Saturday, December 10, 2011


Not that I need presents, but many people want to give them to me, both because of my Future Emperorship (excellent idea, sucking up), and my overall kickassian ways.

I have an Amazon Wishlist - which you can use for ideas.


if you pick something off the wishlist - it will actually send it to me, and I have it set up so that it won't tell me, either, it will be a surprise.


You can always bake me cookies and send them (and other presents) to the address listed on the Amazon Wish List. I ain't scrrd of you - but if you stalk me, best be aware, I have a Legion, and they're armed.



For those who are on hard times, I have a separate Wishlist made of items all under $15. Feel free to use that one, too.

I update these wishlists every time I run into something new, so feel free to check back and send presents often!

And if you're just not into the Christmas thing, remember - my birthday is December 31st. I KNOW you want to get me something for that, right?

As for the picture above, you may wonder what it is I wanted there. Did you see the awesome table???

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Daffy Duck, Troubadour

It hasn't been the best Fall TV season; in fact, it's been one of the worst in recent memory. But one of the bright spots is The Looney Turnes Show, a crazy attempt to take the Looney Tunes characters and put them in a Sitcom.

I'll let you think about that for a minute.

[eating carrot in nonchalant way while waiting, not unlike a certain cool-as-hell Bunny....]

Sounds crazy, right?

Somehow it works - and if you had any love for Buggs and crew I recommend it whole-heartily. (new episodes are on Cartoon Network Tuesdays at 8, but they rerun the episodes all the time, so just check for it).

One of the biggest revelations has been Daffy Duck. I never realized with a sociopath he is. All the Looney Tunes characters have mental health issues (I'm working on a list of them for a column), but Daffy takes the cake. his pathological narcissism is so all-encompassing it's almost inspiring.

Which makes what happened on tonight's episode all the more fascinating.

One of the really cool things the Looney Tunes Show does is 1 minute music videos as they are going to commercial. The songs are sung by various Looney Tunes characters but are not necessarily related to the plot of that week's episode.

So, last night the video section had Porky Pig asking how you know you're in love.  Daffy Duck  supplies the answer, singing a ballad while playing the piano.

I can't tell you how strange this is.  After all the episodes of Daffy totally focused inward - to hear him tenderly explain Love was....well, it was something.

The song starts off slowly and then gets brisker as the lyrics get ever more...bizarre.  I would much rather show you the video, but I have been unable to find it anywhere. (Even finding the lyrics was impossible. I had to write them down myself while listening to the song - which took endless rewinding and pausing - and then like 9 kinds of idiot I didn't save the notepad document and my computer crashed shortly thereafter. It took me forever to track them down again, as by then I had deleted the episode.)

Anyway, I don't have the video, so you'll have to bear with me.  The Song is funny enough that you should get the jist of it.

The crazy part - as bugnutz insane as this song is - Daffy essentially gets it right.  This IS what being in love is like. [Some of my spelling is off because I have tried to re-create how Daffy draws out the words.

"That's How You Know You're In Love"
(Written and performed by Daffy Duck and uknown background singer(s))

[slowly, Daffy at the piano, half singing, half talking, the way lounge singers sometimes do - and Porky standing right next to him]

How do you know when you're in love?
Well, you came to the right frie-end. 
Love is like an ice cream sundae - 
That you think is never gonna eh--ennd. 
Love make you feel all ting---gell-ly, light-headed and pretty, 
Just like a.....700-foot robot that's invading a city....

[aside - spoken]
Porky: uh, uh...Robot?
Daffy: Exactly

But you're not an evil robot -
You're a robot looking for love. 
But there's not a lot of giant 700 foot robots love. 
So you glue a bunch of smaller robots together 
And make one big super robot, 
And you and your robot go out to brunch, 
And by the end of brunch you're in love. 
Trust me, that's exactly what it's like to be in love.

Then you and your robot lover destroy the entire Schenectady Turnpike, 
'Cause you're doing a robot love-dance and you don't care what it looks like. 
And when the armies of the world come to fight you, you get into your spaceship, 
And you tenderly embrace while you fly into space, 
'cause Earth's not ready for your giant robot love. 

