Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Here are Two Similar Christmas Cards

It's That Day.

In the unlikely event that you knew me exactly three years ago, and were close enough to me to justify expending printer ink and card stock you might have gotten one of these way back in 2004. I have reason to believe, however, that nobody who checks this site had anything to do with me until spring of 2005 at the earliest, meaning that there's a good chance you missed out on this self-proclaimed triumph of Christmas-themed raster artwork:



Well, time has passed and the fact that I only really like to draw about 2 things in this world have led me to revisit the robotic Santa Clause depicted above, this time in the cold harsh world of Vectors.



Before anybody mentions it, yes I am aware that Futurama contains a character of remarkable similarity to this one, but I'd like to point out that 1) I came up with this independently (it is really not that original of an idea regardless), and 2) mine looks better.

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007

What is it Like to go to Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve?

It’s probably not as bad as you’re imagining it to be. While malls and the like are swarmed with the hopelessly desperate and seasoned-out seasoners, the people you find at Wal-Mart forty minutes before it closes on Christmas eve are a quiet, doleful lot already resigned to their holiday failures. If the mob scene at malls are the war that ends the world, then the people at Wal-Mart the day before Christmas are the shuffling society that creeps out after the apocalypse. All the good food is long gone, and anything that could have ever been a bare necessity has been stripped from the shelves, like hurricane season in Florida. You can still find apple cider and deodorant though, so I came out ahead.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Here is some Information about Ohio

A lot of people have never been to Ohio, and as a result know very little about it. I used to be one of those people, but a cumulative stay of five months, two weeks, and three days over the course of the 2.5 years it’s been since moving here (two and a half years Jesus Christ are you serious?) has given me some information about this state that you may or may not be interested in. I have consolidated this information below in the form of questions and answers:

Q: Where is Ohio?
A: Ohio is near Kentucky and Indiana and also kind of Michigan.

Q: What kind of a place is Ohio?
A: The kind of place that makes Devo and decides presidential elections, and where some people but not too many people own dogs.

Q: What are some of Ohio’s better features?
A: It is mostly quiet, except for parts of some of the cities where it’s noisy and people shoot guns at you. Nobody comes to your door or calls your phone or bothers you if you don’t know anybody though.

Q: Are there museums?
A: Yes, it’s Ohio after all.

Q: Terrorism?
A: No.

Q: Do they call it Soda, or Pop?
A: Hard to say.

Q: What are the people there like?
A: Unremarkable. Hygienic.

Q: What’s the best thing about Ohio?
A: It’s always there if you need it.

Q: What’s the worst thing about Ohio?
A: It’s still there even if you don’t.

I hope that clears some things up.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

There Were Some Post-It Notes Lying Around

While I was at work today. I'd failed to bring my laptop along for company, so this wound up happening:



I know, I know, you've seen bullshit like this before, but at least I'm doing something festive, yeah?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What did I Discover?

A kinetic water sculpture in the sink. So what if I spent what few waking hours I had today lying on a floor eating peanut butter while wanting for serotonin - at least this happened.

video

You're welcome, as usual.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Two Forty-Three A.M.

Just now a car drove past The Place. I could hear the techno music the car's stereo was playing loud and clear despite the fact that I am one floor up and one wall removed from the street. I can only assume all the doors and windows of the car were up and closed, as it is 29 degrees outside. This means that anyone in the car is experiencing a terrible genre of music at a tremendous volume, two factors that when combined present a serious danger to the listener's ears and numerous theoretical dangers to regions of their brain and soul. Do you think that man can create circumstances that even God finds intolerable?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Don't Know What to Make of Our Radiators

I truly don’t. Never in my life have I come across a household device that, despite its benevolent function, is absolutely terrifying when put into use. I guess part of it has to do with a lack of experience with radiators. Coming from sensible parts of the country where houses were built closer in time to the information age than the industrial revolution I am accustomed to furnaces. Furnaces, as you may know, are a home heating method that use ducts and vents to ferry hot air to rooms in need of it. Radiators, on the other hand, are like hateful bike racks that live in corners of rooms serving no function other than to get hot and make terrifying noises. Let me use the word a third time in this paragraph: terrifying.

My issue with these things is not the fact that they fail miserably at what they’re supposed to do (make a space livably warm). That’s to be expected, as they can only heat the air immediately surrounding them, at which point said heated air immediately rises to the ceiling and becomes cool again. I get why radiators suck. What I don’t get is why they have to sound like they are furious with me whenever they are in sucky operation. On Monday I woke up scared, actually scared of the god damn hunk of metal in the room with me. It was clanking, and whistling, and hissing, and sighing. I didn’t know what to think, part of me was concerned that it was preparing to launch itself into space like some kind of steampunk Sputnik. Another part of me thought that maybe an angry badger was trapped inside it, a badger that could turn itself into vapor like the lamer Wonder Twin. It was very early in the morning, I will not try to defend my ideas. I now, however, have a greater appreciation for one of history’s worst films.

What I want to say here is fuck radiators.

Monday, December 3, 2007

What is the Weather Doing Right Now #8 (Special Good-Emergency Update)

I know how it must make you feel to have to read two consecutive information-pieces about the weather, and I assure you that it will not become typical. This is a special instance in which the meteorological happenings of my immediate surroundings are of interest to those who find Good Information to be a worthwhile pursuit. This is because it is snowing outside.

It snowed earlier today, but it was not the good kind (like you want). Now it is the good kind, the kind that makes itself malleable for the purposes of projectiles and effigies and sliding down inclines. also, the massive amounts of light pollution that Boston generates - pollution that is usually wasted by being sent uninterrupted into space - is trapped under the clouds and must bounce around and among the aforementioned precipitation. The result of this is a night time that has more light than most 5 p.m.'s of late, but with no one discernible source. I have not felt this positive about the weather in a long, long time, and so felt it necessary to make note of it for posterity, as tomorrow in the wan overcast light of day these things will probably be ushered away by rain and warmth, turned to unlovable slush. That is the way of things.

[update]

Here is that picture of small snowpeople I promised (and you requested).



Here's the whole story...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What is The Weather Doing Right Now #7

It is windy outside right now, and it is Cold. It was warm earlier today, but we all knew that we wouldn't get away with it. Listen: just don't go out there for awhile, it's all just shit and garbage. Stay indoors and wear thick socks and headphones and timepieces, maybe curl up with some terrible news stories.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Here is How Thanksgiving Went

If you’re wondering where I’ve been in the two plus weeks it’s been since I last transmitted Information I can finally tell you: I was on hiatus. This hiatus was special because it was a secret hiatus, and only I knew about it, and only I will ever know the reasons behind its existence. You should not trouble yourself with curiosities regarding those reasons and My Situations in general because such endeavors are pointless and boring.

This Thursday last saw another occurrence of the holiday known to most as Thanksgiving (and known to certain characters from films from true stories as Pranksgiving*), and as is the Donovan Family Tradition we did all we could to not make much of it. The holiday was notable this year for being (I think) the first time all 4 members of the immediate family were not present. My brother (of whose existence I must once again remind and assure you) allegedly spent the holiday in Maine with Some Lady, whose existence I am willing to put up for debate (see what I did there?). Despite this, my parents (whose love for one another becomes less detectable every day) and I did all we could to spend the hallowed day watching things and eating things. The curious reader will ask “what did you watch?” and the reader who is unfamiliar with me and my Ways will ask “what did you eat?” I can answer both of these questions succinctly: “No Country for Old Men,” and “turkey and some biscuits and that’s about it,” respectively. Had I the energy to regale you with reviews of No Country… as well as the other films I’ve seen in the past two weeks I would, but instead I will tell you, in the unlikely event that you didn’t already know, that the Coen brother’s new movie is the best thing you’ll see this year and deserves to win Best Everything. I know how prone I am to superlatives and hyperbole (superbole? get it? Is this pun good or awful?), but this time I am not exaggerating. Honestly. On the opposite end of things, if you’re interested in reading about the worst movie of 2007 you can go here to read a review written mostly by me and credited entirely to someone else for reasons that are not worth going into.

