Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Outer Ouroboros

Patton Oswalt, on Geek Culture eating its own tail.

Rob

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Snatched from the Time Vortex

A couple of weeks ago, Craig Ferguson devoted his entire Late Late Show to Doctor Who -- to the point of doing one of his "cold open" dance numbers at the top of the show to lyrics the show put together for the Doctor Who theme.

And then, at much later than the last minute, found out that they didn't actually have the music rights to broadcast the theme. They had performed it for the studio audience, but couldn't broadcast it. So the group of them just stood there in their odd costumes and talked about the cold open, and why they couldn't do it.

But thanks to the awesome power of the Internet (and at least one person -- probably more -- on Craig's staff wanting this to see the light of day), we can see the Lost Craig Ferguson Doctor Who Tribute. And for fans of CraigyFerg, all your favorites appear.

And then some. Enjoy!



Rob

Sunday, November 28, 2010

With Nets of Wonder

Not everything gets preserved. You won't hear a song like Bob Lind's "Elusive Butterfly" in a movie about the Sixties... but it was there, lazing wistfully in the radio speakers in the months before the Summer of Love.




It's a song that didn't get enshrined in our collective pop culture memory, and yet somehow it persists. I heard it on an oldies radio station today, and it blew my mind. Across my dream, with nets of wonder, I chase the bright, elusive butterfly of love. 

Even more elusive? The butterfly of subtlety. Some things do not age well.

Rob

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Look! Up in the Sky!


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Rob

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some Sad News This Morning

My godmother passed away this morning. She'd been sick for a little while, or rather, sick for probably a long while and mercifully only felt its effects in the last couple months. Death is where we find out that things can be better than the alternative and still suck by any measure.

Anyway, late in the 1960s my parents chose their friends Doris and Bob to be my godparents, and they couldn't have chosen better. Aunt Doris was smart -- so smart -- and loved literature, and loved to read. She was outspoken and sardonic, and always knew which drum she was dancing to. Uncle Bob has always been a man of good humor and warmth (and impeccable facial hair), more softspoken than Doris but always knowing just how to get her ear. A great couple, who have raised three incredible daughters.

Between my parents and Aunt Doris & Uncle Bob, I couldn't have asked for better examples of how to be a grown-up.

Rest in peace, Aunt Doris. We miss you.

Rob

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Last Two Weeks In Weight

Two weeks ago I stopped by for a meeting at my cult, and learned that after my 4 pound drop the week before, I'd loaded up 2.6 pounds back. Of course, I'd gone for barbecue for lunch that day, so I knew there'd be some consequences. But 2.6 pounds seemed like an awful lot. To help you visualize, it's like this hatchet.


Anyway, the number depressed me.And I can't say I had a particularly diligent week because of it.

But this week, there was no barbecue for lunch. (Actually, there was just a late breakfast, no lunch at all.) I didn't do any outrageous cheating, and, I think, it was well within my bonus point limit. And it was also over and done with by Saturday, giving me a few days to get back on track before the weekend. And the result?

4 more pounds, baby! That's a net loss of 1.4 pounds over the past two weeks, and 7.2 pounds, total. This calls for a button accordion solo. (This one sells for more than $1,700!)



So long story short, here's my continuing progress on the treasure trail to trim. (Okay, that sounds wrong.)

Rob

Friday, November 12, 2010

But It's Just So Hard to Care, Every Time I Do That Thing I Do

A couple weeks have gone by, and have I done the thing I do about which you do not care? Oh yes, my friend. Twice.


A look at DC's digital releases for November 3 and the deluge of November 10.

Rob

Friday, November 05, 2010

A Big Week for Getting Smaller

When I weighed in on Tuesday, I was feeling pretty confident, and rightfully so. Turns out I had lost 4 pounds – the same weight as this kid's bass.


So that brings me nearly 6 pounds into my 42 by 42 project, which is might good progress. Having been down this road before, I know I’m unlikely to see this kind of dramatic loss again. But this week really showed me what a difference a day makes. Last week I was just as careful as this week, with one exception – a party where I ate a bunch of little meatball sandwiches, drank a lot of beer (and some rum) and had plenty of chocolate peanut butter monster eyeballs and pannacotta brain in cranberry sauce. Plus chips and dip, and some candy, mostly Nerds and SweetTarts. A bad, bad day for getting things done metabolically – though a terrific night, overall.

But it’s a good reminder that I can’t just step off this thing if I’m at a party.

It was a good week for the other aspects of the plan, too. Only two meals with beef this week, and (I think) only one with pork. Plus, we went to the Indian restaurant near us and each ordered a vegetarian dish, and with the leftovers, that made two meatless meals for the week. And they were delicious, if a little too similar in look so that we kept mixing up which was which.

Anyway, here’s my progress so far, as the lightning bolt lurches closer to the treasure chest.





Rob

Friday, October 29, 2010

To the Left!

I just typed "left-hand side" into a document and thought of this song. I'd say it holds up better than 90 percent of everything else that was on the radio in 1982.




Rob

Even the Ghosts and Ghoulies Don't Care


...about that thing I do, which I did once again. My weekly look at DC's digital releases is here once again.

Rob

Thursday, October 28, 2010

All gut, no brains.

Didn't take me long to fall off the wagon. This week's meeting (on Tuesday) showed I was up 0.6 pounds, or as much as the weight of this little contraption.


My problem was definitely all that I drank and ate during Jay & Nicole's Zombie party. In retrospect, I shouldn't have gone there without eating anything first. Big mistake, which I paid for in meatball sandwiches.

Plus, rum and beer. And candy and brains.

On the plus side, the bunch of us had a great time, killed plenty of zombie & played zombie tag.

Anyway, here's the ticker. Only took me 20 minutes to remember the PIN number to let me update this thing.





Rob

Saturday, October 23, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, P.U, Fish!

Last weekend, our brother-in-law gave us some delicious bluefish fillets that he caught. (Well, when he caught the fish, the fillets were attached.) Anyway, we cooked 'em, et 'em, reheated 'em and et 'em agin. And now, well... the microwave smells like bluefish. Any ideas on what I can do so I don't smell bluefish every time I reheat coffee?

Otherwise, well...



Rob

Friday, October 22, 2010

Panel of the Week

I've got a scanner, and I'm not afraid to use it. Well, maybe a little afraid, but only because it's so testy.

Anyway, I looked at this panel, and thought only one thing:


IGNORE ME!!!!

