Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just walked past the Granada and someone asked if my Owls are Assholes shirt was "some kind of anti-war thing?" What?

This Week in Nelson, volume 3, number 17

Yes, sir. Here we be. This is where the smiles happen. The smiles, and the lurching vertigo of deep sexual shame. This week we’ve got some stuff. No big deal.

Birthday shout-out to Jake! It was my parent’s anniversary, too, so go them!

Books read this week:
-Still reading Goodbye, Colombus by, Philip Roth
-Still reading Fates Worse Than Death by, Kurt Vonnegut

I have found that I read novels and poetry fast, but short stories and essays slowly. I guess it’s because the ongoing narrative of a novel keeps my interest and poetry is generally fast to read, but I don’t know. The point is, I did very little reading this week. I’m feeling a little roundabout, I guess. Which is odd, because I hate roundabouts. Does that mean I hate myself? Hmmmm . . .

Random out-of-context quotes of the week:
--“Why are you letting Sam Kinison and an Indian lesbian ruin your wedding?”
--“I’m the dark lord of asses!”

It was a slow quote week. Or a lazy week for writing quotes down. Take your pick.

The O’Reilly Factor for Kids book quote(s) of the week:

Interesting news articles of the week:
-““It was a good week for Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, after Massachusetts officials admitted that some road signs for the popular fishing spot in Webster, Mass., were misspelled as Chargoggagoggmanchaoggagoggchaubunaguhgamaugg. The signs will be corrected.”
-“An Idaho judge took order in the court to a new level this week when he had bailiffs use duct tape to cover the mouth of an unruly defendant.”
-“Daniel Duran, a Houston man who allegedly robbed a bank and stuffed the bundles of cash down his pants as he raced from the bank was taken to a hospital with second-degree burns in a sensitive area after the dye-packs exploded.” (Is it still only “allegedly when the stolen goods burn your junk?)
-“The National Geodesic Survey found that the Four Corners marker— where tens of thousands of visitors have had their picture taken standing simultaneously in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah— is in the wrong place. The real Four Corners, officials said, is about two and a half miles west of the marker.”

Something(s) I’m tired of/ mad at:
-God! Because all that rain flooded my place Monday morning. Eight different leaks. I had to miss work. I call bullshit on rain. Bullshit!

Something(s) I’m delighted by:
-Breakfast foods! Ate some breakfast dinner on Tuesday night at the Ratzlaff house. Pancakes, biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs. It was nearly an Averill’s folly, but for the lack of country fried steak.

Something(s) I found really kind of odd:
-How much fun it was to watch Mike Golic get his legs and forearms waxed. Cause that was pretty cool. And he yelled out “pot roast,” one time, which really sold it.

This Week in Answers to Your This Week in Questions This Week!
--“Why do genies always try to fuck with your wishes? I mean, they give you three wishes, but it’s never what you want.”
-Because genies never really listen when you talk to them. They’re kind of assholes. They’re just making it up as they go along. It’s cause they unionized back in 1321, and now they get paid no matter how much they fuck up. Djinnis, on the other hand, are usually pretty stand up guys. You can always trust a Djinni. Just don’t get into a relationship with them. They’re kind of clingy.

Gonna see that Wolverine movie tonight. I’ll let you know.

I started doing that Facebook thing. Feel free to seek me out and friend me up, if you like. Odds are I’ll say yes. I’ll say yes to most things.

Pour some liquor for Bea Arthur! God done called another angel home . . .

I hate to end on a sad note, but I’m doing it anyway. Deal with it.

See you next week.

–> N.

Friday, April 24, 2009

So, I'm at work, and I have a song stuck in my head. No big deal. The weird thing is, it's the song from the old SNL three-legged jeans commercial. How is that lodged in my brain to the point where it's been stuck on repeat for the last couple hours? So fucking strange.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This Week in Nelson, volume 3, number 16

Greetings! Hello Spring! I’m wearing shorts! It’s delightful! Exclamation points! This week we’ve got an exciting book announcement, the good side of editing for television, coffee all up in my business, a new health threat, and how much to pay for a gay elephant.

Birthday shout-out to my uncle, Ned! Honest contractor! Protector of stray cats! Huzzah! And to Cole’s Dan (who’s last name I’m afraid to say I don’t know)! Whooo! Birthdays!

