Nothing ever changes, Nothing stays the same

24 09 2010

At about the same time every year, I start to wonder: “Is this what I’m doing?” Given that we have only a certain amount of time in life, am I making the best of it? Certainly I could be doing things better in areas of my life. I’m not in the greatest physical condition I could be in. I’m still not done with that screenplay I’ve been bashing away at for the past… what… 2 years? That’s a little depressing.
But on the other hand, a lot of good things have happened since a year ago. I’ve started dressing better. I’ve stopped making homeless men fight each other for burritos. And I finally returned that full grown lion that I sorta raised from a cub back to the wild… or at least to the woods several miles from my house.
I guess when you think about it, even though your life seems stagnant at times and no one is rushing over to give you a book deal, or sign you on to play professional basketball, your life is still changing in many small ways– not all of them bad ways either. I guess as humans (and proto-humans as well) our natural inclination is to be dissatisfied with the status quo. Even though, ironically, we continue to seek out ways to keep our lives exactly as they are. We’re a strange set of contradictions, we humans. But what are you gonna do? I guess it’s better than being a cow.

The real cause of the Gulf oil spill

8 06 2010

My apologies BP,
It is unfortunate that you have taken the blame for the horror and devastation in the Gulf of Mexico, when it is I, Professor Socrates Manticore, who is the real culprit. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It was your platform that exploded and your pipeline that is currently seeping hot death to every scrap of life between here and Grand Cayman, but it was I, or rather, my creation that toppled the first domino (to borrow the expression). Yes, I was testing my newest hell beast, an ancient and monstrous Liopleurodon, fitted with a an earthquake collar, when it escaped our tether ships and went amok. I must say I’m delighted at the force and destruction it caused. This single wanton act of carnage has delighted my potential customers and enabled me to triple my commissioning fees for new hell beasts.
So, as a fellow purveyor in malicious endeavors, I thank you, sirs. I’m sorry this was at your expense, but I’m sure you’ll return the favor someday when I bite into a shrimp that tastes like 10w30.

Brushes with Greatness: John Hodgman

17 02 2010

Here’s the first in a series that I call, Brushes with Greatness. (So far I only have one)

The backstory: I wrote John Hodgman an e-mail. (If you don’t know who John Hodgman is, shame on you)

I wrote:
Mr. Hodgman, (if there are any cyborgs reading this, I ask them kindly to stop)
I just want to say, (reiterate I guess, because of my e-mail subject has already expressed) your book is great. The level of success you have achieved starting out as a literary agent, is second only to World War II veteran, Medal of Honor recipient, and movie star Audie Murphy who also began as a literary agent. But lets put him aside, He’s dead and you’re reading my e-mail. Ok, move on.
I bought your book as a gift for my brother-in-law, so of course I thought I would read it myself first. I haven’t laughed that hard since I saw Katie Couric get hit with a slush ball. I think I may just keep the book and give my brother-in-law a box full of Sean Connery’s beard trimmings instead. Well, that’s it. Thanks for writing a good book, I look forward to your next one.


John’s Reply:
Thank you, [Name Withheld]. That’s fascinating about James Earl Jones. No wonder I’m always seeing him in my building.

Isn’t that wonderful? Stay linked for more Brushes with Greatness

Understanding Your Wife: an owner’s manual for Husbands. Chapter 7

14 12 2009

In the previous chapter we discussed the common things your wife may say to you and what those things actually mean. You are probably astute enough already to know that sub context and cultural anthropology play large roles in gaining a baseline understanding for who this unique creature known as your wife is. Standard models suggest that 10 % of communication is expressed verbally and 89.9% is non-verbal (0.1% being expressed with either clicks, snorts, or other noisy bodily functions.) But what we are learning about wives is that they express themselves 50% verbally (this does not include yelling) and 139% nonverbally, with an additional 2% for the aforementioned noisy bodily functions.

This chapter we will be exploring this 139% nonverbal signs your wife gives you on a daily basis. Reading and understanding these signs is crucial to nurturing positive reactions from her (as well as when to avoid her altogether.) The chapter will be broken up into two sections: facial nonverbal and body nonverbal.

