Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Take Me to Your Yeast Mine

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

March Madness is about to begin. It doesn’t seem like the University of Utah is going to be in the tournament this year (and I refuse to root for BYU & they play tonight in Slick City). So maybe I’ll just have to root for the U in the MWC tournament because that’s really their only shot. Let’s see, what else? Oh, I had a fantastic time helping my mom set up her Facebook account over the phone last night. See, she’s not the most technologically advanced person in the world (did I mention her day job is working with intercontinental ballistic missiles?) but we got the basics down for her…eventually. For example, it took us about ten minutes…for her to remember her email address and password…that she put in a few minutes earlier. “How do I find you?” “I have a better idea. I’m going to find you. (Search her name) Ugh…which one are you? Did you put your hometown in or anything?” “My what?” “What information did you put in? There’s a lot of people with your name.” “Oh, I don’t know.” “(Sigh) Okay, gimme a minute. I’ll have to check each one to see if you’re here.” After checking the 6th one, “Okay I think I found you here. I’ve sent you a friend request.” “A what?” “A message is going to pop up that says you have a Friend Request from Dr. $teve Love. When that happens, you click on it…and hit Accept if you want to be my friend.” “And if not?” “Then you can just go f**k yourself (love ya mama)” Eventually, she was able to figure out how to accept it…and then there was “Okay, no how do I find Mrs Wingman?” “You know what, I’m just going to send you something here that’ll suggest you friend everybody that I know…that you know. Just gimme a minute.” It was at this time…that I realized how few of my friends know my mom…and even fewer she would remember. Luckily there were a few relatives so she’d have at least a dozen friends. Then she asked me, “Do I want to be a friend with (Crack Whore)?” “Why would you want to do that?” “Because I can.” “Do you think she would accept you as a friend?” “Probably not.” “I wouldn’t…but that’s primarily because I’m scared she’d give my computer some kind of a virus.” Anyway, the joys of Facebook. So if you get a friend request from some lady who you’ve never heard of…but has me as a friend in common, just accept it. You’ll make her day.

Last night, I watched a movie that probably none of you have seen. Why? Well, because I think it came out on DVD yesterday…and I’m pretty sure that it didn’t make it to too many theatres. It’s called “Gentlemen Broncos” and is from the director of “Napoleon Dynamite” & “Nacho Libre” which…I didn’t particularly care for either. I mean…aside from the occasional half-chuckle that if I were to translate into English would have said, “I admire you trying to be funny in the most boring way possible” then I spent my time trying to fight off sleep and wondering why the movie was ever made. I understand the whole distinctive form of filmmaking that Jared Hess does where the backdrop is fairly basic, rural locals like Idaho…and the plots are kind of hum-drum everyday occurrences for the most part…and the actors are purposely awkward in appearance and mannerisms to get a certain appeal…but it’s just not my bag. Anyway, I thought I’d give this one a chance regardless. It’s the story of a young home-schooled man who spends his time reading & writing sci-fi novellas. His mom (Jennifer Coolidge a.k.a. Stifler’s Mom) makes the worst dresses on planet Earth. Anyway, one day he goes to a seminar where he meets his favorite writer, Dr. Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement of “Flight of the Conchords”) and he enters a contest where he might win a thousand copy publishing deal (oooh). Dr. Chevalier is falling on hard times or a creative slump or something…and then he stumbles upon this kid’s story called “Yeast Lords: The Bronco Years” and decides to plagiarize it. Long story short, the kid finds out…and then the movie goes on. It has its moments…but honestly, my favorite part is the cheesy fantasy sequences while they read the story & the plagiarized version where Sam Rockwell (“Choke”, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”) plays Bronco / Brutus in just some of the most ridiculous ways. “Take me to your yeast mine. I am your soldier.” Hot, right? I’m totally going to use that line someday. Anyway, if you liked Napoleon Dynamite, then check it out. If not, pass. Here’s some more news…and again, like yesterday, they concern the Future…

