Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm Sick of Bush-bashing

Contary to what I may project, I am not always enamored of President Bush. I am not a Republican party loyalist, nor am I one of those Christians who believes that President Bush is God's anointed leader to bring peace on earth. I am cogniscent of his faults, his stubborness, his inability to work with a Congress that has held Republican majorities. The man ran as a moderate conservative, and he has governed as one, often to my (very conservative) chagrin.

But enough is enough.

Recall, during the height of the Clinton impeachment trials, liberals took to placing "I'm sick of Clinton-Bashing" bumper stickers on their cars. It was their enough-is-enough statement. It was time to stop beating up the guy. For a spell, it was even considered uncouth to belittle Clinton, and downright disgusting to broach the subject of Monica Lewinsky.

Of course, it was a natural reaction to all the acrimony heaped upon a president who, all things considered, did manage to preside over a very pleasant era in American history. "I'm sick of Clinton-bashing" wasn't just a slogan. It set the mood for what essentially amounted to a free pass during the final 18 months of his presidency.

I was ruminating on this idea when I read an article on the Huffington Post entitled "What If, Just What If, Bush Isn't A Complete Idiot". I was curious about this because it was written by John Seery, a popular professor at Pomona, my alma mater (yes parents, your kids can be exposed to rigorous brainwashing such as this on a daily basis for only $42,000 per year).

You can read the whole thing if you want to cut and paste this link, but I assure you that it is not worth your time.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-seery/what-if-just-what-if-bu_b_35183.html

For liberals, President Bush is either a complete moron, or a diabolical genius. In their consciousness, he drifts between the two. For awhile, the left had remedied this cognitive dissonance by casting Karl Rove as a sort of puppet-master. After the 2006 elections, Rove has lost some of that mystique, and so we're back to our Jekyll and Hyde vision of President Bush.

Of course, the title of the piece precludes Bush's idiocy, so he must be a genius after all. What makes him a genius? Why, this whole Iraq brouhaha is all about oil, a "a geo-strategic land and oil grab". Bush and Cheney are not politicians by trade, but rather oil executives. If there is one thing they know, it's how to make money for oil companies. To my recollection, Bush was criticized for having a track record of bankrupting oil companies, but no matter. He has found a magic bullet. Rove taught him well apparently.

Of course, the "war for oil canard" is nothing new. Never mind that no serious military strategist has conceded that we are there simply for oil. Never mind that the areas of greatest troop concentration have no corollary to the amount of oil in the given region. Of course, he offers no evidence that Bush and Cheney are simply in Iraq for oil. Insinuations will suffice. By all means, let's not get facts involved here.

Of course, Bush also ran the Texas Rangers for a spell. Perhaps Guantanamo Bay is secretly an operations facility devoted to the training of elite Cuban 2nd basement for Major League Baseball. Maybe Cheney is still supporting this war because he knows that more troops abroad means less skilled competition come hunting season.

Any attack will do, won't it? Bush performs multiple functions as idiot, liar, murderer, incompetent stooge. If it doesn't stick, it is easily forgotten (remember Valerie Plame?). At least the majority of the attacks levelled at Clinton (murder conspiracies aside) were based in truth. He WAS a philanderer. He DID commit perjury. He admitted as much. At the end of his run, he affirmed his sleaziness by pardoning his pals who were involved with his illegal land deals.

Could you imagine Bush doing something similar? But we were sick of Clinton-bashing, so how dare I even bring it up?

So, I'm tired of it. Over and over. On the news, in the papers, on websites, in casual conversations. I'm sick of hearing it. I'm sick of Bush-bashing, and I want my bumper sticker. Wanna have an intelligent discussion about politics? Go ahead. Want to discuss the appropriate exit strategy in Iraq? Happy to oblige.

Wanna talk about how this war is a grand scheme to divert Iraqi funds to Halliburton? Sell crazy somewhere else. Wanna compare Bush to Hitler? Read a book and take some Paxil while the adults have a conversation.

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An Interview With College Football

Every now and then, my blog affords me the opportunity to talk with various newsmakers. Today, I am pleased to welcome college football to my blog. College football has come under fire recently for the arbitrary manner in which the champion is determined, a lack of a playoff system, selling out to corporate interests, and generally fading into complete and utter irrelevance. College football, welcome to TPWK.

CF: YAAAAAHHHHH TRADITIONNNNN!!!!!

TPWK: Yes, college football is certainly steeped in tradition.

CF: EXCELLENCE AND INTEGRITY ON AND OFF THE FIELD!

TPWK: Well, that's increasingly debatable. Now, as a Wolverines fan, I have to say that the whole BCS process seems a little flawed. How do you respond to those who say it won't be the two best teams playing for the championship.

CF: BIG TEN FOOTBALL. EMPHASIZING ACADEMIC PERFORMAAAANCE!!!!

TPWK: Um, yes, the Big Ten certainly does have an honored place...

CF: FLORDAAAAAAAA! LOU HOOOOOOOOLTZ!

TPWK: Um, yeah... Now, one of the issues that many suggest is compromising the state of the game, if you will, is the proliferation of bowl games.

CF: PARITY!!!!! EVERY GAME IS IMPORTAAAAANT!

TPWK: Yes, well, as you may recall, my ultimate frisbee team was invited to the Low-fat Dannon 100 Calories Bowl in Delaware, where we were beaten by the Mr. Goodwrench pickup basketball champions 21-14.

CF: DENNIS FROM SALES RAN FOR 144 YAAAAAAAARDS!

TPWK: Yes, he was the Chevrolet player of the game. Honestly, I cannot believe that ESPN2 did not have anything better to cover that night.

CF: BOWL MADNESSSSSSS!

TPWK: I have to ask, don't you think the games have lost some meaning in recent years?

CF: PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWLLL!!!!

TPWK: Case in pont. Now, some have said that the new BCS system has actually reinforced the subectivity that it was meant to correct. How to you respond to the criticism that the system favors neither traditionalists nor progressivists who want to see the game keep up with the times.

CF: THE BAND IS ON THE FIELD! THE BAND IS ON THE FIELD!

TPWK: Um, yes. There was an incident with band members being on the field.

CF: TUBAAAAAAAA!

TPWK: It happened 25 years ago.

CF: ARMY-NAVY THE RIVALRY OF THE CENTURY!!!!!

TPWK: Nobody even watches that game anymore. In fact, I hardly know anyone who cares about College Football at all anymore. When are we going to see some changes?

CF: ......

CF: ......

CF:TEAM MASCOOOOOTS!

TPWK: Well, that's all the time for today. I'd like to thank College Football for stopping by.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

The Wisconsin Dells

To be honest, I had this blog half written the moment my brother called and said "hey we're meeting your sister out it Wisconsin Dells the weekend after Thanksgiving. Want to come?"

He may as well have asked: "Hey, we're going to go drink some battery acid and watch ballet the weekend after Thanksgiving. Want to come?" But, it's family. And I'm a Christian, so I can't be one of those people that says "no thanks, I'd rather drink battery acid and watch ballet." I had an excuse, though. Khris' parents were coming into town. Khris' parents are the least dramatic, complicated, or sad people you will ever meet. Coincidentally, they are not from Michigan. Plus, they like me. See, when you marry a 20 year old woman, you're the prick who is stealing their daughter, but when you marry a 34 year old woman, you become the gateway to grandchildren. I'm the damn queen bee. They bring me beer and lottery tickets.

