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Archive for July, 2009

Who Needs Auto-Tune?

July 29, 2009 7 comments

If you looked at me, you’d probably say, “I’ll bet you have a lovely singing voice, and you are more handsome than most men.”  And you’d be right to take that bet, my friend.  You could be rich, in fact!  Filthy, stinking rich, and no one would be able to stop you from oppressing the poor or throwing sour milk onto orphans!  I don’t have that kind of money yet, and that’s why the police took the orphans’ word over mine.

Are there really still such places as orphanages?  And if so, do they still serve porridge?  Exactly what IS porridge, anyway?  I always imagined it to be like Malt-O-Meal, but maybe a little lumpier.  Still, that M-O-M is some good breakfast eats.  You don’t really hear about Malt-O-Meal any more, either.  It got a bad reputation after all those kids went blind.  Oatmeal’s really making a comeback though, right?  They’re putting oatmeal in everything nowadays!  Why, just the other day, I say oatmeal in a small individual pouch within a box for sale at the grocery store.  So maybe not “everything”, but at least boxes (and pouches).

Speaking of oatmeal, let’s talk about this lovely singing voice of mine.  It’s really very nice.  And melodic.

Also, you may have heard about a recent controversy surrounding something called “Auto-Tune”.  It’s my understanding that “Auto-Tune” is a product, machine, or mythological creature that processes a singer’s voice, and removes the pitch inconsistencies.  Some people (“idiots”) think this ruins the true artistic feel and quality of music affected by Auto-Tune.  I personally don’t care, so I’m going to leave the topic alone entirely.  I’m not really sure why I even mentioned it in the title of this post.  To satisfy your cravings for tasteless humor and my depressing brand of self-deprecating humor, here’s a video.  At least it has to do with singing.  Enjoy!

I hope you made it all the way from the humble beginning to the big surprise finish.  Now, just for kicks, I’m going to throw in a few popular search terms to try and boost my blog’s hits a little.  Pardon me.
Auto-Tune

Miley Cyrus pregnant

Explosive, pus-oozing sores

Billy Ray Cyrus pregnant

Doug Flutie, and by extension, Flutie Flakes

kittens+rainbows+explosive, pus-oozing sores

Cyrus, King of Persia pregnant

Kelly Clarkson+ate+a whole stick of butter

Stairs of Glory

July 27, 2009 3 comments

I don’t believe I have to say much about this video, because it speaks for itself, and I can be all but guaranteed you will watch this over and over again until you’re blue in the face, yelling at me to clean the inside of my car.  Maybe you don’t know exactly how messy my car is, but if you did, boy would you scream.

It’s like a tornado of ballpoint pens and gum wrappers tore through my automobile.

Much love to Derek for filming this video.  He had a steady hand.  I did the post-production myself, and the video editing is again seamless (that is, if you consider a jigsaw puzzle to also be seamless).

I also want to thank my parents-in-law for allowing me to film this in their basement without their knowledge or approval.  Most of all, I’d like to point out the bruises right above both my knees, a silent tribute to the personal agony I put myself through to entertain you.  I hope you’re happy.

I’m not trying to guilt you.  I really hope you’re happy.

Live well, my friends.  I will return soon with another video from that same night, but without the bodily punishment.

Categories: Video Posts

Thieving and Leaving: A License Plate Mystery

July 11, 2009 2 comments

Let’s take a trip back in our groovy time machine to Tuesday, July 7th, 2009.

I parked in a public parking lot, which of course costs money, because it’s “Downtown” and everyone is trying to make a dollar anyway they can (including terribly immoral ways, like selling drugs, sidewalk gambling, and daily paid parking).  I, being a total cheapskate and questionable dresser, decided to start parking a couple blocks away from my workplace in a $4.00/day parking lot.  Most other lots cost between $5.00 and $7.00 on a daily basis.  There is a feeling of security at any of these lots, because there is a large police station no more than 2 blocks from all of them.

On Tuesday, I was out of $1 bills, so I put a $5 bill into the $4.00 box.  I was parked in spot 22.  In case you’ve never used one of these parking systems, here’s an explanation of how it works: You park in any spot in the lot (as long as it isn’t reserved), and each spot has a number on it.  Then, you walk to a big metal box with a bunch of slots on it.  You put the corresponding amount of money into the slot which is marked with the identical number as your parking spot.

