Tuesday, May 31what it is. so is this racism? to assume that someone is an authority on hip hop if they're black? or to assume that someone's parents don't speak english if they're asian? or to assume that someone can't dance if they're white? or is that just stereotyping? which is, on the scale of these types of things, better. i mean, chances are, if you're chinese, your parents probably don't speak english that well. chances are, if you're black, you're a fan of hip hop. but that's just generalizing right? nothing harmful about that, not in the big scheme of things. then again, stereotypeing leads to racism leads to bad things. so nip the root in the bud?
is it racism to not want to sit in a "beaner mobile" because it's too embarassing? i heard a whole radio program about this issue yesterday, while i was driving down from LA. a marine didn't want to take a trip in his hispanic friend's car because it was a beaner mobile decorated with fuzzy dice and mexican flags. his concern was that his friends would think less of him because he rode around in a beaner mobile. i mean, he didn't have a problem being friends with a mexican, he just didn't want to ride in his car. applaud him for how far he's come? or hate him for not going far enough?
is it racist or funny when the only white person at a vietnamese restaurant gets handed a fork without even being asked for one? i've also had the reverse happen to me once. we got chopsticks and soy sauce put in front of us at an oyster bar. i was a bit put off until i realized we had just ordered the raw tuna. whoops.
is it racism to get extra large portions of orange chicken because you're chinese? what do you call racism that results positively? i mean, i may have gotten the extra chicken but the jewish guy behind me didn't, isn't that racist? do you give the extra orange chicken back because it's positive racism or do you eat it because it's free food? is "positive racism" oxymoronic?
while we're at it, is it sexist or common sense to try not to block a girl's shot? at least up to the point when you're in danger of being outplayed by her; which, for me, usually means about three minutes into a game. is it sexist to not tackle a girl as hard as you can? or once you step onto the field of battle, it's every man and woman for themselves?
is it racist to have american indian nicknames for our sports teams?
[ mike wazowski | 4:59 PM | ]
Monday, May 30...and burn. i didn't like crash because it didn't depict enough racism for me. it was a movie about racism, but it didn't really show me anything "new" about it. racism, as depicted in crash, came at you with a bludgeon. white cop hates black man. immigrant man is suspicious of everyone. black record exec has to whitewash himself to fit in. gun shop owner hates middle easterners (who were actually persian). white rich woman distrusts mexicans. while i admire the attempt to tackle the subject matter, i didn't want to be slammed over the head with racism. i wanted crash to tackle the aspects of racism that we don't alway see in movies. instead, what i got was the caricature racism that we've always seen before.
and that's not to say that depictions of caricature racism was a waste of my time, but i've been there, done that before. i had higher hopes.
what did i like about crash? the acting was excellent, the casting was good, the movie flowed. i liked the scene where ryan phillipe -- a young white cop who had just requested to leave his racist partner -- ends up killing a young black man because he thought he was reaching for his gun. because you know, he was an angry black man reaching for his pocket. that was something that made you think about subtle racism. that's what i wanted to see more of from crash.
the other thing i didn't like about crash was that most of the denouement moments seemed forced. i mean, would a somewhat logical response to racism be to take a gun and go shoot a guy? would it be to stand in front of cops and pretty much ask to be shot? so yeah, i thought crash was decent as a movie, just not so good as social commentary. it was like "love, actually" to me. and if you know what i mean by that, then we're on the same page.
q: why can't stevie wonder read?
[ mike wazowski | 10:25 PM | ]
Thursday, May 26revenge of the geeks. "i wouldn't mind get my ears surgically modified (to be pointy, like spock). i've always wanted to be different and that would be a great way to set myself apart." we watched trekkies last night. i learned a few things. not only about star trek fans, but about the other people that we share this fine universe with. first off, trekkie fans aren't weird. they're no different than anyone else obsessed with a particular hobby. you don't think DJs and music collectors are weird? i'm sure you could slap together a documentary about some pretty weird music fans.
and, as pointed out in the documentary, what's so different about a guy wearing his star trek uniform on a daily basis versus a guy who wears his football team's jersey? not that much if you get to the bottom of it. the only difference is the mocking and snickers that a star trek "jersey" would receive if you saw someone wearing it in a grocery store?
you gotta love'em, these trekkies. they're people who have consciously decided to align themselves with the geekiest of the geeks. star trek could be one of the greatest shows ever made but the majority of earth's population only think of trekkies as dorks, geeks and nerds. nobody mocks the rappers who have scarface posters in every room. nobody says "oh, i love the godfather movies" with a hint of embarassment. but if you say that you're a star trek fan, be prepared to defend yourself. set your phazers to "kill."
