Metallica Shreds

It's been about two and a half weeks since I was sent this, and I have watched it at least 3 times a day since then. So I'm going to do that whole "post it in your stupid blog to share with people like it's news and you're the one who discovered it" thing, even though I hate everyone who does it (except BoingBoing):

Every single time Hetfield "sings" and the double bass starts, I snort. I even created a ringtone out of this for my phone and copied it to my ipod so it plays when my alarm clock goes off.

It. Is. FUNNY.



You know what I think?

Wait... You do?



Trying out in Tampa Bay

So, there were some questions as to just what the heck was going on in those photos in that link i posted.

Well, long story short, I'm trying out for a professional football team, the Georgia Force (Arena Football League... Yes, it's real, honest-to-god for-money football, with real athletes).

Anyway, this past weekend, I just got a wild hair up my bum and decided to attend the open tryout for a different team in the AFL, the Tampa Bay Storm. I also recorded the entire experience.

If you're interested in seeing the video, check it out. If you want to know more about my journey through this football tryout endeavor, I encourage you to check out the rest of the site and read the backdated entries, view the other videos (found on the right under "posts with video"), and overall just check it out.

Or don't. Your call, no big deal.


God's greatest gift???

Driving up from Florida, I saw at least 35 different pro-life billboards. The most prominent of these is a huge, wide billboard with a yellow background and several babies sitting on... Well, probably a table that had been photoshopped out, as it looked like they were just hovering in a yellow netherrealm, the way it was presented.

Above the babies were the words "God's Greatest Gift!!!"

Uh... How?

How is a baby God's greatest gift? I mean, it's a conglomeration of cells formed after a sweat-and-body-fluid-covered night (or afternoon... or lunch break) of passion. It cries during movies and eventually grows up to get in my way on the Interstate.

I dunno.

I mean, I would have put, like, "writing" or "opposable thumbs" or "the ability to conceptualize, then build, the microwave oven" way way WAY above "baby" on the list of things God was at it's most benevolent to grant us. Besides, I'm not so sure a small person incapable of apologizing for shooting food in various stages of digestion out of either end of itself counts as a 'gift,' anyway... No more than one of those singing fish you hang on the wall.

Just my opinion.

Secretive Goings-on

What is going on here?




42 in a school zone. I'm screwed.

**** Edit****

Yes, I know. I'm an evil bastard for going fast around kids. But I'm not usually on that road at that time in the morning... And the speed limit there is usually 45... And I was tired from the workout. And I was sweaty and Joey was distracting me (I blame this whole thing on him).

So yeah. Crime.



I hate the pain I feel in other people.

I hate watching someone exert their will on another, simply because no one will stop them.

I hate the obsession this nation (well, the world, but particularly this nation) has with the concept of celebrity.

I hate passing the newsracks in supermarkets and bookstores and seeing these photoshopped models gleening and glittering in their unnatural, software-enhanced "beauty" and knowing that 3 out of 4 girls who pass the same magazines will hold those images in their minds as the ideal to which they will aspire.

I hate my cynicism.

I hate your indifference.

I hate the fact that it cost me over thirty dollars just to send some cookies to friends in Kenucky overnight.

I hate that there are famous people who are famous simply because they're famous.

I hate that the general citizenry will never question why that is.

I hate that I can carry a book of matches or a lighter along with a few magazines, or an aluminum soda can (which can be folded a few times and ripped at the seam to create a blade), or a brick and a tube sock (or a pool ball, or oranges), or any number of actually lethal and dangerous items on a plane without a second glance - but I have to take my shoes off so they can check for bombs.

I hate that I often tend to say things nicer than I want to when I disagree with people I've just met.

I hate that I feel the need to be compassionate to people in need who have once hurt me.

I hate that I can't go a solid calendar month without someone brining up either my biological father or my brother.

I hate that I even have to care about going out of my way not to think of them.

I hate that I only know one language.

I hate that the number one killer in America is Heart Disease - a condition brought about by sheer excess and laziness... And there are people in this very nation who have gone today without something to eat.

I hate that we even have the concept of a minimum wage.

I hate that I am writing this here instead of marching on Washington with a crowd of millions with me and a rifle in my hand and demanding that people wake up and pay attention.

I hate that there are people on this Earth who honestly think that it was created by a bearded, judgemental diety less than 6,000 years ago.

I hate that those same people breed.

I hate that my idea of activism is telling someone their politics are wrong, instead of serving my country in public office.

I hate that anyone lives in fear of our government - the people we've hired and whom we pay to do a job for us.

I hate that people confuse memorization with learning.

