Tuesday, August 30, 2005

More Fun with Urinals?

Not to repeat myself too much, but if I'm going to make a post about goofy/scary urinals that might be far too much fun (or disturbing) to pee into it would be a CRIME to not to share this as well:
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The best part would be naming it. I think I'll call mine Rachel.
For more information on "urinals that are sexy and hungry for your urine" take a look here:

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Digital Manipulation Dilemma....

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I spent the other afternoon goofing around with Photoshop....something I never really do. It had something to do with not being completely thrilled with how my comics were looking and curious to see if I could make something that looked...ahem....more like "actual" webcomics. Whether I did or not is beside the point...the sad fact is that I sort of LIKED goofing around with Photoshop and more importantly, I kind of like what came out of it.
Why does this make me feel guilty?
It shouldn't, considering how freaking schizo the site is already...but for the most part there's been no digital manipulation on the site yet. Gah.

I swear, I've got to be the only guy moralizing about Photoshop.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Fun with Urinals

As previously stated, I'm not a huge fan of Blog traditions such as posting quiz results and just going through your favorites and sharing each and every one of them. Still, I found something AMAZING online that I've got to share. Now, what you're about to see, admittedly, melts my brain. It melts my brain because I just can't fathom it. But it's cool. And actually nice to look at. I want one. in my living room.
What the hell am I talking about?
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Clark Sorensen (of California...proving the state can't be all bad) made an entire series of urinals to look like flowers (as well as one seashell and one carnivorous plant). :blink blink: They're fully functional and make a statement. I"m not sure what that statement is, but it takes someone really creative or someone who REALLY likes peeing on flowers to put these things together. I'm hoping Clark's the former and not the latter. Or vice versa....I'm not sure anymore. Check out his site at http://www.clarkmade.com/show.html
Oh and if you're looking for an early Christmas Gift for me, I would LOVE to drain my weasel in the Pitcher Plant urinal. Seriously though, these things are "beautiful", original, and more than just a little Dadaist. Good job Clark.
PS: I'd love to see a urinal designed like one of those "dunking booths" you see at the fair...what with the bullseye and the little guy hanging precariously on a board. Oddly enough, I first had this idea when I was in Amsterdam. In the airport, the urinals have insects painted in the bottom of them...thereby giving you something to aim for. Well, I thought it was awesome. Stop judging me, damn it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Jesus was a Carpenter...

The Passion of the Christ. So much has already been said. Sure, its a religious snuff film. Sure, if you're Jewish it might bug you. Sure, its about the passion of THE Christ (as opposed just any old Christ figure). So what do I have to say about this film?
Alright. I accept the whole "Jesus was a carpenter" thing. I don't know if that was a good or bad job back then, but hey, it was his job. What I find freaking hilarious is that Jesus, according to Mel Gibson's religious film, did do one good thing one this earth besides dying for a bunch of Western people (because Asians have no souls apparently). So what did he do?
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Apparently Jesus Christ is the genius behind "Table & Chair" technology. I don't know how historically accurate this is, but there's nothing funnier than watching the Messiah peddle the benefits of his all-new & improved table design. Gah.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Feeling Old + Blog Hate

