Sunday, January 25, 2015

Vizsla Flashback - Portrait of the Artist as.. Possibly Stoned? I Don't Know.

For reasons that aren't entirely relevant or interesting, I found myself going through a stack of old notebooks from the early 90s today.

One of those notebooks turned out to be an old rehearsal journal from ComedySportz back in 1994.  At least that was it's original intent.  However it becomes abundantly clear flipping through it that I rapidly lost interest with jotting down notes and instead starting just doodling whatever came to mind in it.

I have no explanation for the images you're about to see.  I can only swear to you that - despite what it says in the title - I was not actually on drugs.

I'm relatively sure.

Slide One - a piece we call ...

'Poorly Drawn Hand with Stickman'

Now, I can actually kind of see where I was going with this one.  Realistic hand crushing tiny stick man.  I think I may have had some sort of larger point about the contrast between reality and imagination, but that is undercut by two significant factors.

1.  That's the most pretentious thing I've ever heard and it kind of makes me want to travel back in time and nut punch 23 year old me as hard as I possibly can.


2.  That's probably the crappiest drawing of a hand the world has ever seen.

Moving on...

'Oh No, Sharks'

In this piece we see the silhouette of a man hanging by one hand from what appears to be an enormous muffler while a giant zombie hand reaches through a hitherto non-existent dimensional portal.  In the background there is a pair of legs clearly labelled as having a 'bad knee' and in the upper left we see what appears to be a dancing pair of scissors.

The man is looking down and saying, 'Oh no, Sharks!'  (Sharks not pictured)

It's interesting that the man is concerned about the sharks and isn't saying 'Oh no, Giant Zombie Hand', or, 'Oh no, that looks like a terrible knee injury', or 'Why in the name of all that is holy is that pair of scissors dancing?'  But I guess we all have to adopt our own set of priorities in a crisis.

'Inuit Centipede Has a Hearing Problem'

I think this piece speaks for itself.

and finally...

Man With the Foot of a Duck

A statement about man's bestial nature?

A Comment on duality?

Or did I just get tired of drawing feet?

Only Art Historians can be the judge.

Thank you for your time.  With that I'm headed out to the front porch to await the arrival of The Doctor and Amy Pond

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pope-in' Ain't Easy

I observed to a few people this morning that is must often be difficult being the Pope.

Actually, I think my exact words were, 'Man being the Pope must be a pain in the ass sometimes.'*

*Does that count as a Hell-worthy trespass?  I honestly don't know.  I swear, I was just thinking of the Pope's feelings.

But then I was thinking that there are obviously a few Pope-perks that come with the job, so maybe it isn't so bad a gig after all.

Since then I've been going back and forth on the issue, and so I've decided to inflict my inner monologue on the subject on you share my thoughts on the topic here.

PRO- Comfy Shoes.

Seriously.  Those things look like you're walking on a cloud.  Although, given the positions direct through-line to the Man Upstairs* perhaps that's exactly why he wears them.  You know, like getting your sea legs, but with cloud legs.

*If you believe in that sort of thing.  Probably a requirement for holding the job, now I think of it...

CON- People constantly asking for you to pray for this, help with that, and give-a-shit about the other.

Honestly - that just HAS to be exhausting

PRO- Being the direct mouthpiece for an Omniscient and Omnipotent higher power.

'Why yes, I'm certain that the answer is 'Albuquerque'.  Oh, you disagree?  I'm sorry, which of us is speaking directly to God?  Damn Straight, Bitch.'

CON- You can almost never just decide to blow off work for a night and go out to the bar with the guys.

Headline, Minneapolis - Pope seen in vicious barfight at The Mermaid.  Story at 11.  Yeah, that's going to go down well.

PRO- The hat is pretty cool.

No, seriously.  The hat IS pretty cool.

CON- Probably have to learn Latin.

Unless the big Mass-tionary has everything spelled out phonetically, which seems unlikely.

