Saturday, August 30, 2003

"Hey, Julie, look what they're doing to me
Trying to trip me up, trying to wear me down
Julie I swear it's so hard to bear it
And I'd never make it through without you around"
--Fountains of Wayne, "Hey Julie" from Welcome Interstate Managers

You know, my sister is cool. Not her taste in music or anything like that, she's just cool. How in the hell did Rick and Joyce produce kids as cool as my brother and my sister?

I watched the Michigan-Central Michigan game today. As it was a creampuff pre-Big Ten season game, I wondered around the dial whenever I got bored. I caught a glimpse of the just passed MTV Video Music Awards. Those cunt rags Good Charlotte played their poser anthem "Anthem," after which Chris Rock quipped, "Good Charlotte? More like mediocre Green Day." Chris Rock is a wise, wise man.

On the subject of Chris Rock's wisdom, rent Comedian. He's got some great insights in it.

I really should shave today, but I don't think I will.

I finished the DS9 fourth season DVD set last night. The fifth season doesn't come out until October. By Lucifer's beard, what am I supposed to do until then?

Never Girl is coming back to Michigan next week, with her boyfriend of now over a year. So, no, I won't be seeing her. Also, I'm more confident than ever those two are going to get married. It's no longer a prognostication of doom, just the way things are. Never Girl had her chance.

Note to self: hey, asshole, are you ever going to return Olga's email?

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Blogger and my dad's computer refuse to play nice. Hmmm, I may have to convince him to let me hook my machine up to the cable modem.

How does one recognize the moment when one is no longer an important part of a dear friend's life? How does one know when one's role becomes secondary or tertiary? How can one discern when one is being kept around for nostalgia's sake?

Friday, August 22, 2003

Just a quick suggestion to Sam, our cat: hey, dumbass, if you want to be petted and I'm sitting in a chair, it'll help things significantly if you stay within arm's reach. Sammy's full name is Samuel Bubbles Cat Sink Wilson; we've had him since the Fall of 1986.

On Fish
My sister once had a goldfish that lived for over three years, a beautiful, elegant lady named Fish. My brother once had a goldfish that lived for over three years, a stout, aggressive pugilist named Arthur. My goldfish, a small, funny fellow named Fishy is now about three years old. However, because I received Fishy secondhand from the Phantom Frantom (who also named him) I have always kept him in the small tank the Phantom gave me, whereas both Fish and Arthur resided in those big five gallon jobs. Thus, Fishy is much smaller than either Fish or Arthur were by this age. (I think that Fish is an absolutely amazing name for a fish and quite possibly the most creative thing my sister's ever done. However, I feel that Fishy is rather lacking. Nonetheless, that is his name and will be for the remainder of his life.)

The first fish I buy on my own, I think I'll name Aquaman. Or maybe get two and name the other Black Manta.

Your Own Worst Enemy
Superman = Lex Luthor
Batman = The Joker
Wonder Woman = Cheetah (I think; it's a problem that this is not more clear cut)
The Flash = Captain Cold
Green Lantern = Effigy* (this is tough because the character is not even ten years old)
Aquaman = Black Manta
J'onn J'onzz = Malefic

*The current Green Lantern is Kyle Rayner. He became GL (in real time) in 1994 and has only been on the job a few years. His predecessor, Hal Jordan, was GL for almost thirty-five years and had a very definite archenemy, the evil Sinestro. Kyle has never had that singular enemy. Effigy was created as a dark reflection of Kyle, but he has not been used extensively, despite being perfect for the job of archenemy. A Sinestro-type villain names Nero was also introduced, but he was not very effective. So to this point, sadly, Kyle Rayner had no clear cut archenemy, though in my estimation Effigy is the logical choice.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

A short skirt.
A Gimmes shirt.
A Jones Soda.
Ain't life grand?

Is it too much to ask to just see Sardine?! Damn it, thwarted at every turn! Okay, okay, the actual mechanics of seeing her will pose something of a problem; I'll have to be pleasant and conversational while resisting the nigh-irresistable urge to kiss her each time I see her face. Nevertheless, I really want to see her. And I think she wants to see me, too.
I don't give a fuck what you think, I like Avril Lavigne.

