Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Beards are Back in Town

Quelle Barbe has returned.

I was considering calling this the BEARDERRECTION, but that just made me picture a beard made of dicks, and let's be real: that's stupid.

Praise Jesus.

Anyways, not that anyone reallllllly noticed, but I was gone, for like a year and a half. It was crazy. In that period of time, my life mirrored the narrative of the Iliad, complete with ships, Minotaurs, Trojans, Cyclops, a bunch of beer, and weirdly - a dude that had sex with his mom and killed his dad.

During that personal journey I had much time to reflect, run, yell and shout, and work - all of the things I do when I'm not doing this I guess. Usually I only come back to the blogosphere when I'm a sniveling, turgid, impotent manchild on the verge of total inner collapse. I somehow managed to stave off the high anxiety life for a little bit and just live the high life, you know - the Champagne of Lives.

So, uh dude - what the fuck are you doing back here?

Exactly. I'm not sure. I was lured back in like a moth to a flame. More aptly, like a supple young child to a minivan that a fat balding man with stains on his shirt has assured me is "filled with candy". It's ok, my mom told him to pick me up from school.
What I mean is - I've been a little angsty in recent days/weeks, but not so much that I've had to go and deface the product of a Google Image search with poorly drawn facial hair. Or so I thought.

I've got some shit going on though, and maybe I need a vent, or even a whole HVAC system. I'm looking for a different job, I'm trying to move, I'm going to school, and I'm sort of maybe a little bit kinda finding it challenging to not rip apart at the seams like all the time and slaughter everyone in the Post Office with a chainsaw.

So, I guess bring on the beards. I'm ready. I hope you are too.*

*Just kidding, I don't care if you are.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

rainbows, kittens, pine cones, blue jays, and fireworks.

I haven't posted anything in a minute. Since there are like 4 of you out there on the internets that read this stuff, I thought that I might elaborate on the reason for my brief absence:

I'm happy.

I'll just leave it at that, because it doesn't require much more of an explanation except to say that it's really difficult for me to write about anything when I'm not totally pissed, kind of miserable, or really bored. That's why the blog isn't called Puppy Dog Lovers in the Sunshine Kingdom or Flower Children Hug Jesus or some other such nonsense.

In case you didn't know, Quelle Barbe is a french phrase that usually means "how boring"(despite the fact that the rough translation is actually "what (a) beard"), which I saw as a fitting title because most of the things I post about here have their root in the insane pointlessness that I find manifest in everyday life. Plus I love beards (duh). So, despite the fact that I realize that this is totally half-assed and probably lame as fuck, I'm throwing it out there anyway. Something has come along and snuffed out the little flame of anger inside me for a second, so it might be a few days before I realize how ridiculous everything is again and get back to my old self. For the moment though, I'm alright with it.

Feel free to pray for my speedy recovery.

Author's Note: While reading this entry it may be considered appropriate to listen to that song Afternoon Delight in order to get the full experience.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

brutally morbid axe of satan

So today I discovered that the amount of professionalism that I possess is actually much less than I had originally suspected. It was enlightening.

This realization began to creep into my life late last week when I had just proposed to the people in my office that we celebrate the one year anniversary of the Former Office Manager being fired. This, of course, was an awesome idea and was immediately embraced by the rest of the employees, mainly due to the fact that this person had been a completely insufferable cunt for about four years too long.
Plans were made.
Preparations were undergone.
The results were fantastic.

Unfortunately, we were unable to procure the kegs and strippers that I had originally included in the plans, but we did manage to amass a large quantity of junk food, including Hershey's pie, mini-cupcakes (which are delicious as hell), cheese and crackers, a variety of twizzlers, two large pizzas, and several photocopies of my hand giving the finger, which were hung about with gusto. Although that last part isn't junk food, it was certainly awesome.

At lunch time, we all gathered around our pile of unhealthy treats, dug in, and shared some of the stories about the Former Office Manager that were near and dear to our hearts. This included a detailed description of the sound made by her sizeable thighs rubbing together when she walked, her neurotic propensity to unbend paperclips when stressed, and her endearing penchant for stealing other people's food from the kitchen.
At one point though, some lame-o from Management had to bring up the inevitable:

"Don't you think it's a little mean to be celebrating the fact that it's been a year since someone was let go?"

We all thought about it for a while in a sort of weird moment of silence, during which I'm sure several of us felt a twinge of something nearly approaching guilt before heartily laughing our asses off.

