Thursday, March 27, 2008

I am trying to be a better reader

Over the weekend, I added to my collection of books. I say collection of books like I have a Scrooge McDuck style bin of them, which I, sadly, do not. I have maybe 20 on my bookshelf, unless you count text books. The two that I bought were Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and Dracula by Bram Stoker. I just finished Cat's Cradle today, and I recommend it like I would recommend whole milk. (Which, by the way, I slipped and went back to after a noble experiment. It made me understand what it was like when smokers finally go back and have a cigarette after quitting for a few weeks. It was glorious. It was scrumtralescent.)

I was introduced to Vonnegut by my old roommate. He had a surprising appreciation for culture both high and low -- for example, his favorite movie was probably Death Race 2000, yet he frequented the ballet. (Interesting fact: He had a box of movies, in which was a copy of the original Batman. I thought he had stolen my copy, but he did not; it turned out we both owned the Adam West classic. He also hated Catcher in the Rye, as I did, so we got along famously. I really don't know in what other context famously works like that.)

Anyway, I didn't really appreciate Vonnegut that much at first. Breakfast of Champions was pretty dang weird. I really liked Sirens of Titans, though. Cat's Cradle is definitely worth your time.

The real reason I started to write this post, though, was that I wanted to say how awesome Bram Stoker's name is. Bram. Stoker. It sounds made up. I could see Javier Bardem playing a character in a movie named that, kicking ass while being awesome. Bram. I want to name my kid that.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

More on spring

Hey guys, it's still spring. Hasn't changed from a few days ago. It's starting to look better, though. Warming up, getting brighter and greener. If you are anywhere near where I am (and probably a lot of other places too), things are getting a lot yellower, too. Pollen is everywhere. It is on my car, my apartment, my shoes, my eyes, everywhere. My toilet even looks like a bowl of chicken soup, from the yellow coloring. I keep my actual chicken soup in the sink.

This raises a few questions. First, is my invincibility starting to be in question, since my eyes are a little itchy? But that's small potatoes, all things considered. You know, if two dogs were having sex on your lawn or car or shoes, you'd probably shoo them away or spray them with a hose or something. But all this pollen is basically lots and lots of tree sex all over us. But we don't get nearly as outraged. Why is that? I can imagine some rhododendrons or ficuses (fici?) sitting around and looking and tree porn that would look a lot like what we're living in now. It's too bad that trees don't have money; we could make a fortune in the dendro-pornography business.

The other major question how much effort is it worth for me to wash my car? It's just going to get yellow again in a few days. Then again, this is really gross looking, and I don't know how long I can abide by it. Since I don't have a hose, I have to go take it somewhere to get it washed. I'm thinking it's not that worth it. Back home, we didn't have this problem. Palm trees are much more prudish than, say, cedars, so they keep their mating behind closed coconuts.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring is here, blogger skeptical

Today is the first day of spring, which is supposed to be this super exciting time when the birds start singing louder, pheromones are unleashed, and the weather gets awesomer. You know what? Poppycock, I say. This is the coldest day that it's been for like three weeks. It's like the calendar is drunk. I know it was just St. Patrick's Day and all, but come on calendar, you have responsibilities. The weather is not any awesomer today.

Although, I do have something positive to say: I figured out a gimmick that would make a chicken fingers place get all kinds of crazy buzz. It doesn't necessarily have to be a chicken fingers place, but a restaurant that specializes in food that come in discrete and countable amounts -- chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, any variety of chicken in some sort of bit form, shrimp, etc -- but not French fries, because you can't count them. (I do have a question -- which term [finger, strip, tender, etc] is the proper one?) You know how excited you are you when you find that you have an extra chicken nugget? Well, my restaurant would always do that. All of the relevant things on the menu would be like four chicken fingers, but you'd get five. Twelve fried shrimp, but you'd get fourteen. None of the servers would talk about it and it wouldn't show up in humorous Sonic style faked improv commercials. It would just happen. Order six jalapeno poppers and bam get seven.

