Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 5 Best Worst Movies of all time.

What is it about an extraordinarily bad movie that compels us so? I find myself entranced and deeply amused by fantastically bad movies. Now it is important to understand what I mean by “bad.” There are plenty of terrible movies that are not enjoyable to watch in the least. But then there are movies that are so bad that they you have to watch them over and over again and the catch phrases from the movie become part of your daily vernacular. The difference may be most noticeable when you can profoundly enjoy the bad movie without requiring commentary from Mystery Science Theatre to do so.

With that in mind, I have compiled my personal list of the top 5 amazingly bad movies of all time. The list is perhaps fairly predictable, but no less sincere. I have definitely found that the horror genre tends to produce the best worst movies of all time, and those are the films that made it into my top five.

5. TerrorVision

The monster actually comes out of the TV after being accidentally beamed there via satellite and uncle Rico is Punk Rock Uncle Rico. Hilarity ensues. I really debated whether this one should make the top 5 and almost put “The Stuff” in instead, especially since I’ve only seen Terrorvision on TV and have never actually seen the theatrical release. I gave this one the edge due a slightly higher level of absurdity and because I like Uncle Rico, who in this movie actually was still young enough to throw a football over them mountains.

4. Slumber Party Massacre 2

Now don’t misunderstand and think that true greatness can be found in Slumber Party Massacre part 1. It took a second effort to achieve true greatness and there is nowhere near enough of a coherent plotline to require you to see the first movie. I think that all you really need to know is that the killer in the movie has a giant electric guitar with a drill on the end, with which he terrorizes people at a Slumber Party and drops amazing one-liners. There is even a dance sequence. Disclaimer - there is an unfortunate nude scene early in the film, which detracts from the overall greatness.

3. Plan 9 from Outer Space

It really wouldn’t be a legitimate list without this film being involved. Ed Wood clearly put forth his “best” effort for this one. For further enjoyment of this film (outside of watching the film itself) see Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood,” which spends a great deal of time on the making of this movie, which many have proclaimed to be the worst film ever made.

2. Killer Klowns from Outer Space

That’s right. They spelled Clowns with a K. Krazy!

1. Troll 2

I know how clichéd it is to name this the best worst movie of all time. I am aware that there is in fact a documentary called “Best Worst Movie” which is all about this film. It’s a spectacular documentary by the way. I am, however, unable to rank this movie anywhere else but number one with a clear conscience. This film is a perfect storm of all the scenarios required to make a truly terrible film. You can check these all off your list. The writer and director speak little to no English and are complete dictators. The actors have little to no acting experience (or talent), including one man who was on a day pass from the mental hospital. A completely ridiculous plot that is often incoherent. Truly horrible special effects and costumes. No actual Trolls or connection to Troll 1. And this list could go on and on. So my friend, pour yourself a nice tall glass of Nilbog milk, grab a double decker bologna sandwich and sit back to enjoy the greatest worst movie ever made.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Resolving to spite the Mayans

It is now closing in on the time when we make resolutions for how the upcoming year will be more significant than the year that is drawing to a close. I have a rather shoddy record of remembering to make resolutions in the first place, and an even shoddier record of remembering what those resolutions were a few months after the fact.

So this year I will be documenting my resolutions here, thereby to serve as reference material while the 2012 year progresses. This is, of course, working under the assumption that they Mayans didn’t know enough to prevent their own civilization’s downfall, and could therefore not have been in possession of any particular foresight into the doom of the planet.

These are in no particular order. The last shall be first, etc.

1. Submit at least two works for publication of some kind.
2. Remain physically active throughout the year.
3. Resubmit the aforementioned works to other publishers following the initial rejection of said works.
4. Complete at least one musical project of some kind.
5. Actively work on being a patient listener.
6. Post at least one blog each month instead of disappearing for quarters at a time.
7. Actively work on writing at least 4 nights out of the week.
8. Watch Troll 2 at least 6 times during the course of the year.
9. Resume reading my Bible on a regular basis.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Top 5 Careers I wish I had pursued

There are a couple of rules to follow here in this top 5 list. For example, I can’t list “Rock Star” because I did pursue and am still pursuing that profession. Unfortunately you suckers didn’t buy enough of my albums to make this an attainable career so far. So this doesn't fall into the category of a career I wish I had pursued. This list includes careers I never once considered while in college, but would now rather do any of them than what I currently do.

5. Camp Director

I worked at a summer camp for four beautiful summers while in college. It was the greatest job I have ever held. I’m still looking for an endless summer.

Evidence of the greatest summer ever -

4. Food Critic

I like food. It’s real fun to eat.

3. Something in Publishing

I would like to be that guy who reviews manuscripts and decides which will see the light of day. Or maybe an editor. I don’t know. Something.

2. Professor

Preferably in the world of Literature. I did my research. I need a couple of additional degrees if I want to make this one happen. Maybe if it ever moves into the #1 spot I’ll pony up the cash and the time and make it happen.

1. Author

Now I know what you are thinking, isn’t that like Rock Star? The answer is no. I have not yet failed at attaining this one. As soon as I fail at it I can remove it from the list and then go collect a couple of degrees so I can fulfill the cliché of “Those who can’t do, teach.”

What about you? What do you look back and wish you had pursued early on. Back before the bills rolled in and time started feeling compressed. I'd love to hear about them so I can steal them and make them my dreams.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Master of Disguise

I have often jokingly referred to myself as a “master of disguise.” I have found that I have serious problems with facial stability. What I mean by this is that I am constantly changing my hair and facial hair into new and different patterns. When I was younger, this included constantly changing my hair color as well. Lately the only changes to color have been the spreading of gray and white hair throughout. So be it.

I have a tremendously difficult time sticking with any one particular look for any length of time. 6 months is about the longest I have managed in recent history, and that was really pushing it. My wife has actually requested that I now tell her before I change something because she does not enjoy the shock of seeing a stranger in the house after a drastic change.

For Example. These are all the same person.

It's remarkable what different looks a simple change to a person's hair can create.

I imagine that those people who manage to retain the same look for the majority of their adult lives must be extremely content people. It seems to me that they must have discovered the secret to finding the best of all possible looks for them, and then stuck with it.