Rob
(From DC Legacies #6, by Len Wein, Jerry Ordway and George Perez)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oooh, Witchy Woman

Elvira has an important message for you. Especially if you're a voter in Delaware.



Elvira's Movie Macabre is showing at 2am on Fridays and 1am on Sundays on WPIX in New York and WPHL in Philly... more local listings are here. (Pdf download.)

Rob

Drop Gun

Crooked cops know to always carry a gun to drop, in case you have to justify a shooting. In my case, I dropped this awesome air rifle, weighing 2.4 pounds.

Which gets me off to a good start on my 42 by 42 campaign. All weeks won't be this easy, I know... but I'm glad this one was.




Rob

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Week One

Before the weigh-in, I figured I’d write a few paragraphs about how this first week has gone.

Exercise has been (almost) nil, but that will change. I managed to ride my bike to the coffee shop one day – with the proper amount of air in my tires, for once! Which meant they were round even when I got on the bike -- which is an essential shape for locomotion. Kathy won a bicycle pump at a raffle a couple weeks ago, when she got back from her 30 mile ride. The pump had a pressure gauge on it, so I was able to see that my tires, rated for 45-65 pounds of pressure, had about 15-20. I knew they were leaky, and was going to pump them anyway, but was able to pump much more air into them with confidence, being able to read the number on the gauge. Plus, it’s considerably taller, so it’s easier to get more air into the tires and I don’t have to bend as far. Because there’s nothing I like so much as getting on a bike when my spine feels like a question mark.

On staying on points, I did pretty well. I ate well, but cut most snacks out of my repertoire, and when I did snack, it was on an apple or yogurt. Sunday was a 70th birthday party for my mother-in-law (hi Mom!), and I went a little overboard on all the delicious food there (mmm… deep-fried turkey), but I had the bonus points to spare, and the day wasn’t a total disaster.

As for limiting pork & beef, I’ve had no beef this week, and the only pig I’ve had has been some lunchmeats at the party. I’ve consciously made choices for chicken or fish several times this week when I normally would have had pork. I’ve also made sure there’s been some low-calorie Tom Yum soup with shrimp around for me to reheat.

So tonight, we’ll see what the week has wrought. Assuming the Phillies game is over by the time my cult meeting starts. Otherwise, weigh-in might wait until tomorrow afternoon.

Rob

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today's the First Day of the End of My Life

...and considering I'm not done living it yet, that's problematic.

So, in honor of my 41st birthday last week, I've begun a "42 by 42" plan -- that is, I'm going to try to lose 42 pounds by the time I turn 42, approximately 360 days from now. Because while I'm not sick, I'm sure not living healthy. And I'd like to make the end of my life last for a long time, culminating in a brief, hilarious fall off a cliff into a tank of robot piranha, which will have been invented (and perfected) by then.

Essentially, I'll be doing a modified Weight Watchers plan (hereafter referred to as "my cult"), with a few other limits I'm imposing on myself, such as the number of times I can eat beef and pork in a give week (I'm thinking two each), and my intention to have at least one vegetarian dinner a week... without using pizza as a crutch too often, since that defeats the purpose.

I weighted in last night at 237.2 pounds (with clothes and all, but damn!), so it means I need to hit 195.2 pounds by October next.

Luckily, I just ate a delicious bowl of seaweed, so I think I'm ready.

Rob

Thursday, October 07, 2010

No Soup For You!

Look, I'm a white guy, raised Catholic, so I just don't fit into a whole lot of minority groups. I don't get to see firsthand how people of different ethnicity, religions, genders or orientations are treated by society as a whole. (That's called privilege, everybody -- it's the luxury of ignoring a whole lot of -isms whenever I want to.)

But the fact is, you can't ignore it all, and of course, you shouldn't. And sometimes it's too blatant to ignore, such as when conservative bloggers and cracker-ass teabaggers get in a huff about this country acting like the pluralistic country it is. And so, as Campbell's has introduced a Halal line of soups, a Facebook hate group called Boycott Campbell Soup has emerged for these dumbasses to express their displeasure. Which is their entirely American right to voice their entirely un-American opinion.

But remember all those smoke-screens about "respect for the dead" and "hallowed ground" that were used to obfuscate the protests against the so-called Ground Zero so-called mosque? None of that is in play here. It's just a line of soup intended to feed some people who would like to eat soup. That's it. But it's all of a piece with the racist protests of that construction project: Just a bunch of people who found a reason to hate another bunch of people they never met. For wanting to eat the same brand of soup that they want to eat, which they didn't give a moment's thought to for years. For being different from them. For existing.

They're called bigots, boys and girls. They're called racists. And I am so, so, so relieved that when I clicked onto that Facebook hate page, it didn't tell me we had any "mutual friends."

A favorite phrase of these assholes is "America: Love it or leave it." But forget it, Jake, this is Crackerville, and love in this context is the kind of love you see on COPS: some idiot in an undershirt beating his wife until she gets fed up, but who's then cowed into submission when the authorities come to take her man away. That's what love of country is to these people: Do what I want or I'll hit you. It's all about meting out punishment to those who don't comply. Boycotts against companies that dare to serve another client base. Hate campaigns against public servants who stand up for equal protection under the law. It all the amounts to the same thing: some damn thug in a teeshirt, holding up his Bible Belt, threatening to swing.

Rob

P.S. In the time it took me to write this post, 24 more hateful shitheads joined the Facebook hate group.

One Fine Saturday

Well, I played hooky from my niece’s first birthday party this weekend, and my nephew’s third. With fourteen (soon to be fifteen) nieces and nephews, it’s inevitable that sooner or later I’m going to fall short on the uncling duties every now and then. On the other hand, I had the best excuse ever: boobies.

Yes, it was once again time for the New York Burlesque Festival, and like last year, we went to the Saturday Night Extravaganza at BB King’s. More on that in a moment.

We spent the first part of the day at Manhattan Theatre Source, enjoying the first week of the Estrogenius festival, which has grown into a sprawling, five-week celebration of women-produced, women-centric theater. (That isn’t to say that there are no men involved; there are, at every level. But there are women central to every short play; the Bechdel Rule wins the day here.)

(Incidentally, this seems to be a habit for us. Each year, before we go the the NYBF -- which, while a woman-centric art form, has at its core an admitted amount of objectifying -- we've gone to see other woman-powered art. Last year was a collection of short films by Chick Strand at the New York Film Festival.)

