Thursday, September 01, 2011

Patton Oswalt speaks uber-wise.

Great interviews over at The Onion's A.V. Club.  Well worth reading in full.
Patton Oswalt | TV | Interview | The A.V. Club: "...It took me until my 40s to realize it: There’s no destination. There’s no getting anywhere. There’s just the going. The key to life is to make the going really fun. Because people that are like, “If I just get to this, then boom!” And then they get there and there’s this dawning of an afterwards. Whereas I’m just always in the going. And it’s not a frantic going like, “I gotta keep going or I’m gonna go nuts!” I can not do anything for weeks or months if I need to and just sit and read books or watch movies. I’m just as fine consuming and absorbing new art as I am trying to make it. But it’s all in the going."
Patton Oswalt Responds | Film | The A.V. Club Blog | The A.V. Club: "...the only criteria for my career path is, "How entertaining will this be for me, and how much money can I get?" Getting to work with Brad Bird at Pixar met both those criteria perfectly. But spending a month and a half in Vancouver, watching Wesley Snipes have a slow-motion meltdown in Blade: Trinity, was equally valuable and enriching. Reputation, posterity and cool are traps. Shaky Kane said that, I think. 
(*One night, at a dive bar after the day's shooting, the director, me, and Ron Perlman convinced a group of bikers – "convinced" = "bought them a lot of alcohol" – to show up with the director for the next day's filming after Wesley tried to strangle said director the day before). 
Thus, my desire to work with Paul Greengrass, Martin Scorsese and Ang Lee is equal to my desire to work with Nicholas Cage, Tom Cruise and Carlos Mencia. I want the money, and the anecdotes..."
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Settling in back in Liberia + New Toys.

Back in West Africa just over a week now, after a bunch of time back in the States, trying to figure out what exactly it is I do with my time [the obvious answer, today at least, is "dick around on the internet."] Allaying the need to do things, like, say, 'find meaning in my life,' was the arrival of our secondary/supplementary household goods stuff.  Always nice since you can't get a great deal of stuff here through the post due to size/weight/liquid restrictions.  So got a plethora of things we can't pick up here and some bigger stuff been coveting...

It would be childish, juvenile and puerile to suggest my wife could be summed up by a single photo of some of the goods arrived, but candy & wine is a contender.

A more representative sampling of well coveted food and beverages.  Including my wife's fancy "bottles" of wine.  

To be fair, while not a big wine drinker, I bought the box wine for the Mrs - I'm all about class and sophistication - because the packing is just so damn nifty.  And I've been watching too much Gary Vaynerchuk/WineLibraryTV.

Plus, you get MORE in the box, compared to the bottle.  That's value right there.  Kinda looking forward to sampling them, honestly.

King size, futon style mattress [albeit on a low profile wood frame] results in the best sleep I've had since living in Japan.

A 'thank-you' gift for the Mrs.  It does make a snazzy cuppa joe.

My new best friend.  If going to live in Thailand for a couple years, have work to do.

Cooking/Food Log.

Getting back into the rhythm of getting to cook my own food again/eating whatever I want [below] without regard to the feelings of various kind-hearted hosts, and cooking for the Mrs again [above.]

Through a combination of regular workouts and not going completely batshit insane back in the States, my weight held steady and I didn't blow up and put on a bunch of weight like I did the last couple trips back stateside. Back in Liberia now I'm playing it by ear, eating and drinking whatever I feel like, without over-indulging [for the most part.] Plan on tightening up the nutrition plan [and whatever training protocol I settle on] starting next Monday... So, above, food prepped for my significant other last week, below, everything I shoved down my piehole.

The only movie I've ever been tempted to watch in 3D - "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas."

"I mean, my dad owns it..."
"Oh. You're one of those." - NPH FTW

"You have to be more specific."

"Awake" looks damn interesting.

Sadly, it also looks like one of those shows that won't make it in the world of lowest common denominator network television.

I get every geek reference in this - "The DC Relaunch."

