I'm a huge fan, and he did not disappoint. Have to say though... Tom Colicchio saying "I've gotta agree with Pee-Wee..." is something I never thought I'd hear.
And speaking of things I never thought I'd hear (at least in this decade)... Washington State's Senate passed a Marriage Equality Bill tonight, which means we're one step closer to becoming the seventh state to allow same-sex marriage. That's a pretty big deal for a lot of Washingtonians being able to fulfill this country's promise of pursuing happ...i...ness...ss... and... HOLY CRAP THERE'S A SPIDER CRAWLING UP THE WALL!!!!!
Poor spider. He probably came inside to get out of the cold and I had to catch him and throw him back outside. Probably not a lot of food for him out there. Wah! I wonder if it would have been less cruel to smoosh him than to let him starve to death. But I can't bring myself to kill anything if I can help it. Argh.
I hate it when stuff like this happens.
My new work computer arrived today (thank you for the speedy delivery, Apple!). I admit that when I ordered it I was a little worried about how an iMac would fare for professional use. But, now that I've had a chance to play with it for a while, I have to say that I am very happy with the machine...
For anybody who's interested, I've put my thoughts on the iMac in an extended entry...
After work I had to go to the grocery store.
And while I hate shopping of any kind, I'd have to say that shopping for groceries is the worst. Probably because, unlike the joy of shopping for sayyyyyy... a flamethrower, nobody likes to shop for groceries. They're expensive and boring. What's to love?
But I needed hamburger buns and chocolate milk, so off I went.
Where I had a more miserable time than usual thanks to some really bad parenting going on.
Usually when I see parents who don't seem to know what they're doing with their children, I refer them to my best-selling book, Minding Your Kids in Public for Dumbasses...
But, because I am feeling generous this evening, I am going to provide an excerpt with some critical insight on child-rearing for FREE! Yes, that's right... I'm giving away FREE PARENTING ADVICE! Just one of the many benefits of being a Blogography reader, yo.
CHAPTER SIX: SHOPPING
Here is a blueprint of a typical grocery store. And here's you shopping for frozen pizza back in the frozen foods aisle...
And here are your kids way over here going ape-shit in the bakery aisle...
GUESS WHAT? YOU FUCKING FAIL AS A PARENT!
NOW PUT DOWN THAT DAMN PIZZA AND GO MIND YOUR FUCKING KIDS, YOU STUPID ASSHOLE!
Otherwise they might get abducted.
Though this is probably not a bad thing. Then at least somebody would be watching them.
No need to thank me. Knowing that I'm making civilization a better place is enough for me!
I live in a small rural community which, from all appearances, is a throwback to simpler times. Visitors passing through town undoubtedly describe it as "quaint" or "idyllic" when they get home to their friends. In many ways, I'd have to agree. This is classic small-town Americana, and living here is quite different from life in the big city. Sometimes in a good way. Sometimes in a bad way.
And tonight after Fringe was over, Seattle's Q13 News from over the mountains informed me that a student from our local Middle School committed suicide after being ruthlessly and relentlessly persecuted and bullied.
Because he was gay.
Which only reinforces what everybody already knows: no community is immune from this vile poison that's killing our youth. Including my community. And now yet another child is dead...
All because killing himself was the only way this young man felt he could find peace from a society so filled with hate that there was no place in it for him to live...
To say I am horrified and disgusted is an understatement beyond measure.
His school is two minutes from my home.
And now I have to live with the fact that two minutes from my home, a kid was being brutally abused day-in and day-out. And it was so bad that death was considered to be the only way to escape it.
So congratulations to Rick Santorum's vision for a gay-free society!
Job well done to Michele Bachmann's war on gay teens!
Praise the Lord for Pat Robertson's slaying of gay abominations!
And a hearty round of applause to everybody who got their wish when yet another "filthy homosexual" was purged from this earth! Your never-ending quest to create a society that is savagely hostile for anybody different from yourselves is working better than you could have ever dreamed! I'm sure that this freedom-filled American utopia you're working so hard to build for your children will be a paradise unequalled!
Unless your children turn out to be gay, of course.
Or if people just think they're gay.
Or if they happen to wander into the line of fire being taken by another kid who is gay.
Then I guess your kids will have to take their chances just like everybody else. I mean, it's a pity that innocent
One day... hopefully one day very soon... we will look back at this period of history with a shame and horror that is woefully missing today. In the meanwhile, all I can do is say that I'm deeply sorry that we as a society failed you, Rafael Morelos. You deserved far better by our hands. I truly hope you've found the peace you couldn't find in life.
And so it goes...
I do not intimidate easily.
When you travel as much as I do, you really can't intimidate easily... especially when visiting abroad. Because if you don't speak the language and don't know much about the culture, you just have to dig in as politely as you know how and hope for the best. Otherwise you'll end up hungry... or lost... or worse.
As I mentioned previously, I am taking an awesome basic sewing class from Whipstitch. Up until now, it's been basic stuff like cutting fabric in a straight line and practicing stitching on a sewing machine. But now we're starting to sew actual projects, which means I have to go buy material and thread and supplies and stuff.
Which means a trip to the JoAnn Fabric & Craft Store.
A place that intimidates me more than just about anywhere else on earth.
Mostly because I don't really understand the place or how to shop there, but also because the people there are mean. I don't know if it's because I'm a guy... or because I'm a newbie... or because they just don't like my face... or what. But every time I've gone to JoAnn I end up feeling stupid and embarrassed because everybody there (employees and customers alike) seems annoyed with my questions and total lack of knowledge. To them, sewing is important business, and I guess I'm just wasting their time.
So, after what few projects I've taken on, I've learned to not ask questions when I go to JoAnn.
Instead I just blindly wander around looking for stuff I think I need and hope for the best. Until now I've been sewing for myself, so it doesn't matter if I goof up and I really don't care if my Halloween costume is made wrong. But this time I'm sewing for a class, so I wanted to do things right. When you don't know what you're doing and are too afraid to ask questions, this can take a while.
The first thing I had to do was buy fabric for upcoming projects. The problem is I don't know what kind of fabric to get... and there's tons of it to choose from. Since I don't know any fabrics by name, I decided to shop by feel. "Well this kind of feels like a placemat" or "I guess this is what a tote bag should feel like," I'd say to myself. Who knows whether I ended up getting the right stuff... but I do like the colors I found, so I guess that's something.
After that I tried to buy the accessory stuff that's on my supplies list... and failed miserably. The lesson says drawstring and elastic, but there's like a gazillion different kinds and I have no idea what to get. So I get nothing. I guess I'll have to write the class for help and make another horrible trip to JoAnn next week.
Next up I had to buy thread to match my fabrics. I thought this would be easy, but thread spools come in all kinds of different sizes and shapes. I decide to go for the "traditional" spools that I recognize, but the colors don't match very well. So instead I get these tall skinny spools that have designer colors. Hopefully they fit on my grandmother's machine.
Lastly I wanted to go drool over proper 8-inch Gingher dressmaker shears and see how they match up to my 2-inch pink Fiskars. My intent was to just look. But they were on sale for 30% off, so I decided to go ahead and get them. The sale shouldn't have been an incentive since it seemed as if EVERYTHING was on sale at JoAnn, but I do love the sexy bastards, so I guess it was worth spending money I don't have...
And now it was time to have my bolts of fabric cut. This meant interacting with JoAnn employees, which I dread. The last time I needed some fabric cut, the woman started asking me questions I didn't understand and couldn't answer. Not knowing what to do, I told her "I'll just take the fabric please" which only seemed to piss her off. Apparently the stuff I was buying required special handling or something, and the fact that I didn't know this made me stupid.
