Monday, December 29, 2008

It's gonna be a pretty sparse week around here, but I did want to point out that Eartha Kitt died. In addition to being the best Catwoman ever, she was an outspoken activist and general world-shaker. She will be missed.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dear Scientists,
If you're ever in a wax museum or something and find yourself staring at a representation of a human being that looks a bit too real... don't pull that waving your hand close to their eyes bit. that never works. Just jam your pointer finger into their eyeball. If it's a dummy, no foul. If it's not... well, everyone learns a lesson.

Friday, December 19, 2008

For fuck's sake... (pt. 2)

Baz Lurmann is set to direct remake of The Great Gatsby.

Another one the greatest books ever written will be turned to shit.

Not that the 1974 version was any good either, but that's gonna look like goddamned Dr. Zhivago compared to what this guy does to it.

I was going to make a comment about why don't people just option the shit out of every great novel ever, but then saw that Pale Fire apparently has been in development or awhile. The end is extremely fucking nigh.

(wow. I'm cursing a whole bunch today. My apologies. I'm trying to get over that).

Oh, for fuck's sake...

The FCC reports it received 26 complaints from the public about Utley's language, which was heard live, in the late afternoon, on at least five television stations and one radio station.

Stephen Chow No Longer Directing Green Hornet

I've got many, many reservations about a Seth Rogan-scripted remake of the classic superhero TV show. For one, it was never really supposed to be all that funny. Also, Seth Rogan looks more like a yeti than Van Williams. Hey, I actually like the guy more than most, and I'm sure he'd agree with me. So why star in this?
But I have to admit that I was hesitant to see Stephen Chow direct it. I've thoroughly enjoyed every one of his movies I've seen, from God of Cookery to Kung Fu Hustle (still dragging my feet on CJ7 for some reason). But I'm not sure I'd understand how he'd fit with a project like this. I guess he isn't sure anymore, either. He's still playing Kato, which I'm sure he's doing solely as homage to Bruce Lee, who really made his reputation in this country in the mask.
So, I guess this is my roundabout way of saying I have no clue what's going on with this movie. I'm sure I'll see it, hell, I'll probably even like it. Comedy + Action is tough to pull off well, especially when you're writing and acting. That was one of the bonuses of having Chow direct this. I mean, there's a strong chance that this movie could be the next Casino Royale (obviously I mean the Woody Allen one and not the one with the hilarious ball torture scene). Wait, Edgar Wright is still busy doing that Scott Pilgrim movie, right? Goddamn I hope that's funny. Later, though, he's doing Ant-Man, which could very well herald a return of the comedy superhero movie.

holy shit. They're going to remake Greatest American Hero, aren't they? Mark my words, in 5 years, this there will be a development deal on this.

I scare myself sometimes with my chilling prophecies.

Edit: That's really, really green. It was probably time for a change anyway.
Mark Felt is dead. He was a hero and hopefully an inspiration to many, and I'm sorry for his family's loss. I can only hope that his actions will be remembered and appreciated for many, many years.
Dear scientists,
I know you don't know me very well, and I'm sure you're sick of my letters. But can you please stop giving drivers more shit to look at? Seriously, it's hard enough to convince myself that the wacko in the car next to me isn't going to lose control of their* vehicle while texting or drunk dialing or trying to open a bag of Cheetos or whatever. There is no need to add more stuff to the dashboard for drivers to look at. You just know that the people that buy these cars are the same idiots that try to show it off to their friends while they're driving. So please do us a favor. Try to develop a device that forces people to use handsfree headsets. Or maybe some sort of automatic turn signal. I don't know, you're the guys in the lab coats. But try to help us out maybe?

P.S. That is pretty cool, though. Is that made out of the same technology that used to adorn Slurpee cups?

*I don't want to label either gender a bad driver, no matter how Asian they are**.
**Kidding! I know a lot of you guys are Asian***, and that you're bad drivers is a stereotype and unfair. Besides,
***What? That's a good thing, right? Scientist? Who doesn't want to be thrown in with that lot? I don't get you people****
****I should probably just stop now, right?

Goat #10

Dear scientists,
Please start genetically engineering goats 1-9 so that this guy can have some friends to race with. Otherwise, what's the point?

