It seems like only yesterday I was on my way to Vegas for the TequilaCon 2010 Planning Posse Event. But time, she flies. That was September, 2009. Seventeen months ago.
Alas, Vegas is calling once again...
I can't even guess what kind of crazy crap will be posted here while I'm in Sin City (if anything) because I plan on drinking 96% of the time. The other 4% will be spent sleeping. Or puking. Or both (hopefully not at the same).
That leaves only 2% of my days for blogging and 8% of my time for trying to figure out where I just went wrong with the math there.
Running at 110%, that's me.
It's all a blur so far.
Except when I stopped drinking long enough to go to a show.
For years I've managed to avoid the horrors of Cirquel Jerque de Soleil. Circuses and clowns and crap are not even remotely entertaining to me, and mixing them with acrobats only makes things worse. But, alas, free tickets were included in our travel package, and so tonight was the night. We went to The Beatles' Love because I figured that even if I hated it, I'd at least be able to enjoy the music...
As expected, I thought the entire show was boring as hell.
I simply don't "get" Cirque de Soleil. A song will start and a bunch of different people will come out and start doing inexplicable crap. Somebody's pulling a cart across the stage. Somebody else is jumping on a bed. Somebody's smashing a wall. Somebody is yelling. Policemen go by on roller skates. A woman in a window frame floats down from the ceiling. Eventually the Ku Klux Klan shows up (no joke). It's just a bunch of random shit going on while Beatles music plays, none of it making much sense... even when the connection to the music was obvious.
Sure, the technical side of the show is amazing. The stage changes and moves in a wide variety of different configurations. There's a part of the show where parachute silk flows out over the audience like billowing waves. Some of the set-pieces are very cool. But none of this was entertaining enough to keep my interest.
I guess I should have kept drinking. Maybe then it would have all made sense.
One more day left in paradise...
It's a Vegas-infused edition of Bullet Sunday!
• Classy. The most interesting aspect of Vegas is the people who show up here. People-watching is so good that could almost be a full-time activity. Hang around long enough, and you'll see it all. Drunks walking out into traffic. People puking in trash cans. Women walking through the casino in a bikini. A pickup full of cats that says "Pussy Wagon"... it's all going on in Vegas. But the best thing I saw this trip was a woman walking down The Strip in leopard print pants, a halter-top, hooker-high heels, and makeup so thick it was probably put on with a spatula. This alone wasn't unusual because half the women here look like that. But throw in the fact that she was nursing a newborn baby, and it doesn't get any classier!
• Cups. I swear, every time I come to Vegas, the drinking cups are bigger. First there was the "Big Gulp" cup. Then there was the long-neck cup. Then there was the "Yard Glass" cup. Now there's the 100-oz. Cup which is SO long (over 4-feet) that it comes with a neck-strap. I suppose next time I come to Vegas, there will be 200-oz. cups that come with a pull-cart to lug it up and down The Strip...
What I love is the little "Always Drink Responsibly" signs displayed where you buy these things. How could you possibly drink anything this massive responsibly? The entire purpose of buying one is to be irresponsible.
• Gambler. I'm usually pretty lucky when it comes to gambling (even though I don't believe in luck). But not this trip. I won a grand total of $17. On an "investment" of $200. I am officially poor now.
• Fremont. I'm always surprised when somebody comes back from Las Vegas, I ask if they visited Fremont Street in the "old town" and they say "no." It's such a shame, because it's such a fun experience. A lot to see and do in a rather small area...
And, of course, there's the giant-screen ceiling of the covered-walkway that spans a big chunk of the area. This time we got to rock out to Queen and Kiss, which was very cool because the sound system is great. If you ever end up in Las Vegas, don't miss a chance to visit. It's worth the $20 cab ride...
• Stargate! They will make just about anything into a slots game. TV Shows like Survivor and Sex In The City are popular, and this time I saw one I hadn't seen before based on Stargate SG-1...
Seems a little sci-fi geek esoteric for Vegas, but it ended up being a good game (even though I didn't win any money)! There really needs to be a slots game based on Top Chef or Project Runway!
• Bloody! The perfect Bloody Mary is a difficult beast to track down. Usually because so many place make such bad ones. Imagine my surprise when it was suggested to go to Rainforest Cafe if you want a good Bloody Mary... and they were absolutely right! It's a good mix that's not too spicy and not all watery. AND it comes with potato chips on top! Genius!
• Eat! The best place to eat in Las Vegas? EARL OF SANDWICH at the Miracle Mile Shops in the Planet Hollywood Resort! The franchises are hard to find unless you live in Texas or Florida, and the shop in Las Vegas is the only location in the Western USA. Probably the best sandwich I've ever had. So good I went both days...
Right next door is Pink's, which is funny since I just went there when I was in Los Angeles this past week...
Annnnnd... that's a Vegas weekend in bullets. Well, the parts I can talk about anyway. Because what happens in Vegas...
And, just like that, my weekend in Vegas is over.
It would have been nice to have a few more days just to kick back at the Bellagio's pool and relax but, alas, I have to go back to work since I didn't win a million dollars gambling.
But this morning there was time to do Just One More Thing before heading to the airport, so it was decided we would go to the Shark Reef Aquarium at the Mandalay Bay Resort. This was a good call, because I haven't been there in nearly ten years (when it first opened, I think) and love me a good aquarium...
A fun way to spend a morning, to be sure.
And now I get to sit at the airport for three hours on layover while I wait for my flight home.
Not such a fun way to spend an evening, to be sure.
But, knock on wood, I get to stay home a full three weeks before heading out again, so that's something.
It's snowing like crazy in the Cascades. Again.
I am so done with snow now. But it sure makes flying over the mountains pretty...
But my concern is driving over the mountains. With the passes all messed up, I'm cut off from civilization.
By car, anyway.
Stupid expensive plane tickets.
And so I had a few spare minutes and decided to update my blog software.
Things haven't quite gone as planned, so now I'm having to restore from a backup and try to figure out what went wrong.
Bad Monkey is on the case...
I finally managed to figure out what was wrong with my blog. It had to do with the database not having the right password or something. So that's all been fixed, but now I'm too tired to actually sit down and write a post.
I'm actually too tired to do a lot of things.
I'm too tired of the rancid politics and non-stop dumbassery in Washington DC to care if the government shuts down.
I'm too tired of the long wait between television episodes to give a crap what happens on shows like Fringe.
I'm too tired of the insane cost of going to the grocery store to want to eat anything.
I'm too tired of my massive workload to want to get any work done.
I'm too tired of being broke from vacation to want to pay my bills.
I'm too tired of not sleeping to care if I go to bed.
I'm too tired of traveling to figure out my upcoming travel schedule.
I'm too tired of feeling tired to complain anymore about how tired I am.
All I can do is hope that tomorrow I feel different.
If not, I guess I'll have to drink a can of Red Bull or something.
Graphic design is one of those fields that makes almost no sense to those outside of the practice. On the surface, it sounds simple... graphic design is the process of using images and/or words to communicate a message or story in an engaging manner. But the reality of it is far more complex. Often times, the true role of a graphic designer is that of mediator... finding a way to combine very different elements by very different people into a single cohesive piece. Sometimes you get lucky and everybody involved is on the same page. All the pieces of the project come together effortlessly, and everybody walks away happy.
But not always.
Sometimes its a battle from start to finish to just find a solution that pisses off the fewest number of people.
Projects like these are incredibly stressful because at some point you have to accept that not everybody is going to walk away happy. And since it's your job to make everybody happy, you can't help but feel like a failure even when the project ends up a success.
One time I was called in on a project which had been dragging on for months because the two previous graphic designers couldn't come up with an acceptable compromise. The client was a large-ish company which had a president, a board of directors, an art director, and an advisory committee... all of which had to be appeased before any design could be signed off on. On top of that, there was also a photographer and an artist involved, and they too needed to have a voice in the project. All told, there were fourteen people I had to work with. Fourteen people who each had opinions as to how the project should be handled.
No wonder all previous efforts had failed. Getting fourteen people to agree on something as arbitrary as a design concept is nigh impossible. I certainly had my work cut out for me this time.
The first thing I did was hold meetings with all the entities to find out their goals for the project.
Secondly I met with the creative people to find out what they felt would reach those goals.
Thirdly I reviewed the rejected works that the two previous designers had done.
Unfortunately, there was no clear direction for me to follow. So I decided to do something a little crazy. Instead of coming up with a single design that addressed everybody's goals, I decided to come up with five different designs that specifically addressed individual goals. I then made five separate presentations and got the five approvals I needed.
I then created a new design by carefully combining elements from all five projects which I had crafted to work together from the very start. Then I went around to everybody to present the finished design. At each stop, I placed emphasis on the pieces that they had contributed while de-emphasizing everything else. In this way, everybody felt as though their part was the most important.
And that was the key to getting approval on the project. NOT by trying to make everybody feel as though they were equally represented... but instead by making everybody feel as though their part was the dominant, most critical piece of the puzzle. Human nature dictates that everybody wants to feel more important... more special... than everybody else. I was just providing the illusion that this was the case, even though the reality was that everybody played an equal part.
Obviously, I am more talented a negotiator than the politicians in charge of the US budget.
MAKE YOUR FUCKING COMPROMISES TO PASS A BUDGET, THEN CONVINCE EVERYBODY THAT THEIR CONCERNS WERE THE DOMINANT, MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF THE PUZZLE! YOU'RE POLITICIANS, THAT'S WHAT YOU DO!
For crying out loud. Democrats want a 30 billion dollar cut. Republicans want a 60 billion dollar cut. Just call it a 45 billion dollar cut and declare victory already! All this stupid shit about shutting down the government makes me want to nuke Congress. Yo! Dumbfucks... it doesn't matter what you do... it's how you sell it. Any politician worth their salt can spin shit to sound like victory no matter what happens. But the egos here are massive, so declaring victory is apparently not good enough.
Which leaves us with name-calling and finger-pointing.
And a potential government shut-down.
I say put Tim Gunn in charge...
Photo by Bravo TV
Make it work, people. Make it work...
Today I finally found a minute to file my taxes. I pretty much had to file them because I need my refund check to cover the three vacations I just took. This was made abundantly clear to me when I went to the cash machine and it refused to give me any money.
I hate it when that happens.
Life would be so much better if cash machines gave me money without checking my account balance first.
Anyway... with no money to be had, it was time to rummage through pants pockets, couch cushions, travel bags, car ashtrays, and the like. After a half-hour of digging, I managed to scrape together
But that's okay.
I wouldn't trade my wonderful time in Venice... or seeing Matt & Kim in London... or seeing OMD and Mackintosh Braun in Los Angeles... or celebrating my sister's birthday in Las Vegas... for all the tea in China. There are some experiences you simply can't put a price on. So I'm content to be poor for a little while and live on fond memories.
And who knows? Everything could change tomorrow.
Heck, in one day I've gone from being flat-broke to having all the money in the world. Anything is possible!
It's a relaxing kind of Bullet Sunday today.
• Scamberry? I don't know if many people realize it, but my home state of Washington is famous for more than just apples. We're also the fifth-largest producer of cranberries in the USA. There are "cranberry bogs" on the coast in an area off Grayland Beach, which is south of the Ocean Shores resorts. I'm reminded of my visit there every time I see one of those beautiful and awesome Ocean Spray commercials on TV...
It's Henry & Justin... the Ocean Spray Cranberry Guys!
Justin says "Did I err?"
I think the commercials are shot on the East Coast somewhere, but it's still eerily familiar.
Except it kind of gives the illusion that cranberries are grown in 4-feet of water, which they're not. The fields aren't flooded until harvest time and then it's only about 6-inches of water. What the commercials show is the holding ponds where the cranberries end up flowing after they've been taken off the vine. It may be a bit misleading, but it sure looks pretty.
And speaking of misleading... today I got reminded of Washington's cranberry country for an entirely different reason. Apparently there's a cranberry war going on between Ocean Spray and a rival company, "Decas"... which has been trashing Ocean Spray over alleged no-cranberry-content in one of Ocean Spray's cranberry products. They created a site called "Scamberry.info" under the pretense of being a consumer advocacy site (but didn't reveal their association with the site until six days later).
What I find fascinating is that social media has become a weapon in corporate warfare. And now that I've had a taste of it, I find myself questioning every single "advocacy" site I've ever seen. Well... except for those sites slamming high fructose corn syrup. That shit is in everything and made of pure evil.
• Service! I can complain about AT&T's mobile service (because it pretty much sucks anymore), but it's impossible for me to complain about their customer service. Every single time I've had a question or problem, they've gone overboard to set things right. AT&T customer service is so good that I'd be a customer for life if only I could make calls in major cities and use data in my home town. As it is, I honestly don't know what I'm going to do when my contract is up. If iPhone 5 is dual-band CDMA (for domestic) and GSM (for international), then Verizon might just steal me away.
These are the kind of problems that keep me awake at night. Well, that and a raging case of chronic insomnia.
• Mirren! Last night's Saturday Night Live hosted by Helen Mirren was a terrific episode...
I can't remember it being this good since Betty White hosted, which has me wondering... what other "golden ladies" should they have host to make SNL not suck so bad? After seeing her on William Shatner's Raw Nerve, one name keeps popping in my head. How frickin' cool would it be to have Carol Burnett host?
She would be perfect for this. Perfect. And a Google search reveals that Im not the only one who thinks so. If you're on Facebook, you can LIKE a campaign to get her on SNL here.
• Bing! I know this may sound impossible... but Microsoft has created a product I love. Yes... you read that right... Microsoft. Their Bing! app for iPad is a remarkable interface for the web that completely buries the competition...
I don't use an iPad much, but have to admit that it's apps like Bing! that make me want to use one more.
Tomorrow promises to be a hectic day, so I suppose I should try and get some sleep. Or at least go lay down and pretend that I'm going to get some sleep.
There's so much horror in the world today that we're pretty much conditioned to accept it as normal.
The problem being that it isn't normal, and I'm growing more and more despondent over the fact that people seem perfectly content to let it slide. We've become a society ruled by hatred and fear, and any joy we feel is tempered by the knowledge that somebody, somewhere hates us for what we think... for what we believe... for who we are. Even worse, we're constantly reminded of it. Keeping everybody in a perpetual state of fear is apparently the easiest way to control them.
This was made painfully clear to me earlier in the evening when I got a call from the National Rifle Association...
"I'M CALLING WITH A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE NRA WHO WANTS YOU TO LISTEN TO A SHORT ONE-MINUTE MESSAGE AND ANSWER A QUESTION ABOUT HOW CONGRESS IS TRYING TO STRIP US OF OUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS AND--
"I'm not interested."
"IT WILL ONLY TAKE A MINUTE OF YOUR TIME AND--"
"I support gun ownership, and am disgusted that you are trying to scare the crap out of people with absurd threats like this. Nobody is taking our guns away. So no thanks."
= click! =
Now, he could have called and said "I'm with the NRA, and I'm calling to ask for your support as we work to ensure Second Amendment rights are protected for all Americans." But oh no... the asshole had to call and say "THEY'RE COMING TO TAKE YOUR GUNS AND STRIP YOU OF YOUR RIGHTS! BOOGAH BOOGAH BOOGA!!!"
Well fuck that. And fuck the NRA for being such fear-mongering dicks. While the particulars surrounding gun ownership will always be debated, there's not going to be a repeal of the Second Amendment when the majority of Americans support it. And how do I know the majority of American's support it? Oh... IT'S ON THE NRA'S FUCKING WEBSITE!
I suppose now I'm going to get a call from the anti-gun lobby saying "THE NRA WANTS TO FORCE YOUR KIDS TO CARRY GUNS IN SCHOOL!" or some other fear-encrusted bullshit.
It never ends.
And here I thought somebody telling me my handwriting was "stupid" because I don't drop the descenders on my p's and g's and y's and q's was the worst thing that could happen today...
... but instead I had to be reminded that the world sucks ass.
And that sucks ass.
P.S. My handwriting is terrible because I don't hand-write a lot. I mostly type on a computer. And when I do write, it's usually in all-caps. Sometimes I have to use lower-case letters, but I still like everything to fit between the lines on a paper so I move up all the letters that have descenders on them. Is that so wrong?
In all seriousness here, I don't know whether to laugh or cry anymore...
Don't get me wrong... if he can prove that President Obama was not born in the USA, REGARDLESS OF THE OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, then more power to him. That would be a massive lie that deserves to be exposed, and "The Donald" would truly be doing our country a service by exposing it (even though I don't really give a shit).
Until there is some ACTUAL FUCKING EVIDENCE and all Trump has is a BUNCH OF FUCKING LIES then he should probably SHUT THE FUCK UP! Because if he CAN'T produce any ACTUAL FUCKING EVIDENCE then all he's doing is TRASHING THE PRESIDENT FOR PERSONAL GAIN WITH NO CONSEQUENCES FOR HIS LIES! I mean, come on... HE'S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!
Of course, all the birther pigfuckers are defending him by saying "Donald Trump is only asking questions! " But this is a load of shit. His "questions" are just lies masquerading as questions. It would be like Bill Gates popping up on every fucking news program in existence and saying "DONALD TRUMP HAS PROVIDED NO PROOF THAT HE'S NOT A CARD-CARRYING MEMBER OF NAMBLA AND HAS SEX WITH UNDERAGE BOYS!" Or perhaps "I AM SPENDING TWO MILLION DOLLARS TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH AS TO WHETHER DONALD TRUMP IS A PEDOPHILE THAT FUCKS CHILDREN!!" Or something like "THERE CONTINUES TO BE NO EVIDENCE THAT DONALD TRUMP IS NOT A CHILD RAPIST!"
People hear that shit... conclude that somebody with millions of dollars like Bill Gates must know what he's talking about... and suddenly people are believing that Donald Trump is having sex with their children. It's a lie (or so I would hope), but people are too fucking lazy to find out the truth, so they just roll over and believe what they think they're being told.
Look, I can't say for definite sure that President Obama was born in Hawaii like all the evidence says. I wasn't there. Maybe Trump is actually on to something. Maybe all the birther pigfuckers are right. Maybe it's all true. But I also wasn't there when Donald Trump allegedly had sex with all those young boys, so maybe that's true too.
I mean, it could be.
It's not like you need any evidence or hard facts anymore.
Just millions of dollars and an agenda to baselessly discredit somebody.
Or a blog. Same difference! It's all good!
This is what I look like watching the news on television...
I cannot believe how fucking insane this world is right now. The vast, unfathomable amount of dumbassery unleashed in a single day on this planet makes my brain melt. The vortex of stupid is so dense that it's like a black hole from which even light (and sanity) cannot escape. And just when you think it can't get any worse, a politician will pop up and prove you wrong.
At this point, I think it's time to accept the fact that we're all doomed.
If the world is ending, I'm having an extra serving of Snack-Pack with dinner.
Every time you turn around, something is responsible for turning everybody gay.
Show gay characters kissing on television, it turns people gay. Play gay lyrics on the radio, it turns people gay. Allow two dudes to get married, it turns people gay. Let gays serve in the military, it turns people gay. Anything that's gay is turning people gay. "Experts" say that this is because "validating the homosexual lifestyle" makes people think "it's okay to be gay" and, as a result, "kids turn gay because they think it's acceptable behavior."
Well okay then.
This would explain the drama unfolding over a J. Crew advertisement where a mother is having weekend fun with her young son by painting his toenails pink...
This caused a contributor over at (wait for it) FOX News, "Doctor" Keith Ablow, to declare that this kind "gender identity" confusion will require "psychotherapy for the kid." In other words, painting his toenails pink is turning him gay. Or, best case scenario, causing him to be confused about being straight.
Apparently whether he ends up liking vagina or penis is inconsequential to his sexual identity. It's the color of his toenails for one day when he's five years old that determines whether he's into clam or sausage.
Well okay then.
I guess it was a mistake to put Bad Monkey is charge of makeup around here...
Now, I'm no expert but maybe... just maybe... all this stuff isn't turning people gay at all. Perhaps they were gay all along, and seeing that "it's okay to be gay" on television and in music and in the military and in marriage just means that they can be honest with everybody about who they've always been.
Or... or... all their mothers painted their toenails pink for a day when they were five years old.
Because who am I to argue with a "doctor?"
But hold on a second...
If homosexuality is a product of gender confusion and pink nail polish, then how do you explain somebody like Gareth Thomas? He grew up in working-class Wales. He didn't have any gay influences and felt alone and different in his environment. He's a total badass in one of the toughest, most "masculine" sports on earth. He even got married because that's what was expected of him. And yet... he's gay?
Um. Yeah. Something tells me that he never got his toenails painted pink or wore a dress or played with dolls or did any of the "girlie" things that would make some poor, young, impressionable kid turn gay. On the contrary, his environment should have been enough to insure that any gay demons he had were duly excised.
So what the fuck happened?
And what about those kids who grow up in liberal hippie communes like Portland, Oregon where being gay is not only "okay"... it's embraced as an essential character trait and roundly encouraged by society? How the fuck does anybody growing up in that gay-friendly utopia ever turn out straight? What about straight kids who grew up with gay parents? Holy crap... those kids are around people being gay EVERY DAY!
Well, I'm no expert but maybe... just maybe...
Seriously. Am I the only one who goes insane when I see this stupid crap? Does logic play absolutely no part in our thinking anymore? Are people so poorly conditioned to believe the fucked up shit they see in the "news" that they will believe something no matter how outrageous and unlikely it sounds? I know I've been harping on this very subject all week... but WHAT THE FUCK?!?
I'm not going to lie. Continuous bombardment by teh stupid is really starting to mess with my head. But there's no escaping it. This is all I see anymore. At some point, I'm going to have to take a break from the news, the internet, and society in general.
Or just stay the course and end up in an asylum for the criminally insane.
Which might not be so bad, because I'll finally be isolated from the news, the internet, and society in general.
Avitable recently wrote a blog entry titled "What's Better Than That?" (which was a continuation of a blog entry he made in 2010) where he asked his readers to contribute a "greater than" chain of items. I came up with a few random topics, but felt uncomfortable just tossing them out without any explanation, so I decided to make a blog entry of my own.
For reasons I will never understand, I have a big problem with drinking out of anything made of plastic. I hate drinking from plastic containers of any kind. The feel of it is wrong, and the idea of it touching my teeth freaks me out. For this same reason, I don't use plastic drinking straws. Unless I've got a plastic cup, then I use a straw because it's a lesser amount of plastic touching my mouth. Ideally, I want to drink out of something made of glass. Paper cups are okay too. Of course, just about anything is okay compared to plastic. Hideous plastic.
I'm not talking about a style of cuisine. I'm talking about food in a country. With this in mind, Italy is the country where I most love to eat. Pizza, pasta, gelato... all my favorite foods are Italian. The problem is that Italian food seems to always diminish (or outright suck) outside of Italy. Take my favorite dish, for example: Fettuccine Alfredo. At the original restaurant where it was invented in Rome, it's made from impossibly thin noodle ribbons mixed with lots of butter and parmesan cheese. THE END. Go to Olive Garden here in the States and suddenly "Fettuccine Alfredo" becomes these thick, gummy noodles covered in a weak cream sauce that's got some garlic and other shit in it. THAT'S NOT FETTUCCINE ALFREDO! It would be like ordering a hamburger and getting a slice of chicken between two slices of turnip. After Italy, I like eating best in Spain and right here at home in the USA. The worst place I've been to eat is Korea. Not because the food is necessarily bad, but because vegetarian options are severely limited. After four days of kimchee and pickled vegetables, I didn't want to eat anymore.
All of my favorite music is stuck in the 80's. That's when Depeche Mode, The Thompson Twins, OMD, New Order, The Smiths, Erasure, Duran Duran, and loads of other bands I love were at their peak. No other era of music even comes close. Though I have to say that I've really been liking the latest stuff I've been hearing from the likes of Matt & Kim, Foster the People, Mackintosh Braun, and such. Add in the awesome new album by OMD, and the 2010 decade is off to an exciting start. Then comes the 1990's, which I like pretty much because the earliest parts were a continuation of the 80's, and a lot of bands I love continued to release new stuff. That was also when the "Seattle Sound" exploded and I loved being in the middle of it all. After that I'd have to go with the 1960's, simply because that's when the Beatles were dominating. From there on out... meh. I thought the 2000's were pretty lame for the kind of music I like. And the 1970's were polluted with really bad disco, which I hated, so badly that I took refuge in the emerging punk rock scene. As for the future? If the great stuff I've been loving recently continues, I'm looking forward to the decade.
Here's the deal. I love Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. These two movies alone are more beloved by me than all other sci-fi in the universe combined. But then Return of the Jedi came out and fucked up everything because George Lucas wanted to sell cute Ewok toys more than he wanted to tell a compelling story. Even so, The Star Wars Trilogy sat at the very top of my list... until the prequel trilogy was unleashed. Thanks to Jar Jar Binks, Annie Skywalker, and stupid-ass shit that reduced Star Wars to idiotic burp and fart jokes, the unthinkable happened. Star Wars was ruined for me. As much as I tried, I couldn't un-watch The Phantom Menace. It was then that my love of Star Trek (the ORIGINAL cast series and films) grew brighter, eclipsing Star Wars in a way that was previously unthinkable. Sure I thought that the sequel series kept getting worse and worse (Voyager was so awful I stopped watching), but the bulk of the Star Trek Universe is pretty good stuff. Even so, everything else in sci-fi falls way, way behind Star Wars.
I understand why most of the world thinks Disney is the premiere source of animation on earth... honestly I do. The golden age of Disney spans decades, and has given us some of the most breathtaking animated features ever seen. But the films of Hayao Miyazaki are mind-blowing. They use animation as a way of telling stories that are truly revolutionary and remarkable. Animation allows us to break the bounds of reality. But Miyazaki breaks the bounds of imagination. I dearly love and treasure his every work, and when you take his entire oeuvre you get something unmatched in brilliance, eclipsing even Disney. Then along comes Pixar, whose work I also love. They simply don't know how to make a bad film, and may eventually overcome Disney in terms of masterworks. No list of animation favorites would be complete without Aardman, responsible for Wallace & Gromit and other genius. If I were to continue, I'd have to put Satoshi Kon on the list. Possibly Dreamworks. I'm sure there are many others.
You simply cannot exceed the greatness that was the original "Bond Girl"... Honey Rider as played by Ursula Andress. She set the benchmark for everyone that would follow, and has one of the single best entrances into a film ever made. Over the years new Bond Girls would come and go... some of them cool (Pussy Galore), some of them hot (Mary Goodnight), some of them bizarre (Xenia Onatopp), some of them boring (Octopussy), and some of them just plain bad (Christmas Jones). But the ones I always liked best were the Bond Girls who were beautiful and badass. I loved Melina from For Your Eyes Only because she was ruthless in her revenge, and equaled Bond in smarts. Jinx was played by Halle Berry... so enough said there. And Michelle Yeoh's turn as "Wai Lin" was so kickass that I found myself praying that the character would be reprised in the next Bond film. When compiling my list, I was surprised that there were very few Bond Girls I actively disliked. Most of them rose above the typical "damsel in distress" crap that women usually get relegated to in films like this, which I didn't realize until now. Interesting.
Shocking, I know. But seriously... nobody can touch them. Nobody comes close. For now.
I can't believe it's the two-hundred-and-twenty-seventh episode of Bullet Sunday! That's like 60% of a full year's worth!
• Needle! Today is the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking for Seattle's Space Needle. Originally created for the 1962 "Century 21 World's Fair," it quickly became a symbol of the city (if not the entire Pacific Northwest). What I love about the structure is that it doesn't look dated despite its classic 1960's styling. On top of that, it's a beautiful cornerstone of the Seattle skyline and a cool tourist attraction...
I've visited dozens of times, and the view from the top still takes my breath away. If you'd like to read more about the history of Seattle's landmark, there's a nice wrap-up at Wikipedia.
• Happy! What's kind of a mash-up between Friends and Coupling but somehow manages to be uniquely hilarious television in its own right? It's Happy Endings! I have to admit, I thought the whole "group-of-six-friends-half-girls-half-boys" sitcom concept had been played into the ground (usually to horrible effect). But I was dead wrong. Happy Endings is funny, funny, stuff. The premiere episode is available for FREE on iTunes and well-worth your time to check out...
• Proof? On the other end of the spectrum... the new television drama Body of Proof is just so bad. Dana Delany is great as a surgeon-turned-medical-examiner, but just about every other character on the show is total crap. The writing is so lame that it's almost comical. It's as if they set out to make everybody be intentionally annoying and unwatchable. I was hoping for another
• Collectorz. If you're a Macintosh whore who wants to enter your comic book collection in a computer database, you're pretty much screwed. Years ago I used a program called "ComicBase" which was originally created for Macs, but then they switched to Windows and dropped development for the Mac version (nice!). Over the years there's been a few new programs for Mac, but they haven't been very feature-rich. Enter "Comic Collector for Mac OS X" which is coming May 17th. It looks fairly complete and very affordable ($29.95 or $49.95 for a "pro" version)...
It pulls data and cover images off their web server, and allows for quick and easy barcode entry. In anticipation of its release, I've been using a trial membership for their companion "cloud" service: "Comic Book Collector Connect." It's a little cumbersome for adding comics, but still very cool. What's sweet about this company is that even if their OS X software sucks, I can still use the online Connect service to index my collection (unlimited access and database size for $19.95 a year!). If you're a fellow Mac whore with a comic book collection, check it out.
• AirPrint. One of the more serious omissions from iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.) was printing. Apple finally addressed this a while back with a technology they call AirPrint. The problem is that this "feature" is half-baked at best. First you either have to buy an AirPrint-Enabled printer or find a 3rd party solution which makes your non-Airport printer be recognized by the iOS. And then the fun begins... figuring out which apps can actually print worth a crap. Most don't. Apple's "Photos" app, for example, doesn't allow you to fill the page with your photo when you print it. Instead, it prints a tiny image in the middle of the page. Other apps print okay, but the lack of control over orientation, scale, and placement is a serious detriment. Only apps which are specifically designed for printing (like Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) seem to produce expected results. This is kind of embarrassing for Apple. Usually they don't release something until it's polished and functional, and AirPrint isn't there yet. Still... it is a promising glimpse of the functionality that devices like these will need in a "post PC world."
Annnnnd... now it's time for the new Burn Notice movie... The Fall of Sam Axe! As a huge fan of Bruce Campbell, it's must-see TV.
A long time ago in a land far away, I took a temp job because I didn't want to go hungry from the lack of hours on a project I had. It was a unique job because it was task-based instead of time-based. Each day you'd get a list of tasks that added up to around 7-1/2 hours (each task having a time value assigned to it). The problem was that the time values were almost always wrong. Most of them in a good way. One of your tasks might have 2 hours assigned to it, but actually only take 30 minutes to complete. The up-side to this was that they didn't care how much time you spent at the office so long as you got your task-list done. If you could show up and finish everything in an hour, you could go home and still get credit for a full eight hours.
