Posts Tagged ‘pointless random observations’

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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You already know this

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

But in case you have short term memory issues or don’t really care enough to remember the little incidentals about me or simply show up to look at the pretty pictures and don’t actually read anything…I am easily amused.

And I will proceed to prove that fact to you again in a moment.

But before I do, let me take you back to a time in the not-so-distant past. A time we thought the world was going to end because of some faulty computer programming written thirty-five years earlier.

A time when we all learned the word ‘hanging chads,’ something we now know to be a little scrap of paper that destroyed Al Gore’s soul, but left him an environmental guru (as well as inventor of the internet).

An era when a little boy named Elian showed up off the Miami coast clinging to an inner tube and captured America’s attention…shortly before being deported back to Cuba and spending the rest of his life bad-mouthing us, joining the Young Communist Union of Cuba, and currently training in Cuban military school. Remember Disneyworld, Elian? Do they have anything like that in Cuba? Mickey Mouse? Goofy? Space Mountain? Didn’t think so.

The era when O magazine first hit the stands, Katie Lee Gifford quit Regis and Kathie Lee, and AOL bought Time Warner, thus sealing both of their fates.

It was also, as you may recall or may just now be learning, a time when Jack Black did not suck.

In fact, he was pretty damn funny then, culminated by his somewhat ridiculous band (and related HBO show) Tenacious D. And there was an episode of Tenacious D that year where they meet their ‘biggest fan’ who has set up a website about them and seems rather obsessed – kind of like Mel on Flight of the Conchords (another great HBO show about a ridiculous band that you should be watching if you’re not already watching it.)

So anyway – and yes, I still remember the original point of this post and am slowly plodding toward it – this is the clip containing a character named Lee. To fill you in and spare you the lengthy version: They’ve met Lee the night before, checked out the website he set up dedicated to them, and become obsessed with him. Way to turn the tables on your stalker! Watch it and learn.

And that is relevant because of this rather hilarious ‘Muscle Milk’ ad (I’m not immediately familiar with Muscle Milk, but I have seen it for sale at the gym. I imagine it’s for babies who want to be really buff.) sent to me late last night, that is highly relevant because of its earnest celebration of the impending holiday known as Thanksgiving.

And because that guy is obviously Lee.

And because he vaguely reminds me of my friend’s boyfriend (kind of like how Bret of Flight of the Conchords reminds me of my other friend’s boyfriend.)

And because this is my first year of appreciating that Thanksgiving can be funny.

(And lastly, just in case you’re not already watching Flight of the Conchords, here’s one of their songs to get you started…)

Oh hell, it’s the holidays. It’s the season of giving. So in that spirit, here’s another one of my most favorite Flight of the Conchords bits:

You know when I’m down to my socks it’s time for business, that’s why they call it business socks…

Jermaine should have been on my list of freaky-looking dudes I have crushes on. If the show is accurate, he’s part Maori (because there’s an episode where they set up “New Zealand Town” in New York City and force him to play the Maori.)

p.s.

The entire time I’ve been compiling this for you, Fu Manchu has been nursing (and there really is no other word for it. There’s a strange, loud, and consistently-timed sucking noise emanating from his head) on my bathrobe. Now I’ve got to wash my bathrobe, Fu.

Thanks for nothing. Weirdo.

p.p.s.

So as to prove my point, there are little bits of bathrobe material caught under his nails.

Don’t commit any crimes, Fu, because those claws of yours are evidence magnets.

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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:

17050030_010_b

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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A non-whining post about editing

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Just for novelty’s sake, I thought I’d drop in and log a quick update that – after reading and editing the thing one more time, no doubt - I’ll be ready to turn over the first quarter of the book to my readers tomorrow. To my own shock and awe, I’m happy with it AND the last few days have gone well.

That’s right: Editing has NOT sucked!!!

I’m finally starting to get into some material that isn’t a discombobulated train wreck, and thanks to spontaneous faux interviews with both Larry King and Bill Maher, I’m feeling kind of pumped up. And now if Bill Maher starts the interview by stating that he knows I’ve written a best-selling book, but I’m also really hot, I won’t be stupid-shocked and say, “He wouldn’t say that. He wouldn’t say that. He would not say that…” five times while my head spins and drool pours out of the corner of my mouth.

Not at all. In fact, I’ve been convinced that he very well could say that, and I will have a snappy comeback prepared.

