Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Morons and communists."

That was the answer I gave my daughter just now when she asked me, while searching for a brownie recipe for Thanksgiving, "Who doesn't like peanut butter?" So, if you are reading this now, and you do not like peanut butter, then I ask you to ask yourself: WHICH ARE YOU?

In other news, which I shall number because it's easier than writing coherent and fluid paragraphs:

1) I had a good sound sleep, thankfully, and did not have a repeat of yesterday's tragic leap onto the floor.

2) It is raining here in Berkeley, which means my little dog is stir crazy and therefore driving ME crazy, because apparently I am the Entertainment Committee for her, which sucks when I'm trying to play WoW.

3) I've been playing WoW. Just did the Nexus quests, which were super fun (especially the tentacle lady who spins you around), but I'm kind of sorry I didn't (once again) read the quest text, so I have no idea what it was all about. Basically, I killed stuff and then looted stuff. Which is great. Still. I'm a writer---I should read the words! Now I just feel guilty. Pretty instance, though!

4) Today's cheap Amazon mp3 deal ($2.99) is for Elton John's Madman Across the Water, which is one of his best. One of the great things about getting older is that you realize that music that seemed embarrassing or lame or NOT RAWK ENUF at the time, is, in retrospect, really pretty damn good. Sure Elton is derivative and manipulative and obvious and lightweight--but the man could write some nice melodies, too. And the bonus of this particular record is that it has "Tiny Dancer," which is the song that is featured in the single best scene in the movie Almost Famous. Anyway, I bought it this a.m., and I have no regrets.

5) I also have no regrets about not watching Heroes this week. Yep--I'm officially done. At least until I hear from credible sources (not you fanboy dorkuses) that it has gotten seriously better again. Because this series just blows now. And I say this as a former believer. But at this point, I don't know what any of the characters are doing any more, or why, or who's friends with who, or why, or who is coming back from the future or going to the past, or why, and frankly I don't even think I want to hear why, because it would just give me a headache and reaffirm for me that I just do not give a shit. They ruined this show. It needs a "Batman Begins" done on it now---a complete reboot. Or a cancellation. But I am done.

6) If I ever finally write that novel I've been meaning to write, one of the characters is going to be in a band, and the band's name is going to be Seizure Salad. I came up with that name while in Target with my kid, and the garishness of the store inspired those two words to fall from my mouth. I mention this here in public now knowing that someone else may steal it for their own book, but you folks are witnesses that I thought it up first.

7) I am thinking a lot again about the ridiculous use of "quotes" that eliminate the phrase they are used with of any actual meaning. For example, many years ago, I saw a sign on a wall at a restaurant that said they sell: "Homemade" apple pie. The quotes mean, one assumes, that it's not actually homemade at all. Otherwise they wouldn't need the quotes. So the point of the sign is....what exactly? To focus our attention on the exact opposite of what you're trying to do? Bravo! The same goes for this one: Made with "real" chocolate. Err, okay. So in fact it's not real at all then. So it's fake. So in fact what it should really say is: Made with fake chocolate. All I'm saying is that this shit bothers me. I'm not saying we have to do anything about it, like take to the streets with torches and pitchforks or anything. I'm just saying to be vigilant, people! Watch for this abuse, and stamp it out wherever you see it. I have deputized you all. Use your power. Use it wisely. The English language---nay, the very fabric of our society!--depends on it.


[EDIT: "Thanks" to message poster "Andy" for alerting me to this photo. :)]

Have a "happy" rest of your day!



Rhody Tobin said...

*this comment contains Heroes spoilers*

Actually, aside from one glaring problem, I think this week's episode of Heroes was the best episode since season 1. I really liked it.

That one glaring problem is the fact that Sylar and Elle are completely schizophrenic. All that character development and mood-swinginess from their last appearance? Well, they did a complete 180 this episode. That was stupid. Oh, well. At least Sylar isn't stealing powers with happy thoughts right now.

