Friday, July 31, 2009

Act II: The Rejection or Why Companies Need to Hire English Majors


Thank you for taking the time to apply with us. We are unable to offer you a position at this time, but we do appreciate your interest in Ergtat."

        "...does any thing from this company not scream corporate stooge? 'Unable' isn't really true, they probably meant 'unwilling'.... the euphemism just makes it sound like a break up letter though. It's not's me. I cannot conceive why they thought hearkening to people's break-ups would be nicer than just saying it outright. An email breakup too...that's harsh.
        "They aren't even using the word 'with' correctly! Children can use 'with' correctly. But at least they appreciate my interest...barf."

World! Ugh

For some odd reason the fact that it is the last day of July makes me feel like I should do a post for today. However, this feeling is in direct conflict with the Fuck-The-World mindset I've got going. Earlier tonight I tried to do a good deed and it did not turn out well.

You see I was walking to the store to pick myself up something for dinner as I hadn't had anything to eat since the afternoon and my pickings are slim. Three-quarters of the way there I come across a stray kitten. I, on a rare occasion, will see a stray cat, but a kitten? That just seems too sad. While I wanted to help my desire not to see my own blood was even greater and my clothes were certainly not suited for going after stray animals. Plus it was super freaked out so approaching it seemed difficult. But I couldn't just do nothing. So I turned around and went back home to cover up some extremities and get some bait. I head back to where I first saw it and look around. Instead of in a great open spot like it had been before, it was now wandering around behind a fucking tall fence of a church. This means that my best bet for cornering it is gone. It was even hanging out in what has to be the perfect spot for cornering kittens. So there I sat on the sidewalk. A fenced in church to one side of me and a bunch of bushes to the other. Clearly this was going to be easy.

Long story short I spent 2½ hours trying to gain that kitten's trust so I could help it out. I came pretty close to nabbing it a couple of times, but the thing had the devil's luck. Eventually it lost its pseudo-interest in fucking with me and disappeared. So here I sit. I still haven't eaten as the store was closed by the time my adventure came to a close and my pickings are still quite slim. And I've got meat juice on my pants from the bait. Why did I even bother? What would I have done with it after I caught it? I have no clue. All I do know is that it would have been better off with me than it will hanging around an area of high traffic and frequented by dog walkers. Unlike the world I actually cared what happened to it. So there you have it. I tried my very best to do something nice and I failed. My best was just not good enough. A feeling I'm starting to get used to recently.

Thank you universe for putting me in a situation where I'm damned to feel guilty if I don't do anything and guilty when I do do something.

Also who the fuck gates a church? What kind of message does that send? A church is supposed to be the house of God, not the cage of God.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Job Interviews Are Silly

“So, David, why are you do you want to work for Ergtat?”
“You do pay your employees, right?”
“Well of course we do.”
“Then that's pretty much my main reason.”
“I mean, I doubt many children grow up with the dream of working an entry level position in a retail store.”
“...Alright. Let's move on to the next question. Where do you see yourself in 3 years?”
“Hmmm. Well probably with a full-time job and a lot less student loan money to pay off.”
“Oh, I'm sorry. I meant as an employee here.”
“Umm...probably in a fit of depression that I'd been stuck as a part-time cashier at an Ergtat for the past 3 years.”
“I see. Well then, tell me, if you were confronted with a situation where you weren't sure what to do, what would you do?”
“I suppose I'd ask someone for help.”
“Because there'll be someone else to interview you after me, I should tell you that we're looking for a specific instance.”
“Really? Because your question wasn't asking that at all.”
“I'm just telling you for your own benefit.”
“So am I.”
“Well I'm assuming the question you apparently wanted to ask was 'Could you tell me about a time you didn't know what to do and what you did in that situation' . In which case, there was a time at my last job where I had forgotten how to properly perform a certain procedure so I asked my co-worker for help.”
“And they did.”
“What would your last boss have said they liked about you?'
“Probably that I knew what I was supposed to do and did it well. If I made a mistake I'd own up to it and I'd always go the extra mile.”
“What would they have said they didn't like about you?”
“Well since you asked for his number on the application I filled out, I'm surprised you didn't just call him up and ask him. I'm really not sure what he'd say, he never said anything negative about my performance to my face so I'm not sure.”
“We here at Ergtat call our employees “Team members”, because we feel it helps them know that we're all working together-”
“Excuse me?”
“Oh...I'm sorry. It's just that that is such a corporate idea. You know? That you can change people's perceptions by changing a name? Like how companies use the term “Let go” instead of “Fire”. Or how Bush called the Iraq War a 'War on Terror' which Obama then changed to 'Overseas Contingency Operations'.”
“It seems like a tactic you'd use on a child.”
“...Well I think I've asked you everything I need to. Do you have any questions for me?”
“It's kind of random, but I was curious if you have any interesting stories you might have about these kind of interviews. Working this close with people I'm sure you get a lot of first hand experience with the strangeness of society.”
“In some ways, but the answers are based on people's life experiences, so they're all different. I suppose people know that it wouldn't be in their best interest to say anything too extravagant so I can't say I've ever gotten anything too strange.”
“That's what I've never understood about job interviews”
“What's that?”
“Just that the whole process is set up in such a way to get people to lie to you.”
“So businesses are all staffed based on who is the best spin-doctor.”
“I didn't get the job, did I?”

