Before I do something crazy, I always ask myself “if I was elected president in the future and a video surfaced of me doing this, would I be impeached?”
Then I remember being president was never one of my life goals, so I do it anyway.
Whenever I feel like I’m running low on self-esteem, I compliment myself with statements that are undeniably true. “At least I have all my limbs” I tell myself, which is positively true. That’s a good one. There are so many people on this planet without arms and legs, I should be thankful I’m not one of them. I’d recommend to anyone who is struggling with low self-esteem to constantly remind themselves they at least have all their limbs. Unless, of course, you are an amputee, which case I’d recommend yoga or something.
There is one toy any boy growing up in the 90s would have gladly died for. I am of course referring to the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Megazord Deluxe edition by Bandai.
In a stroke of pure parenting genius, my mother promised it would be mine if I mustered the courage to jump into the pool at my YMCA swimming class.
I still remember the jealous gasp my brother made when my mother popped the trunk in the YMCA parking lot to reveal the glorious toy. I remember how the zord stared at me through the plastic window. And the sparkle the toy made from the glint of the morning sunshine. Those fearsome robotic eyes. The smooth plastic finish. I wanted to make love to that toy.
“You’ll have to jump first,” my mom said.
And boy, did I jump.
If car designers were anything like Windows UI designers, you’d search for a minute before finding the door on the latest model of your favorite BMW. If car designers were anything like Windows 8 UI designers, you’d be forced to climb into the car from the roof because seriously, where is the fucking start menu on this thing? Oh, that’s right, there isn’t one. Microsoft re-imaged as a new and hip Mac-like version of itself. Simpler is better amiright? Touch screen amiright?
Jesus, if it up to me we’d all still be working from a Windows 98 UI. Why must we change our entire way of life every time Microsoft wants to make a buck by releasing another OS? It’s the biggest scam since inkjet printers.
Everything was hunky dory with Windows 98. 95 to 98 was genuine progress. 98 offered something 95 didn’t have: network support, an enormous libraries of drivers, plug and play (sometime called ‘plug and pray’ by those less-enthused) and Direct X compatibility. Ah the glory days. Then ME came along.
Monstrous ME. Despicable ME.
Windows ME, otherwise known by PC world as “Mistake Edition,” was a complete disaster: buggy, slow, incredibly inefficient, as unstable as T-Rex on a tight rope. XP was Microsoft’s solution to ME and XP was everything it should have been: an amplified version of Windows 98. Then came Vista and even non-computer people (muggles) were smart enough to realize Vista was shitware. Almost as an admittance of failure, almost immediately after the Vista launch, MS announced Windows 7 and posed it as a solution to Vista. Of course businesses and consumers still had to pay for that solution, which was essentially a fixed version of Vista.
So when are consumers going to catch on to what appears to be an elaborate con-game run by Microsoft to deliberately churn out buggy operating systems (ME, Vista), so they can offer expensive solutions (like XP and 7) to their own mistakes?
And don’t even get me started on Windows 8 features. Come on, cloud integration? Touch screen? A built-in store? Sounds much like the innovations of another popular computer company I know of.
One which rhymes with “papple.”
Here’s a thought: Microsoft, why not compete on what’s traditional rather than what’s new and hip? Many computer people (aka wizards) prefer the traditional over what’s new and hip, because we know that things that work, work that way for a reason. Car doors open up on the side of a car because it makes a whole lot of sense… leave the friggin’ car doors where they are! Ah god dammit, at the very least keep the start menu which was the hallmark of windows operating systems.
The only practical benefit I see in upgrading to a new OS is the step up in physical memory and processor limits. But, umm, I’m no computer engineer, but why should hardware be limited by software? Shouldn’t the number of buttons on my shirt be limited by the size of my shirt rather than something arbitrary, like the color of my shirt? It never made sense to me. Hardware should only be limited by hardware and not completely arbitrary OS limitations.
Linux distributions do not have these absurd memory/processor limits. Linux distros are free. Which goes to show that the hardware limits imposed by Windows are all part of Microsoft’s conspiracy to squeeze more money from consumers and ultimately, take over the world.
