Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Who gives a Hazmat?

This week, I learned a new fact. The word "Shit" is actually an acronym for "Shipping Hazard In Transit" and has been in use for roughly 300 years. The reason it has it's modern connontation is because back in the day before mankind developed truly hazardous chemicals, one of the primary S.H.I.T. products to be shipped was manure. It was hazardous primarily because of the methane that would build up in the ship's hold.

When combined with the oil lamps of early sailing vessels, it would be some S.H.I.T. indeed. and a truly explosive combination.

The implications of this are staggering, when you think about it, as to how words become "curse words" in everyday usage. Most importantly, it means that 100 years from now, the curse word will probably be "Hazmat".

I see this as a tremendous opportunity. Getting in on the ground floor of a new curse word is something I have always aspired to. I may print myself up a "Hazmat Happens" T-shirt this week.

Of course, spreading my new curse word around is proving to be more difficult than i thought. Case in point: I explained all of this to Drew this weekend, and the conversation went something like this:

Me: "Ground floor of a new curse word, dude! You can be among the trendsetters!"
Drew: "I don't know, Rob... I tried that last year with the whole 'kronk' thing, and that went nowhere."

Needless to say, it will be an uphill battle.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

In response to a comment....

In the comments for a previous post, Melinda mentioned the CWO. Of course some folk, like poor Dreamwalker, were completely befuddled.

The CWO stands for the "Cerio World Order", or my regime over the planet when I finaly accrue enough vactaion time to actually take over the world. It has been a really long time since I read that particular webpage, (been almost 10 years since I wrote it) and I can totally see how much my writing has improved since then, but it's still pretty funny.

Sorry, did I say funny? I meant serious. Gonna take over the world and make it a beter place.

If any of you want in on the ground floor of the global government, just let me know what it is you would like to be in charge of, and I'll make it happen.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Deja vu... all over again.

Normally when I dream, the subject matter is fun. My dreams run the gambit from having powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, to sitting in the evening breeze with the sun on my tummy being handed a very cold beer by a very beautiful woman.

But then there are the other dreams. The ones about the future.

Many people get deja vu from time to time, and wonder where the feeling comes from. Not me... a curse of my photographic memory is that I usually clearly and vividly recollect my dreams, and some of my dreams tell me things that haven't happened yet, usually hinting at major events in my life yet to come.

Not directly of course... like yesterday, when I went to make some labels in a room I had neer seen before, I remembered it from a dream. Apparently, my brain knew I was destined for my new job way before I did.

Mind you, the dreams never tell me anything useful (like tomorrow's lottery numbers) and the dreams that I have that I want to be prophetic (like the one of me making out in battery park with this woman I patheticaly, desprately, wanted to date) never turn out as such. I also have no way of knowing which ones are telling me the future... they all come across as just dreams when i'm having them.

Until they come true. Then I stop for a moment, grin, and move on.

I would love to be able to harness this ability somehow. It's one of the reasons I'm so facinated with the concept of time travel. My brain does it all the time, apparently. Any opinions?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Good days and gift giving...

Well, the new job seems to be going well. For starters, I have an internet connection... so that means that duirng my lunch break I can blog a bit.


I woke up this morning amazed that for the first time in almost a year, I was looking forward to going to work. I'm picking up the office thing on a fairly sharp learning curve, and found out that part of my responsibility will be to build and maintain the company's web site, and re-design their catalogue.

Could it be that I'll actually use some of the stuff I learned in college in this job? Dare I dream?

I had a friend once tell me during my divorce that I was closer to the end than the begining. For the first time in a long time, I feel like that may be true. Could that be a light at the end of the tunnel?

No, wait... it's just the cliche train coming to run me over.

I was gonna tell the story about how it seemed that every gift I tried to get Drew for his birthday seemed to fizzle on me... but that will have to wait for another day. I have to get back to work!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's a meme Tuesday...

You Are 21 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Your Pimp Name Is...

Dr. Mystery

Here i thought it would be "Sweetdaddy Kahunah"

Your Life Path Number is 6

Your purpose in life is to help others

You are very compassionate, and you offer comfort to those around you.
It pains you to see other people hurting, and you do all in your power to help them.
You take on responsibility, and don't mind personal sacrifice. You are the ultimate giver.

In love, you offer warmth and protection to your partner, even when she turns out to be psycho.

You often give too much of yourself, and you rarely put your own needs first.
Emotions tend to rule your decisions too much, especially when it comes to love.
And while taking care of people is great, make sure to give them room to grow on their own.

uhhh.... a little eerie... but okay.

You Are 50% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it but whine about it on your blog!

Ummmmm... a little too close to the mark.

Your Haloween Costume Should Be

A Flying Monkey

Okay... big brother must be watching me.

Why I don't write.

