All Nerd Review

December 1 2004

Today was a good day, until I got to work and suddenly, my brain folded in on itself, like some kind of sexy origami goldfish, which is beautiful, but serves little purpose as a brain.

And then a really cute girl came in looking for info on banned books. Like, really cute. And then she left, but only after telling me that she liked my lenticular Spider-Man ring. Because hot sweet jesus, nothing says ‘excellent in bed’ like wearing a Spider-Man ring, because if you’re wearing one, you really obviously aren’t overcompensating for anything.

That’s all I really have to say. I was probably rude and short tempered to everyone today, like that kid who asked me to sharpen his pencil. To my credit, he’d obviously intentionally broken the point clear off, as well as half of the pencil, and probably chewed on it a bit.


December 5, 2004 [note : I have no idea who this was about]

You want to know a perfect evening?

A perfect evening is encountering a beautiful woman at the library and getting in a car with her, heading south, and finding a wonderful little Thai restuarant in a small town, listening to gypsy jazz on the way and hearing her laugh until she’s out of breath. She stays until about 3 AM, watching bad tv with you and enjoying it, and when she leaves, your pet cthulu still smells like her.




December 24, 2004

During the worst of it, it seemed to make perfect sense to steal my grandpa’s car (since small town library pay does not a car afford) and drive west until I couldn’t go anymore, living on credit cards and diner meals and gas station bathrooms and a backseat full of Tom Waits and Pixies CDs. I have these elaborate escape fantasies, vanishing from the world, deleting myself, rebooting. Canceling my membership to the world. Not inserting another quarter to continue. Winding up someplace unfamiliar, some kind of black-clad drifter who saves a kitten from a tree and is never seen again. Playing the crane machine at some mid-western bowling alley and sticking the fuzzy results on the back window of the misappropriated car. One day, I will do this, without the car stealing part, and preferably with a pretty girl at my side to share in the adventures.


December 27, 2004

Here’s something that they really don’t tell you when you sign on to work at a library.

People will return books covered in the most foul, horrific, uncategorizable substances imaginable. A thin film of alien substances that the patrons exude, or betray the living conditions that they keep. I’m not talking about videocassettes that are returned covered in strange, yellow water. No. And I’m not talking about the books which were read by heavy smokers and exude cancer as you scan them.

I’m talking about speckles of barbecued sweat. Books doused in perfume and onion juice. Things that reek of flea collars and alcohol and skin. Skin doesn’t have a smell until you’ve had to handle a book covered in it and it stains your hands with the foulness of it, and you can only identify it as something that must have come from a person, at some point. Juices and powders and chemicals, spilled. And I…. I touch them all. And then, I smell the book, which probably makes me look crazy. Sometimes, I wash them off. Other times, I just shelve them right away to get them away from me before I get queasy. More than a few of these have surely visited bathrooms.

Because people are disgusting, disgusting things when they touch books, apparently.


December 31, 2004

So, I started Animal Crossing at around 8 AM today. I played until around 10:30. I took a meteorite from the lost and found, even though it didn’t belong to me.

Already, the similarities to my life have become disturbingly clear. The number of ‘bells’ that I must pay off to properly own the house in which I live is about exactly what I need to pay off on my student loan. Except the Sallie Mae Loan Raping Company doesn’t accept old clothes and oranges in payment, and I can’t just deliver a package to a crocodile and call it even.

I named my character Flank. He has a house all to himself, with a stereo, and a rug, and two Nintendo games. And a creepy, spinning meteorite slowly rotating in a corner, giving me cancer, probably. And still, he’s better off than I am.

Unfortunately, I arrived on Raffle Day, which means I can’t buy or sell anything, which is the main gist of the game. All I’m doing is writing haikus to reptiles and mailing them off, occasionally delivering an item from one town member to another and running around aimlessly, my pockets full of oranges.

While I was out, I swear I heard a lady call her two sons ‘Vincent’ and ‘Price’, and immediately decided that when I get two cats, that will be their names.

Once, I had to write a review of a really bad Nintendo DS game, because that’s the life of a blogger.


