Tuesday, August 31, 2004

GOP in NYC: A Vote For Kodos Special
Listen to Governor Schwarzenegger's speech, or read a transcript; that is why I am a Republican. Mrs. Bush and the girls, Jenna and Barbara, were all excellent as well. You know, I really wish J.C. Watts would reenter politics, instead of being a commentator. *sigh* There was one troubling aspect of Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's speech... Spiro T. Agnew was lieutenant governor of Maryland. Hmmm. Just kidding, Mr. Steele.

Pug Ugly
Yeah, the dogs and I didn't have a good day today. Okay, I know they are literally caged most of the day, but sweet merciful crap, they are needy buggers! Walking them was hell; Tyson (the runt) merrily jogged along side me, but Patrick insisted on running in circles around me; I spent the entire walk untangling myself from their leashes. I may have to change Sammy's litterbox once every three days, but that's a hell of a lot better than taking the dogs out to poo thrice every single day.

Hello, Kitty
Thanks for being so lazy, Sammy. I genuinely appreciate your sloth. You're the best!

The New World
While indulging Skeeter's jones to visit a "hillbilly" bar last night, she and the Squirrel King felt it necessary to point out that I'd missed several countries in my survey of the nations of the Americas.
Dominican Republic

Have a generic night.

Monday, August 30, 2004

GOP in NYC: A Vote For Kodos Special
The forces of evil are gathering, marshalling their strength for the coming war. Silly Democrats, you actually think you have a chance? You folks are nasty, but when it comes down to knife-fighting, you're not even in our league. Let the proverbial bloodbath begin!

In Your Face, Watergirl!
Though they did not win the gold medal, it should be noted that the American men's basketball team did win the bronze medal. In the medal round, they defeated Lithuania, a team that had beaten them in round robin play. When Lithuania triumphed, that anti-American sack o' crap The Watergirl, also known as the Vilnius Vitch, cheered. In your face, loser! We may not have won the gold, but your beloved Lithuanians went home empty handed. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Pug Ugly
Last Tuesday, when I first met the pugs, Patrick and Tyson, I was assure they don't bite. Today, "Oh, they bite, but they won't break the skin." I don't care that they bite, I'm just amused that they appear to have learned only within the last week.

Have a dead night.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Skeeter's back in town (for a few days?). Hurray!

It's a Hole!
I was digging a hole in the backyard this afternoon. Woot! As I've been mowing this summer, I've noticed an unusual amount of water pooling around our well. I wasn't sure if this water retention was due to the general sogginess of the summer (and that fact that our property sits on an old swamp) or something altogether more unpleasant. I reported my observations to Darth Vater, he conducted his own inspection, and concluded that an exploratory hole needed to be dug. Instead of hiring a crew, he contracted me to dig the necessary hole. I asked him questions about the width, length, depth, and location of this hole. Unfortunately, every time I said "well," he heard "pump," as in sump pump, which is located several yards away from the well. So, I began digging the hole near the well, as per my questions to him, only to learn that he wanted the hole dug near the sump pump. But, after the shouting and recriminations which are obligatory between two short-tempered men (especially father and son), I filled in the original hole and dug the second, correct exploratory hole. I dug a hole two feet wide, three feet long, and four feet deep, uncovering the suspect pipe, only to discover that everything is in perfect working order. So, at the end of the adventure, there is still standing water around the well (cause unknown) and a patch of grass near the sump pump has been destroyed. But at least I got to dig a hole (I kind of like digging holes) and listen to This American Life while I was doing it.

Also, beginning tomorrow and continuing through the following Monday, Labor Day, I will be taking care of two pugs belonging to the Guy's older brother Luke. Given my traditionally adversarial relationship with dogs, this will be fun. I haven't yet settled on a name for the weeklong feature, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Have a defiant night.

Have a Defiant night?
The Batman
The new Kids WB series The Batman is going to (a) suck and (b) be completely worthless. How can I say this about a show I have never seen, you ask? Three simple words: no Kevin Conroy. If you are animating Batman, there is only one man to voice the Dark Knight and his secret identity Bruce Wayne, and that is Mr. Conroy, voice of Batman in Paul Dini and Bruce Timm's unparalleled Batman: The Animated Series and its various successors, up to and including the current Justice League Unlimited.

The voice of Batman in The Batman is some twerp named Rino Romano; the best he can hope for is to be Val Kilmer to Conroy's Michael Keaton, a pale and uninspired imitation.

modern mythology
Adam West
Michael Keaton
Val Kilmer
George Clooney
Christian Bale
Kevin Conroy
Rino Romano

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Yesterday was supposed to be a good day. For whatever reason, it sucked for pretty much everyone (meaning the Mountain and I). Today was much better.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Proud Europa
Northern Ireland
The Netherlands
Czech Republic
San Marino
Vatican City
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Serbia and Montenegro

The New World
Before I begin, let me say that there are a ton of Caribbean islands that are going to be missed.
El Salvador
Costa Rica
The Bahamas
French Guiana

{Post removed once I thought better of it.}

Have an all-nighter.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Ivory Coast or Cote d'Ivoire?
Western Sahara
The Gambia
Guinea Bissau
Equitorial Guinea
Sierra Leone
Ivory Coast
Togo (Togo To-Go!)
Burkina Faso
DR Congo
Central African Republic
South Africa
Swaziland and Lesotho

How many African countries can you name off the top of your head?

Have a night today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

As an experiment, I have decided to test drive Sex and the City, currently in reruns on TBS. Given my feelings toward both New York City and casual sex, this seems quite an odd decision. But, I go with my gut, and this is where it has led me.

Father Mike
I've been thinking and my best option may be to become a priest. After all, I've got enough Catholic guilt to be fairly certain that I'm both (a) a bad person and (b) going to burn in Hell; becoming a man of the cloth might just be enough to weasel my way into Heaven. Let's play good idea, bad idea.

