with a little shameless self-promotion. Click here to read the interview Peccable and I did regarding our Interactive Fiction Competition entry, Slouching Towards Bedlam.
I would like to point out that at the time of the interview, I will doped-up on Percocet. I don't know what Peccable's excuse is.
with gorgeous wallpaper from genius comicbook artist, Alex Ross.
This is a very bad idea.
A few thoughts on the recent incident of Mad Cow Disease here in the US, from the man I trust most about food-related issues: Alton Brown.
I'm glad I'm having chicken for lunch.
The holidays are still upon us (one more to go, for me), and what a joyous time is being had by yours truly. I was going to treat you all to a Sarcasmo Christmas Recap, but in the end it would just sound like I was bragging about the lovely gifts I got from family and friends. Instead let me simply say that I was unduly spoiled, and provide you with a random list of observations I have made over the last several days:
- Taking vacation time off from work to spend time with family and friends is a great idea...but only if you schedule additional time to recuperate after the initial vacation.
- I have broken down and purchased a knitting bag. This means I am either entirely committed to the hobby, or likely to lose interest in it any day now.
- If you want to embarrass two teenage boys, force them to do the charade for the word "reproduce" in under 30 seconds: This is best done in front of their mothers' and grandmother.
- VH1's I Love the 80's Strikes Back is akin to crack. It can easily suck an entire day of your life away. Sometimes several.
- People will force feed you over the holidays...even if you tell them in advance you'll be dining elsewhere. The jury is still out on whether it is more painful to eat to be polite or cause an irreparable family rift over the holiday season.
- Pop Culture Boy and I take an inordinate amount of time to do food shopping. This is largely due to the fact that we treat each aisle as though it were the Soul Train line.
- Discovering that the annual holiday tradition you often went to see as a child no longer ends with dancing water and Santa on a train, but rather the unveiling of an extraordinarily large (and not terribly seasonal) American flag, is disappointing.
- Being told by a six-year-old that "in real life, [Frosty the Snowman] has legs", makes the light show still worthwhile.
- I am still inordinately amused by the idea of being a pirate. I'm even toying with the career move to Professional Panto Pirate.
- I have a tendency to over-extend myself over the holidays.
Hope all of you had/are having/will have a wonderful holiday season!
Robin, also known as Sarcasmo Jr. (it's true, too, here sarcasm kung-fu is as strong as mine), will be joining the guest blog this holiday week. The youngest of the the sarcastic sisters, Robin is just one semester shy of a masters degree. She's working towards a masters in Student Affairs...which means she voulntarily spends her time with college students. I find this simultaneously brave and mystifying. Either way...the students are pretty lucky. And now that she's sharing her sharp wit and disturbingly accurate observations in the sidebar...you're lucky too.
This Sunday past, while on my third cup of coffee with Pop Culture Boy and AlextheGirl at Pop Culture Boy's birthday brunch (thanks, Alex), a fleeting thought I had on Talk Like a Pirate Day came back to me.
While looking for buccaneer-relevant links for you, dear readers, I had discovered that the dreaded pirate Blackbeard lived, loved, and finally died in Ocracoke, North Carolina. This struck me as vaguely interesting at the time, as I am told there is a branch of SarcasDad's family that has been in Ocracoke as long as far back as can be remembered. "Maybe," I mused, "just maybe, Blackbeard is my ancestor. Wouldn't that be cool?"
I'm not sure what it was about Cracker Barrel's coffee, but while drinking it I remembered something I was told as a kid: My grandfather...SarcasDad's father...was the first in his family not to make his living on the sea. Surely this, coupled with the Ocracoke connection increased my chance of having an infamous ancestor even better.*
I decided then and there to claim Blackbeard as my own...at least until I learned differently. I found this to be a very exciting prospect, as it not only made my pedigree more interesting, but also gave me the possibility inheriting any surviving Blackbeard treasure.
I discussed it with SarcaSis and Sarcasmo Jr, and was met with mixed reactions. SarcaSis thought it was a sound argument..particularly the part about the treasure, and she corrected my misconception about my family's sea-going pursuits. I had always assumed they had been fishermen..but she said they had been shipbuilders, and had those who had come to the north had done so in hopes of finding ship building work.
Sarcasmo Jr. smiled politely, and simply shook her head at me when I told her I was thinking of adding "The Pirate" to the end of my name.
When SarcasMom entered the room, SarcaSis told her my theory. She said it made sense, especially as SarcasDad's family had not only been shipbuilders...they had also been rumrunners.
