Sunday, December 31, 2006

A little late for Christmas...

...but this cracked me up.

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Mayfly Project 2006

Found this via Curmudgeonly Yours:

"At the end of every year since 2000, [the Mayfly Project invites] readers to look back on the last twelve months of their lives and reflect on what has been important, defining or constant during that particular year, and then sum their year up in just 24 words."

Here's mine:

Muscles got stronger
Waistline got smaller
Exchange rate got worse
Procrastination got costly
Single fatherhood got tried
Blog got written
Standup got laughs
Yeah

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Snip-snip

I checked one of my Hotmail accounts, and when I signed out, the MSN homepage came up. After I followed a couple of links, I found the "weirdest science stories of the year" on MSNBC. The page has links to items on LiveScience.com, with descriptive paragraphs and illustrating photos. The stories are odd enough, I suppose, but what I found most interesting was a couple of the photos used to illustrate them.

First, for the story "Whales found to speak in dialects," which is about blue whales in different parts of the world making different sounds, they used this picture:

Dolphins aren't blue whales

I guess knowing that dolphins photographed through a blue filter aren't the same thing as blue whales isn't one of the qualifications for being a science editor at MSNBC.

But my favorite photo is the one they used to illustrate "Penis transplant removed." Of course, a mainstream American website won't show a photo of an actual penis, so I guess they thought something "medical" would be most appropriate. This was their choice:

Snip-snip

Kind of gets you right there, doesn't it?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Fun with shoelaces

When my shoes start to get old, I don't buy new ones right away, I just relace them.

Although the difference can be subtle:

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Before

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After

It is noticeable.

There are lots of different ways to lace up shoes. My boots, for example, went from this:

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to this:

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Since I was relacing, my daughter asked for a cleaner look for her RBK's:

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While my son wanted something funkier for his skate shoes:

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For my dress shoes (which I don't normally wear with jeans and black socks, thank you), I went for a look that's clean, even a little bit elegant:

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You can find instructions for these shoelaces and many more at Ian's Shoelace Site, which I found through the Uni Watch blog.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The second best sports column in the land...

...is Bill Simmons's ESPN.com column. (When he's this good, he's the best, but he's not always that good. That's why I rate Easterbrook a little -- only a little -- higher.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New look

What do you think? Some people complained the old look was hard to read. Is this better?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

North Korean news item of the week

From Korean Central News Agency:
December.16.2006 Juche 95

Presentation of Science and Technology of Mushroom Growing Held

Pyongyang, December 15 (KCNA) -- A national presentation of science and technology of mushroom growing was held in Pyongyang Thursday under the sponsorship of the Central Committee of the Korean General Federation of Science and Technology. It brought together scientists, technicians, teachers and cultivators who distinguished themselves in research and cultivation of mushroom. The attendants heard dozens of papers dealing with the achievements and experience gained in the tireless researches into the cultivation of more delicious mushroom of high nutritious value.

Also presented there were papers dealing with the ways of putting the mushroom growing on a scientific, intensive and popular basis including the measure for preventing damage by physiological diseases, specific features of insects harmful to the mushroom growing and ways of destroying them and experience gained by individual families in mushroom growing.

Prizes were awarded to those who proved successful at the presentation.
[Who said North Koreans don't know how to have fun?]

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My most embarrassing Christmas moment...

...happened a few hours ago while I was driving to the gym. There was nothing good on the radio, so I ended up on one of the all-Christmas-music-all-the-time-stations. The second song that came on was "O Holy Night." Now, this song is one that, for reasons I've never really analyzed, I find deeply moving. When performed right, it often brings tears to my eyes. By "performed right," I mean it has to be sung big—"Faaaaaaaaall on your kneees" and "No-eeeeeeeeel"—but simply, without really changing the traditional arrangement. The performer mustn't try to gild the lily. Just sing it.

(I heard the most awful arrangement ever at church once. Apparently the piano player thought the song wasn't "poignant" enough, so she used an arrangement that featured, among other atrocities, three single, slowly-spaced high notes at the end of each verse. "Tink. Tink. Tink." I wanted to take an ax to her piano.) It shouldn't really be that hard to get the song right, but even Pavarotti (teh best singer evar!!!111) couldn't do it. His accent is too distracting: "O holy-a night-a, the stars-a were-a brightly-a shining-a." Blech.

Anyway, I was on my way to the gym, and "O Holy Night" came on. A female singer, and she really nailed it. Once again, the song brought tears to my eyes. So I thought, "Wow, that was really good. I wonder who that was." Well, the DJ came on, and he said who: Celine Dion. That's right. I was moved to tears by a Celine Dion song. Fortunately, I was alone in the car, so no one knows my shame.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another reason to love Japan

Japan has a professional basketball league. It's name is the Basketball Japan League. Its official nickname/abbreviation? The bj-league. You can watch their games on the internet on BJTV.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Arthur's hidden agenda

My kids sometimes watched the PBS children's show "Arthur," but I'd never really paid any attention to it. Until today. Today I watched an episode, and I have to say, I was appalled by what I saw.

"Arthur" is about a bunch of animals who go around wearing clothes and acting like people. Although I'm not fond of such shameless anthropomorphizing, that's not what I find disturbing about the show. The real problem is how these animals act. First of all, Arthur, the main character, is an aardvark. Aardvarks are African animals. Take a look at this picture:



Does that look like an African to you? Me neither. It looks like an American. And not an African American either, if you get my drift. That's more than a little odd, don't you think?

Now take a look at this character:

That's Arthur's friend Binky. He's not a hippopotamus, as I thought for years, so it's OK that he doesn't look African. But Binky is a dog. What's wrong with that, you ask? This is what's wrong with it:

That's Arthur's pet dog Pal. Get it? Arthur has a friend who's a dog and a pet who's a dog. But if dogs can walk upright and talk and go to school, how can they be pets? They can't be. What they can be is slaves. Pal is Arthur's slave. This PBS children's show promotes slavery, plain and simple.

And another thing, all these different species go to school together and work together and so on, but have you ever noticed that there are no hybrids in Arthur's world? That's right. The animals in Arthur's world may pretend to get along -- when they aren't enslaving one another -- but at the end of the day they stick to their own kind. Aardvarks marry aardvarks; bunnies marry bunnies; dogs marry dogs; no mixing allowed.

So there you have it. The hidden agenda of this purportedly "wholesome" PBS children's show is revealed: it promotes racism, slavery, and segregation. Disgraceful. My children will never watch "Arthur" again.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Speaking of circumcision...

What happened to the circumciser who went blind?

He got the sack.

Monday, December 11, 2006

San Diego Super (Bowl?) Chargers

When can you trust a football team? I mean, really trust them? When is it safe to believe in them? When can you hope they won't hurt you again?