The Face

The human face, or ugly factory as it is colloquially known, is the primary means with which we identify each other. With over twenty major muscle groups in the face, one might expect to be able to do crazy things with it like crush soda cans, fold paper into swans or pit one side of the face against the other in an epic battle.  Your wife’s face, for all it’s complexity is know for just two major facial expressions.

1. The frown- this is the common facial expression of your wife. Whether she is happy,  sad, frustrated, tired, or pensive, the frown is an all purpose expression.

2.  The…  um.  I’m not quite sure what this one is called.  It’s very elusive.

The Body

Your wife’s body… is great. Ahahaha! But seriously,  Most of the valuable nonverbal information you can gather from your wife will be present in her posture or gestures. Paying close attention to them will help you decipher what it is that she is angry at you for.  Don’t think she’s angry at you for something?  Oh you poor sap.  Let’s take a look at the common stances and positions you may see on your wife.

1. The “Where were you?” — In this pose, your wife will be standing straight with her arms crossed in front of her chest. This can be accompanied by a tapping foot.  This pose is sometimes followed up by the “Do you know what time it is?”.

2. The “Were you out drinking?” This is a backward leaning stance with a hand waving in front of her face as if she’s trying to fan away the booze stench that’s emanating from your body.  If you’re wife is dainty or from the upper crust she may pinch her nose instead.

3. The “This isn’t working out” —  Notice the hand thrown up in the air, the exasperated sighs, the divorce paperwork.  This gesture is usually punctuated with her walking away to pack an overnight bag and the“I’ll be staying at my mothers” pose.

Well there you have it–the most common nonverbal communication you will receive from your wife.  Please note that if the behavior you witness differs from the items on this list, your wife may be sick and you should probably bring her in immediately to your local woman’s clinic or veterinarian. In the next chapter we will examine the many moods a wife may have and what you can do to avoid them.

Small, Sad and Bitter

11 12 2009

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” — Mark Twain

It’s a harsh, cynical world out there. You don’t have to go far to find someone who will tell you what problems they have with the way things are. It seems like the critics outnumber the people actually doing honest-to-goodness work.

… but don’t let that get you down.

Life has always been in the DOING. Those people who are so quick to tear you down, or jab at you with a petty comment are small, sad people. Pity them. And then move on. Your life is out there.

Things to do whilst in a hospital bed recovering from a mutant attack

9 11 2009

1. Practice bleeding less.
2. Let your mind drift to flowers, fields, and distant loved ones… then think of revenge!
3. Contemplate whether the cat in Schrodinger’s box would be much happier if you just smashed the box and got it over with.
4. Curse the world and all the unfairness of it… ooh! Jello!

Where the Weird Things are (with apologies to Maurice Sendak)

18 08 2009

Where the Weird Things are (with apologies to Maurice Sendak)

One day, when Max made trouble of one kind or another, his mother gave him a powerful cocktail of Children’s Nyquil and Ritalin and ordered her Guatemalan nanny Rosa to put him to bed early.  That night a forest began to grow in Max’s room.  His fingers could touch sounds and his feet turned into boats. Which was convenient, because an ocean formed right there in his room as well.
Max sailed on his feet boats on the psychedelic water through the night, in and out of weeks, over a year to the place where the Weird Things are.
The Weird Things melted their terrible fingernails, morphed their terrible armpits, shifted their terrible kneecaps and rolled their terrible eyes out of their skulls.

“I’m freaking out!” Max shouted and tamed all the Weird Things with a magic trick by eating their sugary, fairy-like souls.  “Now,” Max said. “Let the wild trippy rumpus start!” Which got the other Weird Things giggling because “rumpus” is a funny word. Then they ate chicken burritos, Funyons, and watched the Wizard of Oz synced up with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Then after a while, the drugs began to wear off. So Max sailed away on his feet boats, over a year, in and out of weeks, through the night and back home.  Rosa was there waiting for him because his mom had dinner reservations at Spago, and everybody knows you don’t cancel reservations there– it’s very exclusive and besides, mommy just needs some “me time.”