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Last night I had a dream in which Darth Vader told me that Chewbacca's constant propinquity to sudden emotional outburst is rooted in the psychological damage done to him by the over-accelerated infant potty training schedule required for integration into human society.
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My son and I have been listening to the Tom Waits album "Small Change" during bath-time recently. Every time he gets out of the tub, he picks up the CD case, points his finger at the exotic dancer, and declares, "Boob."

Image behind the cut )

That stripper is apparently none other than Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
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You know it's time to watch your language when the 18-month old in the house says, "Shit!?"
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Before becoming the father of a boy I never intentionally explored my masculinity. This should come as no surprise to those of you who have seen me intentionally wear women's clothing (usually on stage, in front of an audience, to maximize the humiliation). After my son was born, I grew a beard. That was just the beginning. I also bathe less, no longer listen attentively to my wife, and prefer the company of my lawn mower. To celebrate my son's birthday, I took the next step and bought a propane grill (I have to work my way up to charcoal, which is further up the masculine ladder beyond caber tossing).

It felt great cooking for the first time today. Open flames. Beautiful weather. Baby in one arm, hot poker in the other. Cayenne in the eyes. This is the stuff of which men are made. However, one thing struck me as very unmanly: cleaning the grill. Do you really need to clean the grill as thoroughly as the instructions describe? Cleaning isn't very manly (of course neither is reading the instructions), so I don't understand why grilling appeals to men. I'd rather clean a cast iron pot or a steel pan any day. So, what gives? Men of the world, how often do I need to clean my grill?
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Last night, on a whim, I went to a heavy metal show at the Outback Lodge. Pelican with Black Cobra and Unearthly Trance. Pelican was about as intimidating as the bird itself, but they are a skilled quartet who blast out some engaging instrumental compositions. Unearthly Trance was rather sludgy doomy metal. And Black Cobra was easily the most noise I have ever heard two people make together. They sounded like an orchestra of assault rifles.

The room is absolutely packed. I'm all the way at the rear of the Lodge with my back pressing against a tall table. Toward the end of Black Cobra's set this dude squeezes through the crowd like pudding through clenched teeth toward my position at the back of the room. He's shirtless, young, and totally wasted on some vicious cocktail of booze and barbiturates. He climbs the table behind me and tries to pass out in a comfortable position. Please note, this table does not have four legs. It has single pedestal base for support. The table is starting to rock n roll as this guy shifts his weight and digs his toes into my back. It's not long before I realize that the only thing holding the table upright is me. I have terrible visions of this guy pitching forward, taking the table down on me and chopping me right in half.

During a lull in the explosions on stage the crowd begins to thin and a space opens up off to my right. I yell in the ear of a friend standing next to me, "Hey, I'm going to move over there so this guy can fall off the table." He shrugged and followed, not realizing I was serious. Sure enough, not a minute later, the shirtless wonder tips the table and he goes crashing onto the floor. Fortunately, a couple of beer bottles broke his fall.

And I just laughed. Normally, I'm not a cruel person, but this guy had it coming and the situation tickled me. In fact, it made my day. I still giggle thinking about it. For some reason I derive pleasure from drunks and dope-heads suffering the consequences of their actions. I probably would have been more concerned, but the guy didn't seem any worse on the floor than he had been on his feet. In fact, he probably should have stayed on the floor, but he did have a companion help him up into a chair where he proceeded to pass out again. God loves a drunk.

The Flood

Feb. 20th, 2008 11:16 pm
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Many cultures have giant flood stories. Noah and his Ark, of course, is one. I have read several others. Thus far in my reading, no one does it better than Ovid in the "Metamorphoses."

One of my favorite moments, from the translation by Charles Martin:

"The Nereids marvel at the sight of the groves,
cities, and dwelling places all submerged,
while dolphins take possession of the woods
and shake the lofty branches of the oak
as they brush by."
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Do you remember that guy who wrote and starred in the TV Show "Get A Life"? Also, the film "Cabin Boy." Chris Elliott is most probably a TV/film writer and so-called actor, but apparently he wrote a novel. And allegedly, I read it. It is reportedly called Shroud of the Thwacker. And vicious rumors have been spread about it making me laugh out loud (that's LOL, for the illiterate readers of my journal) nearly as much as when I read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The plot is ostensibly a Caleb Carr style murder mystery in a grimy 19th century New York City setting filled with the most inexplicably bizarre tangents, metaphors, and situations I have supposedly read in a long time.

Dear John

Feb. 14th, 2008 11:19 pm
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Dear LiveJournal,

Seein' as it's Valentine's Day and all, I thought I'd come clean with you. I been cheatin' on you with Facebook this week. I'm not askin' for your forgiveness. But maybe next week, we can forget this ever happened.

Yours Truly,
Spanky

p.s. See LJ? I even used your secret name for me. I won't forget you.
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Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] krasota
You live in Minnesota
You look like the giant
and you smell like...um...deuteromycota.
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When my son asks me where babies come from, I will tell him that a man and woman must engage in a voodoo love dance. The male choreography was pioneered by Elvis Presley. Prior to that, babies emerged from sunflowers. You'll have to ask your mother who invented the female choreography. And if you find you like that side of the dance better, let me know, so I can buy grandpa some smelling salts and a bottle of scotch for his next birthday.
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Tonight I went to the Gravity Lounge to see local artist Stevie Jay perform his one-man show "Life. Love. Sex. Death...and other works in progress". The briefest description I can give: He delivers a feel good "we can change the world" message through a series of bawdy stories and dirty jokes. It's actually a lot of fun.

I first met him backstage while I was involved with our local theater's production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, where he offered free massage and positive vibes to the actors. Lately, I seem to run into him every time I go to Whole Foods.

I want a sandwich.
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The late, great Luciano Pavarotti sings "Un'aura amorosa" by W.A. Mozart. After 3.5 years of voice training doing scales and exercises, this is the first real piece of music I'm attempting. No doubt Pavarotti's beard trimmings could have sung better than I do now, but I'm think I'm ready for it.
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I just ran across this old article about researchers at the University of London’s Institute of Psychiatry finding that workers bombarded with phone calls, e-mails, and text messages suffer a greater loss in IQ than marijuana users. I'm totally in the wrong career. It sounds like I will get smarter if I quit my job and become a pothead. The study must be true, because that career change sounds like a really good idea.

Boob Man

Jan. 30th, 2008 10:55 pm
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My son is breast fed. He giggles like Beavis & Butthead whenever it's time to nurse. While nursing, if I'm in the room, he takes breaks to roll away and taunt me with smiles and giggles. It's as if he's saying, "Ha! They're mine!"
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Did anyone else watch the cartoon Inhumanoids when they were kids? I doubt contemporary Saturday morning cartoons feature nearly as many amputations and deadly corrosive acid baths. And who could forget the giant undead subterranean dweller D'Compose, who with one touch turned humans into undead zombie giants hellbent on doing their master's bidding.
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When my son was still a new born and spitting up on a regular basis, I used to say: "You know that scene at the end of of the movie 'Aliens'? When the cyborg gets torn apart and he's spewing everywhere? It's like that."

I was wrong.

Baby's first stomach bug. The scene from the movie is like that.
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I think this audio version of "Cell" is the first "traditional" Stephen King novel I've experienced in perhaps seven years. I did reread and catch up on the Dark Tower series, finally finishing it, but that isn't his typical horror thing. I'm remembering how, when I first discovered King in eighth grade, I used to read his books for all the scenes of graphic violence. Now, I'm reading it for all the stuff in between and actually don't care for all the blood (although without the blood, the stuff in between probably isn't as good). It makes me wonder if I should go back and reread (or listen to) the books I read as a surly teenager, so I can pay attention to the parts I rushed through.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] krasota is making turkey broth. She threw a little bit of everything in the pot with a turkey carcass and intends to simmer it all night long. I like to call it primordial soup, because there is a chance (albeit a slim one) that life will arise in that stock pot, boil itself over, and slime its way across the floor to watch TV in my office.

Urgh

Jan. 23rd, 2008 11:53 pm
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Baby keeps waking up early.

Daddy's brain is broken. His mind cannot stop playing the song "Cantina" by Voltaire over and over.

Go ahead, look up the lyrics. You may or may not thank me.
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After the baby was born and my quiet private time disappeared, I turned to audio books to satisfy my need for "reading". I still read paper, but I have a lot of time on my feet doing menial chores around the house during which I would be bored to tears without an audiobook on the iPod. Thus far, bit torrent has been my friend. However, recently, I listened to "The Golden Compass" and found the production quality of the multi-cast recording to be so high that I actually feel guilty for not having bought it.

So, I considered Audible.com. But, with the baby here, my budget is also very tight. I'm not sure I can afford to commit to the monthly fee.

How about the library? The selection is limited, but I am giving it a try. I'm borrowing Stephen King's "Cell" at the moment, which I have ripped to my iPod for listening. I'll eventually delete it, too. Not for any moral reason, but because I'm only choosing to listen to books I never intend to "re-read" or to ones I actually own in hardcopy, so I don't have to clutter my hard drive and iPod.

One problem. Out of 11 CDs, each with 17 or so tracks, there are bound to be scratches. Indeed, there are four tracks in "Cell" that I cannot rip successfully due to some damage on the disc. I'm tempted to just torrent the book to get those tracks.

Which leads me to a weird solution to my moral dilemma. Perhaps I shouldn't bother borrowing from the library, but rather only torrent the books online that I could otherwise get from my library.
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One of my favorite cooking smells of all time must be the unique aroma that comes from dropping curry leaves in a frying pan of hot oil. The leaves come from (of course) the curry tree and are used in Indian and Sri Lankan cooking. While cooking a particular Sri Lankan dish recently, I also got dried red chili up my nose. That smells like burning.
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