Friday, February 29, 2008

A Great Wonder of the Blogging World

Every once in a while, we are priveledged enough to witness great acts of ingenuity, perserverance and artistic vision. The building of the Taj Mahal, the painting of Starry Night, and now this:

The plastering of the word "Boobs" in the comment section for each and every one of my previous 100-plus postings. Go ahead, take a moment and check. Every single one.

Now, I like to promote writing in the comments section. It gives me the opportunity to partake of some witty reparte with my audience of three people, but this! I mean, what else is there to say here besides "bellissima!"

This beautiful piece of artwork brought to you by "Geoff" who is a fellow writer, friend and notorious "jagoff."

So if anyone else has anything encouraging, inspiring and obscene to say (Pat, I'm looking in your direction), please feel free to express it now in the comment section.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Master Debaters

Ever since announcing my candidacy for President of the United States of America in 2040, I've taken more of an interest in the actual workings of American Politics.

Evidently, people are now voting for the people (Delegates) who will have to vote for the person (Candidate) who we want to be an option for a select group of people (either the Electoral College or the College of Cardinals) to later vote for for president in November after, of course, we vote to convince them (the Electoral Cardinals) to vote how we would like them to so that eventually the Supreme Court can just pick someone.


The current process - the very first set of votes - is called the "Primaries," which if I remember my grade school art classes should be red, blue and yellow. And yet there are only two major parties - the red party and the blue party. I don't know what happened to the yellow party, and whenever I ask political science geeks about it they look at me funny so I've stopped asking them anything altogether.

Personally, I don't consider myself a red or a blue. I wonder if that makes me "yellow?"

I guess the red party has made up their mind already except that nobody bothered to clue in Mike Huckabee. But pretty much nobody is paying attention to that side of the two-colored spectrum of politics anymore.

That leaves everyone's focus on the blue primary, where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are slugging it out even as I write this.

Part of the whole primary ordeal is that occasionally the candidates have to get together on the television and snidely and obliquely insinuate things about one another in front of the audience. This ritual is called a debate. Back in my dorkier days of high school, I was on the debating team. To this day, I can't remember why, but I'm almost positive it wasn't to meet beautiful women. In fact I spent most of my time doodling grotesque and unflattering pictures of my debate instructor. But since I will eventually need to participate in 2040, and since I clearly learned nothing in high school, I figured now would be a good time to sit down with my laptop, use the free-yet-spotty wireless Internet at the local coffee shop, and see what I can pick up from these two master debaters.

Pause for childish snickering.

I got a chance to witness first hand the debating styles of these two candidates. I thought I'd compare two notes on their different styles:

(A) Early on in the debate, Obama said that Clinton's health care policy apparently mandates that every man, woman, child and beast in the country buy the government's insurance. Obama claimed that this would cause thousands of people to be penalized for not being able to afford it. Clinton decried Obama over the weekend with a Shame on You speech and did so again in the debating ritual.

Now, I have no interest in whether or not that health care argument is true. I'm not sure that anyone really cares. The point is to take a look at the argument and see how it's put together. Here's a quick map of Obama's argument:

If: Clinton's plan mandates that everyone pay a certain amount for health insurance,
And: people are fined for not buying health insurance (per the understood meaning of 'mandate')
And: thousands of people might not be able to afford that mandated amount,
Then: thousands of people might be fined due to Clinton's plan.

Even if it's not true, the argument is logically constructed and deserves a logical answer. Luckily for Clinton, Obama does not now nor has ever nor will ever talk about the issues ever (except for this instance and the occasional other instances throughout the campaign). Clinton is the one who talks about issues. So she probably won't have to answer too many of those.

(B) The moderators of the debate asked whether or not Obama rejects Farrakhan's support. Apparently, Farrakhan is not an incredibly popular guy. Obama responded that he has "denounced" Farrakhan and his past statements. Clinton, sensing blood, insisted that Obama must reject Farrakhan and not denounce him because denounce and reject are not the same thing. Obama then conceded the point, stating that he now both rejects AND denounces Farrakhan.

Ah HA! Chalk up one point to Clinton, baby!

Of course, not knowing what either word means, I had to check my dictionary. Denounce:
"1. to condemn or censure openly or publicly." Reject: "1. to refuse to have, take, recognize, etc."

Thus, Clinton proves that Obama is guilty of using synonyms. At first glance, one might think this is a ridiculous argument that does nothing but insinuate snidely and obliquely that Obama is an anti-Semite (Oh wait! That's the whole point of these things!), but bear in mind that "Semantics and Word Usage" is one of the major issues of the campaign.

