Thursday, July 31, 2008

In a Persian Market

As I was putting the column together this morning, I listened to XLNC1, the classical station out of San Diego. I like it because you can listen online. Anyway, this played this song I'd never heard, which I later (after much effort and a cross-country phone call) entitled "In a Persian Market."

It was so cool!

the song alternates back and forth between orchestral music and what sounds like Indians doing a war song. (I guess it's Persians doing something or other).

You're going to love this. Check it out:

Hellman's Golden IronCock

Originally I was going to post Hellboy 2 along with the Harold and Kumar 2. My plan was to either call the column

Hellboy and Kumar escape from Golden Bay


Hellboy and Kumar and the Guantanamo Army

At the same time, my plan was to review Iron Man with Hancock, and call it IRONCOCK, which I thought was hilarious.

Then, my plans changed, and Hellboy got moved to the super hero column. This left me with


I eventually decided I didn't have the guts to make that a title post. Luckily this blog has no rules.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lonely at the Top

It took me awhile to post my Ranking this morning. This computer kept freezing up. It's the last one I have available to me, with the main one on the fritz. If this goes out I don't know what I'll do.

(Can I repeat my call for Death to all Computer Virus Creators?)

So, I was trying desperately to be patient, even restarting the computer when all else failed. Of course, right after I restart, the power goes out, meaning I have to restart anyway. Sigh.

Let me get to why I'm posting this thought. As I'm waiting for the second time through power up, I run through a conversation in my head. I do this all the time. (I also grabbed some of my sister's Cap'n Crunch; I hope she doesn't notice.)

Anyway, I'm running through a conversation in my head. No big deal for me. Except, this conversation has not happened yet. Again, no big deal. I often have multiple versions of conversations I could possibly have with people in the future.

What makes this one a little weird (honestly; it has nothing to do with where I'm going, but I believe in full disclosure), is that the conversation happens four years from now, with reporters, as I'm running for president. We'll deal with that another time.

The point (and I do have one) is that I had one of (if not the) best ideas ever. I mean EVER.

At least, I think it is. Sometimes my first blush is wrong. I desperately need to talk to someone about it, but I don't know who. I may wake up Bear, even though it's only 6:22 his time. One hopes he'll understand.

Monday, July 28, 2008


This picture was sent to me by alert Reader Ajax:

(click on picture for bigger view)

To him, and to everyone who visits any of the 143 websites under the Hyperion Institute Banner, I just wanted to say Thanks.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hamish on Baby Blues

My good friend (and occasional Merengue partner) Tracy Lynn often calls me "H," which, I sort of like. So far she's the only one to do it. Maybe it will catch on. I used to have this dream of having a restaurant and nightclub side by side. The restaurant went through many different name changes (in my head), but the club was always called "Aitch," which is a more clever way of saing "H." The things we do.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see Hamish from the always entertaining newspaper comic Baby Blues has been going through something similar. (As always, click on the comic for a bigger view.)

Here Hamish is explaining to his dad what he now wants to be called.

This is actually the last in the sequence, sort of a reality check:

The second installment was my favorite. I think I'm going to start saying that from now on: "Hyperion would be annoyed at that comment; H just lets it slide."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Free Tater-Tot Advise

My dad got some tater tots at the Farmers' Market. They didn't have cooking instructions, but how hard can it be? Put them in frozen into a hot 425 oven, and check them after 15 minutes, right?

Except, I let them thaw first. And I put them in a cold oven, rather than pre-heating.

Neither of these things are necessarily fatal, however.

Leaving them in for 1 hour and 14 minutes? That might have done it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Heart Asks Pleasure First.

My mom discovered Pandora, which is an online music station that allows you to tailor the type of music you want to hear (although not the actual song). She leaves it on all the time; having never quite figured out the difference between "Switch Users" and "Log Off."

Anyscootch, I had to use the computer, and her music was playing. No big deal; I only planned on being there a moment. However, this song came on that absolutely transfixed me. It was so familiar, but I couldn't figure out from where I had heard it.

Finally I had to log on to her account. (I know the password, not from nefariousness, but because I frequently am called upon to fix whatever technological shenanigans she's gotten herself into.)

The song was called "The Heart Asks Pleasure First," by Michael Nyman, which still wasn't registering, but at least I knew it.

Then it hit me: it was from the soundtrack to THE PIANO. I instantly found the video on You Tube, and have listened to it at least 150 times since. (For realz.)

I just looked up the score to find out --astoundingly--it didn't get nominated for an Oscar. One cannot really get mad that SCHINDLER'S LIST won Best Original Score. I have that CD; it's amazing, and rips my heart out every time. I likewise cannot fault THE REMAINS OF THE DAY and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE getting nominations. If memory serves they were well done as well.

But while I'm sure THE FUGITIVE and THE FIRM have great scores, in fact I know they do (especially THE FUGITIVE), no one can seriously claim the scores are better than THE PIANO. I have that CD as well, and I used to listen to it constantly. Almost every song is home run quality. Bastards.

At least you can listen to "The Heart Asks Pleasure First." Sounds like a great title for a poem. Maybe I'll write it this weekend.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Which Would You Rather?P

Some decisions in life are easy. Who to vote for. What god to believe in. Who to marry. Whether to have kids. To live or die.

Then there are the toughies, the ones that keep us up and night and fill our stomachs with icy lead. However, we here at the Hyperion Institute believe that what makes men strong (and women smokin' hot) is making those tough choices.

You're here now: there's no going back.

Which would you rather? Choose, but choose wisely:

Ginger or Mary Ann

Pepsi or Coke

Yankees or Red Sox

Brady Bunch or Partridge Family

Chicken or Beef

Sylvester or Tweety Bird

Kornheiser or Wilbon

Cake or Pie

Cartman or Stewie

Coffee or Tea

Michael Jackson or Prince

John Lennon or Paul McCartney

The Three Stooges or The Marx Bros.

Lord of the Rings or the first Star Wars trilogy

[My answers in the comments. And for the record: anyone who wusses out and picks "no one" will be molested with gummy worms]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Yesterday was tough. On the one hand, I had the best hit-count day ever. I mean, ever. I had over 2300 just on my home page, and almost 2600 on the Institute at large. To put that in perspective, the home page has never had more than 400 in any one day, and the Institute all together never more than 800, and that was in the Brittany Bratt hey-day. S0, we're talking huge.

But I couldn't enjoy it. For reasons that come down to how much I suck, or how much everyone else sucks (or both), I aliented everyone close to me. I had no one to share my (in only temporary) good fortune. I feel like the proverbial story of the guy watching his mother-in-law drive off a cliff in his new Cadillac. If good news happens in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, can you still celebrate?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Visitor

I wanted to do a story in just four sentences. This is what I came up with. (Feel free to give it your own shot in the comments.)

She heard the curtain rustle behind her, and she smelled the familiar scent of sweat, cheap bourbon and stale cigarette smoke in the air. Her hand clutched her dressing gown involuntarily, but her body did not betray her as her back stayed straight and she willfully did not shiver.

She did not turn around.

She had been waiting.

["The Visitor" by Stephanie Alice Rogers. See her work at Strange Moon Art.]

Monday, July 07, 2008

Loose and Lively

Koz and the family were passing through town (like a tumbleweed, or possibly a monorail salesman) last night, and they deigned to stop and have a quick bite at McDonalds with me. I had not seen the boy, Storm, in over a year. He was two then, and four now, and I did not think he would remember me. He did, however, proclaiming, “You’re the one who had those tacos and you wouldn’t give me one, even though I like tacos….alot!”

Now that’s a memory!

I shamelessly pulled the “what’s that behind you?” trick in order to steal Storm’s fries, until Koz taught him the ways of Fry-theft. Koz berated me for stealing a four-year old’s fries, and I felt bad until the Contest. Storm wouldn’t eat his food, and his mom Teela said that he wouldn’t get to play with the prize (a Bumblebee Transformer) unless every bite of that hamburger disappeared. Ever the helpful chap, I offered to race the kid with my double cheeseburger; winner gets the transformer.

It wasn’t as if I was going to win; I was just helping Koz and Teela get their son to eat his food. However, the little monster cheated! Every time he thought no one was looking he would spit some of the hamburger out into the wrapper, and at the end, he stuffed the final third in the wrapper and closed it up with a loud “All done!”

I feel no qualms about stealing those fries.

This was also the first time I got to see the newest member of Team Koz: seven-month-old Rhythm. (She’s going to have a blast playing Tag as a kid; running around yelling, “Rhythm’s gonna get you….tonight!”)

Now, you all know that I am on record as saying that all babies look the same: ugly and wrinkled, and gods forbid they hold up their end of a decent conversation.

However, by about six months, babies can begin to look almost human, and I have to admit that Rhythm was one of the least ugly babies I have seen in awhile, enough so that I started to make “13 year layaway program” jokes to Koz. The kid was eternally smiling about everything, which was a nice turn of events from most ladies, who cannot seem to go ten minutes without some Chick Drama. (If you are a girl and you got mad at me for saying that: QED.)

Also, Rhythm dressed like a hooker, which was nice. She had on this little Baby Gap sundress on and pretty much nothing else. I felt this was a good fashion choice, and I hope the “loose and lively” look makes its way to the higher ages. I joked with Koz that Rhythm pretty much had all the attributes a man is looking for in a woman.

“Yeah,” he said. “She’s affable, doesn’t eat much, wears revealing clothing and best of all, is silent.”