Tuesday, March 30, 2010


now i'm not a particularly religious boy (despite my current and past reading habits), and despite my lack of faith, i do take annoyance to those of the militantly atheist variety...

BUT i found this particular scene (taken several weeks ago while driving thru Wetumpka, AL, with my mom) a bit amusing. behold, in all it's glory:

that's right kids, you thought it was bad when your mom joined Facebook (hi mom!). unless you want to be smitten (in the bad way), please resist the urge to "poke" him (or invite him to your Farmville/Mafiawars game). though surprisingly, despite the son of God's infinite wit and wisdom, he doesn't have more followers on Twitter).

further reason to start your own social media blackout. don't worry, i was probably already going to hell for a lot of other reasons.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

warning: pure the-awesomeness ahead.

alright, last week the SP trailer wasn't available, so i'm finally posting it for all of you who DIDN'T already see it (as further testament to my belief in this movie's inherent awesomeness given the original source material):

Thursday, March 25, 2010

finest hour.

seriously. you're totally lame if you don't read Scott Pilgrim. but that's OK. you've still got a few months to get caught up before the final installment (volume 6) is released this summer:
again, this is one of the best comics for people who don't read comics. if you don't understand my obsession, read this post.

otherwise, i guess you can wait even longer and see the movie in August (directed by Edgar Wright + starring Michael Cera). did i mention that the trailer was released today?

but you know what they say, the books' always better.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the big red [socialist] robot

so Healthcare reform's been signed into law. what's changed? not much (yet). but i wanted to post something relevant. so here's a BIG RED ROBOT:

symbollic? i guess it depends who you ask. maybe not of the legislation itself, but the tone/chatter surrounding it.

seriously, i continue to be appalled at the "OMG socialism" rhetoric that a LOT of my fellow Americans are still spouting (sourcing from media talking points).

first, the bill (now law) is hardly socialism, considering it drives more $ to the incumbent interests/businesses. and it is hardly a "government takeover of healthcare" - it's pretty watered down legislation. 

but more importantly, let me say this here (as i've said before):  
socialism is NOT entirely bad. 

sure, some of the outcomes + abuses in certain parts of the world/history are pretty ugly. but you could say the same about capitalism (Michael More certainly makes an interesting case). there are evils to either economic philosophy - but mostly when they are left unchecked. positive outcomes actually can actually come from either (innovation, protection, mutually assured growth/benefits), but usually when they are done IN MODERATION.

but rather expounding on the benefits of socialism, i'll rely on other, more articulate folks to do so:

2. some other random post (enlarge image below)

(thanks to Sean T. + Bob A. for sharing these, respectively)

however, just to be "fair and balanced", i'll also share a recent rebuttal to #2 (which i found online while seeking #2's original source). what i actually LIKE about this rebuttal-of-sorts, is it shows that you have to have a little of both to move forward in a somewhat positive direction.

the danger lies in the extremes, and we should be wary of those who sit at either end. but we do ourselves a disservice when we scream rhetoric from either end of the table, without choosing NOT to seek the middle path, which is something Buddha believed in , and he was a pretty smart guy.

but he sure didn't have a big red robot.

Monday, March 22, 2010

thanks for the...money bomb?!?

today it's morning in America. and i got 2 things in my inbox to greet me as i wiped the sleepyness from my eyes.

first, a sincere thank you from our friend Barry (awww):

and then, this:

...and of course i just HAD to click the link to see what this "money bomb" was all about:
ok, so irregardless of my own political sensibilities, i find it offensive to see the latter communications going out on behalf of one of America's (once) great political parties (you can't make this stuff up, despite my screenshot for history's sake, go see it for a limited time only at gop.com/firenancypelosi).

it's sensationalist, jingoist, propaganda-filled fear-mongering. do i have a problem with them wanting power back? no, not really, that's their constitutionally-protected right. but i do expect them to act in a civil manner that won't incite the worst in some of our fellow countrymen (that's the job of the pundits + the respective-leaning media, NOT THE PARTY ITSELF).

seriously, i thought we were all grown-ups here. is this what it's coming to (i only shudder to wait for the other party's inevitable descent into this madness). when did we as a country slide so deep into this much blatant BS (and when will 1/2 of America start seeing these officially-sponsored ads on Fox News and other network affiliates...after American Idol, of course)?!?


