Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Dan'l Irby, King of the Wild Frontier

I went camping last weekend.

Anybody who has spent at least five minutes around me knows that camping isn't exactly my raison d'ĂȘtre. In fact, I am what is known in the outdoorsman circles as a "colossal pussy" (or cattus maximus in the Latin).

My stepdad J.R. recognized these wimpy tendencies in me back when I was 10 or 11, and felt it was necessary to step in and protect me from my own potential gayness. He made it his mission to make me a man.

He took me fishing, which I didn't think I would mind so much. My dad had taken me fishing a few times, which usually meant taking the boat out for a few hours and clowning around while drinking beer (him) and cola (me).

Unfortunately, for J.R., fishing meant getting up at some ungodly hour in the morning, usually before everybody else had gone to bed, and driving out to Lake Texoma. Then we'd take the boat out on the water and stay there for 14-15 hours. Talking, moving, or breathing loudly were expressly forbidden as they might frighten away the fish.

He also took me deer hunting, which I utterly loathed. It also involved getting up in the middle of the freaking night, only this time we hiked in the freezing cold and then sat still for hours, just waiting for those bastard deer to provoke us by eating or walking by.

I actually shot a doe when I was 13, which did quite a bit to assure J.R. that I wasn't a lost cause. However, after having to gut it, hang it up, and skin it, I decided right then and there that I would never shoot another deer again.

The next year, J.R. started letting me hunt by myself. So I started smuggling a book out to the deer stand so I'd have something to keep me occupied. Every once in a while, I'd raise my gun and fire a shot into the ground or into a tree, just so anybody listening would think I was paying attention. ("I shot at a buck, but I didn't see a blood trail. I must've missed him completely!")

When I went away to college, it was the end of my great outdoors experience. I swore off hunting, fishing, and anything that involved crapping behind a tree.

Until last weekend, when I went camping.

My brother-in-law Nick organized the trip and invited me to come along. "It'll be fun, Bubba*," he said. "We'll get there around noon or so and set up camp, then we'll hit the river and do some canoeing or tubing. After that we'll grill some steaks, have a few beers, and hit the hay. Next morning, we'll sleep late, have some breakfast, and maybe do a little fishing."

It actually sounded like a lot of fun. Nick extended invitations to his cousins John and Cree, and asked me if I would pass the invitation on to IX and Sean. However, by the time the weekend had rolled around, everybody else had backed out or declined. So it was just me, Nick, and my 7-year-old nephew Christopher.

As far as wilderness excursions go, it wasn't really fraught with hardships. We drove to a campsite and pitched our tent near the bank of the Brazos, next to a grill and a stone picnic table.

Canoeing turned out to be a bit more melodramatic than I'd expected. Christopher was really eager to go, but he lost interest in our journey downriver after approximately .004 seconds and spent the rest of the afternoon whining, pouting, and crying. All I can say is that Nick has 1,000 times more patience than I do when it comes to that kind of stuff. I love my nephew dearly, but as I was rowing, all I could think about was getting home and standing in front of an open microwave until I was sterile...

Apart from the canoeing, the rest of the our wilderness excursion was relatively pleasant. It was hot, around 101 I think (that's Fahrenheit, for any damn foreigners or metric-loving hippies who might be reading this), and there were enough insects crawling around to qualify as a biblical plague, but we were all just so happy to be off the river and in the shade that we didn't care. Plus, there was beer.

We grilled the steaks and baked some potatoes, and afterwards Christopher roasted and ate about 748 marshmallows. It was dark by 9:00, so the three of us crawled into the tent and crashed out on the air mattress. I eventually fell asleep listening to the distant, blaring stereos of other campers and the sound of big ass bugs thudding against the side of the tent.

I woke up once in the middle of the night, when I heard something howling just outside the tent. It was too dark to see, but I'm pretty sure it was a coyote. I should mention I've been deathly afraid of coyotes ever since I saw a documentary about how hard it is to kill them. You can throw a coyote off a cliff, drop an anvil on it, or even strap an explosive rocket to its back, and it just keeps coming back.

I can't remember where I saw this. It was either Animal Planet or Cartoon Network...

Anyway, the next morning we all woke up groggy and sore (air mattresses only help so much, you understand). After we ate breakfast, as we broke camp and packed up, Nick asked what we wanted to do next. He suggested fishing, but said he was wide open. I told him I didn't care. Whatever he and Christopher decided was fine with me.

