Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wonderful World of Clutter Year Two

Welcome to the second year of this blessed thing called a blog.
Presented for you today is the Minority Triangle of the B-Side.

And the wonderful fun of Sharpie Knuck-Tats...

It is with these fists that I shall punch through injustice and shatter glass ceilings. 

In other news...I name dropped the Judgement Soundtrack in my last post, but I realized that many of you will not download this album, even though it is awesome. So I thought I would find a video from it and present it for you in all of its early nineties Rap-Rock glory. 

Faith No More and Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.'s song, Another Body Murdered ranks high on the meowable song scale at 5 meows of 5. And that ain't bad. However, it also led to one of the worst genres of music ever of rap-metal featuring the douchiest of bands such as Limp-Bizkit, Korn, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the early nineties at its finest.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010


Ilustración de LoboImage by yotambientengosuperpoderes via Flickr
Well, the one year anniversary of the Wonderful World of Clutter was supposed to be a crowning moment of glory and achievement. But instead I am filled with piss, vinegar, bile, and a certain type of acid that corrodes the corners of the mouth when I spit.

However, there are lessons to be learned, some from the past week, some from the past year's worth of entries.

  • Lesson 1: Never piss off a resourceful minority, especially when he has a handlebar mustache.
  • Lesson 2: Don't imply that I am incapable of critical thinking.
  • Lesson 3: Never question the power of the NAACP.
  • Lesson 4: The Judgement Night Soundtrack is great anger management music, even if it gave birth to the worst genre of music ever conceived.
  • Lesson 5: When in doubt, ask "What Would Lobo Do?"
  • Lesson 6: Dignity is always found on a bronze statue.
  • Lesson 7: Wash, Rinse, Retreat.
  • Lesson 8: Bigots are not the only evil thing out there, for monkeys are always evil.
  • Lesson 9: Hey I joined Twitter...You should add me...there is a link to the side of this page.
  • Lesson 10: Furries are a scary. Nuff said. 
  • Lesson 11: Never overlook the significance of a discarded scrap of paper.
  • Lesson 12: If all else fails there is always taxidermy school.
So in closing this the first year of Wonderful World of Clutter, I feel it best to leave behind some of the vitriol while retaining the fire that keeps me motivated.  Thus I present two of my inspirations in life, Sifl and Olly. And while they sing the praises of Laser Eyes, I will keep my Laser Vision burning. Burning like 103 really hot suns. So there.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

The Blessing of Bigots...

Presented for your approval is an unmodified letter from the graduate school that recently rejected me from their program. I have made no changes to their letter.

I will let the Graduate School know you want your file retained for review in January for 2011-entry. 

We do not do final rankings or waitlists for the AEM UP program, so that information is not available.  From what I can tell, it looks like one of the primary reasons for your not being admitted had to do with your interviews.  There was concern about your science grades, but the interviewers reported having a difficult time pulling answers from you and that you had a “circular speech” style.  Linear, clear, quick, critical speech and thinking is an absolute must for nurses and there was some concern about your communication skills.  It was noted that you would likely make a good nurse, but that you may not be suited for the leadership role you would be ultimately be expected to assume as a CNL.  So, I think it ultimately came down to “fit” for the program, nursing and CNL, a not really your academic record.  Also, we only had about 8 seats left in the program by the time you were interviewed, so the applicants who met every single admission requirement andhad stellar interviews were selected for admission. 

I hope this helps you understand our decision.


Well? What to say? Let me begin with why I applied to this school's program. I am not a scientist; I am a student with a writing background, an ethics minor, with a long history of blue collar work, and a firm belief in working as a nurse for the sake of helping people. Nursing is not an job, it is a passion; it is a duty filled with hard work, emotion, and difficult choices. I believe in the power of narrative, that nurses should be able to talk to all people on all levels. On paper, the school I applied to wanted students with life experience, who came to the choice of nursing not out of necessity for a career, but wanted to do so out of a sense of compassion and duty. 

