Thursday, October 30, 2008

Words the kids are using

deathcab [deθ-kab]

possess an undying devotion for a person in a way that makes you sound like a sad fifteen year old to whoever you are describing it to, stripping you of all dignity: "So you're deathcabbing him now?" "I would, for lack of a better phrase, follow him into the dark, yes."

Grand Occult Party

On Tuesaday I attended the io's final pub quiz of the season. Since it's Halloween week and all, the theme was "Stephen King", which was unfortunate for me because not only have I never read a single Stephen King novel or short story (not even one of the hopey, 40's prison ones), I pretty much don't care about horror movies, which I could only assume would also be asked about. Luckily for me though the rest of the questions ended up being about short stories and Maine, things I'm mildly interested in. I would have come in third if I hadn't somehow gotten McSweeney's writer George Saunders and former Red Sox pitcher Tom Gordon mixed up (I think it's pretty safe to assume no girl has ever loved George Saunders), which would have won me one of io's famed frozen pizzas. On the upside though, I won best team name for "Cujo do me a favor?"

But none of this is the point. 


The point of all of this is that the last question in the round on Maine was "This former congressman from Maine was a Republican candidate for President in 1880. A hint - he also has an elementary school at Southport and Janssen named after him."

This shouldn't have just been a hint for me. I should know this - I live a block away from this school. But for the life of me, I couldn't remember the name James. G Blaine. I know, I'm horrible.

So I decided to look up the man - who was apparently a speaker of the House, a senator, and a two time secretary of state. He was also, according to Wikipedia, the leader of the Half-Breeds. 

That's right. James G. Blaine was a werewolf. 

James G. Blaine Discusses Foreign Policy With A Campaign Staffer, Congressional Christmas Party, 1872

And apparently during their National convention, the Half-Breeds went up against a group of hardlined Van Helsings called the Stalwarts, led by notorious demon hunter Ulysses S. Grant. Things got ugly: 
In the 1880 Republican National Convention, the Stalwart candidate, former president Ulysses S. Grant, was pitted against Half-Breed James G. Blaine for the party nomination. Grant's campaign was being led by Stalwart leader, Roscoe Conkling of New York, a state that had the biggest split between Stalwarts and Half-Breeds. Despite Conkling's attempts at imposing a unit-rule in the Republican National Convention, in which a state's votes would be grouped together for only one candidate, a number of Stalwarts went against him by vocalizing their support for the Half-Breed, Blaine. The Half-Breeds united together to defeat the unit rule in a vote, and elected George Frisbie Hoar, a Half-Breed, to the position as the temporary chairman of the convention.
It's bizarre to think that such a time existed where a werewolf could go about in public with a name like George Frisbie Hoar, which would basically be the equivalent of naming a child Teen Wolf in today's world. 

Eventually the Half Breeds won out by putting up moderate werewolf James Garfield as a candidate, who it was agreed that when his transformation occurred, could easily be passed off as an unshaven Norwegian man. 

Garfield eventually went on to win the election, and the half breeds decided to take a more muted place in politics over the following years, using influence and acquired gypsy spells to get their legislative agendas passed through congress. 

2008 marks the first time since the 1880 election when the Half Breeds have put a player into the ring, with Zombie-American candidate John McCain. 

That was a stupid joke, but honestly, I just wanted an excuse to post this photo

Wholesome Historical Costume Ideas For Young Girls

Apparently this is a problem.  So what's a parent to do? Look to history, of course. 

Joan Of Arc 
One Knights costume

Dress your daughter up in the knights costume, and use the charcoal to give the costume and her face that freshly roasted look. Use the scissors to chop off all her hair - or better yet, have her do it! That rough worn look you get from cutting off your own locks really adds to the whole warrior in God's army vibe. 

Marie Curie 
Rubber apron
Unflattering blouse
Baggy skirt
Green makeup
Beaker (optional)

Dress your daughter in the blouse and skirt, put on the apron, and then lightly apply the makeup on her face until she has that healthy green glow. The perfect costume to teach her a lesson about women's achievements in science and why it's not the best idea to watch your food cook in the microwave. 

Eleanor Roosevelt
Floppy dress
Ill fitting tweed coat
Wool pants
Some dopey looking hat
Long string of fake pearls

Dress your daughter like she doesn't care what she looks like, because who can care about things like that when there are coal miners to save, or whatever it was that Eleanor Roosevelt did. Alternatively, if you don't feel like explaining what the Great Depression was (better sooner than later!) or what a "beard" is, this same outfit can also be passed off as the classic "Female Hobo". 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mama Mia

"Getting back to the spreading the wealth question, what do you say to the people who are concerned that Barack Obama will want to turn America into a socialist country much like Sweden?"