Books read this week:
-Still reading Goodbye, Colombus by, Philip Roth
-Started reading Fates Worse Than Death by, Kurt Vonnegut

So I read that Seth Grahame-Smith(the guy who wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)’s next book is going to be Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. So excited! This man is my new hero!

Random out-of-context quotes of the week:
--“I came to America as a girl, but because of you, I leave it as a woman who has discovered both her sexuality, and her ability to manage an extended-stay hotel.”
--“I’ve had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday-Friday plane!” (Snakes on a Plane, edited for TV, yet still almost as good)

The O’Reilly Factor for Kids book quote(s) of the week:

Interesting news articles of the week:
-“Artyom Sidorkin of Russia went into surgery this week for what doctors believed was a large, malignant lung tumor. Doctors found and removed a 3-inch-tall fir tree growing in his lung. ‘I thought I was hallucinating,’ said the surgeon, who thinks Sidorkin must have inhaled a seed.” (He had a fucking tree growing inside his lung! That’s fucking crazy!)
-“If you love chocolate but are concerned about the calories, David Edwards, a Harvard biomedical engineer, has a treat for you. It’s ‘Le Whif,’ a lipstick-sized mini-inhaler that shoots a calorie-free chocolate mist into your mouth. The device grew out of Edwards’ research into a better way to deliver inhaled medicines; the price is about $2 for four puffs.”
-“Ninio, an elephant acquired by a Polish zoo, was denounced this week by a conservative politician for being uninterested in mating with the zoo’s females. ‘We didn’t pay 37 million zlotys to have a gay elephant,’ said Michael Grzes.” (I include this mostly for the quote.)

Something(s) I’m tired of/ mad at:
-Leaky coffee cups. My coffee today is mad leaky. Coffee everywhere. Coffee all up in my business. I say thee nay!

Something(s) I’m delighted by:
-Switching from coffee to beer for purely hygienic reasons. I say thee yea!

Something(s) I found really kind of odd:
-That tree lung can now be considered an actual medical condition.

This Week in Answers to Your This Week in Questions This Week!
--“Was Tracy Morgan in Crocodile Dundee 2?”
-No. No he was not.
--“How much should one pay for a gay elephant?”
-I would say no more than 27 million zlotys for a male, or 35 million for a female. Approximately. For an exact price, I would consult Berringer’s Price Guide for Homosexual Animals, published annually by Random House.

I’m gonna call things early this week on account of lazy. And the feeling that I topped out with gay elephants. How do you top gay elephants? The answer is very carefully, or not at all.

See you next week.

–> N.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This Week in Nelson, volume 3, number 15

Meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meow meow meow meow meow. This week we’ve got my cats’s birthday, innuendo at the Pig, a new reason for Muslims to hate us, a hot dog dream deferred and tweener Spanish Fly.

Birthday shout-out to my cats! They turn two on Monday! They grow up so fast . . . After Easter, they are now both completely addicted to ham. Seriously, fucking love them some ham. You think you love ham? You don’t. Not like they love ham. It’s not possible. It’s just not.

Books read this week:
-Still reading Goodbye, Colombus by, Philip Roth

I finished the Goodbye, Colombus part of the book, I just haven’t finished the accompanying short stories, yet. It’s Roth’s first book, and the book Michael Chabon read right before he wrote Mysteries of Pittsburgh, so I was interested to check it out. It’s good stuff, kind of a dissection of class amid a summer romance for young Jews in 50's Jersey. Honestly, I kind of thought it could have been longer, but at the same time it was probably the exact length it should have been. Good stuff. I need to read more Roth. I just do.

Random out-of-context quotes of the week:
--“This is perfect. Like, creepy perfect.”
“Mmmmm. Just like the way I french.”
--“That is the most offensive, yet skillfully acted black-face I have ever seen.”
--“The monkey is shocked because he told that bitch to get an abortion.”
--“He just kept ramming it into me, but I kept singing along to the song, trying to ignore it. And he didn’t say sorry afterwards, because he didn’t realize how much it hurt, but it really hurt.” (From a conversation on the porch at the Pig. It’s not what you think, but I’ll leave it at that.)
--“When people think of Jim Lehrer, they think sex.” (That is what you think.)

The O’Reilly Factor for Kids book quote(s) of the week:

Interesting news articles of the week:
-“A recession-battered New York City launched an ad campaign this week aimed at convincing gays and lesbians that a visit to the city is the equivalent of a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. The new ‘Rainbow Pilgrimage’ campaign, timed to the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in Greewich Village, describes a visit to the city as ‘a rite of passage.’”
-I also read a brief article that drinking tea when it’s really hot increases the risk of esophageal cancer eightfold. So, let your tea cool! Yeah, I know, slow news week.