But yeah. This was the best episode in a while. But I don't have my hopes up for the rest of the season. The cool thing about this episode is likely temporary.

Andy said...

Re: the quotes thing, I am reminded of this gem on FAIL Blog.

Juan said...

Ok Sir, I formally declare myself one of those commies who HATES peanut butter...

In other news, how's your "game" at EA coming out? When will you have further "updates" on the inner workings at your new job? Has the daily grind set into place yet? Any luck hearing Ryan's ludicrously named LAN Party "podcast"? I've seen bike hemlets with all the dongles ready for ipod earphones, though I can't imagine you being such a moron as to actually cancel all external sounds in your daily bike commute in exchange for the 1up "survivors".

Anyway, "best regards" to you Jeff.

carpboy said...

It makes sense that the only person I know who doesn't like peanut butter is actually Russian.

Joe said...

One box I inherited on a move in my 20's was a McDonalds box for shipping freeze-dried french fries. Printed on one of the flaps was the phrase:

Remember: "Salt the Fries"

Not understanding it, I cut that part out and hung it on the wall, as I would with any piece of stimulating art.

The prevalent misuse of apostrophes (or apostrophe's) is the one that really gets my goat.

thechosen2nd said...

There is a very important question which needs to be asked here:

Natural (like Adams) or delicious fake-y stuff a la Jiff?

The difference is "huge."

Anonymous said...

Greatest column ever!!!!

Petek said...

I've heard or read a few people lately saying they were giving up on Heroes and just made the same decision myself. I'm not sure if the writers put themselves in a corner they couldn't get out of due to the strike or their brains were stolen by aliens, but it just seemed like at every turn they were trying to come up with a new surprise, so much so that rather than surprise, we were left with boredom and fatigue. It's just not worth it anymore because none of the characters is the least bit interesting.

Alex said...

Peanut butter is incredibly versatile; you haven't lived until you've enjoyed a peanut butter bacon burger.

Dan said...

For the "Republic!"

tolecover said...

But what if someone is allergic to peanuts, Jeff?


No need to throw supercharged terms such as "moron" and "communist" just because they have allergies. :(

Gabe said...

Capitalists don't have allergies, well known fact.

James D. Bausch said...

Heroes, sigh...

It started going downhill this year when they decided they need to have a game-changing-event-or-revelation EVERY 10 MINUTES.

You were right to bail. It is a goddamn mess of a show right now.

And don't get me started on the magic eclipse that apparently hit every part of western hemisphere at the same time.

But I still tune in, hoping against hope...

Heroes - I wish I knew how to quit you.

"awesome blog" as "usual"

Stephen said...

All your peanut butters are belong to us, comrade!

Anonymous said...

hi will you ever guest again on a 1up podcast like LAN party talk to the survivors and on that you are known as dad you got a nickname see i wouldnt mind a fallout post

Signal to Noise said...


I was severely behind on the show this season. Last night I decided to try to catch up and fired up the PVR to watch episode-number-whatever which was from mid-October. Halfway thru I was thinking this is ridiculous. The characters are changing powers like James Brown changes capes. Or for the young ones, like Paris changes squeezes.

So I ended up deleting the remaining five episodes still yet to be watched. I'm done with it.

Until the DVD set comes out, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I stopped watching Heroes after Season 2. The show was peaked at Season 1's finale.

Words of TV wisdom:

True Blood = Best New TV Show

LOST Season 5 = January 21st 2009

Everything else can wait.

T-Dawg said...


Lars-Erik Dahle said...


Tiny Dancer is one of the greatest melodies of the seventies, and Elton's contribution to the singer-songwriter scene is sadly overshadowed by his '80s fashion crimes. Tumbleweed Connection is a great companion piece to Madman.

Another subtle way to wreck the language is to punctuate questions with periods instead of question marks:

How are you. Where are you going. Can I come with you. Why not. Does this make me sound like a robot or what.

Hunter Red said...

Seizure Salad? Thanks! I needed a name for that prisoner death camp I have in that game I'm writing. "Thank" you.

