Saturday, December 29, 2007

Recent Movies

I saw Juno and Aliens vs Predator: Requiem. I'll get reviews up in the next day or so.

If a blog posts in the forest...

Does anyone give a shit? I am currently wading through a fairly serious hardware conundrum again and I could use some help. Given the reception of the last few posts at Well Rounded Nerds, I wonder if posting about it would help.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Should I Ever Place a Craigslist Ad

“Skywriting, Robots, Alcohol induced hilariousness, Oversharing, Plumbing Problems, Spider Marginalization, Stories in Real Time, Inaccurate Directions and Their Consequences, Being a Good Friend- Why Chuckles Actually Does Rule and Should Have the Company of an AMAZING LADY.”

The above quote from Pinko Punko would be the entire text of the thing. I have previously stated that placing a personal ad would be an admission of complete failure on my part, although I wonder then what the entire fucking purpose of this here bloggio is? Perhaps our whole lives are just performance art personal ads?

I think I need to get my head out of this dating guide for a couple days. I have been putting a surprising amount of time into that project lately; I am constantly scribbling notes to myself and writing chapter titles and abstracts. Which is funny because the last two women I have dated/am dating both asked me out.

Yeah, asked ME out. I am in the fucking Twilight Zone here. Usually I win the ladies by charming them from "Who the fuck is this lunatic?" to "Oh wow, he's actually cute and kinda slick." My current situation leaves me in a constant state of Neocon Logic: up is down, maybe is yes, maybe is no, winter is spring.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Saturnalia 2007

It is 1:30 in the morning on the night of Saturnalia and I am watching Santa Claus Conquers the Martians with one of my brothers. Ralphie may have just been knocked off his perch.

It's just a little harmless self-abuse, rather like this here bloggio.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Geek Dating Guide: Lessons In Flirting

Geeks, listen up, there is only one thing you have to know about flirting: courage. You need courage to say the clever things you think up with conviction and clarity. A mumbled flirt is just mumbling (you mumblecore morons can fuck off, thank you) and gets lost in any flirt situation. Most of the time you only have a quick moment to get the witticism delivered that gets you that all important look. You need to think fast and speak faster, but without speaking so fast you are misunderstood.

Case in point.

Who cares if she is married or living with some dude, it is still a good one. Or a lesbian, whatever, either way it isn't any of my business.


I am almost sad to day that I would buy this game: World of Guitarcraft. In case you haven't heard, Activision acquired Blizzard and is now the frigging Turner Broadcasting Network of the gaming industry, owning three mega-sellers: Guitar Hero, World of Warcraft, and Call of Duty. I can't imagine that Starcraft 2 will be better than Supreme Commander (and based on the screen caps and video I have seen, it has all the problems of Starcraft with the graphics of Warcraft 3) but I would not be surprised if it sold millions of copies.

Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse's Two for One Offer Sticking in My Fucking Eye

Thanks for jabbing that one in, guys. I don't have anyone with whom to see a movie or at least, anyone who doesn't come with a plus one. So that is extra awesome.

Also, that theater is frigging hard to get to and Virginia hates cabs and actively hates me for not owning a pollution machine. I fucking hate Virginia.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

They're Always After Me Lucky Recipes!

Shannon, I will give you my frosting/icing recipe after I have been declared the winner in the cookie bake-off next week. In the meantime, I will tell you this: it involved smashing stuff. This is pretty much the only reason why I went with it. Cooking with fire? Good. Cooking while breaking things? Better.

The recipe I will divulge has been previously divulgified prior to post partem pleisiasaur piranha posting privileged patoootie.

That sentence lost itself. I am still suffering the effects of a one cup a day coffee habit. Hummus recipe for Marty.

What Do You Think?

I need to ask those people in the Onion what they think should be on the DC non-state quarter. I voted for the "No Taxation Without Representation" flag but you can vote for Ben's Chili Bowl, Snag. It was a hard decision, as I really could use a chili dog after all the mashed potatoes on crackers and eating my coworker's chocolate chip cookies all day long. I should eat a salad or something but all I have is Five Guys Fries to look forward to tonight, right PP? Robola knows my dilemma, I just keep eating anything you put in arm's reach and my arms are fucking long.

How American is that? Apparently, I know hate every third world country out there because in the last few days I have been eating well more than my fair share of resources.

Cookie Packages Now In System of Tubes

The UPS Store down the street from my office has possession of my contest winning cookies. I hope all the rest of you losers have sent out return slips and are un-submitting your terrible, un-winning cookies.

Can your pans of flan hope to beat a cookie in the shape of a cobag with appropriate art in the frosting? No.