Something(s) I’m tired of/ mad at:
-The 9th Street Kwik Shop always being out of Marlboro Lights lately. What’s up with that? It’s been two weeks. Maybe up your order next time. It’s kind of a popular brand, you know?

Something(s) I’m delighted by:
-That South Park last night. Cause it went from Pinewood Derby, to warp drive, to a space criminal with a 40's gangster voice, to space cops, to nuking Finland, and I’m a big fan of Randy, so hell yeah! That shit was crazy.
-I’d say something about the weather being nice, but then it would just go to hell again, so I’m not saying a damn thing.

Something(s) I found really kind of odd:
-Okay, this isn’t really odd, it’s just odd that I spent time thinking about it and checking dates on the internet. So, I’m amused by the Lebron James insurance commercial where he laughs at the guy who’s car got burglarized because he has a Kid N Play album, and in the end he does the dance with another dude. Today, though, I thought about it, and I realized, does Lebron James even know who Kid N Play are? Cause, he was like, eight years old when they were finishing up their careers. And that commercial loses something for me if someone had to teach him about the Kid N Play dance for the commercial. And then I felt old.

This Week in Answers to Your This Week in Questions This Week!
--“Do you like grilled cheese sandwiches?”

The Royals game was fucking good times. Got there nice and early and tailgated up a fucking storm. Much meat was eaten. Had some beer brauts made with Miller High Life. They were the champagne of beer brauts. I recommend them. Hilary made some sweet burgers and Emily rocked the veggies. Good stuff. And the stadium renovations were looking pretty good. The K is all fancified and electronic now. The only downside to the day was the game itself, because the Yankees totally spanked the Royals. And the crowd was fucking stupid with Yankees fans. Fucking Yankees. Also, much as it was with Jesus, Royals stadium betrayed me three times. First, I went out to smoke, and I went all the way over to the railing, where other people were smoking, and an employee told us we had to go all the way down and out to the outer fence to smoke. That’s fucking bullshit. We’re outside. We’re not in anybody’s way. Fucking discrimination. So I get in line to get a beer and a hot dog. I wait in line for ten minutes, and when I get up to the front, they shut the line down. Old woman behind me was ready to start beating motherfuckers down. So I just go grab a beer from the alcohol booth and go back to my seat. A couple innings later, I get back in line to get my beer and hot dog, and when I get up there, they’re out of hot dogs! Why does the K hate me? Still, all in all, I had a great time. Go Royals!

Observe and Report was pretty good. It was funny, but not hilarious, necessarily, though there were some pretty big laughs. It was kind of all over the place, but in some ways that was kind of fun because it was just different. It was something other than a lot of the movies you normally see. I would recommend it, but for those of you who pay to see movies, I wouldn’t necessarily tell you to run out and see it right now, in the theater.

On a side note, I haven’t seen the Hannah Montana movie (sorry), but apparently it’s pretty sexy because there were reports of a guy masturbating in it on Saturday night. So, if you want to spice up your relationship, I guess go see that movie.

See you next week, happy couples!

–> N.

PS- Getting caught having sex in the Hannah Montana movie would NOT be a good time to drop my name at the movie theater. Just FYI.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Top 5 Comics

I love comic books. I am a comic book nerd, of sorts, and I read all kinds. I would consider myself knowledgeable on the subject. Anyway, I had a brief conversation with Avery about her and a friend of hers making lists of their top five comic books of all time, and decided I was going to make my own. I placed a couple caveats on myself when doing this. First, just to make things easier on myself, I decided to only pick one work per creator. I doubt that I would have chosen differently if I hadn’t, but it definitely made the decision process that much quicker and easier. Second, in keeping with Avery’s definition of the exercise, I only included in my judgment comic books that were actual serialized comic books, not graphic novels, even if they were now observed more as the latter due to their subsequent release as collected works. And finally, I decided that my choices had to be comic books that had completed their runs, so that they could be judged on the whole of their narratives as complete works.

So here they are, in a loose order, my top five comic books of all time, with a little something about them to help recommend them to you. I encourage you to read them all.

