Saturday, December 16, 2006

Caption contest winner

Hello, everybody. I put all the names in a hat and drew out the winner. Congratulations to our first-ever repeat winner, kristykay aka spacebeer! It should be very easy to mail your winnings. Thanks for entering everybody, and try again next month.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Shame on you

Have you seen the trailer for the new Ben Stiller movie? I'm sorry, but I just don't see the humor in it. Stiller plays a night watchman at the Holocaust Museum in D.C., and every night at midnight, the exhibits come alive. I'm outraged at the poor taste of everyone involved. I expected a little more from the Hollywood dream factory, and a lot more from Stiller. Shame on you, Hollywood dream factory. Shame on you, Ben Stiller.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

This is great

My purpose in posting this is not to laugh at these people or indulge in some kind of elitist hipster snarkiness. I honestly think these old people do a fantastic version of Sonic Youth's "Schizophrenia." Despite the patronizing voice-over that precedes the song, I love this.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Antidotes to indie-hipster douchebaggery

See people playing together and listening to each other! No anorexic asexual drones with tight pants, painstakingly disheveled hair, and guest list privileges in sight! Watch the cynicism melt away! Huzzah!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The adventures of Dr. Mystery

I hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving. I did, though I regressed back into some bad habits. Three weeks ago, I finally got around to my New Year's resolution to live a healthier lifestyle because, as one of our country's finest poets, Kirk Hammett, has told us, "my lifestyle determines my deathstyle." I'm a fan of drinking to excess, eating rich foods, and sitting on my ass, but my sausage casing isn't. I want to get rid of my beer gut, improve my circulation, and refrain from stuffing delicious foodstuffs inside other delicious foodstuffs and frying the whole works and topping it with cheese. I also want to avoid the alcoholism that plagues males on both sides of my family. I once had an uncle who passed out drunk with a bloody nose and bled to death. I never met him, but I assume we shared a love of the epicurean lifestyle. (Oddly enough, Epicurus was hardly an advocate of the lifestyle bearing his name.) Zaz! Whoop! Honk! Anyway, I started running three weeks ago, drinking a lot less, and eating better and smaller portions of food. I've dragged myself in and out of shape a half dozen times in the last half dozen years, but in a very lazy way. This time, I really did it right. And I felt great. And I'm going to continue to attempt to make steps in this direction as soon as I finish these four glasses of vodka. (Rimshot!) But seriously, folks, I have been plagued with the curse of the formerly lazy. I have shin splints from the running. I wasn't doing anything wrong. I bought expensive and comfortable running shoes, I didn't overexert myself, I stretched after each run. The shin splints were inevitable, though, considering my previous exercise regimen included challenge pissing and competitive taco-eating. My shins are puny and ill-mannered. So I took this last week off to let these jerks heal. I also drank a lot and ate many, many foods in one sitting, but I was visited by my brother, his girlfriend, and my sister, and it was a holiday, so nuts to you. I'm a man who enjoys the pleasures of life, and since these pleasures are few and far between, I must take advantage.
Other exciting news flashes about me:
1) I had to have a biopsy because I have nodules on my thyroid. Fortunately, the biopsy was later cancelled because the nodules are too small to give an accurate reading. Nodules are fairly common, and 95% benign, but I have family history, so they have to keep an eye on them. Worst case scenario, I get the most treatable kind of cancer, have my thyroid taken out, and miss a couple weeks of work. That actually sounds really good. Two weeks off. I wonder what kind of drugs they'd give me. Good ones, I bet.
2) I've decided that working in an office is unacceptable for a man of my ill temper and constant sadness, and that my journalism degree has the cachet of a homeless man's diarrhea sample. I've also decided to get a teaching degree and teach high school English. So many people think this is a bad idea that I'm convinced it's a good one. (So many people thought a journalism degree was a good idea.) It's been in the back of my head for about four years and has grown to such a loud buzzing I can't ignore it. I have no fantastical, idealistic illusions. However, there are too many shitty high school teachers, and kids are receiving messages everywhere they move that the purpose of American life is to move piles of money back and forth while everything around us (landscape, culture, family, interaction with people, art) decays. All I need to do is reach a couple of kids each year, make them feel like reading is a worthwhile thing to do, and I'll be content with that. I also love having summers and holidays off to travel, write, sit on the couch in my sweatpants drunk watching "Tyra," eat a donut at every donut shop in the city, etc. The so-called low pay is not a problem, either, considering how much less I'm making than Austin-area teachers with my prestigious journalism degree. I make really shitty money. I don't care about status, impressing anyone, blah blah blah, but it would be nice to answer the question "What do you do for a living?" without my stomach sinking into my knees. I think teaching is an honorable profession. I think I could be at least moderately decent at it. I like having my summers off. I like kids, believe it or not. I even like the idea that I may be shot. I really, really, really need to do something with my life besides proofreading in a motherfucking office. I need something that is not going to be the same every single day. Academia's not for me, I'm not a famous celebrity millionaire, so what do I do? This may be a way out of my unsatisfying working life.
3) I had a goddamn religious experience last night when I was lucky enough to see my favorite movie, John Cassavetes' Love Streams, on the big screen at the Texas student union. Every time I see his films, particularly that one, it's a life-altering experience. I drove around aimlessly afterwards, eventually getting an extra-large cheese Coney at Sonic. I also got a parking ticket I'm not going to pay, because fuck 'em, that's why. What I'll never understand is how his movies never, ever play the same way twice, how I'll never understand them even though they feel like extensions of my body, how open and free and mysterious and bottomless and infuriating and wild and elusive and beautiful and tough they are, how these movies I've seen dozens of times continually surprise and invigorate me, how anyone who doesn't like them is wrong, how this guy was a Shakespeare, a Van Gogh, or a Picasso. I saw it by myself because my wife was tired and had a lot of stuff to do and another Cassavetes freak friend was out of town, but I'm glad I ended up there by myself because it was such an overwhelming experience that I don't think I would have been good company. I can't believe how much his movies mean to me. I can't put it into words. I try and I just sound like a big sissy. It's a goddamn abomination this movie is not on DVD and out of print on video. Why don't people want to see good things? Why does TV and newspaper world reinforce such lonely, pathetic emptiness? There are so many ways out. Go and find them. This is a world worth living, and hope is something worth having.
4)Lecture over. I was proofreading a book two weeks ago that was published in the 1950s and is being reprinted exactly as it was then, with the exception of the now-dead author's contact info. He was an old cowboy who wrote about the proper way to bridle horses, California-style. In his author photo, he is ancient, leathery, slight, wiry, and scowling like every other person in the world infuriates, disappoints, and exasperates him. I imagined him yelling each word of the text at an unappreciative younger horseman. If I walked on to his property, he would have asked me to lasso something. I would have failed. He would have spit on the ground and walked away, muttering under his breath about my perceived lack of proper masculinity. These are actual quotes from the book:
(from the introduction) "All of the information contained in this book is important. There are words and groups of words that are more important than the others. These words are in dark print to make them more noticeable. It is written in a style that is conducive for a clear understanding of the information given in this book."
(on the back) "It is as different from the average 'horse book' as bourbon is from skimmed milk."
(from a foreword by a ranch owner who knew him well) "He is one of today's old timers."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

November contest winner

The winning name has been drawn from the winter cap. Congratulations, Air Wolf! You are November's caption contest winner. I don't have your new address, so email it to me or give me a call. Booyah, bitch!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Crustville, episode two

Episode one link

Jimmy's left half sat awkwardly in the passenger seat of Bob Larkin's green 1971 Dodge Dart. The bleeding had stopped, mostly, but a towel was placed on the seat to catch the odd dripping and/or leakage.
"This is the part of the job I hate, Left Jimmy," Larkin said, mopping his brow with a crocheted doily. "It doesn't seem right to separate you from your right side like that, especially when profits are up. Sure, we'll help place you somewhere else, but you were probably pretty attached to your right side, pardon the pun."
"Who cares?" Jimmy's left half said (though to the untrained ear his speech sounded like "sssaaa ungh ungh goo sa fmmp ungh ungh," Larkin had become accustomed to the particularities of half-mouth speech). "I'm glad to be free. Guy's a pussy. Right Jimmy 's been a thorn in my left side for years now."
"Oh, really?" Larkin said. "If what you say is true, and I have no reason to doubt you, why did you let Right Jimmy dominate Whole Jimmy's personality?"
"Because I'm fuckin' lazy, that's why," Left Jimmy said. "I chipped in on the typing and the eating lunch, but I let super-douche take care of the rest. I didn't even know we were in a frat until the third year of school. I was laying low. Think I'd join up with a bunch of salad tossers in backwards baseball caps and beaded necklaces? Think again, fuckface."
Larkin stroked his chin and smiled.
"I think I know a guy who can set you up with a job," he said. "His name's Tony. He used to run a job service for people in your predicament. It's called Half a Chance. He sold it to Martha Stewart last year. And he still likes to give guys like you half a chance, but in a slightly different market."
"Tony?" Left Jimmy said. "Sounds like some pasta-making queer. I don't think so. No more shit jobs for me. I'm probably just going to buy an RV and sell crank to junior high kids."
"That is a solid option, but hear me out," Larkin said. "You get in good with Tony, and not only will you get your RV, but also enough extra to pick up a few Quonset huts and a Carl's Jr. franchise. And you won't be selling crank to junior high kids. You'll be selling crack to rich housewives of aluminum siding executives."
"I'm listening," Left Jimmy said. "You're lucky you mentioned Quonset huts. Does Crustnet Enterprises know you consort with crack dealers?"
"I consort on my own time," Larkin said. "It's not like I'm e-mailing him from my work computer."
Nobody said anything for a while.
"Well?" Larkin said grumpily. "Do you want me to call Tony or don't you?"
"Fine," Left Jimmy said. "Set it up."

Thirty minutes later, Larkin and Left Jimmy were parked in front of the gates to Tony's sumptuous estate, a sprawling 54-acre compound that was the end result of the only known collaboration between Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry. Larkin pushed the buzzer and waited for the gates to open.
"Why are you doing this for me?" Left Jimmy asked.
A single tear trickled down Larkin's left cheek.
"Because you remind me of my son," he said.

Larkin and Left Jimmy were sitting in the Jacuzzi in Tony's living room. Tony sat in an Aeron chair on the other side of the room, in a Speedo and a t-shirt embossed with the phrase "I got Lewinsky-ed on Padre Island Spring Break 2002," with a sleeping tiger cub in his lap. The cub was named Ronnie Van Zant. A blonde woman in a bikini combed his hair while he talked.
"I've got a feeling about you, Left Jimmy," he said. "You're a born salesman. But we need to do something about your downsizing. We need to upsize you. These are upscale women, our customers. They don't want to buy anything from half a man. Left Jimmy, how would you feel about a full half-body robotic prosthesis?"
"I'd love it!" Left Jimmy shouted.
"Your enthusiasm warms my heart, Jimmy," Tony said, smiling and stroking the cub. "For what you've given me today in enthusiasm, I repay in robotics. I'm going to pony up the dough for the prosthetic attachment, complete with extra-strength robotic claw. Your right hand is going to be a claw, Jimmy! Think of it. You can crack nuts with it! A robotic claw! It's every boy's dream!
"I'm living the dream," Left Jimmy said. "This is really happening."
"Do you play keyboards, Jimmy?" Tony said. "Our keyboard player just quit to go to law school right after I wrote some new material that really cooks."
"You have a band?" Left Jimmy said. "What are you guys called?"
"Ass Disagreement," Tony said. "We play heavy blues with a slight trip-hop inflection and a couple of Glenn Frey covers. 'Smuggler's Blues,' 'The Heat is On.' The bitches go nuts when we play. I mean they go apeshit."
"Sounds great, but I don't really play anything. A little acoustic guitar, but that's about it."
"Don't worry," Tony said. "We'll program the claw to play keyboards. We can attach the prosthetic this Thursday. Get used to it over the weekend, then be here on Monday at noon to start working. Sound good?"
"Sounds real good," Left Jimmy said.

After his visitors were gone, Tony grabbed his cell phone and dialed Frank's number.
"Frank," Tony said. "Guess what? We have a new keyboard player."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Poem, Vol. 1

I've been collecting Yahoo news headlines for the past year with the goal of assembling enough of them to create rhyming poems. You'd be surprised how hard it is to collect rhyming headlines. Here's the first one.


Report: Stone ready to bare all in "Basic Instinct 2"
Newly discovered ring around Uranus is blue
Women break record for longest bra chain
Barry Bonds: I'm just trying to stay sane

With movie due, "Da Vinci Code" debate persists
Crafty sea lion befuddles fish biologists
K-Fed illegally samples Thomas Dolby's '80s hit
Spokeswoman confirms Bow Wow and Ciara split

Pope calls Judas double-crosser in homily
Can Michael moonwalk his way out of bankruptcy?
Bolten: White House must regain its "mojo"
Is a burrito a sandwich? Judge says no

See you next year!

Halibut: Fish of the Month


Not as heavy as tuna steak or swordfish, not as fragile and flaky as tilapia, not as fishy as salmon, halibut rises above. Congratulations, halibut, you are Dr. Mystery's new go-to fish.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

November caption contest

I was gently chastised last month for failing to explain the full rules of the contest. I admit to being lax about that in recent months, so here are the rules:
I put up a new photo on the fifth day of each month (since that's the day I happened to post the very first contest).
Leave a caption in comment form under the post to be entered.
The fifteenth of the month is the last day to enter.
On the sixteenth, I put all contest entrants' names in a cap and draw one winner at random.
The winner gets a compilation CD, made by me.
Last month's winner is ineligible the next month, but may enter again after that.

Good luck, contestants.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

Caption contest winner

Thank you, contest entrants, for your captions. All your names have been placed in a winter cap, and a winner has been drawn. This month's winner is conorj. Congratulations, conorj!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Nostalgia night

It was nostalgia night at the Dr. Mystery/Spacebeer Household. I busted out the cassettes. First, Steve Martin's "Let's Get Small," dubbed off my uncle's vinyl copy in junior high. Second, a comedy tape my friends and I made when we were 14, intentionally funny at the time, unintentionally funny now. Our only topical target, Saddam Hussein. Other targets: George Bush I, Dan Quayle, Madonna, New Kids on the Block, Colin Powell (whom I refer to as Colin Wilson for some reason), Milli Vanilli, Vanilla Ice, Andrew Dice Clay, the reanimated corpse of the freshly dead Sam Kinison, Clarence Thomas, and virginity. Third, a tape my mother sent me of me at age 4 and 6, and my brother at age 1 and 3. We had some pretty kickass jokes at those tender ages.
My brother's favorite joke at age three: "I'm going to tell you something real you like (fart noise). I'm going to tell you something real I like (fart noise)."
My favorite jokes at age 4, (the last one was invented by me):
"What crawls and goes ding-dong? A wounded Avon lady.
Where do sheep get their hair cut? At the baa-baa shop.
Why did the rabbit go to the baa-baa shop? Because he couldn't find a rabbit cut-hair place."
It's all been downhill from there.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Suck City

I waste so much time and energy being a goddamn sadsack. Please don't follow this recipe:
1) Quit an unfulfilling job
2) Spend a year doing nothing
3) Get a new job that makes the unfulfilling old one look like a party at Freddy Mercury's house c. Queen's heyday
4) Apply for, and get interviewed for, a dream job that sure as hell won't solve all your problems (there are multitudes) but will solve a few very large ones. Needless to say, you are close, but no cigar. The job is given to someone else
5) Have another drink
6) Know that someday, possibly soon, you will be driving to work one morning and will just keep going. Think how hard it will be to find work after that!
7) How do other people do it? How do they get up every day and go to the same place, sometimes for 25 years or more? How much of the little person you were one day do you have to kill to be able to keep showing up?
8) You'd think my conscious efforts to avoid success would prevent failure, but you'd think wrong
9) Why is it so fucking hard just to have a reasonably decent day?
10) Being unemployed was no cakewalk. It grew exponentially stressful as my money ran out, and my days got worse and worse, but I slept well and felt happy at night.
11) My life's ambition is to do nothing, to be idle forever. How many more lawyers and politicians do we need? How many more rock bands? That's right, none.
12) Woe is me, I don't like my job. Shower pity on me.
13) I'm a selfish douchebag. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

October caption contest

Leave a caption in comment form under the post and you are automatically entered in a drawing to win a handmade Dr. Mystery compilation CD. Happy Halloween. I know it's only the 5th, but I celebrate Halloween all month long. Bwaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Crustville, episode one

Many years ago, this blog told the tale of a man who refused to take off his gorilla mask. This is not that tale. This is the tale of a city. The city is called Crustville. You won't find it on any map, unless you find yourself in Crustville. In that case, it can be found on every map. Crustville is located eight miles beneath the earth's surface, below an abandoned doll factory deep within the Mojave Desert. You may ask how a city could exist eight miles beneath the earth's surface. Personally, I don't care. A better question is why a doll factory would set up shop in the Mojave Desert. It's asinine. Who were the advertising geniuses who came up with that one? Huh? Huh? Am I right? The Crustville founding fathers, before constructing their wondrous, terrible metropolis, raided the doll factory. They plucked each hair from each doll's head, laminated each individual hair, and declared it Crustville's currency. They have a saying in Crustville: "Another day, another doll-hair." Up here on the Earth's surface, this would be considered a dreadful pun. In Crustville, it is a practical statement of fact. Excepting their oddball currency, which is unwieldy and requires Crustvilleans to carry enormous wallets, their way of life is much like ours. We take you now to episode one of our delightful non-fiction tale, entitled "Downsizing."

I.P. Fakely combed his auburn moustache slowly and sighed. He had enjoyed his recent beach holiday in West Crustville and was feeling melancholy about returning to the hustle and bustle of corporate life. He took a deep breath and quietly uttered his relaxation mantra: "I am a handsome and powerful man who rarely appears unkempt." Then he smiled. The office needed him. He would have to leave his wistful vacation dreams behind and produce. His assistant, Jimmy, looked up from his computer and winked.
"How was the vacation, Mr. Fakely?" Jimmy asked. Jimmy was slight and too cheerful, though an excellent worker. I.P. enjoyed his company but occasionally fantasized about seeing him devoured by chimpanzees.
"Sensational," I.P. replied. "I was able to grow this moustache without worrying about looking unprofessional at work. The first few days of moustache-growing are not as attractive as they ought to be, Jimmy."
"Don't I know it, Mr. Fakely. When I pledged Sigma Tau Delta at Crustville Tech, I had to grow one during Hell Week. I also had to drink a cup of semen and get beaten severely with a tire jack."
"Hahahahaha!" I.P. laughed heartily. "Those were the days, Jimmy."
"I know, sir," Jimmy said. "To have just one of those golden afternoons back..."
Jimmy trailed off pensively. I.P didn't know what he'd do without him. He could type 280 words per minute.

Bob Larkin pulled into the parking lot of Crustnet Enterprises and breathed heavily. He took a pinch of snuff and punched the dashboard furiously.
"Goddamn you, downsizing!" he yelled. Then he put in a Roxette tape and snorted some cocaine. He liked to combine cocaine and snuff. He called it "the poor man's doubleheader."

I.P. had just opened the folder containing the Williams account when the phone rang. Jimmy answered it. "Yes, sir, right away," he said.
"It's Mr. Larkin, sir," Jimmy said. "He's waiting for you in the conference room."

"Bob Larkin," I.P. yelled affectionately as he entered the soundproof, leather-reclinered, executive conference room. "You filthy pederast! You abortion doctoring so and so! You cane toad! I find your aroma intoxicating and adult-oriented!"
"Fakely, you fuck!" Larkin responded. "You suckle a septuagenarian's armpit! You own the first three England Dan and John Ford Coley albums on cassette! Your daughter gave me a blowjob at Home Depot!"
"I love you, Bob!" I.P. exclaimed, and the two men embraced.
"What's the occasion?" I.P. asked.
"I'm afraid an unhappy one," Larkin replied.
I.P. swallowed hard and stared at his boots. "Let me have it."
"I'm sorry, I.P., but the rumors you've heard about downsizing are true. Profits are good, but the shareholders think they could be even better. Unfortunately, our assistants are first in line for cuts."
"Not Jimmy!" I.P. gasped.
"Afraid so," Larkin said, shaking his head sadly. "However, it could be worse. They're dropping us down to half an assistant."
"You mean __"
"Yep. Only part of Jimmy has to go. I've got my saw in the car. You want me to get started?"
"Wait a second. You're going to slice him in two at the midsection, right? He types 280 words a minute, so I'd really like to keep his upper body."
"I'm real sorry, I.P., but we tried that the last time we downsized, back in '89, for just the very reason you mentioned. It worked great for the upper bodies, but the lower halves got screwed. The only work they could find was operating paddle boats at ponds in state and amusement parks. Needless to say, paddle boat operator is not a high-demand industry. A lot of those damn things are still unemployed."
"Damn this infernal downsizing,!" I.P. shouted, shaking his fist at an imagined spiteful god.
"I don't like it, either, but it makes practical sense to slice them in half from head to toe. That way, each half gets a hand, an eye, a leg, and part of a fucked-up kind of mouth and tongue. They can make it work. Jimmy's typing skills are probably going to decrease, but just think of the thousands of doll-hairs we're going to save. I bet you'll get a new computer."
"Yay!" I.P. yelled, clapping his hands happily. "With a DVD-ROM and CD burner?"
"Only the best, baby," Larkin responded, pushing his thumb and forefinger together and kissing them. "Only the best."
"You've sold me," I.P. said. "Let's slice the fucker in two."

Larkin worked steadily for more than an hour, turning Jimmy the assistant into two able-bodied half-men. Jimmy took it like a trouper, even offering to clean up the blood. I.P. put in a special request to keep the right half (Jimmy is right-handed) and Larkin magnanimously complied. I.P. then gave Half-Jimmy a pep talk, a rousing oratorical masterpiece of strength in times of adversity. Half-Jimmy was inspired, though his typing suffered due to the forced reversion to the hunt-and-peck method. He was also not too fond of the new office uniform, a sweatsuit and football helmet, suggested by I.P. after a few days of staring at his disgustingly exposed innards. Half-Jimmy is still a solid worker, still too cheerful, and even slighter than he was before.

Next time: What Happened to Jimmy's Left Half?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

A confession

It's time for me to come clean. I have been living a secret life, a hidden life. For the past thirteen months, I have been taking blog-enhancing substances. It started when I was in the locker room after a particularly intense blogging session. My fingers were covered in sweat. My post was more than eight paragraphs long. Yet I continued to push myself. I busted out post after post, feeling the burn for days. Unfortunately, my blog was sorely lacking in mass. Can-Smashing Robot was redshirted for another season. "What else can I do," I cried while toweling off my hand and keyboard. Twinpeaksfan666 overheard my lament and slyly winked. "Hey, kid, you've got determination, but if you really want to be a World Wide Weblete, you better get some juice," he said.
"Juice?" I replied, baffled. "I drink gallon after gallon of Blogade. I eat Powerblog Bars by the dozens. I even bench press laptops. No 'juice' is going to cure my ills."
"You motherfucking idiot," he said, softly, shaking his head and putting a handful of pills in my hand. Those pills turned out to be anabolic blog enhancers, known to the layman as bloids. From that day forward, my blog has increased in mass by fifty percent, so much mass that other blogs had to be created to contain it all. I am now an officially sanctioned Weblete, and I can bench press thirty laptops in one hand, Grandfatha Klock in the other.

But there has been a price to pay.

A heavy price.

My posts have been prone to occasional outbursts and worse. In full-on cases of bloid rage, I have posted nothing but incoherent rants for weeks at a time. The hair on my knuckles is thinning. My testicles are the size of pistachios (but then, they always were). Was it all worth it? Maybe. Regrets? I've had a few. Would I do it differently? Possibly. I'm going to stop posting now. God, I'm so stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid! So fucking stupid! Fuck! Blooooooooooooogggggggggg!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

September contest winner

Hello contestants,
All thirteen entrants (nice turnout this month) have been placed in the winter cap and a winner has been drawn. The winner of this month's contest is Joel. Congratulations, Joel! Please play again next month, everybody. Except for Joel.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Pop quiz

Does the following passage come from:
a) an episode of the defunct Fox television drama "Boston Public"
b) an inspirational quote found in a college prep textbook for student-athletes
c) The Memoirs of Big Gay Rod
The tenth caller to answer correctly will receive a liter of grape juice and one-way tickets to Gary, Indiana. Here is the passage:

"When I'd get tired and want to stop, I'd wonder what (he) was doing. I'd wonder if he was still working out. I tried to visualize him still working. I'd start pushing myself. When I could see him in the shower, I'd push myself even harder."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

September caption contest

Hello friends! Quick rule recap: Leave a caption in comment form under post! Be automatically entered in drawing! Winner receives mix CD created by me! Last month's winner ineligible! Don't cry, last month's winner! You can play again next month! Stay away from the barbed tail of a stingray!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A few things not to do on a weeknight

I gave my liver a jazz funeral on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, I got two bean and potato tacos with sides of jalapeno and salsa from the Taco Shack. I ate the first taco. Delicious. I ate half of the second taco. Uh-oh! Something bad is happening. I threw the remaining taco half away. Then I threw up undigested pure rum. If I had vomited in a shotglass, anyone wanting some free rum could have slammed it down. There weren't even any taco particles in there. Then I regretted throwing the taco half away. I wanted to eat that taco half. Then I slept for 14 hours. I'm a pirate!

