Almost complete Tyrannosaur fossil discovered in southern Utah

This particular tyrannosaur (if it is a tyrannosaur, paleontologists still haven’t confirmed) lived 76 million years ago. Jurassic Park, the Steven Spielberg-helmed blockbuster, was released 24 years ago.

On the movie poster, it said: An adventure 65 million years in the making.

There was a big killer T-Rex in it. It was genetically cloned and brought back to life, but it was still a tyrannosaur so it quickly destroyed everything we humans built to protect us.

If my math is right (and taking a movie poster at its word) that means that tyrannosaurs were around for at least 11 million years.

I can’t imagine humanity lasting that long. I can’t even fathom a million years. But I can imagine the movie poster for some movie 65 million years from now (if they’ll even have ‘movies’).

Quaternary Park. It’s not going to end well.

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New Product Idea: Breakfast Toothpaste

The best part of waking up used to be Folger’s in your cup. I don’t think that’s still the case. Regardless, I think we can agree that brushing your teeth with a noxious, minty ooze is not in the top ten. Especially when you’re about to drink coffee, eat breakfast, etc. And even if you’re a postprandial tooth brusher, the harsh juxtaposition of flavors is still a major buzzkill.

Therefore, the fine folks at R#P offer something to assuage that unpleasantness, a new line of Breakfast-flavored Toothpaste.

Why should mint and spearmint and peppermint and bubblegum (gross) dominate the toothpaste game? Looking for a toothpaste that is in harmony with your morning? Then try R#P’s French Toast toothpaste. With warm bready notes and a sweetness that comes from pure maple syrup, your tongue won’t believe how clean your teeth are!

We also offer 13 different varieties of our world-famous Coffeenamel Collection™, including your favorites:

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COMING SOON: Scrambled Eggs with Gum Protection!

Find us in the breakfast aisle!

Labor Leap Year

In honor of this year’s now-past Labor Day, I’d like to suggest an idea: Labor Leap Year.

The idea is simple, yet genius. Here’s how it works. Every four years, you get one year off of work to do whatever you want. Travel the world, start a business, write a novel, sleep, raise your kids, solve the climate crisis, whatever gets you up in the morning.

And here’s the best part, you still get your full salary/benefits/etc.

You’re probably wondering, how would this even work? Well, we do it on a rolling basis, so there’s always enough people to do the job. When you’re off, someone else is on, and vice-versa. Plus, there are a plethora of benefits.

With Labor Leap Year you can solve the employment issue (i.e., a drastic reduction in unemployment, which means less unemployment benefits, welfare, etc.), the I don’t get enough vacation issue (i.e., two weeks? Please, this is a whole year!), the money issue (i.e, companies will save money because they’ll have less turnover, which means less cost to train new hires, etc.), the morale issue (i.e., sure, I hate my job, but I’ve only got one more year before I can forget about it for 365 days straight, so I’ll just suck it up), the I don’t have time to chase my dreams issue (i.e., how does two years out of ten sound for making your mark on humanity?), the this is too good to be true issue…actually it is, so keep dreaming.

Communicating with others

If you really want to annoy someone, keep saying ‘nerp’, for no reason.

And I don’t mean only say, ‘nerp’. I mean, toss it in randomly.

‘What was the name of that website I was on earlier?’

‘Was it nerp?’

Then in the silences to follow, say, ‘was it nerp?’ a few more times.

Also, really emphasize ‘nerp’, make it sing. They’ll hate you. I guarantee it.

 

Delayed reality

A tiny bug died on my hand.

I don’t know if toxins in my skin killed it

or if it landed their to expire

but I looked at my hand and there it was—dead;

like when you obliviously cut yourself

and not until you discover the crimson streak across the front of your khakis

do you realize

that you’re bleeding,

then you look for the slit, find it

and the pain sets in

reconnecting with the nerves in your brain letting you in on the truth.

Failure to load

My internet connection is down

disabled

it happens, technology

is seemingly so predictable like a light switch

but sometimes the circuits get crossed

leaving you stuck

in the real world

having to face non-backlit reality

head-on

having to remember how to think and focus and scratch a cat’s ass

like humanity has

for millennia.

Grossery

Pretty sure the only reason food spoils is so grocery stores can keep you coming back for more like drug dealers, and absolutely nothing to do with bacteria, chemistry or me just liking to go to the grocery store to hang out by the eggs with no pants on.

12:34

There was a period of time when I would look at a clock

and it was always 12:34.

