Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shotgun!!

Yes, it’s immature.

And while it falls into the same category as other immature habits that formed during my childhood years (i.e. being trained to eat pizza as fast as I could to ensure my share, guarding my plate from scavengers and licking the insides of oreos and closing them for an unexpected victim), it stands high above the others as one of the most problematic habits in my entire life.

I can’t stop calling Shotgun! when approaching a car.

First, let’s identify why “calling Shotgun!” and successfully getting Shotgun (the passenger seat in a car that will be transporting more than two individuals) is such a great thing. Let’s face it — no one likes to sit in the back seat of a car. And if you’re traveling to a lunch with five of your friends or going to New York or some concert and you’re packing a car to the brim — you don’t want the back seat, the hump in the back seat, and you definitely don’t want to be that lowly person who gets stuck having to contort their body to fit in the hatchback section of the car.

You want Shotgun!

The rules of engagement are varied depending on where you're from. But the rules I follow stem from my early high school years, and while a bit insane, can be summarized in this short (and legitimate) list:
-You may not call Shotgun! until you can see the car.
-If you call Shotgun! before seeing the car, you cannot call Shotgun! for three trips that occur following the instance in which you illegally called Shotgun!
-In the event you illegally call Shotgun! and others exclaim that you couldn’t have possibly seen the car from where you were standing, but you insist that you have really good eyesight but they don’t believe you — all parties must stop at the point where you said you could see the vehicle and a neutral third-party ophthalmologist must give you an eye-test, determine you ability to see and how far you can see, and then all parties can agree upon whether or not you can call Shotgun! in the next three trips.
-Assuming you do call Shotgun! and the other parties challenge your call, and the ophthalmologist comes in, and you get an eye test, and you indeed could have seen far enough to legally call Shotgun!, but obviously since the ophthalmologist appointment came after the contested call (which meant that at the time you called it you were disallowed shotgun due to the questioning of legality), then you will be provided with a freebie of Shotgun! in an event of your choosing.
-If someone trips you on the way to the car or “flat-foots” you (stepping on the back of your shoe while you’re walking) after you’ve already called and acquired shotgun — you get an extra shot gun for next time. If you do any of the previously aforementioned things to another passenger while you have already been awarded the shotgun, then you must give up your shotgun-status to the person you did the act to.
-Putting your dirty shoes up on the dashboard in the car, while enjoying the shotgun-status, is grounds for the driver to pull over, revoke your shotgun-status and give it to the person he/she likes better.

As you can see, such rules work wonderfully for people who have too much time on their hands and also don’t have professional relationships to foster — my current lifestyle, not being able to stop calling Shotgun! is not problem in my personal, professional and academic life.

Sure, it’s a bit childish, but it’s the kind of thing where potentially…other people might respect the fact that you called it and got it. I suspect there are thousands of adults out there, who every time they approach a car with more than two passengers think to themselves about calling shotgun but don’t — for fear of looking silly. For fear of ruining a relationship. But deep down, I think the compulsion lies dormant in “civilized businesspeople” and they’re dying to let it back out.
Or maybe that’s just how I justify feeling better about the looks I get from others or the snarls I get from hump-residing back-seat dwellers. Or maybe the reactions I get from people (mostly which include reactions like “you’re serious?” or “that is so immature”) are simply their way of lashing out against the guy who got shotgun, when they really wished it had been them.
Look. My record speaks for itself. In an average 100 car trips, including more than 2 passengers, I have achieved legendary status as a shotgunner with an approximate 74 success call-outs. That means that in almost 75% of all shotgun attempts, I have been successful.
Immature? Maybe. The coolest guy ever? Yeah.
So I can’t stop calling shotgun.
Big deal.

I Am The Master of Asking for a Water Glass and Sneaking Free Soda

“Just a glass for water, please.”

It is a phrase so simple in it’s simpleton-like simplicity that no cash register clerk ever reads into it. It is a phrase that I throw out so innocently, that my warm nature never causes anyone to question my intentions. It is a phrase that I utter with such convincing “I’m doing this all-water diet right now” attitude that the powers that be (i.e. restaurant managers) never see me coming, and never realize when I’m gone.
Yes, I’m the Master of asking for a water glass then sneaking free soda.


First and foremost, don’t skewer the Master for taking advantage of a flawed system. That would be like punishing a dog for eating food he found on the floor, or yelling at a child for falling asleep in Church just because the option was available to him. It’s like taking a man who was raised by apes into a city and then expecting him to act like a normal, civilized human being.

As the Master of asking for a water glass then sneaking soda, people often wonder if there was a progression. For example, did I once just ask for a water glass and drink water? And then one day, while drinking water out of the water glass, did I see an annoying kid who didn’t know any better take his water glass to the soda fountain in an attempt to just get water, and then see the orange soda receptacle sitting right next to the water spout and just decide to take orange soda instead? Or was it the day when the Master noticed that the water came out of the same spout as the Iced Tea spout and that no one would ever notice what was coming out as long as he kept his back to them?

