Friday, December 23, 2011

What Does Your Breakfast Sandwich Say About You?

Having graduated from an elite psychology program, I possess a well of knowledge for all things related to human behavior. Like the editors of Seventeen magazine, I’ve observed that your choice of breakfast egg & cheese sandwich says a lot about you and the friends you choose.

1. Philadelphia Food Truck Egg and Cheese

Because the Philly Food Trucks aren’t as popular or overtly cheerful as the fast food chains, some avoid them in favor of “safer” fare. Don’t be fooled: despite the lack of advertising and “service with a smile,” there’s love in that there sandwich. 

These guys will do anything for you – they’ll stand out in the hot sun and cold rain to serve you breakfast, and they’ll even put the salt, pepper and ketchup directly on the sandwich -- if you want those seasonings, that is. It’s always the perfect amount. With six simple ingredients – cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, ketchup and a roll – the Philadelphia Food Truck guys can whip up an amazingly delicious, wholesome meal like the mother you never had. These sandwiches would like to have a meaningful, sympatico relationship with you. 

2. Fast Food Restaurant Egg & Cheese

Swayed by commercial jingles and glossy photographs, everyone knows that fast food restaurant breakfast sandwiches are the same no matter where he goes. Many prefer service with a nectarian smile of dubious sincerity and the idea that they know what they’re getting – though surely much darkness lies beneath that plastic veneer. 

Like the fly girl at the club, these sandwiches “put themselves out there.” For this reason, many believe these sandwiches are good-quality and worth seeking out. Soaking up bull like the egg in your sandwich, you are a sponge. 

3. Homemade Egg & Cheese Sandwich
Neither a leader nor a follower, you are a loner and surely on your way to becoming a serial killer. What’s that in your closet? Dead bodies and secrets shared with no one. 

As an extrovert who loves partying, I know that my interests and ideas of fun are exactly the same as everyone else’s unless they are crazy. If you fall into the latter category, I’ll order up a nice Wellbutrin/Lexapro/Clonazepam combo to change your nature enough to prevent others from feeling uncomfortable around you. Would you like fries and a soft drink with that?

Go out there and buy yourself a Sausage McMuffin, you antisocial weasel!

Merry Christmas from Bibliowhining.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Do It For the Kids!

Well what have we here in the supermarket magazine aisle within view and reach of tender young eyes and hands? Intellectually stimulating, inspiring and witty reading material like Cricket, Ranger Rick, any comics at all or even Mad? NO! Mind-numbing, base, lowest-common-denominator Justin Bieber pictorial magazines designed as training wheels for Seventeen and Cosmopolitan!

Yes, magazine publishers, supermarket stockers and parents, please work together to deaden our culture and set the next generation up for failure: every month, present these near-identical rags as the only visible reading options. Yes, teach young ladies to lust after some fungible, mop-topped pop star and beg their moms for makeup and trendy clothes so they can look like Selena Gomez.

Nowhere to be found???

This is not funny, and I can’t stand it. Bring your children over to the computer screen. I have a message for them.

Kids, Justin Bieber won’t be babyfaced and non-threatening forever, but that brain in your heads will stick with you for the rest of your life. Please don’t train it to passively absorb rotten pablum at such a young age. It may be difficult to go against the grain on this one, but remember: In the great scheme of things, it doesn’t matter what your peers think re: your taste in magazines and pop stars. Few, if any, of the classmates you have now will still be in your life ten years from now.

Maybe the other kids will think you’re strange because you don’t hang Justin Bieber clippings on the wall and kiss them on the lips, but who cares, seriously. Maybe some of your childhood and adolescence will be lonely and sad because you don’t model yourself after Selena Gomez or whoever is the teen girl star of the moment right now. Don’t worry about it; find a cool hobby to boost your confidence and keep you busy. Ride your bike, play some sports (yep) or go running to wear you out so you don’t stay up at night worrying about things. By establishing these habits, you will be setting yourself up for success and richness in later years.

Beware of the self-fulfilling prophecy, avoid screwing up your life with drugs, alcohol or Mountain Dew, stay humble and someday you will be cool in spite of -- nay, because of your lack of Justin Bieber posters. And the being humble part is important; It is unwise to make a big conceited show about how your interests are so much better and cooler and more obscure than everyone elses; be honest about your tastes, but never arrogant or pushy. Having said that, share what you enjoy if others seem interested; there’s nothing worse than the exclusive cool kid who suddenly gets angry and defensive when other people discover a band, TV show, etc. he likes. And if you really do like Justin Bieber, well, that’s fine, too. We all have our guilty pleasures. But keep an open mind to other things you might like; talents you envy in others that you would like to possess, and spend some time exploring them. Jealousy is nature's way of telling you to hone your talents, study or work out harder to achieve your goals. Many turn jealousy into statements such as, "Sure, she's a great clarinet player and always gets the band solos, but that doesn't matter because she's fat and ugly." Words and thoughts such as that will do nothing to enhance your life. You’re still young, and when you’re old like me and realize you could never be a great piano player because you can only be really great if you start out in childhood, you’ll look back and regret some of the wasted time gone by.

