Monday, September 28, 2009

Gmail Can Keep You Occupied In Different Ways

I cleaned house: 'All Mail' went from 6,751 to 4,570.

Simple Psychology

A customer once said to me, "you really should ask people if they need a bag (for their books), rather than want a'll make them think."  I've been doing it ever since, and the results are somewhat amazing.  Hardly anyone has needed a bag.  However, this may change as summer is now gone, and we'll be moving into a season of dreary weather.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Reason Why You Should Vote To Approve Referendum 71 (Sort Of)

From the voicemail my sister left me this morning:
"Um, hello, it's me, I'm home sick today, and I'm watching divorce court, and I just wanted you to know's true, we can't let gay marriage happen because these people really exemplify the sanctity of marriage.  The first couple is divorcing after 90 days...this one's divorcing after four months.  Haha!  [Whispered] It's awesome!  Okay, I'll talk to you later, love you, bye."
Just to serve as a reminder to all Washington voters, the Approval of Referendum 71 expands the rights and responsibilities of the State's domestic partnerships.  This is not same-sex marriage.  That is made explicit in the ballot summary language.  In Washington State, marriage is currently, and would still be (with the Approval of Referendum 71), only between a man and a woman.  Period.  Furthermore, domestic partnerships are not limited to only same-sex couples; domestic partnerships are defined as being between parties consisting of two people of the same sex, or of different sexes where one of the parties is at least 65 years of age.  The conservative right would like you to remove rights from heterosexual couples as well by voting to Reject Referendum 71.  That seems fair, right?

Again, VOTE TO APPROVE REFERENDUM 71.  This is going to be a close one, and we need as many people to voice their support for domestic partnerships by VOTING.  Simply being in support of the rights expansion will not suffice.  Please, vote.  You have until October 5th to register to vote or update your voter registration.  You can update your registration here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I've Found The Root Cause Of My Homosexuality

I have these to blame:

First of all, don't ask.  They were in a box with a bunch of other crap I've saved over the years.  Second of all, "all pornography is homosexual pornography."  By the way, that's a direct quote from Michael Schwartz, Senator Tob Coburn's (R-OK) Chief of Staff, speaking at the Values Voters Summit this past weekend.  Rachel Maddow has the story:

In my life, that claim might make sense, considering all the kittens me and my friend murdered the summer when we were both 13--or was it 14--years old.  Seriously, that's all we did.  We watched porn...all summer long.  I can't say nothing happened.  And then he stole my clothes.  Thanks for the memories, James!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

You Couldn't Schedule This For One Of The Days I'm Working?

From the note that every tenant in my building received last Thursday:
"...will be performing the annual boiler inspection on Wednesday, September 23, 2009, between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PMDuring this time water to the building will be shut off.  Please make arrangements for your water needs during that time."
Really?  This means I either have to wake up at 7:30 in the morning (on my Saturday) and take a shower, or wait until 5:00 in the evening.  And I've been having stomach problems the past few days as well--requiring a toilet to be close by at all times.  This is not going to be a swell day off.

I Wasn't Aware Of That 'Fact'

Conversation between me and my friend, Jess:
Jess - "What are you doing in there?"
Jon - "I'm peeing."
Jess - "You pee weird."
Jon - "Why are you listening to me pee?"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Offered With Very Little Explanation

It's a game.  Have several people write down random "what if...?" questions.  Mix them up.  Read the questions.  Write responses.  Mix all the Q's and A's together.  Randomly pair them.  Read the Q and A's aloud.  Here are ours.  Enjoy.
"What if elephants were used for mass transit instead of buses?"
She would feel either very comfortable or very weird around knives.

"What if Jesus were here?"
Then he'd just go back to being a Nazi.

"What if Jon gave birth to a cat?"
Then we'd be in for one hell of a mayoral race.

"What if Atlantis was a real country?"
He would've first had to bone a Tomcat.

"What if Kristin was Jack the Ripper in her previous life?"
He would probably have some serious health issues or would look like a meth addict.  Not even once, Jon.

"What if Jon weighed 100 pounds?"
We would probably look at each other, then ask him if he wanted to smoke pot--or if he was a cop.

