Concert encores

The worst part about a concert is when the band leaves the stage for the first time and the audience is meant to stand around and cheer for an encore like a bunch of morons. But there will be no actual encore, friends—this is merely a ritualistic appeal to the musicians’ vanity. In reality these motherfuckers haven’t even finished their set.

Everyone is nevertheless delighted when, in a moment of spontaneity, the band reappears onstage to perform a meticulously-choreographed rendition of their most popular song. Why must we go through this whole song-and-dance? Come on, guys, I’ve got shit to do. Tell you what—if you’re done performing, go ahead and turn on the lights so I can actually get out of here. If you want to leave the stage so badly, I’m not going to stand around clapping for you to come back. Just get in your fucking van and go home.

Jiffy Mix

Sometimes I like to go to the grocery store and stare at the Jiffy Mix boxes. They’ve kept right up with the latest packaging trends, haven’t they? In case you don’t frequent American supermarkets, here is what a box of Jiffy Mix looks like:

Jiffy Mix

This design pleases me. It pleases me a great deal. One time on a school trip I visited the Jiffy Mix factory in Chelsea, Michigan, but I didn’t think to ask what was up with their packaging. Their marketing department is probably just some old Willy Loman-type character, and his only job is to produce advertisements for obscure AM radio stations. These are the sorts of daydreams I experience as I stare at all the amusing Jiffy Mix boxes.

As far as I know, Jiffy Mix hasn’t even adjusted their prices since 1950. It still costs like 38 cents for a box of Jiffy Mix. They have no idea what inflation means. Their attitude is: “Who cares if we’re hemorrhaging money? We don’t even check our financial records. You know what are our income was last year? Fuck you, that’s what it was.” Needless to say, Jiffy Mix is one of my all-time favorite foodstuffs.

Catching up on Brandnewary

Sorry I missed the past three day’s updates, which ruined the Brandnewary concept and made me out to be some sort of liar. In actuality I was just busy moving into a new apartment, and to update eKarjala during such a time of turmoil would have been reckless and irresponsible. Meanwhile, I’ll still try to update each day for the rest of January. If I miss another update, just realize that I move into a new apartment about two or three times per month.

Now please let me take a moment to catch up eKarjala with a realistic simulation of those missed updates:

Saturday:
Hey guys, remember Popples? What was the deal with Popples? LOL! It’s like a Carebear and a Gummi Bear had children, and the children turned out to be these silly sorts of creatures! LOL! LOL! Turn into a ball, you stupid mutant!

Sunday:
What’s up with those horizontal dashes people sometimes draw through the midpoint of the number 7? Is the regular 7 not retarded enough for these people? You don’t need to distinguish a 7 from a 1, if that’s your game—just write a little neater. LOLOL! But seriously, keep your backward F fetish out of my sight.

Monday:
The other day, I did (something normal) and was irritated due to (contrived observation). Who’s the retard who came up with (subject)? That would be like (farcical analogy). LOL!

Tomatoes are vegetables

Oftentimes when I’m enjoying a tomato, some bookish fellow will stop adjusting his eyeglasses for a minute to tell me, in his nasally little voice, “You know, tomatoes aren’t vegetables. They’re actually a type of fruit.” Immediately, everyone within earshot stops what they’re doing. In hushed tones my friends start to say, “Oh, snap, shit’s going down.” If I’m at a party the DJ will stop the record, and somebody will flick on the lights. No one even questions why I’m eating a tomato at a party, because everyone has learned to let me enjoy my tomatoes in peace. I’m not even going to make any sort of joke in this update, because what I always proceed to tell these nebbish blowhards should be digested as immutable lifeless facts:

*Fact one: It is true that botanically a tomato is a fruit. Everyone talks about this. But guess what: so are squash, green beans, bell peppers, and cucumbers. Are you still prepared to pretend you’re a botanist?

*Fact two: To get even more specific, tomatoes are berries. You might also want to note that bananas, avocados, and chili peppers are also berries—and that, botanically, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries? Not berries at all, my friend, but aggregate fruits.

*Fact three: Check this out, Gregor Mendel: “vegetable” doesn’t even have much botanical meaning. It’s a culinary term and since the tomato isn’t sweet, it’s treated as a vegetable for cooking purposes.

*Fact four: In 1893, the U.S. Supreme Court officially declared that a tomato is a vegetable based on its usage and should be treated as such in accordance with the Tariff Act of 1883, motherfucker.

By now, the egoistic tomato-as-fruit proponent is lying unconscious on the floor with blood flowing from his nose. I didn’t even hit him, I just laid down some knowledge. Then the DJ restarts the party music and everybody begins dancing—everybody but me. I’ve got a vegetable to enjoy.

Kite park

Recently I chanced upon a gathering of true kite enthusiasts. I never really thought kites had much of a point, but that’s because I thought they were all just a bunch of lame triangles, or at best little rectangular boxes. But consider the following dreamland:

Kite Park

I was completely overstimulated at this park. I didn’t know which kite’s pleasant lulling motions I should examine first.