This time the lady behind the counter seemed very nice, which was a relief. She didn't pitch me any crap while taking care of my fabric, so I felt confident enough to ask her questions like... "Will these scissors work for a right-handed person when it doesn't say so on the box?"... and "Do you know what in the heck 'Wonder Under' is and where I can get it?"... and "Is this 'Sulky' stuff on my list something I can buy here?" She answered me without eye-rolling or a condescending tone, which was a pleasant surprise.
And so tomorrow I can (hopefully) get caught up with Friday's tote bag project and make me a placemat. Though I didn't buy any of this "interfacing" stuff that I apparently need for the placemat, so I might be screwed there.
Oh well. Tonight I'm going to sleep with my new shears and dream about stuff I can cut with them...
...which may or may not include cutting a bitch. Though I'd then have to worry about how tough the bitch was, because I don't want to dull the blades.
Nothing ruins a sexy pair of new scissors like dull blades.
Blogography is locked and loaded, so Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Buzz! When my hair gets so long that I have to blow-dry it, something has to be done. But since I spent all my money on new Gingher shears yesterday, I couldn't afford to get a haircut. Fortunately, a Google search convinced me that this was something I could do myself.
And, because I'm me, I live-Tweeted the whole thing...
And this is how it all turned out...
Not bad for free! I should totally give myself my own medical advice now.
• LEGO! The more I see of the LEGO Lord of the Rings MiniFigs, the more I realize that my life will not be complete until I possess them all. I mean, come on! Has there ever been a LEGO MiniFig cuter than LEGO Hobbits?
And has there ever been a LGO MiniFig scarier than LEGO Gollum?
I mean, seriously...
I can't wait for The Preciousses to be mine!
• Miley! Yes, as I've said a number of times now, I'm a fan of Miley Cyrus. She was funny as hell in Hannah Montana, and she's had some good songs come out of her music career. But the thing that fascinates me most is how she's unapologetically taken on a role in leading her generation towards acceptance and equality...
"We all should be tolerant of one another and embrace our differences. My dad, who is a real man's man, lives on the farm and is as Southern and straight as they come. He loves my gay friends and even supports same-sex marriage. If my father can do it, anyone can. This is America, the nation of dreams. We're so proud of that. And yet certain people are excluded. It's just not right."
—Miley Cyrus, Glamour Magazine
This is what scares the shit out of the backwards, crazy-ass, hard-core anti-equality crowd... the future is coming, and their antiquated bigotry is not a part of it. Game over. It's only a matter of time.
• Sweet! I swear, at a time when our horrible society has me convinced that we all deserve to be extinct, something like this comes along to restore my faith in humanity. I love it...
• Network! Today I dug out an old "Airport Express" unit for my new computer at work. Since the iMac only has one ethernet port, I thought perhaps I could use WiFi for my second network connection. Ten minutes later, I found out I could. Apple has a "Bridge Mode" which allows you to put a WiFi interface on an ethernet connection. Simple!
Since this is an older model, it can only do 802.11g. If I want the speed increase of 802.11n, I'll have to shell out $99 for a newer model. But the IEEE just released a draft of the even faster 802.11ac standard back in November, so maybe I'll wait for that.
Even though iMac won't be able to take advantage of it, who wants to buy old technology?
Of course, all technology is old technology when you think about it.
• Avengers! Holy crap. Seriously, HOLY CRAP...
A super-hero team movie done right is the dream of every comic book fanboy. Given what I've seen so far, my expectations are impossibly high for this film. May 4th cannot get here soon enough.
And now... PUPPY BOWL!!!
The amount of hate-mail/hate-comments dropping on my blog have reached new highs lately. It had died down to one a week for the longest time, but now I'm getting at least one a day. I'm guessing it has to do with Washington State getting ready to pass marriage equality and the court decision coming up on Prop 8, because most of the mail/comments are from entries where I talk about that kind of stuff.
Not surprisingly, nothing I've been getting adds anything remotely interesting to the conversation. Instead it's just anonymous profanity and/or insults directed towards me, which is immediately deleted.
The thing that upsets me about all this is not that people are compelled to toss a little hatred my way... but that they're so bad at it. Their profanity is just pathetic and funny, and their attempt at insults aren't even vaguely insulting. It's all just so amateurish and lame.
So, in an attempt to improve the level of hate-mail/hate-comments on my blog, I've decided to help out the haters by giving them some tips on how to hate better. First I'm going to list the five most common "insults" they use... then I'm going to give them a far more insulting alternative...
I can see how bigoted homophobe guys might take it as an insult when somebody calls them "gay" (or some slang approximation thereof) but, since I'm not a bigoted homophobe, this has zero impact as an insult. You might as well be calling me "left-handed" or "short" or "blue-eyes"... they're all wrong, but it's not like I give a shit. On the contrary, being called "gay" is pretty much a compliment in my book. Many of the gay dudes I know are some of the most kind, strong, interesting, hard-working, honest, decent people I've ever met. They also tend to be better-looking and better-groomed than me. To be lumped in with a group like that (even mistakenly!) is not something I mind one bit. No, I'm not into guys, but I have plenty of gay friends that mean more to me than any crap I take for standing with them. So unleash whatever homophobic bullshit on me you want if it makes you feel more secure about your own sexuality. I'm here to help!
MORE INSULTING ALTERNATIVE: "Ur Thoughtless." The very foundation of my beliefs is based on being thoughtful towards others... even if they're being assholes towards me. I am not always successful (especially when I am angry) but I do try. Being told that I'm not trying hard enough is about the most hurtful thing somebody can say to me.
I get labeled as a "liberal" all the time. I'm the first to admit that my political sensibilities do tend to fall in the liberal spectrum, but it's almost always having to do with human rights and environmental issues. Yes, I think the very poor (particularly children) shouldn't have to go hungry or be denied medical care. Yes, I support humanitarian foreign aid efforts. Yes, I am 100% onboard for citizen equality issues such as same-sex marriage. Yes, I believe in a woman's right to choose (even though my personal beliefs may be otherwise). Yes, I am totally supportive of anti-discrimination legislation. Yes, I think the government should have some oversight when monitoring food safety, education, and environmental matters. Etcetera. Etcetera. And if somebody wants to call me "liberal" or "progressive" or "socialist" because of my beliefs, then so be it. But even though I don't consider myself a "liberal," that doesn't mean I'm going to be gravely offended in being labeled one.
MORE INSULTING ALTERNATIVE: "Ur a Hippie." I value hard work highly. So having somebody equate my humanist beliefs with a drugged-out, love-bead-wearing, guitar-strumming, ponytail-bedecked, do-nothing hippie squatting in a park somewhere is pretty damn insulting. I'm about as far away from a hippie as I can get considering I'm not a millionaire but, when it comes to unfounded name-calling, this one gets me riled every time because I Just. Loathe. Hippies. So. Darn. Much.
I get labeled as a "conservative" more often than you might think. Usually by "liberal" friends who simply don't understand how I could possibly agree with anything that any conservative might ever say. Ever. But... there are areas where I absolutely do. Usually when it comes to fiscal responsibility, the folly of entitlements, the one-sidedness of subsidies, and the overall concept of getting government the fuck out of every aspect of our lives. True conservatism promotes personal freedoms as a cornerstone of our society. The fact that so many self-proclaimed "conservatives" completely ignore this fact is not the fault of conservatism... but the hypocrisy of morons who don't know what they're talking about. So go ahead and call me a conservative, because I actually do know what I'm talking about.
MORE INSULTING ALTERNATIVE: "Ur Heartless." It's not my fault that so many faux conservatives come across as heartless bastards, but being lumped in with these people is something that truly stings. I was once called "heartless" because my lack of support for government beef subsidies "hurts small cattle ranches." But I know full well that it's the massive conglomerates with cruel livestock conditions and horrendous pollution that are the biggest beneficiaries of the billions of dollars that our government hands out. Not to mention the health risks that come from cheap beef production. But even knowing what I know, the thought of somebody thinking me heartless is pretty hard to take.