"Knights of Badassdom" looks pretty, well, badass. And funny.

"I'm packing an ounce of killer shrooms and there be monsters in need of pummelin'."

"He... needs a lot of work." - 2011 Crossfit Games Winner.

"I have the fastest recorded time ever for coming down a rope."

"Sweat impedes my performance."

"You should only hate people you know." - Infallible logic, that.

"What, even idiots?"

"...the story of wheat becomes a bit of a modern Frankenstein tale."

Much more at the link.  The book goes on my [ever increasing] Amazon Wishlist...

Fat Head » Book Review: Wheat Belly:

"'Bread and other foods made from wheat have sustained humans for centuries, but the wheat of our ancestors is not the same as modern commercial wheat that reaches your breakfast, lunch and dinner table. From the original strains of wild grass harvested by early humans, wheat has exploded to more than 25,000 varieties, virtually all of them the result of human intervention.

The first wild, then cultivated, wheat was einkorn, the great-granddaddy of all subsequent wheat...'
...the story of wheat becomes a bit of a modern Frankenstein tale.

Like Dr. Frankenstein, the scientists who created today’s wheat had good intentions: the goal was to produce more wheat per acre in a shorter span of time, thus vastly increasing yields and preventing worldwide starvation as the planet’s population swelled. To that extent, they succeeded. Geneticist Dr. Norman Borlaug, who created the short, stocky, fast-growing “dwarf” wheat most of us consume today, is credited with saving perhaps a billion people from starvation.

The problem is that dwarf wheat varieties were developed through a combination of cross-breeding and gene splicing...

Perhaps overjoyed at the prospect of the feeding the world, the developers of modern wheat varieties weren’t interested in conducting tests to see if these genetically-modified strains were actually fit for human consumption. Dr. Davis believes they’re not...

...Dr. Davis recounts an experiment he conducted on himself to compare the different impacts of ancient wheat and modern wheat on his blood sugar. He managed to find some einkorn wheat and made bread from it. Two slices of that bread raised his blood sugar from 86 mg/dl to 110. Not bad. Then he made bread from modern whole wheat – you know, the stuff the USDA says is the key to great health. Two slices raised his blood sugar from 84 mg/dl to 167. That’s diabetes territory...

Wheat products elevate blood sugar levels more than virtually any other carbohydrate, from beans to candy bars..."

"...with the aid of modern technology, the government can lose money while selling a highly popular product over which it has a monopoly."

I'm not saying government can't have good ideas, I'm just saying it seems you end up with a lot of really, really bad ones.

How Does a Wine Monopoly Lose Money? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine:
"When they are working, the kiosks dispense a limited selection of wines at limited locations and times (not on Sunday, of course!) to customers who present ID, look into a camera monitored by a state employee, breathe into a blood-alcohol meter, and swipe a credit card... In June the Wegmans supermarket chain withdrew from the kiosk program... A week ago Walmart announced that it had decided not to install 23 planned kiosks. Presumably Wegmans and Walmart had second thoughts at least partly because they want shoppers to feel like valued customers instead of suspected criminals forced to take a sobriety test....""

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I do this.

The intentionally obtuse part, at least. 
 I'm kind of a dick, clearly.

Biblical marriage sounds exhausting...

Biblical Christianity 101: Marriage - Atlanta atheism |
"Christians are fond of defending the sanctity of Biblical marriage. One man, one woman, bonded for life, sexually exclusive, and celibate before marriage. The thing is, that's not in the Bible..."
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011


