Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ways To Liven Up A Trip To The DMV

NOTE: I will be spending my day waiting in line at New York's Department of Motor Vehicles, trying once again to acquire a drivers license that I will never use. Ah, futility! Anyway, as it's more than likely going to be an unparalleled experience of soul-deadening boredom, I've come up with a few ways that I can entertain myself during the ordeal. Please, let me share them with you now, so when it's your turn over the bureaucracy barrel, you won't be unprepared...

-Every time you hear the phrase, "Next, please," do a shot. Do a shot every time you see someone filling out a form. Also, do a shot every time someone sighs in frustration. You know what, just show up drunk and see what happens.

-Try to convince the people around you that DMV stands for Department of MONKEY Vehicles!!! If they don't believe you, tell your monkey to claw their fucking face off. Oh, you should bring a monkey with you to sell the gag... sorry, should have mentioned that. Make sure it's vicious.

-When they take your picture for the license, see if they'll do some nudie shots of you while they're at it. I couldn't hurt to ask and, hey, wouldn't it be cool to have the first drivers license photo ever to feature pubes?

-Wait in line... while still in your car. Argue with security that is clearly says "Motor Vehicles" in the department's name, so it should be allowed. Don't take "we're calling the police" or "you ran over an elderly man" as an excuse to give up your place in line. Honk loudly for service. (you shouldn't do this one if you're also planning on doing the Department of MONKEY Vehicles gag; don't want to look like an asshole who can't get his story straight)

-Try to turn the boring ol' line into a CONGA line!!! Just place your hands on the hips of the person in front of you. Don't let go. Hum samba music loud enough to drown out their cries for help.

-Get everyone involved in a wacky game of "Telephone!!!" Watch as the phrase started at one end becomes something completely different by the time it reaches the other!!! While the dickholes are distracted by this children's game, steal their wallets.

-By the time you leave, there shouldn't be a single person or object in that office that hasn't been farted on.

-Or, you know, I guess you could just bring a book or something. Still show up drunk, though. Like you wouldn't anyways. You've got a problem, man...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Inedible Ramen: The Death of a Dream

Newsflash, motherfuckers... Ramen can go bad!!!

As in stale, as in you can't eat it because it tastes butt-nasty, as in my world is fucking shattered because of all the things that are supposed to forever remain true, number fucking ONE is that you can always count on a starchy, sodium-y, sorta depressing, not-that-good-actually bowl of Ramen when you're light on cash and heavy with self-loathing.
Turns out, not the case. I was supposed to have some Ramen for lunch... it was going to be shameful and spirit-crushing and Shrimp flavored... I opened the package (expiration date: 12/08/07), I added the seasoning powder, I poured on the hot water, I died a little inside, and then I sat down to take a big fucking sad bite. And I knew immediately that something was wrong. It smelled... off. Not that Ramen is something you want to daub on your pulse points before Brad takes you out on the town or anything (god, Brad's so dreamy...), but still. It has a unique smell and this, today's Ramen, smelled like that unique smell's evil twin. Twirly black moustache and everything. Kind of industrial cleaner-ish... soapy... but Asian.
Not trusting my instincts (I'm dumb that way), I took a bite. Horror... pain... sorrow... stale Ramen-ness all hot and rotten Shrimpy like demon barf in a Styrofoam container of non-biodegradable hate.
I threw it away, wiser now. Grown up too fast. I've stared into the blackness of the world and it has stared back into me. I'm forever changed. Ramen can go bad, you guys. You cannot un-know this. I'm sorry, my children... I'm so fucking sorry...

Lazy Blogpost? Yes!

Okay, I'm waaaaay to exhausted to be any kind of coherent this morning. It seemed like a good idea to stay up late and drink tequila-based fruity beverages and eat unhealthy Chinese food and watch Singin' in the Rain and, yeah, it was fun, but this morning I sort of feel like a deflating life raft in the middle of the Atlantic during a hurricane called "Sleepy." Also, there are sharks made of Tylenol PM and the water is NyQuil and it's all cozy warm and snuggly blankets and the seagulls are singing lullabies and I just injected myself with tryptophan and... well, you get my point. I'm tired, is what I'm trying to say. So, that in mind, here's this:

"Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" by She & Him

Watch the video, enjoy it's animated blood and weirdo ghosts and beautiful Zooey Deschanel, and maybe later I'll have some non-lazy content for all you sexy, pleasant-smelling people.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Brief Photo Tour of the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, or, "Mother, May I Use Your Sewing Machine Tonight?"

NOTE: Before we get into this, I would just like to point out that I, myself, am a total nerdwad. Horror movies are my particular area of shameful life-wasting, but I'm pretty much cool with all the stuff you'd find sheltered under the umbrella of San Diego's 2008 Comic Con. So the commentary that follows? Believe me when I say that it's coming from a place of love.


I can only assume that the "S" on his chest stands for "Sciatica pain? Why yes, I've got that in abundance." Seriously... dude... there's an unspoken rule in the geek community that clearly states a cut-off age for dressing up like a superhero and going out in public. The reason why we have that: You're basically the saddest vision of our future since we thought we heard our right hand say "I love you" one night after stumbling onto some Buffy slash-fiction. On the plus side, guys who waited all day in line to see the Head Letterer for some of Marvel's more obscure titles just slapped themselves on the forehead and said, "Holy shit, I need to buy some decent slacks and hit the bars or FUCKING SOMETHING!"


Okay, ignore the douchiest pirate to ever pretend-sail the pretend-seas and then ignore the daddy-issues Ecstasy freak who's only here for the attention... what the fuck is up with Old Man Whitherspoon over there, chilling in a sweat suit and rocking an official lanyard that gets him into all the parties, no questions asked? Does he know the guy who's shoveling in all the famous people's blow? Is he Stan Lee's dad? Or did he just bust out an indie comic after sixty years working in a liquor store like a new-wave Harvey Pekar, but with a drinking problem and a deep hatred for any ethnicity other than his own? Well, whatever the case, make friends with him early and never leave his side. He's got the keys to the kingdom and you're about to have a night so life-changing, you'll wake up tomorrow as an orangutan that knows kung-fu or a 1967 Chevy Impala that runs on awesome and takes trips to the Moon.


Why yes... this is exactly what I see when I look in the mirror.


(sigh)... oookay, Reuben, lets have ourselves a little conversation, fat guy to fat guy... see, there's a concept that you need to get on board with called "dressing weight appropriate." It's where you deeply, deeply embrace the world of wide-waisted khaki pants and layers of dress shirts and t-shirts and ponchos and occasionally you just wrap yourself in a Coleman tent and just wear that because fuck it, at least it's obscuring your man-boobs. What you DON'T do is dress up like The Dark Knight Got A Thyroid Problem. That's just BEGGING for trouble, my man. Remember, "Batman" is one letter away from "Fatman" and, trust me, even really stupid people are going to figure that shit out quick. Oh, and... last thing... can you not go twelve hours at the Con without snacks? You had to break shit down in the Ralph's junk food isle? HAD to? Think about it... think about everything... and get the damn Twizzlers out of your utility belt.


Fuck me running, I was just thinking to myself how awesome it would be to have a perfect example of someone dressing weight appropriate for the Con and then the coolest lesbian in the world walked up and said, "I get the feeling you need me right now." Swear to Christ, I teared up a little, because how often do John Candy remembrance miracles just show up out of nowhere backed by a choir of angels and throwing out thumbs up like gang signs of love?


There's playing to your strengths, and then there's hitting the nail on the head so hard, the nail dies alone in an apartment with a bunch of cats and the complete Xena: Warrior Princess series on DVD taking up all the shelf space not occupied by well-worn, deeply pornographic romance novels. (ps the nail is you)


"Um... we're never going to know what it's like to feel a tit, are we?"
"We're fucked!"