GOOD IDEA I am never ever ever ever ever going to get laid. Seriously, it's just not going to happen. But as a priest I could earn Brownie points with God for remaining celibate. Additionally, I possess in spades the virtue of intolerance; I don't know about your namby-pamby Protestant denominations, but in Catholicism there are certain lines that must be held. No ifs, ands, or buts. If there is one thing I can do, it is take a position and remain steadfast even in the face of overwhelming evidence against me. I can listen to people's problems, lend a sympathetic ear, and then tell them why they are sinning and how dozens of Rosaries are the only way back into His graces. Ha! Also, I would enthusiastically embrace the quasi-magical powers of a Catholic priest (turn bread into flesh, turn wine into blood, absolve sins... it's fantastic!).

BAD IDEA First and foremost, as I said, I'm a bad person; this is fundamentally opposed to being a man of God. (Maybe I'm hoping that if I can weasel my way into the priesthood, the experience will make me good?) I'm not very good at falling in line with Church teachings: the Church is opposed to abortion, I am reluctantly pro-choice; the Church is opposed to the death penalty, I am enthusiastically pro-execution; the Church is dedicated to pacifism, I support preemptive war; the Church supports papal infallability, and while I salute the audacity of that claim, I just can't accept it. Also, I'm not very good at impulse control.

THE GRIPPING HAND I do like the ring of "Father Mike." Hmmm....

Girl X
To live is to risk.
My entire life, even when I was a kid and idolized him, my dad has been a jerk. But only recently has he been revealed as a baffoon. I just got home and found a message on our answering machine. It was from a staffer in the office of Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska). Apparently, my father sent an email to the senator blasting him for calling Vice President Cheney a coward. Obviously confusing/amusing to Mr. Hagel's staff, as Senator Hagel never said any such thing. It was former senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), an erstwhile supporter of non-veteran Howard Dean, who called Cheney a coward for never serving in the military. Excellent, now my father is sending harassing emails to the wrong person. Fantastic. What a boob.

My favorite bumper sticker of all time: PLAYSOCCER

Have a rabid night.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The League of Nations
One year ago, in August 2003, the headquarters of the United Nations in Baghdad, Iraq, was bombed. Twenty-two people were killed. They were in the country to help feed the Iraqi people, help replace the antiquated electrical and public utility systems, and help democracy take root. The UN honored their sacrifice, the cause for which they had given their lives, by fleeing the country. Some have argued that the United Nations should have been the primary foreign power in post-Saddam Iraq from the moment US forces took the capital. Ask yourself this question: had the UN been in charge, would they have stayed after the bombing? Or would they have fled, leaving the country without any government at all?

The United Nations is a good idea. The UN is even good at a great many things, like feeding refugees. (Internally displaced persons are another matter, but also something the UN was not set up to address.) But what the UN is not good at, and what the UN is not, is a nation-state. To paraphrase Stalin's famous remark about the Vatican, "How many divisions does the UN have?" There are things nation-states can do and things they UN can do. The United Nations is a place for nation-states to meet and (in theory) resolve international disputes, the UN is not a nation-state. Nor should it pretend to be a nation-state.

If the UN continues to insist that it should be accorded the same respect as a nation-state, one of two things will happen: either the UN will begin to act like a nation-state - and that is a messy, bloody business - or the proclamations from New York City will be as irrelevent and ridiculous as those from the now-defunct body in Geneva.

Vote For Kodos
Lemme see if I understand Senator Kerry's position: he is free to personally question President Bush's service in the Air National Guard, even though DOD records indicate that Mr. Bush satisfactorally fuflfilled his obligations and even though President Bush has not use that service as a pillar of his reelection campaign. Mr. Kerry can make his own service in the Navy a centerpiece of his bid for the presidency, but a group of private citizens operating in accordance with current election laws, cannot question his service, nor express their personal opinions on his post-service anti-war activities.

Thus, "I can attack you, but no one can attack me."

Democratic 527 groups, backed by millions of dollars from George Soros, may say everything under the sun about Mr. Bush, and that's kosher. But if Republican 527 groups, backed by a hundred thousand dollars from Bob Perry, say that Mr. Kerry's 1971 statements before Congress were personally offensive, well, clearly there must be a connection to the Bush campaign. All I'm saying is, why is Mr. Kerry so offended that a Republican group would atack him when he has been so silent about similar groups attacking Mr. Bush? President Bush has said that Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam was honorable; why has Senator Kerry not denounced those groups that equate President Bush with Adolf Hitler?

If anyone can explain this to me, please, I would like to understand: rebelblackdot@gmail.com

Have an illiterate night.

Monday, August 23, 2004

The Queue
Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot
Steve Martin, Shopgirl
9/11 Commission, Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
Thomas P.M. Barnett, The Pentagon's New Map *in progress*
Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch
Tobias Wolff, This Boy's Life
Tobias Wolff, Old School *on order*
Lucinda Rosenfeld, Why She Went Home *reread*
Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha
Harrison Salisbury, The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad
misc. Alistair MacLean
misc. Leslie Charteris

Boy howdy, do I love books.
Fun with Roman Names
What's fun is that the emperors Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero, respectively the second, fourth, and fifth Roman emperors, all had the same full name: Tiberius Claudius Nero.

Tiberius - Tiberius Claudius Nero
Claudius - Tiberius Claudius Nero
Nero - Tiberius Claudius Nero

Vote For Kodos
I'm glad that President Bush has called for a ceasation of activities by all "527" groups. (And I'm sure that Senators McCaina nd Feingold are pissed about the rise of 527s.) But, why is it that Senator Kerry only opposed 527s and the media focused attention on the issue only when a Republican 527 attacked Mr. Kerry? Democratic 527s have been attacking Mr. Bush for months, and the good senator felt no need to call on them to cease their activities. Senator Kerry didn't seem to have a problem with MoveOn.org comparing President Bush to Hitler, but somehow the actions of the so-called Swift Boat Veterans For Truth are out of line. It would seem, then, that what's good for the goose is not good for the gander.