Can your balls of spicy chocolate hope to defeat my Nibbles: In Memoriam Memorial Cookie? No.

Can your loaves of prepared crisps possibly hope to defeat my awesome cobagitating confections? No.

My cookies frighten conservatives into submission, the AEI has added these pastries to their annual watch list! You can't win!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Other Cookie Pictures, Perhaps Less Amusing Than Before

Cookie Jesus gives you the thumbs up

and also wishes peace on earth to those cobagz who maybe don't deserve it.

Expect the packages, judges, for they fly on swift couriers. Ask not for whom The Genius bakes, he bakes for thee.

Cookie Contest 2007 Anticipated Ship Date is Today

I will be mailing out my amazing and contest-winning cookies later today. Expect more pictures. I had to make a second batch of cookies because some frigging gorging bastard broke into my apartment and ate all the previous cookies. Seriously. I should have mailed those cookies that moment the icing cooled because I couldn't help myself. The taste test sort of turned into a spot-on impersonation of Cookie Monster.

In other words:


The first batch was not up to my exacting standards anyway. The second batch is far superior to mortal man and has at least five asses. Oh shit, I just realized that I wish I had made a half-assed cookie. I did make some Cookie Jesuses (Jesi?) and they turned out well-ish. Pictures to come once I get this frigging USB stick to read.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Apparently This Isn't a Joke

I thought the National Park System was going to be renamed the National Unexploited Resources System. I wouldn't be surprised if Bush thought his dog was listening, Bush is the Holy Leader referenced in the Book of Pithea. I am almost saddened that no one took the opportunity to claim that Barney's job was to fertilize the White House Parkland.

ADDED: The White House does view this as a joke, however.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

You Know What Else I Meant To Do On Monday: Go to the Black Cat

I am operating in a bit of cash flow situation, but who isn't? I could not afford the ticket price for the Le Loup show on Monday night. I should get a second job, but I can't get out of my neighborhood before 7 pm with my current job and I am hoping to continue my classes at the USDA next semester. Maybe if I wasn't such a lazy bastard I wouldn't buy lunch everyday.

In any event, despite the DCist's disappointing description of the show, I still wish I had gone to see Margot and the Nuclear So and So's and Le Loup.

Meant to Post This on Monday

But I'm in a time vortex.

Anyway, Kathleen should check out the alt text or clouds or whatever you call it.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Proofreading and Editing Skills Put to Test by Gary Ruppert

I finished the night class I was taking at the USDA Graduate School last week. The class was titled "Proofreading" and was a fantastic education in grammar and general proofreading. I can not recommend it strongly enough to any person interested in this topic.

Gary Ruppert said,
December 11, 2007 at 3:34
The fact is, liberals would surrender to any gunman, especially if he was wearing a hijab or a trowel. You would expect tolerance and get killed. What you deserve, exactly.

Gary Ruppert has a few basic grammar problems in this comment that inhibit his attempt to communicate. Clear communication is the goal of proofreading. The rules of grammar allow us to create sentences that can be understand by anyone with an understanding of the language used. Gary Ruppert has chosen to disregard several of the rules and this has hampered our understanding of his statement.1

The first sentence needs a bit of work, even if I ignore the blatant, baseless assertion. The construction "The fact is" is entirely unnecessary if we strengthen the rest of the sentence. How does this one suit you, Gary: "Liberals are spineless pacifists who would surrender to any gunmen and would also quiver in abject fear if the assailant was wearing a hijab or trowel." I am not sure why an armed individual is more terrifying when wearing a garden tool but perhaps this is something with which Gary is particularly familiar. It is distinctly possible that Gary meant to type towel and as a good proofreader, I should query the author. What do you think, Gary? Are garden implements tools of terror and destruction?

"Liberals would expect tolerance from an armed maniac and be killed. As a liberal, you deserve exactly that end because of your tolerance and lifestyle." Here, I have taken Gary's sentences and performed a rather radical alteration that keeps the intent and communicated ideas largely intact. If this were a normal situation, I would make these changes and then flag them for special attention from the author to insure that I have understood the poorly constructed sentence and the fragmented sentence. Previously, the pronoun you was undefined and weakened the case being made by Mr. Ruppert.

Gary Ruppert said,
December 11, 2007 at 17:46
The fact is, you will be exposed for your perfity, and bias towards USA and troops and freedom. God does not like liberals, especially when they shelter illegals, abort and do not work hard.