This is the 37th season I've followed the San Diego Chargers; I've been following them since I was 8 years old. And when I say 37th season, I mean it. I've been their fan every one of those seasons. I've been a fan throughout their 249-312-5 regular season record and 6-8 playoff record. I was a fan when they went 12-4 in 1979 and 2004 and a fan when they went 2-11-1 in 1973 and 1-15 in 2000.

This year will be only the ninth time in those 37 years that they've made the playoffs. But it's not like they've made the playoffs at a steady once-every-three-or-four-years pace, though. Uh-uh. They made the playoffs zero times from 1970, my first season of fandom, through 1978 -- nine straight years. Only in 1978 did they win more games than they lost. Then they made the playoffs four years in a row, 1979–1982. Those were the "Air Coryell" years. That's when they really hurt me. They would raise my expectations so high, only to flame out in the playoffs. They never even made the Super Bowl. I can remember how each of those years ended.

1979: That was their first great season. They went 12-4. They beat good teams (including both of the teams that ended up in the Super Bowl, in fact). They were flying high when the season ended -- they definitely looked like the best team in the league. First round of the playoffs, they faced the Houston Oilers. Houston's best players were injured and couldn't play. It was supposed to be a walkover. I guess somebody forgot to tell the Oilers that, because they won, 17-14. Air Coryell could only come up with 14 points. I heard later that the Oilers stole their offensive signals, so they knew what every play was going to be. I don't know if that's true. I only know the Chargers lost.

1980: Although their record was slightly worse at 11-5, they were even better on offense. Dan Fouts threw for 4,700 yards. John Jefferson, Charlie Joiner, and Kellen Winslow each had over 1,000 yards in receptions. There was only one problem: the Oakland Effing Raiders. The Chargers and Raiders played three times that year. San Diego won the first game. They were outplayed for most of the game, but they managed to pull out the win in overtime. Fouts threw a pass to Jefferson, who leapt and caught the ball and fell to the ground at about the 4 yard line and then rolled in for the touchdown while the Oakland DB stared in confusion. In your face, Raiders! The second regular-season game, Oakland won. The third game was the AFC Championship -- winner goes to the Super Bowl. Oakland won again, without much trouble. The problem wasn't that Oakland was better, exactly, but that they just matched up well with the Chargers defense. The Chargers couldn't stop Cliff Branch and those guys.

1981: So, the Chargers were better than most everybody in 1980 (again beating both Super Bowl teams during the regular season), but they had this match-up problem with the Raiders. For 1981, they would make some incremental defensive changes, a little adjustment here and there, right? Wrong. We're talking about the San Diego Chargers. They panicked. They brought in a new defensive coordinator and completely reworked their defense. The result? A disaster. Now they not only couldn't stop the Raiders, they couldn't stop anybody. They still went 10-6, because their offense was absolutely insane. Fouts threw for 4,800 yards. Joiner and Winslow and Wes Chandler, who replaced Jefferson, had 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Chuck Muncie came into his own, running for 1,100 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns. Plus, James Brooks ran for 500 yards and had 1,200 return yards. That was the peak of Air Coryell.

But their defense was terrible. No lead was safe. As the season wore on, the prevailing mood among Charger fans during each game was anxiety. It was one of the strangest things I've ever seen in sports. The fans at home games couldn't really bring themselves to cheer wholeheartedly because they knew that no matter what the Chargers offense did, the other team was going to come back and score. Instead of getting excited over Charger touchdowns, we got nervous.

So anyway, 10-6 and they win the division and go to the playoffs where they faced Miami. This was one of the greatest games in the history of the NFL (so good it has its own Wikipedia entry, in fact). The Chargers jump out to a 24-0 lead in the first quarter, but no Charger fan thinks the lead is safe. And we're right. Miami has cut it to 24-10 with like six seconds left in the half. They have the ball around midfield. They pass to one of their guys at around the 20, and he immediately laterals the ball to another guy who races right past the Chargers for a touchdown, 24-17. It was designed play, something I'd never seen outside a high school game.

Second half, and Miami scores first to tie the game, 24-24. But Fouts brings the Chargers back and we take the lead, 31-24. Our defense still sucks, though, and Miami scores to tie the game, 31-31. Then they score again to take the lead 38-31. But here come the Chargers. We score with about a minute left. Tie game, 38-38. A minute's too long for our defense, though. We let Miami get into position to kick a game-winning field goal. They line up, the snap's fine, the hold's fine, and it looks like the Chargers have let us down again. But wait! Winslow comes flying into the line, leaps, and blocks the kick! The Chargers are still alive! The game's going into overtime!

Sudden-death overtime, and the Chargers get the ball first -- our only hope, because we know we aren't going to stop anybody. We take the ball right down the field to set up a short field goal. The Charger's kicker, Rolf Benirschke, is very reliable (and an all-around nice guy). But the snap is bad, the hold is bobbled, and it throws off his timing. He misses the kick. Shit. Now it's up to the defense. Yeah, right. Of course, Miami takes the ball right down the field to set up its own field goal try. But their guy kicks it low, and the Chargers 6'9" defensive end, Leroy Jones, blocks it. Chargers ball. Once more, we take the ball down into position for a short field goal. This time, it's all perfect. The Chargers win 41-38.

I watched all this on TV. You might think I was elated after this. My team just won one of the greatest games ever. And I was, sort of, but mainly I was tired. It was just too much. Too much happiness. Too much anxiety. Too much excitement. Too many mood swings. There's an iconic photo of Winslow being helped from the field -- exhausted, dehydrated, cramping -- after the game:
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That's how we fans felt too.

I probably would've actually gone to the game, if my Grandmother had died about a year sooner than she did. I suppose I should explain that. See, there was this travel agency in San Diego that put together a package for a weekend in Miami and ticket to the game, about $500 per person. And there was this girl I wanted to take. I was just about to turn 20, and she'd been two years ahead of me in high school (but about three years older, because I skipped a grade), so I guess she was around 22. Her name was Sindy. (Yes, Sin-dy with an S. Just about the only one I've heard of outside the porn industry.) Anyway, I didn't know her in school or anything -- she was way out of my social class at the time -- but she'd gotten a job as a checker at the grocery store my family always went to (Alpha Beta – are they still in business?) and she was pretty friendly. She remembered my sister, and she noticed me I guess. I'd changed a lot since high school. In fact, I was damn good-looking, if I do say so myself, although my self-confidence wasn't proportional.

So anyway, she was a nice friendly girl, and really cute. She had black hair and dark eyes, and this really sweet smile, and she looked like she was maybe half-Asian and half-white or something. I'm looking at her yearbook pictures now -- she really was awfully cute, and she just got better looking in those three or four years after high school. I remember this one time all the checkers were wearing their own clothes instead of the usual slacks-and-polo-shirt uniform for some reason -- I don't remember why -- and she wore this mad sexy outfit. Remember J-Lo's green dress?
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Sindy wore something that looked a lot like that, except it was black and it had like pants instead of a dress. I guess it was pretty inappropriate for a grocery store, but day-um! she looked good. But still wholesome, not slutty at all, even in that wild outfit. She looked very healthy-sexy, if you know what I mean. I was profoundly glad to have gone shopping that day.

Anyway, I used to always stand in her line at the grocery store, even if there were much shorter ones, so I could talk to her for a couple of minutes. I always wanted to ask her out, but I could never quite work up the nerve. She was a big Chargers fan, though, and if I could have come up with $1,000 I would have so asked her to come to Miami with me. I bet she would have come too. To a Chargers playoff game in Miami? All expenses paid? Yeah. I bet she would have. And if a trip to Miami wasn't enough, there isn't a fangirl in the world whose excitement wouldn't have carried over to the rest of the night after her team won a game like that. Oh my, it would have been so sweet to be 19 years old and take a girl like that to a game like that in a city like Miami. But I didn't have $1,000. Sigh. Money changes everything. And my Grandma died not long after that and left me $20,000. Nice timing, Grandma.

Well, the AFC Championship was sort of an anti-climax after that (kind of like the rest of this post, probably.) The Chargers were still worn out, and playing the game in -9° (-22°C) temperatures with a wind chill of -59° (-50°C) didn't help. They got beat by Cincinnati.

1982: There was a strike and the defense still sucked and the offense wasn't quite as good, but they managed to make it to the playoffs. They won their first game, but then they got blown out by Miami, which was totally out for revenge (and got it).

After that, the Chargers didn't make the playoffs for nine straight seasons, 1983–1991. Then they had a few good years, making the playoffs three out of four years, in 1992, 1994, and 1995. Nobody thought they were a great team though, not the kind that could win a Super Bowl. But they did make it to their only Super Bowl after the 1994 season. Naturally, they got blown out, losing to the 49ers by 23 points.

Following that, they sucked again. No playoffs from 1996–2003, eight years of futility. In 2004, boom! All of a sudden they were very good. Very, very good. They went 12-4, with a good offense and a good defense. They looked like they could go deep into the playoffs, maybe make it to the Super Bowl, and with a little luck…. But did they go far? No. They lost their first playoff game. To the New York Jets, a team that nobody considered as good as them. They just lost. Last year, they were supposed to be one of the most talented teams in the league. They also had a really tough schedule with a lot of East Coast road trips against good teams. They ended up not even making the playoffs. I heard people call them "the best team not in the playoffs" so many times it made me sick.

And this year? They're 10-2 with three games left. They've already clinched the division title. And, right now, they're the best team in the league. By far. There's no one close to them on offense. They've scored like 70 points more than the next-highest-scoring team. Their defense is very solid, with several playmakers in their front seven. They threw away one game with overly-conservative coaching and another with lax player attitude -- they aren't likely to make those mistakes again. They can hold leads and they can come from behind. This could be their year. But I'm afraid to believe in them. They've hurt me so many times. But if this is really the year they do it -- if they're going to win it all -- I'll be missing out by not fully committing to believing in them…

Saturday, December 09, 2006

North Korean News Item of the Week

Pyongyang, December 6 (KCNA) -- Acrobatic show is going on amid the accolade of the audience at the Pyongyang Circus. [Still working on the bread thing, though.] The audience gives a rapturous ovation to the aerial stunts.
Acrobats skillfully turn treble and quadruple somersault to the delight of the audience.
In an interview with KCNA, Pak Su Ok, deputy director in charge of the art of the circus, said: We can say that the aerial stunts of Korea dominate the world. [Ingenious. Even the Brain never conceived of using aerial stunts to achieve world domination.]
It was at the 8th World Acrobatic Championship held in the UK in November Juche 72 (1983) that the aerial stunts of Korea made their debut on the international acrobatic stage. [A day -- er, month -- that will forever be remembered by acrobats everywhere.]
...
At the festivals, the Korean acrobats showed such high standard of technical movements as taking after quadruple backward somersault, taking after treble sideward somersault and long-distance flight. [Unfortunately, they lost points in the competition because no one knew what "taking after" a stunt meant.]
The Pyongyang Circus created "Iron Bar Aerial Flight" [iron bars being something with which many North Koreans are well acquainted], "Three-stage Trapeze Flight", "Multilateral Flying," "Somersault Flight," "Double Swing Flight" and others. They won top prizes in various international acrobatic festivals including the Wuqiao International Acrobatics and Arts Festival, Monte Carlo International Acrobatic Festival and Wuhan International Acrobatic Festival. The work "Flying Girls" [not to be confused with "Fly Girls"] has been a great hit in the international aerial acrobatics in recent years.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What they meant to say was...

"Try our amazing four-layer facial." "Layer." "Four-layer facial," not "four-man facial."

I guess I won't be applying for a job there after all.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Amazing four-man facial

So, this evening I was minding my own business, watching the local evening news -- or is watching the news actually minding other people's business? -- anyway, I was watching the news, when a commercial for a local spa -- imaginatively named "Health Spa" -- came on. The commercial started describing some of the services offered by this spa. They have a hair salon and an oxygen bar, and do massage, waxing, body wraps, etc. But what really got my attention was when the commercial said, "Try our amazing four-man facial." That didn't make me want to visit the spa, but I am thinking of applying for a part-time job there.

Monday, December 04, 2006

"Which NASCAR drivers are circumcised?"

One of the fun things about hit counters such as StatCounter is that they can tell you not only how many people visit your blog and approximately where they're from, they can tell you what search terms people use to find your blog.

This blog (TTANSOACW for short), for example, gets a lot of hits from people apparently looking for information on the Japanese word tsujigiri, "to try a new sword on a chance wayfarer," from which the blog gets its name.

Pop culture references also draw some traffic. TTANSOACW 's gotten quite a few hits from people googling Sarah Silverman's "I love you more than bears love honey" lyrics.

People have also come here looking for blogs that I link to. When the Danite's blog was off-line during his transition from Indianapolis to Idaho Falls, TTANSOACW got many hits from people looking for "Danite's blog." It's also gotten some from people looking for Mist's former blog.

Any sexual reference will also draw some hits. My recounting of my experience at jury duty, for example, drew an unexpected number of visits from people who googled "stupendous rack." (What sort of person, I wonder, googles "stupendous rack" rather than, say, "huge tits"?)

But my favorite google hits are from people who search for phrases but who, because they don't know how to use search engines effectively, instead get collections of words used in several different posts. And a couple of days ago, TTANSOACW got the king of all google hits. I'm not making this up -- indeed, I could not make this up -- but I got a hit from someone looking for... wait for it...

