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Death drives a white Honda Civic
Hey, are you guys sick of song lists yet? I hope not! Because two people have kindly requested [or, as they say, "tagged" me, except without the spraying-me-with-graffiti part] that I list some of my current favorites. It would be RUDE if I didn't right?

+ "Girl" by Beck [and at the halfway point of the year, his album "Guero" heads up my Top One Album of 2005 list!]
+ "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More" by Brian Eno [You should listen to this song if you read that and thought, "Oh, psh, Brian Eno... snob a-doodle-doo!" I promise it's enjoyable!]
+ "Flashlight" by Parliament [I've just learned an awesome formula: funk music+synth bass=So Awesome]
+ "Mama Said" by the Shirelles [Oh no! I've set a precedent of commenting on every song!]
+ "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals
+ "Gimme Some Slack" by The Cars

Anyway! So I've tried my best to avoid writing about not having a job, which was a challenge because, y'know, it's a pretty big thought-and-time-consuming issue. But where ya gonna go with that shit, right? Woe is me and a bumblebee [I'm trying to make that a folksy saying that catches on, kind of like "Two tears in a bucket, motherfuck it*," except my version is for kids]. PLUS, there'd always be an Angel Mark on my shoulder nagging, "If you have time to write in livejournal, you have time to go through your job-search protocol some more" [seriously, the little asshole would call it a "protocol"]. But that is now a thing of the past! For I now have... New Job! There are two things about New Job: 1) New Job is not glamorous n' lucrative, but it's good, and oh my god, a man has got to DO. A man has got to do. 2) New Job promises to be filled with hilarity, because DUDES, I'm working as a barista! Incredible! I don't know, maybe it's just me, but that's somehow VERY amusing [Although, it's not at Starbucks, it's at a Secret Mystery Coffee Place]. I just tried looking in the mirror and saying, "Hi, I'm a barista," and I keep laughing right at the second syllable of 'barista.' [But... well, I guess that doesn't say much, I mean I'm probably just responding to the absurdity of that sentence. As though people really go around greeting you and immediately stating their profession: "Hi, I'm a policeman!" "Hi, I'm a teacher!" "Hi, I'm an office manager!" "Hi I'm the President of the United States!" But nobody ever says, "Hi, I'm a junkie!" (Anyone up for a game of... HACKY sac?)]

But like I'm sayin'... (just trying out some new transitions) even though it kind of seems like I'm playing a joke on Seattle, or something, New Job is actually really fun, I get to learn a lot, and... why don't I go ahead and get defensive here for no reason... don't gimme no shit because I been tired, I been tired, I been tired. [Actually, that qualifies less as "being defensive" and more as "quoting a Pixies song."] Anyway, I would like to see if I can convince some people that male baristas are called "baristos." That would be awesome! People would start sounding like 4 year-old Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsens! But then my boss would probably eventually pull me aside and say, "Yo in biiiig twuh-bow, bawisto!"

Hup! Look at that! I'm out of my alloted brackets and parantheses, so this post is going to have to end right here. More later! May was the last month of the FamousMark Three Post Special!

* Oh yeah, the asterisk! I better not forget it, because it forced me into using awkward 'plus' signs for the song list... Anyway, please don't correct me on the number of tears that are supposed to be "in the bucket" for that saying. I know I probably got it wrong, like maybe it's three, or possibly ten, or any other one syllable number. There are many! Let's just get a little crazy and leave it be at two for now; I just can't stand to cry any more!
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For some reason, anytime someone ends a comment with "that is all," it makes me think that they might be picturing themselves as a sitcom character who has just "gone off," and is about to exit-stage-left to wild applause [and several shouts of "woo!" if it's a studio audience].

There are many, many things that I love about old movies, but one of my very favorite things is when gangsters are portrayed as well-dressed men who have a habit of repeatedly tossing a coin a couple feet into the air. And the reason this is so great is because it's so common and WHERE DID IT COME FROM? Whose idea was it? Was it a weird way to get around some sort of production code restriction? A now-obscure parody of a famous gangster? Or... did gangsters really do that?? Snopes?

Claim:  Gangsters of the 1920s and 30s enjoyed tossing and catching coins in a rhythmic and vaguely menacing manner.

Status: True.

Example: Films starring Edward G. Robinson, the unbelievably long dance sequence in Singin' In the Rain where Gene Kelley begins to hit on Cyd Charisse, only to be rebuked by her coin-tossing, ostensibly "gangster" accomplice. Also, Bugs Bunny cartoons...

Origin:  Famed outlaw Babyface Nelson enjoyed robbing banks, and kept one coin from each bank he robbed as a souvenir in his jacket pocket, next to his pocket watch.  Often, when intending to check the time, Nelson would reach into his pocket and pull out his watch, which would send his coin flying into the air.  He would then catch it [had Babyface Nelson not an infant-like visage, he would surely have been known as Quick Reflexes Nelson]. With Nelson's increasing fame, others who sought to emulate him picked up on his sensational coin toss-and-catch act, and it swept the nation. Gangsters everywhere were tossing coins and catching them; however, this famous fad is little-mentioned today, perhaps so as not to diminish the accomplishments and legend of Elliot Ness, who simply looked for people who were tossing coins, and arrested them. But evidence of this strange trend do exist today, particularly in the crime films that were produced by the Warner Brothers studio during the 1930s.  Visitors to the Smithsonian Institute can also view one of Babyface Nelson's coins, which is displayed in the same room as John Dillinger's famed penis.


Man, I love snopes.com. So helpful!

Anyway. And now, I give you The Craziest Thing Ever. I mean, HOLY SHIT, right? Who buys that??