This week’s plays were produced by TheatreSource’s executive director (and my good friend and first—albeit fictional—wife) Jen Thatcher. Five short plays that ranged from two older women rather testily discussing the college dean that bound them together to a zombie attack in the land of fairytales. Quite a range, and every play in the show really hit the mark. For the fifth week of the festival, one show from each of the four weeks will get an encore, as determined by audience demand. Me, well… as much as I loved Olivia Rorick’s performance in Katherine Clark Gray’s “Pussycat,” I’m hoping for more zombies. (That play, by the way, was called “Snow White Zombie,” written by Brenton Lengel, directed by Lita Tremblay.) Estrogenius continues through October 30.

Then, after a stop for crepes, we were off to the Burlesque Festival, meeting our friends Mike and Maria in the line outside of B.B. King’s. And oh, what a show! There was a little something for everybody, as the show began with Mimi First dressed like a cross between Zatanna and a magician’s rabbit, stepping (one leg at a time) out of a giant top hat. There were classic peels, as done by Miss Indigo Blue and Adora Derriere (who used sound effects to great advantage, following the advice of animal sounds telling her to remove fur, feathers, and eventually, a whalebone corset). There were sillier moments—such as Delilah’s attempt to climb into a giant pint glass of PBR, but her tight dress was simply too constricting to get the job done properly, Dr. Lucky’s portrayal of Marie Antoillette, or when the Evil Hate Monkey, well… peeled his banana. There was room for a little geekout: witness Lux La Croix’s energetic robot dance, or Gigi La Femme’s transformation from Episode IV’s diaphanous Princess Leia to the Leia costume Jabba prefers. And there were a few social statements as well: Ms Tickle made a thought-provoking transformation from blow-up doll to a Live Nude Girl, still trapped in the same station; later, Tigger took on the persona of a merman in the oil-choked Gulf of Mexico to a lounge version of “Black Hole Sun.”

As Lyle Lovett sings, there’s more I remember, and more I could mention —and hell, let me tip my hat to the amazing Miss Saturn, who managed to disrobe whilst twirling hula hoops!—but description to a certain extent diminishes these acts. These were amazing, eye-popping performances that pasted a smile of disbelief on my face and kept it there all night.

And there’s only one word for that, as emcee Murray Hill well knows: Showbiz!

Rob

Here's a Quarter, Call Someone Who Cares about This Thing I Do


I've got a new installment of my DC Digital column over on the Captain Comics board. Now with more justice!

Rob

Monday, October 04, 2010

Now Read This

Just read Matt Taibbi's most recent article on the Rand Paul and the Tea Party in Rolling Stone. Taibbi's a terrific writer, and he takes square aim at this frustrated, thinks-they're-disenfranchised cult of personality. Here's an excerpt:

It would be inaccurate to say the Tea Partiers are racists. What they are, in truth, are narcissists. They're completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country. I'm an ordinary middle-aged guy who pays taxes and lives in the suburbs with his wife and dog — and I'm a radical communist? I don't love my country? I'm a redcoat? Fuck you! These are the kinds of thoughts that go through your head as you listen to Tea Partiers expound at awesome length upon their cultural victimhood, surrounded as they are by America-haters like you and me or, in the case of foreign-born president Barack Obama, people who are literally not Americans in the way they are.


It's not like the Tea Partiers hate black people. It's just that they're shockingly willing to believe the appalling horseshit fantasy about how white people in the age of Obama are some kind of oppressed minority. That may not be racism, but it is incredibly, earth-shatteringly stupid.

Go read the whole thing.

Rob

Sunday, October 03, 2010

This Week's Best Thing Ever

Despite the unfortunate typo in its name, KarmaSheetra's Kama Sutra-on-a-sheet looks like the world's best Twister game.



Then again, maybe your karma is that you'll get laid Friday night. In which case, the world thanks you for your good deeds.

Rob

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I stayed up 'til four doing that thing you don't care about.

Midnight oil? Burnt.


Incidentally, if you want to read the comic the movie Red is based on, the whole thing's online for six bucks.

Rob

Heilvetica.

You don't see this every day. Hipster Hitler is wronger than Eva Braun in a hoodie.

Here's one of my favorites. And another.
Rob

Monday, September 27, 2010

Words That Make Me Laugh, Part 1

"Pigeonholed"

I just picture that bird flapping and flapping, trying to stay at the right height...

Rob

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hell Yes.



Translated or not, I will see this masterpiece.

Rob

I Went Back To the Dawn of Time to Do the Thing You Care Not a Whit About


Seriously. Dawn o' Time. It was either this, or smother Hitler in his crib. And I choked under the pressure.

Rob

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Emmett and Fiona and Gus

L'il Fiona in the hammock.
As I write this, a cute little ferret named Fiona is playing with my foot. She’s a tiny, adorable little thing, sometimes sleepy, sometimes curious, sometimes terrified of a plastic cheerleader pom pom. She’s been in the house for three days, and I’m already crazy about her.

Emmett, a big moose of a ferret, won me over even more quickly. A climber, he’s managed to be on every horizontal surface of our family room, and pretty much every vertical one as well. I’m a little surprised he hasn’t tried to sell me exclusive photos of Spider-Man. It’s been a while since I haven’t been sure on which plane to look for a ferret; Emmett surprises me, wherever he goes.

These are both beautiful, amazing, friendly ferrets. We’re lucky to have them.

I worry, though. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t worry. It’s been three days now, and our original ferret, Gus, is still wary of them. For now, they’ve been sleeping separately, the new guys in one cage and Gus in the other. We let them out together, or sometimes Gus on his own, so hopefully he can maintain his sense of mastery of the house.They've swapped cages, voluntarily. They're growing accustomed to each other's smells.

Emmett, perched for trouble.
But when they’re out together… I don’t know what I was expecting. I guess I was hoping it would be one big ferret party, with Emmett and Fi helping Gus get over his apparent loneliness at the loss of She-Devil. But what’s been happening so far — and it’s only been three days — has been something different.

Emmett has almost consistently been a gentleman around Gus. He’s much bigger, younger and stronger, but he doesn’t pounce on him, doesn’t play any overt domination games. And Gus doesn’t immediately go into intimidated mode, either. He’ll hang out at the food bowl, looking like he’s trying to ignore Emmett. Then they’ll walk around together for a little bit, with Emmett essentially shadowing Gus, and Gus looking like he’s walking away while trying to stay cool about it. I feel like I’m reading too much into their behavior, but that’s the vibe I get. Today, Emmett did, briefly, pounce on Gus a little, but I pulled him off and scruffed him and told him “No,” and then he let Gus alone until he was done eating. Then, afterward, they did the follow routine once around the room, and Gus retreated into his cube (a hanging cube-shaped hammock in one of the cages). Emmett walked up the ramp and looked inside – didn’t even poke his head in – twice, but Gus didn’t budge.