Spider-Man Fired – Everybody’s affected by the economic situation. Even imaginary superheroes. Time to update that resume, Spider-Man. You're fired! Don't fret though, the web-slinger will still be keeping New York City safe from Venom and Carnage and any number of other dastardly villains he's tangled with over the years. But beginning Wednesday, he's going to have to do it between trips to the unemployment line (unless Jim Bunning f**ks that up). That's the day Peter Parker, Spider-Man's nice guy alter-ego, hears the words, "You're fired" from his cranky, long-suffering boss, Mayor J. Jonah Jameson. (Seriously? He’s Mayor of New York now? Oh yeah, this is the universe where Colbert is President) Worse still, Jameson not only sacks Parker, who makes his living as a photojournalist, he blacklists him with every news organization in town (dick!!!). This of course raises all kinds of interesting questions:

• How will Parker maintain his Spider-Man costumes? Dry-cleaning bills alone must run to several hundred dollars a year.
• How will he keep buying the stuff he uses to spin those industrial-strength webs needed to hop from building to building? Surely he doesn't pick that up at the 99 Cents Store.
• Where is his next meal coming from? Would he be reduced to spinning webs outside supermarkets and trapping shopping carts in them?

Worst of all, it just gives him something else to b**ch and cry about. “Waaah, I can’t tell Mary Jane that I love her. Too much responsibility. I don’t wanna be Spider-Man. I’m tired of Top Ramen. Why did I think that freelance photographer for a newspaper was a good career choice in New York City? Everybody’s a photographer & nobody reads the newspaper.” Could this be when Spiderman loses it and mugs Wall Street fat cats? Only time will tell. "Because we still want to sell comic books, I can't answer those questions," laughs Joe Quesada, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, which reveals the web spinner's latest crisis in Issue No. 623. But while hard times may lie ahead, Spider-Man has gotten through hard times before. Just two years ago his marriage to beautiful Mary Jane came to an end when the villain Mephisto erased everyone's memory of it (I’m sure with booze & ruffies like in the Hangover). He landed on the unemployment line this time not because of the recession or even a downsizing news industry. You probably guessed it already, but it was because of an evil villain. Spider-Man got wind of a plot to frame Jameson and exposed it by digitally manipulating photos he'd taken as Peter Parker (GASP!!!). Of course to do that he had to violate journalism ethics (What are those?) by misrepresenting the images. Jameson, longtime publisher of the Daily Bugle, could never tolerate that. And just why would Peter Parker / Spider-Man do such a thing anyway? "Just because he has super powers doesn't mean he's perfect," says Quesada. Sigh… silly, stupid superheroes. Oh well, I’m sure he’ll land on his feet. What’s the moral of the story? Have a backup plan? If your “day job” is to be a non-essential part of a failing industry, then you might want to also dabble in saving the day. The only problem is…make sure that whatever the second job is pays. Justice & saving mankind don’t put food on the table.

Worst Wedding Ever? – Yesterday was talking about a wedding where the bride went into labor. Today involves jealousy, possible adultery, assault, battery & probably future prison rape. A newlywed Massachusetts couple spent their wedding night in separate jail cells after police said the bride tried to run over an old flame of the groom. Police say 22-year-old Hyannis resident Marissa Ann Putignano-Keene tried Monday to run over the other woman and the woman's son in a parking lot. The intended victim later told police that she had previously been in an intimate relationship with the groom. Police say the couple got married at Barnstable Town Hall and split a bottle of Champagne afterward (gasp, alcohol was involved?). The bride was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Her husband, 37-year-old Timothy Keene, was riding in the car with her and was charged with disorderly conduct. Both were released Tuesday. It was unclear if either had hired an attorney…but I would think highly recommended. As bad as this story sounds, I feel a little ray of hope. Why? The groom is 37…and the bride is 22. There may still be hope for me yet…and who cares if she’s a little psychotic, most women are after a half bottle of champagne and I’m not giving her the keys anyway. Oh to be a fly on the wall during that reception. A line of people congratulating and hugging the newlyweds, then up walks a mysterious woman to the bride, “Hey Tim, great to see you again. Congratulations.” “Thanks Amy, great to see you again too. This is my wife Marissa.” “Pleasure to meet you, Amy. Where do you know Tim from?” “Oh, well ugh…we were ugh…a-hem, friends from a few years back. We ugh… got reunited on Facebook about a year ago & he invited my son & I to the wedding.” A cold stare goes across the bride’s face. “Friends huh? Son eh?” She looks at the son…and sees a resemblance to her new husband’s elementary pictures. The night continues, drinks are had, the chicken dance is performed, yet the bride seems distant. “What’s wrong sweetie?” “You f**ked her, didn’t you?” “What? Who?” “Amy. You f**ked her.” “Well, yeah…but it was…gosh, ten years ago.” “I KNEW IT!!!” “Honey, you’re overreacting…and frankly, you’re scaring me.” “Oh, I’m scaring you? I’m scaring YOU? You cheated one me.” “What? No, never. I love you. Jesus, that was years ago. I was single & you were in the 6th grade.” Reason & logic has no place in the realm of the drunken bride. She grabs her keys and heads for the car. “Honey, come back. This is stupid.” He follows her out the door and into the car. “Look, we talked about this. We had both been with others before we met each other.” “I can’t even look at you right now.” Just then, Amy & her son are walking out to her car as its past his bedtime, directly in front of the couple. The engine is revved. “Honey, what are you doing?” Rev. “Oh f**k!!! Honey don’t!!!” Yeah, sometimes ridiculous drama is worth it…but only if you’re a spectator.

