11 December 2007

in a quiet theatre while the end credits roll is the best time to voice your displeasure over what you just saw for less than six dollars

"Oh my God...that's it? They don't even catch him? That's the ending?"

I'm with you, Mr. Movie Opinionheimer. I thought we were watching "Lethal Weapon 6," too. You did seem quite serious in your critique, as the screen shows you clearly who wrote and directed the movie.

"Didn't the Coen brothers direct that funny Dumb and Dumber movie?" I can imagine you asking your wife in the car. It's a common mistake, but no--you're getting hung up on the brothers part.

"Why couldn't they just have had the sheriff shoot him when he was hiding behind the doorway?" You'll ask a few days later, as your terribly loud breathing--which you had during the entirety of our shared time together--begins to sound more labored with the strain of the movie's ending weighing heavy on your heart (and lungs and other breathing parts).

"Was it supposed to be a complex conclusion, not necessarily about the resolution, but more about the chase--and the realizations arrived at in that time?" You'll propose, after you see it win several awards over the winter months to come.

I can actually answer that last one: No--there's actually a sequel planned. There will be more money on the line, and a more satisfactory ending meant to give your mind peace.

07 December 2007

Why you no longer need to buy me a ukulele

This is the exact reason why I bought a ukulele: so I could play this song to impress all of my guests. I don't have guests, so technically they were as impressed as they were ever going to be, but now they're musically as impressed as ever too.

So, unless you want to buy me a different style of ukulele (I have a soprano, to match my singing voice), you can just move on to the toy piano, etc, etc.

01 December 2007

If you cannot buy me the world, consider these

I have the best wish list in the world, mostly because I buy myself all the expensive things, then contemplate all the cheapish ones for far too long. Also, superlatives and references to the world as a generalized whole (or a-hole…zing on somebody there) are going to be THE thing in all the social circles this upcoming election year.

1. A Toy piano
2. A ukulele
3. An electric razor
4. Art, or other things art aficionados collect.
5. Some sort of book shelf, or magical treasure chest
6. magical powers?
7. powerful muscles
8. a muscle shirt!
9. you. NAKERDS.

That’s about it.

If I were a political commentator—or just a handsome actor chosen to read lines—the next list would all beat out the toy piano. Also, these wishes are all read on my political commentator television show, which is required of anybody with an opinion-for-hire and the ability to read someone else’s lines:

1. Social reform—we all know what this means
2. Campaign reform—there’s totally problems, you guys.
3. Those allowable waste credit things (“I can pollute because I have four tokens!”) handed out in direct proportion with the amount of toxic sludge hot dogs each company’s board of directors can eat in twelve minutes.
4. A president (presented in a voice suggesting that, up until this statement, we haven’t had one. And then Al Gore comes out of the back, waving at the crowd, dead drunk and disheveled. He has a tin cup with “Social Reform—can ya hear me?” written on it, and my cohost [cohort????], Tucker Carlson, says something witty like “THAT’S ironic.” And the entire room still doesn’t know what the SR is, but plays along because he was right about the hot weather and stuff).
5. A fucking AIR CONDITIONER. (said exactly like it looks. And everybody’s still confused by the Tucker Gore fist-fight earlier that they brush off this wish as if it makes sense in the middle of winter)

And THEN a toy piano.

30 November 2007

flashback joke title insert funnyfunny

10/18/01, posted on geneology.com:

hey

my names joe thiele, distant relative to cristoph thiele, who was born in niederhone, germany on jan 4 1840. he came to america in 1867, residing in bradford, illinios.in 1878 he moved with his wife, magdalena, to a farm southwest of dysart (i live in dysart as of now). dysart is on the border of benton county, which i noticed in another message. their children were john,will, and henry, also mrs. charles zobel. if anyone knows any links to other thieles around the country, feel free to email me

joe


You would think that was me, writing to an unknown collection of Thiele's out there. In the wilderness. But the grammar! and the casual tone! I would have been 17 at the time this was posted--did I really research enough to know the children and ancestory and specific dates? Honestly, when I first stumbled upon this (very, freakishly close to October 18th of this year) I nearly had a nervous breakdown (does repeating "holy shit that's weird!" count?).

So hey

ima writin to see if someone out there knows about joe thiele, circa 2001. he wrote entries on random websites, and didn't punctuate properly.ifyou can hlp me, email, yo.

joe

I've Reassumed.

I will not be taking any tests--of the written kind, at least--any time soon. I am not a suitable intellectual when money is an object. I barely remember how to spell my own name (der der I'm a salesman!). But I feel, at times more than others (Flowery...poop), I still can make words fit with other words to make a larger word picture that is nice to look at (if you can read the words). Words.

I have not taken a sip of alcohol in 25 days. It is a bit sad to say that I may not have taken that many days off in the months preceding, so it is a bit glad (wordcraftz) I am where I am. I still feel too tired in the morning--perhaps because I feel most ambitious at 1:19 AM. I still fail to write most ideas down. I still do not work hard enough at changing myself to change myself. I still fall into obvs. wordz. Obviously. I still watch sports (unrelated).

Quick tip--when you have two bottles of cranberry juice in your fridge (one unsweetened, one sweetened AND delicious), do not accidentally pour the former into a glass and take an enthusiastic drink (as if you were drinking the latter). It digests early.

If you searched for something on Google and need an answer for a research paper, you've been looking for the quote, "if a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, what then is an uncluttered desk a sign of?" And yes, it is Albert Einstein (the quotee, not the answer to the riddle...I was confused at first too).

If you check back every two months to make sure I'm not dead (literally, or creatively...AM I RIGHT ON THIS POINT?!? hahajokesssss), I have no promises for you. But this is an update. And I do not consider myself sober, because I can barely concentrate anyway.