Too bad Apple beat them to the punch.
I go to great lengths to get my 3-4 walks in every day. Raining outside you say? I laugh in the face of danger (and drizzle). Elevator not working? I’ll jump out the fucking window. Massive, impossible work project due by noon? Fuck it, I’m going for a stroll. Rain, sleet or snow. Sand storm, hurricane, zombie apocalypse, I’m out there one foot in front of the other, because I’m a walker.
It’s my thing yo.
I like it because when you’re walking everything around you is moving and you’re moving too. The whole world is in flux. Moving, movement, change … Point is, you’re not standing in place. That’s why walking is so much fun.
You can be out there in the trees and bushes or you can be in your head and just start reminiscin’. I meditate when I walk. It’s very zen. I can zero in on a heavily abstract programming problem I’ve been fixating on for hours and somehow, the solution will present itself after minutes of walking. It’s weird, it feels like I’ve got 3 times the mental firepower when my legs are moving. Which is why I don’t sleep on my problems, I walk on them.
When in doubt, go for a walk. That’s what I tell myself.
And corners. There are few things in life, outside of roller coaster lines and horror movies, that deliver as much raw suspense as street corners. Anything can be on the other side of a corner … a squirrel, a hot dog stand, sure and sudden death, your soul mate. But usually it’s just another street and just another corner …
Ahh did you see what I did just there? I implied that corners are, like, a metaphor for the unexpected things in life. That was some real fancy literary shit I did just there.
Anyway, walking is fucking beautiful, I just wanted to put that out there. And don’t even get me started on mowing the lawn and the smell of fresh cut grass. That shit’s poetry.
I worry about whether to go left or right. Then if I turn right, I worry if I should have turned left. But if I had turned left I would have worried about not turning right. I think sometimes I need to just drive.
Drive, yeah, like that Incubus song.
… I started but never finished. Like all of my “books.” This one was called “The Billyad” and it was a tongue-in-cheek modern representation of “The Illiad.” The premise was actually pretty funny … and some themes like the fact that all the women in the com-epic-al poem have adjectives in front of their names describing physical attributes. Freckle-faced Ophelia, Big-breasted Bertha, Ugly Ann, Maybe-an-eight Kate… You get the idea. It’s like social commentary or something … cuz you know, women always get objectified by their looks and stuff.
Anyway here’s the excerpt:
“And what lineage do you claim?”
“Bert, Royal Bert, most revered name,
From the house of Tom, who with
the trade of pizza making:
making soft dough and mixing sauces,
fresh tomatoes sauces and fine cheese:
parmesans, alfredos, provolones
He made sweet calzones and spicy,
succulent Sicilian dishes.
Bert Wed Alicia and bore my father, Jeremy
who bore Ted, Ned and me
His son, Jason, most noble heir,
and rightful –
“Enough of this blatant self-flattery!”
Because even in depictions of our ugliest, we must dress up, embellish and put things into an ideal form, otherwise we simply wouldn’t digest it. It’s why the social outcasts in teen dramas, unlike their counterparts in reality, are actually far above average in terms of physical attractiveness and demeanor.
No one is going to make a movie about actual unattractive people, because no one would want to watch it. Because no one is attracted to the unattractive. For the same reason, no one is going to make a movie depicting actual, full-on retards. No one would want to watch it.
Hence, you never go full retard.
The true losers will never have their stories told. With any degree of accuracy, anyway.
So you’ve read 1984 in highschool and watched “V for Vendetta,” which means you’re practically an expert in preventing dystopian futures, and, naturally you’re a bit worried about wiretapping because that’s what the news has told you to worry about.
Seriously, wiretapping. Of all things: Alzheimer’s, nukes, erectile dysfunction, TERRORISTS, you’re worried about wiretapping because it would be a fucking travesty if the government were to listen in on your after-dinner phone conversations with Aunt Jude.
Fellow Americans, give the whole privacy thing a rest. And by ‘give it a rest’ I mean shut your stupid whore mouths now. The government does not care to listen to your after-dinner phone conversations. And the government already has a database of your phone numbers. It’s called a fucking phone book you twats!