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pizza Time? Radical!

        It turns out ordering pizza has changed a lot over the years. Usually I just make my own pizza, but I had assembled the three prerequisites to pizza ordering: hunger, laze, and coupons. A powerful combination. For some reason my coupon was only valid for online order. For the life of me I can't really figure out why they'd be shooting for an increase in online orders. Although since throughout my life any time I've called a pizza place I've been put on hold, I really shouldn't be too surprised that they'd try to promote an alternative. So I gave online ordering a try for the first time in a long time. Like any time you try something slightly new, it was like taking a journey down the rabbit hole. Everything is different and nothing makes much sense.
        There seems to be a affliction in our world where people feel the need to use any technology available to them as much as possible; simply because they can. You can see this every time a homemaker decides to use Papyrus for their Christmas cards. Every time a web site decides to see how much flash they can cram down the internet's throat. Every time a pizza site let's you view your virtual pizza. For some inexplicable reason next your selection choices the haunting image of a pizza floats about, following your every move. If you select mushrooms, suddenly your virtual pizza has mushrooms on it. If you select pepperoni, there it is! Exactly what purpose this serves is beyond me. Well, I suppose there are a few groups of people who would find this feature quite handy: people who aren't exactly sure what a pizza is and people who have absolutely no ability to imagine even the simplest of things.
        After "designing" your pizza you need to give "delivery instructions". Mine were to simply ring my doorbell, but the limits to this idea are boundless. Could I, in theory, get them to crawl into my house through an open window to deliver my pizza into my waiting arms, thus negating my need to leave the couch? Sure I could leave the door open just as easily, but where's the sport in that?
        The next stage of weirdness comes after you've placed your order. While you might have expected to be shown a confirmation page of some sort, your expectations would be outdone. Instead of a blasé confirmation page you are whisked away to what confirmation page children surely dream of becoming. It has polls, comments, and a real time update status of your pizza. My pizza has just been topped with toppings? Good to know. Perhaps the site itself can say it best, "The delivery experts at [Pizza Chain] have specifically engineered the Pizza Tracker to keep you up to date on the status of your order from the moment it's prepared to the second it leaves our store for delivery."
        All this technology is enough to inflame the senses! And what is this? It would seem that Damian has begun "custom-making" my order. I'm not sure if a one-topping pizza really counts as very "custom", but it doesn't matter! You can tell you're in good hands when the store cares enough about you to try to deceive you. They aren't just paying some teenager minimum wage to make you a pizza, not at all. They have staffed an elite team of delivery experts to engineer your pizza to your specifications.
        Luckily my delivery expert Blake couldn't find my house and had to call to ask where it was: a welcome reminder that while things may change over time, underneath it all most things stay they same. We're all still human after all. The next time I order a pizza I'm sure they'll have upped their game even further. The word "order" will have been changed to "satisfaction investment". There will no doubt be a live webcam of my pizza being made. But when you peel back the layers of technological flare, a pizza is still just a pizza.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Trailer Reviews

