Category Archives: elaborate metaphor

surprise Radiohead christmas

I’m not too connected to the world of music news, but apparently it’s pretty recent news that Radiohead’s next album is going to be available for download this Saturday.

I love how Radiohead seems to go out of their way to not make hoopla.  “Oh, by the way, our next album is coming out…NOW.”  One of the biggest bands in the world, avoiding the endless hype that seems a prerequisite for any artist or business that can command it.

Radiohead is one of my favorite bands.  This news is the equivalent to my mother knocking on my bedroom door one evening, leaning her head in, and saying, “Hey Nicholas, by the way, tomorrow’s Christmas.  Good night!”  And I had no idea.

monday morning metaphors

An office plant I’ve had on my desk for almost two years is blooming.  It was blooming when I first received it, a leftover decoration from a Board of Directors meeting.  Now it’s blooming again.

The office is mostly quiet today, as half the staff have taken off early for Christmas.

There are no pollinators in the building.  I work in a historical archive.  We intentionally try to kill all insects we find so they don’t damage anything.

What workers exist in the building are not interested in pollinating this plant.  Our work involves preservation and stasis, not creation or reproduction.

The plant sits near a double-insulated window.  On the other side is a forty-foot oak tree, its leaves bare for the winter.  Squirrels have been sequestering its acorns in the ground all fall.

We had a beehive near the front door this spring.  Our groundskeeper gassed the bees and tossed the hive in the yard waste recycling can.  The hive was a hundred feet away from the window.

Inside the window sits this little kalanchoe plant.  It’s blooming anyway.  No doubt a tremendous genetic effort.

Happy Monday.

Not Classy, Jayson

We expected better

ESPN reports that Jayson Werth has hired Scott Boras as his agent.  I concede, Werth is a valuable player who will probably get a big contract somewhere this off-season, and probably not from the Phillies.

But hiring Boras a month before your big free agency is the baseball equivalent of the tramp stamp.  It’s tacky, lacks subtlety, and screams, “Hey boys, I’m on the market and looking for the highest bidder.  Artsy types need not apply.”

Comcast Revenge Fantasy


Please hold for our next available representative

There is a special circle of hell reserved for some of the employees and most of the upper management of Comcast.  In this place, it is terribly hot.  The Comcastdamned desperately seek water because their tri-forked tongues (one tongue each for phone, internet, and cable) are forever peeling, blistering, falling off and regrowing in their mouths.

A band of devils have a monopoly on water in this fiery place.  The Comcastdamned ask the devils for water.  The devils reply that they would be happy to give them water.  There are several scenarios which play out over and over again, indefinitely, until the end of the universe.

  1.  The devils ask the Comcastdamned to wait in a certain tar pit from 9 am – 4 pm tomorrow, when a devil will arrive with water.  The devil never arrives.  The Comcastdamned’s only recourse is to schedule another appointment.
  2. The devils hand the Comcastdamned a jug of water.  When he or she tries to drink it, the water turns into hot oil.  The Comcastdamned complains that the jug is not water, but hot oil.  The devils reply that it looks like water on their end, so the problem must be with the Comcastdamned’s lips.
  3. The devils give the Comcastdamned a drop of water in exchange for one of their fingers, which the devils chop off.  The water evaporates on the Comcastdamned’s tongue before it can be drunk.  It is not enough.  The Comcastdamned offers another finger in exchange for a second drop of water.  The devils provide the drop, but chop off an entire hand.  The devils explain that the one-drop-for-one-finger price was an introductory offer which expired after that first drop.

The devils are big believers in choice (they run hell, after all), so the Comcastdamned can choose which scenario they will endure.  But of course none of their options will ever quench their thirst.  In rare moments of lucidity snatched between the searing pain in their mouths, this situation seems eerily familiar to the Comcastdamned.

Historical Metaphor Trash Talking

Girlfriend: You just hit me with a huge snowball!

Witness:  Dude, you totally clobbered her in the head!

Boyfriend: Hey buddy, it’s easy to blame Germany for World War II if you don’t know about what happened in World War I.

Witness:  Ohhh shiiiit!  [to girlfriend] You just got called the Treaty of Versailles!

I am highly entertained by this kind of stuff.

Snowball Fight RPG

alt text


The Philadelphia area is expecting between 12 and 2 million inches of snow over the next 48 hours.  I asked my fellow blogger Zack if he had any snow gloves I could borrow, and before long we were discussing the RPG ‘builds’ involved in a snowball fight.

Tank: the kid who wears a really thick, heavy coat and thick pants.  He can’t move quickly, or throw very well because of the limited range of arm motion allowed by his coat.  But he is virtually impervious to snowballs.

Engineer: builds snow forts.  Equipment may include a shovel for rapid snow transport, and hard gloves for packing.


Berserker: kid with a limited tolerance for snowball fights.  Participates somewhat willingly, but complains if attacked excessively.  Once his/her ‘rage meter’ reaches full, however, berserker flies into a furious and energetic assault on any and all hostiles in the area.  The arrival of a healer is a reliable way to end a berserker attack.

Healer: Mom who brings hot chocolate.

Sniper: very accurate and powerful arm, can launch effective snowballs from a long ways off.  Achieves this accuracy by not wearing gloves, which results in very cold hands and consequently a lower rate of fire.

Melee only

Brute: (pictured) large, aggressive kid with only melee attack.  Favors football tackling targets into the snow.  Once target is down, Brute is very good at rubbing faces into snow, or visa versa.

Mage: weak versus the Brute, but powerful against massed enemies.  Good at throwing snowballs into trees to cause area-of-effect damage.

Bard: peppy kid who sings songs to raise the morale of other snowball fighters.  Bards have a +chance to end snowball fights and enslave all participants in neighborhood caroling.


