Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Fire!" isn't the only thing you can't shout in a crowded theater.

So, my wife and I went to see The Desolation of Smaug last weekend. Granted, it's been probably almost 15 years since I last read The Hobbit, but there were still quite a few things in the film that I just don't remember being in the book. Like Legolas. Or the incessant oh-my-Jesus-fuck-the-seemingly-awesome-magical-ring-is-actually-Sauron's-fucking-Horcrux foreshadowing. Or the guy who threatened to come back and kill everyone in the theater over an argument about whether or not he should shut off his motherfucking cell phone because the goddamn movie was starting and they'd already played at least two different "you will be asked to leave" warnings during the half hour of previews during which he certainly could have taken care of whatever the fuck it was that was more important than being considerate to the 200-300 other people who paid nearly as much per hour as my first job did to see the film.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

First post in three months, and all you're getting is this crappy joke.

The other day at work, I found this case of bottled water that was labeled "Programming Water."

I was intrigued, so I figured I would test it out to see if it actually worked:

Yes, that is tape holding the brew basket shut, because we are classy motherfuckers. And because it spills all the fuck over everything otherwise.
And it did—but it only does Java.

Oh, and Python.

Yes, I know this is actually a rattlesnake. Jesus fucking Christ, just go with it. For fuck's sake, people.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I should have known something was up.

The other day I was watching Game of Thrones and eating some burritos before derby practice, and all of a sudden Sana jumped up on the table in front of me and started being aggressively affectionate—licking my face, giving me headbutts, and purring like crazy. She did this for like half an hour, until I finally had to move so I could get ready for practice.

When I went to put on my ankle brace, I discovered that she had thrown up on it. Recently. And then came and licked my face.


P.S. I also put this on a shirt so you can warn people in advance:

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Minnesota.

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Midwestern United States lies a largely unregarded purple state whose Scandinavian-descended life forms are so amazingly nice that they still think helping every potentially-axe-wielding stranger they encounter on the side of the road is a pretty neat idea.

One Thursday, a boy driving on his own in the dead of winter suddenly realized that something was going wrong with the very large—and very borrowed—vehicle he was driving. Sadly, before he could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terrible, stupid catastrophe occurred, and he was nearly lost for ever.

This is the story of that terrible, stupid catastrophe and some of its consequences.


It was a long time ago. Ancient history. It was so long ago that, when it happened, I didn't tweet about it or post anything on Facebook or tumblr because they didn't exist. Even if I had wanted to blog about it, I would have had to wait until I got home because that's where the Internet was. I didn't have a smartphone, because those hadn't been invented, either. Cell phones had been invented, but they were roughly the size and weight of a brick and got the same reception as one in any place with a population under a million people, which was very much where I was at the time. And, at any rate, I didn't have one of those, either.

What I did have was a gigantic SUV that I was borrowing from my girlfriend's stepfather. I had recently used this to travel the 400 miles between the town I grew up in, where I had just spent Christmas with my family, and the college I no longer attended in northeastern Iowa. I had done this for two reasons: first, because they returned from the holiday a few days earlier than the school to which I had transferred (largely because it was attended by the girl I was seeing at the time) did; and secondly, because although I had spent the majority of my two years at the former school waiting by the phone to talk to the girl I was seeing at the time, talking to the girl I was seeing at the time, and then feeling depressed when I had to get off the phone with the girl I was seeing at the time, I had still somehow managed to stumble into a few decent friendships, and I wanted to visit.

That piece went fine; there was no catastrophe there, except possibly the fact that the only beer anybody had was Miller Lite, and the resulting catch-22 of needing to be drunk already in order to be able to tolerate it enough to drink the amount necessary to get drunk in the first place. The actual catastrophe was waiting somewhere along the 350-mile stretch of road that lay between my former college and my current one. More specifically, it was waiting just outside of Austin, Minnesota, which is the birthplace of a large number of things, including my friend Jess, whom I like, and Spam, which I rather don't.

The gigantic vessel I was piloting, like most things from America, was powered by explosions and had a voracious appetite for fossil fuels, so it wasn't terribly long before I had to stop for gas. Because commerce is one of the most powerful driving forces of the Universe, this happened approximately three minutes before the impending catastrophe decided to stop impending and start doing Very Bad Things inside the most expensive part of the vehicle it could find. This happened to be the transmission, which I worked out rather quickly when I got back onto the Interstate, attempted to return to the proper speed, and discovered that it had suddenly decided that second gear was the only way to go, and would hear nothing of first, third, or fourth. Accordingly, the maximum speed available to me suddenly dropped to thirty miles an hour, which seemed to upset approximately everyone who came up behind me doing seventy-five, even through most of them were from Minnesota. Shortly thereafter, in case I hadn't got the first hint, it began to lurch about violently every few seconds.