The point of all of this, I guess, is I feel I've failed quite a bit since I had my Garden State moment (or since the time I didn't laugh at the notion of a "Garden State moment," around 2-1/2 years ago...ah, puberty). I have not done as much as I need to do to feel impressive to the people I want to be impressive to--especially to my closer friends and the (important?) college professors [I put off emailing back because I make so little progress]. I guess if I'm too content with my station I don't want to risk it. (the music to all of this features a prominent violin part)

But I am trying harder. I will continue to, at least through tomorrow. I have an eleven item list of projects I am currently working on. If you've read this far, keep going:
1. Fabric shapes--painting and sewing fabric swatches stretched and stabled onto makeshift canvas stretching frames.

2. Paint all the scraps left over from #1, and also learning how to paint on canvas.

3. Learn how to make a slipcover to dress up a black leather chair.

4. Learn how to make a new seat and back for new desk chair (to match the learned slipcover of #3.)

5. Figure out a use for a random thing bought at Pier One. (Descriptive and specific, no?)

6. Take more pictures, specifically of myself teaching others how to do things (through fake instruction manual form, etc).

7. Make really, really bad music with elaborate instrumentation and develop more lyrics--get a toy piano and a ukelele.

8. Instead of planting a tree, help the environment by recycling some useless item into something more useful.

9. Make a wall bend-out lamp.

10. Build a shelf for entertainment components. DONE!

11. Finish something, ten times in a row.


I made the list about a week ago, and have already made progress. I printed out these projects onto 3 separate sheets of paper and taped them to my wall, hoping that will help remind me. Tonight, I made another page to add to it, with bigger and bolder letters (the background music features more swelling drums and trumpets/trombones now).

One day.
One page.

So here are the rules: For December, I'll try to write at least one page of wordz per day. I might post them everyday here. Or I might not. I could even give up on the first day. That's completely up to me. So it really doesn't require a list of rules, but it was fun for a second (we've bonded!).

By Christmas I'll have a novel! (just kidding)
By New Year's I'll be reapplied! (probably not)
By January I'll be contributing again! (I'll allow it)

I'm considering this post today's page, by the way.

04 November 2007

Things you probably shouldn’t know about me: Montana Version

-I drink Heineken Light out of a plastic Jello cup while listening to Jens Lekman whenever I want to reminisce about the times I used to drink Heineken Light out of a bottle while listening to Jens Lekman.

-I build canvas stretcher frames to wrap fabric around so I have something to hang on my walls. I plan on painting these fabric blocks eventually with ironic/intelligent/maple-lieve phrases in foreign languages.

-If you pulled up next to me at a stoplight, even if you’re in a Porsche (or equally insane car), I’m likely to be the dick to race you in my Hyundai Sonata. When I lose (the race, or at life, whichever) I’ll be the dick to laugh at you for racing a Hyundai in some ridiculous car.

-When I made the first few fabric-wrapped frames for my apartment (above), I had a bit of fabric left over. And I thought I might be having company over later that night, so I tied it in an awkward half-knot around a lamp. I figured it would be a funny conversation-starter. Staring at it now, I do not see the humor so much as I see the tears.

-I also have fabric draped over speakers. It’s possible I’m a pretentious dick with bad ideas, trying to show off to no one but myself.

-This is apparently a diary of emotions.

19 October 2007

My eyes are patarded by now.

I feel it had been too long coming, but yesterday I finally cancelled Blockbuster Total Access. I’ve had both Blockbuster and Netflix, concurrently, for the last few months, and I’ve felt a bit guilty about it. Mostly because I’ve watched about two movies a week for the last eight weeks, and have paid for the opportunity to watch something like 4000 in that time. But also because I’ve seen one regain my trust with their improved shipping while the other takes a dump on my front door, but only after three days shipping one way and three days shipping back.

Netflix has instant access movies—kinda cool, but I don’t ever use it. They do have a nicer looking website, with more relevant suggestions, and that is all it takes to make me giggle and squirm. Blockbuster has a blocky (zing!) website, slow shipping, but you get to trade movies in-store for free rentals. While this does work out to instant access to movies, I feel more likely to be stabbed in the shady local branch than I do downloading tidily at home.

It seems like such an easy win for Blockbuster, though, because they have the indisputable advantage of point of purchase marketing. They can sell you other shit—like Posters! And Popcorn! And other Movies!—while you’re checking out your free movies. Who buys those things in such a depressing setting, though, I do not know. I do have a few ideas that seem good to me, and would be pretty simple for Blockbuster to pick up:

-In the store, have a kiosk or computer station or SOMETHING that allows you to look up your account online. I spend around 45 minutes every time I go in for my free rentals because I can’t remember what the fuck I want to see. Usually I browse around awhile, end up renting some slow movie I’ll never watch, along with “Dig!” for the 30th time. By having my queue available in the store, I’d save myself 43 minutes—but still probably rent “Dig!” most visits.

-Have trailers available online for EVERY movie. Not just new releases, but every movie. Studios that spend money on producing a trailer—then slapping it on the DVD extras to die—are bastards. Most trailers are imperfect, but they can usually point out hokey storylines better than a stale paragraph on how lethargic the main character is, and then is not.

-Have major trailers available IN STORE. When I shop at Best Buy, I need to be able to watch the televisions before I decide to buy one. It seems pretty simple if there were a similar set-up (maybe even with cross-marketing for Circuit City or BB) with full surround sound and projection television. By pressing one of 15-20 new releases, half the store would be able to hear what Michael Bay’s new movie sounds like through amplified loudspeakers.

-Remodel. Paint. Something. Replace the sun-bleached covers near the front windows. How is it that every Barnes and Noble I’ve ever been to doesn’t have the same problem with bleaching covers as Blockbuster? Block the windows up a bit more, make it feel like a theatre than a Southern California 80’s movie.


Maybe a lot of these are at some Blockbuster location, somewhere. They really should be, because they seem like “well no shit”-types of ideas than something more revelatory. Or maybe I’m just a business genius.

12 September 2007

omg guys! big news!