Alas, I have yet to find that best of all possible looks for myself.

I keep looking though, convinced that if I grow this, cut that, spike this, comb that, or just trim the sides I will one day look in the mirror and proudly proclaim, “Eureka! I have found it! This is the best looking me that there could ever be!” Then I would just maintain that look until I die.

On a side note, I have often considered how unfortunate it could be to die when in the middle of one of the really bad in between experimental looks. You know the kind. With maybe just the beginning of some sideburns and your hair just getting to that awkward stage between short and long where it keeps flipping up on the sides. No one wants that to be the final impression they leave on the world.

In short, if you have found peace with your face I applaud you. If you are a fellow pilgrim on the path to finding the optimal you, I share in your plight and offer commiseration.

I know it’s in there somewhere.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Value Systems

Intrinsic Value

It’s an interesting concept. The idea that something has value just by being itself is an intriguing one. For example, a dollar bill has no intrinsic value. It only has value as it represents gold. Well.... Actually that used to be the case. Unfortunately we out-printed our gold supply many a moon ago. But gold itself would have intrinsic value as the true source of wealth.

But hold the phone.

Why would gold have intrinsic value? Isn’t its value only based on the fact that we have deemed it to be currency? I suppose there is some intrinsic value because it can be crafted into attractive objects and it doesn’t tarnish over time, but as far as rocks go, it’s pretty heavy and doesn’t skip very well on water. And there’s not really enough to pave our non-heavenly streets with it. I’m gonna say that its value really lies in the fact that we’ve decided it’s valuable. And the aforementioned artistic and fashionable components of course. I will allow for its intrinsic value for those ends, but not as currency. The rarity of it also plays a component, but rarity alone doesn’t define value. If that were so, our endangered species list would be shorter.

And let’s not even get started on the intrinsic value of credit cards.

All of this came up in my mind because my wife and I just recently received a box of antique vases from a relative. Call me what you will, but vases themselves hold little to no value for me. I like the flowers well enough, but for all I care they can be in an empty pickle jar. It turns out that some of these vases are valuable antiques. Apparently some of these vases are worth something. I do see how the value of the object can be in the memory, or the personal attachment to a person who the object reminds you of, but I see little intrinsic value here. And for all you robbers, these vases aren’t worth enough to be worth your trouble. So quit with all the robbing!

So why should an object hold intrinsic value?

How about the fact that it truly provides value just by being itself?

For example – A tree.

Now, please don’t misunderstand and imagine me wearing my fig leaf poncho, living in a tree for a year so that it isn’t cut down by a paper company.

I like paper after all, and look terrible in fig leaves.

A tree though, does have immense intrinsic value. It provides value by providing oxygen, providing shade, creating a wind block, preventing erosion, providing sustenance, providing habitats for wildlife, providing paper and building supplies(though this is something of a final act for the tree), and the list goes on and on. So there is a tremendous intrinsic value, but you can buy a tree for very little money.

While money doesn’t grow on trees, trees themselves might actually be the greater commodity from a true intrinsic value standpoint. Trees are just an example. I’m sure you have your own items of intense intrinsic value.

Lately I keep returning to the thought (as mentioned in previous blog posts) that one day all this nonsense is gonna crash and when it does our entire value system will be restructured. Cash will be good for kindling and not much else. Gold will be good for... well... not much really. Credit cards... well I suppose they could help you break into your neighbor’s house to see if they left any beer behind. I’ve seen that work on TV before. You could even drink it out of their antique vases, if they have any.

Kind of rambling now.

Just thinking about these things and wondering if value doesn’t really go well beyond the eye of the beholder. Value seems to be driven by much bigger factors than any one individual can influence.

So... until the crash happens and the world goes caveman, plant a tree and enjoy some shade.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Wake up and Dream

Life swallows people whole.

Sometimes anyway. While busily living as the stars of our own movies, I believe we often lose touch with those things which once drove us to some desirable end. Everyone started out with something they intended to be when they grew up. Everyone. But we all grow up and very few attain those objectives. So we enter “life” and begin the process of not attaining those objectives on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.

This can be disappointing.

Early on, it’s much easier to rage against this condition and continue to pursue those original (or perhaps more recently substituted) dreams on the side while working in some other profession in order to do what is commonly referred to as “making a living.” But as time goes on it gets more and more difficult to continue attempting to live both lives concurrently and the available time to pursue said objectives becomes more limited. Often times the resources required to pursue those objectives become more limited as well.

Thank you kids, mortgages, and fossil fuels.

As this goes on for an extended period of time, many people began to enter into a sleepwalking state. In this state they continue living and functioning, but they have stopped practically pursuing those original objectives altogether. They now just drift through their life and are marginally unhappy and unfulfilled. Those most successful sleepwalkers convince themselves that they just chose a different dream and they are actually quite content with the change of plans.

Those people are known as liars.

If sleepwalking persists for an extensive period of time, the person will often begin criticizing others who have dreams they are still pursuing. This is really their only choice because to do otherwise is all too painful. It is quite hard to like people who make us realize how much we were unable to accomplish.

It’s all quite sad. Life can swallow people sometimes. Maybe even you. Perhaps you should wake up now and begin dreaming again. Wake up and dream. Turn off your TV’s and step away from your social media sites of choice. Remember who you were and decide if you really chose to stop being that person or if life just swallowed you gradually until you let it all slip away. Take what spare time you have and make it count. Find courage. Wake up and dream my friends.

Wake up and dream.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Top 10 games from the original NES

And speaking of lists.....

Video games are not my area of expertise. I am not a gamer and would be completely lost holding a modern day controller. I only have so many fingers and go into sensory overload when I see the way the screens move nowadays. I know. I’m one of the oldest young people alive today.


I did enjoy video games once upon a time. In fact, I have quite fond memories of staying up all night at friends houses trying to finally beat whatever game it was that was our current obsession. I never had enough “sit still” in me to be a serious gamer even then, but I did a fair amount of button pushing in the 80’s and early 90’s. This was the era of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. This is still the greatest video gaming system of all time. I should know. I have one still and occasionally hook it up for a few days of rollicking good times. No good times are quite so rollicking as those spent with the good old original NES.