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York Peppermint Patties are the only candy where the "fun size" is actually better than the un-fun size. Sure, the regular size seems like a little too much, but the bigger problem is that I can't get over the impression that... could this thing be the main part of a horrid CANDY HAMBURGER? There'd be the peppermint "pattie," covered with Gummi-worm "onions," Necco wafer "pickles," really thin peanut brittle "lettuce," chocolate and caramel syrup "ketchup and mustard"... all on two bun-shaped Peeps. Or you could serve a "Salisbury Peppermint Pattie," which would be a York Peppermint Pattie on a plate, smothered in peppermint frosting "gravy." Haha, "smothered" in it! THIS PARAGRAPH IS DISGUSTING!

Ah, eeeexcellent! It's not often that you can just think, "[Band/musician] hasn't done anything lately; I wonder if they're going to release anything soon," and go to that artist's website to find something other than previous-album-reminiscent graphics and long-past tour dates. But today! I am two for two: Junior Senior's website says a new album is being mixed [circa an April 13th news post], and Richard Hawley's website has news of 1) Signing to Mute Records for the 2) September release of an album entitled 3) Coles Corner. Man, that is awesome, because Richard Hawley was previously not big enough to have the US version of his albums come out any sooner than, I don't know, 80 years after the UK version. Although... hoo boy, delays due to changing the album title, maybe? It sounds like a Lifetime movie about a single mother coping with her previously happy-and-playful seven-year-old son's mysteriously sudden change in behavior to a sullen boy who rarely speaks. Doctors say it's just a phase, but she can't shake the feeling that it's something more! A feeling that is confirmed when Cole has a seizure in class! Oh SHIT! Maybe Richard Hawley wrote the SOUNDTRACK for this! Well... alright, then I guess that movie is just going to have awesome music. And Richard Hawley has had pretty terrible cover art up to this point, anyway, so I guess why not "Concerned-looking Sissy Spacek behind a slightly-transparent white satin curtain?"

It seems like shells-of-former-Burger-Kings VASTLY outnumber actual, still-in-business Burger Kings. Man, it's awesome that they're still standing! They're The Burger King ruins! Mysterious artifacts of a bygone age; solemn sentinels guarding our forgotten past. A past when Burger Kings roamed the Earth! And existed! Well, they still exist, right? Or... not for much longer? I don't know, and I almost decided that I don't care, EXCEPT, man, there are ripple-effects. Such as potentially ruining the song "Oh Oh I Love Her So" by The Ramones for children of the future! "He met her WHERE? A... Burger King? What's that?"

But... I think it's safe to assume that standardized tests of the future will still have all those parts about "context clues," which will help kids decide that Burger King must be a restaurant, and everyone can continue both enjoying "Oh Oh I Love Her So," and not going to Burger King. Everybody wins!
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Waaait a minute... my journal is now five years old! I've been writing in this thing for FIVE years? [When asked for comment, David Bowie replied, "What a surprise! Five years? My brain hurts a lot!"] If all of my livejournal entries were written on standard paper, and placed end to end with no space between them, then there would be enough of them to encircle the entire solar system... TWICE! If, assuming we're being optimistic, four out of five of my entries are worth reading, then that means that I've written an ENTIRE YEAR'S worth of TOTAL BULLSHIT! If these entries were then bound together within a glossy cover and given a UPC barcode, then they would constitute a $14.95 subscription to People Magazine! TWICE! [No, actually, just once]. If a 1cm-long hotdog appeared on a football field everytime someone wrote a comment in my journal that asked, "So, what are you famous for? ;)", then there would be enough hotdogs to stretch the ENTIRE length of the football field!*

So, I don't know, maybe I should do something special for my livejournal's birthday. I was thinking maybe The Worst of FamousMark--y'know, links to maybe my 20 worst entries. But I think I do have just enough shame to laugh at that idea, but not actually do it. Plus, my livejournal is five. All it wants to do is go to McDonald's and get a happy meal.

In REAL birthday news, though, today is Adrian's birthday, and I think Betsy's birthday, too. So happy birthday, you two! Congratulations on getting in at the beginning of May, before the rush!

* My favorite thing about the USA, by the way, is that this implied dialogue regularly takes place:

Person 1: I'm having trouble comprehending how large something is.
Person 2: Well, picture a really large hotdog on a football field.
Person 1: Oh, I get it!
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Because it's nice to learn something new everyday, I give you: DUMPING SYNDROME!

Wait, whoops--poorly phrased. I present to you: DUMPING SYNDROME!

Those are two different links, the second one slightly-colloquial and easier to understand. But the first one contains moments of comic gold, if you're patient! For example, "Mix first used the term 'dumping' in 1922." ["I sought fit, as it was the most wilting of mid-August after-noons, to indulge in the inimitable cherry phosphate, as made by Clemons Percival of T. Clemons Percival's Finest Drug-store and Soda Fountain. Subsequently, as I was preparing my fountain-pen cartridge so as to pen such a missive as to the superlative nature of the Percival cherry phosphate, I was stricken by a peculiar sensation not unlike the very bubbling of the aforementioned phosphate, yet within my bowels. As it brings me much dismay and discomfort, I do ascertain that a proper dumping will forestall this affliction" [Mix, C.L. "A Memoir of My Every Action." The Monthly Yarn (Sept, 1922): p9. Rpt. in Early Examples of Gonzo Journalism. Ed. David Holman. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 143].

So thank you, C.L. Mix, for that astute term! Although, I can't decide whether NO gastro-intestinal disorders should ever be called Dumping Syndrome, or if ALL gastro-intestinal disorders should be called Dumping Syndrome. Also, I am six years old!