I was sitting around today, wondering why I haven't been able to write lately, but then I remembered Tom Papa's dilemma of not being able to, legally, write anymore, and it reminded me of that quote I couldn't remember months ago that has most likely stumped most of my creativity since then!

Tom Papa's television father: "Are we cool?"
Steve Carrell, as Tom Papa's boss, Blevin: "Crystal."

GENIUS! I'm all better now.

Related: "What that saying..."

Also: Google search for "tom papa": "Did you mean Tom Papania?" (Not really...)

26 July 2007

Best. Video. Ever.

If they had a way for me to translate this type of mind control into sofa sales, maaaan, I'd get sued a lot.

Other than the perverted nature of dropping a person into a complete nightmare, this is quite entertaining.

21 July 2007

Hopefully they don't call them "shit bricks"

It occurred to me today that if you worked in a ketchup packaging plant, you would probably never hear the word "ketchup" at work. Maybe at a brand new ketchup company, where the boss would say "time to make some ketchup packets!" and all the employees would regularly ridicule her for wasting time, with smarmy comments like "Oh, no mayonaise today?" and "When will we ever get around to making the cement packets?"

So I am--and was most of my lunch break today--deep in thought over what they do say in ketchup factories. Maybe ketchup packets are packets, ketchup bottles are bottles and tomatoes are tomatoes. I like to pretend they call ketchup packets "dope" (as in "let's sling {ketchup slang for 'make'} some dope"), ketchup bottles "benefits" (as in "if we keep up this pace, we'll produce enough benefits to finally get a healthcare plan!") and tomatoes "blood diamonds."

Everybody has to make it through the day somehow--thanks for helping me with mine, Arby's/Heinz.

19 July 2007

I've decide it's time to start reading again

I'm feeling a bit sick to my stomach; yes, my physical fitness is lacking, and I do feel a bit slovenly as my apartment dishevels in dust. But I feel as if I'm wasting time until I become middle-aged and fat and possibly married, probably to a disappointed partner with underachieving kids. I've been trying to figure out the logistics to owning a puppy--if it's possible, if it'd last longer than my fifth grade goldfish (dead after 3 days), if I'm able to murder if puppy poop gets on eeeeeverything. So mediocrity, and its slow tightening upon me, is showing.

There was a time I used to think playing a few games of FreeCell or Minesweeper would get my creative juices flowing enough to write; there were times when that was right. Most of the time it was just an excuse for doing real work, though, and here I am, showing how much free time I've wasted. Here's what I've come up with from the above, completely genuine, statistics:

-If every game of FreeCell takes about 1 minute (for simplicity's sake), I have wasted over 10,000 minutes of my life.
-or, in other terms, 167.95 hours.
-or, in a way, 6.9979 days.
-or, honestly, ONE FUCKING WEEK circling the drain.

If I would have applied that time, even in gradual amounts, to things less destructive, I could have:
-Ran/walked 33.59 marathons at a 5-hour pace.
-eaten 55423.5 hotdogs, consistently at world-record pace.
-blogged 671.8 times about how stupid Rachel Ray/you/Jim Belushi has acted to date.
-read The Great Gatsby 142 times.
-read the first seven chapters of James Joyce's Ulysses, and understood around half of it.
-completed one good, solid short story.

So as I overcome my nausea, and clear the FreeCell program from my computer, I remember why I don't smoke or shoot heroin--that's a lot of fucking chemicals over 10,077 minutes.

18 July 2007

What that saying...

Does anybody remember that show called "Come to Papa," and it starred Tom Papa, and he was always halfway smiling, so you thought he was either a bit slow or just really bad at having his own sitcom?

Steve Carell was on that show, I remembered the other night, as his TV boss (or something) named Blevin. And there was one show--because I seriously did watch the 4 episodes that ever aired--with Steve Carell talking to Tom Papa's papa (maybe), and I can't remember the punchline of the exchange, but it was soooo good. Here's the jist; respond if you know what it was:

Tom Papa's papa: Do I make myself clear?
Steve Carell as annoying boss: [something similar to "crystal," but not right for the situation and very punny]

These are the things I think about.

22 June 2007

"Zing on the shit thing"

Somehow an idea like this—“How do you start to suspect something? It’s directly related to becoming suspicious”—gets written down; my revelatory and original ideas, however, are as good as graham crackers left in the open spaces of an afternoon retirement home (delicious, but gone quickly).

Where do forgotten ideas go, you may be wondering? I wondered it for a second, but then realized how dumb of a question it is to be posed, but it’s you posing so I’ll deal. (Haha, look at us kid) My mind exhaled, frustrated-ly, at the nearly-cosmic possibilities on where ideas go when forgotten (in a barrel with fish, to be shot by overzealous, unoriginal types like the man of principle I assume The Brett Ratner to be, for example). Is it possible lost thoughts kill kittens, or lose wars? No. But it could explain cancer, in a retarded sense. Not in a logical one. (again with the kidding!)

Scientists (or science gossips, at least) say we use ten percent of our brains; Owen Wilson says we use ten percent of our hearts; what if we actually use 100% of both, but tasks like waiting in the Wal-Mart checkout, sleeping and shitting take up that last 90%? Those three things are my brain’s time to shine, usually producing more sensitive thought in a few minutes than in a thirteen hour workday. They’re also the most easily forgotten, as those very ideas flowing so freely are tied to fleeting endeavors—an employee opening up one of the fifteen unused lanes, an alarm clock or a flush.

If I wanted to come to a selfish conclusion, I could say these passing feelings set me across from the immediacy of every other artistic producer today. With every blog being updated every fifteen minutes and no revolutionary never shying away from a speech and a few media outlets suggesting a few what-ifs, the original thing to do as an artist would be to do nothing. A simpler minimalism—absenteeism, or something. If my point was to elevate myself above the rest, this denouement could work.

But I’m the asshole that cannot bring itself to carry around a notepad, nor bring itself to talk anything but shit all day. But you have to start with what you know, I suppose.




