Friday, October 29, 2004

Hoppy Halloween

You like that? It’s a little play on words, you know, “hoppy” because of the Easter Bunny.

I know it’s a couple days early, but if you think that I’m going to take a break from candy eating on the first “official” day off from my diet, you’re sadly mistaken. But, again, it’s Halloween (almost) so I thought that I would dedicate this post to the times that I’ve been a giant jerk to my friends. Well, not all of the times, I have things to do.

I take pleasure in a lot of different things, but none of my hobbies have been as rewarding as “friend scaring.” When I was younger and had the energy for such things, I used to like to devise elaborate plans to make my friends cry in terror. It started when I was a kid. As I’ve said before, my dad used to have a really creepy house. All of my friends were afraid of it. Sure, it didn’t stop them from spending the night every other day and eating all my food. But, while they may have stayed the night there, they didn’t sleep much.

One of the great Wheeling scare fests involved a séance. We loved to have séances. No real ones of course. I don’t believe in séances and such. But I didn’t need to believe in the occult, my goofy friends believed enough for everybody. And when they’re the ones you’re trying to scare, that’s all that’s important.

Besides, if you believe in ghosts too much, a good fake séance can backfire, leaving you with a bad case of “heavy drawers.” That’s a big taboo. Don’t be the idiot who scares themselves more than others with their fake ghost stories.

So I spent all morning and afternoon preparing for the big séance. There were going to be about 10 people in attendance and things had to be perfect. I made up a zodiac circle to protect against evil spirits, I checked out books on the occult and Satanism from the Wheeling Library (they had a remarkably large selection), I prepared ashes (paper…said they were human), candles and I even obtained a huge vial of chicken blood. No, not real chicken blood. It was about a half gallon of V8 juice. But my friends thought it was real, which is strange. Maybe that’s why they were so frightened; they were dealing with a kid who just slaughtered the world’s bloodiest chicken.

Anyway, the séance was set. It was going to be terrifying. But as was usually the case, my dumb dad and sister decided to screw with my plan. They got the brilliant notion to rig the séance with a metal rod that would raise the table a convincing couple of inches, even from 3 feet away. They weren’t going to tell me about it, but right before the séance I found out anyway.

I would’ve been mad except that their idea was really good. Besides, I wasn’t up for a fight; I was still tired from my battle with the giant chicken.

Anyway, all my friends showed up. One of them (a Cunningham) was a recent born-again. He was vehemently opposed to raising evil spirits. He believed in them horribly. It didn’t help that he went to one of “those” churches. The kind that would have handled poisonous snakes, if only anyone in the West Virginia congregation would be willing to give up their supper for an afternoon.

So we gathered around the table and began channeling sprits. Needless to say, thanks to my dad’s contraption, they eventually showed up. My friends were terrified. My sister and I just laughed uncontrollably. We laughed to the point that we were banned from the séance room.

Remarkably, no one caught on. They still believed in the séance because, and this is the truth, my dad had them convinced that we were possessed.

After everyone got so scared that they couldn’t take it anymore, we quit. No one wanted to go back in that room. No one except for my born-again Cunningham friend. He wanted to go back in there and keep séanceing until the table had risen all the way to the ceiling.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that we didn’t have a metal rod that big. In fact, we never told them it was fake. I hope they don’t still believe that they channeled spirits.

No wait, yes I do. That would be sweet.

We had a taste for blood. We decided to devise an even scarier plot for the next summer.

My dad’s house has this really impressive front entrance. There was a huge staircase that wound all the way up three floors. Under the staircase on the main floor was an enclosure. Nothing could get under the staircase. In one of my more delinquent moods I decided to push on one of the oak panels that adorned the enclosure. Much to my dismay, I actually pushed it in. but only on one side, now the panel acted as if it were on hinges.

But it was still cool. I could hide my misdeed, plus it made my own secret window into the world under the stairs. When I looked into it with a flashlight I learned that there was a hole in the floor of the enclosure. If you went onto the basement, walked into the very dirty coal room (my dad’s house was old) and climbed on the pile of coal that was had been there since 1925, you could reach up into the enclosure and put stuff there to be “discovered” later.

We already had the perfect thing to discover. My dad had found a diary belonging to an old lady who lived in the house around the 30s. It was a pretty unexceptional diary. Not very interesting, unless you consider counting the number of games of bridge a lonely old lady played with her spinster sister exciting.

We decided to spice the thing up a little. I know, I would never destroy something like that now, but at the time it seemed like a cool thing to do.

My sister practiced a little and eventually managed to mimic the old lady’s handwriting. We added all kinds of cool stuff. But my personal favorite was a story about the old lady’s daughter.

As it turns out, the daughter was having some kind of affair. Tragically, she became pregnant. An illegitimate child could be the end of her, so she holed up in the house until she finally gave birth. But she still couldn’t keep the baby. That’s when things took a tragic turn.

Seeing no other option (she was a little dim) she decided to take her newborn baby and place it in the dumbwaiter (which the house still had the doors to). Then she raised the dumbwaiter all the way to the top, past the third floor, far enough away that the cries of the baby wouldn’t be too loud and disturbing.

Eventually, the cries ceased and the woman lowered the dumbwaiter into the basement. She took her dead child and placed it in the giant furnace at the back of the basement. After the baby was cremated, she scooped up the ashes, placed them in a bottle, placed the bottle back into the furnace and kept it there, never using the furnace again.


Now the stage was set. The only thing left to do was fill a wine bottle with sandbox sand, hide it in the very scary looking old furnace in the basement, and then place the diary under the stairs to be “found.”

The last part was the only problem with the plan. We got so excited about scaring our friends that we forgot to hide the diary. So I had to do it while everyone was there. It was lame but it still worked (I’m really starting to realize just how dim my friends were).

So we read the entries “for the first time” and set out to “find” the final resting place of the infant.

Sure enough, we made our way through my dad’s really-really scary stone basement toward the furnace. I opened the door and there it was. A bottle, just as described in the diary.

Gripped by “terror” I pulled the bottle out of the furnace with such force that the “baby ashes” flew all over the room, covering my poor friends.

Let me tell you, I’ve never experienced it personally, but being covered in baby ashes is traumatic business. Just ask my friends, who even after I explained to them that it was all fake and even after I showed them the sandbox where I got the “baby ashes,” still wouldn’t come back in the house for an hour.

My poor friends. And I wonder why I don’t have more of them.

Happy Halloween!

Fun Fact: Tanya and I are going on a candy bender on Sunday. I’m going to be very sick all day because of it. I’m going to be sick the next day. It’s going to make me feel miserable…and I can’t wait!

Oh, and the new TAM Cartoon is…well, obviously…up.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Get Lost

The Anthropomorphic Recording Studio is running full steam these days. That’s why I’ve been neglecting this blog a little. Well, that and the fact that I’ve got nothing to really talk about.

