Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Is That Horse Dead Yet?

I fully realize that I have now discussed the outrageous expensiveness in Iceland at least five times already in this space. I won't beat a dead horse (or have I already begun merely by creating this post?). So, short story shorter: Tokyo is no longer the world's most expensive city . . . Oslo, Norway is. That's not the point though. The point, my friends, is that Reykjavik has moved into #3. I'm still convinced that there's no way Oslo and Tokyo are more expensive than Reykjavik, but at least the #3 spot somewhat vindicates my position.

Here's a picture of a hippie in Reykjavik contemplating the outrageous costs of everything :

Many thanks to Nicole for sending me the link to the article (although I don't know how I missed it, seeing as how I'm obsessed with the cost of things in Iceland).

Sometimes There Just isn't Breaking News

I want to point out, briefly I hope, something that has been bothering me for the past few months. At work, I use CNN.com as my homepage. I figure that's a good way to get a glimpse of the news, see if anything important is going on in the world, each time I get on the web, whether it be to do some research or check my email.

I've been using CNN.com as a primary news source for years now (I don't know exactly how long). In the beginning, they used a red, "Breaking News" banner across the top of the screen only for truly important, world changing events, i.e., "U.S. Drops First Bombs in Iraq" or "Four Explosions Rock London Tube", etc. Recently, however, I've noticed how CNN is using that coveted, red, "Breaking News" banner just to get attention for any old crap. Today's shocking, world-changing news: "'Brokeback Mountain' leads Academy Awards field with eight nominations, including best picture". Well stop the effin' presses. Is that really breaking news? Think before you put that banner up there CNN: do I need to stop what I'm doing to learn about some great world tragedy/happening? Also, is that more important than the lead headline (today, Coretta Scott King's death)?

Today's example is just one of what are now several, weekly, non-stories that CNN touts as "Breaking News". It's ridiculous and sensationalist and it pisses me off. I expect that red banner to be something important. I've been meaning to say something about it. Does anyone else feel this way, or has anyone else noticed this trend? Am I crazy? I'll write something more interesting next time, I swear, I just had to get this off my manly chest.

Update: This, on the otherhand, is most definitely deserving of a "Breaking News" label.

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Colloquy In AABBA: Positive and NegativeMode

Have you ever been emailing back and forth with someone, random persiflage and arcane raillery, when suddenly, the two of you are struck with a brilliant idea: let's communicate only in the form of limericks? Well, PositiveMode and I were struck with that very idea last week, which resulted in two days worth of communication strictly in limerick form.

In case you've never had such a colloquy, I present ours in its unabridged, unedited version (that's not completely true, I added punctuation and edited a word or two):

PositiveMode UPDATE: I, too, have edited the punctuation, in this case to more closely conform with my original work)

There once was a man from New Trier,
Who ate mostly Arby's and beer,
But now he's a lawyer;
Brief reading destroyer,
With short hair who looks so austere.

There once was a man from Penn State
Who used to eat cheese by the crate.
But now job-agonizing,
He'd best hear me advising,
Get to Vegas, before it's too late!

Though limericks sometimes amuse,
Some say they're ill fit to send news;
I agree that their use
Can be prone to abuse
But that said, what have you got to lose?

While you're certainly skilled with a rhyme,
Speaking through limericks just takes too much time.
We're both under the gun,
To get legal work done.
I can't stop; rhyming's just so sublime.

Hopefully someday there'll be
Somebody with a job just like me
Who sits and reads papers
To catch misdeeds and capers,
Because these limericks would be something to see.

Though it's important for me to add:
I hope, since I do like my job just a tad,
That when these are seen
The reason will have been
That the Supreme Court did something bad.

I was wary your rhyming had ended.
I'm relieved to see you just pretended,
That your rhyming was done,
This is second to none,
This conversation must be extended.

But before I continue my craft,
I need to hand in my next draft.
This court's primary dominion,
Is to craft fine opinions,
And that is my job on this staff.

