Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tales from a forgotten SD card

You never know what you'll find in the vacant administrative offices of a suburban hospital at 3am on a Saturday morning. I'll assuage your concerns, gentle readers, and report that the person who necessitated the trip to the hospital was fine and that it's never fun to put on your sober-boy pants to drive someone else to the hospital with a profuse amount of blood pouring from their face. Perhaps I should explain...

...or perhaps not. It all began when a convivial night of drinking, chicanery, cupcakery, and bonding was interrupted by one of the (sober) guests shuffling into the living room of the abode I chose to call home for a few days holding a mass of bloody tissues to her face.

"I need to go to a hospital" said guest intoned, and knowing she had spent a few years as a nurse in the Navy I decided not to argue.

I was on my third drink anyway, so- really- who was I to vocalize a complaint? The buzzkill's two closest friends- being deeper in their cups than I- quailed at the prospect of driving her to the hospital and I realized it was time to man up and thank my liver for the years of training I had given it prior to this evening. 3 drinks in 2 hours is hardly enough to lay me low, or raise my BAL to the point of it being a legal concern, so I threw my GPS in the friend's rental car, punched in the address of the hospital, and hoped for the best.

Not being familiar with the roads of the (foreign) state I was in, I found my way to the hospital with no problem and had the friend checked in and through the triage nurse in short order. After a sigh of relief, I realized I was now faced with the extremely unenviable prospect of losing my buzz in a hospital waiting room.

As the minutes turned to hours, I decided to explore the few rooms that didn't require me to pass a security checkpoint. I'm still not sure what drove me to try the door on the far side of the hallway adjacent to the waiting room. Maybe it was boredom, maybe it was the last hurrah of the whiskey I had enjoyed prior to this unexpected end to the evening, or maybe it was divine providence... but whatever the impetus may have been, I am glad I remembered my Kirkegaard and took a leap of faith. Otherwise, I never would have gazed upon the works of Nathan Greene with my own eyes...

Forgive the horrific picture. This was taken with my cell phone at about 3am with nothing to show for my buzz past dehydration and ennui

The artist dubbed this masterwork "The Introduction" ostensibly of Adam and Eve to the awesomeness of Jesus' mullet (and a rather saucy looking tiger to boot!) I was familiar with the "airbrush chic" style of Nathan Greene but had never seen any of his works in person, much less framed or on any other medium but a mousepad- but all that would change when I wandered down the hall to the ER itself...
The entire hallway leading up to the surgery wing was festooned with paintings similar to the one above: Jesus assisting with surgery. Jesus lifting an elderly patient out of a wheelchair. Jesus holding down a junkie with his forearm while a nurse pumped them full of morphine. To this day, I have no idea who funded these purchases, or what they cost, and these are but two of the unanswered questions about the evening that remain vague in my mind.

Thinking back on this evening, my readers, I can't recall much of the ride home and I still don't rightly know what caused my friend's face to bleed the way it did. For that matter, I don't even know what town the hospital was in, but I know my friend was released no worse for wear shortly after 3am and that we sure as fuck were not in a medical establishment that had the words "Beth Israel" anywhere in its name.
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Fact: Robert Downey Jr. could have saved The Last Airbender from sucking.

Samuel L. and Robert Downey Jr. make it ok to admit to liking comic books again

The biggest news from San Diego Comic Con- outside of an ill-conceived Felix Gaeta/Gaius Baltar performance Cosplay- was the release of an official cast list for 2012's The Avengers movie. The announcement of the cast list was rather noteworthy as Marvel Studios recently confirmed that Edward Norton would not be Hulking out for them in the foreseeable future leaving literally tens of fans to wonder who would be cast to fill Dr. Banner's tattered, purple pants. The answer, as it turns out, is Mark Ruffalo and the end result of the debate is that the combined cast list for The Avengers looks awesome.

Fucking awesome, in point of fact.

Also... some dude from House M.D. was officially announced as Hawkeye which doesn't really matter since Hawkeye is about as useful to the rest of The Avengers as your average kitchen sponge would be to the current BP oil spill debacle (bazinga! I'm topical!)... but who the hell cares? This movie looks sweet!

...despite fact that the director of Captain America (2011) openly stated that he will downplay the flag-waving patriotism in the movie thus effectively castrating Captain America and consigning the movie to the same depths of suck as the director's last Hollywood offering, The Wolfman.

Hmm. This post is hemorrhaging enthusiasm at an alarming speed (faster than BP is hemoraghing oil! hi-yo!)... but the point is that The Avengers movie, for all its problems and flaws, will still have Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and so it is mathematically impossible for it to suck.

It are fact.
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Friday, July 23, 2010

The KKK acting as the voice of reason?

As many of you have no doubt heard, the attention starved and invectively sanctimonious douchebags of The Westboro Baptist Church have launched a protest against San Diego Comic-Con accusing geeks everywhere of worshiping false idols. Nothing needs to be said about the Westboro Baptist Church and their hideous and misguided hateful rhetoric except for the fact that it's become so bad as of late that the god-damn Ku Klux Klan has put up a disclaimer on their website to publicly state that they are in no way affiliated with the Westboro Baptist Church:

If hate speech and bigotry were Olympic events, I think this would have to be the gold medal performance right here. Although, I don't know what it says for the state of our country when the KKK- a group of violent, racist white supremacists with a long and storied history of murder and domestic terrorism- takes the moral high road to distance themselves from a group of sign-totting asshats who hate gays, Superman, and military funerals. Personally, I still don't think the American public is ready to forgive the Klan for- y'know- the lynchings and all that, but condemning their condemning of the WBC is probably a step in the right direction.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hayao Miyazaki laughs at your iPad

Animation innovator and well-documented Luddite Hayao Miyazaki recently condemned iPad users likening their smooth scrolling touch interface to masturbation:

"For me, there is no feeling of admiration or no excitement whatsoever... It's disgusting. On trains, the number of those people doing that strange masturbation-like gesture is multiplying."

