Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is It Wrong?

My brother—who is staying at my place post-breakup with his girlfriend—asked the following while watching TV last night:

“Is it wrong to be seriously turned on by Erin Esurance?”

The answer? I don’t think so.

PS: For those taking notes at home, when asked “Is it wrong?” the answer is always, always “I don’t think so.”

As you were.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Get Lucky

This past week has been quite the whirlwind, beginning with being told on Monday night that my contract position with the VA has been unplugged.

However, my "unluck-luck" factor (which refers to my longtime, almost mutant-like ability to overcome sudden bad news with something else that falls out of the sky a la Longshot) seems to be kicking in once again, as I have a phone interview tomorrow for a job (another contract) that would pay as well as my current salary, and is in the same field.

The notion of commuting again doesn’t appeal to me much, but work is work. And my dog needs her kibble.

Yet beside all this, I’m frankly glad to be leaving my current job (which officially ends March 7th), which has been a proverbial funhouse of stress and frustration to work on.

So maybe this shift is yet another blessing in disguise.

We’ll see. Wish me luck.

Guess who needs a haircut and update of costume?

Friday, February 22, 2008

I Love That Story

What a terrible work week. I sure could use an emotional pick me up, like this…

Although God knows this country has enough homeless animals to go around, I always enjoy reading stories like the following about those who immigrate from a horrible, lonely life on the other side of the world.

Semper Fi.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sweet, Lactosey Nectar of The Gods

Although I found PT Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” to be rather bland, his smooth, creamy beat about milkshakes written for Daniel Day Lewis ranks among the greatest movie lines ever uttered.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Just a couple of random thoughts on today’s shooting at the NIU campus--leaving six dead including the shooter--which is not far from my home:

  1. Every time a shooting occurs on a school campus—which are full of potential targets for deranged gunmen—the tragedy is two-fold: beyond the immediate grief for those dead and injured, the killer’s insanity is contagious – flicking a switch in the head of a copycat inspiring him to one day try the same thing (i.e. Columbine, VA Tech).

  2. I also can’t help wondering if the shooter’s decision to use Valentine’s Day for his rampage has anything to do with a possible bad break-up or romantic jilting, and opted to use innocent people to vent his angst upon, or if the day in question was just random.

I attended NIU for 18 months in the very late '80s, during which time I had a math class at the same building where the shootings occurred today. And though my personal memories of NIU are not rosy, my heart goes out to the community. Incidents like these are becoming far too commonplace.

But on a lighter note, I wonder how long it will take Nathaneal Blake to whip up a self-righteous column questioning the manhood of those caught in the crossfire?

Come on, dickhead. We know you want to.

Happy Valentine's Day

Thanks to Chris Sims over at ISB for sharing these delightful sentiments, in addition to several others to mix and match.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

That Was Fast (What Are You Implying?)

According to Yahoo News, the WGA has reached a tentative deal with Hollywood’s powers-that-be for a new contract.

Here’s hoping it goes through, although I seriously doubt the deal will bring a quick flood of new episodes to shows like “Lost.” I imagine the current half season will quietly play itself out, and the next full one go into production in July as usual.

But I’m glad things seem to be wrapping up, and much sooner than I expected.

Hopefully, the writers will get a fair deal – for once.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thirty Days of Glory

Was cruising around Wil Wheaton’s blog tonight, and read a posting about classic ‘80s video arcades – the kind which hardly exist any longer due to home gaming systems.

But reading other posters’ nostalgic comments raised a memory of my late dad bringing my brother Scott and myself to a small local arcade in Naperville around 1981, which like many gaming stops then, had little white cards atop each cabinet displaying the high-score of the month.

While I grew pretty good at various games growing up (Punch-Out, Crazy Climber, Ms Pac-Man, Popeye) out of simple practice--pumping quarter after quarter into a game until I almost mastered it--my play was never as good as other hotshots who posted ridiculously high scores on most games.

However, at the aforementioned arcade, Scott and I found a little game called “Knightmare” featuring dual joysticks controlling knights at the top and bottom of the screen battling an endless parade of hungry dragons. And though we technically weren’t supposed to, Scott and I teamed up on the game, with each of us taking one knight in the fight.

After fifteen minutes we were doing well—very well, in fact--and had begun stacking up a decent supply of free men.

Fifteen minutes after that, we were going just as strong, and decided to go for the monthly game record – this, as our dad sat by with saint-like patience amidst all the digital noise because he knew how important it was to us to get our names on that high-score card.

Ninety minutes later, our wrists aching, Scott and I finally punched through – and though we could have conceivably kept stacking up points for much longer, we decided to quit and let our dad off the hook.

The arcade manager came over with his blank card, and told us only one of our names could be listed as high-scorer. I let Scott have the glory for thirty days, not because I was Albert Schweitzer, but because he was a good teammate.

The point of all this is a little tribute to our late father - God knows a lot of dads wouldn’t have stuck around so their kids could get break a small record.

