Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
You can apply this to people as well. If you see a person whose facial features are arranged in a way that you find aesthetically pleasing, whose body is not misshapen, out of proportion or otherwise contorted, you may safely assume that this is a good person, because clearly they have an endorsement of the highest order (that being that God doesn't hate them).
But let's get back to books, shall we? I'm actually writing a novel myself right now. Did you know that? It's true! Seriously, I am. I started it on November 5th, as a participant in National Novel Writing Month, with high hopes of producing 50,000 words by the end of the month. Unfortunately, forces conspired to make reaching that goal impossible (led by the force that is my job at the Soul Press. "Oh, do you write for a cool, alternative entertainment magazine that covers funky music?", you ask. No, I mean quite literally a place that crushes my soul) but I'm still writing it anyway, in spite of the lack of support or interest. When it's done, the cover will feature dinosaurs pitched in battle against space robots, just so you'll know it's awesome, even though that's not what the book is about.
Let's take a look at some of the books currently on many bestsellers lists that are sure to find their way under someone's (yours?) Christmas tree this year...
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
For instance, the display will tell me "LOW WASHER FLUID". Okay, noted. I would take care of that some time soon. But the same day, the car seemed to be struggling to shift gears so I made a point of checking that out right away. Sure, enough the transmission fluid was low so I added some and the problem went away. So did the message about the washer fluid being low. Hmmm...
Then the other night, this happened: I got in, inserted and turned the key and got nothing. "Shit, dead battery", I thought. However, the dome light was on, as well as all the dashboard displays. I looked down at the status display and it said "CLEAN KEY, WAIT 3 MINUTES AND TRY AGAIN". What the hell is that? How does it know my key is dirty? Why does it care? How do I clean it? Why do I have to wait three minutes? And also, how did my key get dirty? Ew. I took a moist towelette from the dashboard, wiped it off, counted to 180 and sure enough, it started right up. Again, what the hell is that?!?
Obviously, these are situations that are going to occur more frequently as the car gets older. So when the government rolled out the "cash for clunkers" program a while back, I jumped all over that gravy train. Unfortunately, it didn't work out...
ME: "All right, so what, do I get a check or a money order or...?"
CAR DEALER: "Unfortunately Mr. Brooks, you don't qualify for the program."
ME: "Say what now?"
CAR DEALER: "Yeah, there's an official government index we have to go by. Based on the year and make of your car, it determines an efficiency rating. You have to have an 18 or lower to qualify."
ME: "So what did I have?"
CAR DEALER: "19."
ME: "So...I get 18/19 of the money? That's cool. I can work with that."
CAR DEALER: "No, you get nothing."
ME: "But I'm only off by one..."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "Look out the window. Look at the car."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "You're disqualifying me by one! A single point!"
CAR DEALER: "It's not me. It's a government program. We're required to follow the guidelines."
ME: "It's a piece of shit. You're looking at a genuine shitbox."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "This is like a university disqualifying Einstein because he transposed two numbers in his return zip code on the envelope containing his application."
CAR DEALER: "Well, that would make it difficult to write him back..."
ME: "Look, he's never met me or seen my car, but that, that right there, is what the president is talking about."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "Every time I start it up, Sting feels a shooting pain behind his left eyeball."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "It doesn't leave tire tracks behind, it actually leaves real carbon footprints everywhere it goes."
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
ME: "It clunks! I'll start it up and show you. It is by definition a clunker!"
CAR DEALER: "I know. I'm sorry."
