Friday, August 30, 2013

It's kinda quiet around here, so I'm gonna get some outrage going

Feel free to link this post on Twitter and say something like "Can you believe this shit?" or "!!!--->" or "Blogger privilege rears its ugly head again!"

If you drink bottled water, you are destroying the environment.  Having kids?  Why don't you just take a dump on society.  Racism is over.

Sigur Ros is the most overrated band in history.  The slow food movement is total BS.  She was totally asking for it.

Face it, Mel Gibson was right about a lot of things.  Attack of the Clones was the best Star Wars movie and you know it.  Stop and frisk is keeping New York safe.  People who ride public transit are losers.

Rescue dog?  More like retard dog.  The Google bus helps us all.  I know you'll never be a supermodel, but a little makeup wouldn't kill you.  Six Feet Under was way better than The Wire.

Hey, what's with all the homeless everywhere?  Go home already.  Why is Obama making gas so expensive?

It's about time they cleaned up the Mission.

Have a good weekend!  Not really.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Is Urban Infantilization the cool new thing the kids are into?

Trusted correspondent Periqueblend alerts me to this little cultural artifact:


Well, it seems that Canadian label Kelp Records has combined this touchy-feely admiration with an admiration for childhood. You know: the time when playtime was actually a session on the monkey bars and not a euphemism for heavy-petting.

The Ottawa-based brand is issuing the music of local band Hilotrons exclusively for the Fisher-Price toy record player. This means that instead of raving hands aloft to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” you can get down to “My Number” and “Not There Tonight” playing in some creepy glockenspiel tones. Unfortunately, you’ll only get roughly 25 seconds to drown in the euphoria, as the format can only carry about half a verse and half a chorus of each song. 

The only surprising thing about this is that isn't already happened, because it fits in perfectly with the ongoing trend of URBAN INFANTILIZATION.

URBAN INFANTILIZATION ˈərbən ˌɪnfənˌtaɪləˈzeɪʃən (n) - The trend of youngish city dwellers to participate in activities strongly associated with childhood.

You know what I'm talking about.  Records that only play on a child's turntable.  Musical Chairs Nights at bars. Adults playing with toys. (You could probably do a whole master's thesis on adults and Legos.) Organized dodgeball leagues. Zooey Deschanel (sample tweet: "I wish everyone looked like a kitten." THAT'S WHAT FIVE YEAR OLDS WISH.)

What the fuck?

There are two theories, both of which I came up with.  There may be other theories, but I don't know about them because I didn't think of them.

THEORY #1: Millennials are so narcissistic and were so coddled in childhood that participating in childhood activities takes them back to a better time when they were relentlessly praised for anything they did and everybody got a ribbon.  This, in turn, allows them a brief temporary escape from their lives of unremitting drudgery and hopelessness.

POSSIBILITY THIS THEORY IS CORRECT: I don't know.  What am I, a psychologist?  95%.

THEORY #2: Musical chairs, Legos, wearing a diaper, eating Lunchables, reading Thought Catalog?  Those things may be for children, but they're just plain fun!  WE DO THEM BECAUSE THEY'RE FUN!  Why don't you get off your rocker and have some fun once in a while?

POSSIBILITY THIS THEORY IS CORRECT: Almost none.  5%.  Having a glass of whiskey with your friends in a bar is fun.  Watching 8 episodes of Breaking Bad in a row and then feeling guilty for not going outside all day is fun.  Kicking a red rubber ball and then running around the bases is not fun.  No matter how much you pretend to be enjoying it, your soul is dying inside.  FORCED MIRTH is not fun.

(The current reigning champion of Forced Mirth is Lyft, where you're REQUIRED to fist-bump your driver and, I guess, make happy small chatter while you pay for the privilege of getting driven somewhere.)

If you have other ideas, feel free to share them.  Or if you just want to enjoy your juice box quietly and not disturb others during nap time that's cool too.

Friday, August 23, 2013

I have found the Holy Grail of bad baby name sites

As you may have noticed, I'm continually fascinated by the wacky variety of names that Today's Parents choose to foist upon their hapless offspring, and I recently discovered a Vital Resource in Bad Name Research.  On, future parents who are too lazy or clueless to actually make a fucking decision and pull the trigger on a name for their future burden to society can throw their hands up and PUT IT TO A VOTE in the "Baby Name Polls" section, which turns out to be one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I've seen in a while.  Here's a sample:

Tyton!  And Titania!  I hope they meet at a Reunion years from now and get married and have little Titanium or Titanella.