But why the claim of bigotry? I don't pull out the race card very often, but when sitting with my interview group and looking at the photographs of previous classes, it is apparent that the school wants a certain type of student--White, early twenties, women, or men who are tall, aryan, and fit the new Christian army model. As an Asian with a handlebar mustache, I don't look like them. I don't think like them. I don't talk like them. But that doesn't mean I would not be a successful student in their program.

What is "Circular Speech?" This is something that I find to be a nebulous answer to me as a request for a critique. There is time to give direct "Yes or No" responses. And there are times to tell a story. If someone wants to know about me and how I think, especially as a candidate, a story is how I will convey my information. The path won't be linear. The critical thinking skills are there, which the letter implies are absent. But it makes me question their intent--do they want people who are successful nurses, or exceptional middle managers? A successful nurse should be able to communicate with a wide variety of patients, from the youngest of children to the senior citizens of all walks of life. This is an accomplishment I have met with much acclaim. But since I didn't get on my knees and give these administrators blowjobs I am out of luck.

I am a story teller, and I believe that nurses should be able to convey information to patients in a variety of methods. When asked about my leadership style, I told them that I don't believe in being a dictator, that I don't believe in strolling blindly into a situation and delegating tasks to individuals with more experience than me. I believe in discovering peoples strengths and weaknesses and finding out what they want from a leader. Do they want an advocate or an administrator? A dictator or a delegator? But of course this didn't matter.

Let me present a hypothetical. Let's say that an individual who didn't speak English as their first language was interviewed as a candidate. Try as they might, they may fumble over their words, use cultural idioms that don't make sense to Americans, and struggle with the linear answers required of them. Why, because different cultures process information in a different manner. I come from a tradition of story tellers. The aphorism, the fable, and the morality play have been how I learn. When talking to my former patients about the complex experiments they participated it, I could prattle on and on about binaural processing, signal to noise ratios, noise cancellation, phase differences, or I could break it down to something very understandable, "You're going to listen to the sounds of Pong for science, but it gets tricky. Here's what we are looking for..."

One of my interviewers stated she had not reviewed my file in three weeks. How do I respond to any questions from a person who makes a statement like this when they haven't taken the time to find out about me as an applicant? From the look on her face, she made me seem like a burden. I hate nothing more than to waste someone's time. If she had taken the time to read my essay, to look at my MAT scores, to see the diversity of my resume, and the letters of recommendation, I think they would have found me a unique applicant that broke their mold that would have expanded the needs of their program. 

So what does institutionalized prejudice look like? It looks like this. It's hard to see, as most glass ceilings are, but when you hit it it hurts as much as it hurts when you slam into a brick wall. If you have not experienced racism or discrimination first hand, then the subtleties of the letter may be elude you. But the case of bigotry rings strong in my ears.

What will be interesting is how the deans of the graduate school when I send the above and my commentary. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Super Science Showdown- Galactus vs. Galactose

Our first contender is Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds. He has a herald, the Silver Surfer, who has a semi-sentient surfboard. Galactus has a big helmet and a bad attitude, and an appetite that is only sated by eating planets.

For our second contender, we have Galactose, C6H12O6. And while I struggle to come up with a witty statement about this type of sugar, it is really hard to do so. It does has a herald of some sort, The Silver Spoon. Given that the Galactose is found in dairy products, this special spoon has been endowed with unique properties to deliver Galactose to other places. 

One is a molecule the other is a monster. Who will win?

While the world eating cosmic entity seems to be the obvious victor, I argue that this is not the case and that Galactus would crumble and the hydrogen bonds of Galactose. It all comes down to diet. Galactus eats worlds, which are not that high in carbohydrates and also lack the vastness of simple dairy sugars that we mere mortals encounter. Therefore, Galactus would lack, unlike us, the enzyme lactase which would break down lactose and other similar compounds like Galactose. It could be possible that Galactus  may even have galactosemia, stemming from his seeming lack of enzyme. But let's be clear, Galactus is not lactose intolerant, he is simply Galactose intolerant, for galactosidase is the needed enzyme. Whether the lack of Galactosidase can allow Galactose to cause Galacti-cide is we don't know. But take that ultimate nullifier.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jake the Alligator Man

For some odd reason, I have a picture postcard of an alligator farm, long lost, from Southern California. Actually, when thinking about it, the reason I have the postcard isn't that odd, but the whole idea of having a alligator farm on the west coast is kind of amusingly odd.

