Evolution Sucks

This is a squirrel:

Squirrels eat nuts:

That is pretty much all they do and, according to my cartoon-based knowledge of nature, when winter is coming squirrels will gather lots of nuts and stuff them into a hole in a tree so that when they are needed later on the squirrel will know where to find them.

I am a human:

I have skin and am not blue but you get the idea. My species is capable of designing the internal combustion engine:

And yet, whenever I receive an item that I need to store for later use, “squirreling it away” if you will, I proceed to go out of my way to come up with the single most ridiculous spot in the world to put it. A spot utterly guaranteed, as if by magic, to not once in a million years cross my mind later on when it comes time to tear my apartment apart looking for my passport, my spare checks or needed receipts.

How come a fucking squirrel can handle this task, but I can’t?

Why did I finally find my spare set of keys in a box of old books under my bed and my passport in my bottom desk drawer under a stack of old Calvin and Hobbes books?

Why are my nuts not in trees?

Stupid Darwin.

Products that Should Just Give us What We Really Want

I went to buy cereal over the weekend and I came across this:

Apparently the Honey Bunches of Oats people have given up, removed all the other crap from their cereals and are just giving us pure bunches now. I had heard about this, seen ads possibly, but nothing quite prepares you for a face-to-face encounter with a product that has stopped pretending.

Then there’s KFC’s new sandwich, which terrifies the shit out of me on some primal level:

I have absolutely no commentary for this sandwich. They’ve replaced the bread part of the sandwich with fried chicken. Then your head explodes. I’m half I’m proud of KFC for doing this, half think it’s fucking ridiculous and half need to try one so that I can tell my grandchildren about it.

Anyway, these sort of made me long for some other products to take bold new steps and offer me the only thing I like about them in pure isolated form. Like this:

Yeah. You love it.

What? That’s gross, you say? Whatever. I’m not saying you need to put it on everything you eat or devour it by the tube-full, I’m just saying that whenever I eat an Oreo, which is sadly like once every seventeen years, I hate the stupid cookie part. I pretend it’s good but it isn’t and really when I “eat” it I actually twist it off and it discard it or I dunk it in milk to the point where it dissolves and then I’m left with pure filling. Let’s just cut the crap, allow ourselves to purchase the filling, and save the cookie part to be crumbled up and put in ice-cream cakes where it belongs.

Or how about this?

I’ve actually argued the opposite of this before…sort of. I don’t know exactly what the opposite of the idea the above image conveys is, but I’ve mentioned before how movie trailers of a certain ilk always suck me in and then the movie blows. So why not take that to the logical conclusion and have certain Hollywood directors only make the trailers for the piece of shit movies they want to make? I mean, distilled down and reduced to one or two strong images, I actually kind of like Michael Bay’s artistic point of view…granted in a “Wow that would kick-ass painted on the side of a van,” sort of way, but still. If I were to go see a Scorsese movie and they showed a bunch of trailers for Michael Bay movies that never actually were to be made into movies, I think I’d enjoy that.

And finally, speaking of ridiculous movies in places they don’t belong:

I think there are some people out there who enjoy the lush cinematography of the Final Fantasy games. You people are out of your minds. They make no sense, you can’t skip them and…oh yeah…THEY MAKE NO SENSE. The last one I played involved eighteen hours of gibberish about someone’s dead dream world coming back to haunt the lives of a planet obsessed with the world’s crappiest sport.  And even if the plot wasn’t ridiculous, fine, that maybe would be forgivable if every character didn’t slowly make you root against them as the endless movies progressed. I’ve never played a game where I was hoping so desperately to learn the ability to reenact the final scenes of Braveheart with each of my main characters.

I have no clever way of wrapping this up.

Go eat glass, Tidus.


Scrubbing Bubbles: Now So Ball-Kickingly Awesome They’re Sort of Absurd

I have made my love of Scrubbing Bubbles known numerous times on this blog. In this post alone I waxed fondly about them for paragraphs on end. I’m not sure I need to go on. I love them.

Recently, however, I went to restock my supply and came across this new twist on the old favorite:

At first I couldn’t have been more excited. Let’s take a closer look:

I mean they took  my beloved bubbles and clamped a foghorn on the top. How could I not love this? If General George S. Patton ever cleaned his shower, these are the Scrubbing Bubbles he would have used.  No more crappy little nozzles, now you can clean your bathroom while you eliminate Nazis. These things kick ass.

Only…and I hesitate to say this…but I think maybe it’s possible they’ve made the Scrubbing Bubbles too powerful?