There are the usual Bad Decisions:

"Crystal" is almost the stripperiest name you can give a kid.  It's also convenient because you're naming the kid after her inevitable future drug of choice.  Anyway, "Crystal" is bad enough, but those alternative choices veer off from bad to unbelievably bizarre.  How do you even pronounce "Chriscylda"?  That sounds like a skin disease.

(Yes, I know.  "Famenine."  Let's keep it to the matter at hand.)

Don't look now, sweetie, but your husband is pulling your leg:

At least, I hope he is, because I WANT TO PARTY WITH THAT GUY.  Fire Star!  HAHAHAHAHA.  That is so fucking awesome.

Wait, he might be serious?  Oh Jesus.  I guess they're at Burning Man right now.  Anyway, I have no idea what her little list underneath is supposed to mean.  Isn't she mixing up boy and girl names?  I guess Fire Star is unisex.  "Lanoi" and "Nanoi" is awesome for twins, BTW.

In some cases, we got here too late:

Can you read that?  "Siblings so far as Azalea, Wisteria, Camellia, Jedidiah, Sylvia!"  Actually, Camellia is fine.  Wisteria is just weird.  How about Sativa?  Or Poison Ivy.  Every family needs a Bad Girl.  Also, STOP HAVING KIDS.

I guess it's time to put my own poll up.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Into the world of Craigslist Flakes

I recently placed an item on the Craigslist "Free" section.  I did not do this as a psychological experiment or to test the limits of human endurance, but doing that is about the same thing.  Because even when you try to just GIVE SOMETHING AWAY, you come face to face with a very specific kind of Human Being: the Craigslist Flake.

The first email I received, less than an hour after I posted the item (which was a bed, as it happens), was terse but seemed helpful:

I can pick this up Sunday.....


OK then! That's exactly when I wanted it picked up. I guess we don't have to get into a big thing or anything.  (I almost DQ'd this person because they used "Cheers" to close the email, which I hate, like you better be British or literally clinking a glass with me or just don't use Cheers, but I let it slide.)  I called "K" whose style in voicemail messages was as equally loquacious as her email persona: her message said, in its entirety, "LEAVE A MESSAGE" .  So I left a message telling "K" I would be happy to give her the bed the next day, which was Sunday.

Obviously, K never called back.  K can NOT, contrary to her email, "pick this up Sunday."

Then I got an email from Shoshanna.  It said:

"Hi we want to collect ur stuff,plz give directions to pick up,dn't give to anyone,we will pick,if possible today night itself we will pick,thank u

WHOA WHOA WHOA SHOSHANNA.  CHILL OUT ON BEING SO BOSSY.  I might have let you collect my stuff, but I don't like a complete stranger instructing me not to give to anyone. What's more, your fractured syntax makes it nearly impossible for me to divine your pickup plans.  I have no idea what "today night itself" might mean.  BZZZZZTTT.  Shoshanna got eliminated.

Next up was Linda.  Linda, knowing something about how people work, tried a tack in her email header that I immediately found appealing.  It said "I'll pay $20".  As we know, $20 is better than nothing!  In her email, Linda said she could pick it up Sunday, which happened to be the day I wanted it picked up.  I liked the cut of Linda's jib and emailed her back right away.

Never heard back from Linda.  I guess she decided to take her $20 elsewhere.

I was beginning to think that setting my bed on the sidewalk with a "FREE" sign on it was going to be the best option when I got to the next person on the list, Francine.  I liked her plucky spirit.

Love to have it
Francine 415-XXX-XXXX

Francine isn't barking commands at me like mean old Shoshanna.  She'd love to have it!  I'd love that too.  I called the number and left a message and, mirabile dictu, FRANCINE CALLED BACK and we set up a time and then she TEXTED ME TO CONFIRM.

That time is tonight.  We shall see, Francine.  We shall see.

I should point out, as a postscript, that a few months ago I put a desk on CL for $40 and sold it to the first person who emailed about it, who then arrived at the appointed time with a suitable vehicle, have me the $40, and left with the desk.  The whole thing was surreal.

Friday, August 16, 2013

10 Things I Hate About You: Sesame Street Edition

10 Things I Hate About You

Sesame Street Edition 

by Cookie Monster

Inspired by

1. Public Transportation 

 Why it take so long to get cookie? Because Sesame Street bus fucking suck, that why! If you think Sesame Street bus good, you probably eat vegan cookie! Blech!

 2. Dirty street 

 No street cleaning ever! Snuffleupagus dropping pile up for YEARS. Unions!

