Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Some crying, six carrying me..."

From Philip K. Dick's We Can Remember it for You Wholesale (which was loosely translated into the movie Total Recall:)

"The door hung open and inside, at a big
genuine walnut desk, sat a genial-looking man, middle-aged,
wearing the latest Martian frog-pelt gray suit; his attire alone
would have told Quail that he had come to the right person."

Ok. I'm putting it in my will that when I die, I want to be cremated in a frog-pelt suit. Of course, it might be hard, because I decided long ago I'm going out the same way Slim Pickens did in Dr. Strangelove, (yes, that is James Earl Jones.)


Monday, November 27, 2006

"6 James Bonds at Casino Royale..."

From Tony's Pearls of Wisdom: He who heavily snacks before bedtime misses bus while sitting on porcelain in morning.

Jen & I partook of Casino Royale this weekend. On the whole it was a good time, with a few complaints: 1) I know all James Bond movies have followed their own timelines & that Casino Royale was Ian Fleming's first Bond novel. However, setting up a post-cold-war prequel Bond flick is a bit confusing, especially when it was established eleven years ago in Goldeneye that Bond is the cold war veteran & Judi Dench's M is the newbie, and not the other way around. 2.) While true to the tone of the original books, (& in a class above the last three plotless Bond extravaganzas,) the movie just wasn't any fun. For fun James Bond films, see Live & Let Die, Goldeneye, & Diamonds are Forever. Of course, if you want to go for all out silliness, rent the original 1967 Casino Royale. 3.) Call me a male sexist whatever, but, as a matter of religion, Bond films are supposed to be awash with scantily clad women, not, I repeat, NOT with nude men. Someone needs a serious talking to about this.

I dreamt last night that my cell phone became swamped with text-message spam (a serious problem in Japan.) Hopefully this was not a foretelling of the future…


Sunday, November 26, 2006

IF: Invention

Here is my invention, the happiness machine. I tried making it with 3ds Max, but it looked retarded. I tried coloring/ shading this sketch, but it still looked retarded. So I decided to just put it up as is. I suppose a nod to Monsters, Inc. is deserved. I've always been a firm believer in Ayn Rand's theory that happiness comes from self achievement, pride, and self love. That must be the reason I'm such a miserable bastard all the time.

Hey- THIS made me happy- I won a "Blog of the Day" award for the previous post (my child-rearing advice.) For Sunday, November 26, 2006!
Blog Of The Day Awards Winner

OK. I can go to bed happy now!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tony's Parental Wisdom 307a

Tip #307a: When your child does something that angers you, ask yourself if you are upset at your child for what he/she actually did, or if you are upset because of how others might perceive you as a parent. Be sure to honestly answer this question before you discipline your child.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Michael Richards & Magic Words.

For those who haven't seen or heard it, Michael Richards, [Seinfeld's Kramer & UHF's (one of the funniest comedies ever made) Stanley Spadowsky,] screamed racial epithets (nigger) and threatened two black men who had been heckling him. Check it out here, if you'd like. Finding himself neck-deep in shit, he later apologized on Letterman - see it here.

Personally, I don't see what the big deal is. Honestly. Richards is just another celebrity in Hollyweird, and my rent is due in two weeks. Should or shouldn't he have done that? I couldn't care less. (Career-wise, it probably wasn't a good idea.) I think that that was a fantastic show- because he got completely naked, all the way down to the rage that was inside him. If I was there, I would have been more pissed because he left the stage. (Personally, my favorite stand-up comic is Emo Phillips.) I'm not saying that the recipients of his ire don't have the right to be upset- though I think the WHOLE video should be circling the internet- let's see what the hecklers were saying that made him snap- (yes, I know the person who caught this on the cell phone only started recording once the tirade had started- I'm just saying I'd like to know the whole picture.) I'm guessing Richards has felt nervous, angry and upset for quite some time. Here he is, trying to make some sort of a comeback, feeling desperate because nothing he's done since Seinfeld has worked, and he just snapped. The people who were heckling him were black, so he exploded with racist comments and threats.

Again, the targets of his wrath and anyone else offended in the club had a right to be upset. Is Richards a racist? Maybe- who cares? Publicly screaming racial slurs and threatening people is defiantly crossing the line, but there's a difference between words and actions. I once asked someone who was offended by this point of view to explain his own POV to me. He said that words come from thoughts and we have to change the way people think. He wouldn't agree that the idea telling people what they can and cannot think is a hundred times more frightening than telling people what they can and cannot do.