        I keep seeing trailers for the exact same movies over and over and over again on the TV. It takes quite an ego to think you've got the chops to judge a book by its cover...or a movie by its trailer. But what is the internet for if not for acting like you know more than you do. Since the TV keeps forcing me to watch these things then I think I've earned the right to judge them without having seen the actual movie.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Premise: It's G.I. Joe...were you not around during the 80s?

Pro: This movie looks kind of tempting only because of my childhood love of Snake-Eyes, who is looking particularly awesome. Also it seems that Christopher Eccleston is in it. For those of you who don't know, Eccleston was the greatest Doctor Whos ever and I will fight anyone who dares disagree. This means that if this movie sucks at the very least you can lean back and be reminded of all those great Doctor Who adventures.

Con: Accelerator Suits. Why do the G.I. Joes need special suits? They're the best of the best of the military for God's sake. But Iron Man had a mechanical suit and he was awesome! This is just the same thing. Right? Right? Here's the big difference: Tony Stark personally built and designed his own suit in a fucking cave! That is badass. Being issued a suit by the government? Not badass.


Premise: Ex-secret agent CG guinea the world or something...I'm not exactly sure.

Pro: It is probably better than it looks. I mean it can't be any worse, right?

Con: Personally I like my secret agents suave and deadly instead of doofy and...rodents. But I'm not a little kid, so perhaps I'm just not "with it". Either way I'm not a fan of mixing CG characters with real characters, unless you really know how to hide it. From what I can tell there are three main members of G-Force and they are voiced by: a black man, a latino women, and (of course) their white male leader. Leave it to Disney to think that ethnic diversity and the inclusion of racial stereotypes are the same thing.


Premise: Sacha Baron Cohen is...[Insert Character Here]

Pro: From the looks of it Sacha Baron Cohen is back doing what he does best: acting out a stereotype. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean this in a bad way. After all, unlike Disney, he uses stereotypes for satire. He creates characters of such outlandish stereotype and then throws them into the real world. A catalyst for a reaction. The most interesting characters in his work aren't Baron Cohen's, but the world.

Con: Because Baron Cohen's work has this focus on the real world my brain has always lumped it together with documentaries. While I love documentaries I don't like seeing them in theaters. The large screens and surround sound are really more suited for enveloping an audience in a world of fantasy. We're already immersed in reality, so paying extra for the experience just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I think I'll wait until it comes to video and enjoy it then.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ill doctrine

        If you were to ask me for a list of people that inspire me, you'd get back a pretty sizable list. However, if you were to ask about who inspires me to be a better person? Well the list would be much more succinct. Most of these people are people I know, friends and family, but sometimes you can't help but to be moved by the words of a public figure.
        For a few years now I've been keeping up with the video blog of John Randolph (aka Jay Smooth) called "Ill Doctrine". On the service his blog is about Hip-Hop and the community that surrounds it, but you'll quickly see that he is tackling much bigger issues. In his own words during an interview for NPR, "It's titled the hip-hop blog, but it's actually, secretly, a be-kind-to-each-other blog." And that is exactly what it is. Never before have I seen someone who is able to critique elements of the media from a decidedly humanistic perspective. Being able to see figures in the media, not as talking personifications of some ideal, but as people is a rare trait in today's media.
        You can tell right of the bat that some of his posts tackle big issues, such as "How to Tell Someone They Sound Racist". In which he details the difference between telling someone that something they said sounded racist, and accusing them of being a racist. He makes the analogy that if someone steals your wallet you don't care who they are, you care about what they did. You can't prove someone's inner nature, so you shouldn't try as it will only distract from the problem.
        Some of his posts take a different path and have morals hidden within his talks about various other subjects. Take his most recent post for example. In it he is talking about Michael Jackson, and certainly does just that, but also brings up the interesting habit in today's world of feeling they need to live through media outlets. Think of all the Michael Jackson coverage you've seen recently and tell me if any of the reporters covering it were able to come up with a message as poignant as this:
"When I look at the future for this next generation of kids, which includes Michael's children, and see them entering a world that's defined more than ever by these cameras, my hope is that we'll remember Michael by learning whatever we can learn from him to make sure that this next generation grows up knowing that they deserve to be loved in a way that's not about these cameras."
        From the interviews I've seen, I doubt he'd agree, but in my opinion he is one of the most eloquent speakers of this day and age. He has an innate ability to take little things he sees in the world and use them as a tool for understanding bigger issues in our society today. Putting complex issues and giving you the tools to be able to understand it better. Ingraining into your mind that, as hard as it is to do sometimes and as easy as it is to forget, this world is full of people. Strengthening that little voice in the back of your mind telling you that before you start to rail on someone you should take a breath and try to follow Jay Smooth's example, "...for being kind to people, and critiquing them while still being aware of their humanity."

