Monday, December 31, 2001

Something to think about next time you want to get up there and sing a little Love Shack in Cambodia. I have yet to decide if this is a good or bad thing.
So it's New Year's Eve. Inexplicably, I have the day off work, which means I am free to take in hours upon hours of the "In Search Of" marathon on the History Channel.

I love In Search Of. They really set it up perfectly, having Leonard Nimoy as the host. He just sounds so credible (unless you get a mental image of him hanging upside-down from a tree branch in that one Star Trek episode). Just a moment ago I saw this great episode about looking for Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat in 1969. And before that there was the search for The Garden of Eden in Bahrain. That's the great thing about watching In Search Of. It's 25 years old. Nothing you see on In Search Of is going to be in any way current. I think one of the things that tipped me off about the age of In Search Of was when the "modern equipment" they were using in their search for Noah's Ark was distinctly made of Bakelite and resembled an Easy-Bake Oven. "There's the damn Ark, oh and by the way your tart is done. Ping!"

When I was a kid and I watched In Search Of, it seemed kind of cutting-edge to me. Now, I really wonder if it's not all a bunch of stock footage, with Leonard Nimoy sitting around in a studio reading cue-cards and wearing a serape.

Nimoy Nimoy Nimoy

Saturday, December 29, 2001

Hunter Dan Bow Hunter

I'm guessing Ted Nugent has a few of these attractive, yet nicely understated hunting action figures strewn about his Xanadu-like estate. As misterpants kindly pointed out the other day, The Nuge recently celebrated his birthday, so maybe now would be a nice time to send him some action figures.

Also: Christian Bowhunters of America.

Thursday, December 27, 2001

It happened. It finally happened.

For years I have been successfully avoiding being the recipient of the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine. And now, I too am saddled with one, like a lean, mean, fat reducing albatross around my neck. Even now I can feel the urge to grill something creeping into my consciousness. Like this poor sap I guess. Maybe they'll pull me away from the grill one day, as I try to stuff more ramen noodles into it, tears streaming down my emaciated face from all the fat-reducing. "No!" I will shout. "I must grill leanly! Fetch me some ground pork!"

But no-one will listen.

When A and I were registering for our wedding, the kindly saleslady (who by the way ensured that we will never in a million years have a complete matched set of dinner plates) warned us (with a tone reminiscent of Fiver the Rabbit from Watership Down screaming about blood streaming across the warren) that we would undoubtedly receive at least one Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine. I couldn't quite figure out if she was saying that we shouldn't bother registering for it

a. even though we were desperate to grill everything in sight and couldn't wait for the selfless gift that George Foreman had martyred himself to create for our sins


2. because no-one really wants or needs it.

Maybe she has a Grilling Machine. Maybe she has ten of the things. Maybe she stays up late into the night grilling things that probably shouldn't be grilled. I don't know.

As an aside here, I must say that if you are registering for a wedding, you can't go wrong with this. The Dark Monkey Lord Candleholder. My pal Chimichanga was kind enough to get the Dark Monkey Lord for us, after it hypnotized me with its little monkey devil eyes and forced me to register for it. Definitely the coolest gift ever. Here's some more of the work of the Arthur Court Designs people. If you want peculiar, they got plenty of it.

Oh, and I can't forget The Juiceman. I love our juiceman. I love the fact that it was invented by an overgrown oompah-loompah with Bob Barker's hair. That is close to the Dark Monkey Lord on the coolest gifts ever list. I think I enjoy the Juiceman so much because it mixes two of my favorite things: Fresh Fruit and Extreme Violence. You can put the pineapple in the juicer with the rind still on, the saleslady told us at the registry, and I was hooked. I never thought I'd be at a stage of my life where I am purchasing more than one pineapple a week, but here I am, and I love it. You hear me? I love it! You can get The Juiceman's little recipe book with the juicer, in which he starts to get a little weird with spinach and garlic juice, and other things of a decidedly unseemly nature. But we stick to oranges, apples, pineapple and mangoes. Let's just say, you don't want to be a piece of fruit in the Kafkaesque household. Not that you would want to or anything, but you get my point.

Oh, and someone seems to want to stop The Juiceman.

Where was I? Oh, the Grilling. I am now a Griller. Oh! Did I mention it's got burger bun warmers on the top? Must...grill...must...grill........

Pray for me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Oh, and by the way, feliz navidad!
So I have returned from my Christmas ramblings. I got all the important Christmas items this year. I'm sure you already know, but the important Christmas items are:

1. Johnny Cash paraphernalia
2. Plush Cthulhus
3. A Drink with Shane MacGowan

I did get my wife a GameBoy Advance for Christmas, which of course means that I will never see her again. Damn that Yoshi! Now all that is required is a million-candle-power halogen light so she can see the screen.

I hope all of you had a peaceful and happy Christmas. The new year is approaching quickly, and I think we can probably all agree that it has been one of the strangest and saddest years in recent history. This is the time to be thankful for your life, and your friends. Take a moment to remember those we lost this year in New York, in Afghanistan, and all that will be lost in the coming months. I'll raise a pint of the black to them, and to you. Thanks for wasting your time here, and sharing some of the monkey love.

Friday, December 21, 2001

The Soup Conspiracy Revealed

Something is afoot around here. I put off mentioning it for a long time, because I think this goes deep. Real deep. In the last few weeks I began to notice something as I drove to and from work: a peculiar odor. Not the odor present in my workplace after a catered buffet by El Pollo Loco. Something more sinister: Soup Stink.

I work in a largely industrial area, which makes the soup smell even harder to fathom. And it's not just any soup either. It's that peculiar powdery greenish chicken soup that you get out of vending machines with faded pictures of hot cocoa on the outside. That soup has always had the sad future-nostalgia quality of things designed to be futuristic in the late 60s, and that missed by a mile. Like those chairs shaped like eggs with the speakers in them. I once worked in a place that featured the Hot Drinks vending machine, and once I even worked up the courage to buy the soup. This is how I learned, among other things, not to buy that soup again, and that it wasn't so much chicken-flavored as it was rust-flavored.

This soup is in some way related to the "Lipton's Cup O' Soup Spontaneous Generation" Phenomenon, whereby a cupboard in your kitchen, left in its natural state, will develop small nodules resembling vestigial organs that will over time become Lipton's Cup O' Soup packets. You will lead your normal (and let's face it, pretty tedious) existence, without a care in the world, until one day you open up the cupboard, hoping for a little chocolate pudding or something pleasing, and your eyes will be shocked by the vision of spontaneously generated Cup O' Soup packets, grinning out at you like hideous instant soup demons, possibly from another dimension.

Where was I? Oh yes.

So what I'm saying is that it smells like instant soup as I drive along on my way home. This fact was disturbing enough in and of itself, but then it struck me: There are two soup-themed restaurants in this area. The Soup Plantation and the enigmatically named Soup Exchange. I don't buy for a second that you can bring in, say, five packs of Ramen and get a bowl of French Onion. And god knows the exchange rate on a can of Chunky Sirloin Burger. I think it's a fair assumption that whatever soup is being exchanged there, it is purely metaphorical soup and is no actual exchange of physical soup per se.

Now, one soup-themed eatery I can understand. BUT TWO? I think the whole thing is indicative of a vast underground soup network. Powdery greenish chicken soup is being piped through our sewer system, and we are powerless to staunch the flow. I just have to work out some minor details, like who is doing this crazy soup stuff. And why they would want to. I think it may have something to do with scaring off people so they can buy the land really cheap, and involves phosphorescent footprints. Hmm.


My apologies if that post just got weirder and weirder. It was written over the course of a day that involved repeated attacks by lurking Swedish-Butter-Cookie tins, and consequent sugar weirdness.

Anyway, I may not be able to post again til after Christmas (unless the elves let me that is), so please have a happy and safe Holiday. And spare a thought for the monkeys. I'm sure you can spare one little thought for the monkeys, you miser.

Thursday, December 20, 2001

Further proof that people have, at best, a questionable sense of humor.

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

I don't know who it was. I don't care who it was. The fact is this:

You do NOT leave an empty box of Krispy Kremes sitting out, fooling the innocent donut consuming public into believing a tasty treat is within their grasp, only to have their hopes dashed by the donut-vacuum within. I experienced the crushing emptiness of the box this morning, containing only the donut run-off of a few red and green sprinkles. Truly a sad sight. I drew the line at licking the inside of the box, in a pathetic attempt to glean the last shreds of Krispy Kreme goodness from the unfeeling white cardboard.

As everyone knows, Krispy Kremes are best donuts in this world. And I ought to know, because I live in Southern California. There are a ridiculous amount of donut shops here. I'd even go so far as to say that there's a plethora. And that's not a word I use lightly. So there you go. They have drive-thru donut shops. They have giant donut-shaped donut shops. I'd be willing to guess that donuts in this county probably outnumber mammals. That (besides being a recipe for a nightmare donut-coup of epic proportions, led by a deluded Maple Bar who seizes power before he can be eaten) is way too many donuts.

