Archive for the 'misc.' Category

Weird Werds: Awesome

July 13, 2008

I hate it when people use the word ‘awesome’ to describe something negative. Despite the actual definition of the word, I will always associated ‘awesome’ with words like ‘gnarly’ and ‘tubular.’ You know, things that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles used to say.

It really doesn’t matter how many people had their lives ruined by a natural disaster. Once you describe the event as ‘awesome,’ I immediately think of pizza, and I smile.

What words have a strange connotation for you? Sara, I know you’re reading this. Hi.

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Fifteen Pieces of Junk

March 15, 2007

Of the following 20 items, 15 were actually in my car yesterday when I cleaned it out:

1. A cane.

2. My Disneyland Critter Country jacket.

3. A t-shirt featuring Popeye.

4. A definitive list of everyone I have ever had sex with.

5. Bundles of my old high school newspaper.

6. A Simpsons-themed windshield sun blocker thingy.

7. A Captain Crunch-themed windshield sun blocker thingy.

8. A patriotic umbrella.

9. A bloody butcher knife.

10. Unmailed letters to Sara and Meg.

11. A scarf.

12. A Hello Kitty lucha libre mask.

13. A handicap parking placard.

14. An orange safety cone.

15. An Incredible Hulk locker.

16. Hanging file folders.

17. A book about how women should treat their husbands.

18. Collected editions of Little Lulu comics.

19. A Norah Jones CD.

20. A cat.

Old Soul Song

February 14, 2007

Audio: Share a song that reminds you of a current or past relationship.

I despise the fact that so much of my musical taste can be attributed to one person. What makes it worse is that person was a psuedo-almost-maybe-kinda ex. While the label was lacking, my feelings for him couldn’t be so easily denied. Before we met I honestly knew nothing about music, and I would have been hard pressed to pick a favorite artist or album.

After seeing a movie on our first date we visited the Virgin Megastore in what would be the first of countless shopping trips together. I would follow him closely behind in awe of the way he methodically walked up and down every single aisle of the store, listening to samples and browsing for something that might catch his eye. His appeal to me wasn’t that he was a moderately attractive musician, but that he was a nerd. If my comic shop were ten times as large and ten times as loud, this is exactly what I would like every Wednesday when I went there to pick up new books. From that moment I knew we had much in common; probably much more than I will ever be able to deal wiith.

From our conversations during these trips I learned strange bits of trivia and history, slowly starting to develop my taste note by note. One memorable week Bright Eyes, who I had never heard of, released two concept albums on the same day (I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn.) While this meant nothing to me, to him this was no less than the second coming of Christ. After purchasing the discs we immediately rushed to his car for what I thought would be a romantic encounter. Unfortunately, I was soon disappointed to discover that all he wanted to do in the back seat was listen to music.

So we did just that. We listened, and we listened, and over the course of that night I learned a lot about him, Bright Eyes and myself. To this day I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning remains one of my favorite albums, second only to The Magnetic Fields’ I, which he also introduced me to.

Much like my hatred of Build-A-Bears this music is a legacy I’ll probably carry with me forever. I’m quite happy with my current beau, but not a day goes by where I don’t hear a song, or think of a lyric that takes me back in time.

Boring and Loving It

February 13, 2007

Aaron travels a lot for his job. While I could explain to you what he actually does to earn a living, for the purpose of this story it’s easier for me just to say that he talks on the phone a lot and yells at people who work under him. Most weeks that means a two hour commute to and from his corporate headquarters in Burbank, but lately it involves visiting bizarre and seemingly random places. One week it was Chicago, another Reno, and this week he’s in Toledo, Ohio. Due to his incredibly busy schedule these trips are very draining, and most nights he can’t get much more than a few hours sleep. Despite the fact that my schedule is far from busy and far from stressful, I find that I’m getting even less sleep than he is.

I’m trying very hard to stay productive, whether it be cleaning the apartment, visiting friends, or teaching myself to cook (it’s not working,) Unfortunately I find it nearly impossible to do these things during daylight hours. Every night at the stroke of twelve I magically transform from a sloth into Alice from ‘The Brady Bunch.’ Doing laundry, reading about recipes online: anything worth doing gets done when everyone else I know is sleeping.

Hamburger helper

I find this terribly relaxing, and even fun. Without Aaron around to distract me I can really get to work, living my late-night dreams of scrubbing bathroom tile and baking blueberry muffins. Even when I was a single man-whore I never stayed up so late; at least then I had a job to wake up to in the morning. Quitting Macaroni Grill a month ago was one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done — so much so that I can’t find a good reason to go back to work.