Anyway! I want to start keeping track of unintentionally-hilarious scenes from classic movies, because they're all the more unexpected, and therefore funnier. Double Indemnity really needs to be on DVD for this purpose [well, and also because it's a classic movie, but, y'know...]. See, first of all, Fred MacMurray is the main shady-film-noir role, which is really incredible for its against-type-ness. But there's this one scene where he's returning back to Barbara Stanwyck's house, because she's seducing (femme fatale-ing) him; he rings the doorbell, and the shot cuts to roughly her perspective after she opens the door. Fred MacMurray is striking a pose leaning against the doorway, and I think maybe he even actually rubs his thumb against his breast! It's... ONLY cartoon-y and SO AWESOME, and if I could screen-capture that shot, it would be my livejournal icon forevermore. But MAN, you need to watch that movie, if not just so you can LO-fucking-L when that shot happens.

Another contender: the weirdly Reefer Madness+Blackboard Jungle sequence in Touch of Evil when drug-crazed deliquents burst into Janet Leigh's hotel room, with weirdly festive saxophone-y '50s rock and roll playing. ONLY FUNNY! [until it cuts to Marlene Dietrich; after that, it's disturbing]

Anyone got any additions?
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Star Wars' promotional build-up is now in full effect. I don't want to write TOO much about it, because I just don't really care enough to. But I do wonder: what exactly is the difference between George Lucas and Disney? Disney is often reviled for marketing towards children, with the charge that this marketing is calculated towards creating a nostalgia that will make the eventual adult buy anything that Disney puts out. Star Wars, on the other hand... does the same thing. When Episode Two came out, saying "I know Episode One sucked, and this one probably will, too, but I'm going to see it anyway" was almost a cliche. And the answer to why someone would go-see-it-anyway, even though they thought they wouldn't be getting their money's worth, was always a near-obsequious, "I knooow, but it's Star Wars. I grew up with it." Sometimes, there was even a knowing addition of "So George Lucas is always going to get my money."

Whoops, now I've got a whole paragraph on that. Which threatens to become two! Ok, ok: in closing, Walt Disney = Horrid calculating businessman, drew a fascist mouse character featured in a short sold to Nazi Germany entitled "Mickey Mouse in: The Trouble With Jews," faked own death in 1966, moved to Cambodia, and re-emerged in 1975 after changing his name to Pol Pot. George Lucas = Will always get my money. It's weird, is all. The End.

The term "pet-peeve" seems cheesy to me. What's an alternate word/phrase? OH, speaking of cheesy, I met a 25-year old woman this weekend who was quoting Andy Rooney. ANDY. ROONEY. This melted my brain in many ways, not only because Andy Rooney is so very intensely unfunny, but also because don't you have to be a GRANDPARENT to quote him? PLUS, the subject of Andy Rooney's... routine [I've just decided that the only time it's ok to call something resembling comedy a "routine" is when it comes from Andy Rooney, or someone similar] was Why Women Over 30 Are Great. So EXTRA what gives? Is anyone's grandfather, or possibly aunt, suddenly acting like a 25 year-old?

Anyway, back to alternatives to "pet-peeve" and an actual... Thing That's Vaguely Annoying to Some People, But Moreso To Me: when people percussively call out 'excuse me' in a loud monotone with just two syllables, so that it becomes "SCYUZEME!" and the meaning changes from "pardon me, if you please, for I am polite and good" to "I AM HERE! PAY ATTENTION TO ME AT THIS VERY MOMENT!" or "MOVE, NOW! I AM HIGHLY IMPORTANT!" This obviously sucks and must stop. Possible remedies include 1. Writing about it in my livejournal [WHICH TOTALLY WORKED FOR THE "GUY/S" PROBLEM!], 2. Shouting it right back, in a monotone that's a whole step lower, so that it sounds like a song is about to happen. [Most likely "Jeepers Creepers"] 3... Actually, nevermind; I'm going with 2.
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Well, after dilligently studying my car's Chilton guide and spending some quality time in the interior with a screwdriver, I can safely say: what the fuck? Now, I knew that my chances of success here were pretty slim, but I figured I could at least get the thing taken apart. But evidently I have the "snap tight" model of the 1993 Nissan Altima. I found a grand total of four screws in the entire front half of the car. And they're... vanity screws, or something. I mean, you can unscrew them all you want, but nothing happens. They're just there for fun. Snap n' lock!

This, of course, means that my hatred for my car has reached new levels. "You can't even come CLOSE to fixing me!" it taunts. Yeah, but I CAN push you into a lake and get insurance money. Just kidding! KIND OF.

And in catch-22 news, I could stand to see about 90% less references to The O.C. everywhere I turn. See? I just made a reference to The O.C. OH! Is THAT what that cross-out text tag is for?

But I've been writing too much about things that I don't like. Not ENTIRELY my fault though, right? I mean, if I was successful in fixing my car stereo, surely I'd have written about how much I LIKE having my stereo back! Yeah! That's the spirit! But it's not fixed, so, y'know, hatred.

Anyway! Did you know that there is [allegedly] such thing as "Skippy Natural Peanut Butter?" I think the market is for the person who says to themselves, "You know, I kind of give a shit about organic foods. But not fully. " Also, you know what's interesting? Organic Hostess Twinkies turn out to be crepes!

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Man, for fuck's sake. Because previous levels of machismo-driven homophobia weren't enough...

This makes me amazingly grumpy. When I think of the trajectory of social progress over the past forty years, it's unbelievable that in 2005, two male friends hanging out together is "too gay"--somehow unacceptable. A "man date?" My generation is fucking pathetic.
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It's not quite a movie cliche yet, but just give it a little time: The Frustrated Writer Whose Novel Is Way Too Long to Be Published.

Amazingly and awesomely, I've noticed that people have begun using the word "fellas" instead of the beyond-beaten-into-the-ground "guys." I'd show you, if I had the patience for both tedious searching and reading an embarrassing succession of Vintage FamousMark Writing; but a couple years ago, I totally suggested that people start doing that! So, I guess, THANKS, everyone!

For some reason, what I want most of all right now [aside from Having All My Wildest Dreams Come True] is to have my wisdom teeth pulled. Well, I mean, not RIGHT THIS SECOND, or anything. But soon! I feel like I've put off this stupor-n'-mouth hole-causing event for far too long, and now I have to endure Chinese Wisdom Tooth Torture. Which, I should clarify, differs from regular Wisdom Tooth Torture. Wisdom Tooth Torture, obviously, is when they're coming in and they actually hurt. Chinese Wisdom Tooth Torture is when, say, two years ago, you saw an x-ray wherein your bottom wisdom teeth appeared to be set to come in sideways, but then you lost your dental insurance! So now it's a race against time, with all of your bottom teeth presumably nanometer-ing closer together with each passing day of not having dental insurance, threatening to make you look like a character from Deliverance... OR WORSE! [Also, there's something about small amounts of water being dropped onto your wisdom teeth, but you don't really feel that, so it's kind of not worth mentioning]. Hup! Cue funny acerbic offers to pull my teeth!

In today's Seattle Times, there was an article about Che Guevara t-shirts that originally ran in the New Jersey Record. It's not nearly as awesome as an article about Che Guevara t-shirts should be, but skip ahead to the part about Douglas Fuentes. The REVOLUTIONARY Douglas Fuentes, that is. Who, I believe, is revolutionizing the act of expressing an interest in Che Guevara the same way certain middle-aged-women express an interest in Garfield or Tweety Bird. But what the fuck, Doug?? No plush Che Guevara toy with suction cup feet for your car windows?? POSEUR!
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Uh oh. I just read that a new White Stripes single is about to rear its ugly head. So, I guess I should savor these, the days of not being totally sick of the new White Stripes song. These days are, sadly, numbered. Dead eardrums walking!

Man. My computer still won't connect to the internet, no matter what I do. It's been that way since April 1st, so, A Funny April Fool's Virus? Psh. I'd ask for help, but I understand so little about why it's not working that I don't even know where to begin. One moment my AIM away message is up, next moment, I come back and everything's all haywire. I think I'm just going to throw my computer away, along with my car stereo. These are things that I can't afford to fix, and their lack of functionality only serves to make me sad. The combination of having avoided buying an iPod so far, and throwing those things away will make me instantly age 25 years. The next post you read from me will be as a technology-hating 50-year-old man.

So apparently there was a crazy gunman near my house last night. Or, man with a gun, rather. See, I'm not totally sure, but I think that there is a distinction between "man with a gun" and "gunman." You're a man with a gun [first of all, if you're male] until you shoot somebody. THEN, you're a gunman. [Similarly, a fire is a fire until news vans arrive. Then, it becomes a "blaze."] Heh, I thought I had more to write about this, but it turns out that I care more about the semantics of it than anything else.

Alright, well, it's beautiful out, so I'd better go enjoy the weather. And I've got some throwing away of electronics-equipment to do! See you all at age 50!
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Today's winner in the game of Do You Have A Picture of The Pope's Corpse On Your Homepage?: CNN.COM. Previous winners include Yahoo.com, and MSN.com, who has been the Ken Jennings of Do You Have a Picture of The Pope's Corpse On Your Homepage?. Contestants have until Friday!

Today, one of the aforementioned websites had a "Top Five Searches" section, which read:

1. Pope John Paul II
2. Sandra Bullock
3. Mitch Hedberg
4. Terry Schiavo
5. Living wills

Aaaand, wait a minute, #2? OH GOD, IS IT WRONG TO HOPE??

Aw, that's way too mean and terrible. Especially since, hooo.... at this point, I'll read about Sandra Bullock and whoever she's dating now, or whatever crappy romantic comedy she's making DUE TO THAT BEING A NICE BREAK.

Man, you know what just happened? Typing all those above names made me get sick of this journal entry! Just... sucked the motivation to write riiiight outta me! Alright, I'm going to the gym, which, I've gotta say, has been HARDLY the source of comedy it's been in the beginning [except for the dude on the treadmill who listens to T-Rex's "Get It On (Bang a Gong)" while running, a fact made apparent by him poorly singing the chorus whenever it comes up. Never the verse, though. I don't blame him! The chorus is about sex; the verse is just about hydras or some shit].

More later! Most likely including such hits as "Why The Fuck Won't My Computer Connect to the Internet Again?" (true story!) and "I Think Girls At The Gym Are Checking Me Out, Maybe!" (probably NOT a true story). Alright, I'm Mark DeJoy, aaand as you were, privates! [That's how I'd close out broadcasts if I were a newscaster. OH! Pleeeease tell me that's how YOU close out newscasts!]
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Haha, man, I forgot to mention: the funny thing about St. Patrick's Day was how many people wrote about "accidentally wearing green." That's because St. Patrick's Day has a unique and amazing power! Three-hundred sixty-four days a year, your green shirt is a green shirt. On March 17th, though, your green shirt magically transforms into the St. Patrick's Day equivalent of a Christmas sweater. No other holiday has the power to just claim something out of your closet for its own purposes like that! If St. Patrick's Day could talk, it would triumphantly shout, "ALL GREEN CLOTHING IS MINE TODAY! MIIIINE!"

Anyway, now on to Easter, because this is apparently the FamousMark Holiday Post. I just mention Easter because, it just now occurs to me, that holiday ONLY makes me picture middle-aged-woman imagery, and nothing else. I mean, it's supposed to be a Jesus-related holiday, right? But all it reminds me of are way-too-complicated wicker rocking chairs, rose-colored pseudo-victorian sofas nearly completely covered with pillows, unused porcelain teapot sets, extremely elaborate curtains, kitchen towels and wooden utensil holders with a goose silhouette embroidered/painted on them, lace, that certain ligh-blue-with-a-hint-of-gray color [same color as the goose silhouette!], impressionist still-life prints... man, it goes on and on! And this would make a lot of sense if I were describing a relative's house that I used to have to go to for "easter brunch" [BRUNCH! Another middle-aged woman image, somehow!], but I'm not. So, I don't know what the deal is, but this phenomenon actually makes me cringe when I think of Easter. I try to think of cute little kids looking for Easter eggs, but this only makes me picture the Easter Bunny, which in turn makes me picture those oddly solemn stuffed-sawdust-rabbits-dressed-in-victorian-garb collections that middle-aged women have, and BAM, back at square one. It's no use.*

Oh well. Yesterday I bought some soup, and the brand was "Health Valley." I don't usually pay attention to the meaning of brand names, but this one... well I don't know, it's just kind of funny! It's so idyllic! It makes me picture a health-conscious father telling a bedtime story to his young son: "Once upon a time, there was a valley. It wasn't just any valley, though; it was Health Valley! It may have looked like any other valley, but everything in Health Valley was healthy! There were no artificial ingredients in sight! Soybeans grew on trees! Or vines, rather. Free-range cattle grazed on non-chemical-fertilizer-aided grass for as faaaar as the eye could see! And Health Valley's cows were never injected with any growth hormones. For people who didn't want to eat cows, the air was filled with the scent of 100% organic gardenburgers cooking over a wood stove!" The son would appear to be asleep, so the father would get up and slowly head for the door. "Dad," the son would sleepily call out. "Yes, son?" "Where's Health Valley?" The father would turn around, pause, smile, and softly tap his chest with a gently-closed fist: "Right here, son. Right here."
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Statistics show that 1 in 3 men over the age of 65 look exactly like Wilford Brimley.
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A Poem For Livejournal (For When Things Aren't Going Well)

Adjective, adjective noun
Adverb adjective, awkward made-up verb intended as imagery
Statement about author's solitude
Sentence about heart beating and/or something about eyes
Adjective noun [make it awkward!]
Rhetorical question?
Rhetorical answer?
Verb, opposite verb, verb?
Worldview-summarizing statement. [Bleakness optional, but remember the Three A's: awkward, awkward, awkward!]
A broken [gender]-child.


Cold, empty night
Eerily quiet, dew-dropping
I am alone again.
Eyes closed, heart beating,
Unfulfilled bliss
Is this what life is becoming?
A series of missed connections, opportunities?
To build, destroy, build again?
There is no such thing as love
For a broken woman-child.

Extra challenge assignment (5 pts): Complete the above, adding references to "porcelain skin," tears, and your emotional strength.
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When I'm driving on the freeway, I like to pretend that my turn signal is also a device that activates turbo speed boosters in other cars. When I flip my turn signal upwards, it activates a speed boost for the car behind me in the right lane. When I flip my turn signal downwards, it activates a speed boost for the car behind me in the left lane. Amazing! YOU CANNOT RESIST MY POWERS, OTHER CARS!

A lot of times, people refer to themselves as some kind of nazi. You wouldn't think this would be true, but it is. You see, the word "nazi" also means "one who nit-picks to an extreme degree, often in a self-congratulatory manner." There are grammar nazis, music nazis, neatness nazis, fashion nazis, food nazis; aaall kinds of nazis. Did You Know: The original nazis of Germany were "hair and eye color nazis," who nitpicked about hair and eye color so much that it lead them to put to death millions of Jews? Since the first airing of the famous "Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld, experts have identified 1,287 different types of nazis in the United States, each with hundreds of people claiming to be that type of nazi. Now THAT'S a lot of nazis! With so many nazis around, threatening to start world wars and kill millions of people over things like lipgloss color and split infinitives, it's enough to make a kid wish the Big Three were still around to meet at Yalta! For more fun facts, games, and totally cool chat rooms, visit www.schoolrulesandiscool.com. No parents allowed!

Also, FINALLY coming to DVD! MAN, about time!
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Little Hand of the City Farewell Show

The Sunset Tavern

Sunday, Feb 20th 4pm

We'll be playing as a three-piece again; without bass. Full circle, I guess!
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Now that I'm much older, and know what the word "atrocious" means, I can whole-heartedly agree that the sound of "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" definitely IS something quite atrocious.

I'd like to create a new piece of jewelry, and here's how it works: it's a Suggestion Ring. A Suggestion Ring is a ring you present to your lover, and it suggests to her that you intend to later give her a promise ring. A promise ring, of course, means two things: 1) I promise that me giving you a suggestion ring was no fluke, and 2) We're engaged to be engaged! Let's celebrate by finally having sex! Shortly after this point, you're free to break up with your potential fiance, because another meaning of the promise ring is "I promise that I'll break your heart later." If you elect to not break up with your lover, well, then comes the engagement ring, and finally, the wedding ring. But it all starts with the suggestion ring! Available in white or yellow gold, the suggestion ring contains a modestly-sized [so as not to distract from the promise ring, engagement ring, or wedding ring] diamond, and retails for between $799 and $1500.

Also, jewelers are beginning to sell the You Look Familiar, Have We Met Before? Ring, a simple-yet-elegant band which, according to Emily Post, is presented on bended knee to someone you find attractive at a bar. If accepted, the ring represents your commitment to buy that person a drink.

In music news, ZZ Top has just been named the official band of the Middle-Aged Uncles of America Association [or, MAUAA]. So congratulations to the band, who have stopped writing songs, presumably because they ran out of female body parts to title their songs after.
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Based on observations made over several restaurant visits, I believe there is a story that was buried, neglected, maybe even covered up, by the national media. I'm not sure when it happened, or when it was decided, but it appears that there was an Onion War. Red onions versus White onions. A gruesome onion re-enactment of the Bolshevik Revolution. And, like the Bolshevik revolution, the reds won. So now, red onions are the one and only onion used at restaurants [at least, in the Seattle area]. This is no doubt due to their attractive color, however... red onions are far stronger than white onions [obviously, because they won the war!] and what people don't seem to realize is... you don't need to use as many red onions as you would white onions. So as part of their victory, red onions are mandating that all food by as onion-y as possible, especially black beans. Man, try ordering black beans around here, and you will encounter an AVALANCHE of chopped red onions. Yuck. So... I don't know really what this means, and how we solve this problem, but I guess the first step is awareness. Red onions are everywhere.

Also, man, it would be so nice to be able to read a music review without encountering a reference to iPods within the review.

Chocolate yogurt is to be avoided. You'd think it would be good, because, I mean, chocolate's ALWAYS good, right? But yogurt has this sort of inherent tangy-ness that can't really be covered up. Tangy chocolate. It's the kind of flavor that you'd get in a Dum-dum sucker marked with "?" PLUS, because of the consistency, there's always the subconscious "this is going to be like pudding!" assumption. So then you get that weird tastebud shock that you get when you drink rootbeer, but think it's going to be cola. Look, let's face it: chocolate yogurt is just a TRAINWRECK.
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I would love it if there was a political scandal that somehow involved a gate. I don't know what that would be... maybe a large minority group wants to tour the White House, but White House staff would refuse to open the gate to let them in, so it'd really look like discimination... I don't know. But the point is, the media would have no choice but to refer to this scandal as "Gategate." Upon doing so, all computers and printers at newspapers, political magazines, television news stations, etc would malfunction [because "gategate" is kind of like feedback, y'see], and occassionally blow up, and furthermore, begin refusing to append the word "gate" to the subject of a scandal. Of course, people would still attempt to add "gate" to words, like say, Dan Rather's "Memogate." But the computer cursor would immediate go back four spaces, so that, try as they might, copywriters can only manage to type "Memo." Eventually, people in the media would have no choice but to stop calling everything (something)gate. Beautiful!

My favorite thing about the word "gate" as a weird suffix for scandals: if you look at infamous scandals in reverse-chronological order, then you have to assume that in 1972, the Nixon administration did something bad that involved water. What was it? How could water get you in trouble politically? OH, Nixon accepted illegal campaign donations from the ghost of William Mulholland? And then had Mulholland's ghost haunt Democrat officials? Oh nooo, I know what it was: The Nixon administration orchestrated a break-in at the Watergate Hotel! And then they broke into the rooms of sleeping Democrat politicians, and placed their hands into glasses of warm water.
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Dudes, dudes, dudes:

Many people ask me, Mark, when is Little Hand of the City going to play a weekend show?

To them, I say: this Friday at the Paradox [14th and Leary in Ballard], at 8pm. With Slender Means! And Mon Frere! And Darci Crash!

Many people ask me, is there a way in which I can contribute some money to tsunami relief that would also entitle me to hearing some rock and roll?

To them, I say: Yes, by seeing the aforementioned bands and paying the $7 admission price, for it is a benefit concert, with proceeds going to Oxfam.

Many people also ask me, what's with indie rock and "benefit concerts?"

To them, I say: I'm not sure. But it's not a bad thing.

So there you have it! If you're in a concert mood on Friday night...
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I've realized now that MSN and I have this sort of Road Runner-Wile E Coyote type relationship, wherein I'll be checking my email, and see a seemingly interesting headline off to the side. But then I'll click on it, and of course it will be absolutely stupid, JUST LIKE LAST TIME. For example, today? The headline was something about how your diet can cause insomnia. Ok, interesting, right? Well WOULD YOU BELIEVE that if you consume CAFFEINE before bedtime, you might be in trouble, insomnia-wise?? And, psh, that was pretty much it. I just fell off a cliff and made a little puff of dust. ALSO, WHAT ABOUT AMPHETAMINES, MSN? COULD THEY CAUSE INSOMNIA TOO?

The more I think about it, WHAT in the LIVING FUCK is going on over at MSN? Because they do this a lot! I really want them to have a cliche newsroom, where a bunch of reporters are busily typing away at stories, you know, like in All The President's Men [and any movie where newspaper writers are main characters], because if that were the case, there would be DAILY occurances of someone bursting through the doors shouting, "STOP THE PRESSES! I GOTTA SCOOP, SEE? MAJOR NEWS!" And the grizzled, seen-it-all editor turns around skeptically and says, more than asks, "Whaddya got Smitty?" And Smitty says, "Well it turns out that when an automobile runs out of gas, it won't run anymore." The editor perks up, and Smitty continues, "Won't run, that is, until you put more gas in. But here's where it gets interesting: THAT gas will run out, so you have to replace it with MORE gas, which will run out, and... well, do you realize what this means?" The editor nods severely: "It never ends. Jesus. Can your sources go on record?" "They sure can, boss." "Alright, we're bumping the 'Excess TV Viewing May Be Harmful to Child Development' story to page two!" [Page two OF THE INTERNET, that is!]

And that really could go on and on, I mean, the next day, it's Roberts bursting in with, "Studies Show Apple A Day May Keep Doctor Away." Same thing over in the MSN Dating Department: investigative reporter Leslie Hawkins has uncovered some troubling and conclusive evidence for the article, "Turns Out Smelling Bad Isn't Sexy." [An article that also points out that clothes hangers have no apparent sexual application]. Then the "Apple a Day" story is bumped in favor of a scolding editorial that "Drinking Too Much Can Cause Drunkeness" by Juanita Ford, etc etc etc...
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Little Hand of the City is playing at Chop Suey tomorrow at 9:00! $6 And we're playing with bands called The Four Colour Process [BOO TO THAT PRETENTIOUS 'U'], Coulter [BOO TO POSSIBLY BEING NAMED AFTER CONSERVATIVE ULTRA-SKANK ANN COULTER], and The Charity Stripe [that's a basketball reference... boo?] Haha, just kidding, other bands! No boos, only cheers!
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Man, I think this morning's "WOO I JUST VOTED FOR ALL MY PEEPS!" buzz has worn off, and I'm back to being, y'know, concerned. Dear Friends: is anyone having a sort of, y'know, election night get-together type thing wherein everyone watches the possibly horrifying electoral college results and whatnot? Ideally without that "there's an event happening, so let's get drunk" party-ness, because I'm actually genuinely worried about this thing, and I think that if some drunk dude stumbles into me shouting something like "Election day 2004!!! Get your drink on! oot! oot!" I might considerably FLIP THE FUCK OUT.

Anyway! I don't know, what's everyone doing? Staying home and hiding? Maybe that's a good idea, after all.
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Hup! I'd be remiss, as well as retarded, if I didn't mention that tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow...

Little Hand of the City at The Sunset Tavern in Ballard

Show's at 9:00pm, but we are HEADLINING so we will probably go on at around 11:00pm, which is late but then again we are HEADLINING which is pretty awesome right and I promise you'll get home in time for Conan if you come see us. PLUS, I promise you will be ROCKED to THE VERY MAX if you come see us. So, there.

Other bands who will be there are: Doublewide, and Sunday Morning Music. $5 Ante.
Last night, I came home and my parents were watching television's "Without A Trace." Ominous music played, as a man put his baby daughter in her crib, and then, VOOOOSH! The baby disappeared! "Is this another one of those disturbing/depressing shows you guys always watch?" I asked. "It's not always depressing," my mother replied, in sort of a 'politicians don't always lie' tone. "It's not as bad as CSI," my dad added. But, haha, nothing is! CSI is bad enough for its, oh my god, tendency to depict scenes like, "I'll be right back, detective. Just gonna throw this banana peel in the trash can which is [gasping as he lifts the lid] FULL OF SEVERED EYEBALLS!" [and then the detective rushes over to investigate, and so does some assistant, who is intended to be a stand-in for audience reaction, as he doubles over and vomits]. Also, on CSI, there was once a grotesquely bloated fat dude's corpse decomposing in a bathtub filled with orangey water. Man, cue the audience-reaction assistant again on that one! Ok, phew, it's all ok now. JUST DON'T EVER SHOW THREE SECONDS OF A NIPPLE DURING THE SUPER BOWL EVER AGAIN, AND WE'LL ALL BE FINE!

Ok anyway, as if CSI isn't bad enough, it has spun off into two other shows! So your chance of accidentally turning on the tv to see severed heads, spurting arteries, decomposing mucus membranes, and other foul things that you can't even imagine yet, HAS JUST TRIPLED. The only solution is to never turn on your tv, of course. But please don't "kill your television," mainly because I can't stand slogans. Plus, how else would I watch Arrested Development?

Ah but oh shit, I'm getting pretty close to preachy, when my main point is that I left the room, right, and came back a bit later, just in time to see a detective say something to the effect of, "Mr. Williams' daughter is dead and we want answers, so you better talk!" Which, holy disturbing/depressing! Was this episode about someone who KILLED A BABY?? Yes it was! Which actually made me laugh and laugh, because... haha, "This show is probably disturbing and depressing!" "No it's not! It's just about... the, ah, death of infants. Babies and death. THAT'S THE ENTERTAINMENT VERSION OF CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER!"


So Pat reminded me of the awesomest thing ever, which is in the movie Short Circuit II, Johnny Five encounters a Latino gang called "Los Locos," who tell him, "Los Locos kick your ass! Los Locos kick your face! Los Locos kick your balls in to OUT-ER SPACE!" And man, BOOM, did those writers have their fingers on the very pulse of urban gang culture, or WHAT? I wonder if they had a gang member consultant [some movies do, dudes!] who told them that the main way gangs intimidate people is to confront them with threatening, football-chant-sounding rhymes. Or, OH GOD, was that supposed to be a RAP??

Actually, no, no, I'm sure the whole thing was supposed to be camp, right? I mean, we're dealing with a movie about a robot who comes to life and has fish-out-of-water adventures. But STILL, the writers totally dropped the ball, I say, because dude, remember the part where Johnny Five is going crazy for "input?" [and shut up! I don't know why I remember this movie so well all of a sudden, but I do, ok? And if you don't remember this at all, which I TOTALLY don't blame you, there is a part where Johnny Five--the robot--decides that he needs as much information as possible, so he reads a ton of books and watches tv and everything] They missed a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY for a call-back, or maybe FORESHADOWING [I can't remember what part of the movie this input thing happens in, I think it's towards the beginning], because they SO should have had Johnny Five watching the local news, and hearing part of an anchorwoman reporting a story:

"...NASA has released the first photographs from Space Shuttle Discovery's latest mission, and scientists have noticed what appear to be several pairs of human testicles just outside of the Earth's atmosphere. Experts believe these testicles have been kicked into orbit by an East Los Angeles street gang known as 'Los Locos,' although responsibility has not yet been claimed. However, it is well known that Los Locos' modus operandi is to, after kicking your expletive and your face, to then, quote, 'kick your balls into outer space.' Authorities have currently issued several warrants; more news as the situation develops. Now over to Channel Four's Hal Martin for weather..."
"Mmm, balls kicked into outer space by Los Locos. Now that is pretty... CRAZY! Heh heh, ok, your weekend forecast looks like plenty of sunshine..."

And then Johnny Five turns off the tv and starts reading a dictionary really fast, or something.

Aaaaand if you're scoring at home, that's TWO entries in a row where I've used "fish-out-of-water" and "testicles" in a sentence. Yow!
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If you have nothing to do tonight, there is always rock and roll at Graceland. Yes, all-ages, but bar with ID. I mean, if you're over 21. We go on at 7:00. And I think it's $8. If I'm wrong about the price, it's cheaper than that, because jeeesus. But then again, I guess 90 minutes of You Got Served cost $8 when that was in the theaters... So nevermind! And with the price of entertainment going through the fuckin' roof, that's a deal!

That's all for now! I'll write about the trip to Eugene later, or maybe I'll opt to block it out of my memory--I haven't decided yet!
Whoa dude, apparently there is a new "update journal" window with which to totally funkdafy me! Ok anyway, I was just going to say that I finally got a damn keyboard amp, which means all systems are go to play at a FRAT PARTY in EUGENE, OREGON, i.e. OH MY GOD WHAT ARE WE DOING? No, seriously, it should be fun. Apparently lots of people at this frat heard our demo and loved it, so that's always good. I don't know the name of the frat, though. Just string three greek letters together and you're good, though, right? Upsilon Epsilon Poopsilon. Poop salon! MAN I HATE THOSE! Also, several times, I have made the typo of spelling "frat" as "fart."


You guys, what if I came back and had a newfound enthusiasm for white baseball hats and those certain shirts which I believe can be purchased at your local Abercrombie & Fitch retailer? DUDE YOU NEVER KNOW!

Alright anyway. So Little Hand of the City got its first-ever write-up-of-any-sort in this week's Stranger, for the upcoming show this Tuesday at Graceland. You can read it here, after you scroll down to Tuesday and find the "Dolour, The Pale, Senate Arcade, Little Hand of the City" heading. It's either a positive write-up with vaguely negative elements, or a negative write-up with vaguely positive elements. OR BOTH! I don't know, though! But I do know that I'm now working on my review on the concept of music critics adopting esoteric pen-names.

So this post has been rock-centric, and that's obviously because it's... Rocktember. Right? Then next month is Rocktober, followed by Rockvember, which is of course followed by Rockcember. And then I guess that's where it ends, because you can't really call "January" "Rockuary," on account of that sounding too much like "rockumentary," and people might get confused. PLUS, what the fuck do you do about March, May, and June? Just call them all "Rock?" Psh, talk about confusing!!!

Ok for real now, this MOST RETARDED OF POSTS shall end, and I'm going to drink some tea, then load up the van, and then we will drive for hours upon hours to hopefully triumphantly play a party that we normally wouldn't be invited to except that we're the evening's entertainment. BOOYAH.
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After we played the Vera Project and a house party on Saturday night, our van FUCKING CAUGHT ON FIRE AND BURNED TO THE GROUND ON I-5. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and fortunately again, we needed to take two vans due to bringing a PA System to the party and not having enough room for all our stuff in one van, so half of our stuff is safe n' sound in the van that my brother and I drove back. But the equipment that was destroyed was all of the expensive shit: Aaron's beautiful Fender Twin Reverb amp, Pat's bass amp and cabinet [and possibly his bass, too], my keyboard amp, and an assortment of now-melted stands. NOT TO MENTION THE VAN ITSELF, THE MOST EXPENSIVE THING OF ALL!

I can't believe Aaron and Pat had to wait outside in the unbelievably pouring rain [so extreme that night that it almost seems ridiculous that anything could actually burn in it], and watch an engine fire escalate to the point where it engulfed the entire van while waiting for the fire department to come. That must have been SUCH a depressing feeling.

Wow. Anyway, Aaron's first-hand version of the story is here, if you're morbidly curious for details. It's optimistic at the end, and I can't help feeling the same way, because...I don't know, every bit of adversity builds character. And other stuff my grandfather would say... But seriously! And things are going too well for us to get dragged down by this. So we'll figure it out. Every band that's made it anywhere has lost their equipment at some point, so we sure aren't the first to be in this situation, and we didn't lose all of it, either, so that's a constant positive.

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See, my theory is that if I post these show announcements enough, EVENTUALLY I'll wear down your defenses and you'll have no choice but to conclude, "Well they DO play a whole lot, maybe they really ARE good." And then your pre-show "I'll try to come!" comments that segue into post-show "The tires on my car suddenly transformed into concrete blocks and I couldn't get them to change back so I couldn't make it to your show sorry!" will eventually become pre-show "I'll totally be there!" comments that segue into post-show "WOW I HAD SO MUCH FUN LITTLE HAND OF THE CITY RULEZ WOO!" comments.

As NFL coach John Gruden once astutely said, "POUND THE ROCK!"
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I wonder if it's possible that somewhere, somehow, someone has an obsessive-compulsive disorder that requires them to read Moby Dick twelve times before they perform any action.
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