That's how you know you're love.
[unknown voice] (Find yourself a robot to love)
That's how you feel when you're in love.

[at this point Porky and Daffy have some back-and-forth that I didn't get copied down. Basically Porky can't understand what Daffy is trying to say, so Daffy offers a completely different helpful analogy.]

It's just like you're merman, that's 700 feet tall, 
And you're looking for a lady merman, to love.

[aside - spoken]
Porky: Don't you mean Mermaid?
Daffy: Don't interrupt

But the ocean is a massive place, 
And there's not a lot of lady mermen, 
So in order to increase your chances 
You travel to the Undersea Merman Mall
That's where fish and mollusks go to find love. 
And you find a female merman who is working at a kiosk
Selling cellphone covers and personalized key chains. 
Your hand brushes one of her tentacles and she just melts inside.
The manager gets insanely jealous 
And stabs you with his trident and you're dead. 
[unknown voice] (Stabs you with his trident and you're dead.)
That's how you know you're in loooooooove!

Daffy - who knew!  Every once in awhile, he just gets it.  As crazy as this song sounds - that's exactly what it's like!!!


November 19

I finally found the video so you can watch it for yourself!  I did a good job of describing, if I do't say so myself. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

If it's a bluff

If it's a bluff it's a damn good bluff, and should be awarded credit. But what if it's not? There's no way to bring it up without showing weakness myself, if I'm wrong. I'll figure out a way. And if not, well, that's when you take out the big stick and head back into the jungle. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Imagine Herman Cain

[The following has nothing to do with politics in a traditional sense, either mine, yours or Mr. Cain's. It's more about how people make major decisions in their lives.]

Herman Cain is a great story, but we all know he will not get the nomination, let alone the presidency. He will never fit the mold of expected conventionality the way Perry, Romney, or even Obama does.

It's too bad for Cain's sake that he does not have someone with once-in-a-generation bravery and imagination working for him, because the video below - back when Cain worked for the pizza industry, is goofy, inoffensive, and funny, but more than that, holds the one small sliver of out-of-the-box thinking that might get Cain to "stick" in people's minds the way that is necessary to get elected in the new world.

I am telling you with 100% sincerity that Herman Cain should start singing at all his campaign appearances. It would defy everything we know. It would make him a laughingstock, a source of constant late-night derision, angst and troubling echoes to a sordid racially charged past for American Entertainment and politics.

And it just might make Herman Cain the next president.

I know, you don't agree with me. I barely agree with me, and I'm a genius.  It's so counter-intuitive that it's almost impossible to wrap your head around.

People, the president is not your Mommy. He's not your Daddy, though that's what people seem to think, what they hope for. The president has never had the control over the Economy that people think. Read the Constitution: it's not even in his job description.

If the past 20 years have taught us nothing else - and they haven't - it's that the president cannot solve your problems, no matter how much you want him to. At some point people will grasp this on an unconscious level, even if they do not agree.

So what does that leave?

In the modern world, people need their president to give them something else, something different, not forced down their throats on the advice of marketing experts, but a part of who they are, a part that sticks out, gives people something else to think about. This is why the myriad low-grade controversies that followed Clinton actually helped him, they made him memorable and interesting. People don't want to consider the idea that they pick their president in the same way that they pick what to watch on Thursday Night TV, but they do.

Whatever politics and priorities a candidate says he has change once he becomes president, and is forced to deal with the reality, not the theory of his lofty goals. Whatever is left gets compromised - sometimes out of recognition, with his opponents, with the changing needs of the country and public zeitgeist, and that which does get put into Law never acts according to how it was drawn up.

In other words, the practical, real-world relationship a person has with their president is by far most influenced by the quality of the four-year reality show that the modern presidency is. The jokes. The family. The controversies. The scandals. The Fashion. The president's hobbies, his hopes, his tone of voice. How he ages in front of us, how he handles the big moments, how he handles disappointment, how he is able to surprise us, stir us, and simply stay on our minds.

