Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
*It's actually the Taiwanese I hate.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Thursday, December 08, 2005
"If that's cowardice, then coward me up." --- Spoken by an alternate Dr. Mystery, one who has job security and is not hemorrhaging money by the barrelful, in a beautiful dream. Good lord, I'm fucked. The temp agency can't even find me any work. When I quit my next job, and I undoubtedly will, I will wait until I am employed elsewhere before jumping ship. Still, a year with no job is something to behold. I soared with the eagles, lived as an eagle, became an eagle. Now, eagle time is over. I must get a job in January or I will be as dry as a bone. My reserves have been siphoned. I am not an eagle. I am just a man.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Prince - "When Doves Cry"
Human League - "Don't You Want Me"
The Beach Boys - "God Only Knows"
Thin Lizzy - "Jailbreak"
Michael Jackson - "Rock With You"
The Rolling Stones - "Miss You"
The Clash - "Rock the Casbah"
Madonna - "Into the Groove"
Black Sabbath - "Paranoid"
Roxy Music - "Love is the Drug"
Blue Oyster Cult - "Don't Fear the Reaper"
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Let's start this history off with one of my most embarrassing moments. In grade school, I became interested in true crime, serial killers and mass murderers (particularly Charles Manson), and unsolved mysteries. This interest was sparked by seeing a Geraldo Rivera special on mass murder (the one where he interviewed Manson) and the television show "Unsolved Mysteries." I was fascinated by the capability of human beings to be colossally fucked up. I was also freaked out that someone would kidnap and murder me and I wanted to understand all I could so I would be able to escape should this fear ever become an eventuality. This fear was exacerbated by a family friend's daughter being kidnapped by a sexual predator from Omaha who happened to be driving through our town, though the man ran away before doing anything to the girl after being spotted by a neighbor. He was later arrested for a previous crime in eastern Nebraska. Don't worry, this gets funnier. My interest was a little morbid, but I was still way more into comic books, rock and roll, professional wrestling, and swimming at the lake. There are no bodies hidden in my apartment. Anyway, time goes by and the fear of being kidnapped and murdered diminishes, but the interest in true crime remains. I was eleven or twelve, and I had just finished watching "Unsolved Mysteries" when one of my friends called. He said to meet him at the R&W shortly. The R&W was an ice cream parlor/hamburger joint that was a popular hangout at the time for pubescent dorks like me and my friends. It is now a Subway (the restaurant chain, not the public transportation system). I walked the six blocks to the R&W, probably ate some french fries or an ice cream cone, probably played some hair metal on the jukebox, or some Altered Beast on the arcade game. The only thing I remember clearly is seeing a lot of classmates there, and hanging out until it had become dark. I don't remember why now, but I ended up walking back home alone. About four blocks before I got to my house, I noticed a small car with out of state plates slowly turning onto the street. It slowly followed me for three more blocks. Very slowly. I'm starting to gently freak out at this point. "Unsolved Mysteries" is playing in my head. Then the car pulls right next to me and stops in the middle of the street. I can see my house from here and get ready to bust a move. A bearded man I don't recognize wearing a baseball cap leans over in the seat and says, "Hey." I lose my shit and take off running, not stopping until I'm in the living room of my house. My mother and father look at me bemusedly, and I tell them to call the cops. They ask why, and I tell them that some weird guy followed me for three blocks, then pulled alongside me in the middle of the street. I give a description of the man and the car, and my mom calls the cops. She starts going over the story with me again, gets a strange look on her face, then a flash of recognition, then embarrassment. "Oh, shit," she says. "I think you called the cops on Bill." Bill is one of my uncles. We drive over to my grandparents' house, and sure enough, Bill is on the couch and, sure enough, the sheriff talked to him. I look out the window, and see his car with its Colorado plates. I feel like the world's stupidest motherfucker, although there are some facts in my favor. My uncle had been living in San Diego, and had recently moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado. I had briefly forgotten this, and I didn't connect the Colorado license plates with him. Additionally, I had never seen his car before. Also, I hadn't seen him for a year or two, and he had a beard for the first time and was wearing a baseball cap, something I'd never seen him wear before. My mother called the sheriff and explained what had happened, though they seemed to think she had a retarded son. My uncle saw how embarrassed I was and laughed it off, though my grandfather made fun of me for about eight solid weeks. I'm not a big fan of symbolism, but I think I see some of it in this true story. I represent Bridgeport and my uncle and his car represent the outside world. Now, let's all eat a hoagie and go to bed.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
1) In the 1980s, a home electronics store held a $299 sale on expensive stereo equipment. In the television advertisement, a wacky spokesman said the stereos were only "299 bananas." Thirty-two customers took them at their word, and entered the store with 299 bananas each in exchange for the stereos. The store owners were good sports about it, and allowed these customers to purchase the stereos with bananas. The bananas were donated to a local zoo, but the zoo would only take 1,000 of the bananas. A zoo spokesman was quoted as saying, "Most of our animals like them, but we can't just give them bananas in uncontrolled amounts."