(Note to self on the apology: Does Jerry Seinfeld really give a rat's ass about any of this? Is he as shocked and offended as he pretends to be, or his he just doing damage control to keep the sales of the Seinfeld Season 7 DVD's from tanking? Who would buy Seinfeld DVDs anyway?)

There still are some magic words- words that daren't be uttered unless society says you're genetically allowed to utter them- seven words you can't say in polite company (or on television) though it's quite all right to say their less-charged counterparts. Magic words- don't tell me sorcery doesn't exist.


It's Curtains for you Rocky... Curtains!

One of my Mother-In-Law's plethora of complaints is that in the 8 & 3/4 years my family & I have lived in this apartment, Jen and I do not have curtains in our bedroom. (We have shades, of course, we're not sponsoring a peep show.) This seriously, seriously bothers her. To be honest, it was one of those "we'll get around to it's" that never materialized, and you know what- I actually like the look. I'll start a trend. What amazes me is the obsession that we should put curtains up because "it's what people do." I guess this is a case of when brain filters collide. I tend to live, as Vonnegut said in Cat's Cradle, inside my own mind.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Viva la 80s!

To get out of my funk, I made a cute 80's style, SIGGRAPH / Beyond the Mind's Eye animation:

One question- why must YouTube make all by beautifully detailed work look like crap?


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Banging My Head Against the Wall

Yesterday, I had this conversation with my boss.
Boss: I need you to do me a favor.
Me: Sure.
Boss: Can you take 4 to 6 days off?
Me: No... no, I can't go a week without a paycheck, sorry. I have jury duty next week, though.
Boss: No, sorry, I need it this week.
Me: Sorry. (Extends hand.)
Boss: Oh, I'm sorry to lose you, you're reliable and you know what you're doing. It just sucks. By the way, I need this light put up and these outlets in before you go today.
Me: No problem.

(Me walks away, feeling like an idiot. I've been running work for these people, I'm one of the few people in the shop that never misses a day, never comes in late, I have a clue what I'm doing. I'm really feeling used and abused. I know others have taken up the offer to miss a week of work, but that's not the way it's supposed to go! Oh well, at least he didn't just keep me and bounce my check like some other asshole I can mention. I'm just sick of these tiny little shops. There's no wait for M-Journeymen at the union, maybe a day or two- Whoops! I have jury duty! How can I collect unemployment, or start a new job, if I have jury duty next week? Ok, I can postpone it, just call this number.... no, that's the wrong number, there's a new number.. FUCK, IT'S AUTOMATED!)

Voice: Please insert date you wish to postpone to. This must be within 2 and 6 months from your jury date.
Me: 05.17.2007
Voice: May Seventeenth, 2007... That is NOT within the allowed time period! Please put in a date within 2 and 6 months.
Me: Yes it is! Allright... 05.01.2007
Voice: May First, 2007... That is NOT within the allowed time period! Please put in a date within 2 and 6 months.
Me: Grrr.... 04.01.2007
Voice: April First, 2007... That is NOT within the allowed time period! Please put in a date within 2 and 6 months.

(Me calls back, gets number for dial-up. Waits and waits and waits. Gets put on hold. Finally gets through to human being.)

Rude Human: Why should you be postponed?
Me: I'm starting a new job next week.
Rude Human: You have to fill out a letter, explaining-
Me: Wait a minute- why do you have an automated system if I still have to fill out a letter.
Rude Human: You can use the automated system? Then why are you wasting my time?

(Me glutton for punishment. Me calls again.)

Not Rude Human: Ok, what's your name and social?
Me: (Gives info.)
Not Rude Human: Just fill out the form and mail it in.
Me: Um... will it get there in time?
Not Rude Human: You can always drop it off.
Me: Thanks!

(Stay tuned...)


Sunday, November 12, 2006

"My Name is Borat- I Like You!"

I saw the movie Borat last night, and laughed so hard I almost had a heart attack. For those who don't know, Borat is a fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. The film is a "mockumentary" about America. In reality, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (the king lemur in Madagascar who likes to "move it, move it!") and a camera crew convinced different groups (as Borat) that he was filming a documentary about America that would not be shown in the US, or he interacted with people using hidden cameras to get their reactions.

