Friday, January 31, 2014

Does that count as being supportive or not being supportive?

So last night I had a dream that I was a heroin dealer.  And I was absolutely the worst heroin dealer ever.  Seriously.  Not just a little bit bad at it.  I was comprehensively unfit for any and all aspects of heroin sales. 

Which is in and of itself not particularly noteworthy (and probably fairly accurate), but for a conversation I had about it this morning;


I had this dream last night that I was a heroin dealer, 
but I was, like, the worse heroin dealer ever.  Seriously, 
I was super bad at it.


Well, that's no surprise.

And I was actually offended.  Who were they to tell me I wouldn't be a good heroin dealer!  I bet I could be a great heroin dealer!  I could be heroin dealer of the month, I'll have you know!

It took a significant chunk of the morning before I let go of the vague feeling that at any moment I was going to head out to buy a shit ton of heroin and sell the crap out of it, just to prove a point.  Eventually it passed because;

A:  I wouldn't know where to buy heroin if my life depended on it.

B:  I would actually be a terrible heroin salesman.  For a start I suspect that they don't refer to themselves as 'salesmen'.

But honestly.  A little support would be nice.  Am I right?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

And a followup...

I did in fact get that article about An Adventure in Space and Time finished.

Plus, on an unrelated note, today Chipotle made me cry.

Story for another time.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I swear... this has never happened to me before...

I've been having a strange and embarrassing situation going on for the last few weeks.  I know... it happens to everybody once in a while... shake it off...

But dammit, this is the first time this is ever happened to me, I swear.

I'm about a month and a half past deadline on my latest Whatculture article.

Note - this is, in and of itself, not the unusual part.  I have what can be generously described as a 'freespirited' attitude toward deadlines there.  I like to think of it as a tribute to Douglas Adams.

No, what's unusual is the reason for the delay. 

Let me start at the beginning.  On November 24th of last year I picked up a commission from WC entitled '10 reasons why An Adventure in Space and Time was the best drama of the year'.  I was excited about it, because it clearly was.  I mean, David Bradley alone...  But I digress. 

I've been totally blocked.

It's not that I don't have anything to say about it.  I have lots to say about it.  Way too much to say about it.  So much, in fact, that I'm afraid I'll leave something out, and then I start worrying about how to structure it so that I get to everything, and then yes I would love a glass of wine to calm my nerves and then suddenly it's January.

I've even - and this is unprecedented - reviewed the material while taking notes.  Which is really noteworthy, because as most of you know I am an amazingly lazy writer when it comes right down to it.

And so I am reduced to this.  I'm airing this dirty laundry here, dear reader, because I suspect that it will shame me into finally finishing the piece.  I've scheduled myself from 3:00 pm CST until 7 pm CST tomorrow to finally buckle down and get the thing done.  I only hope that the editorial staff are in a forgiving mood upon its submission.  Feel free to mock me on Friday if I haven't gotten it submitted.  You might even consider throwing rocks.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I'm sorry that you didn't get the fake, fake...real..I don't even know what you're going for anymore.

There is, in certain circle, a thing known as 'the cover band'.

Related to (but not exactly the same thing as) an impersonator, a cover band devotes themselves to replicating the music of some other band.  The difference mainly lies in the fact that while an impersonator generally invests entirely in pretending to actually be the celebrity in question*, the cover band often has a layer of self awareness, replicating the music and styles of the original band but not usually going so far as trying to look, dress, or appear exactly like them.  There are several Pink Floyd cover bands out there that don't even have the same number of members as the original band.  Although, to be fair, at any given point in their history the actual members of Pink Floyd probably wouldn't have been able to tell you how many members were in their band either.  (the trick is never being sure when Nick Mason counts.)

*The obvious exception to this being El Vez, the Mexican Elvis, who has a cult of personality all his own.  If you've never been so see an El Vez show you should definitely do that because no attempt to describe it here is going to do it justice.  Suffice it to say that at one point in the show El Vez might grab a young lady's hand in the front row, kiss it, and say, 'And now my ninas, I must go and change into something a little more...shiny.  But in the meantime, the Elvettes will entertain you with an interpretive dance!' and it sort of makes sense.

As part of my day job, I recently became involved in coordinating a large number of people who wanted to go and see 'The Fab Four', which as you probably guessed is one of 453 groups out there pretending to be the Beatles.  They do a reasonably good job of the standard evening, working their way through the albums, haircuts and outfits of The Beatles from 'Meet the...', to 'Abbey Road.'

As a curious side project of this, a significant chunk of them paid additional money for a meet and greet with the band before the concert.  Which means that they were going to actually have a chance - for an additional donation - to meet someone who wasn't Paul McCartney.

But hey- It's for a good cause, and they were meeting the musicians that they were about to watch perform which is always nice, so what the Hell.

The problem came a day after the concert when we received an angry call about the meet and greet.

The caller in question was calling to complain because he was convinced that that hadn't been the real fake John Lennon.

Where do you even start with that?

He wasn't saying that that wasn't the fake John Lennon that he watched play the Beatles Catalog for the rest of the evening.  He wasn't saying that the guy wasn't a good John Lennon.