In a brilliant synopsis of the overall situation, I shouted "Fuck!" a number of times before pulling over to the side of the road and activating my vehicle's short-range distress beacon (which, in that part of the country, is better known as "raising the hood"). The temperature outside was slightly above average for early January in Minnesota, hovering around six degrees Kelvin, so I stood next to the beacon to signal that I had not, in fact, been rescued yet. Meanwhile, in an apparent effort to keep warm, time compressed itself so that several weeks passed between each vehicle that went whooshing by, which, in most automotive dialects, translates to a hearty "fuck you," but in the Minnesotan dialect, is accompanied by a small one-finger wave from the steering wheel and translates more accurately as "I'd really like to stop and pick you up, but unfortunately I'm on my way to a lutefisk supper/potluck and my car is entirely full of my relatives and possibly also a hotdish, so I'm very sorry, but would you accept a rain check?"

Nothing happened for a long time. After that, nothing continued to happen, but more urgently, and at a lower temperature. Eventually, it got tired of hanging out on the side of the road and went off to happen somewhere else, which, in all likelihood, was somewhere in North Dakota. It was precisely at this moment that someone finally saw the distress beacon, wasn't transporting their entire family to any fish-gelatin-based church fundraisers, and stopped to help.

As my rescue vehicle slowed to a halt, a million warnings, news stories, and horror films about the dangers of hitchhiking flashed through my mind, were completely ignored, and fell right out of my head. Instead, my attention was focused on a different problem: I couldn't for the life of me figure out why, of all the vehicles in Minnesota—a number that, although perhaps insignificant next to the quantity in, say, New York or Los Angeles, was still, overall, a respectable total—this was the one that had chosen to stop. It was tall and yellow, with the name of a school district painted on its side, yet it was only about half as long as it seemed that it should have been. I was still puzzling over this when the doors opened, and then, just as the driver looked out at me and said "car trouble, eh?" my mind finally finished registering that I was really, truly, about to hitchhike...on the fucking short bus.

There are a number of events in life whose sole purpose in occurring seems to be part of some bizarre practical joke the Universe has decided to play on you, and this qualified in every possible way. I assume that the next thing that happened was that the driver offered to give me a ride to a mechanic's shop in the next town and then did so, but honestly, the details here go a bit fuzzy because I suddenly noticed that, not only was I hitchhiking on the short bus, but that I was not its only passenger. There was also a boy, roughly ten years old. In a wheelchair. Wearing a helmet. At that point, all the rational bits of my brain came to the realization that their services were no longer needed, and promptly passed out.

When they came around again, I was once again standing next to my disabled vehicle, but this time there was a tow truck parked immediately in front of it, and its driver was looking my engine over. He pulled out the dipstick and examined it, which led to the following conversation:

"Well, shit."
"What's wrong?"
"It's your transmission."
"Well, yes, I had guessed as much. What's wrong with it?"
"No, this"—he held up the dipstick and indicated the shards of metal clinging to it—"is your transmission."

When we arrived back at the mechanic's shop, I was more than a little surprised to find that the bus driver was there waiting for me. He offered me the use of his cell phone to call my girlfriend and ask her to pick me up in Worthington, which was about two hours of awkward silence in a car with a complete stranger and his teenage daughter on their way to her high school volleyball game farther down the road. I was something less than completely comfortable leaving a number of my possessions behind, given that they were guarded by nothing more than a few locked doors and the integrity of a group of strangers who made a living by dismantling automobiles, but by this point, I had resigned myself to the fact that whatever was going to happen had very little regard for my feelings on the matter, and that it was a waste of time and energy to put up any sort of a fight. When I returned to retrieve the rest of my things, I discovered that, in addition to the bit about picking up strangers while driving unconventional vehicles, "Minnesota Nice" also meant that no one in town even thought of breaking into the out-of-town vehicle sitting unguarded outside for a week. As for the borrowed colossus, it was towed back home and summarily sold for parts, which had apparently been the plan for it all along, until it had been offered to me.

The next time I went home, I bought my first cell phone. It cost twenty dollars and did nothing but send and receive calls and text messages, which everyone I knew was reluctant to use. I understand if this is the one bit of the story you simply cannot bring yourself to believe. I agree; it's completely ridiculous.