2) I was raised Catholic. Every year in my home state of Nebraska, the Catholic Church held a statewide youth event for junior high and high school kids that featured activities, events, speeches, presentations, and a big dance. This event was called "Going Bananas for Jesus."
3) Woody Allen's movie "Bananas" is a hell of a lot funnier than Woody Allen's movie "Interiors."
4) In Lithuania, it is a symbol of patriotism and good luck to keep a banana in the right front pocket of a winter coat.
*One of these banana facts is not true. Can you guess which one? Win a banana!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I almost got a job today, but the curse remains. I took an editing test for a temporary editing job yesterday. I was informed that the job would be from late November to mid-December for thirty to forty hours a week for $25 an hour. The work was dick-pummelingly tedious, but for 25 bucks an hour, I was prepared to pummel a little dick. They send me the test. It's just a PDF file of a document with no instructions. What the fuck was I supposed to do with that? Stare at it and send it back? I email the place and ask for a little more instructional detail. They email me back and point out one of the errors on the document, but no instructions. Yes, I know I'm supposed to find and correct the errors. Thanks, jerks. What I need to know is how the fuck I'm supposed to edit a PDF file. Do they want me to print it out, correct it in pen or pencil, mail it back to them, fax it, buy some software that will allow me to correct it on the compute-machine, email it back, what? Sweet christ, what a conundrum. They email me back again to tell me that they looked at the test and realized it was confusing. They told me to edit it any way I wanted, and send it back any way I wanted. Who's running this operation? I get an email today telling me the job is mine if I want it. They will get back to me with the hours later. Alright, I think. The curse is lifted. They call me up and tell me the position is actually between six and twenty hours a week, usually six. I will be on call through the Christmas holiday. What the shit, I reply. I'm not skipping out on Christmas with my family to be on call for a six-hour a week job. Call me back when you're not tripping balls, suckers. They still might be able to throw me a little work, but until I hear something sensible, the curse is still raging. I'm fucked. I had to quit my old job because I was dying inside. Now I need to find a new job because I'm dying inside. It's almost been a year. When can I die? Please kill me soon.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Friday, November 04, 2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
Words of wisdom from an artistic genius who intentionally overdosed on despair, hatred, and cocaine at the age of 38
Nobody follows their own advice.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
*Look At All Those Killer Robots
Sunday, October 23, 2005
I'm still unemployed. The novelty has worn off. I'm ready to make some dead presidents again, bitch. I want to buy a better stereo and a better TV. I want to live the dream. The American dream. Job prospects are looking better this month. There are finally jobs worth applying to, but will I get them? Only Alan Alda knows for sure, that fuck. I'm beginning to think I will finally be gainfully employed again when either "Chinese Democracy" or the followup to "Loveless" hits record stores near you. I am cursed.
In all seriousness, jerks, I made a major breakthrough this week. The graduate school application project was rolling like a well-oiled oiling machine, but I was getting more and more depressed and not understanding why. Last week, I had my Eureka moment. I finally came to my senses. I don't want to go to grad school! I hate school! I like to learn on my own, without going $60,000 in debt for a degree that will not help me get a job! I don't want to live like a college student! I want a house, a dog, a cat, boring American dream bullshit, freedom from wearing a fucking backpack! Immediately, the sky opened up. Birds began to sing. Multiple rainbows stretched across the sky. Leprechauns teabagged me while angels gave me handjobs. Life was worth living again. I've felt great for a week (though I was sick with a fever for two of those days), and it hasn't dissipated. I can finally live in the goddamn present! What's happening to me right now is what's happening to me. No more plans for the future. Here it is. I live day to day, minute to minute, second to second, etc., and that's the way I like to live. I'm not the academic type. I've learned very little in school, either grade, junior high and high, or university. Part of it's me, part of it's them. I learn from reading, doing, and making huge mistakes. From living. I realized I'm never going to like any job I have, and grad school isn't going to change that. I will (hopefully quickly) find another job and keep doing what I want to do on my own time. I will keep pursuing my creative pursuits in my own way at my own pace whether I'm good, lousy, or extremely lousy. One day, I will be dead and that will be it. What I do here goddamn well better be what I want to do here. If I do something just so I can tell people I don't know at dinner parties that I'm going to film school in Boston, I'm as good as dead. I don't care if I ever make money or am successful at a goddamn thing other than being reasonably happy and satisfied with the way I live. Money's for assholes, careers are for people without lives, and life is short as hell. Donald Trump's sad, pathetic money-chasing life has never been as good as my Sunday evening, drinking a whiskey and coke, listening to music, watching a Chaplin movie, being with someone because you want to be with them, not because of some mutually beneficial trophy-wife/financial-windfall barter system. Of course, Donald Trump probably doesn't make an ass out of himself whenever there's an open bar. Whatever. As long as there are no legislative sessions or comp time in lieu of money situations at my next job. Comp time was great up to a point, but with special session onslaught, it became kind of like being paid in magic beans or, really, fucking nothing. I'm sorry, some of you won't know what that means. You are the lucky ones.