Alas, Khris' parents decide to stay home for Thanksgiving, and my sister begged me to come to the Dells. For those who don't know what the Wisconsiin Dells is, it is a town in the middle of Wisconsin (strike one) that is arbitrarily the home to the world's most extravagant water parks. It's sort of like Disneyworld meets Wall Drug. It is also something of a halfway point between Michigan and Minnesota. See, the funny thing about Michigan is that you are actually allowed to leave when you want to. It's a "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" scenario up there, starring Jennifer Granholm as nurse Ratchet.

Now, you might be thinking. "Wisconsin? Water Slides? Chain Restaurants? Michigan relatives? Sounds like a weekend Kevin would enjoy immensely." To you I say, welcome first-time reader.

Our first stop in this hillbilly playground is Green Mill to meet my sister, my brother (and sister's) dad...(side note: yes, technically I am the half-brother of the three... welcome to the nuclear family, Michigan style. As my wife quipped, "what's with all the wives and children?"). As an added bonus, my non-dad brought his girlfriend and her three grandkids. See, Michigan people usually have their kids in waves. The first wave usually comes at around age 19, when a couple is completely destitute. Usually, this wave goes on to live with the grandparents, so that the parents are free to @#$% up their lives with impunity. Then, after rehab and/or prison, they start their real family.

So we have me, my wife (who is a tremendous sport), my brother and his family (who are great, btw), my sister, my niece, my non-dad, non-dad's girlfriend, and non-dad's girlfriend's brood. Oh, and did I mention that the non-dad is dying of cancer?This is quite the little independent film we have going here. Where's Paul Thomas Anderson when you need him?

I expect very little from Green Mill. Just greasy food that tastes approximately like it should. On this count, the restaurant disappoints... The food takes more than an hour to arrive (ever sit for more than an hour at a table with 7 kids?) But hey, I'm with family, and we're at at the Dells. What fun! Whoopee and all that.

The next morning, we find our way to Grandma Honey's, for some down-home cooking in a contrived diner setting. Alas, it appears that Grandma Honey took the weekend off, and was replaced by old Aunt Gotohell. My wife orders french toast. They get her order wrong, then proceed to blame us for the mixup. Breakfast takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. I'm starting to get a twitch. But, hey waterslides await!

We head off to Kalihari, the world's largest indoor water park. I think we need a nationwide guidelines on what can and cannot be deemed the world's largest. I'm thinking of crafting the world's largest indoor paper mache replica of TV's Alan Thicke, to see if I can create a cottage industry around it. Hey, if you can't beat 'em...

Apparently, the Kalihari is also the world's most expensive indoor water park. Admission is a tidy $40. Someday, I'll be sitting in a nursing home, telling my grandchildren "back in my day, a trip to the water park cost $40" to which they'll respond "$40? What a ripoff. A gallon of milk only costs $15.50!" I should say, I got off cheap. Rooms at the attached hotel run about $300 per night. Digest that for a moment. Someone is saying "hmmm, we could stay at a luxury bed and breakfast in Carmel, or we could go to Wiconsin for the same price!" I am of the opinion that those who opt for the latter should be incinerated.

Now, I am not against amusements, per se. I am an avid state fair enthusiast. And, hey, water slides are not without merit. Let's enjoy the day. Well, the part of the day not spent tracking down kids, or waiting for my sister to finish her smokebreak. Fortunately, there are bars IN the waterpark. Gotta love Wisconsin.

After we get dry, non-dad's girlfriend decides for us that we are going to Damon's, a BBQ joint that is popular in Michigan, and where you can order something called an onion loaf. A quick note on etiquette for Michigan residents: unless you're buying for everyone, you don't pick the damn restaurant. My wife wants ranch sauce to go with her fries. When our dinner comes, we don't get ranch sauce. We do get the worst barbeque chicken I have ever tasted in my life (a cafeteria caliber, slimy mess topped, absurdly, with Heinz 57 sauce), and shrimp that could charitably be described as soft. But, yeah, no ranch.

So I make a comment along the lines of "this town has the worst service I have ever seen." Within earshot of the waitress, who responds "that hurts my feelings." My wife tries to diffuse that situation, but I reiterate "no, I would include this restaurant as well. This food is inedible, and we can't even get what we ordered." Suddenly, it's as though I just pulled a Michael Richards. You see, I am in a room in which nobody is enjoying themselves, in the midst of a weekend in which everyone has been engaged in all manner of petty squabbling. I have gone along for the ride with a smile on my face while experiencing the agonizing results of other people's stupid decisions. And I am the bad apple for making one little negative statement about the service.

This is why I don't visit my family more often.

That night, my brother informs me that we aren't really seeing the best part of the Dells. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, there are, in fact, Dells in the Wisconsin Dells, beautiful rock formations that jut into the water. If you go on the web, and look past the myriad water parks, the Tommy Bartlett ski show, the ubiquitous Ripley's Believe it or Not! museum, you can actually find what made this little nook in the middle of nowhere worth visiting in the first place.

When he told me that, my cyncism and anger turned to sadness. God created something beautiful and breathtaking, that now goes completely ignored in favor of magic shows. As we drove by some brand new, water-related extravaganza called The Coliseum, he said "someday, this will all be a testament to man's folly." Indeed.

The next day, the Denny's was packed to the hilt, so we drove down the road to a place called the Cheese factory. It is, literally, a factory converted into a charming bed & breakfast style restaurant that doesn't serve meat. It is run by people who are enrolled in something called a "Course in Miracles", and they come from many different nations to run this place. Our waitress has a lovely British accent. She smiles and makes sure we have our order right. The food is fantastic, fresh and served hot. It is the only enjoyable part of the trip. Even the Michigan relatives are impressed.

I wonder what the Course in Miracles people think of hell that surrounds them?

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving

Holidays are a curious thing. They are all celebrations of sorts, paying tribute to this or that occurrence. In America, each of the major holidays is symbolized by an act of consumption or stimulation, which may or may not reflect the impetus for the creation of the holiday itself.

On Christmas, we give gifts, which is at least tangentially related, I believe, to the gifts of the three wisemen. We celebrate Easter with some rabbit-related absurdity. On the 4th of July, we get fireworks, cause now that we're independent, ain't nobody gonna tell us what we can't explode. On Halloween, we celebrate lord knows what with pumpkins and candy consumption. IN high school, I was told that Hispanics actually invented Halloween as a way of honoring the dead, but I don't think that is true.

Side note: Why were our Spanish teachers so hellbent on attributing every social phenomenon to Hispanic cultures? I was 25 before I realized that the combustion engine was not, in fact, invented by the Aztecs. Remember that anecdote about how they would drill a hole in your head if you had a headache? Yeah, not impressed. If there are any Spanish teachers out there, I have a piece of advice. The best way to understand Hispanics is to talk to them. The best way to talk to them is to learn their language, so dispense with the film strips and the dead bread and just teach the damn language. End rant.

On Thanksgiving, we devour a turkey, and assorted accoutrements. We do this because the Pilgrims were thankful that they weren't starving or dead. Also, the Detroit Lions play, so that we can all be thankful that we don't live in Michigan.

