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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Buy a Token Now for a Ride that's Super Wow

Perhaps because it never fails to soothe the savage beast that is my three-year-old Mandypandy, I've had this song in my head all week:





For those too young to remember, this is vintage 1970's Sesame Street. What's so interesting to me is that not only does it have no educational value whatsoever, but it highlights all the problems of the subway rather than singing it's virtues. Quite odd for a children's show- maybe that's why they never show it anymore. But hey, it's got a bouncy beat and it's the honest truth!

TTFN

-Tony

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain



The Illustration Friday word of the week is RAIN. It's been a while since I've done some realistic CGI. Made with 3ds Max with Mental Ray rendering.

Rain… rain… it's raining now. Rain, weather, global warming… something else I'm supposed to worry about. Yep, Al Gore, the sky is falling. NYC could be destroyed by a hurricane… any… year… now… someday… whatever. Guess the panic-inducing-terrorist threats got old. There's also North Korea's supposed missile which supposedly would be shot down by our defense system, and Iran's supposed weapons buildup. Get with the times, people. The threat of supposed Nuclear War is so… 80s! Please stop trying to make me worry about something else I can't change, I have enough real life worries right now.

2:00 am. Remember when you were a kid and all you wanted to do was stay up late? Then you grew up and said "what's the big deal?" Unless, of course, you found a social group that did human sacrifices at 1am. There's always ways to meet new people & have fun. Sadly, there's usually unlimited amounts of money involved. That's the trouble with the whole Carpe Diem thing. If you lived every day as if it were your last, wouldn't you get broke pretty damn quick? People say, "Well, think about your happiest moments. Now, was money really involved?" YES!

The American dream was summed up by Leo Bloom in the (original) movie, "The Producers:" I want everything I've ever seen in the movies!"

TTFN
-Tony

PS Kindly check out Joe's interpretation of Rain on dARTh-joe. Groovie.

PPS: Addendum, 6/24/2006

As someone's been kind enough to think this was a photograph, I thought I'd include a polygon/ wireframe rendering before the Archangeles of Illustration Friday start crying, "Foul!"

PPPS: Addendum #2, Clarifying:

I'm not advocating hiding our heads in the sand. Environmental problems are real, weather Al Gore uses them to keep his name on the news or not. But the sad truth is, it took 150 years of unbridled industrialism to pollute our air, and it's going to take millennia for nature to work itself out – if it ever does at all.

What I resent is the implication that it's something we could correct RIGHT NOW if we'd only _____. Of course, we should stop making it worse! However, my point is there is nothing I can personally do about it, (bar joining the Amish and never using anything electrical or combustive again,) so, as the alcoholic's prayer goes, it's something I should have the wisdom not to get my panties in a twist about.

The real problem is that as our entire consumer-based economy depends on advertising, the media does its best to keep us on the edge of our seats as if the news were just another movie. They WANT us to be worried, whether it's about terrorism, the environment, nuclear war, hurricanes, or an asteroid hitting the planet, because it keeps their ratings up, keeps people watching the news, keeps them buying newspapers! What's more, it keeps them buying useless comfort items: the latest CDs, DVDs, designer clothes, computer games, alcohol, cigarettes, and of course, comfort foods – after which we can spend our money on diet fads! And they wonder why our stress levels are so high!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Excitement! Drama! Fresh Fruit!

"You didn’t ask me what I wanted for father's day," my father chided me over the phone.

"That's because you always say, 'Nothing, don't waste your money,'" I replied. I had, in fact, bought my father hard copies of Scott Adams's God's Debris (which is available as a free e-book,) & its sequel The Religion War. "What did you want?"

"I want you to go to church & say a prayer for me." My parents have never accepted my conversion from Catholicism to Pastafarianism.

"I'll pray for you, but if God is everywhere, why do I have to go to a church?" I asked.

My mother joined in then. "We're praying for you, but you have to pray for yourself too."

"I have been," I told her. "But since I keep praying for the same things over & over, I think God's become bored with me."

I keep forgetting the walls have ears, because while tucking my son in, he asked, "Does God get bored with us?"

"No," I lied. (Joe still has not gotten over his terror that in five billion years the sun will explode.) "I was just teasing Grandma. I’m allowed." Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, how could God not be bored with us? Between television, surfing the net, video games, and our love/hate obsession with an act that even bugs perform- how could God be at all interested? Oh, I’m sure here & there we've caught his eye, like when we nuked Hiroshima & Nagasaki, (though the second time the novelty had probably worn off,) and the moon landings probably made him say, "Neat!" Jesus, DaVinci, Einstein & Hitler probably got his attention, but I bet he wonders why everyone is still drooling over Shakespeare. (Secretly, I bet a lot of English & Drama professors do too. It's probably just that no one wants to be the first to admit that the emperor has no clothes.)

So I ask you, (assuming for argument's sake that God is a separate- which I personally don't believe- all powerful & omnipotent entity,) what do you think someone would have to do to get His attention? What would make Him (or Her if you're inclined) stop flipping channels & say, "Wow! Come here & look at this!" It doesn’t have to be something possible with current technology, but it does have to be something new. Take a second & let me know.

TTFN

Tony

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Danced in the Morning when the World was Begun / & I Dance in the Moon, & the Stars, & the Sun


How much should one actually blog about themselves? Most of the problems I have are the result of talking too much about things I should have kept private. One also can't be too revealing when your mother might read your blog, no matter what age you are. My beautiful Jennifer once blogged a personal piece of information, and everyone in her family was buzzing on the phone within hours, asking what her problem was. She hasn't blogged since. However, who the hell wants to read this thing if it isn't honest? Maybe someone will read this and it will help them work out their own shit. Blogging for Goodness.

