We Can’t Stay Mad At David

It has been twelve hours since David Blaine was encased in a block of ice for violating the spirit of David Blaine’s Blog Spectacular.

We at I, Splotchy feel that Mr. Blaine (or “David”, as we like to call him) has endured his ice imprisonment with both the poise and professionalism one expects from an entertainer of his stature.

David, consider your sentence served in full.

Break through the ice! Break through!

We have only a little over three days left in the Spectacular!

Let’s DO this!

David Blaine Has Violated The Spirit Of The Blog Spectacular And Will Pay The Consequences For It

We at I, Splotchy are sorry to report another bump in the road of David Blaine’s Blog Spectacular.

We at I, Splotchy readily admit that at least part of the blame for the ongoing problems of the Spectacular resides with us. There was the unfortunate miscommunication between ourselves and David Blaine, which resulted in him spending the first week of the Spectacular submerged in water.

And now, it is with regret we point out an error in judgment by the exalted entertainer — a violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of the contract between I, Splotchy and Mr. Blaine.

It was our intent that Mr. Blaine spend two weeks on a one inch square of our blog alone, unaccompanied, and isolated.

Imagine our surprise when we saw Mr. Blaine consorting with his close friend, mentalist Uri Geller.

We have discussed this matter with Mr. Blaine, and he has consented to being encased in ice until we at I, Splotchy have deemed his debt to us repaid.

We hope to have no more technical glitches.

Splotchy Adds Grant Miller To His Blogroll

I have been engaged in a silent but deadly blogroll standoff with Grant Miller of Grant Miller Media. I have not added Mr. Miller; Mr. Miller has not added me.

This escalating cold war of inaction has not been acknowledged by either of us, until now. In fact, I don’t actually know if there really has been a standoff. It’s that silent and insidious.

I am conceding defeat. Mr. Miller, please accept this post as a proof of your victory. You are under no obligation to add I, Splotchy to your blogroll, but please be aware that I have your photograph and a couple of high-end graphics applications, capable of making mustaches and googly-eyes.

While you’re here, you might want to also consider picking up a Meaningless Cherry Award.

Love and Defeat,


Can You Come Out And Play?

Please find enclosed in this post a heartfelt plea to come with me on the playground to swing on the swings, slide down the slide, and kick the kickball around.

I want to have fun. I want YOU to have fun.

I have a nice game where you can have fun, but here’s the kicker. The more people play, the more fun. The less people play, the less fun.

I have another blog, Who’s In Charge Here?.

I’ve been trying to get people to visit there. It’s not about amassing visits on my hit counter, it’s not about generating ad revenue (not having ads is actually a severe handicap on ad revenue). It’s about FUN. F-U-N.

This game is easy and hard at the same time. There is no wrong answer. But arriving at what you consider the right answer can require some effort and thinking on your part.

This is the blog in a nutshell:

Determine a band’s leader by analyzing a publicity photo.

A band’s inclusion on this blog reflects neither an endorsement nor a criticism of its music. This post is merely intended as a spotlight on the inner political workings of a collection of individuals who are in the midst of a cooperative, creative endeavor.

The Process:
You, dear reader, please answer the question, “Who’s in charge here?”

After sufficient discussion has taken place, a verdict can then be passed based on a majority vote.

Where else on the web are you going to be able to vote on Scandinavian death metal band Opeth:

The bootyliciously lovely group Peach Candy

And indie darlings Wilco

The answer is not one single goddamn other place. American Idol? NO WAY.

I sincerely thank all the people that have voted thus far on the bands I have highlighted. To everyone else — won’t you please come out and play?

If You’re Having Difficulty Logging Into Your Blog

The last couple days I have had difficulty logging into Blogger.

It just hangs and hangs. I eventually get in, but not after minutes of waiting for the page to load.

It looks like the main problem is with the site “ssl.google-analytics.com”. Blogger is attempting to reach that server and you’re stuck waiting until it establishes contact and retrieves the files it needs to. It’s sort of silly that this analytics site is the source of the problem, as it, along with Blogger, is owned by Google.

I got tired of this long wait and did a little trick to prevent the browser from going to the site. I threw the following line into my Windows hosts file: ssl.google-analytics.com

More info here if you like. Be warned that there is a fair amount of paranoia in the post and its comments. If you’re not aware, Google Analytics is used for tracking visitors, similar to the popular blogger widget, SiteMeter.

I can try to answer questions you might have, but the link I provided is relatively thorough.

Of course, I check it just now and everything is working perfectly. DAMN YOU GOOGLE!

Who Wants A Dirty Word Crossword Puzzle?

