6 random shots in place of a real topic

well, originally i was going to drop some science in this spot today, or at least some excellent jokes; however, what i mostly spent my week doing was yardwork and getting my ass inadvertently kicked by a stationary potted plant in the middle of the night. i don’t really want to get too specific here, mainly because it’s embarassing, but let’s just say that this is a circumstance wherein the term “bushwhacked” is finally the most appropriate word ever. so ANYWAY, while recuperating, i figured i would just take some random photos around the facility and, you know, riff on them.

i tell you, it's no fun/being an illegal alien.
while i was sorting some CDs and going through the Genesis section, i noticed this ridiculous expository paragraph that i had totally overlooked many times before. of all the Genesis CDs i own (yes, i own four, Duke, Abacab, Genesis and Invisible Touch), this is the only one that feels the need, on the packaging, to declare a “refreshed” return (despite this being album fifteen or so for the group) and talking about their use of the studio as “a creative instrument more than ever before.” this is weird. and i say this as a dude that owns four fucking Genesis albums, and not the cool hipster ones with Peter Gabriel. well, it’s also the album featuring “Illegal Alien,” so maybe this all makes sense.

must be the money! time for prime.
now, while i also have in my possession some albums by professional athletes, all mediocre at best (A.I.), some completely terrible (i’m looking at you, Kobe Bryant), i can honestly say that this – Deion Sanders’ Prime Time – is one that’s worth every penny of the $0.75 i shelled out for it, featuring such hit singles as “Must Be The Money.” it’s also possible that MC Hammer (or his friends) produced this album. also, note this: the booklet not only features pictures of Deion on five of seven pages of the booklet (only two for the liner notes), but the purpose of it seems to be to fold out into THAT awesome poster. seriously, wow.

ZOMBIES!!!
do you know why this is the best board game ever? (this, of course, assumes that you’re not going to cop some too-cool-for-school anti-board-game attitude, and if you are, well, hey, that’s not a very productive attitude, really.) because unlike every other board game that you have to defend after claiming that it’s the best board game ever (thanks for nothing, Risk!), you don’t have to defend Zombies!!! you just show it to people and win the argument automatically. there it is.

SASSY
okay, let’s just stop bullshitting and get right to this ridiculous pillow. backstory: i use the word “sass” a lot, and so my sister gave me this terrifying pillow as a joke. so, logically, you ask, “why not destroy that pillow?” because, internet friend, my sister will sometimes randomly visit (from another state, even) and demand to see it. and if it’s not around for her to see, she hits me, and she has bony little fists and she hits me REALLY HARD. it’s kind of like that ring from those movies with the Lord of those Rings: i mean, the pillow is CLEARLY evil and will eventually destroy me, but if i destroy it and Sauron/my sister shows up, wouldn’t it be better if i had saved it and used it against her/used it to not be punched a lot? so what if it controls my life! also, this pillow is a disgrace and it’s not helping my case to start some kind of uber-nerdfest involving LotR. let’s just move on.

seriously, there's no way i could have planned this out so well if i had tried.
also, i have happened to photograph the most inadvertently homoerotic shelf EVER. no further jokes necessary!

FUCK YOU, PLANT…yeah, i’m SO kicking the shit out of this potted plant when no one is looking. you’ve been warned, motherfucker!

janklow versus animals II: the saga continues … uh, further?

last week on House Of Hate: Operation Undeniable Victory: janklow was talking about fighting with a somewhat-wide variety of animals for no good reason beyond rage and some vandalism (and also possibly using too many colons to introduce next episodes), and the score remained a tie; animals 5, janklow 5.

this week on House Of Hate: Operation Undeniable Victory: uh… bees and dogs and stuff?

bees
okay, this is splitting hairs to some extent, since bees (and subsequent insects) aren’t really animals, but when i was five years old, a swarm of ground bees overwhelmed me, stung the hell out of me, and then further inserted a strike team of additional bees into my hair, where my father would later kill them as they attempted furiously to sting me. (while this is not the reason i currently shave my head and have no hair, that would be a good reason to; so starting now, those bees are to blame for my hairstyle.) i have vowed revenge, and much like Steven Seagal in that movie where he returns from a coma to punch a board until he’s ready for revenge (i think it was Hard To Kill), i have been training to punch my way through a swarm of bees to freedom ever since. later Dane Cook would steal my material, but that’s another story. bees 1, janklow 0 (for now).

