Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rage Against the Q

As a generally good person, really a moral paragon, I try not to go poking my nose in other people's business. Life and issues are complicated, situations multifaceted, and as things go it is certainly best to just live and let live. But three years ago I embarked on a study, which then sparked a journey, which in turn morphed into a quest, which has lead me to this keyboard—and now I sit here, poised to write the most important blog I've ever written.

We need to get rid of Q.

I know you're shocked, please understand that on the eve of my breakthrough I was just as panic stricken as you now are. But you must trust the scholarship that I have poured into this. It all started when, going about the course of a normal day, it occurred to me that Q is quite an awkward and seemingly useless thing—the already deeply entrenched K makes the Q plainly redundant—the kwik kween kwivered at the thought of the kwest. Now that you've read that, now that you've seen how easily, how seamlessly, the K replaces the Q, I'm afraid that for you, like me, there is no going back.

Think about it, they didn't use Q back in olden times. And consider this, there is no equivalent letter for Q in Greek, Hebrew, Vulcan or Esperanto. Why all of a sudden was there an influx of Q and Q-related paraphernalia in the last 200 years? Let me tell you why: Noah Webster. My theory is that Mr. Webster (yes, of Merriam-Webster) was a hard-driving megalomaniac who wanted to show his power knew no limits, he could even conjure a letter into the common lexicon if he so chose. He infused his dictionary with these cockamamie Q words and no one has ever had the guts to call him out on it. Why? Well, would you question God? Of course you wouldn't, the same goes for the guy who writes the dictionary—what higher authority can you appeal to? Can I prove that any of this is true? Of course I can't, you can't prove a conspiracy theory, you simply know in your heart that it's true. Now here we are. His descendants have only served to drive us deeper into the madness.

Words beginning with Q are up 70% over the last 17 fiscal quarters, but these words are not being issued out of need—they're being subsidized in artificial fashion to satisfy the word-thirsty cravings of a maniacal djinn ego, nowhere to go but the trash heap of the English language (quai? qubit? quoit? you know you've never used this nonsense). Webster has tried to create a market for the mongoloid Q, but like all the others, that market, too, is crashing. Now that Q has been exposed it should be left to languish with other obsolete creations of English such as wisdom, modesty and financial prudence (or "financial prudence" as it is better understood).

New marching orders are being given, direct action is now the order of the day, our new slogan? "There is nothing a Q can do that a K kaint." And to say otherwise is a racist anachronism, a hurtful stereotype and an insult to our linguistic heritage.

F Q.

Editor's note: In the interest of full disclosure it has to be pointed out that not only has the author of this diatribe purchased serious stock in K, he has also taken out numerous credit swap defaults on Q.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Finally, a Hero

My intellect frequently produces such blazing feats of insight that there are certain people who must remain out of any tri-county area I may be in so they are not stricken with a spontaneous nosebleed.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed, so I am not responsible if the following discovery causes you harm:

It's the most popular book of all time, and yet I don't recall ever reading a review of it. I'm speaking of course of God's very word, The Holy Bible. It is nothing short of a miscarriage of justice that you and I (tax paying Americans no less!) have been deprived of such a necessity.

You've been failed by The New York Review of Books, the stuffy writers of the world (there is no other kind), and your very government as well.

All this to announce that I shall right the wrong. Is it dangerous to critique and prod the very written words of the Author of the Universe? Of course it is. But all before me have been too timid, too cowardly, and it has been lain upon my shoulders to fix (on account of the insightfulness what I was telling you about). I shall be incisive; if I feel the prose is lagging in areas, I will let you know. If I feel it's preachy, or rambling in spots, I will let you know.

It's the Lord God Almighty's handiwork, a thousands of years old supernaturally produced document, it needs a reviewer equal to the task--you're welcome, friends.

Editor's Note: Jason DesLongchamp has never written a  book review and has never been formally published, his forthcoming review of The Bible will be his first.

~Sent From My Cool Phone

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tip of the Day: Fun With Words

Wanna add some spice to your verbal jungle gym? Start using the word "what" in place of the word "that" when it seems appropriate.

Example: "Yes, I wanted to check on the order what I had submitted."

~Sent From My Cool Phone

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tip of the Day

If you feel your life is going to hell in a handcart, try to jam something into the spokes.

If you're not sure how to do this there is a good example of it in Indiana Jones 3; even though it is a much more concrete and literal example, whereas you & I are speaking in more of a figurative sense, I still think you can draw application.

~Sent From My Cool Phone

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Embracing, Practically Kissing, My Unoriginality

I just read this blog, a tiny, tiny (please read tee-nee, tie-nee) blog that left me a quivering mess of something on the floor for 6 hours (and remember, that's Inception/dream time I'm referring to, so in the really real world it was only about two minutes). So I read it, and after reflection I thought, "This is so good that I simply have to steal it, perhaps give the necessary attribution, and get it to my people as quickly as possible." But then the guilt and shame set in. "Well, this other guy came up with this, can't you be more original? Just what the hell is your problem, anyway? Blogs by their nature are insubstantial and fleeting as it is, you posting a blog where you link to someone else's blog is like handing someone a piece of paper that reads "pretty soon I'm going to hand you another piece of paper" (actually I kind of like that--I'm going to do that to someone by day's end).

But somehow I overcame the self-loathing, the auto-animosity and self-directed passive-aggressive gestures and I am now able to post a link to this great blog.

Now that you've read it I just have one question for you: Can a non-Christian talk like this? Look, the easy answer is "yes, it is certainly possible." Don't say that to me, I know that already. As far as I can tell Mr. Cohen is a non-Christian, just kind of blows me away. How can he be more articulate about our faith, then, well, all of us?

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Greatest Story I've Ever Heard

Will I eventually need to pay for my sin of routinely over-indulging in superlatives? Most definitely. 

But that day is not today, and here is what you paid your money for, this was supplied by the good people over there at Mental Floss:

A story about Harper Lee:

"The author of one of the great American novels and winner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction had worked as a reservation clerk at Eastern Airlines for eight years when she received a note: "You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas." By the next year, she'd penned To Kill a Mockingbird."

In other news, I am now putting my literary aspirations on hold so I can focus all my efforts on resurrecting the now defunct Eastern Airlines in hopes of securing a menial job there...

