One of us has a new baby. . .

And I'm not talking about Matt.



444 Beverly Hills Gas

Right off Rodeo Drive last Saturday, gas cost 444/gallon.

You see. In trendy LA, even the gas prices get nose and boob jobs so that everything is perfectly symmetrical.


Guns and the dumb. . .

Just got into a argument via a music listserv with a guy who was saying that gun control has done more harm than good, historically (he of course gave no actual historical data for this argument).

He went into the classic "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" (further elaborating that "only bad people kill people with guns") mode, and then topped it all by adding, "Saying guns kill people is like saying your pencil misspelled a word."

I was going to avoid this argument until that line, which made me respond:

Well, kind of. . . except in the case of the misspelled word, no one is dead, or crippled and left shitting into a bag for life. I don't think this exactly qualifies as a semantic argument. Guns kill people. Bullets kill people. Knives kill people. Alcohol kills people. Cars kill people.

Saying that they don't is like saying a bad thought in someone's head made their hand do something that made a bullet appear in someone's skull. Wait, that is what you're saying.

Call a spade a spade.

His reply:

I just think gun control has proven itself to do more harm than good and
people have the right to defend themselves. Like with cuba, the government
has all of the guns, and the citizens dont. who is in control in that
situation? The government should fear its citizens and citizens shouldn't
fear the government.

My follow-up:

Well, I work in a hospital (when we get someone in here who has been shot, they generally call it a "gunshot wound" rather than "a bad person collaborated with an instrument of death to place a chunk of metal in this boy's spine") and generally, it's other citizens and not the government who have put bullets into the heads, bellies and hearts of these kids.

How did anyone ever handle their government before the invention of gunpowder?

And where are these gun nuts now that the government is getting thousands of citizens killed in this war?

Seems like the only thing they ever get up in arms about is their right to bear arms.

Caller: Oh, dear god, please, send an ambulance NOW.
911 Operator: What seems to be the problem, sir?
Caller: It was a bad person.
911: A bad person. . . what?
Caller: It's not important. A bad person hurt me.
911: Hurt you with what, sir?
Caller: He used a gun.
911: You've been shot, then.
Caller: That part is not important. What's important is that he was bad.
911: That's probably debatable, depending on the situation, or course. Anyway, he shot you with a gun?
Caller: What are you, retarded? That's like saying his pencil misspelled a word!


sweaty shirts are sexy

Can I just say that jagged oval shaped sweat spots that appear on the backs of men in dress shirts in the summer are sexy? Am I allowed to say that? I hope so. Cuz if i'm not, I'm on my way to the principal's office? Or is it principle's office? (I guess it depends if I am antropomorphizing (that latter) or talking about Sister Margaret at St. Bernadettes Catholic school in Silver Spring MD (the former).

And while I'm on the subject, it's hard to find a man (str8 or gay) in San Deigo who is NOT wearing flip flops. It's OOC (out of control), but good for me cuz i'm a big fan o the bare foot. btw, why have I not yet opened a school to teach the average joe how to give pedicures to his buddies?

I'm listening to Modest Mouse right now. "We named our children after towns that we've never been to"


rat poison and persian nudity

I don't know if these ramblings are really schmapp-and -chmazz worthy, but I'm in the post mood, and I'm not talking about raisin brain, though two scoops is almost always better than one.

At Target on Sunday night, a wife asked her husband whether some junkfood product that cost $2.50 was a good price or not. Without pause, he said NO and brought up the fact that it's totally disgusting that the said junk food was sitting on the shelf right next to the rat poison. I agree. But is there really ANY good place to put the rat poision? What self-respecting merchandise would welcome sharing shelf-space with rat poision?

**Sorry, I couldn't help but but in. I'm that blue funnel that's good for adding antifreeze to your car. I'm over in the car care section and I wouldn't mind a bit if I was asked to share my space with rat poison. Most of my funnel buddies get used at frat parties anyway, for drinking games involving large quantities of beer. And most of the funnels, at the end of the night, end up on some dirty basement floor or in the back of some nasty truck, or in some dirty dumpster, where some rat poision residue would be more than welcome. So bring on the rat poison.

