Friday, April 30, 2010


No, I'm not talking about the latest biography about Dick Cheney, I'm referring to the 1897 classic horror novel by Bram Stoker. Reading "The Historian" piqued my interest in the original Stoker novel as it is mentioned and referenced quite a bit throughout the story. As pervasive as "Dracula" or vampire lore is in our pop culture, how could I have never read the classic masterpiece? This is what I set out to do this week after receiving the novel as a birthday present.

The narrative is presented through a series of journals and letters written by various players in the novel as well as through newspaper accounts and clippings. All the classic characters are here: Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker, Renfield, and Dr. John Seward, to name but a few. In a nutshell the novel follows Count Dracula's emergence from Transylvania into 19th Century England and back again in a harrowing finish worthy of any modern thriller. Stoker's writing was extremely easy to read, in fact I was somewhat amazed that this book was written in the late 19th Century! If I were to find anything to pick on about the book, it would be some of the lengthy exchanges of friendship and admiration between the characters throughout the novel, which at moments are really over the top. A truly minor problem from an otherwise exceptional read.

I believe Stoker's "Dracula" is the definitive work on the subject. The closest representation of Stoker's work that I've seen was Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 movie "Dracula" which still took liberties which weren't necessary. Forget the "Twilight" series or anything Anne Rice has written. The original "Dracula" is infinitely superior to anything I've seen or read on the subject. Highly recommended.

Fuck David Barrett's Birthday!

Today is David Barrett's birthday, one of my oldest friends and one of the dearest people to me in Oklahoma City. Many years ago he was a solid friend during a traumatic time in my life when I literally had few to turn to.

Where did "fuck David Barrett" come from? One night at a bar David said something to me that really pissed me off. I'm sure I only became upset as I was heavily sedated by beer. I stormed out of the bar and yelled "fuck you David Barrett!" Ever since that time it's been a standard greeting between us.

The other two David Barrett entries to this blog, both from 2006, can be found here and here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Best Niece Ever

My birthday present from my niece!

Arizona, "Papers Please"

How refreshing it is to blog about other states and their kooky laws instead of Oklahoma! So in my opinion the new law in Arizona legalizes racial profiling and discrimination. Where are the true conservatives and Teabaggers on this matter? How can one live in a state/city where the state and local government can approach anyone and ask, "papers please." How do conservatives overlook this obvious overreach of the government? Simple, they're all old white guys who won't be asked for their papers. They have a fear of foreigners (Mexicans) and they fear their jobs will be taken away; you know because most middle aged white guys wash dishes in a restaurant, work the crops during harvest season, or nanny for rich white families.

What are the political consequences of the new law? Over time republicans will see an erosion of their Hispanic base, it's already happening. The Latino vote continues to grow in this country and it may be devastating to conservatives. Imagine elections where states like Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida and Texas are considered swing states due to an influx of Hispanic votes coming to the democratic side. Could a republican ticket win a national campaign without a couple of these states? Conservatives never think long term.

Here are some solutions I think are a good start to sane immigration reforms:
  • Amnesty for those who are already in the country illegally. Not necessary free and clear, but some kind of quick path to get everyone legalized.
  • Enforce the laws we do have. If this means more man power at the boarders, so be it.
  • More work visas for those who want to work across the boarder and return home to Mexico at the end of the work day.
  • Punish businesses heavily for the employment of illegal immigrants, another example of enforcing the laws we already have.
  • A national work identification system so employers are confident they are hiring a legal citizen.

Most of the suggestions above I have seen proposed by both conservatives and liberals. Why can't we start there instead of this "papers please" approach? Opinions?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This is Alabama

"This is Alabama. We speak English. If you want to live here, learn it."

Does anyone else see the irony in this ad? Mwhahahahaha! Of course I shouldn't talk, I live in Oklahoma where English is a struggle for a lot of people.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let's Get Some Shoes!

Festival of the Arts

If it's raining in Oklahoma City, it may be the last weekend of April and you may be attending the Festival of the Arts. I had the opportunity to hang out with Dann, Mel, and the Captain on Saturday afternoon at the festival.

