Visiting home is…
* …finding out which friends are engaged, married, and/or pregnant
* …driving 15 minutes to get to the nearest friend's house
* …discovering the back roads that now have yellow lines painted on them
* …discovering the back roads that still haven't been paved in 10 years
* …throwing the tennis ball for the dog
* …seeing someone you went to school with, working at the gas station, convenience store, or movie theater
* …fixing the family computer
* …remembering there's nothing to do in this town
Here's my contribution to the Mayfly Project (via Parenthetical.net). A summary of the year 2003, in twenty words or less:
first seattle winter. sister graduated. hiking, biking, climbing, drinking. lost a grandfather. ready for change. beard. hogger? second seattle winter.
I've gone and joined the side-bloggin' meme-spreading hordes. I'll resist the urge to ramble on about blog theory and the different opinions of what a blog should be. (I'm saving that for a different project.) So yeah, links and crap to your left, archive here and the source of most links is probably one of these pages, or friends, or both. I also fiddled with some of the CSS around here. Let me know if you notice any glaring problems show up in your browser of choice.
I got a couple Christmas cards in the mail the other day, and one of them I just had to share. My mother's yearly handmade card was beautiful as always, but it was the card from Greg Machlin that had me in hysterics. (Unless you've seen Don Hertzfeldt's brilliant short, Rejected, you won't get the references. Actually, come to think of it, the original animation really doesn't explain a thing.)
Greg and I saw Rejected a number of years ago, as part of one of the Spike & Mike animation festivals. I'm sure if you try hard enough, you can find a bootleg copy online somewhere, or find someone that already has… ;) Definitely check out the rest of Hertzfeldt's stuff. I just wasted a good half hour on his rrrrrr page. The man is a genius.
What a party. It started off with a bit too much of a mellow cocktail party atmosphere, but if you know anything about the folk I work with, that disappeared rather quickly. Someone had the bright idea to do some keg stands, and it was all downhill from there. Take a look at the pictures and see for yourself.
Last week: I dreamt about going skiing early in the season. The hill had a few patches of snow, and only one good trail that was fully covered all the way down the mountain. I tried asking people which trail was the good one, but they just told me to find it on my own. I finally found the trail on my last run. Later that evening, I was getting ready to go to a party and remembered that the rules for the party were to arrive with a group of 5 or more people, and in costume. I met up with 5 other people and lo and behold, 5 of the 6 people were wearing pirate costumes. I was the only one not wearing one. I think I was dressed as Rocky from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Two nights ago: I dreamt about visiting home and seeing a large group of friends again. We went out to a diner together and were laughing and having a great time. On our way out we saw a man we recognized, sitting by himself in a booth. He looked up and saw us and started saying hello. He was my gradeschool gym teacher, Mr. Moore. He was going on and on about how good it was to see us all again. He also seemed to know the people who never went to my school and certainly didn't have him as a gym teacher.
Last night: I dreamt something epic (makes sense, after seeing Return of the King earlier). It involved lots of flying and more that I can't remember. I think I was flying with an old friend, over fields and mountains and oceans. She and I talked about dreams and hopes and inspiration. There was an unspoken bond of understanding that permeated the conversation that left the two of us feeling completely comfortable with each other, and well, in love.
For some reason this article about “hogging” has become a strange, perverted in-joke amongst my group of friends here (before you call us complete misogynists, let me state that one of said friends is a girl and has contributed to the joke-making wholeheartedly). In the past week we've come up with some awful(ly funny) T-shirt ideas, we've laughed hysterically at some well-placed “____er? I hardly know her!” lines, and we've dredged the depths of sick sexual humor(?). Here's what I can remember:
T-Shirt: “Hogging. It's what's for dinner.”
T-Shirt: “Hogging. Taking home the prize cow.”
(this our attempt to pretend it stands for a legitamate, non-sexual practice)
T-Shirt: “Porker Porker”
T-Shirt: “Fuck Paris Hilton, I like fat chicks!”
“Iambic pentameter? I hardly know her!”
Discussing liquor licenses at various bars…
L: “What about the liquor license here?”
C: “Liquor license here? I want to take her license home.”
T-Shirt: “Girls have assholes too”
New entry for the Glossary of Perversion:
Chattanooga Two-Way (also, Chattanooga U-Turn):
Shit in a girl's mouth then have her go down on you until she vomits.
At the store next door
you can find fresh and clean whores
for only a buck
As always, there was so much more that I just couldn't remember. Yes. I'm sure there are four toasty spots in hell (or your religion's variation thereof) reserved for us. Bite me. I'm looking into the online store idea to start selling these T-shirts. I think they'll go like hotcakes. Really really fat hotcakes.
Last Friday night was the second annual Punk Rock Xmas, a house party hosted by a couple notoriously crazy folk from work. Starting early at the bar, we had a hefty head start by the time we made it to the party. We also brought along Ken and Jason from the pub, making it a group of six, with Alex, Skyler, Liz and I. The rule of the night was the “30% Rule,” as it has been dubbed. In it's origination, it referred to salaries. Whatever someone says they make should be reduced by 30% to reflect what they actually make. This rule was quickly applied to the rest of life. B: “That girl with the huge DDD tits you took home last night… Yeah, those were 30% smaller than you thought.” “I'm suddenly 30% less drunk than a minute ago.” “I have 30% fewer brain cells.” It kept going and going. The group of us trekked the 8 or 9 blocks up to the party (it definitely reminded me of El Duce's Magical History Tour) and we made it just in time to hear the last half of the punk band covering Outkast's “Hey Ya!”. And then the Jell-O shots began… Take a look at some of the craziness that followed. It certainly was an evening to remember. One of the hostesses of the party threw out her back because she was choking and coughing on something at one point. The other hostess woke up on Saturday, thinking that her ankle might be fractured, and indeed it was. What a party. I remember taking 30% fewer photos than ended up on my camera.
