Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Another commercial from the Id of commerce

More local TV commercial bliss:

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Are they or are they not antique store owners?

I am an alter kaker. So naturally I gavitate toward soft foods and complaining about my feet.

There is a milestone coming up to remind me that I am goddamn old: my 20th year high school reunion. Some enterprising former classmates have hobbled together a website where alumnae can get caught up with each other's little lives. It's mildly addictive reading.

The most provocative post accompanied this picture (I've protected the innocent. The poster in the tall guy on the left):

Here's the post in question:

It sounds like a cliche... but I really did partner my high school sweetheart. It took one failed marriage, sixteen years and plenty of support and good wishes from the BEST of friends to come to the realization that we have to follow our hearts and be together. We have shared custody of 3 great kids and I have the best ex-wife and mother of my children a man can ask for. and I love weight lifting, mountain biking and simple, quiet evenings at home talking by the fire. I'd love to be at the reunion, but I own an antique shop and need to go to an estate sale that weekend. I'm so sorry to miss it!

So, I ask you, is it fake? I'm thinking it is. There is just too much specific evidence presented and the photo is a little too perfect; vide the just-so wedding rings. The bits about talking by the fire and owning an antique shop are also gags I've heard before.

Maybe I'm too clever by half, and I'll be proved wrong come the reunion, and I'll feel like a blackhearted creep, but I think it's a gag. Either way, kudos.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Ruby hears the Call.

“Dad, I want to be a Jew.”

Ruby told me this tonight. Perhaps she senses that we are unanchored and being violently tossed in an ahistoric tempestrous sea of hypercomplexity. Her words were wanting, but her hurt was palpable to me: how do we find meaning as rootless, post-ethnic cosmopolitans, at the verge of being swamped totatlly by our poisonous relativism?

It all made sense. So I asked her: “Why, child, why do you want to be a Jew?”

”Because in “Prince of Egypt” Moses gets to talk to a bush and it’s God. That’s cool.”

Damn you, Spielberg!!!!!


People I regularly see outside my office window.

1.The extremely tall, extremely butch woman delivering documents.
She’d be a good looking man, but she’s a very tall lady. She pulls up in a little white van and she wears slacks and a men’s dress shirt with the collar popped. She wheels out a little document cart stacked with boxes and rolls into the building with a loping stride, straight back and a very intent look on her face. She reminds me of a golf caddy.

2.The smokers. Two women and a guy, all Asian, all in their early twenties. They come down in a group -- once in the morning, once in the afternoon – to smoke down in front of the red brick building across the street. There is the tall willowy woman who mostly listens with a half-smile to the shorter woman, who seems to talk an awful lot. The taller woman smokes and the shorter woman doesn’t. The guy has a little moustache. He doesn’t say much and he looks furtively at the tall woman from time to time. I think he’s got it going on for her.

I think the tall woman is the leader.

3.The little guy with corn-row braids in the ridiculously souped-up truck.
Chrome side exhaust, chrome trailer hitch, big knobby tire, locked cover for the bed, chrome tool box. He pulls up and parks illegally and then a couple of his friends come out from the building to check it out. It’s a mystery what they’re checking out, because the truck looks pretty much the same since the day I started watching this little ritual.

His buddies are a big, BIG rotund guy that wear a t-shirt with a Cadillac logo stretched out across his chest, and another little short guy who wears a mechanics type suit. Is he building maintenance?

4.The guy who used to work at Starbuck’s He was working at the Starbuck’s down the street, but now he works in the brick building and is usually pretty well dressed. Interesting.

5.The staff of Meh Wei Co. (Not the actual company name, but close) About five or six middle age Asian women come bundling out of the Meh Wei Company to stretch, smoke and yack it up. The building they work out of looks like it used to be a real estate office – sitting from my desk I can see the little mini-atrium with creeping plants and chromish fixtures. The truth is a lot stranger -- seems they import “Italian-style” silver charms for charm bracelets.
I imagine those who make their living through silver charms and their import is a rarified profession. I am honored that I can work near people who pursue the calling. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to working in the Vatican.

6.Ancient Hipster Hailing A Cab Dressed in black, with Buddy Holly glasses and sort slicked backed hair – craggy, leathery tan. Seems to smile a lot. Goes for coffee every so often. In late afternoon he hails a cab. Sometimes has a portfolio case with him. Graphic designer?

7.Black Kid With A Mohawk Dresses like an indie-rock kid rather than a proper punk. Strolls out of the Brick Building to hang out by the standpipe for what seems like an inordinate amount of time. Sometimes he watches the smokers smoke, but doesn’t interact with them. I like him.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

How I prepare myself for kicking ass.