1) Preacher by, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
-My favorite comic of all time. I reread it every year or two. I named my cats after two of the main characters. Love it. All at once, it’s a modern day Western, a ridiculous buddy cop adventure, a twisted morality tale, an epic quest for redemption, a touching romance, and one of, if not the best, explorations into the meaning of what America is and what it means to be American in the last thirty to seventy-five years, and easily the best one ever written by an Irishman. It’s the story of an ass-kicking preacher named Jesse Custer, his gun-toting girlfriend Tulip, and Cassidy, a hard-living Irish vampire, on a quest to find a wayward God and take him to task, and all the insane misadventures they get into along the way. It also features one of the greatest villains, Herr Starr, who is a power hungry, mass-murdering psychopath, a righteous warrior for peace on Earth, and the unluckiest motherfucker who ever lived. Love it!

2) Transmetropolitan by, Warren Ellis and Darrick Robertson
-If Hunter S. Thompson’s alter ego Raoul Duke lived hundreds of years in the future, he would be Spider Jerusalem, the insane, violent, drug-addled outlaw journalist who is the last voice of truth in a world gone mad with commercialization, corporate ubiquity and misguided personal freedom, and which is under the thumb of a government which secretly has no sense of compassion or social responsibility. A wild romp of a read that walks a tight-rope between wacky comedy and deadly political maneuvering.

3) Y: The Last Man by, Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
- A plague has wiped out every human and simian male on the planet except for amateur escape artist Yorick Brown and his pet helper monkey Ampersand. With the help of a hard-core secret agent and a scientist who’s research is somehow connected to the plague, he sets out on a quest to find a cure, his missing girlfriend and a way to keep hope alive in a world teetering on the brink with no hope in sight.

4) Watchmen by, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
-Inescapable on a list such as this, it’s heralded as the pinnacle of comics and the point at which the medium became a place for adult appreciation and an exploration of deeper themes and more mature subject matter. It’s that, definitely, but it’s also a dense and intricate narrative, an attack against Cold War politics from the heart of the conflict, an excellent story of intrigue and personal conflict, and an exploration of both the impact that actual costumed heroes would have in the real world and what the truth of peace, justice and morality really is. And it’s accomplished in only twelve issues, which feel as weighty as one hundred but read with the pace and excitement of three. A must read for everyone.

5) (two-way tie) Sandman by, Neil Gaiman (with various artists) and Lucifer by, Mike Carey (with various artists)
-I couldn’t choose between these two because I love them both and can’t decide honestly which one I prefer, and because they are intrinsically linked. Both these books are connected by the character of Lucifer (the Devil), as a supporting character in Gaiman’s story and as the lead in Carey’s, and both are tightly woven yet sprawling narratives of the interaction between a mystical world with epic mythical characters and their interaction with our own ordinary world and the select individuals from it who get caught up in the action. In Sandman, the story centers on Dream, the immortal physical embodiment of dreaming, and his attempt to discover who he is now and reconcile the wrongs of his past after experiencing a life-experience. Lucifer is a Nietzschean exploration of will against predestination and of the struggle between responsibility and convenience. Both of them are great, and when put together create an even greater whole than the sum of their parts.

That’s my list. Read them, know them, love them.

Thank you for allowing me to indulge in this distraction.

–> N.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Color Me Badd?

Has anyone listened to the song I Wanna Sex You Up lately? Cause I did, and those lyrics are a lot stanger than I remember. "We can do it till we both wake up"? What's that mean? Don't get me wrong, it's still an epic slow jam, but it just don't make no sense.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

British Poetry

Willie sent me this link to the website of an odd British poet.

His stuff's pretty fun, especially the poem this link goes to:

Check it out.

This Week in Nelson, volume 3, number 14

SO WINDY TODAY! Good for traveling by sail across the ocean. Less good for writing This Week in Nelson. So let’s get moving. This week we’ve got zombies, zombies, zombies! Plus, a birthday wish granted, a satisfying visit to Guantanamo Bay, a more satisfying trip to the car wash, the hazards of having fur, and the hazards of having foreskin.

Birthday shout-out to the Easter Bunny! Or Jesus? How come you never see them both in the same room? Could they be the same person? Of course not! Jesus wears glasses. The Easter Bunny doesn’t wear glasses. It’s impossible. Besides, if they were the same person, Lois Lane would surely be able to tell. She’s a world-class reporter. No, they’re totally different people. I feel like a fool for even suggesting otherwise.

