Sick on a Sunday

Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Posted in Entertainment, music, Random Rants, Things That Own, Uncategorized by jamie on March 27, 2011

Moments are difficult things to capture. Artists in many mediums have taken different cracks at it. In the world of literature authors like William Faulkner and James Joyce have produced works that, while not the most easily read, are certainly among the most important. Their stories represent an attempt to capture all the subtleties of a moment in time through the written word. Faulkner and Joyce take all the grimy, ugly, and inconvenient details of life that less daring authors sanitize, and throw them right in your face. At times one might be tempted to put down one of their books, not because it’s too sophisticated to enjoy, but because it feels too real.  With the turn of every page the reader begins to wonder, doubt, and eventually become convinced that maybe life has no real meaning. We’re born, we live, we reproduce, and we die. Life flows from one moment to the next with little to no regard for what befalls the wicked and the righteous.

That all seems very bleak, but as Explosions in the Sky stated through the title of their most well known album, “Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place,” there is beauty in the world. With their latest work “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care,” they make a strong argument for music as the best equipped medium to capture that beauty.

From the opening notes of the first track of the album, Last Known Surroundings, the band takes hold of the listener’s imagination. Sunsets, fields, deserts, mountains, streams, city  streets, cars, skylines, living rooms, bottles, smiles, Explosions have given sonic life to all of these things and more in the musical arrangements present on Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.

Now don’t go getting the wrong idea about this album. This isn’t a cliched easy listening experience. This is rock music. Powerful drums and expansive guitar tones dominate the musical expanse of this record. On this album Explosions in the Sky have finally found the perfect middle ground between shoegaze and head bang. Whenever the band threatens to lull one to sleep with subtle guitar work, a thunderous eruption of percussion and rhythm is never too far behind. The dynamic works both ways. The uncharacteristically short Trembling Hands is possibly the most energetic and bombastic Explosions song to date, but it’s followed up by the subdued beauty of Be Comfortable, Creature.

Explosions in the Sky represent the head of the so called “post rock” movement. A wave of bands who have abandoned vocalists and strive to show the world that a five piece rock band can be every bit as epic, expressive, and important as the symphony orchestras of old. Much like the works of Faulkner, Joyce, and other stream of consciousness writers, the music by bands like Explosions in the Sky is anything but traditional. It takes hold of you and demands your full attention, but the reward for giving one’s ears over to the band are rich indeed.

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Bruce finds love in Gandalf the White

Posted in The Ladies, Things That Own by jamie on February 10, 2011
Nico & Bruce

Bruce & Nico

Well, after about 5 days, these two are in love.

Naturally, she wants nothing to do with me.

It was love-at-first-sight for Bruce. I was initially hesitant to find him a girlfriend because he’d had a somewhat rocky past of companion animals. Turns out, he is one needy little rabbit.

He was so in love, in fact, that the only trouble I had bonding them is that, despite lacking the proper equipment, he kept humping her. Apparently she is just not that kind of girl.

Well, he’s stopped that, and in true girlfriend fashion, she is all into grooming him. She may have picked this up from me constantly telling the boyfriend, “You have shit on your face.”

Her name is Nico, if I dyed her pink, she’d look like Animal from the Muppets. As is, she looks like Gandalf the White. If she ever warms up to me, you best believe I’m putting bows in her hair.

Gandalf the White

Gandalf the White

Animal

Animal

 

 

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You Aren’t Worth Shit

I am an unemployed twenty-something who this week decided it was time to start looking for a job again. I have had a few interviews and have seen many more prospects which I have applied to. The most interesting part of job hunting however has been all the insulting craigslist ads I have come across. These are ads that require you to have a dizzying array of skill, experience, and qualities, as well as calling upon you to shoulder the responsibilities of multiple workers. A Magna Carta sized lists of duties and requirements alone don’t make the ads an insult to all workers, rather it’s usually the salary offered at the end of the ad.

Let’s cut to the chase here. I present to you my first in a list of ads I’ve seen on craigslist entitled “You Aren’t Worth Shit”

This ad appears to actually be for two positions. Either way, the person who listed it must think that job hunters are desperate, which they are, and therefore not worth an ingrown hair on a dog’s ass. The first job will be compensated minimum wage, and whatever lucky pleb gets the second more sophisticated position will be paid a staggering EIGHT DOLLARS AN HOUR.

 

Job #1
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/ofc/2172723829.html
***FULL TIME-DATA ENTRY CLERK & INTERNET MARKETING SPECIALIST (Rosemead, CA)
Date: 2011-01-21, 12:04PM PSTReply to: job-bqnnt-2172723829@craigslist.org
Immediate opening for a full time Data-Entry clerk
Job Description:
• Create spreadsheet files. • Process orders efficiently and accurately. • Answer phones. • Other related office procedures.

