Tuesday, March 09, 2010

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Kick off Black Friday with a Pitchfork in the Ass: Who is Krampus?

Greetings from Jan 2, 2009. I hope everyone has had a decent year so far. How was Thanksgiving with the relatives? Did you get stuffed?

Things are slow at work today, so I'd been using Stumble Upon to, well, stumble when I came across this link. I got a notion in my head to set up a post for later this year, so I don't have to bookmark it and come back to it when it becomes relevant. So here here we are on Black Friday.

So on with the show!

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Everyone knows that Santa keeps lists of good and bad children. If you are good you get a visit from Santa and he leaves toys. But in turn -of-the-century Europe, if you were bad you got a visit from KRAMPUS! Originating in Germany and the Teutonic countries, KRAMPUS acted as Santa's servant. As time passed KRAMPUS developed a rather malicious disposition and became almost an Anti-Santa. While jolly St. Nick delivered gifts to the good, KRAMPUS gave coal and rocks to the naughty, beat the bad with switches, and if a child was especially naughty, he would shackle them in chains, stuff them in a bucket and throw them into the fiery pits of hell! Beginning in the 1880's KRAMPUS appeared on cards that were sent on the Eve Of St. Nick and was depicted as a black dwarf dressed in a fur vest, Moorish clothes and a devil mask or horns. As time passed his feet were replaced with claws or hooves (sometimes one of each) and his body itself became covered in fur and he wore little or no clothing. Sometimes a common "devil" type tail is also added. Eventually his tongue became obscenely long as did his horns. On some occasions cards were sent not with a picture of KRAMPUS but with a simple picture of his switch or chains and the phrase "Gruss Vom Krampus!" (Greetings From Krampus) or "Brav Sein!" (Be Good). By the time of the 1960's KRAMPUS became more associated with adults and sex (much like a St. Valentine's Day devil) and postcards of that time often portray him leering at, and sometimes carrying away, nubile young women.

Click me to see awesome Krampus Postcards

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If you really want to know...

I have to say, it's an odd thing to have someone else's digital music player. In this case it's a 2 Gig Sony Walkman that magically appeared in the mail yesterday. The note read (paraphrased)"Thank you very much for working so hard on Mac's websites. We thought Mac would like someone to have his music. He had eclectic taste so we hope you enjoy it. Also, we don't even know how to turn it on, so we think a young person can get a lot of use out it."

It's a little bit like reading someone's diary because we all know the personal associations and feelings that certain music and artists evoke. Plus, I didn't have any ear buds at home, so I used the ones enclosed with the unit. Our ear waxes merged, though for a brief crazy second I thought: "I sure we we could clone Mac from a sample of his ear wax." But that's not possible. For the record, the buds were clean. There was no detritus on them.

I was hoping to be able to extract the songs from the Walkman and make them available, but alas it's a one way trip, and I nearly erased it trying to do so with some shady software.

I was able to pull a copy of the playlist. As you will see, there is nothing amazing or all that surprising (other than the Sade), and there were no hidden gems of sonic weirdness. Just the music of a guy who really loved The Smiths, and Morrissey, REM, Portishead and the Cure.

10000 Maniacs:In my Tribe
Beth Gibbons & Rustin': Man-Out of Season
Brian Eno: Everything that Happens
Bowie: Changes, Heathen, Reality
Graeme Revell: Until the end of the world
Massive Attack: Mezzanine
Morrissey:Bona Drag, Kill Uncle, Ringleader of the Tormentors
Vauxhall and I, Viva Hate, You Are the Quarry (Deluxe Ed), Your Arsenal
Nico: Chelsea Girl
Peter Gabriel: So
Portishead: Dummy, Portishead, Roseland NYC (live), Sour Times, Third
REM: Accelerate, Around The Sun, Automatic For The People, Fables of the Reconstruction, Murmur, Out of Time, Reveal, Until The End of the World, UP,
Radiohead: Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief, In Rainbows, Kid A, OK Computer
Röyksopp: The Understanding
Sade: Diamond Life
Talking Heads: Fear of Music, More Songs About Buildings and Food, Speaking in Tongues, Until The End of the World: Sax And Violins
The Cure: Disintegration, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Staring at the Sea: The Singles 1979-1985, Wish
The Knife: Hannah Med H, Silent Shout, The Knife
The Smiths: Louder Than Bombs, Meat is Murder, Strangeways, Here We Come, The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Nature of Mac Tonnies Health Problems

I picked this up from the comments on Posthuman Blues and I thought I would repost it here so you don't have to scroll down the thread.

Posted by Intense
In an attempt at trying to help relieve concerns and answer some of the perplexing questions that have come up regarding how or what Mac died from, I should note, having spoken earlier this week to his mother, Dana, that she told me that Mac apparently had some underlying heart problems.

She mentioned that once, many years ago in high school, Mac had complained about a racing or fast-beating heart, which made him feel somewhat faint. She took him to a doctor, but the diagnostic tests done then did not indicate any obvious or continuing physiological heart or circulatory disease.

Then, about a year ago, Mac again complained that his heart seemed to be going through irregular beats, and intermittently racing faster than normal, which made him feel tired and light-headed, and Dana again drove him to another doctor who ran an EKG on him, which did show somewhat anomalous results.

She said the doctor told Mac that if he didn't know better, the first EKG results alone would seem to indicate he might have had a mild heart attack. Since Mac, when he subsequently underwent additional tests, including extensive treadmill stress testing, did not show further symptoms or problems after the initial EKG, and the later tests seemed to show he was fine, I'm guessing Mac and his mom thought or were advised it was probably a relatively benign, anomalous incident that didn't require further concern, as Mac seemed quite healthy otherwise, got plenty of exercise from walking a lot, was a vegetarian, and the doctor could find nothing wrong after the further testing.

It seems probable in retrospect that his intermittent heart problems may have, over time, led to some accumulated heart muscle damage leading up and finally causing his passing after the arrhythmia symptoms recurred.

I don't know if perhaps his liking for strong espresso, diet, the possible strain from his day job while also trying to complete his book by his proposed deadline of November 1st, or other factors, could have contributed to what apparently was a heart attack, but I've read a couple references on the net that in the few weeks prior to his passing, he again had heart palpitations on a few occasions, and had at times recently felt fatigued or dizzy once more.

Since his last tweet was at 7:49 pm on Sunday, October 18th, which was earlier than he usually concluded sending out tweets or posting to his blog, I can only assume or speculate that he might have felt tired earlier than usual, and because he had to work the next day, might have retired to bed earlier than usual for him.

So, to help put aside some of the more morbid or conspiratorial things I've seen on the net recently, it seems that due to Mac's underlying prior inconclusive history of occasional heart symptoms, the actual nature or seriousness of which may have been mistakenly ascribed by Mac or others to hard work, long hours, maybe too much coffee, or other mundane stress factors and thus overlooked, most likely he simply had an overfibrillated heart attack in his sleep either that night or the following morning, as he was found later that week in bed.

I know it's hard to understand or accept that someone so bright and relatively young could die so abruptly and unexpectedly (and due to the timing, with his book about to be submitted, arousing some suspicions in certain quarters), and with him showing such great promise, it's also hard to wrap one's mind around his sudden absence, but now that you know a bit more about his previously unrecognized serious heart problems, it hopefully will be a little less difficult to let him finally go. It was an unfortuanate but "natural" death, IMHO.

I couldn't believe it at first myself, as some of my initial comments above show, but after having talked to his mom, and learning more about what I have noted above, I find it no less saddening that Mac is gone, but at least more understandable, and I now accept it. I will truly miss him, and what he potentially would have done. He was a real contender. May he happily wander among the stars...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This is Halloween...Halloween, Halloween, Halloween

Back when I was a kid I used to think that I had psychic powers. Either telepathy, telekinesis or precognition. I couldn't move shit to save my life, but I thought I could will traffic lights green, that I knew what people were going to say before they could say it, or predict other events. I believed that my Powers grew from March 31st until they peaked on Halloween. Of course I didn't, but still...It was a nice to think so back then.

I've always loved Halloween, but this year I'm not quite in the mood. So this is my Lift-Me-Up post to get in the spirit. We're having what I think may be a blow out party this year. We've invited a bunch of new friends we've met this year through our Drawing Meet Up, and we're going to have have lights, a smoke machine and Karaoke in which I will blast away at The Time Warp and scare everyone in the house.

Here are some photos from Plattner-ween of the past:







Some really cool Ilustrations by: Matthew Kirscht


Here: Here's a version of Season of the Witch by Dr. John and the Blues Brother's Band (thought I think Clapton is there too).

Did you like it and want to hear more? I just found 19 more here:

Now we'll toss in some retro Halloween Pin Ups:

via janitoroflunacy.tumblr.com

Read the Entire Book O' Hallowe'en (1919)

Let's End it with The Halloween Tree:

By the time we've all finished this post to it's conclusion, I think we'll all be closer to making it be a Phantasmagorical Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thought Salad

Ok, so I'm back after an extended hiatus.I'm not going to make excuses and promise to always be here. Let's face it, Twitter is awesome. It allows me to update my bullshit in real time. But with the death of Mac Tonnies, it's caused me to reevaluate how much I want to share myself and the things I encounter with the world.

Those who follow me on Twitter already know how broken up I am over Mac's death.What makes me saddest of all is that to my knowledge, he was not a romantic relationship, and as I understand it, had a lot of difficulty finding and maintaining one.And I think was a symptom of his core sadness which surfaced from time to time in his posts and his Tweets. I think we shared a general feeling of isolation from the rest of the world, but it was more pronounced with Mac. You could see it in his photographs, of what he chose as his subjects: Statues, Manikins, automatons, architecture...not a lot of people (though you're there).

Sigh. Of course Mac had friends, good friends and caring friends. I know I'm attributing personality to Mac that may or may not be there, but those were the impressions I got from "reading" him. I knew that as much as he had hope for a digital, exobiotic future, the here and now ground down upon him daily. You have to have hope for the future when the present sucks so bad. And I believe that as distant as Mac thought he felt from everyone, he had an incredible empathy for the animals, the disenfranchised, and the have nots.

I'm sad because he didn't have the time to live where he wanted, to find a fulfilling daily job or career.But, I'm saddest of all because he didn't have enough time to fill the hole which I am sure bedeviled and plagued him to the end of his days. Me, I like to remember him smiling.

Other Things

Much to my surprise I'm still keeping up with the weirdness.I've been sidelined all Summer with a foot injury from simultaneously doing extensive yoga and a Fitness Boot Camp in the park with crappy shoes. My foot still hurts after physical therapy and a Cortezone shot, so it may require surgery, though I'm not taking the time to look into the MRI. Which is foolish. I should do that. I guess I will.

Anyway, I ended up putting on a few pounds and feeling out of shape, so I set up my bike trainer in the basement to do some stationary cycling. The problem is, now the guest room is down there instead of the office, so I have to cycle out in the boring unfinished part (with no TV). So rather than be bored staring at the air conditioner I decided to make my own entertainment by strapping on my www.mindfold.com/ installing some ear plugs and doing Sensory Deprivation Cycling.

So far the results are not that much different from when I do this laying on a couch. Part of me is observer, part participant. The hardest thing to do at the moment is to concentrate on looking out through my eyes instead of rolling the up and looking upon my inner eye.

But that doesn't tell you anything does it? Ok...Here are things I've seen: Sometimes I can look out into the void before my eyes and feel the space. The basement walls vanish and it's just void. The the abstract shapes appear. Sometimes they are skull-like (since I've been drawing skulls), or alien grays (last night because of Mac). I get flashes of yellow/green in my peripheral vision. And I know that my mask is sealed tight.

click to enlarge
Tonight's skull practice. I'm very happy with it. on Twitpic

Another Skull Study done today. Looks like skull will teach m... on Twitpic

A few times I was able to lose my identity in the cycling and the vision for a few seconds before I panic about falling off the bike or the bike unmooring from the trainer, but so far it's taken all the speed and energy I can throw at it and dismounted. Hmmm perhaps I should do an inspection run before hand.

Also sometimes my inner monologue changes voice. I've had it in the past become black women, old people, Hispanic...others not mine. When that happens, I wonder if a blow to the head will cause me to speak with a new accent.Foreign accent syndrome. Last night I got a Hispanic accent which sounded a lot like Antonio Banderas. Go figure. Also for the first time I got an olfactory hit of airplane glue after a chain association made me think of the plastic Star Trek Phaser and Tricorder I build as a child.

So I'll continue to do these sense dep cyclings, and broadcast them on-line because...well, why not?

Even if Mac is gone, we still follow the motto of Planetary: It's a strange world, let's keep it that way.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

When Google Voicemail Transscription Goes Wrong

My wife got a voicemail from her sister tonight and Google Voice transcribed it and sent it to her. Her sister, Cynthia, has a strong Brazilian accent, so this is what Google thought she said:

And all that's me time here phone services. You might be getting ready to go out so it's not a message of Pentecost out for a run by you, but I guess we'll talk later. Love you bye.

I have no idea what she said.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Yet another great Vonnegut passage:

From God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965), in which Kurt Vonnegut writes about the Death of the American Dream.

Dear Cousin, or whoever you may be --

Congratulations on your great good fortune. Have fun. It may increase your perspective to know what sorts of manipulators and custodians your unbelievable wealth has had up to now.

Like so many great American fortunes, the Rosewater pile was accumulated in the beginning by a humorless, constipated Christian farm boy turned speculator and briber during and after the Civil War. The farm boy was Noah Rosewater, my great-grandfather, who was born in Rosewater County, Indiana.

Noah and his brother George inherited from their pioneer father six hundred acres of farmland, land as dark and rich as chocolate cake, and a small saw factory that was nearly bankrupt. War came.

George raised a rifle company, marched away at its head.

Noah hired a village idiot to fight in his place, converted the saw factory to the manufacture of swords and bayonets, converted the farm to the raising of hogs. Abraham Lincoln declared that no amount of money was too much to pay for the restoration of the Union, so Noah priced his merchandise in scale with the national tragedy. And he made this discovery: Government objections to the price or quality of his wares could be vaporized with bribes that were pitifully small.

He married Cleota Herrick, the ugliest woman in Indiana, because she had four hundred thousand dollars. With her money he expanded the factory and bought more farms, all in Rosewater County. He became the largest individual hog farmer in the North. And, in order not to be victimized by meat packers, he bought controlling interest in an Indianapolis slaughterhouse. In order not to be victimized by steel suppliers, he bought controlling interest in a steel company in Pittsburgh. In order not to be victimized by coal suppliers, he bought controlling interest in several mines. In order not to be victimized by money lenders, he founded a bank.

And his paranoid reluctance to be a victim caused him to deal more and more in valuable papers, in stocks and bonds, and less and less in swords and pork. Small experiments with worthless papers convinced him that such papers could be sold effortlessly. While he continued to bribe persons in government to hand over treasuries and national resources, his first enthusiasm became the peddling of watered stock.

When the United States of America, which was meant to be a Utopia for all, was less than a century old, Noah Rosewater and a few men like him demonstrated the folly of the Founding Fathers in one respect: those sadly recent ancestors had not made it the law of the Utopia that the wealth of each citizen should be limited. This oversight was engendered by a weak-kneed sympathy for those who loved expensive things, and by the feeling that the continent was so vast and valuable, and the population so thin and enterprising, that no thief, no matter how fast he stole, could more than mildly inconvenience anyone.

Noah and a few like him perceived that the continent was in fact finite, and that venal office-holders, legislators in particular, could be persuaded to toss up great hunks of it for grabs, and to toss them in such a way as to have them land where Noah and his kind were standing.

Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went _bang_ in the noonday sun.

_E pluribus unum_ is surely an ironic motto to inscribe on the currency of this Utopia gone bust, for every grotesquely rich American represents property, privileges, and pleasures that have been denied the many. An even more instructive motto, in the light of history made by the Noah Rosewaters, might be: _Grab much too much, or you'll get nothing at all_.

And Noah begat Samuel, who married Geraldine Ames Rockefeller. Samuel became even more interested in politics than his father had been, served the Republican Party tirelessly as a king-maker, caused that party to nominate men who would whirl like dervishes, bawl fluent Babylonian, and order the militia to fire into crowds whenever a poor man seemed on the point of suggesting that he and a Rosewater were equal in the eyes of the law.

And Samuel bought newspapers, and preachers, too. He gave them this simple lesson to teach, and they taught it well: _Anybody who thought that the United States of America was supposed to be a Utopia was a piggy, lazy, God-damned fool_. Samuel thundered that no American factory hand was worth more than eighty cents a day. And yet he could be thankful for the opportunity to pay a hundred thousand dollars or more for a painting by an Italian three centuries dead. And he capped this insult by giving paintings to museums for the spiritual elevation of the poor. The museums were closed on Sundays.

And Samuel begat Lister Ames Rosewater, who married Eunice Eliot Morgan. There was something to be said for Lister and Eunice: unlike Noah and Cleota and Samuel and Geraldine, they could laugh as though they meant it. As a curious footnote to history, Eunice became Woman's Chess Champion of the United States in 1927, and again in 1933.
Eunice also wrote an historical novel about a female gladiator, _Ramba of Macedon_, which was a best-seller in 1936. Eunice died in 1937, in a sailing accident in Cotuit, Massachusetts. She was a wise and amusing person, with very sincere anxieties about the condition of the poor. She was my mother.

Her husband, Lister, never was in business. From the moment of his birth to the time I am writing this, he has left the manipulation of his assets to lawyers and banks. He has spent nearly the whole of his adult life in the Congress of the United States, teaching morals, first as a Representative from the district whose heart is Rosewater County, and then as Senator from Indiana. That he is or ever was an Indiana person is a tenuous political fiction. And Lister begat Eliot.

Lister has thought about the effects and implications of his inherited wealth about as much as most men think about their left big toes. The fortune has never amused, worried, or tempted him. Giving ninety-five per cent of it to the Foundation you now control didn't cause him a twinge.

And Eliot married Sylvia DuVrais Zetterling, a Parisienne beauty who came to hate him. Her mother was a patroness of painters. Her father was the greatest living cellist. Her maternal grandparents were a Rothschild and a DuPont.

And Eliot became a drunkard, a Utopian dreamer, a tinhorn saint, an aimless fool.

Begat he not a soul.

_Bon voyage_, dear Cousin or whoever you are. Be generous. Be kind. You can safely ignore the arts and sciences. They never helped anybody. Be a sincere, attentive friend of the poor.

The letter was signed,
The late Eliot Rosewater.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Discovered in my AppleScript book

So far, you’ve created an IPod class and created an instance of it, but we’ve already discovered that it’s
completely useless as it is. It’s like an annoying socialite factory capable of churning out an endless parade of celebrity wannabes who are famous just for being famous, despite being completely devoid of both substance and talent. I’m sure you can think of a few media personalities who fit this bill, and we refuse to let your IPod class become one of them.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another Vonnegut Quote Too Long for Twitter.

From "Mother Night"

"I doubt if there has ever been a society that has been without strong and young people eager to experiment with
homicide, provided no very awful penalties are attached to it."

I think this works for both the Iranian Basiji and The United States Marine Corps.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Best Paragraph I Read in a Long Time

From Spaceman's Blues: A Love Story by Brian Francis Slattery

The Pan-Galactic Groove Squad crashes through the window at eleven-thirty to claps and cheers and stomping feet; there are twenty-seven of them in this band, they have guitars and basses, keyboards, accordions, horns, banjos, and drums, so many drums, and they set up in no time and begin to play, a beat that starts down low and simple, just the kick and some hi-hat with one bass snaking around it. The rest of the band waits, they're letting the groove get in the pocket, hit bottom. It does; and now two drummers join in, they weave a polyrhythm that brings in one guitar and some pops from a banjo, oh this groove is young but it's growing, and people are starting to move. Now a singer steps up to the mike, puts out some blues that two more singers turn to gospel, harmonies deep and wide that make you want to believe. Five more drummers slip their way into the spaces, two guitars, another bass, a single trumpet line, simple and urgent, and those singers are swelling up, they're filling the groove to bursting, and just when nobody can take another second, they break it open in an explosion of horns and keyboards and shouting strings. The people open up their throats and sing, and everybody screams and throws their hands in the air, they're falling in and stomping it down, sweating and throwing back their heads until they are bound together, band and dancers, into a single thing, and this is a party not even the Hand of the Righteous could stop, it is loud and large and full of joy; and then Wendell steps into the room.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Become a successful Internet Celebrity, Author and Motivational Speaker all in one shot!

While dozing on a plane in a Hypnogogic state when I had a revelation:

How to become a successful Internet Celebrity, Author and Motivational Speaker all in one shot! And I'm giving it to you because I'm too lazy to do it myself.

1. Find "your thing". In this case it is becoming "Captain Cake Man" The foundation is this: It's obvious that death and tragedy can come at any time in any place without warning...but so can cake. Of the two, I'd take cake.

2. Do your thing: "Captain Cake Man" can start small. Go to the bakery at a grocery store, and just buy a regular low priced cake. It doesn't matter what kind, just make it big enough to feed at least 10 people or so.

3. Brand your thing: Design a logo, get a website and a special email address. Print it up on some stickers and stick them on your cake box.

4. Hitting the bricks: Every couple of days, buy a cake, slap a sticker on it, pick an office building at random and give them a cake. Don't tell them about the death thing, because will weird them out, but instead tell them that "Cake Happens, or I'm Captain Cake Man, that's what I do."

5. Document your thing: Take pictures and movies of you delivering the cake. Post them on your website. If you get a chance, start meeting people and talking to them. Ask them if there's anything they've done to make people happy. Keep their emails. Collect stories. This will become a full time vocation, so don't half-ass it. Nobody likes a half-ass Personality. Do not besmirch the Captain Cake Man image. Remember, it takes a while to become an overnight success, but it is possible if you keep it up.

6. Eventually someone will notice you and you will start getting a lot of attention. Keep it up. Keep collecting stories and photos. And when you get enough you be able to publish a book like the Post Secret Guy. Perhaps you can quit your job and make your own cakes with your own logo decoration. Soon you will have enough stories and photos to go on a speaking tour about commiting Random Acts of Cakeness.

7. Profit? I sure hope so because it's an awesome idea that is bound to be successful. Go forth, Good Luck and Happy Caking.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Definately some trading going on in the Nü Economy

I walked out of the house tonight with a bag of books to give away, a Jerry Garcia Figure to loan out. I came home with a 10 lb bag of rice, transporting some DVDs between one guy and my neighbors, which I swapped out for a book loan.

This weekend I will be taking photos of this guy's paintings and helping him post them on Flickr because he lets me sit in on his painting sessions and gives me drive by art lessons.

3 minute pose

Tomorrow I'm going to try to hook up a coworker with some freelance work, and another artist with a bar caricature gig.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Liz Lemmon & Alessandra

Liz Lemmon & Alessandra
Originally uploaded by Cap'n Marrrrk
Liz Lemmon is only 5 or 6 weeks old. She's new out of the box. Here is the picture for reference.

Liz Lemmon the Hedgehog 1

Liz Lemmon the Hedgehog 1
Originally uploaded by Cap'n Marrrrk

Friday, March 13, 2009

Porky Pig in The Wearing of The Grin

A little something for you Irish Folk

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

9 second video that made us laugh

Because kicking a small child in the bum is funny. We haven't watched the movie yet, but apparently he had it coming.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Coining a new word: Introducing SMUNK

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I'm coining a new word: Smunk n. sm(elly) (f)unk The disgusting odor of combined cooked foods in a communal lunchroom or cafeteria. Adj "this room smells smunky."

There's a reason why I only want to eat uncooked food at my desk. It's because my unventilated lunchroom smells smunky. When we first moved buildings (in which the entire first floor smelled smunky all the time), our lunchroom didn't reek, but then we began hiring new people for another department pushing us past the Smunkschild Radius which has created a permanent fog of foul miasma in that tiny room.

Throw some color at it.

For those who don't have Twitter or facebook, here is a drawing I did of Alessandra during her modeling session this weekend. It was the first time I used color, and tried to draw larger.

Henryk the painter who was paying for Ale's time, is also coaching me to draw as large as possible.

So over all, while i don't think what I drew was "Good", I am happy with it for my skill level (which I would put at High School Sophomore)

Onwards and upwards

An amusing anecdote

Last week or so Alessandra and I went to a book swap at her knitting pal Michelle's house. I offloaded a ton of books and only came home with two magazines and a bottle of blue hair dye for my beard.

So the following week, we were back at Michelle's for knitting (I of course was drawing) and it's fun for me because the girls are Geek Girls and we can talk about Lost, BSG & SciFi stuff. Michelle had a few boxes of left over books she was going to donate, so I went over to look at the boxes.

"Hey Mark, that box over there is just boring text books. All the fiction are in the boxes in front of you."

"Oh that's ok, I'll take a look at the text books." Shuffle, shuffle. "Heyyyyyy!" I hold up a copy of "The Long Road" (my self published novel) ->

Stammered apologies ensue, but I'm not insulted at all. Despite my friends, and wife's assurance that it's a good book, I think it's probably no better than a Fan Fiction.

"Of all the boxes I didn't want you going into, you had to go and look there."

I'm really not offended at all, but I am amused.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Dream on Little Man

Spotted on North Carolina Craigslist:

Looking For Something to Look At: "Looking for a female to hang out in an apartment whilst wearing nothing but stockings and glasses like Charlie Sheen's in 'Major League'.

Must be comfortable with hanging out with a small group of guys while naked. Looking for a girl who can spend a few quality hours watching Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring, with us.

There is no compensation for this, as spending time in my presence is surely enough to cover your time spent.

Reply with pic/reason why I should pick you."

My response: Your presence is not enough. You need to play the lady. Which could, at 12 bucks an hour, get you a pretty hot figure drawing model if you played your cards right.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March comes in like a...

Stupid NBC needs to post this on Hulu.com. John Belushi's March comes in like a bit, on Weekend Update from SNL in 1977. So by way of a clearly inferior method of comedic media delivery: here is the transcript. If you've ever seen it, just try and picture/hear it. To those who aren't...sorry.

Chevy Chase:
Last week we made the comment that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Now here to reply is our chief meteorologist, John Belushi, with a seasonal report.

John Belushi:
Thank you Chevy. Well, another winter is almost over and March true to form has come in like a lion, and hopefully will go out like a lamb. At least that's how March works here in the United States.

But did you know that March behaves differently in other countries? In Norway, for example, March comes in like a polar bear and goes out like a walrus. Or, take the case of Honduras where March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a salt marsh harvest mouse.

Let's compare this to the Maldive Islands where March comes in like a wildebeest and goes out like an ant. A tiny, little ant about this big.

[holds thumb and index fingers a small distance apart]

Unlike the Malay Peninsula where March comes in like a worm-eating fernbird and goes out like a worm-eating fernbird. In fact, their whole year is like a worm-eating fernbird.

Or consider the Republic of South Africa where March comes in like a lion and goes out like a different lion. Like one has a mane, and one doesn't have a mane. Or in certain parts of South America where March swims in like a sea otter, and then it slithers out like a giant anaconda.

There you can buy land real cheap, you know. And there's a country where March hops in like a kangaroo, and stays a kangaroo for a while, and then it becomes a slightly smaller kangaroo. Then, then, then for a couple of days it's sort of a cross between a, a frilled lizard and a common house cat.

[Chevy Chase tries to interrupt him]

Wait wait wait wait. Then it changes back into a smaller kangaroo, and then it goes out like a, like a wild dingo. Now, now, and it's not Australia! Now, now, you'd think it would be Australia, but it's not!

[Chevy Chase tries to interrupt him]

Now look, pal! I know a country where March comes in like an emu and goes out like a tapir. And they don't even know what it means! All right? Now listen, there are nine different countries, where March comes in like a frog, and goes out like a golden retriever. But that- that's not the weird part! No, no, the weird part is, is the frog. The frog- The weird part is-

[has seizure and falls off chair]

Why can't we be friends?

I'm pretty hot & cold about Facebook. Like what appears to be most of America, I have a profile there, but I don't Poke or join groups, causes, send plants to save the rain forest, or any of that shit. I pretty much just comment on my friend's status and lose at Scrabble.

So why am I there? Really I have no clue. I already have my own "corner of the web" here at NTM, and I already post my microposts at Twitter. Then a weird thing happened, after being friended by friends, acquaintances and former coworkers, I started getting friended by people with whom I went to grade school and high school. You don't have to reciprocate, but I figure if you're taking the time to push the button and say Hi, I'm willing to let you into as much of my life as I mostly post online (which is actually quite alot). If I say something that offends you, well, then, you'd don't have to follow me.

Here's a story:
Growing up I was a very lonely kid and was filled with a constant longing for friends and good times like those found in McDonald's Commercials. "Good Friends, Good Times" kind of crap going all the way to early grade school. Only twice in my life up until college did I discover that girls liked me: once in junior high, once in senior high, and because they were not "the popular girls" that I crushed on and was rejected by again and again, I shit on them.
What actually happened was this: when I found out that a girl liked me, I was overcome by anxiety and fear, THEN I shit on them, and said mean things to them to make them go away. No wonder my mom thought I was gay.

I blocked a lot of high school out of my memory. Again, most of it was filled with unfulfilled longings, constant rejections and occasional beatings (not like those of today, but more of a jostling, occasionally put in wrestling move kind of thing). But one thing I do remember was being very mean to Laura M, who I heard liked me at some point.

Laura M was a girl who rode my bus, who was pretty but not in a popular clique. She was very quiet and of Native American decent. So when I found out that she liked me, I slagged on her very hard using such terms as "Redskin" and "Squaw." I think I made her cry.

Much to my surprise, 24+ years later, she friended me on Facebook, and I sat there for a minute or thinking to myself, "Really? Now what?"

I believe that we carry every hurt and misdeed with us our entire lives. I'd say the same for kindness, but at the time of this writing, I don't feel it, though I'm open to being wrong. Much like Marley, in "A Christmas Carol" we wear the chains we forged in this life, and the fact that I remember being so mean, I think, says something. And after 24 years, I made a sincere apology for being a dick back then.

I don't know if I scratched at an old forgotten wound on her, and restabbed her, but since I choose to believe it's still with her (as it was with me), I hope that it brings a tiny sense of relief. And as much as I think Facebook is an awful shopping mall of a social network, I think it has the potential to brink that sort of relief to many more people, and I makes me wonder what kind of world would it be if we can all finally get rid of the the emotional ghosts of our pasts.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Web Cam is On

The Web Cam is open. Tits, drums, music & floats from Carnaval in Rio http://is.gd/ktUy InfoDump: http://is.gd/ktUZ We'll try to keep in on all night.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Smut Week

Wow, what a past week of smut and norm transgressions.

Tuesday: Who is Annie Sprinkle?

It only seemed fitting that the talk was held in a dimly-lit basement multipurpose room called The Gargoyle (formerly The Rathskeller)

Annie Sprinkle Ph.D., former porn star, Feminist Pornographer, Artist and Sex Goddess was giving a talk as part of Washington University's Sex Week.

It was basically her boilerplate talk of "The Life of Annie Sprinkle": How a regular girl happened to work at a concession stand of a movie theater showing "Deep Throat", discovered she liked sex and made a career out of it: porn films, plays in which she opens up her vagina to audience inspection of her cervix, Sacred Goddess Exploration Porn...the works.

It made for an interesting talk. I consider Annie a Counter Cultural Hero of mine who share the list with Timothy Leary, Terrence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson, and I love the fact that she isn't just coasting on her past productions, and old stories as part of her talk. She continues to make art the coolest of which was a photo exhibit of her getting a cancerous tumor removed from her breast, then a montage of she and her lover shaving each other's heads as she went on Chemo.

Q&A was brief but interesting, thought it was an evening well spent.

Interview with Annie in Mavericks of The Mind

Saturday Night: Naughti Gras

Alessandra and I put on some costumes and went to go look at some erotic art with some 2000 people.

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Sunday: Alessandra accompanies me to Dr Sketchy's Anti Art School

So I can try to draw Pole Dancing Duo Gravity Plays Favorites

Gravity Plays Favorites
Click link for more photos.

You know, when all was said and done, I didn't anything we did was smutty or transgressive, but other people will...and there you go.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Put that in your pipe and smoke it

This mean Valentine was included in a big stack that a friend bought on e-bay for part of a big craft project. She holds these parties where you come and make valentines for your loved ones, but none ever uses this one as it's base.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Shitload of Stairway

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Hi...How are you? ☺? Good, Good. Here comes lots of Stairway to Heaven. OK? OK. ♫ http://blip.fm/~246tz I listened to them all...so should you.

Spanish Guitar Stairway To Heaven ♫ http://blip.fm/~246w1

Added by request: Dread Zeppelin's version of ♫ Stairway To Heaven.

Tiny Tim & Brave Combo sing Stairway to Heaven ♫ http://blip.fm/~246xj

What happens when you combine the B52s & Led Zeppelin? Rock Lobsters doing Stairway to Heaven. Not to be missed, ♫ http://blip.fm/~246z0

A down & dirty Stairway to Heaven ♫ http://blip.fm/~24720

Oh Dolly, I so love your boobs...I mean your version of Stairway to Heaven. ♫ http://blip.fm/~2473m

I don't know what style this is, but this Stairway to Heaven has an accordion and bubble pop sound. ♫ http://blip.fm/~2475p

Who is Millish? I don't know, but they have a incredibly strong Stairway to Heaven. ♫ http://blip.fm/~2479r

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale a tale of fateful trip on the Stairway to Heaven! ♫ http://blip.fm/~247b5

Pardon Me Boys swings the Big Band fuck out of Stairway to Heaven. Where's me Zoot Suit? ♫ http://blip.fm/~247fs

The 1963 Beatles successfully travel in time to 1971 and back again to "write" Stairway to Heaven before Zeppelin. ♫ http://blip.fm/~247l4

What do a Tuba, Banjo & Trumpet have in common? They rock the shit out out of Stairway To Heaven in ways you never imagined ♫ http://blip.fm/~247te

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Numbers Game

This is something that came to mind last night as I was drifting off to sleep. I don't ever think about numbers so I thought this would make a fun post to how I relate to and see certain numbers.

0 Something representing nothing or a power of 10. How versatile is that?

1 Is both the loneliest number and the most crowded when we are unified. Uni = 1

2 Two can be as bad as one, it's the loneliest number since the number one.

3 Is a Magic Number. I don't know why one would say "I'm the third wheel" when accompanying a couple out for the evening. A 3rd wheel forms a tricycle and stabilizes the bike. Triva Fact: That idiom is not used in Brazil. According to Alessandra that person is said to be "holding the candle", which is a lot more sensual and to the point.

4 Used to be my favorite number, but now I find it rather boring with pointy corners because all I see is a square or trapezoid.

5 Mach Fuckin' 5! Chok, chok, chok... I still haven't seen the Speed Racer Movie.

6 One 1/2 of "Box Cars", the number of Brady kids (minus cousin Oliver) and to me generally a boring number. Just kind of there.

7 Supposed to be a lucky number. Hmmm. What does Cat Yronwode have to say?

8 Octopus, so wondrous and alien. I love them even at they give me the Willies Brings to mind hex #2f2f7d.

9 "If you talk about destructionnnn, don't you know that you can count me out (in)" Nine is a delightfully wonky number. It just seems "off" to me, but in a friendly way. Comes across in warm colors, and seems round.

10 "9, 10 a big fat hen". I think of 10 as an egg. Maybe it's because of the zero at the end. But is 10 a small hen's egg or full like an ostrich? I don't know. Right now I see an egg floating in space but pregnant with potential. I know that should be zero, but as of this writing, that's how 10 feels to me.

13 Highly over rated. I feel that #13 is that Goth kid with the Hot Topics clothing, starved for attention. Not like I've never been there myself, but still, I think 13 is a showboater. A generally nice number who occasionally needs a smack in the back of the head to keep it grounded.

First technically not a number, but a position. But how many firsts do you remember. First Kiss, First Fuck, First Car, First Concert...what about the little firsts? Last week for the first time I bought a fat red pepper at the store during lunch, cleaned it at office and ate it. First time ever...weird. It was a great pepper btw.

42 What you get when you multiply 6 x 9?

23 Oh you wacky Discordians how I ScrunkTheFlattoons you.

What number am I thinking of?

69 DUDE!

x because it's the "unknown"

Friday, February 06, 2009

This One Time...

I fell into a trash compactor while it was compacting. I was 16, working at Benihana's as a dishwasher on an early evening trash run. I was stomping down some boxes on a platform loading compactor when I fell in, with the top half sticking out of the hole, the piston slowly closing.

At the Time I thought it was just a sliding door that closed on the platform while the ram smashed boxes. I didn't know the door was the piston.

Luckily for me, my coworker Mark had come with me that day to grab a smoke before the rush, and hit the emergency stop. I would have either been crushed or cut in half.

This was a story that came to me while thinking of my 25 Random Things about me I'd been tagged with at Facebook.

Yes, I'm using Facebook, but to be honest I think it's totally lame. Everyday I'm hit with little green sprouts or beads. Really, I think the whole thing is bullshit. It's a shitty design with a shitty non-intuitive interface...it's a mall that sports a Kmart as an anchor store.

Maybe I'm not using it correctly, but using it feels empty...I don't like but I'm there anyway. Go figure.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Long Over Due Post

I hate January and February, they are like Death Months for me, at the bitter cold end of the earth. So I haven't felt like writing anything here, especially since I started using Twitter, which I must admit rocks! And to my knowledge, I know at there are at least 37 people who are following me, so they are forced to read my thoughts, as well as my friends on facebook because my Tweets are linked to my profile.

That said, what now? What's been going on? What have I been up to? Etc.

I began taking Bikram Yoga classes at the behest of a Sports Medicine Doctor in order to strengthen up and evenly work my muscles which I unbalanced in Boot Camp.

Bikram Yoga...fucking A, is probably the most brutal thing I've ever done to my body. I took my first class and thought, "Man, this is hellishly hot." But then I decided to take their suggestion and try at least 10 times in a month.

Yesterday afternoon I finished my 8th class and decided, "Fuck this. I am NOT going to buy another class." of the last 5 classes, I was only able to complete 1 entire class without being overwhelmed by the heat, and that was because it was the second class of the day and the room wasn't up to full temperature. Even with proper hydration, and and empty belly, I was ready to barf up some liquid acid, so I just lay there on my mat waiting for the cool air to hit me when I walked out the door.

I don't know if most participants know the biology and psychology of working in such a hot room. Not only does the heat detoxify your system, but it's also the same sort of extreme mental conditioning that allows you enter altered psychological states for the purposes of vision questing and spiritual seeking. Think about it, it has the potential to totally break down the ego. Extreme heat + stress positions = torture.

As I was laying there yesterday with my blood boiling, and my heart racing, I thought. "Dude, I would admit to anything if I were kept in this temperature for any length of time." and I had water!

While I enjoy the heated yoga, I'm going to go down the street to another place where the temperature is only 85 Degrees instead of 105-ish, and see how that goes.

Meanwhile, still drawing, but last weekend Alessandra posed for an artist friend for 3 hours and here are some pictures of the unfinished work. Click photo to see more


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It would be criminal NOT to post this

via Neat-O-Rama


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Spread 'Em

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I received a subscription to NetFlix for Xmas, and while Ale and I were looking though titles she said,"There are a lot of legs on these movie posters." She has quite the laser eye, nothing gets past her. And looking it up, sure enough it's a tradition that's gone back over 60 years.

PRINT Magazine - One Leg Leads to Another

like the phenomenon of the retweet, I discovered this is a pick up from Boing Boing last May

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Eatha Kitt 1927-2008

Forget "Santa Baby", "I Wanna Be Evil" is where it's at.

Obituary at Cnn

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out Kid

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My Nephew Ben says he wants "An official Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time"

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays from the Plattners

Alessandra, Cap'n Marrrrk, Xuxa, Tala, Lola, HypnoFrog & Kiff Kroaker.

An Awesome Book! by Dallas Clayton

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Which is a reminder of a couple of brain farts:

1. I don't like romantic comedies, and I don't like Christmas Movies (Christmas Story excepted), but I think Love Actually is a great movie, that was well done and leaves me uncustomarily warm and fuzzy.

2. Saying "clang, clang, clang" will transport my memory back to an 8th Grade Pageant where I had my only stage singing performance in a celebration of the 1904 Worlds Fair.

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley,
Ding, Ding, Ding went the bell.
Zing, Zing, Zing went my heart strings.
Me: From the moment I saw her I fell.

That was it.

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