Thursday, April 28, 2005

Chris exposed in headline shock!

  • Along with the simple ego-massaging joy of the slogan generator, I am also amused by that headline-style text. It seems to make random statement funnier:
    I'm Not Wearing Pants

    Lobsters Are Our Enemies

    Paula Abdul Is A Druggie

    Actually, that last one is probably true.
    If I had any legitimate HTML skilz, I would redesign my blog to look like a British tabloid and every post would have a sensational title.

  • Do those come standard with the car?

  • "Hey, what should we name this elephant?"
    "Not sure. It should be a name that recalls the majesty and power of the elephant. Something that harkens to its native and exotic territory."
    "Right. And whatever we name it, it should not be something that 13-year-old English boys will laugh at."
    "Definitely. Hey, I think I've come up with the perfect name."

  • I always appreciate outside-the-box thinking. So how could I not be a fan of a guy who runs a church that doubles as an auto-parts store?

  • Ugh. So, just this once they (the ubiquitous "they") managed to not screw up an Americanized version of a British show and it was actually worth watching. So worth watching, it turns out, that it appears most Americans are too stupid to watch it and it is likely to be cancelled. Damnit. This is going to put a serious dent in my fantasies about Pam.

  • Of local interest -- another desperate attempt to make Minneapolis hipper than it actually is by reporting on the Minneapolis scene. The blog says "Twin Cities," but St. Paul is usually wholesale ignored by these kinds of things. If you live in St. Paul, you may as well live in Moscow, as far as the Minneapolis-St. Paul scenesters are concerned. Our restaurants are better, our downtown is more attractive, our drivers aren't shit and we've got lower crime -- clearly we are very uncool.
  • Yes. Yes I do

    Chris Makes Everything Better.

    Smoky mountain rain keeps on fallin'

  • Is it just me, or does American Idol's Anthony Federov look a lot like Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands?

  • Man, whatever happened to Ronnie Milsap? I think perhaps he was reborn as Marty Stuart. My knowledge of country music's past and present is frighteningly broad. Don't make me throw down the Charley Pride card.

  • I am freezin'. I had the pleasure of working from home today, which would normally be a good thing, but the apartment complex has already shut off the radiators until autumn. As a result, I spent my day wrapped in a blanket like some old lady, constantly blowing into my hands. Presently the temperature in my apartment is a comfy 56 degrees.

  • You don't know what Esther looks like, which is a shame, because that probably means you can't visualize the dream I had of her last night.
    She walked into my apartment, collapsed on the couch and shouted: "Christ on a pogo, I'm exhausted! Get me some Snackwells and a pack of cigarettes. You'll have to put the cigarette in my mouth and light it for me, honey -- I refuse to move my arms."

  • I really like the idea the idea of the Airbus A380. Specifically, I like the idea of having a bar in a plane. Traveling from, say, Las Vegas to London would be considerably more enjoyable if I could get up and wander around in the on-plane pub. I am sure, however, that capitalist pursuit will fast bastardize the massive plane and make the flying experience suck just as much as it does on smaller planes.

  • Yeah, that is perplexing. And a bit gross.

  • Perhaps I'm missing something here, but is it really very wise to do this?
    "I'm here illegally."
    "Really? Thanks for saving us the trouble of having to find you. Get in the van."
  • Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    Google image searching my blogroll

    I am out of sorts today and can't be bothered to write a legitimate post, so instead I've typed the names of people in my blogroll into a Google image search. Here's what I've come up with:

















    Mr. Phin:




    Combined weight: 300 lbs.

    I can't stop laughing at this picture:

    Stop hitting me; vote Labour

  • Note to self: Read your work schedule.
    Failure to do this will result in having to work an additional two hours on a day when you really didn't want to show up in the first place.

  • I realized today that when Britain holds its election next week, it will be the first election since 1997 that I will not be in the country. Perhaps, to ensure a third victory, Blair should fly me out there.
    Has anyone else noticed that when Blair defends his policy he sounds a lot like that kid on the bus who is being bullied: "Why are you hitting me? What did I do to you?"