why are some geeky obsessions cool? what's the difference between being a star wars fan versus a star trek fan? in the hierarchy of cool, star wars wins hands down. star wars is universally acknowledged as geeky but it's still cool. why? are the star wars movies and characters really that much cooler than the star trek characters? are there hotter girls in star wars? no no and no. and lord of the rings fans, is there anything innately cool about them? hell no. but yet, if you said you were learning to speak elvish and got your ears surgically pointed like an elf -- as opposed to a vulcan -- you might be considered cool. okay, maybe not. but compare learning elvish to learning klingon, one is cool, the other very uncool.
does it take something going mainstream to make it acceptably cool? no, because star trek's made the mainstream and they've made billions of dollars, but they still haven't gotten any respect.
then again, what about comics? comics used to be geek but are slowly gaining cool cred, mainly due to mainstreaming. before, if you read comics you kind of had to talk quietly about it. now, with comic book movies popping up every summer, comics are becoming pretty cool. i mean, unless the movie sucks, in which case you might be embarassed to be a big fan of a bad movie adaptation. say, a daredevil or a captain america. but when semi-obscure comics like ghost rider, blade, hellboy and sin city are hitting the big time, it inflates the cool value of all comics across the board.
so what happened with star trek? is the novelty factor over? was it always a lead in for a geek joke? did william shatner kill the star trek star? i need to know these things to know which geek trends to align myself with for maximum future coolness. i mean, if x-men is now cool, i'm glad i aligned with them at a young age, but will magic or d&d move up in cool class if they get bigger? if poker can hit the big time and make the big bucks, can magic? when does the geek side transition to the cool side?
so far my rule of thumb for totally uncool things to do is this: when answering what you did on a saturday night, if the answer gets an eyebrow raise and an incredulous mocking laugh, you're probably not too cool. if you're afraid to admit to what you did on a saturday night, you're probably in uncool territory.
despite what seems like insurmountable geek prejudice, i know hope floats. video games used to be pretty geeky. but twenty years later, it's now mainstream and a serious billion dollar industry. but even within videogames, only certain games are acceptable. sports games, racing games, fighting games and violent stuff like grand theft auto are socially acceptable. but start to collect fanboy collectibles like the life sized yoshi and you're thrust right back into geekland. maybe there's no escaping it, geekism exists; it's just as debilitating as sexism, racism and all the other -isms, but people don't recognize it as a serious problem. well, i do.
let's work together for a better world, where geeks can join the normal people, and trekkies can wear their uniforms proudly without fear of harassment or being the butt of jokes. i have a dream...
[ mike wazowski | 3:48 PM | ]
Wednesday, May 25it's-a-me, mario! finally, all the time i've spent at a video game company is paying off. i could be in a video game soon. sure i won't be a star, sure the game probably won't be much bigger than a throw in, sure you'd rather see some dead or alive chicks coming out of your console. but hey, i'm in. soon, if all works out great, everyone will be able to play with me. and then all your dreams of being me can come true. oh wait, nobody dreams of being me. oh well.
for the quick photo shoot, we were out in front of the deli where everyone gets their food. it was all good until they asked me to roll up my shorts. "higher please. yup, higher. one more roll please." really? i have to roll my shorts up this high? have you seen my thighs? this is such not a good idea. and then they're like "okay, that's fine. now can you pull them up higher when we shoot? they wear really short shorts in the game." i've never wanted shapely thighs (or shapely anythings) so bad. mortifying.
man, this might be the weakest looking video game character ever.
[ mike wazowski | 11:43 AM | ]
Monday, May 23something, but nothing. supposing you were real bored on a weekend. supposing you had no (available) friends, nothing exciting to do, nothing motivating you to do something fulfilling, what could you do? sit around and complain of boredom? that would work, for about two hours. but then you'd still have a whole rest of the night stretching endlessly ahead.
you could call it a night and sleep, but that's a total waste of time. besides, you're not tired.
you could turn to one of your hobbies that doesn't really mean anything in the big scheme of things. re-runs of mtv? movies you've already seen? have an epic chess/video game duel, resulting in yet another temporary, and hardly satisfying, victory? could you call a friend? catch up with them for five minutes right before they head out on their clubbing excursion? go clubbing yourself, again? play some basketball by the pale moonlight? hope against hope that with enough practice you could still be larry bird-lite? or maybe you could re-organize your music/photo files -- a task that takes no less than two full days. that'll be accomplishing something, wouldn't it?
ultimately we complain of not having enough time to do the important things. like hanging out with the friend you've been neglecting for months. preparing a gift package to send to a faraway destination. reading the book that'll change your life. writing down the thoughts that are so damn important. paying bills, figuring out life, making moves. but no, that stuff takes too much energy and a certain go get'em mentality. we're just looking for down time here.
what to do with this down time? be efficient like some crazed energizer bunny? go from completely finishing one task list to another? no way, that's entirely too responsible and not a part of a normal human's genetic makeup. do people, like, do things? do things that don't matter but do them just to fill up the time? are all minutes equally priceless? or are some minutes given to us specifically to be wasted and spent as we please? is that the price of staying sane? having totally unfulfilling down time? what if you're too sane then? and never really bother cashing in any of those priceless minutes? which is the greater waste? does your life plan feature rollover?
can someone actually say that they're never bored? and is that a good thing?
