Archive for October, 2006


LBC in B&W

October 25, 2006

My friend Patrick took a bunch of photos of the Little Baby Cupcake using one of his retro cameras (a Holga) which causes all sorts of weird burning/edges/etc.  The shots came out great, but this one (currently up on Patrick’s photoblog) is the runaway favorite (with this one being a close second).  Dang ol’ adorable baby.  When will she cut it out, the being adorable?* 

* Answer: Never.


Bombing the Google

October 25, 2006

–AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

–AZ-01: Rick Renzi

–AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

–CA-04: John Doolittle

–CA-11: Richard Pombo

–CA-50: Brian Bilbray

–CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

–CO-05: Doug Lamborn

–CO-07: Rick O’Donnell

–CT-04: Christopher Shays

–FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

–FL-16: Joe Negron
–FL-22: Clay Shaw
–ID-01: Bill Sali

–IL-06: Peter Roskam

–IL-10: Mark Kirk

–IL-14: Dennis Hastert

–IN-02: Chris Chocola

–IN-08: John Hostettler

–IA-01: Mike Whalen

–KS-02: Jim Ryun
–KY-03: Anne Northup

–KY-04: Geoff Davis

–MD-Sen: Michael Steele

–MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

–MN-06: Michele Bachmann

–MO-Sen: Jim Talent

–MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

–NV-03: Jon Porter

–NH-02: Charlie Bass

–NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

–NM-01: Heather Wilson

–NY-03: Peter King

–NY-20: John Sweeney

–NY-26: Tom Reynolds

–NY-29: Randy Kuhl

–NC-08: Robin Hayes

–NC-11: Charles Taylor

–OH-01: Steve Chabot

–OH-02: Jean Schmidt

–OH-15: Deborah Pryce

–OH-18: Joy Padgett

–PA-04: Melissa Hart

–PA-07: Curt Weldon

–PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

–PA-10: Don Sherwood

–RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
–TN-Sen: Bob Corker

–VA-Sen: George Allen

–VA-10: Frank Wolf

–WA-Sen: Mike McGavick
–WA-08: Dave Reichert


The Amazing Whisperio

October 24, 2006

I have perhaps the two least impressive secret powers ever documented.  They’re so lame that they verge on not even being “powers”, per se, as much as just “things that I’m good at that others aren’t”, the way some people can throw a ball more accurately, or some people are good at math.  The only thing is, I’m superhumanly good at both of these things, and no one I’ve ever met comes close, so I’m gonna still refer to them as powers, until someone comes along and matches or defeats me in a test of these skills.

Secret Power The First: I can speak at the exact volume required so that my target hears me, but that others (whom I wish not to hear) can’t.  Like, for illustrative purposes, let’s say the missus & I are in a restaurant, and a guy with an enormous, Notre-Dame style hunchback comes in and sits behind her.  In most cases, there’d be two choices.  1) Not point out the hunchback, thus depriving the missus of an awesome real-world hunchback sighting, or 2) point out the hunchback, calling attention to the pointing out and risking hurting his mishapen feelings, or worse yet, a vicious hunchback beating (they have the strength of three men!).  But here’s where the Amazing Whisperio (that’s my secret identity) could use his powers for good.  I’d be able to point out the hunchback and all his unique attributes in a manner such that the missus would hear every word, glare disapprovingly at me (but still subtly turn & look), and Quasimodo would be none the wiser.  No one believes I have this power, despite frequent demonstrations of it.  Which, given that it’s a “secret” power, is exactly how I want it.

Secret Power the Second: I know whether someone will recognize a specific reference or not.  This one has actually won me money, although like Secret Power The First, it’s not an officially recognized Power when it comes to the commonfolk.  Here’s how it works.  A circle of guys are talking, and one says “That’s like when the Metrons forced Kirk to fight The Gorn!”, and the whole group experiences an awkward silence, because they realize that the speaker is a massive nerd, and none of the rest of them are.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with knowledge, in fact, I’d say the more knowledge the better, even if it’s suspect knowledge like “knowledge of showtunes” or “knowledge of exotic poisons.”  But when it’s knowledge of pop culture (movie/TV quotes, character names from movies/TV shows, musicians, song lyrics, etc), you need to know your audience.  And somehow, almost supernaturally (one might say) I can ALWAYS tell when a specific audience will or won’t recognize a reference.