The only complaint I would proffer
About limericks and the benefits they offer
Is that it gets tricky
To be quite as nit-picky
As the pontificating style I prefer.

Prefer clearly does not rhyme with "proffer".
Nor does it rhyme with the word "offer".
Those two words are tough,
To rhyme off the cuff,
The only one I could think of was "coffer".

While this conversation has made my whole year,
Now I must go disappear.
My work day is done.
No more rhyming or pun.
And these poems are making us queer.

I'll only converse in the form
That makes me feel fuzzy and warm.
Some call it a waste,
Or in slightly bad taste,
But limericks, for me, are the norm.

Fine, I'll speak to you only like this.
Using regular verse would be remiss.
But please give me your feelings,
On our Las Vegas dealings,
I know your opinion exists.

By the way, with each poem you send,
I laugh and I laugh with no end.
An Algonquin round table,
Of mentally unstable,
There's a reason why you are my friend.

Please understand my reluctance
To "reply all" about women who dance.
Yesterday in this office,
An email was forwarded amiss
And I don't want to take such a stance.

But now I'll weigh in with my views
On the party, and how we'll amuse
And have fun by the heap,
Without being too cheap,
But can it compete with a cruise?

What did you think of last night's OC?
I thought, and I think you'll agree;
That it was stupid indeed,
To start smoking weed,
In your bedroom where someone might see.

Why not smoke with a girl on the pier?
Where the chance of discovery is mere.
Also, Caitlyn is crazy, I'm
thinking that maybe,
It's time for her to just disappear.

Also, I can't stand that guy Johnny,
He's a worse actor than Giuliani.
Each time that he speaks,
I abhor his techniques.
I would rather listen to CDs by Yani.

Wow, that was quite a dissertation
On last night's broadcast by the Fox station.
I wholly agree,
On points one, two, and three;
Johnny ought take a permenant vacation.

As far as our Vegas hotel,
Everyone's thoughts thus far seem to gel.
We need poles for the strippers,
We'll all be big tippers,
Even chintzy has said "What the hell."

I'm impressed with your punctuational use.
In poetry some sometimes are loose.
As if in the Bahamas,
They take vacation from commas;
For such carelessness there's no excuse.

Noting that it's afternoon Friday,
Perhaps now we'll find fit to say
The things we are thinking
And plans about drinking
In a more casual, less limerical way?

With regards to emailing: agreed.
It's Friday, relax and take heed.
There are things to discuss,
Without rhyming and fuss,
In prose you may now proceed.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Skating With Celebrities

After one period of play, it's Evolution 1, Intelligent Design 0.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Who Really Cares About The Olympics, Anyway??

Much has been made (and by "much", I mean, very little) of the official naming of this year's Winter Games as taking place in "Torino", the Italian name for what I guess English speakers have been calling "Turin". I, myself, have only really come across this name when occasionally hearing of reference to the ever-mysterious "Shroud of Turin". Anyway, I guess some people think it's weird that we're using the Italian name for the city. My first response is "who cares, it's just the stupid Olympics", closely followed by my second response, which is "well, it seems reasonable to use the easily-pronounceable local name for the city". Which led to my third response, which was pondering the oft-considered issue of why so many European cities have English names that are radical departures from their "actual" names.

Normally, I would scour the internet for an answer to the origins of this practice, and would eventually either report or not report this information on this site, but if I were to do so I would wait until I had sufficient information to satisfactorily inform the reader. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find all that much information thus far, but NegativeMode told me that today is my day to post, so here is what I've found (I also want to apologize for the overuse, even for me, of quotation marks in this post, but this topic necessarily involves calling attention to particular words):

The Associated Press has a practice of using "English" names for cities, and thus is referring to these Winter Olympics as taking place in "Turin";

Wikipedia maintains a somewhat comprehensive list of European city names in different languages;

That's all.

