Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Morning Affrontery

This morning I tried to go to Brueggers, but the wizard wouldn't let me in. He's getting ridiculous, the wizard.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Guest Post from a Student at Bennington College

My friend at Wellesley forwarded me this

You see, it's funny cause our soldiers love to torture an rape people. That's what veterans do. Get it? Isn't that so, so clever? No, no, you don't get it. Remember Abu Ghraib? Yeah, that's why this is funny. Cause our soldiers torture and rape people. You see how that's funny and clever. And so fresh. You can see why this guy runs in 140 papers nationwide.

You don't get it...

What Ted Rall has done here is taken what we all know of our soldiers (that they are WAY into torture and rape), and applied it to other situations in their lives. Could you imagine dating a soldier? Must be all rapes and torture. I'd never thought of it until Mr. Rall brilliantly tied it all together.

But it makes a deeper point. What if we raped and tortured everyone? Our country obviously supports rape and torture. If you don't think that's true, just look at Abu Ghraib. What were there, like 125,000 troops involved there? Of course. I won't even look it up. I can't. I'm too busy laughing at this cartoon.

But I'm crying inside, because beneath this razor-sharp commentary lies a deeper message. War is wrong. Yeah, it's just sinking in, isn't it? You thought it was all comedy and fun and games, and then bam! Gives you chills. War is wrong, man, and Ted Rall has publicly shamed us with this piece, which is growing more and more poignant the more thought I give to it.

Why don't soldiers just realize it's time to stop raping and torturing people just for fun? Why do they all do that? Fortunately, Ted Rall has used his pen-sword to write/slash enemies of freedom (our troops and our president).

This reminds me of Heart of Darkness, which I didn't read, but I saw Apocolypse Now, and this is comic is just so brilliant and makes a point that is not even remotely trite.

I'm so glad Bennington doesn't have ROTC. I've never met a real soldier, but I know they're just like that guy in the comic. By that I mean they like to rape and torture, and that is so true. There was this guy in High School who was thinking about joining the military, and he was in VoTech, and he was training to be a welder. How pathetic is that? I was like, don't you want to go to college and learn how to think? Nope, he just wants to rape. Our soldiers are like that.

I'm so mad right now. I'm going to go post at Democratic Underground. They really get politics over there. I bet they're all forwarding this comic to their friends, and have a feature post on it. They should, cause it's so funny and sad and real. I am so against rape and soldiers.

Vintage TPWK

Those who follow the local blog scene will know I got my start guest blogging for such luminaries as the John Larroquette Project and Ochuk. Well, now that I'm prime time, I thought I would reflect on my roots with this vintage piece from the JLP. Actually, i'm just tired and lazy... Eat it and like it... Updated to offend my girlfriend less...

Woman Freak-o-meter

We’ve all met them. Women who seem cool. They’re fun to be around at first. Maybe you’re even interested in them in, you know, "that way". But then it turns out they’re entirely crazy. And suddenly you’re friends with (or worse, dating) a woman who is dangerously out of control. They must be stopped. Even destroyed. But how to spot them before it’s too late? Let the handy-dandy freak-o-meter light the way! Score her on the following questions.

Number of times she cries per week (1 pt. for each, disregard tears of joy, or death-related crying)

Number of animated films she owns (1 pt. for each in excess of five - disregard if she is a single mother)

Number of pets (1 pt. for each, with 2 pt. bonus if more than 2 species are represented)

Number of times she calls parents per week (1pt. for each in excess of 2)

Number of times she visits parents per week (1 pt. for each, or 3 pts. if she lives with her parents)

Number of flake-outs per month (missing appointments, dates, ministry obligations et al… for reasons other than work or illness… 1 pt., illness must be verified by a doctor, and allergies do not count)

Number of floral print outfits she owns (1 pt. for each in excess of 2)

Number of permanent medications not related to birth defects (2 pts. 3 for any with the letter 'x' in the name)

Number of shows she watches religiously that are on UPN or WB (2 pts. each)

Number of doctor visits per month (1 pt. each, excepting routine exams)

Number of times she has switched churches (2 pts. each)

Number of movies she has watched more than five times (1 pt. each)

Number of particular food/beverage items she consumes more than 4 times per week (i.e. Dr. Pepper, biscotti, 1 pt. each, cereals exempt)

Number of bumper stickers she has affixed to her car (1 pt. each not including college decals, not to exceed 3... 3 pts. for anything Wellstone related)

Number of times she has arrived so late for an event that she has missed the event entirely (1 pt. each)

Number of articles of clothing she has in her back seat (1 pt. each in excess of three)

Answer the following questions:

Within one month of knowing her, did she reveal information about her bowel movements or menstrual cycles? (2pts.)
Does she smoke? (3 pts.)
Is she a democrat? (3 pts.)
Undecided? (2 pts.)
A Naderite? (11 pts.)
Has she named her car? (1 pt. 2pts. if it's something obnoxious like Binky)
Does she describe herself as melancholic? (2 pts. with an additional 1 pt. if she brings up the subject without provocation)
Choleric? (1 pt.)
Melancholic-choleric? (2 bonus points)
Has she described the loss of a pet as a time when God really let her down? (4 pts.)
Does she frequently wear hats? (1 pt.)
Is Robin Williams among her top three favorite actors? (1 pt.)
Is Sandra Bullock? (1 pt.)
Both? (3 pts.)
Does she own a poster of a movie star? (1 pt. each, 2pts. if that stat was a cast member on "Friends" or "Dawson's Creek")
Has she ever written a card or e-mail to tell you she’s mad at you? (2 pts.)
Has she ever apologized for something you did not know she had done to you, and didn’t care? (2 pts.)
Does she live alone? (1 pt.)
Does she listen exclusively to Christian music? (2 pts.)
Does she drive stick shift? (1 pt.)
Has she lived on her own, then moved back in with her parents? (3 pts. for each time this has happened)
Has she ever described a gynecological exam to you without you bringing it up? (2 pts.)
Does she wear socks with little balls, or some other 3-dimensional element to them? (2 pts.)
Does she wear sweatpants in public? (2 pts.)