Like I said, possibly the two least useful superpowers ever.  But I guess I’d rather have them than have no superpowers at all.  I’d be completely defensless against the hunchbacks.  And the Gorn.

P.S., congrats to my friend JK on the birth of his new son, deep in the heart of Texas, where the bears are very large indeed.


links for 2006-10-22

October 22, 2006

links for 2006-10-18

October 18, 2006

I think I ate this guy’s come once

October 17, 2006

A blogger I enjoy & respect, Andre Torrez, famously (well, “internet famously”) blogged a story about masturbating into a cup, forgetting what was in the cup and drinking out of it later, only to break down sobbing at the depths he had sunk to.  It’s just about the best blog entry I ever read; or at least the best one that wasn’t written by Natalie Dee.  I always wondered if I’d have the balls to be so brazenly confessional.  And while it turns out I don’t, not by a long shot, thinking about Andre’s entry reminded me of an old story I thought I’d write down. 

So, several years ago I went to lunch with some friends from work, and we all went to a local deli (it’s called Bay Cities Deli, and if you’re ever in Santa Monica you should probably not go there for reasons that will become evident).  It’s always very slow at this place, and today was taking exceptionally long.  When I badgered my poor sandwich making dude about why it was taking so long, his only response was to take my sandwich back into the kitchen.  He wasn’t subtle about it, and he didn’t try to hide what he was doing in any way.  I mean, it was crowded at the sandwich manufacturing counter, but they ALWAYS make the sandwiches in front of us.  Regardless, my friends and I spent the whole time joking about how the guy was probably spitting in my sandwich, or rubbing his junk on the bread or something.  But the reality was so much worse.  When the counterman finally emerged he handed the fully paper wrapped sandwich to me, looked me knowingly in the eye and said “sorry for the wait – a lot of love went into that sandwich.”  For years now, my friends and I have used that phrase as shorthand for “I just masturbated into your lunch while you weren’t looking.”  You’d probably be surprised how often that phrase comes up in our daily conversation.

As for the sandwich, yeah, I still ate it.  Because while there was a 70% chance it had some dude’s extract of cojones, there was a 100% chance that I was hungry.


Elden Campbell has more clout than Max Wright

October 17, 2006

Okay, so I debated posting this story for various reasons, but it’s just too weird not to. A week ago, Electronics Boutique announced their pre-sale for the very limited quantities of PlayStation 3’s at launch, and even though their stores don’t open until 10:00 AM, a couple friends and I headed down @ like 4:45 (yes, the middle of the night) to line up. We were sixth, seventh & eighth in line at a store that ended up receiving only four units, which we found out after standing in the cold for five hours. But the worst part of it all was that at 9:30, out of the blue a giant SUV pulls up and Elden Campbell gets out.

Yep, that Elden Campbell, the washed up former center for the Lakers (during the 1990’s doldrums, pre-Shaq/Kobe). Someone asked if it was him, which he confirmed, and then he stared at his feet for a while, trying to avoid further conversation. When it was mentioned that the store had announced only four would be available, and seven of us were already in line, he smiled and said “don’t worry about me, fellas”. Clearly, the fix was in. Elden’s meagre L.A. celebrity was enough to get him a pre-order of a PlayStation 3 at the Manhattan Beach Electronics Boutique.

But the weird part is, he still had to show up. Sure, he didn’t wait, sure he didn’t stand in line, his reservation was pre-arranged. But he still had to show up, provide a credit card for the deposit and agree to come back within 2 hours of store opening on the day the product launches (or forfeit his reservation). Anyone of true clout would just call someone (and NOT someone who worked at EB), and a PS3 would be waiting on or before product launch. Clearly, Campbell occupies some sort of mid-tier celebrity spot where you can get small, meaningless favors, provided the person you’re asking is low enough to be impressed by your lingering traces of fame.

It got me wondering what celebrities in L.A. are just barely above this; like, Tara Reid wouldn’t have had to show up. Carrot Top? Would Carrot Top have had to show up in person to reserve his PS3? Worse yet, who doesn’t merit this low-level perk, but still thinks they do? Like, the guy who played the Dad on ALF. I bet if THAT guy called Electronics Boutique and said, “hey, it’s me. Max Wright. I was the dad on ALF. What? You were born after ALF was cancelled? You don’t know what you missed, trust me, it was hilarious. Anyway, I heard the PS3 is going on pre-sale tomorrow and I was wondering if… hello? Hello? I think the phone just got disconnected. I’ll try back.”


links for 2006-10-17

October 17, 2006

Motherfucking Kindergarten

October 16, 2006

I swear a lot.  All the time; conversationally, in writing, hell, I probably swear in my sleep.  It’s like tourette’s.  I’m not sure if I could stop if I tried, which is going to make teaching my daughter to speak… interesting.  I’m pretty much resigned to her just learning a ton of bad words and telling them immediately to every three year old (and their parents) she meets.  Should make for some awesome conversations at the park, or day care, or while waiting in line at the supermarket, not to mention a series of weird “double standards” conversations between me & her later at home.  “Now Emerson, I know Timmy pulled on your pigtails, but that’s no reason to tell the whole class that you hope Timmy chokes on a bucket of cocks.”

Thinking about raising my daughter usually leads to me thinking about my own upbringing, but I can’t for the life of me remember learning swear words.  I remember learning about the birds & bees, and I remember hearing a couple dirty jokes that I didn’t get, but I don’t really remember learning a bad word.  When I was in first grade, I had dinner over at the next door neighbor’s house, and their daughter (a year older than me, and really sophisticated) warned me that they’d be serving Eggplant, which she claimed “tasted like shit”.  I knew at the time what the word meant, & I’ve hated eggplant ever since, but I’m not sure when I learned the word in the first place.   I knew it was a bad word, but I can’t remember ever having a “we don’t use that word in public” conversation with my folks.  Hey – maybe they never had that conversation with me, and that’s why I swear so often.

I’ll blame my parents when Emerson’s teacher calls me to pick her up from pre-school detention.


Touching the Dead

October 12, 2006

To get you in the mood for Halloween, here is the spookiest story I know; while I believe the story to be absolutely true, I must confess that this is my father’s story, and as such may have certain details completely made up, a hallmark of his tales if ever there was one. 

As a lifelong swimmer and member of the varsity swim team, it was only natural that my dad helped pay his way through college as a lifeguard.  This was in the mid 1950’s, in Iowa.  Now, they say it’s very common for competent people to fear failure of their competency more than the average person – like the pilot who fears engine trouble, or the race car driver who fears a collision.  In my father’s case, he’s had a lifelong fear of drowning, and despite swimming nearly every day of his life, very rarely went in the ocean, preferring pools, with no rip tides, and shallow lanes where he could stand securely on the floor.

One day, back in Iowa he got a call to come down to the lake, which served as the local swimming hole.  It was from the volunteer fire & rescue, looking to help search the lake for a missing swimmer.  I’ve only swum in a lake once, in Missouri, and the entire time I stared at the rocks that slightly overhung the shore, and I imagined the sharp toothed creatures that lived just under them, waiting to bite my soft belly when I tried to exit the lake.  Lakes may be good for boating, but in my opinion they are fucking creepy for swimming in.  The primary issue with the lake is that it’s murky, like the ocean, only you can’t touch the bottom, which you usually can when you’re playing among the waves.  Murky, and deep.  

So after quite a while of swimming in the lake, my father abruptly found the missing swimmer.  The paramedics later figured that he had accidentally wedged his foot between two rocks near the bottom of the water while diving too deep, and yet the water was just shallow enough that he could almost reach the feet of the people swimming above.  But down at his depth, it was pitch dark, only a little light from above as he drowned, watching the other kids playing above him, oblivious to his fate.  I don’t know quite what creeps me out more about this story, the thought of the poor kid drowning within (his) view of laughing, playing children, or the thought of my dad, the best swimmer I ever met, terrified of drowning, brushing up against a corpse in the pitch dark of the bottom of a lake, and only the touch of the lifeless body to tell him what he’d found.