Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm so excited, so excited to write a post about caffeine pills

What's little, pill-shaped and helped transform the sexual mores and customs of our society? Of course, I'm talking about the pill. But not the birth control pill, because who cares. I'm talking about caffeine pills, because they're great. Maybe the best things ever invented.

I know in a perfect world, this statement would not rankle anyone. But in our bizarre, backwards society, saying this is almost as bad as professing love for the 2001 Mariah Carey debacle “Glitter” (“Just look at the subtext where it's really a deconstruction of Mesopotamian society,” they claim).

As I said above, though, they're great. They make society a better place and they really don't deserve the unfair world-destroying viewpoint they've acquried (because, as we've already established, what's wrong about society is there exists people who dislike caffeine pills).

This comes from someone who takes them every day and absolutely loves them. When I throw my support behind staying up, you know it's not just because I've always hated naps, it's because they're great. Maybe the best thing ever invented.

At this point, I must reference the seminal (and only) caffeine-pill referencing event of anyone's life. Of course, I am referring to “Jessie's Song.” This is the episode of “Saved by the Bell” where Jessie somehow OD'd on caffeine pills and realized her “drug”-fueled life was hampering her ability to participate in a crap-talent-show-cover-performance of “I'm So Excited.” Sure, every pop-culture referencing blogger/hipster ever hatched has referenced this episode, but they usually chide Jessie for her poor decisions. I say she done good!

First. for those who lived under a rock from 1991 to 1996 when TBS aired this episode roughly 17 times a day, here's a brief clip.

It's actually faulty reasoning as to why she was “so scared.” She needed to to take those pills to both study for mid-terms and prepare for her crap talent show entry. Obviously, that cannot be done in the normal 18 waking hours of a day, and a little chemical boost is necessary to make sleep unnecessary. Resorting to caffeine pills was one of the best decisions Jessie ever made (aside from avoiding “The College Years”). She could study and rehearse and, if Zach hadn't been such a spoilsport, succeed.

And it's because of this episode that everyone has such a negative view upon caffeine pills. Although it occurred 21 years ago (ironically, a drinking age ago), it still sticks in people's minds as reason to avoid caffeine. Whenever someone claims they're tired, and I offer them a caffeine pill (I keep a pretty large stash on me at all times) they get really weird about it. It's like I'm some drug dealer and I'm offering them a gateway drug to the harder stuff—stuff that I can only assume is Children's Tylenol or Vitamin D tablets. Jessie has clearly tarnished the good of caffeine.

This hatred is really weird, because we live in a truly caffeinated society. A Starbucks exists on basically every block in America—and during its largest heyday, that number was closer to 3.6 Starbucks per block. There are constant ads for 5 Hour Energy (which I'll give has no caffeine, but it also doesn't work), caffeinated water, gum and enemas. Yet, when it's distilled down to one of its purest forms, people get freaked out by it. This isn't Ritalin here, people.

Thankfully, there are the open-minded souls out there who want to expand said mind and will partake in the caffeine when offered them. In college, one of my friends was juggling many simultaneous tasks—large class schedule, marathon training, managing editor of the school paper and probably many other hellacious, but superwoman-esque activities.

When she told me about this, I kindly pointed out that caffeine pills are great, maybe the best thing ever invented. The very next day, she had one of the largest concentrations of caffeine ever created sitting on her desk. It was like 1,000 tablets or something! With a stash like that, she became a gung-ho caffeine aficionado who always let me dip into her stash.

On days when I knew I'd struggle to stay awake in class, I'd swing by her office and say “Sarah, it's Tuesday,” which meant I was about to attend my film class screening and she'd give me one pill (drugs are required for Andy Warhol films). Or I'd say “Sarah, it's Wednesday, which meant I had my 2.5 hour uber-lecture and she'd immediately pop me two pills.

Even with this “dependency,” believe it or not shocked society, we still graduated. I think she teaches English in some African country now, and I write blogs where I criticize people for having stupid views about happy substances.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Falling off the Cats Kills Mountains--how my feline "friends" will murder me

As I slid down the stairs, plowing into every step with the small of my back, only one thought flowed through my head. My cats had finally found a way to kill me.

A little background, I own three cats. For anyone who has never seen a cat before, they constantly endanger owners' lives. I know my cats will one day kill me, but I always assumed they'd lacerate my duodenum or perform some sort of bazooka-related fatality (Otis wins), I definitely didn't foresee it happening like this.