Books read this week:
-Radi Os by, Ronald Johnson
-Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by, Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
-Started reading Goodbye, Colombus by, Philip Roth

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is the shit! It’s totally just the book Pride and Prejudice, but pared down a bit, plus there’s a zombie epidemic in England that’s been going on for fifty years as the book starts, and the Bennett sisters have all been trained in Shaolin Kung Fu to combat the undead menace. So it’s so much more awesome than the regular version. Also, Mr. Darcy keeps making surreptitious ball jokes to Elizabeth, which is honestly stranger than all the zombie mayhem. Seriously, though, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. As it says on the back cover, it “takes a masterpiece of world literature and turns it into something you might actually want to read.” If you like zombies and/or comedies of manners, read this book! It makes me want to see more classic literature get the zombie treatment. Like A Tale of Two Cities and Zombies. Or War and Peace and Zombies. Or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombies. Or Romeo and Juliet and Zombies. Or The Canterbury Tales and Zombies. Or The Communist Manifesto and Zombies. The possibilities are endless!

Random out-of-context quotes of the week:
--“They set off together, armed only with their ankle daggers. Muskets and Katana swords were a more effective means of protecting one’s self, but they were considered unladylike; and, having no saddle in which to conceal them, the three sisters yielded to modesty.”
--“I know of nobody that is coming, I am sure, unless Charlotte Lucas should happen to call in— and I am sure my dinners are good enough for her, since she is an unmarried woman of seven-and-twenty, and as such should expect little more than a crust of bread washed down with a cup of loneliness.”
--“She remembered the lead ammunition in her pocket and offered it to him. ‘Your balls, Mr. Darcy?’ He reached out and closed her hand around them, and offered, ‘They belong to you, Miss Bennett.’ Upon this, their colour changed, and they were forced to look away from one another, lest they laugh.”
--“Okay, so you’re Genghis Khan, but you also really need this job.” (Best director’s note ever!)
--“I tell you what, if you give him a free release, and he can get behind you, he can do some real damage.” (Best Madden 09 commentary ever! John Madden, you rogue!)
--“Somehow we have to recapture that love, the innocence and tender beauty of autoerotic-asphyxiation.”
--“Robyn is totally embarrassed to be my boyfriend right now.” (That last one was drunk Mick, calling me on his birthday. Your birthday wish of being quoted in This Week in Nelson, Mick? Granted. And for those that don’t know, it’s funny because Robyn is a girl.)

The O’Reilly Factor for Kids book quote(s) of the week:

Interesting news articles of the week:
-“Miss Universe paid a visit to Guantanamo Bay military base this week and declared it ‘a loooot of fun!’ After seeing the detainee camps and recreation areas, Dayana Mendoza of Venezuala said, ‘I didn’t want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.’”
-“It was a bad week for having God as your co-pilot, after a Tunisian pilot was sentenced to 10 years in prison because he paused to pray instead of taking emergency measures before crash-landing his plane, killing 16 people.”
-“An Iowa 13-year-old was arrested this week for biting 11 kids at his school. His father said he meant no harm, but was obsessed with the vampire movie Twilight.”
-“A Connecticut middle school has banned all physical contact between students. The ban came, say officials at East Shore Middle School, after a student was hospitalized following a blow to the groin. From now on, principal Catherine Williams wrote to parents, students may not touch each other in any way; the possible penalties including expulsion. ‘What if they are out at the playground at recess, or in gym class?’ said parent Kathy Casey. ‘You know, gym class is physical.’” (Recess at middle school?)
-“A Michigan man has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for having sex with a car-wash vacuum cleaner. Jason Savage, 29, pleaded no contest to charges of indecent exposure after being caught in flagrante with the vacuum. Saginaw County Judge Fred Borchard told Savage that he should be ashamed for making Saginaw a national laughingstock. ‘I believe you owe the community an apology for what you’ve done,’ Borchard said during sentencing.” (Come on, did you see how that car-wash vacuum cleaner was dressed? Your honor, you know you would have hit that!)
-Two bits of science news I read: 1) Two separate groups of scientists using the same process have claimed to have produced energy from a fusion reaction in their labs, though there’s some disagreement in the scientific community as to their findings. And 2) a study in Uganda revealed that uncircumsised men are 25% more likely to contract herpes, 35% more likely to contract HPV, and 60% more likely to contract AIDS. Damn! Apparently Jewish God was onto something!

Something(s) I’m tired of/ mad at:
-Myself. And God. And nature. My cat, Cassidy, he has the long hair. And consequently he’ll get matted hair under/behind his legs. Because long hair, and he’s crazy active, and you can brush a cat, but you can’t really brush the undercarraige. So, he gets matted chunks of hair, and I have to trim them out. And it’s an arduous process, because you have to go slow, making small cuts, watch for the skin where it’s close, letting him go when he freaks out too much, then picking him back up to keep going, over and over, over the course of a few days, and he hates it, and he looks at you like, Why!? Why are you doing this to me! I hate it! And I’m none too pleased with you either! Luckily, he’s such a good natured little guy that as soon as you let him go, he completely forgives you, and he’s ready to be petted again and play. But damn, the trimming process, she’s a bitch. I’m just glad his sister, Custer, has short hair, because, while generally a real sweetheart, she’d be nowhere near as accommodating or forgiving if she needed trimmed.

Something(s) I’m delighted by:
-Dollhouse. That show’s really starting to hit a stride. And two weeks ago it was finally seriously funny. In retrospect, a Whedon show always takes a little while at first to cement its mythology and get some momentum, and I get the feeling that the slower start also had to do with the initial network meddling. Regardless, I’m enjoying it more each week, and I’m happy to see news reports that its renewal and even possible move to a more respectable night of the week, while still unannounced, is more than likely going to happen.

Something(s) I found really kind of odd:
-Kal Penn getting a job in the White House. Just a little odd. And how long will we have to wait now for the epic conclusion of the Harold and Kumar trilogy, “Harold and Kumar vs. Bill and Ted: Who Will Win?”? Yes, I wrote a Harold and Kumar/ Bill and Ted movie. No, no one has bought it, yet. But I’m hopeful. There are too many questions left unanswered without this movie! Get moving, Hollywood!

This Week in Answers to Your This Week in Questions This Week!
–Still no questions? What’s the deal?

Going to go see the Royals on Saturday. Looking forward to it. I haven’t been to a game in a couple years. Good times, good times. And I’m going to see Observe and Report tonight. I’ll let you know how it was.

That’s all for now. I’ve got things to do, people to see, and it’s windy as all fuck out here.

Till next time,

–> N.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This Week in Nelson, volume 3, number 13

Hello. That’s all, just hello. It’s just nice to be polite. This week we’ve got an important mixology secret revealed, the continued march of science, the English handling an enormous penis, the Statue of Liberty losing her damn mind and the onset of a disturbing death lottery.

Birthday shout-out to Mick! It’s a little early, maybe, but his birthday will happen before the next This Week in Nelson, so it felt like the time. And Mick is awesome. Partially because he listens to This Week in Nelson read aloud by a robot voice, but there’s other reasons, too. Like his meteorological skills. And his gentle touch. Go Mick!

It’s still two months out, but here’s another quick reminder to keep Saturday, May 30th open for the early celebration of my 30th birthday (which is actually Monday, June 1st). Just keeping it in your heads (and hearts), and hopefully your calendars (and loins).

Books read this week:
-Finished reading Captain Freedom: A Superhero’s Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves by, G. Xavier Robillard

I highly recommend Captain Freedom, especially to those of you in the habit of reading comic books who want to read a satirical novel about a superhero. Funny, funny stuff.

Random out-of-context quotes of the week:
--“The Academy of Heores and Villains is a conservative group with little sense of the modern era. They battled gangsters with tommy guns, and when they flew, they could muster only fifteen knots an hour, uphill both ways, in snowstorms, during Martian invasions.”
--“NPR doesn’t even have a Sexiest Man of the Year award. It’s like a third-world country.”
--“The trick to the Rob Roy is the bitters. Not any bitters, but the bitters extracted from the tears of a fourteen-year-old girl who’s been dumped hours before the eighth-grade dance because her boyfriend has fallen for her best friend who is so totally not good looking.”
--“I made her come so hard she hiccuped.” (This one isn’t so funny, but it’s a direct quote from someone I know, and it impressed me. I guess it’s kind of funny, too.)

The O’Reilly Factor for Kids book quote(s) of the week:

Interesting news articles of the week:
-“An Italian doctor this week continued performing brain surgery while having a heart attack. ‘I’m not a hero,’ said Claudio Vitale, who had angioplasty after he finished the operation. ‘I couldn’t leave at such a delicate moment.’” (I just wonder, was he the only guy who could perform this surgery? Cause, I would think that brain surgery requires a certain amount of delicate skill, the kind of skill that could be disrupted by one’s heart ceasing to function properly. Then I noticed that his name was Vitale and I wondered if he was performing surgery screaming “Yeah baby! I’m cutting into a brain! This is awesome with a capital A! Oh no! My heart stopped! This is gonna be a real buzzer beater right here! Yeah baby!”)
-“It was a bad week for feminism after a poll found that 25 percent of young women questioned would rather win first prize on America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Half said they’d marry an ugly man if he were rich.” (This sounds kind of bad, but maybe they should have asked if they’d marry a man they didn’t love if he were rich. And besides, it’s not like Tyra Banks hands out the Nobel Peace Prize. Am I right, ladies?)
-“The McInnes family of Hungerford, U.K. discovered this week that 18-year-old son Rory had painted a 60-foot penis on the roof of the family home to see if it would show up on Google Earth. A helicopter pilot noticed, and when flummoxed father Andy McInnes asked Rory why there was a giant penis on the roof, the teen said, ‘Oh, you’ve found it, then.’” (Way to maintain your Britishness even in the face of a giant roof penis, McInnes family.)
-“A Florida eighth-grader was suspended for three days this week for farting on the school bus. Jonathan Locke ‘passes gas on the bus to make the other children laugh and it is so stink [sic] that you can’t breathe,’ said the bus driver on a complaint form. Jonathan’s father said trying to prevent eighth-graders from laughing about farts was probably futile, and the boy said the fart in question wasn’t even his. ‘It was a kid who sits in front of me.’” (U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! Did you notice the kid’s name? The plots for Lost are getting out of control.)
-I don’t want to go through the trouble of including the articles, but I read this week that science has developed both a cure for peanut allergies and a new coating for cars, i-pods and furniture which, when scratched, will repair the scratches itself by simply being exposed to sunlight. Go science!

Something(s) I’m tired of/ mad at:
-The clusterfuck that is the Broncos. In three to four months we’ve lost Shanahan and Cutler? What the fuck? I am both tired of and mad at this.

Something(s) I’m delighted by:
-The new Decemberists album, The Hazards of Love. I love the Decemberists in general, but it’s a hell of an album. All the songs, while still distinctly their own animals, are still interconnected and bleed together, like a Floyd album, and it jumps from folksy ballads to hard rocking, from plaintive love songs to confessions of grisly murder. All with their typical language which resembles a Victorian-era revenge film. It’s kind of like what they did with the multi-part second track of The Crane wife, or with their EP The Tain, but expanded into a full length album. I’ve been listening to it in the car all week. Love it. Highly recommend it. Highly recommend the Decemberists in general, but this album is particularly the bee’s knees.
-Little shout-out to the TV show Chuck for making another Spies Like Us reference. I respect those that respect Spies Like Us. Also, big ups to How I Met Your Mother for having a major plotline revolve around Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon and an actual Teen Wolf appearing in their episode. It’s like the zeitgeist is located in my brain.

Something(s) I found really kind of odd:
-So, on south Iowa, they have a place that helps you with taxes, and so they have someone dressed up as the Statue of Liberty waving at cars out by the street. That wasn’t the odd part. That’s become kind of standard. Although the idea that the Statue of Liberty represents trustworthy tax help is kind of odd, but still, that’s not the odd thing I’m talking about. The odd thing was that on Monday the Statue of Liberty girl was playing the fiddle and dancing a jig by the side of the road. For hours. She was there when I went to get lunch and she was there when I went home. That was odd. Visually and conceptually. Right?

This Week in Answers to Your This Week in Questions This Week!
--You asked none, but still, here’s my answer:
-No, that would not make a good marinade. That would be a reckless course of action that flies in the face of both the intricacies of social etiquette and the laws of God and man. Don’t do it! Please, no!

A quick shout-out to the KU women for making the final four! Sure, it’s the NIT, but still, well played, ladies.

This is kind of only a question for some of you, those who play Madden 09, but does your copy of Madden have a hard-on for the Chargers like mine does? I’m in the playoffs of my third season playing Superstar mode, and for the third year I’m playing against the Chargers. They’re the only team in the AFC to have made the playoffs all three years I’ve played. What’s up with that? Does Phillip Rivers’s mom work at EA?

Finally, I’d like to pour a little liquor for Andy Hallett, who played Lorne on Angel and died yesterday of heart failure. That’s two series regulars from Angel dead now, and begs the horrifying question, who’s next?

Death surrounds us! Keep your doors locked and your helmets on at all times!

Until next time.

–> N.