30 September 2006

Michaels or Sorkin

Sitting here this evening watching (what i think is) the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, i am quickly realizing that the fake SNL on Monday nights this season is a hell of a lot more entertaining than the actual SNL. It's all part of the recent TV phenomenon of to create shows about what folks wish their real work was like. To my knowledge, the tradition started with Ally McBeal & on with David E. Kelly's other shows, where he made shows about what we all wish our lives were like. Boston Public tried to show what teachers wished their lives were like. The Practice was a dreamy lawyer's life & shows like The West Wing and Gray's Anatomy follow the same model, where we watch every week and see people doing what we wish people in their positions were doing, were being. More real.

The first episode of Studio 60 had Judd Hirsh, essentially as Lorne Michaels apologizing for the past years of network cowardice and selling out the material for political correct-ness and sponsor friendliness. The question, though, is whether SNL (or any show) was ever any kind of idyllic challenging, comic programming that we like to imagine once existed (and has been since lost.) And i think the easy answer is no.

** updated (finished) 13 November 2009 **

I can't quite remember what the catalyst for this post was, but I suppose it stands on its own...

27 September 2006

Master J

I often wonder to myself, "self, just what the fuck were you thinking when you decided to go spend around $50,000 to get yourself a Master's Degree in zombies," and i almost never have an answer. Certainly, i am not the foremost expert on the unpleasantly undead that i hoped to be. The UniversityC of Berkeley decided my zombie thinking wasn't up to snuff (or perhaps that i didn't have enough acadeCred built up), so i can't present my thesis on zombies at their conference entitled "The Undead".
poor zombie
Furthermore, the book coming out next year, entitled Zombies in Film and Literature also doesn't seem to think that my paper on Romero fits in with their project. wtf. They cordially refuse to include my thesis.

Which sucks.

And so, i am an undead failure. I am not the zombie-genius, nor the supreme academic knowledge on death that i'd hoped to be by this point... And so... ...

A party. October 28th? Anyone? A Halloween Party in Omaha. We have not formalized yet, but would like to know who might want to/be able to make the trip... You're all welcome. I will be coming as Mr. Clean, shaved head & all, to symbolize the zombification of our society (paper pending)... but, just want to know who might want to come to a Halloween party in Omaha the last weekend in October...

26 September 2006

For Your Consideration

Last night i tried a new drink and was very impressed: the Lost-inspired tequila & tonic. It was all the good flavor of tequilla with none of the blechy-suckiness that often goes with it (though i didn't drink 8 of them, so you never know).

Tequila & Tonic

2 Parts tequila (preferably an añejo or a reposado, but any gold will do in a pinch)
3 Parts Tonic Water
1 Lemon Wedge
4 Ice Cubes

Mix the drink in an 8-10 oz. glass, squeeze the lemon over the ice & drop it in, then pour the tequila and top off with the tonic.

I can't guarantee that the drink works with rot-gut tequilas like Montezuma or Jalapeño Pepé (seriously, it existed - though it seems it may be no longer) as we made it with the Mexico-bought Reserva 1800 Añejo. It may have been just that the watered down good taste of that tequila made an excellent drink, but i think there's more to it than that. I found that the lemon wedge (as opposed to the traditional lime with tonic) accented the drink much better (also only had lemons around at the moment).

So, a new drink to add to your bar & home-bar repetoires. Via con dios.

20 September 2006

NECO suave

I really should have looked more into the MAPH white-outing track instead of studying film & contemporary literature. It probably would have been handier today on this, my first day back into the world of temping.

It's a two-day gig at a company called "NECO" that makes ridiculously large things that stir corn... or something. Anyway, in a very John Locke way, i pushed a button for the first part of the day, and then set to whiting out lots & lots of prices. It's terribly mindless and soul-sucking work if you can get it.

Ah temping. It's certainly not the worst temp job i've ever had (Target - Minneapolis where i placed thousands of color swatches into a "machine" and quite litearally pushed a button), but it sure sucks quite enough thank you.

16 September 2006

Hard at Work

In a truly Nebraksan turn of phrase i start this entry with:

Today i went over at my brother's place t'help him tear down his fence.

That's what i did today. I took a good bit of sun in the process & rather enjoyed myself. I am not an overly skilled laboror when it comes to building or repairing things, but in my mind i am one of the best at breaking them. My general method of destruction was to essentially walk through portions of the fence and tear it down by hand. Various neighbor men would wander over as we undertook the project offering advice and better tools - power screwdrivers, crowbars, hammers, and gloves - and offer neighborly help showing how to do the job better.