Friday, March 19, 2010

can you see the difference.

while i'm sure it's fairly obvious where i stand on healthcare reform, that's not what this post is about.

i still subscribe to, and receive emails from both parties (from my earlier observations during the 2008 elections). i'm currently getting about one email a day from each group. but i think it's striking to note the tonal differences between the two:

stimulating the tee-conomy

i have an addiction:

...tho i guess the first step is admitting you have one.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

an epic of epic epicness.

i don't normally get excited about movie teaser posters (ok, maybe with a few exceptions), but longtime RamanCoke fans know of my Scott Pilgrim obsession. and now, the live-action debut is becoming more and more of a reality, thanks to indie director Edgar Wright. there's only one way to describe how i feel right now:

...you may now return to your regularly-scheduled piano-improv-chat-roullette.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

green things that are the awesome.

given the day, i've decided to list some green things i find awesome:

Green Lantern:
he has a power ring that allows him to do pretty much anything he can will. fly. create energy constructs. translate stuff. talk to people far-far away. change clothes. oh, and he's a member of an intergalactic police corps with a gazillion other sentient beings like him. also, one of my favorite t-shirts to wear (bc it looks like a random simple, and other nerds get it immediately). seriously, how can you question the awesomeness?

Green Arrow:
 like Batman, he has no powers, just raw skill. unlike Bats, he's not psycho obsessed. if anything, Oliver Queen is a total "power-to-the people", "fight-the-corporate-fatcats" lefty liberal that's fighting for the people. nevermind the fact that he used to be a millionaire industrialist (he gave that all up), and the mayor of a town. he runs around in a costume with a bow and arrow. did i mention he's best buddies with Hal Jordan (aka Green Lantern), and they once went on a cross-country road-trip to rediscover the American dream? game, set, awesome.

the Green Hornet:
ok, he kind of sucked. but on his TV show, his partner was Kato (seen left), played by Bruce Lee. and Kung Fu is kind of, no, pretty awesome.

Green M&Ms:
"i hit singles when i eat the brown ones. double with yellows. orange, triples. and with the green ones, i take the ball dowwwn towwn!"
i'm sure you remember this ad from your youth. and then your adolescence, when you learned the real metaphor of baseball and M&Ms. awesome.

Green Trees:
most of them are much older (and bigger) than either you or i. they protect us from the elements - wind, water, sun. they convert CO2 to O2. some of them can even make food! and if no one's around when one falls in a forest, they don't make a sound (how considerate). this is the only awesome environmental reference i'll make in this post.

Kermit the Frog:
i shouldn't even have to explain his awesomeness, bc i know you agree. next awesome, please.

Green Eggs & Ham:
 "I will eat them in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good, so good, you see!
So I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a mouse."
Even beside a possum, 
I like them bc they're awesome.
"And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!"

the Green Revolution:
seriously? a democratic protest of the recent sham-elections in Iran? i kind of wanted to wear my own green armband to show my solidarity with their awesomeness (and what they faced in the sheer un-awesomeness the Iranian government displayed back).

Green Blood:
 because Vulcans have it. and it's logical how awesome they are. law of transitive awesomeness applies here.

Granny Smith Apples:
delicious, and nutritious too. since i was but a wee lad (like how i did that for this post?) these puppies have always been my favorite (not to be confused at the produce aisle with their lesser cousin, the Golden Barficious). mostly because of their intense sour flavor that beats any piece of candy. and that, kids, is pretty awesome. 

Green Eyes:
let's face it, they're pretty exotic/hot, especially for those of us ethnically  predisposed to brown eyes (242,325,526 years from now, we're all going to have dark skin, black hair, and brown eyes). a related funny (awesome) story though. in high school, i decided to get a free sample of green contacts. one day, after a run, a (blonde, female, attractive) friend stared deep into my eyes, and the following exchange occured:
friend: "whoa, you've got green eyes!"
me: "yep."
friend (looking closer): "no way! those are green contacts!"
me: "nope."
friend: "i can see the circles around your eye!"
me: "well they ARE contacts, but clear ones. i actually wear brown contacts normally, bc my parents are ashamed of my green eyes. they got too expensive so i stopped getting them."
friend: "really?!?"
me: "yep."
she then started telling others about my eyes and parents. unfortunately, it all came crumbling down when i it was time to throw out my sample green contacts. also, there was immediately a sharp decline in my own personal awesomeness, to which i credit my immediate decline in success with the ladies, which was never regained until i got my Green Lantern t-shirt.

alright, that's all i got. time to go find some green beer. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

joining the masses.

i'm one of you now. but we'll get to that later.
(my old office, day 6)

today i say goodbye work from home (WFH), and the past 13 months of my professional existence (oft-numbing, but has become strangely comforting). usually, when learning of my (now previous) resigned fate/state of office, many would often ask/wonder if they could do it. usually their past WFH experience was limited to a few random days, once in a blue moon, when it was snowy outside, the repairman cometh, they're sick, OR just had too much to get done.

WFH full-time is a totally different story. 

imagine if you had to do it EVERY day for a week. then make it last a few weeks. then a few months. you slowly begin to to lose perspective/dimension, given the minimal contact with the outside world, save your speakerphone, the internet, the mailman/dogs upstairs, and your girlfriend at the beginning/end of the day (both the emotional trough and peak of an otherwise placid day, respectively).

but it's not as bad as it sounds. especially after you've gotten used to it.

in case you wondered what a typical WFH day would entail, allow me to enlighten you:
-roll out of bed. 
-find pants. put on pants.
-walk into den/corner office - turn on laptop, open drapes.
-bathroom: wash up. start brushing teeth.
-den/office: setup VPN to the company (still brushing teeth). start outlook.
-bathroom: rinse.
-back to bedroom - select tshirt. check calendar (on phone, bc computer/outlook is still booting).
-kitchen: ponder on breakfast. pour a drink.
-den/office: open gmail. check woot/teefury/google reader (having long ago dropped the inAnity of facebook/twitter from my daily routine).
-see who's made it to work yet (on gchat/communicator).
-scan work email.
-start day (spent mostly on the phone, but usually anchored to the safe, warm confines of the confines of the box that is my home office)

alternatively, for the 1-3x/week i went into the City for work:
-wake up (earlier). put on more respectable clothes (usually ironed the night before).

-throw some fruit in baggie.
-put on coat (otherwise known as the "power jacket", which, until several months ago, was a thrift store piece leftover from a long-past halloween party).
-select a book/magazine for the ride in.
-find my shoes.
-grab my bag.
-check for wallet/phone/keys.
-lock door.
-walk (or run, depending what time it is) 7 minutes down the hill.
-stand on the train platform.

-wait (don't make eye contact).
-catch my (express) train on the ride in, i'd dart in + out of email/reading materials, stare out the window at the Hudson, nodding in and out of a sort of awakened slumber that always seems to leave me groggy by the time i arrive to...

-Grand Central (the most beautiful stop in NYC, IMHO):
-ride the subway. have NYC's sheer diversity punch you in the face (don't make eye contact).
-outside of the day's meetings, the rest of my city-day is parked at a desk for the usual work fill of emails, conference calls, free coffee, etc.
-when in the city, i also always (try to) find/make time to catch up over lunch/coffee with a friend/work colleague - whether at my own company, a partner agency, an interesting startup, or just a NYC pal.

no more.

as of today, i'm one of you now. one of the 9-5 working stiffs.
-up in the morning. wash up.

-pants (freshly ironed) on.
-make sure hair/face is presentable (beyond the the scruffy dishevelled look i sport in my box to scare away young children, make TSA officers suspicious, and attract the liz-adies).
-sit down for a short breakfast.
-put on an (ironed) work shirt - TUCKED IN.
-grab my bag.
-walk to the car (parked 5 mins away in the village lot).
-for 30 minutes.

-dart in and out of NPR, a White Stripes album (that's in been in my car cd player for far too long, considering i only drive the infernal machine to move to the day's designated side of the street), and new Tom Petty anthology on my phone.
-keep an eye on traffic (the slow commuters surrounding me are like sheep to my wolf).
-look out for cops.
-make sure i don't miss my exit, or hit an old lady. 

-arrive at my destination
-find a parking spot. 
-deal with security. 
-wander the cubicle maze that is my new office domicile.
-social interaction.
-drive home.

how do you people do this every day, each way? is this any way to live?

for perspective, in all my grown up years i've always minimized my commute. way back when in highschool, i spent my latter years at a boarding (nerd) school where i lived on campus, and often rolled out of bed to goto class. in college, i (mostly) lived on campus, walking into class/work each day. for grad school, i just got an apartment on the fringes of campus - a 10-15 min walk in. when i got a job and moved to cincinnati, i got a flat on the bus line, and walked out like a schoolkid to the busstop every morning, listening to music, reading my magazine, and yes, sometimes running to the corner when i saw the bus fast approaching. i eventually moved into a townhouse that was closer, on even more bus-lines, and a 10-minute bike ride downhill to work (the ride back hom from work - was a forced workout UP the hill...at least on the days i didn't put my bike on the bus or con a friend/girlfriend to pick me up for dinner). and when i lived in Asia? a pleasant walk to the MRT (metro) station one stop to my urban high-rise office.

bottom line: i've never had to commute via car. and the past year upon moving to NY had afforded me the most pleasant commute - either rolling out of bed or take an express train. and now that's over.

so, long gone are the days where i can:
-make a fresh sandwich in the toaster oven at lunch. 
-find something on TV for lunch.
-walk around the apartment on speakerphone and mute for conference calls (if i sit at my computer i inevitably get distracted).
-listen for the mailman come in and excitedly rush down for the day's mail.
-go for a leisurely midday walk or to the gym.
-NOT leave the apartment during inclement New York weather.
-get the laundry/dishes/random apartment cleaning done.
-stop working to write a blog post when inspiration hits. 
-organize/upload pics in the background. 
-slide around our apartment's hardwood floors in my socks.
-make a fresh cup of spiced chai (when done right, a 30-45 min process).
-sit on the bouncy ball at my 'home office' (desk wedged in the corner of our den).
-ride the train.
-have fun working/playing in the City.

oh, work from home, how i'll miss thee.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

t-shirt quilt!

if anyone ever questions my girlfriend's pure the-awesomeness, i will just show them my belated xmas present: 
(click to enlarge)

that's right, i finally got my t-shirt quilt made! to ensure the quilt came out just right (the right mix of colors, shirt-types, etc), i put together the below draft layout. the result? a tactile, practical re-application of ~15 years of worn-memories...from 53 (now-unworn*, but still-cherished) t-shirts from bands seen, events held, and other assorted randomness (10 which i had originally designed in my creative quest to influence my peer's wardrobes and get free shirts as a youth).

so next time you stay over, you know what will be keeping you warm on the couch. and if you want your own, i'd highly recommend CampusQuilt.com (as neither of us are taking up quilting anytime soon). though be warned, it was not an easy (nor cheap) undertaking. i'll probably wind up making another quilt (or two) 15 years from now (no thanks to Threadless and TeeFury). but for now, i'm a happy (and couch-warm) camper. 

*(maybe i can use it as a cape?) 

Friday, March 12, 2010

where's my jetpack?

a few years ago i bought my first (of many) shirt from threadless.com:

i loved the premise about the future. it's 20-freaking-10. despite my becoming an adult over the past decade, my comic-fueled nostalgia has often had me asking the question, in the second line of the shirt - "where's my jetpack (or hoverboard/flying car)? aren't we supposed to be in the future, or does it continue to elude us?

well friends, that day is over. our kids will no longer only dare to dream to be like Boba Fett/Buck Rogers/James Bond (Thunderball). thanks to the fine folks over at Martin Aircraft, they can have their own jetpack:

you can read more on the jetpack here (i really hope this isn't the ramp up to an April Fool's joke). while it's affordably priced at a mere $86k, the more frugal-minded should not worry. they'll probably be able rent one on their next tourist destination, much like the many currently-operating Segway city tours.

you heard it hear first, kids.the future is NOW.*

*(well, in a few more months/years for this to make it to the mass market)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

clobberin' time.

other than an excuse to share one of the funnier interweb juxtapositions, this premise allows me to share with you, the loyal RamanCoke reader, what has quite possibly become one of my favorite art/literary sites (and one of the funniest titles). what's the deal?

"This website, now in its tenth incarnation since being launched in 06.1998, is an extension of a personal art collection of various [mostly comic book] artists interpreting their favourite literary figure/author/character that has been accumulated since 03.1998."

...whether it's the late Mike Weiringo sketching Harry Potter or Don Quixote, Mike Mignola's Dracula, Jeff Parker's Rudyard Kipling, Stuart Immonen's Mordecai Richler, Phil Hester's Yossarian (or Keith Giffen's), Gene Ha's Little Prince, Matthew Clark's Anthony Bourdain, Andy Helm's James Bond, Dr.Seuss, Rags Morales' Tarzan, or Josh Middleton's Hitchcock - you will be thoroughly impressed.

and if you're not, you're an uncultured dolt. and if you are impressed, and STILL happen to be an uncultured dolt (like me), handy links are at the bottom of each drawRing to learn more about the artist and/or literary figure featured.

pretty neat. wish i had thought of it way back when. but in the late 90s i was too busy listening to Pinkerton, pining futilely, writing underground missives, and using Napster.

sadly, the site does NOT feed the images directly into my RSS (to the relief of all my "share" friends on Google Reader), so i'm constantly have to click over.
UPDATE (13-Mar): i had emailed the site's purveyor about the RSS feed issue, and he just fixed it! how awesome is that?!? so now you have no excuse. subscribe, and start feel more cultured!


