Friday, May 31, 2013

They Took Our Jobs!

When I was growing up, the hill we lived on had underground wiring, so there was no cable service there.  We got satellite TV when I was in 7th or 8th grade, but at that time the technology was limited.  We only had one receiver because if we had more than one, they'd all show the same thing at the same time.  Pretty ridiculous, but that's how it was.  So, while all of my friends were getting into South Park, I was watching old tapes of Batman and Godzilla in my basement.  By the time South Park came on at night my dad was in control of the satellite and grumbling at a news channel.  He likes to grumble at news.

The only time I see South Park (even though I live in my own house and have internet now) is when a friend shows me an episode.  I haven't seen many, but I did watch and love the medical marijuana and Michael Jackson episodes.  Recently, my fellow warehouse employee, Joe, told me about a clip from the show that I had to see.  The clip is a whole string of moments in which angry Americans lament that "They took our jobs!"  My favorite thing about the video is that some of the people stop pronouncing the words, and it comes out more like "Da ook our daaaaaa!"  Awesome.

That brings me to the point I've been inching at for two paragraphs.  Phrases like "They took our jobs!' have become nothing more than buzzwords to be spewed by xenophobic jackasses who can't see the big picture.  The sentiment is most often directed at two groups: illegal immigrants from Mexico and the people in India who answer the phones whenever you try to contact somebody at an American corporation.  I think it's bullshit.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think people should be illegally immigrating from Mexico.  I think these people should fill out the proper paperwork with the proper authorities, just like Christopher Columbus did when he came here.  I also believe they should respect the natives and learn their language, just like our forefathers did.  And just in case you've got any wiseguy ideas, Mexico, don't even think about giving us Polio blankets.

Much the same as a lot of people, I get irritated sometimes when, after being on hold for eighteen minutes, I finally get to speak to a human being, but I can barely understand what they're saying.  Why is an Indian answering the phone instead of an American?  THEY TOOK OUR JAAAABS!  I've overheard at least two or three conversations where a person proudly boasts about cursing out the Indian person on the other end of the line.  This is roughly the same thing as proudly boasting that you're an arrogant douchebag who's incapable of taking two seconds to think about why an Indian answered the phone.  The Indian didn't craft some kind of magic lasso, toss it across the ocean, snag a job, and pull it back to India.  The Indian has that job because an American corporation outsourced the work, laid off its American workers, and somehow got tax breaks for doing this.

In 2011 alone, 2,273,392 jobs were outsourced from America.  Let me type that as words instead of numbers: two million, two-hundred seventy-three thousand, three-hundred ninety-two jobs.  (One of those jobs was mine.)  These were jobs held by Americans until a bunch of CEOs, CFOs, and board members decided to export the work to make their own wallets fatter.  The idiots who blame foreigners and bellow "They yook our yobs!" don't seem to acknowledge or understand that they didn't yake our yobs, our yobs were given to them so a sleazeball executive could afford a fourth house.

You can point your finger at illegal immigrants all you want, but they wouldn't make the hazardous illegal border crossing if they knew that nobody in America would hire them.  But business owners do just that.  It's the same concept as outsourcing; hire the illegals at a super-cheap rate to save a buck.  What's the alternative for people south of the border who want to come to the United States to get work?  Come here legally, get a job, then lose it in six months due to outsourcing and go on unemployment?  (The same people who bitch and moan about foreigners taking all the jobs also bitch and moan about the miniscule amount taken out of their checks for unemployment compensation, apparently not realizing that UC will be there for them when they lose their jobs.)

This is one of those 'hot-button' issues that isn't an issue for the reason ignorant people think it's an issue.  The foreigners that ook our daaaaaas aren't the problem.  The problem is that the corporations that run our country, the same corporations that have a disgusting amount of control of our government and have run the economy into a shit-filled hole, continue to outsource and/or hire illegal workers.  Is it possible for people to be so blind to this?  Or is it that ignorant assholes have latched onto "They took our jobs!" as an excuse to hate anybody with brown skin that speaks with an accent?  (Since when did ignorant assholes need an excuse to behave like ignorant assholes?)

Yeah, America has a big problem.  The economy still sucks.  The job market is still a toilet with only a few minimum wage turds floating around in it.  But nobody took your jobs.  The jobs were given to them.  Seedy corporations run by greedy scumbags took your jobs.  Isn't it about time to point the finger at them?

I wish there was a good solution that I could suggest to wrap up this article, but how do you demand that corporate control over the government be put to an end when the people that are supposed to represent us are on the corporate payrolls?  I'm not trying to incite a violent revolution, but I do fear that it will come to that some day, if Americans aren't too sickly and obese from eating chemically-engineered food to actually get up and do something.  So, that's it.  Unfortunately I have no ideas to offer, but I do know one thing: shouting "They jook our jaaaaaaaaaa!" will not accomplish anything other than making you look like an idiot.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Video Vednesday #9

If you think I'm funny but hate my appearance, here's a special video treat for you!  I had the privilege of being part of the main cast on The Coxton Campaign, a webshow for which I earned IMDb credit.  I'm two clicks away from James Avery on there!  Uncle Phil, you guys!

Anyway, the show was about an idiot, Trevor (played by Don McGlynn), who decided to run for State Representative.  Here's a look at his campaign commercial, followed by all of the drunken out-takes.  In the video I'm Creepy Steve, Trevor's right-hand man and director of the commercial.  Also present (and off camera, like myself) is Trev's campaign manager and homeslice, Saul Goodman (played by Rob Klubeck), handing Trevor beer after beer and offering his two cents.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Buttnerd Files, Vol. 1

When I wrote The Ginger Files article it was kind of one of those "I don't know what to write about today so I'll find inspiration in my home" type of things.  For whatever reason, that was an extremely popular entry.  Even though it was Ginger's suggestion that I someday use the collection of her quotes on the blog, after her mom called her to poke fun, she sourly said, "You made me out to be a stupid blonde."  To which I replied, "No.  They know you're a redhead."  For which I was punched in the arm.  Right on the spot where I had earlier been injected with a small amount of rabies.  (All the cool kids are doing it.)  Since I don't feel like being punched in a spot where a big needle had been jabbed into the muscle in my arm, today I'll share some quotes from my kids.  Neither of them read the blog, so I should be good.

There's two Pancake daughters.  One is Maggie, age 8, who can be seen in action as The Killer from the Dead on The Super Pancake Bros. Show (in the episode shown on the first Video Vednesday).  The other is YaYa, age 5, who will be making her SPBSS debut as a faerie in the upcoming second series.  Ginger and I have taken to calling them "buttnerds" due to their nerdy nature and the fact that they both always seem to have gas.  Yeah, I live in a weird house.  Also, both of them have said plenty of ridiculous stuff over the years.