MY answer to the question is: "No fucking way I don't think it's weird, unless if by weird you mean completely awesome." That I was able to organize a party to celebrate the event in the first place without even a single person offering a word of protest is a testament to the fact that we are all glad to be rid of the stress and endless snarls of bullshit caused by this person. It might be kind of mean, but life is cruel, and it's not like she was there. Although, if she is reading this, I hope she has a little tiny heart attack. Not enough to kill, just enough to make her contemplate her mortality in a way that causes her to consider not making the lives of other people nightmarishly shitty all the time.

So anyway, except for the lack of strippers and beer (which, in retrospect, are totally inappropriate in an office setting) I think the event went off without a hitch. We even managed to eat almost all of the mountain of junk food. Spectacular.

Later in the afternoon, I discovered a completely unrelated piece of evidence attesting to my former lack of professionalism in an office environment, which evidently has continued nearly unabated for like 8 years now. It was a floppy disk (remember those?) and it had a bunch of files on it that I had made when I was a summer intern at a consulting firm while in college. Mostly they were Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and the like, lists of supplies, purchase order requisitions, and other boring crap. Apparently no one else had needed these documents except me, as I had developed my own unique system for naming the files on the disk. This system consisted of naming the file whatever name seemed both most ridiculous/offensive AND most unrelated to the actual contents of the document. As a result, I found files on the disk named the following, which I thought were hilarious:

Brutally Morbid Axe of Satan

You got your property assessed (you're gay)

The entire retard population of Rochester


A bid for bread, a bit of bread, a little bit of fucking bread

As you may suspect, I was amazed. Apparently some things never change, which is satisfying. By the way, a note to any potential employers who may be reading this as a result of having received my resume and have done some basic google research - I WILL MAKE YOUR FUCKING OFFICE ROCK. I might even start a company softball team.

Let's get to work.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One mortgage to rule them all...

Sometimes, you have no idea what the day has in store for you. So, you wake up, get ready for the gym, go outside, get in your car and then...BAM!

That "BAM" is the very audible sound of your frontal lobe cracking in half as you turn on the radio and hear a discussion about how a Lord of the Rings - based housing development called "the Shire" in Bend, Oregon has just gone into foreclosure. That's right folks, the housing crisis has officially hit Middle Earth.

You have got to be shitting me. Oregon is lucky that they have that assisted suicide law or I'd be holding this against them...hard.

Ever since the internet bubble of the 90's, nerds have been in some pretty sweet financial situations. Bill Gates is seriously the richest person in the world, give or take, and I love him for all of the things he's done, but the dude is a completely freakish nerd on some kind of superhuman scale. So are the guys from Mythbusters. Honestly, I'm happy for them for the most part, because it's about time they reaped the rewards of patiently enduring all of those swirlies in middle school. Plus, it's sort of entertaining when some high powered geeks put some of their delightfully quaint eccentricities on display for people to marvel at:

Oh, you're 47 and you collect really expensive toys from the original Star Wars movies that will remain in sealed packages and will be buried with you in a time capsule attached to your coffin - how cute!

Oh, you own an exact replica of KIT from Knight Rider that you programmed to compliment your physique in front of girls at Starbucks - sweet.

No way, Tron is your dad!?

The Shire however, is a different story altogether.

Mark my words, this is where shit gets crazy for America.
Ever think to yourself "I wonder why all of those Muslim extremists hate our freedom so much?" This is the answer. They hate that certain people among us can spend like $900,000 trying to live in a primitive fantasy hole in the ground while also (not surprisingly) being so divorced from reality, that they have no idea that their government is wantonly destroying other regions of the real world with impunity. They also hate that none of the female Hobbits are forced to wear burqas or burned alive for speaking with men other than their husbands. The Shire is just another traveling carnival of sin to them. Might as well have a big target painted on it.

Seriously though, if anyone who lives in The Shire (if any of you are left there after the foreclosure) happens to read this, do me a favor and send me a lengthy explanation of how come you don't think that you're an idiot. I absolutely will respond, and if our differences seem irreconcilable, we can battle it out on top of Mount Doom. Just remember though, I'm a level 14 Paladin and I wield the Sword of Shannara with great ferocity.

Fucking Hobbits.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Beard-Inducing Playlist # 1.

I listen to a lot of music all the time. At work, at the gym, in the shower, while I never really stops.

I have noticed that, like most people, I listen to the same things over and over for short periods of time, usually a week or two, but sometimes months. My listening habits, many and varied as they are, make for some interesting little mixed up playlists on my ipod. These are the top ten songs from the one I've been listening to the last week or so, which seems to accurately reflect the fact that I've been in a really mellow and contemplative kind of mood for the most part. This may seem like a kind of retarded idea for a blog post, but don't worry, it's not. Because I said it isn't, that's why.