"I've really always thought of myself as a pan-sexual being from a planet that's modeled after all the lovely, elegant things about 19th century Japan, but with hair like the guy who runs the Urban Decay nail polish kiosk at the mall and a love for the color pink that lets my heartsong roar like a beautiful, sensual tiger and... huh...? What are you talking about? What comic book convention?"
Oooh, look at the Dark Lord of the Sith drinking a DIET SODA!!! Apparently midichlorians don't do much for a guy in the weight-loss department. All kidding aside, THIS is why people make fun of chicks and dudes who dress up at Cons... you can be all double-lightsaber badass and everything and have your gear locked down perfect, but at some point you're going to have to eat some convention center nachos or drink a diet soda or quickly take a thunderdump before the Battlestar Galactica panel and... MOTHERFUCKING POOF... the magic, the illusion, it's all gone. You're just a sad and lonely guy who works in an office building's IT department and has waaaay too much time on his sad and lonely hands.

Ah, who am I kidding? Nerds fucking rule!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Micro Story

NOTE: I was told last time not to reflexively apologize for putting fiction on this blog, so I won't. It's hard not to though. Going against the grain of years of psychological issues!

The Party Across Town And The One In Here

"Do you want me to read you the new issue of Entertainment Weekly? There's a big article about the next season of LOST..."

"No. Why would I want to hear about all the exciting things coming up on a season I'm not going to get to see? Just make me sad."

His parents had gotten him a private room. They had money, and I gathered they were using most of it to make sure their son was as comfortable as possible right up until the very end. I get the impression that, were it a possibility, they'd offer the cancer a hundred bucks to, ya know, "take it easy on the boy, there." At the moment, they're at dinner. A work thing, they assured me; not for pleasure. No one is allowed pleasure right now. Because obviously. So I'm on Friday Night No-Fun patrol. Keeping things dour.

"I want to go to a party."

"You weigh 90 pounds and can't walk. The parties we go to, you'd be in pieces on the floor like a dropped LEGO castle within moments of walking in the door."

"Yeah well."

The TV anchored to the top corner of the wall plays an old black and white movie. We've got the lights off, so everything in his room appears to be black and white too.

"Are there any parties tonight?"

"Jeez, would you leave off with that?"

"Are there?"

"Yeah, okay... yes. Jess Horstein's parents are out of town. Everyone's going over there tonight to test the limits of their home-owner's insurance. I'm sure it will be a blast. Literally, if anyone finds out that Jess Horstein's father collects old WWII weapons. He's probably got an A-bomb in his basement..."

"I want to go."

"Dying people don't get to go to all-night ragers. Sorry, I don't make the rules."

"You're not supposed to tell me that I'm dying, fuckwad."

"Well I promised you when we were thirteen that I'd never lie to you. Haven't thus far, not starting now."


We sat there for a while, not doing anything. He stared off into space and I pretended to be gripped in the narrative thrall of the black and white movie. Really, I was just focusing on not getting up, walking out the door, and never coming back into this stinking hospital room again.

But then I leave. A half hour later, I come back, armed with a bottle of cheap vodka and a couple of red, plastic Solo cups. I pour him about an inch of the hard stuff and then dilute it with water from the big, omnipresent pitcher that's been on the nightstand since this whole ordeal started. I hand it to him and I pour vodka into my glass up to the rim. No dilution for me, thanks. I'm not dying.

"We're partying now, my shrunken friend. If you get me drunk enough, I might take my top off."

He laughs and then coughs for a minute or two and then takes a drink from his cup. And we drink on in the black and white, having absolutely no fun at all, but trying all the same because what else are we going to do, young and not dead yet, on a Friday evening? What else could we possibly do?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Morning Hodgepodge

The first thing you should know is that you're reading this IN THE FUTURE!!! You know, at least in relation to when it was written. See, it's still Thursday as I type this... not sure the time, exactly, but I've had a few beers so I know it's late. Then again, "had a few beers," when it comes to ol' C-dog, isn't exactly an accurate measurement of time. That could just as easily mean that it's 11am on a Wednesday or right after the presents are opened on Christmas or the vernal equinox or a hundred other moments when I'm mostly drunk and entirely embarrassing to those that know me. Yeah, I'm pretty awesome. Anyway, so yeah, I'm writing this Friday Morning Hodgepodge ahead of time, as tomorrow, my morning will be spent up to my thickly attractive neck in bureaucracy at the New York City DMV. That's right... it's driver's license renewal time!!! How exciting! How rare the opportunity to stand in a long line with smelly people who hate being where they are almost as much as I hate them! It's torturous, particularly when you consider that I don't even drive, or at least not regularly. I'm basically getting my license renewed so I can drive without fear when I go back to Texas. Which is rarely.

Ugh, whatever. I'm trying not to think about what an ordeal tomorrow is going to be.

Seriously, help me get my mind off it. Tell me tales of what THE FUTURE is like! Robot prostitutes? Cars that soar like eagles made of metal, but with windshields so you don't get bugs in your teeth? Does everyone eat that freeze-dried ice cream like you got at the science museum as a kid because it's "space food?" Mainly I'm just interested in the robot prostitutes, so start there and if you have time for the other stuff, well that's just gravy. Delicious, freeze-dried gravy.

UPDATE: As I was gathering up my stuff to head off to the DMV, I realized that... doye... I don't have my birth certificate! It's in Texas! And that's basically the only thing they'll accept as proof of DOB because, you know, obviously my still-valid Texas DL is a forged document cooked up in a wayward shack out by the dump. I mean, it's printed on an old Whataburger wrapper and the picture is one of George Clooney that I cut out of a US Weekly. It's filled with lies and some ketchup stains. Anyway, the DMV are a bunch of jerks. Although, truthfully, I'm glad I figured this out before I went down there and stood in line and ran through the gauntlet and faced my darkest fears in a ring of combat and served my 100 years of solitude and all the other stuff that's involved with a day at the DMV. It's an ordeal, I tells ya!!!


I have once again missed out on The Dark Knight IMAX tickets. Sold out all weekend. Lame-o. At this rate, I'll be lucky to catch this movie by Obama's second year in office. Or McCain's, I guess. But, c'mon. We all know that black is the new white, old, and thumbs-up about the war. Or something, I don't know, I don't really follow politics. Up until last month, I thought "Obama" was a kind of bookshelf offered at the new Brooklyn IKEA.

Ah, narrowly focused topical humor...


Book suggestion: "The Wall of the Sky, The Wall of the Eye" by Jonathan Letham.

I like to think that I'm an okay writer. I'm not exactly blowing the doors off the publishing world or anything, but I've got this blog and people seem to like it, particularly when I'm talking about doing shots or assaulting elderly Asian men. And then I read a book like this one... written by a guy who's thinking so far outside the box, the box is just a theoretical concept like black holes or God's love... and I just feel fucking small. The stories collected in this work are all sort of science fiction-y, but they're grounded in a distinct, very human reality. And they are fucking amazing. Shit you've never THOUGHT of before. Crack-smoking aliens and prisons made of petrified, talking convicts and a traffic jam that IS the future... all of it good, all of it gripping, fascinating stuff to read. Check it out, won't you please?


