My phone is trying to tell me something

| Aug. 22, 2007

I don’t know where my phone got the idea that I live some kind of crazy lifestyle, but here are a few of the things its T9 auto-complete thought I was trying to TXT:

  • Have a baby on Halloween
  • Wish I’d skip on the Hat
  • get lock from your mistaken Chang
  • put Ice on santa
  • Get up Cupcakes
  • Get up Like a Virgin is Parking
  • galang galang galang galang galang galang
  • You should consider re-evaluating the life choices you’ve made for yourself the over last few years.

Crazy phone, huh? I have no idea what it’s talking about!

The Lego Mini-Mizer

| Aug. 18, 2007

Okay, so maybe the something-ize me fad has already come and gone, but Chris Doyle (who wants to make absolutely sure you remember Reasonably Clever is a site created by him, Chris Doyle*), created the Lego Mini-Mizer, where you can create yourself out of a Lego minifig.

Choosing from a wide variety of Lego pieces and colors, I was able to whip up a version of my idealized self, only to realize I unconsciously dress like a Lego figure already.

Lego minifig Tim

So try it out, just don’t come crying to me when 7 of your 8 top friends are pictures of Lego Minifigs.

*Hi kettle, I’m pot. Did I mention you’re black?

I’m only awake when I’m dreaming

Work | Aug. 17, 2007

And I only sleep when I’m awake. It’s Friday and I had a dream that was more vivid and engaging than anything that has happened to me during this dull, gray week. I only retained this insight for the brief moment after I woke up, before my mind switched off in preparation for going about my rote, insipid tasks. I’m waiting for the tipping point wherein I fully recede into the dream world and leave this grim, featureless shadoworld behind.

So if you see me and I don’t see you back, I’m not being rude, I’m dreaming.

(Also, I’ve been taking in a lot of PKD and shrooms lately …but this is probably incidental.)

Exactly Wrong.

| Aug. 13, 2007

Whoa, I just had the worst nightmare!

I had this dream that my girlfriend and I were fighting; well she wasn’t exactly my girlfriend anymore, but we were still fighting anyway. Crazy, huh? Who does that? And I was as this job that, like, it used to be challenging, but now all the life has been sucked out and it’s like only the skeleton of a 40-hour workweek that’s left. But I was still going to it anyway! Imagine that! Going to work inside a skeleton! So I tried to leave work to see my friends. I called all of them to meet up with me and none of them answered the phone. Not one. So weird! Friends who couldn’t give me the time of day. I’m like… wha? And so I thought shucks, at least I can go see my parents. Then I realized they’re hundreds of miles away, wondering how I’m doing, never seeing me, growing older, while I trudge through all this completely meaningless and worthless shit.

And that’s when I realized I’m living my life exactly wrong.

What a crazy dream I had! OK, time to wake up.

Heinz ketchup: made with menstrual blood?

| Aug. 12, 2007

I’m not saying it’s true, just that some people are saying it. Hmm… what else was I going to say?

Oh yes, my commercial got bumped from the Heinz Top This TV contest. The form letter I received listed some of the possible reasons:

  • The commercial isn’t 30 seconds, and nothing ticks off the TV network guys like an ad that’s too long or too short.
  • The commercial contains “copyrighted material”—stuff like music or video that somebody else created and/or owns.
  • The commercial contains inappropriate content that your mother may not like and we can’t show on TV.
  • The commercial contains another company’s name, trademark or logo.

Well I’m not an idiot, if you look at the timeline you’ll see the clip is 30 seconds, so that’s ruled out. And although it’s a pretty good imitation of the Saw movies, I didn’t use any copyrighted material from them, so that’s the second one. Finally I took care to cover up the Sharp logo on the TV (maker of quality sets owned by people such as Hollywood actor Harrison Ford), so it wouldn’t interfere with my creative vision. The only possibility is the third one about content your mother wouldn’t like. I actually thought this would exclude 90% of the other videos because my mom doesn’t like mawkish, saccharine pabulum.

Oh well, maybe Heinz just didn’t want their product associated with people who kidnap and enslave young girls. You say tomato, I say strychnine (hint). Whatever. Anyway, here’s the video again; and of course, thank you to all my friends who helped out!

Anyway, look for the video on the comedy website Weak Nights!

Also Chiller TV is having a video contest, so maybe I can throw together a light-hearted musing on a talking ketchup bottle for them.

Guitar Hero Rocks the 80s

| Aug. 8, 2007

You said you wanted a review of Guitar Hero Rocks the 80s two weeks after it came out? You’re in luck…

If the Guitar Hero video games were a discography, Guitar Hero Rocks the 80s is at best a between-album maxi-single. Adhering to the format established with GH2, there are six levels to play through: the four songs in each level are basically a crap shoot, with a fifth bonus song that’s the real star.

Guitar Hero Rocks the 80sThis is where GH80s disappoints. While I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by every song selection, GH80s slides ever further into cover band territory. Compared to the songs from the original Guitar Hero, this release sounds worse and less like their originals than ever. I was blown away by the quality covers on the first Guitar Hero, but the cracks that started to show in GH2 (the mealy-mouthed ‘Mother’ springs to mind) have become ear-splitting chasms by this release. And that’s to say nothing of the 80s not being a decade particularly known for its shredding.

As for what’s missing, there are no extra songs to unlock, though coming up with a back catalog of unreleased 20-year-old music is probably pretty hard to do, so I let you off with a warning, Guitar Hero.

All — and I mean ALL — of the guitars and finishes you can buy in the store are exactly the same as those offered in the far-superior Guitar Hero 2, so rather than splurging on that Gibson Moderne, you’d be better off investing your hard-rocking money. That way, in 20 years you aren’t begging Activision to include your one hit in their latest video game cash grab.

New Wave PandoraAlso missing from the store are the different outfits for your characters, which is especially disappointing because the new outfits look so good. Even Pandora, who always looked like the guitarist who took her Tim Burton movies a little too seriously, looks hot and so very Eighties. Even though these outfits look great, there’s nary a set of lime and pink legwarmers, off-the-shoulder ripped tees, keyboard ties, Adidas tracksuits or checkered Vans to be seen. In a decade that was more style over substance, this is a bad place for GH80s to come up short. Maybe we’ll “luck” out and get to buy upgrades on Xbox Live. Now all I need is an Xbox.

Anyone who was a kid in the 80s remembers the occasions when a He-Man figure would come out that was just an existing figure with a different color palette. Guitar Hero Rocks the 80s is that action figure. It’s little more than a stripped-down version of Guitar Hero 2 with some new graphics and the same sticker price. But from a decade that brought you the phrase “Greed is good”, what could be more 80s than cashing in with a cheap knock-off?

I Saw You in Captivity at a Hostel Last Summer

Shorts | Aug. 7, 2007

Like a billion other suckers, I made a commercial to help advertise the most ubiquitous condiment on earth.

Hmm… looking at it now, I have a feeling this entry may not even get in. But please, watch and enjoy. And rate it 5 stars as often as you can. Thanks, fifteen readers!

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List of things I didn’t realize expired

| Aug. 4, 2007

If you don’t maintain them, friendships will tend to whither away. In light of this, I recently had a party at my tiny ratbox apartment celebrating July the 19th, if only to remind my friends that I, in fact, still exist. On a whim, I baked a lemon bundt cake and two pumpkin pies for the occasion. (Mmm… pumpkin pie, the perennial fall treat, now in July!)

As I hadn’t done any baking in close to three years, what follows is a list of other things I didn’t realize would go bad if left idle long enough:

  1. Crisco – I open the time capsule from 2004, and am greeted by a smell like the inside of an old paint can. Given enough time, it appears condensed vegetable oil will separate out into its component parts, which possess the texture of soap and neopolitan ice cream.
  2. Condensed Milk – I admit, this one isn’t that shocking as it’s dairy, but the can at least allowed it to hold out for a good two years before being rendered unfit for baking.
  3. Pumpkin Pie Filling – With a shelf life of three years, this is the one that held out the longest. When the apocalypse comes, all the cockroaches will have to eat is pumkpin pie filling.
  4. Canned Peaches – When I bought these in 2005, I didn’t expect something with a shelf life of two years to have expired seven months before I got around to opening them (or rather, reconsidering not to open them).
  5. Instant Jell-O Pudding – Now this is the one I understand the least. First off, it’s instant dehydrated powder, so I’m not sure what’s left in it to even rot or mutate or whatever Jell-O pudding can do on a shelf for two years. The second is the expiration date itself: September 4, 2006. How can the makers of Jell-O pudding be so precise about a date that was a good 21 months away? Is that Jell-O’s half life?

    But the most poignant thing of all was…

  6. Relationships – Everything has a shelf life. These are all ingredients for desserts that a girlfriend and I were going to make, but we broke up before we had a chance to use them. And so they sat waiting in my cupboard until they, too, expired.