View of the Oklahoma City skyline from the Festival. The large cranes are being used in the construction of the Devon Tower, a 51-story building expected to be completed in 2012.

The Festival is great, there's lots of art to see/purchase, plenty of food from local vendors and restaurants, and of course beer. Pictured above is me, Mel, and Jaclyn hanging out in the park area.

Toward the end of the afternoon we were running low on cigarettes so Dann and I headed downtown on a quest for smokes. I can't believe how far into downtown we had to walk to find a shop that sold cancer sticks.

I took some pictures of the buildings as we walked around downtown. This is the First National Center, built in 1931 and currently the second tallest building in Oklahoma City. The building inside and out is a prime example of art deco art design. This is my favorite building gracing the Oklahoma City landscape.

We finally were able to find a shop that sold cigarettes near the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, they were $7.50 a pack! There are rumors about the hotel being haunted, just ask the New York Knicks.


37 years ago today in 1973 darkness descended upon the world and I was born. This birthday marks the half way point of the life expectancy of the average male in America. Basically I'm half dead.

Usually my birthdays are pretty wretched, last year I did nothing as I thought my friends would organize some kind of party for me, they didn't. The year before I inadvertently picked up a second shift at work. Three years ago I had pneumonia. Four years ago I worked. This year I made plans myself to celebrate with some friends over the weekend. It was literally the best birthday I've had in five years, at least.

Thanks again to eveyone in the pictures above for all the birthday fun!

Friday, April 23, 2010


So begins the weekend birthday extravaganza! Southside tonight...

Picasso Cafe Re-review

Is re-review a word? I took some heat for my original Picasso Cafe post. Regardless of what some may think my original assessment wasn't an attack on Picasso Cafe or anyone that works there, well maybe I didn't like the server... Anyways, I have known Kim for as long as I've known just about anyone in Oklahoma City. I have specifically gone to places that she's served at or managed because she is simply one of the best restaurant people I've known in this city. Here is my experience with Picasso Cafe last night:

Dann and I got out of seeing a stage production of "Driving Miss Daisy" last night at Lyric at the Plaza around 9:30. We decided to head to Picasso Cafe to grab a quick bite and to check out their new bar next door, The Other Room (no web page yet). It can sometimes be difficult to find a place that serves food later in the evening. Having worked in the industry I hate to go to a restaurant 15 or 20 minutes before they close, people are ready to get the hell out of there after working all night.

We shared the BBQ chicken and jalapeno pizza and had a couple of beers. The pizza was fantastic, the food was fresh and I especially liked the freshly cut jalapenos. The service was great as well and there weren't any issues with ordering beers, though Dann would like Miller Lite on the menu. There was also some live music which was really good as well.

After eating we went next door to The Other Room, a newly opened bar where Isis used to be. We watched the second half of the Thunder/Lakers game, drank some great beer, listened to some good music, and had some interesting Thunder shots. I'm glad the location is open again next door. It's a great venue to just chill and enjoy some drinks with great ambiance.

Go to Picasso Cafe for a pizza and some beer and then have a night cap at The Other Room. It's a hip laid back experience that shouldn't be missed.

New Link of Interest (7)

I came across WTF Japan, Seriously!? today while "working." Check it out there's some pretty bizarre and funny stuff here.

Michael's Getting Nothing for Christmas

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Anyone who has been to this blog more than a couple of times know that I'm not a religious person, though I do respect the beliefs of others, even if those beliefs are batshit crazy. I do like a good story too. Based on the recommendation from a couple of people I set out to read "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore, only my second reading on the subject of Jesus Christ after the New Testament (I really do have a Bible, here in my house, locked away in an iron box so as to not drain my powers).