Preparing the meal is a tremendous amount of work, the bulk of which usually falls to some beleaguered housewife or cheerful grandmother. They prepare the feast, with myriad families converging upon one particular household, kids in tow, with some auxillary-type dish. Everyone is starving, because nobody eats breakfast on the morning of Thanksgiving, and any child under the age of 9 is so hungry and crabby as to be unbearable.

After three hours of screaming kids, cussing housewives and mediocre football, it is time to consume the feast. Here is where we confront the dirty little secret of Thanksgiving. In spite of all the work, all the preparation and expense that goes into this meal, the damn thing doesn't taste good.

Let me put it this way, when you go to a nice restaurant, do you ever see turkey on the menu? See, turkey is inherently dry and kinda salty. So we're off to a bad start, even before we get to the peculiar array of side dishes. Most of the staples (mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes) are proudly offered by the Gerber corporation, while stuffing, the grand poobah of turkey sidekicks, consists primarily of cooked bread. I mean, would you ever consider eating turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing, other than ironically, if not for cultural dictat? I wouldn't.

Of course, all of the food is smothered with delicious gravy, which serves to unify the offerings into a moist, salty, easy to consume, whole. It goes down smooth, and so we eat an absurd amount of the stuff, before consuming some sort of pie. After this caloric blitzkrieg, we spend the remainder of the day in a state of tired gassiness.

And so on and so forth. Maybe I'm getting old, but it seems to me that holidays are, more or less, vacation days ruined. I mean, everyone hates Christmas, nobody even celebrates Easter anymore (even my church just plays a clip from "The Passion", tells us to remember, and calls it a day), and are fireworks really worth smelling like Deep Woods Off for the next three days? Memorial day and labor day can be pleasant, but are usually ruined by some couple getting married or having a stupid baby.

So, tomorrow, let's look past the turkey, the stress, the football, and make a real effort to remember the real reason for the season, which we can all celebrate...


The beginning of the end for the Indians.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I wonder

Do you think, watching the Michael Richards meltdown on his TV, Mike Hatch was thinking to himself:

"Well, I could do THAT."

Just curious.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

The Senator Needs to Get his Game on

For those who didn't read the weekend news, Sen. John "Two Americas" Edwards attempted to use his celebrity to jump the queue, in order to be among the first to obtain a Playstation 3. Where did he go to sate his (or, more likely his children's) gaming lust? Walmart, of course!

Of course, we don't expect consistency, or, really, much of anything from our senators, particularly the Democrats. Ted Kennedy is a lecherous boozehound who drowned his secretary, but why should that stop him from writing children's books?
Nonetheless, I don't like John Edwards. He is a sleazy attorney out of central casting, who has coasted by on his looks. So I am in no mood to be remotely fair.

Here's my account:

John Edwards tells a staffer (paid for by our taxdollars? You betcha!) to go fetch him one of those new video game machines. Staffer says to himself "I'm off to Walmart, where I can probably get the thing cheaper than anywhere else!" So, staffer calls Walmart and asks to order the game. Alas, it seems as though the Playstation 3 was something of a hot ticket item.

What to do? Staffer tells Capt. Multiple Americas the sad truth, to which he replies "dammit, Jenkins, did I say go fetch me excuses? No, I said get me a video game machine! I am Presidential material." All said through an eerily winsome grin.

So how to meet the Senator's demands? Well, staffer could wait in line for 36 hours to get a machine. But staffer has a B.A. in Poli Sci. from Georgetown, and an M.A. in peace studies from Princeton. Staffer is far too important to sit in line with the stinking masses, who prefer merchandise to world peace. That's America B type stuff, as Sen. Edwards would say. Staffer is most certainly America A. America A doesn't stand in line. America A gets on the damn phone.

Staffer gets on the phone, and explains to Steve, the assistant manager at the stores Arlington, VA location, that Sen. John "Two Americas" Edwards would like to skip the line and simply receive a Playstation 3. Steve does not know who the hell John Edwards is, and is dealing with a shoplifter who was caught with 40 boxes of Sudafed, and so has, in his own words, "bigger fish to fry" at this particular moment.

Staffer, unwilling to bear bad news to aforementioned Senator, who, truth be told, is probably not, per se, all smiles after he's had a little whiskey and a fight with his wife, moves on up the company directory. Who does he call? Someone who can make sure a press release is drafted and distributed to the press within three hours, that's for sure.

East coast, do-gooder staffer, educated to the tune of $200k or so, decides to go to the Public Relations department for Walmart, to ask for a PS3 for the Senator.

Staffer: Hello, yes this is an ambitious young staffer for important Sen. John Edwards. He wants a PS3 right now. He is far to important to wait. He is not America B. Did I mention that the Senator is important?

Walmart PR lackey: Well, I don't think we can... Excuse me, who did you say you were calling for?

Staffer: John Edwards. He's famous for his work on behalf of good human beings against tyrants who hate blacks.

Walmart PR lackey: Please hold.

Dial tone.

Hmmm. How rude. Staffer reports to Smiling Senator, who, as some will recall, was a candidate for the vice-presidency of the United States. Edwards replies that he doesn't really care about his kids anyway, and goes off to dine with some lobbyists.

Three hours later, communications director for America A's favorite senator receives a phone call from the AP. Edwards pretends that he was unaware that Walmart was still around, but reassures reporters that he hates it very much, and that a certain, highly educated, overzealous staffer is entirely to blame for the whole affair, probably, but he isn't quite sure, because what is a Playstation 3 anyway? Certainly nothing he is ever heard of, or would even request, in light of the ever increasing gap between haves and have nots.

Staffer is fired, and lives in parent's basement for six months before going back to school to get his masters in economic justice.

The end.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

An Interview With a Crazed Gamer




Every now and again, my blog affords me the opportunity to talk with various newamakers. Today, I'd like to welcome Scott Trenderson, who made the completely respectable decision to spend $3,400 for a brand new Playstation 3 with a list price of $599. Scott, welcome to TPWK.

Scott: I can taste it. God, I can even taste it!

TPWK: I see you've already broken iny our shiny new PS3.

Scott: Broken it in? Broken it in? I've been playing Dwarfgnome III Online for more than seven hours!

TPWK: Indeed.

Scott: I have already advanced to level; most people are at level 2, and barely level 2 at that. Oh, hold on, I gotta go waste this n00b. "Yeah, funguy47, experience my Scepter of he Runes right in your face!"

TPWK: Um, I see you've developed some measure of acumen for this game.

Scott: Dude, I've already learned Heatfire, and I'm about to acquire the Mist of Disease and Confusion. I was already elected head of my cohort.

TPWK: Not only skilled, but socially relevant as well.

Scott: Watch me go apeshit on this guy's turnip farm.

TPWK: You do efficient work. So, what makes the PS3 different from other game systems, say the PS2 for example.

Scott: The PS2 is obsolete. It's a dead system.

TPWK: Dead.

Scott: The graphics interface is outmoded. And, um, 60 Gig? Hellloooooo?

TPWK: Clearly, I am an idiot. So, some would say that it is absurd to pay several thousand dollars for a system that is priced at $600, especially when more will be made available in just a few weeks.

Scott: Oh yeah, and by then everybody's gonna be at like level 60. That's what I want to do, walk around the Fields of Zoroaster, getting called n00b by like 9th graders cause I'm not upgraded.

TPWK: That sounds just awful.

Scott: Oooh, watch me brain this guy. BAMMM! RA-BAD-A-BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM (pounds the couch with his fist).

TPWK: So what does your mother think of your obsession with video games.

