A brief list of horrible things.

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

someone was asking for lists of terrible things and this is what immediately popped to mind earlier today.

taxes
cancer
anal fissures
late blight
spousal abuse
the westboro baptist church
billy corgan
dead skunk smell
breakups
stepping on a nail
tattoos of butterflies
second hand smoke
cellulite
rape
too much humidity when you’re trying to sleep
chapped lips
plaque
male pattern baldness
herpes
being laughed at and not with
loneliness
being surrounded by too many people
people who quote family guy all the time
unintentional naps
kurt vonnegut’s death
spilling food on yourself in the middle of the day
accidentally farting in mixed company
weapons of mass destruction
coca cola
monsanto
cataracts
monroe piercings
extinction
stuffed noses
misused words
obsessive compulsive disorder
wasted food
foot binding
meth addiction

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The Friendly Nightmare

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

If you live in New England, and perhaps elsewhere, I haven’t tracked their proliferation, you may be aware of a franchise restaurant chain called “Friendly’s” I guess it’s pluralized because someone named Friendly owns it? Regardless, it’s your standard American fare: Burgers, Ice cream, old people, young children and middle aged rampantly obese people. As a child, I loved friendly’s, I wanted to go there every time I went “off island” and I constantly jonesed for their burgers and reese’s peanut butter cup sundaes. In my adult life I’ve tried to resist it, but occasionally the nostalgic urge comes over me and I make the stop, devouring a nice big ball of greasy food and saccharine sweetness. Yesterday on the way to Umass for my brother’s graduation, my mother and I stopped in at one to grab a bite on the road. After using the restroom, I stepped out into the hallway and was met with a horrific site, pictured below:

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How would people get to work? What monstrosity is this? As a child I had fantasized about the book “cloudy with a chance of meatballs” coming true but this was a nightmare in front of my eyes. Upon looking more closely around the restaurant, several such horrors were present: churches with ice cream cones towering behind them, A town hall dwarfed by a grilled cheese sandwich. Good god, it was terrifying. Imagine your town, crushed by several pounds of meat and dairy, all cooked in lard. These poor people. I had to save them. I sprinted out the door to the nearest Walmart and gathered up supplies: Mr. Clean, a mop, and as many trash bags as I could carry. I sprinted toward the bridge waving the mop blindly in front of my face, like an amateur jouster, afraid to be hit and knocked from my horse. I swatted at the burger wildly with the wet end of the mop, trying to ignore the screams and whines of the bacon as the grease cutter sliced through it. The bun knocked me over a few times, but after an epic battle, the burger collapsed to the ground, defeated in a puddle of it’s own juices and melted cheese. I begrudgingly collected up the remains of the hideous beast, grease ruining my clothing, and dumped it into the trash bag.

Triumphant, I carried on. I stopped at a salon and borrowed 2 blow dryers that I then wielded like 6 shooters as I approached the ice cream cone. It attempted to drip into my mouth, but I resisted it’s temptations and fired upon it with impunity until it was nothing but a pink sticky mess on the pavement behind the town hall. Just then I heard a distant rumbling and a few moments later, the hill to the north was shadowed by onion rings, rolling downward toward me. I knew I was outmatched. As they crushed cars and knocked fire hydrants out of the sidewalk, sending jetstreams of water into the air. I retreated, meeting once again with my mother and shouting at her to start the car, drive, drive, before we’re all killed! We drove up the next hill and the onion rings lost momentum, collapsing upon themselves in greasy breaded messes. On the horizon I could see the french fries bursting from the pavement like fast growing trees, then crawling down the street as if they were caterpillars, eating the greenery as they went. These poor people. I did my best to save them, but I was overwhelmed, the food was too much, too prolific, too delicious and fattening. This poor town, off an exit in western Massachusetts, would have to fight this behemoth on their own. Good luck, brave souls.

And now, I’m off to watch my brother graduate.

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There Are Still Towns In America Where You Can’t Buy A Drink.

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

TisburysFutureIt’s true. I work in one of them. Dry towns, they’re called, for the uninitiated. These are places that never got around to repealing prohibition and now contain just enough votes against change to hold back the rest of the public from ordering a nice glass of wine with dinner. Why? It will destroy the community, of course!

Well, there is another side of the community that suffers from this mindset: the local business owners. And all the people who want to order a glass of wine and didn’t realize they had to bring their own. Oh yeah, and anyone who is in favor of forward progress.

Okay, Maybe I’m a bit biased.

I was commissioned, through EduComp, for the cause – to design a website to showcase the language of those working toward legislation that would allow beer and wine consumption at restaurants in one such town: Tisbury, otherwise known as Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts.

I should note that personally, I drink very little, perhaps one or two beers or a glass of wine in a month, although, like many, I went through a typical teenage binge phase. I blame the heat and madenning peer pressure of Savannah, Georgia. That’s beside the point, however: the legislation would be good for the town. As it stands, people can bring their own beer or wine to dinner, so the drunks are just as able to get drunk. If anything, this would be more regulatory, and it provides those who want to have a drink at a restaurant that option. I have had a lot of trouble understanding the logic behind the fight against it, aside from stubborn traditionalism.

