Tuesday, March 22, 2005


I love Portland, but...

Portland, Oregon is a great city and I'm glad I live here, but who wants to hear about that? Screw that, there's a lot of stuff that drives me bananas or just defies explanation, and that's what I want to write about.

-Drivers in this town don't seem to understand that the solid double yellow lines painted on the streets mean you are not supposed to drive over them, whether for passing or turning. The neighborhood surface streets of Portland are narrow and often congested, and more often than not, traffic is backed up several car lengths and into an intersection because some shithead is waiting to make a left turn into the Walgreen's parking lot over the double yellow lines. C'mon people! Learn the rules! If the line is dashed or there is a break in the solid double yellow, you can pass over or turn. If it's a solid double yellow line, keep driving.

-You ever noticed that when you walk into a hospital or doctor's office, there's that little sign that says something like "Please turn cellular phones off when on the premises"? You know what that really means? It means "Turn your fucking phones off and don't turn them back on until you leave, assholes." Cellular phones can cause disruption of the operation of some types of sensitive medical diagnostic equipment. Do you want to have to do YOUR catscan twice because some general contractor in the waiting area is yammering away on his Nokia? Not to mention it is annoying in general. I'm sitting there tired, sick, and afraid of what the doc is going to stick inside of me, and some white trash gansta teenager is calling his friends to find out such vital information as where day at, and hoozall dere.

-I've noticed more woman in Portland with missing arms than any other city I've been in. And I'm just not talking about the occasional heroin junkie. I'm talking of an assortment of professional women and college aged girls. My pal Jeff thinks there must be some vast underground secret wheat harvesting industry that all women are forced to work at at some point in their lives. Hence the threshers claim an arm every so often. I think it's the blackmarket female arm dinner club at work.

-This town has a basic socioeconomic problem: Too many hipsters, not enough cool jobs FOR hipsters. There is only a small amount of design jobs and club DJ positions open for hipsters to occupy. The net result is you get a lot of piss poor service from hipsters working the less desirable jobs. On far too many occasions, I've been in the videostore, coffeeshop, or record store and gotten the "I'm way too cool to give you good service" attitude from the horn-rimmed glasses wearing college radio kid behind the counter. I certainly appreciate the people who do those jobs and do them well, but when I walk up to the counter to place my coffee order, and you're the cashier, say hello or SOMETHING. Don't just stand there and stare at me, waiting for me to speak first. That's YOUR job, not mine. I will stand there as long as it takes until the counterperson says something. I'm a freelancer, I have all day.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Happy now? Posted by Hello


Amazing: the word of choice for people with no imagination

Okay, here's the deal: I don't hate the word *amazing*, I hate its overuse. Amazing (and amazed) is an insidious word that has worked its way into the American psyche. It isn't insidious for what it means, but for the monopoly it holds over words like terrific, spectacular, glorious, et cetera.

Now, you might not have noticed it, but the next time you watch TV or listen to a conversation, note how many times you hear *amazing* or *amazed*. It will be the word used more often than not to describe anything fantastic, incredible, or delicious. I don't object to the use of the word, even if it's wasted ("These paperclips are amazing."), but I grit my teeth in frustration when most EVERYONE uses *amazing* to the exclusion of most ALL OTHER SYNONYMOUS WORDS. It's especially annoying to see it popping up in a lot of TV ads. I know writing ad copy isn't exactly a brain trust of a job, but you'd think someone out there would have a thesaurus. And that's what makes it insidious. People just use it without thinking and they use it all the time.

Don't believe me? Try the David Hahn Astonishing *Amazing* Challenge: the next time you are with a buddy and watching TV (reality TV works best) or at an average party, tell your friend that for the next 30 minutes, you will give him (or her) a quarter for every time someone uses ANY word that is roughly synonymous with *amazing*, like astounding, miraculous...shit, even *great*. In exchange, your pal must give you a quarter for everytime someone uses amazing or amazed. It is a bet that will be hard for your chump to pass up, after all, the odds are in his favor: he gets paid for spotting words out of a category of dozens, while you only get to spot one. I liken it to taking a road trip out west, where your friend pays you for every Rhode Island license plate you see, and you pay him for all other states in the union. But trust me, you will be the richer. Trust me. You will be quite surprised.

*Amazing* is the word of choice for people too limited to be bothered to think of what they are saying. At the very least, if you are going to have a stock word that you keep on the top of your head to use to describe all things wondrous, then at least come up with your own word that everyone isn't using. My friend Drew uses *stupefying* to describe a lot of stuff, and I'm glad for it.

So, if you go away from this post thinking that I'm some nut, picking one word out and berating its use, I'm not. I'm berating a word that is being thrown at me (and thrown at everyone else) from all different directions, all the time. Snap out of it. Please.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


What a pain in the ass this blog set-up was...

I hate to have my first post be something so negative, but finding an address that blogger would accept was horrific. Every damn address I tried to use was rejected as 'not available'. You mean to tell me that "fujivondoom" and "smacadoodlecomic" are already in use? I will have to look into that. Needless to say "Bloggersucks" was also already in use as well.

As I pulled out my eyebrow hair in aggravation trying to come up with an address, I was thinking of my frustrations in dealing with automated systems when paying bills. Hence the address 'your balance is' This whole blog naming ordeal sapped out any amount of cleverness I thought I had when I started.

I am now going to attempt to link this blog to my website. Then kill some panzerfaust-carrying German infantry in Call of Duty (PS2).

Wish me luck on both.

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