Scott: What? Who cares? My mom sucks.

TPWK: Well, whether or not she sucks, you do live in her house.

Scott: Lots of people live with their parents.

TPWK: Not when they're 41.

Scott: Dude, sorry I don't get up and work like 9 hours everyday. I have priorities man, I have a life. OOOOOOHHHH!!! Eat my Broadsword of Enchantment TIMBERLAKESUX007!

TPWK: You showed him. Is that a cat in the corner?

Scott: Oh, yeah, that's pickles.

TPWK: I think pickles is dead.

Scott: Whatever.

TPWK: You have a dead cat in your basement.

Scott: Dude, you try being level 3. It's hard. What am I supposed to do, go give the cat water while some lowlife de-elders me?

TPWK: Again, I stand corrected, w/r/t priorities. So what are you doing now?

Scott: It's called wisdoming. I'm jumping up and down on this rock until I learn the Spell of the Dragonsphere.

TPWK: ....

TPWK: Can I play?

Scott: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! That's funny. You're funny. I know you're funny, cause that's funny.

TPWK: ....

Scott: GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!

TPWK: Are you talking to me, or TIMBERLAKESUX 007 again?

Scott: Ah, you idiot! (Picks up PS3 and throws it across the room. It shatters.)

TPWK: ....

Scott: My guy was being so stupid.

TPWK: Well that's all the time we have for today. I'd like to thank Scott for dropping by.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nigeria Gets Religion!

So, today I open my e-mail, and I receive a message entitled "Use it to glorify the name of God." At first, I thought "why does Peter always title his e-mails like this?"

Then I, looked at the sender. Why, this was a message from my good friend Creflow Juanti. What, pray tell, does Creflow want to tell me about the name of God? I must know.

The letter begins:

"Dear In Christ, The time has come for Christians to worship God in spirit and in truth according to the book of John chapter 4:vs23-24"

Dear in Christ? Sort of like a religious spin on a deer in headlights. Apparently, the time has come to worship God in spirit and truth. I don't know what makes this time different from any other time. Perhaps because it is time for a phishing scam?

"Based on this scripture, it became obvious that I should do the right thing if I must enter into the kingdom of God."

That verse doesn't really have anything to do with doing the right thing, but I don't want to dissuade you.

" I am , Deacon Creflow Juanti the legal adviser to late Mr. Mike & Carol Hall, a God fearing and dedicated couple."

Hmmm... This person rose to the level of deacon, but is only considering doing the right thing. Who hires a deacon to be their legal adviser?

"They were very wealthy but had no child."

Alas, they never learned to love.

" They travelled to Patong-Thailand for Christmas holiday but met death on the 26th of December 2004 during the Tsunami disaster(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/4153821.stm"

They met death? How did that go down?

Mike: Hey, it's death. Death, how're you doing?

Carol: Ummm, honey.

Mike: Not now honey, I'm talking to death. So, how's the killing business.

Carol: (tugging on shirt). Mike....

Mike: I'm telling you to stop.... (turns around) Oh, crap.

Also, I love the link to the URL. I checked it out. There was, in fact, a Tsunami. I thought they were making it up.

"As their legal adviser, before their death, the husband Mr. Mike Hall instructed me to write his WILL,"

Did he scream the word "will"? Why is this in CAPS? Incidentally, this is a malapropism. It reads as thought Mike Hall is is own legal advisor.

" because they had no child, he dedicated their wealth to God."

Ornidarily, they would have ignored God, but hey, if you don't have kids... Cousin Ruth was pissed, I hear.

"They had a lot of landed properties houses Stocks/bonds, etc."

Well, if the properties weren't landed, they wouldn't be worth much, now would they?

"According to the WILL, their assets should be given out to a ministry for the work of God. "

I'm proud to be OF SERVICE!

"As their legal adviser, all the documents for the fund that are deposited with the Vault company are in my care."

How does this follow from being legal adviser? As legal adviser, I simply embezzled their funds.

"As a born again Christian , I have been reading my bible and I have to do what is lawful and right in the sight of God by giving out the fund to the chosen ministry for the purpose of God\'s work "

As a born again Christian? How about as someone who does their job as Deacon Lawyer? Could you imagine if your lawyer said to you "as a Christian, I'm not going to steal your money and leave it in a vault." If that's all you have to offer, you'd better raise the bar.

" After my fasting and prayers Today, I asked God to make his choice and direct me to an honest Christian or the chosen ministry that deserves this fund by his Grace."

God tells people to phish for my personal information when they fast? Thanks a lot, God.

" I then came across your address on the Internet"

Oh, you just stumbled upon it, eh? You Google "Christian charity" and my e-mail address is the first thing that pops up?

"I appeal to you to use the fund wisely for things that will glorify the name of God."

Like anti-spamming software?

"Also, could you get back to me having visiting the above website to enable us discuss in a more clarifying manner to the best of your understanding."

That was an awfully confusing sentence about clarifying. Yes, let us embark on discussion related to the clarity of our relationship, clearing thing between our understandings. The our clarifications will be honored.

"I must say that I\'m very uncomfortable sending this message to you without knowing truly if you would misconstrue the importance and decides to go public. "

Bad bet, dude. Didn't you know I have a blog. I am decides to go public right now.

"In this regards, I will not hold back to say that the essence of this message is strictly for Charity."

I'll bet.

"Thanks. Elizabeth & Deacon Creflow Juanti"

Not only am I an Elizabeht, but I'm a Deacon too!

P.S. If any of you receive this message, I have just been informed that it is a scam. This is not a real attempt to give you millions of dollars. You might still consider giving them your personal information, though. They seem nice.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

R Kidz R Dooing GRATE!

Hmm... The new test results came out for Minnesota Public Schools. Hmmm... How are we doing? Uh-oh, it appears that only 58% of our students are proficient in math. Hmmm... That's not very good. Surely there is an explanation. Oh, it appears the test is very hard. Here is a quote from the Star Tribune:

"State officials argue that this year's results can't fairly be compared to those of previous years because the material is so much harder."

Well that isn't fair. Why are our kids being forced to do things that are too hard for them? See, this is the problem with No Child Left Behind. We're holding our schools to standards that are impossible to achieve. I wonder what was added to the math test to make it more difficult? Oh, here is some information:

"For instance, high school students saw more algebra and statistics on this year's test."

Algebra and statistics on a math test? What, pray tell, was on the test before?

"Last year's problems could be solved by either reasoning or intuition."

In other words, they required no knowledge whatsoever. Well, that is a step up I suppose, the demand that our students know algebra, versus nothing at all. I'm glad to see we're raising the bar.

What of the high school in my area? My property taxes are high, so they must be doing a good job at Patrick Henry high school. I would expect that as many as 70% of their high school students know of such as things as algebra. Hmmm... 9%... That's not very impressive at all. Well, they've got Minneapolis North (3%), Roosevelt (3%) and Edison (2%) beat. So, 1 in 50 students at Edison High school can perform algebra? That seems reasonable. Money well spent, I say.

Surely, the suburbs dramatically outperform their city counterparts. Let's look at my alma mater, RIchfield High School. Supportive community, always passing bond referendums. 16%? Hah, hah, take that Henry. One in every six Richfield kids can perform math at a middle school level. Eat it.

Now, surely there is a reasonable explanation for the poor performance of our students. Let's read further. Oh apparently, students are "probably focused on going to work, college, grades and college placement exams."