"Which NASCAR drivers are circumcised?"

I have to say, the idea that not only does someone want to know which NASCAR drivers are circumcised, but that they would come to my blog looking to find out just warms my heart. I <3 teh interwebs.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Coming soon to a theater near you: RoboJesus!

OK, so rumor has it that Paul Verhoeven, director of classics such as Showgirls, Basic Instinct, Starship Troopers, Total Recall, and, of course, RoboCop, wants to make a movie about Jesus.

Thanks to my Hollywood insider connections, I was able to obtain a copy of a draft movie poster for this exciting new project.

Coming soon to a theater near you, it's...

RoboJesus!

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I can hardly wait.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?

Since Brahnamin posted a chicken-crossing joke, I thought I would post my own favorite.

(It's dirty, BTW, so stop reading now if you're a prude. ;) OK, you've been warned.)

Why did the chicken cross the basketball court?

Because he heard the referee was blowing fouls.

(Say the punch line out loud if you don't get it. If you still don't get it, um, I don't know, go look at this or something instead.)


Sunday, November 26, 2006

By popular demand

OK, so no one's actually been demanding it. In fact, everyone's probably forgotten that 1) I did standup comedy back in June and 2) I said I'd put up a video of it. But here it is anyway, just some highlights. (The whole set was about twice as long.) This was my first time, so be gentle with me.

Oh, and I talk about condoms and stuff, so it's probably not suitable for small children. Or prudes. ;) If you want strictly the G-rated stuff, click here and here. (Or if you want strictly the dirty part -- and you know who you are -- here it is.)

Oh, and as they say in television, "the camera adds 50 pounds." (Don't they say that?) I'm not as fat as I look in this video. Honest.

Monday, November 20, 2006

William Shatner is my friend

Yes, that William Shatner. So is Lou Reed. So are Mogwai, New Order, and UB40. Heh. I think MySpace is turning me into a fanboy, because I find myself absurdly pleased when famous people "add" me, even though I know it's really only people who work for a record company or publicist who actually do the adding, and I'm only one of thousands of their "friends."

I've also found that when -- as MySpace ettiquette demands -- you thank famous musicians (bands) for adding you, obscure bands will click on your comment and ask you to add them too. I always do, and I always listen to a little of their music. Unfortunately, it's almost always "meh" at best. Except the Sessions. I think they're brilliant. If you like music in the New Order/Cure/Killers vein, check them out.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Maze Game

Usually I'm not that big on passing around trendy internet junk, but this game is really challenging.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

North Korean news item of the week

From Korean Central News Agency:

Title of "Prize of Honor for Twice Model Machine No. 26" Instituted

Pyongyang, October 28 (KCNA) -- A decree of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK on instituting the title of the "Prize of Honor for Twice Model Machine No. 26" was promulgated on Oct. 25. The decree said that the SPA Presidium of the DPRK institutes the title of "Prize of Honor for Twice Model Machine No. 26" for the purpose of awarding state commendations to those units which have contributed to accelerating the building of a great prosperous powerful socialist nation by updating machines and equipment and keeping production going on a high rate as required by the IT age, out of the units which won the "Prize of Honor for Model Machine No. 26" through the dynamic "Model Machine Movement for Emulating Lathe No. 26" and decides to approve the rules on conferring the above-said title.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

YouTube favorites

Time for more YouTube favorites. (Videos with "adult" language or themes are marked with an asterisk.*)

Many people wonder what the secret of the Japanese education system is, so here's the answer: laugh in school, and you get whacked on the ass with a stick.

I feel so extraordinary, something's got a hold on me. It's a favorite video of a favorite song by a favorite band from a favorite decade.

November's Dead Comedian of the Month is Mitch Hedberg.

Speaking of that favorite decade, I neither confirm nor deny ever wearing parachute pants in the 80s. But if I did, you couldn't have touched it.

Remember the Diet Coke and Mentos video? Here are some further experiments.

It's 12:00, and Sheriff Will Kane must face a gang of android killers in High Tech Noon.

Of course, if Kane had mastered the ancient
martial art of Brit Fu,* he wouldn't even need a blaster.

Although I suppose a Beer Cannon would be just as effective.

Two-year-old Otaro's job is to hand flowers to little girls when they finish playing the piano. But things don't always go according to plan.

This may not be the funniest thing I've ever seen, but it's pretty close. Dave Chappelle is Rick James, bitch.*

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

My new investment

It's an Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force. I think it will be big. Especially if we give away a complimentary mop and bucket with each purchase.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I'm in the doghouse

I'm on the doghouse, actually -- or my words are. Someone named Viviane e-mailed me from this architectural firm in Austin, Texas. She said they're making a doghouse for a charity event, and they wanted to use the text from this blog entry. They were kind of late asking me about it -- it was like the day before the contest or something -- and I kind of got the feeling they might have gone ahead anyway. Usually that kind of stuff annoys me and I might say "No" just out of crankiness, but they did ask me, and it was for charity, and it turns out that Viviane is quite hot, so what the heck. I said, "Yes." (I'll leave it to the reader to guess which of those three factors was the most decisive.)

Anyway, you can see the results here. It's a most unusual doghouse, for which they apparently won the prize for "most original." I guess I'm now a published author, even if it was published on the side of a combination doghouse-sofa.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

North Korean News Item of the Week [Now with Commentary!]

From Korea News Service:

Important Days of DPRK Observed
Pyongyang, October 25 (KCNA) -- Meetings were held by the Polish Communist Party [too easy], the Genuine Lumumbist Patriotic Party [Down with the unpatriotic fake Lumumbist running-dog lackeys!] of Democratic Congo and the Communist Party of Malta, lectures were sponsored by the Congolese Socialist Party and the Socialist Party of Peru and round-table talks were organized by the Misr Arab Socialist Party [I don't know what "Misr" means in Arabic, but in English it's a good way to address cross-dressers if you're not sure whether they prefer "Ms." or Mr."] of Egypt from October 6 to 11 on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea and the 80th anniversary of the formation of the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU).

On display in the venues of the functions were photos showing the exploits performed by the peerlessly great persons [I feel sorry for the ordinarily great persons -- nobody ever wants to look at photos of their exploits. "Please, won't somebody look at these photos of my exploits?" "Your exploits?! Bah! You have peers."] in the party building and their Songun leadership. [They call it "Songun" leadership because everyone says "Son (of a) gun! What leadership!]

Speeches were made there. [They were short.]

