Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Maybe it's supposed to be funny?



I was never a fanatic about Star Trek: The Next Generation. I've been watching it recently because I only get five channels and it's better than Family Guy and usually it's funnier than Family Guy too.

In the intro Picard announces his intention "to go where no one has gone before" (boldly!). That's when the intro shifts from the contemplation of the majesty of space to bold action. Watch as the Enterprise zips by from the left! Now from the right! The names of the cast members appear suddenly as though formed from the engine's wake. This is a great way to advertise the show's font. It's a very action-packed font. The words slant forwards. They are in motion. Do they want to be in the future so badly that they lean towards it from the present moment? No. They just want to get the hell away from this lame intro. They're not even allowed to be in the same frame as something cool like a planet or a nebula.

Or even the Enterprise itself. It wants to get out of this intro so bad, it's actually making whooshing sounds in the vacuum of space! Its urge to flee is so great not even the laws of physics shall remain standing!

In space, no one can hear you yawn. But apparently everyone can hear you redline your impulse engines to escape the humiliation of being a shakespearean actor getting a late-career renaissance in the vacuum of syndication.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Swine Flutopia


All my koosh are belong to swine. [Photo credit: Erin Williamson]

I wanted to get sick because I want my immune system to get stronger and better, but now that I am sick I am not really enjoying myself as much as I thought I would. I really imagined it as some kind of vacation. I am not the kind of person who takes vacations or who enjoys them, but I expected this to be a biologically-necessitated period of cookie-ingestion and daytime-television-consumption. It turns out having the flu actually sucks, and that ice cream doesn’t cure it, no matter how many pints of “H1-PeCan” you eat.

My fever—101.5˚ at the moment—burns from the inside out like it does when Lindsay Lohan pees. I pee about 3 times an hour because of all the water I am drinking. I call it my take-a-sip-leave-a-sip policy. I’m peeing so often there isn’t even water in it anymore, I only pee the sound of peeing. It echoes up out of the bowl to mock me. But with my fever I am more popular with the cat. She seems to like sleeping on me a whole lot more. And every time I line up some Tylenol to try to bring my temp down, the cat knocks them off the table with what looks like glee.

I was worried about getting sick during the school year though because now I’m a teacher and I have students and I have this sense that they need me. This is a delusion brought on by my fever or perhaps by my profession. University professors and their graduate mentees are often delusional. It’s a proud tradition. It’s what gives us the idea that we should be telling people who are nothing like us that they should live their lives exactly like we do. Although my girlfriend told me she needs me. She’s having cramps and she wants me to lay across her belly. She said it’s greener than using the electric heating pad.

I read that if I get a flu this season, it’s probably the swine flu. I have my doubts, though. Sure, I didn’t get vaccinated—who has?—but I do ride public transit. That’s vaccine enough. It’s like giving your lymph system a copy of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.” I for one credit the bus system with vaccinating me against ever quitting flossing.

I still remember how in April, the news started to report on the “deadly” swine flu. Then the study came out that told us that up to 117% of the population was going to get the virus. Now I get emails from the university telling me not to go to the doctor if I have flu-like symptoms and not to get the vaccine because I have no serious health complications. It’s probably better that I not try to get the vaccine, because there’s almost none of it to be had. It’s a chicken-egg problem. Because American companies make the virus for the vaccine by growing it in chicken eggs. According to pharmaceutical companies, newer technologies to make the vaccine faster are not profitable for companies, and it would take government leadership from the highest levels to transform flu-virus production. Which came first? Lack of action on innovations in vaccine-production technology, or lack of governmental leadership?

While companies struggle to produce the seasonal flu vaccine alongside its porcine counterpart, we’ve known about the actually-deadly avian flu for at least 6 years and, as of February of this year, we only had about 26 million doses stockpiled. I can’t wait to see the lines that form when even the people who are afraid of Guillain-BarrĂ© and Autism are desperate enough to get the shot.

Not wanting to wait for the CDC to determine if I have swine flu, and being told that a good citizen does not burden the healthcare system by an unnecessary doctor’s visit, I went on WebMD to do some research on swine flu. I learned that one of the most common sex mistakes women make is not initiating sex with their partner. Sorry, I got distracted by an article called, “6 sex mistakes women make.” Sex mistake number 7: initiating sex with me. Especially in my current condition. Though if you see someone walking the vaccine lines outside of health clinics offering the women “swine jobs,” don’t let on that you know me. I really need the money.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

next to godliness


not piss.