At first, Christopher was excited about fishing. However, given his attention span on the canoe trip, I had a feeling that wouldn't last. A few seconds later, he was asking if we could skip fishing and go look at some nearby dinosaur footprints, and maybe play on the big, plastic dinosaurs that were set up around there. However, this idea lost a lot of appeal when Nick told him that we wouldn't be visiting the gift shop.

Somehow, the idea of going to a movie was introduced. I can't remember exactly how, but I think Nick threw it out there as a joke. However, Christopher was really excited about it. And to tell you the truth, the idea of sitting in a cold, dark movie theater for a few hours sounded really appealing.

So the three of us--filthy, mudcaked and sunburned--drove back to Dallas to catch an 11:00 showing of Batman Begins. It was, by far, the highlight of the camping trip.

Nick's already planning a trip for next year ("but we'll go later in the year, when it's cooler"), and Christopher has already forgotten how much he hated canoeing and can't wait to go again. I'm still undecided, but I'm thinking I'll probably go. After all, we did have some fun.

And besides, X-Men 3 should be opening about then...


*As I may have mentioned previously, my family has saddled me with the nickname "Bubba." My sister has called me that since she was a baby, and my nephew Christopher picked up on it because "Uncle Chris" was a little too difficult for him to manage when he started talking. And now, it's pretty much stuck. I don't really mind, although it still seems a tad bait shop...

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Little More Virtual Narcissism

By the time I post this, it may not even be true any more. But for the moment, if you do a Google Search on Chris Irby, I show up at the very top of the list!

Oddly enough, if you put my name in quotes, I show up fifth on the list, behind a sports writer named Chris Irby and a couple of football players named Chris Irby. I had no idea my name was so athletic...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Get Off the Line! I'm Waiting on a Call from MENSA!!!

Your IQ Is 140

Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Genius

Thanks to Sylvana and her totally bitchin' blog Syllogism for this link, and for helping me to realize the full potential of my incredible godlike intelligence. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go integrate some logarithms or something. You wouldn't understand...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I Like My Coffee Like I Like My Women...

Tied up in a sack and thrown over the back of a donkey by Juan Valdez.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A Clinically Insane Norman Rockwell Moment...

In honor of Father's Day, here's a story my dad once told me about my grandfather. I don't know if it's true or not, but it still makes me giggle.

Papaw's family came from Louisiana, so he always spoke with this incredible cajun accent. He also stuttered a bit, and whenever he got stuck on a certain word, he'd usually snap out of it by swearing. His curse of choice was "goddamn," but he pronounced it "hoddamn."

On Papaw's 65th birthday, Dad tried to embarrass him by giving him an inflatable woman dressed in a silk teddy. An anatomically correct inflatable woman, I should add. He came into the house with the blow-up doll on his arm and said, "Happy birthday, Pop! I brought you a date!"

Instead of being embarrassed, my grandfather was delighted and let out an exuberent "Oh Lawd!" He then crammed the doll into the passenger seat of his pickup and drove it around Texarkana to show to his friends.

About three weeks later, Dad and his girlfriend Annette were visiting again. They were sitting in the living room with Mamaw and Papaw, watching Walker, Texas Ranger, when Dad asked, "Hey Pop? Whatever happened to that girl I gave you?"

Papaw chuckled. "Oh, your momma made me let the ah-ah-ah-hoddamn air out of her. I got her under the bed now."

Mamaw, of course, was shaking her head and smoking a Pall Mall. "Shit," she muttered. "He had the damn thing sitting on the couch, where company could see it."

So Dad got up and went into the bedroom, and came out with the deflated doll draped over his arm. Annette started giggling, but Mamaw just sighed. "Jamie, don't be dragging that mess out here again."

Ignoring her, Dad plopped back down on the couch and started blowing the doll up. He blew into it for about ten minutes, until he got a headache and passed it off to Papaw. Papaw gave it a try, but quit after another five minutes. By this point, the girl was still far from inflated.

Annette laughed and said, "You two old men'll never get that thing blown up."

Papaw grinned. "I got a ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-hoddamn air compressor out in the shop!" So he and Dad carried the doll out to his workshop and hooked it up to the air compressor.

In a matter of seconds, the doll was fully inflated. But before they could turn off the air compressor, the pocket in between her legs suddenly popped out.

Papaw just stared at it, unable to say anything for several seconds. Finally, he stammered, "Ah-ah-ah-ah-hoddamn, son! She got a goober!"

Friday, June 17, 2005

Beer and Liquor, Never Sicker...

