Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Batman Identification Guide

Last night, I had a "coming-home-from-college reunion" with one of my high school buddies. We watched Pretty Woman, then (for lack of anything better to do), we starting watching the 1943 Batman series. Oh yes, check this out. 

All I can say is "Holy shit." I had no idea The Batman came from such humble cinematic beginnings. The whole series was quite entertaining, not for it's film quality, but because we could MST3K it the whole time. I felt like I had a wedgie just looking at The Batman's outfit, his belt was basically all the way up to his man-nipples! 

The only other Batman movies I've seen are with bad mother--shut-yo-mouth Christian Bale in The Dark Knight (2008) and Batman Begins (2005). Seeing the 1943 Batman as such a loser who gets beat up all the time was shocking. Little man-child Robin saves his ass at least once per episode. It got me wondering how Batman has changed (other than dropping the "The") throughout his cinematic career. His enemies as well.

1943: The Batman
What they were wearing...
Who they were fighting...
Dr. Daka 
(Most definitely a white dude. 
Terrible makeup. Terrible accent.)

1949: Batman and Robin
What they were wearing...
Who they were fighting...
The Wizard
(Just weird.)

1966-1968: Batman (TV Series)
What they were wearing...
(Ambiguously Gay Duo!)
Who they were fighting...

Most recurring villains: Joker, Riddler, and Penguin
 But also Catwoman,
King Tut,
Marsha: Queen of Diamonds
(who is wearing what I can only assume is a giraffe suit)
and many more!

1989: Batman
What he was wearing...
(Michael Keaton)
Who he was fighting...
 The Joker (Jack Nicholson)

1992: Batman Returns
(Still Keaton!)
Who he was fighting...
Penguin (Danny Devito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer)

1995: Batman Forever
What he was wearing... 
(Val Kilmer)
Who he was fighting...
Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and The Riddler (Jim Carrey)

1997: Batman & Robin
What they were wearing...
(George Clooney & Chris O'Donnell)
Who they were fighting...
 Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and Mr. Freeze (Schwarzenegger)

2005: Batman Begins & 2008: The Dark Knight
What he was wearing...

(Christian Bale)
Who he was fighting...
The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) and The Joker (Heath Ledger)

This list is in no way comprehensive. I didn't even get into the animations, Batwoman, Batgirl, Bat-mite, or Bat Hound. 

Now I must go clear my web-browsing history because my computer feels like a dirty little nerdlet. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to Ruin a Dog in 12 Easy Steps

With my time spent owning dogs, I've come up with the perfect owner's manual entitled:
How NOT to Raise Your Dog.

Despite my overwhelming sense of embarrassment and shame, I will now relate the horrible tale of the one and only dog I've ever had so you can learn from my mistakes.
Do whatever is closest to opposite for each step and you should turn out fine.

1. Be in 5th grade. Be completely obsessed about getting a dog. Make sure that the only thing you think, talk about, and dream about is getting a dog. Nag your parents relentlessly until they submit. Success in this step will ensure that it will be easy to complete the following steps.

2. Don't do any research. Don't look at breeds, don't read about training techniques, and certainly don't go meet any dogs to see what traits you're interested in.

3. As soon as you hear of a litter of accidental puppies in your area, go meet the puppies when they're a week old and haven't developed any personality traits yet. Also, while you're there, get really attached to a specific color of puppy. (It's important that this litter was unexpected by the "breeder" because that will ensure that they have the largest possible chance of not being well cared for. For example: being raised in the garage rather than a family room. Another good sign to look for is that the breeder has no idea what mix the puppies are. Responsibility at work!)

4. Take your puppy home when she's four weeks old. This won't cause any developmental retardations or issues later in life. Things like bite inhibition aren't important anyway. She probably doesn't even know she's a dog!

5. Whenever the puppy whines at night, make sure you go coddle it for hours. Eventually move from your bed to sleeping on the floor so you can always be with the puppy.

6. When you start losing too much sleep from sharing a bed with a puppy, put her in the cold downstairs bathroom. This won't shock her, going from human contact 24/7 to being alone for over 8 hours at a time. Cover the entire floor with newspapers, thereby relieving yourself from any blame for potty "accidents" and forgoing the need for any actual house breaking. (This step is important because it will seal your dog's fate of living outside for the rest of her life.)

7. When your family gets angry about not being able to use the bathroom, move the dog outside. At this point, note that the strange mix of breeds your mutt is must've included St. Bernard or something, because she's about 70 pounds already, and still growing!
Good thing you did your homework!

(Step 7 1/2 - Get her spayed at some point during this period. Vaccinations too. This will be the only responsible thing you'll do for her whole life!)

