Friday, June 27, 2008

MC3: You will buy the whole seat, but you will only use THE EDGE

My friend Brian and I are working on developing some fan fiction to explore the rich universe created by the Miss Congeniality movies. Here is a poster for the film adaptation of Miss Congeniality 3:


This is a Softer World ripoff comic about my friend Jason:

Here is one I made based on something my friend Kyle told me once:


I am a licensed tequila doctor. Here is a prescription for your use. (click to enlarge and print)


Being both energy-conscious and short-sided, I somehow have gotten in the habit of turning off the heat in my living room before I go to bed. I feel that this is a pretty decent thing to do, except that by the time I get up in the morning, my condo is roughly the same temperature as it is outside. Because of this, I have had to add a new task to my morning routine, so that now it looks like this:
  1. Hit snooze button
  2. Hit snooze button
  3. Hit snooze button
  4. Listen to NPR for a couple minutes
  5. Hit snooze button
  6. Complain about temperature
  7. Run to bathroom so fast that the cold can't catch me
  8. Damn, it's cold in the bathroom, too
  9. Shave, brush teeth, shower
  10. Get dressed
  11. Forget to grab lunch
  12. Go to work
I had this routine finely tuned until I began my ill-advised, one-sided war with my thermostat. Now that I added step 6, I am almost always five minutes late to work. The worse part is, I refuse to add another step that could greatly affect my comfort later. This step would be "11a. Turn on the damn heat a little." As a result of my stubbornness and miserly tendencies, by the time I get home from work, it is even colder in my apartment than it is outside.

You may be thinking "even colder than it is outside? Are you crazy?" The answers are both yes. To visualize how this works, imagine my condo as a thermos, a thermos filled with groundscore furniture, empty beer bottles, and love. You see, a thermos claims to keep both hot things hot and cold things cold, and does so by providing insulation from the outside environment. What this insulating ability does is slow the transfer of heat from the inside, where your chai tea or cocoa is, to the outside (or vice versa if you want ice-cold lemonade later on). Now, suppose you've started an experiment wherein you have made some delicious soup for lunch, but left it in your car under the pretense of "forgetting" it. The next morning your soup is pretty cold because it's been in your car all night. Later that afternoon, even though it is a lot warmer than it was in the morning, that soup it's still freaking cold because the insulating property of the thermos has slowed the propogation of heat from the environment into your Campbell's Hearty Beef soup.

My condo is like that soup.

Well, it's been really, really cold outside, so it's been really, really cold in my condo when I get home from work. How cold, you might ask if my use of multiple "really's" does not convince you? How about some made-up anecdotal evidence:

The other day I came home and it was so cold that my apartment was infested with snowmen! They were little, maybe a foot high, but they were large in mischief. They were running amok throughout my home, wetting stuff up with their little bite-size carrot noses. At first I thought they were cute, but then one of those little buggers bit my ankle and the rest started laughing and choking up little ice cubes that they probably pinched from my freezer. I called one of them "Frosty", thinking that maybe that was it's name, but I guess this really offends these little bastards because they started going all berserker on me. Soon, it was an all-out war. I started kicking the little shits hither and thither, but there were so many that I was having trouble keeping up with them. I managed to throw a couple in the dryer, and crunched some with my feet so that I could make some snowballs to throw at the others. This naturally seemed to disgust them, and hopefully taught them a lesson about respecting other people's property. Being pelted with the remains of their friends was disheartening, and some of the littler ones started to cry. Here is a valuable lesson about snowmen: Their tears are little icicles that shoot from their coalish eyes like tommy guns. Soon, the sobbing snowmen were shooting each other with icicles, and I seized this opportunity to stroll nonchalantly up to the thermostat and crank this war up to "70".

Soon, most of the snowmen lay dead on the floor, some by my ferocious Green River Community College 1-credit Karate Class skillz, others with icy snowmen tears dimpling their backs as they had tried to flee their distraught colleagues. One was tangled up in the blinds of my dining room window, right above my baseboard heater. I walked up to this one, and plucked his carrot nose off and ate it right in front of him. It just kept swearing and cursing little snowmen curses until his unseen mandibles must have melted and started dripping onto my floor. "I'll see you in snowman hell, you bastard," I said, trying to look as badass as I could while talking to a little minature snowman. After I went and made some victory cocoa, I thought of another one-liner I could use on the snowman that wouldn't imply that I was somehow going to snowman hell, but he was gone, just a puddle on the floor under my dining room window.

Okay, so it turns out that the actual reason why I had a puddle under my dining room window is that my stupid window leaks. The previous owner had these new double-paned (or double-pain, as I like to call them) windows installed, but evidently did not pay too much attention to the flashing on the exterior siding. As a result, water has been collecting on the top of the window frame and slowly soaking into my drywall. It finally collected enough to start leaking through the paint and running down my wall onto my floor. Sigh.


