Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Update:

  1. Rock the Bayou has been awesome, and should continue to be so. The organization leaves much to be desired sometimes, but I'm giving the promoter a bit of leeway since this is apparently his first event ever, it's the first year for this festival, and the lineup of bands is EXCELLENT.
  2. I have no worries that Gustav will hit Houston. I don't even worry that we'll get enough rain to flood seriously. I wish we would start to get some cloud cover and maybe sprinkling at the festival.
  3. I have a pretty bitchin' sunburn right now. :P
  4. The purple in my hair is almost completely gone due to my constant sweating. It is a failed experiment; I loved the color, but it won't hold unless I bleach. I'm not going to bleach again any time soon.
  5. I'm totally psyched to see ALICE COOPER tonight. Sammy Hagar rocked the house last night, and there was an appropriate level of appreciatory tit-flashing.
I think that's it for now. I'm just chillin' at la casa before today's lineup on the main stage really gets going. See you later!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Hairy Update.

I don't know how many blog posts I've made about my hair lately. I had to go with Manic Panic Ultra Violet; they didn't have Purple Haze.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hair Color Poll!

(There's a poll at the end of this post, so please click through!)

I am trying to decide what color I should next dye my hair. I want a dark, strong color that will take without bleaching. I looked at my options, and I settled on two choices: the Manic Panic colors Purple Haze and After Midnight Blue. I know which color I like, but I wanted to get opinions other than my own (especially female ones).

In the interest of making the visualization easier, I give you: poorly-Photoshopped versions of hair coloring!

After Midnight Blue:
After Midnight BluePurple Haze:
Purple Haze. . . Yeah, that's the best I could do. Sorry. Feel free to follow the links above to Manic Panic's page on each color to see how they REALLY look. Now, which do you like more?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Here Comes The New Hair

Same as the old hair! I haven't had hair this short in years.
It surprises me every time I walk by a mirror. Looks good, though. Sometime soon I'll probably start dying it purple. Purple shouldn't require bleaching, shouldn't damage my hair so much. I might even be able to dye my mustache and beard purple. Think I should?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Temporary Despair!

My hair is breaking too badly in the front due to bleach. As a result, I'll have to cut it off for now. :( I plan to let it grow back, and perhaps choose a color next time that won't require bleaching. Maybe a purple.

In any case, expect me to be nearly bald the next time we meet. I'll get some pictures up after the deed is done.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Any Given Episode: Rocky and Bullwinkle

I feel ill today. Despite that, I bring you Any Given Episode of: Rocky and Bullwinkle!

Bullwinkle: I have no brain! Well, time to get to work!
Rocky: Bullwinkle, be careful! You've got no brain!
Bullwinkle: That's never stopped me before!

Narrator: Little did our heroes know that danger was right around the corner!

(from around the corner)
Boris: Quickly, is time to stop moose and skwirrel!
Natasha: But Boris, darling, you've got no brain!
Boris: That's why it is difficult mission!

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sports, Shmorts.

Who cares about the 2008 Olympic Games? I really, truly don't this time around. Sure, China's constant revelations of fakery during the opening ceremony are pretty amusing. Yes, Michael Phelps is a freak of nature designed to swim. Do I care about any of these things? Aside from some anger that Bushy Jr. gets to hobnob with the women's volleyball team, no. I don't.

Here are a few reminders that other things are, in fact, happening across the globe:
. . . Seriously, the Olympic Games are probably the least interesting thing going right now. Athletes performing in athletic competitions? Happens all the time. College presidents pushing for a lower drinking age? Kelly Bundy willingly getting her claims to fame cut off? Those things are news.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

SO Much Better.

Okay, we didn't have quite enough cash on hand to finish the flooring in the living room. We got a lot, though. BEHOLD, our new, awesome living room!
We moved a couple of things out, did a little redesigning. V. and I agree that it works quite well this way. We look forward to buying the three boxes or so it'll take to finish the room. It's just fine until then, though. If you're in the area, drop by and see it yourself sometime!

Street views!

Google Maps' Street View is pretty fun. Here's my house, and here's our new favorite local eatery, Troy's Dawg House.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Soapbox & floor planks.

First: The RIAA has finally paid off the dues for one of their significant losses in a filesharing case. You can read about it here. It's promising news.

Second: V. and I finally ripped up the carpet in our living room. It was all sorts of pet-piddle nasty, and we're quite glad that it's gone. In its place: the remainder of the laminate flooring from the old house!
Doesn't it look pretty? I hope that we can go to Sam's Club this weekend and get a couple more boxes to finish the room. I love this stuff so much more than carpet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Take Advantage.

I'm not sure why, but ZoneAlarm is offering ZoneAlarm ForceField for free today, August 12, 2008. It's a tool that virtualizes your browser, basically setting it aside in its own little bubble. Web threats are trapped and only affect the bubble instead of your whole system. Learn more about ForceField here and download it today here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Let's press Congress.

