Saturday, March 31, 2007


Fucking head cold.


Nose completely blocked. I sound like an asthmatic, kettle as I gasp for air.

The cold did not roll into town alone. Unobtrusively following it was its cold, evil friend the flus. That sneaky bastard. Sunday last, I had an inkling that something was wrong. I sneezed once, twice, thrice…and then I lost count. I felt a tickle in the back of my throat. Not a good sign. Fuck!

In due course Monday appeared, (Like a particularly unpleasant dark cloud on the horizon. (Not a pleasant dark cloud, one of those that you see on the National Geographic channel, or on B.B.C. Wildlife documentary, the cloud that heralds the ending of the dry season and the arrival of the rains. In the background a voice, a reassuring, friendly voice, describes the scene as it unfolds. “The animals look up. They can sense that change is in the air, that the seasons have turned. The harshness of the dry season is about to end. Life in all its myriad forms is about to explode.”…Cut to scene of flowers blossoming, tender shoots bursting out of the moist soils, subjects of the documentary enthusiastically humping (The Bloodhound Gang-The Bad Touch).) A particularly unpleasant dark cloud composed of equal parts of noxious smoke and papayas) and I staggered off to work..

Now, I know that I always say that I’m staggering along. But this time I literally staggered to my car and then staggered out to work. This was beginning to resemble the “Week Of Looking at Bright Lights”, but in a far, far more unpleasant way. Showing exceptional fortitude I soldiered through the day. Ss evening approached, I actually began to feel a bit better.

And then I made my fatal (figuratively) mistake. I decided to go work out. Yeah, bad idea. Having lasted a grand total of ten minutes there, I staggered back out and staggered to bed. Staggering with style takes energy. I had none. So I staggered in the least cool way possible.

Tuesday dawned. Like the Monday, but meaner. The cloud was darker and was decidedly acidic.

Wednesday I succumbed and refused to get out off bed.

Thursday I got out of bed and took up my new position as the office’s latest disease vector. Sadly everyone else around me seems disgustingly healthy.

Friday. Finally.

Fucking Head Cold.

Does not mourning someone I should have been close to, but was not close to, make me a bad…fine, bad-der person?

Friday, March 16, 2007

11100 or I, for one, welcome our new cephalopod overlords.

A few interesting (Here, I play fast and loose with the adjective “interesting”, stretching the meaning of the word, patting it down and coaxing it into a new shape, the shape known to some as mind numbingly boring.) facts about the number 28 (Source: Shamelessly ripped from Wikipedia and then despicably edited):

  • The number of letters in the Danish and Swedish alphabets (not counting W).
  • Part of the title of a zombie movie 28 Days Later.
  • The number of normal human teeth, not including the third molars (wisdom teeth).
  • The postal code of the province of Madrid, in Spain.
  • The only two digit number, both of whose halves rhyme with shwenty and weight respectively.
  • The only number that is twenty seven plus one.
  • The number of malfunctioning staplers in a box of thirty.
  • The only number that is twenty nine minus one.
  • The average number of explosions in any action movie.
  • One fifth the temperature of my trusted hangover remedy (soup) that I poured over my cell phone this past Sunday.
  • One fourth the number of ab-crunches I did to avoid talking to someone at the gym this past Wednesday. (No, I do not exaggerate that number. That number does come with the disclaimer that for me doing an ab-crunch involves scrunching my eyes, grimacing and twitching slightly. Occasionally a stray abdominal muscle may be involved. Usually not.)
  • Number of hours I was hunched over like Gollum because of those exercises. (I did caress my mouse a few times and go “Myyyyy presciousssssss, my prescioussssss.”)The hisses are good for the lungs.
  • The number of years (and six days) that I have been on this planet.

And that last bullet point sucks. I’m closer to thirty than I am to twenty five and that’s scary. Not in a “Scary footsteps following you in a dark, lonely parking lot,” kind of way but in a …actually precisely in a “Scary footsteps following you in a dark, lonely parking lot,” kind of way. Except that the footsteps are very real. And they belong to this huge, misshapen brute known as middle age. You can hear him muttering under his breath, “…Responsibilities, Family, Commitment, Retirement, Settle Down…”.

That last bit there is the most frightening. “Settle Down.” Who the fuck wants to settle down? Settling down is what happens when a badly constructed pastry implodes in on itself. Dust settles down. Settlers, in an ideal world, settle down. I looked at my résumé. At no point does it assert that I am good at settling down. It says “Programming Experience”, and “Educational Background” and “Previous Experience”, but no fucking mention of settling down. Notably absent are the words settle and down in that order. I does say that I have experience using blankets filled with down, and that if I ever sued a stapler manufacturer, I would be willing to settle out of court. (Yes, I do have a weird résumé.) The phrase “Settle Down” is in my case counterproductive. It unsettles me, flusters me and leaves me in need of a strong drink.

I’ve come to the conclusion that only one thing can save me from people telling me to “Settle Down.”

The earth needs to be attacked and conquered by vicious, viscous aliens. There’ll be no time for settling down and related nonsense when I’m fighting in the Resistance, striking small but vital blows against the enemy’s military industrial mega-complex.

Assorted relatives may say, “You’re twenty eight. Isn’t it time you settled down?”

I’d reply, “I’m fighting a goddamn underground war against our alien oppressors. I have no time for such trifles,” and that, that undeniable truth, would silence them completely.

Because it is true. You cannot settle down when you are fighting evil alien oppressors. It only encourages them and causes them to preen and give speeches at parties and carry on like a bunch of ne’er-do-wells. Where are the members of the resistance? Why are they not crashing the party dressed as members of the catering staff, lying in wait to eliminate the upper echelon of the alien hierarchy? Why, they’re settling down and having children and working towards their retirements.

Fuck that. Death to our viscous alien oppressors. Once they get here. They need to get here to preempt this talk of settling down and then we’ll (I’ll) get rid of them.

I should probably make a donation to SETI.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What would you do if I sang out of tune?

Blogger makes signing up for Google’s AdSense very, very convenient. The link’s right there on the settings page, begging for you to click on it and enter a world of money, money, money. And for a moment there I was very nearly tempted. Making easy money has always appealed to my mercenary, money grubbing soul. Yes, yes, very nearly tempted for all of two seconds.

It took me half a second out of those two seconds to come to the realization that with the amount of traffic I get on this blog, it would take me roughly four years, seven months and twenty three days to make just about enough money to buy half a doughnut. Without adjusting for inflation. How did I come up with that figure? I used the well known web traffic estimation method, P.T.N.R.O.M.A., which, of course, stands for Pulled The Numbers Right Outta My Ass. An honored and widely respected metric. Usually used by politicians and advertising agencies.

And in the other second and a half, well, in their own words “Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to display relevant Google ads on their website's content pages and earn money”. Yes indeed. Content based advertisements. Anybody else see the problem here?

Here are the advertisements I could expect (Neatly bulleted and stuff.)

  • Bright Lights at
  • Fuckityfuckfuckfuck. We Teach YOU how to use the f-bomb gratuitously.
  • Staplers and Toaster. How semi-Intelligent machines from the industrial age are planning to bring down civilization
  • PaperWeight KamaSutra: We got it.
  • Handcuffs: Handcuffs for all occasions. We got them, you need them.
  • Butter too.
  • And supermodels.

Ads by goooooooooooofuckingle.

And if you thought those were freaky, take a look at these.

The sheer diversity of content on that page, that caused AdSense to come up with those particular ads is mind boggling. Advertisements for bottled water, athletic shoes, and…Japanese brides…and…Female Prison Pen Pals…and a video by an Indian Business Leader…Probably doused in bottled water and wearing nothing but those athletic shoes and a smile.

For the life of me, I cannot come up with any content that would cause those advertisements to appear together. It is quite possible that…um yeah…I have no fucking theories. Japanese brides to female prisoners to water to shoes to commerce. And no, I do not remember what the content was on that page. Perhaps because, this, this collage of links was so arresting that it captured my attention leaving very, very little room for anything else.

Granted, on a normal page I would mock OGO for setting new standards in bottled water. “We are wetter. We are water-ier. We hydrate, mother-fuckas, like nobody’s ever fuckin’ hydrated before. OGO fucking the gold fucking standard in bottled water.” But…but it fades into insignificance on that page. The beauty of the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts.

That’s about it. Revel in the sheer beauty of that image, wrought by no human hands, but by the glorious genius of AdSense.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The infinite sorrow, the pain, the hurt.

During the course of a very, very, very unproductive work week (Oooh look at the bright screen, pretty colours, bright lights. Mind tuning out. Must look at screen and not move for two hours. It is meditation. Very, very Zen like… Okay, spaced out there for a minute.

Before anybody accuses me of being a lazy good for nothing sot, I did make up for the Week Of Looking At Bright Lights by working over the weekend. (That should be an official Week. The Week Of Looking At Bright Lights. People would look at bright lights and make small, appreciative sounds. They wouldn’t do anything else that week. They may take a break to exhale, or to get out of the way of a large moving object (Like a mutant toaster with an afterburner), or to inhale, but that would be it. ) I probably should register that domain name. (How messed up is it that that is always my logical follow-up for any idea that I have. “Dude, I have got to register that domain name.” The idea may suck, but I’ll own the domain name dammit, and that is all that counts.)

I would like to at this point mention that we here at The Week Of Looking At Bright Lights Foundation, do not in any way, shape or form condone the use of hallucinogenic drugs to produce the Bright Lights. We here at the foundation are of the opinion that while people may choose their own type of Bright Lights to look at, it is infinitely preferable that the lights be outside their heads rather than inside them.) I read a few blogs (Any number less than five hundred is a few isn’t it?). These weren’t blogs written by anyone I know, or anyone I know of. They were blogs belonging to strangers from all over the place.

A staggering number of these blogs had a common theme. Everyone was fucking depressed. Life was full of clouds without a fucking ray of sunshine anywhere. The rain was falling all over the place and instead of renewing life and causing an explosion of greenery it was ruining their suede leather jackets. The glass was half full of poison that would give you the hives, halitosis and an irresistible urge to wear white socks with black shoes.

Every single specimen(blogger) looks out of a window and stares pensively at the heart-breaking sadness of the things they can see from the aforementioned window (The sheer convenience of this makes me suspicious. How often have you looked out of your window and seen the drama of human existence play out in all its tragic glory? Once, twice, thrice? Possible, not probable, but possible. Every single day for four weeks? Um…less probable? ). The sorrow of the human condition. The tragic play of light on the leaves of a tree. The poignancy of the moment when a drop of water falls from one of those leaves into that puddle of muddy water below that tree. The sheer tragedy of the rain ruining the suede jackets.

And sighs. Everyone sighs. “Sigh…I woke up today”. “Sigh, Life it is so full of sorrows”, “Sigh, I saw a little sparrow today and it made my heart ache”, “Sigh, I had a bagel for breakfast today”, “Sigh…”I” before “E”, except after “C””. Stop fucking sighing. All this sighing makes you sound like a fucking herd of asthmatic elephants trundling through a jungle of whoopee cushions. Make this your life goal. Say to yourself, “From today, I will no longer abuse my sighs. I shall reserve them for occasions which truly deserve sighing. At other times, I shall show admirable restraint and control my base urges. I may let out a little whimper or snort in lieu of the sigh. But, but I shall be strong and I will not sigh.”

This has got to stop. The legions of people who think that is cool to be dark and depressed and pessimistic need to be thinned. If you feel the urge to write that you are depressed, go ahead and drop me a line. I’ll swing by your place and punch you in the nose. That is, if you are a guy. If you are of the fiercer, crueler and infinitely scarier sex, I will hire somebody of your gender, probably off of Craigslist, to punch you in the nose.

Um...yeah, ignore the post that preceded this one.