Saturday, December 31, 2011

Germany, Japan, and Italy: A study in music videos, linguistics, and insanity

Some nations do things better than others.  The Swiss make the best watches and army knives, the Belgians make the best chocolate, the Japanese make the best robotics, and the Colombians grow the best coffee.  But when it comes to culture things get weird.  Take Germany for instance.  While they have their own celebrities, one of ours is more popular there than here.  His name is David Hasselhoff and in Germany he's a famous singer.  Here's an official music video that makes full use of mid-90's shopping mall technology and the "Mad-Lib" style story-boarding:

This is, in a word, batshit insane.

But for true, mind-numbing insanity, we have to go to Japan.  It is with great reluctance that I subject you to: Pon Pon -

That video somehow managed to hit a point of diminishing returns on craziness.  

And this final video isn't crazy in the traditional sense.  It asks the question, "What does English sound like to someone who doesn't speak English?"  The answer is apparently quite catchy.  Here's Prisencolinensinainciusol.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Glory to the Blue Öyster.

A little while ago, I did a Google Image search for "religious symbols of the world."  On the first row, I got this result:

As I was looking through it, I realized that one of these things was not like the others.  While you'd see a lot of those symbols on a bumper sticker like this:

There's only one you'd see on an album cover like this:

That's because whoever made this sheet either thought that Blue Öyster Cult was an actual religion, or has a fantastic and subtle sense of humor.  In either case, kudos and thanks for the laugh.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Series of Increasingly Improbable Events - Part 3: Knock Out