[ mike wazowski | 2:10 PM | ]
Tuesday, May 17how to make friends and win over people. what does it take to get people to like you? a little charm, some humor, a few minutes of interesting conversation, an open and inviting facial expression? screw all that. the way to get people to like you is to become a "yes" man. for some reason, we unconsciously respond to positive reinforcement -- can't imagine why. if someone says "yes," we're inclined to like them more. by two people repeatedly saying "yes" back and forth to each other, a wonderful and beautiful cycle of positive energy is created and what do you get? insta-friends.
don't believe me? try it. watch (and listen) in on a pair of people who have just met. don't even bother to note what they're talking about, just see if their return statements tend to agree or disagree with each other. after spying on them for a few minutes, query one or the other about how they feel about their new friend. i'd bet that if their answers to each other's questions and comments were mostly positive, they both leave the conversation with good feelings about the other party. better yet, just try this during your next person to person encounter. nod and say "yes" a lot. see if people start to like you more.
can it be so simple? is getting people to like you really just a game of yes or no? is conversational content, body language and mysterious pheromones overemphasized in our study of interpersonal relationships? i think it is. the way to be liked is to say "yes" all the time. and the way to not seem like a tool is to say "no" once in a while.
personally, i like to stick to a strict diet of three "yes's" to each "no." anything outside of this golden ratio is a gray area and i can't vouch for its success. if you deviate from the 3to1 plan, i really can't help it if people don't like you. i just can't, i'm sorry. well, maybe i'd suggest randomly handing out delicious pieces of candy, but that action could be construed in so many different ways. and nobody should be taking candy from strangers anyway.
the beauty of this strategy for making new friends is that this simple method is reversible, like a good jacket. if you want to be disliked, say lots of "no's" and roll your eyes as often as possible. adding in a few "man, you're really stupids" help too.
coming next week: how to get squirrels and birds to do all of your social dirty work.
[ mike wazowski | 12:15 PM | ]
Sunday, May 15what's your problem, kazanski? after headlining over twenty movies, after two decades worth of star turns, this man still gets no respect. that's right, that man is the diminuitive cinema god that is thomas cruise mapother IV. no respect you say? he commands twenty million a movie, he's beyond famous, he dates and faux-dates beautiful women, how is that no respect? well, how many times have you heard this phrase off the tongues of your friends "i love tom cruise, he's such a great actor!" almost never i'd say. and why? because tom cruise is too popular to acknowledge as a good actor? because he's just too tom cruise? i'm not going to argue that tom cruise is the greatest actor of all time, but you have to think that a man with this many hit movies must be doing something right.
check it out. after his debut in 1981's endless love, this is tom cruise's list of movies (in chronological order): taps, outsiders, losin' it, risky business, all the right moves, legend, top gun, color of money, cocktail, rain man, born on the fourth of july, days of thunder, far and away, a few good men, the firm, interview with a vampire, mission: impossibles, jerry maguire, eyes wide shut, magnolia, vanilla sky, minority report, the last samurai, collateral, and the upcoming war of the worlds.
how many of these movies have you seen? how many of these movies have you loved? how many of these movies are deemed "classics?" how many movies on this list do you not recognize? for most people, i'd say there are maybe three movies, max, on this list that they can't place or visualize. three movies out of twenty five or so. that's pretty impressive. you can attribute the success of these movies to marketing drive and promotional power, but that can't explain it all. you can promote an unlikable/untalented actor for a few movies and trick people once or twice, but you keep doing it and their movies will inevitably tank and all the promotional work in the world won't make a hit.
people say that they dislike tom because he always plays the same character. he flashes his pearly whites, he gets angry, he has the patented tom cruise intensity face. people think he's predictable like hulk hogan. you know what i'm talking about. in the old days, when hogan was a good guy and the world still made sense, the hulk would get knocked down, and seemingly out, in every big match. but then the hulkster would raise his twenty four inch python arm to the heavens, get the patented hulk rage, and then proceed to leg drop his opponent into submission -- completing yet another improbable come from behind victory. you knew it was all coming, you'd seen it a billion times before, but it was still awesome. and really, that's what tom's like. you know the tom rage is coming, but it's still effective.
