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Declare independence! Don't let them do that to you!!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

9 Pints of Guinness Later 

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So I went to Harp and Fiddle, this bonny Irish Pub in Pittsburgh. What struck me most about the place I suppose was the infectious vibe of unfettered jubilation that seemed to grow with my bar tab. That might have had something to do with the alcohol. Might have had something to do with the 5 piece band playing classic songs of Love, Loss and Ireland, most in double time. Certainly had nothing to do with their hot-poker-in-your-eye prices. Either way, there was an air of merriment that I found to be most satisfactory and was more than glad to join in on. I met a new friend, unfortunately, I went sans-camera and could not grab a snap of the gregarious Cynthia, the 50-something dancin' devil who was all over me half the night. No friends, that's not pride in my tone, it's the deep shudder your body expels when you feel the deepest mixture of flattery and disgust. Flattery to have made such a sociable friend, disgust at the memory of her excessive crotch grabbing (hers), knee-rubbing (mine), and those gawd awful Virginia Slims that I WILL NEVER SMOKE AGAIN. Fuck you Virginia Slims. Ugh, they made my head swim, and my stomach ache. Serves me right, I ought to stick to the Bali Hai.
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The convertible of the cigarette smoking experience. Anyway, it's 7 AM and I'm still up. Still drunk. Not plastered. Drunk. The 9 pints of Guinness put me in that happy medium of sweet intoxication, but the triple Jamesons kicked me ala Ash into the death pit in Army of Darkness. I somersaulted into sloppy drunk for a few minutes and managed to land on my feet in Eat N Park. A practical hive of gentlemen and patricians of the highest order. Not a rapscallion to be found, no sir!
Well anyway, drunkenly scouring my Mac for entertainment I found that I seem to have downloaded nearly every Calvin and Hobbes ever penned. SWEET!


Bachlorette Remix by Bjork

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Today I Felt Like Doodley Squat 

Then I exercised and felt LOTS better. Why the hell is that lesson to hard to learn?

Friday, February 18, 2005

With Skies Like These Every Day Feels Like Ragnarok 


So, Mickey clued me into the phenomenon that is the political compass. Answer a bunch of questions, and it determines where you stand in the political spectrum.
4991060 6Aba17D296 M Christ, the internets amazing. Try your hand. Apparently I'm more liberal and libertarian than the Dalai Lama. That kind of doesn't surprise me. Posted first, are my results, then there are the results of some famous leaders to give you some context.

How's It Gonna End from the album "Real Gone" by Tom Waits

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Always Take a Second To Remember How Much You Love The Camera - C. Ricci 

4940471 6Be8Ec9C44 MAs I pound these Pittsburgh streets, it is quite often a corset, or a well stitched frock that catches my eye and turns my head. Sometimes it's a dyed mane of electric blue or fire red that piques my curiosity. A veil that conceals a piercing gaze will stop me in my tracks, but how often do you see veils these days? Most everything else looks like the same ole. I've been paying a great deal of attention to gothic fashion spreads as of late. Which I suppose would mean the past 6 months to a year. I'm fond of the expressionist sets and lighting. The stylized composition, the shadows, the lines, the richness of the fabrics. I love how 'out-there' some of these photographers and designers are taking it. And while some if not most of it isnt much of anything new, it feels fresh, imaginative, and quite often strikingly original.
Anyway, a few months ago I saw a spread in POP magazine that really caught my eye. Although I linked to it in the Travails, it seems that some of you may have missed it, so now, for your viewing pleasure, here is said photo-spread starring the bewitching Christina Ricci. As is the usual, clicking on a photograph will give you access to a larger version when one is available. Sorry this isn't a real post kids, but here at The Travails we have a policy of pausing for a glimpse of Beauty when were lucky enough to behold it.


Leather by Amber Asylum
from the album "Songs of a Goddess"

Monday, February 14, 2005

I must pierce the skin of my habitual reactions. I must re-sculpt my core. 

