Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Man Police Want to Take My Man Card Away!

I'm not always statin' the obvious, but when I am
 I say that Geraud is cooler than me.
Look, I never claimed to be the greatest man in the world. Wait, actually, I did. But I'm reconsidering. As far as the 'man' label goes, I recognize that I may be failing in a few places.

One of those places is with cars. I don't notice a '88 Lamborghini unless the girl in the passenger seat is winking at me. I don't see the baby blue Bentley in the other lane unless Halle Berry is driving it and Charlize Theron is changing clothes in the back seat. I don't know what a '49 Pontiac looks like or even if Pontiac existed in '49. And if you told me you were thinking about buying a 2013 Jupiter class Aviator with a 900 liter engine and a waffle iron in the trunk my eyes would glaze over and I'd say "cool" while actually thinking about The Game of Thrones, the Loch Ness monster, building on of those domino mazes where you knock one domino down and the rest come...

"What? Oh, yeah. Four score on the floor. That sounds great. Does it come with cup holders?"

Every car should have them!

That's the best I can come up with. Cup holders. If the car is still shiny on the outside I might ask about seat warmers. Shiny equals new. Not shiny equals old. Duh!

Look, I know that if someone walked up to me and said, "You wanna drive my Aston Martin?" that I should take them up on their offer. Other than that, I'm not sure if I should be in awe, excited, disgusted or unimpressed with your car, your wheels, your whip, your McDonald's wrapper/drink can holder on wheels.

My dream car has $3 million in the trunk, tickets to Paris in the glove box, and a case of 50-year-old scotch in the back seat. You could give me an '82 Chevette and if it meets the above requirements...did they make an '82 Chevette?...I'll be one happy SOB.

Me, my girl, my dogs and a Chevette with a bright fuchsia interior, cruising down I-40 with $3 million in back, a 4-liter engine, some of those double head cam thingies for good measure and a waffle iron. And don't forget the tickets to Paris.

Are these double head cams?
Should I upgrade to the quintuple heads?

Maybe my dream car has one other feature. It should be a convertible. Throwing $20 bills out of the driver side window while you're cackling like a crazy person just looks stupid! If you can't throw wads of money over your head so that the bills trail behind you like ice crystals behind Halley's Comet then why bother doing it?

Now...do they make an '82 convertible Chevette???

Friday, May 25, 2012

Catherine Howard: An American In Cape Town

Catherine Howard is a dear friend of mine. She's one of those people that you would love almost immediately upon meeting. She's a great painter, a talented writer, a stunning beauty and a world traveler.

Today I want to share with you a series of works that Catherine created while she was in Cape Town, South Africa. Fr the geographically challenged: that's a long way from Durham, NC! She was there working with the Percy Bartley House, a powerful organization that helps youth in Ogilvy Cape Town. According to Catherine, while working with the boys at Percy Bartley House, their energy and the vibrant color palettes they chose inspired her to become more playful in her own artwork. 

“ 'I know ‘em so well I tell ‘em with my eyes closed' consists of 29 individual drawings that fit together to create one single work.  Integrating markers, acrylic paints, and pens, the layered images (trees, ocean, portraits of the boys at Percy Bartley House) vacillate from representational to abstract, depending on how the eyes focus and how light hits the drawings."  

The title of the series is a lyric from rapper Brother Ali’s song “Us”, references her desire to use her artwork to encourage others to tell their own stories.

…Fear, faith, compassion, and pain
Try as we may, the mask it remains
Such as your religion or your past or your race
The same color blood just pass through our veins
And tears taste the same when they splash on your face
The world’s getting too small to stand in one place… 
- Brother Ali “Us”

For more of Catherine's work, check out her blog at http://catherinejhoward.wordpress.com/


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Art of Jamie B. Wolcott

This weekend I went to a great event at the Carrack Art Gallery in Durham, NC. The event was called the Calabash at the Carrack and featured artists, musicians and actors. I had a great time getting to see great performers like Kashif Powell, The Drowning Lovers, a film by Jim Haverkamp, and Curtis Eller. Everyone was great and I could tell that everyone was having a wonderful time.

Surrounding all of this merriment was the art of Jamie B. Wolcott. Jamie's art is described at Poster art. I think it's so much more than that. And, if she weren't talented enough in this realm of art, she's also a helluva writer.