So, I found out today that I have inherited my dead grandfather's Newsweek subscription. Until 2011. Which means I'll be getting three and a half years of free infotainment every week in my mailbox, courtesy of a man whom I can't even thank. Because, as I mentioned, he's dead. So weird... reading the news he was supposed to get, being the recipient of all these hard-hitting facts and investigative reports and bar graphs about oil prices... all of which being things that he would have loved to read and digest and think deeply about. He was crazy smart, that man. Relentlessly informed. And then there's me, the beneficiary of his magazine-based largess. Like I said, I don't really follow politics... or the news in general, unless the current National League standings count as news. Going to have to try a little harder to be a little better about that. In his honor, or something less trite. Least I could do. Because otherwise, it would just go to waste.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Slapped An Old Chinese Man's Ass

It's true. On the train this morning... I mean, I didn't do it on purpose (as far as he's concerned anyway). My official story is that the train I was on lurched and I was off-balance and my hand kind of swung out and smacked right into his sweet, delicate roughly-85-year-old ass by "accident." But c'mon... we all know the truth. How could you NOT slap the bony, wrinkled butt of a chinaman when it's right there all, "hit me... hit me, big boy?!?!" I'm only human.
Needless to say, he wasn't pleased. Turned and glared at me and muttered a few words in his language that I'm pretty sure weren't, "let's get a hotel room and you can paddle me like a river, you hot, fat hunk of something else."
But there was a look in his eyes, ya know? I could tell he felt something. I'd really like to think that somewhere in this crazy city of ours, there's an old Chinese man writing a blog post that starts, "This chunky American slapped my ass on the train this morning... and I'll never forget him."
Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight
Someone's thinking of me and loving me tonight
Somewhere out there someone's saying a prayer
That we'll find one another in that big somewhere out there

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stuff That Will Kill You: A Pictorial


Look, I don't care what you do with your life. It's yours, after all... you're in the drivers seat of that particular big rig and whatever metaphorical highway you choose to drive down, horn blasting, cargo hold full of memories and baggage and experience and boxes of books, doesn't really affect me any. But think about this: Kissing someone who smokes all the time? Gross. The old saw is that it's "like kissing an ashtray," but I'll go further than that (as that is how I roll). Laying a sloppy, deep-tongue soul kiss on a pack-a-day smoker is like jamming your head into one of those bubbling tar cauldrons you see construction workers using on extensive roofing jobs CROSSED with a nasty headbutt from all the pollution in the downtown Los Angeles area that a mad scientist has made into human form so it can, I don't know, help him rob banks or something. Smoking is gross, in other words, and it makes your lungs look like beef jerky roadkill on a sun-baked highway outside Nevada. But hey, it's not like I'm one to judge... with my drinking habits, my liver probably looks like a dead man's loofah or the surface of the moon after a big rock festival or a bombed-out building in Beirut that used to be a school but is now just a pile of sadness rubble.


Granted, these are easy to avoid. Unless you spend a lot of time hanging out in the ocean being all delicious with your meaty thighs and KC Masterpiece flavored sunblock; seriously, you KNOW you're going to be swimming in shark infested waters... why would you buy that??? But, yeah... sharks. Crazy eating machines with nine million teeth and they're invincible and some have bazookas, I think, although to be honest I'm not as up on what sharks are all about as you would think a guy who runs a blog with "shark" in the title would be. They're from outer space, right? The aliens landed and these were their pets and this one little alien thought his had died so he flushed it but it WASN'T DEAD and now there's tons of sharks everywhere and they'll bite your face off, give 'em half a chance. Which you won't, because who needs to go outside and swim in the beautiful ocean when it's much easier to just chill on the couch with some Cheez-Its and a stack of DVDs. Because DVDs won't rip your arms off as part of a gang initiation. And sharks will TOTALLY do that.

Psycho Killers

This picture's a little deceiving because Manson didn't actually do any of the killings... he commanded his family of devotees and hangers-on and Squeeky Frommes to do them for him in benifit of his own sick, twisted pleasure... but whatevs. A psycho is a psycho is a psycho, no matter his actual, physical involvement in messing up Sharon Tate real bad with a kitchen knife. ANYWAY, the thing about your average psycho killer is just that... they're average. By that, I mean they don't necessarily LOOK like a psycho killer. They generally look like you or me, just average dudes or dudettes who go to shows and cook pastas and enjoy a nice glass of beer every now and again. So normal, you think, and then suddenly you're locked in a cage in their basement and you can't find one of your hands and they're advancing on you with a one of those electric knives that lazy people use to carve turkeys and they're laughing and laughing and LAUGHING AND LAUGHING. Bad scene, man. But, like, don't worry because it's probably fine. Your boyfriend or girlfriend probably isn't a psycho killer. I mean what are the odds, right? Although... how much do you REALLY know about the person sleeping next to you? Where do they go at night? Why do they collect hammers? Ah, it's probably nothing.

Nuclear War

Kaboom! Ha! Yeah, you're dead and everything but DAMN, what a way to go! All dramatic fire and loud noise and the whole world watching in terror. Pretty sweet, when you get right down to it... again, besides the whole vaporized into another dimension thing. The real suck of nuclear war, though, is SURVIVING an atom bomb blast. Like, being just outside the blast radius so you escape the actual event, but then you get a heavy dusting of radiation like so much powder sugar on a souffle but in this case the souffle is you and the powdered sugar gives you cancer in every part of your body and your skin melts off and your eyes turn into smashed Cadbury Eggs. Not pretty, for sure, and probably painful too. So I guess what I'm saying is if you're in an area that's about to get a fly-over from the Enola Gay, by all means run TOWARDS the high-pitched whistle and looming, growing shadow. Might as well get it over with, ya know?



And then your heart bursts out of your chest like an ejecting fighter pilot and your brain turns to butterscotch pudding and the rest of your organs run around and switch places with each other like schoolkids playing a prank on the substitute and all your blood evaporates like pond water in a drought and the kitten...? He just walks away, all evil, to kill again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Woke up in a crappy mood this morning and I don't want to inflict that on you, my variously attractive readers, because lord knows you don't deserve such things. So I'm going to refrain from vomiting up self-involved bile all over the internet and instead just let Nick Cave sing us away with some bleak, moody music about depressing stuff that's like a bullet right in the gloom center of the brain...

Enjoy! Or, rather, don't...

Monday, July 21, 2008

An Honest Assessment Of My Sack Lunch

Your old, handsome pal C-dog is going through a bit of a financial crunch over the next few weeks... nothing serious, of course; not planning any liquor store robberies, nor am I intending to woo the Countess of Andorra (who looks like a grouper wearing too much make-up) in an effort to get at her priceless jewels... I'm just, you know, cutting back a bit. Scaling it down. Putting an embargo on any and all buying of solid gold pants, diamond-stuffed cheeseburgers, or luxury cars that run on the blood of virgins. And also, I'm bringing in a sack lunch to work every day. I know, I know... I should have been doing this all along. Sue me, I'm a fat ass creature of habit who thinks food doesn't taste good unless it's made for me by underpaid blue collar workers that hate me and my way of tossing crumpled dollar bills at them while laughing and laughing and twirling my cane and polishing my monocle and doffing my top hat to "the ladies" (what can I say, I multitask like a motherfucker).

Anyway, seeing as how I'm an official member of the "Brown-Bag Bringer" club (which I just made up; no girls allowed, unless they're easy), I think it would be an absolutely wonderful idea to take a hard look at just what exactly I've brought to eat for my noontime meal. I trust you're up for what promises to be the wildest ride ever in the history of lunch? Good, let's get on with it. Bring a napkin:

An Honest Assessment of my Sack Lunch, or, "The Power and the Glory of Cheap Ham"

Sandwich, pt 1 - At the store this weekend, I bought some spiced ham. Which I had never heard of before. I mean I'd heard of ham of course (you can tell that just by clapping eyes on my bulk), but I was unaware there was a "spiced" variety. What sort of spices? Why it could be anything, so vague is it's name. Truthfully, I was skeptical. "Spiced" is a word that brings to mind ciders and mulled wines, heavy on the cloves and cinnamon, and those are not things that I generally associate with smoked pig products. However, it was very, very cheap... $2.99-a-pound, specifically, which is practically like giving it away free when you sign up for a checking account or fill your car with a tank of unleaded. And I got a TON of it. Like, a ham brick. If I were to hit you over the head with this meaty wad, you'd fucking die, so weighty was my spiced ham bounty. I also got some cheese, but it was Monterrey Jack and unexciting as far as cheese goes... no peppers, nor was it an intense, traffic light yellow. Just white and cheesy, much like myself. And who needs to be reminded of their flaws by dairy products?

Anyway, the spiced ham turned out to be pretty good. I mean, it tasted like ham. Low-quality ham, sure, but I wasn't exactly expecting a gourmet meat experience. And when combined with the cheese... unimpressive and shrug-worthy though it may be... it adds up to as decent a combo as one can reasonably expect for such a low, low price.

