28 April 2006

Hell Awaits

This sounds like a good idea to me.

I'll stay home from work and tell my boss it's a religious holiday.

26 April 2006

A Laff Riot, or: Your Twat Smells Like a Baby’s Coffin

The Comedians of Comedy tour stopped by Headliners last night. Starring Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Maria Bamford and Eugene Mirman, this show promises to appeal to the type of people who wouldn’t be caught dead in a comedy club. As I had interviewed Patton Oswalt for a story in LEO, I had comp tix and since it was Tuesday, what else was I gonna do?

I am pleased to report that all four performers delivered, i.e., they made me laugh out loud, which is pretty much all you can ask from a comedy show. What sets the Comedians of Comedy apart from the usual stand-up crap is the comedians’s sensibilities, for lack of a better term – none of them relied on the typical, tedious, tired airplane food or "men and women are so different -- am I right, fellas?" bullshit which makes people think stand-up is such a worn-out genre.

Oswalt was especially funny that night; I particularly liked his riff on the music used on conservative AM radio talk shows vs. NPR (“Man, I know what the kids dig! I’ve got an Ornette Coleman bootleg that was recorded in a graveyard in 1961!”). Posehn was good, delivering his material in that “is he stoned or is he retarded?” voice of his. Bamford was pretty interesting; she used this squirrelly cartoon voice for much of the set but then she would use normal-sounding voices to make jokes about her mother, sister and others. And Mirman has been a favorite of mine for a while, if only for "The Marvelous Crooning Child."

I am also pleased to report that Headliners was way packed. I haven’t seen this many people there since the Spoon show last year.

24 April 2006

Technical Damnation

Way back when I hatched my scheme to switch from PC to Mac, I bought a 160GB Seagate brand external hard drive to facilitate the process. It worked like a charm. The day I bought the Mac mini, I plugged the Seagate in and they were recognizing each other like long lost Army buddies.

Well, while Jen was off gallivanting in Europe last month, we had a power surge or something here at the house and the Seagate freaked out and now neither the mini nor Jen's laptop will recognize it, even though they used to get along and play nicely together in the past. I called Seagate tech support and the guy on the other end (a native English-speaker, but still quite obviously dumb as a bag of donkey manure) told me it sounded as if I would need to reformat the Seagate and start over from scratch.

I had resigned myself to this process and after almost two weeks of putting it off, I was undertaking it Saturday. I decided to go back to the source and reinitialize it on the Gateway so I could resave all the stuff I had previously saved on it so the Mac could once again use the files.

Lo and behold, the Seagate is still on speaking terms with the Gateway. All the files were usable, readable, openable (??) etc. In the interests of worst-case scenarios, I backed up all the files FROM the Seagate TO the Gateway, even though these files are scattered across various folders on the Gateway. I did that so they'd all be in one spot (i.e., one folder named "Jay's Crap" and one named "Jen's Crap.")

Just for shits and giggles, I unhooked the Gateway and tried to see if the Mac and/or the laptop would read the Seagate in the hopes that maybe somehow putting the Seagate with the Gateway "unlocked" it or some such computer voodoo bullshit, but no: neither mini nor laptop recognize the Seagate.

So now I'm stumped. My instinct says I should reformat the Seagate on the Mac, since that's the "main" computer now (I don't care if the Seagate becomes a blank slate now that I backed up my back-ups on the Gateway), but my razor-keen instinct also says that with my luck, the Seagate would then only speak to the mini and forget its old friend, the Gateway. Furthermore, I need the Seagate's 160GB storage capacity so I can warehouse big files, like the songs I've put together in GarageBand, which are insanely massive files. Oh, and all the porn, of course.

And no, the Gateway does not burn CDs because we didn't get a CD burner on it when we bought the motherfucker in 2000, which was my decision so I get to take the blame for that lack of foresight -- although I am considering having one installed just for that purpose, even though that would be an incredibly roundabout ass-backwards, not to mention costly, way of doing it.

At this point I would probably just buy a new Seagate (different brand, obviously) if these things cost $50 or less, but since I dropped nearly $200 on it, I want to try and see it through to its bitter conclusion. For lack of a better term, so I can get closure on it.

Any computer geeks out there reading this, please feel free to leave comments (besides "Sucks to be you," obviously).

16 April 2006

Hey, Jeffrey Brown: Please Stop Cartooning

I read Jeffrey Brown's graphic novel "Any Easy Intimacy."

Oh, how I hated this book.

For starters, it's an autobiographical work. I was -- and maybe still am -- a fan of independent autobiographical comics... provided they're interesting and not full of the solipsistic navel-gazing that has, unfortunately, come to define the genre. "Any Easy Intimacy" is nothing but navel-gazing.

