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.