November 29, 2004

Definition Gasm

This has been building up for a while so I'm finally glad to just let it go:

  • Store gasm - Frantic peak of mindless raging consumption performed in response to overbearing and relentless massaging of holiday-sensitive nerves, which have been rendered weak by an inexplicable desire to please family, friends, and co-workers. Typically occurs in conjuction with intense mastercardbation.

  • Lore gasm - The payoff moment, the climax literally, of any good, homespun, ostensibly real story or yarn. Typically frightening, usually most intense around a small campfire and best with many participants. Timing is essential.

  • Fore gasm - The last vain shreiking attempt by an already distressed golfer, to warn another unsuspecting golfer about to be hit by the first golfer's errant drive. Often there is a rapid consecutive series of smaller foregasms in just the few moments leading up to the final, most intense occurance exactly at the moment of impact (the simultaneous foregasm).

  • Before gasm - Sudden epiphany in understanding a previously unclear causal relationship. Usually not pleasant, but provides mental relief in any case. Characterized by participant slapping own forehead immediately afterward.

  • Shore gasm - Large or small cliff collapse after incessant pounding of waves and tidal surges against a section of coastline. Intermittent and unpredictable occurances, yet guaranteed over time due to the persistence, rhythm, and patience of the world's ocean bodies.

  • Nor gasm - Occasional frenzied peak in futility during the search for love in all the wrong places. Most often found neither here nor there. Occurs equally as often amongst Nyeterosexuals and Nonosexuals (both Nays and Yesbians), and even Byes and Cross-Yessers. Distinguished as small bursts of defeatism sprinkled into a grinding lifelong exercise.

  • War gasm - Everything after Shock and Awe. At the individual level, described as the moments of terror that interrupt long periods of boredom. This is more appropriately called Gore gasm. Often preceded by GungHo gasm. In a larger context a War gasm is usually slow, lumbering, and relatively, well, anti-climactic. It is often difficult to distinguish from the uniformly heightened level of strategic killing of people and breaking of things. This is due to the requisite Premature Expenditure of euphoria and political focus right at the opening stage of the conflict. [ See: Baghdazzle ] [ See also: Premature Attackulation ]

  • Implore gasm - The climax of an emotive and furious, and futile, session of begging. Characterized by the begger on knees pawing desperately at the calves or ankles of the stoic beggee. Usually followed by sobbing collapse into a quivering heap.

  • Door gasm - Extremely cathartic slamming shut of a door at the moment that one participant in an argument selfishly ends the intense discussion. It is never mutual, although it is often repeated with the roles reversed. The most intense Door gasms will almost always include the front door of a home, or a car door outside. Further strengthened if the disagreement includes an unresolved underlying issue that is deep-seated and long-simmering.

  • Poor gasm - A giddy peak of euphoria brought on by one's philanthropic activities. Often misguided and superficial, due to lack of consistent commitment, or to focusing too much on form over function and style over substance. [ Note: OFTEN FAKED ]

  • More gasm - What the most twisted of you will feel the next time I post another one of these lists.

Read The Rest HERE

November 27, 2004

Mike's Dream

My cousin Mike had a great idea. He posted his dream so all of us could eat from it. At least one of us has now shat our interpretory leavings upon his comment server, such as they are.

While we're not freaking psychologists, most everybody has that common-sensism about us that lets us take a dream and turn it into every pedant's nightmare. Meaning, we figure it out on our own. We all know a thing or two.

The great idea is posting your dreams. In Mike's case it was a result of his dreams never seeming to waver from his waking grind, so this was a prime opportunity, what with a rock band appearance and the bus/rollercoaster and travelling home, like "back in time" home, to the scary-car hybrid and the Dadenstein who created it. When something like that decides to invade your otherwise pedestrian dreamscape, why should one be wont to map it out on one's own when your fellow blogistas will mirthfully tell you everything you never realized you were thinking?

Seriously, instead of selfishly contrived reflection through diary-for-the-masses blogmotion, we should all offer up our dreams each day to the gods of wild speculation and cynichoanalysis[<-- NEW WORD alert]. We'll call it "Correct my Psyche!", ok Luke?

Read The Rest HERE

November 23, 2004

Calling all Critics

Here's why I might just never review a film here.

There are three ways to review a film.

Perhaps more, but there are three ways between which I think I would need to choose, were I to review a film. Simplest is a quick summary, with scant observation or enlightenment. Just the facts. The director, stars, plot, perhaps the piece's origins or maybe its buzz. And then, "Liked it", "Hated it", "I laughed, I cried". This isn't even a review actually - strike it off the list.

There are two ways to review a film.