Sandwich, pt 2 - The meat and the cheese are bound in yellow mustard and white bread. So suburban, so evocative of our collective childhoods... nostalgia you can eat and a platform from which your brain can launch a thousand memories of your youthful innocence, before you discovered booze and drugs and that rush you get when you strangle a hobo to death with your bare hands behind a check-cashing place in the middle of the night (allegedly, pending investigation). They scream at me the words, "lunchbox," and "recess," and "having to eat with the slow kids, because he got a concussion during kickball and now Clint can't recognize shapes or colors." Ah, to be a kid again, huh? So innocent... so free... god, someone should have warned me about life. Told me what was out there... waiting... like a tiger in a tree, claws at the ready. I would have played with more handguns or eaten those pills that looked so much like M&Ms.

But yeah, my sandwich is on white bread with a healthy smear of yellow mustard. Tasty, but fraught with psychological torment. Will have to eat it quickly, so I'm not overwhelmed.

Cheddar Flavored Mini- Rice Cakes - What the hell happened to me? Not so long ago, my lunch would have been bursting with exotically flavored Pringles (Bacon Ranch! Regular Ranch! Southwestern Ranch!) and/or some sort of hot n' spicy pretzel that was filled with sour cream and a shot of Everclear. But now... rice cakes. I mean, where did I lose my way? At least they're cheddar-flavored... at least I haven't completely forgotten my roots. Synthetically produced and dusted on like fingerprint powder at a crime scene, it is the only thing that makes these discs of pure, uncut blandness palatable. And even then, only just. Because what are rice cakes but boredom made corporeal and mass marketed to those of us who are fat and would like to be less so? No amount of tawdry chemically-enhanced flavoresque substance can void their dull, flat shame. Your spinster aunt all dressed up for a night on the town is still the same lady that drinks weak tea and has five cats and watches QVC all weekend, if you follow me.

Apple - This is perfect actually because, post-lunch, I like to reenact Bible verses at my cubicle and I'm always short on props. I'll OF COURSE be playing both Adam and Eve, as I'm very talented and always looking for an excuse to bust out the fig leaves. Now I've just got to coerce one of my coworkers into playing the Snake...

Tiny Box of Junior Mints - Sad. I mean, sure, tasty and chocolaty and minty and as good a dessert as I'm going to get on my budget, but... again, and for always... sad. It's just candy, you say, and that's true, but when eaten in an office environment, it becomes this symbol of all the good things in life that you're not getting to enjoy because you're trapped in a dead-end job that's slowly killing off your soul in increments until you suddenly realize that you're the kind of person who looks at billing deadlines as the end of the world and gets really excited about taking a conference call because it means that at least then people have to talk to you. The tiny box of Junior Mints are the highlight of your pathetic, miserable day. Sometimes, they're the highlight of your life. And that, my friends, is SAD. Also, you only get like five in a box. Whatever, Junior Mints. Stingy bastards.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Micro Story

NOTE: As usual, I apologize in advance if this is pretentious and/or excruciating. Feel free to disregard.

Zombie Movies and Cans of Cheap Beer

The horror section of a grungy video store in the hippest part of a very hip town. It consists of two shelves, tall, facing each other, a mini-hallway of gory, creepy, violent video box art. One can enter from either side. The Abominable Dr. Phibes is in the top left-hand corner of the shelf on the right, Lucio Fulci's Zombi is in the bottom right-hand corner on the shelf to the left. Graffiti on every available surface. Wads of chewed gum on the undersides of same.

Nikki, with hair the color of Cookie Monster's fur and a sleeve of tattoos running down her arm, enters the horror section on a Saturday night, unsure of what she's looking for except that she knows she's in the mood to watch other people die. Bad day at the office, not that there are any good days. They hate her there (she's "the weird girl") and she hates them (they're soulless corporate fucks). She scans the rows, looking for something with maybe a chainsaw or perhaps, to mix it up a bit, a scythe. You don't see many scythes in horror movies these days, she thinks to herself, and she kneels down to check out the videos at shin level.

Carl, who is pale and wishes he were in a band but isn't, enters the horror section from the opposite side. He's carrying a plastic bag full of Milwaukee's Best beer (The Beast, as his friends called it in high school) and he, too, is in the mood for a movie that graphically depicts people having a worse day than him. Preferably involving a nail gun or some type of spiked baseball bat. He sees a girl on her knees, her head cocked to the left, checking out all the films that begin with the letter M.

The beer in the bag is sweating. Her knees are getting dirty from the unwashed linoleum.

They browse together, each facing their own shelves, both nearly pulling a muscle trying hard to not look at the other. Nikki stands up, Carl appears to be deeply concentrating on the box for Satan's Cannibal Holocaust. They accidentally bump into each other, muttering embarrassed apologies while not making eye contact. They retreat to opposite sides of the horror section, nearly out into the aisle, and then they drift inward... browsing, browsing.


"Is this a good movie?" Nikki is holding up the box for The Return of the Living Dead, which is one of Carl's top ten, all-time favorites. She brushes her Cookie Monster blue hair out of her eyes in a way that makes Carl feel like the sudden recipient of a spiked bat to the brain.

"It is. Really good. You should. Totally watch it." He says, (stammers actually), and she smiles and says she's sold gives him a look that could either stop or start a zombie invasion, depending on it's intent. Then she walks away, to the counter, to whatever fabulous rock n' roll boyfriend she's probably got all muscles and brilliant songwriter-y and FUCK THAT ASSHOLE, thinks Carl. He stands around for a second, staring off into the deepest reaches of hateful outer space, then grabs a box off the shelf without looking and stomps to the counter.

Nikki sits outside, on the hood of her car, waiting for the guy with the bag of beer to come out of the video store. He seemed nice, she thinks, and she'd bet rent money that he'd have dinner with her if she asked. Maybe share some of that beer. Maybe come back to her place and watch this movie, even if he has seen it before. Maybe it's one of his favorites, even. Wouldn't that be lucky?

He comes out and immediately sees her there. She gives a wave. He gives a wave back. The grungy video store and this trash-strewn parking lot are the best places in the world, right now. They are the center of it all. They are holy lands full of zombie movies and cans of cheap beer where two people having bad days can look at each over burgers and realize that they've both been thinking the same thing: You don't see a lot of scythes in horror movies these days. But now they can look for films featuring that obscure weapon together.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Morning Hodgepodge

People reading Bibles in public, man, I want to take you all in my arms and give you a fat-guy bear hug that will make you way uncomfortable, yet strangely curious. You're just so... sincere! I know that sounds condescending (and possibly sarcastic), but I don't mean it that way. I actually think it's neat that you take your religion seriously enough to the point where you want to study it all the time, like when you're riding mass transit during your morning commute. Maybe it's because I tend to be fascinated with things that I don't understand; that are beyond my comprehension... the infinite mysterious of outer space, say, or America's love affair with those awful parody moves that feature characters from our current pop cultural landscape getting run over by a car and/or getting hit repeatedly in the nuts. My point is... it's the Bible. The BIBLE!!! And you read it every day, like all the time. For guidance? For... fun? Because I've read the Bible (mostly) and... eh... it's some pretty dry stuff. The hip, twenty-something youth ministers will try to tell you that it's real, real exciting... that there's murder and adventure and (shhh!!!) sex... but, c'mon. While that may be true, technically, it's a lot like saying a car dealership is a super-fun place because they've got a clown out front offering zero money down and no payments for thirteen months. Again, technically a clown... but as sad and drunk as the Bible is dry and full of long names begatting other long names and words like "transubstantiate" that make Dictionaries explode. So, yeah... seriously, you guys... good on you for keeping the faith like that. I couldn't do it (mainly because of the atheism thing, but for other reasons too), so it's nice to see other people out there trucking along, rockin' out the Good Word like they just don't care.