Friday, July 12, 2013

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

In case you missed it, a couple weeks ago, the Texas state legislature almost passed the Barefoot Pregnant Women Act, but the bill died as the special session expired at midnight after a heroic filibuster by Senator Wendy Davis. The very next day, one of the biggest pricks in the history of ever the governor called another special session and told them to pass the exact same bill, which made it out of committee pretty quickly after the chairman cut off testimony and refused to recognize anyone opposing the bill, because democracy.

When the Butthurt Session began last Monday, thousands of people stood outside to register opinions and wait to testify. Those in favor of the bill wore blue, while those opposed wore orange:

It's like "Where's Waldo," except in this case, Waldo is actually a raging misogynistic dinosaur.
But wait—that shape looks awfully familiar:

"It's just the rebels, sir. They're here."
"My god, man! Do they want tea?"
"No, I think they're after something more than that. I don't know what it is, but they've brought a flag."
It's not exactly a stretch, given that, although something like 80% of the people in Texas don't want this bill to pass, protesters have been called "terrorists" and "an unruly mob," and the Governor himself said that "the louder they scream, the more we know we are getting something done." Why not just come right out and call them "rebel scum?" It's no more than you'd expect from people that essentially derive their mandate from an organization that was led by this guy:

"Your feeble filibusters are no match for the power of the Dark Side."
Anyway, it already passed the House earlier this week, so this afternoon the Senate will begin discussing Death Star HB 2. Since nearly three weeks remain in the special session, a filibuster is all but impossible, so it's unfortunately very likely to pass.

"There will be no one to stop us this time."
I'd like to think that a group of representatives who refuse to actually represent the people who elected them will eventually be thrown out of office, but even if that's true, what good will it be to all the women whose health—or lives—will be put at risk by this ignorant, misogynist, cock-driven farce of a pretense of giving a shit about women? It seriously makes me ashamed to have a penis.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Today's news according to Good Morning America at our hotel breakfast:
  • David Hasselhoff is advertising some convenience store and singing about coffee.
  • Jay-Z and Beyonce's kid is some number of months old.
  • One Direction is on fire, apparently.
  • Some lady dry-rubbed a cock chicken yesterday and is putting it on the grill today to heat it up.
  • Egypt is still a country, I think? They breezed over that as fast as they could to get to the bullshit about famous people spawning last year.
Anyway, Happy Get Drunk and Blow Shit Up Day, Americans! May you have as many fingers tomorrow as you did this morning.

Just like your fireworks.

Friday, June 28, 2013

This is why we can't have nice things. (Spoiler Alert: My wife is pretty much the most awesome person ever.)

Last year, I took my wife to New Mexico for her birthday. It was awesome, and you should be like nine kinds of jealous. On the last day we were there, we went to the Rattlesnake Museum in Albuquerque.

Look how cute she is! I am also in this picture.
They have more types of rattlesnakes there than you probably knew existed, unless you're some kind of herpetologist. A lot of them are actually snakes that they've rescued from different horrible fates at the hands of hordes of people who think that they're evil and terrifying just because Salazar Slytherin was kind of a dick. Thanks a lot, J.K. Rowling.

Anyway, the whole place is awesome, and they also have a gift shop where you can get the Single Greatest Mug in the History of Ceramic Beverage-Holding Devices (As Seen on TV!):

Not only does it hold 16 gallons of your preferred beverage, it scares most of your coworkers enough to keep them from ever stealing your drink. Or basically anything you set it on top of.
She came to work with me all the time, and drew compliments nearly every day for most of a year, because she was made from pure awesome that was mined from the earth and forged in the fires of Mount Some Kiln in New Mexico, Probably. She even dressed up for Halloween.

She went as Nagini. The finger belonged to Charity Burbage.
Last Friday was a horrific day. It was my seventh consecutive day of work, because I'd worked the previous weekend. It's summer, which means the exact opposite for libraries as it does for most other places because when school lets out for the summer, guess where everybody drags their hordes of hellspawn children... One patron came up to me at the desk and demanded that I open the plastic case her gas station sandwich came in, because MLS now stands for "Master of Liberating Sandwiches." Another called to complain that she couldn't figure out how to get an ebook because the catalog said "borrow" instead of "check out." Someone tore the "Property of Local Public Library" label off of the latest issue of Guideposts because this apparently wasn't the issue where they discussed the Seventh (or Eighth, depending on your particular version of the Decalogue) Polite Suggestion.

That afternoon, she posed for a picture titled "Installing Java Update."

Version 2.0
On Fridays, I usually take her home so I can give her a proper bath. This week, after I pulled out of the parking garage and was heading down the street, I heard this horrible thumping along the top of my car. At the exact moment my exhausted brain finally figured out what was happening, my eyes shot to the rearview mirror, and the world went into slow motion as I saw her falling forever before shattering on the ground.