So this is where the list part comes in. I am going to provide you fine readers with a list of the 10 greatest games on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. I could not get science to back me up on this list because all of the scientist were busy playing World of Warcraft today. So this one is just my opinion and is not scientifically verifiable. However, since I’ve played most of these games more recently than any of you have, I feel it is a fairly trustworthy list. Feel free to disagree.

10. Tetris

Come on now, who doesn’t love Tetris? Hours of mindless fun and hand/eye coordination.

9. Metroid

This game blew my mind when it came out. You could go anywhere! It was all about exploring the world and trying to figure it all out. It was way ahead of it’s time and set a standard for many games that followed. It really didn’t get much better than this. Well.... it only got better than this 8 times.

8. Castlevania

I have always liked horror movies, so a “scary” video game was right up my alley. I also was a big fan of Indiana Jones, so I thought it was pretty great that the hero used a whip. Kill the vampires before they turn into sparkly woman stealers!

7. Contra

Contra was one of the greatest mulit-player shooting games ever. Me and my buddies even named one of our many impressive trampoline tricks a “Contra” due to it’s resembling the dying back flip from the game.

6. Final Fantasy

This game derived much of its format from a higher ranked game on my list, but it had some fantastic features of its own. Getting to form a team was really fun and created all kinds of new strategizing in the Role Playing Game world of video games. I’m a big fan of non-linear, “roam the world and try to figure it out” video games, and Final Fantasy fits that bill to a T. Good times here.

5. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!

One of the original Point Of View games. King Hippo trying to hold up his pants. Don’s inability to handle the 1-2 punch. The Bull Charge. The Tiger Punch. Punchout is all about pattern recognition and hoping that Doc can coach you to Iron Mike. LOVE THIS GAME!

4. Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros was included with most NES consoles when you purchased them in the mid 80’s. Everyone played this game. Everyone wanted to save the princess. Mine came as a split game of Super Mario Bros and Duckhunt, so we got a double bonus, along with the lesser known Gyromite robot. I can still play Mario Bros for hours on end and find new secret beanstalks and coinbricks. And besides all of that, how many sequels and spin offs can one game have? One of the best!

3. The Legend of Zelda

Fake Gold Plating on the game cartridge. How amazing is that? I’ll answer that question for you. Pretty Dang Amazing!! I remember the excitement when finding a new secret cave after many random bombings or a stairway under a burning a tree. Beating this game took a village of friends sharing secrets. It was simply spectacular. I might just have to go home and play after work today.

2. Tecmo Super Bowl

Sorry Madden. This is the greatest football video game of all time. College would have been much, much duller without our ongoing football seasons and the shenanigannery associated with them. If I could go back and apply all the hours spent playing this game to something constructive, like learning to play the violin, I would be in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra now.

1. Dragon Warrior

The Greatest Role Playing Game of all time. This game pre-dates Final Fantasy and many of the other RPG’s that followed. Dragon Warrior required patience, attention to detail, and methodically searching the world over for the equipment needed to win the game. No fast victories here. The sequels to this game were also great, but the classic original is my number one video game of all time.

So there you have it. Come on over some time and we’ll dust off the old NES console and blow in the back of the game cartridge (along with a dozen other tricks to get the games to work right) and spend a Saturday together. I should warn you though, I am pretty dominant in video game controllers only having two buttons.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Top 10 Super Heroes of All Time

It is time for another list to edify and enlighten. Lists are a good way to keep a blog going when you really have absolutely nothing in particular to say. Or perhaps you’re just too dang busy. Today I am going to share the top 10 greatest Super Heroes of all time. This is not my opinion. These are in fact the 10 greatest of all time. It’s a scientifically verifiable fact.

Parameters: The person has to be a "Good Guy" at least the majority of the time to qualify since this is not the list of the 10 greatest Super Villains of all time. Also this is only for individual characters and not for teams.

10. Kitty Pryde
She walks through walls and has a pet dragon. Granted, she is not all that well known outside of the fans of the X-Men, but is a favorite of both mine and the scientists who verified this list. You probably think Iron Man should be in this spot due to the success of his recent films. But other than those movies, who really cares about Iron Man? Certainly not the aforementioned Scientists who, in all fairness, could be jealous that Tony Stark won’t share his Iron Man Technology Secrets.

9. The Incredible Hulk
You just can’t deny the Hulk his place in history. Special thanks to Lou Ferrigno for bringing Hulk to the common people. Secondary thanks to R. L. Stevenson for setting the original Jekyll / Hyde template. Bottom Line: Hulk Smash.

8. Captain America
The Star Spangled Avenger is returning to the big screen, and will presumably fare much better than the simply dreadful 1990 film. Worst Super Hero Movie Ever. Hands down. It’s even worse than the Dolph Lundgen Punisher movie, and that is saying a lot. The captain is a surprisingly mult-dimensional character and his longevity is hard to question. The new film and then the Avengers film to follow are certainly helping to revitalize interest. Not one of my personal favorites, but who am I to argue with science.

7. Firestar
Who? Only one of the greatest superheroes of all time, that’s who! I first saw Firestar in the cartoon “Spider Man and His Amazing Friends,” which ran for several years in the early 80’s. She and Iceman were the Amazing Friends. She was then re-popularized throughout the 90’s as a member of the New Warriors and then the Avengers. She was both extremely powerful and afraid of using her powers. You may think she is out of place on a list of heroes that transcended comic books and cartoons, but she is indeed one of the 10 greatest.

6. Wonder Woman
What’s not to like? She has an invisible jet. And a lasso that makes you tell the truth. And bullet proof bracelets. And a Tiara. All of these things are pretty neat, but that is only the beginning. She also had a killer theme song for the 70’s TV series. "In her satin tights, fighting for your rights, and the old red white and blue!" Sing it with me now! Wonder Woman is an icon. I know the new TV series apparently was going to be terrible and has been cancelled before it got off the ground, but that doesn’t take anything away from her overall greatness.