Oh, now I get it. That's why our kids can't perform simple mathematical operations. They're too busy applying for college! Today's student eschews such frivolities as knowledge in favor of the pursuit of advanced education. That explains St. Cloud State.

Of course, the test scores are raising concern for teachers and administrators, for educating our students is seen as a matter of integral importance, right? Let's hear from one such individual:

"I'm a little concerned we will have to WATER DOWN OUR CONTENT to get them through."

Yes, that is a reasonable statement. Clearly, the only way to bring students up to par in terms of, say, being able to figure out that 50 is 10 percent of 500, or that if 16x = 96, then x=6, is to dilute what is clearly a formidable curriculum.

Now I understand. I am extremely optimistic about public schools. With their proven track record of educating our children, I earnestly hope that reasonable people can find it in them to offer more taxpayer dollars. The fine crop of administrators, who are not at all flushing our children's future down the toilet, certainly could use a raise for all of their outstanding work! I mean, what does a superintendent make these days, $40,000 a year, tops?

They make what? Oh, you have got to be $%#&$^ kidding me.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wanna Get High?

Hey, new Col. Sanders logo, you like to get post-modern? Do you freak the scene? Ya wanna get high?



Yes, that's the willingness to try. You know, you and I will get together, just maybe get a little bit high. A little coke, nothin' problematic. Maybe a barbituate or two?



Yeah, that's the smart thinking. We can go to Enterprise, rent a Chevy Cobalt, drive to Des Moines... Do a little Halcion, maybe inject some Robotussin into our veins and pretend were Egyptians. You know, build a pyramid out of tin cans and defend it with some rusty blades. You know, something sensible.



Yeah, no we're on the same page. I think it's just fantastic that we are going to get high together. There are no forseeable problems with this. And the best thing is that about it is that I'm using a recurring gag to pimp fried chicken. Nothing makes me feel better about myself.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

You're invited




What: "28: A Retrospective on love, life and God, with spiked eggnog."

When: December 9th - 7:30 p.m.

Who: Me and friends who are 21 or older (infants: okay, no kids, toddlers, or greek).

Where: The Sawyer Residence

4930 Washburn Ave. N
Minneapolis, MN

Schedule

7:30-8:00 - Greeting with heavy hors' douevres (ballroom B).

8:00-8:30 - Breakout session: Refining the Modality: Maximixing internals and errata (Main Conf)

8:30-9:30 - Symposium: Victor Davis Hanson, Jonathan Chait and Bill Keller discuss healing partisan wounds after the election. (Media Center)

9:30-10:30 - Cribbage tournament (opt. aux. conf)

10:30-11:30 - Keynote: David Foster Wallace offers selected readings from his new book "Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays" (Ballroom A).

11:30- Mixer featuring live music by jazz sextet "FIrenoise" (Foyer)

Egg Nog, Wine, and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided, along with heavy appetizers.

No Pets.

RSVP to kevinsawyer@yahoo.com

FMI: Call Leroy Dehnke at 612-385-3405

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Childhood

I wonder, if I had met my wife when we were kids, how would we have been toward each other? Would we have been friends? Would we have interacted as future soulmates? Would I have had a crush on her? Would I have rejected her outright?

Worse, would she have rejected me?

When I was little, I had a desire for fairness and justice that bordered on manic. In the first grade, we held a mock election between President Reagan and Mondale. I voted for Mondale (before I voted against him, it turns out). Reagan won 23-2. I was despondent. I refused to talk to anyone for at least two hours, which is eternity when you're five.

When I was eight years old, I was infatuated with building blocks. Playin with building blocks were considered a group activity. Other kids had stupid ideas of how to use the blocks. Their ideas were not architecturally sound. My protests in this vein were met with predictable mockery, and a group of kids made it their goal to interfere with my architectural genius.

I protested to the teacher, who was indifferent to my pleas. I thusly threw a fit, and (among other things) hit a kid with kidney problems (who had done nothing at all) in the back with a block. I became known as a "spaz". The quirk of it is that, within months, the kids who had tortured me became my friends. Rather, I willed them to become my friends. Something within me demanded that I be their friend. This began a pattern in my life.

I went to a private school for "gifted" children. It was called Roeper, or The Roeper School if you were a snob, and it was founded by to Jewish immigrants who were forced to flee from Nazi Austria. Whether we were gifted or merely conceited and eccentric (and, predominantly, rich) is a fair subject for debate.

Enrollment at tiny, hippie private schools can be an effluvial-type deal. From year to year, my group of friends had a remarkable tendency to switch schools. Given my peculiar desire to mold friendships out of difficult situations, I consequently became a misfit among the gifted eccentrics.

My one constant, w/r/t friends, was my friend Paul. We lived across the street, shared a passion for basketball, and did stuff that boys do. We had a nice symbiotic thing in that neither of us held a susbtantial physical advantage that would allow one to beat up the other. He was a public school kid. I thought he was dumb, but he got a Nintendo before I did, and sports are more important to boys than smarts anyway. In a certain sense, he was my connection to the real world. His parents were middle class; his mom was a drunk, and his dad collected guns, which led to an awkward lecture from my mother to both of us on gun safety.

When I made the transition to public school, I made the ironic choice to pursue friendships with the sort of people who closely resembled those who rejected me in private school. I abandoned sports as a hobby, and transitioned to theater (a decision consonant with my Christian desire to remain a virgin). I used my charm (one thing I have in spades, despite my worser qualities) to accrue the friends I wanted, and discarded the rest (a discarding that was often reciprocated, naturally).

etc... etc... Now you know why I'm so freaking unbearable.

My wife, however, grew up in medium-town South Dakota. She was maybe a smidge homely (she got better) and collected prize pigeons (otherwise known as doves). She worked extremely hard in school, and didn't seem to have time for people. A glance at her high school yearbook reveals numerous comments along the lines of "stop working so hard" and "geez, calm down".

She was a deadly serious person, and also shy and reserved. She had her own demons and insecurities. So, what would she have done with someone like me? Could we have set next to each other in class, ignoring each other simply because we had no reason to engage each other (no pun intended)? Could we have been as distant as we seemed on paper?

There is a moment in the film "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" in which two lovebirds are transported to their childhood, and forced to interact on that level. The girl witness the boy, goaded by kids he wished to impress, hitting a bird with a hammer. The scene ends with the girl version of the woman leading him away. The sequence is hauntingly beautiful, one of those scenes in film that sends a peculiar sensation through your head.

In every adult relationship, there is a little boy crying out to a little girl. The boy wants to change things, to right wrongs, to repair block-buildings, to mend broken relationships. But he has no idea how. He needs... Help.

I thought about this, about the ways in which I am so different from my childhood self. And yet, I have these same desires. I want to be liked by the people who find it the most difficult to like me. So, I married Khris... Childhood, it seems, was a rehearsal for the real test of social mastery, marriage.

And yet, I failed childhood. I needed a Khris in my life when I was a little boy who had no idea how to relate to people.

Back then, we probably never would have talked to each other.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

WFAT- Tommy Boy

I continue my commentary on the Worst Films of All Time with "Tommy Boy".


"Tommy Boy" was released in 1995, in the midst of a multi-year run that gave us a spate of abysmal, SNL inspired films such as "The Coneheads" and "A Night at the Roxbury", among others. "Tommy Boy", created with the goal of bringing Chris Farley's comedic gifts to the big screen, where they could generate serious income, is a mish-mash of unfunny moments, largely stolen from other films.