If you're interested I suggest you check out his site.
there is also an interesting piece on him over at NPR.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


        I am no dinosaur expert, but my childhood has graced me with enough knowledge about dinosaurs to let me no when Hollywood is just trying to look cool. Case in point: the "Velociraptor".
       Velociraptors were very different from the ones seen in "Jurassic Park". For instance they are actually only the size of a standard poodle. They also weren't very bright. They were certainly among the smarter of the dinosaurs, but dinosaurs were notoriously stupid. This means they were probably about as smart as birds. I'm sure you've seen enough birds to know they might be clever they are by no means intelligent. Certainly not up to the predatory standards of large cats.
       So why should you believe me that Deinonychus are a lot scarier than Velociraptors? Let's look at the match up.

Velociraptor vs. Deinonychus

Velociraptors: 3 feet tall, 6 feet long, and about 33 ilbs.
Deinonychus: 5 feet tall, 10 feet long, and about 160 ilbs.

A standard poodle vs A standard woman
Winner: Deinonychus

Velociraptors: 3 inch sickle claw and 28 sharp teeth.
Deinonychus: 5 inch sickle claw and 60 sharp teeth.

More points = More problems
Winner: Deinonychus

Velociraptor: Name means "Speedy Thief"
Deinonychus: Name means "Terrible Claw"

You can't spell deinonychus without D.I.E.
Winner: Deinonychus

Velociraptor: Mongolia.
Deinonychus: The Western States, USA.

Get off my lawn, you damn dinosaurs!
Winner: Deinonychus

       I believe the winner is clear. Not only is Deinonychus more badass, but if there turned out to be a secret society of dinosaurs hiding underground it wouldn't be a Velociraptor you'd have to deal with. Let Mongolia deal with them. So tune in next week for Mongol Hordes vs. Velociraptors!

P.S. The "hooded spitter" dinosaur from "Jurassic Park" is called a Dilophosaurus. It had neither a neck frill or spat poison. It was also a scavenger as it was too much of a pussy to be able to bring down any decent sized prey. It is, however, one of the few dinosaurs in that movie that actually came from the Jurassic period.

P.P.S. Deinonychus is an anagram of "Hey, Disco Nun!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Filling the Void

        I have just finished reading Jessica Hagy's Indexed strip for today and I have to extend a profound thanks to her. Even without having ever heard of the slang term of "muffin top" before, I instantly knew to what phenomenon Ms. Hagy was referring to. Looking the term up in Urban Dictionary confirmed my suspicions. I've often seen this strange clash of body and clothing that tight pants elicit and thought that there had to be a term to describe it, but just not knowing what it was. I feel that this term has filled in a slight void that had existed in my ability to describe the world around me in words. Which is a pretty good feeling.
        I don't quite agree with the Urban Dictionary's usage guides though, most of which use the term as a derogatory one. Personally, I've never seen the effects of too-tight jeans as gross. I mean seriously, is a reminder that normal people don't look like super-models really something to make you shudder? I think not. Mostly it makes me think that there is no way those pants are comfortable. I have this thought quite a lot when thinking about Women's clothing. Like high heeled shoes for instance. No way those are comfortable. So why wear such ill-fitting garments? To look appealing? I'll tell you what isn't appealing, the idea of some disaster happening (fire, shooting, deinonychus attack) and having your date not be able to keep up due to her outfit thus endangering the both of you.
        The next time you ladies are thinking about wearing those super tight pants or those high heeled shoes think about this: sure they might show off some of your bodily assets, but if a pack of deinonychus attack your dinner party do you want to be the one getting eaten or the one getting the fuck out of there? It's evolutionary; the weak ones will fall, thus leveling out your competition. Plus you'll be a lot more comfortable. It's a win-win situation.

