Monday, June 30, 2008

The Andromeda Strain

On one particularly memorable evening in Cromwell, Polaroid pictures were taken of me and all my friends, including Teddy, wearing bunny ears, and these pictures were then pasted onto a wall in a kitchen and looked at quite frequently. One day, as I was preparing an anniversary package to send to LC, I decided to include Teddy's picture, so I took it off the wall and threw it in the box. The next day, I met with Teddy's scowl.

"Somebody took my picture, mate," he said.
"They're going to get sick, if they don't give it back," he said.
"I'm part Maori, and there's a voodoo on the picture, and they're going to get sick."

The next morning, I stepped out of my cabin and vomited. At work, I vomited again, nearly in the wine, and decided to go home. Where I vomited more, had hot and cold flashes, and just generally felt like shit. I didn't tell Teddy, though, because if he knew I took his picture, probably he would have killed me.

"I think I have the flu again," LC told me over the phone, a week later.
"I feel horrible. I didn't go to work today."
"I don't know why I keep getting the flu. There's no reason why I should be sick. Oh, but I did get your package today. Happy Anniversary!"

I was only sick for two days, but LC was out of sorts for nearly a month. We were going to burn the picture, but before that, I decided to take a blurry picture of the picture, hoping that the blurriness would kill the voodoo, or at least tone it down to just like a stomach ache or light vertigo. Have a healthy summer!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hilarious Things Said In a Training Session Today Edition

Trainer: Now, let me see a show of hands. How many people know what a "blog" is?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Stupid Things That Make Me Smile Edition

Co-worker 1: [carrying water bottle] I'm thirsty.

Co-worker 2: Oh, really? I'm Friday. We should meet on Saturday and have a sundae.


Yes, I am eleven years old.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stanley Interviews Ryan via Gmail

On Preferences
S: What was better: Coke 2 or Michael Jackson's "Black or White"? (I think "Black or White" was better.)

R: I don't know what Coke 2 is, but I once did a blind tasting of Pepsi vs. Crystal Pepsi, and they tasted exactly the same. So my answer is "Black or White."

On Obligations
S: How many cases of wine do you owe me at this point? And will some of them be Kiwi wine?

R: It's hard to say how many cases of wine I owe you. My memory is foggy when it comes to the times that I've promised you cases of wine. It's not that I don't think it's happened, it's just that you've asked me that question so many times that the answer has convoluted itself inside my head and I honestly don't know the answer. I know LC has promised you cases of wine, to be supplied by me, but I'm not really sure if those bottles are legally binding. It's hard to say. How about I owe you four bottles? They can be Kiwi, if that's what you want. But I figured you'd prefer something in a box that comes with a straw. [ed. note: Ryan understands me for me.]

On films
S:What's your favorite movie and why?

R: Well, I'm not a big fan of picking favorites, but the first movie that came to my mind was "The Shawshank Redemption," not only because of how wonderful the story is, but because I was about 13 or 14 when I decided that I loved this movie, and I think whatever we get into at that age sticks with us forever. That's also why I like Salt N Peppa [sic] so much. Also, at about the same age I really got into the book "Different Seasons" by Stephen King, which has four great stories, or novellas, and one is "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption," and when I read it I loved it and tried for years to write stories that were similar. "Stand By Me" and "Apt Pupil" are also movies based on stories from that book, but, again, the novellas are better than the movies.

On The State of Global Energy
S: Do you think we've already hit Peak Oil? Why or why not?

R: Peak Oil? I sure hope not. I own three cars. [ed. note: yeesh, dick move, man.]

On Cuisine
S: What's the best kind of jelly to put on a PB&J?

R: I prefer raspberry or cherry jellies, although I would forego the fruit used in preference of a less sweet jelly. Same goes for the peanut butter. I like the less sweet peanut butters and the less sweet jellies, which usually end up being the "organic" or home-made ones or whatever. Because usually I'd be eating my PB&J in the morning, and I don't like sweet things before noon.

On Odor
S: Isn't it true that you eschew the use of the deodorant? Can you explain?

R: From time to time I do eschew the use of deodorant. Generally it's just not something I have to use everyday, unless I'm being all super active or wearing like 10 layers and sweating beneath them. The thing is, Stanley, is that I just don't stink. My guess is that a lot of people could get away with this, but they're scared of the funk.

On Aging
S: Today on the way to work, I honked for a very long time at an old man in a Caddy who blatantly cut me off at the intersection of Monticello and Avon. Am I going to hell for that, for other stuff, or is he a bastard?

R: A: I support everything you do, Stanley. You're not going to hell on my watch. [ed. note: aw, shucks.]

On Travel
S: Are you home yet?

R: No, I'm in Kairouka. Today I fought angry fang-baring seals and ate good seafood. And drank wine and sat on the beach. [ed. note: Ryan has, since the time of this interview arrived home safely; huzzah.]

On Literature
S: You mentioned What is the what?. Was it any good? (Presuming you read it.)

R: Yes, it's a good book. Some of his writing is a bit masturbatory, but the story is good and interesting and true and sad.

On Mortality
S: I killed a deadly spider today (well, I was complicit in its death, let's say that). How bad should I feel on a scale of one to bad?

R: For killing the deadly spider, you should feel Thrad.