In conclusion, here are some FAQs from a professional wrestling information website which I have lifted without permission. They bring me a lot of joy.
"What happened to the WCW Television Title?
After being one of the most prestigious titles in NWA/WCW, the Television title lost value at the end of WCW's run and was scrapped a year before it's close. The last actual title change took place on October 24, 1999 when Rick Steiner beat Chris Benoit. Scott Hall was then given the title for no reason and just 8 days later he threw the title in the trash saying he didn't want it. The television title then was scrapped for a short while until Hacksaw Jim Duggan "found" the title in the trash on a February 2000 edition of Saturday Night and was made the champion and only defended it on WCW Saturday Night. After Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff were brought back into WCW in April 2000 they decided to vacant all the titles and the Television title was never mentioned again."
Who was Wildcat Willie?
Wildcat Willie was the WCW mascot from 1995 to 1999. He'd come out to the ring and dance around in between matches on Monday Nitro and Saturday Night. He was finally fired in 1999 after they realized that fans hated him and had more fun throwing stuff at him than actually watching him.
It isn't actually known who Wildcat Willie was. There is a rumor that Lanny Poffo played the role since he had a WCW contract from 1995 to 1999 and was never seen on television. Nobody has ever confirmed the rumor though.
Was their going to be a Wrestling Jesus character?
I don't think so. In mid 2000 their was a strong rumor Vince Russo had an idea to give Devon Storm the idea of being the Wrestling Jesus. He was too come out and do "miracles" and be followed by "12 Disciples". It is not known if the angle is actually true though since no one has confirmed the rumor."
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Step into my world, won't you?
An anecdotal history of Life in the Dr. Mystery Sports Void
1) All I wanted to do when I was three was look at comic books and listen to rock and roll. This hasn't changed much, if at all. My fellow Hometownians were outside playing kickball. When school started, they were good at kickball. I sucked, though I learned to read first and I could name every member of Van Halen and the lyrics to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." This was a poor substitute for kickball skills at the time, maybe still. Probably still.
2) Junior high. Turns out, kickball wasn't the only thing I sucked at. Baseball, basketball, football. You name it, I sucked at it. Girls stopped liking me. I've written about this in the comments at My Drunken Socks, so I won't whine about it anymore except to say when girls don't like you anymore, there's not much point to anything. You just have to keep waking up knowing that someday, you will be old enough to get the fuck out of Hometown.
3) Nebraska football is a big deal, but Hometown was four hours from Denver, so Bronco football was a big deal as well. I was thrown into a sweaty panic whenever someone asked me about the big game. Were they talking college ball? Pro ball? What the hell do I say? I don't even know who we're playing or what day the game is. I had a small repertoire of vague answers that never seemed to satisfy. "It's too tough to call right now." "It's going to be a good one." "I agree with you." "You know it." "Yep." "I know. I can't believe it either." Who's-going-to-win questions were easier, since either "Huskers" or "Broncos" was the correct answer, but if I mentioned Broncos when I should have mentioned Huskers, my dark secret would be revealed. I especially dreaded questions about coaches, plays, particular players, or league politics. I had nothing. The only one who was easy to snow was my grandfather's lunatic friend Estrada. He was so obsessed with the Broncos that he called every teenager "Denver Bronco." Whenever he saw me, he would say, "Hey, Denver Bronco. Who's going to win today?" I knew the answer was always "Denver Broncos." Then, he would whoop and holler and tell me he liked the cut of my jib or something. Actually, I made that last part up. This may not sound like much of a big deal, especially since most kids at my high school knew I sucked at sports and had no interest in them, but the adults were different. They were harder, more suspicious, disgusted even. They knew there was something wrong with me. I wasn't one of them, and it made them angry. Not liking sports meant one of four things in Hometown. I was either 1) "weird" 2) on drugs 3) a big pussy or 4) flamingly, screamingly gay. Most people thought I was a one with a little two thrown in, but I was always under the impression that a jock father of one of my friends was in the three camp, trying to get a fix on whether I was a four. To him, my not going out for football was equivalent to giving head in drag to Harvey Fierstein during halftime at Homecoming while the Pet Shop Boys and Liza Minnelli duetted behind me. He eventually decided I wasn't a four and warmed up to me a little, but I could never break out of the number three ghetto.
