Badbartopia
Badbartopia.net  My Favorites Contact me
               RSS  Feed
Badbartopia Internet
 
 My Rants
 
 My story
 
 My Resume
 
 My Doodles
 
 
Responses to this rant
Is anybody there? Hello?
Older rants
October 20, 2017   Meg & Dia, Imagine Dragons in concert, 2 Years 8 months and 28 Nights
October 17, 2017   All Apologies
October 16, 2017   Thrawn
Septempber 7, 2017   The Rage of Dragons, The Lincoln Myth
August 10, 2017   The Molly Ringwalds, Dia Frampton Musical awesomeness, Beauty and the Feast
July 28, 2017   The IT Sweatshop revisited, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, American Gods and The Magicians, Rogue One, Camino Island
July 24, 2017   CRV glovebox difficulties, San Diego Comic Con rant
July 11, 2017   Beauty and the Beast at the Lyceum, Earthweeds, Sons of Neptune Book 1, Aftermath, Empire's End, If Chin's Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor
June 30, 2017   Eastwood: No Direction Home book 2
June 23, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 4/4) - The PCH family vacation tale concludes, my new record, record player, and Emeli's site is live!
Jun 14, 2017   A noteworthy eBook mention before I return to my vacation ranting - No Direction Home
June 9, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 3/4) - The PCH family vacation tale concludes...almost. More pictures of spooky old houses, trees, rocks, and other things that nobody cares about! Plus, Goonies stuff
June 2, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 2/4) - The PCH family vacation tale continues... And more pictures of trees and other things that nobody cares about!
May 31, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 1/4) - Way more detail than anyone wants about our vacation up the coast of California and Oregon. And lots of pictures of trees!
Apr 26, 2017   Resurrection America, Pizza Studio art, AmandaLynn, Emeli art, and Disney art, and Gifted
Apr 14, 2017   My San Fransisco OSI PI adventure & "Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be"
Apr 12, 2017   Neil Gaiman speaks, Norse Mythology, American Gods comic adaptation, The Magicians TV series, and Dirk Gently on TV
Feb 2, 2017   A trip to the ever-less-magical land of Disney, The Prince of Outcasts, the Whistler, and a brief mention of The Magicians.
Jan 21, 2017   An update to my nerd wall at work, Found out about Richard Thompson (Cul De Sac) being gone, A list of all the stuff (or most, anyway) I've given up to new homes, A review of Dave! and Warp, and a couple of new doodles.
Dec 23, 2016   My final visit to Potterland and a couple of doodles
Dec 11, 2016   Books and related comics, and free/cheap stuff. Not taco Bell Material, President Me, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, The Hedge Knight (comic), The Sworn Sword (comic) Ooma, Ringplus, Amazon prime and other money-saving stuff.
Dec 4, 2016   I'm sharing my sad doodles with the world again. They're not very good, but I'll bet they're better than your scribbles!
Nov 12, 2016   Yet another trip to The Wonderful World of Harry Potter!
Nov 7, 2016   Blathering on about a few of the books I've read recently - Spire, The Check, and Dangercide, Pirate Detective
Oct 7, 2016   Yet another Visit to Harry Potterland. Oh, and my lease-mileage calculator.
July 25, 2016   Another Visit to Harry Potterland, a new car, a new shirt, a new dog, and a whole lot of the same old complaining
May 17, 2016   Email spoofers, Phishing emails, and scammers galore!
Apr 30, 2016   Winter's Edge and a Management zombie attack
Apr 23, 2016   Harry Potter land re-visited
Apr 9, 2016   Xenia...again
Apr 2, 2016   Sing Street, Batman vs Superman, Craigslist griping
Mar 1, 2016   The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood preview, fun at work, Xenia's new song, A Vanishing Glow, Our Fair Eden, Race Wars, The Force Awakens
Jan 27, 2016   Text Wars, Books I've read... Yup, that's pretty much it
Jul 30, 2015   Xenia Martinez news Still selling stuff on eBay, Hyperbole and a Half (the book), The Path Between the Seas, Trigger Warning, In Fifty years We'll all Be Chicks
Mar 17, 2015   Selling my treasures on eBay, Hyperbole and a Half, the Long Mars, Gray Mountain, Anathem, The Golden Princess, The Given Sacrifice
Mar 12, 2015   You'll be sorely missed, Sir Terry