This post is a little awkward for me because, as some of you already know, I hate blogs. Sure, they're not all bad, but there are far too many blogs that update daily for the sole purpose of......updating daily. Entries like "Today I'm bored" or "I have nothing to say today" just get under my skin. Likewise, I'm weird about getting personal online, mainly because it's such a detached place to start spilling your heart out. I often feel uncomfortable when my online friends use me as their emotional touchstone (some people you feel you know really well online, others less so....and you never know exactly what the perceived relationship is). Blah. Point is, I like to think I'm using this blog as a place to throw random mini-articles and to share random things. I've sort-of had a traumatic week and I think it's a worthy story.
Backstory: My father has juvenile-onset osteoporosis. He's always had severe back trouble and has been on industrial strength pain-killers for as long as I can remember. My father filed for disability when he was 40 or so if memory serves, something most "adults" out there think of as a rather young age to retire. Still, it's something that runs in our family and something that I've been told to keep an eye out for it.
Two weeks ago I awoke with severe back pain. As in, I had trouble moving without hurting myself. It didn't go away, so I took to sleeping on the couch (which helped actually) and went to see my doctor. Besides saying that I was 35 pounds overweight (I'm 6'3 and 210 pounds....go body index I guess), the doctor was completely freaked out by how curved my back was. Now I've had minor scoliosis (sp?) for a long time, but it's never been a problem. She sends me off to a specialist....namely a place in Berlin that can take x-rays and a bone density test. Armed with very little information, pain, and a bit of hypochondria, I went to get the tests done. Almost no one spoke English and this had to be first time in my two years of being in Germany where I really had a problem communicating (For those of you that don't know, Berlin is so bilingual that I've had a hell of a time learning German....because I really don't have to. Everyone speaks enough English for me to get by). Now, I've had X-rays taken before. However in Germany, they do things a little differently. Like what, for instance?
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They made me take off all my clothes and put me in lead underwear to protect my junk. What's worse is that I couldn't help but keep laughing and making jokes about my lead underwear (I was hella uncomfortable), but the nurses just gave me weird looks....probably because I was speaking in a language they didn't understand and was repeatedly pointing to my crotch. Suffice to say that was awkward. The Bone Density test was what really freaked me out to the point of wanting to scream. Me. Naked. Strapped to a table. Table rolls slowly into a giant machine. I can see nothing but medicinal white plastic except for a glowing message to me with a giant SKULL on it. Of course it's in German, so I don't know what it says...I can't ask the nurse and suddenly the Skull LIGHTS UP as the machine starts making this horrible "jet plane taking off" noise. Sweet mother of Christ, I can't believe someone thought the "glowing skull" extra was a good purchase for the bone density machine. Gah.
The next day, I got the results:
The Good News: My bone density and my spine are (mostly) in fine working order. I do not have my father's crippling condition, at least not yet. By "mostly,"I just mean that one of my vertebrae connects weird, and while it shouldn't be causing me any amount of pain, it does sort of freak out the doctors.
The Bad News: I'm still in a lot of freaking back pain. This could be anything from chronically sleeping wrong to not having enough muscle mass in my back. It could also be that elves have started building condos in my spine...the point is, we don't know what it is. My doctor's getting some painkillers for it, but besides exercise and changing my mattress....I've no clue what to do.
So more expensive tests and specialists....but I'm happy because it's not what I was afraid it was.
Sorry for this long un-funny post (though the lead underwear thing was kinda), but I figured an informative thing might be a good change of pace since a few of you emailed me asking what the heck I meant by "spinal injury" when I did the update for last week. Thanks for your concern. Capitalist Pig, my cartoon character who shares the joy of giving me money and buying stuff, will be debuting earlier than I'd expected on the site mainly because doctors = money I don't have. It's fun to be poor, but I have to admit there's a downside you see occasionally.
Enjoy yourselves, and I promise to not make so many unfunny personal rants in the future.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Message I got on AIM just a moment ago:
Eurogerg: "My sister had a baby a couple of months ago. She came to visit the other day. My mom was talking to the baby in the same voice she usually uses when talking to our dog. Jealous, the dog started humping the air in their general direction with his dog penis sticking out. All I could think of was "agressive genital display" which made me thing of you.
Aren't you glad that sort of thing brings you to mind?"
It's great that my friends in New York haven't forgotten about me.
I'm not sure I'm comfortable with how they remember me though.
AIM: Ohgodtherats

