Monday, October 31, 2005

my favorite holiday

Method Becomes Madness

My method of drawing the pictures for my '100 Object' series involves making a pencil sketch, photocopying it as a precaution because I'm still not very confident with my inking, then inking. I use a brush and black india ink, although I just bought white ink (utilized for the carbonation bubbles in my last picture). I am left-handed.

This morning was an experiment - a sketch from memory, an object from my childhood. I was listening to 'Ascension' by John Coltrane, and thinking about how I realize it's brilliant but I still think it sounds like a mess, and wondering how he prepared his musicians ahead of time ("Just kind of go nuts, okay? I'll wave my hand or something when it's over..."), and I was holding the bottle of india ink with my weak, inferior, bastard right hand and I placed the ink bottle ever so gently down three inches from the end of the table.

Splat. Exxon Valdez was in my living room: the hardwood floor, the desk, the table, my hand. Blackened seagulls flailing at my feet. Looking at my dripping black hand, I did the stupidest thing I could think of - grab the thin, generic-brand paper towel in my lap. The ink soaked right through onto my new jeans. I may as well have just wiped my hand on my pants. Nice work. I felt like the guy on "Lost" who survives the plane crash and then walks right in front of the engine and gets sucked up into the fan.

It's all your fault, Trane. I did find out that india ink cleans up off of hardwood floors better than you'd expect, and apparently ammonia is the key if you have a real nasty ink stain on clothes. I used Windex. I'm not optimistic.

As for the picture, maybe I'll finish it when I get home, maybe I'll flop down on the couch and watch some horror movies. Sometimes dead is better.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Regime Change

I am now officially an independent entity. Well, not literally, but I now have masking so I can appear as independent, when in reality I'm a cowering little bitch to the Blogger monolith. But, to the casual observer, I will appear as Master of my Domain.

My official domain is henceforth: If you type it in, you'll get here. Try it. See? Still here. On that token, my email is now I like to hear my name echoing insanely in my head.

So, enjoy the new path to the waterfall. Much easier to type in an address bar. And write on small scraps of paper. And start a whisper campaign. And tattoo on your arm. And scream at the president. And name your child.

The Future Is Now.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Cola and ice in vintage pop art glassware from 99 Cent Store, circa 2003

Halloween Viewing

My Halloween film fest for 2005:

1. Cat People: Coquettish Simone Simon finds her new marriage threatened by her latent feline tendancies. New DVD has a great commentary track. Her Serbian name sounds strangely like "Purina".

2. Curse of the Cat People: Sequel directed by Robert Wise. Came on the same DVD.

3. The Gate: Child actor Stephen Dorff finds a gateway to hell in his backyard. Unleashes claymation monsters. The last time I saw this was in the theatres when I was 14 years old. Directed by the great Tibor Takacs, who went on to direct such classics as "Mansquito" and "The Gate II".

4. Bride of Frankenstein: Never seen it, even though many say it's better than the original. Too bad I can't pair it with "Bride of Cat People". Or "Bride of The Gate".

5. Wicker Man: Christopher Lee. Scottish scenery. Pagan society. Wicked.

Also, look for the classic "Night of the Hunter" in theatres in its limited re-release. Mitchum as a homocidal preacher. Weird, spooky, campy, blasphemous genius. You can't believe this really played in theatres in the 1950's. About to get the royal treatment in a new DVD release. I'm already buying it. I can't stop myself. My... hands... Help! Run! They're already here! You're next!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Rattling The Cage

I added two new links to my side bar, in honor of my trip to the capital of this great nation. One says write your representative, and one says write your senator. The first one is so you can write your representative, and the second one is so you can write your senator.

They provide an email template that makes the whole process take about ten seconds. To illustrate, here's a letter I sent my representative, based on a story discussed on kohlville:

I am writing to you about Armed Forces Radio, which broadcasts to our servicepeople in 175 countries (including Iraq), and is programmed with a certain amount of talk radio content. 65 hours a week is conservative talk radio. Zero hours a week is liberal or progressive radio.

I can only imagine how demoralizing this is for our troops with progressive views, who must already feel like a minority. If I were drafted into a war, hearing Rush Limbaugh on the radio would definitely rub salt in my (possibly literal) wounds.