We celebrated my buddy Cree's 28th birthday last night. (Actually, he's my sister's husband's cousin, but that's such a fucking mouthful it's easier to introduce him as "my buddy.") Cree plays guitar and sings every Thursday night at T.R.'s Point on Greenville, so a bunch of us hooked up there to drink, eat cake, and cheer him on.

The drink of choice last night was Red Bull and vodka, a libation that has really gained popularity over the years since rumors started circulating that it could kill you. Back in 2001, there were all these retarded news stories like:

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- The energy drink Red Bull is under
investigation by the Swedish National Food Administration (SNFA) after reports
that a young man in perfect health died after drinking it mixed with
vodka. The young man's hideously mangled remains were discovered plastered
to the grill of a large truck. The exact cause of death is unknown, but an
autopsy revealed trace amouts of Red Bull and vodka in the man's system.
Anyway, I had way too much to drink last night. I didn't die, but I did wake up with a pretty nasty hangover. I've got a splitting headache and my mouth feels like I've been chewing fiberglass, but at least I'm wide awake. Thank you, Red Bull.

Last night was a rarity, because I really don't drink that much anymore. It's not that I get high on life or anything retarded like that. It's just that I've come to realize that there aren't many things more pathetic than a middle-aged drunk (although I realize that there are some who have managed to parlay it into a successful political career).

So as I sit here, bleary-eyed and nauseous, I thought it might be fun to look back at some of the milestones in my rich and fascinating history of overindulgence.

Well, fun for me, anyway.

My First Drink
Dad had a ritual every night of mixing a drink (Dewar's and water) and taking it into the back room where he practiced his guitar. One night (I was about three, I think) I wandered back there to listen to him play and I noticed the drink sitting on top of the amplifier. I reached for it, but Dad told me no. He said it was a grownup drink and that I wouldn't like it. But I whined and pestered him until he finally let me have a sip.

I made a face when I drank it, and he laughed and said, "See? Told you." I don't know if I really liked it or if I was just developing masochistic tendencies at that early age, but as soon as he went back to playing, I grabbed the glass and managed a couple of large gulps before he got it away from me.

After that, things are a bit of a blur. But I woke up the next morning with a Cookie Monster tattoo on my ass and an ugly four-year-old girl in the bed next to me.

My First Buzz
I was a sophomore in high school. One night, after a football game, a bunch of us band geeks drove out to the lake for what was *supposed* to be a keg party. The keg never materialized, but one of the girls (I think her name was Heidi) had managed to procure a bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill.

There were about a dozen of us sitting in a circle around the fire, and we passed the bottle around. I was one of the last people to drink from the bottle, and it was still nearly 3/4 full when it got to me. Still, everybody else was staggering around and shouting in loud, slurred voices about how drunk they were. I took a couple of belts and, feeling a slight buzz, jumped up and joined in the wacky, drunken shenanigans.

I doubt even an anorexic waif who's lost three pints of blood could get that wasted on a sip of cheap-ass wine, so I guess it was an exercise in the power of peer pressure.

My First Blackout
When I was a freshman in college, I truly began to experience the joys of uninhibited binge drinking. My friends (Ix and Sean in particular) were the victims of numerous late night drunken phone calls that basically consisted of me telling them, "I just want you to know, I love you, man!"

But one Friday night, I went well beyond the veil of mere drunkeness. I was hanging out with a guy named Cary and some of his buddies, and we just kept drinking and drinking and drinking... At one point, I vaguely remember people running up to me with full glasses and saying, "Here, Irb! Drink this!" God only knows what I put away that night. Personally, I think I'm happier not knowing...

I have faint recollections of Cary driving me back to my dorm. I stumbled and fell a lot, and I remember a policeman at one time telling Cary, "Get him inside. If I see him again tonight, I'm taking him in."

I woke up in my bed, sicker than I'd ever felt in my entire life. There was vomit all over the bed and the floor, and I'd peed all over myself. I was lucky that was ALL I'd done.

So I showered and put on some clean clothes, and then set to the miserable task of cleaning up the mess. By the time I mopped everything up and did the laundry, I was feeling a lot better. In fact, I was surpringly hungry. It was around 11:30 in the morning, so I decided to go grab something to eat.

I grabbed my keys, but I couldn't find my glasses anywhere. I searched the entire room, but they didn't turn up. The last time I remembered wearing them was at Cary's, so I called him and asked, "Did I leave my glasses at your place last night?"

He paused for a second and said, "Um, no. But you left them here Friday night."