What exactly was the son of God up to between his birth and the establishment of his ministry? Moore sets out to fill in the gaps that are woefully missing in the New Testament in a brilliant and humorous way. The writing is akin to something I would expect from Douglas Adams, a very good trait. Here's what you can expect to learn about the years 1 through 33 (I'm borrowing from the inside cover of the book):
  • What to do if your kid's face suddenly appears on every loaf of bread in town
  • The proper method for choosing a harlot
  • How sarcasm was invented
  • The history of the martial art specifically designed for boys from Nazareth (aka Jewdo)
  • What the rough draft of the Sermon on the Mount sounded like
  • How to tell when an image of the Virgin Mary is a bona fide vision... and when it's just elephant poop
  • How bunnies came to be associated with Easter

If I had to say anything critical about the book is that I found the laughs to be a little inconsistent. The first part of the book deals with Jesus' early years as a child and it is laugh out loud funny. While I did find myself chuckling throughout the novel, I wished the entire read was as strong as the first third of the book.

One other note about the novel, the middle third of the book is extremely interesting. It deals with Jesus and his best friend Biff setting out on a journey to the east to figure out how one becomes the messiah. In a nutshell the boys set out to find and gain the wisdom of the three wise men that visited Jesus at his birth. What follows is a journey through Afghanistan, China, and India where our heroes are versed in the teachings of Budduh, Lao-tzu, Confucius, and the Hindu religion. I found it very clever that Moore allowed these combined philosophies to be the basis for some of what Christ was trying to form with his new religion. So not only does the novel give some background to the Jewish faith at the time but also a lot of philosophies of the east as well.

Verily I say to thee, read this book! I still think Christians have some batshit crazy beliefs though...

Happy Earth Day

I'm totally doing my part to save the world! If it's brown I flush it down, if it's yellow I let it mellow.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Matty!

Today is my bestest friend's 34th birthday (we think). Happy birthday Matt, love you long time!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Obama Heckled by the Left


"And yes, the hecklers were attacking the president from the left. 'Repeal "don't ask, don't tell"!' the protesters yelled, referring to the 1993 military policy that bans gays and lesbians from openly serving. Obama responded, 'We are going to do that; hey, hold on a second, hold on a second.'"

I like President Obama, though my enthusiasm for his administration has waned with each passing month. I think it's time that he holds on a second! He's had plenty of time to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" either through an executive order or by pressing Congress to work on legislation. How long are we holding on? Until the Democrats have less seats in Congress after the fall elections? I've said it before several times on this blog: GLBT Americans shouldn't have to wait any longer for equal rights in this country.

I guess part of the problem is the gay community as well. We align ourselves with organizations like The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) which seems to be more concerned with cocktail party fundraisers than actually getting people organized and to the streets or to the ballot box. Dan Choi chaining himself to the White House fence has done more to whip up my enthusiasm for the cause than any fundraising email I've received from the HRC.

That's just my opinions, what's yours?

Salsa Bowl 2010

I love chips and salsa or dip or queso. Last Friday night me and some friends celebrated the first annual (shuddup Dann) Salsa Bowl. Basically the party consisted of everyone bringing their favorite chips and dip while we had a Wii Bowling tournament. It turned out to be a really good time. We created a double elimination tournament that ended up taking about six hours to complete! Naturally I won since my mad Wii Bowling skills are sick. The final four including me was Matt, Justin, and Stephanie. I had a fantastic time and I look forward to doing something similar in the future.

The chips and dip spread. My fridge is currently pack full of different kinds of salsa and dip.

The bracket.

The Bowlers minus Steph who was taking the picture.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hey, Soul Sister

I'm really digging on Train's latest song and the video for it.

I Remember

15 years ago today 168 people, including 19 children lost their lives in Oklahoma City. I remember.

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Friday, April 16, 2010


I'm reading a book about Jesus Christ, of sorts. This musical and song has been on my mind today.

Daily Dose of Stupid (2)

I loath the Daily Oklahoman aka the Daily Fish Wrap aka the Daily Disappointment aka the Daily Joklahoman. I wouldn't wipe my ass with it's newsprint let alone spend money to read it. I do admit, though, that I enjoy reading the letters to the editor online. One from today is a beauty:

"Aborting taxpayers
Since abortion became legal, the number of children aborted is estimated to be more than 44 million. Of that number, 17 million would now be over the age of 21 and paying taxes. Perhaps the solution to our deficit problem is a reversal of Roe v. Wade, which would increase the taxpayer base.
(Name withheld to protect the stupid), Oklahoma City"

I just love anti-abortion proponents. They'll use any kind of twisted logic to try to get their point across. Those 17 million tax payers would have cost us more in the long run since they would become wards of the state, if that number is indeed true. Anit-abortion proponents don't give two shakes of a dead rats ass about children once they leave the birth canal. Unfortunately they are winning the battle, at least in Oklahoma. Never has it been more difficult for a women to seek an abortion, a LEGAL procedure. If she is able to get access to one of the two clinics left in Oklahoma, then she has to have a forced ultrasound before the procedure can go forward. I love conservatives forcing the government into a person's private life... Opinions?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Great Mighty Poo

I really miss the good 'ole days of the Nintendo 64.