Jin said...

umm think back bout france…french ppl don't eat peanut butter…i stayed in paris for 3 months and not once did i find beanut butter anywhere

Anonymous said...

How can you say that the best scene in Almost Famous is the bus scene in which Russell is recovering from taking too much acid the night before? No, no - the best scene, rather, is the airplane scene in which '... we're all going to die!'.

It's laugh out loud funny in that scene when the drummer announces: "I... I... I'm gay!"

What a great movie.

But get this: I saw Almost Famous the night after I saw The Wonder Boys. I hadn't been to the movies in years, and I was left thinking, wow, they're making some really good movies these days.

Not! I just got lucky those two nights of course. (I think that the next weekend we went out and saw maybe Dumb And Dumber or something like that.)

The Wonder Boys was a great movie too and if you haven't seen it then what the hell are you waiting for - the chief protagonist, Grady Tripp, reminds me of a guy I know who managed to write a novel, and get it published, but had no idea, really, how he did it, and then spent the rest of his life attempting to duplicate that success.

A bit like Robert James Waller actually.

Not a novelist, just somebody who managed to write a novel.

Be careful about that novel writing business though - um, that's not the 'dream job' that you've alluded to once or twice, I would hope?

In Canada, our most celebrated writer, Margaret Atwood, was at a cocktail party one time, and this guy came up to her and told her he was a brain surgeon, and that after he retired from being a brain surgeon he was going to become a novelist. Atwood responded by saying that when she retired from being a novelist, she was going to become a brain surgeon, and then walked away.

Most people fall into that trap. They don't get it that a novelist must self apprentice for a good ten to fifteen years - and I'm not talking about just writing 'in the evening' either. I'm talking ten, eleven, twelve hours a day during which the novelist spends his entire time either writing, reading, or thinking about fiction.

Ah, but if a person is going to write a novel (or two, or three, or four) then nobody is going to stop them from doing so - because, yes, of course, writers always write.

Damned pathetic, actually.

On a completely different note: Jeff, did you ever watch that biker show, The Long Way Round, or the even better Race To Dakar?

I was at a party the other night and got to chatting with this biker guy about The Dakar Rally. He told me this incredible story about how one of the riders, on the sixth day of the race, took a tumble on his bike and broke his collar bone. This stage of the race was 600 kilometers long, and there were bikes strewn all over the course because riders that day had gone down left right and center - this particular rider didn't have a support crew so he had to abandon his bike in the dessert. The medical helicopter came and picked him up and flew him to the bivouac for medical treatment. He said he looked out the window and saw his bike just lying there in the sand.

Sixty percent of all riders who attempt The Dakar never make it to Dakar - and these riders often feel that there's 'unfinished business' out there in the dessert, meaning that eventually they return and have another go.

And so it was with this rider. The very next year he attempted The Dakar again - but this time he crashed, and his bike ended up being severely damaged to the point where the engine wouldn't even start. You've only got so many hours to make it to the bivouac each day, or else you're out of the race. He sat there, with his head in his hands, just looking at his broken bike, miserable, and frustrated beyond belief, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a nomad shows up and looks down at him.

The nomad then looks at this guy's bike, and says: "I know where there's another bike exactly like that one."

Suddenly the biker realizes that he's in the exact same spot in which he crashed the previous year. The nomad leads him 2 kilometers across the dessert to an abandoned house, and sure enough, leaning against the back of the house, is his old bike.

He strips off the much needed part and seven days later rides into Dakar.

I love the moral of this story: namely, that this year's failure might be a part of next year's success.

We should all keep that in mind, I think. It's a good lesson. :)

Jeff, are you listening to this?

Robert said...

Haha, that's a "great" post, and three days in a row? "Christmas!"

The question is rather, which is the best, the crunchy or the smooth?

Even though I keep on holding on for any sort of redemption, concerning Heroes, I totally see your point. It's hardly worth watching anymore. But a part that've started to annoy me even more than the storyline and characters being all messed up, is a serious slize of fan service that's surfaced. In my view. So obvious and poor.

