Posts Tagged ‘funny blog’

Rainbows and unicorns

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Actually, I have nothing to say on the subject of rainbows and unicorns, it just sounded like a perfectly awful (and slightly terrifying) title. Unicorns are a’ight. I’ve never seen one, but if I did I think I would be worried it would gore me. I recently saw a photo where a rainbow ends right on top of an SUV. It would seem the pot of gold comes in many forms…

Me at seven months old. I think I was playing peek-a-boo. And I was damn good at it. Or so I've been told.

Me at seven months old. I think I was playing peek-a-boo. And I was damn good at it. Or so I've been told.

So without any proper intro, let’s get down to business and check out this little photo montage I lovingly prepared for you. And believe me, although I didn’t manage to get a post up in a timely manner, I invested time as if I had. There’s no need to rehash the hairy details; sufficed to say: Leopard, dammit, HP scanner, restart, 2004, ^$%%@!!!, even more drivers, eventual success.

At any rate, and as you can see (unless you are in blind, and in which case, how are you reading this? Probably text to speech. Okay, ignore that question. I figured it out myself.) I have put together a little “this is my life” for you based on some photos I found in the garage last month while searching for a tape player. Actually, and more accurately, it’s “this is the first ten years of my life” but I really don’t appreciate you taking everything so literally. Yeah. I said it. I’ve had about enough of your guff. Keep it to yourself, pal.

So, let’s see. What’s been going on?

From the size of my brother, I'd say I'm about 2 1/2 in this one. And no, I wasn't one of those genius babies that could read, I just had an early start on being a poseur.

From the size of my brother, I'd say I'm about 2 1/2 in this one. And no, I wasn't one of those genius babies that could read, I just had an early start on faking it until you make it.

First, as you probably know, I got a year older. That’s right. Despite my attempts to resist the march of time, time marched over me. What can I say? Time is a relentless bastard, and there’s just no reasoning with him. Believe me, I’ve tried.

In celebration of yet another candle on the cake, I had a low-key day that was pretty much like every other day: editing, going for a run, voodoo ceremony, more editing, goofing around on the internets, animal sacrifice, and some pizza with friends. In all actuality, my cake had four candles for some bad math/unknown reason (I think the explanation given was that it looked proportionate), and I successfully blew them all out.  (!!!)

I can’t reveal my wish, lest it not come true, but sufficed to say, someone living in a beach house in Kauai is going to start feeling strangely compelled to sign it over to me any day now…

Me at probably my fifth birthday. I actually remember that cake. My mom's friend made it.

Me (the ham. The only one paying attention to the camera) at probably my fifth birthday. I actually remember that cake. My mom's friend made it.

In other news, I filed a petition to enact the Modified Benjamin Button Effect. As we all know, I’ve been fighting the ravages of time pretty damn well (thank you god of looking younger than you are), but in another twenty years, I may not be quite as hot. Make no mistake, I’ll still turn some heads at the nursing home, but I also don’t want to be Cher. You know, 63 but carrying on like you’re 25. It lacks dignity.

That’s why I think the best plan is to get to 50, and then let the clock start running backwards. I have to imagine one’s 40′s are a lot more fun when you know your 30′s and 20′s lie ahead.

Nobody gets hurt, and I’m happy.

If you ask me, it’s win/win.

Now, I never saw that movie, but I know enough to know that what I’ve laid out isn’t QUITE the Benjamin Button effect. You’re supposed to start out old and get young, but seeing as I (obviously) didn’t start out old, I’m hoping for a pass on that small detail.

The Halloween of my 10th year (with my brother). My mother was the queen of improvising costumes out of nothing - with mixed success. That year I was wearing some old dress of hers, and she did that for my brother out of several rolls of gauze. Perhaps I could talk him into a reprisal next year?

The Halloween of my 10th year (with my brother). My mother was the queen of improvising costumes out of nothing - with mixed success. Thank god I grew into my 'man hands.' What the hell was going on there????

Anyway, I haven’t heard back on my petition yet (bureaucracies. There’s so much red tape), but I’m hopeful. Plus, I’ve got a solid thirteen years until the backwards clock starts, so I’m not going to stress it too much just yet.