Fiona, on the other hand, might be a little afraid of Gus. When Gus looks in on her, she’s likely to squeak and hiss, which scares him off. I’m really hoping this gets better. He’s definitely interested in meeting her, but she rebuffs him – sometimes immediately, or sometimes after they share a bite next to each other at the food and water bowls.

Gus & Fiona on an awkward dinner date.
I’ve never been in this situation before, and neither has Kathy. We’ve never had to worry what our current pets will think of the new pets. We’ve never had to introduce them to each other, or anything like that. I really want to provide a good home for Fiona and Emmett – these are awesome, brave, curious animals – but the point of bringing them home was to help renew Gus’s golden years, not to stress him out more. We were afraid he was getting too bored on his own, but he might prefer being bored. As polite as they are — and they really are — they might be a little much for our little guy.

So I’m conflicted. We’ve got new pets, and they’re perfect, entertaining goofballs! I want to be thrilled. And instead, I’ve got this unsettled, wait-and-see feeling. Kathy and I might be ready for more ferrets, but Gus has to be ready, too.

We’ll see.

Rob

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Zoinks! It's a Celebrity Memoir!

Years ago, in college (and occasionally since), my friends and I would play a game called Zoinks. The rules were simple: As a reference to that season of Scooby Doo where every episode had a guest star, we'd just say "Zoinks!" followed by the name of someone inappropriate or odd for the gang to team up with. As in, "Zoinks, it's Walter Cronkite!" or "Zoinks! It's Rush!"

Last night on Twitter, I got the same feeling, participating in the thread #fakecelebmemoirs. Again, the rules are simple: Everyone just throws out their ideas for fake celebrity memoir titles, the more awkward and strained the pun, the better. And wham! Suddenly it's 3:30 in the morning.

So in order to think my late late evening wasn't completely ill-spent, here are a few favorites that I came up with:

"Devito, Devidi, Devici" #fakecelebmemoirs

"A Longoria Day's Journey Into Night" #fakecelebmemoirs

"Earnest Borgnine" #fakecelebmemoirs

"And Ringo Is His Name-o" #fakecelebmemoirs

"Who Is Alex Trebek?" #fakecelebmemoirs

"Wheel-ing in the Years: Pat Sajak Remembers" #fakecelebmemoirs

"Olmos, Famous" #fakecelebmemoirs   

"Seeing John Malkovich Being John Malkovich," by Mrs. John Malkovich #fakecelebmemoirs

"Mullet Over: The Billy Ray Cyrus Story" #fakecelebmemoirs

and 

"I Taught You To Read, So Buy My Damn Book," by LeVar Burton #fakecelebmemoirs

And here are a few of my favorites that other people came up with.

Rob 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mixed Emotions

Watching Republican primaries is tough. Strategy-wise, I'm generally rooting for the least electable person to win -- in tonight's Delaware Senate race, that'd be Christine "You'll Go Blind" O'Donnell, who's much less likely to beat Dem Chris Coons than Delaware fixture Mike Castle (who was governor when I lived there).But if she wins, the country runs the risk of having Crazy Abstinence Lady making decisions for people who live in the real world. So on the whole, I'm hoping Castle wins. Because not only would it be best if O'Donnell wasn't in the senate, but Castle strikes me as the sort of reasonable, non-lockstep Republican that the GOP will need to keep their ship from crashing into Crazy Reef. So I'm crossing my fingers for anti-strategy tonight. Go, Castle.

Rob

Friday, September 10, 2010

He Was Five Foot Six, and Fulla Mussels

So the other day, I finally had some frozen mussels for lunch that I'd bought at a discount from the supermarket a while back. By a while back, I mean a long while back. I can't say precisely when I bought them, but the "best before" date on the package was May, 2009, so it's entirely possible that I bought them during the Bush Administration.

But anyway, they were frozen, so I decided to give them a shot.

Upon hearing that I had expired mussels in my system, Kathy just shook her head, sadly. She gave me a look like I was a little kid who doesn't know how the world works.

"Honey... the freezer isn't a time machine," she said. "Things still.... happen... to food in there. It doesn't stop time."

"Oh yeah?" I said. Tell that to Captain America!"

"But--"

"Tell it to Encino Man!"

She rolled her eyes, like I was being unreasonable. "They're fictional."

"Tell it to Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer!" And with that, I rested my case.

Turns out, everything's been peachy since then, stomach-wise. I've suffered no ill efects whatsoever, eating those mussels in 2010. But I wonder... could that be the true end of the story? Or am I throwing up inexplicably, sometime back in 2008?

Rob

Thursday, September 09, 2010

This Just In.

Terrorist wins.

Edited to add: Oops. Jumped the gun here, apparently. The tweets/stories about this have been taking that dirtbag's word for it.

Rob

This Thing I Do That You Will Have No Interest In

Over at the Captain Comics site, I've been blogging once a week for the past two months about DC Comics' digital releases through Comixology. It's largely a game of pattern recognition -- DC launched its digital initiative a couple of months ago, and I've decided that there might be something to learn by keeping track of what books it releases, when, and with what frequency. Primarily it's an exercise in bookkeeping. Most people that read this blog who'd be interested in such things probably know that already.But there are a handful of you -- hey Greg! hey Geoff! hey Rob! -- who might not.

So here's a link to the latest column, and here's a link to the lot of 'em. And while you're over there, consider stopping by the boards, too -- it's really the friendliest comics site around.

Rob

The Secret Sound of Those Buildings Coming Down

What kind of sick creep remembers the Sept. 11 attacks, and thinks, "ch-CHING!"? Oh, right. These two idiots, making money hand over ignorant fist.

Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are appearing together in Anchorage, Alaska Saturday to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and tickets don't come cheap: The Ticketmaster page for the event lists regular adult tickets at between $73 and $130 and tickets plus a "meet & greet" at $225.

There's a "wet section" and a "dry section," separating those who want to drink from those who don't. It's like the mullet of remembrance festivals: Mourning in the front, party in the back!

I can't help but think, on their visits to Ground Zero, these two look at all those vendors selling WTC keychains and other schlock, and they think, "Pikers."

Rob

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I Dreamed Last Night I Went Back In Time

Back to high school, on closing night of Brighton Beach Memoirs. I got there just as I was delivering Eugene's last monologue.