If she scored

0-5: Normal. No need to worry.

6-10: Keep an eye on her. No major cause for concern, but keep her in your prayers.

11-15: Serious warning signs. She is clinging to a slippery rope.

16-20: A danger to herself. An intervention is necessary before she alienates everyone around her.

21+: Alert the FBI

Monday, November 28, 2005


Next week, I turn 27. You know what that means...

No, not that I'm getting fat. Steve, you are such a prick... Why would you even say that?

It means I'm having a birthday party (cue balloons, sirens, midgets et al...) My sense of self worth depends on your attendance! I'll be making my world famous egg nog. My totally hot girlfriend will be making horse ovaries... I mean hors 'douvres. Inexpensive red wine will be served to those over 21 (the feds read this blog). there will be music, and dancing, rodeo clowns, partisan politics, and pony rides.

Party will be at my place on Dec. 10 at like 7:30. Everyone's invited. Need directions? Ask Leroy at

Good times!


Ah, yes. It's that time of year again. The time of year we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus... By going apeshit on each other in pursuit of a cheap laptop. Ah yes, that age old tradition, waiting in line overnight, then trampling folks.

God is so proud of us.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good stampede story. Given the extensive press coverage of these events, I think I've hit upon an idea for Walmart. Setup cameras, and televise the whole thing live on Pay Per View!

Now, I won't wake up at 4:00 in the morning just to get a cheap printer, but I would happily pay to watch America's working poor stomp each-others skulls for one. And Walmart can use the proceeds to pay off legal expenses from opportunistic stompees.

While they're at it, why not add to the action? As soon as doors open, release 100 bulls from the back room. Consumers have a choice. Battle fellow patrons, or battle the bulls. It'll be like Pamplona meets Perth Amboy.

They can conquer low prices, but can they conquer the bulls?
Who will die for savings?
Find out live, on Pay-Per-View...

Of Course, the Christmas stampede is an age old tradition. Who can forget the famous Cabbage Patch Kid incidents of 1983? Or the Howdie Doodie trampilings of 1951? Then there's the famous "Brawl Street" tramplings of 1930, when the Piggly-Wiggly offered a 20% discount on broth, causing the deaths of 24,000 people.

I myself have frequented many a stampede. There's nothing more satisfying than yule tide cheer, a warm glass of egg-nog, a mistletoe, and stepping on a single mother's neck as she reaches for a $3 toaster oven.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I'm gonna give thanks so hard right now. Here are some of the things I'm thankful for.

1. President Bush. France can keep their riots and streets smelling of feces. Jim Wallis can keep his demagoguery. I'll take turkey, apple pie, and a healthy dose of happiness.

2. New Brighton. Where the most illicit activites are our poker games.

3. Aliens. All loveable and googly-eyed.

4. My hot girlfriend.

5. Seared ahi tuna.

6. God, family, yatta, yatta...

7. This blog. I can't believe people actually read this crap.

8. On second thought, screw aliens.

9. Forefathers.

10. The Detroit Pistons, who consistently allow me to forget about the Detroit Lions.

11. The fact that Joey Harrington has to die sometime.

12. Zombies!

13. The fact that this Thanksgiving I will eat until my intestines rip, shooting a putrid combination of blood and bile onto my spleen and liver, sending me into toxic shock, which I will rememdy with a nice nap.

14. Babies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Gilbert: The End


Part 1

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4 Here

The door handle is bent downward. He has a habit of pushing intensely downward as he turns it, using his gravity to open the door. Now it is loose, warping the wood underneath.

He doesn’t drive. Transportation in general has been a major source of anxiety for quite some time now. For a while, he tooled around on a bicycle, which allowed for the occasional, part-time, Emeritus-type gig at the college. A near miss with an errant garbage truck triggered a nasty episode. The bicycle sits in his garage like a tacky antique.

Serotonin issues confine him to his side of the boulevard, which features grocery store, pharmacy, general practitioner et al… In times of duress, he may call upon a charitable organization to bus him, say, downtown or to bestow an award at the college. The bus, large, white, and imposing, somewhat mitigates his transportation fear.

He notices the handle, it’s sad droop forming an ever-steeper angle against the door. He pushes it upward, where it sits, briefly corrected, before sinking under the weight of its own inertia.

Then, as if swatting away an angry thought, he abruptly opens the door.

The sunlight is white against his unaccustomed vision. Little dots, opaque and purple, shift inescapably as he looks around. He can see the mirror, which gazes back at him with the empowered heat of reflected sunlight.

Nerves have retracted sweat into his body. He can feel the weight of the sinking sugars in his blood (a bi-product of aforementioned issues). He makes his way to the sidewalk, reminding himself that he is still in familiar territory. He could just as easily walk to get some yogurt as cross the street.

Traffic is light. Three, maybe four cars per minute. If he were to pick a gap at random, and walk blindly… The odds of any car-human intervention are remote. Then, all is quiet. No cars in sight from the right. A stoplight, freshly red, a barrier to traffic from the left.

He should go, and he does.

He walks gingerly. His shoes, unused to the bumpy hue of stony road, cause his feet to turn nervously, nearly spraining themselves. He stops at the dashed lines, demarcating a halfway point. To return, he would have to invest precisely the same effort he exhausted to get there in the first place. No sense in that. No traffic. Light in the middle stages of red, the little pedestrian light just now switching from happy green man to angry red hand.

He almost jumps across, stepping toward the curb, almost leaping. He arrives. The mirror sits before him like a Christmas present he hadn’t known he’d wanted until it was there, unwrapped and joyous. It was, indeed, antique and valuable. The wood had depth and richness, forming tight spirals around the glassy pond.

He picks it up, gingerly. It is heavy, pressing its smooth ridges against his giddy fingers. The return home would be a simple act of repeating what he had done. This was the easy part. He makes an about face, swiveling the mirror in front of him.