~Sent From My Cool Phone

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lies Airports Tell

Courtesy phone? I guess--you try walking off with this thing.

Not that it would have been practical, but it's the principle of the thing, if someone offers me a free phone I'm gonna take it every single time. That's a promise.

Well, almost.

~Sent From My Cool Phone

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Simpsons and The Holy

This is taken from the inestimable David Dark's chapter on The Simpsons from his book, Everyday Apocalypse

The alternative to being so destructively fault-finding is magnanimity, the generosity of mind that is the most difficult and most needful thing. It's our only shot at real joy. It's the patience that makes it possible to enjoy the company of other people, and it's the only thing that makes any of us at all bearable. In its most specifically apocalyptic moments, The Simpsons gives hints of a future in which we might eventually tire of underestimating one another, of despising one another's faces, of being bored with our very lives. What are we until we start to see our own strengths and struggles in the faces of other people? This is the more excellent way of imaginative sympathy, which disabuses us of all pharisaical arrogance. The primary task (the art) of morality is the deep imagining of what it is like to be someone other than ourselves; specifically, the person who inherits (immediately or eventually) the consequences of our words and actions.


And...mind blow complete. If you have a problem, or in any way disagree with what you have just read then you can go straight to hell—oh wait, shoot, that would be in absolute and direct opposition to everything he was just saying. Never mind, I love all of you as you are (but I love you, and myself, too much to leave us where we're at).

Friday, September 17, 2010

On My Bucket List...

Sometimes when I'm in a public restroom I spend the whole time wishing I had the courage to say "Ow ow ow ow" in a loud voice the whole way through.

But I dont--I never do.

~Sent From My Cool Phone

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This Could Have Been Good...

He was happy in the box for a little while, but then he got upset (really hope my wife doesn't see this).

~Sent From My Cool Phone

Christians Only: Bella & Edward, Sex & Shame

I say "Christians only" because this is strictly "inside baseball" stuff. There are things you can't hope to understand, nor should you try, until you're inside of the thing--this is one of those things. I'll let you know when I make a cross-cultural appeal to the good people out there who don't call themselves Christian.

Wow, ok, well if you're a Christian egghead and you have a half an hour to kill, might I suggest you read this very challenging article from The Other Journal on the Twilight phenomenon and the glowing Evangelical response.

I'm not asking you to agree or disagree, but WOW, just think about it. What's that you ask, do I agree with the overarching ethos of the article? Look, whenever I have new ideas presented to me, no matter how tantalizing or terrible, I like to put a buffer zone grace period around those little idea-viruses (thanks to Inception we know that all ideas are viruses)--I try to integrate and accept as truth NOTHING on the fly. But, as an indication of where this article has put me, I know that I am not now, nor will I ever be, equipped to have a daughter--may God have mercy on my soul and her's.

Class dismissed. Email me if we need to dialog :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The All-American Chili Cook-Off Extravaganza!

Today Jessica is embarking upon that most American of adventures, The Signature Pointe Chili Cook-Off! Signature Pointe is the 2000-people mini-city that we call home, that others call "that huge apartment complex in Kent."
When Jess told me that she had entered the contest I knew right away that I had a few extremely important pieces of advice that I needed to impart. I took her face in my hands and I told her, not unlike a chili-master whispers unto his protege, "If you want to win a chili cooking contest, you have to have a special ingredient that no one is expecting." Plain Jane chili, even if it's good, is not going to win the Golden Bean at the end of the day. I feel qualified to dispense this advice because, though I have never made chili before, I was a judge in a chili contest once when I was working at Jones Soda. There I learned that it's gotta be a little quirky, a little kooky, and also taste good.

When her and I sat down for the pre-contest interview I stared straight into her face and then asked, without blinking or breathing, "What does it take to win a chili contest?" Her reply was cryptic, perhaps beyond me as a non-chili maker, but I believe it must be wise--"a spoon of steel," she said.

Unfortunately I will be unable to attend the contest, as the call of duty and history cause my path to wind up the hill towards Des Moines-town this evening. But she, as well as you friends, enemies, frenemies and scoundrels, can rest in the knowledge that my spirit will be with her and her spoon of steel as she turns out a vat of my tasty namesake (for a brief period in the late 90's I had changed my middle name to "Chili", so I feel I can still claim that, though it only be a flicker from my wild days long forgotten). 

I close with a few highlights from chili contest history:

This is Chubs "Chubsy" Jones, he went on to eat his entire vat of chili to prove how "good it was" after coming in last place at the 3rd annual chili cook-off. He never recovered.
This is Thad Parker, he won three chili cook-offs in row, the pressure to excel quickly drove him mad, and  we knew he had snapped when he kept that same look on his face and held that pepper (he called it his "minion") to his face for four days straight. He was promptly placed in an asylum.
This is known in the chili world as the "Greatest Poster for a Chili Contest Ever Invented."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Problem of Envy

I was reading this AV Club interview with Zooey Deschanel about her singing/acting career and I was quite taken and jealous over the whole thing. Taken because I like what she had to say, and jealous because she has the guts to say it, while I have all kinds of hang ups and insecurities over saying the same or similar things.

For instance:

  The A.V. Club: Your music feels simultaneously nostalgic and modern. Do you ever feel torn between the two?
Zooey Deschanel: Yeah, I think so. I usually like stuff that was made before I was born. At the same time, I’m happy to live in 2010 and have access to many years of records.
AVC: A lot of your songs deal with unrequited love and relationships gone bad. Now that you’re off the shelf, so to speak, what are you going to write about?
ZD: I still write about unrequited love. It’s interesting. It was never so personal. I mean, the emotions are personal. I’m moved by the emotions, but they were never all about me. I think when you use too much in your own—if you’re a creative person at all, if you overuse yourself as a pawn in your own adventures to write your masterpiece, I think you end up bending yourself. It’s all very sincere emotionally. It’s just not necessarily my life experience. 
AVC: What keeps you coming back to that subject?
ZD: I don’t know. You just like some things or other things, I guess. Interesting stories.
She's just so simple about it all. "Yeah, I like stuff that was made before I was born." If I said that I would feel like a dunce for saying "stuff," and I would worry that people would think I simply "don't get" more modern and "challenging" art.
And then, "I don’t know. You just like some things or other things, I guess. Interesting stories." You gotta be KIDDING me?! As it so happens this is the only valid explanation for inspiration in art, but you can't just SAY that. Artists have to be complicated, deep, brooding, esoteric but without completely falling off the planet. I'm controlled by the notion that we can't possibly be so damn blessedly straightforward and uncomplicated about such a serious and mythical concept as artistic inspiration.
So Zooey, 
Zooey Deschanel

cheers to you and your extremely unpretentious style--just know that if it were an easily transferrable trait I would mug you in the blink of an eye for it. And also know that because of the envy you've inspired in me, if we are to ever meet, I am going to be so passive-aggressive, praising and reproachful that you'll doubtless feel you've stepped into a whirlwind of befuddlement, vague alarm and id-driven transparency, all smoothed over with a shellacking of insincere middle-middle class American kindness. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jason is Back!

Oh my dear stars, I just realized with that last post that I have fully DOUBLED my output of August, and we're only one week into September! Look out for a whole new me, which is evidenced by the following upbeat, excited (and exciting!) images:



Jason is 13 Again and Posting Moody Song Lyrics

Yes, while the title is true, this is REALLY good. Reading lyrics is one thing, listening is another, go buy the song after proper digestion:



"My Body Is A Cage"

My body is a cage that keeps me 
From dancing with the one I love 
But my mind holds the key

My body is a cage that keeps me 
From dancing with the one I love 
But my mind holds the key

I'm standing on a stage
Of fear and self-doubt
It's a hollow play
But they'll clap anyway

My body is a cage that keeps me 
From dancing with the one I love 
But my mind holds the key

You're standing next to me
My mind holds the key

I'm living in an age
That calls darkness light
Though my language is dead
Still the shapes fill my head

I'm living in an age
Whose name I don't know
Though the fear keeps me moving 
Still my heart beats so slow

My body is a cage that keeps me 
From dancing with the one I love 
But my mind holds the key

You're standing next to me
My mind holds the key
My body is a

My body is a cage 
We take what we're given
Just because you've forgotten 
That don't mean you're forgiven

I'm living in an age
That screams my name at night
But when I get to the doorway
There's no one in sight

My body is a cage that keeps me 
From dancing with the one I love 
But my mind holds the key

You're standing next to me
My mind holds the key

Set my spirit free
Set my spirit free
Set my body free

by The Arcade Fire 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gotta Love the Throw Back

This scene just occurred to me about 20 minutes ago. I love witnessing bursts of genius, please enjoy this one, and then return to your regularly scheduled life. But as you do so, remember, if you're not playing your part well, you could be bumped, set aside, and forgotten about:

ARRRGGGGHHHH!! That clip from Wayne's World Two has been sitting on YouTube for TWO YEARS, I link to it in my blog for a few hours, and then it's taken down, what are the odds?! I call it an insane coincidence, Jess says "they know." She went on to explain about the complicated system of wires and tubing that is the internet, and about how once I, little old me, linked to the video it triggered a thing at YouTube headquarters, a thing which may or may not be regularly monitored by humans, and anyway that's how they know a copyrighted piece of material had been posted and needed to be taken down.

Crazy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reaping the Benefits...

After blogging fairly consistently for the last five or so years I have finally begun to enjoy the fruit of my back-breaking, hard fought labor: I got a free book.


The story is quite whimsical and grand straight-forward and simple, the only surprising part is that I qualified for the giveaway (don't mind that, it's just my auto self-loathing pilot kicking on). On Twitter I follow Tullian Tchividjian, who is a pastor down in Florida. A few weeks ago he tweeted that his publisher, Crossway, was giving out free copies of his new book, Surprised by Grace, to the first hundred bloggers that emailed Crossway with a link to their blog. In the spirit of grace they wanted to give away the books with no strings attached, each blogger free to do or not do whatever they wanted with the book.


I was honestly surprised that, at least in theory they viewed my blog, and yet STILL they sent me the book. Please don't think this is bad judgement on their part (though it might be), but for me it's just more of a comment on the blogger, or not-blogger, that I am. After 5 years of blogging I guess I'm still not sure what my blog is for, who it is for, and why I continue to occasionally do it. What with my recent existential freakout I had on the question of whether or not to attempt to be funny, I guess my blogger persona must suggest a little muddled schizophrenia to the person and peoples who live outside of my brain.

All that to say that I am excited and honored to be bestowed with this gift that is a direct result of my frustrating/ambivalent effort to be regarded as a blogger. As we learned from Spiderman I (and maybe the Bible too?...can't remember) with great power comes great responsibility. Though it wasn't specifically asked of me I do plan on reading the book with a critics eye and giving an unblinking review. I'm actually afraid to do that because I don't want to piss off the publisher (please note they specifically encouraged us to be honest), but above all else I hate when Christians gladhand around with giant smiles on their faces and vapid praise on their lips. Though the causes are many, I think a lot of that played-out mentality comes from the spirit of "Hey we're all in this together, so to criticize is to say you're against me." It's true that Christians are "all in this together" but that doesn't cancel the existence of talent, wisdom, taste etc. I bought his first book a few years back and I wasn't too impressed with it, but I really do have high hopes for this one...we'll see.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Funny vs. Serious

You may have noticed I haven't been posting as much lately. There are a couple few reasons for this, and since I can't think of anything else to write about, I'm going to write about what is keeping me from writing (inner critic: "Oh yeah, OH YEAH, this is riveting stuff bro, now you're giving the people what they want, now you're entertaining them—a piece on what you're thinking about writing about what you're not writing and why you're not writing about it—BRILLIANT!" Sorry about that, my inner critic is incredibly sarcastic, so though that seemed encouraging, it was actually biting, rude, and hurtful).

So, Reason #1 for Why I haven't been posting lately, is because Jess and I now have one of these.
This is a Nolie. In general he is a baby, but specifically he is our own baby, known as Nolan, also Nolie.
One of these is a wonderful reward, a true blessing, and a lot of work. (Yes, all of you experienced parents, much MORE work than we had pre-baby imagined. Yes, yes, keep yucking it up, it's your turn to do such things, after all—it is a right you have earned. But much to your chagrin, he was sleeping through the night by a month—I think I could get used to this bragging about your kids thing). It is quite strange to go from living as a couple to over night adding a third person to the mix who is wholly dependent on you for everything. "I'm going to sit down and relax,"—think again. And the beat goes on...

So, Reason #2 for Why I'm not posting as much. And this one is the really real reason for why I haven't been posting as much. The cruel and unfortunate truth is that not as many funny things have been occurring to me. I don't assume for one moment that what I'm actually doing on We Need the Eggs is serving up quality, actually funny (as in it makes people, inwardly or outwardly, laugh) comedy, but it is, however, what I'm trying to do. At least, that was my original intention when I entered the world of blogging five or so years ago. But lately the funny hasn't been flowing for me. And what's more, lately my mind and thinking has found itself being drawn to more serious matters. I'm frequently drawn to the intersection of culture, politics and religion. I find more and more that that's what I want to be talking about. The problem with this is that it is in direct conflict with the inaugural intention with which I setup my personal megaphone to the masses—I Wanted to Make People Laugh. We need the eggs, which means life and people are crazy, which means life is at its core absurd and funny. Since life is obviously going this way, the way of the funny, I just thought I would ride the coattails of an implacable truth.

But alas. I find myself wanting to belie my essential truth, my founding document, the thing inside me that says, "Above all, funny man, be funny." There are two problems with shifting away from the funny and moving to the serious. The first is that I have a great deal of pride wrapped up in the idea that I am above it all, looking down on the world, not taking it too seriously, and therefore beating it. I like that I don't often get personal, I like that I don't often speak with conviction—there is something about speaking earnestly and with conviction that seriously bothers me (I know this is something broken inside me, I'm only explaining, not justifying). In light of all this psychosis it is personally difficult to pivot away from being distant, biting and critical and move toward the actions of explaining, justifying and championing.

The second problem is that I'm worried it's tacky and amateurish to switch horses mid-flight, as it were, under the same heading and attendant philosophy that has thus far guided We Need the Eggs. Of course the truth is that being occasionally serious is nothing new to this blog, but now I'm going through a possible paradigm shift that means the serious may no longer be the exception to the rule.

As I sit here watching the drool fall from my son's mouth and slowly coat his greater torso area, I think "Screw it—you and everyone else will like it or leave it, there is nothing else in the world but that."

From this point forward all I can tell you is this: You may see more serious stuff being thrown up here, or you may not. I can't imagine dispensing in full with the funny (or as my detractors would say, my lame attempt at the funny), I believe it will always be with me. All that has changed, I think, is that I have given myself the permission, and you the warning, that I am allowed to go with this blog wherever my mind feels like going. If I want to tell you why Christianity, properly understood, is the ultimate reality, is all there is and ever will be, then damnit I'm going to do it. If I want to tell you that though I'm a conservative I see Republicans doing little to nothing that is constructive or helpful, then YOU'RE GOING TO READ IT AND LIKE IT.

Well, catharsis achieved.

Which means, post over.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

How Stupid Are We?

I'm not being cute. Seriously, how stupid are we? What you have to remember about these types of things is that Miller didn't just decided to take a stab in the dark. They tested this concept with people and enough of them told Miller that it was a good idea. Enough of them said, "Yes, if you make the beer swirl into my mouth I will be more likely to buy your product."

Holy hell. It's horrifying, isn't it? I mean, ever lite beer from every brand already tastes basically the same anyway, but you and I live in a world where making crappy beer swirl slightly out of a bottle will earn a company millions and millions of extra dollars.

And it's our fault. We can't laugh at Miller, they're only giving us what we're demanding.

Here in America, We Want Beer That Swirls.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Culling The Archives

Cleaning out my draft folder in my email account. I have 104 of them. Because of the highly accesible nature of email I often use it as a place to store Thoughts to Myself, story ideas, and of course, like all of us, searing tirades to friends, family and coworkers that, thankfully, never saw the click of the send button.

As I've never made any bones about who I am and what you mean to me, I thought I would put some of these intimate key strokes on display for the bored reader. Is this cheap, uninteresting and dull? Perhaps—but that's never stopped me before.

Draft dated 5/21/2006, entitled "One Crappy Poem":

I am a mess of broken keys.

haphazard pretentions to flight

achieving half-off dinner tokens, but

nothing so valuable as a decent

measure of respect from friends/family.


Draft dated 3/30/2006:

How to get rid of your girlfriend
1) just be yourself
2) treat her like one of the guys, and get mad at her whenever she doesn't act like one.

Draft dated 1/1/2008:

You know how every once in awhile someone will come along and say, "You know, life was really great in the 50's, we need to get back to that"? And then invariably someone will come along and say, "Oh yeah, it was really great for black people back then," only you can tell they don't really mean it and they're being sarcastic.

Anyway, we waste a lot of time here in America having that argument, so I am proposing a solution. From now on, when you want to appeal to the 50's as the heighth of domestic American social achievement you should said this: "You know, life was really great in the 50's—minus all the bad stuff." If you say that then you completely cut off the counter-argument, because you can just say "Yeah racism is bad, so I'm saying we shouldn't have that."
There is just no coming back from that shut down. Think of all the time that could be saved! No longer do we have to trifle with the demagogic riposts of the intellectually lazy. The 50's can be ours again to reference ad nauseum as a paragon of societal excellence.

Draft dates 1/14/209

An inside look at Jason's playbook: i didn't mean to post this, but since i did, you can benefit.
Bone up on the Korean war. You see, no one ever talks about this war, so if you sound like you know what you're talking about people will say, "Wow, he even knows about the Korean war, obviously he is a master.
start saying "But is it really?" after everything everyone says. If not immediately obvious it will be taken as deeply philosophical, which is good.

And from today:

I am just so confused. I have to state plainly that I don't understand taste. I do not understand what leads one person to enjoy one book for certain specific reasons, and why still another will hate that same book for those reasons or maybe even others. After you've experienced enough of this you want to fold you hands, slowly get up from the table, and quietly slink out of the room. You end up feeling like the only argument you're really having is, "My taste is better than you taste." If this is true then there is no meaning, but only what meaning you assign. In this universe dialogue seems pointless

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blogging from the Grocery Line

I really am unbelievably spoiled.

But that knowledge isn't helping it be any different.

I'm standing here throwing my quiet little raging fit b/c I have to STAND IN LINE, & you know what really pisses me off?

Oh, gotta go pay,it

Three days later:

What I was going to say was "Oh, gotta go pay now, you know, standing in line really never takes as much time as you think it will."

You see that the humor flows from the fact that I thought I was going to have to be there FOREVER, so much time, in fact, that I could write an entire blog, and then after I've barely tapped out a few words, BANG, it's all over and I have to pay, how ironic?!

The "pisses me off" was also a comedy vehicle: I wasn't pissed about anything (other than standing in line), again, it's funny that I'm so pissed off and don't even have time to explain myself. It's funny, laugh!

I want to personally thank A Me and my wife for inquiring further on this cryptic post.


~Sent From My Cool Phone

Friday, June 11, 2010

Feeling Conspired, Just Read a Good Book

You're so stupid you actually believed me! That was nothing but a clever play on words, you can't actually feel "conspired," if you were hip enough to read through the lines then you understand that I feel inspired.

Good books, good movies, good humans, they make me feel inspired. I assume this is a common human experience, but who knows, I could be assuming in vain. Also it's not entirely true, that thing I just said: sometimes excellent stories and tales and yarns make me feel deflated. They puncture with the blaring message that you'll never tell as good of a story as that, you'll never be that clever or insightful, NEVER.

But right now I'm having the good kind of reaction to an excellent book, and so I want to sing to you with much verve and joy the unending praises of,

THE READER'S MANIFESTO: AN ATTACK ON THE GROWING PRETENTIOUSNESS IN AMERICAN LITERARY PROSE!!!! (all caps and multiple happy exclamation points added by myself!)

Reader's Manifesto cover.jpg

This book has the potential to single-handedly restore the average American's belief that maybe they are not as dumb as they supposed they were.

The main thing that it has done for me is help answer one of the big questions that I have been asking myself lately: What is good writing? While of course it's a complicated question with complicated answers, one of those answers is, "Whatever it is it is NOT what the cultural elites insist in lockstep that it is." Therefore I can downgrade my inferiority quotient by at least an eighth, I think.

That's quite a gift, and it's only one of dozens that this wonderful little book will give you. Please buy four of them to hand out indiscriminately to friends and enemies.

p.s. It also reintroduced me to a hazy, distant friend--the word "frippery"--now that we've been reunited I'm sure we will have much fun together.

Monday, June 7, 2010

On The Frustrations of Blogging

What I learned last nite: You never, EVER, try to begin to articulate something thoughtful at just after 11 p.m. on a Sunday night.

If you try, this is where end up (I took this picture myself, by the way):


Saturday, May 29, 2010

American Politics are Stranger Than Fiction

Just yesterday I was trying to think of how best to write a fake news article about Democrats blaming the Bush administration for the BP oil fiasco. My angle was going to be, "Well, it's been working for us so far, so at this point we've just decided to keep doing it until the wheels fall off of this wagon."

But in the end I decided that it was too unbelievable, too silly, and I junked it. Boy was I wrong:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Losties Only: Help Me Understand!

I don't mean the WHOLE thing--good lord, that will take a lot of time and, hopefully, I will have a blog out soon giving you my take on what they did and didn't do and should have done and so on and so forth. But there is one glaring loose end/problem that is screaming in my mind and I need to know if someone has the answer:

We know that the plane (Ajira something or other), was wired with explosives. Widmore tells us this in the penultimate episode, and we also see MIB/Smoke monster/Un-Lock/Esau walk onto the plane and see all the wiring for the explosives.

So with this all being the case, my question is WHAT THE HELL??

And the thing is that I've been reading and listening to A LOT OF thoughts and opinions since Sunday and NO ONE has addressed this GIANT PLOT HOLE. In fact it's so glaring to me that I'm worried I must have missed something, which is why I'm asking you: Did we find out that a) it was somehow a fake and it wasn't actually wired to explode, or b) did they somehow address disarming the explosives?

If I'm right about this then every writer for Lost needs to be booted from the Screen Writer's Guild and then sumarily deported (which is more for their safety than anything because, if not, I'm Coming After Them).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things That Make Parents Eternally Mad

I submit for you exhibit A as catalyst for my rage:

A 15% off coupon from Diapers.com that excludes, of all things, DIAPERS!






Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nerd Post: Artistic Intent and Assorted Intricacies

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this publicly during any of my appearances (and by "publicly" and "appearances" I mean the places I go, like work and church and, occasionally, a bar), so I don't know how many of you know about this, but I am a HUGE Postal Service fan. The best part of their one album, besides the obligatory "I like the way their songs sound," is their consistently interesting/compelling lyrics.

There is this one song, "Clark Gable," that I have always found haunting and addictive in particular. I've listened to it dozens of times, and every time it gets me thinking about what the lyricist is trying to say. I don't know about you, but for me that isn't all too common. But in the lyrics to this song I see a calm desperation and striving for something the lyricist somehow understands to be impossible and yet must be extant. The specific lyrics I'm thinking of are part of the chorus:

"I want so badly to believe that there is truth, that love is real/ and I want life in every word, to the extent that it's absurd/"

What I really, really want to know is whether or not Ben Gibbard (who I assume wrote the song but have been unable to confirm) knew that what he is absurdly longing for is the very exact thing that Jesus promised to his followers? Now I'm not being silly here, I am only mentioning a verifiable fact that the Bible records Jesus saying: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me," and "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly," and finally in first John we read "God is love." Now, these are the claims of Christianity, I'm not even asking that you believe they are true; I am only pointing out that the very thing that Christ claims is the very thing that Gibbard says he is absurdly thirsting for. All I want to know is, did he know he was asking for the things that Jesus promised?

I have to assume the answer is no. But at the same time you have to admit it's quite a coincidence, that he would use the exact same words as Jesus would to describe exactly what he wants from life. From the minimal research I was able to do, I found this quote on religion from Mr. Gibbard: "[I am] this indoctrinated Catholic even though I haven't been to church of my own volition in 10 or 15 years now." So there is at least a chance that he was aware of the connection. Of course Jesus couldn't be the thing he is desperate for. In his sub-culture Jesus represents the religion of bigots, homophobes and nuts; anti-fun people who are the opposite of the words "life" and "vitality." Yes, I sigh, and I understand it's the brush we've been painted with, and sometimes it's us (meaning the church) doing the painting. A full-throated refutation of that straight jacket caricature is in order, but, alas, it's for another day.

That's all I've got; just wanted to make that observation in a public kind of way. My only question is: Is that at all interesting? Or is it quite boring, a non-starter, vapid and reaching? I like to think it's the former, but I'm biased so my vote doesn't count.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Reviewed: Brothers


Wow. Well, the main thing that I need to tell you is that this film, like many, was so under-served by its preview that it makes me want to weep. Hollywood lost my $48.50 with its suggestion of "George Bush's war" turning the poor saps who were duped into serving the cause into absolute psychopaths. Instead I only had to pay 1/48 of the price thanks to Redbox.

It's worth a watch as the script really cares about and loves each of its characters and isn't out to titillate and shock (again I have to emphasize that I swear to God that's the opposite of what the preview suggested). I rarely use the phrase "gripping," but I do feel that it is apt for many of the scenes in the film. It's a refreshingly unbiased look at war, and life after war, and avoids so many Hollywood cliches that I would give it an Oscar, even if it didn't deserve it, just out of spite. Really quickly, I'll just mention some of the cliches it avoids: "War Vet: broken and eternally unfixable," "U.S. war machine doesn't care about its troupes and much less so the brown people they've been sent to destroy," "Free spirit character always knows best in the end," "You know the bad people because they have No Redeeming Qualities Whatsoever and could never be capable of such."

And now a word about Tobey Maguire: Normally unlikable, without range, not compelling, no future, don't know why he's in motion pictures: but I am temporarily willing to suspend those heartfelt critiques because he does do a good job in this film.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

WNTE Greatest Hits: A Worthiest of Pursuits

Many of you don't know this, but I had a blog on Myspace for two and a half years before I started We Need The Eggs (WNTE). For awhile now I've been wanting to transition some of the better blogs (many would argue those don't exist) over to WNTE. I certainly won't be moving all of them over as I was so scandalized by some that I started looking into the requirements for deportation of actual citizens. At any rate this is the first in an occasional posting of "Greatest Hits" from the Myspace blog:

I think it's a secret to no one that this country has fallen on hard times. Gas prices are up, stocks are down. Food prices are up and the dollar is down. People are driving less, eating out less, and trying to figure out how they're going to make it. Jess and I have actually committed to making a stew out of our biodegradable recyclables once a week.

It's gotten so bad that some might even feel like throwing in the towel: hence the reason for this potentially life saving blog. There is one frontier yet to be conquered in this world, and it could be the salvation for us all, of course I'm speaking of the prospect of alchemy. Alchemy is the long sought after ability to turn cheap matter, like straw or dirt, into gold or something equally valuable. Alchemy has been pursued for century upon century, but has never been achieved.

I know at this point you think I'm crazy and that this whole idea sounds nothing short of illogical and lunatic, but at least give me a fair hearing. Here is my bottom line: though alchemy may seem impossible, the payoff would be so great as to outweigh the seeming impossibility of the task. The benefit of taking straw, or wheat, or even your garbage and turning it into gold is so magnificent that it would be worthy of devoting your whole life to the pursuit.

That is the decision that I have made for myself. I am now in the research phase of my alchemy project. So far the only books I've been able to find on the subject were written by either witch doctors or hobbits, which, unfortunately, are a little less than academic. I've also looked into the only known instance of successful alchemy, which is referenced in the tale of Rumpelstiltskin. If you'll recall, Mr. Stiltskin was able to spin straw into gold, but the much ballyhooed story is woefully devoid of specifics. It turns out that the whole thing may have been made up in the first place—the Brothers Grimm sort of left it as an open question, we just don't know.

Imagine money as easy to come by as the trash that you carry out to your dumpster everyday. Imagine the complete financial freedom that a house full of gold could bring you. it is thoughts like those that keep me trudging along on this journey when the goal can seem hopeless. If you'd like to invest in this initial R & D (research and development) process, I would be very excited to sit down with you and push some numbers around. I am asking for a very high initial investment (email me if you'd like an exact figure), but that is because the payoff is beyond compare to any initial shekels we might need to get the ball rolling on this thing.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Expose: The KFC DoubleDown


I know it it is disgusting and awful and bad for my heart. I understand that it is symbolic of the age of excess that we live in, a virtual caricature of itself. I know that to reference it at a party or the water cooler is to possibly hasten your own demise; so red do the eyes glow of the healthy, green people of my generation.

I know that it has more calories than a human leg, the sodium it contains could fill a tube sock, and the grease it brings could soak a sumo wrestler's beach towel.

And I know that, perhaps worst of all, it will taste like garbage.

I know all that; what I don't know, and what I want the answer to is: Why do I still want one so bad?

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Sleeping Anthony

I work my underlings too hard.

Anthony, if you ever find my blog, please don't kill me. But at the same time, I would understand if you do.

~Sent From My Cool Phone

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Movie Review: Cold Souls

My review only needs one line: Only Charlie Kaufman should do Charlie Kaufman movies.

Two out of four stars.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"We're Democrats!"


These two gentlemen were setup outside of the post office in Southcenter this afternoon. I had seen the "Hitler Obama" picture from far off and I had immediately began to shake. The thing is, whenever I see someone advertising massive stupidity, I feel the need to say something to them. I don't know why I'm this way. There is nothing particularly good or noble about it. Someone who is willing to be that publicly flamboyant and ridiculous is never the person who is looking for an intellectually honest exchange of ideas. But I was particularly upset because one of the things I hate the most in this world is a stupid Republican. The reason being is that if you get a few drinks in me, I'll occasionally admit to being a Republican, but "Obama is a Communist" and "Obama is Hitler" signs and sentiments from Republicans set me back more drinks than my religion will allow.

The shaking always sets in because I know I'm going to have to talk to the stupid person, and that's never fun or easy. My game plan was to let them know they brought shame to the Republican name, and then point out that they hated it when liberals called Bush Hitler, so how did it feel to become the thing they hated?

So I started by taking the above picture (I asked them if they would like to smile, but they declined), and then I asked: "So are you guys Republicans?"

Imagine my surprise and relief when one of them said, "No, we're Democrats!"

I know at this point everyone to the left of George W. Bush will say I'm lying, but I swear it's true.

"Thank God," I said. They chuckled, not yet understanding what they were in for. Then I explained how I was going to tell them they were bringing shame to Republicans, but that that was now out the window.

After that I asked, "Do you really believe Obama wants to kill 6 million Americans?"

"Yeah, he already signed the healthcare bill that will kill 100,000 Americans."

"No, it won't," I said. And that's when I saw it.

I was looking at their table of pamphlets and saw his name, and that's when my main emotion changed from anger to pity. The name? Lyndon LaRouche. He's a perennial runner for president. I'm not going to get into it, but I think it's safe to say that most people who have any experience with a Larouche-ite put them on the same shelf of crazy as alien abductees and flat-earthers. Anyway, more on that later.

I tried to explain that they can have no credibility when they are espousing such a ridiculous belief.

"Wait, you're a Republican and you like Obama?" asked one of them.

"No, but I don't think he's Hitler." Then I tried to reiterate one last time that they didn't really believe that. One of them literally said, "We don't have to defend ourselves against you." And the other said, "Yeah, your academic BS..." And that was it, an unfinished musing on the nature of argument. What could I respond with?

Moral of the story: Democrats are dangerous. Clearly these boys are the offspring of Democratic ideology. They don't even go with the more socially acceptable "Progressive," it's all Democrats for them. This is the ultimate logical conclusion of believing in Democratic (note the big D) values: standing outside a post office with Obama is Hitler signs.

No, now that's ridiculous. But no more ridiculous than saying that a crazy Tea Partier represents what Republican's stand for. Being a nutbar knows no ideology. I used to believe that liberals/progressives/Democrats were more susceptible to being nuttish, but that was a belief I had to jettison shortly after Obama took office.

No, the net result is that it's just sad. Someone got ahold of their young brains and polluted them...you can't hold the boys responsible, but they're anything but innocent. They're like telemarketers on their first or second day: They still actually believe in their product and think it's a worthwhile investment that everyone should have.

Same thing happened to me, only it was worse: In 2000 I was so twisted, mixed up and confused that I cast my vote for—Ralph Nader.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Judging a Book By Its Cover

Here is a list of movies I'm glad that I'll never have to sit through, I'll never have to endure, and I'll never have to have them stain the soil of my psyche:

1. The Good German
2. Reign Over Me
3. Anything Monty Python

Wow, this is a lot harder than I thought. I'm going to have to regroup and come up with some more and then get back to you.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Getting Intimate With You

We've known each other for awhile now: I think it's time to take our relationship to the next level.

I want to show you who I am, I want to bare my naked soul before you; that's right—I want to share with you the list of all the books that I can ever remember having read.

No, I'm not just going to recall them for memory. The reason for this blog is quite mundane, actually...I have been keeping a running list for several years now, but the problem is that it has been on PAPER, which is inherently unstable and dangerous. I need to keep an electronic copy of of the list, for my sanity at the very least, and therefore the world's. Anyway, since I idolize books to an unhealthy degree I feel like I'm sharing a giant chunk of myself with you. Some people will think I'm shallow, some will think it's not enough, yet others will think it's way too many. Some will be disturbed by the lack of picture books, but that's just because I make friends with dumb people to make myself feel better.

As an added bonus I think I'll hyperlink any of the ones that I think you must read before you die or I might not forgive you (and you probably shouldn't forgive yourself):

Oh Wait! The other thing that you must understand is that these are not in order according to how much I enjoyed them or how good they are (I didn't even enjoy/like/understand Slaughterhouse-Five).
  1. Slaughterhouse-Five
  2. Catcher in the Rye
  3. What’s so Great About America?
  4. Letters to a Young Conservative
  5. Choke
  6. Fight Club
  7. Survivor
  8. Lullabye
  9. Invisible Monsters
  10. About a Boy
  11. How to be Good
  12. Holes
  13. Of Mice and Men
  14. High Fidelity
  15. The Pearl
  16. The Chocolate War
  17. Bias
  18. Affluenza
  19. The Things They Carried
  20. The Education of Little Tree
  21. On Writing
  22. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  23. My Point...And I do Have One
  24. Couplehood
  25. Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man
  26. The Road Less Traveled
  27. To Kill A Mockingbird
  28. Life 101
  29. Lord of the Flies
  30. Tuesday’s With Morrie
  31. Your Erroneous Zones
  32. Culture Jam
  33. I am the Cheese
  34. Andy Kaufman—Revealed!
  35. The Sun Also Rises
  36. Birdy
  37. Dreamcatcher
  38. The Shining
  39. The Dark Tower Series: The Gunslinger
  40. The Dark Tower Series: The Drawing of the Three
  41. The Dark Tower Series: The Wastelands
  42. The Dark Tower Series: Wizard and Glass
  43. The Dark Tower Series: Wolves of the Calla
  44. The Dark Tower Series: Song of Susannah
  45. The Dark Tower Series: The Dark Tower
  46. Cujo
  47. The Regulators
  48. Desperation
  49. Writing Down the Bones
  50. The New Testament
  51. The Old Testament (yes, I counted the Bible as two!)
  52. Tunes for Bears to Dance To
  53. There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom
  54. Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes
  55. Farenheight 451
  56. The Hobbit
  57. Quality of Life
  58. Elements of Style
  59. The Eyes of Kid Midas
  60. If Life is a Game, These Are The Rules
  61. The Stand
  62. 1984
  63. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  64. Seinlanguage
  65. Carrie
  66. Celestine Prophecy
  67. In a Sunburned Country (moment of truth, didn’t quite finish it)
  68. The Four Agreements
  69. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  70. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  71. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  72. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  73. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  74. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  75. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  76. The Restaurant at the end of the Universe
  77. The Letterman Wit
  78. Eyes of the Dragon
  79. Brave New World
  80. The Talisman
  81. Journal of Nick Twisp: Youth In Revolt
  82. Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo
  83. The Woman Warrior
  84. Chemical Pink
  85. Hollywood v.s. America
  86. Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
  87. Let Freedom Ring
  88. Ishamael
  89. The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America
  90. The Partner
  91. A Walk Across America
  92. Mere Christianity
  93. The Screwtape Letters
  94. Hearts In Atlantis
  95. Green Mile
  96. Bag of Bones
  97. From a Buick 8
  98. If only he Knew
  99. Ovid: Metamorphoses
  100. Pay It Forward
  101. Casino Gambling for the Winner
  102. The God Who Was There
  103. Insomnia
  104. The House of the Scorpian
  105. Salem’s Lot
  106. Poker Nation
  107. Speak
  108. Smack
  109. Breathing Underwater
  110. Crazy Jack
  111. Hard Love
  112. Bronx Masquarade
  113. The Outsiders
  114. The Body of Chris Creed
  115. Silver Kiss
  116. Black House
  117. Circle of Friends
  118. Scarlet Feather
  119. The Woman Who Walked Into Doors
  120. A Star Called Henry
  121. Out of the Silent Planet
  122. Poker Wisdom of a Champion
  123. Pure Drivel
  124. Radical Reformation
  125. Goat
  126. Cry, The Beloved Country
  127. Treason
  128. Beyond the Chocolate War
  129. The Giver
  130. When Character Was King
  131. Conscience of a Conservative
  132. Age, Guile and Wisdom beat Youth, Innocence and a Bad Haircut
  133. Right Turns
  134. The Fountainhead
  135. Case for a Creator
  136. The Know It All
  137. Tale of Two Cites
  138. 100 People Screwing Up America
  139. Blink
  140. Crime and Punishment
  141. The Brothers Karimazov
  142. In Cold Blood
  143. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  144. A Confederacy of Dunces
  145. Freakonomics
  146. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
  147. Cell
  148. Federalist Papers
  149. Alexander Hamilton
  150. The Castle
  151. A Hart Breaking Word of Staggering Genius
  152. The Way of All Flesh
  153. The Da Vinci Code
  154. The Ragamuffin Gospel
  155. Lolita
  156. Letter to a Christian Nation
  157. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  158. Schmucks
  159. How Should We Then Live?
  160. Confessions of a Reformation Rev
  161. From God to Us
  162. Love God With All Your Mind
  163. Amusing Ourselves To Death
  164. The Culturally Savvy Christian
  165. Predictably Irrational
  166. The Kingdom Triangle
  167. Anna Karenina
  168. Humility: True Greatness
  169. Picture of Dorian Gray
  170. Do I Know God?
  171. Respectable Sins
  172. The Great Gatsby
  173. Orthodoxy
  174. Irresistible Revolution
  175. The Shack
  176. Leading With a Limp
  177. Traveling Mercies
  178. Letters to a Young Contrarian
  179. And Then We Came to the End
  180. Lisey’s Story
  181. The Reason For God
  182. The Abolition of Man
  183. Catch-22
  184. Prodigal God
  185. A Long Way Down
  186. Counterfeit Gods
  187. Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Going There: Can I Convert You?

Alright, I've got a problem—and therefore, by extension, you have a problem, but more on that in a minute.

My problem is that one of the central tenets of my religion is that I try to convert people--really the whole world, if I can pull it off--to my religion. I know that sounds really scary, but really it isn't. We're not allowed to do it by force (or even guilt), and The Book even tells us it's not actually us who are doing it, but Him. And yet we are asked. I have no ability to convert you, ultimately conversion is a transaction between a person and God, but somehow I'm brought along for the ride. To make it worse, I have no idea how conversion words. Beyond the statement "God does it," I have no idea what causes a person to believe. I used to think that it was based on argument and understanding. If I could argue you to a place where you have the correct understanding, then bingo you would believe. I don't believe that anymore. Argument doesn't seem to help...too much, anyway.

Now. I would just like to ignore the imperative, and most of the time I do. Of course it isn't that simple. I don't ignore it, I just find ever more creative ways of mitigating the commandment. And that would be all fine and well and good, except for it isn't. I take God seriously, I have put all of my spiritual/religious eggs in the Father, Son, and Spirit basket. What that means is that I can't ignore all of the instruction I've been given. I can't ignore it because I think it's Truth. That means that even if I don't like it (and since I don't want to be struck down by lightning I can't actually say "I don't like it" to God, which is why I will only heavily imply such a notion), I still must abide by it, because no one can rationally turn from Truth, now, can they?

So one of my jobs is to do the one thing that you do not do in our culture: Tell someone they're wrong. I mean, you can do it, but you'll be relegated to circus freak status in short order. And of course that's only shorthand for what I'm trying to say. I would never say to someone "I'm right, you're wrong, end of discussion." But we must understand that it what we're saying, out loud or otherwise, whenever you have a belief (God exists) that disagrees with someone else's (God does not exist); unless you don't believe in the possibility of contradiction, and if that's you then I think we're done here, thank you very much.

Can I just say that trying to share the gospel with people is awkward and strange. I don't like doing it, and I don't like making people uncomfortable.

Anyway, all of this is a long introduction to the bright idea I need to lay on you: What if I had you come to me? Here's the thing: Despite the fact that there is a taboo on conversion, a lot of people are interested in discussing spiritual matters. I am just such one of these people. Now that I've shown my true colors—that I like to talk religion, that I want to convert you—all of you people that are interested in such things can come to me. Hell, you know that I'M interested in the discussion, so that should help with some of the tension.

It's a different way of going at things. It's a bit of the turning of the tables. Instead of me going out into the world, I'm having the world come to me. You need to know that I'm just as willing to have you convert me. What bums people out is that attempting conversion is so often a monologue, but I am firmly committed to dialogue (not diatribe). I'm committed to truth, and so if I'm in error in some way, I am open and willing for correction. As the Scriptures say, come, let us reason together...

If it helps, I know that this is all silly. I understand that I will get no takers, that I will, in fact, need to supplement by making a proactive instead of reactive effort. But the writing down of it all helps express some of the frustration, so I guess my objective was achieved.