Margot Kidder, Superman, & Plagiarism

While I should be ranting about the new Charlie & the Chocolate Factory flick I saw last night (Germany is weird with getting new films even in the English-speaking theaters), something else has stuck in my mind's eye.
I watched the first Superman film the other day. Now I've never seen these things before because:
1. I'm too young. The first Superman film came out before I was born.
2. Superman = lame. I don't know any better way of typing it. With the exception of some of the recent super-violent/cool cartoons on the Cartoon Network (JLU), I've yet to see a place where Superman was anything less than an obnoxious boyscout with x-ray eyes.
3. If your protagonist is all-powerful, there's not much of a conflict. In the Superman movie (just the first one) we see Superman: fly, use super-strength, fly into the earth's mantle to stop an earthquake, use x-ray vision, stop and reverse TIME so he can travel back in it, run at super-speed....I'm sure I'm leaving something out. Wikipedia lists Superman also having the following: telescopic vision, microscopic vision, heat vision, super hypnotism (Supeman can control your BRAIN), super hearing, Super VENTRILOQUISM (Seriously), Super breath, Super smarts and, if you read Superdickery.com, you'll also know Superman has amazing super-knitting powers. Gah. My point is that if your Super-hero can do ANYTHING there's not much of a drama. :sigh:
So my point is just that the first time I really heard about Christopher Reeve was when he broke his neck. I'm sure I'd heard of him before that but GOD... Superman's a horribly dated film staring Marlon Brando's hand and Gene Hackman with an afro. Also if you watch the film it's interesting to see the two things that denote California: A giant bridge (accurate) and a freaking goat farm (potentially not so accurate). I have no idea why the only locals (besides those on the bridge) are prancing about with goats.

Act 2:
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Margot Kidder plays Lois Lane in this film. She also had a nervous breakdown after a horrible car crash and, well...things got pretty WEIRD for her. The following is from HouseofDiabolique.com. (I would link but the article and the rest of the site is in "hibernation" something that happens to small-run websites from time to time...luckily I had the article saved on my computer).

Not too long ago, Margot Kidder was found hiding in the bushes behind a house in suburban Los Angeles. She had been missing for over a week. When the police arrived, they tried to convince her to leave the bushes on her own by saying, "There are black widow spiders living in those bushes, you better come out."

But Margot merely replied, "Ha! There are much worse things than black widow spiders after me."

When Margot did emerge from the bushes the officers saw that her head was nearly shaved and that she was missing her two front teeth. They could recognize her only from her voice.

Margot had last been seen a week prior when a friend dropped her off at Los Angeles airport, purportedly to catch a plane to New York. Instead she intercepted a television crew from Nashville, in town to cover the Country Music Awards. She followed them throughout the airport, pointing at their beepers and muttering, "I know you're after me and you're sending signals with those things!"

Margot followed them into a Hertz Rent-a-Car, where she stayed for almost an hour passing notes to the salespeople.

The first one read "Drive my jacket 100 miles from here and throw it."

The last one simply read "I am dead."

Man. When I have a nervous breakdown I can only hope to be so cool.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Skeleton Key: Why the Twilight Zone should not Inspire Films.

The Skeleton Key starring...um...no one really important came out this weekend. I know it's completely unlike me to review something even remotely recent, but hey, who knows? I might get to like reviewing stuff normal people might have the chance to see. So let's do this.
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The Skeleton Key released 2005 starring Kate Hudson and, um....John Hurt? Before we get into the plot let's point out how funny it is that John Hurt's been cast in this film. In case you don't know, John Hurt's played big roles in everything from Alien, The Elephant Man, History of the World Part 1, Spaceballs, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone, Hellboy, Dead Man, and a bunch of other stuff. So what does he do in the film? He drools a lot. And screams once. What's terrifying is that because he's who he is, he could demand some sort of insane salary to sit. there. and. drool. :sigh: He's also the only character who appears on the poster, even if it is as a giant eyeball.
The Plot: I loved the Twilight Zone. Short shows that invariably end with a zinger of a surprise ending (or not so much zing in some cases). But, the Twilight Zone's inspired a hell of a lot of films with surprise endings. This isn't always a good thing. Turning one surprise into a 104 minute movie never works. Maybe I'm too critical, but right now I could type one short sentence that would ruin the movie completely for you. I hate that. Films that only hold someone's interest based solely on the "What the HELL is going on?"/surprise ending thing just leave me feeling empty when it's over. Basically The Skeleton Key is a supernatural mystery movie that once you see it you'll never ever need to see it again.
You have no idea how hard it is for me to NOT type that sentence right now.
OH LORD HERE IT IS: The old lady and her lawyer are evil voodoo witches that possess people's bodies to stay young and they need a new body for the old lady.
I swear it sounds more interesting than it really is. Also, the thing isn't that original. If you flip through a copy of the "Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film" you can find a half dozen plots so very similar to this....mostly for made for TV movies. In fact, this whole thing feels like an NBC movie of the week.
Movies with surprise endings and not much else piss me off because they're not meant to be great films...they're just meant to collect your money once. Lame.
I don't do a rating system for the movies I watch but I will say this: Rent it if you HAVE to see it. And no one HAS to see this thing....I promise.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Apologies instead of Epilogues....

