Thursday, March 09, 2006

Postmodern Garfield

Lakini Malich's LiveJournal has an interesting interpretation of the comic strip Garfield. If you remove Garfield's thought balloons, he points out, it goes from an unfunny comic to a rather sad, poignant story about a lonely man who has wasted his life talking to his cat.

He got so many responses to the first bunch of Garfield cartoons he posted with Garfield's speech balloons excised that he posted more "chronicling Jon's spiral into depression and eventually madness. It's what Jim Davis wanted."


Banjo jokes

For those of you not familiar with the genré, banjos, banjo players, and banjo music in general are the inspiration for banjo jokes.

My first encounter with banjo jokes was in early December 1991. I was lunching with a few people at a client's and we were swapping jokes. One of the people said, "Oh, I've got some banjo jokes," and proceeded to whip out four of them. As a longtime banjo player, I was initially a little bristly but I thought to myself "Oh, what the hell: I tell jokes about all sorts of people myself and these are funny! And what's more, they're true!!" Since then, I've collected and told a number of banjo jokes myself.

As a matter of fact, I was doing a concert in Portland some years ago and was telling banjo jokes. I'd been whipping them off fairly fast and thick--"What's the difference between a banjo and a chainsaw? ...a motorcycle? accordion?" (Look 'em up for the answers.)--and I got to "What's the difference between a banjo and an Uzi?"

The answer that I was about to rattle off was "An Uzi only repeats 40 times" (not too bad), but someone in the third row upstaged me by shouting out "The banjo clears the room faster!" Right HERE they getcha....


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Latest house news, sort of

I actually shot these pictures of the house's progress this weekend, but I'm only getting around to posting them now.

The footings for the new house are poured.

And the house next door, which is 7 weeks ahead of schedule, is ripping along: in the few days between the previous pictures, the builders have got the siding up. Pretty cool!


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"Bad Grammar" t-shirts

For the grammarians in the crowd, take a look at this:

Bad Grammar Makes Me [sic] t-shirt

You can see more of these here.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Misc cat photos

BC has been acting rather old-mannish lately, which is a bit distressing. I mean, he is an old man at this point, being almost 14, but he's been pretty snuggly and not very adventurous. However, he does show signs of liveliness every so often and I can once again hear the sounds of his claws scrabbling on the hardwood floor as he scampers off, a sound I love.

I heard a funny banging noise, not very loud at all, in the office the other day. It turned out that BC was banging the wooden slats with his head while he was looking out. Silly cat.


Yang and Bo continue to take up large amounts of space. Yang has been largely removed from the monitor permanently, so he's been living on the desk off to one side. Bo has been getting up there with him and curling up next to him, which Yang will respond to occasionally, mostly by using Bo as a footstool.


Shortly after this photo was taken, by the way, Bo got up and started biting Yang's foot. Yang responded by standing up and doing a slow-motion swat at Bo, then leapt off the desk and went elsewhere. Bo followed, and lo! there was peace on the desk once again.


For all you Shakespeare fans...

...which is probably most of y'all, here's something from a LiveJournal blog entry entitled THE THINGS I WILL NOT DO WHEN I DIRECT A SHAKESPEARE PRODUCTION, ON STAGE OR FILM that's still going strong. (The post hit the character limit, so they've gone to a second location for entries.)

A few of the selections I particularly enjoyed:

10. I will not treat A Midsummer Night's Dream as though it were Un Chien Andalou.

22. Ariel should, ideally, wear more than Gollum.

30. As much as I enjoy his films, I will not steal from Kenneth Branagh. It's not like people won't notice.

92. I will not project a PowerPoint slideshow onto a large screen above and behind the actors, ever, for any reason, no matter what.

147. I will have a contingency plan for outdoor plays in case of disasters other than weather. For instance: search helicopters looking for fugitives in the area. The actors are accomplished clog-dancers, but it's not fair to ask them to do that for the interim.

180. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern will not enter on a miniature train.

235. I will never allow the unnecessary pause between "to be" and "or not to be" to last more than ten seconds, no matter how much the actor playing Hamlet believes it will transform him into Olivier. If he draws it out for more than twenty seconds during any rehearsal, I will recast the part. However, for the good of the production, should an actor decide he must surprise me with this behaviour in front of an audience, I will wait a full minute for him to continue before giving in to the urge to humiliate him by feeding him his line in a loud stage whisper.

308. If Shakespeare had intended for any character to say "YEEEEEEEEHAW!", it would have appeared in the text.

There are any number of replies to this particular blog posting with additional caveats, such as: "At no time will Hamlet be allowed to impale Claudius with a chandelier," "I will not show the little princes in the tower in the background as Richard plots their murder... Most of all, I will not show them playing Nintendo," and "I will not dress the mob in Julius Caesar with beer-can helmets."


Something I love and admire about Texas

I'm not normally a fan of very much about Texas--although it sure beats Indiana!--but there are a few things that are worth noting. One of them is this: March 2nd was the 170th anniversary of the declaration of the Republic of Texas. The following is the start of the Texas Declaration of Independence, March 2, 1836. Like the US Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, these are good words that should be remembered:
"When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted, and so far from being a guarantee for the enjoyment of those inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their oppression. When the Federal Republican Constitution of their country, which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the everready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants. When, long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms themselves of the constitution discontinued, and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons, and mercenary armies sent forth to force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet.

When, in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abdication on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original elements. In such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation, the inherent and inalienable rights of the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right towards themselves, and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their future welfare and happiness."


Not so weird, but worth a look

This isn't the weirdest thing I've seen on the net, nor even the weirdest thing I've seen today (which would have to be this article about the Ministry of Homeland Security's inability to be, erm, secure).

But this link is fun. It's unusual and tacky cross-stitch patterns.