I really don't know what world Miyazaki thinks he lives in, but it turns out in the real world he lives in Tokyo so I have no idea what he's complaining about. Do a Google search for Asian + subway + masturbation and I think that you'll agree that he's greatly exaggerated the problem of subway masturbation.

Intimation of oversexed Asian girls diddling themselves in public notwithstanding, Miyazaki's unpopular and quixotically technophobic stance just might be what the world needs if we are to remember the simple- yet profound- pleasure of reading a story and allowing our imaginations to... wait, hang on...

"Miyazaki also noted that he also got "fed up" when everyone on the trains started reading manga and then later when everyone began using cell phones on the trains to presumably send text messages.

Ok, seriously dude... fuck you. iPads I could almost grant you, but what the hell is wrong with people reading on the subway? Does this man not realize the fresh hell that would be created if the opiates of books and portable electronics were removed from the forced proximity of public transportation? I tend to grow edgy if I can't check my email every 20 minutes or so, but I would rather suffer through that withdrawal than be forced to converse with every passenger who I've been seated next to.

It would be nice to live in a world of childlike wonder like Miyazaki's- almost completely devoid of antagonists and replete with doe-eyed children striving to earn the approval and admiration of their parents- but when last I checked the Catbus doesn't run into Manhattan on weeknights.
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Love is... an addiction?

And now they've proven that shit with science.

Or at least anthropology. A recent study conducted through Rutgers University: The State University of New Jersey suggested that the human brain may well be hard-wired to predispose humans towards monogamous relationships. To wit...

The researchers found that, for heartbroken men and women, looking at photographs of former partners activated regions in the brain associated with rewards, addiction cravings, control of emotions, feelings of attachment and physical pain and distress.

The results provide insight into why it might be hard for some people to get over a break up, and why, in some cases, people are driven to commit extreme behaviors, such as stalking and homicide, after losing love.

The issue I have with brain studies conducted by physical anthropologists is that they are all ridiculously causal in nature. Noticing patterns in brain activity when confronted with a stimulus is intriguing, granted, and may indeed be indicative of a trend... but making the leap to suggest our brain evolved to make us a monogamous species from this is a bit of a stretch.

I'm planning to look up the academic articles that this study generated later this afternoon (assuming they're already published) and may provide a bit of an update later, mostly because I'm curious as to the circumstances of separation between the partners (example: looking at a picture of a former lover who was unfaithful and left you for one of your friends would likely evoke different emotions than looking at a picture of a former lover who was killed in a panda racing accident) and what bearing that had on the brain activity.

Also, I'm curious- and more than a little hopeful- that the study will finally provide me with the insight I need to overcome my guilty crush on my favorite non-Canadian ingénue, Hayden Panettiere ...

Take it, Stumpy. You take it.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Smoked Salmon vodka? Loxtini, anyone?

Drunks like a fish?

Last week a group of Alaskan distillers proved that their state is not quite done inflicting stomach-churningly awful exports the lower 48 by announcing their first shipment of vodka infused with the taste of smoked salmon. That's right, loyal readers: salmon vodka. While this is by no means the worst thing to come from Alaska in recent times, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it.

Careful students of this site may well recall the horror with which I reacted to Three Olive's Tomato and Root Beer flavored vodkas (2 years later and still, ewwwwwwwwwwwww) but this... may not be half bad. Unlike Bakon Vodka's imaginatively named bacon-flavored vodka which is riding the bafflingly successful wave of bacon geek-chic, Alaska Distillery's Smoked Salmon Vodka has actual substance behind it. Key to its inception is the prevalence that salmon (smoked or otherwise) plays in the diet of Alaskans and so by committing that flavor to an independently crafted and bottled spirit, the vodka becomes imbued with pure, unadulterated regionalism... and concentrated fish fat.

Given my love of all things smoke-flavored, whether alcoholic in nature or not I will do everything in my power to order myself a bottle or two of this stuff. Once it arrives, I full well expect to spend the next three or so weeks after it arrives doing everything in my power to find myself someone to help me drink it.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

The new Wonder Woman is sorta emo, sexy

The New York Times (of all places) reported yesterday that Wonder Woman- yes, that Wonder woman- is receiving a reboot. Gone is the American-flag themed onesie and ridiculous tiara (hopefully also, the Lasso of Truth) and in their place is a more conservative, faded leather jacket, black tights, and a bustline which Anna Paquin and Vanessa Carlton would still drool their bisexual drool over.

Fanboy reactions to the new Wonder Woman overhaul are mixed but it appears that DC Comics is committing to the change for Comic Con 2010 and the upcoming Wonder Woman movie which will, thankfully, not be starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Scuttlebutt around Hollywood gossip rags is that relative unknown Rachel Bison has been signed for the role which could work with the new, modernized Wonder Woman... assuming the strategic deployment of a pushup bra or two.

Anyway, I never picked up a single issue of Wonder Woman before and found her to be a bit silly at the best of times and a ridiculous misguided attempt at women's lib at the worst... but I kinda dig the new look. So, join me in bidding a fond farewell to the Lynda Carter era of star-spangled granny panties and the trampy Wonder Woman Halloween costumes (to say nothing of failed Wonder Woman cosplay.) Thanks to DC comics, it's once again acceptable to have a crush on a comic book character.

I just hope to God there isn't an invisible jet in the upcoming issues...
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