So, of course I'm going to have a Krispy Kreme jones for days now, until I give in and drive in a rabid donut fury to get a box of the damn things. Life is so hard.

And I don't even really like most donuts. I just eat one every now and then to remind myself how icky they are.

Monday, December 17, 2001

Deep questions with The American Egg Board.

Cookin up a storm with eggs. That is some damn fine egg art.

Thursday, December 13, 2001

What's that you say? You say you want to see bead-work that depicts alien pods and the many philosophical questions raised by gene tampering?

You didn't say that?

I think you did.
Everyone should have a cow friend

I believe that this is true. I was so moved by this photo I made up a little poem:

My best friend's a cow
She chews her cud bovinely
and startles easy

The beauty of the cow friend is that they don't want anything from you and even if they did, they would be pretty much incapable of telling you about it. So it's pretty much a win-win situation for you, the Human component of the Human-Cow friendship. You just take and you take, don't you?
The DoubleTree Inn Powerpoint Complaint

via machaus, among others.
I just had a great conversation with a coworker of mine (Let's call him "Steve" because that's his real name).

Steve: "Dude. I just saw Jurassic Park 3 last night. It was awesome"
me: "I didn't see those movies."
Steve: "Yeah, you know in the first one, like they had that Raptor thing?"
me: "No."
Steve: "Well, they had more about the raptor."
me: "I didn't see it."
Steve: "And then you remember in the second one? When they had the T-Rex, and it was running around in San Diego?"
me: "Um. no?"
Steve: "That was stupid, huh?"
me: "Sounds stupid. ['Though you must remember that I haven't actually seen these movies of which you speak, oh wise one,' I wanted to say but didn't. Funny how you only think of these things too late. ah well.] So, these movies are about an amusement park with Dinosaurs in it right?"
Steve: "Actually, there's this island with Dinosaurs on it."
me: "Why don't they just not go to the island?"
Steve: "Because they were windsurfing."
me: "Ah. I see."
Steve: "Remember in that part? When they were like, let's go near that island?"
me: "No. I didn't see those movies."

You get the general idea.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Metal frogs love to play golf. When they're not expressing themselves musically, that is.

And let me just leave you with this. I'm not quite sure what's going on there, but it's nothing I want to be a party to.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001

So the preliminary results are in for the big "Should We Have Comments on My Life As An American Gladiator" vote.

The results so far:

Aye: 0
Nay: 0
Where can I get stickers of Calvin pissing on Jeff Gorden [sic]: 1

As you can see, the above results are really too close to call an exact winner at this time. And as the polls have not yet closed in Hawaii, I feel it would be premature to project.

The opinion expressed in the single vote cast is a valid one, of course. The question of whether or not to add a Comments feature for the vast hoards of readers who frequent this den of iniquity automatically brings to mind the stock-car racing angle. I'm glad one dedicated soul took it upon himself to point this out. And I hope we've all learned a little somthing. I know I have.

I also got to use the nice little "[sic]" thing, which is a great tool for telling people you didn't make the boorish spelling mistake, you merely reprinted it for others' petty amusement.

Monday, December 10, 2001

Does anyone really think it's a good idea to to put bumper stickers like "BAD COP – NO DONUT!" on your car? That won't negatively effect your experience with law enforcement, now will it? Those stickers are just about as good of an idea as a pot leaf or those stupid Grateful Dead teddy bears. The only saving grace on those last two is that they're usually stuck to a VW microbus that could only dream of exceeding the speed limit if it had a severe tailwind going.


Some of the more observant among you may have noticed that there are now pictures over there on the left of your screen. We in the high tech "biz" call them "graphics" or "images". Don't worry. You don't have to write that down or anything. I won't quiz you. Not for a while anyway.

What happened was that my wife, the techno-whiz of the family (I run third, behind her and the cat), finally imparted the secret of how to put graphics on my blog, with the infinite patience of those who teach the handicapped. First, we have a picture of me, to ward off evil spirits and make my readers feel better about their own appearance.

Below is a guy I simply call El Diablo Jazz. Who is he? Where did he come from? Can he draw Tippy and gain entrance to the exciting, fast-paced world of art?

The fact is, he was made for me by the multi-talented Bindlestick Billy, no stranger to the Play-doh Arts. Consider him your unofficial guide to My Life As An American Gladiator. Well, maybe that's not the best idea because you can't really interact with him in any way. Consider him your personal Gatekeeper, who will never, ever let you through the gate.

Note to self for possible Mariachi / Pixies Cover Band name:

Jalapeno Pixie Stick

Friday, December 07, 2001

Time for another super fun day!

Let's all play some Flash Air Hockey.

Now maybe we should calm down with a little Fling the Cow.

Now, get ready for the mind-boggling fun of Home Run Rally at the Life Savers website. The really great thing about Home Run Rally is that you can compete for prizes. Even better than that is the fact that you will never beat the high scores that have already been posted there, unless you are dedicated enough to winning valuable Life Saver prizes that you are willing to sit and crack mighty mouse-click home runs for literally hours without having that moment of clarity when you say "Oh man! I've been clicking a button for two hours and my socks are sitting in the washing machine, wet and sad. I am truly worthless." That's the kind of Satori you can expect from Home Run Rally. Not everyone is ready for such a lightning-flash glimpse in the darkest depths of their soul, but if you think you're ready, go ahead. Don't say I didn't warn you though.

If you get a high enough score, you get to stride to the pitcher's mound and pull off the pitcher's mask, "V" style, revealing the true depths of your baseball nightmare: The pitcher has your own face! All of a sudden you realize your life has been a battle against your own ineptitude, launching mighty home runs off a virtual scoreboard but only wounding your own fragile self as you experience the duality of the pitcher-batter dichotomy.

Knowledge is a powerful thing.

by the way all these links are gratuitously stolen from Not My Desk, a site that is consistently hi-damn-larious, which is unsettling but true.
OK everyone! Time to gather the children around and anoint them with lotion and make sure they're all bundled up in their neckerchiefs and bloomers. It's time for another of Kafkaesque's Great Ideas!

It goes a little something like this:

Ever since I can remember, there have been really impossibly lame campaigns against drugs. One clue as to how effective these campaigns have been is that they come out with a new one every 6 months or so. if any of them had been even marginally successful, it would still be around. You'd still be seeing ads with that guy chasing a vial around a bathroom stall, or the exciting 'I do more cocaine, so I can work longer, so I can get more money, so I can buy more cocaine..." which must have been made into a club dance mix at one time or another. But you don't see those anymore. Or the laughable "Brain on Drugs" thing, or Rock Against Drugs.

I think if Lou Reed or Iggy Pop or Keith Richards is telling you not to do drugs, they're only doing it to make up some community service time from last time they got caught sleeping naked in a stranger's guest room or something. I mean Lou Reed looks like he's been keel-hauled every Thursday at 5 for the last ten years. It would be more effective if Lou just said "Look kids, if you don't want to look like you've been dead for six years, lay off the hard stuff. Oh, and don't settle for walking." Or maybe they could just play some of his back catalogue of 70s and 80s solo releases for a while and say "Don't do drugs or you too could end up writing songs called 'Disco Mystic'".

But I digress. I have the ultimate way to keep your kids from doing drugs: do drugs in front of them. That's right. Spark up a bowl while little Johnny has his friends over for his fourteenth birthday party and then (and this is the real key) act really embarrassing and dull. After the bowl is depleted, the bong has bonged its last, put on some sweatervests and play your Helen Reddy albums. Sing Karaoke to Britney Spears songs. Suggest that all of Johnny's guests join you in a knitting circle, or maybe make God's Eyes out of popsicle sticks.

Johnny will be so traumatized he will stay away from that devil weed for the rest of his life. This plan's beauty is in its simplicity: kids will do whatever you don't want them to do, so remember to constantly reinforce the message. "Johnny!" you can yell from the converstion pit "Come in here and play Connect Four with your parents! We're hopped up on goofballs and ready for fun!"

Thursday, December 06, 2001

Oh man, is Planet of the Apes bad! Bad, bad, bad! Not to belabor the point here, but it was probably one of the worst and most disappointing movies I have ever seen. Tim Burton, formerly one of my favorite directors, now goes straight to the bottom of the pile, or to the bottom of a well, if I can arrange it. This piece of crap film will join the unspeakable badness of The Naked Man and Free Enterprise in the file of My Least Favorite Movies.

the evidence:

- The lead female ape looks almost exactly like Michael Jackson, which makes the sexual tension between her and Marky Mark even more disturbing than it already is (which is plenty disturbing)
- Both big endings of the film are guessable exactly ten minutes into the film.
- Both big endings make you want to pull out your eyes and/or ears rather than have to endure their stunning lameness.
- Cutesy catch phrase lines like "can't we all just get along" are liberally used until you are standing up and challenging the movie: "Do your worst!" you cry. "I can take it! Bring on the moronic dialogue and atrociously poor scriptwriting. I don't even care anymore!" Maybe that one was just me.
- Human female native type included purely for cleavage reasons somehow manages to keep herself spotlessly clean as all around her remain covered in various layers of slime and monkey filth.
- The biggest problem with Planet of The Apes, besides it being astoundingly, unimaginably tedious and migraine-inducing: Not one of the apes in this movie (not even the Jar-Jar-esque comic relief guy) ever once put on a sailor suit and danced around.