Pretty nifty, huh?
One day a co-worker was heading out and said "I'll be ten minutes late coming back from lunch." It was a totally unnecessary statement, since there were no "hours" to keep track of... just tasks. Nobody cared how long a lunch hour you took. They only cared that you finished your tasks. I assumed somebody was going to be looking for him after lunch or something, but that wasn't the case. The guy was new and wasn't used to how things worked.
But... that wasn't the end of it.
From then on, any time somebody left the office for whatever reason, they'd announce that they'd be coming back late, even though there was no earthly reason to do so.
"I'll be fifteen minutes late coming back from break!"
"I'll be thirty minutes late coming back from lunch!
"I'll be an hour late coming back from HR!
Pretty soon it became a contest as to who could be the most "late" coming back to the office. After a couple weeks, it got pretty crazy. Finally, one guy came in, distributed his tasks to friends, announced "I'll be eight hours late coming back from the copy room...
He, of course, got paid for those eight hours because his task list got finished and that's the only thing that mattered to his employers.
It may sound crazy, but it was a results-driven workplace which is actually kind of refreshing. Sure the example I'm using is flawed because the tasks weren't attributed the correct time values... but, other than that, I think it's a great system in theory. You get a reasonable set of goals and then get paid for achieving those goals, regardless of how much time it takes. If you are an efficient, productive worker, you are rewarded with a short work-day. If you are an unproductive, inefficient worker, you have a long work-day ahead of you.
But that's not how the real world works. Well, that's not totally true. Some jobs are paid on commission or by assignment, which is kind of the same thing. But it doesn't seem as though that's how most 9-to-5 jobs work. Fast, efficient workers are just given more work to fill out their eight hours. Slow, inefficient workers put in just enough effort to not get fired.
And why do I care? Why am I rambling on about the past and whining about unfair work hours for efficient, productive workers like myself?
BECAUSE, ZOMFG!, PORTAL 2 IS AVAILABLE FOR EARLY-SALE DOWNLOAD NOW!! AND ALL I WANT IS TO SPEND AS MUCH OF MY TIME AS POSSIBLE PLAYING IT!
How badly do I want to show up to work tomorrow, announce that I'll be thirty-two hours late coming back from the supply closet, and then spend the rest of the week playing Portal 2?
So bad that I don't dare buy a copy tonight.
I've been waiting over two years for this day. I shouldn't be bothered over waiting a few more weeks.
But I am. I am.
You know how when you go to eat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup how you have to go through all the hassle of removing that stupid brown paper cup? What a horrible waste of time! Who wants to mess with that crap? I buy Reese's Peanut Butter Cups because I want to eat them... not because I want to play around with stupid paper!
Well, the people at Hershey must have felt my pain and frustration, because they've released NEW Reese's Minis. Tiny little peanut butter cups that are UNWRAPPED, just like God intended...
So now there's no time blown on futzing with that stupid paper cup. You can just tear off the top and pour them into your mouth directly...
Now THAT'S how I eat a Reese's!
Annnnnnnd... SHIT! My entire website is down. Either Media Temple is dicking around with things AGAIN, or Skynet really has become self-aware, and I will never be able to post this entry!
Looks like Blogography has been terminated.
UPDATE: Annnnnnnd... we're back.
This morning after my daily toast and jam, I checked my email and saw a new one pop up with the subject line "How does it feel?" which came from an email address I didn't recognize. Naturally, I thought this was some kind of creepy spam that was advertising male "enhancement drugs" or some other crap, but I was also curious because usually one of my two spam filters manages to intercept stuff like this. So I opened it.
Much to my surprise, it wasn't spam. It was a reader(?) who was overjoyed to be telling me that "Your hero Steve Jobs is spying on you" and was asking "How does it feel to have your privacy raped by Apple?" Then there was a link to a website for an application called iPhone Tracker.
Apparently, your iPhone is constantly keeping track of everywhere you go and "secretly" saving this data. Then, when you sync your iPhone with your computer, iPhone transfers this information to your backup file. It also transfers the data when you migrate to a new iPhone or restore your data for some reason. Two guys names Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden stumbled across it and decided to write a program that allows you to display the data on a map, like so...
Everywhere in the USA I've been for the past ten months.
The tracking is surprisingly deep. This is a drive I made out of Chicago last July.
Three or four trips to Europe, all tracked!
The dots are obviously not actual locations in Corsica I visited... probably just cell towers iPhone signaled.
A drive down the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
Now, my first reaction when I opened the program on my Mac was THIS IS SO AWESOME!! I mean, heck, I actually bought an iPhone app called "Trip Journal" to track my travels... I could have saved some money if I had known the feature was built-in! My only disappointment was that the data only goes back to June 30th, 2010 and I wish it went back further.
But then the implications began to sink it.
The iPhone Tracker developers don't believe that this data is transmitted to Apple in any form, but that doesn't mean that Apple couldn't take a look at it in the future. This alone doesn't scare me much since AT&T already has a record of everywhere I go (they log call locations for billing purposes). What does concern me is that Apple doesn't disclose that this data is being collected. If somebody were to steal my laptop, they could potentially see everywhere I've been and I'd be none the wiser because nobody told me it was there when I bought my iPhone. Not that I really care... I always blog where I'm at and log my every move with Gowalla anyway, but still... this is not a good thing.
Mostly because this data could be used in devious ways now that everybody knows about it. Want to know if your wife is cheating on you? Pull up iPhone Tracker and you can see exactly where she's been at any point in time. Want to know what your kids are up to? Run iPhone Tracker and know everywhere they go. Want to stalk somebody? Break into their house and run iPhone Tracker on their computer so you can track their movement patterns. The list goes on and on.
Obviously I don't think there's any evil motive behind Apple logging this information. They're probably working on some cool new feature for iDevices which will use the data in an interesting way. But they really, really should have warned people that their location is being tracked and definitely give people the option to turn this "feature" off if they should so desire. At the very least they should be encrypting it so that it's not so ridiculously easy to view.
I'm not very paranoid by nature, but every time something like this pops up, I can't help but wonder what other aspects of my life are being analyzed and collected. Then I conclude there's probably no part of my life that isn't on a computer somewhere, and just accept the fact that very little of what we do or say is private.
If you want to spy on yourself, you can download the Mac app to view your iPhone tracking data here.
