Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
They've determined that Sinornithosaurus millenii had grooved fangs for channelling venom.
She lurks beneath the ferns, watching the others pass. The prey roots
for tubers and grubs, not knowing that she is there. A fat one stops to
scrape the bark of a rotting cycad trunk. Its tail is short and without
quills. The bitter taste comes to her mouth and her forelimbs flex
before she even makes the decision to strike.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
“What’s taking him so long?” the President’s Day Santa wondered aloud. He held his white wig in one hand as he scratched his brown Amish style beard with the other.
The Groundhog Day Santa chuckled mirthlessly. “5 billion kids in one night, but us he keeps waiting."
"Say, would you like to buy a new mattress or boxspring?”
Finally the great man arrived. Grumbles and laughter ceased, and the collective intake of breathe, the awe of seeing his jolly-ness no less diminished than the first time each had seen him. Of course, visits like this were rare, but the sight of him was overpowering. He glowed with a power and celebrity beyond them.
Only this time the glow was of a strange aura. There was a troubled look on the fat man’s face. Santa Clause, the Christmas Santa, took his place at the head of the table. The silence of his entrance was stifled by the deeper silence as he prepared to speak. One hundred lesser Santas held their breath.
“My friends, this is once again a dark Christmas. The economy is rough. You all know that we haven’t been able to provide toys to all the children for many centuries now. We’ve had to rely on capitalism as a supplement to our toy-bringing. Well, Capitalism is on the rocks. The Moneyday Santa failed for the second year in a row.”
Members of the legion peered about for a glimpse of the Moneyday Santa, but he was nowhere to be seen.
St. Nick continued. “Not only is there not enough money to go around, but the state of merriness is at an all time low. I think years of war, political divisiveness in the states, and the economic woes have brought on an epidemic of melancholia.
“We need to do something special this year. It is time for magic to work its magic. I know we’ve had contention in the past, but now is the time to put aside differences…”
Out of the darkness to the left of The Great Santa, plumes of smoke snaked into the light, followed by a pumpkin faced Santa, his fur suit coated in soot. He said nothing, and slowly took in the room. The Thanksgiving Santa met his gaze and smiled, grimly.
“Yes,” the Christmas Santa continued, “Even the Halloween Santa is here to work together for the sake of Christmas. We must all work together to bring the magic back. I have spoken to the dominant spirits of the seasons, and have received pledges of assistance from the St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun and the Hallmark CEO come St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day as compensation. We are still in talks with the Chinese Dragon and the Tree. Some will be compensated, but some will not. Now is not the time to bicker over fairness. Now is the time to save Christmas!”
Santa Valentine stepped forward. He was a true figure of dismay. Emaciated, with that hollow look only a Santa who had seen his holiday taken from him could understand. “I am with you, Christmas.” He croaked, “I am not strong, but I will do what I can. We all will.”
“Yes!” many of the Santas cried in unison. There were pledges of action and loyalty, with much toasting and hurrahs to go around.
Santa Claus smiled at them in his mighty beaming way. “Well, let’s go. To the North Pole. We’ve got work to do.” Fur clad demigods of the Holidays poured out of the hall, to a cavalry of reindeer drawn sleds.
As they made their way out, The Thanksgiving Santa pulled the Santa of Belated Birthdays aside. “What do you think of all this my friend?”
“I think it’s good for him to address us all again, and it’s a good cause. Better late than never, I say.”
“I say he’s weak. He wouldn’t call on us if his power weren’t fading.”
“But surely we need to keep Christmas strong?”
“Yes. Surely. But there shall be a price.”
“What are you planning?”
“Me? I’m planning on bringing little boys and girls presents for Christmas,” The Thanksgiving Santa smiled, slowly stroking his gobbler, “But let’s just say there might not be Carols playing the day after Halloween next year.”
