Posts Tagged ‘funny random stories’

This is beyond overdue

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

And yet, I still kind of have nothing of any real import to share, so here is a generic list o’ stuff in no particular order.

  • I have been writing the new book. It’s gone relatively smoothly minus the ever-present slight concern that where I’m taking things plot-wise is maybe too far or too slow or not quite perfect, but that’s the way it goes, I suppose. Today I will cross the 100-page mark, which is the clearest sign that an actual novel will come out of this in the end.
  • It’s cold as hell, and yet it’s as warm as it’s ever going to be for quite some time.
  • I’m another year older tomorrow, and yet I’m as young as I’m ever going to be…especially today.
  • My Sims2 have been neglected, but not forgotten…especially not on Saturday night. I’ve created a family based on myself and my dog, except they don’t have dogs in The Sims2, so he is represented by a young black child with white hair named Smelly. Smelly is a lot more useful than the real case study upon which he is based because he’s able to wash the dishes, do yard work, and order a pizza. Hmmm… Maybe I should look into adopting a young black child? Madonna and all them make it look so easy…

    Malamute in city

    Give him a kingdom to oversee, and he's happy.

  • I know it’s $2 or $3 or even $4 a cup, but lattes are so much better than any French press or drip coffee I make myself. And they don’t act as a colonic delivered via my mouth. One more reason I need to get rich…and soon.
  • In the same vein, I realize I’ve got to get my hands on a baby monkey, get it it to ride my dog (backwards being fine, if not preferable), have someone write a catchy and stupid tune to go with it, and become a YouTube sensation. He also does a great thing where he smashes his face against glass doors and rubs his tongue all over it. Hilarious stuff, that.
  • I love Top Chef but I don’t give a rat’s ass about Top Chef Just Desserts. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, and TV is already overcrowded with people making ridiculous cakes and swords out of hard candy and copulating swans out of chocolate. Yawn.
  • I’m headed back  to the east side of the state in a couple days as a very good friend is getting married and then I’m off to Pennsylvania for a couple weeks to watch my dad’s kitty zoo while he’s on vacation. In theory, I will keep up my  book writing momentum, although I plan to do just a few pages tomorrow in honor of my bday and again on Thursday because (as I just told you if you were paying attention) I have to drive across the state and that takes a long ass time during which I cannot (unfortunately) write. Actually, in the spirit of accuracy, I COULD write during the drive, but I would likely also die in a fiery car crash for the effort.
  • The parade of Housewives never ends. I’m happy to report I disconnected from the DC wives and have no idea what happened or who they are or who’s insane, but I am ashamed to share that I did watch about 20 minutes of those godforsaken Atlanta Housewives. Damn it all to hell! And what did Kandi do to her hair with that red section on top? And does anyone else think Kim is a man in drag? And why didn’t Dwight take a single lesson from the plastic surgery mistakes of Michael Jackson???
  • Looking at the clock, it’s about time to go boil some water for some of that colon-cleansing coffee and get my write on.
  • I kind of want to go see that Jackass 3D movie. This is the same part of me talking that misses Crank Yankers and owns the Rob & Big DVDs. The part of me that’s a 12-year-old boy.
  • Having walked the dog and witnessed – and more often that not, picked up – his every bowel movement for three weeks, I can tell you two things definitively:
  1. Think twice before owning a 100-pound dog in a city. Not only will they yank your arm out of its socket over the sight of a Pomeranian in some lady’s arms two blocks away, but they make bigger dumps than those of a horse.
  2. Not all poop can be scooped. Case in point, the mess this morning looked shockingly akin to chocolate cake batter, and I didn’t even get a bag out and fake it for fear of getting too close. Besides, the flies were apparently given advance warning and started swarming in almost immediately. My new attitude toward certain poop scooping scenarios: I really don’t need tourists handing me Wet Ones baby wipes after I take a hit for the team; so watch your step, and wear rubber soled shoes. It’s a jungle out there, and my canine provides the quicksand.