Given the similarities between the two comments, I have no doubt that both comments were written by the same confused individual. As an editor, I would instruct Gary to rewrite his arguments and add supporting evidence to his claims about liberals. Assertions must be supported with facts and the construction "The fact is" does not have magical powers bestowing mighty amounts of truth onto the statement that follows. Based on the content of the post and the actions described therein, Gary's comment does not require the construction. Gary's comment does require some clarification in the use of to the indefinite pronoun you. Correcting spelling and abbreviation errors are other aspects of the proofreader's job. "You, Mister Leonard Pierce, will be exposed for your perfidy, bias towards the U.S.A., troops, and freedom." That is a better sentence than the original but we haven't quite met our goal of clarity. I have broken up the list into four separate items to help Gary with his declaration that there are in fact four transgressions that Mister Leonard Pierce will be committing should he make it to CPAC 20082. We still have the odd use of the word bias to consider. As it is currently written, the sentence indicates that Mister Leonard Pierce is biased towards the United States of America, some indefinite troops and freedom. Since Gary is accusing Mister Pierce of perfidy, "an act or instance of faithlessness or treachery" according to, we can assume that this bias mentioned is wrong in the eyes of the author. Once the audience is forced to make assumptions because of an author's poor ability to communicate your ideas, that author has gone horribly astray. In this comment, Gary Ruppert is perhaps saying that he approves of those who have a bias against the U.S.A., indefinite troops, and freedom. As a proofreader, I can not be certain and should query the author. However, Gary Ruppert has no website that we know of and thus I am left only to assume that he has something against the U.S.A., troops, and freedom. I have no idea about the identity of these "troops" but they could be Boy Scout Troops, some sort of armed forces, bands of teenagers roaming any of the faceless suburbs of America, or even troops of baboons wandering the wilds of Africa. I am must query the author again. Freedom is an odd concept in this context as well. The author has mentioned the United States of America and might mean any of the particular freedoms granted by the U.S. Constitution and limited by the Patriot Act or he might mean the more ambiguous concept of freedom as a basic right of all human beings. I am not certain and the meaning can not be determined from context.

"God does not like liberals, especially when they shelter illegals, abort and do not work hard." This sentence seems to be a non sequitor. It does not pertain to the subject matter of the post written by Mister Pierce nor does it convey any useful information to Mr. Ruppert previous sentence about perfidy, troops, and freedom. This sentence weakens the already weak argument in the first sentence and, as an editor, I would remove it entirely. However, in this case, I am proofreading and not editing. I would change the sentence to read: "God does not like liberals and especially dislikes them because liberals shelter illegals (Illegal whats? Illegal pets? Illegal firearms? Illegal herbalism projects?), abort (Again Gary, please clarify what is being aborted. A countdown? A computer operation?) and are lazy." As an editor, I would also demand citations.

This post is evidence of two things: I will never get a job at Regnery and I spent too much time on this BS.

1. Before I begin this laborious task I must say that I do not like commas and tend to alter sentences to avoid using them.
2. Normally I would give the full name of the group before using the abbreviation but I do not know what the full name is, nor was I able to find that name on the CPAC website. This is a fine example of shoddy proofreading on behalf of CPAC.

Fridge Note to AG

In case you hadn't noticed, AG, you are in Conclusion, The Land of Thus, So and Other Summarized Arguments which borders the Kingdom of Endnotes. Most people get there by way of Introductory Paragraph, or sometimes through the Tunnel of Academic Abstract, and pass along the Road of Structured Arguments. There are frequent stops for refreshment in the towns of Evidence and Citation, with the occasional detour in the scenic Valley of Footnotes. Unfortunately for me, and others with whom you converse, AG prefers to skip all that travel business and take a quick jump into Conclusion. The odd aspect of the Land of Conclusion is that the less time you take to travel there, the less substantial the experience of being in Conclusion. In fact, it is frequently said that taking a short trip to Conclusion often results in a significant phonemic change in the traveler's pronunciation of the name of the land in which one has so recently and rapidly arrived.

In a largely unrelated matter, it is time I cut back on my coffee intake. I have said this before and I will say it again but today, I will drink no more coffee than I have so far.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

From Hell's Heart, I Bake At Thee



Tonight, I bake-a da cookies. You like-a da cookies? I include a picture of some of the ingredients I used:

You will notice the slimy tentacles of my master creeping over and around the flour and sugar. I can not prevent the invasion of His Great and Grotesquely Alien Dimension from seeping into my kitchen. My mixing bowl summons forth the Shoggoth and Mi-Go like moths to the bright candle flame of my Master's terrible glory. MY soul is lost and yours soon will be.

Here you can see the shapeless mass, approaching horrific sentience:

I can barely contain it with three spoons. Thankfully, I have been granted a third tentacular appendage with which to stir my Master's newest assault on sanity. This caustic mixture consumed and annihilated my assistant's mixer. The motor could not long operate within a greater universe that includes a hexadecimal dimension of time and space and imploded, singeing my assistant greatly. It would not be the last wound suffered in the service of my Master.

I am not sure what this is, but it has no place in this contest:

Or does it?

Blue Girl, what is best in baking? I'll tell you: To roll your dough, see it spread before you, and hear the lamentations of the icing.

Some claim to be able to see Jesus in a corn chip or a tortilla, I see secret messages in the icing on my cookies:

What does it mean? The world may never know. My unknown and unknowable Master commanded that I prepare suitable vessels for His terrible confections:

Helob gives her/his/bird/spider's usual opinion: Needs More Crickets.

I predict the esteemed Judges of the Hallowed Holiday Bake-Off will react thusly:

Saturday Random N*: Apartment Cleaning Edition

I recently added some speakers to my WoW machine. I downloaded the newest version of WinAmp in the hopes that it will be more useful, interesting and secure than Windows Media Player.

N. Some Random '80s Mega Mix. It's acceptable but I think it was added to my collection while said collection was in the hands of one of my brothers.
N+1. Michael Jackson's Thriller. I think my computer is in the wrong sort of holiday spirit.
N+2. Concrete Blonde: Mexican Moon (Spanish). Oh yeah, it's definitely stuck on Halloween.
N+3. The Hives: Untutored Youth - Good to see that some things never change, my computer has been into these guys for a long time.
N+4. Jaga Jazzist: Lithuania - I have no idea where this came from.
N+5. New Order: Everyone Everywhere - Added by that same brother, I think.
N+6. Moby: Heaven - Jeez, this could have come from anywhere. Anyone know the statute of limitations on the RIAA's jackassery?
N+7. Led Zeppelin: Your Time is Gonna Come - It has been a while since I heard some Zeppelin. I need to immerse myself in Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Hendrix and other guitar heavy groups if I am going to get ready for this summer.
N+8. Superpope: The Death of Mother Brain - All of this guy's stuff is video game or Dragon Ball inspired. I wonder why I liked it in college...
N+9. Paul Oakenfold: Set Me Free - I haven't really updated any of the music on this computer since college.
N+10. Unknown (Maybe Reel Big Fish or Mustard Plug): Gin and Juice - I still like the music I liked in college but listening to a goofy cover song or some raving, e-addled tweaker's music isn't as interesting as listening to a well-crafted or authentically emotional song by band's like Camera Obscura, Le Loup or Georgie James.
N+11. The Hives: Main Offender - fulsome probably loves these guy's as much as my computer does.
N+12. Unknown: Were You Born An Asshole - O Jeebus, I just realized that this is probably Jeff Foxworthy or someone like that.
N+13. Paul Oakenfold: Someone Like You - More of the same. I guess that is really the problem with electronic music. It is really hard to sound interesting. Oakenfold and Van Dyk come pretty close, but I wonder when and where the Elvis of electronic music is hiding. Or the Beatles, if that is more your thing.
N+14. New Order: Chemical - How much stuff did that brother put on my computer?
N+15. DJ Mark Farina: Mushroom Jazz Vol. 3 - This is still good and still holds resonance and quality.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It Isn't Waterboarding But It Is Still Torture

I am listening to Kathleen's Holiday Music Station on Pandora in an attempt to inure myself for the inevitable trip to some local palace of commerce.

My coworkers love it. I have been asked to turn it up.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

December is Christianofascism Awareness Month

Unsurprisingly, the rightwing jackasses all over the internet are rather consistently wrong.

It is totally disrespectful and wrong to deface the image of our golden calves. This is totally different from when those Muslims get all angry about their religious idols.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cooking with Helob: Tie-Fighter Peanut Sauce and Pasta

The cool thing about this recipe is that it requires only two things beyond the cooking implements: peanut butter and pasta. The even cooler thing about this recipe is that I am inventing it as I cook and blog at the SAME TIME. I have never been to Thailand but I have eaten lots of satay and had a friend from Bangkok in grade school. Nonetheless, I feel fully qualified to make a scrumptious meal. Please note that although I do own a cookbook, for the purposes of this trick, I will not be consulting it.

