Saturday, May 31, 2003

A personal note: last Thursday the doctor took the cast off my right arm and removed the pins from my right hand. I am now back to having no extra hardware in my body. My right hand still hurts a lot and generally feels awful. I've lost a lot of strength and range of motion (but this will come back in time). To give you an idea, right now it hurts to pick up a glass of water. I start with occupational therapy on Monday.

Friday, May 30, 2003

If you liked that last one, check out my Matrix: ReSeussed parody on my other site.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

If "Matrix: Reloaded" were rated NC-17

Persephone: "Kiss me, Neo. Make me believe that I am Trinity."

Neo: "OK."

Persephone: "Terrible. Forget it."


Persephone:"Really kiss me, make me believe that I am her!"


Persephone:"That's more like it. Now I'll kiss Trinity and make her believe that I am Neo."

Neo:"Whoa. Cool!"

Trinity:"I think it's working."

Persephone:"Now Neo, you kiss Trinity, but you'll pretend to be Niobe and she'll be Morpheus."

Neo:"Huh? I guess . . ."

Trinity:"Neobe, baby . . . who's your daddy?"

Neo:"Oh, Morpheus!"

Persephone:"That's the way to work it. Now come here, Trinity. I'll be the Architect and you're the Oracle, and I'm giving you a spanking for being such a naughty program, and Neo is a chair."



[hours later]

Neo: "So do we get to meet the keymaker now?"

Persephone: "I am the keymaker . . ."

Neo: "You are?"

Persephone: " . . . and your tongue is a key, and . . . "

Monday, May 26, 2003

Me: "I think Persephone comes back in Matrix: Revolutions, but Merovingian does not."

My girlfriend: "Well, she is the type of thing guys like to look at, but he is not the type of thing girls like to look at."

Me: ". . .because what girls like to look at is shoes."

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics debunks one of my pet peeves in movies, where a character who gets shot flies backward with great force from the impact of the bullet. The site calculates that actually the force imparted on the victim will be less than or equal to the recoil of the gun.

"If the recoil from discharging a firearm is insufficient to throw the shooter backwards through the nearest window then the bullet also will not throw the victim backwards through the nearest window."

The site also points out the unrealistic sound in movies. "SWAT teams sometimes use silencers, not for stealth, but to insure that they will be able to hear if one of the SWAT team members fires a shot inside the confined space of a room. Discharging an unsilenced firearm in a room can cause temporary deafness."

Black White Supremacist

Comedy just can't stay ahead of the idiocy of reality. A while ago Chapelle's Show featured a skit about a "Black White Supremacist," a blind-from-birth African-American man who believed he was white, and wrote books advocating White Supremacy. Now it turns out there really is a half-Black White Supremacist.
A White supremacist who is half Black and his girlfriend were found guilty Friday of plotting to blow up Black and Jewish landmarks in Boston and across the country in an effort to start a "racial holy war."

Today's New York Times Magazine also features an article on this. Though the guy knew his father was Black, he started to believe that race was not merely physical but "what a man feels."
From Clive's blog comes the link to the hilarious cat transformation kits.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

I wandered into a gallery in NW Portland today and saw some paintings by Marc Katano. (It doesn't reproduce well in a small bitmap online, because there is a lot of subtle detail.) When I was younger, I thought minimalist stuff like this was silly, but now I really like it.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

At Intermission

I went to see a play tonight -- Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women" -- with my girlfriend and my parents. At intermission I went to the refreshment stand, where I awkwardly fumbled around with my broken hands to get my wallet out, then get a dollar from my wallet, then buy a sugar cookie. I walked away and started to eat the cookie, and my father asked me, "did you pay for that?"

"No," I said, "I'm beginning my life of crime with the extremely lucrative cookie-theft racket. On the black market, a cookie like this can fetch a high price."

Wednesday, May 21, 2003


At the bookstore I noticed the book PMP Certification For Dummies, and at first I misread the title and thought it said "PIMP Certification For Dummies." I thought, "wow, you can get certified to be a pimp?" I imagined conversations like this:

"Sorry, I only do business with certified pimps."