His argument was that that hadn't been the 'real' fake John Lennon.

Taking that at face value, if that wasn't a real fake John Lennon then it must, by force of argument, have been the actual John Lennon (he being the only John Lennon that could not be legitimately described as 'fake', and let me assure you that if that had been the case it would have been significantly reflected in the ticket price.

Or was his point that there are hierarchical layers of 'John-Lennon-ness'?  Am I, in some ethereal, intangible and yet measurable way 'Less' John Lennon-y than, say, Michael Buble?  More John Lennon-y than Ted Cruz? (and who isn't?)  Is all identity an illusion?  Are we all, on a profound level, tied together in our not-John-Lennon-ness?

Ironically, I think John would probably have really enjoyed this discussion.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Some uninformed thoughts about snakes and religion

So I was thinking about snakehandling.

Not about actually doing it, of course.  Because, you know - snakes.

But for some reason <cough> Nyquil <cough> this afternoon I found myself thinking about what exactly, in the mind of the snakehandler, is the point of snakehandling as a religion.  What the point is in the mind of the snake is somewhat clearer, and usually runs along the lines of:


'Man, what a nice day under the heat lamp.  
Hey!  Hey, what the Hell do you think you're do.... 
OK buddy... put me down.  No.  Seriously.  Put me down.  
I am totally going to bite you if you don't put me down 
right now.  Right.  FREAKIN.  NOW!  
 Holy crap, is that my tail all the way down there?'

Little known fact - all snakes think in screenplay format.

So I've boiled down some theories as to what exactly the Snakehandler thinks the point of the exercise is-

A:  It makes them look a lot more badass than Episcopalians, and that in itself makes it worth doing.
B:  It's symbolically reclaiming the metaphorical source of original sin and shaking it until it pees itself.
C:  It's both a sign of faith and a confirmation that you still have the blessings of the Lord.  Like one of those focus group trust exercises, but with fangs.
D:  There tends to be a lot of genetic deterioration due to inbreeding in the areas where snakehandling is most widely practiced.
E:  All of the above.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - Know when you are Beaten

From the entry of September 10th, 2013.

Advice that remains true to this day.  I look forward to the Peter Capaldi Cat being added

Know When You Are Beaten

So I was planning to have this whole discussion about the State of the World and how we could all help to make it a better place.

There's a reasonable chance that I might have brought orthography into it, because I'm not really capable of going more than a day or two without bringing it up.

But then helpful friend Becky found a Pinterest item showing all 11 Doctors as cats, and suddenly nothing I had to say mattered anymore.

You have to know when to fold them.  That's one of the two valuable things that Kenny Rogers taught us.*

*The other was 'Know when to stop having plastic surgery', if you were wondering.

-Vizsla out

Friday, January 24, 2014

Additional thoughts on the Disney Princesses

It occurs to me after the fact that there might be more to the Disney Princesses than just the dream of one day seeing them in a UFC cage match.

For example -

According to Wikipedia (still not a valid source of info) there is a core group of Eleven Official Disney princesses.  I appreciate the phrasing 'Core Group', because it makes them sound like a gestalt, fighting crime individually and occasionally joining into one being known as 'Princessetron' for the really big cosmic battles.  But I digress - 

Pocahontas -

I appreciate that they're trying to group all of their female leads into a core group of something that they vaguely believe to be 'empowering' (even though it really isn't).  But at the end of the day, no matter how they twist the intro on the Wikipedia entry, there's no valid way to claim Pocahontas as being a 'Princess'.  Outside of the fact that it's mapping a completely unrelated social structure from Western Europe onto a group that bore almost no resemblance to medieval hierarchy, it kind of undermines the whole 'Independent person' vibe that the movie was sort of going for.  Short version - Tribes simply didn't see rulership in those terms.  The chief wasn't 'appointed by God to rule' and his offspring certainly wouldn't have just inherited a kingdom.  If you're really interested, this is a pretty good article on the topic.  If you really want to force Poc (she and I are tight, I can use the diminutive) into being a Princess then you'd have to ship her to England and have her devote herself to a Prince.  Which also demonstratively did not happen.  Unless by 'Prince' you mean 'Type 2 Diabetes brought on by an onslaught of rich and sugary foods that her system could never have been prepared for', which is what actually happened in real life.  I'd like to see the dance number for that one

Ariel (the Little Mermaid)

One of the Double Barreled princesses, Ariel is both the daughter of a King herself, AND marries into a royal family.  The real bonus for Hubby Prince Eric is that her line of royalty has always lived exclusively Under the Sea (cue music), and there is therefore no reasonable way that she's going to turn out to be his first cousin, unlike just about every other possible bride that he might have ended up with.  So, score one to broadening the gene pool there.

And am I the only one that noticed that King Triton was perfectly capable of changing her between Mermaid and Human at any time with absolutely no effort at all?  Which effectively means that his final comment about never seeing her again is just him being a phenomenal douche, since he could literally grow a pair and walk to her place any time he wanted to.