To be fair, no serious person thinks Tommy Boy is a good movie. The film's defenders describe it as one of those stupid funny films that we are not supposed to question, but rather simply enjoy, regardless of whether it fulfills its comedic objectives. I am not opposed to this manner of entertainment. Wayne's World (which kinda started the whole deal) was pretty funny. But, by this point, the whole genre was sort of waiting for its monolith.

Any movie that features Brian Dennehy and Chris Farley doing an extended rock duet leaves one wondering what was left on the cutting room floor. After Dennehy's death, and some weirdness revolving around Farley's character being glad that Rob Lowe is his brother, he is sent on a road trip to save his father's business, which is (checking the Internet) selling brake pads. Brake pads? Why brake pads?

Of course, 74 minutes of watching Chris Farley drive would be a tepid, though not altogether unintriguing, idea. So Farley is paired with SNL alum David Spade, whose comedic gifts are decidedly more modest. Spade exists to, well, talk to Chris Farley. Sometimes he pokes fun, sometimes he plays along. He does a little hoo-hah where he pretends to be a maid that is unconvincing, unfunny, and highly quotable.

Along the way, plot devices happen. The car falls apart, naturally, because that's what happened in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles", and the screenwriters (one of whom would go on to create "That 80's Show") clearly didn't feel compelled to be very original. This is an auto-pilot film peppered with comedic moments designed so that horny frat boys can quote them to impress girls.

The film coasts along on Farley's ability to generate cheap laughs and quotable moments. And here is why I despise the film. You see, Chris Farley was very funny. He also became extremely famous, but not for what made him funny.

The first time I saw Farley on SNL, he had this bit as a self-loathing talk-show host. It was pretty straight by today's standard of "The Office" style awkwardness, but on a show awash with celebrity impersonations and sight gags, it was uproarious. Throughout his time on the show, Farley had a natural gift for comic timing and self-deprecating humor. Among other things, Farley was willing to play off of his weight problem, and his status as an apparent social reject.

As a comedic experiment, it was brilliant stuff, and his place as a famed comedian was not without merit. Alas, the public only embraced the fat jokes. As his career progressed, (and SNL went south) Chris Farley became the fat freak, who trotted out the same passel of tired characters to enthusiastic responses.

In this context, "Tommy Boy" was born. It is less a film than it is an opportunity to laugh at what we consider to be grotesque. The film conflates obesity with stupidity so as to play off our baser impulses to laugh at, rather than with.

"Planes, Trains and Automobiles" succeeded because it forced us to understand it's characters. John Candy's character was funny, yes, but also deeply wounded. "Tommy Boy" papers over the wounds with a makeshift happy ending, lest it offend teenage focus groups.

Chris Farley's life ended in tragedy. A tragedy of his own making, to be certain, but a tragedy nonetheless. The end of his life was marked by an obsession with being well-liked, an addiction to attention. He would go to bars and wait to be noticed, willing to do his schtick for anyone who approached him.

By all accounts, Farley was a brilliant mind stuck behind an idiot's persona. Shy and introverted by nature, he used his comic gift to sate his desire to be liked. I remember his final SNL guest appearance. He looked awful. His voice was hoarse. He was sweating profusely. He was literally dying before our eyes. And yet, there we were, laughing at the macabre spectacle.

Perhaps it is unfair, but I can't help but picture "Tommy Boy" as one more sad step toward a great comedian's demise. It is a terrible film, not only for the cynicism with which it was made, but for what it says about us. It is one of the worst films of all time.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Post Mortems

The voters have spoken, and they are crabby, apparently. They are upset about the war in Iraq and corruption. The Democrats managed to parlay this sentiment into electoral victory. Truthfully, this should only surprise the most navie of optimist, though a part of me had a twinkle of hope that Karl Rove's little machine had a little bit of magic to it.

While there is plenty of blame to go around for congressional Republicans, this was not a particularly good night for political ideas. Last night, the AARP ran (and ran, and ran) an ad featuring a charismatic, baby-kissing politician on the campaign trail, while a cheesy song admonished voters not to ask him about the issues. This year, the democrats were the baby-kissers. They made a conscious effort to offer no alternatives to the problems to the scandals and foreign policy miscues that have plagued this administration and this congress. In this election, the Republicans were the booby prize, a stroller or an electric mixer. The Democrats offered a crack at door number 3.

Well, we opened the door. Now what do we get? My guess is that we'll get a subdued, but clumsy attempt at reconciliation, a la compassionate convervatism. We'll get a minimum wage, and amnesty for illegal aliens, the combination of which should augment our unemployment rate quite nicely. We'll get a "deficit reduction plan" that will call for tax hikes. We will get pushback on good quality judges.

All of this will present Republicans with two options. They can acquiesce to the Democrats, play ball, end the gridlock, or whatever. Doing so will require them to abandon their principles, of course, and alienate conservatives who feel somewhat alienated already. See, if Republicans race to the middle, they will find that the Dems have beaten them there. Hillary will be there in a jump suit, looking at her watch, wondering what took them so long.

Or, they can rediscover their principles. They can push the sort of ethical reforms that can only come from a vocal minority that has learned its lesson. They can work to umask these so-called moderates, by giving them all or nothing decisions on taxes, abortion, guns etc...

The Democrats have lost the battle of ideas, and if the Republicans can make 2008 a battle over ideology, their losses will be short lived. If they make the next two years about cooperating with people who have stupid ideas about how government should operate, they lose. If they fail to reform, they lose. If they fail to find a message, they lose. If they fail to go on offense, they lose.

Frankly, the choice is theirs.

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Election Night - 1:20 a.m.

Mike Hatch is offering a semi-concession speech. He acknowledges Judi Dutcher by saying "I can't think of a better running mate for this adventure." Really? Cause I could think of a few. I mean... Quiz bowl and all.

Apparently, Michelle Bachmann will be the only freshman Republican congressman. Michelle Bachmann?

A small glimmer of light on a gloomy evening. I'm going to bed on a somewhat high note.

The sound you hear is that of a shotgun blast, muffled only by confines of a human mouth.

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election night - 1:04 a.m.

In case anyone was wondering, Jim Wallis officially opposes the South Dakota abortion ban. Granted, this was a poorly thought out piece of work, but he essentially revealed himself to be a pro-choice, pro-lifer. This brings me to a question. The Dems have done some work recruiting moderate and conservative democrats to run against vulnerable incumbents. They applied the triangulation theory to the congress, and it worked. Of course, when most voters hear "pro-life", they think they are getting "pro-life". When they get pro-choice, will there be buyers remorse? I think so.

The Fox News anchor just remarked, with regard to the MT Senator race, "Montana, ya, you betcha', it's too close to call." I guess they really DON'T know Montana.

So, now Montana is concluding their counting tomorrow. The voting machines apparently faltered to the point where the polls are still open. I find that hard to believe, but those are some very conservative counties.

Allen is down 6,000 votes. That one is over, recount or no.

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Election Night - 12:14 a.m.

Think the Star Tribune is upset about Bachmann's win? Headline: "Bachmann wins most-expensive race".

Pawlenty is creating some separation, with 85% of precincts reporting.

