Thursday, January 28, 2010

You're the Man now, Dawg

J.D. Salinger died. He wrote Catcher in the Rye, which I don't have much to say about. I read it years ago and the only reaction I remember was, "This kid is an asshole." But at the same time, it was a thoroughly entertaining and memorable plot device in the film Conspiracy Theory. Patrick Stewart tortures Mel Gibson; you should watch it.

I find it ironic and odd that so much ink has been spilled on this topic. Not because Salinger wasn't important, but because the man spent the better part of his life as an absolute hermit. Nobody heard a peep from him for 30 years. His last work was published in 1965. He wanted nothing to do with fame or the public, so it's pretty funny that so much attention is being paid to him in death. He'd be mortified.

I'll give you a moment to recover from the pun.

Now, I'm going to give Salinger the memorial he would have wanted: nothing. I won't even post a picture of him. That shot above? It's not Salinger; it's Victorian English writer Thomas Hardy. Tony, that picture is clearly like 80 years too old. And it looks nothing like my man J.D., the inspiration for Sean Connery's character in "Finding Forrester." All of these are facts. But I used Thomas Hardy because it's my blog and Thomas Hardy's novels are life-altering experiences. Jude the Obscure and The Mayor of Casterbridge are the literary equivalents of being punched in the stomach over and over, and I mean that in the best possible way. They are agonizing and beautiful and I can't recommend them enough. His novels were considered to be so outrageous that he was effectively blacklisted from publishing anything but poetry for the rest of his life. That's metal. He was probably the most metal of upper-class Victorian novelists, which is really saying something!

Yes, I am an authority on things that are metal. I have an excellent ability to look deeply into a situation, image or what-have-you and determine if it possesses "metal" elements. It's a gift and if you would like to pay me in some way for it, I'd love to chat with you. Also, gifted with segues. You like how I not only went seamlessly from Salinger to Hardy with a set-up picture, but then I also got to stop talking about Salinger in order to not remember him! Garrrr!! Pirate cheer!


Tony's Rules for Simpler Living

1. Don't match your socks.
See those things to the right? Both those things are evil. Matched socks represent everything that is sinister about conformity. Stormtroopers, man. That's no joke. Unless you're a fucking muppet with a rock and a stick. Anyway, I stopped matching my socks the moment I moved out on my own. Why would I spend more time and energy doing something I hate (laundry-related activities) just so my socks, which are always covered by shoes and/or pants, can match perfectly? Ridiculous. I always make sure my socks are roughly the same length because that's easy to determine as I'm looking in the drawer in the morning. By "always" in the preceding sentence, I meant long as I'm wearing shorts. If not, it's open season in the sock drawer!

2. Eat lots of fiber.
I spend like...2 minutes in the bathroom when I go twosies. I know people who routinely spend 10+, and those are a rough 10 minutes. Fiber cuts down on time, pain and suffering. And it helps keep your cholesterol low! I suppose for some people time on the toilet is contemplative time, but those people are wrong. Get in, do your thing, get out. That is utility time and it should be minimized. I have one more point, and it may be controversial so just steel yourself: I think bran muffins are delicious. Along with corn muffins, I could eat them all day. YES, I AM PROVOCATIVE.

3. Credit cards are the enemy.
I don't really mean that; credit cards are awesome. They are essentially fonts of arcane magic, from which money can be made to flow. Eventually the fonts want the money put back into them, but from a convenience standpoint they're tough to beat. The problem is this: like most eldritch creatures that touch our plane, credit cards are tricksy. Specifically, they tell you that you don't need to put all the money back at once! Take your time! Here's a $15 minimum payment option! But that's a trick. The arcane money source doesn't really want money. It wants to devour your blood and bones. It doesn't offer you that minimum payment so your life will be improved; the offer is there to encourage you to run up a lot of debt so the card can fucking eat you. Did you know that in 2006 Congress passed a bill that actually allows debtors to be devoured by their creditors in a completely legal fashion? Yeah, it's pretty great. Obama wanted to roll back the debtors-can-be-eaten legislation, but it's stalled in the Senate for the moment. He'll probably drop it from his agenda over the next couple months, because the American people just aren't ready to live in that kind of fevered Marxist nightmare.


Goin' ta see them Avatars!

Yesterday at work they called a full department meeting. Rather than being in a meeting room, it was just in the middle of the office while everyone stood around. The announcement: today's a special event day! We're going to get to work at 9, and then be shipped off to a local movie theater to give James Cameron more money than we already have! Does Cameron have some sort of special deal in place that compels people to see his movies in the theaters several times? I guarantee that everyone in a QA department who wants to see Avatar has seen it. Additionally, we will have to pay for our own tickets ($13 because it's the obnoxious 3D version). We will be paid for the time at the theater so it comes out to a net gain, but the final indignity: if we don't want to watch the movie, our only other option is scut work at the office. Not just normal work--having asked, it was specified whatever work we do will suck more than usual.

We have to check in with our leads at the theater so they know where we all are. I assume there will also be mandatory hand-holding during street crossings, and attendance called out loud in the theater (where everyone answers "Here," which is short for "Here I am...rock you like a hurricane"). I'm not actually upset about this because it's objectively better than actually working, but I haven't experienced anything this high school since middle school.

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