Saturday, May 31, 2008

Burn After Reading

Wow, another Coen Bros. movie already, set for September release!! With Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand, and John Malkovich.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Triple Korea Word Score

Met Dad and Sue at airport, back from a month in Korea (South) - my stepmom's Korean.

Then I finished selling my furniture. Strangely enough, I had two desks and both were purchased independently by different Korean girls, both hella hot.


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Los Creepy

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Thursday, May 29, 2008


Bedroom starting to look barebones. Couch: gone! Dresser: gone!

Babbling geezer came by to buy my printer. "I don't need the power cord," he said. "We got plenty of power cords at home."


Hour later he leaves a message on my phone. He needs the power cord. I delete his message and forget to call him back.

Tomorrow: SFO to meet my dad and stepmom. (This'll be my second time leaving the city this year [went to Berkeley on Monday])

Still waiting on a package at this address and I'm outta here Saturday. Arrive!

Have to deal with landlord before I leave to get my deposit. He says he needs to figure out utilities, and the thing is that I'm supposed to pay part of the utilities but I've
never paid utilities here. I won't be mad if he tries to keep the deposit, yet he can't get any more money out of me so I might as well have fun fighting for it.

Yes, the real dilemma is what to do with my sea monkeys. Release them INTO THE WILD of some moss-eaten pond in Golden Gate Park (will they live?) . . . or leave them at the mercy of my notoriously slovenly roommates? I can't make this kind of
Sophie's Choice decision.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to Ask for Money (Photoacoustic Labyrintheering)

Just sold my dresser (the one I stole from Ikea back in the day) and two lamps. I was about to help the guy load it into his car when I realized he hadn't paid yet, so I used the perennial you need to pay me line: "Do you need change?"

One more day of work tomorrow! Woot!!!!!!111111111111111

Move out next Saturday (maybe even Thursday if I've received all my mail and sold all I gotta sell)!!!

I'm pretty ready to leave San Francisco. You want to hear something sad? I don't think I've left San Francisco (even to cross into Daly City, Marin, or Oakland) in 2008! That's not as bad as the guy in Sex and the City who hadn't left Manhattan in ten years... but still. The only SF neighborhoods I even like anymore are the Sunset and Richmond. The city's changed or I've changed, or both.

I don't feel particularly attached to anywhere now. I destroyed several thousand pages of my journals, artwork, comix, short stories, and a novel. Why? To move on. Sometimes I have to create to find out what I am, and sometimes I have to destroy to remember what I am not.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Indiana Jones 4

So I downloaded Indiana Jones 4 and it was alright. Watchable, and it felt like an older Indy . . . and yet lacking anything special that would make me want to see it again. Kind of like an old person who was once cool, and now they're just an old person. I think Spielberg should have implied the whole aliens motif instead of rubbing it in our face.

I'm the only one who thinks
Temple of Doom is the best Indy movie.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Every Now and Then Some Magic Creeps Into the Blog...

For those of you who haven't been studying the recent "comments" on Ninja-tek, we've had some feedback from a celebrity(!). Yes, it's true, we've heard from the one and only Glomer, masterful moviegoer and filmatorian!@!!!!#@#!@#@

*I try to stay calm, but it's hard in situations like this.*

I was thinking about seeing Indiana Jones Crystal Skull Yermother this weekend . . . then I read John's scathing review of IJ 4 (find it here), with a mere 3 stars out of 10 (OUCH!). John concludes:

But suffice to say - this is far worse than I ever imagined it should or even could be - I just can't believe such a talented team made this, and it really disappoints me on so many levels not just that the film is merely "bad" but that it is SO bad; and that not for one second did I feel like I was watching the iconic action hero again. It was Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones, but it wasn't Indiana Jones. And at the bare minimum, in spite of the film's flaws, I was hoping I'd at least get that much.

Well, that seals the deal for me! Thank you, Glomer, for saving me $18 (or whatever movies cost nowadays) and 2 hours of my life to see another Steven Spielberg debacle (about the Holocaust, no doubt).