"What if we were at a KKK meeting right now?"
Atlantis would probably be an American "territory" by now, and we'd all go there for vacation and not need passports.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Ad From WAFST (Via A Volunteer)

Please inform others of this!  We need you to vote!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wedding Date Selection Trivia

Two of my good friends are engaged to each other and have set their wedding date for 09/10/11.  I've been giving that date some thought: in this century there are only12 opportunities to utilize such a sequence of (date) numbers:
January 2, 2003 [01/02/03]

February 3, 2004 [02/03/04]

March 4, 2005 [03/04/05]

April 5, 2006 [04/05/06]

May 6, 2007 [05/06/07]

June 7, 2008 [06/07/08]

July 8, 2009 [07/08/09]

August 9, 2010 [08/09/10]

September 10, 2011 [09/10/11]

October 11, 2012 [10/11/12]

November 12, 2013 [11/12/13]

December 13, 2014 [12/13/14]

After December 13, 2014, one will have to wait another 89 years until the next batch of sequential dates comes around.  That would be January 2, 2103.  Of course, don't forget about the first day of the first month of the first year (01/01/01) up through the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year (12/12/12).  Are there any other unique date combinations that I am forgetting?  Leave them in comments!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

You Have The Right To Not Say Anything Specific: Or, My Civilian Ridealong

This may come as a surprise to some--it has thus far--but any civilian can sign up to ride along with a Seattle police officer for a four hour period.  All you have to do is go into a Seattle Police Precinct--I chose East--and fill out a small form, provide a piece of I.D., and pass a background check.  If you can do all that, you're in!

However, I am afraid that I can't share much information on the things to which I beared witness; this is for the legal protection of myself, the officers involved, the suspects, the victims, the bystanders, etc.  What I can tell you is that my ride was focused only in the Central District--they call it George sector (see the dark purple sections on the left).  And let's just say that the following things may or may not have happened: a belligerent drunk threatened to harm hospital staff and needed to be restrained; a crack house standoff ensued (see also the CDN); some crackheads were having sex in an open garage stairwell.  Like I said, I can neither affirm nor deny that those things happened.

For me to say that the experience was 'fun' would only weaken the actual reality of it all; that is, it was depressing.  I have nothing but the highest respect for the Seattle Police Officers that have to deal with this bullshit on a daily basisThis is a job in which I wouldn't make it through a first full day's work.  These men and women work hard, and I appreciate that they are willing to do it.  I strongly suggest that you sign up and experience this as I have.  It is both exhilarating and enlightening.  And I would also suggest that you do it sooner rather than later, because I was informed that SPD is talking about ending the civilian ridealong program.  As to why, I have only one response: YouTube.

If you want the dirtier details of the night, you will need to ask me in person.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

At Least There Are Some Signs Of Ideological Awakenings

This video is terrible, given the overwhelming amount of ignorance contained within:

The most astounding remark comes from the gentleman at 7:58.  Enjoy.

Gay Paris Hits Gay Seattle On September 25th!

I wrote about this film last month, but I present it to you again.  The trailer is here*.  It will begin showing at the Harvard Exit Theatre (off Broadway and Roy) starting September 25th.  Who wants to go with me?

*I can embed the trailer in this post, but it, unfortunately, is set to play whenever anyone comes to my blog.  To avoid this nuasance, I have merely provided the link to the trailer.  Thanks!

Glenn Beck Writes Another Piece Of Shit Book...

...and I'm referenced on Slog again!

I Feel Like An Adult Now: Or, How Magazines Are In Trouble

It seems weird to me that I read all the things I do and I still am not a subscriber to any particular publications.  Every now and then I will pick one up at work and read some articles, but never fully commit my time to it; afterall, I am supposed to be working.  So, as a treat to myself, I am now subscribing to three magazines: Out, The Atlantic, and Esquire.  I purchased the first and last magazines because of their current pricing: 10 issues of Out for $9.97 and 12 issues of Esquire for $8.00.  How could I resist?  As for The Atlantic, I've been wanting that for a while now, and I finally went ahead with subscribing to it.  Sorry Playboy, you'll have to wait...indefinitely (for obvious reasons).

Oh, and as to why I titled this post "...How Magazines Are In Trouble", I am taking my cue from Andrew Sullivan's post here.  He says:
So please, if you haven't already, subscribe. It's only $14.95 for a year - ten issues for the price of eight.


I love this magazine, and its editorial integrity, and want it to continue to flourish in an increasingly beleaguered industry. If you do too, please subscribe.
Also, Esquire was selling its subscriptions for 83% off the cover price.  Not a good sign of things to come.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Didn't Know That The Israeli Youth Hated Obama So Much

I just came across this video--it's a bit old--(via Slog Commenter dnt trust me):

I think that there are both American and Israeli youths in the video.

Not One Review, But Many

I can spend hours thinking of ways to review films, books, bands, etc., and I never succeed (at least by my own standards).  But I would feel bad if I did not share my joviality with my readers regarding some new film and music news.  Let's get to it, shall we?