I don't doubt that he knew and that he was sorry, but at the end of the day, I did not get a nickel of that sweet government automotive cheese. So it looks like Jeeves and I are stuck with each other.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
- Help people stay well by helping them take steps to prevent cancer or detect it early, when it’s most treatable
- Help people get well by being in their corner around the clock to guide them through every step of their cancer experience
- Find cures by funding groundbreaking research that helps us understand cancer’s causes, determine how best to prevent it, and discover new ways to cure it
- Fight back by working with lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and rally communities worldwide to join the fight
Each of us has our own reasons for caring about the fight against cancer … whatever your reasons, I hope you’ll choose to make a difference by making a donation online to support my efforts. I’m so grateful to have people like you in my life who want to see an end to cancer in our lifetime. Together we can save lives.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tons of free beer, wildly diverse and bizarre entertainment and the weather was perfect at one of my favorite local venues, all for the low, low price of $0. We had a great time. It was totally a corporate PR event, with constant reminders to keep pounding that delicious free Dos Equis beer, but it was still fun and within my budget. Unfortunately, this was the next to last date on the tour so unless you're in Ft. Lauderdale tonight, you'll have to wait and see if they come to your town next year. If so, definitely check it out. Here are some pictures from last night...
The Most Interesting Man In The World, who is a take-off on all those Chuck Norris jokes that were so popular a couple of years ago, wasn't actually there but I had my picture taken with him anyway.
This is Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore, who was the host for the evening, performing with beatboxist (is that a word?) Phatima Butterscotch. I've loved Fishbone forever, so I'd have gone just to see him perform.
This is The Human Slinky. You know those creepy looking flapping, gyrating inflatable tube people that businesses put up by the side of the road for advertising? This was like one of those...only with an actual person inside.
This is Melody Sweets who performed a couple of old school burlesque strip teases. She had to feel welcome because if there's one thing Tampa is, it's stripper-friendly.
I love Skipper's but I'm not sure it was the right venue for this show, simply because the stage is not very big, as illustrated in this picture. By the time you put a band and speakers and other equipment up there, you don't have a lot of room for knife throwing exhibitions. This is comedian/juggler/knifist (is that a word?) Mark Faje who also caught a flaming bowling ball with steak knives sticking out of the holes on the side of his head with a live scorpion down his pants. Seriously.
Here's Angelo and as many of the crowd that could possibly fit on stage during the grand finale. But who is that gentleman just off center and what is he wearing...?
Oh lawd, it's The Senator, one of Tampa's most (in)famous clubgoers, decked out in his some of his trademark lingerie. Depending on who you ask, and by the people who wanted their pictures taken with him, HE might actually be Tampa's Most Interesting Man In The World.
(all photos taken by The 23-Year-Old, who took waaaay more pictures of The Senator than necessary. Hmmm...)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
But she's right about this photo that was chosen by the editors at Newsweek for this week's cover. It's inappropriate, in that it has nothing to do with the story inside. It's from a photo shoot she did for Runner's World magazine, for crying out loud. Newsweek editor Jon Meacham defended the use of this particular photo in this official statement: "We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do. We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard." Is the "problem" mentioned so prominently on the cover her passion for physical fitness or the inappropriate usage of a wadded up American flag as set dressing? No, I'm pretty sure they're addressing the fact that the GOP's most prominent figure right now is basically an outlandish cartoon character, in which case they should have just used, you know, a cartoon. Instead, out of all the millions of photos that surely must have been at their disposal, they went with one that showcases Palin's sexy gams. They devote their cover to questioning the viability of a vapid media personality who's more akin to Kate Gosselin than (insert any great, or even mediocre-to-adequate, American leader's name here) and they choose to sell it with cheesecake. Oh well. At least it isn't Time magazine...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
"What I did is not such a great harm, with all these surplus women nowadays. Anyway, I had a good time." -- Rudolf Pleil
"It wasn't as dark and scary as it sounds. I had a lotta fun . . . Killing somebody's a funny experience" -- Albert De Salvo
"Gazelles are beautiful animals. However, I kill and eat them to sustain the survival of my species. What!" -- A lion
I hate bullies, so any time animals push back, I'm all for it. That's why I'm hoping this story about a mysterious giant sea creature living in a canal in Pinellas County is true.
