Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
November 14, 2006
fuck you, oprah
Category: Audio

Okay, I was just going to write about this, but then I figured what the heck and decided to do an impromptu AUDIO POST about the ridiculousness and insensitivity of the bit that I caught from today's Oprah episode. There is some bad language (nothing terribly graphic, though), so you might want to turn your speakers down or cover the ears of small children in the vicinity or not listen to this at work.

Wes rambles on for 3:30 (minutes and seconds!) on November 14, 2006

I should clarify my comments in the audio post and say that I can understand why someone would want to interview this guy, but not within the context of a daytime talk show (except to provide more sensationalized crap for the Stepford Wives crowd, which was obviously Oprah's motive). For example, if one were performing some scholarly research the nature of mental illness crimes, I can definitely see interviewing this guy. The rotten kinds of questions that Oprah asked, however, would still probably be off-limits. Good lord.

I have also found that, oddly enough, placing the microphone behind my chair -- as opposed to on my desk in front of me -- helps to reduce the amount of noise in the recording. It has little effect on noise from barking dogs in the background, however. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 6:07 pm | Comments (8)
November 6, 2006
Wacky World Land
Category: Books … Linkage … TV, Film, & DVDs

You know, I wonder if somehow having a comment spam filter attracts spam comments. I mean, WordPress and Akismet appear to do a really good job of catching them, but I never got this many spam messages back on the old Blog of Wes. (There's no sense in reading the old page since I ported all of the old entries over to here, but if you're interested you can take a gander at the old layout :)) Perhaps the programs are lying, in order to exaggerate their performance and effectiveness!

Aaaand on a note somewhat related to that last comment, VOTE TOMORROW! Assuming that you have not already. I'm planning to vote Democratic across the board... and it really sucks that I feel like I have to do that, but I think that's the extent to which the political scene has been polarized as of late. And have you seen some of the Republican National Committee advertisements for this campaign? They're like weird fake campaign ads on a sketch comedy show! Insanity.

Also, given yesterday's international news, I totally want to read this book. Could be interesting!

The Prestige is pretty good stuff, by the way. A lot of the reviews that I've read have called it a challenging and confusing film, but I honestly didn't get any of that -- it seemed fairly easy to understand to me, especially since it goes out of its way to explain the twist ending at the end, replete with flashbacks. Anyway, I wouldn't call it a masterpiece (I probably couldn't rank it among even my top 20 or 30 favorite films, though I'd certainly add it to my DVD collection for $7.50 or less), but it's definitely a great film and makes for a good theater experience. It's certainly the best movie I've seen at the cinema this year! But then, the only other movies I've seen thus far are V for Vendetta and Silent Hill, so that's not saying too much.

Finally, the latest Neurotically Yours cartoon from Ill Will Press -- entitled "Useless Software" -- is quite funny. "It all just says pissed off and a date next to it!" Go watch. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 1:33 pm | Comments (3)
November 5, 2006
Dreams of Mark, Bianca, and Teresa
Category: Dreams … Fiction?

Do you ever think that perhaps our dreams take place in some legitimate reality separate from our waking lives? Certainly not all of them, mind you, as some dreams pretty clearly issue from the subconscious thoughts of the user, but then there are others (at least with me) that seem too real and "normal" to stem from the dreamer's unconscious mind -- for example, dreams in which the dreamer explores distant locales or experiences things for which he/she has no extensive frame of reference, or dreams in which the dreamer meets with people he/she has never met in real life and who do not have appropriate waking counterparts. I'm fairly sure that Omni has written about this at some point or another. (And if you happen to read this, Omni, do link us to those specific posts. Thanks!)

I think about this often, but I was thinking about it again because I just woke up from another dream featuring three characters that -- I think -- have appeared several times in my recent dreams. I write "I think" because they may just as well have only appeared in this one dream (though I semi-distinctly remember dreaming about them on one other occasion), but upon meeting them I recalled multiple instances during which I had encountered them before. I have memories of events in my dreams that elude me in real life.

In these particular dreams, I encounter three characters. All of the dreams begin with me visiting Mark (also known as Marco/Marke/Mael) in his home. I do not know Mark in real life, nor can I think of anyone for whom Mark might be an analogue, but he appears to be a good friend in my dreams -- or at least a good enough friend for me to visit him on a regular basis. However, I hardly ever speak to Mark, as most of my dialogue is carried out with his personal "physician", who is always present and answers my questions to Mark in greater detail. For example, if I ask how Mark is feeling, he might respond, "Much better," whereupon the woman tending to him will launch into a detailed explanation of his physical progress over the past week. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 3:19 am | Comments (4)
October 31, 2006
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Category: Miscellany

Happy Halloween, minna-san! I just posted a more involved Halloween entry over on the Scary-Crayon blog, so you're encouraged to go check that out if you're interested in my Halloween "tradition" and some quick comments about dollar store candies. Poor Bacardi did so much barking with all of the ringing of the doorbell and costumed strangers that I imagine his little throat will be sore for days to come.