"Baby, I ain't gonna bow down to some bullshit certification scheme, with those multiple-choice questions and that crazy analytical geometry -- you know I don't test well! I've been certified by the streets!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Reverse Midlife Crisis

Now that I've had my big wipeout, I think it's about time to start my Reverse Midlife Crisis. A reverse midlife crisis occurs when one becomes aware of an undeniable desire for a life that is more boring and predictable. My life has included skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, rock climbing, windsurfing, kayaking, on- and off-road motorcycling, and traveling to foreign countries. It would have made a good action movie, if only I had been chased the whole time by ninjas who wanted my mystical amulet. I have been like a secret agent for a country that exists only in my imagination and has an extremely low GNP.

But what if I want more: the kind of more that is less? What if I want to drink warm milk while salivating over ads for minivans? What if I've been cheating myself with this "direct experience" stuff and missed out on life's best vicarious thrills?

I could take some time to "find myself" by reading my blog's referrer logs. I could send my inner child to day care, or even boarding school. I could get tattoos with flesh-colored ink, so only I would know they were there. I could grow small dandelions in cute little bonsai pots, pruning them carefully every day to make sure they retain their ideal shape. I could learn to make needlepoint pictures of Monica Lewinsky.

There's only one problem with my reverse midlife crisis phase. I know it won't last.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

"I'm telling you, soy makes a man mean." -- Deathlands

Discreet Nose Enlargement You Can Count On

Guys, are you embarrassed about your small, dainty nose? Do you compare your nose with other men in the locker room, and wish you had more? Sure, women may tell you that nose size doesn't matter, but you know they just say that to spare your feelings: surveys show that 4 out of 5 women prefer a big, long, manly, powerful nose!

Now you can have the giant, firm nose your partner craves, with Pinocchiagra, the miracle drug developed in Italy by Dr. M. Cherry. Just minutes after taking 2 Pinocchiagra capsules, you'll see 3, 4, even 5 inches of nose enlargement -- and the effects last for hours! Some test subjects have found that they also gain a more impressive "woody" texture.

Pinocchiagra gives you new confidence, and it brings her new satisfaction. Sign up for a trial order today, and start looking down your nose at life!

(Side effects are mild and may include compulsive lying.)

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Cindy, Shannon, Mia

I can watch a great soccer goal over and over, and today I did with the magic of Tivo. With the score 0-0 in the U.S.-England match, Cindy Parlow made a tricky spin move to retain possession, then made a deceptive outside-of-the-foot pass to Shannon MacMillan near the touchline. MacMillan one-timed it back to Parlow, who one-timed it back to MacMillan breaking into space. Shannon dribbled ahead, then slowed down, then waited, then waited some more. Just when this was starting to look like a wasted opportunity, Mia Hamm appeared near the goal. This is my favorite part: Hamm was closely marked by a defender, but at the last moment she suddenly changed the angle of her run and left the defender behind. MacMillan found her with a perfect pass, and Hamm rocketed it into the back of the net. (I always get a little bit misty-eyed when Mia Hamm does something really great. And she does that often -- she has scored more goals in international play than anyone else, male or female.) Every move in that sequence was an impressive bit of precision play.

Later on Cindy Parlow put on quite a show by scoring 4 goals in 13 minutes. The U.S. won 6-0, but that first goal is the one I'll remember.
"Guys without dates," as they are referred to in the industry, have heretofore been the primary population of gamers. (via Anil Dash) Heh, is that really the technical term?

Friday, May 16, 2003

There aren't enough cable channels, so I'm going to have to call my cable company and beg them to add the SARS Channel. I just hope its best shows aren't on at the same time as my favorites on the Allergy Channel. It's must-sneeze TV! (via Adrants)

If Print News Were Like TV News

If print news were like TV news, it would read something like this:

Hello, and welcome to the column. Those of you who are regular readers know that we write about news, and so we shall. Coming up later in this paragraph, a sentence ending with a preposition. Also in this report, startling news about secondhand smoke. And still to come, we ask the important question: "automatic weapons -- can your children still afford them?" All that, coming up after the break, when we bring you more news you can't get enough of.

(advertising jingle)
Pie in a jar
You can roll it really far
You can shoot it from a cannon, you can eat it in a car
You can buy it in Manhattan and FedEx it to Qatar
And nothing goes with coffee like Pie in a Jar!