Herman Cain could be that man. He won't do it and who could blame him? He wants what every candidate wants, to be taken seriously. No one running for president, particularly an African American, wants to be seen as a sideshow, Tonight's Entertainment.

But ironically, whether they admit it or not, that's what people are looking for. Imagine that.

Lyrics to Herman Cain's Pizza Beatles montage:

Imagine there's no pizza
I couldn't if I tried
Eating only tacos
Or Kentucky Fried
Imagine only burgers
It's frightening and sad

You're lucky you have pizza
To feed for kids for you
Only frosting or cookies
And no dishes you must do
Imagine eating pizza
Each and every day

You may say that it's junk food
But to me it's so much more
It gives my life its meaning
And it makes a lot of dough

Imagine mozzarella
Anchovies on the side
And maybe, pepperoni
Rounds out your pizza pie
Imagine getting pizza
Delivered to your door

You don't have to give up now
On my skateboard I will go
I'll be back in 30 minutes
I just bought Dominoes

All I am saying
Is give pizza a chance
All I am saying
Give pizza a chance!
All I am saying
Is give pizza a chance
All I am saying
You've got to, got to give pizza a chance!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3rd String Humor

This is excerpted from a post on my Fantasy Football Message Board, the only place I write anything anymore, it would seem. In a few places I have added end-notes to explain what would otherwise be lost out-of-context.

Cletus [someone in the League: all names have been changed] has a friend named Ponyboy, whom I'm convinced Cletus keeps around for the sole contingency of one day needing someone to frame for Murder.

A few years  ago Cletus fiendishly engineered the events of my life to lead to a point where I was forced to spend a large amount of time with Ponyboy, in what I can only figure was scientific experiment to see how far someone (me) could be pushhed before snapping and going on a 12-state killing spree.

But that's a story for another day. The reason Ponyboy sprang to mind vis a vis this debate(*1) is the one funny moment I ever experienced around Ponyboy (at least the one funny moment that didn't involve him getting hustled for $400 by a long-in-the-tooth stripper and then asking for a partial refund when he proved unable to achieve full tumescence, but I digress), involved his basketball career.

He told me that in Middle School he'd been on the basketball team and was a few rungs below a Cullen Brother(*2)  on the Ability Ladder. (Don't try to picture this metaphorical ladder. M.C. Escher would drive himself mad trying to create it.)

Ponyboy's coach was one of those overbearing redfaced glory-of-war types (somewhere Bear is thinking, "I bet HE wouldn't care about a thousand dollars on the line in his fantasy league!"(*3)) who took the games very seriously.  The coach had nothing but antipathy for his less-than-skilled players, and if you remember back to your Middle School Days (which in the case of Papa Akers might necessitate a rotogravure(*4)), you will recall that there were very few "athletes' who had developed much skill.

Consequently, the Coach loathed everyone but his starters (and even then, his feelings about his starting Center were akin to those of a man whose daughter is dating a line cook from Applebees, but "only until his band Redheaded Stepmonkey(*5) gets signed to a record deal which they totally will because they are so amazing, Daddy, you should hear them I bet you would really like them!"). Coach had little or no use for his second team, and would derisively call them "The Pylons" - a tribute to their inability to move on Defense (or Offense, or out of a huddle, for that matter); a clever name that would in no way stick to an unimpressionable hard-as-nails seventh grader.(*6)

Ponyboy, as he told me, was in the third-string, a motley bunch with the collective skil level considerably below even the second team.

One might imagine the self-esteem of a Girls Gone Wild Reunion Tour(*7), but Ponyboy confided this wasn't the case. The boys knew they were bad, and in all likelihood did not really want to play, and were only doing so to please a father, etc. And where the Coach needled the second team relentlessly, he at least had the action-plan that perhaps the second-stringers would be motivated by his mockery and become better players. But the coach saw the third string as so far beneath even the second-stringers that he wouldn't even spare them the energy of a withering glare. As far as the coach was concerned they didn't exist, which suited them just fine.

Ponyboy told me that the 3rd string had even developed a gallows humor cameraderie of sorts.  The second string was so bad (according to the Coach) that they were The Pylons - what did that make the 3rd string?  The name they develped for themselves was "The Pylons' Replacements."

