Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mystery Meat- Repost

***I'm still on vacation. Next week, I promise I'll be back with new material. Until then, in honor of the New Year, I've decided to repost one of my most important pieces, Mystery Meat. Enjoy...

It seems like everyday a new creature is discovered that was previously thought to be mythical or nonexistent. A few months ago, some Italians discovered a one-horned roe deer that may actually be a Unicorn. Then, a lady in Texas found roadkill which could possibly be a Chupacabra. Some cops recently filmed a bizarre animal running erratically and it too may be a Chupacabra.

There's also The Montauk Monster. It might be a decomposed dog or it might be a mutant turtle (that might be teenage and a ninja). Either way, it knows The Hamptons is the place to be in the summer. Just today, I saw a picture of what some guys claim to be the remains of a Bigfoot. And there's even a video circulating of an alien that's peeping in on homes right here in Colorado.

A whole science is based around animals that fall outside of contemporary zoological catalogs. It's called Cryptozoology. I used to smoke a potent strain of marijuana called Crypto when I was a kid. I assume most cryptozoologists smoke Crypto as well. I also assume most of these claims are probably hoaxes or viral marketing schemes.

Still, who's to say that some cryptids aren't out there? They have to be loosely based on fact, right? And, mutations do occur, especially with all the shit that's in the air and in the soil and in our food. I know for a fact that aliens exist. One time when I was smoking Crypto, I played Parcheesi with 4 aliens. Maybe I was just stoned. Either way, it's impossible to believe that in the billions of light years of space, our tiny little tract of miles is the only place with life.

So, these mysterious creatures just may be real. If they are, LET'S EAT THOSE FREAKY FUCKERS!

I am so sick of the food we have to eat. Every restaurant has the same menu - grilled salmon, ahi encrusted in something, some kind of really expensive steak, and a pasta with a frozen shellfish or cephalopod. Where is the variety? If I have to eat at another restaurant that has "fusion" or "small plates" in its description, I'm going to vomit in my mouth. If I have to taste another dish slathered in tamarind, rosemary, or cilantro to cover up the bad taste, I'm moving to Darfur. I'm over the slop I'm being served. If I could, I'd go to that place in The Freshman where Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick eat Komodo Dragons and other enadangered animals. That's just the movies, but these cryptids could be real.

I'd gladly eat Chupacabra. After all that goat sucking, they gotta be filled with succulent goat blood flavor. A Unicorn? Shit, with all the Chinese food I eat, I'm sure I've had a horse or two in my time and I'm sure I liked it. A unicorn can't taste any worse than that. It's probably magically delicious. If there are aliens, I'd cut those little inter-stellar travelers up, season and sear 'em, and have a balls out BBQ. Cannibalism is illegal, but the law says nothing about extraterrestrials. I always thought ET looked tasty.

Even if the these creatures taste horrible, they gotta be better than our fast food. I can say with 100% confidence that The Montauk Monster tastes better than any of the meat at Taco Bell or KFC. At the very least, it's the same meat (that would explain my sharting problems). Carl's Junior? White Castle? I'm sure Bigfoot remains would be a major step up from their rancid burgers. I would rather have a pizza with cheese made from Martian milk than what they serve at Pizza Hut.

And what about the lower profile cryptids? The Kongamato is a reported giant bat-like creature from the border area of Zambia. I'm sure their wings taste better than the wings at Chili's. The Bunyip is a kangaroo-type animal that haunts Australian swamps and causes nocturnal terror by eating people or animals in their vicinity. Now that sounds delectable!

I'd eat mutants too. Look, who the fuck knows what science has been keeping from us all these years. They've been creating and mutating animals since at least the '40's. I assume they've gotten something right. I'm sure these mutant animals don't have Salmonella, can't get Mad Cow, and taste like a little bit of heaven.

So, when you see these crazy animals showing up on the Web. Don't get scared, get hungry. We're on the verge of a whole new movement in food - the freaky shit. The world is going to start chowing on stuff we've never chowed on before. Mystery Meat: It's What's for Dinner!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Don't Be a Facehole - Repost

***I'm on vacation again. As my gift to you for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, or any other nonsensical celebration of a nonsensical organized religion, I've decided to repost one of my most important pieces, Don't Be a Facehole. Enjoy...

If you're not on Facebook, you're not going to understand this post. If you are on Facebook, like most students, housewives, programmers, stalkers, pedophiles, and bored losers throughout the world, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

Facebook has become infested. Not by a virus. Not by phishers. Not by spam. Something far worse. Facebook has become infested by Faceholes - the people who commit unforgivable faux pas of online etiquette and render the social networking site completely annoying and unbearable.

Faceholes use wacky screen names instead of their real names -- usually something obscure or immature and almost always ironic, showing just how witty and clever they are. They also have wacky profile pictures -- usually a shot with them and somebody famous or a midget or something else that nobody really finds that funny.

Faceholes with children often use pictures of their kids as their profile pictures. This is Facebook not Faceofyourkidbook. We understand you're proud that you're fertile, but save the kid pictures for your wallet or those vanity mousepads you can get made at CafePress.

Faceholes love poking. Poking is sort of like throwing ice at somebody at the bar. It's irritating, it serves no purpose, and it can get your ass kicked (by the way, there's nothing I like better than throwing ice at the bar, but I don't poke). Faceholes also love those poke add-ons that make their pokes extra special - SuperPoke, MagicPoke, SuperIntenseAnalPoke, etc. Faceholes also make scatalogical jokes about poking.

Faceholes invite people to use stupid Facebook apps - FunWall, MobWars, Suckulous, etc. There are thousands of these things and I don't know what any of them do. I do know they're a pain in the ass and they clutter profiles, making them look like MySpace pages.

Faceholes compulsively give status updates 20-30 times a day. When the site asks "What are you doing right now?", you don't have to always provide an answer. Honestly, nobody gives a shit what you're doing right now! And, if you're trying to be funny in your status update, don't. Leave the comedy to professionals like Dave Coulier and Nipsey Russel.

Polite Faceholes follow the mini-feed like it's the Dow Jones stock ticker. If it's your birthday or you got a dog or you have your period, they'll post on your wall or send you a gift or poke you. Leave it alone. We know you care.

Faceholes set up Fan Pages. Nobody cares that you like MGMT or Stephen Colbert or Ann B. Davis or Babar (although, an Iron Mike Fan Page would be sweet - somebody set it up).

Faceholes forward on spam. Faceholes make comments on pictures about how awesome you look. Faceholes post grainy mobile photos and tag you in them. Faceholes invite you to events you have absolutely no intention of intending. Faceholes ask you to support causes you couldn't possibly care about.

Facebook is the de facto place for gaining the acceptance or validation you never received when you were younger. It's there to show your old girlfriends or boyfriends that your life is better than theirs. It's there to show everybody just how loved you are. It's there to help you get laid. It's there to allow you to stalk in a non-confrontational setting. Facebook is wonderful, except for the Faceholes.

Yes, I've committed many a Facehole move in my time, but that doesn't make it right. Like Myspace and Friendster before it, Facebook will eventually have it's comeuppance and we'll all move on to some other site. Until then, stop being a Facehole.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spam I Am

The first thing I do each morning is check my e-mail. I look forward to reading gushing compliments on my writing, promising leads for my business, benevolent greetings from my friends, and the occasional death threat from an angry malcontent who feels that I've ruined his life. Often, those e-mails are there, but to find them, I have to sift through a veritable ocean of spam.

Cheap Viagra. Free laptops. Hot stock picks. Young amateurs. Real diplomas. Grocery vouchers. Security updates. KFC gift cards. Penis enlargement drugs. Replica Rolexes. E-card deliveries. Investment opportunities. Paypal alerts. Travel discounts. Legal settlements.

Marketers and sellers and phishers and hackers and scammers and con men and Bernie Madoffs. They're all online. They're all taking advantage of naive Web users. They're all clogging our in-boxes and slowing down our servers. They're all wasting our time with spam.

I have it worse than most. Because I work on the Web, I have at least 25 e-mail addresses. Some of them, I've never used. Still, the spammers found them. They're relentless, they're unscrupulous, and they're careless. Some spammers have identified me as a German woman named Belen Swasey. Therefore, many of my e-mails are in German and market female-oriented products. Unsolicited e-mail sucks, but unsolicited e-mail in a language I can't understand about shit I'll never use REALLY sucks.

According to my systems admin, nearly 95 percent of the e-mails that hit my company's server are spam. Blocking spam is a multi-billion dollar industry in the US alone. In Nigeria, the number one career is spam con artist (number two is assistant crack whore). It's obvious that spam is a problem, but the question is why? The answer is simple - spam is a problem because it works.

If nobody was clicking on those "special offers", if nobody was buying those hard-on drugs, if nobody was revealing their social security numbers to identity thieves, if nobody was exposing their computers to spyware and worm viruses, spammers would pack up their bulk e-mail software and find something else to do.

Ah, but that wouldn't happen. Some people are just idiots. They're given the most powerful computing technology that's ever existed and they use it to get suckered, they use it to do things they're embarrassed to do in person, and they use it to waste their money on useless crap. Who are these people?

Who keeps falling for the African scams? At first it made sense - you get millions if you give out your bank routing number and your life savings to a complete stranger. But after all these years and all these reports on Dateline, people still haven't wised up?

Who's investing in stocks that are recommended in spam? Fuck, who's investing in stocks at all these days?!?

Who's so desperate for affection that they'll open e-cards from people they don't know?

Who's buying all this Viagra? I knew erectile dysfunction was a common affliction, but based on my inbox, everybody's limper than Stephen Hawking!

Who's getting diplomas online? Are they really going into job interviews holding their recently purchased PhDs in physics from MIT?

Who looks at an offer for a Wii or an iPod and thinks it's real? Do they really think they get free electronics just for having an e-mail address?

I don't know who these people are, but they're out there. Yes, they're out there patronizing the spammers. If they weren't, there would be no spam.

You may say it's not that hard to deal with spam. When it comes in, just delete it, right? Unfortunately, when you you get 700 e-mails a day and 650 of them are spam, it becomes a major pain in the ass. This is especially true on the iPhone. Most people see me fingering away on my cool new microcomputer and think I'm using one of those cool apps featured on those cool commercials. No, I'm deleting spam e-mails one at a time because the iPhone doesn't have a delete all button. I probably spend an hour a day dealing with spam. Add that up over a lifetime and it's costing me more than two years of my life.

So, yeah, spam sucks. We must put an end to it. We must find those fuckers that click on those links and kill them, or at least tell them to stop. If we do, we'll live in a land without spam, a land where we can view our forwarded porn and Facebook friend requests and legitimate money-making opportunities without interruption. Dare to dream! Dare to ignore spam.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Citizens on Patrol

I don't shovel snow. It's not because I'm lazy, well...actually, it is because I'm lazy. But, it's also because I know that the snow will melt or be walked on or both. I figure - why should I screw up my back and waste my precious energy when the problem will take care of myself? So, you can imagine how annoyed I was the morning after Denver's latest snowfall when my doorbell rang and it was a neighbor who complained that I didn't shovel my sidewalk. He went on and on about how it's my responsibility to clear the snow so people can walk by without slipping. Of course, I told him to fuck off.

After work, I came home to find a citation on my door. It was for not shoveling the sidewalk and it sported a hefty fine. Obviously, this asshole ratted me out to Public Works. If I were in the Mafia, he'd be killed. Lucky for him, I'm not in the Mafia. Still, I felt like killing that do-gooder.

Why is it that random people feel the need to police me? Why can't they just leave me alone with my lawlessness and anti-social behavior? Why must they go out of their way to correct me when they feel that I'm wrong? This shit happens to me all the time...

Last weekend, I was blissfully walking my dog to the bagel store for a little nova and schmear. As we crossed Speer Boulevard, a postman driving a postal truck towing a postal truck (redundant, but completely true) screamed out of his window, "You're an idiot!". At first, I thought he was commenting on my mental capacity or possibly my choice of dogs. Then, I realized that I was walking in a crosswalk that wasn't actually a crosswalk. This postman decided to take it upon himself to reprimand me, thus alerting me to the error of my ways. Of course, I told him to fuck off.

Another time, I was driving in my neighborhood and I made a right turn. A dreadlocked lady in an old maroon Saab started honking her horn uncontrollably. I thought I might have gotten a flat or hit an old person. So, I pulled over. The Lilith Fair holdover proceeded to yell at me for not using my turn signal. Sitting in my brand new Mercedes, I told her my signal doesn't work. Then, of course, I told her to fuck off.

I can't get a break. Don't these "good samaritans" have anything better to do with their time than to point out my misdeeds? Yes, I'm an asshole. Yes, I'm a bad driver and a bad walker and a bad neighbor. Yes, I don't have any consideration for anybody other than myself. But, that's my problem. I don't need meshugeneh yentas getting involved. If you ask me, they should mind their own fucking business.

Recently, in front of a hospital, a lady in a wheel chair told me that I couldn't smoke on the hospital's campus. I told her to take her oxygen tank and roll back to bed. Recently, outside of the grocery store, a bum yelled at me for not putting away my shopping cart. I explained that I'm keeping retards and Mexicans employed. He said something nonsensical and asked me for money.

I've been punched for cutting in line at the DMV. I've been hit with a pole for cutting in line at a ski lift. I've been reported for not recycling, for not picking up dog shit, and for not wiping my sweat off the exercise machine. I've had people call the cops when I get into fights, when I drive drunk, and when when I steal from convenience stores. I've had guys tell my wife when I don't wash my hands in the bathroom at the bar. What the hell?

