I get the feeling conservatives might be racists

I saw this on Facebook, and thought I would run it past you. Maybe you could help me out.

It reads,

Just wanted to let you know, I received my 2011 Social Security Stimulus package today. It contained two watermelon seeds, cornbread mix, a prayer rug and 10 coupons to KFC. The directions were in Spanish.

It reads a little bit like the person is making a racial joke about our president being a black, Muslim with a soft heart for the Spanish language.

I’m not sure, though. 










Everything Must Go

On Friday night, Tina and I watched Will Ferrell in Everything Must Go. The movie is categorized as a comedy, or maybe a dark comedy. And while it’s funny, it’s difficult to pull out the comedy while watching.

It’s a somewhat depressing parable of sorts. The funny is in-between the cracks of a down-and-out story about an alcoholic who must literally get rid of his baggage of life and vice so that he can move forward. The idea isn’t a far cry of what could happen to you, or someone close to you, not necessarily alcohol addiction, but misfortune that only perseverance can overcome.

In this story, it’s happening to someone else, on screen, in an implausible way. Just because it’s implausible doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you.

What’s great about Everything Must Go is that it really is funny, but you won’t catch yourself laughing out loud too much. Parts of the movie get lodged into your mind and replay like a hyperbolic echo. I’ve chuckled a couple times since watching it.

The correlations that you can make into your own life might tough you at times, deeply, and that’s what makes the movie good.

Ferrell keeps his comedy in between the lines on this one. It’s effective. The work is more literary than spectacle.

Ess In Elle


Emma Stone at the Zombieland world premiere at...

Emma Stone was spot on funny. She played all her characters hilariously.


Coldplay have proven that they are amazing live performers — at least to me. They are entertaining and talented. I might not like all their music, but I love seeing them perform.

One highlight from the show was in the news. If you’ve been watching the last couple years, there’s a bit with Kristin Wiig and Fred Armisen (Garth and Kat) in which they are a singing duo. Seth Meyers gets upset, because he’s under the impression that they are rehearsed songs that they sing. But they improvise their songs … hilariously.

Armisen makes up the words and Wiig follows him trying to guess what he’s going to sing. It sounds dumb, but it makes me laugh large laughter.

Last night, Chris Martin from Coldplay joined them for a song or two. It will definitely make the Christmas Highlight reel.

You can view a Garth and Kat Valentine episode here.

Xina catches painted leaves

I had to share a couple photos that regular reader Xina took around her neighborhood. She lives in Asheville, NC, which is one of the most beautiful places on the east coast. The falls are spectacular. Unlike Chicago, where you have to be in the right spot at the right time to catch a beautiful tree, because five minutes later, a strong gust will blow off every leaf in seconds.

Photoshoot tomorrow

Tomorrow my photography partner Bill, Tina and I are shooting a model in the studio. It’s a test shoot for some new equipment we’ve been buying. I’m really excited about it, and hope to do a vLog for you all to enjoy as well.

Car Accidents

Earlier this week, a childhood friend of mine was in a major car accident. He broke his neck, collarbone, bruised his face and cheeks, and bruised his lungs among a laundry list of other issues. He left the ICU yesterday, and is having major surgery today.

His family has updated Facebook several times, praising God that he’s alive, and they are asking for prayers.

Even as a young Christian, I remember when I decided to stop saying, “I’m praying for you,” as I remember comprehending that it doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. At the hight of teenage religious fervor, I started simply saying, “I’m thinking about you in this tough time.” Of course, I prayed my ass off for the person or people, but vocabulary is important to communication.

And now as an atheist, I don’t believe praising god for saving someone’s life speaks well for belief. I mean, if God were there, why didn’t he really protect my friend? Why didn’t he “wrap his arms around him” as his car flipped several times and left him in this iffy state? What if my friend’s quality of life is going to suck from here on out? Wouldn’t it be better if god brought him to heaven, so that he could watch his daughter grow up from above, and his loved ones would know they’d see him another day in the afterlife?

How is thanking god a plus again?

What happened to my friend was what happens to a human when a car flips and nature takes its course on the human body inside a two ton bucket of metal, plastic, oil and leather.

Why did God wait until recent history to provide the hospital infrastructure to help keep a person alive after something so tragic? For that matter, why did god wait 100 years to develop vehicle safety standards that probably helped save my friend’s life during the accident?

Technology and science are to thank for my friend’s saved life. Imposing god into the scenario renders god a silly, powerless being without the power of foresight and empathy for “his creation.” And if he allowed my friend to get hurt to prove a point, that speaks even more of this deity’s sense of humor and understanding.

I don’t believe that people should thank god in these situations, because it’s bad PR for the “all mighty.”

Phew, that’s enough of picking on the invisible for today.

Pack your bags, we’re going to Bali in February

My lovely wife has a major birthday coming up. And for this landmark birthday, I’m buying a HUGE roll of wrapping paper and covering a box the size of Bali to give to her.

We’re going there in the middle of February, when the snow and cold is deep and awful in Chi-town.

Thank science that we’ll be able to get there and have a blast, celebrating Tina’s life and love. She deserves it, and I can’t wait to see her face when she pulls the paper off the gift.

Put some plastic down, here’s an orbital time lapse that will blow your mind brains all over your floor

Check out this awesome time-lapse moving through space that is sure to impress you. You’ll have to go to gizmodo to watch it, but come back and let me know what your brains look like since they’ll be spread around the floor around you after watching.

About the video:

The video, compiled by Michael König, combines “photographs taken with a special low-light 4K-camera by the crew of expedition 28 & 29 onboard the International Space Station from August to October, 2011.” König says the video is the result of some post-production tweaking—it’s been “refurbished, smoothed, retimed, denoised, deflickered, cut, etc.”—but there’s no software gimmick that can match up to being slapped in the face with the Aurora Borealis in HD. I wanted to file this under “looks so good it can’t possibly be real,” but this is the real deal—all the goods come straight from NASA. The only remaining question is, why does earth look so impossibly spectacular from up there, and so mediocre from where I’m sitting?

Thanks, Xina!