Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This is pretty much how the American Dream works, too.

You know how everybody always says that if you just work hard enough, eventually...you'll burn yourself out? Well, that's true. Wait, no, it's "if you work just hard enough every once in a while, something good will happen, probably. If the right people happen to be looking." And that's true, too. Which brings me to my point:

I WON SOMETHING!!!
It's a major award.
The Cat Lady, who does write about cats sometimes, but also lots of other awesome and hilarious things, and who also spells "├╝ber" correctly (which is pretty much an automatic win) has been gracious enough to grant me the Liebster Award. I'll tell you the details in a minute, but first LOOK HOW PRETTY!


It comes from Germany, so you know it's high-quality. It's aimed at up-and-coming bloggers, which mostly just means that you have fewer than 200 subscribers; it's probably the case that millions of people read your blog, but just don't want to publicly admit or commit to it by subscribing. Assholes. It also includes a number of tasks that you have to complete, or you'll have bad luck for TEN MILLION YEARS, and the opposite of whatever you wished for will come true. But it's totally not like a chain-letter, because of reasons.

Anyway, here's all the stuff you have to do:
1. Thank the person that nominated you. Thanks, The Cat Lady!
2. Display the Liebster Heart on your blog. Done and done.
3. Nominate 3 to 5 more different bloggers (who may potentially have millions of readers, but fewer than 200 subscribers)
4. Post 11 things about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
6. Answer the 11 questions you've been asked in your nomination.
7. Ignore the fact that you're now being asked to nominate 11 people to award, and just stick with the original 3 to 5.
8. (Optional, as I've just invented it) Wonder why this award suddenly became obsessed with the number 11.
9. (Also optional, as it stems from the recently-invented 8th task) Blame Matt Smith.
10. (Also just invented; only applies to non-Whovians) Wonder why the hell you were just asked to blame Matt Smith.
11. (For ambitious non-Whovians who will be glad they did, and also because it brings the number of tasks to 11, creating some kind of self-referential circle of completeness) Watch all of Doctor Who to find out.

And here's me completing the aforementioned tasks:

11 Answers (With Questions!)

1. Did you ever have a teacher who yelled at/embarrassed/totally ruined you for life? If so, tell the story.
Not exactly, but during my senior year of high school, all but about 3 teachers at my school got caught up in a panic that my best friend and I ran a local mafia and were going to shoot up the school. Not even joking. (I will so write about this in a separate post.)

2. What is your dream career?
Librarian. And also writer. Technically, I am both of those, but only one probably counts as a career at this point. I'll let you guess which one.

3. Unicorn or Sasquatch for president?
I'd totally vote Unicorn, but I'm not sure they're native to the U.S., so they're probably not eligible to run. We'll have to ask Donald Trump for verification on this one.

4. What is your most embarrassing habit?
I'm kind of a hoarder. Not like A&E-class, this-building-should-be-condemned, but I'm very not good at throwing things away.

5. If you could have one talent that you do not currently have, what would it be?
Regeneration? Although, I've never actually died, so I can't say with absolute certainty that it's a talent I don't already have.

6. Last meal on earth: describe in detail. I'm hungry.
Pizza. Actually, 6 million pizzas. That should buy me some time.

7. If you could bring only three things on a deserted island, what would they be?
I'm going to assume it's not in the spirit of this question to say "my wife and our cats" or "a raft/TARDIS." In that case: 1) Some kind of awesome multi-tool with choppy things and whittly things and probably a magnifying glass for starting fires 2) A really well-stocked first aid kit 3) The Library of Congress

8. Favorite guilty pleasure?
INTERNET. FOREVER.

9. What kind of car do you drive, and what do you think that says about you?
It's a Focus, which probably says that I have a wonderful sense of irony because sometimes I'm not very good at seeing things through to HEY, do you want to go swimming? Once, I went to Scotland. Do you like tigers? I want some enchiladas. Baseball is fun.

10. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I can has confidence?

11. Favorite Disney movie?
The Empire Strikes Back totally counts. So does The Avengers.

11 Things About Me

1. I play roller derby; my derby name is Albus Rumbledore (Number: The Only 1 He Ever Feared).
2. I cross-stitch. Someday, I'll post pictures of some of the awesome stuff I've made. Probably.
3. I'm a vegetarian.
4. I've been on anxiety/depression meds for almost a year now. I've been trying to write about it for that same amount of time, minus about five minutes.
5. I have hitchhiked exactly once in my life. I got picked up by the short bus. Not even joking. There was a kid on there. He was in a wheelchair and wearing a helmet. (Still not joking.)
6. My superpowers are retcon and snakes.
7. I totally own a Sonic Screwdriver (10th Doctor's model). Once, I used it to fix a screaming child in the library.
8. I have 5 parents: Mother, Father-I-Grew-Up-With, Biological Father, Stepfather (married to Mother), and Stepmother (married to Biological Father). Hallmark does not make cards for this shit.
9. There is an Odin in my family tree. Given my unique family situation, I figure that, at worst, that makes me Loki.
10. I have tattoos of several things that are awesome and which have been important in my life for various reasons. Someday I will have full sleeves.
11. At least once in my life, I want to do stand-up comedy.

11 Questions for victims recipients of this award

1. Do you have any semi-useless superpowers (e.g., "I always know exactly what time it is," or "I can pay attention to two TV shows at once")? If so, what are they?
2. What is the worst book you have ever read? What was so terrible about it?
3. If you use some kind of analytics tool, what's the weirdest search that's led someone to your blog?
4. Which Hogwarts house would the Sorting Hat place you in?
5. How many roads must a man walk down?
6. What's your favorite alcoholic drink? (If it's somewhat obscure, what's in it?)
7. What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? Please specify African or European.
8. What's the coolest thing you've ever gotten paid to do?
9. What's in your Zombie Apocalypse survival kit?
10. What would you do for a Klondike Bar?
11. Cake or death?

Tag, you're it!

Jen, the Geek Fabulous geekiness from places like Firefly and The Walking Dead. Also, spoilers, so be careful if you're not caught up (or if you don't want to be nagged by River Song).

Gabi Books It Contender for next companion of The Doctor, wearer of high heels, and reviewer of books. Quite possibly involved with Sherlock Holmes. She's also joining roller derby soon (Ha! Now you have to do it!).

Desperate for Something Life. Love. Politics. Recently, quite a number of political posts, which were equal parts awesome and glorious snark that amounted to a bitchslap of, well, Mitt Romney, mainly. But other kinds of stupid in the election process as well.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

PROTIP: You always generate more interest if you call it "Apocalypse Prevention."

The city that I work for just emailed everybody a press release for its 2012 Arborfest celebration, which went something like this:
Spend some time enjoying the outdoors with your family this coming weekend while learning more about the dozens of different trees in ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZfuckingboring.
I was pretty much asleep for the rest of it, but I thought I also caught something about a fucking tree competition? Where the winners get plaques for their champion trees, or something? What the actual fuck is a champion tree? Is it like an Ent? Because those guys were badass:



The problem with Arborfest isn't that it's stupid or unimportant; it's just that most people find trees excruciatingly boring. They don't actively do...well, anything. They just sit there, for hundreds of years, or until some asshole comes and knocks them down because they hate breathing or something. All the important shit is stuff you can't actually see, like producing oxygen and preventing soil erosion and other things that put people to sleep because nothing's blowing up or having sex.

