Monday, November 24, 2003

I went out and bought myself a real and bona fide type Weber kettle (the Weber kettle is, of course, named after famous Weimar Republic figure, father of modern Sociology, and inventor of the shish kebob, Max Weber) this weekend, which means that I will be able to barbecue the turkey this Thanksgiving. This is important, because your average Thanksgiving turkey-cooking doesn't involve enough danger as far as I'm concerned. If I can't visualize a scenario in which I'm running into walls with my hair on fire, it's just not fun.

Of course, I have always been a proponent of The Bacon Hat Method of turkey cooking, which is possible either in the oven or on the grill. The Bacon Hat is formed by draping bacon over the turkey's back while it is cooking, thereby basting your turkey with healthful bacon fat drippings. Afterwards, the bacon lattice assumes a somewhat convex shape (unless your turkey was in really, really good shape).

If you are of a mind, you can seize the bacon from the barbecuing bird, place it on your head and prance about the garden declaring in a sing-song voice "Look at me! I'm wearing The Bacon Hat!" until the hot grease runs onto your scalp, and the paramedics must be called, in a time-honored ritual that brings all families closer together.

Also, in a effort to soothe our troubled carnivore consciences, we got a Free Range turkey this year. Well, actually it's more so we don't get some steroid crazed Butterball. I mean, with all the drugs they pump into those little guys, they might just reanimate and lurch sickeningly around the table in the middle of dinner, and no-one wants that.
Yesterday, we traveled to scenic Carson, California (not too far from scenic Compton, California) to see the 2003 MLS Cup. I am pleased to report that my Earthquakes ran roughshod over the hapless Chicago Fire and won the championship for the second time in three years.

Of course, no-one cares about that. This is fairly obvious from the fifteen seconds of coverage the exciting 4-2 championship game received on ESPN's Sportscenter last night. Thank you, ESPN anchors for presenting the beautiful game as if it were a sixth grade cheerleading competition in Iowa.

I know soccer's not hugely popular in America, but it is disheartening to see such blatant disregard for a sport that's so popular the world over, and played by millions in the US. If major media in this country continues this attitude towards soccer, they'll be left behind when all the kids who love the game get older and make soccer as huge here as it is is elsewhere in the world.

If you care a little, contact ESPN and ask for a little more coverage of the most popular sport in the world.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

We all loved Oolong the Rabbit, who brought us such joy with the head-performances over the years, and we were all devastated when Oolong was taken up.

I didn't know that Oolong's owner has a new rabbit, named Yuebing (Moon Cake) and is balancing things on her head once again!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Absenteeism is rampant here at My Life as an American Gladiator.

Employees have stopped even pretending to work, and are instead making erotic shadow puppets on the walls. The "gentleman's reverse astronaut" is proving a particular favorite.

Collectible figurines on desks now outnumber actual workers, and the prophecy of the ancients that the giant-headed Bruce Lee figurine will one day defeat the 12" plastic Godzilla, bringing a new era of peace and harmony to our land, has come to pass. Harmony, however, has yet to be empirically gauged.

The tunnel out to the parking lot is almost complete. Once the papier-mache head is complete, the jailbreak plans can begin in earnest. Various factions has seen various movies and are variously calling for guarantees that

1. Roberto Benigni prepare the rabbit
b. No sympathetic senior citizen characters cut off their own fingers with a small hand-axe.
3. In the event Pele should break his ribs, the Germans are not allowed to punch him repeatedly in the chest.
4. Gobo Fraggle finally get his shit together.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I grow old...I grow old...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled

Actually, come to think of it, I probably won't wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. It's kind of weird. I mean, what are people going to think? That I'm some kind of rockabilly guy or something, trapped in a retro movement whose time has been and gone? That I'm into wearing capri pants or something? That my ankles need to breathe?

No. I'll keep the bottoms of my trousers at the normal level. But I might roll my socks down.

The relative level of my pantaloons notwithstanding, it is true that I am 32 years old today.

The days spin faster, a whirling vortex drawing me deathward, ever deathward. And as I decay, as I fall to decrepitude, will I know meaning? Will I find the answer that justifies the hideous torment of existence?

Probably not. But at least there's Indian food and beer to while away the time.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Created at the astonishingly fun Church Sign Generator.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Crazy dream last night.

I was, for some unknown reason, looking at real estate in San Francisco. At the end of a cul-de-sac was a two story house with a sign out front, just like a For Sale sign, but it said "HAUNTED" in Arial 50 pt. font, red shadowed letters on a shiny white sign. I looked up at the front door, which was up a few steps like you see in the city (listen, I know I live in Orange County now, but San Francisco is still the city to me, OK? We cool?) and the front door flapped open once or twice.