I don't know whether the alligators they had decades ago where actually albino gators or whether the individual who colored the card had trouble finding some other shade of green to use. Albino alligators are pretty cool. And they are known to eat chihuahua's of wealthy Beverly Hills types.

However, live alligators in California are pretty normal compared to having a half-alligator-half-man mummy in your collection of tourist crap and shells for sale as can be found at Marsh's Free Museum in Long Beach, Washington. On the Pacific Coast, it ranks in my top five roadside attractions. There's taxidermy, weird penny arcade games, midway attractions. And of course, Jake.

Long Beach also has on public display what is purported to be the world's largest frying pan. Kind of cool. 

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Minimalist Crap: Adventures of the Princess Dye Job

During the late 90s and early 00s was a brief period of time when I fancied myself a musician. This also coincided with the brief period of time that a fancied myself as a comic book illustrator. And, well, as you can see from this example of Minimalist Crap and previous examples, those were highly delusional times.

But every band needs a back story, kind of like every super hero needs an arch nemesis. Thus, I present The Princess Dye Job. In real life we were a four piece that would play incredibly hateful music about really benign subjects. Hating rainy days, hating picking up dog poop, hating carrots (the most evil of all vegetables). But we would also be a power-pop band at the same time. I envisioned the band being the Cutest Hatecore Band on Earth...but not hateful in racist sense. Hell one of our band members was Jewish, I come from Japanese stock, and well not enough people sing about hating rainy days. 

The band itself fell apart after two practices. But it was enough time for this lovely comic strip to be drawn outlining how we were going to save the world through cuteness and doing something of some sort. Yeah, I know, it wasn't really clearly defined. 

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An Era When we Cooked with Gelatin...

One thing I can safely say is that I am glad that I did not have to eat food during the 1950s. Why? Well, I present the picture below as a fine example of why this era of fine dining could be considered, well, frightening.

Though admittedly, there is an element of elegance to the table setting and the way everything was arranged. Yes, almost every dish has a garnish. But also every dish is made with gelatin.

I have no problem with gelatin in my deserts. I love Jell-O, Gummy Bears, and many other non-vegan treats made with the boiled bones of downed animals. But do I really need a Molded Avocado Dish formed with mayonnaise and gelatin? Or how about a casserole of ground meat in translucent jelly? I am not entirely certain what is inside the oranges surrounding said Avocado Sculpture of Gloom, but I bet it has gelatin! In fact the flowers providing the table dressing are made from the unpalatable thick skin that forms on the edges of the bowl when you make lime Jell-O.

Julia Child saved America from this type of stuff. We owe her our souls and she should be venerated like  the Virgin Mary.
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Lost Comics...Minimalist Crap: The Monocycle

Since the first anniversary of Wonderful World of Clutter is soon coming up, I have decided to dig up some lost unpublished works from a Burnt Selena Project of old.

This twelve panel strip was intended for Burnt Selena Projects Presents: Minimalists Crap Volume 3. Volumes One and Two were circulated around Ashland many years ago to friends and to the local comic shop where they more than likely ended up in either a drawer or a recycle bin. Hard to say either way. But this one hasn't seen the light of day until now. Exciting isn't it?

So a few things of note: I know I the spelling for "hamsters" is incorrect in the comic. Also of note, even though I draw the virtues of the Monocyle, I still distrust people on unicycles. Why? Because people on unicycles will steal your wallet and make out with your girlfriend while you watch. And then they will mock you.

So without much further rambling, I present The Monocycle... oh yeah, click on the image to enlarge it.
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Ah the 90s...