The book consists of a series of vignettes delineating the gradual implosion of a romantic relationship. Love is a universal theme to which everybody can relate, but Brown's depiction of his own little melodrama is excruciating in its tedium. The book is an extremely quick read and yet it seems to take forever as you wade through the ups and downs and ups and downs between the two protagonists, "Jeffrey" and "Sophia." It's obvious that Brown finds each and every detail, each monochromatic facet of his pathetic existence, endlessly fascinating, but he is unable to convey that through his inept cartooning, which owes a gigantic debt to Chester Brown. But while Chester's style is simple and clean, Jeffrey's art is merely loose and sloppy. One would think that since Jeff places such obvious weight and significance on the events of "Any Easy Intimacy," he would have put a little more craft and effort into it, but that's not the case.

As mentioned above, the plot of the book follows the love affair between Jeffrey and Sophia, from their nauseatingly cutesy-poo introduction through their thoroughly boring relationship through its drawn out conclusion. There are several sexual interludes, which in Brown's expert hands are rendered with all the passion and eroticism of a trip to the post office.

(Incidentally, this book is the third book in Brown's Girlfriend Trilogy, the first of which is called "Unlikely: How I Lost My Virginity." I mean, SERIOUSLY, what possesses a douchebag like Brown to think that anyone besides himself wants to read about his first piece of ass?)

Brown helpfully includes a soundtrack at the end of the book, because if there's one thing that everybody loves, it's a mix tape made by an art fag who thinks every maudlin song he listens to was written about himself. Predictably, much of the music he recommends is of the self-pitying variety: Death Cab for Cutie, Elliott Smith, Pedro the Lion, Kissing Book. Golly, who would've thunk that a self-obsessed choad like Brown would have such atrocious taste in music? (Some good stuff is included as well, e.g., Low and Radiohead, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.)

At the end of the day, "Any Easy Intimacy" is just so precious and sentimental and saccharine and cloying that you can't help but imagine, just for a little bit, how awesome it would be to, say, hit Brown in the face with a shovel or something. At one point in the book, Sophia tells Jeff, "My dad thinks you're gay." He's not the only one.

Oh yeah, I'm tremendously disappointed that Top Shelf published this worthless piece of shit -- they usually display much better taste in material.

14 April 2006

Wedding Crashers

So apparently Storm and the Black Panther are getting married. Good for them; I hope that these two entirely fictional characters make each other happy. Jeepers, I hope the Ringmaster and his Circus of Crime don't disrupt the ceremony.

However, I think that this is kind of patronizing on the part of Marvel. Storm has been around the Marvel Universe since the mid-70s and the Panther has been around even longer but Marvel decided to retcon a romance into their past and now they're getting hitched. One can't help but think that the editors who dreamt this stunt up were thinking, "Hey, we've got two characters from Africa. One is male, the other female. Of course they'd be lovers!"

I like how Captain America and Iron Man are looking at each other like, "What the fuck, yo?"

11 April 2006

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Today I had two wisdom teeth pulled. This is something that I needed to have done since at least 2000. My left rear molar never fully erupted, as us dentist like to say, so from time to time, bits of food would get lodged under the gum back there and get inflamed. I could always tell when this happened because a) it was uncomfortable and b) I could occasionally smell pus. But since I'm a horrible procrastinator, I kept putting it off and putting it off.

Until yesterday, that is -- I was in quite a bit of discomfort-bordering-on-pain, so I made an appointment to get it taken care of.

Since I'm not a macho former drug addict like my dear friend James Frey, I had a local anesthetic. The doctor and his assistant then proceeded to basically yank the teeth out of my jaw. It took all of 15 minutes. It was entirely painless, but since I could easily hear the teeth cracking and popping like so many brittle twigs, it was a mite unsettling. Once everything was extracted, the put in some stitches, which I have to have removed next week.

I asked the doctor if I could keep the teeth as souvenirs. He said this was not allowed due to health regulations. However, they did let me look at them. They were awfully bloody.

Speaking of blood: I have to keep gauze over the wounds and replace them every 20-30 minutes. When I do, the pads are soaked with blood. It's fascinating for now, but if this persists, I will be concerned.

The Good: Ice cream for dinner, a day off work, a prescription for Vicodin.
The Bad: Bloody gauze, swelling, general discomfort:
The Ugly: The sockets where my teeth were.

10 April 2006

Phunnybook Photoblogging

My pal Jimmie hates it when I do this, but screw him -- he can start his own blog.

The above is Marvel's new, female White Tiger. I'm sure she's a spicy Latina firecracker (is there any other kind?).