5. Wolverine

4. Superman
Has any other Superhero been more celebrated on TV and in films (with the possible exception of #3 on the list)? All the Reeve movies and the recent Routh one. Lois and Clark. Smallville. Despite having such generic powers and kind of a lame outfit, the Man of Steel has proven staying power and continues to draw interest. His Death brought new fans from around the world. His not staying dead was less cool and left most comic fans feeling cheated. The different TV shows helped personalize the last Son of Krypton and make him more likeable. Who else can be completely unrecognizable by simply throwing on some specs and parting his hair on the other side? That’s a super power all by itself! All signs indicate that Superman will be around for decades to come and will continue refusing to kneel before Zod.

3. Batman
Holy 3rd Place Ranking, Robin! From Adam West to Christian Bale, there have certainly been a lot of different twists on the Caped Crusader and many men to wear the cowl. With no actual Super Powers, Batman has long been the everyman’s super hero. Of course every man is not a multi-millionaire with a batcave, but that is neither here nor there. The Tim Burton directed movies with Michael Keaton did wonders for bringing Batman to a new generation and helped to diminish the campiness of the West TV Series. Of course the frozen Governator helped return the campy feel and kill the series for a few years shortly afterward. Batman is simply cool. He’s dark and brooding and has a neat tool belt. He has a butler. How many people really have both a butler and a batcave? I can only think of one.

2. Ash
I know what you are thinking. Ash was not a superhero. He has no superpowers. However, I think we did just establish that batman has no actual superpowers. And Ash certainly has done plenty to fight the armies of darkness both in films and in video games. And like Batman, he has iconic tools that he uses in his ongoing struggle. There is the chainsaw to replace the missing hand, the shotgun, the chin, the knowledge of Chemistry 101, and the best delivered one-liners of all time. Ash has long been the only thing standing between us common folk and legions of undead soul sucking demon zombies. Hail to the king, baby. Hail to the king.

1. Spider Man
All time greatest Super Hero. Science has spoken. Spider Man has been kicking villain tail and throwing down witty banter since the 60’s. There were multiple terrible films and plenty of cartoons made before Sam Raimi finally gave the webslinger his due in 2002. Spidey proved to be gold at the box office as well as on the newstand. He has had multiple titles and spin offs going in the comic book world for almost half a century and set a new prototype for heroes. He was among the first to be an ordinary person who had ordinary problems. He dealt with guilt and financial woes. He had relationship problems and struggled to make good decisions. He was one of the first really human superheroes. With another film in the works, Spider-Man is showing no signs of slowing down and should continue in the #1 slot for the foreseeable future. And remember kids, with great power comes great responsibility.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Something you might not have known about cubicles (updated repost)

*Please note – this is an edited/updated version of a post from 2010. If you are one of the 1.5 people who read the original post, I salute you*

It’s time for another chapter in the world of “something you might not have known about....” Today’s subject is..... Cubicles!

What is a cubicle?

“Cubicle” is a common name used to describe a small desk area generally enclosed on three sides by waist-ish high walls and having no ceiling. Generally speaking, many of these cubicles are arranged in rows and share common walls, allowing many desks to be put in one work area without having to either allow space between the desks or having to build actual walls, which can be costly. The cubicle walls help give the illusion that each desk is it’s own tiny little office as well as helping to provide a place to hang your calendar. Calendars are important in cubicles because without them it is entirely impossible to distinguish one day from the next. The origin of the name “cubicle” comes from the squarish shape the walls make and due to the feeling that one is stuck inside a cube with little to no oxygen available.

How to Recognize a Cubicle should you happen to find yourself in what you think might be a cubicle, but you are not sure:
1) Look to your left.
2) Look to your right.
3) Look in front of you.
4) Look behind you.
5) Look up.
6) Look down.
If in the process of following the above directions you identified a wall you can see over, another wall you can see over, another wall you can see over, an opening with no wall at all, open space with a ceiling higher up, and a floor, then it is very possible you are sitting or standing in a cubicle. Don’t panic! There are millions of people in the same position and all are relatively safe the majority of the time.

Do cubicles affect the space time continuum in any way?
Actually, yes they do. It is scientifically provable (opinions will vary amongst scientist as all things scientifically provable will vary amongst scientists) that time actually slows down within the walls of a cubicle. It is not certain why this phenomenon occurs, but it does indeed occur. This phenomenon has two radical effects.
1) A day spent in a cubicle is drastically longer than a day spent elsewhere, which can lead to chronic depression and a sense that one’s life is slipping away from them.
2) A person’s life actually slips away from them. A person will age must faster inside a cubicle than will someone outside a cubicle since the person inside will continue to age at the same rate of those outside the cubicle while actually spending more daytime hours alive inside the cubicle due to changes in rate of time. This can be very confusing, but is scientifically verifiable (opinions will vary amongst scientist as all things scientifically verifiable will vary amongst scientists).

In conclusion:
Cubicles are real and exist in many buildings in many cities in many countries on this fair planet. Should you encounter one, proceed with caution and make sure you are familiar with the dangers they present before you enter one. And always remember, it’s much easier to walk into a cubicle than it is to walk out.

Many blessings

Monday, June 13, 2011

What it was that MC Hammer was trying to say.

I am complying with the agreed upon rules. In fact, I am far too much in compliance with the standard rules and/or laws to stop what I am doing.
I am not one born out of wedlock. I am the genuine, legitimate offspring and thus will continue to do what I am currently doing.
I am quite legal. I am so legal that I am in no danger of being forced to surrender any time soon.

In spite of the level of exertion I deliver, which results in a high level of perspiration on my part, I will not surrender. I will exert even more effort. Yes. More effort will be exerted than ever before due to the dreams which I have been collecting in my brain. I have foreseen that I will acquire those things which will eventually be mine and that there are no people alive who will take those things away from me. No. This is because I, the Hammer, do not play games when I believe it is possible that you will be trying to get those aforementioned things that I will and, in some cases, already have acquired. I am talking specifically to young male children. I am requesting that you retreat several steps and then stop moving. I want to compel you to believe that you do not want to become engaged in an altercation with me. I have had to move very fast in order to achieve the degree of physical muscularity which I am displaying. You, on the other hand look as though you do not work out very frequently. In fact son, you look very weak indeed. I am working hard to get everything that I can possibly get. I like to stand up in high places and kick things because I am much to legitimate to stop.