But everything’s been going well with the latest album (in stores…never). Lucky for me, Tosha and Jared have hooked me up with a snare drum and a cello. No self respecting Christmas album can do without a snare drum and a cello. But it just so happens that I play neither of them. I’ve been learning as I go. Now, I don’t know how many of you have ever tried to learn the snare drum or the cello in a day, but let me tell you, the drum is a hell of a lot easier.

But I’ve been holding my own. I’m not ready to audition for the LA Philharmonic or anything, but I’ve been holding my own. I’m sure that, as is the case with the guitar, I’ve taught myself wrong. But really, who cares. It’s a freaking Christmas album. You can’t be too judgmental about a Christmas album. It wouldn’t be in keeping with the spirit of the season. However, I did decide to forgo any trumpet playing on this album, I don’t want to push my luck. Besides, I don’t want the neighbors to think that I’m running a cat abattoir out of my apartment during the day. They already have to hear my horrible saxophone noise. And I’ve played that since I was 10 (that’s 21 years! Math makes me feel old).

There’s an update of the album progress. Maybe I’ll post some pictures of me playing the cello like a bass. Good stuff. That’s way better than some stupid album. Me playing the cello like a bass. Merry Christmas.

Again, with nothing really to say, here’s my thoughts on prime time television.

Lost is the best show on TV (not counting the Simpsons). It’s time you all just got comfortable with that. Luckily the shows ratings are such that it won’t befall the same fate as my former favorite show on TV, Last Comic Standing (NBC is run by morons).

Lost is well written, ably acted and expertly shot. Plus it has an old-school premise which means that it has classic appeal. Very nice. Watch it tonight.

The second best drama on TV is a bit of a tear jerker. It’s about a small circle that feels sad, hides in a cave and can’t even draw pleasure from the most beautiful things in nature such as butterflies. However, it has a happy ending. He takes mood altering drugs, ventures out of the cave and finds some circle-guy friends. Oh, and that butterfly, he’s as good as pinned through the heart on a piece of cardboard!

My vote for the worst thing on television is that Lamisil anti-nail fungus commercial. What could make a pharmaceutical company feel that if they nauseate their audience, they’ll sell more product? Digger the Dermatophyte needs to be given the pink slip. As far as I’m concerned (as a person without a fungus problem) Digger’s lifted his last toenail.


Fun Fact: I was looking for the best selling Christmas album of all time, man am I disappointed. As I said earlier, I’m a saxophone player, so I’m not just a little horrified to learn the Kenny G’s “Miracles – The Holiday Album” takes the title.

Kenny G?! Hasn’t anyone ever listened to Nat King Cole?! Or Bing Crosby?! Hell, even if you’re not a fan, Mel Torme’s albums kick the hell out of Kenny G! And what about the Charlie Brown Christmas Album…?!

I think I’m going to be sick.

I also learned another tidbit of info, Christina Aguilera’s “My Kind of Christmas” was the third best-selling Christmas album of 2002. But come on, there’s good reason for that. It’s the absolute perfect blend of celebratory holiday joy…and vagina.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

But Can Sparky Do My Homework?

It is said that dogs are man’s best friend. But we’ve all had at least one best friend who, for one reason or another, thought that it would be a good idea to get wasted and prank call your ex-girlfriends.

Finally, you can pick your friend a little better. No more getting shot down at the local bar because the idiot you walked in with chose to tell the cute girls in the corner booth that you lived with your parents until you were 21. No more disappearing CD collection.

And maybe, just maybe, your new best friend will finally tell you that checkered Vans are as bad an idea now as they were in ’84.

But be aware that some dogs are smarter than others. The Border Collie tops the list of dogs ranked for their brightness. Following closely is the Poodle, which begs the question, “if they’re so smart, why do they hang out with such dummies?” Rottweilers, German Shepards, Doberman Pinschers and Golden Retrievers are also on the list.

I had a Golden Retriever once. He was an idiot. But in his defense, he was mixed with an Irish Setter. Something akin to if Stephen Hawking and Tara Reid had an ill-nurtured love child…


Sorry, that’s the wrong post. My computer malfunctioned and I have a wicked case of acid reflux.

To the real post: Okay, come on. Seriously. What constitutes news these days? Ashlee Simpson lip-synchs! Nooooooooo! Say it ain’t so! And on Saturday Night Live no less! What is the world coming to?

Let’s not pretend that Saturday Night Live is the bastion of hip that it used to be. I won’t even watch that show anymore…and I can sit through an entire episode of Adventures from the Book of Virtues.

On second thought, that may actually answer a few questions. Huh.

Anyway, how can we blame Lorne Michaels for booking acts that lip-synch? If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have any acts! Everybody lip-synchs. The public doesn’t really care. Are there really people out there who think that little Mrs. Spears-Alexander-Federline can actually sing?!

If the public cared as much as they seem to on the morning news shows, they would stop picking their celeb-faves based on how cute they are. The music industry would be filled with people who look like Keith Richards.

Hold on, I’m trying to figure out which side of the argument I’m on.

No, I’ve got it. I’m getting sick of singers who lip-synch. Especially when they make lame excuses about why. Screw acid reflux (at least it’s original…and not all that pretty), screw computer malfunctions and the band playing the wrong song. Grow a pair and tell the truth.

The truth is that you just don’t sound very good live. That’s it. Give it up to the recording studio technicians, and just tell the world that your voice isn’t as good as it sounds on the album. Your techies will love you for it. And maybe they’ll stop talking about your lack of talent behind your back.

I’m angry that people like Ashlee Simpson have a career. They don’t write their own songs. They don’t sing their own songs. They don’t promote their own songs. What the hell do they do? Ashlee spends most of her time trying to convince us that she’s all “punk and junk.”

Sure, punk like Mayim Bialik from blossom.

I just can’t take the girl seriously. I think it’s because she reminds me of Barbara Streisand in Yentil. Maybe I’d respect Ashlee more if she would split “Autobiography” and “Surrender” with a kick ass punked out rendition of “Sunrise Sunset” or “People who Need People?”

This weekend, Tanya and I went with some friends to the Dresden to take in Marty and Elaine. They’re a lounge act there. They’ve been doing it for years and they’re a little bit of an institution.

Marty and Elaine don’t lip-synch (trust me). They plug it out, night after night. They don’t sell out arenas. They don’t show up on SNL. They play for probably about 150 people a night (that’s counting turnover). They seem to be happy. They put on a good lounge show. They’re the real musicians. I think that we have a tendency to forget about all of the people struggling in small clubs everywhere. Hauling all their crap around in the back of somebody’s van.

The Ashlee Simpsons and Brittny Spearses of the world should apologize to them. Apologize for being gutless, spoilt brats.

Fun Fact: I think Usher reads this blog. I mean, come on, I blog about his hidden homosexuality and now there’s a sex tape?!

Convenient, isn’t it?