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
The fox in the henhouse must pause to calculate: kill them all and eat at leisure, or eat as many as possible before the caretaker comes. If there are less than seven, there is barely a hesitation; they are all dead before a significant cry can be raised. If there are twelve, it may be more profitable to eat three or four while the others squawk -- otherwise the seemingly prudent killings would be cut short by the arrival of those who would object.
In a henhouse of thousands the calculus is altogether different. The shrieks and squalls of the living are ignored by their caretakers. A fox may feast as it pleases. The farmer assumes that some chickens will be lost, and this is accounted for and accepted.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Thursday, December 17 10:00 p.m. The Ks play
95 Stanton (between Orchard and Ludlow)
Take the f to the 2nd Avenue stop.
It's a block South of Houston.
This show is called “4 out of 5 dentists.”
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
“Don’t you see that it’s December 21st?” says the astrologer.
“So, what does that mean?” says the police officer.
“Well,” beams the astrologer, “that’s the date of this year’s winter equine ox!”
Editor's note: I am so very sorry. It was either this or some discussion of the continuing Health Care debacle, and I just can't.
Monday, December 14, 2009
The condition of feeling both sorry and envious of a person.
I felt sorvious of the celebrity for the scandals unfolding and the debauched lifestyle he was able to maintain for however long it lasted.
Friday, December 11, 2009
For you it is a tongue twister; for me it is a tragedy.
For I am the woman who sells the sea shells. That I have ended up here, by the sea shore, has seemed like a series of choices, but I now realize that it is destiny. Who really needs to buy shells, when the ocean brings them in by the dozen?
If I could live at the strip of stores by the sea shore, then I could polish my wares, shellac them into an unnatural state, ready for desk-tops and gift boxes. But my "choices" compel me to simply stay by the sea shore, the wind hissing in my ears.
I march up and down the beach, picking up the choicest shells, plucking the seaweed, wiping off the brine, lowering my prices.
They say there's a recession going on. I wouldn't know. I work in a recession proof industry; sales are always bad.
Perhaps I should give the shells away, and live off charity. I could use a new business model. But I can't help but feel my work is worth some compensation. I feel compelled to sell.
Children collect their buckets filled with hole ridden conch shells, periwinkles choking in the air and shiny rocks already losing their luster on the way to the family station wagon. They don't have the perception to appreciate a truly good find, a perfect unblemished shell. I do, and surely some others. Won't you buy? Won't you buy a fine sea shell?
I sell sea shells by the sea shore.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
This was a normal byproduct of the enhancement medication. It was nothing to worry about, and we weren’t capable of worrying even if it had been. We stood and saluted in unison.
The captain was a woman, five foot four, recently promoted. The new stitching on her rank insignia reflected light slightly differently than her campaign patches. It was the sort of thing that peace allowed you to notice. There had been heavy attrition in the command and control sectors from insurgents so new officers were common. Her pupils strobed as she surveyed the room; she was at peace as well. “As you were,” she said, returning the salute.
It would have been redundant to tell us to be at ease. With the extra half dose the average soldier wouldn’t flinch if someone threaded a garden hose up his ass. When the effect peaked the same soldier could recite the manual of small arms maintenance while sawing off his right foot. We took our seats.
The briefing began with a series of slides of the insertion zone and target area. We were silent as we memorized the photographs and plan schematics, the officer commenting on points of interest and probable enemy troop vectors. A corporal raised his hand to ask a question. The crescents of his fingernails were going grey; he’d survived a gas attack and had been rotated back into action the week before. His name was Carson.
“Have any supplies been pre-inserted into the strike area?” Carson asked, his tone even and patient. It was a fascinating question, as any question would be at that moment. We patiently waited for the response.
The captain smiled. “Negative,” she said, her voice almost a sigh. “Due to unavoidable disruption of logistics systems, pre-insertion was not possible. Additionally, there will be modifications to your equipment for this mission.”
We beamed at her, drinking in this information. Her lips were glossy from lip balm. She continued, “You will be limited to thirty seven rounds of rifle ammunition per infantryman.” Our ecstasy at this was tempered only with the exactness of our attention. “In addition to ten rounds for squad leaders’ sidearms. Firing will be limited to three-round bursts.” We were rapt.
