Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

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I accidentally created a mashup the kids are so damn crazy about

I was listening to online while screwing around on myspace. com, and was playing Benny Goodman's "A Smo-o-oth One." I returned home to my page at some undetermined point in the song, and the theme song I have up on my page as of Oct. 30 (Gary Wilson's "Gary's in the Park") kicked on. I moved the mouse over to the stop button, but their tempos were exactly in synch and it sounded, if not good, at least pleasantly interesting. Accidents are nice if no one gets killed.

Words of wisdom from an artistic genius who intentionally overdosed on despair, hatred, and cocaine at the age of 38

"The more real things get, the more like myths they become. There have always been myths, but the myths of earlier times were, I’m convinced, bad ones, because they made people sick. So certainly, if we can tell evil stories to make people sick, we can also tell good myths that make them well." ----Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Nobody follows their own advice.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The inevitable degeneration of our sausage casing

I sat at the computer on Friday, desperately continuing the hopeless job search, and when I was finally done praying for death, I stood up to move to the kitchen and eat a bowl of cereal. Immediately, I noticed something had gone horribly wrong with a usually reliable part of my anatomy. My jaw was locked. I could only open my mouth a quarter of an inch. When I attempted to open it wider, the pain in my jaw was excruciating and the terrible grinding and popping noises that ensued made me want to resign from breathing. I tried to open my mouth a few more times, but the pain only increased and the jaw locked ever tighter. Already thoroughly depressed by the lack of employment opportunities and the ticking clock of 11 months and counting, I got lost in some kind of horrific black hole of panic and despair before I was able to get my shit together and call the doctor. There is something incredibly frightening about not being able to open one's mouth. I'm so glad I'm not a weapons collecting kind of guy, because for ten scary minutes, I believe I would have used something on myself if it had been within reach. This is it, I thought. This is the start of the physical decline. This is how people die. Something goes horribly wrong, then other things go horribly wrong, then you're in the hospital, then you're dead. Why is my jaw locked? Do I have a tumor? Do I need surgery? I have no money. I've wasted so much of my life. At the very least, I probably need jaw surgery. There are so many fuckers I hate who are going to get to live while I waste away and die. What the fuck? What the fuck do I do? Who the hell do I call? My doctor or my dentist? Why me? Will I have to go to the hospital? I've only watched one of the four movies I rented this week. I can't go to the hospital. Goddammit, it's Friday! Are you there, God? It's me, Margaret! Eat a dick, motherfucker! I bet Conor Oberst's jaw is perfectly fine today, that rat-faced lucky talentless fuck. I got it together finally and called the doctor. He was able to fit me in that afternoon. I showered and hopped in the car. It's funny how quickly the body can adapt to pain. I went from suicidal despair to calm acceptance in about thirty minutes. I drove the half-hour to my doctor's office with the windows down. It was a sunny day, perfect weather, good music in the tape deck. My jaw was hurting worse and worse, and I was nervous as hell, but I felt like living again. I get there, look at Forbes in the waiting room like I give a flying fuck about money, and get called in. A nurse weighs me, takes my blood pressure. My weight's back down to a healthy normality, my blood pressure's perfect, but my craw is jacked the fuck up. I can't open the fucker. Who gives a fuck about my weight and blood pressure. I can't eat solid food. I can't yawn. I can't sing along to Deep Purple's "Child in Time." I can barely talk. I sit there, unshaven, needing a haircut, filled with snot from my week-long feverish cold, waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for my doctor to finish his prior appointments, reading and rereading and rereading again a wallposter about cancer prevention and deciding if a death sentence is proscribed I can take comfort in the fact that I will never live to endure fecal occult blood testing and prostate exams. Finally, my man shows up. I like my doctor. He told me I could have twenty-five drinks a week and he's been hesitant to put me on cholesterol medication even when my levels were sky-high, figuring I could get back down to normal on my own. I'm now only three points too high, so I trust him and don't think he's a whore for the drug companies. He put me at ease immediately. Though my jaw bullshit was new to me, it is apparently a common problem, usually caused by prolonged stress. My job search has certainly been that. Apparently, it's like dislocating a knee. The jaw problem, not the job search. The joint on the right side of my jaw dislocated itself. He said it would probably fix itself on its own, but if it was still fucked up by mid-week, I needed to see my dentist and oral surgeon. The $25 prognosis: take three Advil twice a day, consume only liquids, soups, and soft foods, and put heat on my face for 15-minute intervals. I followed this regimen for 12 hours, then my jaw popped back in place. It popped back out in the middle of the night for a few hours, but popped back in by morning. My jaw has been normal for two days, and I replaced the Advil with beer by Saturday afternoon. I have a newfound love of being able to use my jaw properly, and a continuing hatred of insurance companies. My doctor said my particular malady (fucked-up craw for short, TMJ for fancy pantsers), was not covered by most insurance companies if surgery had to be done, for reasons unknown to him. They have some kind of escape clause in their coverage literature, saying they cover all surgeries except TMJ. Here's another reason why I like the guy. He wrote "facial pain" in my file instead of "TMJ" just in case I needed surgery. He justified it by saying it wasn't a lie, that I did indeed have facial pain. No such justification was needed. It wasn't a lie, but a lie wouldn't have troubled my conscience. Lying to an insurance company is like lying to Hitler. My jaw is back, baby. I ate meatloaf today. It was good. My god, Bright Eyes sucks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I'm sick, unemployed, and miserable. Also, I had insomnia last night so I didn't fall asleep until 9 a.m.

Hey, kids. Here are some things to see:

Today's Achewood

White Lie, the "wine created by women for women"

The White House goes after The Onion

Television fun

Here's a link for Public Image, Ltd.'s 1980 appearance on "American Bandstand." The incongruity of it all is compelling (sort of like seeing The Residents on TRL), but there are many reasons to enjoy this clip. I don't know if there's any difference between John Lydon and Dick Clark now (time, the great equalizer, has turned both into innocuous cultural references), but in 1980 there certainly was. Watch as PiL, in their short-lived but fantastic prime, turn a mimed piece of pop promotion into something else entirely. Lydon doesn't even pretend to show interest in lipsynching and instead wanders around aimlessly, eventually dragging, pushing, pulling and inviting the audience onstage, where a spontaneous dance party erupts. Real people having fun on TV. Don't see that too often. I like it.

Monday, October 24, 2005


I was listening to some classic rock station in the car on Friday night/Saturday morning at about 3 a.m. and I heard the single weirdest transition I've ever heard on a classic rock station. They played Peter Murphy, then followed it with John Mellencamp. I just read an article about how Austin stations are expanding their playlists to compete with each other and grab more listeners, thereby causing strange uniformities among differently formatted stations, but Peter Murphy into Mellencamp is willfully perverse. I feel this perversity is healthy and should only be explored. Soon, I want to hear Merzbow followed by Bob Seger, or Kid Rock into the Fall into MC Hammer into Jandek into the Spice Girls, etc. I want every radio experience to be a clusterfuck of incongruity.

*Look At All Those Killer Robots

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I haven't updated for a week because I haven't felt like it, suckas

Hi everybody. Time to reconnect with this can-smashing albatross and update the fuck out of it. What's been happening in my world? What hasn't been happening? I ate some leftover soup for lunch with some celery on the side. I rested my head on a pillow. I drank two PBRs. I remembered 9/11 and shed a tear. I farted. I smelled potpourri. It was a day to remember, my friends.
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

Collage #5

"The Arkansas Blowjob Queen Rides the Emo-Pole to the United States of Axlmerica" Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Happy early Halloween, guys and ghouls. Click here for a special Halloween surprise. Don't say I didn't warn you. Pleasant screams! Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dr. Mystery vs. Sports: An Explanation

The onslaught of football and baseball coverage and My Drunken Socks' defense of football have got me thinking about my lifelong indifference toward sports and my lifelong hatred of a lot of grief my indifference has caused me, particularly growing up in a tiny town that revolved around sports in general, and local basketball in particular. My previous, one-word post was flippant and dismissive, especially to anyone who happens to like sports, and I don't think he's wrong when he writes, "Philosophically, I just don't understand why people wholesale dismiss sports." (Although, I'm equally unable to understand his hatred of the Beatles.) I don't want to dismiss or begrudge anyone's enjoyment of a favorite sport or sports. It's just that I was born with a deeply ingrained disinterest in any sport of any kind. I leave sports alone, and I want them to leave me alone. But the world, especially Hometown, won't let me and sports peacefully coexist in our own separate worlds. The world won't stop dragging sports into my life. I can never avoid sports. It always comes up, embarrassing me, emasculating me, boring me, abruptly halting friendly small talk, preempting Arrested Development, closing streets I need to drive on, fucking up parking, causing me to disappoint family members and friends' parents with my lack of even the most basic sports chat, including what teams are playing that day. Knowledge and interest in sports are a big part of our shared American culture, and I'm missing some part of my brain that allows me to give a fuck about it, though I'm not missing the part that makes me wish I gave a fuck. I just can't. I've got no interest, and life is short and getting shorter. So I'm stuck with this huge, awkward, social deficit. It's not quite so bad now, but growing up in Hometown was a bad place to be for a sports loser.
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.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Peppered with prayer

The Baptist church in my neighborhood just left us a free can of Dr. Pepper, with a note saying that we had been "peppered with prayer." I will never step foot inside a Baptist church if I can help it, but I wholeheartedly welcome this prayer peppering. I hope this trend of religious bribery continues. I look forward to being pizza-ed with prayer, cheeseburgered with prayer, whiskeyed with prayer, and handjobbed with prayer in the weeks to come. Don't let me down, Baptists. In my hour of darkness, I need to be peppered more than ever.