Being called "stupid" is about as popular as it is laughable. Because what I am, in fact, is a genius. Not just a self-proclaimed genius, but an actual certified genius with the IQ test scores to back it up many times over. And when one of my ass cheeks is probably smarter than the dumbass calling me "stupid," it's not like I can ever take their crap seriously. Odds are that they call people "stupid" because they're too fucking brain-dead to debate the issue with any kind of discourse. They read something here and think "I disagree with this statement, therefore the person who wrote it must be stupid!" and away they go. Want to contest my opinions and observations? By all means please do. I love a healthy debate, and think that everybody can learn from other people... even somebody as smart as I am. But call me stupid? All that does is confirm to me that you're the one that's a fucking moron.
MORE INSULTING ALTERNATIVE: "Ur uninformed." Before I form an opinion on anything, I really do try to examine the issue from all sides. I can't learn everything, obviously, but I want to at least have a grasp on the generalities before I go spouting off. So if I've overlooked something obvious and am truly uninformed on some aspect of an issue... then bringing that up is about as big a slap in my face as you'll manage (well, verbally, anyway).
This usually comes from somebody commenting on one of my DaveToons. Now granted, if my crappy cartoons were all I had to go on, I'd probably call myself untalented. They're crude, amateurish, and repetitive, so I get it. But to judge the entirety of my talent (or lack thereof) based on one cartoon you happened to run across is really shortsighted. I don't get paid to blog, so they're supposed to be crude, amateurish, and repetitive... they're designed that way so I can create them quickly and move on to something that's going to pay me! But, whatever. I do a lot of work with a lot of people and a lot of companies who like my work and respect my professionalism, so calling me "untalented" over a stupid cartoon will fall on deaf ears.
MORE INSULTING ALTERNATIVE: "Ur boring." My blog isn't always as exciting as it could be. But since I don't write about work, friends, family, or relationships, there's a huge chunk of my life that's not going to end up on Blogography, so this is something I have to live with. But just because I'm blogging about this new brand of toilet paper I bought, that doesn't necessarily mean that this was the most exciting thing that happened. It just means it was the most exciting thing which I could write about. So even though I know my blog is boring at times (and can't be helped), it doesn't make it any less hurtful when somebody reminds me.
And there you have it, haters! Here's hoping the next round of insults I get from you will be much better than the weak-ass, anonymous, pussified, dumbassery you usually send my way.
Continuing my adventures with the Whipstitch Essential Sewing E-Course...
TOTE BAG! TOTE BAG, YO!
Last week my sewing class moved past learning what you need to know to sew... to actually sewing stuff. Our first project was a napkin. Mine turned out okay, but it was pretty boring because my grandmother's machine doesn't have any fancy decorative stitches on it. Not content to eat using a boring napkin, I decided to practice sewing in a straight line all over it. After that, the napkin wasn't boring... but it was a little scary, so I threw it away.
The second project we got to tackle was a tote bag.
At first I thought Deborah was insane for expecting her students to go from a napkin to a frickin' tote bag... but her video made it look easy so I was excited to try it.
My first tote bag was made from a light stripey denim-like material with a blue flannel interior. Our instructor can whip out a tote bag in eight minutes... this one took me nearly two hours. Mostly because I had stupidly used stripy fabric which took quite a bit of time to line up perfectly so that everything looked right. Despite how long it took to make, I have to say that it turned out pretty darn sweet. It looks great and is comfortable to carry stuff in, just like a tote bag should be...
Last night I decided to make another tote bag out of "Duck Canvas." At first I was worried that the sewing machine wouldn't be able to punch through the stuff, but it was no problem at all. This time it took me only a half-hour to finish. The outside is pretty plain... but when you look inside? FANCY!!
I think it turned out even more awesome than the first one.
And now we're learning all kinds of stuff about fabric which I never knew... stuff I never knew that I needed to know. Things like "grain" and "bias" that I've previously ignored.
What's kind of cool is that I'm learning not only how to make sure future sewing projects will be successful... but why my past projects have failed. I was doing everything all wrong and didn't even realize it.
Now, if you'll excuse me... I've got to make some CONTINUOUS BIAS TAPE! And yes, I actually know what that is now.
I woke up with a massive headache. Things only went downhill from there. For one thing, it snowed last night. For another thing, I got an email that made me want to slam my already-aching head into a wall. There really should be some kind of law which forbids being assaulted by dumbassery before 9:00am.
Especially on Wednesday, because that's New Comic Book Day!
Though I'm a lot more excited by the Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum victories in the Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado Republican primaries. Do I even dare hope that he'll actually win the nomination? Because that would be the single most mind-blowingly awesome entertainment America could hope for. Time to take a look a the top contenders...
What happens if he wins? The presidential contest will be relatively boring. Other than breaking out in song with America the Beautiful and trash-talking President Obama, Mittens doesn't have much else to actually campaign with. The guy has flip-flopped on just about everything you could possibly flip-flop on, and President Obama will use that to positively massacre him in any debate. Not that he has to... Romney is legendary for sabotaging himself with the stupid-ass crap that flies out of his mouth. All Obama really has to do is stand back and watch Romney hang himself with his own words.
What happens if he wins? We will have quite possibly the most lively and interesting debate in the history of presidential politics. Speaker Gingrich may be a raging hypocrite when it comes to integrity and family values, but he will unapologetically rip into each and every one of President Obama's failings like a honey badger, putting Obama on the defensive in any debate. He can't win the election, of course. His past scandals are tied to his ass like a boat anchor. But for people like me who have reservations about another four years of Obama, Gingrichh is the only one who can make our president actually work for his re-election.
RICK "PIECE OF SHIT" SANTORUM
What happens if he wins? Oh so many wonderful things. The guy is so astoundingly misguided on so many topics that he'll be like a one-legged mouse that cool cat President Obama will bat around and play with for weeks before finally ripping his fool head off. It will be the Super Bowl of presidential elections where the only position Santorum is fit to play is towel boy. Or maybe tight-end, if his homophobic over-compensation is any indication. In any event, you can't buy entertainment this good, which actually has me contemplating a donation to Santorum's campaign.
What happens if he wins? I have no clue. A Ron Paul nomination is so far outside the realm of possibility that I can only guess that the Apocalypse shifts into full gear and the world ends. Kind of a shame, because I think the unpredictability of such a contest against President Obama would be worth watching. Some of Ron Paul's ideas are very good. Others are bat-shit crazy. It's entirely possible that Obama would have no defense against that, which could be extremely interesting. Or pathetically mundane. Either way, I think the presidential race would evolve into something entirely different than we've ever seen before.
And there you have it. I never thought the "Not Romneys" would get this far against the wishes of party heads who clearly want a Mittens nomination. But it's somehow fitting that Romney is going to have to pay big... massively big... money to secure his party victory before he gets anywhere near President Obama. He's got money to burn, so why not?
Holy crap, dude.
It doesn't matter who wins big come the November elections, there's going to be a lot of unhappy people. It's unavoidable because the level of venom being volleyed back-and-forth between Republicans and Democrats has reached critical mass. We're mere seconds away from a full-on thermonuclear explosion of hate, and you just can't come back from that.
And every time I watch the news or catch up with current political events on the internet, a part of me wonders if we should just carve up North America in a way that will keep us from destroying each other.
I'm talking about the establishment of Jesusland and The United States of Canada...
This has been a joke and internet meme for a long time. But the thing is... there's a very serious truth beneath it all. Why not create political divisions that make sense? Wouldn't people be a lot happier if their government more closely represented their beliefs and values?
And while I don't know that Canada would agree to be dragged into this mess, I'm thinking that the majority of Americans might actually go for it. The hatred is just so overwhelming, relentless, and balls-nasty that I'd do just about anything to make it stop.
Here in my home-state of Washington, we've got a scary level of hatred all our own to deal with. And now that same-sex-marriage is going to be signed into law next week, I can only imagine that it's going to get even worse...