It was Sunday, and I had just experienced my first (and only, so far) lost weekend...

My First Legal Drink
Back in 1986, the legal drinking age in Texas was 19. However, six months after I came of age, it was raised to 21 and I had to spend another 18 months dealing with fake IDs and snarky bartenders.

I've always had this total baby face, and I still get carded occasionally when I buy beer. When it happens now, it totally makes my day. But back when I was 18, I think I looked like I was about 10 or 11 and I had a hell of a time pulling off the fake ID. I was always getting asked about my horoscope sign, and more than one bartender made me sign my (fake) name to compare signatures.

When I turned 19, I assumed all those worries would be over (at least for half a year). Some buddies took me to Bash Riprock's to celebrate. They were carding at the door, and the bouncer ran through the usual gamut of questions with me. He also held my license up to the light and tried to peel away the lamination. In the end, he finally said he wasn't fully convinced, but he was going to let me in.

To add insult to injury, when I ordered a bottle of Corona, the chick behind the bar asked me, "Would you like a nipple on that bottle, little boy?"

My First Legal Drink (Redux)
When I turned 21, my good pal Ix took me to Bowley and Wilson's, a comedy club where the entire act consists of dragging people up on stage and embarrassing the shit out of them. After about five or six Long Island Ice Teas, they pulled me out of the audience and forced me to reenact a scene from Deliverence. And I promise you, it wasn't the nice scene where the retarded kid plays the banjo.

Afterwards, Ix gave me about $20 in singles and took me to a "gentlemen's club." I'd never been to one before (you can take the boy out of the Baptist church, but... well, you know), so Ix just told me to pick the girl on stage I liked best and start tucking dollars into her g-string.

Well, there was a big crowd around one of the stages. I don't know from man-pleasuring dancing, but this girl was obviously quite popular. Another girl danced on the other stage, but there was nobody there to cheer for her and I started feeling sorry for her. (Remember, this was after five or six Long Island Ice Teas.)

She didn't seem particularly happy to be there, but she seemed grateful for any kind of audience. She smiled down at me as she danced, then knelt to let me tuck in some bills. Then, instead of getting back up to dance, she sat down on the edge of the stage and started talking to me.

By this point, I was already composing my letter to the Penthouse Forum. But then she patted me on the head and said, "You're cute. Are you here with your daddy?"

My First Drunken Brawl
Usually, I'm a pretty mellow drunk. But I went through about a two year phase where the booze made me brave. Not in a good way, but in the totally retarded way that caused me to shout "Fuck you!" at cops, or climb up on the roof and try to pee into the pool.

My senior year in college, I was at a Theta Chi party with a bunch of friends when I got into a fight with this enormous redneck fuck named Don.

This guy was huge, like Orca fat, and wearing a black ten-gallon Hoss cowboy hat. Apparently he was standing on the porch near the keg, and he got mad when somebody tried to close the screen. He kicked it open and stormed into the house, bellowing "I said leave it fucking open!" He was shoving past people, knocking them aside. My friend Jim was knocked into a wall and broke his nose.

So I was standing in line at the bathroom waiting to pee (they didn't have a pool or an easily accessible roof) when Jim came running down the hallway holding his nose. There was blood all over his face and shirt.

Another friend, Chuck, told me what had happened. He said Don had been told to leave and, after being threatened with a call to the police, had done so. But it wasn't enough, as far as I was concerned. And being filled with the righteous indignation and sense of invulnerability that comes from losing at Quarters all night long ("DRINK!"), I stormed outside to teach this fucker a lesson.

Chuck and a guy named Jon tried to stop me. And I'd like to say it was a melodramatic scene, with them whispering reverently, "No, Chris! Don't do it! It's not worth it, man!" But the truth is, they were rolling their eyes and saying, "Irb, quit being a retard. You know you can't fight for shit."

Don was standing on the sidewalk with a couple of his friends when we came staggering out onto the porch. He saw us and shouted, "What do you want, faggots?"

"Fuck you, Jabba!" I shouted, as Chuck and Jon tried to physically throw me back into the house. Don started towards me, but Chuck stepped between us. "Look, just give him a break, okay?" he said to Don. "He's really drunk."

Don stopped and glared at me, then shrugged. "Faggot," he muttered. Then he turned and started walking away. I grabbed a half-empty styrofoam cup of beer from the porch railing and hurled it at Don as hard as I could. Unfortunately, my inebriation coupled with my utter lack of athletic ability insured that the cup landed far short and wide of its target.