*This Bacon-related anecdote is a stub. You can help Grantipedia by expanding it to include a plot or a reason to be on the internet*

When I was in college I worked at a kitchen store. It was a cool job because half of the employees were college girls, and the other half were middle-aged women who always brought me their leftovers. Most of them were really into cooking, evidenced by them working in a kitchen store, and so these leftovers were generally pretty awesome. I would say in the 95th percentile of leftovers.

Also, I got lots of free kitchen equipment. Usually this was because a $100 pan would get chipped or something so that we couldn’t sell it. This is where I entered the picture. I pretty much took anything home that was still vaguely usable because there was no line in my imaginary college budget for “kitchen supplies”. I would take home things that were scratched, bent, or missing parts for myself and my roommates, Kyle and Brian, to use and promptly destroy.

One thing that I learned is that no matter how expensive a non-stick pan is, you still shouldn’t beat eggs with a fork in it. Another thing I learned was the value of durability. It is really annoying having to be careful with things so you don’t break them.

One evening at work, I was millin’ around the store when I decided to learn about our comprehensive line of authentic cast-iron cookware. I did this so that I would be better prepared for customer inquiries, and also to kill some time. It was then that I was struck by how awesome cast iron pans are; you could run that shit over with a tank and you would still be able to use it! Also, that stuff is really cheap. I guess when all you have to do is pour molten metal into some sand you can pass some delicious savings onto the customer.

The best pan in that particular line of cookware was a griddle that went over two burners on the stove. This enabled you to cook twice as much delicious food at once! One side was smooth, and you could flip it over and it had some grill ridges for making steaks or something on the other side. The best part was that we could not destroy this if we tried!

Being that this was the first pan I was actually ever going to buy, I wanted to treat it right. It turns out that whereas destroying the pan by brutal force is near impossible, nature can destroy cast-iron cookware effortlessly with it’s +10 Rust Spell! To avoid this, you have to not store it in saltwater (sad!), and you are supposed to keep some grease residue on the pan to protect the metal from airborne moisture. I think this is what bacon is made for!

We rewarded ourselves for our diligent cookware maintenance education by making a whole bunch of bacon. Not only did this protein-rich meal provide a necessary delicious component to our diet, it also tested out the bacon-capacity, or "bacapacity" of our new pan. We made, like, 20 pieces at once!

I think that we all liked bacon before, but I wouldn’t have called us hardcore bacon aficionados until we got the griddle. After that, our daily routine was that one of us would wake up and then awake the others by making a whole big pile of bacon. That scrumptious smell would waft into our rooms and gently nudge us out of our dreams, just like the legend of Folgers flavor crystals.

Also, we discovered the importance of having ancillary foods available to soak up all of the valuable bacon grease left on the pan. We discovered that this is probably why God invented frozen shredded potatoes.

[its a good thing you wrote this at work because this is easily the most pointless thing ever written]

Friday, June 20, 2008

Miracles of Modern Medicine!!

OK, so I was really sick last weekend. I think I was really sick because my body is so in tune with the universe that it can predict when I actually have interesting things going on, and swoops in to make sure I still know who's boss with the metaphysical equivalent of a bitch-slap. Anyway, even after an intense weekend of sleeping, eating saltines, and plotting revenge on my immune system, I wake up still feeling like crap on Monday. This is problematic because a) I actually really have to go to work and b) Explosions in the Sky is playing in the evening. Being that I have been unable to stay awake for longer than four hours at a time over the weekend, it occurs to me that endurance is going to be a potential problem. Also, being that I can't go ten seconds without blowing my nose or coughing, it simultaneously occurs to me that being closely packed into a warm damp crowd of other people is going to be a potential problem.

My first few snotty, sleepy hours of work only underscore these concerns, and even add the inspired flourish of a headache for good measure. After hacking through my pressing responsibilities at work in a bitter daze, I finally manage to peel myself away an hour early to rush home to feed my depraved sleep addiction. My trip home is like when a cartoon character falls in love and their eyes become throbbing hearts, except that instead of hearts my eyes are little throbbing beds, and instead of being in love I just really want to sleep. So actually, it's nothing like when cartoon characters fall in love. Except for the throbbing.

A couple of months ago, the building directly behind my condo switched careers from Professional Occupied Building to Professional Pile. The next stage of its strange life was a stunning transformation from Pile to Hole, and in recent weeks I have had the pleasure of witnessing the last link in the circle of life, which I like to call Phoenix Rising. In this gripping episode, a young and misguided but undeniably promising Hole learns that to succeed in this hard world, apparently you must belch forth the exact same building that was totally freaking destroyed three months ago. I call this Phoenix Rising because it is exactly like the ancient myth of the phoenix, a beautiful bird which bursts into flames every 500 years and is reborn from the ashes, except replace "beautiful bird" with "crappy apartment building", and "500 years" with "every 6 months or so".