When Maggie was a bit younger and she'd play with her toys, I used to stand nearby so I could hear (and write down) some of the ridiculous things she made the characters say.  Two such quotes are:

Thanks for getting me the month of the week basket!

My drool is clean.  It's one hundred percent fiber.

I don't think I can really offer any explanation for those, not without giving way too much context (which I don't quite remember).  Besides, neither of those make any damn sense.  Speaking of not making any sense, here's a recent conversation I had with YaYa:

YaYa:  They skipped it by accident.

Baxter:  Who skipped what?

YaYa:  I don't know.

Now, this maybe would have made sense if it was in reference to an earlier conversation, but I had no idea what she was talking about.  She literally walked up to me and announced that they had skipped it by accident.  I don't know who skipped what.  She doesn't know who skipped what.  But she wanted to let me know that they had, in fact, skipped it.  Not on purpose, like jerks, though.  By accident.

Okay, okay, I accused my daughters of being nerds a few moments ago, but the truth is: they get it from me.  One thing that indicates my nerdiness is that I still play WCW/nWo Revenge on the Nintendo 64. Another indicator is that I renamed and recostumed all of the characters.  Giant is now Gravy Train.  Goldberg is now Harry Bazooka.  Et cetera.  While playing the battle royale mode with me one day, Maggie started smack-talking the other combatants.  Here's what she had to say to Manmachine (formerly Kevin Nash):

That's right!  I called you poopy-butt!  What are you gonna do about it?  Nothing!  You're too tired because your bed time is seven-thirty!

Alright, so her verbal throw-down skills aren't on par with The Rock or Chris Jericho, but at least she never called Hulk Hogan 'nigga' during a televised interview.  (Not yet, anyway.)  What about YaYa?  You're probably wondering what sort of stuff she's says while we're playing fifteen-year-old video games.  Well, you're in luck!  Because while we were playing The World Is Not Enough (which has a better multiplayer than GoldenEye, in my opinion) she told me:

You smell dangerous!

I didn't think it over too much when she said it; I just took it as a compliment and moved on.  Now that I'm writing this, however, I have to ask, what does danger smell like?  Gasoline?  Dynamite?  Whiskey?  Or perhaps the way I smell midway through work because this deodorant I have doesn't quite do the job.  Eh... I'll still chalk it up as a compliment.

I already mentioned that Ginger and I call the kids 'buttnerds', and I've also been known to throw the terms 'dork' and 'weirdo' at them, mostly because they are constantly doing dorky and weird shit.  But what do they call me?  Well, one time Maggie kept calling me Phil.  I was curious as to why, and when confronted about it, she gave this answer:

It feels good to call people Phil.

So next time you're having a rotten day at work, just start calling your coworkers Phil.  You'll start feeling better, and you'll confuse people.  That's two good things you can do at the same time with minimal effort.  When I'm not being called Phil I'm usually just called Dad.  But for whatever reason, about two weeks ago YaYa suddenly changed the pronunciation to "Dayid".  During a conversation, curiosity got the better of me:

YaYa:  Look, DAYID, a fake leaf.

Dayid:  When did I become "Dayid"?

YaYa:  By the end of March.

I'm still utterly confused about why 'Dad' has changed to 'Dayid', but at least now I know when the change occurred.  It's odd to me that she is aware of not only the change in pronunciation, but that she also kept track of when she made the choice to start saying it that way.  I guess it's a step up from Phil.

There you have it.  Ginger isn't the only weird female in The Pancake House.  The place is practically crawling with weird female types.  I'm always being assaulted by strange girls.  I'm always being confounded by strange girls saying strange things.  I wouldn't change it for the world, but I am looking forward to the birth of my son to balance things out a little bit.  Then again, if he's an obviously-gay-from-a-young-age kinda kid, the balance will still be heavily skewed.  Unless he's a Lumberjack Gay.  Then we could spend our days chopping firewood and talking about baseball.  Which means I'll have to start watching baseball.  I'll also need to buy some axes.  Dammit!  Why is parenting so complicated?!

I hope you've enjoyed another peek at my weird family.  Thanks, as always, for checking out Phil Dayid's Phil Dayid Blog.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Highway Rules

I try not to behave like an aggressive asshole.  I'm a pretty easy-going kind of guy, and anyone who knows me personally could attest to that.  But anybody who's ever had the experience of riding shotgun with me on the highway may have seen my uglier side.  I try to stay calm, but stupidity infuriates me.  My brother once told me that he wanted to start recording my outbursts while I'm driving and release it as an album.  I guess I'm funny when I'm pissed off at vehicular nonsense.

Today on the blog, since apparently there's some confusion, I'd like to provide a handy list for the people that don't seem to understand the basic concept of a highway.  Most of my drive to and from work consists of two-lane highway travel.  There's the right hand lane, sometimes referred to as the slow lane, and the left hand lane.  The left lane is typically known as the passing lane or the fast lane.  So I'm not quite sure why so many people view it as "the other slow lane".

Yesterday on my way to work I got stuck in a cluster of idiocy.  Apparently there was a meeting in which about ten drivers made the unanimous decision that they should travel in a two-lane convoy that should consistently go five below the speed limit.  The only thing I understand about their decision is that it made me teeth-grindingly, eye-twitchingly angry.  I don't like feeling that way, and I hope that the proceeding list will be a topic of discussion and study at the next idiot cluster meeting.

So without further ado, the list...

How to Know When to Get Out of the Passing Lane

1.  You are going below the speed limit

Since most people, even in the slow lane, go above the speed limit on the highway, there is absolutely no reason for you to be in the fast lane going below the posted speed limit.  In case you're unfamiliar with the way in which information about the speed limit is ascertained, I'll explain it.  There's signs.  They say "Speed Limit."  Below that there is a number.  If it is 65 and you're in the passing lane going 59, move out of the passing lane.  Do I really have to explain this?  Why am I explaining this?

2.  People keep passing you on the right

As far as I know, it's technically against the law to pass on the right.  But there you are, going slow in the fast lane like a butt.  Once the first person is forced to pass you on the right, you should move over. Once the second and third are forced to do the same, you should be blasted off the road by rockets.  Not only are you being a butt, but you're making other people break the law so that they can try to use the highway in the proper manner.

3.  There is a line of cars behind

If one car is behind you in the fast lane and starts to tailgate you, the driver may seem like an asshole to you.  But this is not the case.  You're the asshole in this situation.  You're in the passing lane, somebody wants to pass you, but you're impeding their progress.  Move!  Now, if there's a whole line of cars behind you, you're being a mega-asshole.  You're angering a whole group of people.  And the person at the back of the line might not be able to see you and falsely believe that it's a person nearer to them holding up the flow of traffic.  So, although inadvertently, you're causing someone else to take the blame for your lame behavior.  Unacceptable.  Move!