But Don heard the beer splash, and he whirled around. And I yelled in my best Johnny Cash voice, "Hey, pardner! Sing me a sad, sad song!"

This time Chuck and Jon both stepped up to stop Don, but he just shoved his way past them and beat the living shit out of me. I'd like to say I gave a good accounting of myself, but the truth is all I managed to do was get my blood on his ring when he punched me in the mouth. I don't think I even landed a blow.

I don't really remember how it all ended. I think Chuck ran to call the police, and Jon and Don's friends finally managed to pull him off of me. One of my eyes was swollen shut, my lip was split, and one of my front teeth was chipped. I still have the scar on my chin where Don's ring caught me.

Now that I think about it, that might have been the end of my mean drunk stage...


Ah, booze. It gives us so much and it asks for so little in return...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Stand and Be Counted, Minions! Muahahahaha!

I just installed a counter so I can satisfy my morbid curiousity and see just how many slackers and ne'er-do-wells stop by my page when they're not too busy downloading porn and bomb recipes.

It counts unique users instead of page hits, so unfortunately I can't make myself look more popular by sitting here and hitting Refresh. Sigh... if the results are too depressing, I'll change it so it starts counting at 99,307 or something.

Okay, this isn't much of a post. It feels like something is missing...

Bush is retarded. The red states suck. Ann Coulter is a misshapen skank with a diseased mind and a big fucking adam's apple. But I digress. I'm just saying. Thanks for listening. You've been very therapeutic.

There. Now I feel complete.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The King of Vox Pop

Since it's inception, the Internet has been responsible for convincing millions of people that, somehow, their opinions matter. In that spirit, we* at I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, YOU GODDAMN LIAR!!! are proud to present a brand new segment where you, the opinionated dumbass, have a chance to sound off.

*That's the royal "we." It's actually just me.

Umberto Does Dallas

I went to see Umberto Eco on Sunday night!

For the benefit of those of you who might be, no offense, utter Philistines, Umberto Eco is the brilliant Italian author who wrote a bunch of books you've probably never heard of, except maybe The Name of the Rose, which was made into a movie with Sean Connery and Christian Slater. And since it was the 80s, probably Molly Ringwald.

I've been a huge fan of the man since I read Foucault's Pendulum, which was my introduction to the whole goofy Knights Templar/Holy Grail conspiracy theory. Unlike Dan Brown (whose The Da Vinci Code is widely regarded as a historical treatise by people who are too retarded to remember that they found it in the fiction section), Eco approached the subject matter with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

(I've been working on my own novel about the Templars for quite some time now. My research has run the gamut from the historical to the dubious to the downright retarded, but it was Eco's novel that got me hooked in the first place.)

So anyway, Umberto Eco was in town on Sunday night for an interview and some selected readings, to be followed by pedantic questions from the audience. I went with my friends Sean and Silver, who are my comrades in all things pretentious.

I've never heard Professor Eco speak before, but the guy is just astonishingly brilliant. As it turns out, he's also very witty and engaging. At one point, he was asked about his love of mysteries and he responsed that all philosophers read mysteries, even if they won't admit it, because mysteries ask the greatest question that all philosophers face with regards to existence, "Whodunnit?"

Eco also remarked that he'd been disappointed by the movie adaptation of The Name of the Rose, and had decided afterwards that he would never allow another movie to be made from his work. He said he was contacted some time later by a producer who wanted to adapt Foucault's Pendulum and get Stanley Kubrick to direct. Eco declined the offer, but said he began to have second thoughts about it. Unfortunately, Kubrick passed away about that time.

Dammit. That would've rocked.

After the interview and a few selected readings from his new novel, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, it was time for the audience Q&A. Since this presentation was being recorded for radio broadcast on KERA 90.1, a lot of people seemed to view this as their opportunity to audition.

One dufus stood up with a notecard and read some rambling question that I'm sure sounded really clever when he was writing it in the bubble bath. "Professore, I won't ask you to tell a lie about the truth, for that would be a sin in the eyes of God, but rather I'm asking you to tell the truth about a lie because a lie is just the truth when the truth lies like a true in lie that the heart makes when true is true true lie true true that true because lie true with the lie that is true or is truth that is a lie..."

Or something like that. I lost track of the question, and apparently Professor Eco did as well. He turned to the moderator, confused, to ask him what the fuck this jackass was babbling about (only in a much more cultured and sophisticated way, I imagine).