wasps/hornets
these dust-ups have… not gone as well as my fights with bees, which is saying something when you consider that the bees basically kicked my ass and then hid for 20+ years. wasps and i have a sort of Vietnam War-era conflict going, mainly characterized by set-piece battles where i find one or two of them roaming and finish it and ambushes where wasps sting me and run for it. the low came during the classic incident where a swarm of wasps entered my bed while i was asleep and stung me repeatedly in the back. i mean, i grant that sounds crazy, but that’s literally what happened, leading to me sleeping in a closet that evening and the retelling of this story to everyone i know who gets creeped out by insects. still, you know, i do smash them and poison their nests, so maybe i had it coming. hornets, it’s more of a toss-up, but a team of them did once burst out of a potted plant in my kitchen and sting the hell out of me as i attempted to defend myself with a combination of savate and swinging a sweatshirt around like some kind of weapon. considering that i was stung four times, the moral is that French kickboxing isn’t effective against insects. wasps and hornets 2, janklow 1.

get ready to get punched in your faces, bees!
it’s times like these that you need to spend some of your free time building helmets designed for bee-fighting!

rodents
i don’t really fight with rodents on the grounds that i’ve kept them as pets before, but i did once have a gunfight with a team of rats, who mainly came out of it poorly for reasons of “not having any guns.” also, this doesn’t really apply to the kind of fight i’m going for here, so let’s just keep it moving.

dogs
i don’t really like to fight with dogs because they’re pretty congenial and i get along very well with them. and it’s not like i ever got my ass whipped by a bulldog like some people i know, or was forced to carry a gun around the farm on account of packs of crazy feral dogs like my grandfather. still, i must admit that my track record of dog conflict does involve a neighbor’s dog that used to chase me home on the occasions he’d see me when i was younger (i mean, he was big and i was like 11 years old). later, he realized i was cool and we got along fine until a woman who lived nearby hit him with her car and killed him (lousy bitch), but technically the score must thus remain dogs 1, janklow 0.

cats
oh, i don’t like cats: they urinate on everything and get in your face constantly and they might break into your kitchen and start eating the bread. but you can’t really fight them because they’re small and often have ladies around them that protect them for reasons i can’t possibly fathom, or they’re super-large and have advantages like “strength of a tiger,” and thus i don’t really have a good “cat-fight” story to tell. but i CAN tell you this: if someone’s cat bites you and infects you and the doctor tells you “hey, take this medicine so you don’t die or something” and you really don’t like doctors, well, i don’t give a fuck how much you love doctors, for the love of god, TAKE THAT MEDICINE. also, yes, once my mother’s cat totally infected me and so i guess that means cats 1, janklow0. this is shameful and i don’t really want to talk about fighting cats anymore!

so… animals 10, janklow 6. fuck! defeated! i’m really going to have to punch a deer in the face now.

UNRELATED BUFFALO ESCAPE STORY: alright, this is what happened – near where i live, a guy once decided to invest in some buffalo. as you can guess, however, you need a stronger fence system than you do for cattle, which he proceeded to not buy, leading to a buffalo escape when they rampaged through his fence. if i recall correctly, this involved three buffalo, and two were promptly recaptured, which is all well and good. the third, however, went missing. a police officer happened, by chance, across some men who were dressing the carcass of a buffalo in their yard. when he asked them what happened, he was told “well, we shot it when it came in our yard.” when asked if they didn’t think it was the local buffalo on the loose, they responded “oh, we just figured it was some other buffalo.”

…yeah. also, that guy stopped trying to raise buffalo.

janklow versus animals: the saga continues!

living out here in the wilds of southern Maryland, we frequently come into contact with the forces of nature, like wind and rain and lightning and heavyset gentlement with pickup trucks. for the most part, these encounters are peaceful (or, in the case of lightning, at least harmlessly incidental) and end without incident. another of these forces of nature, however, is comprised of animals, and while sometimes it ends well, sometimes there is unavoidable conflict. let’s have a small recap of these conflicts now. also, for the record, groundhogs are not for fighting with, because they’re very pleasant and the saddest thing ever is a treed groundhog. oh, yeah, no goats either, because once i met a goat named Batman, and that’s the kind of goat you don’t have a fight with.

also, here is a photo in which i will claim to be looking for a good fight to spruce up this post:

bring it on, turkeys!

wild turkeys
no, not the refreshing alcoholic beverage, those weird birds that Benjamin Franklin sought to enshrine as some kind of symbol of America. for the past few years, we’ve been trying to build up their population here, which means that no one is hunting them, and i have confrontations with them on occasion, like when they fly into my car accidentally (or possibly that’s “accidentally”). main highlights include: this time that i attempt to tackle one, resulting it in shaming me by running away and refusing to fly in fear for it’s life. also, another time my old dog and i surprised a trio of turkeys and, after a moment wherein everyone involved was weighing options, we decided to rush them, only for them to escape during a long chase down some kind of hillside or something. one of these days i’m going to catch one of these fuckers and punch it in the face. turkeys 2, janklow 0.