Oh, also: zing on the graham crackers thing. And the shit thing.

15 June 2007

18 May 2007

You're right to have come.

I know why you came here today, and I don't blame you. But I'm going to take a bit more time--push the deadline back a bit--and spellcheck the shit out of the next post.

I'm feeling quite nostalgic tonight (nostalgic is another word for cry-eyed). It's been almost a year on this blog, and just over one since the original [assumed] truth's ended. Without sounding too full of myself, I don't think any post on this blog so far has warranted the name. So I'll be attempting to revive the original form and frequency, delivering an unimportant topic in a smarmy way each and every week. Hopefully. If I have anything worthwhile left.

What the fuck am I saying? Of course I do.

In the meantime, here's where I last left off (in print form), with what I feel was a worthy end to the original:

Originally published in Buena Vista Univ.'s Tack, 5/12/2006

To all the alumni who’ve told me that “college is the greatest time of your life—enjoy it while you can”: thanks for ruining surprise; it’s great to know my life has peaked. Since I’m about to ride down the long slide ending in death, I’ve been thinking that I should make these last few moments last forever—not literally, of course, but in the slow-motion-sentimental-peak-scene way that always ends in friends and family hugging and smiling before the credits role.

So, with these few remaining words, I could choose to reminisce about all the fun times I’ve had with friends and colleagues, both in and out of the educational arena (like that one time I drank, then went to class, then left and drank some more…it was super awesome). Or I could list all the things I’m going to miss (Sodexho Jane’s on-going conversation with herself and whoever happens to pass by—she knows what she’s talking about, whether you’re caught up or not). But maybe those are too cheesy.

I could fall into abstract, philosophical thought and metaphor (Everyone poops: if you choose to climb the corporate ladder, don’t be surprised when those on higher rungs do too—it’ll get dirty). I could point out something painfully obvious to get an “I know what he’s talking about!” reaction (What is the deal with Pierce hall smelling so bad all the time? Am I right?). For some reason, these don’t seem appropriate.

I could even dwell on the things I’ve been holding against “The Man” all these years (ever notice how a diploma from Buena Vista guarantees most graduates a career at Wells Fargo and, apparently, little else?). I could recite what I’d say at graduation if given the chance to make a speech, a la one 90’s newspaper-column-turned-smash-pop-song (“Let us rise up on anarchistic wings and burn the tyrannical machines!...while wearing sunscreen.”). Maybe I’ll save it for The Revolution.

It seems I’m not one to get caught up in sentimental pomp, much less the circumstance that goes with it—there’s a fine line between relevant tradition and masturbatory glad-handing. I’m not sure I want to believe that this is all there is; I actually prefer having a reason to live (for example: insatiable greed).

But I do believe that things don’t happen as a part of some larger, planned scheme. I think things happen (because that’s what things do), then other things happen. Graduation will happen, and next year will happen, and (maybe) the year after with a handful of annoying things scattered through it all.

I hope you don’t take my final words as my most important—I’ve given out plenty others this year that I think are much better (mainly those with some association to “snakes” and “planes”). I thank those who gave me the benefit of the doubt, curse those who never will, congratulate the seniors who are leaving, and envy those select few who’ve got “it” figured out, even if only through next week.

In closing, I’ve learned that the beaver is one of the most industrious creatures in the world, affecting not only other beavers, but the environments they choose to live and work. I expect that to make it into a Fred Moore speech someday. In all actuality, “beaver” is a useful euphemism. The more you know…

Finally.

I've had this jingle bouncing around my head for the last few years, only being able to hum the melody and recite a few of the lines. But now I can look back on it whenever I need to remember what influenced me to get hooked on the meth in the first place.

12 May 2007

Specifically chosen facts about me


-I like to drunk message; I haven’t, however, drunk messaged you specifically lately because you’re ugly.

-When I drink, I get super motivated. Then I make things up while I type and probably get myself in trouble. This and the first point are related.

-I am, I think, Jim Halpert* from The Office. In a way I’m proud; in another I’m sad. (*First season Jim Halpert, not Jim “I have a hot girlfriend and crush fighting over me” Halpert from Season 3).

-I make coasters out of business cards. Also, miniature scultures.

-My coasters list the wrong address in the wrong state. Right company and spelling, however.

-Missoula, Montana is not susceptible to tornados. The clouds are scarier than all living shit, but no tornados.

03 May 2007

I feel similarlyish

The Show with Ze Frank, a year ago today.

I realize The Show was officially ended nearly two months ago, and that was officially its one-year anniversary. But I didn't find out about it until May of last year, at the tail end of a huge all-nighter to finish up some sort of paper or project or binge.

And after the first few weeks of catching up on the previous shows, I kept watching for most of the rest of The Show's run, though my internet connection sometimes made it tough. I still, though, go back to the 15 or so shows I watched that first blurry-eyed morning whenever I want to rediscover the mindset I had reached back then--depressed, lost, creatively spent, yet fucking optimistic. And desperately poor.

I don't really have many extreme or displayable emotions anymore, mostly because I'm tired from working more than I want to be, less poor than I probably should be and creatively spent most of the time. The first and last are related.

Oh, and today marks 10 months I've been doing the "work" thing. Another two and we'll see if it's time to reevaluate. Leave your lucrative job offers in the comments.

26 April 2007

27% battery left poem in a hipster coffee shop

If I call a Coffee shop
a hipster
Coffee shop for long enough
does it remain
a Coffee shop?

Fuck you,
yes
I suppose.

Suppose a coffee
bean shop
becomes a hipster
Coffee shop
immediately before A revolution,
or The,
who is welcome?

bullshit and bourgeoisie

Please, do not read this expecting something revelatory or intelligent

I’m still in the hipster Missoula coffee bar, and these are the questions I have yet to answer:

-What is the difference between blend coffee beans and single origin coffee beans? Wait, nevermind. I figured it out—one contains more coffee than the other.