Forget baseball. There. I said it. I believe our national pastime should be American Gladiators. Why? I'll tell you why: I have a dream wherein kids play pick-up games of Atlasphere on those long summer afternoons.

"Oh NO, the ball went through Old Man Johnson's window! RUN!!"

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Our Faces, Red with Shame

From the look of things, it seems that the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing are going to be the world's largest organized apology to the Chinese government ever attempted. There have already been apologies for US cyclists wearing masks to combat the Beijing smog, and it's likely that Amanda Beard will apologize for revealing racy ad-campaign photos while in the conservative nation. For what other things will the world try to make amends before the closing ceremonies?
  • Tour group apologizes for ordering Chinese menu items with their original names: "We planned this trip for a long while, including studying local cuisine. We heard about the government ordering dishes to be renamed, but we didn't think we were hurting anyone"
  • Woman caught publicly breastfeeding apologizes for nurturing, showing preference to female child
  • Man claims he's "deeply sorry" for spitting on flaming Tibetan protester: "I swear, I wasn't trying to put the fire out at all"
  • Families of the ten Austrian tourists dead due to poor quality of drinking water send their "heartfelt sympathies" to China as government deals with embarrassing media coverage
  • Representatives from 204 nations call their victories at the Beijing Summer Olympics "nothing special" and "[not indicative] of superior athleticism"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thanks, Edouard!

Today is a "do whatever you want" lazy day for V. and me. Why? Tropical storm Edouard was scheduled to hit Houston, and instead hit Port Arthur. Houston Public Library branches are closed, and we are taking full advantage. Examples of our decadence:
  • got up at 9:30 instead of 7:30
  • used champagne from New Year's to make yummy mimosas
  • sat around all morning and did nothing but make mimosas `til the champagne ran dry
  • watched video online
  • watched E. play Peggle
  • got out some bacon to thaw for lunch
These are the days, I tell you. I think that bacon is going to make a WONDERFUL bacon sandwich. :9

Monday, August 4, 2008

"This, too, shall pass."

News comes today that beloved actor Morgan Freeman is in serious condition in a Memphis hospital after a road accident. I wish him, his family and his friends well. This is undoubtedly a trying time for them.

His doctors and attending staff, however, are probably the most at-ease of anyone. How could you stay nervous with Morgan Freeman's calm, strong voice asking you questions, sharing stories and making little jokes that belie the nature of his injuries? If it's anything like what I imagine, the hospital staff leave Mr. Freeman's room with a renewed spirit and a liberal dose of hope.

I hope the reality of the situation is like my imaginings. All the best to you, Mr. Freeman; I hope you're well soon.

Wherein Art Makes Tim Grumpy.

So, I'm reading these books by Stephenie Meyer. They're part of her "Twilight" series, the latest book of which apparently debuted this past weekend to "record-breaking sales". The stories involve a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire and, in a dramatic turn in a later book, develops a serious friendship with a werewolf, her vampire boyfriend's sworn enemy. The books are pretty fast reads and generally entertaining.

I mentioned being grumpy back there in the subject, didn't I? Why should I be grumpy that a book whose prequels I enjoyed sold 1.3 million copies on Saturday? It's because I hate the characters! Oh, how I hate these -

Well, let's not get carried away. The protagonist's vampire boyfriend, Edward, isn't that bad. He does some stupid things that you wouldn't imagine someone more than 100 years old would. . . . Er, honestly, things like falling in love with a 17-year-old girl. When the character of Edward Cullen was born, the automobile was still in its infancy, having been patented slightly less than twenty years before. Even at the "ripe, old age" of 29, I know that most times looking at 17-year-old girls is far more rewarding than talking to them.*

Really, though, I don't mind Edward's character. The one that truly gets under my skin is the protagonist, Bella. She exemplifies everything worrisome and frustrating about the stereotypical teenage girl. She is amazingly, dramatically in love, eclipsing everything else in her life. She wants desperately to join her boyfriend, Edward, and his family as a vampire. She is scared of getting married just out of high school.

Wait, what?

Yes, the girl who desperately wants to become a vampire can have it anytime she wants, ending her life as she knows it and starting an eternity with her beloved, but only if she ties the knot. There isn't even any mention that it has to be a public ceremony. Her boyfriend springs this condition on her when she has pleaded with the head of his family to do the deed immediately.

This is exactly the sort of thing that makes a good-natured adult sigh and shake their head, that makes those a little less forgiving quite frustrated. The character of Bella is FULL of these "endearing" flaws. She's amazingly beef-headed: she lives in a town with vampires, but doesn't figure out that her friend, Jacob, is a werewolf until a full two chapters after the reader. She never imagines that the voices she hears when she's in danger might really, truly be the thoughts of her mind-reading boyfriend, because "oh he can't read my thoughts normally! Aren't I special?" Yet, despite that obvious feeling that she is unique, she doesn't feel worthy of her ultra-perfect boyfriend. It goes on and on.