Was the progression quick, did it involve a thought process, or did instinct just take control?
Either way, I no longer ask the questions of my origins. For what good will it do me? Does an arsonist ask himself what one single moment caused him to be an arsonist? No, he embraces his talent, no matter how evil.

As do I.

Evil or not, I have grown to challenge my Master-like skills to the point of ridiculousness. Now, you may find me at the front register of a Cici's Pizza or at our very own nest asking for five water glasses (for my friends), then stand unintimidated at the soda fountain filling up five separate glasses with five separate syrup/carbonated water combinations like Diet Coke, Coke, Minute Maid Orange, Iced Tea and Fruit Punch. As the Master, no one challenges me, no one bothers me, and no one asks me to regurgitate any liquids after I’ve already downed ‘em.

The Master remains unscathed by the management of society’s better-known food establishments.

Sure, sometimes when it’s late at night and it’s dark outside and most of the world is quiet and sleeping…I think about what I’ve done. I think about the evil I have thrust upon the medium-fast food restaurant establishments of society. I think, for a split second, of the fortunes I’m stealing from extremely wealthy medium-fast food restaurant owning families. But then I ask myself a question.

“If what I do is so wrong, why have they not yet caught me?”

And I feel a whole lot better.

Because if you’re good at something evil… And people never stop you… Doesn’t that make you the best at what you do? Doesn’t that make you superior? Doesn’t that make you…the Master?

Which I am.

Of asking for a water glass and then sneaking free soda.




Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What I want for Christmas (Part 1)

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Dear Mr. Santa Claus,

Would you be so kind as to bring me a Nintendo DS? I know, I'm in college, but there's nothing wrong with holding on to your youth. Don't judge me. My friend Magan Carrigan has Pokemon-Diamond/Pearl and it hurts not knowing what she talking about when she says things like " I'm about to curb stomp the Elite Four and Team Glacatic with my newly caught level 60(-billion) Dialga".

WTF is a Dialga?..Team who? I'm so lost.

Or maybe you could get me a bike. Heaven knows that I am all over campus and my feet can only travel so fast; it's not rare for me to be late for some of my classes. On top of that, all the cool kids have them. I'd really like to be cool for Christmas, Santa.

Good all year long,
Kevin McDonough

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Final Fantasy XIII Trailers


Trailers for both Final Fasntasy 13 and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.



James Jean's Sketchbook

James Jean is my favorite (living) artist. This is one of his amazing sketchbooks that you can look through.

FYI: James Jean was born in Taiwan in 1979. Raised in New Jersey, he graduated from New York City's School of Visual Arts in 2001. Along with his award-winning cover art for DC Comics, Jean has produced illustrations for Time Magazine, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, ESPN, Atlantic Records, Target, Playboy, Nike, and Reebok among many others.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Exploding Whale


I was flipping through the channels and stopped on a NationalGeographic show titled "The Whale that Exploded"; and of course, I gotta watch it. So the story is that in Jan. of 2004 they found a dead sperm whale on a beach in Taiwan. Researchers wanted to use its body for educational purposes so they strapped the whale onto a flatbed truck and made their way to the reseach facility.

As we all know, when an organism dies there is a build up of gases within the body. Any normal animal would be able to relese these gases but whales are built to withstand tons of underwater pressure. All the stuff that keeps pressure out also keeps internal pressure in. So it eventually exploded.

This is by no means a wimpy little nerf gun shot, this was a 50-ton carcass projecting its insides with so much power that blood and entrails could be found as far as 50 meters away. Imagine walking back to your car it find it covered in blood and mammel guts. Ew.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Katabasis Project



For my Greek Myth & Film class we had to make an artwork that covered the theme of Katabasis. Katabasis is the journey downward (into hell) and the transformation one goes through during that journey; our class studied this theme and how it is repeated in the literature and films that we see today. If you want to read more abou this project click here.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sweet Ink



Fantastic gun in garter tattoo. Sources are unknown.

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)



So last week I decided to try out for the play Goodnight Desdemona (on a whim, like everything else I do) and I made the callbacks and eventually got a part. Yeah! I know! It's not a huge role but it's made of a small cast of 12 actors and about 50 people tried out so I'm pretty lucky to have been cast (especially since I have far less theater experience than any of the people there). We had our first rehearsal the other day and it's going to be a pretty funny play, so far I'm the odd one out because I'm the only non-theater kid there hahah. I'm going to be The Servant and will be tackled during the course of the play; who doesn't want to see that?

Love the Sgt. Shakespeare? Pretty sweet huh? It's by an illustrator in Canada who goes by carts
. Be sure to check out his gallery here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Artist Kevin Tong




Awesome poster for The Shins and Vampire Weekend. There are more posters for music from Jenny Lewis, Tokyo Police Club, Wilco, Silversun Pickups and more by Kevin Tong. He is a freelance illustrator and comic book artist, therefore someone who I will idolize. Be sure to check out his paintings and other illustrations.

First Post :)

video