Octopus Kite

The octopus was a site to behold. It must have taken a team of geniuses to get this Leviathan into the air. To see this octopus sailing in the sky once more is merely my greatest hope in life.

Kite Park

That one kite near the center is a pair of disembodied female legs in stockings. Why not create such a whimsical kite? In case you couldn’t tell, I was completely lying yesterday when I said I hated hobby stores. Hobby stores make precisely these sorts of fantasies possible.

Lobster Kite

Many of these kites resembled parade balloons, but you have to understand that unlike balloons, these creatures rode the wind in a fashion that must be described as majestic. Needless to say, this lobster was a breathtaking specimen.

Skateboard Kiting

Now here’s a guy who’s figured out a new way to travel. He doesn’t give a damn for walking. What he does is he hops on a skateboard and lets his kite take him wherever it may. One day I hope to travel across the United State in precisely this fashion, except my dream is to find a kite modeled after Falkor from The Never Ending Story.

Hobby stores

A lot of so-called “hobby stores” have a very narrow view on what constitutes a hobby. If hobby stores are to be believed, unless you fly RC airplanes or assemble little Japanese robot models, guess what: you don’t have a hobby. This would be like calling a business a “sports store,” but when you go inside the only thing for sale is racquetball equipment.

Hobby stores don’t want to hear a single word about your cooking or golfing hobbies. They really don’t care about what you do in your free time. If you ask a hobby store clerk a question about your photography hobby, he will laugh in your face and say, “Sorry, we only sell hobby stuff here. We don’t cater to bullshit amusements like photography.” Yeah, that’s a great attitude to have. This is why I took up a fun new hobby called never shopping at hobby stores.

Futuristic movie article and Sacbee quotation

You can find an article I wrote for CRACKED.com here. It’s about dated futuristic movies. You might find it a little more crass and more generically offensive than usual, but that’s merely to conform to the editorial standards at CRACKED.com.

Also, on November 19th this site was randomly quoted in an article about board games in the Sacramento Bee:

Nov 19th 2007 Sacramento Bee

I admit that it’s kind of a jarring, disconnected quotation, but at least now I have a blurb for eKarjala that I can attribute to a major newspaper: “Ouch!” raves the Sacramento Bee. My next blurb will probably be something like: “Well that was just fucking mean,” praises the Kansas City Star.

Christmas tree ornaments

Probably the worst Christmas gift you could give somebody is a Christmas tree ornament. It’s like, “Oh great, a new ornament for my Christmas tree. Which I’m about to take down because Christmas is over. This will really come in handy for the next hour and a half.” Not until the following Christmas season will an ornament truly become useful, if a fanciful decorative bauble can even be described as “useful.” Why not just give them some Independence Day fireworks? That’s only six months away. Or if you insist on mocking them with your untimely gifts, why not go ahead and have them unwrap an actual Christmas tree? I think that might really mean a lot to them. Or maybe you could surprise them with an engraved tombstone.

Brandnewary

I have a new list appearing on McSweeney’s. It’s a list of unlikely parenthetical statements. I don’t really know what the point of it is.

Also, I should warn you that I have a special idea entitled Brandnewary. This means that there will be a new update every day during the month of January. I’ve never attempted to update eKarjala with such regularity, and for good reason. This site might be taken to weird, uncomfortable places by as early as January 5th. So stay tuned for Brandnewary! 2008? More like 2000 and great!

How Many Sequels to ‘The Land Before Time’ Do We Need, Exactly?

I have written by far my stupidest article ever, “How Many Sequels to ‘The Land Before Time’ Do We Need, Exactly?” Whenever I entered a video store as an adolescent I used to always check which number “The Land Before Time” series was up to, and then I’d share a good chuckle with myself. I thought that chuckle would translate into a winning look at corporate excess, but the resulting article is nothing more than me swearing at a bunch of cartoon DVD covers. If you want to save yourself the trouble of reading this, the answer is 12. There are currently 12 sequels to The Land Before Time.

Babar

Just because Babar prances around with a crown doesn’t mean he’s a real king. His cartoon was the most nauseating thing I ever saw. Every episode consisted of Babar telling his children made up stories about his past accomplishments. The moral to these stories was always the same: “Nobody compares to me because I am Babar, courageous King of the Elephants.” No you’re not, Babar, you’re just an asshole in a hot air balloon.

Giant St. Bernard

The other day I was loitering in a café when a woman entered with a St. Bernard that was literally the size of Clifford the Big Red Dog. Nobody could stop it from coming in, either, because it was some type of service dog, and plus it could have easily eaten a person. When they walked through the doorway, the dog actually had to duck its head down, so you can imagine how fast I ran the hell out of there. It might not have been hungry, but I still didn’t want a situation where I’d have to say, “Excuse me, ma’am, your dog’s tongue just knocked over my table.” What kind of service did this beast perform, exactly? Transportation?

Also, I have a review of Yogurt With Fruit and Granola up at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency (it’s the third one down).

