't get in because they were blocking the door. The guy said he was going to call the cops. That's the second time in as many days that someone's threatened police involvement. I don't think I like where this is headed. There's going to be a confrontation. I hate those. I don't know if it's going to come to actual physical contact, or if we're going to come in one morning and find a revenge dump spattered all over the entranceway. Either way, it won't be pretty.

It's been really cold the past few days, and I feel terrible that anyone has to sleep (and hump...ugh) outside, but by now they have to know this building has several businesses in it, and people start coming and going early in the morning, so it makes sense for all parties involved if they packed up and found some new digs. There's a church across the street, I've seen some guys sleeping on the steps. Unless that spot's already been claimed. Some of these guys are territorial. Maybe that explains the huge turd in front of Brooks Brothers. Well, there's a ton of other doorways on this end of the street alone. Hell, the place across the street has had a For Rent sign since we moved in here. They could sleep and crap and hump over in that doorway 'til their hearts' content. It's win-win, right?

UPDATE! They weren't there on Wednesday morning. That was anti-climactic.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mmm...Floor Chocolate

I'd never heard of Amy Vanderbilt, but she was one of those Annie Cavanagh-type purveyors of etiquette and taste until she fell out a window. Does my ignorance of Ms. Vanderbilt mean that I'm uncultured? Perhaps. For example, I had no idea that black suits are only proper for servants or the dead. That doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, and why lump servants in with dead people? Apparently this obscure rule that most people have never even heard of came about as a result of President Abraham Lincoln being assassinated in a black Brooks Brothers suit. According to Brooks Brothers' Wikipedia page, anyway.

Incidentally, that's the second instance that someone's made a point to mention that Lincoln died in a Brooks Brothers suit. The Duck Tour guides usually mention it when they drive by the Brooks Brothers at the corner of Newbury and Berkeley Streets. Is that really a big selling point? "Brooks Brothers reminds you that if you're going to be assassinated, why not go out in style?" Even their logo, which I think is a sheep suspended by a pulley system, reminds me of the goat from Jurassic Park. I guess it's supposed to represent the Golden Fleece, but I can't help seeing Sacrificial Lamb.

Anyway, I walk past that particular Brooks Brothers every morning on the way to work, and this morning there was a MONSTER turd (monsturd?) on the front steps. This thing was immense, and oddly rectangular, about the size and shape of a croissant from nearby Au Bon Pain if it was dipped in chocolate coating. Actually, that sounds pretty delicious. Or gross. I'm torn.

The worst part is, this wasn't the work of a dog. No, this was human plop.

Coinciding with the appearance of this mystery loaf is the reemergence of the homeless couple that used to sleep in the doorway of our building. I can't find the link, but I know I've mentioned them before; a black guy named Sean (or Shawn, he doesn't wear a name tag so I can't be sure of the spelling) and a white woman who I'm almost positive is Sandra Bernhard. Now I'm not saying it was them, only pointing out the serendipitous timing of their latest camp-out and someone indiscriminately dropping a brick in front of a classy place like Brooks Brothers.

The last time these two hunkered down in the breezeway of our building, completely blocking the front door, they slept well past seven AM every morning, when the first wave of workers from one the six businesses in the building begin to arrive. They'd groggily move their blankets and soda bottles out of the way so someone could get by, then go back to sleep, only to repeat the process a few minutes later, and again a few minutes after that. Usually they were compliant, but occasionally one or the other would get aggravated that their sleep was being disrupted by, you know, people who work and don't smell like crotch. They were there every morning for a few weeks, maybe even months, and then one day, they were gone. But not before leaving behind a gift of...something...smattered all over the wall and floor. Maybe it was explosive diarrhea, maybe it was vomit, I still say it's a little of Column A, a little of Column B. Whatever it was, it was a chunky burnt sienna mess, and the last we saw of Sean and the missus for a while.

But now they're back, and perhaps the giant dump down the street is an indication that they've learned something on their sabbatical: Never shit where you sleep.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sweet Tapdancing Jesus!

Heath Ledger died! I did not see that one coming. And Michele did it to me again! People really need to stop dying before I find out about it. It messes up my whole day.

I wonder if they finished all his scenes as the Joker? What if they left the ending open-ended for the Joker to return in future installments? I mean no disrespect, I feel terrible for his family and his daughter, and the whole this is very tragic, but it seems like they finally got this Batman franchise right, and I wonder what kind of effect his sudden death will have. Do they keep the Joker out of any further Batman movies, or do they find a new actor to fill the role? And could replacing him kill the franchise? Well, it hasn't seemed to hurt the Harry Potter movies. And The Dark Knight already has one cast change since Batman Begins; Katie Holmes has been replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal in the role of Rachel Dawes, much like the real Katie Holmes has been replaced by a zombie-like Scientologist Pod person. Oddly enough, Katie Holmes was on Dawson's Creek with Michelle Williams, who was married to Heath Ledger. Also, Maggie Gyllenhaal is the sister of Jake Gyllenhal, who was in that gay cowboy movie with Ledger. Oh yeah, and Michele Williams was in that, too.

In his most recent movie, I'm Not There, Heath played Bob Dylan. Here's a weird question: is he the only person who's starred in a biopic about someone and died before the person they were portraying? There could be a few others, but I can't think of any.

Death of a Clown (reprise)

My makeup is dry and it clags on my chin
I'm drowning my sorrows in whiskey and gin
The lion tamer's whip doesn't crack anymore
The lions won't fight and the tigers won't roar

So let's all drink to the death of a clown
Wont someone help me to break up this crown
Let's all drink to the death of a clown
Let's all drink to the death of a clown

The old fortune teller lies dead on the floor
Nobody needs fortunes told anymore
The trainer of insects is crouched on his knees
And frantically looking for runaway fleas

Let's all drink to the death of a clown
So wont someone help me to break up this crown
Let's all drink to the death of a clown
Let's all drink to the death of a clown.

Heath Ledger,
We're the same age. Jeez.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Things I Found Out In My Twenties

The first in an ongoing series, unless I change my mind and don't do any more

I've got less than a year and a half before joining the creaky ranks of the thirty-and-over crowd, so now is a good time to reflect back on some things I've learned in the past decade.

For example, while there very well may be someone named Annie Cavanagh somewhere on this planet, she is not mentioned by name in the J. Geils' song Love Stinks. For the first twenty-odd years of my existence, I'd thought Annie Cavanagh was someone who'd spurned Peter Wolf, and calling her out by name was some sort of revenge. Take that, Annie! You got served in a top 40 radio staple!

The other idea was that maybe Annie Cavanagh was a noted romance or etiquette guru with a weekly advice column/radio show, like Dear Abby or Dr. Joyce Brothers. I'd never heard of her, but lots of songs name-drop people who were famous when the song came out, but lose their relevance as time goes on, like Sir Edward Heath in Taxman, or the little-known fifth verse of America the Beautiful that praises James Henderson Blount's plan to overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii. So the idea that Annie Cavanagh was a well-known talking head in the late seventies/early eighties that has since drifted from the public's consciousness is not unheard of.

But alas, there was no Annie Cavanagh. Turns out the line is actually "I don't care what any Casanova thinks". Even so, I still think Annie Cavanagh sounds better. That Casanova line sounds like it's missing a syllable. Cas'nova. And really, who cares what Annie Cavanagh thinks?