Though I really do hope my fellow Washingtonians over here in Redneckistan will do the right thing and help same-sex-marriage pass if it ends up being put to a vote. With acceptance of gay marriage reaching new heights every day, you just never know.
But that's just one issue out of hundreds.
In the end, even if we were to establish Jesusland and The United States of Canada, Washington would still be divided. I'm sure other states would have similar lines of separation. So while the majority of people would probably be happier eventually... there's still going to be a large segment of the population who are angry, bitter, and unhappy.
So what to do?
A pity we can't just all cling to the things we have in common and work from there...
But, alas, those things are getting to be few and far between.
Remember the good ol' days when being "Americans" was enough to unite us?
If I have to listen to Mitt Romney mangle the lyrics to American The Beautiful one more time, I'm going to fucking lose it. The lyrics are NOT "for purple mountain's majesty..." it's "for purple mountain majesties." Those are the lyrics. Those are the words in the original poem upon which the song is based. If you're going to pander to the lowest common denominator with a bullshit smokescreen masquerading as patriotism, you should at least put the effort into doing it right.
Gee. I'm in a bit of a mood tonight.
That's what happens when you start working at 4:30am.
And you have to read about George Lucas telling the world that Greedo always shot first... that everybody is just "confused" and bad people want Han "to be a cold-blooded killer."
I saw the original Star Wars dozens of times... and by "original" I mean the actual film and not the Special Edition crap. I watched it again dozens of more times on LaserDisc. And not once during any of those times did I ever think that Greedo fired first. But, more importantly, I never once thought that Han Solo was a cold-blooded killer. Greedo had a gun pointed on him... he was acting in self-defense...
And, as we found out in The Empire Strikes Back, the guy was a scoundrel.
Which brings me to my point...
If I have to listen to George Lucas mangle Star Wars one more time, I'm going to fucking lose it.
HAN SOLO SHOT FIRST! I'd also go a step further and say that Greedo never shot at all... but I must be confused on that too.
There was a time that Whitney Houston's voice was widely regarded as being in a class untouchable by mere mortals. It was thus almost from the beginning.
Sure she had fun and poppy hits like How Will I Know and I Wanna Dance with Somebody... but they were nicely balanced by stunning R&B tracks like Saving All My Love for You and I Will Always Love You. The woman had pipes. The woman could sing.
And never was this more apparent than when she belted out The Star Spangled Banner at the 2001 Super Bowl with an unforgettable performance. The rumor that it was lip-synced did nothing to detract from the magic because Whitney nailed it. Our National Anthem is not an easy song to sing. On the contrary, it practically begs to be screwed up by anyone attempting it... live or otherwise. And even when singers get it right, it doesn't always sound that great. With Ms. Houston's talent, it was a different story entirely...
And today, at the age of 48, she's gone.
Whitney admitted to using drugs (but not crack, which she felt was "whack" because it was beneath her income level)... and odds are it was her drug use which contributed to her death. This is all kinds of tragic because a part of me always expected that she'd make some kind of come-back one of these days.
Alas it was not to be.
Perhaps not meant to be. All that's left now is a legacy. And a lesson.
Her voice may have been beyond the grasp of mere mortals but, in the end, it was wrapped in a body that was all too human. Hopefully her fellow humans will remember that at a time it would be all too easy to forget.
Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen... Bullet Sunday starts... NOW!
• Magic? It used to be that whenever I saw some sports figure scream "I'M GOING TO DISNEYLAND!" after a big victory, I'd scream back "WHORE!" I mean, it's such an obvious attempt to score Disney ad money. But the more I think about it, what better way could there be to celebrate than to have a party with Mickey Mouse at the most magical place on earth?
And then I see the happy photos of Eli Manning at Disneyland after his Super Bowl win and know that I would totally celebrate all my most important victories there. Of course, should I become victorious at conquering the earth, I'll own Disneyland, but still...
• Restart? I'm not a very emotional person. Which is why my nearly being driven to tears by a frickin' Chipotle commercial was about the most shocking and disturbing thing that could have happened to me while watching the Grammys. So called "factory farming" of animals is about the cruelest, most destructive, and unhealthy way to create "food" you could think of. To have somebody step up and say "enough" is so very encouraging...
There's no Chipotle anywhere near me but, if there were, I would patronize the hell out of that restaurant.
• Shop? Speaking of patronizing a worthy business... I'm going to have to start shopping at my local
And to the bigoted asshats at "One Million Moms"... go fuck yourselves. You obviously all need a good fucking if your idea of "values" is to spend your time attacking somebody as generous, inspiring, and remarkable as Ellen DeGeneres. And may your God have mercy on any of your children who happen to be gay. Because if they're not going to get your love and support, being able to turn on the television and see somebody like Ellen may be all they have.
• Krave? After hearing about "Krave," the breakfast cereal filled with chocolate candy, I simply had to try it. How could I not? It's cereal. WITH CHOCOLATE CANDY INSIDE!!
The verdict? Awful. Just awful. Both the "Chocolate" and "Double Chocolate" varieties taste like chemical waste. The texture is bizarre (in a bad way) as well. I can't fathom why anybody would eat this when they could just sprinkle M&Ms over a bowl of Golden Grahams?
• Confusion? I'm a Mr. Potato Head fan. I'm a massively huge Batman fan. But I honestly don't know what to make of this...
Why? It doesn't look like Batman or Mr. Potato Head. I'm not saying it's a bad concept for a toy... but surely they could have just dressed Mr. Potato Head as Batman instead of coming up with this hunk of plastic monstrosity.
• Protest? It seems like only yesterday I was walking through Syntagma Square in central Athens, Greece (actually it was five years ago). Despite a somewhat disappointing visit to the Hard Rock Cafe there, I very much enjoyed my visit to the city. Which is why I am very upset to see it erupt in flames...
Photo taken from ABC News.
Photo taken from Reuters.
I'm all for the right of free protest when you disagree with something, but this is horrific. Do the people who own the shops and cafes getting firebombed deserve this? And while I admit that I don't know if the police crack-downs have been overly-violent, I have to question whether firebombing them could ever be a justifiable act. Greece is in serious trouble... to see violence drive it even further to the brink is profoundly sad. Come together, people... I very much want to visit your country again one day.
And now... back to the Grammys...
Sweet! Today my home state of Washington passed marriage equality into law!
Now it's a waiting game to see whether the anti-equality brigade can get the signatures they need to force a ballot vote. Because it's totally appropriate to put equality to a vote, right?
Argh. I don't even want to think about it.
Because it's not like I've already got some things I'm trying not to think about today.
A friend sent me a video that had an interesting take on political issues from a purely humanitarian point of view. Some of the thinking seemed grossly simplistic and unrealistic but, taken as a whole, it was a fascinating look at how political policy doesn't change as much as you'd think from administration to administration.
In the video there were links to other videos. Which had links to other videos. Which had links to even more videos.
But it was the comment threads that were where the addiction lays. Most times they're so incredibly awful that you're compelled to read them. And just when you think you've read the most horrific thing that somebody could possibly say on the subject, you go to the next comment and it gets even worse. The bigotry, ignorance, racism, lies, and raw hatred sucks you into a vortex of stupidity from which not even light can escape...
And if you don't let go before the Point of No Return, you become just as stupid as the animals who are commenting and are compelled to comment yourself. From there you cross over the event horizon and are doomed to destruction.
Don't believe me? It's SCIENCE, people!
Though I don't know that even science can explain why so many people think that the road to destruction is the best course to follow. Maybe if more effort when into studying stupidity, we could find out why they just can't seem to let it go.
Or why there are people who think that the freedoms this country were founded upon demands equality for its citizens be put to a vote.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Sometimes the best Valentine's Day presents are the ones you get for yourself. And since I know you'd want what's best for me, I hopped right on that.
