Saturday, January 31, 2009

Atlantic Monthly Article

Here's a link to a pretty interesting article from The Atlantic. It's about the origins of the section of the Constitution which deals with Presidential powers and why/how it should be changed. Good stuff.

McSweeney's Hudson River plane landing Conspiracy theories

FLIGHT 1549:

- - - -

A plane leaving the New York area crashes into the Hudson, but not a single other plane crashed into the Hudson that day.

The guy who landed the plane, this guy Sullenberger, just happened to be a pilot.

We've all heard of American Airlines, but US Airways?

Before the landing, passengers heard four loud booms coming from the right engine. You know what else makes boom noises? Police Academy's Michael Winslow. Where was Michael Winslow that day? And, while we're at it, what happened to the guy who played Commandant Lassard?

The Hudson just so happened to be full of water, making the landing feasible. A little too convenient?

One engine was still missing days after the accident, yet there's one place reporters never bothered to look: Sullenberger's house.

Following the accident, US Airways stock shot up 13 percent. You know who works for that company? The pilot and crew of Flight 1549.

Sullenberger's father was a dentist and his mother was a grade-school teacher. Coincidence?

Fact: Tickets to the presidential inauguration were nearly impossible to get. Fact: Sullenberger somehow obtained tickets ... from the president-elect of the United States.

Sullenberger just happened to be an experienced glider pilot and just happened to be over a body of water with no engine power that day. Coincidence?

The passengers are said to have escaped on rafts. That actually seems to hold up.

Add up the middle numbers in Flight 1549 and you get 9. Add 8 to the 1 and you also get 9. Now flip over the 999 and you get 666. Add up those numbers and you get 18. Coincidence?

Oh, by the way, it turns out that George "Commandant Lassard" Gaynes is scheduled to appear in Police Academy 8 in 2011. It's true. Check IMDb.

A hundred and fifty-five people wanted to go to Charlotte? Really?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A poem by Mark Cox I particularly enjoyed

The Garglers

The sun rises on a professor gargling. Because it is morning,
gargling makes perfect sense to him. Overnight
a great drama has taken place in his mouth-- growth,
decay, procreation-- the whole gambit, schmear, shebang.

As he gargles, he hums his morning mantra
which helps him disregard the mob with torches in his mouth.
I have my health, he hums, and you can't take that away from me.
He consults his watch-- almost two minutes now, nothing
can have survived above the gumline, surely by now
he more or less has his mouth to himself.

In fact, the lining of his mouth itself
has begun to question his jurisdiction over it.
A terrific stillness has fallen over the bathroom,
as if the sink and every pipe are waiting for him to spit.

He's just approaching a critical octave change
when his wife leans in and asks, "Do you love me?"
He nods, pointing to his watch, but with a look that says,
"You know how important fresh breath is to rhetoricians."
"If you really loved me," her looks says, "you'd say so.
You'd splatter whatever was keeping you from telling me
all over yourself in order to keep me."

He looks from his underarm spray to his cologne and back again.
It is morning. Gargling makes perfect sense. But he expectorates
and says, "I love you, do you love me too?"
But it's too late, because his wife already has a mouthful
and is gargling and pointing at her mouth as if to say,
how could you ever doubt it. . . .

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This Week in Nelson, volume 3, number 4

Hello, hello. How's it going? Good? Good. You ready to do this thing? You need a minute? Okay. Okay, just let me know when you're ready. Do, do-do, do-do. A-hem. How about this . . . stuff . . . we're having . . . huh? I know. It's really. Yeah . . . Small talk, small talk . . . I had a really tasty sandwich yesterday. Yeah, it was tasty. Totally tasty. Good and tasty. Tasty. Ready yet? Almost? Good, good. No, that's okay. Take your time. No rush. I'll just keep . . . hmmm . . . what to say . . . I had a sex dream last night about Frank— Oh, you're ready now? Okay, well, never mind then. Let's get going.

Belated birthday shout-out to Aaron. I don't believe I dropped that yet. I believe I missed it by a few weeks. Happy birthday! Seriously, people, drop me an email about when your birthdays are. Help me help you. We can do this thing. Also, birthday shout-out to Bob Uecker. For Mr. Belvedere and Major League alone, he deserves it.

Books read this week:
-Still reading The View from the Seventh Layer by, Kevin Brockmeier
-Thirty-Seven Years from the Stone by, Mark Cox

I'd read some of the poems in Cox's book before, but I'd never read the whole thing. I felt like it was time. It's good stuff. I recommend it. And he's from Kansas, so, go Kansas.

Random out-of-context quotes of the week:
--"To sweeten the deal a little, I'm throwing in this pair of MC Hammer pants for the man with rippling quads that can't fit into regular pants. Yeah, you heard me. FREE MC Hammer pants. Rock on." (From a used car ad on craigslist. The context here, I think, is worthwhile)
--"Maybe you can live on the moon in next century." (From a fortune cookie. Once again, context here is key)
--"If you pooped, call out!"
--"It is undeniable that there are strip clubs and elderly."
--"We're no more than paper lanterns lit by an elegantly worded threat."
--"In New England, after all, every house with more than three bedrooms simply must have its own entrance to hell!"
--"You called me Jo."
"Do you not like the new nickname?"
"Just a little butch. I like bangin' dudes, so . . ."