3. Cost of Living

Oscar still live in trash can! Can't afford to move. Cookie Monster hear that Dora the Explorer got 4th floor walkup for under 500K. Why Sesame Street so fucking expensive? Unions!

4. Nightlife (or lack thereof)

How come Sesame Street shut down at 10?  Me and Elmo always looking for late night dining options! Other than strip club buffet! This town suck.

5. The Count

Fucking Count always hassle Cookie Monster!  "1...2....3...."  We get it!  You know how count!  Fucking enough already!

6. Homeless People

They everywhere.  What you think they do with money you give them?  They buy booze!  Just give Grover bottle of Royal Gate, he be happier!  Grover spend all money on hooch!

7. 49ers

Abby Cadabby think she a 9 but she really a 4!  Why she think she have right to speak to Cookie Monster!

8. Start Up Guys

Bert and Ernie always talk about new app!  Even when ladies around!  No one care about Muppetgrindr, Bert and Ernie!

9. Crime

Every time Big Bird get popped, he back on street hours later! Revolving door justice system keep Sesame Street dangerous!  Use to be nice neighborhood.

10. Jason Mraz

Ugh. Why Cookie Monster subjected to this?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What to see and enjoy at Outside Lands this year


MSTRCLNS - Angular dance-rock featuring whirring, angry guitars, strained vocals and a drum machine.  Their latest, "Show Me To Your Ektorp," is a concept album about a man trying to escape from an Ikea.

Fawn Wispy - This chanteuse from rural British Columbia was discovered by Jewel playing Jewel covers on the sidewalk in Feathered Horse, BC.  Her delicate songs of longing and love are audible only to those standing nearby.

Yaoundé Yacht Club - These cool white kids have appropriated African rhythms and sounds and married them to their own life experiences to create a can't-miss set of songs about getting wait-listed at Princeton.

The Man and The Parakeet - Rootsy Americana meets a child's Casio keyboard for a sure-to-be-memorable set of songs that he did not spend very much time trying to make good.

DJ ATTACK MODE FLOOR CLEANER - Finally, a 15-year-old has combined dubstep, turtlecore, and an old Dustbuster into a dynamic sound that who are we kidding this is unlistenable.

Ezekiel Freeman and the Freemans - He's back!  After several open-heart surgeries, a heart transplant, and then another open-heart surgery, this legendary frontman is touring again. NOTE: Ezekiel Freeman will not appear onstage.

Wolfchair - Indie rock featuring jangly guitars and nasally vocals.

Deerflag - Indie rock featuring nasally guitars and jangly vocals.

[NOTE: Due to a cocaine shortage, Wolfdeer will be unable to appear at the festival this year.]

In the Artisan Brews beer tent

Try these locally-made beers!

Lack of Summer Wheat - We're hoping this nearly-tasteless beer will placate all you losers who want Bud Light.

Der Alkoholpoisonisch - 12% ABV.  Have 3 or 4 and forget the pain of your daily existence!

Old Tank Skunk Ale - Has it gone bad, or is supposed to taste like that? You're too embarrassed to ask!

Hopocaust - Basically just a glass full of hops mashed down into a paste.


Visit the Chevron Eco-Fair, where you can check out interactive exhibits like the Clean the Raw Crude Off the Otter station or try on a Post-Sea-Level-Rise Personal Scuba set! Over at the BankAmerica tent, enjoy a complimentary beverage and feel free to proxy-sign some foreclosure documents!  You don't even have to know anything about the case, it's cool.  Or check out our Build Your Own Personality booth! You'll find it right next to the Neon Sunglasses Disposal Station.

There's also Shrinky Dinks.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Walt, Jesse, Gus, and Us.

Rather than risk being left behind as the Cultural Zeitgeist chugged on without us, The Wife and I recently made the very important decision to watch Breaking Bad from the beginning up to now.  For those of you not in the mix, where we are now is that the finale season, season 5, was broken into two parts of 8 episodes each and the second 8 episodes are premiering Sunday.  Anticipating that there was no way you jackasses would be able to get through this without dropping hella spoilers, we've been valiantly trying to catch up.

CONCLUSION: Breaking Bad is a very good TV show.  It's nowhere near as artsy and self-conscious and Big Idea-y as Mad Men, and probably not as Film-y as The Sopranos, but you know what it does really well?  PLOT.  It is so expertly plotted and constructed that it does the single most important thing a TV show can do: makes you want to watch the next episode as soon as the one you're watching ends.

(Also, the acting - especially Bryan Cranston in the lead role - is generally superb, which helps.)