Marriage or Just Live Together? - U.S. marriages last longer than unions where couples live together outside matrimony, the Centers for Disease Control reported on Tuesday. Hmm, funny that the CDC would be studying marriage…but perhaps it was to find a cure for The Love Bug. About 78% of marriages lasted five years or more, compared with less than 30% of what the CDC called cohabiting unions, or couples living together outside marriage. One reason cohabitations were shorter-lived than marriages is that 51% of couples who lived together made the transition to marriage within three years, CDC said in a statement. Over 40% of men and women aged 15-44 were married in 2002 when the interviews were conducted, compared with 9% who were living together. The report was based on a nationally representative sample of 12,571 men and women. Other findings:

  • The odds of staying together 10 years or longer in a first marriage are better for couples of the same racial origin, the report found. (Is it racist if it’s still true?)

  • Nearly 80% of couples who have their first child at least eight months after their first marriage are likely to celebrate their 10th anniversary; those who don't have children are more than twice as likely not to last 10 years.

  • About 75% of marriages between men and women 26 years old or older last at least 10 years, compared with only about half of teen marriages.

So what does this all mean? Well, for one, the CDC has no idea how to conduct a survey. Okay, 78% of marriages lasted five years, while only 30% of cohabiting unions did. Why? Because half of them got married. Ugh…so basically something like 65% of cohabiting unions last five years or got married? Compare that to 78% of just plain marriages and its not a huge difference. Also, is it really surprising that 80% of married couples with children lasted ten years. Let’s face it, unless you’re a dead beat bastard, you’re stuck with each other for AT LEAST 20 years whether you’re married or not. Besides, divorce is expensive, more so than a loveless marriage. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a study where divorce rates dropped suddenly over the past two years or so. Anyway, that’s not the point. It’s whether it’s better to live together before getting married…or just to take the plunge. What do you think? Personally, I feel that I would have to live with somebody for a while before getting married. Why? Consider it a test drive. I’m not perfect…and I’m going to guess that she isn’t either. Does she mind that I don’t do the dishes every single night? Is she going to freak out because I used a towel to wash my hands…but it was allegedly a hideous decorative towel? Does she snore? Do I snore? Is her constant nagging about allegedly needing new furniture going to wear us down? Is she a blanket hog? Am I a blanket hog? Am I going to miss Monday Night Football because she wants to see Dancing with the Stars? She may enjoy the benefits of me working out…but will she enjoy the smell immediately afterwards? Or will she join me in the shower? Will she get insanely jealous and run over an ex-girlfriend and her son? Granted, these little things aren’t usually deal breakers but it’s good to know exactly what you’re getting into before (what I still consider) a major commitment. So yeah, I’m a big fan of the moving in together…but then again, I’ve never even been close to either situation before. Oh sweet naïve $teve… Someday, when your life has passed you by, you’ll look around and wonder why you were always there for me. Wait, that’s Sugar Ray. Anyway, what do you think? I wanna hear some personal examples. Did you go straight to marriage? Did moving in beforehand completely ruin the romance? Did it teach you things about your partner that were deal breakers? Well, I can always look forward to the Future to find my own references…