The O'Reilly Factor for Kids book quote(s) of the week:
-I'm gonna have to forgo the book this week and make reference to the quote of his they dropped on the Daily Show where he said that it was fine to abandon your values for the sake of safety. Which out of context I would allow him is at least an arguable point, depending on circumstances, but at the end of the day is just basically a definition for cowardice and would have been right at home in Nazi Germany.

Interesting news articles of the week:
-"Bad week for divorce lawyers! A recent survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that the recession is making it too expensive for many couples to split up. Couples are 'toughing it out,' the group said, until the recovery." (They have an academy?)
-"The block-stacking videogame Tetris is so demanding of the brain that it blocks thoughts of all else, including traumatic experiences, says a new study. Scientists at Oxford University believe that Tetris so dominates the brain's resources that it can act as a 'cognitive vaccine' that could prevent soldiers or crime victims from developing post-traumatic stress disorder, says New Scientist. If a soldier were to play Tetris in some of the hours following a violent event, the hypothesis goes, his brain would be unable to form the memory links that form the basis of a trauma flashback. Oxford scientists tested their theory by asking volunteers to watch hours of troubling, violent videos. Subjects who played Tetris afterward were less likely to experience flashbacks of what they'd seen." (Videogames. Is there anything they can't do?)
-"What happens when you give bees cocaine? Now we know, thanks to Australian scientists who painted concentrates of freebase cocaine onto the backs of bees in the lab. During the ensuing party, the coked-up bees were ultra-enthusiastic about everyday experiences, buzzing about excitedly and wiggling their bodies when they found nectar-laden flowers. The next day, the bees weren't as happy, and withdrawal symptoms caused lagging reaction times in performance tests. 'What we have in the bee is a wonderfully simple system to see how brains react to a drug of abuse,' researcher Andrew Barron tells The New York Times. By studying how primitive brains react to such drugs, he says, researchers may find ways to stop human brains from responding to drugs and becoming addicted." (Science. Is there anything it won't do?)
-"A security guard at a movie theater showing My Bloody Valentine 3D got into a fight with a patron and stabbed him in the stomach." (I'm not sure whether to make a comment on the realistic level of special effects these days or question why a security guard had a knife)
-"A New York man attempted to exchange a 'bad' lobster at his local supermarket this week. The grocers refused when they discovered that the man had in fact eaten the lobster and reassembled the shell to make it look whole." (Yeah . . .)

I've got to give a shout-out to news! Last week I called it out for not delivering and this week it came with the thunder!

Something I'm tired of/ mad at:
-Weather. It keeps jumping from 60 to 2 from day to day. I'm getting cold whiplash. Fucking ridiculous. And it's still totally fucking with my ability to get serious reading done.

Something I'm delighted by:
-I had to get a new cell phone this week. My old phone was jacked and getting worse. It had to be done. The shitty part was that it wasn't time to upgrade so I had to drop the big money. But, since I was already dropping the big money, I decided to drop a little extra and got me an i-phone, and let me tell you, that motherfucker is sweet and well deserving of a shout-out. I love it. LOVE it. It is everything a phone should be and more. If I could, I would have sex with it. And I would call it the next day. LOVE it. I've been loading it up with the "apps." Best useless though completely awesome 99 cent app? i-pity, which is an animated Mr. T head that randomly drops Mr.T quotes when you tap him. Worth every penny. Love it!

Something I found really kind of odd:
-That i-pity exists.
-Seeing a woman and dog with matching scarves downtown.

This Week in Answers to Your This Week in Questions This Week!
-"Would you say that this product makes sex 'sexier'?"
-No, not really. Sex is plenty sexy already. And if it isn't there's always that strangling thing.

A quick shout-out to Jon and Keri for keeping the weekly update thing communal. I can't do this alone, people. Well, I guess I can, but at what cost? Lots of shout-outs this week. My throat is getting sore from all the awesome.

In fact, I'm going to go take a nap so that I can rest that bad boy. Frank, I'll see you soon.

The rest of you, I'll see you next week.

Or maybe sooner if Frank's into three-ways.

–> N.

From Wall Street to Main Street and everywhere in between, stay up-to-date with the

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Depressing winter poem I wrote a few weeks ago, lost, then found again

Poem Written On the Back of Instructions to Old Stereo Equipment

The grass rots sepia
like an old photograph, a dry
daguerreotype, and the remaining
patches of snow are where
the memory has faded.

When a bee mates
with the queen, he
dies. And when he stings
he dies.
Bees are obsessed
with Eros and

I gargle saline
like the doctor instructs
me to and imagine
I am drowning.

