December 16, 2006

I'm trying to watch my language these days

I've been reading a lot of feminist material lately and some of it points out how sexism is inherent in the language we use. I've particularly become aware of the swear words I use, like bitch, cunt, and motherfucker, for example. Why must my swearing call a person's gender into question? It doesn't have to, and most of the time, it shouldn't.



So, I'm trying to replace my swearing vocabulary with gender-free terms. Instead of "motherfucker" I'm trying to use "fuckhead," for example. This is tough because fuckhead has an entirely different feel to it. It practically requires me to restructure entire sentences in which swearing will be employed.



Still, I do it anyway. I say "fuckhead" because I care.

December 08, 2006

Grunting is the new hello

As I was leaving my apartment building the other day, someone was coming in the door.



"Hello," I said. (I'm friendly that way.)



In response, she grunted at me.



These young kids and their new forms of communication! It's hard to keep up sometimes.

Grunting is the new hello

As I was leaving my apartment building the other day, someone was coming in the door.



"Hello," I said. (I'm friendly that way.)



In response, she grunted at me.



These young kids and their new forms of communication! It's hard to keep up sometimes.

December 04, 2006

Three Ways to Simplify Your Life

1. When you scrub your hair in the shower, make sure to use your fingernails. If you scrub with tenacity, your hair will slide between fingernail and finger, where dirt hides, and: Wallah! Now your fingernails are clean!



2. Get rid of your socks. Buy 21 pairs of the same sock and forget about matching them when you do laundry. In fact, forget about folding them, too; just put them all in a pile in the same drawer. You save time!



3. Clip your finger and toenails after showering. If you've just taken a nice hot shower, your nails will be soft. This means that when you clip them, they will be less likely to fly all over the room and make a disgusting mess. Yay!







Incidentally, a new Dogboy adventure is up: Dogboy Fills Out An Application!

November 08, 2006

November 06, 2006

Ooh, lookie, I did a thingie!

Only, it was a lot of work, so you have to go somewhere else to see it (it's okay - it will not hurt you, I think).

Head on over there to check it out now!

It's a choose your own adventure hypertext fiction piece I wrote in the fourth grade with a friend. You'll like it. Probably.

November 01, 2006

U.S. Citizens Vote

I'm sure you're aware of an election coming up.  That's right, there are still elections, even when we're not voting for the president.  I wanted to share some interesting numbers from 2000 and 2004.

The exit poll statistics, from CNN, for the year 2000, for the presidential election:

Republicans voting Democrat: 8 per cent
Democrats voting Republican: 11 per cent


So that's how things were in the year 2000.

Now let's look at 2004, still from CNN:

Republicans voting Democrat: 6 per cent

This I find hard to believe.  The number of Republicans voting Democrat went DOWN?  Never before this election had I ever heard a Republican say he or she would vote Democrat - but during this election I heard it from more Republicans than I can count.  They were fed up.  They were Republicans, sure, but they were sick of Bush.

Democrats voting Republican: 11 per cent

Bogus!  Democrats voted for Bush at the same rate as 2004?  No way.  I don't buy it.  Bogus.

So...what happened?  Are the exit polls simply bogus?  Are Democrats that stupid?  Do Republicans feel pressured into claiming that they are anti-Bush when in fact they are not?  (And if so, if there is that much of a consensus that Bush is evil, why is he still in office?)

October 26, 2006

I robbed a bank once!

Only, I did it in a gorilla suit, so when the coppers caught me on I-5 trying to leave town, I told them it was just a joke, which worked pretty well because really: who would rob a bank in a gorilla suit?

The cops took me back to the bank to return the money and we (the cops, the bankers, and I) all had a good laugh.  The bankers kept making me say, "Hand over the money!" in my gorilla voice.  Pretty hilarious!

Esther, the bank clerk who handed it over, made me pose for a picture with my gorilla arm around her.

October 23, 2006

I am an artiste!

Not really, but if I spell it with an "e" on the end, it definitely adds something and means even less.

So...the literary journal I work for through Antioch University Seattle is having a release party this Sunday.  Everyone is going to be there, including Reverend Redd*.  In fact, if you've wondered where Redd's been lately, he's been camping out at the venue, just to make sure he gets in (and when I say "camping out" I mean "he needs a shower").

Things that are special about this issue of KNOCK (that's the name of the literary journal) are:

1. I designed the cover (see below) and did the layout.
2. A couple excellent writers you may know from the Internet are in the issue: Vincent(!) Truman submitted a hilarious play that we accepted and Alex Vermitsky (also known as Alex) submitted three excellent pieces that made it in (you can take a peek inside the issue here).

If you're in the Seattle area this Sunday night, stop by (details here).  If you want a copy of the issue, there is information here.  If you subscribe to KNOCK, we'll give $5 of your money to the Women's Education Project.

Don't laugh - it's my first time

*Reverend Redd won't actually be there. In fact, Redd is a figment of your imagination, along with Bluee and Yelloww.  Traffic lights are the great mystery.

October 20, 2006

An Interview with Todd!

I interviewed Todd and he didn't even turn me into a zombie (or give me a t-shirt)!

Aaaaaaron
: Todd, first of all I'd like to say that you are one of the few writers out there that will do something quite different with each blog. That's one of the things I both admire and fear about your writing.

I don't want to start off the interview with a boring question or anything, so let's just start with this: if you were on a symbolic quest for the holy grail, what would the holy grail be, to you?


Todd: Well, mythologists like Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell theorized that the idea of "grail" in hero myths symbolized full consciousness or individuation. This would be attained once the protagonist rose from the depths of the underworld (representing the unconscious) and returned home truly self-aware for the first time in his life.

I, however, am more interested in the Holy Mail. The Holy Mail, according to a legend I am right now making up, was the last letter delivered to Christ before being nailed to the cross. Rumored to bear upon its envelope the message "YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY WON $10,000,000," this piece of mail is said to grant its possessor the ability to get others to listen to him intently for a brief period of time but then get frustrated and punch him in the face.

As this is all purely fictional, I can't really say what Jung or Campbell would've thought about it, but I will tell you this: they're both dead and I'm not so ha, fucking, ha, fucking, ha.

A: There seem to be almost dozens of dead people nowadays. If you could resurrect one as your zombie slave, who would you resurrect and why?

T: Well, this is a tough question as I'm not fully sure I believe in the existence of slaves. Were they not merely figments of our collective imagination, though, I'd have to say, "You, Aaaaaaaron."

I understand that in order to do this, I'd first have to kill you, but besides that, I don't think it'd be that big of a transition for you, as you could merely replace the zombie expression, "Braaaaaaaaaains," with your already elongated first name.

A: I'm afraid to ask this, but...as your zombie slave, what would you have me do?

T: It'd probably be a rotation of sit-ups, pull-ups, and then intensive cardio training. A big mistake people make is thinking that their zombies dont need to work out. This can lead to all kinds of problems including maggot take-over, corpse-rash and, in a worst case scenario, double-death. If there's one thing I'd like the reader to take away from this interview it's this: please, please exercise your zombies.

A: I appreciate you being thoughtful of my future needs as a zombie slave. Speaking of the future, I have a friend that can take a message to your Future Self. Anything you'd like to say?

T: I guess that depends how far in the future this self is. If, for example, he is living an hour from now, Id probably say something like, Turn off the TV and read a fucking book. Were he further in the future, like say, thirty or forty years, my message would be more along the lines of, I better not find you on that couch when I get home.

A: Ah. A message from your future self is coming back to you right now on my short wave radio. Your future self says, "Hey Aaaaaaron, you might want to get rid of the stolen radio. It's called 'evidence.' Tell young Todd to be less cool and that I'm not using reverse psychology (which is of course just a ploy - I'm using reverse psychology - yet this might also be a ploy. Or not.)." Todd, what does the word, "ploy" mean, anyway? I've never looked it up.

T: OK. Here’s a little secret. I’m not very good with words. This may seem strange, since I’m a writer, but it kind of goes along with many other things about my life. For example, I like having sex, but don’t really know how the parts are supposed to hook up. I consider myself a wife-beater, but I’m not married and don’t own one of those shirts. And I sometimes play basketball with other men just because I can lick the sweat from their glistening bodies. I guess you could say I’m the kind of guy that starts answering a question and then forgets what he was saying and just kind of rambles on and on and on and on (and so on). 
 
A: All right, speaking of sweat: I don't want to stress you out, but I simply must know: Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus. If it drops below 50 miles an hour, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?
 