Look, here’s my shower after I tried to give it a little sprucing up (yes my shower is pink, I rent, shut up):

It’s like a freaking bukake film in there. And I only sprayed for like three seconds. And also three-quarters of the bottle are gone.

I’m scared to go back into my bathroom.

The bubbles are firmly in control now.

It was only a matter of time…

Less Than Two Weeks Left for the Contest

Just a quick reminder for today that there are less than two weeks left to get me your Probability Angels fan art for the big contest. Details are here.

I’ve already received such totally pertinent works like this one from Kevin Sarmiento Navarro:

This one from Darren:

And this from IceMan:

I’m not sure but I’m guessing these were all what’s known as drawer-cleaning exercises. I used to do this a lot with short stories. They’re neat and all but basically if you have art that’s been sitting in your desk drawer for awhile with no home you start firing it off to any contest you can find.

There have been real entries too, of course, I just got a kick out of these. After all who doesn’t remember the big pivotal scene involving a crow in Probability Angels? Uhhh….nobody? Me either. However I liked all these pieces and decided to share.

Point being?

Get your stuff in.

Mail it to me at joe at josephdevon dot com with the word “Contest” in the subject.

Go Read the Best of Craigslist

There’s not a lot for me to say here. You know Craigslist. You know you’ve gotten rid of a couch once in your life using it but that there are also three hundred million other people out there doing god knows what with it. And you know that if you were to compile a greatest hits of Craigslist postings it would most likely be hilarious.

Well they have that. Here. Go read it.

Here are a few of the tons I wandered across just while eating lunch.

This all started with this one looking for a clown who would get drunk to celebrate a 30th birthday party. The clown didn’t need to perform, mind you, just get drunk:

This poor man was struck by the lagging economy and had to shut down his business causing him to sell every single one of his one thousand three hundred and twenty-five pope hats:

This one I can’t read without laughing out loud. Not only does the all caps lend an extra little bit of crazy to the whole proceedings, there’s the ending rejoinder where he sets your mind at ease that it is legal to sell anything dead as long as you weren’t the one who killed it. After all his good friend sold a skull right on e-bay not too long ago:

This man is selling a children’s guillotine.  I have nothing more to say on the subject:

Here’s a creative one. Want a bird house? Want a bee hive? Well you can get *both* together in one functional and practical device:


Yeah. The dude’s bird house got infested with bees and he’s trying to get someone to get rid of it free of charge. Well played, good sir.
This person is my hero. We’ve all been here. If they left this as a note on the car’s windshield as well then they are not just my hero but my god as well:


This one earned my respect. I admire someone who knows exactly what they want and isn’t afraid to go out and get it. And what this person wants is a taxidermist who knows kung-fu so that he can stuff various animals in martial arts poses:

We’ll end with this one because it’s book related, but really there are like a billion of these and you should just go to the site during your lunch break.

Learn a New Language, Sound Like a Psycho

Over the course of doing research for my writing I tend to stray into almost every corner of the internet. With research the rule tends to be that an avoidance of rules is best. If you try and lock yourself in to one topic it becomes dry and dusty. Plus I’ve stumbled onto fascinating and useful things for my stories so many times by following seemingly useless trivia that I’ve learned to let research go heavily unmonitored.

Which is to say that I can’t even remember anymore what I was looking for when I began digging up “Useful Phrase” guides in various languages, but the results quickly dropped the original topic from my head and I began to wonder who on earth is writing these things.

For starters there was this list of Russian phrases here:

The first circled phrase is weird. Even assuming you’re a world traveler in Russia on St. Patrick’s Day. Still weird.

The second circled phrase is…I mean wow.

It’s fun to try and get inside the heads of the people putting these lists together. Say you were looking for some sports in Italy. Well over at this site they’ve compiled this handy list:

Everything you might need to know. A football match? Well that’s as Italian as you can get. Very helpful. And from there they move on to…uhh..Badminton. Which, I mean, I guess you could find some use for. Lord knows when I’m in a foreign country the only thing I want to do is play a sport no one anywhere plays ever. Then we move on to swimming which is followed by questions concerning the local ice rink.

I haven’t been to Italy in awhile, granted, but was there some huge wave of ice skating fever that swept through the nation making such things common in every town and the desire of every traveler?

Of course the list rounds out with sailing and tennis which makes me think the person who wrote it was very very very white. I’m surprised, “Does your country club have adequate stables for my polo horses?” isn’t on there.