deciding how we will clean the house is a chore in itself. my girlfriend likes to use "natural cleansers." like vinegar and baking soda. she reminds me that vinegar is an acid. i remind her that we're cleaning the house, not douching it. to me, a surface isn't clean unless i've removed a layer of it. when you take a deep breath in a clean home, lingering chemicals in the air should burn the nose and esophagus; it should not smell like a side salad at tgi friday's. the former is the smell of chemical burns on the fingertips and the extinction of a plankton species as substances once used to torment axis soldiers on the hindenburg line race through storm drains to open water; the latter, the smell of a frat boy's last-ditch attempt at conquest. all that's missing is axe body spray, which, as we all know, is the smell of overconfidence and desperation.

on cleaning day, my girlfriend cleans most of the house. she does this and does not ask for a thank you. i clean the bathroom. i do this and then i parade around the house in celebration, and i make my girlfriend take pictures of me with the toilet. i taunt her with my bathroom-cleaning superiority. to some this may sound arrogant, but i'm very good at cleaning bathrooms. i'm so good at cleaning i could probably turn paris hilton's vagina into amy grant's. that would kill off another species of plankton.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fancy That


the secret to feline mind control: cuteness. [Photo credit: Paul Mayne]

the people i go to school with would like to get published. they’re writing for the journal of pragmatics or discourse and society or college composition clusterfuck quarterly.

meanwhile, i’m trying to get into cat fancy.

this is perhaps why no one takes me seriously as a scholar. they’re exploring abstract theoretical aspects of meaning-creation and their ramifications for English language learners. their papers have titles like “the genre of the end comment: conventions in teacher response to student writing.”[1] i want to make some jokes about living with a kitty for a magazine with articles such as “pet memorials” and “dogs in disguise.” (kitties—more than meets the eye?) if no one takes me seriously, it’s because i never give them the chance.

so, anyway, yesterday i popped into the bookstore near work to read the latest issue, but it was sold out! cat fancy was sold out! it was the only empty space in the entire magazine section! stacks of news weeklies were still on the shelves. other animal mags, like bArk, were stocked aplenty. there were heaps of those magazines for beadworkers and quiltmakers and scrapbookers and figurepainters.

if the title wasn’t as cutesy i would understand why it was sold out. i can't imagine people buying a magazine called cat fancy with a straight face. i would pay someone to buy it for me or have it delivered anonymously by post.

if it were called feline times or cat review, perhaps it would be different. i would read feline times. i picture a persian kitty in a gray pinstriped business suit with a monocle and a bowler hat. “the global rice shortage: how much more will you pay for kibble? by lord waffles q. fuzzy-bottom.” (take that, t. s. eliot.)

i guess it makes some sense. cats are more popular than dogs if we judge things strictly by the numbers, and, according to steve dale, my town is one of the top 10 cat friendliest cities in the nation.

of course, all of this is in spite of the overall shittiness of the kitty demeanor. there is no better evidence for feline mind control. when dogs bite, they get put down. when cats bite, we assume that we did something to piss them off and we cling to the hope that they’ll stop someday. but they won’t stop. oh sure, kitty might say she can change, but you know that if you want the violence to stop, you have to leave. the classes didn’t work and you’ve got to think of the children.

Notes:
  1. Smith, Summer. “The Genre of the End Comment: Conventions in Teacher Response to Student Writing.” College Composition and Communication 48.2 (May 1997): 249-268.[x]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Non sequitur


One of the rare cock pics you will see on my site. [Photo credit: hddod]
8/22/04

(in british accent)

take a baby in the womb add 1 chromosome to it and you get a baby-chicken hybride it's great and at the end of the day you check its diaper and you get eggs--pretty soon you'll be saying, I think this tastes like baby--

I found this in one of my old notebooks, all alone on its own page. I think it was supposed to be a joke for a comedy routine. The British accent was gonna sell it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In Da Club


In real life, when the Millennium Falcon jumps to hyperdrive, you would catch fire and die. [Photo credit: Network 23 Photography]

February 3, 2006[1]

belo describes itself as hot and ultra-chic. So what’s chic? Chic, it turns out, is very finely distinguished from not-chic. For instance, I was told that the dress code would be “chic.” Jeans and a t-shirt? Not chic. Add a wallet chain circa the early nineties, and voila. You have done it.[2]

The grand opening of belo went off[3] last Thursday, February 2nd, at the spot that used to be E Street Alley. Jeff James, the club’s owner, wanted to renovate the successful club because he thought it could be better—specifically, he wanted to upgrade the club’s interior. “So many places look like bachelor pads,” he said. “We wanted ours to have a fun atmosphere.”

