The Second Side

I could put something really witty here if I wanted.

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When you stop believing in coincidence, paranoia is only a heartbeat away.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Yes, Tricia, There Really Are Dragons

You are looking at the skull of Dracorex hogwartsia (Dragon King of Hogwarts. Yes, in honor of Harry Potter), a newly discovered dinosaur that lived 66 million years ago in what is now South Dakota. I'll bet she was real cuddly.

In other news:
  • Scientists grow artificial penis in lab. What else do you need to know? All I know is that I can live the rest of my life without reading "penis disfigurement," "penis cancer" and "penis trauma" in the same penis story. Penis.
  • Looking for a new religion? " . . . the Hieros Gamos ritual is said to have evolved into a highly developed spiritual discipline which enabled a man to attain "gnosis", or direct knowledge of the Divine, through the ritualized sexual union with a woman, who has been specially trained as a priestess for this purpose. The theory is based on the philosophy that a man is fundamentally incomplete and can only reach godhood by "marrying" the feminine principle in a spiritual and physical manner, which supposedly triggers an altered state of consciousness at the moment of climax."

Click It or Ticket . . . I Say "Suck It"

In the mid-90's, two friends and I were on our way home from a Dwight Yoakam concert in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We crested a hill, and drove head-on into a Black Angus bull loitering in the middle of the highway. My seat belt held me tight, or I would have flown deep into the night. We made it to the side of the road. None of us had ever been in an accident where air bags were deployed, so we mistook the floating powder for smoke and piled out of the car. As we stood on the highway, gathering our wits, we noticed that the bull we'd struck at 65 mph had gotten up and walked off, no doubt with a terrible sideache.

I tell you that little anecdote to assure you that I am a dyed-in-the-wool believer in seatbelt use. However, I do not agree with mandatory seatbelt laws. Seatbelt usage is a personal choice, and the decision not to use one is (or should be) a personal choice. You risk only your own life if you choose not to buckle up. I'm tired of these busybodies who think they need to force laws that require the police to save me from myself. I'm sick to hell of reading accident reports that make a point of noting that the dead at an accident scene weren't buckled up, as if they deserved to die.

I say, if we're going to turn the state into everyone's mommy and daddy, let's go the whole route. In addition to seatbelt check points, how about cholesterol check points? I want these overweight seat belt advocates to have their cholesterol checked by police. After all, someone with heart disease careening across six lanes of traffic during a heart attack is a far greater threat to public health than one individual being thrown from his vehicle. Wouldn't you agree? How about home inspections to make sure we aren't consuming too much alcohol? How about regulating tobacco use? How about mandatory exercise times, supervised by the police? Don't think there aren't people who would advocate all of the above. Some people love to tell others how to live.

What prompted this little rant was a news item I read before the holiday weekend. In Omaha, women and children are being abducted, murdered and fished out of the river with alarming frequency lately, so imagine my rage at learning that the Omaha Police were devoting five police officers and a police sergeant . . . to seatbelt enforcement.

Glad we got our fuckin' priorities straight.

It Just Seemed Appropriate . . .

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Leonardo's Dragon

I came across this quote from Leonardo DaVinci's "How to Make an Imaginary Animal Appear Real":
If therefore you wish to make one of your imagined animals appear natural—let us suppose it to be a dragon—take for its head that of a mastiff or setter, for its eyes those of a cat, for its ears those of a porcupine, for its nose that of a greyhound, with the eyebrows of a lion, the temples of an old cock, and the neck of a water tortoise.
Something about that passage had a familiar ring to it, and I finally figured out why:
And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon (Revelation. 9: 7-11).
Does one illuminate the other? I shall have to ponder this . . .

Friday, May 19, 2006

I've Got a River of Life Flowing Out of Me

  • Remember that scene in The Naked Gun where Leslie Nielsen leaves a press conference to take a piss and leaves his lapel microphone on? As funny as that scene is, imagine if it had happened in church.
  • I saw a picture today of Britney Spears "almost" dropping her child. Okay, folks. Enough is enough. Leave the poor gal alone. If I had paparazzi up my ass to document every time I dropped, almost dropped, tripped over, or accidentally knocked over my kids, I'd have Child Protective Services living in a tent in my backyard.
  • We are going to see The DaVinci Code. I can hardly wait. Can you deal with that??? There's an old saying I love that goes: "those who can't do, critique." I read about the critics at Cannes who booed and jeered the film. Can't say I'm interested in the opinion of anyone who would behave so rudely. They're just lucky I wasn't there. They wouldn't have been the first unruly theatergoers to hear me say "shut the fuck up."
  • Today, here in Omaha, it was confirmed that a body found was that of a young girl who has been missing for 6 months. Two other girls have recently gone missing. A body was pulled from the river. What a dark world. It's' situations like these that make me like the torture idea. You know, the filet knife and Clorox bath variety.
  • Why don't people fart colored smoke?

