Headline of the day, week, month, and possibly year

Posted in Whatever Else on April 24th, 2006 by bill

From today’s Chronicle, page B2:

Naked Man Gets Stuck in Chimney

Apparently this poor bastard stumbled home after closing time Friday night, only to find himself locked out of the house where he was staying in Hayward. His alcohol-assisted decision process led him to believe that a) the best thing to do was to go in through the chimney, and b) his clothes would only get in the way. He started rappelling down the chimney using the TV cable, which snapped. Let’s fast-forward a little bit: “His muffled calls for help finally prompted a neighbor to phone police about 6:30 a.m.”

I bet you feel a lot better about whatever stupid thing you did this weekend, don’t you?

Tan in 60 Seconds

Posted in Whatever Else on April 21st, 2006 by bill

The Express on the floor is folded open to an ad with the headline “GET TAN IN 60 SECONDS.”

Now excuse me, but wouldn’t any tan you could get in 60 seconds be better described as “radiation burns”?

Colbert Does It Again

Posted in The sacred box on April 19th, 2006 by bill

In case you missed it, it’s not too late to catch a rerun of last night’s Colbert Report, which contained a brilliant riff inspired by an article in the Journal of Paleolimnology. (How many TV shows can say that?) The Journal published a study theorizing that, rather than walking on water, Jesus could in fact have been walking on a freakish patch of ice. (What an idiotic thing to study—but never mind.)

Stephen took offense at this, and by way of proving that it is possible to walk on water, showed a clip from the Cars’ “Magic” video, where Ric Ocasek strolls across the surface of a swimming pool. That would have been enough for me, but the camera panned left to reveal Ric Ocasek himself, who testified that a) he was not walking on ice in the video and b) he was willing to give Jesus the benefit of the doubt.

Then Ocasek helped Stephen add the Journal of Paleolimnology to his “On Notice” board, and Stephen asked Ocasek if there was anyone he’d like to add. Ocasek replied “Todd Rundgren,” a reference to the fact that Rundgren is currently touring with a couple of ex-Cars in a band called “the New Cars.” Rundgren was added to the board and Cars fans everywhere slept a little easier.

The Bright Side of Disaster

Posted in Whatever Else on April 18th, 2006 by bill

You want positive and life-affirming? How about these items from 1906 editions of the Chronicle, showing the upside of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire.

April 26
To the hoboes and tramps that infest San Francisco in large numbers throughout the year, the earthquake came as the forerunner of a time of plenty. Amid the general destitution that the country is doing its utmost to relieve, the tramps are passing themselves off as sufferers of the disaster and are living much better than they usually fare.

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A Brief Misanthropic Rant

Posted in Whatever Else on April 17th, 2006 by bill

I did not come to the Hudson Bay Café tonight intending to launch into a brief misanthropic rant. My intention was to read some Don Quixote, but the endless vacuous blather of the college girls at the next table has made that impossible. Yes, I could move to another table, but I’m in the cherry spot of the café and loath to give it up. Instead I’ve been trying to make their heads explode with my mind powers, so far without success.

How can they talk so goddamn much? This always amazes me. I am a man of few words, by nature and by choice. I’ve never quite understood how people can generate a nonstop stream of chatter that goes on for hours. Sometimes I envy them; fewer awkward silences. But at the moment I am filled with loathing. Could just be a case of the Mondays.
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Don Quixote Quote of the Day

Posted in Whatever Else on April 16th, 2006 by bill

“A mouth without molars is like a mill without a millstone, and dentation is to be valued much more than diamonds.”

(Grossman translation, p. 133)

Don Quixote Quote of the Day

Posted in Whatever Else on April 15th, 2006 by bill

“Now turn your eyes in the other direction, and you will see in front of and at the head of the other army the ever victorious and never defeated Timonel of Carcajona, prince of Nueva Vizcaya, who wears his armor quartered—blue, green, white and yellow—and who bears on his shield a cat of gold on a tawny field, with a legend that reads: Meow.”

(Grossman translation, p. 128)

Alarming Developments in the Heavens

Posted in Whatever Else on April 13th, 2006 by bill

Some sort of strange yellow orb appeared in the sky today, bringing with it bright light and heat. There’s something oddly familiar about it, and yet I fear it, and have been fighting the impulse to put a towel over my head and begin chanting.

Can it be that the sky is finally empty of its liquid contents? Much as I’ve been wishing for a respite from the downpour, now that it’s here, I feel uneasy, like this is just a pause before the next plague begins. I hope it’s frogs. That was always my favorite. I don’t see what’s so bad about frogs; they’re definitely preferable to boils, and certainly to the smiting of the firstborn. Much as I enjoy a good smiting, that’s one I personally prefer to avoid.

Hmm, kind of rambling here. Punchy. Think the Seasonal Affective has disrupted my sleep pattern. Better leave off now. Hope all is well in your world.

The Sopranos & the Rainy Season

Posted in The sacred box on April 12th, 2006 by bill

The only upside of this endless fucking rain we’ve been having is that it’s prompted me to finally get serious about The Sopranos, which I’ve been holding in reserve for just such an occasion. It’s all good, but the show really hits a peak in the fourth season, where I am now. Each episode is a little universe unto itself. I’ve watched several times now one where Johnny Sack, underboss of the New York family, goes insane with rage over a joke Joe Pantoliano’s character makes about his refrigerator-sized wife.

Spoiler alert: I’m not going to hold anything back, so if you haven’t seen this yet, by all means go rent it right now, then come back and finish reading after you’ve watched it.
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Revenge of the Poetic Spam

Posted in Spam, wonderful spam on April 11th, 2006 by bill

My spam filter seems to have gotten hip to these, so I haven’t gotten one in my inbox for awhile, but the following slipped through a couple days ago. I think that this is about George W. Bush (best line: “extemporaneous bicker toga flow, a Republican radiologist whitewash”).

Monitor Exhibition
analogy pissed presumption
bedspread intercourse corduroy
an apex as sound barrier, by payload humanize a skit escapist
inspirational valuable appetite
minus sign wrought elsewhere
instant solitaire and grounds, with whistle dressing room
knee-deep expertly copulate
contradiction avail vandalize sheepishly as squid affect
untried brave in hyper reclining
menstruate smitten: that malaria and clam threatening
write-up phone book of flaunt ignore, that upheld a pragmatist
the tug of pen pal fearlessness and pride
extemporaneous bicker toga flow, a Republican radiologist whitewash
a spry balance of power by male chauvinist employment agency
industrialist thereabouts jockey
an ATM, the nail polish, a brainstorm, the handpicked accessibility
unbearable the obstruction
obliterate animal October expressly to hill parochial
ecosystem and contemplative grouping
that duke rat race
subdued Chief Executive to voice the parched greatness
the smoke screen bricklayer
wheat, comatose, rapt pole vault!