A rare example of female royalty marrying a guy that wasn't.  Which might almost be mistaken for an empowering message were it not for the way it all depends on her Daddy saying it's OK.  Cool tiger though.


OK, my issue isn't so much with Belle as it is with the Provincial Water Supply.  Specifically, what the Hell is in it that causes everyone to completely forget that castle over the hill where that little Prince who was such an asshole lived ten years ago.  I mean, honestly.  They stress repeatedly that it's been ten years since little Prince Douchleroy was cursed into becoming a best.  All well and good.  Yet everyone in the next village over is totally shocked to learn about a beast living in their neighborhood to the point of taking up flaming torches and pitchforks.  Seriously?  No one ever popped over to see why they'd suddenly stopped hearing from or about every single person in that kingdom?  And after ten years I suspect Mr. Used-to-Beast isn't likely to have much kingdom left to rule over, unless the surrounding dukes and lords left his lands alone out of courtesy.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Bet Joe Rogan's Commentary Would Be Freakin' Awesome

I bet that if all of the Disney Princesses entered into a UFC tournament, not one of them would stand a chance against Mulan.

Well... Maybe the chick from Brave.  She seems scrappy.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

And that's why you should always ask about the Yeti's past partners

As those of you who have encountered the Internet might be aware, periodically one encounters lists of random things that someone else out there in the world has posted on the general premise that others in the world might be interested.

One such list came to my attention the other day - it was titled '21 animals you never knew existed.'

Being a student (or at the very least enthusiast) of Cryptozoology, I felt compelled to check the list out.  Fair play to them, I had in fact never heard of any of them. Most of them seemed to be on the run from Helena Bonham Carter, to be honest, but one in particular caught my attention.

The Yeti Crab

Which provoked the following discussion-

Me:  Hey, check this out.  It's something called a yeti crab

Not Me:  Yeti crab? 

Me:  Yep.

Not Me:  What do you do about those??

Me:  Well, usually you have to shave the yeti and use a special shampoo to get rid of them.

Oh yeah, I went there.

(as a side note - We'll be auditioning drummers for my new emo band 'Shave the Yeti' next Wednesday.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

No One Wants To Be Known As The Dead Bunny Guy

A while back, in an effort to expand my musical awareness, I briefly toyed with Death Cab for Cutie.  Specifically the album 'Plans'.*

*For the Record, no pun intended, I really liked it.

I was drawn to the album of course by the fact that the song 'I Will Follow You Into The Dark' was used as background music during an episode of Doctor Who Confidential.*

*Silence In The Library, since you asked.

So, in scouring the web for info on the Band/Song/Album* I encountered this video.

*Because a Vizsla's first instinct is to go directly to research phase.

For those of you who breezed right past the link, the video is a series of pen and ink sketches that tell a few different stories.  The most linear of which concerns two rabbits, one brown and one white.  (Possible male and female, but the sketches really aren't detailed enough to make that judgement call.*)

*It's a sweet story.  There's no need for Bunny Genitalia.

First the bunnies meet.  Then they have a series of heartwarming misadventures.  The white one falls in the stream and the brown one pulls him (her?) out.  The brown one stands out in the rain so that he (she?) can bend a tall leaf over the white one so that he (she?) doesn't get wet.  There's a fair amount of endearing snuggling.

Then there's the rhythm breaker.

Then the brown bunny comes home to the warren and finds him (her?) dead.  And then the brown bunny is alone and it doesn't matter if he's a she or she's a he, because the other bunny is gone and it's the saddest thing ever.

So, in a burst of enthusiasm, I sent a link to this video to a co-worker of mine named Sarah, noting that it was a sweet little song and the saddest video ever.  Her response to me was 'Oh my God!  Why would you show that to me, that's the saddest thing ever!'  And I had to concede that Sarah had a point.

Fast forward to a few months later, when I found myself relating to Sarah a story that my friend Bill had told me.  It seems that a while back he had accidentally tagged a bunny with his lawn mower, removing one of the bunny's legs.  The bunny lived, but Bill swore that for years after he would see the three legged bunny, hanging around his yard and judging him.

A few years later he saw the three legged bunny being carried off by a falcon, the last glint in it's bunny eye a cold dagger of hate directly toward him that clearly said, 'YOU did this....'

Immediately after finishing the story I realized my mistake.  I had involved Sarah in two different stories concerning bunnies who met sad and untimely ends.

I was officially the dead bunny guy.

I tried for months to re-brand myself, sending her pictures of adorable and not maimed or dead ducks, in an attempt to become the 'happy duck' guy, but it was no use.  Once you become the dead bunny guy, you remain the dead bunny guy.

Consider yourselves warned.

Monday, January 20, 2014

By Any Other Name

A more complete discussion swill come later about how I failed the City of New Orleans on my current trip, but I wanted to take a brief moment to discuss something that happened in the airport on the way back.

For reasons best known to Delta Airlines my journey home from New Orleans to Minneapolis involved a couple of hours hanging out in Atlanta.  And by Atlanta, I mean the sprawling and vaguely smelly monolith that is the Atlanta Airport.  And by Hanging Out I of course mean slouching over a slightly average than normal airport waiting chair while feeling so hung over that I was actively anticipating my own demise.  And not without some welcome anticipation.  I was also charging my cell phone*

*Seriously.  The Atlanta airport has power points like everywhere to plug in a recharge your cell.  With both plug in and USB plug options.  So on that front at least I have to give mad props to Atlanta.  This does not however excuse the crystal meth-inspired layout of the place or the smell.  Or the 1998 NFC Championship game.

Over the PA system (that's 'Tannoy' for you British types. And speaking of, David Q - I did in fact find that Earthcam in front of the Kat's Meow Karaoke Club.  Another Story for Another Time.) came an announcement.  The Speaker (whoever they were) was looking for the final passenger for a flight to Capetown, South Africa.(which was the third or fourth time that South Africa came up over the weekend.  Must investigate that coincidence further when time allows).

The message as spoken over the PA (Tannoy) was -

'Will the last passenger for Flight blahblahblah to Capetown, Mr. Rhino Wilhelm... um... <brief pause as she stumbled over a vaguely Afrikaans sounding last name.> please report to the gate so that the flight can depart.'

Now, there are a few obvious thoughts that immediately come up upon hearing this announcement-

1:  Flights to South Africa are apparently more courteous than flights on Continental Airlines from Salt Lake City to Minneapolis, as they are perfectly happy to just leave your ass behind despite the fact that you were clearly at the gate waiting to be allowed to board.  Not that I'm still bitter.

2:  Rhino - possibly the greatest first name I have ever heard.  A young Mother in South Africa's only dream was that one day her little boy would grow up to be an An American Gladiator.  Bless.

3:  If the first two names are 'Rhino Wilhelm', you are probably not waiting around to hear the last name just to make sure they're talking about you.  I can guarantee he did not perk up one ear and then think, 'hold back... might be a different Rhino Wilhelm...'

I'm just saying.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tails of the Road

With apologies to Cathy Wurzer for that title...

About to head out to the airport to fly to New Orleans.

In that I'm absolutely terrified of flying, I'd appreciate a kind thought.  And perhaps a parachute. 

Must find airport bar....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Less Common Vampire Stereotypes

Sure, we all know the biggies when it comes to common Vampire Stereotypes.  Afraid of Garlic (mostly accurate), not much for tanning (very true), sleep in coffins (untrue.  And as it turns out, insulting.  Sorry again, Don)

Now, thanks to the Twilight franchise we also know that Vampires apparently roll in glitter*.  So this seemed like a reasonable time to address some other, lesser known stereotypes about the living-limited.

*Which, since glitter is what unicorns bleed, kind of makes sense.  At least, as much as anything in that franchise.

1:  Vampires all know a lot of guys named Al.

- OK, it's true that the stats kind of back this one up.  I mean, Minnesota Senator Al Franken alone has about 1 hundred Vampire contacts in his Outlook folder.  But in his defense, as a US Senator he's supposed  to work with lawmakers on the other side of the aisle, so you can't really blame him.

Validity rating - 6/10

2:  Vampires are all bad at math

- Hey, we were all thinking it.  I mean, my pal Ernie the Flayer knows almost nothingabout quadratic equations.  Nothing.

Validity rating - 9/10

3:  Vampires are all members of Zydeco bands

-This one probably stems from the heavy vampire population in and around Louisiana.  But honestly.  This is just small mindedness.  I know many vampires, and only a few of them are in Zydeco bands.  Like, 7 of them at most.

Validity rating - 2/10

4:  Vampires are a literary metaphor for the aristocracy living entirely on the work of the common people and giving nothing back to society.

-That's just crazy talk.  They're clearly a visual metaphor for 'Things Teenage girls think are sexy'.  Honestly, do a little research.

Validity rating - 0/10

5:  Vampires are lazy and just sneaking into this country illegally to steal our jobs, despite the inherent contradiction between those two things.

- Don't be stupid.  That's Chupacabras.

Validity Rating - 1/10

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Yeah, that's not a lot of comfort to the bunnies...

So as most of the non-yurt dwelling among you probably already know, about a week ago a James Bond villain took out the entire water supply for a significant chunk of West Virginia.

A truly startling amount of the chemical MCHM* was basically dumped into a river due to a complex process known as 'nobody giving much of a crap about what was going on with the big leaking container over there'

*I could cut and paste the full name of the chemical from my cursory research on the subject, but it wouldn't leave any of us any the wiser.  Suffice it to say it's apparently blue, nobody knows what it does, what it's for, whether it causes mutations (so there's still hope for those budding West Virginian Superheros out there) or basically anything about it.  It's one of around 6,000 chemicals that were grandfathered in under the chemical regulations act, when Congress boldly looked at a bunch of different sinisterly steaming plastic buckets, shrugged, and said 'Ah, I'm sure they're probably fine.'

Now, a spill like this is obviously more or less what any reasonable person expects is going to happen under a government that spends most of its time doggedly doing its best to remove anything that might actually prevent this sort of thing from inevitably happening.  The really interesting thing about it turns out to be the identity of the Bond villain who did the spilling.