Really, the problem with Arborfest is just in the marketing. It would do much better if they started marketing it as HOLY SHIT IF YOU DON'T COME TO THIS YOU'LL SUFFOCATE Fest or Carbon Monoxide Apocalypse Prevention Fest. People would pay attention to that shit. For example:
Guess who's taken a sudden interest in the rainforest.
HINT: It's you, motherfucker!
See also: The Whomping Willow.
You're welcome, Arbor Day celebration marketing teams.

P.S. As I'm writing this, one of the biggest storms in the history of ever is ravaging the East Coast of the U.S. and Canada, causing floods, fires, and blizzards, and leaving millions without power, supplies, or maybe even homes. The Red Cross is in serious need of blood donations, as well as disaster relief funds. Here's how you can help:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is there a "Donald Trump Is a Giant Asshat" Foundation?

Disclaimer: This isn't meant to be a political post, so much as an explanation of the reason I just had to say, out loud, at my desk at work "What the actual fuck?"

Second Disclaimer: The following video represents 3 minutes of your life you will never get back.

For those of you who've had the incredible fortune of never having heard of Donald Trump, this is the moment when your blissful ignorance comes to a tragic end. If you can get past the arbitrary shouting (I think he may be part Dalek), you'll discover one of our nation's foremost satirists.



I think it's hilarious how he pretends to be demanding something as ridiculous as President Obama's college applications, as if it were required that he not only have gone to college and done well, but that he'd written an eloquent personal statement to get accepted in the first place. The ransom video format was a nice touch as well. "If you don't provide all these documents to my satisfaction by 5pm on October 31st, I won't donate 5 million dollars to charity!" Classic! He completely lampoons the way we distract ourselves from issues that actually matter by debating semantics or accuse another party's candidate of being ineligible for the office rather than just saying why we think they'd be bad for it. He's totally got me imagining Obama playing the President in one of those movies where he has to go "We do not negotiate with terrorists!" "But Mr. President, they've got our transparency!" "Shit, we've got to stop them! Call the Registrar's Office! Yeah, ask for Jack Bauer."

On the subject of transparency, Ana Marie Cox wins the Internet for this tweet:

I'm glad we've got Donald Trump to keep us focused on what's important in this election. President Obama is the only President in the history of this country not to release his college applications and transcripts or his passport application, and it is unacceptable that we as a nation should know so little about our leader—there's Never. Been anything. Like it. In fact, I propose a constitutional amendment to require stricter documentation of a presidential candidate's background, including all of the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Long-form birth certificate, or whatever it may be
  • Dated, geotagged video of live birth
  • Baptismal records
  • Handwritten letter of recommendation from both grandmothers
  • College applications and transcripts
  • Passport application
  • Gym membership
  • Prescription history
  • Urine sample
  • Third-grade essay entitled "What I Want to Be When I Grow Up."
  • March Madness brackets going back at least 10 years
  • American Idol tryout video
  • Proof of Fermat's Last Theorem
  • Vial of unicorn tears
  • Tax returns (unless potentially damaging to the candidate's campaign)

Seriously, if the President actually does this—after I finish bashing my head against the wall—I hope he'll consider the Donald Trump Is a Colossal Wank Foundation.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I've never been prouder.

This just happened, and it's made of awesome.

So, first of all, both of our cats are pretty much in love with books, and they'll come lie by/on my wife and me for story time. We thought it mostly had to do with the fact that they love to lie on them, but they've just pretty much proven that they're only interested in good books.
Sana is a Harry Potter fan. I'm pretty sure she's a Slytherin.
Gwen has been reading Craig Ferguson's Between the Bridge and the River with us.
Remember when I borrowed and read Twilight because my integrity is some kind of masochistic asshole that didn't feel like I should be making fun of it if I hadn't read it? Well, the other day I was finally going to get it the fuck out of my house return it, so I went to grab it off the shelf. This is what I found:
Yes, it was upside-down on the shelf. Just because it was in my house  doesn't mean I couldn't protest it.
"Sorry you had to do this, Jake." I think that was the one sentence in the whole book I could identify with.
Clearly, someone had taken issue with the quality of literature (I use that term loosely) that they found. My money's on Gwen, or at least one of the foster kittens, as they lived in that room for six weeks. Also, they were actually small enough to stand on top of the books while peeing, whereas Sana would have needed to employ some kind of crazy-ass Cirque du Soleil maneuver just to get herself into the unnatural arrangement necessary to provide this particular critique.

What I find most hilarious about the whole thing is that this was the only book on the shelf that they disliked. Neither of the books immediately next to it was even touched, which seems to imply an intentional measure of control on their part, especially since both books next to it were taller. In fact, none of the other books they could reach seemed to offend them, and it wasn't like there weren't plenty of other options:
"Thoreau, OK. Tolkien, fine. Twain, Vonnegut, good. Twilight?!? What the actual fuck?"
Seriously, I don't think I've ever been this proud. Also, I owe someone a new copy of Twilight. Sorry.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Trust me...I'm the Rug Doctor.

First of all, if you don't watch Doctor Who, then very little of this will make any damn sense to you, so you'll probably want to quit after the bit with the kittens, or else quickly go and watch a couple seasons of the series so that you can follow along. (You'll have to forgive the first episode, the one with the mannequins. Stick with it, I promise it gets better. And by better, I mean awesome.) If you don't have time for all that, but you still want to keep reading, you should at the very least read Neil Gaiman's (78-word) summary of not quite 50 years of backstory from the middle of this post.

Anyway, now that we're done with disclaimers, you either remember, or are about to learn that a little while ago, my wife and I fostered a pile of kittens. No, literally:
This is the part where you go "awwwww!" Also,
Gandalf isn't in this picture because he was busy
helping Hobbits get into places they shouldn't be,
or something. The rest, from top to bottom are
Loki, Alfredo, Rory, Guinevere (Gwen), and Eowyn.

They lived with us for about 6 weeks and demonstrated the effects of entropy on our second bedroom. Most of them also demonstrated, at one point or another, the effects of the various bodily functions of kittens on carpet, walls, floor lamps, desktops, and occasionally, litter boxes.

After all the kittens had found families, we brought home a cleaner that claimed to be a Rug Doctor, but which seemed a bit too aggressive to be telling the truth on that point. If it were really a Rug Doctor, it would have just talked to the stains until it convinced them to go back where they came from, or maybe used some kind of sonic attachment to loosen the stains from the carpet. If that had failed, it probably would have just run away until it thought of something really clever to do.
Trust me...I'm The Rug Doctor.
Of course, even after your carpet was clean, it would still keep popping back in at least every few months, insisting that you accompany it to some other beautiful-yet-dangerous faraway carpet in dire need of cleaning, until finally you were separated in a heart-wrenchingly tragic season finale.