Qualifications:
• Detail oriented. • Working knowledge of computers (MS word, Excel, etc.) is a must. • Must type at least 35wpm. • Must be proficient in QuickBooks. • Ability to multi-task. • Minimum 1 year experience. • High level of accuracy. • Self-motivated, dependable, and able to work independently

If this looks like the right position for you to utilize and improve your skills, please submit your resume to hr@toners.com or fax to (626) 288-6638.

Location: Rosemead, CA 91770 Compensation: Minimum Wage

Job #2

***INTERNET MARKETING SPECIALIST***

Ink cartridges and Toner company is looking for a dedicated hard working Marketing/E-Commerce Manager to implement the marketing development of a new website.
Requirements
•FTP / HTML / CSS / Domains / DNS / SSL •PPC / SEO / SEM o

Adjust bids to out rank the competition. o Develop and manage SEO program, ensuring site, links and all content is optimized to build organic traffic. o Manages the development and execution of internal and external advertising production, including landing pages and banners for company website, Build SEM partners and Affiliate partners. •Build Product pages from beginning to end (Magento). •E-mail marketing campaigns. •Managing affiliate network and Commission Junction, including product feeds, product launches, setting-up commission tiers, working with top affiliates, reporting and optimizing the sales channel. •Social Media o Facebook o Twitter •Anaylytics o Track and analyze all relevant e-Commerce metrics to improve traffic and conversions. o Competitive Analysis: Ongoing competitive analysis of similar sites •Develop full scale marketing plans and schedules – breakdown structure to estimate required effort. •Prefer familiarity with Magento Shopping Cart •5+ years experience (references & background check will be conducted)
Knowledge of the following is a plus: •Experience in marketing in the jewelry industry. •Java •AJAX •Flash •Wikis •PHP •MySQL

To apply and have your resume reviewed, the following MUST be included:
• Cover letter including salary history & requirement.
• Resume

  • Location: Rosemead, CA
  • Compensation: $8/hr

Some Facts About Unicorns

Posted in Things That Own by jamiemarie on September 9, 2010

Why unicorns, right now, when I should be working?

My unicorn research today started with this, courtesy of io9.com:

Then later, I found this:

Which honestly I find kind of depressing.  I mean, I’m all for pursuing your dreams, but that rhino just is never going to be a unicorn.  It’s heartbreaking.

I sent the first photo to just about everyone who’ll talk to me.  A friend queried about how the unicorn managed to survive under RoboCop’s massive, metal weight.

“Magic,” I told him.  “Duh.”

The face I made at my gmail screen was one of dude, everybody knows that, but I found I couldn’t specify the magical properties of unicorns.  So I did some research.

My findings: Interesting Facts About Unicorns

  • They can only be tamed by virgins.  And the horn can act as an aphrodisiac.  I suppose that’s because it’s vaguely phallic? Whatever the reason, unicorns definitely have the sexxxxy advantage over other horned animals?  The rhino, for example, really drew the short straw on that one.
  • They are not kosher. They have cloven hooves, so don’t eat them, Jews.
  • They protect the forest from intelligent creatures.  In D&D, that is.
  • They can make someone go from “mostly dead” to alive. [wtf is this warning? “Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.” Is a Harry Potter wiki questioning my reading level?]
  • Their horn neutralizes poisons.  I wonder what it can do for Bret Michaels.
  • Something about Mozart.  Because he dressed like a unicorn in Amadeus?
  • Uh, this. Featuring great animated gifs and… a 9/11 tribute?

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Gratuitous Puppies

Posted in Things That Own by jamiemarie on September 8, 2010

David Hasselhoff & Puppies

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Francine Dancer

Posted in Things That Own by jamiemarie on August 13, 2010

My mom used to live in the San Fernando Valley.  In addition to being home to most cheap-rent porn companies, it’s also home to amazing public access television gems, like Let’s Paint, Exercise and Blend Drinks.

Years ago, my mom made my sister and I serve homeless people for Thanksgiving at the Laugh Factory in LA.  After food was served, we were supposed to go around to people seated and ask if they needed anything.

One woman came in in a wheelchair.  She had long, dried out, bleached hair and 3-inch-long hot pink acrylic nails.  Something about her looked familiar.  I approached her chair and asked if she needed anything.

She told me, “A tall man with long hair.”

Tall Man with Long Hair

That’s when it hit me.  I’d seen her before.  On public access.  I asked my mom, “Is that… Francine Dancer?”  My mom and I went over to her, and I noticed the name “Francine” on a label on her wheelchair.  My mom asked her politely, “Are you Francine Dancer?”

“WHY YES!  You’ve seen my work?”

My mom told her that we loved her show.  I told her I liked her nails.  She asked for another tall man with long hair.

