Sunday, December 28, 2008


I bet you people didn't know that a) I co-authored a picturebook about trains with a dude named Jackson McQuigg (given name. Below is one of the captions I wrote.)

and b) I once submitted what can only be described as a marginally-readable short story to--wait for it--the Atlantic Monthly. Shock:

New Tumblr! Plus, Blay Vol. III

I've been twitterizing my landlord enough that I realized I should probably just give him his own web presence. So here's a new thing to look at. I'll update whenever a) landlord rocks out to rock music or b) landlord has shouting match with wife. Enjoy!

Blay vol. III: On Brand Awareness, and Strange Decision-Making Practices.
Plus, Fruit is for the Weak

This one requires a little preface: 1.) Dogfish Head Brewing Co., which produces aggressively flavored craft beers, has become a pretty well-known brand in the region--so much so that people often order the brand instead of the beer itself. 2.) Blue Moon is a very mild, mass-produced beer. (As in: nearly the opposite of Dogfish beers.)

Int., night, a bar. Two men approach.

Dude #1: (To me.) Hey, man. How's it going.
Me: A+
Dude #1: Do you have any Dogfish?
Me: Nope
Dude #1: Aw, man! I thought you carried Dogfish.
Me: We do, periodically. Just not at the moment.
Dude #1: (To Dude #2.) Have you had the Dogfish 90 Minute IPA? It's AWESOME.

Dude #2 agrees.

Me: If you like the 90 Minute, I've got a couple beers in the same style that you'd probably like.

Dudes look at each other.

Dude #1:
(Shrugs.) Couple of Blue Moons?
Dude #2: Oh yeah. Awesome.

I pour the beers.

Dude #1:
You can leave the orange off mine. (To Dude #2.) You want an orange on yours?
Dude #2: No, dude! No fruit on my beer!

Dudes give each other a double hi-five.

Dudes #1 & 2:
Yeah! No fruit on beer!

Mmm Beefamato

Friday, December 26, 2008

Hey Teebz! Hey!

Looks like Teebz sure is ready to party!

But really all he does is change film in his camera while Girl Andie watches.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas is for Art

Since Ana celebrates holidays by contracting the plague, I went to Giant this afternoon to get some things for her healing serum. Giant on Christmas: overrun by Salvadoreans and fashionistas like this kid.

Last night:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Xmas Miraxles Vol. II

While not as extensive as last year, this year still yields some pretty wicked Xmas miracles.

1. When in Atlanta last week, looking at pictures my sister has taken over the past few years, it became apparent that I've been wearing the same hoodie way too much for way too long. So I splurged and soon will have a new uniform.

2. I will be DJing for Chad's customers in a couple weeks. DJ name is easily the smartest thing I've ever thought of. Don't worry: Ana and Murph will be making guest appearances.

3. Mom checked out of the hospital and is recovering. Holler!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What I Used To Do At My Day Job

After a few rejected submissions to McSweeneys in 2003 and 2004, I got this published at the now-only-archival

An Open Letter to McSweeney's Internet Tendency Open Letter Chooser

Dear McSweeney's Internet Tendency Open Letter Chooser:

Remember those two letters I sent before, to persons or entities who were unlikely to respond? The first one was to Australia. Maybe you were worried that Australia was likely to respond, and that's why you didn't choose it. Or maybe you didn't feel like making an enemy of another nation; that was probably it. I said some pretty inflammatory stuff in that letter. But can you fault me? I was totally pissed at Australia when I wrote that letter.

(Remember that part where I made fun of Australian actors, like Nicole Kidman? That was awesome. Oh wait, no--you obviously didn't think so.)

But I was okay with that snub. I thought I had learned from it, actually. For one thing, it was probably too long (I talked about The Crocodile Hunter for 127 words, for Christ's sake!). At first I thought it might have been too inflammatory, or vulgar (like when I talked about Australians being fuckers), but then I read a recent letter you published that talks about pissing on a guy's head and doing his wife. So I figured I was in the clear on the inflammatory/vulgar bit.