This, however, is not actually a Rug Doctor. It's clearly meant to be a Rug Dalek–look at the shape. It's big and mechanical, and its main function seems to be to turn clean water into dirty water, which is exactly the sort of thing a you would expect a Dalek to do. Also, it doesn't do well going up stairs.

The Rug Dalek has no compassion or mercy, only hate. It will exterminate stains! Sure, it may also exterminate your carpet, furniture, house, pets, family, neighbors, and in all likelihood, entire planet, but by Davros, you'll never see those stains again–and not just because you've been blasted into oblivion by a death ray! (But yes, primarily because you've been blasted into oblivion by a death ray.)
And so will you, in all likelihood.

Friday, October 5, 2012

How to Read a Book (Without Being a Douchecanoe): A Primer.

The other day, I was telling a coworker how I had to make some "How to Read a Book" flowcharts, and she was all "What? Do you need one of those?" because apparently that's not a normal thing that people say, ever, so then I had to explain that it's for Banned Books Week, which is an annual reminder of the fact that there are some people who are so bad at reading books that when they're finished, nobody else is even allowed to read them anymore, and then after that, I had to come here and write one gigantic run-on sentence about the whole thing because I apparently have some kind of vendetta against proper punctuation today. Also, for those of you who aren't good with context clues, it's Banned Books Week, so I'm going to continue to subject you to librarian rants about intellectual freedom and not being a dick to everybody else just because you don't like something. I warned promised you yesterday that this was coming, and here it is. You should be impressed.

How to Read a Book (Without Being a Douchecanoe)


Part One: What to Do if You Read a Book You Don't Like

At some point in your life, you're probably going to encounter one of the following:
  • A bound volume of pages containing printed text and images
  • An electronic simulation of the aforementioned type of volume
  • A sound recording of someone reading text from such a volume
These–along with other formats that create a similar user experience–are what we call books. This chart will help guide you through the process of interacting with them without fucking over the rest of society in the process:
If you can't read this, click to make it bigger. If you can't read it because you're illiterate,it probably doesn't apply to you anyway.

Part Two: Help! My Child Is Reading!

If you were here yesterday, you already know that half the time this bullshit happens, it's not even someone who actually read the book; it's because their kid read the book, and they just heard that there was something bad in it. Then, because they're arrogant dickwagons who think their parenting skills are infuckingfallible they care about the children, they decide that nobody should be allowed to read it, anywhere, ever, so they go on an asshat crusade to remove it from any place they can find it. Guess what? Not everyone shares your values. This chart will teach you how to instill them in your own children without being a dick about it to everybody else.
PROTIP: If you land in the red box, a good way to celebrate is by buying every copy you
can find of the book at full retail price and having a huge book bonfire on an actual yacht.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. And also ideas that we don't like. And albatrosses.

So, it's Banned Books Week, which means Librarian Rant, Motherfuckers!

Part One: Some Boring Statistics and Shit


First of all, there are probably quite a few people going "What? Ban books? This is America! Who the fuck does that shit anymore?"

Parents, mostly. Out of all the books that are ever challenged (read: bitched about in an attempt to ruin it for everybody), about half the time, it's parents who go "I don't want little Jimmy-Sue reading that; it's not wholesome!" Probably, they've never actually read the book themselves, but they heard it had a bad word in it or something. Then a bunch of other parents who haven't read it jump in and they form some kind of pitchfork mob and go storming into the next school board meeting demanding that the school board gets rid of the book, which probably they do. It never occurs to anybody to actually read the fucking thing, except maybe for the one part that somebody complained about, entirely out of context.

This is what happens roughly two-thirds of the time. Another quarter of the time, it's in a public library rather than a school, and they go to the local news rather than the school board, so that everybody can get all worked up over how those damn godless liberals are trying to corrupt the children with their books.

Part Two: "You can't read that! I don't like it!"


This is essentially the same as trying to get a McDonald's shut down because you're on a diet. Nobody forced you to go there, asshole.

Hey, let's all be afraid of ideas, because we wouldn't want to expose ourselves or our children to situations where they might have to fucking think! Also, let's ban mentioning anything unpleasant because knowing that something exists basically guarantees that you're immediately going to go and do it. This is why the media only ever report positive, life-affirming stories, and avoid topics like murder and armed robbery and war.

Here's an idea: parent, for fuck's sake. (Just your own kids, though—don't try to force your prudish bullshit values on everybody else.)

Part Three: Because of Reasons


There is a whole list of reasons why people try to get books banned. Usually, the actual content gets lumped under some generic term that does a shitty job of describing what you're missing out on. Fortunately, I've translated them for you so you can understand what's actually going on. You're welcome.

The top three reasons account for about half of all the books that get banned. I've listed them in order:

Sexually Explicit: The book acknowledges in any way that sex not only exists, but is something that people a) actually enjoy, and b) can do without a legally-binding contract. (cf. Sex Education)

Offensive Language means that one or more of the characters speaks a language other than English. (OK, that's not true. Actually, it means that the book contains certain combinations of syllables referring to parts or functions of the body which, when uttered or printed on a page, summon Satan to rip out your soul and defecate in the resultant void.)

Unsuited to Age Group: Occasionally, this means that somebody found a copy of the Kama Sutra in an elementary school's library. Usually, though, it means that the book's subject matter undermines parents' efforts to prevent their children from growing up by keeping them as innocent and oblivious as a six-year-old.

The rest I've done alphabetically. They are:

Abortion means that a character has or considers one, with little or no damnation as a consequence.

Anti-Family: 1) One or more of the characters in the book calls his or her parent on some kind of bullshit like abandoning all responsibility and forcing their children to take care of basically everything; 2) The book implies that a family can be defined as anything other than the "traditional" model of two heterosexual parents who were married in a church before ever having sex, and their legitimate offspring.

Homosexuality means that gay characters are referred to by names like "Jim" or "Steve," rather than "faggot," and are depicted doing normal-people things like going to work, rather than dying of AIDS and burning in Hell for all eternity.

Inaccurate means "I don't like what you wrote about me, even if it's true."

Nudity means that—you know what? I don't know what the fuck they mean by nudity. Maybe it mentions that somebody is naked in the book? Or describes body parts? How the fuck do you have nudity in print? Like an ASCII penis? This may be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of.

The Occult, or Satanism: This means that either one of the characters is an atheist, or that somebody performs some kind of magic without explicitly invoking the name of Jesus.

Political Viewpoint means "not mine."

Racism denotes that the book depicts white people behaving in a racist manner. This is offensive because racism totally doesn't exist anymore, and mentioning it might inadvertently summon it back again (sort of like Beetlejuice or Bloody Mary), which would force white people–even the ones who have black friends–to prove that they're not racist.

Sex Education means that the book explains to anyone under the age of 30 that babies are not actually dumped down your chimney by a mystical love albatross, but instead come from having sex. It may or may not also explain that there are means to prevent this from happening other than eternal celibacy.

Suicide means that a character ends his or her own life, and that the rest of the book does not depict their eternal torment in the seventh circle of Dante's Inferno, but rather shows the other characters attempting to deal with the aftermath of the suicide.

Violence actually does just mean violence. It's the same shit they show all over TV, but more dangerous in print because reading actually engages the parts of your brain responsible for imagination, while TV encourages your brain to shut down; therefore, reading about violence makes people more likely to commit violence.

So that's censorship, to the best of my understanding. Come back tomorrow and I'll bitch about it some more teach you how not to be a dick to everybody else just because you read something you didn't like.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This is *exactly* what Talk Like a Pirate Day is about.

I like to imagine this is how Hollywood, the RIAA, and the rest of the SOPA/PIPA assholes picture the average Internet user.

Internet piracy: You're doing it wrong.
In other news, I'll be dressed like a pirate at work for the second year in a row because my job is awesome.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Half Empty

"How does one articulate the ongoing sadness of after?"

I feel like I've been writing too damn many of these in the past year—which really just means "any at all"—but even with practice, I feel like I'm very not good at them. I always feel so horribly unqualified, not to mention unprepared; it's not as if I sit around thinking "what would I say about so&so if he/she died?"—especially since I prefer to delude myself with the belief that everyone I care about in any sense of the word will continue living forever. And it already takes me far longer than it should to piss about with writing, re-writing, nit-picking, and finally giving up, saying "fuck it," and hitting "Publish" when I'm writing about something that doesn't matter. It never seems possible to give anyone the kind of tribute they actually deserve. But you shut the fuck up about it and just do it anyway because, good enough or not, they deserve your best effort, which, I hope, is this:

I first discovered David Rakoff simply because of a cover blurb by David Sedaris on his first collection of essays, Fraud. PROTIP: When one of your favorite authors calls someone "the wittiest and most perceptive man in the world," you fucking listen. By the end of the week, I owned and had read both Fraud and Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems, which were the only two he'd written so far. Meanwhile, the expanding pile of work on my desk went largely unnoticed—by me, anyway—as I laughed, sometimes even to myself, while I read.

And then I listened—not often, but when I thought of it. Occasionally I would catch him on This American Life, and of course, I would laugh then, too. I took the opportunities for granted because not only was he only in his 40s, but he was going to live forever anyway. Still, whether it was out loud or on paper, he immediately became another of my examples of How You Funny. So, for a brief moment this morning when I saw his name trending, I forgot about the Laws of Twitter and got excited. This lasted exactly two seconds until I remembered that any time someone's name is trending on Twitter, it is a Bad Fucking Thing. It's always either a) some total douchecannon that you wish would have the decency to go the fuck away forever and stop inflicting themselves upon the world, or b) someone fucking awesome who has died because the universe is a total dick that's already taken Maurice Sendak, Ray Bradbury, Nora Ephron, and Gore Vidal this year, but apparently that wasn't good enough, so it had to take David Rakoff, too. At 47.

So today, too late as usual, I'm listening to his contributions to This American Life and reflecting on yet another huge loss for the writing community, and for the world. You can find his contributor page here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/contributors/david-rakoff, and I would strongly encourage you to listen to every single one of them. And laugh. Laugh, because we need it now more than ever.
"But how lovely those moments were, gone now except occasionally in dreams, when one could still turn to someone and promise them something truly worth their while just by saying "hey, watch this!"
P.S. You can find what others have said, probably much better than I, here:
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/blog/2012/08/our-friend-david-rakoff
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2012/08/10/158560936/on-already-missing-the-angry-passionate-writing-of-david-rakoff
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2012/08/david-rakoff-essayist-and-american-life-contributor-has-died/55644/
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/11/books/david-rakoff-award-winning-humorist-dies-at-47.html

And one in his own words:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17lives-t.html

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The system is down, yo.

So, I'm about a million years (read: a couple weeks) behind on all the shit that's happened that I've been meaning to write about. I could tell you why, but you'd probably be disappointed, so just imagine that something really awesome happened, but it's somehow top secret because of reasons, so I can't tell you anything about it, ever. In fact, let's assume that's the case every time I get too busy/lazy/depressed to write for a while. It's better for everyone that way.

Anyway, last November, HTC rolled out a Ridiculously Important System Update Meant To Fix Shit That's Totally Broken For Real, That We Promise Won't Actually Just Fuck Up Everything About Your Phone for the Incredible. Yes, the Incredible One. Shut up.

You'll probably remember how, after I finally had to force the update to actually install, it didn't fix anything, and actually did fuck up my phone badly enough that I had to do a factory reset on the fucker.

Well, guess what came out relatively recently...ish? June, maybe? um, before today? RISUMTFSTTBFR,TWPWAJFUEAYP for the Incredible TWO! (Update two, not the Incredible Two.) Like the last update, it's so full of awesome that you'll have to do a bunch of secret hacker shit to even get it to install in the first place! But RISUMTFSTTBFR,TWPWAJFUEAYPFTI2(U2,NI2) is better than the first one, because it's newer!

I was super-excited that there was a new update, because my phone is an unholy pile of fail was having some minor performance issues. Like how roughly 60% of the time I tried to call my wife, it wouldn't actually bother to place the call, just fake it for a little bit and send me to voicemail. It would proceed to do this the next six times I called, until my GAD took over and could not be convinced she was not dead in a ditch somewhere until a) I finally got home and actually saw her, or b) my phone decided to stop being a douchewagon and put my fucking call through. Or how I would get a text from her and try to reply, but it would say "Invalid Destination Address, Asshat" and refuse to send anything.

After a few weeks of wankery in which I would tell my phone to install the fucking update, then watch as it counted down from 10 and did nothing, I finally broke down and forced it to install. Here's what the update changed:
  • Caused the phone to freeze every 5-10 minutes.
  • Deleted all the apps, except the pre-loaded bullshit that is apparently so permanently encoded on the fucker that even it can't get rid of them.
  • Disconnected my Google account.
  • It would allow me to re-download the apps it deleted; however, it wouldn't actually run the motherfuckers.
  • After re-downloading apps, a notification would pop up saying that an app that it supposedly couldn't fucking run anyway had encountered an error and needed to close. It then refused to close the app, waited two minutes, and repeated the whole goddamn cycle.
  • It couldn't find the SD card. Again. Or still. I don't even fucking know anymore.
  • It no longer did the cool weather animations, which may have been the only pre-loaded feature I actually liked.
But it did add an "App Associations" option to the Settings menu so I could change the default app to use for certain actions. Of course, it couldn't fucking run anything but the pre-loaded shit, but it was at least nice to know I could pretend to have options.

Oh, and my favorite thing of all: every time I restarted the phone due to the freezing and other assorted fuckery, it gave me this popup that said "UIDs on the system are inconsistent, you need to wipe your data partition or your device will be unstable." Instead of an option that said "OK" or "Then Show Me How To Fucking Do It, You Prick," my only choice was a button that said "I'm Feeling Lucky."

"Your system UIDs are inconsistent, punk."
After the hard reset:
  • It can't find anything on the SD card from before the previous hard reset.
  • It can't find anything on the SD card or its own internal storage from after the latest hard reset.
  • Eight out of ten times I look at it, it's collecting "anonymous location data" because of reasons. If I turn this off, I can't use the weather app, and the map app does this.
I'll give it one thing, though—it's definitely incredible.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Battery light, motherfucker!