I am almost certain that other things happened, but as far as their worth in terms of being shared as Information is concerned the opportunity cost of writing it all out is less than the returns you or I would get from being able to read it at any given time. What was most important about Thanksgiving break was my return to a state of childlike wonder and adolescent sedentariness in the puffy white-gloved hands of Super Mario Galaxy. If you want to know how many hours over the course of 3 days I spent in front of the television with that remote in my hand I will not lie: more than twelve. Now, upon a successful return to the frigid reality of a semester at its close, and all the work and terror inherent within, the decision to guide a rotund plumber through space in lieu of making headway on a number of assignments might seem like a mistake. It wasn’t, though. I do not make those, and it was worth it, maybe.




*this joke not worth explaining if you aren’t already in on its subtle punch-lines

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Oh, What Do I Do?

What do I do, what do I do, what do I do?



What do I do without you?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Drivers License Expires Today

That is okay though, because I have a valid passport and I haven't got a car. While some might envision me spending this day reveling in a warm oily ethanol embrace, the truth is much easier to imagine and much less likely to result in projectile vomit or the display of enthusiasm or candidness. I will open a package or two, I will hopefully cash a check. Instead of having people sing a terribly annoying song to me I'd much prefer to simply listen to this on repeat all day while trying to pick apart pieces of it to which I can relate. It's relevance is found primarily in its disputed title, but today I'm calling it "The Birthday Song."


And as always, happy birthday to my long-lost twin in Georgia.

[UPDATE]

Now, it would appear, I have everything I need.



[UPDATE cont'd]

That cigar was So Good. Also I now have an electric blanket, which means that my bed can now feel (in the best possible way) as though somebody has been sleeping in it for hours when I climb into it at night. Oh, and the guy at the liquor store didn't card me.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Here is That Oliver No. 5 You Asked About



It's going to take a lot of steel wool and chemicals to make it something worth looking at, and a short length of thick string to make it work correctly. You can't see it, but there's a painted logo of a chubby constable on the carriage that really ties the whole thing together. I guess if I'd been alive in the time of chubby-people-as-logos-for-things I'd be nostalgic for them. At this point all we have left are the Pilsbury Dough Boy and Bibendum

Can You Tell What This Is?

It's alright if you can't, it didn't turn out at all the way I'd envisioned it, and I am not particularly happy with it. Also, it's no fair if you already know what it is (this is maybe two of you?), so no guessing.



As an added bonus clicking the above image will reveal it in alarming every-hair-fiber-and-rubber-cement-tendril-are-visible kind of high resolution.

Anyway and also here's what happened in class on Friday:


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Here are This Weekend's Movie Reviews



American Gangster (2007)

American Gangster is long, but it is unapolagetically Rad. Denzel Washington gets upset and ruins the days of so many people, and gets inconceivably wealthy while doing so. Russel Crowe proves that Australian dudes with chubby faces can still convey expressions and talk American. Other people are also in the movie, but come on, Denzel Washington. The end.




note: I feel like this trailer gives away too many details and surprises of the movie, though this might only be apparent to me since I've already seen it

Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)
note: this movie took forever to get distribution, it is finally in theaters.

I will be honest with you: the only reason I am doing a weekend movie review is to talk about this movie. I felt like devoting an entire entry to just one film would be weird and excessive though, considering that this is a pan-genre-information-blog, not a movie blog. Regardless, here we are. I got to see this movie back in April, which is part of the reason I had been anxiously awaiting this weekend’s arrival. Listen: I love this movie so much that it’s unreasonable. I love this movie so much my eyes watered when it ended. They watered out of emotion. Do you have any idea what it takes for that to happen to me? Admitting that information triggers all kinds of nausea and shame responses in my brain and body. Now get out there and give all your money to this movie okay?



Easy Rider (1969)

Easy Rider is this weekend's classic movie up for review. I will admit that the primary reason I'd been interested in seeing it was the fact that one of the more awesome characters on Veronica Mars (a show whose cast of characters' excellence is already unrivaled) had a weird kind of obsession with the movie in question. After watching it I find myself confused by both what would appear to be an unforgivable character flaw in the previously-alluded to fictional person, and the seemingly inexplicable and widely-held belief that Easy Rider is a good and important movie. Mostly it's just two annoying guys riding around on motor cycles, getting high, and hanging out with hippies. Maybe this meant a lot during the summer of love, but now it's just a long string of poorly conveyed cliches. Oh well.

What is the Weather Doing Right Now #6

It is not raining. The weather is not raining anymore. All day long today it came down, cold and steady a sober Eskimo*. I woke up earlier than I would have liked, which is to say I woke up at all. This is all the fault of that defunct hurricane, an awareness of which I’d managed to avoid until sometime this afternoon. The weather today was not conducive to any kind of behavior not directly related to hibernation. Humans cannot hibernate, and caves are not feasible housing options in today’s pre-post-apocalyptic world, so the best we can do is pile as many layers of heat-retaining fabric atop mattresses as we can, put butter on everything, and hope for the best. So far this has proven to be at least semi-effective. It is 48 degrees outside, and since we refuse to turn the heat on (I would explain this, as it probably deserves to be clarified, but I won't) the temperature inside The Place can't be far from the outside world's.

In non-weather news my grandma sent me a tupperware container full of cookies in a birthday-related gesture. For the first time since this became a practice of hers (the onset of college) they arrived intact and softer than glass. Progress across the board I guess.




*this turn of phrase relies on the little known unstable Eskimo archetype, an archetype that has been proven false time and time again in many popular films, books, and Broadway musicals.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Some Information about That Class I Took and The Rest of the Weekend

I spent about 17 hours of my weekend taking a class that was supposed to help me become a better writer in the world of writing things for television or movies. I am not going to address whether or not I feel as though my abilities in the aforementioned sphere have been augmented by this intensive course as I have no way to judge such a thing seeing as the last time I wrote a script of any kind was nearly a year ago and I have not, in the seven or so hours I’ve been out of class, written anything. The same can’t be said for my classmate, who spent most of today writing fifty-some pages of a spec script - a follow up episode to the pilot the instructor of the course gave us. I can’t imagine doing this (both writing such an enormous amount in a short period of time or writing so much for something that sucks so bad), but I can’t say that my use of the past three days’ time has been any more respectable, in fact the exact opposite is probably the case.

Listen, I’ll explain a couple things. The course was taught by a guy, Jeff Strauss, who knows a pretty good amount about being successful in the world of writing very standard sitcom fare. The guy wrote for “Friends” for a number of years, and has also worked on “Reba,” so you can really get a feel for what other things he’s done might be like. Despite the fact that the credits to his name did little to excite my confidence in his depth of character or understanding of humor the guy did a reasonable job of filling up enormous amounts of time with anecdotes I’m no longer able to remember as I write this, while occasionally dropping pieces of information one might find useful. The only trouble with the useful things he did teach us is the fact that they could probably be just as easily communicated in a book on the same subject, and I happen to know that many such books exist as I have been constantly told to read them by people who live across the living room from me. This is all sort of besides the point though, what I really want to tell you about is what I actually did accomplish with my weekend in this class, and that’s a small amount of non-dramatic writing that contains a very small amount of utility.

Let me clarify: I wrote two (very) short stories, one poem and one rap (the subject of both being one Jeff Strauss), one piece of dialogue, and a number of fake letters from famous people. One one of the short stories and the piece of dialogue were class exercises for which we were allotted 20 minutes, while the fake letters from famous people were used mostly as a means of entertaining Muffin and myself as we sent them to one another via Bluetooth as the classroom itself was not equipped with any kind of internet. Finally, the second short story is a realistically fictitious account of what happened in the class. It’s far from finished, but I promise you will get to read it upon its completion. I will, however, share with you the piece of dialogue I wrote (and had to read aloud to a room full of non-receptive listeners), both the poem and the rap as well as the letters from famous people.

"A Poem about Jeff Strauss"

This is a poem about Jeff

LOOK AT MY SOUL PATCH!

LOOK AT IT LOOK AT IT LOOK AT WHAT I’VE DONE
With my facial hair.
To my facial hair.
At my facial hair.
I made a soul patch with it
I am a soul patch with it

Souls get Holes

Every
Soul
Needs
Patching


My shirt is blue, my jeans are blue.

I AM JEFF


WHEN I WAS AT TUFTS I DIDN’T HAVE A SOUL PATCH BHAAAA


This poem might, to those who have never seen or met Mr. Strauss, be a bit confusing. It's important to know, and I probably should have mentioned this fact, that Jeff has a soul patch, a form of facial hair that I find to be almost impossible to look at and infinitely upsetting. I speculate that most of his power comes from this feature of his, and as such most of what I've written relating to him has what might seem an undue amount of focus on the square of hair just above his chin. Anyway, here is the rap about Jeff Strauss I wrote, it is in the style of the old school.

"This is the rap about Jeff"

WELL MY NAME IS JEFF STRAUSS
AND I ROCK THE HOUSE
WITH MY FLY SOUL PATCH
I BORE YOU TO DEATH WITH MY VERBAL BOUTS

I TAKE SCREENPLAY DUMPS
YEAH MAN I SHIT SCRIPTS
IF I’D BEEN ALIVE IN THE 60’S
I WOULDA OWNED BEWITCHED

NOW WHEN I SAY “SOUL” YOU SAY “PATCH!”

[16 minutes of call and response until drum loop ends]


Again, I can see how this might be upsetting to people who were not in the class. I should also explain why everything is written with caps lock on: it was the easiest way to share the information found on my laptop's screen with Muffin who was sitting next to me. He has pretty bad eyesight, and we both wear glasses, so it was important to take that into account when sharing our extracurricular writing activities with one another.

Now, here are letters that it would appear famous people wrote to Muffin and Me while we were in class. There was another letter from Stanley Kubrick to Someone in the Class that did not survive the great OSX upgrade/frustrationfest my computer experienced this weekend (more on that never), but you might like to know that the letter from Kubrick was the best of them all.

DEAR MLS,

HEY OK ITS ME ARONSORKINISITARONSORKINYESITSAARONSORKIN OK SO HI LISTEN I WANTED TO THHHHHANK YOU FOR WATCHING MY SHOW STUDWESTWINGSPORTSIO60NIGHTTHE ALL THE WAY TO THE END EVIN THO NOBODY LIK IT OK I AM RITING LETTRS TO EVERYONE WHO WATHED IT SO HERE IS YOUR LETTER OK THANK YOU GOO

DBY

E

RN SORKN

--

DEAR MUFFIN

THIS IS TAKESHI MIIKE. I AM VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH YOU FOR LETTING YOUR GIRLFRIEND AND ALSO YOUR OTHER FRIEND WATCH ONE OF MY MOVIES. YOU SHOULD HAVE TRIED HARDER, YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE LET THIS HAPPEN.

I NEVER WANTED IT TO BE LIKE THIS

TM

--

DEAR MILES,

I GUESS YOU'RE WONDERING WHY IT TOOK ME SO LONG TO WRITE THIS LETTER. WELL, I GUESS THE ONLY EXPLANATION IS THAT I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU TO WRITE A LETTER TO ME. WHEN I GOT TIRED OF WAITING, I WROTE THIS LETTER. WHEN I GET TIRED OF WRITING THIS LETTER, I WILL SEND IT. I HOPE YOU ENJOY MY SONGS BECAUSE I WRITE ALL OF THEM THINKING ABOUT YOU AND WHAT A COOL GUY YOU ARE.

XOXOXOXOXO
JOHN DARNIELLE

PS
I LOVE THAT YOU GUYS CALL ME MONTY N GOAT. THAT IS HILARIOUS. ANYWAY BYE

--

DEAR MUFFIN,

THIS IS JEFF STRAUSS. YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING HOW IT IS THAT I AM WRITING A LETTER TO YOU AT THE SAME TIME AS I SIT IN FRONT OF THE CLASS EXPLAINING INFORMATION ABOUT PIAGET. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THIS. LISTEN, DURING LUNCH I TOOK A PRETTY SERIOUS SCREENPLAY DUMP. I THINK IT'S A GOOD START, BUT I'D REALLY LIKE YOU TO READ IT OVER TO GIVE ME SOME FEEDBACK ON IT. YOU COULD EVEN DO SOME EDITS OR RE-WRITES IF YOU LIKE. TALK TO ME AFTER CLASS.

ALSO, I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR FACIAL HAIR, BUT THAT'S REALLY A CONVERSATION BETTER HELD FACE TO FACE - OR FACE TO PATCH AS IT WERE.

REGARDS,

JEFF STRAUSS

And finally here is the short piece of dialogue I wrote in order to better understand whatever it was I was supposed to be understanding in the class. The scene is this: a friend calls his friend on the phone to tell him something.


G:
Hello?

R:
Oh my god dude you’ll never even believe it

G:
what? Who is this?

R:
it’s Royce man, I’m down at the convenience store and it is just insane what is going on down here

G:
what do you mean? Are you alright?

R:
What? Of course I’m all right I’m calling you to tell you about how what’s happening

G:
so tell me already

R:
George Clooney is down here and he is so upset

G:
George Clooney? Like George Clooney George Clooney?

R:
yes exactly George Clooney George Clooney

G:
What’s he doing? What’s he so mad about?

R:
who knows what set him off but he is just furious. He is screaming at everybody in the parking lot

G:
What’s he saying?

R:
it’s hard to even tell at this point he’s just sort of deteriorated into syllables, you know? Oh- oh no he’s coming this way

G: Is he going to hit you I mean does george clooney get that angry

R:
oh he looks that angry right now

G:
is he still coming after you?

R:
n- no not anymore, he got distracted by a parking meter. He’s yelling at it now

G:
what?

R:
ohp now he’s trying to, he’s trying to pull it out of the ground and the police are here

G:
are they arresting him?

R:
they’re trying, man I mean you don’t just arrest George Clooney when he’s like this

G:
I guess not

R:
anyway listen I should probably get out of here I don’t want to have to answer like a million cop questions, considering my record and all that they might think I was involved

G:
alright I guess I’ll talk to you later?

R:
yeah mean I’ll give you call

G:
bye


That's about it for that I guess. Also, as promised, I carved that pumpkin mentioned previously on this blog. I consider the outcome to be a full success, especially given the limited visual nature of the source material. You will find a picture of my accomplishment immediately below these words.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Here is How the Situation has Improved

I guess I owe the world some kind of apology, or at least a retraction. Maybe not the world, as it had very little to do with what’s happened, but you get the idea. You see, the Problem I informed you about on Wednesday has seen a kind of resolution. Thanks to the dutiful efforts of one AK, The Place is now thoroughly pumpkin’d. I plan on butchering sometime in the evening, but we all know how plans go. I know I should take occurrences like this one as evidence that the world is not a looming, terrible, monstrous place that is dead-set to ruin everything, so I will. This is called [some kind of] irony, and was all anybody wanted to write about in the nineties.