T: Now, that’s a good question, and again my answer depends on how many kitties are on the bus. Were there eight or more, I’d probably throw three or four of them toward the front of the vehicle, then instruct them to crawl under the plastic panel and gnaw through the bomb’s wires. If, however, there were less than four available cats, I’d likely just chuck them at other passangers as a distraction then jump out a window.
 
A: If only the producers of Speed had employed you to look over their screenplay.  I never thought it was believable that there weren't any kittens on that bus.
 
Well, Todd, it's been a pleasure, but I have to get to an ultimate fighting matchup (my 4 year old niece's - it's her first fight so I want to be there).  My last question is this: have you any wisdom you would like to impart to your readers and the other people who got through this interview?

T: One quick thing anyone can do to significantly improve the quality of their life is to visit www.toddmayhew.com where they can access my blog, merchandise, and the new 99 cent download of the month section in which I post a new story, song or audio sketch every month. They're better than anything God could do - whether you believe in him or not. Other than that, the only advice I can give is to get yourself a Saint Bernard. They're excellent lapdogs, and can fit easily into any overhead storage compartment.

October 10, 2006

A Synopsis of David Lynch's Caligula II

David Lynch holds nothing back in this tour de force of oddities.  Naturally, the movie does not explain how Caligula (played by Bill Pullman) is alive in the first place, not to mention that he is now the new Queen of Peru during the early 1500s.  Things get more confusing when he boards Air Force One and forces the president to suck oysters out of the Secretary of State's bottom (the Secretary of State being, of course, a horse named Lucky).

However, solid performances by Haley Joel Osment (as Caligula's mother) and Luis Guzman (as the ambassador to Dimension X) provide enough entertainment to keep the viewer interested.

Caligula II is plum full of exotic scenes and wild visuals, but perhaps the most captivating sequence is a twenty minute scene featuring nothing but Caligula sitting in front of a mirror saying "Annagottadavita?" over and over.  Later, he gives a televised ballet-speech that finally incites his people to revolt against him.

In the end, Caligula dies.  Again.

October 06, 2006

Roadnotes: Denver 2

Note: the following entry is based on events that happened September 29 and 30.

My Sonicare electric toothbrush has died.  I mean, it's run out of charge.  The whole situation would not have occurred were it not for the fact that the bathroom light switch in my Seattle studio apartment also turns off the outlet in which my toothbrush is plugged into to charge.  So after being in L.A., I should have remembered to leave the light on for a few hours and I didn't.  Now I'm brushing my teeth manually (or as my friend Penelope would say: "the real man's way").

Friday I track down Scotty, who is alive, contrary to my recent thoughts on the matter.  We had lost touch over the past six months.  Sera takes the day off to hang out with me and we both wish there was a wading pool nearby (the day is warm and sunny and it is a pain to have to do something -- wading pools solve these problems).

Friday night I wander around Denver for a short time, alone, enjoying the crisp, dry air and remembering both why I miss the place and why I left.

Saturday I hang out with Trapper for most of the day.  Then we catch a couple bands at Wax Trax before moving on to my reading.  The reading goes well.  A math poem that I feared would be inaccessible read aloud ended up being the most successful piece read.  Of course, that could just mean that everything else I read was crap, but oh well.  In any case, I end up selling all of the copies of my book that I brought and that spells success, right?  Or something.  At least my bag is lighter going back to Seattle.



For those that missed the interview the other day, you can listen to it here.  You may want to skip ahead five minutes, past all the technical difficulties.  If anyone wants to edit out that stuff for me and make me a better copy, I will be most grateful.

Roadnotes: Denver 1

Note: the following entry is based on events that happened September 27 and 28.

A few days ago, checking my bag on the way to Seattle, flying Alaska, cost me an hour waiting.  In Denver, flying Frontier: two minutes.  Though, admittedly, in Denver, you walk a good 20 minutes before you get to the carousel (still, that's pretty good, I think).

Smiter picks me up in Denver and I wind up playing video games with his son (ultra-fun: they had LEGO Star Wars, you see).  Later, I discover my drink limit in high altitude has dropped to one.  Fortunately, I discover this without making a mess.

Sera graciously hosts me so that I can stay in my old neighborhood.  The next day I breakfast at Watercourse, one of the finest vegetarian restaurants in the world.  I spend the day visiting friends and haunts and in the evening I see Quinn in a play.  He plays a thug, which is not a stretch at all.

Afterward, he schools me in sword fighting (using foam swords he has from being a children's quest camp counselor), then he demonstrates his jackoff trick, which he does by pretending to masturbate under the table of a diner, even going so far as to use a creamer cup for the explosion.  I had my camera out, but I missed the money shot.

October 03, 2006

The Tropic of Random and Blah Blah

I learned how to make cashmere by sleeping with goats. Many a night, I lay by my goat lover, in the cellar of a small cottage hidden away in the Russian tundra, only to hear tell of the secrets of cashmere production through the whispy whispers of my sleepy, over-sexed companion.

Other nights, we burned cardboard remains of lime Jell-o boxes to keep warm whilst Goatie (that's what I called him) made sweet music with his slide trombone. I cooked rich soups, full of barley flowers and scraps from the vinyl clothing factory, then danced to the music wearing nothing but Scotch tape.

On special occasions, Jason Priestley dropped by, to whom we would say, "Hey, Jason Priestley!" He ignored us, for the most part, choosing to play on the monkey bars rather than engage in false conversation.

But that was before Xanax and Prozac and before the stunning legislation that moved the Tropic of Capricorn nearly 10 latitudinal degrees farther south. Now things are very different indeed.

September 28, 2006

Roadnotes: L.A. 3

I am at the airport early, with plenty of time before my flight.  When I get a water, I notice that there is a man waiting for the cashier while she stocks items a few feet away.  She stops immediately as I walk up.

The man asks for change, so she tells him that she has to help me first (in order to open the cash register, I'm assuming).  She rings up my water, then gets the guy his change.

This sets off a series of thoughts:

Was my desire to get a water really part of a larger impulse to help the universe flow smoothly?  The man may have had to wait a while for the next purchaser to come along and allow the cashier to open the register.  Am I that in tune with the cosmos?

Or maybe the girl was in tune.  She instinctively knew that she couldn't help the man, so she continued to stock items until another person arrived.  Of course, this would all imply that the man was NOT in tune, because he grew angry from the wait.  Does the wait mean you're not in tune?  No, just the anger that comes on at having to wait.  Sometimes waiting is what you are supposed to do.  It's all a matter of intricate timing, you see.

Speaking of intricate timing, the bottle of Scotch that Adam brought me as a gift way back in April (but forgot in L.A.) is finally in my possession, thanks to the kindly babysitting of Victoria and perhaps a helpful reminder from Jeremy the Great so that she wouldn't forget to give it to me.  I'm anxious to try it, but unfortunately I wind up heading out to Denver before I get a chance.

(Denver roadnotes coming up - and don't forget my reading on the 30th, if you're in the Denver area.)

September 27, 2006

Roadnotes: L.A. 2

Note: the following is based on events that occurred on Sunday, September 24.

My stomach hurts most of the day.  Nerves?  Something viral?  No idea.

I'm dehydrated, sure, but I feel way worse than usual and by the time I show up to do the Pointless Banter Show, I want to just curl up in a ball in the corner.

Not only do I not feel well, but I look a mess, too.  I decided to give myself a haircut before I came to L.A. and gouged a good bit out of the side of my head, and I borrowed a razor to shave and wound up slicing up a good bit of my neck.  What's the deal?  I'm comforted by the fact that no one really cares, and most people won't notice.

I decided it's mostly nerves because after the show I feel much better.  I don't get that nervous before readings but this was an unscripted conversation and apparently that unwound me a little.

However, Kevin and Trista were most gracious hosts, easy to talk to, and didn't even molest me once (on camera, that is).

After the show, we all meet Will and Kristen at a karaoke bar where Jeremy busts out a Rob Zombie tune in most impressive fashion (I have pictures of that - no time to upload them)....

September 20, 2006

Aaaaaaron will be on Internet TV!

I will be on Internet TV this Sunday (September 24) at 8pm PST!  To tune in and find out who the REAL Aaron Dietz is, just go to Musicplustv.com!  You will be able to IM questions for me to answer (if that be your taste, times being what they are) and the show hosts, Kevin and Trista, have threatened to "play a game with" me, whatever that means.

Also, I am traveling to Denver for a reading on September 30 at 9:30pm at the Old Curtis Street Bar (2100 Curtis Street).  Zac Tasjian, Citymouse, and I will all read, and Jason Heller and Big Al will spin some great music.  If you're in the Denver area, check it out.