So, remember a couple weeks ago when I talked about how impossibly weird shit always happens to my car? Yeah, that. Times forever.

A couple months ago, my car started playing this game called Battery Light, Motherfucker! where it decided it would be hilarious to do all kinds of crazy shit with the electronics while flashing the eponymous light like a motherfucking rave. I took it to one of those Car Shit Emporium stores where they plugged my battery into an Etch-a-Sketch and told me that it was toast, but they'd be happy to sell me a new one. Hell, they'd even install it for a fee that's already built into the price of the battery free!

Ten minutes and a little over a hundred dollars later, I got into my car, backed up six feet, and started playing BLM! again. When I dragged them back outside again, they started running random diagnostics, none of  which could apparently be completed. Then they just started guessing. "I'm pretty sure that'll be a bad diode. Or, y'know, something else with your alternator. It's probably not charging. Or maybe charging too much. Whatever. Either way, it's totally not your battery. Anymore."

"Ziggy says your flux capacitor's out of dilithium crystals, Sam."
Then I took it to a real mechanic, who replaced the alternator, but also locked the (only) keys inside it when he was done, so that when I went to pick it up, I had to call AAA to send someone to help me break into my own fucking car at 11pm. Literally thirty seconds after I got off the phone with them, a random tow truck driver happens to be walking by after parking his truck there for the night, so he gets me into the car while I call AAA to cancel. Everybody wins! Except for the tow truck driver that AAA sent after they didn't fucking cancel. He lost like an hour and a half of his life. But he did get to hear me apologize my ass off for something that was so not my fault, so that's...something.

Anyway, last week, I went to start my car and...nothing. Brand fucking new battery, dead. Car Shit Emporium told me it was "charging weakly," and that it was totally a diode again, or maybe something else that wasn't their fault. That actually did turn out to be true—I got it fixed for free. After the mechanic worked on literally 25 other cars that came in after I dropped mine off. Priorities, FTW!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I'm *exactly* like Anthony Bourdain. Except with Red Baron pizza instead of sheep testicles.

Me, on Twitter over the past month or so:
  • Joe T's is like the TARDIS of restaurants. #biggerontheinside
  • Also, If Jack in the Box starts sounding like a good idea, you've had enough.
  • Have just invented Naan Pockets. You're welcome, people who want to eat Indian food on the go. #NaanPockets
  • That is full of win! And also wine, probably.
  • "Pour some peas on my plate...in the name of lunch!"
  • My 21st: "All the beers, please." "Yes, sir." "And my free dessert." "I'll need to see some ID for that." picardfacepalm.jpg
  • Went to Mellow Mushroom and had Philosopher's Pie. Or, as it's called in America, Sorcerer's Pie.
  • Gave myself hipster mouth eating pizza for lunch today. #beforeitwascool

Klout, this morning: I believe you are influential about food.

Your move, Food Network.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm not sure you've grasped the concept.

This conversation just happened:
Guy Calling Library: Do you take community service there?
Me: We do accept volunteers, but you have to apply through the City, and they won't allow anything court-ordered at the library. For that, they're going to make you do roadside cleanup or janitorial shit. You can find all that information on the City website.
GCL: Ah. It's just that it would be really convenient for me to do it at the library because I live in the apartments just across the parking lot. Actually, I'm looking at your building right now.
First of all, this is in no way fucking creepy, Dude Who Has Already Been Convicted Of Doing Something Illegal. Would you like me to go to the window and wave my arms or describe what I'm wearing so you can tell me that you can see what I'm doing?

Secondly, I do sincerely apologize for the inconvenience of your fucking sentence. I know that it's meant to be a pleasant and rewarding experience, and this is clearly in stark contrast to the section of the Penal Code that states:
§ When an individual is convicted of an offence against the Community, the sentence shall consist of a reasonably low number of hours of pleasurable service to the Community in a comfortable location convenient to the individual's place of residence.
Had you called even an hour sooner, the City may still have had a community service opening in the Getting A Blowjob From A Supermodel department. Again, I'm very sorry. Asshat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Infinite Improbability Drive.

So, last weekend my wife and I were out running some errands, and we hit a pothole just after turning the corner into a Shopping Clusterfuck Area. Translation: we hit a relatively small bump at about ten miles an hour on a road that was barely more than the leftover pavement between like eight parking lots.

What Happens When Most People Hit A Pothole:
Option A: Absolutely fucking nothing of any consequence. Maybe somebody in the car spills a drink or something.
Option B: They get a flat tire. It gets changed. They continue on, maybe fifteen minutes later than they'd expected to be.

What Happened When We Hit A Pothole:
The car instantly died and rolled to a halt. Several of the Impending Doom lights on the dash came on, and the odometer went blank. Not only did the car refuse to start again, it wouldn't even pretend like it was fucking trying.

After I pushed the car around the corner all by myself like a total badass with the help of a couple other people who had to stop behind us when the car died, I used my brilliant powers of observation and deduction to see if anything under the hood looked like it had fucking blown up or fallen off. Also, I mashed down all the fuses and checked the battery to see if it had come loose. Then I called AAA, who said they'd never even heard of that happening before.

We began to detect a theme in our interactions that afternoon when the tow truck showed up and the driver did exactly the same shit I had just done, then told me he'd never seen anything like this before. He also had some kind of weird Tourette's where he kept saying "GPS" all the time, but didn't actually use it. Or listen when we tried to tell him where to go.
Driver: I have GPS. I'll just use my GPS. Do you know where you're going? Because I have GPS.
Us: Turn here.
Driver: [keeps going]
Us: Um...
Driver: GPS.
After a brief tour of one of the least interesting parts of Denton, he finally dropped my car off vaguely near the shop, as it would apparently have been impossible for him to get it to the actual garage door due to the slight incline that he insisted somehow canceled out his truck's Giant Extending Ramp. Instead, a mechanic had to push it the rest of the way. When he had accomplished that, he called us back and showed us this:

"Have you had any work done recently?"
"Um, an oil change and an alignment."
""That doesn't make any damn sense. It didn't fall
up."

It turned out that the bolt wasn't even from my car, so apparently what happened was this:

Somehow, a random bolt fell into my engine and probably got lodged in there somewhere. Then we hit a pothole, which caused the bolt to bounce around in exactly the right way that it connected the starter to something else metal, creating a short circuit that temporarily fried the computer and pissed off the anti-theft system so much that the whole thing refused to function until it was reprogrammed. At an improbability factor, I might add, of 2267709 to 1 against.

Except, if you're me, probability is a fucked-up algorithm that takes the normal laws of math and science and twists them into some hideous perversion that almost guarantees that the weirdest shit in the universe will always happen to me, while the probability that anything else will happen is often inversely proportional to how much I want or need it to.

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard a mechanic say "I've never seen this happen before,"
I could probably buy a new car. Two weeks later, it would burn up in the driveway because it
was landed on by a bald eagle that was on fire after being struck by lightning in midair.
Like the time that what I swear must have been an albatross bombed my windshield while I was driving down the road at 55 mph, perfectly illustrating the week I had been having.

Or the time someone decided to back out of a parking spot without looking and didn't even stop when I laid on the horn, so I threw my car into reverse and peeled out backwards, and somehow they only hit my front license plate. From the side.

Or the time my gas pedal got stuck at about 20 mph a few months after I bought my car.

Or the time my gas gauge got stuck at half a tank, and suddenly dropped down to empty at the exact moment I got too far into the middle of nowhere to make it to a gas station.

Or the time it was so fucking cold that I had half a tank of gas, but most of it actually fucking froze, and I got stuck in the middle of nowhere and my brother had to bring me some HEET to fucking thaw the rest of it out.

Or the time I got the oil changed in my wife's car and a few days later the oil filter fell the fuck off while she was driving.

Seriously, this is my life, all the time. I can't even make this kind of shit up.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

America, fuck yeah!

So, Amazon's appstore has just offered me a spectacular deal in honor of America's independence:
What better way to celebrate America than by playing a bastardization of the national game of China?
I've also learned that patriotism is inherently tied to buying any of the following items, plus many more:
  • New or used cars
  • Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Shitty, shitty beer
Meanwhile, in Texas, today is the one day out of the whole fucking year that it's OK to admit we're part of America. Mostly, it's an excuse to mix alcohol and blowing shit up in the back yard, which is actually just regularly scheduled programming about 10 months out of the year here.

Anyway, Happy Independence Day, Americans! Remember to count your fingers before and after.

To Canada, specifically: I apologize for the noise. We'll try to keep it down. Also, your planning this year was much better than ours. At least you put your holiday on a weekend and not a fucking Wednesday.

To the rest of the world: Um, it's Wednesday, so I guess the week's about half over.

Monday, July 2, 2012

ASSHAT.

Dear Facebook:

You are an asshat. In fact, having attained Asshat Level 9, you have cracked into the Hipsters-Would-Loudly-Sigh-And-Recall-Your-Early-Days-If-They-Weren't-All-Still-Using-Myspace Tier of Social Media Asshattery. Roughly 80% of your interface is a failure pile of shit I don't want, but can't move, hide, or otherwise get rid of. I get that you can't control what other people post, so there will always be some amount of wankery, but for the love of God, please just give me the option to add myself to some kind of "No Wankery" list for all of the following bullshit:

Ask a Question: I thought that this was just a dipshit fad to go along with "hit 'share' if you agree/remember/are an asshat," but apparently it's a Real Fucking Thing. There's only one question that needs to be here: "Who gives a shit?" And only one answer to choose: "Not me." Please change this into a button that borks your entire computer.

A Million Fucking Ads: This is a whole pile of bullshit I don't care about. Over the course of several years, you've managed to show me a grand total of one fucking thing I actually cared about, and then I couldn't even go, so even that kind of makes you an asshole. Every time you show me one of these, I mark it as offensive.

Ad Manager: I don't have any fucking ads. I don't want any fucking ads. But apparently I need a fucking ad manager to remind me that I could always change my mind and choose to give you a pile of money to irritate other people with all my shit that they don't fucking care about.

Apps and Games: Apparently it was somewhat misleading when the only option that appeared when you clicked "remove" was "add to favorites," so I guess you changed that to "edit," but somehow "add to favorites" is still the only thing I can do. It's incredibly important and convenient to me that I be given no option other than to make something that I don't want to see in the first place even more visible.

Fucking App Requests: I've blocked literally 200 different fucking apps and games I've gotten requests for. What in the name of fuck makes you think I want this here?

Pokes: Seriously, why the fuck does this still exist? Fuck this forever.

Stalker Timeline: I thought the regular timeline was supposed to be a feed of all the shit my friends were doing. Apparently I also need a separate feed so I can follow Every. Single. Click. It's like the asshole who gets Twitter and posts about literally everything they do, from washing the dishes to taking a shit. NO ONE FUCKING CARES. At least I can hide this bullshit.

Top Stories vs. Most Recent: Who the fuck are you to decide what's most important to me? Why is it all stupid shit like "I put something in the microwave for dinner" that goes to the top of this list? For all the personal information you collect about everybody, you don't seem to know shit about what any of us actually care about.

Trending Videos/Articles: First of all, fuck you and every news site that forces me to "like" an article in order to read past the jump. This is an unholy cross between journalistic whoring and chain statuses. It's like a Ponzi scheme, but for news. Secondly, you tell me every fucking time somebody I know reads an article or watches a video. Why in the name of fuck would I need you to also tell me that a lot of people had read that article or watch that video? This is the online equivalent of someone saying "oh, wow, you're really sunburned!" And then slapping it.

Asshat Level: 9
Dear Twitter:

You're only a little bit of an asshat. Your Asshat Level is just 3—a mere third of the colossal wankery Facebook is putting up. It's like you're not even trying. Here's what you have managed:

Promoted Trends: If you have to pay to get it on there, it's not fucking trending; it's a goddamn commercial. It's like if my friends and I just saw The Avengers, and we're all talking about it, and then all of a sudden one of us screams "KOTEX!" for no fucking reason. Actually, no, because that would be hilarious. It's like if we were all talking about The Avengers, and then one of us tried to sell everybody else car insurance.

Promoted Tweets: Same fucking thing. This is the same kind of dickery you find scrawled inside bathroom stalls, except it's like you kicked in the door to my house and spray-painted "← FAG" next to a picture of me, and then when I called the police, they just said "well, you can either clean it off, if you're sure that's what you want to do, or you can take a picture and share it with all your friends!" Fuck that. I want you to make it fucking stop. Now.

Who to Follow: "Remember that one time when it was 107° out and you said "seriously, fuck this heat?" Well LeBron James plays for the Miami Heat, and we think you would totally give a shit about whatever asinine bullshit he has to say. Also, a friend of a friend of a friend is following one of their friends, so we're sure you care about that, too. Also, Kevin Bacon." Stop telling me what to do, you presumptuous prick.

Asshat Level: 3

Friday, May 25, 2012

DON'T PANIC.

So today is Towel Day. If you don't know what that's all about, I suggest you go and read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Seriously. It's only like 200 pages. I'll wait. Otherwise, this won't make a whole lot of sense, and it's slightly more serious than funny today, so this whole thing may just end up getting lost on you. At the very least, read this (from the third chapter of the book):
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels.
     A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value—you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindbogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you—daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
     More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit, etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker may have accidentally "lost." What the strag will think is that any man that can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
     Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in
"Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There's a frood who really knows where his towel is." (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)
I first picked up a copy of HHGG at the age of twelve. It was a small stroke of luck that I even came across it in the first place. It had been cleverly hidden away in the A section of the fiction area of my school library which, in turn, had been even more cleverly hidden away in a town of 100 people in North Dakota. (Actually, it was the Omnibus Edition of the trilogy that was published about a year before "The Hitchhiker's Trilogy" became a misnomer. FYI, and such.) The cover bore a cartoonish planet with a wide mouth and lolling tongue. This planet was juggling three similar planets. Ten years later, a face like this one (except with eyes) would come to be known as the Jake Face, and would become the exclusive facial expression used in pictures of me.

