Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Context ruins everything

It was either post this or take a day off. I'm sorry.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ron Paul

I have a friend named Walt who grew up in East Texas in the 60s and 70s, spending most of his youth in the cities of Freeport and Angleton. Walt hates the war in Iraq with a passion, and is sick enough of the status quo to advocate rioting at least a quarter of the time I talk politics with him. He thinks the Bush administration is the worst thing to happen to America in decades, possibly ever, and is massively disillusioned with the Democratic party. He will not be voting for Dr. Ron Paul.

As many of you know, Ron Paul was a gynecologist before entering politics. As probably only one or two of you know, Ron Paul was Walt's mother's gynecologist before entering politics. According to Walt, Ron Paul once recommended her a hysterectomy for reasons still at large, a recommendation that was not taken after a different doctor gave a second opinion discrediting and mocking Ron Paul's advice. Walt's mother lives to this day, hale and healthy and with every last bit of her uterus.

Ron Paul tried to steal my friend's mom's uterus.

I'm not going to tell you who I'm voting for, and I'm not going to tell you who I'm not voting for, but I will say this: a vote for Ron Paul is a vote for a man who tried to steal my friend's mom's uterus.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Attn: The Internet

How do you make a podcast? Is it pretty easy? Does anyone listen to them?

Is it legal? What if I just podcasted a Beatles album or something... Do people give a shit?

Why do "podcast" and "podcasting" clear Firefox's spellcheck, but not "podcasted"?

And how come neither "spellcheck" nor "spellchecker" pass the spellcheck(er)? Common usage, internet... jeez.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Grone Protocol: The Alabaster Mask of Iniquity, Chapter 008

Like most of you, I am a popular writer of highbrow thrillers and suspense novels in my spare time. For your entertainment and erudition (both of which I care about so much it gives me night terrors), I will be serializing my latest work, THE GRONE PROTOCOL, here in my “blog” (short for “web blog”) every "week" (seems more like bi-monthly now, but whatever). Here’s the eighth chapter, which should more than fill your daily quota of gripping intrigue. If not, just google "gripping intrigue" and leave me alone.


Chi Chi Caraniveggilio stepped out onto the balcony like a butterfly fart. As the party carried on inside the living room, she sighed and lit a tampon from her purse, believing it to be a cigar. After putting out the tampon and realizing she had left her cigars on the coffee table, she sighed again, twice. "Mama Mia," she thought. "I've really burned the spaghetti this time."

Chi Chi was an Italian, from Italy, and she liked to smoke cigars. She had been a world-famous local celebrity in her hometown of Genoa, the host of the gourmet cooking show "La Camera Squisita Grande di Come Circa Lascili Mangiano un Certo Molto Buon Alimento Oggi che Caratterizza il Vostro Chi Chi Ospite" ("The Big Delicious House of How About Let's Eat Some Very Good Food Today Featuring Your Host Chi Chi"), a program whose revolutionary approach to microwaving and ludicrously cumbersome title made her an international superstar in Genoa and its surrounding villages. Chi Chi relished her fame, but she gave it all up to come to America, where she lived a life of quiet, cigar-filled anonymity.

Chi Chi loved her life in the States, and loved regaling her new American friends and acquaintances with tales of microwaving damn near everything she felt like. But Chi Chi had a secret. A secret that she was totally never ever going to tell anybody in a million billion years, even her Mom or her very best friend in the world or A secret that, if revealed, would no longer be a secret.

As she walked back into her neighbor's nephew's bar mitzvah to retrieve her cigar bag, she paused. A thought crept into her head: "Provengo da un paese differente che sono dentro ora ed ancora penso occasionalmente in lingua della mia nazione precedente," which means something in Italian. If she was from the future instead of Italy, she would know that no matter how untranslated her thoughts were, they weren't untranslated enough to prevent what was about to happen.

A partial list of things besides Autumn weather that I think are rad

I love NewsRadio. When I was in high school I wrote letters to keep them from canceling it, twice. It only worked the first time. It had the best ensemble cast of any show on television, outstanding writing, a beautiful mix of subtle and slapstick not equaled until Arrested Development, and I developed a crush on Maura Tierney so massive it almost makes me want to watch ER (almost). I still count they day I found out about Phil Hartman's murder as one of the saddest days of my life.

I love burritos. And I love living in Texas, where they are really good at burritos. I even love non-Texan burritos if they're done right; I love Chipotle and its weird, German Minimalist approach to both burritos and decor. I love enchiladas too.

I love Guided by Voices. I got to see them six times, and fully regret only being over 21 (and thus as drunk as they were) the last time I saw them. I would have a hard time narrowing down a list of my top 100 Guided by Voices songs, and would have to make sacrifices left and right; there are maybe only one or two other bands for whom that would be anywhere near the case.

I love animals, and wish that they would invent a kitten that was both cuddly didn't shit so I could have a pet. If you think kittens are not hard for someone to take care of, you have not seen the inside of my apartment.

I love playing the drums. I am horrible at the drums, but they are the most fun instrument to play.

I love England, and keep having dreams about moving there. I love that they speak the same language I do in England, but it is still a foreign nation. I also love Canada, for many of the same reasons.

I love Wes Anderson films, and could not care less that all his films are very similar to one another. If someone starts making better Wes Anderson films than Wes Anderson, it might be a problem, but for now Wes Anderson makes the best Wes Anderson films, and I love Wes Anderson films.

This is only a partial list... There are totally other things in this world that I love, but I'm tired of listing them right now. I think I've covered enough for one Rad Week.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Okay, I got something

I know this has been a really shitty Rad Week, but I thought of something I like a whole bunch and am really happy about: Autumn is here!

I love a lot of things about my hometown; it's got a bunch of traffic and pollution and haunted strip clubs and gigantic evil corporations and Z.Z. Top (I think), but it's also got its good points. For 90% of any given year, the weather is certainly not one of the good points. This summer alone we had over 50 consecutive days with temperatures over 100 degrees,* and as Houston was built on a swamp it has more humidity than is healthy for humans.

But man, Autumn totally just got here this week and I've been so excited.

I have a sweatshirt that is one of my favorite things. It is old and lightweight and dark blue and has pockets and a hood and a zipper and everything. I get to wear it about six weeks' worth out of any given year. This week was the first sweatshirt weather we have had since February. Next week it'll probably be ninety something degrees like it was last week, but our miserable seven month summer is finally starting to die. I went to a park and sat down on a bench and there was a breeze and it was really, really pleasant.

See, this is boring, and also I bitched about things for most of it. I am not good at this. I do like a lot of things, but I don't see much of a point writing about them. Maybe I'll just come up with a list tomorrow and be done with it.

I apologize for how poor this Rad Week has turned out.

*: Source: Guesstimate, based on how much I hate the summer

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Alright wait hold on gimme a sec

I'm CERTAIN there has got to be something that I like that's worth writing about... Shit.

I'm working on it...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Starting tomorrow: RAD WEEK BEGINS!

So I've noticed I've been bitching about things a lot lately, from cartoons I really shouldn't care about to internet fads to children's entertainment I really, really, REALLY shouldn't care about to the still-distant presidential elections to the internet to spooky strip clubs in my hometown. Also that comic strip.

You would be forgiven in assuming that I'm a black hole of bitterness and misdirected bile. While it's true that there are a good deal of things in this world that make me sad, frustrated, angry and generally not all that happy, I would like to take the next week to prove that there are, indeed, a lot of things I really like.

So check back tomorrow for the first installment of Rad Week, during which I will describe and/or praise things that I really love, or at least don't hate, rather than dwelling upon bullshit that serves only to angry up the blood.

God I hope I can come up with a half-dozen things I like.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I want to tell you something about the city I live in

That city is Houston, Texas. There is actually a great deal of things that I love about Houston. There is also this.

Haunt XXX: "Houston's most titillating haunted house"

My hometown has combined haunted houses and strip clubs. In lieu of actually writing about this, I'm going to just post the link again and go to bed.

Haunt XXX: Houston's most titillating haunted house

This really is not a proud day for me.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I have grown a beard (AKA Joe Mathlete's most personal blog entry yet)

Yeah, like it says... I have a beard. Intentionally this time, too. There is a thin line between growing a beard and being bad at shaving, and I have toed it many times. This one is an on-purpose beard, though.

The best part? I can have weird humongous sideburns later, instantly, without going through the awkward developmental stages. It can be hard to tell the difference between someone growing sideburns and someone being really, really, really bad at shaving, but in this scenario I've already got the sideburns. They're just hiding inside my beard, patiently waiting for their chance to strike.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I don't know. Talk to me next year. Until then, for chrissakes shut up about it.

It's like Christmas ads in March.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Google Ads is having a field day with the Spin Magazine thing I did a few days ago. I can't BELIEVE there are this many adult diaper companies.

Thank you, Google, for teaching us how to smile again.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


This is so awesome. A brave group of film enthusiasts and thespians took a script I wrote a couple of months ago and totally did all sorts of moviemaking to it. I myself am a veteran of many kitchen-shot budget-free short films, so this strikes a particular chord in me (besides, y'know, the narcissism one).

They were surprisingly faithful to the script, down to the stage directions... When Jolly Jolly Jinglebeans appears in a fantastical burst of magic, you WILL believe in fantastical bursts of magic. Many thanks to Clav (possibly not his real name) and the rest of the crew.

If anyone would like to make any more movies for me, feel free. Suggestions: a film version of my unfinished play Robot Holocaust (up to you to finish it for me), a remake of Dr. Strangelove with puppets or cats, and old episodes of NewsRadio shot in the style of The Office.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Spin Magazine's 100 Greatest Albums 1985-2005, part two: Diaper Edition

In Diapers
by Nirvana

Licensed to Ill
by Diaper Boys

The Battle of Los Angeles
by Diaper Against the Diaper

Last Diaper
by The Breeders

Dig Your Own Diaper
by The Chemical Diapers

To Bring You My Diaper
by PJ Harvey

White Blood Diaper
by The White Stripes

Master of Diapers
by Metallica

Lonesome Crowded Diaper
by Modest Mouse

De La Soul Is Diapers
by De La Soul

by Weezer

Supa Diaper Fly
by Missy Misdemeanor Elliott

Crooked Rain, Crooked Diaper
by Pavement

The Marshall Diapers LP
by Eminem

by Diaper Jaxx

by OutKast

Reign in Diapers
by Slayer

by Tricky

by DJ Shadow

The Bluediaper
by Jay-Z

by The Jesus and Mary Chain

Only Built 4 Cuban Diapers
by Raekwon

Different Diapers
by Pulp

by Diapershead

Le Diapers
by Le Tigre

If You're Feeling Sinister
by Diapers & Sebastian

Yankee Hotel Diaper
by Wilco

The Stone Diapers
by The Stone Roses

Everything Is Diapers
by Moby

by D'Iapers

Diaper Gold
by Beck

Grace (Diapers)
by Jeff Buckley

Relationship of Command
by At the Diaper-In

by Soundgarden

Automatic for the Diaper
by R.E.M.

Up on the Sun
by Meat Diapers

by Blur

Emperor Tomato Diaper
by Stereolab

Diaper To Tell
by Yeah Yeah Diapers

by Sonic Diaper

by XTC

by Big Black Diaper

by Diaper Jam

by Slint

Diapers (s/t)
by Elastica

Diaper Sodomy & the Lash
by The Pogues

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
by Diaper Milk Hotel

When I Was Born for the 7th Time
by Diapershop

by The Diaper Whigs

Is This Diapers
by The Strokes

I'm sorry. Part one next week, if I can wash off the embarrassment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Anyone who has ever said the following is not allowed to be friends with me

"Gentlemen, start your boners"

"Am I right, ladies?" (stand-up comics only)

"Rap? More like 'Crap'!"

"Okay, obviously the war is about oil, but so what? We need oil."

"I just don't 'get' kittens"

"DC is far superior to Marvel" (Okay, you can be friends with me, but only under the condition that you admit you're stupid)

"If you don't like it, you can get the hell out" (when "it" is America. If "it" is, say, someone's house, that's perfectly fine)

"I like all kinds of music except _____"*

"I like all kinds of music" (These are not as big dealbreakers as the others, but I've grown to loathe statements like these. As someone really perceptive whose name I've forgotten once observed, "People who say they like all kinds of music usually don't really like music)

"It's been over a year... When are you going to start doing a Family Circus blog already???"

Monday, October 08, 2007

Farting Babies (so many of them)

(Warning: some of these are probably more than farts)

The entirety of my infant videography is collected on a single VHS cassette (labeled "Family Tape #1"), currently residing on a shelf somewhere at my parents' house. These kids have had millions of strangers watch them fart and voice opinions ranging from "im gona dres my baby lik dat. how cute.:)" to "WHAT AN UGLY STUPID BABY!!!" before they turned one year old.

Hooray! It's the future! Hooray!

Friday, October 05, 2007's front page as of 2:00 CST, October 5 2007: Pizza Party Edition

There's a lot of bad news in the world today, and I for one am doing something about it. This week, there was so much bad news that I had to use something even nicer than grandpas to fix it.

Tape shows scuffle before death at pizza party

Man kills self in front of City Council after pizza party

U.S.-led forces call in pizza party, kill 25

Police blast into pizza party, kill man who shot 5

N.H. tax evaders arrested after long pizza party

Student apologizes for 'Jena 6' pizza party

Huge U.S. Embassy pizza party beset by delays

Report: Marion Jones admits pizza parties

Ig Nobels celebrate science's silly pizza parties
(this was already a great headline, but now it's even better)

$2.4M pizza party for sponge left in body

Pizza parties fight to keep women

Ticker: McCain wants pizza party 'dead or alive'

Sinead O'Connor to pizza party: I feel for Britney

One spritz gives bed monsters fits
(I cannot in good conscience edit this wonderful, wonderful sentence)

How to enjoy pizza parties with in-laws

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Public Access Television

I missed the "Golden Age of Public Access Television" (if there ever was such a thing), so I can't say that I've watched too much of it. The little I have been exposed to gives me the impression that it's about 90% bargain basement televangelists too broke-ass to hook up with the big-haired grin monsters on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, with the rest divided between prerecorded town hall meetings, Spanish-language hip-hop shows that can't get over the Green Screen effect, and college courses with a beardy professor talking to a half-empty room and a single camera.

Apparently it wasn't always like this. Apparently, back in "the day" you could catch all sorts of crazy shit that slipped through the cracks, things that weren't entertaining on the same level of other television programs so much as they were fascinating on the level of "what is this and why was this made." There is a lot of that sort of thing to be found in the world of low-budget video'd what-the-fucklery today, of course; that's about 90% of YouTube videos right there. But the difference is, with YouTube you've pretty much got to be looking for something to find it, or at least looking for something similar, and there's probably going to be a description next to it, and people commenting below to give it clarity, and a list of related videos to further frame it. In other words, even the most random and bizarre YouTube video is basically dripping with context. And as I've said before, context ruins everything.

Honestly, is homemade pseudo-Dada too much to ask for on the public airwaves in the 21st century? Basically I just wish I could have been aimlessly flipping through channels at two AM in a random bout of insomnia 20 years ago and come across something utterly bizarre and inexplicable, something untainted by logic or reason that would shake me out of my fog and then make me wonder for the rest of my days what on earth I had seen. Something like this:

If you're wondering? Yes, I did write this whole post just to have a reason to share that clip. The more I watch it the happier it makes me. I'm starting to worry myself.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

How about a music video: The Mathletes - Only Shallow (My Bloody Valentine cover)

Cover of a My Bloody Valentine song, taken from the album The Mathletes Own Other People's Songs, an album of covers available as a free download at

The video is comprised of a bunch of live clips spanning seven or eight months' worth of Mathletes shows. We don't have so much a "revolving door" lineup as we do a "bigass hole in the wall that we really ought to consider repairing" lineup

I have no idea what the actual words to the song are; it's loads more fun to just make up sounds. If you're not familiar with MBV and are somewhat lost as to what's going on here, check out the video for the original recording:

Rumor has it that My Bloody Valentine is reuniting for next year's Coachella fest. If anyone wants to give me a ticket, I'll totally be your best friend.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Oh MySpace

One of the best things about having a MySpace account is the endless parade of sub-adequate musicians/comedians/entrepreneurs who send you random friend requests, in hopes that you (or, usually in my case, your band) is their target market. I can't tell you how much mediocrity I've been asked to befriend, but every now and then, out of a vast sea of unsolicited e-cries for attention, you find something that transcends pointlessness and skates right into the sublime.

Despite my numbers-referencing surname and our shared hometown, I can assure you that this is not me. I only wish I had been able to come up with this, even though I don't really care much for either math or education.

Presenting the single best MySpace friend request I have received in months: "Mr. Flowers Hip Hop Multiplication CD."

I highly suggest listening to all the tracks Mr. Flowers has offered to the general public, but the highlights for me are definitely "Mr. Trey (Three)" and "Neighborhood Hero (Zero)." Casio-level hip-hop production and multiplication tables: together at last.