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What the World Almost Lost

Yesterday, while driving on the highway, my wife narrowly missed a collision with another vehicle whose crazy driver was either fleeing the police or unconscious behind the wheel. Only a matter of seconds or less separated her from a nasty crash that could have been fatal.
She told me this over the phone, and it dawned on me immediately that I could easily have had the sheriff or the state patrol on the line, telling me about a bad accident, gee we're sure sorry and would I mind coming down to make an identification? I remember noticing details around me——sun shining bright, kids eating lunch, Eagles on the stereo, etc., and how those details came this close to forming a sort of psychological restore point. A place where everything starts over.

I don't talk about Tracey much. Not because she's unimportant or a source of shame. I'm simply respecting her privacy. Once I open the door, sometimes it's hard to know where the line is drawn between what can be shared or not. But, in this case I'd like to crack the door a little.

This October will be our 13th wedding anniversary. We've lived in a few cities and states. We've made friends and then said goodbye. We brought in two furry cats—one we lost last year, the other still with us for nearly the entire stretch. We have two beautiful, twin daughters, Laura and Abby. They are intelligent to an almost freakish degree (I say that with only a mild bias).

Although the flames of passion that make relationships so much fun in the beginning have cooled a little, the benefit is to be left with a friend. I'm talking about friendship deeper and more everlasting than you can possibly imagine (if you can, you know what I'm talking about). A friend who agrees with you that no matter how hard things get, quitting is not an option. She's a woman who continues to believe in me when I've lost faith in myself. A woman I don't have to worry about out in the world because I know she puts up with less shit from others than me, and that ain't much. She is pure beauty in the classical sense. Intelligent in a way that defies comprehension yet provides inspiration. A woman whose maternal instincts continue to amaze. I could not be more fortunate to have this woman be the mother of my children.

They say the best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother. I'm trying, girls, although she makes it pretty easy.

I am proud to tell the world that Tracey is my wife.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Elevated Manholes

If you're into that sort of thing . . .

My Bologna Has A First Name

  • I can't remember where I saw it, so I can't link to it for you, but I read a good one-liner about the upcoming The DaVinci Code movie. "In response to the upcoming film, Christians plan to blow up movie theaters, and Christian Heads of State will call for the murder of Tom Hanks." Heh, heh. Get it?
  • I also heard white people dancing referred to as looking like "wine-making slaves." Heh, heh. Get it?
  • This morning, I stood at our full-length living room window in my gym shorts, checking out the morning sunshine, when my daughters came up and de-pantsed me in front of the world. I suppose I should be impressed they can pull off (or down) such a coordinated attack.
  • I made a grocery list this weekend, and had to use the Oscar Meyer song to spell "bologna." (Had to do it again just now, actually.)
  • Thanks, Davis, for the biggest laugh I've had in quite awhile.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Jimmy Makes the News

Okay, Davis, here's my newspaper story. I tag everyone.

"Are You Suggesting Coconuts Migrate?"

For the low cost of 100 pounds (about $186), you can by a 2% ownership in the Holy Grail if it is found by the sellers. Your investment will entitle you to 2% profits from the sale or commercial exploitation of the Grail, and you will be allowed one sip from the legendary cup, although you'll have to provide the beverage and the sellers cannot be held responsible for "the mysterious powers of the Grail." If the Grail turns out to be a person, you will be allowed access to said person to get a picture or have them autograph your tit.

"Oh, yes! An African swallow maybe . . . but not a European swallow. That's my point."

Saturday, May 06, 2006

School's Out

  • School is out for the semester. I've noticed that there aren't many students my age. They either young enough to be my children, or old enough to be my parents. I have noticed that the young gals like to have me around . . . so they can copy my notes and have me in their study groups. Oh, well.
  • Speaking of school, I've noticed that people are really absorbed in their Ipods and cell phones. I usually leave the campus late at night, and it's downright scary how people pay little attention to their surroundings. Can't count the number of times I've passed a woman in the darkness, and she's completely unaware of what's going on around her. Dangerous.
  • Someone did a net search for "granny's breasts" recently, and guess whose blog was the number one result? I'm so honored.
  • At least once a week, someone visits here after doing a net search for the so-called "Highgate Vampire." I posted about this last September. I received a couple of lengthy responses from people who have strong feelings about it. It really is a fascinating story. If you didn't see it, check it out.
  • If you like those planetarium programs for your computer, here are a few: Winstars, Celestia and Stellarium. Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning.
  • I watched Hostel the other night. I'd heard it was either the savior of the horror film or an exercise in pointless brutality. All I can say is that I'm angry I can never get that hour-and-a-half back. Rob Zombie is the true savior of the horror film. He is a genius. A pure, motherf@cking genius (that was for you, Tricia).
  • I finished the first draft of my first screenplay, and I'm stoked. The title is Bone Sigh. It's about a man in his 30's whose wife has an affair and leaves him. After he's single again, he begins to slip into a moral tailspin. It's not high concept, I know, but it's got some good stuff in it. Anyone interested in being on my reading team?
  • One of the unexpected pleasures of fatherhood is rediscovering Disney movies. The modern, CGI films are great, but I prefer the hand-drawn classics like Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Peter Pan. There is something fascinating to me about the effort it takes to draw a feature-length animated movie. The music is wonderful, and the storytelling is tight and sophisticated. Walt was a pure, motherf#cking genius.
  • I suppose I'm like most parents in that I worry about how my daughters will fare in the world when I'm gone. I could live to be a very old man, but we all know how brutal life can be. Just when things are going good, a drunk asshole swerves into your lane and you become someone else's cautionary tale. My twin daughters are 2 years-old and I've noticed some things lately. If one of them starts to cough, or trips and bangs her knee, the other will rush up to ask "Are you okay?" If one sneezes, the other says "Bless you." If one cries, the other asks "What's the matter?" They share toys without asking. They dance together. If they are apart for a long period of time, they run to each other when reunited and hug. They share a sisterly love I can only marvel at. I know they will be okay as long as they have each other. And I'll be okay as long as I have them. I am truly blessed among men.
Have a great weekend.

Let's Get It On

The debate is raging—could the U.S.S. Enterprise destroy the Death Star? Tree, tell 'em they're crazy to even ask . . .

Thursday, May 04, 2006

When the Moon is Full and Bright

They don't call it "extreme makeover" for nothing.

Sex Machine Museum

Heeyy! Owww! It's a museum, hah! Git on up! A museum of sex machines, heeey! Zabba-dooba.


Other odd museums here.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

You're Gonna Have To Do Better Than That

I suppose it's possible this has been Photoshopped. Either way, it made me laugh. You can have the burritos, amigo, but you'll only get my pizza when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Diabolus in Musica

That unique musical interval, tritones, that gives heavy metal music its creepy sound, was actually banned in the Middle Ages. It was called Diabolus in Musica, or the Devil's Interval.

It's a fascinating article, but Tree may have to give us a layman's explanation of the musical theory involved.

On the Dark Side, Oh Yeah

I ran across this article in Maxim about a book I read a couple of years ago, The Collector, by John Fowles. It's about a disturbed young man who collects butterflies and moves up to collecting people.

According to Pat Brown, a criminal profiler quoted in the story, only the Bible has had a greater influence on the minds of psychopathic killers. The Collector has been linked to 5 serial killers and 40 murders. Brown says the novel provides an accurate look into "how the thinking of a serial killer works." There is little, if any, violence in the book. It is mostly a psychological duel between the girl and her captor.

Fowles claimed the book was nothing more than the "hope and vitality" of society being crushed by the "mediocrity." However, Fowles's private diaries revealed that "from puberty until recently, I frequently had conscious fantasies, or nocturnal daydreams, about imprisoning women underground," and that he fantasized about "a forcing of my personality as well as my penis on the girl concerned." Fowles found a way to channel those dark fantasies, but some of his readers did not.

The last paragraph of the article appears to cast blame on Fowles, which makes me uncomfortable. While the book may have an abnormal influence on the criminal minded, it should be remembered that the criminal mentality must be present for the book to wield its perverse influence. It cannot force a person to act against their will. There must be some receptivity to begin with.

Talk about gazing into the abyss.

Go, Anna Nicole, Go

The Supreme Court has ruled that Anna Nicole Smith can use the federal courts to try to claim part of her "late husband's" billions.

I think this is great. After all, this was not a marriage of love, but a business agreement. Anna Nicole would get a buttload of cash, and J. Howard would get a piece of ass. Well, J. Howard got the piece of ass, and now it's time for Anna Nicole to get the buttload of cash.

A deal's a deal.