Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?   


I don't think that question was ever satisfactorily answered. Ah, well. Darned if I know.



Even though time is simply an arbitrary, man-made construct meant to give our hectic lives some structure, those of us who follow the Gregorian Calendar (and those preparing to adopt Richard Henry's new-fangled calendar) insist on attaching some weighty significance to the end of one year and the beginning of another. We gather together, drink champagne, reminisce about the year that was, throw confetti, dig out everything that it horrible about ourselves and our lives and resolve to change it.



Well, not me. Do I gather with friends and reminisce? Sure, because any excuse I can find to commune with friends and loved ones is a good one. But I am firmly against the making of "New Year's Resolutions ". There is nothing magical about January the 1st that will make me any more like to keep the goals I assign myself that day than if I made them any other day of the year. If anything, these holiday promises (made under the yoke of public pressure and too much partying) are likely not be kept at all, and subsequently dug out as one more annual failure at the next New Year's bash.



No wonder people drink themselves silly at these things.

I think resolutions should be made as we need them, throughout the year, and instituted immediately upon their being made.



That being said, and my mind being imminently changeable, I have made the following resolutions to myself:



Basically, I plan to make 2005 the year of Sarcasmo Making An Ass of Herself in Public (and Enjoying Every Minute of It).



After all, I don't want to get to 80 years of age and have no stories to tell.



Enough rambling. Here, at long last, are the Friday Follies. Since this is a holiday weekend, and I actually remembered to take this Monday off, I doubt there'll be any Monday Morning Madness. (Oh, I may post throughout the weekend, but I don't plan to do any link mining. So make these last.)



Best of new year's wishes to everyone.



Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, December 30, 2004
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In the Daylight, Darkness Stalks Me   


It's no secret that I'm a fan of horror movies. Be they creepy or gorey, styish or campy, you can rest assured that I'm there somewhere in the dark, one hand lightly gripping the armrest, the other slightly glazed with butter flavoring.


And I'm almost always cheering for the bad guy. *


I see these movies as a bit of fun, a lovely safe scare, and as good a way as any to spend a few hours. When the lights come on, real life comes back, and I don't think about them anymore. **


Which is why I'm terribly surprised that these movies have apparently creeped their way into my conciousness; I've begun having visions of horror movie actors.


It started a couple of weeks ago, when I stopped in my local Rite Aid. Waiting in line I found myself doing a patented Paul-Newman style double-take as Jeffrey Combs brushed by me to get to the batteries. Stunned and giddy, I switched lines just to get a closer look.

In the end, I decided it was not him (the gentleman in question lacking both the prison-buff bod of Beyond Reanimator and the overall Herbert-West-hotness) - but the similarities were enough to set my heart a-flutter.

I thought no more of my pseudo-brush with celebrity until this morning when, while waiting for my bus, I watched wide-eyed as Donald Pleasence walked down the street opposite me. Seeing him there, talking pleasantly with a lady friend as he hunched his shoulders against the winter cold, was concerning not only because his is a long pedigree of horror films (most would recognize him as Dr. Loomis from the prolific Halloween enterprise), but also because I'm enough of a horror movie fan to know that Pleasence passed away years ago.

I can only wonder what's next: Robert Englund at the grocery store? Bela Lugosi delivering my mail? Ingrid Pitt knitting next to me on the bus?


And more troubling, why? Is this a strange manifestation of holiday-related stress? A sign that I should I check myself in somewhere for a lovely little rest? Or does it mean it's time for me to have a good, old-fashioned horror movie marathon? (After all, they are calling to me.)

Or is it because before any of this started, I actually did see Jaleel White and his entourage shopping on South Street on a rainy Sunday afternoon - and my brain is recalling horror movie icons to try and block out the horror of seeing TV's Urkel made flesh?

The world may never know.


*After all, when it comes down to it - would you rather be on the team with the super-human guy with the machete, or hiding in a dumb waiter only to plunge stupidly to your own death? Survival, people, survival.