Have a piercing night.
Girl X
I probably shouldn't even give a damn that I've never heard back from Girl X. I mean, I don't even know her that well. But, she's the only girl I've really liked since moving out of Ann Arbor and arriving back in Grand Blanc, and that's a rare thing. Fuck it, time to throw caution (and possibly good sense) to the wind. Fortune favors the bold and all that rot.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Tonight: Mu330 at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. And Dan Potthast a.k.a. Dan Posthaste a.k.a. Steve Roelle (pronounced Raleigh) the missing Roelle brother sez:

"Hello, St. Louis!
We're Mu330
From St. Louis, Missouri,
The mighty city on the mighty Mississippi,
And we'd like to thank you
For the rock 'n' roll SHOW!"

Happy birthday, Deng Xiaoping.
The Impossible Squad (c. 1961-1967)
Captain Freedom*
Human Dynamo* (II)
Star of India*
Le Flourdelise
Lava Man*

Angel 6 (c. 1977-1979, still up in the air)
The Lion
Captain Altair

The Hyperion Guard (founded 1996)
The Futurist**
The Lycian**
The Brick & Agent M
Abstract Man
Cold Fusion
Firecracker** - retired
White Cross** - resigned
Horus** - killed in action

*killed by Nemesis
#formerly the Human Dynamo (III)

Saturday, August 21, 2004

You know, normally I really hate the Olympics. This year, oddly, not so much. Weird. Also, before I forget, fuck those prickless wonders in the media for giving Greece such a hard time in the run-up to the Games. Like you're so perfect.

9/11 Circus
I've finished the 9/11 Commission Report. I would say the factual portions are far more enlightening than the recommendations, as the reasoning behind the recommendations is not particularly convincing. Or rather, not enough pages are devoted to justifying the recommendations and explaining why they will correct the past and current deficiencies in the country's intelligence and counterterrorism capabilities. Another entire volume, devoted exclusively to the recommendations, would be valuable. And now, on to Thomas P.M. Barnett's The Pentagon's New Map.

With the Mountain in Troy* tonight, I think I'll watch Red Dragon. Hmmm, Mary Louise Parker....

*Why in Bog's name would anyone name a town Troy? Troy LOST the Trojan War. The city was burned! The men were slaughtered! The women and children were taken as slaves! This is the town you wish to emulate? I mean, yes, the Trojans went bravely to their fate, and aside from Paris they were an honorable bunch, certainly more honorable than their Greek opponents, but they still lost. The city was still sacked. They still died.

Have a scorching night.
The Fall of Rome
In The Cloak's world, I'm experimenting with the idea of parallel dimensions. The problem with alien races is not even really the vastness of space, but a matter of timing. It is simply logical that given that there are other planets around other stars, there are planets similar enough to Earth to support life. But, Homo sapiens sapiens, as a species, has been around for fewer than 100,000 years; our history extends back only 5,000 years. What are the chances that on those other Earth-like planets there would be another species capable of radio communications within that 5,000 year window? Not being a doomsayer, let's say our species has another 20,000 years of history left to us. In a planetary lifespan of 4,000,000,000 years, what are the odds that a radio-capable species will emerge within that 25,000 year window? I believe in alien life, and much as I love Star Trek and Star Wars, I just don't think the timing favors contact.

One way around this problem is the remain within the window of human opportunity. Until the communications and transportation revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries, what did the civilizations in Western Europe and South Asia have in common? What coudl be more alien than 6th century China and North America? So, imagine how alien a culture could be if history had turned out differently? (I know, this contradicts my usual hatred for bullshit alternate histories. What can I say?) The Cloak's Earth is in contact, almost in league, with two alternate Earths: British Earth and Nazi Earth.

On British Earth, the Continentals lost the Revolutionary War. Britain eventually conquered and colonized all of both America and Canada, and with the resources of the combined Dominion of North America, easily defeated the German Empire in the Great War. No Nazi takeover in Germany, no Communist revolution in Russia, no nonviolent rebellion in India. Even in 2004, the sun never sets on the British Empire.

On Nazi Earth, those bastards invaded France, not Poland, in 1939. The RAF was annihilated and Britain subdued by 1941. Fighting a war on only one front, the Soviet Union all the way to the Urals was conquered by New Year's Day 1942. After Pearl Harbor, Germany declined to declare war onthe United States, which went on to defeat Japan, culminating in a bloody invasion of the Home Islands. In 1946, with the gains of 1939-1942 solidified and consolidated, the Nazis launched a sneak nuclear attack on a USA still recovering from the shocking casualties from Japan, destroying all the major cities of the Eastern seaboard. In 2004, the sun never sets on the Third Reich. Fucking Nazis...

Why would The Cloak ally with alternate versions of his history (which is our history)? Because on a third Earth, the Roman Empire never fell. There were no Dark Ages and by 2004 (2757 by their calendar) the Pax Romana extends across the entire globe. But for Rome's ambitions, the world is not enough. The legions of a Rome more technologically advanced than our world have found a way to breach the dimensional divide and are subjugating all the different Earths they encounter. They are known as the Pax and their creed is simple, "Rome is above the nations."

In thinking about how Rome might have persevered, I've been studying up on Roman history. I'm a big fan of Scipio Africanus, but what Rome needed was a Cato (the Censor, not the Younger) to keep her true to the virtues that allowed a tiny Latin settlement to conquer first Italy, then Carthage, and finally the known world. A Cato, and no Hadrians. Hadrian is celebrated, but I cannot fathom why. He voluntarily returned imperium over Mesopotamia to Persia. WHAT?! This is Persia we're talking about, the Parthians! The jerks who killed Crassus and swallowed up entire legions! You cannot just return territory that Trajan wrested from them. In my admitedly sketchy history, the Western Roman Empire was not overwhelmed by barbarian invasion, but managed to integrate the new population into the Empire; in the 5th century Constantine's division of the Empire ws reversed; and in the 6th century the reign of the Caesars was ended by a return to the Republic. We must remind ourselves that most of Rome's conquests came not under the autocratic emperors, but the quasi-democratic consuls. No surrender, no retreat, no Hadrians. Expand or die.