But the fact that ours did just that, despite being bored to tears – no doubt, is a simple testimony to what a wonderful guy he was.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Diebold Day: The Aftermath

Yesterday’s Super Tuesday results were intriguing for the following reasons:

  1. It showed that Rush "The Drugster" Limbaugh’s impact on American politics is truly irrelevant, not that that’s a news flash.
  2. It showed how politically divided this nation still is.
  3. It showed there are lots of Democratic voters out there who really dislike Hillary Clinton.
  4. It showed that southern evangelical voters truly stick with their own (Huckabee).
  5. It showed how badly the US electorate wants to put Bush behind them.
  6. It showed Chris Mathews can't stop babbling on set, and doesn't know dick about voting trends.
  7. It showed Mitt Romney's campaign the door.
A long time ago, I predicted that Clinton and McCain would score their respective parties’ nominations. Now, by pure luck, it seems I may be right.

However, I wonder how picking—as many speculate McCain may do—Huckabee as his running mate will impact his chances. Strategically, it’s a winning choice, as it gives the ticket serious appeal in western and southern states. But I also question how sick Americans may be of pols like Bush who wear their religious faith on their sleeves?

As for Clinton, if Obama flames out prior to the convention, would a joined ticket (Hillary and Barack) be unbeatable?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Diebold Day

Performed my civic duty this morning and voted in the Illinois State Primary. And if the small banner to the left isn’t enough of a tip-off, I went with Barack Obama.

Why? Because after 43 straight white male presidents I think it’s long since time to shake up the status-quo – which is not to say I voted for Obama because he’s black. I did so because I find his civility extremely refreshing, and I like how he is skilled at bringing his opponents to the center.

I also like how Obama’s critics on the right seem boggled by his plain-spoken style, and have little to no idea of how to rebut him.

Meanwhile, I again can’t emphasize enough how tickled I am to see the neo-con, military industrial complex (an expression coined by a Republican president, no less), media-driven factions of the GOP imploding over John McCain. And the same parties so desperately invoking Ronald Reagan, as if doing so one more time will recall him from the grave.

It’s like watching an abusive, alcoholic father staggering closer and closer to the edge of a cliff.

Part of us wants to shove him off, and relieve the suspense. But then again, watching the bastard do himself in is so much more satisfying.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Jungle Life

As I often do on weekend nights, I was browsing my local B&N and Borders for a few random items (including the first two seasons of “Homicide” filmed at and around Fells Point, MD – one of my favorite spots in the world) including stuff by Edgar Rice Burroughs, when I was perturbed to find both stores had absolutely nothing by him.

No “Tarzan,” no “John Carter” – nothing at all.

Even worse, I was unable to find any copies of Dark Horse’s three hardback collections of Joe Kubert’s landmark “Tarzan” comics of the mid-1970s.

I’ve never been a huge “Tarzan” fan, mind you—although the 1984 feature with Chris Lambert and Ralph Richardson still holds up well, methinks—but my library is starting to feel lacking without the roughage his jungle adventures provide.

Oh well, enough belly-aching….hopefully, Burroughs’ publishers will wake up, and reflush the market with these deserving books.

Until then, there’s always Amazon.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


For the life of me, I’m struggling find a proper way to sum up the following letter from Fred Phelps publically asking the family of the late Heath Ledger to confess where their loved one will be laid to rest in Australia – this, so Phelps and "kin" can go there to protest the funeral in their own uniquely tasteful style.

What the hell to call this open letter? Chutzpah? Idiocy? Delusional? All of the above? My own personal pick? Hilarious, albeit in a very sad context.

Thanks to DFTCW for the tip-off.

PS: Click here for an inside view (literally) a recent WBC protest of an Iraqi War soldier's funeral in Delaware, and how the Phelps' are forced to flee after prompting a near-riot.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday Night Fights: Wonder Woman vs. One Lucky Bastard In A Monkey Suit

With all due respect to Chris Sims….

Round One

Round Two

The winner? Every heterosexual male on Earth (circa 1979).

And The Worm Goes To....

I put it to you, dear reader: could the fuckers who strapped two mentally retarded Iraqi women down with explosives, and sent them into a crowded Baghdad marketplace to act as human bombs today (killing roughly 98, and injuring 200) possibly be any more cowardly and reprehensible?

Considering this is not a rhetorical question, the answer is yes.

And in honor of the same reprehensible fuckers who pulled this off I want to give them an early nod for what will become an annual award here at the Church: The Golden Tapeworm, which will heretofore be granted to the person who commits the most striking act of cowardice during the calendar year.

I’ll even start off by naming our 2007 winner, which to regular attendees of the Church should be no surprise: former “Human Events” columnist Nathanael Blake who from the safety of his keyboard last April claimed that male Virginia Tech students who ducked for cover after shooter Sueng-Hui Cho began spraying Norris Hall with gunfire were less than manly, and should have rushed the assailant.

Even worse, young Mr. Blake responded to criticism of his original column (from both liberals and conservatives) by reaffirming his argument while offering the meekest of apologies to anyone hurt by his earlier position.

Congratulations, boy! You can pick up your award at Morty's office!