Thursday, August 28, 2008


Listen: I have backed myself into a hell of a corner on this one. Here - I’ll explain.

About fifteen minutes ago the current members of The Place, myself included, were gathered around the kitchen table eating items from Starbucks that had been brought home for us. For whatever reason, one member of the gathering mentioned that she’d spent the better part of the day reading the webcomic XKCD, which elicited apathetic responses from two people seated at the table, and a roll of the eyes from me. I know that if this were a blog that any real number of people read I’d draw some serious ire for feeling negatively about XKCD, but my humble status being what it is, I will be frank: that comic is not my thing. It’s not that I don’t get it (it’s really important that I stress that fact to you over and over again so you realize that I am not dumb, not dumb at all), it’s that I feel, when reading it, as though the author is standing right behind me giggling and smirking to himself at how clever he is. And that bugs me, even though it’s probably not the case.

This is all backstory for what’s really important: in a moment of impulsive/misguided ambition and resentment, fueled by sugary pastries and fancy orange juice, I exclaimed that I would make my own webcomic “about stick figures and graphs,” and that it would be called “Fuck Y’all” and that “everyone will love it.”

Listen: for the most part, I am a man of my word, at least for a day or two. Because of this, you 3 readers are welcome to tune in tomorrow when the first ever strip of Fuck Y’all (the Comic) will premiere right here to the kind of overwhelming praise and sympathy the likes of which hasn’t been seen since that other comic I did.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What Remarkable Thing did I Eat Today? (And other Remarkable Things That Happened)

Listen: I thought today would be just another normal day in my life (currently on day 7,966), and that nothing fantastic or remarkable or atypical would happen to or around me.

Not the case.

  • First: I woke up like 4 times this morning before it was time for me to get out of bed - not typical
  • Second: I ate breakfast - not typical
  • Third: I got a real terrible sick feeling walking to work because I saw all the university’s incoming freshmen and their parents and cars and siblings and belongings creating a traffic disaster on campus - not typical (inasmuch as it is not typical to see incoming freshmen, it is very typical for such sights and many others to give me a terrible sick feeling)
  • Fourth: I ate a Second Breakfast courtesy of one of my supervisors at the Media Center, and here is where the day gets remarkable (not the free food from a boss part - that happens basically weekly at this point).

Look at what I was given

Your first instinct, I imagine, is to recoil in disgust at the idea that someone would eat a hamburger for breakfast. Then, upon reflection, you might decide that this is some kind of a sausage biscuit, and while more breakfast-appropriate, the enormous size of the alleged meat patty would give anyone who isn’t a trucker a moment of pause. Listen: you are incorrect if you think the item in the above photograph is a hamburger, or a sausage biscuit, or anything that isn’t a doughnut inside another doughnut bun.

That’s right - A Doughnutburger.

There are probably some stuck up people who are not immediately enthralled by this idea on account of caring about Nutrition, or because they think that foods made to look like other foods aren’t awesome, or because they just don’t like doughnuts very much. This time, those people are Wrong about what is Awesome, and I’d be willing to bet they’re wrong most other times as well. This is, without hyperbole, the most important food-related thing that has happened to me since that time I went to this restaurant.

Will other important things happen today?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Everything that Happens Will Happen Today Happens Today

Listen: This is not a music blog (I think I might have mentioned that before), but I felt like I had an opportunity to both spread minimal awareness of David Byrne and Brian Eno's new album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today while at the same time being the only person on the internet with enough wit to come up with a blog entry title whose cleverness is proportional to its time-sensitive/short-lived accuracy and relevence. That being done, I will go back to putting together that information about typewriters which was requested and promised sometime over a year ago, and assembling some information regarding Ohio, a place from which I've recently returned.

Friday, August 15, 2008

They Have Knighted a Penguin

Listen: this blog is not supposed to serve as a means to broadcast to you all of the news stories I see in a given day (estimated number of news articles I read in a given day: 2?), but this story is too important not to yell all over the internet. A penguin has been Knighted.

Now You Know!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I Forgot to Tell You about Al Pacino vs Robert Deniro Week

And I am infinitely sorry, I can’t believe it slipped my mind for the better part of a month. The trouble was that my scanner wasn’t working properly, and then I set the materials and records aside and buried them under someone else's stuff, and didn’t find them until about twelve minutes ago when I was looking for-

You know what? That's not important.

Important: The Second Annual Al Pacino Vs Robert De Niro tournament.
When: You missed it, it’s over.
What: People vote to show their opinion of who is better.
Why: Because while at work I sit at a desk about 12 feet from 6500 (and counting) DVDs, and not enough of them get checked out on the merits of whether or not they speak to Robert de Niro or Al Pacino being superior to one another.
How did it Turn Out: Robert de Niro won, which was not really a surprise given that his volume of work is, for the most part, more watchable. Pacino won last year, mostly because it wasn’t a real competition that time, and more just a weekend when we watched Dog Day Afternoon and Scent of a Woman and Taxi Driver, and you know how those stack up*. I wish that the library had Midnight Run† so I could have put that on display and declared De Niro the winner five seconds after the tournament began, rather than after a week and a half. Oh well.
The Best Part: it was illustrated.

Anyway: I hope this annual contest is not rendered moot by the upcoming Righteous Kill.

*If you don’t know: Taxi Driver is just ok, Dog Day Afternoon is excellent, Scent of a Woman is very good.

Midnight Run is the best.

Friday, August 8, 2008

What Do You Need to Know about The Olympics?

Nothing. The Olympics are boring and only last for like two weeks, during which time they are always on TV when all you want to watch is Anything But The Olympics.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What Happened at That Furniture Store?

I have not presented information in quite some time. You, as a reader, are no doubt used to this, so I will forego apologies and excuses and get right to today’s Information, which is almost definitely of little or no concern to anyone outside of the Boston area.

Listen: here’s how this came about. Last Thursday an Associate and I did our best to make good on plans to see a certain wildly popular superhero movie in its larger, louder IMAX form. Doing this required making our way to the nearest IMAX equipped theater location, which, the internet told us, was also a furniture store, “Jordan’s Furniture.” No doubt your thoughts mimicked ours: “Wait. A furniture store?”

A furniture store.

So I activated Google Maps on my you-know-what phone and she unlocked the doors to her Lincoln Continental and we made our way, with relative ease, to the furniture store. With an IMAX theater.

An IMAX furniture store.

Listen: we had no clue what we were getting into, on a number of levels. First, from a purely conceptual standpoint - we had not had the foresight nor (at the time) the how-to knowledge to buy tickets beforehand, and so found ourselves faced with a blinking ‘sold out’ sign upon reaching the theater. But second, and more importantly, we were not adequately prepared for the theater itself. The theater, I hope you remember, is also a furniture store.

Now, if I were an eastern Massachusetts native, or if I watched local TV stations and their culturally-illuminating commercials for local establishments I might have been better prepared for Jordan’s Furniture. Things being what they are, I was not. So try to imagine how it felt to be faced with what I’m about to describe: a building the size of small stadium, clearly advertising itself as a containing within it a furniture store, IMAX theater, and a Fuddruckers. The side of the building also made clear that within it were held “liquid fireworks,” and a store called Beantown, as well as an ice cream parlor. The building itself, like an Escher drawing of an alien spacecraft, had managed to confound me both in its presentation and in its mere existence to begin with.

Despite being put off by the Fuddruckers, I was intrigued by the promise of liquid fireworks, and at this point was not yet aware that the movie we’d come to see was sold out, so we made haste into a furniture store, something I’d never have thought myself likely to do. Entrance was gained through an enormous revolving door, the kind that can hold about 5 people in each of its compartments, the kind I’ve only ever seen at the Cincinnati airport. A recording of a man with a New England accent warned us to be careful, since the door was apparently a dangerous contraption prone to slowing and stopping unpredictably. Once inside we were greeted by a woman wearing a headset and simultaneously assaulted by a myriad of strange impossible sights and disorienting sounds.

Listen: Jordan’s Furniture is an insane place. To the right of the front door was an auditorium sized room with a ceiling 50 feet high or more. Along the left side of this room was a counter beneath a large sign for Richardson’s Ice cream, featuring a staggering menu. The right wall of the room was covered in an enlargement of a photograph of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge in front of the Boston Skyline. Along the wall was a metal framework of poles and columns, with cables above and netting below. A man on a trapeze hung by his knees and swung lazily back and forth, while a girl on a platform across from him was strapped into a harness before swinging out towards the upside-down man. The far wall appeared to be a kind of stage from which some classic piece of music was blaring. Jets of water, illuminated by spotlights above (and likely strobe lights below) shot up from the stage nearly to the ceiling, and did so in a complicated and choreographed manner. Liquid fireworks. Closer to the door was a small candy store specializing in Jelly Bellies, and around the room were enormous items constructed entirely from the candies. An entire garden tableau, for example. I do not have a photograph, and for that I apologize.

As exciting as all this was, we still expected to see a movie, and getting to the theater part of this outlandish location required us to walk through a kind of maze of long halls that ended with signs pointing the way to the theater. Naturally, these halls were tastefully lit with polished tile floors and neutral colored walls, as they served as Jordan’s Furniture’s labyrinthine showroom of dining room sets and king-sized beds. In order to reach the only aspect of this destination in which we originally had any interest, we had to walk through an entire furniture store stretched out into the form of a winding pathway instead of one enormous room. This fucking place is, first and foremost, a furniture store.

The movie, as I mentioned, was sold out, so we left after spending a little time examining the candy sculptures and watching the liquid fireworks. That is the end of the story.

I can’t think of anything perfect and well-understood with which to compare Jordan’s Furniture. The closest I can come is a Vegas casino, minus the gambling, and with more children. Both Jordan’s Furniture and those enormous terrible casinos elicited the same kind of Lovecraftian blend of confusion, awe, intrigue, and repulsion in me. I was drawn in by the bright lights and spectacles of liquid fireworks and IMAX, while being repelled by having to look at furniture and being near a Fuddruckers, the same way casinos throw entertainment and the false promise of riches at you, but you have to walk by the soul-crushing picture of hopelessness presented by the flocks of elderly women stationed at slot machines to get to the empty promises inside.

It was really Something.