Inhuman Swill : Page 123
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

AOL Intrusive Messenger

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Raise your hand if AOL automatically added an "AIM Bots" groups to your IM client, with MovieFone and ShoppingBuddy as members.

Fucking AOL. I switched to Trillian to get away from this shit. I guess the only way to escape is to stop using the AIM network altogether.

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Cool shite of the day!

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Remember those heady days of yesteryear, when the Web was young and a shout-out as Cool Site of the Day could make your day for a year? (And why not? You got to put that cool little Cool badge on your site! How cool was that?!)

Those days are long past, but still I could not help but feel a frisson of pride when I realized that the sudden rise in visitors to Says God that started a few weeks back and still has not trailed off entirely was due to a front-page link from, no, not Cool Site of the Day, but National Lampoon! (Scroll about two thirds of the way down and look under "Best of the Web." No, the other "Best of the Web," further down.)

Yes, I can hardly believe it myself. The same comedic geniuses who brought you Vegas Vacation, Loaded Weapon 1, and Van Wilder think that my unassuming little site is one of the funniest things on the Web. Is that a lump I feel in my throat? And if so, a lump of what?

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At last, captured by hidden camera, we can confirm who it is that's been reading our books while we're out.

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November's CD mixes of the month

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Tonight, a sad and unprecedented event. Owing to the annual SFWA cocktail party in Manhattan, I will miss a CD Mix of the Month Club meeting for the first time. My sorrow is boundless, kids, but I'm afraid the sci-fi club comes first.

However, thanks to the welcome accommodation of CDMOM's kind organizer, this does not mean my mixes won't be making the meeting themselves in my absence. My contribution to the November CD Mix of the Month Club will be The Political Animal, with Spicy Stories generously thrown in as Dr. Priapic's Autumn Love Prescription Bone-Us Mix (see jewel-case sticker below).

See, one of our number is attempting to conceive, and it was suggested that mixes of mood music might help, but by the time the suggestion was made my timely political mix was already in the can, so what choice did a simple music programmer have but to move February's Valentine mix forward in the rotation?

I know. TMI. Anyway.

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Staples

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I have discovered the absurdity inherent in naming one's retail establishment "Staples."

Not that it isn't a fine name for an office-supply store in theory, full of significance and double entendre. But when one visits the supply cabilnet in one's office looking for actual staples, the fact that every box on the shelf seems to promise those items but in fact contain, say, paper clips, an unfortunate reappraisal of the utility of the branding per force takes place.

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The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace

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If The Simpsons had been around when I was in high school, my math teacher Mr. Nelson might have given us problems like this.

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A quick note

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Just a quick note, since it's been a long time since I've posted anything.

Since last time, Laura and I have found a new apartment in our same neighborhood. We don't have to move until January, so the stress of apartment-hunting is gone. Only the stress of the actual moving remains, but we have plenty of time to pack.

[info]bobhowe and I had a fun weekend late in October in Boston, where we went for a mini-reunion with some of our fellow students from Clarion '85. Joe and Gay Haldeman, our second-week instructors, were on hand for the first day of reunioning as well, and a great time was had by all.

Laura and I spent a long weekend (just past) in Madison, Wisconsin, for the World Fantasy Convention. Lovely, lovely time with good panel, good food and drink, and good friends old (Jeff Ford, Mark Rich, et.al.) and new (Hal Duncan, et.al.). And, again, drinks with Joe and Gay.

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October's CD mix of the month

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My contribution to the October CD Mix of the Month Club, for your shiveringly scarifying Halloween pleasure, was Symphony for the Devil.

(The story so far.)

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So last Friday, several of us arranged to have the afternoon off from work, the point being to visit Six Flags in New Jersey and ride Kingda Ka. Rain put the kibosh on that plan, so instead we went to see Wallace & Gromit, downed some food and much drink at the Westside Brewing Company, and then ambled over to the American Museum of Natural History to catch an evening laser show at the Hayden Planetarium.

While a few of our number entered the museum to get in line, a few others—and I'm not naming names here—slipped across 81st Street to a nearby liquor store. Thus it was that a good friend of mine—and I'm not saying who, except to remark that he has been known to moonlight as a man of the cloth—slipped me a small plastic bottle as we waited in the antechamber to the planetarium. Said bottle, upon examination, turned out to be a diminutive container of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

So it was that, as we enjoyed a DJ mix by Moby and space-tastic visuals that were rather more highly evolved than the laser shows I used to see as a youngster, I sneaked little nips from my JW bottle. Beside me, another unindicted co-conspirator who shall remain nameless except to say that I'm married to her, was taking hits from a darling little bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream. Reportedly the planetarium staff were keeping a close eye on our group, though I was rather too absorbed in the various and sundry spectacles to notice.

So this morning on the way to work, I put my hand in the pocket of the coat I hadn't worn since Friday, and what did I discover? A second, yet unopened JW minibottle. (Yes, just the thing to find in one's possession on the way to the subway and the office. Yeesh.) My good friend the reverend had slipped it to me as we left the planetarium. "For the ride home," he said.

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Watch out, boy, he's a maneater

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Casually browsing Amazon, I came across this user review for Daryl Hall's solo album Can't Stop Dreaming. It's the most sublimely ridiculous thing I've read on Amazon:

I am a huge John Oates fan. It should be clear to everyone with ears that work properly that Oates carried Hall for years and never once complained about it. Oates is in that class with Richard Marx, Howard Jones and Michael Bolton as the true musical influences for all of today's music. So how does Hall show his appreciation for all Oates has done? He goes and records "She's Gone" without Oates! Why don't you just bring Oates out on stage and run over him with a motorcycle for 2 hours. That would be like Kitt trying to do a lifetime movie without Hasselhoff and pawning himself off as the star of the show. Hall is so full of himself that he looks at Oates as a necessary evil to have along on his quest for world domination. Hall is a very dangerous man. If he would do this to Oates, would you let him watch your kids? I sure as heck wouldn't. I would let the frontman for A-Ha watch me kids in a heartbeat because I know AHA keeps things real, but Hall would probably just spread anti-Oates propaganda until my kids thought Oates was responsible for Chernobyl. Don't buy this, you'll only encourage his wanton behavior.
It should be noted, by the way, that Can't Stop Dreaming is an album that was issued in Japan only in 1999, and only received an American release in 2003, on the heels of the Hall & Oates comeback album Do It for Love.
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