I propose that for foreigners, Chicago be called "Kilgore" and that Pittsburgh, that great city that lies at the confluence of two great rivers, forming a third river, be called "Petco" (although I would consider different suggestions for alternate names (as you may have guessed, the purpose of this whole post was really just to take issue with the sometimes-misuse of the term "confluence" as referring to the "confluence of three rivers" when, in fact, it is just two rivers flowing together, forming a third, away-flowing river; what say you, NegativeMode?? (also, is it appropriate for me to refer to you as "NegativeMode" while posting on NegativeMode? Ah, mysteries within riddles...))).

Also, I just got a haircut yesterday, which went pretty well.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Once Again I Find Dissapointment

Next time you want to write a complaint letter to someone, use this website. It's pretty cool. Just plug in the name and company, and you're good to go; it generates a complaint letter for you. I wouldn't even bother reading what it generates, just send and complain away. In fact, I think I'll just start sending random complaint letters to various companies. Maybe I can get some free samples out of it, or at least a lawsuit.

Here's a complaint letter generated to NegativeMode (pretty good I think, and accurate):
Once again, I find disappointment. Once again, I find no satisfaction. Once again, I find that whenever I ponder over the meanings and implications of NegativeMode's uneducated assertions, I feel little peace. For complete details, I refer you to my forthcoming book on the subject. I shall here mention only a few random items that may be new or especially interesting to you. For instance, NegativeMode refers to a variety of things using the word "anthropophysiography". Translating this bit of jargon into English isn't easy. Basically, it's saying that we should derive moral guidance from its glitzy, multi-culti, hip-hop, consumption-oriented prophecies, which we all know is patently absurd. At any rate, one of its favorite tricks is to create a problem and then to offer the solution. Naturally, it's always its solutions that grant it the freedom to jawbone aimlessly, never the original problem. NegativeMode's asseverations are a load of bunk. I use this delightfully pejorative term, "bunk" -- an alternative from the same page of my criminal-slang lexicon would serve just as well -- because in asserting that clever one-liners are a valid substitute for actual thinking, it demonstrates an astounding narrowness of vision.

Jaded ranters generally contend that NegativeMode has no intention to make us too confused, demoralized, and disunited to put up an effective opposition to its utterances, but NegativeMode's often-quoted effusions belie this notion. NegativeMode does, occasionally, make a valid point. But when it says that an open party with unlimited access to alcohol can't possibly outgrow the host's ability to manage the crowd, that's where the facts end and the ludicrousness begins. One final point: NegativeMode brandishes the word "transubstantiationalist" as a kind of up-to-date jack-o'-lantern to scare children.

I Demand Accolades!

The finalists for the 2006 Bloggies were just announced. Do you know in how many categories NegativeMode is a finalist? Zero. This is unacceptable, and frankly, I blame it on you readers. I would think that the first thing you would do upon reading this wonderful blog each day is nominate it for every award you come across, the 2006 Bloggies included.

I suppose you could say that I have something to do with getting this blog press and publicity, not to mention that I have 100% control over its content, but I'm not taking the blame for this one. No, it's you who've failed to get me the prestige and accolades that I deserve.

It's okay though. I forgive you. And to prove it, here's a link to the finalists for the 2006 Bloggies. There are some really great and funny websites listed there. Read as many as you can. Just don't forget that no matter how good they are, NegativeMode is better.

Peace out.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Friday, January 20, 2006

A Short Play -- by PositiveMode

Being Difficult in America
a short play by Bill Walsh

BILL: Hey, Matt, have you seen the new design of the Doritos bag?

MATT: I'm too cool and sophisticated in my snacking habits to notice such a thing. Don't annoy me with your plebian questions!

BILL: You've never seen a Doritos bag?

MATT: Never! That's not exactly true. I used to eat them every day in college. And I've heard of obscure varieties that I doubt YOU have ever heard of.

BILL: Right, the Salsa Verde kind. Those aren't even that spicy. Hey, remember that extended discussion we had about the "Now Better Tasting" claim on the Doritos bag at the grocery store near your apartment in DC? Well the bag doesn't look like that anymore.

MATT: I've had enough of your accusations!