deer
everyone seems to think that deer are some adorable symbol of nature, which i mainly blame on that fucking Bambi movie, but the truth is they’re annoying vandals. they’re like the Dennis the Menace of the woods: they rush in your yards, wreck all your plants, and scamper off with a satisfied grin. however, while this makes for good reason to wail on deer, they’re also pretty fast and cowardly. to date, most of my run-ins with deer involve me spotting one wrecking something (shocking) and rushing out of the house, spewing profanity in their direction. i think the last time it happened, i attempted to bait the deer in question by yelling at it that if it was a man, it would come back and fight me (i know i at least yelled after it “coward, get back here and fight me!”), but apparently it recognized the contradiction of being a man and a deer at the same time and fled. still, i vow to catch one of these deer and punch it in the face. i DID have a plan to use an ATV to do so, but people are telling me this is “not feasible.” for now, it remains deer 1, janklow 0.

peacocks
one thing that you’ll find out in the countryside are collections of slightly out-of-the-ordinary animals on farms: here and there we have alpacas and llamas and buffalo and emus and, mostly importantly, peacocks. generally these animals stay confined to their farms (though i do have a story about a buffalo escape) and aren’t available for fights; however, once a team of peacocks (like 10+ peacocks or something) escaped from their farm and went totally wild, mainly meaning that you’d randomly see them in the road when you’re trying to drive work just sitting there doing NOTHING! WHY BE IN THE ROAD, PEACOCK? anyway, they’re total cowards and they never want to fight. i consider myself their superior. janklow 1, peacocks 0.

horses
it’s a well-established fact that i do not like horses (as i have no respect for them), but generally speaking they’re not just around. nevertheless, many members of my family once had horses and while i admit that one of them was very nice, most were aloof, and one had what we call a Bad Attitude. he would generally be unpleasant to mostly everyone, which becomes old when only about one person can ride the horse and the person feeding it and cleaning up after it (as in, yours truly) gets a lot of grief from it. we eventually had a confrontation where he gave me his threat display (some close-in snorting and the like) and i gave him my threat display (a combination of general profanity, the phrase “who do you think you are?” and the waving of a shovel) and we agreed that he wouldn’t give me any more static and i would feed him and be pleasant. and no, i did not hit the horse with the shovel (though i did use it to make a racket aside from merely waving it around). janklow 1, horses 0.

oppossums/oppossi/whatever
these things are trouble: i once had one refuse to get out of the way of my car, refuse to acknowledge me flashing my lights at it, and when confronted with the horn, merely gave me an evil glare. i don’t know where the fuck a possum gets off glaring down my CAR, which could easily destroy it, but i admit i was forced to yield the right of way to it. oppossi 1, janklow 0. on the plus side, every dog we had around when i was younger either treed them (my dog) or brutally killed the hell out of them (my father’s).

mules
bah! once, i drank heavily of liquor, punched a mule in the face and knocked it unconscious! with ONE PUNCH! i am clearly superior to mules! (janklow 1, mules 0.)

raccoons
we don’t fight because they only operate in the dead of night and they only eat cat food, which either means they’re a) never around because all our partially-stray outside cats have now died or b) they’re surprised and sort of friendly all the time. this takes all the motivation out of fighting them. (but hey, janklow 1, raccoons 0.) however, speaking of the dead of night…

foxes
okay, so, if you have ever been out in the woods in the middle of the night and heard these fuckers making what i can only call “fox noise,” AKA the worst noise ever created, you would probably take the stance i take, which is that you can call me a huge pussy, but i am not going to fight them. no way. once i did spend some time running around in the woods with one of my shotguns looking for what was either a) a fox or b) a dog being eaten by a cougar or one of those Rancor pit monsters, because it really sounded like b, but the theoretical fox escaped. in the end, that was probably to my benefit. a colleague of mine did hit and kill a fox near this area with his car once, so we’ll count that in my favor so as to make this whole post less shameful in regards to my prowess. janklow 1, foxes 1.

wow, this is a pretty long post – which means that next week we’ll have to cover the insects and domesticated animals that have dared challenge me! until then, the score remains animals 5, janklow 5. things are not looking good…

three films you should have been watching

so this week, in lieu of “the jokes,” i’ve decided to spend a little time introducing you to a trio of movies you’ve probably seen on your cable television and decided to just pass by for some misguided reason, thus depriving you of what we call “good times.”

Strange Days

Strange Days (1995)
reason you didn’t watch it: it might be because you don’t like anything remotely sci-fi because you’re afraid someone’s going to show up in a Star Trek leotard, or it might be because the concept here is a little hard to describe to you: “well, an ex-cop who’s now sort of a drug dealer, except that he deals in the major sci-fi concept here, this wire-drug-thing, is involved in obsessing over his ex and thus gets inadvertently stalked and sort of framed by a larger crime that also involves a subplot he has nothing to do with.” it is a little confusing. or maybe you just object to movies that made the year 2000 seem like a big deal?

reason you SHOULD watch it: well, let’s start with the fact that there’s nothing wrong with a complicated plot and that the sci-fi concept is a mild one AND essentially necessary for the story to work – the technology remains unexplained, but it’s really not a big deal. add in the fact that the cast is stacked in terms of lead roles (Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Tom Sizemore) and in terms of supporting cast (Vincent D’Onofrio, Michael Wincott, William Fichtner) and that they all come across well here: Fiennes and Bassett play to their respective strengths of being likeable and glib/strong in a role, Sizemore and D’Onofrio are totally nuts, as in their best work, and Wincott really only needs to talk because he has a crazy-awesome voice. plus, we have the best and most appropriate use of a live band (Skunk Anansie) in a scene in a movie with Michael Wincott since the Thrill Kill Kult was in that Crow movie. this is not high theatre here, but it’s a fun ride.

best line: “bullet-resistant? what happened to bullet-proof?”

Amadeus

Amadeus (1984)
reason you didn’t watch it: because it’s a period piece of historical fiction, set during the late 1700s, based on the lives of Antonio Salieri (who you have never heard of) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who you mainly remember from being a child and having to hear about how much he accomplished at such a young age while your mother was giving you a look as if to add “and yet you sit there with your fucking crayons doing nothing of consequence.” i mean, in other words, a bunch of guys in tights prance around reenacting versions of events that happened around 200 years ago. fascinating!

reason you SHOULD watch it: this is sort of cheating because Amadeus won about eight Oscars, and real Oscars in serious categories (actor, director, movie, writing) and was nominated for three more – hell, it had two nominees for actor in a leading role, so if you give ANY credit to critics, then watch this movie. Forman’s directing and Shaffer’s screenplay are top-notch, Abraham’s fantastic as Salieri and Hulce… well, let’s just say that i don’t think he did himself a favor doing the best work he has ever done this early in his acting career. but really, the question is why YOU should watch it given the above – after all, Oscars are merely academic when you have tights starring you in the face. well, for me it went like this – i never watched this movie in my youth (for those reasons above) until i accidentally watched half of it out of boredom and found all that good shit above cloaked in those tights and also some fancy lace and other outfits in that vein. but beyond that, if you choke down the wrapping you get a compelling character-driven film that’s not really dependant on all that history to work. plus, you get a skinny Jeffrey Jones!

best line: Mozart: “”confutatis maledictis” – when the wicked are confounded. “flammis acribus adictis.” how would you translate that?” Salieri: “consigned to flames of woe.” Mozart: “do you believe it?” Salieri: “what?” Mozart: “a fire which never dies, burning you forever?” Salieri: “oh yes.”

ROAD HOUSE!

Road House (1989)
reason you didn’t watch it: because you’re a fucking Communist? even though i once resisted watching this film, once i finally DID watch it, i can’t honestly understand why i never watched it sooner.

reason you SHOULD watch it: actually, i understand that there’s a fine line between a bad movie and a movie that’s no darling of the critics that’s still just fun. this is the latter. i suppose after my affection being lavished on Sam Elliott (well-deserved) and Patrick Swayze (which must always be defended) that you think i’ll make this all about them, and i probably could (well, about Sam Elliott, anyway)… but that’s really beside the point, because i could put them in some period piece with tights and they would turn that motherfucker OUT. though, to be fair, i’m not sure what exactly happens in cinematic terms when you turn a motherfucker out, but i’m sure it’s great stuff. what it means to me is that you should tune out the nagging part of your brain that made you appreciate Amadeus and enjoy it when the smirking villain declares to Swayze that “i used to fuck guys like you in prison!” and it’s really a very solid mindless action movie: people get wailed on, but not in crazy unreal ways; one-liners get dropped, but they tend to be appropriate and almost funny; Keith David puts in an appearance. i mean, if you’re a film snob, you can make excuses, but if i catch you watching some shit like Commando, then Road House better be on your list.

best line: well, the above is classic, but the best remains “pain don’t hurt.”

also, for those of you wondering why a movie near and dear to my heart, Red Dawn (1984), was not on the list, the answer is simple: everyone already KNOWS they should watch Red Dawn and there’s no good reason not to. AVENGE ME!!!