I am requesting that you sing.
I am complying with the agreed upon rules. In fact, I am far too much in compliance with the standard rules and/or laws to stop what I am doing.
I am not one born out of wedlock. I am the genuine, legitimate offspring and thus will continue to do what I am currently doing.
I am quite legal. I am so legal that I am in no danger of being forced to surrender any time soon.

When the time comes and you feeling like a tall post or a pole, I do not think you should play basketball in my vicinity because I might dig a hole with a shovel and then randomly smack you around. Indeed, it is a foregone conclusion that I will retaliate and engage in fisticuffs with you while injecting you with a drug I like to call “Oak Town Power.” When you become hooked on this drug I will charge you an hourly wage to continue utilizing it. This thought gets me so excited that I am shaking like there is an earthquake going on or like I am listening to funk music. I am making an intentional choice to abuse, misuse, and confuse those people I compete with. These competitors think they are making up the rules by which we will play, but I think you should know that these people are fools. In the game they were trying to make up the rules for, people ended up both wounded and driven completely insane. It really is a shame, but I really do have to do this. Throughout the game I remain unchanged. Well, not really unchanged. I just keep getting better. I have never been known to wear sweaters. I am once again kicking things while standing in high places. I do this because I have everything collected together in one place. I am inviting you to all lay down and roll on the ground with me. You should do this because I am a very physical person who has an extraordinarily good physique. You should also do this because I wear a watch. All of these things combined show that I am much to legitimate to stop.

I am requesting that you sing.
I am complying with the agreed upon rules. In fact, I am far too much in compliance with the standard rules and/or laws to stop what I am doing.
I am not one born out of wedlock. I am the genuine, legitimate offspring and thus will continue to do what I am currently doing.
I am quite legal. I am so legal that I am in no danger of being forced to surrender any time soon.

I am requesting that you march in a straight line to the rhythm I am providing to you. I am considered to be someone who is guaranteed to win things since I have been in this place on previous occasions. Hark. I am not a beginner where these things are concerned. It is true that at one point I was a beginner but I have since tried many things and found them to be true. I believe in what Darwin said and I will survive due to my higher fitness level. Hark. This knowledge has brought me through many a hard time. Those people I spend time with have been known to talk on occasion. According to them we are ready to hit those things we have been trained to hit. This is our purpose. I believe that you should believe all of these things and that this belief should cause mass quantities of perspiration on your part. The sweat will be something you are ashamed of later. You will regret the day that you disregarded me and my close friends. You will rue the day that you ever made our acquaintance. Have I mentioned that I like to read? You remind me of a short story I once read. It was really short. You put out a hit record, but it was only one record and you are really starting to disinterest me. You should prepare yourself because this is probably the end for you. Those people you spend time with are about to have to stop. My friends, however, will not have to stop due to our extreme legitimacy.

I am requesting that you sing.
I am complying with the agreed upon rules. In fact, I am far too much in compliance with the standard rules and/or laws to stop what I am doing.
I am not one born out of wedlock. I am the genuine, legitimate offspring and thus will continue to do what I am currently doing.
I am quite legal. I am so legal that I am in no danger of being forced to surrender any time soon.

I think you should either get money or get naked. It could go either way.

Those people I like to spend time with are winners. We compress people who are strong and percolate people who are not so strong. We do this on a daily basis. A day doesn’t go by that we do not work very hard to improve our dance moves. We do this because we like to be in charge where dancing is concerned. We like to be in charge of where we rest, where we work, and where we play. Hark. In the beginning, we were down at the bottom of the social structure, but now we are in front of everyone else. Yes! Yes! I am afraid that I am having seizures. These cause me to kick things. You know me. I’ve already mentioned that I like to kick things while in high places. I am still far too legitimate to stop doing so, in spite of the seizures.

I am requesting that you sing.
I am complying with the agreed upon rules. In fact, I am far too much in compliance with the standard rules and/or laws to stop what I am doing.
I am not one born out of wedlock. I am the genuine, legitimate offspring and thus will continue to do what I am currently doing.
I am quite legal. I am so legal that I am in no danger of being forced to surrender any time soon.

We are so legitimate that we are rolling on the ground while he’s on top. We are going to burn something till it ceases to exist due to our legitimacy and our inability to stop.

We are just much too Legitimate to ever give up.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What it was that Vanilla Ice was trying to say.

Pardon me those of you who are very important, let’s get started.

Please stop for a moment and listen to what I have to say. I have returned to you and I come bearing something new which I have invented. I find myself in the grip of something, resulting in my flowing in the manner of a harpoon. This occurs both during the day and at night time. I have speculated long on whether or not this will ever stop. At this point I am undecided, but if you turn off the lights, you will find that I glow in the dark. I have been known to take a microphone and speak into it forcefully. I sometimes then steal the microphone. I do this in the most extreme manner possible. I have already mentioned that I glow in the dark, but I wanted to make it clear that I can also do this standing on a platform while encasing a person in wax. I am requesting that you please dance. Don’t stay in the back. Please come forward and dance near these very loud speakers, though it will possibly cause severe brain damage, similar to what can be caused by certain poisonous toadstools. Indeed, it is very dangerous, deadly even, when I begin to sing in a narcotic fashion through these speakers. I believe in presenting the best things I have to offer and believe that those who do not do so should be incarcerated. Whether or not you love what I am saying or have negative feelings about it, you need to step out of the way and aim very carefully. If you miss the bull’s eye you will find that children will no longer be able to play any more. If it turns out that there is a problem, and I’m not saying that there is, then I believe I can provide a solution. Please just pay close attention to these repeating words that my disc jockey is playing on the record player.