Then I hung out backstage for a while. No one was really asking who I was, but evenutally I trew all the rules of time travel out the window, and just told people: I'm a time traveler. I'm Rob, grown up.

None of the kids backstage believed me. It was only the crew back there -- I think the actors (including myself) were taking their curtain call. And I never did get to have a conversation with myself before I was called back to the future.

Time travelers, be good to your younger selves. Don't interfere.

Rob

Friday, September 03, 2010

The 8 Ball Knows

At Folk Fest, there's a lot of hanging around at night, wandering through camp, or sitting around a campfire. And since you're on a field full of strangers (or best friends you don't know yet), well, it's a good idea to have an icebreaker. Hence: The Magic 8-Ball.

Jay started bringing a Magic 8-Ball to the campsite a few years ago, and we've used it to start conversations, settle disputes, and find our way around the camp so we can encounter secret bars(!). The 8-Ball is invaluable. Mostly, we ask people if they have questions for the 8-Ball. We hear lots of questions, dish out lots of billiard-style wisdom, and everybody's happy -- although more often than not, the answer hedges a bit, such as "Signs point to Yes" or "Outcome hazy. Ask again later."

We prefer that they ask the question aloud, but if they don't, we just assume the question is about whether they'll finish the night with a little naked wrasslin'.

We're always right about this, by the way. It's the only thing people are shy about -- usually because their prospective wrassle-mate is standing right next to them.


(Oh, wait - one last order of business. Mom, this might be a good time to stop reading. Just pretend I end this story with something you'll find really funny.)

But I just related this story to a friend in an e-mail, and I thought I'd share it with you, too. Because the World Must Know.

Sometimes they're not shy. A woman came up to our campsite, shook the 8-Ball and asked, "Will I get head tonight?"

The Magic 8-Ball for once did not equivocate. "YES." That's it. No hedging, no weaseling -- just Yes. She was going to get the headiest head in the camp.

She was very pleased. "That's right," she agreed, making a circular scrubbing motion around her midsection before she walked off: "It's 'cause I baby-wipe that shit!"

Ah, camping! Hope the 8-Ball got that one right, since she put in the effort.

Rob

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fest Minus 8 Hours

Seven and a half, actually. I'll spend a couple of them sleeping, a couple more driving, and then a good chunk of time hauling a ridiculous amount of camping gear out of my car. And then: Bliss.

So here's the incomparable Chris Smither, an amazing songwriter and guitarist, to keep you company while I'm gone. He's singling No Love Today... and ths weekend, he'll be singing at Fest.


"No Love Today" by Chris Smither from Tom Weber on Vimeo.


Wish you were here.

Rob

Monday, August 16, 2010

Walking with Superman

So there's this year-long storyline in Superman in which our hero decides to take a walk across the breadth of America. He doesn't explain his motivations for this, though it seems to be precipitated by a woman slapping his face because while he was in outer space, her husband died of cancer, which she believes he could have cured somehow. Superman was off in space at the time, trying to keep 10,000 other Kryptonians from conquering Earth (under which rule, presumably, her husband still would have died). But the details don't matter too much to me (though the notion that this is actually happening as a reaction to Superman witnessing his own people wiped out a second time is intriguing). In new writer J. Michael Straczynski's first story, Superman gets slapped, Superman goes walking. And -- I hoped -- we would get a year's worth of done-in-one stories where Superman would come into a city, identify and solve a problem, and then walk on. He's Shane, he's The Lone Ranger, he's Superman.

And these problems, I expected, wouldn't be entirely super-villain oriented. In walking on Earth, Superman would be encountering the recession, corporate greed, pollution, maybe the effects of global warming, who knows? It'd be a return of the Social Justice Superman from the Golden Age. The guy who kept landlords from raising their rents and evicting goodhearted people. The guy who puts the heat on corrupt senators. This guy (click to enlarge and read):

"You can announce that henceforth my mine will be the safest in the country"
 And to a certain extent, I was right. In the most recent issue, #702, Superman walks through Detroit. He encounters tons of people who are out of work, but he also meets up with some technologically advanced aliens living incognito in one of the city's neighborhoods. They fight, they talk, and Superman wonders whether to evict them from Earth or not. (They've fled a tyrannical government, and argue that their situation was no more tenable than an exploding planet.) Basically, he tells them they should be doing something for the community.

Later on, Superman brings them a guy who's sick and obviously dying, and they use their technology to heal him. And then Superman has an idea, and this happens (click to enlarge and read):

"It is expected that as many people as were fired during the automobile shutdowns will be rehired to handle the wave of equipment slated to be produced by these factories."
Immediately. Detroit's unemployment problems are solved!

Now, this is definitely over-simplifying real-world issues. I got to the point where the aliens set up a medical research firm and gave everyone jobs, and I thought "Oh, come on!" But then I realized something:

That's exactly how something like this would have been handled in the Golden Age. Find a problem, find a solution, and Outta Here! (I mean, look at how that Golden Age mine-safety story was wrapped up. In one panel!)

And while that isn't necessarily satisfying to today's readers (it wasn't initially satisfying to me), I think it's an interesting choice for JMS to make, particularly because it goes against the grain. And I have to consider -- do I really want five issues with pages devoted to the aliens putting this company together? There's something to be said for getting it done and capping it off with a happy (though facile) ending.

When this storyline started, my biggest hope for it was that it would give us done-in-one stories of the "Social Justice" Superman of the Golden Age. And in this issue, that's exactly what we got.

So now that I've seen it, I've got to decide... is that really what I wanted?

I'm not sure. It's still not entirely satisfying to me, but I have to admit it's something of a catharsis to see someone essentially punch unemployment in the face.

Rob

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Pretty Little Devil

Climb, She-She, climb!
We’re on vacation, so I don’t have any photos to share right now. But I wanted to write a little about She-Devil, our ferret who we lost a couple days ago.

She was a pretty little sable ferret, who we called “the beautiful lady.” (Or climby-girl, because of her high-altitude exploits. Or slinky-girl, because of the way she'd positively ooze herself out of the ferret bed, like one of Dali's melted clocks.) We got her several years ago, along with Gus, Blink and the Dude, from neighbors of friends, who found them too much to handle. And they were a handful, to be sure.

I always had trouble telling Blink apart from She-Devil. They were both sables, but Blink was a little smaller and lighter than She, and had a different coloration on her nose. They were so similar, in fact, that after Blink passed away, I sometimes imagined that we’d gotten the IDs wrong, and thought that Blink was adjusting to her new life getting called She-Devil.

