Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Merry New Year

In a matter of hours another year will be upon us. It’s startling how fast they go by, or is it just my oddball senses of perception?

In retrospect, I am extremely grateful for the election of Barack Obama, as another four years of Republican rule would have no doubt continued turning the nation right, likely under the watch of President Sarah Palin (shudder) because while I wish him the best, I still have deep reservations about John McCain’s health.

Yet then again, with his track record of having more heart attacks that the average Chicagoan, who’d a thunk Dick Cheney would still be alive after his two terms?

I guess Satan really does keep his word sometimes.

Otherwise, I’m content to leave 2008 behind and hope that ’09 is better – especially with the economy currently orbiting the Ninth Circle of Hell.

Finally, will be spending part of New Year’s Day at Mark’s tomorrow watching the Winter Classic outdoor game between the Hawks and Red Wings.

Here’s hoping the outcome is better than the 4-0 whoopin’ the boys took in Detroit last night. And on the heels of a nine-game win streak, no less; for some reason, the Hawks looked positively lost on the ice.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Found a link to the following project on MySpace tonight; it’s to the page of a burlesque model code named Dayna Delux who besides being an aficionado of the late great Bettie Page features photo recreations by Mehosh Studios on her site of classic pin-ups by Gil Elvgren.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Although I am often uncomfortable with the ease with which some toss about the word “genius” to describe some people, I feel it is an apt way to describe musician/composer Jann Tiersen.

For example, check out the following versions (both by Tiersen) of his “La Valse d'Amelie,” one in orchestral form and the other as a spacey hard rock tune. It’s the same song done from wildly different directions, yet each end product feels completely unique, and nothing short of amazing.

Holy Apples & Oranges

To quote Stephanie Miller on the following papal quote: “And thanks for playing 'Really Bad Analogies!'”

Hat tip: Pandagon.

Word To The Wise

Just an FYI in case you were planning on enjoying dairy in Gotham.


I’m ashamed to say that the following photo was taken in a shoplifting incident this past weekend at a local Walgreen’s in which I was caught stealing three bottles of saw palmetto extract, a lead-filled Chinese teddy bear, and a discount bottle of skin cream.

The photo was taken by store security as a record for the police, and to add to Walgreen’s store security network to prevent me from entering any other store.

The local police were then called, and I posted $100 bond pending a court date to be scheduled this March.

I deeply regret my actions, and apologize for any embarrassment this incident may have caused my family.

Actually, none of the sordid tale of crime above is true. The shot in question was, in fact, taken in a Walgreen’s by a store employee last weekend, but the paper I’m holding is a code number I needed to retrieve my MySpace password (which I accidently deleted) and confirm my identity with the website's admin crew. Pretty silly, I admit. But I thought using the made-up crime story with the pic would sound so much more nefarious
than the truth.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Circle Jerk

Why am I not surprised by the news that following the departure of Alan Colmes from “Hannity & Colmes” that Fox shall not replace him with another liberal counterpart to Sean Hannity, and simply rechristen the show “Hannity” – which means that Sean is going to remind his viewers every evening (as he does each Sunday on his laughable “Hannity’s America” show) the true meaning of the word “masturbatory.”

And in case you were wondering, here it is:

Pronunciation: \ˈmas-tər-bə-ˌtȯr-ē\
Function: adjective
Date: 1864

1 : excessively self-absorbed or self-indulgent masturbatory books…about themselves for people to read…with envy (see also: Dick Morris, prostitute toe-suckers, political whores, et al.)

Another POV

That Barack Obama will be America's next president in 30 days has probably fully sunken in by now, and most of us are very pleased about it.

However, check out a clip from an election night party in Paris which I consider to be as much driven by glee over Obama's win as a complete rejection of George W. Bush and his neo-con cronies.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Storming The Gates

Why does this story evoke a mental image of a pack of devout Puritans marching up the steps of the California Supreme Court, armed with Bibles in one hand and torches and/or pitchforks in the other?

Plus, that none other than Ken Starr is leading the legal charge to nullify all gay marriage in CA makes me sicker to boot. Why do I get the feeling that he is the reincarnation of Judge Hathorne, or a 15th century Spanish inquisitor?

For the record, my own take on gay marriage in any state is strictly libertarian – that is to say, I don’t care if two men or women are legally wed. It’s none of my business, and has zero impact on my life nor that of American society on every practical level.

Further, what’s the difference if two unmarried same-sex persons live together (which few seem to have an issue with) today, and then live under the same roof tomorrow under a recognized legal marriage?

What has changed other than a social classification?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bathtime Fun

Click here for a small website dedicated to people who enjoy making homemade submarines, including one guy who created a working sub based on the designs for the Nautilus built for the Walt Disney film version of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954).

Dear Santa: I want this now. Regards, CHV

Bad Spirits

Today in Springfield (IL), an attorney for soon-to-be ex and imprisoned state governor Rod Blagojevich asked a state House panel to cover his client’s legal bills in mounting his defense versus impeachment.

Let me say that again: Blagojevich wants Illinois taxpayers to fund his defense for committing fraud against the same.

Jesus, that’s so mind blowingly…what? Arrogant? Stupid? Narcissistic? Delusional?

There are so many adjectives to describe the governor’s current mindset, and none of them fall within the scope of sanity.

Maybe he’s possessed.

But what’s even more baffling is that Blagojevich apparently still has no plans to resign, and is happy to put himself (and the state) through the ordeal of an impeachment – something for which Blago should have an extra 10-12 years in stir added to his inevitable jail sentence just on pure principle.

Otherwise, on a semi-related note (the connection being mental derangement) it dawned on me earlier today that Ann Coulter is a banshee.

A real one.

Think about it: she’s deathly thin, has sunken eyes, long flaxen hair, a repulsive personality, and is known for emitting an incredibly irritating sound whenever she opens her yap.

Am I right or no?

Time for an exorcism.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


After watching Hall & Oates’ tribute to the departing Alan Colmes on The Daily Show last week, I ran across the above H&C clip taped after last fall’s VP debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.

Not only is Sean Hannity’s take on Palin’s political aura beyond dense—considering she and John McCain would be destroyed in the general election--Fox News contributor, and noted prostitute toe-sucker Dick Morris embarrasses himself even more by comparing Palin to (surprise) Ronald Reagan, being utterly wrong about her political acumen, and treating Alan Colmes like crap (as if that were new).

No matter, though.

Now that Sarah Palin is back home, Morris will have ample opportunity over the next four years to pathologically obsess about Hillary Clinton, and continue to wildly misjudge the nation’s political winds.

Stay classy, Dick.

A Very Brief Review: "The Day The Earth Stood Still" (2008)

Although this remake of the original "Day" (circa 1951) is not uninteresting--switching from global concerns over the Cold War to environmental issues--there just isn't much to see here. Keanu Reeves does a decent job as Klatuu, the alien come to Earth to warn its inhabitants about their pending self-destruction, and Jennifer Connelly (as an astrobiologist) is fine as well.

However, if there's any part of this "Day" I could do without its Jaden Smith (son of Will) as Ms. Connelly's irritating stepson. The kid also can't emote his way out of a paper bag.

Otherwise, "Day" isn't a bad movie, just a fairly unremarkable one.

PS: A trailer for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" runs before "Day" in most theatres. I'm hoping the actual movie (due May 2009) will be much better than the snippets I saw, including Taylor Kitsch as Gambit.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lucky Star

More than once, both I (and others) have half-joked about my similarity to the X-Men character Longshot – chiefly, as I’ve noted on this blog before, for my often uncanny ability to find new jobs and parking spots in a pinch.

Pretty pathetic, huh? A innate sense of lucky timing that only works in two situations, but apparently no others? Yet it's true.

However, in light of the recession devouring more jobs across the board than a black hole in 2008, and promising to eat more in early '09, I want to send up a prayer of thanks that I am among those lucky enough to still have a job that is relatively firm.

If you want to call that random fortune or mutant luck, it’s fine with me. I’m just glad that it seems to be on my side, even (and especially) in the most pressing of circumstances.

PS: For the record, no, I do not have a mullet nor dress in skin-tight leather pants.

