Thursday, May 22, 2014

Picture of The Day

I'm all hated out for now-.  Here's a picture.

I don't know if nobody can find it or what

But as I work out my troubles with my URL and Google's tech guys, remember that my blog

lit, a place for stories

is in fact a PLACE that has STORIES.  It can be found at this link, or at the temporary address of

I've posted a couple of shorts there, including the haunting (PUN INTENDED) "Some Zombie Stories, 6."

Also, you writers: remember this:


COMING ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, it's the first-ever anthology of stories by indie writers to bear the INDIE WRITERS MONTHLY stamp of approval*, and we want YOU to be a part of it.

The anthology is going to be a collection of stories about Time Travel, and here is HOW YOU CAN GET IN ON THIS:

A. Have a story about time travel, or write one.
2.  Submit that story to us, by June 15, 2014.  (send submissions to litaplaceforstories[at]** and label them "IWM TIME TRAVEL ANNUAL" or something like that.)
THIS IS IMPORTANT: paste the story directly into the of the email.  

III. Make sure you have the rights to the stories and it'd be nice if it hadn't been published somewhere else.  

Word limits? Who do you think you're talking to, here? Because there'll only be a few weeks to read them, shoot for somewhere between 1 and 1,000 words, but if you go longer, by all means, go longer.

Still reading?  Good.  Here is WHY you want to get in on this!

8(a)2.: The stories we like the best will get put into the anthology and you'll be a published writer! 

C: There are prizes! Specifically, the story picked as best by the IWM gang will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card and the Runner Up will get a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

So there you have it!  I look forward to getting those stories.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

We should respect Kim and Kanye's privacy by never watching or talking about them again. (Why I Hate People)

Because they clearly want privacy for their highly-publicized wedding, as shown by the fact that Kim called a press conference to announce that they will not I REPEAT NOT be televising the wedding!

At the highly-private public press conference, the very-private person whose entire life is filmed by multiple cameras told all the super-private reporters for websites and magazines that AND THIS IS AN EXACT QUOTE

"Privacy is our main priority."

Pictured: A private moment, as seen in Playboy.

They are SO SERIOUS about the privacy of this non-wedding (they won't exchange vows and actually got married on May 4) that EXACT QUOTE TIME Kim told The Daily Mail

We are not filming our wedding for Keeping Up With The Kardashians....You will see everything leading up til and after! 

Again, the reason they're not showing the ceremony is they are already married and have been for 18 days, plus they cannot legally marry in France under French law.  But you know, privacy.

So if you want to respect Kim and Kanye's wishes, don't pay any attention to them. If you still want to send them a little gift, maybe do like Kim's ex-boyfriend Ray J, who is sending the happy couple a check representing a portion of Ray's profits from the sex tape he made with Kim that made her famous.

I call this "Privacy 2: Electric Boogaloo"!

All I Really Need To Know I Learned From People Talking About Kim Kardashian's Divorce. (Why I Hate People)

I don't have time for a new Why I Hate Kim and Kanye today, so here is the post I put up back when Kim's last fake publicity-stunt marriage fell apart.  I'm pretty sure it'll be applicable to the May 24th ceremony, too.


Back in the fabled time we now think of as "the 80s," every assumes that life was all feathered hair, popped collars, and guys cutting the fingers off of their gloves

for no real reason, and that life was simpler and easier back then, what with Reagan being still 75% alive and Bill Cosby having not gotten all old and bitter.

But people forget that the unenlightened denizens of that darker time didn't have all the answers, like we do today, and frequently forgot all the important things in life, which is why they needed reminding of the things they needed to know to live via the awe-inspiring idea "All I Really Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten."

That simple idea -- that in kindergarten we'd learned everything we'd ever need to get by in the world -- took the 1980s by storm, even though it was published in 1988 and therefore was a little too late to do anything about all the bad ideas that had already been spawned by the 1980s:

But, late as it was, it's fair to say that Robert Fulghum's simple poem inspired the world, and for decades after the publication of his book of essays, we no longer sought out excesses, we no longer were mean to each other, we did not wage unjust wars or help trample the dreams of millions to enrich ourselves.

Which is why we were, until this week, living in a veritable paradise where people shared, and ate warm cookies and cold milk, and flushed, but then, this week, as we all know, the entire equilibrium of this and every other universe (yes, even that one where everything rhymes with orange) was upset when the unthinkable happened and a celebrity marriage turned out to not be based on romantic notions of love at all!

Never mind that, by my count, 99.9% of all marriages are based not on love but on other emotions, less fanciful, less poetic emotions like "She was the first and only person who would sleep with me more than once" or "I'll show my sister who can get married first," (both of which are lesser-recognized emotions in the pantheon but are still valid): whatever the standards we set for our own marriages (low, judging by the fact that Mexico now thinks 2 years is about how long anyone can stand to be married), celebrity marriages are something different. Something beautiful. Something for us to aspire to. Something for Americans to watch since we foolishly gave up having our own real royalty over 200 years ago and now live empty dreary lives.