Dear God, they've already gotten to our water supply.

And while I agree with this reporter that the highly literate, ABBA loving people of Sweden are the greatest threat facing this country right now, I think she's got the wrong idea about which candidate's got his hand in the lingonberry jam jar. 

Exhibit A: 
Pasty faced Republican Presidential nominee John McCain in front of one his campaign signs, a blue background highlighted by a bold yellow streak. 

Exhibit B:

The flag of Sweden, as defined by Wikipedia
The flag of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges flagga) is blue with a yellow Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag. The design and colours of the Swedish flag are believed to have been inspired by the present Coat of arms of Sweden of 1442, which is blue divided quarterly by a cross pattée of gold, and modelled on the Danish flag. Blue and yellow have been used as Swedish colours at least since king Magnus Birgersson's royal coat of arms of 1275.
So is John McCain subtly slipping Sweden a support sign through his campaign material? The angry raging wheezing has just been a cover to throw everyone off the trail of his true, socialized public health care, Dancing Queen loving heart? Sure why not. It's as valid a point as anything that lady said.

And she's an actual journalist.

And as Exhibit C:
A picture of Barack Obama fist-bumping a small child. Because it is fucking adorable.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sons Of Local Business Tycoons Don't Understand What McCain's Problem Is

At a press conference this afternoon held at the Long Island Marriott and Spa, some of the sons of the area's most successful businessmen gathered to express their outrage and confusion as to why Senator John McCain keeps linking them and others of their social standing to the Democratic candidate Barack Obama in what they see as a "negative light".

Dustin Julius, heir to lucrative Orange Julius fortune, spoke for the group. "We find it hard to believe that Senator McCain feels the need to continually bring up the fact that Barack Obama started his career in one of our living rooms, and paint it as a bad thing. We have very nice living rooms, can you really blame the guy for trying to have a little class?"

"I just find it repulsive that the senator would turn his back on us and our families after all of the money and work we've put into his campaign," Mr. Julius said. "The Dow dips a bit and you turn us out for Joe Six Pack or whatever you're calling the idiots this week? Who's the traitor here senator?"

After they opened the floor to questions from the small pool of reporters covering the event, someone explained to them what the definition of a homonym was, and the group looked stunned. They stared at their feet, offered a brief apology, and then everyone went home. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

McCain Campaign Prepares To Announce Victory In 'Burning Down' And 'Salting The Earth' Of Any Chance Of Winning

The streamers are out and the balloons are being filled; some campaign staffers have even started uncorking the champagne. "We're trying not to get ahead of ourselves, but it's hard not to be giddy," said campaign volunteer Rick Monroe. "That's why we're only celebrating at one of the more modest ranches," he said, referring to the McCain family's six house ranch outside of Phoenix. "We don't want to jinx ourselves."

That kind of guarded optimism seems to have spread throughout the entire campaign today, all the way from it's head quarters in Arizona to the staffers on the ground with Senator McCain in Hempstead N.Y., where he is readying for his final debate with his opponent, Senator Barack Obama. The event is being heralded as the final nail in the coffin for what at some points seemed like a long, arduous funeral march. 

"It got tough there for a while," said McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt. "We actually got that bump in popularity from Palin when we first announced her, that took us all by surprise. Luckily people realized what we were up to when we got her out there and talking, so things bottomed out again."

The debate tonight is being viewed by many as the capper in the most successful Republican effort ever to alienate any possible voter with even the most minor of mental capacity. "They've essentially boiled it down to their absolute core base, what we call the Clampet Block - basically voters who are so afraid of change that most of them still use outhouses" said Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist and former McCain campaign advisor. 

"In my opinion, John McCain will go down as the greatest Republican hero since Ronald Reagan," Schmidt said. "Who wanted to win this one, honestly? Over the last eight years we've decimated the economy, and even if we somehow manage to find Henry Paulson's magic bullet and pull our shit together, we've still got that billion dollar a day Iraqi quagmire and the ass raping gas prices to deal with. We've done such an amazing job with this campaign, we're going to lose so hard, none of the shit that goes down in the next eight years is going to be tied to the G.O.P. Did you hear we might lose our senate seat in Kentucky? Kentucky!" 

He paused to slurp down another oyster, and toss it's shell onto his ever growing pile.