Martin Adam [Funny, he doesn't sound Polish.], chairman of the National Executive Committee of the Polish Communist Party [OK, just one. How many Polish Communists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A thousand and one: 1 to screw in the lightbulb, and 1,000 to build a time machine so they can go on living in the past.], said President Kim Il Sung formed the DIU and provided the historic roots for the party building, adding that this marked a historic event as it meant the beginning of the building of a revolutionary party of the working class.

He highly praised Kim Jong Il for developing the Songun idea [Son of a gun! What an idea!] which originated from the DIU as the most scientific and revolutionary guiding idea as required by the developing reality and leading the cause of independence against imperialism to victory while meeting all the challenges of the imperialists with his tireless Songun leadership. [Son of a gun! His fellow delegates praised Mr. Adam for managing to use the word "Songun" twice in one sentence, but took off points because it was a run-on sentence.]

At the end of the functions the participants watched "The Country Taking on More Beautiful Looks under the Leadership of the Great General," "Military Parade and Mammoth Demonstration for Celebrating the 55th Anniversary of the Glorious Workers' Party of Korea" and other Korean films. [Following which, the participants woke up and returned to their hotels.]

Friday, October 27, 2006

Apartment Story

Once there was an apartment building, full of happy people. They grew to be almost like a family. They laughed and cried together, fought and made up, watched each other grow and change. But the apartment grew run down, turned into a slum, partly because of the tenants and partly because of the absentee Slumlord. The tenants weren't happy. The Slumlord grew embarrassed because her building wasn't like the other buildings in the neighborhood. It had a bad reputation in some circles.

Never Wrong drove by and said, "Look at this awful building. The people who live there are horrible." In fact, Never Wrong drove by repeatedly to say this to the tenants. The tenants said, "If you think it's so bad, why don't you move in and help fix it up?" She said "No way. You people are just too horrible." She took her complaints to the Slumlord.

Meanwhile, a Laudable Person in Her Own Mind moved in. She said, "Look at this place. The tenants throw trash everywhere." Then she scattered her own trash all over the building while loudly complaining about other people's trash.

The tenants held a meeting. "We've got to do something about this place," they said. They came up with some ideas on how to do it. The Slumlord showed up at the meeting. "Those are good ideas," she said. "I'm going to manage this building personally now."

The tenants were angry. Several of them said, "You Slumlord. You have no business running this building. It's your fault it got into this condition in the first place."

The Slumlord said, "How dare you call me a slumlord!" and evicted several of the most prominent tenants. All the supers quit. Several long-time tenants moved out.

The tenants who left already had another place to live. It wasn't as fancy a building as the one they left, it was quieter and in a less fashionable neighborhood, but they were all there, running it themselves without a landlord.

Even so, many of the former tenants were angry. They picketed the old building. Some of them threw eggs at the building. Some of them used false names and pretended they wanted to move in; then they threw more eggs. The Slumlord was in over her head. She had no clue how to actually run an apartment building. Never Wrong volunteered to be the new super. Slumlord and Never Wrong said they would make the building better by evicting anyone who littered. When old tenants pointed out that nothing happened when new tenants littered, Slumlord and Never Wrong said they would evict anyone who complained about the way they ran the building. Laudable Person contributed by throwing trash at former tenants whenever she saw one.

Most of the former tenants were content in their new building. But some of them kept going back. Two of them moved in for awhile under false names to see how they'd be treated and then moved back out. Several kept showing up at tenant meetings. Another moved in under a false name and settled down. Another went back and gave Never Wrong a manual on how to run an apartment building.

Another former tenant -- one of the first three evicted for insulting the Slumlord, in fact -- was confused by this. He liked to look at the old building -- he thought he'd seldom seen people sillier than the Slumlord, Never Wrong, and Laudable Person or a more amusing sight than the three of them trying to run an apartment building -- but he never went to their meetings. He thought the best revenge was making his current building a nice place to live and allowing the old one to decay on its own. "Why go back?" he asked his friends. "Sure, we have good memories there, but it's just a building," he said. "A community is made of people, and the people are here in this new building. Why go back and associate with the likes of Slumlord, Never Wrong, and Laudable Person? It makes no sense to me." He wondered how the story would end.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

North Korean news item of the week

Every week, I'll be keeping my readers (all three of you) up to date on important developments in the North Korean situation.

From Korea News Service:

Anniversaries of Works of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il Observed

Pyongyang, October 17 (KCNA) -- A seminar in the field of fine art took place here on Oct. 16 to mark the 40th anniversary of famous work of President Kim Il Sung "Let Us Develop Revolutionary Fine Art National in Form and Socialist in Content" and the 15th anniversary of famous work of Kim Jong Il "Theory on Fine Art." The speakers said that the famous work of the President scientifically clarified the characteristics of Juche-oriented fine art, its mission, content and style and specific ways of developing it, thereby providing important guidelines for developing the fine art of the DPRK into a revolutionary and popular fine art serving the Party and the revolution and contributing to the accomplishment of the people's cause of independence.

Kim Jong Il has glorified the President's idea and theory of Juche-oriented fine art, they noted, adding that he in his work explained the importance of portraying the leader in creating fine art in the era of independence for the first time in history and indicated the true way for the Juche-oriented fine art to creditably fulfill its revolutionary mission.

Thanks to the idea of developing fine art with main emphasis on Korean paintings the fine art of the DPRK has developed to be a genuine popular fine art which is distinctive in its national character and reflects the feelings and aesthetic taste of the people, they stressed.

They called for upholding the immortal feats performed by the peerlessly great men in the field of fine art and creating more fine art pieces representing the era of Songun

Friday, October 20, 2006

Voluntary Muscle Gals

The Zuiikin Gals show you how to use your voluntary muscles to remember troublesome English phrases:



Crime is a big problem in English-speaking countries, but your shoulder muscles will help you remember what to say:



But you mustn't get bewildered:



Because the Zuiikin Boys join in to teach some useful Japanese:


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

How I became a Mormon (in verse, with apologies to Bob Dylan)

God said to kurinbo, "Join my church, son."

Kuri said, "Man, you must be putting me on."

God say, "No." Kuri say, "What?"

God say, "You can do what you want kuri, but

The next time you see me comin', you better run."

Well Kuri says, "Where do you want this joinin' done?"

God says, "Over in LDS Ward Number One."

Monday, October 09, 2006

Teh cool

I got the updated version of iTunes 7(.0.1.8) a couple weeks ago, and although I'm not usually into giving out free advertising, I actually think this feature is pretty cool:

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You can see the cover art for what you're listening to.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Caution: These peanuts contain peanuts (please don't sue us)

My daughter bought a package of butter toffee peanuts:

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On the back of the package is a warning:

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This warning is necessary, because otherwise, someone who is allergic to peanuts might buy these butter toffee peanuts without realizing they contain peanuts, get sick, and sue the peanut company for not warning them about the peanuts in the butter toffee peanuts.