If there are bands on here that you have never heard of, it's probably due to the fact that my tastes are incredibly refined and I'm way into obscure stuff, most of which I don't actually even like myself. I am really just trying to drop a list of fancy names so that you get the mistaken impression that I am incredibly hip, rad, gnarly, awesome, and dope - even though I am totally not.

So, without further ado:

1. Telefon Tel Aviv - Sound in a Dark Room
This "group" or whatever they are (its actually like two dudes with macbooks) do the kind of music that is sometimes referred to as Intelligent Dance Music, even though that's a kind of lame genre label. This song actually has some vocal elements unlike a lot of their other songs, and it's really light and airy sounding. It also has a lot of interesting clicking, whirring, beeping, and squiggling noises, which is sort of what defines this stuff. It's the kind of music that androids have sex to. At about 8 minutes long though, it's really awesome to put on repeat and just fall asleep to if you're a human.

2. Mew - The Zookeeper's Boy
I don't think they were around at the time, but Mew should have done the soundtrack to The Neverending Story. They sound like a band from a fantasy movie, but not a shitty one like Coheed and Cambria. Plus, they're eurotrash. Added bonus.

3. Tricky - Bad Dreams
Tricky is a really ugly dude. No wonder he has bad dreams. However, I liked him in The Fifth Element, and I like at least three of his records, so it's not all lost. This song is awesome because of the lyrics, which are like the narration of a crazy dream that he had...or some kind of acid trip.

4. Beirut - Scenic World
This song makes me feel like I'm in France. Weirdly enough, it does not make me feel like I'm suddenly into dudes though. It's great, and a lot of the stuff that this guy does is awesome. To me, it kind of sounds like music that the characters from The Great Gatsby would have listened to. It might be the only song I like that sounds like it has an accordian in it.

5. The Smashing Pumpkins - Beginning is the End is the Beginning
They are using this song as the background music on the trailer for the Watchmen movie. It works, and now I can't stop listening to it. It's actually a remix or reworking of a song they put out a long time ago for the Batman movie with George Clooney in it, only this version is a lot better, and that movie sucked hard.

6. Iron and Wine - Boy with a Coin
The Iron and Wine guy is awesome, and this song is a perfect example of why he's awesome. I find that it's emotional without being over the top, pretentious, and juvenile like a lot of the garbage that is produced by the indie/folk/emo/retard genres that this gets lumped into most of the time.

7. Isis and Areogramme - Delial
I never really stop listening to Isis, even when I'm listening to other things more. This song happens to be from a joint recording session they did with the dudes in Areogramme, which is another cool band. Plus, the title seems to be an obvious reference to House of Leaves, which I love even more. It's a perfect match.

8. Overcast - Root Bound Apollo
This is a "new" Overcast song from the record they are about to release, which is mainly a bunch of their older songs re-recorded. This song still sounds like the Overcast of yore, with some slow trudgy parts, some faster noodly parts, and some overall awesome heaviness, only updated a little like it should be. I'm so excited for this record to come out that I almost peed my pants a little just writing this. More metal than your Ma's kettle son.

9. Broken Social Scene - Lover's Spit
This band is so weird and eclectic, but seems to pump out pretty rad songs consistently. There are two versions of this one kicking around, but I like the "regular" album version with the male vocals. The lyrics are what really make the whole thing for me, because they are atypical for a song that sounds like this. If you don't pay attention to the words, it just sounds like a lame U2 song or James Blunt, or some other cringe-inducing garbage.

10. Gadget - The Anchor
This is pretty much just straightforward grind, mining a vein similar to that of mid-career Napalm Death. It blasts and bludgeons the whole time, and just pounds on you until it erases your mind completely and turns your thoughts to dust. I recommend it if you feel like getting really loud really fast.

That's pretty much all I've got. Fuck it if I forgot something.

Go forth and listen.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oregon: my new favorite state.

Maybe you missed this little news item that came out last week, regarding some letters that administrators of Oregon's state run health program wrote to some terminally ill patients.
It goes a little something like this:

"We regret to inform you that we do not cover the cost of _________, used to treat your terminal ________. However, we do cover the cost of assisted suicide."

Ok, so I don't think they used those exact words, but I'm sure you get the point. Apparently, Oregon only covers the cost of treatments for terminal conditions if there is more than a 5% chance that it will allow the patient to live for five years. Overall, that seems totally reasonable to me. I mean, you don't pay for a car that doesn't work ten minutes after you bought it.
The dirty little part of the whole thing though, is how they plant the seed in your head to get you thinking about killing yourself. It's like they designed the state so I would want to live there. I wonder what the Burger King drive-thru lanes are like..."Yes sir thank you for your order, would you like some Assisted Suicide with your Double Whopper and large fries today?"
God I hope so.

Of course a bunch of pantywaist turdhuffers from places like the Oregon Health and Science University (whatever that is) are all up in arms over this, calling it "callous", "cruel", and "awesome" - wait, no...I called it awesome. Sorry.
Anyway, a bunch of uppity doctors obsessed with prolonging the lives of their patients are pretty pissed. I absolutely cannot understand why.

It seems to me like Doctors are relatively busy people, and everybody needs a break sometimes, so why not just, with like every third patient, just kind of mention - "Hey, I know its a bum-out being on antibiotics, and the state totally doesn't pay for it either, so I just figured I'd let you know that assisted suicide is an option. Yeah, I understand that you only have Strep Throat, but you know - unemployment is up, and the war in Iraq doesn't look like it's getting over with anytime soon, so you know, this might be a good time to uh...make your exit while you've still got some dignity"
That could potentially really cut down on the workload.

On a slightly more serious note though, I really don't understand why some people are so angry about this. Death is a part of life, and if you're a 300 pound lump of disease-infested goo that can't move or think on your own or bang hot chicks anymore, then what good are you to anybody really? I for one, would not want to stick around for too long with the kind of future that that implies.
Even more seriously, part of the looming health care disaster in the United States exists by virtue of the fact that terminally sick people now can linger on forever in hospice care and nursing homes that are really nothing more than graves-in-waiting until someone runs out of money. And they do. Don't fool yourselves by thinking that these people are surrounded by their loved ones either, because usually they're in a place like that so someone can get them out of their hair. It's sad, it's terrible, but it's also real.

I'm not old, but I know that I'm going to die someday, and while I hope that it happens in a glorious hail of gunfire, I feel certain that something shitty like cancer is more likely. No thank you to that, I'll take the red pill and enter the part of the Matrix that is reserved for dead people instead. I would find it comforting to know that at least I didn't have to pay for it.

Don't worry, I'll leave a note.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Someone has never seen Total Recall...

So today, lunatic multibillionaire Sir Richard Branson unveiled the weird looking plane that will carry his Virgin Galactic Spaceship into outer space once it is ready for the first commercial interstellar flight.
Oh yeah, BTW, he hopes to be on that goddamn thing and enjoying an extra dry martini with a view of the Sea of Tranquility within 18 months. After that, I'm pretty sure he will come back to earth and invent flying cars similar to the ones that everybody used in The Jetsons.
Upon hearing this news, I had the urge to call up Mr. Branson, sit down with him for about a week, and show him all the science fiction movies and TV shows in which humanity unsuccessfully colonizes Mars/the Moon/some Forbidden Planet in the Romulan Quadrant - because let's be honest, that's where this is heading.

Needless to say, I'm not that pumped about it. Don't get me wrong, I really like my bluetooth headset that eerily reminds me of the communicators on Star Trek. I have also used a GPS navigation system successfully on more than one occasion, despite some creepy European sounding woman's voice telling me to turn right every 200 yards to get back on route. I even take advantage of the self-checkout isle at the grocery store on a regular basis.
There are some things that I will not tolerate though. One of them is human colonization of other planets. Another is interactive porn that is so realistic that you can no longer tell if you have been real life fucked or just had your mind blown, like in Demolition Man. The third is raisins in my rice pudding, because that shit is for the French.

I just think it's a bad idea. We are probably destined to shit up the Earth with all of our trash, fossil fuel waste, and bodily fluids, but really we should be left in our own mess to clean it up, or at least to have some of us evolve into super-beings that can communicate telepathically and only need to consume garbage to survive. What we don't need to do though, is flee the pit of despair that the world becomes in the wake of our insane orgy of self-indulgent excess only to get to another planet and start the process all over again.
The only possible upshot of colonizing other planets would be chicks with three boobs (I mean seriously three boobs would represent a whole other level, I have to believe that it would be like an amusement park for your hands), but I sort of feel like plastic surgery could get us there now anyway, so why go to all that extra trouble?

In the end though, it doesn't really matter how pissed I am about the Virgin Galactic venture, because Richard Fucking Branson will go right ahead and do what he wants, and if I try to hold back the tides of progress, I might as well get a carriage and join the Amish.

However, I feel strongly that right now, in an alternate time string, a reprogrammed cyborg killing machine from the future teleports into my room at this very moment and says, in a thick German accent: "This is the exact second where Richard Branson altered the course of humanity with his dick-shaped spacecraft, resulting in the entire Milky Way galaxy being sucked into a black hole in the year 2256, and you're the only blogger tough enough and heterosexual enough to stop it!"

That also could be the opening scene from my Sweded version of Terminator 2 though.

Only time will tell.