I had it in my weird mind to construct a crossword puzzle solely out of swear words, or words not appropriate for after-dinner conversation.

I posted the results of my efforts last night, but I thought it was a little too obnoxious sitting for all to see, and deleted the post.

But, rather than let my pointless work go to waste, you can still take a gander.

Here’s relevant links for The Profane Puzzler:

The Grid

The Clues


Answers here!

Johnny Yen Asks, I Answer

Johnny Yen offered to interview, I leapt at the chance to be interviewed.

Here’s the Q&A.

1. Your musical knowledge astounds me in both it’s
breadth and depth, and your love of music is clear.

In 1977, NASA put a record on the Voyager I spacecraft
that will exit the solar system in a few years. They
put a range of human sounds and songs on it. With
digital technology, we can put much more on the
spacecraft. You’ve been assigned by NASA to put ten
albums that you think should be heard by the first
beings that discover the spacecraft. What would the
ten albums be? Explain if you want to.

I think the answer to this question is really beyond my abilities — to choose ten albums to represent humanity? Truly, a daunting task. I can give a couple examples, but I would hope there would be other people more knowledgeable than I that I could lean on for suggestions.

That being said, I would definitely choose a compilation of Django Reinhardt’s Hot Club Quintet Of France. I’m not particular as to what compilation is used, as long as it hits the highlights (“Nagasaki”, “After You’ve Gone”, etc.). I think this music represents both incredible beauty and joy. Perhaps otherworldly beings that heard it might not think we’re the ugly, ignorant creatures we probably are.

I would include a recording of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, because it’s full of passion and fire, emotion of a different sort. Beethoven’s Sixth (Pastoral) Symphony would be included, because I think it is a great representation of nature and our place within it. I defer to a classical music snob regarding the specific performance (conductor/orchestra) of these classical pieces, as I’m not that well-versed how one particular performance outshines another.

Ah, what the hell, put The Feelies’ The Good Earth on there, too. It’s goddamned good music.

2. Your Two-Buck Schmuck is one of my favorite
features on any of the blogs I read. What were the
worst five movies you ever saw and why?

Hmm, there is more than one kind of bad. I’ll give some examples from a few categories.

The Horribly Disappointing
Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation – When I was but a wee lad, there was a summer weekend kids film screening at my neighborhood movie theater. I had just seen The Villain and loved it (gimme a break, I was a kid!). I loved it so much I wanted to go see it again. I went the following day, bought a ticket and sat down in my seat, prepared for live-action Roadrunner antics with Kirk Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ann-Margret, and then THIS movie starts rolling. I was *sure* that The Villain was scheduled to play, but I was confronted by some old-fogey (Jimmy Stewart) walking around in a suit. I stayed for the whole thing, but I hated it, mostly for what I felt was a bait-and-switch.

The Matrix – Reloaded – I saw this on an IMAX screen. As I’ve said before, putting something sucky on a gigantic screen makes it exponentially sucky. I was so angry at this poor excuse for a movie, that I spontaneously came up with the version they *should* have made.

The Listless
This category is almost worse than the Horribly Disappointing. There are movies that you watch, and afterwards you think, well, it wasn’t awful. These movies have no distinguishing characteristics, either good or bad. Some reasonably competent people acted in, shot, and recorded music for these films. And the only thing I can think of in response to their efforts is, “So what?”

For examples, turn to the majority of the career of John Cusack.

A couple specific examples, if you like:
John Cusack: 1408 (reviewed by the Schmuck here)

Non-John Cusack: For the pinnacle of listlessness in a movie, see my review for the shitty Fracture.

This Sucks So Good!
Suckiness doesn’t have to be bad! If you’re watching a bad movie that prominently features one of the lesser Baldwin brothers, it stands a good chance at being hilariously sucky.

My favorite sucky Billy Baldwin movie – Fair Game
Fair Game also stars Cindy Crawford as a laywer. While Baldwin and Crawford are on the run from some dangerous criminals, they duck into a moving freight car that implausibly contains a fancy sports car, all shiny and sitting there. What do they do? Why, they have sex on the car, of course! What a wonderful movie!

My favorite sucky Stephen Baldwin movie – One Tough Cop
This might be better than Fair Game. Throughout the movie, Stephen Baldwin sounds like a really perturbed Donald Duck. It’s worth a Netflix!

3. My father spent the last couple of decades of his
work life in the tech field, and once told me, after I
shared my own brief and bizarre experiences in the
tech field (I was a web design consultant for a
now-gone softward company about ten years ago) that
he’d realized, before he retired, that his life had
become a running Dilbert cartoon. I’ve gathered that
you’re in the tech field yourself. Do you have a story
or two to share that had “Dilbert” moments?