“You depart in nine minutes.” It was a song. “Hu-ah,” she breathed.
We responded in unison: “Hu-ah.”
Fourteen minutes later we were down the ropes and on the ground.
Carson was hit first. He triggered a proximity mine and was thrown forward, flipping end over end before landing twenty meters in front of me. I dropped and waited for insurgent fire. It took several seconds to come. A standard tactic was to use mines as a detection perimeter, concentrating fire on anything that triggered them.
I ranged back on the tracers and acquired two targets. I brought the first up on my scope and squeezed off a burst. I got two hits to the chest and the target was neutralized. I switched over to the second just as he acquired me. A warning tone rang in my headset. I squeezed off before scoping in order to drive him into cover. By the time he reacquired me I had him scoped and put three in his head.
Carson’s voice came over the headset. He was near to peaking, so his enthusiasm bled through in his voice. “I have been immobilized, but I can serve as a comm relay for rear activities!” I advanced in a crawl to his position. Both legs were gone above the knee, but he had applied wound foam and appeared to be stable.
“I am unable to continue! Take my ammunition!” He held up two magazines. “If you leave me your pistol I will be able to commit suicide in the event of capture!” I handed him my pistol. “Hu-ah!”
“Hu-ah!” I said, and continued on at a sprint to reestablish my position in the line.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
He watched them from behind the curtain. His fearsome avatar, the billowing smoke the explosions, all were having their effect. But the young girl, while afraid, wasn’t backing down. Then the dog found him. He really should have had the engineers design the control station at a greater remove. He wheedled some distracting diversion, but he was caught.
Really it was a relief for the farce to be over. He confessed the fraud readily, explained the bizarre hoax he’d perpetrated. The fearsome image he’d projected to dominate the land was unraveling, and he didn’t care. It felt good, liberating for himself. He would be the first free citizen.
They’d come to him with needs and he had nothing. Yet somehow in the glow of confession, he saw them for who they truly were. They were just as confused as he was. They were searching for things they already had. They didn’t suffer from loss, they suffered from low self esteem. All except the girl. She was the only actualized person in the room, but fortunately, she had dumb luck on her side, and he was the only one to recognize it.
A few speeches and a few props of state and he’d bucked up the others. He passed out medals, diplomas, and some novelty gew-gaw he had lying around in his junk drawer. This was easy! Once he got going, it was easy. Only the dog didn’t need anything, and he was sure there were some scraps of meat around if it did. The same razzle-dazzle he’d used to inspire fear now inspired gratitude and uplift. He wasn’t a fraud. He’d merely misdirected his talents.
And the girl. She was the only one whose needs he couldn’t meet with a quick speech and a prop. She needed to go home. She’d either become a refugee or a queen, if she didn’t have those slippers. She had more magic on her feet than he’d ever had in his entire body, but she didn’t have the knowledge. He knew the magic words.
He was no wizard, but he knew a thing or two.
Monday, December 7, 2009
We laid down 20 songs this weekend. Nothing finished, of course. Billy Burke's third axiom of rock is "Lay down the carpet, then move in the furniture." We've got the carpet, drums and bass down. We've even stuck in a couple chairs to the place.
Working titles "19 Skeletons" and "Surge after Surge" have been rejected. New working title: "Booze, Broads and Sinatra." Soon to be rejected.
I anticipated being really irritated by working long and hard with my band-mates in close quarters, but these guys really worked their asses off, and I have gained a new appreciation for my band-mates. Good bunch of guys.
Like to hear what we've got? Well, you can't.
Editor's note: What the hell, you're thinking? You thought this was a political satire site, with cryptic posts alluding to Dungeons and Dragons? Nope. It's a band's website! The Ks!