So thanks so much! I couldn't have asked for a better gift! I absolutely love it!
To see Valentines from previous years, visit the Blogography Valentine's Day Cards Page!
Yesterday afternoon I had to make an emergency trip up to Chelan which, for the uninitiated, is pronounced "sha-lann" (but is spoken by locals more like "shell-ann")... and means Deep Water in the Salish Native American dialect (from the words "tsi-laan").
The city is named after Central Washington's premiere summertime attraction, Lake Chelan, which is indeed some deep, deep water. Like 1400 feet deep, making it the third-deepest lake in the USA, 24th deepest lake in the world. It's also very long... as in 55 miles long.
When I was a kid, I spent many summer days up at "The Lake," and have some great memories from my time there. In high school I spent many summer weekends up at "The Lake," but for entirely different reasons. All my memories from those times are fragmented and hazy.
Anyway... I haven't been here in a while and, despite making the trip for a very sad occasion, there is no denying that waking up to this view is anything but unpleasant...
From Chelan this morning, I drove back to work. Then drove three hours to Spokane this evening...
Where my first stop was Famous Ed's so I could enjoy some David's Pizza (now that David's Pizza has been destroyed)...
Still not authentic David's Da Vinci pizza, but it's a step above what I had last time. I just wish they could get the crust the way David's used to. This crust is kind of tough and chewy... not the wonderfully crusty crispy crust I loved on the original. Oh well. I remain hopeful that they'll eventually open a new David's and make the best pizza I've ever tasted once again.
And now I'm comfy in my hotel bed watching the latest episode of Happy Endings
I want cake.
As I started my three-hour drive home from Spokane, I noticed that my passenger-side rear-view mirror was shaking a bit. As I drove on, it got worse and worse.
"That's odd," I said. I don't remember my mirror being wobbly like that." So I stopped at the next gas station to take a look.
Turns out somebody side-swiped me last night in the hotel parking lot. And, like the asshole they are, they didn't bother leaving a note. Not to offer to pay for repairs. Not even to warn me that my mirror and might drop off my car at any minute. Nothing.
My only consolation is that they scraped a nice swatch of paint off their vehicle...
All I could do was pop my mirror back in the housing the best I could and drive on. I don't even know how I would go about fixing the thing. Take apart the door, I guess. It's still a bit wobbly, but feels solid enough that it's not going to be a safety risk.
And here I thought I was joking when I said my car was invisible.
The first three times.
Now I'm pretty much convinced that the piece of shit does actually possess some kind of stealth capability. How else can I explain getting hit again and again and again and again and again?
Speaking of "again and again"... my blog is down again. Guess I won't be posting this entry tonight after all.
When DC Comics rebooted their entire universe with "The New 52," my intent was to buy the first couple issues... be underwhelmed... then stop collecting comic books once and for all. I had already given up on Marvel Comics for being insanely expensive, so dropping DC seemed inevitable. Heck, 90% of the books I bought I never even read anyway. My thirty-three year relationship with comics was at an end.
Except it wasn't.
Against all odds, "The New 52" rejuvenated my love of comic books.
And once I learned that the previous issue of DC's digital titles would drop by $1 when the new issue when on sale, I switched to reading comics on my iPad and never looked back. I am now reading more comics than I ever have before... a full half of DC's entire line-up (impressive even though it's down from the 35 I was reading three months ago).
In fact, four of the titles are so good that I can't wait a month for the $1 price drop... I buy them the minute they are released...
No lie... Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo have created one of the best Batman series I have ever read. The current "Court of Owls" storyline is dragging just a bit six months in, but it's so fascinating that I can't feel raw about it. The tale has weight to it. A lot of history is being woven into the plot, and it's a fascinating look at Batmam that's as good as it gets.
• WONDER WOMAN
My favorite Wonder Woman books were from the George Pérez era where he took her back to her Greek mythology roots and made her into something so much more than a female Superman. Now writer Brian Azzarello and artist Tony Akins have taken those mythological ties to an even deeper and more bizarre level, and I absolutely love it. Sure, it can be a difficult read... the climactic battle in #6 was so confusing that I have no idea what in the hell was going on (and neither did the person setting up the "Guide View" in the digital comic, because it skips some stuff!)... but I can't get enough of this book.
If you would have told me six months ago that a book headed up by Aquaman would be in my "must read" pile, I'd have called you crazy. And yet here we are. I felt that Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis' conclusion to the whole "Trench" storyline was a bit wimpy and anti-climactic... but the journey to that finale was so rewarding that I wasn't bothered. Aquaman has gone from a D-list joke of a character to a truly critical part of the DC lineup. Whoda thunk it?
• JUSTICE LEAGUE
Geoff Johns and Jim Lee are serving up a terrific team book that's larger than life. And though the story has been a little uneven, the beautiful artwork goes a long way towards my enjoyment of the book. And enjoying it I am.
The other titles I'm buying (albeit after a month delay for the $1 price decrease) are...
• Action Comics
• All-Star Western
• Batman & Robin
• Birds of Prey
• Blue Beetle
• Green Lantern
• Justice League Dark
• Justice League International
• Legion of Super-Heroes
• Legion Lost
• OMAC (cancelled)
• Resurrection Man
• Swamp Thing
• Teen Titans
Entirely too many comic books. But I just can't help myself.
Yesterday's drive over the mountains was about as uneventful as it gets. No snow. No insane people. No terrible motorists. No accidents. No drama. Nothing. Everybody even drove the speed limit! At first I thought that hell might have frozen over... but then I realized that I was just playing the odds. After hundreds of such drives in the past, the stars somehow aligned to give me the stress-free journey I've always dreamed about. Guess I was due...
In order to take photos of my road-trips, I modified an old GPS mount to stick my iPhone to the windshield and use a time-lapse app to snap pictures as I drive. That way, I'm not one of these people who can't stay on the road because I'm dicking around with my phone and crashing into people.
There are a few problems with this...
And now... I should probably get back to my glass of Jägermeister. It looks very lonely up there on the table. Staring at me. Demanding I show it some love. Such a demanding drink, it is.
Get out the Jägermeister and Red Bull, we're dropping bombs, and Bullet Sunday starts... now!
• Tragedy. Yesterday I wrote about my drive over Stevens Pass. Then today I heard that three skiers were killed in an avalanche up there. Whenever something like this happens, there's a mad scramble to track down all your skier friends to make sure they're okay. Then temper your relief with a grief that comes from knowing while it wasn't anybody you knew this time... it could most certainly be so next time. It's a stressful and horrible time, now made worse because you have fucked up shit like this circulating...
I know this dumbass bitch's "church" is nothing more than a huge scam made up of lawyers who do their best to piss people off so they can get attacked (then sue everybody and make piles of money)... but I don't even care. They are vile filth who victimize families at their most vulnerable and should be put in prison. Shame on people who keep defending these assholes' "freedom of speech" when they are nothing more than vicious bullies who ruthlessly violate the rights of others.
• Babeu. The interwebs are abuzz on both sides of the political spectrum with the outing of hard-core anti-immigration activist and Mitt Romney campaign co-chair for Arizona, Sheriff Paul Babeu. And now the poor guy is being attacked from all sides in a clear demonstration of just how fucked up this country is...
Photo taken from Reuters
First of all, I have to say that yes... if Babeu abused his authority to intimidate and threaten somebody, then he was wrong and should be held accountable for that. But until this is proven, shame on everybody.
Shame on Liberals who are screaming "HYPOCRITE!" because he's gay and Republican. Why the fuck should his sexual orientation dictate his political beliefs? Yeah, Republicans are not very welcoming of homosexuals... and hard-core Conservatives are outright hostile towards them... but if Babeu can set that aside because his politics are more aligned with a conservative viewpoint and that's what's important to him, why the hell should you care? If you disagree with his stance on immigration, fine. But if you think a man can only be a Democrat if he's gay, then it's you who are the hypocrite.
Shame on Conservatives who are now screaming "HIS CAREER SHOULD BE OVER!" because he's gay and Republican. Why should his sexual orientation dictate what job he can hold? The guy served with honor in the National Guard where he spent a tour in Iraq. He is a decorated law enforcement officer. He has faithfully protected our borders from drug trafficking. He is consistent with Conservative views on immigration. He has demonstrated over and over again that he's your fucking DREAM CANDIDATE in his plan to run for U.S. Congress... and yet you would discard the guy because he's into dudes? What is he supposed to do... give up the sexual aspect of his humanity and be unhappy just to make you happy? That is one of the most stupid fucking things I've ever heard.
This type of crap drives me insane. The guy is just doing the best he can to be true to the man he is in a world that attacks him for doing so. I may not support his politics, but I support him in his pursuit of happiness... just as all Americans should... Liberal and Conservative alike.
• Horror. And just because my disgust is already running at an all-time high here... might as well tear into one of the biggest assholes on the planet, Nancy Grace. I've written many times about how much I loathe this disgusting excuse for a human being, but she just keeps getting worse and worse...
If there's anybody out there who still thinks her "crusade for the victims" is anything more than a shameless money-grab by one of the biggest fucking exploitation whores on the planet, Salon has an article for you.
And now... back to my three-day weekend...
Yesterday the television weather dude was forecasting doom and gloom on the mountain passes. He even went so far as to recommend that you drive home from your holiday weekend early (on Sunday) if you could. This scared the crap out of me because I simply had to get back home before Tuesday.
Unfortunately, I had been drinking, so driving home yesterday wasn't possible. Instead I decided I would drive home early today before the weather got too bad. So I woke up at 7am and left just before 8am.
Only to find that the passes were JUST FINE, and I worried for nothing. I also got up early for nothing, which sucks ass.
Oh well. Once I got past all the skiers driving to the summit, I had the road entirely to myself, which was nice...
The GPS mount that holds my iPhone kept sliding on my windshield, which was annoying, but I got some nice shots of my trip. One of these days I'm doing that time-lapse movie... it's quite a nice drive.
Anyway... home safe and sound.
It's been a really tough week to keep up with my sewing classes but, since I ended up coming home so early yesterday, I spent most of last night getting caught up...
...AND PLAYING WITH MY BRAND NEW SEWING MACHINE!!
My dad saw my sewing struggles on my blog and decided to give me an early birthday present... a Brother SE400! It's pretty sweet, does just about everything you could ever want, and sews like a dream with dozens of computer-controled stitches. As if that weren't enough, it can do embroidery as well...
It's going to take a while to figure everything out, but I'm digging it so far!
The first project I had to work on was a "Drawstring Tote Bag." I thought it looked kinda like an army duffle bag, so I decided to buy some cammo fabric and make something I could use in one of my AnySoldier.com care packages. It holds three rolls of toilet paper perfectly...
The next project was a "Relaxing Eye Mask" filled with rice that you can microwave or freeze. I had a big problem trying to get the tie-straps turned inside-out, so I ended up having to make them really huge so I wouldn't get stuck...
Still works okay though...
The last thing I had to do was practice stitching around shapes appliqué-style. My new sewing machine makes stuff like this a snap because it feeds fabric so beautifully and can make such perfect stitches...
I may have went a little too dense on the stitch-length though... I burned through a spool of thread in no time flat.
Our next project is an apron with ruffles on it. I have given up all hope of making it look like something a guy like me could wear, as I am not nearly macho enough to pull off ruffles. Oh well... you don't need an apron to heat up a microwave TV dinner, so it's all good.
Now I really should unpack my dirty clothes. Otherwise my next sewing project will have to be a suitcase, because my current one is starting to smell.
Yesterday morning was a mad rush to get to work. I had been attacking my to-do list since 4:00am, and really need to get to the office so I could get everything sent out. This meant skipping breakfast, throwing my crap into my backpack, then storming out the door.
Where I proceeded to drop my iPhone on the pavement.
And then accidentally kick it across the parking lot when I bent over to pick it up.
So now my beautiful iPhone has a giant crack running down the front along with assorted chips in the glass...
Not a pretty site.
What's odd is that this is the first time I've damaged an iPhone in the five years I've been buying them. Over the years I've dropped them numerous times... I even dunked one in a waterfall... but they've never been worse for wear. Which is odd, because before I got my first iPhone, my mobiles were breaking all the time.
I'm rough on phones, yo.
So, after drop-kicking my current iPhone, I honestly did expect to pick it up and have it be fine. To see that big-ass crack there shouldn't have shocked me, but it really did. Oh well. Given the abuse I heap on these things, it was bound to happen eventually. The good news is that everything is still working fine.
And now my iPhone is off to the good people at iResQ so they can replace his face. Don't ask me how I'll manage without it until Friday... I honestly don't know... but I'm sure plenty of comfort chocolate pudding is in order.
= sob! =
I should know better than to keep watching the Republican debates.
But like the glutton for punishment I am, I tune in with the faint hope that I'll hear something new... or interesting... or inspiring... or even just a tiny bit smart. This country has big problems, and I'm still waiting to hear from somebody who can figure it all out.
But that person sure ain't one of the Republican candidates for president. So not only am I wasting my time, I'm also exposing myself to near-fatal levels of bullshit.
Like listening to Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum once again vomit up some of his outrageous crap...
President Barack Obama actually went to France a year or so ago and was with Nicolas Sarkozy and said that, "Here I am with the French Prime Minister, our best ally in the world." Now think about this. Name one time in the last 20 years that the French stood by us with anything. But in Barack Obama's eyes, that makes them our best ally, because they fought what was in the best interest of our country.
The levels of stupid here are just too legion to even contemplate. Fortunately, I don't have to, as Politifact did an excellent job of debunking this fucked-up statement. The truth is that France has been a true ally to this country for a very long time. They deserve a lot better than to be diminished and dismissed by a piece of shit politician looking to score cheap points.
In a time when the USA has too many enemies in too many places, we need to remember who our friends are...
Despite my loathing of Santorum's never-ending hypocrisy, hate, exaggeration, and outright lies, a part of me still wants to believe that a candidate for President of the United States of America surely must want what's best for this country in their heart. But how can I in this case?
Either Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum is so evil that he would purposely damage our relationship with a long-time ally just to get votes out of people too fucking stupid to question his lies... or... he himself is so fucking stupid that he doesn't even know when he's lying any more...
Photo taken from Reuters
If you want to find somebody fighting what is in the best interest of our country, Rick, all you have to do is look in a mirror. Everything that's wrong with America is staring back at you.
This morning when I woke up I reached for my iPhone... remembered it was gone... then burst into tears.
Well, okay, I didn't actually burst into tears. But I felt like I should have. iPhone is always with me no matter where I go, and to not have him by my side felt like a part of me was missing. Dejected and alone, I headed off to work... trying my best to face a cruel future while cut-off from the world.
But then my repaired iPhone was delivered and everything was okay again.
Until I found out that Washington State has introduced a bill to add even more fucking taxes to our cell phone bills. Never mind that our state already pays the second-highest mobile phone tax in the nation, our legislators have decided that we should pay even more to cover their budget shortfall.
This stupid shit is getting out of hand.
It would be different if we had taxes lower than the national average or something... but increasing taxes on the second highest rate in the nation?!? How can these asshole politicians think that this is a rational solution to their problem? Though I suppose it's only slightly less stupid than the non-candy candy tax bullshit they tried last year.
Look, I appreciate that we need to meet our budget obligations and be fiscally responsible and stuff... but why shift the burden to people's cell phone bills when they're already paying through the ass? It's not like my iPhone is causing the budget shortfall... so stop punishing me as if it is.
Maybe cutting the salary of the dumbfuck politicians who keep attacking us instead of balancing the budget in a way that makes sense is the solution. Where do I vote on that?
