The Night Of The Amorous Parking Meters

Reference anyone? No? Fine.
Gremlins, Warner Bros, 1984.

I had dinner the other night with my bestest friend in the world at some pretentious French fusion eatery that had the nerve to have “farm” in its name even though it exists only a few blocks from skid row in the urban concrete and steel jungle that is downtown Los Angeles.

I arrived at said eating establishment on time. Apparently, it had been too long since I’d eaten with my bestie since they weren’t there yet and I should have known that. I love my best friend. She has many great qualities, but punctuality is not one of them.

The maître d’ informed me that she had called a few minutes before to tell the restaurant that they were running late. She neglected to call me to tell me this, too. The restaurant, being an overpriced French fusion eatery near skid row was not particularly busy on this weeknight, so they said they could seat me first.

I sat at a table for four by myself looking at the drink menu since that’s all they brought me to look at. Alright, fine. I normally don’t drink on weeknights and I don’t really drink much anymore anyway, but it was a special occasion since the reason we were eating out in the first place was due to the visit of an old friend.

I am a vodka girl. Occasionally, I will have a beer and even more occasionally, a margarita, but pretty much my mainstay of alcohol, since before I was old enough to drink, is vodka. This restaurant had not one vodka drink on their ample drink menu. Who does that? What kind of third-rate restaurant has a full bar without any vodka? Shame. I opted for a nice neat bourbon of intermediate proof. It was $10, cheaper by half than most everything else on the drink menu. This was going to be an expensive night.

By the time the sluggish waiter brought my drink, my friends were already seated. When he set the offending glass of brown on the table in front of me, my best friend looked at me as if I had just farted the national anthem. Although, realistically, she would have thought that was rad… She looked at me as a total stranger would have looked at me if I had just farted the American national anthem in church during a funeral for someone of a different nationality who died at the hands of Americans.

With despair and betrayal in her voice, she said, “Is that whiskey?” I said, “No, dear. It’s bourbon. I still don’t drink whiskey.” The rest of the people at the table said something on the order of, “But it’s the same thing! That’s like saying you don’t drink whiskey, you drink Scotch!” “Ah, but there is a very big difference.”

They obviously weren’t privy to why bourbon and whiskey are entirely different to my best friend and I, and neither are you, so let me tell you a story.

A long time ago, in a galaxy not at all far from where I sit now, my friend and I had no real issue with whiskey. Neither one of us drank it, but it had done nothing to offend us. We were mostly indifferent to its presence among all the rest of the bottles at the bar. That all changed one bloody Saint Patrick’s Day.

We have a friend who has rules attached. Actually, most of our friend have rules attached of some sort, like don’t feed them after midnight.

Reference anyone? No? Fine. Gremlins, Warner Bros, 1984.
Reference anyone? No? Y’all suck.
Gremlins, Warner Bros, 1984.

One of our friends should never, ever get drunk under any circumstances. Another friend is like his own personal game of telephone. You should always verify any information he tells you through another source. He will tell you the party is on Tuesday in Hollywood at 8pm, when really, it’s on Saturday in the valley at 10pm or there is no party at all because it already happened last week or it’s actually a funeral. We call him bad vector of information. BVI for short.

Anyway, the rule attached to the friend in this story is “never drink anything he hands you.” There’s a good reason for this and it has its beginnings in this particular St. Patrick’s Day I’ve already alluded to, although, it’s generally just a good rule.

My best friend, Mr. Don’t-drink-anything-he-hands-you, me, and another friend of ours, Mr. Kind-of-a-dick-but-he-means-well, were out at a bar on St. Patrick’s Day. This already proves that my friend and I were out of our minds since we rarely ever go out on drinking holidays, or amateur night as we call it, but this night, we were out. Our bad judgment starts, but by no means, ends there.

Mr. Don’t-drink-what-he-hands-you is Irish and as such, thought that on a fine Irish drinking holiday, one must always drink Irish whiskey. It’s a tradition. So, he bought round after round, handed them to us and we, like the idiots we were, kept drinking them. I have no idea how much Irish whiskey we consumed, but I’m getting queasy just thinking about it. The night went on in typical fashion with a lot of drunk non-Irish people, including me, hugging each other and singing drunken songs. To be honest, I don’t remember much of it, but here’s what I do remember.

Mr. Kind-of-a-dick and I ended up outside the bar drunkenly making out and groping each other like we were having concurrent seizures. Mr. Kind-of-a-dick and I had drunkenly messed around before so that wasn’t all that shocking. The trouble was where this was happening, which was on the sidewalk. The sidewalk outside of a bar, any bar, is not someplace you want any part of you touching, except the soles of your shoes, but we were rolling around on it as if it was a recently sanitized field of grass with rainbows. To be fair, the sidewalk really was the safest place for us as far as our gravitational impairment goes; you can’t fall when you’re already on the sidewalk.

The worst part, was that I vaguely remember looking up at some point and seeing that a crowd had gathered around us, including a homeless man who was either cheering us on or talking to the invisible aliens we were squashing on the sidewalk.

After about nine hours of willing myself into a vertical inclination, I decided that enough was enough. I went back in the bar to find the rest of our little band of drunkards. I found Mr. Don’t-drink-that hugging several obese, male patrons, but I did not find my best friend. I checked the bathroom and took the liberty of depositing a fifth of whiskey that was of late in my stomach, but she wasn’t in there either. I began to worry. Where could she be? I started panicking, thinking the worst. Maybe the homeless guy had gotten to her.

I went back outside, where Mr. Kind-of-a-dick was still lounging on the sidewalk, smoking a cigarette and told him I couldn’t find my bestie. He said, “Relax, she’s right over there.” and pointed across the street. Phew. I told him to go wrangle Mr. Don’t-drink-that and meet us across the street. It was time to go. “Aw, man!” he whined, but he tried to get up. It didn’t go too terribly well. Meanwhile, I dodged four lanes of traffic like a drunken Frogger and made it to my friend.

Hells yeah! 80s references!
Hells yeah! 80s references!

I may have neglected to mention that the bar was on a busy street, so not only was there a crowd, but car horns were honking as they passed. Classy.

Anyway, I made it to the lilypad of the parking lot across the street where our car was parked and found my friend talking to a parking meter. Yes, that’s right, she had decided that the best one-night stand to be found that night was the parking meter in front of our car. Given the options, I can’t say she made a terrible choice.

I let her continue her conversation until the rest of our group joined us on this side of the street. We tried to pry her loose, but she wouldn’t let go of the meter. She said she wouldn’t leave until she got his phone number. I dug a pen out of my bag and wrote the number 7 on her arm. She squealed, “Yay!” got up, gave the parking meter a kiss on the forehead and told it, “I’ll call you.”

Hello, handsome. Whatcha doin' alter?
Hello, handsome. Whatcha doin’ later?

We all piled into the car, but none of us sat in the driver’s seat. It took us a few minutes to realize that no one was actually driving. Well, shit, now what? My best friend, who had called shotgun, slid over into the driver’s side, and before we could stop her, she started the car, put it into drive and gave it some gas. The car went THUNK. We had just killed the curb and now the car was stuck in a no man’s land of un-motion as it was high-centered on top of it. We couldn’t go forward or back, much like this:

Oopsies. image from Flikr.com
Oopsies.
image from Flickr.com

My friend rushed out of the car to make sure her parking meter friend was okay. Fortunately, it was. I’m almost thankful that happened since it meant we had to take a cab. Phew. My friend woke up the next morning and asked me why she had the number 7 written on her arm. I didn’t tell her until the hangover wore off.

So, that, my friends, is why my best friend gave me a look of betrayal and despair when I ordered a bourbon at dinner. Neither of us have touched whiskey since that night and rightfully so. I will drink bourbon, but you couldn’t get me to touch Irish whiskey again if my life depended on it. They are not the same.

For more drunken shenanigans, read Public Service Announcement or The Montebello Incident.