Jan 21, 2015   More BBC 4 radio dramatizations by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett: The Amazing Maurice, Guards! Guards!, Neverwhere, Night Watch, Small Gods, Wyrd Sisters
Jan 10, 2015   JabberWocky, Neil Gaiman style!
Dec 24, 2014   The Good Omens BBC treatment
Aug 03, 2014   Every hobby has to end eventually, right?
Oct 8, 2013   Warning: Extreme Geekness ahead!
Oct 1, 2013   The Bloody Crown of iGoogle
Aug 26, 2013   Headphones at work
Aug 22, 2013   The guvmint is gonna getcha
June 25, 2013   Dweebs vs Big Bang vs IT Crowd
Jul 3, 2012   Xenia Martinez & Dia Frampton concert
Feb 24, 2012   Reading...just not much
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Being an idiot with Lev Grossman
Jan 7, 2012   If it ain't broke...
Aug 22, 2011   non-ComicCon report 2011
A Thousand Splendid Suns
An Act of Self Defense
May 5, 2011   On Stranger Tides
vs.
On Stranger Tides
March 2, 2011   I'm a gigantic slacker...
Ikariam
Wild Guns
Lord of Ultima
Metin 2
Lord of the Rings Online
Dec 15, 2010   Bring out your dead!
Aug 17, 2010   San DiegoComicCon 2010
August 11, 2010   I'm not dead yet...
May 3, 2010   Hero Comics
Liberty Comics
Dr Horrible
Neil Gaiman & Sam Keith in Batman
The Guild, Felicia Day
April 27, 2010   Mean Gene Wilder! Grrr!!!
April 24, 2010   If it's not one Jihad, it's another...
April 20, 2010   The Satanic Verses
March 15, 2010   Unseen Academicals
Feblueberry 8, 2010   The un-reading shelf (from most of 2009)
Feblueberry 2, 2010   Emily the Strange, the Lost Days...a novel
Nov 25, 2009   Happy Halloween, Mom!
Nov 18, 2009   Summer Vacation in Idaho
Aug 20, 2009   San Diego ComicCon 2009
Aug 12, 2009   I'm a big, fat slacker
June 05, 2009   The networks are helping me cut back on my TV viewing
June 04, 2009   Mandy Moore's Amanda Leigh,
Chris Isaak's Mr Lucky
and
My name is Bruce?
and Emmy Rossum? Where am I going with this?
May 21, 2009   Randy would have really liked Fanboys...sigh
May 3, 2009   The Spring reading shelf
Apr 21, 2009   Holidays On Ice (a little late for Christmas)
Apr 18, 2009   Leviticus Cross and other Hector Sevilla comic book stuff
Apr 16, 2009   The fantastically amazing and banal Badbartopia RSS Feed
Mar 31, 2009   Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl
Mar 30, 2009   My Amazon mis-order turns out to be not so annoying as previously expected...
(AKA the Dr Horrible soundtrack)
Mar 23, 2009   Stephan Pastis & Richard Thompson have me looking forward to the 2009 SD ComicCon
Mar 19, 2009   Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog,
The Guild
Mar 08, 2009   The Wonderful Wizard of Oz comic adaptation,
Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Dream Hunters
Mar 04, 2009   Little Brother
Mar 1, 2009   Pete & Pickles
Feb 11, 2009   She & Him
Flakes
Pushing Daisies
Jan 26, 2009   The Scourge of God,
When You are Engulfed in Flames
Jan 14, 2009   On the Road = hippy nonsense
Jan 12, 2009   One-by-one, my fish have met their maker
Dec 26, 2008   My Azeroth-avoidance continues
Dec 23, 2008   Nothing to see...move along
Dec 15, 2008   New scribbles
Dec 10, 2008   The Oct-Nov-Dec reading shelf
Dec 1, 2008   Shalimar the Clown
the economic impact of the events in Mumbai
Nov 21, 2008   Star Wars: Allegiance
Nov 20, 2008   Daredevil Black Widow: Abattoir
Nov 17, 2008   Travel Team
Nov 16, 2008   A new comic adaptation of The Wizard of Oz
Nov 14, 2008   Berke's Books:
The Last Basselope
Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big
Mars Needs Moms
Opus: 25 years
Nov 13, 2008   Return to Azeroth?
Nov 12, 2008   Goodbye, Opus
Oct 29, 2008   Halloween costumes of 2008
Project Superpowers
Marvels
Ruins
Oct 23, 2008   The Graveyard Book
Interworld
Oct 16, 2008   Nation
Oct 10, 2008   The Joy of Programming
My foray into Ajax
Oct 9, 2008   My Saturn Scare
Opus ends
Terry Pratchett's condition
Oct 3, 2008   The Hitchhiker's Guide, Book 6...by Eoin Colfer?
Oct 2, 2008   Media master - music online
Sony builds a "better" camera
Sept 24, 2008   The September reading shelf
Sept 17, 2008   Still missing Randall
The Fish tank...again
The Graveyard Book
Sept 15, 2008   Slacking...as usual
The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang
Sept 9, 2008   The dearth of Opus strips
yes, I meant to say "dearth"
Sept 8, 2008   A new monitor goes bad...but it all ends happily
Sept 3, 2008   A Boy and His Dog,
Richard Corben,
H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror
Sept 2, 2008   A slightly newish look
(aka "why I will never be a graphic designer")
Aug 11, 2008   Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in all its incarnations Mike Kunkel's re-imagining of Shazam
July 29, 2008   San Diego Comiccon 2008
July 24, 2008   Neil Gaiman
July 17, 2008   Chris Isaak!
June 30, 2008   The Woman Who Wouldn't
Legends II
Mouse Guard Fall 1152
the Jetta's latest round of repairs
fishtank overpopulation
June 10, 2008   The Reading Shelf
Fish tank jungle
Attack of the bees
June 3, 2008   Missing Randall
May 9, 2008   My French Whore
Apr 28, 2008   Fish tank fatality
Flight of the Conchords
The Dangerous Alphabet
Mar 5, 2008   Gene Wilder book signing at Borders
new fish tank
subpoenaed!
Jan 11, 2008   The Jetta Strikes back!
The Plucker
The Anubis Gates
National Treasure II
Nov 8, 2007   San Diego on Fire,
A clean break from WoW,
UCSD Extension Java I graduation (kinda)
Making Money
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Oct 2, 2007   Back to school, Java class at UCSD
AT&T's Uverse
new sketches
Blockbuster movie pass
August 28, 2007   Mandy Moore concert!
Aug 19, 2007   ComicCon 2007 - Neil Gaiman, Iron Man and all the usual suspects
May 22, 2007   World of Spamcraft (and other spamalicious topics), forum fun...gus, the woes of being a contractor and PIRATES!!
Apr 5, 2007   I'm a conservative - bite me!
Timbaland? Dumb!
Marie Antoinette - snaggle teeth and teasing glimpes. Sweet!
John Q - a lesson about fatherhood or a liberal-propoganda film?
Mar 30, 2007   Things that make me grumpy-er,
employed again at last,
Finn and assorted other ramblings
Feb 8, 2007   The search for employment continues..and the unemployment benefits are NOT pouring in!
Jan, 22, 2007   Freed from the bondage of employment, a very brief review of a few books and films
Dec 17, 2006   Sad excuses, The Innocent Man, 1776, THe Man in High Castle, Absolute Sandman, Wintersmith, garage sale treasures: Ghost in the Machine
Aug 20, 2006   Writers of the Future XXII/Tim Powers, more movie reivews
July 20, 2006   San Diego ComicCon 2006
July 15, 2006   Superman Returns, inconsiderate morons, Peewee's Playhouse returns, my plea for more pirate movies
July 8, 2006   Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Wild Animal Park critters, site remodeling
Jun 27, 2006   The good, the bad and the mediocre (a bunch of movie reviews in the new forum).
June 15, 2006   Because of Romek - A Holocaust Survivor's Memoir
May 21, 2006   The DaVinci Code, Aeon Flux, Everything You Want
May 12, 2006   World of Warcrack, the Office, Coraline, my apologies...
Jan 24, 2006   Christmas Vacation 2006, Syriana, Traveling Pants, Wish You Were Here
Dec 19, 2005   Festive Neighbors, the death of Olivia, Media Misinformation surrounding Brent Wilkes/ADCS, Make Love the bruce campbell way
Nov 15, 2005   Microsoft Technet 2005 launch party, Lexmark printer problem, a bad, bad day, changing dentists.
Oct 22, 2005   Thud!, Anansi Boys, Where's my cow
Oct 18, 2005   Terry Pratchet Thud! signing, Neil Gaiman Anansi Boys signing
Oct 15, 2005   A very, very late Comiccon 2005 report.
Jun 23, 2005   The black hole of Warcraft, The Years of Rice and Salt, After the Sunset, Madagascar, Mr and Mrs Smith, Taxi.
Jun 3, 2005   All is quiet on the PM Front, War of the Worlds (the novel), Kingdom of Heaven, Sahara, Star Wars Episode III, Flight of the Phoenix
May 9, 2005   The program managers strike again, More of my horrendous sketches, Spanglish, A Lot Like Love, Elektra, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the film)
Apr 9, 2005   Stuck in Corporate Hell, a few of my recent sketches, Miss Congeniality 2, Collateral
Mar 21, 2005   Revenge of the Jetta (car problems), a Newegg purchase, a few new drawings, more Opus
Feb 13, 2005   The Mail mystery solved, more of my crappy sketches, A few new photos of the girls, bill-bert (introducing the new Project Manager), sweet phone skills, Opus, Dungeons and Dragons, In Good Company
Jan 27, 2005   Mystery mail, new photos of my beautiful kids, some new sketches, an Episode 3 spoiler, Opus, Going Postal, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Ubik, Remember the Titans, Lemony Snicket`s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dodgeball
Jan 7, 2005   Christmas 2004, Update to the site, Elf & King Arthur revisited, National Treasure, Opus, Blade Runner
