Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Can we wrap this up?

The year is about to end. I've now completed 29 of these things, and so far, no two have been alike. Ups? Sure. Downs? You bet. But taken as a year, 2003 was another triumph. Will '04 be the year the entire world begins to know the joy of the Damian Vega$ Experience? Probably not, and that's good. Like the frivolous elitist I am, DVX should only be enjoyed by a special few. But then again, maybe I just don't think the global community should be subjected to my unique brand of delusional shenanigans. (Then why do I blog? Fuck!)

Anyway, the preceding was supposed to be an introduction (of sorts) but we see how that turned out. So let's just go to the big finish, shall we? Now, in no particular alphabetical order (ha!), I would like to thank the following people for doing their part to keep me from turning serial killer this year:

Alice, Big Steve, Boo, Chuckie, "Darth Nader," De-De, Earl, Fat Sam, "Jheri Lewis," Killa Shirl, Noodles, Ray Ray, Yolanda, and Zen Dover...

Okay, none of those people exist. You know, I thought about seriously name-checking a bunch of special people (the regular kind of special; not "exceptional"), but fuck, most of them don't know this blog exists, and the others should already know how I feel. So instead, I go with ridiculous ghetto shout-outs.

Seriously, though, 2003 was a great fucking year. 365 days without one regret; I'd say that counts as great, or at the very least, not bad. No, to hell with wishy-washy declarations. It was great. From an epic President's Day snowstorm weekend, to a fun 4th of July, to "doing the Rose" in Charm City, all the way to the J. Gardner Beef Explosion (Beef Explosion!), 2003 was a fun ride. Anybody who measures the quality of a year by the growth of their bank account or the amount of donuts punched is missing the point. (Though, those are good things, too.) Memories, friendship, family, and intellectual growth (none of it on display here, of course): that's what it's all about. Forgive the cheesy, obsequious ending, but it's heartfelt, knaamean? If you really need to offset it with something suitably absurd--keeping with this blog's theme and my general raison d'etre--re-read the whole thing in Phil Anselmo's voice. And if you don't know who that is, well, I guess you'll just have to deal with it.

So long, 2003. Welcome, 2004.

Peace and hair grease,
Damian Vega$

Monday, December 29, 2003

The Scout Walker Kama Sutra: Um, I really don't know what more to say. Sadly, I think this is how Star Wars nerds probably practiced as children. "That's not how ya vwing!"

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Christmas has come and gone, I have gone and come back (to my mom's place), and now I'm watching Teen Wolf for some reason. Had a great time with the family, and I miss them already. The kids were less terrorizing and everybody pretty much got along. Lack of dysfunction is a good thing, especially during the holidays.

A snippet of conversation (with my nephew):

Me: I don't kiss boys. Only girls.
Aaron: Ewwwww. That's disgusting.
Me: No it's not.
Aaron: 'Eyinda tried to kiss me.
Me: Who?
Aaron: Your friend.
Me: Ohhhh. Yeah, she did.
Aaron: She was crazy.

Then this:

Aaron: My winky is out.
Me: Boy, put that back!
Aaron: I can't. My shorts are too small.

That killed me. Best line of the whole trip. He always manages one hilarious one-liner whenever I go see him.

In addition to the gifts mentioned earlier (from J, J, C and C), I scored the following this year:

Two DVDs (Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown and The Muppets Take Manhattan)
Clothes (a sweater, a couple of shirts, a tie, and a couple of pairs of pants)
A couple of video games (True Crime: Streets of L.A. and Manhunt)
And the crown jewel: Chrome, Smoke & BBQ: The ZZ Top Box Set

Now, some random silliness:

Mash up madness! Download "Christmas on the Block (Xmas Cash-In)" for a holiday-flavored taste of the goodness. But act soon, these things get rotated out. (via Phancy)

How to Talk to a Woman Some common sense (read: duh) stuff laced with enough humor to make it worth blogging.

To co-opt a Randal quote (from Clerks): blogging would be great if it weren't for the fucking people.