P.S. Is there a way for goats to not have devil eyes?
I actually had no idea the strip was still being produced...
Here's a fun interview with Greg Pak (writer of the Hulk and Hercules books that I've never read) and David Rees, who still says he's going to stop when Bush gets out of office. I wonder if that's what happened to the video show...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008



It's not enough that any trip to the Mekong Delta would probably trigger all sorts of latent 'Nam visions*. They've been finding an average of two new species a week in the region, which is pretty much grounds for evidence that I will never, ever set foot there. While I find the idea of unchartered territory as romantic as the next person, I've also developed -through decades of wilderness mishap- a wild fear of any non-mammalian creatures I see in the wild. the creepier and crawlier, the more likely I would be to bash it with a stick in the woods out of fear. And I shouldn't go to a jungle where all I'd think to do is kill stuff. Hey, those things might have valuable medicines or aphrodisiacs in them, right?
Anyway, a trip to the area today might yield sightings of Gumprecht's green pit viper (sounds cute!), the shocking pink dragon millipede, and oh, the world's largest spider (Heteropoda maxima).
Did I mention that the shocking pink dragon millipede secretes cyanide? I hate it when mother nature uses all these superanimals.
"Some of these species really have no business being recently discovered," WWF's Stuart Chapman said.
*Playboy bunnies in helicopters, acid trips, and R. Lee Ermey. Right?
Thanks to BoingBoing for ensuring I don't sleep until 2009

And if you're about to tell me that all of these are land creatures and there mustn't be anything to fear in the water, think again. I give you:
The Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas)

The giant barb (Catlocarpio siamensis)

The giant freshwater stingray (Himantura chaophraya)

Yeah, no thanks.

Oh, and check out the Mississippi paddlefish for some domestic horror.
Hey, you Liberal Democrats. You may have won the election, but you're getting CREAMED in the transition.
Greg Palast on Obama's new Secretary of Education
(the last comment is actually more interesting than the post)

More Bad News

"I am very excited to be working with Bob Weinstein again and returning to the world of 'Halloween,'" Zombie says in the press release. "The remake laid the groundwork, now it's time to really take Michael Myers to the next level. I believe we've just barely scratched the surface of where we can take this series."
So, I guess that they announced last night that Rob Zombie would be helming the sequel to his Halloween remake. Now, I'm still getting over how unhappy I was with the last one. Zombie took any suspense or character out of the film, replacing it with a near-constant stream of tits, gore, and bad cameos.
Sure, all of these were in the first film, but Zombie was just so ham-fisted with his approach that I really just stopped caring after ten minutes. And that weird back story with all the masks on the wall? Ugh.
Anyway, I can't imagine he's going to stay too true to the story line, so I have no idea if the sequel will be set in the hospital like the last one. It does, however, make me kind of excited at the idea of him making a remake of Season of the Witch. Ugh.
A family is Holland Township is angry at ShopRite for not writing their child's full name on a birthday cake.
The child's name is Adolf Hitler. Little Adolf has a baby sister named Aryan Nation.

Why oh why can't I be making this up?

(it says in the caption that they went to Wal-Mart to get the cakes? So... Wal-Mart went for that?)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just in time for the holidays...

After all the Y2K busts, I figured that we would have to wait forever to get some good old-fashioned doomsday predictions:
"I think that you should hear what my opinion about the Obama election is: that he will not be the next president. I said on my home page in August that if he lost to expect to see the 'riots' that 2 Peter 2:13 tells us about. He didn't lose. But the story is not finished yet. I still think they may begin the riots before Christmas 2008, as I said."

These riots, according to his prophecy, will encourage the "old, hard-line Soviet guard" to seize the moment and rain down nukes on the United States, killing at least 100 million of us.

"Prepare now," Freeborn's letter concluded. "We are downwind from Las Vegas. I hope you can survive."
So we have this idiot's backpedaling to look forward to.

Podcast roundup

So, I'm only going to give loose descriptions and I'm linking directly to the feeds. There are others I listen to (particularly music ones), but I never stick to long enough to list here. So this is what I have on file at the moment.