Goddamn, I've got a purple yard.

Walking up the street I caught the front at just the right angle and it looks good and extremely purple.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Oh shit! I forgot the Christopher Guest stuff!

I never posted the thing I did with Christopher Guest! I'm such a frigging dumb ass.

Below you'll find the main piece. There is other, funnier outtake stuff that'll I'll try to post soon.

Here's the site: The Stu Osborn Show. The site has some funny stuff in it, particularly the bios for Brandon Romer and Stu Osborn.

The the fake site for Brandon Romer's book is pretty good, too.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sac Nymphing and You

There's always piles of weird specialty magazines in out of the way corners of my office. Here, we see a headline from the cover of a fly-fishing magazine that was flung wily-nily on the coffee table in the reception area.

What is the nature of this sac? And is nymphing desirable? Do all sacs need nymphing at some point? Is there a crazy dreamer locked away in a shed somewhere working on a sac that needs no nymphing? Did the Japanese miniturize nymphers back in the '70s? Do sacs need oiling? What about nymphers? Do the nymphers need be stored stacked neatly in a dry, dark place? If I had my foot caught in a sac or a nympher, what sort of specialist would need to be called in?

Do nymphers feel love? Can I enter my sac in competitive pageants? Does my sac require its own passport? Can nymphers and sac communicate? What municipal authority licenses nymphers?

Is it illegal to cross state lines with my sac or my nympher?

I don't know. I could read the article. But I like the mystery of it. If you know what a sac is, or if nymphing is actually a verb, keep it to yourself. Let the mystery abide. Life is better for the phrase.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Parse, or otherwise translate the grammatically correct sentence listed below:

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

In this sentence, "buffalo" is a verb, a place name, and the animal.

You have 16 hours, starting.....NOW.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Owen joins the fray

Owen: Dad?

Me: Yes?

Owen: Dad? Um. Dad? Dad? Dad? Daddy? Um. Dad?

Me: Yes?

Owen: Dad? Dad? Daddy? Ummmm. Daddy?

Me: Yep?

Owen: Doooooooo, do..... do... do whales, ummmmmmmm.....

Me: Do whales....?

Owen: Do whales, um, do whales, um, do whales, um, do whales...

Me: Yes?

Owen: Do whales.... have buttholes?

Me: Yes, I believe they do.

Owen: Blue whales don't. They fart out their mouths.

Me: Huh.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Friendly-type low key travel blog.

Friend Tracy, formerly of the once and future How I Died Todayand formerly an eligible bachelorette (congratulations) has switched her attention to Travel Betty.

She travels shitloads -- how she manages I do not know -- and she writes well, so you should really visit. Seriously. Stop fucking around.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ruby: The Experiments Continue

Ruby: Can you get me an applesauce?

Me: Can't you get your own applesauce?

Ruby: Well there might be monsters in the backyard.

Me: Have you ever seen a monster?

Ruby: No, but there might be monsters you've never seen before.


Ruby: What are you talking about? Just get me some applesauce, please.

Me: Well, you'll be sorry if I comeback covered in penguin chocolate.

Ruby: I don't think that's going to happen.

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Mike Gravel has... not my vote, but he has something.

The following Herzogian bit of insanity is a campaign... commercial?... for Senator Mike Gravel. For non-US and for US readers who could give two shits, Mike Gravel is running for the Democratic nomination for president. He's taken the role of the hyper-reformist and has managed to appear in the nationally televised debates.

He's nuts, but good nuts. This little video probably won't help his cause, but it has a soothing Andy Goldsworthy sort of quality.

Here's a whole 'nother bit of electoral fun, a campaign ad for Germany's APP (the Anarchist Pogo Party). Their slogan is "Arbeit ist scheiße" ("Working is shit").
Political campaigns are publicly financed in Germany, which means you get to see awesome shit like this on TV.

Finally, here is the street busker who ran for governor of Tokyo on an all fascist program. This one is very, very special. (He did not win.)

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This book was recommended to me on Amazon.

Is it a software bug or kismet?


Triumph of the Doodle

Here's a doodle I did in my notebook at work. I like his chunky hair and the swirling vapor effect.

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Monday, June 11, 2007


Tomorrow is my birthday. I'll be 38. And I'm sort of bummed about it, because I am fat. Not the way i pictured myself at age five: I thought I'd look like Buster Crabbe in the old Flash Gordon serials that they used to show on Channel 44 Saturday afternoons.

