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.


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