They stopped sending me games after this.

120105-06Yes, this is a Metaluna Mutant with nipples. Photo circa 2005.

Back in 2005, I wrote a little article on All Nerd Review about ‘Resin Rosebuds’ – little resin nipples that were designed to… ahem… augment Japanese Dollfies and stuff for those doll-lovers who were especially overzealous. These were made by my aunt’s boyfriend, a talented artist and sculptor who has since passed away. I’m also positive that they were a commentary on the strangeness of modern culture, doll culture, modern sexuality, and probably, Japan.

It’s always a little strange to see the ghost-website of those who have left us. How long will they hang around? Does the indifferent hand of the registrar hover for a moment over the delete button and drop, or move on?

There’s also another website that’s being maintained by family in memoriam for his works.

I met him once, when I was very young. He came on vacation with us to NJ, and put a quick end to my sister and I play fighting with sticks lest we eviscerate each other. And at the end of that vacation, he didn’t hear me knock on the bathroom door as he was getting out of the shower. My aunt wanted to keep his artificial hip, post-cremation. I’m not sure how that worked out, but only now do I draw parallels between this and the screws that I pulled from the fire after they went through my foot.

The internet reveals interesting things about people, alive and dead. Here’s a quote from 1995, as he was apparently an early user of various current events newsgroups.

“the plague will happen sooner or later

as a result of our over population, exploitation, and

destruction of the natural world, whether we like it or

not. it is time to face the facts and make plans to deal

with the crisis when it arrives. all the soothing talk of professionals is pure denial.”

I have two of his works, somewhere around here. I used this one heavily in my bad high school photography, which was all broken clocks, old keys, things wrapped in twine, dead bugs and incredibly poor contrast. This was at the very down of digital photography being available to non-professionals. I’ve always loved this heavy, bronze thing.

In a very ironic way, this photo is perhaps beautiful.


I wrote this back in September of 2004, but it’s one of my all time favorite articles that I did on All Nerd Review. It’s got funny stuff, it’s got music, and it’s generally pretty satisfying, as it’s one of the few articles that involved doing things that existed out in the real world, even in some small way. Please enjoy.


It wasn’t too long ago that I found a can of squid in my closet.

I do not clearly remember BUYING this can of squid.

Maybe I purchased the can in some kind of misplaced creative impulse. I’ve bought odder things under the pretense of creativity, though having a luminescent Jesus nightlight and 50 spools of thread have not yet proven useful in ANY way. I was, in fact, using dead octopodia for art and comedy at one point. Half of this comedic performance entailed pulling a dead baby octopus out of my pocket and cleverly proclaiming ‘POCKTOPUS!’ and waving it in the faces of attractive young women in The GAP, one of which actually ended up becoming my girlfriend for 2 years. It all ended when we realized that the foundation of the relationship – the proud display of a dead octopus and a lot of hot lovin’ – was actually pretty flimsy and she ran away. The other half of the comedy went something like this.


That phase in my creative career lasted about as long as an unrefridgerated octopus could. I disposed of them, but I still don’t explicity recall attempting to fill that particular void in my life with canned squid.

I don’t find the idea of canned squid specifically unappealing, as I eat all manner of seafood both cooked and uncooked, though I do have a personal policy of not eating things which include¬† instructions like, ‘pull head from body sac’. ‘Discard viscera’ isn’t too appealing either. It’s not that I wouldn’t eat these, I just that don’t trust myself to successfully pull something’s head from its body sac in one yank. It usually takes a bunch of small tugs and then some vigorous rotating, and by that point, I’d probably be either too excited to eat or at least leaving some squid brains behind in the body sac. This violates my second most important personal gastronomic policy, ‘don’t eat the parts of the animal that have possibly thought about you before’.


One of my earliest contacts with squid was probably this statue of Mario vs. the blooper. Something like this doesn’t really give a kid a good impression of squid. Mario is obviously unprepared for this guerrilla rectal exam, and even invincibility, granted to him by the golden star, will not ease the discomfort of the squid’s attack. In fact, this unprompted squid suppository has even shocked the invincible star itself, who, as we all know, directs snuff films and is very difficult to phase.