detractors say you see the same thing every time tom cruise is in a movie. who cares? people get oscars for that. you think julia roberts can do anything besides smile? have you seen some of her non-julia roberts vehicles? you think denzel isn't the black tom cruise? he got an oscar for playing the same denzel he always plays, albeit switching it all up as the dark denzel. tom's only beem nominated for an oscar as an actor three times (born on the fourth of july, jerry maguire, magnolia), no wins. his role in the industry is as the oscar good luck charm. many of his co-stars/directors/producers have been nominated or won oscars working alongside him. like shaq, tom cruise makes his teammates better. and like the diesel, tom cruise is underappreciated and always given short shrift by the populace. don't hate on what tom can't do, celebrate what he can -- which is delivering the slam dunk every time.
you could also say that tom's just been "lucky" to be in such great movies. after all, keanu reeves has been in some of the best movies of our generation (point break, speed, matrix), and he's universally recognized as the worst actor ever. but no man is lucky enough to have been in this many hit movies. keanu's movies are good in spite of him, tom's movies are good because well, not always because of him, but he still adds more than he takes away. tom cruise is a good actor. you can't deny it.
sure you never lose sight of the fact that it's tom cruise on the screen, or that it's tom cruise being tom cruise, but outside of fine thespians like edward norton or brad pitt, how many a-list acting stars can get lost behind their role -- without being put behind prosthetic noses, general uglification or mental debilitation. do you ever forget that it's george clooney up on screen? no. does meg ryan ever strike you as anyone other than meg ryan? even tom hanks, the "other tom," has become a parody of himself. few a-list actors can immerse themselves into a chacter enough to make us forget who's behind the mask. most stars have to play to their strengths and that's what tom cruise does. why hate?
now, i'm no tom cruise lover, and i certainly don't stand in line for his movies, but here's what i'm saying: tom cruise movies are enjoyable. tom cruise makes entertaining movies. tom cruise is a good, and criminally underrated, actor. so mr cruise, you can be my wingman anytime.
[ mike wazowski | 1:19 AM | ]
Friday, May 13steal this book. yesterday i got a chance to raid lilly's apartment's library. it was a glorious fifteen minutes. three big shelves full of books for the taking. at first i thought the books were to be borrowed on an honor system. then she explained to me that the books were there to be given away, to be added to your personal collection. i kept asking if it was okay to take all these books because i could hardly believe how this system worked. take and not pay? heaven must be a place like this. how often have you dreamed of being able to just snatch books off the shelf, not wondering about the price, not worrying about if it'll suck, not worried about returning it in twenty one days?
it's like that old game show where you go to the grocery store and fill your shopping cart with as much stuff as you could grab within a certain amount of time. what was that show called? anyway, that's the dream for anybody who shops. don't you walk into certain stores and think "man, what i could do here with five minutes of unsupervised time, a guilt-free conscience, and some quick hands." my number one type of store for this to happen would be a bookstore. followed, in order, by an apple store, a toy store, a costco, and maybe a shoe store -- if i could guarantee stealing the full pairs.
so now i have a dozen new books, stuff ranging from football for dummies, two david sedaris', something incident of some dog, the kite runner, da vinci code, running with scissors, a handful of other popular books from the past year or two. along with these were huge coffee table tomes about architecure and the sixth edition of the history of art. who throws this kind of stuff away? ridiculous. sure, half of the books were travel books or stuff so utterly curious -- s&m 101 anybody? -- that it makes you wonder about your friend's neighbors, but there are always gems in any stack of books. you can't go wrong with free books in front of you. pick a flavor, any flavor.
i've recently been thinking about taking some of my "savings" and buying books. like lots of books. like going down my amazon wish list and just purchasing every book i've ever shown even a modicum of interest in. with say, one thousand dollars, i could buy sixty seven books, at an average price of fifteen dollars each. and suppose i read all sixty seven books within a year or two, would i have justified my investment? i mean, knowledge is priceless but books are expensive. and food for thought is rarely free. and after i read all these books, would i have accomplished something? gotten more marketable? won a medal? become a better person? wasted my time? can i put the books i've read on my resume?
i hate having to go into a bookstore and not being able to get everything i want. purchasing just a few books can be quite costly. even a mere five books a month would amount to seventy five bucks, twelve times a year. that's like my cell phone bill -- and no, i'm not giving up my cell phone, otherwise known as my best friend. anyway, that's the kind of money some of us can't afford. i dream of buying every x-men graphic novel out there, but that would set me back the cost of an ipod or two. and what would i have anyway? a shelf full of comic books? that's so...high school.
supposing i bought all these books and then read them, loved them and let each one affect me in some positive, mind expanding, way. is all that worth more than a grand in cash? i can live for a month off of a grand. a month of free living versus a year's supply of books? hum, tough call. i think, given my financial situation and my on and off concern for my mother's sanity, going for anything but the free month would be idiotic. alternately, for a grand i could get two mini macs, a nice set of mcfarlane toys, a lifetime supply of gummi bears or two new wardrobes. or take my chance and purchase one tenth of a seat at the world poker championships. trading in one thousand dollars for books just doesn't add up.
i think people should get an endowment from the goverment to purchase five hundred dollars worth of books a year. food stamps? we need book stamps. i only eat one meal a day, i can read at least twice. so, forget leave no child behind, fuck the one hundred million given to poetry magazine, make me a make-a-wish kid and give me a lifetime's supply of books. if i got five hundred dollars a year for the next fifty years to buy books, i'd only have spent twenty five grand -- with the caveat that it's someone else's money, making it all the greater of an idea. ah, but the question is, what would i have accompished or done with that twenty five grand worth of reading?
well, honestly, knowing me, probably nothing.
but man would i have an enviable comic book collection.