Francis Stokes

P.S. - I stopped by your office for a visitor's pass to sit in on Congress last week - thanks to your friendly staff.

It's that easy. You don't even have to include that last part, unless you also visited their office last week. So, whenever something concerns you, don't go searching the web for a petition - just click here. Remember, you're their boss. Be a micro-manager.
A toast to Patrick Fitzgerald

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Bases Covered

Welcome to the United States Capitol Visitor Information Line. The United States Capitol is open from 9 AM until 4:30 PM, Monday through Saturday. You may visit the United States Capitol by obtaining a free, timed-entry pass.

The following items are prohibited from being brought into the Capitol: Bags of all types larger than 14 inches wide, 13 inches high and 4 inches deep, food and beverages of any kind and their containers, for example, cans and bottles, areosal and non-aerosal sprays, any pointed objects, for example, knitting needles, letter openers, scissors, needles, etc., guns, replica guns, ammunition, fireworks, knives of any kind, razors, box cutters, stun guns, martial arts weapons or devices, mace and pepper spray.

We hope you enjoy your visit to the United States Capitol.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Brief Hiatus

I'll be off for the next few days while I take a trip to Washington, DC. (Note to secret service personnel with access to my library records thanks to the Patriot Act - NO, it's not because I just read Nicholson Baker's "Checkpoint", smartypants...)

It's for a wedding. The wedding of Liberty and Justice, baby! FOR ALL! It's a black tie affair. Seriously, you have to be really rich to get in. I was mistaken for the guy who sails boats around the world.

Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Further Adventures of Chunk and Sloth

Few people outside of the entertainment industry know that Chunk, the chubby, foul-mouthed kid from The Goonies, is now all grown up and a slim, successful entertainment lawyer in Hollywood.

But he never forgot the promise he made, after they thwarted the gangsters who tried to rob One Eyed Willie’s pirate ship. A promise to a sweet-faced, well-meaning, horribly disfigured freak named Sloth: “Sloth. You’re gonna live with me now. I’m gonna take care of ya. Because I love ya.”

Int. Law Office on Sunset Blvd - Day

Subtitle: “Los Angeles, 2005”

CHUNK: Sloth! There you are. Where’s my goddamn macchiato?

SLOTH: Pretty.

CHUNK: What’s with the balloon? Where’s my goddamn macchiato? Did you spend my five bucks on a balloon?

RECEPTIONIST: (on speakerphone) Chunk, Gore Verbinski is on one.

CHUNK: I’ve gotta fucking take this now Sloth, go sit down. Yeah, it’s a nice balloon. I like it.

SLOTH: Yellow!

CHUNK: Just go sit down, I gotta take this call. Nice balloon. Put it over there. Thank you. (into phone) Goreby? Goreby! What’s shaking? How’s everything on ‘Pirates’? Is Johnny behaving himself? Yeah… The fax? My assistant sent it yesterday. Hang on. (covers phone) Sloth. Did you send that fax?

SLOTH: Yummy.

CHUNK: Yummy? What does that mean? Did you send the fax?

SLOTH: (beating chest and bellowing) RRRRRRRAAAAAGGGRRRHH!

CHUNK: Did you eat it? Did you eat my fax? (into phone) Gore? I’m gonna have to… I gotta resend that, I’ll take care of it right now. I’ll talk to you later.

SLOTH: Hungry.

CHUNK: Yeah, why don’t you eat some more fucking fax paper.

SLOTH: (starting to cry) Chunk mad.

CHUNK: Chunk not mad. Chunk just gotta do all the work around here, that’s all.


CHUNK: Maybe Mouth will take you to lunch. It’s not like he’s busy.

SLOTH: Mouth!… Mooouth!

CHUNK: It’s okay. I told him you don’t want to go back to Crazy Girls.


CHUNK: You don't have to go there, you can go get a sandwich. A sandwich. Just remember, you don’t play Texas Hold ‘Em. Okay? That’s what you say next time. No cards. Fucking sick turd robbing a crippled retard like that. Tell him you don’t want to play!

SLOTH: No play Mouth…

The receptionist enters with a take-out bag. Chunk takes out a chili dog and a milkshake.