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Curl up in a corner and cry.
There’s nothing wrong with Internet Explorer, intrinsically. At least not to the end user. To the end user, web pages are just as pretty in Internet Explorer as they are in Chrome or Firefox. The real subject of ridicule isn’t IE, but the typecast of people that use IE.
As a web developer, IE is the bane of my existence but that is only because I need to deal with obscure browser compatibility quirks while getting pages to display properly in older versions of IE. But the end user doesn’t comprehend any of that. To the end user, the pages are just as pretty as they are in Chrome or Firefox. It’s the type of end user that is the subject of ridicule… It’s their acceptance mentality. The sort of people that use Internet Explorer are the sort of people that don’t question the options they are immediately presented with and this betrays Technological Inferiority. That is why we internet nerds scoff and chuckle to ourselves when we see someone using IE. Also because we’re better than everyone else.
Okay, this movie is not for everyone. Especially asthmatics. Seriously, my ribcage still hurts from last night. I struggled to catch my breath in between cackles of laughter during the Whitney Houston scene (if you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about). This one’s up there with “Anchorman” and Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian.” I didn’t think you could fit so much funny in 107 minutes. In one scene, James Franco and Danny McBride engage in a pedantic argument over the proper etiquettes of masturbating in someone else’s house… You don’t need to hold a degree in funny to know that scene was funny. You don’t even need to watch the scene to find the humor in it, you can just read my banal description again.
James Franco and Danny McBride engage in a pedantic argument over the proper etiquettes of masturbating in someone else’s house.
Pfffft Hahaha! It’s spit-your-drink-out funny!
In another scene, Jonah Hill is possessed by a demon and his friends are forced to perform an exorcism but end up lighting him on fire instead. Channing Tatum becomes McBride’s bitch and mad props to Tatum for having the balls to tuck in his balls for that scene. Oh yeah, and Michael Cera plays a coke-snorting asshole in a jacket.
Who would have guessed, in a million years, that Michael Cera would play a coke-snorting asshole in a jacket? That’s exactly what is so god damn brilliant about this movie. It completely dispenses with any form of convention. At first you think all the actors play themselves but when Jonah Hill goes full on fruity with a strange Mr. Rogers-type persona, you don’t know what to think.
Michael Cera’s Stupid Asshole in a Jacket persona is perhaps the funniest because it creates this odd sort of cognitive dissonance when you realize Cera is playing a character contradictory to his typecast. We’re used to seeing Cera as a mild-mannered, quirky and endearing boyish figure. But in “This is The End,” he snorts coke and slaps Rihanna in the ass. Comedy gold! I found this sparkling gem on the IMDB page.
Initially Michael Cera wasn’t really slapping Rihanna’s butt, but rather making the motion and stopping right before touching her. As a result, the scene wasn’t working on camera because it looked too fake. Eventually Cera asked Rihanna if he could really slap her butt, she said yes but on the condition that she be allowed to really smack him across the face each time. Cera agreed.
Ha! By far the funniest sentence in that paragraph is the last: Cera agreed.
“This is The End” is a satire of everything: the Hollywood lifestyle, the Apocalypse genre, the dick joke genre … shit, even religion! At one point, the characters come to the realization that they are in the biblical End Times and everything they are experiencing is foretold in the book of Revelation. This leads to a curious discussion about God. At some point in the very cheeky discussion, the actors stumble into the doctrine of the trinity. In an attempt to better explain the concept of God being three in one, James Franco makes the analogy that God is “like Neapolitan Ice Cream.”
Neapolitan Ice Cream. I fucking lost it.
The movie takes a lot of passes at religion but in a very smart, subtle way. It certainly doesn’t take any potty shots. Writers Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg don’t make fun of End Times Christian theology by explicitly telling us how absurd it is. Instead, you whisper this is so absurd to yourself when you watch an almost literal interpretation of the book of Revelation play out.
