It's like Mardi Gras meets the bombing of Dresden...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Americans and Vegetables

I'm sorry to keep posting these, but sometimes Google News headlines crack me up. I happen to be one of those Americans who doesn't eat enough vegetables- but will I turn into that guy?
Friday, March 16, 2007
Secret Missions
I would give either testicle to someday have a headline like this on CNN. Currently, my secret missions are limited printing off Wikipedia articles at work and looking like I'm busy. Today's topics: Structuralism, Bornean Clouded Leopards, and Painting.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Kafka- Before the Law
Anyone in the mood for a post completely different than anything else I've posted for the last two years? Good, here we go:

I'm reading "The Trial" by Kafka this weekend while I'm back home in Michigan, and I'm intrigued by the following passage. Anyone of you have any familiarity with Kafka (other than what I can and have read on Wikipedia), or have any thoughts on the following short story included in "The Trial"?
Before the Law
Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.” At the moment the gate to the law stands open, as always, and the gatekeeper walks to the side, so the man bends over in order to see through the gate into the inside. When the gatekeeper notices that, he laughs and says: “If it tempts you so much, try it in spite of my prohibition. But take note: I am powerful. And I am only the most lowly gatekeeper. But from room to room stand gatekeepers, each more powerful than the other. I can’t endure even one glimpse of the third.” The man from the country has not expected such difficulties: the law should always be accessible for everyone, he thinks, but as he now looks more closely at the gatekeeper in his fur coat, at his large pointed nose and his long, thin, black Tartar’s beard, he decides that it would be better to wait until he gets permission to go inside. The gatekeeper gives him a stool and allows him to sit down at the side in front of the gate. There he sits for days and years. He makes many attempts to be let in, and he wears the gatekeeper out with his requests. The gatekeeper often interrogates him briefly, questioning him about his homeland and many other things, but they are indifferent questions, the kind great men put, and at the end he always tells him once more that he cannot let him inside yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, spends everything, no matter how valuable, to win over the gatekeeper. The latter takes it all but, as he does so, says, “I am taking this only so that you do not think you have failed to do anything.” During the many years the man observes the gatekeeper almost continuously. He forgets the other gatekeepers, and this one seems to him the only obstacle for entry into the law. He curses the unlucky circumstance, in the first years thoughtlessly and out loud, later, as he grows old, he still mumbles to himself. He becomes childish and, since in the long years studying the gatekeeper he has come to know the fleas in his fur collar, he even asks the fleas to help him persuade the gatekeeper. Finally his eyesight grows weak, and he does not know whether things are really darker around him or whether his eyes are merely deceiving him. But he recognizes now in the darkness an illumination which breaks inextinguishably out of the gateway to the law. Now he no longer has much time to live. Before his death he gathers in his head all his experiences of the entire time up into one question which he has not yet put to the gatekeeper. He waves to him, since he can no longer lift up his stiffening body. The gatekeeper has to bend way down to him, for the great difference has changed things to the disadvantage of the man. “What do you still want to know, then?” asks the gatekeeper. “You are insatiable.” “Everyone strives after the law,” says the man, “so how is that in these many years no one except me has requested entry?” The gatekeeper sees that the man is already dying and, in order to reach his diminishing sense of hearing, he shouts at him, “Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.”

There is one glaring question/theory I have regarding this story, but I'm going to hold off for the moment and hope one of you blows my mind and goes in a different direction with this than I did. One stipulation- unless you are emphatically of the opinion that the meaning of this story is tied up in the specifics of who Kafka is, then I'd prefer to treat it as an independent entity and go through it using only the information contained within it. Ready, set, Get on it!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Broken Window Theory
You may not be able to see much from this picture, but if you were able to look closely (and possibly pop the hood) you would see that the plastic grill in the front of my old truck is loose, smashed, and pinned up between the rest of the truck. Why? Because two years ago I was driving from Ocala to Orlando, and a semi threw a piece of retread the size of a brick and scared the crap out of me. Why is this relevant? Why am I posting pictures of a vehicle I haven't driven for four months?

Two reasons: The first is that a semi threw a rock a few months ago and put two gouges in the driver's side of my brand new month old Civic. The second is that a couple of days ago I was passing another semi on the inside lane of the highway (the asshole thought he was going eighty apparently) and I was hit yet again with another chunk of retread. Where? Here's where:The underside of my driver's side mirror, and it was 12 degrees outside, and it shattered. Son of a bitch. There are two main questions here: 1) Why does God hate me? and 2) Why the hell are semi trucks allowed to drive on the road without something better than those tiny mudflaps equipped to drop flying, rubbery shrapnel? Honestly, I don't know, but I'm getting close to the point where I'm frustrated enough to start a Facebook group against semis, and if I get hit again, I'll probably pee on the next one I see parked unattended in a parking lot. If there is one bright side to this story, it's related to broken window theory. I would have been materially more pissed had this been the first thing to have fucked up my car.

Lastly, I had a thirty dollar plate of lobster ravioli tonight that severly underperformed my expectations. Why is it that the more expensive the entree, the less you get with it, and the hungrier you are when you leave the restaurant? If you have to know, I'm washing down that shit with no small part of a six dollar bag of chicken nuggets, some barbeque sauce and getting grease all over my keyboard while I watch The Wire. Best part of the day!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Through recent discussion, I've found out that I have at least two habits which are fairly unique.

1) I plan meals around condiments- I frequently have urges not to eat specific foods, but the condiments associated with those foods. It works as follows: A bbq sauce craving usually leads to me to cook chicken (or occasionally vegetables, I happen to like bbq sauce on vegetables), ketchup leads me to fish sticks or french fries, hot sauce to nachos, freezer burritos, or quesadillas.

2) I set my alarm clock an hour early- This way, I can wake up and think "Alright! I still have enough time to go back to sleep!" I'm not sure if I'm any more rested when I wake up, but I can't describe how happy I am every single day at 5:15 am, knowing I can roll back over for another hour.

By the way, I have real post ideas stashed away, I'm really just trying to find the time to write them.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Is the Media Biased?