  • As part of the duties performed for my benevolent employer, I read and reply to more than 250 e-mails a day. As such, this is bad news for me.
    (Thanks Diego for the link)

  • I think my wife and I deserve some sort of prize for the fact that we burn through a bag of Dutch Crunch kettle chips every week.

  • I spent a lot of my day Monday listening to Van Morrison's "Into the Music" CD. It arrived in the mail this morning from Amazon.
    This one included, I own 14 Van Morrison CDs. And I realize that saying this makes me 59 years old, but he is -- across the board -- my favorite musician. Van Morrison's music helped me score with my wife when all my other attempts to woo her had failed. But any Van Morrison aficionado can tell you that I am woefully lacking when it comes to Van Morrison's discography. There are still 20 releases that remain unbought on my part. That's because Van Morrison is sort of the Babe Ruth of music. Ruth hit a lot of homeruns, but he also struck out a hell of a lot. Similarly, Van Morrison has plenty of songs that will score you sweet, sweet lovin', but he also put out "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart." As such, I am always cautious in my purchases of Van Morrison CDs. After listening to this one three times I would say that it was worth the money. There are two songs that stroll dangerously close to crap fence, but he makes up for it with the other tracks, one of which is of nookie-making quality.
    Van Morrison's "Into the Music" was released in 1979. Tune in next week for more album reviews that are 26 years late.

  • Actual AIM conversation:
    CO-WORKER: Experts Declare National Tire Safety Week
    CW: i'm taking the rest of the week off!
    CW: paaaaaaarrrrrtayyyyyyyyyy
    ME: Yeah. I love Tire Safety Week!
    CW: me too. i'm almost done with my parade float
    ME: I got soooooooo drunk at a Tire Safety Week party last year. It was nuts.
    CW: that was you on top of all those tires?
    ME: Hell yeah!
    CW: aw man, that was the awesome
    ME: I just wish they would make it National Tire Safety Month. Dude, that'd be fuckin' awesome!
    CW: i'd quit this job, dude
  • Friday, April 22, 2005

    Sheik of the burnin' sands

  • The first glimpse of what the new Superman will look like was released today. Is it just me, or does Brandon Routh look just a little bit like Zach Braff?
    As far as I'm concerned, the Superman legend simultaneously hit its high and its low with Dean Cain.

  • Good name for a band: The Chimp Oppressor

  • Another good name for a band: The Best Kelly Ever

  • Here's a random memory: Gwar.
    There was about a week there (about the same time I insisted upon having no less than three Anthrax posters in my room) when I thought Gwar were awesome. The reason for this, in common parlance -- I am a dork.
    Gwar was actually a step up from the days when I would lay in the hammock behind our house in Houston, listening to Ray Stevens' Greatest Hits over and over and over on my little cassette player.
    All my life I've dreamed of being in a band, but I suppose one of the reasons it was never to be is that I would have listed Gwar and Ray Stevens among my musical influences.

  • Hey, Dontail got all gussied up for his senior picture. Lookin' good, Dontail!
    Here's what he's thinking in that picture: "Damn. I'm so sexy, I could shoot a bus."
  • Blogger still sucks

  • Ugh. Blogger sucks so much. Once again today my post was delayed I was defeated in my efforts to leave comments on other people's blogs pieces. I'm sure y'all can carry on sans my yammering on your site, but it's still annoying.
    Today's technical errors come after a dream I had last night that I had successfully organized a campaign to get Biz Stone fired. I can't remember the reason for this campaign, perhaps because he is the only Blogger employee I know of, perhaps because his name is "Biz Stone." How is that a real name? From now on, call me Jax Granite.

  • A while ago, Vanessa informed me that cosmetology school is very difficult to get into. I have decided that this fact is at the heart of why some people chose to become journalists*.

  • Pope Benedict XVI once referred to rock music as "the vehicle of anti-religion."

  • Today is National High Five Day.

  • Delta Airlines is blaming high fuel costs for a quarterly loss of more than $1 billion. Does anyone actually believe that?

    *W'hey! A rare "Chris bitches about work" item.
  • Thursday, April 21, 2005

    FAQ: The story behind the title

    Someone finally asked me today what the story is behind the title of this blog. That someone is named Tyler. He grew up in El Cajon, Calif., and found my site by entering "El Cajon sucks" into a web search.

    "The only notable things about El Cajon are that Frank Zappa lived there as a kid, and Lester Bangs grew up there, which contributed to his mental torture
    and eventual early death," Tyler told me. "Did you grow up there as well? Why El Cajon...??? I'm very curious now."

    I used to live in San Diego, just near the storied 'burb of El Cajon, and the story of my blog's title comes from a sunny October afternoon in 2001, when my wife and I were at the La Mesa Oktoberfest. We were in the beer garden, listening to a polka band when a girl wearing a sash that identified her as "Miss El Cajon" asked me if I wanted to dance with her.

    Don't get the wrong idea. Despite having at one time dated the woman who would become Miss Wisconsin, I am not the sort of bloke that beauty queens randomly start making moves on. Miss El Cajon, Miss La Mesa, Miss Santee and Miss Lakeside were roaming around the festival together and performing their duties as representatives of their respective dusty Southern California cities. They were trying to get a few of us lazy beer drinkers to liven up a little.

    "No thanks," I said.

    "Oh come on," Miss El Cajon said. "You'll have fun."

    "No. Thank you, though."

    I didn't want to look stupid.

    "OK," she said, and went off in search of someone else.

    Almost immediately I wished that I had said yes. Pretty girl, sunny day, goofy dancing -- what's not to like there? What the hell was wrong with me that I wouldn't want to dance the polka with Miss El Cajon?

    For some reason that moment really stuck with me, and after a while, it became the quintessential example of what frustrates me most about myself. My life is filled with moments when I've wanted to do something, but then shot it down for some stupid reason. I didn't even try. I'm not really sure what it is: a fear of regret; a fear of failure; a fear of feeling stupid.

    I didn't go to school at University of Texas, or University of West Florida, or SUNY New Paltz, or University of Utah. I didn't stay in England. I didn't take that job at KRNV. I didn't do this, I didn't do that. Admittedly, some of those things turned out for the best, but I felt that too much of my life was becoming a catalog of things I hadn't done.

    I started this blog about a year ago when I was set to be a guest on a radio show. The week before, they had chatted with Nicholas Sparks; look how well things turned out for him. It was embarrassing that I was on this fancy radio program and had nothing to show for myself, and I think that served as the final catalyst to getting me started on the book I had spent the previous seven or so years telling everyone that I was going to write.

    The blog and the book aren't really at all connected; it's just that I chose the name at that particular time in my life when the cautionary tale of my missed dance with Miss El Cajon was again on my mind. Originally the blog's title was "I Danced the Polka with Miss El Cajon," because that it is what I would title my autobiography if I were old and famous. But I am not yet either, I am still in the process -- still on the road.

    Ironically, this blog, with a title that reminds me to make the most of the time that I am given, is just a big fat waste of time. Tedious, faux-thoughtful posts like this one are thankfully rare. Most of the time I choose to link to dancing hamsters.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    User error

    On Sunday, thanks to a conspicuous burning smell, I determined that the power source fan on my computer had gone out. I panicked a bit because I was set to work from home today, but eventually I was able to jerry-rig a system that involved taking off the side of the tower and using an oscillating fan to keep things cool.

    Then, just 45 minutes before I was set to start work, the replacement fan I had ordered from Gateway showed up at the door. Brilliant.

    Not so much. I hadn't bothered to actually measure the fan that needed replacing, so the fan I ordered was too small.

    The Secret To Marriage

    Learn the Tao of Chris, grasshopper -- My Latest Column Is Out.

    Yes, I know I've bastardized the dharma, adding some random aikido element, and I will probably be reborn as a dyslexic Republican who is forced to suffer a lifetime of always getting it wrong, but, you know, I had to meet a deadline.