            It was almost midnight, and the four of us were sitting at the kitchenette in my apartment.  We had been arguing for over two hours by then, trying to come to a consensus on the age old question of what to do with our new superpowers.  Tara started by suggesting that we talk to a scientist or someone in the press.  No one agreed.  I suggested we lay low until we knew more about our situation.  Only Barry agreed.  George thought we should fight crime.  We continuously ignored that suggestion.  Barry didn’t come up with any new ideas.
            “I keep telling you,” I said, “We should keep our heads down.”
            “So just do nothing?” Tara scoffed, “Sit here and twiddle our thumbs and hope the answers drop out of the sky?”
            “Or we could fight crime?” George chimed in. 
            I ignored him and continued talking to Tara.  “It’s better than telling everyone.  For all we know that king coconor-”
            “Konakor,” Barry said.
            “Whatever.  King Konakor is trying to find us.  If we have a bunch of scientists blabbing about superpowers, the government could be the least of our problems.”
            “We should do something!
            “We could always fight -”
            “Shut up, George.” Tara, Barry, and I said in unison. George pouted and everyone was silent.  In the newfound calm, we managed to reel in our tempers. 
            “Look,” I said to Tara, “I agree that we should find out more about our abilities, but I don’t know who we can trust.”  Tara nodded.
            “I know, but we’re not going to find out anything by sitting around and hoping.”
            “Well,” said George, “If we were to use our powers-”
            “We’re not fighting crime, George,” I said for what felt like the hundredth time.  It was actually the hundred and eighty-seventh time.
            “Actually,” Tara said, “I think he might have a point.”
            “What?” Barry exclaimed.  George beamed.
            “Not about the crime fighting,” Tara added, George’s smile disappearing, “But about using our powers.  I’m going to have a lot of free time, so I might as well be productive.”  We looked at her, puzzled.  She said nothing for a moment then admitted, “I got fired today for being late.  Again.”
            Barry put a hand on her shoulder.  We were uttering reassurances to her when I had an idea.  “George,” I said, “You know that bar a couple blocks from here.” 
            “You have to be way more specific.”
            “The British one with the Irish name.”
            “McManus’s?  What about it?”
            “Don’t the people there love to bet?”
            “Yeah, but I-” George’s eyes widened with understanding.  Tara nodded. 
            Barry appeared deep in thought, then gave up.  “What are you talking about?”
            “They have darts contests, like, every night.  I could win a bundle from that.”
            “And they have drunks at that bar.” George said, “I could win some bar bets.”
            “What could I do?” Tara asked.
            George shrugged.  “See if they need a bartender?”  Tara shot him an angry glare, and I kicked at George’s leg under the table.
            “Ow!” Barry shouted, drawing his leg up to his chest and cussing under his breath.
            “Sorry,” I said, “that was meant for George.”
            From the outside, McManus’s seemed like a quaint little building.  The type of place your grandmother would go to for brunch.  But once you get near the door and the sound of British punk rock permeates your skull you realize that only the most badass grannies would step foot in here.  In addition to the bar itself, a wide assortment of tables were splayed around the room.  Patrons were playing pool on four of the tables, which wouldn’t have been interesting if there hadn’t been only three pool tables.  All in all, this was a stereotypical British pub.
            There was a group of people playing darts by the back of the joint.  “I’ll see you guys in a bit,” I said, pointing to the darts.  I walked the thirty or so feet to where the game was being played, avoiding several drunks who almost crashed into me on their way to or from the bar.  There were two people playing and a small crowd watching and cheering.  The man currently throwing was in his early thirties.  He was lanky but had an air of craziness about him that instantly put me on edge.  He had shaggy black hair and a cockney accent straight out of Mary Poppins.  He through his final dart and hit the bullseye dead center.  The crowd cheered and the other player handed him several large bills.
            The other player looked like a sad Pierce Brosnan.  Probably because he was Pierce Brosnan, and he just lost.  He disappeared out the back door of the pub before I could get an autograph. 
            “Good show, Wesley!” a man who had been watching the game shouted.  “That’s all of them ‘cept Moore and Lazenby, innit?”
            “Just Moore,” Wesley said. “Beat Lazenby last week.  Then we played darts.”  Everyone laughed, myself included.  This got Wesley’s attention.  “What do you want?”
            “Oh, I want to play darts with Wesley.”  The people laughed.
            “Aye!” one of them shouted, “This Yank’s off his chump!”
            “I’ll assume that’s an insult.” I said.
            “It is,” Wesley nodded, and turned to the crowd, “What say I show him how it’s done?”  The crowd cheered.  “And you know what,” he turned back to me, “I’ll give you odds.    Five hundred bucks, three to one.” 
            “Sounds good,” I said.  Wesley nodded to one of the spectators, of which the number was now growing. The man he nodded to retrieved the darts from the board and brought them to Wesley.  He handed me three darts.
            “Three sets, with three legs apiece.  Play from 501 and double-in.  Sound good to you?”  He raised his eyebrows. 
            “Um,” I stuttered, “Do you mind if I get a drink before we start?”
            “Sure,” he smiled, “Just don’t bugger off.” 
            “I won’t,” I promised as I headed to the bar. 
            George was there, arm wrestling with an obscenely muscular man.  The tattoo on the man’s bulbous bicep clearly predated the biceps themselves, as what had once been a slender mermaid now looked like someone shoved Roseanne Barr down a trout’s throat.  Or maybe he was just into that kind of thing.
            Tara was sitting a couple stools down, several crumpled bills in her hand.  I sat down next to her.  Without looking at her I said, “We’ve got a problem.”
            “Why?  What’s wrong.”  She looked at me concernedly. 
            “I don’t know how to play darts.”
            Tara rolled her eyes.  “Really?”  She turned to George.  “Hurry this up, I gotta help Matt play darts.”  There was a loud thud and a grunt as George slammed the man’s forearm to the table.  Tara handed him the money and we walked to the dartboard. 
            “So,” Wesley said as we approached, “You brought some of your mates to watch you lose?” 
            “ ‘Ow many akkers for the bird?” one of the spectators asked. 
            “Be nice, Keith.” Wesley said, shooting Keith a reproachful look.  “Let’s get this started, shall we?” 
            “Sounds good.”  I said, “You start.”
            “Fair enough,” Wesley said and turned to stare intensely at the dartboard.  He threw the dart right in the middle of the 20.  The second hit the double 20 and the third the 20 again, just above the triple.  “Four-forty-one” he said and stepped aside.
            I took his place and pretended to aim.  “Hit the double 20,” Tara whispered.
            “Umm…” I replied, moving the dart forward and back in the air. 
            “The thing he hit on his second throw.”
            “Oh, okay.” I said, and launched the dart to the suggested spot.  The spectators muttered their approval. 
            “Now the triple 20,” Tara whispered. 
            “Umm…”  I repeated.
            “The little band above the double twenty.”
            I nodded and hit the triple 20.  Then I hit the triple 20 again. 
            “Three-forty-one,” Tara whispered. 
            “Three-forty-one” I repeated and stepped aside for Wesley, who was now looking rather shaken. 
            Tara gave me instructions for the rest of the game (which they call “legs” for some reason) and I won the game in nine throws.  In nine more, I won the set.  I won the next set and the match soon after.  Then all I remember is asking Wesley for my money, which he held out in his left hand.  Unfortunately, his right hand was hurtling towards my nose.  I’m not proud to admit that I passed out, but I have a distinct recollection of George shouting, “It’s clobberin’ time.”

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"The Room" Explained

While most people like the room because of the horrible acting, stupid story, and overall horribleness, it actually tells a very subtle story that you can only find by reading between the lines:

Claudette is the head of a drug syndicate.  Everyone except for Johnny and Denny are aware and/or  involved in this.  Lisa is in a relationship with Johnny so that she can use his connections at the bank to launder money.  She was forced into the relationship by Claudette, who values the success of her business over her daughter’s well-being, which is why Lisa doesn’t just leave Johnny nor does Claudette get upset when she’s told that Johnny hit her.

            The phrase “breast cancer” is actually code for an informant close to the heart of the operation and Claudette is worried that the house is bugged.  This fear is later given weight by the tape recorder Johnny uses to spy on Lisa.  The informant is, in fact, Peter. The syndicate members start to suspect him, as evidenced by Mark holding him over the edge of a building.  In Peter’s final scene, they all change into tuxedos.  This is because Mark wants to make sure he is not wearing a wire.  When Peter is driven off by the taunting, Mark follows and kills him.

            The scene with the drug dealer on the roof is especially important because this isn’t one of Claudette’s dealers.  Claudette and Lisa are worried that someone is trying to make a move on their turf by coming after someone close to them.  Despite Johnny’s wishes, Mark convinces him not to call the police and takes care of it himself. 

            Mike and Michelle (the couple that have the chocolate and blowjob scene early on) are near the top of the organization.  They are responsible for collecting the money from everyone beneath them, and pop in to Lisa’s house sporadically to drop it off.    Mark is the enforcer, and Lisa is heir to the top position. This is why Mark is able to meet Lisa and Johnny at any time of the day.  It is also why they never have to pay at the café, which is just a front for their illicit business.

            The photograph of the spoon and overall lack of personal effects in Johnny and Lisa’s house is due to Lisa’s inability to settle down in one spot.  She was raised in a volatile and violent environment in which she would have to move at a moment’s notice and leave everything behind.  Her inability to maintain a sense of normalcy includes her relationship with Johnny, whom she doesn’t love and is being forced by her mother to stay with.  She starts sleeping with Mark to take control of her own life and hopes that Johnny will find out and leave her.

            Mark’s feelings towards Lisa are more complex.  He has legitimately come to like Johnny, but he doesn’t want to upset Lisa because he is afraid of Claudette.  He does eventually develop feelings for Lisa, if only because of her position of power within the syndicate. 

            At the party, the character Steven is introduced.  After Peter was killed, Johnny’s tape recorder was discovered, leading Claudette to believe that there was another traitor.  Steven’s job was to find out who in the syndicate could be trusted. 

            When Lisa sees that Johnny was the one tapping the phone and he was just trying to see if she was cheating on him, she realizes that she can use this to make Claudette get rid of him.  She calls Mark, partly because she wants to see him, partly to spite Johnny.  This sends Johnny into a rage, ending with his suicide.  At finding his body, Mark flees before the police arrive.  While Lisa will always be bent to her mother’s will, she is at least free of the relationship she was forced into.

Super Stupid Customers at the Super Market

I used to work in a supermarket in the city of Calabasas.  And in July 2011, the city not only banned plastic grocery bags, but started requiring the stores to charge ten cents for paper bags (which is how much the bags cost the store).  While most people either support this or realize that it’s not a big deal, some people feel that this is a violation of their civil rights, and will gladly say that the fee is fascist, communist, or Orwellian.  They will often say it loudly, so that everyone in earshot will know that they are against the fee and that they don’t know what the words fascist, communist, and Orwellian mean. 

In case any of these not so blissfully ignorant few are reading this (yet can’t find time to go to, I’ll explain what it would be like if the new law were fascist/communist/Orwellian.

If the law were fascist, there would be no fee.  All the paper and plastic bags would be destroyed and production and import of the bags would stop completely.  Anyone found using non-reusable bags would be detained/beaten/killed. 

If the law were communist, the company that produces the reusable bags would provide them to the community for free where they would be communal property.  Since the society itself isn’t communist, that wouldn’t be the case.  The most communist it could be would involve everyone’s tax dollars goes to buy a large cache of reusable bags for the members of the community to use as needed.

If the law were Orwellian, the city government would be watching closely to see who is buying the paper bags, who is using reusable bags, and who is just carrying their groceries to the car.  They would then use this data to help determine the person’s value in society. 

Clearly, none of these are the case.  People like to litter their grocery bags, and reusable bags will help stop that.  And having also worked in a supermarket where the bag-ban wasn't in effect, where it was normal for customers to request double-plastic bagging for a single can of soup, I can say confidently that this is a good change.  So, please, don’t pretend that this is some big, moral issue.  Just be honest and say that you don’t want to pay the little bit extra.  At least you won’t look like an idiot.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Stop with the Awful Christmas Music!

I work in a super market, and since it's December, all the annoying Top 40 muzac has been replaced with Christmas music.  And it needs to stop.  Ignoring the fact that most Christmas music is just the same ten songs "re-imagined" by a million different artists, the songs are particularly infuriating.  Answer me this:  Why don't we listen to Christmas music in June or August or anytime that's not near Christmas?  Because it's fucking awful!
And it wouldn't be so bad if radio stations/stores/everyone just threw in the occasional Christmas song to the standard mix, but they feel that they have to play Christmas music EXCLUSIVELY!  And I say enough is enough.  We need to stop catering to the 1% of people who actively enjoy Christmas music so much that the idea of not hearing it all fucking day is intolerable.  We need to cast off our shackles, stand proud, and say, "I don't care about Rudolph, or Frosty, or Jingle Bells.  I don't care who Santa's watching, or who's watching Santa kissing their mom.  I am the 99%, and I am sick of Christmas music."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Series of Increasingly Improbable Events - Part 2: New and Improved

            I’ve accepted that I’ll never know all the facts about that night, and that includes how I got back to my apartment.  I woke up in my living room, my torso on the floor and my legs on the couch.  I tumbled to the floor and laid there, trying to determine whether last night had really happened.  A woman’s voice said, “Your phone’s ringing.”  I stood up and looked behind the couch.  Tara was lying on her side, just starting to regain consciousness.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw George’s legs sticking out from behind the counter of the kitchenette.  I didn’t see Barry anywhere, but I was sure he’d turn up.
            I heard the phone ring again and, after some effort, found it stuck between the cushions of the sofa.  The Caller ID read “Work.”  I pinched my nose and answered.  “Hello?” I said, in my best sick voice. “You’re an hour late,” one of my twenty-or-so managers said, “You better have a good reason.”
            “I guh da flu,” I mumbled, throwing in a coughing fit for authenticity, “I can’t wor toduh.”
            “Geez, you sound like shit,” he said.  “You know what, take the day off.”
            “Tankoo,” I said, and hung up.  Someone was clapping.
            “Not the best I’ve heard, but not bad.  You should try talking through a tissue next time,” Tara said, struggling to her feet.  She looked around.  “What the fuck happened last night?”
            George bolted to his feet and shouted, “Does anyone feel probed!” 
            “Oh, that,” she said, brushing her hair back with her hand.  She looked puzzled.  “Where’s Barry?”
            As if in response to her question, the closet door swung open and Barry spilled out.  He quickly scampered to his feet, and brushed off his smoke-stained coat. “Why was I in the closet?” he asked.  George was about to say something, but I shook my head.  Now wasn’t the time for jokes.  “I’d have to assume the alien put you there.” I said.  “…And I just realized how crazy that sounded.”
            “That’s probably one of the least crazy things about last night.” Barry said. 
            George turned on the TV.  “And in breaking news,” the TV announced , “A piece of satellite wreckage crashed into Oak Valley State Park just after two o’clock this morning.”  The report showed footage of emergency vehicles near the park’s entrance.  George’s car was gone.  “While it hasn’t been confirmed, there are reports that this may have been a spy satellite.  Whether it’s ours or another nation’s is still a matter of speculation.”  The footage switched back to the anchor, “In other news, do you know what your cat is doing when you’re not home?  See the startling images when we come back.” 
            We stared absently at the television as an ad for mattresses played.  “Okay,” Barry said, “We met an alien whose ship just crashed, he did something to us with a glowy round crystal thingy, and now it’s being covered up.  Should we start panicking now, or when the NSA storms the building.”
            “What happened to my car,” George asked.
            “The government probably took it,” Tara said.  “But I think that’s the least of our problems.”
            “We should probably decide on a story to tell them,” Barry said.
            “My car,” George muttered.
            “Do they even know we were there,” I asked.  “I mean, how did we get here?”
            “My car!” George shouted and punched the wall.  His fist broke through the drywall and several inches of concrete behind it, a puff of gray dust taking their place.  He remained motionless with his arm in the wall for what seemed like hours but was, in fact, just seconds.  “Umm, guys,” he said, “Look what I did.”
            “Holy shit, we have superpowers!”  Barry exuberantly exclaimed.  “Let me try!”  He ran up to the wall, drew his fist back and punched with all his strength.  “OOOOWWWWWWW!” he screamed as his hand slammed against the unrelenting barrier.  He grabbed his bloodied right hand with his left and cradled it.  “FUUCKKK!” he shouted. 
            “This is so cool,” George said, oblivious to Barry’s incident.  He walked over to the couch and lifted it above his head with one hand.  “Holy shit, guys!  Do you see this?”
            “Yes,” I said.  “But I really wish I didn’t.”  George lowered the sofa to the floor and approached Barry.  He grabbed him by the legs and lifted him above his head.  “Put me down!” Barry shouted.
            “Oh, I’m sorry,” George said sarcastically, “Do you not like being the first person to get lifted overhead by a fucking superhero?”
            “George,” I said, “First, put him down, second, having superpowers doesn’t make you a superhero.”  Barry nodded.  “You heard him, put me down!”
            “Say ‘please,’” George replied.
            “Please, put me down you idiot.”
            “Oh?  Sounds like someone wants to go higher.”