**Well, ok, except for that brief moment when I lock up at night.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, December 30, 2004
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Whee. I'm Exhausted and I've Had Too Much Coffee   


Always a fatal combination when attempting to write for the Interweb. But, ah well. Caution, the wind, etc.



Movie Night Moment of Brilliance #7048:

"Star Trek is like the Pope." - Feanor



No, I shan't give you the context (other than to tell you that we were watching Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), but I can assure that the statement is entirely accurate. Feel free to work it out amongst yourselves.



Man, I love that movie.



In other news, I had the rare pleasure of spending some time with my friend Jessica, who joined me for "a comic Panto in the British style." This was terribly exciting not only because I don't see Jessica nearly often enough - but because I was so taken with the last Panto performance I saw (also with Jessica, actually) that I was practically bursting with excitement to see this one.



All in all, it was a very enjoyable show; racaous and silly and lots of making shy members of the audience terribly uncomfortable. Still, Jessica and I agreed that it lacked a certain quality the previous show had. Maybe it was because they took liberties with the genre, losing the recognizable roles of principal boy and girl; or the proliferation of full-blown musical numbers; or even the inclusion of a Night Witch (who lived in the Tangly Wood) who turned out to be a leather-clad dominatrix (biker hat and all) who used her whip to coerce her victims to do the washing up before she rewarded them with a sexy dance party*. Either way - not quite what we envisioned. Which is not to say it wasn't great fun - it was - but it wasn't quite my idea of Panto. (However, we were proudly the only two people in the audience who got both the Star Wars and Princess Bride references, so our geek creds are still firmly intact. So bonus there.)



I'll suppose I'll just have to get myself to the UK on a Christmas hence to see the real deal.



I still think I'd love to do that sort of thing. Get paid to be silly, tease people, dance and sing songs? Yes please. (And best I can tell, as career paths go, that job description only belongs to two positions: Panto Performer and Jester - and competition for Royal Jester is apparently pretty fierce. Also, I can't juggle.)



Alas, but where's a gal (with precious little theatrical training) to find a roving band of Panto performers to run away with in this part of the world?



*I am not kidding.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, December 29, 2004
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Bouncing Back and Forth Between Extremes   


Can someone please let me know what it is I might have to done to offend the Mighty Temperature Gods and how I might appease them? I've spent the past few days in a maddening cycle of shivering and sweating - and I don't even have the flu.



Not yet, anyway.



The problem is this: the heaters in my office aren't functioning properly. This has been going on for some time - apparently the newest excuse by the building is that they are waiting on a "coupling." This means several people in my office are working in their coats and hats - and others have space heaters in their offices. I am dressing in layers and drinking hot chocolate by the gallons. And the tip of my nose is just plain icy.



At least today is better than yesterday. Today I can feel my fingers.



Then, just to balance out the scales, I go home to an apartment that is as dry and hot as the Sahara (the constant hissing and whistling noises my heaters make add nicely to this effect - as when I close my eyes and feel like I am caught in a desert wind storm and/or surrounded by an army of hissing snakes). I live on the top floor of my building, have no individual control over my heat, and whomever does have control of the heat is clearly a cold-blooded lizard/person hybrid. I expect the building's furnace is heating their sleeping rock quite toastily. Even though it was snowing the other night I went to bed with the windows thrown open and had to throw all the covers off - and still couldn't find comfort.



So, if you know of a ritual sacrifice or fun karoke tune I could perform in order to get the weather to behave in a more reasonable way (since clearly there will be no intervention from the humans who control the heating and cooling devices), please send it my way.



Thanks.



Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, December 28, 2004
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Argh! Dammit!   


While Trying to Remove one blog from my blogroll, I accidentally deleted most of them.



If you notice your blog has vanished from my sidebar, please shoot me an email and let me know so I can replace it.



Now what am I supposed to read?