The Junk Drawer Part 3

dsc04876

Today, the Daily Post asked what’s in my drafts folder. I’ve explored my drafts folder before here and here, but I suppose it’s time to do it again. There are 42 items in my drafts folder. Some of them are useful drafts like my Awards draft where I store links for awards I’ve been given until I’m unlazy enough to do a post, and the Dear Goldfish draft where I save search terms I didn’t use in the previous post, but a lot of them are just posts I started and never finished for whatever reason.


Shadows Of Abuse

You don’t get to see this one yet. This is a draft I wrote as a guest post for Deliberate Donkey. I wrote it on my blog before I posted it on Melanie’s. I’m just paranoid enough to want to store it here in case the government or leprechauns steal it from her blog or something. It’s scheduled to be published on May 23rd over there, so check it out then. Yay for my second guest post!


The Tao Of Fish

I don’t really believe in any of the major philosophies, but it would be a mistake to say that I don’t believe in anything. I have my very own, custom-made philosophy, honed over the years with care and attention. I think about the larger issues a lot actually, and my views have changed over time. I probably don’t believe in the same things that you do and that’s alright. There’s nothing saying that I’m right or that anyone else is wrong. The institutional beliefs are just as valid as mine, which is to say, not at all. My beliefs are built on a foundation of facts deduced from science.

The Universe

This universe we are in is so old and so incredibly vast that it’s nearly infinite. It’s infinite from our perspective anyway in the same way that the planet Earth was infinite to humans before planes and boats that were capable of traveling it. It is so large that we can’t even see all of it. From where we sit, we’re in the center of it, but who knows how big it really is? We don’t have the capability to even see all of it yet, let alone travel it.

I always go back to Carl Sagan with his Pale blue dot statement:

Earth as seen from 4 billion miles away
Earth as seen from 4 billion miles away

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The philosophy

 

 

And that’s the end of that. It seems that I don’t actually have a philosophy.


A Pretty Bad Day

In the meantime, I got into a rather nasty argument with our inventory person. Our inventory person and I have worked together for over 10 years. We used to work at the same company and now we’re both here. She’s proofing the thing I need to get to the printer that my boss is ignoring. She found mistakes. “The last job was full of mistakes.” It’s my job to create; it’s her job to proof. There’s a golden rule in graphic design: never proof your own work. You need fresh eyes for proofing. You can’t have fresh eyes when you’re the one who created it. Apparently, I make mistakes and I give her attitude about it and never say thank you. RAR! It got rather ugly actually.

Ten minutes later, I went in and quasi apologized. “I’m not saying it’s your fault. We have to work together on this.” She was on the verge of tears. It ended with a hug, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t like arguing with people. Especially people who I have no beef with other than the fact that some mistakes get through proofing. She is Vietnamese. English is her second language. Her assistant is Chinese. English is his second language. I’m not saying it’s her fault that there are mistakes. After all, I am the one who made them. I do think it’s rather strange that we have two non-native English speakers doing all the proofing, but whatever.

What she said got me thinking though. I don’t mean to give attitude. I really didn’t mean to upset her. I have just over an hour before I can go home, hug my dog and forget about this damn day altogether.

Who starts a post with “in the meantime”? I do apparently. This is just me bitching and I’m very glad I didn’t post this nunsunse. Although, I suppose I am now…


World’s Greatest Comments

Merbear74 at Knocked Over By A Feather gave me The Fantastic Comment Award. Thanks!

The Rules:

Pick your 5 favorite comments and display them in your post.

Go to their page and tell them that one of their comments made your day.

grandmalin March 2, 2013 at 12:46 am
Your honesty is the most beautiful and refreshing thing about everything you write. Love this post, and you too.

Kozo February 27, 2013 at 12:52 am
“I am in a world of shit.”
“Easy, Leonard. Go easy man!”
Your post reminds me of the duality of man. You know the Jungian thing. I think you are onto something about releasing the past, Goldfish. Peace. Kozo

twindaddy February 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm
Goldy, you are a superb writer, methinks. This turned out pretty good.

I was supposed to pick five comments and I could only be arsed to pick three. Lazy, I am.


Thursday, 7:10 AM

“Get off of me!” she yelled at 55 pounds of dog who was standing on her hair licking her face. “Ouch.”

She glanced at the clock. “Too early. I don’t have to get out of bed for another half an hour really.”

She tried rolling over, closing her eyes and going back to sleep, but it was hopeless. Stupid dog.

Yup. Sounds about right.


REACH

dsc04876

I just can’t seem to reach it no matter how hard I try. My legs feel like they’re trapped under cement. I can hardly move anymore. I feel I’ll be stuck here forever. All these people walking by and no one will help me. It’s right there but I can grab it. If I can just stretch a bit more… No. It’s no use. I can’t do it. Why won’t anyone help me? Can’t they see that I’m stuck here?

This was for a writing challenge, but since I didn’t include a link to it in the post, I have no idea which one. Unfinished.


Thematic Failure

Themes. I hate them. I hate all of them. I keep switching my theme like I switch shoes. I still can’t find one I like. I was using Yoko, but I didn’t like the way the text was so close to the sidebar. I didn’t like the way it was three column layout unless you clicked on a post and then it all of a sudden became two columns. Tah dah!

I just moved back to Twenty Twelve, which I’ve used before. I don’t like the sidebar on this one. The header text is too small and it makes it look all mashed up, but at least there’s space between the sidebar and the text and it stays two columns no matter what. I hate this infinite scroll thingy, too. Just give me a new page, please.

I am constantly futzing with my blog because I’m never happy with it. I keep hoping they’ll come out with a theme that is everything I want it to be, but alas, no luck. It shouldn’t matter anyway. Themes are just a showcase for words. Words are what count on blogs, right?

More bitching.


Yes, No, Maybe So

I fucking love you guys. Really. Before I started complaining and waffling or whatever it is that I’m going to do here (I’m really not sure yet), I just wanted to get that out first.

I think most of you are probably know that I was sexually abused as a child by someone who, as of yet, still hasn’t managed to die slowly and painfully in a horrible fiery accident. In fact, this person is still out and about. This person (is not worthy of pronouns and) was, to the best of my knowledge, never sent away for anything he did to anyone. It was not just me. I never received justice at all for what happened to me. So, when I see stories about how Cardinal Mahoney covered up hundreds of cases of child sexual abuse, it makes me want to murder.

Anyway, that’s not the point here.

I have no idea where I was going with this post nor the first clue as to how the title relates to anything. If you read the first paragraph, I didn’t have any idea when I was writing it either.


Time Travel Concert List

I have been very fortunate in my lifetime to have seen a lot of amazing artists perform. I saw Nina Simone‘s last ever American concert. She was so personable, like she was performing in her living room for friends. She died not even a month later. I saw Andrés Segovia‘s last performance. I saw Tiny Tim‘s last show. I swear, I had nothing at all to do with any of their deaths.

Last year, I was able to cross two artists off my list at the same show. One of the very first punk bands I ever heard as a wee lass was The Descendents. They broke up before I got a chance to see them. So, when I heard they were playing in Los Angeles, my friends and I all got tickets. As an added bonus, we got to see Black Flag with Keith Morris playing for the first time in over 20 years.

The point is, I’ve seen a lot of great shows, even by some artists who didn’t die immediately afterwards, but with as many amazing shows as I’ve seen, there are still some bands that I love that I never got to see live. This is a list of those performers. If anyone would like to build a time machine so that I could see them, I’d be much obliged.

Hm. I forgot about this one. It seems like something I should have finished. Maybe I’ll finish it someday.


Guest Post: Male

Weekly Writing Challenge: Tell us about a character in your life. Write a post from their perspective, matching your narrative voice so that it sounds just like them when we read it.

What the hell am I doing here? What? I’m writing on Goldfish’s blog? Goddamnit. I knew that blog of hers would get me into trouble someday.

Well, since I’m here, I’ll write something.