Think about some of the characters you’ve admired in comics, classic literature and movies. Are they materialistic, obsessed with celebrity gossip and desperate for the approval of others or do they have a little bit more depth, soul and integrity? Why not look to these characters as examples rather than create a smokescreen to appease mean classmates who pass judgment on you?

Surely there’s something better tucked away in the back of the magazine rack, there…let’s not let it die out like Nickelodeon Magazine and maybe there will be hope for you yet. Ah! Games and Highlights. What are they doing all the way in the back? Is this some sort of conspiracy?

Well, now they’re in the front, covering the awful trash. Merry Christmas, kids; I have given at least a few of you the gift of knowledge. Enjoy the anachronistic comic exploits of Goofus and Gallant and The Timbertoes. Exercise your minds and develop problem-solving skills with a Games Magazine puzzle or two.

Parents: why not add a few books, strategy games, puzzles, art supplies or musical instruments in with the DVDs this year? It would be great if kids actually had a fighting chance to accomplish something besides sitting in front of the MTV eating Ho-Hos with a glazed, deadened look in their eyes. You can buy very good books for under a dollar on Amazon, and if you register for a free library card you can check out all kinds of books for the kids at no charge. Usually the library has brand-new material in addition to the classics; they don’t simply rotate the same taped-up, crumbling books from the 1950s in perpetuity as some believe.

And do what I did with the magazine rack at your local book, drug or grocery store. What’s the worst that could happen, some store associate tells you not to? This has never happened to me and I’m sure very few would care even if they notice. Do it for the kids.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Proposed Facebook Changes for the New Year (2012)

Hi, I'm Mark Duckernerd, the dark lord of the Internet.

Just as a heads up: over the next few weeks, I shall be rolling out some changes to "You-Know-What" that some might find upsetting. These changes will greatly affect the way you interact with friends and loved ones, and, more importantly, the way you buy and sell things on the Internet.

As the Apocalypse draws nearer, it is of utmost importance that I make as much money as possible from its great whore, a creature more commonly known as FACEBOOK.

I have billions of dollars, but it is imperative that I make trillions more at the risk of severing countless friendships with silly drama and sucking all of you into a mind-numbing, addictive rut. What is more insulting, the facts explicated in the last sentence or the strongly implied assumption that I know what's best for you? Yes, despite your initial whines and protests, you will yield to and eventually love everything I do.

But it's all the same in the end. Of course I know what's best for you -- after all, I went to Harvard for a year. What's best for you is what's best for me: instant gratification at the risk of losing your soul.

tl;dr? No problem! I understand you're very busy. Enjoy this list of awesome fb changes!

1. Auto-Comment
Great news! Now you don't have to think about writing anything anymore! Facebook will use its AMAZING algorithm to scan your "friends'" statuses for content, and will auto-reply with the appropriate stock comment!

Somebody's birthday? No need to go through the GRUELING procedure of "walling an hb!" Facebook auto-comment will do it for you! Someone's loved one died? Facebook will scan for the words and phrases "passed away," "RIP," or "died" and will auto-comment "I'm sorry for your loss" or one of five similar messages on your behalf.

Facebook will also scan for jokes and profound quotes! If a mutual friend comments "lol," "haha" or "you're absolutely right" in response to a friend's status, Facebook will slap on a similar message in your name!

2. Facebook Storefront
We've noticed how much you enjoy logging in to your Facebook account before commenting on news stories and blogs around the Web. All of your friends are interested in all the same news stories that you are and want to read everything you have to say about all of them, with all anonymity removed! Taking that logic one step further, it will soon be impossible to buy or sell anything online before logging into your Facebook. After making a purchase, the item you bought will be displayed on your wall and your friends' feeds! That way, they can share in your shopping pleasure with the option to purchase an identical item!

3. Facebook Wingman
Men: Facebook got your back! Whenever one of your unattached lady friends posts a cheesecake photo of herself, Facebook will scan the photo and compare it to your past girlfriends' body types to see if it suits your tastes. If it does, the machine will "like" it and auto-comment a stock compliment! Don't worry about drama; Facebook will first check whether you're gay, in a relationship or married before "liking." Or maybe not...its capricious like that.

Check out how Facebook Wingman aids Mallard Failmore as he courts young Downy Duckbottom:

4. "Peek-a-Boo" Chat
Imagine: everyone on your friends list can join the party as you engage in a private conversation with one of your pals. We plan to implement this feature randomly, when you least expect it. It gives us the element of surprise.

As you can see in the lower right hand corner, Mallard can enjoy Downy and Marshy's little virtual catfight, all thanks to "Peek-a-Boo" chat.

...So them's the changes, folks! I know your little mouths are agape, your heads shaking vigorously at the creepiness of it all. I also know you'll grow to love it -- just like you've acquired a taste for the budget beer that features so prominently in your photo galleries. I love how you all contrive situations and moments with the ultimate goal of posting them on Facebook and getting loads of little red notifications in the upper left hand corner. By all means, don't enjoy the simple pleasures of that party, concert or trip in real time as you had in years gone by.