[ mike wazowski | 3:53 PM | ]
Wednesday, May 11all in. it used to be that life changing statements would begin with "i got a..." and end with "...nintendo." celebrations and congratulations would ensue, and then a summer of fun would be had. nowadays, life changing statements span the range from happy (got a job, got into a school, secured unemployment) to the not so happy (we broke up, someone passed away, i'm moving). so where, in this announcement spectrum, does the phrase "i'm getting married," fall?
clearly in the happy right? your friend, your buddy, your pal, is getting married, hitched, chained. nobody can be one hundred percent unhappy about a marriage announcement. even if you don't think it's the greatest idea in the world, you hope it works out for the best. marriages have that kind of power. sure, marriage is probably akin to clliff jumping, but somehow you can always hope for the best. impending nuptials is happy news.
on the other hand, engagements mean you're close to losing another single friend. and to some of us, that's hard. another friend who has to turn in early at night. another friend who always has the ultimate excuse to back out of things. another friend who has moved on with their lives. another friend who is gone. am i melodrama? perhaps. but it's been documented, and documented well, that once people get married, they've got other things on their minds. like you know, marriage. and each other.
it's not as bad as i might make it out to seem. i actually don't know that many married couples, and of the few that i know, just about all of them are the same as before. the switch from being in a serious relationship to being married isn't all that different. lots of people are married, and they're just as fun as ever, if not more fun.
so why rue the day that your single friends leave you? well, it's one less soldier in the trench, it's one more person taking that big step, and that step might be a step away from you. but really, it's okay, because their joy supercedes any feelings you might have about it. and that's the beauty of it all, marriage conquers everything.
in totally unrelated news, as everyone probably knows by now, gene and connie are both on the glorious path to marriage. congrats. now, about that nintendo...
[ mike wazowski | 3:18 PM | ]
Monday, May 9d'eau de douche. out of a list of fourteen douchebag qualities, i qualified for nine of them. nine. that means, at the very least, i'm about half a douchebag. first, go read the list (see the accompanying picture), and then we'll talk. as i don't think i'm a douchebag, and i've never been called one to my face, i'm here to defend myself on all nine douchebag points of attack.
first, my home state is not michigan. but i've spent four years in michigan. and i don't think it's either the "worst" or the "gayest state in the nation." either way, i'm not from michigan. no douchebag points. so far so good. oh, and my name isn't that bad -- it's just boring. "jo(h)n" is probably the most common name next to steve or michael, which isn't a crime in and of itself, so no douchebag points based on name either.
i don't own any pink shirts, and i would never pop the collars of any shirt i owned. score for me. in fact, i derisively mock all collar poppers at every opportunity. collars should never be popped, even to hide hickeys. it's just stupid. unless you're usher and have made a hit song about popping collars. in which case it's still stupid but at least you're a rich stupid. plus celebrities can wear anything, even if it's bad. i personally blame kanye for the pink shirt popped collar phenomenon. but i blame kanye for a lot of things.
as for those flamingo shirts, some guys can pull it off, some guys can't. the guys who can't are the ones who decide pink is the best way for them to seem "with it" and "cool." that never works. if you somehow can work pink into an attractive ensemble, men will get jealous and women will swoon. guaranteed. i've personally witnessed the power of the pink. having said that, i am no pink shirt wearer, i'm just not that cool. i don't dismiss pink on principle, it just has to be done right.
i also don't wear black undershirts. i'm a white shirt guy, over or under. no black for me. as many women can attest, i'm more white knight than dark prince. *cough*
so far i'm doing really good right? five douchebag qualities and i don't have any of them? that's stellar. i've gone through a third of the list and i'm not even one part douche. that's what i thought as i was reading this. i was starting to laugh at the douchebags around the world who were so......douche! i was nodding my head affirmatively to the brilliance of this guy's analysis. he was so on point, so on top of the douchebag world. i was getting ready to point out all douchebags on the street to my semi-amused friends. and then....