First off, I rented the 2008 film "Hunger" starring Michael Fassbender.  It tells the story of Bobby Sands, a young member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (the violent--some would call terrorist--IRA faction) who leads a hunger strike while imprisoned in the Maze prison in 1981.  The film is one of the best I've seen in recent years.  At 96 minutes long, the film features barely any dialogue, but is directed perfectly.  The most noteworthy scene is near the end in which Fassbender's character is conversing with a Catholic priest about his intent to hold the hunger strike.  The camera does not move, and it is a single 16-minute take.  The entire dialogue between the two is 22 minutes long.  As one of my friends so succinctly put it, "that's art."  Indeed, it is.

The trailer is here.

[Updated: I failed to mention the true brilliance of the film.  There is no established context to the prisoners.  We obviously know that they are in prison for violent acts, but this is never elaborated further.  I feel that the director was giving us the depiction of raw humanity; we can (and do) brutalize, murder, and torture each other.  And for what?  That is the question.]

In music news, I came across the new album--This Is What You Get--the Norwegian (electronic band) Flunk released back on May 11th.  The songs are okay, but I would at least recommend you give "Common Sense" a listen.  It has good lyrics mixed with a catchy bass beat.  On an interesting note, they also covered Radiohead's "Karma Police".  I have mixed feelings about it, but if you like electronic covers, you may enjoy it.

Lastly, I have seen the first six episodes of season one of AMC's Mad Men.  On this, too, I have mixed feelings.  I think I need to finish out the season and render my verdict at that time.  However, from what I have seen thus far, I think it is a superb show that grasps the reality of the advertising industry culture in 1960I appreciate how the characters are extremely dynamic.  One can empathize with a character one instanct, and hate him or her the next.  It illustrates the fact that there is no single way to define an individual.  We are too complex to categorize.  The show is now into its third season, so I need to catch up.

Enjoy Saturday Night Live's take on the show:

Along with Don Draper's Guide To Picking Up Women:

(Both videos are from the Huffington Post.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Do You Support The Legalization Of Marijuana?

Regardless of whether you use it or not, you can have your support noted by calling 973.409.3274, listening to the 30 second message, and pressing #.  Just do it already.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Wonderful World Of Advertising...And Sex

It took me about ten (non-consecutive) minutes to figure out this ad.  I discovered that Wallpaper* Magazine's website features a selection of condom advertisements from around the world.  Check them out here.  My personal favorite, and the explanation of the ad above, is after the jump.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thank You, Saturday Night Live

After my quick run-in with a cougar in North Seattle (read about it here), I was reminded of a Saturday Night Live sketch that was absolutely hysterical.  It's finally been posted online:

The best line: "Well you don't have to tell me about IDs.  Last year I met a striking young Puerto Rican man in a McDonald's PlayPlace.  Yes.  After I bought him an Oreo McFlurry, he told me he was 21 and I took him home.  Three weeks later I found out he was 12 and a half."

What Ever Happened To 'Practicing What You Preach'?

If you haven't heard already, (now-former) California Assemblyman Mike Duvall has resigned after being caught on tape describing to a colleague his sexual exploits with two separate women.  Neither of those women are his wife.  The best part of the story is that he claimed his resignation was due only to his poor choice of words in telling a story, and not that the story was actually true.  Oh, and did I mention that one of the women works for a lobbying firm, because that's important?  The L.A. Times reports:
Assemblyman Michael Duvall (R-Yorba Linda), whose remarks were videotaped in July during a lull in a Sacramento hearing, stepped down less than 24 hours after the tape spread online Tuesday night.

In the video, the married family-values crusader from Yorba Linda talks in graphic detail about women he said he slept with -- at least one of whom appeared to be a lobbyist with business before the utilities committee on which Duvall sat as vice chairman.
The italics are my own emphasis.  Let me see if I understand this correctly.  Same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry because they would destory the sanctity of marriage as an institution, but heterosexual pigs such as Mr. Duvall can freely marry because...why?  Could someone please help me out on this, because I really cannot find an answer to this riddle?  The article further adds:
The Capitol Resource Institute, a conservative, self-described "pro-family" advocacy organization that had given Duvall a 100% score for his voting record on issues of concern to the group, denounced the lawmaker in a statement.

"It is always disappointing when a champion of traditional values does not practice the same in his private life," said Karen England, executive director of the institute.
Several news outlets have covered this story.  Click here for a search of all articles.