(I tried to Google image search the perfect photo for this post, but the phrase "pirate taco rum" did not produce any images. If I saw some pirate taco rum on the shelf, I would definitely consider looking at it. A month ago some friends invented a mediocre drink called an "eskimo vagina." It is what happens when you want to make a margarita, but are forced to use powdered orange drink instead of margarita mix. It sort of tastes like Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential campaign.)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tales of small town life

I always hated going to church, for much the same reasons I hate going to work. It's boring, and boredom is worse than pain and death. I was raised Catholic. It was important to my grandmother that her children and grandchildren be raised Catholic, and the non-Catholic spouses (like my dad) didn't care one way or the other, so we were raised Catholic. My grandmother is a devout Catholic, in the best possible way. She has a deep faith in the religion that is mostly personal. She doesn't proselytize to any of her family or friends, and she hasn't let it interfere with her sense of humor or her open-mindedness. When I told my mother I didn't believe in organized religion when I was 14, and when I decided not to get confirmed when I was 17, my grandmother was upset but never once tried to change my mind (with the partial exception of sending me a book in college called "Why Be Catholic?" with a note attached saying something like "Just skim through it and I'll never bug you again.") My aunts, uncles, cousins, and second-cousins mostly still attend Catholic services. Even my uncles who aren't big fans of church make their children go. A cousin who was in my high school graduating class baptized her little girl a few weeks ago. It's a big part of my family life, but hasn't been a part of mine for years. I never felt comfortable in church. I never felt any connection with what happened there. I didn't like it, I didn't believe it, and I didn't need it. And I still don't. And I probably never will. But we're not here for a theology lecture. We are here for the story of a ridiculous lie I told to try to get out of Sunday school (or CCD, as Catholics know it). When I was about seven years old, CCD was right before church. On Sunday morning, I had to attend a 90-minute lesson before mass. This was an indignity and an injustice, I felt. It was bad enough that I had to go to church. Why the additional punishment? Give a kid a break. Give him more of his weekend. He earned that weekend. The church and parish center were about four blocks away from my house, so I started walking. It was a beautiful spring day, and I passed the school playground on my way to the parish center. I took a detour, sat on the merry-go-round for a while, probably pouted, then realized that I had spaced out for longer than I had intended. I was most certainly late for CCD, and I might have missed it entirely. My mother would be heading to church soon and I needed to think of a plan. Shortly thereafter, a large dog who had escaped its pen ran through the playground. That's it, I thought. I'll run home quickly and tell my mom that I was attacked by a large dog and couldn't make it to CCD. No, wait. I reconsidered. Mom might be skeptical. I liked dogs and wasn't particularly afraid of them. I better kick it up a notch. I then proceeded to run home and tell my mother that I had been forced to miss CCD because I had been chased by a bear. That's right. A bear. This might be the stupidest lie I've ever told. My mother took turns laughing at me and yelling at me, then drove me to CCD. I had only missed forty minutes of the lesson. I got carried away by my web of lie. I should have gone with the dog.
I told an even stupider lie once, but I had the good excuse of being three. My brother was a baby, only a few months old. A window in our living room was cracked, and my dad asked me if I knew anything about it. I told my parents that my infant brother, who could barely make a fist, had thrown a hot dog at the window, cracking it. Oddly, I hadn't been responsible for the crack in the window, but I apparently wanted to see my new brother get punished. That must have been some hot dog.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I wish I was a monkey or talking recliner on a children's television show, or my sad story in song

I realize it's become "incorrect" to quote Charles Bukowski since every creepy aspiring alcoholic hipster since 1973 worships his worst qualities as a human being and wildly overrates his worth, but since every pseudo-intellectual turbo-douche wildly underrates the man's work, I am going to take a chance on looking foolish (not such a stretch since I look foolish nearly every hour of my life) and offer this quote, which I believe to be the most poetically accurate summation of having a job (as opposed to doing some real work, which is something else entirely). Also, I can relate so much more to a middle-aged man who had a series of degrading jobs until he achieved success than I can to someone in the fucking Arctic Monkeys (t-shirts of that band seen on several middle-aged men notwithstanding). Here it is:

"How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?"

I'm in a slump, career-wise, and it seems to be poisoning most other aspects of my life. I'm a real selfish asshole sometimes, and hard to live with. However, I do have a tiny shred of optimism and a strong belief that life is mostly worth living. The sheer narcissism of being depressed by a continuous stream of shitty, boring, unfulfilling jobs (especially post-college degree) when it could be so much worse (victim of genocide, terminally ill, etc.) is embarrassing, but what can I do? I feel what I feel, and lately I don't feel good. Life is too often boring, embarrassing, and degrading. I don't want it to be that way, but I unfortunately need to eat, wear clothes, and have some shelter so I can continue being degraded until I catch a lucky break or die. Houses are too expensive, gas is too expensive, horrible people are running the world, and my cholesterol is probably too high. Larry the Cable Guy and Karl Rove are highly paid. My parents divorced three or four years ago, and that sucked and continues to suck in ever-mutating ways. People at my job tell me I'm too quiet, but they don't know that I'm not quiet at all. I just don't have anything to say to them. It's hot and the air conditioning in my car is broken. I accidentally watched five minutes of "Smooth Jazz TV" on Saturday night. I had to attend two hours of stress management training on Thursday, which consisted of one hour and thirty minutes of a random series of catch phrases, fifteen minutes of my coworkers nodding their approval and taking notes on each catch phrase, and fifteen minutes of wearing a blindfold and bouncing a ball. Who am I and what am I doing? Is this what it's going to be? Free will? I don't know what that is. Adults are a continual source of disappointment. They/I are/am stupid and boring and small and petty. Only small children have honest relationships with themselves, others, and the world. Thank god for music, books, and movies. And my wife. And my friends. And my family members who aren't annoying and perfunctory. And drawing, painting, photography, red meat, Mexican food, jokes, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Labor Day, kicks in the crotch, death, gin, nipples, the expression "don't that beat all," every pizza topping (with the exception of broccoli), the cancelled TBS video program "Night Tracks," Ric "the Nature Boy" Flair, and that girl I really liked for years who didn't go out with me. Also, hotel bars, the word "cocksucker," and the Sparks song "This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both of Us." The rest of it, I can do without. I need a new job.

Here are the lyrics for "Free Will and Testament" by Robert Wyatt:

Given free will but within certain limitations,
I cannot will myself to limitless mutations,
I cannot know what I would be if I were not me,
I can only guess me.

So when I say that I know me, how can I know that?
What kind of spider understands arachnophobia?
I have my senses and my sense of having senses.
Do I guide them? Or they me?

The weight of dust exceeds the weight of settled objects.
What can it mean, such gravity without a centre?
Is there freedom to un-be?
Is there freedom from will-to-be?

Sheer momentum makes us act this way or that way.
We just invent or just assume a motivation.
I would disperse, be disconnected. Is this possible?
What are soldiers without a foe?

Be in the air, but not be air, be in the no air.
Be on the loose, neither compacted nor suspended.
Neither born nor left to die.

Had I been free, I could have chosen not to be me.
Demented forces push me madly round a treadmill.
Demented forces push me madly round a treadmill.
Let me off please, I am so tired.
Let me off please, I am so very tired.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The only thing about my job that is good

I recently moved upstairs to a new cubicle. There is a bathroom upstairs of which I was previously unaware. It has a plant in it, and a flickering fluorescent light that is slowly dying. This light flickers intensely with a weird reddish-yellowish tint. I feel happy when I stand under the light. It makes washing your hands after urinating a freaky-deaky, psychedelic, totally in-your-face, tripped-out thrill ride. Unfortunately, I eventually have to leave the bathroom and confront head-on the series of awful choices I have made since age five that led to a goddamn fucking cubicle.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I wish our politicians talked like this

Marxist Mexican labor leader Vicente Lombardo Toledano, in a speech after his forced resignation from a labor organization:
"I leave this office a rich man. Rich in the hatred of the bourgeoisie."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August caption contest results

What a turn of events! The contest entrants were placed in the winter cap (except for Krouchdog, because he won last month) and a winner was drawn. In a surprising twist, the winner, Spacebeer, declined her victory since she won a few months ago. Round Two began, and a new winner was drawn. This month's winner of a Dr. Mystery deluxe homemade compact-disc-technology-style compact disc compilation is Rustle.Destroyer! Congratulations on your random victory, Rustle.Destroyer. Please enter next month, everyone, and don't stop believing!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

One more thing

The lovely Spacebeer has pretty much covered our D.C. trip and airline woes in detail, but I do need to mention one thing she forgot about our shitty four-hour Holiday Inn stay in Bedford, Texas on the night of the one-engine plane. The bar in the hotel was called Scuba Joe's. According to their website, they have a pool table.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The MC battle continues!