She-Devil and me
But no, She-Devil was all she-devil -- in causing trouble, at least, though not in temperament. She regularly climbed up the outside of her cage, King Kong style, and then would peer over the gate that sealed off the family room, and drop the two and a half feet into the kitchen when we weren’t looking. Then, she could explore. She loved to explore, walking around not only the first floor, but climbing the stairs to the second floor so she could sneak around the office and our bedroom as well.

In later years, she gradually lost her sight completely. This did not deter her in the least. She’d climb, look around the corner, and drop into the dark, trusting that the kitchen floor would catch her. The only concession to her blindness was that, when she would leave her cage, she would walk the perimeter of our family room to make sure everything was where she expected it to be.

The Fab Four, piled behind a speaker in early days
I always worried about She-Devil. Part of that was that she was the oldest of our ferrets, and I think part had to do with the way Blink passed away. Blink got really sick, really quickly. One night, we noticed she wasn’t well, and resolved to take her to the vet the next morning. When I woke up to check on her, she was already beyond any help. There was nothing we could do.

She-Devil somehow spared us that. There was no feeling of helplessness with her; we were on vacation, but even our niece, who was ferret sitting for us, says that she just walked into her room to check on them, and She-Devil didn’t move. No prolonged illness; she just stopped.

She-Devil and Gus
Or that’s what it seems like to us, from the outside. Earlier in the year, She-Devil had a growth on the side of her face. The doctor said it wasn’t any trouble unless it interfered with her eating, but he could remove it if we liked. We’d worried about invasive surgery, so we didn’t opt to remove it until it grew to be about the size of a raspberry – it was like she was growing a second head. A couple of months ago, we removed it, and then a few weeks ago her stitches fell out. She was growing fur back in the places on her neck the doctor had needed to shave for surgery. For the first time in months, she looked truly healthy.

And somehow, the whole episode let me finally let go of the worry I’d always harbored. She seemed happy and well at last, and that’s how I’ll remember her. A dedicated escape artist, and a clever, brave girl who would kiss me on the nose a little almost every day.

We’ll miss you, She-She.

Rob

UPDATE: As you can see, I've added some photos of She-Devil and her friends. Here are also a couple links to some of her greatest hits.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sometimes I work.

I'm editing some professional listings, and there's one that begins:

[NAME WITHHELD] is a professional photographer who specializes in weddings, events and headshots. 

But in my head it reads:

[NAME WITHHELD] is a professional assassin who specializes in weddings, events and headshots.

So far, though,I haven't had to spruce up the listings of any professional killers. Maybe if I were working for Craigslist...

Rob

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bears do it, bees do it.

Celebrate National Watermelon Month, that is.

Also, apparently, listen to Nirvana.

Anyway, more pictures of adorable killing machines eating helpless watermelons here.

Rob

Monday, July 19, 2010

For My Baby

Some behind the scenes footage of The Walking Dead, coming in October on AMC.



Gonna be jaw-dropping. Possibly literally.

Rob

Sunday, July 18, 2010

2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams

Last night, Kathy & I went to a screening of the east coast premiere of Tim Sullivan's horror-comedy 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams. Tim's a Metuchen guy, and he came back to him hometown (and the Forum Theatre) to debut his most recent gorefest.

And a festival it is: The town of Pleasant Valley, Georgia, holds an annual "Guts 'n' Glory Jamboree" in which northerners are duped into their little town and are murdered and eaten as payback for the slaughter of 2001 town residents during the Civil War. (Oops, sorry, the War Between the States. Please don't eat me, cannibal Confederates.) But this year, when the sheriff decides not to allow the Jamboree to continue, the band of creepy hicks and inbreds (led by The Devil's Regects' Bill Moseley and Lin Shaye from There's Something About Mary, who plays the deliciously overt-the-top Granny) decides to take its slaughtershow on the road. Which is how they encounter the cast and crew of  Road Rascals, a thinly veiled mockup of Paris Hilton & Nicole Ritchie's The Simple Life, stuck in Iowa with two flat tires.

After circling the crew of Yankees (though as one guy points out, they're really from California) like sharks for a while, the Maniacs start killing them one by one, and then, eventually, in packs. I like a horror movie with a large cast -- there's plenty of people that can die, instead of killing the same poor schlubs over and over.

One thing about this movie: Leave any sense of racial and gender sensitivity at the door. I mean, it's a horror movie, so human dignity really isn't on the agenda. Everyone here, Maniac and Hollywood creep alike, is a stereotype, or is treated as one by the Maniacs. Part of that is just the obviousness of the writing (horror isn't a genre that rewards subtlety), and part is because Sullivan clearly enjoys poking a finger where it hurts. Some of this is eye-rolling; other parts are quite a bit more unsettling. When a black man participates in a carnival-style lynching of a black woman -- not because she's black, but because she's a northerner, though when someone says "northerner," they're cautioned not to use the "N-word" -- you know that Sullivan is deliberately crossing as many lines as he can, just to see what he can get away with. And all the while, you're watching thinking "he's not really going to do this, is he? He can't do that!" And for a moment you think Sullivan has pulled away from it at the last minute, and you realize that the reprieve doesn't make it better. And then...

Look, I don't know what to think of this. Sullivan's clearly using racially charged imagery, but I don't think he's trying to do so in a racist manner. He's trying to provoke, though I don't know to what end. There doesn't seem much point to the scene other than one more stomach-churning set piece. I'm not sure what he's trying to say. I didn't enjoy the scene. But at the same time, I can't stop thinking about it. (Out of all the killings, it's also the least bloody; I get the sense that for all the glibness of its setup, Sullivan isn't treating this as a punchline.)

Anyway, enough of that. Suffice it to say that there are plenty of stereotypes on display here, and most of them get slaughtered -- though none in quite so historically ugly a fashion. And in general, if you like horror movies and lots of red squirting everywhere, if you're willing to overlook clumsy (intentionally clumsy, I think) stereotypes, and if you like girls taking their tops off (since that happens a lot, too), you'll possibly like this movie. But I don't think you'll like that scene. I doubt you're intended to.

Rob

Kayakin' with Mom

So down in Stone Harbor last week, Kathy & I scheduled a kayak trip around the wetlands. The house we were staying in was situated right on the bay -- we'd even set up some crab traps one morning -- and thought it would be great to have a little sunset tour.

That Thursday, riding our bikes back from the beach, Kathy took a spill on her bike. (Message to all those who've forgotten this since you were 12 -- don't ride a bike in flip-flops!) She scraped up her elbow pretty badly, and cut her knee, ankle and toe, as well. And took most of the force of the fall in her shoulder.

Since Kathy knew that she would not take it easy in the two-person kayak, we decided to cancel. Problem was, it was too late to cancel and get our money back, so we'd be out 80 bucks. So I asked my mom if she wanted to come out and join me. To my surprise, she said yes.

With Mom in front and me in the aft, we had a great time paddling the kayak all through the tour. (The tour was put on by the Wetlands Institute and Harbor Outfitters, by the way.) We paddled right past the dock behind our house, where the family was all waiting to see us. (Some of them were waiting fro us to come back, but we never passed the house again, instead making a big circle.)

The tour was a great time, and I highly recommend it. Somewhere around the halfway point, we pulld up the kayaks onto an embankment and took a short swim. The guides (Andrew and Erin, and I think maybe another Andrew?) told us all about the area, including how jetskis deplete the minnow population, and pointed out the various birds we saw -- a lot of laughing gulls, but some ospreys and egrets, too. They also showed us an edible plant ("full of potassium," they said) called glasswort that grows along the bay. was alike a thin finger made of grass, and it was crunchy and very salty -- not a surprise, considering it grows in bay water.

We traveled about six miles, all told, and ended the trip paddling into a beautiful sunset over the wetlands. And as much as I would have liked taking the trip with Kathy, I was really happy to spend those hours paddling around with my mom. I don't get to spend a lot of time, just me and her, and when we do spend time together, it's never doing anything -- it's generally just sitting and talking. So working together to propel a little plastic boat six miles? That was really something special.

Rob

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grrr.

Somehow I lost all the text to a long-ish post about (well, sort of about) Harvey Pekar, the great comics author who died yesterday. Hopefully I'll be able to recreate it, but in the meantime, here's a link to an interview from a few years ago, and Heidi MacDonald's rundown of the tributes and retrospectives.

Rob

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Back From Vacation

And a good time was had by all.

Seventeen of us in one house, and we managed to have fun and live together amicably, like the ginormous family we are. We're a good, friendly bunch, and every now and then we get together and prove it.

There was only one member of the household with whom I must admit I have irreconcilable differences. And that is a cable television network called Nick Jr.

Now, Nick Jr. certainly does the trick of keeping the kids occupied and, for a while, quiet. And I realize that there were probably moments where it saved the day, temper-wise. But man... when it was on the TV, what I'd give to hear a baritone voice. And how can they call the show Go, Diego, Go! when he's always around? Worse yet, he never eats any of the animals he finds. (Though there was a wonderful moment when Go, Diego Go! became a drinking game, with us all tipping our beers whenever he spoke a word or phrase in Spanish. Gracias, Diego.)

Anyway, upon our arrival home, Kathy & I realized that there could be only one antidote to a week of intermittent kid's TV: the last two episodes of Deadwood. Swearing, murder, drinking, swearing, betrayal, complex sentence structures, swearing, prostitution, gambling, drugs, and did I mention the fucking swearing? Oh, home. You know just what I need sometimes.

I've got some good stories of vacation, and I intend to tell them here. But tonight's for homecoming. 

Anyway, here's a little video demonstrating why it's best that we didn't bring any Deadwood DVDs to the shore with us.



Rob

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Gone Fishin'

Have a great Fourth! Back soon!

Rob

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Greendale

So I just finished Neil Young's Greendale, with script by Josh Dysart and art by the amazing Cliff Chiang, and... well, the art is by the amazing Cliff Chiang!

The art is gorgeous. Gorgeous! Here's a page:

See what I mean?

Problem is, the story never hits the ground for me. It's about Sun Green, a girl in a long line of the Green family where the women all seem to have some sort of nature-magic quirk about them, and then disappear. Reading it, all I could think was that I bet the album would have blown me away... particularly if I were hearing it during the middle of the Bush era. But either way, songs seem able to imply more than the lyrics might say -- we're invited to fill in the blanks with our own experience and details, where Greendale the comic fills those blanks in for us.

Now, I'm a big ol' lib, but the politics in this book just seemed simplistic to me, and never entirely... Idon't know, solid. Bush bad, war bad, drilling bad. More sloganeering and cheerleading than policy. They don't have much depth, and I guess I was hoping for a little more. Or maybe a little less politics altogether. The environmentalism is really at the heart of this book. It never really comes together for me, but taking it out would have gutted the book. But it feels too airy, somehow.

Aargh. At least the book is coherent, which is more than I can say for this post.

Anyway, when I was searching for the art I posted, I found this french website that posted material that an earlier artist, Sean Gordon Murphy, completed before Cliff Chiang replaced him (I don't know why). And I have to say, as much as I love (love!) Cliff's art, I think Murphy might have been a better choice. The people look a little cartoonier, a little less glossy. And with Murphy on art, I likely wouldn't have been interested enough to buy it (Chiang was the draw for me). But I think I would have managed to touch me a little more -- wrap me up in the story more than making me stop and look at every gorgeous page.

Any thoughts? About anything? 'Cause I'm all over the map.

Rob

Friday, June 25, 2010

#Tweetsfrommyweekaway

I spent a week without updating Twitter, or, really, this blog. So I just took five minutes and recapped the week on Twitter, and I see a second bird over here that I think I can nail with the same stone. THWAK!

  • This is the week where I start regretting my car's AC is broken.
  • Sea Bear vs. Grizzly Shark? I gotta go with Grizzly Shark.
  • Who knew sake could freeze? 
  • Five guys fires don't need ketchup, vinegar or anything. They are inherently perfect. 
  • The problem with the cliffhanger to Legion #2 is that it's the same cliffhanger as Legion #1. 
  • Flash 2 had the same problem. 
  • Damn, this is the best barbecued chicken I've ever made.

And, of course: 

Rob
 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Comings and Goings In Delaware County

For your viewing and learning pleasure, here's the Forbes chart of the 2008 migrations to and from Delaware County, Pennsylvania, that I couldn't figure out how to grab the other day. Courtesy of Scott Neely, Scooby-Doo artist extraordinare, who certainly knows his way around a graphic. Thanks, Scott!



Rob

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bat-Call-Of-Duty-4 Must Look AWESOME.

Okay, we know Batman is big on the Bat-bling. He pimps out his car, his motorcycle, his helicopter (a whirlybat!), his plane... when these things are comin' at ya, you know who's behind the wheel. It's all part of the "strike fear into the hears of criminals" motif he's got going. Ever since his parents died, this is the shit he lives for.

I understand. It's a big deal, and a guy's gotta have hobbies. But as I was looking through this month's Batman 700, I finally got around to looking at the four pages of Batcave schematics -- the sort of thing that bores me to tears, usually. And I noticed this inset picture, of the Bat-Computer.


It's shaped like a bat.

I love this. It's like, after all those other things, he just couldn't help himself. He just had to spring for the Bat-monitors. "I know know one will see it but me, Robin and Alfred, but... can't I just want something nice? Is that so wrong? I'm rich, I can afford it. A guy can only have so many batarangs, right? Besides, if it's not bat-shaped... I mean, no one will know, but I'll know. I just... I don't want some normal, square-shaped computer nagging me in the back of my head, throwing me off my game. No, I've gotta go with the bat-shape." Batman has become as obsessive-compulsive as Little Dot.


Now I'm dying to see what the Batcave toilets look like.

Rob

Hey! Where'd Everybody Go?

This is cool. Well, as long as you define "cool" as "an interesting way to present data," which is how we roll, here at Laughing at the Pieces. Forbes magazine has set up a site where you can click on any county in the U.S. (Here's one for Delaware County, Pa., where I grew up; the screencap of Orange County, Calif., below, is from Kevin Drum's post on it, because he's a pro blogger with at least a modicum of technical skill, and I, apparently, am a ten-thumbed chump incapable of grabbing a simple jpeg), and see the inward and outward migration from the county, based on IRS data. (The data doesn't list moves of less than 10 people, so not every move is represented.)

Anyway, click on over to Forbes's site to see where your neighbors have gone, and where the new ones have come from. And ponder what brought nearly 100 people from Delco to Northeast Texas in 2008. Did a business transfer operations there, or did everyone just get a sudden hankering for barbecue?

Rob

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Witch Is Dead? Oh, no, it's just someone at the door.

So the other day, when I put these White Stripes lyrics atop the blog:

"I'm thinkin' bout my doorbell. When ya gonna ring it? When ya gonna ring it?"

I had no idea I would actually be buying a doorbell. But there it is, next to the back door and the front door, a little wireless doorbell that sounds a ringer that it turns out you can't hear unless your in the same room with the ringer. So I should put it in the computer room, which was the point of the whole exercise -- to have some signal for Kathy to use when she gets home from work and I've let the ferrets run around the family room, so that she can't safely open the back door. Knocking on the back door simply isn't loud enough.

She's even called me on the phone, once, in fact. Which would have worked, if I hadn't've been in the shower at the time. Had we a dog, I would have been in its house.

Anyway, new doorbell! Which plays all sorts of little tunes, generally off-key! One problem, though: It just doesn't have character like this one:



I look at this doorbell, and wonder what the hell the welcome mat looks like.

Anyway, just for grins (because there's little hope of it actually settling Kathy's and my disagreement on the matter, and besides, it is where it is, and inertia's a powerful thing): What height should a doorbell button be? I looked online to see if I could settle it (thinking of course I was right, I just needed proof), and it turns out that opinions vary. Which, given that among our small sample of two, opinions varied, I probably should have guessed. So what's your preference?

Also, see the poll at right.(Poll text reproduced in the comments, since it seems to be working intermittently at best.)

Rob

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shine a Light

The trick to walk around in the dark is to bring a light with you. Shine it ahead of you and you're not walking around in the dark anymore -- even though your eventual destination might be far out of reach.

Camping at music festivals, I've done a lot of walking around in the dark. The other night, it was just me and newfound friend Bob, stumbling home to our campsites from Plentyville, after we'd both had plenty enough that day.

Kathy gave me a little copper flashlight for our anniversary (7 = copper, which was news to me!), and with it, I could see maybe 15 feet ahead of me, which was more than enough. I didn't need to light up the camp. I only needed to know that I wasn't stepping on any other tent's guy lines. That light kept me on the trail, even though, for a while in Plentyville, I didn't even know which direction I should be heading out in.

This, by the way, is a long way around an extended metaphor. Or rather, the extended metaphor is a long way around what I'm trying to get to: I'm writing a book where I never really had an ending in mind. I had a middle in mind -- a strong middle, that probably, in reality, is a strong 2/3 point -- but from there, all was dark. And I've finally gotten there.

So instead of diving into another chapter blindly (as I did the last one, and I think I might have stepped on a scorpion), I took this afternoon and just typed away at my keyboard, thinking out loud. Thinking of places the story could go from here, and places the story shouldn't go. And while I still don't quite have an endgame, I'm a lost closer. Shining that light around let me pick a direction, and I know the next few steps will get me closer to where I want to be.

So that's my unpublished novelist's advice for today: When in doubt, shine a light and start walking.

Rob

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Private Property

So Rand Paul thinks that private business owners should be allowed to decide who to do business with, up to and including racial discrimination -- and yet won't respect copyright when Rush's lawyers tell his campaign to stop using their music.

Yay, situational morality!

Rob

Texas Tea

From the Upright Citizen's Brigade, what happens when BP spills coffee:



Rob

Random, Non-Hockey-Related Thoughts on Tonight's Hockey Game

  • The idea that the Stanley Cup takes its time arriving at the stadium is flat-out weird.
  • One thing I like about Chicago? They advertise Lemonheads, my favorite candy of all time, on their boards.
  • I missed the announcers, but more importantly, the camera crew, from MSG. This camera moved in and out and round and round so much that I had a hard time keeping track of the puck. I felt like I was getting a mild case of motion sickness -- and I say that as a fan of The Blair Witch Project and the first season of Homicide. It's like these guys were getting paid by the zoom.  
  • I'm looking forward to seeing some World Cup matches, since presumably I'm not too old to see a soccer ball in motion.
  • And finally, one hockey-related thought: It felt to me like the Flyers were consistently outplayed in this series, though that may be because we don't get Versus, and so I couldn't actually watch any games where they won.

Rob

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Too BLANK for TV

Okay, so I find Gene Rayburn one of the unsettling people in broadcast history. (That skinny little microphone doesn't help matters any.) But this page, on the Match Game Wallpaper website, cracked me up: Six censored answers, while Match Game Fans try to figure out the offending words.

Bonus Round: Here's a video of Alex Trebek, purportedly drunk (and certainly grouchy) while shooting a promo (though one commenter says it was Diet Pepsi he was drinking).



Rob