Rumrunners?!? How had we missed this bit of family history? SarcasDad confirmed it though...rumrunners. So I have been part pirate all along. Well, part bartender, part pirate, I suppose.
Armed with this new piratey knowledge, I feel my Blackbeard claim is well within my grasp. But do I really take hold of it? Do I claim the gold-thirsty scoundrel as my own? He is said to have had fourteen wives and fathered over one hundred children...so the likelihood of anyone making a legitimate claim without a sample of blackboard's DNA is nil. The way I see it, my claim is good enough for legend, anyway.
The argument for and against me embracing Blackbeard as an ancestor:
Pro: It makes me part pirate. Scourge of the Seas style pirate.
Con: Pirates still being actively pursued
Pro:Can justify using "Yar!" "Argh!" and "Avast!" as part of everyday conversation
Con: "Talk Like a Pirate Day" will lose its charm for me
Pro: Perfectly reasonable excuse to have a pet monkey;
Con: Pet monkey will probably fling poo at me.
Pro: No longer need to be embarrassed for loving both The Pirate Movie and The Pirates of Penzance
Con: Will probably remain embarrassed, at least about The Pirate movie.
Pro: More likely to be invited to premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean 2
Con: Don't distract me now. I'm thinking about Johnny Depp as a pirate. Mmmmm...Johnny Depp pirate...
Pro: Ability to wear eye patch and saber as professional wear. (If they argue in the office I will claim it to be my cultural heritage)
Con: Danger of creating "Pirate Business Chic" fashion movement, which would make wearing the eye patch much less fun.
Pro: Can now taunt detractors with "My bloodthirsty, marauding ancestor can beat up your ancestors"
Con: My bloodthirsty, marauding ancestor probably did beat up (torture, rob) some folks' ancestors. Sorry about that.
Pro: Fiscal gain through inheritance claim on Blackbeard's treasure and the resurrection of the Queen Anne's Revenge
Con: Possible fiscal restitution due to descendants of victims, as well as England and Spain.
Pro: My whole "men with swords" thing becomes much clearer
Con: If I am the pirate and hence the one with the sword, the whole "men with swords" thing becomes considerably more muddled.
Pro: Can explain my kluzty ways by saying I "just don't have my land legs yet."
Con: Don't really have my sea legs either
Pro: Lovely leather boots/and or peg leg (may vary by season)
Con: Lovely leather boots/peg leg involves shoe shopping. (or, you know, shoe store plundering). I hate shoe shopping.
Pro: Can make people call me "Cap'n"....or else.
Con: "Cap'n" is a far cry from "Most Exalted, Supreme, Almighty, Beloved Ruler of All Things, " which is my preferred title.
Pro: Can make people do almost anything, ...or else
Con: Increased chance of scurvy.
Pro: Can have a plank installed out my apartment window
Con: Plank likely to attract spunky yet milquetoast hero/heroines who will constantly be sneaking in my window trying to steal my treasure/save their lover/cut my throat.
Pro: Exciting world travel, booty and plunder
Con: Will have to find areas to safely bury treasure...or at the very least get a bigger apartment to keep it in.
Pro: Good reason to dramatically increase my sword collection
Con: Clumsy woman + excess swords = Ow!
Pro: Ability to drink rum with impunity
Con: Still won't be able to drink tequila successfully
Pro: Can hire all sorts of piratey minions
Con: Piratey minions have a way of turning on you
Pro: Sun! Sand! Sea Air!
Con: Sunburn! Sand in my clothes! Dry, rough skin!
Pro: Rousing Sea Shanties
Con: Rousing Sea Shanties
Pro: It would take twenty sword wounds, five gun shots wounds and beheading to get rid of me.
Con: Life as a pirate greatly increases my chances of receiving twenty sword wounds.
The scales are well balanced. However, I am leaning towards Aye.
*I should note that I am allegedly related to Stonewall Jackson. However, he is famous, and not infamous.
I thought they were supposed to defend the trees and our national resources. Apparently the National Park Service is also dabbling in some insidious revisionist history.
Welcome to America, where our Purple Mountains Majesty comes with a heaping cup of hater-mongering, and a side of fundamentalist dogma.
I am distraught. I got an email last night informing me that Pinstruck, home of the online voodoo curse, is closing its doors forever come January 31st.
Now where will I turn when I want to create anonymous, creepy havoc?
I encourage you all to go and send a curse while you still can.
Here, as my last cursesy hurrah, is a holiday curse for you, my friends.
is Pop Culture Boy's birthday. Head over to Datatype and show him some love!