You can check out more of her work, including her writing, at her website at: http://www.jamiebwolcott.com/posters.html

Prints of her work are also available. Some of you are going to love this work!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Damn You, Red John!

Patrick Jane is smarter than you!
I watched the season finale of The Mentalist. Patrick Jane is my fictional hero, along with the Edmond Dantes (Count of Monte Cristo), Tony Stark, John Crichton (Farscape), and Spenser (from the novels, not the TV show).

It made me want to write a letter to the writers. I haven't sent it yet, because I'm not a total nerd, but I'm just nerdy enough that I'm considering it. I'll try not to hit with any major spoilers, but it wouldn't hurt if you've already seen the finale. Without further ado, a quick letter to the writers of The Mentalist:

Dear Geniuses,

Look, you guys have created a character in Patrick Jane that is of near-Batman proportions. He's a genius, dark, sometimes on the verge of evil. He's possibly the most brilliant man that has ever lived in a reality-based-but-fictional world, on the level with Sherlock Holmes or the niece from Inspector Gadget. I'd bet on Patrick Jane against just about any other fictitious character on television. That is the problem.

In stringing this Red John thing along for all this time, you are saying that Red John is at least as smart as Patrick, but probably more so. He's charismatic, as we can see with all the followers he's gained. And not just general followers, like a group of losers who follow the one guy in the group because he has good hair, despite all evidence that he, too, is a loser. No sir, Red John's followers are die-hard! These people are f'ucking crazy! They will kill you, your family, and your pets. They will dig up your dead pets and eat them and make you watch. They will sit in the dark, flay their own fingers, and paint a pretty picture with the blood. And you will be mesmerized the whole time. And they will not break, no matter what you do to them.

You have made it so that if Red John is anything short of an evil version of Jesus (meaning regular Jesus but with a black goatee) than you are going to let us down. Big time! When you finally reveal Red John to us, he had better be played by an actor of such amazing talent that the viewers want to jump through the screen and become Red John Disciples on the spot! Whoever this poor sonova bitch is, he had better be the greatest actor who ever lived!

Or, this creepy bastard!
Honestly, you fooled me. I thought I had it figured out. But, alas, my first choice for Red John is now dead. That would have been great, Writers. I would have been impressed. Now, I am dubious. You are going to have to pull out all the stops, and not Smoke-Monster us.

(Bestest and I replaced "Jumping the Shark," a term from 1977, with "Smoke Monstering" thanks to the world's greatest television let-down. Writers from Lost, what the hell where you thinking??? A SMOKE MONSTER!?! REALLY??  I was expecting Shaggy to jump on the screen and yell, "Zoinks! Like, it's a sma-ma-ma-ma-ma-moke monster, man!" Then Scooby would get all googly-eyed and yell, "Sroke Ronster??" Idiots.)

This term jumped the shark over a decade ago.

Where was I? Oh yes... Writers of the Mentalist: DO NOT SMOKE MONSTER US! You have an incredible job ahead of you. Red John had better be all you've made him to be.

Or, as my grandmother used to say, "If you're going to try to get a girl home by telling her you're hung like a horse, you had better take a note from your grandfather: deliver what you promised!"

Thanks, Grandma. Sage advice as always.

Writers, don't let me or my grandma down.
PS: We could also use more Lisbon shower scenes.


Geraud "I Want to Be a Red John Disciple" Staton

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5 Reasons You and I Need to Work Out

Here at Staton the Obvious, I strive to bring you timely information. You won't be left behind if you listen to me. So, here is some advice that you may not have heard before. You need to work out!

What???? But, why? I hear the wailing and lamenting. But don't worry. I'm going to tell you why. And the reasons aren't pretty.

1 Because you did not look like this a few years ago

Look, I know it came as a surprise. Your subconscious must have known, because you have been avoiding mirrors for the past few years. Or maybe you've been pretending you were invisible from the neck down. Sure, what's above the shoulders is STUNNING. I mean, like, crazy hot. Like, dope phat. It all balances out, so what's the big deal?

The good news is that I doubt you have any medical stuff to worry about. I mean, I'm no doctor but I'm sure having 20, 30, or 40 extra pounds on your body doesn't actually HURT you in any way, right? I'd bet money on it. Not MY money, but someone's money.