Monday, March 08, 2010

greener grass.

i have a friend who dropped out of MIT, turned DOWN a job with Google, and decided to start a company that will hopefully make us smarter about energy consumption (AND he's a vegan/Buddhist that leads by example).

i have a friend who left his job, lost face on TV, ran away to the silicon valley, and is now running for Congress (because he felt each of these was the RIGHT thing to do).

i have a friend who sold his share in an agency (he helped found) to start a local non-profit to bring creative arts to kids.

i have a friend who STILL works on one of the top brands in the world, and now is finding a way to give glasses to kids in need.

i have a friend who dropped out of high school, met/married his partner before most of us understood what that meant, started a family, and THEN started a local news movement.

i have a friend who quit his job to tell jokes for a living.

i have a friend who saw the world, got a PhD, and decided to go teach in the place we thought we were too big for. and he has a farm.

and what have i been doing all along? reading books. writing words. seeing the world. taking pictures. making lists.

that's all? can't, no, shouldn't i be doing more? it's times like these that i feel selfish. almost like Mark Renton from Trainspotting (sans the cool accent).

this month's random photo-blog.

it's that time of the month again:

no, not THAT time (though it should always be time for Ultra-man). i'm talking about the OTHER time. where i post all the random things i've been collecting off the interwebs (and real life). so
let's start things out with a...

...my ears are still ringing from what is probably the best use of word onomatopoeia i've seen (heard?) in awhile. unlike this beauty:

...which is apparently little known Riverdale resident Virginia Cleary, who's "so sexy that her walk is always accompanied by the sounds of Frosty the Snowman." you can't make this stuff up people.

speaking of Frosty. since the cold weather is quickly fleeting, i must share our newest (though recently melted) Tarrytown neighbor, the SNOW BEAR:

while we're in the spirit of holiday-past, here's a little Russian Santa propaganda for ya:

as for a final remembrance of holiday's past, some superhero (and villain) status-update
new year's resolutions:

let's continue with the yuks more intelligently (at least for those of you that read the funny-books like i). below is a compilation of the "Super Emo Friends" - click below to see some GREAT one-liners that pretty much sum up the inherent-relevant tragedy of thtimeless characters:

all of this has left me a BIT. emotional, as if i should be asking myself the bigger questions:

...that's right. i live in NY. where pants are now considered optional commuter/business attire

OR if you're a billionaire (substance-abusing) industrialist, you could wear this guy's suit to work everyday:

that's right, only $60 for a technologically enhanced suit of armor (Repulsor Rays, and it can fly!) in actuality, the $60 was for an original print i bought for my buddy Karl, who's quite the Iron Man fan, and has quite a few empty walls i'm trying to help populate. hey, not to brag, but the last time i spent $60 on something black & white, i also posted about it. i'm going to get all the mileage out if i can!

by now it's apparently clear that we've devolved into the random comic-book art section of the bloog. didn't think it would come this fast, did you?


(actually, only Michelangelo ever said that. this one's Donatello, the brainy one).

a comic artist's i've become quite a fan of (via his blog) is Chris Samnee. here are a few intereing b&w compositions of his i found pretty-the-awesome (of Ronin and Havok, respectively):

however, who these two are, i have no idea. i just found them cute (who knew papercrafts could be so much fun):

while we're being all artistic. the niche PhotoShop users in my fanbase will appreciate the following real-life depiction of the primary tool-of-their-trade:

who knew a comics could be so socially prescient (this panel from Marvel's Captain America was actually poking fun at the Tea Party movement)?

no Mom, we haven't gone ring-shopping (yet). i just find the above Green-Lantern inspired power rings (from the emotional spectrum, no-less) pretty-the-awesome. in fact, i've already got one. can you guess which (hint: it's not green)?

alright. on that note. it's probably best if we STOP.
collaborate and listen:

that's all folks! goodnite!
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