Stick a Note On It, That’ll Fix the Problem

There’s a door in the office that the building managers would like to remain closed. Lest there be any doubt, there is a sticky note in place to keep us on task.


All the sticky notes in the world won’t make up for the following facts.

  • There is a closer mounted on the door that moves with excruciating slowness and resists attempts to push it shut.
  • No one is going to wait for that.
  • Once the closer gets the door to the jamb, it sticks because the door is just a tiny bit too wide.

I pass by the door several times a day, and I dutifully pull it shut. I hope in my small way I can make it feel a little more secure.


Let’s Have a Concert

I don’t go out much. I go to work, and there are a few gatherings I attend as a matter of habit, but just going out to a show or something isn’t a thing I do lightly. It used to be my anxiety that held me back, but since getting that more under control I found that I really just prefer to sit and let the cats crawl over me to doing much of anything else.

When I heard that Cake was going to play in Ann Arbor, I had a momentary notion of going to see them. Then I remembered that would involve getting tickets, asking for a day off work to recover from a late night, and cramming myself for hours into a seat designed for use by a species that apparently lacks knees. But before I could entirely dismiss the thought I noticed that Wanda Jackson was going to open the show.

Wanda Jackson!

Jackson was a young country singer when she toured with Elvis Presley, who encouraged her to switch over to his kind of music. She became known as the Queen of Rockabilly with such hits as “Fujiyama Mama” and “Let’s Have a Party”. She’s one of the only original generation rockabillies still recording and touring.

I wrestled with the ticket purchasing site, put in for a day off to recover, and bid adieu to my knees. It was a terrific pair of shows that I’m damn glad to have caught!

Idiom is a Tough Nut to Crack

Phrases such as “that took balls” and “grow a pair” are problematic in today’s world. We’re increasingly aware as a culture that rigid gender roles and enforcing stereotypes hurt everybody, yet everything from courage to fortitude is still represented by testicles.

As has been noted by such eminent scholars as dedhed1841, it’s a terrible and ridiculous metaphor anyway. Sensitive hacky sacks aren’t really exemplars of rugged strength.

Nevertheless, I think that for a replacement word to catch on it should maintain the tradition of using a vulnerable anatomical target to represent toughness. It should just be something that the majority of people actually have.

At first I was enamored of the big toe. It’s completely senseless, and it sounds pretty funny.

“You’re gonna need some size 20s for those big toes, Carl.”

“You wouldn’t dare! Your don’t have the big toes for it!”

The problem with that is that we’ve just swapped sexism for ableism. There actually are a significant number of people who literally do not have toes of any size. Plus there are some whose big toes have been transplanted onto their hands as substitute thumbs, and the whole metaphor just starts getting sidetracked.

Then I realized that there was an obvious feature that most-but-not-quite-all people have.2 It can be made of glass or steel, it’s already in common expressions, and best of all it sounds ridiculous.

“Grow a chin!”

Plus, it’s great for substitutions in other masculine phrases.

“Chin up!”

“They plopped their chins on the table. It was a total chin waving contest.”

I think it could really take off, if I ever had the chin to try it.


1. I mean, probably.
2. I’m really sorry. This is the best I can do without putting any actual effort into it.

I Might Just Have to Work From Home This Summer

Since before the snow melted, the construction barrels and road signs have been popping up along every route between our house and work. We’d finally discovered a zig-zagging path around the work zones, so what happened?



There’s a construction sign that’s sprouted just across from our driveway. Well played, construction season. You are a worthy adversary.

Susan Oliver and the Green Girl Documentary

The first project I gave to on Kickstarter was a stop-animation short that has still not materialized after two years. Funding is always a risk, no matter how you go about it, so I lived and learned and developed better strategies for weighing probability of getting the promised return. (I’m still prepared to be pleasantly surprised; the erstwhile creator at least got in touch with backers a few months ago to apologize for delays.)

One project I liked enough to fund twice, first on Kickstarter and then on Indiegogo when a modest cost overrun required more support.

Susan Oliver was an actress, a pilot, a writer, and a director, but today she’s most remembered for slinking through the original “Star Trek” pilot with green body paint. George A. Pappy, Jr. wanted to share her story in a feature-length documentary called “The Green Girl”, and I wanted to see it. He had access to materials and interviewees as well as experience with putting a movie together, so it looked like a good bet.

Well, the film is slated to be released this year (it’s even in IMDb, for the curious), and the backer rewards have started arriving.

Susan Oliver Portrait

I’ve gotten two photographs from Oliver’s collection of promotional shots, one of which I’ve included above. I look forward to receiving my copy of the film now. At least I can fill the time reading all the comics I’ve gotten as rewards.

Film Diary: June

I’m at 222 movies logged for year, with half a year yet to go, so I’ll take a low count for the month readily. It was nice to have a good reason for the slowdown, but I’m afraid I was just working the long hours.

We finished the Harry Potter films, which we enjoyed. I also wrapped up the Andy Sidaris box set, which I found delightfully awful.

If there are any fans of screwy martial arts flicks out there, I recommend “A Chinese Odyssey, Part 1: Pandora’s Box”. It’s based on bits of the epic Journey to the West (about taking Buddhism back to India), but in tone it’s more horror-comedy. Fart jokes, excessive groin damage, fights with spider demons, and completely inexplicable goings-on. It’s fantastic. I’d recommend part 2′ except that I haven’t seen it yet. Maybe in July…

An American Ghost Story (2012)
Brothers Five (1970)
A Chinese Odyssey, Part 1: Pandora’s Box (1994)
Day of the Warrior (1996)
Enemy Gold (1993)
Fit to Kill (1993)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)
Harry Potter and the a Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)
Return to Savage Beach (1998)
Tarzan (1999)
Treasure Planet (2002)