Riiiiight, “Ush.” You’re just having a good time aren’t you?

Usher’s people call the sex tape a scandal. I suspect that Usher calls it something else – a red herring.

Evidently, the video shows Usher hamming it up while the woman moans. But watch closely. You’ll probably see Usher throw up in his mouth a little.

Speaking of throwing up a little (and tight tights), the new TAM Cartoon is up. Sure you have to look at it, but I had to draw it.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Busy Busy

Sorry, I don’t have time to post again today. Typical. I know that you’re all crushed.

Instead, why don’t you enjoy the new TAM Cartoon, since it’s one of the reasons that I have no time today. And after you’ve sewed your sides back up, why don’t you check out TAM too (the cartoon archives) and review the other cartoons?

What could it hurt? And who knows, maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn something?

Maybe, you won’t. Probably, you won’t.

Fun Fact: I still actually have a Batman shirt from when they were popular and everyone had them. It’s funny about that first Batman movie, everyone now claims that they hated it. But let me tell you, you couldn’t tell that by the amount of mini-bat-people walking the streets in the 80s.

The nice thing about being a fat kid is that the shirt still fits!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Quickly Now

I’m a busy man today. No time for a long post or even an interesting one. Instead, here are some alternative names for which to call elbows:

Bilbo Bagginses
Rib Jabbers
Elby Bones (If you’re a Simpsons fan)
Deadly Weapons (If you’re Jackie Chan)
Belby Bos
Funny Bone Holders
Deadly Razor Sharp Knives of Pain (Only applies to Tanya while she’s sleeping)

Fun Fact: I had a very pleasant walk this morning. The nice thing about the cold weather (besides the fact that I can wear more clothes, layering them one on top of the other until not an inch of my pathetically shameful body is in view of humanity’s burning, prying and judgmental eyes…Woah. I think I now owe this blog about $80 an hour!)…

As I was saying, the nice thing about cold weather is that the sun becomes your friend again, delicately caressing you with comforting warmth instead of being a hateful despot, smiting you with pointy rays of suffocating hell-heat.

I think I have an unhealthy relationship with weather. I let it torture me and beat me down until I have no hope for the world, but then I come crawling back to it’s rhetoric filled with broken promises and empty lies.

Okay, blog, $150 an hour.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

But I hate to say it, if he bumped his head while getting into bed, chances are that the old man wasn’t snoring. He was old after all. He was probably dead, or at the very least in a mild coma.

Kids’ nursery rhymes are a bit morbid. Morbid and a little callous. That poor old man. I wonder if he had a pocket full of posies. Maybe he was Lizzie Borden’s grandfather?

Here’s a more sensitive rhyme:

Old Lady Druse
She had the blues
She walked into the living room
And tripped on some shoes

She hit her head
She could’ve been dead
But luckily she walked away
With just a nasty bruise

That because of her age
And degenerative weakening of her blood vessels
Will probably stick around
For about a week or two

But don’t worry too much
She’ll be fine
She was more embarrassed
Than really hurt

There, wasn’t that nicer? It’s got a nice beat but can you Double Dutch to it?

Fun Fact: I love the rain, but it makes me want to eat lots of cookies. That just can’t happen.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Things I Never Thought I’d Write on This Blog

Topping my old list of “things I never thought I’d write on this blog” was “That Britney Spears, what a class act! And so talented…”

That was obvious. I actually think about how much I’d never say something like that. That’s the funny thing about thinking about what you’d never say…ever. The things that you’d truly never say are the things that you wouldn’t even think to say.

With all that confusing exposition out of the way: Last night I spent the evening chewing on a $45 steak and sipping expensive Australian wine at Morton’s Steakhouse while entertaining the nicest group of Mexican Millionaires I’ve ever met.

Tanya’s father is in the fruit business. These people are clients. He needed to take them out to dinner. He decided that the perfect place to take 15 friendly rich Mexicans was Morton’s Steakhouse.

Seems the evident choice if you ask me.

Luckily, he decided to let Tanya and I come along with him. He was in Anaheim on business. Arms were twisted. After all, who would want to go to a pricey steakhouse on an expense account?

Well, if you were to ask my body this morning, it would probably pass. But last night, it was all for it. And it was really a good time. I like to pretend to be wealthy every once in a while. Besides, I don’t get to do it all that often. Unless you count all the times I thumb my nose at homeless people. And then I’m not necessarily pretending to be rich…just richer than them…and way superior.

It didn’t matter that, with the exception of the interpreter and another gentleman, no one spoke English. An expense account can be enjoyed by anyone. Hell, they could speak Swahili for all I care. Maybe they did, I don’t know how to ask that question. I wanted to impress them with my bilingualism. But I already knew where the bathroom was, I went there about ten times in the course of the evening. Asking would have only made me look more stupid.

But honestly, I’ve never wanted to speak Spanish so much in my life. They were good people and I wanted to be able to communicate with them in a more sophisticated manner, not just childish gestures and goofy grins.

I felt a little bad actually. I doesn’t matter how smart someone is, if they don’t speak your language they always come across as some kind if idiot savant. And we treat them a little like that.

I felt bad until I realized that they were probably thinking the same thing about me.

But there are some things that are universal. These people didn’t speak English, but that didn’t stop them from giving Tanya and I a hard time about getting married. Luckily, the main guy was on our side. And they were all doing it in good fun.

I’ve never seen so many tiny pictures of children in my life, though. They all had kids. They all had pictures of their kids. And all of those pictures looked as if they had been pried out of the world’s smallest locket. They like their little tiny pictures down there in Mexico. I hope that the size is due to the fact that they have large families and carrying around pictures bigger than a postage stamp would cause them to have to carry purses and not that they may be ashamed of their ugly kids.

I’m sure that’s it the former. None of those kids were ugly. At least from what I could tell without my jeweler’s loop.

I felt a little guilty that I didn’t carry any pictures of my loved ones. The only pictures in my wallet are of me. And while my driver’s license picture is okay, the ones on my debit card and old college student ID (still very useful I might add) are embarrassing.

Anyway, I’m glad to finally say that I’ve entertained Mexican Millionaires. It was nice of Tanya’s dad to invite us and I hope I did my part to help him sell apples to Mexico. I mean, without Washington apples, the Mexicans couldn’t team them up with chili powder and wood chips to make lead filled “candy!”

And I don’t want to live in a world without leaded candy.

Fun Fact: I’ve decided to take a break from showbiz and enjoy married life for a while…

Wait! Sorry, I was channeling Britney Spears there for a second. Eeeeggghhhhh!

I hate her, she’s a retard.

But one thing only slightly less retarded is the new TAM Cartoon. It’s up, you know!

Monday, October 18, 2004

I Was Framed!

Well, it was an expensive weekend. That’s right, it’s already that time. No, I’m not talking about Christmas. I don’t buy Christmas presents anymore, I make them…and then wish I’d bought them.

No it was time for the bimonthly trip to the happiest place on earth – Ikea. Who knew that inexpensive Swedish furniture cold be so much fun to shop for? I’ll tell you who, the Ikea people, that’s who. The same people who had the brilliant idea of putting a restaurant in a furniture store.

These geniuses got my number, but good too. Evidently, apartments are pretty small over there in Sweden. They design their furniture to maximize a small place. That’s just fine by me, because a small place is what I got. Really small.

But in this tiny apartment, we’ve managed to cram a desk, a bed, an entertainment center, a sofa, some side shelves, CD shelves, a printer stand, three bookshelves, 4 tiny coffee tables (that double as stools), 5 dressers, my guitars and recording equipment, a magazine rack, a coatrack, two people and about ten years worth of useless crap (not including electronics).

*Home burglars, see me for map and itemized inventory*

Now to that list we can add a dining room table that comfortably seats 4 and new chairs to match the occupancy of the table.

Not everything is from Ikea, but you’d be surprised how many of the things that I mentioned are. The nice thing is that if someone did decide to break into our apartment (which, believe me, is impossible. I’m terrified that someday we’ll lock ourselves out of this place) the burglars would end up with a truck full of furniture totaling about $7.

But how else do you dress up a crappy apartment that you’re contractually forbid to paint? I’ll tell you, you fill up every square inch of it with furniture made in the Philippines.

Believe me, it helps.

It also helps to hang things on the walls. God forbid we paint anything around here, but go ahead and put a thousand tiny holes in the walls; the termites have been chewing on them for years anyway.

Why is it that our landlords won’t pay to make sure the building stays up, but they’ll pitch a flying hissy if they have to apply a second coat of interior latex paint?!

Sorry, that’s not what this post is about. My landlords are asses. I’ll just have to live with that for now. Don’t rent from Fleck, people.

Anyway, we went to Ikea to get the table. They had one on sale that included 4 chairs. That’s what we went for. That’s not what we got. That table was (relative) crap. It didn’t fit with the theme of our apartment. That’s saying a lot. The “theme” of the apartment is eclecticism. If that table don’t fit here, it don’t fit anywhere.

We got a better table (but not better chairs, there’s one thing that the Swedes are behind the rest of the world in, chair technology. They don’t really sell a “good” dining room chair). I know it’s a good table because it’s the type they use in the restaurant. If it can survive thousands of Swedish Meatball spills every year, it’s the table for me. A nice plain rectangular table. I would post a picture of it, but if you’ve ever eaten at an Ikea, you’ve seen it. Besides, this place is a mess and you don’t want to see that.

See, the Ikea folks have mastered small space usage, but one thing they refuse to think about is what you’re going to do with the old furniture. I suppose it’s not their responsibility. But wouldn’t that be nice? It would be, because, right now, Tanya and I are waiting to have a yard sale and the house is packed with the old crap we had to move in order to make room for the new crap. There’s a table and chairs half blocking the kitchen. Stacked in front of the window. I feel like I live in some pathetic ghetto consignment shop.

There are poster frames leaning against our walls too. That’s another thing we got at Ikea, picture frames. You don’t leave Ikea without buying something you never intended to. It’s funny though; those impulse items seem to always be the best purchases we make there. Maybe it’s because they cost next to nothing, so if you don’t like it, throw it away?

Anyway, we framed some of the pictures I took for my college photography class. They turned out nicely. We also headed out to restoration hardware (the anti Ikea) to get some more record album frames for the old records we bought at the Salvation Army. Those turned out nice too.

Then we got ambitious. I needed paper for the cartoon, so we went to Pearl Arts and Craft Supplies to get some and walked out with a new canvas, some paint thinner and a misguided optimism for oil painting.

We decided to paint a little something for the corner of the “dining room.” It was up to me. The brand new table was getting a trial by fire. We hadn’t even had it for a day when we decided to paint on top of it.

But, I did it. And I used the oils for the first time! And Tanya painted a very nice jewelry box.

Now, when Tanya refers to the painting as “a bunch of different colored squares,” it seems almost obscene and I’m tempted to be insulted. After all, Piet Mondrian didn’t just paint “lines and stuff.” Picasso didn’t paint “messed up chicks.”

But, okay, I did. I painted a bunch of different colored squares. And it’s too small. It’s a piece of modern art. Not a good piece of modern art. But, damn it, I painted it!

I’m already plotting a “plan B.”

Fun Fact: Oil paints take a lot longer to dry than acrylics. I know that. You probably already know that. But it’s tough to remember when you’re impatiently trying to find the best place for it on the wall.

See, the painting’s not just a bunch of different colored squares. It’s a bunch of different colored squares, some fingerprints and a handsome red streak!

So there.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Professional Driver on a Closed Course

I know that I’m a day late and probably more than just a dollar short, but I have to talk about the debates.

As you already know, John Kerry is getting a whole cartload of crap for mentioning the “first lesbian.”

Damn you John Kerry! That lesbian belongs to the vice President and his wife! Go and find your own lesbian! (I suggest that you just check the backstage area of any theatre production. Those places are lousy with them.)

Dick Cheney and his wife are more than just a little pissed that Kerry brought up their daughter in the debates. They call it despicable politicking, “a cheap and tawdry political trick.” They want everyone to know what a horrible person John Kerry is for mentioning her by name. Was it necessary that her name be used? No. Is it horribly funny? Yup.

Here’s why. I don’t believe that people should ever be exploited, but come on, the chick is a lesbian. She’s not ashamed of it. I’m not ashamed of it. John Kerry isn’t ashamed of it. Even Dick Cheney says he’s not ashamed of it. So what’s the big deal? It’s not like he outed her or anything. It’s not like he misrepresented her (at least as far as I know, she’s the daughter of the GOP, maybe she’ll show up talking about the “choice” she made to be a lesbian or something). Dick himself has brought her up before.

Why is it despicable politicking to mention her by name? That’s retarded.

You know what despicable politicking is? It’s saying to your daughter:

“Honey, you know mom and dad love you very much and we’re proud of you, right? Good. Keep that in mind because today my friends and I are passing legislation to have you officially designated an abomination. It’s not personal, honey. You want daddy to be vice President, don’t you? I knew you did! I love you sweetie, just not enough to stop my hate-mongering friends.”

“Oh, and that haircut makes you look a bit…manish, sweetie. Thanks. Love always, Vice President Dad.”

If anything, John Kerry’s complete nonchalance about the whole thing while he was saying it goes to show that he’s not prejudiced in any way. I truly believe that he meant nothing derogatory. It’s a bit like accusing someone of being a brunette. The only person who would take offence at being called a brunette is someone who hates brunettes for the simple reason that they’re…well, brunettes.

Screw Dick Cheney and his devil wife. “A cheap and tawdry political trick?!” Sorry that the world had to be reminded of the evil skeleton in the closet, Dicky. I know you’re mad at Kerry for pointing out your own despicable politics, but as long as you keep voting against your own conscience, it’ll continue to sting every time it’s mentioned.

Man, I hate the GOP. This whole thing is a cheap and tawdry political trick.

Fun Fact: I saw the coolest disclaimer on a car commercial the other day. Usually, they just say inane things like “professional driver on a closed course” or “always obey traffic laws” or “do not attempt.” And usually I think, “well it’s a good thing that guy’s a professional, he took that corner at 40 instead of the posted 35mph.”

But this one was a bit more creative and even made me think a little. It said, “dropping cars is only safe in commercials.” “A bit arrogant” said I.

And then I thought, are commercials the only possible safe venue for car dropping? That can’t be. But what if it is? Man, that would turn the world on its ear! What about films or TV shows? What about the junkyard? What about…well, wherever else they find it necessary to drop a car?

But that’s commercial folk for you, they think they know everything. “Do not attempt” bungee jumping? Driving on a wet road? Walking to your car?

Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do, I’ve done all of those things!

And I’ll drop my car wherever I please!

I’ll drop the new TAM Cartoon right now, on the top of the page. It’s up, you know!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I’m Going to Get Well if it Kills Me!

As most of you know, there’s a shortage of flu vaccine this year. Now, to me, a shortage of flu vaccine is about as troubling as a shortage of chitterlings. No thanks. I’ve never gotten a flu shot in my life and I think I’ve had the flu maybe once. And I’m certain that instance was before the flu shot was invented.

But there are a lot of you out there who insist on getting the shot. Personally, all of the people that I’ve known who have gotten the flu vaccine got sick. I’m not sure if it’s the flu or just a reaction to the vaccine, but they invariably get sick. I think that I’ll play the odds and not get the shot. Even if it is the miracle cure that it promises to be, I still won’t get it. It’s a shot. I don’t voluntarily get those. Not ever.

Anyway, the story is all over the news. Drug suppliers are price gouging, healthy not-at-risk adults are stealing the vaccine practically from the arms of kids and old people and everyone is just generally going crazy. It’s like an old run on the bank. I think that psychologically people need it more this year just because there’s so precious little of it. That’s what I think. What do I know? I also think that no one will notice if I wear the same shirt all week.

But on the news, as the news people are inclined to do, they showed a bunch of old people and children standing in long lines for the vaccine outside of clinics and hospitals. It’s like these people are camping out for Rolling Stones concert tickets or something (their ages are appropriate). They’ve got lawn chairs and blankets and stuff. They look tired and frustrated. Seriously though, I hope that these people actually get the vaccine, they’re definitely gambling on that.

What’s with these people? They’re placing a lot of faith in that little shot. They have to be. What else would make someone with practically no immune system stand on the sidewalk for 8 hours in the middle of October?!


I take it back. No vaccines for these people. Their reckless disregard for their own health makes them unworthy of such a “super-duper” miracle cure.

Even if that cure doesn’t actually work.

Fun Fact: BET is retarded. It’s a fact.

Okay, let me clarify. BET is not retarded, but they’re not making a very good case for themselves. They pulled Eminem’s video lambasting Michael Jackson just because Mike asked them to. Now I’m not a Michael Jackson fan. I’ve never been. And I’m no Eminem fan either. I’m not that white. But this incident smacks a little of reverse discrimination.

I could be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. After all, BET is one of the last safe harbors for jazz musicians. They should keep that up. But they shouldn’t overreact just because some stupid kid makes fun of Michael Jackson. Lame.

Michael also asked MTV to pull the Eminem video. They replied “What’s a video?”

My god, I'm original.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Happy Birthday Mandy

It’s my sister’s birthday. Her name is Amanda.

Like that? I thought that you may need some clarification. In honor of my sister’s birthday, which is today, I’ve decided to share with you a story about the time that she almost killed me and most of my friends.

The first time.

Okay, she only really tried to kill me once. If you don’t count the times that she would mouth off to bigger kids, knowing that I would come to her rescue. How wrong she was about that. Why should I? After all, she had already tried to kill me once, right? She could barely talk, but she was lethal.

I was born in Wheeling, West (by God) Virginia. So was Mandy. We lived there until I was 5 and she was 3 and my parents divorced. I think this story took place around that time. I’m not really sure. It’s difficult to remember details when you’re fighting for your life.

Anyway, as was usually the case in East Wheeling, I had every neighborhood kid that existed over at my house. We lived in a huge three story house (4 stories in the back. Wheeling is…hilly). It was a cool old Victorian row house on the corner. The top floor was basically going through a “phase.” That means that it was an unfinished wreck. But what do you expect from a house built in the 1800s? It’s bound to need a little work.

But an unfinished third floor is a playground for a 5-year-old and his rotund friends. We used to hang out up there all the time. It was excruciatingly hot, but it was fun. Summers in Wheeling are a little like playing house in a steam room. They don’t make for great comfort, but you can cook tender asparagus in seconds.

I never cooked asparagus when I was five. I’m guessing. The point is that it was hot. Real hot. It may sound cliché, but it wasn’t the heat that killed, it was the humidity.

Anyway, my friends and I decided to liven up a boring hot day by playing “jail.” Kids like to play jail. My Wheeling friends used to love that game. They don’t love it so much now. But ironically, some of them still spend a lot of time playing it.

So we were playing jail. None of us boys wanted to be “the man.” We wanted to be hardened criminals. Huh… Anyway, we decided to make Mandy “the man.” She was too young to protest, and besides, she was a girl. She might never be “the man” again. Hopefully.

The game commenced. We were the hardened criminals. We needed to be behind bars. The funny thing about playing jail is that there is never a crime committed. Why were we being thrown in prison? That’s kids for you. They spend their entire youth saddled with fascism. We were victims of a despotic regime!

So my Gestapo sister, being the man and all, rounded us all up and threw us in jail. The streets were safe again. At least the third floor was.

“Jail” was a closet at the back of the house. A fairly big closet. A dark closet, but big. My friends and I sat in jail. Jail was hot. And crowded. There were about six of us in there. Three (I think) of which were the Cunninghams.

The Cunninghams were a family that lived up the street. They were poor. Dirt poor. But you’d never know it to look at their physiques. They each had the build of a 15th century monarch. All of them. Jerry, Jay, Jody, Jenny and Jerry. The only one of them who was thin was their dad Jim. That’s because he spent his day jogging around the neighborhood. He was on some kind of disability. He couldn’t work. But the dude could run I tell you. Their mother Jenny was as big as all of them put together. At least that’s how I remember her. I only ever saw her once. I must have gone to their hose a million times and every time I did, she was asleep upstairs. We always had to be quiet. I found out later that she worked the graveyard shift at a truckstop. But as a kid, it was baffling. Almost as baffling as why a family who couldn’t afford to fix their toilet and had to empty it with a bucket always had a bakery’s worth of Hostess cupcakes.