If you're not checking out the new Joss Whedon project, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog, then you're missing out on some of the finest super-villain based musical comedy ever created. Plus Neal Patrick Harris. Seriously, go watch and absorb and love and thank me later. But do it now... after the 20th, it's dunzo until the DVD comes out. Oh, and you can download it from iTunes, I guess, but that involves a deeper understanding of technology than I currently possess. I think you have to do trig or something. I'm not sure. Also, what's a computer?


Just kinda throwing this out there as an experiment in interactive blogging: If anyone has pictures that they'd like for me to talk about on ZFS! in a humorous manner, please feel free to send them along to ClintonR dot Davis at gmail dot com. In the past, I've always been pretty adamant about coming up with my own content, but my job is currently kicking my ass up and down 7th avenue, thus I'm finding less and less time during my day to surf around the internet for ideas. Sooooo... send if ya got 'em. I'll try to be funny.

NOTE: No worries... things at ZFS! will carry on just fine even if NO pics come in. Again, this is just an experiment. Oh, and keep it clean. Unless it's naked pictures of your mom. Your mom is hot.


Girlfriend came back from her teaching seminar last night and it's like... FINALLY! Having the apartment to myself was great and all, but you can only host so many all-night disco dance parties and illegal craps games and Thai sweatshops making jeans for Abercrombie & Fitch before you're like WOW this is boring. Also, when a dude is on his own for an extended period of time, the whole joint starts to smell like farts. Not cool, and I'm sure our cat didn't appreciate it either. Speaking of, he was pretty cold company, gotta say. I mean I didn't expect him to start singing and dancing like Michigan J. Frog or anything (though it would have been nice), but the dude could have AT LEAST chilled with me on the bed during the long extra-innings of the All-Star game. Cats are jerks, dudes. For serious. But anyway... GIRLFRIEND!!! HOORAY!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm Your Charity Dude

Dad: So anyway, what are you up to this evening?

Me: Well, actually, I'm going to be doing some charity work.

Dad: (a pause) Court ordered?

Oh, ha ha, Dad... you're SOOOO funny. But you have a point. Charitable acts and I aren't exactly college roommates; you know, the kind that share clothes and stay up all night watching movies and talking about the mysteries of this crazy existence until one of them finally gets up the courage to place his hand on the other's thigh and lean in for a kiss and GOD DAMN YOU, JOEL, HOW COULD YOU REJECT ME?!?! So vulnerable... so... many tears...

Anyway, my point is, I don't do just a whole lot of charity work. But I have an excellent excuse: I'm fucking lazy. And yes, I'm aware that we've covered this terrain a time or two, but I bring it up again because, seriously, you don't even KNOW what a fat piece of slothful shit I really am. You could be like, "Dude, naked chicks are handing out hundred dollar bills and free wishes and then Jesus is going to come down and host a block party called 'Amazing,'" and I'd be all like, "Yeah, that's great... but... um, I've got a fresh can of Pringles and this couch is real, real comfy. Tell J-dog I said hey, though." I'm exaggerating only slightly. So, needless to say, helping others has never been high on my Give A Shit list. Which I realize makes me a terrible person who kicks dogs in the face and pushes grannies out windows into dumpsters filled with sad. I KNOW.

However, I get the feeling that all of that might be changing. Not like I've "seen the light" or "had my eyes opened to the plight of Man" or any of that trite, mawkish bullshit. Please. I'm still a fat piece of slothful shit but... you know... maybe a little less so. Slightly, kinda-sorta... let's not get crazy here.

This is what happened...

Typically, this story starts with me agreeing to do something while drunk. Because, hey, LOTS of things sound like great ideas when you're gooned on rum drinks in a Brooklyn tiki bar. This was last weekend and I was hanging out at a birthday party with my boy Midwesterner and he was telling me about his new job wrangling volunteers at this non-profit org called God’s Love We Deliver (they do Meals on Wheels-type stuff for AIDS/HIV & Cancer patients who can't cook for themselves and, also, despite the name, they aren't based in religion... weird). I, apparently magnanimous when I've been drinking, slurred something along the lines of, "Jeez... yeah... charity work... I should really do that... man, I just want to HELP PEOPLE... fuck, there's so much suffering..." and so Midwesterner invited me to come on down to his place of biz and pitch in. And I, of course, agreed (rum drinks).

And when I sobered up, the funny thing was that I didn't feel dread or irritation, nor did I immediately try to think of a way to get out of it. In fact, I thought to myself, "Hey... this might be a great thing! And I wouldn't have done it, were it not for booze! Thanks, BOOZE!!!"

So last night, I showed up at GLWD and I got my motherfucking charitable acts on with a vengeance. What you do there, basically, is food prep. The volunteers chop the veggies and wrap the bagels and prepare the meat that goes into the packaged meals that are delivered (along with God's Love, it seems) to those who need it. For example, last night was all about carrots. So many carrots. Bags full, all fresh and orange and arrogant about their vitamins and ability to make you see well in the dark. We peeled them and then we chopped them up into little half-moons and then we did it some more and then all over again and then the second verse was the same as the first and so on and so on. For about an hour and a half, we took blade to root veggie and chit-chatted and listened to the radio and then, suddenly, we were done. Before I even had a chance to get sick of shit and contemplate lopping off a finger just to get out of there, it was over... the perfect amount of time to where you feel like you've accomplished something, but where you don't feel like you've pulled kitchen duty in the Army.

And... bonus... you get some free food to take home. Not the stuff you were working on (though they were LOVELY carrots), but stuff from local bakeries that's given to the org to give to us as a way of saying thanks for being so awesomely helpful with the goodness.

It was two hours out of my week, it required nothing more of me than a little manual labor and the ability to be pleasant, and it's something that actually makes a difference. They got their prep done for the meals they provide and I got to walk out the door with the smug sense of self-satisfaction that comes from doing a good thing. It's win-win!!!

So yeah... I'm in. Every Wednesday night, from here on out, I'm going to be down there chopping vegetables, hoping that maybe it will balance out all the crappy things I've done in my life, to myself and others. Because, like I said, I'm still kind of an iffy sort of person... lazy and a drunk and selfish and a thousand kinds of whatever. But, beyond that... besides that... I'd really like to think that I'm not all bad. That maybe I'm your basic slob with a heart of, well if not gold, then at least some solid third-place bronze. In other words, I'm your charity dude. And though it's early in the game, gotta say... it feels good.

Pink Darth Vader Proclaims That C-dog's Day Clearly Is Not Getting Any Better!!!

NOTE: How fucked is my grammer in the above subject line? I can't even tell anymore; I've read it so many times, none of the words make sense.

Seeing A Fat, Drag Wonder Woman On ZFS! Means C-dog Is Really Busy This Morning And Thus Must Rely On Cheap Sight Gags In Lieu Of Actual Content!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Brief Photo Tour Of Our Nation's Most Notorious Murder Shacks