Only recently did Otis decide to take out a contract on my life. One of his toys is a Beanie Baby frog that we call Froggy. He loves carrying that thing around the apartment and moaning with it. He also, apparently, likes to use it as an untimely instrument of death. He strategically placed it on the stairs—the very stairs I constantly walk down in order to move from floor to floor.

This is the tramp stamp Otis left on me.
I believe it's Japanese Kanji for "My Bitch."
When I walked downstairs in the pitch dark, I didn't expect Froggy to be underfoot. Froggy was underfoot. I stepped on him and balance immediately left. First my back smashed into a rogue stair, and I then slid down several steps. When I came to a rest, my back was scratched and throbbing, but luckily I did not bash my head open and suffer some life-threatening hemorrhage. You hear that, Otis, I did not bash my head open nor suffer some life-threatening hemorrhage!

I know he's one Froggy-slip away from taking me out for good. I've known this for a long time. Even long before meeting Otis, I knew cats had the potential for evil.

Growing up, I always feared cats, because they always seemed so smart. It's only in hindsight that I realize they were just smart in comparison to my dog who couldn't do any tricks. However, with my little man, Sprocket, I realized that conclusion might not hold true. This cat who has somehow gotten stuck in the vents of my TV not once, not twice, but thrice.

While Otis failed this time, I know he'll try again, and he'll probably succeed. The really scary thing is, Otis is our cat of medium intelligence. He's no Sprocket, but he's also no Rio. She better knows how to play with toys and commit wanton acts of violence. You should see her with pipe cleaners. If they were my jugular, I'd be dead several times over.

Ironically, Rio is the only one who hasn't directly tried ending me. However, she takes great pleasure in pooping on all sorts of things. So she might take me out by Toxoplasmosiodizing up the place, but as of yet nothing has occurred.

Little does Sprocket realize,
I don't keep vital organs in
my nose.
I could solve this cat/murder problem by realizing that a cat is a cat, and I'm a human capable of rational thought. I could also realize that I control their access to kibble, and kibble is the ultimate trump card when it comes to cats. However, they also realize that I'm a huge hunk of meat, and were they to kill me, they'd have 165 pounds of finely toned flesh to feast upon for the next year. Sure, they don't realize that my meat will spoil, or my girlfriend will chide them for their pseudo-cannibalism, but that won't deter them—they'll just focus on the pure volume of me.

With Otis making his first attack, I know my life is on the line. I should be vigilant. I should be protective. I should never be alone in the same room as my four-legged bearers of pain and agony. But I just can't do it. They're far too cute and annoying to be ignored. So I'll continue to love and play with them.

When they knead the blanket covering me, they're not finding internal organs, they're loving. When they mash their face into mine, it's kitty kisses. When they reach into my chest cavity, pull out my still-beating heart, and stare at it before eviscerating it into itty bitty kitty pieces with no semblance of being a vital internal organ, I know they're just saying hearts mean love, and they love me. Or they're referencing “Temple of Doom.” Either way, adorable!

Super adorable!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today Cadbury Creme Eggs, tomorrow the entire global economy—implementing my lunchroom economic system

“Do you want those Doritos? I'll trade you my snack pack for them.”
“No, I really want these, but that Cup O' Dirt Billy has looks delicious, get it for me, and I will make that trade!”
“Ok, so I talked to Billy and got his Cup O' Dirt, but only after I convinced Jenkins to trade me his Mallomars for Allen's Handi-Snack, but Allen wanted the small intestine of a virgin child to enact that trade. After committing manslaughter on a defenseless (and snack free) Scotty, I went through and made all the trades. So I present to you, this Cup O' Dirt. So, is the trade on?”
The ultimate in candy trading value. Especially in winter.
“Sure, but three things. First, lunch is over. Second, in this litigious society where murder in the first is illegal, you're going to have much explaining to do about Scotty's lack of intestine, oh, and life. Finally, I already ate the Doritos. They rocked. Cool Ranch amazing!”

You have just taken a look into my elementary school cafeteria. It's true not a day went by where we didn't lose a Scotty or a Russell or an Erika, but every day I also had access to the finest processed snack items Cheetos could afford.