Yep. This is the kind of country I live in.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Where I live

Since some people have been wondering, I've decided to reveal where I live:

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Now you know.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I just happened to come across this new product, and I was so excited I registered on an internet forum so I could tell strangers about it

This spam just showed up in a forum I used to belong to and now lurk in once in awhile. (I'm not going to link to the forum, since its Great and Powerful Guide kicked me out -- why should I send traffic her way?) Anyway, the spam, which is a pretty common type, went like this:

"Someone sent me this exciting message. I watched the 'making of' program yesterday, and this looks like a great documentary—maybe even a good missionary tool. [etc.]"

Yeah, sure guy, it was so exciting that you just had to register on an internet forum you've never visited before so you could post it there. Happens all the time. Why wouldn't anyone believe that?

Seriously, what is it with people like this? Why do they pretend to have no involvement with whatever they're promoting? Why is it that they feel they have to pretend that they're a random person who randomly happened upon this random product and was so excited that they signed up on a random internet forum to talk to random strangers about it? Why do they think there's anyone dumb enough not to see right through them? Why don't they just say "I/my relative/my friend am/is involved with this product, and I think it's pretty good. Check it out if you're interested. Thanks."? That sort of ad would certainly have a lot more credibility with me than their dishonest stupidity does.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Botox, anyone?

Botox fascinates me. You know what botox actually is, right? The "bo" is for "botulin," and the "tox" is for "toxin." According to Wikipedia, "botulin toxin is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is the most poisonous naturally occurring substance in the world." It's not just poison, it's poison produced by a bunch of nasty bacteria that grow in rotting meat. And people pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to get this poison injected into their faces. They should just come to my house; there's plenty of stuff in my refrigerator they could just rub on instead.

So who dreamed up the idea of using botox for cosmetic surgery? Who was the first doctor to sit down with one of his patients and say, "You know, if I were to inject this deadly poison into your face and paralyze some of your facial muscles, you'd look much prettier"?

Or maybe it was just an accident. It all began with an attempted murder, when a doctor tried to kill his wife:

CUT TO INT. THE OPULENT HOME OF A DOCTOR AND HIS WIFE

DOCTOR

(Brandishing needle) I'm going to kill you by injecting your heart with this deadly toxin!

WIFE

No! No!


A struggle ensues. THE WIFE is jabbed in the face with the needle.

WIFE

Ouch!

DOCTOR

Ha-ha! But wait -- suddenly you've become beautiful! Oh Darling, can you ever forgive me?

WIFE

(Singing) I feel pretty! Oh so pretty!


THE WIFE and THE DOCTOR embrace.


NARRATOR

And thus, the cosmetic use of botox was discovered. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off for my own treatment. It's not just for women anymore!


FADE TO BLACK.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Why George W. Bush isn't the devil

The president of Venezuela made a speech at the United Nations and called George W. Bush the Devil. That's ridiculous. George W. Bush is nothing like the Devil. First of all, the Devil's probably pretty smart. He can probably also pronounce the word "nuclear." Otherwise, Satan would be saying things like, [death grunt] "WE NEED MORE NUCELER WEAPONS!"

And all the demons would be like, [snickering] "He said 'nuceler.' Make him say it again. Shut up! Shh!") [innocently] "What kind of weapons, Master?"

"NUCELER ONES!"

[Innocently] "Nuclear ones, Master?"

"YES, NUCELER ONES!"

[More snickering.]

And when you look at the things the Devil does, he has nothing in common with George Bush. Because what does the Devil do? He lies, he starts wars, he wants to torture… people. [pause] Naw, it's probably just a coincidence.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Requiescat in pace

I died.


But I enjoyed it. Weird, huh? Here's what happened:


I get there at about 10:00. A pair of comic magicians or something like that -- from Las Vegas, no less -- is performing. The place is packed with about 200 people, and they're pretty into the show. I meet my contact, who is straight out of a pretty funny Seinfeld episode, because she has a Chinese last name but she's as blonde-haired and blue-eyed as I am. (Or as I used to be, back when I had hair. On my head, I mean.) She's a nice young woman, but I'm a little disappointed, because as you may have guessed, I have a touch of the Yellow Fever (also Jungle Fever, Salsa Fever, Gumbo Fever, Vanilla Fever… I'm just generally feverish, I guess. But I digress.) So that show ends at 10:05. Someone gets up and announces that the next show will start at 10:30. So the 200 people turn into 5 people.


I hang around for awhile, and meet my MC Nicole, who isn't Chinese either. I check out the view from stage. It's just a portable stage set up in one of the student union's dining rooms, so the lights are turned way up, which I don't like. Comedy usually works best in a dark room with the comic in a spotlight. I hang around "backstage" (behind a curtain) and meet Mike, one of the comic magicians, who's putting his equipment away. He's seems like a nice guy -- nice enough to leave me alone so I can psych myself up or whatever. I go through my usual "Why am I doing this? I just wanna go home now" pre-set mental routine. I don't go home. Ten-thirty rolls around, and the 5 people have turned into 10. Nicole says let's wait a few minutes. We wait about five minutes and the 10 people turn into 20. And that's it.


So Nicole hits the stage, and even though she tried out a joke on me earlier, she chickens out and doesn't say it. All she does is introduce me. There's no warm up at all. So I get up on stage and start my set.


And nobody laughs.


No, I take that back. Nicole laughs. The guys from the improv troop that's going to follow me come in about halfway through and they laugh. But the students only sort of laugh. I don't know what it is, but it's like they're too cool to laugh very much or something. Maybe it's because they can all see each other under the bright lights and they don't want to be seen losing control? No idea really. But every time they laugh it's like they're laughing in spite of themselves and they have to cut it off or something. It's pretty darn weird.


Anyway, I mostly do stuff you've read here before. The only entirely new bit is about why George W. Bush, despite Hugo Chavez, isn't really the devil. It's kind of lost on them. I do the whole repertoire. "It's not easy being big." "My confession." "Family road trip." "My Dad was cheap." "At the dentist." "Big in Japan." "Dance like a white guy." And, of course, "Mr. Happy's hat is too tight." Even that doesn't really get to them, although it seems to kill Nicole pretty good.


And that's it. I head "backstage" for awhile to recover. Mike's still there. He asks me if that's true about Japanese condoms. He commiserates with me about the lighting and the audience. The improv troop is performing. They're doing a little better -- there's five of them, and they're loud and trying to engage the audience. They're supposed to do an hour show. Good luck to them. I stop to thank Nicole and the sound guy. Nicole commiserates. She hands me my check for $100 (w00t!). I go home.