We all know that if there were a real planet of the apes, at least half the time would be spent dancing around in sailor suits. Probably the other half would be spent in a variety of feces-related activities that I don't want to go into here. Use your imaginations, if you must.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

So they're renovating our offices here at work. Part of the fun inherent in doing this while we're still working is that I now have no cubical walls, and am consqeuently adrift in a wall-less cube farm. Imagine a hamster if you suddenly whisked away his Habitrail from around him. That's me. Not even a lousy Liberty Ball.

One of the best things about the renovation is that they're repainting around us as we work. As I am typing this, I can hear the resounding thuds of my coworkers' heads hitting their keyboards as they are overcome with paint fumes. Even better, not satisfied with your garden-variety white walls, they have begun to paint "accent" walls. My new office will be yellowish, though the color is called mustard or something made up because someone thought "yellow" was a little too pedestrian. Today, I have witnessed two walls being painted. I am told the colors are "taupe" and "grape". After a few moments viewing these walls, I am ready to tell you that taupe and grape are this year's Official Colors of Soul-Crushing Despair, barely edging out the former champs "salmon" and "teal".

Monday, December 03, 2001

Just in time for Christmas: The Pause of Mr Claus. That's right, it's the saga of the Last Guy, enshrined at arlonet forever. Life is indeed good.
Today's message is a very simple one, and one that you would do well to remember as you struggle through life's many highways and byways:

Corn-nuts smell like pee.

Friday, November 30, 2001

My coworker told me about a great dream he had last night (and I swear to god I am not making this up):

Apparently Sir Water Raleigh and Hulk Hogan were fighting for the hand of Queen Elizabeth I.

That's all he told me. I needed to hear no more. After you have a mental image of Sir Walter Raleigh and Hulk Hogan beating the snot out of each other, while Queen Elizabeth I sits off to the side watching and applauding softly, you've pretty much had it all.

This whole dream thing brings me to something I can bitch about, which is really why we're all here, now isn't it? You know what sucks? When you tell someone about this great dream you had, like the masterpiece mentioned above, and they come back with "Oh, yeah. I guess that's weird, but let me tell you about the dream that I had". Whereupon they launch into a description of the most mind-boggling, technicolor dreamscape, beyond your wildest imaginings: "Dinosaurs with chicken heads swimming through oceans of rice pudding, complete with an appearance by superstar prop comedian Carrot Top, who dropped by and gouged his own eyes out with a live salmon. In my dream, toast was used as money and the king of wombats ruled over all he surveyed from the silken walls of his castle made of Jamaican Allspice. Your hair and fingernails grew inward instead of outward, complicating haircuts and manicures to a ridiculous degree. Elvis was still alive and running a VCR Repair Shop...etc etc."

But I digress. The point is that at least half of the time, they're making it up. It's the pettiest form of one-upsmanship that there is: the "my dream is better than your dream" syndrome. This phenomenon is akin to the "lack-of-sleep braggadocio" which we have all been a party to at one time or another:

"Good gosh," sighs your coworker. "I only got five hours of sleep last night."

Sensing your opportunity for self-aggrandizement, you leap into the fray with a chilling tone "Five hours?" Then with a wistful look in your eyes, you say "I wish I could get five hours of sleep. I get more like two and a half" which is of course a complete lie as you were snoozing away, making icky sleep noises for a good 7 hours last night. This will continue until both parties reach a unit of time which both agree is too ridiculous to allow the charade to continue.

Thursday, November 29, 2001

So today I had to have a picture of myself (well,my hand anyway) taken holding the company's product, because I have big hands and it made the product look small. Draw your own conclusions.

Anyway, after we took the picture the photoshop guy took the background out and I inserted the photo into a brochure I'm making in Quark XPress.

"But Kafkaesque." I hear you cry "Why must you trouble us with this boring tale of your humdrum existence?!"

Because, my friends, it started to get a little bit creepy. Here I am, fiddling around with what is, ostensibly*, a picture of my disembodied hand! To make matters worse, the photoshop guy had kind of feathered the wrist-end of the picture, making it really look like a severed hand traveling around the page, re-justifying text all willy-nilly.

And even worse than that, I saw a film last night called The Crimson Rivers, starring internationally recognized Stupendous Badass Jean Reno, and the movie featured numerous shots of severed hands! Including a whole bucketful of them. Yikes! The movie, buy the way, is ok if you're into Stupendous Badass Jean Reno. Otherwise it's a little disappointing. Top marks on the severed hands though. Very lifelike.

So what I'm getting at here is it was creepy. Did I mention that? Well it was. I'm going to curl up with some chamomile tea now and try not to think about it, until I go to sleep and have nightmares about my severed hand and serif fonts.

*For fun, use the word "ostensibly" in every sentence you can until people start to notice and stop inviting you to parties. "Ostensibly" is a word you can use to make yourself appear smarter than you actually are, which is always nice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

By the way, that last post was my official entry for "most nonsensical and uninteresting post of the year" award.

*fingers crossed*
I was thinking about The White Seal today. Not the show with the white basketball coach. That was The White Shadow. No, I'm talking about The White Seal, a seasonal cartoon for kids that was about the dangers of clubbing baby seals, because if you do club baby seals, you will be menaced by a white seal, which as we all know is pretty scary. I remember digging this special when I was a pup, though I don't think they show it anymore. It was probably too traumatic. In some corner of my mind it is linked to a horrible film they showed us in grade school that featured a field full of prairie dogs being blown up using copious amounts of TNT. Of course, it was very similar to another Rudyard Kipling cartoon: Rikki-Tiki Tavi, which was about the dangers of being a King Cobra when there's a strutting mongoose hanging around the veranda.

Anyway, what I'm getting at here is that I think these sort of stories scarred me emotionally as a child. I get too worked up when I see them and end up sobbing like a little baby.

Whenever there are animals on screen, I know trouble is afoot. When you've got a cute little dog in a movie, he may as well be wearing a red shirt on Star Trek: his fictional thread will be cut short just as soon as you, the viewer, grow attached to him. Don't even talk to me about Where The Red Fern Grows. I'm getting choked up just thinking about it. Or The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Where's PETA on this one I ask you? Protect the fictional doggies! Let them no longer be used to tug our heartstrings! Make their existence more meaningful than simply a plot device!

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Christmas Music from Santa on Monkeybike.

I defy you to read the text on this site without bleeding out of your eyes. I think the Monkeybike-Santa connection is something best left undiscussed.
Oh stop! It's just too good. Santa Cthulhu!

Monday, November 26, 2001

I hope you have all been keeping the faith on that "boycott Clamato" thing in my absence. We will bring Clamato to its knees! Not to suggest that clams have knees or anything. Maybe they do. They're probably just biding their time on this whole evolution thing, awaiting their moment to rise and claim the earth by divine right, smashing the state underneath the awesome grandeur of their Red Tide. Just imagine the glorious tiny deep knee bends!

Anyway, maybe mobile pants and clams will fight it out one day on Pay Per View. We can but dream.

The reason for me being incommunicado for a stretch was of course that Thanksgiving reared its turkey head and I was at home and therefore subject to the whim of AT&T Broadband, which sucks a mammoth amount of ass. Or butt, if you prefer the PG version. We were unable to get DSL in our current digs, and therefore were forced into a Cable modem situation. One of the great things about having a cable modem is that you get a modem which looks like a cross between the shiny black Alien head from Aliens and a suped up Future-Toaster (which, in itself, looks a lot like a shiny black alien head, without the second jaw thing or as much ichor dripping from its thristing snout thing). Sadly, though the modem looks keenbean and all, it is:

a. incapable of remaining vertical on my little computer rack, performing a near-nightly ritual in which it pirouettes daintily and falls over on its side, owing to it being shaped like an alien head and all. Actually it kind of looks like a shark fin too, though I wouldn't recommend anyone making soup out of it.


2. seldom functional.

When it works, it's fast as something very fast. Say, one of those lizards that run across the water on their back feet. That kind of fast. Way faster than our DSL was. But it goes out with stunning regularity and when it goes out you can:

a. Take all the wires out and go eat some cereal. Usually a high-fiber choice like Just Right or Special K will do the trick, though sometimes you have to kick it into high gear with some All-Bran. Then, after you have had some internal flora exercise, you return to your computer den, where you patiently reconnect all the wires, wondering if you should do it in some special order, or if maybe you should have tried the Cookie Crisp, with the end result being that it still doesn't work.