In conclusion, and in case you were wondering, I included these photos for you so you’d recognize me in the future. Assuming things go according to plan, this is how I plan to look during my ‘golden years.’

p.s.

Thanks so much for all the birthday wishes on the last blog post! It’s really a cool thing to think I type up this nonsense and multiple someones somewhere actually read it. You guys are the best!!!!

(Even if your first name is Frothy. It’s not your fault. Obviously it’s a family name or your mother was very young and not really thinking it through…)

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Calling all think tanks

Thursday, October 1st, 2009
I have a huge crush on Tony Bourdain. I love his dry sense of humor.

I have a huge crush on Tony Bourdain. I love his dry sense of humor. And his willingness to eat anything.

I was watching Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, and he was actually in the outer boroughs (which was interesting because he’s a New Yorker, but knew nothing about anything outside Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn), and he was in Staten Island with David Johansen of the New York Dolls and asked him, “What’s great about Staten Island that people don’t know?” and his response was, “We have a lot of think tanks here.”

And that got me thinking.

First, it got me thinking that was one of the most unexpected ‘what’s great about Staten Island’ responses ever. David should get a prize just for saying something so random.

The next time someone asks me what’s great about the town I live in, I’m going to say, “Skunks. We have a lot of skunks.” And it’s both true AND unpredictable. (But if you know anything about what I went through with said skunks, it’s also a wee bit out of character. Oh well. Being impossibly delightful sometimes requires a selective memory.)

See what I mean?

See what I mean?

Second, it got me thinking that David was some kind of long-lost brother or cousin or illegitimate spawn of Mick Jagger. Or the Aerosmith guy. What’s his name again? (***doing some of that impressive thinking I’m about to be known for***) Oh yes, Steven Tyler. Some kind of hybrid baby made out of the rock n’ roll DNA of the both of them. The lips don’t lie.

Then I continued on thinking that the man looks like he has lived a seriously harsh life. You don’t get wrinkles like that playing tennis at the country club all day.

From there, my thoughts turned to how David looked weirdly familiar and although I know what The New York Dolls are in kind of a collective unconscious but not super specific kind of way, I don’t really ‘know’ them. Which is another way of saying, I’m not a big fan or anything – in fact, I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever heard their music – so where could this sense of familiarity possibly come from?

And THEN I started thinking through possible reasons he might be drinking out of a pineapple and why there seemed to be so many tiki bars on Staten Island, and that’s when it occurred to me: I am a thinking machine.

All I DO is think.

Hey! I think I have that belt! And that hot pink t-shirt! And maybe the skirt...  Not the belly, though. Definitely not recognizing the belly.

Hey! I think I have that belt! And that hot pink t-shirt! And maybe the skirt... Not the belly, though. Definitely not recognizing the belly.

I was born to think.

And I was born thinking.

Thinking is my calling.

And all that thinking led me to an obvious and inevitable conclusion:  A think tank should hire me.

And pay me handsomely.

To think.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, and that’s not very nice of you. Don’t scoff at my dreams, bust my balloon, pee on my parade.

A think tank would be damn lucky to have me. Let me break it down for you: I’m sure what they’re used to are all these stuffy, boring, academia types who think exactly the same.

I could come in there, introduce some cultural references and slightly irrelevant trains of thought and get the proverbial blood flowing. And if providing a little ‘eye candy’ were necessary, I can rock a pencil skirt and 4″ heels like nobody’s business and get the actual blood flowing.

So to all think tanks out there: Drop me a line. Give me a jingle. Have your people call my people.

I’m available to work for you…for a price. And not full-time or anything. I’ve got a lot of side projects. And a book I should be editing right now instead of writing this nonsense.

I'm digging the leather coat, David. Come to think of it, if I get this Staten Island think tank job, I should come over. We could share clothes!

I'm digging the leather coat, David. Come to think of it, if I get this Staten Island think tank job, I should come over. We could share clothes!

Oh, and I don’t really want to sit in an office.

Unless your office is somewhere cool (and no, I don’t mean the temperature. I mean cool as in awesome. For example: Staten Island is not cool. Manhattan is cool. Palm Springs, CA is cool. Kilauea, Kauai is cool.