I met Goldfish a long time ago. At least a decade. We met at a new years party. I drove a friend to that party and he would just not shut the hell up. He was talking to these two chicks for hours and hours. I had to pull him out of there. That was the first night we met Goldfish and her best friend. They had just moved to Los Angeles.

Goldfish always forgets that I was there that night too. She remembers that night, but she doesn’t really remember me. She always says we met later than we did, but I remember. She thinks our first meeting was months later at another friend’s party. That was a crazy night. We were all so drunk. She was talking to this loser. Her best friend swooped in to save her and suggested that she talk to me instead.

The first thing I noticed about Goldfish was her eyes. She’s got these big green eyes with flecks of gold in them. I am a sucker for eyes. We started seeing each other. And then I broke her heart.

Heh. This sounds more like me aping Male than Male himself. That’s probably why I didn’t finish it. Although he does tend to go on about my eyes. They are my best feature.


Well, that’s about all we have time for today. Join  me next time for more discarded, crappy posts!

Schadenfreude

f9b

Rarasaur has devised Prompts For The Promptless. Every week, we’re given a new topic to discuss. I have been very lax in my participation since this is the first time I’ve actually, um, participated. Apparently, I mostly suck. This week’s theme is schadenfreude.

Oh, how I love the Germans. Leave it to them to come up with an untranslatable phrase for deriving pleasure from the misfortune of others. I’m a big fan of both the word and its meaning.

That’s not to say that I purposely torture people to gain pleasure from it. Quite the opposite. I usually try to help people avoid potential misfortune when I see it coming, but sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do but let gravity take its course. Really, the only kind of schadenfreude I find funny is FAIL.

There are all different kinds of FAIL, too. The only kind I do not enjoy is the kind where people actually get injured. That is not so funny. I do not enjoy that kind of FAIL. However, if it’s clear that the person involved will be alright, it’s hilarious. Most of those fall under the category “what were you even thinking?” like so:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

People doing stupid things and failing spectacularly on camera is almost always funny.

Then there’s spelling and grammar FAIL. Engrish.com has eked out a niche for itself in this category:

handling-of-your-backside

But, I find that the funniest are not bad translations, but just dumb mistakes:

3c4

Especially when they are incredibly ironic:

Facepalm.

And then there’s just the adorable kind of FAIL, usually involving animals or children:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s nice to know that Homo sapiens are not the only species capable of FAIL. We are not alone in our bad judgment.

But, far and away, my favorite kind of FAIL is when someone is trying to do something mean to someone else and ends up failing themselves. I call this comeuppance FAIL.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sometimes, revenge is sweet and immediate.

I don’t just laugh at other people’s FAIL; I find my own hilarious. For example, just now, I walked into the kitchen and saw my roommate. I thought he was asleep and was not expecting him to be in the kitchen. He startled me so much that I stepped backwards into the vacuum cleaner and nearly fell on my ass. I thought it was hilarious and I’m still laughing.

A few years back at work, someone left a hand truck in front of my desk. I tripped over it and fell on my ass in front of my boss. My hand and leg were still entangled in it when I fell. I sat there for a good minute with my legs akimbo. I couldn’t get up, not because I was hurt, but because I was laughing so hard. If we can’t laugh at our own human failures, what exactly is the point?

So, no matter what kind of FAIL you are guilty of, and it is guaranteed that you are guilty of one sort of FAIL or another, laugh at it because FAIL is funny. Humans are not infallible. High five!

fail237

Or awkward handshake fist bump. Your choice.

The Junk Drawer Part 2

stanley

Exploring FOG’s drafts folder one miserable, unfinished blog post at a time. There are currently 55 items in my drafts folder. Let’s see what they are, shall we?


 Take A Hike!

Gah. Just the word hike is enough to send me into PTSD shivers under a table. My name is Goldfish and I hate hiking. Here’s why.

Exhibit A

I lived in Boston for four years. In Boston, people walk fast, because it’s cold. They don’t wait for you if you are slow, because it’s cold. If you want to lollygag, they’ll just meet you there. You know where it is, right? Whatever, you’re behind me. Just follow me. He or she says and then speed walks forty blocks ahead of you in exactly 2.34 seconds until you can only spot the back of their hat, which you’re not even sure is theirs.

I’ve never been a fast walker. I have terrible blood circulation. If I squat, I will pass out. You think I’m kidding? Ask all those gym teachers I warned. I’m like a fainting goat. Make me squat for 10 seconds and I’ll be splayed out on the floor unconscious. Good times.

Exhibit B

I had a friend trick me once into climbing a mountain.

There’s an Exhibit C too, but it’s blank. “Move To Trash.” Yes, please.


 This One Goes To Eleven

Daily Post Prompt: What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?

I don’t have a bucket list because a) I’m not much of a planner and b) well, I generally do what I want anyway. For the sake of answering this prompt, I shall attempt to make one.

1. Go to space.

Seriously, once before I die, I want to leave this rock. I want to experience G-forces and weightlessness. I want to see the earth in the rear view mirror, dammit.

2. Become immortal.

This one seems like a good thing to do before dying.

3. Become a billionaire.

Seeing as I don’t really do anything remotely related to becoming a billionaire, this one is probably not going to happen. Then again, if I’m immortal, the odds are in my favor.

I think we’re all a little too familiar with my yen to explore space. “Move To Trash.” Yes, please.


 The FOG Extravaganza Giveawayery Results

 

Buckwheatrisk.com

Once upon a boobs, there was a Princess of a scary land. The kingdom was graced with proctologists, theater, and nice toes. The people were all sexy and they never bent any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never hobbled them too much. The Princess had many cups inside and outside of the China and she was allowed to jump whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally hyper, but she hated her nurse. It was unusually ugly. Her full name was Engalbert. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long saggy Kleenex, but everyone always uttered every single toilet paper whenever they addressed her. Even her own hand called her by her full name or addressed her only as ”Duck!” For example, “Princess Engalbert, it’s time for hanging.” or “Would you like some more bride, Princess Engalbert”? She ate it. She longed to be succumbed with just one dog.

RaRaSaur

Once upon a cat, there was a Princess of a furry land. The kingdom was graced with coasters, doorknobs, and nice gnomes. The people were all sleepy and they never rolled any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never roped them too much. The Princess had many roses inside and outside of the clarinet and she was allowed to pet whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally painful, but she hated her cape. It was unusually fiery. Her full name was Gloria Estefan. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long feathery grouches, but everyone always uttered every single bike whenever they addressed her. Even her own fireplace called her by her full name or addressed her only as ”Jinkies!” For example, “Princess Gloria Estefan, it’s time for gambling.” or “Would you like some more toe, Princess Gloria Estefan”? She loved it. She longed to be dusted with just one mask.

Kozo

Once upon a Jedi Knight, there was a Princess of a fishy land. The kingdom was graced with Platypus, Buddhahead, and nice penises. The people were all miniscule and they never swallowed any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never gagged them too much. The Princess had many munchkins inside and outside of the brothel and she was allowed to eject whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally holy, but she hated her vibrator. It was unusually lascivious. Her full name was Dalai Lama. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long defunct rock bands, but everyone always uttered every single heroin whenever they addressed her. Even her own probation officer called her by her full name or addressed her only as “Shit-ake Mushrooms.” For example, “Princess Dalai Lama, it’s time for peeing.” or “Would you like some more pacifier, Princess Dalai Lama”? She enlightened it. She longed to be hooked with just one blogger.

Blathering

Once upon a potato, there was a Princess of a potatoey land. The kingdom was graced with vomit, cauldrons, and nice idiots. The people were all idiotic and they never blustered any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never personified them too much. The Princess had many galaxies inside and outside of the anxiety and she was allowed to pop whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally slippery, but she hated her impracticality. It was unusually hopeful. Her full name was Chuckles McFluster. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long exorbitant curiosity, but everyone always uttered every single highway whenever they addressed her. Even her own dismay called her by her full name or addressed her only as Zoinks! For example, “Princess Chuckles McFluster, it’s time for slithering.” or “Would you like some more soapbox, Princess Chuckles McFluster”? She slipped it. She longed to be potatoed with just one sound.