September 19, 2006

Aaaaaaron has been recalled

Greetings.  I am Zorgnarf, alien inventor.  My robot,
Aaaaaaron, is malfunctioning.  He has schizorobotia and thinks he's three people
now: Aaaaaaron, Gordon, and Elda, an eighty year old seamstress.

A Profile of a Roommate

Name: Gordon Felcher Dumbhead

Profession: Apprentice Plumber

Place of birth: Murdock, Kansas.

Interests: Stealing Aaron's passwords.

Favorite color: Jealous of Aaron's blogging success.

Favorite music: Waiting for Aaron to be gone for an entire day so he can attempt to steal all of Aaron's readers.

Favorite movie: Lies about his age (he is two years older than he says).

Favorite TV show: Making shit up about himself and/or others.

Best trait: Seriously, Gordon really pissed me off with that blog the other day and I didn't even know until this morning.

September 15, 2006

The Real Me

I've been feeling guilty about this for a while now and it's time to come clean: I'm not who I've been saying I was.  I'm not Aaaaaaron.  I'm not a writer.  And I'm not cool (although many of you had already figured that one out).

I'm a plumber.  I plumb.  It's what I do.  I created this account in order to live out my fantasy life online.  I've always wanted to get lots of chicks but I'm too lazy to do anything difficult (like learn guitar, or play sports), so I figured in my fantasy life I would be this ultra-cool blogger because bloggers get chicks and all they have to do is blog, you know?

The pictures I was using are of my nephew.  He is really cool.  He goes to school and gets all these chicks and before he was 12 he could beat me at Connect Four.  My nephew knows how to play guitar.  And he is good at several sports.

No, I'm not half as cool as that little twirp.  My real name is Gordon.

It's not even Goooooordon.  Just Gordon.

So, if you want to unsubscribe or something, I won't feel bad.  I know you were only reading because you thought it was somebody cool, and not a plumber.  I want to believe that plumbers can become good bloggers, but that's quite a stretch, isn't it?  Anyway, I'll keep hoping...and blogging...and maybe someday I'll get lucky.  Thank you for listening.

September 10, 2006

This one's for you, Joey Polanski!

Joey Polanski is funny. You can be assured that he is because I have linked to him in more than one place. I don't do that because he gives me money. No. I do that because he is just that funny. You all should check him out. See? I've even linked to him from my Web site.

September 04, 2006

The Book Release Party...

Reserved For Emperors The book release party, for Reserved For Emperors, was a huge success. Many of the finest names and faces in Seattle attended and Freckleface even called and offered the best toast ever by speaker phone:

"To Aaron Dietz, I wanna be just like him when I grow up--even more of a babe magnet than a pair of Converse All Stars."

The twins even color-coordinated with the book!

They must have planned it!

I took a moment to show off a painting I received from A Balanced Contradiction, as well. She's the greatest!

I love getting free paintings in the mail

Also, I cooked myself a nice dinner a couple weeks ago. That really has nothing to do with the book release. I just wanted to share that.

Yum!

Thanks to all those that came out (and the people who were there in spirit)! And thanks to all the congratulations and support! Thanks to C-Dawg, for all the work planning and preparing for the event!

August 31, 2006

My Book Is Now Available!

My book is finally out: Reserved For Emperors is available on lulu.com.

Reserved For EmperorsAaron Dietz unleashes his first collection of blogs with over 90 pages of additional commentary! He explains why he is better than you! He tells you how to start an earthquake for free! He organizes your closet!* This book is a regular tour de force!**

* Note: Aaron Dietz does not actually organize your closet; nor does the book.

** If, by "tour," you mean "book," and if by "de force," you mean "for sale."


The book is $11.99 (plus some shipping costs), but it can be downloaded for less than $3.  If you do have it shipped - make sure to select a cheap shipping method - my first time on Lulu.com defaulted to something pretty expensive and I was glad I noticed.

I was pleased to get Erik Tosten to do the cover. Check out his work sometime. One other thing of note is that in addition to over 90 pages of supplemental material that can't be found online, this book contains two original pieces of writing that I've not published elsewhere (one of them is my first comic strip in over two decades).

Also, if you're interested in attending the small book release celebration, send me a message; it's this Saturday night.

Thank you, everyone, for encouraging me to release this book!

August 24, 2006

A Phone Conversation

Kali: James, what's up?

James: Not much. What's the dealio, K-bob?

Kali: What's the what? I don't get it.

James: I don't get it, either.

Kali: You don't "get it"? Or you don't get "it"?

James: Did you just use quotes on me? Over the phone?

Kali: What? What do you mean?

James: You just, you know, "used quotes."

Kali: Uh..."no I didn't."

James: You just "did it" again.

Kali: I did "what" exactly?

James: That.

Kali: "That."

James: ""That.""

Kali: """That"""?

James: """"That.""""

Kali: """""That"""""? Seriously?

James: """"""That."""""" "Seriously."

Kali: "Oh."

James: "Yeah."

Kali: "Sorry."

James: That's what I thought.

Kali: So, how's it, you know, "going"?

James: How's "it" going?

Kali: Yeah. "How's ""it"" "going"?"

James: Yeah....

Kali: "Yeah?"

James: ""Yeah.""

Kali: """Yeah?"""

James: No.

August 23, 2006

Why all the hot girls should want to ride the Aaaaaaron stick

Recent contest winner Adam got to choose a blog topic for me to write about. He chose, "Why all the hot girls should want to ride the Aaaaaaron Stick."

This challenged me because:

A. It implies that the "hot girls" DON'T want to ride the Aaaaaaron stick (which is of course entirely untrue).
B. Who says I WANT the "hot girls" to ride the Aaaaaaron stick (I mean, I'm fairly choosy and I like to take good care of my disease-free stick)?

(This is not to say all "hot girls" have diseases. I'm also choosy for other reasons.)

But if I must explain why the "hot girls" should want to ride my stick, then I must. And here is one reason:

I can turn ingredients lists on various food products into erotic poems. It works well with just about anything, but I particularly like those that end in "spices."

It's really much better in person, but check out Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice:

Ingredients:

enriched long grain parboiled rice

(iron phosphate,
niacin,
thiamine mononitrate and folic acid),

cooked and dehydrated red beans,

enriched wheat flour

(niacin,
reduced iron,
thiamine mononitrate,
riboflavin,
folic acid),

malted barley flour, salt,

dehydrated vegetables

(onion,
bell pepper),

soy sauce

(100 per cent soybean),

yeast extract, dextrose, soybean
oil,

thiamine hydrochloride,

natural and artificial flavors,

modified corn starch,

torula yeast,

natural
smoke
flavor,

garlic,
caramel color,

spices.

August 17, 2006

Chapter 11 of a Thankfully Unfinished Saga

Chapter 11: An Unseemly Transmission

Wherein Aaron and Ptolemy-Boy discover
Farmer Latham beaten to unconsciousness.
Also wherein later that day Aaron and
Ptolemy-Boy intercept an unruly transmission
that yields suprising information….

“Look, Ptolemy-boy!” Aaron shouted. “Over there, in the tall grass!”

Ptolemy-boy saw it, too. There was a patch of blue showing through the weeds that matched Farmer Latham’s patented shade of overall.

They rushed to the spot and knelt down. Farmer Latham wasn’t moving.

“Let’s wake him up, Ptolemy-Boy!”

Ptolemy-Boy poured water from his trusty canteen on to Farmer Latham’s face.

“Someone’s beaten him to unconsciousness!” said Aaron.

“You fools,” Farmer Latham said, stirring slightly and spitting up water. “The chapter description already said that.”

Later that day, Aaron and Ptolemy-boy found themselves en route to Carstone 7-9er, when a high-priority transmission broke through their thoughtful silence.

“This is fuck niner fuck. How the fuck fuck are you fucks?”

“Ah,” Aaron said, “it’s Rogers.”

He flipped a switch and answered Rogers’ call. “We’re fine, Rogers. What’s up?”

Ptolemy-Boy whispered, “Get ready to be surprised.”

“No no-” Aaron said, “-that would be the wrong thing to do. If we’re prepared to be surprised, then we won’t fulfill the chapter description, because you can’t be surprised if you’re prepared to be. No, we’ll just have to expect nothing.”

Then Aaron said, “Could you repeat that, Rogers? The reader didn’t get to hear what you said while I was talking to Ptolemy-Boy.”

“I for fuck fuck’s sake said, ‘Fuck, I’m going to fuck fuck the fuck fuck out of a fucking fuckmaster alien weirdo who fuck waits fuck tables at the fucking fuck fuck barn’.”