As I was leaving work on Tuesday, it was raining like CRAZY outside.  They were huge drops that probably had tiny rocks in them.  Fortunately, I had brought along my man bag for the first time, which happens to carry a very compact umbrella.  I had helped a couple of my co-workers (who were without umbrellas) reach their cars in relative dryness, then hitched a ride back to my car.  When I reached my car (still in a torrential downpour), I noticed a ticket on my windshield.  I peeled the sopping wet paper from under my wiper blade and started on my way home.  As I read the notice, I took note of several important details:

1. They said I didn’t pay for my parking that day

2. They were charging me $10.00

3. If I didn’t pay up in 14 days, they would charge me $75.00

Because I’m positive I had paid that day, I decided to write a letter of protest to send in with my check.  It read something like:

To Whom It May Concern,

I received the enclosed parking ticket Tuesday, July 7th, for non-payment in parking.  I distinctly remember putting a $5 bill into the appropriate slot for parking space 22.  The irony of this is that I actually overpaid and am receiving this notice for non-payment.  Please check your records to see if I had perhaps accidentally put the $5 bill into the wrong slot.  If you find that I have received this notice in error, please call me on my cell phone at 816-555-1234 (In retrospect, I should have left my actual phone number).

I hope you rot in prison someday,

Paul Ryser

The next morning my way to work, I dropped my check in the mail, and went on to my job.  You’re going to kick me right in the butt for this next part, as I did myself.    I decided to park in the same parking lot (and the same spot, now that I think about it) I did on Tuesday, despite the slap in the face I received from the lot owner.  Hey, it was still only 4 bucks, right?  What’s $10.00 between friends?  (Or, in this case, mortal enemies.)  Again, I had another wonderful day at the job I absolutely love, and left without incident.  I double-checked my windshield to make sure no ticket was staring back at me, and sure enough, none was.

Now, if only I had remembered to check the front and back of my car to make sure no one stole both of my license plates in broad daylight 2 stinking blocks away from a gigantic police station.  Darn, I forgot to make sure today.  Usually it’s all I think of when I’m leaving work.  I did not notice this important tidbit of information until I was back in my home city after getting a haircut.  So, I suppose I can’t be 100% sure that my plates were stolen downtown, but when I ask myself, “Do my plates have a greater likelihood of getting stolen in a suburb across from a Wal-Mart, or downtown across the street from a business that sells bail bonds?”

When I got home, I looked up the number for the KCPD so I could file a police report.  It’s actually very difficult to find the number for filing reports, because the only number they really make available is the one to call when you (or someone else) have been murdered.  That’s probably because that particular number gets used so much in that city.  Because of their high volume of calls at that moment (probably all homicides), the filing officer told me she’d have to take my name and number, and call me right back.

3 HOURS LATER, I thought it might be a good time to try calling back, to see if the murders had slowed down a little.  This time, I got a different officer, who referred me to call a different number, probably the station nearest to which the crime occurred.  This was about 9:15 PM.

I promptly called the newly-received number, and I kind-sounding woman answered.  “I need to file a police report.  My license plates were stolen today,”  The lady who was supposed to take my police report (read: “the lady who is paid to take police reports during the shift in which she is receiving wages”) replied, “I’m getting off in a few minutes, and the new shift will be here soon. Can you call back in about 15 minutes?”  REALLY???  This really just happened?  I’d have insisted she take my report anyway, since that’s her job, but I knew she would just do a half-complete job if I did.

I realize that stolen license plates aren’t the highest priority on the list, but it’s no wonder to me why KC is a cesspool of petty thievery and entitlement mentality.  My guess is that thieves know to steal things at 2:15, because all the cops will be “getting off soon”.  The police are saying, “Take whatever you want!  I get off in a few minutes!” or “Can you wait 15 minutes to steal that?  The new shift will be on by then.”

I called back, hoping I would get to talk to someone who actually works for a paycheck.  The lady I reached this time was much more helpful.  She said it would be a couple of minutes, because she was working on another report.  I was on hold for about 5 minutes, then she got back on the line to take my name and phone number so she could call me back.  Thankfully, she did, and I filed my police report with (any more) incidence.

Let’s go to Thursday.  Of course, I drove Claire’s car to work, because my car didn’t have plates.  I made sure to park in a parking garage, where people would actually be passing by, and question someone if they were taking someone’s plates off of their car.  After work, I hauled tail to my local DMV to get them replaced.  I burst through the doors at about 4:55, leaving 5 minutes to spare.  I have promised myself I will never leave them outside in the elements (the criminal elements, that is) again.  On Friday, I proudly drove my car to work, with the plates on the inside of my front and back windshields.  I have to go today and get new screws for my plates, because the thieves took them, too.  As much as I would love to keep my plates inside my car (and hide them under a pile of sweaters every time I park), it is illegal to do so.

Alas.

Thanks for sticking around through 1,300 words of story.  May this never happen to you.