Time for another BEHIND THE SCENES episode of Blogography!
Thanks so much to everybody who has supported the debut issue of Thrice Fiction magazine! RW and I have been surprised... shocked even... by the number of people who have been kind enough to take a look and give us some nice feedback. In all honesty, I thought maybe 40-50 people would bother to download the thing. Sure it's free, but time is valuable, and I didn't think many people would give it a chance. Even more surprising, a good chunk of you actually bought the printed magazine from MagCloud. We don't make any money off of those sales, but knowing people like the magazine enough to buy it... well, that's better than money!
Okay, probably not... but when you combine all the downloads and printed issues, we've "sold" around 320 copies. Considering we haven't done any promotion outside of our blogs and Facebook, this is pretty remarkable.
Some of the nicest comments I received were saying good things about the artwork, which is really special to me considering most of it was a last-minute addition. Though, considering most people only see the crappy cartoons I slap together for this blog, I guess anything would be "good" by comparison! A few people had asked about the "medium" I used for the pieces, so I thought I'd do another "behind the scenes" entry to explain how the front cover came together...
I suppose the first thing I should say is that this is not a painting. The painted "look" is just a couple of Photoshop filter effects. So what is it? Just a bunch of photo pieces that have been blended together to create an image based on this sketch I made to show "The End" of the earth...
The first step was to find me a good star-field image. Fortunately, our tax dollars have funded the Hubble Telescope, which has provided thousands of hi-res images to choose from. I ended up rearranging the stars a bit, but this was the image that was most like I had in mind....
All the other photos were taken from my extensive collection of travel photos. That way, I don't have to worry about obtaining permission to use them or get in trouble for copyright infringement or whatever. "The earth" is just a photo I shot in Southern Utah that has been turned upside-down and warped into the shape I needed...
The water was some tricky business. I found a photo I took on Kauai's north shore which made for a pretty good start...
Kind of rough there, but I didn't want to start painting the pieces together until I had the waterfall in place. Fortunately, that was made easy thanks to a photo I took at one of the Walt Disney World resort hotels (don't ask me which one)...
In my original sketch, I had wanted a metropolitan cityscape in the background. The problem was that I couldn't make it look good. And believe me, I tried. I spent a good hour cobbling together skyscrapers in an attempt to get it looking right. But it never did. Rather than waste the rest of my life trying, I tossed everything out and started over. But this time I thought I'd go for something less urban, and found a shot I took last year at Portofino in Northern Italy. Cutting the city out, it fit perfectly. All I had to do was add a reflection in the water and paint in a shoreline, and I was set...
I also cobbled together some photos of flat red rocks in order to make a better surface for the waves to sit on. I thought it looked a little more realistic. Though I suppose "realistic" is all relative when you're talking about a city floating in space.
Anyway... next up was the sky. I wanted a bright, almost surreal sky so that it would contrast nicely with the darkness at the bottom. So I went back to Southern Utah and found exactly what I wanted at Bryce Canyon. Well, not exactly. I had to do a bit of touch-up and color adjustment, but it's still a really cool sky...
After I popped it in the shot, I added a little bit more coastline waaaayyyy in the background to help add some depth.
Time elapsed: 1 hour, 15 minutes. It would have been less, but I wasted time trying to smoosh New York and Chicago into a new city.
Then the fun begins. Hours of Photoshopping all the pieces together so they look like one cohesive scene. In particular, the ocean edge and waterfall. They never really "fit" together, and so it took extensive painting, warping, and blending to make it work. It's kind of hard to see in these tiny images just how much work I had to do, but at full print-resolution size, it's a big mess, and required a lot of time to make happen. I also had to adjust the colors of all the individual pieces so they look like they were in the same shot. It's only a subtle alteration, but it makes a big difference in the overall "feel" of the image.
Time elapsed: 3 hours, 30 minutes.
After that was all finished up, I ran a couple of Photoshop filters on the photo to make it look like a painting and, voilà, a cover was born...
Most of the other stuff in the issue was drawn in Adobe Illustrator, then ran through the same "painterly" Photoshop filters so I had a kind of "look" going on...
And there you have it! Join us in two months for issue #2! And if you haven't checked out issue #1, you can download it for FREE at ThriceFiction.com!
Today is Earth Day! And it's also Good Friday!
It's Good Earth Friday! And I've gone green...
Guess I'll go plant a tree or eat a salad or something.
The past two weeks have been a blissful whirlwind of not traveling.
I had thought that I would be starting up again next Thursday... but just found out I got the date wrong. It's the Thursday after that. Ordinarily this would be a good thing. I've been killing myself to get caught up with life, and now I can relax a bit because I've got a whole extra week. Except... now I've got to be in two different cities on the same day, so I've got to reschedule a bunch of stuff. That's always makes for good times.
Guess I'll worry about that on Monday.
Anyway... today was set aside for Spring cleaning. I took absolutely everything out of my bedroom so I can dust, wash, vacuum, and scrub. It's a lot of work, but it makes living with allergies a bit more comfortable. My intent was to put everything back after cleaning, but now I'm tired and don't feel like it. This means there's crap piled everywhere. Except in front of the television. I cleared a path so I could watch last night's episode of Fringe.
And, of course... NEW DOCTOR WHO!!
I never much cared for the latest incarnation of The Doctor until that wonderful, magical, touching, amazing episode with Vincent VanGogh, then I became pretty much obsessed with the show. Again. It doesn't hurt that Steven Moffat is running the series now. I've been a huge fan of his since Coupling.
They filmed some of the episode here in the USA and it was a very good... albeit slightly disturbing... season opener...
Something about aliens which you can only remember seeing while you're looking at them (then forget about them the minute you're not) is a frickin' fantastic concept. The cliffhanger ends with a question... "How can you fight an enemy you can't remember?" A very good question! I'll be watching to find out next Saturday.
And now I suppose now I had better go at least put my bed back together so I have a place to sleep tonight.
What a fun way to spend a Saturday night!
Well whadda ya know, it's an EASTER edition of Bullet Sunday!
• Like! Bad Monkey is now on Facebook. Heaven help us all...
If you want to see the mayhem for yourself, here you go...
• Kubrick! The holy grail for Stanley Kubrick fans (outside his movies, obviously) is a copy of a book called Full Metal Jacket Diary by Matthew Modine, who was an actor in the film. The reason it's such a big deal is twofold...