Consider this a call to anyone who lives in Tisbury: please vote on this on April 14th. It’s a town meeting vote to get it on the ballot in 2010. It needs your help to pass. For more information, and some words from those involved in attempting to pass the legislation, visit the site itself: PreservingTisburysFuture.com

I will have a more comprehensive post in the web section about the process of the design of the site soon, and about upcoming websites, when they go live.

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Brainwashed.com Joins the Twittersphere

Sunday, March 29th, 2009


brainwaves from ZF FILMS on Vimeo.

@brainwashedcom – (as in brainwashed.com – home of the brainwaves festival) one of my all time favorite music news sources, touching upon the darker side of my listening soul, has joined the land of twitter. I attented Brainwaves in 08 and was deeply thrilled to finally see some of my old favorites: Peter Christopherson, Meat Beat Manifesto, Matmos, and Stars of the Lid. I was also introduced to some musicians such as Marissa Nadler, Glenn Jones (who I met there and learned he’d had his album worked on by one of my childhood friends and classmates, Anthony Esposito), Boduf Songs, His Name Is Alive and many others that enticed me. Brainwashed has always been at the forefront of musical discovery, finding and helping bring success to those bands that eventually grew to relative stardom (Antony, Amanda Palmer, Devendra Banhart, and on and on) but often being overlooked by the powers that they inspire.

Brainwashed deserves credit for pulling culture out of the cracks and feeding it to many who desperately need it, and while that occasionally comes with a low dosage of condescension, their reviews and headlines are usually surprisingly optimistic and pleasant, rarely crucifying their subjects. For a counter-culture online publication with a dedicated base of rabid, often darkly dressed fans, that’s quite impressive.

The bottom line is: if you want to be a step ahead of the music scene, pay attention to brainwashed. Listen to their podcasts. I too have been guilty of ignoring them from time to time, and for that I always kick myself. On their site, they are currently wondering what they’re going to do with twitter. If you’re listening, brainwashed: keep us informed. Remind us when you update, tell us when there are brainwashed bands playing shows, tell us when the DVD is coming, let us know whenever you see Gary Wilson covering himself with baby powder. Tell us pretty much anything, we’ll listen.

hugs and or drugsBy the way, I must show pride, I got this shirt at Brainwavesfest2008 and I am in love. Thanks kranky.

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I hate you internet explorer

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Here I am, thinking the blog looks lovely, and I go look at it on IE and find that all kinds of aspects of it aren’t working the way they’re supposed to. I know, I know, these are the standard web development problems but it’s still frustrating. I will have to spend a day getting everything W3C compliant.

Again, please, if anything looks wrong/broken on the site, let me know, I will swallow my pride and fix it.

Hmm, I just created the “Rant” section and I already have 2 in one day. Oh look what day it is…

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Watchmen isn’t here yet, but Madea goes to jail is!

Monday, March 16th, 2009

I’m sure there is plenty of nuance that I, the layman, don’t understand about the process of booking films at local theatres. The expense of renting the reels, the guesswork of understanding what people will want to watch, the desire to get films your kids can watch, the limitations of an island with only 3 theatres…

However, I have trouble understanding where certain distinctions are made. On Martha’s Vineyard, for example, Cloverfield was here on opening night, in sync with the whole nation, but Watchmen is not. Movies that have immense amounts of oscar buzz do not get here, often, until after the oscars have already occurred, while in the mean time Paul Blart: Mall Cop is getting a full 2 week run.

Perhaps my pea-brain is unable to comprehend the logistics of running a successful theatre, but I somehow am not convinced. Everyone I speak to on Martha’s Vineyard wants to see the oscar nominees. Everyone I know anticipates films like Synechdoche: New York and wanted to see Slumdog Millionaire a month before it arrived here. Films that are hyped on The Daily Show and Letterman are ignored completely by the theatres. People often end up traveling off-island just to see movies because they are never made available here, or they get disappointed waiting and waiting for things that never arrive.

It doesn’t help matters that the Edgartown theatres regularly advertise movies that are simply never shown. I walked in and saw a giant poster for “Choke” on the wall, which excited me, but it never arrived. I had to acquire it by other means. The film was a disappointment, but dammit, I was led to believe that I could be disappointed for 9 dollars on the big screen, not for free on my laptop. Ahem.

Right now, people are talking about another disappointment all over the internet: Watchmen. I’d love to join the conversation, I could probably already write my review “Snyder focuses all his attention on making sure that the ‘look’ of the comic is just right, and in doing so completely forsakes the story and the acting.” – Sound accurate? Well, it’s what 300 was like, so I expect the same, but the point is that I want the movie to be here, I want the chance to be disappointed for myself, before the flood of disappointed reviews is able to color my already anticipated loathing with even more antipated loathing.

Let’s build that bridge to the mainland, already.

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