Thursday, July 28, 2005


The following information represents my personal wishes regarding the handling of my body and the final arrangements following my death. Wherever possible, I would like my family and friends to honor these wishes to the best of their abilities.

Existing Will
As of the date on this document, I have not yet prepared a Last Will and Testament. Therefore, this Funeral Wishes document serves as the most complete and accurate reflection of my personal wishes regarding the final arrangements after my death.

Body or Organ Donation
Preserve the large and complex organs covering the entirety of the body, such as veins, nerves, and skin. Do not monkey with the gonads. Excepting those restrictions, harvest at will. Indeed, do not hesitate to excavate some of the lesser organs, like glands and nodes. Any and all bones are fair game, except the skull, which should be shorn. Further details as to appropriate redressing of the head are found below.

Handling of the Body
Immediately following my death I would like my body to be placed into a hot air balloon, upon which a robotic pilot will fly my lifeless body high above the Sierra Mountain Ranges of eastern California. Upon my shorn head will rest a rainbow-colored clown wig. Inside the hot air balloon will be a portable CD player (battery operated) playing a mix CD of various songs of my choosing. Should I fail to produce an appropriate mix CD by the time of my death, and designated as such, I ask that my lifeless body be lifted to the heavens listening to Phil Collins' Face Value. The CD player should have a "continuous play" button and that button shall be engaged for the duration of the flight.

a) Robotic Pilot: The hot air balloon's flame shall be ignited by the robotic pilot and the pilot's duty shall be to keep the flame lit and to maintain an appropriate altitude. The pilot shall not direct the aircraft in any way and instead shall let the wind and breeze direct the course of the balloon, such as life. As the balloon's reserve of fuel is slowly and then finally extinguished by the intense flame keeping the structure aloft, and the balloon begins its final descent, there shall be no manipulation of the direction of the aircraft excepting the very real possibility that the balloon fall near or directly on a populated area. In this rare case, a small plane will be engaged with the task of piercing the balloon with a harpoon and dragging the balloon to an area of relative safety. Once the craft is in an area where it will fall to earth unharmed and without causing harm, either by its natural and undirected course or through the aid, in its last stages, of a plane-dragging, it is to be allowed to crash to the earth uninterrupted. The funeral will take place at the precise spot of impact, the details of which are outlined in the below paragraph entitled Final Disposition;

b) Care of Body: I wish my body to be outfitted in safari fatigues, as I believe that death is only the beginning of a new adventure. Binoculars and a canteen should be draped from my neck. As previously stated, I would like a rainbow-colored gag wig, as can be purchased from such places as Spencer's Gifts and other party-supply stores, to be placed upon my shorn head, representing my belief that life was and is fun and even in death we can show others the importance of the ethos of Bobby McFarren's anthem, "Don't Worry, Be Happy." I do not wish my body to be embalmed. If a post-mortem requires the consent of my next of kin, I would like them to give it. Feel free to go wild with the makeup and dies. In fact, do something a little nutty, what the hell.

Final Disposition
I would like my body to be buried under ground at a depth of nine (9) feet, at the exact spot of the hot air balloon's impact. I would like the following specific people to extricate my body (or body pieces) from the craft's wreckage and place it (them) in the gold-gilded casket which will be my final and ultimate resting place: my brother, T. S. Farmhand; my friend, King Koopa; my friend, Analogcabin Jones; and my lover, Rob Diener. My family and friends shall be transported to the funeral on the backs of motorcycles, all of which will be driven by professional motorcycle racers, so as to feel the wind in their faces and just in general feel really good to be alive and to appreciate the beauty that is life. The motorcycle drivers will follow the flight of the hot air balloon by any means necessary, including but not limited to such acts as off-roading, skying mad jumps, and portage to reach the final resting place of the balloon and, naturally, my body.

a) Casket: As mentioned above, my body shall be placed in a golden gilded casket, lined with chichilla fur, as it is incredibly soft. Do not remove the safari fatigues or rainbow-colored wig, as this is the preferred appearance I should like to maintin on the day of my funeral and for all days in the afterlife. At the moment deemed most appropriate by my brother, T. S. Farmhand, and before the casket is shut and lowered into the ground, I wish to be handed a sceptre. Both hands shall grasp the sceptre and it shall lie on my torso and in general make my body look both more stately and intensely powerful, like a king in olden tymes. The top end of the sceptre shall be a small globe, made of glow in the dark material, which will keep my casket alight for perhaps a day or two so as to provide me with my bearings in the darkness of eternity;

b) Eulogy: I wish there to be no religious text read or repeated at my funeral, as I was conflicted on the issue of religion while on Earth and wish in my death not to be tied down to one afterlife or another. Rather, I wish the attendants at my funeral to form a ring around my casket, hands clasped, and sing the song "Heal the World" by Michael Jackson, not so much because I believe in the redemptive power of music to heal the world, as it were, but rather I believe that I would find the sight of my friends and family singning that song together rather hilarious, and would like the performance to be yet another demonstration of the oddness, humor, and strange beauty of life, which I think we can agree is something we take for granted.

Execution of Funeral Costs, Expenses, and Responsibilities
All wishes contained herein shall be planned and executed by my aforementioned lover, Rob Diener, whose responsibility, efficiency, and diligence are such so as to inspire my confidence in his abilities, even in my death. I would like the total cost of my funeral to be kept under $5,000.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


The other day my groovy bud David showed me a little documentary about Andrew Bird. I thought it was so entirely bitching that I implored him to throw it up on the old internet for the select few of you who are cool enough to know a good thing when it bites you, mightily, on the ass, to peruse for your own pleasure.

Seriously, watch it. Oh, and it's an MPEG-4, whatever that is.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Watch these commercials. All of them. If I could be any living filmmaker, I'd probably be Errol Morris. Well, maybe not. He does seem relatively neurotic. I suppose I should say that I'd like most to make the films he makes. For instance, news has reached American Mastodon HQ that a new Errol Morris box set has been released to the ignorant and unappreciative American public. This couldn't make me happier, as I view "Gates of Heaven" and "Vernon, Florida" as two of the best films ever made. And lookie!! They're in one box together!!

If I had any nerve I'd go to Harvard and work with him and make movies or I'd go back to Indiana and make my own movies, but I don't have any nerve so there you go and yes I will fax those documents for you, Bob, and why yes, I will try to get Mr. So and So on the line and by all means of course I will file these old documents for you.

Also, in a somewhat related vein, I'd just like to say that I don't care what any of you namby-pamby liberals have to say about "Historical Misrepresentation" or any such bullshit. Mel Gibson fucking rocks and is becoming the most independent and daring filmmaker of our time. Put that in your ACLU pipe and smoke it, muthatruckas.

He's like Herzog if Herzog believed in an ancient sect of the Catholic Church and played practical jokes on people and was just in general real dashing and such.

Oh! One more thing - this short story is fantastic.

If you type "George Saunders" in Google Images, this is one of the pictures that you get.

UPDATE!!! For the sake of science, please take this test to ascertain the social class you were raised in based upon the items found in your living room. I'll have to wait for corroboration from T.S., but my calculations put my upbringing at a 79 (working class). Geesh, and all this time I thought we were high-falutin aristocrats!!

Friday, July 22, 2005


Here is a fish story.

Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Youngest soldier in the Civil war from Kosciusko county was Thomas L. Hubler, who enlisted as a drummer boy a year after his father, Major Henry Hubler, was called to arms. Hubler was a member of Company E of the 12th Indiana Infantry. He was an uncle of Logan H. Williams, publisher of the Warsaw Times and Union. Hubler lies buried in Oakwood cemetery.

Delving into the records, the WPA workers found that one of the four men who captured Jeff Davis, president of the confederacy, is now buried in the Leesburg cemetery. The man was Preston W. Brown, born on May 6, 1854. Brown died on April 20, 1910. He was a corporal in the 5th Michigan Cavalry.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Being as he was a gentleman farmer, one of the breed of men who traded stocks and bonds during the days of the working man's week and operating in that capacity as just so much grease and gristle thereby giving smooth passage and indefinite longevity to the cogs of industry and finance of the cities of this no longer new country, he also found himself, two days of the week, moving boulders and laying fence and cursing at the storm clouds that seemed always to pass over his land like a begrudged spectre punishing his dilettanteism with drought, in his effort to resist the slide into comfort afforded by his other profession, where he daily dealt with a seemingly endless parade of pusillanimous pretty-men; men more comfortable in the city's day spas and hair salons than in the hot sun of the country where the clarity of hard work was its own reward and where a man of his making could find, for some brief time, respite from the confusions of a life of spoils. His father had taught him to be hard on himself and when he grew older he discovered independently that the ethos was sound. Giving at the most even one inch often gave way to a further opening of the spigot of self doubt and from there sprang little else but what the hippies might have referred to, in their time, as an enlargening of the spiritual mind or what the now all too common, in his line of work at least, overeducated liberals of the urban upper classes would claim to be a greater understanding of one's self, things which he had never had much need of - possessing as he was, thankfully, a fair enough understanding of himself already.

And so it was in the harvest month of September, after driving the two hours to his stead after another listless week of talking and selling and buying and lunches and daydreams that he pulled into his long and winding drive, lit at this late hour only by the bioluminescence of the scattered fireflies that sparkled happily like stars in the reflection of a restless lake at night, their intermittent effulgence, he couldn't help but think, less now a fascination than an easy trope for the summer months in this part of America and, in turn, certain patterns of table cloths and over-sweetened lemonade and of that patriotism lost but which he had known and felt when he was younger; when America felt a collective gratitude among her citizens and a feeling of boundless hope, a teeming land of imbecilic Pollyannas and National Parks.