P.S. I don't care what how Jurassic Park's dinosaur falsities have infected pop-culture; Deinonychus are a ton scarier than those weeny little Velociraptors.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What's In a Name?

        Hello. My name is Jesse. But what's in a name? Would I by any other name smell as sweet? The one big downside of the name is its commonality not just among guys, but across the gender divide. This raises the question of why the name Jesse is so popular. Jesse is originally a Hebrew name meaning “God Exists”. Since most people aren't fully aware of what ancient meaning their name has I would highly doubt that this is the root of the name's popularity. Perhaps it is in the history. After all there have been many famous Jesse's throughout the ages.
        The first famous Jesse is without a doubt the biblical one and also the one from which I was named. In the bible we learn that Jesse the father of David. What the Bible fails to mention, however, is how Jesse assuredly had that fatherly trait of bragging about their kids. It is hard to be out bragged when your kid is a freaking King. While chilling with his peeps in the fields he was surely a force to be reckoned with. “Oh, your boy Paul saved your flock from a wolf? He sure is brave. Just like when my boy David, you know the King of Israel. Remember when he saved the Israelites by taking out a giant using nothing but a little stone? You must be so proud of little Paul.”
        While Jesse James was a famous outlaw and pretty much a total dick, but I would be remiss if I left him out. After all he is not only a famous Jesse, but was also weird as shit. For starters his mother's name was Zeralda. Take a moment to really appreciate just how bizarre that is. Jesse later went on to marry his first cousin Zeralda Mimms. He not only married a first cousin, but one that was named after his own mother. Again take another moment to appreciate that. As I'm sure everyone knows, he led a very successful life of crime. This life ended on April 3 in 1882 at his home. While climbing onto a chair to dust a picture he was shot in back by his partners-in-crime the Ford brothers. This prompted mother Zeralda to select an epitaph for Jesse which reads more like a passive-aggressive note than a memorial: “In loving memory of my beloved son, murdered by a traitor and coward whose name is not worthy to appear here.”
        Back to the good sort of famous. In 1935 Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Smith gave birth to identical twins: Elvis and Jesse. Sadly Jesse was stillborn. I'm convinced that had he survived, he would have been twice the rocker and stud that Elvis was.
        In 1936 German athletes were dominating the Olympic games and as if that wasn't enough their wins were helping to further the spread of Nazi propaganda. Enter Jesse Owens. The American, and noticeably not Aryan, went out and pissed the shit out of Hitler by winning 4 gold medals in Track and Field; effectively shoving the “superiority” of the Aryan race right up Hitler's fat ass.
        Jesse Ventura is a former Minnesota Governor, professional wrestler, Navy SEAL, actor, radio host, and probably a million other things I'm forgetting. He once asked the Dalai Lama if he had seen the movie Caddyshack. He also once said, “The will of the people is still the most powerful force in our government.” I do not care what any one thinks, personally I believe he was one of the greatest politicians I have ever seen. He understood that citizens can't just sit back and let the government do everything, he had a sense of humor, and above all he was honest.
        So don't get me wrong, I think my name is pretty cool. It's even got a "J" in it and everyone knows Js are fun letters. However, a name with such an inherently awesome nature comes with popularity and with popularity comes commonality. Throughout school I've often had other Jesses in classes. The real problems with it are caused by Women. As I have established Jesse is a man's name. There is no denying this fact. However, the country is chalk full of Jessicas. Now girls named Jessica are one thing, the real trouble comes from the inevitable nickname: Jessie. Suddenly we are over run with these female Jessies.
        Perhaps you doubt me. I'm over reacting, you think to yourself, sure there's a lot of girl's named Jessie and Jessica, but there's just as many guys named Jesse. Well you would have thought wrong. Let's look at the facts, shall we? I was born in 1987 so let's look at the Jesse/Jessica placements for +/- 4 years in order to show what I have had to put up with throughout school.


