Word Cookie

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

One Track Mind

Happily, that track is cancelled sitcoms. Thanks, College Degree!

Today's mining of meaningless pop culture when I should be working comes in the form of an imagined scenario. First, read this from Salon's The Fix:

Money Quote:
John Stamos, who graduated from Uncle Jesse on "Full House" to an
intern on "ER," says the old "House" crew still stays close: "The cast
is all a pretty solid group of people -- we've all gone through stuff
together, Mary-Kate's stuff and the occasional rehab. We go to dinner
a couple of times a year, and I talk to Dave Coulier and Bob Saget
almost every day. Bob's such a pain! He calls to tell me he's too busy
to talk. He's got a game show! I said, 'Lighten up! I'm saving lives
on TV!'" (Ladies' Home Journal)

ALMOST EVERY DAY??? Does it go like this:

Dave: my life sucks.
John: I married a model!
Dave: Will you buy me a pizza?
John: I better go take my meeting with Clooney!

Bob: Sometimes I try to make myself relevant again.
John: I get paid to make out with hot actresses!
Bob: Maybe I shouldn't have done those America's Funniest voiceovers...
John: I was in a Broadway show!

Dave: I wish I could do more of those America's Funniest voiceovers...
John: My trailer is nicer than your house!


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sad News

I'll be wearing all black on February 22nd.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Better Joyful Uses of "Oh Shit!" Lately

* upon finding my Harry Potter Gryffindor scarf.

* ...that's it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A little bit

My posting habits have flagged, it's true. What can I say? Blogging for even very little money trumps blogging for one's own precious ego...but just barely.

But I couldn't resist not sharing this. I love Gmail, though I do find it really creepy how their ads will match keywords in my personal correspondence--helpfully providing me with a link to try Free TastyKake peanut butter snacks from an email with my mom's banana bread recipe. This link makes enough sense, though the same email did prompt an ad for a Harry Potter trivia website. Which, while alarmingly accurate to my taste, is only tangentially so. I guess one too many searches for "Snape is good" has left my computer permanently stained with nerdiness.

Yet today's magical ad association took the TastyKake for pithy social observation. I subscribe to dictionary.com's Word of the Day email, which means a list of huge words I could never actually use in conversation, even if I could remember then for longer than 5 seconds, gradually fills my inbox. Today's word was obstreperous, meaning "noisy, clamorous, or boisterous." In the face of such an email, my Google ads beseeched me to "Stop Condescending!" directing me to YourBadHabits.com, a website devoted to curing people of their grating patronization of the rest of humanity. Ah, beautiful.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Makin' Bacon Contest

I thought I should point out the world's most disturbing novelty phone:

Let's see who can make the best "Buddy, just where is that cord goin'?" joke! For the winner, I'll fry an entire pound of bacon.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Perfect Founders

Hi. So there's an elephant in the room. Don't worry. I see it.

Yes, I realize my last post was kind if insane, and that there's been a long gap since. But I can explain! Beyond toiling away on the next and most perfect blog post ever written (yes...sure), I have been busy with a project. I wanted to enter the Third Coast Audio Festival's 99 Ways to Tell a Story competition, and I've been slaving away. But now my entry is done and I'm here to share it with the world. Or just the small sliver of the world that reads this blog, a.k.a. my pals.

Basically, 99 Ways wanted to see how many different stories could be told using the same specific criteria: it had to start with "To begin with, they never got along," contain the following sounds: a pre-recorded voice, a rhythmic noice, and an exclamation, and it had to be in an obvious production style like noir or from the perspective of a dog. The rest was open for interpretation.

My idea was to retell the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr as a classic TV sitcom. (Thank you AGAIN, Full House!) With the great help of the vocal talents of Jon Bernstein and Ruwan Welaratna, and music by Jon Bernstein and Deepthi Welaratna, I finished the piece. Here is it's home on the Third Coast website for your listening pleasure. I hope you enjoy it! Perfect Founders #64

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Me 'n' J.C.*

I think my life has finally settled down a bit. I know because my excuse for not blogging has deflated from busy into lazy, and also I suddenly had room to start thinking about it. And here we are.

Mainly I've been busy with my big move to the big city. I'm so content in my new place I can barely stand it. I don't know if any of you have ever had the happy coincidence of timing a physical relocation with a big shift in your mindset--new goals, new perspectives, etc--but it is fantastic. Like you've channel surfed in sync with the timeslots of fate. Or something along those overblown lines. Caught a sweet wave of the master plan. Harmonized with the big guy barbershop quartet. (Okay, no more.)

Really, I feel how I used to as a kid when I'd hear the ice cream truck jingling in my neighborhood--not too far away, not too close, just right to make pathetic, deserving eyes at the babysitter, grab some change, and run outside in time to see it turning down my street. Yeah, buddy.

Having a new place that I love, and completely blindly lucked into, makes me wonder about the above over-analogized larger plan. Yes, it's just an apartment...something will probably start leaking (spiders) soon, and the woman across the courtyard from me has this amazing, cavernous smoker's cough which bounces around the courtyard and into my bedroom window as though in a giant echo chamber. Don't smoke, kids!

But (oh no there's no way around this pun, must censor) it's as though I have a new l---- on life! It's great and surprising how a change in routine can open up new possibilities in your head. For example, I don't have a dishwasher anymore, so I'm back to elbow grease and the limits of how clean I really, really need my dishes.

Like any doomed novelty, right now I truly appreciate the hidden joy in doing the dishes. For one, it gives me the excuse to sing the excellent Pulp song, Dishes, and who doesn't love an excuse to whip out the ol' Jarvis Cocker impression? (see title) But it is mainly a nice pause; where my purpose is simple and finite, and the chore steadily dissolves into white noise, water, and down the drain to great satisfaction. This task is one where a person can only perform so well: clean is clean. There's really no point in overachieving as a dishwasher. And as I'm not so much a chronic overachiever, but a chronically expectant of overachievement, such simplicity relaxes me.

Then I can actually start to ponder my larger purpose in life in some kind of a rational state, as opposed to, say, in front of my computer, staring at endless postings for ridiculously bad or ridiculously out of my reach jobs, intimidating publications with looming submission deadlines, and one fully staffed masthead after another. (Dammit!)

But, really how much control do any of us have over our master plan beyond all the furious scheming and expecting? I'm a big fan of biographies: The Carter Family, Jimmy Stewart, J.D. Salinger, Mary Pickford—I’ve devoured them all. What biographies of successful people have managed to do is simultaneously convince me that success is somehow both arbitrary and inevitable if you work hard enough. Every biography also features the third act twist: She had it all, but then it all came crashing down...

For instance, A.P. Carter managed not only to land the girl of his dreams, (who he met because he heard her singing through an open window and was entranced—much like some medieval knight on a quest, but set in Appalachia) but he convinced her to join his band, making him a musical legend. Then, of course, came the long hours, the infidelity, the divorce, and the fizzling out of his career. After fighting in WWII, Jimmy Stewart wrestled with serious doubt as to whether acting was a suitable profession for a person. Reading stories of the mortals who have managed to achieve their dreams, and then following along as it all turns on them or falls apart or just fades into old age and old times really just puts Success into perspective: the view that it’s really only one part of what we can and should be doing with ourselves.

So, I've resigned to just force myself to enjoy the moments as they are, as they come. Like those big, sugary, and fast-melting pink bubblegum ice cream bars I would buy as a kid: I knew that in a few seconds the ice cream would no longer resemble the face of Mickey Mouse...the ears would be eaten down to little nubs, the M&M eyes would melt and droop down the face like a Dali painting, and the whole beautiful mess would eventually end up in my stomach and manifested through cartwheels and the manic desire to dress the dog up in people clothes (hilarious!)...

Meeting the ice cream man—managing to be in a place in my house where I could hear the jingle, convincing the adult to let me go, scrounging up enough change, and rushing out the door fast enough—wasn’t ever the object of my summers, just a nice occasional treat. Sometimes my brother and I would sit on our lawn for what seemed like an eternity, hearing the jingle circle around our street over and over until finally it just disappeared, and we had to go back inside. Sometimes we would determine to be proactive, and try and track down the truck through the neighborhood—stalking up and down the streets with the jingle always leading us in circles until we gave up. We could always keep our change in a easy-to-access spot, get permission in advance, and plan ahead for what we would buy, but the truth was that it was never up to us whether he came or not, whether we caught him or not, or whether he would even have what we wanted.

As I slide into my 23rd birthday, my first year out of college, my new apartment, and my first real job, I’m going to try and remember that huge, spine-tingling, face-melting, smile-widening, high-fiving moments of success and serendipity are so great because they are so rare, so surprising, and so completely out of our control.

*a note on the images: I felt that given the mentioning of ice cream trucks, dishes, and pure, uncomplicated delights, ice cream made natural illustrations. Plus, photos of ice cream are completely beautiful! Look at these! Check out that apricot dish--tiger lilies and everything! (That ice cream wants to make sweet love to you!) It reminds me of a Texan institution, Braum's, and the giant lavish photos of ice cream they would hang around the store. At that size and production budget, the personalities of the different flavors really came out. Strawberry is clearly a bitch--sitting all pink and perfect in a crystal dish with a doily. Stuck up, but she just knows what she's got. Cookies 'n' Cream keeps it real--big, chucky scoops in a plain blue bowl on a wood table. Probably a great sense of humor--compensatory. But, oh pistachio, you lusty trollop--with your smart accessories to complement your mysterious nature: clear white dish, wedge of cookie placed at a 45 degree angle like a kicky little hat, and sprig of some exotic leafy plant lying on the table. You get me. Too bad you taste like feet.

**Thanks for sticking through this meanderingly coherent, jaunty post.