In addition to my unpaid work as of late (fence-breaking, paper-writing, and applying for PhD programs) i've actually been making some money as of late... quite the change for me, i know. In the last week or so i've been awarded monies (or future monies) for discussing my shaving habits, partaking in a bit of morphine, and selling books at the great green demon Barnes & Noble. While the pay at B&N is pretty bad i do get a pretty decent employee discount, plus the ability to "check out" books for a couple weeks for free. Hopefully, if i ever get any "actual" employment i can keep a few hours a week at B&N to hold on to the perks... Besides, the work isn't too bad, selling something i actually want people to buy, without having to hawk credit cards that people probably shouldn't get... The "orientation" was a little cult-ish "get more members, get more members!"...

At least someone is giving me money in exchange for some work, even if it's minimal (both the money and the work)...

11 September 2006

Midget of Political Thought

I finished Thoreau's essay, Civil Disobedience, today, and i am, admittedly, unmoved. I know i really ought to utterly stop supporting, even passively, all causes for which i have no support or motivation, and as such i should refuse to pay taxes of any kind, but, you know... Thoreau's just so hard to fully buy.

I am a big-time fan of Walden, love the nature, love the thumbing of noses to the daily grind, but i really cannot get behind Thoreau's desire to utterly remove himself from society. Take for instance rssl's C.L.O., which presumes to separate cali from the rest of our sorry state, and would so, if it could so, in a very Thoreau-lian way if it could, i'm sure, but I sadly think that the more folk that step out of the way of "the state", the more the state can just pretty well do whatever the fuck it wants to.

Tonight, Brooke and i went to a club that may or may not be called "The Max" in Omaha. It was a rather gay club, by which i mean i estimate 35%-45% of the folk were gay and the other 55-65 percent straight... (not unlike the present day Gay 90's scene in Minneapolis). Whatever the percentage of man-loving-men or lady-loving-chicas, i would estimate that 99% or more of the folk there were gay friendly, young Nebraskans... --a situation that seems hardly worth mentioning in many parts of the world, but in Nebraska is quite a rare sort of place to find-- Simultaneously, i would estimate that less than 15% of those present were registered voters, even though simply taking the folk there tonight they represent a sizeable voting bloc in the Omaha congressional and local districts... go green, go Esch ... The fact (or guess, rather) that none or few of these folk are voting even though they're motivated (or ought to be) to vote out the right-ist government in Nebraska sets me a-thinking.

--Hello, it's me, morning-after sober joel. Saturday night after coming home i had a mind to go on a drunken political rant and it was moderately cogent so i present it here, unchanged (except for double-dashed commentary)--

Incramental vs. major... 3rd vs. through the system... nathan's 'progressive' work...image by Bethany Friedericks, genius, 2006 --These are three notes i scribbled to myself before deciding to putter off to bed. The arc of argument i had in mind saturday night was really quite grand, with a mind to cover the problems of taking baby steps toward a better world vs. revolution, the constant argument i hear from stolidly (does stolidly just mean solidly, but more rigid?) democratic friends about sticking with the party rather than voting green or something else, because it's the best chance we have & my good friend nathan's company that runs around the country helping folks put together sophisticated, interesting campaigns and winning unlikely elections (Ned & Kinky to take just two).

But this morning i have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself (which is to say my windbag has run out and my drunken soap-box broke). So, i'll leave it at this point, and let this be a plot of fertile thought soil instead of a jungle of political rantings.

07 September 2006

I am a builder...

I make things. Things that come from a box. Today (and i guess tomorrow) i'm going to build this. It's going to be awesome. Right now it's just a pile of wood and screws (minus two necessary screws, because in the bag they were to have come in there was one screw broken in half and two screws short). However, the screws are somewhat ornamental - the top drawer - so i'm hoping to mostly finish.

I do have some IKEA building experience, having put together my bed, but this piece seems a bit more complicated.

Once i've finished it, though, i plan to carry on my building career by "making stairs" that go up to my front porch. Currently, i have a set of stairs that lead up to my porch, but they have large cracks in them and they bend severely when you step on them. I would prefer concrete steps that didn't bend, but the landlady seems incapable of hiring somebody to construct them, so i thought i would just go figure out how to build them myself.

Beyond these construction projects, i have no current plans, but possibilities include a back-yard half pipe, a device from which to hang curtains, or a really big bong. In the meantime, does anybody have an extra 100864 screw?