Ice Ice Baby
Too Cold

At the present time, this party is an exciting place to be. We have changed the settings on the equalizer so that the low end audio is very pronounced. It is causing our Vega speakers to vibrate profoundly. Allow me to get to the point quickly and without trying to fool you. I have taken many masters of ceremony and cooked them on my stove as if they were just so much bacon. I like to burn the ones that are slow and not particularly agile. In fact I go temporarily insane when I hear the sound of a cymbal. Particularly the hi-hat cymbal played at a frenetic pace makes me want to keep going and leave everyone else behind. When this happens I drive my Five Cylinder convertible with the top down so that my hair can blow in the wind. There are girls waiting for me who wave their hands when I drive along the road. They do this so that they can say hello to me. You might wonder if I stopped the vehicle when they waved. I did not. I drove by them in search of the next place that I would stop. I turned left and drove down to the next block. I didn’t see very many things happening when I got there, so I started driving again until I came to A1A Beachfront Avenue. The girls at this location must have been very overheated. I am making this assumption because they wore very little clothing. I also noticed a lot or people were driving Lamborghinis. I believe that those people are envious of me because of all of the things I have received. Due to the dangerous nature of this area, my friend Shay, who is my aforementioned disc jockey, is carrying a shotgun. I have a nine millimeter handgun. The two of us are prepared in case some of the people on the wall begin to act strangely due to their heavy drug use. The next thing I knew I was deafened by loud gunshots. I held on to my handgun and heard the spent casings from several bullets falling on the pavement in rapid succession. I jumped back into my car and accelerated quickly, but soon was stuck in heavy traffic. The street was completely full of vehicles, which prevented me from getting away before something could be done to me that I would have done to someone else. The next thing I knew, the police were everywhere. Do you understand what I’m trying to say to you? Before I could be concerned though, they chose to not regard me as a threat and instead focused their attention on those drug abusers I previously mentioned. Once again I would like to clarify that in the event of a problem I will find a solution. While that sinks in, please pay close attention to the same repeating words that Shay is playing for you now that he has put down his shotgun in favor of a record player.

Ice Ice Baby
Too Cold

Please continue to pay careful attention and give credence to what I am saying to you. I compose rhyming words with the intention of setting them to music. The city of Miami is a fine, central location for others who also do this. Is this something you were aware of? I would like for you to be aware of it. I am from Miami. This is where the low end audio sound comes from. In Miami there are holes in the ground due to the volume at which we play low end audio. This is because the way I make music is just like Chemicals spilling onto the ground. My rhymes are very realistic and create images in your head so real that you can feel them. When those images are formed, I think this is one very interesting idea. We promote this idea and ask that you join in step with us. My disc jockey Shay likes to adjust the individual volumes of different instruments by adjusting the faders on a mixing board. When he does this, it is almost as if a ninja were cutting things with a sword or a razor blade so quickly that it causes other disc jockeys to vociferate profanely. My rhymes are so good and valuable that if they were narcotics I would sell them in very small doses to achieve the maximum financial impact. I never lose my composure even at those times when it is appropriate to loosen up a bit. I find that my mouth reacts to a microphone is if it were made of metal and the microphone were a magnet. This happens at the same time that I kick the juice cartons I own. You might see this as a problem, but I don’t. There are no problems. But if there were a problem, I would solve it. As always, please listen to this message while Shay plays it on a record player.

Ice Ice Baby
Too Cold

Dear Listener.
I am going to leave now.
Please give my regards to your mother.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What are you shuffling currently?

It has been some time now since the last list was provided by my blog. It’s been even longer since I’ve supplied my faithful few readers with a “Something you might not have known about....” entry. Revisit the 2010 entries if you are unfamiliar with these. You can learn a great deal about cubicles and rhinos. I will hopefully provide a new entry along those lines in the near future, but first – a new list!

The following list is not an “all time favorite” list, but is rather a list based on my current enjoyment levels. Humans are a rather fickle species, so it is entirely possible this list will change drastically in a short time and will be looked back on with embarrassment. I rather doubt the last part since I have no great talent for embarrassment anymore. Without further rambles, here is the latest list for your edification.

The TOP ten bands in no particular order which I am enjoying listening to at the present time but might feel different about come Autumn.

1. The Watson Twins – I know almost nothing about this band, but I picked up their “Talking to You, Talking to Me” record up at the Library and am listening to it several times a week. Very cool vibe and excellent instrumentation.

2. The Decemberists – “the king is dead” is a constant rotator at the present time. I also regularly revisit the other Decemberist albums hanging about in my walkman. I lament Valencia on a monthly basis.

3. She & Him – This is the band featuring Zooey Deschanel. It has a really pleasant throwback sound as though my radio was a time machine. More appliances should provide time travel capabilities.

4. The National – Simply amazing. Always wanting more.

5. Flobots – This is another group retrieved from the library. I like to throw up a hand and rap in the car. I sound amazing when I rap.

6. The Swell Season – I’ve enjoyed them for a while, but recently seeing the movie “Once” revitalized my interest all over again. So this is a music and movie recommendation. Hold on tightly.

7. The Arcade Fire – No. I haven’t completely worn out “The Suburbs” yet, but I am probably getting close to it. Still very happy that a group I like won a Grammy.

8. The Avett Brothers – I am on a mission to somehow make these brothers adopt me. They seem like such wonderful brothers to have.

9. Justin Brinker – Hymns of the Broken. The Debut release from a Dallas area musician. It’s rather good. Nice ambient vibe and thoughtful lyrics. Looking forward to hearing more from him in the future.

10. Duffy – Guilty Pleasure. I’ve been listening to the “endlessly” album frequently in the last couple of months. Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you.


Calling all Vacationers to advise.

Low Cost Vacation ideas. Who’s got them? I’ve got nothing but want to have a little cheap family fun this summer.

Here’s what I need –
1. Something that works involving children aged 5 and 7.
2. Something that will not be crazy expensive.
3. Something that does not involve air travel.

What can you advise? My creativity as a human earthling does not extend to vacation planning.

Help me out here, eh?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dreams to Remember

The right place at the right time.

Is it an excuse for our failures or a true reason we never got our chance to shine? Were we really just not in the right place at the right time, or were we just not really very good at what we were doing?

Take music for an example.

I’ve known so many musicians that I thought were great. I thought they had all the necessary talent and ambition to make a name for themselves. My friend Shannon has a magical voice, writes compelling and excellent songs, has gigged incessantly for the last decade, and has a nicely marketable appearance. My only conclusion is that either I overestimate his talent (which I don’t think I do) or I have to conclude that he was never in the right place at the right time for the right people to hear him and buy into what he’s doing.

Or maybe it’s just the plight of the music industry and the only way to make it now is to find your audience on your own.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I am 33 years old these days. For some of you that sounds nice and young and I have my whole life ahead of me. Some of you are ready to issue me a walker.