Information on my success or failure to craft a view-worthy jack o’lantern will be shared as it becomes available, though this coming weekend will be a time of little respite as zombie movies and this endeavor* devour the better part of my time. Also, like so much of the Mac-having, glasses-wearing, obesity-afflicted Internet I am excited for This in a way that poses substantial danger to my heart and capillaries.

*for more fun Information about this go Here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What Troubles has the Season Brought?

What kind of world is it where a reasonable human being (me) is unable to get a decent (symmetrical, medium-sized, mold-free) pumpkin in the month of October? I will have you know that I am extremely upset by the situation I find myself in (what else is new, right?) and I’m at a bit of a loss. On Sunday I went into Davis Square with designs to obtain one of the season’s standard orange gourd-like objects. My co-agent on this important mission directed me to a small grocery alcove where I found for purchase a couple of sub-ideal pumpkins. I opted to forgo this purchase, my thoughts being that a better product could be obtained at a different store some distance away, I was convinced that I was absolutely right about this information - this is called (I think) hubris and was the most popular thing to write about 2400 years ago. Passing up good opportunities for perceived greater fulfillment down the line and at some unreasonable geographic expense is one of those unshakeable recurring themes, it would seem. I know I don’t have to tell you how this mission ended (disaster), but I will anyway.

We went all the way down to That Main Grocery store (the one that decided to be open 24 hours a day sometime about a year and a half ago, a decision I remain thankful for), to find large empty boxes in front of the store’s main door, boxes that at one time held pumpkins. Scattered around the entryway were pumpkins with ideal proportions and reasonable symmetry, but they all had a serious problem: they had faces painted on them. Listen, I don’t pretend to know every Halloween tradition that exists on this stupid planet, but it seems to me that buying a pumpkin that has been pre-painted (or pre-carved, had that been the case) is a lot like buying food that someone else has already chewed up. Sure, you’ll get the same physical benefits (pumpkin ownership), but you will miss out on the most important part of said benefit: the process of transforming something that is large, heavy, perishable and entirely useless into something into which fire can be placed, a process that requires at least one large knife and a number of much, much smaller ones.

So what happened? I refused to buy one of the pre-painted pumpkins, because I am a man of deep, stubborn, illogical principles. Pumpkins should not be painted, that is an opinion I hold onto pretty tightly. I should not have to buy a 16 pound piece of produce that someone has already fucked up on a cosmetic level in order to accomplish a simple goal I set for myself (the goal being in this case to carve a 5-year-old-otter into a pumpkin). I know there are those out there who would disagree with me, but I also know that where they come from the ground smokes and what few pumpkins there are that can find purchase in the scattered plots of soil between expanses of concrete grow to be withered and anemic.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This Is Not That Information about Typewriters You Requested




It is, instead, some vector art of an Underwood No. 5 done in that hateful program I have Previously Complained About. Now you have to look at it as that Information you requested continues to await its transmission.



As a special bonus you can now also look at an Oliver No. 3 in addition to the Underwood. You are, as always, infinitely welcome.

What is The Terrible Thing I Did Today?

I can’t even believe that I did what I did today. Today I used Unix in one of its hateful CLI forms. I haven’t had to deal with Unix in A While, the last time being a couple years ago when I would wake up and go to bed without eating between the two (this wasn’t Unix’s fault, but my bi-weekly exposure to it for a 3 month stretch didn’t help). Despite the problems of the past lying behind me where they belong, I knew, deep down in my heart of hearts, that I was going to have to deal with Unix again. This morning when I woke up to the sound of two different alarms and one person (me) swearing I could feel, either by intuition or by delicate sense organs not yet understood by modern science, that today would be different from yesterday and the many yesterdays that preceded it. Today would be a day of having to know a very small amount about Unix, and probably eating less than is recommended by dieticians, friends, relatives, and the like.

Was I right? I was right. About everything. I hope I don't have days like This One for a While.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Here is My To-Do List

In case you had a burning curiosity regarding what things I feel are important to get done. There will be no order, be it alphabetical, priority, logistical or otherwise.

  1. Finish That Thing
  2. Finish The Other Thing
  3. Fed-Ex The Broken Thing
  4. Prepare for A Different Thing
  5. Buy Food
  6. Finish A Different God Damned Thing
  7. Get Started on a Thing
  8. New Shirt, Get?
  9. Mail That Thing
  10. Address A Thing (not related to #9)
  11. Haircut
  12. More Stuff
  13. Carve Jack O'Lantern (time permitting)
  14. Read Those Things
  15. Finish To-Do List

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What is the Weather doing Right Now #5

Things have changed - October is now settled in fully, and with it comes its signature sense of trouble. The weather of late has adjusted itself accordingly: after what seemed like an entire week of half-hearted rain things have cleared slightly, though the temperature remains subdued. It is currently 53 degrees, cloudy, and quiet.
It's a strange time of year I guess.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Here is Another One of Those Many









There is so much potential for this piece of electrical equipment, but I lack so many of the necessary skills to make it entirely functional. It is worth noting, however, that the radio and the speakers are both in excellent condition, and produce a very serious amount of sound with a somewhat serious amount of hissing.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Didn't Wear my Glasses Today (Here's how That Went)

I could tell you all about what inspired the decision to go without corrective lenses today, but I won’t. It’s unnecessary and less interesting than even you would suspect. What is important is that I can, if need be, function on an entirely normal level without two thumb-sized pieces of curved glass in front of my face, and it’s nice to, on occasion, be reminded of this. It’s also nice to remember what life was like before I became a glasses-wearer (a demographic of people who are, from an evolutionary point of view, poor candidates for procreation - there is an old rhyming adage that condenses this thought but I won’t insult your awareness of adages by reproducing it here). Like essentially any decision to deviate from the norm, however, today’s atypical optical situation was not without its missteps. Here we go:

10:00 a.m. Woke up to the same (arguably unhealthy) sounds I always wake up to after retiring sometime after 5 a.m. As I rarely/never fall asleep wearing glasses this part of the day was unchanged by my decision, and at this point I hadn’t even officially made that decision.

10:36 a.m. Watched the pilot episode of “It’s Gary Shandling’s Show.” the combined blessings of being of impeded sight and watching a program filmed in blurry “1986 sitcom-o-vision” made bearable the incredible visual burden that is viewing Shandling’s face.

11:31 a.m. Got a new pair of headphones from the Internet. Spent a pretty long time looking very hard at them trying to figure out where the markings designating the right and left earpieces were.

11:54 a.m. Heard a loud noise from outside, localized in the driveway area. The downstairs neighbors had been cooking delicious-smelling food since sometime this morning. Following the noise there was the sound of enough fast, running water to make a body nervous, but further information about the situation was unavailable, due less to my un-bespectacled status and more to a dearth of desire to investigate.

12:10 p.m. Did not look closely enough at the dial’s setting on the toaster. Essentially ruined two perfectly good Eggo waffles.

1:47 p.m. Walked to work. While having lower visual acuity softened the always-upsetting reality of seeing frustratingly dumb (read: on skateboards) people out and about in the world beyond The Place, a gnat flew into my eye. This sort of thing wouldn’t have happened had I been wearing glasses. This sort of thing shouldn’t happen at all.

2:22 p.m. Didn’t recognize a d-bag (accurate technical term) patron at work because of vision/apathy. Had to pretend to tolerate the guy because he is a friend of a friend who has the most bothersome friends.

8:40 p.m. Fell asleep without particularly intending to after taking care of important business. This (falling asleep without meaning to) is easier to do while not wearing glasses, as one must make the conscious decision to remove said articles before checking out, thus providing evidence against disputed accidental naps.

10:58 p.m. Woke up. See the first half of the second sentence in the 10:00 a.m. entry.