"With the heaping mess we've left the Democrats, and the unimaginable ways they'll fuck it up over the next four years, the rest of this century is going to be a cake walk for us."

Schmidt took one more look over the chanting crowd gathered at Hofstra University. The one singular McCain Palin sign holder was slowly losing her footing to the man behind her with a giant "O8" sign.

"Fuck it, I'm good at this." 

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Bruce Springsteen Scale For Depression

Level One: Greetings From Asbury Park

Your life will feel bright and sunny, so much so, that you may be blinded. Sunglasses are recommended. 

Level Two: The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle

You will still be excited about the things in your life, though a certain type of desperation will take over from time to time, leaving you wondering "Ooooh, what can I do?" This can easily be cured by sitting with a senorita by a fire (parental consent permitting).

Level Three: Born To Run

Events in your life will begin to feel constricting, like a death trap, or, alternately, a suicide rap. Your days will be spent dreaming of escape via car, motorcycle, possibly a boat across the river.

Level Four: Darkness On The Edge Of Town

Anger sets in as you realize that all of your plans to escape your tired small town life have failed, and there is nothing left for you to do, except possibly prove it all night. Any remaining energy will be spent requesting it be understood that your surroundings should treat you better than they currently do. 

Level Five: The River

The anger will soon succumb to acceptance and delusion, as you try to convince yourself that you do not hate your life by hanging out in bars all the time. This becomes increasingly harder to do when you receive a union card for your nineteenth birthday, even though you expressly told everyone you wanted a new leather jacket.

Level Six: Nebraska

Things have gotten bad. You have been laid off. All of your friends have deserted you. You've become obsessed with assassinated mob bosses and start driving around in the middle of the night with a gun in your glove box, hoping to get pulled over. Seek help.

Recovery: Born In The U.S.A.

The pills are working. You've stabilized and are making enough money that you can live your life happily with only occasionally stopping to think about past glory days, dead relatives, and creepy, possibly incestuous thoughts. Well done.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Simple

The same company was responsible for ads supporting similar causes:

Oregon Prop 19: The removal of all wood chips from school playgrounds because it's hot lava and if you step on it you're dead.

House Amendment No. 1752: Funding for research into a vaccination for cooties that doesn't involve that stupid ass dance. 

Michigan Prop 24: To give the right to every boy to marry his mom because honestly, how is he ever going to find someone as great as his mom? (Answer: he won't)

Secretary Paulson and President Bush Plan On Taking Economy Out For A 'Guys Night On The Town'

President Bush and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson announced Friday that they planned to take the American economy out for what they called, "a good old guys night on the town." Details of the night were vague, with President Bush only going so far as to promise "some beer, some chicken, you know, whatever game's on that night." The government has become increasingly worried about the state of the economy, especially after the historic 700 billion bailout plan that was passed last week failed to pick up the slumping market. "We haven't seen it this bad in a while. We're worried," Paulson said.

The Dow dropped close to 700 points Thursday, closing below 9,000 for the first time since 2003.

The track record for former outings with the economy have been hit or miss, most notably when FDR's Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau took the economy out to a "picture show" in 1936, though most economists agreed that despite Morgenthau's best intentions, his choice of "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town" only served to bum the economy out even more because it found Gary Cooper to be such a "sour puss". Newly appointed Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan had better luck when he took the economy out for the steak special at Sizzlers in 1989, narrowly diverting an economic disaster.

Despite the outcome, Paulson was adamant on the message they were trying to get across, "This is the best damn economy there is, and it's about time it and everyone else knew that."

The Impact Of King Solomon's Judgment

From the BBC: 
An estranged couple in Cambodia have sawed their house in half to avoid the country's convoluted divorce process. 

Moeun Rim and his wife, Nhanh, who have been married nearly 40 years, split the building last week following an argument, local officials said. 
The Rim's decision to literally split the house in half seems to be inspired by the biblical tale of King Solomon, who, when two women came to him claiming to be the mother of a baby boy, proposed to cut the child in half. The actual mother said that she would rather see the child go with someone else than see him killed, and was then given the child, because the other woman was totally down with the plan and clearly was stupid and awful and had a deep seeded hatred of babies. The Rim's have obviously taken the parable of Solomon's judgement more literally than most, but they're not the first - 

London, England, 1886 

A disruption broke out between two factory owners in the Clerkenwell neighborhood over who had the right to use a local urchin boy, Pip Geraldo, as a gearsweep in his factory. A local magistrate decided to use the Solomon judgement technique and declared that both men would get half the boy. The magistrate grossly underestimated the pride of the two men as well as their total disregard for the well being of the boy, and before anyone knew what was happening, Mr. Geraldo had been taken to a local butcher shop and cleaved in half. He was then turned into meat pies. 