Kirsten H White

Once upon a Santa, there was a Princess of a jolly land. The kingdom was graced with sleighs, elves, and nice reindeer. The people were all rotund and they never loved any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never loved them too much. The Princess had many turkeys inside and outside of the wife and she was allowed to delight whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally perfect, but she hated her present. It was unusually handsome. Her full name was Princess Mrs. Claus. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long shiny snow, but everyone always uttered every single jingle bell whenever they addressed her. Even her own holly called her by her full name or addressed her only as Good Grief! For example, “Princess Mrs. Claus, it’s time for rolling.” or “Would you like some more mistletoe, Princess Mrs. Claus”? She kissed it. She longed to be laughed with just one Christmas.

apprenticenevermaster

Once upon a cowboy, there was a Princess of a riveting land. The kingdom was graced with diamonds, forks, and nice love letters. The people were all moldy and they never sprinkled any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never laughed them too much. The Princess had many sacks of cats inside and outside of the earthquake and she was allowed to chew out whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally blissful, but she hated her rack of discount lederhosen. It was unusually cracked. Her full name was Princess Batman. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long rumbly dogs, but everyone always uttered every single french fry whenever they addressed her. Even her own grandfather called her by her full name or addressed her only as I resent that! For example, “Princess Batman, it’s time for spooning.” or “Would you like some more blue crab, Princess Batman”? She fought it. She longed to be driven with just one roller skate.

Dee-lightful Musings of an Old Country Woman

Once upon a whisker, there was a Princess of a mighty land. The kingdom was graced with fungus, peanuts, and nice bicycles. The people were all silky and they never bit any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never parted them too much. The Princess had many dingoes inside and outside of the cuspidor and she was allowed to slide whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally repulsive, but she hated her cookie jar. It was unusually slimy. Her full name was Princess Evelyn. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long astronomical age spots, but everyone always uttered every single roadster whenever they addressed her. Even her own church called her by her full name or addressed her only as Hallelujah! For example, “Princess Evelyn, it’s time for brushing.” or “Would you like some more mushroom, Princess Evelyn”? She fought it. She longed to be picked with just one strap.

C. R.

Once upon a Rubber Ducky, there was a Princess of a oily land. The kingdom was graced with Stonehenge, Oprah, and nice shoe boxes. The people were all prickly and they never hopped any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never watched them too much. The Princess had many Slinkys inside and outside of the toe nails and she was allowed to split whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally bumpy, but she hated her hell. It was unusually fearful. Her full name was Princess Paige Turner. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long mighty door knobs, but everyone always uttered every single baby wipes whenever they addressed her. Even her own booger called her by her full name or addressed her only as Shazam! For example, “Princess Paige Turner, it’s time for waiting.” or “Would you like some more Pope, Princess Paige Turner”? She shat it. She longed to be milked with just one home.

Doggy’s Style

Once upon a wart, there was a Princess of a caring land. The kingdom was graced with cheeks, knees, and nice stockings. The people were all tender and they never slobbered any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never curled them too much. The Princess had many freckles inside and outside of the calculator and she was allowed to sip whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally daring, but she hated her arsenic. It was unusually feisty. Her full name was Princess Olga. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long dreaded spoons, but everyone always uttered every single cod liver oil whenever they addressed her. Even her own IUD called her by her full name or addressed her only as Harder! For example, “Princess Olga, it’s time for sucking.” or “Would you like some more deep, Princess Olga”? She tingled it. She longed to be abhorred with just one wine.

jrosenberry1

Once upon a jukebox, there was a Princess of a flabbergasted land. The kingdom was graced with nutcrackers, tornadoes, and nice pirates. The people were all moldy and they never yodeled any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never spooned them too much. The Princess had many Schnauzers inside and outside of the laptop and she was allowed to slobber whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally hairy, but she hated her microbus. It was unusually squeaky. Her full name was Princess “Jim-Bob”. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long flaky biscuits, but everyone always uttered every single butter whenever they addressed her. Even her own marmalade called her by her full name or addressed her only as Shazam! For example, “Princess “Jim-Bob”, it’s time for vacuuming.” or “Would you like some more toadstool, Princess “Jim-Bob”? She licked it. She longed to be boinked with just one bandito.

aliceatwonderland

Once upon a penguin, there was a Princess of a freaky land. The kingdom was graced with toilets, asphalt, and nice nuns. The people were all gooey and they never bounced any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never threw them too much. The Princess had many munchkins inside and outside of Santa’s secret shop and she was allowed to mutilate whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally whimsical, but she hated her dung beetle. It was unusually asshat. Her full name was Princess The Pope. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long punctual persons, but everyone always uttered every single place whenever they addressed her. Even her own thing called her by her full name or addressed her only as Fuckballs! For example, “Princess The Pope, it’s time for punching.” or “Would you like some more fairy princess, Princess The Pope? She obliterated it. She longed to be screwed with just one unicorn.

sha’tashari

Once upon a pickle, there was a Princess of a furry land. The kingdom was graced with chairs, shoes, and nice towels. The people were all hard and they never flew any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never talked them too much. The Princess had many songs inside and outside of the bean and she was allowed to hop whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally fancy, but she hated her pen. It was unusually gritty. Her full name was Princess Robert. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long hard homework, but everyone always uttered every single glass whenever they addressed her. Even her own floor called her by her full name or addressed her only as Oh! For example, “Princess Robert, it’s time for sneezing.” or “Would you like some more photo, Princess Robert? She planted it. She longed to be run with just one germ.

ruleofstupid

Once upon a kumquat, there was a Princess of a transcendent land. The kingdom was graced with cress sandwiches, ears, and nice nuns. The people were all bilious and they never limped any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never cartwheeled them too much. The Princess had many milk carts inside and outside of the rubber glove and she was allowed to gush whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally voluminous, but she hated her penguin. It was unusually crumbly. Her full name was Princess Mutley. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long battered guillemots, but everyone always uttered every single rolling-pin whenever they addressed her. Even her own elastic band called her by her full name or addressed her only as Gadzooks! For example, “Princess Mutley, it’s time for fluttering.” or “Would you like some more fence-post, Princess Mutley? She licked it. She longed to be trembled with just one sewing machine.

twindaddy

Once upon an excrement, there was a Princess of a hairy land. The kingdom was graced with nipple clamps, chastity belts, and nice nose hair. The people were all ignorant and they never conjugated any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never clinched them too much. The Princess had many grannie panties inside and outside of the skid mark and she was allowed to fornicate with whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally sexy, but she hated her vomit. It was unusually rancid. Her full name was Princess Phil McGroin. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long unclean pit stains, but everyone always uttered every single banana hammock whenever they addressed her. Even her own left butt cheek called her by her full name or addressed her only as Holy Schiecky! For example, “Princess Phil McGroin, it’s time for defacating.” or “Would you like some more adult diaper, Princess Phil McGroin? She farted it. She longed to be sucked with just one stink bomb.

SousEtoiles

Once upon a wombat, there was a Princess of a janky land. The kingdom was graced with pirates, receptacles, and nice fungus. The people were all ugly and they never swam any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never danced them too much. The Princess had many guitars inside and outside of the iPhone and she was allowed to die with whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally aggressive, but she hated her literature. It was unusually smoky. Her full name was Princess RaShaNae. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long clean nails, but everyone always uttered every single movie whenever they addressed her. Even her own ring called her by her full name or addressed her only as “WHAT?!” For example, “Princess RaShaNae, it’s time for skipping.” or “Would you like some more jazz, Princess RaShaNae? She ate it. She longed to be screamed with just one cloud.