But then as his truck crawled ever nearer his house he noticed with rising alarm that something was amiss and so he parked to the side of the free-standing garage and killed the engine and listened with an uncommon intensity to the sounds of the Kentucky night around him, willing his ears to surpass their natural ability and focus in the direction of the front door, or rather what used to be his front door, being as it were in the possession of a two foot round splintered hole, from which spilled a turquoise haze of flourescent light. "I'll be jiggered," he whispered from his dry and leathery lips and reaching behind him and feeling with his hand for the blanket which covered at all times his Remington 870 pump action shotgun, the cold steel then soon enough in his hand and the blanket sliding like a Sunday shawl into the shadows of the space behind his seat.

Pressing his shoulder against the truck's door so as to muffle the sound as it opened, the man slithered out from his seat like a coyote shuffling down a hillslope, all the while holding the shotgun in his other hand and thinking to himself, "somebody came looking for trouble and found it." Pausing for a second outside the truck's door he pricked his ears again and thought he heard the word "Maybelle" though on second thought it may have been "Hey, Bill" but in his typical honesty he would've told you that he just could not be sure. With his eyes still trained on the hole in his former front door (now that he was no longer looking through his truck's grimy windshield he could see a faint black rim of still-smoldering ash), he slowly closed the truck's door and in so doing accidentally entrapped the end of his tie in the latch, which, it must be said, was not altogether an unfortunate mistake, as it wrapped the sound of metal clicking to metal in the gauzy non-sound of a wind that may or may not rustle dead tall grass.

Pulled close, the man found himself in something of a predicament, as he did not wish to again open the door to his truck. With resolute care he moved his free arm to the bulging knot of silk at his neck and began loosening it while in his other hand he held the Remington shotgun, lofting it high above his head so as not to invite the possibility of the firearm scraping against the outer panel of the truck. Sweating now from the southern summer's relentless humid heat, the man's fingers slipped on the knot and slipped again until finally he found an acceptable purchase and with his grubby nails dug into the fibers and slowly eased the necktie's tension. By this time the man's shoulder, the one connected to the arm holding the shotgun, had begun to grow tired and the gun, still held aloft, though now at a less rigid angle, wavered and swayed so that the man, from a distance, looked like some crustacean bobbing on a beach, displaying to his foe a superior fitness and signaling an intent to destroy.

More to come later...when I once again have no work to do...

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Is endlessly amazing and fills my smallish heart with whimsy.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Am really quite enjoying Plamegate. Seriously, as evil as those guys in the White House are, they're pretty damn good at being evil, huh? I mean, really good. Like, in twenty years when they make a movie about this whole thing, it'll all seem downright Ocean's Eleven good. Fine job, boys. Good on ya, Karl. Chin up, Dick. You've made a ripe fine mess of things, muddied the waters until we couldn't see our toes in the brackish water of your lies and deceit, and by Jove that of course is just how you wanted it. There won't be any resignations, any convictions, or any fallout for the Republicans.

And people, you don't know how strongly I want all of that to be untrue. You really don't. But I calls em like I sees em, and the hapless and spineless Democrats (and spineless journalists) have once again fallen on the sword of their slack-jawed incredulity - "them there guys did whaaaaa....?" Always a step behind, ain't ya, boys?

Moving on...

I've had a sore throat now for five days. Strep throat. How do I know? Because I know my own body, fools, and it knows me. Now, here's what's interesting: if left untreated for more than a few days, strep throat can turn into rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever! Oh, if only I were so lucky. Well, so far I don't think I've contracted that, as my joints aren't sore and irritated, I don't have a rash (besides the permanent one on my right thigh) and my heart valves aren't deteriorating (only my heartstrings and my heartstuffs - a consequence of long ago losing the capacity for love). Suffice it to say that I should probably go to a doctor and get some penicillin, if I knew what was good for me, which I clearly don't. Or is it that I do know what is good for me (namely, antibiotics) and just refuse to get treated? If the correct answer is the latter, then why, let us wonder, is that the case? Is it because I am lazy? Is it because I never listen to anyone about anything and just stubbornly and arrogantly assume that I can do things others can't? Is it because I'd rather wait it out until the glands on my neck swell to the size of veritable grapes, protruding like errant goiters and then writing about the aforementioned, gargantuan lymph nodes on my ever so unpopular blog in some sort of attempt to gain your pity, perhaps even your admiration as I struggle through the work day, painfully swallowing every thirty seconds, sipping a rancid cup of Theraflu?