So we are now in Season 4.  Last night we had 4 episodes left.  And when we finished the next-to-last episode of the season last night at 10:40 p.m., we had a decision to make.  Push on?  Or call it a night.


Duh, we decided to watch the season 4 series finale.  Breaking Bad is a show, ostensibly, about making methamphetamine and it really gets you in the spirit by being the CLOSEST THING TV OFFERS TO ACTUALLY BEING ADDICTED TO METHAMPHETAMINE.  You will do anything for another hit.

So we get up to the final minutes of season 4.  If you've seen it - AND THIS ISN'T GIVING TOO MUCH AWAY - we're at the point where Jesse and Walt shake hands on top of the parking structure.  There's about 5 minutes left.

Then, suddenly, POOF.  The power goes out.

OH FUCK ME ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING.  Nope, not kidding.  Can you imagine?  Finishing up one of the most crucial moments in the most riveting season (so far, for us, anyway) of one of the best shows ever and the fucking power goes out?  OUR GOD IS A CRUEL GOD.

(Anticipating you questions, The Wife's iPad was basically out of batteries.  My laptop doesn't get 3G and our home wifi was without power, natch.  So we had no backup.)

Anyway, we watched the last 5 minutes this morning. I KNEW IT.  If you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about.

When we started this project about a month ago, I thought there was no fucking way in hell we'd be caught up by August 11.  Just no way.  I had crunched the numbers and concluded we'd be caught up by the end of August, in time to watch the last 5 episodes in real time.  Now, we'll EASILY be caught up.  We only have to watch 8 episodes between now and Sunday!  Fuck, that's nothing.  We watched 6 last Sunday in ONE DAY.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Bachelorette: Second place is the first place of losers. I mean, I love you, let's get married.

You know when you want a Snickers and you go to the vending machine by Sales and they're out of Snickers and so you have to get a Clark bar instead and you're like "Ugh, I didn't even know they still made Clark bars, what, has this been in that machine since 1978?"  Well that's pretty much what happened to Des at the end of Our Journey.  We begin, as we must, with the Bachelor/ette gazing out onto a body of water, followed by the oblig Chris Harrison interview where he asks her if she could see herself with one of the two losers she has left and she cries and cries.  Maybe not so much, but we have 2 hours to kill so you better just get yourself in the mood, sweetie.  YOU ARE FUCKING GETTING ENGAGED SO GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR.

Here come Drew and Chris for, what, a Rose Ceremony or something?  What the fuck?  Isn't that supposed to be at the end? Fine by me, kick them all off and let's go home.  Oh wait, here's D to catch them up.  "You may have noticed Brooks isn't here."  Well, yes, D, we did.  "He has devastated my life.  I have lost the capacity to love.  My days stretch out before me in an endless chain now, each one a hurdle standing between me and the sweet relief of death.  But you guys are totally still in this thing!"

Back to the studio audience, let's find out what America thinks!  Or at least white women between 25 and 45!  One chick thinks Brooks is totes coming back.  Another heavy-browed young lady in some sort of tablecloth dress thinks otherwise.  Someone's mom thinks Brooks "got scared" and shouldn't have taken advice from two women.  GENDER TRAITOR.

OK, back in Antigua, D is gonna give this thing a shot.  WTF is she wearing, some kind of Egyptian breastplate belly shirt.  She's doing the slutty Hatshepsut.  Here comes Drew for some horseback riding.  Confusingly, his horse is named Judy which is a great name for a bridge-playing Mom from the 70's but not so much a horse.  Sadly, this date is about as romantic as endoscopy.  Drew wants to toast to "being madly in love which is followed by D saying she "needs to talk" and that's usually not such a good sign.  She's been reflecting and you should reflect on this, Abercromobie: you are burnt fucking toast.  D blubbers a lot and Drew rides Judy into an uncertain sunset.  "Now I have to think about a life without her."  You've got until about lunchtime, sport.  Chin up.

Next up is Fucking Poetry Guy, who makes it past the first 5 minutes so he's already ahead of the game.  They get on a boat blah blah blah.  Hey, did you know making out is called "shifting" in Ireland?  No idea why.  Shifting.

Then we're at the Night Portion which is terminally boring and he gives her a journal that - wait for it - is ALREADY FILLED WITH HIS AWFUL AWFUL POETRY like, dude, (1) the person you GIVE the journal to is supposed to write in it, not you, you doofus, and (2) this is like the worst vanity press project ever.  Anyway she wants him to meet her family and he's sweating like a pig and now we're back in the studio and Chris Harrison hauls out the same former contestants we've been seeing all season like don't you have jobs or literally anything better to do than to keep coming on this show? Lesley from DC looks like she's on the tail end of a 6-month bender and has been hitting up Courtney Love's Goodwill donation box for clothes.