For those of you who have been kind enough to ask:
I've not posted for a few days because of the following:
- Tuesday I went to the all day Lord of the Rings marathon. Although a fan of the books, enough time has passed since I last read them that I was able to view the movies without too many preconceived notions. As such (unlike many of my friends who know the books more thoroughly than I do and find many faults with film 2) I thought The Two Towers was the strongest of the films, and Return of the King the weakest despite the exciting decision to give Andy Serkis some screen time.
Cheers to Peter Jackson for making a trilogy that lends itself so easily to continuous viewing. I could sit and watch it all in one day again. I laughed, I cried, I ogled Aragorn (Ok, ok, I ogled Legolas too, but only just once..near the end of Return of the King. I'm only human after all). I even longed to take up my sword and fight during the battle scenes. The films are not the books...no films ever could be. But oh such films! Full of art and drama and imagination.
One of the things I most loved about the Lord of the Rings books, and in fact, one of the things I love about "boys' adventure tales" genre in general, is relationship between the characters. In most modern literature, friends are depicted as people you go to lunch with. In these books, the relationship between friends transcends traditional ideas of friendship, and even family. The characters' dedication to one another is unquestioned, their love believable, their pursuit full of passion. These are characters that cry with emotion rather than sentiment, and are more, rather than less, masculine for it. I salute Peter Jackson for maintaining this aspect of the books and translating it into film. (Even if it did mean many people nearby me felt the need to say "make out" every time Sam and Frodo had a scene together...)
And I am happy to say, in both the books and films, Sam remains my favorite Hobbit.
- The stomach flu. One of the dangers of spending 12 hours locked in a theater with 300 other people is that you're likely to pick up a bug or two. In my case, the bug knocked me down for 2 days. Although I'm feeling much better, I plan to take it easy the next day or two so I am well enough to face the holidays.
Which twinkle is the result of a star shining on my birth night?
My birth star (determined by what star's current twinkle is the result of light leaving the star the day I was born) is currently 61 Ursae Majoris.
Oh, sure, the speed of light isn't constant, and this is only vaguely scientific at best...but I still think its pretty darn cool.
Anywhere but Here: the perfect game for a Monday (stolen from Go Fish).
If I could be anywhere but here I would be:
- Riding an elephant through the streets of an Indian city. Further, I'd like to be wearing a yellow sari, and some sort of jewelry with tiny bells that make a soft sound like running water every time I gesture.
(I'm not altogether certain one actually does such things in India, but hey, it's my fantasy);
- Alone* in a massive private library, complete with full towering shelves, overstuffed chairs to sit in, the perfect balance of light for reading, a fire roaring in the fireplace, sunlight streaming in through a large, round window from the second floor balcony, overstuffed library chairs with arms I can throw my legs over, and a huge F-off copy of the OED on a bookstand in the center of the room, with pages so thin and writing so small one must use the accompanying magnifying glass to read it
(I will happily trade alone for silent, unobtrusive library assistants who mysteriously anticipate my every need and request, and bring me the books I want/need and keep a full cup of tea, coffee, and or wine (depending on my mood) on the table beside me.);
- In my pajamas, on my couch, reading Clash of Kings;
- Wandering through the Hakone Open Air Museum;
- The French Quarter in New Orleans (possibly on Chaz's vampire tour);
- Snuggled up anywhere with Pop Culture Boy
- Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in NYC
- Playing video games
- Touring sites of Arthurian interest in England, Wales, Normandy, Scotland, etc;
- Wandering the streets of London;
- Creeping through the catacombs under Paris;
- Chatting with people who don't consider "carbs" a food group;
- Wearing all black in Portmeirion, sneaking through the brush, climbing up clock towers, stealing mini mokes and and generally trying to escape until the Portmeirion Tourist Board reminds me that I needn't fear Rover and can leave anytime.
Or can I?;
- New Zealand;
- On a mission to Mars
(Even better if it's Top Secret).
- Working as part of an exciting, innovative, cultural think tank;
- Watching Kiss Saves Santa
- At the movies
- Making a movie
- Finishing my holiday shopping so I can stop thinking about it.
How about you?
Great music is great music, no matter what instrument one uses to perform it.
Is this the death knell of Rock n' Roll?
I know he wore sneakers to the ceremony, but that small act is a far cry from the rebellious spirit Rock used to embody and inspire.
I'm all at once amused and troubled by this.
But what is a viewer to do? Go to clubs? Museums? Out of doors? Go on strike?
