Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Malice, on his Birthday

More flash fun, for the listless. This offers a good approximation of what it's like to be me on my birthday. Alas, as in real life, I am terrible at this game:


Brain Candy

This is a cool bit of Flash programming propaganda that illustrates the effect that different drugs have on the body. When you click on a drug, click on the tab that appears that says, "How it Harms the Body"...

Ooh, yeah, that's the good shit...

Also, here's "Part 1" of a great interview with members of The Kids in the Hall. This part features Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald, who discusses his drunk dad. It's great.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Battlestar America

Though latest polls by the New York Times/CBS News indicate that Bush is enjoying the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, they also indicate that people aren't flocking to the Kerry camp.

Note to all the people who think Kerry's playing a good game by "letting Bush dig his own grave"!

I know you can't make any judgment calls based on polls. The only thing that ultimately matters is who gets to the voting booth on election day. But I am concerned that Kerry isn't stepping up and connecting with voters. There are a lot of people investing in him and I assume there is a master plan in all this -- I just hope it pays off.

If Kerry manages to blow this, that would be shameful. Not that I think he's the answer to all our problems (my problems might never be answered, that's for damn sure...), but we need him. I wish there were a stronger, more inspiring candidate -- but this is what we've got for now. We've got to fight for a better tomorrow.

Now, FLY, winged monkeys! Fly!!!

Radio Crap

What does a $30 gift card at RADIO SHACK buy you?

24 AA batteries and a pair of headphones.

Thank you, parents-in-law! A thoughtful birthday gift, I just got around to using. I feel like a member of the family now.

The Dark Backward

FAHRENHEIT 9/11 took in $21.8 MILLION its first weekend! First documentary ever to debut at the top spot. It's already made more than BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE made during its entire theatrical run.

I don't tend to write movie reviews here. I was disappointed in the film, as was everyone I saw it with. I didn't think it was awful but there were a lot stronger arguments it could have made, and there were problems with the arguments it *did* make. THAT BEING SAID... I think it'll make an impact. I don't care that it doesn't offer anything that hasn't been public record for a while. People don't read. They watch movies. And this plays like a big campaign commercial to vote out GWB.

Between this film and Howard Stern, hopefully the swing vote will be sufficiently moved to vote Bush out in November. So, even though I didn't think it was a very strong documentary (and not nearly as strong as it could have been, with all the material that's out there), I support it fully. It's historic, it's a landmark, and it is what it is. Go see it with a friend and bicker afterwards.

It's a scary time in the world. The Clinton years seem like Camelot now. (With all the singing and stuff.)

Crazy weekend. I feel like every friend we know had a show up. My head turned to glue after a while. I will not comment on what we saw. I have already said too much.

Consolation in this being a shortened work week, with Independence Day upon us. (The day we kicked those aliens asses with a crummy computer virus -- who knew they used the same Apple OS? Stupid alien invaders...)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

What it Feels Like to be God


He's Got Yellow Fever!

So I'm walking down 6th Ave with C. last night and walking the opposite direction I see a a couple. From a distance, it looks like an Asian girl and guy. But when they get a little closer, I steal a glance. The guy's not Asian -- he's Alec Baldwin.

It's confirmed because I hear his voice as they pass.

"Are you sure it wasn't Daniel Baldwin?", C. questioned. But I know what Alec Baldwin looks and sounds like, thankyouverymuch...

Further down the block, we bumped into Keo Woolford, who portrayed a *slightly* fictionalized version of me in our wedding film. (He was in a big production of The King & I in London, and he was a member of a Hawaiian boy band, so he counts as a celebrity.) He's a really nice guy -- we chatted for a while.

We also walked past someone I hoped I'd never see again. It's like watching a ghost float by. Jesus, the world can be an ugly place...

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Kim Sun-il

This is devastating, if expected in this world gone unconscionably wrong.

The sound of that man pleading for his life a few days ago... one of the most horrible things I've ever heard.

I don't know how this kind of thing will ever be stopped. It's like swatting at flies.