The Cloak's Earth (almost, but not quite our world)
British Earth (the Empire)
Nazi Earth (the Reich)
Roman Earth (Terra Romana)

And of course, Mars....

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Big post about the UN lost. I hit "Save as Draft," but apparently it didn't take. Fucking AOL. I may reconstruct it later. If so, keep an eye out for "The League of Nations."

I'm in a piss-poor mood, but I suspect it is primarily sleep deprivation. The dark bastard is weak, he waits until time and tide have worn away my will to resist. The dark bastard is weak, but he knows he is weak and has the patience to wait for the proper moment to strike. The dark bastard speaks only lies, but they sound like truths.

Maybe I should just go to bed and stop being so melo-fucking-dramatic.
Call it religious snobbery, call it what you will, but it pisses me off to no end when people call the Dahli Lama "His Holiness the Dahli Lama." You never hear anyone who isn't Catholic say "His Holiness the Pope," they just say "the Pope." So why in the name of all that's dark and profane does the Dahli Lama get such preferential treatment? "Ooo ooo, look at me, I think I'm special because I was declared a religious leader when I was just a baby!" Jackass.

I have a skull-and-crossbones tattooed on my arm and a skull-and-crossswords displayed on my T-shirt. I'm allowed to be as hostile as I damn well please.

In the continuing struggle to understand what the hell Friendster is for (help? anyone?), I have been reading a great many profiles. Some people are clever, most are not, some people post many fuzzy and blurry photos, some people post drawings or images on the famous (is this supposed to be clever?). The common thread is the narrowing of my eyes. I'll be reading a profile and like a bolt from the gray, thundering sky my senses ar assaulted by someone's bad taste. People love awful movies, people worship terrible music. When that happens, I narrow my eyes. I've been narrowing my eyes a lot lately.

...is being indefinitely suspended. This is not because I've run out of bands to criticize, but because I've lost interest in the endeavour.

Have a Hawaiian night.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Girl X
I wrote Girl X, but she hasn't written me back. I wait, and the dark bastard waits. Hope fades, and he smiles his cruel smile. There is still hope, but not as much as before. I foster the hope that there is hope.

The Verve

Have a fishy night.
Jesus H. tap-dancin' Christ, I really need to be asleep by now. Fignuts!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Value of a Human Life
If I were to tell you that an Asian man's life is worth less than a white woman's life, you would call me a racist. And you would be right. So, why is it that Mao Zedong's atrocities have camp value, while Adolf Hitler's do not? In the twenty-seven years that he was absolute ruler of China, Mao killed easily as many if not more people than either Hitler or Josef Stalin. Yet, Mao is funny. Why? I have tried to figure this out and the only answer I come up with is racism. We care more when six million Europeans are slaughtered in the concentration camps than we do when thirty million Chinese die in an artificial famine.

My good friend the Guy proudly owns a watch, bought for him in China by his father, bears on its face the likeness of Mao Zedong, with his arms as the watch hands. He delights in this watch. Can you imagine if he had a watch with Adolf Hitler's face, with his arms as the watch hands? He would be accused of being a Nazi and would be hard pressed to refute the charge. So, why is it okay, even funny, to wear a Mao watch? I guess it just doesn't matter that Mao killed millions. And after all, Mao's victims were predominantly Chinese, whereas Hitler's were mostly Russian, German, Polish, Czech, Austrian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Greek, Italian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Danish, Dutch, Belgian, Norwegian, French, and American. And who cares if Chinese kill Chinese, right? Mao Zedong was an evil man, with as much blood on his hands as either Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin. Wearing a Mao watch is as unacceptable as wearing a Hitler or Stalin watch.

9/11 Circus
The 9/11 Commission Report is fascinating reading. That said, it was not passed down to us from On High. There are many valid reasons to criticize Rummy, but his refusal to dogmatically accept the Commission's recommendations as Gospel is not among them.

Rob Zombie

Have a blackout night.
The Mountain is home, hurray! We did what we do: watched two episodes of Sealab 2021, "Happy Cake" and "Radio Free Sealab," and an episode of Invader ZIM, "A Room With a Moose"/"Hamstergeddon."

Hello, Kitty
And here's Sam, who hates taking his heart and liver medicines a little more each day. (Dammit, walnut-brain, it's good for you!) It appears that the Mountain may have developed an allergy to cat hair; he's been sneezing since he got home this evening. If such is the case, that's too bad, because Sam isn't going anywhere.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I Have All the Friends!
Colin Powell may think I'm a loser, but at least in the Friendster realm I'm a winner. In the last twenty-four hours, I have experienced a 166% increase in my number of friends (from 3 to 8). Bwa ha ha ha ha ha! All your friend are belong to us! Of course, that's probably as good as it gets, since a number of those eight are the NYC kids I met a couple weekends back, and it's not like the Blue Tree Whackers or The Newsletter gang are on Friendster.

Vote For Kodos
I really like former senator Tom Harkin's (D, Iowa) criticism of Vice President Cheney. Harkin called the Veep a "coward" because he never served in the military. The only curious part here is that as recently as this past Winter (you can see Harkin in the background of the infamous "Iowa Screech" speech), the former senator was a strong supporter of former governor Howard Dean (D, Vermont), who also never served in the military. Hmmm. Of course, then there is the small matter of military service not being specified in the Constitution as a requirement for the vice presidency, but let's stick to one criticism at a time.

Cato may not have had a record to match Scipio Africanus's martial glory, but that is not to say he loved Rome any less.


Have a stormy night.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Possibly the kids, since they are after all the Rebel Black Dot Society, a cohesive group, could all share a common theme. You see, the problem with horrible theme costumes is not that they are themed, but that the horrible people selecting the themes make horrible decisions. An example: boyfriends and girlfriends going as T-Birds and Pink Ladies from fucking Grease. (Anything Grease related is clearly a terrible idea.) On the other hand, two people (not one, not three) are required to go as Joliet Jake and Elwood, the Blues Brothers.