At least, that's the idea of an action group in Italy, which has struck discount deals at various cultural outlets in order to encourage people eschew television for more human interaction, the arts, and other cultural activities. In addition
Parties and concerts have been arranged in cities to try to distract people from the box. Ms Spreafico said entry in Milan would be restricted to those carrying a working zapper: "If they bring the television set itself, we'll let them in free."
Although I have nothing against the television industry per say, and do indulge from time to time, I think this is a fantastic idea. I wonder how hard it would be to do such a thing here?
- Gentlemen wearing perfectly reasonable, navy blue pea coats and surprisingly large white mittens should not be allowed to frown. Ever.
Let it be know that such activity is henceforth forbidden. If I should see this young man again I will walk up to him and declare, "Young man, either smile immediately or relinquish your mittens. You clearly do not have the heart for them."
- There is something unsettlingly funny about a young man wearing a tuxedo feeding quarters into a parking meter, then vanishing away into the night on his skateboard.
As he seemed to be wearing a name tag of sorts, I suppose some could surmise this young man was a valet for a local restaurant and used his skateboard for quick conveyance between parked cards spread out over crowded city streets.
But I, I like to think of him of some kind of new, adolescent superhero, dedicated to shredding up the streets AND stamping out the virulent evil of Parking Violations...at long last allowing everyone to sit down and have a relaxing meal in the city.
I have not yet decided what to name him. There is the Golden Age style "Parking Meter Man," the side-kicky "Tuxedo Boy", or even the "Cumberbund Wonder"...but I am currently leaning towards "Wally."
I've too much online reading to catch up on to even TRY and be cute about a theme this week. You'll just have to take what you can get.
- For Those of You (like me) anxiously awaiting December 17th: Here's a little something to hold you over. What Tolkien Officially Said About Elf Sex. Now I'm not a Legolas fan myself (I much prefer Aragorn), but I figure, those Elves are so pretty, and they live so long, they must do something to pass the time. Or someone.
- Via Amorous Propensities
- What Do You Call That Thing..You Know...The One You Use With That Other Thing: The Reverse Dictionary is my favorite new resource. Give it the gist and it will give you the definition. It's not exactly a cure for Tip of the Tongue syndrome, but it sure is close.
- Via Jerz's Literacy Weblog.
- With the Holidays In Full Swing: I can't resist linking to this Christmas Story that really touched me.
- Courtesy of Where the Wild Things Are
- The Speed of Light: Now Less Constant Than Ever: Some scientists have managed to make light stand still (for a very short period of time, but you know, pretty fantastic), and maintain it's energy. The article claims this may someday help in the production of so-called Super Computers.
Is it just me, or does Matthew Bigelow's calling this feat "very clever" strike anyone else as the scientific community's way of saying "That's nice, dear...but can it do my dishes?"
- Via MakeOutCity
- "...all I've ever really wanted to do is to breath [sic] radioactive fire on downtown Tokyo. That isn't too much to ask from life, is it?" - Icarus Creeps: Hypercomics; interactive entertainment that will break your brain (not necessarily work safe. Click with Caution)
- Via Fun Junkie
- Is That a Camera? Duck!: A good reason not to let a stranger take your picture: The wary fat kid. Conversely, a good reason not to let your parents take your picture: When Rock Stars were kids. I've already been a fat kid, so it is clearly time for me to burn every photo of me that ever was, so I may begin my ascent to Rock stardom without free of Internet reprisal.
- Both via Geisha asobi blog
Said by the pink haired one herself at last night's weekly movie gathering:
"I hate [playing] Monopoly. It's like Waiting for Godot with dice."Ain't it the truth, though?
Build your own Garbage Pail Kid.
What happens when you cross Oxcydone with a brain that likes to taunt it's person with false awakening nightmares? I can tell you.
- Auditory Hallucinations: While in the dream fugue state, that strange somewhere between waking and sleeping, I was idly thinking about my day. At one point I asked myself a question, and someone else's voice answered.
"Ah ha!" I thought, "Now I understand why people enjoy the Percocet. It's the hallucinations."
I wondered if those medieval saints and martyrs who heard the voice of their deity had simply ingested the necessary chemical components? If I had been Joan of Arc, I would have been certain God was sarcastic, acerbic, and sounded strangely like Norm McDonald.
Luckily for me (and my mental health coverage), Holy Norm did not give me any instructions. He just gave the occasional smart-alek comment to my non-linear thought process as I drifted off to sleep.
