Thursday, April 28, 2005

Laundromat blues

Man, I got screwed over by my local laundromat. I put in a load of whites, and when I came back, I discovered that the machine was broken and had not only failed to drain the water, but also didn't even rinse out the detergent, so my stuff was just sitting there in soapy water. And yet, it actually managed to make my clothes dirtier by smearing some sludge all over my poor whites.

And what made it even worse is that my fencing uniform was in there. Why did I take up a sport that requires a pristine white uniform? I should have taken up competitive table tennis. Black shirt, black pants. No fuss, no muss.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Today in evil

I cannot think of a more poorly-thought-out product than this one.

And also...

I went to high school and was on pretty good terms with this guy.

Microssoft Wrod is teh suck

I noticed yesterday that Microsoft Word has “calisthenics” misspelled in its default dictionary; it doubles the l and spells it “callisthenics”. So it not only lets the misspelling pass undetected, but actually flags the correct spelling wrong.

Proof once again that just hitting F7 isn’t good enough. Proofread your work thoroughly, or better yet, avail yourself of the services of a proper editor.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I would not be proud to be Pocatello

This came dead last in the North American Vexillogical Association's ranking of 150 American civic flags. It's so awful I almost wet my pants laughing at it the first time I saw it, just sitting there at the bottom of the list, looking so pleased with itself despite being the most piss-poor thing anybody ever saw. It looks like a bumper sticker. And incredibly, it's got a copyright notice and trademark on it. Who's going to swipe this misbegotten idea?

With this flag, I would not be proud to be Pocatello, Idaho. I would furl it up and hang my head in shame. I would turn in my city charter and quietly disincorporate.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Christmastime is finally over

My brain-damaged housemate Toula is finally taking down the Christmas tree. There's an odd symmetry here: Put it up to celebrate Christ's birthday, take it down on Hitler's birthday. This is not actually an unusual time of year for her to take it down. It's only thanks to the nagging of her sister, That Cunt Gina, that it ever comes down. At least it's an artificial tree this year, unlike the combustible brown piles of kindling she's left hanging around in the living room in the past.

Meanwhile, That Cunt Gina is playing the same goddamn irritating song over and over while they scream at each other. I'm going to have to kill them. As soon as they get that tree down, that is.

"I think you might agree that religion is one part inheritance and one part emotional problems."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A second Renaissance


Scientists at Oxford University have used infra-red imaging technology to unlock the secrets hidden in a vast garbage heap of illegible papyrus scrolls from the Greco-Roman period found in the Egyptian city of Oxyrhynchus a century ago. It's likely that hundreds of comedies, tragedies, and histories will be rediscovered, including works by such literary heavy-hitters as Sophocles, Euripides, and Hesiod. It's estimated that the number of great works from this period that are available to us will increase by 20%, and the total number of lesser works will double. Some scholars are predicting a second Renaissance.

That is simply staggering news.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Is this all that I came for?

I just found out another one of my favorite bands -- The Delgados -- just broke up. I got a chance to see them play live last fall, and they were terrific.

"I'll definitely come see these guys again," I thought.

"No you won't," thought the Delgados.

They broke up because the bassist quit. Who does that?! Okay, maybe the Beatles did, but it's not like this guy was Paul McCartney. Bassists are replaceable. Bassists are cheap and plentiful. You've may even have one sitting in some forgotten box under the sink right now.

First Beulah breaks up only months after I see them. Now the Delgados. I'm the kiss of death.

Oh yeah, and I stumbled upon a nude picture of Tony Danza online last night and I was so shaken that I was unable to sleep. Everything's going wrong for me.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Will complain for $

I saw the best busker in the subway tonight. Well, I'm not sure if he counts as a busker because he wasn't playing an instrument or singing or doing magic tricks or whatever. He was just complaining. But this panhandler was complaining at such a virtuoso level that I felt compelled to stop and give him some change -- great voice projection and some intriguing-sounding subject matter.

"Now a thousand chicks don't have a mother," he yelled. "I'm so pissed off!" Maybe he was talking about the poultry industry. I don't know. I'm sorry I didn't have time to stick around and find out. It sounded like a pretty solid bit of bitching worth paying a little something to hear.

Monday, April 11, 2005

"Gina" is short for "Vagina"

My housemate Toula's shrewish sister Gina came over yesterday looking for my other housemate, Shanel. "Is the other tenant here? The native girl? I wanted to ask her a question," she asked.

Shanel's been living with us for three years. Given that Gina just lives down the street and comes over constantly to nag Toula about anything and everything, you'd think the shrill harpy might have had the opportunity to learn her name by now. Shanel certainly knows Gina's name: It's "That Cunt Gina".