Okay, so, bad guys go to Hell, good guys go to Heaven. Sounds good in theory, but what about the logistics? Is there some kind of threshold of good deeds you need to cross before you can be beamed up? And what are you going to do when you get there? Surely if it’s any fun it will have roller coasters and weed… The movies explores those ideas and I think those ideas are at the core of its utter hilarity.
Also, Michael Cera snorting coke and slapping Rihanna in the ass. Nobody saw that coming!
Let’s talk about GAME OF THRONES SEASON 3 EPISODE 9, the fucking pearl harbor of television. The episode that will live in infamy. 6/2/13, the day “The Rains Of Castamere” first aired. Never forget!
I don’t normally write positive reviews. I find it easy to describe why I hate something, but when I love something, I don’t have words for it. I pretty much just stare, dumbstruck.
We all know what should have happened, what ought to have happened, according to modern television tropes. According to pretty much every TV show plot ever. What should have happened is that the Starks, the good guys, kill the Lannisters, the bad guys. Then Robb takes the throne to avenge his father’s death, yada yada yada. That should have happened. And yet that would have been completely forgettable.
What did happen, though, was … Holy fuck, completely unforgettable.
It was just another happy Westeros wedding, with wine, dancing and general festivities. Until the instruments begin ominously playing “The Rains Of Castamere.” … Until that dastardly look Lord Bolton gives Cat, just before she realizes… just before
STAB! STAB! STAB!
Fuck! I lost my shit. That scene was perfect. Good drama is like a good back stabbing: completely unexpected and cuts you deep. Or should I say, hehe, in Talisa’s case, front stabbing (*commence slow clapping*).
Willie Nelson (aka Hogwart’s disgruntled janitor) captured a lot of the nuances of cruelty in that scene, like taking a swag from his wine glass while watching the Starks’ butchering. I mean, who does that? Only a Frey. And the utterly helpless look on Robb’s face… That look said it all. Sometimes, the good guys lose.
Oh but it was just perfect. I won’t forget it. Everyone at work is talking about it. Hell, the whole country is talking about it. Amazing how fictional events can sometimes have more of an effect on society than real, actual events. “The Rains of Castamere” is sort of like my generation’s version of the JFK assassination. I know it’s not real but, it feels real and that’s got to count for something.
I’ve been getting into toast. Toast, not so much as a food, but sort of like a hobby. Cinnamon toast. Cream cheese on toast. Cottage cheese on toast. Toast with hummus. Toast with jam. I love toast! I have it several times a day. I have yet to find another person that shares my enthusiasm for toast.
I was born three times. The first time, it was a physical birth. The second, I became a born-again believer and accepted Jesus Christ as my Personal Savior. The third time, I gave up Jesus and was reborn into The World of Rational and Critical Thinking People.
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I gave up childish things.” - 1 Corinthians 13:11.
(And believe it or not, I’ve misused scripture in worse ways. During my college years I justified drinking with Mathew 4:4, “Man cannot live on bread alone!” And in keeping with the wisdom of King Solomon, I abstained from all labor under the sun because “vanity of vanities, all is vanity! What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun?” I knew my catechisms.)
Nowadays I wouldn’t call myself a skeptic, atheist or anything like that. I still believe in a lot of things. A lot of crazy, far-out things too. I’ve also seen some crazy, far-out things (as if that counts for anything). But I have learned to be distrustful of the things I believe and even the things I have seen. Because I have been wrong before (read: because I have been Christian before), I will always be suspicious of my beliefs. I am distrustful of them. I am wary of my own personal biases. I would not die for them. I would not kill for them. I do not look down on others who do not believe the same things I do. Okay that one, maybe, a little, but I do not accuse others of committing a crime, worthy of eternal punishment, for not drawing the same conclusions I have about God (or lack thereof), our origin, destination, etc..
Because genuine belief or disbelief does not equate to sinfulness or wrongdoing. “Credulity is not a crime.” Your willingness to believe something says nothing of your virtues as a person or the quality of your soul. It is just that simple.