NPC: frequently younger kids who spend their time making snowmen and engaged in other nonviolent snow activities.  Attacking NPGs is frowned upon and can cause a sudden increase in aggro from all other participants within the same Zone.

Mount/vehicle: sled or other device for rapid transport across snow.

Rogue: fast and small, frequently wears white to blend into surroundings.  The rogue is known for picking up a huge piece of ice, sneaking up behind someone, and slamming it down on their head, instantly stunning that person.  Putting snow down people’s shirts is their secondary attack.

Armorer: the strong kid with good gloves who makes really well-sculpted snowballs and gives them to friends to throw.

Critter: somebody’s dog.  Runs around the environment, uncontrollable by any player, and occasionally causes damage to forts or reveals hiding spots.  Multiple stomach rubs in quick succession can cause excessive leg kicking, or an explosion.

The Third Team: the kid who refuses to be on anybody’s team.  Declares that he will throw snowballs at whomever he likes.  Usually ends up getting ganged up on and demolished.

Result of no alliances

Human turret: kid who can make and throw a lot of snowballs really fast.  Consequence of this tactic is that the snowballs are not that accurate, and do not go that far.  Good for close-quarters, bunched hostiles, and defending chokepoints.

image of a turret attack

Scout: fast and quick kid with good eyesight.  More interested in scouting enemy territory than engaging in combat.  Excellent team mate for capture the flag and territory-holding games. 

Team killing

TKer/Team Killer: kid who professes team allegiance, but is likely to hit a team mate with a snowball at some point.  Team Killers are particularly disruptive during fort-based snowball fights.

Quest Giver: the father who gives his son a snowball and says, “Here you go.  Go throw this at your brother.”

Final Boss: the group of older kids hanging out at the park.  They are the ultimate test of snowball fight skill and it will take a coordinated raid of many of the above-mentioned classes to take them down.  But the reward is much glory.

Hollywood Is The Least Creative Place On Earth

From this NYTimes article on Avatar and its impact on blockbusters:

And a new “Spider-Man” episode is not due until 2012, now that Sony Pictures has canceled a planned fourth installment from the director Sam Raimi and the star Tobey Maguire, choosing instead to focus on a reinvention of the series, with a new director and cast.

Ugh, how dated!

The first Tobey Maguire Spider-Man came out in 2002, was generally well received, made $114 million dollars its opening weekend, and finished with $820 million dollars between its domestic and foreign takes.  The next two movies in the series combined for $1.67 billion dollars in combined worldwide box office gross.

Now, 10 years later, they’re going to “reinvent” the series with a new director and cast?  I guess Hollywood really is the least creative place on Earth.  Don’t mistake me for a big Spider-Man fan.  I imagine this is how that studio conversation went:

Big Suit One:  We need more money.

Big Suit Two:  Remember Spider-Man?  Those movies made a shit ton.

Big Suit One:  Yeah, but Toby Maguire is lame now, and won’t do another movie.

Big Suit Two:  We don’t need him.  We’ll make the same movie again!  Call it a reimagining!

Big Suit One:  The first movies still look fine.  What is there to change?

Big Suit Two:  Nothing!  People are suckers!

We won't take a risk if we can possibly avoid it

This is worse than the current trend of taking simple touchstones from a 1980’s childhood (Transformers, Where The Wild Things Are, G.I. Joe) and turning them into blockbusters.  This is taking blockbusters from ten years ago and turning them into blockbusters.  It’s even less creative.  What’s next?

  1. Gladiator, with Johnny Depp as a wacky pirate Maximus!
  2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, with Robert Pattinson and Emma Watson replacing Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.  Do I hear the sound of a million tweens swiping credit cards?
  3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, with Sean Connery!  Same premise, but you need special effects for the younger parts of his life!
  4. Capote, still with Philip Seymour Hoffman!  He just can’t play the character like he did it last time!  What will he come up with!?!?
  5. The Dark Knight, with a ton of famous actors playing Batman!  It’d be a cross between I’m Not There and The Last Waltz, but for Superhero movies!

And We’ve Reached A New Low

Trader Joe’s milk chocolate truffle bars are delicious.  If I’m eating a piece of one, I’m pretty into it.  What could cause me to drop it, clasp my hand to my forehead, and utter foul oaths?

The Dallas Cowboys giganto-jumbo tron is showing 3D video!  They handed out 3D glasses to fans at tonight’s Chargers-Cowboys game!

Maybe they should show the live game on the screen, and then re-enact the replays on the field.

NO!  NO, NO, NO!


I’ve never been to an NFL game.  Is the NFL really so made-for-TV that, even at the game, you’d rather see what was happening on a screen?*  This makes me hop up and down and babble.  3-D glasses are a gimmick to make otherwise bad movies interesting.  When paired with good art, they are an unnecessary distraction.

[insert joke about the Cowboys being bad art here]

In fact, let’s construct a metaphor for this in the sexualized vein the NFL would approve of.

  1. Watching your favorite team on TV = masturbating to photo of you partner
  2. Attending the game in real life = going to partner’s house for sexual intercourse (presumably preferable)
  3. Attending game and watching it with 3D glasses on giant video screen = going to partner’s house, inflating a sex doll replica of partner, and having sex with that doll, while your partner remains in the room, keeping busy

Or something like that.  I’m all worked up.

This is why I root against the Cowboys.  I don’t really have any football reason to hate them; I’m not that into football.  But it’s shit like this that makes them despicable.  They’re like the Yankees, but without the tradition or consistent winning to back up their conspicuous consumption fetish.

But seriously.  Seriously?  Aaaaaaaaagh.

*If this is the case, then blacking out broadcasts when the game doesn’t sell out, as currently happens, is even more stupid than it already appears.