Apparently I wear that hat a lot. And that jacket.
The book had only been checked out once or twice before, but I would go on to add my name to its card (remember those?) several times before I graduated. I started reading it immediately, and had already finished the first chapter before I even reached the desk to check it out. My initial impression was that this may have been the single greatest combination of words ever assembles. As I progressed through the book, I would discover that this may have been an understatement.

I remember thinking—because I was twelve and American—that the error in Ford Prefect's attempt at adopting an inconspicuous name was merely orthographic in nature, and that misspelling "Perfect" was simply an entertaining irony. At some point not long after this, I read in the introduction that the name was actually a mistake on his part regarding the dominant species on the planet, and suddenly I began to understand that this was a book I was going to be reading very many times. It's the first book I remember reading in which I was not only being told a story, but also learning a lot about How To Write. Before that, most of what I'd read took itself far too seriously. Douglas Adams was the first author to show me it didn't always have to be that way. He somehow managed to blend Telling The Truth and Making Shit Up in a way that was funnier than anything I'd ever read before (or since), but also incredibly intelligent. He was one of my very first literary influences.

In 2001, at the age of 49, he joined my ever-growing list of authors whom I deeply regret having the misfortune of never being able to meet in person. I was just about to finish the first year of a Bachelor's degree in English at the time. $20,000 of higher education had equipped me with the ability to go "oh, shit" and feel a deep sense of loss, which is as good a tribute as any of us who Make Shit Up can hope for—that it meant something to someone, even someone we never met. Especially someone we never met. Two weeks later, some people who were not me created a holiday to commemorate his life and his work. That's Towel Day. That's today. That's why I spent the past two nights making this:

Just the towel. I didn't make the book. That was Douglas Adams.
Honestly, have you been paying any attention at all?
Also, I think I just made it through a whole post without saying "fuck." Except for there. Fuck.

Anyway, happy Towel Day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Everything is fine. Nothing is ruined.

This isn't a real post, but I drew this after I worked last weekend because this happens every time I work a weekend. It's like there's some kind of Saturday bomb.

"I don't know where that fuckin' book is, man. It could be anywhere. There's a lot of 'em about!"

Monday, May 14, 2012

I meant to post this yesterday. It didn't happen.

You know how sometimes you're switching out the laundry, and the brand-fucking-new box of dryer sheets falls into the washing machine, but you don't notice because you're holding a huge pile of towels and shit, and you drop all of that in on top of it, and then when it comes out, everything is covered in dryer sheets and bits of cardboard?

Yeah, I just fucking did that.
Welcome to every day of my life.

In other news, here's what you've been missing on the rest of the interwebs:

What you missed on stumblr.
I pinned this stuff. It's made of awesome.
SNARKS MCGEE. I made this, and they totally posted it. "I've got a course you can plot." (The back story.)

What you missed this week on snark:
My brother graduated from college.
Apparently they don't do "have it your way" anymore.
The actual end of my patience.

Some other stuff that I didn't make, but you should look at anyway:
This is one of the most horrifying things I've ever heard of.
For the love of god, someone get me one of these.
Holy trainwreck, Batman.
Being a human: You're doing it wrong.
10 lovely reasons why men shouldn't be ordained.

Finally, something that a friend inflicted upon sent to me:
http://thecleverhelper.tumblr.com/post/22263818618

You're welcome, Internet.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Give a man food poisoning with a fish, and maybe he'll stop coming to your restaurant. Or die.

This actually fucking happened last week, and I had to write about it because it's still not legal to punch a stranger in the face, no matter how much of a fucking cockbite douchecanoe he is writing is good therapy.

So, this 50-something in an Army hat comes up to me looking like a reject from the Clive Cussler collection. Seriously, he had the floral shirt, the shorts, and the tall white socks. If he'd just had a lei, he could have been in Hawai'i (you can fill in your own joke here if you want). Immediately, my blood pressure rockets up to a million over fuck-you because I've dealt with this fucktard on several previous occasions. Let's review:

Sometime in January When I Wasn't Writing Much Because of Reasons:
Captain Asshat comes up to me and demands that I find something for him because the catalog is stupid. [Spoiler Alert: It's not the catalog.] Dipshit me decides I'll show him how to use it! Teach a man to fish and all that empowerment shit. When I get over to the catalog with him, I discover that he's stretched the mouse all the way across the keyboard to the left side, and stands at about a 60° angle to the screen while typing with one finger of his right hand. I immediately begin to regret my decision.

Still, I've apparently got some kind of obligation to try, so I start explaining how you have to use the little letter buttons to make words that tell the machine what you're looking for. Except I use my superhuman capacity for restraint to do it without being condescending. At first. I type in the author he's looking for and click 'Search.' Miracle of miracles, it brings back all the books by that author!
Corporal Cockbite: But I want audiobooks.
Me: OK, just click at the left where it says 'Audiobooks.'
CC: I have to do this every time? Every time I want something I have to do this?
Me: Well, if you want to search by a specific format, you can just click 'Advanced Search' and—
CC: No, you can do that. I can't do that.
My internal monologue: Then you, sir, are an idiot.
Me: pokerface.jpg
Eventually, I find him a couple things he's interested in (side note: they're not audiobooks) that don't happen to be checked out at the moment, and I begin seriously hoping he's capable of finding them on his own because even superpowers have limits, and I think I've just found mine. [Another spoiler: he's so not.]
Lieutenant Douchetard: How the hell am I supposed to know where this is?
Me: Well, you have to read. Right there, where it says 'first floor.' That means it's on the first floor.
LD: This is so stupid.
Then he proceeds to bitch at me for a while about how there's got to be an easier way, and probably some other stuff, but I've stopped listening because I'm wishing we still had an actual card catalog that I could make him dig through because, y'know, computers are hard.

No, seriously. Shut the fuck up.
Late April, Maybe:
Major Asshole shows up again. He's found a book he wants, and he knows it's on the fourth floor, which makes me feel sorry for whoever was working on the first floor about ten minutes earlier. He walks over to where he wants the book to be and doesn't see it after five whole seconds of looking, so he demands that I show him where we've hidden it. I look it up in the catalog and discover that it's a made-up story involving real people who actually lived in the past, and I tell him it's in Historical Fiction.
Private Wanker: Why the hell do you do that?
Me: Quoi?
PW: Why do you put the books all over the place like that?
Me: You mean in different genres?
PW: I mean you should put all the books by one author together. This is stupid.
Me: Most of our patrons like to read in a specific genre, and this makes it easier to find them.
PW: No, it's stupid. You've got one book in Mystery, and another in Historical Fiction. If he wrote a romance, would I have to go all the way over there?
Me: No, because you're standing right next to Romance. But yes, if he wrote a romance, we'd put it in the Romance section. Assuming it hadn't caused the universe to collapse.
PW: That's stupid.
Then he decided he didn't want the book because he didn't want to have to walk all the way over to the Historical Fiction section to get it. Instead, he walked DIRECTLY FUCKING PAST IT ANYWAY JUST TO GET TO THE ELEVATOR SO HE COULD LEAVE WITHOUT THE BOOK.

Last Friday:
This is where you came in. General Fuckhead literally throws a scrap of paper with a title written on it down on the desk and says "I'm looking for this book and I can't find it." It's in Historical Fiction again. He just came from Mystery. I don't even wait for him to follow me or start bitching, I just go to the shelf and grab it. When he finally decides to walk over, he sees that it's a mass-market paperback size, so he goes "I don't want that crap, I want a book." It shouldn't surprise me that he doesn't recognize one.

Ce n'est pas un livre.
Then we have the exact same...er...conversation we had a couple weeks ago, plus this:
Sergeant—You know what? Fuck it: None of you people understand this. You know what I think it is? It's a make-work project for librarians so you can have a job.
My inner Sith: I find your lack of faith disturbing. forcechoke.exe
Me: Oh, I'd love to let you talk to our director about that.
SYKWFI: No, I don't want [grumble grumble]. It's like talking to a deaf wall.
This is a deaf wall. Or, as most people call it, a wall.
This is not a deaf wall. If the walls in your house look like this,
FUCKING MOVE before you start getting messages written in blood.
Of course, he walks off still bitching to the air about how stupid everything is. The complete inability to do anything for himself kind of makes me wonder how he ever survived in the military. At least without getting fragged.

See Also: The woman who bitched about how we're sure putting her tax dollars to good use because we were closed on A FUCKING FEDERAL HOLIDAY.

Friday, May 11, 2012

As long as "your way" happens to match our whims at the moment.

So, I went to [REDACTED] for lunch today because it's the only so-called "fast food" place that offers a veggie burger. During the 10 or 15 minutes I was waiting in the drive-thru, apparently Lewisville Lake exploded and came firing through town sideways, aimed mainly at my driver's side window, which added an extra element of fun to this conversation:
Failburger: What would you like today?
Me: Veggie burger combo and a Coke without ice, please.
FB: Do you want cheese?
Me: Yes. And mustard. But no mayo or tomatoes.
FB: Veggie burger with cheese and mustard. No mayo or tomatoes. What kind of drink do you want?
Me: Medium Coke, no ice.
FB: Did you want a drink?
Me: Yes, a medium Coke, no ice.
FB: Medium Coke?
Me: Yes. No ice.
FB: OK, I totally got that.
[About 8 minutes later, when I finally get up to the window]
FB: Here's your Coke.
Me: All your ice are be in my drink.
FB: Yeah, I heard you say "ice" like six times, so I figured you probably wanted a lot of it. I could get you another drink, but somehow it would take like five minutes because I'm the only one working in the whole store at 12:30.
Also, I discovered that "what would you like today?" was just some kind of small talk, or maybe a survey. It apparently had no bearing on what I was actually going to get. I asked at the window:
Me: You got the no mayo or tomatoes, right? And the add cheese and mustard?
FB: Yes.
FB: bitchglare.jpg
Me, checking it anyway: Um, actually, you got the exact opposite of that. But at least you took 15 minutes to do it, so now I don't have time to wait for you to fix it.
It's sort of like when your parents take you to the mall to see Santa, and you tell him everything you want, but they've already bought all your presents, so the only way you actually get what you asked for is if it happens to be among the stuff hiding in their bedroom closet.

"I want a veggie burger with cheese and mustard, no mayo, and no tomatoes."
"You'll shoot your eye out!"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A study in maroon. And also gray.

So, my brother graduated from college last weekend with a practical-for-his-career-or-some-shit major and a holy-shit-physically-cannot-stop-talking-about-this-because-he's-so-interested-in-it minor, which is usually a pretty good combination for getting through college without wanting to kill yourself, but also finding a job afterwards so you don't want to kill yourself for having blown six figures on a useless degree.

Graduating from high school is a pile of asshat wankery where you watch a slideshow of a bunch of people you hope to never see again, to a soundtrack of Green Day and Vitamin C songs that are almost old enough to be graduating with you. Then about two-thirds of those people start crying about how these are the best years of your life, because you're all at a point in your lives when everything that happens to you, from that one girl whose name you won't remember ten years from now totally calling you a bitch (even though she's the real bitch), to the breakup of your epic seven-month relationship, is a Big Fucking Deal, which will eventually culminate in The End of the Fucking World.

Graduating from college, on the other hand, actually is a Big Fucking Deal, so I flew up for it.

The ceremony didn't actually start until 11, but the doors opened way before that, and people started lining up outside at ass o'clock in the morning, so we had two options: 1) arrive an hour and a half early and have a chance at sitting in the room where the graduation was actually happening, or 2) arrive at what most people would consider a reasonable time and sit in a different room upstairs where we could watch it on TV, which is totally the same, and exactly what I flew the fuck up from Texas to do.

Thankfully, I got to spend the four hours I was there sitting immediately in front of a woman whose daughter was, in all probability, the first person she was even remotely acquainted with to go to college. How do I know? Using my brilliant powers of observation and deduction. (If I were Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey, Jr., this next part would have really cool special effects with slow-motion and text overlays and shit, but all you're getting is a list, so use your damn imagination.)

Evidence:
1. She was wearing this shirt:
To a graduation.
At a private school.
2. Roughly every three seconds, she would knee or kick me in the back and react in a manner that quickly devolved from "herp derp, sorry," to "why do you keep turning around and glaring at me?" Curiously, that sentence is still accurate with a comma after "roughly."

3. She had no internal monologue. Whenever anything entered her head, it would immediately exit through her mouth at a decibel dangerously close to shouting. This was especially true as we shifted from one part of the ceremony to the next. "What are they doing now? Oh, is she going to speak?" Read your damn program; that's why they gave you one. Mathematically, it looks like this:
No, she didn't have arms. She was Venus de Fucking Milo.
4. Every time someone's name was announced, she would screech some kind of horrible war cry, like "ay-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi!" except when it was her daughter. Then she just frantically screamed "THAT'S MY BABY! THAT'S MY BABY!" like she was trying to put out an AMBER alert.

Inferences:
1. She has no concept of physical or social boundaries. Possibly, she has no awareness of or control over her own body.

2. She has absolutely no idea how to behave in this setting, due either to a lack of previous experience or a lack of ability to learn from previous experience.

Conclusion:
It's really fucking fun to sit in front of her.

Because graduations are boring as fuck For the benefit of everyone who couldn't be at this joyfest in person, I live-tweeted the ceremony. For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter, I'm including it here. You're welcome. The literally dozens of you who already do can skip this next part if you want.


Now that he's finished his liberal indoctrination college degree, it's probably not long before he ends up on some kind of watchlist. A few years from now, you'll probably see this FBI file photo during the manhunt:

In May 2012, suspect attended an education rally.
Inevitably, it will end with his capture and sentencing to 50 years doing hard labor in the Real World:

Congratulations, bro! I'm pretty fucking proud of you.