Excellent costumes for couples include (but are not limited to): Nick and Nora Charles (the classic), Han Solo and Princess Leia, Margot and Richie Tenenbaum, Sid and Nancy, or Tyler Durden and Marla Singer.

Excellent costumes for groups include (but are not limited to): the Blue Monday kids, the Hopeless-Savages, the Justice League of America, the Reagan Administration, or the cast of Cheers.

The Rebel Black Dot Society might go as...
The Big O
Roger Smith (Parker Peppard)
R. Dorothy Wayneright (Margaret Eastman)
Norman Burg (Scipio Winter)
Angel (Mary Peppard)
Major Dan Dastun (?)
Schwarzwald (Pete Foster)
...we need one more girl character for Stacy Fahrenheit, but I'd rather avoid Vera Ronstadt

Blue Monday
Bleu Flanigan (Margaret Eastman)
Clover Connelly (Mary Peppard)
Victor Gomez (Parker Peppard)
Alan Walsh (Pete Foster)
Erin O'Neill (Stacy Fahrenheit)
Mr. Bishop (Scipio Winter) ...he'd be better as Mr. Bishop than as Monkeyboy

Hopeless Savages
Zero Hopeless-Savage (Margaret Eastman)
Rat Hopeless-Savage (Scipio Winter)
Arsenal Hopeless-Savage (Mary Peppard)
Twitch Hopeless-Savage (Pete Foster)
Dirk Hopeless (Parker Peppard)
Nikki Savage (Stacy Fahrenheit)

Teen Titans (Cartoon Network version)
Robin (Parker Peppard)
Starfire (Mary Peppard)
Cyborg (Pete Foster)
Raven (Stacy Fahrenheit)
Beast Boy (Scipio Winter)
Terra (Margaret Eastman)
Compared to my youth, in my old age I seem to have become a slob. This conlcusion came to me while I was vacuuming the interior of the Mousemobile earlier in the day. I have never before allowed my beloved auto to become that dirty. I mean, it was still relatively clean, but by my former standards it was a sty. It is time to return to those standards, by Jove. Also, Darth Vater and I applied some sealants and adhesives that should substantially cut down on the amounts of wind and rain that penetrate the exterior and infiltrate into the interior. The wind noise, especially on the freeway, should be greatly reduced, and raindrops will no longer keep falling on my head... or at least no longer on my shoulder. Minor issues all, but quality of life issues. Woot!

Working for the past week or so on a story for "500 Words to Glory," I've been thinking about the members of the Rebel Black Dot Society. I'm still trying to figure out who they are as people. Primarily, I need to find Margaret's voice and make Scipio a real person. Then again, maybe I should just concentrate on make "Before the Perfect Lesbian" a decent story (as decent as any story can be in 500 words) and worry less about integrating it into the greater whole of "In Search of the Perfect Lesbian" (or In Search of the Perfect Lesbian).

Anyway, the larger story begins in the Fall (the weekend of the Homecoming game) and I've had the idea that one of the pivotal scens will take place at a Halloween party. I think the party will be wher Margaret decides she's going to pursue a romantic relationship with Kari Putterman, though she barely knows her and neither of them are lesbians. Or course, being me, one of my first concerns is costumes. As a kid, Halloween was a huge deal to me (trust me, mine were so much better than yours), and so I think it is not a trivial decision.

Margaret - R. Dorothy Wayneright from The Big O!

Pete Foster - The Sandman (Wesley Dodds) or Moshe Dayan; he might go as Jake Blues to Parker's Elwood.

Scipio Winter - Scipio Africanus or Moshe Dayan Dammit, somebody's going as Moshe Dayan!

Mary Peppard - The Penguin (from The Blues Brothers, not Oswald Cobblepot), or maybe Bleu Flanigan from Blue Monday.

Parker Peppard - He might go as Elwood Blues, with Pete as his Jake. After all, Parker already has P A R K E R tattooed across his knuckles. If not that, I dunno.

Kari Putterman - something hot, something that would catch Margaret's eye

Stacy Fahrenheit - I have no idea.
Justice League Unlimited
Green Lantern
Captain Atom
Green Arrow
giant robot

"For the Man Who Has Everything"
Wonder Woman

"Kid Stuff"
Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
Etrigan the Demon
cameos: Morgaine Le Fey, Copperhead, Cheetah, the KGBeast, Blockbuster

Saturday, August 14, 2004

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

I am now giving myself official sanction to be bummed. Maaaaan.

The Two Faces of Cartoon Network
I'm really worried about my beloved Cartoon Network. On the one hand, regular Cartoon Network is wicked sweet. In the spring there's going to be a third season of Star Wars: Clone Wars which promises to equal the length of the first two seasons combined; The Powerpuff Girls, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, and Teen Titans roll on with new episodes; the new series Justice League Unlimited looks to surpass the original, less-than-amazing-but-still-good Justice League; the just premeired Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends is fantastic (you're a genuis, Craig McCracken!); and debuting shortly is another series that looks promising, Atomic Betty. On the other hand, the Adult Swim folks are finding new and innovative ways to suck. They already ruined Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, Sealab 2021 is not nearly as good as it used to be, I've never seen a show as bad as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and the newest Adult Swim debacle The Venture Bros. is... wow... it's so bad. SO bad. And to think, Adult Swim was once good enough to produce the second season of The Big O. It's sad really.
Yesterday, in the "Crap" section, I meant to insult that overrated, no-talent hack Bob Dylan (Robert Zimmerman). Instead, as was pointed out to me only moments ago by the Squirrel King, I wrote "Dylan Haney," the real world name of my buddy Daddy Dylweed. I called the Squirrel King asked me some work we're going to do at the Palace of Auburn Hills and after we got through with that he asked me why I'd put Daddy Dylweed in "Crap." I did not understand. I told him he must be confused, yesterday I put Bob Dylan up there. No, he told me, no I hadn't. I went online and there it was on the Secret Base "Crap - Dylan Haney."