Bridgette

Once upon a cookie, there was a Princess of a sadistic land. The kingdom was graced with dogs, bookmarks, and nice breakfast. The people were all foolish and they never ate any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never offered them too much. The Princess had many sandwiches inside and outside of the earring and she was allowed to burn whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally shiny, but she hated her Marcus Welby Book. It was unusually delicious. Her full name was Princess Bridgette. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long hypocondriachal beds, but everyone always uttered every single tote whenever they addressed her. Even her own crocheted panty called her by her full name or addressed her only as “Blast!” For example, “Princess Bridgette, it’s time for dancing.” or “Would you like some more boot, Princess Bridgette? She laughed it. She longed to be wept with just one buffet.

“Anonymous”

Once upon a scrod, there was a Princess of a haughty land. The kingdom was graced with apes, widgets, and nice baubles. The people were all hinky and they never yank any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never hicked them too much. The Princess had many gibbets inside and outside of the scrimshaw and she was allowed to engrave whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally false, but she hated her booger. It was unusually salty. Her full name was Princess Gomer. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long sweet angst, but everyone always uttered every single ennui whenever they addressed her. Even her own ethos called her by her full name or addressed her only as Goddammit! For example, “Princess Gomer, it’s time for Hankeringing.” or “Would you like some more lummox, Princess Gomer? She bawled it. She longed to be runned with just one respibble.

Robert-preneur

Once upon a Sasquatch, there was a Princess of a impervious land. The kingdom was graced with babysitters, Venus fly traps, and nice tooth paste. The people were all contorted and they never gargled any of their neighbors. The King would really listen to the people and he never hand stitched them too much. The Princess had many pickles inside and outside of the lump and she was allowed to gyrate whomever she chose.
The Princess was generally magic, but she hated her counselor. It was unusually smelly. Her full name was Princess Smittywerbenjagermanjensen. She wouldn’t have minded, since royalty throughout the ages have had unusually long shiny stethoscopes, but everyone always uttered every single uranium whenever they addressed her. Even her own raccoon called her by her full name or addressed her only as smokin’ Zeus boogers! For example, “Princess Smittywerbenjagermanjensen, it’s time for poking.” or “Would you like some more sushi, Princess Smittywerbenjagermanjensen? She was flapping it. She longed to be installed with just one fur ball.

Originally, I used a different paragraph from a fairly tale post for the FOG Mad Lib Contest, but it wasn’t nearly as funny, so I went with the pirate story instead. Still, here are the results.


 What’s That Mean?

What question do you hate to be asked? Why?

Like all other humanoids, there are many questions that I hate being asked.

“Will you sign this petition?” Well, what is it for? And then I have to spend five minutes getting up to political speed when I really only wanted to buy some bread and eggs.

“Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior?” No and I don’t want to, thanks. That position is already filled by the divine deity Goldfish. Have you accepted Goldfish as your personal lord and savior? Let me tell you all about her…

“Can you spare some change?” Depending on a) whether or not I have some b) how possible it is that I think you’ll use that money to buy drugs and c) what kind of mood I am in, maybe.

“What breed is your dog?” I am asked this question more than the others. Most people hazard some sort of guess. The most baffling one is hyena, which I’ve strangely hear more than once. Hyenas aren’t even dogs. My dog is 100% purebred mutt. I have the papers to prove it from the dog pound.

But really, the question I hate being asked most of all is what does your tattoo mean?

When I was a wee lass, barely in my second decade of life, I got a tattoo. Unlike most people who get their first tattoo small and someplace not too noticeable, mine is a very visible tattoo. It is on my upper arm. It was my first. And like most people, I kind of regret my first tattoo.

I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship that was entirely too awful for words. I needed something to mark the occasion and a tattoo seemed like as good an idea as any. I had always wanted one and I almost got one when I was fifteen, but I’m glad I didn’t. But what to get? What can I live with for the rest of my life and not hate? I needed something affirming, so that every time I looked at it, I’d realize how lucky I was to be alive. I had survived and I wanted something to remind me to continue doing so.

I’ve never been one for artsy-fartsy tattoos. I didn’t want a tramp stamp or a butterfly, signifying rebirth from a chrysalis or whatever. I didn’t want anything too obvious. I decided on some words, but I didn’t want them to

I think this was a Daily Post prompt. It’s funny how so many of my drafts end mid sentence.


 Sugar High

Much like I would feel a few hours after shoving half a pound of sugar down my gullet, I am flagging. Being Freshly Pressed is exhausting.

And then I crashed apparently since that’s all she wrote.


 Advice

The Daily prompt: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given someone that you failed to take yourself?

The list of advice I’ve given and failed to take myself is most likely very long. I am an excellent advice giver, but I’m not so good at taking it myself. It’s not that I disregard my own advice; it’s that I can’t see the forest for the trees. I think most people are the same. It’s hard to suss a situation when you are in it. You need a little perspective to see problems for what they are.

Probably the most salient advice I’ve given and somehow didn’t follow is…

Basically, what that age old, sage advice attributed to Buddha (but who knows who actually said it) means is, if you are running away  to avoid your problems, you will still be you. Most problems cannot be solved with a simple change of venue.

I knew this. I even told others than running away isn’t actually the solution to life’s internal problems. Did I listen to it myself? Well, I’ve moved out of state twice. Once from Detroit to Boston and again from Boston to Los Angeles.

I have uprooted my entire life to move out of state twice.

This one even had a picture attached. Still unfinished.


 The Unicornux Rex

Daily Prompt: Take a subject you’re familiar with and imagine it as three photos in a sequence. Tackle the subject by describing those three shots.

Once upon a time, there was a unicorn named Stanley. He was happy most of the time. Stanley traveled the world spreading happiness by crapping piles of rainbow manure. He didn’t mean to spread happiness; it was just in his nature. People would always smile whenever they saw Stanley. They couldn’t help it. He just made people smile, no matter how angry, unhappy or serial killer they were. Smiles made Stanley happy, but it was a superficial happiness. Stanley didn’t have any friends. Stanley was the last of his kind.

One day, Stanley was doing his business in a field, leaving a big pile of rainbows, when he heard sobbing. Stanley didn’t like sobbing. It was in his nature. His whole purpose was to spread happiness in the form of rainbow manure. Sobbing is the antithesis of happiness.

Stanley cantered over the top of the hill and saw a sad Tyrannosaurus Rex sobbing.

Without thinking of the danger, Stanley went over to the T Rex and asked if there was anything he could do to make the T Rex less sobby.

The T Rex looked up and even though she appeared like this…

That’s some mighty fine photoshoppin’. I wonder what the third picture would have looked like.


 13 Songs

13 songs I can’t stop listening to that, no matter how many times I hear them, I never tire of. This is a tough one. Do we go with all time songs I never get tired of hearing? Or my latest obsessions? I think I’ll go with all time. These are songs that no matter how many times I hear them, I never ever get tired of them. I’m looking at the 5 star ratings on my ipod, Mae. In alphabetical order:

Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)

Beethoven – Symphony #9

David Bowie – Life On Mars

The Clash – Any song really, but The Guns Of Brixton

Farewell – Boris

Gene Krupa – Sing Sing Sing

Jane’s Addiction – Three Days

Pink Floyd – Wish you were here

The Pogues – Fairytale Of New York

True, but that doesn’t add up to 13.


 On Lurve

Love… bah humbug. That’s my general reaction to all things romantic, mushy, mawkish and sickening. I hate it all and wish it would go away. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really. Not really. It never really goes away.

It never goes away because we humans, especially humans who are part of something called society, are constantly assailed by it. I’m not just referring to Valentine’s Day, although that’s certainly a big component. I’m also talking about television, movies, books, billboards, magazines, songs, the internets, art, everything.

Bah humbug.

Don’t Panic!

From Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe. You should have known that already.

Daily Post prompt: Honestly evaluate the way you respond to crisis situations. Are you happy with the way you react?

From Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe. You should have known that already.
From Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Universe. You should have known that already.