None of this brought me any closer to figuring out where this came from. SOMEONE paid $1.99 for this, but I was given no indication as to who the financial recipient of this transaction was, since the price label only said ‘GROCERY’. As for an expiration date, ‘MO NB M21B’ seems to be some kind of alpha-trinary code for ‘C’mon… Live Dangerously’ or ‘No, There’s Nothing Else To Eat’. These letters and numbers are embossed into the can lid, and can also be read by the squid inside, if they have the tiny flashlights or miner’s helmets that I imagine them to have. These letters and numbers are probably some kind of squid code so that THEY don’t forget when they go bad. I’ll open up the can, they’ll say, ‘Too late, buddy’, and we’ll both go on with our lives.

Along with the directions on how to eviscerate the little bastards, there are serving suggestions and nutritional information, and according to this label, squid actually have a negative nutritional value. For every serving of squid that you joyfully partake of, you can subtract about 15 minutes from your life. Caveat : these 15 minutes will probably come somewhere in the middle, and not in the already truncated final moments, when they’re pounding on your heart to bring it back to all of its clogged, pulsating fury. A mere 2 ounces of squid contain 90% of your RDA of cholesterol. From this information, top scientists have discovered that squid are actually composed of 90% pure butter and 10% assorted viscera, which are composed of margarine. They’ve also discovered that it’s safer to insert the squid directly into your heart than to consume them orally.

“Wel-Pac California Squid is already cooked. Once cleaned, cut squid into bite-sized pieces; season to taste with soy sauce and lemon juice. Serve chilled as an appetizer or main dish salad. Or, add bite-sized pieces of squid to salads, or soups, such as tomato and vegetable, for a light but full meal. For a quick main dish, add cleaned Wel-Pac California Squid to your favorite spaghetti sauce and serve over cooked spaghetti or rice. For additional recipes, write to : Wel-Pac Squid Recipes, P O Box 7251, San Francisco CA, 94120.”

Sounds like a plan. I was going to write them a letter. I’d avoid writing anything accusatory, criticizing their guerilla marketing techniques of placing their product in the back of my closet, and simply ask them for more recipes. I drafted a letter on July 22, and waited.


Meanwhile, I did some research.


I found out a few things. “4000 embryos”, and “Gary has no luck”. What does this mean towards uncovering the mystery of the squid? Well… it meant that I had to write a song about it. A sad, folkish song. Because that’s just what squid are into. Which you can download.

The infectious presence of the squid on my desk had infiltrated my brain, so with guitar and MusioMate, and a bit of remastering from my friends over at Headhat, I had a horribly mediocre song. Meanwhile, Wel-Pac/JFC International had responded to me! The responded with an array of recipes that I would, in all likelihood, never ever ever try, since my baked potatoes generally have cryogenically frozen cores, and bacon? Thousands have died from the undercooked wrath of my bacon. I somehow manage to reverse the aging process in cheese and actually turn it back through its delicate milky phases and into grass once again. I don’t know how this happens. Within the realm of the pamphlets, ‘Oriental Classic Recipes’ like ‘walnut spice biscotti’ never looked so right, surrounded by neon green clipart of Thanksgiving turkeys. My culinary expertise would remain firm in the country of chicken nuggets and Spaghetti-Os.

Am I going to eat the squid? Well, they’ve become something of a desk mascot. They’ve inspired a bevy of visitors to state things like, “Hey… he’s got a can of squid on his desk!”, or “Look! A can of squid! I don’t get it,”, which is perhaps the greatest compliment I’ve ever been paid, because I’m a horrifically undesirable human being. My can of squid is truly my most attractive attribute. So, until the can begins to bloat and rust, I have no choice but to keep them as pets. They’re low maintenance, requiring but a light dusting every so often, and my gentle, soothing words.

Plus, they’re probably older than me. At least I have a quick way out if things get too bad. I can imagine the coroner’s report, and their desperate attempt to turn ‘squid’ into a verb. The answer, of course, will be locked behind my cold, dead lips.