I laughed and laughed and laughed. No doubt, that is the funniest thing I have ever written, and it was an accident. (Or Freudian slip? Deep down, do I loathe Daddy Dylweed?)

So, I have now fixed "Crap" to reflect what I had intended to write and what I thought I had written. Bob Dylan can't sing and his music sucks. Daddy Dylweed has pretty bad taste in music, but at least he loves music, loves music maybe more than I do, and that counts for something. Daddy Dylweed is my friend; I do not think he's crappy. I haven't heard any music he's written in years, and while I doubt it is my cup of tea, it almost certainly isn't crap.

About the mistake, I can only say that it was Friday the 13th? Weird things happen on Friday the 13th?

I can't really think of Bob Dylan without thinking of Daddy Dylweed. This is because his parents have always been inconsistent about whom Dylan was named after. Sometimes they say Bob Dylan. Sometimes they say Dylan Thomas. When I was in NYC recently, we went drinking at the Whitehorse Tavern, purportedly the bar where Dylan Thomas was drinking the night he died. So there I was, in a bar where a poet drank himself to death, seated beneath a poster of said poet, tossing back four Guinnesses, and occasionally thinking of my friend Daddy Dylweed, who is a Mormon and thus doesn't drink. That was an odd, great night.

Neil Young

Have a blown night.
I am simultaneously one ugly son of a gun and one handsome devil. By the time I'm forty I will be bald and my skin will look like Robert Redford's, a situation exacerbated by my refusal to wear sun-tan lotion. On the other hand, there's the mischievious glint in my eyes and boy howdy, do I have a nice smile.

Tremble before my horrible visage!

Be stupified by my brilliant beauty!

In either event, surrender yourself to the power of France... er, me!

Friday, August 13, 2004

There's nothing wrong with Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep, per say, they just aren't Bob Edwards. I want answers to two questions: who are the bastards who decided to replace the grand master, Mr. Edwards? And why haven't they been fired yet?

Those jerks at Google have purchased 25% of Craig's List. We all know what that means. That's right, fuck Craig's List.
Despite myself, I have come to like Brendan Fraser. (Note to self: rent Gods and Monsters.) I mean, I'm not about to see either The Mummy or The Mummy Returns (well, maybe just to dream about Rachel Weisz...), but I used to be quite hostile to Mr. Fraser, whereas I now find him endearing. Nevertheless, if he is cast as Clark Kent in Bryan Singer's* Superman Returns, there may be no remedy but that old stand-by, unspeakable violence.

*Though a great director, Bryan Singer's name is utterly unacceptable. I mean, Bryan with a Y? Ye gods. Once again, unspeakble violence may be the only reasonable option.

Bob Dylan

Have a nightcap.
I apologize to the Conchshell. It was not my intention to suggest that actual violence be carried out against her. I was engaging in public mockery and that was wrong. I am sorry.

Just for safety's sake, as far as the Secret Base is concerned, the Mountain of Love and the Conchshell are off-limits. I've gone too far, guys. It won't happen again.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I'm a strong supporter of gay marriage, and any reservations I have expressed over the last few months have simply been concern about triggering a backlash (such as the President's proposed Constitutional amendment). That said, I think it is fairly obvious that as a matter of law Mayor Newsom overstepped his authority by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. I agree with his position that prohibiting gay marriage is an equal protection violation, but he's the Mayor of the City of San Francisco and has no more authority to decide how marriage will be enforced throughout the State of California than I do as a private citizen. Massachusetts remains alone.

Vote For Kodos
What I meant by yesterday's "Vote For Kodos" is that the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran have been engaged in a cold war for the last twenty-five years. If the Iranians succeed in acquiring atomic weaponry, things can only end badly. Regardless of who is President at that moment, there will be blood, either American, Iranian, or Israeli.

Barry Manilow

.thgin sdrawkcab a evaH

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Vote For Kodos
This isn't good: link. If W is reelected, next term we fight Iran, which will make the Iraq occupation look like a cake walk. If Kerry wins, kiss Tel Aviv goodbye.
Holy shit, dude.

"And now to unleash screaming temporal doom!"

Parker Posey Appreciation Day
Parker Posey, in all her glory, was born in 1968. The Conchshell was born in 1985 (or 1986, I forget which). Normally, when a movie is made of someone's life, the actor portraying a person is either younger than or approximately the same age as the person being portrayed. This rule holds true even for Audie Murphy, who had the unique distinction of playing himself in his own biopic, as he was several years older in the movie To Hell and Back then he was at the time of the events depicted. Were, at some later date, a movie to be made of the Conchshell's life, I would suggest that someone along the lines of Mandy Moore or Ashlee Simpson would be more appropriate in the lead role.


Have a pow-wow tonight.
Hello, Kitty
Boy howdy, Sam hates taking his medicine. Too bad for him I'm many times both his size and strength. Ha! Man triumphs over kitty. Too bad his little walnut brain will never comprehend the long-term good of the short-term unpleasantness that is his medicinal elixirs.

I feel like Nixon's Head yelling at Checkers's Head. "Shut up, damn it!"

In Other News
Skeeter's nuts. *sigh*

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Conchshell has written that were her life to ever be made into a movie, the glorious Ms. Parker Posey would assuredly portray her. The only rational reaction to this is sudden and unspeakable violence.

As Robert Heinlein wrote in his seminal novel Starship Troopers, "Ask the city fathers of Carthage if violence ever solved anything." The implication is that you cannot ask the Carthaginians, as their city was wiped from the face of the earth and the ground salted by the victorious Romans. The movie Starship Troopers, while being an almost ideal guy movie, has many problems and is not a fair portrayal of the original novel, which is both intelligent and erudite. One thing the movie did well, though, was adopt the Carthage example. The line is changed to "Ask the city fathers of Hiroshima if violence ever solved anything." Unfortunately, many Americans are ignorant barbarians and know nothing of the fate of Carthage; by changing the example to Hiroshima, the movie's stewards have retained the spirit of the quote while also making it more accessible to the average imbecile. Good work.