Welcome back, this portion of our column is brought to you by Pie in a Jar. In just a moment, we will explain what this paragraph will say. In this paragraph, we will recap some of our previous material. Earlier in the column, we introduced the column and gave you a look ahead at what was coming up. To summarize that introduction, this is a news column, and today we take a look at secondhand smoke in a new light, without lighting up. Be sure to stay tuned for our second segment, when we examine whether some children are falling behind in the neighborhood arms race; Gun Vouchers may help level the playing field. But first, the weather.

For those of you who don't have windows, or friends with windows, it is currently raining. Our writer in the sky, aboard Print News Helicopter One, projects that the rain passing by his window will soon strike the ground. We'll have more on that story in tomorrow's column. Now back to the news.

That was the weather, where we heard about rain. Later in this paragraph, we'll find out more about secondhand smoke. A new study says that secondhand smoke is not as bad for you as you might think. Tobacco companies are working on a follow-up study to prove that secondhand smoke is so beneficial that the Olympics should ban it as a performance enhancing drug. Well, that's all the time we have, thanks for joining us. Next time, "Guns for Nuns: how our religious community can take on terrorists."

* * *

You see, television news is a lot like that paper you turned in for high school English. You know the one -- it had margins the size of cafeteria trays, and repeated itself like a deranged parrot in an attempt to meet the minimum length requirement. The only oases of hope in the desert of its nonsense were the blatantly plagiarized sections. Television news is worse, because it actually gets paid to do that. TV news spends its time (your precious time!) telling you about what it's going to tell you later on, and how wonderful life will be when it finally gets around to telling you. It's like if you went to a hockey game, and the player introductions lasted an hour but the game was over in two minutes. It's like if you went to a football game, and they spent more time before and after the plays deciding what to do than . . . sorry, bad analogy. Anyway, stop watching TV news and read something. You could even read my next column, where I might tell you something funny.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Bush calls for "War on Tornadoes"

Touring the scene of areas devastated by tornado attacks, President Bush called Tuesday for the nation to launch a "War on Tornadoes."

"This great country will not sit idly by while Weather of Mass Destruction roams freely through our skies", said Bush. "These funnel clouds shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. We will hunt down these evil tornadoes and bring them to justice." When asked why the tornadoes chose to attack parts of Kentucky, the President replied, "because they hate freedom."

Bush went on to suggest a link between the tornadoes and other evil weather groups including late spring frost and "really, really big hailstones." The administration's meteorology experts continue to search for proof of the connection, which presently is only circumstantial.

Polls showed that 64% of Americans would be willing to give up some of their Constitutional rights if it could help prevent tornadoes. "Like slavery," said one tornado victim, "if it could stop these tornado attacks, I'd gladly give up my right to own slaves!" Informed by reporters that slavery had long ago been abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment, the citizen replied, "oh yeah, that's right."

Pressed for details on how tornado prevention would actually work, Bush acknowledged that it would focus on tax cuts for the rich.

Monday, May 12, 2003

"People who speak in metaphors can shampoo my crotch." -- cory on moxie, making me stop to wonder whether that statement is itself a metaphor.
I'm listening to This American Life, the Say Anything episode. Hmm... it is a depressing episode -- I did not know that when I chose it. It does have near the end the Worst Wedding Toast Ever, which is pretty funny. This is where the best man toasts to the bride and groom by recounting a story about the time he was serving on a jury for a murder case and had to vote in favor of sentencing the defendant to death. He ties it together by saying something like, "that was an emotional day, and so is this."

Sunday, May 11, 2003

If you're looking for patriotic cyborg erotica (and like, who isn't?), Stars N Stripes, by Chad Michael Ward may be just the thing.

my inbox craves spam
fill it with Nigerian
bullshit scam missives

Friday, May 09, 2003

Missing: Normal

Sitting around while my broken bones heal, I've been waiting for things to get back to normal. Then I realized that I've been waiting for things to get back to normal for years. Yeah, things will be great again as soon as we get past:
  • SARS
  • The war in Iraq
  • The possibility of war in Iraq
  • Beltway snipers
  • Anthrax
  • 9/11
  • The dotcom crash
  • The dotcom hype
  • The Y2K scare
  • etc. ...

What if there is no more Normal to return to? I think Normal vanished sometime around 1994-1995. We now live in the Age of Perpetual Crisis. Welcome aboard.
Terrorism is at its lowest level in 33 years.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

U.S. 0, Mexico 0

At times this free kick and throw-in-fest looked as if it might become a soccer match, but it was not to be. Somebody get these guys a larger field.

Short storied

I know we live in the Age of Deception, but absurdity reaches new heights when skyscrapers may actually have far fewer floors than they claim. Labeled floor numbers are not required to match how many floors actually exist.
Mr. Trump said he originated this marketing strategy when he built Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in the early 1980's. He did not see why he should be forced to call the first residential floor something mundane like the second floor, or even the 20th floor, since there was a lovely atrium and 19 commercial floors beneath the residences. Employing Trump Math, he called the first residential floor the 30th floor.

The Metropolitan Tower which claims 78 stories has only 66. Trump World claims 90 stories but has only 72. I think we are headed for a world that consists entirely of lies and exaggerations. Is even the height of buildings a matter of propaganda and spin? One day I expect to walk from the sidewalk into a ground floor apartment that is labeled the "15th floor," and nobody but me will find it strange.

Well I'm going to start calling myself 8 feet tall, because it's about 6 feet from the top of my head to my ankles, and below my ankles there are another 2 feet. [rimshot]

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Palace Princess has a pretty amusing erotic poem on her blog. I can't link to the exact post because the link doesn't work, so you'll have to look for it.

What it's like to crash

Q.What is it like to crash a motorcycle going 50-60 mph?

A.Well, I'm glad you asked. I am now very qualified to answer that. It goes something like this...

Scene 1:All day the engine has been singing its low song of confidence, "ok-ok-ok-oh," but now the tires slither around trying to escape, and the engine sounds surprised and disappointed in your poor read of the terrain, muttering, "what-did, you-do, that-for?" You still think you can save it, that you will not crash.

Scene 2:If your brain could still think in words it would think, "I was wrong, I am going to crash after all," but there are no words or sounds. Images still get through, and you see your bike on the ground upside down, and then the upside down world falls away.

Scene 3:This is the part you've only heard about second hand. Though your body was there, your mind took this opportunity to go out for a coffee, rather than witness the cartwheeling down the road and the snapping of bones. Frightening and horrible, says a witness. Later you will feel like the star of a movie you have never seen.

Scene 4:You sit up on the road and realize you have to move or risk being run over. Walking does not work quite right, which seems like a strange mystery. You are unaware of your broken ankle, but your other broken bones hurt. Another rider stops to help, and says you will be OK. After a while, you start to believe it.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

Painting of the day: The Apparition, Gustave Moreau, c.1874-76. A few years ago I went to the Moreau museum in Paris and loved it. Much of his work is very strange, and he was self-conscious about this, so a lot of it was never exhibited while he was alive.

Saturday, May 03, 2003

At least I didn't have to cut off my own arm with a pocketknife.
My song of the month has to be Madonna's Die Another Day.
I guess I'll die another day
It's not my time to go
Sounds good.
I'm gonna break the cycle
I broke the cycle alright.
I'm gonna shake up the system
My own system, that is.
I'm gonna destroy my ego
I think that will take a bigger crash.
I'm gonna close my body now
Consider it closed.
I think I'll find another way
There's so much more to know
I guess I'll die another day
It's not my time to go

Friday, May 02, 2003

Peking Duck provides man-on-the-street coverage of the SARS panic in Beijing.

Thursday, May 01, 2003


I was in a serious motorcycle accident last Friday, and I broke both hands and my left ankle. These will heal eventually, but for now I will be blogging less than usual. I will be back, though, because I love to write.

Things I can't currently do: Put on socks. Open most doors. Open containers. Take my shirt off. Playstation (drat!). Eat effectively with a fork. Shave.

Things I can still do: Read a book if it is sitting on a table. Turn the page. Use the Tivo remote (yay!). Drink from a small glass. Walk very slowly. Type very slowly with 2 fingers. Laugh. Wonder why other people get the really cool near-death-experiences with tunnels of light and voices and expensive CGI effects and so forth, while all I got was "oops . . . [1 minute intermission] . . . ouch."

I go in for surgery Monday.