Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Top Ten Albums of the Last Decade - #1

Arcade Fire - Funeral

They might not have changed music forever with this album or pioneer their own genre or won the Nobel peace prize, but Funeral was the best album for its unique ability to rock out when talking about death, for it's accessibility combined with its indie cred, for the fact that it never gets old despite revealing new wrinkles with every listen, and for the fact that no other band came out with rocking music with so much raw emotion combined so many interesting images that create a sort of post-apocalyptic childrens' book world. What other album can you find some much zaniness combine with so much authentic emotion, so much rocking, complex tunes about death? The bottom line is that if this record is not on your best of the decade list, you probably have bad taste in music.

Honorable Mentions
  • Appleseed Cast - Mar Vitalis - The Bear in park by the sea in my heart will never die 
  • Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust - Sigur Ros is always good, but it is even better when you don't fall asleep before finishing the album.
  • Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It In People - Anthems for a seventeen year old still makes me feel cold in my bones after listening to it over and over in my apartment in Japan without centralized heat.
  • Sufjan Stevens - Illinois - I almost went to college with him, way better than going to high school with Clay Aiken. 
  • Los Campesinos! - Hold on Now, Youngster - Sometimes I wonder if this band is from another planet. 
  • The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike - Who knew manic cheerleader music could sound so good? 
  • Frightened Rabbit- The Midnight Organ Fight - These guys remind me of Yo La Tengo in the fact that they are smarter, more indie, and more classy than almost anyone else out there. 
  • Latterman - No Matter Where We Go - Like Sun Kil Moon, this is another pick that no one else probably agrees with, except this time not even Joey. However, few other bands make better upbeat music with a purpose than this record. 
  • The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot - When I got this record for Christmas, we listened to it during breakfast and mom and dad got freaked out by the crazy robot talk in the 2nd track. Then mom spilled orange juice in a bowl of sausage and Christmas was ruined.

A Christmas Song Just For You

I noticed that you guys weren't really in this Christmas spirit yet this year (it's just around the corner like a crazed psycho killer, after all), I decided to make this special Christmas song just for you. May it make your heart pound in a way that does not induce vomiting.

Christ Kitty Web Comic Pt 5

Christ Kitty does acid. AKA: Joey experiments with MS Paint.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christ Kitty Web Comic Pts 1 - 4

God lets loose Christ Kitty and his brother Bruce Springsteen upon the world.
Christ Kitty does some one's taxes for a nominal fee.

Christ Kitty works on getting his Pilot's License .

Christ Kitty returns the favor he owes Barack Obama.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Top Ten Albums of the Last Decade - #2

Outkast - Stankonia

In these days, the word masterpiece is throw around all the time (mostly by talking heads in the media who use it to refer to anything popular that happened more then 5 years ago--popular things less than five years old are called instant classics). Of all the great albums of this decade and on this list, I would say the top three on my list are the only ones that can be considered masterpieces (although Tryanny of Distance is close). However, few albums encompass the idea of a masterpiece better than Stankonia. This album is from a once in a generation artist creating their magnum opus. This album twists and bends so many other genres of music like mixing different colors of playdough together, except instead the ugly grey lump that was the outcome when I was a kid, Outkast created a playdough sunset of layered colors. This album is so many things at once: fun, thought-provoking, slick, sexy, innovative, accessible, danceable, intelligent, and socially aware. Many of the songs sound different with different styles and tones, but that is part of their brilliance: in the eccentricities they are held together by being smarter and more creative than anything else out there.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Top Ten Albums of the Last Decade - #3

Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway

I'm sure some critics would disagree with this album being on the list. In fact, of all the best of the decade lists I have read, none of them included this album on their list. This is downright criminal. It seems like a curse cast across Sun Kil Moon by an evil sorcerer that they are as unappreciated as their as music is breathtaking. Just like my father, I like to listen to music that I like over and over again often for years. But I make no apologies for this albums high placement on the list. If anything it is listed too low. Of all the many bands I've listened to repeatedly in this fashion, the album by Sun Kil Moon is the only one that can still give me chills at every listen. The songs, and especially "Glen Tipton," evoke a quiet, but beautiful nostalgia, the realization that time passes and life changes and learning to find comfort in this fact rather than sorrow. "Glen Tipton" should be considered one of the wonders of the modern world--how can a song about boxing and watching old movies on television and the death of a friend leave me feeling so calm and comforted. Listening to this album is a spiritual experience for me. It reassures me that there are powerful forces out of my control in the universe and makes me think of how I am fortunate to live in a world of Ohio and a gentle moon and fathers who stay up late watching movies. This album is a reminder of my own powerlessness in the universe, while at the same time empowering me with insight and purpose.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Top Ten Albums of the Last Decade - #4

The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

It was a difficult choice between this record and Mass Romantic to represent the pornographers, but I've thought this album a bit more consistent and packing more of my favorite tunes. I really couldn't fault someone for preferring any of the other New Pornographers albums to this one; they have been one of the most consistently amazing bands of this decade. Here are the facts:

1. Aliens listen to The New Pornographers.
2. No one would give a shit about online colleges if it wasn't for The Bleeding Heart Show.
3. This album has a cool sort of post-modern story telling quality to it. These songs seem like stories and even if they don't make logical sense, you feel like you are leaving something behind at the end of the song just like at the end of an excellent novel.
4. When Justin first looked up this band he almost got kicked out of college for searching for them.
5. This album has a certain sweetness. Not like sweetness from eating too much Halloween candy, but like sweetness when you are eating a lot of fruit recently and that makes apples taste better.
6. You see so many of those behind the music episodes where the band mates hate each other and can't stay together, it is kinda nice to see a band made up a members from others bands that are able to get along so well and be able to make such incredible music. Or maybe they hate each other and the good music comes out of the conflict. Hmmm

Anyway, there is really so much to like about this album and the pornographers in general. If only they would return my letters and emails . . .

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Top Ten Albums of the Last Decade - #5

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - The Tyranny of Distance

Throughout the decade, Ted Leo has stayed true to his sound and his vision to the point that some critics fault him for a last of originality and musical evolution. I don't understand this criticism of Mr. Leo considering the convicition and passion of his musical vision and the fact that his albums have been consistently amazing throughout the decade.However, no album was better than Tyranny of Distance, Leo's breakout album from 2001 which declared his purpose with the fervor of two hundred pygmy hippos. This album approaches music as if it is a life-sustaining force, like water or bacon, as if Leo and the Pharmacists would all shrivel up and die if music disappeared from the world. Aside from making modern pop punk bands look foolish, the urgency is this record combined with prophetic and poetic lyrics makes this album more like a declaration of existential purpose than mere entertainment. How many bands can you say that about?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Top Ten Albums of the Last Decade - #6

Modest Mouse - The Moon and Antarctica

This album is an epic subconscious journey through the unconscious redneck-pop culture of today's average American. I've listened to these songs over and over since early this decade and they never get old, they never lose their freshness (damn that cottage cheese in the fridge). Just listening to 3rd planet makes me feel like I am flying through the sky observing people walking into and out of a shopping mall like it is all of hazy dream. How many other songs could you say this about? There are so many amazing songs on this album, it may just be that the 8th best song on this album is probably better than the 8th best song on an album in the last 20 years. Even as Modest Mouse slowly turns more and more into the Bare Naked Ladies with their more recent albums, it's hard to ever be mad at a band that made an album this good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Top Ten Albums of the Last Decade - #7

TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain

TV on the Radio is a rare example of a band in this modern indie age that sounds totally original, like their music is carving out beautiful new cross-genre, but still unique territory. Every song on this record is full interesting twists and turns that surprise and delight around every corner. From the post-apocalyptic hand-clapping doo woop lyrics to to the awesome howling guitars and enchanting piano to the hair styles of the band, everything about Return to Cookie Mountain sounds fresh and unchained. The creativity, craft and ambition drips from every pore of this record which makes me ache along with the songs and then ache to hear them again once they are over.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SAT Pratice Question Time

 According to the diagram above, which of the following statements is safe to assume?

A.  Fish sticks are only delicious on Thursdays.
B. Your mother doesn't love you anymore.
C. Only those who are resurrected from the dead can serve in the U.S. house of representatives.
D. Local Townspeople can be identified by their flaming hats.

The Top Ten Albums of the Last Decade - #8

The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America

When I first heard the Hold Steady, I thought they were kind of hokey. And they were, but the more I listened to them, the more I couldn't stop listening to them. Once I got passed the initial impression of the lead signer with the prominent voice signing about sometimes goofy topics like your little hoodrat friend, I saw the kickass musical prowess and the epic Springsteen-like communities behind their songs. Then, a few years later, I heard this record and it blew me away at first listen. There were fewer throwaway songs and the lead signer's voice had been toned down so that the instruments could shine through. Every song rocked out, every lyric sounded inspired by a lifetime on the scene and "Stuck Between Stations" brought it all together like only great rock songs can. The best compliment I can give this record is that it makes my heart beat, that it makes me want to be part of the scene under the railroad bridge dancing and drinking.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Meet My New Friend

Today at work a coworker gifted me with the lovely face you see below.

His Uncle made this a long time ago, although he does not remember making it. Additionally, it is not his Uncle's normal artistic medium. He normally does 50s inspired paintings. There is one problem however, it does not have a name. So I'm holding a naming contest. If I select the name you have chosen, then you'll get a prize (I haven't decided yet what it is, although I suppose it will depend on the winner). Bonus points for historical names, i.e. names of real demons or monsters from history, especially if they come from the Ancient Near East. Also, if you can work in some association with goats and/or pigs (since it looks a little like both) that's bonus too. Each contestant can submit up to two names. All entries must be submitted by December 17th. Happy hunting!

