Brane dump

  1. Where can I get a pastry knife/pastry blender in Austria? And what are they called in German? I just get puzzled looks when I describe them to store clerks.
  2. Saw a trailer for “The Men Who Stare at Goats” a while ago. It looks funny. It has Jeff Bridges as a New Agey instructor-guru type. WHY ALWAYS JEFF BRIDGES? DO HOLLYWOOD PRODUCERS READ A SCRIPT, SEE A PONYTAIL AND SAY, “CALL BRIDGES’ AGENT, WE NEED A HIPPIE?” I’m getting tired of that.
  3. As much as I like Jeff Bridges.
  4. Just read Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” a while back too. It took me a long time to get started because the first paragraph broke my heart with its beauty and simplicity, the way you knew both main characters IMMEDIATELY from just a few well-chosen words that weren’t even describing them, and knew that nothing good was waiting for them out there in that post-not-further-described-apocalyptic-world. However, with that great start, I could only be disappointed by the end, and I was. I was left with the feeling that the language was, ultimately, TOO poetic and self-conscious and beautiful for a novel. There were too many coincidences although an argument could convince me otherwise, namely the argument that of 100 pairs of such characters, 99 would have died well before the final chapter in this hostile environment; the only pair that would make it to the end  of the book would be the lucky one. You can be careful and wise and knowledgeable and prepared, but without luck you are fucked pal at least in a vague apocalypse. But I found McCarthy’s economics grand, the most compelling part of the book. Following an event such as the vaguely described one in theh book, everything would become scarce almost immediately. Within 10 years: no bullets, no shoes, no food.
  5. Srsly, our current system ROCKS in comparison.

5 More Things Not to Let the Kids Bring into the Car

Recalling my goal of landing some free-lance writing work I have decided to get in a little practice doing some more serious (or at least more commercial) writing here and learning from your comments. Pam mentioned this article in a recent tweet. Apparently some guy wrote it and Wired bought it. I found the article humorous yet incomplete. Only five things? I could think of at least five more. Then it occurred to me, in view of the above-mentioned, that I could always write my list and post it here.

So here it is: Five More Things Not to Let the Kids Bring into the Car

snspecial11. A Saturday Night Special

Not the band, and not the gun.

Especially not the gun. A Saturday night special is dangerous only at close range. Inaccurate at any distance greater than five feet, it is useless in a road rage situation, and eventually the kids will get the drop on you and you’ll end up driving to the mall everytime you get in the car. Or wherever it is kids like to drive to nowadays.

bape12. A Barbary ape




amatter13. Antimatter

Everyone wants to get their kids interested in science, and to support this interest wherever they can. Antimatter, however, has no place in traffic.

According to the current Wikipedia article on antimatter, “… mixing matter and antimatter would lead to the annihilation of both in the same way that mixing antiparticles and particles does, thus giving rise to high-energy photons (gamma rays) or other particle–antiparticle pairs.

Few things are more distracting when driving than high-energy photons.

wnest14. A nest of wasps

We all know how distracting (and dangerous!) a single wasp can be. Well, imagine having an entire nest of wasps in your car!

Barbary apes are nothing next to a nest of wasps.

If you had a nest of wasps in your car, you’d be wishing for a Barbary ape instead.

Or a Saturday night special.

Or even antimatter, depending on the amount.

wshatner15. William Shatner

William Shatner’s rendition of the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is epic, I just heard it on the radio. I was going to include a link here, but just do a search, I don’t know what is legal anymore and what isn’t.

Likewise, his readings of Sarah Palin’s beat poetry were also genius.

At first. But, you know. We get it, Mr. Shatner.

Can you imagine trying to drive while he’s reading Sarah Palin’s Facebook status updates or something?

Get back, Jo-Jo.

Had a good barber for a while until she went on maternity leave. The other women at the place were either political crackpots who couldn’t shut up or sick all the time, so when one canceled on me because she was sick I looked for a new place. Or, rather, went to a new place my wife had been thinking about trying. I had my first haircut there last night, and I think it was the best one I have had so far, ever. The place was dimly lit with calm pop music I suppose one could listen to all day at work without going crazy. The mirrors were big and nice with old-fashioned ornate gold frames and although the place was full no one was talking. I had to wait so I sat at a table with a big pile of magazines and sifted through them for a while until I found one that was not a gossip magazine and leafed through that until my new barber finished with her other customer and asked me if I wanted my hair washed. I actually didn’t, because it’s usually just expensive and I already washed my hair that morning but I said Okay as this was the first time and wow what a scalp massage. I would have proposed on the spot except bigamy is illegal and I couldn’t think of a way to propose that didn’t sound creepy. Then, seated in front of the mirror, wet hair combed back, thinking how, in a dark suit, white shirt with no tie, I resembled David Lynch, she didn’t even ask me “how do you want your hair cut?”. She just looked me over, said A little off the back and sides, a little off the top? To which I responded, Not so much off the top, and THAT WAS ALL!!!

She then proceeded to spend the next half hour or so giving me a haircut with which I was really happy. And hardly talking to me the whole time. And I got an espresso, black, no sugar.

The only drag was staring at myself for three-quarters of an hour. By the end, I had convinced myself I resembled David Lynch’s brother Jo-Jo, the one whose fontanelle never entirely closed.

I paid the bill (way less than I had expected) gave her a tip and made an appointment for my next haircut. I left the place feeling like a movie star, and not a Mafia hit man (as someone at work had described me earlier that day, because I was wearing a dark suit and sunglasses, as if a real hit man would look like a hit man – a real professional would look like a substitute teacher, or a urologist – think about that the next time you have your prostate examined). Health insurers should pay for haircuts, they do way more for your self esteem than therapy usually does.

Today, after a shower, it of course looks way different, but I’m still happy.