Grandfatha Klock sent me a tape of his response to Grandmutha P.I.E.'s blistering retort. The battle is still on! Here is a transcript of his fearsome rejoinder:

Yo, P.I.E.
Time to D.I.E.

The worst rhyme I ever wrote is on display in a museum
While your finest ever jam belongs in a mausoleum

You know who raps better than you? Edie McClurg
Wack MC, you're going down like the Hindenburg

I should know because I was there
I tread where other homies wouldn't dare

For example, I survived the Titanic
I was spittin' rhymes while other fools panicked

At the last possible moment, I cold hopped into a lifeboat
With some rich hoes, my ghetto blaster, and my zebra-skin coat

I was blastin' mixtapes, straight up gettin' it crunk
The hoes fondled my zebra coat while that big-ass ship sunk

Popped the cork on some champagne and passed it all around
Had a house party on that lifeboat, it was weeks till we were found

I didn't give a fuck, though, that boat became my home
The hoes shaved my head because I cold forgot my comb

That's why rappers heads be shaved up and down the block
They're paying tribute to a survivor called Grandfatha Klock

I'm feared and respected, I'm willing and able
I rapped for Dorothy Parker at the Algonquin Round Table

When my crew rolls into town, the 5-0 always search us
I been saying fuck tha police since the Louisiana Purchase

P.I.E., my history's large and my future's even larger
After I shame you, you'll leave your house less than Henry Darger

If you try to out-rap me, you're doomed, you're gonna slip
Cause my rhymes are hella tighter than X-tra strength DentuGrip

Go bake some muffins, P.I.E.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

R.I.P. Arthur Lee

August caption contest

I'm back from D.C. I had a great trip, but a horrible tale of airplane and airline woe occurred on our final day (which turned into days). That story to come. Here are three highlights from my trip:
1) I ate great food.
2) I saw a homeless man's dick when his pants fell down.
3) I drank at a bar that has 1,000 beers.

Here is the August caption contest photo. You all know the rules by now.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Exciting new hip-hop developments

Hey everybody. Whoo boy, you turn your blog over once to a guest hip-hopper, and it turns into a real hootenanny! I'm talking a real lollapaloozer! A freestyle rap battle has just begun between Grandfatha Klock and Grandmutha P.I.E. on the comments section under Grandfatha Klock's guest post. P.I.E. issued a stern challenge, and Klock responded boldly. Klock's handlers have just left word with me to challenge P.I.E., wherever she may be, to continue the battle. When I return from D.C., I will post Klock's response for him (like most old people, he doesn't know a fucking thing about using a computer, not a goddamn fucking thing). I guess that's okay with me. Let the battle of the hip-hoppers continue! Hooray!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tales of small-town life redux: the sequel to the prequel

What's up, bitches? I was at a fun party on Saturday night seeing off some friends' old home before they move to a new home a few blocks away. I got a little too drunk, as is my public wont, and I said a couple of dumb things. First, I claimed that a funny incident happened at my home, when in fact it happened at a place I've never been. This was quickly brought to my attention. This made me appear rather foolish. In my defense, I truly believed the incident happened at my house, probably because the man behind the incident either came to my house later or relayed it to me on the phone that night, if my memory is reliable, and as this boring anecdote proves, it is decidedly not. I have a sneaking suspicion that I quickly wear out my welcome when I have too many beers. I think I may turn into the kind of person I don't like much, but people keep inviting me back, so maybe I'm mistaken. Perhaps they just prefer the company of my lovely wife and I am a necessary evil. If this is the case, I can hardly blame them, and I will amp up my obnoxious behavior so I become violently hated, not quietly tolerated.
The second dumb thing I said was that besides my family, everyone in my hometown should be drowned in the river like extra kittens. People seemed a little creeped out by this comment. After careful consideration, I am going to revise that comment. Forty percent of the people in my hometown should be executed by firing squad. It's not such a bad place by tiny town standards, and a certain love/hate relationship will always exist. It is a complex, twisted, weird ball of reactions my hometown rustles up in me, and if you grew up there, you might understand my morbid outburst.
As far as my promise to hold cockfights in my backyard as soon as I purchase a house, and my call for every graduate student to drop out of school, I still tentatively stand by both drunken exclamations. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch a video conversation between Zach Braff and Kevin Smith on MySpace. I wonder if they're going to cover such topics as whether a Jedi light saber could pierce Frodo Baggins's anus-matrix, how one can make it through the trailer for "Garden State" without hemorrhaging angry blood-vomit, why Kevin Smith is such a talentless douche, or why Zach Braff's name sounds like a fart (e.g. "I just zach-braffed so hard that I had to change my underwear.")

I'm going to D.C. in a few days for my summer vacation, so I probably won't post for several days. The August caption contest may be postponed a day or two. I will close with a rare excerpt from a transcript of a live Grandfatha Klock show:

"(yells at crowd to keep it down, inhales oxygen from nearby tank)
Let me tell you suckas what GK is about
My Lincoln Town Car is all pimped out

I was raised on a farm but my name ain't Cletus
Been droppin' dope beats since Lillian Gish was a fetus

Bust it
(spins on back for one hour)"

See you later, friends.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A guest post from the world's oldest rapper, Grandfatha Klock

Grandfatha Klock, c. 1997


My name is Grandfatha Klock and you better recognize
Cooling on the windowsill are three blueberry pies

Taking out rappers like a lyrical sniper
Even though I'm wearing an adult diaper

I own my own home--I don't need to take out a loan
I use a telegraph machine, not a cellular phone

People think hip-hop begins and ends with Tupac and Jay-Z
But I've been droppin' rhymes since issues one of Mad, Cracked, and Krazy

The bitches all love my phat Social Security checks
But I need to take Viagra when I want to have sex

My mobility is limited and my skin looks like a troll's
The first book I ever read was the Dead Sea Scrolls

I'm the world's oldest rapper, from my rhymes you've all been looting
I use my Rascal scooter when I need to do a drive-by shooting

I'm old, beeyatch!

Yeah, boyee! Grandfatha Klock in the house!

Grandfatha Klock will be performing at the Hip-Hopatorium in Grand Rapids, Michigan August 3, 4, and 5, weather permitting

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Expressway to yrAnus

Phrases taken out of context from a collection of philosophical investigations of Jean-Francois Lyotard's The Differend that I have been proofreading at work:

solar anus

mad anus

haunted by the ring of the anus


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Caption contest winner

Hey, everybody. The winning name has just been pulled from the hat. July's CD winner is Krouchdog! Congratulations on your random victory, Krouchdog. Email or Myspace me your new address since you just moved/are moving.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tales of small town life

"He [Reverend Hightower] still kept the cook, a negro woman. He had had her all the time. But they told Byron how as soon as his wife was dead, the people seemed to realize all at once that the negro was a woman, that he had that negro woman in the house alone with him all day. And how the wife was hardly cold in the shameful grave before the whispering began. About how he had made his wife go bad and commit suicide because he was not a natural husband, a natural man, and that the negro woman was the reason. And that's all it took; all that was lacking. Byron listened quietly, thinking to himself how people everywhere are about the same, but that it did seem that in a small town, where evil is harder to accomplish, where opportunities for privacy are scarcer, that people can invent more of it in other people's names. Because that was all it required: that idea, that single idle word blown from mind to mind."
-- from Light in August by William Faulkner