- Vibrant Dreams: I dreamt about a visit with an old friend of Pop Culture Boy's that lead to a resumed acquaintance with an old friend of mine. PCB and I stayed in a strange hotel with a long narrow canopied bed with small TV monitors set around the canopy rail. Our pet white owl slept in a small, custom made bowl of water at our feet. When the owl got upset, it split itself in two: becoming a young blonde boy and young blonde girl, both dressed all in white. The young girls ran off and we chase her through the hotel. When we catch and calm her we are forced to tell everyone that she is the daughter of a friend of a friend. Everyone accepted our story and adored the little girl.
The dream later lead to romantic betrayal, and a trip to a dance club only accessible by jumping from rooftop to rooftop, and eventually swinging down on a long chain. I failed the chain test.
Get your dream books out folks. I've got no idea what this means.
- A Call from Mother: I woke up around 3:00AM to answer my phone. Sarcas-Mom was calling from work to tell me about a show she is going to see called Big Blue, that my youngest sister had joined a group called "The Orange Sable Riders" and to complain that my husband never answers his email.
- Noctambulism: Around 4:30 AM, I was lying awake, starting at my ceiling, wondering if I had, in fact, talked to Sarcas-Mom. The conversation was real enough (Pop Culture Boy is bad about answering email after all), but a few facts troubled me. (1) Sarcas-Mom never works at 2:30 AM. (2) She would never call in the middle of the night unless it was an emergency. (3) Sometime during the conversation she projected text on my ceiling for me to read. (Although I do have a clock that projects the time on the ceiling at night, I have no device that would receive and project textual information from my phone to my ceiling.) The jury is still out about Big Blue and the "Orange Sable Riders".
As I was lying there, looking the time projected on my ceiling, I wondered when Pop Culture Boy (who has been keeping a strange sleeping schedule as of late--sleeping during the day and working in his studio all hours of the night. Has he secretly turned into a vampire? I wonder..but I digress..) would make it to bed. No sooner had I thought his name when I heard his voice drift from down the hall:
Pop Culture Boy: Sarcasmo...
Sarcasmo: (voice cracked and heavy with drugs and sleep) What?
Pop Culture Boy: Sarcasmo...
Sarcasmo: (forcing her voice to be stronger) What?
Pop Culture Boy: Come here.
Pop Culture Boy: Come here.
Sarcasmo tries to sit up. Her body is too tired and heavy to comply.
Sarcasmo: I can't.
Pop Culture Boy: Be nice.
Sarcasmo tries again and sits up. She gets out of bed and pads her way into the hallway. What can be wrong, she wonders. Pop Culture Boy is a self-proclaimed bastard, and a jerk at times, but it is well outside even his realm of reason to summon Sarcasmo from convalescent sleep without a good reason.
Has he tripped over the futon in his office, a la Dick Van Dyke, leaving himself tangled in the wires of his music studio? Has he spotted something beautiful and captivating out the window (a dragon-tailed comet, the perfect shade of blue, a sublime snowfall) that she simply must see? Have elves broken into the apartment, and left our living room covered in new shoes? What could it be? She doesn't know, but she knows it better be good.
Sarcasmo: Where are you?
Pop Culture Boy: In the bedroom.
Sarcasmo: No you're not. I just left there.
Pop Culture Boy: The second bedroom. My office.
Sarcasmo gets to the office and pushes open the door. Pop Culture Boy sits there, typing on his computer, a cigarette burning near his right hand. He is not trapped beneath the furniture, nor staring rapturously out the window. The worst he appears is a wee bit startled.
Sarcasmo and Pop Culture Boy stare blankly at one another for a moment.
Sarcasmo: (looking at Pop Culture Boy expectantly) What?
Pop Culture Boy: What is it? What's wrong?
Sarcasmo: What do you want?
Pop Culture Boy: I don't want anything. I didn't call you.
At 4:36 AM, a kind-hearted Pop Culture Boy leads a freaked out Sarcasmo back to bed. She is a decidedly unhappy camper.
On the upside, I've managed to take NO pain killers since getting up today, and I am determined to keep it that way.
On the downside, if I hear voices tonight, I've only myself to blame.
Both of the daily word mailing list had creepily fun offerings today:
duende (doo-EN-day) noun
1. Demon; goblin.
2. Inspiration; fire; spirit; magic; charm; magnetism
And from The Word Spy:
uncanny valley n. Feelings of unease, fear, or revulsion created by a robot or robotic device that appears to be, but is not quite, human-like.
Both of these suit my mood this morning. (More on why later).
I've migrated from Percocet (apparently I'm one of those people who shouldn't take it) to Motrin, and am therefore slowly finding my way back to consciousness. Thanks to all who call, IMed, emailed and otherwise asked after my well-being.