Dec 18, 2004   A new Stephanie sketch, another Target web page goof, the SD Union Tribune confirms Greg Bear`s research for Vitals, Miramar VW proves my dealer service assertions wrong, neighborhood Christmas fun, Opus
Nov 24, 2004   More of my mediocre drawings, nw russian mail-order coins, Star Wars toys, a big green spider comes to visit, Opus, Dies the Fire, Digital fortress, The Incredibles, Twisted, Van Helsing
Nov 03, 2004   Some thoughts regarding the 2004 election, rants about the environment, a memory rebate update, new computer issues, Opus, The Lone Drow, Deception Point, Roswell season 2 on DVD
Oct 12, 2004   An interesting quiz, mal-in rebates, a parrot joke, my new computer, thoughts on frame removal, web logs, Opus, Vitals, Star Wars trilogy on DVD, Ladykillers
Sep 23, 2004   My "Heath" sketch for Mark Oakley, an update on my a PNY rebate check, the fictitious AWNA Act, Browser Issues with the site, Opus/Pickles, The DaVinci Code, Garden State (Natalie Portman), Man on Fire
Sep 11, 2004   A new drawing: "Stephanie", redneck wisdom, my salary to hourly reclassification, funny video: news from iraq, an update on my mail-in pny rebate, a new rebate through Costco, Ella Enchanted, Highlander Endgame, Princess of Thieves, The Whole Ten Yards
Aug 27, 2004   Fun with my VW Warranty, Opus, Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix, The Land of SokMunster, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Wedding, Napoleon Dynamite, Hidalgo, Chasing Liberty, Out of Time
Jul 23, 2004   San Diego ComicCon 2004, the family summer vacation, Bruce Campbell, Opus, Nanny Ogg`s Cookbook, Angels & Demons, Folk of the fringe, Bourne Supremacy, i robot, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Cody Banks 2, Hellboy
Jul 19, 2004   *** PNY Rebate fun, IE Patch, Linux and socialism, liberal scum, Opus, BIM, timeline, master and commander, tad hamilton, stuck on you,cold mountain, 50 first dates, the terminal, spiderman 2, king arthur, a hat full of sky, the thousand orcs, meditations on middle earth
Jun 20, 2004   Memorial day pictures, Duplex, Mark Oakley/Heroes, Wild Animal Park Dinosaurs, B-52s concertman, Say After Tomorrow, Big Fish, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Eragon, A Hat Full of Sky, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
May 08, 2004   Pat Tillman, LOTR Toys, 13 Going on 30, Mean Girls, Tolkien Miscellany, Last Juror, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Pork Tornado
Apr 06, 2004   Roswell season 1 DVD and a some other mindless drivel
Feb 19, 2004   Highlander site contest results, new downloads, princess gallery updates, lord of the rings toys, harry potter, underworld. lost in translation, the hunted, a tolkien miscellany...
Feb 09, 2004   Murder at 1600, Radio, Cheaper by the Dozen, King Arthur, Spiderman 2, Van Helsing, Harry Potter, Tolkien Miscellany, Mark Oakley, massive snow in Idaho...
Jan 28, 2004   Swat, Uptown Girls, Somethings Gotta Give, Along Came Polly, Seabiscuit, Ashley Judd Marathon, Van Helsing, Harry Potter, Science Fiction Bok Club, Nanny Ogg`s Cookbook, RA Salvatore, Mythology (Alex Ross), Fastner & Larson, Best page in the universe, etc, etc...
Jan 07, 2004   Clint`s rules, X-Men 2, Holes, Pirates, Two Towers, Freaky Friday (Haley Hudson), new drawings, Thieves` World, Playskool Star Wars, new Interest section
Jan 02, 2004   nothing all that interesting...
Dec 21, 2003   Nemo, Highlander page, Christmas vacation 2003, star wars kid
Dec 12, 2003   E.T. (Erika Eleniak), new drawings, Opus, Santa Claus 2 (Elizabeth Mitchell), Legolas toy/pics, How to Deal (Mandy Moore), Myth update, Last Samurai
Nov 27, 2003   Another Fine Myth, Elf
Nov 22, 2003   Dude, Where`s Bill & Ted
Nov 18, 2003   Not much to say
Nov 15, 2003   Disneyland, Astronaut`s Wife, Dumer and Dumber-er, Monstrous Regiment
Nov 10, 2003   Terry Pratchett, Matrix Revolutions
110103   School of Rock, Terry Pratchett signing, Darth Vader MBNA bust, San Diego fires
Aug 17, 2003   Johnny English, San Diego Comic-Con
Jun 17, 2003   Assorted ramblings
May 28, 2003   Not much to say
May 24, 2003   Almost nothing of note
May 17, 2003   Matrix Reloaded, Pirates
Mar 23, 2003   The Police, Pirates, Lord of the Rings grievances part II
Mar 16, 2003   Lord of the Rings grievances part 1
Super auld stuff   A big list of old submissions with boat loads of broken links