First, there is the professional critical review in the thumbs-up or 3-stars sense, where the reviewer attempts to comment on the successes and failures of a particular piece without actual blowing the story. The reader of the review is still expected to SEE the film at some point. So the reviewer and the reviewee enter into a spy-game dance, where the information is delivered on a need-to-know basis. Just enough meat need be torn from the beast for the reviewer to sculpt a ghost, as it were. The reader needs to recognize enough of the latent spirit to either feel an attraction or to dismiss the candidate along with the rag he's reading.

Now, I'm sorry but this is a tad like betting a horse from the morning form at the track. Maybe it's me but it smacks a little of a blind-date get up. This is why so many reviewers have to qualify their last couple sentences with "If you're looking for a movie that...." Or they'll tell you that this particular film has all the elements of some other previous release, and more, or less, plus sex, minus chimps. Ultimately, you just go watch the trailer and shoot from the hip. You just want to know, with such a preview, of your possible relative desire to see this film over another at this moment. It's all about resources, time, money, buttered or plain, you know. OK.

Then there's the critical analysis. It's a true review - it's after the fact. When you have to develop an expository piece about a subject film or a piece of literature, or a comparitive between two or more, you do so expecting that your audience has also in fact seen or read the piece(s). It's great fun, you're reading between the lines, you're critiquing the sound editing, etc, and you're not only spilling the story, you're swimming around in the creator's brain.

I love to delve into the literary schema, the filmic structure, the formal presentation, the cultural assumptions, the intellectual agreements that the director and the screenwriter make with the viewer. I love to just taste the visceral, roll it over for a day or a week or more and see how it effects the piece. I want to solve it. I want to elucidate. And therein lies the rub. That's all for the book club. It's for class, for a grade. You can't do that here. Not without ticking off half of next weekend's viewing public.

So, I don't want to write a review that's merely a wink wink preview.

And I really can't just write a full blown analytical treatise.
No, really, I mean I can't. This isn't school, dammit, it's me banging away at the computer on my free time. When I should be watching a film, for example. After the kids are asleep.

So here's all I'm going to do. I'm reviewing in reverse. You tell me.

I'm listing the next 20 DVD's I have on my Netflix Queue, and you can just go ahead and chime in with any damn comment you want. Sound like fun? Calling all Critics.

Surely, it won't make me remove something from the list but perhaps it'll climb or slip based on what I hear. Maybe. Besides, we all know I'll probably never even get to # 20 without throwing piles of other films ahead of it first. By the way, does anyone know the limit on the length of a Netflix queue? Mine's longer than a list of parts necessary to build a car.

So here's what I've got on the way, in order:

1. Jesus' Son
2. The Station Agent
3. Ghost World
4. Mifune
5. Donnie Darko
6. The Saddest Music In The World (Thanks, Luke)
7. Kill Bill 1 and 2
8. All About My Mother
9. Amores Perros
10. Snatch
11. Buffalo Soldiers
12. 25th Hour
13. Igby Goes Down
14. Waking Life
15. Facing Windows
16. The Triplets of Belleville
17. Baise Moi
18. Scotland PA
19. Sexy Beast
20. Blue

Remember, do not spoil anything for me dear friend, or I'll,,, well, , I'll slap a blind date on ya. You really don't want that.

Read The Rest HERE

November 20, 2004

Stop the Madness

Many years ago, during an afternoon binge of lucid moments, I weighed the pros and cons of an amendment to the Constitution that would limit the Presidency of the United States to a SINGLE SIX-YEAR TERM.

Lo these many years later I can't think of any reason this could be a bad thing.

Think about this. Wouldn't it be great if a new President would not reduce the role of his office to being headquarters for a 4-year re-election campaign? And wouldn't it be cool if the opposing party in the House and Senate would not spend most of a president's term actively undermining any and all presidential initiatives in the preparation for the next election campaign? I've always found it fascinating that, save for maybe parts of year 1 in a president's first term, everything else is political showmanship having nothing whatsoever to do with the good of the country at large.

It's the fault of both parties. The first year of a new presidency is just an introduction to the job, a little jabbing on both sides but mostly dancing around getting warmed up. The second year the president actually acts like a president, good or bad. Trying to do stuff. Not so concerned about how this will play in the next election. But then, blammo. Just two years in, and it's time to start looking at the next campaign. On the one side, the president starts going out of his way to do things uniquely partisan, obviously not of the opposing party's agenda. And the opposing party, on the other hand, starts working the other side just as tactically. It gets only worse into year 4, and leading up to the election there is a complete freeze in accomplishment of any kind. So 75% of the presidency wasted. Three years of partisanship to determine the incumbent party during the next 4 year fight.

In the case of a six year, decidedly "lame duck" term, the incumbent president would never ever be a campaigning candidate. How sweet would that be? And lest you think the president would merely be a wild-eyed supporter of his Vice-President and spend a good couple years making him look good, I have a couple of responses.

1. Yeah, right. There is no way that a president limited to a single term, of any length, would waste any of his precious political capital on anything but his own legacy. Even if he did spend time supporting his brother-in-arms, it would probably occur in the final 6 or 10 months leading up to the election during the course of his otherwise busy schedule. That's perhaps 8% of his White-House residency, if it were a 6-year term. The other 92% would be spent, I don't know, working with Congress, trying to leave a superlative impression in his only shot in the big-leagues. You know, trying to be a great president, not a strong incumbent candidate.

2. Usually the VP is the proverbial enemy held close to the vest. (This current Top Two, Bush and Cheney, is by far the most brotherly I've ever seen in my lifetime. But this is an anomoly.) For the most part, at convention time, the VP candidate is usually chosen by the party nominee from a short list of his most ardent opponents in the primary season. It makes for a strong ticket but only by combining two people with quite different positions. A successfully elected president, come the 5th or 6th year of a single term, would have no more interest in supporting his VP than any number of fellow party members.

Well, like I said, it was all a long time ago so this is not a re-hashing of a thesis. It's not even a good recollection of one.


Read The Rest HERE

November 15, 2004

obsequiousesquipedalian, I

I love Luke Baumgarten.

Hey, don't get me wrong here. Follow this. I've never met Luke. But through some sort of "if-he-is-ok-with-you-he-is-ok-with-me" fallacious supposition I've been welcomed into the Lukosphere. He knows my cousin Mike, who himself doesn't really know me. Yet. In person, at least.

We're all just blogoltergeists. Lurkensteins.

Now, as much as this Luke person likes to claim inferiority, evidence of his intellect bursts forth from his rantings every, well, day, basically. (and I am the Comma King).

Luke writes the way someone who would otherwise enthusiastically KILL intruders might write. With passion. With a point. Informed, even. From deep inside "there". He always seems to really be on to something. He is probably as screwed up as the rest of us but nevertheless he spins his neuroses into gold.


He makes the most of his vast expanse of hard earned full-time unemployment, and logically and lucidly lays out his case, be it mundane, or better, self-absorbed and mundane!

But Don, whither goest you with this?
(What the hell are you talking about?)

Alright, here's the point. As self-centered as the decidedly complex musings of someone so thoughtful might seem, Luke welcomes comments. He wants them, he needs them. He really thinks about them. This is a real human, you see. We all post stuff hoping someone will read it. But Luke goes just that one step farther.

It's a Platogosphere. His chants and our comments are a catechism of sorts, and nobody, least of all Luke, claims to be sitting in the center. If you don't get what I'm saying just go away.

Or,,,, comment!

Read The Rest HERE

November 11, 2004

donna frye ku

the tide turns tasty
drop in to the final heat
mayoral pipeline

Read The Rest HERE

Our Crazy Mayor's Race

Not to be confused with our Crazy Mayors Race. In the Crazy Mayors Race with no apostrophe you have at least 2 people claiming to be the heads of incorporated cities, perhaps holding an egg on a spoon, or an apple under their chin, preferably both, who run perhaps 40 yards or so, over absurdly makeshift obstacles like, uh, soccer balls or unopened bags of charcoal bricquets. These crazy mayors need to run backwards and the course needs to be an uneven grassy expanse surrounded by families with little kids and the odd cousins with bored girlfriends who arrive late and leave early anyway.

These spectators watch and cheer but only on the pretty good chance that they'll see the mayors fall at least a few times and perhaps even sustain one of those picnic wrist sprains or bruised tailbones. Maybe they'll trip over each other! And there are the mid-event questions. Are those eggs raw? Will they break when a mayor bumbles over that bag of Kingsford Mesquite?

We have never yet put together a Crazy Mayors Race but that is roughly how it would be planned. We would be verrrry pleased if it came off so well.

But back to the Crazy Mayor's Race - with the proper apostrophe - the race for mayor which is becoming quite odd. This is for real.

In San Diego we have a tense post-election count proceeding ... ever ... so ... slowly ... because the current leader of the race is a write-in candidate. "Write-In" is leading the Crazy Mayor's Race, and the actual recipient of each write-in vote needs to be determined and verified.

"Write-In" is currently leading the two proper ballot-residing candidates by a scant 34% - 33% - 32% count but there are some 150,000 votes still to be counted, and only 70,000 or so have been verified to be for Donna Frye - Ms. In - the surprise Mayor-in-Waiting should everything remain the same. Crazy.

"Why is this Crazy?" you ask.

I'll explain. Donna Frye is the forever-Hippie, the contrarian outsider city council member representing the county coastal zones, the perennial nay vote and environmental activist voice of the powerless. In short, the proverbial thorn in the sides of the rest of the council and the mayor.

"That's not Crazy. Hey, if she wins she wins. Fair and square, it's a vote for change."

Well, yes and no. Donna wasn't in the Primary in March. She joined the race a mere 5 weeks before the election. Fair enough, but THIS election is the "run-off" election. The two candidates actually on the ballot were the top two vote-getters amongst 7 or 8 candidates in the primary election held this past March. Since no one received more than 50% of the vote in that contest, the City Charter requires a run-off with ONLY the top two finalists from the primary, in order to elect a mayor by a majority.

See the problem? Somehow, nobody saw this coming. Nobody knows what to do. At the end of the day the leader of this race will have nothing close to 50% of the vote. The City Municipal code, unfortunately, and in direct defiance of the City Charter, says that write-ins may join any election, primary or general. The City Charter is essentially the constitution of the city, yet the city code and it's own standard practices for the past 20+ years have ignored it's charge. So a lawsuit has been filed now, after the election and during the count. The City Attorney says that he saw this coming but since he represents the city, the defendant, he couldn't have very well run out and asked for lawsuits to stop all the nonsense.

The lawsuit questions the fairness of allowing a write-in candidate during a run-off election. This makes all the sense in the world. If the City Charter requires a majority to elect the mayor, and a primary election determines the two run-off candidates, it would be silly to allow any and all of the other losers to simply re-join the race as write-ins and repeatedly cause a non-majority result. Duh.

"So what now?" Well, we don't know. It looks like Donna, wife of the famous surfer Skip Frye, is perhaps crazy like a fox. The Stir-it-up Democrat knew that a simple and quick grass-roots strike against the two nearly-identical Republican candidates would naturally gain by splitting the conservative vote, and rise like a tasty swell with the incoming tide.

So stay tuned while we watch the Gnarly Crazy Mayor's Race.

*** UPDATE 17 Nov 2004: It's all about the Bubble.

As of today, with the lawsuits mostly dismissed, and 446,654 votes counted, the margin between "Write-In" and the incumbent Mayor Dick Murphy is a grand total of 886 votes. That's less than two tenths of 1% at this point. Luke was just discussing the importance of every single vote in his blog today. Good call.

But Wait... While Dick Murphy is trailing "Write-In" by a scant margin he is actually a couple thousand votes ahead of the number of those write-in ballots that have been verified for Donna Frye. It appears increasingly likely that Dick Murphy will be re-elected after all.

But Wait Again! The League of Women voters may now weigh in with their third lawsuit in this election because the registrar is not counting the write-in votes that did not fill in the bubble next to the write-in candidate's name. This was something of an issue before the election and one of Donna Frye's campaign slogans was "Make Your Vote Count. Fill In The Bubble."

This is great.

Read The Rest HERE

November 10, 2004


Yeah baby.
The windows have just stopped rattling.
I win.
Weren't we racing?

Read The Rest HERE

November 03, 2004


buckeyes in crosshairs
florida no longer hangs
oh my o hi o

Read The Rest HERE

November 02, 2004

Happy Elect-The-Leader-of-The-Free-World Day!

We're not just voting for landfill propositions, crime and punishment, schools and city councils today. We're also choosing the leader of the free world.

Trippy, eh?

Choosing the leader of the free world is an honor only enjoyed by some 200-million people.
Well, that's a relatively small number, trust me.

See you at the after-party!

Read The Rest HERE

November 01, 2004

Three Straiku

twenty five to life
just for stealing a pizza?
oh, and two murders.

Read The Rest HERE

Packers 28, Redskins 14

I just love to sit in front of the fire on a chilly evening and read a really good coincidental correlation. Don't you?

And, if ESPN on a Sunday evening is involved in any way, I'm in heaven. Not to say that ESPN brought any of this up, because actually they did a great job of completely ignoring the karmic issue here. Good for them.

But let's get to the re-cap:

Yesterday at FedEx field in Washington DC, John Kerry topped off a good early drive with a field goal midway through the first quarter, and took the home constituency almost completely out of the game with two TD's in the second quarter. George Bush stemmed the bleeding and got back into the game with a late TD that kept the faithful in the stadium for the break, but Kerry was nevertheless up at the half 17-7.

Whether it was offensive ineptitude or just good big-play defense, John Kerry rolled fairly efforlessly through the second half. After a Kerry field goal in the third quarter, Bush made it nominally interesting with an interception and quick score with but 4 minutes remaining in the game. Kerry answered with another very late touchdown and even included a 2-point conversion to put even the slightest possibility of a comeback out of reach for GW Bush.

Final Score John Forbes Kerry-28, George Walker Bush-14.

Err, I mean, Packers 28-14 over the Redskins.

In other sports news, the Chargers creamed the Raiders yesterday. Baby.

Read The Rest HERE