Anyway, Phoenix Rising is currently in that stage of construction where a horde of workers swarm over every surface looking for something to shoot with their nail guns to appear busy. I'm pretty sure they are playing a game that I just haven't fully figured out the rules for yet. I think it's like Marco Polo except that instead of yelling "Marco" while blindfolded in a pool, the person who is "it" goes THWACK THWACK THWACK with the nail gun, and the other players, instead of answering "Polo", answer with a hearty THWACK THWACK THWACK of their own. Also, everybody is "it".

I lay in bed trying to simultaneously decode the finer strategic points of Thwarcko Thwackolo and maximize my afternoon sleeping opportunity, but I am just not a multitasker. Amazingly, however, the afternoon sun's gentle warmth and glow eventually mix with Phoenix Rising's fluttering wind of thwacks and grunts to concoct a fairly solid 20 minute nap. Upon rising from my painfully short sleep, I can finally begin to imagine the world in which I can stay awake long enough to make it through Explosions in the Sky, and maybe even actually enjoy myself. I drag my ass out of bed and head over to Capital Hill to meet up with the gang, now brimming with fresh confidence that I'm going to have a good time, but also still brimming with disgusting mucus.

After loading up my pockets with tissues, I join my peeps at a local drinking establishment where the time-honored process of "pre-funking" is being diligently practiced. Being sick, I opt out of my usual chain-boozing to suck down Coke refill after Coke refill while my colleagues and I swap hilarious anecdotes, spin enchanting tales of bravery and wit punctuated by thoughtful morals and keenly applicable life lessons, and call each other names. Although delicious and refreshing, the constant Coke stream also has a hydrating effect which makes my stuffed-upedness more of an immediate problem, and I begin to worry about the quantity of tissue I have in my pockets being adequate for this amazing amount of material my body is able to produce to attack my having a good time.

After repeatedly performing our amazing beer/Coke/fries disappearing tricks to the delight of our check-bearing waitress audience, we stumble over to Neumo's for the show. Now you must understand that not once throughout the entire day did I in any way crave delicious beer, even when displayed before me glinting in the pale afternoon light, arrayed in rainbow-edged shawls of streaming bubbles, playfully marbling the polished pub tables with shimmering golden reflections. As a matter of fact, the thought of beer was actually sort of repulsive. I like to think that this is also an indication of responsibility for my health, and a sign of commitment to the stay-hydrated, get-lots-of-rest mantra. Regardless of the method, all restraint separating me from beer was vaporized immediately upon entering Neumo's by the inescapable pull of the giant stubby bottles of Red Stripe beer. Giant stubby, you might be asking? That's right, while the giant Red Stripe is twice the size of normal Red Stripe, it maintains the original container's exact stubby proportions. Here is documented evidence from our first encounter:

In retrospect, it becomes obvious that the reason I felt this uncompromising pull toward the giant, two-handed stubby bottle was neither alcoholism nor gravity, as you may imagine. Rather, it was my body signaling to me what it needed to get better. Much like craving strange foods can be an indication you are lacking some sort of valuable nutrient found in those foods, evidently my body was lacking some sort of magical medicinal substance only found in 24oz stubby containers of Jamaican lager.

Ah the miracle of modern medicine! Can you believe that upon completing my prescribed dosage of barley-pop I felt great! Seriously, I didn't have to blow my nose again for the remainder of the night!

More remarkable proof of the completeness of my cure comes the next day, when I awake at my normal work hour on 4 hours of sleep, having a perfectly good excuse to call in sick to work. Ordinarily, even in the midst of being perfectly healthy, I seek endlessly in the murky labyrinths of morning logic for any excuse to stay in bed. However, with my health renewed by the miracle of medical science, I actually decide to voluntarily get up and head into work a few minutes early.

I feel a creeping sense of expectancy for most of the day, thinking that all of this energy is too good to be true and the other shoe is going to drop at any minute. Maybe God is going to show up and be like "Hey Grant, turns out I was casting a miracle on someone who actually needed it, but I, uh, missed and accidently granted you with Infinite Energy in delicious beer form! I'll need that back now..." But alas! I am amazingly productive at work, come home filled with delight at the beautiful weather, and am amazingly productive at home! Amazing!

Medicine, I will never doubt you again.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What is this?

Okay, so this blog is where I am going to dump random stuff that I have written or made. It is like a weird retroactive blog. My real blog, Bac-Log!, will continue to reflect the new and exciting, while this blog will reflect all levels of old and irrelevant. My primary reason for this is to get stuff off my computer at work, which has become a time capsule of sorts for all kinds of weird stuff. Also, I will be able to link to various things here if I am trying to explain something that requires a lush and detailed backstory.

I actually made this blog almost a year ago, but it was a complete failure. You may think of it as a proto-Bac-Log! if that helps (riiiight). But I really like the title, so I decided to hijack it and bend it to my new purpose.