CHUNK: This isn’t for you, Sloth. You don’t like chili dogs. They make you gassy, remember? Remember last time, with Renee Zellweger?

SLOTH: Hungry.

CHUNK: All right, look, let me send this fax and finish my food and I’ll take you to In n’ Out, you can get a hamburger. Okay?

SLOTH: Sloth hungry now.

CHUNK: Just a goddamned second. I got my hands full. I’m printing out a fax right now, I need you to send it to Gore’s office, okay? Take it.

SLOTH: Fax number.

CHUNK: Number’s at the top. Just type it into the keypad. Hit a four first.

SLOTH: Area code!

CHUNK: Right, but not a one. Don’t type in a one.

Sloth eats the fax.


SLOTH: Chunk mad.

CHUNK: Will you stop eating my faxes? I won’t be mad if you stop eating my faxes.

SLOTH: Candy bar.

CHUNK: Yeah, remember the candy bar? That’s how we met. Good times.

SLOTH: Sloth bad personal assistant.

CHUNK: No, you’re not. You’re not a bad personal assistant. Hey, when that bouncer at the Palms in Vegas gave me shit, who made him piss his pants? Huh?

SLOTH: Sloth fight crime.

CHUNK: No, Sloth, not that again.

SLOTH: Sloth Superman. SU-PER-MAN!

CHUNK: You can’t be Superman, Sloth. You can’t fly. Remember?

SLOTH: Sloth save people. Sloth wanna be hero.

CHUNK: You are a hero! Who lifted Halle Berry up over that crowd of reporters at the Beverly Hills Hotel so she could get to her therapy?

SLOTH: Sloth.

CHUNK: That’s right. And who broke Ben Stiller’s arm?

SLOTH: Sloth hero.

CHUNK: You can’t leave, Sloth. I need ya.

SLOTH: Chunk need me?

CHUNK: Yeah. Ya big dumb retard.

They hug.

RECEPTIONIST: (over speakerphone) Chunk, did you move your Volvo? Greg said they turned the sprinklers on.

CHUNK: What?

He rushes to look out the window, SMASHING his chili dog and milkshake against the glass and spraying himself with his lunch.

CHUNK: Aw, fuck!

Monday, October 17, 2005

hey, it's a hairdryer! that blows!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

panda for colby

Saturday, October 15, 2005

my favorite season


Archaeologists in China made a very important discovery this week - a 4,000-year-old bowl of pasta. Overturned in an earthquake and buried in a flood and preserved. It's even more exciting than finding a lost handwritten manuscript by Beethoven.

They're saying this finally resolves the long-standing debate over who invented pasta - the Chinese or the Italians. I always thought it was Marco Polo who brought pasta to Italy from the East. But anyway, there's no question now - the ancient ancestral lineage of Ramen noodles beats out that of Spaghetti-O's. If you're wondering if anybody ate them, they turned to dust shortly after being exposed to the air. No? I was wondering.

Friday, October 14, 2005

ceramic shards and laundry money

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Two Weeks

My dad just moved to Hawaii and he hired an interior decorator for his new apartment. "I think he might swing the other way," my dad warned. But he became very friendly with this guy who was one of the first people he met in his new home. "He does have a certain joie de vivre."

Anyway, he just found out that doctors gave this man two weeks to live. Apparently he has a brain tumor. A month ago, he was diagnosed. A week ago, the doctors tried to remove it and declared it inoperable. Last night, he threw a party. What are you gonna do?

If I look back over the past two weeks, I think I spent about 75% of it on the phone with customer service. My cable TV, my computer, my printer, my cell phone, my bank. There were very few moments worthy of the last two weeks of existence. A few stolen hours with my girlfriend when we both were home and undistracted. Tuesday night with a group of friends out for sushi, that ended badly for those sitting near us at a Mexican restaurant where we drank margaritas and sang Christmas carols. Once or twice when I walked my dog Hoover and the weather was perfect.

Two weeks. Starting... now.

Friday, October 07, 2005

House, Age 10

House sits on the edge of the playground with his three friends.

Not the most popular kid in school, House’s friends are a motley assortment of outsiders: Rod, the only black kid in class, Graham, an exchange student from Australia, and Kiki, the brainiac girl who has a crush on House.