He hasn’t noticed, in his mania, a woman, pushing her toddler in a stroller. As she sidesteps him, the mirror bumps, gently but firmly, into the child’s mouth. There is silence, that unique, split-second silence that occurs when a child is inflicted with pain, and observers are left wondering whether anything serious has happened.

Blood begins to form around the baby’s mouth. The mother gasps. He feels the sweat again retract from his body as he clenches the mirror. In sheer terror, he runs across the
road, past the dashed lines. The streetlight is manifestly, obviously green. A red Oldsmobile honks and swerves around him in a swirl of screech and noise.

He runs up his walkway, and uses the mirror to thrust through the partially opened front door. The glass breaks and crinkles from the tension. He slams the door beside him, sets the mirror down, and weeps in an uncontrollable, serotonin-filled way, his hands trembling as the blood sugar rushes away to nowhere.

He crumples to the floor, head sitting in his hands, smearing tears across his balding forehead.

He remembers her.

He remembers the hours before she boarded the flight, her face content as can be. Unworried. Not calculating plane-crash possibilities. Wholly beautiful and alive. He slams his hand on the floor. A mother with her stroller, an air disaster. A world twisting with improbable pain.

He looks into the mirror. The shattered glass reflecting a thousand, short, sad men. All of them him. He rubs his finger along the sharp delineations of cracked glass, and realizes he hasn’t seen himself in a long, long time.

Monday, November 21, 2005

My life, Vol 1 Age 3

We are supposed to see the arch. I was told it was marvelous.

Making the trek from Michigan to Arizona, a spontaneous whim of my suddenly-beatnik parents, who briefly decided to run an antique store. We were driving through Missouri, and i was looking forward to something, anything interesting to happen.

I had to settle for the Mississippi River, the import of which was lost on me.

I remember a flurry of preschools. Preschools with early morning gymnastics. Preschools with sirens on the toilets, to increase likelihood of highly-desirable flushing. Preschools with Winnie the Pooh painted in the hallways. I was vaguely terrified of them all. Then, I arrived at Camelback school, a hotsy-totsy private academy. My teacher was a black lady named Claire. She reminded me of someone on TV. It worked out.

I was a ghost for halloween that year. Or someone else was a ghost, and I wish I had been ghost, so my memory has decided to make me into a ghost.

Sometimes, I would get ice cream after lunch. It was chocolate, and came with a wooden stick for a spoon. The ice cream was so hard that I couldn't ever finish it before class resumed. I hated it.

When we went swimming, we all had to change in the same room, boys and girls. I am confident that this is not done today, though it didn't really matter.

Two kids in my class were picked up by limo after school. I didn't know what a limo was. I thought the limo was for poor kids. Turns out, it is completely absurd to have your 3 year old picked up by a limousine. I would reflect on this later in life.

One of the kids who rode in the limousine, named Lee, pushed me onto my face when we were outside. My nose bled, which was scary. I was dragged off into one of the junior high bathrooms that we weren't supposed to use. The bleeding stopped, at some point, obviously.

One time, I fell in a mud puddle, and had to wear the orange, oops-I-pissed myself pants. Most people who say me probably thought I had done precisely that, now that I think about it.

I didn't, though, piss myself. I was a big boy when it game to daytime urination.
The other limo kid, Courtney, was not so fortunate.

There was a single swing, set aside for tiny kids. It was painted blue, and went high enough to sit my tastes. I would wait there, averagely-privileged and unlimoed, for one of my parents to arrive.

the day I fell in the puddle, Claire took my father aside for a quick chat, and handed him my sullied drawers in a sealed plastic bag as I swung.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Minneapolis Living

I just got a bill from the city for $1650.

I should backtrack.

See, I live in New Brighton, a charming community just north of Roseville. I rent out my old house in Minneapolis, a less charming community full of rapists. Those who know anything about Minneapolis politics know that it has been run by liberals, without accountability, for about 35 years now. This means two things.

1) It is corrupt

2) It is incompetent

Back in 2003, faced with budget shortfalls caused by mismanagement (and duly blamed on Tim Pawlenty who, according to city leadership, has been governor for at least 150 years), the city needed money. Effete, dolt-cum-mayor R.T. Rybak announced a bold plan for raising revenue: have city inspectors target homeowners in poorer areas (like mine), and levy fines (and parking tickets) against them.

Since that time, I have gotten notices for chipping paint on my garage, a handrail on my steps, weeds (in my garden, not my lawn), inadequate shoveling of walkway (6 times), weeds (in the lawn this time), my roof repair (nothing was wrong, but they wanted to harass my roofer).

Additionally, my tenant has received notices for grass length (though she has kept the grass pretty short from what I have seen), and parking her car in the lawn (which is practically impossible on my property). All in all, 15 visits in a 30 month span. Every time I have been able to do the necessary things to keep the predators at bay.

But the big zinger came after a storm, when the city determined that I needed to remove a "hazardous tree". The inspectors gave no reason why they thought it might be hazardous, so my property manager inquired. He was told if he got a written statement from a licensed arborist, that the tree could stay. He did so, and submitted the document to Deb Nelson, the ignorant bureaucrat overseeing inspections in my neighborhood. He called to check on the document, received no call back, and submitted the document again. Then I called. Still no response.

This is Minneapolis, so you know where this is going. Yesterday, I receive a notice from the city. Arborist be damned, they took down my tree and charged me the aforementioned startling sum.

Incidentally, are these the same folks who piss and moan when they get their benefits cut? Cause if that's the case, I say we have a referendum on eliminating benefits for every government employee who doesn't wear a badge.

Of course, I can file a written complaint about the matter, and appear at a hearing run by the same bureaucrats whose salary is dependent upon such things as overcharging for unnecessary tree removal.

In some areas, the city is using "acquisition by inspector" to harass landlords into selling their homes on the cheap. Considering my home is 50 ft. away from the much vaunted Lake St. renovation, and just blocks from the even more vaunted Sears Warehouse renovation, now might be a good time for me to acquire some legal counsel, yah?

This is why I vote Republican, people.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Hey... Do you want to go fly a kite? No, I don't mean that as an insult. I'd really like to do it. It's sunny out. Is there anything more peaceful than laying back in the park enjoying the twispy-twirl of the kite dangling in the breeze. Everyone else is doing it. It's the new craze.

Can't you feel it now? Like the kite is gently tugging at your hand, begging you to join it in the backlit sky?

Come on, if I were Jason, you would go. You're always doing weird, spur of the moment things like that with him. Remember when he got it in his head to go bungee jumping. It took you 6 hours to find a place, but you did it. All I'm asking you to do is fly a kite.

What kind of kite? Why does that matter? Why are you getting hung up on details when you aren't even accepting the whole kite-flying premis to begin with? Whatever kind of kite it is, I can assure you that it will dance through the breeze like a happy ballerina. Don't you want to see that? I want to see that.

Kite-flying will introduce a new paradigm.

Yes I am making sense. I'm making more sense than I've ever made in my life. I am going to fly a kite, and it will free the child within me to titter and smile.

This is why you don't have a girlfirend Steve. Girl like guys who do things that rock.

If you don't fly a kite with me, I'll stop bathing again. Is that what you want? Remember what a sad time that was for both of us?

You know what? I'm going to go fly the kite by myself. I will feel my spirit soar to its majestic heights. You will not be an anvil in my heart.

I will simply lay back, watching one of God's little miracles swim it's way to the sun, like Icarus.

Also, I pissed on your mattress. You enjoy that.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Anti-Defamation League Takes Action

Citing the scourge of Christianity in American society, the Anti-Defamation League, whose mission is to fight anti-semetism in all forms, has announced a campaign to rid America of Christianity's undue influence. Some of the action anticipated action steps include.

1. Becoming irrelevant, all of a sudden.

2. Removing all references to God in the Torah.

3. Calling Michael Medved a "total jerk"

4. Commemorating the next anniversary of the Holocaust by forgetting it happened.

5. Distributing special dreidel's at Christian churches, with the 'shin' symbol featured on all for sides.

6. Donating 15 million dollars to the government of Iran, to aid in their efforts to destroy Israel, longtime ally of the "religious right".

7. Declaring Joe Lieberman to be the son of David.

8. Killing Joe Lieberman.

9. Declaring that February 2nd be renamed "Radical Islam? Never heard of it!" Day.

10. Digging own graves.

An interview with Jim Wallis

Now and then, TPWK affords me the opportunity to talk with some high profile celebrities. Today, I am honored to host Jim Wallis, author of the award-winning God’s Politics. Jim has been involved in Christian activism for more than three decades, and has been the center of a firestorm of controversy. Jim, welcome to TPWK

Jim Wallis: Thank you.

TPWK: Now, your book has sold millions of copies, and has certainly got the attention of politicians and activists on the left and right. Perhaps you could tell me a little more about your motivation for writing this book.

Jim Wallis: Our President’s policy of imperialism and tax-cuts for the rich would make the prophets ashamed. Jesus wanted us to help “the least of these”, so we have to enact policies that redistribute wealth. Conservatives always respond to this by quoting Jesus as saying “the poor you will always have with you”, but that is taken out of context. Hurricane Katrina was the fault of this President. The monologue is over. Desmond Tutu agrees with me on this.

TPWK: You mention the “least of these”. Jesus certainly established a track record of helping the poor, but is it our responsibility to vote for politicians who will essentially raise taxes, and…

Jim Wallis: I didn’t say raise taxes. I simply want to remove the Bush tax cuts.

TPWK: Wouldn’t that raise taxes?

Jim Wallis: No. Hillary Clinton has a plan to increase taxes without raising them.

TPWK: Well, either way, is the Christian response to poverty to simply let the rich people take care of them? Right or wrong, I don’t think Christ called upon the middle class to push the tax burden to the upper classes.

Jim Wallis: What I hear you saying is “the poor you will always have with you.” That is out of context. What Jesus said was “least of these”.

TPWK: I didn’t say that, what I said was…

Jim Wallis: Your monologue is over. It is time to have a more prophetic voice.

TPWK: Let’s switch gears here. You have been very vocal in your opposition to the Iraq war. But, in your book, you offer a solution that looks awfully similar to the plan enacted by the President.

Jim Wallis: No. I propose having an international police force fight the insurgency.

TPWK: Who would join the international police force? Wouldn’t that be military personnel?

Jim Wallis: Yes, but they would be a police force.

TPWK: Would they have guns?

Jim Wallis: The monologue is over. It is time for a dialogue.

TPWK: You don’t think there’s a dialogue already?

Jim Wallis: Christian leaders such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, as well as folks like Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and Robertson have become drunk with power. They enjoy sitting at the big table and having the ear of our nations leaders. I was discussing how awful this is over martinis with Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair just the other day.

TPWK: Um… Let’s discuss the abortion issue. Now, you are morally opposed to abortion, but in your book, you shy away from pushing pregnant women into lonely and dangerous corners.

Jim Wallis: Yes. If we stopped spending money on this war, and removed the Bush tax cuts, abortion would decrease. It has increased under George W. Bush.

TPWK: I believe you are referring to a study by Glen Stassen, which was based on shoddy data, and has since been debunked.

Jim Wallis: I don’t need evidence. I have rhetoric on my side. Dangerous corners.

TPWK: But, one might argue that keeping abortion legal actually opens a door to even lonelier corners of guilt, shame and depression. Would you concede that is possible?

Jim Wallis: What I hear you saying is “the poor you will always have with you” . That is taken out of context. Jesus said “least of these”.

TPWK: You’re dodging the question.

Jim Wallis: Your monologue is over. You took the mark of the beast when you voted to re-elect George W. Bush.