All through my thirties I've tended toward chubby, but now I'm a fat man. The American sort of fat.

I think about it constantly... it's always simmer at the back of my mind. Will I die before my time? Am I sabotaging my ability to earn for my family by being unpresentable? Do my kids wonder why their father is LARGE in a way other dads aren't?

Scarily, does my wife love me still? Does she value me?

The Wife is in amazing shape. She does yoga, she runs, she goes on a twelve mile hike once a week. Me, I'm at work, and then I'm at home, watching the kids while The Wife works. I putter, I snack, I read. I, uh, blog, or at least I used to.

In moments of magic thinking I wonder about getting the stomach flu, or taking two weeks off and walking to...where? I dunno. Some place it'd take a week to get to, and a week to come back. Maybe then I can enter a store and know I'll be able to find the right size shirt, and I won't snore like an avalanche of dinner plates at night.
And the homeless guy won't call me "Big Man" when he asks for change. I really, really hate being called "Big Man" by homeless guys.

I avoid clothes shopping, I avoid clothes stores, I avoid anything that reminds me of my body shape. I'm physically pretty strong and my blood pressure is okay, but carrying around all this bulk is not doing me any good. My dad died in his late fifties, pushing himself in the yard, on of the few times in a year he might exert himself.

I do better than that, I walk, occasionally I run.

But generally I have to say I'm a bit lost at sea when it comes to my body.

So that's me at 38.

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Technology, family conspire to kill me.

Wife sent me out Sunday morning to buy my Father's Day/b-day gift. Yes, I got up early Sunday morning to line up in front of the noisome local Target with 14 nerds to pick up a brand new Wii, of which the store had fifteen. For Father's Day. While my wife and children are in bed.

Anyway, I buy the game, get home, set it up... I'm the only one interested in it.

I start playing tennis (the Wii's controler is a hand held number that responds to your body movements) and end up having a blast. I play for an hour, work up a sweat, have fun.

Later that day I take the boxing game for a spin...and completely fuck up my neck. My head is now at an angle similiar to that of a dog encountering a wind-up toy. I have sympathetic pain in my shoulders and upper back, and basically want to die.

Thanks, family. Thanks, nintendo.


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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Me: Ranting nutcase father

Ruby: If a policeman catches a robber, does the robber go to jail.

Me: Yes. Well, the robber goes to court and has a trial and they figure out what happened.

Ruby: Do they make the robber tell them stuff by putting in jail?

Me (jumping up): NO! don't HAVE to tell the police ANYTHING...not without a lawyer...YOU DO NOT (slapping my hand into my palm) HAVE...TO...TELL...THEM...ANYTHING. They can ask all the questions they want, but you don't HAVE TO SAY A BLESSED WORD!! (Jabbing my finger in the air.) THERE'S SOMETHING IN THIS COUNTRY CALLED THE FIFTH AMENDMENT...

Paula: Honey.. I doubt that at six Ruby is going to have that sort of problem with the police.

Me: Um...well, that's true. Uh... if you ever need help, Ru, and there's a police officer near by... you can ask for, uh, help. Or call 911 if something bad happens at home. The, uh, Police are nice. And firemen and rangers.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cynical Dreamer

Goof ballCrackpot Dave hooked me up with the following good shit:

Cynical Dreamer

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Merely a List

1. Catal Hyük
2. lintel
3. the black oak
4. Grace Jones
5. Corrugated Tin Roofing
6. agape
7. PEZ
8. Chili sauce
9. The male girdle
10. Michel de Montaigne
11. cats what have wee little glovesies
12. frying
13. geologic
14. fridge magnets shaped like wee fishes
15. polo
16. failed magicians
17. moo
18. hypertext mark up language
19. heat rash
20. live feed
21. radar range
22. The Living Planet
23. diacritic
24. sunglasses inside (as worn by douchebags)
25. invented television programs
26. lies told to bus drivers
27. Helium
28. reflective road bump thingies
29. the smell of a freshly cleaned cage
30. arroyo
31. lisp
32. kinky hair
33. Terra Haute, Indiana
34. demisemiquaver
35. “as-salamu ‘alaykum”
36. weinerdog sweaters
37. Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel
38. cats seen from a distance, causing distress
39. terra cotta vs. stucco as a surface for rollerskating
40. References to the color orange on the blog “Bastard of Art and Commerce”
41. snakes living in the liner of a beer cooler
42. Fellowship felt between unattractive people

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