Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ever Gone, Part One & Two

A new stop motion short by my brother, musician Dave "Debone" Troxell:

EVER GONE, part 1

EVER GONE, part 2

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Medicine Cabinet Recommends...

I haven’t been creating much lately, but I have been consuming. Here are some of the things that I've liked the best:

I Like Pixar:Lodo Grdzak shares some funny moments from a recent blind date, and gives props to the oft-overlooked director, Pixar.

McCain’s Hero: More Socialist than Obama !, by Timothy Noah: “Our aim is to recognize what Lincoln pointed out: The fact that there are some respects in which men are obviously not equal; but also to insist that there should be an equality of self-respect and of mutual respect, an equality of rights before the law, and at least an approximate equality in the conditions under which each man obtains the chance to show the stuff that is in him when compared to his fellows.” Barack Obama or Teddy Roosevelt? The title of the piece gives it away, but it’s an interesting point.

At The Mountains Of Madness, by H.P. Lovecraft: It's taken me a long time to get around to reading Lovecraft. Neil Gaiman's A Study In Emerald pushed me over the edge. I love this book. It's the kind of book that is fun to read when you're stuck in bed sick. I bought the Modern Library Classics version so I could read China Mieville's introduction.

Rauan Klassnik: I learned about this guy via Brian Foley's blog. Klassnik writes poetry and has posted a surreal series of dreams about one Ron Silliman, whom I thought was a made up person at first. Klassnik's posts would be interesting enough on their own terms, but the illustrations really bring it home.

The Right Stuff: An interview with Christopher Buckley. He admits to committing voter fraud at the age of 8, and describes himself as post-catholic. My favorite conservative.

The Keith Jarrett Trio performing My Funny Valentine:

I love Keith Jarrett. I think it's all the grunting.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Regardless of some of the terrible things many of us do to one another (and some of the terrible things we believe), most humans seem to be united in an appreciation for birds: The graceful and apparently miraculous structure of their wings, the stunning variety of song, and the ability to seemingly rise above it all, surrendering themselves to the conflicting drafts in the higher atmosphere. The bird has sunk into our collective unconscious as a symbol of freedom. A symbol of what could be attained, if only.

Consequentially, I find it informative that birds seem to enjoy pooping on statues.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

John Cleese on Sarah Palin

The American public not long after November fifth (provided McCain/Palin win the election): :I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique..."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Chinese

I think about all of the things
I will not be able to explain to my children,
and I shake my head.

at least they’ll be able to change their oil.

the crash course that they are on:
my car is only a little bit farther ahead.
So no cause for self-mutilation.

We can’t all be the Chinese: that wise race
We are always being told about
on vitamin bottles in our grocery stores.

what American could’ve intuited a healing factor
In the grain of the deer turd, or the stolen memories
that rest in the pistil of a rare purple flower?

what Canadian or Englishman would’ve thought
to see the increased sexual potential to be found
in a bowl of shark fin soup?

of course I am joking at the Chinese. I know
that they are as stupid as we, and that there is no
real we or they.

it’s just easier to look elsewhere for help
when the wisest person you have ever known
is terrible at parallel parking.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We're Never Alone.

The first time I realized how outnumbered we are as a species was when I was seven years old. We were playing soldiers in the backyard, and I lay down in the high grass in hopes I could ambush some of the kids on the enemy team.

It was then that I noticed a small white spider crawling up a blade of grass. It was so little that the light seemed to go right through it. I followed the blade of grass down to the dirt below, and saw a pill bug sauntering along. There were two other kinds of bugs--little oval shaped things--smaller than the pill bug, with long antennae and sandy colored shells with black stripes across them. A red ant crawled across my arm. I was surrounded.

I stood up, suddenly uncomfortable in such a sparse & subversive environment of tiny little creatures. There were other ones flying around, just over the grass. You had to squint a little to see them in the sun, but they were all over the place.

Then I heard the rapid clicking of toy guns accompanied by a triumphant crow:
“Bang, Bang, Bang, you‘re dead Spencer!”

I was so caught up my my reverie that I had let my guard down. the opposing team stole the flag from our fort and paraded it around my backyard, but I was mostly nonplussed. I had noticed an ant trail running up the side of my house.

That moment awoke me to the idea that there were systems…that life carried on around me without my knowing. In school I would learn that generations of species of insects would cycle by in my lifetime without my awareness. The ground was swelling with all of the little things. They could infest your house or your hair, lay eggs in your furniture, or crawl away with your food at a picnic. Like in a Yogi the Bear cartoon.

We're never alone.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Who Won the VP Debate?

As expected, Sarah Palin came out of the gates strong with a convincing win in the swimsuit competition, but Joe Biden came back fast with a startling upset in the sausage eating contest. It was a dead heat going into the spelling bee, which Biden won by default when Palin missed an ‘s’ while spelling Mississippi backwards. It’s harder than it sounds. When asked what fruit side dish best accompanies Haitian style fugu fish, both candidates stared blankly, but Palin picked up partial credit by feebly offering, ‘…apples?’ No Sarah, it’s toasted mango, but nice try.

Neither candidate passed the field sobriety test, and both candidates cited Marilyn Monroe as their favorite playmate, which means they don’t actually read the magazine.

Things were getting hot moving into the long jump, which Biden won handily (conservatives are crying foul this morning due to the fact that Palin was wearing a skirt and heels: how could she be expected to compete? Fair point.)

But just as things were getting really contentious, the two candidates burst into a moving duet of Islands in the Stream, which had the audience in tears, and on their feet.

Overall I would say the American people were the winners of this V.P. debate, because they got to see what their ticket’s candidates looked like under pressure. The other winner (of course!) was bipartisan giving. All of the proceeds from the post-duet drinking competition went to charity.