Continental breakfasts

Continental breakfasts always sound delicious, and whenever I stay in a hotel I make it a point to wake up early to indulge in this exotic complimentary meal. An entire continent’s breakfast array is waiting for me downstairs, with untold platters of steaming meats, bouquets of fruits, a diverse selection of freshly-baked bread, eggs, and fine cheeses. Or I could settle for some shitty muffins and Cheerios, that would also be wonderful.

Canned Peas

I feel very dirty when I need to purchase a can of peas. For some reason they’re always labeled “Young Tender Sweet Peas” or “All-Natural Young Baby Peas.” Other grocery shoppers are quick to judge me when I purchase a can of peas, thinking me for some kind of pervert. That’s why I always cry, “It’s for a recipe!” and then bolt out of the aisle in tears. These other shoppers know as well as I do that my peas aren’t for any so-called recipe. Sometimes I just like to have some young tender peas around.

Practical Jokes

I get really annoyed when people justify playing a trick on me by saying, “Oh come on, man, it was just a practical joke.” I don’t exactly see how it was “practical” to soak me with a bucket of water. In reality the term “practical joke” is meant to convey that the joke involves some sort of physical action, but the way people say it implies pragmatism. Meanwhile playing a trick on somebody is completely fucking frivolous. If you really want to be practical why don’t you stop wasting my time with your cruel tricks.

Beaded curtains

One thing I’ve never understood is why some people hang those dangling strings of beads in their entryway. What culture are we even trying to emulate here, guys? It’s as if these people are saying, “Allow me to make it slightly less convenient for you to enter this room.” The stakes are even higher if somebody passes the beaded curtain immediately in front of you, because now all the strings are swinging around in crazy directions, and no matter what you do you’re going to get whapped. How about rigging up some knives to these strings of beads? Why don’t you just go ahead and stab me for entering your living room?

Hopefully next time I have to pass a beaded curtain I’ll have a good pair of scissors on me. Then I’ll just tell my host, “Here, let me help you with this,” and begin maniacally cutting the shit out of their beaded curtain as they look on in horror.

Earthquakes!

Last week I had the chance to experience a modest earthquake (4.2), which was something I’d been looking forward to since I moved out to California—looking forward to with a profound fear. For while earthquakes are often delightful opportunities to enjoy a fleeting earthly rumble, they can also be city-destroying leviathans. This volatile dichotomy would be analogous to if volcanoes on rare occasions spewed scorching hot lava, but usually they just erupted with chocolate milk.

Living in a geologic fault zone is like living inside a piñata. Sometimes you’re hit with a whack from some milquetoast four-eyes, but every once in a while an overgrown future left tackle comes along, and he’s secretly peeking out from his blindfold. A strike from this small child is what I fear more than anything else in the world.

The problem is that you never know which kind of earthquake you’re in for. Sometimes a bus will pass by my apartment, lightly shaking the floor, and I’ll immediately run outside in hysterics yelling, “This is the big one!” without even pausing to put on my clothing.

Here is a handy guide to enjoying/suffering the awesome/horrific thrill-ride/disaster known as the earthquake, based on the Richter magnitude scale:

2.0-2.9: Say, was that an earthquake, or did an infant just crawl passed the apartment?

3.0-3.9: Oh great, my neighbor is blasting Nas again. Oh wait, no, earthquake! Oh wait, but my neighbor is also blasting Nas.

4.0-4.9: Awesome! Earthquake! Rock and roll! Fuck yeah! Oh no, my fine china.

5.0-5.9: Ha ha … OK, that’s pretty impressive, earth. Ha ha, good one. You’re right, I should replace that window. Ha ha. Oh, thanks, I’ve been meaning to rearrange my display shelf. You fucking asshole.

6.0-6.9: Fuck this, man, this is not cool! That does it, I’m moving to Vermont.

7.0+: What a horrific tragedy. Have fun rebuilding your life, if you manage to survive this ungodly nightmare. The most terrifying aspect of powerful earthquakes is that they can directly trigger accomplice disasters such as landslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and fires. If I’m ever involved in something likes this I know it would be a long overdue punishment for how I tortured those poor citizens of SimCity 2000.

Speaking of the devil

I get really put off when somebody says, “Well, speak of the devil!” I’m like, “You’ve just made our mutual friend materialize by speaking about him, and now you want to discuss the devil? Actually this might not be a bad time to not mention the devil under any circumstances whatsoever. Because I could really go without summoning the fucking devil right now.”

Motion-sensing porch lights

Motion-sensing porch lights were invented as a theft deterrent, but in reality all they’re good for is continuously startling the holy Christ out of me. Not only do these lights put me in a state of panic, they make me feel like a suspected burglar. I guess I deserve that for casually meandering down a public sidewalk anytime after dark. Meanwhile, if I should happen to inadvertently set off car alarm when I’m walking, I simply head on over to the police station to turn myself in.

Sometimes I like to pretend that these porch lights aren’t motion-sensitive after all. Sometimes I imagine a panicked family huddled up in the corner of their foyer, flicking on the light switch in an act of desperation as if you to say: “We know you’re there, burglar! And the Jenkins family won’t stand for it!” Then I bash in their window with my crowbar.