PRO- Get to pick your own cool Pope name.

Much like picking your superhero or stripper name (although almost no popes to date have used the 'Childhood Pet plus Street you grew up on' formula.)  Sadly popes thus far seem to have kept it fairly under control, which is a real disappointment to those of us waiting for Pope Yartek, Leader of the Alien Voord I

I don't know... Seems like six of one, half a dozen of the other really.

Do they have a six month trial pope period?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Vizsla Flashback - A Kind Thought for the Humble Snickerdoodle


It is in Iambic Pentameter.

Oh Cookie, soft with crispy edge abound
and roll in cin'mon sugar in my soul
for oft shall cookie goodness find profound
as grains of spices stirred then roll'd in bowl

How glad your puffy center moist and true
that such delight has Jove 'pon oven spray'd
His Pam of Wonder, might from such you
From Cookie Sheet your freedom ne'er delayed

At Hundred Thrice plus Fifty for degrees
Your oven rack too high or low, but no!
Your velvet crumbly shattering in breeze
In presence thine all other cookies blow!

But Soft, my Snickerdoodle beast am I
for with your gift so tasty I repay
For shall I rend, devour thee, oh, aye
And also thirty or forty of your closest friends, punk.

There may additionally be milk.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Be Sexier Now!

Hello Gentlemen, I'm here to announce an incredible opportunity for you

We here at the Vizsla have done the research for you, and thoughtfully provide this handy chart of things that you can do right now to make yourself more sexually attractive.  Keep in mind these findings are all supported by actual statistics, and in no way are just pulled out of anyone's butt.  No sir.

BATHE - 13.6% Sexier

It's true.  It urns out that research supports that not looking filthy and smelling like the inside of a jockstrap actually increases your sexual desirability.*

*With the exception of a 2.5% swing percentage of the population who are into that sort of thing.  It's not about judging.


Data clearly proves that a man who can play the Banjo is 7.2% sexier than lesser men. This is science talking, people.  Simply holding a Banjo will increase a man's sexiness by 2.8%.  This bump disappears however if, upon being asked to play the aforementioned Banjo, said man simply breaks down into tears* and runs away.

*With the exception of a 2.5% swing percentage of the population who are into that sort of thing.  It's not about judging.


This is science talking, people.  Science.


See.  Just .6%.  Now, doesn't that justify your decision in middle school to stay home reading comic books instead of joining the football team?  You bet your ass it does.  Hey, Mr. 1% Body fat - Do you have a complete near-mint run of Sandman issues 1-75?  No.  No, I didn't think so.


First, Check out this news item.  Now, empirically if we look at Adam we can see - objectively- that he isn't particularly attractive, per-se.  HOWEVER.... THE MAN IS RESCUE SWIMMING A FREAKING 400 LB BLACK BEAR OUT OF DANGER.  

Adam clearly wins.  I'm just going under the assumption that there was a violent scrum of folk waiting to pleasure him the second he got back onto the beach, and that he therefore joins Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield and Curator of Mammals Kristofer Helgen in the 'Tonight, When You Make Love to Your Woman, She Will Be Thinking of Me' club*

*Would it be wrong to get that printed on a T-shirt and send one to each of the three Gentlemen?  Would anyone else buy one?

Thanks you.  We hope this information has been helpful.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Vizsla Flashback - Forward Planning - Not a Campus Crusade for Christ Strength Area

A fair few years ago, during my Freshman year of College, I came across a large number of photocopied pictures of Jesus dumped in the dorm hallway recycling bin.

I have no idea where they cam from, probably some sort of recruitment rally for the incoming students by one of the various pro-Jesus lobbying groups on campus - possibly the Campus Crusade for Christ, as I'm pretty sure they were involved with the rest of this story.  For some reason the Freshman year of college is particularly prone to a subsection of students discovering religion in a serious and enthusiastic way.  Also, they tend to put on about 15 pounds.  Make of the correlation there what you will.

