Wednesday, April 25, 2012

And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds

...and binding with briars my joys and desires.

In one of my favorite films, Lone Star, Chris Cooper plays what I think may be The World's Saddest Sheriff. I've finally found a companion to the film, the 1950 Robert Bresson film Diary of a Country Priest, in which Claude Laydu shows us what inner torment really means as The World's Saddest Priest.

I haven't finished watching the movie yet -- I've been digesting it slowly, much like the priest with his stomach problems, and his absurdly bleak self-imposed diet of stale bread and wine. But I've certainly gotten far enough to feel certain that nothing will ever go this poor guy's way. He can't even bring himself to pray... although he reasons that the desire to pray is as good as prayer in God's eyes.

Anyway, not much to report. It's a well-made, affecting film... and one that has done no favors for my own mood, to be perfectly honest. Once this is over, I think I'll need to pop a couple of Father Ted episodes in the DVD player. As an exorcism, of sorts.

Now there's a priest who isn't cursed by an excess of self-examination.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hot Tub Alarm Clock Machine

Last night I dreamed I had dinner with Mitt Romney.

It was private dinner, with Mitt and a bunch of my friends and me. It was mostly just genial chit-chat. And then someone made a joke about another friend, with connections to the media (and, in the dream, the Obamasphere), having attended a hot-tub party with Bill Clinton back in the 90s. And Mitt just laughed and we moved on, but then the person emphasized that they were just joking about the hot-tub party. And suddenly it seemed like we were covering it up. Like there was actually a Clinton Hot Tub Party, and my friend was there, and Boy Did He Have Stories. And for the rest of the night—even as Mitt was washing the dishes as we were leaving—we just continued to deny and deny this totally made-up hot-tub party. Which just made the made-up party sound truly scandalous. But Mitt just chuckled and scrubbed a pot, saying, “I know; relax; it’s no big deal.”

And I’d say, “No, really, we were joking.”

And he’d say he believed us, but we could see the gears spinning in his head, planning to use this fabricated hot-tub party as opposition research. (As if he were running against Clinton, but whatever.) But the more we denied it, the more credibility we gave the story. Hell, suddenly I wasn't sure if it had ever happened, either.

So when we got back to our hotel—where, coincidentally, a hot-tub party was going on, and my buddy was there. I told him, “Dude, I think you’re gonna be on the news.”

And then, after all the talk of hot-tub parties and Mitt Romney washing dishes in his sink, I woke up, realizing I had to pee.


P.S. Special Behind the Scenes Info! You'd think by Googling "Bill Clinton Hot Tub" I'd have plenty of (photoshopped) images to work with, but there was really just one, and it was awful. So use your imaginarium for this.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Celeb Sighting...and Simultaneous Celeb Overlooking

So, a few hours before I started realizing that the world was a complete fabrication, Kathy and I were sitting in the airport waiting to board our plane, when the plane's previous occupants begin disembarking. And points to a guy in sunglasses, dressed mostly in black, and says, "That's Walton Goggins." Which it was -- one of my favorite actors (Shane Vendrell on The Shield, and now Boyd Crowder on Justified -- both nuanced, always surprising performances) had just left the plane and was walking right past us. I leaped to my feet to talk to him, and then immediately realized what a stupid idea that was. So I just smiled and gave him a thumbs-up. He gave me a little wave of acknowledgement and kept on walking.

Little did I realize, but I'm now 90 percent sure the guy next to me in the waiting area was also someone I admire... and have a couple of his albums, to boot. Bobby Lounge, an eccentric New Orleans piano player (he begins his performances by getting wheeled onstage in a prop iron lung, and keeps a nurse reading magazines at the edge of the stage while he plays piano), was two seats down. I even spoke to him for a minute, and never caught on. Thing is, somewhere I even have a picture of me with Bobby, taken during the last Jazzfest. And still, I only had the slightest ping on my radar that he was familiar... most likely because his picture isn't on his CDs.

But anyway, for your listening pleasure, here's "I Will," from Bobby's album I Remember the Night Your Trailer Burned Down.



Moment of Random

I google-imaged the words "booger fight" and this is the top result... regardless of whether or not the phrase was in quotes.

Think of this in the event you ever need to remember what disappointment feels like.


PS. While this top entry still doesn't get the job done, it does make me think Bing might be a better fit for my search engine needs.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Strange Phenomenon

Sunday night around 9 p.m., Kathy and I were flying over Washington, D.C., landing in Dulles to make a connecting flight to Newark. We were sitting on opposite sides of the airplane, and both noticed the same strange phenomenon. We didn't talk about it at the time, but I mentioned it to Kathy a few hours later, and she said, "You saw that, too?"

Here's what we saw: Lights in specific areas of the city were blurry -- but strangely, there were areas night nearby where the lights were sharp and distinct. The blurry lights--whether they were street lights, building lights, or the head or tail lights of cars -- looked somehow rounder than they should have, as if blurred by a computer effect. It made me think of how satellite photos of sensitive areas are blurred out by Google Maps... but, of course, these weren't photos. This was real life.

I've no idea what caused this. Atmospheric conditions seem the most likely cause, but there were also places we could see lights clearly. Other notions that crossed my mind were that the government had set up subtle cloaking technology over D.C., to help prevent attacks. Or, that were were actually staring down into Google Maps, and were experiencing The Matrix as we flew over (and landed in it, and are living in it, still). Maybe Agents will be after me just for writing this.

Anyway, I would have forgotten about it, if Kathy hadn't noticed it too, and independently of me. But now I wonder: Trick of the light and air, cloaking technology, or a privileged glimpse to see how far down the rabbit hole goes?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In which Rob realizes he did not grow up in the center of the universe

D'oh! Want to know the source of my woe? Click here and share my disillusionment, fellow Cougars.


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Off the Map

So I'm watching The Colbert Report, and he flashes the treasure map (available in his Super Pac Super Fun Pack) up on the screen. And I pause it, because I realize the trail for the treasure map is a series of dots and dashes. Morse code.

So I take a little time to translate it, and I found the secret message! It read:


You win this time, Colbert.