wristband, cell phone clip, hemp bracelet, peace sign, intellectual glasses, michigan paraphernalia, earrings in both ears, not a beer and stupid facial expressions. bam, nine out of the next nine. i was floored, it was true, i was a douchebag. there it was, douche douche douche. fun to say, not fun to be. i couldn't believe it. i've been called many things, i openly admit to being a few less than flattering descriptive terms, but douchebag? that's just got bad connotations all over it. nobody says "oh yeah, he's a douchebag, but we like him, he's fun to hang out with. really good guy." once you've been identified as a douchebag, there's no going back. would i have to go to PB to party now? would i have to like bars? would i have to be the permanent laughing stock of my group of friends? would i even have friends anymore? at the poker table of life, i was on tilt. "and women are the rake."
astonishment turned to anger turned to denial. i'm not a douchebag. people know i'm not a douchebag. just because it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and most importantly, looks like a duck, doesn't mean that it's a duck. does it? axioms like "don't judge a book by its cover" and "be nice to douchebags" had never sprang quicker to my mind. help me, please, i don't want to be a douchebag.
but then i thought about it. i could write off my douche-ish qualities. look, i'll do it right now. wristbands? they're not just for sports anymore, it's a fashion accessory. what's not to like about wristbands? i like them, they're handy and they make my arms look bigger. the fact that they fit comfortably around my bicep might negate this point, but go with it, i'm on douchebag defense. plus i play basketball, which makes me one step above those guys who wear fashion flavored wristbands and don't play basketball at all. haha, poseurs.
and cell phone clips, what's wrong with those? i've got all that room on my (soon to be utility)belt, why not put my cell phone there? i carry around a sidekick, those things are big, i can't jam my pockets with that brick. plus, my phone is my life, i need easy access to it. so what if i like cell phone clips because they make me feel like the fastest mobile phone in the west? so what? i refuse to even defend this one. cell phones were made to be holstered, end of story.
hemp bracelets, peace signs and intellectual glasses. you say douchebag, i say no way. okay, maybe the glasses a bit, but those are so ubiquitous now that you can't even mock them anymore. there needs to be a term for an object of derision that has gone so far past being derided that they've come all the way back to sigh-ing acceptance. a term to describe the process of being tipping pointed, followed by the inevitable jumping of the shark, and then the slow crawl back to reluctant acceptance. "the ashton kutcher" would be my naming suggestion.
i mean, some things, you just lose the energy to mock anymore. like trucker hats, don't you get sick of knee jerk mocking those? or the automatic point and laugh for britney look-a-likes out there? don't you just get sick of hating? for the record, i was never off the trucker hat bandwagon. sure, trucker hats were an increasingly annoying form of fashion, but most hats (trucker or not) have real life applications and should not be dismissed as merely a disposable trend. and hemp bracelets, i've bought them, made them, received them as gifts, and i proudly wear them. what's not to like about hemp? i feel like a 14kt gold or faux-platinum bracelet would have been a more accurate douchebag wrist accessory. hemp is good.
and peace signs. well, peace signs are okay. peace signs are faux-gangsta, peace signs are hip hop, peace signs are a mixed bag. used by a true peace sign guy, they wash over the recipient in a soothingly peaceful dismissive manner. used by pink shirted douchebags, they transform into the ultimate symbols of misrepresentation. don't blame the peace sign, blame the douchebag.
actually, now that i look at the picture, the glasses on display aren't actually intellectual in any way, they're really sunglasses, worn indoors. douche alert! douche alert!
let's skip ahead to the earrings in both ears while we're on accessories. i have earrings in both ears, this is true. but i didn't get them as the signpost to rebellion. i got my first earrings in college, when i was arguably full grown and christian fellowshipped out, hardly rebellious. i also got earrings because i like jewelry. that may make me many things, but douchebag? i think not. plus i have more than just one earring in each ear, which i would like to tell myself makes me more earring hardcore than douchebag. the big cubic zirconia earrings i wear could be used against me, but i'd like to think i wear big earrings to mock pop culture. again, so i tell myself. i live on the very fine edge of self delusion, don't burst my bubble.
while i don't specifically wear a detroit tigers hat, i do have a small collection of michigan gear. again, i went to michigan, i half heartedly support michigan athletics, many of my friends are from michigan, michigan isn't bad. it's in fact, pretty great. so while this might make me a douchebag, i will continue to wear my baby blue michigan hoodie until i die. go blue.
and the not holding a beer while everyone else is? i make sure that when everyone is holding a beer, i'm holding a beer. i'm a lemming like that. there are times when i don't hold a beer though, in which case i like to carry something that's orange or slightly pink coloured. i'm not a big drinker okay? i already smoke, how many vices do you want one man should have?
to the last item on the list: stupid facial expression. everyone has stupid facial expressions when caught on camera. i've got a few examples of my own. despite not agreeing that this sentence -- "i'm too cool to actually have my picture taken, so when you force me to, i will make a facial expression to make it appear that i am cooler than everyone else around me when in reality i suck cock" -- describes my facial expressions, i'll give myself this douche point as to not appear like i care enough about this list to devote any more than a few moments to it.
final score after deliberation by the judge and jury? i'm two points douche. i've flawlessly argued my way out of every douchebag indicator except for the hemp bracelet and the stupid facial expression. i'm not a douchebag, i'm not a douchebag.
this might be the longest post by a sixty four percent douchebag ever.