Ingredient list (constantly updated as I work my magic):
chunky peanut butter (64 oz jug)
San Giorgio spaghetti 8 degree (on sale!)
filtered DC tap water (trust me, the unfiltered shit will kill you and rob your corpse)
extra virgin olive oil (because I had it in the cupboard, a recurring theme in all my culinary experiments)
1 tablespoon Patak's Hot Curry Paste (concentrate for sauces, tomato & cumin)(half of all I had left, figured I might need more in the next week or so until I get paid again)
2 tablespoons Bombay Brand Ginger Paste (made form fresh ginger)(both this and the curry paste have been in my fridge for over a year, doled out into curries and spaghettis)
a couple shakes of seasoned salt (for good luck)
a couple of vigorous shakes of Pride of Szeged Hungarian Paprika (for good health)
a dash of ground sage (because it smelled appropriate to my most recent sense memory of peanut sauce)
a dash of ground mace (see above)
the unending scorn of one large tarantula with performance anxiety

Cook spaghetti as usual. Throw some olive oil into a sauce pan. Throw a few globs of peanut butter in, basically until you think you have enough for your sauce needs. Heat on low because peanut butter will hold heat for a while. When the peanut butter and oil mix easily with a spoon, toss in a heaping tablespoon of the curry paste. Then open your jar of ginger paste and clean off the brown bits around the edge from the last time you used it. Then give it a quick lick to check whether it has gone bad. Seems ok? Toss in a heaping tablespoon. Spoon out another, decide to check it again, realize that it has a bit of bite. Taste it again, thanking that practical anthropology course you slept through in college, realize that the bite is usual and that ginger paste is some potent shit and put the tablespoon back in the jar. Seal the jar, back away slowly. Stir this mixture. Then go ahead and season the mix to whatever color you like in a peanut sauce. Let sit on "Low" heat to keep it from congealing. Periodically glance over at your tarantula and wonder why she/he/it/spider won't eat any of the yummy crickets you bought for it/she/he/spider the other day. I think he/it/she/spider is codependent and spends all night moaning away and sobbing, "why aren't my crickets good enough for him?"

Take periodic taste tests to astound your senses with its interesting and surprisingly edible flavor and consistency. Under no circumstances should you add raspberry jelly but if you never have that urge, then you have seasoned the sauce properly. If you think it is getting a little thick, toss in some more olive oil. There may be a better ingredient to use, but it wasn't in my fridge or cupboard, so fuck it.

When the pasta is finally done, throw some of your concoction over the pasta and eat heartily, while reminding yourself that even though this might be some odd shit and in no real way related to authentic peanut sauce, at least it isn't FUCKING RAMEN.

Cookie Contest 2007 Ingredient List

As promised, my ingredient list for my entry in the 2007 Cookie Contest:

5 pound bag of sugar
5 pound bag of flour
5 pound bag on unbleached flour
5 pound bag of whole wheat flour
2 pound bag of confectioner's sugar
2 pound bag of corn meal
2 cups sea salt
1 cup coconut shavings
1 cup human shavings
5 cups freshly rolled oats
2 dollops of essence of babpupten
2 boxes of raisins
1 box of cranberry raisins
1 ounce raison d'entre
1 ounce ethereal ectoplasm
1 1/2 pounds of 86% organic chocolate chunks
1 cup tears of the unrequited
3 teaspoons of the Dreamer's spittle
6 tons cooled magma
3 tons of volcanic ash from Pompeii
1 ton people ash from Pompeii
3 dashes of Spice Melange
3 drops of the anti-agathic Essence of Ageria
3 dried and ground mind worm larvae from Ceti Alpha Five
1 drop purified water of life
1 bulb of garlic
2 blue eyes of newt
1 bag of M&Ms
2 wheels brie cheese
2 wheels camembert cheese
2 wheelbarrels of headcheese
4 cans condensed milk
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
3 cans condensed goats milk
5 cans condensed weasel milk
1 smelt
old bay seasoning
celery salt

Mix ingredients in non-Euclidean bowl, gently folding in the chocolate chunks. Let this sit on the counter until the reality of your kitchen is redefined in a darker light than shines at night. Ignite oven with the burning soul essence of orphaned male child of a pious widow. Place magma in titanium/unobtanium alloy pan, use center rack in oven. Heat magma to 1250 degrees (centigrade), add ash. Dollop out the cookie mixture onto baking sheet. Should any dollops randomly fall onto the sheet in the form of runes, pictograms or the Elder Sign, DO NOT READ THEM ALOUD. If you choose to read them in your head, you risk only your mind. Should you dare to read them aloud without the proper preparations and precautions, I will not be held liable. Please sign the attached waiver of liablity and fax it to 1-888-NOM-RYLE.

In case you are wondering how a person could write a post like this after the previous two posts and their intense content, I can only say that were I to dwell solely upon those topics that affect me in a most serious and painful fashion, I would not remain sane for long. The struggle is a daily one and I hope that I do not trivialize the suffering mentioned last week.