Posts from April 2003.

Bars

Maybe you’ve seen this, which has been floating around the Internet for some time now:

Wow, just so much to wonder about with this photo.

But the thing that I always ask myself upon seeing pictures such as this is “What’s with the black bars over the eyes?” Presumably they are there to preserve the anonymity of the persons depicted, but does simply blacking out the eyes really prevent folks from recognizing the people shown?

By way of an experiment, I snagged a bunch of headshots off of IMDB and photoshopped black bars over their eyes. Do you have any trouble identifying them all?

If black bars can’t prevent you from identifying 12 people you’ve never even met, can they really keep someone from recognizing an “anonymous” acquaintance in an embarassing photograph? I’m guessing not. In fact, I suspect the whole “bars over eyes preserve anonymity” idea is little more than an urban legend. But if anyone can find any studies on its effectiveness I’d be interested in reading them.

* * *

Brush With Disaster

This morning I was running a little late, so I tried to hurry my routine a bit. Rushing into the bathroom, I grabbed my toothbrush with my right hand and began squeezing toothpaste onto it with my other. But apparently, in my hastened and groggy state, I was unknowingly pushing down on the bristle-end of the brush with the tip of the toothpaste tube, and compensating by applying a little more “lift” to the handle end. This I discovered when the toothpaste tube slipped off the brush, the bristle-end flipped upwards, and the toothpaste catapulted directly into MY EYE! IT BURNS OH GOD HOW IT BURRRRRNS! THE BAKING SODA AND PEROXIDE ARE WHITENING AND BRIGHTING MY CORONA, DEEP CLEANING EVEN THE HARD-TO-REACH SPACES BETWEEN MY EYEBALL AND SOCKET!

I did the classic, cinematic, mook-with-a-gun-getting-shot maneuver: cried out (“Aaa!”), staggered backwards, clutched my wound and slumped into the wall, all while the dropped toothbrush dramatically clattered to the bathroom floor. It would have been just like a scene from a Mike Hammer novel if Mike Hammer had been in the business of removing tarter.

Pick your moral:

  1. It is very important that all activities you perform before the consumption of coffee be done in exactly the same manner, order, and speed that they are done every morning, or ruination shall surely befall you.
  2. There really ought to be a warning on toothpaste that reads “DO NOT FLIP INTO EYE!”
  3. Fuckin’ Tuesdays.
* * *

Love Means Never Having To Pretend You Care

In a restaurant where music is playing over the sound system.

Me: Jeeze, I’ve heard this song three times in the last two days.

The Queen: What is it?

Me: “Last Train To Clarksville,” by The Monkees

Q: Are you sure it’s not the Beatles? It sounds like the Beatles.

Me: No, I’m certain it’s The Monkees. I listened to a lot of Monkees when I was in high school.

Q: You’re kidding me. The Monkees? I thought you liked Talking Heads and The Smiths and stuff.

Me: I did, but … well, there was this girl that I was friends with in high school, and she really liked the Monkees, so I listened to a lot of Monkees too. That’s how I was, then — I just listened to whatever my close friends liked to so we’d have something in common. I listened to Talking Heads because my buddy M. liked them, and I listened to The Smiths because my friend J. liked them, and listened to The Monkees because this girl was way into The Monkees, and so on. I mean, when it comes to music I’ve always been a poseur — but I know I’m a poseur and I don’t pretend that I’m not, so I guess that makes it okay.

Q: I have to pee.

Me: You have to …? I spill my guts, I reveal this fascinating insight into my personality and psychological makeup, and all you can say is “I have to pee”?!

Q: So it seems, poseur.

* * *

I’m A Poet (And Now I Know It)

The theme for the Metro 2003 Poetry On The Buses 2003 project is “Lost and Found,” and a poem I wrote is included.

* * *

Hasta El Mayo

I am on the verge of Blogger Burnout (this was your first clue). I’m not quite there yet, but I kinda feel like the yeti has been treading water for a few weeks, so I’ll do us all a favorite and take a break before my posts become nothing more than announcements that I have nothing to say.

I have updated my favorite posts and added a few new blogs to my sidebar (check out Izzle Pfaff — it rocks like Samanatha Fox), so read those in my absence.
Or you could just stare at this this mesmerizing animated gif for hours on end. Lord knows I have.

I’ll be back on May 1st. See ya.

* * *

Friday Afternoon Scratchpad

In A Slump

April 24th is “Bring Your Kid To Work Day,” which is, like, a total rip-off because I, personally, don’t have a kid. I thought about bringing my four-year old nephew to work that day and introducing him to my coworkers, because it would be fun, when my colleagues said “I didn’t know you had children,” to reply “Yeah, well if my wife asks: I don’t!” But then I remembered that I don’t have a four-year old nephew, so that plan is shot all to hell.

Lacking an actual or surrogate child, I figure I should be allowed to do something else special at work that day. And I’ve been meaning to take up swooning as a hobby for some time now. So on that Thursday I think I’ll just spend the day passing out at the slightest provocation.