An Online Petition

Well, my online petition to get Hangin' With Mr. Cooper back on the air failed to get Hangin' With Mr. Cooper back on the air. I think it's time to wade into more important political territory. This is the online petition to change Lulu's name to Louis Louis. This is most definitely history in the making.

As many of you may already know, Louis Louis is a dog. I've always had trouble taking Louis Louis seriously. What with all the barking and lollygagging. I mean c'mon. Shut the fuck up! I'm trying to sleep here! But just recently it occurred to me that Louis Louis is hard to take seriously with a name like Lulu. If Louis Louis is ever going to make it in the world of Politics/Jazzercise, she needs a new alias: Louis Louis.

The name Louis Louis encompasses all notable Louis' from any time or place in the Universe. There were 20 or so French kings named Louis many of which were disliked but that's fine because they had power and they changed the World, much as Louis Louis is doing as we speak. If this petition is a success, Louis Louis will finally gain the respect and power she deserves. I hear Mars doesn't have a president yet. Louis Louis' experience chasing squirrels and howling at the moon makes her a prime candidate for the job. Need a job done around the house? Louis Louis will poop on it. I'm even considering buying her a doggie sweater. Remember God is dog spelled backwards and siuol siuol is Louis Louis spelled backwards. So please sign my petition for your future Martian Overlord: Louis Louis.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Top Ten Albums of the Last Decade - #9

9. Spoon - Girls Can Tell
How can you beat memories of listening to this cd on the way to GPF shows with a carfull of musicians and a trunk full of instruments? Running through fields of flowers while listening to walking on sunshine? No. Ice skating to Ice Ice, Baby? Absolutely not. The truth is GPF would probably have been arguing about setlists the whole way to their shows if it wasn't for this cd. They probably would have broken up after only a few shows, so Kyle could join The Broken Toys or something, and the world would be a darker place without hits like Young Grasshopper. The truth is spoon has more consistent and rocking pop songs than almost any band this decade and this record showcases them at their finest. It is pretty impossible to still be in a bad mood after listening to this record in its entirety.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Sounds Set List: Seattle 2009

I saw The Sounds live here in Seattle on October 27th. Here's their set list for anyone interested:

1. Queen of Apology (Dying to Say this to You)
2. No One Sleeps While I'm Awake (Living in America)
3. Hurt You (Dying to Say this to You)
4. Midnight Sun (Crossing the Rubicon)
5. Rock 'n Roll (Living in America)
6. Night After Night (Dying to Say this to You)
7. 4 Songs and a Fight (Crossing the Rubicon)
8. My Lover (Crossing the Rubicon)
9. Beatbox (Crossing the Rubicon)
10. Dorchester Hotel (Crossing the Rubicon)
11. Painted by Numbers (Dying to Say this to You)
12. Ego (Dying to Say this to You)

Tony the Beat (Dying to Say this to You)

The Top Ten Albums of the Last Decade - #10

10. Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
The album is epic in its longing, kickass in its intricate and smart lyrics and multicultural in its focus on world travel. This is one of those albums you can listen to again and again and appreciate something new in the feeling that you are being transported to another country full of new people and fascinating culture. So, rev up your motor scooters it's time for a new beginning. The only bad part is I really want to help that bird out and get him untangled from that string.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tommy and Friends Episode IV Ideas

So here is my rough idea for Tommy and Friends Episode IV: Ceaser Crosses the Rubicon

Tommy is busy playing mario party when Pa walks upstairs and demands that Tommy needs to stop playing and go feed his sea turtle. "How is Tiger supposed to reproduce and help me start my sea turtle farming business without it's alfalfa sprouts?" Pa asks. Tommy is about to get into the hot tub on the cruise ship with peach and toad and says he doesn't even like the stupid sea turtle anyway. Pa gets angry and takes away Tommy's Atari Jaguar for a week.

The next day at school, Tommy is still mad at Ma and Pa for taking away his video game system. So, he talks to the sea lion stuffed animal in his backpack and comes up with a plan to get even with Ma and Pa.During a spelling test in Ms. Trollbottom's class, Tommy gets up and says he has to go to the bathroom. His teacher says he has to hold it until the spelling test is over. Tommy walks over to another student's backpack and pees in it.

Next, in principal Alex Slogger's office, Tommy says he learned how to do this from his parents who pee all over everything in the house on a regular basis after drinking a lot of liquids from bottles. The principal asks Tommy a few questions to which Tommy makes up a bunch of bad stuff that Ma and Pa do to him.

The police arrive at Ma and Pa's house and take them away in handcuffs charging them with neglect and abuse. Tommy goes to live with a wholesome christian family who eats sandwiches for dinner and does not allow video games, but requires mandatory folk tale sign-along time after dinner. Tommy hates it there and runs away into the woods where he declares that he has to get Pa and Ma out of jail because at least they were better than this family.

Tommy hatches some crazy mission impossible shit, similar to the first episode, in order to trick everyone and sneak into jail cell and free Ma and Pa. As they are trying to escape, they release the police dogs (Lulu and Muffin) on them and Tommy has to fight them off with his kinex sword. Then Tommy gets bit by one of the dogs and turns into a werewolf and the episode ends with Tommy running into the woods and howling.

I'm definitely open to suggestions. I'm sure there are some ways we could make this better and I dunno if the peeing thing is too much or if the werewolf thing is too random.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I shall call you...the Baconator

Greetings friends and enemy (glare)! I've been lamenting the loss of my car since moving to Seattle. I need a mode of transportation that is both portable (i.e. I don't need to rent garage/parking spaces for it) and cheap (no gas hogs [pun intended]). I looked at mopeds, bikes, tricycles, segways, and piggy-back rides from strangers [more intentional puns]. But nothing fit my needs, that is, until I discovered the Baconator out back behind an Asian bistro.

It was love at first sight. It runs on 14 delicious pigs. They both power the car and provide delightful entertainment. Captain Piggles is especially eloquent and well informed on current events. We have had many enlightening discussions on philosophy, religion, politics, and whether Jesus rode dinosaurs (see answer below). Who needs satellite radio when you have intellect of Captain Piggles and the beautiful voices of MC Hammore and Pjork to tickle your ears. I picked up this beauty for the low cost of 15 cats, which I collected from my neighbors without their consent. I know they are going to a better place. The advantages of the Baconator are many: A) If I'm ever stranded and hungry I can cook one of the delicious pigs on the engine to survive; B) It is totally green, in the sense that the only pollutants emitted by my vehicle are green pig poop; C) Everyone gives me space on the road because they are afraid they will get swine flu from the Baconator; D) If attacked by an overweight, overall-wearing Italian plumber & friends you can fling bacon at them from your skillet.

And that's how I spent my summer vacation, by Alexander Ishmael Wojohoski.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Leftovers

So this has been a music extravaganza. In composing my Electroween mix there were a lot of cool (in my opinion) electro songs that couldn't make it. Here's a mix with some of the neat songs I discovered. It's not Halloween related although there are some songs that are remixes of songs on my Halloweeen 2 mix. I have a two recommendations for anyone listening to this mix. One, when listening to "Confused Phantom" it's best to shout "Confusion!" really loudly (because you're wearing headphones and don't have proper volume control over your voice) at work and have all your co-workers stare at you. Also, use this as a facebook status or tweet and no one will know what you're talking about and send you concerned emails asking if you are okay. Two, I don't know why but about 2:50 minutes into "DVNO" it all sounds like meowing to me. I know it's probably not, but I like to pretend some hard core kitties got into the mix. Oh, and a note. The voiced sampled in the song by Starfucker, a northwestern based band who's recently changed their name to Pyramid, is from an audio lecture given by Alan Watts. I hope you enjoy.

Leftovers 2009:
1. Arcade Robot by Boys Noize
2. Somnambulistic by Information Society
3. Bring it On by Goose
4. Cocotte by Teenage Bad Girl
5. Paranoia (Pirate_Robot_Midget_Remix) by Video Villain
6. I'm not Scared by Ladytron
7. Sleep Deprivation by Simian Disco Mobile
8. Confused Phantom by Justice Vs. New Order
9. Surf Solar by Fuck Buttons
10. Isabella of Castle by Starfucker
11. Clean (BK Alternativ Instrumental) by Depeche Mode
12. Engine by LA Priest
13. Youre Out (Frankmusic Remix) by Dead Disco
14. Are you the One? by The Presets
15. Out There On the Ice by Cut Copy
16. DVNO by Justice
17. Battle Royal by Does it Offend You, Yeah?
18. Road to Recovery by Midnight Juggernauts
19. Wayfarer by Kavinsky
20. Take Me Into Your Skin by Trentemøller

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Part 3

Merry fucking Christmas you filthy animals! Or whatever. Anywho, here's my Halloween-esque mix for your enjoyment. It is composed of songs that I considered, but rejected for a variety of reasons. Usually because the tone wasn't quite right or the lyrics didn't match the mood.

Halloween-esque 2009:
1. The Ghost by I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness
2. Heads Will Roll by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
3. Magic by Ladyhawke
4. Suicide by Raveonettes
5. I'm a Ghost by Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
6. White Shade by Lukestar
7. Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts by Wolf Parade
8. Ghost Mouth by Girls
9. Of Moons, Birds & Monsters by MGMT
10. So Haunted by Cut Copy
11. Skeleton Key by Margot & The Nuclear So and So's
12. Scarecrow by +/-
13. Cities beneath the Sea by Gravenhurst
14. Ghosts by Lightning Seeds
15. Padding Ghost by Dan Deacon
16. Skeletons by Locust Avenue
17. Fax of Death by The Laurel Collective
18. Bloodsport (109 Mix) by Official Secrets Act
19. Death by Everybody Uh Oh
20. Fear of Drowning by British Sea Power

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Part 2

Here's the sequel to last year's Halloween mix. Enjoy it, if you can! Muhahaha....oh wait, there wasn't really anything scary or funny about that. Never mind.

Halloween II: 2009

1. Haunted Disco by Chromium
2. Monster Hospital by Metric
3. One Eye Open by Baddies
4. Dead Cruiser by Kavinsky
5. Tree Full of Ghosts by Hungry Villagers
6. Bela Lugosis Dead by Nouvelle Vague
7. In the Room Where You Sleep by Dead Man's Bones
8. Ghosts by Ladytron
9. You're Out by Dead Disco
10. Closet Freak by Videeo
11. PARANOIA by Video Villain
12. Pick the Ghost... by Underground Railroad
13. Wish You Dead by Love Like Fire
14. Baulderdash by Ipso Facto
15. Tigerlily by La Roux
16. Black Magic by Magic Wands
17. Howl by Florence and the Machine
18. Thrill Kill by The Damned
19. Graveyard Queen by Zombie Ghost Train

Happy Halloween Charlie Brown.

Happy Electroween!

Trying to put together an all electro Halloween album with little previous experience with the genre turned out to be more difficult than I imagined it would be. However, it was fun, I learned a lot, and I came up with a list I enjoy. I tried, when possible, to include tracks from pioneers of the genre. Of course, any Halloween list is an exercise in subjectivity. There is kind of a bipolar tone/vibe when it comes to the holiday. It can be both chilling and truly horrifying and completely silly and over the top. Complicating this is the fact that everyone has different memories/experiences with the holiday so different sounds/tones will evoke the holiday for some and not others. Additionally, musical tastes can vary dramatically from person to person. All this to say, your "mileage" may vary, however, I hope you can find a few things to enjoy. Anyway, here it is:

Electroween Mix 2009:
1. Scary Tricycle by Silent Fish Heads
2. The Haunted House of Rock (Remix) by Whodini
3. The Horror by RJD2
4. Tubular Bells by Book of Love
5. The Bog (dance mix) by Bigod 20
6. Testarossa Autodrive by Kavinsky
7. Old Castle Madrigal by Joy Electric
8. Nothing to Fear by Depeche Mode
9. Shadows by Midnight Juggernauts
10. Ghost House by Teenage Bad Girl
11. Zip by Julian Jeweil
12. Talk Like That by The Presets
13. Ballo dei Morti by Brassica
14. The Talking Dead by Weird Tapes
15. Asylum by Gary Numan
16. Poisonous Friend (Iris remix) by Seabound
17. Ultraviolent by Cinnamon Chasers
18. The Hidden Door by Belbury Poly
19. Circus of Death by The Human League
20. Beyond the Dark by Raiders of the Lost Arp

More to come soon!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How To Make An Efficeftive PowerPoint Presentation

Modern technology is so wonderful that now we are able to do amazing presentations with our computers. In the past are the days where we had to hold up a series of poster boards to help us with our presentations. Here are a few awesome tips for making your PowerPoint Presentations out of this world.

Part 1: The Setup
1. Make sure to use a lot of clip art in your presentation. Real photos are off limits because they Google images is too difficult to figure out and real pictures might scare your audience because they live in a fantasy world where all people have light bulbs or exclamation points above their heads.
2. Do not add any information to your presentation that is not clearly written in complete sentences. Nobody likes phrases and people watching you love to read long passages so that they can learn even more.

Part 2: The Presentation

1. Near the beginning of your presentation say something like, "I know you all can read, so I won't bother reading all of these slides to you." The only exception to this rule would be if you are making a presentation to at a school of students who are trying to learn how to read.
2. Soon after saying this, start clicking through your slides faster than anyone is capable of reading through them.
3. Promise that you will post your PowerPoint on your website or email it to everyone. Then, never do it. You see, during the moment everyone watching your presentation should think it is the most important information in the universes. But worry, the will have forgotten it all within a few minutes after your speech.
4. At some point during your presentation, click one too many times and go a few slides further than you intended to. Act very surprised and confused at this occurrence, saying something like, "oh no! How do I go back?" Someone in the audience will get up from their seat and help you and they will feel useful and therefore like your presentation more.
5. Ask if everyone can see your presentation alright. If someone says they cannot, give them a dirty look and continue on with your presenation.
6. Remember that a PowerPoint presentation is all about showing how smart you are. Do not allow the audience to have any interaction with you or ask any questions. You are the smart one standing in front of everyone after all.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

For Your Edification

I submit the following for your edification:

"The Gideon's International is an Association of Christian business and professional men, banded together in more than 170 countries for fellowship and service. The purpose of the Association is the promotion of the Gospel of Christ to all people, to the end that they might come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

...The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.

CHRIST is its grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end.

It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents."

This was the preface to a Gideon New Testament I was handed today on the way to school. As far as Christian groups go, I have a great deal of respect for the Gideons. However, this introduction confused me and I wondered how persuasive this would really be for non-religious (by religion I mean Christian specifically) people. I request the opinion of those not raised as Protestant Christians, as to whether this makes sense and is thought to be persuasive. But first I'll go through some of my "problems" with the text.