-Seriously, how did they get the same loveseat as me?

-How do skinny, mop-headed “indie” guys end up with cute girlfriends that probably like halfway awesome music? And for all the single cute girls, how do you never like the same music as I do, and more importantly, why do I have to talk to you first? What if I’m scrd?

Again, I just answered my own question.

-Why does a coffee bar sell wine and beer if you absolutely cannot drink it on the property?

-Why has the wink, point and smooch-the-air gone out of style as a social dating tool? Or, why did that girl have such an asshole reaction to it?

-Why does tea smell so damn good when it tastes so damn empty?

-How long have I been sitting here, wearing headphones, without playing music? Does this make me the asshole?

-Is my t-shirt ironic enough?

The tea that's too hot to drink yet smells fantastic

I’m trying the Missoula thing right now. I have a vague sense of what is going on around me, but honestly, I’ve had to say “I’m new to this whole thing, what do I do?” far too much. But at least I’m not working today, and at least I’m trying to get out, and at most I am half-assing it.

There’s book stores that look like they’ll be a promising place to waste a few hours in, looking around and sampling and eventually buying very little. But each one of them is occupied by a few people doing just that, apparently leaving none for me, as I haven’t recognized much while inside. When I finally recognized something, I bought it. (note to bookstores—carry more “Get Fuzzy” collections and I’m there)

I found/was recommended to an upscale (I suppose) hipster coffee bar, so that’s where I’m sitting with my laptop open and headphones on, acting much the same as I would if I were at home. There are more than a few people acting at home with the upscale hipster coffee scene; my vital organ insides are eating all the non-vital pockets—I’m a bit uncomfortable.

I have been thinking somewhat creatively (as much as a furniture salesman can): twenty minutes ago, I used a bookstore restroom and had a horrible flashback to 1978 (or what I would assume 1978 bathrooms to look like after twenty-nine years of neglect and bad aim). My idea, other than leaving quickly, was to start taking photographs of the places I defecate. Also, after typing that, I had the idea to not use puns like, “shitty idea, no?” I’m full of them today.

Side note—I just realized there’s a leather loveseat that is almost EXACTLY like my left-behind lover. Except this one is red, has a superiority complex with all the bullshit that’s sat on top of it and I’ve never been inside it (maybe “on it” is a better way to put it).

Here’s another picture of when I drove into Missoula. I keep forgetting to take my camera with me when I drive on streets for hours, missing a lot of congested traffic, bicyclists, homeless and a few picturesque views of the surrounding scenery.

20 April 2007

Unnecessary things of the last few days

-I heard a guy on cable television state he drew his inspiration from "Dionysis, the goddess of wine." It's possible that it was on a show about haircuts, and even more likely I regret that 12 minutes trying to figure out why there was a show about haircuts.

-Some of my co-workers, though very nice, reminded me of the distance from any scholarly thought and intelligent conversation: one side was arguing how dogs had consciences...because they're nice (and sharks didn't for the opposite reason); the other side was throwing up resistance, while granting spiritual reasoning and vague definitions of good and evil--several animals were classified as either. After listening for 15 minutes without saying much--or getting cut off before I could ask anything--I asked if I could say something, got everyone's attention and pointed out how ludicrous their argument was (involving the impossibility of basing an argument on Creationism while also trying to use human adaptation as reason for superiority, proving anything with those types of examples, etc. Joe-Thiele-bullshit, etc.).

My point didn't land, mostly because I used "subjective" and "objective" and "empirical" in the same thought. So when one side said that my point didn't matter because we know what good and evil are, I asked what good and evil really meant. Tip: don't use "society tells us what they are" as a reason, or I'll think you're the type to have trouble with child-proof bottle caps. And then I said some smart-assed things like, "you know what proves there's true evil in the world? Dogs with consciences." Zing...

-Some dudes at a local convenience store thought they were having a deeeeeeep conversation as I overheard them discussing the reasoning behind naming a metal band after the Muppet characters. As I got ready to walk out, one said, "If I had to name a band I'd call it Muppet Douche." There's really nowhere to go from there.

18 April 2007

I am not crunchy granola, I am not corn on the cob.

Holy shit, that's an ambiguous, bullshit title. There's a point behind it, I suppose: I used to live in Iowa. Now I live in Montana. The crunchy granola part of Montana (Missoula).

It was a 1500 mile drive that almost didn't happen--car trouble due to Wal-Mart Oil-fucks (they forgot to put all the parts back into the oil filter). It took me three days, two nights. I drove alone, in my slouching Hyundai Sonata. Everything I found worth packing fit in a backseat and trunk. And I drove happily, into bear and bum-fuck country, to a place I had never been before. Willfully moved. 1500 miles. Without seeing my new hometown.

Today I finally grasped how ridiculously dumb that sounds.

Here's a picture:


I think that's in South Dakota. On a 5% downhill grade. On a related note, when you see a sign that says "5% grade" or "6% grade" with the picture of a truck carreening down it, you know you're about to hit a fun patch/horrifying downhill slalom.

More tomorrow, maybe. Or some night that I don't have to wake up in four hours.

25 March 2007

Ironic Half-assing

I finally finished a column I had originally intended to publish in place of relevant words back in my college newspaper days. Obviously I'm pretty uniquely talented in pretending to be diverse and multi-talented.

Posting through the US Postal Service

Writing on a blog becomes considerably more difficult when Internet stops and says, "mmm, nope. Fuck off." So I'm without a connection of my own (though with a slight connection of my neighbor's) to post for the last week.

It was 82 degrees outside today. I'm quite alright, for at least today, to still be in Iowa.

15 March 2007

"YOU'RE in the ceiling."

-The Prestige is a better film than The Illusionist. Both are more entertaining than the Blaine publicity stunt.

None of the three, however, live up to the Gob.

-Wouldn’t it be nice if I could post more? Or at least make these massive spurts of thought a regular thing?