Supervisor 1: This report looks great, Matthew.
Supervisor 2: Yes, the Ballard division loves. it. Except …
Me: Yes?
Supervisor 2: Well, they wanted to know if the date could be right-justified.
Me: Right-justi –?! Ohhhhhhh… [slumps sideways in chair, falls off to floor]

Victorians used swooning as an additional punctuation mark, a kind of super exclamation point used to indicate overwhelming surprise, love, or large-hat wearing. But it’s since become something of a lost art. That’s why I’m going to do my part to revive this tradition on the 27th. In fact, it occurs to me that swooning could even have some practical applications:

That One Guy I Work With: [Coming into my office uninvited] Yo Matthew, did you catch ‘American Idol’ last night?
Me: Listen, I’ve told you a dozen times that I don’t have the slightest interest in –
That One Guy I Work With: Kimberly — the blond Kimberly, not the other Kimberly — was supposed to sing this one song, but then Clay –
Me: Please let yourself out when you’re done. [slumps sideways in chair, falls off to floor]

If you are likewise kidless and your office has thick carpets, consider joining me for Swoon With Alarming Frequency At Work Day, April 27th. I’ll be printing up “Swooners Do It In A Crumpled Heap On The Floor” bumper stickers shortly.

Memo To The Teen In The Elevator

You probably think that your t-shirt reading “Pimptown University” makes you look cool. And yet, despite the fact that I myself have remained steadfastly uncool for approximately 32 years, I can assure you, with absolute confidence, that it does not.

A Cutting Remark

My first job was as a meat carver at a buffet-style restaurant — you know, those guys who stand at the end of the line with an enormous knife and half a cow, and, upon request, will give you a slice of beef approximately seven microns thick? Yeah, that was me.

One day I recognized the big, burly guy coming down the buffet line as Mr. S, my second grade teacher. He had been one of my all-time favorite elementary school instructors, because was always cracking bad jokes and allowing me to skip classes to play chess with a friend of mine. I hadn’t thought of him in years, but, now that he was here, I was excited to meet him again as an adult.

I wondered if he’d recognize me a decade after I had been in his class. I assumed not, so as he approached I opened my mouth to greet him, to announce that I had once been his student. But before I speak he looked up, saw me, and cried “Whoa! That is a big motherfucking knife!”

Links

Bad beers reviewed.
Hive, an addictive, two-player strategy game, now has an online demo.
Defense Department ‘Iraqi’s Most Wanted’ Playing Cards. [pdf file]

Five Games You Can Play With Your Iraqi’s Most Wanted’ Playing Cards

  • Operation Iraqi Freecell
  • Gin Rumsfeld
  • Hearts and Minds
  • Haliburton’s Lucrative Contract Bridge
  • War
  • Update: in the comments, Duane added “Go Fish For Weapons of Mass Destruction”
* * *

defective yeti Parenting Tip: Smoke Crack Today!

The Queen and I are putting some thought into a yetiette, so we bought a few books about what prospective mothers (and, hypothetically, fathers) need to do before getting pregnant. The advice for women is usually, like, 330 pages long; the part for men is typically a few paragraphs tacked on before the index.

Allow me to summarize each parent-to-be’s pre-pregnancy duties:


Mothers-To-Be
Fathers-To-Be
Get a complete battery of physicals

Stop consuming alcohol

Stop consuming caffeine

Stop smoking

Eat a well-balanced diet

Take vitamins

Exercise more

Reduce stress
Keep testicles away from plutonium and heavy machinery


Needless to say, The Queen’s a little bitter about the inequity of the preparations. She’s gotta swear off coffee and red wine and cheeseburgers, she has to visit the doctor and the gym, she has to take pre-natal vitamin supplements that contain more minerals than The Museum Of Geological History, and meanwhile my job, when it comes to conception, is essentially “show up”.

I have become a teetotalist, because some of the books recommended that prospective fathers forego the sauce. But the reasons they cited were pretty lame, of the “well there’s really no proof that alcohol has any effect whatsoever on male fertility, but if we don’t tell you to do something your wife is gonna be way annoyed, so why don’t you put the kabosh on the Schlitz Tallboys for a spell, okay?” variety.

Actually, there is one thing all the pre-conception books advise fathers-to-be to do: stop using illicit drugs. Sadly, this doesn’t apply to me. Which is a shame, because if I had a nice, unhealthy addiction to something, I could quit cold turkey and then I would get beaucoup credit from The Queen, what with the agonizing detox and horrific withdrawal process, etc. But that’s the thing about living in Seattle, you know: you always mean to get hooked on heroin, but you put it off and put it off because you figure you can do it any time you want, and then next thing you know the opportunity to get strung-out and score major Queen Kudos has passed you by.

But don’t make the same mistake as me! If you’re male and thinking about having a kid someday, take my advice and smoke some crack today! You may not feel that a crippling drug addition is really the right thing for you at this stage of your life, but, you know, when it comes to parenthood you gotta look to the future. That’s the thing.

* * *

Here’s A Free One For You, Leno

“Did you see the footage of the corporal who put the American flag on the statue of Saddam? Did’ja see that? Apparently the Pentagon thought it was bad for PR, so a superior officer immediately ordered him to take it down. The marine who set up the nativity scene in Baghdad’s Central Square was reprimanded as well.”

* * *

The Unfairness Of It All

Oh sure: you pull down a Baghdad statue of Saddam and you’re celebrated worldwide as a hero, but you drunkenly urinate on a University of Washington statue of Galilio ONE TIME and they ban you from the campus forever. Like that’s fair.

Also, according to NPR today’s weather will be, and I quote, “rain, showers, and possible thudershowers.” Woo Seattle!

* * *

Marks The Spot

Triple-X Syndrome: A rare chromosomal aberration characterized by the presence of three female chromosomes. May result in learning difficulties, delayed acquisition of certain motor skills, and inhibition of speech development.

Well, that would certainly explain Vin Diesel’s performance in xXx.

* * *