4) One of my uncles is a sports-fixated kind of guy and his kids are all good athletes. He thinks I'm a great big pussy. He's only said about five sentences to me in my life, and we've probably been in the same room together for at least 1,000 hours of our collective lifetimes. Oh well, he's only related by marriage. Fuck him.
5) Pep rallies were mandatory in my high school. Was this the case at other schools? I hope so. I hope you all suffered, too.
6) I've lived in two college towns that are football mad. In college in Lincoln, I lived a few blocks from Memorial Stadium. On game days, I wasn't allowed to park in my street. I call bullshit on that one. I got several tickets because I never knew when the home games were and I slept late, my car parked in its usually legal spot. That's some bullshit. No taxation without representation, bitch! I fucking live there! Fuck you! I pay rent on this house and I pay taxes on this street! Fuck your football tax!
7) I flew back home recently because my grandmother was having risky surgery. The priest of the local Catholic Church was at her house for a visit. After learning I lived in Texas, he said, "You're probably a Spurs fan, right?" I no longer try to hide my shame, so I said, "Actually, I'm not much of a sports fan." His face fell, he stared silently at me in disbelief, and it was a good seven seconds before he could regain his composure. My disinterest in sports disgusted a priest. I was emasculated by a guy who is not allowed to touch women.
8) This list could be endless. I've purposely left out the most painful stuff to keep it amusing and less whiny. But sports have rained on my parade for years. Why do shopkeepers, bartenders, people I meet on the elevator, people in line at the bank, etc. etc. keep asking me my thoughts on sports? Do I sidle up next to some random stranger and say "Hey, buddy, what are your thoughts on the films of John Cassavetes and Robert Bresson? Compare and contrast?" or "What did you think of that Raymond Carver book? Wasn't that a doozy?" or "Where do you think Yo La Tengo will take things on the next album? Back to the Electropura style or continue in the more contemplative direction of recent years?" If you like sports, God bless you, but I have to live in your world so much of the time, and I want out.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Monday, September 26, 2005
In related news, why is it so satisfying to emit a particularly foul-smelling gaseous emission? I almost killed my wife with a noxious fart tonight. I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment, akin to winning a date with an attractive woman, passing a particularly difficult class, or lifting a car off an injured family of eight with my bare hands. I really did something today. What did you do, losers?
Vegetarians. God bless you. You really love animals. Or do you really love your own sense of self-righteousness and/or masochistic sacrificial self-abuse rituals? Who can say? Here's what I think. Yes, and yes. Take this with a grain of salt, vegetarians. I mean this lovingly. Many of you, including my mother and several friends, are members of your silly, silly club. This is just one man's opinion. WAKE THE FUCK UP! Your refusal to eat meat is misguided sentimentality. If you cared about your fellow humans as much as you care about a fucking chicken, life would be better for all of us. Animal cruelty is abhorrent. No animal should ever be tortured, killed for sport, or forced to undergo painful tests to improve cosmetics. But if thousands of monkeys have to die to find a cure for cancer, kill those fuckers! And if any animal happens to be delicious, kill it humanely and eat the fucker! No animal, left to its own devices, has a good death. If we don't eat them, step on them, or keep them as pets, something will fuck their ass up. Another animal or the ravages of nature will take care of that animal painfully and slowly. Circle of life, food chain, all that shit. Ripped apart by mountain lions, starved to death, infected with disease, etc., etc. You're not going to save any animal by not eating it. It's like one of my friends says, "No deer is going to have a comfortable retirement and no cow is going to write a novel." A lot of vegetarians think they have a point by asking "What about dogs and cats? You wouldn't eat them, would you?" My usual reply is "I wouldn't eat my cat, no. But I would eat your cat." My real answer is that I've witnessed most of the people who've asked me this question swatting flies, stepping on spiders, spraying cockroaches, and/or putting out mousetraps. Some vegetarians justify eating seafood, or eating things that don't have a "face," but somehow, cows or chickens are off limits. A fish is smarter than a fucking chicken. Why is it lower on the hierarchy? Besides, dogs and cats are eaten in parts of the world, and they've proven themselves to be good pets. My judgment of their worth is entirely based on their use to human beings. Their primary worth is as a pet. If they weren't so stringy and affectionate, I would eat them. As long as they aren't being tortured, I can rest easy. Everyone needs to eat the meatloaf sandwich at the Kitchen Door. It's really fucking good, people. I'm drunk and incoherent. My argument is full of holes. This is not a serious defense. But I sincerely believe that no one will ever get to heaven, get a medal, or save an animal's life by not eating animals. If you're doing it to get laid, there are much better women (and probably men) out there. Women (and probably men) who eat cheeseburgers are much sexier than emaciated plant-nibblers! But, seriously, vegetarians, I've rarely met one of you I didn't like on a personal level. I'm just teasing. You're alright. I even know a few vegetarians who just hate the way meat tastes. That's more aesthetically and morally defensible in my book. But, you're alright, veggie-lovers. It's hard to hate people who love animals. Vegans, though. Fuck vegans. Vegans are ill-tempered dumbass goofballs. Eat a pizza and loosen your belt, fuckface. For a similar philosophy, please read Cornelius Bear's thoughts on gambling. Bite into this godless, secular wonderland! Whoo hoo!