It wasn’t a broken clock, I just never bothered to look

at other points during the day

and when I’d finally look after hours of wasted time

or diurnal hunger

I’d sneak a peek and it’d be 12:34

and I started giving significance to that coincidence

it had to mean something—like I knew I would eventually die exactly at 12:34—

and the fact that the numbers were sequential added a layer of deeper meaning

like the golden ratio or 420

and then I started forcing myself to see it

if it was only 12:31 or 9:15 I’d keep looking and looking so that I would be looking

when it was 12:34 like an idiot’s idea of destiny masking an evident confirmation bias

and really all it ever meant was that it was lunchtime

or that I should go the fuck to sleep.

Backyard Wedding

It’s a sunny day, the grass not quite green, but hay-colored in places

there’s a prefabricated wooden arch for the bride and groom to stand before

hanging planters and

newly planted flowering bushes dot the perimeter

a football floats in its tossed parabola above and then below the wood-plank privacy fence

repeatedly

the sound of kids playing

the homes are tucked against each other like dominoes

stucco siding in all directions

the pastor reads the holy words off pieces of printer paper folded halfway lengthwise

pausing when it comes time to flip to the next page

one wedding guest is dressed in an Under Armour polo shirt and jeans

the bride and groom hold hands and face each other

we sit and watch behind sunglasses

internalizing the recited vows

and for a brief moment look past all the added artifice necessary to paint this space in solemnity

and connect with that thing that spark that passion that great spirit that feeling of sticky shoulder flesh against my fingers

and even the beer bottle balancing on my plastic folding chair

because it’s a backyard wedding

and it’s hot

and the beer is cold

but I know to only take sips at opportune moments.

 

He kisses the bride, they walk down the grass aisle and out the back gate that crashes

loudly when it closes

and before anyone has moved the couple reappear through the door off the kitchen

like magic.

The moment is opportune.

Cinnapun

I think I’m the last person in the world to realize that Cinnabon was intended to rhyme with cinnamon. Most cinnamon-flavored baked goods are bun-shaped (which is close enough to ‘bon’ that that’s what they must’ve been going for, and what I always just assumed; or perhaps ‘bon’ as in the French word for good) [don’t expect me to actually look this up].

Where I come from we mostly call those pastries, cinnamon rolls. There’s less rhyme with Cinnaroll, however; and less recall, too, I suspect.

Maybe newborn babies don’t know that either. But give them time.

Respiration meditation

At a red light at the corner of River Valley Road and Riverside Drive in Atlanta

there’s nowhere to go but left

or right; not straight.

Straight is into the yellow rectangular sign with the arrows pointing left and right.

Straight is into the brush.

Straight is a dead end.

I’m turning left towards the place where I’m heading.

Left towards the big oak tree full of crooked limbs and spring growth.

Right is some whole other direction I haven’t even considered.

A whole stream of possibilities that remain unknown; can’t give them any credence.

I sit in the driver’s seat breathing through my nose, reminding myself

to do that slower, really let the oxygen come through

and enrich my blood, bring my hyper-mind to a crawl.

The light is long, but I need it; every last second.

A few seconds before (still at the light) I thought only

fearful thoughts. Fear for the future. Fear for the present.

Fear for failing to feel secure in either.

But the breath comes and goes. The chest

heaves, doing its job.

Now all I’m thinking about is left.

Left and the majestic oak tree that was there before I took

my first breath, and will be there after my last

and the next turn and the next and the breath I forgot to take

but took without thinking.

Morning ritual

I woke up today at 8:13. Peed, then got back in bed for another forty minutes. I didn’t go back to sleep, I just stared at the ceiling fan. Then I got up, washed my face, brushed my teeth and dressed. I was out the door at 9:15, ready to enter the world.

im getting real good at this living thing.

Inclination

I keep writing about sex and death

and cleanliness, intense

masturbation

there’s a lot of recurring stuff about aliens

the word oblivious keeps popping up

and other incarnations like oblivion

obviously, something is drawer me nearer

pulling me to the core of an idea

a truth burning sun-bright and blinking

like a ringing alarm never de-triggered

signaling the need for introspection—aliens and monsters, myself

a monster hidden but not within a closet

like some child’s small-minded comprehension

I roam the streets with half-smiles and rumpled preppy clothes

my audible responses to civilization and order

and the general way of the world are just as nonchalant

I’m a charlatan

a less-hirsute orangutan with bright eyes

flitting, fearful of making contact and finally

letting my guard fall down to the floor

and saying all those things

that otherwise stay

ink-stained on my tongue.