I suppose it depends on whether I’m the reason for the crisis. When I am the one who is causing the panic, say, because I have a gushing head wound, then I am the calm little center of the universe. I am the zen head wound master, calming everyone down, giving concise directions and generally putting a band-aid on the need for panic.

If I am not the center for the crisis, well, that puts a different spin on things. Say I am with someone who has a gushing head wound instead of receiving it myself, I tend to be not quite so calm. I do worry some and I find it harder to concentrate. My mind produces thoughts that go in a thousand different directions at once. They range from “One should put pressure on head wounds. I’ve seen it in the movies.” to “Blood is almost the same color of pomegranate juice. Interesting that I like pomegranate juice, but I don’t like pomegranate seeds at all.” In essence, this is not helpful. While I’m busy thinking, I stop and stare dreamily at a wall or whatever happens to be in front of me until we, my mind and I, can lasso all of these wild notions, sort out which might actually be helpful and throw the rest out the window (I almost used the word defenestrate there because I do so love that our language has a word for that, but I wasn’t sure if that sounded too highfalutin. Then I used it anyway.).

So, if you want calm at the center of a storm, I’d suggest hitting me over the head. Not hard enough to knock me out, but hard enough that people around me start panicking. Just hard enough that I see stars like Wile E. Coyote getting hit on the head with an Acme anvil. He’s dazed for a minute, but he bounces right back.

The Roadrunner & Wile. E Coyote, Looney Tunes, Warner Bros. Studios.
The Roadrunner & Wile. E Coyote, Looney Tunes, Warner Bros. Studios.

If you can manage that, and admittedly, it will be difficult to judge just how hard is too hard, I will turn from panicky wall-starer to competent Captain of the SS Failboat. I will captain that ship right into the damn harbor. All aboard!

sinkingship

Throw A Box On It

bowieheroes

I am a graphic designer, which means I instinctively evaluate every bit of design I see from billboards to websites. I can’t help it. I would imagine most people in an aesthetic line of work do the same. I think a dentist would have a difficult time speaking to someone with a snaggletooth at a party without wanting to tell them what to do about their teeth. It’s the nature of working on appearances.

I’m not a trendy designer. I don’t troll websites and trade magazines looking for the latest, flashiest trends. I have a style that is all my own. Still, I like to see what else is out there. Most of the time, I see design that annoys me, but sometimes, I see something that inspires me.

I have also accepted David Bowie as my personal lord and savior. In other words, I’m a Bowie fan. He’s been making music longer than I’ve been alive so I sort of grew up with him. Consequently, when I happened across a site talking about the new design for David Bowie’s latest album cover, I took a peek. This is what I saw:

Image from http://virusfonts.com

What? That’s got to be a joke, right? I read the article expecting to find a “Just kidding! For the real cover, click here!” Instead, I found an insipid article written by a pretentious, long-winded and downright lazy “designer.” Below is the text of the article, which is an ouroboros of self-congratulation since it seems the questions and answers were written by one and the same. Let’s take it question by question, shall we?

DB1

“Everything has been done before?” Really? Why do we even bother designing if there’s nothing new? I think from now on, I’ll just copy other people’s stuff and throw a box on it since there’s nothing new to design. I suppose that taking someone else’s work and throwing a box on it could be considered “new.”

DB2

“When you are creative,” it doesn’t generally “manifest itself” by taking someone else’s art and throwing a box on it. I’m just saying, creativity “seeping out” isn’t usually associated with throwing a box on it.

“The wider human condition… we move on relentlessly in our lives…” Really? I could have gone to an Artist Statement Generator and come up with better horsepucky than that. Let’s try, shall we?

Brilliant!
Brilliant!

Moving on.

DB3

Yes, because nothing is more contemplative than throwing a white box on an old album cover. I’ll grant that Heroes is a “contemplative” album cover, but is it really more iconic and instantly recognizable than this?

Earthling+PNG

Or this?

Diamond+Dogs++HQ+cover

OR THIS!?

Aladdin+Sane

DB4

Finally, the question we’ve all been wondering: why is there a white square obscuring the image?

Wait, back that up. Hundreds of designs?

“We worked on hundreds of designs using the concept of obscuring this cover but the strongest ones were the simplest…”

HUNDREDS OF DESIGNS!?! And this was the one that was chosen? What were the others? A triangle with Helvetica? A circle with Arial?  If it takes this many words to describe the deep meaning of throwing a box on it, you have failed.

DB5

Macbeth? Waiting For Godot? You’re summoning Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett to justify your total lack of creativity? Stop that.

DB6

Undesigned is right. That’s about as undesigned as it gets, you hack. I could have done that album cover in under a minute. Good job. If I were you, I would have said there’s a logo hiding behind the white box I threw on it.

DB7

Why would anyone care about the damn font? It’s about as unoriginal as the rest of the design.

See what I did with that last image there where you were hawking your font wares? You see, I “felt the most elegant solution was to use the original one from” your stupid website and simply cross out the title.” Do you like that? See how creative I fucking am? DO YOU FUCKING SEE?

DB8

It fucking kills me to think that David Bowie actually picked you to design anything. Instead, I’m going to go with the theory that Bowie thought it would be hilarious to make you the butt of a joke, because you are. David is on his own private island reading your pompous twaddle and laughing his head off.

DB9

“We know it is only an album cover with a white square on it.” That’s the first intelligible thing you’ve said. You should have left it at that. For the record, there’s nothing “radical,” “interesting,” “contemplative” or “creative” about throwing a box on it.

P.S.–The least you could have done is centered the damn white box. It’s not even centered.

bowieheroes

P.P.S.–It took 37 seconds to create this schlock.

The Junk Drawer

This is usually how I feel come Fridays.

We all gather a lot of junk in our lives. We throw it in a pile expecting to go through it later. A blog is no exception. I have a lot of drafts. 37 to be precise. Some of them are things I wrote, posted and then took down because they were just asinine. Some are posts that I started, meant to continue and just never did. Some of them end mid sentence as if I was writing when a nuclear disaster or cataclysmic zombie event happened and I was too busy building a fire and foraging for food to ever come back and worry about a silly blog post. Some of them are just random snippets of things that I wrote down before I forgot them altogether, when forgetting them might have been the best course of action.

Today, I am cleaning out the junk drawer and airing out the closet. I share with you some of the random things I found saved as drafts. I present them to you with no editing except the addition of a picture to make them seem more finished and colored text to make them more exotic. Enjoy the detritus!


On Heath Insurance

“I don’t have any. I was born in America and I have no access to health care. Unless I get shot, run over, have a heart attack or some other significantly life threatening malady, I won’t be allowed into an emergency room before waiting half a day. Afterwards, I will be sent a bill for many thousands of dollars, which I won’t be able to afford to pay. If I don’t pay it, I might have to declare bankruptcy and start all over again with a big, fat black hole sucking the life out of my financial record. Welcome to America where the medical care for those who can’t afford to buy their own is worse than a third world country.

A”

I like how I started a new paragraph with one single letter. Is it a complete word as in “A dwarf walks into a bar…” or part of another word? Apple, apostate, ablutions, abomination, abominable? I guess we’ll never know.


 A Love Poem

“Who wants to cudgel with me?”

This is exactly why I don’t write poetry.


Finish this sentence

I told him where I was going, and he hurried me out, pointing to the door with the gun, but what he didn’t know was…

… that we’d secretly replaced his real gun for one that was made of cheese and there was a polar bear wearing a tuxedo waiting on the other side. Let’s see what happens.

“Excuse me, Mr. Polar Bear, but would you mind moving aside so that I may make my way through the vestibule with this woman as my hostage?”

“Dear sir, I am purposely in your way so that you may not find safe passage with this woman as a hostage. I do apologize and hope it won’t inconvenience you too terribly.”