Ok...I guess I should know better than ask a question that I didn't want an aswer for.


A friend was indulging in a lil' high school anecdotal reverie the other day and offhandedly mentioned that his driver's-ed teacher also happened to be pulling double-duty as the co-ed sex-ed instructor. I was instantly amused as I stopped to consider the convergence of these two fear-based pedagogies. With the right approach you could conceivably kill two birds with one stone if you had the right amalgam of an educational film. Suggested titles include "Blood on the Hymen/Baby in the Carseat" or "Staying Between the Cones: Outercourse and You" or "Abstinence and the Art of Defensive Driving" or "Hang on St. Christopher: The Missionary Position as 10 and 2" or "Banana in the Tailpipe: The Other Guy is Gonna Rear-end You" or "Brake Lights Can Lie: The Dangers of Pulling Out."


on the train

With Michael Showalter. Does it count as starfucking if you meet on public transportation? I mean, are you still a celeb if you're schlepping your groceries home on the train? You're just a dude with a bummer-of-a-chore as far as I'm concerned.
As always, I'm tempted to throw out a wink-wink sign of recognition (in lieu of any other guaranteed-to-be-awkward attempts to make contact). Something simple, clever and totally innoccuous -- maybe I could call him Doug? Ask about Uncle Robert? Ah, fuckit, he's gone. The wanna-be clever-guy always finishes last.

- mkudlacz


Richard Jeni

So. . . would this be the first time the comedian has killed in 2 decades?


Biting Journalism

I'm planning to pitch an article to a national pet magazine on the growing worldwide trend of holding expensive ($1,000+) funerals for pet dogs. If you've done this, or know someone who has, I'd like to talk to you briefly for a preliminary interview.


On how time flies

How is it that tomorrow is Friday of next week?



an email I sent yesterday to a dude I know:

Hi John,

This is a totally not-work related email that I thought you and/or Kara might be interested in. I just got a call from some guy at Paramount who is doing research for a pilot episode of a show called “Them” for Fox. The show is about aliens who take the form of humans and come to earth. In order to infiltrate some kind of space weapons program at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), one of the aliens starts a romantic relationship with a 20-something beautiful woman who works in the space weapons program at JPL.

Paramount is looking for someone who is familiar with JPL who could provide input on the script so that it is as accurate as possible. They are willing to pay $150/hour and they say they wouldn’t share the name of the person providing the JPL info.

When I heard $150 bucks/hour, I wondered if Kara might want to do it, or if you guys have friends who know JPL and might want to make some money. I just called CBS studios and eventually got back to the guy who called me, so it sounds legit.

Feel free to forward this email to anyone, and/or contact him directly. I have no stake in this whatsoever and won’t be contacting him again. If you are interested, I would get in touch asap, these things move fast.

His contact info:

FYI, the folks in JPL media relations simply directed him to their website, which is why he is looking for other sources.



Mistakenly overheard grammy introduction:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, John Legend and John Nash!" My brain struggled to make sense of it for a moment, but then I realized the logic behind it -- Legend sings while Nash presents his groundbreaking mathematical theorem that quantifies the rate at which your girl will ditch you and get with John Legend.


ferrets, estrogen and lunch

the conversation at the table next to me today at lunch at the depressing food court on the UCSD campus. I was eating a grapefruit.

"Do you know anything about puppy breeding?"

"You mean, like, 'you need to put two dogs together when the bitch is in heat?'"

"no. like for cats. I know cats shouldn't have kittens the first time they go into heat. They CAN have kittens, but that doesn't mean they should."

"I know about ferrets. What's interesting in the ferret literature is how different they are from other domestic animals. Ferret estrogen levels increase by 300% when they go into heat. If they don't breed in a few seasons they die."


Dialogue v.1

Actual conversation witn a co-worker, which took place during another co-worker's attempts at signing up for Netflix online:

CO-WORKER: So, what's the difference between Blockbuster and Netflix?

ME: Not that much. Just depends on which political party you want to give money to.

CO-WORKER: (laughs as if I'm some conspiratorial jackass) What?

ME: Blockbuster is a right wing organization.

CO-WORKER: What? How do you know that? Blockbuster doesn't vote!

ME: Yes they do, with their money. All you have to do is look at which party they give the most political contributions to. Blockbuster gives way more money to the Republicans.

CO-WORKER: Okay, so what do Republicans vote on? Is George Bush a Republican?

ME: (pause) You're not fucking serious, are you?

For the curious: Yes, she WAS serious.

love for sale 11.98

[image] line graph of profits for r&b act, The Emotions, showing a
steady decline since 1996, juxtaposed against the rise of emo kids.

"It's like this," says the VP of Marketineering for The Emotions's
parent company, Emotio-corp., "when the target consumer gets to the
sales clerk at the megastore, and he asks for 'Emotions,' he's
immediately taken to the latest Fallout Boy release. The Emotions are
literally losing millions of dollars a year to the Kinsella brothers
alone! It's just like Led Zeppelin and the blues except it's a
complete accident and the resulting hard rock is just terrible."


idea for an all-Omaha tribute band

called Everything but the Dave Sink. Early reports indicate that there's some buzz amongst the scene-sters, even though Sink has already decreed it to be "fucking lame."


from "32 ways to burn your friends with a text message"

No. 12 -- When your phone call kicks directly to voicemail (i.e., said friend is forever tied up on the other line), try this sample text.

"This is your mom, why don't you get off the line -- the sender of this message just got off me!"

p.s. Definitely not as funny if said friend's mom is no longer living.


The certainty of addiction

1am. Guy on the street. Blazer with jeans. 30ish and a little drunky:
"hey man, do you have another cigarette? I'll buy it from ya."
"ya, i'll give ya a buck."
"Nah, it's cool. There's a code among smokers." (handing over cigarette)
"here's a buck. I'm tryin to quit..."
"Nah, it's cool. There's a code."
"ya, well, I'm tryin to quit."
"Ya, I've been there before. A few times."
"me too. Probably be back again." (walking away)
"I'll see you around then."


Your Goddamn Pie Hole

I fucking hate people who whistle.

Except for Andrew Bird.


The story of Joel Phillippe

Inside jokes are really one of the sweetest rewards for life's enduring relationships, at least among my friends. As fringe benefits for the job of friendship, they're right up there with free dry-cleaning. Because when you can turn a conversation on a dime or enhance an shared experience just by dropping some relic piece of dialogue from ten years ago on someone, then you know you have something really special.

These things are usually lost in the translation when imparted to another outside the circle, and yet I feel compelled to forge ahead with a retelling of one such instance of inspired inside-joke-i-tude.

During the summer between seventh and eighth grade, I was fortunate enough to spend a two-week stint attending an "honors" camp at local university with a life-long friend and big proponent of the inside-joke. It was designed to be a sort of test-drive for college -- you live in the dorm, get to class on your own accord, etc. Not "camp" by definition, but the same sorta model of autonomy amidst learning/socializing/beerbonging.

Having never had the adolescent experience of camp, we were both stoked by this new-found freedom and the golden opportunity this afforded us to exact our worldview on a bizarre subset of Omaha's talented middle-schoolers. As kids from the blue-collar neighborhood of South Omaha and not your traditional "honors" students, we felt very little in common with the other attendees, and thus saw the situation as ripe for our unique brand of juvenile-but-satirical commentary. And brother, there was no shortage of material.

In fact, it really started to get a little out-of-hand. More than a few of our "professors" had to intervene in our mid-lecture fits of jiggling. Counselors threatened to separate us during field trip events. We often lost sleep recounting the details of the day's biggest laughs. Our elaborate running-jokes even crossed generational lines and veered into a study of funny-bone genetics during the closing "Parent's Day" ceremonies when our spot-on impressions of some of the students performing on-stage left our dads helpless with belly-laughs. That's right, grown men who should know better were helpless to resist the tragi-comedy. And for us, that was the ultimate reward, because really there's no better validation for a smart-ass kid than seeing your dad (or someone else's dad, for that matter) reduced to the same level of disruptive, juvenile snickering.

But I digress.

Although there were a lot of jokes forged during that two-week episode, there's really only one nugget that remains in our shared vernacular after all these years. It was something gleaned during our first field trip, just hours after orientation. The event was my first "Shakespeare on the Green" and, although I would learn to appreciate the Bard's writing later in life, I was, and continue to be, bored by the performance of his plays. And it was not a good opportunity for a get-to-know-ya. Fourteen year old's hanging out in the summer sun, suffering through a three-hour play about teenage sex and clan rivalry are not-yet equipped to navigate those glacier-filled waters.

["It seems like these star-crossed lovers were really playing with the idea of sex, love and death right from the beginning of their courtship. I wonder if that's a device of poetic conceit borrowed from his contempories, like Ben Jonson, or his classical influences. I'm Matt, by the way, a thirteen-year-old PhD-candidate who's just starting to get "hair down there."]

Instead it's like a carnival of random first impressions:

That kid has the same Batman t-shirt as me.
She's hot in a slutty-way.
The "Green" is lumpy.
Oh, there's the other poor kid.
That one kid = gay.
Am I this dorky?
Why are they passing around a garbage bag full of popcorn?
My back hurts.
Counselors are dicks.
Peeing is not an option.
More of the same Batman t-shirts.
Bearded lady?
Who is this in front of me?

And although the group had been relatively subdued for most of the performance, the introduction of the communal popcorn had forced most to abandon whatever isolationist strategies they were pursuing and enter into the fold. I think my friend and I were a little too weirded-out to partake of much popcorn or conversation.* We weren't really that psyched to begin with, and then there's the popcorn that you really don't want... so...

We certainly weren't as psyched as Joel Phillippe.

Joel was sitting in front of me. I watched him nervously fidget for most of the show while marveling at his near-perfect sphere of a head. In general, Joel looked like he had been sold on fake, healthy, Mom-approved, activity treats long ago. He looked like a baby-fat Bill Gates. Gold-rimmed glasses and a bad polo and a suburban dim-wittedness specific to the Midwest. He was a blonde, Alan Eakian-certified dork, who, up until the popcorn, was boy-in-a-bubble withdrawn.

But once he got a few hits of some fresh kernels, he started to get a little loose. Chatting it up when possible, talking to himself when it wasn't, and laughing in the awkward silences that followed -- all the while monopolizing the popcorn, taking it by the fistfuls. It became quickly apparent that not only was Joel sold on fake-y treats, but he was also not acquainted with the concept of adult self-control. Joel was feeling his oates, so to speak.

And we were in stitches, because his Bacchanalian musings over his popped corn were starting to get noticed by everyone else. The whole episode played out with the rising action of a two-pump chump's first organism as Joel turned to us, with our mouths agape, and declared:

"These are good snacks!"

Yes Joel, good snacks indeed.

* Something about food in bulkier sizes. This same friend and I dissected the whole bulk-food theory years later in college. Basically, it's size makes it a formidable opponent and a natural threat. Said friend also postulated that the threat was instinctively understood amongst the species such that you could rob a bank armed with only a 6 gallon "milk bladder" from your local dorm's dining hall.


Back when I lived in Chicago, I somehow wound up on the mailing list for the Zagat's guide. I think I filled out some survey to get a free restaurant guide.

When the time came to assemble the guide for the following year, I received notification in my email that I had been selected to be one of their restaurant raters. If you've never read a Zagat guide, they basically just pull one word "quotes" from hundreds of reviews, and use those quotes to assemble their own setences. For example, an entry might read:

This "hip" "eatery" provides "average" hamburgers and "delicious," "salty" fries to "ravenous" and "poor" customers.

It always seemed absurd to me that people would spend time reviewing these restaurants, only to have the word "hip" pulled out of their 100 word review and shared with the masses. As I filled my survey out, I decided to write some of the craziest shit that came to mind, so if and when the Zagat's people pulled one of my quotes, I would know it was mine and not 1,000 other people who also used the word "delicious."

Months later, when the book came out, I scoured its pages for the restaurants I'd reviewed. While I found a word or two that may have come from my reviews but still seemed too mundane to claim as my own work, there was a review for a 24 hour Mexican joint a few blocks from our apartment that included an entire sentence I was positive only I had written. It was the only thing I had written for this place, and it was:

"Just get the food and put it in your mouth."

I'm sad to say I never got the chance to see if the owners of the restaurant ever put the Zagat entry up in their storefront window.

As I was walking to the train the other day, I overheard a woman on her phone say:
"Okay, but if we break-up, then you're taking me dancing."
Given how casually she said it, I naturally assumed she was talking about her doomed relationship with a third-party -- the gay best friend or whatever. She's half-interested/half-wounded/half-planning her weekend with a friend.
I like to amuse myself with the thought that she was negotiating the actual terms of the breakup with her boyfriend instead. Half-caring, but half-demanding.
"This relationship sucks -- I've resigned myself to that fact. Which means that you owe me an evening of Salsa."
The breakup seems imminent, and yet dude still has to go out on some high-impact date. Dude must've fucked up majorly in the bargaining process to end up with that kind of fate. Seems like some sort of relationship reciprocity.
"You failed me as a mate -- now date me as your punishment."

This is a test.

It is also a link to a site where angry waiters/waitresses report on shitty tippers. As an example, that link will take you to a bunch of posts about J-Lo. I did a search for my own name and luckily came up with nothing.

Which reminds me: I was recently out to eat with a friend, and after I left my tip, my friend said something to the effect of "I forgot, you do like 20%" I didn't have the heart to tell him that 15% stopped being the standard, like, 20 years ago. And now I don't even remember who it was.

So, yeah. First post. I promise in the future they'll be funny.


watching the bbc series "walking w/ dinosaurs" recently reminded me how relative the idea of evolutionary progress really is. the cryptoclidus is generally considered a relic of earth's rocky evolutionary past, but i have to admit, i'm really a little jealous.

a sort of 'tweener within the animal kingdom, this massive aquatic reptile was probably walking around on land for a few million years before he decided to get back to his roots; so he shaved his limbs back down to flippers and hit the beach. the thing is, food was so much more plentiful poolside. and we're talking about an animal that was so massive that he could just hang out on the shore like a beached whale and then, when necessary, plop into the sea for .5 seconds and swim through a school of fish w/ his mouth open. that's it. that's dinner.

i'm failing to see where humans got the better deal really. can you imagine such perfect symbiosis w/ your environment that all you have to do is poke your head outside and cruise around w/ your piehole open for sustenance? duck outside and swoop thru a fleet of ho ho's vs. hunting and gathering?

dude, we eat the evolutionary dick.


sadly, i've never really thought about career from the big picture. economics aside, the fundamental laws of survival dictate that one should aspire for something that could ultimately save your ass.

which means that an IT guy is pretty much fucked. equipped w/ only the non-action of "troubleshooting," the IT professional -- bureacrat of the modern age -- is essentially lunchmeat if the shit hitz the fan. if the sum total of one's skillset can be distilled down to the act of moving around abstract ideas inside of an imaginary workplace, then i sincerely doubt you'll make it to the copter in time.

really, i'm struggling to see a practical application or post-apocalyptic survival technique coming out of all this. the problem is, it's just enough expertise to make your role tragically useless. i can't hack the atm, but i can fix your mom's printer. as you might imagine, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for that bit of expertise during a nuclear winter. and while i can solve problems, they typically relate to something that you're doing wrong. so really, unless you're fucking up, i won't have much to offer. more and more, it seems pretty clear that the rag-tag zombie task-force will end up abandoning me at the gas station on the edge of town.

if you're a bike messenger then you can just pedal away from some harrowing shit like that. if you're a cabbie, then you remember the actual route to the fuck-outta-there and proceed directly. if you're a lawyer then you create some kind of Hitchcockian scenario in which suspense and your mastery of social poltics allow you to gain advantage. if you're me then you get eated up by the giant, genome-mutated squid.

the idea of a blog/wiki/website of fake bands. modeled on the allmusic formats w/ inter-related links.

Let this be repository-as-respite from the woes of daily life because, as freud once said:

"the most funny is when you're joking about bad shit"