2 Because you make this face on push up number 6

I know it hurts. It just hurts a little too soon. If you're about to explode your colon trying to do push up number 6, then you probably need less combo number 5. Don't you watch television?? In sitcoms people do push up competitions all the time. These guys are doing 20, 30, 90, or 786 push ups at a time. Are you going to let David Schwimmer do more push ups than you? No way!

3 Because last time you were eating a double quarter pounder you saw this:

I know. She's gorgeous. And you just spilled ketchup drool on your Hawaiian shirt. You can bet she and her friends are not going to be talking about you later tonight.

   "Oh my god, Cheyenne, you should have been at the beach earlier today. Me and Gidget were minding our own, like, business. There was this guy sitting there and he was stunning!"
   "Was he hot, Bambi?"
   "It wasn't that. It's that he was so luciously, lovingly, tastily obese! I just wanted to sit on his lap as if he was Santa and tell him everything I ever wanted!"
   "Why didn't you?"
   "What would he ever see in me? He'd never look at me the way he looked at that Double Quarter Pounder with extra cheese."
   "You're too hard on yourself, Bambi. If he can't appreciate you for who you are on the inside than he isn't worth your time!"

Keep dreamin', Fluffer-Nutter.

4 Because one of these bitches just called you 'cuddly'

Have you ever called a 40-year old woman "Ma'am?" You didn't mean anything by it. You were being respectful. But you reminded her that she isn't as young as she'd like to be. An innocent mistake. But you aren't getting a date with her now, so set your sights someplace else, Romeo.

You think this little imp of a girl is calling you fat? She's not. She LOVES your cuddliness.You're like a body pillow, or that weird little Snuggle bear, or a giant panda, or Danny DeVito...all things girls likes to cuddle up next to. But that doesn't mean you want to hear it. Men, what would you prefer:

     a) "Wow, your chest is so hard. Ooo, and your arms. Ooo, and your legs! Ooo, and your..."
or b) "Wow, you are cuddly! Soft like that Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Ooo, your gut is so soft!"

5 Because you can't do a single pull up

Yikes! Did you see that face? And dude, you shouldn't be grunting like that unless you're trying to pass a tennis ball out of your ass. I'm just saying.

Any of these hit too close to home? Time to turn off "Dancing With the Stars" and join me. You're seeing the "BEFORE" shots. The "AFTER" shots are coming in 163 days. Embarassing? Maybe. Ok, definitely. But just you wait.

As Jack "the Joker" Nicholson said, "Wait till they get a load of me."


Monday, May 14, 2012

Is it Un-American to Not Love "In the Air Tonight"?

TheWife and I are driving from the local mall where we've been doing some clothes shopping. The sun is shining. We've been bonding, displaying a groovy kind of love, just another day in paradise. It gets better when "In the Air Tonight" starts to play on the radio.

Do you remember how it starts? The drum machine begins. There probably isn't a human being alive that can't identify this song within 3 electric drum beats. There probably isn't a Japanese Macaque or Bengal Tiger that can't recognize it within 12 beats. I start to drum along on the steering wheel. Softly. Ever so softly. I'm statin' the obvious here, but you've got to save your energy for the end, people. Can't start too hard. You've got to be an easy lover.

An electric guitar screams. But still, not too much. Easy, electric guitar. Easy. A light layer of keyboard gets placed on top to warm things up a little, to make things go a little smoother. We've got a nice, easy rhythm going now. Then, a soft whisper in the ear. Phil Collins is adding his two cents with a little haunting tenor. Yeah, tell us what's about to happen, Phil. And he does.

TheWife sits silently, stoic. She isn't convinced. Sometimes it takes more work and you can't get daunted. You move on to verse two. Things pick up a little. The voice gets a little louder. The music picks it up a little. Does that hit the right spot? You gotta mix it up a little bit. It's not always the same beat that gets you. You can't hurry love. I tap the steering wheel a little harder. The good part is coming. It's coming in the air tonight, as a matter of fact. It's inching closer and closer. My hands are growing more stiff in anticipation of the steering wheel banging that's about to happen. And we've got a red light so I can do all the banging I want without having an accident! I grin, my heart rate increases. The music gets louder.