Sometimes I sit back in my cubicle throne and chuckle at your exhibitionism. Sheep, think I. Then I get distracted and tab over to YouTube for a bit.

Remember: this is Duckernerd talking, I have temporarily taken control of Chrissy's blog.

tl;dr? Awesome! Hope you like the changes, honey!

"Thanks For the Great Changes, Facebook" a meme by Chrissy Spallone

ETA: Oh yeah, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In Which Chrissy Makes a Halloween Pumpkin

So I made a pumpkin for Halloween. People seemed to like it, so I'll show you how I made it!

After painting on a design with India ink (above, left) I eviscerated the pumpkin with an ordinary utility knife (left). This wasn't so easy, and some specialized jigsaw-type blade probably would have facilitated the process. In the end, however, the utility knife did what I needed it to do... unlike this blog editor. It's like, I get it perfect in the editor, then I view my actual blog and the formatting is completely different and horrible. I'm sure it looks different and worse on different browsers and screen sizes, too, but what am I supposed to do. This is why I like to work with my hands and actual artifacts. Bear with me; the content is worthwhile.

I didn't hack out all the pumpkin's features. Instead, I opted to carve some details in relief so the light would shine through them in varying intensities.
I hoped to purchase some linoleum cutters for this purpose, but I couldn't find them at the hardware store, nor did I feel like trekking all the way to Dick Blick in Philly, where I know they carry sets of cutters at jacked up art supply store prices. Linoleum cutters, by the way, are those speedball pens with interchangeable curved blades used to carve out designs for linoleum stamps. I had a hard time describing them to the Ace Hardware employee, so try a Google Image search if you're confused.

Anyway, I ended up removing the erasers from some pencils and cutting the metal tips into curved blades. I then used the ghetto lino cutters to scrape away at my pumpkin (right).

The lino cutters couldn't get into the real fine details, so I used kebab sticks to pierce clean holes in the eyes and scratch at various other spots (below, left). Those kebab sticks did double duty later on (below, right). Those staked gourds might look a little precarious, but it's all an illusion.

I'm a gruesome guy, you know. I love that old "Tales from the Crypt" gore and decay and don't see much of it around these days. In the interest of being repulsive, I carved small pockets into the pumpkin's sides, using a potato peeler, and inserted pimento olives to act as bloody, gangrenous boils.

Because the larger pumpkin would be eating tiny gourds, I constructed arms for him so he could lift the unfortunate midgets into his mouth. To do this, I bent a wire coat hanger into an arm shape, pushed it into the pumpkin's side and covered it with paper mache (above, right), which I later painted orange to match his skin. This paper mache is an approximate 50/50 mix of white flour and water. Were this a permanent project, I would worry about mold and such. But it's a Jack O'Lantern.

I surrounded the main pumpkin with smaller gourds and apples which I either carved with an X-acto knife or painted with India Ink. Ignoring the possibility of fire hazard (ehh...I had an extinguisher nearby), I placed the display in a bed of autumn leaves and lit everything up. 

Check out the gummy worms, the tiny gourd inside the pumpkin's mouth and the antique colored twinkle lights. Twinkle lights, by the way, were used on Christmas Trees before electric light strands came out. Talk about a fire hazard!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the Christmas music.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kill My Free Time

Kitty Bear of "A World Without Surprises" returns in "Kill My Free Time," a comic burlesque about online conduct and branding. It's good to be back!

"Kill My Free Time," (c) 2011, Chrissy Spallone

I dunno guys, drawing comics is fun and all, but what a time suck! I was thinking maybe of making memes instead. They're so much more popular these days, and I can make one in like 5 minutes. I don't know, what do you guys think?

"Time to Grow Up... Pass the Maturity Juice!" meme on computer, (c) 2011, Chrissy Spallone

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How to Get More Hits on My Website

One thing people is always asking themselves these days are "How to Get More Hits on My Website" or "How to Get More Traffic to My Website." Well, this site is here to provide information for "How to Get More Hits on My Website."

First, search the Internet using the search terms "How to Get More Hits on Your Website" or "How to Get More Traffic to Your Website." Google and Ask are some useful tools you can use to search for information on the Internet and learn about "How to Get More Hits on My Website."

Next, build a Website. There are many tools on the Internet which can give you the information you need to get started in building your own Website. Try using a search engine to find some information and software you can use to build your site. You can also go to school to learn about web design and search engine optimization.

Here is another way to get lots of hits, and to "Increase traffic to my Etsy Store." Prease go to my Etsy store and buy "Mediocre Narcotica's Greatest Hits." Once you receive this astounding book, you will be sure to get lots of useful hits.

Oh, perhaps I am misunderstanding you, friend! Am I mistaking your intentions? Did you mean to increase traffic to YOUR site, and not to MY site, Bibliowhining? Please accept my dearest apologies. To discover the secret for getting more hits on YOUR website, please continue with your Google searching. I must seem like a real sleazebag, huh?

Psst, I'm just making fun of these stupid websites. I'm not really trying to spam you or promote my comic ad nauseum. The air is getting crisper and cooler, and soon my outdoor options will be limited, or at least less fun. More NEW, FREE comics will be coming soon. -Chrissy