Monday, March 31, 2008

Jon Miller is a sad, pathetic man

So, this is pretty funny.

But what's up with Jon Miller name-dropping 9/11 for no real reason whatsoever? Is he doing a Bush stump speech? The motherfucker can't throw out the first pitch without somebody mentioning it?

That is all.

Now playing: Beth Kinderman - Hannibal Lecter
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sail on, silver girl

And the hits just keep on coming.

Last week, I told FRINAN that I had heard from a friend of my sister's that she was thinking of moving to Oklahoma. Kalynda went up there when Granddaddy died, and felt revitalized. So she was considering moving there for a while.

"That would suck," FRINAN said.

"No," I said. "She needs a fresh start. She's miserable here, and can't get away from the people that are making her that way. She needs to start over."

"Um," FRINAN said. "I meant it would suck...for you."


But Kalynda said nothing of it to me when she returned. And I forgot about it. Until Friday night, when my cell phone started blaring at one-thirty in the morning. She was in tears. She was wailing and sobbing, and wasn't making a great deal of sense. But one thing came out clear: "I'm moving to Oklahoma." And soon: "I don't know when, but sometime next week."

But she didn't just call me. She also called our cousin, and our aunt and uncle, and scared the hell out of everyone. I won't elaborate on the specific situation that precipitated this mess, because I'll get so angry I won't be able to see to type this. Suffice to say, the big board flashed DEFCON-1, and "Next week" became "tomorrow."

They drove down here from OKC straight away, rented a Budget truck and showed up to take her away, all at a moment's notice. (Do you remember what I said about despising my father but loving his family? I'm convinced now more than ever that my father was the result of some twisted, Once Upon a Time in America shenanigans that stuck him with his family. There is just no way he and his brothers are actually related to each other.)

So this morning, we loaded everything she owns into a truck and sent her on her way. And now she's gone.

She was upset about leaving. During that first phone call, she kept apologizing. She didn't want to leave me. She wanted me to reassure her, to tell her it was a good idea. And I wanted to scream, "No! No, it's not a good idea! You can't leave me! You're the only sister I have! You're pretty much the only real family I have left here at all! Are you crazy?"

But I swallowed all that. I choked it down and said, "Don't worry about me. You have to do what's best for you right now." God, how that burns. If you love someone, set them free -- easier said than done, my friends. In practice it sears like drinking battery acid.

We packed it all into the truck, wrangled Jabba the Hutt her cat into his carrier, fastened her car to the tow dolly. They drove away and left me alone.

I got into the car and started back home. My iPod -- sleek, black, evil, sentient -- was set to shuffle, and spat out "Bridge over Troubled Water." And not the original, either, but Johnny Cash's haunting duet with Fiona Apple. Her voice covers his like a silk sheet. I was fine for the first verse. And the chorus. And the second verse. And most of the second chorus. But then came the third verse. And I lost it.

Sail on, silver girl
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way
See how they shine
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Kalynda and some big goofy idiot

Sail on, Kalynda. I love you. And I hope you get better. You deserve better.

If anyone needs me, I'll be trying to clear out whatever it is that's making my eyes water so much. Gee, they've been going for a while. Must be allergies.

Now playing: Johnny Cash - Bridge over Troubled Water (with Fiona Apple)
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wouldn't mind it, if you were by my side

"A Bad Dream," by Keane. I could explain everything that's bothering me and detail my mood for you in eighty paragraphs, or this song can do it in four minutes.

Now playing: Keane - A Bad Dream
via FoxyTunes

There was a HOLE here. It's gone now.



That's my hallway.

At its largest, the hole was deep enough for the plumbers to crawl in and completely disappear under the bathroom. I half-expected Andy Dufresne to jump out of it. They're filling it in as I speak, but I wanted to document the wreckage before they completely repaired it.

Oh, by the way -- breathing the dust particles kicked into the air after someone jackhammers through the concrete foundation under your apartment? Bad. Very bad. A woman at work today asked if I had SARS.

[And though almost certainly no one did, anyone who spotted the reference in the title of this post is my bestest friend forever.]

Now playing: Jim Rome - Wed, March 19th, 2008 Hour 1
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The definition of "suck"

The time is 9:27 am.

I was awakened an hour ago by a knock on the door: plumbers, here to fix my bathroom sink. The one that's been broken for two weeks. Finally, they're here. They woke me up because I didn't know they were coming, because the wind ripped off the note the landlord left on my door last night.

And so now they're taking a jackhammer to my bathroom floor. About, oh, eight feet from where I'm sitting right now.

Whenever I complain about things, FRINAN always chides me, "Hey, it could be worse." Yes, it can. It can be worse. And it keeps getting worse. Is there a bottom, FRINAN? Because surely we're approaching it now.