Thinking about fate too much gives me a headache.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tammany Hall Redux

Generally, I pay little attention to state or local politics – but today’s arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) on Federal corruption charges (including auctioning off Barack Obama’s former Senate seat, and threatening to withhold $8M in state funds from Children’s Memorial Hospital unless its president coughed up a $50K campaign contribution) is beyond the pale.

One can only hope that Blagojevich resigns immediately, but considering his galactic level of arrogance, I doubt that’s coming. Even so, he easily stands to become Illinois' second consecutive chief exec (former GOP Gov. George Ryan being the first) to be sent up the river.

Maybe the state’s next guv will make it a three-peat.

Sunday, December 7, 2008



Although the Salvation Army provides a lot of beneficial services to people at no cost, the way it is acting in this case reminds me of a brainless pack of cultists.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Power Cosmic

For those perhaps wondering what those two unusually bright points of light have been in the southern sky lately (the ones by the moon), they are Venus and Jupiter on a close pass by Earth.

Shiny. So, so shiny.

PS: If a Starchild decides to stop by our planet for a visit I am so kicking its ass. That doll-eyed little bastard creeps the hell out of me.

In fact, the only way I could possibly find him more disturbing would be if he dressed up as a little clown, snuck into my room at 2AM during a thunderstorm, and hovered inches over my face with a paring knife....

Oh, great....

Well done, dark-recesses-of-my-imagination. I'll never get to sleep tonight with that fucking image in my head.

Damn you, Arthur C. Clarke. Damn you to hell.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Inking In The New Year

Last year on New Year's Eve, I got a tattoo to mark the occasion. It wasn't something done on impulse; I had a design picked out for some time. It just seemed like the last day of 2007 was a good time to do it. So this year, I'm repeating history – not that you asked, but I figured I'd share all the same.

I'm getting a tat of a bat (hey, I rhymed) on the back of my left bicep; the original illustration is by Dave McKean from the hardcover of "Arkham Asylum" and will be all-black. I may get another tattoo in the spring or summer, probably my last because I've resolved to only get one arm inked, and leave the other alone.

As of now, the leading final candidate design is Jack Kirby-esque, of a Hopalong Cassidy-style cowboy astride a scarlet tyrannosaurus.

It's an interesting concept, I think, considering I'm not really a fan of Kirby's. I think his imagination was terrific, but feel Kirby's art style is an acquired taste. However, there's something about his "Devil Dinosaur" which is goofy and charming – the adventures of a perpetually cranky, red t-rex and his sub-human pal, Moonboy, who naturally speaks English despite living 200 million years before the language was invented.

That's called "suspension of disbelief," kids. Go with it.

I think PBS should sack Gillian Anderson as host of "Masterpiece Theatre" and replace her with Moonboy. I'd kill to hear his sublime introduction to the 736th episode of "Upstairs, Downstairs" in which Devil makes a guest appearance as Lord Stanley Redbottom, the fifteenth Earl of Kent.


Lord Redbottom’s appearance in this episode (titled "The War Comes Home") does not go well, when at high tea, his stubby hands spill orange Darjeeling on his new cummerbund – prompting his lordship to fly into a rage, destroying the main parlor (shown below), and upsetting a plate of gooseberry scones.

Then, when told by a lowly servant that the house has no club soda with which to treat his newly stained garment, Lord Redbottom responds thusly to such insolence...

...before resuming his tirade by "bonking" a priceless, 17th century harpsichord to bits.

Following this last, ungentlemanly outburst, Lady Bellamy has had quite enough - bidding his lordship to depart 165 Eaton Place at once, adding that she may be forced to reconsider his standing invitation to Sunday breakfast. For his part, after bidding his hostess goodbye and making a mild restitution, Redbottom makes his way to a corner pub, and proceeds to get pissed drunk.

Curiously, this was Devil Dinosaur's only appearance in "Upstairs, Downstairs" although he remains a fan favorite at BBC conventions.


Naked Tuesdays

Now that “The Shield” has wrapped, how shall I find my Tuesday night quota of crooked cop mayhem? I feel so naked and vulnerable.

Oh well, at least new episodes of “Nip/Tuck,” “24,” “Lost” and “Galactica” are due after the first of the year.