So, on, the outer level, this is an extremely vulgar comedy making fun of an Eurasian man trying to find his way through America. On a higher level, however, it's a fascinating expose of how insane all of our social customs and taboos must look to an outsider. As Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea put it in the Illuminatus Trilogy, imagine you are a Martian who is observing human culture. Every morning, 80% of men on Earth tie a piece of colored cloth around their necks. Why? Does it symbolize some sort of death fixation? The majority of females put on pointy shoes with sticks underneath the heels that must be painful to walk on. Why? Humanity is full of social customs and taboos (racism, religion, patriotism, homosexuality, affection to strangers, feminism, chauvinism, frank talk of bodily functions, etiquette, etc etc etc) that, if you took a moment to think about, you probably couldn't find a damn good reason for.

I find it hysterical how many people in the movie (the rodeo manager, the frat boys (who are actually suing 20th Century Fox), the feminists, and the manager of Channel 16) are coming forth, angry that they're being show without their social filters in place. ("We never would have acted this way if we had know it would be in a movie shown across America!") I'm sure that's one of those things that wouldn't have been as funny if it had happened to me, but what the hell. It's worth the $10 + sitting through 15 minutes of television commercials before the previews even start.


Friday, November 10, 2006

IF: Clear

The cheap made-in-Mexico electrical tape my shop buys leaves far too much residue. Duct tape rips easily. What exactly is the difference between a cold dish of revenge and a hot dish of revenge? This sucks because electrical tape is the perfect band-aid. Oh God, every night I regret that I didn't. Eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ makes me a cannibal and a vampire. Now I have little black smears all over the apartment. What, can you make me have rainbow shots? A guy was mauled by a bear out in the woods and survived by wrapping his body back together with duct tape 'till help arrived. I sliced my finger on a jagged edge of an aluminum stud.

Put those thoughts in the correct logical order. Find someone else who put them in a different order, and explain to them why they are wrong. If they resist, beat the living shit out of them for their own good, until they agree your way is the only way. Then tell them that you're sorry, and they were right all along.

I'm going to bed.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Paranoid Ramblings

Rumsfeld is stepping down! TOO BAD IT'S ONLY 5 FUCKING YEARS TOO LATE!

OK, I have resigned myself on politics, but one question keeps tickling at the back of my mind: If the Republicans hate and fear Hillary so much, why didn't they put up anyone to seriously run against her? Without looking, I DARE anyone to tell me the name of her Republican opponent! He had no commercials, no debates against her, no support, no nothing. It's either that a) they didn't think anyone could win against her in the current political climate- especially in NY- and didn't want her to win a real fight, or b) both parties are just part of some conspiracy and it doesn't matter who wins. (Think about it- why did Gulianni, the man who DID have a chance of winning against her, drop out so that an unknown and unwinnable schmuck could run against her back in 2000? Hmm... And no, unwinnable is NOT a real word...)

Ponderable #2: I know Einstein said that there doesn't HAVE to be an aether, but think about it... if light is a wave, what is the medium that it's waving through? Yes, I know quantum physics states that light is both a wave and made up of particles, and whatever result you get depends on what you're testing for, but this still keeps me up at night. All waves (sound, water, etc) are energy moving through a medium. So what is the goddamn medium of light waves in a vacuum? Is the universe simply made of light, and what we see as waves is energy rippling through it? DON'T SUBMIT TO THE PHOTON CONSPIRACY!


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Up in Smoke, that's Where My Money Goes...

I don't know. It was the first thing that came to mind.

Being a Robert Crumb fan, I once saw the biopic, "Crumb." Someone told that Crumb's brother was into some sort of yoga where he would eat a string, leaving the end sticking out of his mouth. He would then wait for the rest of the string to pass through his body, and then be able to floss himself. Whether this is a total load of crap, it still makes a fascinating story. Come on, who wouldn't floss themselves if they could?

I need to floss my brain.

I took my son to see Magnificent Desolation, an Imax Film about the moon. Great, educational, but the ending pissed me off, because they showed this Latino chick in the future as the head of the moon colony. I have no problems with Latino chicks or having them in charge, what I have a problem with is this is total bullshit. Unless we discover some sort of moon element that will cause immortality or something else fantastically useful, we'll NEVER have colonies on the moon, because who ever moves there- or is born there- will never be able to walk on the Earth again! Their muscles will have atrophied far too much under the moons 1/6 g gravity. Think about it- why haven't we spread across the surface of Antarctica yet? BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING THERE! So as much as I love the thought of living on the moon- this cynic doesn't see it happening.

I take no joy in this. No one wants off this planet more than me. I hate it. I hate the people on it, bar my family. I hate environmentalists the most, because all they want to do is save the planet. Nuke the whales, and give the roaches a chance.