This passage in the Faulkner book jumped out at me when I read it last week. It reminded me, generally, of what private life means in a small town, which had already been on my mind for a few weeks because of the reemergence of a couple of false stories about me (thankfully much more benign than in the Faulkner novel). My reputation was hardly tarnished by the well-meaning but imaginary fluff said about me, but other people weren't so lucky. I particularly remember two stories spreading through town while I was in high school, one about a man caught screwing a pig in a barn during a cattle branding, the other about a twentysomething woman "allowing" thirty guys to gangrape her at a party. The line stretched out the door and down the block, apparently. She was mercilessly taunted for close to three years by school kids, and her first and middle name became slang for "whore" the entire time I was in high school. I always wondered why nobody said anything about the two men from my town who were named in the story as being a part of the gangrape. Everyone in my hometown, at one time or another, has had something untrue spread about him or her, but the most malicious gossip seems to be reserved for those who are poor, not very bright, and/or a little odd. This was the case for both the alleged pigfucker and gangbangee. Both stories were, most likely, complete bullshit, and probably everyone repeating them at least suspected as much, but the idle words blew back and forth from mind to mind for a long, long time. Then they stopped, as abruptly as they started. Faulkner had something to say about this, too, in the same novel: "But Byron believed that even the ones who said this did not believe it. He believed that the town had had the habit of saying things about the disgraced minister which they did not believe themselves, for too long a time to break themselves of it."
Former classmates of mine have a habit of repeating a story about me that never happened. I've tried to set them straight so often that I no longer bother to correct them. They don't listen. What can I do? The fake story is funnier than the boring truth, so I don't have a lot of convincing ammo. It "took place" the first time I ever got drunk. I was newly 16 and at a large (for my hometown's standards) house party. It was Homecoming weekend, and the football game had been snowed out, so the party had become much bigger and started much earlier than planned. It was a few miles out in the country. I had just finished my shift at the grocery store where I worked, and I called my friends to give me a ride to the party. (I didn't have a car.) Unfortunately, because of the cancelled game, they were already at the party. I walked to Main Street in the snow and waited until someone my age drove by, flagged them down, and got a ride. I was one of the last people at the party, and I was a little too exuberant. My previous maximum beer intake was a modest three. College kids were at this party, home for the weekend. I attempted to keep up with them. I hit the booze with gusto, relish, and determination. I had about 11 beers in an hour, plus a couple of shots. Picture me then. I was about 101 pounds and newly 16. Sometime in the next hour, I passed out. Then I woke up and vomited. Then I passed out again. Then I woke up and vomited some more. Then I blacked out, for the only time in my life. I remember brief splotches of vomiting, giggling, and dancing to Cypress Hill. I remember someone carrying me out of the house and hitting my head on the ceiling and door frame. I had bruises on my head the next morning. I remember it starting to snow, and vomiting in the snow. Then a friend drove me home. Pretty standard stupid teenage first-time drunk life lessons learned, am I right? Then the story begins, and the reality gets even more dull. After my friend dropped me off, I walked to the back door of my parents' house. It was usually unlocked to let the dog in and out in the middle of the night, and it presented a straight shot to the basement stairs and my bedroom. Unfortunately, the back door was locked. I walked to the front door. I tried to open it. It was locked. My friends' car was gone. It was snowing. I had no choice but to knock on the door. My dad was up having a midnight snack, and let me in. He apologized for locking me out, then noticed the state I was in and got pissed off. When my dad gets pissed off, he is impossible to take seriously. I told him I wasn't drunk, just sleepy, and went to bed. The End. Somehow, though I explained how I was locked out to many friends and classmates, I was made fun of for the next two years for walking up to my unlocked front door and ringing the doorbell. When I walked down the hallway at school, people would ask me if I rang my doorbell today. When I was in town for my dad's wedding last year, I was asked at the bar by a former classmate's uncle if I remembered ringing my own doorbell. If you look at my MySpace page, a high school friend has left a comment on my page saying she remembers me ringing my own doorbell. Obviously, this doorbell story has really stuck with these people. I guess they can have it.
My mother ran into a former grade school teacher of mine a few weeks ago. This former teacher is a nice old woman, but she is not immune to the charms of a fabricated story. She asked my mother how and what I was doing. Then she told my mother that she remembered how, during recess, I sat against the wall and read books while the other kids played. This is colossal bullshit. I was on the merry-go-rounds, tires, swings, slide, basketball court, kickball area every recess. I played four-square. I did not read books during recess! I loved to read, still do, and as a child, I was very enthusiastic about telling everyone I met about the books I was reading (this was before I learned that enthusiasm about anything other than work, money, and sports generates suspicion and hostility), but come on, lady! Just because I was apparently one of the only males in Bridgeport who read books, people have to talk shit. I know you mean well, but you're making me look like an even bigger dork than I was/am.
Now that I come to the end of my rambling tale of gossip, I wonder if it is a tale of small town life, or a tale of human nature in general. We are all constantly full of shit. But are small towns filled with different shit than cities? In the city, at least, you can live a private life, but what about your neighbors? Your coworkers? What are you saying about them? What are they saying about you? What are you saying about me? I know what I'm saying about you. You're a lot of fun, but, damn, you need to stop being such a whore. And you smoke way too much pot. And your dog never stops barking. I also heard you had gonorrhea once. And you secretly have a Dave Matthews CD in your car. It's inside a Modest Mouse case.

The time to mourn Syd Barrett has ended. Ric Flair week continues

Mid-1980s Ric Flair had a weird fixation on training bras.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July caption contest

Rules: Post a photo caption in comment form for this blog entry. July 15 is the last day to enter. A winner will be drawn out of a hat on the 16th. The winner gets a lovingly hand-crafted, wood-fired, flame-broiled compilation CD forged from the darkest recesses of Dr. Mystery's loins and/or psyche. The CD will also have a limited-edition-of-one cover. It is possible that the CD will contain at least one song by Hollywood legend Eddie Murphy. It is also possible that this will most decidedly not be the case. You can't win if you don't play. Good luck, losers.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Odds and ends

A few things to pass along:
Little Dr. Mystery remembers air-guitaring his ass off to this song. He doesn't remember ever seeing the video. Why is that? Fortunately, my sister emailed me the video this morning. The song was huge when Little Dr. Mystery was first becoming aware of the powers of rock and roll. It is incredibly easy to make fun of this video. I laughed my ass off, to be sure. However, I wish any rock band gave as much of a shit as this band does. The song may be laughable, but it doesn't suck as much as any Modest Mouse song. Try to argue with me. You will lose. In my book, giving a shit beats not giving a shit any day of the week.
I had something else funny to tell you, but I am possibly an alcoholic, (if you believe in the Bible) and I forgot.
One final thing:
I think vegetarians are complete scum, but if anyone told me I was eating a dog or a cat, I would start crying. Here is one way to help dogs this Fourth of July season (if you live in Austin):
he Town Lake Animal Shelter needs rawhide bones and chews to help keep the 300+ dogs in it's care calm on July 4th. The shelter, at 1156 Cesar Chavez, is very close to the city's fireworks show which causes a lot of stress to the dogs.

The shelter is asking for donations of natural rawhide treats of all shapes and sizes for the dogs before July 4th. For more info. call 972-4738.

"There is a party in my mouth-arm, and everyone is invited" Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Late-night TV delivers the goods

I was watching television in bed last night, and I saw many strange things. First, late Saturday night is a fenced-off, segregated dumping ground for commercials featuring black people. As if this wasn't racist enough, the commercials are pretty blatantly Amos-and-Andyish. First, a McDonald's commerical for their new Asian chicken salad. This commercial features a collection of animated (as in computer-illustrated) black women, one of which is in the middle of a yoga exercise. The yoga woman is telling the others about the chicken salad and how great it is. Oddly, she speaks in grammatically correct English, while the other women speak like this: "No, he din't/You go, girl," etc. The yoga woman breaks down each ingredient and is met with either approval or, oddly for a commercial advertising a product, bafflement from the Ebonic Chorus. Here is some actual dialogue from the commercial:

Yoga woman, listing salad ingredients (chicken, mandarin oranges, etc.): Edamame!
Sassy chorus member: Eda-who?
Other sassy chorus member: Yo, I just found my Shangri-lunch!

A commercial for Bounty paper towels was identical to any other, except the family was black. However, the Bounty theme song was given a funk reworking, complete with boom-chicka-chicka guitar. The family wasn't even remotely funk-appropriate, besides the color of their skin. They were upper-middle class and putting together a wooden dinosaur diaroma at the kitchen table with their children.

Additionally, I watched a bit of a some summer blockbuster preview special hosted by Joel Siegel. First of all, Siegel is supposed to be a film critic, so he really shouldn't be hosting a show that advertises for films. That's kind of a conflict of interest, isn't it? (Though, with the exception of Roger Ebert, film critics on television are, almost without exception, ill-informed, ignorant, stupid, press-junket whoring, celebrity ass-kissing, hype-shoveling dullards with no dignity.) Anyway, Siegel and some vapid blonde wasted several minutes of my life promoting films that everybody already knows about, in between interviews with movie stars conducted by Siegel in which he laughs hysterically at every slightly humorous comment escaping from the mouths of Greg Kinnear and Liev Schrieber. However, that is merely a rambling prelude to something so baffling I have no words for it. The vapid blonde introduced a clip to an upcoming summer film with the phrase: "It's not summer without a Wayans Brothers movie." Huh? Then she interviewed some Wayanseseses and showed clips and the trailer for their upcoming film, Little Man. Read the plot outline and watch the trailer for this movie. I have nothing to say about this movie except WHAT THE FUCK?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Caption contest results

The name has been pulled from the hat. This month, my lovely roommate/wife Spacebeer has won the contest. She will be ineligible next month. Thanks for playing the game. There will be a new contest next month. Congratulations on your random victory, Spacebeer!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Angry young man about town