“Why am I not surprised?” Aaron said. “But why are you sharing this with us in a priority message, Rogers?”

“This alien weirdo fucking claims the fuck fuck to be your fuck fuck wife, you fuck fuck fuck!”

Ptolemy-Boy was surprised. “Aaron, you never told me you were married.”

Aaron was surprised also. “I didn’t know I was.”

Rogers said, “And your kids are butt-ugly, no fucks about it!”

August 10, 2006

Men, do you REALLY care about the environment?

If you do, stop using kleenex and paper towels to wank off into. You are killing trees everytime you dump your jollies!

Just grab the waste can when you're ready and drop it directly in, effectively cutting out the middle man (middle tree, in this case). Or, simply move over to the window.

August 01, 2006

July 29, 2006

The Good Thing About Corporations

Corporations are sometimes evil. Sometimes they are not evil but they still do evil things. Today, I’m going to tell you why corporations are good, especially when compared to, say, politicians.

And here is why: corporations have to pay attention to their constituents.

And their constituents are you, the consumer!

If you are not buying their product, corporations have to change in order to give you what you want (otherwise, they will not make any money). If they are out there being evil, shoving processed food out on the market, hiring slave labor, etcetera, then you have only yourself to blame (collectively, as a population of consumers, that is - I’m sure YOU, personally, never support such corporations). Ultimately, if all consumers purchased responsibly, corporations would behave responsibly (with a few exceptions - see below).

Politicians, however, only need to pay attention to you during election time. And even then, they know that having money for TV commercials will be much more important than any stand they can take on any particular issue. So, essentially, their constituents are wealthy lobby groups and…corporations. Hmmm. But the corporations are supported by US! That means we could take over this damned country! We only need to purchase responsibly and our attitudes toward commerce will “trickle up.”

Exception to the rule: In cases where corporations only sell to politicians (I’m thinking of defense contracts, here), the “trickle up” theory breaks down. Too bad. We almost had them.

July 19, 2006

Failed Book Titles

I'm pretty confident I've figured out the title of my first book of blogs, so I'm going to list the best of the titles I discarded:

I Am Better Than You

I Wish I Was Humble

Jumbotronic

July 12, 2006

Woman has religious experience in shopping center

Seattle, WA - An unidentified woman was seen outside a clothing store having uncontrollable fits of hysteria.

Witnesses say she exited the popular store, at approximately 4:25pm saying, "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God."

She then rushed to her friends and said, "You have to see this."

She held her bag open while her friends gazed at the recent purchase.

"Isn't it the most amazing thing you've ever seen?" the woman asked.

"Oh my God," said one of her friends, reaching in the bag to touch it.

July 06, 2006

A Personals Ad for Thor

Norse god seeks woman who doesn't get jealous

What Thor means when he says thou must not get jealous is that thou must not get jealous of Thor's mighty hair! But it matters not, for once thou hast ridden the mighty Thor, thou will return to Thor as if by magic, just like mine magic hammer, Mjolnir. Mine Mjolner is capable of many things, one of them thou will experience as "awesome superhero hammer juice." No, Thor will not explain! Thor seeks a woman who will accompany Thor on moonlight flying, long walks in Asgard, and movie watching (but no horror movies with scary children in them - they are too scary because Thor cannot bring himself to smash kids' faces in with Mjolnir, so what can Thor do against such a menace?).

July 03, 2006

Adventures of Dogboy: Dogboy Visits Shrink!

Hello, everyone. After much deliberation*, I have decided to begin putting regular exclusive content on my pointlessbanter.net blog. The exclusive content will be posted every Monday and will be all about Dogboy and his amazing adventures! Just to give you a taste of the action, here is today's blog. Further Dogboy adventures will be posted only on pointlessbanter.net (on Mondays).

And now: the Adventures of Dogboy: Dogboy Visits Shrink!

Dogboy stares at wall.

Shrink say -Dogboy, how does it make you feel?

-I feel like taffy. You like taffy?

-It pulls at my fillings, so...no.

-How much this cost?

Dogboy gets bill and thinks of time when Hulk go crazy but didnt even go to Shrink and never had to pay Shrink bill. Dogboy thinks, Hulk is awesome, because he cures himself.

In Dogboys head, world revolves around pencil while pencil writes answer to life on back of Dogboy ear.

Dogboy pays Shrink bill.




* Four large men put me in the trunk of their car until I decided this.

June 30, 2006

You Win, C.I.A. Agent Jones

Do you remember when C.I.A. Agent Jones made my life miserable by forcing me to go to extreme measures just to get my favorite breath-freshening, potentially cancer-causing chewing gum?

Do you remember when I finally found a source in Seattle where I could buy Everest, only to find that C.I.A. Agent Jones had tricked me into buying the wrong flavor?

Well, I found yet another source and I went there the other day to buy more, only to find that C.I.A. Agent Jones had finally won the game.

I wish Everest were in there!

Do you see that empty spot where nothing is stocked? That's where the Everest was supposed to be. I asked a sales person if they were getting any more in and he practically laughed in my face.

"I dont think so," he said.

You see, I'm afraid that C.I.A. Agent Jones has gone and shut down the whole company, just to keep me from buying my favorite gum. I can't even get it from candydirect.com anymore, and Everest's official Web site (everestgum.com), is now unavailable.

I give up, C.I.A. Agent Jones. You win.

June 23, 2006

About the Author

Quite a while ago, when I was asking people for ideas on what to write about, Kat suggested I write an "About the Author" as an exercise. I loved the idea, but it took me a while to get to it. So now, finally, here we go....

Take 1

Aaaaaaron suggests that everyone write at least one book, even if it is never published. No matter how bad it is, it will still be treasured by your offspring and if you have no offspring, you can donate it to your nearest library archive project. Sooner or later, someone will happen upon your work and believe it to be the most spectacularly wonderful thing in the world. It's true. I've seen it happen. So do it. Oh crap, this was supposed to be about me, wasn't it?

Take 2

Aaaaaaron currently resides in Seattle. Wait a minute. How come authors are always currently residing everywhere?* What's wrong with just plain ol' living? And what's with this "currently" stuff? People can pretty much assume that it's current unless they're reading something that was published five years ago, in which case, it might not be accurate information anymore. A more appropriate beginning might be this: "Aaaaaaron lives. Unless of course, by the time you read this, he does not, which would be sad if you knew him, because he was a great guy." Crap. I'm messing this up again.

Okay, Take 3

Aaaaaaron lives in a haze of random infatuation and misguided, self-invented jurisprudence. On a cloudy day, you might imagine his face in the sky, especially if you don't know what he looks like, because then just about any cloud will do. He has a friend that always wants him to play House of the Rising Sun on guitar every time he visits, but Aaaaaaron, thus far, has never learned the song.

* not actually my joke - I stole that one and added to it.

June 21, 2006

A Promotional Break

First of all, let me promote a few excellent writers who have books out. If you have a little money and want to support innovative literature, please check them out. Downloading their books is really rather cheap (just a few bucks) and you can also order the physical artifact if you like (make sure you pay attention to which shipping method you use – the UPS shipping can be costly)

Gary R Smith II’s Dog Person

Dog Person

Alex Vermitsky’s Some Semblance of Spring

Some Semblance of Spring

Vincent Truman’s Ugly Bungalow

Ugly Bungalow

See, if I promote some friends books now, it will seem less sleazy when I promote my own first book of blogs, coming out within one month. But don't worry - I also have some free stuff to promote: writings by me!

First of all, for those of you who don’t know, I am posting my blogs on pointlessbanter.net. Many of your favorite bloggers are there and they even have cool stuff like an Internet TV show on Sunday nights! Yes, I’ll still be posting blogs here and usually they will be the same ones that are on Pointless Banter, but just like all my blogging sites, I like to throw in something unique to a site once in a while, just to keep the hardcore stalkers busy.

I am continuing to write for Needles for Teeth, an excellent literary and arts journal with distribution in Denver and, most recently, Japan. Here are a few of my pieces from their web version:

I was a blade of grass

Pedestrian Luck

A Smoke

And even though I haven’t had time to write for Punch Panda recently, I wanted to share these pieces with you, available on PunchPanda.com:

Evolution: Can It Be True?

My ASS Will Save America

There. I hope I’ve given you too much to read. Go now, and conquer the world instead.

June 14, 2006

Scotch: An Incomplete Primer

This is an incomplete Scotch primer for those wishing to know more about such a thing. Saunter down to your local Irish pub and try a few. Order it "neat" (without ice) and sip. Grow hair.