In fact, I think "Semantics and Word Usage" is number three behind the "Economy" and "Iraq" in importance to the electorate. Since Clinton is the issues candidate, it's only fitting that she should make a big deal out of Obama refusing to repeat the exact word that the moderator used in the question but instead substituting a more fitting and appropriate word.

So now, as a candidate-in-waiting for the 2040 elections I need simply sit back, watch the results of the March 4th primaries, see which tactic is most effective and then take note of it to use at a later date. Keep that in mind, Texas, Ohio, Vermont and that really tiny one that I could never find on a geography test.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ben Franklin - America's Greatest President

I've often wondered why my one man touring show "Billy Boy - The Untold Story of 1066" never quite panned out on the high school circuit. Turns out that it flopped not because it was a "pompously incoherent piece of garbage," (thank you, critics) but because teenagers these days are just plain dumber than bricks.

Basically, kids these days aren't learning basic cultural references. This presents a double edged sword. On the one hand, it will be easier for snobby assholes like myself to make other people feel less intelligent simply by dropping a few references to "facts" found on wikipedia. On the other hand, in a few years I probably won't be able to make jokes about the Italian Renaissance and hope that anyone will laugh because nobody will know what the hell I'm talking about.

That's a lot of balls-out funny Galileo material I stand to lose, people.

So while the literati will feel smarter and smarter by comparison each and every passing year, the field of plausible joke reference material will narrow more and more as an audience knows less and less until the only plausible jokes will be poopy dick jokes.

You have to wonder why it is that people are paying less and less attention to their history and their literature. I wonder if our school systems are failing, or if we're focusing too much on math and science, or if knowledge about history and literature is even valued anymore. I mean I knew my English major in college was going to be a waste anyway, but Jesus.

Maybe it's the amount of stimulus we're hit with day in and day out. Between the Internet, television, radio, portable mp3 players, cellphones that play the latest pop noise and automatically check the baseball scores and weather, advertisements pasted on billboards, buses and buildings, it's amazing anyone is able to pay attention to anything at all, much less sit down and read a history book. I wonder if the brain doesn't just shut down after the eighteenth soap commercial of the day and just refuse to accept anything that isn't absolutely necessary.

Not that I'm complaining. Don't get me wrong; I'm okay with poopy dick jokes. I just hope I don't get bored is all.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar Thoughts - As Though You Cared

I got to sit and watch the Oscars this year. Normally, I would pester all of my friends with my snide comments and remarks about the show and the awards but two things have happened lately:

(1) Ever since the infamous "Fleshlight incident" I've have no more friends
(2) I have a blog this year.

So the next person searching the site for "clever panties" will be forced to deal with my random crap. Lucky you.

Observation #1: The Coen brothers are kind of weird, boring and slightly arrogant. This came as a shock and disappointment to me, considering the high quality odd-ball movies they have made over the years. Not saying that's necessarily a bad thing - if weirdly boring helps them make awesome movies, fine. But listening to their acceptance speeches for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and Best Film were like watching paint dry. Paint with just a hint of arrogance. Martha Stewart has a brand of paint, right? That one.

Observation #2: Speaking of acceptance speaches, there were no memorable ones this year. No Roberto Benigni, no Cuba Gooding Jr., not even a ridiculously embarrasing Cher outfit.

Observation #3: Of the songs up for best song, three of five were for Enchanted. Only three movies had original songs this year? In the entire movie making world? There was nobody out there who was able to write at least one song better than those godawful Enchanted tunes? Seriously? I could write better songs with two soup spoons and an alley cat. Go on, dare me.

Observation #4: I thought John Stewart did a good job hosting this year. I particularly enjoyed any writer's strike related jabs throughout the evening, such as the montage of famous scenes involving binoculars and teloscopes.

Observation #5: Every Oscar ceremony must involve at least one joke about Jack Nicholson, followed quickly by a reaction shot of Jack Nicholson mouthing some sort of retort that we can't hear. This must be written into every Oscar script so long as Jack Nicholson lives. This is the law.

Observation #6: Did anyone think that Daniel Day Lewis was not going to win Best Actor?

Observation #7: I liked No Country For Old Men (apart from the "climax" ending monologue where I tuned out and started counting the number of bald people in the theatre) but I really wanted There Will Be Blood to win for Best Film, if only because There Will Be Blood is so much more fun to quote. Come on, shout it with me: "I drink your milkshake!" Shout it at the computer screen! I don't care if you're in the office or sneaking around the internet at home looking for porn while your husband or wife is sleeping. Shout it: "I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! I DRINK - YOUR - MILKSHAKE!"