Good luck,  happy sightseeing, and enjoy your smooth expensive coffee, you rich bastards.

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The Signs They Are a-Changin’

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

As you have likely observed, I have a long history of getting discouraged and then suddenly becoming optimistic again. I’m not sure why this is. It’s my own opinion that I have a quick bounce. Bounce – or at least my definition, for what it’s worth – is the time between emotionally hitting the ground and springing back up. Even with extremely tragic or outrageously unfair circumstances, I tend to bounce within a few hours. This is why, despite my arguable host of mental problems and questionable sanity from time to time, anti-depressants don’t really seem to be a prescription I need. Anti-psychotics on the other hand? Perhaps.

Beach Status Signs

Not this kind of sign.

Nonetheless and as I’ve mentioned, the last few weeks I have felt kind of panicked. In the simplest of terms, it’s a feeling of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? THIS IS YOUR LIFE!!!” and it’s a really lame and anxiety-causing sensation, especially because there’s no clear answer. On certain terms, I could argue with the Voice of Urgency that I’m doing the best I can – I’m working on a new book (thinking and planning more than writing at the moment, but that will come), I’m living my life, I’m thinking deep thoughts, I have clever ideas at least once a week, I’m mostly in a good mood, I use very few aerosol products anymore, and, by and large, I’m not hurting anybody (as far as I know). On the other hand – and recognizing that the Voice of Urgency comes from my head and, thus, is me in some fashion – I completely agree with it. Somehow, in ways I can’t quite pinpoint, I am wasting time and, by extension, my life.

Ouch.

That hurts.

That more than hurts. That f*cking sucks.

And then enter – stage right – the bounce.

Not this kind either. If this kind is even real. I'm not sure. Somehow I doubt it.

I have long had (and recently had reinforced) the feeling that if I just keep pushing and writing and working that I will eventually hit upon the idea and the plot and the “it”, and then the magical, mystical force that makes stuff turn out happily ever after will kick in and things will go my way forevermore. Just as suddenly, all the work I’ve done up to that point will become useful and relevant, if not sought after. I like this idea. I am buoyed by the hope that I have the talent and the tenacity, all I need is the bright idea and a little bit of star alignment.

This is probably why I was overly excited when my two – count ‘em, not just one but two – fortune cookie fortunes the other day were so optimistic. The first read “Don’t give up. The best is yet to come!” Not too shabby. If fortune cookies were guarantees, this beats the hell out of “You find beauty in ordinary things, do not lose this ability” or “Don’t forget, you are always on our minds.” That second one freaked me out. What? Who? Who’s “our”? A collective hive mind or all of your minds individually? And who are you again? And when you’re thinking about me, do you think good things or wish me well or are you have subtle urges to do me bodily harm? In other words, is this a benign threat of some kind? Seriously, who’s “our”?

I'm trying, I'm trying. The signs are harder to recognize - let alone know - than one might presume.

But not the other night. Those predictions were all good. That night I got two fortuitous predictions: “Don’t give up. The best is yet to come!” and “Your dearest wish will come true within the month!” Sweet.

True, there were only a few days eft in the month, and my dearest wish didn’t quite come to obvious fruition during that time, but maybe the seeds were sown? Or maybe they meant 30 days more than the literal month-end? I’m willing to keep an open mind and a hopeful heart. You never know, I suppose.

Meanwhile, if the fortunes weren’t enough, get this: I found a pearl in an oyster I was eating! I did. A Washington state Sunset Beach oyster grown in the Hood Canal. That has to be some kind of  omen of impending amazing luck, right?

Right???

