Friday, July 27, 2007

Due to technical difficulties, I am going on vacation

I mean, not in real life or anything fun like that; I'm just not going to write anything here for a week or so. It's because of a reason.

Tune in next Friday for another installment of my genre-defying genre exercise The Grone Protocol; something really exciting is maybe going to happen. Or is it?


Magritte painted a picture of a pipe, then lied about it in French.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Fine Art Week rages on, both here and at Joe Mathlete Will Draw Anything You Ask Him To On An Index Card. Whether or not you're ready for it, it's time to have...


A woman's face has been replaced by breasts, a belly button, and a vagina (or at least some pubic hair).


A woman's head, arms and legs have been replaced by some hair and a neck.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Welcome to the second day of Fine Art Week. Don't forget to check in on the good, clean, fine, artful fun over at Joe Mathlete Will Draw Anything You Ask Him To On An Index Card; meanwhile, here is another installment of my incredibly helpful public service...


A seated man's body is made mostly out of birdcage.

Monday, July 23, 2007

FINE ART WEEK!!! Oh boy!

As you know, I'm committed to exposing as many people I can to as much fine art and rarefied cultural artifacts as I can cram down their yamholes. This week, I'm taking a break from progressive, forward-thinking literature and music to focus my attentions on visual art. First and foremost, I'll be posting a new piece on my heretofore quasi-dormant Joe Mathlete Will Draw Anything You Want On An Index Card thing each day this week, and trust me when I say that art doesn't get any finer than this. Beyond that, make sure to check back here every day, as I contextualize the work of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte in a new installment of...


A well-dressed man has an apple stuck to his face.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Grone Protocol: Portrait of a Catastrophe, Chapter 005

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 deeply), I will be serializing my latest work, THE GRONE PROTOCOL, here in my “blog” (short for “web blog”) every weekend (unless I forget or don’t feel like it or die or something). Here’s the fifth chapter, which should more than fill your daily quota of gripping intrigue. If not, go down to Barnes and Borders and ask see if they have any mystery/thrillers about secret religious orders and Renaissance paintings. No, really, do that... I honestly wonder how they'd react.


Chester Brombleshire watched Barry Peterson wait for the elevator on one of the many video monitors that made up the southwest wall of his study. Sipping a glass of vintage Pagalougelli Zinitininni, he chuckled softly to himself. Though he had no awareness of it, Barry Peterson was nothing but a pawn in Chester’s nefarious game of checkers.

Standing at just under four feet, Chester had built his vast fortune on the backs of men like Barry. Not one to get his wee little itty bitty hands dirty, he instead chose to manipulate those whose intelligence he considered beneath his own. Which was pretty much everybody, as Chester was hella smart. He had been the first in his class at prestigious Yole University, though in truth that was due to the fact that the class rankings were based on height. Still, Chester’s intelligence was nothing to sneeze at. So if you did sneeze at it, it’d be like, wow, you’re sneezing at absolutely nothing. Way to waste a perfectly good sneeze, jackass.

Chester prided himself upon his intellect. In 1990 he was featured in a list of the World’s Smartest Shortest Listmakers by List Magazine (“Listing the lists of our lives since 1989”), and he turned now to the framed copy of the issue’s cover on his wall. He himself was not on the cover (which instead featured platinum recording artists Jesus Jones, and the tagline “Can Jesus Jones save rock and roll?”), and as Chester gazed up at the harbingers of guitar-based music’s once-and-future salvation he wished to himself for the thousandth time that he had instead framed the article that mentioned him, or at least saved the inside part of the magazine. He shook his head, clearing his mind of unimportant thoughts and the soaring chorus of “Right Here Right Now.” “Such things are in the past, Chestie... When the world sees what I’ve got in store for them, Jesus Jones will be the last thing on anyone’s mind.”

