Posts from June 2008.

Show Us Your Tweets!

Spent the last two weeks in the weeds at work, with no one to blame but myself. And this coincided with my discovery that Twitter is actually pretty fun. Thus, I spent the latter half of May writing 140-character posts over there instead of 800-word posts over here.

When Twitter was all the rage a year ago, I was mystified by it’s appeal. For those unawares, Twitter is / was supposedly a mechanism by which you could keep friends appraised of your current activities. You fill out a field entitled “What are you doing?” at the top of the Twitter website, hit update, and your status is sent to your friends in the form of an update to their twitter feed, a message to their IM client, or a text to their cell phone. Thus, you get a up-to-the-second running commentary on what all your acquaintances are up to.

Which raises the question: who the the hell would want that? I prefer to have no object permanence concerning my friends, content to believe that they only truly exist when in my company.

Fortunately, some jokers figured out that Twitter is the near perfect medium for one-liners and, if you set up your feed correctly, you can have unlimited wit of the “brevity is the soul of” variety at your disposal . (Or, as Kottke recently put it, “My Twitter friends stream is … open mic night at the Comedy Barn.”).

Naturally, I was compelled to join in the merriment. Here are some of my recent Tweets:

  • Say what you will about Jeffrey Dahmer, at least he didn’t murder people and eat them. Oh, he did? Well, I’m sure it was just a few.
  • On last night’s date I got to third base. She was enjoying the game until then–I probably should have warned her I was going to streak.
  • Strange how “sweetheart” is a term of endearment while “candy-ass” is an insult. Maybe they mean like John Candy.
  • Why can we put a man on the moon but not make a cereal box that stays closed? It was? Totally faked? Well, I guess that explains it.
  • So far the Bee Gees have been true to their word, vis a vis “Staying Alive.” Except for Maurice, the quitter.
  • Trying to keep this meeting on point is like trying to catch a feral opossum with a plastic grocery bag.
  • Thank god potty training is almost over. And after I polish my aim a bit I can start teaching it to the kid.
  • How sunblock works: (1) lotion clogs facial pores; (2) angry red acne disguises sunburn.
  • Waking up on the morning after a scorching Seattle day is like the Big Reveal on a game show entitled “Who Wants A Disfiguring Sunburn.”
  • Wanted to buy antiseptic mouthwash, bought antisemitic mouthwash by mistake. What dope stocked them next to each other? Probably a jew.
  • Attn aspiring writers: the dialog “you clean up good” is now required in every narrative, be it novel, movie, tv show, or cookie fortune.
  • My counterfeiting operation unraveled when I paid for a Hummer with 63,000 singles. Washington is the only one whose nose I can get right!
  • The older I get, the less certain I am that the events depicted in Blue Thunder actually took place.
  • Joe Lieberman is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing doing a strip tease.
  • Dieting tip: put a bowl of fruit in your office at work. After a few weeks, the stench of rotting produce will really curb your appetite..
  • Forgot the Alamo BUT JUST FOR LIKE A SECOND I SWEAR!!
  • I bet Americans would buy a lot more durable goods if we called them durable GREATS!
  • New life ambition: to be posthumously remembered as the world’s finest cattle portraitist.
  • I like that Twitter’s 140-character limits encourages eloquence–brevity is the soul of wit, after all–but too often it also prevents me fr
  • I love you. But I’m not IN love with you. But I AM in a 30-year mortgage with you. And that’s what makes this so difficult.
  • Mighty Girl should write a book for the Twitter age entitled “No One Cares What You Ate Thirty-Seven Seconds Ago.”

Sadly, my ability to crack wise in 140-characters is paltry compared to the seasoned pros. If you want to set up your own Cavalcade O’ Comedy, get a twitter account and start with these fine folks: hotdogsladies, scottsimpson, lonelysandwich, fireland, & AinsleyofAttack. Or just peruse my favorites.

The website also inspired me to make this:

Bitter

Wow, it’s amazing the way I can just think up a joke like that, two months after the referenced event has passed!

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AFI 100: Tootsie

“My friend Pete and I are doing this thing where every night we are going to watch one of AFI’s top 100 movies.”

“How many you going though?”

“Well I only have Star Wars and Tootsie, so we just keep watching those two over and over.”

I’m fairing better than Liz Lemon in my quest to watch the AFI 100, but, when Sydney Pollack died last week, Tootsie was my go-to movie as well. It’s not on my my list, but I wanted to see if it was as good as I remembered.

Verdict: it certainly is, though for reasons entirely different than I recall. I was 11 when I saw the film in the theater and, at the time, enjoyed it primarily because Dustin Hoffman played a man who dressed up like a woman. It was only watching the film as an adult that I recognized that Hoffman does no such thing: he plays a man (Michael Dorsey) and he plays a woman (Dorothy Michaels), but at no time does he play a man playing a woman, at least in the sense of talking in an unbelievable falsetto, over-sashaying, and never letting the audience forget that there’s a y-chromosome underneath the pantyhose (all while we’re supposed to believe that everyone in the film is hoodwinked).

Apparently the Tootsie script is used as an example in all the screenwriting books (so says Lemon), and it’s clear why: the whole thing hangs together remarkably well, even given the preposterous premise. Yes, enduring the “It Might Be You” montage sequences is like getting a gnat in your eye, but the rest of this film is sublime. 9/10


“You were a tomato!!!

RIP Sydney Pollack
A genius on either side of the camera.

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