Starbabies

I don’t know how to build a rocket ship

I can’t make a potato clock either

I understand the basic concept, first you need a potato

some electrodes connected to wires shoved into its meat

electrons are drawn out (I guess)

protons are propelled (I guess)

the clock is powered (I’m confident)

but to construct something to launch us off this planet

hurl it past our atmosphere into the black void of space

where there is nothing in between all those somethings

and to survive in the precipice

that I can’t fathom

I couldn’t build it I couldn’t sit in front of an accurate schematic

and decipher and reconstruct and innovate against

and build my own more perfect version

it wouldn’t work

it wouldn’t make it an inch off the ground

but there are those who can grasp who grapple

who have the right temperament

the requisite drive to go beyond and push past the past

present and future of our feebleness

the combined confines of our collective hive minds

to build a better wheel and launch it from this planet

and hurl it past the atmosphere

into the black void of space

where there is nothing in between all those somethings

because when they were small, tiny, impressionable balls of clay

they looked up and saw stars

and they were kiln-fired in starlight

and wouldn’t stop trying until they could reach up tall

with toes on tips, with raised shoulders, with fingers lifted

and touch one.

Unsung Hero

When it comes to deli sandwiches and burgers, only a few cheeses reign supreme. You know the slices I’m talking about: American, Cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella, Provolone. Those are your top five. You could make an argument for Monterey Jack’s cousin Pepper. Gruyere slinks around in the background, but it has a reputation (perhaps unfairly) for being snooty. Then there’s the Halley’s Comet that is Muenster.

With that dairy landscape, I’d like to offer up a cheese for your future sandwich and burger consideration: Havarti.

Yes, Havarti. It’s fantastic. Flavorful and full of well-melting fattiness. All it needs is the right marketing. And, for Havarti producers, you’re in luck because I have a real zinger. In the same vein as ‘Wanta Fanta‘, I offer: Hava Havarti.

This Brand is Your Brand

Brand names. Company names. The names we come up with and choose to screenprint our corporate flags with. Laser cut plastic letters installed over a backlit display waiting for the timer to go off—open for business into the late evening. A clever name can mean the difference between business immortality and strip mall roadkill in three months.

You walk around a strip mall, past a pet store: Pet Agree. That’s good. It’s obvious, but not too obvious. The kind of brand/store name that when you hear/read it, you think, of course. And if you’ve said the word ‘pedigree’ aloud you may have even made that mental connection, but you failed to capitalize on it. You never registered it in your mental Rolodex of million-dollar ideas just waiting to be executed. So you appreciate seeing it in use in the world. It offers validation to your own fleeting hunch and you’re reassured that you have what it takes in case you ever decide to drop everything and become an entrepreneur or launch a branding consultancy.

You come across a nail salon, Coconails. That’s less good, if not on its face bad. You assume that it’s referring to coconuts. You stare at the letters high above and repeat the name like a mantra. Coconails. Coconails. Coconails. Nope, nothing. There’s no clear connection between nails and nuts. Maybe if it were a hardware store. Nuts and bolts. Nails and hammers. Hammers. Hammertoes. Toe nails. Nails. Coconails. Too tenuous. You delete your brain’s thought process and hit refresh. It must have to do with the coconut fruit in its entirety. Maybe they only use products, polishes, waxes, etc. derived from the coconut. Then it would be on theme. But it doesn’t reverberate in the mind. Throw it against the wall, it slides down like wet spaghetti.

I had an idea for a store name. A place where men/women/whoever could come and take care of their bodies. Too often we humans revert into our primitive primate states. The ear hair sprouting weed-like. The nose hair slinking out of nostrils like a well-executed fire drill. Always the hairs. And scaly skin. Rough hewed callused nubs that need paring and scrubbing, clean, flash-burned removal.

Human Groomin’, that’s the name. The apostrophe delivers an added oomph, a non-exclamatory exclamation that communicates a casual, yet professional sense of trust. At Human Groomin’ your grooming needs are attended to with care and consideration. The name relaxes the ivory tower, ivory skinned, ivory-walled/clinical edge and allows its patrons to shed their steel-stiff anxieties about the process. It meets you at your level, crouched and hunched on the ground avoiding detection and the all too caustic collective judgment. Human Groomin’ offers a loyalty card, too – ten treatments, one free!

There are natural brand spinoffs in play, too. Human Groovin’  a nightclub. Human Truman, an interactive experience where you walk through the childhood home of President Harry S. Truman in visually vibrant virtual reality.

Human Shroomin’ is a decent name for a head shop in Amsterdam or Denver.