So after meandering through this witty treacle for five minutes, the dork finally concluded weakly with, "Um, so what are your thoughts on that?" Eco then had the man dragged outside and beaten by NPR goons.

Afterwards, we all went out to stand in a long-ass line and get our books signed. I was really hoping for an opportunity to talk to the professor, just to let him know what an impact his work had made on me. I know he probably hears that kind of crap all the time, but still...

Unfortunately, we were at the back of the line. By the time we got to the front, Eco was clearly exhausted and not at his most sociable. People from his entourage were simply grabbing books from us and handing them to him, and he was just signing them as quickly as he could. He handed my copy of The Island of the Day Before to me, and I thanked him, but I don't think he even noticed. He was too busy signing the next one.

Sigh... it's probably just as well. I would've just said something stupid. "Did you know that a lie is just the truth about an untruth but the truth about a lie is not the truth? Um, so what are your thoughts on that?"


During the intermission, I got to talking to a woman named Stephanie who was sitting behind us. She's cute, smart, funny, and ever bit as geeky as my friends and I. She is also, it turns out, a slathering fangirl of our man Eco.

She joined us for dinner afterwards at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. And while we were all eating, Umberto Eco and his entourage came in.

We chattered excitedly amongst ourselves, wondering what we should do. Should we go talk to him? Should we invite him to sit with us? Should we offer to buy him dinner?

(Silver actually proposed that last suggestion, and then dismissed it because "the man looks like he could eat a lot.")

Anyway, apart from the anticlimatic Eco encounter, dinner was a blast. I was probably a tad more manic than usual because I was showing off for Stephanie. I do that sometimes, because I have the social acumen of a five year old.

But we had fun, and I don't think I scared her *too* badly. We wound up exchanging e-mail addresses and website info because, as I may have mentioned, we're both a tad geeky. I also snuck my phone number into the mix because, dammit, I'm smooooooth!

Just ask the ladies that haven't filed restraining orders, baby!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Evil Monogomous Gays Threaten Holy Institution of Marriage!!!

I know there's a huge nature vs. nurture debate with regards to homosexuality, but I've been wondering if it's possible to turn gay simply out of spite. Because if it is, I think I might be just one showtune away...

My grandfather is circulating another e-mail. This one simply reads:

The God-ordained institution of marriage is under attack in courts across the nation, and your help is needed to save it before the one man-one woman definition of marriage is completely and radically redefined. Go to www.nogaymarriage.com and sign the petition supporting the Marriage Protection Amendment.

The petition itself is from the American Family Association (AFA), and it's basically a short-bus rant about how "activist liberal judges are intent on destroying the institution of marriage." Apparently, the ENTIRE NATION wants to ban same-sex marriage, but a small group of Democrats in the Senate managed to thwart the gaybashing will of the masses.

Goddamn, those are some powerful Democrats! And here I've been mourning the decline of the Democratic party like an idiot for the past few years. I had no idea our entire nation was at the mercy of these Überliberals! And you can't shoot them, because these bad boys eat bullets and shit filibusters, my brother!!!

But I digress...

One of the problems is the line between church and state gets really blurry when you're talking about marriage. Of course, most people don't feel that "separation of church and state" really applies if it's THEIR church that's getting shoved down the throats of the population, which is why they have no problem supporting a constitutional amendment to preserve the Judeo-Christian definition of marriage.

We've already made the distinction between marriages and civil unions. The problem is, the government has decided to ignore the one over which they actually have jurisdiction and instead focus on the one that is none of their business. If marriage truly is a "God-ordained institution," then the federal government has no business legislating it. Leave that up to the churches to decide. If you're a gay Southern Baptist and the Grand Imperial Wizard says no to same-sex marriage, then look elsewhere. (Of course, without dancing and drinking, that would be one suck-ass wedding anyway. I'm just saying...)

The fact that this is even an issue just goes to show you how retarded our nation can be. Back in 2000, Gore and Bush both stated that they felt the issue of same-sex marriage should be left up to each state. Not an ideal solution, but certainly preferable to our current federal mandate of gaybashing.

So what happened? Well, during the 2004 campaign, Bush kept saying he wanted to run on his record. But things weren't going all that well in Iraq, and the economy and job market were tanking here on the homefront. So somebody (*cough* Karl Rove *cough*) had the brilliant idea of misdirecting the voters by making up an issue.