Celebrity marriages are more than just a way for someone who stored bat guano in her house to legitimize our view of her and somehow become a U.N. ambassador and "role model" in spite of all evidence to the contrary; celebrity marriages are how we, as a people, made sure that traditional values of love, and romance, and four-hour TV specials, were still respected, here in the United States and probably everywhere else in the world but who cares about them because we now have forty-nine different states where it's totally legal to go into an elementary school carrying a concealed shotgun. (USA! USA! USA!)

Until this week, that is.

Past celebrity marriages never failed to live up to our standards and ideals. People like Britney Spears and Jennifer Aniston and...

... and other celebrities who got married*

*I'm kind of the wrong person to ask about this, in that I don't really know who celebrities are. I'm far more likely to remember the name of Jaggers' clerk (Wemmick) than I am to remember the name of the girl who played in those vampire/werewolf movies (Kate Beckinsale, whose name I only know now because it came up, improbably, in a work meeting yesterday). My go-to celebrity informant is Sweetie, who knows everything there is to know about celebrities, including, importantly, who they are. I asked her on the spur of the moment to name famous celebrities who got married famously and she gave me "Britney Spears to that Jason guy who lasted a day; Prince William and Kate; Khloe Kardashian, Brad and Jennifer, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise..." before petering out, which, in retrospect, is kind of a disappointing performance from Sweetie.**

**After a few minutes she added "Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. And also I realized that Brad Pitt and Angelina never got married, but I'm not going to go back and change the post at this point. It's too late for that. We march onward! USA! USA! USA!

invariably served not just as conduits for our own frustrated emotions (Why can't I get paid $20 million just to run around on a movie set and fight Jonathan Rhys Meyers? Besides the fact that I can't act and am out of shape to the point where I look like I might be kind of melting, I mean?) but also as symbols of our highest ideals ($600,000 on a dress? USA! USA! USA!), but all that changed this week when America -- and, probably the world, but, again, who cares? Let them deal with Greece, we've got our own crisis going on right here! OCCUPY WHEREVER IT IS THE KARDASHIANS LIVE! -- began to feel that perhaps it had been duped by a celebrity marriage.

And we were duped, and that outrage you feel is not just regular ol' outrage, but a white-hot-burning kind of outrage that can only be inspired when Americans really truly really honestly have something to be mad about, like Netflix increasing their price by about twenty bucks a year, or Kim Kardashian making more money off people who can't understand why it was so dumb to let her make any money in the first place.

What happened this week was more important, I'd say, than every other thing that ever happened in the world, combined, judging by the outrage and talk and sheer amount of time I'm assuming The View spent talking about the Kim Kardashian divorce, and you're probably expecting me to make some point about how weird/stupid it is that people could devote so much energy to talking about the Kardashivorce when there are serious things going on in the world, like whatever it is Greece is up to, but I'm not because I, perhaps alone among people, understand that this is more than just Ewoks blinking, which, important as that was to denounce, wasn't quite as Earths-shattering as the news was this week.

The Kardashivorce (TM), as I said, upset the equilibrium of the multiverse, an equilibrium that had been established back in 1988 when, after exactly 1,988 years since God created the world, we'd finally learned how to live. Now, we stare bleakly into exactly the kind of post-apocalyptic world we've always dreaded and imagined, albeit one that admittedly has fewer zombies than recent pop culture would lead one to expect, but a post-apocalyptic world nonetheless, a world in which the rules have changed and nobody is sure how to proceed. 

What should we look up to? What ideals will hold true in this new world? Will there still be Oreos?

Those are the questions that all week long, humanity was afraid to ask and nobody had the answers to... until now, when I have painstakingly pored over all of the coverage I could bear to read about the Kardashivorce, and gleaned from it a new set of rules for us to live by in this Brave New World*4

*4: Suck it, Aldous Huxley. You can't copyright a title. USA! USA! USA!

that we are about to march into. And I have put them together into a little poem I call:

All I Really Need To Know I Learned From People Talking About Kim Kardashian's Divorce.*5

*5: See footnote 4, Robert Fulghum.
Always make sure your marriage outlasts the engagement. It's more embarrassing to get divorced after six weeks than it is to get married after 10 months.

By the same token, it is irrelevant which lasted longer, the most important commitment you can ever make, or a stint on Dancing With The Stars.

No matter what happens to you in life, the biggest problem you will face is what to do with the gifts people gave you.

Australia won't shelter you from criticism.

Neither will Las Vegas.

Television is no longer a reliable source for moral instruction.

Nobody likes an "Indian giver."

It's apparently okay to use the phrase "Indian giver."

Follow your manager's advice when marrying; follow your intuition when divorcing.

There is no right or wrong
. (That's a relief.)

Above all, do no harm to your brand identity.

Listening to the hoopla will only hurt the ones who post on Twitter about how supportive they are of you.

If you promise to give stuff to charity to get people off your back, you totally never have to go through with it.

Make sure that your heart is living where your mind builds its dreams, or some nonsense like that.

Angelina Jolie's poop smells like papaya.