TPWK: Monologue? I was…


TPWK: Your argument is growing less and less cogent.

Jim Wallis: I cast thee to hell in the name of Martin Luther King.

TPWK: I don’t think you can do that.

Jim Wallis: What Would JESUS DRIVE????

TPWK: I have no idea. I drive a Ford Focus personally.

Jim Wallis: Your monologue is over, as is this interview.

(Jim Wallis removes pants).

TPWK: Fascinating.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

First Snow!

Ah, yes, it's that time of year, when the (use any number of adjectives and weird nouns, but certainly don't use the word snow) decends upon the (again, more adjectives/nouns, none of which should be the word 'ground) like a (here's your chance to go hog wild with the frilly verbiage).

That's right, Minnesota, it's the first snow. Ah yes, the first snow is a tradition that goes back for decades, ever since snow was discovered by baby Jesus in 1944 (sorry, I was home-schooled). Since then, it has been causing car accidents, frostbite, frat-related death, and awful poetry.

This time of year is marked by traditions. The whole family gathers around the television to exchange gifts and watch "It's a Wonderful Life" on Christmas. the family gathers around the table for a nice warm turkey with all the fixins on Thanksgiving.

For the first snow, we have this

And so I dub this day "shameful defecation day", in honor of our first accumulated snowfall.

What? It snowed in International Falls three weeks ago? So what? Maybe they stopped drinking themselves to death for two minutes to look at the scenery...

@#$%^ International Falls.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Genius of Mark Morford

San Francisco boasts, among other things, a spectacular skyline, a world famous (and now defunct) prison, some of the best euro-fusion cuisine on earth, and a lot of wharfs. It also features a nutjob by the name of Mark Morford. Inexplicably, Mr. Morford is employed as a professional writer by the San Francisco Gate.

Mark makes a living writing irritatingly purple invective toward anyone who disagrees with him on anything. He's like a left-wing Pat Buchanan on meth. You haven't heard of him, because he has no talent. Naturally, liberals love him to death. His lack of nuance and pedantic ranting appeal to something carnal within them, I suspect.

Anyway, good 'ol Mark has raised a firestorm with his response to a family in Arkansas who recently gave birth to their 16th child. The family is pretty well off, and their children all seem to be very healthy. Naturally, he has a problem with them, which he articulates here

Here's a snippet.

"Perhaps the point is this: Why does this sort of bizarre hyperbreeding only seem to afflict antiseptic megareligious families from the Midwest? In other words -- assuming Michelle and Jim Bob and their massive brood of cookie-cutter Christian kidbots will all be, as the charming photo suggests, never allowed near a decent pair of designer jeans or a tolerable haircut from a recent decade, and assuming that they will all be tragically encoded with the values of the homophobic asexual Christian right -- where are the forces that shall help neutralize their effect on the culture? Where is the counterbalance, to offset the damage?

Perhaps this the scariest aspect of our squishy birthin' tale: Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation. Is that an oversimplification?"

-end clip

Um. yes, it is an oversimplification. Much like calling a black families (who also exhibit a tendency to shun designer jeans) lousy niggers. I should take time to note that he just referred to this family as an example of the "asexual (sic) Christian right".

Perhaps Mark, being from San Francisco, does not know where babies come from. Mark, they come from sex, and sixteen babies come from lots and lots of sex. Married Christians have sex. Lots of sex. Weird sex, even

Of course, Mark Morford adopted a worldview long ago which only allows him to consider this kind of family in his own bigoted terms.

You have to understand, Mark and his ilk come from a world of trust funds and big houses. Designer jeans, hairstyles and jaguars are fundamental to character, instead of values or family. Maintaining a college fund for your kids is more important than speaking to them. Your political values are not to be questioned, because you are powerful. Possessing actual writing talent is not a prerequisite for having a written forum and an audience. All you must do is agree with that audience. Cults and dictatorships are formed this way.

Fortunately, outside of legal, scholarly, and journalistic professions (and dinner parties hosted by barely-employed silicon valley trust-fund babies), Mr. Morford's kind have no influence. His cult of rich idiots can piss and moan about folks like the Duggars all they like. They live in an echo chamber, and give rational folks like me something to look down my nose at. Good for them.

Interesting side note: A few days later, a drunk driver slammed into his brand new Audi, which is funny on many levels. Bad things do happen to bad people.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Confessions of a female college student


Sorry I haven’t blogged in awhile. Ummm. I had a really great weekend. My small group went on retreat, and we totally had pizza. Now I feel fat.

I was reminded of a really cool verse.

Okay, today my car was acting up. I’m like, crap. I just bought it. It’s like shaking when it goes down the highway. My friend told me it was the alignment. He knows cars pretty good.

Me and Cindy (my BFF) watched the Wedding Planner last night. It was SOOOOOO cute. I want to be married, someday. Hopefully to Tim Foreman. He’s the bass player for Switchfoot, and he is so yummy and like Jesus :) :) :)

Kimmy has a poster of Tim Foreman in her room! She like wants to have his babies!

Get away from my keyboard Cindy! Of, you are so lame. I do not have a poster of him. I just have a switchfoot poster ☺

Ummm. What else? I wrote a poem,

The shadows are dark
Like my soul
I feel alone
And in a cage
Like an animal
The darkness comes from the ground
Enveloping me with
Black haze
Nobody understands me.

Pretty cool, huh?

Today, I’m just hanging out, skipping my modern lit. class. I’m drinking Capri Sun. how cool is that?

Peace out until I write again in another two months :p

Friday, November 11, 2005

Attention Holiday Shoppers

Recently, my girlfriend asked what I wanted for Christmas. All the ideas dance in my head like sugar-plum fairies and candy canes. Finally, i settled on the following, for anyone who is interested.

What Kevin wants for Christmas.

- A segway. Man, people look cool on a segway.

- To actually RECEIVE a pony for @#$% once.