I like the helpful progression of Japanese phrases from this site:

Really, what else do you need? “It burns when I pee?”

Finally we have the phrase that started me off on this hunt to begin with.

Let’s say you’re in Spain. And you’re driving your hovercraft around as is the local custom. And then, I know it’s difficult to imagine your beloved hovercraft in such a situation but bear with me, and then you drive into a rock or something and your hovercraft sinks right next to a massive eel spawning ground.

Who’s got your back? This site does:

An otherwise awkward situation handily avoided.

Sick Day

I went to the doctor’s today for a physical. I happened to come down with the common cold earlier in the week, so when I went in I figured I’d have him check my throat and such. I now have two types of pills to take and some sort of inhaler thing to do twice a day.

So absurd.

I get these colds all the time and whiskey and cough drops have been all the medication I’ve ever needed and then they’re usually gone in month or two.

Anyway, my doctor says I’m sick and I do have a fever making me feel stupid and kind of drunk so you’re getting this post as I’ve managed to accomplish fuck-all today. I stared at a dog for awhile outside.

That was sort of it.

SPRING WATCH 2010!!!

Haha…I wrote the headline for this post when it was just a blank document. It tickled me then; now I can’t bear to change it to something less 24-Hour-News-Cycle.

Anyhoo, the tilt of the earth’s axis has brought more direct rays of the sun to the northern hemisphere resulting in the season known as Spring. Following a hunch I went out to the park over the weekend to see if I could capture this “Spring” in photographs.

I was hopeful when I first left my building as the street was lined with these (you can click for larger sizes on any of the photographs):

The only problem was that was really the best of the bunch. I mean there were some other flowers out, like daffodils:

But I hate daffodils. They’re so prim and proper and stiff with their stupid stalks and overly ornamental petals. I mean, lighten up, daffodils.

Daffodils are like Nature’s annoying friend who can’t just drink his soda out of the can like everyone else. Oh no, daffodils need a glass and ice and a coaster and they sit there thinking they’re better than you in their tuxedo while you eat Pringles crumbs off your shirt.

And there were tons of forsythias out. But who cares about forsythias? They’re everywhere.

I like this shot, though,because it looks like the green bush is consoling the yellow bush while the yellow bush throws up over the wall. You all see that too, right? Yes? Good.

Then again forsythias made me take this picture, which I really love. It’s one of those Couldn’t-Plan-It-In-A-Million-Years shots. The boys just started climbing while I was shooting the forsythia. I call it, “The Boys Who Just Started Climbing While I Was Shooting The Forsythia.”

And there was a ton of white out, especially in the trees. This shot reminds me of that Seurat painting with the lady with the big butt:

This one:

I think they called them “bustles.”

I really only found a few spots of colors other than white and yellow. Like these guys:

But they were rare.

Is there some sort of rule about when certain colors bloom? Like maybe there’s a rhyme? Something like:

“In early Spring you get yellow and white, but later on other colors delight.”

I’m not saying we need to start teaching it at pre-school or anything but if it’s true it’d be nice to know because the big guns were most certainly not out yet.

See this?

Those trees in the background are supposed to be exploding with crazy pinks and reds and blossoming goodness.

They’re not.

In the end the picture I took which summed up my feelings best was this one:

Yeah, you can fly a kite in this weather…but it ain’t Spring.

Not yet.

Maybe we’ll revisit this again in a few weeks.

They Still Make That Stuff?

I saw an ad for Pepperidge Farm Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread yesterday.

I haven’t seen this stuff since I was eight. Anyone out there still eat this on a regular basis? I didn’t even know it was still around, it’s dropped entirely off of my radar.

Just out of the bag it’s nothing special but this stuff, toasted, with a little pat of butter on top? Oh my god. It’s amazing to me that a taste this profoundly linked to my childhood could fall out of my head so completely.

And then, once I went to the Pepperidge Farm website, well at that point the floodgates opened.

Their cookies?

I mean my god, I had forgotten how flaky Milano’s are and how buttery the Chessmen are and the fruit filling in Veronas and Montieris and ohhhmygod.

My mouth is actually salivating as I look at those pictures.

I have no point here except that life is short and desserts were perfected by the people at Pepperidge Farm a century ago so we should all stop kidding ourselves and buy their food stuffs.

Seriously. How have I forgotten about Pepperidge Farm for the last fifteen years of my life?

Seeing these pictures and looking back at a life without Pepperidge Farm…it’s like I haven’t been living. It’s like I haven’t been living one damned bit.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…