Posted by Sarcasmo on Monday, December 27, 2004
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Monday Morning Madness   


Another holiday season past, another food-induced coma to dig my way out of. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend - whether they were celebrating or not.



I, for one, had a lovely time, in which I spent time with friends and family I don't see as often as I'd like, and was tremendously spoiled, despite promises that my family was keeping Christmas small this year. It was a less hectic, more cozy Christmas than in former years, especially since my grandmother (who normally hosts the extended family gathering) and my cousin were visiting my uncle in Italy - and Sarcas-sis, Sarcas-bro are still ensconsed in Japan.



Sarcas-sis and Sarcas-bro out-did everyone gift-wise this year, but not only providing thoughtful gifts for the family, but also swelling our ranks just in time for the holidays. (And let me assure you, sibling rivalry is all well and good, but one can not compete in giving gifts to parents when one sib provides a grandchild.) One of the highlights of Christmas Eve was being able to talk to them and my new nephew, Thor, via video phone. (Ok, ok, they call him Rhys. I call him Thor. And I'm evoking the Betsy Trotwood aunt's prerogative to do so.) He is as brilliant and adorable as every aunt expects her nephew to be - and my sister looks uncannily natural as a mother. She even does that motherly glow thing I've seen rumoured in magazines. Who knew?



I look forward to next Christmas when they will be back on American soil, and I can start corrupting cooing at him in person.



Today I rounded out the holiday at a friend's family party - where I was treated very warmly and fed much too much. I am left warm and dozy - and wondering why oh why I didn't take tomorrow off from work like any sane person would.



Never mind. I just answered my own question.



Ah, well. On to the linkage.




Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, December 26, 2004
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There are no Friday Follies today, as I am relaxing with book and coffee, and generally preparing to make merry. I promise to make up for the lack with a super-packed link list on Monday.



Till then, compliments of the season to those of you who celebrate - and a very happy weekend to those of you who do not.





Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, December 24, 2004
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Hey - Maybe Gene Kelly Was On To Something Afterall   


What to do when you and your umbrella lose an agrument with the wind during a torrential downpour.
by Sarcasmo:





Seriously - I may begin forgetting my umbrella on purpose.



Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a bubble bath, a warm drink, a book**, and some dry pajamas in my future.



* I recommend Starbuck's Moonlight Feels Right, anything from the 80s, and the Linus and Lucy Theme especially. The Beastles aren't too bad in a pinch, either.


**
It was going to be Love in the Time of Cholrea, but during my shopping expedition I picked up Mr. Timothy - a Christmas-themed thriller featuring a grown up "Tiny" Tim Cratchit. Then later, I will be wrapping gifts while watching Masque of the Red Death & Premature Burial - because nothing quite says Christmas like mayhem and murder. Whee!

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, December 23, 2004
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Easy to Please   


Last night I had opportunity to play Taiko Drum Master; a game in which one gets to hit things with sticks.



It was awesome.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, December 23, 2004
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At the Car Wash   


The Mars Opporuntiy has received some overnight cleaning, which has boosted it's power output to near maximum.


Curiously, the Opportunity was on Mars at the time.



The way I figure it, the Martians are either (a) eager to meet us, and lending us a benevolent hand so we can feel like we "discovered" them on our own (b) practicing for the menial tasks they will likely be forced to take if we colonize their planet or (c) are having one of those highschool fundraisers - in which case we can expect an interstellar bill for one cheer-leader given carwash, as well as the slew of cupcakes and Rice Krispie treats the Opportunity no doubt purchased at the nearby bake sale.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, December 22, 2004
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Reading Online Will Never, Ever, Ever Replace Reading Actual Physical Books for Me...   


...but even still I am delighted to discover the Baen Free Library:

Baen Books is now making available — for free — a number of its titles in electronic format. We're calling it the Baen Free Library. Anyone who wishes can read these titles online — no conditions, no strings attached. (Later we may ask for an extremely simple, name & email only, registration. ) Or, if you prefer, you can download the books in one of several formats. Again, with no conditions or strings attached. (URLs to sites which offer the readers for these format are also listed. )


Free sci-fi and fantasy makes Sarcasmo a happy girl.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, December 21, 2004
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Attacked by Ninjas?   


Then pirates are the obvious route to go for restitution.



Why yes, things are painfully, life-suckinging-ly slow at the office this week. However did you know?

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, December 21, 2004
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Does Anyone Know the Requirements for an American to Emigrate to Wales?   


Because this town has 39 bookshops for its 1300 residents. - [WO]



Clearly, this place is destined to be my new home.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, December 21, 2004
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Protect Yourself   


Get your tinfoil hat on.



As I understand it, one should always take fashion advice from a singing, Victorian cat. It would be madness not to.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, December 21, 2004
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Monday Morning Madness   


Short, sweet, and full of things I find amusing for no good reason whatsoever



Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, December 19, 2004
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I Don't Know Quite What to Make of This, But it Pleases Me Anyway   


Christmas Letters to Christopher Walken. - [SH]



I'd be frightened if that man came down my chimney. Amused and bemused, but frightened.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Friday, December 17, 2004
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Friday Follies   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, December 16, 2004
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All Hail the Emperor   


I'm the first to admit that I am not one for Americana, especially the folklore. Although I admire the pluck, courage and spirit that drove our early ancestors across the country to seek out new life and new civilizations to boldly (and often, unwisely) seek their fortunes in the unforgiving, unchartered wilderness, I just can't seem to get excited about it. Ever since I was a wee girl, I have prefered my folklore steeped in blood and battle, sharp with swords, rumbling with the thunder of pounding hooves on through darkened woods and grassy plains, rich with political intrigue, and wuick to either defend or deny the divine right of someone with a plush seat a jewel-encrusted hat.


I suppose this means I have an elitist, rather than a pioneering spirit.


And I also imagine that this is why I am so delighted to read that there is a serious effort underway to rename the San Franciso Bay Bridge in honor of Joshua Abraham Norton, Emperor of the United States.


I can tell you, without hyperbole, that I adore the story of Joshua Norton, the only true American Royal.


Who else but an American, when faced with absolute ruin, would declare themselves Emperor without so much as a by-your-leave from his countryman, and without any other action than a brief letter to the editor?


Was he mad? Perhaps.


Perhaps? Almost definitely.


But he was also a patriot. And honorable. And well-loved by many accounts (how many world leaders can say that?)


And lest we forget, Emperor - by his own hand and will - and there was nary a complaint - and not a drop of blood shed.


I realize that, by and large, Norton belongs to San Francisco and their history. But I say as his reign stretched from coast-to-coast (and so into Mexico) - all Americans should lay claim to him, remember him, and teach our children about him in schools. Let us embrace our madness, our power of individuality, our kindness towards our fellow men, and our peaceful dreams.


I think the least we can do for such an inspiring figure is to give his name to the bridge he conceived.


And in his honor - let us all stand as tall as we wish we were - taller than we are - wear ornate hats, and propose marriage to those who would hold themselves above us* - even though we know that there exists no man nor woman on Earth who is not, at least, our equal.


*I totally get dibs on Prince William.


Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, December 16, 2004
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And So My Nightmares Slowly Become Reality   


I was raised on science fiction. Thanks to my father and several uncles, I have been surrounded by seminal books and inundated with films and made-for-TV movies predicting Distopian futures since birth. This means, among other things, that I am on constant watch against Big Brother, a devout lover of gadgets, determined to own an army of helper robots, and petrified of the day when said robots rise up against humanity and smite us for our sins against science and nature.



So, you can imagine how I felt this morning when I read that a scientist is claiming to have invented robot "genes," which will allow robots to "reproduce."



And if idea alone isn't enough to shoot cold tendrils of fear throughout your nervous system, the scientist goes on to say that he is not worried that these self-reproducing robots will be a danger because:

"If we design the chromosomes quite safely, then we can avoid such a bad situation."


Because we all know that scientific hubris never leads to a fiery robotic apocalypse.



Now, if you'll all excuse me, I'll be removing (and hiding!) Trotwood's batteries, making some peppermint tea, and hiding under the covers with every Ray Bradbury title I own.



Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, December 16, 2004
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What Do You Mean It's Only Wednesday?   


Is it just me, or has time *actually* slowed down to a snail-paced crawl? I'm not anticipating anything in particular, my holiday shopping is nowhere near done, and I'm certainly not getting any younger - so surely these winter days should zip along at break-neck speed, leaving me anxious and breathless and eager for just a few hours, yea - even minutes more.



Instead (*yawn* - excuse me)all the world is sluggish and full of perpetual same-ness and I'm - so - bored.



It's time like these I wish my aspirations to become the all-powerful ruler of the Universe would come to fruition, because then all I would to do is clap my hands to have my jester* appear to dance and sing for my amusement. Oh - how he would dance.


And then, possibly, there would be a Comedy Cage Match, between my jester and the jesters of mine enemies.


Ah - the future.


Until then, thankfully, there is the precious Internet - which sucks time into itself like some hungering vortex, while I, glassy-eyed, watch amusements like One Ring to Rule Them All parts I, II, & III. (What can I say, I never could turn down entertainment that includes hobbits, evil pizza, Mr. Spock and Hippie chicks. I'm funny that way.)


And if any of you are looking for a career as a professional jester, you should call me.


*If I had a jester, I would totally wire him to a Clapper.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, December 15, 2004
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Monday Morning Madness   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, December 12, 2004
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Friday Follies   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, December 09, 2004
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Ok, This Is Cool and All...   


but how does one even come to the decision to do this?:

Florida scientists have grown a brain in a petri dish and taught it to fly a fighter plane.

And what's more -how do you convince someone to give you money to fund it.



Really - I need to know - does the scientific community spend a large portion of its time stoned?

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, December 09, 2004
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'This Talking Fruit Pie Says We Should Have Sex...What Do You Say?'   


Some remixes are so evil, they're just plain tasty:

Delicious Hostess Fruit Pies Presents: Losing Your Cherry: A Young Man's Guide to Sexual Awakening - [SH]. I will never look at anthropomorhic pastry the same way again...


Safe to watch at work - with headphones.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, December 08, 2004
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Center City Philadelphians, Take Note   


On my way home from work today, I stopped at the local patisserie for some bread and other baked delectables. In doing so, I learned that tomorrow is their one-year anniversary, and as such they will be having an all day sale - and a chocolate fountain.



Now - I'm not entirely sure what a chocolate fountain is (or why the promised chef needs to be involved) - but I sure am going to stop in to find out.



I imagine it as a pristine, white porcelain affair; with tall sloping spouts, which run with hundreds of rivulets of chocolate - dark as mud and tasty as heaven. (Which would be lovely for about five seconds - but a dark, sludgy (tasty!) mess by the time I can get there after the work day is done). Or, it could be like a fifties soda fountain, the chef set-up behind a tall, aluminum counter, jerking hot-chocolate and serving it to well-manicured yuppies on leather-upholstered stools. It might even be a fountain made from chocolate marble (consisting of dark, milk, and even that "fake" chocolate - white) with chocolate dripping and pooling through its every vein.



How will I ever make it through an entire work day knowing - just a few scant miles away - there is a dancing, pulsing fountain of luscious chocolate waiting for me? (Unless you all get there first).

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, December 07, 2004
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I Sense the Apocalypse Is Near   


I just saw a television commercial in which sexual innuendo was utilized to try and sell dinner rolls.



Dinner rolls.



Let's try a little creativity corporate America; you don't need to use sex to sell everything.



