Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
James By God Cameron
That James Cameron just continues to impress, doesn't he?
Ten years ago, he helped us get Titanic. I mean, we'd heard about it before and felt sorry for the dead and blah blah blah, but we'd never really let it in. But Jimmy and his awesome computer-generated characters helped us understand the true meaning. For which we owe him...so much thanks. So much. *sob* Hold on. Give me a minute to pull myself together here.
Anyway, now, James has moved beyond the realm of mere film-making. The dude has found Jesus. Not in the lame-ass evangelical way. He literally found him. You'd have thought that it would've been an archaeologist or a biblical scholar to track down the resting place of The Christ. But no. It was the guy who made True Lies.
And, yeah, you've got your doubters out there who are gonna sling their poo at this noble undertaking like some retarded monkey. There are all kinds of jealous bastards pointing out that the name Jesus was utterly common. And that most biblical scholars don't think that this particular place was where the J-Man's body actually rested. But those losers just wish their years of training and education would have made them equally skilled as the man who wrote Piranha II.
So I say, "Thanks Jim!" Thanks for giving us truly rad Schwarzenegger films and thanks for finding the Son of God. You rock!
Monday, February 26, 2007
So lazy, in fact, that I'm not going to write two blog posts in one day.
So, to find out all that fascinating things I have to say about last night's Oscar telecast, you're going to have to head on over to 5C Reviews. It's good times over there.
Friday, February 23, 2007
A Crazy, Mixed-Up World
Sometimes, it's hard to know where to stand, isn't it? You're thinking things are one way, and then you find out they're another. Good God.
I wrote awhile back about my friend, Marc Andreyko, who writes a comic for DC called Manhunter. At the time I was writing--this was about nine months back--he'd just found out that his book had been cancelled, which truly sucked spectacular amounts of ass, as it's a really good book. Then, there was a fairytale ending, when the powers-that-be at DC decided to grant the book a reprieve for at least five issues, thanks to a loud outcry from fans. It really restored my faith in humanity.
Said faith was then destroyed a few months later, when DC announced that, no, the book was going to be canceled after the five issue extension. I was bummed, both for my friend and because I genuinely like the book.
Now, it looks like DC is changing their minds yet again. Which is awesome. I'm thrilled for Marc and happy that it looks like the book is going to be around for some time to come.
But at the same time, I'm a little annoyed that they keep swinging back and forth on this. I hate when the world does this to you: when you find out something bad and go through your mourning and make your peace with it, only to get the joyful news that the bad news was in error, sending your spirits soaring again, which is when someone breaks it to you that, no, the bad news was the correct news and someone in accounting just made an error.
It's a little similar to my sister's pregnancy.
I may not have mentioned before, but my big sister is having a baby. She felt awkward telling us, because of our troubles in that department. (The fact that people have to feel awkward telling you their good news is another rant in and of itself. But I digress.) Once she spilled the beans, however, we've been thrilled and anxiously anticipating the arrival of what was originally described as my nephew.
My sister had been hoping for a boy, so the initial news was welcome. Then, when she had her ultrasound a month or so ago, they told her that there'd been a mix-up and that she was having a girl. Which was fine, but she'd gotten used to the idea that it was a boy. After a short while, she adjusted, got enthusiastic about having a daughter and started buying pink clothes and girly nursery decorations.
So, of course, this week's ultrasound showed that she was, in fact, having a boy. The nurses quite clearly saw a penis. The doctor was fetched and he concurred. Then they checked the records, which appeared to have contained a typo. So, boy. Again.
See? You get used to thinking about things one way and then they just flip shit around. And so today I am demanding--demanding!--that some of this stuff not change anymore.
DC has uncancelled Marc's book and it goddamn better stay uncancelled. My sister is having a baby boy and, I'm telling you, if that kid comes out without testicles, the doctors are going to answer to me.
Ya hear that, world? I'm putting you on notice! So says I.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Connor MacCleod...of the Clan MacCleod
Carol, of Feeling Peevish, is taking a look at immortality today.
I'm gonna say right here and now that I don't want to live forever. I just don't. Can you imagine how many shitty sitcoms you'd have to sit through if you had never died? How many lame political campaigns? How many cases of diarrhea? Ye gods, the mind just boggles.
Plus, as Highlander has shown us, if you're immortal, there's always gonna be someone gunning for you, trying to prove they can kill the unkillable dude. Who wants the agitation of that?
No, no. Much better that I continue to age normally, along with my wife, as both of us continue to feel increasingly isolated from today's youth culture and periodically get depressed about the fact that we never stay out all night anymore and that MTV leaves us tired and confused. Your eternal youth you can keep.
But don't let my embrace of crotchitude be the last word you read on the subject today. Head on over to Feeling Peevish and sound off on the Fountain of Youth, clone-grown replacement organs and Oil of Olay.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Aries: Working at home could be the answer for you today, dear Aries. The question, of course, being, "What can you tell your neighbors you're doing so they don't know that you're under house arrest for molesting dwarfs?"
Taurus: Someone may put forth a type of opportunity that you've never considered before. Most likely, this will involve either work as a "mule" or sex with a donkey (the stars are unclear on this). Think about it, but don't decide for a few days.
Gemini: Financial benefits might be in the wind, and you may be entertaining outrageous fantasies of what you're going to spend it all on. Removing that giant goiter from your neck might be a good start, and a great way to improve your dating life.
Cancer: Your diligence and dedication should attract the attention of those in authority, so expect advancement in some way. Like maybe being advanced right from training camp to Iraq to replace the British soldiers Tony Blair is pulling out.
Leo: What you read or hear is likely to be fascinating, but you might be too overwhelmed to make sense of it right now. Just take comfort in the fact that so many millions of other people are just as grief-stricken as you over the tragic death of someone who brought us all together by showing her tits in a magazine and fucking a really old guy. Ana Nicole: America's Rose. *sob*
Virgo: Take care that you don't get so caught up in a quest for perfection that you stress yourself out too much. I mean, sure, you want to show your shift supervisor that you have utterly mastered the McNugget Timer, but don't push yourself too hard.
Libra: The other priests don't appreciate the creative expression you show by ashing your initials on parishioners' foreheads instead of that boring ol' cross. Hang in there! New ideas take awhile to catch on.
Scorpio: There might be a lot of paper to wade through today, Scorpio, not to mention jargon that appears to be indecipherable. This is because you're illiterate.
Sagittarius: Today you might consider making an investment of time and energy in a creative project of some kind, Sagittarius. Knowing you, this will most likely take the form of a pornographic doodle of some sort.
Capricorn: Visitors might come to your home today to discuss business of some kind, or they could be coming to take you away to a mental hospital. Trust no-one!
Aquarius: A rush of excess ambition may cause you to channel a lot of your physical and mental energy into whatever work you're doing right now, Aquarius. As a result of your zeal, your body could be exhausted, but your mind may be spinning like a top. Hey, wouldn't it be weird if your body spun like a top? You should try that!
Pisces: An upcoming visit from someone close to you may have you working overtime in order to fix up your house, Pisces. But, honestly, there's only so much you're going to be able to do when you live in a cardboard box. Your friend is really more interested in visiting you, anyway, so don't stress.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Fun in the Sand and Snow
Ah, long weekends. So very, very pleasant. So rare. So round, so firm, so fully packed. (Wait... Okay, scratch that last one.)
My wife and I hardly ever have long weekends together. It's a little bit better now that she's working for the state and gets all those juicy public holidays like I do. We decided that we'd really celebrate Presidents' Day this year. In honor of George W. Bush, who has done so much for the gay community, we went to Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Going to a beach town in the middle of winter is actually kind of cool. You get to see it without the hordes of people swarming the street. You also get fantastic deals on accommodations. Two-thirds of the businesses are shut down, but are you really gonna miss fifteen extra T-shirt stores? Not so much. We were pretty pleased with our unique idea of off-season vacationing.
Except that we were very much not alone in this idea. Provincetown was, in fact, flooded with couples looking to get away from whatever city they reside in for a weekend. The result of this is that the handful of restaurants in town that weren't closed were jammed with people. Which meant long-ass waits even if you had yourself a reservation. My wife and I never had a reservation, because we're so disorganized that it's a struggle to get our teeth brushed before bedtime, let alone laying down long-term plans like where we're going to eat five hours into the future.
So we spent a good bit of time tromping forlornly from one crowded dining establishment to the next, looking for the place with the shortest wait time.