John Ulmer's writing is no longer easy to parody, and we can always rely on him for deft criticism. Here's to Glomer starting a new blog!!!! A few years ago some cohorts and I constructed a shabby imitation of Glomer prose on Livejournal. I'm glad Glomer realizes it was crude and silly enterprise, and that no ill feeling was meant. At the very least, it was a better use of our time than Indiana Jones 4.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Final Whining

It seems the closer I get to moving out, the more annoying and slobbish my roommates become. I cannot fucking wait to live alone. My goal is to never have roommates again.

I also have two more days of work (Friday and Tuesday [to make sure I get paid for Memorial Day]). Time just seems to move slower there.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I just heard the obese lesbian roommate say to somebody on the phone:
"I can make bacon anytime I want."

Her brother's buying my bed! Cool. I used the magic influence words from The Definitive Book of Body Language on him. They are:


I use these words in job interviews, negotiating, in ebay listings . . . anytime I can, and they tend to work. You will love the results you get and the easy discoveries you make as these money words guarantee you new safety, health, and love. The only other thing I would add is the person's name - definitely use their first name, and also their first and last name if you have the opportunity without sounding contrived. It makes the person think you know them well.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cool and Uncool

Cool, my roommate Claire's brother is going to take over my room, which means I can get out of my lease early. I wanted him to buy all my furniture, but it looks like that ain't gonna happen. Maybe the bed, but nothing else. So now I gotta start the selling-shit-on-craigslist routine.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chris Ware Animations

These Chris Ware animations are pretty awesome.


War, Inc.

I think the first American movie I've seen this year is War, Inc.

It's not that good. It's throwaway parody that could've been made fifteen years ago. The only reason I downloaded it is because Mark Leyner co-authored it. What happened to that guy? He used to be one of my favorite writers, then he started doing crappy collaborations. You throw enough cash in his face and he'll write
Transformers 2.

Watch this instead:

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ninja-tek Archive: October 2, 1999: Walnuts


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Monday, May 12, 2008

Sigil Fish

I've posted sigils before. I won't bother to explain them. I'm not sure that I can. I've found them beneficial to me (especially in periods of transition) and that's what I'm going into now. I'm usually not easy to stress, but lately I have been.
I'm trying to move at the end of the month. I associate summer with moving because I've moved six out of eight summers between 2001 and 2008. I can't even meditate because so much is on my mind.

Michael Shermer describes himself as a skeptic in Why People Believe Weird Things, but I don't think he's skeptical enough. I told someone that I have a tarot deck and she said that surprised her. She had me pegged as a skeptic. But I am a skeptic, I said. I believe that true skepticism means doubting everything, but being willing to try anything and gauge the results for yourself. Doubt science, religion, teachers, parents, friends, books, music, and yes, even your pets. There is a war between the bifurcating realities, and there's no point in enlisting in the dark side against your will.

For that reason I don't endorse sigils. But I recommend you give them a try.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Softening

[I wrote this story about 1997 or 1998 (exact date uncertain). I don't know if I was familiar with Android's Dungeon in the Simpsons at the time or it was just a coincidence.]


I was heading to Android's Dungeon to see if the new annotated hardback edition of The Hobbit had yet arrived - my old copy was withering due to thousands of readings - when a thirst hit my throat. I pulled my bike to a water fountain to take a guzzle. This was in York Park. There are many hills in York Park, and I imagine that curious little hobbits live in the hills. I wrote a story about it for the school newspaper once, but the fools wouldn't print it. The editor called me unkind names and spit on me. I would've fought back (and probably slain the rogue), but I asked myself how Bilbo would've handled it: a peaceful retreat.

There's so much wisdom in those books.

Anyway, so I'm drinking at the water fountain (I like to pretend it's a well), and this girl comes up to use it after me. She's about my age, maybe ten or fifteen years younger, and I start to wonder if I can enchant her. Make her my comrade.

I have a theory that girls would be normal if given more opportunities to fight dragons. I haven't seen many dragons around, but constantly reading Lord of the Rings is a good substitute.

As I step back to let her guzzle some water, I say, "If you start reading Tolkien now you might have magical powers by the time you're my age. Then we could go on quests together and purge the world of evil and moral degenerates. Think about it. Here, let me give you a copy of The Hobbit. I always keep one in my backpack for occasions such as this."

But before I could give the little imbecile the sacred work, she ran off, looking at me as if I was the weird one. She went off to a woman, probably her mother, and pointed at me. The little girl was snared already, caught by the deviance of an unwise generation.

I rode on.

I tried to figure out what Bilbo might have done to rectify the situation - but found no answer. Some people just don't like wisdom. I had done my best to save an infidel, but had to conclude that this society likes evil.

When I got to Android's Dungeon I started to calm down. That little girl had been quite an ordeal for me, but I was now in safe territory, among my own. The smut of this foul orb had to battle the forces of Good to enter Android's Dungeon.

"Hello, Steven," I said. "I bet you know why I'm here. Can you guess?"

"Oh yes, Chester. Every day it is the same. And I can't really blame you. Anyone of the faith would do likewise."

That's what I mean. Steven understands The Way. My younger sister believes that Steven says what I want to hear so I'll buy stuff from his store every day. If she only knew.

"So has it arrived?" I eagerly implored.

"Alas, no. But it will surely show up tomorrow."

My loins let out a sigh of disappointment. No, that's bad, Chester. Learn patience. Strength. Wisdom. Good, calm yourself. "Ah well, guess I'll have a look around to see if anything can hold me over for another day."

"You do that, Chester."

I looked at some D&D supplements and some neat pewter figurines, but I'd seen them all before. I liked to imagine filling my mansion with dragon statues and elf posters when I was rich, wise, and old. That is my dream, to live in a hill-shaped mansion called "The Burrow" and spend my afternoons writing fantasy novels to purge the world of evil. I will use a quill and ink bottle and write on vellum in strange runes, sipping apple juice between chapters. The publisher would sigh when he saw my manuscripts, knowing the labor involved in translating my texts, but be enticed on by the wisdom I would unveil to the wicked world.

When I got to the magazine section of Android's Dungeon, I read an article on the pros and cons of Druid spells. It made some good points. Why isn't the rest of the world interested in important things like this? Instead they think about economics and war and end up killing each other. It's just not a safe place for a hobbit to live in.

And then I saw her. She was on the cover of Dungeon, staring right at me. Holding a flaming staff laced with mystical runes. Chanting a powerful incantation to ward off evil, no doubt.

She was wearing a filthy robe over glistening gold armor. Her face was rugged and elfish. I could see her pointed ears and imagined them poking into my belly. I don't know where that thought came from.

And then I was in the magazine cover with her, just above the UPC code, ready to battle whatever monsters might come our way. But there are no monsters! Not even one golem. What are we to do now?

She looks into my wise eyes and understands me. She knows why we do what we do - why we must not cringe from the dark battle. She begins to take off her filthy robe. What can she want from me? My blood churns in my boiling heart. I think I'm getting an erection. Why am I being tempted?

And now she slips out of her shiny armor to show me her perfect body. Me, me alone. Her skin is hard and smooth and she licks her lips. She comes closer to me. Closer.

She reaches into my pants and grabs my penis. Her mouth eats it like a sleeping bag, and she doesn't make fun of it like the guys in the locker room at school. I begin to bump and grind. It's like riding a horse toward buried treasure. I feel it squeeze and rumble.

This is magic! I've discovered it, Gandalf! It's beating a path through me. This is just what they said it would be like. Will it be an ice spell? Or levitation? Invisibility? No, I feel the heat like never before - it must be a fireball!