What really hurt was the second rejection. Did you think the letter to my Grandpa was a joke? Granted, it might have been insensitive, but I didn't title the letter "AN OPEN LETTER TO MY DEAD BLIND GRANDPA," which I totally could've. I left out the DEAD part.

But seriously, he would 'watch' Wheel of Fortune religiously. How funny is that? Did I not play up that angle enough, the it's-weird-that-a-blind-person-would-be-interested-in- a-television-program-that-relies-heavily-on-sight-for-its-entertainment-value angle? I thought I did. (Did you ever solve a puzzle, Grandpa? Did you ever grimace when the lady from Spokane couldn't solve the Before & After puzzle, when it was staring her in the goddamn face? )

Hell, I even made reference to the fact that Chuck Woolery (I called him the ubiquitous Chuck Woolery, too! Priceless!) was the original host, not Pat Sajak. That shows I did my research!

That letter to my dead blind Grandpa was gold, and you turned it down. Why? Are you worried about the dead blind Grandpa demographic?

I'm sorry for putting you on the spot; I'm really not into confrontation. But I figured that since you were unlikely to respond, there's not much at stake.


DH + Gift Ideas!

If Darkest Hour's shows at the 9:30 club are like a homecoming for our particular group of friends, then Murph is like the homecoming king. He is easily the best metal concertgoer in the world. It's hard to make out here, but pictured below is Murph crouching on stage in preparation for what one would assume to be a brutal stagedive:

What I didn't get a photo of was when the dude ran from backstage and jumped on Murph's back, who proceeded to stagedive with dude riding piggyback.

BONUS! In Atlanta, brother and I were remembering a particular game we used to play as kids.

I found it on Amazon.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Italian Christmas + Blay, Scene II

Martina's family is Eyetalian, which means they have forty kids and have big, pasta-y Christmas celebrations. Lucky for us we get invited.

I love seeing things like this height chart in houses. How could you possibly be a parent and not get teary every time you walk past it?

This particular family has a predilection for bulldogs. The newest one is Porkchop, and has captured my heart. Here she is sitting on the youngest of the Crivellas:

FYI: Blay=Blog + Play. Scene II!:

Int, nighttime, a bar. A group of Baltimore Ravens fans is watching the game against the Cowboys. The Ravens score.

Fan #1: Yeah! Yeah! Woo! Ravens! (Hi-fives Friend #2.) Shots! Shots on the house!
Me: What house?
Fan #1: Shots on the house!
Me: You do realize we're not in Baltimore, right? (Fan #1 stares blankly.) And that we don't give out shots every time a particular sports team scores? (More blank staring.)

Fifteen minutes pass. The Ravens score again.

Fan #1:Hoo-wee! Yeah! Ravens! (More hi-fives.) Shots! Shots on the house!
Me: Hey, Remember? We. Are. Not. In. Baltimore. (A closeup of Tony Romo, the Cowboys quarterback, comes on the TV. Fan #1 yells as I turn my back.)
Fan #1:Fucking faggot!

I turn slowly around.

Me: Excuse me?
Fan #2: Tony Romo! Tony Romo! He means Tony Romo!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Grab Bag! Plus, People From NY: They Like for Things to Be Hooked Up

+ I am guessing that it means something when I have only heard of -- this doesn't mean that I've heard -- 21 of the bands on Pitchfork's top 50 albums of the year. I'm not sure if it means I'm old or if I just have stopped chasing the dragon that is rock music (Although Pitchfork went crazy and included DC's own Walé [he worked at Downtown Locker Room! OMG!] and Lil Wayne in the list, presumably since R Kelly didn't release an album in 2008).

+ Mom is doing well after her surgery to give her a BIONIC BACK. Did I ever include this horrifying X-Ray of her spine?

It should now be significantly less faily.

+ In honor of my brother, who is now a playwright and soon-to-be lead actor in a real live play, I've written a short play about a dude last night at work came in with his friend.