During my convalescence, I did three things: Slept, ate ice-cream, and watched tons of movies (most of them bad). Some of these I watched more than once, mostly due to the sleeping thing.
By way of my re-introduction into the real world, I thought I'd offer my mini-reviews of my weekend entertainment. Sort of a "What I Did On My Brain's Vacation"
- Amelie: Welcome to Montmarte, where even the reality challenged can find love. I am a big fan of this director, and love
this film to pieces.
- The Downside: The same director inexplicably directed Alien Resurrection.
- The Upside: Visually stunning, terrifically imaginative, with just a touch of dark humor. Right up my alley.
- Bartleby: Ever been asked to do something you'd "prefer not to"? Have you had the guts to say so? In life? In the workplace? Bartleby stirs things up when he starts refusing the most "reasonable" requests.
- The Downside: In general, I find Crispin Glover unnecessarily creepy, his performance in this movie proving no exception. Also, it seemed to run about 30 minutes too long.
- The Upside: Excellent performance by David Paymer as the put-upon boss. Also, the movie is based on the short story Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville (sadly the only Melville I've ever read). I didn't enjoy the movie as much as I did the short story when I read it years ago.
- Bonus Note: Best Bartleby the Scrivener reference I've seen to date was on an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast in which Space Ghost asks Zorak to play him to his dek, and Zorak tells Space Ghost he "would prefer not to." Space Ghost surprisingly retorts "You're not a scrivener. You're a locust. So play me to the desk!" I am sure the six English Lit majors on the writing staff and the other five in the viewing audience got as big a kick out of that obscure joke as I did.
- Bend It Like Beckham: A charming movie about culture clash, football, and following your dreams.
- The Downside: The outcome is almost too comfortable, and largely predictable.
- The Upside: This movie falls in the "feel good" category, and when you feel bad, it's good to watch movies that make you feel good.
- Bonus Note: Four Words: Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Yum.
- The Devil Bat: The trusted, beloved town doctor has revenge all bottled up.
- The Downside: As with most sci-fi horror films, the science borders on the ridiculous. Bats, taught to hate a "strange Asian scent" are increased in size and then sent to kill anyone wearing that scent. The scent is distributed easily enough (disguised as a test formula for after shave), but why would the bat seek the scent out rather than avoid it at all costs?
- The Upside: Despite the somewhat hokey set-up, Bela Lugosi shines as the mad scientist, Dr. Paul Carruthers. He delivers his line like this is Masterpiece Theater. His "Good-bye" to ensuing victims will send chills up your spine.
- Don't Look in the Basement: When the doctor dies at the sanitarium, who will mind the patients?
- The Downside: Hokey, hackneyed, and horrible, anyone who has read a book, watched TV, seen a movie or heard a story prior to waiting Don't Look in the Basement will see the "twist" ending coming well before the doe-eyed heroine who unwittingly demands employment in this house of horror.
- The Upside: Wonderfully ironic end credits prove even the film makers had a sense of humor (or an overly developed sense of importance) about this project.
- Last Man on Earth: (A movie version of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend). A virus mutates kills all of humanity, or mutates them into vampires. All, except one.
What do you do when you're the last man on Earth? How do you help humanity survive? Will doing so ignore the powers of evolution?
- The Downside: Although the ending is rather poignant, the movie drags its feet getting there.
- The Upside: It beats the pants off of the Charleton Heston version, The Omega Man.
- Bonus Note: Vincent Price. Boo-yah.
- The Muppet Show (3 Episodes):
- The Downside: Heartless introductions by Brian Henson.
- The Upside: Muppets, Peter Sellers, John Cleese, and Dudley Moore.
- Bonus Note: Great joke in the Dudley Moore episode where Mr. Moore tells the Dr. Teeth & Co. to "Take Five", and they break into the Dave Brubeck jazz classic (scroll down after clicking link to listen).
- The Prisoner (Arrival): Because a spy never really retires.
- The Downside:Missed half the episode, due to crazy knock-out drugs.
- The Upside: Crazy knock out drugs are surprisingly appropriate to this episode.
- Satanic Rites of Dracula: It's the 70's, and Dracula is on the loose in London. Dracula is tired of living, and he and his hip gang of sharpshooters are going to take out the world, one bubonic plague at a time. (Luckily, all the sharpshooters wear trendy suede vests, and are easily spotted.)
- The Downside: It's a Hammer Horror production, so sound and film quality are crap, even on the DVD.