I have been a socializing fool at party-attending school for the last three weeks. During this 21-day children's telethon-worthy marathon of thrills and spills, I have reverted back to the college version of Dr. Mystery, known as Robot X. Robot X went out every night. Dr. Mystery prefers a biweekly night or two on the town, but is predominantly a homebody. Fortunately, Sweet Lady Austin had other plans. (Do I sound like a complete douchebag yet?) Every night (barring today, yesterday, and the day before that) I have either attended film screenings, barbecues/BBQs/Bar-B-Cues, birthday parties, booze-'em-ups, super secret screenwriting/PBR-drinking meetings, social gatherings, and live rock and roll exhibitions. Additionally, I had a chance to drink with long-time listener, first-time caller Milk and Cake, fresh off the plane from Sweet Lady Ft. Collins. I ate a lot of grilled meat. I saw about six Hitchcock films on the glorious big screen. I drank with the best of them. I went to a convenience store where all females are referred to as "sir," alcohol is sold to minors (and probably to miners as well), and Pro Wrestling Illustrated is displayed at the front counter. If it wasn't for that abscess known as my dayjob, this would truly be one crazy summer. However, this is merely a setup for what I wish to discuss at present, a McGuffin if you will. (I'll try to stop being a douchebag now.) During my near-month of frenzied activity, a mild but unfortunate problem reared its ugly head a handful of times. I was put in a position where I momentarily lost my temper due to another person's careless disregard of the people near him/her, but I was the one who ended up looking like a prick. This is not right.
Situation #1: My wife and I were seeing "The Puffy Chair" at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown. This theater serves beer and food, and there is a thin wooden table-like eating surface in front of the seats, with gaps every eight feet or so for people to take their seats without causing already-seated people to squish up against their own seat to let them through. (Sorry about that poorly worded sentence. I said "seat" so much.) Ten minutes into the movie, someone comes in late and squishes up against us on the inside of our seats. A few minutes later, someone else does this. A few minutes after that, a couple does the same goddamn thing. Four people in five minutes not understanding that they could take the outside path to their seats without making us stand up or get squished, all of them at least ten minutes late to the fucking movie (I'm irrational and neurotic about this, but if you are late to a movie, don't fucking go. If I owned a theater, the front doors would lock up tight one minute before the movie starts. Maybe I am a douchebag, but I don't want to hear, see, or feel you in front of me or the screen once the movie begins. I'm in the movie zone, cocksucker. You are fucking with my zone.) The last couple, though bearing only 50 percent of the irritation-causation, felt the brunt of 100 percent of Dr. Mystery and Spacebeer anger. The normally mild-mannered Spacebeer was moved to exclaim, "Jesus Christ! Don't knock over our beer!" (The guy almost knocked over our beer.) Then I said, loudly, "The fourth goddamn time in five minutes. You can get into your seats from here!" (pointing angrily at gap between table-thingies). Then I watched the rest of the movie feeling like a jerk because I'd yelled at this couple who had probably never been to the theater before and didn't know better. It was dark, after all. Though if they had been on time, it wouldn't have been a problem. So fuck 'em.
Situation #2: The Twilight Singers/Mark Lanegan show last Friday night. Good show, but marred by many douchebags in the crowd, specifically a Tawny Kitaen lookalike who spent the majority of the show making out with her boyfriend and doing stripper dances while looking into his eyes. This would have been easy to ignore, but her fucking purse kept bouncing into my back or my elbow for two straight hours. I kept shooting them dirty looks, but she was too busy giving boyfriend the sexy eyes to notice that her purse was invading my personal space. Finally, after being bumped hard in the neck, which I assumed was deliberate, since I was taller than either of them, I turned around and yelled "What the fuck is your problem?" Apparently, it wasn't deliberate, judging by the look on the woman's face. She experienced shock, then fear, then complete and utter deflation. She and boyfriend were unaware of the irritation they had been causing me all night. To make matters worse, she had the most vacant eyes I've ever seen on a live human being. This was a dumb, dumb person. It made me feel like I had been yelling at a squirrel. A squirrel with big hair and a fake tan, but a squirrel all the same. I kept waiting for her boyfriend to punch me in the back of the head for the remainder of the show, but they went back to the bar. Then they waited at the bar for quite a while after the show ended, presumably so boyfriend could kick my ass, but we ended up talking to our friends for so long that they left. He obviously preferred sex to a fistfight, so maybe he wasn't so bad after all. But shit. That purse. Fuck. All night long. That stupid purse bouncing off my elbow.
Situation #3: I'm driving to work today. There is a work parking lot, and also many spaces on the opposite side of the building along the street. I prefer the latter when I park my car. There are usually plenty of spots. Today, for whatever reason, a bunch of people who don't even work there parked their cars in my favorite spots. I was running late already, and this set me back a couple extra minutes. I became furious, mad as I've been in weeks. It culminated in me flipping off a bunch of empty parked cars. This might be the nadir of Angry Dr. Mystery's 2006. I flipped off empty cars. I bet those empty cars sure got my message. Loud and clear. What an idiot.
Situation #4: The wife and I are taking our evening constitutional through the neighborhood when a car driving at least twenty miles over the speed limit veers dangerously close to us. "Jesus Christ!" I yell at the car. An older woman on the grass next to me looks at me disapprovingly. She thinks I'm the bad guy. I look closer at her and realize she is standing on the lawn of a Protestant church. I've just loudly taken her Lord's name in vain. I get embarrassed.
In all four situations, I was right to be angry. So why do I feel like an ass? Then again, Protestants don't care that much about Jesus. It's all lip service, isn't it? It's more of a club than a religion, right? Why so disapproving, lady? You're not a Catholic. You just kind of like Jesus.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Monday, June 05, 2006

June caption contest

You know the drill. Leave a caption in comment form under this post. Last day to enter is the 15th. On the 16th, a winner will be drawn from a winter cap. The winner will receive a Dr. Mystery brand custom-made compact disc. Last month's winner is ineligible. Eat more pineapple.

Monday, May 29, 2006

A moratorium

I'm going to complain about something I've been guilty of in about a half-dozen posts, at least, but no one is innocent. This is turning into an epidemic. I'm tired of reading the word "said" used in the following way:
"I went to the store today to buy a purple hat. I found said hat at the corner store."
"Today, I murdered my broker and cut him into pieces. I then put said pieces in a plastic bag and shoved them in my freezer."
"I took a giant shit on my neighbor's lawn because he thinks Bud Light is less filling. I think it tastes great. What an idiot. I then set said shit on fire with a cigarette lighter."

This has got to stop, everyone. Occasionally, I will read through old posts to see if anything I have written irritates me. Often, many things do. I vow to never write like that again. Every time I noticed myself using the word "said" in this fashion, I winced. It doesn't read well. It makes me sound like a jerk. Let's all stop doing this, okay? I will stop if you will stop. I'm sorry I ever did it. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Absurdist non-sequiturs give the day some pizzazz!!!

A small part of my last job, and a large part of my current job, consists of reading down the margins of a printed page. Usually, the trail of type reads like "the of education an conference senator 85 to of then," for example. On beautiful and rare occasions, this trail of type spits out Lewis Carroll-worthy prose. Today was a good day for margin non-sequiturs. My three favorites:
"The ruler is the Christi."
"Free-floating genitals."
"Wash our company."

This also works with the words at the top of each dictionary page, indicating the first and last word on the page. Checking a couple of odd wordbreaks (I'm throwing around some job lingo like a bigshot), I magically happened upon these two delightfully delicious word pairings:
"Over-the-counter Oxblood"
"Numerous Nuts"

"Numerous Nuts" would be a great title for a bukkake porn/zany screwball comedy hybrid. It is a film I never want to see, but sincerely hope exists.

"What did you rent, dude?"
"'The Passion of the Christ,' 'Kangaroo Jack,' and 'Numerous Nuts.' According to the back of the DVD, Gene Shalit says "'Numerous Nuts' will 'get your rocks off, hilariously. I've never seen a film so chock-full of semen and laughs.'"

On a related note, has anyone seen the advertisement for Berries and Cream Dr. Pepper. If so, do you also find their slogan inappropriately hilarious? "Get berried in cream." I can't figure out if the fat cats at Dr. Pepper are geniuses or morons, but either way, this slogan is the best slogan of all time.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Christopher Colum-balls

If you know me even a little, then you know I'm a cartography enthusiast.*
Cartography fact: There was a map engraver in the 1500s named Hieronymus Cock. It's true.^

*Fact not true.
^Fact true.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A message from the executive director

Can-Smashing Robot is required by its parent subsidiary, You're Fucked, Inc., to present a state of the union address by the executive director of American life, Gallimard Kennedy Bush Rockefeller Murdoch Lee Roth Bon Jovi Cheney Scalia "Arctic Monkey" Chillingsworth IV. Read and obey.