The whole way home, I kept telling myself "you're 31. It's just a mug, it's ok," but it wasn't, really (it's possible that this was also exacerbated by depression). I called my wife, practically on the verge of tears, and told her what had happened. She understood completely, because she's awesome. By the time I actually got home, she had already called the museum and had them ship another one, because she's seriously amazing.

We'll probably see her sometime next week. I'm thinking of calling her Daenerys.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What the Fuck Just Happened in Texas: TL;DR Edition.

You may have noticed that the interwebs have been blowing up over the past 24 hours or so with stuff about the Texas Senate and hashtags like #standwithwendy. Amidst all the tweeting and tumbling, I've noticed that there have been a few people who have no idea what's going on, probably because they couldn't seem to find anything about it on the news. I know that a lot of people don't have the time to wade through hundreds of posts on multiple sites  to piece together the whole story, so I've compiled a quick tl;dr guide to get you up to speed. You're welcome.

So, it basically started when Governor Dick Perry called a special legislative session and gave them last-minute instructions to pass an anti-abortion bill that would shut down all but five clinics in a state that's close to 800 miles across in both directions.

Here's what the bill looked like:

So Senator Wendy Davis announced that she intended to filibuster:

They told her that meant that she had to speak—without stopping—for 13 hours, and couldn't sit, lean, eat, take a drink of water, go to the bathroom, or stray from the topic:

She was eventually told to sit down after 11 hours because talking about sonograms (which are required to have an abortion in Texas) wasn't "germane to the discussion":

Every major news outlet while all this was happening:

Except CNN, who were all:

Then Senator Van De Putte called out the President of the Senate for ignoring parliamentary procedure and refusing to recognize her because he was trying to force the vote and didn't want to:

"At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?"
The President impotently tried to quiet the cheering crowd after that burn:

But the entire gallery was like:

They tried to vote on it anyway:

The vote was too late to be legal, so they tried to change the journal to say it happened before midnight:

Just kidding. Those assholes aren't nearly cool enough to be the Doctor.
But the entire Internet already had screenshots:

So they had to concede:

The End.

P.S. I'm sorry for all of this.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Apparently my day wasn't exciting enough for the Gamemakers.

I don't actually keep a written list of all the things that I don't expect to happen to me on any given day because it seems like a really weird waste of time, even for me, but if I did, I'm pretty sure that "getting hit in the face with a giant fireball" would probably be way the fuck up at the top of it every single day. Today, though, I would have been wrong.

The whole thing started when I was like "hey, I should grill stuff tonight because food tastes like awesome when you cook it with fire." When my wife got home from work, I had already started the grill, and was inside getting everything ready to go on while it heated up. Normally, the next thing that happens here is you open the lid, put stuff on the grill, and then take it off and eat it once it reaches the desired level of fiery deliciousness. Today, however, something went awry.

It could be some freak coincidence relating to the foil that I put on the grill to keep the asparagus from falling into the fire, but probably the NSA agents who are assigned to watch my life got bored and wanted to make things a little more interesting. One of them pushed a big red button somewhere, and when I lifted the lid, this happened:

I really wish this were an exaggeration.
By some kind of miracle, the casualty list only includes a little bit of hair and the ends of some eyelashes. My glasses stopped it from hitting my eyes, and somehow I got to keep both of my eyebrows. It did manage to burn out pretty much all the cilia in my nose as well, which means that, for just a second, there was fire INSIDE MY HEAD. It also means that I'm pretty much constantly smelling burnt hair, which is fucking fabulous. I've showered twice already, but I can't get the smell to go away because it's literally in my nose. Somebody get me a silver parachute.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How to love a Yankee Candle.

I bought a Yankee candle for my mom a little while ago, and they put these little instruction cards in the bag because apparently they don't understand that the type of people who need a six-step set of instructions on how to use a candle are exactly the people who shouldn't be allowed to use them in the first place.

Today I found one of the cards at my desk at work, and actually bothered to read it, and then I just broke down in a fit of hilarious what-the-fuckery because I'm still twelve years old. The title is "How to love a Yankee Candle." It only gets worse when you read the instructions.

Keep going until you've tried them all!
Anyway, this isn't a real post. I should probably start putting these warnings closer to the top of the post (*snicker*...yep, still twelve). You should probably just forget this ever happened and try back tomorrow. Sorry.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The following is a true story. The names have not been changed. Fuck the innocent.