Only with the benefit of being 26 do I realize that lunch time trades are a premiere economic system. And I don't mean “premiere” in the fact that it's really cool or communistic, no, I mean it as in we should throw out all monetary forms and rely solely upon the value of Skittles during times of hunger.

Sure, this is an updated form of trade and barter, but instead of focusing on unimportant things like oxen or rudimentary plague cures (which ironically also involves Little Debbie snack cakes), my system focuses entirely upon delicious.
Now the big question is, if we eliminate all forms of currency, how do we purchase said items to trade. As an elementary schooler, my snack items just magically appeared in the cupboard. But my knowledge of classmates' snack preferences—that was pure skill. I'd bring bag lunches packed to the gills with Cheetos. Sure, Cheetos kind of suck, but for some reason this guy John liked them, and he always brought a fruit snack that Brian liked, which resulted in a three-way dance that brought me palatable food.

I realize I'm proposing a system of trade and barter, but this is different because who really cares about things like oxen or plague cures when we're talking about cold hard snacks. That automatically makes this system better.

Even bad Doritos have amazing value
What's really great is this is a self-policing system. When someone claims “Hey, I'll trade you my raisins,” it's automatically met with blank stares. Even if they try sugarcoating it (literally!) with a “They're covered in chocolate, and are really awesome!” The stares turn into glares with this clarification (more like glarification!), and food loser is left with his bottom feeding awful foods.

As you can see, my cafeteria represented the most perfect economics system in the world. Take that microeconomics! So long game theory and the Nash Equilibrium! And I'll see you in hell, mercantilism!

Now I don't brand myself as some sort of economist. Sure, I did take an econ class in college, but when 40 percent of a grade is based upon attendance, you really can't expect to learn much. However, I showed up to lunch every day in grades one through 11 (with sporadic hits senior year) and I know the value of items.

Everyone knows a Fruit by the Foot is worth more than a Fruit-Roll Up, based on simple length alone. But I can go beyond that surface level analysis.

A seasonal item obtained out of season will become the new Benjamin Franklin. Those who hoard Robin's Eggs for the winter or chocolate oranges for the summer will reap great benefit on the secondary market. When I see someone trade some peppermint bark and candy corn for a brand new Jaguar in July, I'll know my new financial system has succeeded.

Eventually I'll get my “A Beautiful Mind” moment where all the other professors (I assume I'll be given an automatic professorship somewhere for advancing this awesome theory) will come and give me their pens. However, since I'll have already proven this world has no use for pens, instead they'll give me stacks upon stacks of Milk Duds. And I will fill an entire room with them. It will seem especially suiting that I'll have paid for that house with strategically earned June Candy Corn.

For anyone wanting to invest in snack futures, I'd highly recommend it, bu you probably don't know relative values. Luckily you are reading this right now and will be able to get in on the hot hot fudge market before it cools down. I think that statement is both literal and metaphorical.

So I present to you the “Hierarchy of Snack Foods.” I have noted and weighted the seasonality of certain items. I'll admit, this is an annotated list, but its placements are solid and hierarchical. Each entry is worth roughly two of the following items.

Cookie Dough
Winter Cadbury Eggs (within the Cadbury Egg Hierarchy, it goes crème, mini, caramel)
Anything Hostess-branded
Winter Robin's Eggs
Fruit Roll Up
Dunk-a-Roos (are these even made anymore? The appeal of putting cookies in your own frosting will always appeal)
Crystal Pepsi (reviled in its time, but unique in this decade)
Summer Candy Corn
Fruit by the Foot
24ct Gold
Jelly Beans
Grapes (technically healthy, but also really awesome)
Economic proof that Raisins are a
big pile of worthless crap
Mentos (but only if they sing the theme song)
Diet Coke
Shaped fruit snacks
Unshaped fruit snacks (you can't play with these ones)
Cumin seed (surprisingly high value comes from scarcity, because really, who brings cumin seed to an elementary lunch room?)
Crystal Tab
Pretzels (the rare item of value with no value)
Raisins (worth even less than Pretzels, which have no value. I think this presents some "divide by zero" error, but it still hold true.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Yahtzee Claims Three Victims at World Championships

Hey, after the tragedy that occurred in Birmingham this weekend at the World Yahtzee Tournament, I really don't feel like doing anything funny. Instead, I'm just going to reprint the AP story about the tournament. RIP you Yahtzee aficionados. I know you will be rolling strong in the afterlife!

Yahtzee Claims Three Victims at World Championships
Will this game ever stop causing murders?

BIRMINGHAM, AL (AP) Tragedy once again struck the World Yahtzee Tournament in Birmingham, AL this weekend. Three Yahtzeers were reported dead with dozens more in critical condition at St. Vincent's Hospital, Birmingham.

“Those Yahtzee players, or 'Yahtzeers' are a blight on this fair city,” says Otis Anderson, sheriff of Birmingham PD. “Without them there's no crime. With them, there's this. And this happens every year!”

A seemingly innocuous game hides dark secrets
Tensions rose early when team Live by the Die performed the reviled “Three” maneuver on fellow team Dice Rules (But Not Clay), another elite-level Yahtzee team. To “three” someone involves sneaking up to them and mashing the three-side of the die into their forehead. Known as “The Eyes of the Dark Satan,” threes are not just the weakest of all Yahtzee rolls, this psyche out leaves the four facing the masher's direction, and it's well known that four is a mystical Yahtzee number.

Reportedly the threeing actually drew blood from Dice Rules team member, Marty Rio. Had it stalled out there, more bloodshed might have been averted, but then Jorge Martinez, captain of Live by the Die, coolly claimed “This nerd blood will allow us to hit all of our small straights.”

In the world of Yahtzee, this is akin to insulting one's lineage or biting a thumb at someone. Carnage soon erupted with dice, cups and scorecards flying every which way. These lethal projectiles embedded themselves into others during what has become known as “The fourth bloodiest Yahtzee confrontation ever recorded.”

In addition to Marty Rio, this Yahtzee-fueled riot claimed the lives of Marshall Collins and Cody Mackeray.

Why does a seemingly innocuous game like Yahtzee cause so much chaos? Many people have their theories, but despite efforts from the governing body of Yahtzee, carnage goes hand in hand with this game.

“There are just too many dice in the game! The Monopoly tournament only has one die, and there's only been one death in that tournaments entire history,” says Yahtzee protestor Mary Caruso. “How many people most die before this abomination is relegated to the fringes of society?”

It's worth 50 points, but is it worth 50 lives?
But some come because they are expecting bloodshed.

“Have you ever tried murdering someone with a die before?” It's really frickin' hard!” says Tyler Fosse, a longtime Yahtzee spectator. “Basically, imagine killing someone with a feather... and well, then you've found something that's actually harder, but you get the idea.”

While many people view Yahtzee as just a fun game to play in the living room with family, there's a reason it has earned the underground nickname of “DeathBall.”

“It originally started out as 'Game of Blood,' but then the vampire geeks started subverting our culture,” says Fosse. “So a change was in order, and that change was 'DeathBall.' Sure, the dice aren't actually balls, but the deaths are amazing!”

The increased testosterone and uncertainty create an inherently pressure filled situation. And when combined with the possibilities of small straights, large straights or even Yahtzees!, tensions inevitably run high.

“Anyone who gets tied up with this game will have the scars to prove it,” says Roger Martinson, an Alabama state senator who has repeatedly tried banning the “game” from being played within his state line and hopefully worldwide.

But Milton Bradley, which publishes Yahtzee, didn't seem to care about the chaos such a simple game causes.

“Who the fuck cares if a couple people end up dead? It's going to happen, this is fucking Yahtzee we're talking about here, not the world championship of knitting,” says David Cormack, spokesman for Milton Bradley games.

It should be pointed out that at the last WCoK, a fatality did occur when Ethel Velick tried performing a triple purl maneuver and suffered a massive coronary.

Even with the unfortunate occurrences of the past couple years, Cormack claims the worlds will be back next year. He knows there's no shortage of Yahtzee-competition.

“Sure, Dice Rules is dead, but other teams have earned their chance to appear in the spotlight,” says Cormack. “Teams like Ice Dice, Plip and DIEce deserve to stand up on the world's stage. And if some of them are murdered in a horrible gristly fashion, who cares—that's just Yahtzee.”

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Don't be alarmed, but car alarms don't actually work


Oh no! Either your car is being stolen, or you are signing onto circa 1997 America On-line. Either way, you're in for a hell of a time.