Now, I'm not a PETA person, although I would kind of like to be. The problem is that too often the good things they do on behalf of animals are negated when they do something stupid and annoying. They'll go after the cosmetics industry for horrible experiments being conducted on animals in the name of research but then they'll turn around and hold a candlelight vigil for a slain mosquito. There should be a PETA Lite; all the ethical treatment of animals with only half the crazy.
Since there's no such organization, I just have to sit back and find amusement in things like hunting accidents, idiots in Pamplona getting trampled by bulls and giant sea monsters suddenly appearing in canals in residential neighborhoods. One of the witnesses says it could be between 15 and 20 feet long. That's big, but I'd like it to be so big that bubbles roil furiously to the surface every time it moves and its wake slams boats against their moorings. Also, a neighbor goes missing every now and then. I've begrudgingly accepted that I'm never going to look out my window and see a T-Rex grazing on my obnoxious neighbors. But this would be pretty fair consolation.
Monday, November 16, 2009
PS: Please try to refrain from abusing animals in the process.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Now we just do that every day.
Let's reign it back in a little bit, shall we? You can still be freaked out by things for no reason at all, but keep it to yourself until Friday the 13th rolls around so we can keep it a special holiday, just like the Druids (or whoever came up with it) intended. For example, here are two things that give me the creeps with no good reason whatsoever. You don't have to tell me it's crazy or stupid to fear these things. I already know that. That's why I don't go around talking about them all the time.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Nope, bullet wounds, bitches. Bullet wounds are where it's at! Check it out, poseurs:
- Tampa robbery leaves 1 man dead
- Man dead after shooting at gas station
- Teenage boy dies after Tampa shooting
And all that's just from yesterday! Woot!Sounds cool, Clark!
It is! It's the coolest!
I want in on this!
I know you do! Getting shot is radical awesome!!
But how? I don't live near an...um...urban area. I thought I had to go to a...you know...um...well, I didn't want to say it but a "black" neighborhood.
That's politically and factually incorrect! You see, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution grants American citizens the right to keep and bear arms. In 1791, when the Second Amendment, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights was adopted, the United States military structure was still being established and militias comprised of average citizens were called on to defend people and property. This, along with needing to fight off thought-to-be hostile native inhabitants and mountain lions, as well as keep slaves in line, was an important issue in 1791 but completely irrelevant in 2009. But guess what? It's in there so everybody gets to have a gun if they want one! Weeee! This means you can be literally anywhere and there's a decent chance that somebody is packin' heat. And if somebody owns a gun, you have to believe they've at least considered the possibility of shooting somebody for one or more reasons, valid or otherwise, decided they're okay with it and strapped one on. The beautiful part is that none of them need to be reasonable people whose line of work requires them to be armed and have taken one or more safety instruction courses and who may or may not have recently lost their jobs, homes, marriages or be under any other kind of undue stress. Nope! They just had to be born here and fill out some paperwork. Kinda like having kids. Interesting that there are virtually no restrictions or qualifications to bring peoople into the world or take them out of it. Yee ha!
Wow! That makes me wonder: How is it even possible that I haven't gotten shot yet?
Maybe you're just a loser. Or you stayed indoors yesterday.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
"I'm sending out 'thank you's to all the military veterans I know in honor of Veteran's Day."
"Oh. You're welcome."
"Ha ha! Okay."
"I'm being serious."
"Yeah. U.S. Army. Four years. You're welcome."
"I know, but, well, it's not like you actually fought in a war or anything."
"So? I could have! I went through all the training. I took an oath to defend the country. It's not my fault there wasn't a war on. I'm so sorry I didn't go to a foreign land and get shot at for you."
"Look, I'm sorry...I just don't think of you as a veteran, that's all. I guess maybe that's my mistake and I apologize."
"Oh yeah? What do you think of me as? Just some kind of one-dimensional clown or pet monkey whose only value as a human being is being a source of cheap entertainment for you?"
"Well, not right now, no."
