Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
April 26, 2009
I am not a zombie
Category: Serious … Travels

If you live in or around Laurel -- especially if you spend a lot of time walking around the city -- you've probably noticed this crazy guy wearing a black jacket over a white t-shirt, baggy black jeans over black boots, and an oversized pair of headphones. Sometimes his dress varies slightly -- I think he's worn tan boots on occasion, and sometimes the jeans are navy blue rather than black -- but he's always wearing the headphones. And he's always yelling something that borders on gibberish, which is why I don't think he's entirely sane. He appears in various places in the city, but can most frequently be found on the sidewalk outside of Hooters and Red Sky.

Sometimes he is dancing. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 8:55 pm | Comments (8)
August 17, 2008
Not quite five by five
Category: Toys … Travels … TV, Film, & DVDs

Five by five?

So for the past couple of weeks or so, I've been on an extended Faith kick. I rewatched the Season 4 episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in which she appeared, her appearances in Seasons 1 and 4 of "Angel"... I even sat through those godawful "Buffy" Season 7 episodes for her. And now I'm in the process of watching Season 3 again (skipping the heathen -- that is Faithless -- episodes), though I think I'll take a break from them tonight to watch the "Buffy" Season 2 episodes with Kendra.

(With my renewed Faith and Buffy kick, I ordered a Buffy figure online... but they sent me Kendra by mistake. Of course I shipped her butt back and am awaiting the correct item, but the ordeal has left me with a desire to watch Kendra's few appearances again.)

...the lion and the fatling together...

Anyway, it's sort of fitting that I've been so into Faith lately, since yesterday I accompanied my mother on this church retreat to see the Sight & Sound Theaters production of "In the Beginning." Of course, I really only went because the trip also included a stop at a shopping center with KB Toys and Disney Store Outlet shops, but I did have some minimal interest in seeing the play. I'll write more about the day on Scary-Crayon -- or at least that's the plan; we'll see -- but suffice it to say that few words describe the play so well as flipping retarded. Picture, if you will, brachiosaurs in the Garden of Eden; velociraptors running around in the wilderness following the Fall; Adam and his progeny riding about on a woolly mammoth; horrific angels that looked like a cross between harpies and the robots of death; and, worst and most hilarious of all, a nine-foot-tall purple serpent with glowing red eyes. Adam and Eve's problem wasn't so much that they were disobedient, but rather that they were dumb. Anyone who trusts a giant purple snake with flaming eyes -- and jets of smoke erupting behind it -- deserves whatever the Hell happens as a result.

An okay haul.

Anyway, back to Faith. I didn't find quite as much as I'd hoped at the KB Toys Outlet, and all of the other stores were a total bust... but I did come across Faith figures! And given my current kick, it almost seemed too good to be true -- I was even planning to order a Faith figure this week -- if not eerily coincidental. I mean, while I've seen DC Direct and Mortal Kombat figures in KB before, I'd never seen Buffy figures in KB Toys until that moment. Granted, they looked kind of bad (I had to pick through them in earnest to find ones without completely screwed paint jobs), and Faith was the only character in stock, but still. I had a Faith figure! Even if it didn't look like her, I was rather pleased.

But I recognized that it seemed too good to be true, and the toys did look a little flimsy... so I got two just in case. And sure enough, as soon as I got home and took the first Faith out of the package, I noticed immediately that something was very, very wrong. Almost every single one of her joints was stuck fast. So right away she went into the freezer, and a good half hour later I removed her to try my luck again. And off came her leg, just like that -- given the way it came off, it looks like the attaching peg was cracked to begin with. I was disappointed, but I did still have the other Faith. She didn't even get the chance to go into the freezer, though, as removing her from the package resulted in her leaving her leg behind right from the outset.

So, yesterday, I lost an entire day on a trip to see a crappy uber-creationist religious play and had my Faith broken. Twice. 👿

Chun-Li has been healed by the power of HOPE!

On the bright side, I'm holding out hope that I can fix the Faiths (or at least one of them; I may just return the other). You may recall my experience with Chun-Li, who broke after I ordered her a while back and had to be replaced. Well, I still had the broken figure... and inspired by these Faith mishaps (what is it with left legs?!) to try my hand at fixing her, I sat down today and did just that. And, as you see, I was successful! Faith looks like she'll be a more difficult -- part of the reason the figure broke in the first place is poor design; while a metal screw will certainly be stronger than the brittle, toothpick-thin plastic peg with which the leg was originally attached, forcing the head of a screw into the tiny space between her legs (hm, this is sounding kinda dirty) will prove rather difficult -- but I'm confident that it can be done. I suppose if all else fails, I could try the Hasbro approach and peg the leg up into the torso. Faith's waist doesn't move, so there should be a lot of space up there for an anchor.

Also, shoofly pie? Terrible. If you ever find yourself in Lancaster County, do yourself a huge favor and pass on that dessert. 😐

-posted by Wes | 9:59 pm | Comments (7)
February 26, 2008
I am the worst interviewee in the world.
Category: Travels

Seriously. I think I look pretty darned good on paper, but then I get into interviews and blow them so badly that the hiring organizations don't even bother to contact me to tell me that I didn't get the job -- they just repost the classified ad and only let me know when I write to find out about the (fairly obvious, but still) status of my application.