A teacher announces that the class is going to play 'Sink the Bismarck' during recess. House scowls.

HOUSE: I hate ‘Sink the Bismarck’.

The others mutter agreement. Ronnie Lutch, the quiet class reject, plays alone by the swingset.

HOUSE: Hey Lutch! Get over here.

Ronnie reluctantly approaches.

HOUSE: You look sort of gross. Are you feeling ill?

LUTCH: I look gross?

HOUSE: You better lie down. Are you feeling pallid?

KIKI: He looks ashen.

GRAHAM: Better listen to him.

Frightened, Ronnie lies down on the blacktop.

HOUSE: Tell me Ronnie, any fever, night sweats, gout, difficulty breathing or rigor mortis?

LUTCH: I don't think so...

KIKI: It looks like a severe case of cooties.

HOUSE: Well, you should know, you kissed him on the tongue.

KIKI: Gross! I didn’t kiss him on the tongue! Shut up, House!

ROD: Definite signs of cooties and stupid germs.

HOUSE: So who were you tongue-kissing, Lutch?

LUTCH: I wasn’t!

GRAHAM: If he has cooties, shouldn’t he be throwing up mice?

HOUSE: Have you been throwing up rodents, Lutch?


HOUSE: That's strange. It can't be normal garden-style cooties. It has to be something else.

KIKI: Look at his face. He’s turning green!

HOUSE: He’s dying right here on the blacktop.

ROD: His nose has boogers.

HOUSE: Allergies, hay fever. Half the class has it.

GRAHAM: His freckles form a star.

HOUSE: Oh, are we playing voodoo? Who taught you to be a doctor, your pet kangaroo?

ROD: (to Graham) You’re burnin’…

HOUSE: C’mon, think, people! If we don’t find a cure by the end of recess he’s a goner. What has all the symptoms of cooties and retard germs but doesn’t make you throw up mice, it only makes you smell?

LUTCH: I want to play Sink the Bismarck.

HOUSE: Fine, go ahead. Stand up, see if your eyeballs fall out of your butt.

Ronnie remains on the ground.

HOUSE: That’s what I thought. We don’t have much time. Rod, check his heartbeat.

Rod reaches for Ronnie’s wrist.

GRAHAM: Wait! You wanna catch cooties too?

ROD: I’m sprayed.

Rod checks his pulse.

HOUSE: Two minutes of recess left.

ROD: One eighty over 1,000.

HOUSE: 1,000? It’s supposed to be a million!

KIKI: We're losing him.

LUTCH: What’s gonna happen to me?

HOUSE: Shut up.

KIKI: What about his fingers? They’re dirty.

GRAHAM: He’s been playing in the dirt!

HOUSE: Graham - Australian for dumbass.

KIKI: I got it! Maybe a worm crawled under his fingernail and got into his brain.


The others are silent as House paces, considering the possibility.

HOUSE: That would explain why he smells. And the green face?

ROD: Witches have green faces.

GRAHAM: He could have tongue-kissed a witch.

HOUSE: You're right. That's possible.

LUTCH: I didn't!

HOUSE: Lutch, we can't save you if you're not completely honest with us. When did you tongue-kiss a witch? All the medical signs are there.

LUTCH: But...

GRAHAM: (snickering) Maybe his mom kissed him before school.

HOUSE: Moms can’t give you cooties, you idiot.

GRAHAM: But it’s Ronnie Lutch’s mom.

HOUSE: Nope. Their cootie genes match. Unless...

House stares up at the sky, through the leaves of a maple tree.

HOUSE: When the worm crawled into his finger, it mutated the cootie strain in his bloodstream. He's carrying two forms of cooties. The hole in his finger hurt his hand so he kissed it. He gave cooties to himself.

ROD: Really?

HOUSE: That’s it. That’s the answer.

KIKI: You’re so smart.

GRAHAM: What’s the cure?

HOUSE: Indian burns.

Rod and Graham immediately pounce on Ronnie, punching him in the gut and giving him Indian burns on both arms.

LUTCH: OW! Cut it out! Stop it! Ow! I’m telling!