Last night, I went to Bennett's Curse, which claims to be the best haunted attraction in the MD/DC area. If that's the case, I needn't worry about attending any others, as this one wasn't super fantastic. Credit where credit is due, though -- there were a few innovative touches. The 3D Hall of Clowns, in which the patrons don 3D glasses and look at a bunch of spooky clown paintings, was pretty cool, to say nothing of a giant animatronic skeleton beast thing by the name of GOLGOTH THE BLUDGEONER (or something like that) that actually gave a several minute-long speech about how he had bludgeoned people to death for centuries and how we had been chosen to spread his legend. I think most of the people in my group missed out on the greatness of Golgoth because they kept moving without even listening, but I stayed for his entire rant and have fulfilled my purpose in life by telling you about him.

See, more stuff like that would've been cool from my position, as there's nothing really scary about costumed people jumping out at you and growling. Hell, I've been through so many of these attractions that I am very good at spotting them in their hiding places, such that they generally don't even bother to try to scare me because they know I can see them. In any case, I can see kids getting scared (and admittedly I like seeing kids in these things, because at least then I can vicariously appreciate the sincerity of their experience), but I really don't get these adults who tremble and shriek and clutch at whomever they're with (or NOT with -- we'll get to that) as they pass through these things. Jumping at a sudden fright is to be expected, but beyond that there's not a whole lot to the scares here. I mean, hello -- YOU'RE A PAYING CUSTOMER. THEY CANNOT KILL, HURT, OR MAIM YOU. IF THEY ATTACK YOU AND YOU SURVIVE, YOU CAN SUE FOR BIG MONEY. The hosts even lay out the ground rules before you enter these attractions: do not touch the monsters (that is, the employees) and they will not touch you. Jeez.

Yet I ended up walking through the Dominion of Darkness -- a pitch black"maze, except it was more like a path with a few turns -- with some lady I do not know repeatedly shrieking and running into my back and clutching at my shoulders. At first I just shrugged her off, but it got so bad that I ultimately moved aside and told her and her group to go in front of me so that I could bring up the rear and thereby pass through the rest of the attraction in relative peace. I imagine my feelings at that point were similar to how Wendy felt when I dissed Van Gogh at the Met.

Combined with the fact that I spent about 100 minutes in line for three attractions that took about a total of 10 minutes, I can't say that the experience was worth the $20 in my case (though I will say that I don't feel like I got ripped off, because the attractions were certainly involved enough to warrant a $15-20 admission fee). I did enjoy the antics of the children in front of me in the line, though, who seemed endlessly amused by the fact that there was a screen featuring R-rated movies (Child's Play and Nightmare on Elm Street) set up for the benefit of people in line. And at one point, the two brothers also looked at their sister and said that they could never have an attraction like this for only girls because there would be so much screaming that it would be completely ruined. The girl's reaction was curious -- she said nothing, but eyed them with this strange look of pain and utter disbelief. And then at another point, one of the boys expressed a belief that girls don't go to Hell, presumably because they are incapable of doing anything bad enough to warrant that punishment. Kids are strange.

And to close, here's a weird comment that my spam filter picked up:

chlamydia Bricklin SV-1 from North America
Bloody hell chlamydia I had never even heard of the Bricklin until I saw it on a movie earlier tonight (thinking it was a DeLorean, haha), but then I checked out this forum, chlamydia always been a fan of '70s exotics, and just reading about the mods you made to that car made me salivate.

What?!?!? If it weren't for the random chlamydia links (and yes, each instance hotlinked to some page, which I assume was all about chlamydia), I'd think that maybe this guy just posted a comment meant for someone else in the wrong window or something... but I dunno. Very, very weird.

Also, Adrian Alexis has some good stuff.

That does it for this entry, then. HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Ja ne. 🙂

-posted by Wes | 10:29 pm | Comments (3)
October 30, 2006
A ten minute (or fewer) blog post
Category: Miscellany

I have a tendency to spend way too much time writing these things, so I am limiting myself with this one. (You wouldn't believe it, but typing just this took me a full minute because I revised it that. many. times.) If I have not said what I intend to say within ten minutes, I will stop right there, mid-sentence, what have you -- and perhaps continue the thought another day. Perhaps not. We'll see. Okay, here goes:

On Friday, I took a page from what I believe to be the M. Glitter Playbook and stopped by Taco Bell for the first time since probably the late 90s. I used to go there all the time as a kid -- back when they had cool premiums like Batman and Ghostbusters cups (that was TB, right?) -- and then because it was a cheap place to get some halfway decent grub, but with me buying my own food from the supermarkets now and whatnot I just hadn't gone there. Anyway, I don't think I had a defined reason not to go there before, but I do now. See, the main draw of Taco Bell was never that the food was really good, but that it was really inexpensive. I mean, you could eat like a king (or pig) on just $5, if you got like five tacos or three tacos and something else or whatnot. But now Taco Bell seems way too expensive. I guess it's still cheap if you get beef tacos, but buying them with chicken (or steak) ups the price of each taco almost a whole dollar after tax -- so I ended up paying $3 for a lukewarm Cheesy Gordita Crunch. It wasn't bad, but for just a few more dollars I could make like ten of those things at home. So I'll have to pass on Taco Bell.

I was looking for a replacement pillowcase for my pillow (thanks for inadvertently reminding me to change it, Molly) on my laundry and clothing-filled top bunk and I came across an Ultimate Fighting Championship t-shirt that reads, "As real as it gets." And I thought, That is not true at all! Because "as real as it gets" would be like those underground Mortal Kombat type tournaments where people are actually killed and never seen or heard from again. Shame on you for lying, UFC!

Our time is up. 🙁

-posted by Wes | 12:19 am | Comments (3)