2. Call the apes at tech support who will tell you to disconnect all the wires and wait a while and then reconnect them (they never even mention what you should snack on in the interim, which I feel is a major factor in their low success record). The end result of this will be that it still doesn't work. If you really pester them they get all defensive and threaten to actually send one of their goons to your home where he will disconnect and reconnect all the wires, and probably clear out your pantry while he's waiting. If you push them past even this sad state, they will just say "powercycle the modem" until you hang up.

That's enough about AT&T.

Another thought occurred to me while we were cooking up our turkey this Thanksgiving: by living on the fourth floor of my apartment hive, I am placing an obscene amount of trust in the people who live below me. This thought really hit me when I began to hear a chorus of smoke alarms going off in the building. Then, it got worse when I realized that most of my experience with my fellow apartment drones is hearing them sitting in the hot tub of an evening and making hooting noises. Best not to think about it.


Another thing here: What do all seven of you think about having a "comments" feature on this here weblog thingy? Email me and let me know. Of course, if I did enable comments, there would be no calling me a chucklehead or doing anything but lauding sycophantic praise upon me. That would be OK right?

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Just a word on this whole "mobile pants" thing:

I am hopeful that soon there will come a day when you will be able to purchase pants that will hold your laptop as well as your PDA, along with maybe the yellow pages and medium sized rocks. I envision a future in which pants rule the earth! People carry around so much weight in their voluminous pants pockets that they lose all ambulatory power, in a cruel twist on the "mobile" pants theme.

Then, after experiments to free ourselves from the shackles of our mobile pants, the pants become saturated with Gamma Rays (much like Bill Bixby except that he's a dead actor who turned into the Hulk and hosted a TV show whose title I can't remember but which I think had something to do with Roald Dahl, and the pants are not) and become sentient pants, roaming the land in gargantuan herds, dragging their sobbing owners behind them as they do terrible things that pants have always secretly fantasized about, like...well...bad pants stuff.

Hmm this sounded much more interesting when I started.

Oh well. Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Eat lots of turkey and enjoy the wonders of bloating, napping and breaking wind with the rest of the country. I know I will.
I am currently rockin' in the free world. If any changes occur to a. my rockin' or non-rockin' status or 2. my location or its relative freedom, you will be notified immediately. Should a loss in rockin' status occur (which, though unlikely, is within the realm of possiblity) more rockin' will be added until an acceptably rockin' level has been restored.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

You say you want free access to page-long paragraphs about unspeakable Old Gods? Well, buster, here you go.

Monday, November 19, 2001

Quantum Tubers.

There's nothing particularly wild about Quantum Tubers, except that it would make a badass band name. Also, it's fun to say in a voice like people have in old Roger Corman movies when they come around the corner and realize that all that genetic tampering the government has been doing with cuttlefish has finally produced a 500 foot tall, really pissed off cuttlefish. Let's all try it now: "QUANTUM TUBERS?! Why, God? Why?!?" Then we fall to our knees and weep openly at man's hubris.


On a completely unrelated note, have a look at my good friend Sasko Sam, the South African Bread Man.


Also pretty much completely unrelated: Very cool T-shirt.

Friday, November 16, 2001

A documentary about Kafka's distant cousin, Egon Kafka. When I heard "Egon" Kafka, I was hoping for more of a Ghostbusters-meets-Kafka sort of thing, but what can you do?
Useful fact about Kafkaesque: I was once beaten at Ping-Pong by a midget. Swear to god.

Going to see Sparklehorse tonight. Can't wait.

Grievous plans have been set in motion for the future look of this site, like for example making it not look like crap. That would be a step in the right direction. I hope people are getting the idea that I am from the "Less Is More" school of blog design. In actuality, I am from the "What the Heck Am I Doing?" school of blog design, but don't let on.

Oh, and by the way, I am mourning the loss of a blog entry that included such highlights as:

· Julio, the suicidal bagel shop manager
· Why I am, in fact, better than him
· The unknowable name of God

Not necessarily in that order. But, of course, the all knowing Blogger pooped on it and took it away for ever and ever, so it will remain a subject of myth and legend but nothing more, until one day the lost entry surfaces in an abandoned mine in Peru, the product of an elaborate hoax and some restless gnomes.

Let me just finish today by saying that it is probably a good thing that the whole "Gnome" craze faded almost entirely from the public eye, remembered only by nostalgic folk such as myself who remember that in the Nick Jr. cartoon "gnome" series, the voice of the lead gnome was Tom Bosley of Happy Days, Father Dowling Mysteries and Glad Garbage Bag fame. I'm not talking about your garden variety gnome here. I mean those guys with the red caps and beards that were cropping up in books and on the side of innocent coffee mugs in the 80s. Sends a chill down my spine just thinking of it.

I will one day put actual links in my entries. For reals this time.

Thursday, November 15, 2001

So since this whole "living every day in at least relative fear for your life" thing started, we wake up every morning and put on CNN. A few thoughts have occurred to me as I munch my bagel or my scintillating mix of Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes (a devilish mix which summons up bizarre mascot ideas in which Tony the Tiger must be cross-bred with that green chicken Corn Flake thing. The whole "weakening of food" principle has loomed large in my life as I have gotten older: Watering down the Orangina with some mineral water, tempering the sugar-bang of cereal with analagous, blander and altogether less pleasing flakes. It is my firm belief that I am not backing away from the sensation of full-powered food items, but merely decreasing the frequency with which I sample their delights, with the objective that when i do eat a bag of Pop Rocks, say, my head will become fully rotational from the sugar rush and I will be able to join a traveling freak show, a career choice about which I have so often fantasized.)

1. All CNN anchorwomen are slowly gravitating towards the exact same haircut.
2. Why do I care about Paula Zahn's haircut?
3. I really really really want to play RISK on the giant map they have over there at CNN. Can you imagine the rush of power as you stand in a ten foot long representation of Kamchatka, eyeing the west coast of North America with a steely glare as you boldly stride across a huge plastic representation of the dotted line across the Pacific?
4. I find myself distracted by the people who have their desks directly behind the anchors' desk. What are their lives like? They must know that they are visible. I bet their friends call them up while they're in-shot and have them make some secret signal. I have experienced momentary thrills of excitement when I have caught one of them in a secret on-air bite of a danish, and I once saw two of them engaged in a lively discussion which was obviously in no way work-related. They're like the CNN Elves, cobbling together the stories for the clueless anchors, ready for a heartfelt delivery in which the anchors approximate sincerity and act like authority figures, when we know they're really only worried about their outfit.
5. They have some strange commercials on CNN. I don't know if it's because the spots are extremely cheap, but they seem to take an almost sadistic glee in running the commercial for the 15 year-old opera singer's greatest hits ad infinitum.
6. Wolf Blitzer = No longer the cool and hip dude he once was, now relegated to a supporting role, like some crazed and disfigured Phantom of the Opera, lurking in the highest CNN scaffolding and soiling Larry King's wardrobe in a sad plea for help.
7. I promise not to watch CNN tomorrow. I really mean it this time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Thanks to everyone for your support in the groundbreaking write-in campaign, but I feel it is my duty to support Dodge Ram as the new mayor of Truckville. It was a close race right up to the end, but when Dodge Ram got Aerosmith's endorsement, I could see the writing on the wall. So please join me in lending my support to Dodge Ram, and let's all try to get behind big ugly needless trucks in their quest to rule over all they survey.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Well, that wasn't technically true.

What really happened is that your old pal Kafkaesque turned 30. A (my wonderful wife) took me to Point Arena, where we stayed at a rad (as the kids say) Bed and Breakfast called the Historic Coast Guard Inn, and did some wine tasting in the Anderson Valley.

So there really wasn't a whole lot of rasslin' going on. Unless you count the luxurious bathtub in our room where I rassled a loofah for a while until A explained to me that a loofah is not technically alive, and therefore not a legitimate rasslin' foe. For an inanimate object, though, that was one tough loofah. Maybe I'll reconsider this whole rasslin' thing.

And A also planned a surprise party for me, which I have never had before. All my buddies showed, except of course for Bungee Benji, who's on a deep cover assignment in Costa Rica, being professionally cool for the government.

Did I mention I have the best wife in the known universe?

Well, I do.
OK, I know I haven't updated this thing for a week or so, but I was unexpectedly called away to go rassle stuff. That's my new thing: rasslin'.

If you need any critters and/or varmints rassled for any reason, just drop me a line. I understand that some of the reasons for the desired rasslin' may be of a personal nature, so you don't have to go into detail. Your anonymity is assured. As long as I get to rassle something, I'm cool.

You may also be required to sign a waiver in case of damage to yourself or any garments, particularly suede garments, that may be incurred as a result of the aforementioned rasslin', because, as you are probably well aware, once the rasslin' starts, it can get ugly right quick.

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

OK. That's it.

**Clam Signal**

I never got any free stuff from the Clamato people, and now all bets are off. Please join me in a complete boycott of any and all Clamato products. I know this will probably entail actually starting to consume any Clamato at all, which may give some of you the willies, but this is important!