Our first night, we went to a place recommended by the manager of our inn, only to be told that we had about an hour to wait. We left our name and then wandered off to see if we couldn't get a better deal. The next place we stopped by had a much smaller menu, but we were told the wait would be about fifteen minutes. Forgetting that restaurant hosts often lie, we decided to stick around.
The place filled up even more after we got there. The one waiter on duty looked like he desperately wanted to leave and get a beer somewhere. We felt superior to other out-of-towners who got pissy/snippy with the staff and started whining about the wait. That was nice. It's good to be able to shake your head and whisper "What an asshole" to your spouse because you're marginally more amiable than someone. We were not as amiable as the two couples next to us who turned their wait-time into a meet-and-greet. They ended up changing their requests for two tables for two into one table for four and they sat together and enjoyed a meal while they got acquainted.
I guess I wish my wife and I were like that. It'd be nice to walk into a place for gazpacho and leave with friends for life. But we're not. We're the sort of people who were dreading the idea that we'd booked a room at a B&B, which might mean having to socialize with or--even worse--eat breakfast with, our host and/or fellow guests.
I wouldn't call myself an openly hostile person. I'm pretty friendly, once you get to know me, but I'm not the type of person who enjoys meeting new people every second of every day. And I hate situations where I'm forced to make small talk against my will with people who could very well turn out to be enormous asshats. My world, I'm sure, is the poorer for it.
Luckily, the place we stayed was more of an inn than a B&B, so the bagels and coffee just sort of miraculously appeared in the kitchen in the morning without someone there to grill us about our plans for the day and tell us that we really ought to go to their cousin's organic juice bar and try the carrot-pomegranate smoothie. The owner was out of town and the manager was a very nice lady who made us feel welcome and then vanished from sight the rest of the time we were there.
The one note of real frustration for me was a complication of our packing stupidity. My wife and I have a tendency to over-pack for trips. "Well, I'm bringing this ball gown. Who knows, we might be invited to fly to California to attend the Oscars." "Good idea. I'm taking twelve pairs of underwear for two days, just in case I'm suddenly incontinent."
This time, we made a conscious effort to bring less, which of course meant that I lacked warm clothing and shivered half the weekend. My wife, meanwhile, forgot to bring a sports bra and so ran in the bra she'd been wearing. But we figured we'd be able to pick one up in town. There were a number of clothing stores in town, several of which seemed geared to sports apparel.
So we spent some time on Saturday navigating through the frozen streets of Provincetown, tears of frustration freezing to our faces as we were told in store after store that they had no bras and we should try Bob's Sports Bra Barn a couple of blocks over. The clerk at Bob's Sports Bra Barn would then offer some other lame excuse and tell us to try Sports Bras R Us, which also be inexplicably out. Apparently, the women in Provincetown like to run bare-chested, in celebration of the spirit of the Amazons. We ended up duct-taping my wife's bosom during our exercise.
That duct tape really is good for just about everything.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Chunks in the Night
So how'd you start your day this morning? Maybe by rolling over and kissing your spouse? It could be you laid still in bed, trying to remember a wonderful dream as it slipped away from your mind. Perhaps you jumped out of bed with the sound of the alarm and then realized you didn't have to go into work until later, and so got to snuggle back under the covers.
Me, I puked in my sleep.
I woke this morning to the sudden and disturbing knowledge that my stomach had just hit the eject button and I was about to hurl. Fortunately for my wife and our linen, I had the presence of mind to keep my mouth closed.
You've done that, right? Thrown up when you had no good place to put the vomit and so were forced to send it back down your esophagus? Yeah, I hate that. 'Cause most of it went right back down--burning the shit out of my throat as it went--but there was one chunk that decided it liked being where it was, so I had to drink some water to wash it back down.
Then I'm lying there, thinking, "Wait, did I just puke?" And I had to answer, "Yeah, you did. Sucks, doesn't it?" So I look at the clock and it's about half an hour before I'm supposed to get up. If I drag my ass to the bathroom and brush my teeth, there's no way I'm gonna fall back asleep before the alarm goes off. So I drank a shitload of water and ate a few Listerine Breath Strips. Then I lied back down and tried not to breath on my wife.
Now, I don't know exactly why the hell I blarfed in my sleep. I don't remember having a particularly nauseating dream. I didn't feel sick when I went to bed. We did get food delivered last night and the vegetarian sesame chicken did not seem as fresh and delicious as it might have. I suppose, then, that my wrath should be directed at Empire Szechuan.
That's what I'll do, then.
Here and now, I call on Empire Szechuan to meet me on the field of honor. A duel, Empire Szechuan! The gauntlet is hurled! Face me, if you dare, Empire Szechuan. I will make you pay for my nearly blowing chunks in my bed. And for every time you've sent me tamago that did not live up to my expectations. I name you Coward, Empire Szechuan, and I will exact my vengeance.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
John Sadowski is our Roundtable host this week and he's feeling a little lost. He doesn't know quite what to think about our current decade.
Personally, I think our decade will be defined by the comedy magic happening every week on The War at Home. Twenty years from now, when historians look back on the era in which we're living, they'll say, "Hey, you remember that episode where Michael Rappaport's character said something homophobic? That shit was funny."
Whatever you think of the here and now, head on over to JohnSadowski.com and spill yer fucking guts.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Hairshirt Valentine Horoscope
Aries: Despite all evidence to the contrary, Aries, you hold fast to your belief that there's nothing sexier than putting on the pouty face and telling your Valentine, "I wuv oo." You're a little creepy.
Taurus: You're not the first person to try passing off a restaurant-created meal as your own slaved-over Valentine love feast. You may, however, be the first person to think your romantic partner is going to believe you home-cooked a Big Mac.
Gemini: On Valentine's Day, when your girlfriend looks you in the eyes and tells you she wants you right now, it's best not to ask her to wait until Lost is over.
Cancer: Even in the romantic spirit of the day, you should probably rethink the "Kiss Me, I'm a Pedophile" t-shirt.
Leo: Expect a lovely and thoughtful Valentine gift today. If, that is, you regard as thoughtful half-dead bodega roses that the dimwit you're seeing paid four times the normal price for because he utterly forgot until he was on the way home and lacked the imagination to make an un-lemmingish purchase.
Virgo: Roses are red. Violets are blue. Your boyfriend has genital warts and now so do you.
Libra: A homemade card is a thoughtful gesture. But dipping your balls in red paint and pressing them onto some construction paper is maybe not the best creative approach.
Scorpio: Scorpio's Valentine's plans? A pint of Ben & Jerry's, a liter of Stoli and a five-gallon drum of bitterness. Ah, single life.
Sagittarius: Give your romantic partner a thrilling surprise by greeting them at the door wearing nothing but a chocolate bar wedged in between your ass cheeks!
Capricorn: Many, many people are in agreement with you that Valentine's Day is a vacuous, made-up holiday created by marketers desperate to sell chocolate, candy and greeting cards. Your girlfriend is not one of those people.
Aquarius: You should be proud that you've made it this long saving yourself for marriage. But I'm telling you here and now that Jesus would have wanted you to get laid.
Pisces: It's great to dress sexy for your lady on Valentine's Day, but here we need to consider the question of whether or not an elephant-trunk thong really falls into the "sexy" category.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I'm A Masterful Costumer
So, the costume's finished. I have to say, I honestly think it looks better than you can tell from this picture.
I tried to talk my wife the photographer into doing a high-fashion-style photo shoot, but she was all, "Oh, I'm tired after driving two hours home from my high-pressure job as a lawyer." She's so whiny.
Anyway, here it is. Feast your eyes. (See, that's a pun of a sort, 'cause it's a food thing. I'm tired.)
Monday, February 12, 2007
A Brief Note
Not much time to write this evening. I'm spending the night ham-handedly sewing pepperoni onto a pizza costume. All this effort so I can have a bunch of seventh graders yelling, "That doesn't look like pizza!"
Teaching: The Toughest Job You'll Ever Wonder Why the Fuck You're Doing.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
This morning, I discovered their tiny, mangled corpses on my living room floor. Less than 24 hours after I'd started them on the road to a healthy, happy future, that road has been wiped out in a landslide.
I'd thought my luck was changing. I'd been doing well lately. The days when my touch was deadly were seemingly in the past. But no.
Apparently, some time last night, our cat ripped each and every baby spider plant out of the dirt into which I'd put them just yesterday morning and chewed the living shit out of them. Their leaves, which had looked so green and full after I'd carefully fed and watered them, were torn and ripped. Their roots, which had just been put into moist and delicious potting soil, were sucking air on the carpet.