While not all books are considered to be "great", it takes a special kind of horrible novel for the author himself to write an apology for what you've just read. I can think of two books that I've come across that were so overtly full of poop (or Gewoden) that their creators had to talk to their audience to ease their shame. Even worse, they're authors you've probably hear of: Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Both of them weaseled out of actually having to write "I'm sorry" but both of them felt the need to defend just how crappy their books were....as if they KNEW anyone reading them would feel violated after finishing them. Today I'm going to give you a mini-book report and paraphrase the author's apology. So what books did such esteemed authors feel they had to feel sorry about making you read? From a Buick 8 by Stephen King and Tick Tock by Dean Koontz are today's offenders.
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Stephen King's "From a Buick 8".
The Plot: Pennsylvania Police find a vintage car that ends up being some sort of alien portal/vehicle to some other dimension. The trunk opens up to a dark world of spooky death (with flesh-eating bats) and no one knows what to do with it so they store it in the police garage. Scary stuff seems to be going on but before anything actually happens the car implodes in on itself leaving the world a better place.
The Apology: Stephen King DOES NOT apologize for writing this book in the afterword. He does write the following (paraphrased):
"If you've read my "The Art of Writing", then you're aware that when you write a book you should let the piece write itself and the moral or message will come through without you having to force it. Looking back at "From a Buick 8" for a message we see that "you don't always know what's going one" and "you don't always get closure." "

Holy crap. Stephen King writes a book without thinking it through and the moral's "I don't have to explain any of this crap to my readers?" So because people are unhappy that the book ends without ANYONE knowing what's going on that's the book's point? Did no one tell Stevie that that sounds a hell of a lot like a cop-out for not knowing how to finish his book? It wouldn't have been a big deal if Stephen "I want to be the Alfred Hitchcock of the Toilet (see Dreamcatcher inteview)" King hadn't ranted and raved about how SURE he was that the story's message was pure and holy and true. If he was so sure about it why the hell did he have to write a couple of pages about how his book's message was that some books don't need messages or even a point or to make sense? :sigh: I'll have to remember Stephen King's advice (I paraphrase): "If you have trouble finishing a novel, maybe that's your moral....sometimes the story doesn't have an ending." Oh God, is that advice retarded.
Moving on we have:
Dean Koontz's Tick Tock.
Before I get into this whole-heartedly, let me explain my thoughts on Dean Koontz. The guy writes great suspense. Lightning, Servants of Twilight, and Intensity were great. However the guy is also a Trekkie at heart and can't help but write goofy goofy sci-fi stories whenever he gets the chance. Half of Koontz's stuff is kick ass suspense, the rest is his hit or miss goofy Science Fiction stories....or so I feel. Let's use Tick Tock as an example:
The PLOT: A Vietnamese-American runs afoul of a voodoo witch lady who unleashes an animated voodoo doll after him that slowly mutates into a man-sized dinosaur monster. He runs his love interest who has potentially one of the worst character names ever (Deliverance Payne) who also happens to hang out with a dog with magic powers who's really an alien. How's that for a goofy sounding plot?
The Apology: Dean Koontz starts his afterword by apologizing to his "hardcore fans" for this book not appearing in hardcover. It's no shorter than some of his other books yet this one went straight to paperback because he "didn't like how it looked in hardback". That's a bad sign. When a publisher doesn't think a name-brand author has made something that won't sell in hardback. He talks about how he originally wrote this book without the main character being an immigrant from Vietnam and he decided to throw that part in to complete the book. If you've read the book you'll notice that that's pretty obvious. There are these completely random "cultural dramas" that randomly show up throughout the book that have nothing to do with the plot. Basically he says the book was pretty terrible so he tried to fix it by making the main character ethnic. When authors start ranting about how they tried to fix their books and confess to just randomly throwing in huge aspects of the story at the last minute, I don't know what else to call it but an apology.

I know that people write afterwords like this to defend themselves but for the love of God the only reason I remember how terrible these books were is because the authors felt so strongly about defending them. Note to self: If I write a crappy-ass novel DO NOT, under any circumstances, write an apology for it. Stand by my crap and no one will be the wiser.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Music Moment: PuppetMastaz

Just thought I'd share something quick with you guys today to try to make up for the scary ass "Dread Gewogen" pics that lurk below. While I usually share movies that melt your head here on the site, there are a few bands out there that qualify as really, really bizarre....and worth sharing. I'm not talking about bands that are just named funny things like "9 Inches of Throbbing Pink Jesus", "Aggressive Genital Display", or just "Eatus Fetus." It can't just be the name. A few groups do great shows that are, with out question, unique. Both GWAR and the Aquabats come to mind.
But have you guys ever heard of a band made up of nothing but puppets? I have.
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They're called the "PuppetMastaz" and they're a German rap/techno/SOMETHING group that only performs in their music videos and on STAGE as puppets. Scary filthy Muppets is a good description. I actually like the music and suggest hunting it down if you can. They're pseudo-known here in Europe but, as far as I know, still kind of unknown by folks in the states. So if you like weird music AND you like puppets that smoke and do drugs, then the Puppetmastaz may be the one for you. You just can't imagine a group that sets up the stage for a giant puppet-show, what with the puppeteers lurking below the stage while they have their puppets around. God knows they're...special.

Edit: I removed mention of the link to the official PuppetMastaz site because it's under construction. Their old site was awesome....you could listen to their entire first album online. Sadly it would seem that was abused and had to be taken away. :sigh: If you're still curious and want to see their tour dates and OFFICIAL proof that a Rapping Puppet group exists....then feel free to check out their official site here: http://www.puppetmastaz.com. Oh and just in case you're scared of other cultures don't worry: The Puppetmastaz only speak and sing in English. So there.
Oh and to make up for it, here's a picture of one of the band's "members":
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Just to give you some scope of how weird the Puppetmastaz are: In the band there's a frog/lizard/THING called the "Hip-Hopnotist" (get it? Hypnotist+Hip-Hop...Ick.) Can you imagine a guy dressed as a balding therapist trying to hypnotize the audience to sing the chorus? I think Trace from MST3k put it best: Puppets can get away with all sorts of crap that human beings can't. The Hip-hopnotist seems almost cool in puppet form. Almost.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Dread Gewogen!!!

Now if you lived in Berlin you'd be aware of the incredibly large Turkish population found here. As such there are thousands of tiny Turkish markets offering, shall we say, obscure brands at cheap prices. Instead of Coca-cola they have Mecca Cola (I'm not joking) and with a few exceptions, everything is an official "Turkish" brand. It's all really cheap and part of the reason we can afford to live here.
What I'm here to talk to you about today is a creature known as the Dread Gewogen (Geh-VO-GEN). Picture this: You're waiting in line at the Turkish market. You look over at the impulse items they've set up next to the register. Nothing SEEMS out of the ordinary. Then you see it. The Gewogen. What's that you say? What's a Gewogen? Let's see if you see what I see...
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If you see a giant turd wrapped in plastic, than that's exactly what I seemed to observe while waiting in line. I really can't convey how horrible this thing looked. It's bumpy. It's solid yet squishy and slightly runny. Holding it, it's hard to believe that you're NOT holding someone's vacuum-sealed poop.
So of course I bought it.
I've had this thing sitting in my house for about a week. I've terrorized my friends with it because nothing's scarier than a candied turd, even if you KNOW it can't be that. So tonight for the sake of a Blog entry, I opened it.
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I really can't convey how gross this is. What's funny is how the people who made this HAVE to know their product looks like crap. You can tell because they translate the ingredients into something like 15 languages. That's impressive when you realize the label's only the size of your palm. So what's in it? Nuts & Molasses. It's a nutty sticky log. Of course I tasted it and while I had to close my eyes, I found out it tastes a hell of a lot like pure sugar. Since it's completely edible and repulsive at the same time, but I figure these things would be great for bizarre fetish videos. Or at least playing tricks on your friends. Can you imagine if you opened up your friend's fridge and saw one of these things?
Even better yet what if you came home and caught a friend or loved one slowly sucking on it?
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