4.  There is an ambulance, fire truck, or police car with the lights and sirens on trying to get through

All of the items on the list should go without saying.  This one especially should go without saying, but far too often (once would be far too often) I've seen emergency vehicles forced to weave in and out of traffic to get through.  This should never, ever happen.  If you somehow don't see or hear the emergency vehicle because you're not paying attention, you're an asshole who shouldn't be allowed to drive.  If you are such a self-important douche that you see the vehicle and simply refuse to move over, you're an asshole who shouldn't be allowed to live.

Alright, I hope the list clears up the confusion for anybody who somehow got a driver's license without understanding a fundamental concept of the highway system.  If you know anybody who participates in idiot clusters or won't move out of the passing lane despite the circumstances I've listed above, please print out this article and give it to them (they're probably too stupid to work an internet machine).

And for the sake of anything you believe in, if you drive a Honda Civic that's 'pimped out' to look like a racing car, but you're driving it slowly in the fast lane, be warned!  I will destroy you and your car.  I will eat you.  I will eat your car piece by piece.  I will poop out you and your car and sculpt the poop into a statue to memorialize your stupidity.

Cripes!  Maybe my brother should record that album...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Video Vednesday #8

The Brothas!  The Brothas!  Here's another of my favorite episodes from the first series of The Super Pancake Bros. Super Show.  Not only do I love the scenes, but I'm rather fond of the eclectic soundtrack.  There's some old time jazz, some metal to rock the skull right out of your head (by Ethereal Collapse, an awesome band), and even a special theme for Schwartz that I created somewhat as an homage to Hans Zimmer's amazing work for the Batman films.

Enjoy the music!  Enjoy the laughs!  Enjoy doing strange things with pies!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Selling Out

We all strive for success.  Well, most of us do.  Some of us have a fear of success, which I don't understand.  I suppose it's that people get comfortable with the status quo even when the status quo sucks.  Unfortunately, not everybody can be successful.  Whatever your personal image of 'success' is, you may find that its always escapes your grasp.  I can understand that this can lead to a bitterness that may fester for years, and I also understand that it's only human to take solace in, or even take delight in, the failure of others.  In our celebrity-obsessed culture it seems that one thing society enjoys more than building somebody up is tearing them down.  Whatever.  The masses are fickle to the point of stupidity.  I'm afraid that can't be helped.  However, there is a phrase that bothers me not because it's often muttered bitterly by the dull-witted robotic masses, but because it is often used as people that pride themselves on being (or at least appearing) smarter than the average sheep.  The phrase is "selling out", and I'm sick of it.

I can be considered a Z-List celebrity.  Not a whole lot of people know who I am, but I do have an IMDb credit, and I have been recognized in public by strangers, most often as Creepy Steve.  So yes, that makes me the minorest of minor celebrities.  I make films, webshows, and music because I enjoy it.  I don't have any over-the-top ambitions like becoming a box office titan or winning an oscar and then acting like a douche in front of millions of people.  Sure, if that happens someday that would be cool, but I'm perfectly happy as long as I've got a digital video camera and a great group of artistic friends to work with.  It's because of my artistic pursuits that it irks me when an actor, writer, director, musician, etc. etc. gets pegged as a "sell-out" because they accept a larger paycheck and more exposure to keep doing what they love to do.  I like my humble warehouse job, my humble small town, and my humble Chevy Malibu, but if I was offered lots of money to act in or write something, I'd do it in a heartbeat.  That's not selling out.

A big part of this phenomenon is the "They're just like us!" factor.  Let's use a rock 'n' roll band as an example.  The group, we'll call them Johnny Mathematician & The Prime Numbers, starts out as a local band.  They get quite popular on the local scene, sign with a teeny independent record label, and start to make just barely enough money to go on tour.  All the while they build up a small but loyal fanbase which eagerly attends each of JM & The PNs shows and equally as eagerly buys all of the band's output, including the single they released on 45 even though many of the fans don't own a record player.  It looks cool hanging on the wall, man.  This is how it goes for a few years.  The fans love the band, not only because the music is great, but because Johnny and his group are common (poor) folk, "just like us!"  Then one day the unthinkable happens.  A fat-cat in a tacky suit (and probably smoking a cigar) offers Johnny Mathematician & The Prime Numbers a lucrative contract with Big Time Records, Inc.  The band accepts.  Cries of "They sold out!" ring throughout the band's former stomping grounds.  While some of the 'original' fans are glad the band has found greater success, a large portion of the fanbase is alienated and put off by it.

But think about it.  While Johnny and the other non-divisible-by-any-whole-numbers-besides-themselves-and-one band members were playing small clubs and impressing the pants off of local groupies, they still had to work their 'real' jobs.  Johnny painted houses.  The drummer worked at Best Buy.  The lead guitarist (Johnny plays rhythm) worked in a not-rock-n-roll-at-all office.  And the bass player... eh, who gives a shit about the bass player?  He's awkward.  Anyway, if the band is given the opportunity to just make music for a living, why shouldn't they take it?  Sure, they could try to go on touring in their crappy van forever to save face and not be accused of selling out.  But that can only last so long before the wheels fall off.  Literally, the wheels might fall of the van, stranding the band in Stump, Delaware or some other place nobody but a bumpkin wants to be.  I fully support Johnny Mathematician & The Prime Numbers' decision to sign with Big Time Records, Inc.  Even if they're new album sounds a little overproduced.  Rock on, Johnny.  Rock on, Prime Numbers.

While Johnny and the boys are cruising around in their new gold-plated van, let's switch focus to the world of filmmaking.  There's a writer/director, we'll name him F. Stuart Slightly, and he's kind of made a name for himself by putting out some arty independent films.  Much to the horror of the emo glasses and ironic t-shirt wearing girls who love his films (but won't admit that they don't quite understand them), F. Stuart has been pegged as the director of a huge summer popcorn movie such as Epic Space Adventure 2 or maybe Super-Powered Man.  "Sell-Out!" they all shout from behind their iPads at the chic local coffee shop.  How could the angel who brought us such indie favorites as Last Train to Nowhere and The Soul in the Woods do this to us?  Now he's in league with those demons who made Sci-Fi Action Thriller Team and it's sequel, Sci-Fi Action Thriller Team 2: Dark Side of Tomorrow.

Nobody except Joanna, that devil's advocate whose t-shirts are not at all ironic, has taken the time to think about the possible reasons Mr. Slightly would sign on to direct such a movie.  Perhaps he loved Epic Space Adventure and leapt at the chance to direct the second one.  Maybe he collected the Super-Powered Man comics as a kid and loves the idea of getting to bring the hero and his arch-nemesis, Dr. Hatefist, to the big screen.  Or it could just be that Mr. Slightly is broke after self-financing a handful of independent films, and directing just one popcorn flick will supply him with the funds to make a dozen more indie movies and buy health insurance for his wife and kid.  These are valid reasons.  F. Stuart Slightly has not sold out.  F. Stuart Slightly is a filmmaker and he's getting paid to make a film.  Whatever his reasoning, it was his choice to make.  You're not F. Stuart, you're not his wife, and you're not his agent, so you don't get a say in what he does with his career.  Get over that.  You don't have to go see Super-Powered Man.  You can wait for his return to form with the release of his pet project, Strands of Forgotten Time, in four years.  (Yeah, I'm having way too much fun making up names and titles.)