Human Boomin’ offers wearable audio products to turn your fashion into a fully transportable aural experience. For example, footwear outfitted with speakers, zip-up hoodie sweatshirts with headphone pockets and pouches to thread wire invisibly across the body, where the earbuds spill out through the hood string rivets. Then again, everything’s moving wireless. But you still need the feet speakers. Maybe put the bass in the seats of pants so that when Meghan Trainor sings ‘I’m all about that bass,’ it will have a literal meaning, too. ‘We’re all about that bass,” is a good slogan.

The logos will be distinctive, connecting the Human brands together the way Apple latched onto the ‘i’ nomenclature. A whole umbrella empire ready to wage war and dominate the commercial, capitalist landscape.

Also, Human Consumin’, a Chipotle style, assembly line concept for cannibals. Chicken-fried human, buckets of breasts and thighs with cole slaw on the side, but with only a minimal amount of mayo, for health reasons. Just enough fat to transport the fat-soluble vitamins through the intestines undisturbed and deposit them in the vital organs at optimum potency. When it comes to the Human brand, the possibilities are endless*.

 

*Not really, there are only so many viable commercial concepts that rhyme with human.

Willpower

It’s easy to think

that the body goes soft before the mind

the visible traces the muscle melts

and turns to mere matter at the quickest non-use

but the mind is the weaker of the two

so easily willing to succumb to all surrounding stimuli:

TV, drink, an irksome itch,

candy-coated chocolate bits,

the second of an unnecessary,

back-to-back masturbation session,

sleep, or lack thereof;

who has the mental mettle to jump up

and down

to fight against a resistance

when a couch accepts your psychic physique with

soft, plushy, indulgent limbs?

Whole-some

The moon is almost full, but not quite

not sure whether it’s waxing or waning

smarter creatures than I probably know

based on the side

from which the thinnest slice

is missing

but I just tilt my head up and gaze

and wonder

how many more of these sights I have left

to savor?

An almost full moon, alone in the sky, like an ice cream scoop

with a teaspoon size bite

taken out—it’s good enough.

Junk in the trunk

I have a great idea for a new product. It’s a trunk ramp. So people won’t have to lift heavy luggage in and out of their trunk. They can just use a ramp. And when it’s not in use the ramp folds up like origami.

I have two potential brand names for my trunk ramps: Trumps or Tramps. Both names are great but I can only choose one. It’s a tough choice.

NYE, 3:44 P.M. EST

Nails need cutting cuticles need

trimming

the things I’m noticing

standing in line at a joint TJ Maxx/HomeGoods on New Year’s Eve

buying tchotchkes for a holiday party

planned last minute

prizes for trivia questions arrived at

an hour ago

someone is going to end up

with Ed Hardy body spray, a spatula

with a baby chicken on the end

and a Chewbacca

pez dispenser.

Palm Frights

My facial hair is three to four days long, just beginning to soften after its rough brillo phase. Stray cat hairs and random dust cluster in the velcro hooks puncturing my epidermis like a cheaply constructed lint roller. I keep picking at my face, pulling away nothing, still feeling begrimed. A phantom feeling like a cellphone buzz signaling nothing. I palm my face. If your hand is bigger than your face then you’re going to get cancer. It’s not true, but kids would tell that to each other so when the other one, confused and fearful, attempts to discover if he/she is doomed to be a cancer victim, the other one, waiting for the perfect moment, pushes the kid’s hand full into their face smashing them in the nose, bewildering them. And laughing.

It’s all a big joke. Like unbreakable watches, unbreakable hearts and Unbreakable*, the movie starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson.

*Actually, that one was good.

Owls

I’m sitting on the toilet seat staring at the shower curtain touching my knee.

It’s an intricate pattern that’s almost Greek key, but not,

I see an owl—

two owly eyes and a beak that howls hoot hoot.

The whole curtain is owls.

I wipe and get friendly with my sphincter. At a certain age

you become more in touch with your erogeny.

I don’t know what it means, if it means any-

thing, but the body changes it doesn’t stay

static. It evolves, goes through phases

like the moon

like girls in college

like laser light beams in a space opera (no, that’s phasers).

I’m going through phases. I want to be the person

who sits in a Starbucks reading poetry

gripping a grande

cappuccino or flat white or green tea latte

something slightly bitter with steamed milk—

not too sugary—nothing too

addictive; melt into a wing-back chair,

plush stained cush-

ions, holding my paper cup with pinkie-finger poking out daintily,

a tome of the finest meter and rhyme in my lap

whiling away the day

to the sound of easy listening and holiday favorites,

chasing aristocracy, but belonging in a barn

with the owl, the cock and the tufted tit-

mouse

which isn’t a mouse at all.