11:30 p.m. Made peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. Had no trouble reading the directions or measuring the ingredients. Had some trouble cracking the eggs, but I blame this on the fact that I was mixing in a plastic, tupperware-y bowl and not in an honest metal one. The cookies turned out wonderfully.

2:40 a.m. Was extremely startled by sounds coming from my bedroom window. As it happened, CC was on the front porch and had been knocking on/speaking through the window, activities that were obscured by the desirable qualities possessed by aforementioned headphones. Locating the source of the muffled noises in the dim light of the room was difficult without glasses, and the fact that I was not properly dressed did not help my clarity of vision or thought. CC delivered some news.

3:17 a.m. (now) The day is over, I am having no trouble typing this entry without glasses. Of course, as I am a lazy human being I will refuse to do any proofreading on this piece, glasses or no, so mistakes you may have found are not the fault of deficient eyesight.

Conclusion: now that I am no longer in a position to operate a motor vehicle, and the fact that anything that I will fiercely ignore any information presented to me on overheads, chalkboards, or in slideshows leads me to believe that I have, after 2 years, 6 months and 8 days of glasses-wearing, surpassed the need for corrective lenses. That said, I will continue to wear them. The end.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Here are This Weekend's Movie Reviews


This movie’s title is so long, it’s insane. It’s as though this movie took its naming conventions from today’s frustratingly/unsurprisingly assholeish indie music scene, where every band’s name is like three lines long or else consists of just punctuation marks. This is not relevant to the quality of the film. How was this movie: Long. Also, slow (though “deliberate” is probably a nicer and more accurate way to describe it). Also, gorgeous. Conclusion about this movie: Casey Affleck is much better than his brother, and rumors that Brad Pitt’s D would appear in this film are false. It is entirely D-less. This movie is a "should-watch."




This movie answers the question “What has Wes Anderson been up to since he was in that American Express commercial?” It also answers the question “Can Wes Anderson make a buddy/road (train)/Wes Anderson movie?” The answer to the first question is “Hotel Chevalier,” and the answer to the second question is “yes.” Conclusion about this movie: Adrien Brody is the best person to have been banned from SNL. This movie is a “should watch 3 times in a week and-a-half and should haul one’s ass to Harvard Square at all hours of the morning and evening in hopes of getting passes to the Brattle’s screening, the one that Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman will be attending but god dammit they (the passes) are impossible to get.”




I am going to be honest with you here: if you have already seen "Every Which Way but Loose" (1978) you do not need to see "Any Which Way you Can." While the capers of Clint Eastwood and the orangutan Clyde are heartwarming and all, I really couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to accept the idea that the Nazi bikers would be able to set aside their grudge with Eastwood's character long enough to beat the living hell out of a bunch of sleazy New York mafioso guys. This movie is a "watch the original, or, if the original is not available, "Smokey and the Bandit" instead."

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Why is Today going to be a Good Day?

Because:


The Darjeeling Limited (Hell yes!)

It was good the last time I saw it, it can only get better. Also, I missed an important meeting and am now probably In Trouble with a guy who has a beard and thinks that being reasonable all the time is the best way to get on my good side. Fuck that part of today

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Here is how my Time is being Wasted



Welcome to using classtime to learn the nucances of a hideous program that is now hopelessly obsolete. The assignment? Create an image in Freehand from scratch based on a Frank Lloyd Wright sketch. Doesn't it look like glorified asshole clipart? I want to punch myself.

UPDATE:

Goddamnit, it looks even worse when it's printed.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Yes I Will Extol Big Gulps Thank You (You're Welcome)!

This evening I attended a concert, more specifically a hip-hop show. While the experience on the whole was enjoyable, it was also a remarkably taxing and extremely fatiguing endeavor, as is the case anytime one stands up for four hours straight in a room packed wall to wall with people determined to either get themselves kicked out by security or to constantly have one arm raised in order to contribute on a gesticular basis to a musical display that really doesn’t lend itself to live performances as well as guitar-based complaining does. Nevertheless, there I was, sweating about as much as you’d expect (an appropriate amount) while being forced to endure the close proximity of more armpits than I’d like to remember. When the concert was finally over I needed something to restore my life to the kind of bad-but-not-3-hours-of-armpits-and-swelter-bad that* I’m accustomed to. 7-11 was open. 7-11 has Big Gulps.

Maybe you do not know this, but Big Gulps are one of the most remarkable things that exist in the world of commercially available fountain soda containers. You can walk into a 7-11 and fill up a plastic cup capable of transporting 44 oz. of liquid. You can get any main kind of soda in that cup. You can put any combination of three additional flavors (lemon, cherry, vanilla) into that soda by pressing a button on the dispensing machine. If you are in Japan you can probably also buy a time machine and a TV that fits between your eyelid and your cornea as well. You will pay 99 cents before tax for this, (the drink, not the Japan-only electronics) and if you live in a state where food products are not taxed (Taxachusetts is not such a state). Sometimes the 7-11 clerk will let the tax slide, because it only comes to $1.04 where I am. This was one of those nights. And thank God, you know?

Listen: think about it. 99 cents for 44 oz is remarkable. That is 2.25 cents per oz. Imagine if this rate held constant for all soda purchases. A 12 oz can would cost 27 cents, and a 20 oz bottle would only set you back forty-five cents. Sometimes it is possible to get soda for this cheap inside of containers made of aluminum or equipped with screw-on caps, but these opportunities necessitate that one travel all the way to countries where people get kidnapped every five seconds and dying of dysentery is considered a foregone conclusion instead of an unlikely achievement the way it is in America. Look: before you tell me how little it costs soda manufactures to produce their carbonated wares, and the economic, environmental, and cultural atrocities these major corporations wreak on developing countries (is this term no longer PC? Whatever), and how even at two-and-a-quarter cents per oz I am still being gouged and lining the pockets of blah blah blah please remember to shut the fuck up, because – statistically speaking – if you are talking to me and I am awake enough to listen to you I am probably consuming soda.


*This is sometimes simply referred to as "Going-to-Alabama-Bad"

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Here is Some Advice #2

Many months have passed since the most recent (and initial) time I offered advice here. That advice was about not repeating certain mistakes I had made in regards to sleeping during the afternoon in a lonely house, with the ultimate goal being to keep other people from experiencing unpleasantness in their brains. Sometimes, though, you cannot avoid unpleasantness, or maybe you’re already in the neighborhood and it’s hard to not make a stop on Unpleasant Street. Tonight I will describe the best way to get away from that street if you are me, right now, at this second. It is chocolate milk.

Just now I am drinking chocolate milk. I can’t tell you the last time I have consumed this beverage before this evening – my best estimate is approximately one year and two months ago, but that is a foggy speculation at best. What’s relevant is the fact that it has been quite some time since I’ve imbibed the liquid in question. I will tell you that it helps Things. some people do not know how to make chocolate milk correctly, though – they wind up making chocolaty milk instead, which is incorrect. It’s important to remember to put enough chocolate syrup/powder (I prefer syrup) into the (ideally skim) milk that resulting solution is nearly identical in color to the original chocolate additive. Once you’ve reached this point it’s wise to throw in additional flavoring just to be safe. Chocolate milk should be so strong that instead of alleviating any thirst you might have it exacerbates it, necessitating a glass of cold water after all is said and done. That is where I am right now, and it is the right place.

If the house you’re in is empty you can turn some music on at medium volume and sing along to it between sips, also. Everything will be alright as long as the gallon jug in the refrigerator holds out. After that though, who knows.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

News From my Absence

It is true that I have been away from information for an undue amount of time, and for that I apologize, but there are reasons, the most pertinent of which I will enumerate presently

1) I have been busy absorbing information through regular meetings with distinguished individuals charged with educating non-distinguished individuals like myself, or, I have been having school.
2) I have other places that require me to provide information
3) The weather changed so I had to watch this movie
4) I got pretty upset one afternoon after drinking too much soda and seeing scenes from Nosferatu while simultaneously having worries.
5) So on.


