Friday, November 30, 2012

the Mayor

Two Scenarios.

Scenario One:

They call him Mayor McCheese.

But his friends call him Bill.

William Aloysius "Bill" McCheese.

He's the Mayor.  Mr. Mayor, if you will.

Mayor McCheese.

Scenario Two:

Mayor McCheese is the Dread Pirate Roberts of McDonaldland.

And he could be anybody.

Frightening.  First, nothing could kill the Grimace.  And now, anybody could be Mayor McCheese.

Which begs the question:  what happened to the former Mayor McCheese?

That McRib is slightly less appetizing than it was....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My 50 Favorite Books

I started this months ago, and just this morning got back around to it.  Inspired by Joe Hill's List, and procrastinating while writing:  my 50 favorite novels/short story collections.....

Echoing one of Mr. Hill's administrative notes:  It should go without saying that what I've read constitutes less than a hundred millionth of a percent of the books written, so by no means do I intend for this to be the 50 Best Books...merely my 50 favorite books.  While, by and large, most of the books on the list have their technical and artistic merits that would support them in arguments, most (if not all) are on the list because they were simply the right book at the right time.

Also, I've no doubt left something I love off--first two that jump to mind are Life of Pi and Animal Farm.  I've also included no plays. I'm not huge on reading plays, and what I've read were assigned readings back in my edumacation days, but a couple that might pop somewhere near the top:  Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and August Wilson's The Piano Lesson.

Alphabetized, by Author

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy         Douglas Adams
Watership Down                    Richard Adams
The Floating Opera               John Barth
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz                  L. Frank Baum
The Old South            Arna Bontemps
Fahrenheit 451          Ray Bradbury
Something Wicked this Way Comes            Ray Bradbury
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay           Michael Chabon
the Yiddish Policemen's Union              Michael Chabon
Jurassic Park                  Michael Crichton
The Twits                  Roald Dahl
A Tale of Two Cities           Charles Dickens
Lord of the Barnyard             Tristan Egolf
Stalking the Nightmare            Harlan Ellison
As I Lay Dying              William Faulkner
Light in August              William Faulkner
Cold Mountain                  Charles Frazier
Neverwhere                 Neil Gaiman
Lord of the Flies                 William Golding
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time        Mark Haddon
Stranger in a Strange Land            Robert Heinlein
Catch-22          Joseph Heller
Andersonville             MacKinlay Kantor
Flowers for Algernon          Daniel Keyes
Dark Tower:  Wizard and Glass      Stephen King
the Shining            Stephen King
the Stand               Stephen King
The Bottoms             Joe R. Lansdale
To Kill a Mockingbird             Harper Lee
The Complete Stories              HP Lovecraft
The Giver                      Lois Lowry
No Country for Old Men           Cormac McCarthy
the Road                           Cormac McCarthy
the 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear            Walter Moers
Coyote Blue        Christopher Moore
The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor          Flannery O'Connor
True Grit             Charles Portis
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban         J.K. Rowling
Contact                Carl Sagan
Epiphany                      Ferrol Sams
Run with the Horsemen            Ferrol Sams
the Killer Angels             Michael Shaara
a Simple Plan                       Scott Smith
Of Mice and Men                  John Steinbeck
Cannery Row                        John Steinbeck
Confederacy of Dunces            John Kennedy Toole
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn       by Mark Twain
Slapstick              Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse Five                Kurt Vonnegut
Winter's Bone              Daniel Woodrell

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

10 year old re-run

I wrote this shit a decade ago:

Once upon a time, Superboy had a whole menagerie of Super-Pets. Among these was Krypto, the Super-Dog. There was a Super-Cat (Streaky?) and a Super-Horse (Comet). But I think the most potentially disastrous among these was a Super-Monkey. 

His name is Beppo. 

The art of the day was not exact, but when I imagine things in my head, I figure the monkey was a Rhesus Monkey. 

I have two problems with the whole concept: Here in Casa de Big Stupid Tommy, we refer to monkeys as Tree Clinging Crap Flingers. And the monkey, with the proportionate super-strength a'la Superman, could probably fling crap with super speed. That's the first problem. 

The second problem is that Superboy limits himself with his moral code. He is in possession of powers of higher reasoning. He knows how to control his temper, and he knows right from wrong. 

Beppo, the Super-Monkey, unless he is possessed of some form of super-monkey-moral-code unheard of among his brethren, finds himself possessed of many of Superman's powers, upto and including super strength, heat vision, super speed and freezer breath, but without the constraints of human intellect or Jonathan and Martha Kent infused strict moral code. He's a monkey. In my experience, monkeys live by instinct. They're happy when they have food or sleep or whatever their little monkey hearts desire. But when things go against them, they lash out violently. 

What I'm getting at here is that I'm terribly, terribly afraid. Afraid that I'll be sucked into a DC Comic from the 1960's and come face-to-face with Beppo the Super Monkey. 

This Site says that Beppo is mischievous and inquisitive. 

But I'm sure the cameras of DC Comics only caught the good side of Beppo. (All television and media is this way. They don't show Regis Philben eating toilet paper, either, but it doesn't mean it doesn't happen!) 

I'm afraid. 

I'll get sucked in. 

I'll make Beppo mad. 

And he'll start flinging crap, super speed style. Faster than the eye can see and more powerful than a bullet from a gun. 

And that's how I'll die. Riddled as if shot with a 12-gauge. 

Only instead of Scatter Shot, it's Monkey Feces that causes my ultimate demise. 

A brief whine

I hate Thanksgiving.

Too many people buying things they don't want to buy, to cook food they don't want to cook, to drive someplace they don't want to drive, to see people they don't want to see.

Too much ought to.

Too many folk entirely too willing to take it out on the folks who work retail.

Too many 60+ hour weeks.

Not a fan of the last 6 weeks or so of the year, in general.

Just feeling like Christmas and Thanksgiving are made for other people.

Tired of feeling that way.

In the market for a new gig....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jamming French Fries Into Your Mind...a decade hence....

Hello, and good evening!

Welcome to the beginning of a second decade of this Blogamathing!

10 years.

Don't it fly, and such?

Ye Olde Facebooke Status Update:

I have been keeping a little blogamathing for 10 Years, as of today. I am grateful for the outlet to write my particular brand of drivel without outside influence and editorship. More than that, I am grateful for the friendships it has helped me forge. Thank you, blogamathing! You are a tremendous way to exchange fart stories!

And it is.  Absolutely tremendous.  Dammit, I love fart stories.

A short fart story, by the way?  

I was in the backroom of my store the other day, by myself.  I was writing a couple of price tags for new items.  Being by myself, I decided to break wind.  These things happen, especially when Dr. Gutierrez's Huevos, Frijoles y Brocoli work their particular brand of magic in the bowels.  Well, soon after, one of my weekend vendors walks through the back, and through my personal contribution to Global Warming.  A particularly humorless man, he passes through the cloud, realizes what's happened (because, indeed, we were an embodiment of the George Carlin line, two guys on an elevator, one of 'em farts, they both know who did it...), and he turns to regard me, deadpan.

"Really?" he says.

"Yep.  I'm afraid so.  Regrettable, really." I've got a pretty deadpan deadpan myself, when I put my mind to it.  Frankly, I'm impressed, considering I'd almost literally been called on my shit.

"Not nearly as regrettable on my end." 

"Well, I've still got to check the laundry later."

And he smiled.  First time I've seen that.

Ain't NOBODY don't like a good fart story.

But I digress.

Very true about the folks I've gotten to meet over the past few years.  Absolutely honest about that.  Being the somewhat shy cuss that I am, it's neat to meet people that I actually dig, and look forward to seeing.  From all corners of this continent.  People, it's been noted, that I'd probably never have even begun to cross paths with otherwise.  Cool folks, definitely.  Hope to meet more, sometime....

I don't write here as much as I used to, and definitely not as much as I'd like.  Work being what it is, and life in general being what it is.  Still, I pop by from time to time, and will continue to do so.

Thanks to all those who still stop by from time to time.  Thanks for reading.  Thanks for saying nice things.  And thanks, even, for jumping in to explain what the word penultimate means or to let me know that the Marshall Tucker Band song is actually called "Heard it in a Love Song" and not "Purty Little Love Song."  I like you people, too.  Thanks for being the smartest person in the room.  

No.  Really.

Eh.  It's a hobby, this navel-gazing blogamathing.  I enjoy it.  Hope you do.  We'll keep on trucking....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cloud Atlas

Wandered out yesterday, after work, to catch movie with Shyam.  Neither of us had wandered out to see anything in a while, and wanted to catch something.  I reached the point where I wasn't going to accomplish anything meaningful at work somewhere around 3, and texted to see if we could make a 4 o'clock start time.

Both Flight and Cloud Atlas were starting.  I've had a couple people I trust recommending both, and could go with either, despite being a little tentative with anything with the name Wachowski Brothers tagged to it.

Glad Cloud Atlas won.

I'm not going into a big analysis.  Just say that I came out impressed, and a bit overwhelmed.  Maybe I'm just a sucker for a happy ending, and a bit easily taken for a roller coaster ride, but I even found myself a little teary at the end.  I can't remember a movie doing that to me.

Impressive?  So many actors playing so many rolls...consider it testament to the strength of the story thread and the performances--I never once felt lost, and I stopped marveling at the changes in roles maybe 20 minutes in.

Impressed with Tom Hanks, who takes the biggest swings between characters, from the tremendously ghoulish to the absolutely inspiring.

Likewise impressed with Hugh Grant, whom I didn't recognize almost across the board--a trick that has as much to do with the makeup folk as it does the performance.

Just an impressive movie.  Makes me want to read the book.  It's been recommended a few times of the past couple of years, but I've not gotten to it.