I have definitely had Dilbert moments, featuring unrealistic deadlines, insane bosses, annoying coworkers, etc., but none of them really evoke any interesting stories.

That being said, I do have a couple funny anecdotes that center around IT. Maybe they’re Dilbertish, maybe not, but I think you might get a kick out of them.

1. Knowing Little
The first story actually predates my career in IT. I was out of school, and briefly living back at my parent’s house. For various reasons, I was feeling pretty depressed and low. I needed to get a job, but something not too permanent, as I didn’t know what my situation was evolving into. So, I thought I’d try my hand at temping.

I had mad typin’ skills and was reasonably presentable, so I quickly got an assignment at a credit reporting agency. Part of my job was to use a primitive computer application to verify details of home mortgages. I’d type in a person’s name, bring up their mortgage, verify some data, etc. Apparently, the previous temp I was replacing had been hiding stacks of papers that he or she was supposed to be verifying, and as a result there was a lot of work to catch up on. I caught up in a few hours.

The next thing my employer wanted me to do was to call companies to verify employment for the people whose credit they were checking on. I had previously indicated to the temp agency that the only thing I was uncomfortable with was talking to strangers on the telephone. It just bugged me. So, now, I have to make a bejillion phone calls to people I don’t want to talk to. I begrudgingly started phoning people.

I guess I must have given off a bad vibe or displayed the wrong facial expression, because near the end of the day I get a phone call from my temp agency saying that the credit reporting agency said I wasn’t working out. This company I was temping at was not big. The office wasn’t very big either, and the person who would have made the call about me was sitting literally five feet from me.

She left for the day without saying anything to me. I don’t really know what I did to make her dislike me. She hadn’t said a goddamned word directly to me about my performance — she called the temp agency to do it for her. I was pissed. I typed this in the mortgage computer application I had been using.


Then I canceled out of the application and soon left for home.

The temp agency was very apologetic regarding the woman’s treatment of me, and got me into another place the next day. A couple hours into the morning I got a call from the temp agency. They asked me if I had entered some profanity into the credit agency’s computer. Oops. I thought I had deleted the entry, but I guess the system had saved it.

I called the asshole lady from the credit agency and apologized.

2. Knowing Much
I have to be a little vague about this story, but I hope not vague enough that you won’t enjoy it. I worked in the security division at a large, consumer-facing commerce company. Users could create their own IDs to access our system. Keep in mind that these IDs aren’t anonymous like you would make up for a Webmail account — your ID definitely was pinned to you as an individual. Since I had the access and a little bit of free time, I thought, I wonder if any people have made naughty IDs? Sure enough, there were a handful of IDs. These aren’t the actual IDs I found, but they were of the same ilk:


Whatever profane people created these IDs, you gave a chuckle to an IT security guy deep in the bowels of a large, heartless corporation.

4. I’ve been working on an upcoming post on
“Disappointing Candy From My Childhood.” What were
your three favorite and three most disappointing
candies of your childhood?

Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar
Plain M&M’s (good with water!)

Candy Corn: Probably on a lot of people’s lists. Comedian Lewis Black has a funny bit about his yearly disappointment with this candy.

$100,000 Bar: Maybe this candy bar is not that bad, but I had two unpleasant experiences with it. The first time it must have heated up in the sun and was a gooey mess when I unwrapped it. The second time it was too cold and it hurt my teeth. I don’t remember it tasting very good, either, but it was the temperature that made it unpleasant.

Candy Cigarettes: I remember going to the candy store down the street from my elementary school and picking up a pack of Marlboro’s. I brought them back to school and puffed away on the playground, the dusty sugary substance blowing weakly out of the tip like delicious smoke. The smoke wasn’t that impressive, and the gum in the cigarette tasted awful. Still, for some reason I’m glad I had the opportunity as a child to have a puff on a candy cigarette. I was cool, not like these lameass kids today!

5. You have won a prize where you get to name ten
public schools. What would you name those schools?

Mother Jones Elementary
The James Brown Academy of Positive Music
Little Pink Pony High
It’s Okay To Be In Middle School
The Bertrand Russell School For Critical Thinking
Studs Terkel High
Duty Now For The Future
Dollops Of Wisdom Junior High
The I.F. Stone Vocational School Of Honest Journalism
We Care To Share Knowledge Prep

Phew, that was an indepth interview! I’m exmausted!

Thanks a lot, Mr. Yen.

Presenting The Can’t Wait For Halloween Mix!

Volume 6 of the Green Monkey Music Project has been completed, and is available for download!

If the participants of this mix want to discuss their own selections, please feel free to do so! I’ll put a pointer on this post if you end up posting about it on your own blog (or you could always just add comments here, I suppose).


Rules And Theme Details

The Participants Discuss Their Selections:
Idea Of Progress!

The Songs:

Get the mix in horrifying chunks!

A Bloody Lump of Songs 1-5! (All of Splotchy’s songs)
The Hideous Decaying Pile of Songs 6-10! (All of Idea Of Progress’s songs)
The Grinning Ghostly Apparition of Songs 11-15! (All of Frank Sirmarco’s songs)
The Goblin That Ate Songs 16-20! (All of Chris’ songs)
The Black Viscous Horror Of Songs 21-25! (All of Beckeye’s songs)
The Faint Eerie Moaning of Songs 26-30! (All of Barbara’s songs)
Someone Is In The House With Songs 31-35! (All of Manx’s songs)
The Putrid Corpselike Stench of Songs 36-40! (All of MattyBoy’s songs)
The Demented Hillbilly Laughter Of Songs 41-45! (All of Dale’s songs)
The Curious Death of Songs 46-50! (All of Lulu’s songs)
The Tiny Shrunken Head Of Song 51! (Allen L.’s song)

Track Listing
01 – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand [splotchy]
02 – Echo and the Bunnymen – The Yo Yo Man [splotchy]
03 – Roky Erickson – Creature With The Atom Brain [splotchy]
04 – Pink Floyd – Lucifer Sam [splotchy]
05 – Flaming Lips – Ice Drummer [splotchy]
06 – The Residents – Harry the Head [ideaofprogress]
07 – Lordi – Would You Love a Monsterman? [ideaofprogress]
08 – The Shaggs – It’s Halloween [ideaofprogress]
09 – The Creation – Nightmares [ideaofprogress]
10 – Ashcroft & Bacon – Unseen Hand [ideaofprogress]
11 – Blue Öyster Cult – Godzilla [franksirmarco]
12 – Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London [franksirmarco]
13 – Edgar Winter Group – Frankenstein [franksirmarco]
14 – The Who – Boris The Spider [franksirmarco]
15 – Ministry – (Every Day) is Halloween [franksirmarco]
16 – Dick Dale – Ghostrider In The Sky [chris]
17 – Fats Waller – Abercrombie Had A Zombie [chris]
18 – Tones on Tail – Movement Of Fear [chris]
19 – Donovan – Season Of The Witch [chris]
20 – Velvet Underground – The Black Angel’s Death Song [chris]
21 – Concrete Blonde – Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) [beckeye]
22 – The Warlocks – Angels in Heaven, Angels in Hell [beckeye]
23 – Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You into the Dark [beckeye]
24 – The Hooters – All You Zombies [beckeye]
25 – Sia – Breathe Me [beckeye]
26 – Neko Case – Furnace Room Lullaby [barbara]
27 – Violent Femmes – Country Death Song [barbara]
28 – Chad VanGaalen – Graveyard [barbara]
29 – Matthew Good Band – A Boy and His Machine Gun [barbara]
30 – Jarvis Cocker – I Will Kill Again [barbara]
31 – Iron & Wine – No Moon [manx]
32 – The Dead Texan – When I See Scissors, I Cannot Help But Think Of You [manx]
33 – Pinback – Shag [manx]
34 – Tangerine Dream – Circulation Of Events [manx]
35 – Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 – Brains [manx]
36 – Tom Waits – What’s That He’s Building? [mattyboy]
37 – Soul Coughing – Unmarked Helicopters [mattyboy]
38 – Len Cariou – Prelude: The Ballad of Sweeney Todd [mattyboy]
39 – Tom Lehrer – I Hold Your Hand In Mine [mattyboy]
40 – Joe Jackson – In Every Dream Home [mattyboy]
41 – The Misfits – Death Comes Ripping [dale]
42 – Willard Grant Conspiracy – Ghost of the Girl in The Well [dale]
43 – Siouxsie and the Banshees – Peek A Boo [dale]
44 – Björk – Play Dead [dale]
45 – Richard Shindell – Are You Happy Now? [dale]
46 – Oingo Boingo – Dead Man’s Party [lulu]
47 – Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi is Dead [lulu]
48 – The Cranberries – Zombie [lulu]
49 – The Jazz Butcher – The Devil Is My Friend [lulu]
50 – Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack – Time Warp [lulu]
51 – Dead Kennedys – Halloween [allenl]

It is my great honor to award the first Green Monkey Master Badge to Chris! This is his third time participating in GMMP, which now makes him a Green Monkey Master.

Apart from the glory, Green Monkey Masters have the right to helm a future Green Monkey Music Project, deciding the theme of the mix, number of participants, etc.

Congratulations, Chris!