Sure I could choose to believe that the Bible was the inspired word of God. It would be easy. I could also choose to believe in countless other books written by countless other people, all pouting the same thing, that theirs is The One True Religion, that, when you die, you go one place really great if you followed all the rules and procedures correctly, or one place really bad if you didn’t. Too bad if you were born in a Muslim country or, from the perspective of the Muslims, too bad if you were born in a Christian country. Too bad if you made the mistake of believing in the wrong thing during your lifetime. It’s off to the eternal soup with you… And that soup is hot.
Well, that could be true – any number of religious dogmas could be true. Theologians use a lot of smart-sounding words and arguments after all, there’s the Ontological Argument, the Cosmological Argument and I hear they’ve even got a teleological one. But there is one argument which defeats them all, and it is not taught at seminaries, or any religious institution for that matter. I’m speaking of the argument of Common Sense.
The Common Sense Argument says that God didn’t give us free will so he could command us to use it the way he wants us to. That God didn’t do the most honorable, glorious act ever by sending his only son to die for us to save us from … himself. That voice inside your head which Christians believe is The Holy Spirit? That’s actually your conscience speaking. Your conscience, not to be confused with certain members of THE ALMIGHTY GODHEAD.
And regular, plain ol’ heathen folk have consciences too. We’ve all got magical voices in our heads. Alright, none of us are perfect. The very word human implies flawed, hence why we say things like I’m only human. We’re only human but we are at least better than the evil, worthless hellbound pukes popularly depicted by The Bible and other great works of fiction. Everyone struggles to do the right thing, just as much as they struggle to do the wrong thing. We’re not good or evil. We’re both. Isn’t that fairly obvious?
I also despise the Christian tenant that this life is a meaningless speck of dust in comparison to eternity, so we might as well just give it all up to Jesus. And that a temporary existence without God would be tragic and meaningless so … heck! Might as well just give it all up to Jesus!
Could it be that one day I will die and everything I did and all memory of my life will eventually be forgotten? That might be true. But nothing can change the fact that I was once alive, that I was here, that I lived and did things, that I happened. Whether I can or cannot be remembered has no bearing on the fact that I happened. I actually happened dammit and that’s enough for me. It has significance. So I am not intimidated by the thought that there might not be a God or an afterlife. At least not intimidated enough to break my ass on an old wooden pew for an hour every week. I can find more worthwhile things to do with my time on Sunday morning like sleeping or reading or making waffles.
Besides, I am not convinced death is the end. We are all born with that same intuition which refuses to comprehend non-existence, which tells us there is more. I believe there is something hiding behind the curtain. I could be wrong.
And if it turns out the Christians got it right, I doubt I’ll be eligible to pluck on harps in the clouds with the flying naked babies for the rest of eternity. I would be a hypocrite to not admit that I might be wrong. Erroneous is a more fitting word because wrong implies wrongdoing, but if the Christians got it right, I’m going to hell for sure. God will boil my ass. Forever! Along with pretty much everyone. Though, honestly, I wouldn’t see the point in any of that (Christians cite something something er uh FOR THE GLORY OF GOD! something something something). Still, I am not afraid. I’m okay with that. That’s a risk I’m willing to take (which, coincidentally, is the same thing I’ve told myself before making my best life choices). I’ll take my chances with pretty much everyone.
Same goes if, on the off chance, the Qur’an isn’t a load of horseshit. If the Muslims win the come one, come all Dice Roll for Eternal Destiny, I doubt Allah will be rewarding me 72 virgins, especially since I just called his holy book a load of horseshit (and I would add that the prophet Muhammad is a NINNY, but that’s as far as I’ll go because I value the area of flesh and bone that connects my head to my shoulders). If the Hindus got it right then I guess I don’t have too much to worry about. Unless I’m reborn as a malformed Aardvark or something. Maybe I’ll be reborn as a cow? I think I’m moo material. I’d also settle for a moose (Cool!) Nirvana? (Awesome!) But no matter what happens, I’m sticking with my guns.
I’ll pull a Marcus Aurelius (or whoever it was) and take comfort in the fact that If there really is a God and he’s a double-o God, a good God, then he will understand why I have chosen the path that I have chosen.