Seems to me that if they would have just gotten rid of the cupcakes they could have fixed their toilet, or at the very least, made the job of emptying it with the bucket a lot less work.

But the Cunninghams were great. They were my best friends. None of them are criminals now. They’re good people.

So there we were, rotting in jail. Me, the Cunningham kids and my friend Jason. Like I said, it was a big closet, but the Cunninghams even things out a bit. It was cramped. But it was time for parole. We were rehabilitated.

That’s when we realized our first mistake. As it turns out, a 3-year-old isn’t the best jailer in the world. They get easily distracted. Evidently a closet full of boys isn’t entertaining enough. But in my sister’s defense, there was probably a Barbie somewhere with a severe bang problem.

But the second mistake was by far the most troubling. In our haste to pay our debts to society we failed to discover that our “jail” closet was missing a little something. An inside door knob.

Then came the third mistake. We just had to pick the closet the furthest away from anything else in the house.

We were trapped. My parents were downstairs. two stories downstairs. I’m guessing that’s where the warden was also. But I’m not going to blame Mandy. After all, we had all thought that there was a door knob on the inside of the closet. Why wouldn’t there be? It made no sense. But that’s the way it was. And no matter how much we yelled or pounded on the door – no one was coming – and it was getting really hot in there.

Salvation seemed to come in the form of a solitary wire hangar. We could pick the lock! We unfolded the hangar and stuck it in the keyhole. Nothing. Movies had let us all down again.

So there we were. Sweating. Standing. The majority of the closet was being taken up by the Cunninghams. I was the smallest kid there (I hadn’t gotten fat yet) and I was being crushed into the closet door. We kept yelling, we kept trying to pick the lock, but mostly, we sweated.

It was bad enough that it was probably about 99 degrees outside and we were on the very high third floor of a house with no air-conditioning, but the Cunninghams were kicking out some serious BTUs too and I was beginning to become delirious.

The rest of the story is a blur. All I know is that we spent at least three hours in there. We finally gave up hope. We would be there forever. We would need to start eating each other to stay alive. Luckily, Jerry Cunningham was good for it.

The way I hear it, the house got really quiet eventually. A quiet house when I was a kid meant that something was horribly wrong. My mom asked Mandy where we were. She said that she didn’t know. So my mom went looking for us.

She found us. I can’t imagine the heat and stench that came from that closet. Jerry was practically down to a size two.

But we were alive. And we never played jail with Mandy ever again.

So, Happy Birthday Amanda, I forgive you for trying to kill me. I’m still working on trying to forgive you for losing my Doors painters cap in the Spokane River, though.

Fun Fact: The new TAM Cartoon is up, I got the complete Peanuts Holiday Collection on DVD and Tanya is the best girlfriend ever.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Ah, Wilderness!

It was a busy weekend. It always happens that way. Usually, I have nothing to do on Saturday and Sunday. But this weekend was the exception. When it rains it pours.

Don’t worry, it never really rained. That’s a figure of speech, you know. And when I say that it was a "busy" weekend...I'm lying.

Camping was, as predicted, a good time. In fact, it was such a good time on Friday night that we decided to stay Saturday night as well. I believe that’s human nature. “Wasn’t this a great camping trip?! Nothing went wrong, no rain, no cold, the tent didn’t get overcome by the sea, could anything ruin this perfect trip?! Let’s stay another night and find out!”

Fortunately, nothing did go wrong. The only casualty of the trip was my diet. But I did learn a valuable lesson; if necessary, one can survive on sausages and Corona.

But at the price of gastronomical comfort. It’s a good thing that there was a constant breeze is all I can say about that.

But really, there was no real danger of anything major going wrong. Camping near Malibu isn’t exactly “roughing it.” But it was a heck of a lot more like camping than I had thought. The nice thing about the ocean is that it drowns out the people camping next to you. Not literally, I mean it drowns out their voices. Although I did watch some people chase their tent into the surf. The breeze got a bit too breezy at one point.

The constant fear thought that either the tent would blow into the ocean or the ocean would find its way to the tent makes for some anxious sleeping however. The skinny Park Service kid that checked us into the site told us that we shouldn’t pitch the tent too close to the sea. But we did anyway. Maybe we didn’t trust that a kid who didn’t have common sense enough to eat a taco or something couldn’t possibly gauge the dangers of the briny deep, maybe we were living dangerously. Either way, when we woke up the first morning to discover that sometime during the night the waves were about two and a half feet from the tent door, our bravado ebbed a little. But not enough to move the tent. The damn thing took and hour to put up, I’d be damned if we were going to move it. Besides, we looked real brave having our tent closer to the ocean than anyone else on the entire beach.

Sure, brave. I like to think we looked brave…not stupid. Brave!

Here’s a picture of the tent. I decided not to post pictures of us around the campsite. I took all of the pictures in the morning and let’s just say…we looked like we just slept in a tent. But trust me, that’s our campsite.

We also had the biggest campfire. Don’t believe me? The overpowering stench of campfire on everything we own should sway you. I still have the smell in my nose. After all, we only burned through about 12 bundles of wood. We could have built a cabin with the wood we burned through. Kevin’s girlfriend Leesa likes to have a big fire. I suspect that she was stranded on a desert island when she was younger.

The only stress about this camping trip was that Kevin and I both had auditions to go to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Kevin got me the audition and I’m very grateful (I hope to hear from them today, the shoot starts this weekend and the whole project will be done by Halloween). But you can’t just go from camping to an audition. No one wants to give work to someone who smells like a house fire. Unless, I guess, you’re a fireman. Which I’m not.

So the routine was the same every morning. Get up, eat some sausages and s'mores, clean up the site, head for home and get ready for an audition (there were callbacks yesterday). I hope I get into the film, because leaving a campsite to come home and hang out for a few hours is a strange feeling. Camping in LA, I suppose.

We didn’t get attacked by sharks or contract West Nile Virus either. Not for lack of trying. But there were pelicans, a wide assortment of other beach birds, seals and even some dolphin. None of which wanted to have their pictures taken. Jerks.

In conclusion, I recommend camping at Point Mugu. Where else can you see Ben Stein spending some of his hard-kept money while buying 1,000 bundles of firewood?!

Fun Fact: There is a distinct difference between breathing tobacco smoke and pine smoke. It’s no wonder pine wood cigarettes never caught on.

Oh, and goodbye Christopher Reeve, you were one hell of a guy.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Grizzly Adams Was an Amateur

Well, I’m going camping tonight. I haven’t been camping for years. The last time I went was in college, we headed out to the coast of Oregon.

That was for a couple days and there were about 15 people on that trip. Tonight it’s just for one night. Just enough time to have the entire Malibu beach find its way into my ears and butt. We’re going to point Mugu. That may sound somewhat familiar to some of you, the only reason I know about it is because it’s where they flew President Regan’s body out of for the funeral in DC (I still can’t figure out why I remember that).