Bush made his pronouncement that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Kerry concurred. But Bush went on to say there should be a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Kerry disagreed. In fact, so did Cheney. But it didn't matter. By that time, most of Bush's supporters had conveniently forgotten about the real issues and were already yammering on about how Kerry supports gay marriage and Kerry wants to make gay marriage mandatory and how if Kerry has his way, then the next thing you know people will want to marry goats...

So now, depending on who you believe, our nation is either totally polarized by this non-issue (according to the Jew-run liberal media) or we're all united in this fight against all things faaabulous except for a few damn liberal holdouts (according to the AFA). Either way, the line has been drawn and the battle is underway to ensure the survival of hot, wet man/woman nuptials.

I just don't get it. It's not like there's any overlap in these two areas. It's not like hordes of men who would've otherwise married women are going to suddenly turn gay. Banning same-sex marriage accomplishes nothing. It's about as pointless as banning Peanut M&Ms to preserve the sancity of the plain ones.

Thanks for listening. You've been very therapeutic.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Let Them Sing It For You

Here's a fun little doohickey that'll allow you to recruit the singing talents of our hottest pop stars, and then bend them to your own sick and twisted agenda. Sort of like "We are the World," with two key differences:

  1. Instead of singing a line apiece, each performer gets a single word.

  2. The results of this musical bouillabaisse will have little, if any, effect on world hunger.

Okay, so maybe there's only one key difference. But hey! It's still fun, right?

We are the ones who make a brighter day,
So let's start clicking...

Bonus: Click here to listen to Chris Isaac, Olivia Newton John, and probably REM shilling for my own humble blog. Sing it, you magnificent bastards!!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Zen and the Art of Comics...

If you've spent any time around me, you know I can't go more than seven seconds without mentioning Generika Adventures (the online comic written by me and illustrated by prodigious man-child Errol "Maximus" Pinto).

The way it works is that I send Maximus this:


Strip #78
The Temple of LMNO Evil – Part I

Panel 1:
We see two doorways within the Temple of LMNO Evil (I’m thinking the Ruins tileset would be about right, but you make the call), divided by a barrier of sorts (fence placeable or sawhorses). GILLETTE, MAYNARD, ELIMAE and GROKKO all stand in the doorway to the left. (If you can manage a turnstile in front of them, that would be great. Otherwise, don’t sweat it). They look slightly worn from standing in line for the past two hours. There are several ADVENTURERS making their way out the door on the right. An Exit sign hangs over the right-hand door.

Caption: The Temple of LMNO Evil…

Gillette: Praise Noehtal. We finally made it through that accursed line.

Panel 2:
The party is walking past a fake PHONETICUS, with a ridiculously cartoony head. He is dressed in a cheesy robe with letters all over it, and he holds a staff with a large A on top of it. We see many ADVENTURERS milling around. GILLETTE looks disgusted by the whole scene.

Phoneticus: Howdy, folks! Welcome to the Temple of LMNO Evil, where adventure is yours for the taking! And don’t forget to visit our gift shop on your way out, for a souvenir of your dungeon-delving derring-do.

Gillette: Disgusting.

Panel 3:
The party is walking past the food court. We can see the SIGNS of several restaurants, plus a BANNER hanging overhead. There are also tables and chairs in the area, and lots of ADVENTURERS milling about (as usual). (Work in as many of the signs as you can, but don’t worry if they won’t all fit.)


Sign: Alphabites!
Sign: Renfru’s Authentic Dwarven Kitchen
Sign: The Eatin’ Ettin
Sign: Burger Khan
Sign: Leaping Lizard Shanks

Gillette: This place is a travesty, a blatant mockery of the fine tradition of adventuring.

Panel 4:
The party is walking past a large courtyard littered with rubble and debris. A number of ADVENTURERS are “exploring” the area. In particular, we see two MEN in modest armor excitedly peering into a barrel. A BANNER hangs overhead.


Man: Woohooo! There’s 3 gold pieces in this barrel!

Gillette: Nothing but a bunch of poseurs and wannabes, who wouldn’t know a *real* adventure if it sank its considerable fangs into their soft, flabby posteriors.

Panel 5:
The party is walking past a stage, where a bunch of ADVENTURERS are gathered. On the stage is GUNTER, a large and burly man. He is juggling three HALFLINGS. GILLETTE is still ranting on, but the rest of the party has been distracted by the show. A BANNER hangs overhead.


Gillette: It’s truly sad. If my former colleagues could see just what has become of their once noble profession, they’d spin in their crypts.

Panel 6:
GILLETTE is walking alone past a stage with a drawn curtain. A SIGN sits on or near the stage, and a BANNER hangs overhead. A few (not many) ADVENTURERS are milling about the area.

A Historical Re-enactment with Hand Puppets

Sign: Next Show – 3:15

Gillette: No respect for tradition. That’s the fault inherent in this whole gaudy affair. These people have absolutely no regard for…

Panel 7:
The same scene as panel 6, only GILLETTE is no longer walking. He has just realized that he’s been abandoned.

Gillette: Um, guys?

Panel 8:
We’re back at the halfling juggling show from panel 5. GILLETTE is standing to the side, glaring angrily at the other three. MAYNARD and GROKKO are watching the show excitedly. ELIMAE is looking at GILLETTE with a huge grin on her face.

Elimae: Aww, come on, Gillette! It’s *hobbit* juggling!


And he then turns it into this:

Click. Read. Repeat.

Anyway, I usually manage to stay a day or two ahead of the schedule, and most of the time, I have at least a vague inkling of where I'm going with the story.

But on Sunday, I swear I got into a zone! I sat down around 9:00 in the evening to knock out a couple of strips. The next thing I knew, it was 3:15 in the morning and I'd churned out 16 of the goddamn things!

I don't want to give too much away. So I'll just say that our intrepid adventurers have faced down some pretty tough adversaries in the past: socially-retarded wizards, alphabet cultists, trolls ("U SUK L4M3R5!!!"), and a fungus demon. However, soon they will find themselves face to face with the most insidious evil in the universe... Ann Coulter!!!

I swear, this shit practically wrote itself. I love it when that happens!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Return of the IXes! (Or is that IXii?)

Ego, a.k.a. IX (neither of which is his REAL name, in case you're wondering), and his family got back from their vacation on Friday night. And they were so grateful to me for watching their house and not beating their dog Daisy into a coma with a sockful of oranges that IX's incredibly hot wife agreed to sleep with me.

No, just kidding. But they did take me out to a very nice dinner. And then IX agreed to sleep with me.

Welcome home, guys!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Schrodinger's Scat

Okay, so it's been almost a week since I last posted. I'm happy to report that IX's house is still standing and Daisy is still alive. But only because I'm a loving and forgiving person...

We had a system. Each morning, around 8:00, I'd wake up and feed her. Then, around 8:30 or 9:00, I'd open the back door and she'd run into the back yard. I'd tell her to "Go potty" about three or four times, and she'd trot out onto the grass and do her business.

But apparently we had a tiff on Sunday night. Maybe it's just me. I'm not sensitive to dogs' needs. All I know is, around 3:00 in the morning, she came bounding into the bedroom and jumped into the bed with me. I woke up to that goddamn cold nose jammed in my eye. So I bolted up and shouted, "No! Off!"

It took about ten minutes, but she finally gave up trying to get up on the bed. She went over to her pillow and laid down, but didn't go to sleep. She just sat there, staring at me and whining.

The next morning, she came running when I put her food out, and I assumed everything was back to normal. But when it came time to "Go potty," she simply refused. I'd open the back door, and she'd run into the dining room. I finally coaxed, coerced, and shoved her out back, with her whining the whole time like I was some kind of dog-beating Nazi scum.

But once she was out, she wouldn't go. For about fifteen minutes, I stood there and kept saying "Go potty." And she'd just sit there on the concrete, glaring at me. So I opened the door and she ran back into the house.

I tried four more times over the next three hours to get her to go, but she just refused. In fact, she'd run from me every time I asked her if she needed to go outside. After my last unsuccessful attempt, I just gave up and went to lunch.

I was only gone an hour or so, but when I got back, I could see she'd been busy. There was a huge dog turd in EVERY GODDAMN ROOM OF THE HOUSE! I honestly didn't know you could pack so much shit into one dog! It defied all known physical laws! It was like some kind of quantum poop!

So I opened the door and ordered her out, and she bolted upstairs. I chased her around the house and finally got her out the door, with her yipping and crying like I was coming after her with an axe. And then, I set about the unpleasant task of cleaning up.

Lest you think I'm a dog-hater, or that Daisy's life is in any danger, I should go ahead and tell you that apparently we've made up. Fortunately, dogs have a shorter memory span than most of Bush's supporters and Daisy's back to loving me again.

Of course, that might just be the Snausages talking...

Anyway, words can't possibly convey to you the sheer, god-renouncing, nihlistic horror that I experienced when I got back from lunch on Monday. So I've tried to recapture the moment as best I could through the magic of MS Paint.

Daisy, you bitch!