Apocalypse Update – Or can I? The fossilized remains of a 67 million-year-old snake found coiled around a dinosaur egg offer rare insight into the ancient reptile's dining habits and evolution, scientists said Tuesday. The findings, which appeared in Tuesday's issue of the PLoS Biology journal, provide the first evidence that the 11.5-foot-long snake fed on eggs and hatchlings of saurapod dinosaurs, meaning it was one of the few predators to prey on the long-necked herbivores. They also suggest that, as early as 100 million years ago, snakes were developing mobile jaws similar to those of today's large-mouthed snakes, including vipers and boas. "This is an early, well preserved snake, and it is doing something. We are capturing its behavior," said University of Michigan paleontologist Jeff Wilson, who is credited with recognizing the snake bones amid the crushed dinosaur eggs and bones of hatchlings. "We have information about what this early snake did for living. It also helps us understand the early evolution of snakes both anatomically and ecologically." Dhananjay Mohabey of India's Geological Survey discovered the fossilized remains in 1987, but he was only able to make out the dinosaur eggshells and limb bones. Wilson examined the fossils in 2001 and was "astonished" to find a predator in the midst of the sauropod's nest. "I saw the characteristic vertebral locking mechanism of snakes alongside dinosaur eggshell and larger bones, and I knew it was an extraordinary specimen," Wilson said. Mohabey theorized that the snake — dubbed Sanajeh indicus, which means "ancient gaped one" in Sanskrit — had just arrived at the nest and was in the process of gobbling a hatchling emerging from its egg. But the entire scene was "frozen in time" when it was hit by a storm or some other disaster and buried under layers of sediment. "We think the hatchlings had just exited its egg, and the activity attracted the snake," Mohabey said, adding that the site in Western state of Gujarat has revealed about 30 sauropod nests and at least two other snake specimens. Michael Benton of the University of Bristol, also writing in the PLoS Biology, said it can be difficult to determine the behavior of ancient organisms. But he said that it was "most likely, as the authors argue, that this snake was waiting and snatching juveniles as they hatched." "Of course, we cannot be entirely sure unless further specimens come to light showing the bones of juvenile dinosaurs in the stomach region of the snake," Benton said. Ashok Sahni, a senior scientist at the Indian National Science Academy who was also not involved in the dig, described the find as "truly remarkable" because it is rare for fossil bones to be preserved at the site of fossilized eggs. In an email he said, "The scientific significance of the find is that it actually demonstrates behavior in early evolved snakes and the size of chosen prey." So $teve, why is this an Apocalypse Update? Think about it. Around 67 million years ago, the dinosaurs suddenly & mysteriously died out…about the same time that snakes started to develop detachable jawbones so as to swallow eggs (the future generations) & other objects larger than their head. Do you not see the correlation here? In modern times, snakes are overrunning our national parks & civil servant offices…but how long will it take until they swallow our future generations? When will it reach the tipping point where they will outnumber us? If the dinosaurs didn’t make it, what chance do we have? I’ll tell you what chance we have, we must unite & use our superior minds to save us. I say that we make snake meat into the next big thing. Have you ever had a tasty snaky McNugget? They’re f**king delicious. It’s all 100% lean meat. Think about it. The whole animal is basically a big muscle but spends most of the time just relaxed and coiled in a ball. That’s gotta be some good tender meat. If there’s a market demand for it, then they will find a way to produce it. Then again, I must emphasize that it be wild game snake meat. We don’t want to be breeding them in farms or anything…and pumping them full of hormones to make them larger and give them more muscle. Yes, our science can save us…but it can also destroy us. Anyway, you fast food joints out there, let me know when you get those Snaky McNuggets and Grilled Snakehouse Burgers on the menu…and I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out. I’m sure it’ll even be a tax write-off because you’ll be saving the world. Don’t let snakes eat your children!!!

Anyway, on that note, I think I’ll call it a day. We’ve talked about the unemployment of heroes, loveless marriage, divorce, assault, inevitable serpentine doom and a Jared Hess movie. Hopefully tomorrow it’ll be a little more upbeat…but hey, I just go with what the news gives me…and occasionally a story about helping my mom use a computer. Happy March everybody!!! Two weeks until St. Patrick’s Day!!! Have a great day!!!

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