Well, Teen Wolf is wrapping up, and I should, too. I can't believe I sat through over half of that piece of dung-covered "cinema." Still, it's better than seeing it in the theater. (I saw this and the Jason Bateman vehicle/sequel in the theater. And yet, I haven't seen Godfather II at all. Hmmmm...)

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

So, Christmas is nearly here, which means I'm heading home, which for the first time is in Annapolis.

You know, I was reading something about holiday decorations, specifically what people put on their front lawn, and I was reminded of light exploring last year (just over a year to the day, actually), as well as how I really haven't seen much this year. Anyway, last year's expedition was only the second time (the first time during my freshman year of college; we rode around Georgetown) I'd actually gone out to specifically look at the way people decorated their homes. We rode around the Montgomery County area (near College Park) and checked out some of the ritzier homes. You know, it is often assumed that people of means are also people of taste. This ride shot down that myth but good. Tack-ay. Like Vegas, but crappy. Such tragic eyesores, some of those houses. Of course, the kings of all eyesores are on the Eastern Shore, near where my mother used to live. Two houses, across the street from each other, completely done up like a bunch of blind ravers hurling glowsticks into a pool of God's neon vomit. But, from what I've heard, they get donations from locals, which is given to charity. So, good with the bad.

Anyway, this will probably be the last post until the end of the week when I come back. Have yerselves a wonderful holiday, and I'll be back to regale you with tales of my banal (yet hilarious) existence. Be safe.


Monday, December 22, 2003

Sunday, December 21, 2003

And now, your weekend update.

Friday, I did...what did I do on Friday? Jebus. I got off work early, as is the tradition when we have our holiday party. Came home, chilled out, went to the gym, did a little more Christmas shopping, did my laundry and not much else.

Saturday, hoo boy. Saturday was epic. Got up and finished my Christmas shopping (at Pentagram City, which is where most of my shopping has been done this year). Then I came home and cleaned up (read: put away the clothes, vacuum, and get it looking reasonably decent) before heading back out again for Jamie's birthday celebration. This year, we (Carl, Jarod and I; Caren was illin') took Jamie to Shula's for some hardcore beef eating. Between the four of us, we threw down on 120 oz. of beef. Now that's tasty! Post-Shula's, we went back to my place, so that leftovers could be dropped off and calls could be made. (Leftovers were necessary, as Jamie wanted to go out after, and as we found out last year when we left my birthday celebration at Shula's: if we want to be able to consume some more, we cannot finish everything.) After some maxin' and relaxin', we bail out into the cold for the brief walk to the Black Cat, our usual venue for all of our drinking needs. We got there, and after a brief stint at a table, we bellied up to the bar and made ourselves at home. Ahhhhh... After about an hour or so, we were joined by the always lovely JB. We basically drank until the bar closed (though, as has been my practice since the Baltimore incident--which I just discovered I never blogged about; how can that be?--I really nursed those drinks). I bailed out of there, got a couple o' donuts at 7-11, got home, and chilled for an hour or so before calling it a night.

Today, I went over to Jamie/Jarod's to watch football. The Carl and Caren also joined, as we were doing our gift exchange today. I got a bunch of really cool gifts.

From Jarod

From Jamie: 1 2 (In the second, I didn't get the whole set, just Meatwad. Carl got Frylock and Jamie kept Master Shake.)

From Carl and Caren.

Damn my friends rock.

Now I'm home, watching football (Go Colts! Help the Dolphins get to the post-season!), and blogging.

Also, today was...nah. I'll keep that in check.

Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2003

For those interested, I posted my Top 25 Albums of 2003 over at my music blog.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Dame Judi + meringue = fun? You know, she's not a bad looking bird. I bet you take 25 years off that, and it ain't half-bad.

Or else, it's really late. Jebus.

(link via Daze Reader)

FOLLOWUP: I guess I was too quick to read that article, because Daze Reader also has links to some pics of the Naked Dame. Remember people, DR is an adult site. Be careful. As for the pictures themselves: actually not too bad. Won't be replacing my Thora Birch fantasies any time soon, but good on her. She has nothing to be ashamed of.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

The Illustrated Complete Summary of Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" This one is for Carl. Ha! (via Traveler's Diagram)

Watching a Conan rerun. The guests: Charlie Sheen (he cool), Scarlett Johansson (she hot), and My Morning Jacket (they suck).