Wow! What do you suppose we have to look forward to in the next 100 years? A new screen door? A fourth chair? A second letter R for the marquee?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The video below of a woman falling in front of an oncoming subway train in Boston the other day is getting a lot of attention lately because, well, it's a video of a woman falling in front of an oncoming subway train. It's :57 long which in this day and age is more than enough time to pass judgement on the character of everyone involved and make snarky comments about them and their actions, so let's do so, shall we?
- :01 - 03 Woop, woop, woop, woop, woop, woop, woop! Our protagonist, obviously wasted, puts the "Agg" in stagger before executing a header onto the tracks.
- :04 - :08 Old Dude #1 sees what's about to go horribly wrong but is just a couple of steps too slow to stop her.
- :09 - :13 Our protagonist, possibly injured (from the fall) and definitely disoriented (from whatever she was on before the fall) rolls around on the tracks before...
- :14 ...planting a side kick on what I believe is the third rail, which provides power to the train to the tune of about 1200 volts of direct current. How she's not dead at this point, I'm not sure. Maybe somebody who knows how this stuff works can share? It does look like it renders her nuller and voider as she doesn't move again until :32
- :15 - :29 Here you see everybody on the platform losing their shit. Either they didn't all realize what was happening prior to now or they thought she had a shot at getting up and out of there on her own somehow. But now they know the only chance she has is if the train stops short. Old Dude #2 enters the picture, recognizing the situation is so dire that he has no choice but to remove his baseball cap and wave it at :21. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
- :29 Old Dude #1 takes a shot to the melon from the train as it comes to a halt. It's a good thing for him that the conductor did hit the brakes or he would not have been in much better shape than the lady below. You can see Old Dude #2 stepping backwards at :27 because he either didn't want to see the lady get smooshed or to get out of the way of Old Dude #1's head flying at him like a screaming line drive.
- :30 The train stops and much like being kissed by Prince Charming, finding herself half underneath a train, yet still in one piece has an amazing, rejuvenating effect on our princess and she scrambles to her feet and is pulled to safety by the gathered crowd.
- :53 The train conductor (engineer? driver? whatever) emerges, visibly relieved over not having to fill out reams of incident paperwork and also not killing anybody.
Monday, November 09, 2009
B) Top salesman for the 3rd quarter being honored at the annual New And Improved Joker Products, Inc. employee banquet
C) A costumed fan in line to see "This Is It"
D) Former major league baseball player Sammy Sosa
The correct answer
Friday, November 06, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
- Week 1: $5 gets you four loads and leaves you with a balance of .80
- Week 2: $5 gives you $5.80 which gets you five loads and leaves you with a balance of .55
- Week 3: $5 gives you $5.55 which again gets you five loads and leaves you with a balance of .30
- Week 4: $5 gives you $5.30 which once again gets you five loads (can we talk about how unlikely it is to have an uneven number of loads of laundry every week?) and leaves you with a balance of a nickel.
- Week 5: $5 gives you $5.05 which only gets you four loads and leaves you with a balance of .85
- Week 6: $5 gives you $5.85 which is five loads and leaves you with a balance of .60
Anyway, this goes on and on and on, and it takes a total of 21 weeks to get your card down to a zero balance so you can either do your laundry elsewhere or start the whole thing over again. This ensures they keep you on the hook to use their laundry room and card service for an extended period of time or they get to pocket some extra money from you. Granted, it might be as little as a nickel, but still. Sometimes it amazes me what the Bastards (Bastards = Some people who control shit) will do to get over on you.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Of course, Argleton is not the only phantom town in the world. Maine is the home of non-existent Suckerville, where I'm guessing real estate sales are always booming. And right in between Tampa and St. Petersburg in Pinellas County is an area that's known as Toytown, which consists of neither toys nor a town, but just an old abandoned landfill. That's just fantastic, isn't it? If you ever want to teach children what real disappointment feels like, I can think of no better way than to load them up in a bus, tell them you're going to Toytown and then pull into an abandoned landfill and exclaim "Here we are, kids!".
Oh well. We'll always have Funkytown.