- Racism

- Baked potato chips (Pref. BBQ)

- A kidney. Just for kicks.

- Three of the same thing. Doesn't matter what thing.

- A taco (beef, not authentic)

- Discontented Robots who always yell "Why? Why?"

- Gifts that don't suck (I'm looking at you, Santa)

- Oh, nothing, it's family that matters

- One of those girly T-shirts at Abercrombie that say "Good for one thing", "Daddy's little whore", "Take advantage of my low self-esteem" or "Yeah, you're breasts are bigger, cause your fat. Everyone wonders why you even bother trying out for the cheerleading squad. You are as unattractive as you are unpleasant."

- A biscuit tin.

My life - Vol. 1 - Age 0-2

Editor's note: Periodically, I will add a chapter to this chronicological account of my life. I expect the results to be highly self-indulgent. Enjoy.

My first memory, I remember it incorrectly, and it is a memory informed by reality, but it is, in fact, a memory. I am having a concussion. My brother left the door open to the stairwell, and down I went. Someone's cradling me, placing a rag on my head. I understand little. I'm in pain. I'm not yet two.

We live in Michigan. Mustard yellow carpeting. My mother is producing a chocolate cake. I watch muppets: Animal shouts "A-NI-MAL!" and I am pleased. My dad's hair is big and afwul, but still brown and colorful.

My mom owned a hip restaurant. She created most of the menu. I will later try to reconcile this fact with complete and utter inability to cook.

I am a baby. I'm told I was adorable.

Strong evidence suggests that I am no longer adorable.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Disturing Conversation

With my roommate Leroy,

Kevin: Hello?
Leroy: Um... Hey.
Kevin: oh, hi Leroy, what's heppening?
Leroy: Well, I'm kind of stuck...
Kevin: Stuck?
Leroy: In the dryer.
Kevin: My God.
Leroy: It's bad.
Kevin: You can't get out?
Leroy: Well, if I could get out, then I wouldn't be stuck now would I?
Kevin: True.
Leroy: Idiot.
Kevin: There is certainly one idiot on this call.
Leroy: Can you help me out?
Kevin: What am I supposed to do?
Leroy: Get me out!
Kevin: I'll have to take apart the Dryer.
Leroy: Yeah, do that.
Kevin: How did you get in the dryer?
Leroy: Is that the question we need to be asking right now?
Kevin: I'll be over after work.
Leroy: No time, has to be now.
Kevin: What?
Leroy: There's a cat involved.
Kevin: Well, get the cat out.
Leroy: I can't. i can't move.
Kevin: How are you calling me?
Leroy: I ate my cell phone this morning.
Kevin: Ate your cell phone...
Leroy: I was tired of losing it.
Kevin: There will be ramifications to that.
Leroy: I do what I do!
Kevin: Fine, dude, chill. i'll be over in a few minutes.
Leroy: Bring Taco Bell.
Kevin: I'll let you out, and you can get your own Taco Bell.
Leroy: You're always doing this.


Walking conveyor belts
only exist
in airports, to my knowledge

Wwifting me, uncomfortably
past an enclave
featuring premium taps

And travellers
between half and twice
as lonely as I am

Numerous stores
sell, inexplicably

And people
buy, inexplicably

I buy
my girlfriend
a bear

The bear says
I love

on its chest
in blue letters

And a postcard
and a pen ($2.49)
so I can write

Things I should tell her
when I'm not stuck in an airport
reminded of her absence

Headed back
to the departure gate
I see the same stores

With different people
between half and twice
as lonely

as I am...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Democratic Victory!

I had an angry comment about yesterday's elections.

I have deleted it.

Instead, see this site

Have a splantacular day.


I am flying. The scourge of the three most privileged classes. The marigold streetlights of Chicago’s famous street patterns zigzagging through blockish grids like lightning bolts. Hurtling through the troposphere, a young executive on-the-go, as some are wont to say.

I am profoundly bored.

This is the part of flight any reasonable person dreads. After the animated here’s-what-you-won’t-remember-when-you’re-dying-in-a-plane-crash type safety feature demonstration video. After the welcome-to-the-friendliest-damn-skies-in-the-whole-world greeting from the pilot. Long after perusal of the obligatory Sky-mall magazine, complete with portable hot tubs, and gotta have ‘em shaving robots, has lost its minimal appeal.

We are flying over a lake. It’s dark outside. Like invisible, nothing-type dark.

Sometimes, I look at the little starlit paths of road, sparse lights strung between cosmopolitan branches like Christmas, then leading to darkness. I want to climb into that darkness, discover what it looks like under the natural light. It could be home to lots of things, strictly speaking.

I have been informed that I can now use electronic devices. Apparently I have been in heretofore violation of some sort of rule. I could’ve killed people.

I have the row to myself, it turns out. Peachy.

The thing about flying is that it dries your skin. The key to combat this is to drink large amounts of water beforehand and afterward, which nobody does. The cabin pressure also expands your feet somehow, which is never pleasant.

The Airline is showing in-flight programming, but nobody was offered headphones. Literally no one on this plane can hear the television. I am seated in row 22, which means two things. The more important of those two is that I have a full 10 minutes before I receive any sort of beverage.

Under ordinary circumstances, I would order a Bloody Mary. I would split the little mini-bar type bottle of Skyy vodka between the two drinks afforded by the full can of Mrs. T bloody Mary Mix, which boasts such ingredients as celery salt, Worcestershire, and onion powder. As it stands, I have no cash, and my charm has already failed to talk me into first class, so I doubt free cocktails are on the horizon.

I will be among the last to leave the plane, was the second thing, for those who were wondering.

Access Hollywood is on, which is unlikely to prompt any headphone needing on the part of the passengers.

Isn’t it strange that, surrounded by the most people, in the closest quarters, we are the most alone? Stand-up comedians and free-form poets have mused on this, I am certain. But it’s sad. Individual stories, hurtling collectively toward the same destination, unaware of each other.

Will it be this way in heaven, each of us enjoying our eternal reward, engrossed in ourselves, our ears attuned to the cosmic hymn of some heavenly station?

Unified in purpose.

Devoid of each other.

Looking back on the little zigzag lights that brought us there, which, on some occasions intersected with the grid-like patterns of the world. Having used it for our purpose. Moving and journeying always. The privileged classes.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Headed to D.C.

This evening, I leave for our nation's capital, which is basically Detroit with some monuments thrown in.

I'm packing my bags, and boy am I excited. Soon, I will practically be swimming in Democracy! I will be stung by the hives of our forefathers. The sun will set on my once-proud determination to change the world.

I will be suffocated by the ghosts of American history, and, with any luck, they will pass along the key to keeping the black man down. Oh, how I pine for that key.

Also, I will have a Sam Adams, cause this is @#$%^^ America.

Friday, November 04, 2005

And now the flip side

See below for my top ten, but here are my bottom 10 restaurants in the Twin Cities and why:

Chino Latino - Yeah, they're on my top ten favorites, too. But let's face it, the loud, crowded atmosphere, $14 sushi rolls, $12 drinks, and snippy effeminate I'm-better-than-you-even-though-I-am-in-the-service-industry-and-I'm-not-going-to-make-note-of-your-reservation-cause-I-don't-feel-like-it-could-you-please-wait-three-hours-while-we-seat-everyone-else attitude gets a smidge old.

True Thai - This nightmare of a Thai Restaurant in Seward inexplicably garners praise. Clearly those bestowing accolades on this joint haven't been to California... Or Ruam Mit for that matter. Painfully bland food in a crowded restaurant. Edging out Sawatdee, home of the $13 pad-thai, for a spot on this list is tough to do, but they pass the test with flying colors.

Sushi Tango - If you're wondering why the waitress is taking so long, it's cause she's busy running across the street to Lunds to get your order.

Uncommon Grounds - Not technically a restaurant, and was my favorite pre-21 hangout. But it earns my ire for suddenly becoming the gestapo of coffee-shops. Time limits? No studying? Minimum purchase requirements? Managers giving you the evil eye every six minutes? I'll take my business to Pandora's, thank you.

Basil's - What a waste. Beautiful little spot nestled on a balcony overlooking the IDS atrium is home to some mediocre, badly overpriced food. It's probably not fair to pick on a hotel restaurant, but I'm doing it.

Bellanotte - Well, the $9 house wine tasted like warm batteries, the soup was easily the best part of the meal, and none of the dozen or so very easy-to-please folks I dined with remotely enjoyed their $25 entrees. I ordered a lamb chop on saffron rice. Like all good lamb chops, the meat was dry, and adhered to the bone like a barnacle. Avoid the specials, which can cost as much as twice as much as anything else on the menu. Come to think of it, avoid the restaurant.

Ichiban - Want to watch bad Japanese food get dropped on the floor by overly-ambitious show-chefs? Here's your place. The whole dinner/show all in one thing is not my cup of tea to begin with, but this is pretty weak.

Big Bowl - If Denny's made Asian food...

Cheesecake Factory - So, let me get this straight. They don't take reservations, so everyone who wants to go has to wait 2 hours to get in? Once there, you will overcharge them for T.G.I.Fridays caliber food, serve it with complete and utter indifference, and then send them on their way. Here's a tip: Get the cheesecake to go, avoid the wait and spend your hard earned money at a restaurant with some @#$%^& class.

Loring Pasta Bar - It sucks. There, I said it. I used to like this place, until I realized that there was no evidence to back up my positive view. The bio-dome meets Rainforest Cafe decor makes little sense. The pasta is abysmal, and the loudest salsa music you've ever heard will start blaring at some point in the middle of your meal. Oh, and it's in Dinkytown, which is roughly the least romantic place this side of Detroit. But you love the Loring Pasta Bar? That is why you are wrong, and I am right...

Honorable mention: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Sawatdee, Embers, Figlio, Zino (not to be confused with Zelo), Bilimby Bay (which actually inspired this post, but shut down recently, thereby escaping my wrath).

Weekend edition

how about we shake it up for the weekend, eh? This week, I highlight my top ten favorite restaurants in the Twin Cities. This is useless information for anyone outside of our state, so I apologize. If I've forgotten any, by all means comment!
Oh, and my top ten least favorite will come later.

In no particular order.

Barley John's: I might be biased cause it's one mile from my house, and it's the only non-chain north of the TCs, but I will add that this is the only restaurant to which I am a subscribing member. Their home-brews are tremendous (a rarity in a city brimming with one-note, murky ales). Their food has an organic flair, and the servers are REALLY passionate about the food. One downside: it can arbitrarily become extremely busy at random times for no apparent reason, which swamps the wait staff.

Chino Latino - You can't get what you get here anywhere else. A combo platter featuring sushi and tacos? You got it. A loud and boisterous atmoshpere? You got it? And it boasts the best dessert in the Twin Cities - a do-it-yourself smores platter complete with flame.

Zelo - In my estimation, the best all-around restaurant in the Twin Cities. The appetizers are tremendous. The service is good, and I'm willing to bet there isn't even an average item on the menu. I'm going tomorrow.

St. Petersburg Russian Vodka Bar - 200 types of vodka, but that's not why you go. Excellent, affordable (the happy hour is ridiculous), and seemingly authentic Russian food (although I suppose true authenticity would be splashing vodka in your face, shoving bread down your throat and kidnapping your wife). Want to try caviar on the cheap? Can do. Want borscht that is not at all intimidating? They've got it.

Nami - Minneapolis ain't a sushi hot spot. But if you have to (and I HAVE to) this is the place to do it. Warning: the wait-staff is abysmal.

Quang - the pretentious choice is Jasmine Deli, but nothing surpasses Quang for a perfect combination of the exotic and the creative. The soups are spectacular, the appetizers are intriguing, and they do everything right. Plus it is positively dirt cheap.

Psycho Suzi's - Best dive bar this side of NYC. I was skeptical at first (aren't they trying a little TOO hard to be a dive bar?) but their cheese curds (of all things) one me over quickly. Spectacular drinks, cheap food, and awesome pizza toppings (I still don't know what a peppadew is, but i like it). Also, I asked my waitress to work the heat lamp for me, and she spent 5 minutes getting it to work, long after I assured her that it wasn't a big deal. They're good like that.

Ruam Mit - Well, it's the best Thai food in a city that is completely and utterly devoid of decent Thai food (and the King and I doesn't count). The downside? It's in downtown St. Paul, and I can't remember exactly where it is. The upside? It's about half the price of the dismal, overpiced uptown establishments (I'm looking at you Sawatdee).

Rudolphs BBQ - Normally, one would look to the ghetto to get great ribs. Unfortunately, the only restaurants in the Minneapolis ghetto serve crickets, not ribs. Fortunately, there's Rudolphs, which makes Famous Dave's irrelevant, ironic and sad. The happy hour gives you cheap access to their excellent Rib Tips.

Yummy - It is, in fact, yummy. It's also about the only authentic Chinese Food I've been able to find. The jellyfish is phenomenal. The snails are a bit much. I still don't get the whole two separate menus thing, but make sure you order something off both, or they get irritated I think.

Pizza Luce - I am seriously considering having them cater my wedding. The baked potato pizza is that good. The new Seward location is the best, and the waiters there are great.

Honorable mention: Mission, Edina Grill, The King and I, The Local, Jasmine Deli, Chez Daniel, Fat Lorenzo's, Erte.

What are your favorites?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Racism for a Cause

Want to see some disturbing filth?

Check this out!

Why on earth has it become acceptable to paint racist carciatures of black leaders, simply because they happen to be Republican?

This makes me wonder if there isn't more latent racism than I had previously thought. Of course, intellectuals would never deign to make a racist comment without context. But when they have the slightest justification, like, you know, someone who disagrees with them, they do crap like this. Major dailies run pictures of Condi Rice, with exaggerated lips, and reference her as being some sort of slave.

Part of me thinks they couldn't wait. Faced with someone different from themselves, they revert back to plebeian bigotry. And these are the folks whom we are to entrust to handle race relations in our country?

Does anyone have a plausible explanation for this? Is this even, really, political?
Cause here's my prediction... It'll get a whole lot worse.

If Condoleeza Rice runs in 2008, just watch. Doonesbury will probably use a Sambo doll to represent her in their cartoon. That's okay though, it's good for blacks to be marginalized. That's what's best for 'em. Apparently, they can't make decisions on their own. Those decisions should be left to Prius-driving trust-fund babies who know what's good for our blacks.

I don't suppose I should hold my breath waiting for a thinkpiece from Sojourners on this matter.


Today, I was followed
by a big white truck
with red flames on the front
like a Hot Wheels, or a Matchbox
a literal life-size toy

Hot Wheels doesn't make
a Ford Focus SE
with power locks
and a pen holder
to my knowledge

what does the driver
of a truck
adorned with flames
think about
in order to take himself seriously?

Perhaps he does serious things
raise a family
attend a suburban Lutheran church
real and important things

And laughs it off
the pain
inevitable middle-age numbness

Laughs it all off
with red, toyish flames

Maybe sometimes
he drives it home
let's the kids gaze at it
touch it, sit inside of it
here the engine prattle and roar

Let's them think...

Daddy's a hero
and certainly awesome enough
to have cool flames
on his big, big

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Bird Flu

Hey, man, wanna know a secret? I got the flu. And me being a bird, you know what that means. Yeah, bird + flu = BIRD FLU! That's right. I picked it up a while back from some little floozy cockatiel. Now I am postively diseased.

Within my dying, feathery frame lies the power to start a nationwide epidemic man. You don't want what I've got, belive me. I'm the power broker now. I pull the strings.

Achoo! Just kiddin' man.

What do I want? Oh, I dunno. A birdcage made of gold perhaps? Nah, too cliche. How about a bronze statue of myself? That'd be hot.

No? Too much? Oh, pardon me then while I go crap on those infants over there. You think I'm playing games? I've got the bird flu man. You do NOT know what I'm capable of. Get bronzing, you bitch!

Also, I want heroin. I don't know how much. I'm a bird. Get me a bird-sized portion. And I want a clean syringe. What do I care if it's a bad habit? I've got bird flu! I have a week to live, tops, then I'm out of here.

What? You're going to have your cat deal with me? Yeah, nothing stops a bird flu epidemic like a cat dragging diseased bird entrails everywhere. Oh yeah, that'll solve your problem.

Also, I want you to rent "winged migration". I've heard it was good. And I want it in widescreen. So help me God, if it's pan and scan I am going plague on your ass. I will drown myself in your water supply!

Lastly, I want a cracker. I have been asking for a cracker on an hourly basis for almost 10 years. I think one cracker that is a completely reasonable request. I just want to know what they taste like.

That's right. Do my bidding.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

An Interview With Karl

This morning I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, Karl Quickert, for TPWK. A provocative rabble-rouser within the church community, and an employee of my church, Karl always provides an engaging conversation. Let's get the ball rolling.

TPWK: Karl, welcome to TPWK, it's a pleasure having you.

Karl: Okay...

TPWK: Perhaps you could begin by talking a little about the church and postmodernism. I know that's an area that excites you.

Karl: You know what? I'm tired of playing second-fiddle to you... I'm leaving...


TPWK: ....

TPWK: ....

TPWK: (pauses, thumbs through newspaper, sips coffee, pauses, stairs at liquor store across the street for six minutes, sips coffee, pauses, gets more coffee)

TPWK: ...

Karl: (Returns, having changed into a light-blue jumpsuit).

TPWK: What happened, there?

Karl: I don't know dude, I just don't know...


TPWK: Man, this is @#$%^& up.