Also, I've just discovered The Brendan Leonard Show. It's awesome. If you are unfamiliar with BTW, if we had a TV show it would be a lot like this.

I've just become aware that my friend Olga is attending grad school in Boston (Tufts) this Fall. Suddenly, without lifting a finger, I know people in Boston. Mike Wilson Luck, people, you wish you had it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Why is it that there is both a Batgirl and a Supergirl, but no Wonder Boy? Batman and Superman each have a younger male sidekick, Robin and Superboy, respectively, and so Wonder Woman has a younger female sidekick, Wonder Girl. Quid pro quo. But, so as to avoid the appearance of discrimination (and because the characters work... though Supergirl is in flux these days), they each also have a younger female sidekick, Batgirl and Supergirl. Yet where is Wonder Boy? Why is it that the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel had to let a girl into their "boys' clubs," but the Amazon Princess can maintain her matriarchy without being labelled a discriminator? Hmm? Hmm? Because it is okay to practice sexism against men, that's why. No peace until there is a Wonder Boy! (Of course, were there a Wonder Boy, he'd get mercilessly teased for joining the girls' club. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.)

Last night I was aware of a dream, which is an uncommon experience for me. Saturday Night Latham had been caught in some kind of accident so that his touch was lethal, like a comic book supervillain. For everyone's safety, he was kept in a big vat in my parent's massive living room, though in real life there is no room like this in my parents' house. This living room looked like something out of Goldfinger's lair, with the vast partially underground pit full of an extremely thick liquid where the coffe table should have been. Anyway, this girl I know from intramurals (I don't know her name, just her face) came up with an antidote to Saturday Night's condition. She poured it in the vat and then tried to touch him. I tried to stop her, because I thought it was still dangerous. Satruday Night came out and touched her. I was certain she'd die, but the antidote had worked! She and Saturday Night embraced and kissed a big Hollywood ending kiss. fin Dreams are weird. I mean, I wasn't even the star in this one!

Because I can connect anything to comic books, I should mention that Dreamer (secret identity: Nura Nal) is a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, the protectors of the 31st century. I love how many neat little nooks and cranies there are in the DC Universe. It's fabulous.

Monday, August 11, 2003

The Futurama episode featuring "the lost city of Altanta" is great anyway, but you know what's the best part? Parker Posey as the voice of Umbriel.

"Now I've had my head inside an elephant, a hippo, and a giant sloth."
--courtesy Homer Simpson

Why break the day's streak of unoriginality?

A note to Daddy Dylweed: Jaden Scott? Dude, that's just mean. A of all, you are never going to hear the end of this. B of all, I am NOT going to call the kid Jaden. I don't know what his nickname will be, but it'll be an improvement. (They don't call me The Last Angry Man for nothing.)
"And it may be the whiskey talking,
But the whiskey says I miss you every day."
--Fountains of Wayne, "No Better Place" from Welcome Interstate Managers

And now, Lucinda Rosenfeld's contribution to Esquire's feature "Ten Things You Don't Know About Women":

1. Think lips, not larynx, and nice things might happen to you.

2. Put your wallet back in your pants and let us pick up the next round.

3. We order our salad dressing on the side because we are control freaks. We'd like to control you. Because we can't, we control lettuce.

4. We are not all that enthusiastic about men who have extensive knowledge of female reproductive health. Men who tell us what exercises we can do to ease our menstrual cramps and who know the best course of treatment for recurring yeast infections freak us out.

5. We don't actually care what you look like so long as your looks don't constitute a social liability. If you can figure out how to make us laugh, we'll find a way to ignore your steadily decreasing head-to-back-hair ratio.

6. We dislike it when you pound on the bathroom door and ask, "Hey, is everything okay in there?" You don't want to know what's going on in there.

7. We're suspicious of your relationship with your sister. She's roughly our age and has seen you naked.

8. Just let us cry.

9. We're not just pretending to be annoyed when you keep changing the channel.

10. Unless a previous girlfriend has told you you've got great taste in jewelry, chances are, you don't. Think about it this way: Do you ever see us wearing the weird bracelet you bought us? We haven't returned it because we love you too much. And we really do love you.

Thus far, it's not really so much a day for original content. Hey, at least when I steal I steal from the best.
This evening, I don't want to do anything. I don't want to read The Emperor's Codes, the book I'm working on. I don't want to read comic books. (Part of this is that I finished my massive DC pile and I'm not nearly as keen to plow through my Marvel and indie piles.) I don't want to commit to watching a movie, but there isn't anything on TV. (Well, Dark City is on now, but I missed the beginning and don't want to put in the effort of really paying attention. I like the movie too much to half ass my way through it.) I've tried the Internet, but it's not nearly as fab as it might seem. The radio just sucks and I can't just listen to a CD; I'm not happy enough to dance and if I'm not dancing I need to be doing something else. Gah, I don't want to sleep, but I don't want to do anything else, either. I don't want to call anybody.

Well, that's not true, I want to call Sardine, but it's far too late.

"A short skirt.
A Gimmes shirt.
A Jones Soda.
Ain't life grand?"

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Do You Have Any Books For My Mobile?
Sardine has my copy of About A Boy. Skeeter is holding my What She Saw... hostage in New York. (Is it too much to ask to want to know when Lucinda Rosenfeld's next book is being published?) The Bald Mountain has A Clockwork Orange, which was loaned to me by Guy Zach Nie!, and I have The Watergirl's Where Is Joe Merchant? Books books books books.

I'm bored tonight, can you tell?
Did you know that if you google "zach nie" all you get is weird foreign sites? I've got to find a less crappy search engine. Unfortunately, they all suck, like the vast majority of ye olde Internet.
If your blog is titled "A Day in the Life," you need to stop. Don't stop temporarily, you know, to reexamine what it is you've been doing, stop permanently. You are painfully boring, utterly cliched, and there is no way anything else you might come up with would be any better. Stop, admit that you are a hack, and never blog again. I'm not saying that you can't do anything right, just that this avenue of expression is out of your depth. Stop now before you further embarrass yourself.

I watched several hours worth of Excel Saga over at the home of the Pikachu Tamer this afternoon. Prior to that, we talked for a couple hours, primarily, as is our custom, about music. Our tastes differ, sometimes greatly, but our views on music are nearly identical. He explained to me the technical difference between hard rock and metal and I tried to define the currently blurred line between punk and hard rock. (Examples are easy - Green Day is punk, Soundgarden is hard rock, Audioslave sucks ass - but definitions are hard.) As he has a large poster of Kurt Cobain, may he rest in peace, in his living room, we of course discussed Nirvana, which evolved into us making fun of jackasses who wear flannel in the Summer and sandals with wool socks in the Winter. For the record, YOU DO NOT WEAR SOCKS WITH SANDALS - EVER - IT DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF WEARING SANDALS.

I had Wheaties for breakfast this morning. There is no better early morning reading than the back of a box of Wheaties; today, it was about Jesse Owens.

No new Teen Titans yesterday, curse it all.

Also, just so you know, there is no more inflammable substance on Earth than bunny rabbit. Blasted things go up faster than school buses. So, you know, be careful. This theory was developed in part by the Professor, the finest mind of ours or any age; so, you know it has to be true. Thanks to Avoid One Thing, the side project of Mighty Mighty Bosstones bass player Joe Gittleman, "the Bass Fiddleman," for first alerting us to this safety hazard in our midst.
Curses, foiled again!

Saturday, August 9, 2003

And now... asylum humor!
"I haven't had a full night's sleep in years... Always some idiot on the phone with some new problem... 'Dr. Arkham, the Scarecrow's trying to hang himself!' 'Junkyard Dog flushed something, now all the toilets are broken!' 'The Joker got hold of the cleaning supplies. He's going to kill us all!' It's always something. But tonight? Quiet as the grave. This can't be good."
-courtesy of Dr. Jeremiah Arkham, adminstrator of Arkham Asylum, Gotham City

Friday, August 8, 2003

On the one hand, it's kind of pathetic that John Stamos is doing television commercials for a 10-10-number. On the other hand, he gets to go home at night to his wife Rebecca Romijn-Stamos; so, no matter what he does, he's won. Compared to every other dude on Earth, he's won. Good for him.