The good news is that in the past week there hasn’t been a particularly compelling amount of Items to Report. What little there was will be summarized presently:

1) There are probably approximately three people who are angry with me, in degrees ranging from a little to somewhat.
2) Next week promises to be one of Largesse
3) I fell in love on Thursday
4) ………………………
5) Anyway.

Hopefully such neglect for this space of the internet will not occur, at least not on my part. I offer no guarantees though, because the truth of the matter is that very little is at stake.

Also

Friday, September 14, 2007

I Can't Tell you About That Conversation

The one that is currently wafting into earshot from the proximal open window. Part of me wishes that I could tell you, while a more rational part of me knows that by not doing so I am acting ethically and mercifully, and universally so. I wish that I weren't listening to it, but I can't bring myself to turn music on, or to close the window, or to kill myself. The conversation I am hearing is like a video of a mid-air collision at an airshow, the kind of video CNN puts next to the airshow disaster story. The kind of video that depicts at least one person losing their life, but doing so anonymously in front of people who never expected to pay admission to witness a fiery death. One can't help but press "play," and I can't help but listen. I was trying to read this seemingly-interesting article when It started, but it would appear that all hope of doing so has evaporated.

I could try to explain myself and this situation more thoroughly, doing so in a sidelong, roundabout, and excessively vague manner (a manner to which I am no stranger) but doing so would only serve to muddle information as opposed to providing it. It would also force me to deal with the information I have received in a direct, head-on matter in order to re-encode it into a form suitable for public consumption. I will simply say that This is Terrible and that I am Sorry.

Soon: drawings of robots, information about typewriters, and possibly a chapter of a book.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What is the Weather doing Right Now #4

It is sixty-three degrees and raining steadily, but fortunately I now own a raincoat for the first time in my life.

So that's what the weather is doing right now.

Also it's 9-11

Here is What I Did in Art Class Today

Or, more accurately, Graphic Design Class. Maybe you are wondering why I am taking a graphic design class, so here is why: despite my best efforts I continue to enjoy looking at and choosing fonts, and also using fonts. I am learning that proper people call them "typefaces" so I am trying to be better about that. I like entertaining the notion that someday in my life a person will give me money to move letters and perhaps also images around in an area in order to prepare that area for people's viewing. This will probably not happen, but just in case it does it is important that I learn how to draw the idea of text doing silly things, like a lowercase g in Freight acting like a balloon while an uppercase Copperplate T anchors it. So, here you are.



In unrelated news, Here was the thing that was the best part of today.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Here is Some Information about That Record Player

Just over half an hour ago I received a transmission from my good friend regarding the existence and location of an Electric Phonograph on the sidewalk in front of a house on a street less than thirty yards from The Place. I took the initiative and went on a salvage mission, returning with the piece of equipment. Here:



There are two things that I find particularly interesting about this record player/am/fm radio. The first is that all of the cords coming out from the player (both speaker channels and the power cord) have been cut, obviously by scissors that can deal with fairly serious quantities of wire. What's strange is the fact that the amputated sections of the player's wiring, including the plug of the power cord, were in the box along with the item itself. It's as though someone deliberately maimed the machine before setting it out for pedestrians of the area.

The second detail I'm particularly enthralled with is the fact that the warning on the back of the record player seems to feature the epitaph for Stephin Merrit's heart.



Now you know

Here is That Piece of a Note I Found

Inside of an empty box, which itself was in the lobby of a building in which no one ever seems particularly interested in spending any of their time.



It is unclear who Janet is or where the rest of the information intended for her on the note can be found. I will hope for the best.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Here are 657 Words About Who Knows What

You might find that this information deviates from the fare normally found here in this needless and needlessly vague and scattered blog. That is because this is a season finale, and as is typical for such affairs all the stops have been summarily pulled out and set aside for later use. Tomorrow I am expected to be conscious and appropriately dressed in a stuffy room at no later than 9 a.m. so that the finer points (and likely most other points) of socialization can be explained to me over the course of two-and-a-half hours every week, in a format that remains – this point – undisclosed. All the beach balls and sparkling cold drinks are being packed away to make room for the thick sweaters and bottles of antidepressants whose respective warmths are sure to be imminently necessary. So.

Here is that reflection on this year’s summer you requested.

Maybe this will not be the information you want at all. Nevertheless, I will present it to you in the form of paragraphs with diction and sentence structure the likes of which nobody ever needs expose themselves to. We here at The Place started the summer sleeping on bare mattresses in hatefully stifling rooms, living like ghosts, occasionally waking up with stomachs full of blood. When we were finally admitted to our proper residence it was unclear whether or not things actually planned on improving. Boxes and garbage bags heavy with personal effects sat on bare floors waiting for furniture and organization to take their rightful places in the Place. There was nowhere to sit, to sleep, to eat, to launder clothes. I spent time in a computer lab being re-taught the basic to intermediate-basics of the monster named statistics. I woke up with ants on me sometimes. I went swimming just once, and indoors. I failed to visit the most proximal ocean. Then that was over with, time passed, I started offering information here, and the days continued.

There were times of progress: the addition and immediate failure of laundry facilities, the possession of a bed, a desk, two typewriters (that I promise to give you information about someday, honest), new shoes, carbonated beverages and at least one airplane safety card. As near as I can tell personal growth was slim to none, and financial growth was of an inverted nature. At some point it seems like everyone got much quieter, and there was talk of serious matters in strained voices heard through walls and satellites. No easily pegged or overarching theme of the season made itself apparent, and despite living like some kind of almost-grown-up for the first time in Ever, very little about my information has changed, making this the summer of the status quo. I did not make any new lasting friends, but no bridges were incinerated throughout the season’s course. Things weren’t stagnant, their pace was simply glacial, their net gains and dividends as yet invisible from such a short distance.

Now it seems like things are happening every day. The reappearance of people I missed more than I was probably even aware of, the disappearance of people whose absences were unforeseen and more unsettling than expected. A conversation that did a little new good to a lot of vintage bad, and the annexation of necessary furniture and an unnecessary but hopefully functional fog machine. I promise to let you know about the fog machine. Looks like we made it.
Now though, it is time to go to sleep in preparation for the rude awakening of academic responsibilities the complete disappearance of the nauseating sentimentality with which this information you’ve just read is so uncharacteristically imbued. Everyone should write down a goal they hope to accomplish in the coming season. Write it down on notebook paper, fold it into quarters, and label it like this:



Don’t sign or date it. Leave it somewhere that it will be found by someone who couldn’t possibly know you.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Here is that Promo for That New Bad Show

Maybe you know me well enough to already have information about Six Months, a project that is probably only second on the list of most drawn-out, bile-rising, miserable failures of my career as a person capable of failing miserably. If you don't, feel free to learn more here and here. Meanwhile, my across-the-living-room-neighbor and I are concocting something much, much worse for the world. Here is a preview for that concoction. More information about The Lousy Hour can be found Here.


What is the Weather Doing Now?

It's sunny outside, and the temperature is a perfect 72 degrees. It is unclear whether or not summer is actually over as far as the environment's concerned, as it could easily warm up without cause or warning.

So that's what the weather's up to just now.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Here is What I Imagined Today

Quite vividly as I walked across the street towards the Ice Cream Shoppe with Intentions in my heart and goals in my stomach.



I slept for three hours and woke up with my head two years behind the present. Then I rode in a plane. I carried a couch a long way. Could these things have contributed to what you see above?

Also the illustrated guide to Etc may or may not return.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Here is Part Three

Of the illustrated guide to my most recent and most aquatic family vacation.



I know how revolting a habit this seems to a lot of people, and they're right - it is totally disgusting, yet still pleasant. It's like when I see a happy couple kissing or calling one another by pet-names in public: seeing them makes me sick, and yet if I were to ask them why they're doing something that I find absolutely nauseating to witness they would answer, "because it's nice." People not smoking cigars are hateful and lonely.

Here is Part Two

Of the illustrated guide to the trip I took to this country's upper west side.





As a bonus I have included a picture of an island that looks alarmingly like a Normal Curve:

Monday, August 27, 2007

Here is Part One

Of the Illustrated Guide to My Trip to Alaska on an Environmentally Hostile Cruise Ship




You will almost certainly have to click it in order to read it, and there will almost certainly be more of these to follow. In other news: hello, it is nice to be back in America Proper.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Here Is How Ohio Is

I am not in Alaska yet, and this is for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that travel is not something that can be compared to continuous data, and is instead a series of compartmentalized steps that nobody has the authority to bypass. The result of all these rules is my presence in Ohio at this moment. Ohio is a place that, until what was technically yesterday, I hadn’t seen since January. What’s more, August and January are the two months during which I’ve spent the most total time in Ohio, and none of these Augusts or Januaries have ever been good times for this person. The worst part is that minor, month/season-specific details from January appear to be bleeding into this particular August. For example there are three two-liter bottles of Coke on the counter in the basement of the house, all of which feature polar bears and express a written hope that my holidays be happy. This is very unsettling for a person who enjoys both cola and Christmas as much as I do.

It gets worse. Ohio is also a place with a number of shelves that features objects the sight of which upsets me for reasons that are difficult to explain and therefore understand. I am not mad at the objects for being on the shelves, instead I am bothered rather tremendously by the simple fact they are existing in Ohio, when in fact it seems like they ought to be somewhere else. There are two shoeboxes and one sketchbook especially responsible for this mental unrest, but it’s unclear at this point what should be done. Last year I took the precautionary measure of cutting out all the words I ever wrote in the sketchbook.

I will now offer evidence that suggests that Ohio might not be a terrible place. My parents live here, despite the fact that their lives seem to be defined by extreme silence, and take place in a town in which it is unclear whether or not they actually know anyone despite having been here for two years.



Finally, Ohio provided me the adventure of dealing with a very scared mouse that had ensconced itself pretty securely in an area near the house’s kitchen. The story about this mouse ends with it being captured in a dustpan before being released outside, where it was in all likelihood devoured by an owl. The blood is not on my hands, the blood is on Mother Nature's hands and also the owl's, but owls do not have hands.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Here is That List of Animals I Hope to see in Alaska

Did you know that I am going to Alaska? If not, you can find more Information about that here. Because Alaska is located close to the top of the planet it has numerous kinds of animals, most of which are not available to us here at the regular part of the planet. For organizational and personal reasons I have made a list of the animals I hope to see in Alaska. It follows:

  • Penguin
  • PanserbjØrn
  • Inuit
  • Baby Seal
  • Regular Seal
  • Navy Seal
  • Pokemon
  • Eskimo
  • Gazelle
  • Mammoth
  • Kitten
  • Moby Dick

I may or may not add to this list. I may or may not be able to give you much Information in the coming week due to the unavailability of internet in Alaska. (Alaska's internet deficiency is directly proportional to its biodiversity. Now you know.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Here is how that Conversation with My Brother Went

The other day I called my mom. This is not out of the ordinary, I try to talk to my parents once a week on the telephone. I have not seen them since January, and January was also the last time I saw my brother (whose existence is still contested by some of my friends, despite photographic evidence from multiple sources). My phone-call schedule with my brother is somewhat different from the one I have with my parents, which is to say I do not have one, meaning that I had not spoken to him since January (which is, if you’ll recall, when I last saw him as well as my parents), until I called my mom the other day. It seems that my brother is currently visiting my parents, though he will leave the day before I arrive in Ohio, meaning I will not see him. However, when I called my mom the other day she was in the car. With my brother. So she asked if I wanted to speak with him. So I did, and here is how that went:

Me: Hello.
Him: Hello.
(pause)
Him: Did you see “The Simpsons Movie?”
Me: Yes it was –
Him: [Interrupting] How was it? – oh sorry. what?
Me: It was good. I enjoyed it.
Him: So should I see it?
Me: Yeah.
Him: Okay.
(pause)
Me: Did you watch Lost this season?
Him: Yeah, that was pretty nuts.
Me: Yeah
Him: Who do you think is in the coffin? I’m thinking its -
Me: [interrupting] I’d say it’s Ben.
Him: Yeah.

It went about where you’d expect from there. He’s going to start his last year of law school this fall. What if my parents are more proud of him than they are of me even though I call them every week? I’m not too sure what to do about this. I’m not even sure who was in the coffin in the season finale of Lost.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What Happened With That All Night Bakery

Well, it definitely exists. Getting there requires a car and a fair amount of patience, especially if the driver is unable to understand the concept of getting off at exit 24B-A on 93 South after crossing the ZBH Bridge. It was an important part of getting to the bakery. Navigational problems continued to arise as we found ourselves at the intersection of Atlantic Ave. and Atlantic Ave. Am I joking about this? No, I am not.



Everything worked out eventually though. The bakery has a sign that explains that it is open 24 hours a day. One enters the bakery through a door, and once inside it becomes apparent that the business has many baked wares to sell.

Yes, they have canolis.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Here is that Simple Arithmetic I Did Yesterday

Yesterday I went out walking (I don’t do too much talking these days), and before I knew what I was doing I wound up on the banks of the Charles between Harvard and Central.



I found myself surrounded by a significant number of partially-clothed sunbathing people and, consequently, a meager amount of math. Here, I will give you that simple math data:

Ratio of Attractive Women in Bikinis to Hideous Men in Terrible Athletic Shorts 1:3.667

This is the main piece of information that stood out to me, not only because it directly influenced my ability to enjoy the walk along the river, but also because it brought up a lot of evolutionary questions, questions that I do not feel like thinking about or posing here.

Feel free to check my work


Friday, August 10, 2007

Here is That Picture of a 3-legged Cat

...That I took with my phone almost three months ago.



It is one of the friendliest cats I have come across, and it belongs to one of the many Sarahs I know. That is a book of short stories by Etgar Keret nearby.


Here is a special bonus picture of what O'Hare International Airport looks like when you are in a pretty serious hurry.



Someday: probably many entries just about airports and just about cats (no more about both, though).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What Came in the Mail Today?

Here is what came in the mail today:






Looks like it's time for me to put up posters for John Vanderslice's fall '07 tour. I remember the last time this happened, life was pretty good. Although they didn't give me as many posters this time - only 8. I guess they do not trust me to do a very good job, which is entirely reasonable. Maybe if I pretend to put them all up they'll send me more? More on this and typewriters in the future.

Here is How I was Almost an Asshole Today

Another movie-related post. I will try to do something about Typewriters or the Bad Time I Had at the Apple Store soon, in order for there to be variation. Until then though, there's this.

As anyone who knows anything about the greater Boston is well aware, there is a lot of stuff to see between stops on the T, which is why walking everywhere is important (biking is not important because biking is a good way to get killed while operating a device that makes listening to music unsafe). Anyway, what’s relevant here is that there exists a video rental place on the stretch of Mass Ave between Harvard Square and Central Square, and I happened to pass by it on my walk to Kinkos.* The franchise has at least two other locations – one in Davis and one on Mass Ave between Porter and Harvard, if that was information you wanted to know. I am getting off track though.

