Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oh, that's right, I printed something one second ago!

I am now 100% absolutely goddamn sure I just printed something.

You know... I'm not really sure how to begin, but I'll preface by saying that sometimes technology rubs me the wrong way. Not in a suicidal Radiohead-OK Computer kind of way, but maybe more in a Rage Against the Machine way.

For instance, those water-saving smart toilets that supposedly know when to flush are truly a fantastic accomplishment of human ingenuity. They sense when you're done doing your thing and then do you the courtesy of sucking down your poo without you needing to touch anything. That is except that they tend to flush 4-5 times even if you're in there for only 20 seconds just to adjust your shirt tuck. How "smart".

Computers are particularly frustrating. Microsoft Windows is especially good at pushing those tiny buttons in my brain that make me pound the table and mutter things like "Holy shit I swear to motherfucking Christ fuck I'm gonna fucking kill something this is fucking ridiculous oh my god i fucking hate this piece of shit you asshole bastard fuck fuck FUCK (with table pound and continued muttering)."

That friendly, bug-eyed Paperclip that pops up every time you do anything in Word is also a fun one. I almost feel bad for it, it just wants to help, but Microsoft just made him fucking annoying. It's like that pudgy kid in middle school who was reeeeally friendly but also reeeeally dorky, dorkier than you (me) even, and so you always blew him off just in case any of the cool kids might catch you being seen with him. That kid was the Paperclip. Shit, that kid probably created the Paperclip.

Worse than poorly programmed human-computer interface psychology experiments like the Paperclip are the little itty-bitty things that just make your life slightly more difficult. For instance, take the following scenario:

1) I'm working on a document, "List of Hot Men.doc", and want to print it.
2) I click the printer icon to print the document.
3) The printer right-fucking-next-to-me starts printing "List of Hot Men.doc".
4) After it's done printing, up pops a little balloon in the bottom-right of the Desktop telling me extremely useful information such as:

  • "This document has been sent to the printer"
  • "Document name: 'S:\trkn.xerxes.smi.\230GH-I70\Proje..."
  • "Printer name: \\PS09\M913-LJ43KT"
Okay. That's all completely necessary information. What is it I'm supposed to do now, thank the computer? It sure seems like it, because that helpful little balloon won't ever, ever, ever go away until you hit the tiny little "x" to close it. If DC was ever attacked with nerve gas on like a Wednesday morning, the Feds would need to put together a special task force just to go floor-to-floor throughout the city in order to close these balloons.

Microsoft: please, please, please stop doing these things. Please.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


My cell phone's camera apparently has remarkable resolution.

I snapped this shot of a commercial airliner landing on runway 1/19 at Reagan National Airport from my camera phone when I biked down to Gravelly Point on Sunday. I had no idea this place even existed until I stumbled upon it while winding through the Mt. Vernon Trail on the Virginia side of the Potomac. Planes land on this runway---thundering in just ~100 feet overhead---about every 3 or 4 minutes, and in between landings 2 planes would usually take off. Seeing how little margin of error there is for take-offs and landings made me realize why it's safer to be in the air than on the ground.

Fun Fact: Gravelly Point is built atop a garbage dump, which explains why part of it is known as "Roaches Run." Big angry rats like it here, too, and I've heard there's even a foursome of highly-trained turtle ninjas running around. Kids are discouraged from playing near Roaches Run.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hot Chicks with Douchbags

It's not a stretch in any way to say that this is what the world has been waiting for. I've spent easily an hour just now pouring through the pictures and commentaries on Hot Chicks with Douchebags, and I'm still finding myself laugh out loud (yes..."LOL"). I've seen some pretty choady things in my day, but the pictures assembled here are off the scrote charts. It's impossible to read this site for even 5 minutes and not develop a refined hatred of New Jersey.

This site is something every guy can relate to; that is, unless you're one of the douchebags hoisted up in the Hall of Scrote, like "Oopma Prompa" below.


The author of HCwDB writes of Prom Oompa Loompa:

"There's a certain genius to the Prompa, and it's not just the zoot suit or the orange or the hair. It's that nervous moment we can all relate to. That glance around right before going to the prom when you're waiting in line and making sure your tie's on straight. The only difference is that unlike all of us at our prom who just felt like we looked ridiculous, Prompa actually does look absolutely ridiculous."

It's pure gold. Here's a picture of a d'bag
he refers to as "Ab Lobster".

Part of the brilliance is that the same asswipes turn up over and over again. Ab Lobster, for instance, is a regular, even though he may not know it.