Just looking at the few amazing behind-the-scenes photos on the official website should have any Kubrick fan dying to own it...
But... to do the iPad app right is going to cost a lot of money. $20,000 money. In order to fund the project, Rackoff has put it up on Kickstarter so people can donate to get the work done. Anybody chipping in $5 or more will get a 'special thanks" credit on the app's credits page. If you've got money to burn, there are bigger rewards for bigger pledges. If you're a Kubrick fan... or a Matthew Modine fan... or a Full Metal Jacket fan... or just a movie fan... head over to Kickstarter so we can get this funded!
• Blows! Microsoft has been (rightfully) bragging about crossing the 350 million license milestone for Windows 7 in only 18 months. Except... I can't help but wonder how much of the rapid adoption rate is thanks to its predecessor, Windows Vista, being such a steaming pile of shit. Even with the Service Packs (mostly) fixing all the crap that made me want to take a flamethrower to my PC, I maintain that everybody who purchased a Vista license should have gotten Windows 7 as a free upgrade. Because anybody forced to suffer through Vista after updowngrading from the (relatively) painless Windows XP experience deserves to be compensated. Instead, we were forced to add billions of dollars to Microsoft's bank account to get out of a shitty OS that was never ready for release in the first place (after SIX YEARS of development). Any doubts I had about being an Apple Whore were eradicated by the release of Windows Fucking Vista and subsequently having to pay for Windows 7. I long for the day I never have to use Windows again.
• Bunny! If you celebrate the holiday, hope it's a happy one for you!
Annnd... time to start hauling all this crap back into my bedroom. Spring cleaning blows.
Most people cite Thanksgiving as the "leftovers holiday" because they end up eating turkey for days afterwards. Others say Christmas is the "leftovers holiday" because they end up eating ham for a week. Neither of these work for me because I'm vegetarian. A vegetarian who eats dairy and eggs. Which is why Easter is my "leftovers holiday." It's hard boiled eggs, egg-salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, and potato-egg salad from here on out...
Not that I'm complaining. I love egg-salad sandwiches!
What I hate? Being the last person to hear a joke.
Which is why an email I got this morning made me a little depressed. I had to actually Google That Shit in order to even realize there was a joke in the first place. How did I become this out of touch with the world? I guess I'll ponder that while having another egg-salad sandwich...
When I was younger, I loved to cook. I loved to bake. I loved experimenting in the kitchen to come up with something new. But, as the years went by, I had less and less time available for messing around with food. Home-baked bread was replaced by bread-machine bread. And when that got to be too much trouble, I went back to store-bought bread. Things I used to make from scratch were soon replaced by mixes. And when that got to be too much trouble, I just started buying pre-made stuff in the freezer section. It's not as good for me. It's certainly not as fun. But I just don't have the time any more.
But then I got addicted to cooking sites like Foodiddy and baking sites like Joy The Baker, and was assaulted with goodies so amazing-looking that I simply HAD to start baking again. Last night I brought a shit-load of work home with me, but then I happened upon a recipe for Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread from Joy The Baker. It looked too delicious to ignore, so I dropped everything and baked a loaf.
So there I was, eating mind-blowingly delicious Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread while Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was on... all while my pile of work sat there unfinished. And as I thought about how much trouble I was in, I began wondering how many other lives have been ruined by people getting all distracted because of blogs like Foodiddy and Joy The Baker...
If you would like to ruin your life too, you can visit the most excellent cooking blog Foodiddy here. And if that's not enough of a distraction, Joy The Baker can be found here. And you can go here if you want to make that stupidly-awesome Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread.
Well bummer. Looks like I won't be going to London tomorrow after all.
I don't know whether to be more upset that I cannot attend the Royal Wedding on Friday... or that they used Comic Sans as the font for the names on the invitations...
Oh don't be surprised that I got an invitation! As a Knight of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and a personal friend of Her Royal Majesty The Queen, of course I received an invitation!
If only my dental cleaning appointment hadn't been moved up. I was really looking forward to meeting Kate and Wills. I was especially looking forward to the wedding reception. Her Royal Highness knows how to throw down a buffet, yes she does!
But we all know how important dental hygiene is for our health so, alas, I'll be sending my regrets.
As anybody who follows me on Twitter is aware, I have been futilely searching for falafel here in Redneckistan. No local restaurants seem to make it. When I ask for it at the stores, few people even know what it is ("What's a floppal?") and I worry that I'm going to be put on a terrorist watch-list when I try to explain it ("Middle Eastern? LIKE IRAQ?"). A couple stores carry a falafel mix that's kinda okay, but it doesn't taste very falafely when I make it. I'd make my own falafel from scratch, but the recipe for it is huge and complex and I'm just not that smart in the kitchen. Yet.
So, basically, if you have a falafel craving in the valley here, you're kinda fucked.
Perfect Falafel Sandwich taken from Joy of Kosher.
Alas, as a vegetarian, I'm used to getting fucked (in a culinary sense).
Take Olive Garden, for instance. Every time I turn around, they're advertising some new special dish that could be vegetarian, but they screw it up some how. A couple weeks ago, it was Cheese-Filled Soffatelli. Yummy-looking pastries filled with cheese and herbs and junk. But the only way to get them? Served with your choice of beef or chicken...
Of course I could always order them without the beef or chicken, but you pay the same price. I tried negotiating an extra Soffatelli instead of the beef or chicken, but "it doesn't come that way." Oh well.
And now their latest creation is Four Cheese Pastachettis. Yummy ribbons of pasta filled with cheese and herbs and junk. But the only way to get them? Served with your choice of sausage or chicken...
I dunno. Maybe next week I'll go and try begging to see if I can get and extra Pastachetti substituted for the meat. Then prepare for the waiter to stare at me like I'm from outer space and tell me "it doesn't come that way."
But, you know... I'd kill for some good Indian food.
Of course, you can't get Indian food in Redneckistan either.
Guess I'll just have a salad.
I suppose it's a good thing we didn't go to the Royal Wedding...
How embarrassing would it have been when Bad Monkey showed up wearing the same stupid-ass toilet seat hat as Princess Beatrice?
Well this blows.
As I attempted to finish up my Spring cleaning, I threw my back out while moving some boxes...
Now I don't feel much like cleaning anymore. On the contrary, I don't feel like doing much of anything.
And how has your weekend been treating you?
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