The Old Mackinaw Place

Owner: Timothy "Timmy" Mackinaw, aka Timmy the Terror, aka Tiny Tim, aka The Sarasota Slayer, aka Ms. Shirley Kleinbaum, aka That Guy Over There Who's Petting A Hunting Knife Like It Was A Kitten
Located deep in the Floridian swamps, The Old Mackinaw Place has been the site of a dozen horrible murders, several brutal assaults, a few money laundering scams, a couple of instances of loitering, and at least one attempt to sell fraudulent passports to a group of Belgians. The walls are stained with what one assumes is blood, given the history of the place, but no... it's ketchup. Timmy Mackinaw was a very, very messy eater (he only had four fingers and of the four, only two of them were "the good 'uns"). Ranch dressing stains, too, abound. There are deep gouges in the floor (from the blade of an ax), scratches on the ceiling (there was an incident with a squirrel), and on the back porch, there's a lovely mural of Mama Mackinaw dressed for some reason as the Phillie Phanatic, done entirely in spray paint and old bits of gum. It's a horrible place, for sure, but it does have satellite TV.
Abandoned Shack Out Behind The City Dump
Owner: Moss Khroner, aka The Mengle of the West, aka The Dahmer of the East, aka Leatherface, But For Real, aka The Finest Shemp Howard Impersonator In America
Ever seen a jar full of human faces? Well this shack, found behind a city dump located south of Silver Springs, CO, has several. In fact, there's a lot of jars filled with a lot of different things, all of them grotesque beyond comprehension. To be fair, there are also some of the most lovely blackberry preserves you've ever tasted. But mostly it's just jars of feet and scrotums and stuff. Furthermore, it appears that Mr. Khroner was running some sort of a ramshackle taxidermy business out of said shack, or at least it's clear that he killed and stuffed a whole bunch of stray cats. Whether he was doing so for money is, I suppose, anyone's guess. It should also be pointed out that the smell of the dump permeates everything, so you won't really notice the stench of the rotting human remains that are (sort of) buried under the floor boards.
Death House (Formerly The Class of 1999's Secret Hang-out Spot)
Owner: Currently owned by the Travis County sheriff's department. Formerly occupied by a loose collective of hobo squatters that didn't much appreciate a group of high school kids encroaching on their territory.
Someone, at some point, rigged up a tape recorder to automatically play the Travis County High School's alma mater whenever the door is opened. It's eerie, but no more so than the heap of rib cages found blacked and covered in teethmarks in a fire pit located in the shack's northwest corner. Why the sheriff's department hasn't cleaned these up is a mystery, though less of one when you consider that the sheriff and his deputies have been missing for months and are currently being impersonated by a loose collective of hobos that stole their uniforms after "having some BBQ." There are rumors that the "Death House" is haunted by the souls of all the assorted high school students and law enforcement officials that have lost their lives within it's walls. The rumors are true. It's fucking terrifying in there.
The Tool Shed

Owner: Dr. Harry Brentlinger, of the Massapequa Brentlingers.
Not a murder shack in the traditional sense, but it is the place where a young Melvin Brentlinger, who's only desire in life was to grow up and be the greatest male ballet dancer of his generation, would go to cry his eyes out when informed that he would be focusing exclusively on his studies all through junior high and high school, that he WOULD WITHOUT QUESTION be attending medical school at Yale, and that he would then be joining his father's practice post-graduation. No acts of violence were committed here, but as far as the death of a child's dream is concerned, it's worse than Darfur.
The Portal To Hell

Owner: Um... Satan, I guess.
An actual portal to Hell. Do not enter, lest ye be damned for all eternity. Like, don't even pop in real quick to use the bathroom. They're not fucking around with that "damned for all eternity" thing. They mean BUSINESS in Hell.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I am a swinging bachelor again! Well, at least for a few days. Girlfriend has gone off to Long Island for a teaching seminar, which means she gets to sleep in an air-conditioned dorm room and wear flip-flops in the shower, meanwhile I get free reign of our apartment where I imagine I'll do a lot of sleeping diagonally on our bed and eating of unfortunate foods and maybe even some work on my SUPER SECRET WRITING PROJECT (about which I'm none too subtly trying to build up some viral buzz) (this will not replace my forthcoming rap album, which is still slated for being AWESOME).

So tired... Girlfriend and I got up at 4:30 this morning because she had to be on the LIRR way-ass early. I could have slept in, I guess, but I'm a big fan of smooches at train stations before departures and opportunities like that only come along every once in a while. But what sucked is that I was at the office by 6:45am. LAME. And now I'm basically running entirely on caffeine and the promise of early sleep tonight. Provided I don't throw a WILD BACHELOR PAD PARTY!!!! (I won't; I'll be asleep by 8:30 in front of a cooking show)

I'm drinking my second Rockstar energy drink of the day. That, plus all the coffee... I expect to start seeing through time and space pretty soon. Anyone want to know who REALLY killed Kennedy? Where Area 51 is? Who actually thought making Meet Dave was a good idea? I'm taking time and space gossip requests.

I just spilled sunflower seeds EVERYWHERE. Well, all over my desk, anyway. It's a salty mess. The thought of cleaning them up makes me even more tired than I already am. Blah.

The Miss Universe Pageant: A How-To Guide

NOTE: Last night, in direct defiance of an almost overwhelming global apathy, a brand-spankin' new Miss Universe was crowned. Through a network of dogged, undercover reporters posing as hair stylists and high-society cater/waiters, ZFS! has obtained detailed notes on exactly how one goes about pulling off this amazingly inconsequential feat...

A Guide To Winning The Miss Universe Contest, or, "Give Me The Fucking Crown, Bitch, Or I Will Cut Your Pretty Face!"

-Always strive to be at least 30% more plastic-y than your competition. Replace your skin with actual plastic, if you can. Top-level executives at Mattel will help you with this; your pageant coordinator should have their direct lines on speed dial.

-Your entry for the Talent portion of the competition? Handjobs.

-Make sure to tuck-and-tape back your penis well in advance of the show's start time. Sure, it's uncomfortable, but hey... no one said this was going to be easy on your penis.

-A little Vaseline on the teeth for that no-stick smile, a little spray starch on the butt to keep the bathing suit in place, and a freezer bag full of blow to make sure you stay balanced on the ragged edge of sanity that lies between total victory and hanging yourself in the closet of your hotel room because 1st Runner-Up is really just the first person to lose. Careful, though: Too little and you'll experience a total mental breakdown on live TV. Too much and your eyes will twitch so badly, the viewing audience will think you're trying to communicate with them via Morse code.

-Seems obvious, but maybe you could try to not fucking fall down like a retarded toddler at Wal-Mart. Just a thought.

-Make sure you've got the support of all your friends on MySpace and Facebook and YouTube and Open Diary and LiveJournal and all the other social networks to which you belong. You'll need their collective shoulders to cry on WHEN YOU LOSE BECAUSE MISS UNIVERSE SHOULDN'T SPEND ALL HER FUCKING TIME ON THE COMPUTER.... GET OVER HERE AND PRACTICE YOUR WALK!!! I'M NOT GETTING KNOCKED ON MY BUTT BY YOUR CLASSY ELEGANCE, YOUNG LADY!!! AGAIN!!! DO IT AGAIN!!!

-For the intimidation factor, it couldn't hurt to casually leave a loaded .357 Magnum on your dressing room make-up table.

-Never let 'em see you sweat! In fact, let's remove your sweat glands, just to be on the safe side.

-Based on the reactions of the judges and the results that ensued, here's a partial list of words and phrases to AVOID during the competition's Interview segment (taken directly from past broadcast transcripts):

"Well that fart TOTALLY ruined my original evening-wear gown."


"You have no idea how bad a pulled tain't muscle hurts."


"Hang on... is it pronounced "clitoris," or "cliTORus?"


"Back-alley abortions are just so expensive!"

"Donkey punch"

"It's getting harder and harder to find a vein that will take a needle."


-And last but certainly not least, don't forget to have fun out there! (if you lose, I will kill your parents in front of you with my daddy's nail gun; fucking see if I don't)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Micro Story

NOTE: Just a little something for a bright, shiny Sunday morning. As usual, I apologize in advance if this is pretentious and/or excruciating. Feel free to disregard.

Waiting With A Tiki Drink

The bar was covered in bamboo and tribal masks and it smelled like a bottle of rum fucked a fruit basket in a pool of vomit. Darryl ordered something called a "Blue Lagoon," which was the color of Windex and tasted like a poorly-assembled margarita. He sipped his drink slowly, keeping it near his chin, and he swirled the straw around inside the glass when it was not in use. Awkward, this, standing in the corner, near a large, purple-lit tank full of none-too-energetic goldfish. Where was everyone... why did he ALWAYS have to be so punctual... and overdressed? His tie felt like the hand of a madman, strangling him in an alley behind a seedy bar. It occurred to him that he was about halfway to that scenario becoming a reality, at least as far as location was concerned, so he decided to focus on something else. Harry's Hula Hut was filling up with talking, smiling, strangers wearing too much make-up and cologne. They ran around him like a river in which he was an uncomfortable rock.