And you are a mermaid
who has revived me
on the seashore.
Making love to you I feel
like a phantom limb,
both here and far away
and always

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This Week in Nelson 3.3 addendum

This was supposed to be in the out-of-context quote section but I lacked access to it until just now. Here it is. "Angry owners" sold it for me.

"The truth always shows itself with the ass. A cock in an ass operates like the arrow on a lie-detector test. The ass doesn’t know how to lie, it can’t lie: it hurts physically, if you lie. The pussy, on the other hand, can lie at the mere entry of a dick in the room-- does so all the time. Pussies are designed to fool men with their beckoning waters, ready opening and angry owners."

This Week in Nelson, volume 3, number 3

Okay, I think our problems with word processors and cutting and pasting and Peruvian llama-show porn have been solved. If you're reading this without opening an attached file we'll know for sure. Our long national nightmare is over.

Birthday shout-out to nobody. I think. I just don't know anymore. Do you guys want to do me a favor? Do you want to drop me emails confirming for me when your birthdays are? So I can attempt to be good about mentioning them, shout-out style? Please? Please let our long national nightmare of me missing birthdays be over. Choose birthday hope over birthday fear.

Books read this week:
-Finished reading Vacation by, Deb Olin Unferth
-Still reading The View from the Seventh Layer by, Kevin Brockmeier

I second my initial assessment of Vacation being the bee's knees.

Random out-of-context quotes of the week:
--"John Kerry would make a great Japanese game show. Eyes open! Win car!"
--"Girl Scout cookie time! Happy ending!"
--"We've tried everything! Baseball! Strippers! The man won't eat a damn pancake!"

The O'Reilly Factor for Kids book quote(s) of the week:
-"I know I've been serious here about having fun . . . but I've had fun doing it! I really enjoy sharing what I know about life to help you enjoy yours more." (For some reason, this quote creeps me out more than even some of his more traditionally creepy quotes. I guess the thought that there might actually be somebody perusing this book unironically and looking for life lessons from O'Reilly scares me more than when he makes a comment that comes off all inappropriate uncle.)

Interesting news articles of the week:
-Once again, no decent news to regurgitate. I'm kind of getting tired of/ mad at that, but not enough to move it down to the next section. Yet. Get in the game, news!

Something I'm tired of/ mad at:
-The fact that Larry the Cable Guy is going to be at the Granada in Lawrence tomorrow night. The thought of having him in the same town as me makes my fucking skin crawl. And only a little more than 24 hours to plan an assassination attempt! So mad!

Something I'm delighted by:
-Lost coming back tomorrow night. Very excited to watch that television program. Very excited. And I guess it displays a sort of karmic equality to the universe that while Larry the Cable Guy soils the very ground upon which he stands and the air he breathes here, in my town, I will be watching Lost. However, it does throw yet another wrench into my assassination planning. Damn! Stop kicking me in the balls, universe!

Something I found really kind of odd:
-I was driving around yesterday and saw a guy at 23rd and Iowa wearing a full cow costume and eating an ice cream cone. I can't explain it. But I felt like something was both right and wrong with the world at the same time. Perhaps I should have recognized it as an omen. I need to work on perfecting my divination skillz.

This Week in Answers to Your This Week in Questions This Week!
-"Can you please pass the carrots?"
-Yes. Yes I can pass the carrots. And I will. By God, I will.

So, I started up one of them high falutin' actual on the internet blogs. (Sidebar: I may have misspelled falutin'. My spellcheck suggested "fellation." Oh spellcheck, you fail me again.) This is where it is: For those of you who get your This Week dose via email, I will still send it out via email. However, I will probably drop some small bits here and there on the actual page, so feel free to get on over and check it out from time to time. For those of you reading this on MySpace, this will be the final MySpace entry. Just a heads up. And sorry I was never able to post the last entry there. Laziness and computer failure is a potent combo.

I've recently become obsessed with the show How I Met Your Mother. I'd been catching it more and more recently and found an insane deal on the first three seasons on DVD, and now I've been watching it in big chunks at night. That show is rock solid fun.

I took Willie's suggestion to name my gallstone in honor of the recent passing of a great man. Henceforth he shall be 'Lil Ricardo Montelban. Please address all his correspondence accordingly.

I've been eating a lot of fruit lately. I'm not sure why. Fruit is good. I thought you should know.

I keep having weird, long, narratively structured dreams almost nightly. And Gaus and Willie keep playing substantial supporting roles. Get out of my head! The last one involved us at some kind of convention and Corey Feldman played a villainous role by trying to impregnate my fiancee. Do I have a fiancee? No. Do I know Corey Feldman? No. But the whole episode was deeply haunting. Corey Haim remained admirably neutral throughout the entire slapsticky affair, to his credit. Although at one point he and Gaus stole a car. Which strangely enough has happened in real life. For more on that, I direct you back to This Week in Nelson: The Prison Years. Which was a lot like The Wonder Years, but with a little less Fred Savage and substantially more rape.

Yes, Fred Savage raped me. No, I didn't get his autograph.

And on that bittersweet note, I leave you until next week.

–> N.