Hello all. I, Gallimard Chillingsworth (pictured above), have heard some reports of grumblings from the mostly college-educated lackeys and halfwits who write and/or read this blog. You complain of unfulfilling careers, lack of options, low pay, not enough vacation time, and a general sense of futile despair, with occasional rage at what you call "your worthless diplomas." All I can say is: Welcome to the real world, cocksuckers. Listen up, fuck-twists, and listen fucking good. Do you really think since you've read "The Great Gatsby" and written a few papers on the patriarchal reinforcement of traditional gender roles in network television car advertisements you have what it takes to make it to the top? Let me tell you how it really works, douchebags. Even in your irony-raped, Vicodin-addled, "Cosby Show"-TIVOing souls, you Generation X-ers still believe in that American Dream, rags-to-riches bullshit. Keep dreaming, panty-sniffers. I live in reality, jerk. I jizz money. I light the world's finest cigars with the world's finest denominations of cash. I work three hours a week... on the golf course. You know why? Is it because I went to college? Is it because I work hard? Is it because I'm talented? Not a chance, numb-nuts. I have a high-paying job because my dad owns the company. His dad owned it, too. That's how you get places, asswads. You're born there. Unless you're the next Michael Jordan or Keith Richards, you're stuck where you are, dumbshits. So get lucky or shut up. But look on the bright side, douchebags. You may have to constantly take shit, but at least you don't smell like it. You live in America, where soap is plentiful, thanks to guys like my uncle, who owns a soap company. You could be lying around with a distended belly, flies buzzing around your head, in some godforsaken Third-World land while a well-fed pseudo-Christian blowhard films a UNICEF commercial around your soon-to-be lifeless body. Someone's always got it worse than you, so quit whining. And remember, every minute you spend at your thankless, deadening, unfulfilling jobs, you're putting more delicious Omaha steaks in my ever-expanding gut. This has been the state of the union address. Goodnight, and eat shit, fuckface.

Eat my fuck, Dr. Mystery.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Contest winner

I have put all contest entrants in a hat, and randomly grabbed the winner. This month's free CD goes to Julia. Congratulations, Julia, on your random victory. I will make your CD soon.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Contest reminder

The turnout this month is weak. Come on, people. Write a sentence, possibly win a CD. Monday is the last day to enter. Don't be a sucker, enter this motherfucker. (last sentence written by Don King)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Tales of small-town life: drive-in edition (Catholic version)

God bless the Internet. This is the actual marquee from the drive-in movie theater in my hometown. There is much I could write about this place. Could it be the sexy hideaway of passion from whence my film obsession was born? Could it be a nostalgia piece about how I was one of the lucky few born between 1975-1982, the last drive-in movie generation? Fortunately, those stories are going to have to wait. This story is much better. It is about how I grew up in a town so dreadfully empty and dull that my friends and I, in our absolute boredom, vandalized and disrupted one of the few places in town that offered any kind of alternative to shooting oneself in the face. We were so bored, we took out our frustrations on the things we loved. To the various owners of the Sunset Drive-In, c. 1977-1996, I apologize. However, I am not sorry. Here is my confession.
Dear Sunset Drive-In,
Forgive me, for I have sinned.
It has been seven or eight years since my last confession.
O my drive-in proprietor,
I am heartily sorry for having offended thee,
and I detest all my hijinks,
because I dread the loss of a three-month ban,
and the pains of missing such quality films as "Police Academy 6: Citizens Under Siege,"
but most of all because they offend thee, my drive-in proprietor,
who are all good, yo,
and deserving of all my nacho and popcorn money.
I firmly resolve,
with the help of Thy grace,
to hijink no more and to avoid the near occasion of hijinks.
Here are the hijinks to which I am guilty:
1) At my friend Clint's birthday party, his older brother snuck us into "The Rocketeer." We hid under a tarp in the back of a pickup. He was the only one who paid. You caught us, since we all stupidly hit the snack bar for nachos during intermission. You let us off with a lecture. You knew that "The Rocketeer" was punishment enough.
2) In high school, that same friend Clint had an old van with tinted windows and a mini-fridge. Many of us in the back of the van never paid. However, I think we are even on this one. In fact, you owe me. True, I never paid to see "The Rocketeer." In my defense, I was so drunk during "Naked Gun 33 1/3" that I only watched 38 seconds of the film, and "The Flintstones" was so bad that we went to Clint's grandmother's basement to finish our weed. The way I see it, you owe me eight dollars.
3) During the bi-annual dusk-to-dawn marathon shows, some classmates got the idea to run around the screen while the movie was playing. This was a funny gag...for a while. We kicked it up a notch. Boo-yah! The Fourth of July was imminent, so a few no-goodniks and I had a carload full of ten-shot Roman Candles. A chance encounter with another classmate led to an inspirational bombshell. She was returning from a hard day at cheerleading camp, teaching a future generation of young women how to be vacuous second-class citizens, and the trunk of her car was full of glow-in-the-dark purple wigs. Could we borrow four, we asked? Yes, she said. Magic time. We were going to don the wigs, run in front of the screen during the middle of the film, and light ten of the ten-shot Roman Candles. One hundred firework explosions during a movie while four bored teenagers danced around in front of the fireworks while wearing glow-in-the-dark purple wigs! What could go wrong? Actually, nothing went wrong. The drive-in was a few miles outside of town. We parked on a dirt road next to the back of the screen, donned the wigs, grabbed a handful of Roman Candles and a lighter, left the car running, ran in front of the screen, stuck the Candles in the dirt, lit them, watched them go off, danced around in front of them, then hauled ass back to the running car, and drove away. It was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life. That last sentence is very depressing. We got away with it, and we gave the people attending that particular screening something to talk about for a long time. I don't even remember what movie it was, but I do know it starred Goldie Hawn.
4) The running-around-the-screen fad ended shortly after our purple wig stunt. The owner was on amber alert, and was keeping an eye out for any troublesome teens. A classmate decided to run around the screen anyway, and was chased by the owner. Panicking, he ran into a fence and cut his hand badly, with the embarrassing result of being driven to the emergency room by the drive-in owner, the very guy who was chasing him. A few weeks later, the idea hit us. Let's change the letters on the marquee. The drive-in was only open in the summer on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Our plan of attack: a late, hot Wednesday night. I was driving that night, so I stayed in the car with the motor running, worst case scenario pending. My friends took a long time rearranging the words, and when they were done, I was a bit baffled. The marquee read "Ass Tit Rec." Now, ass and tit were solid gold, but what the hell was "rec"? I asked them when they got back to the car. "They were the only letters left, so we had to do something with them." Why not just leave them on the ground, I asked. "We didn't think of that," they said. Despite my questioning of their handiwork, a feeling of mirth could not be dampened by the infernal damnation of my need for explanations. We planned our next marquee attacks thoroughly, especially our masterpiece, "Help Fuck Santa." Unfortunately, it was only up for six hours. We had one last hurrah the summer after our freshmen year of college. A handful of us were back in town for the summer, and we were drinking at my house while my parents were out of town. Soon, marquee fever had us in its sexy, sexy grip. Not only was the drive-in calling out for a rearranging, but also the high school, right next door. The year after my graduation from the place, it had installed a marquee announcing school events. We split into teams. My brother, one friend, and I would hit the school, while two of my friends would attack the drive-in. Unfortunately, the school marquee had a protective layer of Plexiglas and a padlock keeping out hijink-makers. That did not deter us. We plundered my father's garage for many tools, and eventually sawed the fucker open. During our labors, several neighbors stepped out on their porches to see what the hell we were doing. Shit, I thought. We are busted. About an hour later, my drive-in friends returned, sweaty and confident. Ironically, nothing happened to my brother and I and our fellow school accomplice, but my friends who attacked the drive-in were visited by the police. Unbeknownst to us all, the drive-in owner had installed a hidden camera shortly after the "Help Fuck Santa" incident. My friends, who were witnessed by no human, were caught on tape. At the police station, the drive-in owner was exasperated, my friends told me. "Why?" he asked them. "What do you guys have against me?" He kept asking this, they said. He thought it was personal. No matter how many times my friends answered, he didn't believe them. But it was true. "We are just so bored," they said. "And you have a marquee."

One year later, he closed the drive-in. A few years after that, a particularly nasty hail and wind storm destoyed 75 percent of the screen. The Sunset Drive-In currently sits abandoned.

That is my confession, Lord of all Drive-Ins. What is my penance?

My son, you must repent for your sins by watching Lethal Weapon 3, Die Hard 3, Police Academy 3, and Short Circuit 2. Also, you must drink eight large Cokes, and eat three large nachos. One with jalapenos, two without. Do you accept your penance?

Yes. Yes, I do.