The journey is the destination.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Freaks & Geeks 

This is Jane. I used to live down the hall from Jane and once put a mix CD on her door step because hers would be the only apartment blasting good music late at night besides mine. It occurs to me that I might have never mentioned this to her. I wonder if she ever got it. Did you?
Jane Muder

Jane's going out with Jon, my roommate... technically housemate. Yes, that's real blood. Yes. it's his. No, it's not my fault. At least not directly. Jon writes for a newspaper, and talks on the radio once a week about politics and bestiality. I made that part up. I'm allowed to do that. Fuck you FCC. He can also cook, and claims to be a great drinker. This has yet to be empirically tested.
Jon Kyle

Together, theyre one big Libertarian mush-fest. Really, you should see him pace around the door waiting for her to come home. It's fucking adorable. They met at work, but got to know each other at a party we threw here. After which once she had left he let out with a sigh: "Daaamn, she's so fucking cool! She's like the coolest chick, ever." Score one for Jon. Way to go Jon.

This is Lindsey, she's cool, even though she comes from Florida and doesn't own a gun. Her middle name is Quinn, all you Paul Auster fans know why I think that's so cool, but that's not the most interesting thing about her. You have to ask politely if you want to see that. She likes the fruity concoctions I make at work, and thusly ranks high in my favor these days.
Linsey Arroyo

This is the owner (Danny), cook (Nick) and bouncer (Ryan) of the bar that I work at. It's essentially a hospitality business run by stoners. Frankly I'm surprised anything gets done. But I guess once all the prep work is done, all youve gotta do is hang out. And if there's one thing stoners know how to do, it's sit around, talk, smoke, and eat fried foods.
Danny, Nick, and Ryan

And then there's Mexican Christian, fresh out of the barbershop. He comes 'round on the weekends and does computer suff with Vince, another roommate-technically housemate of ours. I don't know what his deal is, but he knows more about Back To The Future than I do, so that's gotta count for something.

This is Vince, he lives in the attic. His real name is Vicente, which is infinitely cooler than Vince. If I were him I'd force people to say my proper name, and make a big stink when they didn't, but he's a nice guy. He does computer stuff, but seems to be interested in music. The walls of his room are lined with CDs and sound equipment. One day I was playing the Dresden Dolls and he ran out in gleeful surprise. I decided then he was pretty cool.

This is Liz. She's Vinces main squeeze. Do people say that anymore? She just spent three weeks in Taiwan eating tofu and drinking Soy milk. Liz hopes to return via The Peace Corps, though she'll probably end up in Mongolia riding a yak 3 miles to the nearest bathroom with plumbing. She rents movies all the time. Y'know, touching-human-drama type movies that make you believe in the strength of the human spirit and all that shit. She eats mega-healthy and reads a bunch. Good catch, Vince!

This is Jasmine and Jen. I met Jasmine whilst tripping on the Shrooms, which really doesnt help you grapple with the firecracker that is the Jasmine personality. She can talk the ear off an elephant and has a dandy sense of personal style, I think she's a bit 'touched', but she seems functional, so more power to her. Jen, is a quiet observer of human behavior who falls asleep every-time she comes to my place. She's going to Germany in a few weeks. I'd love to go to Germany. I hear chicks are loose there. Now don't you get all whored up, Jen!

And this, is Mike 'I don't have a problem' Scotto.


And this is Mike ten minutes later.

All of these freaks are certifiable, and should be taken away immediately. Except for Jon. Who should be shot on sight, to prevent the risk of infection.

The Final Countdown from the album "Final Countdown" by Europe

Aint That The Way O The Wicked World? 

I could make a sizable separate section in my buddy-list just for people who IM me only when they need/want something. Nothin new though, I guess. Everybody thinks the nice guys a sucker. Well when the hell did I become the nice guy?

The Bill of Rights Is For Pussys 


Cause y'know, as soon as you read a book, youre supposed to follow it blindly till your demise. The main problem with the argument that books turn you gay is...
... is that it's FUCKING stupid and you'd have to have be a troglodyte to believe it! Or a plucky politician riding the homophobic wave that's currently engulfing ... (see: Ruining) our society.

Nazi Punks Fuck Off from the album "Plastic Surgery Disasters - In God We Trust Inc" by Dead Kennedys

Friday, February 11, 2005

Go Emily! 

Here's a poorly written article about a 10 year old girl who foiled her would-be kidnapping, an apathetic cop who ate donuts in response, and the chef who found the prowler and brought him to justice. What a story!!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Way To Go Saudi Arabia! 

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So, Saudi Arabia had its first elections ever today. Municipal elections, that is. Whats that mean? It means that Saudi Arabian men get to vote who the dog-catcher and garbage man will be. Women were kindly relieved of the hassles of participating in the countrys first democratic exercise. I'm really trying to be optimistic about all this, but in a country that tortures its citizens, allows for no political parties, and treats its women (who are the majority) like shit, holding half the municipal positions up for elections for men only doesn't even seem like half a step forward. But I guess it is. Social progress moves too damned slow when it doesn't involve violent take overs. Not that i support such things....
I'm just sayin.
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The Story Of The Man That Went Out Shooting from the album "Shockheaded Peter" by The Tiger Lillies

Juice For Porn 

Monkeys Pay For Porn
Stupid fuckin monkeys.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005



Last Night In a Dream 

I was a Ghostbuster on the ghost bustin team. Winston was complaining that he wanted to quit because in these modern times the Proton Pack felt useless against guns and other modern weaponry. Although Ray got hurt pretty bad, in the end we stuck together and got The Ghost, ROCK! Some childhood fantasies never die. THEN I had a dream that I was dreaming a dream that I was over-sleeping. That's when Jim woke me.... and I realized I was over-sleeping.... weird.

Look what Izzy showed me: 

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David Blaine performed such a horrific, gory illusion at a taping of Carson Daly's late-night show, NBC was considering canceling the segment. "Oh God, it was so gross - David pulled his beating heart out of his chest, put it back in, and then collapsed," said one spy at the taping. "He had to be carried off the stage by some helpers. Some girls in the audience ran out crying and screaming, while Carson just stood there stunned and they blacked out the stage."

If this sounds like your cup of tea, click HERE. The faint of heart should go somewhere else.

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David Blaine is one BAD MOTHERFUCKER. And I mean like Michael Jackson BAD. Y'know, like cool, not creepy-terrifying. But I guess he's that too. But don't we need individuals like him to remind us of what isnt impossible? Personally, I found that performance to be highly inspirational. Much more so than the words of a politician or priest. The kind of wonderment bestowed upon you only by someone who devotes themselves to the mastery of an art. A dedication so profound, that they defy your conception of the world and it's parameters. I guess in a way I feel the same way about Bruce Lee. I couldnt really say that bout Fellini, for instance, because although his films mark me deeply. There is something about exceeding the perceived boundaries of the human form that we as humans find most compelling. Much of the history and lore of Freaks and Carnival performers is steeped in this tradition of captivation.
Tricks or not, that is one enthralling motherfucker to watch. What a showman! Keep your top-hats and long-eared rodents. I'll stick with the 44 day starved, cryogenic, self-mutilating ::ahem:: Magician.

Minor Stab from the album "Thrills" by Andrew Bird's Bowl Of Fire

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Arent You Even Gonna Watch It For The Commercials? 

Commercials suck. Getting excited about 30 second sensory overloads designed specifically to get you further in debt and mired in our consume-till-you-pop culture is the height of mass insanity. It's about short attention spans and even shorter bank balances, people! It's about getting you drunk and getting you hard, which in turns loosens your purse strings. It's not called selling out anymore, it buying in. Buying into shitty beer is patriotic, sluts on the shine-box are patriotic, that new car that will burn a hole in your pocket and planet? that's patriotic, too. I actually did stick around to watch a couple of Super Bowl commercials and one stands out in particular. People are in line at an American airport. Unarmed soldiers start streaming out through one of the nearby gates, some are in uniform, some are in their civvies. They walk proudly in slow motion as the people on line begin to applaud for them. Some are cheering. The soldiers are smiling, the people are smiling, hurrah for the people, hurrah for our soldiers. -BROUGHT TO YOU BY ANHEISER BUSCH- Their programming creates connections in your brain. Subconsciously, you are being rewired to fit THEIR design. It's so formulaic you'd think we were all jacked into the Matrix.
So yeah, fuck commercials. Some are good, and might even be artistic or culturally important (Apple's 1984 ad comes to mind), but one golden shit doesn't mean you start eating turds.


Voting is Important 

(Men and women wait on different lines to vote)30cndiraq_slide3

Brothers of a Volunteer Poll-Worker who was killed in a bomb, mourn. I've a GREAT deal of respect for anyone willing to risk their life in order to do their part to help restore order and autonomy to their homeland as so many Iraqis did last week. SLIDE.martyr.3SLIDE.martyr.6

Lonely Highway Of Love from the album "Six-String Samurai - Original Motion Picture Soun" by Dialogue / Scorchi Chornie - Red Elvises