I saw something as I passed by the video store (the one between Harvard and Central, not the one between Porter and Harvard). It was this poster, hanging in a window, surrounded by yellow “caution” tape. I looked at the poster, and I read the words on it, and I processed the words on it. Here is where things get troubling: somewhere, probably in some highly-evolved human-only bullshit region of my brain, the thought “go in there and rent that” occurred. Obviously the more basic, survival-first parts of my mind (everything in the brainstem for example) recoiled from this notion by dumping hormones and adrenaline into my blood. Digestion stopped, respiration increased, and my senses became heightened as my body dealt with this threat. But still, just for a second, part of me actually thought that it would be a good idea to watch David Lynch’s 3-plus hour movie about…I don’t even know what it’s about. That is not the information I requested. But look, I have reached a conclusion about all of this: while I strive to be a good person, and to live a decent life, I am on some level – however repressed or minimal – a terrible asshole. At my age the desire to watch a David Lynch movie without knowing anything about it makes one a terrible asshole.

I don’t want to turn this into a big whole thing about David Lynch, but I feel like I might have to in order to fully explain myself. Let’s first get one thing straight: I don’t enjoy Lynch’s movies the way I enjoy regular, designed-for-humans movies.** I tried to watch “Eraserhead” once when I was barely a high school student, and wound up being pretty badly harmed. In early 2006 I watched “Mullholland Drive” and was reasonably harmed. More recently I watched “Lost Highway” and was not harmed too badly, but then I watched all of “Eraserhead” and was really badly harmed. Despite all of this, I’ll probably watch “Blue Velvet” sometime soon and be harmed some amount, and God knows I'll get through all of Twin Peaks even if it kills me.

You’d think that, after all these seemingly bad experiences, I’d just give up on watching Lynch movies. But such is not the case. How is it that I am a moth and David Lynch movies are enormous, unshielded 60-watt light bulbs that I fly into? Why haven’t I learned anything from this? Maybe it’s something you grow into unwillingly, the way we look at our parents’ ways with disgust simply because we know that someday we will be like them, and it bothers us now. My dad loves Lynch movies. He also loves watching golf on TV and listening to NPR. Maybe someday I will love Lynch movies and these other things too, after I have lived long enough to hate everything that makes people happy, and to have given up on making sense out of the world. At that point it won’t matter though, will it?

*I went to Kinkos so that I could see about getting that skyline picture I told you about a few days ago printed in big, nice paper. The man at Kinkos was very helpful and it looks like Friday will see the existence of that Nice Print.

**There are two exceptions to this: "The Elephant Man" was good, and "The Straight Story" was very endearing and sweet. Neither of these movies involved cowboys being in two places at once or a baby who falls apart and makes a terrible mess.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

What Did I Think of That Fellini Movie?

So I guess I just watched Fellini's "8 1/2." That should look more like a 'and a half' than it does, I mean I guess it just looks like "eight one slash two," which doesn't make any sense. Regardless: I thought the movie was okay. Visually, there were numerous moments that I enjoyed a lot, and the film was consistently nice to look at. Unfortunately I had a hard time giving a shit about anything that was going on during the movie, due in part to the temperature of the room I was in, the size of the screen the movie was being shown on, and the time of day I was watching it. I guess what you need to know is that you should make sure you are very comfortable when you try to watch a Fellini movie. In conclusion the woman who played the main character's wife had glasses that made her extremely attractive.

UPDATE TO THIS STORY: I just got charged FOUR FUCKING DOLLARS in library late fees for this movie. HERE IS THE THING: I did not check it out, NZ did. She checked it out under my name, and then checked it in LATE, despite having the power to backdate it GOD DAMN IT FELLINI, NZ I AM AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE MILDLY UPSET WITH YOU UNTIL YOU PAY ME FOUR DOLLARS.

Stay tuned for more movie reviews in the future, and eventually some information about typewriters.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Here is Some Advice #1

If you feel like falling asleep at around half-past five on a warm summer evening, well, don’t. You might wake up two hours later with a disorienting headache and a very sad song stuck in your head. The house you wake up in will probably be empty, and after you’ve wandered from room to room for a few minutes you’ll have to start thinking of ways to make yourself feel better, but they won’t work. Even a plate of Oreos and a cold glass of milk on the front porch won’t help. Trust me.

Anyway, that’s some advice.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Know about Koyaanisqatsi

Finally got around to watching the movie “Koyaanisqatsi.” Ever since I have been old enough to like movies (and difficult enough to not immediately do whatever they ask of me) my parents have been telling me to watch “Koyaanisqatsi.” These rare-but-memorable conversations would usually go something like this:

MY MOM OR DAD
You really should watch “Koyaanisqatsi,” it’s really great and you’d like it.

ME
Why would I watch this movie? What is it even about? Does Bruce Willis drive any vehicles into people/objects in it?

MY MOM OR DAD
It doesn’t really have a plot, it is a collection of scenes, mostly landscapes and cityscapes set to music by Philip Glass. It’s pretty mesmerizing.

ME
You are just reading the back of the box.

MY MOM OR DAD
No.

ME
...

MY MOM OR DAD
Yes. Watch the movie.

ME
Okay, yeah, I will sometime (goes another year without watching the movie, watches many movies in which Bruce Willis drives vehicles into things).

But today was the day, it seems. After waking up to the brutal noises of The Place’s roof being repaired or replaced or removed I found myself unable to sleep, dying of sweltering heat, and with well over an hour and a half of free time on my hands. So I got out the movie and I put it in the computer and I watched the movie. Man, it was good. There is no plot, and it is just shots of landscapes and things, and it is set to music by Philip Glass, and I did enjoy it a lot, and it was mesmerizing. So I guess my parents were right. Again. Maybe someday I will get to be right about everything?

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Brief Report of the Happenings of The Place

Here is what’s going on at The Place just now. I guess maybe you don’t know what The Place is because of a number of reasons. Essentially, which is to say basically, which is to say literally The Place is where I live. Other people live there too. The main things that go on at The Place is that everyone watches movies and nobody does dishes. I am also pretty ashamed of how we live here – there is not much furniture and I think there are maybe 2 beds out of the 6 bedrooms, which isn’t exactly an impressive fraction by any means, even if you reduce it. That’s not the main important thing right now.

The main important thing right now is that we’re losing a member for the next 5 months. SN is, in less than 15 hours, boarding a Ghana-bound series of aircrafts. This means that a lot [some (two?)] people cried tonight and everyone hugged even though we all smelled terrible because of the weather that I realize I have not told you about. I am sad about it too, I will miss her, but I don’t really do a good job at expressing these things. I will show my dedication by accompanying her to the airport – an act of support universally recognized because airports are universally pains in the asses to get to and awful to be in. Also: I showed up in a recent dream of SN’s wherein she experienced a brutal nosering-related injury and I was reportedly seen with some Trouble from the past. I didn’t know which part of the dream to be more concerned about, though the description of what happened with the nosering was much more troubling, at least on a visceral level. Apparently the dream was hyper-vivid because of drugs taken in order to prevent malaria, which I guess is a problem in Ghana. I hope I never have to worry about malaria or its treatment-related sleep-side-effects.

Another thing is that everyone gives me a hard time because I lock my door. I don’t think that this is strange; I have been in the habit of immediately locking doors behind me for the last 10 years, the only exception being my old house’s front door. I secretly suspect that everyone else secretly suspects that I am doing untoward things behind the locked door of my room, but this is hardly ever the case. The simple truth of the matter is that I desperately need to be able to physically keep people away from me sometimes. The knowledge that one is alone and can reasonably expect to remain as such until one chooses not to be is deeply reassuring. Everyone wants control over his or her surroundings. My surroundings are The Place.

Those are the main things going on at The Place. We have four porches, but we only really use one. Ants come up from the floorboards sometimes.