Saturday, April 23, 2016

What Wred's Reading: V by Thomas Pynchon

I've held off reading V for a long time because it was the only book by Thomas Pynchon that I had never read.  He's still writing, despite his age--V is over a half-century old--so the possibility exists that if he puts out a new book, then I can read another.  But, otherwise, this is it, and it's always a bit sad knowing there are no more books to read by a writer whom I like.  So far, V seems fairly typical of his work:  characters with silly names, songs, wordplay, convoluted plots, idea heavy, and, all in all, a fun read.  I'm going to take my time with this one.    

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bad Marketing

It's the time of year that I get a lot of mail from lawn care companies and landscapers looking for work.  The direct mail item that I received today was from one of the companies that love to dump chemicals on the lawn to make it ultragreen.  The company asked, "Why not treat yourself to" . . . blah blah blah professional lawn care?

What horrible copywriting.  Thanks for teeing it up for us organic lawn and antilawn folks though, guys.  Here's your answer below.

Maybe because caring about how a lawn looks is a poor use of one's time, I can take care of it more cheaply myself, and I won't be unnecessarily exposing myself to potentially cancer-causing chemicals just to kill a dandelion.  That's why not.

Besides I like dandelions.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cleaning Day Is The Worst Day Of The Month

The Red Fez has published my poem "Cleaning Day Is The Worst Day Of The Month".  I wrote it while teaching a creative writing class.  We were working on poetic forms, so we played around with one called The Bop.  This was one of the bops that I whipped up.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Trump Settles On Secretary Of Defense Early

DENVER: Surprising many pundits, who expected presidential candidate Donald Trump to select his running mate on the Republican Party ticket before he selected any members of his cabinet, Trump picked his Secretary of Defense. Many commentators found this odd, given that Trump has not been elected President of the United States yet, criticism to which Trump responded later with a tweet calling the actual election a "technicality".  Responding to further criticism that the Senate would never confirm Trump's selection, he also later tweeted that he didn't care if the Senate agreed since "letting idiots like Ted Cruz secondgeuss [sic] me is idiotic".

At the announcement press conference, Trump introduced professional wrestler Bobby Lashley, bellowing, "Folks, he did a great job defending my hair when I needed him. I'm sure he'll do a great job defending the country."  Lashley, who was Trump's representative in a hair vs. hair match at WrestleMania in 2007 when he defeated Trump's rival Vince McMahon's representative which resulted in McMahon's hair getting shaved off, bounded onto the stage and flexed his muscles at the crowd. Taking the microphone from Trump, Lashley delivered a blistering promo in which he told North Korea that he would make the entire country tap out and submit until they accept capitalism and democracy.  Lashley also dared terrorists to attack the United States, saying that after he defeated their plots he would then personally shave off their beards.

During the speech, Trump nodded approvingly, occasionally pumping his fist in the air to punctuate Lashley's boasts. Asked by a reporter after Lashley had given the microphone back to Trump if this premature selection of the Defense Secretary was merely a cheap attempt to cut into the traditional African-American vote for the Democratic Party, given that Lashley is African-American, Trump responded by ordering Lashley to put the reporter into The Dominator, Lashley's traditional finishing move. Lashley obliged, lifting the reporter onto Lashley's shoulders before slamming him onto the ground.

There were no other questions.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Comics Are Go!

My buddy Scott is trying to Kickstart a comic he's working on about his experiences running a comic book store.  Looks fun!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

What Wred's Reading: Righting The Mother Tongue

I bought Righting The Mother Tongue:  From Olde English To Email, The Tangled Story Of English Spelling by David Wolman at a dollar a bag library sale.  Obviously, at such a sale, I am not very picky, so anything that looks slightly interesting gets tossed in the bag, but this is a pretty good book, especially given the price of four cents or whatever.  Basically, it's a journalist who read a bunch of David Crystal books and decided to write his own book about the English language.  To make his book stand out, he focused his history of the English language on spelling.  It has that breezy, only slightly intellectual feel that a lot of nonfiction books do these days, but it's a pleasant enough way to get a review of the history of the English language and how crazy people get about language use.   

Friday, February 26, 2016

Only In The World Of Politics . . .

The American political system continues to be fascinating.  I don't know of any other industry aside from politics where one can neglect one's current job because one is applying for another job and seemingly get away with it.  The current presidential election is probably the most prominent example, but this goes on across our political system.  Think about it.  We have a bunch of senators, governors, and whatnot, who aren't doing their jobs because they're running for president.  At least Vermont and Texas have another senator to mind things while Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz are kissing babies in Iowa or whatever, but who's running Ohio while John Kasich is hanging out in diners in New Hampshire?  The lieutenant governor?  If that's the case, then maybe we don't need a governor, and the state can save some tax money on that salary.  At least Hillary Clinton is just skipping giving a few speeches to Goldman Sachs or whatever, and Donald Trump is self-employed basically, so, unless he fires himself while having an acid flashback to his days on The Apprentice, he's likely safe.  The strangest thing is that most of us are conditioned to think that this is completely normal, but just try skipping work for a few days because you're working on your job search and watch what happens.