I hate that some people allow what little intelligence they do have to get in the way of acquiring more.

I hate that the only way to acquire wisdom is to be a victim of not having it first.

I hate that a child will go home tonight from an Emergency room without proper care to a wound, fracture or condition simply because his mother works a minimum wage job with no benefits and cannot afford insurance.

I hate iced coffee.

I hate that my friends feel so alone.

I hate that I can't take their pain away and make it my own.

I hate that I love them so much that I'd want to.

I hate that I can't stop caring.

I hate that violence is the only recourse some people have to resolve conflict.

I hate that there are people who's only salvation is that the law won't allow violence to resolve most conflict legally.

I hate the "news".

I hate that Rolling Stone, Spin, and Blender get away with calling anything they cover in their wretched ad-filled pages "music".

I hate blogs.

I hate that I felt the need to write any of this down.


And now, it's official -- FINALLY.

As all seven of you who read this journal know, the final, final, FINAL contract finally arrived from Penguin last week. And today, I finally signed it and send it back to the mothership.

I've had some people ask me why the deal that I announced back in April is only now finalizing and going through. Well, it's interesting. I didn't realize it at the time, but I've apparently completely destroyed the traditional method of putting out a book... At least as far as Penguin's legal department is concerned.

I'm going to try to keep this short, but essentially, the major points of the contract negotiation centered around the way I compile and produce my stories, and then arrange the book. Now, internet-based books aren't a new thing at all. Maddox put out The Alphabet of Manliness, and John Hargrave put out Prank the Monkey - and most recently, Drew Curtis's Fark book (which is a fantastic read, by the way) just came out. And these books did their fair share of changing some of the perspective of how the internet plays into the publishing and bookwriting business.

However, none of them (or any other book that we could find in our research) has ever started out with the intention of posting all of the material to a publically-accessible and eternal network that will forever distribute all of the work that will eventually end up in the book.

Sure, books have ended up online after they've been published. And certainly, there is material from the websites of Hargrave, Curtis and Maddox in their books. But my book is more than 85% composed of material I'm posting to MI, which will immediately be indexed by Google Cache and Archive.org.

That means that more than 85% of the material that Penguin just purchased the publishing rights for will be published elsewhere. And that is a very new and very interesting concept to them - because they're making the decision up front to purchase this material knowing this fact.

Now, the actual "we're going to buy your book" thing was never in debate. Once they made the offer and I realized that they haven't yet figured out I don't know how to write my way out of a paper... Um... What's that thing called? Anyway, once I realized that happened, we had a done deal. From April onward (actually, it was agreed to in late February, but I couldn't say nothin' to you chaps at that point), we had a deal. The only thing that had to be hammered out was the terms of the final wording of the contract.

And that took until last week.

First, I had to make sure that I wasn't going to end up inadvertently screwing my publisher by putting stuff up on MI which would be cached. So the language regarding distribution and whatnot had to be visited and revisited.

Next, there are some projects and plans in the works that would see me making audio and possibly video productions of some of the stories that end up on MI (and have previously been in my first book). These count as forms of digital distribution - which means that I might record a story that ends up in the 2nd book, put it out there, and voila - I just screwed my publisher again.

After that, all of the international pieces of those two things had to be figured out and written correctly. Because the intertubes are global, the full text of all this nifty crap I'm writing will be available in, say, Swaziland to anyone who wants it. And Penguin doesn't own the distribution rights in Swaziland - but they do own first right to acquire them.

There were some other things as well, such as deadlines (HAHAHHAHAH! What are THOSE???), editorial schedules and which stories will be edited when, and who gets final say on editorial on a story (this was VITAL to me - if people read a story, then vote on it, then I have to go substantively change what goes into the story, not only am I kinda rewriting my own past, but I'm also violating an agreement you guys have with me, which is I put in the book what you say to put in the book). Some of these things went my way, and some didn't... But I've been assured by my editor and by the publisher dudes that they will not force me to alter the "artistic integrity and intent" of anything I turn over to them.

And why would they? They bought my book, right? And the reason they did is because they somehow decided that they like how I tell the stories I tell, and they like what the stories are about. I mean, if I were doing books about a race of evil beings called the Harinauts and they wanted me to make them more cozy and nice, that'd be one thing... But there's nothing really to be gained to ask me to rewrite a story where I DON'T try to kiss my student teacher, you know?

At any rate, now that this is done, my brain has been freed of one major, major hurdle - one which sat squarely on the paths I use when I'm trying to write stories. And now that it's gone, I honestly believe there will be far more content coming out of me far faster (also, it's now official - I can be sued for not writing).