- The Upside: It's a Hammer Horror production, so the settings are gothic-y and lush, and Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing add credence and weight to an otherwise troubled story.
- Bonus Note: See a young Joanna Lumley molested by the brides of Dracula.
- Shrek: What happens before Happily Ever After?
- The Downside: I can't stop holding the whole Cat in the Hat Thing over Mike Myers' head, which makes the character Shrek somehow less likeable.
- The Upside: It's Dreamworks! It's irreverent! It's funny!
- Bonus Note: The sequel is out soon..and it looks promising.
- Silent Night, Bloody Night: (What can I say? It's December, it was snowing...this film was calling to me. I guess I'm just a romantic at heart.) A mansion with a mysterious secret, a small town, an escaped lunatic, and a stranger. What else does a horror film need? Aside from good writing, artful plotting, and a heroine or hero you can care about..nothing. Sadly, Silent Night, Bloody Night misses out on those key elements.
- The Downside: Slow, and boring. Excessive use of darkness does not create the gloomy feel desired..and the surprise twist, although not exactly what I predicted, was not entirely surprising, either.
- The Upside:A really interested dinner party flashback sequence. A little long for my personal taste, but some good visuals there.
- Bonus Note: Some familiar faces, including Patrick O'Neal (who you might recognize as "Dis" from the ever popular The Stepford Wives), and John Carradine (whose visage is seen in dozens of horror movies).
- Vision of Escaflowne (series): Fortune telling, science fiction, feudalism, track and field and steam punk meet to tell the compelling story of Atlantis, Gaea, Earth, and Escaflowne.
- The Downside: The music is uninspired, and often inappropriate and laughable.
- The Upside: Mechs! Cat girls! Boys with Swords! Castles! Ghosts! It's an anime bonaza. In the end, you even care about the characters you thought you'd hate.
- Bonus Note: This was leant to Pop Culture Boy and I by Wandering Star. Now that we have watched it in entirety, he has no excuse not to finish reading The Dark Knight Returns.
Discover the The Japanese SAQ (That's Seldom Asked Questions, not Stupid-A** Gaijin, btw). I was pleased to learn Why do all the Jizo statues in Japan wear "bibs"? We saw many of these red dressed statues on our trip to Japan, and I wondered the very same thing. Now I have the answer to that question, and many more. Such as:
- What is the sound of one hand clapping?
- Yakuza put pearls where?
- What is the origin of the samurai hairstyle?
- Why do Japanese school girls wear sailor suits?
- Why are there so many Love Hotels near temples and shrines?
- Why do Yakuza cut off their little fingers?
- Why do anime characters have such big eyes?
- Why is there a taboo against having four-fingered cartoon characters? (And how does it affect Mickey Mouse?)
- What's the correlation between Blood Type and character?
Posting will be light to nil over the next day or so, as I had my wisdom teeth out yesterday and am existing in a veritable haze of Jell-o, percocet, sleep and chocolate ice cream (which, all though it beats working, is not nearly as much fun as it sounds). The pain isn't so bad, though, and I'm going to try and hold off on the pain killers as long as I can as I would like to get some knitting done with all this spare time, and would rather not poke my eyes out. Besides, Sam leant me the X-men movies to help with my convalescence, and Pop Culture Boy is taking excellent care of me. I imagine I'll be up and running in no time.
At the end of the procedure, the nurse told me I did "very well," which I find a rather odd thing to say. What's the appropriate response there? "Thanks. You did to?" Are we meant to then exchange numbers and then never call? Actually, I'm not too keen on the operating room/recovery room/emergency room thing. Being the patient in those situations always makes me feel like I'm the hostess at some very strange cocktail party, and I must strive to be witty and charming to help keep my guests calm and at ease. When I was on the gurney in a neck brace last year, having my arm sewn up after the car accident , I cracked jokes and grinned so as to not worry the already anxious faces around me. Come to think of it, I wish they did treat these things like cocktail parties. Then I could give everyone else alcohol so they'd be as anesthesized as me.
Ah, well, at least I know I have a talent: I am good at lying there unconscious while three strangers use a hand saw to sever tooth from my jaw. I think I'll add that to my resume.
On a more fun note, I woke this morning to a hazy view from my window---but it wasn't the drugs--it's SNOW!!! Hooray for the first snowfall of the season (and double hooray for not having to get to work in it). As soon as I'm allowed, I'm having some hot chocolate and going outside.