The books aren't horrible, and I don't want you to get that idea. Lots of interesting things happen to Bella, exciting things involving vampires and werewolves and flying off to distant lands to face danger. I decided, though, that the real reason I started the current book is that I hope Bella gets over herself and makes a decision on becoming a vampire, a REAL decision that culminates in her becoming a vampire. Seeing as I'm not reading the latest release, and that new release isn't even the end of the series, my hopes are falling.

Why is this so frustrating? It's because the series is wildly popular. Bella is a teenage everyman (. . . girl). Teenage girls read these books and say to themselves, "I'm just like her!" From an outside perspective, it means that teenage girls all see themselves as twits with thick skulls full of helium and hearts not just worn on their sleeves, but surrounded by blinky LEDs. (They'll show you all of the ten million wounds and bruises if you ask! Or if you don't. Or if you pass by on the street and steal a passing glance.) They think themselves unique and destined for greatness, yet completely unworthy of the good things in life.

Sadly, I think I'll finish reading the book I started. I don't really care what happens to Bella. I just want to read about vampires and werewolves.

*Don't be offended, please. There are always exceptions.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It Must Be Hard. . . .

The world would be a far funnier place if Snoop had slipped up while recording the famous "Gin & Juice":
So what you wanna do? Sheeeeit, I got a pocket full o' rubbers and my homeboy's tutu!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Favorite Superpowers!

I spend a lot of time thinking about this sort of thing before I sleep. Superpowers, wishes, what I'd do if I won the lottery, etc. Thought I'd share with you some of my visions of an awesome, superpowered future! Here are a few of the abilities I'd choose:
  • turn every slap into a high-five or a friendly hand-clasp
  • turn every punch into a fist-bump
  • turn every kick into the iconic Kid `N Play dance move (seen at 2:17)
These might not be the most useful powers, but with them, a person could be the most annoying fighter EVER! :D

(It really does bring me great joy to imagine making snarky comments to people, then turning their attempted smacks into high-fives and annoying them even further. Can you see someone trying to kick you in the balls, then finding themselves hopping on one foot in a bad `90s hip-hop dance move? I can't think of anything funnier.)

Friday, August 1, 2008

How best can we waste $1,000,000?

What would you do if you had one million dollars to spend? Would you pay off your debts, buy a new home, take a relaxing vacation, or perhaps bankroll a monumental, coke-fueled orgy? While those all sound like things your average person would do, the people of Lavonia, GA (ah, my home state) had a different idea: they bought the town's sole strip club as a way to close the establishment.

This offends me for several reasons. First, I like strip clubs. (Sorry, Mom & Dad.) I simply don't see anything wrong with going to a bar, having a drink, and watching (hopefully) attractive women show off what nature and genetics, and possibly a skilled surgeon, provided them. It can be quite relaxing to go, sit, and have a cute female who's already half-naked pretend to like you for a little while. I fail to see the harm in all of this, so it astounds me that others consider it so amazingly offensive that they'd spend one MILLION dollars (pinky to lip) of what were presumably taxpayer funds to buy one of these places and shut its doors.

Second, the town attempted to close Club Risque before, but were denied by local judges who agreed "that nude dancing was a constitutionally protected form of expression." They asked the interpreters of the law, and those people said, "No, there's nothing wrong with this." The city asked several times, and each time the answer was the same: that it's okay for a bar to hire women who want to shake their aptly-named moneymakers for cash.

The final straw is that the money obviously had better uses. Lavonia has roads that need maintenance, does it not? I bet there's a school system in the area that could put $1,000,000 to pretty good use. Or, as the linked article mentions, the town has a bond fund for a water treatment plant upgrade, and that money would've paid the fund nicely. The mayor and the city council decided that no, closing the doors of the one strip joint in the area was far more important, and this was their chance! I can see the pulpit-pounding argument now:
Yes, this money could be used to pay for our town's continued clean water. The people of this town, however, know what's REALLY important: keeping our minds clean! And the only way we can do that is to clean our community of Cafe Risque!!
A friend commented that perhaps with cleaner water, the residents of Lavonia would think a bit better. I'm not sure if their treatment plant was already upgraded; if not, it seems like we can only speculate.

I think the saddest part of the whole story is that this deal took place after the original owner died. He fought to keep the establishment open until his death in 2006, and I assume its new owners eventually tired of the city council's enmity. The city certainly expressed that enmity openly, just as they openly showed their glee at Cafe Risque's closure. City crews removed Cafe Risque advertisements "and burned them in a large bonfire at the strip club site, near a major highway." You can draw your own parallels.

The question I still ask is this: What's so wrong with naked women? Why would a city government work so hard and spend so much public money to close what amounts to a bar whose majority of workers are women happy enough with their bodies to show them?