Picture from

This Is Why You Should Go To Hump 5

There are two prizes awarded at Hump (link probably NSFW) each year: best hardcore film and best comedic film.  The following video is the winner of the latter.  I might add that both of the films I voted for won last year.  I guess I have an eye for award-winning amateur porn.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Re: The Washington Post Vindicates Discrimination

I wrote about this shitstorm here.  WaPo's Ombudsman responded on Sunday.

David Foster Wallace's "Brief Interviews..." Film Adaptation

John Krasinski, of "The Office" fame, has written and directed the upcoming feature film adaptation of DFW's "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men".  BIWHM is one of the books I have yet to read by Wallace, and I should probably do so before watching the film.  It looks promising.  The guy at 0:40 (and his subsequent exclamatory remark) is hilarious.  Here is the trailer:

Things I Learned From "Plan 9 From Outer Space"

In no particular order:
  1. If aliens try to communicate with you, don't ignore them.  They will get really pissed off, and send vampires to kill you.
  2. If you ever see a flying saucer, and the government swears you to secrecy, it's okay to tell your wife.
  3. Flying saucers apparently resemble cigars.
  4. In space, women are not meant to fight mens' battles for them.
  5. If you're a vampire, be sure to walk very slowly and with a cape draped in front of your face, or with your hands sticking straight out, or arms high in the air.
  6. The best way to take down a cop is to quickly brush the sides of his arms in a downward motion.  This is highly effective.
  7. When making a film, it's perfectly okay to have the shots change between daytime and nighttime every other second.
  8. Skeletons from a high school anatomy class make perfect dead bodies.
  9. The best way to explain someone's death is to not explain it at all.  Just turn them into vampires, it's all good.
  10. It's okay to scratch your chin with the barrel end of your loaded revolver.
  11. It's okay to point said gun at your fellow detectives while describing what happened.
  12. A broken shovel handle to the back of the head can easily take down a 400-pound man.
  13. Appreciate your shoulders.  They can very easily (almost) be broken.  See #6.
  14. Ed Wood was a visionary genius.

Does anyone else have any more to add to this list?  Leave them in comments.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Or, How Cruel Kids Can Be.

The other night I was at a friend's apartment, and he asked me to choose something for us to watch. I perused his DVD collection and I noticed he had "Death Becomes Her", which stars Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis. I remembered most of what happened in the movie, but there was a scene about 10-12 minutes in about which I completely forgot. Here is that scene:

Why is this scene so nostalgic for me? Well, it stems from the fact that my mom and I used to comment that that was how my middle sister was going to end up later in life. Yep. We were beyond cruel to her. We told her that she would be living in a dump, with several stray cats running around, and be eating frosting out of cans. For the record, let me just mention that tomorrow I turn 25 years old, and I have still not cleaned up the coffee mug that fell and broke onto my kitchen floor several days ago. I think we call that karma (or laziness).

Who Says That Living In A Paperless World Was A Good Thing?

This is a rather neat--yes, I used that word--commercial. Also, this marks my 400th post!

Reunited And It Feels So Good

I don't remember exactly when I lent out my copy of Hemingway's, "The Old Man and the Sea," but it has finally found its way back to me. I suggested to my former manager that her daughter read it, and as I would imagine, she never did. I base that solely on the fact that she found it "in a drawer that [she hasn't] opened in a longgggg time." Either way, it is nice to come home and find a little package waiting for you in the mail.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reversing On Moral Relativism

I've considered myself a moral relativist for quite some time now, but John Corvino has made me question and re-define my stance on the subject. Read his article, "Other People's Judgments", here. It's a quick read, and worth your time.

A Reminder Of A Perspective

The ad speaks for itself. Thank you, Chris Bodenner (via The Daily Dish).

The Art Of Visual Manipulation

I took this photo on Broadway, across the street from Seattle Central Community College. The photo doesn't fully grasp what my eye was capable of capturing. That is, the sidewalk tunnel seemingly gets smaller as you move forward, and at the end of it is a perfectly centered vehicle. From where I was standing, that car could easily fit in said tunnel. However, this is not realistically possible. This is the same thing we encounter when we view train tracks at a distance. The two rails appear to connect, but they never do. They are always equidistant apart.

Apparently I Can Refrain From Being A Glutton

I had lunch with a friend today at Broadway's Jai Thai. I didn't know what was wrong with me; I was completely unable to finish my meal (like I always do). I don't think I even consumed half of it. This has to be a first. I had the Swimming Rama with some modifications: broccoli substituted for the spinach, with the peanut sauce on the side. This is what I left on my plate:

It was a sad afternoon for my stomach. However, I was conveniently able to down a blueberry and cream cheese danish about 30 minutes later. It was delicious.