We can catch the miserable animals who did this but they'll be replaced... if they're even caught. Is this the kind of thing we can look forward to for the next 50 years?


My exceedingly generous sister bought us a 3-month subscription to NETFLIX. Kind of as an early anniversary gift, but mostly because she's just too generous. (And I guess we're easy to buy for.)

Anyway, I'd subscribed to NETFLIX before and it is awesome, especially because we don't have a videostore anywhere near us in our new place. The reason I canceled our subscription was because we got cable and I couldn't justify the added expense...

This is the tricky thing with NETFLIX. It's $22 a month for unlimited movies. You get three movies at a time, the rest exists in a queue until you start sending movies back. Yes, there are no "late fees", but if you keep the same 3 movies for an entire month, you've just paid $7.33 for each of them. So the only way to make it cost-worthy is to watch as many DVDs as you can in a month...

If you watch 4 DVDs in a month, you've just rented them each for $5.50 a pop. 5 DVDs? $4.40 a pop. 6? $3.66 a pop. (This is when it starts to be a decent price.) If you watch 10 or more, it's a real deal, but you can do the math. I just like filling up blog space with numbers. It makes me feel... important, somehow.

It's hard enough to try to find any quality time to spend with C., oftentimes -- and when we have some free time, we usually go out and stuff. That being said, we've packed a big queue and we'll do our best to make the most of 3 months. Thank you, sis!!! (You won't be reading this because I'd never want you to find this blog, but thank you all the same...)

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


I didn't actually write this. Thanks to 6mx...

How to make a Malice Highload
3 parts success
1 part crazyiness
5 parts leadership
Layer ingredients in a shot glass. Add lustfulness to taste! Do not overindulge!

I think the actual recipe is a little more like:
-3 parts success
5 parts crazy
20 parts malice
30 parts vodka

Pimp My Cell!

Wondering what to do with your old cell phones? I heard about these sites on the radio this mourning and I checked them out today:



1 will give me $4 for my old phone. 2 will give me $10. (I think I paid about $200 for it originally.)

If you're not interested in this lucrative money-making opportunity, you can visit -- you can select a charity you'd like to donate your old phone to, and it's tax-deductible. [Nothing more life-affirming than seeing battered puppies using working cell phones.]

Monday, June 21, 2004

Spiderman India!

They're reimagining SPIDERMAN for India! (Here's another link, with more pics!)

Readers of this series will not see the familiar Peter Parker of Queens under the classic Spider-Man mask, but rather a new hero – a young, Indian boy named Pavitr Prabhakar. As Spider-Man, Pavitr leaps around rickshaws and scooters in Indian streets, while swinging from monuments such as the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal. Mumbai’s (Bombay’s) first web-swinging superhero will be joined by a reinterpretation of the classic Spider-Man villain, the Green Goblin -- reinvented as a Rakshasa, an Indian mythological demon.

I guess since we're outsourcing so many jobs to India, we might as well send them Spiderman, too...

(special thnx to Roger for e-mailing this to my attention...)

4 to 1

this thursday's C. and my 4-year dating anniversary. (i guess i could have waited till thursday to blog about this, but i didn't feel like writing another entry about how much i hate work/mondays.) and july 5th will be our 1-year wedding anniversary! my, how the time flies...

this time last year was total madness. we were in the midst of setting up the wedding, trying to attend other people's weddings, and then gearing up for a big move. it feels like only recently things have begun to settle down and we've started to actually live again...

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Missing Person

a first-year Actors' Studio playwright is missing. her name's Jessielee Whitson, i think. i might have met her once, but i don't remember her so i can't really offer a description (i think she has red hair, around 5' 4"-5"). last seen in the east village, tuesday night, near her apartment. she left her apartment to get a bottle of water or something -- she left her wallet/credit cards, she just brought some cash. she never came home.

C. (who's a second-year playwright in the program) told me about it last night. apparently, Jessielee's friend Philip (another second-year playwright) filed a police report last night, after the requisite 24 hours. they told him that if they don't find her by tonight, it'll turn into a search for a body.


i always get freaked out if C. comes home really late. i know she can take care of herself and she's been in this city long enough, but you can never know. this is why i only travel in large posses -- even if we get jumped, i know somebody'll get away and send reinforcements. ("Ponyboy's been shot! It was those damn Socs! Rally up Sodapop and the rest of the greasers!")

spoke with C. this morning and supposedly Jessielee left a message on her husband's voicemail saying she was okay. (her husband, i think, lives out of town.) still, can't feel relief till she's back again and her story's told.

it's weird because i don't know this girl at all, yet i find myself so concerned with her being okay. probably because i feel so protective of C., and they're in the same program, and this is such a fucked up world. a world that's a lot more scary when you've got something to lose...

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

fuck and run

big upheavals at the workplace. firings, promotions. all in the course of a day.

i just got a promotion and i'm already up for another one. this is concerning.

the pending "promotion" could land me in a shittier hole than the one i'm in. in terms of what i've gotta deal with.

i'm like a substitute teacher. i could get dropped into fucking warzone for a day, but as bad as it is... it's just that day. imagine having to station there for a year.

(that analogy felt a bit clunky. substitute teacher/soldier? which one is it, malice? which one is it?!?)

i was reading some old archived posts from this blog and i thought it was funny how many times over the past several years i've written about how badly i need to leave this job...

well, here's another one.

i cannot be here by the end of this year. i've got to make something happen. things are not dire yet, but i need to make a preemptive strike. i need to start doing pertinent stuff.

contrary to the urban legends, i'm *not* getting any younger...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

basketball stole my wife

i really hope the Pistons beat the Lakers tonight. then it'll be over and i can get my wife back.

i hate watching sports.

(maybe i'm just bitter because that ankle injury in college kept me from the nba draft... damn you, zach...)

a little over an hour to kill, here in the 9-5 laugh factory.

bought the BEASTIE BOYS "To the 5 Boroughs" today, which Rolling Stone awarded 5 frickin' stars. have to wait till i get home to give it a spin.

also picked up THE SIMPSONS COMPLETE SEASON 4, because i'm a sucker. total impulse, i know i should have waited, but i was so surprised it was out already and... i buckled. i know i don't need the distraction right now, but i figure, what's one more distraction? if it'll fill me with a fleeting, synthetic sense resembling "happiness"?

ok, i'm gonna slow down the seeming purchase-frenzy. i can't afford it. i'll be in debt until judgment day, when the machines rise up and take over the world. it's a good thing i don't keep too current with music. guns n' roses only puts out a new album once every 20 years or so... (sorta like "Jeepers Creepers"...)

Monday, June 14, 2004

The Uncanny Valley (Part 2)

Another article about the Uncanny Valley... this one's a little less fun, but a little creepier...

The Man Who Mistook His Girlfriend for a Robot


This is why (David Hanson) has little patience for the Uncanny Valley: It's a concept that plays on fear rather than possibility, that asserts we should shy away from making robots look too human, rather than asking what positive benefits there might be to the truly lifelike robot. "Achieving the subtlety of human appearance is a challenge that should really be undertaken," he says. Only realistic heads will challenge AI researchers to integrate the various robot capabilities—adaptive vision, natural language processing and more—to create "integrated humanoid robotics," Hanson says.
It will take decades at least to raise robots that are as smart and independent as we are, but the work has begun. Robots that learn on their own, robots that walk, robots that socialize with people, are all now in various stages of development. "A realistic autonomous humanoid is the Holy Grail," (some scientific guy) says. And, on the far side of the Uncanny Valley, robots would have a realistic, emotionally expressive face—a face that challenges robot-brain builders to make smarter robots, a face that fools us into treating a machine as if it were human. A face a person could grow attached to.
Humans are facing an identity crisis, Hanson said — one that just a few people know about but many sense. "If we can mechanize what makes us human, that will make us feel like a mechanism," he said. Maybe that's what really lies behind the resistance to realistic humanoids, the reluctance to venture into the Uncanny Valley. And when we do cross over?


Here's a CNN article that is a little more succinct and accessible.

Now are you afraid...?! Not nearly enough...

"List of Friends Revised"

I know The Onion probably enjoys the most blog links in all of Internetdom, but this story is awesome:

List of Friends Revised After Birthday

(I been meaning to update my list...)

I been trying out the "preview" version of Google's new "Gmail", but it's a bit buggy so far. The big advantage of the free e-mail service is that it includes a full GIG of storage (with side ads that aren't too intrusive, so far). However, it's just an e-mail service, so you can't really use it to host images you want to put up on a website. And I tried to send a small movie to a fellow Gmailer (let's call him "Steve"), but when I clicked "send" it kept giving me the error message "There is no data in this message". Even though I wrote a full subject header and something in the message body. Sorry, "Steve", maybe I'll try again later...

(Every time I don't plan on blogging, something comes along that I want to put up.)

postscript: new BEASTIE BOYS drops tomorrow. it's the little things that make the world slightly less unbearable.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The Uncanny Valley

More procrastination. But every so often, you run into an article that you've got to show everyone...

by Clive Thompson

In 1978, the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori noticed something interesting: The more humanlike his robots became, the more people were attracted to them, but only up to a point. If an android become too realistic and lifelike, suddenly people were repelled and disgusted.

The problem, Mori realized, is in the nature of how we identify with robots. When an android, such as R2-D2 or C-3PO, barely looks human, we cut it a lot of slack. It seems cute. We don't care that it's only 50 percent humanlike. But when a robot becomes 99 percent lifelike—so close that it's almost real—we focus on the missing 1 percent. We notice the slightly slack skin, the absence of a truly human glitter in the eyes. The once-cute robot now looks like an animated corpse. Our warm feelings, which had been rising the more vivid the robot became, abruptly plunge downward. Mori called this plunge "the Uncanny Valley," the paradoxical point at which a simulation of life becomes so good it's bad...


It's a fascinating article from Slate, I highly recommend reading it through. (The secondary article that's linked to, delving deeper into the idea of "the uncanny valley", is fascinating too -- if a bit more academic.) It's been something that I've been trying to articulate for a good while now -- I've noticed it watching the cgi in certain "realistic" videogames. But I've felt a similar, hard-to-articulate repellency while watching the trailers for the upcoming Zemeckis/Hanks CGI-festivas, The Polar Express...

It *looks* like Tom Hanks... but somehow... it *ain't* Tom Hanks. It's the dead-eyed corpse of Tom Hanks, dancing and strutting like a necro-puppet. With dead-eyed corpse children frolicking about, leading up to a visit from the bellowing, dead-eyed corpse of Santa Claus.

Kidnap the Santy Claws!
Nail him to the wall!
Prick him full of bullet-holes!
See if he will bawl!!

Kidnap the Santy Claws!
Tie him up in string!
Hang him from a gallows noose!
See if he will swing!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Reclarification of Terms

It annoys me that I have to do this, but I guess this is what happens when you open something up to a larger audience. I apologize because I have tried to keep this blog from getting inordinately heavy/preachy, and I want to keep it that way because the soapbox-crying gets real monotonous when it's unrelenting.

This is my blog. My personal dry erase board.

There is no democracy here. I have to put up with too many assholes in the real world, I won't tolerate them here. If you leave a comment that I find genuinely insulting, I'll edit it or I'll delete it and ban you. I don't care if you're joking. You can post dissenting views, but if I feel that it crosses over into insulting me personally, if it crosses *my* line, it's history. That goes for the faceless as well as the people I know "in the real world": You can spew whatever kind of bullshit you want on your own fucking blog. I don't have to host it here.

Some people like posting things on their blogs to start debates. (Heated debates that go nowhere.) I'm not here to do that. I'm not here to foster some illusion of a "community". If you want that, there are plenty of other places that'll give it to you a lot better than I ever would.

I did not start this blog to create a forum where I could sink my hands into more bullshit from people. I guess calling it "Misanthropy Central" sends an invitation out to small-minded assholes who want to reinforce the unimaginable contempt that I harbor for so many people.

I created this blog, first and foremost, to offer myself a venue for procrastination. To vent annoyance and hatred: not to create it.

I want to apologize again because the majority of people who read this regularly either don't leave comments or post in a perfectly decent manner. But it doesn't take a lot of rats to spread the plague...


first things first. Velvet Revolver is the new band comprised of Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum (all formerly of Guns N' Roses), lead singer Scott Weiland (former lead of Stone Temple Pilots)... oh and one other poor schmo named Dave Kushner (Tony's little brother, i think). listening to their debut album, CONTRABAND, which i picked up yesterday. i think it is good, though i have to listen to it a few more times to really get a sense of it/them.

i'm a *huge* GUNS n' ROSES fan, for reasons i won't delve into right now. i always thought the thing a GNR-band-minus-Axl would be lacking in would be a sense of poetry and heart. (Slash's Snakepit wrote a song called "BE the BALL", about Slash's love for pinball, for chrissakes.) so the idea of someone like Weiland stepping in is promising. the trick of an outfit like this is the band gelling into something organic and unique -- and not just familiar echoes of its disparate parts. i am dimly hopeful for them. i'd love for a real rock band to be big again.

i also watched CITY OF GOD, which was incredible. it is a tremendous film.

and now that i've established that i'm a human being for the day, here's my preachy bit...

what does Ron Reagan, Jr. think of The Bush House?
April 14, 2003: "The Bush people have no right to speak for my father, particularly because of the position he's in now," he said during a recent interview with Salon. "Yes, some of the current policies are an extension of the '80s. But the overall thrust of this administration is not my father's -- these people are overly reaching, overly aggressive, overly secretive, and just plain corrupt. I don't trust these people."

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

serial killer thriller

slow day at the office. i've effectively procrastinated the day away, but i swear i'll get more writing done tonight. (i'm sure you're all deathly concerned.)

i spent a good chunk of the afternoon reading the extensive Blogger War between "Hongita" and "Mike2Cents". Excruciating in its futility. note that i did not add a comment, though i couldn't help comment on a follow-up post from her, which i found even more baffling and excruciating.

today, i picked up the debut album of VELVET REVOLVER -- the band formed from the discarded remnants of Guns N' Roses and the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots. since i've converted to ipod-ism and no longer tote a cd-player, i'll have to wait till i get home to hear it, though ROLLING STONE gave it 4 stars.

i also picked up the dvd of CITY OF GOD, without even having seen it. based purely on how enthusiastic everyone i know who has seen it is. we'll see how gullible i am...

Pixel Perfect

ok. procrastinating. should be writing but it's hard to write at work, so i've been internetting like a fool.

i stumbled on this page of celebrity look-alikes and came upon one of "Weird Al" Yankovic. now, as much as i loved "Weird Al" when i was about 13, i imagine the only thing sadder than being a "Weird Al" look-alike is actually being "Weird Al".

Monday, June 07, 2004

hitting the wall

i think i slept about 2 hours last night. my sleep schedule gets so fucked up on weekends, sometimes it's hard to get back. i just couldn't fall asleep. somehow, i managed to get through the day without feeling too damaged, but i'm starting to hit the wall now. been trying to concentrate on writing a very important project. as always, i am cautiously optimistic... and filled with dread...

Sunday, June 06, 2004

PAPA don't preach

So, last night we were meeting some friends and decided to visit one of those buzz-worthy new crazes that pop up now and again. It happened with Krispy Kreme, before they EXPLODED and became commonplace. It's happening again in the form of rice pudding with "RICE TO RICHES". And it's also happening with a distinctly Japanese import with the curious name of "Beard's Papa". What does Beard's Papa serve?


Don't ask me why it's called "Beard's Papa". The mascot they've got looks like an older man with a puffy beard that resembles, I guess, their cream puffs.

(he also resembles the gorton's fisherman, but I digress...)

Puffy beard. Puffy beard of papa. Papa's Beard? No... the beard should be first... Beard's Papa. The beard is so puffy, it is in possession of papa -- not the other way around. Just as our cream puffs will be in possession of the throng of humanity. [In any case, that's the train of Japanese business logic that I assume occurred -- much in the way the man who established "SONY" was going for a very American-sounding name and thought of "sonny-boy"...]

C. and I had never been there but we'd read about it, and we decided to do something nice for these friends we don't see so often and buy everyone some fucking BEARD PAPAS...!

Now, granted, cream puffs are not everybody's cup of tea. Just as rice pudding and even doughnuts are not everybody's cup of tea. Cream puffs are one of those distinctly fringe desserts that, through marketing and *buzz*, can potentially become mainstream.

That being said, even if you do NOT care for cream puffs, if it is given to you as a gift there are still some basic guidelines for social etiquette that you should follow. And to be fair, everybody seemed very appreciative of our Beard's Papa offering...

Everybody, that is, except *one*...

For the sake of anonymity, let's refer to him as... Ignatius...

Ignatius threw his away. After trying to give it away to random people, Ignatius threw it away without having taken a bite. Ignatius didn't even bother to lie to us.

He didn't bother to try to give it back to us, politely saying something to the effect of, "I'm sorry -- that was exceedingly thoughtful of you, but I do not personally care for cream puffs and I do not want to waste the $1.25 you paid for each one of these cream puffs, so I would like to give you this cream puff back..."

No. He just threw it away. And sheepishly confessed to it later in the night.

Is it any wonder why I'm so misanthropic? When I do something nice for someone, they throw it in the trash... Papa's Beard would be livid...

Friday, June 04, 2004


Asked by Van Susteren about reports of his involvement in an upcoming reality show, Simpson said, "it's a takeoff on something called 'Punk'd"', an MTV hidden-camera show featuring Ashton Kutcher pranks on celebrities. "It's me doing gags as Juice ... what they call 'juicing' people." Simpson earned the nickname Juice during his legendary career as a running back in the National Football League.

I just imagine a "reality snuff show" where OJ kills different people/celebrities every week, and then says to them:


Thursday, June 03, 2004


I was actually VERY BUSY at work today! So much so that I didn't get to post anything on this damn blog...

Anyway, as is often the case, I have something I'm working on that I want to talk about but I can't. So essentially, this isn't much of an update. But I'm gonna publish this post anyway...

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


this weekend, me and the missus watched almost the complete seasons of ALIAS and 24 that we'd taped because we couldn't watch them earlier. it was great. i think you get more forgiving of shows like that when you watch them as complete seasons instead of parceled out in hour installments.

24 has the upper hand, however, because you get closure on a complete storyline at the end of each season. ALIAS is forced to keep you just short of closure, just short of victory, just short of vanquishing the BAD GUY -- or else the whole show's over.

i know ALIAS has two more seasons signed up, but i just hope they end the series with some closure. most dramatic american tv shows -- some of the best ever -- have had a lot of difficulty with endings.

i'm reading a book called RATS right now, it's pretty brilliant. It's about the history of rats in New York City, and elsewhere. The author, Robert Sullivan, does a great job of weaving a narrative and not weighing it down with numbers and statistics. I'm only about 50 pages into it but it's terrific.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Bad Hair World

holy fuck, my hair grows fast. i swear, i'll go broke getting haircuts. i've already let it go too long because i've been trying to save my cash for things like rent, but it is officially out of control. i just need to try to keep it under control till friday. maybe i'll be industrious and get it clipped thursday night. when i was in college, i used to cut it myself with an electric buzzer. i also used to dye my hair purple. i don't think i can do that right now. i have grown too old...

light a candle for the sinners... set the world on fire...

Murder on a Tuesday

I know it's technically not Monday, but it's a Monday wearing the guise of Tuesday.

Days like this (essentially every day at work), I take to counting the hours and minutes. For example, right now I've got a bit over 3 hours. Minus the hour I'll try to take for lunch eventually, it's a bit over 2 hours. O, these glimmering crumbs of hope...