Slum Fransisco or Adventures with OSI Pi

I attended a User's Conference in San Francisco for a week in March (OSISoft, the makers of that glorious semi-functional piece of...software, Pi). It was held in the Union Square and Parc55 Hilton hotels. In years past, it has been held in equally nice or nicer hotels around downtown San Francisco and I haven't generally had time (or made time) to look around the local environs, but I did take a little time this year. And man, San Fransisco is a dump. I'm not referring to the Hilton hotels - they were awesome. There are also a lot of very nice shops, some very impressive older architecture, and was a super-nice mall right across the street from the hotel...but to get to any of it you had to wade through a tide of human detritus begging you for change, asking for drugs, and sleeping in doorways. And for every nice building in San Francisco, there were two decrepit, barely standing buildings. Yeah, I know all cities are contending with armies of hobos clogging the arteries of downtown, but this seemed egregious. But then again, I don't often (or ever) wander around downtown anywhere, so maybe it's this bad everywhere.

The keynote speaker for the OSI conference was Billy Beane, the GM of the Oakland Athletics and a San Diego native from just down the road. I'd really hoped to be able to share his keynote here, but I can't find a recording of it anywhere. It was both educational and entertaining. Good, solid edutainment. He talked about the events behind Moneyball, the book/movie based on his statistical approach to making the small-market Oakland A's baseball franchise into contenders with the much deeper pockets of the other MLB teams. I had never read the book and hadn't seen the 2011 movie, but I made an effort to find the DVD when I returned home and just watched it this week (it was easy to find on the discount rack at Target). It was a really good movie. And Chris Pratt was in it, which was a total surprise. That guy is everywhere now.