In my ten-best sandwich roundup, I forgot to mention my own favorite sandwich in Austin, criminally ignored by the Statesman. My favorite sandwich is the Gypsy Grove at Foodheads. Sure, Gypsy Grove sounds like a Blind Melon cover band, but it's actually a timebomb of deliciousness. Check this out: Marinated and grilled pork tenderloin, grilled ham, Swiss cheese, cherry peppers, tabasco slaw, and fried egg on toasted garlic baguette. This sandwich is decadent, yes, but in the holiest way. It is a mindfuck express to sandwich nirvana. If you refuse to eat this sandwich, you hate America! And the Swiss! Nuts to you!
I watched "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" again over the weekend. I don't know if it's Hunter S. Thompson's recent death, drug nostalgia, or disappointment over how much "Brothers Grimm" sucked, but I think this movie has improved considerably since I first saw it in the theater eight years ago. I wasn't impressed, then, but it was a great day anyway, and yet another reminder of how much I hate a predictable, consistent schedule. Week days meant something in college. I never knew what I was going to be doing on any given weekday, outside of class. This particular 1998 day, I think it was a Wednesday or Thursday, about twelve of us got drunk on whiskey at 9 a.m., then went to the matinee of "Fear and Loathing" and ate at Wendy's. Of course, most of us could take a day off work, get drunk in the morning, go to a matinee, and eat some fast food afterwards. But we would be lucky to find one person, let alone twelve, to accompany us. Instead of a fond memory, like this day will always be for me, a similar day now would probably conclude with a crying jag, internet porn, leftover pizza, an episode of "The O.C.," contemplation of suicide, and falling asleep on the couch. Why must every day be the same? Being an adult means decomposing early. Anyway, I didn't like the movie much at the time, but I felt good because most of my friends loved it (though they would have loved anything with drug references), and it was 10 a.m., we were drunk, and we were 19-22. There was a light and airy feeling, life was in front of us, and we were turning a mundane weekday into a Bacchanalian celebration of life. I miss those days. Of course, I'm mostly happier now and I only remember the good stuff when I think back. Nostalgia is an enemy, but sometimes it's a sexy, sexy enemy. Anyway, it's a nice little movie.
I had a couple of weird encounters in public places this weekend. #1 I was buying some beer at HEB and I showed the cashier my ID. He grins at me and says, "You barely made it." Huh? I'm young, yes. But I'm 28. I barely made it seven years ago. What an odd thing to say. #2 My wife and I are at Denny's today, paying for our meal at the counter. The guy looks at us and says, "Imagine seeing you two crazyheads here." I whisper to my wife, "Does he know us?" She whispers back, "No." What a fucking cuckoo batshit looney tunes thing to say. Somehow, the HEB encounter bothers me more. I'm 28, goddammit! 28! Show me a little respect! I didn't fall off the turnip truck! Fuck!
Edna and Troy died. The musk was too strong.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
The Austin American-Statesman threw down the gauntlet, and I picked it up and ate it. Here are my findings.
Austin American-Statesman's 10 Best Sandwiches in Austin
1. Italian Godfather, Russell's Bakery. I was skeptical when this sandwich was placed before me. It was quite handsome, fetching even, but was a mere deli-style, meat-and-cheese, mayo-dressing-mustard-lettuce-and-tomato kind of sandwich. However, once bitten into, the sandwich sent off shock waves of culinary delight that exploded all over my palate. Why was it so good? Could it be the tantalizing rosemary bread that held it all together? Methinks it could. Grade: A+
2. Egg Salad, Sweetish Hill Bakery. How could a simple egg salad sandwich be one of the contenders? It was nonsense. Or was it? Holy mother of shit, this sandwich was good. Homemade mayonnaise, fresh farm eggs, hydroponic lettuce, a little white cheddar, and homemade bread. Fuck, yeah. Grade: A
3. Oyster Po' Boy, Gene's New Orleans Style Po' Boys & Deli. Setback #1: Gene's is out of oysters. I settle for my old favorite, the shrimp po' boy. It was good, but I've had it several times. I had yet to try the oyster po' boy. I returned three days later, full of vim, vigor, and determination. Success! I ate the shit out of it, and it was good. Slathered in real mayo and deep-fried to perfection, my arteries say no but my mouth says word booty. Grade: A
4. Nicoise, Texas French Bread. This sandwich was actually good for me, a nice change (tuna, capers, red onion, lettuce, tomato, vinaigrette), and also very tasty. So far, so good, Statesman.
5. Chicken Salad, Galaxy Cafe. Nine of the ten restaurants represented on this list are close to my home. This one is practically in fucking Dallas. Completist that I am, I made the 18-mile trek to the Galaxy Cafe and waited in a hellishly long line to order. Once I ordered, though, service was fast and friendly. It was a good sandwich, but it didn't blow my mind. The first one on the list to be overrated, it was accompanied by a side soup that blew away the sandwich. The Upper Crust Bakery has a much better chicken salad sandwich, in my view (keep in mind I'm not exactly a chicken salad expert). Grade: B-
6. Philly Cheesesteak, Hog Island Italian Deli. Whooo! Yeah! Alright! This restaurant is a few blocks away from my old job, so I spent quite a few lunch hours eating here, but I'd never had the philly for whatever reason, though many of my old co-workers raved about it. They were right. Apparently, the meat and bread are actually flown in from Philadelphia daily. I now have no reason to go to Philadelphia. Thanks, Hog Island! You're the tops! Grade: A+
7. Reuben, New World Deli. Mmmph. If you want a great Reuben, go to the Avenue B Grocery (fortunately right across the street from my home). This one was decent, but a little overstuffed and dry. Grade: C+
8. Avocado Sandwich, Upper Crust Bakery. I think the guy or lady making this sandwich fucked it up. It's supposed to have red onion and vinaigrette on it, but apparently they're rationing these ingredients because only two bites had this stuff on it. Those two bites were awesome. The rest of the sandwich was bland as fuck. I may have to give it another chance, since human error affected its overall score. The chicken salad sandwich is great here, though. Grade: C-
9. Grilled Meatloaf Sandwich, Kitchen Door (Lake Austin Blvd. location). This may be the best sandwich I've ever had. Weep, you silly vegetarians. Weep. Then join Planet Sensible and Club Food Chain and eat this sandwich. Esquire magazine called this one of the ten best sandwiches in the U.S. Don't hold that against it. It's probably true. Grade: A++++++++
10. Three-Cheese Panini, 1886 Cafe in Driskill Hotel. Setback #2: Lunchtime on a Saturday. They have extended breakfast hours on the weekend, so the panini wasn't available until dinner. I ordered the Turkey BLT instead. It was awesome, but I wanted to get my panini on. Five days later, I saunter back in. Success! I had a great time, unemployed, on a Thursday, looking at a classic car parked across the street, sitting in a semi-fancy restaurant in a fancy hotel, watching the light and shadow in the cafe, drinking some tea, eating a panini, taking it easy. This is living, my friend. I loved the sandwich. It's just bread and cheese, but somehow it's incredible. Conversely, it's just bread and cheese, so why is it eleven fucking dollars? Perhaps this has something to do with the spinach salad and "tomato confit" included with the meal (I'm just a small-town Nebraska boy. I don't know from confit, but it wuz good.) Additionally, there was an insane older woman at the table in front of me throwing a ridiculous tantrum because there were three flies buzzing around the restaurant. She complained to the waitress about 12 times and gave her a status report on the flies every time she walked by. She also attempted to kill the flies by lunging across her table with her napkin and exaggeratedly swatting at one whenever it flew past. "Excuse me, miss. I killed one of the flies." "Miss, I saw another fly." "Miss, a fly landed on my spoon but fortunately I was done eating." "Miss, please do something about these flies." "Miss, flies are buzzing everywhere!" "Miss, I killed another fly!" Then, the crazy old bat ordered dessert! She was flapping her arms and carrying on so much that the flies completely ignored the other customers and concentrated solely on her. Grade, (excluding inflated price): A.
Coming soon: Why vegetarians are kind-hearted but misguided and foolish, why weekdays were better eight years ago, and odd statements from customer service workers. All that, and what happened to Edna and Troy after they got locked in Dr. Crazynut's Cave of Ominous Musk. Stick around, kids.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I got a little ahead of myself. Professor dude resigned as head of the program. He's still teaching there. So Operation: Grad School is once again back in play. Let's see what will happen. If I get accepted, great. I'm starting to get the five-year locational itch, and a new city might be what I need to get out of Rutsville, especially with the job situation in Austin being pretty much Shitsville. If I get denied, shut down, refused, slam dunked, or embroiled in a layup of savings, I won't cry. Plan B will resume its place as Plan A, aka Operation: Get a House, Dog, and Cat and See If I Can Find Some Job in Austin That's Not Total Shit. Either way, limbo will be busted out of and life will once again be scary, interesting, and erotically charged.
I'm one sandwich away from eating all ten of the Austin American-Statesman's so-called ten best sandwiches in Austin. A complete Operation: Sandwich report should be up by Sunday night.
I have a Flickr page now, so Operation: Bad Photographer is newly public.
That's it. Fuck, I fucking need a motherfucking job. Shit.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Euro Boy, looking at the number of the caller: "Sorry, guys. I've got to take this call. It's my sensei."
Euro Boy, answering phone and walking out of the bar, looking pensive, serious, and deeply touched: "Moshe-moshe."
I had an extended laughing fit, exacerbated by trying not to laugh at the poor doofus. God bless that ridiculous dork.
I took the GRE last week. I did pretty well. Unfortunately, that doesn't matter now. The sole reason I took it was so I could apply to one particular film studies program at one particular university. I have no real desire to attend grad school anywhere else for any reason. I don't want to be a college professor, and I have an extreme distaste for academic writing and the insularities, irrelevancies, pretensions, and Dungeons and Dragons-style games of oneupsmanship that seem to dominate most graduate schools, though there are loads of exceptions, I have friends who get a lot out of their grad programs, and it's still preferable to a money-chasing careerist nine-to-five lifestyle even at its worst. This particular program is run by a professor and writer whose books, ideas, taste, and classroom methods appeal to me greatly. It's the only film program that teaches what I value in ways I find valuable. It places zero value on academic theory and jargon, sociologic and symbolic readings of film, or junky pop-culture entertainment. Instead, all value is placed on art (which is an academic dirty word) as a form of experience, not some puzzle or message to figure out or "get" or theorize about or throw a sociopolitical net on top of but as a new way of understanding, experiencing, feeling, and expressing what it's like to be a human being. Unfortunately, this professor is not well liked at his university because what he teaches is not academically fashionable. Changes he disagrees with are being made to the program, so he resigned. This will be his last year. So now my goal of the last two years has been rendered moot. I'm back to square zero. I was so caught up in studying for the GRE and preparing my application, I almost forgot I'm still unemployed. I've hit rock bottom. I have nothing going for me right now. It's actually not that depressing. A few months ago, I was waking up in the morning in a sweaty panic because I was having so much trouble finding a job. Now I don't give a shit. I don't give a shit about anything, and it feels good. My grad school plans are fucked, my job situation is fucked, and in a few more months, my checking and savings accounts will be fucked. I don't give a shit. I've got real freedom right now. It probably won't last. This is what I care about: My wife, family, friends, books, music, movies, art, writing, good food, good drinks, living. When I get a job, hopefully it won't depress the hell out of me, but they always do. Now that grad school's out, I want to get a house and a dog and a cat and continue to read, listen to music, watch movies, write, eat, drink, hang out with my friends, maybe luck into a job that doesn't disgust me, travel a little bit. That sounds good to me. That sounds like what I want to do until I'm dead. Too bad the university I wanted to attend will probably end up teaching classes about the representation of lesbianism on TV's "Friends" and the religious symbolism of "The Matrix" and churning out students who go on to write books like "Digital Diasporics: Reimaging Africanity in Cyberspace" (actual book title) that five other academics will read, but my life goes on. At least I'm not floating in a two-foot pool of feces-ridden water in New Orleans, am I right? Something will happen to me eventually. I will once again receive a steady paycheck and hopefully luck into having a meaningful life.
Reading: An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
These new indie kids need to eat a cheeseburger, run a comb through their hair, and spend a little time in the sun
For some stupid reason that escapes me now, I've decided to apply for grad school. I've been studying for the GRE these last two weeks. It's probably pointless. My undergrad transcripts are the equivalent of a three-year-old coffee-stained map of Afghanistan. Lots of As, Bs, Cs. An F. No Ds, though. Fuck. I've had a weird month. I feel like a kicked skeleton. I need some luck. Maybe I'll go to clown school.
Reading: Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind
These Norwegian Black Metal guys are some of the most hilariously stupid people who ever lived. It would be easier to laugh at them if many of them weren't neo-Nazis or in jail for murder and arson. They got the writers they deserved, too. I don't think the book has touched an editor's hands. The writing is disorganized, pretentious, repetitive, ridiculous, and unintentionally funny, just like the bands. These guys have names like Euronymous, Dead, Hellhammer, and Count Grishnackh. Check out this quote from Dead about his band Mayhem's stage show: "Pigheads, as well as other heads, is what we try to have at all gigs." After Dead committed suicide, his roommates Euronymous and Hellhammer found the body. Hellhammer: "Euronymous thought of sawing his arm off and putting it under a glass display case, but he figured it wouldn't be very smart because the police would probably ask where his arm was." I love the use of the word "probably" in that quote. Genius.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
R.L. Burnside is dead, New Orleans is flooded, I still don't understand geometry, and I still don't have a job
Friday, August 12, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
My other favorite, besides the one I used for the title of this post: "Only in cases of extreme knife incidents."
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Monday, August 08, 2005
Message to everyone I like: Please have as many kids as possible so we can thoroughly outnumber these idiots
All week, I have been bombarded with ads for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. According to imdb.com, 174 people worked on this film. Huge amounts of money were spent making this film and paying these 174 people. In addition, the movie is rated R, so anyone purchasing a ticket is at least 17 years old. Think about that while watching the TV ads. It's mindblowing.
If you pay to see either of these two movies, you are hurting our country. Fuck you.
Usually, I can laugh about the awfulness of a horrible movie, but for some reason, the fact that a sequel to Deuce Bigalow exists, and that probably lots of people will go see it, depresses the hell out of me.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
H.W. Ross founded The New Yorker magazine. He was worried about advertising infecting news and editorial content back in 1926. This is from a letter to publisher Raoul Fleischmann that year:
"I think it essential that all members of the advertising staff be tactfully but firmly taught that they are in no way to have direct contact with the members of the editorial staff or with me...
...Unless stern measures are taken my present efforts to keep the editorial department independent, uninfluenced, honest and - more important than all - slightly aloof, will be more or less defeated..."
Reading: Agee On Film by James Agee
Friday, August 05, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
First up, Google image search:
Now, Yahoo image search:
bonehead play (same photo as Google)
Monday, August 01, 2005
This post is only the beginning. Can-Smashing Robot will now have an all-weather format. Nothing is more interesting than weather. What's it like outside? That's the most interesting question that's ever been asked.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
The mayor of Austin, Will Wynn (with a name like that, how could he lose?), has announced he is taking suggestions from anyone who wishes to e-mail him about how to celebrate Lance Armstrong's seventh Tour de France victory. I don't know Lance Armstrong, but I know this much. He would undoubtedly want me to have a high-paying, albeit surprisingly relaxing, job. This job should involve lots of screwing around, jacking around, screwing off, fucking off, pissing on it, and forgetting about it. I know this.
Take my wife, please.
But seriously, folks. My wife is great. It's these airline peanuts that burn me up. There are so few airline peanuts in a package of airline peanuts. Airline peanuts. Fuck.
This headline is a dream come true.
Please listen to lots of Silkworm, and remember how unfair this lottery of waking up every morning is. No one from the Barenaked Ladies has been killed. All the original members of Color Me Badd are still alive. Jeb Bush is still breathing in and out. Julia Roberts has been allowed to live. Thomas Kinkade talked shit about Picasso on "60 Minutes." Every host of "Entertainment Tonight," past and present, still exists. But we're still here, too. So fuck them. Do things you like with people you like as often as you can. One day, Conor Oberst will die. This gives me hope.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
Thursday, July 14, 2005
I turned 28 today. I've now lived longer than Kurt Cobain. Smells like teen longevity. Dr. Mystery 1, Kurt Cobain 0.
My job search is about as successful as the Donner Party. Speaking of eating flesh, my new goal is to forget about finding a job and find Austin's ten best sandwiches instead. The Statesman threw down the gauntlet (gantlet?) and had the hubris to proclaim the ten best sandwiches in town. I am going to eat all ten. I've already had the Italian godfather and the best egg salad in town. I will eat the remaining eight before the summer is over, cholesterol be damned. You have my word on that. Are they the ten best sandwiches in town? Who cares. Are they good sandwiches? Yes. I will eat them with pride. Civic pride.
Reading: The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James
Listening to: A bunch of mix CDs I made last week on shuffle - #1, #2, #3, #4 (#5 is a reggae compilation I haven't posted yet)
Farting: a lot