Lagavulin: Simply the best. It is harsh, manly and vibrant. It is also like sucking down a camp fire (very smoky). The bottle is distinctively attractive, just like the box it comes in. For a poetic description of what Lagavulin does to a person, see this poem I wrote about it.

Dalwhinnie: The closest thing you can get to the quality of Lagavulin for $30 a bottle less than Lagavulin. Plenty of peat, a little smoky.

Talisker: This is a manly Scotch, and quite excellent, but it's no Lagavulin.

Glenlivet: A lot of people drink this because they can actually swallow it without feeling puke run up their throat. This is an easy starter Scotch, but you will never understand how far it is from true excellence (Lagavulin) unless you move up. For some, Glenlivet is the end-all be-all. For me, it is the beginning of "adequate."

Macallan 12 and 18: So very smooth and palatable - a quite tasty Scotch. However, I've noticed that, in America, it's primarily assholes that order this drink. Seriously. Even in movies, characters that are assholes will order Macallan. I'm an asshole, too - I just don't like to readily advertise that fact. Still don't believe me? Ask your nearest lawyer what Scotch he drinks. Now, if you're ordering this anywhere in Europe, things change. Nice people order Macallan there, so if you're in Europe, have at it! Within the United States, in order to be cool, you must stay away from the smooth, easy Scotches and try to get closer to Lagavulin.

Have I mentioned Lagavulin, yet?

June 12, 2006

Ladies, I Am Issuing My Demands

Attention, females:

If these prophylactics cannot be used properly by this deadline:

The Condom Deadline

...then I will be forced to destroy them.

You have eight and a half months to comply.

June 07, 2006

Roadnotes: Eugene to Seattle

I'm getting old. This whole trip was a struggle because I'm so overconscious of two things:

1. When will I get the next protein-filled vegetarian meal?
2. When will I next be able to get on the Internet?

The trip was great, but these things weighed on the back of my mind the whole time. I was away from the Internet for pretty much the whole weekend and it felt awful (I posted these latest roadnotes from home, after the trip, straight out of my journal). I just can't bear to be away from you all.

But anyway, Trapper gave me a ride to Portland and from there I caught the bus to Seattle. I'm home now. Another good trip. Sorry, to both of the people who invited me to Vancouver recently...I am not able to make it....

June 05, 2006

Die Hard and Die Hard 2: Movies for Sensitive Men

Die Hard raised the bar for what an action film could be by giving audiences a new level of realism other films were quick to pick up on. Here was our hero getting hurt - not just getting bloody, but getting hurt in a more human way than audiences were used to. He's a regular cop and a regular dad and husband with regular problems-not a "Rambo" type that measures on the scale of a superhuman entity.

But Die Hard didn't stop there. It showed audiences a manly, regular guy that could also be sensitive. In one scene, John McClain (played by Bruce Willis) picks glass out of his feet (a manly moment), while telling his new friend over the radio about how much he loves his wife and how badly he screwed things up in their relationship. Aw, how sensitive! In that scene, Die Hard demonstrates that masculinity does not have to exclude emotion and sensitivity.

Die Hard 2 also pushed the envelope in deconstructing the traditional male stereotype. In one of the first scenes of the film, John McClain enters the airport and takes one quick glance around before asking for information.

"Where are the telephones?" he says.

If the hero of the Die Hard series can ask for directions, then it should be okay for other men to do so without their masculine nature feeling threatened.

May 29, 2006

Hacking the Marvel Universe

The Redhead recently requested the following: "I would like a blog about how to hack into alternate universes. (You can write it in 4@xx0r if you like.)" So, in the style of Touching the Paperboy's Melnet posts, I have answered the call of the hero.

run C:..4@xx0r.exe
loading
4@xx0r: whackjob//
4@xx0r-->whackjob//^dud@34s: ******
4@xx0r-->d!d: 200605280318d^@s)dkd
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: !6dfd@er4(4@xx0r,engusa)
4@xx0r-->Rput: USA English loaded
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: load(comicHacks,'C:..support4xx0r..')
4@xx0r-->Rput: loading...
4@xx0r-->Rput: comicHacks loaded
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: hackUverse(Marvel)
4@xx0r-->Rput: Err(13)|Missing parameter(1,universeNo)|
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: selUverse(Marvel,0)
4@xx0r-->Rput: Universe=Marvel.0
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: selCharacter(Magneto)
4@xx0r-->Rput: Character=Marvel.0.Magneto
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: displayGenitalia
4@xx0r-->Rput: Magneto
version=0
testicles=2
penis=1
vagina=0
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: hackGenitalia('Marvel.0.Magneto',testicles )
4@xx0r-->Rput: Marvel.0.Magneto updated
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: displayGenitalia
4@xx0r-->Rput: Magneto
version=0
testicles=3
penis=1
vagina=0
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: Ha ha ha! Ive changed the Marvel universe!
4@xx0r-->Rput: Err(2)|Misspelled command()|
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: Yer stupid!!!
4@xx0r-->Rput: Err(2)|Misspelled command()|
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: deSelCharacter(Magneto)
4@xx0r-->Rput: Magneto deselected
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: deSelUverse(Marvel,0)
4@xx0r-->Rput: Marvel.0 deselected
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: saveUverse(Marvel,0)
4@xx0r-->Rput: Marvel.0 updated
4@xx0r-->whackjob//: logout
4@xx0r-->d!d: 200605280327d^@s(dkd
End

May 23, 2006

Roadnotes: Eugene 2

Trapper shows me around some more, to places that are sacred because of the company he held. I also get a chance to catch up with two friends from way back, though only for a brief time.

However, I do make visiting the Eugene Public Library a priority because of their famous "sorter" machine. It's a machine with treadmills and levers and arms (sort of) that returns library items and sorts them onto carts. A staffmember willingly takes me through the area without too much coercion on my part.

I'm standing there, looking at this thing in awe, when the staffmember says, "Very Goldberg, isn't it?"

"Yes," I answer.

She seems somewhat suspicious of me as I have openly admitted that I am no longer working for libraries.

"So," I say, "what does it use to sort the items? Is it a media code?"

She answers affirmatively and explains further, no longer suspicious.

May 22, 2006

The Da Vinci Code: A Striking Portrait of Misogyny

For a movie based on a book that was all about popularizing the concept of the sacred feminine, the Da Vinci Code left too much to the men.

Admittedly, the book itself is somewhat sexist. It's written by a man who described the resurgence of the "sacred feminine" as being led by men, controlled by men and even only understood by men. But at least there was a female character who knew a little about cryptology.

The movie makes one mention of the heroine's occupation, then lets the men figure out every single puzzle while Audrey Tatou (who plays the heroine) focuses on her specialty: looking overwhelmed and befuddled.

Don't get me wrong, she's cute when she does this, but it would be nice if they'd have let her do something that furthered the plot somehow.

Oh well. Also, the movie was boring.

May 20, 2006

Roadnotes: Eugene 1

It's good to hang out with Trapper again. I meet several friends of his, among them a reknowned bibliographer of Neal Cassady.

I get an excellent Animal House walking tour of the campus. Yes, the movie was filmed here and many of the environments are quite recognizable.

We hang out on a couple campus benches to talk and watch trees. Trapper and I finish slices of Sys Pizza. It is at this moment that I get a call from Victoria - she tells me she may have concocted a plan to get me my bottle of Scotch (thanks, Adam, and all those involved, in case I should ever see this bottle).

Update: The plan failed. I still do not have the gift from the Englishman.

May 19, 2006

Roadnotes: Portland

I'm headed to Eugene.

Fortunately, I get a free ride as far as Portland from the two Tauruses (well, not REALLY free I now owe them a reading of In Me Own Words, an autobiography of Bigfoot, in character and everything).

That gave me time to eat Thai food with a Portlandian friend before I caught a bus to Eugene.

While taking me to the Greyhound station, my friend and I start talking about my blogs and also (it logically follows) about kaka.

"You should use kaka in a blog," she says.

"Oh, the poop joke thing is played out. I should know."

"No, just use the word, kaka, somehow."

I get indignant. "Oh, so you think thats how it works? You can just tell me what to write and Ill put it in a blog?"

But that is totally how it works.

May 12, 2006

Yes, U.S. Citizens, Your Freedom is at Stake

Save the Internet: Click hereI have no good news. Communications companies are spending millions lobbying Congress to turn the Internet into a private enterprise.

Our civil liberties are already in dubious standing without this heinous nuisance. The Internet is the only venue that we can count on for sharing vital civil rights information. Without Internet neutrality, companies will be able to decide what Web sites you can visit just like they decide which cable channels you can buy.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch the video on this page.

If you want to sign the petition that will help put a stop to this nonsense, go here.

A Blogger's resource list is here, where you can get links for your own blog (on the right) and register your blog once you've written about it.

May 02, 2006

If you don't know your history....

If you don't know your history, you are doomed to repeat it.

But that's okay, because you'll never know you're repeating it, since you don't know it in the first place.

So it's all good.

April 30, 2006

A blog for Randy....

I agreed to write a blog for Randy, one of my favorite readers. He gave me 25 subjects (in five categorical groupings) to choose from, and rather than pick one, I molded all of them into one story. The topics that Randy listed are in red, so you can follow along to see what they were. I've even preserved their original order.

Group 1 (General) 1) My big toe and how it dances.

Fred reclined in the recliner, watching his big toe and how his big toe danced in the air.

"See my big toe! See how it dances!" he said.

"It dances like a cheeseburger," said George.

"You're just hungry."

2) Where to eat a cheeseburger.

"Even so, where's the best place to eat a cheeseburger around here?"

"Nowhere. I'm vegetarian."

"Vegetarians suck," George said. He looked down. "This carpet sucks."

3) Cool facts about carpet and other flooring.

"A dog's ass supposedly leaves no bacteria behind on the carpet."

"I don't believe that for a second."

"I suppose it would be true about other flooring, as well," Fred said. He picked up a book called Technical Manual for Random Things, then dropped it suddenly.

"Ow," he said. "Paper cuts suck."

"I'll tell you what sucks: paper. It should be outlawed."

4) Why I still use paper.

"Still, at least it doesn't radiate you, like computers," said Fred. "That's why I still use paper."

"Damn. Your finger's bleeding, dude."

5) Does it hurt when you type?

"Yeah. That's going to hurt when I type."

He put his finger in his mouth and picked up the book again with his other hand. Leafing through it, he paused to read a random entry.

Group 2 (technical/science) 1) Everything a MySpacer needs to know about HTML, cake, and binder clips.

"A MySpacer need know nothing of HTML, though some rudimentary knowledge of how to post images will expand their 'witty repertoire' when they want to comment on people's profiles. As for cake, any good MySpacer knows that the best knowledge of cake comes from Psmith-Wainscotting's This Week In Cake. MySpacers AND real human beings would be well-served to know that binder clips, especially of the large variety, are quite useful for keeping an open bag of chips as fresh as possible. Simply fold over the top of the bag, and clip the top with the binder clip."

"I hate that book," said George.

Flipping to a new page, Fred continued to read.

2) When time slows down and where.

"Time slows down approximately when and where matter and space begin divorce proceedings. Attorneys are usually brought in to help with negotiations, but in this case, attorneys are not called by that name. In these matters, they are usually referred to as drugs."

Fred turned another page.

3) A brief lesson on septic systems and the Puget Sound.

"How about this, George? Says here that poorly maintained septic systems can actually be responsible for polluting the Puget Sound."

"Bloody environmentalists. They'll get us all killed one of these days. Read about something else, will ya'?"

4) Where does the bread go when you make toast?

"Here's something: Bread undergoes transportation to the toasting realm through the use of toastporters, the red strips of heat residing in all true toasters. While the bread is in the toasting realm, it begins its physical transformation into toast. Sometimes, the toaster doesn't quite have time to-"

"Good grief. Who cares about freakin' toast?!"

5) How to jump.

"Would you rather I read about how to jump?"

"No. Just shut up."

"It sounds quite simple. You might learn something. It'd be like a first kiss, maybe."

Group 3 (nature) 1) The first evergreen tree I ever kissed.

"My first kiss was with a tree."

"Oh. What kind of tree?"

"An evergreen."

"Wow. How was it?"

"Awful. I accidentally ate a lady bug."

2) Lady bugs, aren't they neat?

"Wow. That's pretty neat. Aren't lady bugs neat?"

"Not when you swallow them and they fly back up out of your mouth."

Fred sighed. "Then what happened?"

3) Rows and rows of corn.

"I freaked out. I thought that kissing produced lady bugs and I freaked out, ran out of the forest, through rows and rows of corn, and I wound up tripping over the cat and smashing my face on a rock."

4) How to run over a cat.

"You never can run over a cat when you want to. The trick is to not want to."

"It's a nice day to go for a walk and get something to eat, don't you think?"

"You're just changing the subject because we have to move on to the next topic that Randy suggested."

5) Puffy clouds and their shapes.

"No, it's really a nice day. Look: there are all these nice puffy clouds everywhere. Some of them even have nice shapes. Like those-they look like boobs. And those over there...they look like...boobs."

Fred looked out the window. "Yeah, I'll give you that. Boobs. Everywhere."

"And besides, I'm hungry. I could eat a plastic trash bag."

Group 4 (plastic) 1) Plastic trash bags and why not to eat them.

"Oh, I wouldn't recommend that. If you don't suffocate first, you'll probably die of cancer-which, I guess would not be much different than how most of us will die, anyway. But you shouldn't rush these things."

2) Forks spoons and knives... yea plasticwear!

George eyed a box of plasticwear. "I bet I could eat those."

"Now see here, those are for the picnic."

"Oh yeah. We're late for the picnic!"

3) Bristle blocks!!!!!!!!

"Quite right! How could I have forgotten! Quick, grab the Bristle Blocks for little Timmy!"

"And the music, don't forget the music!"

4) Journey to polycarbonate.

"Journey it is."

"Not that crap! Pick out something better. I'll get the polycarbonate picnic windows!"

"From Journey to polycarbonate. Hmm. Why are we taking polycarbonate windows?"

"Because it's the only way we could work polycarbonate into the story!"

"Oh yeah."

5) Broken CD of terror.

Fred looked through the CD rack. His fingers paused on one labelled: Nonstop Journey Hits. He pulled it out and looked at a post-it note on the outside of the plastic case. The post-it read: "Broken CD of Terror! Only plays the first song, then skips back to the beginning!"

"Perfect," Fred said.

Group 5 (science fiction) 1) Attack of My Favorite Martian.

George and Fred nearly had everything in the car before a Martian appeared before them!

"What's up?" said the Martian.

George wondered that himself, but Fred told him, "It's cool, George. It's my favorite Martian, XvYpRtLq! He likes to attack people, but only with dull stories."

"Oh. Cool," George said dishonestly.

2) Knowing that the center of the solar eclipse ate my sister's car, and how I slept through it.

"Greetings, Earthlings! I just got back from the center of the solar eclipse that ate my sister's car."

"A solar eclipse! How was it?" Fred asked.

"I don't know. I slept through it. It had been a long night previously; I was hanging out where time was slowing down and everything."

3) Only in my dream can I fly (except on Pluto).

George said, "You are not making any sense at all, Martian, but...can you fly? Because that would be cool."

"In my dreams I can fly! Except on Pluto."

"You mean there's something weird about when you dream about being on Pluto?"

"No, I just never sleep on Pluto-it's a total party planet-so I never dream there."

"So, what brings you to Earth, today?" Fred asked.

4) The Blob is coming! The holiest of blobs, and careful swamp monsters!

"If you don't mind my telling you, I am here to announce that the Blob is coming!"

"That great big monster from the movies?!" George asked.

"No, the reincarnation of the Buddha. Humans, he has gained some weight, let me tell you. And look out, swamp monsters, because he is HUNGRY!"

"Shit. So am I," said George. "We gotta' get to this picnic."

5) The dragons lair.

"I'm sorry, George," said the Martian. "You will never get to eat."

"Why?"

"Because you don't have time. There is only one Randy topic left and once it is said-"

"Don't say it!" George screamed.

"Once it is said, the story will be over."

"Quick, to the picnic! I need food!"

Fred and George hopped in the car, sped to the picnic, met their friends there, and ran to the grill, where there was a stack of burgers on a plate.

"Too hot!" George said, trying to pick one up. "I need buns!"

"You need what?" Alice asked. She walked toward them, her hips waving from side to side like the ocean's tide. Or something.

"Uh...I need...buns?"

"Oh baby, you always did flirt well. Remember our first time hanging out together?"

"No. Shut up!"

"We met at Video Palace Harbor Kingdom Mania and stayed until closing, playing that one game, over and over."

"That was a long time ago. And besides, they are open 24 hours."

"Not on Christmas! But don't tell me you don't remember - the name of the game became our mating cry!"

"Who are you again?" George said.