Rich Stanek is the next Sheriff of Hennepin county. Another indication the Minnesota tends to ignore national trends, and just vote whatever. I've met Stanek, and voted for him. It seems Patty Anderson might also have some room to make a move.

Missouri is cooked. The vote tally has both candidates tied, but St. Louis votes have yet to be counted. Having St. Louis give the Senate to the Dems is a bit like dying of colon cancer. I'm still not sure about MT.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Night - 11:39 p.m.

What the hell? They are done counting in Virginia? Let's just get back to this tomorrow? Oh, that's nice. Not like the Senate hangs in the balance. Go grab a slurpee and get it done, for crying out loud.

Pawlenty has just taken the lead. If this holds, it will be a major victory for our state. Hatch just isn't governor material.

Bachmann wins, but Gutknecht loses. I really saw both of them pulling it out.

Absurdly, Dems are ahead in the SOS, auditor, and AG races. Highly qualified republicans are running for these seats, and Patty Anderson even earned the STAR TRIBUNE'S endorsement. How much does it suck to be a Republican right now?

Britney Spears files for divorce. What was she running for again?

Election Day - 10:19 p.m.

Well, the Democrats will take control of the house. How the Dems play the dissonance between the "we want's a change" moderates and the "we want Pres. Bush's testicles" blog left will determine whether they can maintain these majorities. If the next two years are marked by investigations, the Republicans will easily be able to play it to their advantage.

Keith Ellison is now my representative. I will begin carving my swastikas immediately.

So, the AARP is still running their ad. Whoever made this media buy needs to be fired immediately.

One Republican I'm not crying over? Lincoln Chafee. Now he can go be a dipshit on his own dime.

Election Day - 8:59 p.m.

Non-partisan pseudo-Christian Democrat Jim Wallis is delighted that Rick Santorum has lost to Bob Casey Jr. You see, this is proof that Christians can't simply run on two issues. Never mind that Rick Santorum has done more for poverty than just about any Democrat. Never mind that he spoke at Jim Wallis's little "I'm so famous" event (even though charismatic mulatto Barack Obama got all the credit and the magazine cover). Have I mentioned that I despise Jim Wallis?

Uh-oh. Jim Talent is on TV. He looks like he's about to put a gun in his mouth, and he's introducing his family. Sounds like the beginnings of a concession speech type of night.

My wife is painting, and she won't let me help. So I'm stuck in front of the tube.

Election Day - 7:32 p.m.

Folks, I've got at least six more hours in me. My statcounter says y'all are still reading, so feel free to comment if you want to make things interesting.

The Dems have to solid pickups already, though general results are skewing just to the right of polls, so far.

Sadly, Bob Casey Jr. has beaten Rick Santorum. The average IQ of the Senate will sink substantially. As a Christian conservative, I am supposed to be some sort of moron. Right....

Oh, and the Dems just sent Menendez to the Senate. So, now we have an idiot and a ethical embarassment going to the Senate for the Dems. Well, you couldn't expect them to run on the economy now, could you?

Election Day - 6:44

I suppose I should provide some actual hard news.

The gay marriage amendment won in Virginia, which is no surprise, considering nobody is really all that into gay marriage.

Early Results - (last knows poll in paranthesis)

VA-2 Dem +2 (REP +8)
IN-8 Dem +30 (DEM +7)
IN-9 Tie (REP +2)
KY-2 Dem +2 (DEM +3)
KY-3 Dem +2 (DEM +8)
KY-4 Rep +19 (DEM +3)

Election Day - 5:51 p.m.

Exit polls are bad for Republicans, giving them the six seats they need in the Senate. 60% of late deciders are breaking Dem., according to the polls. Of course, exit polls had Kerry winning with 88% of the popular vote in 2004, so we'll see.

Democratic Underground has taken to calling Joe Lieberman a "mouth-pussy". Yikes.

Polls close in 4 minutes. Fasten your seat belts folks.

Election Day - 5:21 p.m.

I voted!!! Democracy!!!!! CIVIL RIGHTS!!!! EMPOWERMENT!!! MINNESOTA TWIIIIINNS!

I won't let you know who I voted for, but I will say that there were no jew-haters or cussers on my ballot.

The nice thing about living in a relatively poor neghborhood is that voting is a breeze. I voted at 5 p.m. and was the 700th voter. When I lived in the Phillips neighborhood, I voted at 11 a.m., and I was voter number seven.

There were several black people at the polls when I voted. Through the grace of God, the Republicans were able to suppress all of their votes.

The AARP has a website to educate elderly voters, called dontvote.com. Seems like that would confuse old people. Also, they're running tons of ads. Aren't cranky old people in bed by now?

Charismatic mulatto Barack Obama was in Maryland, encouraging voters to choose Ben Cardin, and not to make race an issue (Cardin's Republican opponent, Michael Steele, is black).

Charismatic mulatto Barack Obama was in Tennesse, encouraging voters to choose charismatic mulatto Harold Ford, because Obama is "feeling lonely in Washington". Maybe they both have a passion for collecting stamps or something.

We've been robo-called!!!! We were told that Republican corruption is ruining America. It's official: My vote has been suppressed! I feel like I just met a celebrity.

CNN is falling apart. Wolf Blitzer is yelling at his electronic map. I think CNN has jumped the shark. I'm switching to Fox News...

Election day - 4:19 p.m.

I am off to vote, just as results are coming in. I am in a mixed neighborhood, so I anticipate that all of our votes will be stolen by Republicans.

On my way home, I was in an elevator with a black man, carrying a big plastic bags full of plastic bags. On my way out of the parking ramp, I saw him wandering around, until ramp security came around to suppress his vote.

On CNN Wolf Blitzer is looking at a big map. Breaking news: Maps are just fantastic!

Election Day - 2:45 p.m.

Robocalls are the new hanging chads.

Laura Ingraham apparently mocked the dem voter suppression hotline, resulting in a number of prank calls. I find that amusing.

My guy is telling me that the Pawlenty campaign is very enthused and optimistic, a dramatic reversal from two weeks ago. Interesting note: The Hatch campaign is refusing to publish his final campagin schedule, for fear of Republican counter-protests. By all accounts, the 72 hour campaign is as powerful as advertised.

Yes, I have a guy. Why wouldn't I have a guy? Shut up, Steve.

Watching CNN. More befuddled black people. Seriously, the people at the voting stations look like extras from "Awakenings". This is setting the civil rights movement back a quarter of a century.

Can you believe that, in this day and age, rain keeps people from voting? Rain? If you can't vote because it's raining, you should be forbidden to reproduce, much less vote.

CNN is doing a report on the cloning amendment. They are doing on-the-ground interviews in Missouri. Newsflash: Missouri residents are pretty damn unimpressive.

See you in a bit!

Election Day 12:48 p.m.

The buzzword today is robo-calls. Apparently, voters in certain districts are receiving harassing phone calls that seem to be from Democrats. These sort of tricks are nothing new, unless you are a 19 year old college student who just discovered politics, in which case you are now anointed by God to join the revolution fighting voter suppression. Sigh. Robocalls is a dorky term.

Okay, so I had my name on our Time Warner account, which I intended to use to register to vote in my new district. Well, Comcast moves in on my territory and, suddenyl my name isn't on the account anymore. VOTER SUPPRESION! MY RIGHTS ARE BEING VIOLATED! I CALL ON THE PROLETARIAT TO JOIN MY CRUSADE AGAINST THE ARISTOCRACY! WE SHALL OVERCOOOOOOOME!