I explode against the magazine rack and bang my head with grunting. Has the spell backfired? I'm drooling on the latest issue of Mage. My penis is chafed. The magic power drains away from me. I've failed.

"What the hell are you doing, you little retard? You got cum all over my magazines!" Steven kicked me as I zipped up my pants. I grunted like Bilbo in the animated version of The Hobbit.

"Hey, Steven, there's no need for that. I'm a paying customer. We know The Way. I'm not evil."

"You clean this cum up right now, you little bastard, or I'll call the cops!"

"All right, all right," I tried to soothe him. "There's no need to get nefarious."

After I wiped off the magazines with my shirt, Steven rudely knocked me out of the store. He told me never to show my face in Android's Dungeon again or he'd kill me. That was fine by me, now that I know he's not one of us. I'm only angry that he won't give me back my $50 deposit for the new Hobbit. I didn't damage that many magazines.

Anyway, my big problem now is to find a new store. After going to Android's Dungeon for six years it's not going to be easy. This must be what it's like to get divorced.

I would never get divorced. It's not a good idea. When I find my perfect sorceress girl and we're living in "The Burrow," nothing will tear us apart. She'll soothe me and bring me apple juice and I'll teach her new spells. We'll live like that forever, slowly spreading goodness to Earth, slowly spreading the magic.


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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Banana-skin Pirouette and Collapse

"Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don't really have any rights left. Leasing our eyes and ears and nerves to commercial interests is like handing over the common speech to a private corporation, or like giving the earth's atmosphere to a company as a monopoly. Something like this has already happened with outer space, for the same reason that we have leased our central nervous systems to various corporations. As long as we adopt the Narcissus attitude of regarding the extensions of our own bodies as really out there and really independent of us, we will meet all technological challenges with the same sort of banana-skin pirouette and collapse."

- Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media (1964)

I was thinking, you know what the best part of Batman (1989) is? . . . and then I looked on youtube and was pleased to see that someone else felt the same way.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Anywhere I Lay My Vomit

Surely one of my least favorite celebrities is Scarlett Johansson. I don't care what anyone says: She's ugly, a bad actress, and her name is hard to spell. So there.

I'm downloading her new album of Tom Waits covers. I'm only curious why David Bowie participated on a few tracks.

Okay, download done. Give me a few minutes to listen to this trainwreck.

Okay, I only played "Falling Down" and "Fannin' Street" (the Bowie tracks) and they're so-so. Sounds kind of over-produced to hide Scar's mediocre vocals (mediocals). Whatevs. Maybe I'll play it again and love her and wonder what I was thinking before! Doubt it!

Some books I've read or listened to lately and gotten something out of:

The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin - Gordon Wood
Big Sur - Jack Kerouac
A Whole New Mind - Daniel Pink
Bonk - Mary Roach
Naked Greed of the Flesh - me (an old novella I wrote)

EDIT: I googled "naked greed of the flesh" ten minutes after posting this and it was already indexed (and the only use of that phrase besides the April 27 entry).

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Laughter in the Dark

Surely the best website I discovered this week is Dark Roasted Blend (which I found via Boing Boing, everyone's favorite "stuff" website). It's a helpful reminder that we live in fearful, fascist, conformist, and bland times. i.e. Why doesn't a random walk down the street look like this?

I think the most common car color these days is mud. Remember the gay '90s when people had neon cars and puffy pink pants? I look at cars on the road these days and they're black, white, or mud. Nowadays people who say, "What other people think about me is none of my business," are rounded up and never seen again. I care about design, and I think the larger design process must be diversified and experimental if it is to be healthy.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Flyin' High in the Friendly Sky

More and more I get up to grab something across the room, only to arrive there and forget what I was looking for. Same with looking up things online.

I blame this man:

Albert Hofmann 1906 - 2008

"I believe that if people would learn to use LSD's vision-inducing capability more wisely, under suitable conditions, in medical practice and in conjunction with meditation, then in the future this problem child could become a wonderchild."

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