But returning to the keynote, Billy's best story from the keynote was probably the one about how he came to understand just how hard it must be for a celebrity (Brad Pitt was the specific celebrity he was talking about) not to become a complete nightmare when fame strikes because of the way people act around them. His evidence: his babysitter who had never been seen in anything but Birkenstocks and a t-shirt who showed up for work in a prom dress when she heard that Brad Pitt was going to be coming by for a barbecue that day. And his wife who never got up before the crack of noon who was up fixing her hair at five AM. Both denied that there was anything out of the ordinary when confronted. It was actually a lot more funny than the paraphrased version I've presented here.

Here are a few San Francisco-ish photos from my trip. Some are from the conference events, others are from my wanderings around the city. Enjoy.


Video of the lego thing in action


There was one exceptionally memorable thing about this conference: I got my first Raspberry Pi. I participated in a lab for the OSIPI WebAPI product that utilized Raspberry Pi devices for each lab participant (each Raspberry Pi was connected to a CanaKit breadboard with a temperature gauge wired in) to show how the readings from these wireless devices could be aggregated in Pi and then each could be displayed on a web page using a Python script and a bunch of JavaScript. When the lab was complete, we each got to keep our CanaKit and Raspberry Pi. So I now have another fun toy at home that I have absolutely no time to play with. Still, it's pretty sweet. I've been thinking about different projects I could attempt with the device (maybe a WDTV Live replacement or a magic mirror if I replace one of my digital monitors).

Speaking of funny stuff, I've been reading a lot of comedic autobiographies lately - all of Adam Carolla's books (In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks, Not Taco Bell Material, President Me, and Daddy Stop Talking is currently being read), Ally Brosh's awesomely illustrated Hyperbole and a Half, and Bruce Campbell's Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way (that one was read a few years ago, but If Chins Could Kill is currently on my to-be-read shelf now and the new Bruce Campbell book is on my Amazon wishlist). To this list I now add Joel McHale's Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be. I love a book that makes me laugh out loud while I'm reading it. And all the above fit that bill. Joel McHale's book has quite a few laugh-out-loud moments (several of which I will be sharing out of context below, which may make them slightly less LOL-able).

Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be.

Thanks for the Money is full of facts about Joel McHale's road to the top of the C-list acting heap. And is also full of a lot of stuff that's not quite as factual (or at least not as straightforwardly factual), but will make you laugh. And there are also a few things in the book that aren't quite as funny, but they might make you chuckle...at the very least, they'll make you roll you eyes. And there are photos and silly charts galore.

Here is a funny chart from the book: "How to Insult People" and an amusingly captioned photo of Joel and his family meeting the former president and his wife.

Here's an excerpt about one of Joel's experiences working with Chevy Chase on Community. It begins with a weird conversation Joel was having with Chevy.

In one Community episode, Chevy's character is teaching my character how to box. Chevy is wearing training mitts, and in the scene, I'm sparring and lightly tapping them. They call "cut" after the first take, and Chevy immediately starts chiding me:

"You're not hitting me hard enough! You gotta hit me!"

I replied, as calmly as I could, "That's right, Chevy. I'm not hitting you very hard. Because I'm pretending to punch your hands, just like I'm also pretending to be a lawyer. And we're not actually attending a community college - this in a fake building that someone built inside of a soundstage on the Paramount lot. Look! This room has no ceiling! Because it's all pretend." Then Chevy called me a pussy, and again demanded, "You gotta hit me!" I replied, "Fine - I'll give you a left jab into your mitt." On the next take, I did just that, and dislocated Chevy's shoulder. Once again, everyone yelled at me: "Joel, what are you DOING?!"

But it wasn't just mild physical harassment. Chevy would often blurt out crazy things. One time, I referred to a close friend of mine as "the funniest guy in the world." Chevy immediately responded, "I'M the funniest guy in the world. Time Magazine said so."

To which I replied, "Yes, Chevy. But that article was published in 1975. Now it's 2011, we've been here for hours listening to you complain about your dialogue, and I just want to get home and see my kids."

Oh. here's another fun one. In an effort, I think, to jokingly flatter an actress on the show. Chevy actually said, "I want to kill you and then rape you." Which, in his defense, is the most thoughtful order in which to do those things - but still. She replied, "Well, at least I'll be dead." I get it - Chevy was trying to make a purposefully tacky, over-the-top joke. But something was just off. Everything he said had a weird edge of menace.