It's best that Shanel wasn't home, though, as I'm sure Gina's question would have been well-meaning but obliviously patronizing and offensive. Some possibilities of what she might have meant to ask:

  • "Do you get holidays off work when you need to worship your Great Spirit?"
  • "I wanted to go camping and get back to basics. Will you show me how to set up a tepee? Also, do you have any good recipes for pemmican?"
  • "I heard this saying -- 'Walk a mile in someone else's moccasins' -- and I just thought it was so wise. Which of your chiefs came up with that one? Was it Hiawatha or Tonto?"

Out-of-context dirty-sounding lyric of the day

"Suddenly rough hands gripped his package and he felt himself borne up."

The Velvet Underground -- "The Gift"

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The new, improved Sunday Night Sex Show

I've loved sex educator Sue Johansen for years. She may look like a sweet little grandmother, but she's completely at ease saying the words "vaginal farts". But it occurs to me that, top-quality infotainment that it is, The Sunday Night Sex Show would be infinitely more amusing if she were just your average sweet little grandmother who's uncomfortable talking about these things.

Imagine if, week after week, the show simply consisted of some little old lady stuck behind a desk for a long, torturous hour of being mortified by the callers' inquiries. Imagine the poor old dear stammering and blushing as she struggled to listen to graphic descriptions of STD symptoms and to field questions on filthy sexual perversions she'd never even dreamed existed.

"How can I get my girlfriend to use a strap-on on me?" a caller would ask.

"Oh my goodness!" she'd blurt, turning red. "I-- I ... oh, dear."

Sometimes she'd have to leaf through a medical book to look for an answer, and then she'd read it, flush, cover her mouth with her hands, and be too agog with horror to speak.

It'd be infinitely less informative, but way more entertaining.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Quoth the madman: "Beetle Bailey, you slay me!"

There's a crazy guy who takes the same bus as I do in the morning. He's got crazy hair, a crazy long goatee like he's some demented Flemish painter, and he's always carrying a crazy stack of about a dozen copies of the free transit newspaper. But what sets him apart as truly crazy is his sheer furiousness. He's got obvious anger management problems. I assume that one day I'll be forced to put this mad dog down, but until then, I just sit and watch.

I've heard him tell off drivers innumerable times. He's gone on free-associative rants so astonishingly sustained and wide-ranging that I've wanted him to get his own talk-radio show. He'll be sitting quietly, then suddenly jump up, tear off his jacket, and start furiously trying to wrench the windows open (even in the dead of winter) because he's had all the heat he can take and he can stand no more. And I've heard him publicly call for the death of Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion in a traffic accident because she's underfunding the bus-window budget and he can't get them open.

Today, he didn't do any of those things. He just sat there quietly, reading the comic page of his newspaper. And laughing out loud.

When was the last time you laughed out loud at a comic strip? They're inaccurately named, really; there's not a lot that's comic about them. I've long appreciated the form, but I'll be the first to admit that almost any strip on the comic page is pretty lame. Don't get me wrong; Hagar the Horrible, for example, isn't exactly horrible, but it's pretty mediocre. It fills the time, and that's about all you can or should expect. My usual reaction to reading a comic strip is somewhere between I have read a comic strip and Well, that wasn't a very good comic strip. At best, I might chuckle inwardly. And that's at the best of the best.

But this guy? Laughing out loud. And not just at one strip. I'm willing to concede that there's the rare strip that might tickle your funny bone just the right way and elicit an audible chuckle. But he was deriving repeated belly laughs from various strips. I suppose it's good that this guy isn't angry all the time, that he has the odd light moment. But still -- laughing out loud at the comic page? That's just not normal. That's perhaps the craziest thing I've seen him do yet.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Attention cashiers

Attention cashiers:

Stop handing me my change balanced on top of my receipt so that it slides around and is easier to drop. Who the hell taught you to do this? Put the change in my hand first, so that my hand can curl around it naturally, without having to crinkle any paper to do so. That's the stuff I want to keep. Then give me the receipt. That's the thing I want to discard. Not the other way around.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Happy birthday, Tom Darby!

Every year on April 5, I make a point of mentioning that it's Tom Darby's birthday. Inevitably, I'm asked who Tom Darby is, to which I respond that he's just some guy I went to school with.

I never get tired of doing this.

(Plus, it's very easy to then lead the conversation around to how I always remember his birthday because it's three days before my own.)

Saturday, April 02, 2005

As a fencer, I make a good date rapist

I had a good evening of fencing tonight, managing to beat the coach in a match by a score of 5 to 2. That doesn't mean I consider myself a master swashbuckler, though; I've got pretty decent strength, endurance, and quickness, but these assets are also weaknesses to be exploited.

I was explaining this to an ex-girlfriend. "My problem," I said, "is that I'm fairly unsubtle and I come on too strong."

"Yeah, that sounds like you all right," she agreed.

Listed on BlogShares