A group of women... girls, more accurately... walked by and looked at Darryl and looked down at the blue, practically-glowing beverage clutched in his hand, and they walked on, politely waiting until they at least THOUGHT they were out of earshot to laugh. He should have ordered a beer. He took another sip, swirling again with the straw, feeling as if someone had slipped on him a too-tight sweatshirt while he was distracted by the listless fish, making him now all sweaty and itchy and generally unpleasent.

Eventually, his drink was gone, finished, dead and buried. Just a hollow sucking sound through the straw. Only the ice and garnish remained, and so he crunched at the cubes and gnawed on the wedge of lime and watched the door, wondering if he should get another drink, get a cab home, get the phone number of the one girl from that group that didn't appear to be laughing as hard as the others (she seemed nice; probably a great kisser).

Darryl stood there in the corner, his mouth freezing cold, his tongue stained blue, the awkwardness cuddling up next to him, it's arms around his waist like a girl looking for a slow dance. He took another look around the room, at the tacky decor and the oozing, bad taste of irony. He looked at all the people and wondered what they saw in this place. In each other, for that matter. And then there was a tap on his shoulder. He turned, almost too eager. And he smiled.

The night overflowed with Tiki drinks and laughter as he blended in nicely, a river rock unmoored and caught up in the current of a seedy bar covered in bamboo and tribal masks.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Unused Pics: A Hard-Drive-Cleaning Pictorial

NOTE: All the photos in this pictorial have been hanging around on my computer for a while now, unused and unloved and, quite frankly, I'm sick of looking at them. So, in an effort to tidy things up a bit on this lovely Friday morning, let's take a look at the dregs of my hard drive. Because what else are we going to do? WORK? Ha... ha ha... it is to laugh...

A Clown Getting Arrested

A scene like this makes my heart swell with pride for our men and women in blue... out there on the mean streets, keeping the peace, busting serial killer clowns for their numerous and graphic atrocities (most of which involve elaborate basement dungeons and the ability to fashion dress slacks out of human skin). Now, granted, there's every chance in the world that this is one of the (very) few law-abiding, just here for to entertain the children, clowns... a few balloon animals, big shoes, a nose that beeps... all innocence and and laughter and wouldn't dream of jamming your head face-first into a running belt sander. And there's also every chance that the cop in question is an illiterate ex-jock with a small dick who joined the police force as a way of compensating for his textbook insecurities and thus goes around booking innocent party entertainment professionals to make himself look like a big, big man. I am totally open to either of those possibilities, or both. But c'mon... we all know what's REALLY going on here. Heroic cop, psycho clown, a duffel bag full of severed hands, and the moment in time when the killing finally stopped.
A Highway Strewn With A Destroyed Beer Shipment

Oh... god... I can hardly look this picture... when I do, it feels like someone punched me in the nuts with an atom bomb made of sorrow. How? How could someone let this happen? Even if it is Grolsch (which... eh), beer is beer and should never be treated in such a negligent manner. All smashed and broken on a German highway like so much rotten fruit left there to die by a cold, unfeeling God... WHAT DID THEY DO TO OFFEND YOU??? WHAT WAS THEIR SIN??? Fuck... I'm sitting here sobbing at my desk and everyone is looking and all I can do is silently mouth the words, "Beer... beeeeeer... why... beer..." Sorry, I don't handle large-scale tragedies very well.
"Master of Puppets" by Metallica

Soooo weird that this is on my hard drive. Like, okay, maybe not Twilight Zone weird, but definitely Outer Limits or maybe Night Gallery weird. Perhaps the level of weird found on the popular Nickelodeon program, Are You Afraid of the Dark? See, last night... and let me preface this by saying that I am NOT the kind of person who gets all up in your face about "the crazy dream I had that was so awesome let me tell you every fucking detail about it until your eyes fall out of your head from boredom," but this is just too banana bonkers to let it slide on by... but yeah, last night, I totally had a dream that I was in Metallica. And then I came in to work and found this on my hard drive. I KNOW!!! It's like a sign from the aliens that control our planet that I was MEANT to be in a thrash metal band! As of today, I'm growing out my hair and practicing my full-throated Hetfield growl. Oh, speaking of... have you seen him lately? Dude used to look like such a bad ass. Now he just looks like an ex-Hell's Angel that got a job at an insurance agency because he was getting killed on alimony but refuses to shave off the beard because that's how he let's shit ROAR!!! Seriously, what happened?
Three Pod People/Models
Beautiful... but they'll steal your soul. And actually, they're not all that beautiful. They just look like models... plasticky and pale and smelling like a pack of unfiltered Camels. The one on the left is an East German mail-order bride who's only doing this to pay for her mother's operation. The middle one is the only known photograph of a Wood Nymph that was startled by the camera flash. And the one on the right is a post-grad art student who makes sculptures about her eating disorder because therapy is too pricey (she's also the one of the three most likely to unironically own a beret).
Mr. Cool Ice

Wow. I was going to make a joke about what a total BAD ASS he is, all cartoony skeleton and big block letters, but then I realized that he probably totally is a bad ass. He has to be. You can only take the entire world snapping on your awful tattoos for so long before you say "fuck it" and learn some ju-jitsu just so you can take your shirt off at the beach like a normal person who doesn't have the worst mistake they ever made all over their body.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pluggin' Away

An old friend of mine's art is being displayed starting tonight at a gallery in Chelsea. She's a brilliant artist and her inclusion in a show is a long time coming, so needless to say we here at ZFS! are totally thrilled for her and proud as all get out, besides. Soooo... if you happen to be near the Mixed Greens Gallery on W. 26th street, by all means check it out.
Oh, my friend's name is Lisa Coulson... remember it, as she will soon rule the art world with a folded paper fist.

Arbitrary Rulings 15 (Elements of Nature)

Fire - Brilliant, particularly when you consider all the wonderful things it's done for the world of cooked meats. I mean, yes, the people out there who've lost everything to a raging inferno might have some harsh words for our friend Fire, as would the people who are now a human-sized lump of scar tissue due to their involvement in a petroleum factory explosion, but... I don't know... their problems seem kind of small when placed next to an expertly seared and seasoned steak and/or a plate piled high with fresh-from-the-grill sausages. And when you realize that the word "Fire" itself figures prominently in the greatest song ever written ("The Devil Went Down To Georgia" by The Charlie Daniels Band), well then, I think we call agree that this is one element that is truly... wait for it... wait for it... HOT!!! Ha! Get it?!?! See what I did there? Oh man, I am such a good writer, it's fucking scary.

Water - It keeps us from stinking up the joint, so that's nice, but... um... the planet is 70% covered by the stuff. A bit much, don't you think? Water is cool, don't get me wrong, but it's like, jeez, can't we have some time to ourselves without it always taking up 70% of our world's mass? And from what I hear, the polar ice caps are about to melt and that means there's going to be more water hanging around, invading our global personal space and, really, I'm just not comfortable with that. Water, we like you as a friend, but all this closeness is creeping us out. Why don't you go chill in Africa for a little while... they're all famine-y, so they would probably really appreciate your company. Oh and, um, the hurricanes...? Real mature. Maybe if you took some anger management classes, we wouldn't mind having you around so much. Just sayin'...

Wind - Love it when it blows my hair around all shampoo commercial sexy, and it's nice when it pumps cool air into my bedroom on a muggy, Summer night, but mostly the Wind is just this unreliable hippie that wanders in and out of peoples lives at whim, never a care in the world. Yeah man, I'm an alternative energy source! Wooo, let's go parasailing!!! KITES... Kites for everyone!!! And then it's gone... dead seas, limp windsocks, crashed hangliders at the bottom of a canyon... and we're left to wonder what we ever saw in Wind in the first place. Of all the elements, it's the most like a deadbeat dad who shows up on Christmas with a Nerf football and then leaves again to go find another wife at whatever strip club happens to be closest to the freeway that heads out of town. Unacceptable behavior, Wind.