1) Religious jargon. The text is filled with it. What is a "Gospel"? What does it mean to have a "personal savior"? What does "holy" and "sacred" mean? If this introduction is targeted to non-believers, what is the point in including a lot of Christian specific jargon? Either it is intentional or it is unintentional. I'll get to the former in a moment. If it is unintentional that means the writers are so tied up in their own religious outlook that they cannot even conceive how an outsider might view and inevitably be confused by such language. My opinion is that this is not the case, but it remains an option. If it is intentional, I can think of two reasons why they might choose to include it: a) to "peak the curiosity" (read: confuse) the reader enough so that she must find a Christian to talk to about this; b) because the introduction and the Bible in general is geared towards people with a Christan background, or backsliding Christians (non-practicing Christians). I think the latter option more likely. People who used to be Christians, or were raised in a Christian household, are more likely to be familiar with all the terminology (and metaphors) and even be persuaded by them. However, for an Association (why is it capitalized?) that purports to desire to see "all people" become Christians, this seems like a narrow focus.

2) There is a lot of metaphorical language, which is misleading because it covers up a lack of substance. If you'll endulge me, I'll break down an example of this part of this piece by piece:

"The Bible contains the mind of God,"
-That's a pretty bold claim even by Protestant Christian standards. Technically this is not a metaphor, but it can't be taken literally. I'm not really sure what it means (I doubt the Bible, as big as it is, is enough to contain a normal human mind, let alone the mind of a god).

"the state of man,"
-I think if you're not a Christian you won't know what this means.

"the way of salvation,"
-Sounds promising.

"the doom of sinners,"
-Suddenly, less promising.

"and the happiness of believers."
-Promising again.

"Its doctrines are holy,"
-I don't know what that means. I'm not sure many would understand either parts of this predicative sentence.

"its precepts are binding,"
-That means I have to do what it says?

"its histories are true,"
-A highly debated issue. I'll avoid it.

"and its decisions are immutable."
-It's probably for the best that the Gideon Bible only includes the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs or the reader might stumble upon Lev 19:19 "You are to keep my statues. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together." This must be one of those mutable immutable laws, since I never see Christians paying any attention to these laws.

"Read it to be wise,"
-I'll buy it for now.

"believe it to be safe,"
-Safe from what? The first thought I had was that believing it would keep you safe from Christians, but I don't think that's what they were talking about.

"and practice it to be holy."
-I don't know what that means.

"It contains light to direct you,"
-Like a nightlight? Like a flashlight?

"food to support you,"
-I guess paper can be considered roughage, although I think you're better off eating fruits and vegetables and far less likely to die of malnutrition.

"and comfort to cheer you."
-I'll buy it for now.

The breakdown was probably unnecessary, but I find this heap of metaphors to be devoid of meaning in this context. They point to basic needs: light, food, happiness, safety and stability but it never really goes beyond the metaphor. How is the Bible a light? How is it food? I think these things should be spelled out since I'm not sure someone would come to these same metaphors after reading the text (without help from Christian/Jewish interpretation). But I've balked long enough. Let me know what you think.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Most Frightening thing at the Law School is...

Grover, from Sesame Street. Way scarier than any ghost. Or maybe it was this:

I'm working on my Greek homework when I realize the Law School is about to close down. I've been trying to lock up classroom 127 for the past two hours but some douche-bag student is in there using his laptop. I know I could go in there and kick him out and watch him pull an indignant face on me. Or I could just try to wait him out. I leave the back room to make my way to 127, when this woman begins to talk to me about the fact that the front doors won't close all the way. The air pressure in the Law School is too great and it keeps the doors open, floating on a cushion of air. I'd make a joke about all the hot air coming from the law students, but you would have seen it a mile away. Anyway, the "solution" to this problem is a paper sign on the door saying, "Please close the door behind you."

The woman moves from talking about the door to every bad thing that ever happened to hear, all without allowing a single lull in the conversation so that I can excuse myself. At first I feel bad for her. She says she's handicapped, although she looks fine to me, and that she used to work in a bad part of town. But then things get weird. I'm talking gypsy woman from Thinner or Drag Me To Hell weird. She talks about how the mafia of Sacramento CA (there's a mafia in Sacramento?) is after her, although she never really explains why. They've had people stalking her as she's fled across the country. Two women stalked her when she was on a phone to an "old friend," after she put all her wedding jewelry in a safety deposit box. Her husband forged her signature on something and took all her money. The mafia tried to kill her dog by bribing vets not to treat him. She worked in a building owned by Strip club managers and got sick from the metal shavings in the air. To be honest I stopped paying attention when she started talking about the mafia. Instead I was thinking, "Oh god this woman's crazy and she's going to stab me any second...how much time has passed? Can I look at my watch without her noticing. Oh shit, it's been 20 minutes. How can I get her to shut up?" Eventually, she explained how her attorney was bought off and trying to sabotage her, when she looked at me and asked, "You know what I mean right? How an attorney can have total power over you?"

Yes, the out I was looking for. I said I didn't know what she was talking about exactly, since I don't study law. I just work here and I've got to go lock up a classroom. She looked disappointed and wished me a good night. Do you know how they treat prisoners in North Korea? I don't. This is not relevant. I make my way to 127 frazzled. That woman had scared the crap out of me. Thankfully, douche-bag McStudentpants had left. I locked up the room, but I kept expecting that old gypsy woman to jump out of every shadow and corner and attack me. She wasn't really a gypsy, that I know, but in my mind that's how she is.

I'm not sure if talking about her is such a great idea, since I'm likely to get cursed. And I don't know if I'll be going to hell for bad mouthing an old handicapped woman or just for generally being a bad person. Both are good reasons. It's time to watch some Darkwing Duck and go to bed.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Point - Counterpoint (Back to School Edition)

Point: I wonder what those high school boys are doing on the back of the bus.
Those boys at the back of the bus sure are laughing hard and making a lot of noise. I wonder if they have the new Pokémon game or maybe one of them has cute puppy pictures on their cell phone. Oh well, I should just go back to thinking about daffodils and sunny days. La la la.
Oh my! What was that words one of those high school boys just said? I have never heard such a word before, but coming from his moth at such a loud volume, it must be something really special. Maybe he is declaring his love for his girlfriend. I have seen him and a high school girl kissing under the bleachers at a football game. It was only on the lips though and then he poked her in the stomach and she squealed before my mom told me not to stare. If I had a boyfriend, I wouldn’t kiss him--that’s gross. I would play my little ponies with him and then bake butter cookies in my easy bake oven.
Being a whole 6 years older than me, those boys must know a lot about the world from how to kiss to how to have lots of friends to how to make a really good snowman. Maybe I should turn to see what all the noise is about so those boys can teach me how to have so much fun.

Counter-point: Look at my cock, little girl.
I fucked your mother last night and she was screaming out my name over and over. She also yelled she wished you were never born and she was going to divorce your father. My dick is huuuuuuge and I go all night, little girl.
You see, when I use this dong to have sex with your mother or your older sister, they beg me for more and more. You can probably hear it when you’re trying to get to sleep at night. Chris, take a picture of this gorgeous cock with your cell phone. Hell yeaaaaa!
I see those tears in your eyes, but I know you can’t look away. And, little girl, the bus driver won’t help you because I'm fucking her too. I’m a fuuuuuuucking machine. But don’t be; I’ll fuck you too, the minute you hit puberty.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Public Service Announcement

After over 3 years, there are two new Friendbear comics. Go to http://www.friendbear.com/ and check them out. If you've already discovered this, then why the hell didn't you tell anyone else??? Selfish assholes!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cacti From Around the World: Part 2

Saw this while walking around Mt. Zion. It's a gnarly, phallus shaped cactus. Enjoy!

William's Bold and Unfounded Claims: Part 3

The president of Delta Airlines sucks the Devil's dick in hell, i.e. New Jersey, i.e. where GAC is from.

New Blog

New blog good? New blog bad?
I've got kind of a lemon lime thing going here. Is the title card too photo shopped? I was thinking posting a quote or something on it ("State Bird, The Mosquito"). Quote suggestions? Keep the color as is or change it all the time? Old title card? New title card? Title card with quote? If I add a quote it will take "X" work hours and I expect to be fully compensated in clam shells/beer. And finally, Should I cut my hair or grow it out? (Seriously, I need a comment from all 3 of you before I make my final decision.)

Keep Fucking That Chicken.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wow, Guys: Sierra Mist

Wow the world of religion really is crazy. It's great that we have this awesome blog to make light of it! You know, when I'm writing fictional letters to Jesus from little boys I always enjoy a delicious Sierra Mist. You know, Sierra Mist really gets my creative juices flowing! MMMMMmM!

I know all of us at this blog all love to see Shaq, the NBA's most underrated and hillarious player, in interesting photos. Well, sometimes when I get thirsty when I am composing a beautiful picture of Shaq endorsing something for the sake of a good chuckle, I reach for a refreshing Sierra Mist to help curb my Shaq obsessed thoughts. YeaY!

And finally, aren't lolz humanz great? They really do bring out the lighthearted nature of this crazy species we belong to. So, look guys, here's a new one:

So, wow guys, we've had some great times with these blog. Thanks Sierra Mist!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Introducing Lol Humanz: The Children's Book!!

You will be happy to hear that my series of lolz humans has been so popular that a children's book publisher has asked me to create a lolz humans book for kids about tolerance and diversity. Here is the first page, which will help children understand older people.

William's Bold and Unfounded Claims: Part 2

On the ship of life, I am the boatswain.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cacti From Around the World: Part 1

I saw this on Mt. Carmel in Haifa today. Possibly the King of Cacti. All hail your majesty! This one goes out to the infinitely irrefutable irrepressible, Joey.