From my right, TheWife says, "I hate this song."

The climax of the song fades away like bacon grease down a sink. I hear it sizzling, but it's wrong. I glare. I glare hard. I glare as if I had heat vision. My glare says, "I don't even have the words to say in regards to your statement. Maybe there aren't ANY words."

TheWife looks back. She looks smug, one eyebrow raised as if to say, "You got something to say? Please, tell me. Give me your genius argument for why the past few minutes weren't a waste of everyone's time."

I look away. My jaw is tight. I stare at the traffic light that has been red for way too long. My eyes say to the traffic light, "Why should I even bother? How do you explain to someone who sings along to Gwen Stefani songs that In the Air Tonight is literally made of awesome?"

The traffic light says, "Don't look at me. I don't care anymore. I listen to Electronica."

Unable to hold it in any longer I explode. "HOW do you not like In the Air Tonight??? What next? You don't like breathing? You don't like apple pie??"

TheWife smirks at me, like I'M the idiot. "Yeah," she says, "Phil Collins is right up there with apple pie. My favorite is when Normal Rockwell paints a picture of grandma serving up a slice of Phil Collins. Who needs pie when you can have Phil Collins on a plate?"

This argument lacks logic. This is a woman's argument. I will not be swayed by heart-felt images of Normal Rockwell. I give the argument some testosterone, one that would be against all odds for her to win. "And AMERICA?" I yell. "What about America? Huh? Do you hate A-MER-I-CA?"

If we weren't in the car she would have put her hands on her hips. She did anyway, somehow. I'm sure I saw it. And she gives me that Teacher-glare. It is more powerful than mine and I start to wither a little.

"Yeah. I do hate America. If America is a sniveling, whining bunch of melodramtic crap, then yes: I hate America. If America starts off slow and takes 5 minutes to build to a lame, incomplete climax, then yeah: I hate America. If America's climax is 12 seconds of electronic drumbeats and a lame guitar-riff like a wet noodle, than yes; I hate America."

We sit in silence for a few seconds. Staring at each other. Not glaring. Just staring. Slowly, our differing arguments gel, our separate lives come back together.

"Yeah," I say. "I think, maybe, I hate it too." And I do. She ruined it. Or maybe she's pointed out something that I've always suspected but never wanted to face. Either way, I don't think I could bear to listen to the song one more night.

Later that night, if you'd put your ear against the bathroom door or my home, you would have heard the sounds of soft weeping as a man deleted "In the Air Tonight" from his mp3 player. I think, as it was erased, it made a sort of " ssssuuusssudiooooooo" sound. I will never be able to erase that sound from my saddened heart.


Limp switch image from http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/203669.php

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gage Just Wants to Play!

I spend a lot of time thinking. This is good for me, but bad for you. Unless you're a philosophy major and you don't care about anything serious. In that case, we can be great friends.

Regardless, I now know where Zombies come from. They come from the Pet Sematary. I'm sure I'm not the first person to learn this. I've never been first in anything. Well, I was the first to get kicked out of the running for Prom King. Who wants to be Prom King anyway?

Pet semataries (when the author spells it wrong intentionally, do the rules of pluralization still apply? Let's assume not.)

Pets Semateri have the power, thanks to those wacky Micmac Indians, to bring the dead back to life. Drop your dead cat in there, and you get a zombie cat by morning. This is great if you have some control over the damned thing. Otherwise, you're probably going to be killed later that night. But with some planning you've got a pet that will never die again. The trade off is that it will never be cuddled again, but who cares? I hate cats anyway!

Now, what about your grandma? What if your kid gets hit by a truck? (Can I just say, that kid looked pretty damned good to have gotten the creamed corn treatment from a speeding semi. Am I right?!)
He played with mommy, and he played with Judd.
 Now he wants to play with you!

Drop them in a Peti Sematarium or a Micmac burial ground and voila! Just like new. No scars, no seepage, and all smiles. Just keep the sharp knives away from them and you should be all set. And because they have crazy dead-people strength you can use them to plow the fields. This latter is only good if you happen to be a farmer. If you're a school teacher there may not be any real use for zombies with dead-people strength. Furniture movers on the other hand? Score! Think of some other professions that could use some extra dead-people strength. Seriously, go ahead. I'll wait.

Ok, so, keep going with this thought and it will give The Walking Dead a whole new wrinkle. I suspect that by the end of season 3 the writers of The Walking Dead are going to share with us the cause of the zombie virus. It won't be some government conspiracy or a biological attack. I'm here to tell you that the answer will be "a plethora of Micmac burials grounds!"

I'm Gage Creed, bitch!

I'm sorry, I should have warned that there would be spoilers in this post. Too late now! In honor of this revelation, I am creating a drinking game.

  • Watch The Walking Dead 
  • Take 1 drink anytime someone says Micmac Burial Ground
  • Take 5 drinks anytime someone says Pet Sematary or any of it's possible plurals such as, but not limited to:  Pets Semateri, Peti Sematarium, Petia Semataris, Pete Sampras, Peter Scolari, or Peter Sellers. Trust me...you will be TRASHED in no time!
As always, you can thank me later! Now, I'm off to do some more research. I am pretty sure that there is a link between Arrested Development and Hancock. I just have to figure out what it is...


Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Kid, I want to be a man in motion."

Here is why being an adult and going back to school can be great fun: Kids today don't know a good 80's tune, so you can give them all the advice they need and still seem very wise. Like this little exchange between me, Young'Un, and Aldo:

Young'Un is pouting. I don't often sit with anyone other than Aldo while I'm in the NCCU cafeteria, but Young'Un is in one of our classes and seemed to be having some issues. Aldo is in his mid 30's. A well-dressed man with some of the best shoes of any dude I know. Young'Un plays football, is bigger than Rosie O'Donnell, and MIGHT have been born by the time Bill Clinton diddled Monica Lewinsky.

Aldo has his head deep in his plate, trying to ignore the conversation. He just keeps eating the fried tilapia substitute that makes up the standard Friday NCCU "Special of the Day." I had stopped trying to help Yong'Un 20 minutes ago. Young'Uns problem was rather stupid, and both Aldo and I were done listening to him gripe about it. I nod and smile and eat this fish-like dish. Aldo doesn't even nod or smile. He's on to the yellow rice.

Young'Un asks us, "Did you ever go through this shit?"

I nod sagely, rest my chin on my hand and say, "I think Aldo will agree with me. Growing up, you don't see the writing on the wall. Passin' by, moving straight ahead, you knew it all."

Young'Un shakes his head. "That's true. But I'm trying to be better about that shit. You know?"

"I know," I say. "But, maybe sometimes, when you feel the pain, you find you're all alone. Every thing has changed."

Aldo lifts his head and looks at me, his eyes furrowed.

"You play the game, though," I continue, pointing at his gym bag. "You know you can't quit until it's won." I can almost hear the brass playing in the distance.

Young'Un nods his head. I'm dropping some serious knowledge-bombs and he's taking mental notes. Aldo gives me a grin, shakes his head and starts trying to follow along.

"You soldier on," and here, I raise one hand. I can see it. I make Young'Un see it. "Only you..." I point at Young'Un's chest. "Only you can do what must be done." I nod. I have faith.

Young'Un feels that faith and actually seems to feel better. "I can do that. Just like football. You get knocked down, you just get the fuck up, you know?"

I should have stopped there. He was on board. He was working it out. He was on the rocky shore of the island called "Insecure 19-year-old-boy-shvanstein." He was safe.

Every one reading this knows that I didn't stop there.  I couldn't have if you'd paid me $1.73 million dollars in  unmarked bills.

Instead, I sit back. I glance at Aldo, who is nodding encouragement with the fervor of a child who's one kid away from meeting Mickey Mouse.

"You know, Young'Un, in some ways your a lot like me. You're just a prisoner and you're trying to break free."

Aldo almost claps out loud. He says in a near-sing-songy voice. "I can see a new horizon underneath a blazing sky. I'll be where the eagle's flying higher and higher."

Young'Un says, "Eagles! Hell yeah!"

The NCCU mascot is the Eagle. He thinks we've personalized this for him. He's so cute.

How long would it have taken these guys to figure it out?