Well, that, and some other friends of ours kept promising that we’d go camping there. That never happened. They’re lame.

Anyway, there’s a Naval Air Base there. I always giggle a little when I hear the name. It sounds like Magoo which reminds me of Mr. Magoo and then I think of the Air Base and picture a bunch of blind old men trying to fly luggage carts. I'm pretty dumb and easily amused.

But Tanya and I realized that we are horribly ill-equipped for camping. We didn’t have sleeping bags or a tent or bug spray or even a desire to camp. It’s strange taking inventory of your things when you go camping. You never want to take anything nice, but at the same time, you don’t want to freeze to death or be uncomfortable. Luckily, our friends are bringing a big tent. That only left us to find old clothes and something more immediate to sleep in.

We’ve got old clothes in spades. Unfortunately, most of mine no longer fit. But I do have some. For years Tanya has been nagging me to throw away my “fat Robb” clothes. And staying true to my pack-rat upbringing, I haven’t thrown any of them away. Sure, Tanya has managed to sneak a few of them into the Salvation Army donation bag, but when I’m toasty warm tonight, she’ll be wishing she had a vintage 1992 XXL sweater to curl up in.

She can’t have mine! Maybe we could share or something.

So clothes are no problem, for me at least. But I’ve never been camping on the beach before. I’m sure it’s cold and probably windy. I’ve seen California camp sites before though. I’m always disturbed by the lack of privacy. I’m used to camping in the woods. When I was a kid we used to go camping in Ohio where there was privacy, lakes, trees, trails, caves and all sorts of other cool things. And in Washington when I was a kid, you could just go out into the forest somewhere and pitch a tent. There was no one around. It was camping.

There’s no such thing anymore. I don’t consider pitching a tent 30 feet from a convenience store to be camping. But that’s just me. In fact, all we’d have to do would be to dig through a couple dumpsters and pee on the neighboring tent, and we’d be playing the “homeless people” game.

I’m taking my guitar, but who knows if I’ll actually play it. I hate playing in front of people. Besides, I’m sure that we’ll be spending the evening listening to the next-door-camper play his latest Usher album or beat his girlfriend in a drunken rage.

Anyway, we dug through our stash of old blankets and linens and concluded that Mickey Mouse sheets just would cut the cold like we’d need them to. So last night we made a 9:15 trek to Target to buy sleeping bags. It’s a shame to buy sleeping bags for just one night, but I’m sure we’ll find a use for them somehow. Really squishy end tables or something. We have two; they’ll match better than our other furniture. And no one else I know has Eddie Bauer end tables.

So, have a good weekend, I hope that we make it through the night. Usually, while camping I’ve only had to worry about raccoons and bears (and one time in Florida an alligator who just ignored the fence! He just ignored it! Jerk Gator). But now this is the first time I’ve ever been camping with the threat of shark attacks and the West Nile Virus.

If I don’t make it back…don’t touch my stuff!

Fun Fact: The new TAM Cartoon is up! It’s a fact.

It’s also a fact that I could get sued for defamation.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Get Off My Radio Already!

Howard Stern announced yesterday that he’s leaving Clear Channel for Satellite radio. He gave his perfunctory goodbye to free radio with his usual flair.

Yeah, death to free radio. Good one, Howie. I guess that free radio didn’t treat the big man good enough. He couldn’t do the show that he wanted to do. The FCC and common decency wouldn’t allow it.

That’s why he’s leaving old-school broadcasting. Well, that and the $500 million they offered him over at Sirius. $500 million?! Personally, I think it’s a bad idea. But then again, I don’t even have a real job, so my business head isn’t to be trusted.

But Howard is finally going to able to do the type of radio show he wants to. Finally! Thank god! I can’t wait! It’s about time that Howard’s genius is unchained.

As you can probably tell, I don’t listen to Howard Stern. Tanya does, but personally, I can’t stand the dude. I hate “Shock Jocks” in general. I lump a lot of people into that category. People like Tom Lycus and Dr. Laura. Actually, anyone who annoys the hell out of me on the radio; Hilary Duff, Brittany Spears, automobile “superstores...” Man, radio in general, I guess (not KJAZ 88.1 Los Angeles, they kick ass!). If I was on the radio, I’d hate me too.

And so should you. I have nothing to contribute. You read this blog, you know what I’m talking about.

I was surprised to learn that XM satellite radio has a Playboy Channel. I would actually be interested in hearing that. I mean, what do they do on that station? Pornographic radio drama? Sexiest voice competitions? In depth interviews with playmates? Oh god, no! If anyone out there has ever listened to the Playboy Channel, clue me in. I used to sneak into my ex-stepfather’s room to watch the Playboy Channel, but even that was kind of lame. And if a 13-year-old boy is calling the Playboy Channel lame, it may be time to re-think the programming strategy.

Okay, I broke down and looked it up over at XM, it looks like the Playboy Radio Channel is super-lame.

They also have Opie and Anthony on their “premium” programming. 4 hours of idiocy for one low, low price every month.

But I do have to say one thing, thank you Satellite radio for freeing up time on no-pay-radio. Unfortunately, these idiots that left for satellite radio will just be replaced with different idiots and the inane gyroscope of lunacy will just keep on spinning.

But don’t take my opinion too seriously, after all, I am listening to Christmas music right now. Can you really trust the taste of a man who likes to listen to Bing Crosby croon “Jingle Bells” in early October?

But, they describe this new trend in radio programming as “Adult Programming.” Why is it that the things that are labeled “Adult” are invariably the most juvenile?

Fun Fact: I have lost 15 pounds! At least that’s what my scale tells me. Then again, if I lean back while standing on it, it tells me that I’ve lost 30 lbs.

If I push down on the wall, I’m really skinny.

Lose weight now, ask me how.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


I have nothing to say today. I had nothing to say yesterday either, but I’ll bet you couldn’t tell, could you?

Okay, maybe you could.

This blog presents a lot of pressure. Blogs in general are stressful. They’re like babies; they require a lot of attention and love and there invariably full of crap. I refuse to do like a lot of other bloggers out there and inflict you all with my poetry. I don’t want to embarrass myself, but mostly it’s because I don’t write poetry.

Although I did write an Ode to a pie.

See, I’m proving my point. Since I can’t write poetry and since I don’t have pictures of my children (don’t have ‘em, thank god), I’ll write a short film review. How special, a blogger reviewing a film. Revolutionary!

Tanya and I went to the FOX screening of I ♥ Huckabees last Friday. This movie has been getting some really mixed reviews. Ebert and Roeper gave it two thumbs down and Jeffrey Lyons called it insipid. Okay, so those reviews weren’t mixed, but some people actually liked the film.