They certainly accomplished that. My friend described the place as “Austin Powers meets art deco.” I thought it looked like something out of Barbarella. I was therefore not surprised to see the Jane Fonda flick playing on all of the plasma TV’s in the place. Psychedelic would be an appropriate adjective for the interior—even my invisible ink re-entry stamp turned out to be a mushroom.[4]

My friend quickly decided to “roam,” periodically dropping suggestions on how to score with the “lay-deez.” “What you want to do,” he counseled, “is keep looking at them, but don’t talk to them.” My wingman jetted off in hopes of achieving his mission objective—three phone numbers.[5] This left me time to do what I do best—sample the menu.

E Street Alley used to serve sushi. The newly renovated belo features a full kitchen offering appetizers, entrees, and desserts—and, of course, drinks. I had the delicious pumpkin stuffed ravioli with spinach and black pepper butter, reasonably priced given its downtown location. Meanwhile, my friend was sampling the drinks. “How’s the martini?” I asked. “The martini’s fantastic!” Drinks average about 10 dollars. The service staff was excellent: friendly, dedicated, and constantly in motion.

Of course, we weren’t there for the food. We—and here I speak of the collective we—were here for DJ AM. If you don’t know who AM is, you, like me, do not read In Touch Magazine.[6] AM was Crazy Town’s DJ, (remember “Butterfly”?) and his reputation has outpaced theirs considerably.[7] He is now not only DJ to the stars[8] but also for many clubs across the country, and belo got him to come out to San Diego. You could tell it was him spinning from the way they announced it. And, of course, from the camera crew and the screaming women. Once AM began his set the crowd stopped dancing to watch the master do relatively little, since his set up is all digital and he doesn’t even spin records. Thank God some dancing girls showed up to give us something to stare at properly. However, some of his mash-ups were truly inspired (“Under Pressure” versus “Smoosh It,” for instance, or my favorite, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” meets “Float On”[9]).

Getting bored, I stepped into the biggest of the clubs three rooms. Unlike the other booths, tables, and small rooms, this one was not reserved, so I decided to sit on everything in it. Note: I sat on everything. Tables, chairs, the carpet. Everything. I paid good money to be at this club. I was going to get what I could get. Like most of the furnishings in the place, the couches and chairs were all rounded and plastic, as if they had been excreted rather than constructed. The room was bookended by two wall paintings; the first, a psychedelic piece dominated by reds and yellows and a repeating flower motif featuring the words, “It’s love that makes the world go round.” The other piece was a series of orange, yellow, and brown lines emanating from a single point that reminded me of what the Millennium Falcon looks like when it hits warp speed. If the Millennium Falcon were made of Reese’s Pieces.[10]

This place clearly did not look like a bachelor pad. It looked like Timothy Leary’s high school bedroom.

It was getting late. My friend had told me, “I can’t feel my bottom lip.” But he had reached his goal. Three numbers. Some girl darted over to us and threw her arms around him in that way that girls do not do with me. Perhaps you are familiar with it. They shared an embrace and she left. He laughed. “I don’t even know who that girl is!”[11].

On a Friday night, you can expect to pay $25 at the door; on a Saturday night, $30.[12]. Tonight, at the door, $50. I hope you bought your tickets in advance.

Notes:
  1. No, that’s not a mistake. Recently, I’ve been going back over old notebooks to finally develop ideas I had to put off while I prepared for the general exams for my PhD. This is an article I wrote for San Diego Citybeat that was rejected—see if you can figure out why. Anyway, I thought it was funny enough to post, and my additional comments will be found here, in the endnotes. [x]
  2. As for what elevates one to ultra-chic: pomade. [x]
  3. In response to your question: no. I could not be whiter, as I was unable to work “off the hizzy” into the article. Also, I prefer to be referred to as “ivory,” not “white,” since the former calls to mind my colonialist roots. [x]
  4. Being Italian, I immediately thought of plumbers. I suspect this was not the allusion they had in mind when they had the stamps made up. [x]
  5. Given his advice, one would expect that three restraining orders was a more realistic objective. [x]
  6. But I occasionally browse whilst at the checkout counter… [x]
  7. Of course, in the four years since this was written, DJ AM has become notable only for surviving plane crashes. Meanwhile, Crazy Town is scheduled to release a comeback album in 2009, titled “Crazy Town is Back.” That he left the band in 2001 suggests that AM is also good at surviving train wrecks. [x]
  8. Almost DJ in the stars. [x]
  9. My favorite version of this song—maybe even over the original—is the Kidz Bop version, which you can find on Kidz Bop volume 7. [x]
  10. Note: Reese’s Pieces would melt. [x]
  11. Club belo. Making dreams come true. One anonymous drunk girl at a time. [x]
  12. Anonymous drunk girls: priceless. Proving that there are some things in life money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s booze. [x]