Remember the 90s? If you don't, it was that brief period of time when people outside of the Northwest started wearing flannels because it was suddenly fashionable.

During this era, a particularly dark period of time in comic, we had a dead Superman, a Batman with a broken back, a Green Lantern on a ego driven power trip, Wonder Woman doing nothing too important but losing her role in the pantheon of super heroes, and Flash, once again, running off an "dying" trying to stop a "crisis."

What we were left with was a Superboy with a terrible haircut and a leather jacket, but a semi-decent choice in music.  Of course you may recognize two of the three bands names but what was that other band? Could it be?

Local trivia time, Karl Kessel, the creator of the new Superboy, hailed from Portland so it seems fitting that he would name-drop one of Portland's great bands.  and The Spinanes were one of the great Portland bands of the nineties. Perhaps he saw them at Satyricon or La Luna during that golden era.

Of course it doesn't really matter, music is music, but one must ask, why is Superboy only interested in purchasing girl fronted rock bands. Not too many men listened to Liz Phair back in the day. And, well, to this day, most people who listened to Hole are laughed at. But why not ask for an album with Pond or Hazel, or, hell, even the Dandy Warhols?
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Exploring the Japanese American War Experience Through Comics, Part 3, Lil' Neebo and Chris Ishii's Other Works

I have been digging through archives again and came up with some more interesting works by Chris Ishii and his creation Lil' Neebo. The idea of creating a portraying this entire experience through the eyes of of a child is one of the most unique framing devices given the politically charged nature this strip could carry. I shall let the the strips speak for themselves.

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Solipsism: The Greatest Super Power I Have Ever Invented

Courtesy of Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Main Entry: so·lip·sism 
Pronunciation: \ˈsō-ləp-ˌsi-zəm, ˈsä-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin solus alone + ipse self
Date: 1874
: a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; also : extreme egocentrism
— so·lip·sist  \ˈsō-ləp-sist, ˈsä-ləp-, sə-ˈlip-\ noun
— so·lip·sis·tic  \ˌsō-ləp-ˈsis-tik, ˌsä-\ adjective
— so·lip·sis·ti·cal·ly  \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Yes, I can safely state that solipsism is truly the greatest super power I have ever created. For in my own world, I am my own master and nothing will reign over me.

Of course I could have chosen a myriad of meta-human types of strengths or powers to proclaim myself superior to all other known entities, but why? Invisibility becomes pointless, super-speed redundant, invulnerability a waste of resources when the almighty power of solipsism takes hold. For with a mere thought, I rework the world to fit my needs. 

All of the social interactions I have through the day, they only exist because I designed them to exist. All of the trials and travails, all part of my greater scheme, something that you as a figment of my own fanciful created mind will only be privy to once I, the omnipresent narrator decides to reveal the truth. The truth being that my super power of solipsism has rendered the majority of your existence an practical joke on my part. 

Get it? Of course not. I have not given you the power to comprehend. But let me elucidate since I am a benevolent solipsist, and I believe that all individuals with super powers should give to the greater good. And since the greater good is myself, well, I should educate you for my own sake. 

Ah, the evil scientists and doubters of my super power will try to catch me in the reductio ad absurdum arguments by getting me to recant that my super power has super flaws, but they cannot win in this argument of wits. Because I have already anticipated people would doubt this philosophy. As a result, I have no patience or tolerance for other solipsist in my world. If there was another solipsist in my purposefully myopic universe, then we would battle like mad titans over a bowl of soup until that soup was cold and no longer palatable which is a scenario in which neither titan wins and, of course, in which the soup is lost. Ergo, only one Solipsist exists, I he is me. 

Since I am the grand fabricator of my world, your problems are my problems. And as a good super hero I will solve your problems. Perhaps, I will take a nap, and forget that you ever had problems and thus your problems will vanish. Or I will forget all about you, and of course, with you out of the picture, there will be no you to have problems. So everyone wins. 

I can arm wrestle Superman, I can out-will Green Lantern, ain't none of you can out do me.

Good day.