Well, I say so anyway, and in trying to prove it, I came across the following statistics:

  • The odds of finding a pearl in an oyster are 10,000 to 1
  • Odds of getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1
  • Odds of an American speaking Cherokee: 15,000 to 1
  • Odds of being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1
  • Odds of being murdered: 18,000 to 1
  • Odds of getting away with murder: 2 to 1
  • Odds of being considered possessed by Satan: 7,000 to 1
  • Odds of being on plane with a drunken pilot: 117 to 1
  • Odds of writing a New York Times best seller: 220 to 1
  • Odds of becoming a pro athlete: 22,000 to 1
  • Odds of finding a four-leaf clover on first try: 10,000 to 1
  • Odds of winning an Academy Award: 11,500 to 1
  • Chance that Earth will experience a catastrophic collision with an asteroid in the next 100 years: 1 in 5,000
  • Chance of dying in such a collision: 1 in 20,000
Change for Homeless sign

I don't think this is real either. If it were, wouldn't they just ask for dollar bills and small bottles of liquor?

So there you have it: I am almost as likely to win an Academy Award or could be considered possessed by Satan one and a half times before I’d find a matching, misshapen pearl in another oyster, and I’d have better luck hitting TWO holes in one as the same occurring. Thus, I rest my case. I think the math makes it plain: this is a harbinger of imminent good fortune if ever there was.

So bring it on, lucky stars: unload a giant truck of the best and make my dearest dreams come true.

I’m ready already.

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If I had a million dollars…

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

I’d buy your love.

I would.

I might.

Okay, you got me.
I wouldn’t.

I’d quite possibly buy a lot of stuff and most of it I wouldn’t need, but I’d probably take my queues from the super-rich Beatles (as in ‘Can’t Buy Me’ more than ‘All You Need Is’) over the probably-barely-getting-by-anymore Barenaked Ladies and forgo the love buying.

Meanwhile, I must confess that I feel bedraggled and borderline ill. I’m mainlining zinc and  considering another dance with the devil (AmbienCT, which made me puke about ten days ago) in order to get some much needed – if not necessary – zzzzs.

In the meantime, and in the spirit of compensating for over two weeks of doing for others, I spent the day indulging in three of my favorite, pointless activities:

1. Reading cookbooks

2. Watching old episodes of Tony Bourdain’s No Reservations

3. Window shopping online

And the critical word there is WINDOW because I’m not exactly financially solvent at the moment and because I spent two entire days purging a colossal amount of stuff from my closet…and it’s still brimming with a veritable shit load of stuff. Beloved stuff. Precious stuff. Cute stuff. Stuff I love. Stuff I (obviously) can’t part with. And yet the love of new stuff surfaces in the face of so much stuff…

On the surface you might think I’d make a really bad Buddhist, but that’s not the case. Nope. One can love their stuff so long as they maintain awareness that the stuff (both the stuff I have and the stuff I do not have, but would like to have) and I are one. Loving my stuff is self-love.

Allow me to make this a little bit more confusing:

In Buddhism, non-attachment (the ideal state) is the exact opposite of separation. To have attachment, you need two things:

  1. The person who attaches
  2. The thing the person attaches to.

In non-attachment, you’ve unified with the whole universe. There is nothing outside of you. Thus, there’s nothing to attach to and the notion of attachment becomes absurd.

However, because as a species we tend to believe that we are having an autonomous and intrinsic existence within our skin, and what’s outside our bodies is “everything else,” most of us go through life grabbing for one thing after another in an effort to be safe or feel happy.

And the rub there is that we ‘pursue’ happiness because we think it is an external quality, something that lies outside ourselves. And because we think it is ‘out there’ or external, we stress and worry about gaining it…and losing it. Whatever can be found can also be lost.

Which is, in the end, a long-winded way of saying that I am one with the items for sale at Urban Outfitters.com and thus looking at them and owning none of them brings me the same level of pleasure as owning them. Although, admittedly, if I had a million dollars, I would own a few of them.

Like this skirt:

16615460_04_b

And this wallet:

16465973_20_b

And this jacket:

17466178_001_b

And this jewelry holder stacked doll chairs thingamabob:

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And this sweater:

17342619_004_b

But in a totally non-attached way…

Really.

Honest injun.

Cross my heart and hope to die.

I can’t get this to format how I want, so sorry about that. Sometimes (more often than not), WordPress mystifies me.

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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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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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