It turns out that the chemicals in question (and lots of fun others that we know absolutely nothing about) are stored along the river by a company called Freedom Industries.

Freedom Industries, as you can clearly tell by the name, is a company that exists to store mysterious chemicals in large containers along municipal water supplies. 

The President of Freedom Industries, the deeply-ironically named 'Mr. Southern', aside from having to face a stern talking to later on some time will undoubtedly go down in history as 'most unfortunate usage of a hand prop during a press conference ever.'  Seriously - If your company just poisoned the water supply for about a quarter of a state, maybe you should not spend the entire press conference chugging down bottled water.  It kind of makes you look openly contemptuous of the 300,000 folks you just tried to poison.  At the very least it makes you appear to be an enormous douche.

What I really don't get though - how on Earth did anybody see that there was a company named 'Freedom Industries' and not immediately have a million red flags go off?  It's not quite as blatant as 'Legitimate Olive Oil Importation Business, We Swear', but it's close.  I honestly think that at this point you could start up a company that did nothing but force feed razor blades to bunny rabbits for absolutely no reason whatsoever and everyone would be just fine with it as long as you named yourself Jesus Loves America Patriotism Go Flag Go, Inc.

'Gosh.... I shore do like bunny rabbits...  But I sure as shootin' cain't side against Jesus!  That company must be A-OK! Go 'Murica!'

It's like people want Goldfinger to nuke their gold supply, I swear to God.

Monday, January 13, 2014


I heard something interesting today on MPR (pretentious dog alert!).  In a relatively unrelated story about President Obama, the guest paused to give a brief history of the word 'Priority'.  Because I'm a huge linguistics geek (as many of you know) my ears immediately perked right up.

'Priority' as a noun apparently first came into usage roughly circa 1400 (which makes it More or less the latter quarter of Middle English for anyone who cares).  It derives from Latin, via French and roughly translates to 'having the state of being before'.  All of which means that the Saxons bear no blame on this issue, and are in no way responsible for arranging your workload.

The interesting point (making the assumption that I'm the only one who finds the previous paragraph interesting) is that for the first 4-500 years of its usage it was a singular noun.  Meaning you could only have one, by definition.  Much like the concept of Nemesis.  (I know.  I need to let that one go.)  Somewhere around the end of the 1900s we, as a culture, just kind of decided that it was possible to have more than one most important thing and that we'd all, individually, just have to try to work our own crap out to the best of our ability.  I suspect if we dig far enough there's a way to blame Henry Ford for it.  Call that a homework assignment.

In any case.  I think that there's a significant case for us all agreeing to let the original definition stand.

Priority:  You get one.

Which means that if you make me your priority, and I make me my priority, you are no ones' priority.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - The All Angel Clarification Press Conference

At one point I forgot that this one existed and started re-writing basically the same premise.

Here, from August last, is the original

The All-Angel Clarification Press Conference

In the interest of clearing up some long standing confusion regarding a certain degree of Angel-Overlap, we now present the transcript in full from the recent and well publicized All-Angel Press Conference addressing the issue.

Once again, You're Welcome, Planet.

The participants take the high table and have a seat behind their respective microphones.  An Expectant hush overtakes the reporters in attendance.  Except for Phil who was gassy.

ANGEL:  I'd like to thank you all for joining us today.  We understand that there's been some serious confusion lately in the media as concerns telling us apart and I know I speak for all of us here when I say that we would sincerely like to clear this matter up once and for all.

REPORTER-  If I might ask

ANGEL:  Um.. we weren't really getting to questions yet...

REPORTER:  And yet I'm asking one.

ANGEL: OK, shoot

REPORTER:  As a vampire, do you find that you have a burden to work against common stereotypes that...

ANGEL:  Um... I'm not a Vampire.

REPORTER:  Beg Pardon?

ANGEL:  I'm not actually a Vampire...

ANGEL:  Yes.... That's actually me.  I was also CEO of Wolfram and Hart for a while.

ANGEL:  Right.  So, as I was saying,  we'd all like to...

REPORTER:  Wait...  So the guy who helped Sam and Dean Winchester was a Vampire?

ANGEL:  If you'd just let me..

ANGEL:  See, now this is exactly the sort of...

ANGEL:  You're actually thinking of me...  I'm Castiel, the Angel that assists...

ANGEL:  If we could just get..

ANGEL:  And our Vampire lore is totally different from that hack...

ANGEL:  Please.  Gentlemen.  I think we're veering from the...

ANGEL:  Wait... Vampires are real now?  Is That what all the serial killings are about?

REPORTER:  Wait... Are you...

ANGEL:  Lt. Angel Batista from Showtime's hit series Dexter

ANGEL:  See, now this is EXACTLY the kind of confusion...

ANGEL:  He doesn't even have metaphysical powers!

ANGEL:  Or a TRENCHCOAT!  I mean... that's just ENTRY level...

ANGEL:  If we could just get back to...

 ANGEL:  I resent the implication that only supernatural Angel's deserve to be recognized
ANGEL: Oh for the love of crap.