After having a meltdown over the latest disgusting crap flying out of Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum's mouth, I decided to step away from the internet and watch some "safety television."
AWWWWW! A baby sloth and his Teddy bear!
AWWWWW! Baby sloths hanging around!
AWWWWW! A baby sloth has a bath!
AWWWWW! A baby sloth goes for a walk!
AWWWWW! A baby puppy looks around!
AWWWWW! A baby newborn kitten tries to open his eyes!
AWWWWW! A baby puppy playing in the leaves!
AWWWWW! A baby puppy chewing on a pumkin!
AWWWWW! CUTE BABY PUPPIES!!!
AWWWWW! Baby kitten takes a walk!
There! All better! How can I not feel all warm and fuzzy after watching cute baby animals for hours!
So go fuck yourself Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum!
Don't touch that mouse, Bullet Sunday starts... now.
• Higgs Boson. For science geeks like myself, Saturday was kind of a special day, as we were granted an audience with Professor Peter Higgs via a rare interview in The Scotsman. Fresh off of winning the Edinburgh Award, he made the bold prediction that the stupidly nicknamed "God Particle" that bears his name will finally be found this summer after 48 years. Bring on the Nobel Prize.
• Joke. Really? Attacking President Kennedy now? I gotta hand it to Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum, he's got balls the size of watermelons to be trash-talking one of this country's most beloved presidents. Especially when Santorum is so petty and insignificant in the grand scheme of things...
Santorum's tiny, insignificant, flea-like body from Ambro
How embarrassing. At some point even the craziest of crazies who are supporting this moron are going to wake up and say "What the fuck?!?"
• Astronomical. Apparently there was a spectacular alignment of planets happening in the heavens this weekend. Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon are all lining up to some kind of cool visual. I wouldn't know, of course, as the sky was totally overcast...
I swear, no astronomical events ever happen here. I get screwed by the weather every time.
• Finally. One of my favorite actors ever, James Earl Jones, was finally given his due with a Lifetime Achievement Academy Award...
Photo from Luke Macgregor/Reuters
Can you imagine any of his movie appearances with somebody else in the role? Field of Dreams? The Lion King? Sneakers? The voice of CNN? THE VOICE OF DARTH VADER?!? No. No you can't. He's and incredible talent, and seeing him get an Oscar makes the award almost relevant again.
• Oscar. I am not a fan of the Academy Awards. They so rarely get it right when it comes to those deserving of a win. Case in point?
Captain America: The First Avenger — Best Picture.
Robert Downey Jr — Best Actor for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
David Fincher — Best Director for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Stanley Tucci — Best Supporting Actor for Captain America: The First Avenger.
Meryl Streep — Best Actress for The Iron Lady.
Jennifer Aniston — Best Supporting Actress for Horrible Bosses.
And how many of those trophies were correctly awarded? One. Congratulations Meryl. You're amazing as always.
And now... I've got to pack a suitcase...
Tonight I had a loaf of garlic bread and a glass of Kool-Aid for dinner.
If you can't tell, I've given up on life.
Probably because I have to get up at 3:30am tomorrow so I can make my plane. Usually I wouldn't fly so frickin' early, but the price difference between the early flight and the not-so-early flight was $800, so there you have it. If only I were made of money, I wouldn't have to deal with crap like this.
But I'm not. So I do. Welcome to my world.
I guess I should take a shower and go to bed... or do whatever it is that people do when they have to get up in six hours for a flight. Ooh! What if people eat chocolate pudding and watch Batman cartoons?
Yes. I think that must be what people do.
And so shall I.
So shall I.
What a wacky day!
I was hoping that staying up until 11:00 last night would mean I'd sleep until my alarm went off at 3:30 this morning. This was, of course, the wishful thinking of a chronic insomniac. Wide awake at 3:00am. Apparently anything more than four hours sleep will have to stay a dream... a short but wonderful dream.
Shower. Get dressed. Pack up my crap. Check my email for flight cancellations (for the third time this morning). Then stare at the clock until 3:50am when I head off to the airport.
Arrive at the airport, which won't open for ten minutes. Wasn't stopped by the police for accidental speeding, which is always a plus. Now I'm bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. I surf the internet on my iPhone for twenty minutes to pass the time, then look up to see this:
Since I just added oil last weekend, I can only guess my car is burning oil like a muthertrucker. Yay! I totally have a pile of money back home just waiting to throw at an auto mechanic!
The security screening agent asks me if I want to remove my sweatshirt or go for the pat-down. I explain that it's a bit too early for me to have been drinking, so I'll pass on the pat-down and strip off my hoodie. He seems a little too relieved. I'm offended because I am totally grope-worthy this morning! Since I buzzed my head, every day is a good hair day right here! Now I sit and wait to see if my flight will be cancelled because of "mechanical difficulties"... for the third time in a row (=cough= BULLSHIT! =cough=).
Oh my dear and fluffy Lord, we're actually boarding the plane! The cabin attendant announces that the weather in Seattle is currently clear, but clouds with a light rain will be moving in later this morning and is "projected to last until July 5th." This gets him a courtesy laugh because it is funny for being (mostly) true... but anybody familiar with Seattle already knows this. I stifle the urge to give him a golf clap because I like to encourage smart-assery whenever I can.
My name is "David Simmer II" instead of the more common "David Simmer Jr." because my dad didn't want for people to call me "Junior" (as so often happens). I'm guessing this was because he had hoped I'd become rich and famous so he could sponge off the glory that was my his name. But when you think about it, this was a huge risk because what if the opposite happened? What if I instead became an infamous drug addict? Or a serial killer? Or a politician? But luckily (unluckily?) the only meager fame I have is as "That Blography Guy," so my profanity-laden rants on this blog aren't too damaging. Even so, I still get a little excited when I notice somebody else with "II" instead or "Jr." after their name. We're rare, and our dads were notorious risk-takers, so there's a bond there...
Looks like Milton G. Kuolt II's father totally scored...
Sorry, dad... if the only way I can get a plane named after me is to start my own airline, I'm afraid you're out of luck... OR ARE YOU?!?
Landed in Seattle after taking off as scheduled. Will wonders never cease.
And now I start my four-hour layover. Yes, that sucks, but since the flight I was on is canceled ALL THE TIME, I have to allow enough time to drive over to Seattle in the event of "mechanical difficulties." I briefly contemplate hauling ass to SeaTac's South Satellite to catch an earlier flight for my connection in Salt Lake City. But I only have 15 minutes, and this is SeaTac we're talking about, so I sit down to a Qdoba Egg & Potato breakfast burrito instead...
It's like heaven in a foil wrapper, I tell you what.
Argh. Screaming kids wherever I go. As if that weren't bad enough, SeaTac is BLASTING this fucking awful music at full volume. So I reach for my... my... HOLY CRAP I'VE FORGOTTEN MY HEADPHONES!!! It's always something. Since this is a common event with me, I go to a kiosk and buy the almost-cheapest ear buds I can find. They're Skullcandy "Smokin' Buds" (HA! a thinly-veiled marijuana reference! How clever is THAT?)... and... they are so bad. The bass is ridiculously harsh and there is precious little definition or clarity, so everything is a muffled mess. I set iTune's equalizer to try and compensate, but the sound is still pretty terrible...
UPDATE: While these ear buds do totally suck for my MacBook Pro, the sound coming from my iPhone with them is actually pretty decent. Still muddy, but at least it feels a little more balanced.
Just as I receive an email telling me that my flight out of Seattle has been delayed, my iPhone rings to tell me the same thing. Naturally this screws up my connection in Salt Lake City since I am now arriving 10 minutes after my flight leaves. I wish I could even pretend to be surprised. I'm just lucky that there was room for me on a later flight. And that my First Class upgrade transferred. When I scan my ticket to get a revised boarding card, a "courtesy coupon" spits out... it's a $10 meal voucher. SCORE!! I wonder if Jägermeister would be considered a "meal?"