Lakehurst, New Jersey, 1937

As the LZ 129 Hindenburg was preparing to land, a disagreement broke out between Riley O'Rourke, an American financier who had set up the American share of the funding, including the lavish landing ceremony the ship was about to receive, and Josef Dolleschal, the Nazi official who had by all accounts spear headed the project, over who would address the crowds when they landed. The argument over who really deserved the credit grew so loud that Irene Glass, an American bible study teacher who was returning home from a tour of European churches, threatened to "Cut this thing in half if" they didn't stop their squabbling. O'Rourke and Dolleschal dismissed the woman and told her to return to her seat. They went back to their argument, all the while ignorant that Ms. Glass was going through with her threat, removing a fire ax from it's holder, and sending thirty six people to their fiery deaths. 

Portland, Maine, 1956

A fight at an Episcopal church bake sale erupted when Edna Smith and Doris Lane, two local stay at home moms, both claimed ownership to a strawberry rhubarb pie. The local priest then decided to cut the pie in half. This, by all accounts, worked out pretty well for everyone. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


My opponents have been clamoring for answers these past few days, going from town to town asking, "Who is the real Barack Obama?" And like the classic proverb, Senator McCain has got my goat, and I'd like to think myself enough of a man to admit when my goat is got. My name is Kevin Hausman. Barack Obama is just a stage name I jumbled together from an old dog eared copy of "World's Weirdest Baby Names" I found on the ground before signing up for my first magic show as a boy. I needed a stage name and I thought Barack Obama sounded like Abracadabra, so I went with it. I saw then that magic could put me in touch with people in a way that I never thought possible, it opened my eyes to the possibilities of the world, and so it was there on that cold Nebraskan day, standing in front fourteen clapping parents in a cape with two unlocked rings in my hands, that I knew my fate was sealed. 

I was meant for a life in the public eye.

And yes, I am from Nebraska. Saying I was from Nebraska didn't really evoke the right amount of mystery I was looking for, so that's why I started the story about being from Hawaii; it was harmless at the time since everyone knew it was make believe, but when you start taking a character on the road and you doing your act at block parties which eventually gets you into community organizing, you kind of start to forget that people aren't in on the joke.  

You know the rest of my story, and it's all true. I just hope now you understand why I insist on bringing up a volunteer on stage to explain my tax plan by pulling a coin out from behind their ear. I admit it, I still need the thrill which you can only get from a bit of true stage magic. Where'd the coin come from? You don't know. Don't act like you do. But I can say I am more dedicated to serving you, the American people, now than I have ever been, and it is only on the coldest of nights when I hear the faint rustle of the Nebraskan wheat fields whispering, "Kevin, come home." I shake it off, put on my cape, and get back to work, which is what I promise to do every day if you give me the honor of making me your president.

God Bless,
Barack Obama

I Don't Fully Understand The Rules, But I'm Under The Impression That This Is The Japanese Version of "Win, Lose, Or Draw"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Notes From The Notebook of Keith Nevin, Idaho Daily Star Reporter, Who Is In The Tank For Obama

9/12/08 - It's so cold in here. 

9/15/08 - Chris Matthews is surprisingly buoyant. Must be all the potatoes. 

9/18/08 - There's a rumor floating around (ha) that the McCain camp is offering an electric blanket to anyone who's willing to get out. Now Moyers is going on about how during the Kennedy campaign they didn't even have blankets, never mind "fancy, electric ones". Good God man, give it a rest, we get it. 

9/19/08 - My toes have turned blue. How appropriate. 

9/21/08 - Plouffe handed out some buttons to thank us for "hanging in there". What a useless gesture. I mean, sure, we're in the tank, but we have to at least appear unbiased, if we ever see sunlight again. Besides, buttons are so tacky. 

9/22/08 - I've forgotten what food tastes like.

9/24/08 - Olbermann stole my floating noodle. I stole one of Dowd's hairpins. Will kill him in his sleep. Look forward to the warm feeling of his blood in the water. 

9/30/08 - Howard Kurtz died tonight. Last words were something along the lines - "At least I didn't have to hide my contempt of Sarah Palin." Paraphrasing - hard to tell with all the chattering.