I promised a while ago that I'd tell the story about the time my friend and I were accused of running an actual mafia at school. This is that story. [Law & Order clang]


It was probably 6 months after Columbine, in a school of about 330—that's K-12. If you've ever lived in a small town, you already understand that the primary form of entertainment is talking about other people because there's shit-all to do there. It's sort of like TMZ, but with people you've never heard of. Basically, what happened was that some asshat kid said something to his girlfriend about my friend and I being "crazy," and "like those Columbine kids." She told her mom, who worked at the elementary school. Her mom then told the high school counselor, who told EVERYONE HE ENCOUNTERED. Seriously, this douchecanoe ran around like some asshat Chicken Little warning everybody about the Richland Mafia, because two 17-year-olds in rural North Dakota (yes, that is redundant) somehow constitute an organized crime family.

"Because of reasons"

The whole thing somehow blew up into this grandiose story about how the two of us were plotting to show up with an arsenal and carry out a hit on...well, everybody, apparently. Nobody actually talked to us about it, but suddenly all but maybe three of the teachers were adding their own observations to the heap of bullshit collection of totally credible evidence, such as:

Exhibit A: "They dress in black a lot."
This was actually half true. My friend dressed in black a lot. I dressed in white a lot. This was mainly because my friend owned a lot of black shirts, and I owned a lot of white ones. I also dressed in orange fairly frequently, which was mainly because no one had ever explained to me that the fact that you really like a color does not necessarily mean that you should wear it. Ever.

As long as you're wearing bright, cheery colors, the world is a playground of fucking happiness.

Wearing black makes you summon Satan to shoot drugs up your asshole and murder everyone forever.
Exhibit 2: "They write in 'gang symbols.'"
If "gang symbols" means "anything other than the Latin alphabet," then this is true. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of douchenozzles running around inciting moral panic because they don't know that there are other languages, but the TV told them about these "gangs" in big cities where you have to kill people just to get in, and they identify themselves by writing weird. Actually, we were both very into language, and experimented a lot with creating languages and alphabets, which is exactly the kind of thing you do before you go out and murder everyone. By that logic, Tolkien was the fucking Godfather.

Yes, I know it's actually called "Quenya." You're missing the point.
Exhibit The Third: "They're not in any sports."
Anymore. We were in all the sports, but we were never popular enough to be given any playing time, so we said "fuck this shit" and quit wasting our time. Instead, we joined other activities where our talents would be appreciated. [Note: in small towns, this is how team tryouts work: years before you are born, when your parents are still in high school, everyone is divided into cliques. They all finish or quit school, move nowhere, and start having babies who, to save time, are divided into the same cliques. If you're in the popular clique, you get to be on the team and actually play.]

Exhibit Fuck You: "They get bullied, just like those Columbine kids."
Who the actual fuck looks at this situation and goes: "Wow, quite a few of our students are inexcusable pricks. We'd better consider suspending the people they're bullying in order to protect their God-given right to be assholes."?

Exhibit I Don't I Can't Even: "They locked everyone in the computer lab, turned out all the lights, and walked from person to person pointing a gun at everybody's heads, apparently as some kind of 'preview' of what they were planning to do later."
OK, so this one actually sounds pretty fucking serious because of the locking people in a room and, y'know, the bringing fucking weaponry into the school. Except that a) that room only locked from the outside, b) neither of us even owned a fucking gun of any kind, much less brought them to school and pointed them at people, c) what kind of fucking moron brings a gun to school and points it at people in order to tell them that they're planning to bring a gun to school and point it at people sometime in the future, and d) of the probably twelve or so people who were actually present at the time this allegedly occurred, not fucking one of them had the slightest clue what the hell anyone was talking about when asked about it later on.

Fortunately for us, the principal was not an asshat, douchenozzle, or any other form of dumb motherfucker. He had actually lent me his book on Norwegian runes after seeing some similarities in my invented scripts, so he was disinclined to acquiesce to anybody's request to suspend us for no fucking reason. Apparently, he believed that students maintain some level of actual rights at school. Pretty much, he asked us one time, for the sake of ritual, if any of this was remotely true. We, of course, said "no." He replied (paraphrased): "no shit." Then he told us that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to be seen wearing a trenchcoat to school any time soon, and let us go.

"Aftermath" (You can insert a curriculum-based pun here if you want)

During the course of this ridiculous drama, my mom (who worked at the school at the time) of course asked me what the hell this was all about and why somebody would just make up some story like this. When she saw how close I was to an aneurysm of confusion, she also called several of the people who were there at the time. When they had the exact same reaction, she wrote an open letter to the entire staff, which basically said "what the actual fuck is wrong with all of you? You owe my son and his friend a huge fucking apology."