The End

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ode to Duluth

Fly high Duluth
Your spirit has no measure
Fly high Duluth
The northland is your treasure
We got people walkin' talkin'
Critters squeaky squawkin'
Yeah we got it all right here
Fly high Duluth!

Fly high Duluth
On the wings of emotion
Fly high Duluth
Your spirit is the potion
People tryin' buyin'
Kids are spyin' lyin'
Old folks lyin' dyin'
Oh we got rebels makin' love in the streets everyday, yeah...
Fly high Duluth!

I know a little place called Duluth town
Way down there by Mexico
The women are loose and the booze is cheap
So if you need good lovin' then you know you gotta stay
Fly high Duluth!

[spoken]: I am Wally Hammerlich, and this is my she-tiger, mate for life, Shar

Fly high Duluth!

Feel that achin' and a breakin' in my old dungarees
For a big legged woman named Sally Sleazy Skeezer
She only need one look at my old trouser weasel
And I throw myself down on her sweet cherryloo
Fly high Duluth!

[spoken]: Uh oh, I see my main man Stack Sanchez a comin' my way, and I think his axe has something to say about this!

[guitar solo]

[spoken] Let's bring it way down guys, bring it way down


Now let me kick it out to you people like this
See, we got a lot of crazy stuff going on in this country today
We're out there dying in the streets every day
You dig?
Hit me!

Go Thunderbird Spirit!
I see Old Glory a wavin' on the horizon
I see the tattered standard of an invading army
And their numbers are legion
Hit me two times!

Mama! Don't you point that gun at me
I said please mama! Don't you point that gun at me
Because my love
Is consecrated
In the blood of the Apache nations
Oh Duluth, yeah!

Now wrap your head around this

[drum solo]

Everyone give it up for my man Freddie Fingers on the thunder machine!

Fly high Duluth
Fly high Duluth
Fly high Duluth
Fly high Duluth
Fly high Duluth
Fly high Duluth
I can't year you!
Fly high Duluth
Fly high Duluth
Oh sweet Lordy, tell me what we're doing now

Yeah I can feel it
Way down in my loins, my loins, my loins, my loins, my loins, yeah


Fly high Duluth!


This song appeared on SNL last Saturday, performed by Scarlett Johansson and Will Forte, and these lyrics were transcribed today during my lunch hour. You can view the video here.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I've Seen Into the Future: There are Midgets

Do you want to know how you're going to die? Of course you do. Click here and the Death Psychic will tell you.

Apparently, I am going to die by loss of blood (when my wife turns on the garbage disposal, thereby mangling my hand causing me to bleed to death). However, if it seems that "NegativeMode" will suffer a much worse death: "A gang of midgets wraps you in plastic wrap and proceeds to cook you with a hair dryer. You are slowly squeezed to death as the plastic wrap shrinks around your body." That's heavy man. I'm no longer going by NegativeMode.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Wake Up and Get Some

Guys, having trouble getting laid? Get her a coffee, or better yet, an espresso. According to a new study, caffeine may put females in the mood for sex. In the study, female rats that got their first shot of caffeine before mating were quicker than uncaffeinated females to scurry back to the male rat after sex. A warning though, caffeine did not affect how quickly the female rats left their partners after sex.

So, next time you're in the club guys, when offering to buy her a drink, maybe suggest a Red Bull and vodka instead of a vodka cranberry. Just trying to help a brother out. . . .

Friday, January 13, 2006

Atheists Really Like Their Coffee

In my first attempt at blogging, I wanted to include something that can be enjoyed by all, including the kiddies. This cute and cuddly gem of a website is simply amazing.

I had no idea that "“Jesus wants us to be hot for Him."” I have also learned from this website what to do if I find an Atheist (just beware if you click on his belt!) along with other fascinating facts. I don'’t want to spoil the fun of exploring this website for all of you out there. Just be sure to click on every picture in numerous places because this is where the well of hidden secrets and sounds (gotta have your sound on for this one) can be found. This Kanga-Jew really learned her stuff!