Hoooooooooot.

Sunday night musings

A wasted Sunday gets in your brain. You question the point of existence and the imminently liberal use of 2nd person. You recline in your bed with plans to go to sleep early, but you tire yourself awake. You read a paperback, web surf, play with your pubes at length, feeling the coarseness, pulling at tufts like weeds, trying to discern if this one is longer than that one, checking your junk for oddities, taking in pleasure in the meditative act of blind, platonic fondling. No boners (or female equivalents) here. It’s your body, your mind. You lay so long you feel as if your limbs are frozen and movement of any sudden sort, while inevitable, will inevitably cause some tendon to snap. Visions of surgery, traction, sweaty-browed rehab. You remember shaking a leg out hokey-pokey style earlier in the day, wondering whether the unexpected noise that sprouted from the joint was the sound of severe ligament damage or a nearby car crash. You shook it again to be sure, it was seemingly intact, no harm done, but you know that’s false certainty. The damage is done indeed, like listening to music at rock concert levels as a kid, the hidden debilitation is biding its time to go into effect. Like dementia or impotence. You think humans should probably only have a 50-year lifespan, but what about all that’s been achieved by people after age 50. Maybe your best is yet to come. Selfish. Pathetic. Just another excuse to be lazy, waiting for the gravy train. Enough indulging. You move. It hurts, like hell for a long second, but nothing breaks, nothing’s broken. The subtle tears can heal. You’re not done, you’ve got more left in the tank, which reminds you, the car needs gas, and you’re out of eggs, people are dying, Wednesday’s going to be nice, a friend left a random voicemail, you pet a dog’s soft fur, you wipe your ass, you tire yourself asleep. You wake up.

Cremation

I want to lay on my horn

and scream through this bloody machine

spent the last thirty some-odd years

driving the posted speed

content to complete a crossword puzzle

in black ink

constantly evading the earlobe itch to drop the hammer down

without abandon

and brake so hard

so the wheels

squeal, seared rubber scrapes off altogether

leaving dead fragments

on top

of a chasm of spent protoplasm

Mornings are a motherfuc—

prescribed pills have lost their efficacy

the body battles the mind

the mind beats hammers and tongs

questioning whether the microcosm that defines us

confines us

or is it only a snapshot, fading

a capsule, betraying

a fabric falsely woven and set a-blazing

a moth caught in the flame,

immolating.

Eating Habits

I don’t

think my cat likes

it when She’s trying to eat Her dinner

some brown slop

spooned out of a can

onto a porcelain white dish

set a few feet away

from me

while I pee a strong golden stream into my own porcelain dish

She looks at me

upturned whiskers and insulted sensibilities

I don’t desist

because it’s my 2 bed 2 bath apartment

cheaply carpeted with barren walls

couch with unmatched chair

used chest turned coffee table

cat tree beside the wall

where She reclines on high, waiting

for me

to leave

to resume

Her daily feast.

Mis(ter)taken Identity

Calling a credit agency to update errors in your report is a game of chicken that you’re going to lose and you’ll begrudgingly give them all of your vital personal information to verify that you are who you are; fingers, legs and testicles (or ovaries) crossed that they are who they are. I hope the new ‘me’ enjoys those student loans. Ha ha he ha ha ho, it’s funny because of the excessive cost of higher education in this country.

Lunch’s Labour’s Lost

I work from home a lot, wasting away.

Needing sustenance but still stuck, hungry.

My available options are not good.

A bag of broccoli, a raw, red pep-

per, half a cup of lemon yogurt, and

some squares of rich dark chocolate, to taste.

A month ago I ate a tin of fish

sardines by themselves nothing else, the can

was buried in the back of the pantry.

Writing in iambic pentameter

is a real pain in—three more syllables.

Top 10 tips for preparing your Christmas tree

Tip #1: Buy the first tree you see

Tip #2: If you don’t buy the first tree you see, pick your nose and contemplate existence

Tip #3 : Firmly secure your tree to your glove box

Tip #4: Do not string the Christmas lights as if they’re silly string

Tip #5: If you don’t have Christmas lights, spray paint your pet python and staple it to the branches

Tip #6: If you don’t have Christmas lights or a pet python (or if your pet python dies of internal bleeding), stare at a regular light bulb for 5 minutes then look at the tree

Tip #7: Tree mini skirts are now in vogue

Tip #8: If you ask your tree to slow dance, remember to let the tree lead

Tip #9: Ornaments rhymes with pornaments

Tip #10: Always play Christmas in Hollis while preparing your Christmas tree