William's Bold and Unfounded Claims: Part 1

Wet Hot American Summer is the Casablanca of our generation.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lol Humanz

Introducing the first in what hopes to be a glorious serious of internet memes: LOL HUMANZ!!!2!!3!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Letter To Jesus

Dear Jesus,

I have recently read your bestselling book titled "The Bible." I have to say, I'm quite impressed with the character development of the fellow you have named after yourself in the new testament. I was a little bored with the old testament since it told me not to eat pork and well, I love bacon and you cannot take that away from me. Anyway, although overall your book was an immersible and thoughtful read, I'm writing to express my anger with your views on Spiderman II.

Jesus, how dare you compare yourself to Spiderman!! Spiderman is a superhero after all, you of all people should know this or are you illiterate and unable to read comic books? You might think that Spiderman II was just a movie comparable to your mundane life, but you're wrong. I masturbate to Spiderman every night. It made more money that you will ever have in 20 lifetimes as a carpenter. Just because you saved humanity from sin doesn't mean shit without money. In summary, Spiderman could beat you up in a fight even when you are walking on water with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus on your side.

Don't forget to wipe,

Monday, August 31, 2009

Away Messages Pt 1

On this, the last day of August, I give to you some away messages I have compiled from my esteemed colleague who will remain nameless in the off chance that he may read this. The punctuation has remained the same as it was when I first recorded these wisdom nuggets. If you don't know who these nuggets (turds) belong to, then I will give you a clue: At parties, he likes to eat mashed potatoes. Alone. In a darkened room.

I was squeezed my anus gland!

Mmm, but it seems to be hard. And, your big head protrudes.

Your buttocks are denfenseless.

I bet you didn't know potatoes were so juicy"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ghost Story from Afghanistan: The Phantom Flush

After we arrived in Egypt, we were driven to our Hotel in Giza, the Mena House Oberoi Hotel. The history of the hotel dates back to the 1800's when it was built as a hunting lodge for the ruler of Egypt, Khedive Ismail. In 1869 Princess Eugenie of France stayed there for the opening of the Suez Canal. In the 1880's it was bought by two Englishmen and then turned into a hotel in the 1890's. During WWI the hotel was used as a military hospital. The hotel is located at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Cheops and to say that the view was astounding, would not do it justice.

The hotel is rich with history and places with this much history are known to pick up a quirk or two. After getting settled in, we heard a flush come from our bathroom. We went in to check and saw a little water swirling at the bottom of the toilet. We thought this was odd, but did not think much on it. A little later, the same thing happened again only this time the shower was dribbling water as well. I tried to turn the knob to shut the water off, but it was already in the off position, and turned as tightly as it would go. However, once I touched the handle the water stopped dripping.

This happened on at least half a dozen occasions during our two days at the hotel. It is entirely possible that this was merely a plumbing problem, i.e. when someone else flushed or showered, our pipes might also begin running water. However, the hotel has been renovated on several occasions and this seems like the kind of thing one might want to correct.

Rational explanations aside, I am not one to let an opportunity pass him by. So on our last night at the hotel, I marched into the bathroom with the intent of confronting the phantom flusher. I thought the most sensible course of action would be to call the ghost names and antagonize him. (I mean, if I was a ghost this is how I would like other people to interact with me). I called the ghost a "limp-dick camel flushing son of a bitch" and then dared him to do something about it. Nothing. Then I tried peeing around the toilet, but not in it, boldly declaring "Oooooo, look at me, I can't pee in the toilet correctly, I bet that really bothers you. Come on! Man up, do something about it." No reaction. I was not going to let him get off so easily. Then I took a shit in toilet and refused to flush. I told him that shit was his mother. Then I was pretty sure I saw a little water swirl and whisper "shut the fuck up, dickhead." Although in retrospect, that could have been the people in the room adjacent to ours.

I leave it you, dear readers, to decide for yourself. But all I know is that I sure as shit showed that ghost whose boss and no one will ever accuse me of having a tiny penis again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Syberia: Incomplete/Ambigious Game Endings

So, I recently finished playing the adventure game Syberia, which in general is a beautiful and moving game with strong characters, decent puzzles and a great sense of intrigue and wonder. However, the ending of the game really bothered me. I don't want to give away the ending, so I will leave out the details, but essential the games ends without completing the arch of the story.

In the end, the main character, Kate Walker, comes to a realization and decides to follow the path the game has been leading her down as opposed to deciding to return back to her old life in New York City. None of the mysteries of the game are revealed, the train continues on it's journey and the player is still wondering where the hell do mammoths and Syberia fit in. How is it that movies and computer games are allowed to be considered complete without good endings?

Even if a game is planning to come out with a sequel, I prefer it to tie up the main arch of the story in the first installment. From the beginning Syberia seemed to promise this trip to Syberia and uncovering some interesting secrets about mammoths, but it the end we are left without answers.

So, what do you all think? Am I just uncomfortable with loose ends and ambiguity or is this an egregious insult to the time the player has spent finishing the game?

Game #19 . . .