Sigh. I need help. I'm having a problem.
(What? Again? You're such the drama king. Is your iPod not working? Computer being shitty? Heart all aflutter? C'mon ... spill it.)
I think I'm being stalked.
(Oh jeebus. You're so sad. Who'd stalk YOU?)
(Are you off your meds? Or on too many? Animals are stalking you?)
(Please do elaborate.)
About two months ago, I left for work one morning and was confronted by the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on:
He stood there staring me down for a bit. Almost challenging me to cross his path. He backed up and let me get to my car rather than scurrying away like the gray squirrels do. Over the next couple of days, he was watching me. From the tree, and from bushes.
(WHAT? A squirrel watching you? You must be on the crack again. You got some when you were back in Youngstown, didn't you?)
No, really. He was watching me.
(You need a hobby.)
Seriously. But wait, there's more.
(Oh, do continue.)
Today, as I left, there was a bird sitting on my windshield wiper.
And like the squirrel, he didn't move. He just stood there, watching me. I unlocked the car, he didn't fly away. I opened the door, got in the car, closed the door, started the car and he was still sitting there. Staring at me.
Yeah. So I figured he'd fly away when the car started moving. He didn't. I got to the end of my street, still there. Made a left turn, down to the stop sign, still there. Was doing 35 miles per hour, little fucker was STILL on my wiper. Finally, at the light, I turned on the wiper and only after it hit the 45-degree angle did he fly away.
(Wow. That is weird.)
That's what I'm saying.
(Okay. Remind me to avoid you during lightning storms.)
Thanks. Now just go away. You're no help.
(Go play trivia, whiney boy. Hey, is that chipmunk there under the flowers? I think he's wearing a headset ... probably calling your whereabouts into the Animal Assassination Committee.)
- You are a highly spontaneous person who always likes to try new things.
- Novel and unpredictable situations don't bother you; instead you find them challenging and exciting.
- You tend to be focused and resourceful and you are able to juggle a lot of projects at the same time; as a result you are sometimes a whirlwind of activity.
- You have a firm grip on reality and enjoy living in the present tense.
- But you have a keen imagination that enables you to lift off from time and space to be remarkably creative.
- You are humorous.
- You are able to laugh at yourself, and you like entertaining others.
- You have a deep sense of compassion.
- You can show genuine insight into the needs of others; you are good at listening and talking; and you express a genuine desire to be helpful.
- Yet you are easy-going.
- Your tolerance for others and their beliefs, your lack of prejudice, your ability to compromise and your occasional antics make you popular with others and a great companion.
When I take photos, the whiter the head, the more the level of rock in a brain shows.
Here's final proof ... the factorum, if you must:
Yes, Mark Nye rocks harder than 99.99995 percent of the population. Notice the bright white spots.
Don't doubt my science, bitches. I'll bring the leeches.
Without a doubt, this is the best read on teh innernets.
Basically, it's recaptioning lost and a couple of other shows to make the story funnier and point out the sometimes pathetic dialogue.
But this one - for the season 4 recap - had me walking away from my desk in tears because it's so f'n funny ... in just the first four panels.
“Okay, guys. Let’s practice our story one last time, mmkay?”
*ahem* “In West Philadelphia, born and raised…”
“On a playground is where I spent most of my days…”
“Chillin’ out, maxin, relaxin, all cool…”
“…and shooting some b-ball outside of the school?”
The rest is here http://www.theackattack.com/?p=97#more-97
Natalie Dee ... especially for the "Ask Natalie" posts. Best advice column ever, featuring lines like this:
"...I think that collecting action figures is something that should cease when you grow pubic hair..."
"That being said, most girls, no matter how much they like a guy, will be immediately uninterested in him should she find out that he plays for the other team. There is just not much you can work with, when you have a vagina and the boy you like prefers not-vaginas. It is 100% a deal breaker, unless you are a psycho chick, in which case you have bigger problems than trying to ungay a gay guy."
Mark Nye ... has a new blog. I miss the Sandwich Blog though.
Lawgirl ... who beat my ass at Trivia last night.
WebComics I Love
- XKCD ... a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language ... what's NOT to love?
- Questionable Content ... despite the name, it's rarely offensive and often hilarious
- The Multiplex Funny stuff about movie and theater employees
- Leave It To Jesus ... not for the easily offended or slightly religious
- Abstruse Goose ... a new but growing favorite.