Honestly, you could probably get away with just telling everyone how much Clamato you used to drink before some idiot with a weblog forced you to boycott your favorite bivalve beverage. It'd be your word against theirs, after all, and who wouldn't take your side? No jury in the land would convict you! Feel free to give in to the spirit of the occasion by describing huge troughs of Clamato, to which you may have added whole Clamfruit, for added clamness, that you would consume nightly in a vast clam juice orgy of truly biblical proportions.

They'll be sorry. Oh yes.
I'm sorry. I know I haven't posted for a few days, but I have been deeply involved in the assembly of IKEA furniture. I may have gotten a little too involved. At one point I managed to trap myself inside a Wall Unit for six hours, only freed when a kindly group of dextrous Swedes liberated me. So of course, that was a little traumatic, but the upside is that I am now totally modular and can be expanded to hold everything from kitchen utensils to an entire entertainment system, using only an allen wrench. My nose can be placed in up to four different positions, in case you're having company over and need that extra space. It also seems that my legs are now available in birch, beech or medium-brown veneer, which will be handy for assimilating into foreign cultures where birch veneer is the norm.

Thank you, by the way, for not including the shelf hangers in my wall unit packaging, kindly Swedes.

Friday, November 02, 2001

So we recently purchased one of those fax/printer thingys. Mere days after bringing this little bundle of joy into the Stygian depths of our study/computer lounge, Fax Spam started to spew forth copiously. Fax Spam is mystifying to me. Admittedly, many things are mystifying to me, like how TV works and why a tomato is a fruit, but that's beside the point.

Do they just keep trying numbers until one of them happens to be a fax machine? I picture legions of pathetic lackeys shackled to phones with lots of shiny buttons that don't really do anything calling number after number after number, their cruel, hunchbacked supervisor leaning over them and lightly brushing their pasty neck with a riding crop, whispering "Was that one a fax number, you fool? No? Oh yes, the whip I think."

So they determine I have a fax machine and just start hurling garbage at me, on – and this is the best part – paper I paid for. Why just today the good folks at Wendy's somehow decided that I was in dire need of a FREE CHICKEN SANDWICH! and sent me some convenient coupons. What a nice guy that old man with the heart trouble must be.

After I get done with my sandwich, it's off on a delightful CARNIVAL CRUISE for a mere $299! But the fun doesn't stop there. Then I can buy toner from people who use clip art cheerleaders on their flyers. That must be some damn good toner.

But the real coup de grace, which I'm keeping under my hat, is the HOT STOCK TIP which showed up on something that looked mindbogglingly close to a copy of the Wall Street Journal. Oh, except that it was on a letter-sized piece of MY paper and seemed to consist only of an article about how it would be the very height of depravity not to divest my entire life savings and invest in UniverCell Holdings (OTC BB: UCVL: PARROT TURD).

Oh no! I let the name of my hot stock tip slip! Now all seven of you reading this will be able to reap the gargantuan gains which can only be gained from unwanted crap shooting out of your innocent fax machine. Horrors!

Thank you, Fax Spam!

Thursday, November 01, 2001

Today, an investigation into a strange behavioral anomaly that has been cropping up across this great nation of ours much like one of those frosted strawberry pop-tarts, especially in that if you stick it in your mouth too soon you burn the crap out of your tongue. Sound familiar? That's right, I'm talking about Cat-Dancing.

Just look at the delight:

Monica & Buster

I can't even begin to guess what's going on here.

Someone is just off camera throwing this cat.

And again, the weirdness.

And not to be excluded from the current cat artistic renaissance: Cats That Paint.

Feather Fondue.

Feather Frontier.

A little something I like to call: Cat In Bathtub Making Huge Mess.

All this is taken from the awesomely peculiar: Museum of Non-Primate Art

Umm, bird crap art?

Mallard poo as art.

Maybe this is a joke. Can this be a joke? Who among us would not leap at the opportunity to pay over $100,000 to go on this expedition, where "Generally, he will become more fully conversant with all aspects of Tibetan cat charming." Tibetan Cat Charming. Hmm. This had better be a hoax or you know that Rage Against The Machine guy will be all hot and bothered either protesting or supporting it. I'd say he'll probably come out in favor of Tibetan Cat Charming if he gets to wear one of those wooly Tibetan hats. Tough angry singer types love those things.

It has to be a joke. They misspelled "Scholarship" for one, and their research includes the development of a "Walkcat". Oh and the study of day-glo cat spray.

Please let it be a joke.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Magic moments from the people:

Sayyy, is that a winged monkey?

"This CEO is serious about jungle business"

Chicken Umpire...You just have to wonder sometimes who exactly is collecting these things.

WOW! What a great movie poster collectible! Just listen to this synopsis: "(1967) A young American inherits an olive farm in a French village and decides to train four astro-chimps to pick the olives instead of hiring local villagers. Maurice Chevalier, Dean Jones, Yvette Mimieux, Bernard Woringer. Dir. Andrew V. McLagien. Folded" ...from the almost critically acclaimed "Monkeys, Go Home!" Did I mention Maurice Chevalier was in it?

Oh and Mouse Surfer too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

All I'm saying is that my brithday is coming up real soon, and nothing says happy birthday like a plush Cthulhu doll, now does it?
Test your catfish knowledge with the Catfish Quiz.
The Potato Then & Now. I originally thought this was some sort of exploration of the thematic groundwork laid in the light classic Emilio Estevez film, That Was Then... This Is Now. But no, it's actually all about potatoes. Which is, of course, just fine.

Here, also for your potential enjoyment: The National Potato Council.

And, everyone's favorite edible mascot: Spuddy Buddy.

Mummified Mashed Potatoes, Spooky Spuds and Mashed Potato Ghosts. The Mashed Potato Ghosts are a little weak. I mean, you can pretty much build anything you want out of mashed potatoes, right? Maybe not multi-story buildings, but you could probably fashion a little yurt type thing that would not only provide shelter but nutrition through the cold winter months.

I do kind of like the idea that these little apparitions are the ACTUAL ghosts of the potatoes, being freed from their eternal spud bondage with a little creative mashing (or, if the reserach elves at Kafkaesque Labs ever get on the ball, Self-Mashing).

Thursday, October 25, 2001

Here's something else for you to note as you go through the tragicomedy we call life:

When did those commericals start? You know, the ones for allergy medication or herpes medication or baldness, where at the end of the commerical they have a really fast-talking guy quickly run through the list of horrific side-effects that await you should you be foolish enough to ingest the advertised product.

"Taking Proxoloxin may cause bleeding through your hair. Additional side effects of Proxoloxin may include your teeth turning orange and fusing into a beak, your left ear sealing closed, your shady business deals being investigated by a hard-hitting consumer advocate from the 6 o'clock news, alienation of your houseplants and/or pets, amnesia, a general sense of malaise, loss of complimentary fast-food ketchup packet privileges, growth of an undisclosed and completely unnecessary internal organ, increase in junk mail from dating services, clam-o-phobia, laughing out of context, coal in your stocking, revocation of membership in any and all masonic lodges, change in eye color, forking of tongue, and severe itching, swelling and redness pretty much everywhere on your body and the bodies of your acquaintances. Children under 12 should not take Proxoloxin. Members of the clergy should not take Proxoloxin. Nervous people may take Proxoloxin, but by no means should they tell anyone they are taking Proxoloxin.

Oh, and your head might fall off, too."

All said very quickly, as if it was nothing to really worry about all that much.

Speaking of that, whatever happened to the whole Really-Fast-Talking-Guy thing, so popular in the late eighties? I think maybe the world as a whole just kind of said "Wow! What a colossally stupid talent! You there, Fast Talking Guy! Stop that! And you, Police Academy Funny Mouth Noises Guy, you too!"

That's unity, my brothers.

[coming soon: the story of Elvis and MonkeyBoy]

Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup gets my vote as the most enjoyable of disgusting soup choices.

There is something so pleasing about the whole experience of making this food item for yourself.

1. Opening the can.

You grab your trusty can opener and head for the can. That can that has stayed the exact same for god knows how long. Momentary doubts cross your mind: What is the shelf life of this soup? Just how old is this particular can? Is that a hint of bloating?

You push aside your petty fears and open the can, wondering if the cat heard the can opener and is even now about to set upon you with his little cat claws and guilt-inducing yowls. A decision must be reached: whether to complete the entire trip around the lid of the can with the opener, thus chancing the top falling into your soup concentrate, and thereby transferring the unpleastantness that may have collected on top of the can into your future meal, or to leave the top connected by a little eighth-of-an-inch metal strip. While the more sanitary choice, leaving it attached is also dangerous: as you struggle to lift the still-connected aluminum top, inserting your just-clipped thumbnail underneath the plane of metal, you open yourself up to an injury which could result in tetanus and eventually death.