And Now a Word From the GOP...

Found this the other day and I had to share it with my peeps that read my blog (all three of you). Thanks to Apollo's Brain where I first saw the cartoon, I'm not sure of it's origins. Can anyone tell that I'm having a slower than usual day at work today?

No Man's Land Chili

Last Saturday I headed to the Beave (also know as Beaver) in the panhandle (also known as no man's land and the land that time forgot). What took me on a five hour trek to the wastelands of Oklahoma was the 16th Annual Beaver Cow Chip Chili Cookoff. I didn't cook with cow chips. I have attended twice, the other time was for the 1st Annual Cookoff (shuddup Dann).

My parents began participating in chili cookoff competitions with my aunt Ruthless and my uncle Dave when I was a teenager. They were all members of an organization called CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International). This organization sponsors chili competitions nearly all over the United States. The overall goal of attending and placing in the top 10 of any given cookoff is to accumulate points to qualify for the International Chili Championship in Terlingua, Texas. I would tag along to a few events a year mainly just to hang out and sometimes I would get roped in to cooking or judging. I placed in the top 10 now and then and I even won a competition in Midwest City one year. Basically the cookoffs really boiled down to having fun, hangin' with family and friends and having some beers. My desire to go to Beaver last Saturday was simply to do something I haven't done in a long time.

My chili. On the entry form for CASI sanctioned cookoffs there is a field for chili name. My mother calls her chili "Milley's Chili" (her name is Mildred, I'm naming my first daughter Mildred, wait, what were we talking about?). I believe the first cookoff my mother participated in was in Red River, New Mexico and at that time her chili name was "Virgin Milley Chili" but I guess the name as been altered over the years. I named my chili "Beat Milley's Chili," because I'm a dick.

One more word about CASI sanctioned chili. Basically chili should consist of three things: meat, sauce, and heat. No fillers of any kind are allowed at competition (though often times there are open competitions alongside the CASI sanctioned competitions where anything goes). No beans, vegetables, etc. The chili should also be made from a mixture of spices and not from anything store bought, so basically from scratch. I actually prefer chili this way probably from eating so much of it over the years at cookoffs with the family.

I placed third! Not bad for not cooking in a long, long time. My flavor was really good, I thought, but there was little heat to my chili. I think if I could've kicked it up a notch I would've had a fair chance to win. Several criteria is taken in to account when the chili is judged, color, flavor, heat, etc. I really have to stop wearing that Express shirt so often.

My mom won first place the hag. My cousin won second place and aunt Ruthless placed fifth via a tiebreaker. Almost a clean sweep except for a guy named Bill from Beaver who finished fourth. I believe there were 18 cooks total in the CASI sanctioned competition.

The cookoff in Beaver is extremely cool. The money raised from entry fees, tasting cup fees, and raffles go toward support for the rural EMT's. Putting aside the cause, the people of Beaver have got to be some of the nicest group of people I've met anywhere. I'm really glad I mad the haul to the panhandle in spite of the long drive to participate and I look forward to going again next year... and winning!

The Historian

My friend Justin was kind enough to lend me the novel "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova. I had some reservations about reading the novel based on many reviews I read about it, especially on Goodreads. Don't listen to reviews folks.

"The Historian interweaves the history and folklore of Vlad Ţepeş, a 15th-century prince of Wallachia known as 'Vlad the Impaler', and his fictional equivalent Count Dracula together with the story of Paul, a professor; his 16-year-old daughter; and their quest for Vlad's tomb. The novel ties together three separate narratives using letters and oral accounts: that of Paul's mentor in the 1930s, that of Paul in the 1950s, and that of the narrator herself in the 1970s. The tale is told primarily from the perspective of Paul's daughter, who is never named."