ANGEL:  I mean, All I asked is that you touch my cheek before you leave me.. baby.

REPORTER:  Wait a minute... Are you the Morning Angel from that Juice Newton song??

ANGEL:  Thank you so much for remembering me

REPORTER:  I totally LOVED that song!

ANGEL:  That is so sweet of you.

After this point the recording of the event descends into confusion. 
We hope that this has helped clear things up. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

This Year's Peter Scolari Hall Of Not Quite As Much Fame Inductees

Well, it's that time again.  The time when we celebrate the new inductees to the Peter Scolari Hall of... well, you read the title.

Established in 1993 in association with the release of both the film Philadelphia and literally vats full of gin fueled tears of bitterness at the Scolari household, the Hall exists as a monument to those who started out on equal footing and then fell so far.  SO very far.  So very, very far.  Stupid f**king Forest Gump.  <sniff>


This years Honored inductees-

Andrew Ridgeley

Now actually officially known as 'That other guy from Wham.  You know- the one that wasn't George Michael.  I think he might be dead now'  

Mssr. Ridgeley - Who is actually still alive, I'll save you the trouble of googling him - may still feel the sting of critical reaction to his solo album 'Son of Albert' (hint- it wasn't good...) but he can nonetheless console himself that no one gives a crap who he blows in public restrooms.

David A. Stewart

Or, that guy who used to stand behind Annie Lennox, as he's customarily known in the United States.

Mr. Stewart actually has gone on to have a full, rich and varied career after the breakup of the Eurythmics in 1990.  But most of it was in Europe, so we in the US like to pretend that it doesn't exist.  Much like our attitude toward both Cricket and Portugal. 

Destiny's Less Popular Children

Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (but not that Michelle Williams.  No, a different one.  Yes, I'm sure.)  

We decline to include the several other earlier incarnation members of Destiny's Child, instead celebrating them en masse as 'Not Beyonce'.   

Ms. Rowland and Ms. Williams, when referred to at all, are most likely to respond with either 'No, I can't introduce you to Beyonce', or 'No, I was never married to Heath Ledger'

Thank you again, all who applied.  Someone please relate to Art Garfunkle that we will be happy to reconsider his application again next year.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

With apologies to Myrna Loy

Shortly (relatively speaking) it will have been a complete year that I've been writing this blog.  And over the course of that year I've learned some interesting things.  For example, I've come to learn that making a commitment to writing something entirely fresh every single day- when coupled with a full time day job, at least two part time side jobs and what can be colorfully described as an increasingly interesting complicated personal life- is a lot more stressful than I had anticipated. 

Side note - I'm still going to do it.  I just mention so that you'll all (both of you) appreciate the effort.

When I went into this I had two basic rules-

1:  Write something every day

2:  Don't stress about how long that something is, whether it's any good, or whether it amuses anyone but yourself. 

Side Note -- These are also actually pretty good rules to apply to any aspect of life.  Show up daily, and don't worry too much about it.

Pretty early on I abandoned the idea of writing anything new on Sunday, because on some level of my brain I needed to know that there would be regular breaks.  And that was a good decision, by and large.  It caused me to start re-posting older bits that I had been particularly amused by, and made the whole thing seem manageable.

Slightly later on I learned a valuable lesson about pictures, which I'll get back to in a moment.

A few months into the whole process (July last or thereabouts) I started playing with the widgets available to add onto your blog here and one of the first ones I added was the 'most popular posts' feature.  Pleasingly, the first post to really start getting a fair number of hits was the one about Markie Post, which seemed ontologically right on a profound level.  I suspect the picture (pilfered from the internet) of her in a bikini was in some way responsible for people finding that one.

Side Note --- Seriously.  There are no pictures out there of her wearing anything BUT a bikini.  I find that sinister.

What the most popular post counter has taught me lately is that no matter how amusing you think the current entry is, it is still going to be outviewed by some thing about leprechauns that you wrote 8 months ago, because apparently the google search engine in Denmark has decided that the picture of a leprechaun that you included in that post is the default image by which all leprechauns are judged and has taken to just sending people directly here for all their leprechaun needs.  The leprechaun picture was also snagged from some unsuspecting internet source who may or may not be aware of what the good people of Denmark and I have made of it.

Right.  The thing about the pictures.  Getting there.

Side Note ---- Side Notes are fun!

One of the other old posts from back in the picture grabbing days is one about my utter amazement at discovering that Estelle Getty had been incredibly sexy when she was young.  I used this to make a larger point about how it was nice to remember that people could be more than one thing, but let's be honest - it was really all about 'Holy Shit, Sophia was smokin' hot once!'  As illustrated by undoubtedly copyrighted photos which had been - you guessed it - picked up randomly and without permission from someplace on the internet.

I'm circling around to my point here.

Two days ago I got a comment on the Estelle Getty post from one Brittany Radcliff, who - from our extremely limited correspondence - seems pretty cool.  She pointed out that the picture of young, sexy Estelle Getty was in fact Young, Sexy Myrna Loy (my words, not hers.  She just said Myrna Loy.  But I feel like the young and sexy part deserves a shout out anyway.)