2. Emptying the can

Another choice: do you grab a spoon from the top drawer and help the viscous contents of the can out and into the saucepan, or do you perch above the pan, can upturned, waiting for gravity to run its course and the perfect, can-shaped lump of concentrated soupness to wriggle its way free, falling into the pan with a resounding and satisfying splurp! The second choice is obviously the more aesthetically pleasing, and you have found after years of emptying Cream of Chicken soup into saucepans that the perfect technique calls for the can to be just fractionally higher than one can above the bottom of the pan. This way, when the contents hit the bottom, they actually retain the shape of the can, right down to the ribbed indentations left by the can itself.

3. Adding the Liquid

Here is the stage where your creativity and joie de vivre can really be called to the forefront. You are left with some options by the directions on the can. You must add a can-ful of liquid. But the directions offer you the option of adding water or milk, or some combination of the two. To even consider adding only water is nothing short of laughable. You think to yourself that this is tantamount to eating breakfast cereal with water, and shake off the notion with a small shudder. The way to go is with pure milk but with a twist: to use less than the whole can recommended by the Campbell's people. You use maybe 3/4 of a can, and stir the gloppy soup concentrate as you slowly pour in the milk, the heat of the burner up to just a little bit more than Medium. Not hot enough to stick the soup to the bottom of the pan, but not cold enough that you will be left stirring for what seems like hours, inserting your finger into the soup and being disappointed at its tepid temperature as you suck the liquid from your finger, worrying quietly whether it's all right to consume non-heated soup glop.

4. Stirring Minimally

But the real coup de grace in Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup making is to stir the soup only minimally while it is cooking. That way, you are left with little globs of unexpected high-powered chicken flavor. While the rest of the soup is made to suffer, seeming drab and bland by comparison, it is worth it for these little nuggets of delight, which call to mind the floating mines which would show up in the Gilligan's Island lagoon periodically.

5. Enjoy!
Now, you are ready to relax and enjoy your soup. You pour it into your favorite bowl, but then realize that the hot soup within has presented you with another problem: the bowl is so full of hot soup that it presents a real spill danger as you try to carry it to the family room coffee table, where your favorite cartoon is about to begin. To stand here in the kitchen, slowly taking spoonfuls of your soup and blowing on the spoon, feeling a little bit silly, until enough has been drained that you may carry the bowl safely to the table? Or to seize the soup by the horns, so to speak, and hope to reach that certain Zen-like food carrying state achieved by waiters in better Chinese food restaurants and martial arts films, in which you can attain the perfect balance, not spilling any scalding soup on your fingers, and make it to the table before your fingers can no longer take the heat of the bowl.

If past experience is anything to go by, you will opt for the latter choice, making it to the table with no spillage, and just as your fingers cannot bear the heat any longer you will place the bowl down on the table, just a little too quickly, slopping some of the creamy soup onto the only important papers in your entire house.

Sit back, enjoy your well-reserved reward, and try not to think too much about what chicken parts can actually make it into Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup.

Sincere apologies if that whole thing was a little obsessive.

Tuesday, October 23, 2001

A bigger head than mine!

Bungee Benji has theorized that I may in fact be an Olmec God. He will have to be silenced.
One of these links is not like the others:

Popcorn and crawdad! This, apparently, is The Ultimate Wow Gift.


The best damn mascot I have ever seen. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Sammy The Shrimp of the Southend United Football Club.


The search is over for the Sea Slug Forum. Actually, they're quite attractive animals really. Who knew?


Peace from Shabba-Doo. The Breakin' website! There is a feisty picture of Shabba-Doo hurting his head if you click on the "Pictures" link.

Monday, October 22, 2001

Very Zen Quicktime video: Less Talk, More Monkey.

Also very disturbing for me, because I have virtually all of the stars of that short film piled in various locations in my house. I hope that wasn't filmed by one of my little monkey pals.
By the way, don't be alarmed by the apparently nonsensical organization of the left-hand side of this blog. As soon as I figure out how to do any of this stuff correctly, it'll all be taken care of. Until then, have fun with the Libation of the Moment, and pretend to care about what I read, listen to and watch. It's good training for life, where you will be forced to feign interest in the inconsequential lives of others any number of times.
OK. It's time to come clean. After 29 years of living on this crazy, mixed up world, I'm going to tell you the truth: I have a big head.

This truth was brought home to me by a seemingly innocent cowboy hat.

My friend Bindlestick Billy had himself a cowboy hat that I really liked. I would drop subtle hints about how much I liked this cowboy hat, by saying things like "I sure like that cowboy hat", or by forcibly taking it and wearing it all day, deaf to his cries of "but I've got hat head!" and solemn oaths to seek vengeance for my hat-thievery.

One note about this hat: It kind of makes me look more like Bono than I already do, which is not necessarily a good thing.

So I would wear this hat whenever I got the opportunity, but it would leave me with a red line on my forehead, not unlike a line that would result from being whacked repeatedly with a shovel. But what to do? I resolved that, much as the prospect pained me, I would have to swear off wearing the cowboy hat forever.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Bindlestick Billy came to visit me, and gave me the hat. Of course, I was excited to see my old friend the hat again (and Billy of course), but I knew the telltale forehead line would not be far behind. So I went out to find a western store to stretch my hat. My first stop was The Grant Boys. The Grant Boys is a store in the land of fake boobs and superficiality known as Newport Beach, California. What immediately attracted me to this shop is the fact that it has a giant sign in the shape of a six-shooter that says "GRANT'S FOR GUNS" on it. If anyone could stretch my hat, it's a place with a giant particle board revolver.

Sadly, they were of no use at all. Apparently all the cowboys in Newport Beach have garden-variety, normal sized noggins.

Tearfully, I took my business elsewhere. Like all well-prepared ersatz cowpokes, I had prepared for my hat-stretching mission by researching potential stores on the net. I had a couple of more places I could go, and so I took to the road in my very authentic Old-West car. It's a little-known fact that most cowpokes drive VW Golfs with "Cthulhu Saves (In Case He Gets Hungry Later)" bumper stickers on them.

I zoomed off towards Santa Ana, where legend had it there was another western store, that would be only too happy to help out a large-craniumed hayseed like myself. I swear to you that I followed the driving directions with an attention to detail not usually observed in non-cyborg drivers, and yet I still couldn't find the damn place. To be honest, my attention to detail is somewhat confounded by my almost total lack of any sort of sense of direction. I could get lost going from the bedroom to the bathroom. I blame Yahoo! Shopping for that particular bout of ineptitude, a policy I am going to institute for use anytime I get lost driving, which is a near-daily occurrence. At least getting senile won't be too much of a change.

So I toodled around for a good two hours, through the charming streets of Santa Ana, where happy young gentlemen flicked lit matches at me and offered to give me directions by poking switchblades menacingly in the correct direction.

Finally, I gave up and went to Boot Barn, which is what the vacuous individual at The Grant Brothers had told me to do in the first place. Boot Barn is very cool. Great for all your hat-stretching needs. And they did it for free.

But it's still too small for my giant head.

Sunday, October 21, 2001

I know it's not terribly interesting but I just have to say WOOOO! The Earthquakes won the MLS Cup today!

So, uh, WOOOO!!

Saturday, October 20, 2001

There's just not enough weird children's stories around these days.

When I was just a young sprout, I remember reading this great folk story about Baba Yaga (not to be confused with Barbapapa, of course, the head of a clan of kidney-bean shaped, multicolored goo people). Baba Yaga lived in a forest, in a hut made of human bones and supported on chicken legs. I kid you not. And she would, well, eat people. Sometimes she is portrayed riding around in a mortar and pestle through the night sky, just being creepy and evil. This also proves that Slavic folk tale writers had way too much time on their hands.

There's just not enough of that wholesome kind of family entertainment around these days.

My wife, who is German, grew up with Der Struwwelpeter, or Shockheaded/Slovenly Peter, a collection of stories featuring children being maimed and killed for not obeying their parents. Here is a lovely story about a girl playing with matches and burning herself to death. That in itself might be enough for some people, but the author here chose to further upset young readers by showing a picture of kitty-cats crying, which is nice. But this is the best story in there, and it really freaked her out as a kid. It's a pleasing tale of the dangers of sucking your thumb. If you do suck your thumb, despite the dire warnings of mom & pop, a kindly gentleman will appear and cut off your thumb with hedge clippers. Hell, that freaks me out now and I'm thirty.

There is a touring production of a musical version of these happy tales, which sadly will not make it down here to the land of wigs and novelties.

I'm sorry if this entry was traumatic for any of you out there. Here are some pictures of cute ringtail lemurs to make you feel better.

That's life, really isn't it? There's a little Baba Yaga and a little lemur every day.

Friday, October 19, 2001

Today we look at the conceivably happy world of Balloony Inspirations

You want to talk about emotional baggage? I'm guessing this young man is going to have some.

Ah! Witness the grandeur of Dave in rainbow hat!

Barber with balloon thing.


This one is the best.

Oh my god. I can't take it.