I lived in the dorms that year, and not being a member of the subsection that found religion, I picked up the stack of pictures of Jesus, got a sharpie, and wrote across one of them 'Mikey, thanks for everything- Jesus'.
This I taped to the outside of my dorm room door.

Now, as funny as I thought this was at the time, I'm pretty sure the amusement factor would have worn off in a day or so, but for the fact that two days later my autographed picture of Jesus was unceremoniously stolen.*

*A case the campus police have yet to crack, I might add.

The Thief in question however was missing the important bit of information located in the opening paragraph.  I had not found A picture of Jesus in the recycling bin.  I had found a stack of pictures of Jesus in the recycling bin.  And so, that same evening, after walking to the campus bookstore to purchase a gold autographing pen so that the whole thing would have more of a sense of occasion, I replaced the autographed picture of Jesus with a new one bearing the inscription, 'Mikey - I can never thank you enough for fixing me up with that foxy Mary Magdalene.  All my best - Jesus'

This disappeared the following day.

It was replaced that night with a newly autographed 'Mikey - Those chicks were mad crazy.  Promise me you'll never show anyone the pictures!  You're the Man! - Jesus'

This disappeared the following day and was replaced with a stern page long handwritten note outline some fundamental objections to my decoration policies.

Night four's autograph read, 'Mikey - No one must ever find those four kilos of Brazilian Heroin.  Your pal - Jesus'

This disappeared the following day, but sadly no further correspondence was left in its place.

I don't recall what night five's inscription was, but I'm relatively sure it was more offensive than night four's.

On Day seven I came home to find a blackened scorch mark exactly the size and shape of my autographed picture of Jesus in the middle of my dorm room door because someone had set fire to whatever Jesus had signed the picture with that day.

I went ahead and replaced the picture with a new (and one assumes, more offensive) version, but let's take a second with the implications of this...

If they saw the picture on a daily basis, odds are that they themselves live in the building.

The building that they had just set on fire.

See, this is why more people don't take religious fundamentalism seriously.

Friday, January 9, 2015

With Thanks to Michele Bachmann

Well, here in the US a new Congress has been sworn in, which means that we are now - at last - free of Former Minnesota Representative (and Poster Child for Delusional Psychosis) Michele Bachmann.

Ms. Bachmann, who has spent these last many years on the House Intelligence Committee in what can only be described as 'an act of irony', left office at the end of the year with the stated goal of spending more time with her impending jail-time for a fairly impressive number of ethics violations.

For those whop have so far remained blissfully unaware of her existence - the easiest thing to do is imagine Idi Amin, drop his IQ about 60 points, and funnel what you have left into the body of Miss Butter Queen 1987.  Shellac heavily. 

Of course, being a reasonable woman, Ms. Bachmann's first act upon leaving office was to take credit for falling gas prices.*

*The brief back story - Back in 2011 when Michele was attempting to run for President of the US she infamously promised that if she was elected she would personally bring gas prices down from nearly $4.00 a gallon to below $2.00/gallon. She was not elected, however gas HAS just dipped below $2.00/gallon, and because Michele doesn't really get causation, she's decided it was all thanks to her.

To be clear - the price of gasoline in the US is set by a huge number of incredibly complex factors, absolutely none of which have anything to do with any US elected official.

However, since the new rule is 'If it happened in 2014 it must clearly be thanks to Michele Bachmann, I offer up some other fun events that were clearly totally Michele's doing...

She caused The Ludian Earthquake in Yunnan province, China, killing 617 people.

Over 12,000 homes were destroyed and a further 112 people are still missing.  All Michele's fault.