I managed to salvage a couple of them and put them back in their pots, but they do not look healthy. This after carefully cutting them from their parent plant and weeks of soaking them in water to grow out their roots.
I was not happy this morning. I chased the cat around the apartment and actually threw a hat at him. I didn't hurt him; it wasn't a batting helmet or anything.
But I'm once again left wondering what the hell is wrong with me that I have such shitty luck with our plants. I'm a nurturing guy. What the fuck?
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go put some bear traps around the pots in case Sven makes another run at them tonight.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Speakers Gone Wild
Goddamn that Nancy Pelosi! How dare she? What kind of evil, cretinous fiend wants to fly all the way home without stopping? Somehow, she manipulated things while she was house minority leader so that the Speaker would be given a government plane, all the while knowing that she'd soon reap the benefits.
She's just out of control! She's power-mad! We have to stop her before she does something even more destructive, like demanding a padded toilet seat in her office.
Oh, for the days of a truly virtuous Speaker, like Newt Gingrich, who only ever thought of other people. Like waiting until his wife was barely conscious to tell her he was dumping her, thus sparing her the full emotional blow. What a class act.
We'll find a way to stop you, Pelosi! Your reign of terror is about to come to an end!
Thursday, February 08, 2007
I'm having a difficult time at the moment, because this week's Roundtable, hosted by Suzanne, is all about pleasures and I am currently all about being fucking annoyed. And this isn't a source of annoyance that I can immediately do a whole lot about.
For some reason, static electricity has been a major issue for me this winter. A couple of months back, I thought the problem had to do with the cheap-ass earphones I was using. I learned I was mistaken when my wife got me a brand new iPod--with brand new earbuds--and I was still getting shocked. Listening to music while folding clothes has been especially problematic.
But it's not just the earshock thing. My hair seems to have become electrified. It's a little long right now and tends to hang down in my eyes if I don't make other arrangements. And I'd expect that, in the winter, the problem I'd have would be cold breezes whipping my hair all around. Instead, I've been having issues with my hair getting staticky and sticking to my head in odd swirly patterns.
It's annoying as fucking hell, because, even when I try to brush it back where it's supposed to be, it statics right on back. Yaaargh! I want to rip my fucking hair out!
Anyway, head on over to Perfecting the Fine Art of Procrastination and tell Suzanne about your most indulgent behaviors.
NOTE: The above picture is not of me. I do really dig his fashion sense, though.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Television of the Damned
Awhile back, I got into a debate with my friend Deni when he expressed the opinion that actors shouldn't whore themselves out and make themselves part of evil corporate hootenannies (e.g., doing commercials for McDonald's or corporate training videos for Nike).
Now, while I agree with Deni on a great many things, including the fact that McDonald's and Nike are both reprehensibly vile companies, I had to say that, as someone who got a degree in theater that has earned me very, very, very little money over the last decade, I would, if approached to play a singing banana in a commercial for Haliburton, take less than a second to ask, "What sort of banana would you like me to be?"
See, there are an assload of people out there who want to be actors. And not some tiny little ass, either. And an extremely minute percentage of those poor buggers are getting paid at any given time. So I can't in the slightest blame someone who pays rent by working the 7PM-2AM shift at Ruth's Chris if they compromise their principles a wee bit and accept a one-day gig that nets them more than they make in tips over a month.
This is what I said to Deni and this is what I truly felt. Until today.
Today, while off sick, I dragged my ass over to the laundromat to wash some clothes. I left my iPod at home--fucking stupid move--and had no choice but to yet again to deal with forced consumption of daytime television.
There was a program called, I think, Dr. Keith. It featured this bald dude speaking with people who'd been contestants on Beauty and the Geek. That's right, this show was so magnificently pointless that they had to drag on assholes from a fourth-rate reality crap-fest and shove them in front of a camera...again!
Then I was subjected to the double-barrel assault of Inside Edition and Judge Hatchett. I.E. has the zombie-esque Deborah Norville doing a story on the dumbshit K-Fed left for ol' bumpy-vag. This "star" had the courage to invite the I.E. cameras along as she went in for lipo and a tit-lift. Then Deborah marveled at how wonderful She-Who-Got-Boned-By-K-Fed's stomach looked. I bet Jane Pauley DVRs this so she can giggle her fucking ass off at the grisly end of the douchebag who took her job.
Judge Hatchett, meanwhile, apparently makes a living by doing what Maury Povich does, but without any pretensions to Maury's gravitas. It seems--and keep in mind that I've only seen one episode, here--that she specializes in letting morons debate whether or not they exchanged fluids before she tells them the results of a DNA test. This is the kind of show where they do a minute-long preview of what's coming up before every break and then do a minute-long recap of what happened previously when they come back from break.
I really considered just dumping a bottle of Clorox down my throat and ending my misery. And at that point, it hit me that there are some shows I wouldn't work on, no matter how much fucking money you paid me.
So there you go, Deni. There's where I draw my line. Not as morally upstanding as you, but more out of a sense of self-preservation. 'Cause I couldn't work on a Judge Hackett-type show for more than a week without sucking on a rifle.
I am so sick and tired of the media seizing on a story's sensational aspects and then blowing it all out of proportion. Take the case of poor Lisa Nowak. The woman goes to heroic lengths to save a love affair and all the press can talk about is the diaper. Let me ask you, people: you're driving non-stop for nine hundred miles, how are you gonna solve the urine/feces issue?
Personally, I considered Ms. Nowak a hero before all this. Now, she's like a god in my book.
In fact, I'm pretty sure there's going to be a TV movie coming out of all this, and I'm really concerned that some yahoo's going to write a highly fictionalized version that portrays Ms. Nowak in an unflattering light. Which is why I'm working on my own version, to tell her side of the story. I haven't gotten very far into my first draft yet, but I think it's coming together nicely. Here's a sample:
INT. LISA'S GARAGE. NIGHT.
Lisa throws her bags in the car. The house door opens and Richie Jr stumbles into the garage.
RICHIEMom? It's three in the morning. What are you doing?
LISAI'm just going for a drive, Richie. Go back to bed.
RICHIEOkay. Just as long as you're not doing anything batshit crazy.
LISAWatch your language, young man.
Richie goes back in the house. Lisa pulls a checklist out of her pocket.
LISALet's see... BB gun; check. Garbage bags; check. Pepper spray; check. Wig and trenchcoat; check. Rubber hose...damnit! Where's my rubber hose?
She rummages around in a drawer.
LISARubber hose! Rubber hose! Where's the cockadoodie rubber hose? How can you tie up your rival without a rubber hose?
She pulls a rubber hose out of the drawer.
LISAOh thank God.
She tosses the hose into the backseat, then climbs behind the wheel.
LISAGreat. Now I have to go to the bathroom. Y'know what? I'll take care of it on the way.
The garage door opens and Lisa starts to pull out.
LISAI'm doing this for our love, Bill. You're my spaceman.
She drives off.
You'll notice how I didn't even mention the diaper. It's important to protect Ms. Nowak's dignity here.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
TEACHING IS FUN!
This is just depressing.
I'm grading some projects that my students handed in last month. I should have graded them three weeks ago, but that's another story. I'm finally getting around to the grading process and my jaw is just hitting the floor here. I mean, I realized that most of these kids didn't put a whole hell of a lot of effort into my class, but these things go so much farther.
This was a unit on costume design. We talked about how costumes can give characters a sense of identity. We talked about how costumes can be used to illustrate relationships between characters. We talked about the use of color in costumes and what those colors say about the characters. The final project was to design costumes for characters in a one-page scene. The kids were working in pairs. I gave them, basically, two weeks of time in class to get these done.
Almost every single one of these projects seems to have been done on the day it was due. Some of them look like they actually talked a little about the project in the time I gave them. Others don't appear to have read the scene. Still others don't--from what I can tell--have the slightest fucking idea what a costume is.
I've got one class completely graded. I've got three more to go and I honestly don't know if I should bother. It would be a favor to these kids to just declare the unit a failure--I apparently did something utterly wrong here, 'cause the kids just did not grok the concepts--and throw this grade out. This project will drag some of their grades even pathetically lower. Add to that the fact that to slog through the rest of these is going to be absolutely fucking torturous to me. Every time a kid doesn't seem to have grasped the fact that a certain character is a woman, it's like a fucking knife in my heart.
Hell, I did this unit because I thought it would be easy for them! What the hell is wrong with them? What the hell is wrong with me that I can't communicate the simple idea that, if you put two characters in similar colors, the audience will connect them? Maybe I need to try something simpler, like having them correctly distinguish a shoe from a shirt. Or maybe I should just sit up at the front of the class and read a newspaper while the little buggers run amok. It would be about as rewarding.
Aaaarrgh, says I.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
We're Pretty Much Fucked
Because nobody listens to Al Gore, I'm hoping that the report issued this week by a UN panel will finally freak people out enough that they'll demand that the Douchebag in Chief actually fucking do something about global warming. I mean something beyond the bullshit lip service he paid to the issue in the State of the Union.
What galls me the most is the fact that this assfurter who's had his tongue wedge firmly up the butt of the oil industry since before he was gubner of Texas--and who made pulling out of the Kyoto Protocols one of his first objectives upon taking office--can actually try to claim that he's done positive things for the environment. He does! He tries to convince people that leaving it up to huge corporations to do the right thing on their own in exchange for tax breaks has been a sound policy. He seriously expects the American public to be satisfied with a semi-annual mention of hydrogen-powered cars.
But what has he done? What has Bush actually done to address climate change? Here's the exhaustively researched list:
Friday, February 02, 2007
My wife and I have a lot of books. I mean, we have several metric tons of books. These books are crammed into a small New York City apartment, which is not good. We've got bookshelves all over the goddamn place. We have books stacked up on most every surface in the place. We've got several stacks of books sitting precariously in the middle of the floor. We have too many books.
We come by it honestly. My wife got her undergrad degree in English. My theater degree required the purchase of a lot of books, too, although mine were mostly tiny little play scripts and I sold most of my other college reading because I always tended to be poor and lazy while I was in school. We both come from bookhound families. Her parents' house and my parents' house are both quite bookful, too.
We've done our best to pare down over the years. We've taken loads of books to sell at Strand, despite the hassle of lugging them on the subway and the embarrassment of dealing with the snotty Strand buyers who seem to get off on saying that you "don't have anything that interesting."
But no matter how many books we sell; no matter how many we dump off at the thrift store; no matter how many we throw at alley cats having sex outside our window at three in the morning, we're still left with a growing book problem.
We try vowing not to buy any new books. We put moratoriums (moritorii?) on ourselves periodically, but that tends to last only until we see a discount copy of Valley of the Dolls and think, "Hey! I haven't read that! And it's only four bucks!"
And so, once every year or so, one of us is struck by a thunderbolt and we remember the existence of the library. We'll be walking up to the register at the closest Giant Evil Discount Book Retailer with a stack of literature and my wife or I will think, "Wait a minute... I don't have to buy this. I could fucking read it for free!" Then we'll dump the books on the floor, spit on them and run from the store.
Which is why, after a narrow escape at Barnes & Noble last weekend, I spent some time this week on the NYC Public Library website and requested some stuff be held at the branch that's around the corner from us. Their uber-friendly computer called me up yesterday to tell me that some of my order was in, and so I'm currently reading Nobrow by John Seabrook.
And the really fucking great thing is that I don't like it all that much. It's okay, I guess, but it's just not as interesting as it looked when I glanced through it in the store. I have a decent track record of buying books I don't know much about and actually enjoying them a great deal. But, every once in awhile, you get stuck with a turd. Which is how I wound up trying to force myself to read The Autobiography of Santa Claus. Man, that one sucked ass.
But, because I paid for the goddamn thing, I felt like I had no option but to trudge through it. I finally gave up when King Arthur joined Santa and Mrs. Claus on their gift-giving travels around the globe. Don't ask.
With Nobrow, though, I don't have the same pressure. I can read as much or as little as I want. I could skip everything except the chapter on Star Wars. Which is what I'm probably gonna do. And then I'll dump it off back at the library and get something else! For free! Hurray for libraries!
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Eloquence and That Shit
Steph is taking her turn as host of Roundtable this week, and she's all showing off her multilingualism. She's, like, writing weird phrases in other languages and then she's all, "Oh, this means this" and "that means that". Whatever.
English is cool, too. So...yeah.
Hey man, you can keep your languages. I'll stick with good old American phrases, like "You're a fuckin' dick, dude" or "Don't puke on my shoes, dude."
But if you're, like, a language-holic or whatever, go to Incurable Insomniac and, like, write some shit.