Anyway, I mention this because I had an interview last Friday that was flipping brutal. I'm not sure how appropriate it is to mention many of the details in an online forum -- what I was applying for, specifics of the interview, etc. -- but let's just say that I felt like the lead interviewer essentially called me an ignorant American and at one point told me that I'd given a terrible response to a specific question. It was the kind of interview where I almost wish I'd flipped out, cursed everyone relentlessly, and maybe even tossed in a few German suplexes for good measure. Yeah, that kind of ferocity isn't really in my nature -- and I certainly wouldn't have gotten the job unless I'd been applying to the UFC competition (which I wasn't) -- but I a) wouldn't be worried about whether I got the job (which, amazingly, I'm still hoping for at this point despite the utterly abysmal nature of the interview) and b) could have walked out of that room with my pride intact. As it was, I felt utterly emasculated when it was over.

If I did anything right at all during the interview, I think it was that I probably came across as wholly docile and non-threatening -- which may be good considering that half of the interview consisted of the interviewers telling me how reviled and potentially feared I would be in the position owing to the color of my skin. I guess there were other parts of it that may not have been completely terrible. I got a chuckle out of my mention of octopus-flavored ice cream, even if I did choke on the word "octopus". I probably choked on more words that I don't precisely recall -- I know I choked on my words at least five times while saying goodbye to another interviewee with whom I had the pleasure of chatting during the bus/metro ride to and from the interview. Yep -- my Smoothest Dude Ever Award is in the mail.

I may have accrued some positive karma points, though -- and not just because the interview went so terribly, either. At the bus stop en route to the interview, this old woman happened to drop one of her gloves before going off to hail a cab (apparently the bus was taking too long for her). Now, I didn't notice her dropping the glove, but another woman at the stop happened to see it and stated flatly, "She drop [sic] her glove." And then I found myself in one of those moments where time stands still, because I was totally waiting for the woman to reach down, pick up the glove right in front of her, turn to the other side, and hand the glove to the old woman -- who, at this point, was still standing on the curb about an arm's length away. Instead, she did flipping nothing. When it became apparent that no one else was going to do anything either, I found myself dashing forward (I was standing on the opposite side of the bus stop enclosure), scooping up the glove from the ground, and running up to the woman just as she got inside a cab while waving the glove and shouting, "Ma'am! Ma'am!" The cabbie rolled down the window, the woman got her glove, and all was right with the world -- until the bus showed up about a minute later and carried me off to botch that interview in a very real and very, very unfortunate way.

But while I may be a terrible interviewee, at least I'm not an entirely terrible person. Right? 😐

-posted by Wes | 7:39 pm | Comments (11)
November 14, 2007
Taco Trek
Category: Travels

For some reason I was under the impression that the free taco giveaway at Taco Bell took place during the first week of November, but apparently it was on Tuesday, October 30. Not that that's particularly important -- I only mention it because if I'd realized that earlier I would've written about it first rather than Halloween. 🙂 Read on...

-posted by Wes | 9:15 pm | Comments (5)
June 5, 2007
Shanghai Shanghai Shanghai
Category: Photo … SC Updates … Travels

More of Nanjing Road...

First off, I've posted a new comic on Scary-Crayon that briefly relates one of my encounters on Nanjing Road. For more info about that incident (and numerous similar ones), you can also read the attached SC blog entry.

And now, more photos from Shanghai!

A tear(man) of joy!

This guy was on a lot of the signposts around the area near the hotel. I have no idea what he signifies.

The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium

This is the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. I didn't actually get to go inside, but I did take several photos of the exterior, including one of this cool plush pufferfish they had outside to advertise the deadly aquatic animals exhibit.

People and buses

Another photo I took while walking around the downtown area near the hotel. Note the McDonald's in the background! Even with a Mickey D's on every corner, though, the people in Shanghai remain remarkably thin.

Greenery and buildings in the distance

Another pic from the area -- I think I took this from outside the local park. I'm a bit puzzled as to how those trees stay so green, because the sun never shines in Shanghai. Which is to say that there is so much pollution that the sun literally is not visible (at least from the ground). Plants receive their energy courtesy of a smog filter.

The Rock says...

Here's one from inside the park! There were lots of giant rocks in there.

Friends, Shanghai style

A billboard with some very happy people and some text I cannot read.

Defeat M. Bison with the power of Pepsi

And to think I'd pegged Chun-Li for a Sprite drinker.

Finally, here are two additional pics I took with a certain someone in mind:

Taco Bell Grande!

Nicole Kidman for Omega watches

I have no idea why Nicole Kidman should make me want an overpriced watch. Speaking of Omega watches, though, a guy tried to sell me a Rolex watch, an Omega watch, and some sort of designer pen for a combined total of 20 yuan (roughly $3). Very cheap price indeed!

All for now, then. Ja! 🙂

-posted by Wes | 12:26 pm | Comments (2)