So like... That's what goes on.


Bored at the bank

This guy has been here 27 mins. I've heard her ask him "do you want a check card? " 4 times now.

So I'm squishing his head. SQUISH SQUISH

(posted via mobile device. Please forgive any errors and/or pointlessness)


The glory of modern techology...

I can be sitting here in the doctor's office waiting room and update my status on Facebook, send messages to people, update my journal and tell you how I'm sitting in a doctor's office waiting room, and listen to music.

All from my water bottle.



Facebook = dangerous


I had no idea Facebook's "Find a Friend" thingy was going to start an avalanche. Apparently, everyone I've ever emailed ever who has a Facebook account now has an invite from me to be online bff's.

This is a fine thing in most regards... However, I'm sure it's coming as a huge surprise to a lot of people whom I've only traded one or two emails with over time. So to those folks... Hope I didn't freak you out. But thanks for lylas-ing me.

Joe + internet:

2 friends
2 gether +
4 ever


A little good news...

And finally, a little "good" news out of this whole mess:

Last night, I had some friends over, and we were all looking very forward to a game of Wii Sports for a very long time. These plans had been in place for a while, and we were all excited to get to bowl... Without spraining a wrist or whatever.

So I go and turn on the Wii for the first time in little while, and it won't turn on.

Very long story short, the storm that knocked a tree into my house and deck also knocked out my Wii - and I even have it tied to a surge protector... But that didn't stop me from noticing black smudgey areas around the opaque white plastic of the body housing. There was definitely some power surge action going on.

So, after a lot of yelling and screaming and bitching about how life isn't fair, we ended up playing Guitar Hero II instead.

This morning, I called AmEx to find out what could be done, since it was a relatively new purchase. They assured me it could be replaced, and they filed a claim. Now, if this were, say, 2001, I'd be pleased. Or if it were an Xbox 360, I'd be at least alright with it. But since Nintendo, in their infinite wisdom, decided to forego the concept of creating user accounts that retain all information about the user - including the insane number of Wii points this particular user has purchased over time - I began to feel a certain amount of dread about the prospect of sitting on hold with customer service as I convince them that I had to replace the console, so would they please just credit me back the over 20,000 (yes, 20,000 - I am a consumer whore) points... Please?

And after they did - if they did - I was further filled with dispair over the length of time I'd have to sit and watch various incarnations of mario run and jump into bricks to show the download progress of all that content.

So I hopped (well, hobbled, thanks to the sprained ankle) into the car and drove up to Gamestop with my Wii in tow. I had this futile hope that maybe - JUST MAYBE - it might be the power supply that's gone zits-up instead of the whole console. The very kind dude there let me test it out on his power supply, and lo! The Wii did power up.

SO yay for me, I have a Wii again. And you've just wasted 2 minutes of your life reading about it.


Even more damage!


It seems that the damage from the stupid ass tree that fell on my deck, and then punctured my roof, didn't just fall on my deck and puncture my roof.

While examining the holes I found in the roof yesterday, I discovered this bit o' fun:

Can't see what's got me all bloggy?

Here's a zoom shot:

Yeah... So yet another fun discovery of fun.

To add misery to misery, while examining this particular bit of damage, I was descending my brand new 24' aluminum ladder (which I really never had any intention of owning, but now I do... Thanks to Motherfucking Nature), I missed a rung near the bottom and landed poorly, earning a 2.0 from the German judge and a nice blue twisted ankle.

So, instead of going to Dragon*Con with my friends, I got to live the life of a frustrated homeowner, then visit the emergency room.


I'm determined to not let this affect my latest project of attempting to join a professional football team. Because I am stupid and I love pain.


Damage part II

So, it's Saturday.

And given the recent type of updates I've been making on Saturdays, you can probably guess that...

Why yes! You DID guess it correctly! There's damage to my house! YOU WIN PICTURES!

"Hmm," you say, "What could have caused that water spot on the upstairs guest bedroom in your home, Joe?"

Well, my answer would be....

This fucking hole in my roof! You see, either last week when that big-ass tree fell, OR sometime this week during any of the 6 thunderstorms we experienced, a branch fell on my roof and punctured it in several places!

This is one of the tree-bullets I pulled from one of the holes in one of my roofs.

And given the deck situation and the need to remove several other trees that fell this week, I think it's finally time to call Allstate and go through with a claim. Thank GOD I already know the number, though... Because my heart just can't take any more adrenaline flowing through it right now.

I think I'm going to change this journal over to "Joe's Home Repair Blog Sponsored By Allstate" or something.