Tell me that isn't fun.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


It is becoming more and more apparent that Barack Obama is the front runner for the Democratic Presidential candidate.

How do we as the American public know this to be true? Is it that Obama has won the last seventy-five states in a row? Maybe. But for me, the surest sign of a media-annointed front runner is the surfacing of new words featuring a combination of a candidate's name and some other word.

Not only is Obama getting people interested in politics again, he's also getting them interested in word-play!

This is good news for those of us who are finally getting tired of the words "Bushism," "Bushie," and "Bushistry."

We can all now feel free to be swept up in Obama-mania! He is, after all, an Obamasterful speaker, or should I say Obamorator? He's even beginning to win demographics relied on by Hillary Clinton, such as white females - now known as Obama-mammas (this term could also be an alcoholic beverage).

Now it's true, some conservatives worry that he may try to introduce his own brand of socialist policies, known as Obamarxism, but this is not a worry held by most Americans, soon to be known as Obamericans.

Personally, I just hope that if he makes it all the way to the White House, that he maintains the dignity of the nation's highest office. That means no mistresses, or rather Obamistresses. Or at least I hope he can keep it from the Media - scratch that... the Obamedia.

This could be a fun little excercise. Anyone else got any to share?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Hello three faithful readers,

I'm swamped today. I'm not ignoring you. I promise.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

In case the multitudes of red decorations strewn about your local drug stores haven't tipped you off, today is Valentine's Day.

There are many misconceptions about the origins of St. Valentine's day. Some say that the holiday is a Christianization of the Lupercalia, one of many Roman festivals of promiscuous sex. Others say that it comes from the founding date of the "Court of Love," a medieval French institution governing the practices of courtly love. Others claim that it's a big scam perpetrated by the chocolate, greeting card and floral industries to sell us more crap, just like "Sweetest Day" which, I think we can all agree, is a bogus hoax holiday.

Fuck you, Hallmark.

Personally, I used to be a lot more cynical about the whole deal. I've had my share of lonely Valentine's Days, awkward Valentine's Days, and then there was that Valentine's Day when I was dumped at two in the morning in a late-night pizza parlor. That kind of sucked.

For a long time I was convinced that Valentines Day was set up as a trap - not just for men, by the way, but for women too - to expose... I don't even know what. To expose the shortcomings or rampant materialism or insecurity of your significant other and probably yourself.

But at the same time, I've also had the best meal ever cooked for me by a girlfriend on Valentines Day, and I've been very lucky recently with a string of Valentines Days which were not only not-awful, but actually kind of pleasant. I can't complain that much.

So I guess my advice, in my limited capacity, would be to step back from Valentines day and, regardless of history or marketing, look at it for what it is: an excuse to take some time out of your life and tell someone you love them. In my case, that would be my beautiful and wonderful girlfriend, Katie. I believe all of womanhood owes you a debt of gratitude for your martyr-like propensity for putting up with me. I love you.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Thought That's What Presidents' Day Was For!

Yesterday, I finally buckled and decided that I need to do that which I have resisted ever since moving to Chicago many years ago - I decided to get a library card.

I've been avoiding it because I have an irrational fear of "Big Brother" keeping track of everything I check out. Not that I have anything to hide from the government; if one were to look up my past library records, one would find nothing more subversive than a picture-book version of the Kama Sutra from when I was in middle school (I may still owe a late fee on that...). But that's neither here nor there. It's a principles thing. Anyway, I've decided recently that I need that library card because, frankly, I need access to their CD collections for a sound project I'm doing for my Comedy Writing, Level 5 show.

So I got home from work last night and I scrounged up any piece of information I had proving that I do in fact live in Chicago, and I even found my passport proving that I look like myself. I packed all of this information up in a bag and I bundled up and headed out into the snowy night.

Under other weather circumstances I would have had a nice ten minute stroll to the nearest Chicago Public Library branch. Last night, though, was an adventurous treck through arctic conditions. More than once, I had to dodge out of the way of a sliding car. I nearly slipped countless times on the inch-thick sheets of ice hidden beneath the freshly fallen snow on the sidewalks. Finally, I had to hitch a ride on the back of a polar bear for the last half-block.

Once we were out in front of the branch library, I dismounted the polar bear and tipped her a five for her troubles. As she trudged off into the wintery night, I turned around to find the library was closed.

Closed?! The website said they're open until 9:00! It's only 6:15! What the hell?

There was a little white piece of paper taped up onto the inside of the main door. "The Chicago Public Library will be closed February 12th in observance of Lincoln's Birthday."

The one day I pick out of two and a half years worth of living in Chicago and it has to be Lincoln's Birthday? I thought that was the whole point of Presidents' Day; to celebrate Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays in one fell swoop so that the rest of the world can get their library cards.