Editor's (NegativeMode) Note: I'm not 100% sure I haven't posted a link to the above site before. Either way, this is an excellent website if you haven't previously seen it. It's crazy to think that some people would choose not to be Christian. I mean, after viewing this site, you'd be silly not to accept Jesus.

Also, I want to provide another, completely unrelated link for you. I didn't think it was worthy of it's own post, so I'll add it here. Hope you don't mind Alamode. This is a product called a fecalgram. Pretty much, it's a nicely wrapped fake poo in a box that you send to someone. "Nothing like sending someone a nicely wrapped box of feces" is what I always say, especially if they're an Atheist!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


I just thought I'd pass along this warning. I haven't really seen Jeff in many movies recently, so this explains a lot. I'll try to put a more substantial post up later, but I just want all my readers to be safe, and not the least bit freaked out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Love Story

Please read this article, it's awesome.

I know I usually post some sort of summary of the article, but there's really just too much in this one to accurately summarize. Instead, I'll give you some key words: prostitute, blowtorch, Nazi, crack, pitbull, infrared, Hungry-Man TV dinner. . . . I could go on, but really, just give it a read.

Also, here are some choice quotes, but again, read the whole thing for your own amusement:

-Wigmore and Jones tell a story very different from police, one of an unlikely friendship between a Swastika-tattooed ex-con and black prostitute living together in an adult version of a clubhouse.

-They used a 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat screwed to the top to go to the bathroom. Sometimes, Wigmore read Jones books about Hitler, she said.

-In the evenings, they would eat Hungry-Man TV dinners with crispy apple cinnamon desserts, to Jones' delight, she said.

-"I told my wife, 'Honey, I got this chick in the container, right. She won't leave. Can you tell her to leave? Just get her out. Tell her I got locked up,' " Wigmore recalled.

-Citing his good looks, Wigmore said he did not have to kidnap women.
Um, I actually believe the Nazi and the Prostitute for some reason. Honestly, I don't know why, but I don't think they're lying. Seems reasonable enough to live in a container in the back yard, right?

Friday, January 06, 2006

Dance Monkey, Dance!

These monkeys are happy that Penn State went 11-1. Aren't you?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Alligator Study

Last spring I planned a trip to the Everglades National Park in an attempt to better understand the great American Alligator (alligator mississippiensis), a creature I have found to be particularly fascinating for most of my life. Equipped only with a thirst for knowledge, an emergency whistle and a digital camera, I began my excursion deep into the unknown.

The first few days were spent observing my subject. I was careful to remain distant in my attempt to witness these lizard-like wonders in their most natural of states, having been told by experts to always maintain a distance of at least 15 feet between myself and any alligator that I may come across. It was on the fourth day of my quest that events took an unexpected turn when I accidentally stumbled into a gator nest, and from the occurrences that ensued I have deduced the following:

1) Alligator courtship (exactly as it sounds) consists of a complex and varied sequence of snout-touching, bellowing, "coughing," back-rubbing, circling, bubble-blowing, and swimming together that can last for minutes or hours at a time, and is performed repeatedly.
2) My emergency whistle, much to my regret, sounded remarkably similar to the above mentioned bellowing.
3) Alligators can, and will, eat anything. I repeat, anything.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Nothing Like a Good Fart Video

This link goes to an awesome video of my hero. It's a video of a guy who lights a candle on fire with his farts and a lighter. It's truly amazing. What I can't decide, however, is whether or not this is real. I mean, it looks real to me, but I want to know what you out there think. I know you NegativeModers have to have lit your farts on fire (again, I'm looking in your direction DJ Skuggs).

What do you think? Real or not? And if real, do you think I can do it?

You're My Boy Blue!

Blue died. For real this time, not like in Old School. One can only hope it was from a KY-Jelly wrestling, naked-boobie induced, heart-attack. Read the article here. I just watched that movie again this past weekend. It's really good, just like it was the first 20 times I saw it.

All we are is dust in the wind....