I can’t really explain the wheelchair thing.  In the words of Lucille Bluth, “A piano could stand on those legs.”

How Generative Grammar Doomed the Twelve Colonies of Kobol!

I’ve been trying very hard to enjoy SyFy’s Battlestar Galactica spin off series Caprica. It has a few moments of genuine brilliance, such as a gorgeous shot of the first Cylon in the twelve worlds hugging a childhood friend. It also possesses two male leads, Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales, who shine in their roles. Unfortunately the main plot threads of the series tend to be bogged down by a handful of sluggish side plots that struggle to approach anything approximating engaging. That all changed while I was watching Episode 7 this week as two extremely nerdy facets of my life collided on screen.

Behold, Jane Espenson!

What do I have in common with this lady? I definitely was not one of the head writers on Battlestar Galactica, and last time I checked I also wasn’t one of the head writers and executive producers of Caprica. Well according to the ever infallible Wikipedia, Jane Espenson, like myself, studied Linguistics in college. Now her focus wasn’t on generative-grammar, but no Linguistics undergrad manages to receive an education in the field without acquiring at least a shallow understanding of generative grammar. In a Cylon goo bath nutshell the theory of generative grammar stipulates that the unlimited variety of sentences which human beings are capable of generating derive themselves from a finite set of rules within our brains. These rules determine what the structure of a sentence can and cannot consist of.

How does that relate back to Caprica? I’m glad you asked! (minor spoilers ahead)

Through a series of events in the pilot episode of the series a virtual reality avatar of Daniel Graystone’s (Eric Stoltz) deceased daughter, Zoey Graystone, is downloaded into the MCP (Meta Cognitive Processor, or brain) of his Cylon prototype. The Cylon performs admirably in a demonstration for the Caprican Defense Ministry, winning Daniel’s corporation a lucrative contract for an army of Cylons. Things don’t go as planned however, as every single copy of the MCP fails to produce a functioning Cylon soldier when placed inside of a Cylon chassis. Graystone finds himself in a real bind, with his company hemorrhaging profits he can ill afford to lose the Caprican military contract.

Here is where my studies run smack dab into the plot of my extremely nerdy choices in television viewing. In episode 7 the digital copy of Zoey finds herself on a virtual reality date with one of Graystone’s robotics engineers. It would take a lot of text to explain, but long story short the engineer does not know that the avatar he is out on a date with in virtual reality land is actually inside of the Cylon he spends all day tooling up. He thinks he is merely out on a date with a super cute computer nerd who lives somewhere out there on Caprica. So I’m watching all of this and feeling less than gripped by virtual Zoey’s lamenting of the lack of aesthetic variety in virtual trees, when suddenly she launches into this little diddy:

“That’s just it, that’s not the way to do it. Living systems use generative algorithms. With a generative model, the system would use a basic generative kernel of a tree and POW an infinite variety of tree like trees!”

Upon hearing this Graystone’s employee realizes that what’s missing from the other Cylons is a similar generative model in the MCPs. What’s needed is a finite set of rules from which an infinite number of unique artificial intelligences can be born.

Watching this, and knowing that the head writer and scriptwriter of Caprica is a student of linguistics herself was a virtual nerd overload. With the terms she used in the scene, and the general idea that was being proposed to solve the problem of the malfunctioning Cylon AI, there was no doubt in my mind that Espenson had to have drawn the inspiration for that scene from her studies in linguistics.

That my friends, is how the theory of generative-grammar doomed the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.

-Eric

Shaq vs. (why didn’t I know this existed?)

Posted in Entertainment, Things That Own by jamiemarie on September 16, 2009
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Um, yeah, so that’s what Shaq looks like in a Speedo, in case you were wondering.

Apparently the other episodes this season were:
Shaq vs. Ben Roethlisberger
Shaq vs. Misty & Kerri 
Shaq vs. Albert Pujols
Shaq vs. Oscar de la Hoya
And last night’s Shaq vs. Michael Phelps

Here are my suggestions for Season 2
Shaq vs. Luc Robitaille 
Shaq vs. the free throw line
Shaq vs. Chuck Norris
Shaq vs. Godzilla  
Shaq vs. Steven Seagal
Shaq vs. James Lipton
Shaq vs. the Jonas Brothers 
Shaq vs. 50 Cent (rapping or getting shot, either or)
Shaq vs. Plácido Domingo 
Shaq vs. Bobby Flay
Shaq vs. David Blaine

trailer for upcoming art house masterpiece “Immortal Delicious”

Posted in Conspiracy Theories, Entertainment, isms, Politics, Things That Own by jamie on September 7, 2009

-guilty parties-

Sandy Murray – Director and Writer

Myself – Writer

Dixon as Himself

Mary as Herself

Mike as Himself

Stephen as Lord Sugarplums the Third.