You're doing yourself a great disservice if you don't check out this site. Many kudos to Douchebag1, the author and proprietor of this site. Respect also to They Promised Us Jetpacks and We Got Blogs for leading me to this site. You've saved me from at least 3 days of work.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


With the upcoming release of what will probably be another one of the most overanticipated and underenjoyed movies of all time, I thought it was interesting that I stumbled across this in Google's Patent search (which apparently exists).

Recognize that fella? That's fucking Megatron boy-ee. So you'd better recognize.

Getting excited about stumbling upon the patent filed for the Megatron "toy gun convertible into robot-humanoid form" fills me with both glee and a weighty sense of nostalgia. While it makes me happy to be reminded of one of the best cartoon during my childhood, I recognize that it's pretty fucking lame to have been so by looking at a patent from 1986.

In digging a little bit, I'm amazed to learn that new shows only ran for 3 years, between 1984 and 1987. I guess I didn't really realize that when I was 6, since watching the same episode 20 times in a month didn't make much of a difference to me.

If you remember, things changed considerably in the series when the first Transformers movie (The Transformers: The Movie) came out in 1986. In this screaming guitar solo-laced cartoon movie, Megatron and his Decepticons committed countless atrocities against the Autobots and their wimpy human friends. Basically all of the main characters were killed off, not to mention that this was the first time any character had ever died in any cartoon show. So to really drive home the point that 6-year olds shouldn't just naively assume cartoon robots that battle for global domination against an evil transformable-robot syndicate every day are immortal, the movie's producers included a scene in which Megatron shoots Autobot Ironhide point-blank in the head after telling him about the plan to destroy Autobot City. Ironhide's corpse was later recovered and given the honor of being laid to rest in the Autobots' deep-space mausoleum, which was later destroyed. That's really necessary. I guess just in case we had any doubt about the smoking hole in Ironhide's skull...or metal box that looks like a head.

The tattered corpses of Autobots Windcharger and Wheeljack, murdered without a doubt by Decepticons in The Transformers: The Movie.

It really isn't surprising that the same production company that made the first Transformers movie also made the G.I. Joe Movie, which contained the same measure of unexpected violent insanity.

So what will the next generation of Transformers movies look like? Well, it's been 20 years, so it probably won't have the voice of the now-deceased Orson Welles, though I bet the music will be just as bad (cue Nickelback). I imagine my impression of it will be different, too, since I didn't make a practice of going to movies drunk when I was 6 years old.

Here's my prediction: 1 part shitty Spiderman CGI + 1 part Godzilla action + 1 part Starship Troopers dialogue.

Stop swinging. Stop running. Stop talking.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Modest Proposal

So I'm engaged. And here's how I did it.

[Proprietor's note: for those who don't know me, I've used a transgender eponym throughout this post, see if you can spot it. If you can, you win!]

I proposed to my beautiful Moroccan boyfriend, Michael, last Wednesday, and he said "yes." I put "yes" in quotes because a) it's the proper thing to do grammatically (please don't double-check this) and b) he didn't actually say the word "yes." In reality what happened was that I proposed and then Michael broke into song about how his father would never accept this love. Fortunately I hired a string and horn section to help convince him by musical counterargument. My ragtag orchestra quickly picked up on the unusual Dorian C-flat he was using and things went pretty well for me from there, ultimately leading to a dramatic but light-hearted climax by the strings section during which he exclaimed "yes!" in response, and we all went into a delicate and timely pianississimo outro. I really hate musicals, so this meant a lot to Michael.

Michael and I at our celebratory happy hour. Confused?

This is how it all went down like a clown.

Michael was heading out of town for a friend's engagement party last weekend, so I knew he wanted to show off his shiny new precious to all his friends. This meant I had to act fast, considering I didn't really decide until Wednesday at 4:00pm to "pop the question" that evening. Michael was getting home from work late that night, around 8:30pm, so I had time to put some rudimentary plans I had been working on into motion.

Getting home from work at 6:30pm didn't give me much time, but I went into action quickly, and being someone who likes to work under pressure, some natural gay inspiration struck.

The general idea was for Michael to come home at 8:30 on Wednesday night, walk in the entryway, and find a note telling him to meet me at a predetermined (but secret) location, and that there's a cab waiting outside to take him to meet me. Upon meeting me at the location (the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and WWII Memorial), I'd get on one knee and propose. The trick was for the proposal to be a "sneak attack" (thanks to Jewish Nate for this tactic) by making him think it'd be on Thursday, since it was somewhat expected to be coming. Things weren't quite that simple, as I found out, and didn't quite work out as planned...

So the first order of business was to trick Michael, which I did via text message by saying "we should go to a nice dinner tomorrow night." He replied "that sounds nice..." and I knew he'd taken the bait. The next order of business was to get some flowers.

So I walk into the flower shop on Q St just off Connecticut Ave in Dupont and ask for a dozen roses and the woman running the shop goes to retrieve them. Then that really creepy, sometimes-eye-patched, one-crutch Pakistani dude who runs the $5 "claw" umbrella outfit atop the Dupont North metro stop showed up and started conversing with the woman getting my flowers. That's when I knew things were about to get kinda awkward. Upon bringing my flowers back, she asks "what's the occasion: anniversary, birthday?" I said, "uhhhh, proposal, actually." What came next was completely unexpected and bogglingly long-winded. It's as if I had been thrown into the middle of a fucking Friends episode. I won't bore you with a transcript of the entire one-way "conversation", but it was highlighted by comments like these:

  • "you'll be lucky if you only end up getting married 3 times," and,

  • "you're young, marriage is fun, but when you get old it's absolutely miserable," and finally,

  • "If I had to do it all over again I would never have gotten married, NEVER!"

Seriously, where did this fucking woman come from? If I were a pious man I'd have thought this was a sign. Thankfully, I'm not, and instead realized that this woman is probably just married to the creepy, sometimes-eye-patched, one-crutch Pakistani dude who runs the $5 "claw" umbrella outfit atop the Dupont North metro stop.

So I got back to our apartment and started planning the night out. I set up a little pedestal in the entryway with a single rose in a vase and taped this small Ikea spotlight that I haven't used in years to a doorjamb to make it all dramatic. I wrote out a note about the cab, etc, and stuck it in an envelope and put it next to the rose.

The next order of business was to arrange the taxis; one for me, and one for him. I thought this would be easy, but it turns out that DC taxis won't pick you up at a scheduled time unless you're going to an airport or train station. That would've been good to know beforehand, huh? So I spent 45 minutes trying to find a cab company that would send two cabs at the needed times. Finally, I found this dispatcher with Diamond Cab that, after explaining my dilemma, volunteered to help. He offered some advice though: "Something will go wrong tonight, whether it's the cork on the champagne shooting off and killing a squirrel that falls onto your girl's head or something else, something always goes wrong." Sage words.

So with the cabs coming at 8:15 and 8:30, I was all set. What was supposed to happen next was that I'd get in the first cab and take off for the Reflecting Pool close to the WWII Memorial. Then Michael, getting home from work at 8:30, would go up to our apartment, see the note, and go back downstairs to get in the second cab which would take him to the same place. Upon arriving I'd be standing there in a suit with a little boombox playing "our song" and propose there under the watchful eyes of Honest Abe a handful of teary-eyed tourists. By the way, "our song" is Waltz #2 by Elliott Smith, who stabbed himself to death in his kitchen ...lovely.

So, as I was coming down the stairs of our apartment building to go and hide around the corner in case Michael got home early, this black sedan pulls up. I had no idea who was in it because the windows were tinted black, but just in case I tried to run down a little ramp and duck behind some of the landscaping. Of course, as Michael got out of the sedan he saw me feverishly running around the patio in a suit carrying a dozen roses and a backpack. The next thing I hear is "What are you doing back there honey?"

So I had to pull the trigger early and I proposed in our apartment. The story wouldn't be complete without adding that when the similarly hopeless-romantic cab dispatcher called to tell me the first taxi was outside, I told him that Michael got home too early and the plan had to be aborted. To which he replied "I told you something will go wrong, something always does." Touche cab dispatcher, touche.

If you're thinking about proposing and need an idea, feel free to take mine, but just do me the courtesy of telling me if it worked. And if you're not 100% confident in your decision to pop the question, I wouldn't recommend going to the flower shop on Q St between Connecticut and 19th.

chillin like a villain

When I picture Hamas militants making trouble in the Gaza Strip, I usually picture scary, hooded, assault weapon-toting men driving down the street in pickup trucks shooting kids in the face. So this picture threw me off a little bit.

"Yeah, I'd like to order a large cheese pizza with wait hold on...half pepperoni and half cheese...sorry, hold on...okay, make that all pepperoni again."

Credit goes to New York Nick for finding this picture...he found it on Drudge.

Friday, June 08, 2007

So...what's new in my life?

It's been over a week since I posted something, and that's probably because life's been a bit hectic lately. Let's see why it has been:

1) Big meeting next week that still isn't fully planned
2) Weekend away in the hills
3) Caught the plague from Bon-Journey
4) Planning a business trip to Spain
5) Got engaged

More on these, and other far more important topics, soon.