8/30 - DB DL, DB Swings, hip thrusts, dislocates, chest pulls, face pulls, hyperx, shadowboxing 5x2m rounds, bag work 5x2m rounds, neck nods/rotations
8/29 - circuit to 50reps - chins, pushups, weighted jacknife situps
8/28 - rest/free/off
8/27 - modified Crossfit Fran - DB Thrusters @ 70lbs - dead hang chins - 21/15/9 - 12:10 - kicking drills 3x2m rounds
8/26 - 11x2m rounds boxing/bag work - hip thrusts/dislocates/wall slides/chest pull/face pull - stretching [squat/hang/ankle/hip]
8/25 - mobility work [hip thrusts/amosov squats] - goblet squats - air squats - hindu squats - calf raises - hyperx
8/24 - giant set x2 - pullups, dips narrow, neutral grip pullups, dips wide, chins, pushups, bwrows narrow, pike press, bwrows wide, incline situps, hyperx
8/23 - Bas Rutten MMA Workout - heavy bag - boxing - 10x2m rounds
8/22 - max rep check - pullups 13 - chins 16 - pushups 45 - air squats 70 - forearm plank 130s - divebombers 15 - dips 20
8/21 - shadowboxing - 10x2m rounds - Bas Rutten MMA Workout - boxing

"Hey Guys - Remember When I Was..."

Monday, August 29, 2011

"You may look at superheroes and just see trash, toilet paper. I'm looking at them and seeing William Blake angels." - Grant Morrison

Morrision always gives the best interviews.

Grant Morrison: Psychedelic Superhero | Rolling Stone Culture:
"...Morrison considers himself a magician, and not the rabbits-from-hats kind – magick with a "k" style sorcery. He's been conducting occult rituals since age 19, summoning various entities and gods and such – ranging from a flaming lion's head to what he believes to have been the spirit of John Lennon, who, he says, gave him a song...
For Morrison, the "most magical thing" is the way he makes his living. "I find it quite fucked up, to be honest, the notion that the most outlandish thoughts could pay for your existence," says Morrison, intelligible syllables poking their heads up from the bog of his working-class Glasgow accent. "The most bizarre thoughts you may have had in 1994 on an Ecstasy tab can turn into money, which turns into houses, which turns into cat food. It's the Yukon in our brain, it's a gold rush, it's all sitting there, and it's worth money."


He broke through in America in 1988 – part of a wave of glamorous, groundbreaking U.K. writers that also included Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore – by reviving an obscure DC Comics superhero named Animal Man and inserting himself as the villain of the piece. Animal Man slowly realizes he is fictional, and in one infamous sequence, gazes out from the cage of his comic-book panel and yelps, "I can see you!" at the reader. The character ends up meeting Morrison, who apologizes for killing Animal Man's family in an earlier issue, and brings them back to life. As Morrison saw it, he had invented a "fiction suit" that allowed him to enter the comic-book universe, and he had no intention of taking it off. "I was trying to become fictional," he says, "because I had all these mad ideas."


Morrison had just hit his thirties, and Bat-cash in hand, he was ready to have the kind of fun that had eluded him in his teens. He traveled the world, visiting India, Thailand, Bali, New Zealand, Nepal. He started wearing leather and vinyl, shaved his balding head and abandoned a lifetime of sobriety, dropping acid, shrooms and Ecstasy, smoking hash. In Katmandu, he had a spiritual experience that has guided his work ever since, a revelatory vision from some kind of fifth-dimensional perspective. He saw the universe from the outside, met silvery bloblike entities who explained the connectedness of all life on Earth. "I felt it was a higher intelligence, and there's no proof it wasn't," he says. "I remember space and time being just a flat surface."

It wasn't merely a drug thing. "I was only on a little lentil-size piece of hash, and that won't give you that experience – God knows I've tried," adds Morrison, who knows how insane all of this sounds. "I was utterly sure for a long time after that when I died I would just wake up there, like looking up from a video game, realizing you're in your room, but now I don't feel like that anymore."


"I was a pretty sexy tranny," he says. "It was a complete turn-on, but I was using it as an energy to try to manipulate it."

Morrison was into some dark stuff at the time, trying to summon monsters from the work of H.P. Lovecraft. "You can say I'm fucking nuts," he says, "but anyone can find these rituals online, and if you're too scared to do them, you're the one who believes in the devil, not me."