Especially things that aren't remotely sexy.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, December 07, 2004
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Today Feels Like That Dali Painting   


There is something strange about today; time seems at once compressed and elongated…exaggerated yet brief. Everyone around me seems lost in slow motion; our words heavy and thick, our movements dragging through the air, leaving ripples as though we were moving through water. And yet – internally, we all seem to be racing; heartbeats like humming birds rattling in our chests – our minds hyperactive against the sluggishness that surrounds us. Conversations are stumbling and confused, one not remembering where they started and the other left off; emails and phone calls sent into the aether leave the sender anguishing over the length of time it takes the receiver to respond; in real time minutes, in Today-time, hours.

The work day is eternal.

I can’t quite work out why this should be so. If these experiences were mine alone, I would blame it on the first chest cold of winter; a much loathed visitor which has made my recent evenings a celebrations of lit candles, warm blankets, and just a hint of consciousness in front of the TV or rented DVD. But I am hearing similar grumblings about time and it's strange passage from all over my office.

It could be the weather – gray today – so gray there has been no discernable difference between dawn, noon, or dusk; a cold, rolling fog swallowing the landscape outside the window in a dreamy haze.

But I like gray weather; I find some comfort in it. Perhaps because I enjoy any excuse to light a fire; to wear a long coat; to splash with abandon; to go home and go right from cold, wet clothes to a hot, scented bubble bath; or maybe my soul is old and misses the days, centuries ago, when it surely tramped along London streets. In my heart of heart, gray is good, so I doubt this weather would put me in such an odd mood.

As far as I can ascertain, there is one answer; but I simply can’t understand why any supernatural super villain bent on domination would choose to put an tiny office building in a time vortex.

Unless…



oh yes….



Clearly they know I am here – and they are buying themselves some time – knowing that I would fight them for supreme universal dominance – but that due to contractual obligations I am unable to do so until 5:00 PM.


Clever, my villainous friend, very clever. But do not rest easily on your laurels yet. 5:00 will come – and then you and I shall meet and decide who rules the universe. Oh yes, 5:00 will come…



5:00 will come…right?



Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, December 07, 2004
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Kitchy and Creepy? Of course I love it!   


Beautiful sketches of cartoon character skeletons.



Funny - I always assumed that the Shmoo was skeleton free, like a giant, rubbery marshmallow...



Posted by Sarcasmo on Tuesday, December 07, 2004
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Monday Morning Madness   


Posted by Sarcasmo on Sunday, December 05, 2004
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Friday Follies   



Extended edition, as I was a slacker last Monday...

Posted by Sarcasmo on Thursday, December 02, 2004
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He's Right, You Know. Banging Can Be Fun   


A bit of childish fun from Rainbow. - [Stolen right from Johnny The Horse]



I don't know if this clip is real, and frankly I don't care. So things are just funny, no matter how grown up you think you are.

Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, December 01, 2004
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And Me Without My Popcorn   


Not long ago, I was having a nocturnal think about my life, recent changes within it, and the resulting disquietude (I find it's best to have these sorts of thinks when the world is quiet, and one is warmly and safely ensconced in bed.)

As I lay there in the darkness, I had a profound moment of clarity - an afflatus, if you will - where I suddenly summed up everything that was happening in my head in one short sentence. It was beautifully succient - almost poetic; I was amazed that my brain was able to wrap this moment in my life so neatly into so few words.



And then, almost as suddenly as the phrase had come, a terrible truth stole over me, creeping like the shadows from under my bed. I had, in good faith, combed through my Id, my Ego and even my Super Ego; had bowed down before the Mighty Triumpherant of self, in a search for truth and understanding; dared to look into my secret soul. And how had I been rewarded? Had that moment of inspiration brought forth Insight? Actualization? Self-knowing?

It had been dialouge.



Movie dialouge.

Reality Bites movie dialouge.

Sometimes, I really am ashamed of my brain...


Posted by Sarcasmo on Wednesday, December 01, 2004
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