            George raised Barry so that his head was brushing against the ceiling.  “Cut it out!” He screamed, as George started to walk around the living room, holding Barry at arm’s length over his head. 
            “George,” Tara said, “You might want to stop.” 
            “We’re just having fun,” George sad, doing a quick spin and crouch.
            “Barry isn’t.”
            “And how do you know?”
            “His eyes are glowing red.”
            Sure enough, his eyes were a luminescent red, and were growing brighter and brighter.  “Put.  Me. Down!” he shouted.  A beam of red light zipped across the room and burnt another hole in the wall. 
            At this point, I was convinced that this was a fever dream or that I was insane.  “You guys are covering my security deposit,” I said.
            George lowered Barry to the floor, and he examined what he’d done. 
            “So Barry has heat vision,” Tara said, “Fantastic.”
            “Just like Superman!” Barry exclaimed.
            George laughed, “Seriously, I’m like Superman.  You’re not even Cyclops.”
            “Be nice, George,” Tara said, “He’s better than Cyclops.  He doesn’t have to wear that stupid visor.”
            “I thought that visor was cool,” Barry said.
            Tara glared at him, “You’re really not helping yourself here.”  She looked back to George.  “He has heat vision, which is still pretty impressive.”
            “Thanks, Tara,” Barry said, looking at the floor.
            “Do it again.” George said.  “I didn’t get a good look the first time.”
            “Please don’t destroy any of my stuff,” I added. 
            Barry stared at the hole that George had made. A bright flash emanated from his pupils and sent more dust flying.  “Awesome.” George said.  “Do me next.”
            “What?” Barry, Tara, and I said simultaneously. 
            He slapped his chest.  “Shoot me with your eye lasers.”
            “Okay.” Barry said, and poised himself several feet in front of George.
            “Do you really think this is a good idea, George,” I asked.
            Barry turned to me, “The man wants lasers, so he’s gonna get lasers.” 
            Barry’s eyes started glowing again, followed by a bright beam straight to George’s chest.  George stood still, and when the beam dissipated, I could see a hole about the size of a quarter in his shirt, but the skin underneath was unscathed.
            “Awesome!” Geoge nodded, and looked to me and Tara, “I wonder what powers you guys have.”  I wondered the same thing.  I looked at Tara and saw that she was standing on her toes, bouncing up and down a bit.  She noticed me staring at her. 
            “I thought I could fly.” She said, “Is that so weird?” 
            “Yes.” I said.
            George opened a drawer in the kitchenette and took out a pad of paper and a pen.  He spoke aloud as he wrote, “super strength, heat ray, flight, super speed, telepathy…” This went on for a while.  When he was finished, George handed me the list.  “Try all of these.”
            Neither Tara nor I could lift the couch.  And we couldn’t shoot lasers from our eyes or fly either.  Then he told us to run to the door and back.  It took me longer than I’d like to admit.  I got back to where I’d been standing.
            George looked to Tara, “Your turn.”
            “Okay.” Tara said.  She didn’t move.  George kept looking at her.
            “Run to the door and back.” He said.
            “Again?” She replied.
            George looked at me and nodded.
            Tara looked worried.  “What?” she said, “What is it.”  George took his cell phone from his pocket and opened the stopwatch feature. 
            “On three, I want you to hit the light switch next to the door, run here, then hit the light switch again, and then come back here.”
            “Just trust me.”
            “Fine.”  She shifted uncomfortably.
            “All right,” George said, his thumb hovering over the ‘Start Timing’ button, “One, Two, Three.”  There was a brief flicker of darkness and two quick ‘beeps’ from George’s phone.  George showed me the results. 0.14 seconds.  He showed Tara.
            “Bullshit,” She said, clearly shocked.
            “If I had to guess,” Barry piped in, “Your perception changes when you go at super speed.”  George pointed to Barry and gave him a thumbs up.
            “But wouldn’t the friction cause me to catch on fire or something?” she asked.
            “An alien gave you superpowers.  Are you really trying to rationalize this?”  I asked.
            Tara was about to respond, but George interrupted.  “We still need to find out what your powers are.”   After half an hour of experiments that involved lighters, playing cards, blindfolds and other miscellanea, we still had nothing.  “I have one more thing to try,” George said. He got a can of beer from the fridge.  “Hey, Matt.  Heads up!”  He hurled the can at me like the Hulk on a particularly belligerent binge. 
            Do you remember that scene from Spiderman, where Peter Parker gets into a fight, and he sees everything in slow motion?  This was nothing like that.  It happened at full speed, a metal fastball coming right at me.  I’d never done a backflip before, but I did one then.  The can passed below me as I rotated in the air.  Then it smashed through my TV.
            “Damn!” George and I said at the same time, but for different reasons.
            “You got the super…dexterity…thing.” Barry said.
            George nodded.  “Yeah, that one doesn’t really have a good name.”
            “What the fuck, George?”  I said.
            “You could have killed me!  What if I didn’t have super reflexes…dexterity… whatever?  I’d be dead!”
            “Of course not,”  George said jovially, “Tara would have caught it in time.”
            “Actually,” Tara said quietly, “I wasn’t really paying attention.”
            After a moment of tense silence, George said, “Well, no harm no foul, right?”  Sparks shot out of my TV.  “I’ll get you a new one.”
            We tested out our new powers and the structural integrity of my apartment for a couple of hours.  George was tossing pieces of garbage into the air for Barry to zap, when he suggested that my abilities might give me enhanced accuracy.  I believe his exact words were, “Like Bulls-Eye, but not such a dick.”  He was right.  About the aim and about Bulls-Eye being a dick.  It was just past noon when George remembered that his car was missing.  We decided to check outside, hoping that the alien had sent George’s car back with us.  Fortunately, the car was parked along the curb in front of the building.  “Yes!” George shouted.  Tara and Barry were looking around. 
            “Dammit,” Barry said, “Why didn’t he send my car?”
            “Um, Barry,” I said, “Do you drive a green Prius?”
            “Yeah, why?”
            I pointed across the street about half a block down.  Barry’s Prius was sitting in front of a fire hydrant, several tickets sticking to the windshield and a boot on the wheel.  “Seriously?” Barry jogged to his car and pulled one of the tickets.  “Two-hundred dollars for blocking a fire hydrant!”  He looked his car over, “If I’m blocking the hydrant, why’d they boot me?”
            “Need a ride?” George said, sliding into the driver’s seat of his car. 
            “Uh, thanks,” Barry said, walking back across the street. 
            Tara’s cell phone buzzed.  “Dammit!” she said, after reading the text, “I’m late for work.  Can I get a ride, too?”
            “No problem.  Where to?”
            Tara looked around.  “Actually, it’s only a few miles west of here.  The Starbucks on Winnetka.”  She got into the front passenger seat.
            “Coffee sounds good right about now.” I said, getting in the back seat, Barry just getting in on the other side.  We rode in silence to the Starbucks.
            George parked in front of the building, and we all got out of the car.  Inside the store, Tara rushed through the employees only door at the back, while Barry, George, and I ordered at the counter.  We were receiving our coffees when Tara returned wearing her uniform.  “We should meet up again later,” she said, grabbing a napkin from the dispenser and a pen from a cup next to the cappuccino machine, “here’s my phone number and email.” She scribbled the information on the napkin. 
            “Hey Tara, I need some help over here,” said the barista who had just served us.  He was juggling several large and obviously complicated orders. 
            “Got to go,” Tara said, then turning to her coworker, “Coming, Chad!”
            The three of us walked back outside, “So where to, Barry?” George asked.
            Barry looked at his watch, Mickey Mouse’s short arm was pointing at one, and his long arm was pointing at twelve.  “You know, I could probably just pick up the bus from here.”
            “Are you sure,” I asked.
            “It’s really no trouble,” George seconded.
            “No, it’s fine.  Thanks.” Barry walked off to join the group standing at the corner.  George shrugged and we got into the car. 
            “So,” George said, “What now?”

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I drew an underwhelming comic!

This is an idea I've had for a while, and as I'm not much of an artist, I'm not surprised by the results.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Because if there's one thing the internet needs more of...It's cats.

I'll try to avoid posting cute pictures of my animals from now on, but I might as well now.  So, squeal at the feline cuteness citizens of the web.  It's one of the many things you do well, and one of the few I can mention on an SFW blog.
That's Cleo

...and Lilith

... And Tramp.

As a thanks for putting up with me posting pictures of cats, here's a bit of Youtube nostalgia for you:
(SPOILERS: It involves cats!)