She made Bill Cosby drug and rape all those women (allegedly)

OK, Officially all Michele is directly responsible for this year is the story actually being covered by the media in 2014 as more women came forward.  To see all of her hard work forcing Bill to commit the actual drugging and raping you'll need to review her notes going back to the 70s

She caused the polar vortex

Early in 2014, using only her power of righteousness, Michele single handedly pulled in that enormous arctic front that gave the entire midwest the coldest and longest winter we've seen in some little while, thus conclusively proving that there's no such thing as global warming because it's totally cold outside and cold and warm mean different things, right?

She made the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie

Oh Michele... No one deserves Megan Fox.

She forced the 7th Heaven dad to become a child molester.

The less said about this one the better.  How could you, Michele Bachmann.  How could you.

She Personally created Cyclone's Anne and Christina

And sent them forth to wreak havoc upon France, the UK and Ireland.  In her defense, she'd heard a rumor that there were gay people there, so she had no choice.

She shot and killed Archie.

ARCHIE, man! Freakin' ARCHIE!

And so, as you can see, Michele Bachmann has had a busy year, what with being solely responsible for every single thing that happened in the world, regardless of whether or not it was in any way connected to her. 

We'll miss her now that she's gone.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

An Apology and Retraction

It's with great remorse that I have to report that, after much soul searching on the issue, I have realized I've deceived you all.

I do not, in point of fact, like short shorts.

I apologize for the deception.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Oh, Canada

I spent a significant amount of this last October being Canadian, for employment purposes.

Well, technically being a reanimated Undead Canadian Spirit of Vengeance, but it amounts to the same thing.

It started off fairly innocuously, as these things do.  I got an offer of some part time work from an old friend helping host guided tours of cemeteries and spooky places and since I love both A: Halloween and B: Being able to afford to eat, I jumped at the chance.

It's a bus tour kind of set-up, with two tour guides on each trip taking turns explaining the spooky sites that the tour visits and telling (hopefully) entertainingly scary tales during the drive between sites.  Because part of the job is to be (amusingly)scary each guide needed to have a costume and 'spooky'-character of some kind.

Now, at this point I should say that while I love Halloween, I don't think I actually do it correctly, since the first costumes I had immediately on hand were Raccoon, Harp Seal, Squirrel and Cow.  And as terrifying as Knocked over garbage cans, clubbing, nuts and lactose intolerance are, none of those seemed to fit the bill.

Further investigation into the basement came up with the addition of 'Wizard' and 'Canadian Mountie'.

Well, Canada didn't seem particularly threatening, and so I kind of noncommittally resigned myself to being some kind of sinister wizard.  But then on the morning of the audition I awoke with a revelation...

No.  No Wizard, would I be. 

I saw instead a glorious future.

I would be...

Deadly Do-Right.

Undead spirit of Canadian Vengeance*

*The most courteous form of vengeance currently known to man.

Night Falls, and He Rises, Eh?
 Betrayed by his partner for the cost of a Tim Hortons donut, he roams the earth delivering incredibly polite vengeance.

After the first week I began to get so into being Deadly Do-Right that I completely forgot that I wasn't actually Canadian.  I'd find myself boasting about strong beer, The Kids in the Hall, and clean, state-run government childcare facilities on nights I wasn't even working.  The merest whiff of anti-Canadian sentiment got my hackles up and left me with no choice but to sing Tim Hicks songs quietly to myself until the anger died down.  I began to insist on spelling 'colour' with a 'u'.

And then October ended and November began, and I had to take my lanyard off one last time.

My Canadian-ness packed away again.

On quiet nights you can still here me out there in the distance, a picture of a moose clutched in one hand and a LaBatts in the other, mournfully humming the theme to Strange Brew.

Savor than, I beg you, your Canadianosity - you magnificent frostbit bastards. I, for my part, can only wait and hope that next October... somehow... Deadly Do-Right might rise, ride, and revenge again.  Politely.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Vizsla Flashback - How Gauche, Angelina Jolie

So apparently Angelina Jolie is left handed.

I've just learned this thanks to one of those cable channels that show movies from a few years earlier and have breaks at intervals to tell you fun facts and inside insights about how the movie was made. 