Keep it up"!"

Ken said...

So, how many people in Berkeley like peanut butter?

shyguysamurai said...

You're better off not watching Heroes right now, Jeff. I do think the last couple of episodes were better than most of this season has been but they still weren't great.

Looks like that WoW bug has bit you hard yet again. I have also been effected by the WoW bug. I ran my druid into Northrend day one and messed around. Next day? Started a DK and haven't touched my other characters since. I'm now a lvl 74 DK... and I'm not really proud of that. Talk about no life!

I'm not going to lie to you, Jeff. I sure do miss your presence over at 1up. I really miss your podcast silliness. Now that You, Karen and Damien are gone, I just don't know what to think of Legendary thread!!


MrDeVil_909 said...

I don't understand the Heroes complaints at all.

It was crappy from day one, a nice premise kicked in the groin by horrible "characters," poor "editing" and bad "writing."

And those quotes are used as intended. ;)

I struggle to see how it could have gotten worse.

I'm just waiting for Lost. :)

yoonas said...

First of all...I guess I must be a moron, because I'm sure as hell not a communist, and I can't stand Peanut Butter.
Second...I think that Heroes is slowly moving towards the right direction...but It'll take about 3-4 episodes, to make the show watchable again.

Stray Neutrino said...

Speaking of games, did you ever get around to finishing "The Witcher", Jeff?

I realize it kind of came at a time of a huge amount of released games. With the "Enhanced Edition" being offered for free recently, it's worth returning to.

Having finally finished myself, I can heartily recommend it.

Of course, I realize it has no chance until you grow tired of WoW.

Brian said...

Regarding your "interesting" observation of signs using dubious quotation marks, at least the examples you give are discernible even when they're misinterpreted. I saw this crazy sign in an asian supermarket which perplexed me to no end.

And to your challenge, my wife says "better red than spread".

Michael Adamek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Adamek said...

Lost stinks and so does Heroes. Both shows are rediculous after season 1. The writers seem to write in circles and get really dry. There will be, say, 10 myseteries and they will roll with them for one season. In the finale they reveal all of the secrets and give you 10 more, then the cycle repeats. Both Lost and Heroes are shows for "Morons and communists". It is just boring and I get tired of hearing from people how wonderful it is. It is really at the point where people are still hoping it will be good, if it's anything like Lost, it won't. It's sort of like people trying to say that Metallica is still a good band just because it's Metallica.

The quotations comment reminds me of that old Chris Farley character on SNL where in everything he said he used his fingers to do the quotes sign.

I'm sorry if I don't "wipe properly"

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Derek Schrock said...

Logan said...

Jeff, there's an entire blog dedicated to "the misuse of" quotation marks:

Adam said...

I must be a moron and a commie then, cos I dont like peanut butter and Ive enjoyed Heroes right from the start, and still do.

Go me!!

Patrick said...

I HATE peanut butter. But only because I'm allergic, and you know, I hate what kills me.

Dawg said...

The only thing that would have made that picture better was if the "Please do not use quotation marks for emphasis" sign would have been stapled up.

blinkhic said...

Yes Jeff heroes is terrible now. i am finished as well. too much past and future jumping. And why does EVERYONE have to be connected in some way? DUMB. too many people to focus on. Bye hearoes. Your first season was a blast, now you just blow.

piratebrido said...

I am a communist I think. Perhaps a moron, but I too have stopped watching Heroes, and I feel that clears my name from the moron list.

Richard Hay said...

I think this quotes using to emphasize came about when Instant Messangers didn't come with an italics key or bold.... I think most of them do now... /ramble

MSUSteve said...

My Mom listened to the Madman Across the Water album constantly while she was pregnant with me. It's pretty much ingrained into my soul, so I say congrats on buying it Jeff. It's a great great record.

Diego said...

As it says "Jeff" it must be the outsourcing service in India he contracted a few month ago.
At last it works!

Congrats man

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