Ms. Johansson has a strangely deep voice for a mere 18 year old, which leads me to believe that she's been chain smoking since she was probably four. (For perspective, Drew Barrymore had her first nic fit when she was 30 months.) And it's not quite at that deep, full-bodied sexiness. Consequently, it's just a tad unsettling. Will this quell my lust for her? Of course not. Still, it's an observation worth making.

(Christ, My Morning Jacket really do suck. Conan introduced them as being from Louisville. How could the town that gave us Slint and Rodan give us this? And another thing: if you're going to be a band full of longhairs, you better fucking rock, and these clowns so do not.)

Monday, December 15, 2003

In light of recent events, and kinda the past year in general, I dedicate the following to my boys. (Keep ya pimp hand strong, fellas.)

A bitch is a bitch
So if I'm poor or rich
I talk in the exact same pitch
Now, the title bitch don't apply to all women
But all women have a little bitch in 'em.

Thank you, Ice Cube.

'Cause all the true gangstas know, Vega$ ain't never love no ho.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Here's been the weekend (so far):

Friday, after the gym, was party time. But first: pre-party drinks. Met with J&J at Union Station, where we made our way to Cap City Brewery. Cooled out there for a bit, nothing too exciting, as it was still very early and not much was happening. A beer later, and we're making our way to the party. The party is being held at the house of one of Jamie's co-workers, a girl I had met previously on my birthday (when M and I bumped into them at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring). We get there, and let me tell you, it's square city, baby! The short version: it was fat-packed with Hill rats, most in their early 20s. Dockers, everywhere. Talk about wanting to smack fools just for living. Anyway, after getting ourselves some beer, we find a spot where we plant ourselves and commence to talking and ridiculing. JG goes and talks with the host, being Mr. Socialpants, while JW and I continue with the beer and scorn. Honestly, it was just one of those things where we couldn't relate (or I couldn't; can't speak for Westy) to the people there, so why bother? That's not being cynical; more like snobbish, as I can't for the life of me imagine having one thing in common with any of them jokers. Sure, some of the girls were cute, but most of them were joined by ducks, so there's no use in trying to assert yourself there. Anyway, we're there for about an hour, chatting mostly among ourselves and with C. (JW's ex-gf) when JW decides he needs a smoke. I go out on the porch with him, partly to keep him company, and partly to keep myself from having to be social beyond my little circle there. We go back in, and a minute or so later, JG comes up and says he's not feeling well and wants to leave. Fine with us; the crowd was pretty lackluster, and JW didn't really want to be there due to exhaustion, anyway. So we bail, and that ends Friday.

Saturday can be broken down thusly: gym, burger, Xmas shopping. That's really it. Funny shopping bit: was standing in line at Kay Bee, and the woman in front of me had one of the most ghetto hauls I've ever seen. Obviously shopping for a little girl, she was buying the following: a toy nails kit (as in fingernails, yo), a toy hairstyling kit, and a toy jewelry set. BAPS, anyone?

Today, Chinese food and football. I have a mountain of laundry to start at some point, but I think that can wait until later.

Two things: I wake up this morning and I actually was able to see the snow before it melted. In the last year, when it snowed, I usually would wake up after it melted. Not always, mind you, but often. Kinda nice to see it. Winter is here.

And: We captured Saddam. This, no doubt, will be blogged to death by people far more qualified (read: smarter) to break down its significance than I, so you can seek out those people for all your analytical needs. (Hint: a few of them are on the left of my words here.)

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Ha! It appears that Strom Thurmond was someone's baby-daddy. I gotta tell ya, if this is true--and it seems to be--and this woman was conceived in a consentual tryst, it's gotta be worth a strip or two in Boondocks.