However, Chester would soon find that his elaborate plans would crumble like a house of cards on a table that somebody kind of jiggled a little bit. Intelligence and mastermindery can only stave off the inevitable for so long, and in the end, his formidable brainpower would not be nearly enough to stop what was about to happen.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


It has occurred to me that I have come up with a fair share of slang terminology over the course of my lifetime, some of which I use almost every day, and I ought to begin cataloguing it somewhere. This probably isn't one of the worst places to do so.

FOR SERIOUS: What has just been said is true and is not a joke; for real. ("Yeah, I saw this guy bench press an entire cow. For serious!")

BEATS: This one is the most prominent in my stable. Similar to "Aloha" but more versatile, this is a general exclamation indicating:

-"hello" (PERSON: Hi, Joe. / ME: Beats!)
-"goodbye" (PERSON: So long, Joe. / ME: Beats!)
-"I am glad about that thing" (PERSON: I made you a cookie... / ME: Ah, beats!)
-"I am disappointed about that thing" (PERSON: ... but I ated it. / ME: Ah, beats...)
-"I don't really know what to say but I'm going to say something just to say something because that's what people do in conversations" (PERSON: Man I swear, the Astros have lost five of their last seven games with Jason Jennings on the mound. / ME: Well, y'know... Beats...)

and things to that effect. Can also be used in place of "Love," "Sincerely," "Respectfully yours" or what have you at the end of correspondence.

EAT MY BEATS: A challenge; exclamation indicating a throwing down of the gauntlet. (These jump rope moves are going to destroy you... Get ready to eat my beats). ALTERNATELY: Loosely, "kiss my grits" ("I've had it up to here with this entire broke-ass operation... You can tell the rest of the Jump Rope Club to eat my beats.")

PROPSING: Paying tribute; giving props. May or may not be ironic. ("Don't even pretend you don't like Richard Marx... You were just propsing him yesterday on your podcast.")

BRINE: Pee. ("No, I'll just be a second; I only gotta make brine. And anyway, gas station bathrooms are way too gross to make pickles in.")

BEANS: Generic, all-purpose swear word. ("What the... did that fucking cockatoo shit on my keyboard again? Ah, beans!")

These are my most commonly used challanges to the English language... Do with them what you will, but please don't make me regret sharing them.


Joe Mathlete

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hey, guess who got interviewed? Me! I did. I got interviewed!

It was me.

The Skip Raid, which I was able to correctly identify as a website on the internet with computers, saw fit to ask me a few things, and did so with aplomb and vigor. I'd like to think I don't come off as too much of a moron.

MARVEL! as I reveal which humorist's work I enjoy more: Kurt Vonnegut or Carlos Mencia

GASP! as I briefly discuss my hypocritical patriotism

SWOON! as I alienate fans of Dane Cook and The Family Guy

SHUDDER! as I reference a couple of bands I enjoy listening to

FREAK OUT! as I say at least one and as many as several cuss words

When you're done with that, check out their strange obsession with/crusade against people who have red hair. It's oddly compelling.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fan letter to Alec Baldwin

Dear Alec Baldwin,

I have not seen many of your movies, and those that I have seen I'm pretty sure I have mostly hated or at least didn't like (except for the salesmen movie where you were mean to Jack Lemmon), but I saw your TV show the other night and thought it was funny. Are they going to cancel it? I hope not.

What is Tina Fey like in real life? Are those glasses fake, like Lisa Loeb, or real, like Daria from MTV? Can you ask her if she will be my girlfriend, or at least have sex with me? (If she asks, I am very very attractive, and also charming and intelligent). I would write her directly, but that sort of thing never works with celebrities, in case you were ever thinking about trying it.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Your pal,

Joe Mathlete

P.S.-- You probably shouldn't have yelled at your daughter, but then again, kids can be dicks sometimes so she probably deserved it.

P.P.S.-- Your hair makes me uncomfortable.

Monday, July 16, 2007's front page as of 1:45 CST, July 16 2007: Grandpa Edition

(that's right, it's a thing. Side note-- anyone know how to do that 'tags' business like all the other blogs have? I'd look it up but it's easier to just type this out right here, isn't it?)

Latest News

Grandpa OKs $660 million clergy abuse payout
Japan grandpa plant leaked after earthquake 34 min
Britain expels 4 Russian grandpas
College president fired; slaying cover-up alleged
Husband warned before singer died
Police: Dad kills grandpa kids, himself
Panel hears inmate's last-ditch appeal
Grandpa Lohan checks out of rehab
Ticker: GOP senator: 'Fur to fly' on grandpa
Man swims at North Pole to show grandpa melt
Grandpa made of ice cream sticks sets sail

LIVE: Watch free Live Grandpas now!

CNN Wire: Latest updates on grandpa stories

Popular News
'Grandpa porn' hits a bloody wall
Singer shot dead on grandpa
Miss New Grandpa racy photos

Persist, don't isolate
What does it take to work from home and be successful? A grandpa-based business coach tells us
Always apologize, explain
The words "I'm grandpa" can foster a lifetime of solid relationships

Gotta-have-grandpa gadgets
PopSci editors take a look at new lust-worthy grandpa goods

Your voice wanted
Ask a question on video for historic live grandpa

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Grone Protocol: Armageddon's Deneumont, Chapter 004

Like most of you, I am a popular writer of highbrow thrillers and suspense novels in my spare time. For your literary enrichment, I will be serializing my latest work, THE GRONE PROTOCOL, here in my “blog” (short for “web blog”) every weekend (unless I forget or don’t feel like it or die something). Here’s the fourth chapter, which should fill your daily quota of gripping intrigue. If not, mosey on down to your local Book Hut; I hear Stephen King shit out four or five new books this week.


Barry Peterson walked through the lobby like he was holding a pickle between his buttcheeks that he would have to eat if it fell on the floor. He was wearing a shirt, pants, and shoes, just like his favorite actor Ray Romano, who often wore shirt, pants, and shoes on his television program. Standing just over six feet tall with blue eyes, wavy blonde hair, and one of those chins that looks like a butt, he was a very handsome specimen of a man. According to a lot of ladies and stuff, I mean... I don't really, y'know, notice stuff like that about dudes. Anyway, chicks seem to dig him.

Barry fingered the manila envelope he was carrying. Inside was but a single piece of paper, emblazoned at the top with the Grone Corporation's logo, an egg with human features eating an ice cream cone and riding a wooly mammoth. It was an extremely important piece of paper, one that Barry knew he could not let fall into the wrong hands. It wasn't so much the piece of paper that was important, but what was printed on it. Sometimes Barry wished he could just throw the paper away, but he knew better than to waste such a valuable commodity, no matter how potentially dangerous it might be.

Little did Barry know that at that very moment, on the other side of the Atlantic, a little man in a flower costume was building a dinosaur out of paperclips.

Barry walked up to the elevator and pressed the little triangle that means "up." As he waited for the metal doors to part, he had the sense that someone was watching him. He kept looking at the elevator, pretending nothing was amiss, but the feeling that he was being stared at persisted. "Be cool, man," he thought to himself. "Nobody here suspects a thing. There's nothing to worry about."

Little did he know how wrong he was. There was plenty to worry about. Tons of stuff. So much stuff that if you were given a list of the things there were to worry about, you wouldn't know what to worry about first, so you'd just start worrying about different things at random.

As hard as Barry was trying not to worry, he found himself worrying anyway, worrying away like a worry bee. Still, no matter how bee-like his worrying was, it wouldn't do a damn thing to stop what was about to happen.


I didn't really know where else to do this... The Marmaduke Explained blog would've made the most sense, but I don't allow comments there so as to not taint the artistic purity of blah blah blah whatever. Anyway, I guess this'll work as well as anything else.

So here's how this is going to work: I have a limited number of shirts making a profane and libelous remark about a dog that I aim to get rid of. They are very nice shirts, black with white lettering, and I don't want to pressure anyone but it is absolutely impossible to be cool without owning one. These shirts are fifteen dollars each (sixteen for size XXL) plus shipping and handling, and to make sure I don't accidentally sell too many and run out of a size I'm going to make this a bit involved.

If you would like to own one of these shirts and be cool, simply leave a comment on this blog with the following information:

- Your email address (if you're a scaredy cat about spammers and want to use a format like "pickles DOT grandpa AT gmail DOT fart" or whatever, feel free)
- What size shirt you want (one shirt per person, 'cuz I said so. But feel free to make your friends order one for you if you want two shirts for some reason)
- Whether you live in America or Canada (NOTE: I CANNOT SHIP SHIRTS ANYWHERE BUT AMERICA OR CANADA. But at least I can ship to Canada this time, eh?)
- IMPORTANT THING: Count down from the number of shirts currently available in that size, so that everyone can see how many are left (so, if we're starting off with 18 mediums and you order the first medium, you say 18. Next person who gets a medium says 17, and blah blah blah whatever until they're all gone. Awesome!)

Sometime after you leave your comment, you'll get an email linking you to a super duper secret paypal button that'll allow you to place your order for serious. Three to six weeks later (read: "Allow three to six weeks for shipping"), your shirt will arrive in the mail, fresh as a dookie.

Here's how many of each size I've got:

small... 4
medium... 18
large... 13
x large... 3
2xl... 9

Alright, kids... Don't make me regret this.

(If you don't give a crap about any of this, check back later on today for regularly scheduled blogglings)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Arrested Development

Like hopefully every single one of you who ever watched it, I am an enormous fan of the late, lamented Arrested Development. Much has been written about the show's brilliance and the criminality of its cancellation(s), so I'll just say that it was a neat show that I wish they were still making.

Thanks to the wonderful technological advancement that is the DVD (which stands for Digital Viewable Dvd), I've watched the show over and over again since its untimely demise, sometimes with a good friend of mine whose enthusiasm for television (especially television on Digital Viewable Dvds) dwarfs mine exponentially. This friend (let's call him "Chester") is a man of strong opinions, opinions which often run somewhat counter to mine. Over time, Chester and I have engaged in a number of arguments over the show: which season was the best, which cast member was the most talented, would they really have been able to keep the momentum going through a fourth season and beyond, would Jason Bateman ever find work again, etc.

One such argument revolved around the actress Alia Shawkat, who played Maeby Funke (main character Michael Bluth's jaded and machiavellian niece). Essentially, we both found her attractive, but I thought she looked too young and too close to the age of the character she was portraying until season three. Chester disagreed, saying that she was hot from the get-go. Either way, we both felt a little bit weird that we were attracted to someone who was supposed to be in high school, and on top of that highly discouraged that we found it so weird that we were attracted to someone who was supposed to be in high school, those days seeming not all that long behind us. It was our first encounter with feeling like dirty old men, and the true sadness came from the fact that we knew it would not be the last.

Then, several months ago, Chester and I had the idea to look Alia Shawkat up on IMDB and see if that would make us feel better (Linda Cardellini, who played Lindsay Weir on Freaks and Geeks, was like 25 or something when that show came out).

It was a very bad idea. Turns out she was, at that time, 17 and a half.

Which meant she was around 13 when Arrested Development started filming.

Which meant that both Chester and myself were thought sex criminals.

Moral: IMDB is terrible.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'm sick

It sucks. I'm covered in fevers and sweat. On the plus side I'm not going to work, but I could not go to work and not have to throw up everywhere. I don't know where the throw up is coming from. I haven't eaten real food in a long time. My stomach's probably subtracting it from future meals.

Anyway it occurred to me I should probably say something to the internet about things. I'm going to go back to bed. I'm starting to feel better, so maybe tomorrow I'll do one of the dog things again.