I never got one. The closest thing I got was the day the counselor walked into my study hall on a day where I happened to be the only student in the room. He sat down backwards in the desk in front of me and started spouting some bullshit about responsibilities and safety or something. I'm not actually sure, because I wasn't fucking listening. I didn't even look at him; I just waited until he stopped talking, then waited a couple more minutes until I could tell he was getting really uncomfortable that I hadn't kissed his ass and forgiven everything yet. Then I just said "are we done here? I'm kind of busy," and he got up and left. I'm pretty sure I never talked to him again.

That's pretty much the end of the story. I don't know if there's a moral or anything. I think this is the part where the screen just fades to "DICK WOLF," and you have to decide for yourself what the fuck it all means. The best I've got is that some people are assholes, so fuck 'em. Leave. Do awesome shit. Don't look back, until it somehow comes up that you were once accused of running a mafia, and everybody in the room is like "you have to tell that story!"

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cats are terrible editors.

So, I had this great idea that I was going to try to write this morning, since I finally got a chair so I could sit at my actual desk that is not a coffee table at the couch in front of the TV because apparently that is a recipe for watching a shit-ton of Adventure Time, but absolutely no productivity.

Sana wrote the original caption for this picture, but I had to move it because it went right the fuck of f the edge of the screen.
Also—not pictured? The chair that the whole first sentence was about.
Of course, this morning, my actual view looked more like this:

This was actually the best view I had while trying to write this morning.
After I told Sana that she couldn't just stand there and be in the way, she decided to help* me write**. Here are some of her suggestions for another post I was trying to work on (they're all additions, as apparently she never managed to step on the backspace key hasn't quite grasped how to suggest deletions or substitutions yet):
  • -0
  • gt3weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
  • 0------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (apparently I don't use nearly enough zeroes or hyphens when I write, which I really need to work on, or I'm going to alienate my entire feline audience)
  • vfggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggc
For this post, though, she only had one suggestion, which she used to try to caption that first picture of the desk:
I think she was trying to transcribe the lyrics to the Doctor Who theme. Or maybe she was just excited that Ten was on the screen, because she's totally a Tennant fangirl:

Gwen helped by making sure none of the sunlight in the room went to waste.

Anyway, obviously this isn't a real post. Hopefully I'll have one soon, as long as my editors don't suggest too many aws2weihgasssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssi890 major changes.

**on my keyboard

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Librarians are probably the most polite paparazzi ever. Or the politest. I don't know, I'm not Merriam-Fucking-Webster.

So, I had this whole post ready to go about how I broke my ankle at roller derby practice a few weeks ago where I was going to complain about how I always have to have people carry stuff for me and how I can't skate again until probably June, or how fucking exhausting it is to have to do a thousand miniature pole-vaults just to get anywhere, but then something happened on Saturday that made it totally worth it, so I had to rewrite the whole fucking post. Thanks a lot, one of the most amazing things that has ever happened to me.

In an effort to make being stuck in a cast for weeks suck less, I got a blue one, and I painted a TARDIS on it (which I'll admit was a bit of a challenge to do upside-down at 2AM):

Yes, it is bigger on the inside. Y'know, to allow for the swelling.
Then I went to the Texas Library Association Annual Conference, where Neil Gaiman happened to be speaking on Saturday. At first, they told me he was just going to be speaking, since he's coming back on a book tour in a couple of months, but then he apparently decided to do an incredibly limited signing that you had to have a ticket to get into. There were 100 tickets—total—for like 7000 librarians, but I totally got the second-to-last one. WHICH LED TO THIS:

Neil Fucking Gaiman signed my cast. Also, yes, I'm pretty sure he took his wife's middle name.
After he signed it, he pulled out his phone and took a picture of it...which he then tweeted and posted on his Facebook page. Then he retweeted my reply to him (about a minute before he came on stage to speak). I posted a couple pictures of it to snark the tumblr. I also tweeted the pictures at The Bloggess and she told me I win the internets AND THEN SHE FOLLOWED ME!

So, for the rest of the afternoon, I'm having some kind of aneurysm of awesome, which is still going on when I go to watch my wife destroy everyone on the track and win Best Blocker in her roller derby bout. While I'm there, she skates over to me and tells me that another girl on her team follows the Doctor Who Official tumblr. Who fucking reblogged my post. And then so did Neil, who added "I was impressed." And Amanda Fucking Palmer. And about 7000 other people. And then I passed out because I couldn't fucking handle the amount of awesome that was happening all in one day.

Also, pretty much the entire conference knew who I was in the span of about 2 hours, and suddenly everybody wanted a picture. It was like the politest paparazzi ever. "Can I take a picture? Do you mind? Is it OK? Oh, thank you SO much! I/my daughter/son/coworker/friend/neighbor is SUCH a fan." Of Doctor Who, that is. Or Neil Gaiman. Probably not of me. Yet.