Blog. Such a nice word. Blog. Open your mouth wide and say it in a low voice. "Blllllllllooooooooooooooooooooooooooog!" Say it over and over again, in rhythm, dressed like Dieter and the Sprockets.

Where was I?

It's 3am. I'm sitting here because I have a pain in my back's lower left side, beneath my ribs- if I press on my bottom rib, it's very tender. It hurts when I lay down, no matter what position I'm in. This pain has slowly grown in the last couple of days. Is it just my back, causing more problems in the name of boredom? Or could it be something new- maybe a kidney problem? Since I've been out on disability with my three herniated disks, I've also suffered two bouts of strep throat, A toothache, massive depression, insomnia, weight gain (beefcake!) and now I can't even lay on my side or breathe too heavily, because it makes my side ache. Can't I just have a break? I took some good painkillers, which made me a zombie during my Mandypandy's third birthday party. Jennifer, Mom, Dad & my in-laws were very kind and helpful, so I really didn't have much to do, except make my lasagna. Mmmm, lasagna.

They're all helpful, especially my Jennifer. I seriously wonder if I'm addicted to dependency, and if I just create situations where I have to depend on others. I had a conversation with my cousin Dean today about the movie What the Bleep do We Know? While I disagree with many of the methods used in the movie, (if you want, I'll explain in another post,) I do agree with the conclusions reached: specifically, that as 1) every thought & emotion in your brain is chemical & 2) your body becomes addicted to chemicals then C) we can easily become dependant on emotions & get caught in behavior traps that reinforce them. So am I just addicted to feeling confused, exhausted, & afraid all the time? Is it just that my brain is used to feeling like I'm one inch away from being sucked under, so it refuses to allow me to simply swim back to shore? I know myself intricately. I know my mind, I know what I think and feel & why I do. So why can't I change it? Why can't I ever rise above merely gasping for air?


People know something's wrong with me. They see me as Wile E. Coyote, (super-genius,) but with no ambition whatsoever. There's a common phrase used among alcoholics called The Elephant in the Living room, meaning that users can't see the obvious root of all of their problems. My problem is just the opposite: I can see the elephant, but not the elephant gun. I think people can sense that I'm drowning, but refuse to acknowledge that the beach is just a few yards away, or that I was born with wings on my back. And it makes them angry and frustrated with me. Oh well. Sorry, I have enough out here to worry about, like tying weights to my feet.

Sorry for the whining, but it's my Blog.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Paranoia

The washing machine upstairs, it mocks me, MOCKS ME with it's off-center-load rumbling! I know it's plotting to neuter me with it's hidden cotton cycle. I'm going to creep up the fire escape and drive a knife into it's cruel, soapy lint trap.

How can you tell if lemon juice has gone bad? Would it taste sweet?

Why does everything I eat taste like food?

I definitely must XXmXXX XXXXXXXX one of these days. I would have done it years ago, but the wife won't let me.

Sorry.

When your left buttock shrivels up, turns black, and falls off- is that something you should see a doctor about?

Is it only funny if the person you want to impress is laughing at it?

NFTT
-Tony

Friday, June 09, 2006

Let's Bungle in the Jungle, Well That's All Right by Me...



My political thoughts for the day: The former House Majority Leader has just resigned. I guess now Congress can proceed… without DeLay…

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, June 02, 2006

Illustration Friday: Portrait


When you say the word "portrait," this is the first thing that comes to my mind: some snotty guy in a ruff, staring down his nose at the painter. (Side note: It's 10:17 am on Friday and at least fifty-one IF'ers have posted before me. I guess they just draw faster than I do.)

Of course, the most famous portrait of all time is the Mona Lisa, which no one can mention these days without bringing to mind The DaVinci Code. I have to say the book didn't impress me. It's written for a sixth-grade reading level, and if it hadn't been so deliberately controversial, it would have wound up in the bargain bin with all of Dan Brown's previous works. A far better Mona Lisa story is the Doctor Who episode "City of Death" penned by Douglass Adams (though under a different name.) He later used certain elements of this story in his book Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, along with a character from another Doctor Who episode of his, "Shada."

I once made the mistake of buying a book called How to Write a Bestseller, or something like that. The first half of the book was full of scare tactics to convince the reader that unless they followed the author's instructions, they would never sell a story, much less make any money off it. The rest of the book was patterned after, yes, The DaVinci Code. It basically said to write at a sixth-grade level and be as controversial as possible. I threw it out.

But I digress.

I have, at the moment, two photographs hanging in my apartment. One is my wedding picture, the other is one of Joe "graduating" Kindergarten. (There's a great line in The Incredibles about the phenomenon of celebrating mediocrity) I'm a bad father, I guess, because I haven't put up any pictures of Mandy yet. But it just never occurs to me, because I see the wife and kids every day. Maybe I'm supposed to decorate my home for other people, who might come in some time when my wife and kids aren't home. I don't get it.

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Offense is in the Eye of the Offended

As a long-time fan of sick and twisted comedy, someone recently asked me what I actually would find offensive. Well, something like this. Yes, it offends me that someone would take a videotape of someone with cerebral palsy or whatever this woman has and post it on the internet as a joke.

TTFN
-Tony