Also, my Internet at work is slow.

Bizarre electoral note. The Republican running for Tom DeLay's old seat is named Shelley Sekula-Gibbs. What's wrong with that? In order to vote for her, Republicans must spell her name using a little wheel. You see, Democrats, in their obsession with fairness at the polls, fought to keep DeLay's name on the ballot, even though he is not eligible.

No results yet. Networks have exit polls under lock and key. Dailykos figures Lamont has it in the bag. Right.

Election Day - 10:29 a.m.

Throughout the day, I will be liveblogging the election. Is that what it's called? Liveblogging? That sounds kinda creepy. Anyway, check back for FREQUENT updates.

10:29 a.m.

Dailykos is afraid that his site will go down because he is confident that the Lieberman campaign will be hacking it. Yes, that would be a productive use of time. Hacking Dailykos. Lot's of swing voters going there to get impartial information.

For those who don't know, it is a forgone conclusion among the left that this election has been stolen. I'd comment on this, but I'm too busy luring black voters into my basement.

CNN has a big feature on problems with the new electronic voting machines. The main picture features befuddled looking black people staring at the new machines. Expect to see a lot of befuddled looking black people shots today.

Mike Hatch just called Michelle Bachmann a slut.

Friday, November 03, 2006

An interview with Mike Hatch

Every now and then, my blog affords me the opportunity to speak with important newsmakers and famous people. Today, I would like to welcome DFL gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch. Hatch has made waves by calling a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune a "Republican whore". Without any further adieu, I'd like to welcome Mike Hatch.

Mike Hatch: Wow, who did the artwork for this blog?

TPWK: Um, that would be my friend Matt. Pretty cool, huh?

Mike Hatch: It blows.

TPWK: That's not nice. I admire Matt's work.

Mike Hatch: Matt, is he the one with the glasses? I hate that son of a bitch.

TPWK: So, changing gears. You've been in hot water for your recent statement to a reporter.

Mike Hatch: Look, let me be crystal clear about this. I have nothing to apologize for. I was clearly saying that President Bush was a Republican whore.

TPWK: I don't see how that makes any sense.

Mike Hatch: That's because you like to pick on defenseless women.

TPWK: Defenseless women? I'm talking to y...

Mike Hatch: This is all part of the Republican hate machine.

TPWK: I don't see what this has to do with machines, to be honest with you.

Mike Hatch: Look, prick, do you know who I am?

TPWK: Um, the second most likely person to be elected governor on Tuesday?

Mike Hatch: Okay. You want games, pipsqueak? I'll give you games. I will saw your arm off and feed it to my cats.

TPWK: Now, see? I think that's the sort of statement that gets you in hot water.

Mike Hatch: What? I said I will see you all off to vote for Mike Hatch?

TPWK: Well, that makes sense.

Mike Hatch: But you know what? I'm not going to let you guys beat me. I'm stepping aside. I am no longer running for governor of Minnesota.

TPWK: Wait, you mean you are announcing that you are stepping down? On my blog?

Mike Hatch: Yes. Thank to the Republican hate machine, I am announcing that I am stepping out of the race. The distinguished Walter Mondale will run in my place.

Walter: Well, hello.

TPWK: Willikers!

Mike Hatch: For the love of God, Walter, you're not even wearing pants.

Walter: My pants are angry!

TPWK: In a way, I guess you could say it's a whole new race.

Walter: I'm hungry.

Mike Hatch: Shut up! You'll eat when I tell you to!

Walter: I'M HUNGRY NOW.

Mike Hatch: WHAT? WELL HERE'S A SNACK! (punches Walter in the mouth)

Walter: (cries)

TPWK: Well, that's all the time we have. I'd like to thank Mike Hatch and Walter Mondale for stopping by.

How I roll

You know what I'm going to do this morning? I am going to take the day off and order some toast. I'm gonna go right up to the counter at Denny's and order a nice crisp piece of toast. Whole wheat, you know, no big whoop.

When the waiter comes with it, I will ask for the bill, and pay it as I am eating, just to keep things tidy and quick. Then, I will consume my toast, standing up. If the waiter asks me why I am eating my toast whilst standing, I'll promptly ask:

"Excuse me sir, but do you see anyone else sitting?"

Then he will know that the customer is always right. He will smile, knowing that I have taught him a firm, but lighthearted lesson in customer service.

Later on, that waiter will be known as TVs "Jax", a doctor with an edge, who doesn't take guff from anyone, but deep down has a soft spot for Cindy.

This is how the rest of my life will go.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

An Interview WIth John Kerry

As a blogger, I often have the opportunity to interview various famous people and newsmakers. Today, I'd like to welcome Sen. John Kerry, who caused quite a stir when he instructed students to get an education so that they do not get stuck in Iraq. Kerry is also known for somehow losing to George W. Bush. Without any further adieu, welcome Sen. Kerry.

Sen. Kerry: Thanks, thanks for having me on your blog to set the record straight.

TPWK: Yes, well, certainly there has been a lot of outrage. I mean, most people hold our troops in the highest esteem, and...

Sen. Kerry: Listen, I want to make one thing absolutely crystal clear. I have nothing to apologize for.

TPWK: So, you stand by your statements that those who are not educated wind up in Iraq.

Sen. Kerry: You know. I read your blog. I know you are part of the right wing hate machine.

TPWK: Machine? I was just clarifying...

Sen. Kerry: Everyone knows that I was criticizing the president, and that the troops who have died in Iraq died because of their evil.

TPWK: Wait, the troops died because of their evil? Senator, that it a terrible thing to say.

Sen. Kerry: What? I am clearly criticizing the president, and not the troops. You and your cohorts totally Jewed my words in an attempt to deflect criticism...

TPWK: Excuse me, did you just say that I "Jewed" your words? That's kind of inappropriate, don't you think?

Sen. Kerry: Jewed, jungle-bunnied, whatever. The point is that your spin machine is trying to cover for an illegal, immoral war.

TPWK: I'm sorry, I have to stop you right there. Jungle bunny is a deeply offensive, albeit anachronistic, term in this culture. I'd ask you to refrain...

Sen. Kerry: You know, I've met your type. You want to twist everything I say for your own political ends. You're no different from the gooks I killed when I was in Vietnam.

TPWK: Okay, first, I thought gooks referred to Koreans. And, second, if you are going to continue with the racial epithets, I am going to ask you to leave.

Sen. Kerry: It counts for Chinese, too.

TPWK: You mean Vietnamese?

Sen. Kerry: They're all the same. My point is that Republicans are trying to make a scandal out of this, so they can divert attention from that fag in Florida, and against our failed war against the towelheads.

TPWK: You know what, you've had a hard week. Maybe you're not in the right mindset to do an interview right now. I would just like to apologize to my readers and say that Sen. Kerry's words do not reflect the views of this blog.

Sen. Kerry: No, you're right. You're right. I've been wrong. I apologize for using the word jap.

TPWK: You didn't even use the word "jap".

Sen. Kerry: ....

Sen. Kerry: The Repub...

TPWK: I don't wanna hear it.

Sen. Kerry: ......

Sen. Kerry: Mary Jo Kopechne had it coming.

TPWK: That's all the time we have for today. I would like to thank Sen. John Kerry for taking time out of his substantially less busy schedule to stop by.