So I did a little research and discovered that Brittany (if I might be informal) was absolutely correct.  That was a picture of Myrna Loy.  In fact, the only web references to that picture being Estelle Getty all linked back directly to this very site. And while I was somewhat pleased at this reinforcement of my deep seated belief that the internet is an entirely unreliable source of information, I was less pleased at discovering that I was part of the problem.

Which brings me to my larger point about pictures.

It was pointed out to me in early August that it's actually not OK to use non-common use images on a personal blog.  Because they kind of belong to someone else.  It turns out that it's wrong to just take other peoples work and use it. (Take note, Urban Outfitters.)  And I think that this is what's always kind of bugged me about Markie Post and Denmark.  Getting views based on somebody else's images - no matter how amusingly used - isn't really a conscionable thing to do. 

And so, while I actually stopped using other peoples images back in early August, I'm going to go ahead and take the next step at this point and clear out all the ones that had been previously used, replacing them where I can with things of my own.

Side Note ----- I do actually draw myself.  I'm just incredibly lazy, and it's easier to just websearch 'leprechaun images' than it is to draw one.'

So, with apologies to the people of Denmark and Markie Post devotees, Over the next few days (OK, let's be realistic and say weeks - see above note re: the number of side jobs I currently have) I'll be updating a lot of the old posts.  Some jokes will, unfortunately, be lost.  Which is sad, but what can you do.

Many thanks to Brittany Radcliff for giving Ms. Loy her due.  Estelle was in fact also quite attractive when she was young, but I'll leave it to any interested parties to do the websearch on that themselves.

Many thanks for those of you that read these frequently apeshit crazy columns.  More to come.

Vizsla out.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Medical Degree Schmidical Degree

I'm not at all certain what I did in the night two nights ago*, but I woke up yesterday morning with the worst crick in my neck ever experienced by anyone in the history of the planet

*Current theory - Narcoleptic crimefighting while dressed as a Narwhal

The really strange thing is, this neck-crick in located in a location no sane neck crick would possibly allow itself to be located in. (Between T1 and T2 for those spine enthusiasts among you)  This has, as you might imagine, left me somewhat befuddled as to what exactly is going on to cause such pain in said location.

Because I'd rather make stuff up than do any actual research, here's the current list of theories as to what ails me-

1 - Xyphoid process, after years of longing for freedom, is attempting to tunnel it's way out through my back on the theory that that route might be less guarded.

-Arguments for theory - Allows me to use the words 'Xyphoid process'
-Arguments against theory - No discernible sign of tunnelling through lungs.  Xyphoid process still clearly visible in correct location

2 - My T1 is currently engaged in a fearsome battle with T1000.  Fate of the future hangs in balance.

-Arguments for theory - Sounds awesome.
-Arguments against theory -Little reason for robots from the future to attack that specific vertebrae, unless spynet took offense to that post about smart TVs from a few days back.

3 - Beginning stages of growth of enormous leathery bat-like wings.  In which case I will be having a pointed conversation with one or both of my parents RE: Familial background and will immediately be resubmitting my application to the X-Men.

-Arguments for theory -It's the one I want most to be true
-Arguments against theory -Most mutations manifest themselves at the onset of puberty (see: Kitty Pryde).  Which was more years ago than I feel comfortable mentioning.

4 - Voodoo doll.  Somewhere.  Perhaps with that guy in the Temple of Doom.

-Arguments for theory -It IS the traditional place to stab a voodoo doll.
-Arguments against theory -I wouldn't recognize a shankara stone if I was relieving myself on one.  Which actually might explain how I pissed the Temple of Doom guy off in the first place, I suppose...

Further information to follow as it comes to light.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

This is why you can't trust appetizers

The other day in downtown St. Paul I was subjected to overhearing one of the most irritating, ill-informed and boorish conversations that it's ever been my misfortune to have to listen to.

One of the Gentlemen involved (and I use the term very loosely) was going on at some length about the few and specific reasons under which his church would recognize a divorce.  (So I'm sorry to inform a significant percentage of you that your divorces have been nullified because they don't live up to this Jackass' standards.  Tough break.)

After spending a while on this topic he switched to a discussion of  'Things those lib-ruls don't understand.'  Now at this point my ears pricked up a little bit, because I usually find this sort of thing terribly amusing.  I was not disappointed.

It turns out that the thing libruls hate most (ATJ*) is the depiction of guns in violent videogames.  This is because, and I quote directly here - 'Libruls hate that sort of won-ton violence.'

*According to Jackass

Yes.  I consider myself to be fairly progressive, and I can verify that the thought that really keeps me awake at night is the terror of Asian pasta-based appetizers taking up arms against me.  I'm breaking out in a cold sweat now just thinking of it.

And egg drop soup - don't even get me started on egg drop soup.  You can see it just planning the overthrow of proper biblical based government.

And what about potstickers?  You just KNOW that those potstickers are planning to start teaching evolution in our schools at any second!

What I'm saying here is that when our god fearing (as defined by one narrow sect) society falls, LeeAnn Chin will have more than a little to answer for.