# of Jesse's Born

# of Jessica's Born




























Total # of Jesses born between 1983-1991: 74,872

Total # of Jessicas born between 1983-1991: 446,351

        This means that for every Jesse there was in school, there was probably 5 or more Jessica's. Six Jessica's with the nickname Jessie. I cannot begin to explain the personal embarrassment of hearing someone say your name, then turning around to find that they were talking to a blonde girl in a miniskirt. “Oh, you were talking to her? I thought you were complimenting me on how well my pants show off my ass. My bad.” At the end of the day I really don't blame these lovely ladies. I've known many a fantastic Jessica. I even had a big crush on one during one of my years in high school. Aside from the stray embarrassing miscommunication they have done me no harm. But you know who has done me harm? Rick Springfield.
        In case you weren't born in the 80s and have never listened to the radio ever before, Rick Springfield wrote a hit song called “Jessie's Girl”. A song that I hold largely responsible for the continual trouble I have getting people to spell my name right. I often have people asking, “ that with an I?” To which I have to try to hold back my barbed tongue, “Umm no, there's no I. I am not a woman.” Clearly the Jessie in the song is a man, “He's got himself a girl” after all, so what's the deal? From what I can gather, from the internet, Rick's inspiration for “Jessie's Girl” was his school friend Gary and Gary's girl. Not wanting to use Gary's real name, he changed it to “Jessie” after seeing the name on a softball jersey. I would have hoped that Rick would realized that softball is played by women, but I can't stay mad at Rick Springfield. Sure he has single-handedly put the masculine spelling of Jesse into question, but at least he did so in the form of a catchy tune. If you're going to cause trouble you might as well do it in song.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wrench in the Works

        Okay, so here's the dealio. I am now without the internet. Well sometimes, like now for instance, I can connect to the neighbor's, but that is sporadic at best. Obviously without internet it makes it quite hard for me to be able to post comics on a schedule. To do so would require me getting a whole bunch ready to go and then setting them all to update by themselves and hoping that it works. As you all know I am lazy and do not work that far in advance. Maybe I could, but since I've spent most of this week watching Wimbledon and yelling at the screen so needless to say things I haven't been productive. I'll look into if I could do it at the library, but I'm not sure if their computers allow flash drives or not.
        I suppose in the meantime I can work on something bigger and more epic. I told myself that I'd do a longer format story sometime this year, so I guess I can start making more headway on that. I can't say I'm inspired as the last time I tried such a story it quickly spiraled into shameful artistic wreckage. Don't you love it when you have grand aspirations that your skills just can't reproduce? It does wonders for your self-esteem I tells ya.
        Eventually I will get myself a job and then with my income I will buy internet, but until then updates will be sporadic. Those are the breaks I guess. Sorry.

P.S. Guess what spell check? I don't care that you want me to capitalize the word "internet", cause guess what? It isn't going to happen. If the word "library" doesn't deserve to get capitalized then the word "internet" sure as hell isn't going to get the honor.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Present

        I didn't get my inking done and now I am tired and don't want to do it. Instead here is a picture of my new shredder. It turns out there isn't much the manual will teach you. For instance you shouldn't put your hair or neck tie in the shredder. It didn't mention if this was because those things might get caught or just because the resulting effect would surely make you look ridiculous.

Happy Birthday Canada!

        It's my birthday today! It is also Canada Day, so don't forget to honor our neighbors to the North. If you know a Canadian I suggest you give them a hug...or a cake...both if you're up for it. In honor of Canada let us listen to some Canadian music. My personal favorite is Joel Plaskett.