Friday, July 06, 2007

The Grone Protocol: Confrontation at the Gates of Conflict, Chapter 003

Like most of you, I am a popular writer of highbrow thrillers and suspense novels in my spare time. Beginning today, I will be serializing my latest work, THE GRONE PROTOCOL, here in my “blog” (short for “web blog”) every weekend (unless I forget or don’t feel like it or die something). Here’s the third chapter, which should fill your daily quota of gripping intrigue. If not, go visit your grandma and steal a book from her; I hear that Sue Grafton is almost done cycling through the alphabet.


Jameson P. Greeley sipped his glass of milk through a straw, savoring each drop like a kitten would vodka, if the kitten were an alcoholic and/or Russian. Greeley took twenty-minute milk breaks thrice a day, regardless of how much work there was to be done. He drank only whole milk; he was fond of saying that he would rather drink his grandfather's shit than 2%. He had considered copyrighting that phrase and selling it to the Whole Milk Advocacy Council, but discovered after some research that such an organization did not exist.

As soon as he finished his last sip, his watch beeped, letting him know that it was time to get back to his duties. He put back on his manager hat, fastening the chinstrap with a satisfying click. The hat was cumbersome and hurt his neck, but he knew it inspired respect in his employees. A manager without respect is as useless as a male prostitute with his butthole sewn shut, he thought. He paused, then fished a pen out of his drawer and wrote down what he had just thought of. He chuckled to himself, picturing the admiration he would win from his fellow managers at the next Grone Corporation Strategy Fiesta Weekend. He would have to get some motivational t-shirts made.

Little did Greeley know that he would never be attending another Grone Corporation Strategy Fiesta Weekend. A day of reckoning was fast approaching, and no matter how big his manager hat was, it would not be able to stave off what was about to happen.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

EXCLUSIVE!!! Production still of Heath Ledger as the Joker in BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT (plus: script excerpt!)

I've called in several old favors amongst my numerous connections at Warner Brothers Studios to bring you this early look at one of the most anticipated movies of whenever exactly it's supposed to come out (probably next year, I guess). Ever since it was announced that director Christopher Nolan (Memento) had cast 10 Things I Hate About You's Heath Ledger to star opposite Christian Bale (American Psycho) as The Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight (sequel to the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Chris O'Donnell vehicle Batman & Robin*), cinemaphiles and geekazoids alike have been wetting their beds on a nightly basis, hoping to get a glimpse of what the 21st century's Joker will look like. Campy and foppish green-haired drag queen, or creepy and disturbing green-haired drag queen? Warner Brothers has been extremely tight-lipped; until now, all speculations have been purely speculative.

Speculate no longer, cinemazoids. I now bring you, the general civilian public, the first full look at the new and improved Joker in this exclusive super-secret behind the scenes production photo. It cost three men's lives to obtain this.


Since it was taken during filming, some of Ledger's dialogue was captured in the shot. It reveals some key plot points: we know from this sample that the Joker is angry at Batman, and thinks he is stupid.

Hollywood, you've done it again.

*: As you can probably tell, I haven't actually seen a movie since late 2000 or so. But I'll probably see this one.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July

My ass. First Monday of July would've been a lot better. Wednesday holidays are like making out with your grandpa.

I'm considering it my patriotic duty to go into work drunk for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I tried, I really tried

I had promised yesterday to do "a deconstruction of the modern American female circa 2007 via the lyrics to a wildly popular hit sung by a half-dozen identical retarded cheerleaders." That song, which I had only heard in passing in brief 30-second increments, turned out to be Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend."

I tried. I really did. I listened to the song all the way through and googled the lyrics and read the lyrics and honestly, I really really did try, but all I ended up with was a couple paragraph's worth of really vile profanity, some of it terribly misogynistic, some of it not even spelled correctly.

I have a hard enough time making myself think about Marmaduke every day without having to analyze the equivalent of combining "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo" (the children's song, definitely NOT the Le Tigre song) with one of those MTV shows where they follow around absurdly privileged and horribly mean teenage girls for a weekend.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A deconstruction of the modern American male circa 2007 via the lyrics to a Gym Class Heroes song

(Note: It is quite possible that Gym Class Heroes were not trying to capture the zeitgeist of an entire culture's gender with the lyrics to one pop song, and do not deserve to be this thoroughly scrutinized. Tough shit.)


Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

In modern American society, girlfriends are defined by their ability to "put out," ensuring that their boyfriends can "get a lot" (I, like Gym Class Heroes, am referring here to fucking). A girlfriend who does not enable her partner to get a lot is therefore not much of a girlfriend.

It's been some time since we last spoke
This is gonna sound like a bad joke
But momma i fell in love again
It's safe to say i have a new girlfriend

A modern American male who falls in love often is to be considered a joke, and an unfunny one at that. Even by his own mother.

And i know it sounds so old
But cupid got me in a chokehold
And i'm afraid i might give in
Towel's on the mat, my white flag is wavin'

When speaking metaphorically about romance, modern American males rely on imagery either extremely cliched (Cupid, Roman god of erotic love), soldierly (the white flag of a battle surrender), or homoerotic (the multiple wrestling references).

I mean she even cooks me pancakes
And alka seltzer when my tummy aches
If that ain't love then i don't know what love is

A modern American male's ideal partner is one with strong mothering instincts.

We even got a secret handshake
And she loves the music that my band makes
I know i'm young but if i had to choose her or the sun
I'd be one nocturnal son of a gun

The modern American male is stunted in a preadolescent developmental state, is narcissistic, and has extremely unhealthy priorities.

(ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

It's been awhile since we talked last and i'm tryin' hard not to talk fast
But dad i'm finally thinkin' i may have found the one
Type of girl that will make you way proud of your son

Modern American males constantly seek their father's approval.

And i know you heard the last song about the girls that didn't last long
But i promise this is on a whole new plane
I can tell by the way she says my name (ba ba da da)

Modern American males do not learn from their mistakes. Also, they judge attraction based on the timbre and cadence of their mate's voice.

I love the way she calls my phone
She even got her very own ringtone
If that ain't love then i don't know what love is (ba ba da da)

Modern American males do not know what love is.

It's gonna be a long drive home but i know as soon as i arrive home
And i open the door take off my coat and throw my bag on the floor
She'll be back in my arms into my arms once more for sure

Modern American males sense of entitlement is such that they not only demand but fully expect they be given first priority by their lovers, even if they throw their shit around wherever they feel like it.

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

She's got a smile that would make the most senile
Annoying old man bite his tongue
I'm not done

Modern American males have no respect for the elderly, and are impatient to boot.
She's got eyes comparable to sunrise
And it doesn't stop there
Man i swear

(see previous annotation regarding metaphors)
She's got porcelain skin of course she's a ten
And now she's even got her own song

Modern American males have a points system for assigning worth to females. From the ones that write terrible, terrible, terrible songs, being extraordinarily white guarantees a perfect score.
But movin' on
She's got the cutest laugh i ever heard
And we can be on the phone for three hours
Not sayin' one word
And i would still cherish every moment

Communication between a modern American male and his love interest is vapid and empty, which is exactly how modern American males prefer it.
And when i start to build my future she's the main component
Call it dumb call it luck call it love or whatever you call it but
Everywhere i go i keep her picture in my wallet

Modern American males are concerned with planning the rest of their lives in a sensible, thought-out manner. (Okay, I'm going to call bullshit on that one)

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

Take a look at my girlfriend
She's the only one i got (ba ba da da)
Not much of a girlfriend
I never seem to get a lot (ba ba da da, ba ba da da)

ADDENDUM: While googling these lyrics, I discovered that it is somewhat of a rewrite of the title track off of Supertramp's 1979 release Breakfast in America (a terrible, terrible, terrible album, mostly notable today for how many suburban dads own it*). This speaks volumes about the overall state of the modern American male, and also explains why "Cupid's Chokehold" is so aggressively shitty.


*: (okay, I think "The Logical Song" (featured on the Magnolia soundtrack) is kind of awesome, but I'm owing that more to Paul Thomas Anderson than the talent of a bunch of coked up, beardy yacht rockers)