As much as I hated that man, you gotta admit, that's pretty damn funny.

*1 I cut all that out; you couldn't possibly care about it; involved the morality of benching a player on Monday Night if you already had your week's match-up won and didn't want to risk negative points.

*2 Not the Vampire family, although now that I've renamed them for anonymity's sake, I wish we DID call them the Cullen Brothers

*3 This refers to the cut-our morality debate

*4  I was trying to use a reference that would jokingly call him old (he's the oldest guy in our league, being the commissioner's father), but I didn't do a great job there.

*5 Redheaded Stepmonkey would make a really great band name.

*6  This is sarcasm, in case you're totally lost by my random writing stylingz, or are Australian and genetically incapable of understanding it.

*7 If you can't figure out why the girls in Girls Gone Wild videos likely have low self-esteem then you're probably stupid. Send me a picture of yourself topless and I will help you feel smart and good about yourself. (Offer does not apply to dudes, Cletus.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Giant Weasel

I am NOT a weasel, but if I Was a weasel, I would be a Giant Weasel, as opposed to a tiny weasel.  Why? 

One should never trust the lesser of two weasels.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Short political rant, fomented while watching 9/11 anniversary coverage

There are few things more depressing than realizing I live in a world where sycophantic fuckwits like P. Begalia & B. Kristol are considered experts at anything other than reading whatever propagandistic afterbirth is placed in front of them, while I can't get so much as a reach-around on my infinitely better analysis...on everything. 

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Night Dinner

I somehow got roped into making Family Dinner.  This vexed me, but it was hard to blame my kin completely. I am a Master in the Kitchen, at least when it comes to creative ideas. The only reason I do not cook more often is my broken battered body which cannot hold up to the rigors of fast-paced culinary powers - or hell, even standing!

The only way I could really make it work was to prepare the food in shifts, all day long, with down-time in between each stage so that I could mini-recover. This necessity lended itself well to the idea of a salad, which has many ingredients that are prepared separately and thrown together at the end. 

The first thing I did was freeze a pound of brown-sugar bacon, to make it easier to cut. Then I chopped it up into little pieces (although they were sticking together in their line, but soon separated) and fried them up in two batches. 

While the bacon was crisping I opened four little tubs of Sweet N' Sour sauce I had leftover from Burger King. (I may be poor but I'm creatively efficient, or efficiently creative; not sure which.) To the Sweet 'N' Sour I added some Teriyaki marinade from the fridge (I wanted to add Soy, but there was none; not even little packets from Chinese take-out!) and a little bit of corn syrup. I then added some Raspberry Preserves jam and a few grinds of the pepper mill and started stirring. When the bacon was all cooked off I poured the hot grease into my little concoction and stirred like mad to make an emulsification for my dressing. (Because the bacon grease was hot, and because the temperature in the house was so blasted hot, the emulsification kept breaking, but I would just restir each time to satin it back up.)

I put the bacon pieces in paper towels to soak up excess grease and to cool. After a short rest I started heating water. While that was happening I peeled two mangos and cut them up into little pieces. 

When the water was boiling I added six packages of Ramen. After a couple of minutes I poured the noodles into a collander and put the pan back on the stove. I added two tablespoons of butter (which melted readily in the super hot pan). I added the noodles back into the pan, added a little more butter and tossed the noodles around. After a minute I added the six flavor packets (chicken), and tossed very thoroughly to evenly coat the spices. I spread the ramen out on my cutting plastic to cool. 

(Like an idiot I put a napkin on top to protect the ramen, and when I removed it I had a bunch stuck to the napkin, which I had to pull off one noodle at a time and eat myself.)

Once the ramen was cooled and dried out a little I chopped it up a good bit, since long strands would not be condusive to salad. 

I now had done most of my prep. 

I went to the store - on a Friday night, me! - and knew that I would never make it without the cripple cart. I have never used one in the daytime, which basically means i haven't been in a grocery store during the day in years. It felt weird. 

I picked up two packages of Asian-style Teriyaki-Honey boneless wings (about 16 oz.) in the deli. I also got 2 pints of grape tomatoes and a bunch of organic red-leaf lettuce. (I already had Romaine-in-a-bag, but I wasn't sure that was enough.)

I couldn't get just one carrot (my plan was to shred it), but I found shredded carrots for only $0.99 so that was good. I wanted to buy pistachio pieces but I could only find in the shell and whole - a small tin was ten bucks!  I ended up getting a Blue Diamond tin of Honey Roasted almonds. I ended up smashing half up into little bits and leaving half of them whole. 

I got to the house and dried the organic lettuce (they keep that stuff wet!) best I could. I chopped it up and added it to the romaine. 

My biggest problem now was that I didn't have a bowl big enough for all this. I ened up having to take some of the lettuce out, and in the end I'm not sure I shouldn't have just skipped the lettuce and called it a pasta!

I chopped up the boneless wings into bite-sized pieces and added them to the lettuce, along with the bacon, cold ramen, almonds, mangoes, tomatoes, shredded carrots and...I'm forgetting something.  Oh yeah, golden raisins!  

I coated it all very lightly in my dressing, and served with this really cool loaf of French bread I found that had ridges on the top that were so deep it was almost like pull-apart.  

Also, I bought a Boston Cream Cake for dessert. (It was half off, just like the chicken. I often get meats or bakery items that way when they are day-old. Hey, they are still good to me!) My dad told me it was actually called a Boston Cream Pie, even though it was a cake. I'd heard of BCP, of course, but never seen one, so I learned something there. 

To drink I got Jones Sugar-Free Black Cherry soda. I like Jones because they put pictures on the bottles, cans and packages that customers send in. I had to search a long time because my brother will not touch aspartame, but luckily Jones had sucalose so it was all good. 

Everyone seemed to love the salad, so I guess I did well. I blew my entertainment budget for the entire month. (Sorry, Optimus Prime and Hermione), and I may not be able to walk across my room for at least a week, but it made my family happy and gave them good memories and....well, that's not doing it for me right now, but I'm sure there's an upside I'm not seeing. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

not new, but refurbished

I have a new template for this site (my third re-design in 48 hours!) and a new name. It's not much, but I suck at templates, so for me it's big.

I will explain the new name later, after sleep. I'm not sure how I'm still even alive, let alone awake.

In case you're curious, I redid four of my templates in the last week - After Dark Tales, Movie Hype, Hyperion Chronicles, and this one. (I'm too tired and can't see well enough to link them in this post, but they are all at the top of the page.)

Ok, sleep, then explanation, I hope

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Where does Shaq rank historically?

When I first heard that Shaquille O'Neal  was retiring my knee-jerk reaction was, "He's in the Top Ten of all time, for sure." 

The problem is that we tend to think qualitatively without fully integrating quantitative factors. I can vividly remember being in college and M*A*S*H was on every night at 11:30 and 12:00. If my friend Jason Apple missed an episode he would ask me where it ranked and I would always say "Top Five."  I wasn't being flippant; when I saw the episode that was my first reaction. Of course, at some point it dawned on me, "Wait, these can't ALL be Top Five episodes!"

And this is the problem with Shaq, one of my favorite players to watch (in his prime) ever, partly because I played the same position, partly because Shaq came of age when I played in high school and sports therefore meant the most to me, partly because of his generosity off the court and partly because of his larger-than-life personality and style.  

But can Shaq really be Top Ten all time? I want to believe, but it's a hard case to make

[The following is a quick-take analysis, not meant to be comprehensive, and drawing upon the assumption that the reader is very familiar with the people, careers and eras to which I refer. Other people have written entire articles and books ranking players with more data and scope; I'm just giving quick short-hand on the problem of ranking things by "feel".]