The film in question today was 'Salt'.  A movie which I care almost nothing about and had never actually seen before; it was hitherto primarily notable for being a rare instance of a script being written for a man and then having the main character recast as a woman.*  Much like Sigourney Weaver's part in the first Alien film. (Presumably the writers knew that Sigourney Weaver was a woman for Aliens 2-4, but you can never be sure.)

*Although it appears that this only came about after every other male action lead currently working had been attached to star in the film and then backed out, so it isn't quite the bold step forward that it might otherwise appear to be.  Still notable, however.

In any case, one of the fun facts imparted during a break from the movie was that, as I led with, Angelina Jolie is apparently left handed.  This struck me as interesting, because I'd never actually noticed it despite having seen more than a couple of movies that she's been in.

Which leads me to a different fun fact to observe - since pretty much the beginning of humanity we've associated 'leftness' with 'wrong'. 

In large part this is probably because when you see a left-handed person doing something with their left hand that people more commonly use their right hand for*, it does convey a vague impression of 'wrongness'.  Because it looks different in a way that you can't quite put your finger on.  (Unless someone has helpfully pointed it out in a behind the scenes featurette in which case it's no big deal.)

*Oh grow up.

It's possible.  just possible, mind you, that this is why Angelina Jolie is vaguely terrifying.

Or it could be that her father is John Voight and she probably has bodies buried in her basement.

Could go either way.

*I realized after the fact that I finished this article without explaining the title.  'Gauche' is French for 'Left'.  See how the French just proved my over-arching point?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Flaw, or Awesomeness?

First off - Three things.  These above all you must understand if all else is to make sense.

1. When I was 15 I was the passenger in a car accident and went through a windshield

2.  I am prone to growing crazy old man eyebrows

3.  I regularly misquote the opening to A Christmas Carol, as witnessed above.

This afternoon I was giving myself a haircut*, part of which is trimming my eyebrows**

*Because I don't have that much hair anyway, and I'm poor.

**Because they go immediately from trimmed to Beorn*** in about three days 

*** That one's for the Hobbit enthusiasts among you.

As I trimmed the my right eyebrow* I happened to notice the five or six diagonal scars I have running through that eyebrow up onto my forehead**

*That would be stage right.  To the rest of you it would appear to be the left on

**A souvenir of item #1 above.

I mentioned to someone later, as I was thinking about it, that I'm always vaguely disappointed that no one ever comments on my scars, as I personally love them.  I think they look super badass and give me a 'I might possibly be a super-villain of some kind' sort of air.  He replied that most people probably just think it would be rude to mention your disfigurement.

This took me aback a little bit, because I've honestly never thought of them as a disfigurement. (See above RE: Badass Super-villainy)  But thinking about it now I guess I can see his point. 

Still, I can't help but think it would be cool to have somebody say, 'Hey - Those scars look totally badass.  Are you a recurring Batman villain by any chance?'

OK, as dreams go it ain't climbing Everest, but it's mine.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Taking Care of (Haunted Real Estate) Business

In the State of Minnesota (where I live*) there is apparently a law that when you sell a property you have to disclose whether or not it is haunted

*That's one of the ones in the middle, for those outside the United States

Now, I'm not 100% sure whether this is true or whether it's just something we say on Ghost Tours to give the Forepaughs mansion that air of verisimilitude* but it's still an interesting legal point.  Are you still bound by it if you don't believe in ghosts?  How many people have to believe that it's haunted before you become contractually obligated?  Is just the fact that crazy Aunt Betty swears she didn't forget her meds that day and there's no other explanation possible for what happened to her panties enough?

*Still a great site to check out though. It's a restaurant now - the food is good and the stories of Molly the angry ghost maid are fantastic.