Earth - What can you say about Earth? We have to have it... we need it. Otherwise, we'd be floating around in space like a bunch of assholes. And that's the just the problem... Earth is so necessary, it's fucking annoying. It can basically do whatever it wants because it KNOWS we can't do anything about it. Run out of oil? Shake around and destroy parts of SoCal and Tokyo? Maybe a volcano all up in your shit? Yeah, the Earth will do all of that AND MORE if it goddamn well pleases. And it does, because it hates us. You think it likes having crops grown in it? With all the digging and irrigating and the liberal usage of a backhoe that that implies? Of course not... you'd hate it too. And quite frankly, Earth doesn't need us like we need it. It's just soil and soil don't need shit from nobody. In other words, we're Earth's bitch. And we have to just smile and take it. Until we build a orbiting city around the Moon, of course.

C-dog - That's right. Me. I'm the fifth element of nature. Suck on that, everyone else that's not me!!! What's that...? HOW did I get to be the fifth element of nature? Well, it was a combination of things really. First, there's my obvious awesomeness. Then there's the fact that I can control the tides with my mind (this chick taught me how to do it at Theater Camp when I was fourteen). But mostly, it's because I went down to Element HQ and filled out an application, waited patiently for their call, went through a lengthy interview process while wearing a number of flattering neckties, and then was willing to take a small pay cut in an effort to "play ball" with their recent budget crunch. It's a slight lifestyle adjustment, but hey... how often do you get to be one of nature's elements? If nothing else, it's going to look GREAT on my resume.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

"212-MARGARITA" by The Hold Steady

Not going to hype it up too much... just going to say that this is one of my favorite bands playing one of my favorite songs. Listen to the lyrics, enjoy the music, and think of me drinking Coors Light on a Wednesday afternoon in my apartment all Ferris Bueller-style.

Much love, kiddos. Much love.

Dork Cops!

Oooookay... these adorable, entirely non-threatening officers that you see here are apparently the newly appointed police force set to guard the upcoming Beijing Olympic games. On Segways. While doing the "I gotsta go peepers!!!" crouch and holding what appears to be the My First Semi-Automatic Weapon, From Hasbro.
Beijing... guys... c'mon. Look, we appreciate the effort, really, but you're simply going to have to do better than the Scooter Squad if you're going to be in charge of protecting our world's greatest athletes. I mean, granted, should a terrorist happen to catch a glimpse of your elite band of motorized junior high school kids, there's every chance that he'll fall down on the spot laughing his ass off and thus can be... what... roped to the back of the Segway and dragged down to the station for questioning? I guess if you REALLY wanted to send a message, you could tie each of his limbs to a different Segway and have them take off in opposite directions; it would be the slowest, saddest Drawing and Quartering ever recorded, but those guys are big on shame and honor, so you might have something to work with there. Oh, except that it wouldn't work AT ALL because Segways can be knocked to the ground with a light fart, so you know, maybe nix that idea altogether.
Seriously, what's wrong with some motorcycles? Even a Vespa would inspire more menace, and that's saying something, seeing as how the Vespa is the bright pink, wet vagina of the motorcycle family. But at least they can achieve a decent, respectable top speed; there's actually a chance of, ya know, catching a bad guy. With a Segway, you'd be lucky to nip at his heels while he took a warm-up jog before breaking into a dead sprint and disappearing over the horizon.
No, no... nope... no good, Beijing. This won't work at all. But hey, you've still got a month or so before the games kick off. There's still time. Might I suggest skateboards? Rollerblades? Hell, even Razor scooters? Anything but the Segways. Because nobody fears the Dork Cops. Nobody.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ways To Have Your Pizza

Plain Cheese - Look, I'm not immune to the charms of a hot, melty slice of cheese pizza after stumbling out of a bar at 2am desperately seeking something to soak up all the liquor, lest I spectacularly barf on the train heading home. I live in New York, after all, and the large, floppy, must-be-folded cheese slice is a symbol of said fair city much like the apple or the Statue of Liberty of that guy that hangs around Times Square in his underwear so the tourists can tell their friends back in Toledo or Waxahachie that The Big City is "full of some real wackos!" I get it, I really do, but also... come the fuck on with your boring-ass pizza! It's a complex, interesting world out there, kiddos... a world rife with greasy, bright red sausages and shockingly green chopped peppers and... heavens to Betsy, is that seasoned chicken on a pizza??? Why YES IT IS, and isn't it wonderful to be alive in a country where the toppings burst forth from the metaphorical Horn of Plenty like nails from a homemade pipe bomb?!?! I would also recommend some mushrooms, if you like that sort of thing.

Ham with Pineapple - Despite the above spewed rhetoric vis-a-vis your choices from a panoply of toppings, I must point out that there are some combinations that run crossways with the boundaries of human decency and shouldn't be considered by normal, well-adjusted people as viable options. Ham with Pineapple is once such topping combo and it's as hateful and ill-conceived as they come. I mean, it's pineapple! Sweet and vibrant, yes, and lovely in a fruit salad, but worse than having your eye gouged out with a rusty nail when combined with tomato sauce and hot cheese. And it's ham! A Christmas meat best served in slices next to some sort of festive, holiday casserole or perhaps eaten from a plastic bag late at night while standing in your parents kitchen drunk on egg nog. IT SHOULD NOT BE COMBINED WITH PINEAPPLE ON A PIZZA, AT ANY COST!!! Together, they're like Leopold & Loeb or Bonnie & Clyde or Loggins & Messina... a duo that causes only pain, sorrow, and death.

Pepperoni and Black Olive - Home. Or, I should say, home cooking. My mother... god love her, she's a saint... was never much of a kitchen whiz, particularly during my childhood. I mean, she wouldn't burn the house down or anything, and she could bust out a mean taco salad or banana pudding when pressed, but nonetheless... Martha Stewart be not proud. Thus, we were frequent customers of our local Domino's chain, to the point where their delivery number was actually on our speed dial (not kidding), occupying the spot right after the grandparents. Pepperoni and Black Olive pizza was and is my mother's favorite topping combination and even today it reminds me of Thursday nights at the Davis household, watching ER and arguing during commercial breaks about my lackluster performance in the early days of high school. You wouldn't think a slice of crappy, mass-produced pizza could stir up feelings of nostalgia for one's misspent youth, but hey... here we are.

Bacon with Extra Bacon - This tale is not my own, but it is one that must be told as it is truly the finest real-world example of Icarus flying too close to the Sun that I personally have ever heard. One night, during her college days, Girlfriend and some of her friends decided that they hated their hearts and wanted to punish them in a manner both cruel and delicious. So they ordered a pizza, topped with bacon, and then topped again with yet more bacon! It was, in fact, the bacon-iest pizza in all the land, perhaps even the bacon-iest thing to ever exist ever in the history of cured pork fried up and slapped upon other types of food. But sadly, woefully, the abundance of bacon proved to be mistake. It was too extreme. Too fatty... too salty... too much of a good thing, truly, and in the end, no one could finish an entire slice. To quoth Girlfriend herself, "It was like seeing god and going blind. It was TOO much bacon." They lay down on the floor, defeated, their feathers and melted wax strewn around them, beaten but wiser. The sun burns, my children, and the bacon... well, you really gotta take it easy with the bacon.

The Works - Fuck yes. The aforementioned Horn of Plenty? This is where you take that motherfucker and shake it all over a round slab of dough covered with sauce and cheese. Every vegetable in the world, every meat that's ever wandered the Earth... all of it combined in a symphony of flavor that makes the Boston Pops look like a bunch of old trannies shitting in a tuba. You literally cannot get any higher up Pizza Mountain than a properly prepared Works-style pie. It's the apex, the acme, the place where you plant your countries flag and scream out into the great, wide, delicious expanse, "This pizza... this is MINE and I am it's GOD!!!" Things can get a bit problematic if they've got the new guy on the line and he goes overboard with the green olives, say, or skimps on the onions like onions were made of solid gold or something, but whatever. It's mostly the best thing that will ever happen to you in the landscape of savory baked goods.