Thankfully we are soon out of the studio and back to Antigua where D is gazing into middle distance and now it's time for Chris to meet the fam!  Helpfully, D's bro comes pre-loaded with Jail Clothes so he doesn't have to change on his way back that night.

Dad jumps right in with "Why should Desiree choose you?"  Because I'm the only fucking one left, homeslice!  It's either me or the Craft Services guy at this point!  They have a little sit-down and Chris is babbling like an Adderall-crazed 5-year-old.  "I know I like her man and could I have her hand in marriage and I'll say do you want to marry me and we'll totally get married and then we'll be married and JESUS CHRIST ISN'T THIS THE MOST EXCITING FUCKING THING EVER."

OK we're stumbling towards our conclusion.  Des is perched on a hillside as the limo approaches and out pops Chris and fuck, you could at least shave for this.  He grimly assures us he couldn't be more happy.  He starts in with her about "all the happiness I see in your eyes when I read you poetry" and that's not happiness, dude, that's gag reflex.  Anyway, she tries to head fake him with some BS about "having to be honest" but we all know what's coming.  Whoa, then he hits her up with a bunch of questions!  "Do you want to share your experiences with me?  Do you want to have kids?"  Can we buy a turtle?  Should we get DishTV or cable? Can we get Fiestaware?  What about a Ford Fusion?  She agrees to marry him and then says either "I made a promise to tell you everything" or "I made a promise to call you every day," which is a little creepy.  Oh, and she says - NOT MADE UP - "It joys me to say this," which is the kind of syntax I guess you get when you homeschool in a park.

That's it.  We're done here.  The next bachelor is Juan Pablo, which guarantees lots of flamenco-sounding music and also Juan Pablo getting a green card the old-fashioned way.  Hasta la vista.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Having ruined rest of city, geeks set sights on Outside Lands

Oh for fucks' sake.

Hackers to descend upon Outside Lands music fest 

Hackers will infiltrate the Outside Lands music festival happening at Golden Gate Park in a few weeks. If you’re attending, keep an eye out for guys or gals typing furiously away on their laptops or holding their phones high above their heads in search of a strong WiFi connection. Don’t be surprised if you’re standing in line and someone taps your shoulder and asks you to test out their app. This is the official first year of “Outside Hacks,” where programmers will code inside festival grounds, working on websites or mobile apps that benefit Outside Lands attendees.
If you tap me on the shoulder in the beer line and ask me to test out your app, "don't be surprised" if I punch you in the throat.  Fucking great, I finally decide to go to Outside Lands after five years or whatever and it gets turned into Camp Annoying.

Outside Hacks is a followup event to Hackeroo — the hackathon that happened inside the Bonnaroo music festival earlier this year. Hackers will go head to head in a 24 hour competition happening August 3-4, the week before Outside Lands. The winning teams will get VIP tickets to the festival, where they’ll hack and hone their websites/apps from within the fest.
Here I thought a music festival was about LISTENING TO LIVE MUSIC. No, it's about "hacking and honing websites/apps from within the fest."  Hopefully one of the apps is Killyouallr.  Or StabMe.
So what does a festival app look like? There’s a lot of possibilities. At Hackeroo, one of the winning teams developed an app called RooRunner, which acted like a TaskRabbit for festival-goers. Attendees could submit task requests into the app from their phones, like “I want a burger and water brought to me at a certain sound stage.” The other app was named RooWall, and it combined all the pictures, video, tweets, and other social interactions that festival goers were posting into one visual wall. 
Oh good. I was worried I would just have to watch the bands I paid $115 to see and I wouldn't have any way to post tweets and video onto a visual wall.  And why should I get my own burger and water when I can pay someone to bring it to me?  Woodstock, the dream is not dead!

Maybe I'm being too harsh.  I guess I could support this if anyone worked on the following apps:

HeadPulverizr - If you lift your smartphone above shoulder level to take a picture, it blows up, sending shards of glass and metal into your skull.

BitchBeQuiet - Automatically releases a gas that causes vocal cord constriction if you speak louder than the music.

BlindMe - Blocks my vision any time someone wanders by wearing an animal-ears hat or sunglasses backward on the head.

DeChiliFier - Destroys the Red Hot Chili Peppers forever.