---------------


But I actually had hella fun doing that set. During the debacle at the pub last time, I wasn't having fun at all. I was bored and out of it. I was thinking maybe I'd accomplished plenty by getting paid this one time, and it's time to quit. But I was wrong. I realized again how much I enjoy getting up and performing when I'm prepared and psyched up. And I learned a lot. I learned that I was spoiled by my "graduation" audience. They were the audience of all audiences. I don't think I can ever expect one that good again. So I'm not as good as I thought I was. I mean, I think my writing's pretty good, but my performing isn't up with it. I can't walk out and dominate an audience the way some people can. Not yet. Maybe I'll never get there. But that's OK, because I'm going to keep doing this as long as it's fun and as long as some people are laughing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tonight's the night

My (paid! w00t!) set at Enormous State U starts at midnight.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Last Saturday's set

Here, BTW, is the set I did last Friday for the terrible audience, with their reactions -- the reactions of the 8 people who listened, that is.

I have a big family. I don't mean they're fat or something, there's just a lot of them. Anyone here from a big family? Or a fat family? [Small laughs] I have four kids, ages 16, 14, 11, and 2. We call the two-year-old "Mommy and Daddy's Little Accident." [Laughs] That's not her real name; it's just a nickname. I wanted to name her "Oops!" but my wife wouldn't let me. [Laughs] She said, "What kind of name is 'Oops!' for a kid?" I said, "It's better than 'Aw, crap!'" [Big laughs] But we love our little accident. [Laughs]

[This bit is a riff on a comment by Mist1 on a previous post, BTW. Thanks, Mist1.] My wife's really strict about our kids' names. I wanted to name our son "Senator," but she wouldn't let me. Think about how much fun it would be to have a kid named "Senator." Haven't you ever wanted to say, "Senator, sit down and be quiet!" [Laughs] Or, "That's enough out of you, Senator!" Or, "Senator… say you're sorry, Senator!" [Laughs] Or, "All right, Senator, you're getting a spanking!" Well, not that one so much. Unless it's Senator Hillary Clinton. Rrrowll! [Groans]

Anyway, we finally decided to name our son "Rashaun." We think it goes well with his three sisters, Shamique, LaWanda, and Tamika. [Small laughs]

This last summer we went on a family road trip. You ever been on a family road trip?

You know what? Forget I asked that question. I really hate it when comedians always introduce a subject and then say "Anyone ever done this? Anyone ever done that?" It's a total crutch; they're trying to create this artificial rapport with the audience instead of just relying on humor to do make a connection. I hate that. I'm never going to do it again. [Puzzled looks]

So anyway, we drove down to Southern California, to see my Mom. It's about a 15-hour drive. With four kids. And you can't drive more than an hour with kids before they start saying "Are we there yet?"

"Are we there yet?"

"No."

"Are we there yet?"

"No."

"Are we there yet?"

"No."

OK, so at this point I'm a little annoyed. So I decide it's time to implement one of my favorite parenting techniques. It's a highly effective technique, and I recommend it to anyone. It's called "sarcasm." [Small laughs]

"Are we there yet?"

"Has the car stopped?"

"No."

"Have you gotten out of the car?"

"No."

"Have you given Grandma a kiss and a hug and said "Hi, Grandma'?"

"No."

"Then I guess we're not there yet, are we?"

"Oh. (Long pause) Are we almost there yet?"[Laughs]

But my own family was kind of dysfunctional. My Dad wasn't exactly abusive, but he was kind of cheap. He just hated to spend money on his kids.

Like when my best friend Ronnie got a guitar, I told my Dad I wanted a guitar too. He got me a broomstick, a rubber band, and two clothespins. [No laughs. I can't decide whether to drop the joke, though; I just like it for some reason.]

The dentist told him I needed braces. My dad said, "How much are they?" and the dentist said "$2,000." Dad said, "I'll take care of it myself." So he clamped a vise to the headboard of my bed and made me sleep with my face in it every night for the next six years. [Tiny laughs, maybe]

Some of my friends started going to camp every summer, so I said, "Dad, I wanna go to summer camp too." He said, "Summer camp? Sure, I'll take you to summer camp!" He drove me to the woods, shoved me out of the car, and said, "See you in a month!" [Small laughs]

Then my cousin John got swimming lessons, so I said, "Can I have swimming lessons too, Dad?" (Yeah, I was a slow learner.) He said, "I'll give you a swimming lesson!" He took me down to the pond and threw me right in. I thought I'd never get out of that sack. [Groans] Really, I wouldn't have minded, but everyone else was ice skating at the time. [Big groans]

Well, so, anyway, I went to the dentist last week. Anyone here ever been… to… the… dentist? [Laughs. The people who were actually listening are very into comedy, so they got it, but I'm not sure how it will work on a normal audience.] I don't like going to the dentist. But it's not because of the drilling and shots and stuff like that. I mean, I don't like that stuff either, but what really bugs me about my dentist is that he owns this little farm too. It's just a hobby or something, but he's always talking about farm stuff, he'll say things like "So this morning I was performing a rectal examination on one of my cows...." [Groans] Yeah. "Say 'Ahh.'" That's just one of those things you don't want to hear your dentist say. You also don't want to hear your dentist say, "Hey! Where'd my ring go?" [Small laughs] or "So, um, you only chew on one side of your mouth anyway, right?" [Small laughs] And you especially don't want to hear your dentist say, "Quick, turn him over, the sedative's wearing off." [Biggish groans. That joke's also thanks to Mist1.] If you hear that, you should probably change dentists. That's why I'm thinking of switching. [Small groany laughs]

[This next part was pretty messed up, because Drunk Psycho Lady (DPL) happens to be a lesbian, so any time I mentioned women getting married she stood up and hollered and clapped her hands and stuff like that, so I have no idea how a normal audience would react.] But the other thing I don't like at my dentist's is that the dental hygienist is totally hot. Now, a lot of dental hygienists are kind of cute or whatever, but mine is incredible. I mean, if Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, and Halle Berry had a lovechild, she'd look like my dental hygienist. Not that Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, and Halle Berry could actually have a lovechild. I mean, they couldn't actually have a child even if they married each other. Not that they could marry each other, thanks to the Republicans. What kind of party stops Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, and Halle Berry from marrying each other anyway? That's just wrong. It's obscene! Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, and Halle Berry should be allowed to marry each other if they want to. I'm sorry. Sometimes, I just weep for this nation. [I did hear a couple of laughs under all the noise DPL was making.]

So anyway, my dental hygienist is really hot. Now, I know some of you men and some of you lesbians [More hollering from DPL. I like the line, but I have no idea how it worked on anyone else] are saying "But Chris, that's a good thing." Well, it's not. See, first of all, it's a completely unnatural situation when I'm with a beautiful woman -- ["What's unnatural about that?" hollers a (normal) audience member. "No, that's not the unnatural part," says I] -- the unnatural part is I'm with a beautiful woman and she's putting something in my mouth. [Small groans. I don't think my mostly female audience was too into this joke, for some reason.] That just seems wrong somehow. And when you're with a beautiful woman, you want to be at your best, right? But I don't care how smooth you are, when you're in a dentist's chair like this "Gar blargle argle blarg," you're just not at your best. [No laughs]

[Really, no laughs at all for this part. So I'm going to drop the whole dental hygienist bit. But here it is anyway.] But actually, the thing I hate most about going to the dentist is having my teeth flossed. I mean, I floss my own teeth every day and all – really – but my teeth are kind of scrunched together in places, so it takes some technique, a little delicacy and finesse to do it right. So whenever I go to get my teeth cleaned, I say to the hygienist, "My teeth are kind of scrunched together in places, so you have to floss really gently."

And she always says, "Don't worry, I'm a professional, I've been doing this for years."

"Yes, but -- gar blargle argle blarg!"

"See? No problem."

"Gar blargle argle blarg."

(Grunting and straining) "O…K…."

"Gar blargle argle blarg!"

(More grunting and straining) "Your… gums… are… bleeding… quite… a… bit… Have…you… ever… had… gum… disease?"

"GAR BLARGLE ARGLE BLARG!"

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My confession

[Made some changes.]

I have a confession to make.

I'm a racist.

[Slowly] I... hate... N------ASCAR.

I mean, what is it with these guys? They drive fast and turn left. That's a sport?

I actually met a NASCAR driver once. I said, "Why are you driving so fast out there? There aren't even any cops chasing you."

He said, "I know. I'm just trying to get home to the trailer park in time for dinner, but the durn road keeps curving off to the left."

I said, "Well, while don't you just turn the other way?"

He said, "Naw, I don't wanna do that. My buddy Dale tried to turn right once, and he done runned right into the wall."

That's why I like Formula 1. Those guys are really good. They can turn left and right. In the same race. I'd like to see a NASCAR driver try that.

But I don't get the name. "Formula 1." I get the "1"; I guess that means they're the best drivers -- the ones who can turn both left and right.

So Formula 2 must be not quite as good, and then there's Formula 3, Formula 4, Formula 5, and so on. Formula 17 is guys pushing their grandmas in wheelchairs.
[Runs back and forth pushing imaginary wheelchair.]
Granny: "Slow down, Sonny!"
Driver: "Shut up, Grandma, I'm trying to turn left!"

But what's up with the "formula" part? [I need a formula joke.]

And what happens when they have a Formula 1 race in Greece? Do they call it "Grecian Formula"? Do they only let guys with grey hair drive in it?

Monday, September 18, 2006

SHUT THE F@#% UP, YOU MOTHERF@#%ERS!

So last Saturday I was in another free show at the pub. It didn't go all that great, mainly for two reasons. First, it was game-day night here in University Town, so the place was full -- full of drunks who were interested in celebrating the game by getting drunker, and weren't interested in comedy. So they just talked among themselves. Loudly. Second, it turns out that one of my fellow comics is a complete psycho. And a drunk. Her "act" consisted mainly of cursing and screaming at the audience to shut up. Now, there's a lot of comedy potential in screaming and cursing -- Sam Kinison, RIP, could even solve world hunger while doing it -- but Standup Comedy Rule Number 1 is "Don't scream and curse at your audience." Because, you know, um, they're the ones you want to laugh, instead of hating you? Doesn't seem all that subtle, does it? And Rule Number 2 is "Don't get so drunk that in between screaming and cursing at the audience, you forget which jokes you told (badly) and tell them again (badly)." Standup is pretty simple, after all.

Anyway, finally the bartender came over and told her to stop cursing at the customers. When she got off the stage, management escorted her out of the building (after which she called them up about 26 times and cursed at whoever answered the phone). As Kevin -- Kevin is my comedy hero; I want to be him when I grow up -- as Kevin said, we've all heard of people getting thrown out of comedy shows, but that was the first time anyone'd seen a comic get thrown out.

Friday, September 08, 2006

How to crack up an 11-year-old

My son said, "There's a boy in my class who's Russian."

I said, "Somebody should tell him to slow down."

After a short pause, laughter ensued. Much laughter.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Woof-woof!" "AUSTIN! AUSTIN!"

My neighbor has a dog. That's OK, because I like dogs. My neighbor's dog often barks. That's OK too, because that's what dogs do. But every time the dog barks, my neighbor yells at it. "Woof-woof!" barks the dog. "AUSTIN! AUSTIN!" shouts my neighbor. Every time. And she always yells "AUSTIN!" twice. I mean, at least sometimes the dog barks "Woof-woof-woof!" or "Woof!" or "Woof-woof! Woof-woof!" But my neighbor? It's never just "AUSTIN!" It's never "AUSTIN! AUSTIN! AUSTIN!" It's never even "AUSTIN-AUSTIN!" It's always "AUSTIN! AUSTIN!" with the same slight but distinct pause between the "AUSTINS!" And it's about 50 million times more annoying than the barking dog. Would you please just shut up and let the damn dog bark? And what the hell kind of name is "Austin" for a dog anyway?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

More YouTube favorites

It's been a couple months since I posted YouTube favorites, so here are some more. (The ones with asterisks have some "bad language" in them.)

If you put a Mentos in Diet Coke, it makes a fountain. Some people can make art from this. (I listed this one last time, but that version was taken down, and it was at the end of the list anyway, so maybe not many people saw it.)

If I had to choose, I think I'd rather live in a country whose basketball players can't defend the pick-and-roll than in a country whose basketball players can't do 720° dunks.

One thing you'll notice if you watch a lot of Chinese and Japanese action films is that, in contrast to the American hero who must always fight fair even with the odds against him, Asian heroes have no qualms about teaming together and outnumbering the enemy. Sometimes, in fact, they can be downright abusive.

Of course, I can't really blame them if that monster was as obnoxious as Darth Vader.

"I love you more than bears love honey, I love you more than Jews love money, I love you more than Asians are good at math." OK, I don't love her quite that much, but I totally have a crush on Sarah Silverman.* I wonder if I'd have a chance with her. I'm not Jewish, but I am circumcised....

Whenever life is bringing me down, whenever I feel sad or troubled, the Hoff is always there to cheer me up.

All Your Snakes Are Belong to Us* is probably better than the actual movie Snakes on a Plane (but I won't know for sure until S.O.A.P. is in the $1.50 movie theater and I see it). It's better than the trailer, anyway.

It's always kind of fascinating to watch traffic accidents, but when people get crashed into and then jump up and yell at the other driver, it's just plain funny.

When even the Hoff isn't enough to cheer me up, there's still Apache.

Magic is creepy.