Dear Seattle-Tacoma International Airport,
I'm not shy by any means, but would it fucking kill you to add some privacy screens between the urinals? The damn things are so frickin' close to each other that I worry I might get confused and pee into a neighboring john by mistake...
Sounds unlikely, I know, but when you have people using their free meal vouchers to start buying Jäger shots at 9:00 in the morning... well, crazier shit has been known to happen.
My flight has just been delayed again. I may die of un-shock. On the plus side, Delta Airlines has set out some drinks and snacks for delayed passengers (something I've never seen before). Circumstances aside, this is pretty darn nice of them.
Flight delayed for a third time. I didn't think it was possible for me to be even more un-shocked than I was, but here we are.
My flight is finally boarding! For everybody except me. When they scan my boarding pass, they get an error. The gate agent reprints my pass a couple times but to no avail. Finally they just rip it in half and tell me they'll figure it out later. I certainly hope so.
Wondering what's happening with my ticket back in Seattle, I buy 15 minutes of inflight internet for $1.95. When I login to Delta, everything looks okay and my new flight shows up, but who knows? With 10 minutes of internet left, I Tweet pictures and stuff...
Wheeee! I'm totally flying here!
2:40pm (Mountain Time now)
Arrive in Salt Lake City. My original connecting flight left nearly an hour ago... my new flight doesn't leave for 2 hours and 20 minutes. I need alcohol badly, but settle for some Sun Chips I took from Delta's snack table while I wait to board my now-delayed (SURPRISE!) flight to Kansas City.
7:30pm (Central Time now)
The turbulence is balls-nasty. Either that or we're crashing. As much as I dislike the idea of going down in a ball of flames, I do like the idea of not having to go to work tomorrow. In case we DO crash, here's my plane's last known location. Please send a search party. And beer...
Arrive safely(!) at Kansas City Airport 3-1/2 hours later than planned. Pick up my car. Drive the 40 minutes to downtown. Check into my hotel. Life is good again at last.
Sit in bed finishing up this entry as gusting winds are howling and a torrential flood of rain is pelting my window. It's like a monsoon out there! Looks like I won't be getting any sleep after all now that Armageddon is going on around me. Such a pity.
I finish. Then I click "publish"...
Work started early and ended early, so I was left with four-and-a-half hours of free time to explore Kansas City. And since there's probably only ten minutes worth of crap to see here, that would be plenty of time, wouldn't it?
Ummmm... no. Not by a long-shot.
I had been here a couple times before, but assumed there wasn't much going on, so I never really made an effort to see what KC had to offer. Now I know this was a huge, huge, mistake.
And I found this out pretty much by accident.
On a previous trip, I had been to the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. This time I wanted to go to the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is kind of famous for the three giant shuttlecocks planted in front...
Inside, there is an impressive and varied collection from many different genres. I was particularly impressed with their European works, which has a terrific impressionist room. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
As I was driving to an art supply store, I saw a sign for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. I like baseball, so I thought it might be worth a stop. I did keep my enthusiasm in check, however, because how great could it be? Probably just a bunch of glass cases filled with old stuff, right?
Ummmm... no. Not by a long-shot.
This has to be one of the most impressive shrines to the great sport of baseball that I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot of them. I was completely and utterly blown away by the amazing story they tell, and the incredible way they tell it. It's a beautiful, important, and wholly wonderful museum that manages to do a lot within a little space...
I expected to spend 20 minutes here. I ended up spending an hour. I could have stayed for another. The only down-sides are
"If colored clubs were admitted there would be in all probability some division of feeling, whereas, by excluding them no injury could result to anyone."
— Raymond J. Burr, Philadelphia Pythians Representative
That's right... no injury for anyone! EXCEPT THE BLACK PLAYERS YOU RACIST IDIOT! I swear, a good chunk of the museum is very, very difficult to explore. You get to learn all about the things that these sportsmen went through just to play. Like going without food on road games because there was no place to stop that would serve "coloreds." But lest you think that the experience of being a player in the Negro Leagues overshadows the game of baseball here... it doesn't. There's loads of amazing baseball artifacts, trivia, and stories. Like I said, one of the best baseball museums you'll find anywhere. Best $8 I've ever spent. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!
As if having The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum wasn't enough... the same building houses The American Jazz Museum! I enjoy some jazz, but am not the biggest fan of the genre. But... the ticket was only $2 extra when bought with an NLBM ticket, so I went for it. I expected to spend 5 or ten minutes here. I ended up spending a half-hour, and could have easily stayed longer. The place is amazing. Just amazing. It's beautifully constructed with vibrant, exciting interactive displays and plenty of awesome memorabilia. All the greats are here from Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong to Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker and everyone in-between. Wish I could have taken photos to share, because it's that well done. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Looking for something else to do, I spotted a pamphlet for the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. They have a visitor center with a massive presidential coin collection plus you get to look inside the vault to see the people working with the money there! SOLD!
Except I took a wrong turn and ended up at something called "The National World War I Museum." Oops. But since I'm here, I might as well take a look. Probably just a bunch of old junk sitting on shelves or something, right?
Ummmm... no. Not by a long-shot.
I have been to a lot of museums around the world. Seriously, a LOT of them. I can tell you right now that this mind-bogglingly amazing museum can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the very best of them. It is frickin' incredible. AND I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE IN MY LIFE! I am sick at the thought that the only reason I came here was because of a wrong turn...
I spent two hours here. I could have spent two days. This museum is the very definition of "destination-worthy experience." You will not only learn a lot about The First Great World War, but you will see a lot of amazing stuff from that era. I first went to "The Main Hall" which is actually underneath that tower you see there. The displays are nothing short of jaw-dropping, both for how beautiful they are and how informative they are...
You enter the museum by walking across a glass bridge over a field of poppies
From there I went up "Liberty Tower" to get a view of the city...
And then I went to the "Memory Hall" exhibits (that's the building to the left of the tower in my first photo)...
Then I went to the "Exhibit Hall" exhibits (that's the building to the right of the tower in my first photo)...
The sheer depth and breadth of the story they tell here still has me reeling. It's truly a world-class museum right here in Kansas City... and you get to see all of it for a bargain-basement price of $6. YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT, SIX DOLLARS! Just go. Book your plane ticket and go. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION.
After forcibly tearing myself away from the National World War I Museum, I made my way to my original destination... the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum. It's a small museum, but impressive and fun. The only place you can't take pictures is in The Vault (which is a shame, because the money robots are cool!)...
After getting screened at security and going through a metal detector and such, you can walk through the exhibits and see the Presidential Coin Collection... featuring all the coins issued during the terms of all our presidents...
Coins from President Washington all the way to President Obama!
As if all that wasn't enough, they've got a really nice hard-bound souvenir book for just $16 plus a bag of FREE MONEY! Yep! Everybody who visits the museum gets their own bag full of money...
...which has been shredded into the tiniest possible pieces.
But still, pretty cool. And well-worth a visit. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
After getting caught up with work, I decided to hit one more museum... The Hallmark Cards Visitor Center!
It's not very comprehensive, but gives a decent overview of the company and the stuff they make... from cards and bows to Keepsake Ornaments and gifts...
Though my favorite part was the bow-making machine which creates a souvenir you get to keep!
Overall a fun diversion... but not a critical one. I almost wish I would have gone back to the National World War I Museum.
And I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface of what Kansas City has to offer the wayward tourist. For example, I know there's a Harley Davidson Museum north of here (though it looks similar to the ones I've already been to in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania).
If only I had more time to see it all.
Anyway... I've got to get back to work now. Hopefully I've done my part to encourage you to take a trip to KC now that you know of some of the really cool stuff that's here waiting for you.
-> Click here to see the complete Blogography archives!