Archive for October, 2009

More Than Just Twitter

A female CEO of a company twittered that she was having a miscarriage during a board meeting. I am a man who thinks nothing is sacred but many thought that this went too far and… well… that nothing is sacred. So be it. What do we do about it? Simple. We create offshoots of Twitter to accommodate all occurrences. Yes, even miscarriages. Think of Twitter as the country and the following as states (of being?) within said country. Don’t expect 50.

The first state is Shitter and is for the announcement of bodily functions (even miscarriages). Here you can boast of notable bowel movements (of unusual weight, shape, or size), urination lasting for more than one minute and five seconds and anything else that has been known to leak or propel itself out of the body. I know what you’re thinking and the answer is, yes. Vomiting is included. As well as menstruation. But let’s not get mesmerized by volume, weight, and duration. Don’t forget color. If something is normally a certain color or hue and comes out totally off color, you’ll need an outlet for sharing this news. Say your urine is normally a boring pale yellow but one day welcomes you with a day-brightening lime green Gatorade color, you’ll need to share this with the world and post it on Shitter. Mind you, when it clears up, no one cares about that. This is only for if you continue to piss a plutonium based discharge.

Shitter also encompasses other aspects of humanity. Other things more than suitable to be listed on Shitter are: any information regarding a reality TV show, any information concerning Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, news of a United States financial institution, anything Barrack Obama says (or does). Speaking of Barry we might as well include anything that hyena Oprah Winfrey says, and last but not least something like hot tips about Jennifer Aniston, and the co star she’s doing from her latest film. Unless of course it’s a female co star, then it should be listed on Twatter and not Shitter. IF she doesn’t “go all the way” with a woman, then it’s listed on just Titter and not Twatter.

The other states and examples of the information they should contain are as follows (in no particular order):

Bitter: An outlet for the gay community, women’s movements (but not bowel), Democrats, any of my ex-girlfriends, fans of the hit show The View and cast members of said hit show.

Bit ‘er: If you have a woman into rough sex or you are a woman into rough sex.

Critter: Pest control, small penises, scary looking children.

Clitter: for women who have an unusually large erogenous zone at the top of the vagina. Now don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying that you think it’s bigger than more or a little plump. I’m saying that if it looks like she has a pink baby carrot between her legs, we’ll need to know and on Clitter is where we’ll look.

Did ‘er: a place to list the names of all the girls you’ve banged and for West Virginian males to chat about their sisters, daughters, and mothers. Also, for Bill Clinton to list information on his current roomy Jewish intern.

Fitter: Anyone who weighs less than Kirstie Alley. 93% percent of NFL players qualify to use this service.

Flitter: a site for gay men.

Git ‘er: for West Virginian males with stubborn sisters, daughters, and mothers.

Hitter: The Violent Sports Talk Network. Messages posted about soccer are punishable by death.

Itter: Here is a place for the linguistically challenged who cannot properly pronounce a B through Z plus the –itter.

Jitter: for guys who think they cum an exorbitant amount.

Kid ‘er: a place to list diplomatic responses to questions she asks like: Do I look fat in this dress? Is my sister hotter than me? If you weren’t dating me would you do my friends?

Litter: Information on people we should throw away. Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Kanye West, Chris Brown, Jon and Kate from “Jon and Kate Plus Eight”… in fact we could probably get rid of three of those kids and no one would care. Then they’ll probably launch the new hit show “And Then There Were Five” so the dipshits who watched the original show would have something to look forward to. With that in mind, let’s throw the eight out as well.

Mit ‘er: a place for guys in the South to state where they hooked up with their current significant other: “I mit ‘er at the Chuck and Puke on Route 11.”

Nitter: for those whose balls are made of yarn.

Pitter: birth announcements, as in pitter patter (of little feet).

Quitter: for the pussies who stopped drinking and/or smoking because their doctors told them it was no good for them and/or their wives or husbands wanted them to stop.

Sitter: a place for guys to share fantasies about the college girl who watches their kids. If a woman has such fantasies, please use Twatter.

Spitter: Now, one might think that those who choose NOT to finish a certain job (hint: the wind does this) would be listed in Quitter. But I don’t think so. The job IS complete but the doer of the action (aka the subject of the sentence) chooses to hock out the creamy prize like it’s a loogie during flu season.

Don’t confuse this with those women who complain: “I’m not putting that in my mouth. You PEE from it!” Yes, sue me. I pee from it. But you pee from your lovely little pink Venus Fly Trap too but yet I still find the courage to lick it like the wallpaper at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory. Don’t I? Yes. I’m asking you to sing karaoke with a flesh microphone and you’re asking me to stick my face into a large piping hot pepperoni pizza. But don’t get me started on this.

Vitter: the Arnold Schwarzenegger “Fitter” board

Yidder: Jews only. Which is to say everyone who works in the entertainment and or publishing industry… you’re free to post here.

Zitter: self explanatory, for those with a bad complexion and also the Arnold Schwarzenegger “Sitter” board.

Racist: for all white people. No buts and no excuses. If you are white, you’re guilty as charged. You’re a racist. Get used to it.

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Dan Brown – The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol, by author Dan BrownNo worries, no spoilers of any kind.

My first Dan Brown experience was The Da Vinci Code.  I fell into the hype, and the book was highly suggested by a buddy.  I gave it a whirl, as much for the controversy that I was starting to hear, as well as the subject matter itself.  Religious debates aside, I really enjoyed the book.

Brown obviously had done a lot of research and combined volumes of fact, legend, speculation, ancient mysteries, Christian doctrine, symbology and secret societies and wrapped it into a story.  At times I felt like I should have been taking notes for future reference (cue the school days shudders) because, as the characters in the book worked through their predicaments, the interpretations mixed with facts of ancient mysteries were coming at me in rapid fire.  The characters and story were definitely good enough to keep me riveted, and I would spend hours on the computer Googling many items from the book.

Six long years later for Dan Brown fans and his next book is published, The Lost Symbol.  I just finished it.

If you take my paragraph above (starting with “Brown obviously had done…”), add in “science” to the first sentence, then substitute “was there” for “were definitely good enough to keep me riveted” in the last, then you have The Lost Symbol.

The story that everything else was wrapped around was very weak.  I have read all five of Dan Brown’s novels, and my one major critical point in his writing style is that he misleads the reader.  He writes them in the narrative style, injecting the character’s thoughts so the reader can “see” more of the character and what is going on as they decipher the mysteries.  Countless times in his novels, as a conversation is happening, a revelation is discovered, or a mystery is unlocked, Brown cuts off the conversation and switches scenes.  The character has that “AHA!!” moment that reveals a major plot piece.  Brown  then makes the reader wait pages, sometimes chapters, before unveiling what that revelation was… yet we follow the character through on their harrowing adventure not understanding WHY they are trying to frantically get to point B on the map, but the character knows.  That makes no sense to me, and I found it irritating to me at times in this book.  It would be like dining with my wife at a restaurant and having a phone call about something we were talking about.  Then I would stand suddenly, grab her hand, rush out to the car and drive for 35 minutes to get home, all the while not telling her why.  Believe me, if life happened as Brown writes, there might be a lot more unexpected revelations, but there also would be a lot more divorces and throats being punched.  Brown has to have faith in his readers that we would be just as anxious as the characters, and that a fake cliff hanger is not needed.  The story and the craft of good storytelling should be strong enough so as not to throw in an unseen twist just for the sake of an unseen twist.  It is cheap.  If that twist is revealed to the reader early on, but the characters are kept in the dark, a good narrative should accomplish the same goal.  The twist revealed here actually left me feeling cheated, and I was distracted for many pages as I kept thinking back to earlier in the book… and how Brown misled.

A number of elements of this story are similar to those in Da Vinci.  The protagonist, Robert Langdon, returns for his third novel (he was in Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code), there is a strong, intelligent female character that is involved in the adventure side-by-side with Langdon, there is an uber-creepy villain (this one, also bald, is tattooed over his whole body, instead of an albino monk), and the supporting characters all have their own agenda where you try to figure out who to trust.

The meat of this novel is again in the mysteries, symbology and the interpretations of both. Brown does a better job in instructing the reader on opening the mind and changing our perception of the world we live in, than delivering characters that you care what fate awaits. Robert Langdon’s skepticism through the whole book becomes so annoying  that you wonder if Brown even remembers that this is the third novel he wrote him into.  Personally, if I were in Langdon’s shoes and encountered the events of Rome (Angels & Demons) then Paris (The Da Vinci Code) and experienced the puzzles that were “solved” in both, my skepticism would be long gone.  Hell, I’d be looking at my  water bottle and wondering what Poland Spring is really trying to tell the world.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. It doesn’t sound like it, but I did.  I enjoyed it for the science (noetic science plays a part), and the huge amount of factual trivia regarding Washington D.C., our Founding Fathers, the Freemasons, and some of the “secrets in plain view” in buildings in Washington.  I had many “that’s cool!” moments as I read some of these facts as the characters unraveled the puzzles before them.  I want to go back to Washington and see some of them for myself now.  You’ll never guess what fictional character has a sculpture on a cathedral in Washington!  I can’t imagine what else Brown had uncovered that didn’t even make it into the book.  Centuries of mysticism, beliefs, and persecution shaped how humankind has evolved thinking and has left the true meanings of original works shrouded in symbology and puzzles.

The main focus of this novel is perspective.  Brown impressively created the puzzles and interpretations about how objects, thoughts, words, spirituality, the human mind, and legends all can change monumentally if the perspective is changed.  Allegory is more of a character here than the actual characters, and that is welcome.  He avoids the heavy-handed religious overtones, and focuses on spirituality instead of the denominational aspects.  No true secrets were revealed in the pages, but Brown leaves the reader wondering “What if it were true?” again. To me, this makes The Lost Symbol a worthwhile read.  It allows us to explore what we are now, and what our forefathers had in mind when they built America, what the ancient scientists and philosophers studied before modern technology, and what today’s technology will really allow us to uncover.

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5 Things I Have Learned About Adopting a Puppy

The new puppyLong story short, my family adopted a puppy.  I’ll leave the why’s out of this, and just share the end result, but just know that we have two little kids under eight, and a dog that’s twelve.  We believed we were prepared, because about 20 years ago, I raised a puppy.  My wife never has.  We were not prepared. So here are the 5 6 things we have learned.

1. Don’t Believe Everything You Read
What this means is don’t believe everything you read about how the adopting agency lists the dog.  Spayed/neutered? Check. House-trained? Check. Shots up to date and de-wormed? Check.
Reality? Check please!!  Turns out that “copy and paste” errors affect the website author just as it does the rest of us.

2. Get To Know Your Carpet
Learn and inspect every inch of your carpeting about every 22 minutes.  About half of my first floor in my house is carpeting, the other half being flooring of some kind (hardwood, tile or vinyl).  The entire second floor is carpeted.  Puppies seem to appreciate carpeting in the same way that theylike dropping their asses on grass outside.  It must be the feeling between their toes.

3. Get Up and Personal With Your Dog’s Poop
Poop, crap, excrement, shit, number two, Crohnsicles, doo-doo… no matter what you call it, if your Vet says to keep an eye on it, you better.  Much like our own brown deposits tell us volumes about our health, eating habits and excessive drinking, the Baby Ruth’s that these tiny beasts drop sometimes contain living creatures of their own.

4. Your Vet Is Your Friend
By “friend” I mean that friend that is always asking you for lots of money, and shows you no compassion for the journey you have now decided to undertake.  The only good thing is they are probably the only people in the world that you can hand a bag of crap to without any repercussions.  I add to this tiny pleasure of mine by bringing in a good eight pounds of the steamers when they only require about an ounce.

5.  Establish Dominance
Puppies aren’t very bright.  Much like their bladders, they don’t seem to have large brains.  She makes up for brain power by exerting pure energy, mostly at inopportune times.  Our old dog just wants to be and live out his remaining time in peace.  He, much like me, just wants to lay around and be left alone.  Our puppy has other, very playful, thoughts.  She nips and jumps, and his irritation has given way to growling, to baring teeth, to vicious barking… we fear what’s next.  He can snap her scrawny neck quick, but she doesn’t seem to recognize that possibility.  She does act submissive, but unfortunately our old guy is blind, all he knows is that she’s nearby and annoying as hell.  With me, on the other hand, she bites my hands, arms, ankles and calves.  Trust me, I will always be on guard when exiting the shower.  I have to flip her on her back and hold her there while trying to stare into her eyes to establish my dominance… all the while she is making sounds like “The Tiny Warrior” from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

6. It’s Worth It
For the expected “awwwww” moment, I have to say it was all worth it.  It is one of the most rewarding things to know that you saved this loving and needy creature from a possible horrible fate, either by the cruel and heartless acts by those out for their own sick enjoyment, or by the financial shortcomings of the organizations trying to save the animals.  We adopted our first dog almost twelve years ago, and found out that he would have been put down the following day if he wasn’t adopted on that day.  Our newest pup was rescued “from a very bad situation” down in Virginia.

Welcome to our family, little girl.

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