I'm still amazed at the things that have happened to me in 2008 ...
I have been thanked in liner notes of a CD. (Aaron Lee Tasjan)
I've had a photograph used with credit on a CD. (Paul Tabachneck ... and yes, that's my photo that's his website background, too.)
I've had a photograph used as a promotional poster for a Pat Green show in Louisiana (and, oddly enough, the photo was of Mark Nye, not Pat Green. See what happens when you steal photos you dumb ass promotions person who did that? Fortunately, Chris Skrobot managed to grab one, had Pat Green autograph it, and it is now the property of Mark Nye.)
And I just discovered today that one of the musicians I've admired and has one of my top 10 albums, ever, has a link from his website to my photos of him :D (click here and scroll to the bottom. While he didn't use my photos, he did link to them. I can't complain!)
I have your next great reality show.
Here's the premise:
Contact all the castoffs from your other reality shows. Tell them you're having a “Where Are They Now” special and want to visit them and their immediate family at their home, with cameras, and yes there are cash and prizes for playing along.
After a nice little catered affair, you bring in a new 72" LCD TV and show them, and their families, just how pathetic they were during the filming of their particular show. And be sure to include all the passive-aggressive, deceitful, back-stabbing behavior – broadcast and not broadcast – committed in their pursuit of 15 minutes of fame, some cash and/or whatever STDs Brett Michaels, Tia Tequila and Flava Flav or the other castmembers they were banging either have or caught during the show.
Then present the former contestant with a challenge … after all, they’re in the fame and game game and want the attention, the victory and spoils, right?
We bring out the game table. It has two items:
A box with $5,000 in cash; and a Samurai sword. The contestant gets to choose one or the other.
If there is a smile on their face and they take the cash, they are immediately shot dead by snipers posing as boom microphone operators. Then their families are murdered for three generations like Saddam Hussein did to prevent a reoccurrence of this type of behavior. (Granted, he did it to his political enemies, but I consider these people enemies of good taste and good behavior and dread the fact I share a nation, let alone a planet, with them. My show, my rules.)
If, however, they take the Samurai sword and commit seppuku, their family gets to live, and gets keep the cash and TV. Why? If, when later confronted with the truth of their behavior in the name of fame, cash and countless STDs outside of ‘the show’ they were on, the contestant realized there was no point in living such a shamed life and did the honorable thing by ritually cutting their stomach open, disemboweling themselves in front of family and the MTV Nation, and dying a slow, agonizing painful death, they are redeemed and their family has learned a valuable lesson in humility.
Harsh? Perhaps. But it fits with the title of the show:
"Where's My Dignity?"
Now that’s some must-see MTV.
(This is a concept that's been floating in my head, but finally made sense after reading about "Hurl" ... a new reality show that's an eating contest followed by extreme action sports to see who can last the longest without vomiting. The winner gets a whopping $1,000.
TRUE FUCKING SHOW.
And we wonder why the world hates us.)
Why is online dating such work? I mean, really, having success before, when I was ready to date again I headed back to the websites that worked for me in the past. But wow, as the internet has grown, it’s only gotten worse. And there are few things worse than trying to figure out some personal ads. Let me start at the beginning:
1. The Profile.
Why are women who are so afraid to tell you who they are and what they like and want? Is it fear of being classified high maintenance or just fear of being called a bitch by some boy you reject or who doesn’t fit your wants/needs/lifestyle? I’d rather read and pass you by for not fitting than struggle through some generic pathetic attempt to fill up the minimum character requirements, or read the one who tries to cast a wide net by claiming to be able to be everything to everybody. Case in point: (her misspellings left as they were entered. Which is another peeve. Spell-check. Learn it. Use it. Love it.)
- I can watch the History Channel and then go Fly a kite and be equally entertained.
- I can go from a tee and jeans to a french twist and a littel black dress in under 15 minutes.
- I can enjoy a glass of wine by candlelight or a bottle of beer at the rodeo.
- I love companionship and autonomy equally.
Those are all from the same profile. There were more, too. She can also equally enjoy sporting events or museums, a day at the beach or on the couch watching movies. She’s written four paragraphs without saying anything definitive about herself. That’s either trying way too hard or being afraid to admit who you are. And she’s not the only one. I’ve run across dozens of women who are either really that flexible in life or are using the broad appeal to get more responses. (In a way I can understand it, nobody likes an empty mailbox, but no attraction is better than the wrong kind.)