[ mike wazowski | 1:27 PM | ]
Wednesday, May 4a roller skating jam. (and rollerskates and rollerskates) girl meets boy on tuesday night, boy was high girl fly like kite. i went roller skating yesterday. yes, let the verbal and metaphorical challenges to my manhood rain down now. say what you want about roller skating, i don't care. maybe you'd compare voluntarily roller skating to sodomy -- which a friend actually did. this close minded "friend" of mine stated his preference to be sodomized rather than roller skate. i mean, is it that bad? i'm sure roller skate blisters can't really compare to the pain you might feel with option a-hole. but each man makes his own choice. ouch.
regardless of public (mis)perception about the nature of roller skating, i went last night, for the first time ever. i paid my admission, i rented totally uncool roller skates -- uncool because they were ugly rentals, not because roller skates are incapable of being cool -- and roller skated. and i think i liked it. who knew going around in circles could be so fulfilling? evidentally, a lot of people.
adult skate night attracts your average to super roller skater -- male and female. the average skaters stuck to their lines, put their heads down, and tried not to fall. the super skaters whizzed around the track, cut dangerously close to my personage, and made the averages jealous with their roller skating style and precision. some of the super skaters had routines all made up. apparently roller skating is a very popular couples event. they stepped, they shimmied, they moved their feet in synchronized time. these couples were sick. sick as in "*puke* too cute for words" sick and also sick as in "totally rad, tubular, and super awesome" sick.
i was really resistant to the idea of roller skating at first. i mean, what kind of adult male roller skates? in a rink no less? but i found myself enjoying the experience immensely. after the initial fear of killing myself -- much harder to do on roller skates than it is to do on ice skates -- i was ready to conquer the skating world. i might have said, at least once, that i wished my super hidden natural talent was to roller skate. sadly, the search for my super hidden natural talent continues, but i skate on.
in trying to rationalize my skate joy, i came up with a few theories. maybe i was just attracted to recreational activities popular in the seventies. nope. maybe i fit in better with tall lanky men who wore tight pants and had a je suis homosexual about them. um, i hope not. maybe skating is on the verge of a national comeback and i'm on the leading edge of the revival. highly doubtful. i didn't stop skating long enough to eat mozzarella sticks or drink slurpees, so it can't be about the food. so what is it then? where can my attraction to roller skating lie?
after a few bewildering laps around the rink, i figured it out. i like roller skating because it's a foreign form of movement. at my advanced age, rarely do you get to learn a new way of moving. i already know how to walk, i could precociously crawl from an early age, i know how to run/sprint/canter/trot. i've chosen never to learn how to skip. similarly, i do not know how to nordictrack. i do know how to hop on one leg and bark like a dog. i also know how to swim, bike, crabwalk, and backpedal. i once knew how to skateboard. i own and operate a razor scooter. i know how to ski, snowboard and sort of surf. i can still jump, however minimally. i, sadly, may know the electric slide. i know how to do all of these things. in short, i'm sort of a mini jedi master of movement. but i do not know how to roller skate.
like the sun rising in the east, the danky roller rink in linda vista unveiled a new form of locomotion. roller skating, as an activity and a lifestyle, promised to brighten my life and my day. i picture myself, after a summer of practice, flawlessly jumping curbs and swishing down the streets of our fair city. i want to conquer the eight wheels under my feet. i want to conquer the concrete world. i want to smoothly criss-cross my skates when i take corners. catch me because i'm falling. that's right, i want to be....a roller skater.
[ mike wazowski | 5:33 PM | ]
Tuesday, May 3i left my heart in..... george has lived in the bay for about five years now. i've visited the area maybe three times in my adult life. none of the motivating reasons behind my visits have been related to her. when i tell people that my sister lives in the bay and that i never go there, people are shocked. "you don't visit your sister? san francisco isn't that far away, why don't you ever go see her?" well, the answer is: she comes to visit me. and really, what would i do in san francisco with just george anyway? hang out? we might kill each other at any given moment, why risk it? but now that george has been michiganized and lives with jon g, together, they constitute enough of a reason to visit the bay -- not to be overlooked here is the fact that victor and ameer live in san francisco also. so, off to the bay.