There are levels of violence. If you simply annoy me, you get the proverbial brick to the face. If I merely hate you, I talk about fire and whether or not to help put said fire out; thus, "If Bill Clinton were on fire, I'd go get marshmellows." If I am so angry that I can't see straight, that's when I start talking about unspeakable violence. That's when I'm truly offended.

Recently, I have learned that two more of my friends maintain weblogs. Below are the blogs I check at least several times each week, often more than once each day.

Skeeter's Letters From the Pedestal
The Watergirl's Rant & Roar with The Watergirl
The Mountain of Love's The Mountain of Love
The Evil Princess's Live As If You Were To Die Tomorrow
Neutral Man's Brad's Continuing Rant
The Flying Dutchman's Detour

You are of course reading The Last Angry Man's The Secret Base of the Rebel Black Dot Society

I'd read Saturday Night Latham's untitled blog if it was more than just a big tease. The same goes for Daddy Dylweed's Transmissions From the Obscure.

Neil Diamond

Have a tragic night.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Your weight in gold and two thoroughbred ponies to the man who brings me the head of Bill O'Reilly.

Neutral Man
My buddy Brad (a.k.a. Neutral Man) has moved back into his parents' house in Holland, Michigan. As articulated in his recently founded blog, he is less than thrilled by this development. Take heart, Neutral Man! You're a licensed and bonded teacher; it is only a matter of time before enough blue-hairs drop dead in homeroom that some district... somewhere... has no choice but to hire you. Well, either hire you or promote the gym teacher/football coach to head of the social studies department. My money's on you, Brado!

Also, get your sulking arse to work on FreshMan. I demand FreshMan!


Have a manipulated night.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

American Wedding - Updated!
Yesterday, I attended the marriage of Eric Salenski, whom I've known my entire life, and Jodi Griggs, now Mrs. Jodi Salenski. A good time was had by all, and I can now say I've attended my first hippie wedding. Hippie wedding, you ask? Hippie wedding, I say. First off, the presiding minister was a woman (and to think, young Eric grew up Catholic with me at Holy Redeemer). There was a reading of a passage from The Prophet, another from a Hebrew text (Biblical? unknown), and a poem. The poem was actually quite good. At the end, the minister said, "And Jodi, you may now kiss your husband." Damn hippies.

The reception was an extraordinary Who's Who of Grand Blanc. The following is the most complete accounting of the attendees I can remember off the top of my head (I'm certain I've missed people, and I'm sorry about that):

Mr. & Mrs. Eric and Jodi Salenski (Jodi Griggs)
Mr. & Mrs. Bob and Rose Salenski
Mr. & Mrs. Jeremy and Sarah Hedden (Sarah Salenski)
Tyler Hedden (baby)
Mrs. Bernie Walkush
Mr. & Mrs. Elbert and Kristen ? (Kristen Walkush)
Pam Walkush
and boyfriend
Mr. & Mrs. "Iron Mike" and Kay Lubert
Mr. & Mrs. Dan and Irene Emeott
Luke Emeott
Brian Emeott
Doug Emeott
Mr. & Mrs. Tom and (I forget) Anderson
Matt Anderson
Dave Anderson
Katie Anderson
David Chang (M.D., Ph.D.)
Mr. & Mrs. Pat and Norma Oakes
Katie Kephart
John Kephart
David Whitman
Mr. & Mrs. Don and Debbie Lougheed (honorary GBers)
Mr. & Mrs. Norm and Sherry Sparling
Mr. & Mrs. Mike and (I forget) Bruckner
Mr. & Mrs. Chris and Elizabeth Wise (Elizabeth Siler)
Ethan Roelle
Lisa (last name unknown, but clearly from GB)
Jackie Dyball
Mr. & Mrs. Kevin and Kathy Keener
Mr. & Mrs. Keith and Kay Fritzsching
Jason Taft

Also attending the wedding and reception was Eric's former roommate the one and only Swimmer Girl. It occured to me when I saw her that I had assumed I'd never see her again, and not unreasonably. Neat! When she hugged me, she whispered into my ear, "I'm Laura." As if I could have possibly forgotten. By the way, she's still wicked hot. And having a wicked hot girl pull you toward her by your tie is never a bad thing. Nor is holding her around the waist and dancing with her.

The Calling

Have a bewitching night.

Friday, August 6, 2004

Johnny Confident
A rare excerpt from my journal, Tuesday, August 3, 2004. "Notice my willingness to inflict myself upon a girl I purportedly like."

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Hello, Kitty
I have to tell you, the shaved patch on Sam's front left leg is really bothering me. It just looks wrong. Here's his fur, all soft and thick and white, and then - BOOM! - there's his leg, looking extraordinarily small and frail. Blasted veterinarians; the shaved patch on his neck was bad enough, and I couldn't even see that unless I looked for it. Hang in there, Sam.

I think he's feeling better. Every day, he puts up more of a fight when it's time for his medicine. We won't be in trouble until he starts biting, though. Then we'll have to get creative.

Movies to See
The Manchurian Candidate*
Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle
The Village
Alien Vs. Predator
(not yet released)
Garden State (only on the fancy pants coasts)

*A multinational corporation, "Manchurian Global"? Spare me your antiglobalization clap-trap, you dirty hippies. I'll take the Chi-Coms any day. Now those are some truly evil bastards. Here's the slogan: "Red China - we put the Manchurian in Manchurian Candidate!"
Boy howdy, do I love Green Day.

9/11 Circus & Vote For Kodos
I am not the world's strongest proponent of the 9/11 Commission. As you can glean from the "9/11 Circus" moniker, I am of the opinion that the Commissioners hurt their own credibility by granting so many high profile media interviews concurrently with the Commission's polarizing public hearings; they seemed to be more interested in grandstanding than in carrying out their mandate in a serious and sober manner. Nevertheless, the Commission's work was very important and as such I am presently reading the authorized version of its final report. I am not so naive as to think that the war on terror is not already a politicized issue and won't be used for political ends during the general election.