Speaking of which, I picked up the Boondocks treasury this week, and as usual, it's a laugh riot. One thing that surprised me is that the first quarter of the book is taken from old strips that are in the first two Boondocks collections. But that's a small gripe; otherwise, it's worth every penny. Pick it up.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

A bit of a follow-up:

I was checking out Gamasutra (a great, informative site for people aspiring to work in video game design and other interactive media), when I came across a small news blurb about the Take Two/GTA:VC/Haitian controversy. In it, it links to this, which they wonder may have been a catalyst in the protests that led to Take Two editing future releases of the game.

That is some really piss poor journalism. It "may be the most graphically violent" game ever? Well, sure, if you've never played games like Castle Wolfenstein or Mortal Kombat. They talk to some guy named John Difenderfer for some authoritative dissection of the game. And he is? As far as I know, he could be a mental patient. He seems to be a "hardcore gamer," which places him in the same ballpark. Racist? It's no more racist than The Sopranos, Goodfellas, or any other mob movie in the last 30 years. True, it trades on stereotypes, mostly for comic purposes, but never to ridicule or "persecute" the people they portray.

Arnold Diaz is the worst kind of hack: he takes a snippet of questionable dialogue, gives it to the director of Haitian Centers Council, and uses the subsequent frothing to vilify a game he has obviously never played. Has context become completely meaningless when it comes to speech? I mean, if I read a quote that contains several instances of the "N Word," are you going to assume right away the person who said it originally was racist? Of course not. Context. Richard Pryor says it: funny. David Duke says it: not so much. So why not apply that same principle here? The dialogue in question comes from "soldiers" in a gang war between the Cubans and the Haitians. You wipe out van loads of Cubans later under direction from a Haitian. Where is the uproar for that? You waste a bunch of French gangsters. Sacre bleu! Again, where is the outcry? For one line of dialogue, completely out of context, this game goes from crass (but entertaining) diversion to racist genocidal propoganda.

Here's something I advocate my readers to do with vigor and aplomb: kill all shoddy journalists!


For you language monkeys out there, check out Word Spy. I must say, for someone who routinely butchers language for the sake of comedy, I do love sites dedicated to all things lingual. Fun found word: zorbing.

A joke that I know--I know--I shouldn't find funny, but I just do: "When she sits around the house, she's fucking fat!" (courtesy of Dork #10, by E. Dorkin) Something about re-tooling the classics.

Overly cautious politcor, or reasonable concession?. Apparently, context is not a factor here. For those who have never played the game, the line comes from a mission where, in a war between the Haitians and the Cubans, the main character has to, well, kill all the Haitians. If you play further, you come to a part where, while working for the Haitians, you have to kill a bunch of Cubans. So, is that less offensive because the character in the game (Auntie Poulet, a voodoo practicing, Jemima-looking character that you'd think would be more offensive to the Haitian community, but what do I know; I'm not Haitian) does not explicitly say "kill all Cubans?" If people have to take offense to anything in the game, they should be offended by the over-the-top stereotypes. And even then, the stereotypes are used more for comedic purposes (overly machismo Cuban and Colombian men, the sexually-deviant politician, the voodoo-reliant Haitians) than anything malicious (think Krusty doing the "me so solly" bit for an example of a "malicious" stereotype).

So long, Andy. Not usually one to post about sports that aren't football in this blog, but I'm glad to see him out of the AL. Now if the A's have to face the Yankees again in the post-season, they might actually win.

You make the call. Which is more evil: ATF or RIAA?

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Hey...Happy Birthday to Marimba Wiggles!

Saturday, December 6, 2003

Why is it 4:30 in the morning? Why am I not asleep? Why is there all this snow on the ground? Why did Andy Richter have to leave Conan O'Brien? Why is he (Andy) acting in a movie with the Olsen Twins? (Here's a funny way to tie those last two together: watching some comedian on a Conan rerun tonight, the guy, talking about Madonna and her not-so-shocking kiss on the VMAs, said "The least she could have done is take a strap-on to the Olsen Twins." Live with THAT image.) Why do people care when celebrities get pregnant? Why am I craving a bratwurst? Who the fuck cares about Tori Spelling? Why isn't it legal to pistol-whip B-list celebrities? Why am I writing a running commentary about the stuff on my television? Why do the new Star Wars movies have to suck so badly? Why will I see the third one, anyway? Why is Nicole Ritchie famous? Why isn't she black? Wouldn't she be cooler with a big fucked up afro with a fist pick in the back? Why does Mary Tyler Moore have such a huge fucking mouth? Who buys Tom Cruise as a samurai? Why won't this fucking cough let me sleep? Why is Jessica Alba remaking Breakin'? Why won't anybody hire Adolpho "Shabba Doo" Reyes? Why do I know that fuckin' guy's name? Why doesn't somebody tell Tim Burton that Robert Smith's hairstyle is no longer fashionable? When will this stop?

And my two favorite questions:

How do they cram all that graham?


Why am I Mr. Sparkle?

Peace and hair grease, y'all.

Autobots...roll out!

The above image comes from a review of Frankenhooker!, which might just be must-see material. (link via Indie Nudes. Both the review and Indie Nudes are probably not safe for work. Be careful.)

Friday, December 5, 2003

Snow?! Fah. How long ago was it that he temperature was pushing 70? Jesus tap-dancing Christ, what is up with this weather? It's like D.C. is a bizarre, meteorological vortex and every day something different shoots out.

I bagged work today, but it was a legit sick day. I've been battling a monster cough all week, and last night it came to a crescendo. I begged off bed until about 1:30, but because of the damn cough and chest congestion, I didn't wind up actually sleeping until about 4 in the morning, as I moved between bed and futon, chugged cough syrup, and drank hot tea. So, I kept my alarm set, woke up to leave my boss a message saying I wasn't coming in, then went back to bed. Woke up just after noon and have been resting most of the day.

The only time I left my apartment was to meet my friend Ali at 5, as we had scheduled dinner tonight and I didn't want to bag. This now makes it three times I've seen her in the last month, which is a very positive trend. Until about 4 years ago, we used to spend an incredible amount of time together, mostly because we worked at the same place. But when I quit, we started a slow drift apart. Relationships (hers and mine) further interfered with our socializing, then she packed it out to the 'burbs (like every motherfucker that I know, consarn it) and, well, you get the idea. But I'm hoping this keeps up. I think all told, I'm a better person when she's a consistent part of my life. She is my best friend, after all.

Anyway, Ali and I had dinner, then we went over to Tower, where I picked up two more discs: Aerogramme's Sleep and Release (which just finished playing; we've now transitioned to Sigur Ros) and Behemoth's Zos Kia Cultus.

Talking about Ali kinda leads into something I was told by a friend of mine once: that I compartmentalize my friends/life. And this is true. Very much so, and I have no problems with that. Look, not everybody is going to be appropriate for every situation. I know a lot of people have this idealistic notion of "true" friends being there for everything, but let's be realistic: some friends are better to turn to in some situations than others. In my entire 29 years and change of existence, I have met one person--1--that I think I could go to in any mood and be totally at ease. But mostly, I like to be with certain people at certain times. I'm much better at making myself available to people when they need somebody than asking other people to be available whenever I need them. And this is not to downplay the importance of any of my friends to me. These are great people and I consider myself lucky to know them. Also, I don't want to make it sound like I only use people whenever they are convenient. I don't use people at all, because frankly, I don't think there's anything (and here's a rather cynical-sounding assessment) another person can do for me that I can't do for myself. The bottom line is this: nobody is a universal constant to me. I don't even think such a thing is normal.

Tis the season to be jolly? Cracka please. I won't be jolly until I can shake this cough, dig?

Where were we? Oh, right, we were done.

Thursday, December 4, 2003

This may be the scariest wedding photo ever.

I don't know how many of you out there (I mean, besides the usual suspects) read The Boondocks, but if you don't, you should definitely check out this week's series featuring Archbishop Don "Magic" Juan. Google the name if you don't know who that is. (And really, everybody should know who Don "Magic" Juan is.) Also, for fans of the strip, there's a new Boondocks treasury out called A Right To Be Hostile. The book includes a foreword by Michael Moore. That's about right, though, a bit of a step down as Boondocks' forewords go. How can you go from Harry Allen (The Media Assassin!) to Michael Moore? It's like going from Dick Van Patten to Kirk Van Houten. (I'm not sure why, but that analogy works for some reason. Hmmmm....)

Monday, December 1, 2003

Salutations, my slack-jawed readership. I am fresh from the shower, winding down a long f'n Monday, so what better time to blog?

And how was your Thanksgiving? Did you suitably gorge yourself on bird carcass and whipped spuds? Lord knows I did. (Note: those bland pleasantries before are just that; don't get used to be me being civil, asswipe.) Had the big meal at Big Lou's house. Nothing fancy (or Filipino, for which I'm partially thankful, but also kinda sad. I wouldn't mind having some T'giving lumpia), just turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. None of that cranberry shit. Get that out of here! How did that become a staple of this holiday, anyway? Feh. Even when it's fresh (and not plopped out of a can; I won't even get into that repugnant culinary disaster), it's awful. But I prattle on...

Had an enjoyable time with Big Lou and the kids (the niece and nephew, that is). I love those kids, but I tell you, my nephew really, really knows how to test the ol' patience. But when it was all over, I still miss him/them dearly. Came home on Friday and for some insane reason, ran all about in the rain, for no particularly good reason except for the stop at the gym. On a completely unrelated note: are adult magazines becoming extinct in this area or what?

Saturday was spent mostly with my friends Kristy and Adam, in town for Thanksgiving (Adam's family lives in Maryland). K&A are two of my closest friends from AU, who now reside in Chicago. We had lunch at Guapo's which was a treat. First discovery: Guapo's has a brunch menu. I'm sure it's been around forever, but I never get there that early (around 12:30pm), especially on the weekend. I wound up getting the steak and eggs with, by special request (wait for it)...mexican butter! I have no idea what "mexican butter" is, but it's tremendous. Those who have had the tacos al carbon there know what I'm talking about.

After that, we rode up to the AU campus and strolled around. I know I'm late on this (I haven't been on campus since that ill-fated Patriot League championship game two years ago), but there's a Chik-Fil-A and Jamba Juice in Mary Graydon Center! Only on a college campus, I tells ya, because you can't find more (traditionally) diametrically opposed eateries as those two. The former peddling chicken sammiches and lattice-cut potatoes, the latter catering to the type of cringe-inducing yuppies who spend their weekends in Crate and Barrel, no doubt fully engorged while strolling aisle after aisle of the cheesiest wares this side of the Lambaugh Field gift shop. (Ba da bing!) We graffitied a couple of chalkboards in the Ward Building, surfed the web in the library ("who checked out the book?!"), and basically gave the campus the once over. From there, we rolled to Bethesda so we could drive around the old neighborhood, wondering if our evil landlady had been recalled by Satan yet. Bethesda and AU are alike in a lot of ways. They have enough superficial changes to give the first impression that things have really changed, but once you start scrutinizing them closer, you realize that things really are not all that different. Just...shinier.

We parted ways and I came home. Actually, I went on another brief urban expedition. Another unrelated note: it's really weird to see a possibly sixty-something year old woman flipping through porno. Weird, but hilarious.

Saturday night and much of Sunday saw me slogging through Kingdom Hearts, with some football thrown in for good measure. It's a quality game, for sure, but the worlds are finished a bit too quickly. Still, the game is quite dazzling visually and the game overall is worthy of the Squaresoft name. In particular, their recreation of Halloween Town (from The Nightmare Before Christmas) is quite impressive. I still have a few worlds left to explore, but that should be over sooner than later. Next up: finishing Medal of Honor: Frontline, though, I'm tempted to start Hitman 2.

And now, an 11-hour work day later, I blog. Speaking of work, can I just say one thing, and I will leave it at this: I hate my fucking job.

Thank you and bon soir.