December 2005

So it’s almost to an end. 2005 that is. This was a very big, and for the most part an extremely good year for me. Lots of stuff happened, and on many different fronts: my writing portfolio grew quite a bit, the teaching thing is taking me to all sorts of places, I’m finally getting back into the world of creating comics, I actually found a decent place to live, and I’ve finally gone one whole year in a relationship with a girl that is not only awesome, but perhaps the best thing ever to happen to me. Plus it’s perhaps the first year ever that some major catastrophe didn’t take place. Which is sorta weird, at least for me. But yeah, things are going great, and its just getting started (I’m saving some good stuff for later)…

But real quick, I guess I should mention Christmas. As noted previously, I decided to stick around NYC this holiday season, so I spent Xmas with MK and her family. And boy… was that ever a trip. MK did a pretty good job with a rundown of all the drama that ensued, so I guess I’ll skip the detail and go straight to the semi-blurry pic of our very Charlie Brown-esque Christmas tree…

I think Christmas would be 1000% more tolerable for us all if parents were 1000% less nutso during the holidays. So MK & I did what we could, which was zone out the bullshit out with some festive tv shows and movies, such as the Xmas episodes of Futurama, Father Ted, and Pee Wee’s Playhouse, plus Die Hard (hey, it’s technically a Christmas movie). Also, I think the one thing that really helped me retain my positive, and festive attitude through it all was the ability to play Christmas NiGHTS near the actual day this time around, the first in quite a few years.

Though what would Christmas be without presents? Lame (sorry Jesus). As also stated before, I love Xmas because I love looking for the perfect gift for folks. But I also like getting cool shit in return, and this year there was quite a bit of that.

MK got me some neat-o things, including this stuffed hamburger that I’ve been eyeing in Chinatown for who knows how long (and here it is lying on the Popeye blanket that MK made for me a few weeks back)…

Plus she got a box filled with nothing but army men, plus another chock full of Japanese candy…

Here’s a closer look at the box of animal crackers. Note that each animal has what they are called stamped on them…

Our favorite all-time Japanese candy has to be little chocolate flavored koala crackers. MK passed along a few bags that has a picture on each side to tell a story. For this one, I think the koala is discovering the joys of masturbation..

Though my fave of the bunch, packaging wise has to be this box of chocolate treats featuring a runner on the front…

… and a ferret reading a book on the back. Plus there was a little toy in a separate box included. There’s an image of a possible toy on each side, but none of them makes any sense, nor does the real thing, which in this case is a microwave with a bear’s face?

MK also got me a Knock Man Family toy. Here it is (the small, cymbal dude) along with the rest that I have…

And here’s about the awesomest thing ever courtesy of Dave. It’s hooded sweatshirt featuring snakes on a plane!!!

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So day one of my vacation has, thus far, been pretty unproductive. Despite being free of all my SVA responsibilities for the time being, I still have plenty of personal projects to attend to. Yet all I’ve really done is putz around the internet (mostly just checking out Hard Gay videos).

I also accidentally deleted a file that was important earlier this morning. Hey, have I ever mentioned how fucking annoying I find OS X? Guess what, there is no easy means to recover a trashed file, and I’m talking about one that was deleted via the regular Empty Trash method and not Secure Empty Trash. WTF? I find it impossible to believe that for such a supposedly high-end, user-friendly, and modern OS that such a recovery feature is not built-in. There are ways to rescue trashed files, but its via slow as hell third party programs that are not only often ineffective and always expensive, but may also damage your system. Such bullshit.

Today was also the day I simply had it without my slow as fuck internet connection. I’m connected via an Airport Express and Extreme card, and even though the network is secured (I set it up myself when moving in), its still slow as fuck. I believe its leechers, but there’s not means to tell how many people are connected onto a network, at least that I know of (again, a pretty basic as hell thing not doable in OS X). Thankfully Jason stopped by and helped to secure things even further, so only my eMac and my roommate’s iBook can see the network, but who knows how long that will last… fucking annoying hacker types always seem to find a work-around.

… Let me also just add that, in all seriousness, there is no scum lower on earth that some douchebag that steals internet from common everyday folks. That’s just fucking wrong, and if you’re one of them, grow a spine and fork the bill for your own damn internet connection. Besides, if you’re smart, you’ll get all that money back with all the movies and music you can download…

And all this proves is that it is so vitally important to have a friend who knows what the fuck DNS servers, WPA2, and port mapping is. Granted, I’m the Mac guy to several of my friends and can figure out why there’s a software conflict or solve assorted hardware issues, but when it comes to networking, I don’t know jack.

Lord knows it next to impossible to find any real help online. It seems every other day, I encounter someone who says, to the effect: “The internet is such an amazing thing! It allows for so much wonderful information sharing and brings together people!” And to that, I have to laugh. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is chock full of crazy awesome shit, but in terms of strengthening communication, while I admit that I have talked with and even met some super cool folks because of it, I have to wonder if its worth the damaging effects, such as how it manages to make folks even more selfish and infantile and all around stoopider than they already are. Yeah, it brings loads of people together, like fucking furries….

I’m especially annoyed at people using internet slang in real life: the other day a person I knew used the word “meme” in a conversation. Never-mind how that word existed before the internet, the fact is, this person only used it because she’s a hardcore LiveJournal-type, as well as the belief that it would show to everyone how “leet” she is and all that jazz. Again, its what I’ve talked about before, this re-appropriation of a joke or fad or info found on the internet by a person who then goes around to evangelize it, as if they have some sense of ownership, but in 99.99999% of time, its not the case. I find it absolutely amazing how folks keep going on and on about how freeing the internet is, yet the medium manages to turn everyone into bigger cattle near the end. And as someone said earlier this week, I liked the word meme better when it was called the in-joke (granted, this was said on a message-board, but I digress).

Speaking of message boards, don’t even get me started. Maybe the reason I’m pissed is that once again, I went to one in hopes of finding answers for my computer dilemma, and all I got in return were sarcastic and nasty remarks. At this point I go to just two message boards, both video game related. I used to go to another that was heavily focused on graphic design and art, but… time for a quiz. Which of the two places do you think has the most annoying “regulars”, meaning one’s who care less about discussion and more about shouting out “zingers” and insults: the message board that has a bunch of 13 year olds that like to sit around in their bedrooms playing video games and watching Anime all day and night, or which has mostly 2o-somethings that work in Willamsburg as web and graphic designers? If you guessed option number 2, you get a cigar. I remember when I asked about a problem relating to my eMac 17 of the 20 people that responded basically said: “Get a G5 dumbass.” (actual quote) It finally took the 20th guy to say “Hey, maybe the reason why he has a eMac is because he’s fucking poor?”… which happens to be 100% correct btw.

Of the two game related message boards I go to, I only visit and post at one with any real frequency; once it started to become almost a job to keep up with the GAF, I knew it was time to cut it down. As for Insert Credit, as much as I post, I still try hard not to be “that guy”; you know, the one person who has to say something about everything.

Back to being pissed, I guess I’m also mad at message boards right now because I just discovered that I’ve been rejected for membership at the Abe Vigoda Fan Club

Enough bitching, time to talk about something awesome. Namely, Christmas!!!

First off, if you haven’t gotten a Christmas tree yet, or unable to get a real one, check out this special holiday themed version of Grow.

And check out another of Bryan Green’s totally wacky Flash toons, this one about a “TOTALLY RAD” Huffy Vortex Bike he wanted one Christmas. As usual, its the audio that makes 08′s stuff so awesome.

Speaking of presents, last night Stephy gave me mine, and its her Early Faggot Acupuncture piece! It was given because out of everyone, I seem to be the only one who truly “gets it.”

The one things I really love about Xmas is the whole searching for the perfect gift, and each year I find that one perfect thing for someone, to the point that I’m pretty proud of myself. And this year it was Stephy, who really digs folk art, as well as crosses, so when I came across this, I knew it was made just for her (yes those are images of Jesus and Mary painted on bottle-caps)…

As mentioned previously, Jason stopped by my place today, to exchange gifts. And here’s what he got me… movies starring masked Mexican wrestlers!

This year I’ll be spending the holiday with MK and her family. And this here is a pic of the bag that’s chock full of the presents that I’ll be bringing along…

Finally, and I know this is rather old, but I’m still proud of the card that I made a few years back, and here it is again…

Merry Xmas everyone!


So yesterday it took me about three hours to walk home from work. Perhaps the highlight was being a part of the throngs of folks making the mind-numbingly cold (albeit scenic) trek across the Brooklyn Bridge. I could bitch about the rather unpleasant journey (made more-so due to the bone chilling winds) at length, but I can’t, simply because there were plenty of others in the same exact boat, and many of those folks were much older and in far less able shape than myself.

But I gotta say, nothing felt better than approaching Brooklyn and hearing some guy on a megaphone declare “Welcome back to Brooklyn! Because everything’s a-okay when you’re back home.” Him and others were handing out invitations to stop by the Brooklyn Borough Hall on the behalf of Borough President Marty Makowitz for a rest. Which I did, and the chance to sit down, go to the bathroom, and enjoy hot chocolate plus donuts, as well as the extremely warm and friendly staff of the Borough Hall was extremely appreciated.

Yeah, it was a real bitch getting home, a real 180 from the almost exciting journey to work just the other day. I guess I’ve bitched enough about the striking transit workers (at least in real life, which seems to be the main topic of conversation among everyone these days, though that’s to be expected). Again, I have zero sympathy for them, and any rationale to defend their actions is made instantly moot due to the outrageous salaries they make, especially given the piss-poor attitudes and work performance, as well the lack of any real education required for their jobs, plus how they don’t pay for their own healthcare. It would seem that those who do defend them simply do so because its a union, and while I support the ideas of unions, the fact of the matter is that they can become corrupt and reckless, which is obviously the case here. There are many ways to work through problems, and holding the city and it people hostage sure as hell is not one of them.

Though as much as I think the whole strike is bullshit, I must once again state that the idea of it being illegal is total bullshit. It’s freedom of speech!

But another point of contention is the sad as shit manner the city has handled things thus far. Some “contingency plans”… They figured out an effective means to get into the city in the morning via forced carpooling (and that’s highly debatable), but its a totally different story later in the day when trying to get off the island (with many of the restrictions dropped, all bets are literally off, and calamity has ensued). Plus there’s the free license to rip people off which the city has given cab drivers…. There’s so much poor planning and organization on every single level, and anyone who’s watched the news and heard from frustrated commuters at Penn Station, who are herded around like cattle (literally in circles) for hours on end will know what I’m talking off. Hey, as shitty as it is being a Brooklyn resident, at least we have it better than Queens residents. And those in the Bronx have it even worse.

Once again, thank God I got all my Xmas shopping done early! And thank God I’m on vacation; I was supposed to meet up with Dave and Joe at one point to exchange presents, but I’m not leaving for the city until this whole mess is done and over with. And I just heard that the strike might be coming to a close…

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