A New Documentary On William S. Burroughs

I've only read "Junky" and "Queer"--both very short and accessible books--and I am still perturbed by the life of William S. Burroughs. The man was a thief, heroin addict, and shot his wife in the head whilst trying to shoot a glass off of it to entertain party guests. Despite all of that, this new documentary, "A Man Within", looks very interesting. As John Waters so eloquently puts it:
"He was the first person that was famous for things you were supposed to hide. He was gay, he was a junk(ie/y), he didn't look handsome, he shot his wife, he wrote poetry about assholes and heroin. It was not easy to like."

Vote To Approve Referendum 71

An email I sent out this morning:

Hello -

I need your support on November 3rd. Earlier this year, the Washington State Senate passed a bill (SB 5688) expanding the rights and responsibilities of state registered domestic partnerships. However, before this law—it was signed by Governor Christine Gregoire on May 18th—could go into effect, groups seeking to block the expansion of the rights petitioned for a referendum to put it to a statewide vote. This is Referendum 71, and it will be on the November ballot. This is the case for all Washington residents, not just residents of King County or elsewhere. As I said, I need your support in APPROVING this referendum. A vote to Approve it is a vote to allow for the bill to pass. Here is how it will appear on your ballot:

Referendum 71

Ballot Title
Statement of Subject: The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].

Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

Should this bill be: Approved ___ Rejected ___

Ballot Measure Summary
Same-sex couples, or any couple that includes one person age sixty-two or older, may register as a domestic partnership with the state. Registered domestic partnerships are not marriages, and marriage is prohibited except between one man and one woman. This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of registered domestic partners and their families to include all rights, responsibilities, and obligations granted by or imposed by state law on married couples and their families.

Please tell your friends, family, and coworkers that we need to vote to preserve equal rights protection for domestic partners.

If you are not registered to vote, or your registration information needs updating, please go here. You can also call (206) 296 – VOTE (8683). I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding any of this. Feel free to forward this email to everyone you know. Thank you! Remember, APPROVE Referendum 71.

Jon Brock
[Phone number omitted]

Washington Voter Turnout Rates For General Elections

The upcoming election on November 3rd (in Washington State) is not likely to have a large voter turnout; that's at least according to my inductive assessment. A significant amount of voters do not participate in elections that are not of a national scale (i.e., President, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives). The 2008 general election produced an 84.61% turnout rate in this state. That is nearly 2.5 percentage points higher than the 2004 election between Bush and Kerry. In retrospect, even though I would not have voted for Bush, I regret voting for Kerry.

Here are the numerical breakdowns (statewide only) of the past five general elections, except for 2005, whose data I could not readily locate:
2008: 84.61 % // 3,071,587 votes counted // 3,630,118 registered voters
2007: 50.04% // 1,645,652 votes counted // 3,288,642 registered voters
2006: 64.55% // 2,107,370 votes counted // 3,264,511 registered voters
2004: 82.20% // 2,883,499 votes counted //3,508,208 registered voters
Despite the fact that everything on the November ballot will be local, it is still a very important time to get out and vote. I'd be happy to address any election questions or issues you may have. Simply forward an email to jonbrock [at] I will absolutely get back to you. All of this information was freely obtained online from the Washington Secretary of State's website.

I'm Always Late To The Party

Bloc Party released a new single, with accompanying video, titled "One More Chance". I have mixed feelings about it. The keyboards sound way too, shall we say, 'cabana' for my liking. On the plus side of things, Matt Tong is so adorable to watch in the video. He's the guy in the opening/ending parts. No, not the overly enthusiastic middle-aged keyboardist.

I Found A Pair Of Hipster Pants...

Originally posted on August 31st. Now includes a poll.

...and I like them. They are by Toddland. The downside--isn't it always?--is that I do not have a spare $58, and hardly anything else to wear with them. A gay, male friend told me they looked good. My sister told me, in essence, hell no. A straight, female friend is undecided, but claimed "they don't look bad on you". She added further, "they are a bit too hipster." Eh. I can take it. My fashion sense slowly changes here and there as I continue to lose weight. It's amazing what one can do when nice clothes actually fit! Here are the front and side photos:

I would wear the white Chuck Taylor's with the pants, but not the green button-up shirt. Those just happened to be the items that I was wearing at the time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

HUMP 5 Will Be Here Soon!

Have you ever been to HUMP? Do you even know what HUMP is? Well, it's the amateur porn festival hosted by The Stranger. Okay, you think I'm weird--perhaps that was already the case--but it's incredibly fun, and you should all go! Tickets go on sale September 15th, and the show plays October 9-10. Who wants to come with me?

Photo from