i've always held a semi-resentment for the bay. it's supposedly this wonderful place. the perfect blend of urban life and california aesthetic. the bay is eclectic, educated and invigorating. the weather isn't comparable to southern california but it's better than the east coast. san francisco is the jewel of the eureka state. but i've never had much interest in it. applying for colleges, the one school i definitely didn't want to attend was berkeley. i'm not sure why. i knew no more about berkeley than i did about most other colleges, but all i knew was that i didn't want to go there. eventually in life however, you start to meet people who are from the bay, or people who want to move to the bay, and everyone ends up loving the bay. so i had to know, "what is this bay love about?"
i think i got a taste of it this weekend. the only places i've really been to in san francisco is some of the outlying suburbs, a touch of oakland, and fisherman's wharf. none of that was enough to open my eyes to the wonders of northern california. but this time around, even in one and a half short days, we got to see some more of the city. municipial transportation is still a bitch, pollen kills me, and taxis can be impossible to get, but san francisco seems like a most interesting city. haight street seems to have great shopping. random little stores here and there are cool. san francisco has culture and parks and good places to eat. san francisco has a pulse. i think the chinatown in san francisco is excessively big -- or we just passed through it too many times maybe. nobody likes walking through chinatown, nobody.
the thing i think i like best about san franciso is the architecture. just weird mish mashes of building types and fronts. there is no shame in having pink walls and gold columns next to green shutters. it's part of the style. i like that. san franciso, if nothing else, is interesting to look at. and i've not even gotten a proper introduction to places like the mission, to the book stores and the non-touristy areas. there's so much more there to explore. so yeah, i'll have to go back, if only to rid myself of my unfair prejudice against san francisco once and for all. [pictures]
[ mike wazowski | 4:49 PM | ]
sleepers. one of the things that we did catch while up there was this exhibit of human cadavers entitled "the universe within." this controversial display is the most mind blowing thing i've seen in a while. what a group of scientists have done is taken human bodies and cut them up. and then through the amazing process of plastination, they've preserved the bodies in malleable form to show you the insides. they exhibit more than two hundred pieces of the human body, exposing muscles, nerves, bones, brains, veins and everything in-between. it's pretty ridiculous.
at first, everything seems so fake, but then slowly you start to see the cadavers as real people. this might seem counter-intuitive, since i'd imagine that you usually are shocked at the sight of a dead person, and then eventually get used to seeing it as just an object. it was exactly the opposite for me. i started to see the bodies as being more living than dead. and it kind of tripped me out that all these bodies were chinese. just the slanted eyes were enough to make me uncomfortable to the point that i started feeling as if these bodies on display were somehow closer to me than it would be to a non-asian. stupid i know.
but really, seeing your people all dissected and torn apart, with visitors pointing and accidentally prodding their insides, kind of makes you uncomfortable. it's hard to explain the exhibit without actually experiencing it. imagine going into a room where people who kind of look like you are all dead, stuffed, and put on display. then imagine those models torn up and turned inside out. it was an interesting exhibit to be sure; educational to some and extremely fascinating for all. but it was a little too crazy. i saw the insides of dead people. and man, look at those smoker's lungs. ugh.
[ mike wazowski | 4:48 PM | ]
Monday, May 2astro city. in my quest to construct the perfect utility belt (to replace my murse -- manpurse), i wandered onto this: a superhero supply store. the brooklyn superhero supply company sells grappling hooks, capes, masks, utility belts and anything that a modern day superhero needs. "if we don't have it, a superhero doesn't need it." i've got to get to brooklyn. how cool is this store? beyond that, the store is actually a non-profit writing center for kids aged six to eighteen. behind a secret bookshelf entrance lies the drop-in tutoring center. is this a great idea or what? combining the fun of gadgets with the education of future superheroes. of course, i'm really more interested in the utility belts (and maybe the capes) but that's just because i'm shallow and would prefer to become my own superhero instead of helping kids learn to write.
to further my "always be prepared" goal, i've been looking at pouches and accessories for my utility belt and i must say, i've never spent so much time browsing through police supply web sites, hunter and gun owner web sites, ninja equipment web sites, etc. apparently, woodland camouflage is to wildlife hunters as tartan is to scots. who knew?
so i'm looking at knife pouches, handcuff pouches, flashlight loops, shotgun shell pouches and thinking "hum, will this fit my chapstick? or would it be better to put my hand sanitizer here? is this pouch big enough for a contact case? which hand should i be drawing out my gum with?" i was also looking into underarm holsters, but i decided i probably shouldn't risk getting shot while reaching for my supply of kleenex or something.
in some not really related news, scientists have found a previously thought to be extinct woodpecker. finding a living specimen of the ivory-billed woodpecker has been compared to finding the famously extinct dodo bird -- or akin to finding a living, breathing, eating elvis.
i'm off to explore more pouches and essential belt items -- like belt keepers. remember, pouches aren't just for marsupials anymore, and camo could be the new black. now you know.
[ mike wazowski | 4:51 PM | ]