Meanwhile, I saw that the new Nobel Prize for Literature winner has been announced, and I’m thinking that $1.5 million (SEK 10 million) would look mighty fine in my bank account. Or cashed out and dumped all over my bed where I can roll around on it naked.

Either way.

Thus, it’s important that I don’t get too famous, because the Nobel prize for literature only ever goes to anarcho-syndicalist playwrights who survived a pogrom or a pamphleteer from Moldova or something like that. The rule is that it will not go to anyone you have ever heard of. However, depending upon how insecure and/or pompous you are, you might pretend you have after he or she wins. The winner must be alive, per Nobel rules, at the time of the nomination, so hopefully I can hang onto until at least 2011 or 2012 (when we’re all outta here anyway).

So I just need to maintain obscurity (probably about as easy as it sounds) and stay alive. Add to that the possibility of using my grandmother’s maiden name (Takach) as a pen name, thereby tapping into the suffering Eastern European pity vote, and digging up some depressed poetry from my teen years, and and I could really be onto something.

In addition, there is the now-famous assertion (if you have any interest in anything literary, that is. If not, your general reaction will probably be something like “Huh?” in reference to my suggestion that this was a well-publicized gaffe) made by the previous permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy (the dudes that vote for the Nobel prizes), Horace Engdahl. So anyway, Horace pissed some people off when he said last year that “Europe still is the centre of the literary world” and the quality of American writing was dragged down because authors were “too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture”.

In response, and as a ray of hope for my own nomination:  There are exactly no vampires in my book.

Not even one.

Oh, and that reminds me, in the spirit of laziness slash “I just spent nine solid hours editing and then worked out my guns for an hour and prepared a gourmet dinner. What have YOU done today?” here is this awesome (if not slightly harsh) list courtesy of Alan Mott of bookgasm.com.  There’s so much to love here, but I think #29 is my very favorite. That or #42.

#38 cuts a little close to the bone.

And #40 – RRSW, Did you write that? I’d recognize your work anywhere…

50 Reasons No One Wants to Publish Your First Book

1. Being innovative doesn’t justify writing a Civil War epic entirely in texting slang and emoticons: “ts u hor! i dnt gv dam :< !”

2. There’s this thing called punctuation. You might want to look into it.

3. They’re afraid your author’s photo is going to alienate readers. That’s right, dude: You’re too ugly for literature.

4. Where are the vampires?

5. No, seriously, where are the vampires?

6. The world isn’t quite ready for an illustrated children’s book called SOME MOMMIES ARE INTERNET PORNSTARS: “Mommy and Daddy’s door is always locked and your online access is completely blocked! You asked them why and they say, ‘Don’t worry, honey, we’ve just found a fun new way to earn some money!’”

7. It probably wasn’t a good idea to base the main character on yourself, considering how much most people seem to hate you.

8. The market for IRON CHEF slash fiction isn’t quite as broad as you may have assumed: “’Oh, Morimoto,’ Chef Batali sighed, ’stuff me like a pepper!’”

9. Submitting a manuscript handwritten in your own blood does indicate your passion for the material, but not quite in the way you might have hoped.

10. They liked it better when it was called Jane Eyre and didn’t suck.

11. Iambic pentameter? Really?

12. Funnily enough, a detailed diary of five years’ worth of bowel movements has already been done. Curse you, Kevin Smith!

13. If you’re going to try and sell it on OPRAH as a memoir, you probably want to cut the chapter where you go back in time, kill Hitler and make Stalin admit that he’s your bitch.

14. William Burroughs was a broken-down beatnik junkie genius; you’re a wannabe-hipster asshole imitating a broken-down beatnik junkie genius.

15. It’s not technically a novel until you’ve written it down first.

16. Yes, enclosing a bag of flour along with your manuscript and causing an anthrax scare will get people’s attention, but it’s the wrong kind of attention.

17. You’re not just being paranoid; there really is a vast corporate conspiracy to ensure that your revolutionary ideas never leave your parents’ basement.

18. They can’t quite understand why you felt compelled to write such nasty things about Kenny Loggins in what is otherwise a fairly standard legal thriller. Kenny knows, but to everyone else, it comes across as somewhat mean and arbitrary.