“I’m sorry to say, Mr. Bear, that I am in fact inconvenienced by the fact that you appear to be quite solid and that I am unable to merely walk through you. Would you mind terribly removing yourself from the way if only for a moment? If you do not, I may be forced to use this gun that I’m holding which might dreadfully inconvenience both of us.”

“Why are you aiming a gun made of cheese, good sir? ” said the polar bear.

“I wasn’t aware that it was made of cheese until you pointed it out.” He limply held the gun in the palm of his hand.

“Interesting. That gun looks delicious. May I have a piece, please?”

Certainly, Mr. Bear. Take the whole thing if you’d like. Mind the bullets though.”

“Thank you sir. I was feeling a mite peckish and I’m afraid there’s still an hour until my dinner engagement. Since, we’ve already broken the proverbial bread together, would you mind explaining why it is that you are holding this woman hostage before I allow you to through this vestibule? My honor will not allow a lady to suffer and she does look like she needs a respite.”

“Well, you see, Mr. Bear, it’s all a bit of a misunderstanding. But, why are you so dressed up, Mr. Polar Bear?”

What is this… I don’t even… lolwut?


Things I Can’t Live Without

 

Word count: 0. I NEED NOTHING.


 Nothing

I have nothing to say. I’ve run out of words. I’ve been wracking my brains to figure out something to discuss for the past couple of days, but I’ve got nothing.I wrote a post yesterday that was dreadfully boring so I didn’t post it. Today’s isn’t shaking out to be much better.

Appropriately titled it seems.


How do you decide on new year’s resolutions?

It’s quite simple; I don’t. I don’t believe in resolutions. I mean, I believe in them–they do exist, unlike unicorns and well-paid graphic design jobs–but I just don’t do them.

Heh.


 When I Grow Up, I Want To Be David Bowie

Any comments? No? OK, then. Moving on.


 Real People I Don’t Want To Drink With 2

Ann Coulter

Charlie Sheen

Spalding Gray

True.


 Stories In Just Six Words

I hate how I miss you.

Surprisingly, the monkey missed the zoo.

Room for rent. No magicians allowed.

She watched her blood pool slowly.

Only 300 more miles until home.

His hands still smelled of gunpowder.

Tear-stained eyes stared from the mirror.

An empty horizon in every direction.

The trees flew past the window.

The rising sun showed the devastation.

Parts needed! Must leave solar system.

Sign says, ‘next exit 100 miles.’

On my mark, get set, GO!

I suck at short stories.


 Friday Haiku

Friday afternoon
I’m so very drag-ass tired
Less than one hour left

How to spend that time?
How does one waste a whole hour?
Write haiku, of course!

I could write about
Puppies, kittens or rainbows
Instead, I choose hate

Haiku about hate
I have written them before
There’s nothing new here

Some have been posted
on angryhaiku dot com
In fact, here are three:

“I piss on your shoe
Sweet golden hatred rains down
Hipster footwear wrecked

You ignorant ass
Stupidity knows no bounds
Shut your damn piehole

Smite thine enemy
With fierce and mighty vengeance
Go fuck a landmine”

Those are quite angry
A mite more ire than normal
I must have seen red

I’m not angry now
Just extremely exhausted
And biding my time

Waiting for the end
Of this incessant work week
so I can go sleep

Five will come soon
When I will be out the door
Have a good weekend!

That picture is usually how I feel come Fridays. I have way too much time on my hands sometimes. OK, that’s all the embarrassment I’m willing to share today.

Begging the Question: Dogs Are Cats

(Courtesy of the CatDog wiki)

There are phrases in the English language that drive me absolutely batty when I hear them. One of them is “begs the question.” People say this all the time when they really mean to say “raises the question.” For example, “Pluto is not a planet anymore, which begs the question, where are my socks?” And then my HEAD FARKING ASPLODES. The only way that kind of sentence could be worse is if you threw “irregardless” in there somewhere. Then my brainnards would double explode and maybe even go supernova.

“Beg the question” does not mean what you think it means. “Beg the question” is a logical fallacy. It is an example of a fallacy of presumption. It is circular reasoning. “Begging the question” means assuming the truth of an argument without actually arguing it.

It goes something like this: “This blog post is trash because it is garbage.” (A is true because B–which is just a rephrasing of A–is true). It can take a more convoluted form: “This blog post is trash because it’s obviously worthless. The fact that it’s worth nothing proves that it’s trash.” (A is true because B is true, and B is true because A is true.) Or the mother of all ridiculousness: “This blog post is trash because it is worthless. It has no value because no one will read it. Obviously, no one will read it because it’s trash.” (A is true because B is true, and B is true because C is true, and C is true because A is true.) That’s not an argument; it’s a carnival ride.

Real examples of begging the question should make your brain hurt like an M.C. Escher drawing where the world folds in on itself yet somehow still stands like it ain’t no thing.

A visual representation of logical fallacy.
Up And Down” (lithograph, 1947) M.C. Escher.

Another form of logic FAIL is association fallacy, which is essentially guilt by association. The characteristics of one thing are intrinsically the characteristics of another because of some irrelevant lowest common denominator bullcrap.

It goes something like this: “All dogs have four legs. Cats have four legs. Therefore, cats are dogs.” Sometimes the comparative statements aren’t even true or they’re based on gross generalizations, as in my example; i.e. not all dogs have four legs. Not only is your argument invalid, but your hair is a bird.

The sad reality of association fallacy.
(Image from CatDog)

I could go on and on about fallacy, but that’s not the reason for this post. I am writing this invective post about inductive reasoning because of two articles in The Atlantic. One is titled “Where The Uninsured Live,” which begs the question by quoting from a previous Atlantic article called “America’s Uninsured Belt.” The point these articles are trying to make is that American states with higher rates of uninsured people also tend to have higher rates of religious, less-educated and poor people than states with higher rates of insured residents.

This is a quote from the newer article quoting the previous article:

Uninsured states are significantly more religious, based on the percentage of state residents who say that religion plays an important role in their everyday life. The correlation between the two is .51.

Politics and ideology factor in as well. Conservative states (based both on the percentage of state residents who identify as conservatives (.58) and the percentage of who voted for McCain in 2008 (.60) have a higher percentage of uninsured citizens. Economics also comes into play. There is a positive correlation between the percent of a population that is uninsured and the poverty rate (.58). Blue-collar and working class states also boast a higher level of uninsured (.40).

Not surprisingly, the share of the population that is uninsured is lower in more affluent and more highly educated states. The share of uninsured people is negatively associated with state income levels, the percentage of college grads, and the percentage of workers in professional, knowledge, and creative occupations.

Both articles display the following nifty, pointless graphic. Let’s just disregard the fact that the kind of insurance, presumably health, is never mentioned and the “ranges” are never actually given so this chart is totally useless, shall we?

MIDRANGE FOR ALL.

“Where The Uninsured Live” mainly just quotes “America’s Uninsured Belt” and provides little new information, editorial or factual. It seems its entire purpose is to tie the first article in with the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. I only mention “Where The Uninsured Live” at all because it conveniently disregards this key quote from the previous article:

With the help of my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Charlotta Mellander, I took a quick look at the economic, demographic, and political factors that might be associated with state-by-state levels of insurance coverage. As usual, I note that correlation does not imply causation; other factors may well come into play. Still, our findings are intriguing on a number of levels.

If I were the author of “America’s Uninsured Belt,” Richard Florida, I’d be livid that the newer article left out that rather important bit, I might want look up the definition of “belt” and I’d be pissed that my parents named me Dick Florida. Correlation does not equal causation, which is exactly what annoyed me about the second article.

You could take that nifty green map up there, throw out the superimposed statistics about religion, wealth and education, and replace them with “thinks Pluto is a planet” and it would have the same contextual relevance and significance. The Atlantic‘s laissez-faire attitude towards fact makes both articles sound like this: “Texas has a high uninsured rate; ‘More than one in four of its residents (27.6 percent) are uninsured.’ Religious and politically conservative people live in Texas. Therefore, Texans are religious, conservative and uninsured.” That is pure correlation, total conjecture and a compete generalization. Even Dick Florida said it when he said, “I note that correlation does not imply causation; other factors may well come into play.”