On Fear
S: What's your biggest fear in life?

R: So there's the stretch where you sit on the ground with your legs together and straight in front of you, and you lean forward and touch your toes. It think it's called the "Sit and reach." MY biggest fear is that I am doing that stretch and somebody presses down on my back so that all my spinal muscles rip, then I'm placed in a coffin, still in the "Sit and Reach" position, and buried alive. Whenever I do the "Sit and Reach" I think about this.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yes, But It's A Different Glacier

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

You Don't Really Know What It Looks Like Until You Step In It

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Notice The Glacier In The Background

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ryan Interviews Stanley via Hotmail

On Things That Will Never Be Done
R: What is the one creative project that you often think about but haven't managed to get off the ground?

S: I have a scrap book from my time in Chile which has been in its woefully infantile stages, ever since 2003. I'd like to actually put it together.

On Raging Liberalism
R: Would you say you spend more time reading blogs than you do books and magazines and newspapers and 'zines?

S: Actually, I read the paper copy of The Washington Post everyday. So, yes.

On Stalinist Twelve-Tone Movements
R: What is one album and one book that you would recommend everybody in the world listen to and read?

S: Book: Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen. Album: Probably OK Computer or something by Shostakovich played way too loud after four glasses of wine.

On That Itch
R: If one of your bands became multi-million dollar superstar MTV acts, which products would you endorse?

S: I would endorse Gold Bond Powder. It's really amazing, and I would endorse it without need for, or expectation of, financial compensation. Also, as a multi-millionaire, I'd probably endorse a better wallet. Mine kinda sucks.

On Hate
R: As a professional Spanish speaker, who are some of your Spanish-English translator heroes?

S: I really hate the "heroes" question. I think I didn't get to be a Jefferson Scholar because I totally blanked on the "who's your hero?" question during the interview. Stupid free money---gone!

On Poetry
R: Do you agree with the rap rock pop group 311 when they sing, "Downtown LA is a soul graveyard?"

S: Not having visited metropolitan Los Angeles, I'm not at liberty to answer that question, though I'd like to travel there someday. Generally, the America that's west of Oklahoma is unknown to me, personally. Also, I wonder if people with peanut allergies can listen to 311, given the moniker of the bass player.

On The Downside Of Break Beats And The Not Quite Convincing Usage Of An Exclamation Point
R: Do you spend more time thinking about your personal health or the crazy state of the world?

S: I like to think of my personal health as inexorably tied up with the crazy state of the world. Such that, each time I smoke too many cigarettes, the world gets a little worse. But! each time I go running, it gets better. It's a wrong-headed and completely illogical worldview, but man, it's a great motivator for trying to keep in shape.

R: I have never known you to be a jogger. Tell me about your running habits.

S: I run neither far nor fast, but I have been running. I like it, sort of, approaching at times what seems to be the very outer cusp of the elusive "runner's high". My biggest problem (outside of distance and speed limitations, which, whatever) is that I tend to end up trying to jog in rhythm to the music I'm listening to.

On Nothing Of Interest
Q: What is the what?

A: The what is that Dave Eggers is like so year 2000. Except I have been meaning to read that Valentino Achak Deng book.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Today I got a much-needed haircut at one of those national-chain haircut places.

(Sidebar: yes; I'm a bad person; I'm putting honest, local barbers out of business with my capricious—and it really was rather capricious—visits to these chain cutteries of hair; in fact, I bought a locally grown, salmonella-free tomato out of remorse; no really! [no, not really; but I should! soon!])

Lindy, as we shall call her, was very nice and conversational, if insistent that YES SHE WILL TRIM MY BEARD, PLEASE LET ME, DEAR GOD, CAVEMAN, PLEASE.

I submitted to her will, with the caveat that she not touch the 'stache, as I am growing it out for an untold number of upcoming covert operations wherein I'm disguised as Jamie, of Mythbusters fame, or perhaps as an imprisoned walrus, who's nonetheless highly entertaining.

Lindy and I chatted a bit about what I did (stuff, junk, lasers, play in some bands), and why on earth had I amassed a skull-borne halo of nappy brown curls to complement my Viking mustache.

Oh, yes, Vikings. Lindy told me I was likely of Viking stock, because the mustache and goatee portions of my facial hair showed strong red and blonde influence, against the brunette tendencies of my other beard hairs.

I have no idea of the veracity of these claims, but she had deemed me a Viking, and a Viking I was for the moment. Fucking fuck off, motherfuckers.

After the trim, she insisted on washing my hair—after all, "you're only going to go to band practice and sweat, as you said, and all those little hairs are going to be all itchy."

Color me convinced.

My only gripe: why does my head look so small now?! (Oh, and thanks, Bayleaf, for pointing that out.)

Monday, June 09, 2008

A suggestion

After chopping a jalapeño pepper, wash your hands thoroughly, especially before rubbing that little ball thingy in the corner of your eye. Trust me on this one.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

And Then We Had a Spider Funeral

Spider update: it turns out that theory about the female's egg sacs needing a male to come by and fertilize 'em? Yeah, we were wrong:

Quoth dijonbray: "Spider babies?! FUCK. THAT."

Time to go, buckaroo. Sorry. In hindsight, it was a stupid mistake to bring our worlds together.