Archive for December, 2008

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On Being Known For Something

December 23, 2008

My friend Josh used to use the phrase “on brand” to describe when someone did something that was particularly likely for them – like, the innapropriate alcoholic showing up drunk at a company event would be “on brand” for him.  It was an effective shorthand for summing up personality attributes, but it made me wonder what exactly would be “on brand” for me.

This morning two different people I know forwarded me the following article, both saying words to the effect of “you probably already know this:”

The Disturbing Sex Lives of Deep Sea Squid

By Philip Bethge

A Dutch biologist has extensively studied the reproductive techniques of deep-ocean squid. During sex, they are brutal and ruthless — and sometimes clumsy.

So, it’s clear that disturbing articles about aquatic sex life are “on brand” for me.  It’s good to have an area of expertise.

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Fuck This Book

December 19, 2008

I’m hesitant to write this, because the author of the Bob Lee Swagger novels once showed up on the comments section of this blog, and while I really enjoyed many of his books, I’ve got nothing nice to say about his latest.

The last Swagger novel was set in Japan and featured nothing but sword fighting, which is like writing a book about the Hulk only setting it in a peaceful place where no one ever bothers Bruce Banner.  The whole value of the Swagger novels is the exciting gunplay & the hardboiled action.  I never finished one of them & wished it had featured more Japanese history lessons.

In an afterward to the book, Stephen Hunter confessed that he essentially wrote a modern day samurai novel & then in order to sell copies of it he retrofit it to include Bob Lee Swagger, the popular character from his other bestsellers.  To say that the Swagger story felt shoehorned in would be an understatement.  The 47th Samurai was a huge disappointment.

In his latest book, Swagger has returned to the U.S., and presumably to his gunshooting ways.  But in a giant fuck you to his readers, Hunter has set the book at a NASCAR rally.  I’d go into details as to why I won’t be buying this, but I think the Amazon publisher’s blurb says it best:

Talk about a ride!

Woe unto he who crosses Bob Lee Swagger, especially when his daughter’s life is at stake. Forced off the road and into a crash that leaves her in a coma, clinging to life, reporter Nikki Swagger had begun to peel back the onion of a Southernfried conspiracy bubbling with all the angst, resentment, and dysfunction that Dixie gangsters can muster. An ancient, violent crime clan, a possibly corrupt law enforcement structure, gunmen of all stripes and shapes, and deranged evangelicals rear their ugly heads and will live to rue the day they targeted the wrong man’s daughter. It’s what you call your big-time bad career move. All of it is set against the backdrop of excitement and insanity that only a weeklong NASCAR event can bring to the backwoods of a town as seemingly sleepy as Bristol, Tennessee.

Once again I say: Fuck. This. Book.

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Happy Birthday, LBC

December 17, 2008

I tucked in my 2 year old for the last time last night; I knew that when she woke up she’d be three & my days of reading bedtime stories to my 2 year old were done, and that I was that much closer to not reading bedtime stories at all.  It made me understand why people have a second kid, and a third, etc.

We have a ritual we’ve established through practice.  The missus tucks her in, then she says “now daddy’s turn,” & I go in & tell her a story & say goodnight, to which she replies “Now stay with me a while,” and I sit quietly at the foot of her bed for somewhere between a minute to up to five minutes while she drifts off.

Last night when we got to the “now stay with me” part, I never wanted to leave the room.  For all the talk of the terrible twos, this last year has been the best, happiest year of my life, and I can honestly say I had no idea I could ever love someone so much as I love this little kid.

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Doppelganger

December 15, 2008

I was googling around to make sure that I am still the internet’s most popular Jonathan Rouse (I am) when I discovered an interloper, via his Facebook page.  This man also lives in Southern California, as do I, and is also one of the more popular Jonathan Rouses on the internet (but not the MOST popular one.  That’s me).  He is, however, more eligible for Black Facebook than I am, at least based on our skin color.  Intrigued, I attempted to Facebook befriend him.  Since I figured an anonymous friend request would get rejected, I included a note:

“Hey, I have the same name as you, and I also live in Southern California, only I am white. If you’ve ever wondered what your life would be like if you were white, add me as a friend and we can compare notes.”

Not sure how this will turn out, but I’m pretty sure it will lead to wacky shenanigans where we each show up at events the other one was invited to, like in The Prince & the Pauper or The Parent Trap.  I will give him tips on what it’s like to be white while still being named Jonathan Rouse, and also on how to be more popular on the internet.  No word yet on what he will give me, but various friends I have shared my plans with have suggested “a beating.”

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lola is not allowed on the couch

December 12, 2008

Our two year old daughter is turning into a wee bit of an authoritarian. She knows that Lola, her pug, is not allowed on the couch, and the other night I overheard her repeatedly ordering Lola to get off the couch, which is when I grabbed the camera.

LBC: I will get MY mommy to get you off again. O-Kay. Dad. Get her really off.
Me: Okay, she’s gotta get down?
LBC: Yes
Me: Okay. Did you tell her?
LBC: Um. She’s still on there. Lola, Goddammit (!!?) get down.
Me: Okay. And are you gonna count to three?
LBC: One. Three. Two. Five. Get down Lola.

I’m not sure where she gets the swearing from, but it’s possible she thinks it’s Lola’s first name, as both the missus & I frequently begin conversations with our younger pug by saying “Goddamit Lola”

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Yay for Los Angeles

December 10, 2008

Things like this make me pleased to live in L.A.  It’s a taco truck, but run by Korean BBQ chefs.  They use Twitter to tell people where they are and then roam from spot to spot (new locations every evening) serving up delicious marinated Korean meats & spices in soft tacos.  Ah, Los Angeles.

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I Have Plenty Of Friends

December 9, 2008

Like most bloggers, I was very popular in high school, which is why I was shocked & dismayed when I noticed the subject line of the spam from Classmates.com telling me that One Classmate Had Searched My Profile.  One?  Seriously, that’s all I could muster?  And that “One” isn’t even a real person, it’s probably just a scam to get me to sign up for an account.

I know it’s been twenty years (jesus christ!) since I graduated, but I’m pretty sure that the level of awesome I was bringing to University High was at least thirty years worth of memorable.  There was that time I skipped the prom cause I was too cool, or the way I hung out in my AP History classroom at lunchtime with all the other cool kids.  And let’s not forget that one girl I asked out in 12th grade.  That was pretty hardcore.

Okay, in retrospect my high school career may not have been as successful as I suspected, but fortunately since then I’ve been a social butterfly on steroids.  My linkedin profile is pretty damn sweet, and I was totally the man on Metafilter until I cancelled my account.  And let’s not forget Muslim Facebook.