I touch his shoulder and I look him deep in the eye. I'm very serious and he sees that. He takes a deep breath and looks back at me. I can see it in his eyes: he's raising a mental pencil, ready to jot down whatever I tell him on some spiritual notebook in his psyche.

I take a deep breath, trying to remain as serious as I can. "If you're going to be a man in motion," I say, "all you need is a pair of wheels. They'll take you where the future's lying."

"St. Elmo's Fire," Aldo says, jaw trembling with barely contained giggles.

" St. Elmo's Fire ," I confirm, doing my best "wise black janitor" face.

Young'Un looks from me to Aldo and back again. "What's St. Elbow's Fire?"

Aldo and I erupt into laughter. In fact, we are laughing so hard and for so long we don't even see Young'Un leave. When we finally notice that he isn't at the table any longer, it makes us laugh even harder.

When we finally start to get some control, Aldo says, "St. Elbows Fire!"

I nearly piss myself, and we spend the next 10 minutes laughing at Young'Un, who is still nowhere to be found...though he's probably looking up St. Elbow and his amazing fire on someone's smart phone.

Naturally, I laugh myself late to class...AGAIN.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What Is Your Favorite Tarot Card? (Edited by The Manipulator)

Ah, Tarot cards. Who doesn't remember the first time...

The Manipulator, Editor
(Manipulator: I'm going to stop him right up front. No one cares about the fond memory he created over something that was probably traumatic and heart-wrenching. What you want is to give your opinion.

Go >HERE< and fill out a 3 question form. 1) Name.  2) E-mail Address 3) Click on the radio button of your favorite tarot card. Then, wait to hear if you won the prize.

It will take you 12 seconds and you can win a prize that might be worth millions one day. I'd do it now, or you're going to have to put up with a hundred words of prattling.)

Love Triangle

...they kissed a girl, or the first time they kissed a boy, or the first time they tried to kiss two people at the same time, or that time they tried to kiss someone and that someone didn't want to be kissed and they got slapped but learned a valuable lesson; maybe the most valuable lesson in their lives, so you have to see it as a blessing, right?

(Man: Don't say I didn't warn you.) 

And who doesn't remember the first time they laid their eyes on a set of tarot cards? I remember...

(Man: I'm deleting this entire story. I just cut out about 150 words. You can thank me later.)

...a crazy penis!

The point of that story was that your first time can be amazing. My goal is to bring that amazement to someone for whom the first tarot deck they see is mine.

I've got some amazing models lined up for the Major Arcana. These are the 22 most powerful cards of the deck and I'm very proud of what I have so far. Expect some even better work in the near future. You'll see some familiar faces such as Bestest, The Hair, TheWife, and The God Son. You'll also meet some new models, like Goose, Sea Maiden, and Sherry Mason (sometimes known as Jenny Crane).

(Man: Where does he come up with these names? J, Janeen, Laine, Adam, Mendy, Cali and Kim. There. I hope none of them were in witness protection. If you want their last names and addresses, just e-mail us. I'll get him drunk and he'll tell you whatever you want to know.)

Brought to you by WitSec

So, without further ado, let me tell you about the contest!

(Man: Already done. I presume you have already filled it out and clicked the appropriate radio button. If you have already forgotten the link, you can go it >HERE<. The winner is chosen by a program called The Hat. Click The Hat and you can learn all about it. The winner will be sent a hand-drawn 8" x 10" graphite version of the card they chose as their favorite. It may not be exact, but it'll be close.)

Just click on one of those little circle thingies for your favorite choice and submit. It's that easy!

(Man: Those "little circle thingies" are called radio buttons. Look, I'm going to go ahead and delete most of this. He goes on for another 300 words. It's daft, mostly. He thinks it's cute but it's just stream of consciousness drivel that he must have picked up from some slam poet in the 80's...which is where he gets his taste in music. Case in point...he's quoting another song. Atomic Dog, I think. What twaddle. Let's keep fast-forwarding...)

...a monkey's butt. I'm serious! Dude, you can't make this stuff up. I'm just...

(Man: Worst catch-phrase ever.)

...statin' the obvious.

Alright, I'm off to a couple of exams. Good luck on the contest. I'll post the winner and the drawing in the newsletter first, so be sure to sign up for that. Another contest will be coming next month!

Hey, where are all of my words? I had typed a...