On the one hand, it's kind of pathetic that I'm watching TV on a Friday night. On the other hand, it's really pathetic that I'm watching TV on a Friday night. I mean, there are people I could call, but I'm actually quite content in my patheticness. Of course, I'd be more content with Rebecca Romijn-Stamos in my bed, but while I'm at it I might as well wish for the Moon and stars.... I wish I had the Moon and stars. (Looks around expectantly.) It was worth a try.
And now... Jaffa humor!
"Three Jaffa met. It was a tense situation. The Serpent Guard's eyes glowed, the Horus Guard's beak glistened, and the Set Guard's nose dripped."
-courtesy of Jaffa Master Teal'c, former First Prime of Apophis, whom he now regards as "A false god. A dead false god."

I'm making decent progress plowing through my ever-expanding backlog of comics. So far today, I have given second readings to issues of Action Comics, Wonder Woman, H-E-R-O, The Legion, JSA: All-Stars, and JSA.

I have discovered I possess an uncanny knack for looking up links to prep track results. How this is, I have no idea; I didn't even like track in high school when I had friends on the team! But that's neither here nor there. If you want to know about the results of each state's prep track championships, I, apparently, am your man.

It's a full life.

Thursday, August 7, 2003

The Not-So-Bald Mountain will be back in ten days. Hot damn. At the same time, I know he'll miss his Seagle friends and justly so. For years, my brother has been the Bald Mountain. Why? Because he is 6'2" with broad shoulders and a shaven skull. Of late, though, he has lost a good deal of weight and grown his hair out. He is a shadow of his former self and yet still a massive human being; so, the "mountain" portion is still accurate. But "bald"? I think not. When he grew a mohawk, he was briefly known as Mount Mohawk; now that he has bogarted my haircut, sideburns and all, what is he? The Hairy Mountain? The Not-So-Bald Mountain? Mount Pampador? Hmmm, I'm sure it will come to me once I get used to the new look. In the meantime, it'll be fantastic to have him back. I've missed the little guy.

Only two things have ever been said about my eyes: long ago, a girl told me I have sad eyes and relatively recently Pelsky told me I have mischief in my eyes. So, I have no idea what I see there. But, about my smile, let me say this: I have one damned infectious smile. I mean, look at it, it's amazing. Genuine to the core, that's what my smle is. My whole face contributes, leading to crow's feet at the corners of my eyes at the young age of twenty-four. I smile a lot and it is a fantabulous thing to behold.

I wish I had a portal as seen in Being John Malkovich. Not for me, but for you guys. Everybody should have the opportunity to know for fifteen minutes what it's like to be me. It's luminous in here.
My new mantra:
"A short skirt.
A Gimmes shirt.
A Jones Soda.
Ain't life grand?"

You Don't Know What You're Talking About
Never Girl thinks The Ataris are fucking amazing live. My question is: why? Historically, I like The Ataris, but I saw them live for the first time on Sunday (Warped Tour) and while their show was adequate, it was nothing to write home about. ***I'd think this even if I hadn't had my ass rocked off by both Less Than Jake and Flogging Molly, the world's two best live bands, in a three day span. But I digress.*** I say that I historically like The Ataris because I have concerns about their new album. I haven't bought it yet, but I have heard it... on MTV. Their big single is called "Boys of Summer." It is a cover of a song from the '80s. (Don't ask me by whom becasue I don't know.) There is nothing more sad than when a band's biggest song is a cover. It's better to never make it big than succeed through a cover. Based upon their excellent earlier albums, I am incredibly disappointed. Additionally, because they are getting MTV airtime, the crowd at their show was filled with teenaged girls, the kind who only sang during the songs that they've heard on MTV. Dammit, these creatures aren't fans of The Ataris, they've just been told that The Ataris are cool. (Which reflects poorly upon The Ataris.) I'm sorry, but it's hard for your live show to be awesome when the pit is overrun with trendy moron kids.

On that note, I hate the current popularity of pop-punk. These trendy kids are at the shows when they have no real business being there. Dammit, it was assholes just like you kids who made high school miserable for the bands, thus prompting their latter day songwriting angst. While I do appreciate and enjoy the irony, it is damned annoying having them at the shows, flavor of the month-loving jerks that they are.

So, essentially what I'm saying is that Never Girl has no idea what she's talking about. Before I introduced her to the scene, she'd never been in a pit. Relying on her own piss-poor taste, she likes Matchbox 20 and Aerosmith. I would argue that liking MxPx and liking Aerosmith are mutually exclusive; so, she's lying about liking one of them. Given these developments, maybe I should have never invited her to that first Mustard Plug show....

Monday, August 4, 2003

I was looking at my reflection in a doorknob. The ol' skull-and-crossbones stood out bright and proud. "Wow," I thought to myself, "I'm a badass!" Then I remembered I'm wearing my brand new Me First and the Gimme Gimmes T-shirt. I love Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, but one cannot be a badass wearing a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes T-shirt. Eh, you win some, you lose some, at least I'm wearing a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes T-shirt. Life is good.

I'm presently drinking a Blue Bubble Gum Jones Soda. The fortune: "Your social life could be glamorous and rewarding now." Could be? Like it could be and I don't even know it? Or it could be if I did one specific thing? How can I be sure? Is this an intuitive thing? I'm drinking a Blue Bubble Gum Soda and wearing a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes T-shirt. Life is sweet.

Sardine called earlier and we talked for a hour and a half while she walked around lower Manhatten and changed clothes to go paint the town red. Mmmm, Sardine changing clothes... (insert Homer's drooling sound). It was just a really good conversation and we were both intensely amused throughout. She's coming back to A2 this weekend. What to do, what to do.... I'm thinking about Sardine with her shirt off wearing skin-tight jeans while I'm drinking a Blue Bubble Gum Soda and wearing a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes T-shirt. Life is super rad.

We all know it cuts deep when a girl sez, "We'll always be friends, though." At the Warped Tour yesterday, the Professor and I divined the single cruelest thing any girl can ever say to any guy: "You're my best friend."

A few weeks ago, after the Reel Big Fish show, I said I felt as if the greatest thing in my life was coming to an end. Please forgive my pessimism. The greatest thing in your life can only die if you let it. Give me one good reason why any of this has to come to an end? Ha, you can't because there isn't. To briefly sound like a greeting card, life is what you make of it. The Professor and I are going to see Flogging Molly tomorrow, and the greatest thing in my life is far from over. And now, I'm listening to "Hey, Julie" while thinking about Sardine with her shirt off wearing skin-tight jeans while I'm drinking a Blue Bubble Gum Soda and wearing a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes T-shirt. Life is the best thing ever.

Friday, August 1, 2003

E Pluribus Unum
The following is an open letter to all my politically liberal friends. A large number of my friends, quite possibly a majority, are actually of the liberal political persuasion. These are good people, though terribly misguided. I love them dearly, and simultaneously sincerely pray they are never given the reins of power.

I am a Republican. Why? The funny answer, courtesy of Aaron Sorkin, is, "Because I hate poor people." Hee hee. Seriously, though, we all know the Republican Party is evil; so, why throw my lot in with these monsters? A complicated question. First of all, it is important to understand that we are all villains to each other; the way you guys feel about President Bush, a lot of people, myself included, felt about President Clinton. Thus, it is entirely possible that Republicans are not the monsters you believe them to be, just as you may not be the idiots they believe you to be. Second of all, I call myself a Republican, but I do not agree with everything in the official GOP Platform. I am pro-choice; I favor gun control; I did not approve of either recent tax cut, excluding those provisions which eliminated the Death Tax/Estate Tax. What I do believe in is the two-party system. Seriously. You show me a well-functioning democracy, I will show you a two-party system. (For an education in multi-party chaos, please see: the State of Israel.) Third parties in America soley play the roll of spoiler: Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, Ross Perot in 1992, and even arguably Ralph Nader in 2000. Thus, as the patriotic fellow I am, I felt it necessary to identify with one or the other major political party. Based upon a wide spectrum of issues and ideas, including examination of the rise of each party's present doctrine, I chose the Grand Old Party. Thus, I am a Republican.

That wide spectrum of issues and ideas I was talking about, here they are in a nutshell. Well, two nutshells: NAFTA and welfare reform. The North American Free Trade Agreement is a pact between the United States, Mexico, and Canada that all but eliminated tariffs and associated trade barriers between the three countries. Free trade is a good thing. Why? Because free trade has historically meant more jobs and higher GDP for all involved. The high tariffs and other protectionist measures of the Great Depression? Yeah, they made things worse. The single greatest thing President Clinton did in his entire administration was go against most of his own party and ally with Republicans to push NAFTA through Congress. Have there been job losses associated with NAFTA? Obviously, yes, but there have also been significant job gains. (Another benefit, worthwhile even at the cost of short-term American job losses, NAFTA is good for Mexico. The US and Canada are both members of the G-8, meaning they have two of the eight largest industrial economies in the world. Yet, just south of two of the world's richest nations is a third world economy. Why has Mexico, which has a longer history than either of the norteamericano nations, not achieved the same level of economic development? That's a question with a very long answer, i.e. the entire history of the New World from 1492 to the present. Regardless, if we can raise the standard of living in Mexico, we can sell them things. Things that may be made in Mexico, but by American companies, which means the profits come back home. There are only thirty million Canadians, but we do more trade with them than any other nation. A Mexico as relatively rich as Canada would be a major boost to the US economy.)

The 1996 Welfare Reform Act was a flawed piece of legislation, but it did offer one irrefutable benefit: it represented a coherent ideological framework. As conceived in the Great Society, what exactly is the exit strategy of the welfare system? If people are allowed to stay on public assistance indefinitely, and earn more money by having additional children than they would in the job market, where is the incentive to leave the public dole? The argument could be made, and is, by me, that over the first thirty-one years of its existence, the welfare system did naught but actively encourage the perpetuation of an American underclass. In the short-term, the Republicans appear to be harsh and uncaring, but they are trying to get people to stand on their own two feet in the long run. To use a very appropriate piece of common wisdom, the status quo approach favored by Democrats involved giving people fish; the Republicans want to teach people how to fish. FDR said, and I'm very much paraphrasing, "When you are confronted with a problem, try to fix it. If what you try doesn't work, try something else. But do something." The Democrats were quite content to ignore the words of their own patron saint and do nothing.

And now, the pie-in-the-sky part. In very, very ideological terms, which are sometimes lost in the maestrom of politics, the basic underpinning of Republican philosophy is that people can achieve any goal if they work are smart, work hard, and seize opportunities when they present themselves. Democrats seem to lack that basic faith in people to be able to take care of themselves. Of course, these are just broad philosophical strokes and certainly do not encompass every member of either party. My sister is a Democrat because she hates the Republicans; as much as anything else, I am a Republican because I hate the Democrats. But in all of our mutual loathing, we must not lose sight of that fact that most of us truly do love America, especially when we disagree; if not the America we see around, then the America we believe can be.

Let me close with two thoughts regarding the 2004 presidential race. a) Please please please please nominate Howard Dean and b) run, Ralph, run!
The Gods Must Be Crazy
Online, you can find all sorts of information regarding the gods of Egypt, the Greco-Roman pantheon, and the Norse Aesir. However, if you make the mistake of looking for the Canaanite religion, all you get is a fistful of crazy Bible sites. Yeah, great, see, the thing is I just want the skinny on the gods Baal and Mot, not read from Judges and 1 Corinthians. Grr.

Whom would you rather fight: Thor or Jupiter?

I'm finally writing the story "Killing Osiris," formerly know as "The War of the Five Caesars." Cool. Of course, still no progress on In Search of the Perfect Lesbian. Sorry Margaret, no Kari Putterman for you. Not today, at least.

After spending Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights out, I'm not even going to try to find something to do tonight. I'm just going to sit around the apartment and veg, watch the new episode of Stargate at 9pm and read some comics.