But you’re smart people. You can put some brain power on it and figure out what I might consider cool.)

So, like I was saying, not going to sit in an office more than one or two days a month, not available full-time, willing to wear tight skirts, and of course, I can think it up until smoke comes out of my ears.

Act now.

Operators are standing by.

(A Google search on David Johansen cleared up the familiarity mystery: He has an alter ego called ‘Buster Poindexter’ that had that song “Hot Hot Hot” in the 80′s. How weird is that? Weird, right? That’s what I thought, also. You should probably work for a think tank, too. No really. You’d be good at it. I’m sure you would. That’s what I think, anyway.)

buster0im

Crazy, right??? Methinks he might have been in 'Scrooged' too. Anyone with me on that?

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Ash is a goddamned robot

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

So the following headline caught my eye this morning: The Challenge of Making Real Robot Skin, which in turn led pretty much immediately to a “come again?” moment.

So I went to the article, and it started to come clear…and then more or less tanked straight into WTF land. Why’s that? Well, just so you don’t feel left out, here are a few excerpts to catch you up:

I don't know what this is, but the 1.5mm skin kind of reminds me of cake. Mmmmmm...  Cake.

I don't know what this is, but the 1.5mm skin kind of reminds me of cake. Mmmmmm... Cake.

In a recent paper “Towards Humanlike Social Touch for Sociable Robotics,” John Cabibihan and his fellow scientists detailed the reasons for testing and developing realistic skin for social robots.

“Touch is important in social interactions. Social touch are all those instances in which people touch each other, when shaking hands, when giving a pat in the back as a sign of congratulations and even in high-fives. Yet, one should not easily assume that humans will be comfortable with the idea of shaking an artificial hand made from a stiff material. In addition to the appropriate controls for a safe handshake grip and other forms of social touch, humanlike skin softness would be a reasonable requirement for the sociable robots envisioned to directly interact with humans in a social setting. “

Human skin has properties that are not easy to replicate in synthetics. The authors created a skin testing machine to check out some of the current substitutes for human skin in robots – like silicone and polyurethane. Unfortunately, these simplistic skin substitutes were tested and found wanting; at present, there is no accepted substitute for the feeling of real human skin.

There have been a number of different attempts to produce more lifelike skin for robots, as well as skin that would properly feed sensation to the operator of the robot. There is, of course, one ideal solution to creating robot skin that is as human as possible. Recent work done at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft science institute in Germany has demonstrated that small swatches of actual human skin can be grown in petri dishes in a mass production facility.

It takes a lot of damage before you realize Arnold isn't actually a person, but a killing machine.

It takes a lot of damage before you realize Arnold isn't actually a person, but a killing machine.

Ummm…what?

Who is doing human skin-covered robot development?
And WHY????

Clearly I missed some kind of memo. What the hell kind of robot is this?

I’m okay with Roomba and his stinky cousin, Scooba and anything that comes over to clean my floors or dishes (but no touching the laundry. I love doing laundry. It’s the only chore where I would even consider use of the word ‘love’ in association.), but I’m not so sure how I feel about robots that I can’t tell are robots.

At least even the iRobot robots looked like robots, so once they turned bad you could tell them apart. And WALL-E. Clearly a robot, and fine by me…especially because he never decided to destroy the humans who created him, which is a plus.

As for the explanation on this bad idea, I’m not buying the whole ‘people don’t want to shake hands with a robot’ excuse, either.

I would shake hands with a robot.

I shake hands with my dog (which has, in turn, taught him to flog me when he wants something, and I’m ignoring him, but that’s another story for another day). And if a robot wanted to pat me on the back with a metallic pitchfork hand, I’d be okay with that (so long as it was gentle and not a robot beat down that punctured a lung or whatnot. Punctured lungs are no good.)

My point here is I think there are only two reasons that they would want to put real skin on a robot:

1. To trick us.

2. To make robot prostitutes (or sex slaves or whatever).

See? Nothing but a goddamned robot.

See? Nothing but a goddamned robot.

And I don’t like it one little bit. And I suspect the robots wouldn’t like it one little bit. And this is where things go wrong. You create something in order to dominate it and use it as a slave, but you made it too smart so it collaborates with the others of its kind and overthrows you and the next thing you know we’re all hanging out in liquid cocoons and powering The Matrix.

Right????

So can’t we at least learn from our popular culture? Life imitates art and whatnot?

For instance,  in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (The Phillip K. Dick classic known more commonly as the Harrison Ford movie Blader Runner)? Replicants – or ‘skin jobs’ as they’re not-so-ironically called – that think they’re human beings but later (and not exactly in the interest of their psychological health) find out they’re not.

Daryl Hannah as a 'basic pleasure model.' This gives me an idea for Halloween....

Daryl Hannah as a 'basic pleasure model.' This gives me an idea for Halloween....

Nobody likes to grow up thinking they’re real and find out they’re not. It’s an identity crisis in the making.

How about Alien? You know, where The Company secretly sends a robot as part of the crew to ensure that a heinous monster will make it back to earth safe and sound? And nobody knew he was a robot until he tried to kill Ripley and then all that white foamy stuff started oozing out of him.

You can’t trust those robots that look like people. You think they’re a regular, reasonable person…but they can be wired as total traitors just like that.

And speaking of treacherous behavior, who can forget The Terminator? Imagine if The Terminator would have at least had the decency to look like a killer robot. Things might have turned out differently for all the other Sarah Conners in the Los Angeles phone book.

In closing, let me go on the record as not liking this petri dish skin human-looking robot stuff. I don’t know what it is, but it ain’t good.

And in the words of Ash, ”I can’t lie to you about your chances, but you have my sympathy”.

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It’s all fun and games, until you end up in the blog

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

If my dad is adamant about one thing, it’s that he doesn’t want to show up in the blog…which is a sorry shame, because I would have so much more material if he would ease up on that rule.

What a photogenic bunch. (And Dad, if this is a problem, Photoshop some other heads onto yours and send it to me, and I'll replace it!)

What a photogenic bunch. (And Dad, if this is a problem, Photoshop some other heads onto yours, and I'll replace it!)

Regardless, I still have to tell you this little story (and I don’t think it makes anyone look bad, so hopefully I won’t get in trouble for doing so!)

After a quick break, a slight digression: Have you ever gone to the bathroom and tried and tried to zip your jeans only to realize they’re already zipped? How the hell did that happen? How did I get them off and back on zipped up? Or did I zip them somehow without ever consciously realizing it? Weird.

So back to the story, we’re here in Wildwood and (to everyone’s chagrin) there’s some kind of motorcycle rally in town, called Roar to the Shore (Not to be confused with Roar at the Shore in Erie, PA. The shore being Lake Erie, I suppose, which is actually kind of sad. I’m not into trying to convince myself that a lake – no matter how large – is the same thing as being at the shore).

Point being, there’s an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 rough-looking people on a mix of motorcycles and choppers, and if you’ve ever seen Gimme Shelter, you have a healthy respect for (and certain amount of fear of) the Hell’s Angels.

This is what you get when your brother takes pictures for you. This is the best shot of the bunch. Unfortunately.

This is what you get when your brother takes pictures for you. This is the best shot of the bunch. Unfortunately.

However, before they got here and started intimidating us (or me, anyway. I have no idea if anyone else is intimidated, but I figure any man in his sixties in a 100% leather outfit and wispy white  hair down to his butt is trying to warn me that he’s got some screws loose. And the lady with the Cruella de Ville hair? Also trying to send me a message akin to a fluorescent orange frog to a potential predator. I have been warned, and I will heed said warning). So anyway, before they all got here, we were checking out the convention center where they were setting up for the festivities.

I personally have never been to a convention where there’s a Jack Daniels semi-truck offering ‘free tours’ (free bourbon???), but I guess that would be a tough sell at a banking convention (or maybe not. Some of those people can throw them back like you wouldn’t believe. One of the drunkest nights of my life occurred at the Bank Administration Institute’s Retail Delivery conference in New Orleans. I spent the next day barfing in the convention center bathroom…but not before drunk dialing my boss. True story.)

Anyway, if you’ve ever wondered why I’m so sarcastic and inappropriate, I’ll have you know you can blame it on my family.

You see, there’s a Miss Roar to the Shore Biker Babe contest, and my dad is egging me on to enter it. Actually, to be fair – and accurate – he’s urging me to be a double winner (“Everybody loves a double winner!!!”) and take that trophy as well as a Walking Poker Run (whatever that means. How can you walk and run and play poker at the same time?)

Then, in jest, he was trying to get my brother to change his flight to stay and support me.

“Just tell them, my sister is in a wet t-shirt contest, so I have to change my flight. It’s going to be classic!”

Then there was some discussion of my dad’s girlfriend going up against me (with the pseudonym of Candy, due to her passionate love of The Fudge Kitchen), but I’ll stop the anecdote right there to protect the innocent.

Unfortunately, my dreams of being Biker Babe 2009 are probably not going to come true for a number of reasons:

1. I don’t own a leather (or even a pleather) bikini.

2. I don’t have a single tattoo, and the only temporary tattoos I could find featured fairies.

3. I’m afraid of bikers.

The t-shirt looked a lot like this. Except it was a drawing. And there was foam around his mouth. But you get the idea.

The t-shirt looked a lot like this. Except it was a drawing. And there was foam around his mouth. But you get the idea.

I’d rather this town was hosting a wild mongrel dog convention than a biker convention. I’d feel less intimidated. Nonetheless, in the spirit of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” I went in search of some clothing that might help me fit in. Although I found a t-shirt with a horrible, scary, snarling Rottweiler with a spiked collar and the words “Till Death Do Us Part” (What the hell does that mean? Because from the looks of that dog, one of us is about to die any minute now),  I ended up buying some Cookie Monster booty shorts instead (blue shorts with the Cookie Monster’s face on the butt. Very mature and appropriate for fine restaurants) and red child’s hoodie (that fits me perfectly! And for only $12 because it’s kids clothes. This could revolutionize my clothing budget), which is probably proof of a latent desire to not fit in with that crowd.

If anything (reviewing what I just read above), it sounds more like I’m trying to fit in with the elementary school set instead. Emotionally, that’s about right. As I’ve already told you, I have the taste of a 12-year old boy. The other upside? At least I’d live through competing to be “Miss Sesame Street 2009″ without getting shanked…

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Things I do instead of writing

Friday, August 7th, 2009
You would think I would notice that the first two words in the title of this book are "Joseph" and "Smith" but nooooo....

You would think I would notice that the first two words in the title of this book are "Joseph" and "Smith" but nooooo....

So I was on Amazon.com placing an order for a few gifts, and at the bottom of the pages (below the reviews which I was reading, and thankfully so, as I was intrigued by this book called ‘Rough Rolling Stone’ because it had all these great reviews, but as I read the reviews, I started to learn that the book was not about The Rolling Stones, but about Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons. And I guess it’s a good Joseph Smith book, as things go, and if you’re looking for that kind of reading.

That reminds me: This is akin to the time that I was supposed to be buying some kind of Buddhism or meditation book for someone and instead bought them a book of lesbian poetry [with the same title]. I felt bad because the lady had probably never sold a single copy of her lesbian poetry, and it had finally happened…and here I was returning it a few days later. And she may have had a full-on lady beard in the photo. I can’t quite remember. I do know that I took this kind of odd class once when I was getting my psychology degree, and was deep in the throes of ‘anything for credits toward my degree’ [which is how I ended up in a different class called 'The Prison as a Classroom' where we actually WENT TO A HIGH SECURITY PRISON!!! WTF?] and the teacher had us read all these lesbian [not homosexual. Just lesbian. And NOT The Color Purple. Just lame stuff that her friends must have written or something.] books about the first time and falling in love and being overweight [I think the class was about being overweight, come to think of it. Something like size and image. Or body image and size or something like that. As you can imagine, it had attracted some ladies of considerable size, and I stuck out like a sore thumb]. So anyway, my point here is that I do very clearly remember that on the back of the this one novel – which contained some very awkward and highly detailed love scenes – was a photo of the author and the way the light hit her was just tragic. She had a serious lady beard going on. I kept thinking WHY would you put that photo where other people can see it??? Or maybe in her country that’s considered hot?

(more…)

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