The best way to avoid lots of attention is to go on television.

gentleman does not neglect his abs during times of stress.

It's okay to take advantage of your children if you mention that you feel awkward about doing so.

What famous people do should affect your every waking moment.

And, in the end, never despair, because no matter what you do, you will always be better than Paris Hilton.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Why I Hate People: The Kim and Kanye Wedding Series, 2! (TODAY: MURDER & SINGIN'!)

Yesterday, when I pointed out that you are a horrible person if you watch Kim Kardashian or Kanye West get married or otherwise help them make money -- they are horrible-r than you but you're pretty bad for helping them -- author P.T. Dilloway commented:

On the other hand they haven't invaded the Ukraine or sold 300 girls into slavery, so at least they aren't the worst people in the world.

To which I say:  Check out this CBS News headline from September, 2013 - -just 9 months ago!:

Kanye West performs for Kazakh dictator at grandson's wedding

The story goes on to note that Kanye got $3,000,000 for that one performance alone.

Less than a month before that command performance, the "Open Dialogue Foundation" published a piece in which they said

Recent events in Kazakhstan’s history have confirmed that all members of the political and financial elite, who, at one time, have gained influence or opposed the President, have now been eliminated. They have all either been assassinated,forced into political exile,or are in prison.

There's a lot of information in that article, too much to reprint here.  But here's an interesting paragraph:

On 1 May, 2004, Zamanbek Nurkadilov  [a former Akim of Almaty and the chairman of the Agency for Emergency Situations of Kazakhstan, as well as one of the trustees of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan] urged Nursultan Nazarbayev to take part in a public debate regarding the key issues in the country. But the President’s security entourage would not allow Zamanbek Nurkadilov to approach the podium. Three weeks before the presidential election, on 12 November, 2005, [Zamanbek] was killed by three gunshot wounds, in his own heavily-guarded residence.  The officially reported account stated that he had committed suicide, having fired two shots into his heart, and a final, ‘conclusive’ shot - into his head.

That is one tough former Chairman. Not many people could take two "self-inflicted" bullets to the heart and still need the killing shot before dropping.

So Kanye didn't invade the Ukraine or kidnap 300 girls. He just performed a private concert for a murderer!  Oh, well, okay then.

By the way, the $3,000,000 Kanye made? Just so you know how that stacks up, we are saving our money to try to get Mr F a service dog to help with his autism.  Service dogs can keep kids from running away (a pretty common problem with autism) as well as reduce their stress in unfamiliar situations to help keep them calm.  Mr F right now has to wear  GPS tracking bracelet in case he sneaks out of our house (again, as he did once before).

Service dogs cost about $25,000 apiece and families are generally required to contribute 1/2 the cost.  So Kanye's $3,000,000 could have bought 240 service dogs for families with special needs kids.

But let's be fair! Let's Google "Kanye West Charitable Donations"! Maybe he gives a lot of money to the poor already!

And... we've got:

The charity named for the rapper Kanye West that was intended to reduce high school dropout rates has closed mysteriously.  The charity filed tax forms as if it were a private foundation, but it does not appear to have been financed by Mr. West, instead raising the bulk of its money from companies and individuals with whom Mr. West does business.The charity raised an average of $492,000 and made total grants averaging $18,080 in each of 2007, 2008 and 2009, the last year for which tax forms are available. (Source.)
Business Insider and Statista summarized Kanye's "charity" graphically:

I mean, if you want to split hairs, technically, taking money from a murderer, lying about your charitable giving, and then going on to marry a famewhore urinal to help get you back in the public eye isn't quite kidnapping 300 Nigerian girls, but I think they'll all end up together on the same level of hell. *fingers crossed*

Why I Hate People: The Kim And Kanye Wedding Special Series!

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are getting married May 24th.  You probably knew that.

If you watch the wedding, if you buy merchandise associated with the Kardashians (including people who advertise on their show), if you buy Kanye West's albums or his shoes or whatever #(%&$ thing he's up to now, you are a horrible person.

Not as horrible a person as they are, but pretty bad, nonetheless.

All this week, I will show you why.  Here's


For Mother's Day, Kanye bought Kim a "wall of roses."

... and the money you give them by watching their shows, etc., helped buy that wall of roses.  Congrats!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mr Bunches: Poet Laureate

Not to be outdone, Mr F
found a rock that looked exactly like a fish.
We went to the Arboretum (basically a big nature preserve) yesterday for a walk, and about 2/3 of the way through, Mr Bunches was getting a little tired, so I hoisted him onto my shoulders, and as we walked he would grab at the leaves we were passing under.

He finally got one, and showed it to me, and then said:

"Dad, want me to tell you a story?"

I said sure, and he told me the story.

I was amazed.  Stunned, literally. I stopped walking and I said what?

He said it again, the whole story.

I said "Sweetie, you've got to hear this," and as they walked back I had Mr Bunches hold up his leaf so I could take a picture of it.

Once they got back to us, I said "Tell them your story, too," and he said it again and Sweetie, too, was impressed.

Here, transcribed onto the picture I took, is the exact story Mr Bunches told us: