Bright Ideas, I Am a Fucking Genius, It's 3AM; I must be lonely.

I Have Recently Acquired Several Opinions

Two, in fact. I have decided to share them with you, because you seem like right-thinking people.

These opinions, on airplane boarding and Orson Scott Card, may seem entirely disconnected from one another, which would be a correct assessment had I not read Ender’s Game while on a cross-country flight. And now, as with a good rug to a room, everything’s tied together.

Continue reading

Bright Ideas, Eats

A Chicken In Every Pot, Covered in Butter

Finishing Butters, brilliant! Because now the door is open for Starting Butters and Halfway Through Butters and all kinds of In-Progress Butters. Endless possibility! A Butter for every occasion  Truly, Paula Deen is the marketing genius of our age. Or possibly our society’s fatal flaw. Personally, I’m looking forward to the Butter-Flavored Butter (Now with Extra Butter).

Forty acres and a stick of specialty butter: the American dream.

Bright Ideas, Building teh Interwebz, I Am a Fucking Genius

Apparently, this is a thing I do now.

wordcamp montrealThis is a thing I do, where I stand up in front of groups of people and pretend to be knowledgeable about things.

If you’re in Montreal, you should come: I can be funny sometimes, and because I have a crippling fear of public speaking, there’s always the chance I will behave in some inappropriately hysterical manner. Educational AND a great schadenfreude opportunity!*

*Self deprecation aside: it will be awesome. Plus, if turnout is low, I’ll probably self-medicate by binging on poutine. And I really don’t like poutine, so please don’t drive me to that.

An Open Letter, Bright Ideas

A Secondary Proposal

Dear America,

I think I’ve figured out how to create consensus on the gun issue.

I has been brought to my attention that media darlings the Westboro Baptist Church will be demonstrating in Connecticut to make clear their view that the massacre of kindergarteners was willed by their god because of America’s increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage.

Frankly, I find it sloppy and lazy that any god would mete out its judgment in this way. Back in the day, god still had a pair and wasn’t afraid to rain down fire and brimstone when people started acting up; none of this trickle-down judgment bullshit.

Therefore, I assume that Westboro followers and their ilk will agree that a broad gun ban is acceptable: if god really wants to do some smiting, he should be able to get the job done sans mentally unstable man with gun. I mean, in the Old Testament book 2 Kings, god sends bears to rip 42 kids to bits just because they got a chuckle out of pointing out that some dude god liked was bald, to say nothing of Sodom and Gomorrah or the whole ark business. Clearly, god can take care of his shit.

So: we repeal the Second Amendment. Gun violence decreases dramatically. If god is serious about the gay marriage thing, he’s free to smite innocent children himself. If he decides to go for it, Westboro is proven right and we all grovel before Fred Phelps. If he doesn’t, no one has to die, and Jennifer and Jessica are free to register for that panini press at Crate & Barrel.

If this isn’t a win-win proposition, I don’t know what is.

In the meantime, I apologize to Connecticut, and the rest of the world, really, for the Westboro Baptist Church. We’re all kind of hoping they decide America is too far gone and try some Heaven’s Gate-style repentance.

Bright Ideas

Tips for Making the Most of Shopmageddon

If you’re in the U.S., you’re probably really focused on preparing the lavish meal it wil take your family six minutes to eat, with faint plans to get some shopping done tomorrow.

Since Black Friday is something of a blood sport, I thought I’d give first-timers a few tips. I mean, I’ve never actually been shopping on Black Friday and sure as hell am not about to start, but I watch the news.  You don’t want to do a shitty job, because if you don’t get good stuff it’ll be really hard to keep lying to your kids about the psychotic Big Brother in the red fur pimp suit who rewards them for adhering to some amorphous ideal of “goodness” with toys they’ll forget about by January.

Merry Christmas.

1. Make a list before you go. For each item, indicate (1) the maximum price you are willing to pay and (2) the maximum amount of violence you are willing to inflict on another human to obtain it.

2. Eat a good breakfast. Coffee and doughnuts will give you the initial burst of manic energy needed to get through the door, while the protein and fat of bacon will keep you going for the long haul. Consider bringing a pick me up for the mid-morning slump, like a granola bar or a pre-filled syringe of heroin.

3. Bring the right equipment. Water. A rented box truck for all the loot. A debit or credit card that won’t be declined — for heaven’s sake, don’t try to pay for anything by check; too many people die in those riots — or fistfuls of cash. You’ll also need some anti-competitor weaponry; shotguns are usually frowned upon, but pepper spray should do the trick. Bringing a little old lady (95+) can sometimes help you get to the front of lines or buy you some space but only in the Midwest, so utilize Grandma sparingly.

4. Get there bright and early. Many stores have special Black Friday hours, opening at 6AM or 4AM; Walmart is funding a team of physicists to figure out how to warp the space-time continuum so they can open last Tuesday but still offer the same deals. Whatever your local stores’ hours, be sure to get there just as they open to beat the rush. Most people don’t know about this trick.

5. Wear comfy shoes. They’ll hurt less when you kick yourself later.

Of course, you could always just, you know, shop on the internet. Or decline to participate in our national overdose of consumerism. (I know, I know, I’m one a’ them crazy liberals. I’m actually a Second Lieutenant in the War On Christmas.)

Happy shopping, I guess.