Chevy wouldn't dance on camera because he didn't want to "look gay." This may help explain the few musical scenes in Three Amigos...

Wow. Clark W Griswold, how little we really knew you.

Here's another one about Joel's struggles in school.

It's not that I find reading to be boring, or dull, or whatever a third synonym for "boring" might be2. I actually suffer from a form of learning disability. In second grade, professionals evaluated me, and they told me I was a "slow starter" - which is a really positive, encouraging thing to tell a kid who has trouble reading. I would find out, many years later, that I am actually dyslexic.

I first noticed a difficulty with reading comprehension in grade school. While the other kids were gathered around the jungle gym, sipping their juice boxes and comparing notes on the inherent Freudian symbolism of Hop on Pop, I myself just stared, dumb-founded by how dumb I found myself.

When I looked at words on a page, they just did not make sense. Like right now, as I gaze at this page - as it has been either shoved into my hands by my sweaty ghostwriters or put in front of me in a voice-over booth - I see a series of jumbled letters. Imagine trying to read Shakespeare while drunk, or road signs while drunk - that's the best way that I, and the Scotch I'm currently drinking, can describe this experience.

My mom took notice of my learning problem when I started getting horrible grades in English classes. My father didn't because he is also dyslexic. "Great job on your chemistry homework," he'd say. handing back the Thai takeout menu I had just given him. And then we'd both laugh, because neither of us knew what was on the paper I'd handed him.

But my mom - who was a professional newspaper editor for the Mercer Island Reporter3 - was initially tickled by my sloppy sentence structure. Then she grew concerned, then terrified, and finally looped all the may back to stunned amusement. As someone who fixed others' grammar for a living, she found my struggle with...

2 I even gave up halfway through reading the thesaurus entry on "boring."
3 Sample headline: "More White People Converge upon This Tiny, Wealthy Community. Rain Tomorrow."

This last excerpt is less funny, but I found the footnotes to be exceptionally funny. Thanks for the Money utilizes footnotes for comedic effect throughout (something Terry Pratchett was very well-known for doing...until he pretty much stopped in his later books).

V. THE UNWASHED MASSES

If you have made it through the other categories of people and thought - as many celebrities often do - that all of them can suck it, then you could certainly give up. You could go to the head of the Celebrity Police, toss your piece and shield on the desk, and growl, "I'm done, Commissioner Gordon-Levitt. I'm taking my justice...to the streets."

But then you'd be forgetting about the most important, and also the most anonymous and relatively powerless group of all - the audience. "Hey, wait a minute! That's me! You're talking about me!" you might be shouting into your book. First of all, settle down. And secondly, yes, I realize it might be insulting to lump you all together into one big, undulating mass of yowling, farting humanity. Many of you are not indiscriminately loud and gassy blobs. In fact, I believe most of you to be intelligent, self-assured, and sexy consumers. I think of you - the people who have watched my TV shows, bought sidewalk pirated DVDs of my movies, and attended my stand-up comedy performances - as the customer. And the customer is always right."19

So even if, in your celebrity life, you fantasize about throwing it all away so you can open that combination yoga studio/plus-size consignment shop, you must keep the audience ever in your mind. You are a painter of light, a weaver of dreams...and what would the fans do without you? Probably fantasize about having sex with some other celebrity - and you can't allow that. After a while, they will run out of famous fantasy sex objects20 and then might decide to put some work into their own lives, interests, and literal sex objects. And that is money being taken directly out of your pocket. Don't give up - you owe it to the frustrated, easily distracted21 masses!22

The previous pages were a detailed, needlessly Roman numeralized means of saying that, basically, people are gonna want stuff...


19 Unless they give this book a negative Amazon review for being "too smug."
20 Especially if they get all the way down to the various Kevins (Connolly, James, et al.).
21 Look - a bunny!

22 Again, not you guys. You're cool.



Okay, that's enough for this post. There's no shortage of content for further rambling, but I don't want to waste too much of Dan's (and possibly Steve's) precious time. There will undoubtedly be more incoherent ranting in the near future!

Maybe.





Got something to say? Say it. (0 responses).

This page has been viewed

times since I started tracking hits.
(This is a rudimentary non-unique IP hit counter, so don't be too impressed)
 


© Brett Wilkes. All Rights Reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy