Cheer Up, Buttercup

March 30, 2009 at 1:01 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Why aren’t mannequins happier?

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I think it’s either because they’re trying to guilt me into buying their clothes, they’re sad that they’re stuck in roughly the same position for the rest of eternity, or they wish they had genitals.  The world may never know for sure, though.

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Tea Time

March 25, 2009 at 3:08 pm (Uncategorized)

I took a trip to Europe, once upon a time.  During that adventure, I encountered a fantastic beverage that I’m beginning to think was just a dream.  No.  I’m not talking about absinthe or something that makes you hallucinate.  I’m not talking about some 15 proof beer that will get you drunk in half a glass.  I’m talking about carbonated iced tea.  Oh it seems so long ago.  Imagine the satisfaction you receive from the tiny little bubbles in soda.  Have you ever tried flat soda?  It’s the carbonation that makes it good.  Now consider tea.  Tea’s good flat.  Now add that superpower of carbonation that cola utilizes so effectively and you’ve got yourself a wonder-drink.

Enough nostalgia.  If you can get this drink of kings in any restaurant in civilized Europe, why not order it here in the good ol’ U S of A?  Well apparently that’s not an option.  I’ve looked into it.

DVDs are coded by region.  If you buy a DVD in the US (Region 1, I believe), you cannot watch that DVD in Europe or South America with a standard DVD player.  You have to have a special expensive DVD player.  I theorize that Lipton has somehow taken this concept and applied it to their tea.

Not only have I not been able to buy retail carbonated iced tea, I’ve ventured on two occasions to produce my own.  When I first got back from Europe, I bought carbonated water and put a cold-brew tea bag in it.  No dice.  The tiny bubbles push the tea bag right to the top of the water so that the tea can’t diffuse into the water.  Failure.

This week I was thinking about it and decided to venture again.  I went to the store and picked up carbonated water and instant tea.  I’m so smart.  Anyway, I put the water in a glass and poured some of the powder on top to mix it in.  I should have learned.  The powder wouldn’t go down into the water.  It kept getting pushed up.  I poured it all out and put the powder it, then followed it by carefully pouring water on top.  I’ve never made a volcano for science class before, but if I ever have to in the future, you bet your ass I’m gonna use carbonated water and iced tea powdered mixture.  The glass was 95% foam and 5% liquid.  I spooned out the foam and tried the liquid.  It was gross.

For now I’ll just keep dreaming.

Region 2

Region 2

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The Tortoise and the Hair

March 24, 2009 at 9:46 pm (Uncategorized)

I don’t have much to say today.  I would like to share with you a video I made using my handy dandy iMac.  That is all.

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In Your Shoes

March 19, 2009 at 12:27 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

I would like to write about a phenomenon.  No, not the 90’s John Travolta movie where he can perform magic because he has a brain tumor.  Everyone likes TV-on-DVD marathons, right?  Wait, let me go back.  I watch television.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  At least I don’t think there is.  However, when you start to watch enough of the same show, say during a tv marathon or a dvd season set, you begin to notice the unique style of the director/filmmaker/producer/what-have-you.

So far so good, right?  Alright, here’s where it probably starts to become less healthy.  When I watch a lot of episodes of a television show in a short amount of time, I start to see through the lens of the show I’m most familiar with at the time.  For example, for some reason unbeknownst to me, A&E has a marathon of CSI: Miami on pretty much every day.  One slow day after watching about the show for a while, I walked out of my room and scraped my shoulder on the door on the way to the shower.  Although clumsy, this was not necessarily out of the ordinary.  However, as soon as the event took place, I looked down and saw a red scrape.  Don’t worry.  I’m okay.  Of course then in my mind, I did one of those weird CSI super close up slow motion blurry camera things that they do when evidence is created that will later allow them to solve the case.  I imagined myself walking through the door, scraping my shoulder, and then zooming into the doorframe to show some microscopic piece of DNA that would link me to my room.

Alright, so it seems like Scrubs, is on about 15 times a day if you look in the right places (Comedy Central & WGN mostly, I think).  Well, after being exposed to extended amounts of Scrubs, I think I daydream more – about semi-related silly things that could never happen in real life.  Alright, enough explanation on that one.  That’s sufficient.  Let’s move on.

One more example and then I’ll give up on showing you how my mind works for today.  I’ve been watching Monk lately.  I like it no matter what my girlfriend says!  Anyway, it seems like after watching a few episodes of Monk, I have the urge to straighten things up and make them symmetrical – but only for a second until I realize I don’t have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  Then I snap back into reality and messy things don’t bother me.  I also don’t solve crimes with almost no evidence.

Anyway, I think the lesson to be learned here is that I need to watch more TV about people who read more or cure cancer or something productive.  I don’t know if I can be fooled that easily, though.  At any rate, TV rots your brain kids.  It’s like hallucinating without the drugs.  It can also completely destroy your attention span – so much that you might not even have the ability to finish projects that you

monk

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Propane and Propane Accessories

March 17, 2009 at 12:33 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I generally take pride in being able to see through the thin veil of media and in to the not-so-secret agenda. For example, Wall-E was made to teach us the perils of sloth and blind reliance on technology, the monopoly conglomerates and commercialization of government, and not taking care of mother earth. Happy Feet was made to make us think about global warming and what we can all do to stop it. Cute, I know. Fox News wants everyone to be a Republican.  MSNBC wants everyone to be a Democrat.  The Truman Show was made to freak the hell out of schizophrenics and bipolar mood disorder sufferers in the manic phase who have illusions of grandeur. But that’s neither here nor there.

I’ve had a question on my mind for close to 10 minutes now. That’s about as long as I’ve gone pondering a question I don’t actually care about. Who is the target audience for the TV show “King of the Hill”? I honestly cannot figure the show out. On one hand, and on the surface, it reaches out to the hardcore conservative, rural constituents, focusing on a small town, ultra-conservative man from Texas and his everyday adventures as a salesman of propane and propane accessories. On the other hand, Hank and Peggy are so incredibly conservative that they are generally clueless, so maybe it’s a big city liberal satire.

Maybe I’m over thinking this one today, and I really hate to admit it, but for the first time ever, I don’t think I know the answer to the question. All I know that someone has been watching it. In the extensive research conducted to write this, I found out that the show’s in its 13th (and final) season. Maybe I’m behind the curve, but I still can’t figure out if I’m supposed to be laughing with the Hills or at the Hills.

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The Cupid Shuffle

March 15, 2009 at 11:00 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Hello my pretties!  I’ve missed you.  I hope you were shaking violently from your withdrawal from me as well.  I find the best way to make a big splash after taking an impromptu week off writing is to write about something hardly anyone can relate to.  Maybe I’m mixing up advice but who cares?  If you want to read about something you care about, start your own blog!

Alright, I got all the angry out of my blood.  I’m ready to breathe deeply with you as we dive into this creativity cavern.  Speaking of, would anyone like to invest in a joint venture including a cavern where children can be creative?  I’ve got a bitchin’ name for it picked out already.

I have a GPS unit.  It’s a Garmin Nuvi 200.  I’m very happy with it.  However, on occasion, it is wrong.  Then again, sometimes it’s not wrong but I know a better way.  Whenever this occasion arises, I get kind of a rush.  I’ll give you a little insight to my internal monologue.

“Go straight on 4th street?  I don’t think so.  I’ll turn right on Polk.  Traffic’s going to be bad this time of day.  I’ll stick to the back road until I get further away from the college.  I’ll get there faster.  You’ll see!”

It gives me a kind of strange satisfaction to feel smarter than the machine.  It’s like I bet Bobby Fischer felt after he beat Deep Blue in chess.  It happened.  (I’m pretty sure) Check Wikipedia.  It’s like, “Suck it, technology!  I have life and driving experience and you are just a magic box (or a digital moving map that triangulates my position using satellites and then gives me the best direction advice you’re programmed to, designed to make my life easier)”

And thanks to “recalculating” technology, the GPS almost always sees things my way.  Just be sure you don’t leave the GPS voice on or you’ll have a robot answering machine voice yelling at you all the time.

Today’s lesson?  Good question.  Today’s lesson is to learn to enjoy proving artificial intelligence wrong(ish).  That way, when the robots take over the world, you’re ahead of the curve and already used to disobeying!  There it is.  Lesson learned.

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How Could You Be So Heartless?

March 8, 2009 at 1:23 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Let’s recap.  I really sent this letter to Taco Bell:

Dear CEOs of Taco Bell:

Everyone has regrets.  There have been loves half loved, projects half completed, destinies half fulfilled.  However, a love affair ends with a goodbye.  A failed project ends with acknowledgement of failure.  Alright, admittedly, I’m not quite sure what a destiny unfulfilled even means, but I do know that there is always some form of closure.

I pulled through the Taco Bell drive through today and much to my dismay, the taco with which I had been having a love affair was unavailable.  That’s correct, without warning, my Juliet, the Volcano Taco was gone.  I tried ordering off the menu, but to no avail.  They said it was no longer being served, without so much as a hint that it was going away.

I watched the commercials closely.  I paid attention.  Giving you the benefit of the doubt, the commercials may have said “for a limited time only” in fine print, but they gave no indication how limited the offer might be.  There was no closure for me – only the abrupt, distant, drive-through voice telling me it was over.  That, my friends, is the equivalent of a girlfriend you were getting serious with breaking up with you via text message.

I’ve looked past the in-restaurant conditions and probable health code violations because they taste so darn good.  I think sometimes it’s worth turning a blind eye.  What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right?

It is humbly and with great seriousness then, that I ask you to look deep into your heart and un-flip the corporate switch that took my red-hot mistress away from me.  Please bring back the Volcano Taco, or at the very least, issue a statement as to why it was taken away from me without warning.

Thank You

That’s all well and good.  Last week I received this response from Taco Bell:

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I feel dirty.  I feel like I just got broken up with using a form letter.

Dear (Insert Name Here)

It has been a (great/awful) experience having you in my life.  I hope that I (can/don’t have to) continue to you have you around as a friend.  I’ll never forget that time (in the park/in the car/I caught you cheating on me) and I never want to.  I’m sorry I couldn’t do this in person, but I felt that my strong feelings would hinder me from what we both know I need to do.  I hope you (find someone who is right for you/get a chicken bone lodged in your throat).

Sincerely,

Your former significant other

Thanks a lot, Taco Bell.  I’m glad you took my letter seriously.  Goodbye for now, Volcano Taco.  I’ll miss you.

HELP THE CAUSE

volcanotaco_underconstruction


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Bone Bread

March 7, 2009 at 1:00 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I have a memo to pass on to the storytellers of the next generation. Take heed, young tale tellers, script sculptors, and um English engineers. When you’re brainstorming the next vessel for magic, maybe pick something more badass than beans (or lamps). Don’t get me wrong – Jack and his adventure with the flour-deprived giant was a nice little tale. It gave us the inspiration for Mario to climb into the clouds. I think maybe it could use some updating now, though. I realize there are literally thousands of writers trying to update this tale according to the research I haven’t done on it, and can you believe it? None of those thousands of writers have been as successful as the single Norwegian orphanage owner that my lack of research revealed wrote the story originally before the Brothers Grimm stole it from him.

Anyway, we need to update the traditional magical vessel/food. I say we go with something contemporary – maybe a sign of the times. How about an iPod? No. No. You’re right. That’s too modern. We need something that seems more classic but really isn’t. It also has to be badass but not hokey. My gut says magic guitar. My heart says magic shoes, but my mind knows best. It says we need to stick to the food category so as to retain the integrity of the original storyline. This is also to discourage accidental remakes of “Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny” and “Like Mike.”

How about something regional to make it an American tale, like corn? Is that too country? Illinois is getting to me. What about something badass like a magic pineapple?

So Jack goes out and stupidly trades the family’s 1992 Corsica for this magic pineapple, his mom bitches him out royally and they fall asleep angry. In the meantime, the pineapple grows into a giant tree in the middle of the night. Jack climbs to the top of it. It’s some weird purgatory-ish place. He steals cash or the social security number from a bigass man. The guy chases him but Jack outsmarts him or something. He climbs back down the tree, grabbing a pineapple on the way, cuts it down, and the giant dies. Lesson learned.

Or maybe the original story is fine, too.

Mickey and the Beanstalk

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Is There A Problem Science Can’t Solve?

March 2, 2009 at 10:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I’d like to thank strange Japanese companies for making strange Japanese products.  Much love.

If you ever feel lonely, look into this product.  These fabulous products will make you feel as though you’re not as “sad” and “alone” as “society” “dictates.”

*I find that a good way to discredit any word is to put it in quotations.

Maybe I’m being rash.  The people in the pictures looks incredibly happy.

iao4-a

iao4-b

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Marionette + Puppet = Muppet

March 2, 2009 at 12:29 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Jim Henson’s gift to the world: Muppets.  (Thanks again, JH) Well now for a mere $90, you can create your very own Muppet at FAO Schwarz.  I went ahead and made myself.  This is so boss.

By the way, the title of this entry is accurate.  That’s why they’re called Muppets.

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Update: Just to clarify, I don’t have $90 to drop on a Muppet so for now I’m not ordering one.  I strongly encourage you to donate to the Help Ryan Get a Muppet Fund (HRGMF).

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