That said, I am genuinely distressed at Senator Kerry's assertion that President Bush is moving too slowly to impliment the Commission's recommendations. For Pete's sake, Congress hasn't even held any hearings yet! Now, you all know that I am not a fan of Congress (remember my charming proposal to repeal Article I of the U.S. Constitution and install the cast of Scrubs as the legislative branch?), but one cannot perform a reorganization of government as sweeping as that recommended by the 9/11 Commission without a public debate and without the people's elected representatives. The 9/11 Commissioners, for all their potential wisdom, are ten unelected citizens; the Senators and Representatives, for all their myriad individual and collective faults, are the elected spokesmen of the people. Though he is desirous of the Presidency, one would except Mr. Kerry, as the junior United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to understand that.

Bloodhound Gang

Again apropos of last weekend in the Big Apple, when I actually drank wine...
Have a bubbly night.

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

New Amsterdam
Despite the oppressive humidity and sleeping on an air mattress, I wish I was back in Manhatten right now. Make no mistake, I still hate New York, but I had a really good time last weekend. I met a bunch of cool kids, got to spend a ton of time with Skeeter, and saw the sights. (I could spend two solid days in the American Museum of Natural History and never get bored.)

Hello, Kitty
I took Sam back to the vet today, just as they requested, two weeks after his initial appointment. I have to call in the morning for the results of his blood work. (Are his kidneys getting better or worse? Liver? Heart?) Unlike last time, he reverted to his usual pattern of behavior when confronted with his carrier: he peed. Which means that when I set him on my lap in the waiting room, I got cat pee on my pants (they have since been washed). I suppose I could just leave him in the carrier until we get to the examination room, but he hates it in there. I'd rather be covered in cat pee than make him stay in there a moment longer than he absolutely must. He's put on a little weight, which is a good thing, and the doctor gave him some special medicinal food which should help his liver. So he pooped in his carrier on the way home. Thanks, Sammy!

Iron Maiden

Have a psychic night.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Democracy in Action
Man oh man, do I love voting. It's August, which means only primaries and local issues, but I still love voting just the same. Going to the polling place, seeing the friendly workers (invariably elderly) check my name on the voter rolls, solemnly approaching the booth. I could vote every day of the week and never get tired of it. My polling place is my grade school, McGrath Elementary, which is always fun to visit; last time the big show was in the small gym, but today we were in the big gym. Schweet. And today, McGrath's old principal, Mr. Swaim, was one of the volunteers. Neat! He was always a short guy (maybe 5'4"), but I haven't seen him since like 1990, and it was weird to tower of him as I did.

The best joke in the world: President Nixon's Head. "Morbo congratulates our gargantuan cyborg president. May death come quickly to his enemies."

New Amsterdam
The day after I leave New York City, the Statue of Liberty reopens. My timing is impeccable.


Have a formal night.

Monday, August 2, 2004

To the 5 Boroughs (Shameless Self-Promotion)
To all the kids I met this weekend in New York City: you seem like a worldly and erudite lot. As such, you'd love The Newsletter! To subscribe - fo' free! - contact sonofthenewsletter@yahoo.com. And do yourself the favor of reviewing The Newsletter Online. Hours of fun.

The Queue
Bernard Goldberg, Arrogance
Michael Ledeen and William Lewis, Debacle
Sarah Vowell, The Partly Cloudy Patriot *left in NYC at Skeeter's request*
Steve Martin, Shopgirl
the 9/11 Commission, Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States *airport impulse buy*
Thomas P.M. Barnett, The Pentagon's New Map
Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch
Tobias Wolff, This Boy's Life
Tobias Wolff, Old School
Lucinda Rosenfeld, Why She Went Home *reread*
Alistair MacLean, raid my dad's collection
Leslie Charteris, raid the library

Speaking of Libraries
So, I went to the library on Thursday. Note that when I say "went to the library" I mean the library of my youth, Grand Blanc's own McFarlan Library. If I meant the library at school I'd say "I was in the library today." So anyway, I went to the library to check out a book on heraldy and another on the history of flags. (I have peculiar interests. Sue me.) Anyway, there was a guy ahead of me, a well-built man in his sixties, dressed in buiness casual attire. The librarian, while stamping the man's books, made some innocent, inane comment. Smalltalk. So Mr. Business Casual sez, "Well, I shouldn't have to work past 65, but I do." As the kids say, wtf? The librarian just smiled awkwardly. What else could he do? He was just trying to pass the time while stamping the guy's books, and the guy unloads his problems on him. It was entirely inappropriate. You can unload on your bartender, dude, but leave the poor librarian alone. He doesn't need your problems.
Hello, Kitty
Great Poseidon, Sam must have been ignored while I was away. He's looking better (the heart and liver medicines are working), but was anxious for attention as soon as I walked in the door. Poor Sammy, I doubt he was given any cheese all weekend. Of course, he'll hate me when I take him back to the vet this week, but that's only because he has a walnut-sized brain and cannot appreciate the necessity of short-term unhappiness for long-term health.

Vetting the 'Vette
This weekend, without consulting my mother, my father finalized the purchase of a fixer-upper '76 Corvette. This is the second automobile he has bought in the last four months, neither time discussing the purchase with my mom, nor even mentioning it to her before buying the vehicle. Meine Vater is like an instruction manuel for what not to do in a marriage.

His cars, from most to least recently purchased (all Chevrolets):
1976 Corvette Stingray (2004)
1995 Caprice Stationwagon "Woody" (2004)
1995 Impala SS (1999)
1995 Lumina (1995)
1986 Celebrity "the Mousemobile" (1993)
1988 Astro "The Last Angry Van" (1988)
1985 Camero Z28 IROC (1985)

Now, bear in mind that only one of these vehicles fits in our garage, the Camero, which has not been drivable since the summer of 2000. The remainder of the garage is devoted to various Camero-related apparatus.

Five For Fighting

Apropos of spending three nights in New York City and going drinking each night...
Have a bombed night.