Rules are made to be broken. Only suckers follow rules and I'm no sucker. It's not like I don't know I'm breaking the rules. I just do it because nobody's around that has the authority to bust me. Still, these randoms take it upon themselves to make things right. That ain't right!

I don't report Audi drivers for being the biggest douchebags on the road. I don't chide people for buying Britney Spears's new album and bringing her back into our collective consciousness when we were almost rid of her. I don't attack hippies for not wearing deodorant and forcing me to inhale their rancorous scent. I don't correct Born Again Christians when they claim that Jesus is our savior. No, I just let everybody be, whether I agree with them or not.

There's a classic scene in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles where John Candy is driving the wrong way down a one way street. A driver on the other side of the road tries to flag him down shouting, "You're going the wrong way!" Candy's character dismisses him by saying, "How would he know where we're going!?" That's how I feel.

Nobody knows my intentions. Yes, they're usually inconsiderate and wrong and illegal. However, they're my intentions. I don't need to be corrected or chastised or reported. I just need to be ignored. The next time you see me doing something you don't approve of, just let me go the wrong way. And of course, fuck off!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dying for Death

The last two months have been horrible for celebrity death watching. Since Paul Newman died at the end of September, virtually nobody notable has passed away. Sure, there was Mitch Mitchell and Odetta and Mr. Blackwell, but they're minor. They're no Charleton Heston or Tim Russert or Estelle Getty. I had such high hopes for the fourth quarter of 2008 when Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes went on the same day in August. Ah, but just like on Wall Street, celebrity deaths are in a bear market.

Why, you may ask, am I so pissed about the lack of recent notable deaths? Well, celebrity death watching is my sport. It's what I think about while most other men are thinking about baseball or NASCAR. I don't watch ESPN, I watch the obituaries on Yahoo News. I'm not a member of fantasy football leagues, I'm a member of dead pools. Yes, it's morbid, but it beats following sports I'll never play. I can tell you with absolute certainty that, one day, I will die.

I've always been a fan of celebrity death watching, but it truly became my passion in September of 2003. Within 24 hours, both Johnny Cash and John Ritter died. When I called my Dad, he so eloquently said, "Well, I made it longer than Ritter, but not as long as Cash." I enjoyed his quip. When Gordon Jump died a week later, I called him again and he said he'd rather be dead than be in Cincinnati (Gordon Jump was on WKRP in Cincinnati). Good stuff!

From then on, anytime anybody famous died, I would call my Dad. Soon my mother got in on the act. And then my sister (who, by the way, lives in Cincinnati). The four of us would compete to be the first one to let the others know when a famous death had occurred. By phone or by e-mail or by text, we would broadcast the information and hope that nobody else had heard it. Not exactly The Cosby Show, but it bonded my family and gave me a reason to check at four in the morning.

Our rules are pretty simple. The dead person has to be somebody we all know. You get extra points if it's somebody beloved like George Carlin. You get even more points if it's unexpected like Heath Ledger. You get even more points if it's scandalous like Anna Nicole Smith. You get even more points if it's particularly brutal like Jam-Master Jay. And you get the maximum amount of points if it's Osama Bin Laden. I love this game!

Celebrity death watching isn't actually as morbid as it seems. When famous people die, it's our last chance to appreciate them. They could be disgraced or go insane and we'll still memorialize them. I can't wait until Michael Jackson dies. They could be old, fat, and disgusting and we'll still memorialize them. I can't wait until Elizabeth Taylor dies. They could be irrelevant and into Jesus and we'll still memorialize them. I can't wait until Stephen Baldwin dies.

Celebrity death watching also helps us realize how lucky we are to be alive, or at least not be dead. One of the things I pride myself on is that I'm not afraid to die (hey, it'll put me out of my misery). Still, I can't help but question my mortality when Jennifer Hudson's mother gets shot.

So yeah, I'm upset that nobody good has died recently. Where are the Phil Hartmans and Chris Farleys? Where are the Frank Sinatras and James Browns? Where are the Benazir Bhuttos and Nicole Brown Simpsons? In the new year, it is my hope that we'll have some solid celebrity deaths.

I hope for the expected deaths - Fidel Castro, Patrick Swayze, Amy Winehouse, and Jeff Conaway. I hope for the needed deaths - Paris Hilton, Dick Cheney, Martha Stewart, and Mario Lopez. I hope for the holy shit surprise deaths - Todd Palin, Miley Cyrus, and Michael Phelps. I hope they all die. For me, death makes life a whole a lot better.