Democracy Now! (audio) - Daily. I listen to at least the headlines every day, usually most of the show.
The Rachel Maddow Show (audio) - Daily. I'll listen to this every other day or so, but I tend to not pay attention to some of it, depending on if I've seen the Daily Show recently.
The Economist - Comes out a few times a week. Usually I listen to the complete audio version of the magazine, but if I can't find that falling off a truck somewhere, this is always a nice mini-fix
Meet The Press (audio) - Once a week. It largely depends on who the guest is (and there is some hesitance now to listen to Dave Gregory's voice for that long every week), but this is still the round table.
Slate's Political Gabfest - Once a week. ...another round table.

WFMU's The Best Show on WFMU - Once a week. 3 Hours of mirth, music, and mayhem. Mostly the latter. Sometimes I listen to this live, sometimes I tune to the podcast. It's all relative.
Jordan Jesse GO! - Once a week. I go from bored and barely complacent to zealous fan on this, depending on the episode. I'm currently waiting for them to bat out of this slump.
The Sound of Young America - Once a week. This depends entirely on the guest, though I should state here thast Jesse Thorn has become a favorite interviewer of mine, recently. Both because his interests and mine overlap often and so I tend to like his guests, but also because he conducts these in a more relaxed tempo, and in his home, which is nice.
Never Not Funny - Once a week. I recently subscribed to the primo podcast, which is much longer. It varies, but honestly, listening to Andy richter's interview alone was worth it. I just wish Paul F. Tompkins was still on it twice a season. Weird: I kind of love and hate host Jimmy Pardo.
The Moth - Just people telling stories. I switched for this instead of This American Life for some reason some time back. I think TAL started getting too precocious for me? Or maybe I felt bad about never contributing. Either way, I'm comfortable with my decision.

WFMU's Sinner's Crossroads - Weekly. Gospel music. See post the other day.
NPR: All Songs Considered - I have like 4 of these I haven't listened to yet, so I don't know why I'm counting this, but I do like it whenever I'm listening to it. And Tom Moon appears on it quite a bit, which I like.
KEXP Live Performances - I only download these rarely, and it depends entirely on who is playing, but it's still great when it's great.
*I just deleted all of the NPR live concert series, because it kept downloading the same Laura Gibson video show without asking me, and I didn't want it or it's cumbersome file size.

History Nerds
Stuff You Missed in History Class - Every couple of days. I like history. A little while ago, I actually had to get out of bed I was laughing so hard at one of the hosts, when talking about serial killers in the Countess of Bathory episode, says: "...650 victims over 54 years, No one's even come close to that. Some guy in Brazil murdered 300, and actually he's on the loose right now, so... look out Brazil". He was talking about the "Monster of the Andes", Pedro Lopez, who operated in Peru, Columbia, and Ecuador, but has certainly been wanted by authorities since 2001.
Stuff You Should Know - Every couple of days. I also like stuff.

Ifanboy Pick of the Week - Three guys talking about comic books.
WordBalloon - No idea. Usually, these are extended interviews with comic book creators. I listen every once in awhile, but not often enough to know how often it comes out.

ESPN: NBA Today - Ball. I just found this the other day, after the disappearance of the Inside dish in July.
Basketball Jones (audio) - This reminds me of listening to the sports writers from my college newspapers sitting around bullshitting. I don't agree with everything they say, but they know boatloads more than I do about the league. Warning: Canadian Accents.

Monday, December 15, 2008

No updates today because I wasn't near a computer. None tonight because I'm going to be at a football team, 40 years to the day after Philadelphia gained an unfair reputation as the worst sports fans in the country.

It doesn't sound like our weather will be any better, though. Oh well.

I'll be back later with my new sudden obsession!

Taken Sat. night, outside home.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ninja Warrior: For Mice

yeah, Ninja Warrior is pretty awesome. But let's get some mice on!

My favorite Onion headline of the day
wait for it....

wait for it...


(better than casino fight?)

What's better?

A tortoise named Bandit?
or a tortoise named Bandit ON WHEELS.

what I'm Listening to This Week, Pt. 2

Sinner's Crossroads, hosted by Kevin Nutt.
A program (and podcast) on WFMU, this hour long gospel program features some of the best songs I've ever heard on a regular basis. I can't even delete the podcasts because I listen to them over and over, knowing that I'll probably never be able to track down most of these recordings, even with the power of the internet on my side. Host Nutt does a good job of not getting preachy while on the air, leaving something of a sober look at some of the most excited and uplifting music ever recorded.
If you've ever avoided the genre because of the religious implications, seriously give this a shot. I'm not promising anything you'll like it, but it's worth at least being familiar with.

Download here or on iTunes.

This and Theme Time Radio Hour comprise about 35% of my listening lately.

Video Game Art

This from The Economist

The United States is being overrun by feral hogs.

So, you're telling me there's a loose herd of free-range pork running around that I can shoot without any regulation in many states? There has to be a better way to take advantage of this...

Japan using Google maps to report strange smells

This is something I could totally run wild with. "Crack-like smell outside the corner store. Attempts at investigation called off on account of potential presence of crack"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I attended the funeral on Saturday of a very dear old friend who died just before Thanksgiving. He was a very popular and interesting man, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have known him for my entire life (literally. He was in the room when I was born). It's funny, though, even though I called him "Dr. Jim" my entire life, I never really thought of him as a doctor at all. Because he was so much more interesting than that. He was a musician, an inventor, a craftsman, a storyteller, a pilot, a truck driver, an outdoorsman, a builder, a sailor, an electrician, etc... He was many, many different things. And more amazingly, none of these labels could be applied superficially to Jim. These weren't hobbies that he dabbled in, but things he applied himself to and learned as trades. He was more skilled in any of these areas than I could ever hope to be, and it was amazing to watch him work. It wasn't really until I watched him casually sew up my brother's head wound in his back yard that I was completely aware that oh, he was that kind of doctor. Later, this became more prevalent as my dad's health started to decline and he was always there for emergencies or advice alike.
What I find to be even more astonishing, is that he was without question one of the most approachable, magnanimous, and entertaining people to be around I've ever known, a gracious friend and a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. When I was a kid I would walk over to his house all the time, and though Jim would be making his own shotgun shells in the basement, or tinkering in his workshop, he would put that down to teach me how to play chess, or show me how to play an autoharp, or produce something he'd made that would entertain me for hours.
Anyway, at the funeral I was thinking about these things, and how while I was sad that he was gone, I was obviously blessed to have gotten to know him at all. But I digress. Because I was astounded when I read his obituary I was astounded to see how successful a doctor he actually was. This was reinforced at the funeral, when several of his colleagues spoke at length at what an inspiration he was to be around. To know that he affected everyone around him the same way he has affected myself and my family seems right, though. But it was funny that, it isn't until the end of the obit that his rennaissance-man stature is mentioned, which blew me away ecause that was always what I thought of him as more than anything. This quirky, amazing man who was such a magnetic and jovial personality that you felt special just to hear him say hello to you. I'm sure you've known someone like that in your life, maybe you've been lucky enough to know a couple of people like that. They're a rare breed, and if you're lucky enough to have them still in your life, remember to appreciate it a little more the next time you see them. And if you do not anymore, stop for a moment and remember them.
Sorry this isn't a happier post, I'm truly not in a sad mood at all, but I've been meaning to post something about this since before I left and I figured I should do it now while I'm thinking of it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I'm sorry I've been sort of MIA lately, I'm trying to get a lot of things done at the moment, and my attempt at a news blockade has been a complete failure. First it was "I'll take a month off after the election". But of course, This Minnesota race is going to go on FOREVER, and by the time that's over, I'm going to be following the 2012 election race already... so who knows. I'd love to see Al Franken pull this off, though.

Anyway, I'm going to start catching up on the 200 emails I have been neglecting, and then I have some other stuff to post about. In the meantime, though, why not search through the photograph archives of life magazine, now accessible through google? Live has always had one of the better photo archives, and to be able to check it out at a high resolution with captions is the type of thing that makes the internet a hundred times better. I can't even get into the amount of time I've already wasted looking through this, and I'm sure the trend is far from over. I urge you to glance through, though, because if you've got the time, this is indeed a precious resource. Search here.

It looks like some of these pictures didn't format themselves correctly. Either click on them to see the whole thing or just go start your own search because it's more fun.

What I've been listening to lately:

Dirty Laundry: The Soul of Black Country
This is a compilation I found some months back that disappeared before I ever got the chance to really investigate it. I recently found it again on this site and I wanted to make a note here before I forgot about it, because it's incredible. Regular readers of this site will not be surprised of my admiration of this comp, since it was released by the incredible Trikont record label, which has been a favorite of mine for the better part of a decade.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Letters to God

I'm almost certain these weren't written by actual children, but it doesn't really matter, because they're AWESOME. Read a bunch more here.

Sorry for the disappearance, I was on an actual vacation (answer: It was without a doubt the best vacation ever, thanks for asking) and I didn't have much computer access. I'll have some fun stuff to come soon, though, including a new favorite things list, my innovative ideas for the airlines, "Obama So Crazy", and more!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kids skating on a giant piece of plastic. Note the marquee.

yes. the Dancing Grinch that Stole Christmas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ain't Gonna Touch This

1. Anybody's Blues - Amos Milburn
2. Suki - Unrest
3. Me & Mary - Asobi Seksu
4. Jake Summers (BBC6 session) - Fight Like Apes
5. Inni Mer Syngur Vitleysingur - Sigur Ros
6. Barstool Blues - Neil Young
7. Billy 4 - Bob Dylan
8. Linstead Market Lord Messam & his Calypsonians
9. Get 'Er Done (ft. MF Doom) - Jake One
10 . Birds - Menahan Street Band
11. Acid Tongue - Jenny Lewis
12. I Don't Want No Stranger Sleeping In My Bed - Ray Charles
13. Jailhouse Tears (ft. Elvis Costello)- Lucinda Williams
14. Illya Kuryakin - Ike Bennett & the Crystallites
15. Rafiki (ft. Black Thought) - Zap Mama
16. They Were Doin' the Mambo - Tex Williams
17. Time Has Been Going By So Fast - Jonathan Richman
18. Start All Over Again (live) - J. Geil's Band

Lots of old songs on this one, mostly because I've been listening to old songs lately. Some fo these I've had in a folder for awhile to throw on a mix, some I scrounged up from here and there, and some I was just recently reminded of and felt like sharing. Anyway, I'm thankful for them.

Download here

Friday, November 21, 2008

aaaaaaah, nothing like a picture of a baby animal to help restore my faith in humankind.

Kitty Genovese 2008

A teenager has committed suicide live on the internet after being egged on by others.

About 1,500 people watched as 19-year-old Abraham K Biggs from Florida overdosed on pills on, a live video streaming websit

I've had enough interaction with others online to know that this kid probably had a lot of problems. and I'm sure this incident follo
wed several cries for attention that more than likely bothered the hell out of this community of people. What led him to try to resolve them in an anonymous, online setting is beyond me, but it seems like this is a serious trend that unfortunately shows no sign of abating.

Conversely, I also know that there were probably several dozen people trying to outdo each other with the most caustic, devastating comments that they could think of encouraging to do it. It bothers me that there are people -no- kids, really, that take pride in how utterly despicable they can act towards someone who clearly is crying out for help. I think that the internet, where you can safely say things that society should rightly slap the face off of you for saying, is conducive to behavior like this and it truly frightens me what the social implications might be.

I think we've all experienced the scadenfreude of seeing someone slip on ice, or get hit in the face with something, or whatever. Of course, if you have a soul, you follow this up by running over and making sure they're not hurt. On the internet you can spend whole days finding examples of this, and never even have to think about the consequences. They can't see you, or hear you. Besides, it already happened. You can watch for weeks on end people slipping, falling, cringing, etc... (youtube search for "hit in the nuts": 25,600) and quite possibly laugh yourself to death. It's an easy laugh, sure, but it can be funny as hell. But this is different. When it's taking place in real time, and there is a living, breathing person on the recieving end of the taunts, it's no longer guilty pleasure, it's just torture. These sadistic fucks taunted this kid into killing himself.

This reminds me of those really dark experiments that they perform (I can't remember the name of the one in particular I'm reminded of, but the Milgram and Stanford Prison Experiments will do in a pinch) that reveal all of these terrifying undertones in human nature and the outright cruelty that's always lurking right beneath it. It's frightening that these experiments are taking place all the time in the living rooms and bedrooms of our homes every day.

I don't know, it's no really the kind of thing I want to write about at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, an I'm positive it's not the sort of thing you want to read. It's just something that caught my eye and really made me sick to my stomach and I had to mention it. I'll try to scrounge up that picture of the baby hippo to help make up for it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Above is half of the British artist William Hogarth's engraving titled "Beer Street and Gin Lane", a commentary on the gin craze that overtook England in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The first of the series, Beer Lane, depicts a thriving and merry functioning town, while the picture above shows a prostituted mother dropping her baby, a soldier who was hired to pass out anti-gin pamphlets starved to death, a dead baby on a spike, beggars trying to kill each other, tradesmen trying to sell their tools for gin... go check out the wiki page for more details, but it's like a Where's Waldo of drunken insanity and recklessness. It's pretty frightening, actually, especially compared to the idyllic (on the surface, at least) revelry of Beer Street. The craze itself is pretty astonishing, and I had no idea of some of its ramifications until I stumbled actoss this work.
I came across Hogarth after doing some research on Goya's later works, and as a fan of totally effed up lithographs and depictions of old-time insanity, of course I was drawn to it.
I mean, seriously, feast your eyes on this. or this! Niiiice.
I wonder if Hogarth would print a "Joint Avenue and Crack Blvd" were he to look at the most recent drug outbreaks. Better yet, "Rural Route Meth".

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Alleged "douchebag" sues author.

I just thought reading the actual affidavit was funny.

...and the nominations are rolling in!

Daschle for Secretary of Health (did Tommy Thompson's head just droop a little?), Eric Holder for Atty General... Sure, the big ones don't come until next week at the earliest, but it's fun to watch this administration form. I'm wondering how much Daschle wanted that position, though. You figure it's going to be a key role in the healthcare reformation, and it's a huge amount of work with a potential sword over your head. Well, I wish him the best.

Far more entertaining, the wicked witch of Ted Stevens is dead. Happy Birthday, Ted! I reckon there's probaby a trroupe of singing and dancing dwarves somewhere in Alaska. Probably moreso at the prospect of not seeing a Senator Palin anytime soon. Oh, and Harry Reid still bothers me.

that's all I got for now.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where I've been: the Loooooooong Version.

I know haven't been around lately. I had to get ready for a test, take said test, receive less than savory scores of the test, wallow in misery over said scores, etc... Plus, I've been outside most of the day for the past few days.
But the truth of the matter may be that I've been listening to audio books lately. Namely Stephen King audio books. Which really make no sense, since I can divide the mans work into books I love and books I loathe into a 1:3 ratio or so. But there are a few of his books I've never bothered with (The Stand and It) that I never even bothered with, mostly because they were so large and I knew if I spend the time reading them and didn't like them, I'd never forgive myself. At 10:30 last night, I finished listening to all 34.4 hours of The Stand. I'm still not certain what I think of it. I've always thought King's writing lends itself best to short stories. Sure, books like The Shining and 'Salem's Lot and even The Green Mile all hold a special place with me, and it's true that many of the movies made from his works make them seem much, much worse than they actually are. But his longer form work always tended to start with an amazing first act and then sort of peter out towards the end of the second. This is especially true of the Dark Tower books, which I absolutely loved until maybe the fourth or fifth book and then I was wasn't interested in finishing the story. I did, of course, but only because I'd already gotten that far into it and kept thinking "It's gonna get better than this, right? It's got to." But it didn't. I just got madder. and madder. and madder. You can see my apprehension to start something so voluminous as The Stand. If I start it...
It's the short stories and novellas that have always hit me the hardest. It might be that as a format it's more suited to someone of my...attention span. Or that I tend to lose interest when the story begins to drift towards the same macabre interests or worse, characters*. His first three books of short stories are among my favorites ever opened. I mean, Night Shift has at least 5 or 6 stories that are still capable of scaring the crap out of me. I mean, even if you discount all of the really bad ones, you get what, 5 or 6 good movies made out of the stories in this. No, I'm not counting Maximum Overdrive here. Or the Lawnmower Man, which is possibly the worst adaptation of any story I've ever read. Both of those stories were really good by me, though.
So here I am, just having finished The Stand. It performed a lot like the way I described Kings other long work, and yet I have no regret of listening it through to the end. In fact, I'm sure I'll start listening to the apparently longer It sooner than later. And I'm sure somewhere towards the end I'll just wondering when he'll get it over with. But I guess in this case, the first half or so is compelling enough for me to have to continue on to the end. I think if I'd been reading The Stand rather than listen to it, I'm sure I would have a bigger chip on my shoulder here.
So, I just realized that this is the longest, most useless excuse for my lack of recent posts that I've ever comitted to this site. Which says a lot. I'll be around, and I should have a mix up in the next week, although how I've pieced one together in the mess of my listening lately is beyond me. We'll see if it's any good.

*There are a number of recurring characters in his body of work, and while I really like this idea -forming your own little universe between a number of seemingly interrelated stories- sometimes it results in SK bending the premises of his stories a bit to far to link them all together. Hearts in Atlantis, which I liked, seems a bit tied too closely to the bleed between his stories and really just sort of hindered what was an interesting story on its own. It's fun, to see these people making strange cameos in other books, and as a comic book reader, I know this better than anyone.
But I'm prone to believe that in this instance, as it all too often is in comics, that many of Stephen King's superfans really just read through these stories oohing and aahing and feeling smart because they recognize a name or two.

Obviously I'm not a superfan of his. And it's obvious that I really like some of his work. I don't know why I feel the need to reiterate this now, but there it is...

Edit: It's been pointed out to me that stories about isolation madness, doomsday flus, and post-apocalyptic societies might not be the best material for someone who doesn't see many people and talks to even less. I think it makes perfect sense. Besides, now all I have to worry about is homocidal dream clowns.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mutant Dog-Man

here's the link, with a bunch more pictures.
via Warren Ellis, who people tend to send stuff like this to.

My cups cost more than fifteen cents!

Say hello to "Renegade", "Renaissance", "Radiance", and "Rosebud".

and "Celtic".

So, the secret service's secret code names get leaked before the President takes office?
that's.... huh.

I'm trying to think of what kind of awesome code name I'd get. While sure, I'd love it to be something awesome like "Mr. Big" or "Fly Guy" (pretty much any character from I'm Gonna Git You Sucka works here). Sadly, I'm sure I'd get something a bit less heroic:
"Recliner". "Batroc the Leaper". "Beastmaster II"
Or my personal favorite: "Sourdough"

fluff, fluff, Biden piece.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Ad campaign for an Argentinean rock magazine. It looks like a pretty good magazine, so go check it out if you can read it.
Lest you think this thing is devolving into some sort of baby animal museum, I just found the website for the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at the Cornell University Library, and it's ripe with weirdness and backwards scientific and spiritual beliefs of past eras. Pictures of werewolves and gorgons? check. Crazy elephant people? check.

creepy witchcraft stuff? You better believe it.
ummmm, yeah.
I wish I could recommend a section, but they're all pretty fun and odd. Make sure you read the captions, because there's some cool stuff in there. My favorite would probably be the danse macabre stuff, but really, there's enough crazy to go around.

okay, so I'm not going to be posting for the next few days because I have a lot of studying to do, but I'll try to put up some things now since it's already been almost a week and I'm starting to feel neglectful.

I just dropped by a puppy cam and I couldn't help it. So comforting. It sucked me in for a full ten minutes. One of those little guys is a jerk. Try to guess which one!