I’m one of those people. I don’t understand. Literally, I thought that it was one of the best movies I’d seen all year. Of course, it’s not for everyone. First of all, there’s really no lucid plot (actually, I take that back, the plot is pretty clear, but it’s bizarre and can be mistaken for pure device). It’s one of those “philosophy” pics. I use that term pretty loosely. I consider Eternal Sunshine… to also be a Philopic (look, a new term!). The granddaddy of all recent philopics being Waking Life (a good film, yeah, that cartoon one with the flying people).

The thing that I think distinguishes I ♥ Huckabees from the others is its style. It’s asinine. It’s supposed to be asinine. It’s a satire. A satire on how philosophy is at once useful and utterly inconsequential.

That’s not to say that the movie doesn’t have heart. It’s just not as drippy as Eternal Sunshine… You have to look for the heart in this film. I like that. It’s the kind of movie that I’d like to make someday. Unfortunately, if I did, I’d be broke.

Mark Wahlberg has one of his best performances yet in Huckabees. I can live without another Jude Law movie, but he was alright. They should have let him use his real accent. He always gets into trouble when he fights dialect.

The rest of the cast were good as well.

It doesn’t deserve to be called insipid. It’s a fine movie.

There, now you know why I don’t write reviews for a living. But honestly, why can’t anyone recognize satire anymore? Have we become so used to “Parody” that we’ve gotten them confused? I blame Ben Stiller and the recent rash of old TV show movies. Damn you Brady Bunch!

Speaking of lost satire, I went to Pirates of Penzance at the Granada Community Theatre.

Fun Fact: I was watching the news at the gym today. According to the closed captions, a woman was arrested for “assault of a deadly weapon.”

She’s just lucky it didn’t fight back.

And the new TAM Cartoon is up!

Monday, October 04, 2004

Can I Get an “AMEN!?”

It’s a good Monday. It’s nice and cold. Plus all of the political polls are now beginning to swing in my favor. Well, not my favor personally…you get the idea.

The politicking is finally paying off. Jon Kerry hasn’t been running what I’d call an extremely productive campaign. But during the first debate, he finally got to show off the reason why he’s the party’s candidate. All I can say is if Kerry doesn’t win the debate on domestic policy then he’s an idiot.

I heard on the news that Kerry is meeting with African American church leaders now. Politicians are always meeting with black church leaders. They’re trying to rally the support of the African American voters. And since we know that every black person living in the United States goes to church…

And they all go to churches where they sing gospel music, jump around and “testify.”

I feel bad that the only way politicians know to get African American support is to go to churches. It seems somewhat stereotypical to me. I know that it’s not meant that way. I know that churches are important to most African Americans (movies and TV tell me so). But I really feel bad for black atheists.

Where is their lobby?

And most of these church leaders are men. So what about black women atheists? Let’s not pretend like they don’t exist. They’re screwed.

Look, as most of you probably already know, I’m an atheist. I’m not militant or anything. But I am sensitive to other atheists. Especially minority atheists. It seems like minorities and religion are bound together tighter than Paris Hilton and anorexia. It hardly seems fair.

And why do black church leaders get to have so much say? I’m white and It’s pretty clear to both myself and Jim Baker that he’s not speaking for me. He doesn’t even try to anymore. He’s given up on trying to represent an entire skin-color-based ethnic group. And, believe me, we’re all the better for it.

So why do other ethnic groups pigeon hole their own people? All blacks are Christians, except for the converted Muslim ones. All Muslims come from the Middle East, except for those converted black ones. And Hispanics…everyone knows they’re Catholic.

I’ll bet that them’s some lonely streets for a Mexican Buddhist.

So, please, this election year, won’t you all try to remember the African-American Female Atheist? After all, it’s the Christian thing to do.

Fun Fact: It looks like SpaceshipOne won the X-Prize! Good for them!

But it’s a little sad that there were only about 5,000 people on hand to witness it. This is historical. Sure, they did it once before, but there were only about 5,000 people there for that as well.

The first privately owned ship went into space and…”we’ve seen it. It’s been done. I watch the Sci-Fi Channel!”

Hell, there are more people at a Yanni concert! Sad.

Luckily, Yanni wasn’t there. Sure, only 5,000 people came, but I’ll bet that those 5,000 people wanted to stay awake.

Congrats SpaceshipOne team! It just goes to show what you can do with a few brave pilots, a bunch of brilliant engineers, some hard work, a forward-thinking genius billionaire and one annoying cash-hungry British media whore fop.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Neglect and Political BS

Sorry, I’ve been busy lately. I’m back today, but I still have nothing to say. But didn’t I sell this post well with that great title!?

The first presidential debate was last night. Nothing really funny about it. I do have to say that I thought John Kerry did an excellent job. But it’s strange, no matter how much I hate the policies of George Bush, no matter how much bullying his administration has done and no matter how much I hate his terrorist campaign practices, I still found myself feeling a little sorry for the guy.

I’ve always been one to root for the underdog. Probably because I’ve spent so much of my life as the underdog. But Kerry made Bush look like more than just a short dude, he made him look like a mental midget as well.

I already knew that Bush was a little dim. It’s a given. The entire world knows it. But, before, you could hold out hope that underneath it all he was still a well educated man.

So much for hope.

It’ll be a crying shame if he’s reelected. How much does a president have to screw up before people stop confusing his down-hominess for leadership? It would be nice if we could end the Middle East Conflict with the appropriate fishing lure. But until that day comes, I don’t really care how many acres of brush he’s cleared with his own two hands.

But people do strange things. People rarely learn from the mistakes of others. Personally, I have trouble with it as well. Example: Just the other day another hiker was rescued from the Angeles National Forest. He got lost. In fact, I swear about one hiker a month gets lost and air-lifted from the Angeles National Forest.

The nice thing is that the rescuers almost always find the missing hikers. Why? Because unlike most National Forests, the Angeles National Forest is conveniently free of trees.

This guy said that the trail marking were confusing. The arrows only pointed in one direction…up the trail…not back down the trail. Evidentially, he couldn’t crack the “backwards arrow” code.

Seriously, getting lost in the Angeles National Forest is a lot like getting lost in the Staples Center parking lot. With more sagebrush. And less hookers.

But people get lost nonetheless. It’s probably too much to hope that a hiker that can get trapped in the Angeles National Forest, without having fallen off a cliff, could ever decipher GPS.

He probably voted for Bush, and possibly will again. (With my luck, he’s the California Democratic Party chair.)

I don’t want this blog to get all Democratic Party on you all and alienate some of my readers, but I feel that the president screwed up. We have a chance to make the situation better at home and overseas. I just hope that “backwards arrow” code doesn’t stymie the entire nation.

Fun Fact: It’s the first day of October! One of the best months of the entire year.

It’s also African Music Superstar Youssou NDour’s birthday! (I had to look him up)

Oh, yeah, and Jimmy Carter’s too. Julie Andrews’ as well. And the new TAM Cartoon is up! My Simpsons Calendar tells me all these things.