But wait, there's the even more likely third possibility—nothing is happening to your car, it just decided to sound the alarm, and wake your neighbors, and wake your neighbor's cats, and cause the earth to stop spinning on its axis, and causes monks to break vows of silences, and make it so everyone gets really annoyed—that is, because there's the whole ending of all life... from that Earth stopping spinning on the axis thing.

"Wait, there's a slightly annoying
noise? I guess I'm not stealing
cars today! AHAHAHAHAHA!"

Car alarms serve no point. Have you ever been sitting around, heard a car alarm go off and launched into action with your harpoon gun at the ready, to foil a would be car thief? No. Even subtracting out the hyperbole of that statement (harpoons guns = instant hyperbole) nobody in the history of the world has ever said “Let's go clean up this city by stopping that car thief!”

In fact, there actually isn't ever a car thief. If you were to call a police station and very alarmedly tell them a car alarm is going off, their response would have to be, “....... so?” And rightfully so.


The worst part about car alarms is it never seems like they have the same method of turning off. Even on the same car, it seems to vary. If I accidentally hit the alarm button on my car remote, sometimes I just need to press it again, other times I need to put my key in the lock, or set the key in the ignition. Sometimes I need to sacrifice a living goat, but that only happened once back in June 2006, and I've never had to do it since. It was fortuitous I had just gone to the farmer's market and happened to have said goat with me.


I realize cars being stolen are bad news. I'd certainly be upset if someone took my car, because that would greatly limit the amount of cereal I could transport and store (I currently have nine boxes of cereal in my trunk). But the solution of a car alarm actually doesn't work. Any car thief worth anything knows how to use Google to turn off said alarm. For those who haven't mastered Google, apparently covering up the alarm sounder with a sock works wonders. Yes, a sock.


I think it's fairly obvious there are other ways to alert people of a potential stolen car. The most obvious is instead of sounding an insignificant alarm, it blasts out a jolt of electricity. TASER technology has reached the point where it can identify friend from foe. As a result, when someone twirling a mustache tries to get in your car, blam, incapacitated, but you are free to hop in and drive off with your livelihood intact.


Or hell, why not just shoot out a force field? I realize this is like a TASER, but it's even more powerful. Just imagine slicing through someone with car protection, and you know what I'm trying to achieve. Instead of a BLARE, it shoots out murder.

Sure, in this litigious society, an instigator of seemingly pointless force-fielding would probably be frowned upon, but that problem is easily solved when you use your awesome vehicle of death to force-field down the prime litigator in said class action lawsuit.

Oh sorry Mr. Class Action Lawsuiter, my force field
might have nicked you.

I suppose I can support this alarm, but that is out of love, not fear. I can also support it being Marco.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I get more social mores with those adorable "Social Morays"

  Anyone who has read some of my previous postings (Case and Point) probably comes away with one realization—this guy would make an excellent writer for a Christian animated TV show!

Excellent thought, and I wholeheartedly agree with you. But here's the rub, I actually did write for one. A little program called "Auto-B-Good" (you oughta know, you Auto-B-Good). My main focus as a writer consisted of putting the car characters into situations where cars shouldn't be. This means I didn't write episodes where cars went around a race track (and around and around and around and around) or participated in a demolition derby—that's expected. Instead, I had them fly or put on productions of William Shakespeare's tragedy “Romeo and Juliet,” because cars in codpieces automatically brings funny.

"O happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die."
They never produced one of my episodes, but I did play a lot of Four Square with the animators. And from that experience, I have the background and ability to bring the next great children's animation sensation to TV stations throughout the land.

But background alone does not accomplish this, you need to have an idea, and I have a great one. Are you ready for it?

“The Social Morays”

Everyone who has taken intro-level psychology knows what social mores are. I have not, so I have a vague recollection of what someone said to me once in high school. But I DO know the concept is pronounced (and you should too... mores = mor-ays). This will be the most perfect combination of 11th grade psych, and, well, eels.

Now, we all know moray eels love hiding in crevices, but my show will ask the question—what happens when they get out and become social?

I actually know absolutely nothing about morays, I just realized the pun is too awesome to pass up. So I took to reading Wikipedia for some good background on these delightful chordata. Apparently there's a reason morays are called “the teddy bears of the sea,” and it actually is because of their inherent cuteness. Many divers have claimed if they don't give a moray at least three hugs before leaving an area, they can actually see tears welling up in the eel's eye sockets. Which is especially impressive since they don't even have tear ducts.

This format will lend itself to all of the great sitcom setups. In one episode the eels will use their electric ability to steal public access TV (service providers don't give cable access under the sea), and another could feature identical twin eels (Slimy and Martin) who confuse everyone by saying they're the other one—and nobody can tell them apart! Needless to say, hilarity ensues.

But “Social Morays” will not be just the laugh-a-minute, eel-extraordinaire you'd expect from the title, I also plan on having a strong heart behind it (that is, if eels have hearts—Wikipedia, not so clear). Imagine “Blossom” without the titular character, and you get what I'm creating.

Just imagine a “very special episode” where Nathaneel gets gets a hold of some RealSlime®, a slime enhancing hormone. While it's great and makes him stronger and it gets him all the female eels, is it really worth it in the end when it shrinks his genitalia. That is, if eels have genitalia (curses, Wikipedia!). Granted, we did use this storyline on Auto-B-Good, but eels aren't cars, so I'm totally protected.

With the brilliant word pictures I've painted here, you're probably expecting to see this on Fox's Fall schedule, but it just might not happen. Most producers I've contacted are too scared to do a show about one of the slimiest, bitiest creatures of the land. Hey Jerry Bruckheimer, you should return my calls! Apparently your social mores don't apply to “Social Morays.”

I realize shooting underwater and training eels could cost an arm and a leg (literally—again, they bite), but we can shoot this whole thing on the cheap. A sock placed over someone's hand looks conspicuously like an eel. As long as we don't use argyle socks, we should be set. (Picture of sock puppets as the morays. Caption says “Feather reveals Slutette might not be the father of their child, or vice versa... if they swing that way).

Feather reveals Slutette might not be the father of their child, or vice versa... if they swing that way
Hopefully, Jerry Bruckheimer, this has changed your mind and fixed your mores and, you'll return my calls. Speaking of which, do eels have the capability to use telephones? And do they produce high quality fare like “CSI” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (in theatres May 20), because I think I could definitely call one of the characters “Jerry Bruckslimer.”

I can even do this whole thing on the cheap. It's a little known fact, but a sock placed on someone's hand looks conspicuously like an eel. I just need to make sure to not use an argyle sock, and I'm set. Let me rephrase that, we're set. 

I'll see you on TV sets across the land come this September!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Getting Together with The New Pornographers

When I went to see The New Pornographers last year, I had one goal in mind. I would stand next to keyboardist Kathryn Calder and her kicking pipes.

To do this, I showed up at Seattle's Showbox at the Market early. Really early. I thought the show started at seven pm, so I figured if I got there at five, it would leave time enough to get front and off center in front of her keyboard.

The show actually didn't start until nine.

But this meant I was the super first person in line. Like that guy who showed up to the Springsteen show I went to at 3pm Sunday when the show was 8pm Monday. We'd both get massive respect from the superfans (but not really) and get our pick of spots right where we wanted it (him, Bruce, me, Kathryn).

When the doors opened, I rushed the stage and got right next to a keyboard of some sort. People filed in at a much more leisurely pace after me. The first opening band comes on and is thoroughly adequate. Their adequate-oscity is shown in how only half the floor is full. However, people have taken all the spots touching the stage.

The next opening act comes out, and they're much better, they've got an interesting style and a pretty strong lead guitarist. Due to their goodness (and their proximity to the start of the Pornographers), the floor is now completely full up. If I wanted to move, stage dive, perform piracy or breathe, I couldn't.

They finish and the roadies start setting up for The New Pornographers. They swap out drum sets, tune up different guitars and on the other side of the stage... push out a new set of keys. It's at this point I realize I'm not standing in front of a keyboard. Oh no, that's a synthesizer. I'd like to take this time to point out, I didn't actually time travel to the '80s, but it was damned equivalent.

When the band comes on, my fears are confirmed, and I'm sequestered away from Kathryn, banished to the Neko Case side of the stage. I content myself with the fact that the Pornographers put on an awesome show and I have a great time at it. Also making things easier, I decide after the show, I'm going to hang out outside of the venue and wait until the band comes. And then, then I will get a picture with Kathryn.

When the show ends, everyone files outside of the Showbox. A couple fans mill around, eating hot dogs and waiting for the band. After a half hour, I'm the only one remaining. But also after a half hour, I realize the band must have taken some other exit outside of the place.

Bass player John Collins
(please note, not a woman)
Defeated, I head to my car. I had parked about five blocks away, so it's a bit of a journey to get there. On my walk, I tell myself “OK, Kevin, you can drive by the front of the theater before hitting the freeway. If you see them, get out, get you picture and go. If not, oh well, that's expected.”

At this point, I must describe John Collins, the bass player in The New Pornographers. He's a big guy, probably about 6'4”. somewhere north of 200 pounds and has a huge Grizzly Adams beard.

As I drive by the Showbox, I look over and think I see him. “That's the bass player!” I exclaim as I pull over to the side of the road and park. I get out of my car and cross the street and start walking along the sidewalk towards him.

When I get up close to him, I realize that's not John Collins, but one of the ugliest women I've ever seen. However, I don't want to just turn around and head back to my car, because that might offend this man/woman, since she'd know I had confused her for a bass player in an indie superband, and she might be offended (don't worry, it doesn't make sense to me either).

Instead, I walk 40 feet past. I figure this distance is enough to ease off suspicion (don't worry, it doesn't make sense to me either). I then turn around, and the first thing I see is Neko Case. My vision then adjusts, and I realize that the entire band is walking towards me.

I burst up to them and tell them I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and can I get a picture with Kathryn.

They laugh, but did I succeed in my goal? Did I get a picture with her? Well, to quote a line from the band itself... “Success, hurrah.”

Hurrah, indeed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Vampires in Twilight of Life Saved by Blood Bank Infusion

Every hour of every day, a vampire goes hungry. Pangs of hunger fill their fangs, as they seek out sustenance that just is not there. 

Whether people fear receiving HIV from the bloody bite, or they just don't want some undead dude sucking upon their neck or “fang bites are soooo last season,” vampires suffer in silence. They need the blood, but they just cannot get it. They are literally the “Lost Boys” Corey Feldman warned us about. It seems like they have no hope. That is, until now.

Recently, several branches of Vampire Blood Banks have opened. Downtrodden vampires can walk in and receive the red currency that kind-hearted humans have donated. Just imagine a world with no more destitute vampires. No longer will they have to snort lines of garlic or go “ass-to-ass” with the Mummy to eke out a little bit of the red stuff.

“It's actually kind of ironic, because most people criticize banks as soulless bloodsuckers, but that's actually the angle we emphasize!” says Count Balthazar III, CPA, chief proprietor of several chic LA blood dispensaries.

With a logo this cute, you know it'll be a
bloody good time!
The Count explained how at Vampire Blood Banks, humans don't need to have a needle injected into their arm, like those other blood collection places (always the ickiest part). Oh no, with this unique collection opportunity, the friendly vampires come to your home, squash court, rest stop, dojo, synagogue or place of business and engorges upon you at your convenience. Talk about simple—just make sure to invite them in first!

“But what if these people with their mouths firmly suctioned on my neck aren't actually vampires!?!? What if they're just someone who really really really really really likes the taste of blood?!?!” you might indignantly shout. Don't worry, the VBB's intense screening process weeds out lunatics like that—but really, worst case scenario, the blood is still going to a great cause!

Oh, and don't have any lying crosses around. Really, just don't.

Making things even better, it doesn't matter if you have a crap blood type like AB+, at VBB they accept all types and creeds. No longer must you hide your allele shame, you will be welcome and embraced by the community.

What makes this whole endeavor all worthwhile is the look on the vampire's face when they are
saved from certain doom. Imagine watching them go from pale to slightly less pale and know you're responsible for this positive change.

Not all vampires have these trademark good looks
I wholeheartedly support this cause, because if I do not speak up for the unholy creatures of the night, who will? Keep in mind, not all of them have the dashing good looks and charisma of Stephen Root or the guy from “Twilight.” Some have fierce overbites and pale skin. While this would make them a god in the nerd community, nerd blood is notoriously filled with loserish things like thetans, hemoglobin or Bawls. Plus, they'd have to be seen with said nerd, which detracts from a vampires' inherent cool value.

With the advent of the VBB, the nerd pandemic will not end vampire kind, they will live to suck another day (the vampires that is—nerds blow).

Now if you'll excuse me, Doug the Vampire is about to show up to receive my weekly donation. That guy just loves my diabetes blood, because although an affront to God, the poor soul still has a sweet tooth!