What happens in this situation? You meet her. You date. Six weeks later you find out she’s not all that. She’s the one who doesn’t want to do anything but watch the History Channel or movies, wearing jeans and a tee, drinking wine. And gods forbid you’re not there, beside her. And you’re the guy who likes the kite flying, little black dress, sporting event, museum and the beach and hates sitting at home? Bored. And ready to move on, wondering how he got stuck with someone who claimed to be everything, and ended up being nothing.
At least she cropped her photos so it’s obvious what she looks like. Which is my next complaint:
2. The Photos.
Ladies - when you have other people with you in the pictures, and your hair is in various colors, styles and lengths in said photos, or you are wearing hats or sunglasses, please point out which one you are. “I’m on the left” or “I’m in the white shirt” work rather well. When you are in photos with random other guys, either crop them out or tell us who they are. I’m sure your brother-in-law is a great guy, however, how do I know that’s who he is. As far as the photos with other women, if I can’t figure out who you are, odds are good I’m not responding.
Oh, and lets not even go to the photos being anywhere from 5-7 years old. Digital cameras are under $100; trying to find a cell phone these days without some rudimentary camera is darn near impossible. Saying you don’t have a current photo is just not acceptable. If nothing else you know someone who has a camera and can get you a photo. I take photos of people all the time that are used in all sorts of online places. I can understand not posting it due to your job or other reasons, but you won’t get many responses. Guys are visual. As for emailing me without a photo? Odds are good I won’t respond. But I’m honest about it. Which brings up the last, but most important, thing:
This goes hand in hand with a proper profile that states who you are and what you want, with current photos that show what you look like. State your true age, if you smoke, where you live, your true CURRENT relationship status (meaning if you’re single, divorced, or merely separated). This is where it really all matters.
I found a profile from a woman who stated who she was, what she liked, what she wanted, had current photos, cropped, that identified her when there were others. And identified the others, too. Well done. She wanted an honest man, specifically saying “Liars need not apply.” And she listed a location that was just around the corner from me. So I write to her.
Her response: She actually lives on the OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTRY. She was born in the town listed, and has family here and is considering moving here to be closer to them. So much for the honesty, eh?
Another I met is still married (yes, separated still counts as legally married) and has neither the plans or the money to get divorced, mainly because she can’t find the husband who packed up and left. She lists herself as divorced. Sorry, I’m not going to wait for you to get off your lazy ass, find the loser and get divorced. You don’t have kids with him, he’s not paying spousal support now, nor will he ever so there’s no financial reason to remain married to a man you’ve not seen in three years, and is probably not even in the country.
Honesty isn’t hard. You can’t be true to another if you’re lying to yourself.
For the record, I know my gender is no better. I’ve heard a lot of same things from women about photos being out of date, age/weight being misstated; finding out after the fact he’s gay, married or otherwise involved and cheating. Just like I know not all women on dating websites have fake, generic profiles filled with half-truths featuring old photos.
There are those of us out there, like me, who are honest about it. My profile is who I am and what I want. My photos are current. My town is correct. I’m divorced and can show you the papers. But those good ones out there get a bum rap because of the bad apples, and we have to struggle through the the profiles of the lame to find that one shining honest person we’re drawn to.
Right now I’m in the struggle, because I know who I am, what I want, and I believe I’ll find her. It’s just frustrating. Why is dating this hard?
It surprises me sometimes how we’ve survived this long as a species.
The latest proof of this arrived in my email today:
"I found your photos... Why didn't you post the photos of the topfree women at Comfest?? That is what I was looking for the most part."
Here's my answer:
First, let me start by thanking you for looking at my photos. I'm sure if you found my stuff, you can find boobies on teh innernets. Use teh Googles. Or, well, for porn, booble.com
Since you specifically asked about photos of topfree women at Comfest ... here's my complete answer:
Both my website and my Flickr page are marked as safe sites, meaning they contain no nudity. While I could set up a password protected page on my website to control access to it, and I have several to show some of the private, commissioned studio and budior photography I've done, any photos of topless women at Comfest won't be there, for a variety of reasons
- I live in America where one-third of a second of a passing glimpse at part of Janet Jackson's partially exposed breast caused a national uproar.
- Nudity, therefore, must be bad, because we have to protect the children from it.