If we look at the list of Greatest Players of all time, and limit ourselves to those no longer playing, just about everyone would have the following eight people in some order. (I'm using alphabetical, so as to not get bogged down on how this group should be divided, which is a separate argument we can have another time): 

Bird, Chamberlain, Jordan, Kareem, Magic, Robertson, Russell, West

As great as Shaq was, it's hard to imagine a knowledgeable person putting him ahead of any of those immortals. But here's where it gets tough. There are three more names of retired players that go into the discussion: 

Olajuwon, Moses Malone, Mikan

Mikan is by far the hardest to grade. By any fair definition, the Mount Rushmore of Greatest NBA centers would have Mikan, Russell, Chamberlain and Kareem, leaving Shaq off entirely. Yet Shaq was a better player, which seems contradictory, but I don't know how to put it any better. (The short answer is that we are supposed to judge players in their era, and Mikan was as dominant in his as anyone in any sport EVER, yet his game is so untranslatable today that it's hard to imagine him playing for a Division 1 college team. You think the Refs has different rules for how they called fouls for and against Shaq? They invented the Shot Clock to stop Mikan.)

Mikan's case is so troubling I don't even know what to do with it, but that's just the beginning. We still have Olajuwon and Malone. (By the way, it irks me that I had to put Moses Malone, but I knew if I didn't some moron would think I meant Karl Malone. Sigh.)

I'm willing to say Shaq is definitively better than Malone, and while I'm willing to discuss, that's pretty much settled in my head. But that means (if we're counting Mikan), Shaq woudl be #10, and that's only if you rank him ahead of Olajuwon.  No one who knows the game of basketball can be comfortable just saying that one way or the other. You might have a view on it, but you'd at least want to think it over. Shaq was more dominant, Olajuwon was more skilled. Shaq won four titles to Hakeem's two (and those two came during Jordan's hiatus), but one of Olajuwon's titles came against Shaq's Magic, and even though Shaq was still very young then, it's at least a head-to-head. 

But even then we have another HUGE problem. 

There are two players playing today that most likely have to go ahead of Shaq, or at least when they retire they will - Duncan and Kobe.  Duncan played in the same era as Shaq, but much like Olajuwon it's hard to say one way or another. Both won four rings. Duncan was more consistent and (arguably) a better teammate; Shaq was more dominant and at his apex better. It's a tough call.  

But that leaves Kobe, and, as much as it pains me to write these words, the last few years (not to mention the reasonable expectation that he has a couple of good to near-great years left) have moved Kobe past Shaq.  I hate writing that. You can't know how much I hate writing that. At one point a few years ago I felt that the argument was absurd, but I gotta be honest, even if I don't like it.  

To sum up, even if we ignore the historically vexing case of George Mikan, and even if we just declare Shaq better than Duncan and Olajuwon (which I'm not willing to do, and again - how could anyone feel comfortable being definitive about it), the highest we could possibly rank Shaq would be #10, and we wouldn't be able to sleep knowing we had cheated to do so. And even if we could somehow talk ourselves into Mikan not mattering and the Olajuwon/Duncan hit-jobs, we still couldn't rest easy, because of what's coming.

No one can know what the future holds, but if we look at the NBA today we at least get sort of an idea of what's on the horizon.  Will Durant one day be an all-time great? Maybe Chris Paul? Maybe Nowitzki if he keeps up this pace for a year or two, and maybe the Chicago Deez Boyz - D Rose or D Wade....all possibilities, but not likely to pass Shaq on the All-time list.  

But, c'mon.  We all know (or suspect, or cringe; however you feel about him) that it's only a matter of time, a couple of pieces of hardware, until another name goes right past Shaq and crashes that Hallowed Top 8, scrapping with Kobe over entrance to the Top 5 and even beyond.  

All of which leaves poor Shaq out of the Top 10.  He'll probably be okay with that. After all, he can rap. He can wrestle, and if there's not a badass action franchise out there for him I'll eat my hat.  Shaq will find his way, and we'll soon tell him how his third act tastes.....

I miss him already. 

Monday, March 07, 2011

Cable News vs. Pro Wrestling

What's the difference between cable news and pro wrestling? One is a slickly-produced artificial construct, a pageant of arbitrary heroes and villains based off of demographic appetites, a compelling if simplistic (and cynical) dramatic narrative that continually ups the ante, dazzles with smoke and lights and never lets logic, reality or common sense get in the way of a good ratings-delivering story.  The other....