A bar, 2am on a weekend. Two males, early twenties, enter. I am ready for night to be over.

Yo, gimme your strongest beer.
Me: Any particular type?
Dude: Whatever's strongest, bro. It's my birthday.

I pour him an imperial stout. Two minutes pass.

Yo! It's my birthday, bro. Shots. (Motions to he and his friend.) A couple of the strongest shots you got, bro. I'm from New York.
Me: (Beat.) The strongest shots we have would be straight liquor.
Dude: I'm from New York, bro. Hook it up.
Me: What kind?
Dude: Yeah, your strongest shot. I'm from New York. Hook it up.
Me: Yes, I understand. What kind of liquor?
Dude: Yeah. Hook it up.
Dude's Friend: Vodka.
Me: Brand?
Dude: It's my birthday. Strongest shot you got. From New York. Hook it up.
Me: I don't know what that means.
Dude's Friend: Grey Goose.
Me: Chilled?
Dude: Strongest you got.

(I pour two warm shots of Grey Goose. Two minutes pass.)

Dude: Bro! Couple of Heinekens.

(I give him the beers. One minute passes. I call last call.)

Dude: Yo! How about a birthday round?
Me: Of what?
Dude: Couple of beers. It's my birthday.
Me:You have beers in front of you already. They're full.
Dude: Yeah. Birthday round.
Me:I can't give you another if you already have one.
Dude: But it's last call.
Me: Indeed it is.

(Dudes do not finish their beers, leave. Scene.)


Friday, December 19, 2008

Narratives are Overrated

The trip Atlanta was good, and productive, and my mom's spine is safely realigned with metal rods all up on it. That said, I don't have many great pictures. What I do have is this picture of a survey box at the Atlanta airport, which somebody stuffed with an empty travel-size tube of toothpaste.

Also: People of Atlanta! You have this place called Cabbagetown, which is like Richmond if it was dirtier and more southern and smaller and with fewer hardcore bands. Also you have the Cabbagetown Market, which is the type of place that every neighborhood in the world should have. It should be mandated. They have bottled Mexican non-HFCS Coke.

My tour of the world's grossest bar bathrooms continues. Pictured: Clermont Lounge. If you have the temperament for it, it's one of the most interesting and unique places I've ever been to, in Atlanta or otherwise. If not, don't worry about it.

Plus! Customer leaves barely legible note on credit card slip! In this case, girl's dude spilled a drink on her, but she wasn't really coherent enough to recognize this fact, so she decided that I had done it.

Transcript: Next time don't spill shit on me, bitch. Or the middle English version: Next time--don't spill sht onne bitch. And yet: still a 12% tip! She must not've really been mad.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Flooding and Its Consequences

I haven't left the house other than for work in over a week. I was going to end that tonight, but God decided to make it rain forever. So naturally I drew this rendering of a tiger cyclops:


Check it out: Teenerz and DTown back in the hiz (house):

Really the only reason to buy a big TV is for this. And by this, I don't even mean Adult Swim; I mean Venture Brothers.

Finally, I thought I should post a brief clip from Nahem's self-planned roast last month. I'm not positive, but I'm guessing there's some NSFWish stuff in the clip, with various racial/sexual/disability-related jokes involved.

BTW, should you ever find yourself as a 20-something who is in no way related to showbizness, and you are not retiring, be prepared for your roast to be a very uncomfortable event.

Best & Worst Things of the Year: 2008

After the vaguely successful attempt last year, here is this year's B&WTOTY:

Best Things

1. Santogold, "LES Artistes." Come on.
2. Don P the comedian. Do yourself a favor if you haven't already. (Unfortunately he seems to have gone as quickly as he came. MySpace page is no more.)
3. Fried Pickles.
4. Road Trip USA.
5. The failing of the US economy, which in turn drastically brought down the prices of consumer electronics, allowing Americans to continue realizing the dream of buying things they probably can't afford and definitely don't need.
6. Lists of lists

Worst Things

1. Bike-thief failures
2. See Best Things #5

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday Cheer FAIL

From the kitchen at work, via Ana:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Economics +++

Obama, God bless him, thinks that people are going to take manual labor jobs in order to make ends meet. If he were to, I don't know, come up with a New New Deal where it included sitting at a desk with a nice computer and internet connection and enough work to keep one busy for at least 15 minutes a week, I think people would jump at it. Building roads? Fat chance.