So, here are a couple of letters I’d like to send if I weren’t so lazy:

Dear The Atlantic,
You have been around for roughly 150 years. You ought to know better than to try to pass off conjecture as news… twice. Granted, you went from being a mainly literary to a mainly editorial publication, but the articles I quoted don’t look like opinion to me; they seem to be dressed up as fact. Outside of polls, most publications don’t typically use graphs and charts for opinions. For example, here’s a pie chart showing the different types of pies I like to eat.

Statistically significant.

It looks pretty impressive, right? It’s way more impressive and definitive than had I just said that I like apple, cherry and blueberry pie in that order. However, it’s hardly comprehensive since I also like pecan and pumpkin pie. There are no numbers provided nor is it clear who the respondent(s) is or what constitutes “times.” It is not factual. Even if it were true that I enjoy apple pie 53% of the time, it’s still just opinion. And that’s fine! There’s nothing wrong with opinion if that’s your thing! Really, as long as it’s clearly marked as editorial, go crazy with it, but do not try to pass off your fancy speculation as news, because it’s not.

You have some mighty impressive founders: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., John Greenleaf Whittier and James Russell Lowell. Please do them proud and knock it off.

Thanks in advance.

Love,
Goldfish

Dear The Rest Of You,

I show these examples of inductive reasoning so that you might glean two things from them. First, please, don’t believe everything that you read. A lot of what’s printed, even in established publications like The Atlantic or on prominent, distinguished websites like Fish Of Gold, is really just balderdash or opinion or both. Second, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d refrain from saying “begs the question” when you really mean “raises the question” since I would prefer to keep my brainnards un-asploded.

Thanks in advance.

Love,
Goldfish

Glossophobia

Glossophobia-Fear-of-speaking-in-public


I have been on stage before, but I try not to ever think about it. Being on stage falls into the “things that keep me up at night cringing” category. I hate public speaking. I always have.

I’ve written before about my absolute terror of public speaking, Glossophobia if you want to get fancy about it, most recently in the post On Being Left-Handed. It is my least favorite thing in the world to do. I’m not irrationally afraid of heights, dentists, spiders or clowns, but you put me up on stage, and I go into a blind panic. I black out. I don’t remember a thing.

As I wrote about the other day in the post Secrets, I was a very shy child, but shy is an understatement. I was actually socially retarded and downright pathologically introverted. Nowadays, they have a term for it, Social Anxiety Disorder, and even medication that can help, but that didn’t exist when I was a kid. At least, it never occurred to anyone that I had it, badly. Speaking to people one on one was a horror for me, let alone being pushed on a stage where I had the spotlight. I don’t want the spotlight. You can have it. I’ll stay in the back row of the audience, keeping my head down so that no one notices me instead, thank you.

With a lot of hard work, I’ve since overcome my childhood shyness to some extent, but I still have the Glossophobia. I am perfectly comfortable talking to people now in an organic, conversational sort of way, but if I’m ever expected to perform, forget about it. I won’t do it.

A friend of mine had a story party once. Everyone was to bring their favorite story and retell it. If you’ve read this blog at all, you know that I have a lot of stories. I fancy myself a pretty good storyteller… on paper. In person, well, that might be different.

I’ve told stories as they cropped up in conversation, even to a whole group of people, but there was something about the “retell your favorite story” aspect of the invite that sent my limbs all a-quivering. It was the expectation of story telling that did it. I could walk into that same party and tell that same story to the same people as long as it was my choice, but the advance knowledge that I would be expected to or called upon to tell that story like a kid in speech class had me shaking. I never said it made any sense.

One of my most cringe-worthy moments involves public speaking. Actually, a lot of them do, but this time in particular makes my face squish up involuntarily when I think about it. I was at an event with audience participation. I avoid events with audience participation like the plague, but I didn’t know this particular event had that element to it or I never would have attended. I was sitting there with my friends when I noticed some people trolling around, scanning the audience, obviously looking for something. I subconsciously tried to hide, which of course, just made it all the more apparent that I was trying to hide. One of the trolling sadists noticed the reticence written all over me and decided to drag me up on stage, quite literally kicking and screaming. He paid no mind. I was to be a contestant on some sort of amateur game show. Great. So, now, not only do I have to be up on stage, but I have to actually answer questions? I’m expected to have knowledge inside my brainpan and be able to recall that knowledge at a moment’s notice all while I’m absolutely panicked because I’m on stage? This is unacceptable. I tried to leave, but they wouldn’t let me. I had been kidnapped. I have no idea what happened after that since I blacked out. I should sue them. I did win a prize though.

As most aspiring anythings (writers, musicians, actors) often do, I’ve thought about what would happen should I ever become famous through my craft. I don’t want to be famous. I can think of nothing worse. I’m happy with my private life. I’m thrilled that I can walk into a store and have no one recognize me. I don’t want to ever be a celebrity. So, the whole concept that I post my deepest darkest on the internet is quite the anomaly. I have a hard time reconciling it myself. I think it’s the anonymity that allows me to share. If that anonymity where ever quashed, I might not ever be able to write again.

This post is part of the On Being Series.

Powered by Plinky

The Source

687474703a2f2f69332e70686f746f6275636b65742e636f6d2f616c62756d732f7938332f53706163654769726c333930302f4c4f4c4361742d5261696e626f772e6a7067

Lolcats: Sick of ’em or can’t get enough?

687474703a2f2f69332e70686f746f6275636b65742e636f6d2f616c62756d732f7938332f53706163654769726c333930302f4c4f4c4361742d5261696e626f772e6a7067

I’d have to say I’m sick of them. It’s mostly because the same tired old pictures make their way around and around again.  These things are only funny once, if that. There is no humor to be found in a lolcat that you’ve seen a thousand times once Uncle Harry sends it out in a blanket email. By the time that Uncle Harry discovers it, whatever funny it may have initially had has been burned, shot, stabbed, blown up and eviscerated. That meme has already been around forever once the internet tentacles reach email.

The best way to find funny stuff on the internet is to dig it up it yourself. Blanket emails are the last stop on the internet train. They are the horse of the internet funny delivery system. At one point, horses were the fastest way to get around the country, but nowadays, we have modes of transportation that move a whole lot faster than the tired old horse.

99% of all memes on the internet started at a site called 4chan. That’s where the plague known as lolcats was born along with leetspeak, Rickrolling, mudkipz, chocolate rain, pedobear and nearly every other meme you’ve ever seen, along with the concept of the internet meme in the first place. The site has been around since 2003 and has been churning out memes ever since. It’s not even remotely family friendly or safe for work, so I wouldn’t recommend visiting unless you want to be awash in a sea of nonsense.

Sadly, 4chan is a shadow of its former self. The fact that news networks have done stories on it just proves that it’s nearly dead. These days, it’s mostly made up of douchenozzles who think swear words, porn and animal abuse are the height of imagination. You have to wade through a lot of junk to find something even remotely worthy of attention, but to this day, most of the internet memes originate at 4chan. Almost every blanket email contains at least one image that originally came from there.

It’s interesting to me how quickly some of these memes die out while others take root and seem to last forever. The Kanye West “Ima let you finish but…” meme died in less than a week, while others, like lolcats, have spawned a whole host of sites like icanhascheezburger.com and just refuse to die. You just never know what’s going to take root and stick.

If I want to see these things, I go to the source; I don’t wait for it to come to me. If you go to the source, you see these things a year or two before Uncle Harry gets his grubby email account on them. By that time, you’d rather take a bullet in the brain than look at another lolcat.

So, here’s a public service announcement: Dear general public, please, stop sending out blanket emails. I’ve seen them before and if I haven’t, it’s probably because it wasn’t funny enough for me to find on my own. Thanks in advance. Love, Goldfish.

Powered by Plinky