Hello, Sexy.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I read it in the paper, so it must be true.

I'm not sure if we've hit some kind of weird generation cycle on the interwebs, or if it's suddenly 1998 again, but in the past week or so, I've seen like a shitzillion posts about things like the Robin Williams peace plan, lottery winners giving out millions of dollars if you share their pictures on Facebook, and Super Venom Ass Spiders. We're just a gas station AIDS needle and a stolen kidney/bathtub full of ice away from fucking Snopes bingo, people.

Apparently, all you have to do is attribute the story to somebody vaguely influential and maybe add a picture, and people will believe it, no matter how batshit crazy it is. Here's how it works:

Everybody needs to read this RIGHT NOW! It will blow your mind!

Historians at Humboldt University in Berlin have just discovered a cache of lost documents from before the Second World War. The following is a speech that Adolf Hitler gave in Berlin on August 31, 1939 (translated from German, of course).

This picture of Hitler giving a speech totally proves that he actually said all this.
"My fellow Germans, I have a few things I would like to share with you on this beautiful late summer day.

I really like unicorns and rainbows. Also flowers and happiness. I think everybody in the world should be allowed to live the way they want without being discriminated against by bigoted ass clowns.

Last night, I had this awesome dream about wizards. There was this little boy in England who was attacked by an evil wizard, but he didn't die because PROTECTION MAGIC, BITCHEZ! The spell reflected back and hit the evil wizard instead, so now everybody thinks he's dead, but he's not, and he wants to come back to kill the boy. I think I'll write a book or seven about it.

Also also, I had this great idea for this thing made out of electricity and silicon that will allow people around the entire world to have instant access to information and pictures of adorable cats.

Finally, with the weekend coming, I urge everyone to be careful and not do anything foolish, like invade Poland or commit the worst genocide in the history of humankind."

And that's how Hitler wasn't a genocidal fuckhead and also wrote Harry Potter and invented the Internet.
P.S. If you don't share this with everyone forever, you hate puppies and love cancer.

P.P.S. Facebook is going to start charging this summer, but it will stay free for you if you hit Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Enter on your profile page.

Monday, April 15, 2013

For Boston.

I had planned to post something today whining about how I broke my ankle last week and how much it sucks that I won't be able to skate for a couple of months. I'll still post it eventually, but not today. Today there are people who will never walk again because they lost limbs—or lives.

My heart goes out to all of them. It goes out to their families, and to all of those who are still missing loved ones. It goes out to the families of the Newtown victims, who were in a VIP section close to where the explosions occurred (the last mile of the marathon was dedicated to the victims of that recent tragedy). Though it doesn't sound like any of them were injured, I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through today—again.

The authorities don't know who's responsible for it yet. People who were actually there don't know, so I won't even pretend to have the first idea who is responsible for it. I've already heard people throwing around words like terrorist, and blaming it on various ethnic, religious, or political groups. If you're one of these people, please do everyone a favor and shut your fucking face hole. We don't need that shit right now, and even if any of those statements turn out to be true, you didn't know that, so you're still just an asshole. If you actually know something about someone involved, here's how you can do something useful: get the fuck off the internet and go call the tip hotline at 1-800-494-TIPS (8477).

I've spent a lot of time today trying to follow the story as best I could. I've seen a lot of graphic things and a lot of terrifying things. Some of those images will probably stick with me forever, but I'm not going to share any of that here. You can see all that shit on practically every news site in America. Probably, you already have. It'll probably be a while before we get to see much else.

BUT: I have seen a lot of things that I don't want to forget, and I'm afraid the mainstream media will miss every single one of them. Next time you see the footage on TV, don't pay attention to the explosions. Watch the people. Here's what you'll see: people scared, then people running. But not running away—running towards the explosions, to help people. No one knows what the fuck just happened, and there are still all these people running towards that unknown to help. I've seen stories about runners who had already finished the marathon going to donate blood, or journalists who had run it staying to cover the story.

I've seen every social media platform I use exploding with positive words and ways to help. I've seen about a million people sharing Mr. Rogers' words about looking for those people who are helping. I've seen people offering beds to complete strangers who have no place to go. I've seen people reminding us that even when this kind of shit happens, it's not all of humanity that's gone wrong. About a million people have posted Patton Oswalt's Facebook status as well:
Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity."

But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."
This. This is what I want to remember about today, about humanity.

There are lots of ways that you can help, or get help. Here are the ones I know about:

For finding people:
You can call the helpline for families of victims/to locate people at 617-635-4500.
The Red Cross has set up a website to check in, or to find people:
Google has one, too:

If you need someone to talk to:
You can call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
You can also visit their website:

If you need help talking to your children about what happened:

And finally, if you need someplace to stay, or if you want to offer someone a place to stay, you can check out what is quite probably the greatest spreadsheet in the history of humanity:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Holy shit, you guys. This is real.

I'm about 167% sure this is just one of Google's April Fool's Day things, but this just happened and if it's not I don't know how to make sense of the universe anymore.

About a year ago, I submitted a redesigned snark logo to the Sparks McGee tumblr, which was, in turn, based on this blog post by Wil Wheaton. Since then, I've noticed that a lot of people are finding me here by searching for "i've got a course you can plot." Mainly out of curiosity, I Googled it, and this happened:

In case you can't tell, the first result is the Sparks McGee tumblr. The second one is where I posted about the Sparks McGee tumblr
actually posting my submission. That third one? The original post where Wil Wheaton
Not funny, Google.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Something clever about Easter.

Conversation between me and my wife today:
Me: Some horrible pun about the road being tired because probably there was a tire laying in it.
Her: Maybe it had too much ham and candy.
Me: Now I have Marcy Playground in my head.
Her: God, that's horrible!
Both of us, singing: "I smell ham and candy..."
Yeah, this is what we're like, pretty much all of the time. It's awesome.

Also, if you don't follow me on Twitter, you missed this one the other day:
Me: Bah!
Coworker: Humbug?
Me: Nah. Wrong Jesus holiday.
Her: I don't know any ending for 'bah' that goes with Easter.
Me: ...Rabbas?
Her: ...
Her: .....
Her: ..........
Her: You win.
Oh, by the way, this totally isn't a real post, but you can always just read the one I wrote last Easter.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

Some days are just assholes. By the time you get out of bed, they've already been awake for hours, coming up with ways to be a dick to you. Especially Thursdays. It's like their entire purpose is to make goddamn sure you don't take Friday for granted. Last Thursday was one of them. It started out like every other day, with the strident noises at ass o'clock in the morning.

Every. Fucking. Day.
Then some boring shit happened. I took a shower and got dressed. While I was doing that, apparently Thursday went to hide in the kitchen and waited to jump out and punch me in the face.

The last thing I usually do before leaving for work is put out some food for the feral cat colony we inherited when we moved into our house. Our own cats are obsessed with the food that we give to the ferals, but one of them can't eat it because she has a "sensitive stomach," so she can only handle Science Diet Food For Cats With Expensive-Ass Digestive Conditions. The other one will try to eat literally anything she can get into her mouth (seriously, anything—even shit like cardboard). They had already managed to tear a hole in the bag by reaching under the laundry room door. When I went to carefully pick up the bag so it wouldn't spill, the Gobbler jumped up and tore the hole wide the fuck open.

It wasn't actually the Russian
Blue that tore the bag, but I can't
fucking draw the caliby. It was
totally a team effort anyway.

Then, while I was distracted by the Purina version of Exxon Valdez (for those of you under 30, that was Deepwater Horizon, but with a boat), my lunch went into stealth mode, or maybe it found an invisibility cloak. I don't know, but I totally forgot to grab it before going into White Rabbit Mode and running out the door shouting "I'm late!" to no one in particular.

In all fairness, it may have just been hiding from the Vader spatula.
Of course, I didn't realize it until I was almost all the way to work, so there was nothing I could do about it except hope that it hadn't gone bad by the time my wife went home for lunch.

Yes, my seatbelt is actually wider than my body. Safety first, motherfucker.
And then when I got to work, I was all pissed about forgetting my lunch, so I forgot to grab my keys and badge and had to go all the way back up to the third level of the parking garage to get them. When I finally got into the building, there were notes plastered all over the place that said that IT had done some kind of upgrade the night before and now basically nothing worked.

The note basically said "here are all the things that aren't
working today. It actually listed "Etc." as a bullet point.
Then it listed one or two more things after that, because
they don't know what "etc." means. Or "upgrade," apparently.
For some unfathomable reason, we still opened. After that, I spent pretty much the entire rest of the day pretending to be Scotty from Star Trek. Every time someone asked me for something, I was all "Ah cannae do that, Captain!" It probably helped that I was also wearing this button:

I'm not entirely certain whose reflection that is on the left, but
my money's on either the Grim Reaper or Emperor Palpatine.
It was even better since our catalog is actually called Enterprise, but probably you don't care because you don't work here. If you did, you wouldn't be reading this right now because you'd be too busy dealing with whatever asinine bullshit this Thursday was trying to pull.

Seriously, fuck Thursdays.