It's been a while since I was in gradeschool, which is the last time that Presidents' Day actually mattered (I'm sure it will again once I go to buy furniture at crazy discount prices), but I always thought Presidents' Day was on par with Flag Day as one of those holidays that we all collectively say are holidays but are actually just work days with little pictures in their calendar spaces.

Oh to be a Librarian. I'll bet they have President's Day (next Monday) off too, even though they've already celebrated Lincoln's half. I wonder if they only get a half day to account for just Washington or if they get the whole day off.

So I did the only thing that I could do: put a horrifying hex on the building. Damn you, Chicago Library. Damn you to hell. Also, do you guys have that picture book version of the Kama Sutra? Just curious.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Night in Complete and Utter Darkness

...I don't mean that existentially. I mean that my electricity was out for most of last night.

When I got home there were two large ComED trucks hanging out below my window and, lo and behold, no electricity in my apartment. I'm no stranger to power outages - we used to have them all the time when I was a kid living in Clarkston, Michigan - and even living in Chicago up until a year ago a power outage wouldn't have worried me at all. A year ago at least we had steam heat in the building. However, since the building switched over to electric heating, last night's lack of electricity meant a lack of heat coming from the baseboards.

And, as anyone who was in town this past Sunday can tell you, Chicago has decided to be very, very cold again.

So I spent much of last night covered in every available sheet and blanket waiting for the residual heat in my apartment to slowly but inevitably disappear.

Eventually out of boredom I drifted off to sleep. I did not sleep well, though, and kept waking up every hour or so. As a result, I had some pretty wacked-out dreams. Normally when I dream I wake up and have the immediate "wow, that was a wacked-out dream" realization and then I forget about it completely.

Today, though, I have a vivid memory of one dream fragment stuck in my mind that I call the "Sexy Baby" dream.

The "Sexy Baby" dream was kind of a documentary-style dream. The narrative was completely nonsensical, but I understood the premise to be that babies (as a species, I guess) have evolved to the point where they can persuade people to get them things by adopting a sexy facial expression. As though this were an alternative tactic to crying and throwing temper tantrums.

The premise was followed by a bunch of images of babies giving one another smolderingly sexy baby-stares, babies seducing grownups into giving them milk bottles and pacifiers. There was a baby with what appeared to be streaks of blue paint on it posed on a carpet.

I can't tell you what a sexy baby face looks like. I can only tell you that it was a grotesquely horrible and yet slightly amusing thing to see.

Needless to say, I was disturbed. I know that some people, as Freud did, believe that dreams offer insight into the workings of your subconscious. Others think that dreams are a way of synthesising everything your brain has picked up during the day. Some people think that your dreams are effected by eating Thai food before going to bed or that they can help predict the future.

But "Sexy Baby" dream? Someone tell me what the fuck that was about.

I don't know if it was during that dream or another wacked-out dream (there were at least five others that thankfully I cannot remember this morning), but everntually the power came back on. It's return was heralded by the dulcet tones of a television snow blizzard broadcast at a high volume. Apparently, I had left the TV on.

This morning, lacking adequate normal sleep, I stumbled down the icy stretch of alley behind my house towards work. I passed by thick strands of black rubber, the type they wrap around electrical wire, strewn around and looked up to see a completely new electrical box on the side of the building.

So yeah, that was my night.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Weather Post #4375

I feel like all I ever write about anymore is the weather.

Believe it or not, when I sat down and asked myself why I was starting a blog, the weather was not high up on the list of potential topics. And yet here I am again, writing another post about the weather.

It is possible that several months into this blog project I have just plain run out of interesting things to say. Maybe I've become that guy who just brings up the weather because he has nothing else to talk about but feels awkward not saying anything to you because you're sitting next to one another on a bus and he needs some reason to cover the fact that he's been staring at you for a little too long.

But it's been on my mind a lot given how freaking weird this winter has been, so apologies all around to those of you who are bored. Stay with me until I become interesting again. Or go start your own blog.

Hey, how 'bout that Chicago weather? The past two months, it's gone from "no snow" to "two feet of snow" to "thunderstorm and sideways rain" about fifteen times. The first time the temp rose above 40 degrees, I was glad to have a break from the cold. The second time it happened, I was worried that the end of the world was at hand.

Now I would just like the weather to pick something and go with it for longer than three days. If it's going to be 50 and rainy, be fifty and rainy. If it's going to be 3 below, then go ahead. If it's going to pour a mixture of blood, locusts and dead frogs, fine. Just pick something and stick with it.