"The Historian" is beautifully written by Kostova, amazingly her first novel. As I got further into the book I started to savor every chapter and it's wonderful detail, particularly the locations throughout the novel in western and eastern Europe between the 1930's and the 1970's. Though the premise of the novel may sound a little goofy, the book reads more like a historical mystery and less like a vampire tale. Think Dan Brown, only Kostova can actually write.

I won't spoil anymore of the book but I will say it snowballs nicely until a highly satisfactory culmination at the end. The wonderful narrative is Gothic, romantic, and suspensful. Some have argued that the book is tedious and boring which I can understand but I never felt. Even during "slower" moments in the novel I was unable to put the book down. The only other possible downside is the length of the novel. It clocks in at nearly 700 pages and the print in the copy I had was very small. Highly recommended, the best book I've read in some time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oklahoma Militia

"Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty."


Really? Oklahoma sure is making the rounds in the national news this year. Just how is this militia going to defend against the federal government? Bomb a federal building in Oklahoma City? Oh wait that already happened fifteen years ago.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Shame on Randy Brogdon and shame on the Oklahomans that voted for him. This kind of talk on the eve of the fifteenth anniversary of 168 deaths in Oklahoma City is disgusting. We don't need a militia in Oklahoma, we need people to quit voting for extremist kooks.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


PIXELS by Patrick Jean from ONE MORE PRODUCTION on Vimeo.

Sex and the City 2 Trailer

May 27th. Looks good but I'm not so sure about the return of Aiden.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


There's only 18 shopping days left until Davemas, the most wonderful time of the year! If anyone is stumped on what to get me for my birthday, here are a couple of suggestions:


Not really an Orioles fan but I bet the team could grow on me.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The South Shall Rise Again

"Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Tuesday signed a proclamation that re-instituted April as Confederate History Month for the first time in the Cradle of the Confederacy since 2001."

The past should be remembered but is this an appropriate way to do so? I think it's just conservative right wing kooks appealing to the crazy fringe of their base. Opinions?


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Obama's Package

He he. Saw this over at Gawker.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Mario and Samus

Joystiq Nintendo has some new gameplay movies of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M on their site.

Galaxy 2 look just as sweet as the first installment of the series with the added bonus of getting to ride around on Yoshi. Releases May 23rd.

I'm excited about another Metroid game but I'm a little unsure of the controller scheme as well as the side scrolling aspects of the game. Releases June 27th.

Good Friday

"Good Friday, also known as Holy Friday, Black Friday, Great Friday, is a holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death as believed by Christians at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and often coincides with the Jewish observance of Passover."

So today is Good Friday. I understand the meaning of Good Friday, the anniversary of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, but I'm unclear as to where the name came from. I've done some digging online and I've been unable to find much of an explanation. Do any of my Christian friends out there want to enlighten me? I certainly wouldn't characterize this day 1,977 years ago as so "good" for Jesus.

Also since today is a day of fasting for Catholics and a day of substitution of meat for fish, would sushi be a satisfactory substitution?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Qur'an Verse of the Day

I've been thinking for some time about changing the format of my blog. For nearly the last five years I've added random postings on just about every conceivable subject. I've come to the realization that I should focus on one subject to comment on daily. Since I've already started an Animal Crossing blog (that I never update), my second choice would be the teachings of the Qur'an, as I have recently come to know Allah. So without further ado, the first Qur'an Verse of the Day:

Say: "O My servants who have transgressed against your own souls: do not despair of God's mercy, for God forgives all sins. It is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."
Qur'an (39:53)

I'm still working on a new template and a new name for the blog so please be patient and check back everyday for more goodness from the Qur'an.

Any suggestions for a new name for the blog would be greatly appreciated, just post them in the comments section. So far all I've come up with is "Muhammad's World: Bitter Party of One Your Jihād is Ready" but I don't want to turn off Christians, after all we have so much in common, we worship the same God and many of the same prophets!

Many thanks for the support!