I had imagined so many things to have accomplished prior to 33 and very few of them have happened. I can blame the “bills to pay” and I can blame the circumstances. I can say I was just never in the right place at the right time.

But maybe it’s more personal than that.

Maybe the problem is that I have lacked the courage to really pursue a better, more meaningful life. Maybe I continue and continue because I’m too lazy to really try something different.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

As it stands, I have a day job that somehow became a career. Unfortunately this seems to be the only thing I have succeeded at over the last 10 years. I have a band that hasn’t played a show in a year and can’t seem to finish it’s CD. I have a novel that is half completed and growing at approximately 1 page every 4 months.

I have been wondering lately if it is too late to start over. All these bills to pay and what not make it feel very hard to do so, but I just don’t know about going through another decade of this.

I still haven’t found any rich relatives that I can count on dying any time soon. Or any time at all. Apparently I have no rich relatives.

Too bad.

Courage friends. Let’s see what new dreams we can come up with to help us get through the dreary perpetual now.

My latest carrot on a stick is becoming a College Professor.

But it’s a really long stick.

And a really expensive carrot.

And so on.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Are you ready for the Crash?

So I’ve been thinking lately about what it would be like if everything just crashed. I am not referring to some Post Apocalyptic situation where 80% of the population is wiped out by a Super Flu or a Nuclear War. Nothing like that is on my mind. Not entirely anyway. Let’s just say that some unforeseen event occurs which completely wipes out our computer systems worldwide. Everything crashes. Almost everything is handled via computer these days so this would be the biggest worldwide catastrophe since Noah was counting Aardvarks. So everything has broken down. Money is worthless since almost all of it was tied up electronically somewhere and there are no more records. No one can prove who owned what. Electricity is likely out too due to all the power plant failures and explosions following “the event.” How soon running water / indoor plumbing? I think humanity would go primitive pretty fast. The digital world is over and we don’t remember how Analog even works.

So we’re back to basics. The thing I wonder about is this. How would I fare in that kind of world?

I like to think that I possess a certain modicum of survival skills. By this I mean that I know how to set up a tent and apply sunscreen. I’ve seen the Swiss Family Robinson and Castaway. I once fired a pistol and hit a target. I read Lord of the Flies. But how far is that really gonna take me?

I do not think I am a convincing barterer and would probably get ripped off trying to trade for a cow. And really, how much of what I own would really have trade value in that world? And what would I do with the cow anyway? I don’t know how to change that into hamburgers. I suppose I could figure it out.

I certainly couldn’t market my skills learned in the workplace. Insurance will no longer be a hot topic when picking world leaders. For that matter there wouldn’t likely be world leaders, at least not at first. Everything would probably regionalize.

I realize the likelihood of a worldwide computer crash is unlikely. At least until they try to terrify our descendants with talk of Y3K. Start stocking up on water now. It’s much more likely that we’ll just continue to head in two different directions as humans. There will be those who have the technological skills and exposure and those who don’t. Those who do will continue to further isolate themselves with each generation and find ways to manipulate and utilize those who don’t.

Bring on the Morlocks.
But I digress.

My basic question was regarding my potential for survival and maintaining my family’s survival in a post-computer crashed world.

I think I’d make it in the end, assuming I don’t end up being shot defending my books from becoming firewood. Someone has to preserve Kurt Vonnegut for a future without Kindles.

You are welcome Mr. Vonnegut. Rest well.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dust off the moon

Can someone help me with something? Why don’t we go to the moon anymore? When you think about the mass technological advances in the last 50 years, you would think it would be a lot easier now to send someone there and land than it was on those earlier missions. I’m not a big conspiracy theorist, but it makes you wonder about all those rumors that we never landed there in the first place and that all of that footage was faked. I’m pretty sure the issue isn’t financial, considering all the other things we blow our money on. I’m also pretty sure it’s not because of the bad Transformers who live on the moon, but again, I can’t be sure. I know we don’t have to beat those Ruskies into submission anymore, but surely there’s another Sputnik out there to freak out the establishment isn’t there?

So what’s the story here? It’s been a really long time now since a lunar landing. Aren’t we supposed to have colonized the moon by now? Isn’t that what the boomers had planned for us? If nothing else, aren’t we supposed to use it as a landfill for our 80’s big mac containers?

Just something I was wondering about and hoped one my 3 faithful readers might have some insight on the death of the space race.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Well Rounded Failure

So in retrospect, I think I have been soundly defeated by my interest in too many things.

I have always been rather well rounded in my interests. In literature I enjoy everything from Charles Dickens to Stephen King. From American classics to comic books. In music I roll with DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and switch seamlessly to Wilco. From Damien Rice to They Might Be Giants. I love most things in the art world and also cheer wholeheartedly for my local sports teams. I love to watch Audrey Hepburn classics and modern Zombie movies. I play in rock bands and work at an insurance company. I love Bruce Campbell and still try to take myself seriously. I am topically conversant on a wide variety of things, but have no interest in making small talk. I play a variety of instruments, draw fairly well, enjoy writing, listen to sports radio and recently planted a vegetable garden.

I am all over the place, and I think that has been my problem.

I think my interest in so many different things has crippled my potential for success in any one particular area. I will never be a first rate musician, largely because of my inability to commit to any one instrument for an extended period of time. The grass is always greener, and all of that. I am an expert on no particular subject because I’m always moving on to the next shiny subject to catch my mind. I never could commit to a definitive, realistic career path because there are just too many dreams to follow, and in the end I have a job I have no real connection too other than financial, while never fully pursuing any of the many careers I would be interested in. It seems that by the time we know who we are it’s a little too late to do very much about it.

So far the only thing I’ve been particularly successful in is being married, which is one of those things you kind of have to commit to and can’t really be well rounded. Sorry ladies.

So... Just some thoughts. It could be that all my failures are simply because I’m not as smart or talented as I think I am. After all, we are all the stars of our own TV shows, and I’m sure I am no exception to this rule other than the fact that I like starring in your TV shows as well. But I do think there might be something to this idea. Einstein might have been slower with that whole relativity thing if he was busily monitoring who the Browns were taking in the 5th round of the draft this year or was laughing his tail off over Shaun of the Dead.