19. Most good books aren’t created with the sole hope that they might someday be adapted into a Martin Lawrence movie.

20. You’re actually the 139th person to submit a conspiracy thriller involving the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, entitled THE MICHAELANGELO CIPHER.

21. And the 78th to submit a chick-lit manuscript about an attractive woman’s sweet tooth and affection for footwear, called CHOCOLATE AND SHOES.

22. You know the part where the protagonist stuffs those puppies into the wood chipper? It’s not quite as funny as you seem to think.

23. Truthfully, THE EVANGELICAL GUIDE TO GAY SEX is actually a great idea. The problem is that its target audience won’t want to buy it in a bookstore, and they’ll be highly reluctant to use their own credit cards to buy it online.

24. The alternative-history genre has lost its appeal. Everyone knows it doesn’t matter what else would have happened if the South won the Civil War and the Nazis won WWII: George W. Bush would stillhave been elected president.

25. A young-adult novel set in the behind-the-scenes world of network reality television featuring over two dozen characters, graphic underage sex and dead prostitutes? Are you fucking kidding me? No, seriously, are you fucking kidding me?

26. Remember the shit Salman Rushdie had to deal with after he wrote THE SATANIC VERSES? Chances are your XXX hip-hop reworking of the Koran — MO’ MONEY, MO’ PUSSY — is probably going to inspire the same reaction.

27. You know the talented creative writing professor who told you your work showed so much creativity and promise? Turns out what he really meant was that he wanted you to blow him.

28. Because they threw away their annual budget on the new Lindsay Lohan autobiography, BOOKS ARE RETARDED.

29. Everyone who attempts to load a copy of the manuscript onto their Kindle is found dead three hours later.

30. Four years ago, you wrote a post on your blog about how MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE sucks ass. Stephen King found it during a Google search and exerted his influence to ensure you never get paid a cent for your writing ever again.

31. There’s a fine line between writing authentic regional dialogue and making all of your characters sound like stroke victims.

32. Just be thankful they refused to publish it, since the common accepted response to a novel that ends with the protagonist realizing all the terrible things that happened were in a dream (or was it?) is some stern re-editing of your face with a pair of brass knuckles.

33. Writing a book about vegetarian zombies kinda indicates you don’t exactly know why people like zombies in the first place.

34. Calling your book OPRAH WINFREY IS A BIG FAT CUNT pretty much guarantees she isn’t going to select it for her book club.

35. Sure, you’re an amazing poet, but you aren’t a hot blonde pop singer with big tits, so who really gives a fuck?

36. God may have told you to write this book, but he didn’t tell you how to give it a decent ending.

37. You may want to revise the query letter you’re sending to agents so it’s more about the book and less about how much you love kittens.

38. For the first 20 pages, everyone who reads it is certain it’s the funniest book they’ve ever read. Unfortunately by the 21st, they finally realize you’re actually being serious.

39. Do you honestly not see the crucial flaw in writing a book intended for commercial sale that argues against copyright law and in favor of free unrestricted distribution of all forms of media?

40. It’s never a good sign when a manuscript’s first sentence is “’Are luck’s run out,’ said the Princess, ‘there unicorns are to fast!’”

41. When writing erotica, you want to avoid graphic descriptions of acne, cellulite and back fat.

42. Life-affirming poetry written by a 10-year-old with a fatal disease is inspirational; that same poetry written by a 47-year-old housewife with a trick knee and occasional indigestion is really, really lame.

43. Writing a 97,236-word thesis arguing the inherent superiority of Wolverine over Batman is intrinsically flawed since no intelligent person could ever take it seriously. I mean, c’mon, Batman would kick that midget Canuck’s ass every single time!

44. If you’re going to make your main character a forensic coroner, you’re obligated to know more about human anatomy than what you learned playing Operation as a kid.

45. A general rule to follow when writing for kids: If you could go to jail for saying it to them in person, you’re better off not putting it into print.

46. Historically, books written solely to settle a bar bet seldom make it to print, especially if they were written during a seven-and-a-half-hour period in the same bar where the bet was made.

47. The entire point of your book has already been more satisfactorily made in a single strip of Family Circus.

48. Because the printed medium is a dying art, and it would be a tragic waste to allow its last pathetic gasp be polluted by your bullshit.

49. Does anybody really need the complete lyrics to “One Million Bottles of Beer on the Wall”?

50. Again, I ask one last time, where are the freaking vampires?

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