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Wait...what? [Jan. 27th, 2009|10:34 am]
Mayor Daley is going to name the Chicago Transit Authority chief to replace Arne Duncan (now working for Obama) as the head of the Chicago Public Schools.

Because, after all,  if there's one thing that's funded worse than the CTA it's the schools.
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Gift Classifications [Dec. 22nd, 2008|02:40 pm]

All gifts given during an occasion where gifts are exchanged fall into these categories:

  • Genuine Gift: With minimal input from you the giver located the gift on their own initiative based on their perception of it as something you might like. In other words: you didn’t ask for anything but you got something.
  • Line-Item Gift: The gift was something someone got you just so they could cross you off their shopping list. Gift cards fall into this category. Re-gifts also fall into this category but occasionally those can be disguised as genuine gifts.
  • Trade Gift: You told the giver “I want X” and the giver told you “I want Y” and the two of you went out and bought the corresponding items for each other. This is dumb. You might as well just have bought yourself the thing you wanted and told the giver to do likewise.  This also applies if you gave a gift card and got one in return (dumb.)
  • Anti-Gift: A gift that actually puts you through an inordinate amount of trouble and/or expense in order to actually use it. These are somewhat rare. For example: someone gives you early season Cubs tickets. After dropping money on transit/parking, beer, and food while freezing your ass off you decide you would rather have watched the game at home. Bonus anti-gift points if it's a day game and you have to skip work and get chewed out for it.
  • Self-Gift: Another rare one. At a grab bag gift exchange you select the gift that you contributed. This was your plan from the start. I suppose the phenomenon of people buying something for themselves, wrapping it, and putting “from Santa” on it falls under this category too.
  • Self-Serving gift. These are not rare. Remember the Simpsons episode where Homer gives Marge a bowling ball for her birthday (with finger holes for himself drilled into it?) That’s a good example. Giving your wife a vacuum cleaner would be another one.
  • Selfless gift: You gave something but expect nothing in return. This also counts as a “Genuine” gift but gets its own category since there was technically no exchange.

I’m sure I missed some but I’m out of ideas for now.

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The Prophecy [Dec. 11th, 2008|04:27 pm]

A long time ago, in 2007, we were sitting around at work making new years’ resolutions. We agreed upon a “blanket” resolution for both 2008 and 2009 so we wouldn’t have to repeat the conversation again the next year (which is now THIS year.)

The resolution was “Decadence in 2008. Rehab in 2009.” Of course, at the time, we were joking.

And god damn it we hit it right on the mark.

Merriam-Webster defines “decadence” as “a period of decline.” I would say that was well and truly realized. Nobody I know is better off now than they were in 2007.

Now it’s time for rehab 2009. We get a new president on the 20th day of the new year. Hopefully we’ll get a new governor here in Illinois even sooner than that.

We can rebuild it! Is it too much to hope that in 2010 I might be able to sell my sad condo and move into a house? I hope not.

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Productive Brainstorming [Dec. 8th, 2008|01:10 pm]

Last night I sat down in front of the TV with my sketch pad and tried to work out some ideas for paintings or comic strips or whatever. I’m not going to draw the VTA anymore but if I get random ideas for comic strips I might draw one every now and then.

The first thing I drew was Vault Boy from Fallout 3 (the guy in my profile pic.)

I think I’m going to work him into a comic-artsy painting. I can paint a halfway decent line with a #4 flat sable so I don’t anticipate having any problems painting video game characters, comic book characters, etc. The real devil is in painting the backgrounds which I guess will be a hodge-podge of 1950’s style duck-and-cover type shit. If I can get used to doing stuff like that I’ll eventually come up with something that isn’t someone else’s IP.

The other thing I ended up at was a sketch of two satellites. One was vaguely Sputnik and the other was an American spy satellite.  In the one panel I finished the spy satellite was saying “It’s lonely over East Germany.” and the other was saying “maybe the next time we traverse at this proximity the Cold War will be over.” Not very compelling by itself but I was amused by the drawing enough to flesh the idea out a little more.

Part of my motivational problem when I used to draw the webcomic was that I enjoy drawing objects more than people. Maybe if everything in the comic was an object I’d draw it more often.

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Painting #4 "Winter Delight" [Dec. 7th, 2008|02:54 pm]
This is my fourth instructional exercise in my effort to learn how to paint. The painting is originally by PBS television' Jerry Yarnell. I just followed the steps in his "Basics" book.

I didn't post pictures of paintings 1-3 because they are not worth looking at. They keep turning out better and better though.  Some of my edges here could be a lot softer. The painting actually looks much better in the photo than it does in person.

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Interests [Dec. 5th, 2008|09:07 am]
I updated my interests in my profile when I realized that I originally entered them in 2002.

Back in my big sideburns days.

I think profile pics will be the next thing to get overhauled.
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Wodensday! [Dec. 3rd, 2008|11:16 am]

Did you know that Wednesday is named after the Anglo-Saxon pagan god Woden (Wotan)?

In turn, Woden was derived from Odin, the chief god of Norse paganism.

Does this mean that Thursday is named after Thor? Thorsday? Of course it does.

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More Thoughts from the Wasteland [Dec. 2nd, 2008|02:36 pm]

Cross posted from my real blog, of course.

Lately I’ve been preoccupied with the idea that in a post-apocalyptic America there would be a post-apocalyptic Santa Claus. When I get an idea like this my usual instinct is that someone else thought of it first and it’s something I read and forgot about or it’s simply a case of me having the same idea as someone else.

This time, however, I can’t seem to find any evidence that this is a concept that someone else has fleshed out.

In fact, I can’t really find much evidence that Steampunk Santa has been fully fleshed out either although that concept seems like it would come together in a fairly obvious way (He flies in a steam-powered zeppelin, whoop-de-fucking-doo.)

So let’s go back and talk about Post-Apocalyptic Santa.

  • He has a long white beard. Pretty much all men have long beards after the apocalypse but Santa’s is special because it contains few parasites by comparison.
  • He wears a greatcoat made out of reindeer hides. Legend has it that Santa keeps a herd of reindeer in his compound. The bounty they provide is what gives Santa his jolly, fat appearance. It’s told that he weighs over 175 pounds making him one of the fattest men in the wasteland!
  • He says “Ho Ho Ho” sometimes but mostly he just coughs.
  • Santa carries a hunting rifle with a scope. Many a fool has tried to test his skill with it on a cold wasteland night!
  • Nobody knows what month or day it is so Santa works all through the months when the days are short.
  • Post-apocalyptic Santa brings coal to all the good boys and girls so they don’t freeze at night. He brings them homemade whiskey too. Bad boys and girls get unlabeled expired pharmaceuticals, broken appliances, and books (none of them can read so all they can do is burn the books for their meager value as fuel.)
  • He’s drunk all the time.

Hmm…maybe I’ll try to draw a picture of Post-Apocalyptic Santa.

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90 weeks, really? [Dec. 1st, 2008|12:38 pm]
I think if I could change my LJ name I'd start posting again.

I know it's possible but it costs more than I'm willing to pay.
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Finally, I can re-live the dipping of Louie's balls into things [Mar. 9th, 2007|04:01 pm]
The "I want to dip my balls in it" sketch from The State has finally made it onto youtube.

Of course I'm not posting it here! It's on my website, sillies. What did you think, I'm a sucker who will provide free content so livejournal can rake in advertising money? Oh no.


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