Thursday, October 18, 2001

Although black cat is supposed to bring money, it seems lacking in lust.

This just in: Lucky Pig.

Maneki Neko Club explains the legends and history of Lucky Cat.

I know Lucky Cats aren't crazy wild fun or anything...I just kind of like them. I have a couple of them at home and they are generally much quieter and cleaner than my real cat. That's not saying much to be honest, but there you go.
Samurai Lucky Cat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

You know who probably doesn't drink Red Rose Tea?

Magnus Ver Magnusson, that's who. Magnus carries around cars and lifts families of four with his index finger. He doesn't have time for candy-ass tea drinking. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that if Magnus Ver Magnusson ever found out that I made reference to him on my blog right next to an entry about Red Rose Tea Animals, I would be a dead man.

"KAFKAESQUE!" he would roar from his little tiny head surrounded by massive shoulders. "I don't care how many of North America's Endangered Ceramic Animals you have collected! I will crush you like a bug!"

And he would too. He'd have to. When you're the four time winner of the World's Strongest Man competition, there are certain responsibilities. There are appearances at shopping malls in the Midwest and Plains States, Car Lifting and Crushing Candy-Ass Tea Animal Collectors. That's life. Oh and he also has to call Gerrit Badenhorst at least twice a day and taunt him mercilessly.

Friday, October 12, 2001

You have got to be kidding me.

I have more of these damn Red Rose Tea Animals than I know what to do with, and someone is selling them for 5 bucks each?!? I will go on record now as saying that if any of you seven or so people who are reading this need a particular animal to round out your collection of useless knick-knacks, just contact me and I'll see what I can do. I may only charge you $4.99 too.

Dear god! Huggybear must be stopped.

Oh wait, there's a bush-baby. I need that.

Thursday, October 11, 2001

Frito Bandito, the singing, dancing, happy go lucky bandit. Apparently, in the halcyon days of 1970, you could get free Zinnia seeds from animated Cheeto spokespersons.

[thx Bungee Benji]
Is there any sadder sight than a fifty year old man eating a Filet-O-Fish and reading Marmaduke? The Filet-O-Fish, in its also-ran status as the apologist for the beef crimes of McDonald's is just inherently heartbreaking. It's the ultimate menu afterthought. In a sense I think the people who eat Filet-O-Fishes have an image of themselves as wild-eyed loners, breaking the Big Mac mold. But what they're really saying is "I long since ceased caring about my health in even the most general sort of way, but am fooling myself into believing McDonald's food is healthier if it tastes vaguely like a fish."

And then maybe they think "Hoo! That rascal Marmaduke's on the couch again!"

Just the kind of things that occur to me on my little lunch break sometimes.

Not that I'm saying the rest of McDonald's food isn't disgusting. It is. The only reason I think anyone should buy McDonald's hamburgers is to stick the patties on strangers as you drive by them in your car.
In these troubled times, I think we could all benefit from a little Squish The Bug.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Since I was nattering on about junk mail the other day, why not revisit that delightful realm again? "Because it sounds really dull?" you snap at me and continue eating your sandwich, your acid tone melting the muenster cheese onto the romaine lettuce.

Well, I'm not saying it's going to heart-poundingly exciting, but here goes:

My Macy's Bill, by kafkaesque (age 6)

Yes it's true, I have a Macy's card. I didn't really want to possess a Macy's card, but circumstances beyond my control forced me to buy a ridiculously expensive leather jacket that I am still paying for and which now has cat claw marks on it. These are very similar to, but not exactly the same as, the circumstances which to this day do not allow me to pay off the card completely, thereby avoiding the crux of the problem: The Stinky Macy's Bill.

Right now I am sitting in my happy little cube at work (which is, in all honesty, more of a trapezoid and not particularly happy), having just consumed my lunch and paid some bills. Because one of these bills was The Stinky Macy's Bill, my little suffer-zone now smells like a french cathouse.

Macy's people of the world, listen to me: I don't want perfume samples in my bill. There is no conceivable scenario in which I would be paying my bill and pause as I lick the envelope, thinking in a far-off way: "Wait a second here, is that the delightful scent of wild jasmine with just a hint of vanilla undercurrent?"


Instead I am thinking "Good Christ! The damn Macy's bill stinks again!"

There are plenty of other things you can order from the convenience of your Macy's envelope, including "Timeless Gifts for $5" (a term that is apparently defined by 2 different plastic appointment books and a pen), Thermalite Shutters ("They'll never know they're not wood") and Disney Figurine Clocks. The Disney Clocks range from the happy "Pooh & Friends", the peculiar "Cinderella with Pumpkin" to the blatant despair of "Tigger Alone".

What I'm really trying to say is lighten up Macy's! Take it easy! We know you can buy pretty much everything at a Macy's.

Especially if it says Tommy Hilfiger in huge letters on it. They have lots of that stuff.

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

Osama 'n' Bert

and again

All I can guess is that the guy who made the posters downloaded from a humor site. You'd think he would have noticed.

Monday, October 08, 2001

I'm sorry to disappoint all you car companies that are sending me cunningly disguised junk mail to get me to buy your vehicles*, but I have found my next car. Its name is Transaurus. And it's really, really stupid.

Galactron. Also pretty stupid.

I kind of get the feeling you spend a couple of years building one of these things and then you sit back in your Barcalounger, put your feet up, and then you shake your head and say out loud "Oh my good lord! I just spent two years building a car that looks like Pete's Dragon! What the hell is wrong with me!?"

Go ahead and revel in the monster truckness of it all.

*By the way, good work on that last one that almost looked like actual mail. You know, the one with the eagle on it that kind of looks like a Priority Mail envelope? I almost opened that one. Here's a hint though: The more "INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT! OPEN IMMEDIATELY!" labels you put on the envelope, the less likely I am to open it.
Giant Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs

Painted Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs.

I'm relatively certain this site is selling frogs as pets. Relatively.
I knew it! If I was a robot I'd be Roy Batty from Blade Runner. Find out which robot you would be.

Pretty damn cool actually. Except that means that later on in my career I will star in such monuments to lameness as The Hitcher with C. Thomas Howell. and I'll have to endure the humiliation of people saying "Rutger who?" while in the back of my mind I'll be thinking "All these moments will be lost, like... tears... in rain." Then the Vangelis music will come up, there will be doves, and I'll switch off.

OK, the truth is that I don't really remember The Hitcher all that well, though I do seem to remember one scene with some fingers in a box of french fries. Or was that Bedknobs and Broomsticks? I just can't be sure.
Chicken Chuckles. Don't ask, because I don't know. I do like the artist's open-mindedness, evidenced by the thought-provoking invitation: "Suggest a Chicken". Sir, if you happen to notice that I have linked to your site, please indulge me with Construction Worker Chicken. Or maybe, if it's not too much to ask, Turkey Chicken.


Oh, and as to why punchpuppets are so damn funny?

They just are.

Friday, October 05, 2001

Today at My Life As An American Gladiator, we look into a phenomenon that has, at one time or another, touched all of our lives. A topic so sensitive, none of the major media outlets would touch it. Put it this way: there are people out there that don't want you to know.

In case you haven't already guessed, I'm talking about the horror of Dead Bees.

If you ever want to throw someone into a panic, all you have to do is speak those two simple words: "DEAD BEE!" Obviously, Dead Bees aren't all that threatening unless you happen to be barefoot (or unshod, if you prefer), but it doesn't matter. You can be in the middle of a big board meeting, where lots of serious wheelin' and dealin' is going on, and people are saying "synergy" and "ratio" a lot, and all you have to do is shout "DEAD BEE!". Within seconds, the most powerful business mogul will be hopping around and saying "Where? Where? Is it on me?" in a querulous voice. This is a good thing to remember if you ever have to give a presentation at a meeting and are totally and completely unprepared (a situation I'm guessing most readers of this crap are all too familiar with). You can just shout "DEAD BEE!" and then run out of the room in the ensuing pandemonium. If things get confusing enough, you may even be able to convince your boss that you already gave the presentation.

So what is it about Dead Bees that chills our very souls? Of course it is the fact that a bee may be dead, but it can still sting you. In a sense this makes them Undead Bees. Little Bee Nosferatus who dwell in the shadows, perhaps having little bee out-of-body-experiences as they watch their fragile, broken body to see what poor sap is going to go running by and step on the stinger.

Now, when I was just a wee kid, my Mom would watch a lot of Masterpiece Theater. She was English, and they do that, the English. I would often watch these jolly miniseries with her, learning such valuable lessons as how to be a noble member of the servant class while not really getting anywhere, etc. Anyway, one of the miniseries on Masterpiece Theater was called UXB. And it was great. UXB stood for Unexploded Bomb, and the show concerned UXB Squads who had to get out there and defuse the things. You had lots of sweaty moments with guys with twirled moustaches clipping wires. "Blue or red wire, Chumley?" they would ask each other before impetuously saying "Oh dash it all, Smythe-Forrester. I'm cutting the bl--"

That sort of thing.