Next thing I know, I'm running down the street, arms and legs flailing, making those "Bleeeeaaaa! Bleeeeaaaa!" noises that only truly scared people make, and get this: the sign was chasing me! Just a sign that said "HAUNTED". It was keeping up with me like in some terrible film school stop-motion animation project.

I don't really remember anything else about the dream. But there are a couple of things to consider here:

1. It doesn't really matter what's chasing you in a dream. It's just the idea of being chased. Or what the thing that's chasing you represents. In this case, it was a sign. Semiotically speaking, in this dream, the sign was the signifier, which is more than a little confusing.

b. My dreams are too low budget to afford a good monster. Maybe, though, I'm too jaded by a lifetime of horror-movie viewing. After all, I think the scariest movies are the ones that show the least. Maybe my subconscious is getting all arty on me, and will soon be dropping me a postcard from Cannes, saying only "I must find myself. Au revoir."

About time it did something useful.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I cut myself shaving again this morning. It's ridiculous. My features are apparently a little too obtrusive for the Gillette people.

I've got the two blade razor. I know they've got the Mach 3 Razor, with the jaw-dropping innovation of 3 whole entire blades. Now I see they've gone to the crazy-insane maniacal lengths of four blades on one razor. I'm thinking I'll still cut myself though.

What I need is some sort of mask made entirely of razor blades. I could just insert my face into it, execute a dainty pirouette, and I'd be all clean-shaven and ready to go.

Maybe that's not such a great idea.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Not so very long ago, I was the victim of a Surprise Public Speaking Seminar at work. Of course, I should expect these things, seeing as how I am a technical writer and marketing guy who sits in front of a cathode ray tube all day. It just makes sense that they should want to keep me on my toes by including me in something that's totally unrelated to my job function.

"Gee, Kaf," the President of the company will say. "I appreciate that you're trying to meet your deadline on this new brochure, but I think it's real important that you take a couple of days to learn how cheese is processed." or perhaps "You never know when a crash-course in emergency thyroid surgery is going to come in handy."

So anyway, I was roped into this public speaking thing which was basically me and all the company salesmen and executives, and I got to have a marginally good time for the next couple of days learning how to gesture expansively. They really wanted us to gesture in a big way. One guy gestured so hard he dislocated his shoulder and had to be airlifted to a local hospital. You probably read about it in the news.

I was sure gesturing a lot. Wild, arching gestures of the type seldom seen outside of amateur theatrical productions of Annie. The result of this is that now any time I need to have a conversation, I have to first measure the maximum clearance of the ceiling, just to be sure. Also, people talking to me must maintain a distance of three (3) feet, so as not to be injured if I get all crazy and start some hot gesticulation.

Also, the well-paid public speaker person (who was eerily reminiscent of Fred Gwynne in Pet Sematary (and later told me some fun stuff about taking lots of acid in the sixties and getting into Transcendental Meditation), but that's neither here nor there) introduced us to a fun mnemonic device to rid yourself of "filler words". Filler words are "uh" or "um" or "so", or "or", come to think of it. But I kid "or". "Or" is a perfectly fine word. One that begins to lose its meaning if you look at it enough on the screen, becoming instead a strange and cryptic symbol. Try it with me and see. No? Maybe that's just me.

The fun mnemonic device is that you get your spouse (or a live-in companion of some sort. I'm not here to judge.) to snap their fingers every time you use one of the filler words. Sounds pleasant, doesn't it?

"So, how was your day"

"Uh --"


"Oh, ha ha, that's right. I keep on uh --"


"Maybe we could just um --"


"I hate myself and want to um --"


Until, inexorably, someone ends up disemboweled and buried at the bottom of the garden. Don't say I didn't warn you.

But the main thing about the public speaking seminar that worried me, once I got used to the frankly ridiculous fact that I was there, was the being filmed part. The concept of being filmed doesn't particularly bother me. I gave my little speeches with relative aplomb, and got polite applause and all that, but I had a nagging fear every time the camera was on. You see, I've seen too many movies like Minority Report and Strange Days and The Sixth Sense, where the main character spends quality time with their drug of choice, gazing at old film of their wife/girlfriend/kid/gerbil/houseplant/small pile of gravel and weeping openly at cruel fate which snatched them away.

Usually there is bad music, too.

This is what happens when you let yourself be filmed by an amateur videographer. You end up being all out of focus and zoomed-in-on for no reason, just waiting for someone to make a moving montage out of you, so your grieving loved one can drink themselves into a stupor watching you babble away like an idiot on the screen. Maybe they'd even uh--



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