Friday, December 4, 2009
The Ks go into mighty Seizure's Palace this weekend to record their long anticipated follow up to The Ks Can't Get It Together. It's a lovely dungeon of Rock where some great sounds can be made and some very impressive acts (Deavendra Banhart, Sonic Youth, Maceo Parker, Herbie Hancock) have made great sounds.
Once again the lovely and talented Jason LaFarge will be at the helm, only this time the band is stripped down to 5, the anticipated sound is rawer, spookier and with a shade more reverb. But who knows? We haven't made it yet, and this post is riddled with hype. One thing is sure: we're excited.
Ever since we booked this date I've been pushing the band to learn some new songs. Half our material we've been playing for a couple years, and half we barely know. We're throwing some stuff together. It's going to be a gamble, but I'm hoping for a masterpiece. It's going to be riffier, darker and if all goes well, should sound like Steely Dan meets The Libertines.
Of course we're going to take on a mind-boggling array of styles, and failing brilliantly at them all. Here's just one sound we got from the last album.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
So it seems that Tiger Woods was in a car accident or a fight or something. He hasn't wanted to talk about it. There's a lot of speculation that he's got some marriage problems. I'm sorry to hear that.
What? You want more? You shouldn't even know that. What are you, an asshole?
This guy isn't a politician or a morality czar or something. He's a really good golfer. Check back in when he's golfing again.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
My adoring Americans. At least half of you adore me. I’m back over 50 percent so you critics can chew on that. Now, after a lot of deliberation, I’m going to answer the question that has been on the minds of most, if not all Americans. Who was that couple that crashed my party?
I’ll tell you who they were. They were star-effers who wanted to taste the Obama magic! 51 percent! I cannot be stopped! One in ten of you don’t have a job and half of you still love me! By the way, if you are looking for a job, might I suggest the U.S. military? It’s got a great job-placement program, and we’re looking to find some replacements for some employees.
And just to ensure that we keep this jobs-program going with a high rotation, I’m sending 30 thousand soldiers to Afghanistan. I said I would fight this war in the campaign, so stop saying I’m going back on my word. I said Afghanistan was the war to fight and that I didn’t hate all wars. I just said it really quickly so some of you didn’t hear me.
The war I didn’t like was the one you’ve all already forgotten about. You know…whatsitcalled, with the whole Kurds and Shiites and Sunnis thing. Big mess. Well, as far as anyone knows, nothing’s going on over there now, so let’s focus on Afghanistan.
My plan is to simultaneously escalate and end this war. This should please everybody. Hawks who think we have vital interests in these desserts and craggy mountains will be pleased, as well as the Hawks who simply like us to be in as many wars as humanly possible. Doves will like the fact that we are using “benchmarks” and “goals” to get out at some point. I’m also trying to build up the Karzai government, while ensuring that it fight its own corruption. I also want the Taliban to be happy, because we’ve got to get them to flip against their own interests if this thing is going to work. Just to make sure we hit every base, we’re including some anti-abortion language in the implementation of what we’re calling Operation Ramp-Up/Draw-Down. Don’t worry, this is still a military plan that respects a woman’s right to choose.
This plan gives me a great opportunity to create a bi-partisan spirit in Washington. I expect Republicans in Congress to support our larger footprint in Afghanistan. The Democratic leadership vehemently opposes escalating the war, so I expect them to do what anti-war Democratic leaders have always done: roll over and accept whatever we’re doing. Hell, I hate this war too and I’m doing the same thing. Why? Because Presidents who give up on wars don't get reelected.
Also, there's the whole Al-Queda thing. Remember how we're at war with a fundamentalist enemy who will stop at nothing to destroy us? The Republicans sure have. I don't feel a whole lot of rallying around the President going on from these birther-pandering tea-baggers. Damned traitors! How am I going to get them to like me?
30 thousand kids to Afghanistan, that's how.
Thank you and God bless the United States of America, Iraq, Afghanistan, Western Pakistan and Honduras. Oh, and God Bless 51% of the American public too. Good night.
--Leaked from The White House to Dan Kilian