My point is what we really need to deal with the ever-present threat of Undead Bees are Undead Bee Disposal Squads. As soon as a shout of "DEAD BEE!" was heard, a van would screech to a halt, and the UBDS would be on the scene, making the world safe for bare feet again. They would cordon off the scene, and guys wearing a lot of Kevlar would isolate the bee and remove it from action. The only trouble is, someone would have to "detonate" these Undead Bees, or else you'd end up with a huge stockpile of them, ripe for some maniac to liberate from their secure location and use them to menace society at large. Once you've looked down the business end of an Undead Bee Stinger, I'm guessing your life would never be the same.

Upcoming exposés:

Why Aquaman is the most potentially threatening superhero


Punchpuppets: Why are they so funny?

Thursday, October 04, 2001

machaus' Dog Door of Death is hilarious.

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

I don't know how long this link will be up at NME, but it's a streamed half-hour concert of one of my favorite bands: Tindersticks. [Note: make sure you have Real Player 8. I tried with 7 and had Invalid File Type problems]
Was there ever a period between the Golden Age of Silent Film and the onset of Talkies, where movies were merely Muffled, or perhaps just Quiet? The reason I ask is that I've noticed there are movies, the kind of movies that are shown on AMC at odd hours, that look like they are from the 30s or 40s, and whose major feature is almost totally inaudible sound. Maybe that's how movies were. People would gather at their local movie house (or Das Filmhaus for our German friends) and, almost as one, lean forward in a vain attempt to make out what the blazes was going on up there on the screen.

Whole communities would come together as one big happy, hearing-impaired family as people would wail "What are they saying?", "Why did he shoot that guy?" and "I think I hear an oboe". That's what's missing from our world today. Quiet films.

Monday, October 01, 2001

So I just happened to be thinking about the Gap for no really good reason. I spend most of my time desperately trying to avoid the mall (no mean feat when you live in Orange County), so for the most part I lead a relatively Gap-free existence. But when I have walked by the Kids Gap, or whatever it's called, one emotionally scarring feature has leapt out at me: faceless child mannequins.

If you are going to display clothes on a mannequin, give that mannequin a face! These little nightmares look like they're going to animate in the middle of the night (as we all learned mannequins do in the replendent smash hit movie, Mannequin) and spend the next six hours or so running into walls. Actually, come to think of it, faceless child mannequins in that circumstance would probably be a lot less threatening than fully-faced child mannequins.

Here's what I'm really saying: Mannequins are creepy! I think anyone who didn't get a chill from those glowing plastic people should worry about their tolerance for such things.

Also for your enjoyment: faceless heads!

This weekend I visited the Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor, where they have a little display on how the ship was used during World War II. They had some pretty eerie mannequins too. They looked like the really heavy-looking, badly painted mannequins I remember from when I was a little kid. Maybe they got them at a discount when Mervyn's decided to modernize their displays or something, because all of the scenes would depict, say, a young recruit from Iowa manning an anti-aircraft gun, but because of these old-school mannequins, all I could think of was polo shirts and penny loafers. And consistently, they were posed in positions that made them look like they were sauntering into the boardroom for a big meeting instead of defending a really really huge ship against Jurgen Prochnow and his minions out there somewhere in a U-Boat.

Oh well. Those were different times, I guess.
My friend Chimichanga has kindly informed me that today is the Chinese Moon Festival. Mmm! Moon Cake!
A couple of random things:

First, let me clear the air about this whole Clamato thing: The Clamato people (by "Clamato people" I mean "the people who answer email at Clamato", not "people actually made out of Clamato", which is a whole other story and probably is wiser left untold) sent me a response saying their shipment to me of well over a dollar's worth of valuable Clamato stuff was returned to them for insufficient address. So, let's all wait on the "angry mob attacking the Clamato offices with torches" thing, at least for a couple more days, OK?

Next, a meditation on getting old:

Amiable rogue Kafkaesque is getting old. Yesterday my wife was hacking off my ponytail, which was beginning to resemble something larger birds have been roosting in. Every grey hair she found, she would yank from my head and hand to me, until I had a little pile of grey hairs sitting on my lap. There were about ten of them. So if you want to get into my will or anything, you better hurry up and get on my good side. Sending me some delicious Baked Alaska is always a good start. Or maybe you could make a card out of Bow Tie Pasta. That always goes over well, and shows you can't put a price on your admiration and respect for me.

So there you go. I am going to be thirty in about a month and a half, and already entropy is setting in. My systems are breaking down.

Also, I have been to three weddings in the last three weeks. Oldness.

I have just become an uncle for the first time as well, which makes the whole getting old thing just about bearable. My nephew looks, well, pretty much like a baby. He's baby-sized and has all the good features you look for in a baby: arms, legs and a couple of ears, which he enjoys fingering and yanking on. Anyway, I just wanted to say how proud I am of the little guy, even though he's been here over a week now and has yet to start looking for a job. With all the crap going on in the world right now, you can look at the little guy and have hope for mankind again. My sister and brother-in-law have given me a great gift in adding this little guy to our family, and I can't wait to start spoiling him like the dickens.

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Kafkaesque-Clamato Communiqué #2 (The saga continues):

I emailed you good folks at Clamato not too long ago asking about the ethical treatment of The Noble Clam. I was assured in no uncertain terms that I would be receiving lots and lots of free Clamato stuff in the mail with all due alacrity. Sad to say, to this day I have received not even a speck of bivalve-tomato memorabilia. I feel shunned by Clamato. And in response to the age-old question "Where's Clamato?" I can only offer the following response "Not here."

I have to say that if this apathy keeps up, I shall be forced to take my business elsewhere for gastropod-fruit blends.

disconsolately yours,
Just a couple of notes here from the kafkaesque world that is Kafkaesque's job.

I have worked at my current job for about two years now. There's a woman who works there who, every time I pass her in the hall, does the EXACT same thing. She raises her eyebrows in this little faux-surprise sort of way, and says "helloooo!" That's weird enough......but the kicker is that she doesn't actually speak the word "helloooo!". She just mouths it. Every time I walk down the hall by her cube I am filled with an abiding, gnawing fear that she'll notice me and be forced to give me The Silent Helloooo. I think she is probably under a lot of pressure. I mean keeping up the exact same salutation for two years, virtually every day? It's enough to make the strongest of us crack.

I see it as a struggle of wills. One day she will be unable to keep up the string of identical Silent Helloooos and just snap. All of a sudden it'll become a Barely Audible Helloooo! or even a "Hi there!". But maybe it will be me that gives in. Her silent, inspiringly insincere greeting will force me over the edge and I will scream (either silently or at the top of my lungs, as the mood strikes me): "Can't you do something else, for Christ's sake!" Then I'll storm off and probably get crushed to death trying to rock a free soda out of the Coke machine.

There is another guy in my office who likes to use the nonexistent word "Attaboy!" Now don't get me wrong here. If you are, say, at your son's little league game and he gets a single instead of just whacking lamely at the tee like usual, or if you are an extra in a 1940s madcap musical romp, "attaboy!" as a spontaneous outburst of encouragement is perfectly legitimate. This guy likes to use it as a noun, like this "The boss is gonna give me some 'attaboys' for this!", an expression of childlike mirth and spreading across his strangely dough-like face.

I like to pretend that every time I hear this guy (who I'll call "Bob" because that's his real name) say "Attaboy" I get to punch him in the face. Every time my fist connects with his doughy noggin, Bob will smile and say "That's an 'attaboy'!", forcing the whole twisted cycle to endlessly repeat until we are both left, bereft of hope, sobbing on the scratchy blue carpet, among the teetering cube walls that are our destiny.

"Attaboy!" kind of sounds like it should be the name of a mascot, like the Little Dutch Boy on the paint cans, or maybe a perky Pancake House slogan. "I'll have the Attaboy Stack O' Flapjacks, Mabel!" you might say as you lean back against the maroon vinyl of the booth's bench seat, wondering in a vague and diffuse sort of way if you shouldn't maybe have gone for the Belgian Waffle.

THIS JUST IN: Attaboy Entertainment, featuring Rocky the Leprechaun, Leroy the Leprechaun, Jingles the Holiday Elf, and Ric Rampage, the Wacky Reporter on Stilts.

Attaboy magic trick thingy.

Attaboy, Terry, now you're acting like a herper.

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Monkeys love to dress like Mississippi Blues Legend, Leadbelly.

That's not to say they don't enjoy wearing hats and diapers too. Because they do.

But most of the monkeys I talk to tell me the same thing over and over: we just can't get enough of TV's Elmo.

OK this one is really cute.

You saw nothing! Do you hear me?! Nothing!

And friends, let us take a glimpse into the timeless, innocent beauty of Monkey in Sailor Suit. Here, you can see the artist has worked hard, through the creative use of focus, to give the picture the immediacy of that magic moment when you come around the corner and all of a sudden you realize that there's a monkey in a sailor suit crawling around the family room.


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