I hope.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The time is 12:39 am.

I have a headache. What adjective shall I use to describe it? Hmm...let's try screaming. Yes. It feels like a tiny, tiny man is screaming just behind my eyes. Not just any scream -- this is a blood-curdling, spine-chilling, hair-raising, Kurt Cobain in "Scentless Apprentice," wake the dead kinda scream, you dig what I'm saying. A bad fucking headache.

Excessive noise + frustration = headache. Remember this -- it will be on the final, which is sixty percent of your grade.

Service: I got home a few minutes ago, planning to take some Aleve so I could sleep. I could've taken something at René's, but elected to wait. And of course (you can finish this sentence faster than I can) I don't have any here. I have an empty bottle I forgot to throw away, possibly because my past self wanted to fuck with me.

I'm not going to remember writing this post in the morning. Which is why I have to write it now. So that I can be reminded. Like Sammy Jankis.

I'm really not sure why I'm writing this. I'm even less sure why you're reading it.

Now playing: René Alvarado - III - Wallowing Redemption
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I love British humor

Or humour, I suppose.

Take a look at the greatest public service announcement ever, the Awareness Test.

Now playing: The Tragically Hip - As Makeshift as We Are
via FoxyTunes


After years of trying, it seems that the programmers at Pixar have finally found the exact sequence of ones and zeros to represent the human quality of "cute," and reproduce it perfectly. To wit, the cutest goddamn thing I've ever seen:

I'll have to take my inner child to see that.

Now playing: Van Morrison - Cyprus Avenue
via FoxyTunes

Monday, March 10, 2008

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

I forgot to write about it last week, but the gang and I saw U2 3D on Wednesday. If this could become a regular-type event -- Metallica 3D! Dave Matthews Band 3D! Hell, Regina Spektor 3D! -- I would fully support that and pay for them gladly. The 3D effects were gorgeous -- they made Captain Eo look like Burned. And the camera work itself is spectacular, giving all sorts of views and angles you'd never see, even in other concert films. (The bird's-eye view of the drumkit, in particular, was quite good.)

The problem with the thing, it turns out, is U2. Now, don't get me wrong: I love U2. And watching them play on the big screen is incredible, and certainly far cheaper than buying a ticket and going to a show myself. They're so ubiquitous on the radio, taking over both contemporary and classic stations, that their music becomes almost pop culture wallpaper at times, and the film is a reminder of just how great songs like "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "One" really are. And these four guys have lost none of their chops as musicians -- one can't walk away from this without thinking very highly of the Edge, whose contributions are highlighted.

But all of the U2 is weighed down by, well, all of the U2!!! With all those great songs comes a great big sack of showy, pompous theatrics. This isn't an intimate evening with the group -- they're not an intimate band, and the big lights and cheese wear pretty thin over an hour and a half. I mean, I guess I can excuse Bono poking his hand at the camera once in a while -- it is 3D, let 'em show off -- but I'm not sure I needed Adam Clayton's bass neck thrust at me every few minutes. And then there's the goofiness of the concert itself: "Bullet the Blue Sky" features Bono blindfolding himself, stumbling around the stage, and setting off an incendiary. If it's supposed to be anything other than corny and stupid, I missed it. And though it looked rather impressive, the avalanche of superimposed words and phrases that covered "The Fly" came off more unintentionally comic that anything else.

And then there's the baffling set list -- they played "Yahweh," but not "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"? "Love and Peace or Else," but not "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of"? "Miss Sarajevo"?!

All in all, a positive (if frustrating) experience. If you get a chance, check it out. If nothing else, you'll get to keep your 3D glasses for whenever the next one comes around -- I'm voting for Radiohead 3D. That would be trippy.

Now playing: U2 - The Fly
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Right next to godliness

A gaggle of friends came over last night. We played various games on the Wii until the, uh, wee hours of the morning, and a good time was had by all.

When they arrived, though, René let out a startled cry. "Jesus H. Christ!" he yelled as he walked into my living room.

My living room

I have a carpet!

The cleaning process took about three hours, and was executed with extreme prejudice. Old mail, old trash, pizza boxes, cellophane wrappers from DVD cases, and other shit that was sitting on the floor for months because I'm a lazy bastard for some incomprehensible reason -- all gone. Under the filth, I found that table, and I don't even know who that belonged to. FRINAN, I think.

Of course, there's still the unsightly Ethernet cord stretching across the floor, but I can't do anything about that unless I move my computer into the living room...which I might end up doing. I also found an old Empire Strikes Back poster in the mess, and I'll probably put that on the wall over the bookshelf.

And if I should backslide? If I should let the garbage start to pile again?

The top of my television

Altaïr will take care of that.