That's all I'm saying.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Kill, Ling-Ling, Kill!

A few months ago I decided to throw a couple of ads up on the blog because at the end of the day I'm kind of a whore and they offered me money.*

*Side note - at the current tally I have made $1.29 in the last three months off of click throughs (which I refuse to spell incorrectly no matter what the ad people say).  The threshold for them cutting me a check is $100.  Which means that I can look forward to a big fat payday sometime around 2032, at which point $100 will buy approximately half a candy bar.

What the inserted ads have done for me however is provide an interesting window on how ad tracking technology attempts to wrap it's little mechanical brain around the blog's content.  There are two ads.  On any given day they will be for such unforgettable combinations as 'Life insurance and Panties'* of 'World of Warcraft and chemical addiction therapy' (There might be an argument to be made on that one...)

*Best.  Band Name.  Ever.

Which brings me to two days ago, when a glance at the bottom of the page showed an ad for some manner of nature conservancy place where one could sponsor an endangered animal. 

Only in my wine-bedazzled state, I confused the concepts of 'Sponsor' and 'adopt', and had a vague impression that they were actually offering to ship you endangered animals.

Furthermore, I also confused 'animal' and 'species', which gave me the impression that they were offering to ship me, for example, not one Giant Panda, but all of them.

Can you even imagine how convenient that would be for your average budding super-villain?  'Hmm, evil-self, I'd like to conquer the planet but where or where can one find a relatively cost-effective army with which to overrun same?'  BING - Adsense freakin' PROVIDES!  "Hello, Friends of Nature.  I'd like to order all of the worlds Panda's!  Yes, this is for the purpose of rampaging.  What?  Herbivores?  Oh.  But I thought.... right... OK, What can you show me in a Giant Otter?  Yes, that sounds great.  Mastercharge, please."

For $1.29, I like to think that I've brought the world one step closer to Evil Dominion status.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Go Tommy, Go!

First and foremost - a very Happy New Year to you all.  Hope everyone had a good end of 2013.  Or are just happy that 2013 is over.  Whichever, let's view today as a positive.

That said, one of the things that you're required to do by law on this day is to take stock of your life in some way.  Being a law abiding sort of guy, I dutifully sat down to do so this morning-  and was somewhat startled to discover that I have a twitter account.  And have somehow gained a few followers since the last time I remembered that it existed.  (it's @the42ndvizsla if anyone is interested btw).

What amused me most however was the last entry I made, now some weeks ago.

A little backstory first - Where I work we have a mandatory all staff meeting once a month.  All, in this instance, being a couple hundred people more or less.  Being a very 'up with people-y' kind of place, these meetings customarily begin with the handing out of service awards, which is nice and all.  They go more or less in sequence, first introducing new hires, then folk who've been there 1 year, then 3 years, then 5, then 7, 10, 15, etc.  I myself have been recognized the last two years in a row as having been there for 5 years- which shows that someone involved in the tallying has a somewhat puckish attitude towards the whole process- but you get a nice pen and I hate to make a fuss, so I just let it ride.

So the process goes like this; managers who are recognizing an employee line up on one side of the room waiting their turn at the microphone.  When it's their turn they say a few nice words about the relevant employee, have said employee walk up and receive their token of appreciation (seriously, the pen is awesome), and then move on to the next manager/employee/token.  This is what life is like when you work at a non-profit.

The process of making the aforementioned 'few nice words' can, however, be a bit stressful if the manager in question isn't comfortable speaking in public. 

At last month's meeting, one such manager - in a fit of nervousness - dealt with the pressure by relating every single thing she knew about the employee in question. At great length. For over ten minutes.

The employee in question - who was receiving his service award for three years of service - sat quietly as story after story, anecdote after anecdote and fact after fact were related, slowly sinking further and further in his seat.  By the time the speech was finished he went up to get his service award (I forget what three years is, having only received that one once.  I think it might have been a watch) and thanked everyone for celebrating his three years, noting that he had passed his sixth year anniversary somewhere over the course of the speech. 

The next manager up started off by thanking 'Tommy' (not his real name) for his service as well.  As did the next manager after him.  The following mentioned over the course of her comments that this was the best Tommy Meeting the organization had ever had. 

I don't think anyone heard anything from anybody after that point in the meeting because it was more or less at that point that everyone seemed to remember that they had Twitter accounts and suddenly #GoTommyGo*  was trending.  Someone in our social media department began retweeting the whole bunch of them, which shows a certain level of task-orientedness at the very least, and word of Tommy's awesomeness began spreading through the Twittersphere.  I fully expect him to have a reality show on the Discovery Channel any time now, as that seems to be how these things go.

*not the actual hashtag, but I did just give you my twitter account, so it ain't hard to look up...

As a result, I'm pretty sure no one in attendance at that particular meeting could tell you much of anything about the budget forecast, but could  probably in a pinch tell you at least two of Tommy's hobbies and where he went to grade school, which should probably be viewed as some sort of triumph for the information age.

@the42ndVizsla, people. 

I promise to try to remember to use it this year.