Best way to fix the economy? Inventions. People need to invent more things. Did Edison make his fortune replacing energy-sucking light bulbs? NO. He invented them, and waited for other people to do the replacing. Because he was an American, and that's what Americans do.

I'll do my part to help. Listen up, snack makers: SRIRACHA-INFUSED CHEEZ-ITS.

  • Wow! America has a conscience. Granted, it's not a fully-formed conscience (manslaughter?), but it's a conscience nonetheless.
  • Wowee! Frenchies hate America AND beer.
  • I am always confused about holiday tipping, because it wasn't normal when I was a kid. Out of this list, the only one that applies to me is the letter carrier, but since our letter carrier is pretty terrible (I'm guessing 75%-25% success rate) and the UPS guy offered to help carry my new TV up the stairs, I tipped him instead. Also, I tipped the lady at the Subway.
  • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Coldplay had to steal in order to write the turd that became "Viva la Vida?" HAHAHAHAHAHA from Joe Satriani
  • Jenny's take on an annoying trait of people who live in or around national parks.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Birthday Photo Dump

Birthday started off right, when my Black Friday off-brand TV showed up early. It works! And it's flat.

Also Senior showed up in time to get some pho.

Ana took me to fancy dinner, so I wore my Sunday clothes.

Then we met up with friends, and Patso had worked his magic again:

And Riff Raff was there. She says I always take creepy pictures of us, which I disagree with but tried to take one anyway:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Threefer Monday

My friend Ian posted this haiku I wrote in 1998 onto Facebook the other day. I don't remember writing it but I am glad I did:

Your goldfish and
A slimy pitching
Shredder are two enjoyed things

In retrospect, it's more gross than funny.

The Unfortunate Part of Being a Public Figure, ex. 1

Last night, while having a drink at a friends' bar, there was a particularly drunk young woman a few seats down was being hit on by a particularly gross dude, who had bought her a shot and invited her back to his hotel room, which she declined.

Eventually she had enough, and our friend told her as much. Even though she was fine with being cut off, dude wasn't happy about it (it was pretty obvious he was trying to her get even drunker in order to sleep with him).

"I've been to a lot of bars in a lot of places, and I've NEVER seen this happen," he says. "NOT COOL."

"There's a first time for everything," bartender replies.

Dude hands bartender his credit card slip.

"No offense, man, but I took back my tip. That is NOT COOL."

Dude goes to bathroom, woman leaves without him. Dude emerges from bathroom, runs out to try and catch her. Fails. All is right with the world.

Coworker remembers that dude said he was a reporter. Check slip/cross reference on Google:

Hey George Richards, beat reporter for Miami Herald: You Suck!

Last Train to Strageville, pop. YOU

It's pretty rare that I get down near the White House, but I was in the neighborhood today so I rode by. Even the process of building the inaugural stands has a feeling of excitement about it--there were dozens of people there taking pictures of it, just like me.

Even though the city is going to be overrun, and the inauguration will likely be mayhem, I'm looking forward to seeing it. For five minutes. And then going home to my non-$1000/night apartment.

Plus, who knew the White House would wear the AIDS ribbon?

Also when I was at Kinko's somebody had left the last page of their screenplay in the copier. I don't know what that says about the writer, or the screenplay itself, but I really want to know if "Strageville" is a typo for "Strangeville" or not. I really hope so. Because Strageville doesn't seem like a place that could KILL YOU...

This makes me wonder if there is a competition out there somewhere for best final page of a screenplay. If not, there should be.