8. Move the dog, since she's far outgrown her puppy-kennel, onto a running lead strung between two trees. Also make sure that she will have access to your mom's flower beds for convenient digging sites. Since you haven't taught her any proper chew-preferences and probably haven't given her any toys, boredom will set in. This boredom will lead to problem digging everywhere in her reach (which your parents will love, especially when the dog uproots your mom's prized peony for the umpteenth time). This boredom will also force her poor canine mind to command her to chew on trees for entertainment. That's normal!

9. When you get home from school and she is jumping and getting her huge muddy paws all over you, don't make her sit and be calm before you let her off her lead. Unclip her quick and run away before she gets you again, thus teaching her it's okay to behave like an imbecile. (Also, when it's time for her to come back, yell at her and run after her. If you ever catch her, immediately put her back on the runner. This series of steps will ensure that she learns never to come when called.)

10. Once all these behaviors have been set, around 6-8 months, try to start training her. TRY being the key word here. At this point, from being alone for so long, she will have developed no human bonds, therefore she won't consider praise and petting as reinforcement during training session. You will have to use food rewards, and find out that she is completely driven by food. So much so that, since you taught her it was okay, she will be only too happy to mug you for treats and kibble alike. A great trait for a 90 pound dog.

11. You can try other types of training, but at this point, since you're 11 years old, there's not much use. You've pretty much ruined the dog. You're scared of her. You don't have a relationship with her. (And years to come, when you try to write down all the things you did wrong, you won't remember half the time you spent with her.)

12. Fib on the online classifieds, using weasel-words like "enthusiastic", "food-oriented", and "energetic" to con a young couple into buying her. (Just for shiggles, check the same classifieds a week later and find her for sale again, with the ad being the same as yours verbatim.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Stuck Between a Sock and a Cold Place

Did you know, women get colder faster than men do because, apparently, our only purpose in life is to be a baby oven? All our body heat goes to our core, to protect an organ that won't be used more than two or three times in our lives, if that, leaving our hands and feet freezing.

A limiting factor to your warmth, is budget. If, for example, you are a poor college student and are trying to save money because you have a supernatural addiction to chocolate and coffee, it is natural to turn the thermostat down. (Chocolate is very important.) Unfortunately, being poor causes the house to hover at less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. (Funny story though, I used to hate how cold my house was when I still lived with my parents. But when I went back for Thanksgiving this year, I went into a state of shock because it was so hot. Yay for acclimating to frigid conditions!)

Combatting the bone-chilling temperatures that accompany winter in the Pacific Northwest, one has many options, whether you have a uterus or not. Here are some plausible options:

You can kill two birds with one stone by brewing up a molten-hot mug of hot cocoa. Hold on to this mug until you're almost certain your palms have melted, then chug the cocoa. Repeat until you fall into a sugar coma and forget about being cold.

Curl up and pile blankets on yourself. Bribe your roommates to put on a movie for you, then promptly fall asleep. Wake up and realize your hungry, but know that the 10 second stroll to the kitchen isn't worth losing the body heat. Go back to sleep.

Another option is learning the art of layering. If you weren't fortunate enough to be born into a geographical region that only occasionally goes above freezing in the winter, then I will learn you the ways henceforth.

You will need the following: undergarments (optional), a long-sleeved shirt, fleece pull-over sweatshirt, cotton hoodie, fleece pants, wool socks, a scarf, slippers, and a warm beanie.
1. When you get back from classes, or work, or whatever you've been forced to squander your day on, place all the aforementioned items in your bathroom.
2. Take a steaming hot shower and dry yourself as quickly as humanly possible.
3. Undergarment yourself, quickly jump into your fleece pants, and pull on the base layer shirt. Doing these two primary layers first will result in minimal heat loss. Tuck your shirt into your pants. If you're one of those rich kids who own a hairdryer, this is the appropriate time to use it.
4. Then put on the wool socks. Now you have the option of either tucking the socks into your pants, or tucking your pants into your socks. If you're 100% sure that you will not see another human being for the rest of the day, go with the latter option.
5. Put on the beanie. If you're a poor kid without a hair dryer, omit this step until your hair is dry.
6. Put on the fleece pullover, the scarf, then the cotton hoodie. Make sure the hood is up and pull the strings to make sure not heat can escape from your head.
7. Then put on your slippers and huddle with your roommates.

Remarkably, this exact process, minus step seven, is how I get dressed for bed now too.
Just as remarkable: as soon as you complete the process, you almost always have to pee.

After I drew this, I realized that my inspiration came from A Christmas Story...
If you can't put your arms down, you're doing it right!