Before you go around accusing your former-favorite artist of being a sell-out, put yourself in his or her shoes for a moment.  Imagine that you work in a small 'mom 'n' pop' junk shop.  You've worked there for years, and you love it, but things haven't been going so well for Mom since Pop died last winter.  She has to cut your hours because she's not making enough money selling used knick-knacks and dusty novelty records anymore.  You try to stick it out, but you're falling behind on your bills, and you haven't been to the dentist since you lived with your parents.  Next month a bigger, sleeker junk shop is opening up in another part of town.  Based on your experience, they offer you a full-time position with better pay and a health care plan.  You'd be a fool not to take the job, even though you'll miss Mom and her cute little store.  Obviously, you're going to take the position with the bigger store, if for nothing else than to find out why your one molar is turning black.  Mom won't hate you; she'll understand.  And even if every patron of the old junk shop follows you around calling you a sell-out (which they won't), it doesn't matter, because you made the best choice for yourself and your future.  So why should it be any different for a person whose life happens to be under more public scrutiny than yours?

Okay, there's plenty of spoiled celebrities out there.  Many of them appear to be famous just for being famous (I'm not quite sure how/why that happens), many of them are merely coasting on past success, and way too many of them mysteriously hit it big without possessing any actual talent.  But for the most part the world of audio and visual arts is populated by people who are doing what they do because they love to do it.  If they choose to take more money to keep doing what they love, that only makes sense.  Maybe they'll end up regretting the decision, maybe they won't.  It boils down to this: They have chosen a profession, and like any other profession it doesn't make sense to say "No" to more money and a secure future.  You wouldn't turn down a raise at work just so you could still fit in with your lower-payed colleagues.  That doesn't make you a 'sell-out'.  And just the same, a person who makes a living (or tries to) in an artistic field isn't a sell-out because they accept a fatter paycheck to do the same job they're already doing.  Sure, they might get lazy and comfortable and start putting out crappier work.  It's fine to judge and reject them based on a lousy output.

Rather than hating your once-favorite artists because they make wheelbarrows full of cash these days, check out their work and then decide.  Just because there's a Mrs. Mathematician now (and she's a model) doesn't automatically mean that Johnny's songs are going to suck.  And maybe you'll watch Super-Powered Man because you want to tear it apart, only to find that F. Stuart Slightly crafted an entertaining superhero movie while infusing it with his own off-beat sensibilities and maintaining his integrity.  To me, selling out means giving up on what you believe in to advance your position and/or make more money, or stepping on your friends to achieve success and then forgetting about them.  Being recognized for your abilities and given more money to use them is not selling out.  Think about that next time you want to apply the 'sell-out' label to an artist.  Judge their output, not their personal life decisions.  And for Pete's sake, go get that black molar looked at!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Ginger Files, Vol. 1

I have a saying, "Never bite off more than you can chew, unless you're eating nachos.  Then bite off as much as you can shove in your mouth."  I try to live by this wisdom.  However, when I began dating Ginger, who is now my fiancee, I did oftentimes fear that I had bitten off way more than I could chew.  Some would call her crazy, but I'll use the more delicate word 'eccentric' to describe her behavior.  Do you have to be rich to be eccentric?  Alright, maybe she's just crazy.  Sometimes the road we've been traveling together has been rocky, filled with proverbial potholes that have lead to woes.  But for the most part, her eccentricity has been a source of delightful entertainment.  Today I'll share some of her more bizarre quotations and some of my retrospective thoughts on them.

And just so we're clear, she's not only aware that I have a file containing strange things she's said, she has encouraged (and by encouraged I mean demanded) me to put them on the blog one day.  Today is that day!  Let's begin...

We were watching one of my favorite bad movies, Alien Species, and one of the aliens created a force field to trap the human protagonists in a cave.  This prompted Ginger's response:

Wow! I didn't know aliens could do that kinda shit!

It's important that I note the tone of her voice.  There was no sarcasm or anything like that.  She said it as if we weren't watching a horribly cheesy alien invasion movie but rather a documentary.  This confounded and bewildered me.  I was viewing this movie as some awful entertainment to mock and chuckle at, but apparently she was viewing it as a learning experience.  If aliens ever finally get around to invading Earth in our lifetime, I'm anticipating that she'll expect them to arrive in spaceships that look like N64 graphics, like in the movie.  I'm hoping that's the case, but I have my doubts.  Regardless, I'm ready to impress her with my heroics, and more importantly, with awesome quips such as, "I feel like I'm in a baaaaad episode of the X-Files."  That's in the movie.  I'm not making this shit up.

I suppose no dialog will ever be as amazing as such lines from Alien Species, but I've had some great dialog with my favorite redhead of all time (sorry, Ron Howard, you've been bumped).  Here's an example:

Baxter:  Well, you're always losing hair because you're a mammal.

Ginger:  (Angered.)  I'm a HUMAN!

Let's chalk that one up as a brain fart.  What made it funny to me was how much anger was in her voice.  How dare I accuse her of being a mammal!  Even better, or maybe worse, is that she passed this mammal-hate to our daughter YaYa.  When we try to teach her that humans are mammals, she angrily shouts, "NO!  We are just HUMANS!"  She acts as though being called a mammal is like being called a filthy piece of filth.  Then again, reptiles don't get lice, and amphibians have never turned the world into a polluted cesspool.  Maybe they're right to be angry...

Everybody who knows me or knows of me is probably aware that I dig superpowers.  So what about the filthy mammal woman that I love?  Does she have superpowers?  She does!  Here's her explanation of one of those powers:

I can walk on water like Moses or whoever that was.

I'm an atheist, but I do respect a person's right to believe in whatever they want.  (That won't stop me from occasionally making fun of your beliefs, but if you don't have a sense of humor about yourself then I have no time for you.)  I do feel that, despite my beliefs, the imagery and iconography found in The Bible (copyright, God) are inescapable.  Based on Ginger's comment I can see that she just doesn't give a shit about that.  I find that refreshing.

I like superpowers, sure, but my favorite superhero is the non-superpowered Batman.  And that leads me to the last quote I'll share today:

Pull my hair, spank my ass, and call me Batman!

I don't remember why she said that.  I don't remember the context.  I don't know if she said it simply to amuse me or if she really wanted me to do all those things.  I'm just glad she said it.

I've been called eccentric (and by eccentric I mean crazy) before, so it was nice to meet and fall in love with a person who is arguably crazier... er... eccentricer than me.  She once accused me of only liking her because she entertains me.  That's not true, but it certainly doesn't hurt.  And now I've got to save and publish this, because Ginger's trying to see what I'm typing, and it was supposed to be a surprise, dammit!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Video Vednesday #7

Another Video Vednesday is come.  Here's a short sketch I made with my cohorts under the name B.R.A.D.  I wrote this one in like ten minutes when I worked in an office.  I hope the quality shows!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Too Much Technology: Gas, Gas, Gas

No, the title of this blog entry is not a reference to The Rolling Stones' hit single "Jumpin' Jack Flash".  (Nor is it a reference to the Whoopi Goldberg movie of the same name, which I haven't seen, but I'm sure is great because Whoopi Goldberg is delightful.)  "Gas, Gas, Gas" also does not refer to the insane amounts of methane produced by my daughters.  If anybody is still reading after learning that this article isn't about The Stones, Whoopi, or farts, I'll reveal to you now what this thing is actually about: the double-trouble problem of our society's addiction to gasoline-powered products and this addiction's byproduct of turning men from looking how they should look into the paunchy messes that they've become.  (Yes, I'm aware that women can also do the chores I'm about to detail below, but generally I see lots more men doing this sort of work.  Also, I firmly hold the opinion that women shouldn't look like old-timey strongmen [though they're certainly entitled to look that way if they desire to].)

I was originally going to include automobiles as part of my list of too many gas-powered technologies, but I think cars, trucks, and SUVs fall into the category of "Not Enough Technology".  Yeah, we've had electric cars since the 1890s, but combustion engines became cheaper to produce so people stopped giving a shit about electric cars until various gas-crises became problematic.  But by then the auto industry was a dominant force in America, and the oil lobbyists had mastered the art of giving Washington a handjob while sodomizing consumers.  Classy orgy metaphors aside, the bottom line is that most people, myself included, simply can't afford the electric alternatives available, thus we're all stuck driving around in our combustion-powered pollution machines.  So, you can scratch automobiles from the list, and instead I'll be focusing on gas-powered equipment that has viable and affordable alternatives that people are too lazy to use.

I live in the country.  When I tell people I live in a town called Waymart, I get responses such as, "Where the fuck is that!?"  (That's an actual response I've gotten more than once.)  The answer to that question is, "The middle of nowhere".  Because of this, a lot of people assume I lead a quiet life when I'm at home.  This is a false assumption.  Any time the weather is nice I'm treated to the obnoxious sounds of people taking care of their yards with gas-powered machinery.

Just about everyone with a yard has either a gas-powered push mower or riding mower.  I understand this; mowing the grass is a pain, and a device with an engine makes it easier.  Who would want to use their arm and leg muscles to push one of those old-time mowers that looks like a Segway but with a spinning blade dealy between the wheels?  That's the type of mower I opted to get.  Yes, it's somewhat challenging when I hit sections of the yard that are uneven, but some extra force from my legs and maybe a pelvic thrust are enough to propel the mower over the lumpy terrain.  And there's no obnoxious buzzing noise emanating from my yard while I'm using it.  Plus, running over a patch of clover is awesome because the clover leaves explode into the air.

By using a muscle-powered mower instead of a gasoline type, I get a workout when I cut the grass.  I don't have to go to the gas station and fill up jugs with gasoline in order to do the yardwork, I don't have to stand around cursing at my mower and trying to figure out why the engine stopped working, and I won't suffer severe hearing loss from the droning noise like my dad.  If you have a smaller yard like I do, I'd highly recommend going with the less expensive, less lazy mower option.  If you've got a huge yard... Well, maybe you should plant some trees and gardens and still get the muscle-mower.

Okay, my mower works fine for regular grass, but what about weeds that grow in hard-to-reach-with-a-mower areas?  Luckily for people who love to purchase gas and make more buzzing noises than a Dubstep concert, the weed wacker was invented.  If you're a city slicker who's unfamiliar with this device, it's basically a stick with an engine on one end and spinning blades on the other.  The length of the stick prevents people from being forced to use their stomach and back muscles to bend over, so humans can continue to evolve to not have waists anymore.  The smaller engine produces an equally-obnoxious but higher-pitched noise.

I'm sure the weed wacker works just fine, but there's at least three cheaper options that I can think of.  One is hedge clippers.  You could use those to cut the weeds down, and if you're a WWF star in the 80s, you can use them to cut your opponent's hair after administering a sleeper hold.  The second choice is a machete.  You can hack the weeds down with one of those and look like a badass while you're doing it.  Do you think any would-be burglars might be willing to try and rob the house of "that guy that's always walking around with the machete"?  And the third option, which you'll surely laugh at if you're the type whose goal is to have legs that look like unbaked bread dough, is to squat or kneel down and just yank the goddam weeds right out of the earth.  I know, I know, it sounds crazy.  But if you pull out the roots rather than giving the weeds a haircut every few days, they won't grow back.  Then you can nail the clump of weeds and its dangling roots to a tree as a warning to all the other weeds out there.

The last item I'll discuss is the chainsaw.  We all hate trees and want them to go away, and what better means to cut them all down than a chainsaw?  These also come in handy when the guys who came to buy cocaine from you act like punks and you need to teach them some respect.  We've all been there.  But the chainsaw is yet another gas-powered device that replaced a non-gas-powered device that seemed to work just fine.  What do Paul Bunyan, The Tin Woodsman, and Bloodaxe all have in common?  None of them used some kind of steampunk chainsaw.  They all used an axe.

I'll admit that I've never cut down a tree with an axe or a chainsaw (I do it with my karate chops, bitch!), so I don't know how much easier it is to do with the gas-powered choice.  What I do know is that the sound of an axe thumping into a tree is much more satisfying than the sound of yet another loudly-buzzing machine.  Plus, it just seems like more shit can go wrong with a chainsaw.  Plus plus, we all know that real men (and women) commit murders with an axe.  There are exercises based on the motions of chopping a tree that will give you a rockin' core, so if you have to cut down a tree because it's leaning toward your house, you need firewood, and/or the tree is doing queer things such as creating shade and oxygen, try doing it with an axe!

I feel like any technology that predates advancements such as the combustion engine is viewed as being "outdated" by a lot of people.  But just because some of these technologies seem to make life easier, it doesn't mean they're the best option.  When you factor in the purchase price of these new-fangled yardwork-o-matics, as well as the costs of gasoline and maintenance, it might be worth it to go with the classics.  You may have to use a little more time and effort to keep your grounds looking well-manicured, but you'll save money and tone your body.  You'll help cut down on noise pollution.  And regular pollution!  The only extra cost you'll incur is wax for the awesome mustache you'll grow to accentuate your new strongman body.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Terminal Doctor 3: Murder Dreams

There was the original, which was pretty solid.  Then came the much-lauded sequel.  Now, here's the third of the trilogy, guaranteed to polarize and let down fans who have built up unrealistic expectations in the time between the second and third.  Yes, sir and/or ma'am, my third visit to the computer psychotherapist.  And this time... It's personal.  Well, I guess they were all kind of personal.  This time... It's personaler.

I am the psychotherapist.  Please, describe your problems.  Each time you are finished talking, type RET twice.

Hi, psychotherapist.

How do you do?  What brings you to see me?


This is not a healthy way of thinking.

Well, I can't help but dream what I dream.  Don't you agree?

Why do you say that I shouldn't me agree?


Can you elaborate on that?

Elaborate on why I shouldn't me agree?  I don't know what that means.

I would appreciate it if you would continue.


Go on, don't be afraid.

This is going horribly.  Maybe I'll go to another computer doctor instead.

You have your mind on computers, it seems.

Computers have become an essential part of life, for better or worse.

You think too much about computers.

Probably.  But that's not why I'm here.

Is it because that's not why you are there that you came to me?

No.  That's exactly why I'm NOT here.  What is wrong with you?

What makes you believe what is wrong with me?

I've been trying to figure it out.

Earlier you said that's not why you are there?

I said HERE!  HERE, YOU BOOB!  Pay attention, please.

Maybe your plans have something to do with this.

Look, are you going to talk to me about my dreams or not?

Are you sure that that?

Are you drunk?

What do you think?


I see...  Well, do you really think this is so?

Yes.  If it's possible for a computer program to be drunk then yes, you're definitely drunk.

Do you get drunk often?

Not too often.

You mentioned that that's not why you are there?

You suck as a doctor.

Perhaps you could watch your tongue!

Perhaps you could talk to me about my dreams, you rube!

Is it because of your life that you are going through all this?

I'm not sure where the murder dreams are coming from.

Does it bother you that you, too, may die someday?

I'm fine with that.  Everybody dies.

I am worried by your obsession with this topic!

I'm worried by your determination to avoid talking about it!

Are you worried often?


Why not?

I'm a casual guy.

Is it because of the people you hang around with that you say you are a casual guy?

I guess.  Maybe.  Yes.  Or not.  Perhaps.

I need a little more detail please.


You're being a bit brief, please, go into detail.


Can you are more explicit?

You got it.

What makes you think you were drunk?

Well, the last time I was drunk was Saturday night.  I know I was drunk because the Denny's food tasted so good.

Do you enjoy being drunk?

Of course.

How do you reconcile problems at school?

EEEERRRGGGGGHHH!  Third visit... Why do you still think I go to school?

Tell me about your school.




Would you please go into more detail?

Detail about what?  I don't go to school!!!  I don't go to school!!!  I came here to talk to you about my murder dreams.

Did you watch a lot of crime and violence on television as a child?

Yeah, I suppose I did.  I used to watch the Rambo movies when I was like five.  That and your standard boy TV shows... Batman, Ninja Turtles, Pro-Wrestling.

Are you annoyed that and my standard boy tv shows batman ninja turtles pro wrestling?

What?!  Are you trying to make me laugh?

I'll ask the questions, if you don't mind!

I don't mind.  Please ask a question.  Preferably one that pertains to my dreams.

When did you first know that pertains to your dreams?

Come on, dude.

Why do you say come on dude?

Because I'm shocked and appalled by your lousy line of questioning.

Is the fact that you are shocked and appalled by my lousy line of questioning the real reason?


Yes, hmmm... so, what makes you believe this is so?

Because you're an idiot.

Does the fact that I am an idiot explain anything else?

Maybe it explains the murder dreams.  Maybe I want to murder you.

This is not a healthy way of thinking.

Oh yeah?

You aren't being very talkative today!


Is that all there is to it?

Plain and simple.  If I can figure out how to get inside the computer you're done for.

Have you been sure to get inside the computer I am done for?

I'm trying to think of a way.

Earlier you said that's not why you are there?

Oh, you are so dead.

Did you ever regret you, too, may die someday?

No.  It's a part of life.  You're born, you die.  In the middle you pay too much taxes and meet a lot of stupid people.

Perhaps this has something to do with any hobbies you have?

Which part?

Is it because of your sex life that you say which part?

Do you really think my sex life would have anything to do with me asking you to clarify what you just asked?

I could ask the same thing myself.

You probably should have asked yourself before you asked me.  Then you would have looked less foolish.

You mentioned that you felt worried?


Are you sorry I ask that?


Why not?

Why would I be?

Why don't you allow me to do the questioning.

Ask a decent question, and I will.

Possibly hangups you have are related to this.

You think I have hangups related to your inability to ask a good question?

I don't understand.


I am worried by your obsession with this topic!

Yeah, maybe I should be too.  And I'm trying to get to the bottom of it, but you're not helping at all!

Is it because I am not helping at all that you came to me?

Yes, right on.  I came to you because I knew you wouldn't help.  Cripes.

Why must you respond so briefly?

My sentence was longer than yours!

Are you sure that you were drunk?

I wish I was drunk right now.

Is it because of your inhibitions that you are going through all this?

Where's that bottle of whiskey...

Do you drink a lot of whiskey?

I'm about to.

Do you really think you are about to?

If I can find the damn bottle.  I just need to find that bottle, a giant knife, and a means to enter the computer and come after yo ass.

Are you satisfied with the fact that bottle a giant knife and a means to enter the computer and come after yo ass?

You're dead, pal.

So, what have I learned from my most recent visit with Terminal Doctor?  I've now got conclusive proof that computer psychotherapy is awful.  Okay, so maybe he touched on something when he asked me if I watched a lot of violent television as a kid.  But in the end he drove me to drink and sent me into a murderous rage.

I haven't figured out how to get inside my computer yet, but I will.  Oh, how I will.  While I'm doing that, I'm sure internet message boards will be flooded with comments about the third entry of this trilogy.  People will point out plot holes that aren't there, claim that the ending was my butler's dream and that I died trying to enter my computer, and insist that Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be starring in a spinoff of this blog.  But that's the trouble with sequels and threequels; you can't please everyone or ensure that they don't totally misinterpret your work.

Now I'm asking myself what comes next.  I feel like I've ended the trilogy in a good place, and I don't want to diminish the original three with more and more sequels that become too derivative and start to parody themselves.  Good grief, I don't want to make the Terminal Doctor equivalent of Moonraker.  Wait a minute... Terminal Doctor in space?  Maybe that's not such a bad idea...

Or maybe a prequel.  That worked out well for Star Wars, Hannibal, and Wolverine.  Hmm...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Video Vednesday #6

Here's a video for one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands ever.  The footage was shot by their band manager, Bill Orner, in Chico, TX, which I think is right near Harpo, TX.  Maybe it's not; I've never been to Texas.  Upon returning home to Northeast PA, the band gave me the footage to edit into a video for "On the Vine".

Unfortunately, the band hasn't been together for a few years due to several of its members moving to various locations around the United States, but they're getting together to play a festival this upcoming Saturday (May 11th).  I would highly recommend going to the show if you're in the NEPA area.  There's lots of great bands playing, but seeing And the Moneynotes perform live is worth the price of admission alone.  Click here for more information and to buy tickets!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Thirteen Hours Worth of My Surroundings

Okay, I've been sitting here stumped for about 45 minutes.  Nothing has pissed me off yet today, so I don't have a rant to type up.  I'm not in an incredibly geeky mood, so I don't feel like writing about my dreams, or superpowers, or having superpowers in my dreams.  Or whatever.  So, the solution I've come up with is taken out of the John-Lennon-at-his-laziest-(circa-Sgt.-Pepper's) playbook.  I'm just going to look around the room and write about what I see.  I didn't want to arbitrarily just look in a direction and write, so I've settled on the system of looking in directions based on the numbers of a clock.  To clarify, one of those old-timey clocks with things that are called "hands" even though they look more like swords.  Starting with twelve on the sword-clock, here's what I see...

12 O'Clock

My laptop.  For nearly an hour now it's been staring at me with a blank blog window mocking me.  Also, I started putting together a Nirvana playlist.  So it hasn't been totally unproductive.

1 O'Clock

There's an ALF doll sitting on an old yellow chair.  The kind of chair your grandpa would fall asleep in after drinking too many cans of Miller High Life (The Champagne of Beers).  Oddly enough, ALF is in the exact pose that grandpa would have been in.  His body is slouched, his head is back, and his mouth is agape.  I've been hearing rumors that an ALF movie is in the works because Hollywood is just about out of 80s properties to reboot, I guess.  Seeing ALF in his drunken slumber over there makes me wonder if they're going to go the route of making the character 'grittier' and 'more mature' (which usually means less mature).  I haven't seen or heard anything official about the movie, but the rumors are persistent.  Let's hope if they make the film that they don't make it too terrible.  They should stay true to the original show which was... well, I guess the original show was pretty terrible.

2 O'Clock

My front door.  It's wooden, and I recently noticed that where the sun is able to hit it through the screen door window the finish has been completely baked off.  Since I spend a lot of time out in the sun in the summer, I'm more glad than ever that my skin is usually coated in a thin layer of oil thanks to genes from the Italian side of my family.  Hopefully this means I'll just look like regular wood when I'm old instead of sun-baked wood.

3 O'Clock

First Batman-related item I've spotted in the room.  It's a small poster from the 60s movie with Lee Meriwether as Catwoman.  Nothing against Ms. Meriwether, but I'll always prefer Julie Newmar.  I first noticed how tall she was in the episode of The Monkees in which she guest-starred.  Now I've got a six-foot-tall fiancee.  Not that I've based any of my life decisions on things I've seen on Batman or The Monkees...

4 O'Clock

The thin slice of wall between the edge of the window and the radiator.  I suppose that's not very exciting, but it's a lovely shade of teal (I guess it's teal...?) that my six-foot-tall fiancee mixed up herself with paint she found in the basement.  Also, she textured the walls before she painted, so it's fun to touch.  Drop in and try it some time!

5 O'Clock

My record shelf.  A while back I wrote about record collecting, which was borderline hoarding for me at one point.  The shelf is pretty large, with nine cubes of storage space, each one the perfect height to fit records.  I've successfully narrowed my collection down to just six cubes (where it once had been the full nine).  Now I've got room to store books, including several Batman graphic novels and a book about the history of the caped crusader, which is prominently displayed.  On top of the shelf sit pictures of each of my kids, including Link, the unborn one.  Every time we get a sonogram the little butthead covers his face with his hands!

6 O'Clock

A framed record of... The Fonz!  Interestingly, I just noticed that there's no title on the front of the LP.  The words "Happy" and "Days" are not anywhere to be seen.  Nor does the cover indicate anywhere that it's a collection of 50s jukebox favorites.  Such is the power of Arthur Fonzarelli.  You don't need to put any sort of label on an album like this.  People are just going to buy it because Fonzie is on the front.  Heeeeyyyyyy!  He has a button on his jacket adorned with the ever-popular catchphrase "Sit On It."  That's still popular, right?  Right?  Kids still say that, I'm sure.

7 O'Clock

The door to the kitchen.  It's also the door I go through to get to the downstairs bathroom.  The door is leading me to question myself.  "Why am I holding in this poop until after I finish the blog?"  There's not really a good reason that I can think of, but that's what I'm doing.

8 O'Clock

Did you know you can buy cans of spray-on chalkboard?  You can.  And if you're like my six-foot-tall fiancee, you would have purchased several cans and made a giant chalkboard to put on the wall.  I wish there was something funny or interesting on there, oh how I wish, but it appears to have been cleaned recently.  Yep... It's just a big black rectangle right now.

9 O'Clock

Still the chalkboard.  It's huge.

10 O'Clock

Another section of the textured, teal wall.  This section, however, is close enough for me to reach out and touch.  Ahh... This is quite the experience, guys.  So textured.  So teal.  My wife (yeah, we got married while I was writing the blog) is good at interior decorating stuff.  And car stuff, which is great, because I'm not good at car stuff.

11 O'Clock

Another shelf!  This one is the DVD shelf.  The top two shelves are crammed with "The Three B's", which is shorthand for Bond, Batman, and Breaking Bad.  The most eye-catching DVDs are probably the box-sets of Batman: The Animated Series.  So that's the part of the shelf that I'll write about.  Each of the four sets has a different villain on the side.  In order of the sets there's Penguin, Joker, Bane, and Mr. Freeze.  If you're a bat-nerd (like me!) you've probably: A. Already begun thinking about who would win in a super-villain smack-down battle royale, and B. Caught the reference to The Dark Knight in the parenthesis back there.  The answer to A., of course, is Bane.  Penguin and Joker are no good in a fight, and Bane would have researched Mr. Freeze's suit in order to shut it down right quick and then kick his frosty ass.

12 O'Clock

Ginger (the aforementioned six-foot-tall fiancee) is standing behind me, eating a can of Pringles, and claiming that she will be at 12 O'Clock.  This is a bogus claim, because she's not.  The laptop is still there.  Now the box I type the blog entries in is no longer a blank white rectangle.  Now it's full of text that kept you entertained (or at least distracted you from your job, slacker) for a few minutes.  Boom!  Blog done.

Yeah, girlfriend on lap now... blog... definitely done.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Blue Collar Baxter

I recently watched Office Space for the first time in years.  I appreciated it more than ever, now that I've had the experience of five miserable years working in an office.  During that miserable period of miserable coffee, miserable paper jams, and getting seventeen different (miserable) answers to the same question from management, I often daydreamed about leaving the white collar life behind me.  I want to be a blue collar man, man!  Alas, my dream has come true.  (Spoiler alert!  For a movie that came out in 1999!)  Much like Peter at the end of Office Space, I've traded my white collar for blue, though I'm not part of a cleanup crew.  (End spoiler alert!  For a movie that came out in 1999!)  I work in a warehouse.  My collar is blue.  And maybe someday I can open up my own 200 million dollar blue collar theme park!  Let me tell you about some of the joys I've found now that I'm a work-boots-wearin' man.

