Overheard on the Arcata Plaza yesterday

Posted in Whatever Else on June 15th, 2017 by bill

First Little Girl: Tag!

Second Little Girl: We’re not playing tag.

First Little Girl: Oh.

Song of the Week, 4/29/2017

Posted in Whatever Else on April 29th, 2017 by bill

Richard Berry (no relation to Chuck), best known as the writer and original performer of “Louie Louie,” was an artist of stupendous talent and breadth. This romantic number, for my money, is one of the most criminally underappreciated songs of all time.

Statement of Policies and Principles, 2017

Posted in Whatever Else on January 7th, 2017 by bill

So yet another year is upon us. Reviewing last year’s output, I found that there was more of it than I thought, and that it was mostly of reasonable quality. This was heartening. There will be more to say and do, I think, but first I want to get a few things straight.

First off, I do not approve of my country’s recent choice of president. I do not consider his election legitimate, given that a) he lost the popular vote by several million and b) he was aided and abetted by the FBI, Russia, and Anthony Weiner’s penis. But what’s done is done, and I may on occasion have to make reference to him; so I have decided that on those occasions, I will use Jon Stewart’s apt coinage “Fuckface Von Clownstick.” President Von Clownstick is scheduled, barring deus ex machina, to take office in just over two weeks. The forecast is for, at minimum, corruption, mismanagement, and institutionalized racism; nuclear war does not seem out of the question, but I do my best to remain hopeful.

On that note, let’s move on to a happier subject, your Golden State Warriors. When last we saw the W’s, they had lost the NBA Finals but gained a Kevin Durant. I haven’t written about them since then because my officially stated position is this: There’s no point getting all worked up about the regular season again. Putting up gaudy win totals is nice, but the games that matter will be played in April, May, and June. I’ve still watched most of the games, but I’ve also missed a few, and it is — again — my officially stated position that this is fine.

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The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch: Week 10

Posted in The Rabo Karabekian Memorial Deathmarch, Whatever Else on November 14th, 2016 by bill

breakfast-of-champions

Goodbye Blue Monday, indeed.

Breakfast of Champions (which I am pleased to note shares its initials with the Blue Oyster Cult) beckons. Let’s meet up next Monday at the end of Chapter 8, where we’ll see the emblem of the Pluto Gang on the back of a jacket.

Three words expressing how I feel about the election

Posted in Whatever Else on November 10th, 2016 by bill

Really, America? Really?

The Best Paragraph About Food I’ve Read This Week…

Posted in Whatever Else on October 31st, 2016 by bill

…is also the most pretentious. But I love it anyway.

From an article about the Italian chef Massimo Bottura:

Lunch ends with “Camouflage,” a dessert whose original bud of development in Bottura’s febrile mind goes back to a conversation between Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein — something he once read about. It is arranged on a plate in the colors of military garb, and made out of powdery and custardy layers of chocolate, spices, foie gras, red wine, and the blood of a wild hare.

Diagnosis: TAD

Posted in Whatever Else on October 21st, 2016 by bill

This week I diagnosed myself with a condition that I’m calling TAD, or Trump Addiction Disorder. The symptoms are that anytime you access any form of media, the first, second, and third things you want to know about are what kind of crazy shit Donald Trump has done now. Or the moment you get into any conversation that’s even vaguely political, you want to steer it toward Trump in order to wallow in his nuttiness.

Getting the Republican nomination for president has given him a platform from which to push back the frontiers of assholishness, to scale previously unthought-of heights of douchebaggery, and he has not fumbled the opportunity. With every day that passes he achieves new personal bests, and thus new world records. He is the Katie Ledecky of angry orange gasbags, the Muhammad Ali of political asininity.

I’m a little worried about the withdrawal, which seems certain to begin November 8. (There may be some tapering off as he fulminates about having the election stolen from him, but the media will lose interest in that after awhile. You would think.) I’m also worried that when I walk into the voting booth there will be a little voice in my head telling me to vote for him so the circus can continue.
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R.I.P. Mr. Carlin

Posted in Whatever Else on August 23rd, 2016 by bill

He’ll be missed.

What’s Blowing My Mind, 2016 Edition (Part 3)

Posted in Whatever Else on August 15th, 2016 by bill

A few days ago I was at a friend’s house in Berkeley watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Oliver was talking about how New Zealand was looking for a new flag. Apparently, everyone in the country was invited to submit their designs, with the results you would expect — some interesting, some boring, and some insane. (In the interim, the Kiwis have opted to stay with their old flag, to the disappointment of the whole world.) One of the rejected designs made me laugh so hard I stopped breathing for a while. It probably won’t have the same effect on you, but I still wanted to share.

I’m not sure exactly what struck me so funny about it — some combination of the earless sheep, the zig-zag lightning bolt, and the fact that someone thought a sheep being struck by lightning was a good idea for a flag. It is making me giggle a little even now, and for that, I thank you, New Zealand.

What’s Blowing My Mind, 2016 Edition (Part 1)

Posted in Whatever Else on July 28th, 2016 by bill

My mind isn’t quite as easy to blow as it once was, but every now and again something sneaks past the gatekeeper and rearranges my neurons in a pleasant way. Let’s catch up a little bit.

On Monday Stephen Colbert’s Late Show opened its coverage of the 2016 Democratic National Convention with this stupendous bit of nouveau psychedelia:

Simply fantastic. I admit I’ve been a bit disappointed with Stephen’s CBS incarnation, and enjoyed it last week when the old “Stephen Colbert” returned for a few minutes during the Republican Convention. What the hell, let’s throw that in here too:

I once heard the Daily Show compared to an evening beer, and the Colbert Report to a shot of whiskey; the Late Show is more like a Manhattan. It can be great, and then sometimes the liquor is wrong or the ingredients are poorly balanced, and it just doesn’t work. One misses the dependable purity of the old show. It doesn’t surprise me to hear that the Late Show’s first year has been somewhat troubled, and that its future is not guaranteed. But I root for Stephen, and for this week, at least, he has me back.