Is it none of these things, my friends. It is simply that I wish to become incredibly ill at the hand of some odd and unrecognizalbe disease, and to then be treated by Princeton's most brilliant doctor, House.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Gun Bias

Editor, Times-Union:

Received a nice letter from Ervin Bolt Yesterday. Always good to hear from Ervin. We go back a lot of years.

Sent me a copy of something called "Imprimis." Called "The National Speech Digest of Hillsdale College." This particular issue deals with the media bias against guns.

Of course, that's only been going on since 1792 but it's gotten a lot worse since the United Nations has decided the Second Amendment must be repealed.

Strange, is it not, our founding fathers set up the First Amendment that the press might defend the constitution of the United States but all they seem interested in defending is their little portion of the First Amendment.

Going to bite them someday. Perhaps it's already begun.

Harold L. Kitson
Mastodon City

The above picture has nothing to do with the rest of my post, but is, nonetheless, quite an interesting portrait of a monkey in a tuxedo and top hat.

Monday, July 11, 2005


You know what's funny? This morning whilst watching Sportscenter I saw a pretty chuckle-worthy clip. Let me set the scene for y'all. It's the final minute of the WNBA All-Star game (wtf? basketball is a winter game, yeah?) and the West is totally dominating the East (man, I thought the East would really have a shot this year. In fact, most of my friends and I thought that the East was going to pull it out. For weeks we've been talking about this game, trying to guess who would win, by how much, who would shine and who would fold). With a few seconds left, Lisa Leslie gets the ball around the top of the key and, miraculously, the entirety of the other team vacates the lane. Leslie runs toward the basket, unguarded, completely fucking abandoned, and leaps for the goal - strains may be a better word - and, miracle of miracles, weakly dunks the ball. The crowd goes wild, for they have not once in their lives seen a spectacle of such impressive physical strength and agility.

Did anyone else see this clip? Did anyone else get the same feeling I did? That it was sort of like when, during the last play of a high school football game that has already been decided, the home team, who's trailing by an insurmountable margin, whispers something to the other team and then they hand the ball off to the guy who has just run onto the field - you know the one, he's retarded and he's never played a game in his life - and though he's retarded he's also big and burly and can run sort of fast and, most importantly, he's got an unending reserve of school spirit and for the first couple of years they let him be the equipment manager but during his senior year they gave him a spot on the team, largely so he could have a jersey like everyone else, but now here it is, the last game of the year, and the parents and the fans already have tears in their eyes, so out with the dagger, old boy, just shove it in there and give a little twist, really pull on those heartstrings, and as the other team stands there with their arms to the side, sort of playfully running after him, the retard puts his head down and runs for the goal - whoopsie daisy, old boy! there you go, the other goal - his arms flapping like, well, a retard, and now he's to the 50, and now he's to the 40, and the crowd stands up, cheering, "Run you goddamn magnificent retard, run like the wind, run like you've never run before!" and now he's to the 20, now he's to the 10, now he's, hmm, well, around the 15, okay, give him a little shove, there we go, now he's to the 5, then in the goal, and a siren sounds, confetti is shot into the air, the people in the crowd hug each other, for they have witnessed the beauty of God tonight, they have stood before his face and they have - together, goddamnit - they've given a young boy his dream, they've given him more than he could ever hope for, and because they have given it, they in turn receive it, they let the joy and hope and peace wash over them, they are - for a few moments tonight, in this crisp fall air, complete; realized, whole.

Or was it just me?

But really, what's funny is that I was going to write a disparaging post about women's athletics and, in particular, women's basketball, but I just spent about 45 minutes searching for a video clip of the dunk from this weekend's game and came up a bit short. Quite a testament to the popularity of the WNBA, I should say, that after typing in "Lisa Leslie" in Google, you rather quickly get the Lisa Leslie hairdressing salon of Edinburgh.

Hey, you can dunk a basketball! I bet you can read, too!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


A friend pointed out a neat little factoid earlier today and I couldn't help but share it with you all: This article describes the criminal history of the Idaho man recently accused of kidnapping and molesting a young girl and her brother. The man, during his time on this earth, has cut a wide swath of sexual violence through most of the Pacific Northwest. Most recently he has passed through Idaho and Montana. At the end of the article there is a quote from a woman who lives near the recent apprehension and who may, if David Lynch is actually the maestro of this great orchestra we call "life", know a thing or two about molestation, sex, and violence:

“You hate for this kind of thing to happen anywhere, but especially for it to happen close to home,” said Laura Palmer, a St. Regis gift shop employee and longtime resident.

Laura Palmer!! What the fricking heck.

And though I'm sure this information is priviledged and confidential, I wouldn't be surprised one bit if the Feds decide to put Agent Cooper on the case.

I'm back from the dead, bitch! And I work in a gift shop! Kick it!

Meanwhile, back at the cafe, Dale Cooper has a cup of strong coffee and looks over his notes.