Oddly enough, when my internship ended I was having the exact opposite reaction. Without steady income I was moody, erratic and all of the terrible things that I normally am (only moreso!) A job, even a lame one like serving pasta to the masses, coulld not have come too soon. Ironically it was Aaron who was unhappy about me finding work, fearing that it would cut into our weekend getaways and spontaneous trips. He was right, and our little adventures are now few and far between. Now I’m getting weekends off for the first time in a year, and all he has the energy to do is watch me cook him tacos for dinner.

In all liklihood boredom is going to be what pushes me over the edge and back into the job market, it’s only a matter of time. Sure my savings will dry up eventually, but I find that I’m saving all kinds of money by cooking for myself. Hamburger Helper is the new love of my life. In fact, I think I have prepared it for dinner at least four times in the past week. Who can possibly resist such a delicious product, especially when it has a friendly, anthropomorphic kitchen glove on the box?

Eating a pound of ground beef by myself is getting tiresom, and if I have to live like this much longer I don’t know what I will do. Until I figure that out the next step in my life, though, chances are the highlight of my day is still going to be my midnight supply runs to Wal-Mart.

Vox Hunt: Worth A Thousand Words

February 7, 2007

Show us a picture that’s worth a thousand words.
Submitted by sami711.

Joshy

Dear Universal Studios,

February 6, 2007

Hello,

My name is Josh, and I am a lifelong fan of your movie studios, feature films, and theme parks. I would like to thank you for the quality entertainment you have given to me and my family by offering you my services in your time of need.

You see, I, like many others who bother to think about these things, feel that your studio has always had a very weak staple of cartoon stars, and the irony of that is never lost on me. You see, Walt Disney once worked for Universal. In fact, if Walt’s original creation, ‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,’ wasn’t stolen by you he probably never would have left to create Mickey Mouse.

Every time I walk into one of your theme parks I sigh when I see an enormous Curious George or Crash Bandicoot greeting the guests. While Spider-Man and Beetlejuice are quite cool, there is one Universal character in particular I’m always looking for and can never seem to find: Chilly Willy.

Chilly willy

In case you are unfamiliar, Chilly Willy is a small, adorable, semi-mute penguin who wears a ski cap and a scarf. Never quite as popular as that other Universal Studios bird, Chilly has starred in nearly 100 theatrical shorts throughout his career. The truth is that most of these cartoons were awful, but despite this the character has managed to develop a cult following of his own. The lack of presence at Universal theme parks is especially noteworthy when you consider that Woody Woodpecker and the gang are supposedly its’ official mascots. Worse yet, they haven’t made a notable public appearance in about 40 years.

Knowing these things, you’ll understand my shock when I found a women’s t-shirt of the character at Hot Topic, nestled between two especially large piles of Family Guy crap. While it’s not a big deal to see Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny on some merchandise, seeing the Universal cartoon stars on anything warrants a marching band and a ticker-tape parade. Kudos to you, good sirs! (And I do assume you are ‘sirs,’ because I doubt a woman would design a shirt featuring the words ‘Chilly’ and ‘Willy’ so prominently, but I digress…)

With the public’s renewed interest in penguins, perhaps the marketing genuises at the studio can try and capitalize on this somehow. Releasing some Chilly Willy cartoons on DVD would be a nice start, but I have something much more amibtious in mind.

Penguins

If Universal Studios would be willing to loan me the rights to the character for one year, and also, use of a real penguin, I guarantee I could rework the property into something modern and relevant. My proposal includes projects such as taking ‘Chilly Willy’ to summits on global warming, and also, teaching him to do adorable tricks in exchange for pieces of fish!

By covering both ends of the spectrum I can remain respectful of the property while also pushing it head first into the new millennium, While I have no interest in revitalizing Andy Panda or Woody Woodpecker anytime soon, I feel saving Chilly Willy from obscurity is the least I can do for the studio that brought me ‘The Wizard,’ ‘Bride of Frankenstein,’ and terrible ‘King Kong’ remake after terrible ‘King Kong’ remake. It is my hope that you take my offer seriously, and I look forward to receiving your reply!

Thank you again,

– Josh!

Vox Hunt: Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

January 30, 2007

Photo: Show us a postage stamp.

Hawkstamp

I’m quite fond of Hawman, in spite of how ridiculous he may seem at times. While Superman has incredible power, or Batman his training and gadgets, all Hawkman fights crime with is a pair of wings and a mace. This is not to say he isn’t intimidating, though — if you break the law he is going to hit you with a mace! I know if I were a criminal I’d be scared…

Yvonne De Carlo

January 19, 2007

Every so often I take a celebrity’s death very personally. This is obviously strange behavior, since I’ve been no less than ambivalent towards any real loss in my own life. What is even more bizarre are the people who I find myself attached to: one week it’s Frank Gorshin and in another it’s a 1930’s jazz singer who I only learned about by reading their obituary. This week it’s Yvonne De Carlo.

Most people remember Yvonne De Carlo as ‘Lily’ from the cult TV series, ‘The Munsters.’ In this case, I have no shame in admitting that I am ‘most people.’ ‘The Munsters’ is one of those quirky shows that manage to win over the viewer with a combination of humor, sincerity and charm. Just watching a few episodes recently have made me appreciatre how timeless the series really was. Yvonne’s portrayal of Lily as a normal, loving housewife stands out as one of the things that made the show work. Without her providing a sense of normalcy against the wacky situations the family got into each week, things would have gotten very old, very fast.

Yvonne

About a year or so ago I was spending a day at Disneyland with my good friend, Andrea, and her good friend, Joe. Although I didn’t know it when I met him, Joe created and operates Munsterland, one of the most comprehensive Munsters fansites on the internet. While it may not seem like it, Fred, Lily and the gang have an enormous online presence, and fans the world over have been mourning her passing.

Unlike the recent death of Al ‘Grampa Munster’ Lewis, who got extremely weird and political in his later years, Yvonne De Carlo was widely respected both inside the industry and out. Before taking the role of Lily, she had once been a popular Hollywood starlet, originally gaining fame for playing Moses’ wife in ‘The Ten Commandments.’

Even though she was afraid the make-up and costume would ‘turn her ugly,’ Yvonne took the part of Lily Munster to provide for her family. Her husband, a movie stuntman, had been seriously injured while filming a movie and was unable to work. Thankfully for both of them, The Munsters became a hit. The series filmed a total of 70 episodes and had two movies, giving De Carlo plenty of work over the next few years.

While I’ll be Netflixing some of her film work over the next few weeks to honor her (‘Frontier Gal,’ hear I come!) take a moment from your incredibly busy and exciting life to remember a great actress and a classy lady.

Vox Hunt: It Better Be Good

January 18, 2007

What’s the first image that comes up when you Google your name?

Joshua

Mm… hmn. This was part of some kind of online newspaper from Singapore, I believe. I figured it would be something like this.

Fake MySpace Boyfriend

January 8, 2007

I, like everyone else in the Western world, once visited mySpace.com. While this certainly isn’t noteworthy, it might be interesting to know that much of my time there wasn’t spent updating my own personal account, but that of someone else’s.

Whose account was it? Josh’s fictional mySpace boyfriend, Bradley Gaines’, of course!

Cool New Person

Aside from reconnecting with old friends and looking at attractive people I’ll never meet, mySpace never proved to be very interesting to me. For some reason or another, though, I spent an awful lot of time on it — it was almost hypnotic. Before I knew it entire afternoons would pass by just from viewing profiles and leaving comments.

I decided that if I were going to spend so much time on a phony community site, the least I could do is produce a phony person to participate in it. Bradley and I had a wonderful fake courtship before finally settling into our fake relationship. He was created to be the perfect fake man. He loved indie rock, history, surfing, video games and Jimmy Stewart films. If he were real, he no doubt would have been too good for me.

The name was selected because it sounded like that of a soap opera character. As for the images, a good friend of mine was kind enough to volunteer his likeness for the sake of my social experiment. If Bradley weren’t so attractive, it’s likely that the idea of a fake mySpace boyfriend would have died there. However, it turns out that people were fascinated by Bradley; so much so that he received the honor of being featured as a ‘Cool New Person’ on mySpace.com’s main page,

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this was the moment when Bradley’s days became numbered. You see, despite how proud I was of my own creation, I was never selected as a ‘Cool New Person.’ What about Bradley could be cooler or newer than me?

Bradley Gaines

Worse yet, Bradley was receiving solicitations for friends (and more!) while my own inbox collected dust. His profile mentioned countless times that he was a fictional creation in a very real relationship, yet his popularity only seemed to increase each time I logged in. Without sending out a single request or comment Bradley had hundreds of friends. I knew people in real life who still refused to ‘friend me’ even after discussing it with them at length. There was something very wrong here.

It became increasingly obvious that I was jealous of my own creation. For the sake of my online self-esteem, Bradley Gaines had to be put down. He died surrounded by his creator, his fake family, and many, many, many friends.