The word of mouth advertising for such a place would be through the roof. They would have to be pretty good, too, I guess. But there'd have to be something about everything on the menu. For deli style sandwiches, they come with two pickles or something. Hamburgers might have to be out, since hamburgers are a deeply personal experience and arbitrarily adding ingredients may not be endearing in quite the same way; ordering a double cheeseburger is considerably different from ordering a cheeseburger in ways that getting an extra fried mushroom is not. I know you are probably thinking right now, "Man, I wish such a place existed so I could spend my money there and tell my friends how great it is to spend my money there!" Hopefully, soon, that will be realistic.

I was also looking over my tags and found one that I didn't remember using (pi is delicious) which led me to this post, which reminded me that I owe one of my most loyal readers a larger picture of Ana Ivanovic. And since this is the first day of spring, why not?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

That's nice, but does she come in black?

I'm sure you've probably heard by now that Eliot Spitzer, the governor of New York, has tendered his resignation to the people of that state after being implicated in a prostitution ring. Although I haven't read a lot, and I do not know if he had a preference for a particular race of call girls, I really liked that title. I have two questions about this situation that I would like to discuss with you today.

I. I have decided to number my questions the way that Julius Caesar would have, because Roman numerals are vastly superior to all other numerals. This question is why on earth would the governor of the second most populous state in the country need to pay for sex? Was he really such an assbag that he couldn't convince someone who was both attractive and discreet to sleep with him? Or was his ego so big that he had sexual demands that somebody who wasn't a professional wouldn't be able to handle? This is the angle that I think needs more attention.

II. If this guy was good at his job and actually cleaned up stuff as the attorney general and governor, is this bad enough to make him stop? Sure, he's a raging hypocrite, but really, everyone is. (Maybe you don't rage quite as hard as he did, but you can't be consistent all the time.) Certainly he lost a lot of credibility. But I don't mean just for Spitzer -- let's say that it turned out that Abraham Lincoln was actually a violent alcoholic or Gandhi owned a sweatshop full of British children, how much would that overturn of their life accomplishments?

Probably all of them. Because remember when I said everyone is a hypocrite? I meant to exclude myself. You see, I am rigidly slavish to my opinions. Spitzer should lose everything. I just wish he wanted to fight it because impeachments are rare and fun. I wish I could impeach my neighbors. Also, I don't think I would drink with Abe. He is clearly a belligerent drunk, and with his height he'd have like an foot reach on me and that's a recipe for disaster.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Can I wander in your garden

I have heard a few Led Zeppelin songs on the radio lately, and quite frankly, that pleases me. I wish there were a station in Augusta that played only Led Zeppelin. Actually, that doesn't seem all that practical, considering I do own their entire studio catalogue. Anyway, I just wish I could hear whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I know what you are probably thinking, and it involves an mp3 player and I don't want to hear it. I am not going to buy an iPod and it is unlikely that you are going to convince me otherwise since I don't really have a good reason not to buy one other than I just want to resist the temptation of selling my soul to Steve Jobs for a little while longer. Also, I still kind of want an iPhone, although now my job would make it pretty much completely useless.

The drawback, though, to Led Zeppelin is that I can only sing along if I am alone in the car. You see, my singing voice is not what one would call "pleasant." I am a terrible singer, although I do enjoy singing on Rock Band. I don't a care who's around for that, because the computer generated AI fans love me. This also applies to other bands, like AC/DC, G'n'R and the Beach Boys, all of which are comically out of my range. When I try to be Robert Plant, I sound like an angry person screaming It's been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time sped up quickly, in the style of the Chipmunks. AC/DC is a little bit different, but my throat hurts after I listen to that cd for a while.

Listening to a lot of classic rock can get to you sometimes, though, because really, they don't really make a lot of it anymore. So I feel like I've pretty much heard all of the songs in the genre. And there are only so many times one can listen to Peaceful Easy Feeling without screaming and throwing rocks and other cars on the highway. Sometimes, though after going long enough without hearing a little Zep you can be reminded of how kickass they really are. I could listen to Gallows Pole like nine times in succession without any problem, especially if you throw in a little Custard Pie. I'm pretty sure that last song is dirty, though.