There are times my friends, when all the words I can put on the page are venom. this happens way more often than I would like to admit lately. So, in cases like this, I tend to sit here, with a mostly blank page in front of me, telling myself "well, I can't write about that" and trying to think of jokes about zombie groundhogs instead.

There are only so many jokes you can make about them.

In these pages, I have very much taken the philosophy of "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything, you moron."

That last bit tends to come screaming from the smarter part of my Id.

And so, here I sit with a blank page and a unposted blog, trying to think happy thoughts... I actually have a lot to say, (after all, Mobicon was this weekend, and I started the new job monday) but not a nice way in which to say it.

I'm turning into a bitter old kahunah.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mission: impressable.

The other day, I had to take a drug test for the new job. The test is fairly simple... pee into a cup, try not to spill, hand it over for analysis. Usually, this would be easy... but the lab assistant was kinda cute, and I found out this great universal truth:

It's very difficult to urinate when there's a foxy woman outside the door listening, trying to make sure you don't cheat somehow.

So I close my eyes, think of rivers, streams, and fire hoses, and begin humming TLC's "Waterfalls".

"Oh, yeah... that'll impress her, alright. Moron." My inner voice said.

Eventually, nature took it's course, and I stepped from the bathroom triumphant. I looked dreamily into her deep, brown eyes as I handed her the cup. She gazed back at me and said simply, "You can wash your hands now".

"Give up now, Rob. Walk away with your dignity intact." My inner voice screamed at me. Did I listen? Of course not. I instead tried to chat her up a bit.

My brain fell over itself searching for something to converse with her about. A thousand pick-up lines were dismissed as being silly or inappropriate. Every fact I have ever heard about lab work or urine popped up, but got rejected. So, what came out was:

"So, what do you test for?"

She looks at me curiously, "Marajuana, PCP, Cocaine, speed, extasy, and a few others."

"Great. I don't do any of those."

She looks at me again, this time with a raised eyebrow.

"Uh...Not that I do ANYTHING like that."

She grins. "Right."

"Smooth.", my inner voice says, "Shall I bring you a dustpan to sweep up your dignity with?"

So I left, realizing it's damn near impossible to pick up a woman who's handling a cup of your urine. I realize that there must be other situations where your odds are next to nothing for a sucessful pick-up, but offhand I couldn't think of any.

A Bit about Y'all...

As many of you know, I often wonder about those that read my blog, and would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you. Through the miracle of modern technology, I have been able to tell the folowing:

The reader that lives furthest north lives somewhere near Anchorage, Alaska.

The reader that lives the furthest south lives somewhere on the island of Tasmania.

The reader that lives the furthest away from me lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (about as far as you can get from New Orleans before you find yourself heading back, I think...)

And, Y'all are some damn funny folk, too... to wit, I present a random sampling of some of the funnier comments I have recieved over the past few months:

Hey, at least your genitals aren't a weapon of mass destruction! hehe
posted by Melinda Barton

Who doesn't need a 55-gallon drum of soy sauce?
posted by Drew

I would have come as Mr. Sinatra. Just to tell someone, "You don't scare me, I've got chunks of people bigger than you in my stool!"
posted by Dyno-Man, also known as Brouhaha

(...and I think a zomboid groundhog would be kinda cool?)
posted by dreamwalker

It was either make lasagna or build a levy around my house.
posted by Drew

Ooops, I wasn't finished and pressed the wrong button..
posted by Dreamwalker

I'm a geek? Shocking!
posted by Melinda Barton

Seriously, Much love to all of you, and I hope to continue to be entertaining y'all for a long time to come.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The "Rob Effect"

Now I ask you... is this progress or what? Fie upon those who said that the giant vat o' cheeseballs would only last a day. It's been a full week, and i'm barely halfway through. It is certainly a lot of cheeseballs, that's for sure.

But enough about my 35 ounces of cheesey puffed goodness. Today, I would like to talk a bit about the "Rob Effect". For those of you that have never heard me use the term before, it refers to the strangeness, luck, unusual circumstances, and outright weirdness that seems to somehow follow me wherever I go. I sometimes refer to it as the "Weirdness Vortex", because that's really how it feels sometimes... like you're standing in the middle of a swirling malestrom of junk, but the one thing that hits you in the face is the only bananna creme pie the winds picked up intact. The effect is sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always seems to contribute to the "cartoony nature of my existance". Normally the effect is humorous, or funny (weird), but of late it seems like the darker side of the "Rob effect" has reared its ugly head.

Like, for instance, my last day at "Carmart" was Monday. Wouldn't you know it, my car decides to throw a water pump pulley that night. Weird timing, as I had to be somewhere for the new job the next day.

Fortunately, I was able to borrow the Dizzymobile for the day yesterday to go get the parts to fix the darn thing, and to run the errands I needed to get done. I suppose everything worked out, but it's got me wondering what exactly I did to deserve the dark cloud that seems to follow me around lately. The "Rob effect" usually brings silliness, not freight trains barelling down on me.

You ever get the feeling that the universe is trying to tell you something?

While I admit I kinda like my weird little life of adventure that comes from the "Rob effect", there are times that I wish I could just take a break from it all for a while. I wonder if there's a way to turn it off.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

On a trip to Sam's Club....

This afternoon, Ducky and I went to Sam's club and participated in some conspicuous bulk purchasing. Case in point... the giant tub o' cheese balls pictured. I took a picture of it with my head next to it primarily for scale. Some of the items I saw seemed a little exessive... like who really needs five allons of pudding? but on the whole, there were deals to be had. The high point of the visit was when I was over in the meat section, remarking at the size of a pork butt I had found that could feed an army. Ducky pointed out that I didn't have the money to buy it, and with a strieght face, I turned to him and said, "But Ducky... I like big butts, and I cannot lie!"

This week's cause and effect exercise...

First off, for anyone that may be interested in such things, I have voulenteered to be Guest Quizmaster at the Crown and Anchor's weekly Pub Quiz tommorow night. If stretching your brain to keep up with the Kahunah is your idea of a fun thursday night, you're welcome to drop by and see me show what a 'stupid question' really is for three rounds. We generally start around 8ish.

"Okay, Rob... so where are the cartoons?"

It's complicated. Suffice it to say I have to be in a particular mindset to cartoon effectively, and it hasn't been coming to me lately. Ya see, what it comes down to is appropriate vs. inappropriate blog content. I have material for cartoons, you see... but most of it would be drawn in painful subjects for me right now. While I know there are some out there that would find the cartoons I've written lately hysterical (even when my mind is upset, I still tend to think funny.) there are some of you out there that said cartoons would hurt/upset/piss off.

Case in point: Let's say that hypothetically, I have recently felt that most of the women in my life have just used me for my cooking skills. I figure this situation lends itself to the following comedic situation...

Now, putting this cartoon up is going to have the following effect (even though the situation IS completely hypothetical): 1) The woman whose dinner party I cooked for years ago will see it, and rant at me that she never said this. 2) Any woman I cooked dinner for in the last three years will see it and ask me if I really think that they would ever use me like this. 3) Mom will ask me if that's her Chicken parmigana recipie I'm talking about, if so I drew it completely wrong. 3B) Dad will echo Mom's sentiment, but insist I should have drawn it with more garlic. 4) At least one friend will ask me if this applies to me making appetizers at their party. 5) Someone will ask me if I really am that good a cook. 6) Someone will accuse me of being full of myself for answering 'yes' to that last question. 7) One of my friends will take this to mean I think they can't cook well enough to throw a dinner party. 8) Anyone that reads my blog that ever felt that I may think they "used" me for anything will chime in vehemently denying it, no matter if it had anything to do with my cooking or not.

All over a stupid, and quite frankly not that funny, cartoon. I wonder how Scott Adams deals with this.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

WOOOOO... Hoo?

Okay... I could use just a touch of sage advice from all of y'all out there in the blogosphere...

First the good news... I checked my e-mail today and was almost stunned to read the following from the literary agency that asked me to send them a copy of my screenplay:

"Thank you for everything that we have received from you thus far. Our
review team believes that your work has commercial potential and we would
like to proceed further with you. We believe we would like to represent you."

So the right side of my brain high-fives the left, and I keep reading. What followed was legalese for the most part, but it cleared up a bit to say this:

"I think you would agree that your work can use some level of polishing.
However, we don't think you should take just our word for it, we would like
to have an independent review of your work that shows you where the
improvements can be made. Also, if your work is 'great and ready to go' it
is helpful that we hear it from an independent source as well.

In short, we like it, and we think we can sell it, but we would like it to
be as polished as possible before we take it to our buyers."

Sure, okay... always open to revisions. Whatever don't kill me makes me a better writer, right? But then, after providing links to "examples of acceptable critiques":

"If you already have a 3rd party critique, please let us
know. It must match the level of detail that you see in the examples above.
If you have an associate that you believe can do your critique, then be sure
to send us their credentials first for approval. Please don't try to
critique your own work. (Yes, we've seen that happen and we can tell
immediately.) Also, many people ask if they can get a friend to do the
critique, or a teacher, or an associate. The answer can be yes, but the
problem is that if they don't do editing for a living, then it's like asking
anyone to do something for free, it takes longer, and it may not be done

The critique should be inexpensive, usually less than a hundred dollars,
depending on the company you choose. It will tell each of us if the work is
ready for marketing right away, or if more polishing is required. As we
mentioned if you have a critique already, great, if not, we can provide a
referral for a critique service."

Ummmm... I don't have a spare twenty for gas right now, much less a spare hundred for a screenplay critique by an industry professional... I googled the topic, and most of these folks want a couple of hundred dollars. So I read on...