- Nudity, according to the radical Islamofacists who want to kill us, and the equally radical evangelicals who currently rule us, is obviously the first step on the slippery slope to devious sex, homosexuality and hell. (Devious being anything that's not missionary style, with your married heterosexual spouse, in your bed, under the covers, for the purposes of procreation, only.) In their eyes, sex - devious or otherwise - is bad.
- Comfest is not Girls Gone Wild. It is a community festvial of music, peace, beer, dogs and babies. With the occasional topless woman.
- I'm a professional photographer. I don't get a thrill out of sneaking around taking photos of half-naked women at a music festival, or sneaking photos of someone's not-so-great rack through a gap in her shirt at BW3's, but I digress. To the topless women at Comfest, I respect your right to legally bare your breasts in public inside the City of Columbus, Ohio. As a man, I appreciate when you exercise that right. As a photographer, I don't take pictures of you, unless you ask. And several of you did. And I complied. And emailed the photos to you as requested. And no, Artie, you can't have copies of them.
- Finally, because I live in America and use teh innernets, if I wanted to post those photographs on my website, I'd have to have signed model releases from any woman I photograph topless, complete with a copy of her ID proving she was over the age of 18 at the time the photograph was taken to be in compliance with Section 18 of the United States Code, Section 2257, otherwise known as the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act. Despite the fact naked breasts are neither sexual nor obscene by themselves.
Ryan's previous release, "Neil Avenue," is a long-time favorite, and as anyone who knows me knows the in-between single release "Girls With Glasses" knows that so could be my life story.
But with "I Just want To Feel That Way" Ryan shows he has grown as a songwriter, and musician, and is able to comfortably move away from the single six-string and incorporate multi-instrumental mixing, layering, and tracking, along with some noise and sound effects that really add to the darker lyrical context here.
Song by song breakdown:
1. Good Intentions Where do go now from this place? Straight into a great track with a wonderful mix of instruments, all layered right and mixed well. It's the track that sets the tone for the album.
2. This Is Not A Tragedy A guitar heavy track (both acoustic and electric) that tells the abstract tales of "a bad bad thing" that turns out to be a blessing, to someone involved.
3. Santa Cruz This is perhaps my favorite song on the EP, a collection of urban legends, broken hearts, disappointment and hypocricy pulled together on a piano backbone with some wicked guitar licks in between verses.
Told me she didn't know me that well.
Now she's on a bus to Boston
I'm doin' alright in Hell.
You ain't heard the worst of it yet.
There's a part I regret."
4. A Few Hundred Miles Another lost love song that opens with the line "Won't you come back from Kentucky, tell me that you love me, and I'll stop lying about your death." Toss in bus tickets, a new man, a ring and a lost wedding invitation ... it just gets better!
5. I Just Want To Feel That Way A very great tune that really drove home the Paul Westerberg reference. There's nothing better than a great missing you and how you made me feel song. Paul Westerberg made a solo career out of (think "Love Untold" or "Lookin' Out Forever")
6. Following The Ambulance Home Death comes early here, leaving the narrator to question his own life, wonder about his death, and everything that surrounds and intertwines both. Great use of sound effects, violin and questioning everything.
You can buy this from iTunes, amazon and rhapsody ... it's well worth the $6.
Ryan Smith on Myspace
So the remainder of my Comfest photos are being delayed due to slight technical difficulties.
i.e. ... my big-ass beast of a computer is currently undergoing major repair and overhaul due to a failed drive and corrupted OS. Now I have everything in RAID-5 arrays, so there is no data loss, and all my Comfest photos are stored on the machine in two different RAID-5 arrays (one is 1.4 Terabytes, the other is 1.2 Terabytes) as well as off-the-machine on DVD and external drives), so no worries about data loss, just not able to edit them until said beast is rebuilt.
Katie Reider is an AMAZING musician who's in the fight of her life against a difficult form of cancer. I LOVE LOVE LOVE her music. I've seen her many times in Columbus, and Cincinnati and Indianapolis.
If you have a spare dollar, please download her sampler and see what an amazing artist she is, and then realize that the cancer she's battling has now taken one of her eyes, and her voice, but not her spirit to live.
If you do donate, and don't like the music, tell me and I'll gladly refund your $1.
- Eric (who doesn't plead for much from friends and readers, but is seriously saddened by this news. Katie is amazing.)