I didn't even know he was part of the Unshaven Challenge but he sure did pretty well. I think he may have had a head start, but I don't know. Well, thanks to Andrew Davis we found two other competitors that can keep the competition alive.
This latest batch of comment spams is pretty amusing. I noticed 5 different comments from some peculiar-looking names. Sure enough, they were links to penis-enlargement sites, but the names and comments used were quite entertaining, so I thought I'd share. The names were obviously random first and last names, some of which were:
The comments themselves were strange sayings, some of which made sense and some that didn't. Here's the whole bunch:
“You know what's interesting about Washington? It's the kind of place where second-guessing has become second nature.”
“A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling.”
“The superior man loves his soul, the inferior man loves his property.”
“An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger.”
And my favorite:
“It's safer to play with a man's wife than with his cliches.”
This last one was left by Conry Ben, and I decided to leave it on this post, just for fun. I mean, if you're going to use a silly name and post a saying like that, sure I'll let you link to a penis enlargement site.
With the Unshaven Challenge well underway, I thought I'd take this moment to look back on some of the more exciting moments in my follicular history.
LEFT: December 2003. Where I currently am, having not shaved for 15 days.
RIGHT: August 2002. That was about a month and a half of growth, shaved down to a goatee and cleaned up a bit.
LEFT: Early Winter 2002. Common nicknames included, “green,” “astroturf.”
RIGHT: Spring of 1863.
Last week I dreamt I visited King House back in Providence. I opened the front door and stepped in and as soon as I was inside, I was hit by a half-dozen different swinging pillows and pillowcases. What a greeting. Sometimes I miss that place.
The other night I dreamt of a place that was very similar to the world in Spirited Away (which I watched for the first time two weeks ago). The difference was that in this world many of the creatures were robots or automatons. The master of this world had nearly completed work on a robot that was advanced enough to use magic.
Yesterday, I woke up remembering a small scene from my dream. It was Thanksgiving and we had all eaten and I was helping a friend carve the leftover turkey. We found the wishbone and pulled it out, only to realize it was no ordinary wishbone. It looked like a thick ancient fossil and had some extra bony protuberances coming off the top. It seemed our Thanksgiving turkey was no turkey at all.
Last night I dreamt something about an indoor soccer game in the backyard of my parent's house. Yes, indoor soccer outdoors. The scenery kept morphing between grass and trees and astroturf and bleachers.
“Generic? What does that mean?” And so many other gems. Yeah, it's fun to laugh and snicker at their moments (lives?) of ignorance. The long scenes of nervous tension with the family are amazing. But what really bothers me is that not once are these two actually living “the simple life”. So far they're seeing it as a month-long field trip where they can goof off, mess with a whole lot of small-town lives and not suffer a single consequence, because… oh… it's day 30… we're going back to LA.
I guess if you boil it down even further, Nicole and Paris have never learned the rule of “cause and effect”. On the one hand, it's kind of great to see two people live from moment to moment with the wreckless abandon that they have. On the other hand, it's sad to see them do something like laugh about watering down the containers of milk to get the job done faster. Farmer waters down milk -> customers buy from different farm -> farmer loses money -> loses farm -> homeless and jobless. Does their work on the dairy farm have the same consequences? No, unfortunately (but thank goodness for the farmer).
Another thing that's gotten under my skin from the start, is how they seem to see their actions and their very presence as a generous favor for everyone they come in contact with. First episode, sitting on the porch with the farmer's son. He walks inside to get a jacket. Nicole and Paris: “He's cute.” “We should totally have a threesome with him.” “Yeah, y'know give him something.” Wow, while you're in such a condescendingly charitable mood, why not just stand around in a short skirt and let the whole neighborhood look at you for a while. Oh, right, that happens in episode 2.
Of course as we all laugh and moan and cringe at Nicole and Paris as they “struggle” for a month, most people will gladly blame them and their ignorance. Who do I blame? The parents. Namely one Lionel Ritchie and one Mr. Hilton. I'm sure your money bought (and will continue to buy) these girls everything they ever wanted. They probably got the best home-schooling that money can buy in LA. I guess I'll end this post with a cliche “money can't buy ___” Here goes… Money can't buy good parenting.
UPDATE: The Stranger auction totals are cruising and have just passed the four-grand mark today. Currently the Stranger is at $4,052 and the Mercury is at $2,062.
I've got to go and plug the three big-ass web projects I've had a hand in working on for the past two weeks, two of which were finally set loose today…
First off is the Portland Mercury Online Holiday Gift Auction. All sorts of goods and services from the crazy folk at the Portland Mercury, open for bidding on eBay, with all of the proceeds going to charity ($1700 so far, with 3 1/2 days to go).
Next is the Second Annual Strangercrombie Holiday Gift Catalog. That's right, same idea as above (and as last year) with even more items. Last year The Stranger raised $6,000 to go to the Northwest Harvest charity and this year they're aiming for $15,000 (total bids are at $700 for just the first 4 hours!).
Last but definitely not least is Spreading Santorum, Dan Savage's smear campaign (pun intended) against Senator Rick Santorum. A good deal of Movabletype, CSS, some creative animated-GIF work, and some design help from Corianton and I think it all turned out pretty well (26,000 hits in it's first 36 hours of being live)