30 August 2007

The Princess Comes First

Fuck Cob, my boss in Hell. The Princess is in stitches, and I am responsible for making sure they don’t rip out, and that she gets her meds according to her doc’s prescription. Every eight hours, no matter what. So when I called on Wednesday to let Cob know that I wouldn’t be in on Sunday, she said, “Oh, and Monday is Labor Day? Hmm…”

She thinks I am making this up to get a day off? She’s calling me a liar? I am the guy who took on extra hours for the floor sets. I am the guy who gives up going to church when I want to so that she can have an opener on Sunday, when I would much rather work on Saturday. I came to work directly after my uncle’s memorial service.

She thinks I am making up that my puppy is in pain?

Think I am lying now, you frigid bitch?

If it weren’t for the fact that the good job is seasonal, I would have quit today.

I suppose, that for a bitch who has no problem bullying people into situations that are bad for them but good to her, intimating someone being a liar is no big deal. After all, if you have no honor, how can you understand the damage you do when you insult someone who does possess a sense of rightness and self respect? If she did any of the things she does for the betterment of society, I would just deal with it. But retail does not better society; it damages it. It inflicts wounds on people that don’t heal.

Perhaps, since she has done nothing else with her life besides this, she cannot understand those of us who do. We who grow are as confusing and as mysterious to her as faith is to an atheist.

If it weren’t for the fact that she is an unlovable twat, I could almost pity her. But pity has never been my strong suit, so she can go suck a crooked dick and take the diseased wad right in the eye.

It's okay, puppy; Daddy's not going anywhere.


25 August 2007


I am a comic book geek. “Total fanboy” is a term I long ago embraced. I can’t begin to count the amount of time I have spent on comics: buying, reading, discussing, daydreaming. Some of you charming readers may know of my obsession. You have been there during the countless debates on the best character in the Marvel Universe. You’ve heard me bitch about how various creators must be purposely trying to destroy the comic industry. You’ve seen the collection I have amassed. And, if I have known you for more than two weeks, I have probably tried to get you hooked on one comic or another; hopefully, I have succeeded.

Mostly, I read Marvel. I love their characters, and the “superhero soap opera” never gets old for me. They were the first to do it, and, mostly, the best at it. My only beef with Marvel is that it almost entirely takes place in New York, Manhattan specifically. That is because the original creators were born, and lived and worked, in NYC. With that in mind, I decided to add some links to comic book creators living and working here in the greatest city in the world.

You cannot mention comic creators in Chicago and not think Alex Ross. He brought photorealism to comics, and there is no one who does it better. If you haven’t read Marvels or Kingdom Come, go out and get them ASAFP. Alex Ross changed the way I looked at comics forever. He’s also responsible for Earth X, which is the best Marvel story ever told, period.

Here is Mike Norton. I really like his style; he reminds me of those cool Saturday morning cartoons, like The Real Ghostbusters and Gargoyles. He reminds me of Ringo, which is a good thing.

Next is Skottie Young. I love his style; to my eye, he is like a bizarre combo of Marc Silvestri and Bill Watterson. I would love to script a story for Skottie; something dark and funny and harsh. He’s done some top shelf books; do yourself a favor and pick them up. I hated New X-Men until Skottie started drawing it. His Human Torch is (pun alert) fucking hot!
I will have links for these guys from here on in, so go ahead and check up on them from time to time.

Until recently, I didn’t know there was a podcast for comic books. It turns out there are several, with two really good ones coming out of the Windy City. If you decide to check them out, I recommend “Around Comics,” which is recorded at Dark Tower Comics, 4835 N. Western in Chicago. Chris, Sal and Tom remind me of those guys who were fun to talk comics with; they have deep knowledge of all things superhero, as well as the great graphic literature outside of the world of spandex. And they are hilarious. Another bonus for AC is that Skottie has been on it a few times, so you can hear what he thinks about stuff. "Word Balloon" is another good one, with great one-on-one interviews with comic creators and other folks in the entertainment industry. There’s a podcast called "iFanboy," but they dissed my hometown in their recent podcast. Fuck them in the ear ; you boys hear me coming?

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is because of the last post. For the last twenty-two years or so, I wanted to work on a comic book. Not having the artistic talent of my uncle or my shit-headed brother, I have focused on writing, which is either plotting or scripting a comic. I am going to try and plot and script a comic, which I will of course keep you updated on. It would be unfair and wrong to not mention another party responsible for my new drive. I must give thanks to several conversations with The World's Biggest Asshole; too many times has he said that I should try and get my stuff published, and I hemmed and hawed about it. It's funny; I am always pushing him about personal shit, and he's always pushing me on professional shit. We're more married than me and my ex-wife ever were...

Don’t worry, you’ll still get plenty of my humiliating stories and endless ranting bitch-fests which you have come to expect from me. But this is going to be something really fun and exciting to explore, and I think you, as a reader, deserve to read more than the bad shit happening to me.

Oh, and I have no idea where the fuck The GringO has been. He refuses to give me more than one joke’s worth of material at a time.

I went fucking nutso with the hyperlink today...


22 August 2007

Someday No More

My Uncle Danny died recently, and I haven’t really dealt with his death yet. So I am going to force myself to do it. He was an exceptional artist, and he had the most intricate sense of detail. He did this drawing for my mum of a ram; Zeepmomma is into the horoscope stuff (despite all of my lectures concerning astronomy and stellar distances and blah blah blah I am a killjoy), and she is an Aries. I once tried to count all the lines in the horns of the ram; after three days, I stopped at one thousand. Oh, and the picture is drawn on a piece of 8”X10” paper.

He could also do cartoony stuff, too. He had this really cute drawing of his kid playing outside; it’s all wide-eyed innocence and joy, and you can just feel the love coming off of it. I saw it when I was ten, and it’s a drawing that I won’t forget.

Uncle Danny was schizophrenic, and he had a great sense of humor about it. If he was talking to somebody and you walked by, he would say, “Hey, is this person I’m talking to real?” and wink at you. I always liked to say “What person?” He had this one story that he loved to tell. He had come home from work, and sat down to watch the early evening news before dinner. In the middle of the broadcast, the newscaster was handed a piece of paper, and said, “This just in: Dan, get your shit together because they are coming to get you. You have about ten minutes before they come through the front door. Go out the cellar, because they have the back door covered. So, what’s the weather look like for tomorrow, Bill?” That’s when my uncle realized he missed a dosage while at work.

He was really short, about 5’6”. One time, while camping, he tried to hike up behind us kids to scare us. As he was ascending this hill covered in brush, he pulled on a dead tree branch to get himself up, and it broke off in his hand. Had he been two inches taller, his plan might have succeeded. Instead, he wound up rolling ass over teakettle all the way down the hill, through thorn and thistle.

My uncle was just 65; three years younger than my mum and two younger than my dad. I sit here and think about the fact that one of my best friends has lost his father, and my cousin has lost his father, and another cousin lost his mother. Of my mum’s kids, I am the only one who still has his dad.

Recently, a comics artist named Mike Wieringo passed away, very unexpectedly, at the age of 44. Ringo drew with a very animated style, during a point in comics where the goal was to be more accurate and more musclebound than the last guy. He was about clean lines and emotion. His Fantastic Four is, in my mind, the definitive look for those characters. He had created a truly beautiful universe with his longtime creative partner Todd Dezago in his books called “Tellos.” I highly recommend you read them. If you have kids, they will love the books, too.

Ringo always wanted to return to the world of Tellos, and kept putting it off for other jobs, so as to support his family and pay bills. We all do the “someday” speech. The truth that we don’t tell ourselves is simple and so hard to hear and believe: there is no “someday,” there is only today. So, today, call your mom or your dad, or both. Write the story and try to get it published. Do it, whatever it is. Every day is perfect, and every day is beautiful, come whatever may. Don't let a single one get away from you.


21 August 2007

The Final Solution

By now, you have either had the opportunity to listen to my top ten, or you have completely ignored it. Either way, you’re finding out today what the best song I have ever heard is.

The criteria were diverse and strictly followed. The research was long, arduous, and many, many times, very tedious. But no expense is spared for a song that I will bear in my heart as my most favorite song, EVER.

The winner is here.

“Orion” is by far my favorite. It is a masterpiece, and symphonic in nature. It starts out with a growling intro, which gives us the measure and beat of the first movement, a good mid-tempo to get the blood up.

Soon the second movement, introduced with a rhythm break and staccato guitar, comes in thundering, with a fast stop-start riff, and a recapitulation of the first movement’s primary riff.

The third movement follows a trio (or is it scherzo? I could never tell them apart), with Cliff’s bass playing a soft melody, the guitars floating over it slowly with bluesy bends and one of Kirk’s most understated, controlled, and best performances (more on his solos later). The three-part harmonization between the two guitars and the bass on the same line is so tight and so smooth it is amazing that the producer was able to keep their voices distinct; had he not, we would have missed out on Cliff’s amazing bass lines that run under the guitar work in the third movement. It is in this song, and especially the third movement, that shows us how much of a genius the world lost when Cliff died in 1986.

It is fitting that it is Cliff’s incredible solo, so essential to the mood of the third movement and the best I have ever heard recorded for bass, that takes us to the bridge between the third and fourth movement: Kirk’s solo. Not enough can be said of Kirk’s performance during this piece, but this solo is everything that he is capable of. It is the signature solo of his career.

The song ends with its fourth movement being a recapitulation of the second movement’s riff, with a much faster drum performance by Lars, his fills coming frenetically, and just when you think he will be unable to get back on beat, he cracks his snare right on the four count.

This song is great for any and every event in my life, big or small. It fits any mood I may be in, either by enhancing it or changing it. It is the best song I have ever heard. If you have never heard it before, give it a listen; if you have, hear it again. It may surprise, but it does not disappoint.

So what’s yours?


12 August 2007

Now Who's Wrong?

Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
Adopted on 12 August 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of
International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War, held in Geneva
from 21 April to 12 August, 1949
entry into force 21 October 1950



Article 16

The wounded and sick, as well as the infirm, and expectant mothers, shall be the object of particular protection and respect.

As far as military considerations allow, each Party to the conflict shall facilitate the steps taken to search for the killed and wounded, to assist the shipwrecked and other persons exposed to grave danger, and to protect them against pillage and ill-treatment.

Article 18

Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.

Article 19

The protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has remained unheeded.

The fact that sick or wounded members of the armed forces are nursed in these hospitals, or the presence of small arms and ammunition taken from such combatants which have not yet been handed to the proper service, shall not be considered to be acts harmful to the enemy.

Article 21

Convoys of vehicles or hospital trains on land or specially provided vessels on sea, conveying wounded and sick civilians, the infirm and maternity cases, shall be respected and protected in the same manner as the hospitals provided for in Article 18, and shall be marked, with the consent of the State, by the display of the distinctive emblem provided for in Article 38 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949.

This is not what anyone would call a "political" blog. This is for the co-worker who argued with me about how the US continues to violate laws that it helped draft and has enforced with violence in the past.

Fuck you. What is your excuse for being wrong this time?


11 August 2007

Seven Hundred Fifty-Six asterix

I watched some of Barry Bond’s press conference last night (I know I’m late, but, in my defense, I cannot stand baseball), and I could only think of two things:

Bud Selig, your douchebaggery has reached a new low. The man broke the home run record (or, if you believe all the allegations about steroid use, a half-man, half-horse hybrid) and you are the commissioner, and you were NOT in attendance? He was one away, you fucking tool; it’s not like he went on a seventeen-dinger streak that night. Selig continues to prove that the only thing he likes about baseball is the fan’s money. Regardless of what you think about Bonds, as the commissioner you should respect the sport and its history.

The second thing was, “Look a’ tha’ heed. It’s like Sputnik!”

Do you think Barry cried himself to sleep on his huuuge pilla that night?


10 August 2007


You know what people really can't drive?

Quadruple amputees.

True story.

::The GringO::

09 August 2007

A Request from Management

To my dear readers,
You know that I love and appreciate you all. One thing you may not know is that I really enjoy reading the comments. It's the best part of the blogging thingy. I work on crafting an entry, and you tell me how it soared or sank. I love that bit.

But I would like to ask that, should you post, please put a name in there. It doesn't have to be your real name. It's not like my parents actually named me Zeepdoggie; and while The GringO is pale enough to warrant the title, it is an honorific only.

I don't like anonymous posts; they are hard to respond to, since I don't know how to address you. At least with some callsign I can easily refer to you in a response.

I ask, please, no anonymous posts. Since they are moderated, anonymous posts will not be allowed unless: I can tell who you are by what you say; it is too good of a comment to let die on the Interweb.

Peace and chicken grease,


08 August 2007

The Penultimate Entry

With everything that's been going on (school, family stuff, money concerns, porn getting boring), you would think that I forgot about The Project, where I try to determine what the best song I ever heard is. While it is true that I have been quite busy, I have been sticking to The Project with a devotion that holy men should have to their parishioners, or politicians to democracy.

So I have, at last, figured out what is the best song I have ever heard. My favorite song of my life, up to this point, and most likely for the rest of it.

In the beginning, I figured it would be an instrumental of some sort. Lyrics tend to steer you towards a feeling or thought, and I wanted a song that was everything to me: happy, sad, energetic, angry, contemplative. It would have to be a song that I could listen to after I got a new job; after the first kiss from a new woman in my life; and, of course, it would have to work after I was fired from that job and the bitch left me.

That puts Mozart out of the running right there. His genius is in the creation of mood; if Wolfie wanted you to cry, you'd cry; he could make you laugh, hate, grow tense, even fall in love, in his compositions. While his power is great, it doesn't serve the need I have.

So, that left about one hundred twenty instrumental compositions to go through. Not easy.

I do want to point out one anomaly: "Lateralus" by Tool. It is, far and away, my favorite Tool song, and the best song with lyrics that I have heard. It soothes me when I am troubled, and energizes me when I am tired. When first dating M, I listened to it constantly, as if Maynard was telling me what to do in order for this thing to work out. It did, for a time. It works in just about every situation that I have listened to it, and it certainly lives up to the top criterion of being all things to me.

But it has lyrics. It is the honorable mention in the group, and worthy of great praise. Check it out, if you haven't. If you're a math geek, you'll love the hidden Fibonacci sequences in the song.

Back to task. I got it down to ten, and here they are:

  1. Symph. no. 7 im Emaj, 2nd Movement - Hans Bruckner (he made cathedrals of sound, and this is the best example)
  2. Midnight - Jimi Hendrix (it may have been mostly improvised, but without Jimi, every guitar solo that i love wouldn't exist)
  3. Miami Vice Theme - Jan Hammer (sure, you laugh, but you know it's a JAM, baby!)
  4. Orion - Metallica (the song that proves that Metallica once had talent and can compose, not write, a truly epic piece)
  5. Lemminkainen's Return Op. 22 No. 4 - Jean Sibelius (this was the composer whose music led to the founding of a nation; no one else in music can make that claim)
  6. Treadstone Assassins - John Powell (music score is the real child of "classical" music; it must evoke a mood, complement the images being seen, stand on its own without being distracting, and do this in less than three minutes: and i love it when a composer marries more than one genre, here it's groove rock, great string composition, and a thumpin' bass beat)
  7. Medulla Oblongata - The Dust Brothers (another soundtrack entry, and a great one: first, it's the only album with The Dust Brothers on their own; it's for my favorite movie of all time; and it just fucking grooves, man! that bass line! those bells!)
  8. Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G, BWV 1007: I. Prélude - Yo-Yo Ma (the most recognized cellist ever playing a challenging piece so flawlessly you forget you're listening to anything, the whole world swims and you're in it, totally; it's like beauty singing)
  9. Battle Without Honor or Humanity - Tomoyasu Hotei (what a groove this is; nothing more to say)
  10. Amazing Grace - Massed Pipes and Drums of Caledonia (every time i hear this song, i weep; it's the sound of hope in the face of defeat; it's a mother's cry whose son has gone to peace for following his dream; it is perseverance and holiness and strength; it is Scotland)
"So , which one is it, Zeepdoggie? The suspense is killing us!" is what you would be shouting, were we in some park rally. Well, first, I want you all to have a chance to check out the top ten before I reveal my number one. I do this for two reasons: so that you can groove to some awesome tuneage; and then you can all either agree with me or call me an idiot, not because I usually am and calling me that is like reflex for you all, but because you've heard the evidence and have weighed it accordingly. That, and I would like to hear some guesses from you all as to what is my number one.

I am a worse tease than Cara Tomkins. "Tell me I'm pretty! Oooh, you're hard! I am so excited! Oh, you've touched my boobies...now I go home."
Some wounds never heal...


07 August 2007

In Seven Days...

I lost my job, which was created for me, at the library. My DSL went down. My relationship ended, in case you couldn't tell by the comment. My uncle went into a coma. My DSL was fixed. COLLEGE is claiming that I owe them money, even though they owe me money. I went for a bike ride in the deserted streets of downtown Chicago, and watched the sunrise in a new favorite spot. I got a new job. My uncle died.

I think I have a right to be a little negative.

Thanks to the anonymous poster who said my blog is "interesting." On the behalf of The GringO, I will take that as a compliment. Next time, let us know who you are, so we can say, "Thanks for kudos, ______!" Then you'd be on the web, which is just like being famous, except without the recognition or money.