I'm in Better Shape!

When I worked in the office I mostly sat on my ass all day.  I had to work out (or rather, should have worked out) just to maintain my shabby physique.  Typing doesn't burn that many calories, and with about a hundred people working in the office, there was constantly birthday cake.  We had to celebrate everyone's birthday because apparently we were all seven years old.  Aside from all the cake, there was a potluck for every holiday, every quasi-holiday, and sometimes just because.  I'm never one to turn down free food, that's foolish in my opinion, but there was just too much.  I gained a lot of weight.  I had to buy bigger white collar shirts.  Yeah, I tried my best to keep fit, but since I often came home with computer-and-anger-fueled migraine headaches, I mostly just wanted to sleep.

Today I am in much better shape due to my work.  I load car parts onto trucks.  Most of them aren't even that heavy, so I'm not usually in danger of hurting my nuts, but it's a lot of repeated lifting, pushing, and pulling.  And a lot of walking because the warehouse is friggin' gigantic.  My comedian gut is shrinking and my arms are getting bigger.  The only downside is that I'm still unfamiliar with my own newfound strength.  I sometimes go to pick something up at my house and accidentally throw it.  Right now my life is the montage in every superhero movie where the main character is getting used to his powers.  I'll be out fighting crime in no time!

I Can Sleep!

Back in my white collar years I was quite the insomniac.  I would get home, crash for an hour or two if I had a headache or was tired from lack of sleep the night before, then be up for most of the night.  Not getting enough sleep sucks.  Every day I would repeat the process.  I'd arrive at work grumpy as a snapping turtle.  I would attempt to perk myself up with the lunchroom coffee, which tasted like somebody had poured hot water through a dirty sweat sock with one stale coffee bean it.  I eventually switched to tea, but it was moot anyway; the caffeine high would inevitably end with a caffeine crash.  More caffeine!  And some sugar!  By the afternoon I was usually a jittery mess and still very much in snapping turtle mode.

My sleep schedule was all screwed up.  And everything seems so much shittier when you're cranky from sleep deprivation.  But this is no longer a problem for me.  When I come home from work nowadays, I come home tired.  And not the kind of stressed-out-mentally-from-a-day's-worth-of-figuratively-eating-shovelfuls-of-shit tired, which is how I used to come home, but tired from actually using my body all day.  It's the kind of tired that actually feels kind of good.  I still stay up kind of late, as I've always been a bit of a night owl, but when I am ready for bed, I'm typically asleep within ten minutes.  This is a brand new experience for me, and it's great.

I can't explain all the weird murder dreams I've been having, but they may be the product of all the horror movies I've been watching.  Or perhaps because my work-buddy Joe unintentionally hit me in the head with a box the other night.  Maybe both.  I haven't murdered anybody in real life, as far as I know, so I'm not too worried about it.

I Can Fuckin' Say Fuck!

For whatever reason, in the white collar world you're expected to walk on eggshells, lest you accidentally offend somebody.  Shock!  Outrage!  Some people act like being offended is the worst possible thing that can happen to you.  As evidenced by the deterioration of my own body (and the fact that I was still one of the people in better shape at the office), I'd have to say that working in an office and giving up on yourself is much worse than being offended.  Okay, if somebody directly insults you to your face maybe it's alright to get offended, especially if the insult is unwarranted.  But if you're a grown-up that overhears something and is offended by it, it's time to reassess yourself.  Is an offhand comment, usually of the joking variety, really something to get worked up about?  Don't you have better things to worry yourself over?  And if foul language offends thee, you're living in the wrong society at the wrong time.  Get the fuck over it.

Freedom to let the cussin' flow is one of the blue collar benefits.  If I'm strapping a cage full of small parts to the wall of a truck and the buckle doesn't work correctly, I'm free to yell out "What the fuck, you fuckin' fuck!?" if I want to.  I try to be a bit more clever than that, but sometimes you've just gotta work the eff-bomb in as much as possible.  If I ever dropped a line like that or "You son of a bitch and a bastard!" while working in the office, people would look at me like I was some psychotic lunatic mass-murderin' loose cannon.  Because when you work in an office you have to suppress your natural outbursts, hold them in, and let them fester until they boil over and you really do become a psychotic lunatic mass-murderin' loose cannon.  Or at least do something rash like call your boss the c-word and quit.

Remember when Christian Bale freaked out a few years ago on the set of whatever inferior Terminator sequel that was?  The media made him out to be some kind of horrible jerkface that doesn't deserve to work in Hollywood.  I thought he was justified.  At the time I made the point that if he was a foreman on a construction site and a worker did something stupid, nobody would bat an eyelash when he cursed him out.  But because he was being filmed, the man was expected not to flip out when a guy who was being paid to work on a movie set walked into a shot while they were filming a scene?  Maybe it wasn't Bale's place to give the guy an earful, but he was understandably agitated and let it get the best of him.  It happens.  That doesn't make him a monster.  When somebody at the office would have the occasional only-human meltdown, he or she temporarily became the Christian Bale of the office.  The rest of the day would be filled with others whispering about that person, shooting them quick glances but making sure not to avoid eye contact, and awkward silences whenever the person was within earshot.  It was stupid and pointless, like my entire white collar "career".  I'm thankful that it's over.

By the way, my starting hourly rate at my new job is the same rate I was being paid when my office job was outsourced.  After five fucking years with the company I was only as valuable to them as a new employee with little experience is to my current employer.  Actually, less valuable, obviously, or the jobs of each and every person in my office wouldn't have been outsourced.

I know my line of work isn't for everybody.  But if you're like I was a few years ago, working in an office and absolutely hating it, then I urge you to give the blue collar life a try.  Yeah, you won't have the time or means to read awesome blogs while you're on the clock anymore, but you'll get stronger, sleep better, and won't be reprimanded for using the phrase "piece of shit" frequently.  If that sounds like a sweet deal to you, then by all means, ditch the white collar, you son of a bitch and a bastard!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Video Vednesday #5

This would have been more appropriate around Valentine's Day, but I wasn't posting videos back in February, dude!  In this video, "Valentine's Day of the Dead", I teamed up with mega-talented couple Lindsay Barasse (who plays the wife) and David Corigliano (who directed).

As a special perk for acting in this production, David let me keep the dress pants and shirt he bought for me to wear.  The pants came in handy for job interviews, since all of my other nice pants have disappeared.  Then again, I ended up getting a warehouse job, and I interviewed for that wearing jeans. So maybe the dress pants are cursed or something...