In any case, the other night I dreamed that I did, in fact, have a haunted house to sell.*

*I'm not sure how I knew for sure that it was haunted.  I don't remember being particularly threatened by the ghosts, I just wanted to sell the place and the whole 'might have to reveal that it's haunted' thing was a minor inconvenience.  In real life I do own a home, although I'm pretty certain it's not haunted and I have no interest in sell it at the moment.  But hey - make me an offer and we can see what happens...

Due to one thing or another which made perfect sense in the dream I was attempting to sell the place to Bachman-Turner Overdrive*

*Canadian Country-Rock Crossover group from the 70s.  Their hits include 'Taking Care of Business' and 'You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet'**

**You know... the one with the stutter.  You sing along to it and then feel unsure whether it was offensive or not***

***All the best songs make you feel bad about yourself.  See Also 'Love the one you're with' and 'Pumped up kicks'

I'm not sure why Bachman-Turner Overdrive was buying a house together.  Particularly as they broke up quite some time ago.  I don't know, maybe they needed somewhere to regroup before hitting the Casino circuit, who can say.

What I CAN tell you is that I realized only in hindsight that I probably selected them to sell the place to because they were Canadian and in some way in my head that justified ignoring the rule about spectral-disclosure.

When in doubt, screw over Canada.  That appears to be what my subconscious is saying.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go drink a twelver of Molson-Golden by way of apology.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

DIY Cop Porn

In case you've been living in a yurt for the last year or so, in the US we've been having what could be described as a 'spirited' national discussion about the Police.

This is nothing new, and is a problem almost all societies have had to deal with. 

- Pretentious reference alert coming - 

The quote Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? dates back to the poet Juvenal in the 1st century and roughly translates to 'Who Watches the Watchmen'*

*He was actually more concerned with making sure that his wife wasn't banging the guy who's job it was to make sure his wife wasn't banging anyone, but the point still stands.  Plus he indirectly gave us Alan Moore's The Watchmen, so he's more than earned the shout out.

-Pretentious moment over.  Please resume normal service -

In any case, one of the solutions proposed in the US to address the problem is the usage of bodycams; which police officers can wear and film everything they do so that later on the public can be shown the footage so that they can see that yes, the good citizen in question was in fact actually attacking the officer at the time and has only themselves to blame for getting shot.*

*I might be revealing my personal bias on a couple of national cases there...

This is all well and good in theory, and most of the cops I know are down with the idea.  There are however a couple of bugs to be worked out of the system.

Namely, one particular case this past summer highlighted a giant, throbbing* hitch in the system. Namely, the officer in question accidentally turned his camera on before going to use the bathroom and then happened to catch a suspect immediately afterward.**

*If the officer in question is to be believed. 

**I think it was Ohio, Urination, and Assault.  In that order.  Not 100% certain on the first and last items.

Yes.  The bodycam footage consisted of a minute or so of the camera watching the 'little officer' while he relieved himself, before moving on to show the arrest.

The Good Citizen's lawyer made the argument that in order to present the evidence they would have to show the entire footage in a public court in front of a jury, as the law prohibited any editing of the bodycam footage.

Two things are obvious here.

First - The defense lawyer was clearly just trying to use the threat of broadcasting 'Wang-cam' to anyone who cared to see it in the hope that the officer would be too embarrassed and the case would get dropped.

Second - The correct response from the officer should clearly have been, 'Go for it.  Here's the address where the jury can send me thank-you notes.'

Sadly I am unable to tell you what the ultimate outcome of the whole affair was, as I've been unable to find any information about it online. 

On the plus side, we can add 'Cop accidentally films himself Urinating' to the list of things in my search history that are going to raise an eyebrow somewhere at some point.

But the larger point here - isn't all of that footage available to the public under the freedom of information act? 

And if so, wouldn't the cagey move be for the Police Department to just accept that and make it work for them?  They could start cross-referencing all the footage under things like 'Misdemeanor Theft - 8"- Veiny and Uncut.

With the money from ads on the downloads they'd never have to worry about funding again.

I'm just saying.