It's nearly impossible to dress for the weather when it changes so drastically during the day. I'll start the day with the longjohns thinking that it's going to be cold and end up sweating my ass off by the end of the day. I'll dress for snow and instead get bone-soaking drenched in the rain. I'm thinking of packing a giant backpack full of clothes and just carrying everything around with me like it was a shell, just so I can be prepared for the potential tsunami/head wave bearing down on us.

During my free time, I like to hang out at and check the forcasts for places other than Chicago. During lunch, I worked on a design for a cross between snowshoes and rollerblades.

Anyway, enough whining. Stay dry/warm/cool.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


My fellow Americans, ladies and gentlemen,

As all of you may know, today is the first Tuesday in February, which is an incredibly important day for us this year in this shining beacon of democracy (or rather democratic republicanism) that we call the United States of America. Today is the day when we the citizens (of legal age) of this great land of ours all come together from across the nation and perform perhaps our most sacred acts.

Those acts, of course, are the consumption of fatty pastries and red meats, the imbibement of alcoholic substances and the flashing of ones breasts in exchange for colored plastic orbs on strings.

That's right, baby! Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Carnival!

This is "supposedly" your last chance (if you're Catholic) to act like an asshole before Lent starts. Even if you're not Catholic, it's still a good random excuse to party it up. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until St. Patrick's day for another culturally sanctioned excuse to get drunk and act slutty in public.

So I would like to take this opportunity to remind all (three) of you readers out there that it is your civic duty today to get your asses out onto the streets and start making asses of yourselves. Drink it up, eat the hell out of something and start harrassing random people on the streets.

Also, vote in the primaries, if applicable to your state.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Not So Perfect

A friend of mine, Aaron Rossini, once claimed that there is no better theatre than sports. Last night's Superbowl was a pretty good example of this little thesis in action.

I can't remember the last time that the actual game was more interesting than the commercials, none of which I can remember the day after, which is unique in my experience. Yet there I was last night watching a game featuring two teams with which I have no connection. I even have an irrational hatred of both New York and Boston sports teams. But not only was I not incredibly bored but I actually hoped, wanted even, the Giants to beat the Pats.

On one side line you had the villain. Perfect record. Deep and talented roster. A Napoleonic coach, both in tactical understanding and demeanor. A quarterback who was the epitome of that highschool jock asshole dating the hottest woman in the school and getting a full ride to a really good school. You had months of talking heads talking them up as the greatest team in the history of anything ever. You had a team so abundantly blessed with good fortune that you couldn't help but hate them (even before the running up the score foolishness or the spygate scandal from earlier in the year). A team with not just a mere measly championship, but the perfect record, the 'Dynasty' honorific and a share of football history on the line.

You remember that little blond prick from the Karate Kid? In my mind, that was the equivalent of the Patriots.

On the other sideline, you had the group that lost their first two games of the season, who nearly lost to Detroit (DETROIT of all people) with the elderly looking coach and the quarterback who couldn't seem to do enough to get out from under his brother's shadow. This was the team that nobody expected to go anywhere with the season. Yet there they were, playing in the Superbowl.

Everyone expected a blowout. Stakes, anyone?

And then came the picture perfect story arc, culminating with the climax in the fourth quarter, under two minutes left, the Giant's last drive, an amazing catch followed by a touchdown pass to a wide open receiver in the corner of the end-zone. And then it was over. The underdog won by a mere three points and the school yard bullies slank off the field a full one game-second after their coach had left.

That's about as good of a story line as you could ask for. Throw Gene Hackman in there and you have yourself a movie.

Friday, February 1, 2008

February 1st - Bits of Randomness

(1) Has anyone ever been to Truth or Consequences, NM? Does anyone know if they have a town motto?

(2) I'm a fan of the Huffington Post's "Hoffpollstrology" feature, which offers not only the latest polls on your favorite presidential candidate but also the Vegas betting line for each candidate, their horoscopes and the weather report. Now if only there was such a thing as Super Tuesday themed Ouija boards and crystal balls.

(3) Speaking of days next week that will have an extremely huge impact on the next four years, college football signing day is next week. For any of you incredibly talented highschool seniors who are reading this right now (and I'm sure there are a lot of you), go blue.

(4) It snowed a lot yesterday. A lot. I'm thinking about renting a dog team or getting some cross country skis it snowed so much.

(5) I wish they had snowdays for grown-ups. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for me to claim weather as a reason to stay home from work because I live three blocks away.

(6) Get your calendars out, my pretties: your upcoming drunken slutty holiday this month is Mardi Gras (Tuesday, February 5th). President's Day (Monday, February 18th)? Not so much.