While on my search for Magic Sand (see below), I was excited to discover the Teachersource catalogue. Here you'll find enough geeky gadgets and goofs to please the science nerd in all of us (yes, even you): Chem Time Clock, Caffeine Beaker Mug, Flourescent Green Lab Coats, and the Magic Potion Mole Figurine just to name a few.
What impresses me the most, though, is the James D. Watson Bobblehead, complete with his own strand of DNA. Maybe it's the animated gif, but I just can't stop laughing.
For the budding forensic scientist in your kindergarten class: Popular Science | Discovery Kids Ultimate Labs DNA Explorer.
You know what science toy I used to like as a kid? Those plexiglass rectangles that had water and a colorful oil based liquid trapped between the panes. The oil and water wouldn't miss (natch) so you Could create slow, ever-changing patterns when you turned it upside down. Also, I liked >Magic Sand.
Could be why I don't have that Nobel Prize yet.
- 1804: Napolean crowned Emperor. Josephine subquently tried to conquer Fashion, nearly bankrupting his empire for want of the perfect dress.
- 1823: Monroe
Doctrine Declared. Americans quickly begin celebrating this important document by forgetting what it's for as soon as high school history is completed. The Old War and the New World still occassionally squabble nonetheless
- 1867: Charles Dickens gives his first US reading. He is not impressed.
- 1923: Maria Callas is born. The word "Diva" is never the same again.
- 1932: Bing Crosby and Bob Hope appear on stage together for the first time. The world is punished for allowing this unholy union with a string of campy road movies.
- 1972: SarcasMom and Dad are wed, soon to have a bevy of charming, literate, & brillant children who love them. (Sadly, said children also suffer from occassional delusions of grandeur, but they're basically ok.) Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad.
According to this article from BBC News the new Time Lord's companion is Buffy inspired.
Although a Buffy fan and believer in the idea of the "capable female" in modern literature, I don't know how I feel about the Doctor's companion (male or female) being especially action oriented. One of my favorite things about Dr. Who has always been that in the end, the Doctor uses his brains rather than his brawn (has there ever been a brawny Gallifrean? Maybe the Master?) to defeat the monster of the week. I fear this will mean more action scenes and less witty banter. I'm all for shooting Daleks, mind you, so long as the butt-kicking can be done cleverly.
Besides, what's the point of a Dr. Who companion if they aren't being randomly kidnapped by strange creatures invading the Earth (or planet of your choice)?
Happily, the article does still list Eddie Izzard as a new Doctor possibility (although he is conspicuously absent from their reader poll, to which I say "pppbbbtt!").
- Socks: Traditionally, I hate wearing things on my feet. I fail my sex by detesting shoes and shoe shopping (I own three pairs: one brown, one black, and a pair of well-worn sneakers), preferring to go barefoot whenever possible. Having lived in carpeted homes all my life, shoes and socks have traditionally come off my feet the second I get in the door.
However, the new Chez Sarcasmo & Pop Culture Boy has no carpets--but rather lovely old hardwood floors. I adore them, but now that winter is nearly here I've come to realize they are a heating nightmare. Alas, being currently cozy slipper-less, I've been forced to wear socks around this house.
Not only do they keep my icy toes warm, but wearing them has introduced me to a new delight...running down the long hallways and sliding (arms flailing) into my living room or bedroom. (If Pop Culture Boy is working with his door open, he's likely to be treated to me sliding by his office door sideways; goofy grin plastered on my face, hand waving). I'm becoming a bit too fond of this practice, now doing it several times a week.
Clumsy as I am, I have no doubt it will end badly. But it's fun for now!
- Elevators: The elevators in my office building inexplicably have mirrors on the ceiling. I know mirrors are meant to make small areas look larger, but why try to make it look taller rather than deeper? In fact, why try to make an elevator look larger at all? You certainly don't want people to over-fill thinking it can hold more people than it's meant to. That's a sure recipe for disaster.
For those of you with your mind other places...you should know that there are only four stories in this building, including the basement. The trip from the basement to the top floor is less than a 30 seconds. If you can manage mirror-on-the-ceiling-worthy things in that short amount of time, I'm not sure it's worth bothering.
When I'm alone in these elevators, I feel obligated to look up and screw up my face at the mirror, sometimes making several different faces before the doors open on my floor (directly across from my office).
To be honest, this is not a new phenomena: I make random faces (or sometimes, do a little dance) anytime I'm in an elevator alone. I know some elevators have hidden cameras for security purposes, so I generally point myself in whatever direction I suspect the cameras to be, give a wave and a smile, and then get my groove on. I figure if they have to watch the videos, they might as well have something amusing to see.