"I still can't make love without crying out, DRAGON'S LAIR! DRAGON'S LAIR!!!!"

April 26, 2006

Roadnotes: Vancouver, B.C.

Yay! The cute girl with the French accent still works at the coffee shop I went to four months ago!

Yeah.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is pretty sweet. And I got to see the rest of Stanley Park that I didn't get to when I visited before. Though the hollow tree is pretty cool, there's no way I could have experienced it like it was in this picture:


Hollow Tree

April 22, 2006

THE THE

THE THE THE


THE THE THE THE THE THE


THE THE THE

THE

THE

THE

THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE THE

April 19, 2006

The Writing Twilight Zone: The One Word Language

I consider all of my writings works-in-progress. I don't believe it's possible to write something that is perfect, something that cannot be improved upon in some way. However, there are varying degrees away from perfection that one can achieve. If you are very good (better than me), you can be very much relatively close to perfection, whatever that means.

However, what if we simplified the language somewhat.... Would perfection be any easier?

Consider: a language with only one word. Perhaps it is written like this:

THE

Perhaps, given this limitation, we might express the most perfect work of art that can be expressed in that language like this:

THE

It is as perfect as the language allows. Could the work be improved by adapting it to other languages or using images? Probably. But given the limitation of that language, it has the highest percentage of perfection possible.

...though, this could be argued. The work is the most concise way to say the one word that the language makes available, but some would prefer a longer story. Brevity is not always the most masterful technique with which to get a point across (much to my frequent chagrin). Some would prefer the following:

THE THE THE THE THE

Or even:

THE THE THE THE THE THE THE

Which one is more perfect? Is it brevity or style that counts? Oh, the wily whims and subtleties of perfection!

April 12, 2006

The Best Laid Plans of The Redhead

The Redhead's Plan For Me To Get a Girlfriend:

1. Be friendly around girl I have crush on.
2. Notice when she is having a bad day.
3. Say, "Are you okay?"

Result: She realizes Im a sensitive, kind man and decides she wants me. She gives me anal sex and we live happily ever after.

My Enactment of The Redheads Plan:

1. I am friendly around the girl I have a crush on.
2. I notice she is having a bad day.
3. I say, "Are you okay?"

Result: She says, "What? Yeah. Why?" and has no idea what I am talking about. I find out that she is a lesbian and try to ignore the fact that I get warmer whenever she says my name.

The Good Thing About Starbucks

They've created a consistent coffee drink. If you like the taste, you might be comforted by knowing that you can get that same taste in any Starbucks all over the world. I'll admit: that's pretty tough to do.

Also, their employees get benefits for working 20 hours or more. In Denver, I lost my favorite barista to Starbucks because he simply needed health insurance. I couldn't blame him for signing up.

Sounds great, doesn't it?! A coffee shop where the workers get benefits? Awesome! You might be wondering: how do they do it?! Here's how:

[I was going to insert an image here of a poor, young coffee grower with a cartoon bubble saying, "Welcome to Starbucks! Can I pick your coffee beans today?" but I decided that, ultimately, that's a little cheap - while it may be effective, it is not informative, so I guess I'll have to type some more....]

Starbucks buys coffee from growers that pay workers such minimal wages that the workers can be considered slaves. There was a lot of stink made about how Starbucks was getting more into Fair Trade coffee (a standard set up to make sure that workers got paid a certain amount), but I've found they've only done what was minimally required in order to put out a decent press release here and there. The vast majority of the coffee sold at Starbucks is not at all "Fair Trade coffee," even though spokespeople for Starbucks have claimed that Fair Trade coffee is in line with the "values" of the company.

Now...you can do even worse than going to Starbucks (by buying a can of Folger's coffee, for example), but you can do a whole lot better. Many local coffee retailers do carry Fair Trade coffee. If you are a regular coffee drinker, it is a moral imperative to find out which ones do. If you're stuck on Starbucks, call them and complain: 1.800.235.2883 or send the CEO a fax. If you have any interest in Folger's, all hope may be lost for you, but they have a number as well: 1.800.937.9745.

And now, for my final reason to hate Starbucks - your browser must accept cookies to use their web site (starbucks.com). In other words, just for you to look at their press releases and read information from their own mouth, you have to allow your computer to be less secure. If you don't know how to enable cookies, they'll help you with that! - but only if you're using the world's most unsafe browser.

How To Tell If You Are In A Bad Coffee Shop

1. They have a bunch of mugs, t-shirts and other crap that you can buy.

2. They pipe in corporate music. Evil! Make sure your coffee shop plays actual CDs or mixes from someones mp3 player.

3. It closes before 9pm. Even closing as early as nine is suspect, but places that close at nine can on occasion still be awesome (mind you - just barely). If they close at 4:30pm, that is a dead giveaway that they suck.

4. The employees wear uniforms. This means that their baristas all make the drinks the same exact way which also means that there is no art being put into the beverage. A seriously awesome barista should not have to wear a uniform - they are artists!

5. You have to tell them when you want it in a mug. Some evil places dont even have a mug as an option and others will still put it in a paper cup even if you tell them its for here. They would rather destroy the environment than wash a few dishes. No, a good place will take pride in allowing you to drink your coffee the right way: in a mug.

Coming soon: The good thing about Starbucks (yes, it is about time I got around to trashing them)!

Kirby Puckett: 1960-2006

Update: I just wanted to add this link to a good story about Kirby.

Some of you may know that Kirby Puckett died a couple weeks ago. I was going to have a whole blog series, lasting two weeks or more detailing every good Kirby Puckett story I knew, but I've decided to tone it down a bit and just try to sum it up. This is a pretty self-indulgent blog, so my recommendation is to just skip it, unless you love baseball or you like Kirby Puckett. I already covered how he won his batting title, so that's one story I won't have to torture you with....

I started following Kirby Puckett purely because of these statistics:

YR
AB
HR
1984
557
0
1985
691
4
1986
680
31


How weird is it for a guy to only hit four homeruns in his first two seasons and then suddenly start hitting enough to be among the league leaders? It's plenty weird. He was the first player ever to have a zero AND a thirty homerun season.

That statistical anomaly was what got my attention, but his style of play and his positive attitude was what made me a fan. Minnesota Twins fans have known about him since his Major League debut: he won the fans over with his enthusiastic style of play (and his record-tying four hits in his first game).

Puckett was an exciting player to watch because he liked to swing. He didn't take very many pitches. BaseballLibrary.com describes him as "an unrepentant free swinger who hacked at anything in the same area code as the strike zone." In perhaps his best season, during which he was second in RBI, second in AVG and led the league in hits and doubles, he walked only 23 times. Beat THAT, Barry Bonds!

Unfortunately, Kirby Puckett's career was cut short. In 1995, in the middle of one of his finest seasons, Denny Martinez threw a pitch that broke Puckett's jaw and put him on the disabled list for the rest of that season. During spring training the next year, he discovered that he had glaucoma and was losing vision in one eye. That was why he retired - he could no longer see the ball well. At his retirement announcement he made sure Denny Martinez was there, so that he could tell the world that he was retiring because of glaucoma and not because of the pitch Martinez had thrown last season. Puckett even hugged the pitcher and told him he loved him. Then he told everyone not to be sad. "Kirby Puckett's going to be all right," he said. "Don't worry about me. I'll show up, and I'll have a smile on my face. The only thing I won't have is this uniform on." He did his best to put a positive spin on things.

Even though his career totals were incredibly low for a Hall-of-Famer, he was inducted into the Hall on his first ballot. The voters took into account his positive attitude and his incredible love for the game. When he played, he had fun, smiled a lot and made the fans smile, too. Cleveland Indians manager Charlie Manuel, who coached Puckett in the minors years ago, even says he uses stories about Puckett's "play and attitude" in order to motivate his team (thebaseballpage.com).

And of course, there is Game Six. I can't leave that out. There is a nice synopsis of Kirby Puckett's game here, but the short version is this: the Twins needed to win or else their season was over. The World Series was on the line. Kirby Puckett gathered the team together before the game and told them not to worry. He said, "You guys should jump on my back tonight. I'm going to carry us." And he did. He had a hand in every run the Twins scored and even made a leaping catch in center field that kept the Braves from scoring more. With the score tied at 3, in the bottom of the eleventh inning, he hit a homerun to win the game.

The press made a huge deal out of the fact that he told his teammates he was going to carry them and that he actually did it, but if you knew Kirby Puckett, you knew that he was always doing this sort of thing - not necessarily carrying the team, but saying things that were unabashedly optimistic. And maybe he didn't come through each and every time, but it always seemed like it to me.

Kirby Puckett knew better than anyone that luck could change at any moment, so it was useless to get upset about your circumstances. In 1990, the Twins finished in last place, but one year later they were the first team ever to win the World Series after a last place season. That kind of thing doesn't happen unless you have a lot of optimism on your side.

Now...I wanted to talk about the bad stuff. Well, no, I didn't want to talk about it - just mention that it existed. Since his retirement, there was a messy divorce, nasty allegations, women with very serious accusations against Puckett. Some of his friends have said that not being able to play baseball really hurt him. He gained weight (even MORE weight, that is). I was going to write a little statement about all this, but someone beat me to it and I can't really improve on what they wrote (ottumwacourier.com):

When Kirby the athlete was in a slump, he always seemed to know that things would start to go his way sooner or later.

"I'm zero for my last 14," he'd say. "You know what that means? That means someone's gonna pay."

Kirby the athlete knew that soon, he'd get the opportunity to light up a weak pitching staff with a five-for-five, four-RBI night. Kirby the person hadn't yet gotten that chance.


The press has been fair in talking about these aspects of his life, but in all their summations of the life of Kirby Puckett, they've dropped the best thing about the man. If you would have heard from HIM how he was doing, he would have done his best to tell you that things were going to turn around.

The following facts I couldn't track down quickly, so this is from my memory and bound to be inexact in some way, but who really cares - it's a baseball story and therefore not much different than the "biggest catch" tales that fishermen tell.... Kirby Puckett, some time in 1986 or 1987, was among the leaders in homeruns and batting average until a slump hit him. A MISERABLE slump. Something like 3 for 36 or 4 for 41, maybe. And throughout this slump, Puckett maintained that he was all right, that he would break out any time and some poor pitcher would pay the price. And he was right. He slammed out ten hits in two games, including four homeruns and four doubles, instantly putting him back among the leaders in AVG and HR. Kpow! Just like that, he was back.

At his hall of fame induction ceremony, in 2001, he was blind in one eye but he was still positive:

"Don't feel sorry for yourself if obstacles get in your way. Our great Twins' World Series teams faced odds and we beat 'em. Jackie Robinson faced odds and made this game truly the national game. And I faced odds when glaucoma took the bat out of my hands, but I didn't give in or feel sorry for myself. I've said it before and I'll say it again: It may be cloudy in my right eye, but the sun is shining very brightly in my left eye."

Puckett knew about the ups and the downs and didn't let the downs get to him. And that's what I've gotten from knowing him as a fan.

March 23, 2006

Me vs. The Da Vinci Code

When I was reading The Da Vinci Code on the plane a week or two ago, a young woman next to me said, "Oh! Is that the first time you've read that?" And I thought, people read this more than once?

But I was nice to her. You see, I cannot be honest about what I think about the book without insulting those that like it. I apologize in advance to the readers who enjoyed The Da Vinci Code - it does have some merit. What I'm attacking in this blog is the writing style of typical bestsellers, not the book on the whole.

I'm going to re-print one paragraph of The Da Vinci Code as the author, Dan Brown, wrote it. Then I will give you MY version of how I would write the same paragraph.

Mr. Dan Brown's version:

*****

Langdon was braced for the words, and yet they still sounded utterly ridiculous. According to Sophie, Langdon had been called to the Louvre tonight not as a symbologist but rather as a suspect and was currently the unwitting target of one of DCPJ's favorite interrogation methods - surveillance cachée - a deft deception in which the police calmly invited a suspect to a crime scene and interviewed him in hopes he would get nervous and mistakenly incriminate himself.

*****

Now, here is what I would write, if I were the author of this story:

*****


*****

That's right. I would not even use that paragraph. Why? Because Sophie already explains this in dialogue preceding it. It really doesn't contribute to the story by having it repeated. It is also unnecessary to know that Langdon "was braced for the words" and that he was still in a state of disbelief. I get that. I would trust my reader to get that.

It is this kind of nonsense that takes a nice novella highlighting the primary points of an old religion that honors the sacred feminine and turns it into an insulting, 400-some page bestseller.

March 21, 2006

A Review of NCAA Final Four 2001, A Crappy Video Game

The game is a piece of shit. Seriously, it should never have been made.

You can be ranked fourth and beat the third-ranked team and not even move up in the rankings. Also, there are times when you are fouled but you make the shot after the ball bounces around a little and you don't even get credit for the basket.

There is one positive to the game, though it is not any different for any other college basketball game: you can beat Duke. In fact, you can play as an ACC team and you'll get to beat Duke twice in one season. If you run into them in the conference tournament, you get to beat them a third time. If you run into them in the NCAA tournament, you can even beat them a fourth time.

BOO Duke.

March 15, 2006

My dirty phone conversation with BiBi Cambridge

Remember that blog I wrote about calling Bill Dawes all the time? Well, on that blog, BiBi Cambridge posted her phone number as a comment and it would have been an insult to the fine lady if I didn't call her! Naturally, things got dirty quickly and I've decided to share the details here:

BiBi Cambridge: Uptown Laundry.

Aaaaaaron: BiBi, hey! What's up?!

Cambridge: This is Uptown Laundry.

Aaaaaaron: Yeah, baby! I got some dirty laundry for ya'!

Cambridge: Sir, no one works here named–

Aaaaaaron: Ooo! Sir, huh? That must make me a knight! Sir Aaron to the rescue!

Cambridge: Sir, you've dialed th-

Aaaaaaron: That's right. You BETTER call me 'sir.' I'm a knight, after all. You knighted me. Don't make me use my sword.

Cambridge: Sir, you've got the wrong-

Aaaaaaron: Oh, so you WANT me to use my sword? You want me to get my sword out? I'll be honest - it's more like a small dagger or a pocket knife.

Cambridge: Sir, you've-

Aaaaaaron: I've learned it's better to be straightforward about the length of the blade - less disappointment later, you see.

Cambridge: Sir-

Aaaaaaron: But it's still sharp, made of steel and all that. Are you naked yet?

Cambridge: Sir, this is Uptown Laundry.

Aaaaaaron: Yeah, baby! You're taking me to Uptown, all right! It's up and ready, baby! Are you excited?

Cambridge: I said this is Uptown Laundry.

Aaaaaaron: Yeah, baby! We're gonna' make dirty laundry together! I'm gonna' make dirty laundry with BiBi Cambridge!

Cambridge: Sir, there is no BiBi Cambridge at this number.

Aaaaaaron: I know there isn't, darling. You're so beside yourself with passion for my steel that you don't know who you are anymore!

Cambridge: Bloody hell.

Aaaaaaron: Oh my, that's REALLY dirty! Don't worry, baby - I know who you are. You're BiBi, baby - a hot female ready for a sexual telecommunication with Sir Aaron!

Cambridge: Sir, I'm not even a woman.

Aaaaaaron: BiBi, baby, you can't fool me. Your low voice might have turned away knights of lesser courage but I can recognize a damsel in desperation when I hear one.

Cambridge: [CLICK]

Aaaaaaron: Let's go, baby! Are you ready to taste my steel? Can you taste my steel over the phone? Here, let me taste it for you.

[PAUSE]

Aaaaaaron: BiBi? BiBi, baby - I think I hurt myself. BiBi, could you call me an ambulance please? I can't move my fingers now. BiBi? Can you hear me, baby?

Roadnotes: L.A. 3

I wasted most of my last day in L.A. recovering from the drunken night. By the time the haze of the hangover had lifted, we were hanging out with Victoria, whose stories are always entirely unbelievable, yet always 100 per cent true.

After food and drinks at two different places, we wind up at Birds, where I got to meet Jeremy, the man who started my whole "commission a work" project by writing this to me: "If I pay you a dollar, will you write about how great I am?"

Well, I thought Jeremy was great before, but after he drove all the way from pretty much San Diego, just to hang out with us for a few hours, his greatness increased considerably (I have a picture, Slax, of the two of us together - just to make you jealous, I'll post it when I get a chance).

Last to arrive on the scene was The Redhead - a Seattle compatriot who was coincidentally spending time in the area. She contributed to the spirit of the occasion by creating a mandala out of sweetener.

Somehow, the lot of us avoided getting arrested and I even got five hours of sleep before heading to the airport.

I'm flat out exhausted. My friend's death and all the heartache and all the travel have caught up with me. So, physically, I'm beat but my spirits have been lifted by meeting up with so many friends (thank you). And now I'm writing this in my journal while sitting next to the only empty seat on my flight home.

Maybe my luck has turned.