Not that I’m comparing myself to Einstein, although I do find science very interesting.
Math too.
Oh! And Literature!
And don’t forget History, Geology, and Theology.
I like them all.
A whole lot.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's up with my mouth?

Getting older is a strange and mysterious thing. I’m forever fascinated (and at times appalled) by the changes that occur with each passing year. The last 12 months have been exceptional in regards to one specific change.

My mouth.

More specifically, my tastes. Below is a list of things that I used to absolutely abhor, and now enjoy immensely. These aren’t items I was indifferent to and now just enjoy. These are things I despised with everything in my capacity for despisement. I didn’t graduate to indifference either. I graduated to great levels of enjoyment when these things are available. So be encouraged O picky eaters of the world. Try something new and you might be surprised.

#1. Alcohol
In my 2010 physical, I was told to start drinking wine to assist with some cholesterol issues. At the time I could not have disliked the taste of alcohol more. At the present date, I could not possibly like the taste of alcohol more. On a side note, I am wholeheartedly opposed to drunkenness and do not overindulge in my enjoyment. There was a period of adjustment and developing a taste for alcohol. Now I enjoy a glass or two of Red every night. Cheers. Apothic Red is the current #1.

#2. Onions
I’m still not throwing down on a raw onion like I would an apple, but I’m finding myself putting onions in all kinds of food and no longer removing them from my burger. The onion was once number one on my enemy vegetable list. Now the onion is welcome to visit any time. It is especially enjoyable in food of the Mexican variety.

#3. Coffee
I hated coffee. Absolutely hated it. I’m not up to black yet, but throw in some cream and sugar and I’m ready for the all nighter. I even learned how to use the coffee maker.

#4. Yogurt
I always found the very idea of yogurt repulsive. I treated it as the leper of the dairy community (which it really kind of is). I am far from all in on yogurt and so far I am only eating one particular brand of yogurt (Stonyfield Greek Organic Peach or Cherry), but I now open to the concept. I’m no Michael Westin, but I do eat about one yogurt per day these days.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Time Travel

So I’ve been thinking about time travel an awful lot lately.  It seems to me that time travel would be a very useful and dangerous ability to have.

It would certainly be wonderful to go back and tell the 16 year old me to do a few things differently. Of course I probably wouldn’t have listened to me anyway though, since I wouldn’t be telling myself anything I hadn’t already heard from a bunch of old people like me. Also there is that whole butterfly / trees falling down thing. The little changes made in time travel could drastically alter the present (future)and that could be bad. Or possibly good, but who could know for sure? Better to be on the safe side of not destroying the space time continuum. (Thanks Dr. Brown)

I think, more than time travel though, I am interested in the idea of a full knowledge intact do over. Meaning that I could know everything I know now and would have the opportunity to go back and re-do everything from a set age on. Probably from about 15 or 16 years old and going forward since most of my terrible decisions occurred between 15 and 22. There are so many things I would do differently. Assuming this mulligan were possible, it leaves me with two major questions.

1. Would doing things differently result in me ending up in a less desirable position than I am currently in?
What I mean by this is that there are certain parts of my current life I wouldn’t want to change. Would making better decisions along the way end up leading me into a place where it is impossible to still have the things I want?  Ideally I would still end up with the things I like about my current life and would only make decisions that would change the parts I don’t like.  Would that be possible though? I wonder if our bad choices are such an integral part of the path and if removing them would mean a different destination would be unavoidable. Could I make better relationship decisions as a teenager and still end up with my wife? I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe it’s too risky.

2. Would some of my full knowledge be erased as I went through and did things differently?
By this I mean that if I chose to not do something because of knowing what would happen, would I then lose all memory of it ever happening since it now never happened?
This is a confusing question and I’m not sure how to clarify. It’s like this. Let’s say I murdered someone in my past. Hypothetically of course.
      Of course.
I would be going back and making changes to not repeat my mistakes and so I decide on my do-over to not murder that person (even though they deserved it). When that time passes and I don’t go homicidal, do I then forget it ever happened since it never happened? Then, losing the memory of why I didn’t want it to happen, would I then just decide to commit the same action all over again since I have no memory of the reasons why I wished I didn’t do it? It’s all very confusing.

Overall I still think it would be desirable to get to go back and re-live life knowing everything I know now, but since it’s so hard to make good decisions now, knowing everything I do, I don’t know why I think it would be easy to go back and make better decisions then, factoring all the angstiness of the teenage years. Those chemicals certainly conspire against us.

I guess it’s more important to just live in the now and make good decisions going forward. But I can’t help but wonder, what if....

What if....


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who needs people anyway?

It seems to me that almost everything new these days is designed to keep us from actually interacting with other humans in person. Every new bit of technology makes it more convenient to just stay away from any kind of interpersonal interactions.

At the rate we are going, I think we are less than a decade away from near total isolation.

We can shop from home for everything but groceries, and some people even do that. We text so that we don’t even have to move up to the intimacy of a phone call (meant to be ironic). We can download our music and our books so that we don’t have to go to the store to purchase them. It’s all digital. Who needs actual friends when you can have so many Facebook friends with no more responsibility than to occasionally “like” the things they type?

And that’s not all.

We’ve got MySpace, Twitter, Tumblr, and who knows how many other social networks. Most companies are now offering more flexibility to work remotely, so we can certainly cut back on our interactions there and most of our business is conducted via email now anyway. Why go to the concert when you can just watch them live on youtube? Gotta avoid those crowds after all. It seems that pretty soon the only people interacting in person will be homeless people.

I’m not a nut. Not entirely.

I’m not a believer that our computers will eat us (although they probably will) and I don’t think we’ll end up in a “Surrogates” type of situation (though I believe most people would go for it). I am concerned though about where we are headed as humans.

Combine the technology with the fear of letting your children leave your sight, and the next generation coming up is only interacting during school hours for the most part. And do we really need to have school in person? Those teachers cost a lot of money. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just do a computer based (video style) educational system? Kids can just learn at home with no parental responsibility to do the teaching.

Texas is safe from complete isolation because our West Texas towns would go vigilante on the world if they didn’t have their Friday night football games.

Just some thoughts. Thought I’d post them on here. More convenient than sharing in person. Eh?