HOUSE: C’mon boys, he’s almost cured…

House crosses his arms and nods approvingly. Kiki beams proudly at House. The recess bell rings.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Last Thing I Said To My Cop Movie Partner In My Dream Before The Alarm Woke Me Up This Morning

“I forget who the bad guy is. Elliot Gould?”

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I am made of orange wax.

100 Inanimate Objects

I used to draw all the time. As a kid, I was the one sitting on the edge of the playground with a sketchbook. When I finally ventured out on the playground, I broke my leg. Body cast. True story. Anyway, back then, when I was asked what I wanted to do when I grow up, I said I was going to be a Disney animator.

I'm kind of glad that didn't happen. But I do regret letting my artistic skills slide. By college I was focused on words instead of pictures. Images I captured with a lens. Well, I'm back to drawing again. Lamenting that I feel terribly out of my league, when I look at the artists I admire - my favorite is the style of indie comic book illustrators Daniel Clowes and Adrian Tomine - my friend Dom suggested I draw 100 household objects in 100 days. By the end, he said, you'll have to improve at least somewhat.

So this is the beginning of my '100 objects' series. I'll even do my best to draw one picture a day, barring trips, schedule permitting, etc. Hope you enjoy my experiment in self-betterment. Collect them all and win a free house!*

* (House not included)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dinosaurs Had Feathers

This is the most important discovery of our time. It completely rewrites my childhood. All those murals in all those cafeterias in all those natural history museums... It boggles.

Of course, if you believe that people lived with dinosaurs, 5,000 years ago, and the dinosaurs were killed off by angels, during Noah's flood, then adding feathers means nothing to you because you'd pretty much believe just about anything anyway. It seems the country has shifted towards the inane, or we're getting really retro, because right now there's a court case in Dover, PA, where intelligent human beings have to listen carefully and take these loons seriously, in order to decide if they get to teach their loonery to schoolchildren.

Evidence of evolution is all around us. Rattlesnakes are evolving without their rattles, because we hear them and kill them to protect ourselves. You gotta love that irony. Just as elephants are evolving without their tusks, and bacteria is evolving thanks to anti-bacterial soap. Even humans are being born today with the ability to insert hyperlinks into speech ("I told my mom we were playing scrabble...")

While I don't believe in intelligent design, I do think there is some argument for the theory of stupid design - basically, the notion that the world was designed by a Creator who is a Complete Imbecile.

Some evidence to consider:

1. Knees - the weakest part of human body. And we walk on them. If you do any amount of physical exertion in your youth, you're bound to end up with bad knees by the time you hit thirty. Nice work, Buddy.

2. Septums - why are they always deviated? What's up with the septum? I had surgery on my septum when I was twenty. They packed about three pounds of cotton in my nose. Not fun.

3. Cockroaches - the only creatures who could survive a nuclear holocaust. And they're useless. Good thing the Cold War wasn't between Americans and cockroaches.

4. We have to sleep approximately one third of our life - This one really pisses me off. Talk about a waste of time. We can't even save it up and hibernate for a week of the month or something, we have to space it out in 8-hour intervals. I think it's because we pray before bedtime. He needs that daily ego fluff.

5. Man has no natural predator - There'’s a big flaw in the grand scheme of things. Look at how human beings have evolved as a result of this little tidbit. Step outside your house and go next door and peek in the window at your grumpy middle-aged pot-bellied neighbor whose always arguing with his wife, sitting there drinking a tall boy and watching "Fear Factor". Now, compare him to a gazelle.

6. 70% of the planet is water, but we can'’t drink it.

7. We can'’t fly - well, why not? We're humans, we're made in God's image, right? I mean, HE can fly, right? If I could fly, I'd totally be rich by now. And president of something.

8. Wisdom teeth - Do not make you wise. They should be called "Annoyingly extraneous that you and everyone you know will have surgery to remove teeth." They should be called, "Your first experience with vicodin teeth."

9. After centuries of evolution, dogs still see their own tail and think it's another dog - I mean, isn't that what instinct is for? To clue you in to little habits like that, so you don't run around in circles chasing your butt for hours?

Consider this evidence and if you feel like it, make up some placards and picket your local school. Or get on the school board so you can ban some books. Everybody's doing it. That's the Freedom our boys are dying to protect.