-If I ask rhetorical questions in a place no one visits, will they ever get answered? More importantly, if a writer makes an analogous connection to the tree that may or may not crash to the fucking ground in the middle of the forest, will there be anyone to call ‘bullshit?’

-Classic SNL commercials make me happy.

-I don’t care in what context or on what issue they may appear, but conservative Christians always seem fanatical when written about in massively liberal and Godless forms of media.

-I have listened to the album of the year, as predicted by most to never live up to anyone’s expectations (unless you consider the fact that everyone was expecting something very sad compared to the very beautiful first album, which is still better than most). So the Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible is quite good, unless you’re deaf, then it’s probably just annoying to read about. On second thought, this deserves a full post and a better theme than "it's really fuckin' good."

-The last few weeks have been a bit less happy for me with The Office taking a break from new episodes until April 12th. It hasn’t been all that noticeable, though, because of the continued quality of 30 Rock. Tonight, and for the next three Thursday nights, I might have to cry into my pillow as I wait for both to return. The next month might be the worst twenty-eight days ever. Well, second worse.

-At the exact moment I wrote that last note, Ed Helms was singing his ‘Zombie, Zombie, Zombeei-eei-eeei’ song on an episode repeat. Blowin’ minds, man.

04 March 2007

The headline of the [to]day

"Gunmen stealing puppies caught on camera" (CNN)

Here we go again, another example of liberal propaganda. What, just because the men on the video had guns we're supposed to hate them? Or is it because they're stealing puppies? Dishonest journalism, I say.

But damnit if it doesn't grab your attention.

01 March 2007

My life moments, as you're interested--I can tell

The past two weeks:

-I'm still moving. I keep hearing it'll be very soon. Possibly next week. If not next week, then the week after. And it's probably going to be to Missoula, Montana. Or somewhere else. Not quite sure. Heard anything good about Missoula? Please tell me; I need the encouragement.

-Last Friday night (2.23.07) the power in my house flickered a few times; it even stopped completely for two minutes due to the ice storm outside. I thought, "fuck, who am I to care?" And the power came back on, and I went to bed sober--unable to go out for a going-away party because of the same damn ice. Next morning, my boss calls to tell me I don't have to come in. I think, "fuck yeah, yay ice storm," and go back to sleep. I wake up at noon (according to my cell phone), notice the lights don't turn on and make my way upstairs. No power. For the next three days. I come home Tuesday night at ten and our power arrives with me. I actually wanted to go to work for lack of a better alternative each of those days. So maybe development and technology and modern improvements really are for the better--as long as they don't snap off as easily as forty power poles during a severe winter ice storm.

-I've written before that I have never gotten into Bob Dylan's music; I think tonight I figured out the reason. I was watching Don't Look Back, the documentary of Dylan's 1965 tour of the United Kingdom: the interviews, the concerts, the informal moments of tour life, etc. And with every song, I thought, "Fuck, I really like this music." And with every interview, I thought, "Fuck, I would say some of the same things if I were famous and outgoing and Bob Dylan-like." When the movie finished, I couldn't find any other music in my computer collection that I really thought would live up to the songs and lyrics I had just heard. So, after contemplating it for the last hour (and reading his Wikipedia entry), I think I can surmise my disinterest in Bob Dylan is due to my exposure to his later material. The only song I know I've known for a long time is the Hurricane song, and I only learned that from the movie of the same name. I've always seen Dylan as more of a country-folk-bluesy singer, and that's never been my speed. So the streaming poetic folk of Don't Look Back stands against my faulty image of what I've heard for so long is one of the most influential musicians ever. I honestly feel a bit deceived, though I'm happy I've been saved back to a part of his music that I can like.

-It's blowing shittily outside at the moment, but we do still have power. Momentarily, at least.

"Don't touch me! I'm mean!"

I read about Chicago's The Boring Store tonight; I haven't been quite so happy to read something in too long a time:

In appearance, it's an elaborate joke on curious shoppers. In reality, it's a great idea to get kids writing creatively. The basic concept is that all outside signage suggests nothing more than an average store that sells nothing but holes and openings, and an innocent building that hasn't had a customer in twenty-eight years. "Not a secret agent supply store," reads a piece of paper in the front window.

I love the main banner sign:


Everything about it is dry--without reading through it, a passer-by would miss the point. Like asking someone who just got hit in the face by a softball if they're okay (or maybe not), The Boring Store tries to appear boring when it's just the opposite. The gadgets inside--like a 360 degree periscope--deny any merit as spy tools--not a 360 degree periscope as used by spies.
The article linked above (and source of the picture) photo narrates the bulk of the store inside (including a mysterious-looking mannequin with a "Don't touch me! I'm mean!" name tag). The recurring moustache theme sounds too good to be true: a moustache sache, a moustache wallet (because wallets only get stolen because they look like wallets) and a moustache-growing contest.
It adds up to be incredibly inspiring, especially considering the main purpose of the content is to get students to write (with the help of volunteering tutors).

13 February 2007

No, thank YOU, Optimism

Today, I am concerned about the current global political climate. This is new to me: I’d much rather keep my apathetic stance and hurl casual criticisms at the involved parties than buy into a complicated investment.

My grandmother, though, said something out-of-character; at first, her comment made me chuckle inside at her becoming an involved pundit offering unsolicited political commentary. But later in the day, a news promo teasing today’s issues explained her earlier forwardness: she had casually remarked, just as the news would a few hours later, that the more she thought about it, Iran had to be backing Iraqi insurgents with weapons and support.

So I’m glad there’s a glimmer of dialogue in my family beyond echoing, “time will prove the administration right.” I wish it was something beyond my favorite-est news channel’s thoughts, though. The speculation proven correct, however, would make the world I live in a sadder place twice over, the second being that Iran is coming after us. Fuck, I hate local news.

08 February 2007

Where're the mullets and pickup trucks?

For a television car show, I don't think there are many better than the Bri'ish's Top Gear. I'm not huge into cars, but I do play Gran Turismo, which makes me feel like I know something about them.

Plus, the dry humoured Jeremy Clarkson could get me excited about driving a wheelbarrow down a gravel road with that enchanting voice.

They don't sell $2.3 mil worth of Blue Moon in a YEAR

Yeah, this is a Bud Light commercial, but it was probably the best of an always-declining Superbowl media machine. Does anybody remember when Michael Jordan played horse with Larry Bird, and maybe Bugs Bunny was in there too somewhere, and they got my elementary-school self really f-ing excited?

I have a t-shirt to prove it.

More Commercialism

If I would have been savvy enough to read the things that explained the Doritos Superbowl commercial contest, I would have submitted my own idea. I think it would play well with all the fuckin’ kids [and anybody up at two in the morning, who could relate]:

Guy with a hammer and a bag of Doritos. He puts the bag down on a table in front of him, then smashes the bag with the hammer. Obviously, some chips break and splatter. Then, he stops, looks straight at the camera, and says, “walking tacos!” Then there’s a fifteen minute tutorial on how to make the best walking taco. Oh, and the guy’s name is Chuck Norris, for the kids’ sakes. And the hammer isn’t a hammer, but something obviously fucking crazy (like his eyelash!).

Creativity is fucking easy when you shit efficiently.

07 February 2007

This is one of ten for no reason at all

These are the first words I’ve had the chance to type in awhile. The following is a list of why that is (and other things that’ve occupied my days):

-I’m moving. You shouldn’t ask where; I don’t even know yet. But it’s going to be soon.

-I was in Denver for a few days, wearing suits and ties and smiles. What a lovely, highway-ed town.

-There should be tax benefits for small businesses if the minimum wage is increased [I think].

-I finally got a chance to listen to The Shin’s new album, Wincing the Night Away. I was excited within the first few minutes. Shooting over to Pitchfork, though, may have ruined that early buzz: while I was listening to the fourth song of the album, I read Pitchfork’s review, which praises the first four songs while suggesting most everything after doesn’t live up. Still, different than the “So Says I” Shins type of song, which may or may not prove to be a good thing.

-Also, I still don’t fucking care whether The Shins are indie-enough or too hipster. Zach Braff is a visionary, let’s be honest [eventually].

-Apparently, I spell “mansion” as “manshion.”

-I am still 6’4” tall.

-I am still confused.

-I am still putting off creating and producing and recording.

-I am still planning on doing something significant, eventually.

But: plans change.

29 January 2007

An improvement

Arcade Fire. "Intervention." From Neon Bible, to be released in March. In a fucking high school.

Blows away the NPR version I've been gathering inspiration from for the last few weeks.

15 January 2007

Whenever the weather gets better

I'm 23 as of yesterday (or earlier today, if you too are up at 3:30 am trying to write).

Fuck.

Two years and 24 hours ago, I was shutting down my first bar as a legal, drinking-aged adult in New York City. The bar was Irish-themed, though shit-pop music-ed--men in expensive suits and women in sophisticated bar fashion looking condescendingly down on our young adult table while they were jamming out to Britney Spears. Luckily, I was drinking gifted $8 scotches, $5 draws and whatever the hell else was in front of me; I, in turn, enlightened the bar-elite with my thoughts: louder-than-necessary judgment on the irony of creepy bar-trawlers listening to music aimed at people half my--and probably their kids'--age. Plus, the bartender gave me a free drink at three in the morning because he found out it was my birthday.

Tough to live up to, right?

One year ago I slept in for the first time in a long time, though the early mornings of the previous two weeks had been welcomed. At around noon, I showered and dressed, left the room, walked outside and found myself in Paris. I took a train to a different part of the city, got off, chose a direction and got lost (on purpose). The other members of my group had gone in different directions--some to a sprawling manshion, others to EuroDisney. I just wanted to see as much of the city as possible. For the middle of January, it was perfect outside. I found several of the landmarks from the movie Amelie. I ate at a French McDonalds--mostly to save money, though the food was surprisingly good (as opposed to the grease being surprisingly food-like). I walked for hours and somehow found the Red Wheelbarrow (an amazing English-speaking bookstore in the middle of Paris). And I saw the Opera House, and was asked to be drawn by a street artist.



An' then I got to see where the Moulin Rouge is, an' then the Sacre Coer with the group, an' then a few of the bars of Paris, an' then Euchre in the hotel, an' then a seven Euro beer. Plus all the stuff I did the two weeks previous and the week after--kind of like a three week birthday.



Today was kind of like that, except without all the fun but more of the work and opposite-of's.

12 January 2007

Something good to fill the time between car commericals

At the beginning of the current television season, I judged NBC's two new--though inexplicably related--sketch-parodies by the teasers. From those alone, I started watching "Studio 60" while trying to ignore "30 Rock." I didn't see a show based on SNL being funny with members of recent SNLs. Just didn't see it.

Luckily, I've been saved from my rushed judgment. I've caught up on every "30 Rock," and can honestly say it's the second best comedy on NBC on Thursday nights--"Scrubs" has fallen off this season (though not "The Office"). Theres something about Alec Baldwin in this clip, and most of the show that makes it not suck--perhaps its all the funny. And the Kenneth character is bound to be a pretty iconic attitude if the show survives for a few seasons.

This also makes "Studio 60" seem unnecessarily dramatic and pretentious. Un-"Sports Night"-like, even.

11 January 2007

Yeah, toast

I'm attempting to do something completely fucking stupid--allowing the health and well-being of my grad school portfolio depend a lit bit (if not more than usual) on my night-before-deadline skills.

So right now I've started a story--which, in my head is already written and fucking genius--about toast, and the toasters that toast it. Don't worry: it probably will be as fucking dumb as it sounds.
But I've run into a motivation issue (surprise!). Instead of banging my head against the wall (and taking my frustration out with some psychotic Freecelling), I've drawn a picture. It's my thing lately, as writing doesn't seem to be.
Also, if any of you can think of anything impressive about me to include in a well-worded personal essay, let me know.

09 January 2007

Something special

This is in no way news, which still gives me the credibility to be anti-establishment enough (fuck you, CNN!) to post a consumer-product ad without hesitation.

I've loved this never-aired commercial for awhile now; the fact that everybody freaks out because of the simple fact that he bites into the bar (without chewing or swallowing) gives Nutrigrain an aura of magical possibilities.

05 January 2007

Munich, coincidentally, has delicious beer

I think I've found a new hobby. I really wasn't in need of something new to do--there's a few things left neglected with this new pursuit, I can assure you--but I stumbled upon a way to shit out creativity without really creating anything original.

Remember back a few days, when I posted my favorite pictures of last year? Well I got an idea, worked far too long and made a few adjustments for the sake of a nice looking desktop (and that personal feeling of achievement):



I'm honestly proud of the fact that I can use the eye-dropper tool and natural-textured paint brush of my photo editing software; it almost looks like I knew what I was doing--and that I was purposefully going for the ragged, random-textures look.

But honestly, it really is just paint-by-number of a picture-by-pointing.

At least it isn't complete divulgence into elementary slop mixed with random ideas. Oh, wait. It's that too:

So here's where my life-accomplishment list stands:

-Struggling writer

-Amateur photographer

-Novice website developer

-Kick-ass Minesweepist

-Bonus track prodigy

-Photo-painter

-Salesman of the fuckin sofas.

-Ranging from Not-applicable to Slightly Impressive at everything else.

A million points to whoever names the place in the first picture. Three-and-a-half million if you name the place in the second.

"Nice web, Mr Crack Spider"

I fucking hate spiders. But tonight, I'm in a laughing mood. I've giggled and cried through this three or four times now.

02 January 2007

The first round of the Bowl Playoff Series

The last two minutes of regulation, plus overtime, with every down left in and everything else cut out of this year's Fiesta Bowl.

Probably the second best game I've ever seen; I was pissed off and jubilant within a five minute span, and I don't really give a shit about either team.

The picture would have been one of champagne, and in no way appropriate

I have no idea how actual reviewers rate albums on scales of one to ten. I think I thought I knew for awhile, but I honestly don’t have a clue. How I rate albums (and, on a more relevant level, songs) begins with how well my brain picks up on the general sound of the song. For this reason, TV on the Radio was tough to listen to at first; I haven’t read a bad review of their album yet, though. I think “Wolf like me” was my favorite 2006 song for about a month (August). Lyrical wit has a lot to do with my preferences, too—Jens Lekman, Mountain Goats, Decemberists.

The albums listed below, though, are in descending order of how well I reacted to the first listen (and, though diminishing as it drops, subsequent listenings). Joanna Newsom raced up the list over the last month; who knows where some of these will stand with me in a year’s time, though? Belle and Sebastian released the perfect live version of [possibly] my favorite album ever; if it weren’t for unnerving gypsy sounds performed by a non-gypsy teenager, it would be alone at the top. But Beirut’s first album hit me at one of the most important times in my life, so far. Hit square, in fact; converging the experiences of (or faux allusions to) my creative culmination—Europe—with the disappointment of so many events. Those events, big and serious and important at the time, could have no lasting impact on my life. Maybe they were the crest of a moderate wave.

I take music quite seriously; just don’t ask me to define what the “bridge” of a song is. I assume it’s just the pretty part that the singer runs out of things to say, so instead hums and ooohs for awhile.

2006, Immediate, meaningful decisions:

Beirut- Gulag Orkestar
Belle And Sebastian- If You’re Feeling Sinister Live At The Barbican
Joanna Newsom- Y
Mates Of State- Bring It Back
Regina Spektor- Begin To Hope
Peter, Bjorn And John- Writer’s Block
Tv On The Radio- Return To Cookie Mountain
Danielson- Ships
Destroyer- Rubies
Sunset Rubdown- Shut Up, I Am Dreaming
Bonnie “Prince” Billy- The Letting Go
Final Fantasy- He Poos Clouds
Oxford Collapse- Remember The Night Parties

A few songs here and there; not the entire album yet:

Guillemots- Through The Window Pane
I’m From Barcelona- Let Me Introduce My Friends
Grizzly Bear- Yellow House
Figurines- Skeleton
Belle And Sebastian- The Life Pursuit
Band Of Horses- Everything All The Time

Give me a few months; check back at the end of 2007 for a better verdict:

Islands- Return To The Sea
Swan Lake- Beast Moans
Decemberists- The Crane Wife
The Mountain Goats- Get Lonely

Honestly, deadlines are far less important than regression and sentimentalism

Maybe things were better exactly one year ago; they were more interesting--I was in Europe--but I hesitate with saying they were definitely better. But I've been in a depressive's "exactly one year ago today, I was in Amsterdam celebrating New Year's" mood. Because, a year ago at this exactly moment (3:51 am Iowa time, January 2nd=10:51 am Munich time) I was nine minutes away from seeing an underwhelming glockenspiel performance (or whatever the hell it's called when hundred-year-old figurines spin slowly below a clock while an out-of-tune mechanical bell chorus chimes for ten minutes).

Thinking back, I found I enjoyed taking pictures with my amateur camera in my progressively amateur style. Drunken arm-length portraits aside, every worthy picture I took was on my paint-by-numbers tour of Europe. Every sight I saw was in a guidebook, somewhere, and I had to travel with 24 other people. But the pictures became memorable, if slightly out-of-focus and shaky. Fear not, fans of the fanatical sneak-portraits: I still hold the technique dear, but they don't work quite as well on postcards [unless it's me holding two Hofbrauhaus mugs].






Do not hesitate in donating to the "Send Joe Thiele to Europe for, like, permanent-sies" fund. I'll give you back a receipt for your tax write-off. Happy New Year.