July 24th, 2007


(no subject)

Yesterday, mrdankelly maliciously accused me of being able to "write up a dozen or so entries a day AND remain interesting". Frankly, that doesn't sound like me -- even on my heaviest 'ASK THE DEFENDERS' day, I don't think I ever hit a dozen posts, and any recent occurrences of me being interesting have been entirely coincidental. However, I do love a challenge, so let's see if I can't hit 12 posts before this time tomorrow. This is going to be lots of fun and not at all an incredibly annoying gimmick that will make you want to banish me from your friends list!

Now, keep in mind, I have a job, which has been very busy lately, and I have a phone interview to do tonight (about which more later). So this could mean very sporadic posting followed by a flurry of easily avoided blows later in the evening. But that's all the better, as they will be simpler for you to avoid, and besides -- what else am I going to do, sleep?

In a shockingly unrelated bit of news, I seem to have passed that magic threshold of gMail account possession time after which you begin receiving upwards of 50 spam e-mails an hour. One of my favorite recent e-mail offers was a subscription to an online porn video subscription service, which would allow me full access to, among other things, "952 anal videos". Now, I like a good anal video as much as the next man, assuming that the next man is a disgusting pornography addict, but that just seems, well, excessive. Goodness knows this is a question I never thought I would find myself asking, rhetorically or otherwise, but exactly how many anal videos does one man need? I am a professional film writer, and I can barely keep up with my Netflix subscription. The prospect of having to wade through nearly a thousand anal videos is, quite honestly, less enticing than the author of this spam e-mail seems to think. Even if I were to spend, say, ten minutes on each anal video, we're talking about a rather substantial investment of time on my part. In fact, I will be perfectly honest with you people, because I care about my readership: the prospect of actually having anal sex 952 times is rather daunting, and that would be far preferable to just watching other people do it. My advice to you, Mr. or Ms. Online Porn Video Subscription Service, is to dial that number back a bit to something more realistic, say in the low hundreds. Your current level of all-anal-action is intimidating to the point of instilling feelings of inadequacy, which is the last thing you want.
the one with your name on it

It's like Candyland, only instead of candy, it's teflon-jacketed copkiller bullets

When it comes down to cases, a lot of the problems in our society are caused by a failure of the imagination. For example, my neighbor has likely never seen Oldboy, and thus probably goes through his daily routine never dreaming that a crazy person might cover his face with silver tape and pry all the teeth out of his head using a claw hammer. I, on the other hand, have seen this popular Korean pulp film, and so I know exactly what I'm going to do the next time he decides to have band practice at three o'clock in the morning.

Luckily, I live in Texas, a state that makes pursuing a life of violent mayhem as simple as eating peach cobbler. Recently, in aid of finding a more comfortable way of transporting the handgun I purchased some time ago with a ridiculous degree of ease, I attempted to covertly obtain an IWB holster -- only to learn that such things are not only not illegal here in the Republic of Texas, they are straight-up everywhere! Concealed carry is not a crime here; it's a right! It's like someone fashioned a wonderful fantasy kingdom to cater to the deepest needs of socipaths. (See also: lack of income tax.)

By the way, speaking of Oldboy, like a lot of other things I like (comic books, film noir), a lot of the criticism of it entails hauling out a broad brush and painting anyone who enjoyed it as an arrested adolescent retard who's still stuck in the puerile revenge dreams of the picked-on youth. Which, you know, fair enough to a certain degree at least; Quentin Tarantino's desire to be a cool black guy couldn't be more transparent, and I would be lying if I said that many comic books don't still retain that preadolescent wish fulfillment jive. I just want to know: what's the statute of limitations on this sort of thing? How long do we have to wait before our tastes in popular culture undergo a miraculous transformation from 'embarrassing juvenile fantasy of which we should be ashamed' to 'rich and vital element of the canon that reveals profound insights into the human condition'? Because, frankly, you'd have to look pretty hard to find a comic book as ridiculous, overblown and adolescent as The Odyssey, but I don't remember anyone calling Homer's devotees a bunch of stunted junior high schoolers when I was studying him in college. Is it age or unpopularity that keeps the sort of person (Manolah Dargis, for example) who looks down on Oldboy from using the same argument to condemn Jacobean revenge tragedies? And, as others have pointed out, you can't get much more juvenile, lame, "D&D bullshit" than the Pentateuch. And yet, far from condemning them as the whoozy, socially handicapped monster-from-the-id wish fulfillments that they are, respectable people go around saying that they form the very basis of our culture and civilization! When does the stuff I like get that stamp of approval, is all I wanna know.
i got all the money

the extra 'e' is for extra excessive

Since I have a decent amount of money these days and nothing to spend it on other than paying off debt and avoiding death, neither of which are any fun, I've been lurking around eBay. Not really buying anything, mind you, because the only things I actually buy anymore are books, DVDs and clothes it's always too hot to wear. But I've been thinking about buying things on eBay, which for me is a major step forward to yuppiedom.

The problem is, there's really not much they sell that I want to buy, and when there is something, the bidding tends to go up to the point where I chicken out. Like, recently, I was bidding on something far too geeky to mention, and it got to the point where bids spilled over the $300 mark. I instantly ran away from the site like a chicken whose head has been cut off and is undergoing dental torture at the hands of a sinister cabal of foreign-born turkeys. It's not that I couldn't afford to pay three hundred bucks for this thing; it's that my self-image does not currently allow for thinking of myself as the sort of person who would pay three hundred bucks for something on eBay. If the Queen of England were to list Buckingham Palace at the same price, complete with a certificate of authenticity and Bacon's magical bronze head, I would still chicken out and then rationalize it to myself afterwards ("Enh, the shipping costs on that thing would have been ridiculous").

So, today's question: what's the most expensive thing you've ever bought on eBay, assuming you've ever used the site? Are there things you wouldn't buy from eBay, or amounts you wouldn't go above? And if you're a seller, what's the most expensive thing you've ever sold? Please because I must gots to know.
have a nice day (thanks erindubitably!)

Talking about the weather: the lowest form of human communication


Seriously, people, it has been raining down here for roughly eight hundred billion years. It has rained every single day since spring. Every square foot of the city is swarming with mosquitoes; mud gets tracked around everywhere you go; and the urban environment has a distinctly unpleasant odor of wet sweaty hair. All of the San Antontio Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area begins to resemble a rather messy dog run.

If I wanted to live in Seattle, I'd move to fuckin' Seattle, where at least there are good bands and fresh sushi.

In addition, it's hot. That's just not right. It shouldn't be 92 degrees out and mostly sunny and raining. What, do we live in the fucking rainforest? This isn't helping anyone. All my co-workers assure me this summer's nonstop fucking rain is an aberration, but when's it gonna stop aberrating? It rains more here than it snows in Chicago.

I really need this to stop. It's depressing, it robs me of my one form of exercise, and it's beginning to deplete what I though was an inexhaustible personal supply of the words "goddamn" and "fucking".
mmmmm delicious

Tasteful San Antonio: dining out

There wasn't much to look forward to when I came to San Antonio – a painful but quick suicide was first on my list – but I did think, well, at least there will be some good Mexican food to be had. This was, of course, before I discovered that, for reasons that are still unclear to me, San Antonio does not have much good Mexican food, or indeed much good food of any kind. In fact, the most reliably tasty food I have thus far found in this city is a Chicago hot dog stand downtown. However, there have been a few culinary adventures along the way.

One of the first things I did when I got here was to check the local alt-weekly for their 'best-of' restaurants, which are usually a reliable guide to fine dining wherever you are. It should have been a bad sign right off the bat that it took several weeks to ascertain that San Antonio actually has an alt-weekly, but once I did, it so happened that I was just in time for their food issue. Reading the intro material, though, I was mildly horrified to discover that there was a raging debate – not only between readers and editors, but within the editorial staff itself – over whether or not to include chain restaurants in the best-of ratings. In the end, the editors explained, they decided that chain joints would be included, if for no other reason than excluding them would leave the paper with not enough restaurants to write about. Think about that for a minute, and remember: 1.6 million people in this town.

(Also, the restaurant – independently owned, not a chain – they picked as their cover feature, a barbeque joint called the Pig Stand, closed down a week after the issue came out due to tax issues.)

Other adventurers in cuisine:

- There is one (1) vegetarian restaurant in all of San Antonio. Which, you know, not that big a deal for me, as I won't eat anything that didn't cost a life, but still: the eighth-largest city in the country, and there's one vegetarian restaurant? Madness.

- One of the few good downtown dining options was a place called Café Sirius, which, up until a few weeks ago when they took a summer break, served delicious tacos, including one of the better brisket tacos I've ever had. When they came back from break, apparently the owners decided that tacos were just too darn exotic for this town, and they now feature nothing but awful burgers and crappy grilled sandwiches.

- I have already complained extensively about the lack of delivery options available, but I would also like to complain about the lack of takeout options available. And for goodness' sake, in Ireland there's a Chinese takeaway joint on every street corner. Here? Jack O'Shittigan.

- Since the whole city is plagued with chain restaurants, I figured I would at least try some chains that are unfamiliar to me. So I headed to a nearby representative of Austin-based Delaware Subs, thinking it might be an edible alternative to Subway. The place had all its windows blacked out with paint, and a big-screen TV was blaring some foreign-language broadcast, and no one was behind the counter. Every molecule of the place screamed "the murder of human beings is planned, if not actually carried out, here". So, I can't tell you whether Delaware Subs are any good or not.

- One thing S.A. has in abundance is really good liquor stores. This is probably due to the total lack of really good anything else.
party time


If I don't wish you and/or your loved one(s) a happy birthday, this does not mean I don't love you or wish you a wonderful day. There are many possible explanations as to why I didn't wish you a happy birthday:

- LJ forgot to remind me.
- My brain forgot to remind me.
- I didn't know in the first place.
- You have a restraining order against me.
- I am terribly self-centered.
- Someone else had the same birthday as you, and they hogged the whole day.
- I was drunk.

On the other hand, there is no reason why I have had this gift for calamityjon sitting on my kitchen counter for like two weeks other than pure laziness and the strong likelihood that he will hate it. So, my bad. At any rate, happy birthday to you, whoever and wherever you may be.

I think it's funny when people say "congratulations" to people on their birthday, like they've accomplished something. Like "Hey, good job on not dying in utero! You lived! Way to go!" In fact, I really enjoy it when people take credit for things that they had relatively little to do with. I'm undecided as to whether childbirth fits this category (certainly it strikes me as pretty absurd for the father to accept congratulations for having successfully ejaculated), but it definitely applies when you say something like "I'm proud to be an American" or "I'm proud to be black" or the like, as if you had any say in the matter.
a resounding daaar

Miss Lead

When I was a youngster, I got a copy of Flannery O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away. I misread the title as The Violent Bear Is Away, and I thought it was a story about a killer grizzly.

When Stephen King's Silver Bullet came out, I read it on the theatre marquee as Stephen King's Silly Ballet, which, come to think of it, would have been a far more enjoyable viewing experience.

Years later, my mind insisted on hearing the chorus to Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Murder was the Case" as 'Murder! Murder was the cake that they gave me.' One of these days, I'm going to learn to bake me one of them murder cakes.