Now playing: The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I wish you'd known me when I was alive (The good, the bad and the ugly)

The good: Dave Matthews Band made a couple of announcements today -- the dates for their summer tour (which does include a stop at the Woodlands -- *fist pump*), and the producer for their next studio album: Rob Cavallo, who produced Green Day's American Idiot, one of the best albums ever recorded. In fact, he's produced everything Green Day's done since Dookie, with the exception of their mediocre Warning, and he also produced the Alanis Morissette song "Uninvited," which has an astounding sound. Good news!

The bad: Patrick Swayze has pancreatic cancer. Swayze is a strange case, in that he's not a great actor, and never really made any good movies, but everyone loves him anyway. My mom and my sister used to have an enormous crush on the guy -- you have no idea how many times I was subjected to Dirty Dancing growing up. And how can you not like a guy fearless enough to take the lead role in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar? Here's hoping for the best.

The ugly: My car repair bill: $541. And I've lost my cell phone. I thought I had lost my cell phone. Turns out I'm a dumbass, and it was sitting on my living room floor. Not even underneath something, just sitting there. I looked for three hours, tore apart my sister's house looking there, went to every place I'd been yesterday to see if I'd left it there, and placed a panicked call to FRINAN (who was even nice [!] enough to ask René if I'd left it at his house). Yes, ladies (?) and gentlemen: I am a dumbshit. Yay for me.

And now, Elvis Costello sings a song that sounds exactly the way I feel.

Now playing: Elvis Costello - God's Comic
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Count Bakula...sings!

I am sick. Yay. Good side: no work. Bad side: sick. Anyway.

As I mentioned in a post a few days ago, I've been working on my favorite songs list again, and a definitive version is now completed. The last time I updated it, I just inserted a few new songs into the already-written list and shuffled some others around; this time, I burned the whole the thing to the ground and started over. This version, therefore, is far more accurate, and clears up some boneheaded omissions (how exactly I forgot "Grey Street" and "Exit Music" is beyond me).

So if you'd like to peruse the list of my 125 favorite songs (yes, 125 -- I couldn't live with 100), you can do so. In the meantime, here's a video I found over at the Flick Filosopher from an episode of Quantum Leap I never saw -- Sam performing song #125.

Now playing: Dave Matthews Band - Warehouse
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, March 02, 2008

You do it to yourself -- you do, and that's what really hurts

I bought the Lost video game on Friday night, as I indicated I would. And I finished it last night, somewhat short of the promised twelve hours of gameplay. How was it? For non-Lost viewers, I imagine it would be a mediocre gaming experience with an unintelligible story -- virtually every dialogue contains a reference or inside joke from the show, and characters and places are suddenly thrust into the narrative without introduction or explanation. The game is extraordinarily linear, with a handful of boring Myst-like fusebox puzzles. For true Lost fans,'s even worse.

The dialogue is dreadful, and comes off as poorly written fan fiction. And it doesn't even work as video game dialogue -- they're described as "dialogue trees," but they're not trees. They're just lists of questions that always get the same answers no matter what order you ask them, and almost all of them are pointless. All the voice actors -- even the handful of real actors from the show -- sound like they're on downers (except Michael Emerson, who just can't help being awesome). The jackass doing Locke's voice, particularly, needed a Mana Potion -- I'm sure two months' worth of vitamin B12 would've given some life to his performance.

It is fun to explore the island, for a while -- and the section where you get to wander around the Swan is a blast. It should've been a lot longer, in should the rest of the game. It may have been stupid and badly written, but it also cost me sixty dollars -- I shouldn't be done with it the next day, especially when it has absolutely no replay value whatsoever. Oh, I guess I could go back through it to find the secret objects I'm supposed to snap photos of, but all you unlock are pieces of concept art -- whoopty-shit.

One of these days, I'm going to remember that I always get screwed over when I buy these Lost tie-in products. I'm going to remember it before I buy the thing, not after.

But hey, I guess that's what happens to a Lost whore -- you get screwed.


Now playing: The Decemberists - The Mariner's Revenge Song
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, March 01, 2008

This is the first time I've ever met a deadline in my life, no kidding

My short story, "Stealing Signs", was posted with fifteen minutes to spare. If you'd like to read it, you may do so at the fancified blog that Robby and René set up for our little project, Saying Stories. Their stories are pretty good -- read them as well. It's an interesting project, to say the least, and it will do what I really need to get my creative energies going -- force me to write. Yay for holding a gun to my head!

I seem to have started a tradition of posting a live concert YouTube video whenever I post something I've written, so let it continue with the Dave Matthews Band playing my favorite song, "Warehouse," in front of 120,000 people in Central Park.

Now playing: The Decemberists - The Tain
via FoxyTunes