We want you to have a critique by a qualified industry professional.
us, we want you to have a critique to start our relationship so that we can
start from the same page. (If I told you the number of writers that accuse
us of using this to take their money, you would be flabbergasted.)"

DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!! Maybe it's just me, but this statement raised a red flag in my noggin. My experience is that anyone who says "I'm not asking for money" usually is. The rest of the e-mail more or less said that I should reply to them so they can send me a contract (and a referal to a critique service should I need one... very very suspicious), send them an e-mail with a critique of my work attached (that I may already have? like any of my friends are editors!), or send one saying "thanks but no thanks".

So, I put to use the power at my fingertips.... and googled the woman that had asked me for a copy of my script. Turns out I was right... it's all a scam designed to separate me from my money. I could sent them 120 pages of gibberish and they would have sent me the same replies. People suck. Thank goodness I took the time to register my stuff with the WGA.

The moral: when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. The advice I need: Do I just politely tell these folks where to stick their empty promises, or do I just chalk it up to experience and move on?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Just a few quick tidbits...

Tidbit 1- I was very glad to hear that the Tsunami approaching New Zealand was a false alarm. Dreamwalker would have been the recipient of a panicy phone call at 3 am her time had I her phone number.

Tidbit 2- I got the job I interviewed for on Friday. My last day at "carmart" is the 15th. (eat less and exersise more... GRRRRR!) I start the new job on the 22nd, so I actually have off that weekend which I intend on spending at Mobicon. Anyone got any really good annoying questions I can pester Billy West with?

Tidbit 3- The new Superman Returns trailer is up on the net. Looks like a fairly good story, with one of my favorite Superman stunts (Catching a crashing airliner) finally brought to the silver screen. I am sooooo there. Wild Phantom Zone escapees couldn't keep me from being there opening night.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Check it out, all you overaged sci-fi geeks!

Well, girl... I don't think we're on Hoth anymore. Looks more like some fat guy's desk.

Months ago, Dizzy read on my blog that the one Christmas gift I had always wanted but never got was a Tauntaun action figure. When I was a kid, anyone who had one was the coolest of the cool and hippest of the hip with the under twelve year old set. Mind you, I still did okay when it came to Star Wars toys. I remember having the Death Star, the full sized Millennium Falcon playset, and my Dad remarking at one point that my Han Solo action figure made entirely too many "Wookie jokes" about him. ("It wasn't me, Dad! It was Han Solo that suggested you look into electrolysis for Wookies!") What I didn't have, I usually constructed out of Legos, paper plates, old boxes, or whatever else I could get my hands on. All in all, I was a pretty content little sci-fi geek.

But I never got that Tauntaun.

Apparently since finding this out, Dizzy has been on a quest to get me a Tauntaun. So the other day, She tells me that there's this shop in Kenner that she wanted to check out that she thinks I would appreciate. Now, up till this point, I am still oblivious to the fact that she has been hunting Tauntauns for some time behind my back.

The place wasn't easy to find. It was nestled inside an old flea market, with no air conditioning, upstairs, toward the back of the building, in a small room that was only slightly larger than one of Drew's closets. I walked in, and my jaw dropped.

If there is a heaven for action figures, this place was it. Wall to wall, floor to ceiling was every action figure I have ever wanted, owned, dreamed about, or wondered if they even made. Complete with most of the playsets that would have ensured that I wouldn't have had to bother with things like 'using my imagination' to bring to life the worlds these characters lived in.

Notable highlights:

The hard to find "Wonder Woman" 12 inch action figure.
The harder to find "Superfriends Wonder Woman" action figure.
The "Hal Jordan" action figure.
Most of the Justice league toys and figures... including the hard to find Pre-Crisis Crime Syndicate figures.
Every G.I. Joe I could remember, including the collectors set with Destro VS. Cobra commander.
Every toy of the Mach Five ever made.
All the Austin Powers action figures, including the impossible to find Mini-Me.
Every character that was ever in a Star Wars movie in action figure form, including Max Rebo and Sy Snootles.
Several Cowboy Bebop figures.
The entire line of "Dark Knight" action figures.

If you recognize more than four of the references from the above list, consider yourself an official geek. I'll be sending out certificates next week.

So, everywhere I looked, I apparently found something else to make girly sounding giggly noises at. I finally chose to use my limited funds to buy three of the Austin Powers Figures (Austin, Dr. Evil, and Mini-Me) and made my way to the register, where Dizzy was buying me the Tauntaun I had always wanted. (But had missed in the store because it was right below a really impressive Boba Fett action figure)

I don't know what worried Dizzy more, though... How emotional I got about this silly piece of plastic, or the fact that as soon as we got back to the car, I opened it and made it trot across the dashboard while making little "Gronk, Gronk" noises.