and over at boingboing, there's footage of a baby pygmy hippopotamus. and -damnit this is getting out of control- a cat that chases boxes. They claim he's a Scottish Fold, but I'm not believing it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thinking about my earlier post, and hoping to God that this isn't as optimistic I'll be towards the U.S. political landscape in my lifetime. I don't want to think of this as the swing of the pendulum. I don't want to consider the West Bank and how that won't change. I don't want to think about whether or not the Kyoto Accord will be a priority. I don't want to think about how easy it might be to satiate the American public without really changing anything.
It might be my fault.
As a person who never gave a rat's ass until the 2000 election (or worse, the 2001 Horror), I can't help but hold a somewhat cynical attitude to any sort of proposed change. I think of our shitty neoliberal policies in South America. Or how the Clinton administration might be considered a save, despite bombing the shit out of various foreign countries while we celebrated our financial prosperity.
On a personal level, I am one of the most blindly optimistic people I know. so why can't I convey that into genuine optimism. Obama won. We have the House, and an almost filibuster-prof majority in the Senate. and here I am, whining before it even begins.
At this point I can only hope we don't fuck things up. This can't be true. Tell me that we won. Tell me that at least for now we need to see what happens.
I'm tired. I haven't slept in over 42 hours, and I'm hoping I'm just being stupid and paranoiac. Maybe my listening to The Shining for the past 3 days has made me anxious and wan. I can only hope so. I'm listening to old Dylan albums now and wondering what he might have to say. Not the Victoria's Secret ad Dylan, in case you're wondering.
We won. that should be enough for now. And who knows, maybe it is.
Oh, God of enthusiasm, lords of righteousness and stability, help us to figure out the new order of things. Or what we think might be the new order. Or at least what's best for us next.

and help me get to sleep, because at this point I really goddamn need it.
Love you all much. and hope to hear from you sooner than later.
please take care of yourself.
luv (hey, it's not like Ringo's gonna use that from now on...)
Is Ted Stevens really gonna get re-elected?

Okay. So here we are. 200 years from now, school children will be taught about this. Think about that for a minute. Let it sink in. Good. Hold your head up high.
That said, remember that this is not over. At all. Obviously, I support Barack Obama. I think he was the best choice we had and I want him to succeed more than anything. and I sincerely believe that he is the best man for the job.
I also believe that he's more open to vocal opposition than McCain might have been. I trust that he will be more even handed in his choice of cabinet and yes, judges. I think that he's the voice of the future. But never forget that this could -and will- be looked at in the future as a sort of experiment in American Democracy. He is stil unproven. He still has hurdles. And even scarier, is that he (probably?) might have an utter majority to deal with. My biggest fear (and I've stated this here before) is that he will be stuck fighting his own anxious and overeager party for the next 5 years.
We need to take this slow.
Which might not be the most popular tone with the majority of America. We need to remember that he's got a couple hundred holes to dig himself out of. Having the Senate and House on his side will be huge, but this still won't solve all out problems for years and years.
I guess I'm just terrified that in 4 years that this will be seen as some great folly of the American left and will be nixed for another 20 years.
But enough of that. Enough of being a pessimist. At least until March or so, I can relax and not think about politics*. For tonight, put a smile on your face, and know that we're going to have a new president on the way. I don't mean to sound cynical. I spent an hour tonight talking to a 64 year old woman with tears in her eyes, saying she didn't think this was possible in her lifetime. Shit. I didn't think this was possible in my lifetime. We've made a huge leap forward. We just have to remember this so we don't end up taking a step back later.
So here we are, and unless Philly has overturned more cars on Broad Street, I'm proud.
But pay attention. Vote in your local elections. Write letters when things you don't like happen. We need to keep on top of things, because an out of control Dem government is just as bad as an out of control GOP Government. and frankly, as long as we're stuck with a 2 party system, we need to monitor this shit.
That said, relax and enjoy the night. I'm gonna stay up and see what happens in these MN/OR/CO/CA elections and hopefully drift into a nice, peaceful sleep and dream of a content and well-liked America. Also, to the constant mention of the Bradlehy effect in the last months, fuck you. We did it.
great speeches by all, gentlemanly behavior from everyone (after this morning, at least), and I'm happy to hear it.

*this isn't true. Remember we've got 3 more months of Bush. Don't act like you know what will happen with that.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The best wildlife photos for National Geographic* just came out, and I figured this one is pretty fitting. Okay, now I'm of to get some stuff done.

*caution: photo 3 is probably the most depressing and devastating image I've ever seen, and may in fact make you very, very, very sad. Especially if you're familiar with the Philadelphia Zoo, circa Christmas Eve in 1995.