Around the turn of the century, Morrison had his fill of madness. He cooled it on the drugs ("9/11 happened, and you can't be a globetrotting psychedelic anything anymore") and married Kristan Anderson, a corporate insurance broker who dressed like Barbarella. They split their time between the town house, Morrison's Nineties home base, and a house in the countryside.

He also took on more mainstream work, writing DC's Justice League, Marvel's New X-Men and an upcoming major relaunch of Superman. "When I wrote Superman, it was like contemplating Buddha," he says. "I really felt elevated. Everything seemed more beautiful, more precious. Batman's different. I try not to go into Batman that much because he's nutty, and I don't really want to feel like Bruce Wayne."


"We are fighting against it with the super-human story, which is that there is a future, something beyond this, if we can just get better. You may look at superheroes and just see trash, toilet paper. I'm looking at them and seeing William Blake angels."

Morrison continues to practice magic, most recently trying to heal his sick cat. He's had some success with supernatural veterinary work in the past. "I don't think you can get evidence of this stuff – it's like trying to prove that water boils on the sun, you can't do it. But I'm still trying to not sound like some insane person."


"Things don't have to be real to be true. Or vice versa."

If you've ever taught English in Japan, this will feel more than a little true.

"Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse (Unless You’re in Law Enforcement)"

Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse (Unless You’re in Law Enforcement) | The Agitator:
"...Here’s the problem: If you have a permit, it’s perfectly legal to walk into a McDonalds in Connecticut while plainly carrying a firearm. As Gideon notes, the problem is that too many cops in Connecticut simply don’t know the law. Lawlor’s solution isn’t to educate them, but to come up with creative (and baseless) applications of other laws that allow cops to continue to violate the rights of Connecticut citizens who exercise their right to carry.

Gideon’s analogy to the camera issue is spot-on. Because exercising this particular right tends to upset police officers, and because police officers aren’t aware of the law, the state officials in charge of law enforcement have chosen to simply not give a damn about protecting this particular right. If a citizen exercising his rights combined with a cops’ ignorance of the law results in a “breach of the peace,” Lawlor’s conclusion is that the proper thing to do is charge you for breaching the peace. It’s an abhorrent and lazy mindset that forgets everything about who serves who in a free society. In a just world, Lawlor would be resigning over it..."

"Child, put this knife inside your stuffed animal. Your enemies will always be at a disadvantage." - Gail Simone's 'Secret Six' run was phenomenal.

She did some stunning writing, turning some B-List and C-List characters into impressively developed, highly damaged, wildly amusing people.

This is awesome + the healing power of punching people in the face.

"Falsely accused prisoner Dewey Bozella earns the 2011 Arthur Ashe Award for his courage to never give up fighting." 20 years for a crime he didn't commit, he credits boxing for helping him through it. I credit his positive attitude, which is just amazing.

"If you could give President Obama the "Clockwork Orange treatment," what movie would you make him watch?"

Matt Welch on Politics, "The People Formerly Known as the Audience," Losing the Keys to the Prague Castle, and...Deney Terrio? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine:
"In A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell is strapped in with his eyes propped open and forced to watch images until he is "cured." If you could give President Obama the "Clockwork Orange treatment," what movie would you make him watch?

WELCH: The Candidate. Not only because it's about a youthful, attractive liberal activist lawyer who, after bursting on the scene as lefty teller of then-unpopular truths, retreats into a political blank slate upon which voters cast their hopes and dreams, getting corrupted by the process of finding ever-more platitudinous middle-of-the-roadisms as he gets closer to landing the mother of all upset victories .... but because the whole worldview and tenor of the movie is one that the Left has largely let go—that of paranoid and cynical anti-authoritarianism. That era produced not only some of the best culture of the modern era, but some of its best policies..."

"First Circuit Panel Says There’s a Clear Constitutional Right To Openly Record Cops."

First Circuit Panel Says There’s a Clear Constitutional Right To Openly Record Cops. | The Agitator:
"The opinion not only states that there’s a First Amendment right to record cops, but that said right is firmly established, and that the cops should have known that it’s firmly established."

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